Reporter Sean Martinelli from WUTR in Utica recently visited campus to speak with students and faculty about Colgate’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, featuring VITA in a piece that aired on WUTR earlier this month. The VITA program provides residents of Chenango and Madison counties with free help preparing their federal income taxes. Led by Professor of Economics Nicole Simpson, VITA trains Colgate students in the nuts-and-bolts of filing tax returns, paying special attention to the Earned Income Tax Credit that is available for many low-income residents. Tax refunds from VITA-prepared returns bring more than $1 million back to our region each year. The VITA story includes details about a recent gift of $30,000 from NBT Bank that will help to support the program and keep it running for the next three years. The Upstate Institute thanks NBT Bank and WUTR for their support of VITA, as well as the students and community partners that put in many hours of work to run the program each year.
At Colgate’s annual Awards Convocation, held earlier this week, The Upstate Institute recognized two students in the Class of 2016, Jennifer (Jenn) Dias and Kayleigh Bhangdia, for their outstanding work as fellows in the Summer Field School program.
Colgate’s Konosioni student honor society hosted a panel discussion today on the topic of, “What is Service in Madison County?” The panel featured representatives from seven local non-profit organizations focused on community service, including Community Bikes, Friends of Rogers, Food Bank of CNY, Hamilton Food Cupboard, Fiver Children’s Foundation, Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, and Community Action Partnership. Konosioni member Chris Noda ’16 moderated the panel, which included discussion of both how service benefits those in our community facing challenges and needs, but also provides new understandings and connections for those who give of their time and other resources.
Each of these community organizations are also featured in the MadisonCountyGives.org website, providing an opportunity to provide financial support for these causes. So far this year Konosioni has helped to raise more than $40,000 for these seven organizations; please visit the website and consider a contribution of your own!
You can also support Konosioni’s efforts by attending their annual charity auction, held starting at 8pm on Friday, April 8, in the Hall of Presidents.
Jacob Mundy, Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, and Valerie Morkevicius, Assistant Professor of Political Science, will hold a public symposium at the Palace Theater in Hamilton on March 21, 2016 at 4:30 pm. “Drone Warfare and the Implication for Upstate New York” will include participants Daniel R. Brunstetter, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of California at Irvine; Charles J Dunlap, Professor of the Practice of Law and Executive Director, Center on Law, Ethics and National Security, Duke School of Law; and Nicholas Rostow, Charles Evans Hughes Visiting Chair of Government and Jurisprudence, Colgate University. Harry Murray, Professor of Sociology, Nazareth University and member of Upstate Drone Action, will respond.
The federal government’s desire to increased the range and precision of counterterrorism targeting programs with drones means that drones are often operated from bases inside the United States, including Hancock Air Force Base near Syracuse. While there is already a rich debate over the effects of drone warfare on the areas it targets, the implications of drone warfare for communities that host such programs is poorly understood. The participants in this symposium will collectively explore the significant yet unexplored consequences of drone warfare on those who are exposed to it and those who wage it.
On September 17 and 18 the Upstate Institute (in partnership with Colgate’s Lampert Institute) sponsored a two day series of events on the topic of, “Local Food Cultures: Traditions and Futures.” Each of the events in the series was very well attended by our campus community as well as by our neighbors interested in the topics of food, politics, culture, and environment. If you couldn’t join us, click below for some highlights from the events.
The role of regionally-based food systems, their role in our history and culture, and the promise and perils of depending on locally-sourced food in coming decades was the focus of a series of events in September, held by the Upstate Institute and the Lampert Institute for Civic and Global Affairs at Colgate. Read more
This post was written by Anna McHugh ’17
Madison County is home to a variety of recreational trails open to the public. Trails in the United States began as hunting and transportation paths for Native American tribes. Walking for pleasure is the most popular outdoor recreation activity in the United States. Local trails continue to be ideal areas because of the diversity and suitability for many different activities and experiences. The Chenango Canal Association and Southern Madison Heritage Trust aim to protect, preserve, maintain, and improve local trails and reserves. This summer research focused on promoting the newest addition to SMHT’s property, the Gateway Reserve, as well as maintaining trails such as the Chenango Canal Towpath.
This post was written by Cynthia Vele ’17
The Upstate Institute granted me the opportunity to work as a Summer Field school Fellow with the youth of Utica: a largely migrant-populated community. I came into this job knowing that education was not as accessible as one might assume, and for those children that come from refugee families, families with less schooling, etc., it is close to impossible. In a society where meritocracy has been proven myth and those with social, economic, and political privilege are given preference over other groups, these children have always had to deal with the odds being against them. Luckily, organizations like the Young Scholars Liberty Partnerships Program have been created to cater to the needs of these children who lack the necessary resources and opportunities that other more affluent children tend to have. This issue is a systematic one and cannot be solved by simply investing money into programs and yet it is most definitely a step in the positive direction.
This post was written by Jessica Pearce ’18
This summer, I had the opportunity to work at The National Abolition Hall of Fame in Peterboro, New York. The National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum honors antislavery abolitionists, their work to end slavery, and the legacy of that struggle, and strives to complete the second and ongoing abolition – the moral conviction to end racism. I have always had a passion for studying history, especially American history of the Antebellum South, Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Civil Rights Movements of the late 50’s, 60’s and beyond.