About the Office

The mission of the Office for Public Engagement is to support the University's capacity to do public good, locally and globally, through the advancement of research, teaching and community engagement initiatives that address societal issues.

Darrell WheelerThe Office for Public Engagement operates under the leadership of Dr. Darrell P. Wheeler, Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr. Wheeler joined the University at Albany in 2015 as both Dean of the School of Social Welfare and Vice Provost for Public Engagement, a new position aimed at advancing the University's commitment to public engagement. He was named Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs in fall 2016. Learn more about Dr. Wheeler’s work.

University Advisors


Our Staff

Alfredo Medina, Jr., Executive Director

Alfredo Medina, Jr. directs the Office for Public Engagement, overseeing all matters and activities related to public engagement. Medina joined the University at Albany in February 2015 as special adviser for educational engagement at the Capital South Campus Center (CSCC). As special adviser, Medina recruited and coordinated UAlbany expertise across disciplinary units to build a base of integrated support and input for immediate priorities and longer-term needs for CSCC.

Prior to joining UAlbany, Medina was associate vice president for academic affairs, risk management and compliance at Siena College, where he also served in leadership roles in sponsored programs and government and foundation relations. In addition, he gained extensive experience in the nonprofit sector at the grassroots and executive level for agencies such as the New York Council of Nonprofits, Inc. and the Urban League of Northeastern New York, Inc.

Medina has spearheaded numerous coalition-building initiatives with public and private institutions to strengthen higher education access and partnerships. Due to his success, Medina has been recognized for his work as a 40 Under Forty Award recipient by the Albany Business Review, 40 Under Forty Rising Latino Star recipient by the Hispanic Coalition of New York, and the Excelsior Award by the Albany Latin Festival Association.

Medina holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from Utica College of Syracuse University (1994), a Master of Science in educational psychology and statistics from the University at Albany (1997), and Certificate in the Management Development Program (2010) from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is currently completing a Master of Science program in educational administration and policy studies in UAlbany’s School of Education.

Mary HuntMary Hunt, Manager of Programs

Mary Hunt handles strategic communications and special projects for the Office for Public Engagement. Prior to joining the OPE, Mary served as communications director for the University at Albany’s Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy from 2009 to 2016. At Rockefeller, she was responsible for developing communications strategies to market the college’s academic offerings and programs to prospective students and building that institution’s local, state and national reputation. There she oversaw Web communications, social media and media relations, and served as editor for Rockefeller College’s biannual news magazine.

In addition to higher education experience, Hunt has more than 20 years’ experience working in professional television and radio broadcasting. While at PBS member station WMHT Educational Telecommunications, she held a number of positions, including director of community and educational partnerships, writer/producer, and director of RISE, WMHT's 24-hour radio information service.

A New York State Broadcasters Award winner for her promotion and branding efforts, Hunt is also the recipient of multiple awards from the SUNY Council for University Advancement (SUNYCUAD) for her work in the areas of publications and special events.

She currently serves on the board of SUNYCUAD and is a past board member for the Women’s Press Club of New York State and the Capital Region Chapter of the American Marketing Association.
Hunt received her Bachelor’s in Business Management from Russell Sage College in Troy, NY.

Lori OliverLori Oliver, Administrative Assistant

Lori Oliver joined the Office for Public Engagement as administrative assistant in September 2016, providing administrative support to both the OPE and Albany Promise, a cradle-to-career partnership in the City of Albany dedicated to improving educational outcomes for the city’s school children. A professional with over 20 years’ of management and supervisory experience, Oliver previously served as chief procurement officer for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public Schools Employee Retirement System and Director of Elections for Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. Oliver’s extensive experience in public service also includes employment with the Commonwealth’s Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Public Welfare, and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

Oliver received her Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership from the College of St. Joseph in Rutland, VT.