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Panel on “Environmental Justice in Upstate NY” Brings Together Community Members to Discuss Endangered Data

By Chris Henke on March 13, 2018

On Tuesday, February 27, members of the Colgate and regional community gathered at the Palace Theater in downtown Hamilton for a panel titled, “Environmental Justice in Upstate NY,” to discuss the importance of researching and sharing data on issues related to environmental justice.  Activists and scholars concerned with environmental justice point to the disproportionate impacts of environmental problems on communities who are disadvantaged on the basis of their income, race, ethnicity, or other factors.  This topic is the subject of several courses at Colgate, including “Environmental Studies 232: Environmental Justice,” taught this term by Professor Andy Pattison of Colgate’s Environmental Studies Program.

Dr. Pattison teamed up with Josh Finnell, Head of Research and Instruction for Colgate’s University Libraries to organize a panel discussion on environmental justice to help mark Endangered Data Week, a nationwide effort to raise awareness of the importance of data that might be vulnerable to loss or manipulation due to changing political regimes.  The seed for Endangered Data Week was planted back in February of 2017 by Brandon Locke, director of the Lab for the Education and Advancement of Digital Research at Michigan State University, when he tweeted a call for a banned data week, similar to the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week. With the help from the Digital Library Federation, Endangered Data Week grew into an annual event, coordinated across campuses, libraries, and nonprofits to publicize the availability of datasets, increase critical engagement with data, shed light on open data policies and practices, and host workshops on data curation and preservation.  

Panelists speak on “Environmental Justice in Upstate NY” to mark and support national Endangered Data Week.

The panel on Environmental Justice in Upstate NY was one of 45 events taking place across the country during week of February 26th and featured four speakers who shared their insights on the importance of collecting and sharing data related to environmental justice: Professor Monica Mercado of Colgate’s Department of History, Geoffrey Snyder, Director of Environmental Health at the Madison County Health Department, Alex Coyle, Public Health Statistician for the Madison County Health Department, and Rosa Mendez, Director of Environmental Justice at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

The event was sponsored by Colgate’s University Libraries, Environmental Studies Program, Lampert Institute, and Upstate Institute.

Field School Applications for summer 2018 now available

By Upstate Institute on February 12, 2018

The Upstate Institute is currently accepting applications from current Colgate students who are interested in conducting research with a local organization through the Upstate Institute Summer Field School. The Field School partners students with not-for-profit, community, or municipal organizations to conduct research projects that have a positive social, economic, cultural or environmental impact on the Upstate region. Through a Field School Fellowship, students strengthen their skills while building the capacity of the community organization with which they are working. The Field School allows students to develop a deeper understanding of the issues facing Upstate New York and a stronger appreciation for what the region has to offer. Applications for students interested in applying to be a Fellow for the summer of 2018, as well as for community organizations interested in proposing a research project, are available on the Field School page of our website.

Elizabeth Gallina ‘18 markets upcoming holiday season events for Partnership for Community Development

By Upstate Institute on November 16, 2017
Elizabeth sits at a desk, on her laptop while working on creating marketing content

Elizabeth Gallina ’18 working on the creation of marketing materials for the Partnership for Community Development

Elizabeth Gallina ‘18 has been very busy at work with Partnership for Community Development (PCD), where she primarily works on marketing and social media. The Partnership for Community Development (PCD) is an economic development non-profit serving the Hamilton area. Established in 1998, the PCD works closely with the Village of Hamilton, the Town of Hamilton and Colgate University to enhance sustainable economic opportunities and foster community vitality through imaginative community-based projects.

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Alexandra Albrecht ‘18 compiles and analyzes satisfaction data for Community Action Partnership

By Upstate Institute on November 15, 2017
Alex sits at a desk in the office of CAP's Madison County location

Alex Albrecht ’18 working at CAP’s Madison County office

In a showing of her passion for work in the not-for-profit field, senior Alexandra “Alex” Albrecht is working with Community Action Partnership of Madison County (CAP) this semester to “compile and analyze data from client satisfaction surveys at the various CAP locations and across the organization.” In doing so, she is helping CAP with their mission of serving the lower income residents of Madison County.

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Maggie McDonnell ’19 works to streamline Hamilton Central School District’s website

By Upstate Institute on November 9, 2017
Maggie sitting at a desk while using her laptop to do work

Maggie McDonnell ’19 completes most of her work for Hamilton Central School remotely, but occasionally works in the office.

Having immersed herself within the Hamilton community since her first days at Colgate, Maggie McDonnell ‘19 is now taking on the task of updating and streamlining Hamilton Central School’s process of information sharing, as a part of the Upstate Institute and COVE Community-Based Work Study program. Hamilton Central School (HCS) serves students and families in the Hamilton-area from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade. So far, Maggie has found HCS to be “an interesting place to work” because “teachers and administration work closely together and have their hands in a lot of different parts of the school system.”

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Mykel Macedon ’19, Fiver Children’s Foundation alum, returns to manage organization’s marketing outlets

By Upstate Institute on October 31, 2017
Mykel and a fellow counselor pose with children from the summer camp in a field

Following his time as Social Media and Marketing Coordinator, Mykel Macedon ’19 (right) spent his summer serving as a Cabin Counselor for Fiver’s annual summer camp. Here, he and a fellow counselor (left) pose with children from the camp.

During the Spring 2017 semester, I worked at Fiver Children’s Foundation as their Social Media and Marketing Coordinator, an opportunity afforded to me by Colgate’s Center for Outreach, Volunteerism, and Education (COVE). Fiver is an educational and developmental not-for-profit organization whose mission is to empower children from underserved communities to make positive life choices.  This is done through year-round events, support from the New York City office, and a sleep-away summer camp experience in Poolville, NY. The name Fiver, inspired by Richard Adams’ 1972 novel, Watership Down, is also an acronym that stands for “friend, individual, valuable team player, environmentalist, and risk taker.”

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Jessica Eldridge ’19 researches ways to increase retention rates at Pathfinder Village

By Upstate Institute on October 30, 2017
Three people pose in front of a building at Pathfinder Village

Jessica Eldridge ’19 (right) at Pathfinder Village

Pathfinder Village was founded as the first and only community established specifically for individuals with Down syndrome. The mission of Pathfinder Village is to promote a healthy, progressive environment that respects each individual, supporting a life of value and independence for children and adults with Down syndrome and related developmental disabilities.  Recognizing the gifts, talents and abilities of each person they support, the Pathfinder Village community enables individuals with disabilities and their families to envision and to create a “life with meaning.” This includes friendships, independence, community involvement, and the freedom to pursue individual interests and life goals. Read more

Zakaria Chakrani ’18 builds website for Abraham House, enhancing donation potential

By Upstate Institute on September 16, 2017
Zakaria Chakrani '18 posing next to Abraham House sign

Zakaria Chakrani ’18 at Abraham House

This summer I had the opportunity to intern with the Abraham House in Utica, New York. The organization’s mission is to offer the terminally ill a secure and loving home, free of charge, while providing them physical, emotional, and spiritual support. The Abraham House partners with Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc. to provide their guests a variety of services, including oversight, comprehensive medical care plans, social workers, and bereavement services. The organization continually strives to provide both  compassion and the comfort of a surrogate family to every individual in their care, as well as their families.

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Lindsey Johnson ‘20 and Dylann McLaughlin ‘18 work with Utica Children’s Museum to increase museum’s financial stability

By Upstate Institute on September 15, 2017
Dylann McLaughlin, '18 (left) and Lindsey Johnson, '20 (right) sitting and posing with small stuffed animals at the Utica Children's Museum

Dylann McLaughlin ’18 (left) and Lindsey Johnson ’20 (right) at the Utica Children’s Museum

The Utica Children’s Museum is a small non-profit in the heart of the Bagg’s Square district of Utica, devoted to supporting every child’s natural curiosity to learn through hands-on, play-based exploration. With a focus on STEAM education and tactile learning, the museum provides an enriching environment for young children from central New York to grow as independent and critical thinkers. Though the museum suffers from chronic funding issues, it remains a beloved institution in the Mohawk Valley and is making strives toward financial stability. Recently, it was chosen by the Class of 2017 members of the Konosioni Senior Honor Society at Colgate University to receive $2,500 from their Madison County Gives fund to put toward creating a new Sensory Zone on the first floor of the museum. This is one component of the museum’s initiative to incorporate STEAM programs into the learning experience of young visitors.

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Dylann McLaughlin ‘18 and Lindsey Johnson ‘20 help Young Scholars grow alumni network

By Upstate Institute on September 12, 2017

The Young Scholars Program gives high-achieving students in the Utica City School District the academic, cultural, and social-emotional support needed to reach their full potential as scholars and community members.  This program is designed and staffed by education professionals who motivate a diverse and talented pool of students to stay in school, earn a New York State Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation, and pursue post-secondary education. Since its inception in 1993, 93% of Young Scholars have graduated high school and 88% have entered college.

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