Dyson College’s Center for Community Action and Research (CCAR) helps students connect with firsthand experiences serving the needs of communities in New York and beyond.
For most Americans, Election Day represents a precious opportunity to choose our political leaders; but for some in the Dyson College community, it is much more. See these leaders and their full stories on the web.
Noelani Rivera ’22
Rivera has been a volunteer with the Center for Community Action and Research as a voter registration advocate since 2018, connecting with students to provide everything from polling info to registration. “Sometimes people want to register to vote, but they don’t know how to go about it, or they just haven’t been able to find the time,” Rivera said.
Andrea Stewart- Cousins ’86, MPA ’08
Shortly after becoming senate majority leader, Stewart-Cousins shepherded the passage of several key election reform bills to eliminate obstacles that previously prevented some citizens from casting their ballots. In general, the legislation established early voting and no-excuse absentee voting for the first time, and as a result modernized and expanded voter registration.
Miriam Lacroix ’11
Lacroix created the Black Legal Wellness Forum as a platform to examine issues of systemic racism and how the Black community can better navigate issues across a variety of legal areas. In fall 2020, she hosted a community webinar to discuss the importance of voting and why the Black vote matters.
THE POLL WOKER
Liz Weber ’23
Women’s and Gender Studies, Economics
Weber was one of many responsible for opening and closing her designated polling location, making sure all the ballots were counted, and assisting voters. She utilized the organizational skills gained through her experience as a freelance stage manager to navigate and overcome logistical concerns raised by the pandemic, politics, and previous elections.
THE DATA MINER
Michael Andrew Winters ’21
Film and Screen Studies
On election night 2020, Winters took calls from voting precincts all across the country and recorded their vote tallies into the Associated Press’s proprietary election system.
IN BRIEF: Center for Community Action and Research
For more than a decade, the Center for Community Action and Research (CCAR) has built beneficial partnerships with community organizations and national civic engagement initiatives, and has empowered students to get involved. The 2020–21 academic year was no different. Highlights include:
- In July 2020, Associate Professor of English Stephanie Hsu, PhD, was selected for the 2020–21 cohort of the Mellon Periclean Faculty Leadership Program in the Humanities.
- In recognition of their service and dedication to improving the quality of life in the communities, eight members of the Dyson College community received Jefferson Awards for Public Service Bronze Medals: Elizabeth Dosman ’22, psychology; Joseph R. Franco, PhD, professor, Psychology; Taylor Ganis ’21, environmental studies; Marisa Angelita Aquino Guillet ’21, women’s and gender studies and sociology/anthropology; Miles Mendez ’23, digital cinema and filmmaking; Gregory Rivera ’21, pursuing a Master’s of Public Administration; Rebecca Tekula, PhD, professor, Public Administration; and alumna Erin Wilson ’20, criminal justice.
- On April 28, Pace University was recognized by Food Bank for New York City as “Outstanding Dear New York Partner” at its Volunteer Appreciation Celebration titled “From New York with Gratitude: A Volunteer Appreciation Celebration.” This recognition grew out of the efforts of 23 Pace students across all schools, beginning in fall 2020 through Civic Engagement courses and at events sponsored by CCAR, to hand write 791 letters of solidarity that were delivered to Food Bank for NYC clients in West Harlem.
Striving for a World
without Nuclear Weapons
Brooklyn Honors Professors’ Anti-Nuke Work
The New York Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (NYCAN) founded in part by associate professors Matthew Bolton, PhD, political science, and Emily Welty, PhD, women’s and gender studies, has been honored with an award from the Borough of Brooklyn, New York.
Pace Student Addresses the UN
Cindy Kamtchoum ’21 (pictured above), peace and justice studies, spoke to United Nations delegates from around the world when delivering a statement on youth and disarmament. Kamtchoum, who has interned with the Scottish chapter of The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, delivered the statement, authored primarily by Pace political science students, virtually in October 2020.
The Podcasting Advocate
In addition to being a political science student, Kimberly Mars ’23 (pictured above) runs her own podcast, The Root with Kim, which focuses on her experience as a Black woman in America and serves as a platform to highlight and explore society’s inequalities. Kimberly has also taken her advocacy to campus as secretary of the Pleasantville Black Student Union, where she has worked with the Executive Board to organize rallies on campus and discussions about race and diversity at Pace, and to provide a safe space for BIPOC students to talk about their experiences.