February 14, 2013

SUNY Empire State College Presents Dramatic Reading of Stories by Author and Faculty Mentor Robert Congemi

Robert Congemi

Robert Congemi

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Feb. 14, 2013) – A dramatic reading of stories written by SUNY Empire State College Northeast Center faculty Mentor Robert Congemi is set for Sunday, Feb. 24, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m., at 2 Union Ave., room 126, Saratoga Springs. A 1 p.m. reception with refreshments will precede the reading.

The program, “Robert Congemi: Selected Shorts,” will be presented by three of the college’s faculty mentors, Cindy Bates, Elaine Handley and Nadine Wedderburn.

Congemi will make comments at the conclusion of the reading about fiction writing. He believes its function, as well as the function of all imaginative literature, is to present universal problems, rather than to solve them.

Congemi is the author of several works of fiction including “In These Times-A Quartet of Short Stories,” four books of stories; and “The Millennium Trilogy,” three novels.

"Get the situation correctly and honestly on the page," said Congemi. "Fiction writers are not--at least not directly--social scientists, psychologists, or religious ministers of one kind of another." Congemi also states, “Fiction should have appeal and sophistication for the serious reader--an aspiration as old as Ovid--and deal with the very real, universal enough so that the fiction doesn't age."

An Albany resident who has taught at the college for more than 40 years, Congemi was born in Brooklyn and raised there and on Long Island. He has long been attracted to ideas describing life as “absurdist and indeterminate,” but also has held out for the possibility that these ideas are not necessarily correct. He is interested in people’s attempts “to bring meaning and beauty into their lives, as well as resistance to what they feel is an unacceptable fate.”

Congemi, along with Northeast Center Mentor Karen Garner, who organized the event, are the two recipients of the 2012-13 Scholars Across the College award. Congemi’s award is based on his teaching, mentoring and writing and was made by a committee comprising members of the college’s Office of Academic Affairs and the Office of Adult Mentoring and Learning.

This program, now in its 12th year, supports faculty mentors to travel around the college in order to share their ideas, research, creative work, reading, writing and professional activities.

About SUNY Empire State College

SUNY Empire State College was established in 1971 to offer adult learners the opportunity to earn associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the State University of New York.

In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career. Students engage in guided independent study and course work onsite, online or a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to learn at the time, place and pace they choose.

The college serves more than 20,000 students worldwide at more than 35 locations in New York state and online. Its 66,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.