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Colleen Donlan ’18 helps vulnerable populations access local foods

By Upstate Institute on September 25, 2018

-Written by Colleen Donlan ‘18

Colleen Donlan ’18 at the Farmacy in Keeseville, NY

This summer I worked with AdkAction in Keeseville, NY in the Adirondacks. AdkAction has been creating projects that address unmet needs, promote vibrant communities, and preserve the character of the Adirondacks since 2011. They serve seasonal and year-round residents of the Adirondack Park and work in diverse project areas such as: community revitalization, food access, environmental stewardship, arts and culture, and broadband internet access. My primary focus was on “The Farmacy” which began in 2017 and is a partnership between the Keeseville Pharmacy and AdkAction designed to make healthy food, sourced from local and organic farms whenever possible, physically and economically accessible to all Keeseville residents within the Pharmacy space. We partner with six local farms and a food hub to make high-quality produce, dairy, meat, eggs, and value-added products available in the Farmacy. Together with the Keeseville Pharmacy, we are trying to help vulnerable populations gain access to affordable, locally-produced food.

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Gabby Yates ’19 researches walkability in Hamilton

By Upstate Institute on September 21, 2018

-Written by Gabby Yates, ‘19

Gabby will present her research poster at the Walk/Bike/Places 2018 conference in New Orleans, LA. This conference is organized by the Project for Public Spaces, and is the premier conference in North America for walking, bicycling and placemaking professionals from the public and private sectors.

Gabby will present her research poster at the Walk/Bike/Places 2018 conference this fall.

This summer I had the opportunity to work with the Hamilton Partnership for Community Development. The Partnership (PCD) has served the Hamilton area since 1998 as an economic development non-profit. It works to promote sustainable economic opportunities and a sense of community through fostering community-based projects. More specifically, they help existing business and farms thrive, attract new community-minded businesses to the area, develop the downtown area all while preserving the small town character and fostering civic involvement through research and administer grants to serve these purposes.

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Mackenzie Carroll ’19 works to improve employee wellness in Madison County

By Upstate Institute on September 18, 2018

-Written by Mackenzie Carroll ‘19

Through the Upstate Institute Summer Field School, this summer I had the opportunity to work with the lovely people at the Madison County Department of Health (MCDOH) in Wampsville. During my time at the Health Department I worked mainly with the Preventative Health division. The Preventative Health division offers the following programs and services to aid the Madison Community: Community Disease Prevention and Control, Health Education and Promotion, Vaccination Program, Maternal and Child Health Program and Home Visitation, STI Program, Tuberculosis clinics, Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention, Car Seat Safety, and Cancer Services. The Health Department deals with all kinds of people throughout Madison County and works in partnership with many of the nonprofit organizations in Madison County in order to better meet the needs of the people. From doing home check-ups for premature babies, to flu clinics on college campuses, the staff is always running around to accommodate as many people as possible, and they still manage to think of new ideas all the time to further meet the needs of the community. Many of the health clinics on campus are run by them, so next time you hear about one I strongly suggest you attend because the nurses will keep you healthy and they are super friendly!

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Jolene Patrina ’19 creates exhibit on the first World War in Oneida County

By Upstate Institute on September 14, 2018

-Written by Jolene Patrina ’19

Jolene Patrina ’19 at the Oneida County History Center in Utica, New York

This summer I had the wonderful opportunity to work at the Oneida County History Center (OCHC) through the Upstate Institute Field School. OCHC works to collect, preserve and make available the history of Oneida County and the Upper Mohawk Valley. This nonprofit organization, located in an old Christian Science church, houses a research library, a 5,000 sq. ft. exhibit space, and thousands of collections including artifacts, manuscripts, artwork, and more. With many of these materials, I created an exhibit titled “World War I Centennial: Oneida County and New York in the Great War,” commemorating the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into the first World War by focusing on the American experience and local history of the war. Exhibits are usually up for two years or more; OCHC currently contains six exhibits of all different sizes on local history, all of which are open to the public.

OCHC serves the local community in preserving and exhibiting a wide variety of local history. It is often difficult to complete this mission as both archival and exhibit work is largely completed on a volunteer basis, and there is only one full-time employee, Brian Howard, who rarely has time to work on curation.

This summer I curated a large portion of the exhibit space with my World War I project, which will help OCHC in its goal of sharing local history and attracting visitors. Specifically, I looked through the OCHC’s manuscripts and artifacts pertaining to World War I, conceptualized an exhibit from these items, and designed and implemented the exhibit. This process involved working closely with artifacts, such as military uniforms, weapons, gear, and technology, all of which were over a century old and very delicate. Similarly, I worked with fragile documents such as posters, photographs, and newspapers, and often had to encapsulate (i.e. laminate by hand) many of these items. This work culminated in my exhibit that includes topics such as New York’s efforts to fund the war and conserve resources, technological innovation and its impacts, women in the war, and certain Uticans’ experiences during the war. Ultimately, this exhibit will help to preserve and present local history in an interesting and comprehensible way to the surrounding community, and hopefully attract more visitors to OCHC.

My first summer as a Field School Fellow has been both educational and exciting, as I was given the opportunity to create something substantial largely on my own, and was able to contribute to both preserving and making accessible local history. This project enabled me to work hands-on with fascinating materials and added a meaningful component to my studies as a History major. Furthermore, I was introduced to curation, work that I have never done before but am now extremely interested in pursuing as a career. In addition to my wonderful experience with curation, working in Utica allowed me to connect with a local community that I otherwise would not have encountered, and added depth to my understanding of and appreciation for Upstate New York and the local communities it fosters. Ultimately, I have gained invaluable experience in both history and curation, while also forming connections with and learning about the local community.

Sarah Allen ’20 helps the Utica Children’s Museum with programming

By Upstate Institute on September 11, 2018

-Written by Sarah Allen ’20

Sarah Allen ’20 at the Children’s Museum

This summer I worked at the Utica Children’s museum as an intern focused on developing new programming for the organization. The museum is a non-profit with a dedication to providing children with a place in which they can learn in a fun and hands on manner. Their mission statement explains this well, describing that the museum is meant, “to offer an environment that supports every child’s natural curiosity to learn through hands-on, play-based exploration.” In the past year, the museum entered a management contract with Kids Oneida, an organization dedicated to helping families in need. Their mission statement is, “to empower children, families and individuals who have high service needs and enabling them to live ways that are productive, healthy and meaningful.” This management agreement has helped the museum by allowing it grow more organized and to adopt a similar, community based mentality to that of Kids Oneida.

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