SUNY Old Westbury to serve as host for SUNY/CUNY Undergraduate Research Conferences

Purple SUNY-SURC logo

This event was canceled as a result of the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The State University of New York at Old Westbury will host one of two conferences this spring that showcase undergraduate work of SUNY students.

The Sixth Annual SUNY/CUNY Undergraduate Research Conference (SURC) will take place at Old Westbury on April 24. The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry will host the other SURC on April 4. SURC is a multidisciplinary event that brings together undergraduate students and faculty mentors from across the SUNY/CUNY system for a day of activities. The deadline for students to present proposals for consideration is Friday, March 13.  Information on presenting during SURC and attending the conference is available on the SURC 2020 website.

“Seeing the presentations of students and hearing of the work they’ve done to engage larger questions about our environment, our humanity and more is always an interesting experience,” said College President Calvin O. Butts, III.

Portrait of Dr. MusilThe keynote for SURC 2020 at SUNY Old Westbury will be Dr. Robert K. Musil, president and CEO of The Rachel Carson Council. Founded in 1965, The Rachel Carson Council is a national environmental organization that combines scientific concern for the environment and human health with a sense of wonder and reverence for all forms of life in order to build a more sustainable, just, and peaceful future.

“We are very excited to be bringing as notable a speaker as Dr. Musil to our campus,” said Dr. Cristina Notaro, assistant dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. “With the theme of Earth Day 2020 being climate action, his work and research into global sustainability will offer a timely discussion on issues related to science, society and more for the students joining us for the conference.”

The SURC program includes sessions devoted to student presentations (oral, artistic displays, and posters), a luncheon, keynote speakers, a SUNY Graduate School Fair, and professional development workshops for students and for faculty.

SURC is supported by the SUNY Offices of the Chancellor, Provost, and Research Foundation, as well as SUNY student and faculty governance organizations. All undergraduate students engaged in research and their mentors across SUNY and CUNY are invited to attend.

More about Dr. Robert K. Musil

Dr. Musil is also a Senior Fellow and Adjunct Professor at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, School of Public Affairs, American University, where he teaches about climate change and American environmental politics. Dr. Musil specializes in contemporary global sustainability, security, and health issues, as well as Cold War history, culture, and policy He also has been a Visiting Scholar at the Churches’ Center for Theology and Public Policy, Wesley Theological Seminary, where he taught about religious responses to global warming and security threats.

From 1992-2006, Dr. Musil was the longest-serving Executive Director and CEO of Physicians for Social Responsibility, where he helped launch the organization’s environmental program in the early 1990’s and led PSR campaigns for safe and affordable drinking water, clean air, and to prevent toxic pollution and global climate change.