The Center for Community Engagement
The Center for Community Engagement at SUNY Cobleskill is responsible for developing partnerships that integrate campus and regional resources in a collaborative effort to meet the needs of the community. The emphasis is on creating opportunities to engage our students, faculty, staff and community partners in service projects and educational initiatives that provide meaningful learning outcomes for our students and tangible benefits for our partners. In delivering on this mission, The Center for Community Engagement serves as a focal point that sources projects, allocates resources, compiles assessment data, and promotes the value of community engagement.
News and Announcements
Community Service Highlights
COBY CKI Supports Clean-Water Access: Coby CKI hosted speaker, Evan Wesley of the Thirst Project, an organization whose mission is to increase awareness of and generate funds to help combat the Global Water Crisis. Evan addressed a group of over 50 students about the importance of getting involved to help provide access to clean water in third world countries that lack this most basic need. A pool party fundraiser is planned for the fall of 2016 to help raise money for a new drinking water well. To learn more visit their website at: https://www.thirstproject.org/about/
Faculty Collaborations: Hats off to Professor Kevin Moore who integrated trips to the Lord's Table Soup Kitchen into his class on Eastern Philosophy and the essence of giving. Students, led by Professor Moore, were required to attend at least one outing and reflect on the experience as part of their class assignments.
Warm Beginnings: Under the leadership of students Carly Rubin and Emily Rosenberg, Coby Circle K held a community baby shower for local mothers and infants in need. The event generated over 60 donated items and $140 of contributions. Attendees included numerous students along with members of the local Kiwanis Club. A great time was had by all who participated in such a worthy cause and plans are to make Warm Beginnings an annual event.
Earth Day: Coming back for another year, Cobleskill's Circle K club is partnering with the Center for Community Engagement, the Village Tree Committee, the Village of Cobleskill, and DOT to help clean up the town. This year we are focusing our efforts on the corner of MacArthur Ave. and Schenectady Ave. and will once again help the Tree Committee in their efforts to beautify the village.
Wildlife Fest: The annual Fish and Wildlife festival returns to Cobleskill's center park on Saturday, April 30th. This exciting, student led, tradition provides a hands-on educational experience for young and old alike that serves SUNY Cobleskill and the surrounding area. Events include live raptor exhibits, a wildlife show by perennial favorite, Bwana Jim, a children's fishing derby, and a fish fry featuring SUNY Cobleskill raised tilapia.
COBY CKI Shines at District Convention: Once again Coby CKI shined at this year's 54th annual District Convention held in Albany NY. Vice President Karyna Serrano gave a reflection the first night on how community service has positively impacted her life. Secretary Shannon M. Perrone worked the District Convention Committee, serving as Resolutions Chair. Topping off the event, SUNY Cobleskill received a number of awards including: Outstanding Advisor Award: Brian Kaiser, Outstanding Secretary Award: Shannon M. Perrone, and Outstanding Single Service Award, for "Boxville", an event which raised awareness, personal hygine kits and money for homeless veterans. A special thanks to our partners, the Student Veterans Association who served as co-hosts for Boxville.
Coby Still #1 in Red Cross Blood Drives: The spring semester's blood drives generated 196 units for the Red Cross allowing SUNY Cobleskill to retain its place as the number one school by percentage of student body for the entire SUNY System!
Tiger Color Run for Autism 2016: SUNY Cobleskill's 3rd Annual Tiger Color Run/Walk for Autism will be held Sunday, May 1st. 100% of this year's profits will go to the Upstate New York Autism Alliance! Registration is $15 and will begin at 9 a.m. at the Fieldhouse. The public is welcome to join the Coby Community and help raise funds to fight this challenging affliction.
Camp Jewell Work Weekend:For the 3rd time, 10 SUNY Cobleskill students, along with advisor, Jeff Foote, headed to YMCA Camp Jewell in Colebrook, CT to help out with their volunteer weekend! In exchange for free room and board, volunteers provide their labor. This weekend's projects included working on a waterfront park, brush clean up and animal care. Camp Jewell has become one of our most popular outings and a return in the fall is already in the works.
Alternative Spring Break Combines Cultural Immersion and Service: For the 3rd year in a row Alternative Spring Break gave students the opportunity to help others as well as learn about culture and traditions. Supported by the Foundation and Alumni Boards as well as the Center for Community Engagement, SGA and Student Affairs office, nine students had the opportunity to go to Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia. The focus of the trip was the opportunity to meet and work with representatives of the Gullah/Geechee Nation: descendants of African American Slaves. After an introductory tour, the group helped archive historical documents and catalogue items in a new library, then helped one of the nation's elders with yard work. Side trips included a stop in Fredericksburg where the group toured the historical district and saw what was left of a pre-civil war auction block for slaves; a walk along the riverfront historic district in Savannah and a historical bus tour of Charleston. Additional trip details can be found in the attached Power Point Presentation and accompanying reflection papers.
RA Service Project: The entire RA staff, supported by four members of the residential life staff spent a combined four hours of service at the Northeast Regional Food Bank in Latham helping process food donations. Collectively, the group boxed 200 cartons of food for the food pantries served by the food bank.
Community Engagement Day 2015: was a resounding success! Ninety, extraordinarily dedicated students, supported by orientation leaders and community partners, tackled eight, local beautification projects including tree mulching on South Grand Street, a clean-up at the village youth center, painting the metal fence at the west end of town, maintenance at the fairgrounds, and washing and waxing village police cars. This has been a wonderful partnership with the village and the Center for Community Engagement and the Fall New Student Orientation program.
Faculty Collaborations: Students from Professor Anne Rogan's nutrition class got some hands on experience at the Northeast Regional Food Bank Farm where they learned about community supported agriculture and helped process fresh onions and broccoli for area food pantries. Not to be outdone, professors Sophie Winters and Kevin Moore took teams of their students to prepare and serve meals at the Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless and the Lord's Table soup kitchen.
Patriot Highlander Challenge a Success: This year's Patriot Highlander Challenge on August 29th was a huge success. Over 50 SUNY Cobleskill Volunteers participated including members of our athletic department and Student Veterans Association participated. All proceeds benefit local veterans here in Schoharie County.
Boxville: CKI's second annual Boxville event focused on raising awareness, money and supplies for homeless vets. Eleven clubs participated in an evening that included a box decorating contest, a documentary on homeless vets, and an assembly line where 200 personal hygiene kits were assembled. The event raised $315 for Vet Help, a not for profit group that supports veterans in need.
ARC Coby Challenge Games: SUNY Cobleskill continued its tradition of support for the ARC's Coby Challenge Games hosted in our Fieldhouse. This local version of the Special Olympics continues to be a hit with local residents as well as student volunteers who help organize and run various events for special needs athletes.
Athletic Department Raises the Bar: Eleven members of the woman's basketball team and their coach assisted three elderly residents with their fall yard clean-ups in early November, followed by eight members of the women's soccer team and their coach who spent a morning in Schenectady boxing food for the Concern for the Hungry Thanksgiving initiative.
Community Trick or Treat: Our 12th Annual Community Trick or Treat brought 1,870 members of the community on campus for an evening of Halloween fun which included, arts and crafts activities, hay rides, a costume competition, and the ever popular candy give away. Over 38 clubs participated along with five residence halls, 6 local businesses and the local fire department.
Veteran's Day Dinner: The Veteran's Affairs Office, Center for Community Engagement, Student Veterans Association, CKI, CAS and Culinary Faculty partnered for the second annual veteran's spaghetti dinner, which was a resounding success that generated $950 dollars for the Patriot Highlander initiative to support local veterans.
CKI Supports Kiwanis & YMCA Camps: Twelve members of Circle K International devoted a weekend of work to help winterize Camp Kiwanis in Taberg, NY and Camp Jewell YMCA in Colebrook, CT. Projects included painting, organizing the children's library/game room, cabin cleaning, landscaping, and firewood processing.
Red Cross Blood Drives: This semester's SGA blood drives generated 228 units for the Red Cross maintaining our status as the number one campus by percentage of student body in the SUNY System for the 5th consecutive year.
Charity Volley Ball Tournament: SGA's annual charity volleyball tournament saw eleven teams compete for bragging rights. When the dust settled, the baseball club emerged victorious and chose to donate the $385 raised to support the fight against ALS.
Coats for Kids: This year's drive, a partnership between the Center for Community Engagement and SCCAP, generated 25 winter garments to help spread a little warmth to those in need of winter clothing.
Adopt a Family: Faculty, staff, SGA and various student clubs collaborated again this year to provide 14 families in need with gifts for the holidays in this annual collaboration between the Center for Community Engagement and Head Start.
Holiday Parade: Thanks to the overwhelming support of SUNY Student Clubs, this year's annual CPI and Village of Cobleskill sponsored holiday parade and tree lighting was the best ever!
Feed the Need: The final tally is in and thanks to an amazing donation from US Foods and the continued support of our community partners at Sterling Insurance and FAM, a record 5,542 lbs of food was collected. Recipients included eight local food pantries, C-R High School and the Lord's Table Soup Kitchen. Thanks to all who contributed to this most basic of needs.
Welcome to a New Year of Service: The New Year is off to an incredible start! With dedicated groups like EOP, Merit's and the RA Staff to help kick start the year, great things can happen. Each of these standout groups completed a large scale service project within their first week of arrival. EOP led the charge with a day of disaster relief here in Schoharie County doing restoration work at a local church that had waited diligently for flood relief. Then, the entire RA staff, 90+ strong, committed a day of service in support of the North East Regional Food Bank, putting in a half day at the farm processing fresh produce, and a half day at the warehouse sorting and packing food donations for area food pantries. Not to be outdone, 40+ Merit students assisted with painting the historic grand stands at the local fairgrounds.
As the year unfolds, there will be numerous opportunities to get engaged. For our incoming freshmen, don't forget to check out the Club Expo and Community Engagement Fair on Saturday, August 22nd. Stop by the CKI International table and consider joining the largest, student led community service organization in the country. Start the semester off right by participating in the 8th annual Community Engagement Day of Service on Sunday, August 23rd where teams of students head out with local service projects. It's a great bonding opportunity and chance to learn a bit about your new community.
Throughout the year there will be trips to the local animal shelter, regional soup kitchens, a homeless shelter, a horse retirement farm and Special Olympics along with a YMCA work weekend at a 500 acre camp in Ct. Don't like to travel! There will be plenty to do right here on campus. You can help raise food for the hungry through our Feed the Need and Empty Bowls initiatives. We also host a community trick or treat, collect winter coats for kids, raise money for local veterans and help out with the annual holiday parade down Main Street.
Have an idea of your own for a service project? Love to hear about it! Just stop by the Center for Community Engagement in Bouck Hall or email Center Director, Brian Kaiser at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't forget to report your community service hours right here on the webpage. That's how we take credit for all the wonderful things you and our amazing Coby community does for those in need.
CKI President Shines: Circle K International President, Megan Trigg was awarded the prestigious ACT for Excellence and Student Initiative Scholarship by SUNY's Association of Council Members and College Trustees. Megan was 1 of only 5 SUNY students to receive this award which recognizes academic achievement and community service. In addition to a $1,000 personal scholarship, she will select a charity to receive an additional $250. Congratulations Megan for a well deserved honor.
Professor Rogan's Nutrition Lab Heads to the Farm: Students from Professor Anne Rogan's nutrition class got some hands on experience at the Northeast Regional Food Bank Farm where they learned about community supported agriculture and helped process fresh onions and broccoli for area food pantries. Thanks, Professor Rogan for helping organize some real life, real learning experiences for your students.
Patriot Highlander Challenge a Success: This year's Patriot Highlander Challenge on August 29th was a huge success. Over 50 SUNY Cobleskill Volunteers including members of our athletic department and Student Veterans Association participated. All proceeds go to benefit local veterans here in Schoharie County. For more information and to sign up for next year, check this link: http://www.patriothighlander.com/
Community Engagement Day 2015 was a resounding success! Ninety of the most dedicated students ever tackled 8 service projects. New friends were made, leadership skills were tested and students learned about their new community. Thanks to the amazing orientation leaders and community partners who made this event possible.
Join CKI International: SUNY Cobleskill chapter of the world's largest student led community service group is welcoming new members. Under the leadership of President, Megan Trigg, lots of fun and challenging events are planned including "work weekends" at Camp Kiwanis and Camp Jewell, a conference in Lake George, food and clothing drives, and support for the local animal shelter. Like us on Facebook or contact Megan at Trigg, Megan TriggM219@cobleskill.edu for meeting times.
2nd Annual Patriot Highlander Challenge: Get ready for a test of your courage, strength and willingness to get down and dirty. This year's Patriot Highlander Challenge on August 29th is expected to be bigger, better and badder than last year's. Don't worry. There are course for people of all abilities including children. All proceeds go to benefit local veterans here in Schoharie County. For more information and to sign up, check this link: http://www.patriothighlander.com/
ARC Coby Challenge Games: Join your peers for our local version of Special Olympics when SUNY Cobleskill hosts the local ARC's Coby Challenge games Sun, October 25th from 9am – 1pm in the field house. Support local, special needs athletes by volunteering to help organize sporting events and share in the joy of their accomplishments. You won't find a more appreciative group of folks anywhere. This on campus event is an easy walk from the residence halls and includes a free T-Shirt and pizza lunch. Come help make this a day for all participants to remember.
CKI Helps Fight Maternal & Infant Tetanus: Members of SUNY Cobleskill's CKI Community Service Club raised over $133 from a bake sale in support of Circle K International's world wide effort to combat maternal and infant tetanus. Although it may not seem like a lot of money at first, at $1.80 per vaccination, the money will help treat 74 people. Just goes to how a little goes a long way! Thanks CKI for stepping up to help make a difference in the lives of those in need.
2nd Annal Tiger Run for Autism: SUNY Cobleskill's 2nd Annual Tiger Color Run/Walk for Autism was held Sunday, April 26th. Thanks to the SRA's, faculty and staff who made this event another huge success and helped raise close to $4,000 for the fight against autism. See you again in the Spring of 2016!
Alternative Spring Break Raises the Bar: SUNY Cobleskill Students, supported by the Directors of Community Engagement and Student Activities, joined 120 students from around the country who spent their spring break volunteering at the Long Island Disaster Relief Center. The team was assigned to help insulate and sheet rock the basement of a home in Valley Stream that had been flooded during Super Storm Sandy. Upon arrival, the team encountered bare and partially finished walls in several rooms. By the end of the week the walls had been completely restored and primed in preparation for final trim work and paint garnering praise from the construction coordinator that SUNY Cobleskill's Team was the most productive group of volunteers he has worked with. As a reward for their hard work, the team was treated to an overnight stay in NYC during which they toured area attractions and saw a Broadway show.
Circle K Club Shines at District Conference: SUNY Cobleskill's Circle K Club distinguished itself at the 53rd Annual Circle K District Convention held in Albany, NY over Spring Break. This event brought together 190 representatives from 24 schools, including NYU, Cornell and St. John's University. Several honors were received over the course of the weekend. Club Vice President, Mackenah Simmons was selected to sing the National Anthem and Club President, Megan Trigg received a special service award for her dedicated leadership. They were also selected to present a workshop on How to Host a CKI Convention. Capping off the event, SUNY Cobleskill received the Total Achievement Award which recognizes the club with the most service activity over the course of the year. What a wonderful honor to receive in our clubs first year! Congrats to all the exceptional students for their service to others and for bringing honor to SUNY Cobleskill.
Empty Bowls are Overflowing! The fourth annual Empty Bowls Event was a huge success! Over $6,900 was raised for Schoharie County food pantries, a new record well above the goal of $5,000. Events like these are not possible without a lot of support and a fully engaged partner like SUNY Cobleskill. Thanks SGA for sponsoring the event. Thanks also to the 9 clubs and 50 student volunteers, along with members of the Student Life Center, CAS, Culinary, and Facilities whose collaboration helped make the event shine. Thanks also to the 26 participating restaurants who donated soup, the local businesses that donated raffle prizes, the musicians for providing such wonderful entertainment, and the Girl Scouts and other community volunteers who helped with logistics. Thanks also to the members of the public who gave so generously to help make a difference in he lives of those in need.
Conference on Volunteerism:The Center for Community Engagement, in partnership with SUNY Delhi and SUNY Oneonta, hosted the 14th Annual Conference on Volunteerism and Social Responsibility. Twenty Cobleskill students joined their peers at Delhi and Oneonta for a day of “Funshops” on topics including homelessness, animal rights, help for the mentally disabled, and leadership development. A special thanks goes out to dining services which donated supplies to make 350 PB&J Sandwiches for the homeless.
SUNY Cobleskill Wins National Service Award: SUNY Cobleskill was the proud recipient of the 2014 Service Engagement Award from APCA, a 400 member, national organization for the promotion of campus activities. This much coveted award honors the school that best demonstrates a commitment to innovative and sustained community service. Many thanks to the all of the dedicated students, faculty and staff who made reaching this milestone possible. You really make SUNY Cobleskill shine.
Feed the Need: Our annual food drive brought in 3,250lbs. of food which brought our three year total to just shy of 11,000 lbs! What a wonderful collaborative effort on the part of Dinning Services, Res Life, student volunteers, and area businesses who helped establish this new benchmark.
SUNY Student Wins Essay Contest: The Center for Community Engagement would like to recognize Megan Trigg for submitting the winning essay in a three way competition with SUNY Delhi and SUNY Oneonta. Megan's work on the theme, "How Helping Others Helps Me" took the first place prize of a new I-pad Mini. Way to go Megan!
The Center for Community Engagement is administered by Director Brian Kaiser, who is supported by student assistants and an advisory board consisting of faculty, staff, and community representatives.
Contact the Center for Community Engagement at 518-255-5303.