Mary Caroline Powers
Vice President for Communications and Government Relations Mary Caroline Powers has been at SUNY Empire State College since 2000. She began her tenure with the college as assistant to the president and, in 2008, was named a vice president.
As vice president, Powers is responsible for Connections, the college’s alumni magazine; as well as dissemination of news and information about the college to external and internal constituencies. The office highlights students, alumni, faculty, staff, events and programs to enhance the image and understanding of the college’s impact through media, public officials and community leaders. In addition, Powers oversees audio and video services, including web streaming, video production and still photography; communication plan development, including media and social media management; design; and writing and editorial support for internal and external college projects, publications and the college website. Her responsibilities also include a full-service print shop for all printing and copying needs and related services across the college; as well as special events planning, support and management. Powers also works with lawmakers and elected officials on planning and funding initiatives.
Before joining the college, Powers was a prominent journalist, editor, script writer, producer and anchor in print and broadcast media. She served in roles at WMHT Television (PBS), Schenectady, N.Y; Saratoga Summer magazine, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; The New York Network, Albany, N.Y.; Empire State Report: A magazine of politics and public policy, Albany, N.Y; National Trade Publications, Latham, N.Y; The Saratogian newspaper; Broadcast News Networks, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; WTEN (ABC), Albany, N.Y.; WRGB (NBC); and WGY radio, Schenectady, N.Y. She also taught for the University Without Walls at Skidmore College and at the high-school level; and has been a manuscript editor for regional history and popular culture books.
Powers has received numerous public honors, including the Saratoga Today newspaper Woman of Distinction Award; Adirondack Girl Scout Council Outstanding Woman Award; NYS Women’s Press Club Hall of Honor inductee; NYS Publishers Association first place for public service journalism; and Soroptimist International of Saratoga County, Outstanding Woman of the Year. She also received Best of Gannett Awards for special project reporting and column writing; Associated Press awards for column writing, spot news reporting and in-depth reporting; a first-place United Press International Northeast Regional Award, Outstanding Television Reporting; had an entry in “Outstanding Young Women in America;” and was Schenectady County Community Ambassador to Peru.
Powers is an indefatigable volunteer in the Saratoga Springs, N.Y. community for a wide range of organizations, including as chair of Stewart’s Foundation Make Your Own Scholarship Committee; Saratoga Springs Centennial Committee member and chair of the Education Committee; member and past president of Soroptimist International of Saratoga County; Executive Committee member of the Saratoga County Cooperative Extension Board of Directors; chair of the Saratoga County 21st Century Commission Education Committee; member of the Women’s Press Club of New York Executive Committee; chair of Earth Day Community Clean Up; and Broadcast News Emmy Awards judge.
Powers received her master’s in Educational Communications at the University at Albany of the State University of New York and her bachelor’s in Education, with a concentration in English, at Rosary Hill College. She completed additional graduate work at Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations; Fordham University, Lincoln Center Campus; University of Madrid; Siena College; and Russell Sage College.