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10 Ways SUNY Impacts America

10 Ways SUNY Impacts AmericaThroughout its 65-year history, SUNY has awarded tens of thousands of degrees and certificates across New York State and in conjunction with partners across the global landscape. SUNY has grown from a collection of colleges separated and scattered through villages, towns, and cities to a diverse system of institutions that impact New Yorkers (and Americans) at an immeasurable level. Because of this massive presence, the colleges and universities that make up SUNY have acquired world-leading expert faculty and some of the brightest students to collaborate and create with the aim to positively change the lives of everybody.

In the essence of Independence Day, we highlight ten interesting and substantial ways that SUNY impacts America. Check them out after the jump — and let us know what you think in the comments!

  • Massive patent portfolio. The State University of New York ranks 8th among U.S. patent-generating universities and ranks 14th among U.S. colleges and universities for royalties received on inventions licensed to industry.
  • 3 million alumni. Nearly three million(!) people can call themselves a SUNY alumnus — which means that our collective impact on the world is immeasurable.
  • Innovation in the marketplace. Both Calvin Klein and Michael Kors, who now carry global brand identities, hail from the SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology. Together, their brands represent nearly $10 billion worth as a result of fusing fashion, business, and culture.
  • 8 Nobel Laureates. The awardees instructed and studied at SUNY institutions in subjects such as physics, physiology, and medicine. SUNY’s first winner was Dr. Chen Ning Yang in 1957.
  • First-ever implantable heart pacemaker. SUNY alumnus and prodigious inventor Wilson Greatbatch developed the first implantable heart pacemaker, as well as the first lithium-iodide battery in order to power his pacemaker. Greatbatch, who passed away in 2011 at the age of 92, held over 350 patents and was a member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
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  • 13th U.S. President.  Millard Fillmore was the 13th President of the United States and the founder of and first chancellor of the University at Buffalo. Interestingly enough — and an indication of the increased power of the Executive Office over time — President Fillmore served both as the President of the United States and the Chancellor of the University at Buffalo at the same time.
  • Commercial inventions like the supermarket bar code scanner. In conjunction with the National Science Foundation, Stony Brook University researchers played a critical role in improving the scanners that help turn bar codes into information. In the early 1990’s, Theo Pavlidis developed a new algorithm, or series of instructions, for a scanner’s computer brain to use when a bar code is messy or hard to read.
  • Discovery of Lyme disease bacteria. Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in North America and Europe, and one of the fastest-growing infectious diseases in the United States. Medical researchers at Stony Brook University’s Center for Infectious Diseases achieved the first isolation of the bacteria that causes Lyme disease and also the antibiotic regimen to combat it.
  • Nanotechnology. SUNY is taking a front role in bringing manufacturing jobs and technological innovations to the United States. The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the University at Albany is home to the world’s only production-ready 450mm wafer research. This means that more information will soon fit on smaller devices and happen at the hands on collaborate SUNY research.
  • Largest comprehensive university system. SUNY, with nearly a half-million students across 64 campuses, is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States. Seamless Transfer ensures that students with variable opportunities and goals can truly achieve success.

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    Written by Maxwell Morgan

    Maxwell was a Coordinator of Digital Engagement for The State University of New York.

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  • It’s typical of our incredible focus on STEM and science and economic development, that the 10 wonderful facts ignore the following the SUNY contributions by SUNY alums in the arts: Renee Fleming, one of the great opera stars of our time, and Cindy Sherman, an important and influential artist. NOTE. Both graduated from comprehensive colleges: you don’t need to be from a university center to receive a truly great education and do truly great things.

    As for my own institituion, as an example: (1) Ted McKee, chief judge on the US Court of Appeals, 3rd circuit, and often rumoured (at least in past years) as a possible supreme court appointee; (2) Ann Dunwoody: first woman to become a full general in the US military.
    Go SUNY!

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