December 9, 2010

Skidmore and SUNY Empire State College Faculty Discuss Immigration

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Dec. 9, 2010) “Immigration in the U.S.: Implications for Our Future,” is the topic of a panel discussion with question-and-answer period set for Thursday, Dec. 16, 12-1:30 p.m. at SUNY Empire State College, 113 West Ave., room 143, Saratoga Springs. The panel will include members of the Empire State College and Skidmore College faculties. Sponsored by the Center for Distance Learning Development Committee of Empire State College, the event is open to the public at no charge and will be streamed live at

“It can be argued that American culture as we know it is the history of immigration,” said Sheila Aird, academic area coordinator and assistant professor, Historical Studies, Center for Distance Learning, Empire State College. “Embodied within the push-pull factor that has fueled immigration is racism, which can be connected to the National Origins Act of 1924, which put into place a quota system that favored some over others. Immigration reform has once again hit the United States. Immigrants and non-immigrants alike are taking sides on the issue. We will discuss the implications of proposed immigration legislation on health care, economics and public policy as well as its cultural and social roles. We will tackle a complicated issue, helping us to better understand its broader implications.”

Panelists include:

Mara Kaufmann, N.D., APRN, associate professor, Center for Distance Learning, SUNY Empire State College. Kaufman has been teaching in baccalaureate nursing programs for seven years. She has knowledge, practice and expertise in providing culturally competent social services and health care gained from 30 years of delivering services to legal and illegal immigrant populations in South Dakota, Alaska, Colorado and New York state. Currently teaching nurses throughout New York state, she has the opportunity to learn about and discuss first-hand the impact of immigration on health care.

Pushkala Prasad, Ph.D., Zankel Chair, professor of management and liberal arts at Skidmore College, visiting chair professor of corporate social responsibility at Lund University in Sweden. Prasad has published widely in leading management journals and is the author of “Crafting Qualitative Research” and a co-editor of “Managing the Organizational Melting Pot” and the “Handbook of Workplace Diversity.” Her scholarly interests have included the symbolism of technological change, workplace resistance, the practice of organizational ethnography and diversity management. Her current research focuses on the acquisition of social legitimacy by “illegitimate” industries such as tobacco, beef, gun and legalized brothels, and the changing nature of religious discrimination in the West.

Nazik Roufaiel, Ph.D., area coordinator of accounting and finance, Center for Distance Learning, Empire State College. Roufaiel is a certified public accountant, certified financial manager, certified management accountant, certified fraud examiner and certified internal auditor. She is the active office/section chair of many professional organizations and has received many teaching awards including the Dana Teaching Fellow for Excellence in Teaching and Research. She is widely published. She also maintains a consulting business in financial planning, strategic management, online course design, and international and business taxation with a major focus on the health care field. Roufaiel was born in Cairo and immigrated to the United States in 1980. All of her siblings also are immigrants in the U.S. and Canada.

Robert Turner, Ph.D., associate professor of government at Skidmore College. Turner is the director of the Faculty-Student Reseach Program at Skidmore. He teaches courses in American politics and immigration politics and policy. His research focuses on state politics and economic development policy. He is widely published in professional journals and works frequently with students on topics of interest.

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. Students learn through independent studies, online courses, seminars and residencies. They also may earn credit for prior college-level learning from work and life experience. The college serves more than 20,000 students worldwide online and at 34 locations in New York state. For more information, visit


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