CSTEP Staff Advocate for Medaille Students on New York State Student Advocacy Day

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CSTEP Staff Advocate for Medaille Students on New York State Student Advocacy Day

Posted by Medaille University Office of Communications

Dr. Dejan Karlovic and Madison Boehler

On February 14, staff members from Medaille University’s Collegiate Science & Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) traveled to Albany to participate in the annual Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities in New York (CICU) Student Advocacy Day. Senior Grants Officer & Director of Medaille’s CSTEP Program Dejan Karlovic, Ph.D., ’18 and CSTEP Program Coordinator & Specialized Tutor Madison Boehler spoke with New York State legislators regarding the upcoming budget vote, and they advocated for Medaille students and for a 20% increase in funding for CSTEP programs.

“Advocacy Day is our opportunity to speak with state legislators about our program and the amazing things we do to help support our students as they pursue their dreams,” says Dr. Karlovic. “We use this time to advocate for more funding to be allocated to CSTEP budgets, allowing us to help even more people in even bigger ways. We are grateful to have the opportunity to engage in conversations with policymakers about Medaille, our mission and what our program is doing for its students!”

The 2023 Advocacy Day came at an opportune time, as Governor Kathy Hochul has proposed cutting funding for CSTEP and STEP programs by three percent in the upcoming budget, which would constitute a decrease of over $1 million in funding. With the demand for such programs increasing, the Association of Program Administrators of CSTEP and STEP (APACS), helped organize Advocacy Day and made appointments for representatives of CSTEP programs, including those from Medaille, to speak with legislators about what the programs mean to students, how they are impacting the state as a whole and why there is a need for an increase in funding.

Dr. Karlovic and Boehler were able to meet with New York State Senator Julia Salazar’s chief of staff and New York State Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, who serves as chair for the Committee on Education after dedicating his time as a legislator to focusing on the improvement and advancement of education in New York. Dr. Karlovic and Boehler spoke about Medaille’s mission, the diverse student population Medaille serves and how CSTEP, and the University as a whole, ensure students are supported during their time at the institution and beyond. 

The results of the meetings were positive and engaging, with the state representatives expressing their support for CSTEP and asking several questions about the program, its services and impact on students, and the current areas of need. During the meeting with Assemblyman Benedetto, Dr. Karlovic and Boehler were also able to discuss the proposed increase in income eligibility and award amounts for the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), advocating for the increase and sharing the impact it will have on Medaille students.

CICU holds a Student Advocacy Day in Albany annually. Next year’s Student Advocacy Day is scheduled for February 13, 2024. 

Learn more about Medaille’s CSTEP program. 

Pictured, left to right: Dr. Dejan Karlovic and Madison Boehler in Albany on Student Advocacy Day.

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