Graduate Studies Week, Nov. 9 to 12, will feature several virtual panel discussions featuring national speakers and local leaders on topics ranging from social media and disinformation to disruption in schools caused by COVID-19.

The week will offer programs that will appeal to undergraduate, graduate students, faculty, staff, community members and alumni. Sessions are open for registration and are free of charge.

Tina McCorkindale, the chief executive officer for the Institute of Public Relations, and Marcia DiStaso, chair of the University of Florida’s department of public relations, will discussCommunication Matters: From Facebook to Tik Tok - Understanding the Influencers in the Social Media Environment and How to Stop the Spread of Disinformation” at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 9. Moderators will be Lindsay McClusky of Oswego’s communication studies faculty and Stephanie Herbert, a 2018 Oswego graduate who is now a graduate student in the college’s strategic communication master’s program and the current marketing and communications coordinator at Syracuse's Museum of Science and Technology (MOST).

With 38 percent of CEOs reporting that social media and online influencers will be the most valuable component of their company’s communications strategy in the future, this discussion looks at data and observations from social media managers. The expert panelists also will touch on the role of social media in the spread of disinformation, including a practical guide and 10-point checklist to help people think before they link.

“Representation Matters: ‘I Need Someone that Gets Me!’ A Discussion with Mental Health Professionals of Color” will take place at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 10. People of color make up about 37 percent of the American population, but only 14 percent of American psychologists. Representation in the mental health profession can present problems when patients are seeking therapists who can understand and/or share their experiences. This panel will provide insight into the importance for representation and cultural competence, recommendations for training mental health counselors, specific tools for therapy sessions and insight for on-going professional development and support.

Panelists will include Cara Plasencia and Tekhara Watson of SUNY Oswego’s Counseling Services Center; Zoya McCants, who runs McCants Training and Consultation; 2015 graduate and independent counselor Stephanie DeMarsh Gamboa; and Linzy Andre, a doctoral student at Syracuse University. Michaela Williams, a graduate student in Oswego’s mental health counseling master’s program, will moderate.

School work

At 4 p.m. Nov. 10, “Leadership Matters: Leading our Schools: School Safety, Cohesiveness, and Productivity Through Constant Disruptions” will look at how, during the COVID pandemic, school leaders have been tasked with extraordinary responsibilities, from providing remote instruction to meal delivery to virtual intervention services and much more.

A wide-ranging panel will include 2011 Oswego graduate Tolga Hayali, superintendent of Science Academies of New York; 2012 graduate Eva Williams, principal of Van Duyn Elementary School in the Syracuse City School District; 1997 and 2008 graduate Corey Mitchell, associate principal of Ithaca High School; 2003 graduate Jeff Pirozzolo, superintendent of Auburn City School District; 2005 graduate Patricia B. LaBarr, superintendent of schools, Watertown City School District; 2013 graduate Stacey J. Eger-Converse, assistant superintendent for instruction, Watertown City School District; 2001 and 2015 graduate Brian Hartwell, superintendent, Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES; and 1991, 1995 and 2007 graduate Carrie Plasse, executive director of elementary education and accountability, Oswego City School District. Co-moderators are 1998 graduate Melinda Ervay, assistant superintendent of instruction for the Weedsport Central School District, and Laura Spenceley, associate dean of graduate studies.

“Experience Matters: School Counselors Give Advice from the Field” at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11, will explore how education has worked to incorporate a stronger focus on the needs of the whole child, including mental and behavioral health, as the field of school counseling has had to adjust to better meet the needs of children, families, and school communities. 

Panelists will include 2011 and 2017 graduate Ryan Warner, career and technical education school counselor for Oswego County’s Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation; Elizabeth Biondo, school counselor, Onondaga Jr./Sr. High School; 2019 graduate Annalise Winkler, school counselor, Watertown City School District; 2013 and 2019 graduate Ciera Leflore, school counselor, Corcoran High School in the Syracuse City School District; and Oswego school counseling graduate student John Daney.

Panel presentations will wrap up with the 3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, session “Research Matters: Biomedical Informatics Strategy in Combating COVID-19.” As the COVID pandemic provided a reminder of the importance of data management strategies that empower leaders, stakeholders and consumers to make good decisions with imperfect data, experts in biomedical health informatics will share their perspectives and experiences in building data models that inform the public and trusted communication strategies. 

That panel will include Kevin Kurzinski, IT project manager, St Joseph's Hospital; 2016 and 2018 graduate Chris Bartlett, data analyst for Nascentia Health; and Isabelle Bichindaritz, director of Oswego’s biomedical and health informatics graduate program.

Graduate Studies Week will also offer sessions focused on helping potential graduate students find the right program and navigate the admissions processes.

  • "Pathways to a Career in School Psychology,” 7 p.m. on Nov 9
  • “Applying to Graduate School: What Do I Need to Know?” at 1 p.m. on Nov. 12
  • “Preparation Matters: GRE Tips and Tricks with Sharon Griffin,” 5 p.m. on Nov. 12

The week will conclude by recognizing the achievements of those nominated for Outstanding Graduate Student Awards, Outstanding Mentor Awards and the 2020-2021 Diversity Fellows.

In addition, the Division of Graduate Studies invites others to express gratitude to students, faculty, staff, family and friends by posting notes, photos and brief videos to its special Kudoboard any time during the week. The effort recognizes that individuals who express gratitude on a regular basis have higher levels of optimism, physical well-being, and determination. We recognize that these are essential qualities for graduate students.

For information on how to register for these free events, visit the Graduate Studies Week website.