The American Association of State Colleges and Universities has named SUNY Cobleskill as the recipient of the 2019 Excellence and Innovation Award for Regional and Economic Development.
This national award recognizes the achievements of the Institute for Rural Vitality at SUNY Cobleskill, created in 2016.
Through Institute funding, faculty fellows and student interns engage with the community on sustainable economic development and the enrichment of regional services, ranging from launching incubator businesses to providing unique intergenerational programming for those living with Alzheimer’s disease.
To date, the Institute has been instrumental in securing more than $6 million for community-based economic development projects, and has actively recruited a private partner poised to build an $84 million grow center on campus.
“Higher education rural-serving institutions have a unique opportunity and obligation to be Stewards of Place,” said SUNY Cobleskill President Marion Terenzio, who was in Phoenix last week to accept the award. “The Institute for Rural Vitality at SUNY Cobleskill fulfills this role, in partnership with local and regional communities. Together they build human capital and create innovation, entrepreneurship solutions, and products that enhance community well-being.
“As a premier institution for applied learning, we must promote an academic enterprise that calls the college to engage with communities and set an example for our students. The first SUNY school to institute an applied learning requirement, SUNY Cobleskill draws upon this founding commitment to provide students with opportunities that prepare them for immediate and long-lasting workforce success.
“Through the Institute’s five distinct centers, education is extended beyond the classroom as students, faculty, and community partners address the region’s most pressing issues and enact sustainable solutions. Ongoing projects focus on economic development, rural legal and policy services, new business development, regional arts and culture, and comprehensive community advancement.”
“Each year, I am inspired by how AASCU institutions move the bar to serve their students and advance the economic and cultural development of their communities,” said AASCU President Mildred García. “These Excellence and Innovation Award winners truly demonstrate how our members serve as Stewards of Place, prioritizing student success and leaving a lasting impact on their regions.”
The Excellence and Innovation Awards honor AASCU member institutions for achievements in major areas of campus life and leadership.
In addition to SUNY Cobleskill, AASCU recognized two California State University campuses as well as institutions in Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Oregon, and Pennsylvania.