SUNY Cobleskill President Marion A. Terenzio was in Phoenix this weekend to receive a prestigious award from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), recognizing the achievements of the College’s Institute for Rural Vitality. The 2019 Excellence and Innovation Award for Regional and Economic Development honors the broad scope of Institute-led initiatives across its five distinct centers. Since 2016, Institute funding, faculty fellows, and student interns have engaged with the regional community to cultivate sustainable economic development, and enrich regional services. These include launching incubator businesses, and providing unique intergenerational programming for those living with Alzheimer’s disease.

To date, the Institute has been instrumental in securing more than $6 million for community-based economic development projects, and has actively recruited a private partner poised to build an $84 million grow center on campus.

“Higher education rural-serving institutions have a unique opportunity and obligation to be Stewards of Place,” said President Terenzio, in a release this month. “The Institute for Rural Vitality at SUNY Cobleskill fulfills this role, in partnership with local and regional communities. Together they build human capital and create innovation, entrepreneurship solutions, and products that enhance community well-being. As a premier institution for applied learning, we must promote an academic enterprise that calls the College to engage with communities and set an example for our students.”

The video montage exploring the award-winning work of each institution honored at this weekend’s ceremony is available to be viewed here. Additional information about the Institute for Rural Vitality can be found on our website.