On First Campus Tour SUNY Chancellor Malatras Announces New Grant and Internship Program to Accelerate PPE Production Across SUNY

August 23, 2020

Chancellor Malatras, President Christian Review Reopening Plan, Discuss Critical Importance of Following Safety Protocols

Launches Statewide SUNY Prepare Innovation and Internship Program with $100,000 in Initial Funding

Photos from SUNY Chancellor's Visit are Available Online

New Paltz, NY – Two days after being appointed by The State University of New York Board of Trustees, SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras today toured SUNY New Paltz, 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 P. Christian. Chancellor Malatras and President Christian reviewed the campus reopening plan – which was 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 on Monday.

"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."

"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 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.

In a plan approved by SUNY administration earlier this summer, SUNY New Paltz is offering a mix of remote, online, and face-to-face courses. College leaders have created strategies for safely supporting lecture and seminar-style courses, research activities, and lab-based and other face-to-face courses with strict social distancing, PPE, and cleaning protocols provided by Governor Andrew Cuomo, the New York State and Ulster County Health Departments, and SUNY.

Students were required to quarantine before the start of classes. All students, faculty, and staff will be required to wear masks or other face coverings in classrooms, restrooms, elevators, lecture halls, common spaces, studios, and labs whenever they are occupied by more than one person. Residence hall capacity is reduced, all students and employees will complete daily health screenings, and there is a COVID-19 testing site on campus.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit suny.edu.

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Holly Liapis
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