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A Message From OAA: SUNY Empire Connects Launched

Updated: Jun 29, 2020

This post contains edits. Original posted by the SUNY Empire Office of Academic Affairs, on March 24, 2020.

As our community fully transitions to a distance learning mode, there has been an outpouring of good will as people look for ways to support students and meet their emerging needs in this uncertain time. The establishment of the COVID-19 Educational grant is an excellent example of a real-time response supporting students with financial need.

Social isolation, stress and anxiety is yet another emerging area of concern expressed by our students and their families. In response to this need, SUNY Empire Connects, a collaboration between students, staff, and faculty is currently under development and is intended to provide our student community with multiple live, virtual-engagement opportunities over the coming weeks. The launch was March 25.

Edit: The planning committee for SUNY Empire Connects is composed of:
  • Seana Logsdon, Senior Director for Academic Success

  • Ashley Mason, Assistant Director of Student Success Initiatives

  • Dr. Rhianna C. Rogers, Assoc. Professor, SUNY Empire State College and Ernest Boyer Presidential Fellow, Rockefeller Institute of Government - Center for Law and Policy Solutions

  • Sammie Maitland, member of the Student Affairs Committee and the Student Leadership Institute

In this video, Sammie Maitland and Dr. Rogers discuss useful resources during SUNY Empire Connects kick-off.

As President Malatras mentioned Friday evening, SUNY Empire Connects will cover a broad range of topics, many of which are family friendly, in an attempt to connect with students throughout each day. Sessions will be held in the following broad categories:

  • Academic Study Skills.

  • Arts and Culture.

  • Employment and Financial Wellness.

  • Physical and Emotional Wellness.

  • Q & A Drop-in Hours with College Offices.

  • Student-to-Student (virtual coffee hours, subject specific peer support, etc.)

In this video, Dr. Rogers discusses with her students how to make sense of the COVID-19 spread.

Edit: Click HERE to know more about Sammie Maitland and Seana Logsdon and their involvement in SUNY Empire Connects

Beginning March 29, a weekly schedule will be released each Sunday afternoon in an effort to help students and their families plan their weeks. We are seeking presenters and/or facilitators in any of the categories mentioned above. If you are interested in participating in this outreach to our students, please submit an event form at (link is external).

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact or for more information.

Thanks in advance for your support and creativity.

Tai Arnold

Interim Vice Provost for Student Success

Office of Academic Affairs

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