Insitute for Justice and Well-Being 

Binghamton 2022 Let Us Dream Conference. Join us for this year's Let Us Dream Conference, which will focus on promoting unity during divisive times as the world is facing significant challenges including social/economic impacts of an international pandemic, political polarization; calls for social justive, impacts of climate change, a rise in violence and war. This conference will focus on discussing the forces that shape these interconnected issues and drive conversation about how we can find common purpose and make a positive impact as individuals and on the community level. Learn more and register for this event here.

Let Us Dream Unsung Hero Nominations 2022. The Let Us Dream Conference recognizes members of the local community who strive to make a difference in the lives of others with their selfless dedication to the cause of society. Fill out this Google Form if you'd like to nominate someone from the Binghamton community for their work and efforts to create positive change. Please email Debbie Collett-O'Brien at dcollet@binghamton for any questions!

Congratulations to the 2022-2023 College of Community and Public Affairs Research Excellence Award Winners! Institute Research Affiliates, Drs. Hyejung Kim, Naorah Rimkunas, Amber Simpson and John Zilvinskis have all been recognized and awarded over $28,000 funding to forward their research endeavors! Thank you to the College of Community and Public Affairs and Division of Research for supporting the Institute's researchers. Read more about each research affiliate and their research projects here.

Research Affiliate Participates in Panel Discussion on Mental Health in Schools. Luann Kida, Research Affiliate, Social Worker and Executive Director for Binghamton University Community Schools participated in a panel discussion that was held at the Binghamton University College of Community and Public Affairs, focusing on mental issues in schools. She highlighted that stigma surrounding mental health may be lessing, allowing for more productive discussion on ways to support students and their teachers.

Learn about the Institute Research Affiliates. The Institute is featuring Dr. George Homsy, Associate Professor and Director of the Environmental Studies Program, Associate Professor in the Department of Public Administration, and Research Affiliate, who has dedicated his professional life to researching sustainability practices and local government policymaking. His primary interests relate to the drivers of sustainability policy change and results of implementation within small- to medium-sized towns. Involved in a variety of research projects, Dr. Homsy frequently collaborates with the Interational City/County Management Association and American Planning Association to bring his research to life and ensure better community practices for all. Learn more about Dr. George Homsy and his work here.

Research Affiliate Honored by SUNY. Congratulations to Dr. Mohammad Khasawneh, Research Affiliate, for being honored as a SUNY Distinguished Professor! Serving as chair for the Department of Systems Science and Industrial Engineering at Binghamton University, he has made a significant impact on the campus community as an educator and researcher, as Dr. Khasawneh's research efforts focus on healthcare systems engineering, operations management, and data science. Read more by viewing Mohammad Khasawneh's profile and research information here.

Learn About the Institute Research Affiliates. The Institute is featuring Dr. Monica Adams, Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work and Research Affiliate, who has spent 25 years working with disenfranchised populations to forward her social work practice and support the needs of community members. Her research spans various topic areas, in which she primarily works to identify health disparities and advance the role of public policies to address them. She hopes to empower other practitioners to develop interventions from a strengths perspective to help create an equitable society for all. Learn more about Dr. Monica Adams and her work here.

Research Affiliate Awarded Grant From The National Science Foundation. Dr. Amber Simpson, Associate Professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Educational Leadership was awarded a $1.5 M grant to create and support makerspaces for youth, in efforts for them to work collaboratively on projects and find support in times of failure. She outlines the importance of makerspaces due to COVID-19 to enhance learning for students during remote learning, while creating new, accessible ways to learn an array of content by attending, interpreting and responding to youth's experiences. Read this article to learn more about Dr. Simpson's project and the implementation of makerspaces in the community!

Local Community Member Spotlighted at 2021 Let Us Dream Conference. Congratulations to Aisha Jasper, who was recognized as an Unsung Hero at Binghamton's 2021 Let Us Dream Conference for her work and dedication to service in the local community! A mentor for the Binghamton City School District, Aisha is passionate about working with youth and being a part of their personal growth, in addition to sitting on the board of directors for multiple organizations in the Southern Tier. Read this article highlighting Aisha's work and how you can also connect with these wonderful agencies!

Binghamton University receives $1.25 M from the New York State Education Department to continue the work of the Central/Western Community Schools Technical Assistance Center. This allows the Central/Western Community Schools Technical Assistance Center to provide critical aid to the region by servicing those who have been most impacted by COVID-19 and provide resources that will enhance learning. Along with additional funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Binghamton University Community Schools will work with 18 counties in New York State and award contracts to forward the work that local community organizations are doing to support children and families. Read more about the impact of this opportunity and the work being done at Binghamton University here.

Institute Research Affiliate Featured For Expertise on Global Health and Perspective on the Coronavirus Pandemic. Research Affiliate and Professor, Nicole Hassoun has been featured in numerous articles sharing her expertise and providing commentary on the distribution of the Coronavirus vaccine and the implications that Coronavirus may have on the surveillance of new diseases. Dr. Hassoun recently gave a Tedx Talk about how Covid-19 has exposed global health inequality as we have seen a stress on health systems and unavailability of health services. Watch the video here as she describes how we can rectify global health inequality to promote increased accessibility to medicines on a global scale, in order to promote the wellness of mankind as a whole.

The New York State Education Department awarded the Binghamton University Community Schools a five-year contract to operate the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) Technical Assistance Resource Centers (TARC). With this additional funding, the Binghamton University Community Schools will work with students who attend low-performing schools to provide enriched learning programs and opportunities to improve their academic, social and emotional outcomes of students and families. Read more about this and Binghamton's 21st Century Community Learning Centers here.

Congratulations to Dr. Jacqueline McGinley, Research Affiliate and Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work, who was awarded the 2021 Provost's Award for Excellence in Interprofessional Education by Binghamton University! Learn more about Jackie and her research here.

Celebrating the College of Community and Public Affairs With Guest Speaker Ret. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, Harpur College, '98! As we celebrated 15 years of the College of Community and Public Affairs, we welcomed Ret. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, Harpur College, '98 as our guest speaker during this event to discuss his recently published book, which details his background growing up in the United States as an immigrant and how the values he was taught as a child brought him to center stage in the impeachment trial of President Trump. Learn more about Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and his book here.

Congratulations to Dr. Mohammad Khasawneh, Research Affiliate and Associate Director of the Watson Institute for Systems Excellence, who was awarded the 2020-2021 Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities by Binghamton University! Learn more about Mohammad and his work/research here.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand shows support of Binghamton University and Community Schools. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand joined President Harvey Stenger and Dean Laura Bronstein to discuss the Full-Service Community School Expansion Act of 2021 and the benefits of implementing Community School programs in New York State, in order to meet the comprehensive needs of students both in and out of the classroom. Read the article to learn more about this new legislation and how the Binghamton University Community Schools program model can make a positive impact on schools!

Social Work Student Aid Vaccination Efforts. The Center for Civic Engagement is featuring the work of Alexandra Birner, a student in the Master of Social Work program, who is completing her field internship placement at Care Manage for All, which is owned by Research Affiliate, Kim Evanoski. Birner has been providing aid in scheduling vaccination appointments and providing the necessary transportation for seniors, while also doing home visits to provide social and emotional support during the Coronavirus pandemic. Use this link to read about the amazing work being done at Care Manage for All and the impact being made on the local community! 

Research Affiliate Publishes New Book. Dr. Myra Sabir, Research Affiliate and Associate Professor of Human Development, just recently published her book, The Life Writing Facilitator's Pocket Guide features updated ideas, tools, and exercises to facilitate Life Writing workshops for participants to advance their psychological, physical, economic, and social health. Learn more about the book here.

Congratulations to Research Affiliate and Associate Professor of Social Work, Dr. Youjung Lee, on being one of three teams at Binghamton University awarded up to $10,000 for conducting research projects related to the Coronavirus pandemic! Dr. Lee's research pursuits look to assess the accessibility and effectiveness of telemental health services of marginalized and vulnerable children and families in New York State during the pandemic; in addition to, training social work students how to properly serve the high-needs of these populations through the use of an evidence-based intervention model. Read more about her research and the work of the other grant receipts in this article as they conduct meaningful work to protect communities from the detrimental effects of COVID-19.

B-Real Talks by the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development interviewed Dr. Myra Sabir, Research Affiliate and Associate Professor of Human Development, on the impact of imposter syndrome with regard to an individual's passion and life post-graduation. Use this link to watch the interview and learn more from Dr. Sabir and how supportive research in academia can combat these feelings.

Assistant Professor of Social Work and Public Health, Dr. Miesha Marzell, has been highlighted for her research on how racial micro-aggressions impact the mental health and behavior, with regards to behaviors associated with substance use disorder, amongst students of color on college campuses. By examining how marijuana use relates to students who experienced micro-aggressions, she has observed the disadvantages to the mental health, social connections, and educational experience of students on college campuses. A firm believer in the power of education, you can read her interview here about how she hopes her research can make a difference and advance health promotion and prevention amongst college students.

Research Affiliate and Associate Professor, Nicole Hassoun has been featured in numerous articles sharing her expertise and providing commentary on the distribution of the Coronavirus vaccine and the implications that Coronavirus may have on the surveillance of new diseases. Read this article as Dr. Hassoun compares how the vaccine is being distributed in the United Kingdom versus the United States, in addition to the ethical considerations that need to be made when deciding who should get the vaccine first. You can also read her commentary on how focusing on the Coronavirus pandemic can cause the resurgence of existing diseases, such as tuberculosis, as we divert resources from controlling other diseases to address this current threat.

Read this article about the work being done by Binghamton University Community Schools fellows to promote student success at Windsor Central School District! By increasing access to resources and educational opportunities through this program, which allows them to utilize support services at school, then we can see a positive increase in attendance and family engagement. Binghamton University Community Schools is also working on the Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) Pilot & Feasibility Program with Whitney Point and Windsor schools to implement an archeology program for students! Use this link to read the interview with Luann Kida, Research Affiliate and Director of Binghamton University Community Schools, and learn more about this community school collaborative approach to promote this after-school program!

Research Affiliate and Associate Professor, Nicole Hassoun, summarizes the need for equitable distribution in a Coronavirus vaccine. Read here to learn more about why it may take a while for everyone to access the vaccine, in addition to how storing and distributing the vaccine will be more difficult to those in low-income countries. She was interviewed with WBNG-Binghamton and spoke about similar topics regarding vaccine distribution and her expertise on what the vaccine distribution plan might look like in the United States.

Binghamton University and the College of Community and Public Affairs is set to debut a new program, Helping Youth on the Path to Employment (HYPE on Campus), to help students get real-world experience as to innovate solutions to help underserved populations. This program will also use evidence-based models to direct students to support services and academic accommodations on campus, in order to learn critical skills and motivation tools that they can use to thrive later on in their careers. Read more here about this wonderful opportunity, in which we can raise awareness and competency for students experiencing mental health challenges and reduce these barriers at Binghamton University.

Want to learn more about the state of modern-day American politics and how to understand the electoral college? Use this link to access a series of lectures given by David Schultz '80, MA '86 as he dissects topics regarding generational politics, the rise of the Millennials and Gen Z, and the current political climate in the United States.

Congratulations to Dr. Karenbeth Bohan, Research Affiliate and Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice, who received the 2020 NYS-ACCP Educator of the Year Award for her excellence, research, and innovation in clinical pharmacy education! Learn more by viewing Karen Bohan's profile and her research information here.

David Schultz, Professor of Political Science and Legal Studies at Hamline University and Binghamton University Alumni, will be hosting talks about the intersection of the role of generations in American politics, the constitutional framework of the electoral college, and the upcoming 2020 Presidential Election. Schultz is a three-time Fulbright scholar and author of more than 35 books and 200 articles on various aspects of American politics, election law, the media and politics.

Luann Kida, Institute Affiliate and Director of the Binghamton University Community Schools Regional Network, has joined the Central/Western Community Schools TAC to forward work around building engagement between families and school staff, in order to achieve optimal academic outcomes for children. She will be joining Liz Anderson, the Institute's Co-Director, in supporting Community School Coordinators and the districts they serve within the development of their University-Assisted Community School models. Read more about her by viewing Luann Kida's profile here.

Congratulations to Denise Yull, Chair and Associate Professor of Human Development, who received the Provosts' Award for Faculty Excellence in Community-Engaged Scholarship by Binghamton University! Learn more about Denise by viewing her profile and her research information here.

Binghamton University's Community Schools Awarded $150,000 in Funding! Dean Laura Bronstein and Institute Research Affiliate Luann Kida received a three-year $50,000 grant for a total of $150,000, in partnership with the University-Assisted Community Schools National Network to promote Binghamton University's Community Schools and fund the fifth UACS Regional Training Center in the nation! Funded by the Netter Center of Community Partnership, this grant aids in the development of University-Assisted Community Schools and will mobilize resources needed to serve, engage and empower their local communities. Congratulations to both of them on this award!

Research Affiliate Kim Brimhall writes an article about how inclusivity needs to be a priority in the workplace as promoting a collective sense of purpose boosts productivity and job satisfaction. By changing the structure of workplace culture and promoting inclusivity, employers can make their employees feel valued and encourage opportunities for greater involvement. 

Professor and Research Affiliate Nicole Hassoun has been featured on several media sources discussing the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on health outcomes. She pens this article about the contentious debate about wearing masks and how to create open, productive discussions about why someone might refuse to wear a mask. By showing empathy for someone else's point of view, we can educate others about why wearing masks are essential to curbing this pandemic. Dr. Hassoun was also interviewed about how a successfully distributing COVID-19 vaccine will have to focus on ethics, rather than profit, to ensure that everyone can easily access the vaccine. You can also read her response to the The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine as they develop a vaccine distribution plan, when you are likely to receive one, and what life will look like once it's available to the public. As she continues these discussions, Hassoun emphasizes how important collective action is as we continue to battle this virus. 

Dr. Hassoun also recently published her novel discussing the state of global health today and argues the need for accessibility to basic medications for everyone. Read the interview to learn more about her book and check out her article as she discusses this topic in regards to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Institute Research Affiliates Promoting University-Assisted Community Schools. Dean Laura Bronstein and Institute Research Affiliate Luann Kida have been selected as speakers for this month's University-Assisted Community Schools National Network meeting. As Binghamton University has been selected as the fifth UACS Regional Training Center, they will be discussing their project plans to create these trainings and provide services to the community. 

Congratulations to Marguerite Wilson, Institute Affiliate and Professor of Human Development, who was granted the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching by Binghamton University! Learn more by viewing Marguerite Wilson's profile and research information here.

Honoring Former Institute Co-Director, Lisa Blitz. We would like to remember and pay tribute to our fellow colleague, Dr. Lisa V. Blitz, who passed on June 22, 2020. Lisa was well known as a professor, advisor, mentor, and friend to many at Binghamton University. Read more about her life and service to the community here.

Want to learn about how local schools are responding to the Coronavirus pandemic?  Watch this video featuring Dr. Patricia Follette, Superintendent of the Whiteny Point Central School District as she discusses the response to COVID-19 by rural schools and how the education of students has drastically changed in these uncertain times. 

Let Us Dream 2020 Triennial International Conference. Save the date and register for this year's virtual conference! Let Us Dream seeks to empower people of diverse age groups and backgrounds to participate in a myriad of community improvement programs and build a better tomorrow. Work with changemakers from all across the world, like our very own Laura Bronstein who will be a panelist on the Education committee, and gain the opportunity to grow a professional network by engaging with the international community!

Highlighting the benefits of expressive writing. Dr. Myra Sabir, an associate professor of human development, is being recognized for her cutting-edge research on the benefits of expressive writing. Sabir's Lifewriting Workshop focuses on how to express oneself through written words to recall past trauma and find helpful solutions to cope, leading to significant mental and emotional benefits. Read more about Sabir's work here.

Providing educational support for all students and families. Dr. Youjung Lee discusses the multigenerational impact of students with non-traditional families, who are being raised by their grandparents, in the educational setting. In this article, read about how she developed educational camps for children and their grandparents to provide social and health services that can help promote family interaction and engagement in school.

Marzell honored for online teaching. Dr. Miesha Marzell, an assistant professor of social work, is recognized for her teaching efforts and advocacy to maximize online learning opportunities for students! 

Looking at the state of healthcare in rural areas. Dr. Kimberly Brimhall talks about her research centered around improving healthcare systems in rural communities, especially during the Coronavirus pandemic, in this article.

Research is a marathon, not a sprint. Read about Melissa Hardesty's passion for academia and running as she recounts her research being published, as well as her journey to qualify for the Olympic Trials.

The Institute for Justice and Well-Being with the Division of Research awarded almost $27,000 in funding for our research affiliates! Congratulations to Drs. Kim Brimhall, Jennifer Gillis, Candace Mulcahy, Melissa Hardesty, Sarah Young, Dalhee Yoon, and John Zilvinskis on being this year's award recipients!

Let Us Dream Conference 2019. Read all about the event in this article reported by BU Pipe Dream!

What can you do with a PhD? Justine Lewis, a student in the Community Research and Action PhD program, talks about her experience with refugees, her career goals and the academic program helping her achieve them in this Q&A.

The Institute for Justice and Well-Being announces its 2018 grant recipients. Read about the winning projects.

Binghamton University Professor Launches the Global Health Index. The Global Health Impact Index opens the door to positive change by considering how essential medicines for TB, HIV/AIDS and malaria are affecting global health. Check out the index here.

Broome County leaders share Community Schools initiatives


"At each school it's different based on what the needs are. At U-E we've just started a program called the BUS Bucks program where we're looking at kids, predominantly kids that have difficulty with attendance, have poor attendance. What kind of incentives can we provide for them to be able to attend school?" said Binghamton University Community Schools Principal Investigator Laura Bronstein. Watch the interview