SUNY Chancellor tours New Paltz before classes start

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NEW PALTZ – Two days after being appointed by The State University of New York Board of Trustees, SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras toured SUNY New Paltz on Sunday, announcing the new SUNY Prepare Innovation and Internship Program.

The program is designed to accelerate the production of personal protective equipment (PPE) through new innovation and technologies at SUNY colleges and universities statewide. Chancellor Malatras was accompanied by Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan and SUNY New Paltz President Donald Christian. Chancellor Malatras and President Christian reviewed the campus reopening plan, previously approved by SUNY, before meeting with students to discuss their goals for the upcoming semester and the importance of COVID-19 safety protocols. The visit comes as the campus community prepares to begin classes today.

“On the eve of fall classes at SUNY New Paltz, it is imperative that the safety precautions laid out in the college’s reopening plan are both in place and being observed by each and every member of the campus community—that is our number one priority here and at all our campuses,” said Chancellor Malatras. “SUNY New Paltz leaders have done tremendous work designing an evidence-based plan for safely reopening. Their plan – like every college reopening plan this fall – can only succeed if the entire campus community is committed to keeping themselves and those around them safe. I am also proud to announce the launching of our statewide SUNY Prepare Innovation and Internship program during my visit to New Paltz, where students and faculty were among New York’s leaders in manufacturing PPE at the height of the pandemic. This program will ensure that we leverage the brilliant faculty and students across our system so we can continue working to equip our healthcare heroes with the PPE they need to stay safe on the front lines to meet the challenges of COVID-19 or the next pandemic.”

SUNY Chancellor Malatras meeting students at New Paltz.

“We were pleased to welcome new SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras to the New Paltz campus today to see our reopening plan in action, discuss leadership challenges at this unprecedented time, and engage with our new and returning students,” said SUNY New Paltz President Christian. “A successful fall semester will require that our students and employees follow the Protect New Paltz Pledge and adopt a ‘We, Not Me” approach. We are grateful for SUNY’s support for critical PPE announced today at New Paltz and are excited to see the new chancellor’s commitment to our students and their safety.”

“I want to commend SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras for making SUNY New Paltz and Ulster County his first visit since being appointed Chancellor,” said Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan. “In Chancellor Malatras, we have someone who has a proven track record of successfully responding to all facets of this pandemic, and I am confident that he will bring this needed leadership to the SUNY system. As County Executive, my top priority is to ensure the health and safety of our residents and we are 100% committed to working with Chancellor Jim Malatras, President Don Christian, and the entire SUNY New Paltz community, to ensure a safe environment for our students and our community during this time. I’d also like to thank and applaud Chancellor Malatras’ leadership in launching the SUNY Prepare Innovation and Internship Program. This innovative program will ensure SUNY can continue serving on the leading edge of keeping our communities safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

SUNY is providing $100,000 in initial seed money to launch the SUNY Prepare Innovation and Internship Program, with the goal of raising more money to assist talented faculty and students working with innovative technology to produce PPE. Under the program, grants will be made available to faculty to develop new technologies to improve the design and production of PPE. Proposals must also have a student internship/research component so that students are afforded even greater access to new academic opportunities. When the COVID-19 crisis began, SUNY New Paltz was an early leader in manufacturing face shields. Using 3D printers and with the help of funds from the state of New York’s NYSUNY 2020 grant program, students and faculty at the Hudson Valley Additive Manufacturing Center on campus have partnered with community organizations to produce more than 32,700 face shields to date. Those same 3D designs were shared with other SUNY colleges doing similar work.



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