Thursday Morning Roundtable

Thursday Morning Roundtable is broadcast on WCNY-FM Sundays at 8 p.m. during the academic year. It’s a weekly public service program, sponsored by Syracuse University’s University College, which features experts speaking on local, state and national issues of concern to the community.

“TMR brings together a variety of business, social agency, educational and civic leaders to learn about and discuss issues of importance to area citizens,” said Sandra Barrett, director of community programs at University College. “Bringing this program to the local public broadcasting station is a perfect partnership in our shared goal to spur discussion of issues and ideas in the community.”

2015-2016 Season


December 08, 2016

The Perception of Tax Polices are Tied with How People View the World

Breagin Riley, Ph.D.., assistant professor of Marketing and Behavioral Lab director at Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management, will discuss how people view equal opportunities for success, how people perceive tax levels, and how these two things impact how people spend and save their money, behave dishonestly, etc.


December 01, 2016

Elevating Erie

Elevating Erie ( is a collaborative effort between the City of Syracuse and the Town of DeWitt to address a portion of the 14-mile gap in the Erie Canal way Trail system. The original Erie Canal through DeWitt and Syracuse has been paved over for 100 years.  Sam Gordon, director of planning and zoning for the town of DeWitt, and Owen Kerney, assistant director for city planning, will discuss plans to revitalize the 14-mile gap in the original canal path, which currently exists between DeWitt and Camillus.  The project could result in the Canal way becoming part of the longest continuous bicycle and pedestrian trail in North America.


November 17, 2016

Ivory Tower

David Rubin, Kristi Anderson, Tara Ross and Bob Spitzerfrom WCNY’s Ivory Tower will discuss the presidential election and how the new presidency will affect the economy, national security, healthcare, and more.

November 10, 2016

An Update on the Refugee Alliance

The Refugee Alliance of Greater Syracuse, a collaborative group of stakeholders in refugee resettlement and integration, is an excellent example of the ways studies like those created by the Onondaga Citizens League can create significant opportunities. Join Mark Cass, executive director/organizer of Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse (ACTS), Nicole Watts, founder/executive director of Hopeprint, and Olive Sephuma, director of the Center for New Americans at Interfaith Works, along with three former refugees. They will share local statistics, how Central New York welcomes its new neighbors, ways these new Americans are an asset to our community, and how the members of the alliance participate in this collective effort..

November 3, 2016

Literacy CNY Celebrates 54 years as Ruth Colvin turns 100

Ruth Colvin is the founder of Literacy Volunteers of America (now ProLiteracy Worldwide). She will discuss the history of the local organization, its success stories, and the impact Literacy CNY has had on adult learners in our region. She will be joined by board president Karen Tift, who will discuss the future and what we, as a community, can do to help. Join us to help celebrate Ruth’s 100th birthday.

October 27, 2016

Onondaga Lake Clean-Up

Onondaga County’s Office of Environment, Tom Rhodes, Commissioner of Onondaga County Water Environment Protection.

October 20, 2016

Update on the Arts in Central New York

Robert Hupp, artistic director of Syracuse Stage, Elizabeth Dunbar, executive director of the Everson Museum, and Steve Butler, executive director of CNY Arts, will give an update on what is happening in the arts arena, and share upcoming events and plans for the future.

October 13, 2016
Refugees and their Changing Family Experience

Rashmi Gangamma, Ph.D., assistant professor in Marriage & Family Therapy at SU’s Falk College will share her research on what happens to family relationships when they are abruptly—and sometimes very violently—displaced from their home country. She will discuss their sense of loss, inability to trust others, and how their past struggles still live in them.

October 6, 2016
Skills Gap in the Workplace

Some argue that there is not a shortage of jobs in Central New York, but there is a shortage of skilled workers. Our panelists will share their perspectives on how to fill the skills gaps, and what type of “soft skills” employers are looking for.

David Duerr, vice president of business development for Empower Federal Credit Union; David Freund, chief leadership officer at MACNY; Juanita Perez Williams, regional director for the Department of Labor in Central New York; Michael Evans, Ph.D., professor at Syracuse University and founder of Evans and Associates Consulting

The Levi Smith Community Service Award will be presented to a TMR member.

September 29, 2016
Heroin Epidemic in Central New York

A panel discussion on this topic includes New York State Police Major Frank Coots; Mark Raymond, manager of Crouse’s opioid treatment program at Crouse; Michele Caliva, RN CSPI, administrative director of Upstate New York Poison Center; and Erin Bortel, director of prevention services at ACR Health.
Panel Discussion

September 22, 2016
OCL Study: How CNY Moves

Study co-chairs highlight the 2015/16 Onondaga Citizens League study on how to realign auto-centric practices for the 21st century.
Heidi Holtzand Mary Kate Intaglietta

September 15, 2016
Racial Tensions in America

SU Police Chief Bobby Maldonado, College of Law associate professor Lauryn Gouldin and Rochelle L. Ford, Ph.D., professor and chair, Newhouse School of Public Communications will discuss racial tensions and share their own perspectives on solutions.
Panel Discussion

September 8, 2016
His organization, Believe in Syracuse, inspires civic pride and converts that pride into progress in improving the quality of life in the Greater Syracuse community.
John DeSantis, Executive Director

April 28, 2016
Overview with Onondaga County Comptroller: Consolidation, Land Bank & the City, and State Budgeting
Robert Antonacci

April 21, 2016
Update with Mayor Stephanie Miner
Mayor Stephanie Miner

April 14, 2016
The Effects of Climate Change and What That Means for Our Environment
Jack Manno Ph.D., Professor, Environmental Studies, SUNY ESF

April 7, 2016
Building the Next Great Upstate Company
Nasir Ali, founder of Upstate Venture Connect (UVC)

March 31, 2016
Females in Combat: Personal Account of a Veteran Combat Pilot
Lieutenant Colonel Michele Kilgore, Commander, 174th Attack Wing

March 24, 2016
The Political Roots of Racial Tracking In American Criminal Justice
Nina Moore, Associate Professor of Political Science, Colgate University

March 17, 2016
Update and Plans going forward
Eugene J. Conway, Onondaga County Sheriff

March 10, 2016
Impact of I-81 on Public Housing
Bill Simmons, Syracuse Housing, Rebecca Newman Housing Visions and Sally Santangelo, CNY Fair Housing

March 3, 2016
Education is the Best Anti-poverty Initiative
Superintendent Sharon L. Contreras, Ph.D.

February 25, 2016
Ethics in Media
Media Panel: Chris Bolt, WAER; Dan Cummings, Channel 9 News; Rae Fulkerson, News director, CNY Central; Stephen Cvengros, vice president of content, Syracuse Media Group; Iris St Meran, Time Warner Cable News

February 18, 2016
National Veterans Resource Complex
Michael Haynie, Vice Chancellor Veteran & Military Affairs, Syracuse University

February 11, 2016
Deer Control
Mark Olsen, mayor of Fayetteville Brian Underwood, Adjunct Professor, SUNY ESF

February 4, 2016
Overview & Projects Update
A conversation with Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney

January 28, 2016
Consensus Report
Dr. Neil Murphy, Co-Chair, Consensus, Former President, SUNY ESF & Rob Simpson, president & CEO CenterState CEO

December 10, 2015
A New Day for the OHA
Gregg Tripoli, Executive Director; Onondaga Historical Association; Dennis Connors, History Curator; Onondaga Historical Association

December 3, 2015
Feeding the Hungry in Syracuse
Mary Beth Frey, Samaritan Center; Kathleen Stress, Food Bank of CNY; Alan Thornton, Rescue Mission; John Tumino, In My Father’s Kitchen

November 26, 2015
Happy Thanksgiving!

November 19, 2015
 “A Conversation with Linda LeMura”
Linda LeMura, President, Le Moyne College

November 12, 2015
“SUNY Morrisville: Beginning Again”
David E. Rogers, President, SUNY Morrisville

November 5, 2015
“China’s Economy and Economic Growth”
Mary E. Lovely, Professor of Economics, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

October 29, 2015
“BusPlus – Creating a Bus Rapid Transit Line in Upstate New York”
Ross Farrell, Director of Planning, Capital District Transportation Authority
Mario Colone, Program Manager, SMTC

October 22, 2015
Philip C. Pinsky Memorial Lecture “Healthcare Reform in New York State from Willowbrook to DSRIP”
James Introne, NYS health care policy advisor

October 15, 2015
50th Anniversary Breakfast of Champions
with The New York Times op-ed columnist, Charles Blow to benefit the Levi L. Smith Scholarship Fund

October 8, 2015
Creating a 21st Century Transportation System for New York State
Matt Driscoll, NYS DOT Commissioner

October 1, 2015
How Can We Ensure Safe Unmanned Aircraft Systems in the US?
Lawrence H. Brinker, Esq., Executive Director & General Counsel, NUAIR Alliance

September 24
“Hotel Syracuse Restoration”
Ed Riley, Managing Member, Hotel Syracuse Restoration

September 17
“Crouse Hospital: The Inside Story”
Kimberly Boynton, CEO, Crouse Hospital

September 10
“The Great New York State Fair – What’s New, What’s Next?”

Troy Waffner, Acting Director, NYS Fair

2014-2015 Season

2013-14 Season

2012-13 Season


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