The Institute for Justice and Well-Being - Advancing Equity through Community Schools

The Institute for Justice and Well-Being - Advancing Equity through Community Schools

Research affiliates with the Institute for Justice and Well-Being engage in education, research, scholarship and practice that seeks to advance equity, eliminate racism and all forms of oppression, bias and disadvantage through the implementation of university-assisted community schools.

Binghamton University faculty lead the Institute for Justice and Well-Being - Advancing Equity through Community Schools, a research institute that advances global health, progressive education and well-being for marginalized populations. The institute implements cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research and educational opportunities with communities and people across the lifespan and the globe.

The Institute for Justice and Well-Being - Advancing Equity through Community Schools was founded in 2009 at Binghamton University's College of Community and Public Affairs. As one of the most interdisciplinary research centers at the University, the institute fosters rich collaboration across University and community organizations. Our research associates span professions and disciplines including counseling, education, engineering, human development, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, psychology and social work.


The Promise of SUNY-led University-Assisted Community Schools to Transform Education in New York State


Provosts, Deans, Chairs, Faculty, and Directors
of Student Engagement are invited to learn,
network, and strategize to create the nation’s first public university system of University-Assisted Community Schools.

University-Assisted Community Schools bring schools,
families, community members and university partners
together to improve the quality of life and learning in
schools and communities.

  • Learn how to start University-Assisted Community
    Schools in your institution
  • Explore how this strategy advances research,
    teaching and learning in schools and universities
  • Launch the SUNY Learning Network on University-
    assisted Community Schools

Date: June 24, 2024

Time: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Location: Binghamton University

Click here for registration

12 CCPA faculty/staff named ‘career champions’

The Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development at Binghamton University celebrated its eighth annual Career Champions Breakfast in Old Union Hall on the Vestal campus, recognizing over 150 faculty and staff for their pivotal roles in student career development. Initiated in 2015, the Career Champions program honors individuals nominated by students for their significant contributions in helping students clarify their career objectives, enhance their professional skills, and secure employment or academic opportunities. This year, notable honorees from the College of Community and Public Affairs were celebrated for their dedication to advancing students' personal and professional growth.

Monica Adams, assistant professor, Department of Social Work

David Archer, lecturer, undergraduate minor coordinator, Department of Teaching, Learning and Educational Leadership

Patricia Augostini, adjunct professor, Department of Teaching, Learning and Educational Leadership

David Campbell, professor, Public Administration and Policy

Brian Flynn, lecturer, Department of Social Work

Jennifer Gordon, associate professor, Department of Teaching, Learning and Educational Leadership

Melissa Hardesty, associate professor and director, Bachelor of Social Work program, Department of Social Work

Cara Kenien-Ponomarev, director of field education, Department of Social Work

Hoe Kyeung Kim, associate professor, Department of Teaching, Learning and Educational Leadership

Tami Mann, admissions and certification advisor, Department of Teaching, Learning and Educational Leadership

Cory Rusin ’23, director of recruitment and internship placement, Public Administration and Policy

Melvin A. Whitehead, assistant professor, Higher Education and Student Affairs

John Zilvinskis, associate professor, Higher Education and Student Affairs

For More Information [Click Here]

Binghamton University Lands $1.2M Grant to Boost STEM Teacher Recruitment

Binghamton University has been awarded a $1.2 million grant through the National Science Foundation's Robert Noyce Scholarship Program, as announced by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. The funding aims to bolster STEM education by preparing 24 new middle and high school teachers over the next five years, specifically targeting recruitment from undergraduate mathematics majors. This initiative focuses on improving access to quality mathematics education for middle and high school students in underserved communities within the Southern Tier area.

Senators Schumer and Gillibrand emphasized the critical role of skilled teachers in enhancing student outcomes and the broader impact of strengthening the workforce in local communities through stable, well-paying teaching positions. Schumer highlighted the importance of filling the STEM teaching gap, while Gillibrand pointed out the growing national need for STEM education, reinforcing the significance of this investment in both local and broader educational landscapes.

This federal support not only reflects Binghamton University's commitment to educational excellence but also underscores the ongoing efforts by U.S. senators to promote significant educational initiatives. As many of you already know, Amber Simpson (Associate Professor; Co-Assistant Director) was awarded another big grant last week. As you can read in this news piece, she is not only making BU look good, but also US senators.

For More Infromation [Click Here]

Congratulations - Mack Ottens

Community Research and Action PhD student, Mack Ottens, MPA '21 MS '21, was recently awarded the Binghamton Council/Foundation Student Award for their "outstanding dedication and... exemplary service and/or leadership to the University." Congratulations, Mack!  

Mack Ottens

Welcome - Keisha M. Wint

 Keisha M. Wint
Keisha M. Wint

Keisha M. Wint is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work at Binghamton University and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Her research interests are based on 20 years of experience as a social work practitioner serving in schools, communities, and private practice. 

Dr. Wint’s current research focuses on understanding factors which strengthen child-teacher relationships. She explores educational experiences of young children who have faced marginalization in schools, namely Black preschool boys. Dr. Wint’s recent pilot study focused on identifying tools and resources for preschool educators to effectively communicate with young children about grief-related experiences. 

Her goals as a research scholar are to collaborate with researchers and community stakeholders to develop and execute translational research which improves well-being for all beginning early in the life course. 

Welcome - Tracy Lyman

Tracy Lyman
Tracy Lyman

Tracy Lyman, MSEd., is a special educator with a career spanning over two decades in various educational capacities. As a Binghamton University alumni, she joined the Department of Teaching, Learning and Educational Leadership (TLEL) in 2012, serving in the roles of lecturer, university supervisor for field experiences and internships, workshop coordinator and most recently, special education program director after working as an elementary special education teacher and early internvetionist in Broome County. Lyman has honed her expertise in best teaching practices to elevate program quality while aligning educational standards for pre-k through 12th grade special education teacher candidates. She traveled to India in October 2023 to engage with international collegiate partners for the three day Le Us Dream conference, working toward empowering communities with connections for a sustainable future. This experience enabled her to bring an international perspective to her coursework as well as her work in the field. Most recently, she has begun working with the Interprofessional Education Program Committee at Binghamton University to design interprofessional learning and leadership opportunities for students in TLEL, as well as collaborating with faculty from CPPA and health science programs such as social work, speech pathology, occupational and physical therapy to lead community engagement initiatives in early childhood. With a passion for early childhood development, family engagement and a dedication to promoting inclusive learning environments, Lyman’s work in the field involves working with statewide partners for the implementation of the Pyramid Model framework, which promotes the social-emotional competence of infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and their families, as well as early care providers across the state. She is also working with the Department of Juvenile Justice and Opportunities for Youth to support young fathers with trauma-informed, positive parenting behaviors. Lyman is committed to promoting inclusive, equitable, and effective learning experiences through research-application and collaboration.

Community Schools, education and the creation of democratic civic universities

Dr. Ira Harkavy
Dr. Ira Harkavy

The cornerstone of a democratic society lies not only in formal institutions but also in educational systems, according to Ira Harkavy, a leading advocate for university-assisted community schools. He stresses the reciprocal relationship between education and society, arguing that to shape a particular type of society, one must develop an education system conducive to that society's values. Harkavy's lecture at Binghamton University emphasized John Dewey's vision of community schools as catalysts for democratic citizenship. He advocates for universities to prioritize community engagement and move away from profit-driven models. By embracing a democratic civic university model, which fosters collaboration, local problem-solving, and ethical behavior, universities can play a pivotal role in addressing societal challenges. Binghamton University's Community Schools project exemplifies this approach, aiming to combat poverty and support youth and families. Through initiatives like these, Harkavy believes universities can contribute to creating more just and equitable societies, echoing Dewey's vision of schools as community centers.

See Full News Here

Child Abuse Indentification & Reporting (NYS Mandated Reporter) Training

This training satisfies amendments to Social Services Law § 413 requiring the addition of Adverse Childhood Experiences and Trauma, Implicit Bias, and Identification of Child Abuse virtually within the New York State mandated Identification and Reporting of Child Abuse and Maltreatment/Neglect coursework.

This training includes all of the NYS newly required content and satisfies the legal requirements that every NYS mandated reporter who has previously undergone the Mandated Reporter training to undergo the new updated training by April 1, 2025.

This is required for all NYS licensed professionals who work with children

Dates of Trainings:

April 12, 2024

1:00 - 4:00 PM

Online via Zoom

May 1, 2024

1:00 - 4:00 PM

University Downtown Centre, RM 220 AB

May 17, 2024

9:00 - 12:00 PM

Online via Zoom

May 29, 2024

5:30 - 8:30 PM

Online via Zoom

June 12, 2024

1:00 - 4:00 PM

University Downtown Centre, RM 220 AB

June 21, 2024

1:00 - 4:00 PM

Online via Zoom

Register Here

Identifying and Responding to Stalking

Stalking is a prevalent, dangerous, and often misunderstood crime. This seminar session explores the dynamics of stalking, focusing on the highly contextual nature of the crime by discussing common tactics used by perpetrators, stalking’s co-occurrence with domestic violence, the use of technology to stalk, the use of risk assessments in stalking cases, as well as tools to plan for victim safety and hold offenders accountable.


By the end of the seminar, participants will be better able to:

  • Identify stalking behaviors and dynamics
    Recognize the intersection of stalking with domestic violence
  • Identify common technologies used by offenders
  • Identify the 14 risk factors in stalking cases
  • Apply strategies for working with victims of stalking
  • Apply strategies for thorough investigations

The program is approved for 6.0 NYS CE contact hours for licensed social workers.

Binghamton University - SUNY, Social Work Department SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0143.


185 Court Street, Binghamton, NY 13901


9:00 am
  • Stalking Prevalence, Dynamics, Behaviors
  • Intersection with Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault
10:30 am Break
10:45 am         Risk Assessment in Stalking Cases
12:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm Use of Technology to Stalk
2:45 pm Break
3:00 pm
  • Investigative Strategies
  • Safety Planning
4:00 pm End

Registration [Click Here]

Invitation for Submission of Proposal for Funding

The Institute for Justice and Well-Being: Advancing Equity Through Community Schools invites proposals from its Binghamton University faculty, staff affiliates, and community partners for small grants related to university-assisted community schools (UACS). This year the Institute is providing $30,000 for this small grant program, with a maximum of $5,000 for each proposal. The overall goals are twofold: 1) to increase faculty research productivity and chances of receiving external funding for research; and/or, 2) to increase the capacity of local organizations and BU staff to engage in this work. The Institute seeks to enhance collaboration across disciplines and between the university and community.

Please reach out to Laura Bronstein , Naorah Rimkunas or Amber Simpson, for ways to connect your research to UACS.


  • The proposal should not exceed 3 single-spaced pages.
  • Clearly describe project objectives, specific roles, connection to UACS, proposed methodology, timeline, expected outcomes, budget, references and collaborations.
  • Include details on how these funds will be used and if/how they are expected to generate future funding opportunities.
  • The award cannot be used for salary support except for graduate assistant salary, stipends for community participants, travel, materials/supplies and miscellaneous expenses.


Proposals in PDF form should be submitted electronically to by Tuesday, April 30, 2024 at 5:00 PM. Awarded research projects are expected to have a Monday, May 20, 2024 start date.

For questions/more information and to become a faculty, staff or community affiliate (and thus to be eligible to submit a proposal), contact or 607-777-3537

Congratulations! To our colleages for:
The 2024- 2025 CCPA Research Excellence Awards

CCPA Research Excellence Awards

Exploring the Language of Love: Melissa Hardesty's Insightful Research into Modern Relationships

Mellisa Hardesty
Mellisa Hardesty

Melissa Hardesty's notable research, spotlighted in Cosmopolitan and supported by an IJWB  and  Binghamton Human Sexualities Lab  small grants award, dives into the "talking stage" of modern dating, Focusing on 403 university students, her study, published in the Emerging Adulthood journal, explores the complex, often non-committal nature of current romantic interactions. Hardesty's work illuminates the evolving dynamics of relationships, where physical intimacy without commitment can lead to deeper connections, reflecting changes in societal norms since the sexual revolution. This significant research offers a deeper understanding of contemporary relationship dynamics, showcasing the critical role of academic partnerships like that with the Binghamton Human Sexualities Lab in enriching our comprehension of modern love and intimacy.


Reconciling the Past with the Present to Create an Anti-Oppressive Social Work Practice

Since 2020, there has been a significant focus in social work to engage in anti-oppressive practice when engaging with clients and advocating for changes that promote social justice. While learning about anti-oppression approaches has great value, skipping an understanding of oppression can result in ineffective, superficial, and even harmful efforts when engaging in social work practice. Understanding how systemic oppression originated and how it impacts current practices lends itself to understanding our own biases. For social workers, bias, especially implicit bias, can be difficult identify, let alone address, when the systems we operate within reinforce them.

Whiteness and white racialized identity do not simply refer to skin color, but to an ideology based on customs, culture, and beliefs that operate as the standard by which all other groups are compared. While this ideology has created a substantial unequal distribution of power and privilege based on skin color, it has also negatively impacted other groups of people (e.g., women, LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities, immigrants, and people living in poverty) and this generally has not been acknowledged in social work. Whiteness is distinct but not separate from ideologies and material manifestations of ideologies of class, nation, gender, sexuality, and ability.

  • Participants will gain knowledge of concepts associated with anti-oppressive practice (e.g., whiteness, racism, marginalization).
  • Participants will gain insight around the historical context of whiteness as a standard for all groups to be measured and its current implication for racialized minorities and other groups.
  • Participants will gain insight into how practices rooted in whiteness reinforce biases.


  • Monica M. Adams, PhD, MSW, LISW-S
  • Stacey L. Shipe, PhD, MSW
  • Sarah R. Young, PhD, MSW
  • Melvin A. Whitehead, PhD

The program is approved for 2.0 NYS CE contact hours for licensed social workers.

Binghamton University - SUNY, Social Work Department SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0143.


Online using Zoom

Registration Form

The Director of the Institute was featured in The Academic Minute.

Dr. Laura Bronstein emphasized the significance of summer programs in minimizing learning loss through the community school model. As a national expert, Dean Bronstein promotes community schools as drivers of equitable and inclusive school environments where all students, families and communities can thrive. You can read more about this topic in the article linked here.

Prevent Learning Loss with Engaging Activities.

An article in The Huffington Post interviewed Dr. Laura Bronstein, the Dean of the College for Community and Public Affairs and Director of the IJWB - Advancing Equity through Community Schools, about the 'summer slide' that many students experience when they are out of school, and the negative impact it can have on learning. Dr. Bronstein emphasized the importance of creating fun and educational activities that can help prevent summer learning loss, whether they are done at home or in the community. She also highlighted the advantages of community schools, which offer comprehensive services and summer learning opportunities for students and families. Take a look at this article to discover effective ways of keeping students engaged and enhancing their skills during the summer break.

IJWB - Advancing Equity through Community Schools Director and Research Affiliate Recognized by Stanford University.

Stanford University published an article recognizing contributions from scientists globally, and Dr. Laura Bronstein, Dean of College of Community and Public Affairs (CCPA) and Director of the Institute for Justice and Well-Being, and Dr. Brandon E. Gibb, Research Affiliate and Professor of Psychology, were part of the top 2% of all researchers in the world in their respective fields. Dr. Gibb's research focuses on the development and expression of information-processing biases that increase risk for depression in children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Bronstein's research centers on interdisciplinary and interprofessional collaboration and community schools. Read more about Dean Bronstein and Dr. Gibb and their work here.

IJWB - Advancing Equity through Community Schools Highlighted As Center for Community and Change.

The Institute for Justice and Well-Being - Advancing Equity through Community Schools was highlighted by BingUNews as a leader in the community to create positive change and community partnerships that aim to advance the state of current social problems. The article applauds the Institute on housing the vast interests and expertise of Binghamton University's best researchers, while fostering interpersonal relationships that drive their work, which includes advancing community schools, providing research opportunities to students, and working within the IJWB and others extending their work on a global scale. Read the article here.

Binghamton University continues its ongoing dedication to the advancement of social justice for all individuals and populations.

The Office of the Provost has created a website to highlight that a number of institutes and centers have been established across disciplines at the University to promote research, ideas, communication and critical discourse in areas including human rights, equality for women and girls, and global health, progressive education, and well-being for marginalized populations. Like the Institute for Justice and Well-Being, these centers and institutes exist to raise awareness of issues of historical, systemic injustices, and to explore ways to rise above these injustices to the benefit of the world’s underrepresented. Learn more here about the institutes and centers here.

Binghamton University Applauded for Diversity and Inclusivity.

Donald E. Hall, Vice Provost of Binghamton University, recently wrote an op-ed for the Miami Herald as he spotlights Binghamton University for its commitment to diversity, equity, and freedoms for all, in comparison to the limitation of LGBTQ+ rights for youth in Florida. He also notes that Binghamton University aims to embody community, acceptance and inclusivity for all learners and thinkers by implementing recruitment strategies for students and faculty who might find New York as a safe haven for one to be who they want to be. Read more of Dr. Hall's article here.