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Dr. Elaine Gallina Spaull to be Keynote Speaker for 2011 Road Less Traveled Event


St. John Fisher College will welcome Elaine Gallina Spaull, Ph.D., J.D. at its annual "The Road Less Traveled" event on Thursday, February 24 at 7:00 p.m. Dr. Spaull is Executive Director of The Center for Youth Services, and will give the Reverend Joseph A. Trovato lecture, "Service to Youth is Service to the Future." The event will take place in Basil 135 on Fisher's campus, and is free and open to the public.

Hosted by the Religious Studies Department, the Peace and Social Justice Studies Program, the Alumni Office, and the Office of Community Service, the evening will honor Father Joseph A. Trovato, C.S.B., for his many years of service to the College. Father Trovato was the founder and longtime Director of Campus Ministry at Fisher.

The event will also feature the presentation of the Jennifer Patterson Koon Courage Awards, as well as the Peace and Social Justice Spirit Award, which will honor a Fisher graduate.

Dr. Spaull, a native Rochesterian, returned to her hometown in 1976 to raise her family and support her community. She is an educator, lawyer, Fulbright scholar, elected official, speaker, writer, consultant, but most of all, she is a youth advocate. Additionally, she was the 2008 recipient of the Jennifer Patterson Koon Courage Award.

In her position with the Center for Youth Services, Dr. Spaull is responsible for the administration of a youth-centered organization founded more than 38 years ago by a group of teenagers. The legacy of those original youth and their dreams of having a place for kids to go where they would be free to express their opinions and share their dreams continues to drive the mission and philosophy of the organization.

After earning an undergraduate degree in English Literature from George Washington University, and a master's degree from Georgetown University, she pursued her doctoral degree in Philosophy and graduated magna cum laude with a Juris Doctor from the University of Buffalo (UB). In 2007, Dr. Spaull was elected to the Rochester City Council as a district representative, and in 2010 she was elected by her council colleagues to be vice president of City Council. In 2008, she was appointed by Governor David Paterson to serve on his advisory board to his Children's Cabinet.

Additionally, she served as Associate Vice President/Dean of Students at Rochester Institute of Technology, practiced law in the Corporate and Tax department at Nixon Peabody, and teaches at the SUNY Buffalo Law School and RIT.

Dr. Spaull was a founding member of the Friends of the Women's Rights National Park in Seneca Falls. She sits on the boards of Rochester General Hospital Systems, The Finger Lakes Film Board, the Rochester - Monroe County Youth Council, the Memorial Art Gallery, and the Monroe County Legal Assistance Corporation. She also participates as a Mentor to First-Year Law Students in the UB Law Mentorship Program.

As part of her on-going commitment to youth advocacy, she co-chaired the Youth Services Quality Council, a 60-member coalition of youth-serving agencies for three years (2002 – 2005), and was Chairperson of a positive youth development advertising campaign – Small Talk, Big Difference. She served in a leadership role on Mayor Johnson's anti-violence work team and chaired Mayor Duffy's youth transition team. In her current role as Executive Director, Dr. Spaull launched Project Safe Place, a community-wide initiative which offers immediate and safe alternatives to youth 12-21 years of age. Under her leadership, The Center also launched Project New Beginning, a program targeting young men who have been incarcerated and who are disconnected from home or school.

For more information about "The Road Less Traveled," contact Dr. Linda MacCammon at (585) 385-8363 or

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