September 19, 2012

SUNY Empire State College to Host Presidential Expert Panel and Political Exhibit

(SYRACUSE, NY Sept. 19, 2012) “Why Vote: Poster, Politics, and Propaganda,” an exhibit in honor of the presidential election year, will open  on  Sept. 27,  at SUNY Empire State College, 6333 State Route 298, East Syracuse.

The evening commences at 5:30 p.m. with a panel discussion focussing on presidential elections, campaigning and messaging, followed by a reception and viewing of the exhibit.

Panel discussants will include Steve Greenberg, former communications director for former New York State Comptroller H. Carl McCall, who is the current chairman of the SUNY Board of Trustees; Bob Bellafiore, former New York State Governor George E. Pataki's first press secretary and later deputy chief of staff; and Mark Soderstrom, chair of the college’s Master of Arts in Liberal Study. 

The exhibit will feature posters, pins and other campaign memorabilia dating back to the JFK/Nixon election.  

“I know students and guests will learn a lot from our expert panel and from viewing the exhibit,” said Nikki Shrimpton, dean of the Central New York Center. “We are excited that Steve and Bob have agreed to share their time and knowledge with our community, and Mark does such a wonderful job explaining the history of the electoral college.”

For more information about the event, contact Assistant to the Dean Michael Mancini at 315-460-3142 or

About Steve Greenberg and Bob Bellafiore

Steven Greenberg and Bob Bellafiore each bring nearly 30 years of experience at senior levels of government, politics, journalism, public relations, public affairs and business. They are two of New York state’s most respected communications professionals and are particularly well known inside Albany’s policy and political circles. They have been friends since attending the University at Albany together, graduating in 1982.

Since 2006, Greenberg and Bellafiore have appeared regularly together as “The Insiders” on YNN's popular public affairs program “Capital Tonight.” They also appear regularly on “The Capitol Pressroom” with Susan Arbetter, a statewide daily radio show on state government and politics that originates from WCNY in Syracuse. 

Journalists from state and national publications regularly seek out their insights on government and politics. They also have presented on political campaigns, political strategy, government and communications to numerous college classes, professional conferences, luncheons and other gatherings.

Greenberg founded Greenberg Public Relations after a 20-year career in state government, during which he served as press secretary to Assembly Speakers Saul Weprin and Mel Miller, and as communications director for McCall. His clients include businesses, nonprofits and numerous other organizations. He is the political pollster for the Siena Research Institute at Siena College. He also has been a campaign manager, communications director and senior adviser for numerous local and statewide political campaigns, including races for governor and state comptroller.

Bellafiore was an Associated Press political reporter before joining The Business Council as communications director in 1991. He then served as Gov. George Pataki’s first press secretary and later deputy chief of staff for policy and planning. Bellafiore helped start the charter school program in New York and served as president of SUNY’s Charter Schools Institute. He later served five years as a member of the SUNY board of trustees. After leaving government, he led the public affairs team  at Eric Mower and Associates, and this year formed Stanhope Partners, a strategic communications and consulting firm based in the Capital District. He was a senior adviser to Pataki's successful re-election campaigns and also to Sen. Alfonse D'Amato's unsuccessful 1998 re-election effort.

About Mark Soderstrom

Mark Soderstrom has a Ph.D. and an M.A. from the University of Minnesota history department, and a B.A. from Metropolitan State University. He has worked with the Twin Cities’ Queer Oral History Project, the Minnesota Historical Society’s Greatest Generation Project and the West Bank Public History Project. He has published in the areas of history of science and race, labor and oral history.

His research interests include cultural and intellectual history, especially issues related to race, gender and sexuality. His tutoring interests include cultural theory, U.S. popular culture and arts, history of science, U.S. history (especially class, gender, race and labor), public history and oral history.



Media Contact

David M. Henahan, Director of Communications
518-587-2100, ext. 2918

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