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CommUNITY Night @ the Pond Honors Celebrates Engagement, Community Service

The second-annual CommUNITY Night @ the Pond, sponsored by the Center for Community Engagement and SUNY Plattsburgh Student Association, will be held Friday, Sept. 1 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Hawkins Hall pond.

According to Julia Devine, coordinator for the center, the event is intended “to bring campus and community members together in a spirit of unity at the start of a new academic year.” 

Food trucks from Northern Feast Catering and Lomeli’s, free popcorn, entertainment by student performers, activities, awards and a candle-lighting ceremony around the pond accompanied by the Plattsburgh State Gospel Choir will be featured.

Community Engagement Awards

For the first time, the Center for Community Engagement will present its Community Engagement Awards for faculty, staff and community partners who work to improve the community. According to Devine, awards are being given to individuals or organizations engaged “in exemplary community engagement activities such as volunteerism, community-based teaching, outreach, partnerships, curricular development, scholarship, or research.”

The first to be recognized — selected based on their work to improve community in the areas of education, health, economic or community development, social services, social justice, art and culture, or the environment — are Dr. Curt Gervich, associate professor of environmental science; Dr. Stephen Danna, dean of SUNY Plattsburgh branch campus at Queensbury, and Michelle Howland, associate dean at the branch campus; and 30City Community and Visitors Center in downtown Plattsburgh, which has provided free space for faculty, staff, students and community members since June 2014.

Community Service Scholarships

In addition, prior to the candle-lighting ceremony, Devine will recognize five student Community Service Scholarship winners for 2017-2018: Tshering Dorji; Lucero Galvan; Vrinda Arun-Kumar, president of the Student Association; Dinai Robertson; and Delacey Underhill.

“CommUNITY Night @ the Pond is the perfect event to happen at the start of the semester,” Arun-Kumar said. “It helps remind everyone that no matter what is going on around us, we stand strong and celebrate not just tolerance but our differences.” She said she hopes the community “will come out for this event. It’s an opportunity to connect with the diversity of our campus.”

Eleven new AmeriCorp VISTA members will be welcomed to the North Country that evening as well.

‘Collective Impact’

“It is important to recognize those engaging with the community and honor their collective impact,” Devine said. “Community and civic engagement are core values of this institution. We had many deserving nominees this year. We look forward to honoring more individuals every year.”

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Devine at the Center for Community Engagement, 518-564-3022 or email [email protected]

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