Commitment to Geneva Honored at Forum – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Commitment to Geneva Honored at Forum

In a growing tradition at the Colleges, members of the HWS and Geneva communities were honored for their work furthering partnerships and educational outreach efforts of the Community Engaged Scholarship Forum.

Held by the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning (CCESL), the event allowed those on campus to present and explore community-based research projects through posters, multimedia presentations and demonstrations. The keynote address was delivered by Timothy K. Eatman, assistant professor of higher education at Syracuse University and co-director of Imagining America.

The forum also marked the annual presentation of the Community Partner of the Year, the Outstanding Engaged Student Scholar and the Civically Engaged Faculty Awards. Presented by Provost and Dean of Faculty Titi Ufomata and Director of CCESL Katie Flowers, the awards acknowledge the dedication and commitment of those who have worked to serve Geneva.

The Community Partner of the Year Award was presented to Finger Lakes Health. Finger Lakes Health (FLH) is a community owned, not-for-profit organization dedicated to maintaining and improving the health of all people in the region.

The award is presented annually to the person or agency who has consistently contributed to the civic development and leadership of Hobart and William Smith Colleges students.  The award recognizes the value of community collaborations and acknowledges the time, energy and interest invested in the student service and learning experience.   

Over the past year, more than 50 HWS students have interned or been placed as part of a service-learning class with providers at FLH, forming a special relationship with the organization. In these placements, students have shadowed physicians, nurses and a wide variety of other providers in many settings, sharing their exciting learning opportunities with campus. 

The forum acknowledged the contributions of the many FLH professionals including Doctors William Dean, Ronald Spurling and Virgil Smaltz; Physician Assistants Afton Branton and Tim Button; Terri Haskins, who assisted students at the Urgent Care Center; Kathy Brown Ryko, director of Geneva General Child Care; and Julie Krebbs, activities supervisor of the Living Centers at North and South, who partners residents with students in history and religious studies classes at the Colleges.

Also among those commended was Hobart graduate Dr. Jason Feinberg ’89, who has promoted the integration of the FLH and HWS communities, and Lara Turbide, vice president for community services and foundation executive director at Finger Lakes Health, who started the Colleges’ popular Day of Service program.

“The Finger Lakes Health team has been supportive of our students in countless ways,” remarked Ufomata, who presented the award to Dr. Jose Acevedo, chief executive officer of Finger Lakes Health. “Our students find success in their applications to medical school and other post graduate programs in large part because of the experiences they have at Finger Lakes Health and what they learn from the providers, teachers, patients, and advocates there.”

The ceremony also commended the service of Caroline Dosky ’12, MAT ‘13, who received the Engaged Student Scholar Award.

Dosky was recognized for her work at West Street Elementary School, developing a leadership curriculum for the young students. Engaging 26 first-grade students in three workshops, Dosky created interactive lessons modeled after the principles of leading self, leading others and leadership in action – concepts she studied at the Colleges’ Centennial Center for Leadership (CCL).

In a final event for the children, Dosky worked to create a service project and group activities in order to solidify the leadership learning. The curriculum developed by Dosky will be used by the CCL in the coming year to further partnership between HWS students and the Geneva community.

“Caroline has left an indelible imprint on the West Street students and the Centennial Center for Leadership. Her talent as a teacher, her passion for children and her ability to incorporate leadership concepts into interactive, engaging lessons impressed everyone,” said Flowers. “Her service to the community has been extraordinary.  Her work will sustain long after she graduates.”

The Civically Engaged Faculty Award was presented to Associate Professor of Geoscience Nan Arens and Assistant Professor of Education Khuram Hussain for their exemplary scholarship, community partnerships and commitment to service-learning.

Through her work as founder and co-director of the Seneca Chapter of environmental service organization Roots and Shoots, Arens has provided an invaluable educational and creative space for the children of Geneva. Her efforts with the organization have also helped the Colleges’ students to connect with the community through volunteering efforts and service-learning projects.

“Professor Arens has invested so much time, effort, and resources into this organization,” remarked an HWS student who volunteered with Arens. “She is creative, hardworking, and immensely adherent to the principles behind Jane Goodall and Roots and Shoots.”

Arens has also opened her home for House Church, and has delivered homemade dessert to the Neighbor’s Night program at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church on a weekly basis. The award acknowledges Arens’ tireless work to advance students’ civic learning, conduct engaged scholarship, and nurture partnerships with the local community.

Hussain has dedicated much of his academic work to facilitating intercultural dialogues aimed at understanding multicultural communities. In challenging attitudes rooted in stereotypes, prejudice and misunderstandings, Hussain’s work has allowed diverse members of communities to have open and meaningful conversations.

At the Colleges, Hussain has offered the course “Civil Rights Education,” which created structured correspondence between HWS students and students at a local maximum-security prison related to the course content he was teaching both groups. His work is also being prepared for the upcoming peer-reviewed publication Journal of Correctional Education.

“Professor Hussain is thoroughly engaged in meaningful service and engaged scholarship that has a significant impact,” remarked Ufomata during the forum. “He brings together his scholarly interests and strengths in teaching to serve our students and give them opportunities that go far beyond traditional academic classes.”