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SUNY, Research Foundation, Brookhaven National Lab to expand science education

Research Foundation’s Vice President Sponsored Programs Administration, Garrett R. Sanders, Brookhaven Laboratory Director Sam Aronson, and SUNY Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost David Lavallee sign new Memorandum of Understanding Wednesday.

This week, the State University of New York, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the SUNY Research Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding whereby all organizations have pledged to work together on educational program development for students for all ages.

The signing took place at Brookhaven Lab with Brookhaven Laboratory Director Sam Aronson, SUNY Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost David Lavallee, and the Research Foundation’s Vice President Sponsored Programs Administration, Garrett R. Sanders all signing the agreement.

“Brookhaven is very pleased to formally confirm a research and educational collaboration with the State University of New York and its Research Foundation that will benefit all of our institutions in the years to come,” said Aronson. “The many students who will take advantage of the programs and initiatives developed through this MOU will further extend its positive impact to our state and the nation.”

“This MOU demonstrates how SUNY can effectively leverage its systemness to serve the greater public good not only for New York but in partnership with top national researchers who are poised to position the United States as a leader in the new knowledge economy,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “This joint venture is certain to help us make greater contributions in green technology and new, innovative methods to bring science into the classroom, something that is so critical to teaching and learning in our schools.”

“We are always pleased when our campuses come together with established partners such as Brookhaven National Laboratory to collaborate on research that is of vital interest to our nation and the world,” said Lavallee. “This kind of collaboration allows for our students and faculty to have direct access to a research facility of critical national stature. We are particularly excited to partner with BNL researchers in the development of curriculum for the kind of STEM programs SUNY is working to bring to scale across the state.”

“We’re tremendously excited to partner with our Stony Brook and Brookhaven colleagues to support the education pipeline,” said Research Foundation President Dr. Timothy Killeen.  “This joint effort demonstrates the common sense of mission, scope and scale of the SUNY community.   SUNY research – its people, infrastructure and technology – and the entire SUNY system play a key role in advancing our students and growing our knowledge economy now and for the future.”

Stony Brook University has a long history with Brookhaven National Lab.  The university is a co-partner with Battelle Memorial Institute in Brookhaven Science Associates (BSA), which since 1998 has managed Brookhaven National Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science, is the largest academic user of BNL facilities. President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., who serves as the Vice Chairman of BSA, said that this MOU will enable many of the SUNY campuses to benefit from the opportunities that students and faculty at Stony Brook University have been involved in for nearly 15 years.

“Stony Brook’s relationship with BNL has been prolific and significant in terms of providing amazing research opportunities and academic growth for our students, faculty and for the prospect of economic development for Long Island and the region,” he said. “It’s an important asset for student and faculty recruitment and retention and certainly other SUNY campuses will benefit enormously from the relationship, as will BNL.”

Under the agreement, the three institutions will identify areas of research that are compatible with SUNY’s faculty and expertise, and that are relevant and comply with Brookhaven’s mission. They have also agreed to establish procedures for engaging BNL staff and SUNY faculty in course or curriculum development; promotion of underrepresented minorities in science and technology disciplines; exploration of avenues to expand educational opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students; and a strategic collaboration to improve educational initiatives for students from kindergarten through high school.

The agreement will remain in effect for 10 years. Its genesis was a proposed association between Brookhaven Lab and the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), but it quickly gained traction as a broader collaboration, to include all SUNY campuses and the Research Foundation.

“We at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry are very pleased to assist in developing the Memorandum of Understanding with Brookhaven National Laboratory,” said SUNY-ESF President Cornelius B. Murphy, Jr.  “Our faculty members are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with the research staff at BNL.  This MOU will help catalyze new research and development opportunities for all involved.”

Written by Emily Schwartz


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