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Max A. Shacknai COVE Honors Legacy of MLK with Afternoon of Service

By Wil Stowers on February 3, 2017

On Friday, January 27th 2017, members of the faculty, staff and student body joined the Max A. Shacknai COVE’s biannual Afternoon of Service. The Afternoon of Service which takes place in the fall is in remembrance of 9/11 whereas the one which takes place in the spring commemorates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Students volunteer at the Compassion Coalition in Utica, NY/Photo: Jourdan Kidd ’19

55 participants showed up on Friday afternoon and completed a variety of task in the Village of Hamilton and surrounding communities; these tasks included organizing, cleaning and anything else our community partners requested. Natalie Pudalov ’17 and Lauren Kozakiewicz ’17 organised the event and are extremely grateful to the students who volunteered as well as the student leaders of the Afternoon of Service. The student leaders are as follows:

Jourdan Kidd ’19 
Matt Zee ’19 
Faith Williams ’19
Lauren Kozakiewicz ’17
Laura Patak ’20 
Benjamin Hack ’18 
Caroline Boudreau ’17
Gaby Bianchi ’19 
Wil Stowers ’19

We are extremely thankful to all of our community partners for letting us volunteer and we look forward to our fall Afternoon of Service!

Friends of Roger
Community Bikes
Madison Historical Society
Broad Street Gallery
Morrisville Community Church
Baking for Friendship Inn
Compassion Coalition

An Afternoon of Service, In Remembrance of 9/11

By Wil Stowers on October 21, 2016

The Max A. Shacknai COVE lead their biannual Afternoon of Service, Friday, September 16, 2016. Students on campus visited local community partners to work on various projects throughout Hamilton and the surrounding area in order to give back to the community that is their home away from home.

“We are giving back to the community that gives so much to us,” said one Colgate student who volunteered their afternoon. The fall Afternoon of Service is specifically associated with 9/11 as a day of service and remembrance.“[I felt] a duty to serve, especially as a tribute to those lost on 9/11.”


This year the COVE had about 65 students working with 11 different community partners in the local area. Some partners provided opportunities for students to work outside with our local agriculture and environment by harvesting crops and cleaning trout ponds, including Common Thread Farm, Heritage Farm, and Friends of Roger. In our neighboring town of Earlville, students helped to clean the historic Earlville Opera House. Other partners in the area included Community Bikes, an organization that donates bikes to those who do not have available to them a form of transportation to get to work, and the Chenango Canal, an association dedicated to preserving the historical canal and surrounding recreational sites for the community. Within our own town of Hamilton, students went out to the Hamilton Center for the Arts, Madison Lane Apartments, and the Hamilton Library to donate their time and help our community and neighbors.

Ultimately, this year’s 9/11 Afternoon of Service was a great success. For the volunteers, the day was a chance for individuals to not only spend time working for good causes but also to immerse themselves in the people and environment of the Hamilton area. Or, as one student put, “It really connects many different parts of the local community. Brings together all kinds of people.”

Max A. Shacknai COVE Recognizes Outstanding Contributions

By Contributing Writer on August 13, 2016

The Max A. Shacknai COVE exists through the efforts of individuals. During the course of year, we have had a number of opportunities to recognize the work of others, through awards such as:

Dean’s Community Service Award

This award is given to the most worthy individual, residential unit, or group at Colgate which, through the year immediately preceding the award, has given significant service to the local community. This service exemplifies an understanding that we are part of a larger community and that volunteer service and civic participation are part of the responsibility of well-educated women and men. Emily Luba and Danielle Putur were awarded the 2016 Dean’s Community Service Award. Read more

Common Good Network Enriches Career Options

By Contributing Writer on July 13, 2016
Professor Ryan Solomon shares insights from his service learning course with recent alumni.

Professor Ryan Solomon shares insights from his service learning course with recent alumni.

Joining with Alumni Affairs, Career Services, and Advancement, the Common Good Professional Network continues to grow and offer many networking and development opportunities for students and alumni. Two key initiatives this year saw great success.

Be the Change Weekend

More than a dozen Colgate University alumni made the trip to Hamilton last October for the first-ever Be the Change: Careers for the Common Good Symposium. The symposium focused on building alumni-student relationships and advancing careers in the common good sector, which includes nonprofits, education, government, and other enterprises for social good. Read more

Student-Community Partnerships Experience Success

By Contributing Writer on June 13, 2016
Colgate mentors and Madison middle school members of Ophelia’s Girls.

Colgate mentors and Madison middle school members of Ophelia’s Girls.

The Max A. Shacknai COVE advises 39 student-led, community-based volunteer teams. These teams cover a wide range of issues and help students build an abundance of skills. Approximately 650 students representing about 23% of the Colgate population participate regularly in a volunteer team. This year, volunteer teams performed more than 18,000 hours of service in the local community. Read more

Service Learning Grant Supports Work on the Environmental Impact of Tourism

By Contributing Writer on May 13, 2016
Students tour mangrove forests in Puerto Rico.

Students tour mangrove forests in Puerto Rico.

In support of Colgate’s strategic plan, the Max A. Shacknai COVE announced the availability of a new course development grants that promote civic education in the curriculum. These grants aim to provide faculty with the resources to offer students immediate opportunities to apply classroom learning to support or enhance the work of social change agencies.

April Baptiste, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, was awarded the course development grant this year to support her Caribbean Ecology course. She writes of the course:

When I decided to add a service component to my Caribbean Ecology and Environmental Concerns class, I envisioned using the physical environment to have students work alongside a community organization to achieve a particular goal that is set by the community partner. This decision was easy for me as I believe that service is one form of justice and wanted to provide the opportunity for students to think about justice in a different way – i.e. outside of the traditional judicial sense. Read more

Alternative Break Trips Deepen Student Learning

By Contributing Writer on April 13, 2016
Students volunteering at pop-up food cupboard in Washington DC.

Students volunteering at pop-up food cupboard in Washington DC.

The Max A. Shacknai COVE continues to offer opportunities to deepen student understanding of complex social issues by providing for immersive experiences in environments very different from those available in the local community. Students participate in a series of preparation and reflective activities to create a rich learning opportunity. Alternative break trips are not discrete, one-week experiences. In addition to committing to a work-intensive week, students are responsible for attending pre-departure meetings that introduce the participants to the community and organization with which they will be working and the critical issues with which they will be dealing. Read more

Max A. Shacknai COVE Continues to Contribute through Signature Programs

By Contributing Writer on March 13, 2016
Students pitched in to help Utica residents as part of a first-year pre-orientation program.

Students pitched in to help Utica residents as part of a first-year pre-orientation program.

First-Year Orientation Outreach Program

COVE sponsors a pre-orientation service opportunity for first-year students called Outreach. Outreachers work in small groups on a variety of community projects designed to assist local organizations and agencies with their significant efforts.

This year, 18 upperclassmen led 32 first-years students in service experiences throughout the Hamilton and Utica communities. After each day of service, students reflected and discussed what their service experience might mean for their impending four years at Colgate. Overall, the program contributed more than 650 hours of service work. Read more

Max A. Shacknai COVE Supports Professional Preparation in the Common Good

By Contributing Writer on February 13, 2016
Human rights activists in South Africa.

Human rights activists in South Africa.

Levine/Weinberg Fellowship

The COVE selects students annually for the Levine/Weinberg Endowed Summer Fellowship. This fellowship provides highly qualified students, interested in pursuing a career in community and/or public work, with summer internship funding in the field of direct community service. This year’s recipients are:

Miranda Scott ’18 interned at Africa Unite in Cape Town this summer. Africa Unite is a human rights and youth empowerment organization that works with citizens, refugees and migrants to prevent conflicts, enhance social cohesion, and promote socioeconomic development. It was formed in 2001 in response to violence against asylum seekers, refugees and migrants in a sprawling, impoverished, predominantly black township on the outskirts of Cape Town. Africa Unite focuses on building the knowledge and skills of Human Rights Peer Educators, facilitating reciprocal learning exchanges with community-based and migrant-led structures, and creating a platform for intercultural exchange and dialogue between local, refugee and migrant communities in South Africa. Read more

Max Shacknai COVE and Upstate Institute Launch Work-Study Program

By Contributing Writer on January 13, 2016

In the fall of 2015, the Max Shacknai COVE and the Upstate Institute joined together with local community agencies to offer paid internships to federal work-study-eligible students leading to lasting community outcomes and offering students who may not had the option to volunteer time at a nonprofit organization the opportunity to gain professional and leadership skills. Students worked at the Partnership for Community Development (PCD), Chenango Nursery School, Community Action Partnership, and Hamilton Food Cupboard. This program allowed students interested in gaining a deeper experience in nonprofit administration some hands-on, long-term, in-depth work. Projects provided capacity building assistance to the organizations with which we partnered. One student conducted an inventory and needs assessment of home-based businesses in the Hamilton area to assist the PCD in identifying gaps to fill in this segment of the Hamilton business community. Students who worked with the other three organizations provided data analysis and technology assistance to increase communication and evidence-based decision making for their organizations. We saw several win-win outcomes to this program in the first year and aim to grow the program in future years to offer more internships with community benefits.