Thursday, September 28, 2017

Gene Bunnell - What Albany can learn from Providence, RI

Gene Bunnell, Ph. D., Associate Professor Emeritus in Geography and Planning will compare Albany and Providence, both state capitals and both cities located on a river. He will discuss planning, development and more at the Albany Roundtable luncheon on Wednesday, October 11 at the National Register-listed University Club, 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street in Albany. The meeting is open to the public.

Gene Bunnell holds a Master of City Planning degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a Ph.D. in Planning Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has held faculty appointments at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University at Albany, State University at New York. He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Smith College, Hampshire College and Vassar College.

Dr. Bunnell is the author of Making Places Special: Stories of Real Places Made Better by Planning (APA Planners Press 2002) and Built to Last: A Handbook on Recycling Old Buildings (Preservation Press 1977). Gene was born and raised in Buffalo, New York.


The cost for the luncheon is $20, which may be paid at the door. The Roundtable also offers its guests the option of paying in advance with a credit card. The University Club will serve a hot and cold buffet from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m., with the program commencing at 12:30. Reservations for the October 11 luncheon are required by Tuesday, October 10 and may be made by prepaying online, by calling 518-992-5360 or by sending an e-mail to albanyroundtable@gmail.com.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Christopher Burke elected President of Albany Roundtable


The board of directors of the Albany Roundtable has elected Christopher Burke of Albany as its President. Burke succeeds Chris Hawver, who was elected in 2013.

The Albany Roundtable is an all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization that presents a unique opportunity for people from around the region and from all walks of life to gather to hear speakers with diverse viewpoints on timely subjects.

Hawver, who serves as Executive Director of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission, will remain on the board as Immediate Past President. Vice President Steve Boisvert of McFarland-Johnson, Inc.; Secretary Penny Vavura of Pierce Communications and Treasurer Eileen Rosen of Keller Williams Realty were re-elected to their posts.

Burke is the fourth president of the civic luncheon forum, which was founded by Paul Bray in 1979. He served as president for 30 years and was succeeded by Colleen Ryan in 2008.

Chris Burke is Executive Director/CEO Northeastern Association of the Blind at Albany, Inc. where he has worked since 2003. Prior to that he served as Director of Business Development for the American Red Cross; Project Manager for the New York State Science and Technology Foundation; and as a Budget Analyst for the New York State Assembly Ways & Means Committee. He serves on the board of NYS Employment Resources for People Who Are Blind; the Blind Employment Network of New York; the University Club Foundation and the Albany Parking Authority. He served previously on the Albany

County Legislature, and holds a Master of Arts in Business from the State University of New York Empire State College and a Master of Arts in Public Administration from the State University of New York at Binghamton.

Burke will preside over the first Albany Roundtable meeting of the 2017-18 season on Wednesday, October 11, when the featured speaker will be Gene Bunnell, author of Transforming Providence: Rebirth of a Post-Industrial City. The lunches are held at the National Register-listed University Club, 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street in Albany. The meeting is open to the public. For more information, or to RSVP visit the Roundtable’s website at www.albanyroundtable.com .


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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Social Studies in Democratic Society - Thursday, June 15

Lawrence Paska, Ph. D., Executive Director of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), will discuss the role of civic education and civic engagement in a democratic society at the Albany Roundtable’s Annual Meeting at the University Club. Evening includes social hour with light fare and open bar, presentation of scholarship and Good Patroon award. Join us! 



Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said, “The practice of democracy is not passed down through the gene pool. It must be taught and learned anew by each generation of citizens.” In June, the Albany Roundtable will welcome the Executive Director of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) as our Visiting Speaker. Lawrence Paska, Ph. D., will discuss the role of civic education and civic engagement in a democratic society at the Albany Roundtable’s Annual Meeting on Thursday, June 15, 2017.

The event is open to the public, and will be held at the National Register-listed University Club of Albany, 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street. The meeting will take place from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., and will feature a social hour with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, a short update on the Albany Roundtable Civic Luncheon Series, the presentation of the Good Patroon Award to journalist, author and educator Paul Grondahl, the presentation the Albany Roundtable Scholarship for Civic Leadership, and a talk by the Visiting Speaker. Tickets are $40 and include light fare and open bar.

“The 2016 elections were marred by hoaxes, misinformation and outright lies – and it appears that many citizens did not have the tools to distinguish reality from ‘fake news,’” said Colleen Ryan, Immediate Past President of the Roundtable and organizer of the event. “Many Americans – especially students – would benefit from a renewed focus on civic education and critical thinking.”

Social studies is at the heart of civic education, as it integrates the study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. Within the school program, the primary purpose of social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world. In essence, social studies promotes knowledge of and involvement in civic affairs. And because civic issues--such as health care, crime, and foreign policy – are multidisciplinary in nature, understanding these issues and developing resolutions to them require multidisciplinary education. These characteristics are the key defining aspects of social studies.

Dr. Larry Paska began his career as a middle school social studies teacher and later served in multiple roles at the New York State Education Department (NYSED). Among his contributions at NYSED were serving as a P-12 state social studies specialist and establishing the Office of Educational Design and Technology in P-12 Education. Prior to joining NCSS , Dr. Paska served as the Director of Professional Development for the Southern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), where he and his team provided instructional programs and services for 32 public school districts in the greater New York City region. He earned a B.A. in History and an M.A.T. in Social Studies from Union College (NY) and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University at Albany (NY).

“The Albany Roundtable has fostered civic engagement across disciplines – and over lunch – since it was founded in 1979,” said Chris Hawver, president of the all-volunteer 501c3 corporation. “We convene meetings so people from around the region and from all walks of life can gather to hear speakers with diverse viewpoints on timely subjects. We hope that those who attend this program will be inspired to participate more deeply in civic life, and create opportunities for young people to become engaged. The future of our democracy depends on it.”

The Albany Roundtable’s previous Visiting Speakers have included Matt Tomasulo, “Chief Instigator” behind Walk [Your City];  Dr. Mindy Thompson Fullilove, author of Urban Alchemy: Finding Joy in America’s Sorted Out Cities; Kaid Benfield (People Habitat: 25 Ways to Think About Greener, Healthier Cities); Jeff Speck (Walkable City); John Norquist (CEO, Congress for the New Urbanism); Janet Flammang (The Taste for Civilization); Colin Beavan (No Impact Man), Jaime Correa (planner, architect and professor at the University of Miami) and others.

Tickets for the reception must be purchased by Tuesday, June 13. For more information or to RSVP, follow this link, email albanyroundtable@yahoo.com or call The University Club at 518-463-1151.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Dr. Carolyn J. Stefanco of The College of Saint Rose - Wed. 4/12

Dr. Carolyn J. Stefanco, the 11th president of The College of Saint Rose, will discuss the institution’s 2020 Strategic Plan and her vision for the future at the Albany Roundtable luncheon on Wednesday, April 12, at the National Register-listed University Club, 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street in Albany. The meeting is open to the public.

This past Fall, The College of Saint Rose welcomed the largest first-year class in its 96-year history, and began implementing its ambitious, new strategic plan called "To the Second Century." It consists of five goals that position Saint Rose for national and international recognition as a comprehensive institution with high-quality, academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Although this is a period of historic upheaval in higher education, Saint Rose remains committed to its founding mission, to student success, and to the Capital Region.

Dr. Stefanco previously served as vice president and chief academic officer at Agnes Scott College in metropolitan Atlanta. Prior to her service there, she held leadership and teaching positions at two institutions in the California State University system, at Wheaton College in Massachusetts, and at Oklahoma State University. Dr. Stefanco earned her doctorate in history from Duke University, a master’s degree in history from Binghamton University, and a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is a trustee of the American University in Bulgaria, is a board member of the Center for Economic Growth, and Hearst’s Women@Work, and serves on the Executive Committee of Albany Promise. She has played leadership roles in many American higher education organizations, and speaks and writes regularly about a variety of educational issues. Her research focuses on women and leadership.

The cost for the luncheon is $20, which may be paid at the door. The Roundtable also offers its guests the option of paying in advance with a credit card at www.albanyroundtable.com. The University Club will serve a hot and cold buffet from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m., with the program commencing at 12:30. Reservations for the April 12 luncheon are required by Monday, April 10. and may be made by prepaying online, by calling 518-431-1400 (the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce) or by sending an e-mail to albanyroundtable@yahoo.com.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Tony Iadicicco of Albany Center Gallery - THU 3/9




Tony Iadicicco is a central, dynamic part of the Capital Region arts community, and has served as Executive Director of Albany Center Gallery since April, 2012. He’ll discuss the Gallery’s four-decade-long history and its plans for the future at the Albany Roundtable luncheon on THURSDAY, March 9 at the National Register-listed University Club, 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street in Albany. The meeting is open to the public.

Albany Center Gallery is a non-profit art space dedicated to exhibiting skillful contemporary art of the Mohawk Hudson region, and building a strong, knowledgeable audience for the visual arts. The gallery recently moved to a new location in Albany’s historic Arcade Building at 488 Broadway. They are a community-based organization supported by city, state, corporate and foundation funds, as well as fundraisers, individual donations and memberships.

Tony was born into a military family and lived on a base in Germany before moving to Niskayuna. He received the Norman S. Rice Arts, Culture and Education Award from the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District in 2014; was named Best Local Artist by Capital Region Living Magazine in 2011; and was designated one of “Tomorrow’s Masters Today” by the Albany Institute of History & Art and Art in 2010. Tony works tirelessly to connect people with the arts and promote the creative development of our next generation of leaders. “I paint to create beauty, working with colors to display movement, emotion, and balance,” he said. “Painting, for me, is a release that allows me to share my experiences and perspective with others - it's my deepest and most satisfying form of expression.”

The cost for the luncheon is $20, which may be paid at the door. The Roundtable also offers its guests the option of paying in advance with a credit card at www.albanyroundtable.com. The University Club will serve a hot and cold buffet from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m., with the program commencing at 12:30. Reservations for the March 9 luncheon are required by Tuesday, March 7 and may be made by prepaying online, by calling 518-431-1400 (the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce) or by sending an e-mail to albanyroundtable@yahoo.com.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Albany HS Students to address Albany Roundtable - 2/8


After a multi-year hiatus, students from Albany High School’s International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme are once again regular guests at Albany Roundtable Luncheons. Learn from a panel of students what Albany High School means to them at a luncheon on Wednesday, February 8 at the National Register-listed University Club, 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street in Albany. The meeting is open to the public.

The IB’s programs are different from other curricula because they:
·         encourages students of all ages to think critically and challenge assumptions;
·         develop independently of government and national systems, incorporating quality practices from research and the global community of schools;
·         encourage students of all ages to consider both local and global contexts; and
·         develop multilingual students.

Presented from the perspective of students and not administrators, a panel of young people will host a data-informed dialogue on Albany High School. The panel will be moderated by senior David Powell, a member of the School’s Community Engagement Team who was inducted into the National Honor Society in 2016. He has attended Albany city schools for the whole of his educational career.


The cost for the luncheon is $20, which may be paid at the door. The Roundtable also offers its guests the option of paying in advance with a credit card at www.albanyroundtable.com. The University Club will serve a hot and cold buffet from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m., with the program commencing at 12:30. 

Reservations for the February 8 luncheon are required by Monday, February 6 and may be made by paying online, by calling 518-431-1400 (the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce) or by sending an e-mail to albanyroundtable@yahoo.com

Read a review of their talk: