DEEP Service Siena College Academic Community Engagement News | Fall 2013 / Winter 2014
INSIDE: Summer Conference Highlights New ACE Programs Halloween Extravaganza Recap Campus-Community Connections Alumni Spotlight 1 | DEEP Service
DEEP Service Academic Community Engagement News Magazine Fall 2013 / Winter 2014 515 Loudon Road Loudonville, New York 12211 (518) 782-6886 (phone) (518) 786-5080 (fax) email@example.com www.siena.edu/ace Published By Siena College Academic Community Engagement Graphic Design Jennifer Hunt Editor Johan Matthews Contributing Editors Lori A. Barringer, Jennifer Hunt, Yalitza Negron ’08 Contributing Writers Liz Farah ’16, Kelly Finn ’16, Brennan Frazier, Michael Gioia ’12, Erin Grogan ’16, Jess Guthrie ’16, Randi Harp ’17, Jennifer Hunt, Marie Lovato, Johan Matthews, Yalitza Negron ’08, Kathryn Ramsey, April Risley ’12, Kevin Schafer ’14, Morgan Schrankel, Jazmin Tejada ’15 Contributing Photographers Siena Athletics, Lori A. Barringer, Green Tech High Charter School, Jennifer Hunt, Siena Communications, Costin Thampikutty Printer Silver Griffin Printing and Copying, Troy, New York On the Cover On October 26, 2013, with a little over 300 kids and their families in attendance, Halloween Extravaganza 9 was packed for the entire afternoon. Two children in their costumes participated in Halloween inspired activities hosted by 37 Siena clubs and organizations. 2 | DEEP Service
FEATURES ACE News Undergraduate News Postgraduate News Campus-Community Connections Alumni Spotlight
ACE Coordinator of Youth Programs and Quality Assurance, April Risley ’12, takes participants in ACE Summer Youth Programs to Music Mobile for an afternoon of song and community.
From the Editor’s Desk We are all connected. No matter how distant our origin, our fates are intimately bounded. Unbreakable, unlike the bonds of iniquity that once held ransom the prosperity of posterity in this leisurely progressing nation. Throughout this publication you will bear witness to extraordinary people engaged in extraordinary work. Together, they strive to embody the veracity of the above mentioned reality. Young, old, professional and amateur, they embody the profound effects of meaningful service. With that morsel of truth thoroughly chewed, I’d like to welcome you to another exciting issue of the DEEP Service Magazine. This issue picks up where our spring issue left off starting with The ACE Banquet, a ceremonious event covering the passing of the torch from one generation of social justice leaders to the
next. It marks the observation of a new chapter in a long standing tale of service. You can also look forward to seeing stories and articles highlighting the DEEP impact made by Siena Bonner Service Leaders, and other students of social justice, not directly affiliated with ACE, as they explore their own personal connections with the community at large. From our new community partners to our program alumni, we reach DEEP into the hearts of the men and women who work diligently to make the world a better place. We thank everyone who has worked to spread our message of meaningful service; from our contributors to those who have inspired their contributions. We encourage you to stay connected with us as we show you the depth of Academic Community Engagement. - Johan Matthews
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The Annual ACE Banquet Concludes a Successful Year The 5th Annual ACE Banquet was held in the Maloney Great Room on Sunday, May 5th. ACE Administrators, work-study students, Bonners, and VISTAs, gathered along with site supervisors, friends, and family, to celebrate another successful year of programming through the Office of Academic Community Engagement. Though the ACE office is relatively new to the Siena Campus, the work that its various community based programs have achieved is undeniable. Through programs such as Siena AmeriCorps*VISTA Fellows, Bonner Service Leaders, workstudy, and more, ACE facilitates sustainable and effective collaborations with a multitude of community partners. The purpose of the banquet is to recognize the hard work that all of those involved with ACE do every day, in the name of social justice and community minded change.
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Hosted by Siena AmeriCorps*VISTA Fellow, Nicole Passante, and Bonner Service Leader, Stephen Jensen ’14, the event began with a heartfelt speech from Director of ACE, Dr. Mathew Johnson ’93, who expressed his gratitude to work with so many inspiring young individuals that are passionate about working towards social equality, and the importance of the work they do. continued on next page →
Dr. Johnson ’93 was followed by two speakers, a Senior Bonner Service Leader, Lindsey Knowlden ’13, and a Siena College alumnus from the Siena AmeriCorps*VISTA program, Michael Gioia ’12. Both spoke about their experiences in their respective programs and what motivated them to commit their time to serving the community. Several awards were given out during the banquet. Siena College Director of the Bowman Center for Women, Dr. Shannon O’Neill, was honored for DEEP service, which recognizes excellence in building fruitful campuscommunity partnerships. The award for Community Partner of the Year went to Green Tech High Charter School. Bonner Service Leaders Costin Thampikutty ’15 and George Lopez ’15 presented this award to Green Tech’s Director of College Counseling, Suki Cintron. Her acceptance speech touched on the positive effect that the presence of VISTAs and Bonners has made on the culture of Green Tech, and how the students have changed the way they view their responsibility to their community. Lori A. Barringer, Assistant Director of ACE and Operations, took a moment to recognize all of the workstudy students, and the transportation team, who are responsible for driving students to their respective community sites. Lori then introduced Yalitza Negron ‘08, Associate Director of ACE. Yalitza congratulated the current VISTA cohort on their dedication and hard work throughout their year of service, and gave special recognition to
those who have chosen to stay on for a second year of service. April Risely ’12, Coordinator of ACE Youth Programs and Quality Assurance, thanked those involved in the undergraduate programs, including Community Corps, Girl Scouts, and Trailblazers, for bringing opportunities to underprivileged youth in the Capital District. April then welcomed Tony Rivera, Assistant Director of ACE and the Bonner Service Leaders program, to thank the Bonners for their commitment to community service throughout their years at Siena. Bonner Service seniors were recognized, and six awards were given
“This year’s banquet was an immense success and a wonderful opportunity, for those who have dedicated their lives to community service, to recognize one other for all the hard work that is performed each day.” for academic excellence within the program. Finally, Bonner Service Leaders and AmeriCorps*VISTAs were given the opportunity to nominate fellows from their respective programs for superlative awards in four categories; Team Player, Mr./Mrs. Congeniality, DEEP Service, and Four Hats of Service. The winners of these awards for the Bonner Program went to Katie Wells ’14, for Team Player, Nick Ramundo ’14 and Costin Thampikutty ’16 for Mr. Congeniality (tie), Timothy Golden ’13 for Three Hats of Service, and lastly, Ananda Brinkman ’13 for DEEP Service.
Superlatives for the VISTA Fellows program are as follows; Jimmy Bulmer ’12 for Team Player, Nicole Passante for Miss Congeniality, Marie Lovato for Three Hats of Service, and Emily Patka for DEEP Service. All superlative winners were presented with a Certificate of Achievement. Awards were followed by a VISTA Leader Roast, delivered by VISTA Fellows Jimmy Bulmer ’13 and Brennan Fraiser. Gifts were presented to the VISTA Leaders, Lamara Burgess and Carolyn Holthausen, as a thank you for all of their hard work mentoring the 2012-13 VISTA cohort, along with some well intentioned ribbing from members of the cohort. After the roast, the VISTA Leaders took the podium to thank the ACE administrative team for all of their support, and presented a gift on behalf of the VISTAs and Bonners, a canvas decorated with written messages of thanks from members of both programs. Administrators were called individually to stand and receive a round of applause from all of those whom they have supported and inspired over the past year. This year’s banquet was an immense success and a wonderful opportunity, for those who have dedicated their lives to community service, to recognize one another for all the hard work that is performed each day. Thank you to all those who helped make our banquet a triumph, and everyone who has dedicated their life to serving their community, the ACE community could not do the amazing work they do, without you! By Marie Lovato
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High Impact Initiative The High Impact Initiative is a national multi-institutional, learning community organized by a partnership between the Bonner Foundation and Siena College with the collaboration of the American Association of Colleges and Universities. The Annual meeting of the High Impact Initiative is the High Impact Institute, which is hosted at Siena College each summer and includes campus transformation teams of ten from each participating campus. Teams are composed of students, administrators, faculty, and community partners. Each of the more than 18 campuses from across the country have committed to a three year process of planning for and implementing transformation in and through development of high impact community engagement initiatives.
In July 2013, Siena hosted the second annual Institute where teams learned about the high impact practice theories, attended workshops that helped them identify avenues for designing their initiatives, and created action plans where they laid out their projects and prepared a timeline for implementation. During the conference, teams who had joined the institute the year prior, served in a mentor role for the new teams. Additionally, the newcomers had the opportunity to share their ideas with high profile mentors such as John Salt Marsh, Director of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education, who helped to discuss strategies for implementation
By Yalitza Negron ’08
and sustainability of their proposed ideas. The Office of Academic Community Engagement, along with the Bonner Foundation, welcomed an additional nine schools to the network this summer. As we continue through this current academic year, plans have already begun to prepare for welcoming an additional cohort of schools and to welcome back the schools who have participated in the past two years to the institute. We are looking forward to welcoming these institutions back to our community in July 2014 and to receive updates on the powerful work they are doing with their communities.
For more information on the High Impact Initiative, visit: siena.edu/hip 6 | DEEP Service
Siena Athletes Get Involved in Community Engagement By Johan Matthews Growing up in a small rural Community Engagement (ACE), who lead a team of students town, surrounded by in Bolivia on a service internship. “It motivated me to try and developed towns and look at the communities around me… It was an eye opener… cities, Taylor Booth ’13 it opened us up to a different community [outside] the was raised to take an country.” In Bolivia, she observed the same separated interest in the world neighborhoods and voided efforts at development that has around her. At age 7, she stagnated progress in struggling Albany neighborhoods. In committed to this mindset some places there seemed to be grand, isolated efforts at when she joined a club development leaving no real impact save abandonment. soccer team which allowed her As a goalie, this is a lesson she has firmly to travel throughout the country. This grasped from her years on the soccer field. “By using soccer you can experience nurtured an analytic perspective According to Taylor, the goalie always is really connect with people in Taylor, leading her to ask, “What could be one of the main leaders on the field, they and help them in other different? How could she help?” are always the one that needs to stay ways… when you connect composed and calm even if the team is This mindset has allowed her to flourish as a down three points, the goalie has to be the with the same passion it leader not only on the soccer field but also base and the rock of the team. Accordingly, works.” in her travels in life. Whether as a student at she understands that the goalie can’t win the - Taylor Booth ’13 her boarding school or as a goalie on Siena game and recognizes the impact that these College’s Women’s Soccer Team, she sees the individuals could have had they worked need to bring people together to make together to lead their people. things better. “At boarding school you’re in a bubble and you don’t really get involved in your community… I worked a lot Now, Taylor is looking for opportunities to ground her soccer with developing things on campus but it wasn’t until Siena team in service and civic engagement. Just like the fractured that I wanted to do more by looking into Albany communities in Albany and Bolivia, Taylor sees the need for [neighborhoods] like Arbor Hill and the South End.” unified participation and the profound impact made possible by the power of partnership. There she’s worked to engage young girls by coaching and mentoring them in soccer. “By using soccer you could really A team needs chemistry to create a solution; otherwise one connect with people and help them in other ways… when you may react without reaching results. It seems life works much connect with the same passion it works.” Her passion for in the same way. helping eventually connected her with Dr. Mathew Johnson ’93, Director of the Siena College Office of Academic Taylor Booth playing the role of goalie in a Siena College Women’s Soccer Team game.
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ACE VIDEO SHOWCASE Drive-in Theater Themed Video Showcase Features Short Films by Siena VISTA Fellows and Bonner Service Leaders By Brennan Frazier Limousines, buses, even golf carts pulled up to Sarazen Student Union in midApril for the most anticipated film event of the year, the 2013 ACE Video Showcase. The event highlighted the work being done by Siena VISTA Fellows and Bonners in the Capital Region. Original artwork, inspired by this year’s theme, drive-in theaters, was commissioned for the event and displayed on the walls of the theater. Twenty-two short films premiered, including interviews, parodies, testimonials, and Prezi presentations. A broad range of topics were covered, such as school bullying, outdated and inefficient technology, and the housing problems of a local neighborhood. The diversity of the work shown in these short films ensured that attendees would drive away from the showcase with new knowledge. Voting by secret ballot determined the winners of the showcase’s eight prestigious awards: Best New Filmmaker, People’s Choice (VISTA), People’s Choice (Bonner), Best Humor, Best Soundtrack, Best Cinematography, Most
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Impactful, and Best Message. Nate Charbit, creator of the film titled “St. John’s/St. Ann’s Outreach Center, Albany, NY,” used stark client testimonials to highlight the impact St. John’s/St. Anne’s makes in its community and came home with awards for Most Impactful and Best New Filmmaker. Jimmy Bulmer ’12, Justin Devendorf ’12, and Brennan Frazier, creators of VTV’s “VISTA Cribs,” parodied MTV’s “MTV Cribs” by showing off the sometimes-not-soglamorous lifestyles of VISTAs and came away with awards for People’s Choice (VISTA), Best Humor, and Best Cinematography. VISTA Fellow, Emily Patka, whose film “Mt. McGregor College Initiative” described the impact made when educational opportunities are brought into correctional facilities, won the award for Best Soundtrack and featured “Glosoli” by Icelandic group Sigur Ros. The Bonner Youth Education Team profiled their unique student-run Girl Scout troop in “Calling All Leaders: Girl Scouts” and won the People’s Choice Award for Bonners. The showcase was organized by the 2013 ACE Video Showcase Committee which included, VISTA Fellows Justin Devendorf ’12, Odalina Duran, Monee English, Brennan Frazier, Thomas Lombardi, Johan Matthews, and VISTA Leader Carolyn Holthausen.
PRESS PLAY! Visit the Siena College ACE YouTube Channel and see original short films by Siena VISTA Fellows and Bonner Service Leaders.
Introducing Siena-Albany High School Citizenship TeenCorps By April Risley ’12 On October 15, 2013, ten Siena students boarded the Siena bus ready to embark on a new journey as we began our partnership with Albany High School's Citizenship Academy. As a result of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant, Siena is honored to be a part of the high school's expansion in after-school programming, specifically targeting ninth grade students. The goal of this program is for the Siena students to create curriculum and training for the high school students that will allow them to explore access to higher education and community engagement, and to develop their own service projects. As with many programs, recruitment has been a constant battle from the start but there are currently 10 “It is our goal that Albany students and 10 Siena students with a goal within the year, of 25 Albany students. The students will engage curriculum that our Siena in multiple service students are deploying is a projects and be able to rendition of the very successful Bonner Service identify organizations Leader curriculum. It is our that they are goal that within the year, interested in serving students will engage in at for a long term multiple service projects and be able to identify partnership.” organizations that they are interested in serving at for a long term partnership. Additionally, we would like to expand the program throughout the years to ultimately engage the students in service and community engagement throughout their four years at Albany High School and enroll them in AmeriCorps for their senior year while they lead the underclassmen in service projects. This will ensure that these students are a step above their peers in terms of experience and are ready for higher education or a career in community development. To date, we have started the program with activities around effective communication, vocation, and community engagement. The Siena students are continuing to grow as leaders alongside the Albany High School students. We are excited for a successful pilot this year and can't wait to see what these students are capable of!
Local Professionals Gather at the ACE Networking Coffeehouse By Morgan Schrankel On Wednesday, October 2, I attended the ACE Networking Coffeehouse at Siena College. The event was an opportunity for professionals working in the community in various capacities to come together and broaden their professional network. Attendees included Siena College Bonner Service Leaders, AmeriCorps*VISTA Fellows, Siena ACE Office administrators, Siena College professors, and various community partner leaders in the Capital Region. Guests spent the majority of the event mingling and getting to know each other. Jimmy Bulmer ’12 and Marie Lovato, both members of the Siena AmeriCorps*VISTA program, moderated the event by providing icebreaker activities. Through these activities, participants moved around the room to meet people in a fun and non-threatening way. As a member of the VISTA photography committee, I was also able to take a step back and observe the event from a different perspective. It was great to see people deep in conversation with like-minded individuals. Personally, I was able to connect with individuals from Siena College who I had not previously had the opportunity to meet. Toward the end of the event, there was a raffle drawing (in which every participant had the chance to win one of various prizes). Although I happened to be one of the raffle winners, the highlight of the event was meeting others who are working in similar capacities throughout the Capital Region. I look forward to attending more events such as this in the future. Morgan Schrankel is a Siena College AmeriCorps*VISTA Fellow serving at Green Tech High Charter School as a Academic Service Learning Coordinator. She graduated from Alleghany College in 2013 with a degree in Values, Ethics, and Social Action. She also participated in the Alleghany Bonner Service Leaders program. 9 | DEEP Service
Halloween Extravaganza On the Cusp of its 10th Year, Halloween Extravaganza 9 Delivers Another Spooktacular Time for Children and Their Families By Jazmin Tejada ’15 The 9th Annual Halloween Extravaganza was another giant success, breaking previous records for attendance and the amount of money raised. With a little over 300 kids and their families in attendance, the event on October 26th was packed for the entire afternoon. There were 37 Siena clubs and organizations sponsoring Halloween inspired activities, which the kids enjoyed. The event also included a haunted house run by Stage III, a photo booth with a spider web background, and a bake sale. There was also a “Health and Wellness Community Partner Fair” children in which local community partners attended participated, including the Loudonville Shaker Fire Department, Colonie Police Department, Albany Police Athletic raised for League, and Mediation Matters. Green Tech High Charter
Every year, the proceeds from the event go to a partner organization of the Office of Academic Community Engagement. This year, the event raised $1,274.00 dollars and will benefit Green Tech High Charter High School.
7 community partners participated in the Health and Wellness Community Partner Fair
All those that planned and organized clubs and Halloween Extravaganza 9 would like to organizations led thank those who made it possible, Halloween inspired especially to our generous donors activities including the Student Senate, the Office of Academic Community Engagement, Office of Residential Life, Athletics, Damietta Cross Cultural Center, Student Activities and Leadership Development, Sr. Thea Bowman’s Center for Women, Coccadotts Bakery, Villa Italia, and Five Guys (Newton Plaza). We would also liked to thank the community partners who participated in the Health and Wellness Community Partner Fair, including the Loudonville Shaker Fire Department, Colonie Police Department, Albany Police Athletic League, Mediation Matters, Ronald McDonald Dental Mobile, Green Tech High Charter School students, and Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York. Save the date for Halloween Extravaganza 10 on October 25, 2014. See you next year!
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ACE Welcomes New Staff Member, Former Siena College AmeriCorps*VISTA Leader, Lamara Burgess By Yalitza Negron ’08 A legacy is a unique experience that is created through the passion and trust of someone's vision. As I explored the vision of my Director, in addition to the feedback of the VISTAs, I took the time to try new concepts for The Siena College AmeriCorps VISTA Program and a legacy was built. Now, the program is nationally recognized and as a result, I began to seek the opportunity for continued growth. After five years of experience coordinating the program, I was given the opportunity to expand my role and welcome a new Coordinator who would take the program to the next level. When I began to think about who could continue this legacy, I reflected on the qualities that would make someone successful in this position: detail-oriented, passionate about working with post-graduates, driven, visionary, and more. Consequently, I am proud to welcome to the Siena College community and family Lamara Burgess. Lamara is a graduate from Binghamton University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. After completing a year of service as an AmeriCorps*VISTA for the Parent Engagement Project in Sacramento, CA, she transitioned back to her home state of New York to begin a year of service as a VISTA Leader with our program. During this year of service, Lamara focused on mentoring a team of VISTAs, coordinating professional development trainings, measuring the impact of our team's work with the community, and establishing local and national connections with VISTAs across the country. Through her hard work and dedication, Lamara found her calling to serve in higher education and is now working with our office as the coordinator of the VISTA Fellows Program. As Lamara has transitioned into her new role, she has continued to bring her passion for the development of the program, the growth of our VISTAs, and our community partnerships. Her passion for assessment, evaluation, and quality assurance is assisting our office with taking the program to the next level. I am proud to have such a strong and fearless leader on our team to continue the legacy and vision for our VISTA Fellow’s personal and professional development, addressing the needs of our community partners, and supporting continuation of deep and sustainable connections with our partner sites and the college. We look forward to seeing her continued growth in her new role and we are enthusiastic for the future that lies ahead.
“I am proud to have such a strong and fearless leader on our team to continue the legacy and vision...” - Yalitza Negron ’08
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Bonner Class of 2017 Travels to Presque Isle, Maine to Learn About the Benefits and Challenges of Rural Communities By Jazmin Tejada ‘15 For the fourth consecutive year, the Sophomore Bonner Service Leaders headed out to Presque Isle, Maine to experience their first year, 10-day rural service immersion trip from August 5 to 15. The first group of Bonner service leaders to go on the trip set a well maintained precedent: they decided to keep their intense experiences a secret from the class that followed. Primarily, they came to this conclusion because the events that occur on the trip are some that can’t be explained with words, but need to be experienced first hand. As years have gone by, each class has honored that tradition staying true to this unique experience. Presently, the trip is associated with the Rural Sociology class taught by Dr. Mathew Johnson ’93. This class is now a requirement for “...the purpose of the trip any student working toward the is for the students to learn Certificate in Community the benefits and Engagement, therefore the trip is challenges that exist in open to all students.
rural communities. Throughout the trip, the students volunteer with local non-profits in Arookstick County and observe the needs in the area.”
Without giving away too much, the purpose of the trip is for the students to learn the benefits and challenges that exist in rural communities. As a result, they are able to directly relate what they learn to the service that they do in the urban setting of Albany. Throughout the trip, the students receive the opportunity to volunteer with local non-profits in Arookstick County and are able to observe the needs in the area. The trip also serves as an effective bonding tool for the students and administration alike. Being together for 10 full days and going through new experiences with each other definitely makes the group feel strong and connected. Siena Bonner Service Leader, Ann Ward ’15, along with myself, truly had a blast planning this year’s trip. We look forward to hearing what experiences await the next class going in 2014. No year is like the last but every year is unforgettable. 12 | DEEP Service
Left to right: Bonner Service Leaders Stephen Jensen ’13 and Ann Ward ’15 both receive awards for their commitment and involvement in Siena College programs and initiatives.
Bonner Service Leaders Get Recognized for Their Exceptional Community Engagement Work On May 3, 2013, three Bonners received community engagement awards for their exceptional work in both the campus and civic community across the semester and past years of service. On May 3, 2013, three Siena College Bonner Service Leaders received awards for their exceptional work in both the campus and civic community. This encapsulated work done throughout the semester and in past years of service. Ann Ward ’15 received the Clare Ficarra award, dedicated to an exceptional member of the campus community who has worked to plan and implement activities. Ward ’15 was rewarded for her coordination of “Hump Week”, the week half way through the academic semester intended to give an element of stress relief to the student body. Other Bonners to earn awards as a part of this ceremony were Ananda Brinkmann ’13 and Lindsey Knowlden ’13. Both received the Civic Leadership Award granted for work which “demonstrates excellence in political, civic leadership on campus and/or in the broader community.” Brinkmann ’13 and Knowlden ’13 were recognized with one of the most prestigious Siena community service community awards. Nominated by campus administrators and professors, they have embodied the mission of both the Bonner network as
well as Siena College. They serve as excellent examples of what it means to be both an exceptional Bonner and a Franciscan servant leader. In their work, Brinkmann ’13 and Knowlden ’13 have spent four years as Bonners working in the field of community medicine and child services respectively. Furthermore, both spent significant time serving in the local Albany community through their service sites, as well as in international communities. Brinkmann ’13 spent four months in India and Knowlden ’13 spent summers serving in Thailand and India. In reflecting on her service, Brinkmann ’13 spoke to the importance of which Bonner held for her and on her own mission of providing service to the local community: “[Bonner] has given me a microscope to focus my service”. The entire Bonner network is proud to serve alongside people such as Ann Ward ’15, Lindsey Knowlden ’13 and Ananda Brinkmann ’13. By Kevin Schafer ’14 13 | DEEP Service
Academic Excellence Celebration Senior Bonner Service Leaders Present Their Capstone Research at the Annual Siena College Academic Excellence Celebration By Jennifer Hunt At the end of the academic year, Siena College hosts an Academic Celebration that gives students the opportunity to showcase their work to students, faculty, and staff. This year the event took place on Friday, May 3rd in the Great Maloney Room of the Sarazen Student Union. Nine ACE Bonner Service Leaders presented their Senior Capstone projects. We want to congratulate and acknowledge Ananda Brinkman ’13, Michelle Campbell ’13, Jensen Daniel ’13, Timothy Golden ’13, Lindsey Knowlden ’13, Jacqueline Lennon ’13, Chelsea Platt ’13, Lexis Palma ’13, Jahnna Rymer ’13, and Bernadette Schmidt ’13 for their excellent work. Each presented highly valuable research to community development.
about the science of health care, but also the art of health care and how to interact with people.
Ananda Brinkman’s capstone, titled, “Seeing the Invisible: Public Health and the Homeless”, showcased her work at a free health care clinic for over two years treating the homeless and uninsured. She learned valuable information not only
Jensen Daniel’s capstone, titled, “The Triangle Trade: Continuing Problems for Health Care Access in India, Bolivia, and New York”, showcased groups of marginalized
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Michelle Campbell’s capstone, titled, “Culture Club: Increasing Cultural Awareness Among Albany Youth”, showcased the handbook she created for readers to learn how to organize, instruct, and establish a diversity-learning program for children, ages 6-8. Specifically, the handbook highlights how a partnership was formed between the Boys and Girls Clubs of Albany and the Damietta Cross-Cultural Center at Siena College. A Culture Club was formed on campus and focused on leading children through workshops on food, music, language, and ecology of African countries.
Left to right: Senior Bonner Service Leaders Jahnna Rymer ’13, Ananda Brinkman ’13, and Michelle Campbell ’13 present their capstone research to the Siena community, including key faculty and administrators (left to right) Paul Murray, Ph.D., Dr. Linda Richardson, and Fr. Ken Paulli ’75.
people in three regions of the world. His research featured women of Bolivia who suffer high maternal mortality rates, leprosy patients in India, and HIV positive populations in New York. He argues that their marginalized condition is a result of a stigma or stereotype which bars them from receiving adequate health care. Timothy Golden’s capstone, titled, “Building Community Through Research: Models and Methods of CommunityBased Research”, showcased his work with “Policy Options” which addresses the needs of academic service learning by providing a model for community-based research. This model searches for “best practices” that other organizations have developed and used to resolve issues as well as researches policy at multiple levels of governance that may be beneficial to an organization. Lindsey Knowlden’s capstone, titled, “Parsons to India: Cultural and Community Awareness”, showcased a handbook on how to teach cultural competency to youth who have experienced trauma or who have mental or developmental disabilities. The handbook highlights the most successful and impactful ways to teach, drawing on Lindsey’s experiences abroad and working with a nonprofit organization that serves culturally diverse youth. Jacqueline Lennon’s capstone, titled “The Best of the Best: Recruiting, Retaining, and Revolutionizing Volunteers” showcased a three-fold approach to successfully working with
inspired young adults fighting social injustice domestically and internationally. Chelsea Platt and Lexis Palma partnered up for their capstone, titled, “Holding the Compass: Developing a Trailblazers’ Program Manual”, which showcased the Trailblazers Program, established at Siena College in 2010 by Ned Jones, Vice President of Enrollment Management at Siena College, and Kathryn Ramsey, former Siena College AmeriCorps*VISTA. Chelsea and Lexis designed a program manual that covered the intricacies of the volunteer aspects of the program, as well as the curriculum used in the afterschool sessions. The manual is a culmination of knowledge they obtained as Bonner Service and Trailblazer Leaders. Jahnna Rymer’s capstone, titled, “Second Class Citizens: Contemporary Problems of the Incarcerated” showcased the challenges of incarcerated individuals returning to society. She presented currents models and suggestions for improved programs. Bernadette Schmidt’s capstone, titled, “Infusion of Passion: Connecting the Youth of Arbor Hill and Health Care”, showcased her work with youth in the community, including mentoring children at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Albany, working alongside Dr. Bob Paeglow at Koinonia Compassion in Action in Arbor Hill, and constructing a biology afterschool curriculum for Arbor Hill Elementary School students.
Are You a Change Maker? Siena College ACE wants you on WVCR 88.3 The Saint! Be a guest on our radio show and share your experiences in community engagement with listeners across the Northeast region. Visit siena.edu/ace and click on the Change Makers icon to get started! 15 | DEEP Service
Meet the Connect4Change Project Leaders! AJ Hare ’14 AJ is pursuing a degree in management. After graduation, he plans to attend graduate school and get his Masters Degree in business so that he can become a successful business manager. Abdoulie Jallow ’15 Abdoulie Jallow is pursuing a degree in environmental studies and a minor in political science. He hopes to one day pursue a career in environmental concerns. Kaitlyn Gristina '16 Kaitlyn is pursuing a degree in political science. Kaitlyn is also an AmeriCorps member and a coordinator for the ACE Writing Partnership. Erin Grogan '16 Erin is pursuing a degree in business and a minor in Spanish. She hopes to develop a network, learn essential management and business skills, and make a lasting difference. Katie O'Rourke '17 Katie is pursuing a degree in marketing. She hopes to build connections with organizations and learn essential business skills. Katie is also on the Siena women’s swim team. Caroline Powell '17 Caroline is pursuing a degree in business. She is excited to help bring together business and nonprofit communities to make a positive impact. She is also a member of the Siena women’s swim team. Jenna Potter '16 Jenna is pursuing a degree in business. She is excited to be a founding member of C4C and is looking forward to the networking opportunities the program offers. 16 | DEEP Service
Connect4Change Siena College undergraduates get involved in Connect4Change, a new ACE project management service that connects corporate volunteers with community partners. One of the ACE office’s newest programs is Connect4Change. C4C is a project development and management service designed to benefit the region’s nonprofits and area companies by maximizing the impact of one-day and short-term employee volunteer service in the community. C4C’s project leaders work alongside nonprofits to identify and scope projects requiring volunteer assistance, then recruit, train, and deploy teams of corporate volunteers to meet the need. C4C project leaders manage all aspects of the project from start to finish and are on-site for the duration of each service day to ensure the satisfaction of all involved. A small core group of eight dedicated students meets diligently several times a week to help shape and launch this new program. These project leaders are sharing the struggles and experiencing the learning curve required when launching a completely new “C4C’s project leaders endeavor and have made incredible progress as a whole. Divided into concentrated will work alongside groups of an administrative team of nonprofits to identify organized thinkers and do-ers and a marketing team of innovative and focused and scope projects visionaries, C4C is off to a promising start. requiring volunteer The immediate tasks include market assistance, then research, establishment of project recruit, train, and procedures and protocols, the development of a clientele database, and preliminary deploy teams of meetings with firms and nonprofits. At this corporate volunteers time several organizations have expressed to meet the need.” interest in C4Cs services, and the team hopes to commence a pilot project soon. The C4C members are especially thrilled with the warm reception they have received into the ACE office at the More House and are excited to be included on other member events hosted by ACE. With the continued support of the ACE office and unfaltering commitment of our fantastic team, Connect4Change is making great strides to become a lasting and pervasive member of the ACE family at Siena College! By Erin Grogan ’16
Global Service Internship Through the Siena Bonner Service Leaders Program Takes Students to Carmen Pampa, Bolivia
Nicholas Ramundo â€™15, Siena College student and Bonner Service Leader, answers questions on his Global Service experience in Bolivia.
How did you get involved with the Global Service Internship?
I became involved with the Global Service Internship through the Siena Bonner Service Leader Program. After hearing inspirational stories from my peers that completed the internship in the past, I was immediately drawn to the experience. The idea of traveling to a third world country that I have not been to and actively engaging with the community while I was there struck me as a unique experience that would broaden my horizons and push me out of my comfort zone.
Q What is the Global Service Internship? The Global Service Internship is a 6 week international, community development internship that is administered through the office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College. This internship is available to all Siena Students, as well as Bonner Service Leaders from other colleges within the Bonner Network. While in another country, students are able to fully immerse themselves into
another culture and serve at a nonprofit within the community they are staying. In the past, students have served at medical clinics, schools, and marketing organizations.
Q When did you go and who did you go with? I completed the Global Service Internship this past summer between May and June and traveled to Carmen Pampa, Bolivia. I had the pleasure of traveling with seven other Siena students as well as two students from Allegheny College.
Q Where did you go and what did you do there? While in Bolivia, I had the opportunity to volunteer at an elementary school that was a part of the Carmen Pampa University campus. Through my service, I was able to work with the students on their literacy, Mathematics and English. In the classroom, I had the opportunity to assist the teachers with their current lesson plans as well as develop some of my own. Outside of the classroom, I traveled to La Paz, Lake Titicaca and other cities
throughout the country. These traveling adventures allowed me to learn more about the Bolivian culture and the other students I was volunteering with. Some of my favorite memories took place during these trips.
Q What experiences impacted greatly? Describe one or more. One experience that impacted me greatly was an Aymara New Year Celebration. This holiday occurs during the summer solstice and commences during the sunrise. I had the pleasure of traveling to Tiwanaku with other Global Service Interns and native Bolivians to Inca Ruins where we waited for the sun to rise. We arrived around 2:00 am and waited until after 6:00 am for the sun to rise. During the wait, we celebrated with hundreds of other people and bonded over how cold we were. But when the sun rose, I felt a collective sense of comfort, gratitude and appreciation. We were standing in the middle of ancient Incan ruins and the scenery, including the amount of people around us, was breathtaking. This celebration was by far my most treasured memory. 17 | DEEP Service
Writing Partnership Engages Students and Brings St. Francis and St. Clare’s Vision to Reality Student participation in the Writing Partnership and Siena’s Culture Program engages them in activities that make them better students, that introduce unfamiliar cultures, and allow them to participate in programs designed to bring Francis and Clare’s vision to reality. The Siena College Writing Partnership, established by ACE’s own Professor John Harden, is a writing program that partners community writing students from St. John’s/St. Ann’s Outreach Center in the South End of Albany with firstyear Siena College students. In its second year of programming, it continues to have a profound effect on firstyear Siena students as they expand their worldview while effectively communicating and dialoguing as a community. In August 2012, twenty-one first time community students were enrolled in the partnership and five more returned for a second year. The community writing students consisted of twenty Karen (or Kayin) refugees from Burma, all between the ages of 17 and 22. The Karen people are a minority ethnic group in Burma. The Burmese government has engaged in a genocidal program to eradicate the Karen people. Many of the Karen refugees escaped to Thailand before coming to the United States. According to the United States Committee on Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), over four hundred Karen refugees live in the South End and 18 | DEEP Service
Delaware Avenue neighborhoods of Albany. Newcomers continue to arrive each month. After a shared evening meal once a week at the Outreach Center, the program begins with a free write exercise and then a main assignment. This may include a creative writing exercise like a short story or a letter to the editor. This spring, the program focused on health care. Beginning with a narrative about what it was like to go the doctor for the first time, the narratives were then divided into six common scenes encountered in the experience. First-year Siena students and community writing students developed a script, revised the script then videotaped the script. This video project will be used at the health care centers which treat refugee populations. The Writing Partnership truly provides a unique opportunity for first-year Siena students to view, examine, and analyze their world from the viewpoint of another while developing skills for informed reasoning.
The NEXT Program Gets Underway with Highly Engaged Students Eager to Apply Their Skills Siena ACE’s newest undergraduate Program, NEXT, engages consulting teams of students, faculty, staff, and community members in working towards a vibrant, solution-oriented, sustainable nonprofit sector across the Capital Region. We caught up with Siena undergraduate NEXT Fellow, Dustin Stiffler ’14, about his experience as a student in the NEXT Program working towards this goal.
Can you tell me your undergraduate degree and graduation year? I am a Sociology major, with a Spanish minor. I am a member of the class of 2014.
Q When did you get involved with ACE? Why was the NEXT Program something you decided to join? I got involved with the ACE office through being chosen to participate in the NEXT Program. Before this, I have never worked with this campus office. The NEXT Program offered me something new and out of my comfort zone to work on. I am very active on campus in activist efforts to raise awareness about social justice issues, but never have stepped into the business side of positive and sustainable social change. I felt that NEXT would allow me to experience a new perspective in social change, and allow me to grow as a person and activist. This program also allows me to connect with the local community, which is something I have never really done before through servicelearning.
Q What are you doing in the NEXT Program? At the moment, we are working with a client to help facilitate a large transformational change for the organization. This project is larger than we had anticipated for our first project to work on, but we are finding that our team is able to handle the highstakes demands that the project requires. We’ve also found that the faculty and staff who work with us and support us, are doing a great job with keeping us positive and mentoring us.
Q How is this experience fulfilling your academic goals? My participation in the NEXT Program is certainly fulfilling my academic goals. I am actively using the knowledge that I have acquired over the past 3 years of undergraduate education at Siena College. The NEXT Program forces me to apply many of the business and sociological skills I’ve learned through my classes and experiences from studying abroad. Furthermore, I am acquiring more knowledge through the readings we have had to read, as well as the hands-on experiences we are gaining through our first project.
Q What do you hope to gain from participating in the NEXT Program? By participating in the NEXT Program I hope to gain more knowledge of the nonprofit sector, and knowledge of the consulting process as well. Consulting is something I have never done before, and never really considered as a career option. I feel that this program is offering me an experience that will help me serve other people and other organizations better upon entering the job market in the spring, and throughout life. The NEXT Program is also forcing me to confront my own values and perspectives, and to reconsider them; through that personal and introspective confrontation and struggle, I hope that I become a better person through this program.
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First Year Students Communicate Through Technology with Ghanian Students and Saints on the Beach First-year Siena students are using technology to connect with people around the world. Through the adoption of Google Apps and Skype, Siena and Ghanian students video chat, work on documents, and do presentations together, creating a unique global cross-cultural experience. Professor John Harden, Siena College First-Year Seminar professor and ACE Academic Coordinator, works with students just entering their college years. He has partnered his Siena class with an organization called Teach on the Beach (teachonthebeach.org) based in Ghana. Siena students interact with high school students in Bursua, Ghana, creating learning communities centered around First Year Seminar learning goals. During a typical class session, students from both Siena and Ghana watch the same news programs, which become the vehicle for initial discussion and dialogue. Then, they move on to subjects including sustainability (in Ghana and the US), health care, and educational leadership. These sessions allow students to think critically about current events, write and voice their opinions, and ponder the role of social justice as they video conference and do presentations.
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â€œThis experience showed me that the Ghanaian students are extremely bright and intelligent people who know they have the ability to make a difference in their communities and even the world. Our generation should try to become more familiar with what's going on around the world and develop our own personal beliefs about difficult issues the world deals with. The Ghanaian students, I feel, are more aware of what's happening in the world than most kids our age here know. They are encouraging me to familiarize myself with more worldwide news.â€? Â - First year student
Professor Arindam Mandal Instructs Community Engaged Teaching and Learning Course with Green Tech High Charter School By Jennifer Hunt Once a week on Wednesdays, Siena College Professor, Dr. Arindam Mandal, and his students in his ECON 490: Economics on Discrimination class, come together to learn in an engaging way. At the beginning of the Fall 2013 semester, Professor Mandal partnered with Green Tech High Charter School after connecting with Siena College VISTA Fellow Jimmy Bulmer ’12, who was developing a survey for Green Tech students that would help identify the factors that make students a success (or not a success) in college. Professor Mandal thought his economics students could assist in developing the survey and determine those factors. To get the partnership started, Professor Mandal met with Suki Cintron, Green Tech’s Director of College Counseling. Their meeting helped him revise his syllabus, develop course learning goals that incorporated the work his students would be doing with Green Tech, and make a plan for when Green Tech would meet the Siena students in his class. Throughout the start up process, Professor Mandal appreciated the support of the Office of Academic Community Engagement staff, especially Dr. Ruth Kassel, Assistant Director of ACE who oversees Community Engaged Teaching and Learning initiatives. To kick off the partnership, Green Tech came to Siena to meet the students. Green Tech’s Counselor for Quality Admissions and a student who worked with Green Tech came to the class. The Siena students responded excitedly and were happy to have the chance to take on real world responsibilities that would allow them to leave a legacy for the community. Their work on the survey this semester would be the foundation for many surveys over the years. Asked what advice Professor Mandal would give to other faculty embarking on an engaged teaching and learning course, he said, “Make sure that whoever is teaching the CETL course should meet with the community partner as soon as possible and get from them what exactly they’re looking for. Second thing, keep the expectations clear and realistic. Involve the community partner at every step. Getting their feedback is very important. Make sure they’re very engaged with the class. The students need to connect with what they’re doing. Make sure the students are communicating well.” Green Tech and Professor Mandal’s class are in the midst of conducting the survey. Once it is complete, Professor Mandal hopes to get one or two students to continue a partnership with Green Tech through independent projects that would help fine tune the survey over time. 21 | DEEP Service
ACE Welcomes New AmeriCorps*VISTA Fellows The Siena College AmeriCorps*VISTA Fellows Program, established in 2008, has grown to over 30 VISTA Fellows and community partners. This one-year, full-time, postgraduate fellowship program is nationally recognized and has alumni that have gone on to the PeaceCorps, Teach for America, graduate school, and full-time employment. Midsummer, a new Summer Siena College AmeriCorps* VISTA Fellows Cohort joined the ranks of many VISTA Fellows who had gone before them. At the end of July, fourteen new Fellows participated in the required AmeriCorps PreService Orientation in Boston, Massachusetts. There, they learned about the AmeriCorps*VISTA program and mission. Then, the week following, they participated in the Siena College AmeriCorps*VISTA Fellows Orientation, where they learned about Siena College, the Office of Academic Community Engagement, key components of the program that will help them be successful during their term, and became familiar with the Capital Region of New York. After
they received all their required trainings, they embarked on their full-time year of service at their sites. We are excited to welcome them to the team and work with them throughout the year! ACE is also excited to announce that the Winter Siena College AmeriCorps*VISTA Fellows Cohort will start a year of service. Following their Pre-Service Orientation and On-site Orientation Training at Siena, the the new VISTA*Fellows will begin serving in the community on Monday, December 9th, 2013.
The Students of Social Justice Mentoring Program The Siena College AmeriCorps*VISTA Program has been developing young students of social justice to combat poverty in the Capital Region of NY for almost 6 years. Now, it will be adding another component to its curriculum, The Students of Social Justice Mentoring Program. The mission of the Mentoring Program will be to create and expand a network of community partnerships with Capital Region professionals who have the personal and professional growth of the Siena College AmeriCorps* VISTA Fellows in mind and can provide guidance due to their relevant experience and knowledge. By connecting our VISTA Fellows with mentors who will serve as a trusted guide, they will gain the skill to foster purposeful relationships between themselves and individuals interested in helping them to develop these skills as they explore opportunities for personal and professional growth. 22 | DEEP Service
2012-2013 VISTA Fellows Cohort Exits After a Successful Year By Johan Matthews The last days of VISTA revealed a principal truth; the nights concealed a forgone lie: Our one-year commitment was almost over. The reality, however, alluded to an almost paradoxical end. Our VISTA lifeline came with an expiration date but our life of service was just beginning. This inescapable truth became even more evident looking at the paths that many chose to continue on towards. Myself being so inspired by my journey and the lives I touched, decided to take my next steps by becoming a VISTA Leader. During my year as a VISTA at Trinity Alliance, I developed a deep interest in connecting people to resources that will enable them to take control of their lives and mission. I enjoyed seeing things grow and I found myself glancing beyond the horizon across a sea of injustice. Now as a VISTA Leader, I hope to do the same and only “Our VISTA lifeline wish that I may inspire some aspiring soul came with an turned soldier in the battle against poverty.
expiration date but our life of service was just beginning.”
Other VISTA Fellows, such as Nate Charbit, began seeking more exotic depictions of the struggle for opportunity. He now works for a school outside of Jakarta, Indonesia teaching English to everyone from 5-year olds to adults. As a VISTA, he worked with the local populations in the South End and the not so local Burmese population of refugees, teaching English and writing through a GED program and writing partnership held out of St. John’s/St. Ann’s Outreach Center in the South End of Albany. He remarks that VISTA helped him to discover teaching because it’s not something he ever thought he’d do. Teaching was not just a vision illuminated to Nate, it revealed itself to another VISTA: Justine. Though she spent her VISTA year coordinating an after school program at Hackett Middle School, teaching was not something she saw was in the stars for herself. Now she is employed by Teach For America, teaching 8th grade writing in Brownsville Brooklyn. She remarks that though the work is hard, it is very rewarding to her and that she never would have developed an interest in education if it weren’t for VISTA. The story goes on in much of the same way for a great many of us. As we cleared the thickets and pondered VISTA before us, a beauty called service awaited. We felt her presence in air ---- damp with potential, a forecast of what was to come. “Dorothy, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.”
AmeriCorps* VISTA Community Partners Affordable Housing Partnership Albany County District Attorney’s Office Albany Barn Albany High School Albany Public Library Boys & Girls Club of Albany Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar Community Justice Outreach Center (Albany County District Attorney’s Office) Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York Green Tech High Charter School Hackett Middle School Homeless and Travelers Aid Society Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless Mediation Matters Parsons Child & Family Center Peter Young Housing, Industries & Treatment Pride Center of the Capital Region Siena College Office of Academic Community Engagement Trinity Alliance 15 Love 23 | DEEP Service
Integrating Siena VISTAs Into the Vibrant Professional Network That Exists in the Capital Region By Marie Lovato The Networking University (or Network U.) is an initiative with the purpose of integrating Siena’s VISTAs into the vibrant professional network that exists in the Capital Region. Participants of the Network U. are notified of upcoming events through a shared Google calendar, and are encouraged to make and follow up on connections at each event by using a point accrual system. Each month, VISTAs can report out in their iMPRs about any networking activities they have participated in, and are assigned points for each activity. The point rubric outlines levels of networking, ranging from simply attending events, to setting up meetings or sending follow up emails to any connections that they have made at an event. At the end of the service year, outstanding participants will be recognized, and prizes will be awarded to every participant based off of their point accruals.
“Overall, the Networking University is meant to encourage VISTAs to get out there, and make meaningful connections that can help them not only during their service year, but beyond as well. Networking is certainly an art, and as with anything, exposure and practice are the best way to learn and succeed.”
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One partner that we have worked with on this enterprise is the Capital Alliance of Young Professionals, or CAYP. This group hosts monthly networking events all around the Capital Region to encourage building personal and professional relationships in a diverse range of fields that can otherwise be difficult to break in to. Generally, a CAYP membership is $50 a year, which allows free attendance to these monthly networking opportunities. However, through the generosity of the CAYP board, VISTAs are able to pay only $20 for a year of membership. Additionally, we have worked with the CAYP board to offer networking tips and tricks to our team. As VISTAs, we also have many opportunities to attend some of the area’s most popular events, through volunteer opportunities. VISTAs are encouraged to offer their support as volunteers, while embracing the networking opportunities that such events inevitably offer. Some of these events include Albany Barn’s FUSION anti-gala, Red White and Chocolate, hosted by the Boys and Girls Club of America, and even ACE hosted events, such as the fall Networking Coffeehouse which took place on October 2013. Overall, the Networking University is meant to encourage VISTAs to get out there, and make meaningful connections that can help them not only during their service year, but beyond as well. Networking is certainly an art, and as with anything, exposure and practice are the best way to learn and succeed.
Siena College VISTA Fellows Receive High Quality Professional Development Training Throughout the Fall One key component of the Siena College AmeriCorps*VISTA Fellows Program is providing professional development and growth opportunities for its AmeriCorps*VISTA Fellows. Throughout the fall, the VISTAs will partake in opportunities that will help them develop high quality skills and apply them at their service site.
Siena College Summer Service Scholars Program for Undergraduates and Postgraduates Celebrates Another Successful Summer of Service By Jennifer Hunt The Siena College ACE Summer Service Scholars, comprised of both undergraduates and postgraduates, concluded their fourth year of the 10-week, full-time summer engagement and academic internship program in August. ACE welcomed 20 scholars, ranging from areas across the Northeast Region, including University at Albany, SUNY New Paltz, Guilford College, Mount Saint Mary College, Ursinus College, Siena College, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. This year, the Scholars served at a variety of new ACE partner organizations including the Underground Railroad Historical Project, McCormick Center for the Study of the American Revolution, the Siena College Engaged Leadership Academy, Capital District Community Gardens, American Cancer Society Hope Club and Northern Rivers Family Services, Parsonâ€™s Family and Child Center, and Centro Civico. In addition to their community engagement, the Scholars also participated in leadership, academic, and career-building activities and had the opportunity to network with nonprofit professionals and college faculty mentors. Undergraduate Scholars can also opt in to taking a class as part of their experience. The course, â€œInternship in Urban Community Development", examines the root causes of poverty and best practices in community development. Scholars receive college credit for the course which is transferable to their institution. Visit siena.edu/sss to meet the 2013 Summer Service Scholars!
September Work/Life Balance Stress Management Time Management and Organizational Skills Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
October Professional Communication/Etiquette Communicating with Supervisors/Colleagues Conflict Resolution/Difficult Conversations Body Language
November The Science and Art of Networking The Ask: Fundraising and Donor Development Building Community Partnerships Social Media Networking
December Public Speaking Leading and Facilitating Group Sessions Volunteer Recruitment and Management Event Planning
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ACE Welcomes New and Returning Community Partners and VISTAs This Fall Albany High School Sasha Miller, Coordinator of Civic Engagement TeenCorps Academy Lanee Williams, Coordinator of Magnet Programs Loreily Escobar, Albany High School- Coordinator of Extended Learning Opportunities
Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless Adriana Battle, Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator Joy Landas, Capacity Building Specialist
Albany Public Library Jahmal Simms, Public Computing Center Coordinator
Mediation Matters Kevin Sullivan, Community Coordinator
Peter Young Housing, Industries and Treatment Alexandria Pizzola, Volunteer Coordinator/Special Events Coordinator
Parsons Child and Family Center Alaina McCreary, Assistant Program Coordinator
15 Love Ryan Tink, Project Coordinator for Education and Healthy Living
Trinity Alliance Destiny Johnson, Coordinator of Marketing and Outreach
Homeless and Travelers Aid Society Jessica Bags, Development Specialist
Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar Marla Donaldson, Program Assistant
Pride Center of the Capital Region Alison Horgan, Program Development Assistant 26 | DEEP Service
Siena Girl Scout Troop Program Expands to New Schools Including Hackett Middle School, Troy Public School 2, and Schuyler Elementary School By Kelly Finn ’16 The school year has begun and the ACE-Siena Girl Scout Program is gearing up for another great year! After an exciting year of Girl Scouts at North Albany Academy during the 2012-2013 academic year, we are excited to build upon the great history of our Girl Scouts program during this school year. Last year in Troop 1430, the Girl Scouts at North Albany Academy participated in a wide variety of weekly activities at their meetings and special events. As we closed our academic year in the spring, the girls had the opportunity to go on an overnight camping trip with their peers where they put their outdoor skills to the test! They worked on team building activities, went hiking, and participated in a talent show where they had the opportunity to showcase their gifts and talents to their fellow Girl Scouts.
“We are excited
Last year concluded with a to extend our Girl bridging ceremony where the Scout tradition girls "graduated" to the next respective troop level for into other areas their age group and reflected of the community on the past year. This year, so we can better Troop 1430 has expanded, as serve our Girl our Siena Girl Scouts Program is becoming a Girl Scouts and their Scout Community! This families in the means that the Siena Girl area.” Scouts Program will be moving into new schools this year such as Hackett Middle School, Troy Public School 2, and Schuyler Elementary School. We are excited to extend our Girl Scouts tradition into other areas of the community so we can better serve our Girl Scouts and their families in the area. At the end of August, we celebrated our first kickoff event, which is our annual “Ice Cream Social” at the North Albany Community Center! Our Girl Scouts and their parents joined us to play games, to register early and enjoy ice cream, which was generously donated by Stewart’s, one of our community partners. Our leaders are excited to mentor our Girl Scouts through another eventful year of scouting and we are excited to make a difference in the lives of the girls that we serve! Stay on the lookout for more Girl Scouts updates during the year!
Green Tech High Charter School Scholars Get Involved through Senior Service Day By Morgan Schrankel On a typical day at Green Tech High Charter School, students can be found hard at work in various academic classes. They arrive in school uniform and perform in a vigorous college preparatory program. Wednesday, October 16, 2013 was not a typical day for our senior scholars. While the freshman class was on a college trip to Syracuse and the sophomore and junior classes were taking PSAT exams, the seniors departed to five different community sites to participate in a day of service. Students traveled to sites in groups, which were determined based on the teacher who they have as an advisor. 38 students participated in the day of service, earning a total of 190 community service hours. Groups traveled to Albany Free School, the Affordable Housing Partnership, the Clinton Avenue Community Garden, New Covenant Christian Fellowship, and the NAACP Albany Branch. Projects included: data entry, gardening, a neighborhood clean-up, and various outdoor work.
Students and chaperones returned from the day of service with a sense of accomplishment. In a trip reflection, students expressed gratitude for the opportunity. One student expressed that, “It was a great learning experience.” Another student commented that his project was, “A fun and hardworking experience.” In response to whether he would recommend the project at this site for future students, one student responded that, “yes [he] would because it’s a great thing to do in our community to help.” Overall, the Senior Service Day was a huge success. As the Academic Community Service Coordinator at Green Tech, I would personally like to thank all of the organizations who helped to make this event a success. Green Tech students are always looking for opportunities to get involved in community service. If your organization has any opportunities for high school boys to volunteer, please contact Siena AmeriCorps*VISTA Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Developing Digital Literacy Trainings As an AmeriCorps*VISTA Fellow at Albany Public Library By Michael Gioia ’12
intimate relationship predicated on trust so that translucent learning opportunities can be created.
As Public Computing Services Manager at the Albany Public Library, I have had the The other important factor here is our staff. I am responsible privilege of directly impacting the lives for managing three volunteer interns from the University at of patrons from the community that Albany and also the recruitment of future volunteers for the seek workforce development and Spring 2014 semester. Anyone that has worked with digital literacy practice and training. volunteers knows that quality always beats quantity. I believe The ability to earn money and that what I can do with three great volunteers can beat out manipulate the ever-evolving digital the results of what I would produce with five lesserworld are keys to social and competent candidates. This may mean that the lab must economic mobilization in today’s operate less hours during the week, but it is a sacrifice we are society. In our Public Computing willing to make to run a top-quality professional development Center, a staff of three center. We are currently operating three interns and I work one-on-one weekdays and one Saturday for almost with patrons on developing sound “The ability to earn money and thirty hours a week and reach around resumes and cover letters, navigating three hundred patrons monthly. manipulate the ever-evolving credible employment listing sites, digital world are keys to social completing job applications, as well as Recruiting volunteers is a challenging task, and economic mobilization in basic computing help like setting up an but two AmeriCorps*VISTA terms have email account. By teaching these skills to today’s society.” prepared me for the subsequent highs and our patrons, we hope to increase our lows. I have learned that above all, ability to contribute to a growing digitally successful volunteer recruitment can be literate citizenry, which will help propel individuals, their boiled down to two factors: placement and message. Being at families, and our city. the right place at the right time, like a University-hosted college fair or informational session, makes a big difference in One of the keys to running a successful program like this is securing potential candidates. Person to person contact is empowering the individual; looking beyond the deficiencies instrumental in delivering your second recruitment factor, the and focusing on building an initial relationship of trust. message. Make sure you tailor your message to meet the ideal People who cannot operate basic technology become, in a volunteer you are seeking. Set the tone early about what the way, invisible in the omnipresent digital world, where people position demands, but also, how the experience will are advancing themselves socially, educationally, economically, benefit the volunteer. As long as you are focusing and professionally. Therefore, we want to establish an on the individual, you can eventually begin to affect the community.
Help Support Hackett Middle School by Collecting Box Tops for Education!
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Each box top is worth 10 cents for Hackett to help fund supplies, trips and school activities. Box tops can be found on brands such as General Mills, Kleenex, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury and many more. Hackett Middle School will be collecting box tops throughout the year. Please bring your clipped box tops to the Siena ACE office or contact Annie Dunn at (email@example.com) to have them picked up. Thanks for your support!
Serving at the Capital City Rescue Mission Through the Bonner Service Leaders Program By Liz Farah ’16
Serving at the Capital City Rescue Mission Free Clinic has opened up my eyes to another side of the health care field I never knew existed. It has made me culturally aware of the problems the homeless face and has made me grateful for what I have. Being a part of this long term service has made me appreciate the work I am doing because I can see that I am making a difference in their lives. Even though I have only been at the clinic a year, I have already built connections with the patients and volunteers that will last a lifetime. Every day that I am at the clinic, I see a change in the patients’ behavior, actions, and most importantly their outlook on life. These are people who had nowhere to sleep, nothing to eat, and no clothes besides the ones on their backs. Through the work of not just the clinic, but the entire Capital City Rescue Mission, they are given a bed, food, and an abundance of clothes. They are counseled and have been taught that there is a way out of this lifestyle and their quality of life can be improved. The mission does a great job of giving people the necessities of life, a place where they have access to the internet to find a job and an apartment, counseling services, and other programs that promote a healthy and productive lifestyle. Overall, my service at the clinic has inspired me to work with this population and has given me the personal and professional skills I will take with me and use in my own clinical practice someday. Most importantly, my service has taught me that anything in life is possible and in your reach if you truly believe in yourself.
Siena Students Partner with Middle School Students Through the Trailblazers Program By Jess Guthrie ’16 Trailblazers is a drop-out prevention program in North Albany Academy in which the Siena students work with middle school aged students who are at-risk. They assist the North Albany students in developing both academic and leadership skills in order to become effective leaders and successful students. This year, there are about thirty students “Trailblazers is a drop-out participating in the program, prevention program in North and there are 12 Trailblazer Albany Academy in which the leaders. The program just started at the end of Siena students work with September, but many things middle school aged students have happened in such a small who are at-risk. They assist amount of time! The monthly the North Albany students in goal for October was “Successful Leadership developing both academic and Experience,” therefore many leadership skills in order to of the sessions we had with become effective leaders and the students focused on successful students.” developing their leadership skills and qualities in order to be more successful leaders in their community. Our biggest events thus far was our first Saturday Session in October when the students spent the day at Siena, setting goals, writing letters to their future selves or to a desired college, and playing sports in the MACC. The students always enjoy visiting Siena because they get to leave Albany for a day and see what a college campus is like. I am excited to see what the rest of the year brings to the Trailblazers program.
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Catching Up With ACE Alumni Here at the Office of Academic Community Engagement, we love to hear from our alumni, many of which continue their community engagement work in new, inspiring ways. They remind us that being involved in our communities is a lifetime journey that starts with a beginning. Often times, that is right here at Siena College and the greater Capital Region community.
What are you currently up to or preparing to go to?
I'm working at Bennington College as an Assistant Director of Student Life. While my position involves many different components, I mainly work with housing on campus, student leadership programs, community service, and serve as a liaison between the college and the Town of Bennington.
Q: Are you still involved in community engagement work? What inspires you to stay involved? I am! I have always had a passion for service and hope I am lucky enough to always stay involved with community engagement work, especially in my professional life, inspiring young people to find their own passions in service. In my current role at
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Bennington College, I coordinate Bennington ACTS (Achieving Community Through Service), our campus wide service day that occurs once a term. Through my work with Bennington ACTS, I have become well networked in the area and helped facilitate many connections between the college and the community; such as fundraising/donation drives, smaller service projects, and increasing student engagement in the town.
Q: How has your participation in ACE impacted you in your current work and life? My VISTA experience (2 years) will stay with me for life. It's such a one-ofa-kind experience, it's truly impossible to not leave a lasting impact. In the simplest form, once you live at the poverty level, real pay-checks feel like you're really making it in the world! I am certainly not making the big bucks (yet!) but I am always thankful for what I get, because I have lived at the poverty level and I know how fortunate I truly am. I am also very fortunate to share my love for service with others in my professional life. I have done service all my life and know how much of an impact a quality service experience can
be. Through my work with VISTA, I have developed the skills to navigate the administration of non-profits, make more meaningful connections in the community, and provide my students with a fun, productive service experience that will hopefully make a lasting impression on them. In my experience working with Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless as the Marketing Coordinator, I developed very useful skills in branding and marketing from the mentorship of my supervisor Bonnie St. Onge. I had no idea how important these skills would be in my career in student development but I use them every day in developing and expanding our brand and marketing my programs to students. Lastly, on a more personal level, some of my very best, most cherished friends have come through my VISTA experience. There's simply no other experience quite like being a VISTA and no one understands the highlights and challenges like a fellow VISTA. I'm so thankful for the people that I shared my experience with and the friends and network that I will cherish for a lifetime. Samantha Tymchyn â€™09 was a Siena VISTA Fellow for 2 years, serving at The Center for Law and Justice and Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless.
Where Are They Now? We recently reached out to Academic Community Engagement alumni who just moved on to new and exciting opportunities! The Skills I Learned As a Siena College VISTA are Helping Me Start My Own Business By Kathryn Ramsey, M.Ed. I have had a lifelong fascination with color and light. Some of my first memories are of sitting on my grandmother’s lap admiring and touching the beautiful amethyst beads she wore with love and great dignity. In high school I was given my first camera and spent hours taking photos of the play of light on the world and on the people around me. So, imagine my fright when I experienced a central retinal vein occlusion and lost the sight in my right eye. Unable to complete my third year as a VISTA, I moved to Long Beach, New York to be near my family and to receive treatment from a specialist. It has been two years since I lost my sight and I am delighted to say that my vision has returned to almost normal. During the past two years I have taken every chance I could to enjoy the light and beauty that surrounds me. Never, as I once did, taking my eyesight for granted. I participate in classes with local artists and take great delight in the process of creating works of art — collages, watercolors and jewelry. For the first time in my life I am making money by selling my artwork and that gives me great joy. During this past summer, I participated in Long Beach Arts in the Plaza. Working with new beads and vintage beads from old necklaces, I use the alchemy of their beauty to create new and original designs. Each bead has a history and each new necklace brings together a collection of stories that will always remain a mystery, with new stories yet to come. My memories as a VISTA at Siena College fill me with happiness. I feel extremely lucky to have worked with the staff and students to design and implement the Trailblazers, a dropout prevention program. The skills I learned at Siena College, especially learning how to create videos and blogs and giving speeches, are helping me as I start my own business.
Jensen Daniel ’13 Jensen Daniel ’13 graduated with a degree in English and minor in Psychology. During his time as a Bonner Service Leader Jensen served at the Peter Young Foundation and the Damietta Cross-Cultural Center. He has now accepted a position with the Peace Corps.
Lindsey Knowlden ’12 Lindsey Knowlden ’13 recently graduated from Siena with a degree in Sociology and was the first student to receive the Certificate in Community Development. She is now working full-time with the Siena Research Institute where she conducts research about student service and community engagement at colleges and universities across the country.
Justine Rosen Justine was a 2012-2013 Siena AmeriCorps*VISTA Fellow who served as Coordinator of Culture and Climate at Hackett Middle School. She is now participating in Teach For America in Brooklyn, NY.
Learn more about our recent alumni in the 2013 ACE Annual Report at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Update Us! Alumni! What have you been up to since your time with ACE? Submit your news to ACE Communications on siena.edu/ace. Also, join our alumni database for the latest news31and events! | DEEP Service
In the Next Issue
LETâ€™S TALK ABOUT IT:
COMMUNITY FORUM 2.0
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 5, 2014
Healthy Living School Climate
A T S I E N A C O L L E G E SARAZEN STUDENT UNION We invite local community members, nonprofit professionals, higher education and K-12 students, and faculty and administration to discuss critical issues facing our youth, such as school climate and bullying, childhood literacy, healthy lives, and financial literacy. Take part in this dynamic conversation! Create action plans and build partnerships to support our youth. Register online beginning December 5, 2013.
For more information, visit: siena.edu/ace facebook.com/sienacollegecommunityforum sienacollegecommunityforum.pbworks.com
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The Siena College Academic Community Engagement News Magazine features Siena College undergraduates, postgraduates, faculty, staff, and comm...