ONEONTA, N.Y. -- Assistant Professor of Geography Wendy Mitteager of the SUNY College at Oneonta will lead a group of 19 SUNY Oneonta student volunteers to New Orleans to assist in the ongoing recovery efforts from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The group will leave Oneonta following the College’s Commencement on May 22 and spend seven days in New Orleans rebuilding houses.
The SUNY Oneonta volunteers will work with a New Orleans non-profit organization called Common Ground Relief, whose main offices are located in the city’s lower ninth ward, one of the neighborhoods hit hardest by floods after the failure of the levees. The organization will provide food for the SUNY Oneonta volunteers and house them in a dormitory setting.
SUNY Oneonta began helping with the Hurricane Katrina rebuilding effort in 2005 through the Oneonta Gulf Coast Collaboration.
Dr. Mitteager has led three trips to the region to help with Hurricane Katrina relief work. She has also worked with student volunteers on local flood relief and in several local organizations, including Saturday’s Bread, Habitat for Humanity, and the Otsego County Conservation Association.
A 1997 SUNY Oneonta graduate, Dr. Mitteager went on to earn a master’s in geography from Oregon State University and a doctorate in the field from Rutgers University, where she taught previously. A member of the SUNY Oneonta faculty since 2004, she was the inaugural recipient of the College’s annual Ashok Kumar Malhotra Seva (Compassionate Service) Faculty Award in 2008.