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Public Engagement Award Winners Announced 

Professor Hal Lawson is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. 

(ALBANY, N.Y.) April 5, 2018 – The University at Albany has announced the winners of the 2018 President’s Awards for Exemplary Public Engagement. The winners will be honored at a ceremony at the Recital Hall in the Performing Arts Center on Monday, April 30.

The President’s Awards for Exemplary Public Engagement recognize individuals and University programs and units for outstanding achievement in public engagement through research, teaching, learning, service and creative activity.

This year, UAlbany will present a Lifetime Achievement Award to Professor Hal A. Lawson, an internationally recognized scholar whose body of work reflects his deep commitment to meeting the needs of vulnerable populations and their communities. Additionally six awards will be presented to UAlbany faculty, staff and community partners from the arts, science, criminal justice, education, public health, social welfare, and student affairs.

“Our awardees epitomize the true meaning of partnership and reciprocity. As a public research institution, UAlbany places great value on working with our communities to identify, address and positively impact critical societal challenges. Those we’ll be honoring represent collaborations across disciplines and sectors. We are extremely proud of all awardees and nominees this year, and particularly grateful to Professor Hal Lawson who has been a pioneer and lifelong leader in the area of community engagement,” said Alfredo Medina Jr., executive director of the Office for Public Engagement.

Lawson, jointly appointed in the Schools of Education and Social Welfare, also regularly works with colleagues at the School of Public Health. These interdisciplinary involvements point to his interests in finding solutions for vulnerable children and families served by resource-strapped organizations such as schools and community agencies. “Engaged scholarship, as I have practiced it, is a collaborative adventure at the frontiers of knowledge, policy and practice. It has made me a better scholar, a better teacher and advisor, and a better person. Although it is humbling for me, my hope is that this award inspires others. Together we can do so much more,” said Lawson.

The 2018 Award Winners are:

  • Hal A. Lawson, Professor, jointly appointed in the Schools of Education and Social Welfare (2018 Award for Lifetime Achievement in Public Engagement)
  • Duncan Cumming, Associate Professor, Department of Music and Theatre, and the Youth Movements Festival, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Living-Learning Community Program, Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
  • Justin Minder, Assistant Professor, Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, and the UAlbany Weather & Climate Camp
  • Blanca Ramos, Associate Professor, School of Social Welfare, and the Amsterdam Minority Health Task Force
  • Luke A. Rumsey, Assistant Director of Neighborhood Life, Division of Student Affairs, Community Standards-Neighborhood Life
  • Tomoku Udo, Assistant Professor, Department of Health Policy, Management and Behavior, School of Public Health, and the Chatham Cares 4 U Program

The President’s Awards for Exemplary Public Engagement are open to the public. For more information, please contact Mary Hunt in the Office for Public Engagement at 518-442-3470 or

Please register online to attend the ceremony and a reception in the Futterer Lounge that will precede it at 5 p.m.

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.