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Clarkson Honors Students Tackle Emergency Services Consolidation Issue For Town And Village Of Potsdam

Clarkson University’s Honors Program students are used to looking at problems from many different angles and teaming up to come up with a solution.  Now, they are putting what they’ve learned in the classroom to good use, using real-world answers to tackle a real-world problem for the Town and Village of Potsdam.

Over the course of the fall semester, students in the “Disaster Mitigation” class have been exploring the feasibility of consolidating Potsdam’s government services and emergency response systems into one single complex to be built on Main Street.  Their findings will be presented on Tuesday, December 7, at 7 p.m. in Room 160 of the Clarkson Science Center.  The public is invited and refreshments will be served.

The project – organized by Professors Thomas C. Young (Civil & Environmental Engineering), Brian F. O’Neil (Business) and Stephen Doheny-Farina (Technical Communications)-- was inspired by two recent events: plans for the Potsdam Rescue Squad to construct a new facility next to the fire station, and the Ice Storm of 1998.

The Disaster Mitigation class formed three groups to explore the issue: government services, emergency response and proposal development.  At the start of the semester, all three groups sat down with representatives of the Town and Village governments, as well as representatives from the fire and police departments, and rescue squad for a panel discussion. 

Each group then went to work investigating the issues surrounding a possible consolidation and arriving at a solution.  As part of their research, the groups distributed surveys throughout Potsdam to gauge residents’ thoughts on the issue.

The honors students will present their project results at the Dec. 7 meeting.

Focusing on current and emerging problems in science, technology and society, the Clarkson University Honors Program offers special academic challenges and opportunities for the University's most promising students. The program is small and personal, enrolling no more than 35 students per class year.  It fosters collaborative relationships between exceptional students and faculty; offers specially developed classes and research experiences; and engages fully its members in the intellectual life of the University.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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