PLEASANTVILLE PATCH: Pace Hosts Youth Action Convention for Area Teens

250 attendees at the Youth Action Convention at Pace focused on issues like cyber bullying and teen sexuality.

“Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself: Real Talk on How We’re Really Doing,” was the theme conveyed by PR executive and author Terrie Williams on Thursday.

Williams, founder and president of the Terrie Williams Agency, has worked with clients including Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock, as well as organizations including the NBA and Nickelodeon. She brought her message of strength and confidence to area teens at a Youth Action Convention at Pace University.

The day’s events focused on encouraging the approximately 250 attendees to focus on inner strength, even during tough times. During her keynote address, Williams revealed she was depressed just five years ago, and was able to overcome it by opening up and talking about her feelings.

“This year, we wanted to challenge the youth of Westchester to get themselves together mentally and physically,” explained Tianna Canady, program coordinator of the Family Services of Westchester’s (FSW) Youth Councils, in a statement from the sponsoring organization.

Williams, who also founded The Stay Strong Foundation, a youth advocacy group, gifted each teen with a copy of her book Stay Strong: Simple Life Lessons for Teens.

In addition to hearing Williams firsthand account of depression, the attendees enjoyed a presentation put on by the Big Apple Playback Theatre, which addressed “the issues of identity, dreams and goals, prejudice and social injustice,” according to a statement.

Another element of the convention was a series of several workshops led by other teens. Workshop topics included teen sexuality, healthy relationships, self-injury & self-harm, health/nutrition, media influence and self-image, dangers of alcohol abuse/underage drinking and cyber bullying.

According to Lynn Green, vice president of development at FSW, teens said they felt “less alone” and “more connected” at the end of the day’s events.

See here to learn more about the Family Services of Westchester’s Youth Council, which was founded in 2000.

To read the full article click here.

NEWS RELEASE: Sexting and Cyberbullying Among Topics at Summit March 16

A news conference will be held Friday, January 28, when Verizon officially presents a grant at 3:30 p.m. in the Faculty Dining Room of Choate House on the Pleasantville Campus.


Safe use of mobile devices for young people to be advocated
at summit for students, educators, industry, policymakers

Sexting, cyberbullying, distracted driving
among topics at event in Pleasantville March 16

Partnership of Pace University and WiredSafety will challenge leaders to adopt best practices

PLEASANTVILLE, NY, January 25, 2010 – Safer use of mobile devices by young people will be the focus of a Mobile Safety Summit which will include challenges from students and educators to policymakers and the mobile device industry.

The event will take place on Pace University’s campus in Pleasantville, New York, on March 16.

The University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems is once again collaborating with the WiredSafety organization and its executive director, Parry Aftab, a leading international cybersafety expert. The Verizon Foundation is partially funding the events. The partners held a previous gathering on cyberbullying in 2008.

“Cyberbullying, sexting, and distracted driving are impacting youth, and solutions must include youth voices to be effective,” ” Aftab said. “This summit will bring educators and young people together with the industry, experts, and policymakers for a common goal – creating safer, well-designed, and innovative mobile offerings for everyone.”

Panels and breakout sessions will encourage participants to frame an action plan for moving forward on the best practices in mobile safety.

Additional details will be made available at a news conference Friday, January 28, when Verizon officially presents its grant at 3:30 p.m. in the Faculty Dining Room of Choate House on the Pleasantville Campus. Entrance 3, 861 Bedford Road. Media admission by press pass.

News conference participants will include Aftab and Nancy Hale, PhD., the Pace professor of information technology who is co-organizing the conference, as well as Constance Knapp, PhD, acting dean of the Seidenberg School, and Catherine Gasteyer, Verizon’s director of government and external affairs for mid-state New York.

More information is available here.

Youth perspectives

The summit will concentrate on students and educators. The Verizon Foundation is providing a $15,000 grant to help bring information and awareness on mobile safety and cyberbullying to high school and college students, and to spread their concerns to adults who can act on them.

The session will help define the issues of mobile safety from students’ perspectives.

Media welcome. Contact Cara Cea, 914-906-9680 if planning to attend.

Groundbreaking concerns

“WiredSafety and I are excited about partnering again with Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems,” said Aftab. “In these areas the Seidenberg students, administration, and professors are among the world’s best. Our last collaboration, the International Cyberbullying Summit in 2008, was the first of its kind. With the growth of mobile devices, technologies and apps, we expect this mobile innovation, safety, and best practices event will be just as groundbreaking.”

“Verizon has a long-standing commitment to internet safety,” said Gasteyer. “We serve millions of broadband customers through our wireless and wired networks. As such, we are committed to protecting children and young people online, and making sure the Internet is safe, educational, and fun for them. This grant is a good fit for Verizon, and we are proud to work with Pace University for a second time to empower educators, parents, and children on this front.”

“We are grateful to the Verizon Foundation for this grant that will let us offer a vital community resource and formulate a best practice model for keeping young people safe,” Hale said.

About Pace and the Seidenberg School

Inherent in The Seidenberg School’s activities and services to students, businesses, and the community is the belief that information technologies are tools for the empowerment of people. Established in 1983, Seidenberg is the youngest school within Pace University. Its mission is to prepare men and women for professional work, research, and lifelong participation in a new and dynamic information age. The school offers a student-oriented environment; small classes; committed teaching; research with professors; innovative programs, projects, and partnerships; and convenient multi-campus locations in New York City and Westchester County as well as online courses and programs.

About Wired Safety is the world’s oldest digital safety group, providing education, information, and one-to-one help for consumers. Its website is the most popular cyberbullying prevention website in the world and helps inform young people, parents, community organizations, educators, the industry, policymakers, and law enforcement about the issue affecting more than two thirds of US teens. is one of five members of Facebook’s International Safety Advisory Board, is a member of the advisory board for MTV’s cyberharassment initiative,, and created the Girl Scouts of the USA’s cybersafety program, WiredSafety’s executive director, Parry Aftab, is a digital privacy and security lawyer and author, and the recipient of the latest FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award, which will be presented in March 2011.

Parry Aftab, WiredSafety, 201-463-8663,
Chris Cory, Pace media relations, 212-346-1117, cell 917-608-8164,

News source: Debate on advertising’s role in obesity, health and wellness

Paul Kurnit, clinical professor of marketing at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business in New York, has forceful views and diverse experience in the youth marketplace.

October 30, 2007

Contact Bill Caldwell, Office of Public Information, Pace University, 212-346-1597,


Topic: Debate on advertising’s role in obesity, health and wellness

Debates are raging about the role of advertising in obesity, age appropriate messaging and over commercialization of youth.

For example, Senators Sam Brownback and Tom Harkin, along with FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and FCC Commissioners Michael J. Copps and Deborah Taylor Tate, announced the formation of a Task Force on Media and Childhood Obesity to examine the impact of media and advertising on children’s health. According to an article on Broadcasting & Cable online, 9/19/2007, the report from the task force has been “apparently held up by the inability to get children’s activist groups to sign off on it.”

Paul Kurnit, clinical professor of marketing at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business in New York, has forceful views and diverse experience in the youth marketplace. As a senior executive in the advertising business as President of Griffin Bacal, a DDB agency, he helped build the Hasbro toy and entertainment business and supervised TV programs like Transformers, GI Joe and My Little Pony. In addition to teaching at Pace, he operates his own marketing and consulting businesses, Kurnit Communications and KidShop. He also has worked extensively on “pro-social” initiatives to help young people including youth volunteerism for America’s Promise, founded by Colin Powell, The Partnership for a Drug-Free America, and the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation’s programs for students with learning difficulties. He serves on the Creative Review Committee of The Advertising Council, the board of directors of the Advertising Educational Foundation and the advisory board of the Children’s Advertising Review Unit.

Professor Kurnit’s views on the role of advertising in obesity:

“Many who criticize advertising to kids misplace blame and oversimplify complex societal issues requiring much more comprehensive solutions to foster youth health and well-being. There has been no link demonstrated between advertising and obesity. Advertising plays a positive role in socializing kids. And, advertising is an important engine for quality entertainment and communication that nurture and nourish kids.”

Contrary to what anti-marketing groups maintain, “I haven’t seen any conclusive data that show kids are damaged by advertising. We live in a commercial world. The issue is to make advertising as responsive and responsible as possible rather than to turn our back on the commercial world we live in. The big opportunity is to harness the power of advertising to encourage positive social movements that will support a future of healthier kids and families.”

Phone: (914) 737-0300; email: .

Pace University to Provide Live Satellite Coverage of White House Conference on School Safety, Oct. 15

Pace University will provide satellite coverage of the “White House Conference on School Safety: Causes and Prevention of Youth Violence,” on Thursday, Oct. 15, in Miller Hall on the University’s Pleasantville, N.Y., campus. Live coverage will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and will include President Clinton’s remarks. The media is invited to attend.

Contact: Public Affairs
(212) 346-1637

Academic Experts on Hand to Provide Comments about the Program

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – Pace University will provide satellite coverage of
the “White House Conference on School Safety: Causes and Prevention of
Youth Violence,” on Thursday, Oct. 15, in Miller Hall on the University’s
Pleasantville, N.Y., campus. Live coverage will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.,
and will include President Clinton’s remarks. The media is invited to attend.

The daylong program at the White House will include an important policy address
by the President and panel discussions that will explore best practices and model
school safety strategies. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention,
in partnership with the Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program of the Department of
Education, is sponsoring satellite coverage of the event. Pace University is the
only site in Westchester County airing the broadcast.

The program is sponsored locally by the departments of criminal justice and public
administration in the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences at Pace University in
Westchester. Experts from various academic disciplines will be on hand to provide
comments about the program.

The program is designed for a cross section of the community, including teachers,
school leaders, parents, judges, prosecutors, state and local juvenile justice agency
representatives, drug prevention specialists, law enforcement officials, youth services
providers, and juvenile probation officers.

Pace University is a comprehensive, independent University with campuses in New York
City and Westchester County. Nearly 14,000 students are enrolled in undergraduate,
graduate and professional degree programs.