Binghamton University develops course in response to recent flooding


BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – In the aftermath of devastating flooding that sent thousands of residents into shelters and caused millions of dollars in damage to the Southern Tier, Binghamton University faculty have developed a new service learning internship course that they’re hoping will help both students and the community reflect and learn from the experience.

The two-credit course, titled, “Community in Recovery: Southern Tier NY After the Flood of September 2011,” will offer undergraduates the opportunity to volunteer in the local community as well as participate in a series of six broad-based seminars on topics related to the crisis and the response to it. The seminars are free and open to anyone – including the general public and those who are not registered for the course.

University faculty members will frame the issues from perspectives in a variety of disciplines including psychology, geography, geology/environmental studies, public administration, and leadership studies. They will be joined by community professionals, who will speak about the disaster within the local context. Students will reflect on the information and their experiences through discussions, short papers and a reflective personal essay at the end of the course.

Seminars will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays from Oct. 12 through Nov. 16, in Academic A building, room G008.

The seminar schedule includes:
Oct. 12: Psychological Impacts of Natural Disasters
“Trauma, Coping, and Resilience,” presented by:
Steven Lynn, professor of psychology, and director of the Psychological Clinic; and Anne Malaktaris, doctoral student in psychology.
Community participant: Keith Leahey, executive director of the Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier.

 Oct. 19: Socio-Economic Implications of the 2011 Flood
“Social Vulnerability to Natural Disasters: Does Binghamton fit the Model?” presented by:
Mark Reisinger, associate professor of geography, and Kevin Heard, assistant director of Binghamton University's global information systems (GIS) Core Facility.
Community participant: Tarik Abdelazim, director of planning, housing and community development for the City of Binghamton

Oct. 26: Emergency Response and Recovery – a panel discussion
Panelists include:
Tim Faughnan, chief of police and incident management team leader at Binghamton's Events Center.
Community participants:
- Greg Jenkins, flood relief coordinator of the First Presbyterian Church of Conklin.
- Major Ron Lee of the Salvation Army.
- Rebecca Snow of the Red Cross

Nov. 2: Flooding Factors and Environmental Impact
“The Nature of the Flood:  Flood Frequency and its Implications for Flood Planning,” presented by:
Peter Knuepfer, associate professor of geological sciences, and director of the Environmental Studies Program.
Community participant:  TBA, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.

Nov. 9: NGO Response to Community Crises
“Nonprofit Organizations and Disaster Relief: Lessons from 9/11,” presented by:
David Campbell, associate professor of public administration.
Community participant:  Alan Hertel, executive director of the United Way of Broome County, Inc.

Nov. 16: Crisis and Leadership
“Leadership During Crises,” presented by:
Shelley Dionne, associate professor in the School of Management; and Julia Lucia, student.
Community participant: Diane Brown, executive director of the Community Foundation of South-Central New York.


Last Updated: 9/17/13