From Harpur Perspectives - Fall 2012
David Schultz '80, MA '86, a nationally recognized expert in campaign law and politics, always knew he wanted to go to school at Binghamton.
For Schultz, who grew up locally and even took classes at Binghamton while still in high school, Binghamton University was affordable and he received a scholarship that covered most of his tuition.
"I always thought Binghamton was an amazing place to be," he said.
More than 30 years later, Schultz is a political expert, an author of more than 25 books and a professor at Hamline University School of Business in Minnesota, where he lives with his wife, Helene (Levy) Schultz '81, MA '83.
Schultz returned to Binghamton University in April to speak to the Binghamton University Forum and address several political science classes about the 2008 and upcoming presidential elections.
In one class, he attributed the success of President Obama's 2008 campaign to Obama's narrative: change.
"This time around the Republicans have an incredibly original narrative," he said. "Do you want to know what it is? Change."
Schultz also introduced students to the idea of "politainment," a concept he has helped develop that merges politics and entertainment. He argues that politicians no longer have just the responsibility of trying to appeal to the most voters with their political platforms and stance on issues. For example, candidates now go on "The Daily Show" or "The Colbert Report" and they have to be funny and engaging as well as knowledgeable.
At the Binghamton University Forum (held at Traditions at the Glen in Johnson City), Schultz told Forum members that the Obama-Romney race will come down to a number of swing states.
"The race is all over in 40 states," Schultz said. "What we are going to see is 10 percent of the voters in 10 states determining who the next president of the United States will be. The billions of dollars spent — and the campaign rhetoric — is going to focus on a very small number of people."
PwC Scholars improve neighborhood park
From staff reports
The PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Scholars held a kick-off event for their community service project on Sept. 11, at Walnut Street Park in Binghamton. Scholars were joined by local dignitaries, PwC relationship partner Matt Singer '96, and several Binghamton University alumni who work at the firm.
As part of their annual Community Service Project, the Scholars have partnered with Safe Streets and the Binghamton Neighborhood Project to develop active play spaces for children in the newly developed Walnut Street Park on Binghamton's West Side.
Each year, the Scholars choose a service project and spend the school year fundraising and planning. The project culminates in late spring with a Community Service Day. In the past three years, projects have included a children's play area at the Discovery Center, a native animal exhibit at the Ross Park Zoo and the MacArthur Elementary School Bookmobile.
The mission of the Binghamton Neighborhood Project and of Safe Streets, which represents the area on the West Side north of Main St. and west of Front St., is to build community and empower neighborhoods.
Watson School to offer master's program in Manhattan
By Ashley Smith
This 12-month program is designed to provide individuals with a bachelor's degree the opportunity to gain sufficient knowledge and skills for modeling, analyzing and/or designing healthcare delivery systems and processes. The focus will be on improving safety, cost, quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery processes.
Scheduled from April 2013 through March 2014, classes will meet approximately once per week at a convenient midtown Manhattan location -- the SUNY Global Center. Class hours are generally every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with intermittent days off. In each class, students will experience lectures, group activities, projects and open discussions with a great deal of class participation. A required orientation weekend will be held at Binghamton University's main campus at the onset of the program.
Learn more about this exciting new degree offering and consider enrolling now. Any questions may be directed to Mohammad Khasawneh at firstname.lastname@example.org or 607-777-4408, or to Marge Swiercz Clark at email@example.com or 607-777-6511.
Book offers resources for PTSD sufferers
From staff reports
Close to 5.2 million adults experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) every year. And it can affect anyone — from war veterans and abuse victims to persons directly or indirectly traumatized by violence, natural disaster or other catastrophes. In her latest book, What Nurses Know...PTSD, Mary Muscari, provides a holistic view of this potentially debilitating illness, providing PTSD sufferers and their friends and family with a better understanding of the disorder and what to do about it.
"Dealing with PTSD is like riding a roller coaster," said Muscari, an associate professor in the Decker School. "The swing of emotions can have a huge impact on relationships, work environment and social activities. And in addition to disrupting the lives of the victims, PTSD often has a ripple affect, throwing relationships with family members, friends and colleagues into complete turmoil. But help is out there and this book offers individuals with PTSD and their families the tools to recognize the problem and know how and where to get assistance."
According to Muscari, the key is to get treatment as soon as possible after PTSD symptoms develop so it doesn't become a long-term condition.
"Treatments for PTSD can involve psychotherapy or medications, or a combination of both," said Muscari. "It's all about support, dialogue and education. But because everyone is different, there is no substitute for treatment provided by a mental healthcare professional experienced in treating PTSD – someone who is trained to figure out what's going to work best. And while my book cannot replace therapy, it can be a valuable resource for sufferers and family."
In addition to covering all the current available treatments, What Nurses Know...PTSD goes to the root of the condition, examining the causes and its impact on victims and their families. It also looks at associated problems such as substance abuse and offers tips for managing stress. For instance, Muscari urges PTSD sufferers to use time-management techniques such as learning how to say "no" and delegation as ways to manage everyday stresses.
Muscari also examines PTSD in children and adolescents, focusing on what makes this disorder so challenging in young sufferers.
"Kids with PTSD may experience many of the same symptoms as adults," said Muscari. "But they often have greater difficulty talking about their thoughts and feelings. Children and teens also tend to have different types of recollection experiences than adults. We're talking frightening dreams and even behavioral problems. If not treated properly, a child's sense of security can be severely impacted, which in turn, influences brain function and development."
According to Muscari, the goal of What Nurses Know...PTSD is to show victims and their friends and families that they are not alone in their struggle.
"PTSD sufferers have a real illness, one that is as real as high blood pressure or diabetes," said Muscari. "But it can also be seen as merely a barrier in our life's journey. And a successful journey begins with a plan and this book can be the map," says Muscari.
Associate professor conducts HIV prevention research in Africa
From staff reports
Nearly three decades since the onset of the AIDS epidemic, Black communities globally have represented a significant and increasingly disproportionate number of cases of HIV and AIDS. Leo Wilton, chair and associate professor in the Department of Human Development, engages a critical issue of HIV-related health disparities through two scholarly research projects on the continent of Africa — one in Ghana, West Africa, and the other in South Africa.
As part of a group of researchers from the United States and Canada, Wilton explores the influence of sociocultural sociocultural factors (e.g., cultural worldviews and values) in the context of macro- and micro-level inequalities related to HIV prevention strategies for Black men at risk for HIV infection in both Kumasi and Accra, Ghana. The aim of the project is to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment that will serve as a basis to develop culturally grounded HIV prevention strategies to address key complexities of the AIDS epidemic for Black men in this area.
South Africa represents the largest AIDS epidemic in the world; yet, there is a void in scholarly research that examines the lived experiences of Black men with HIV in South Africa. The primary aim of Wilton's ongoing research project is to explore the ways in which HIV-related stigma has an impact on Black communities in South Africa and to better understand the geographic- and culture-specific contexts of the AIDS epidemic in this region of the world.
Earlier this year, the Human Sciences Research Council (South Africa's statutory research agency in Pretoria) invited Wilton to South Africa to present a keynote paper on "Black Same Gender Men's Communities in the Age of AIDS: The Sociocultural Contexts of Stigma, Marginalization and Structural Inequalities." This paper explored the critical need for the development of and sustained emphasis on interdisciplinary HIV prevention research efforts that provide a paradigm shift and context for the integration of culturally relevant approaches in addressing the complexities of the AIDS epidemic.The presentation was simultaneously aired in Durban and Cape Town, South Africa, and Wilton had opportunities to talk about his work with individuals from those locations following the presentation.
By Kathleen Rubino '13
Laurie McKeveny, MS '81, grew up in Conklin, N.Y., and always knew she wanted to be a teacher, especially with so many educators in her family.
"My dad alone was a teacher, principal and superintendent," she said. "I was constantly playing school when I was younger."
She went to SUNY Cortland for her undergraduate degree and later went back for her administrative degree. She received her master's in reading for K-12 at Binghamton.
At the Graduate School of Education, McKeveny was in a highly collaborative environment, working closely with a group of peers and taking everyone's viewpoints into account. It prepared her well for her biggest professional challenge as principal of the Owego-Apalachin Elementary School. She remembers dealing with the aftermath of the flood a little more than a year ago.
"It's still a bit blurry," she said. "It was so intense when it all happened. Everything happened so quickly and was so unexpected."
Her first worry was for the safety of her students, followed by the need to find a new location to school the children, which was eventually in a building in Endicott.
"There was this intense energy to move everything and everybody to a new building," she said. "But we had to make it work."
One third of the staff had flooded homes themselves, but still chipped in. In addition, there was an outpouring of donations -- from books to money to instruments -- from the community.
The school is still taking up temporary residence in Endicott, but hopes to be back in its old location within the next two years.
"It takes a long time to demolish an old school and rebuild a new one," McKeveny said.
Though she realizes it's very difficult to get a job as a teacher, McKeveny does have some words of wisdom for aspiring teachers.
"Hang in there and don't give up on your goal," she said. "Get as much experience as you can, whether it's substituting or helping out at a summer camp. And remember, things happen at the last minute, so always be ready."