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Max A Shacknai COVE News


Max Shacknai COVE Continues to Contribute through Signature Programs

By Contributing Writer on October 12, 2017

First-Year Orientation Outreach Program
The COVE sponsors a four-day pre-orientation service opportunity for first-year students called Outreach. Outreachers work in small groups on a variety of community projects designed to assist local organizations and agencies with their significant efforts.

This year, 10 upperclassmen led 21 first-year students in service experiences throughout the Hamilton and Utica communities. After each day of service, students reflected and discussed what their service experience might mean for their impending four years at Colgate. Overall, the program contributed more than 400 hours of service work in the short three-day span.

COVE Brown Bags
COVE Brown Bags are open to all students, staff, and faculty, and are a means by which COVE teams seek to increase knowledge and activism on issues related to their service work in the community. These luncheons, which take place weekly in the COVE lounge, highlight a wide array of topic areas. This year, we hosted 15 events.

9/11 Day of Service
Last fall, the COVE joined the national network of more than one million Americans who serve their local communities in remembrance of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. The event encourages people campuswide to volunteer in the community as a means of paying tribute to the victims and heroes of 9/11.

Through our service we remember the remarkable way that our nation rose up in unity and service following the tragedy of the attacks. Last September, more than 60 students, staff, and faculty participated in the afternoon of service contributing a total of 180 hours of service to eight local community organizations.

Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Events
We think Martin Luther King Jr. Day should be a day on, not a day off. Our goal is to bring people of various ages and backgrounds together to move our local community and nation closer to the “beloved community” that King envisioned.

This year, we organized a number of events to honor the legacy of Dr. King. On January 22nd, we joined the national commemoration of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy by hosting an MLK afternoon of service. Our students served at various community sites in Hamilton, Madison, Clinton, and Utica. This year, more than 65 volunteers worked at 9 community organizations, combining for 200 total service hours.

Finding Money for Social Change Grant Writing Class
In the 12th year, the 12-week, certificate-based grant writing course brought together campus community visionaries, grant writing experts, and local nonprofit leaders to deliver weekly lectures to 28 Colgate students and local community member participants.

At its core, the course offers insight into the architecture of a grant. Concurrent to the weekly lectures, students were paired with six local nonprofits and charged with crafting a preliminary proposal that would serve as the foundation for a fully formed grant proposal in the near future. By working closely with the nonprofit partners, students were able to see the class theories and lessons play out in real time.

High School Seminar Program
In its 57th year, the High School Seminar Program continues to use Colgate’s resources to benefit the region by introducing area high school students to college-level topics that are not available at their schools. The program encourages college attendance by providing students with the opportunity to experience a taste of life on a college campus. In the 2016–17 academic year, 14 schools sent 296 students to participate during the four sessions of the High School Seminar Program. Of these 296 students, 100 attended two or more times throughout the year. Students are asked to evaluate the program at the end of each session and feedback has been very positive. Many students express how interesting the courses are and how they wished they had more time. Students are asked about their plans after graduation and generally just over 80 percent have plans to continue their education at a four-year institution.

This year’s 24 courses included the following options:

  • Harnessing the Sun
    Beth Parks, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy


  • Rhetoric, Democracy, and Populism: Is Democracy a Fallacy?
    Ryan Solomon, Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric


  • Night at the Museum: A Behind-the-Scenes Peek at Colgate University Collections
    Melissa Davies, Educator, Longyear Museum of Anthropology & Picker Art Gallery


  • The Botany of Climate Change: Plant Physiology from Leaves to Ecosystems
    Eddie Watkins, Associate Professor of Biology


  • It’s About Time: Clocks, Genes and Human Behavior
    Krista Ingram, Associate Professor of Biology


  • Remote Sensing: from Drones to Satellites
    Mike Loranty, Assistant Professor of Geography

Salvage Program
The Max Shacknai COVE staff organizes an effort to repurpose items that students donate in the residence halls at the end of the academic year as they move off-campus. This past year, volunteers spent more than 400 hours collecting and sorting the items in Parker Commons for pickup by 26 nonprofit organizations located throughout central New York. Again this year, our colleagues in Institutional Advancement dedicated over 150 hours to the effort, expanding the community investment in this critical program.

The estimated worth of all salvaged items put into the hands of people who need them amounted to $60,000. Our partner organizations report that the individuals they serve receive much-needed supplies to furnish transitional housing; provide warm clothing, bedding, and educational materials; and stock food pantry shelves.

The Community Action Partnership shared the following regarding the importance of this program to their clients: “The COVE has supported so many of our CAP programs. Sometimes it’s the “small” things that make a big difference, like the “recycled” clothing, food collection, or household items that touch so many through the Salvage program alone. A complete set of dishes just feels good as opposed to a mixed-up set of dishes. We worked with one mom who was so excited to have a complete matching set of dishes so her family could share a nice dinner together. And our Mentoring Girls Night Out offers items from purses to belts to backpacks and hair accessories. Those items just lift a girl up!  We all like to feel good about how we look and a new purse is just fun!  I could carry on about how the food offers some choices to families visiting the food cupboard and share about what a difference the COVE volunteers made by cleaning the unit of our Homeless Transitional Apartment readying it for a new family… but what I really want to say is how amazing and how much impact the COVE volunteers make on others!”

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