March 27, 2013

SUNY Empire State College Student Forum to be Featured on C-SPAN’s BookTV

C-SPAN2's BookTV logo(NEW YORK CITY – March 27, 2013) – C-SPAN2 will feature an interactive presentation with students of SUNY Empire State College’s Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies and Les Leopold, executive director of The Labor Institute, and author of "How to Make a Million Dollars an Hour: How Hedge Funds Are Siphoning Off America's Wealth" (Wiley, 2013), this Saturday, March 30, at 3:30 p.m. on BookTV.

Leopold’s presentation was part of “Food4Thought,” an ongoing student-led public affairs forum held at the Center for Labor Studies and recorded on March 11. More than 75 students, faculty and staff participated in the session.

“Les Leopold was fun to listen to,” said student Priscilla Ehly, who also is an apprentice with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 3. “He shared specific details about corruption and hypocrisy in the world of finance and he generated a lot of interest in the topic among students. I hope he continues to reach out to young, union audiences.”

Ehly facilitated the question and answer portion of the program.

“The college’s students at the Center for Labor Studies, who work full time as electricians, plumbers, carpenters and public school paraprofessionals are among the most engaged members of our student body,” said Meg Benke, acting president of the college. “Many students enthusiastically participate in the opportunities for intellectual exploration and discussion that we make available for them outside the classroom. The “Food4Thought” program is part of a vibrant college community for both students and faculty at the Center for Labor Studies and promotes an important aspect of a strong liberal arts education.”

"We have been facilitating “Food4Thought” for nearly three years now and these forums have had a tremendous impact on the ways in which our students engage with the issues of the day and their classroom studies,” said Michael Merrill, dean of the college’s Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies. “Students really do come to see the connection between what they learn in their economics, sociology, history or literature classes, what they read about in daily newspapers and what they discuss during “Food4Thought.” It is exciting for us to watch them make these connections and satisfying for our students." 

Earning an associate degree is an explicit part of the requirements for an apprentice in IBEW Local 3 and “Food4Thought” forums take place during breaks between classes.

The program will be repeated and updates on dates and times of repeats will be available on BookTV.

About BookTV

Each weekend, Book TV features 48 hours of programming about non-fiction books and authors and coverage of book events beginning Saturday at 8 a.m. EST and ending Monday at 8 a.m. EST.

C-SPAN2 provides live coverage of the U.S. Senate. BookTV is the name given to programming on weekends and at other times when the Senate is not in session.

About the Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies

The college has had a special relationship with the labor movement from its inception, and the Center for Labor Studies, formed in 1971, the year the college was founded, was a product of that relationship.

Renamed in 1986 to honor Harry Van Arsdale Jr., who was instrumental in its creation, the Center for Labor Studies’ purpose always has been to provide trade unionists and other wage-earning adults access to a college education in a learning environment that celebrates and builds on their experience and achievements.

Labor studies students are largely union members, staff or officers, as well as human resource professionals, managers and those with an interest in labor/management relations in both the public and the private sectors.

Onsite and Online Options

Undergraduates can plan degrees in labor studies through the college’s Van Arsdale Center for Labor Studies, located at 325 Hudson St., NYC, which includes one-to-one work with a faculty mentor and group study, or flexible online learning through the college’s Center for Distance Learning.

The Master of Arts in Labor and Policy Studies is designed for unionists, human resource professionals, arbitrators, educators, journalists, political activists, lawyers and those involved in government for private industry.

The primary concentration for this program is on current problems and policies generated by changes in the global economy, technology, the workforce and the workplace. This degree is only offered through the college’s School for Graduate Studies and requires a combination of online study, weekend residencies and one-to-one work with a faculty mentor.


Media contact: David Henahan, director of communications

518-587-2100, ext. 2918

518-321-7038 (after 5 p.m. and on weekends)