Yager Hall, Hartwick College valley view from Oyaron Hill

Institute of Public Service

The Hartwick College Institute of Public Service is dedicated to strengthening democracy across the region by serving as a hub of collaboration and innovation between state and local government, and through civic engagement and legal studies.

Next Generation of Public Servants

A nonprofit, nonpartisan, regional political community, the institute seeks to educate the next generation of public servants and inspire legal professionals and government officials to meaningfully engage in our democracy through three supporting areas: Local and State Government, Civic Engagement, and Legal Education.

Hartwick College Trustee Larry Miller '73 announced a quarter million dollar matching gift to the Institute of Public Service. He believes gifts to the Institute leave a lasting legacy of a stronger democracy and a more resilient country. As a result, when you support our work your gift will be doubled.

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US Representative NY-District #19 Marc Molinaro Visit

US Representative Marc Molinaro visited in February 2024 to talk with students and answer their questions about public service work.

US Representative Marc Molinaro speaking with Hartwick College students about public service
US Representative Marc Molinaro speaking with Hartwick College students about public service
US Representative Marc Molinaro speaking with Hartwick College students about public service

2024 Leslie G. Rude Memorial Lecture

Mike McIntire ’85, P’13, P’21
Investigative Journalism and Democracy

Learn More

Mike McIntire speaking in Anderson Theater, Hartwick College
Mike McIntire speaking in Anderson Theater, Hartwick College
Mike McIntire talking with Hartwick College Interim President, James Mullen

2024 High School Essay Competition and Award Ceremony

Featuring Lt. Government Delgado
Learn More

The Hartwick Institute of Public Service High School Essay & Video Competition panel discussion lead by Institute co-director Zachary McKenney
Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado makes closing remarks at the The Hartwick Institute of Public Service High School Essay & Video Competition Awards Ceremony & Panel Discussion at Hartwick College
The Hartwick Institute of Public Service High School Essay & Video Competition Award recipients with Institute co-directors Laurel Elder and Zachary McKenney

2023 Constitution Day Talk

New York State Assembly Member Jen Lunsford ’04
“We The People” Includes You

View Lecture Recording

Hartwick College Institute of Public Service Constitution Day Talk delivered by Jen Lunsford '04, New York State Assemblymember for the 135th Assembly District
Hartwick College Institute of Public Service Constitution Day Talk delivered by Jen Lunsford '04, New York State Assemblymember for the 135th Assembly District
Hartwick College Institute of Public Service Constitution Day Talk delivered by Jen Lunsford '04, New York State Assemblymember for the 135th Assembly District

LOCAL AND STATE GOVERNMENT

Hartwick students on the floor of the NY State Assembly, Albany , NY

Career Networking and Mentoring

The institute offers a range of local public service based internships and career opportunities. It also hosts events that encourage public servants in all branches of government to connect and engage with young people.

Hartwick College students with Professor of Political Science Laurel Elder

Problem Solving

Through projects embedded into course material. Hartwick students are able to work directly with local elected officials to formulate potential solutions and policy recommendations.

James Seward, Former NY State Senator and Hartwick College alumnus

Continuing Education and Professional Training

Offering meaningful professional training opportunities for local elected officials, the institute offers continuing education courses on a variety of topics such as financial management, municipal leadership, and the legal framework of towns and villages.

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

Hartwick College student asking question during forum discussion

Creative Civic Engagement Programs

The institute sponsors civic engagement programs to ensure that students and community members are informed about local, state, and national political issues. Events are designed to increase participation in elections and to promote debate on important issues using civil discourse.

Anthony Delgado speaking with students at Hartwick College

Debates and Visits by Elected Officials

A catalyst for candidate forums, debates, and visits by elected officials, the institute hosts debates for public offices and offers students and local elected officials opportunities to engage and learn from one another. All candidate forums are bipartisan and all candidates and viewpoints are welcome.

Hartwick College students on the Hartwick campus on election day celebrating casting their vote.

Voter Registration and Turnout Activities

To increase turnout and registration, the institute conducts voter drives on campus and in the community. Programs and resources are developed to increase participation and to ensure that all voters are informed about issues on the ballot. The institute also partners with the Otsego County Board of Elections to provide poll worker training for students.

Hartwick student asking a question during a lecture on campus

High School Outreach

Working closely with civics, history and government K-12 teachers and guidance counselors, the institute creates initiatives and activities to promote civic engagement and dialogue.

Hartwick political science professor Laurel Elder speaking with David Axelrod during community forum

Speaker Events

The institute hosts high profile speaker events, including Hartwick’s annual Constitution Day and Leslie G. Rude Memorial lectures. The speaker series is open to all community members, including local high school students.

Stories About Our Work

Hartwick Institute of Public Service Leadership Council Members Announced

The Institute of Public Leadership Council will draw on their areas of expertise to strengthen and bring greater visibility to the institute’s 2024-25 programming.

Trailblazing Hartwick Student Becomes First on City Commission

Sarah Matumbura '26 appointed to the Commission on Community Relations and Human Rights.

Generous Gift to Help Ignite Passion for Public Service

Interim President Jim Mullen unveiled a quarter-million-dollar matching gift for the Hartwick Institute of Public Service, generously pledged by Hartwick College Trustee Raymond “Larry” Miller ’73.

Institute of Public Service Announces Inaugural Essay Competition Winners

Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado congratulates area high school and Hartwick students.

Hartwick College Institute of Public Service Officially Launched on National Voter Registration Day

Hartwick College President Darren Reisberg officially launched the Institute of Public Service, a nonpartisan political institute focused on strengthening democracy…

New Hartwick College Institute of Public Service

New Institute will strengthen democracy across the region by collaborating with state, county, and local governments, preparing young people to be engaged and informed citizens, and providing legal programming and professional development.

Hartwick Institute of Public Service Leadership Council

Matt Chase ’93, CEO/Executive Director of the National Association of Counties

Geoffrey Corn ’83, Killam Chair of Criminal Law and Director of the Center for Military Law and Policy, Texas Tech University School of Law, professor of law and U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel (Retired)

Carlo A.C. de Oliveira ’02, Member of the law firm Cooper Erving & Savage LLP in Albany, NY

Jennifer Givner ’99, Director of Media Relations and Communications at New York State Thruway Authority

Randy L. McCullough ’86, Hartwick College Trustee, Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, the New York State Funeral Directors Association

Mike McIntire ’85, Pulitzer Prize Winning Investigative Journalist at The New York Times

Larry Miller ’73, Hartwick College Trustee, former CEO of Northern Composites, New Hampshire Budget Committee member and Select Board member

Matipa Mutoti ’20, Masters of Public Policy at American University, Legal Analyst.

James Seward ’73, H’99, Former New York State Senator

Joanne Dittes Yepsen ’80, former two term mayor of Saratoga Springs and Co-Founder of Public Affairs Firm Yepsen & Pikulski

"By being elected to 17 terms in the State Senate, I know firsthand how important civic engagement is to a strong democracy. The Institute is strengthening our democracy by promoting civic and political involvement and the civil discussion and debate of the important issues of our times."

James L. Seward '73, H"99

New York State Senator

“Being a part of Hartwick’s Institute of Public Service has been an amazing experience. I’ve met and worked with so many wonderful people and wouldn’t trade my time here for the world!”

Michael Christian '24

Institute of Public Service Intern
Political Science & Business Administration Double Major, Computer Science Minor

"I am excited at the prospect of Hartwick’s Institute of Public Service becoming a propelling mechanism to Oneonta’s best and most inclusive governance; one that is informed and made more vital by the engagement of our student community."

Mark Drnek

City of Oneonta Mayor

"Hartwick College’s Institute for Public Service is inspiring and preparing the next generation of public servants at a time of great need and opportunity. Hartwick’s Institute is also providing an essential forum for state and local innovation, collaboration and relationship building."

Matt Chase '93, CEO/Executive Director

National Association of Counties

"The new Institute of Public Service is a great way to get young professionals first hand exposure to day-to-day public service and give to the community they’re spending their time in, while adding a great resource for local government to tap into new ideas and experiences."

Skylar Thompson '19

Oneonta Town Council

LEGAL EDUCATION

Hartwick students with visiting lawyer for campus networking experiences

Legal Professionals Network

The institute supports a network of Hartwick alumni and legal professionals to support our legal studies and criminal legal system programs.

Lawyers discussing human rights cases during panel discussion at Hartwick College

Continuing Education

The institute provides continuing education for judges and other legal professionals.

Hartwick College students with Professor of Political Science Laurel Elder

Legal Preparation

Offering a robust range of interdisciplinary courses, programming, and opportunities, the institute supports Hartwick students interested in exploring careers in law.

Our Co-Directors

Laurel Elder

Professor of Political Science and Department Chair
607-431-4887

Matthew Chick

Assistant Professor of Political Science & Pre-Law Program Coordinator
607-431-4611

Zachary McKenney

Assistant Professor of Sociology
607-431-4894

Hartwick College Institute of Public Service

Hartwick College
Departments of
Political Science, Law, and International Relations & Sociology, Criminology, and Human Services
Let us know how the Institute can partner with you to strengthen our democracy.
instituteofpublicservice@hartwick.edu