In honor of the late Buffalo State President Aaron Podolefsky, the college is continuing its annual tradition of focusing on the many achievements of its community through the lens of one theme. For the 2014–2015 academic year, Buffalo State will celebrate Year of the Innovator.
"This theme provides the campus with the opportunity to highlight the numerous creative initiatives developed by students, faculty, and staff—ranging from economic development projects to patented inventions,” said Rita Zientek, interim dean of the School of the Professions, which is overseeing the Year of the Innovator activities, events, and speakers.
A grand opening celebration will be held on Thursday, September 18, at 6:00 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall. Free and open to the public, the celebration will feature five local entrepreneurs, three of whom are Buffalo State alumni, who will share their innovative process.
The Year of the Innovator recognizes the collaborative spirit and creative mindset Buffalo State has always maintained that reflect its core values, Zientek said. New additions to the campus, including the Science and Mathematics Complex and the Technology Building, serve as showcases for innovation in teaching, laboratory space, and state-of-the-art equipment. However, the year will focus on innovative achievements across campus in multiple academic disciplines.
Throughout the academic year, other campus events will take place specifically to highlight innovation, as well as yearly events that will reflect the theme. Additionally, through its commitment to Year of the Innovator, Buffalo State will be in the perfect position to serve as a key partner in community projects including economic development initiatives, the Advanced Manufacturing Institute, and the Smart Grid.
"As our previous campus themes have shown, the Year of the Innovator will provide many opportunities to focus on innovation and creativity across venues," Zientek said, "and show the community that innovation is not just a buzzword; it’s a way of life on our campus."