News and Information

Social Responsibility: Whose Responsibility Is It?

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has." — Margaret Mead

Join us for the upcoming interactive forum.

March 19, 2014 — Reading Is Fundamental: Literacy in Our Schools and Around the Globe

Time: 6-8 p.m.

Location: The panels will be located at Empire State College locations across the state and video conferenced to your local center. You can participate in the video conference at any one of the college’s regional centers or watch the live stream on a computer by going to

Reading Is Fundamental: Literacy in Our Schools and Around the Globe

Literacy has great importance to individuals not only for the sake of gaining education and attaining career aspirations, but it is also important for citizens to become life-long learners who will contribute to global development. A panel of faculty, headed by Kevin Woo (Metro), from across the state will address issues pertinent to this topic.

More details will be posted here as available.

Online resources are available for this forum.

"No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance." — Confusius

To Register

Sign up online to attend the forum (either at a center or online) by March 18, 2014. Space is limited.


Contact Kameylah Hakim at 716-686-7800, ext. 3858 or

Panelists for the Upcoming Forum

  • Kevin Woo, mentor in the science, mathematics and technology area of study (Metropolitian Center - Manhattan)
  • Mark Abendroth, mentor, Master of Arts in Teaching, School for Graduate Studies and Metropolitian Center - Manhattan
  • Troy Jones, mentor in the educational studies area of study (Long Island Center - Staten Island)
  • Dianne Ramdelholl, mentor, Master of Arts in Adult Learning, School for Graduate Studies and Harry Van Arsdale Center for Labor Studies

Overview of the 2013-2014 SAC Video-Conferencing Event

“Social Responsibility: Whose Responsibility Is It?” is the central, unifying theme of this year’s Student Activity Committee (SAC) video-conferencing event. The goal is to engage students in the world around them.

In selecting a topic for this year, committee members talked about how students had volunteered when Hurricane Sandy hit NYC, specifically how helping others both rewards volunteers with personal satisfaction and accomplishment, while, more practically, it enhances a resume. The committee also wanted to share ideas about the interdependence of world communities and human beings’ mutual responsibility to each other, as well as create an intellectual environment that heightens awareness of how helping others ensures that future generations can enjoy the benefits of the earth currently taken for granted.

The process of exploring these issues is meant to heighten awareness of the ideals of sustainability and social justice in living standards and education, including literacy, which facilitate access for people to basic information about both their wide world and their own communities to equip them to participate more fully in life.

This year, SAC looks forward to involving students, faculty and others who want to join a discussion of the world around us and our responsibility to it — not just to dialogue, but also to inform participants about how to help both themselves and the planet.

First ESC Social Responsibility Forum Reached Over 120 Students

Held on Nov. 13, 2013, How You Get There is Where You’ll Arrive: Moving Sustainable Thoughts into Action, successfully reached over 120 students across the college. Students participated either at regional centers across the state or online through esc-tv. Facilitators for the forum included: faculty members Kevin Woo (Metro), Linda Jones (NEC) and Karyn Pilgrim (Metro) and Sadie Ross, director of environmental sustainability at Empire State College. Environmental sustainability topics discussed ranged from planting vegetable gardens (eliminates packaging waste, fuel to transport) to living in green apartment buildings (buildings that are energy efficient, have good indoor air quality, used recycled materials for construction). Students and faculty contributed ideas on how individuals can impact the environment.

The main take-away: you don’t have to do all things green all at once, but it’s important to start small and build from there.

Second ESC Social Responsibility Forum

Held on Jan. 28, 2014, Getting By With a Little Help from Our Friends: Volunteerism, allowed students to participate either at regional centers across the state or online through esc-tv. Facilitators for the forum were all from the Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies and included: Kate Spaulding, adjunct porfessor; Sean Keil Broesler, adjunct porfessor; Danny Ferreyra, IBEW journeyman and ESC student; Stephen Flynn, UA LOcal 2 journeyman, adjunct professor and UA course site coordinator. The forum shared stories of heroic and everday efforts of our students and others as NYC and New Jersey faced the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

About the Panelists for the Upcoming Forum

Kevin Woo

Mark Abedroth

Troy Jones

Dianne Ramdelholl

Online Resources for Social Responsibility Forums

March 19, 2014: Reading Is Fundamental: Literacy in Our Schools and Around the Globe

Jan. 28, 2014: Getting By With a Little Help from Our Friends: Volunteerism

Nov. 13, 2013: How You Get There Is Where You’ll Arrive: Moving Sustainable Thoughts into Action