On Tuesday, February 26, SUNY and CUNY joined together for Boosting the Power of SUNY and CUNY: A Celebration of Graduate Research. The SUNY Faculty Senate sponsored the event.
At the symposium, participants got to hear from several distinguished speakers including Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy – himself a Monroe Community alumnus, Board of Trustees Chairman Carl McCall, Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, SUNY Vice Chancellor for Research & President of the Research Foundation Timothy Killeen, and Faculty Senate President Ken O’Brien about the strength and skill of SUNY graduate student research.
Chancellor Zimpher said, “This annual event in which our graduate students showcase their newest discoveries and innovation in New York’s capital city is a fantastic opportunity not just for our students and the faculty who mentor their research but for all who attend.”
While there, we got to talk to some the students presenting. One of them was Cassandra Boucher-Kjelland, who recently completed her degree in social policy from Empire State College. Her research looked at the policy implications of health care reform legislation and whether it does in fact lead to increased access to health insurance for Americans. She was able to work under the advisement of Dr. Barry Eisenberg and Dr. Peggy Tally. Although some findings of her research have yet to occur (because aspects of the Affordable Care Act have yet to be enacted), she was still able to draw some conclusions regarding the implementation and overcoming the barriers of such legislation.
Steven Kassierer of the College at Brockport also presented his research relating to the manifestation of mental illness and chemical dependency following diagnosis of chronic and severe physical illness and whether there is a psychological threshold that needs to be met for mental illness and chemical dependency to occur. Using a sample of 300 cases, he was able to find that 40% of cases reported a combination of chronic/severe physical illness, mental health diagnosis and chemical dependency; 50% of cases reported a combination of mental health diagnosis and chemical dependency; and, 73% reported a combination of mental health diagnosis and chronic/severe physical illness. An attorney for twenty years, Steven came back to pursue a Masters degree in Brockport’s Department of Counselor Education. He will be graduating from Brockport this May and hopes to continue his graduate studies in a counseling field.
For more information on the event, including the full list of campuses and graduate researchers can be found here.
Emily Schwartz is the Coordinator of Open SUNY Communication and Projects.