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SUNY Erie’s Men of Merit host first edition of Distinguished Speaker Series at City Campus

Article by: Michael Farrell

BUFFALO—SUNY Erie Community College’s Men of Merit Program—established to foster excellence, distinction and integrity in the school’s male African-American, Hispanic and Native American students—kicked off its 2017-18 Distinguished Speaker Series with psychiatric professional Dr. Jeffrey Grace inside the College’s City Campus Auditorium on October 11.

Dr. Grace, an attending physician at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center and an assistant professor of Psychiatry at the University of Buffalo, presented the topic, “The Psychology of the African-American Male” for an early afternoon crowd of more than 50 participants. Delivered through a combination of lecture, group discussion and issue-driven breakout sessions—dissecting such questions as “what are the top three attributes that make a man a man”—Dr. Grace conducted an instructive session that afforded all in attendance the opportunity to reflect on the realities of life, the importance of decision-making, and pursuing a purposeful direction in life.

SUNY Erie’s Men of Merit program provides ambitious minority male students the chance to pursue excellence through a wide array of services designed to maximize academic success; and the opportunity to chart a course to graduation often hindered by poverty, crime and unemployment within local and national minority communities. Members have access to advisers, mentors and leaders—from both SUNY Erie and the school’s extended community—who strive to prepare students for college success. 

Program members also have access to a support network comprised of vital SUNY Erie-guided services like academic readiness workshops, crisis counseling and career development necessary to achieve their desired goals. With this backing and a strict adherence to the aforementioned program tenants of excellence, distinction and integrity, members are guided to stay in college, advance academically and serve their community, as they become the men they aim to be. 

The next edition of the Distinguished Speaker Series will feature Bernie Tolbert, retired special agent with the FBI now running for Erie County Sheriff. Mr. Tolbert will speak at SUNY Erie City Campus on Wednesday, November 1 at 11:00 a.m. For more information on this event or ECC’s Men of Merit Program, please call (716) 851-1939 or email Dr. Marvin Wilson at wilsonma@ecc.edu.

Since 1946, Erie Community College has met the needs of a diverse student body while contributing to the economic vitality of Western New York. As a member of the state’s SUNY system, the three-campus college provides flexible, affordable and accessible educational programs in an accommodating academic environment. Equipped with the knowledge of these programs, ECC’s faculty, staff and students strive to enrich their host communities through skill, service and partnership. For more information, visit www.ecc.edu or call (716) 851-1ECC.

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