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 & Announcements
Hope everyone had a productive and enjoyable summer! Last year, we reached some amazing new milestones: a new national community service award from APCA; a new, record 4,119 lbs. of food raised through our Feed the Need campaign; our first ever Alternative Spring Break Trip to Newark, NJ; a new, community spaghetti dinner which raised $1,200 for Wounded Warriors; and a new 5K Run for Autism which raised over $4,000! We even joined a new national service club, Circle K International to expand our opportunites for student developement and leadership!
The coming year is off to a great start. There are lots of exciting ways to get involved, make new friends, and grow your leadership skills as you help make a difference to those in need. The year kicks off with some large scale service outings by our RA Staff, Orientation Leaders, and Merits Students, followed by our second annual Community Engagement Fair on Friday, August 22nd which will feature over 20 volunteer opportunities for you to choose from. Then on Sunday, August 24th we will undertake our 5th annual Community Engagement Day when teams of students, faculty, staff and community partners are disperesed to collaborate on various local service projects.
Throughout the semester there will be opportunities to support the local animal shelter, help out at a horse rescue farm, collect food for the hungry, and serve area soup kitchens. Our new Circle K International Club, open to new members, will spend a weekend in the Adirondacks supporting a camp for children with disabilities. There are also two upcoming conferences on volunteerism, an Empty Bowls Fundraiser for area food pantries and our annual holiday gift giving program for needy families.
Details on these and other events can be found on the accompanying calendar. You can sign up for events right online. Don’t forget to log in your hours. This year there will be a special Community Service Award given to the student who demonstrates a sustained commitment to serving others. So, get engaged! Bring your ideas, your energy and your enthusiasm to the Center for Community Engagement and see just how much fun and rewarding service can be!
Coby Volunteer Rock! Coby students got a jump on the semester with a series of large scale service projects that were completed prior to the start of classes! Leading the way was Res Life whose 73 RA’s and 10 staff members traveled to the Patroon Farm in Altamont to help process sweet potatoes and beets for use by the Northeast Regional Food Bank. Hot on their heels was a group of 47 orientation leaders who donated an afternoon of service to help spruce up Veterans Memorial Center Park with some weeding and painting projects. Not to be outdone, 43 Merits Students and their advisors completed five service projects including playground maintenance at Head Start, dog walking at the Animal Shelter and planting new trees at Vroman. Then, to top things off, 88 students participated in the Center for Community Engagement’s 5th Annual Community Engagement Day where teams of volunteers tackled nine different service projects including maintenance at the Landis Arboretum, painting at the local youth center, and a car wash which netted $225 for a local veteran’s flood restoration project. Thanks to all who participated in helping launch, what is shaping up to be the best year ever for community engagement! Coby Volunteers Rock!!!
Tiger Run for Autism: Hats off to our Senior RA's and Veterans Affairs' Team Red, White and Blue for organizing the first ever Tiger Run 5K for Autism. More than 340 runners from the campus and community participated and $4,000 was raised for the fight against Autism.
SUNY Cobleskill Wins National Service Award: SUNY Cobleskill was the proud recipient of the 2014 Service Engagement Award from APCA, a 400 member, national institution 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.
Community Service Club Raises Funds & Supplies for the Homeless: 35 students came together for " Boxville ", an overnight event in support of the homeless. The evening included a documentary on the homeless, card making for homeless children, creation of personal care/hygiene kits, and a box decorating contest. Ten hearty souls spent the night sleeping in boxes to gain an appreciation for people living on the street. Over $200 was raised for the Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless. Leading up to the event, a PB&J food drive netted enough supplies to make 200 sandwiches for the Schenectady City Mission. Many thanks to the student organizers who worked so hard to make this event happen.
Alternative Spring Break: SUNY Cobleskill 's first ever ASB saw a team of six students and their adviser spend a week in Newark, NJ in support of United Way sponsored youth programing at the Boys & Girls Club. This transformative event changed the lives of those who participated, giving them a firsthand look at the enormous challenges facing today's inner city kids and an appreciation for the dedication of those working to make a difference on a day to day basis.
Martin Luther King Six Days of Service: Honor the Man, Honor the Message: SUNY Cobleskill’s MLK 6 Days of Service initiative wrapped up on Friday, January 31st and the results were impressive indeed. Over 160 faculty, staff and student volunteers participated. Projects included serving meals in the dining halls and making Boo Boo Bunnies for sick children. In addition, 132 pints of blood were donated to the Red Cross, 350 individual lasagna dinners were delivered to the Albany Homeless Shelter, and 150 boxes of food were sorted and packaged at the North East Regional Food Bank. EOP and the Center for Community Engagement would like to thank all the volunteers who made this year’s MLK Day projects such a huge success.
Feed the Need: Our annual food drive set a new record! 4,119 lbs of food was collected and donated to area food pantries! What a wonderfully collaborative effort on the part of Dinning Services, Res Life, student volunteers, and area businesses who helped establish this new benchmark.
SUNY's Holiday Spirit Warms the Heart: Students, faculty and staff stepped up big time to support those in need during the holidays. Sixteen families were supplied with holiday gifts in partnership with Head Start's "Adopt a Family" program. Thanks to all for your help in making the holidays shine a little brighter.
Empty Bowls are Overflowing: Hats off to the Student Government Association for their leadership and all the campus volunteers who helped make this year’s Empty Bowls event a huge success! This broad based partnership to combat hunger speaks to the heart of community engagement and exemplifies the enormous power of leveraging campus resources with those of the community. Over 700 bowls were fabricated and $4,100 was raised to support local food pantries.
SUNY Student Wins Essay Contest: The Center for Community Engagement would like to recognize Meghan Trigg for submitting the winning essay in a three way competition with SUNY Delhi and SUNY Oneonta . Meghan's work on the theme, "How Helping Others Helps Me" took the first place prize of a new Kindle Fire. Way to go Meghan!
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.