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College of Education faculty receive SUNY Networks of Excellence award
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The State University of New York and the Research Foundation for SUNY (RF) announced the first round of funding for projects supported by the SUNY Networks of Excellence. The RF awarded $778,000 to 19 projects involving 14 campuses as part of the “SUNY 4E” Network, which fosters collaborative research in the areas of energy, the environment, economics, and education.

Drs. Kathleen Magiera of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and Jennifer Moon Ro of the Department of Language, Learning and Leadership of the College of Education at SUNY Fredonia, with Dr. Barbara Chorzempa of the Department of Educational Studies at SUNY New Paltz, and Dr. Mary Kay Szwejbka of the Teacher Education Program at Jamestown Community College, were the recipients of a $3,000 planning grant for a project, “Southern Tier Energy Production: Powering Up Middle School Writers to Learn About their Communities.”

In alignment with SUNY 4E (Energy, Environment, Economics, and Education) Network of Excellence’s vision to bring together faculty across SUNY for collaborative research, SUNY Fredonia, SUNY New Paltz, and Jamestown Community College (JCC) proposed to establish partnerships with middle school social studies teachers across the Southern Tier to focus on research-based learning and writing related to energy production and smart buildings.

The project is described as a transformative research initiative that will target middle school students’ research-based learning and writing, addressing energy production and smart buildings. The researchers noted that academic writing has historically been a challenge for middle school students and teachers. The SUNY faculty team’s combined expertise in teaching inquiry-based writing skills to deepen content area learning of middle school students is expected to help prepare students for college and career readiness outlined in the New York State Common Core Learning Standards (Language Arts and History and Science). In partnership with the Western Southern Tier Council for the Social Studies, the researchers aim to attract young people to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)-related topics through exploration of their regions. In promoting the collaborative research to educate the next generation workforce, the researchers hope to fund travel for a small group of participants across the three SUNY campuses to establish partnerships with middle school social studies teachers in the area.

“The Networks of Excellence connect SUNY’s brightest student and faculty scientists with new York’s private sector experts, as well as national labs, to support the commercialization of our most promising and effective strategies,” said Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. “By sharing knowledge, facilities, and ideas in these critical areas of research, the networks are driving innovation, economic opportunity, and job growth across the state.”

“Today’s awards are an exciting glimpse at what’s to come from the five SUNY Networks of Excellence,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “From the purification of drinking water to the assessment of homeland security, SUNY and its partners across the state are increasing sustainability in our communities and improving the quality of life in New York State. Congratulations to all of the partners receiving this support.”

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