Kristina Johnson

Same old story for SUNY Empire, in new Suffolk digs

By GREGORY ZELLER // Long Island’s newest college is really nothing new. Empire State College, stepchild of the State University of New York system, is all grown up, thank you: The school has been helping students, particularly working professionals, earn accredited degrees since 1971, both in-person – at 30 statewide locations and seven international sites – and, increasingly, through distance-learning opportunities. But its 6.6-acre, $14 million Empire State College at Selden – that’s new, even…


Albany plugging $79M into SBU campus efficiency

By GREGORY ZELLER // A variety of state-funded efficiency upgrades – including new lighting, ventilation and operations-management systems – are included in a new Stony Brook University infrastructure-improvement plan. Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday announced a comprehensive $79 million strategy to bring additional energy-efficient improvements to the Long Island jewel of the State University system. Financed and implemented by the New York Power Authority “in partnership with SUNY,” the upgrades target several SBU facilities –…


Sachem scores in LI-friendly ‘Smart Schools’ round

By GREGORY ZELLER // More than $12.5 million in school-technology upgrades are coming to Long Island schools through the latest funding round of Albany’s Smart Schools investment plan. The Smart Schools Review Board on Monday approved nearly 100 projects designed to improve school security and “reimagine teaching and learning for the 21st century,” according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office – a chunky 13th funding round for the circa-2015, $2 billion Smart Schools Bond Act. The…


See you in September (not): Stanley stuns SBU, SUNY

By GREGORY ZELLER // From the Didn’t See That Coming file comes the sudden departure of Stony Brook University President Samuel Stanley Jr., who has resigned his position and will step down July 31. Stanley, who become SBU’s fifth president in July 2009, will become the 21st president of Michigan State University, according to several news reports. His decision – which follows a decade-long tenure ripe with physical expansion and award-winning faculty research – has…


At new SBU hub, artificial intelligence is the real deal

By GREGORY ZELLER // A cornerstone of Long Island’s innovation economy has partnered with a New York City-based technology icon to launch a new hub for regional AI research. Stony Brook University this week officially flipped the switch on its new Institute for AI-Driven Discovery and Innovation, a research-and-development hub laser-focused on what the university calls “the AI-driven economy of the future.” At a May 9 launch event hosted in New York City by global…


Island student entrepreneurs shine in NY Biz Plan finals

By GREGORY ZELLER // Long Island may be a state-designated biotech corridor, but its student entrepreneurs have some pretty bright ideas regarding the environment, too. That according to the 2019 edition of the New York Business Plan Competition, a privately funded venture-creation competition established in 2009 to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship throughout New York’s colleges and universities. Each of the state’s 10 economic regions, including Long Island, hosted regional competitions earlier this month, with 92…


Stony Brook grad students soar in NSF nominations

By GREGORY ZELLER // Stony Brook University dominated the field Tuesday as 18 SUNY graduate students were named candidates for prestigious National Science Foundation fellowships. All told, five State University of New York campuses were represented in this year’s NSF Graduate Research Fellowship nominees. The University at Albany, Binghamton University and the University at Buffalo each posted two nominees, and the SUNY Polytechnic Institute in upstate Oneida County added one. But SBU ruled the SUNY…


‘Quintessential’ leader McCall retires from SUNY board

By GREGORY ZELLER // With some 50 appointed university and college presidents and two appointed chancellors under his belt, H. Carl McCall is taking a victory lap. The chairman of the State University of New York Board of Trustees announced his retirement this week, after 12 years on the board and eight as its chair. The 83-year-old icon – a former New York state comptroller under Gov. Mario Cuomo, New York State Senator from Manhattan…


Old Westbury, Downstate Medical mark a SUNY first

By GREGORY ZELLER // Long Island hasn’t gained a new medical school, technically, though it has picked up a slew of new med students. Billed as a first-of-its-kind agreement, SUNY College at Old Westbury and the SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn have partnered on a slate of programs allowing students to “pursue graduate and accelerated degrees,” according to the state university system – essentially, providing Old Westbury students with Downstate Medical degrees. The collaboration,…


In next-gen cancer battle, the MART money’s on SBU

By GREGORY ZELLER // For sure, this is no Kwik-E-Mart. After more than 3 million workhours packed into years of planning and construction, the future has arrived at Stony Brook University, in the shape of Stony Brook Medicine’s new 240,000-square-foot Medical and Research Translation Building. Going by MART, the cutting-edge medical facility – increasing Stony Brook Medicine’s cancer-patient capacity by 150 percent, while bringing to bear the latest and greatest cancer-fighting tools and techniques –…


State pumps $15M into SUNY’s clean-energy programs

By GREGORY ZELLER // The state university system’s clean-energy workforce-development efforts have received an eight-digit shot in the arm. A $15 million state investment will bolster SUNY’s clean-energy workforce and training programs, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, with $6 million heading to specific campus-based efforts – including several on Long Island – and an additional $9 million earmarked for colleges and universities planning apprenticeships and internships with industry partners. The funding is part of…


Albany stakes $3M statewide apprenticeship effort

By GREGORY ZELLER // A chunky state investment will focus the State University of New York system on the specific needs of employers in cutting-edge fields, part of Albany’s plan to help train New York’s 21st century workforce. The state will sink $3 million into programs that put together SUNY, the NYS Department of Labor and statewide employers – specifically those in the healthcare and advanced-manufacturing industries – to create registered apprenticeships “that directly answer…


SBU, National Grid throwing gas at the AERTC

By GREGORY ZELLER // Clean, affordable energy solutions are on tap at the “country’s most comprehensive” natural gas-focused research institute. That’s Stony Brook University’s assessment of the Institute of Gas Innovation and Technology, which the university and National Grid officially introduced with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday. The consortium of academic and industry leaders comprising the I-GIT will rise to meet the nation’s diverse and growing energy challenges, according to SBU, which hosted SUNY Chancellor…


Alive and well, Start-Up NY adds two LI biotechs

By GREGORY ZELLER // Two early-stage Long Island biotechs are among 10 new companies hitching their wagon to one of Albany’s primary business-development efforts. Start-Up NY, the Empire State Development Corp. program that boosts new and expanding businesses with tax breaks and innovative academic partnerships, is opening its books to welcome 10 new businesses in the Long Island and New York City regions. The businesses – which each will launch, expand or relocate in geographic…


11 Island instructors join New York’s ‘master’ ranks

By GREGORY ZELLER // The New York State Master Teacher Program has opened its books to welcome a host of new instructors, including 11 representing Long Island school districts. With a heavy focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the statewide professional network – which seeks to identify and reward the state’s best K-12 instructors – has added 214 additional “masters,” including 26 with STEM-content certifications and 14 others certified in “technology education,” covering a…