Allstate Grant Promotes Optimal Living


SUNY Corning Community College has received the Allstate Foundation Helping Hands grant. The funds will be used to provide students with additional educational opportunities. Allstate Agency Owner Ralph Sutter, from Horseheads, supported the grant request from members of the Philosophy of Optimal Living Club.

“Optimal living could be defined as living ‘the good life,’” said Austin Wallenbeck, SUNY CCC student and club member. “As life requires that we ration our finite time and resources, we must learn to find a balance between the minimization of costs and maximization of benefits. The USA provides its citizens with opportunities to become educated and establish high-paying careers. However, financial success does not necessarily guarantee a fulfilling life. In order to acquire fulfillment, individuals for centuries have turned to philosophy. Philosophy has the potential to help one develop a personalized definition of ‘the good life.’ It's common for people to read and discuss philosophical works. Unfortunately, the application of these ideas is often elusive. For this reason, club members have committed to helping each other both create custom definitions of ‘the good life,’ and also establish effective protocols to put it into practice.”

During club meetings, members investigate optimal ways to manage finances, consume food, develop good habits, break bad habits, and exercise. In addition, students plan educational trips and attend public lectures that inform individual definitions of the good life. Although the decision is not finalized yet, it is likely club members will use funds from the grant for educational travel. The club is advised by Associate Professor of Mathematics Hatesh Radia.

“I am happy to support these students,” said Ralph. “It’s an opportunity for them to better themselves and to expand their horizons. That is always a worthy endeavor.”

“If we have learned anything in our college course work it is that the optimal way is sustainable and healthy,” said Austin. “Obtaining the good life is not an easy process. Therefore, we will need all the help we can get. We are hoping that this club will give us the opportunity to build ‘close relationships’ that allow us to evolve our personal definition of the good life and the protocols to pursue it.”