• Together We Grow: A Thriving Community Garden Initiative in the City of Oneonta

      Virk-Baker, Mandeep (2021)
      The City of Oneonta has a higher prevalence of food insecurity (12.0% vs. 10.5%), and a higher poverty rate (29.0% vs. 13.7%) as compared to the US. Majority of the city population (53%) lives in food desserts that are lacking access to fresh and healthful whole foods. Purpose of the project was to test the feasibility of Oneonta Community Gardens Initiative and provide opportunity for the residents to grow healthful and affordable fresh food and participate in creating green space. Methods: The City of Oneonta donated land and provided needed resources for the community garden. The garden is divided into 30 spaces and has options for handicap accessibility. Various stakeholders including local elected officials, city employees, residents, and local volunteer groups worked collaboratively for setting up the garden. The City of Oneonta created guidelines for organic-only gardening, and an application process for the residents to obtain permits for gardening at the community garden. Results: The Oneonta Community Gardens initiative began with 30 organic gardening spaces. A total of 12 households participated in 2018, and the participation increased to 22 households in 2019. The participation during the COVID19 pandemic reached its full capacity with 30 households in 2020, and 30 households participating for the 2021 gardening season. Conclusion: The initiative has been well received by the local community and demonstrates the feasibility of a successful community garden. The project could serve as an example for other cities and municipalities with high food insecurity and areas with high poverty rates.
    • What Is the SUNY Oneonta Faculty Fellows Program?

      Aucoin, Brendan; Bishop, Jacqueline S. (Bruscella); Fall, Leigh; Montoya, Maria (2021)
      The Faculty Fellows (previously called Administrative Fellows) Program is a pilot program in Academic Affairs that addresses faculty leadership, institutional needs, and collaboration. It provides professional development opportunities for those who are considering administrative roles, by developing focused projects. The projects are addressing SUNY Oneonta’s mission critical goals in experiential learning, student engagement and retention, and inclusivity/diversity. The faculty fellows are an interdisciplinary team that strengthen the roles and offices of the academic deans and library director by integrating the academic schools/units. The 2021-2022 cohort includes Brendan Aucoin (Milne Library), Jacqueline (Bruscella) Bishop (Communication and Media), Leigh M. Fall (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences), and Maria Cristina Montoya (Foreign Languages and Literatures). Brendan is working on a series of projects related to highlighting SUNY Oneonta research and scholarship in the Milne Library. Among these are the development of the Library Special Researcher program for students and creating more opportunities to showcase faculty scholarship in the library. Jackie is working on a series of interrelated initiatives centered on experiential learning. Through cross-campus collaborations. Jackie's project seeks to a) increase access to on-campus and local internship opportunities, b) improve student, faculty, and site-supervisor understanding and use of Handshake, and c) strengthen career readiness programming for students, particularly those studying in the liberal arts. Leigh is working on two projects for the School of Sciences. One project is researching mechanisms of how interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary courses and research happens within the school, highlighting potential barriers and opportunities. The other project is researching past and current STEM experiential learning opportunities to help faculty provide productive experiences for students. MC is working on three projects: first the internationalization of the School of EHESS, including a focus on Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) as a platform; second, developing the curricula and partnerships for the Bilingual Education graduate program; third, diverse faculty retention.
    • Why We Should Theorize about Families

      Rombo, Dorothy (2021)
      The purpose of the presentation is to showcase the role of theories in understanding families to challenge lay interpretations of family life experience and add the voice of expert knowledge in a field of study that can easily be detached from such realities. Conversations about families are privatized and individualized. There are examples of contradictory statements that are sometimes applied to express behaviors associated with family and intimate relations. For example, a friend might confide in another regarding her experience in a romantic relationship saying that they are worried about being in a long-distance relationship and quip that hearts grow fonder when people are apart or add that out of sight out of mind may explain why they are worried. Another example is accounted for in mate selection where at times we make statements to the effect that opposites attract or birds of a feather flock together. These are contradictory statements that theorize about family and intimate relationships. Likewise, it is likely that when friends consult one another about family or relational issue the response is often based on individual experience or assumptions made from a very narrow world view. After all we might have just one family life experience for reference. Sometimes including even contradictory statements. This is an attempt to make an argument for differentiating personal experience from expert knowledge to justify theorizing about families to debunk layman and individualized interpretations of family life. Drawing on examples ranging from metaphors and analogies and selected relatable theories of family, the presentation will justify the role of theory in explaining family life.
    • A wormy world: Summer research in fish parasitology at SUNY Oneonta

      Reyda, Florian; Mendez, Gustavo; Curtin, Claire; Whitcomb, Hannah; Fleming, Morgan; Bulmer, Emily; Nielsen, Emma; Reyda, Florian (2021)
      During the summer of 2021 four students – Gustavo Mendez, Hannah Whitcomb, Morgan Fleming and Emily Bulmer – assisted Florian Reyda with a variety of endeavors as part of the fish parasitology research program. Students were involved in both field work and laboratory work. A major focus was a study of the parasites of Oneida Lake fishes here in New York. Oneida Lake was the focus of a set of classic parasitological studies (Van Cleave & Mueller, 1932) that took place nearly 100 years ago. These studies are widely known within the field of fish parasitology (see Scholz & Choudhury, 2014) because they included descriptions of 33 new species of parasitic worms, from a diversity of fish species. Thus, Oneida Lake is the type locality (i.e., original place of discovery) for 33 species of parasitic worms—a truly remarkable number! Reyda and students conducted fish parasite survey of Oneida Lake fishes during the first half of the summer. The overall objective of that survey is to identify how many of the previously discovered 33 species of parasitic worms are still present today. They collected a diversity of fish from one particular stream, Chittenango Creek, but also examined a diversity of fish that were provided by colleagues at the Cornell Biological Field Station. Reyda and students also examined fish samples from Otsego Lake and Moe Pond—two water bodies that are accessible via the SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station. In August, Reyda and three students traveled to Douglas Lake Michigan in order to sample fish parasites there. The specific objective was to collect two species of thorny-headed worms (acanthocephalans), from their type locality. One of those species, Octospinifer macilentus was the specific focus of one of the students in the lab, Claire Curtin. The survey work was an extra challenge because the main fish of interest, white sucker, were few and far between in the streams, and it took miles of stream walking with a backpack shocker in order to encounter enough white sucker to constitute a decent sample size. We obtained one of the two target species, but unfortunately not the one Claire needed for her project. In addition to field work, during summer students performed fish dissections in the lab and isolated parasites that they then prepared as permanent microscope slides. This aspect of the summer work is very important because it results in a set of study specimens that students can use for independent study projects during the upcoming academic year.