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Anna McHugh ’17 works with local trail organizations

By Upstate Institute on August 28, 2015

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.

Anna McHugh '17 at the Gateway Reserve

Anna McHugh ’17 at the Gateway Reserve

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Cynthia Vele ’17 works with Young Scholars to measure success among students

By Upstate Institute on August 21, 2015

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.

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Jessica Pearce ’18 walks in footsteps of abolitionists

By Upstate Institute on August 21, 2015
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.

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Phyo Thant ’16 conducts study of economic impact of Madison County’s cultural and heritage tourism

By Upstate Institute on August 15, 2015
This post was written by Phyo Thant ’16
Phyo Thant '16 at the Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum in Madison County, New York

Phyo Thant ’16 at the Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum in Madison County, New York

This summer I have been working with Madison County Cultural and Heritage Tourism (MCCHT) committee. One of the objectives of MCCHT is to direct more efficient allocation of funding and resources to the promotion of the county’s cultural heritage tourism. To this goal, MCCHT is conducting an economic impact study project to provide evidence of economic relevance of cultural heritage organizations in the county. I am helping MCCHT with this project, and my work involves finalizing the gaps from the data collected from different arts and culture institutions, analyzing the data, writing a summary report, and preparing promotional and marketing materials for MCCHT.

 Our findings show that nonprofit arts and culture is a $4.64 million industry in the Madison County. We estimate that this represents 0.27% of total output (GDP total of all industries) of the county. In addition, the arts and culture industry, directly and indirectly, supports 100 full-time equivalent jobs, which accounts for 0.47% of the county’s total employment, contributes $2,272,778 in resident household income, and generates $455,614 in local and state government revenue each year. To conclude, this study proves that investing in the arts and culture delivers economic benefits for all stakeholders in the local community.

Eighteen nonprofit arts and culture organizations in the county – museums, theaters and art galleries, historic parks and sites – participated in our survey. The study follows the model of Arts and Economic Prosperity IV, a similar but national-wide economic impact study conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nations’ leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education. The table below summarizes the major findings in this study. Data presented for other study regions are obtained from Arts and Economic Prosperity IV National Statistical Report.


Jessie Sullivan ’16 researches funding options for Refugee Center in Utica

By Upstate Institute on August 6, 2015

This post was written by Jessie Sullivan ’16

This summer, I worked under the Volunteer and Intern Coordinator, Jennifer Cieselwitz at the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees. This is one of the foremost refugee centers in the country because the building itself houses all of the services resettling refugees need in their first few months. More commonly

Jessie Sullivan '16 (bottom row in center) was one of several students working with the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees this summer

Jessie Sullivan ’16 (bottom row in center) was one of several students working with the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees this summer

called the Utica Refugee Center, we resettle about 500 people a year who have come from violent humanitarian conflicts across the globe. We have resettled over 15,000 refugees who now make up about 17% of the city’s population. MVRCR has many offices that complete the tasks of finding housing for all resettled refugees, finding all new refugees jobs, enrolling children in school, teaching English for free, beginning the Naturalization process for all new refugees, translating for people across the community, as well as many other tasks. Because there are so many tasks to complete and clients to help, the staff of the Refugee Center is always over-scheduled and the volunteer office is always disorganized.

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Kendra Peeples ’16 researches dairy grazing apprenticeships

By Upstate Institute on August 4, 2015
This post was written by Kendra Peeples ’16

Kriemhild Dairy Farms of Hamilton, NY operates as a grass-fed dairy farm. Their main product that they sell to the public is their Meadow Butter, and Crème Fraiche, a sour cream styled slightly more towards Europe’s sour cream. I have been working with Lindsey Jakubowski, the General Manager of Kriemhild, to help bring the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship (DGA) to New York State. This United States Department of Labor recognized apprenticeship program has recently decided to go national and move beyond its home state of Wisconsin. The main tasks that I have been charged with this summer have included reaching out to local farmers to test interest in the program, contact local agricultural organizations for support and networking purposes, and researching funding opportunities.

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Leda Rosenthal ’18 studies alternative farming in Madison County

By Upstate Institute on August 1, 2015
This post was written by Leda Rosenthal ’18

The Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) in Madison County serves the county’s greater wellbeing by supporting local farmers to maintain, promote and expand their operations. CCE Madison County’s largest event of the year is Open Farm Day, which took place on July 25th. Open Farm Day is a promotional event where farms across the county encourage visitors to come and participate various on-farm activities and experiences, including, but not limited to, farm tours, petting zoos, and demonstrations. As a fellow at CCE, I have had two major research projects in addition to our preparation for Open Farm Day.

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