One of five pillars in Oswego’s Sesquicentennial Plan
SUNY Oswego's spirit of innovation, energy and ambition for the future, grounded in its distinguished 150-year history, attracted a strong entering class in 2010-11. Applications set a 21st century high, and admission was competitive with a 47 percent acceptance rate for freshmen.
While enrollment held steady, the population of students living on campus rose to 4,300, an increase of nearly 1,200 from a decade ago, and the racial and ethnic diversity of the student body increased, making the campus environment more dynamic and vibrant than ever.
New buildings, new programs and the funds to run them are propelling Oswego's distinctive vitality.
Make it new
- In the most ambitious construction project undertaken on campus since the 1960s, the college broke ground in fall 2010 on its Science and Engineering Innovation Corridor. Over some three years, an innovative four-story structure will wrap around part of Piez Hall — more than a quarter-million square feet in all — and bring world-class facilities to Oswego's students in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
- Completion of the new science facilities may still be in the future, but state-of-the-art equipment planned for the new structure is showing up next door as the college's science faculty members continue their teaching and research. A case in point is the Environmental Research Center in Oswego's chemistry department, which in spring 2011 took delivery of a high-resolution mass spectrometer and is piloting features of the new science building — including durable, low-maintenance flooring and an environmentally friendly fume hood — in its temporary quarters in Snygg Hall.
- A three-year series of projects to renovate and expand two buildings to house all six departments of Oswego's School of Education started in summer 2011.
- A changing campus, not to mention changing ways of communicating online, prompted the college to create a virtual tour to show off the campus to prospective students and their families and encourage them to visit in person.
- The clock struck 150 in 2011 at SUNY Oswego, making it all the more appropriate that the clocks will return to the cupola of the college's venerable flagship, Sheldon Hall, in one of the year's major renovation projects. The 100-year-old building is getting new copper for its roof, shiny as a new penny, along with new windows, masonry repair, and new granite steps for the front entrance among other improvements in external rehab work to be completed in 2012.
- A weekly email series marking the college's sesquicentennial anniversary and showing how Oswego's academic and co-curricular activities have continually evolved into new forms debuted in spring 2011. "Then and Now" celebrates the vitality of the college's past, present and future.
Federal agencies awarded SUNY Oswego, in competition with institutions nationally, millions of dollars in funds to support scientific research and education in the sciences and related fields in 2010-11:
- The National Science Foundation awarded SUNY Oswego nearly $600,000 to help support the college's distinctive Possibility Scholars program designed to recruit and retain talented students who otherwise could not afford to pursue degrees in science and technology fields.
- Students from Oswego and other Upstate New York colleges and universities gained opportunities to do astrophysics research at Oswego's Global Laboratory partner in Taiwan under a $138,545 grant from the National Science Foundation.
- Oswego became the first SUNY institution to receive a $200,000 National Science Foundation catalyst grant to investigate the status of women faculty in the sciences and related disciplines.
- Oswego received about $2 million to perform its role in the latest five-year phase of the Great Lakes Fish Monitoring and Surveillance Program, supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in collaboration with Clarkson University and partner SUNY Fredonia. The grant funded purchase of a sophisticated analytical instrument that gives the research team state-of-the-art capability to identify and quantify chemical pollutants at levels previously impossible to achieve.
- An $86,000 grant from the National Science Foundation provided a meteorology faculty member and his students the tools to venture near the most intense snowstorms to collect first-of-its-kind data with the goal of improving forecasting and thereby saving lives.
- About $100,000 came to Oswego via Cornell University and the U.S. Department of Energy for a computer science faculty member and her students to work on improving X-ray diffraction cameras. Scientists use such cameras to take pictures of viruses, proteins and other substances that are too small for visible light to reveal, and the research team is making them more versatile and less costly.
- SUNY's Oswego-based Professional Science Master's Program — which aims to increase the flow of scientific skills to the business-industry arena in New York state — received a $350,000 Sloan Foundation grant.
- Campus Technology Services completed migration of the college's email system to Google Apps for Education as the college's primary email and online collaboration system at the start of the fall 2010 semester. Not only did the switch from a campus-based system to "the cloud" save $130,000 per year in hardware and maintenance costs, but it also increased reliability of college email, reduced energy consumption and dramatically reduced the need for hard-copy communications and documents.
- A $160,000 grant through Banco Santander and the State University of New York system will enable 30 students in science-related fields from SUNY Oswego and elsewhere around the system to study at Oswego's Global Laboratory partners in Brazil over two years.
- A geology faculty member and students studied black shale from Upstate New York for clues to marine life extinction more than 300 million years ago, with the aid of a $50,000 grant from the American Chemical Society.
As the economy recovers, newly minted college graduates as well as those seeking to switch careers or upgrade their training for new and better opportunities are pursuing graduate studies. Oswego has been developing new programs for them:
- A new graduate certificate in integrated media and social networks reflects increasing opportunities from the convergence of communication platforms. The program will provide hands-on experience for those interested in the rising creative fields of social network communication, interactive web interfaces and digital gaming.
- Selected graduate students in agricultural and mathematics education now have the opportunity to combine Peace Corps service and a master's degree through the Peace Corps Master's International program at Oswego.
- Oswego's new online MBA program enables students as diverse as soldiers at Fort Drum, busy professionals around New York state and Oswego alumni from Pennsylvania to India to obtain their master's degrees in business administration.
- Oswego also created four additional graduate programs: A professional science master's track is new to the master's program in human computer interaction. Two new master of science in teaching degree programs lead to certification, one in childhood education and one in adolescence education. The School of Education also added a master of science in education degree in special education.
The college's vitality shines brightest publicly when members of the campus community display their energetic and disciplined spirit in competitive arenas and emerge with laurels.
- SUNY Oswego's National Public Radio affiliate, WRVO-FM, won the top award for radio journalism in the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association annual awards.
- In athletics, the Laker men's basketball team advanced to the NCAA championship rounds, making history, and the men's ice hockey team defeated Bowdoin in the NCAA quarterfinal in the Campus Center arena to advance to the Frozen Four.