When he was murdered by Klansmen in 1964, civil rights activist Andrew Goodman was working to register African Americans to vote in the South at the height of the Civil Rights Movement.
Biology/anthropology major and Honors College student Page Keating ’17 is making sure Goodman’s message is heard at Stony Brook.
With the joint efforts of fellow student Steven Adelson and Assistant Dean of Students Ellen Driscoll, Page, who along with Steven is an Andrew Goodman Foundation ambassador, has already registered more than 1,791 students to vote in November.
In its first year at Stony Brook, the Vote Everywhere Program has more registrants than any other affiliated Andrew Goodman Foundation program in the United States — and that’s primarily because of the efforts of Page, Steven and Driscoll.
Page and Steven are now collaborating with hall councils, resident assistants and other campus groups to educate students about the candidates running in the November 3 general election, an effort that kicks off October 28 at 7:30 pm with an event in the Black Box Theatre at Tabler Center.
For students, there is an extra incentive to register.
“Every time a student visits our table or an event we are hosting, they are entered into a raffle and their chances to win increase exponentially,” said Page.
The Goodman Foundation’s Vote Everywhere program
Page and Steven have their sights set on establishing a civic engagement center for Stony Brook University.
“Colleges across the country provide this resource for their students, making them more connected to their communities and encouraging students to exercise their rights to be involved and have a say in government,” said Page.
Page’s eclectic worldview has been shaped by her global travels, which involved Study Abroad programs in Montpellier, France, in 2013; Tanzania in 2014; and at the Turkana Basin Institute in Kenya earlier this year.
Whatever Page does, she does full throttle. On Accepted Students Day in April 2013, prior to her freshman year, Page signed up to go to France to immerse herself in the language and culture, making friends with students from China, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Romania and Sweden. That trip provided context for what she would learn that fall. After her study abroad experience was over, she traveled alone for a week through France and Belgium.
“My proudest moment was speaking French to a stranger for more than an hour in Nice at the end of my trip,” Page said.
Her favorite trip, however, was to Tanzania, where along with more than 30 students from West Campus and the School of Nursing, she learned basic Swahili, interacted with the various peoples of Northern Tanzania, observed the country’s healthcare system and stayed one night in a Maasai village.
“Even without a shared language, we played games and sang songs with the children by the light of the moon,” Page said.
Her trip to Kenya included a visit to the Field School for Human Origins, where the students learned about the ecology, paleontology, geology, archaeology and human evolution of the region.
“By the time I left Turkana, I could tell you everything that was on the ground, from the rocks to the fossils,” Page said.
She also conducted a three-month independent study there focusing on trachoma, a disease spread by flies that is one of the most common causes of preventable blindness in the world.
“I studied the fly diversity in the surrounding villages and on campus to understand the vectors that were most prominent and therefore likely to spread certain diseases,” she said.
Back at Stony Brook, Page is gearing up to begin research on Yersinia pestis, also known as plague, and its epidemiology in Madagascar, at Professor James Bliska’s lab in the Center for Infectious Diseases.
“Every time I study abroad, I learn a lot about a different country, cultures and people, but I also learn a lot about myself,” said Page. “I highly recommend studying abroad — doing so during the semester can cost the same as living on campus for many of the programs that Stony Brook offers.”
— Glenn Jochum