I am pleased to announce our 2014 award winners of the President's Award for Exemplary Community Engagement. Representing community-engaged research, teaching, and service, these ten exemplars and their community partners are working to address public needs and positively impact the quality of life in the region, state, and beyond. Our 2014 winners include: Economic Development:
- Small Business Development Center - A 30-year program that has created or saved over 10,000 jobs in the region and helped over 20,000 entrepreneurs access needed capital. Partners: School of Business, UAlbany; New York State Small Business Development Center.
- Healthy Environments and Relationships that Support (HEARTS) Initiative - A UAlbany-led initiative involving over 15 non-profit agencies to improve standards of mental health care and support services for children and adults. Partners: Dr. Heather Larkin, School of Social Welfare, UAlbany; LaSalle School; St. Anne Institute; Prevent Child Abuse New York; St. Catherine's Center for Children; Troy Housing Authority; Parsons Child and Family Center/Northeast Parent and Child Society; Senior Hope; Center for Disability Services; Trinity Alliance of the Capital Region; Community Hospice; The WAIT House; Soldier's Hope; Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless; Homeless and Travelers' Aid Society; Healthy Hearts on the Hill.
- Dr. Akiko Hosler - A faculty member in the School of Public Health working closely with the Guyanese community and public health officials to develop successful interventions to reduce the prevalence of diabetes.
Partners: Schenectady County Department of Public Health; West Indian Diabetes Coalition; Guyanese American Association of Schenectady; Ellis Medicine.
- Arlene Lev, LCSW-R - A lecturer in the School of Social Welfare who has led efforts to improve LGBT services and care and culturally-competent training for health care professionals. Partners: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Project; Pride Center of the Capital Region; In Our Own Voices; Rainbbow Access Initiative; The Empire State Conference; Crime Victims and Sexual Violence Center; NYS Northeast Division Nation Association of Social Workers; Pride and Joy Families.
Education and Youth Opportunities:
- Capital Area School Development Association - An education field arm affiliated with the University working with rural school districts to ensure their students receive a quality 21st-century education. Partners: School of Education, UAlbany; Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES.
- Center for Human Services Research - A research center in the School of Social Welfare working collaboratively with the City School District of Albany to improve student achievement, as well as advance the Albany Promise Cradle-to-Career Partnership. Partners: City School District of Albany; The Albany Promise.
- Michelle Feder - A Ph.D. candidate in the School of Education who has partnered for six years with an inner-city after-school organization to build a successful Tae Kwon Do program for youth and raise funds for meals and supplies. Partners: Hannah Attard, Ph.D candidate, Department of Atmospheric & Environmental Sciences, UAlbany; Evelyn Sanles, Director, Club Zoe, Inc.
- Junior FIRST LEGO League Expo - An interactive program led by Dr. Jennifer Goodall in the College of Computing & Information for 6- to 9-year-olds to excite their interest in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, math) and develop problem-solving skills. Partners: KeyBank; Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York.
- Dr. Hal A. Lawson - A faculty member in the Schools of Social Welfare and Education who has dedicated his career to community-engaged work in such areas as school improvement, university-school partnership, and systemic education policy change. Partners: Capital Area School Development Association; Albany Institute for Research in Education; Commission on Economic Opportunity, Troy, NY; NYS Education Department; NYS Office of Child and Family Services; NYS Social Work Education Consortium; many regional school districts.
- University in the High School - A 30-year program of UAlbany's College of Arts & Sciences providing students in over 200 New York high schools the opportunity to earn UAlbany credits and develop skills for future academic success.
Partners: Over 200 participating NYS high schools; 23 academic departments at UAlbany; nearly 550 participating teachers.
These exemplars represent only a small portion of the important contributions many of you are making to address public needs, local to global. Together we are advancing community engagement as a core value of the University at Albany.
Dr. Robert J. Jones
University at Albany