Due to the success of the Year of the Arts, Buffalo State President Aaron Podelefsky announced at his State
of the College address that the 2012-2013 academic year would follow suit and be known as the Year of the
"The College definitely feels it is more a part of the community than just an isolated place in Buffalo," said
Marcia Burns, secretary of the school of natural and social sciences. "People from the community come to
acts in Rockwell and events on campus. It just feels like a natural segway to go make the next academic year
the Year of the City."
Mark Severson, dean of the school of natural and social sciences, said there are three things the college is
looking to accomplish with the Year of the City: celebrate the things it does in the community, enhance what
it does in the community and welcome the people of Buffalo to campus.
"All the different ways that we connect with the city, we want to celebrate that," Severson said, "which
means we are going to publicize it to make sure that it gets wider around the city."
One of the ways the college will be looking to accomplish this is by working with the volunteer and service
learning center and people from the sociology department who are very involved with the Massachusetts
Avenue Westside Projects, said Kelly Boos, assistant dean of natural and social sciences. Massachusetts
Avenue Westside Projects is a community service organization that takes rundown lots and turns them into
community gardens, a process called urban farming.
"Year of the City is not only about giving back to the city, but it also involves a whole bunch of different
areas, religious communities, arts communities and public agencies," Boos said.
Other such partnerships the college will be looking to promote are those with cultural organizations like the
Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, the Buffalo Museum of Science and the Buffalo Zoo. Businesses
the college works with for internships and environmental and sustainability organizations will also play a
part in next year's events.
Although there is currently no planned schedule of events for Year of the City, Severson said the college will
expand on their programs and develop a calendar of events in September.
The college will not be waiting until next year, however, to continue its work with local students.
Last week, children from the Buffalo area were invited to the Sports Arena for "Kids Night Out," an event
where kids got the chance to play games and engage in activities with Buffalo State student athletes.
Likewise, last month the college hosted several third and fourth grade classes from Buffalo Public Schools
for the "I Am College Bound" program to encourage kids to take an interest in their education.
"By really emphasizing it on campus, we will encourage people to develop new relationships with
organizations in the community," Severson said.
Michael Marden can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.