AASCU Honors SUNY Cobleskill with 2019 Excellence and Innovation Award

COBLESKILL, NY – The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) recently announced State University of New York (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 as an extension of the College’s commitment to serve the public good. Through Institute funding, faculty fellows and student interns fully engage with the community on sustainable economic development and 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,” says SUNY Cobleskill President Marion A. Terenzio. “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.”

SUNY Cobleskill Institute for Rural Vitality

“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,” continues President Terenzio. 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,” says AASCU President Dr. 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 will be recognizing two California State University campuses as well as institutions in Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. The awards will be presented on October 27 at the opening session of AASCU’s Annual Meeting, in Phoenix. The winning programs had top-level administrative support, connected with an institution’s mission and strategic agenda, contributed to significant institutional improvements or programming, were grounded in research, and incorporated best practices. This release can be accessed here.

About SUNY Cobleskill
With an emphasis on applied learning and experiential, interdisciplinary education, SUNY Cobleskill prepares students for successful careers, advanced studies, and engaged citizenship. An accredited, baccalaureate, residential college, SUNY Cobleskill fosters a rich academic tradition that spans more than 100 years. Today, students are enrolled in 58 baccalaureate and associate degree programs offered through two schools—The School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and The School of Business and Liberal Arts and Sciences. A contiguous farm, with an equestrian center and 200-cow dairy facility is housed on the modern, 902-acre campus, that features outstanding educational facilities including cold and warm water fish hatcheries, specialized classrooms and laboratories, two state-of-the-art culinary arts teaching kitchens, a student-run restaurant, child development and child care centers, and an art gallery and graphic design center. More information about SUNY Cobleskill can be found at Cobleskill.edu.