Meeting of 4/9/15: UAlbany Community Engagement

Picture 3Meeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush
April 2, 2015

Attending (13): Bill Dowd, Murray Forth, Shannon Romanowski, Debbie Rodriguez, Carol Orvis, Len Leonidas, Stewart Wagner, Dick Drumm, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Roberto Martinez, Ray Hannan, Jim Butterworth.

Guests (2): Speaker Dan Butterworth, David Taylor.

PROGRAM: UAlbany’s Community Engagement

Speaker Dan Butterworth
Speaker Dan Butterworth

Jim Butterworth introduced his son, Dan, who is program director of community engagement at the University at Albany, working out of the university president’s office.

Dan opened his remarks by noting his attachment to Rotary. This club paid for his first trip abroad, to England in 1996, for a study program.

He referred to his office’s work as “local to global,” meaning that it endeavors to create relationships between the university with local businesses and organizations, and to nurture existing ones.

“We work to bring down the walls of the ivory tower,” he said. “Instead of doing things to and for the commuity, we’re doing things with the community.”

He cited as examples of the numerous efforts:

• A professional development program that, since 1976, has trained hundreds of thousands of public employees in state, county and New York City agencies;

• An emphasis on emerging issues in the non-profit sector that builds capacity in the region’s non-profit organizations to improve program and service delivery;

• The Small Business Development Center that, since 1984, has served more than 21,750 businesses, helping them invest more than $346 million in the area’s economy and creating or saving nearly 11,000 jobs;

• The ongoing work of the  Capital Area School Development Association (CASDA), founded in 1949, that serves 110 school districts with professional development programs. (Both Jim Butterworth and Terry Brewer work at CASDA.)

Dan encouraged us to spread the word about the university’s many different efforts and to contact him with an ideas that he can bring to the attention of specialists throughout the UAlbany community.


MEMBERSHIP: President Bill Dowd welcomed David Taylor, guest of Ray Hannan. David has expressed interest in learning more about Rotary to become a potential member.

SCHEDULING: As mentioned the last few weeks, we still need someone to step up to take over the task of program scheduling for the 2015-16 Rotary Year. Bill said he will be glad to work with whoever succeeds him in that effort. And, a reminder to everyone: please check the program chart on the club website and be sure you have arranged your programs so you can get the details to him ASAP.

SCHOLARSHIP: Our annual Rotary Scholarship Composition Competition did not elicit much response. We got only two entries by the April 1 deadline – one each from Troy and Tamarac high schools — despite repeated requests to principals, superintendents and guidance counselors at Columbia, Maple Hill, Averill Park and Rensselaer high schools to inform students of the opportunity.  Bill said that even though the two entries do not constitute a competitive field, since the students submitted in good faith we should award each of them a $500 scholarship. The consensus was to do so.

SHELTERBOX: We have just over $3,000 to contribute to our annual ShelterBox drive — $2,000 from the club treasury and the remainder from three members. Treasurer Murray Forth will send our check to the District 7190 ShelterBox coordinators, Jack and Nancy Faddegon. Each ShelterBox costs $1,000.

MEDIA: A video has been posted on the club’s website and Facebook page the club would like members to share via social media. It is an 87-second compilation explaining what RI is and does.

HONORS: Shannon Romanowski informed members that each member Y in the Capital Region is honoring one person for their contributions, and all will be recognized at a Thursday, April 23, dinner event. Our own Murray Forth is being honored by the Greenbush YMCA. (Note: Because numerous members will be attending that event and several others will not be available for a club meeting, we will not schedule an SRC meeting on April 23 due to lack of a quorum.)

PARTYGOERS: District Governor Dave Hennel is hosting a social event and all-yo-care-to-eat buffet for clubs from Areas 8 and 9 (we’re part of 8) at 6 p.m. next Tuesday at the Fairways in Clifton Park. At least five SRC members have said they plan to attend — Bill Dowd, Murray Forth, Terry Brewer, Debbie Brown and Peter Brown.

NEXT MEETING: 6:15 p.m. Thursday, April 16, at Quigley’s. Pat Bailey has arranged for Columbia High School student Rose Reed to speak on the “Safe Passage” program.


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