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“We’re a community based think and do tank. So we provide research, advocacy, and communications to a wide variety of community partners [which] unite under this umbrella and this mission really of creating a just, sustainable and culturally vibrant Buffalo. So it’s a really dynamic group of organizations that we try to provide backbone support for in ascertaining and identifying community needs and then providing needed support to accomplish the individual goals and then also do what is right for a more equitable Buffalo…”

Megan Connelly, Elisabeth Preisinger, & Lidia Snyder

In this episode, Megan Connelly, Director of Policy Advancement for the Partnership for Public Good; Elisabeth Preisinger, a recent second-year student placed at the Partnership; and Lidia Snyder, the field educator who supervised the placement, discuss the experiences of a social work student placed in a macro-oriented, inter-professional setting.

Megan Connelly serves a dual role as associate director for the Cornell ILR High Road Fellowship Program as well as director of policy advancement for the Partnership for the Public Good. Admitted to practice in New York, Megan is a graduate of the SUNY Buffalo Law School. She previously worked at Neighborhood Legal Services on the Homeless Task Force in Buffalo, at the Youth Justice Project in South Bend, Indiana, and for the University at Buffalo Office of Civic Engagement and the University’s Regional Institute. She believes that her own service experiences as an undergraduate at the University of Notre Dame helped to shape her values, interests, and ultimately her career path. She likes to provide similar transformative opportunities for students to engage with and learn from the community.

Elisabeth Preisinger is originally from the Albany area. She graduated from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN in 2011 with a Bachelors of Social Work. Between college and graduate school, she spent some time in Washington, DC, the San Francisco Bay area, and Europe before landing in Buffalo. She graduated from the UB School of Social Work in May 2015. Elisabeth now works as program associate for Open Buffalo, a civic engagement initiative in downtown Buffalo.

Lidia J. Snyder received a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters of Social Work from the University at Buffalo. She has worked in child welfare and juvenile justice over the past 20 years. Recognizing the injustice of children passing from the child welfare system to the juvenile justice system and on to adult corrections inspired Lidia to become involved with the Prison Yoga Project and Liberation Prison Yoga. She teaches trauma-sensitive yoga in various settings across Western New York. Lidia serves as an adjunct faculty member at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work supervising MSW students in non-traditional settings. She is also a board member of the Erie County Restorative Justice Coalition.

Interviewer: Laura Lewis, PhD

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