May 5, 2014
Prof. Desalyn De-Souza Named an Altes Prize Co-recipient for Exemplary Community Service
Smiles grace the faces of Nikki Shrimpton, dean of the college’s Central New York Center, Desalyn De-Souza, holding her Altes Prize for Community Service, and Jane Altes, for whom the prize is named. They gathered at the recognition ceremony for De-Souza, who is a 2013 co-recipient of the prize.
(SYRACUSE, N.Y. – May 6, 2014) Desalyn De-Souza, a faculty mentor in Community and Human Services and Human Development, has been selected as a co-recipient of the SUNY Empire State College Altes Prize for Exemplary Community Service.
De-Souza was recognized for her many contributions to the education, understanding and development of infant and preschool children, supporting and educating those working in the field of early-childhood education, and advancing the profession throughout the city of Syracuse, Onondaga County and Central New York.
“Desalyn leverages her research, teaching and professional commitments for the benefit of the greater Central New York community. She is most deserving of the honor and recognition reflected in Empire State College’s Altes Prize,” said Merodie A. Hancock, president of the college. “Each year, the college receives nominations from throughout the state, but only Empire State College’s most accomplished faculty, who apply their scholarship to the practical needs of their communities, receive the Altes Prize. All of us at Empire State College take great pride in Desalyn’s achievements and congratulate her for her work.”
De-Souza was recognized for her work with Onondaga County Department of Health’s Healthy Families program, specifically for her contributions to Syracuse Touchpoints, a component of the overall county program. Syracuse Touchpoints’ mission is to strengthen parent-child relationships through a child-centered system of care.
“Desalyn De-Souza believes that how we behave as adults has much to do with our early childhood experiences,” said Nikki Shrimpton, dean of the college’s Central New York Center. "Her service to the community is a real, heartfelt and driven endeavor to make child care within Onondaga County better. In improving child care, Desalyn also helps to make our communities better. We are so proud of Dr. De-Souza for all her accomplishments.”
Desalyn De-Souza, a 2013 Altes Prize co-recipient, is joined at the recognition ceremony by her husband Geraldo De-Souza and daughter Clara.
De-Souza also was recognized for her service on the Syracuse Association for the Education of Young Children board of directors, for her contributions as a member of the New York State Early Childhood Advisory Council’s Workforce Development Work Group and for establishing the Syracuse Touchpoints collaborative, a group of professionals, like De-Souza, who train others in Touchpoints.
As an organization, the collaborative works to promote cooperative relationships between parents and service providers in order to encourage optimal child development, healthy and functional families and competent and healthy service professionals.
Thanks to De-Souza and her colleagues in the collaboration, more than 500 people in Onondaga County who work with children and their families have been trained in this approach.
“As co-recipient of the 2013 Altes Prize for Community Service, it is a privilege to accept this award,” said De-Souza. “For the past seven years, the Syracuse Touchpoints collaborative has worked towards creating a community within Onondaga County that supports children and families during the critical years of infancy and toddlerhood. The education principles and assumptions upon which the Touchpoints approach is based parallel that of the faculty-student mentoring model at Empire State College. I am honored to work with an amazing team of colleagues both at Empire State College and within my local community.”
She created college curriculum to address the Touchpoints approach, which demonstrates her ability to combine her professional expertise with her position as a faculty mentor for the benefit of the college’s students and the greater Central New York communities she serves.
The Altes Prize celebration, an evening of family fun, mirrored De-Souza’s work. The event was presented in conjunction with the Syracuse Association for the Education of Young Children and featured crafting tables for children, locally made ice cream and magicians.
SAEYC supports the development of professionals in order to promote quality care and education for the well-being of all young children and their families. It also advocates for young children and early childhood education.
About Desalyn De-Souza
She holds a B.A. in psychology from Siena College, a Master of Science in Education, adult education, from Le Moyne College, and a Ph.D. in child and family studies from Syracuse University.
About the Altes Prize
Named for Jane W. Altes, former long-time vice president of academic affairs and interim president of the college, the Altes Prize is awarded by the college annually to recognize exemplary community service by a college faculty member who applies his or her academic expertise to address important community issues.
Another of the Central New York Center’s faculty is a co-recipient of the 2013 Altes Prize. Peggy Lynn was honored at a previous event.
About SUNY Empire State College
SUNY Empire State College was established in 1971 to offer adult learners the opportunity to earn associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the State University of New York.
In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career. Students engage in guided independent study and course work onsite, online or a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to learn at the time, place and pace they choose.
The college serves more than 20,000 students worldwide at more than 35 locations in the state of New York and online. Its 70,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more. More information about the college is available here.
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