October 29, 2015

Graduate Student and Alumna Layla Abdullah-Poulos ’10 Named a 2015 Capital District Leadership Council on Inclusion Award Recipient

Left to right: Sandra Barkevich, Pat Myers, Layla Abdullah-Poulos and President Merodie Hancock

Layla Abdullah-Poulos ’10, a current graduate student and part-time employee of the college, is a recipient of the 2015 Capital District Leadership Council on Inclusion Award.

She is pursuing a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies and Advance Graduate Certificates in Women’s and Gender Studies and American Studies.

Her graduate work focuses on adult learning, the educational experiences of women of color and the emergent socio-cultural identities of native-born American Muslim women.

A proponent for the enrichment of higher education through diversity, she plans to continue her work as an educator.

The Leadership Council on Inclusion award nomination form states: “Nominees should have exhibited an exceptional commitment to diversity and multiculturalism, including developing programs, designing assessment of programs, or improvement initiatives targeting multiculturalism.”

Abdullah-Poulos is the founder and current president of the SUNY Empire State College Minority Students in Action Club.

She creates and supports club events and collaborations with other clubs that focus on student success. “Student-Mentor Relationship Forum” and “End of the Term Luncheon,” are two recent examples of her club leadership.

She established and facilitated a series of webinars, featuring presentations by students and faculty, for those students unable to participate in events face to face.

Abdullah-Poulos co-facilitates a college film and discussion series that provides a venue for students to explore and discuss the many racial and ethnic experiences that comprise American culture.

She was invited to participate as a panelist on the college’s Forum on Race and Policing and as a speaker at the collegewide Men of Color Symposium, where she addressed the effects that incarcerated parents have on the lives of their children.

Abdullah-Poulos is a recipient of the 2014 Empire State College Student Service Award for her work with students as a peer-tutor for the college’s Women of Color and Prior Learning Assessment Workshops.

Abdullah-Poulos was nominated by her colleague and fellow graduate student and alumna Sandra Barkevich ’13, ’14.

Her award was presented at LCI’s annual ceremony, held this year Thursday evening, Oct. 22, at the College of Saint Rose.

The next day, Poulos attended SUNY Empire’s annual student academic conference in Albany, where she was congratulated by President Merodie A. Hancock, Barkevich and Patricia Myers, the college’s director of collegewide student services.

The LCI also recognized Bidhan Chandra, student mentor and associate professor in Business, Management and Economics at the college, as a recipient of its award in 2013.

Founded in 1990, LCI is a membership group of public and private colleges and universities located in communities surrounding Albany, N.Y.

The award is open to member presidents, faculty, staff and students.

Part of the group’s mission is to “… enhance and promote diversity and multicultural programs at educational institutions and agencies in the Capital Region of New York state.”

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