Laura Chodos identifies needs, sees possibilities and makes things happen, especially when it comes to learning. She is a forward-thinker who recognizes that understanding the past is essential to a better future. She is tenaciously yet humbly effective at getting things done.
Assembly member Carrie Woerner and Skidmore College President Philip Glotzbach spoke at Oct. 1 tribute to Saratoga Springs resident Laura Chodos as she was honored by the New York State Archives Partnership.Those characteristics and her advocacy for the preservation and accessibility of statewide records drew a standing-room-own crowd of admirers this morning as Laura was honored with a lifetime achievement award from the New York State Archives Partnership Trust.
The tribute for Chodos, 91, included touching reminders of her decades of productive service as described by New York State Archivist Thomas J. Ruller, Assembly member Carrie Woerner and Skidmore College President Philip Glotzbach.
Don’t glaze over the archive partnership name. The trust is a non-profit whose mission is to ensure that past, present and future records of government is preserved and used. For instance, Laura was a driving force behind the 28-year-old annual Student Research Awards designed to encourage students to create relevant projects by exploring the New York State Archives and poring through local records.
Laura served 17 years on the New York State Board of Regents, represented the state at two White House conferences on Libraries and Technology and as stated in the event program, chaired an international task force to ensure follow-up on conference resolutions. She zeroed in on education shortfalls, such as overlooked needs of Native American children in New York. For decades she applied her international approach to educational and cultural exchanges with Russia, including the creation of a sister city program between Saratoga Springs and Chekhov, Russia.
The list of Laura’s local, state and international accomplishments is long and varied. I have long been one of her many admirers, and it was a pleasure to see her honored today.