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Engaging for Public Good 

UAlbany Showcases its Commitment to Service and Engagement 

Last year's Relay For Life, part of Public Engagement Month. 

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 26, 2019) – The University at Albany will celebrate Public Engagement Month in April with daily events, including headliners such as The BIG EVENT on Saturday, April 6; a talk by Carmen Perez, co-chair of the Women’s March on Washington and a leader in the #MeToo Movement, on Tuesday, April 2; and Family Earth Day on Saturday, April 13.

Public engagement is often thought of simply as community service. The UAlbany community takes a broader approach. Throughout the year the University works with internal and external partners to address critical societal challenges through community-engaged research, teaching, service and creative activities that contribute to the overall public good.

“Last April, we launched the Public Engagement Month initiative. As we enter its second year, it is developing into a wonderful tradition here at UAlbany,” said Alfredo Medina Jr., executive director of the Office for Public Engagement. “By highlighting projects and activities through which the University is collaborating with partners to tackle important issues that affect us all – such as health and wellness, climate change, crime, immigration, and security and preparedness – we’ll be focusing attention on the essential role this public research university plays in its community. We hope our neighbors, partners, friends and alumni will join us for many of the special events and programs we have planned on campus and throughout the Capital Region that are open to all.”

The BIG EVENT

The highlight of Public Engagement Month is The BIG EVENT and Community Day, on Saturday, April 6, from 11 a.m. to 4 pm., with volunteer opportunities on and off the main campus. The Pine Hills Cleanup will also be a part of the day’s events.

The largest, one-day, student-run service project in the nation, The BIG EVENT dates back to 1982 when student leaders at Texas A&M launched an annual service day as a thanks to local residents for their ongoing support of the school. Today more than 60 major universities across the nation host their own version of the BIG EVENT annually. This is UAlbany’s second year participating in this event.

To help the campus community sign up for service opportunities, the University partnered with the United Way of the Greater Capital Region on EngageUAlbany. The platform provides real-time access to myriad service opportunities, helps track and verify volunteer hours and develop a service resume, as well as create personal engagement preferences and help users become fans of specific agencies.

UAlbany students, faculty and staff can volunteer for the BIG EVENT through EngageUAlbany, while UAlbany alumni and the community at large can volunteer at www.unitedtovolunteer.org.

At 4 p.m. on April 6, BIG EVENT participants can enjoy an early supper and good conversation with members of the campus and Capital Region communities.

A new feature of this year’s BIG EVENT is UAlbany Short Takes, brief talks by UAlbany faculty experts and alumni, from 1:30 to 4 p.m. in the Campus Center West Auditorium. All are open to the public.

Among the scheduled talks are:

New York’s Mesonet: Better Weather Data – Faster, with Nicholas Bassill, senior meteorologist, New York State Mesonet

Did You Know? Quick Facts from UAlbany’s 175-year History, with University Archivist Gregory Wiedeman

UAlbany’s Drone Flight Research Center and MakerSpace, with Michael Leczinsky, lecturer, College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity

Seeing Danger: Dress and Appearance in American Crime and Justice, with Professor Frankie Bailey of the School of Criminal Justice

Big Allied And Dangerous: Why Non-state Actors Kill and What Makes Them So Dangerous, with Professor Victor Asal, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy

Immigration and the Southern Border, with UAlbany alum Dr. Laura Gonzalez-Murphy, director of the NYS Office for New Americans

Beating the Odds and Raising the Graduation Rate – the NYKids Program, with Aaron Leo, post-doctoral fellow, NYKIDS

The Underground Railroad Archaeology Project, with Professor Marilyn Masson of the Department of Anthropology

Other Activities Happening During Public Engagement Month

• Visits by renowned authors and artists, including novelist T.C. Boyle and memoirist Mark Berger, 7:30 p.m. April 5 at Page Hall; New York Times Book Review Editor Pamela Paul, 4:15 p.m. April 9 in the Campus Center West; and the Performing Arts Center’s 50th Anniversary Celebration with the Saakumu Dance Troupe, 7 p.m. April 16

• “We Care” event from 6-8 p.m. April 11 in the SEFCU Arena, when members of the UAlbany community will pack comfort bags for sexual assault victims

• Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences and Atmospheric Science Research Center Joint Colloquium Series featuring Ming Pan of Princeton, 11:30 a.m., April 1, Earth Science 241

• Panel discussion on gun violence presented by the School of Public Health, 1 p.m., April 4, George Education Center, Health Sciences Campus

• Symposium on Emerging Cybersecurity Education and Technology Trends, featuring Retired Army Gen. Keith Alexander, 4-9 p.m., April 11, CC West Auditorium (preregistration required)

• The President’s Awards for Exemplary Public Engagement, 5-7 p.m., April 29, Performing Arts Center Recital Hall

For a full list of activities celebrating Public Engagement Month at UAlbany, check out our calendar.

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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.