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Many Voices, One Call Podcast

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What is Many Voices, One Call?

It is the podcast you did not know you wanted! It is a space for courageous, honest, open, and unscripted conversations about diversity, equity, inclusion, teaching, learning, and all the other things that move us. It is where students, faculty, staff, leadership and community guests reinvent higher education one episode at a time.


Since its days as a Dutch settlement in the midst of Mohawk country, Schenectady has been a place where different cultures met upon one another. One of the most recent examples for such a meeting of diverse peoples is the arrival of large numbers of Guyanese and Guyanese-Americans who moved here from either New York City's Richmond Hill district in Queens, or from Guyana itself, in the early 2000s.

But what do we actually know about our Guyanese neighbors? On this episode, co-hosts Alexandre Lumbala and Dr. Babette Faehmel are joined by SUNY Schenectady students Deviyani Singh, Varsha Gopilall, and Parsram Pernanand, and by SUNY Albany University's Dr. Alejandra Bronfman, Professor in the Department of Latin American, Caribbean & U.S. Latino Studies, to learn more. You are invited to join us in this conversation that at times took us into rather unexpected territory.

Please note: The views voiced on this episode reflect the lived experiences and uncensored opinions of the guests; they do not necessarily capture the full diversity of attitudes within a larger community, nor do they express an official view of SUNY Schenectady.

Want to learn more? Research on the Guyanese community in Schenectady is still rather scarce. But for one in-depth look at the impact of these communities on Schenectady and the Capital District, see Tyler Bellick; Michael Barton; Samantha Friedman; and Matthew Douglas, "Guyanese Immigration, Homeownership, and Crime in Schenectady, NY: 2000–2017. City & Community, October 08, 2022.

What is A.I.? What is a Large Language Model? How does it matter for teaching and learning? And will A.I. inhibit or help the acquisition of knowledge? These are essential questions that suddenly came to the fore in the winter of 2022 when OpenAI released its seemingly magical "ChatGPT" for beta testing to the public.

On this episode, new (!) student co-host Alexandre Lumbala and Dr. Babette Faehmel discuss the significance of A.I. for education with an impressive panel of guests! From SUNY Albany's AI+ Initiative, we are joined by Dr. George Berg,  Associate Professor of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity; Dr. Justin Curry, Associate Professor of Math and Statistics; Dr. Alessandra Buccella, Assistant Professor of Philosophy; and Dr. Rukhsana Ahmed Associate Professor for Communication. In addition, we will hear from SUNY Schenectady's very own Professor of Cybersecurity Keion Clinton, and Director of Library Services, Jackie Keleher.

The recording of this episode was possible thanks to the School of Music’s - and in particular Sten Isachsen’s – continuing generous support with the technical details. Music students Luke Bremer, Jacob DeVoe, Jean-Vierre Williams-Burpee, Rowan Breen and Evan Curcio helped with editing, mixing, and recording. Heather Meaney, Karen Tanski, and Jessica McHugh Green deserve credit for promoting the podcast, and the SUNY Schenectady Foundation for its financial support.  Last but not least, we want to thank Vice President of Academic Affairs Mark Meachem and College President Steady Moono for supporting our work.

From air pollution due to Canadian wildfires, to heat waves and floods, New Yorkers are increasingly feeling the effects of the global climate crisis. Yet while we all shared the experience of sweating through the hottest summer since record keeping began in the early 1900s, the effects of the climate crisis are not distributed equally. Please join podcast host Dr. Babette Faehmel, Math Science and Technology students Ryan Szepek and Abhishek (“Abhi”) Sharma, C-Step Director Dr. Lorena Harris, and local climate advocates Vicky Michela and Michael Richardson, to learn more about the links between climate, equity, and social justice.

The recording and editing of the podcast was possible thanks to Sten Isachsen and the School of Music. A special thanks goes to Rowan Breen and Jean-Vierre Williams-Burpee for help with recording and editing of this episode. Further thanks go to the SUNY Schenectady Foundation for financial support, the ReaCh Initiative Leadership team, the Student Mentoring Program, the Student Government Association, and the Student Activities Advisor.

For tickets to the “March to End Fossil Fuel” and to learn more about the Capital Region Climate Network, go to

To learn more about “New York Renews” – “a coalition of over 360 environmental, justice, faith, labor, and community groups … and the force behind the nation’s most progressive climate law,” go to:

To learn more about “Climate Can't Wait” – a “collaborative of organizations that have joined together to demand that the New York State legislature and the governor take urgent and bold action on climate,” go to:

For a couple of years now, legislators in a number of states have proposed - and at times passed - legislation aimed at restricting what topics and subjects should be allowed in K-12 history classes. Many of these efforts are aimed at controlling how much students should be permitted to learn about so called “divisive concepts”: race/racism, the history of sexuality, or LGBTQIA+ experiences. Recently, the state of Florida attempted to extend these efforts to regulate academic freedom into higher education, and although a federal appeals court, in March 2023, declared the "Stop W.O.K.E. Act" unconstitutional, many educators and academic freedom advocates fear for the future of honest classroom discussion and research.   

For this first student-produced and moderated episode of Many Voices, One Call, history concentration majors Grace, Alexa, Roman and Jessabelle interviewed educator and equity advocate Thearse McCalmon, Professor of History Dr. Dean Bennett, SUNY Schenectady student and former history teacher Joseph Berlant, as well as William Ernst and Michael Asbury with the organization Braver Angels about what the current debate on teachable topics in history might mean for learning, teaching, and academic speech. 

The recording and editing of the podcast was possible thanks to  Connor Raab and Sten Isachsen at the School of Music. Heather Meaney, Karen Tanski, and Jessica McHugh Green deserve credit for promoting the podcast. We are grateful for the SUNY Schenectady Foundation's continuing financial support. Further thanks go to the School of Music, the Division of Liberal Arts, and the REACH Initiative at SUNY Schenectady.

This has been a project for the course HIS 250-01: Topics in History: The American Revolution, at SUNY Schenectady (Spring 2023) 

Podcast artwork created by Alexa Powers.

According to the Pew Research Center, more than 70% of Americans regularly use social media. Most of us rely on Google, Instagram, Facebook, Reddit or YouTube for information. But how do we know the information we get from these internet giants is reliable? What drives misinformation? What makes us susceptible to it? Are we too gullible? And how can educators make sure that all students have the information literacy to navigate an increasingly complex and often confusing media landscape? Join podcast host and Professor of history Dr. Babette Faehmel and her guests, Professor or Arts and Media at SUNY Empire State College, Thomas Mackey; Professor of Communication at SUNY Schenectady Rae Doyle; and the SUNY Schenectady students Nate Friedman and Cody Lewis, for a discussion of how disinformation functions to keep power structures intact, how it works on our psyches, and why we need to close the digital divide to eliminate a key equity hazard.
This episode is brought to you by our generous friends at C2 Design Group a regionally and nationally recognized architecture firm located in Schenectady, New York. They are designers, architects, partners and guides working toward a shared purpose to create spaces that support their client’s goals. Visit to learn more about their work.
Mixing and editing of this episode was made possible by SUNY Schenectady's Music students Aidan Farley and Aidan Bachorik.
For further reading:Head, A. J., DeFrain, E., Fister, B., & MacMillan, M. (2019). Across the great divide: How today’s college students engage with news. First Monday, 24(8).
Head, A. J., Fister, B., Geofrey, S. & MacMillan, M. (2022). The project information literacy retrospective: Insights from more than a decade of information literacy research, 2008-2022. Project Information Research Institute.
Mackey, T. P. & Jacobson, T. E.'s Metaliteracy blog (
Mackey, T. P. & Jacobson, T. E. (2022) Metaliteracy in a connected world: Developing learners as producers. Neal-Schuman/ALA Editions. Mackey, T. P. & Jacobson, T. E. Eds. (2019) Metaliterate learning for the post-truth world. Neal-Schuman/ALA Editions.

When it comes to the topic of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, we often focus on all those things we are not doing. But what are we doing that is working? What are the practices, policies, and opportunities that our students want because they see them as essential to their success? On this episode, join co-hosts Babette Faehmel, Professor in the Division of Liberal Arts, and Amira Stevens-Salih, student in the Business, Criminal Justice and Law Division, to learn about "the moves that matter."This episode features guest contributors Interim Chief Diversity Officer Alicia Richardson, Math and Science student Sara Nava, Student Government Association President Jennifer Diaz-Diego, SUNY alumnus and current Delhi student Arthur Echevarria, as well as Val, President of SUNY Schenectady's Pride Alliance, Vice President of the Student Drama Club, and Student Tutor.
SUNY School of Music students Aidan Bachorik and Aidan Farley recorded, edited, and mixed the episode.

In April 2022 the Mohonasen Senior High School’s track and field team took a stand against racial bias. When they learned that fellow students of color, especially Black athletes, were unfairly targeted under a New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) policy banning hair adornments, Zionna Perez-Tucker, Bonnieta Supaul and Zoe Miller-Graham took action. 

Join host Babette Faehmel, Professor of History, and this episode’s co-host Tiombe Farley, Interim EOP Director, to get the inside scoop about how a small group of determined students, with support of their Coach Bill Sherman and other allies, changed institutional policies by standing together and refusing to back down – even at the risk of forfeiting a chance to win.

We were joined in the studio by Zionna Perez-Tucker, Bonnieta Supaul, Zoe Miller-Graham, and Bill Sherman! It was a special honor!

For over a year now, teams of SUNY Schenectady faculty, staff, and administrators, have been meeting to research and discuss key topics in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. On this episode, join host Babette Faehmel, Professor in the Division of Liberal Arts, to learn about important insights from these professional development teams. 

This episode features Tiombe Farley, Director of the Educational Opportunity Program, and lead of the team “Allyship,”  and the co-leads of the team “Racial Equity,” Dawn Jones, Assistant Director of Career Services, and Michelle Ragucci,  Director of Academic Services.

For our earlier conversation about “Microaggressions” and “Decolonizing the Syllabus” please see episode one of Season 2!

For a literature guide created by our wonderful librarians at the Begley Learning Commons see the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion page!

If you are a current student at SUNY Schenectady and interested in co-hosting, please contact Dr. Babette Faehmel at

Nationally, about one in every four community college students is a parent. Most of them are single mothers, and more than half are women of color.  Compared to their non-parenting peers, these students are performing exceptionally well. Student parents are more likely to have a GPA of 3.5 or higher than students without dependents -- an accomplishment especially remarkable if one considers that they have on average only 10 hours left for sleep and homework, once class, work, and childcare is done.
Student parents are also, unfortunately, nearly twice as likely to leave college without completing their degrees. 
In this episode, host Babette Faehmel is joined by student parents Amira Singletary and Amira Tracy Stevens-Salih, to discuss what students with small children need to succeed and complete college. Special guests of honor are the smallest members of the Singletary family, Aliyah, Ameen, and Amillian.

For further information and statistics, see: 

For information on the Integrated Laboratory Preschool at SUNY Schenectady, visit the Preschool website and see below:

  • The process to enroll is:
    1.  Call 518-381-1455 and speak with Justina, the Head Teacher,
    2. Schedule a visit, and 
    3. complete application paperwork.
  • The hours are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • The MONTHLY rates are:  
    • Student FT - $500 (now eligible for DSS)
    • Staff - $600
    • Community - $700 (now eligible for DSS)
    • Part time All (4 hours or less a day) - $300

Special thanks to Tamara B. Calhoun, M.S. Ed., Tenured Professor, Early Childhood Education; Mark Bessette, Assistant Dean of Financial Aid & Access; and Stacy M. McIlduff, Vice President of Development & External Affairs. 

If you are a current student at SUNY Schenectady and interested in co-hosting, please contact Dr. Babette Faehmel at

Join host Professor Babette Faehmel and student cohosts Val and Zia for a discussion of what real inclusion means for LGBTQI+ and Trans* students, of  what makes a space a truly safe one for non-binary people, and of how to be an effective ally. 
Val and Zia are the President and the Vice President, respectively, of SUNY Schenectady's Pride Alliance. They are joined by Pride Alliance advisors Jacquie Keleher, Director of Library Services, and Mykha'el Wilson, Accounting Instructor in the Division of Business, Criminal Justice and Law, as well as Justice Dazzle, Transgender Activist, Poet, and author.

The theme for Black History Month 2022 is “Health and Wellness.” On this episode, hosts Jennifer Malave and Babette Faehmel are joined by Lakeia Bowman, Associate Director of Workforce Wellness, SEAT Center; Carol Maimone, Medical Coding and Billing Instructor, SUNY Schenectady; Marcus Henderson, graduate of the SUNY Schenectady Community Health Worker Program; and Marla Corpus, Student in the Belanger School of Nursing at Ellis Hospital. Together, they discuss the important role of diversity and equity in STEM education and preparation of the health care workforce. 

 To connect with Marcus Henderson and/or CEK RN Consulting, call 518-334-2254 or by email at

For information about the Community Health Worker Certificate Program at SUNY Schenectady, contact the program coordinator Michelle Kraines, Workforce Development and Community Education, at and visit the Community Health Worker webpage.

For information about SUNY Schenectady’s partnership with the Belanger School of Nursing at Ellis and the Nursing A.S. please visit the Nursing partnership webpage or contact Sharon Smalls, Division Secretary, Math, Science, Technology and Health, at or by calling 518-381-1267.

For over a year now,  teams of SUNY Schenectady faculty,  staff, and administrators, have been meeting to research and discuss key topics in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. On this episode, join hosts Jennifer Malave, recent SUNY Schenectady graduate, and Babette Faehmel, Professor in the Division of Liberal Arts, to learn about important insights from the work of two of these professional development teams. 

This episode features the leads and contributing members of the teams “Microaggressions” and “Decolonizing the Syllabus” Alicia Richardson, Interim Chief Diversity Officer, Rae Doyle, Professor of Communication in the Division of Liberal Arts, and Dr. Maggie McLellan Zabielski from the Division of Math Science and Technology. Stay tuned for a follow up episode with the leads and members of the teams working on “Allyship” and “Racial Equity” later on in the season.

Books mentioned in this episode include:

  • Kendi, Ibram X,  How to Be an Antiracist (New York: One World, 2019)
  • Emdin, Christopher, For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood ... and the Rest of Y'all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education. (Boston: Beacon Press, 2017)

International students and English Language Learners struggle with many of the same issues as all our students, and benefit from the same supports. Some of their experiences, needs, and strengths, however, are unique! In this episode, co-hosts Jennifer and Babette are joined by students Nittaya Casey, Sara Nava, and Davie Penid, to talk about living in two worlds at once, culture clash, home sickness, and the challenge of focusing on assignment deadlines when loved ones at home are suffering electricity blackouts or even military coups. They also discuss what professors and staff ought to know about International students and English Language Learners to help them reach their full potential.

A special thanks goes to guest contributor Donna Corbisiero, Associate Professor of English and faculty advisor of the International/English Language Learners Club, who proposed the topic. Our regular contributor Dr. Imari Shaw, Assistant Professor in the Math, Science, Technology, and Health Division helped in the planning and production of this episode. As always, the School of Music, and most especially Assistant Professor Sten Isachsen, made possible the recording and editing of this episode.

The concept of neurodiversity is based on the idea that our brains are just as diverse as our cultures and languages, and that this diversity is not something we should see as a deficit or pathology. In this episode, co-hosts Jennifer and Babette are joined by guests Janine Kruiswijk, Executive Director of the Autism Society of the Greater Capital Region, NY, and SUNY Schenectady's Susanna Adams, Coordinator of ADA Transition Services, and Kim Otis, Associate Professor in the School of Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism. The team will discuss what neurodiverse students need and want, to feel they belong, are seen, and set up for success. 

SUNY Schenectady HCAT student Melissa Deal assisted in the production of this episode. School of Music students Dawson Betrand, Michaela Staie, and David MacLeod helped us to record and  edit this episode. 

Please feel free to consult the  Autism Society of the Greater Capital Region's website for further information on the topic.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion, is a stated moral imperative at SUNY Schenectady, but there are also clear economic benefits. In this episode, hosts Jennifer and Babette are joined by featured guests Jason Benitez, Vice President, Talent, Diversity and Inclusion at the Capital Region Chamber, Student Senator Sara Nava, and regular contributor Dr. Imari Shaw, Assistant Professor in the Math, Science, Technology, and Health Division, to discuss how local businesses and organizations have adopted DE&I practices and about what institutions of higher education can learn from the corporate world's efforts to recruit and retain a diverse workforce.

Many Voices, One Call is sponsored by our friends Key Bank: helping students at SUNY Schenectady unlock their possibilities for more than 25 years!

School of Music students Dawson Bertrand and Michaela Staie made possible the recording and editing of this episode.

How do you create an environment where diverse students, faculty and staff feel they belong, are appreciated, and can not only persist, but thrive? In this “Spotlight” episode, Interim Chief Diversity Officer Alicia Richardson talks about her role, what she learned as a teacher, on “Academic twitter,” and as an advocate for diverse students, faculty, and staff.

Many Voices, One Call is sponsored by our friends Key Bank: helping students at SUNY Schenectady unlock their possibilities for more than 25 years!

School of Music students Andrew Gluck, Dawson Bertrand,  David MacLeod, and Michaela Staie made possible the recording and editing of this episode.

Vaccine hesitancy is real and it is not necessarily based on politics, or misinformation. Informed skepticism is part of science literacy and important for navigation of a complex world. But as we currently see on the topic of COVID vaccines, access to reliable information and research skills are not equitably distributed amongst all of us! In this episode, hosts Jennifer and Babette are joined by Dr. Imari Shaw, Assistant Professor in the Math, Science,  Technology, and Health Division at SUNY Schenectady; information literacy expert and librarian Caroline Buff;  Damonni Farley, director of community outreach for the Schenectady City School District; and students Lindsay Feulner and Jaiwattie Mentor, to discuss the reasons behind COVID vaccine hesitancy, and how public health ultimately depends on our willingness to work for a common good without resorting to patronizing messaging or shameing tactics.

How did School of Music (SOM) faculty and students respond and adapt creatively to the COVID crisis? What does the future of classical music education at SUNY Schenectady look like under the new Strategic Plan? In this episode, hosts Jennifer and Babette talk with current and former SOM faculty, alumni, and new Dean Dr. Christopher Brellochs, about innovative approaches to teaching at a time of crisis, and their vision for enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion in a discipline long seen as narrowly focused on the works of Western European composers and styles. The episode also introduces the newest project of Mark Evans and Brett Wery at the Avaloch Farm Music Institute in New Hampshire, where they were joined by SOM graduates and emerging artists Areli Mendoza-Pannone and Robert Frazier. 

Only 10% of all professionals working in Higher Education identify as Black or African American. In episode 2 of Many Voices, One Call, co-hosts Jennifer (SGA President) and Babette (History Professor) talk with their guests, College President Dr. Steady Moono; Professors Dr. Imari Shaw and Keion Clinton; and Damonni Farley, Founder of Common Thread Consultants and member of the college's Board of Trustees, about how they, as Black professionals operate in spaces in which "whiteness" is often not just the numerical, but cultural, norm.

In Season 1, episode 1, co-hosts Jennifer (SGA President) and Babette (History Professor) talk with guests Destany and Adam (students), as well as Imari and Rae (faculty) about "One Year of Pandemic Learning."