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U.S. Rep. Michael McNulty Reflects on Life of Public Service at UAlbany's Annual Burton Lecture
Event is scheduled for April 28 at 3:30 p.m. at Page Hall

Contact(s):  Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150

U.S. Rep Michael McNulty

U.S. Rep. Michael McNulty

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 24, 2008) -- The Hon. Michael R. McNulty, U.S. Representative, will deliver the 24th Annual Burton Lecture at the University at Albany's Page Hall (downtown campus) on April 28. The address, entitled "My Reflections on 39 Years of Public Service," highlights the program, which also includes the annual Distinguished Public Service Awards Ceremony for Outstanding Contributions to Public Service, honoring notable individuals who have dedicated their careers to serving the people of New York. The honorees are Edwin D. Reilly Jr., UAlbany professor emeritus and former Niskayuna supervisor; Jamie Fellner, senior counsel, United States Program of Human Rights Watch; Dennis P. Whalen, deputy secretary for Health and Human Services, New York State Office of the Governor; Ward B. Stone, director, Wildlife Pathology Unit, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation; Harry Rosenfeld, editor-at-large, Times Union.

The Burton Lecture is named for John E. Burton, who served as New York's budget director under Governor Thomas E. Dewey from 1943 to 1950.  Burton, who was credited with modernizing the state's budget process, was a key member of the special committee that recommended the creation of the State University of New York System.  He also chaired the committee that created the first public administration degree-granting program at UAlbany.

The event, which will be hosted by UAlbany Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Susan Phillips, will begin at 3:30 p.m. at the Page Hall auditorium.

After nearly 40 years in elective public office, McNulty will retire at the end of his term, leaving a legacy of extensive service at the local, state and national levels. First elected to public office in November 1969 as town supervisor of Green Island, McNulty became the youngest town supervisor in New York State at the age of 22. After serving eight years as supervisor, he was elected mayor of the Village of Green Island and served in that capacity until he was elected to represent New York's 106th Assembly District in 1982.

In 1988, McNulty was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Currently in his tenth term in office, longer than anyone has served in that seat, he represents the 21st Congressional District, which includes all of Albany, Montgomery, Schenectady and Schoharie Counties, and portions of Fulton, Rensselaer and Saratoga Counties. This year, McNulty began his 15th year of service on the powerful House Ways & Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over taxation, international trade, health care, human resources and Social Security. He serves on numerous other influential committees and commissions, and chairs the Subcommittee on Social Security. After having served as Freshman Majority Whip and Majority Whip-at-Large, he now serves as At-Large Whip.

Distinguished Public Service Awards:

Edwin D. Reilly Jr., Former Supervisor, Town of Niskayuna and Professor Emeritus, Computer Science, College of Computing and Information Distinguished Public Service Award. Reilly served as town supervisor from 1970 to 1979 and then again from 1989 to 1997. He joined UAlbany in 1965 as founder and director of the Computing Center and would go on to become the first chairman of the Computer Science department in 1967. He retired in 1991 after 26 years of service.

Reilly is author or co-author of six books on computing and co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Computer Science, now in its fourth edition. He is the current president of the Schenectady County Historical Society, writes a monthly op-ed piece on a wide variety of subjects for the Sunday Gazette, and continues to serve a multitude of other community organizations.

Jamie Fellner, Senior Counsel, United States Program of Human Rights Watch, School of Criminal Justice Distinguished Public Service Award. Fellner served as director of the U.S. Program from 2001 to 2007 and as associate counsel from 1994 to 2001.

Fellner is the author or co-author of numerous Human Rights Watch reports, including Beyond Reason: The Death Penalty and Offenders with Mental Retardation; Punishment and Prejudice: Racial Disparities in the War on Drugs; and Race and Drug Law Enforcement in Georgia.

Dennis P. Whalen, Deputy Secretary, Health and Human Services, New York State Office of the Governor, School of Public Health Distinguished Public Service Award. Whalen, appointed deputy secretary to the Governor in January 2007, is the chief health care advisor to the Governor and is responsible for policies and operations of the state's health and human services agencies.

Whalen previously served in the Department of Health as executive deputy commissioner, director of the Office of Health Systems Management, and executive deputy director of the AIDS Institute. He served in policy making positions at the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, including deputy commissioner for Program Services. He began his career in state government in 1974 as a public health educator at the Department of Health.

Ward B. Stone, Director, Wildlife Pathology Unit, Department of Environmental Conservation, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy Distinguished Public Service Award. Ward has served as the state's sole wildlife pathologist for the past 39 years. He is responsible with diagnosing, monitoring, and researching the causes of sickness and death in the state's wildlife and conducting field and site investigations on the impact of pesticides, pollutants, and hazardous materials on wildlife. Prior to serving in this role, he received two honorable discharges from the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy, where he served as a Navy Corpsman.

As one of the nation's leading wildlife pathologists, he has provided depositions and expert testimony in numerous local, state, and federal court cases, and has also addressed the United Nations on two separate occasions. He can currently be heard on the radio
program "In Our Backyard" on WAMC 90.3 FM.

Harry Rosenfeld, Editor-At-Large, Times Union, School of Social Welfare Distinguished Public Service Award. Rosenfeld also serves on the editorial board and writes a weekly column for the Times Union. After nearly 20 years of service, he retired from the
paper in 1997. Prior to joining the Times Union, Rosenfeld was an assistant managing editor of The Washington Post and was in charge of its Watergate exposé, which earned the newspaper a Pulitzer gold medal for public service. Rosenfeld has served as a Pulitzer juror four times and as a commissioner on the New York State Regents Commission on Library Services.

His dedication to the community can be seen in his work with the Elder Network of the Capital Region, where he was the founding chairman. He also worked with New York State Senator Roy Goodman to establish the Great Arts program at the State Museum,
which displays art from major museums throughout New York State. Countless awards and honors include the Freedom of Information Award from the Associated Press.

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