The newly merged SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE)/SUNY Institute of Technology (SUNYIT) and Girls Inc. of the Greater Capital Region (Girls Inc.) today announced that 80 girls will complete the third year of the CNSE-Girls Inc. Eureka!® program, with M&T Bank joining RBC Capital Markets, SEFCU, and CNSE/SUNYIT in providing combined funding exceeding $520,000 for the nation’s pioneering initiative that gives young women the opportunity to explore the exciting world of nanotechnology.
SUNY CNSE/SUNYIT and Girls Inc. Eureka! Program Enables Young Women to Explore Nanotechnology
“The Girls Inc. Eureka!® program offers yet another innovative avenue for fulfilling Governor Andrew Cuomo’s educational and workforce development goals for all New Yorkers, and we are thankful for our program sponsors who have provided the critical funding that makes it all possible,” said Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, Chief Executive Officer and Officer in Charge of the newly merged CNSE/SUNYIT institution. “We are thrilled that this partnership between CNSE/SUNYIT and Girls Inc. of the Greater Capital Region, with crucial support from M&T Bank, RBC, and SEFCU, will continue to enable new opportunities in New York State for those who are from social groups underrepresented in the scientific arena, bolstering the state’s rapidly expanding nanotechnology-based sector.”
“Girls Inc. is excited to be able to work with our newest partner, M&T Bank, in addition to CNSE/SUNYIT, RBC, and SEFCU, to provide the largest group of young girls we’ve ever had with the incredible, nanotechnology-focused educational opportunities that this Girls Inc. Eureka!® program offers,” said Ashley L. Jeffrey, Executive Director of Girls Inc. of the Greater Capital Region. “At a time when program participants are making life choices that can strongly influence their future, this first-of-its kind program immerses them in an inspiring environment where what they learn can lead to untold personal opportunities in the nanosciences that will also serve to strengthen our local communities.”
“M&T Bank is thrilled to support the Girls Inc. Eureka!® program as it seeks to stir the minds of young women with the power and potential of nanotechnology and inspire them to pursue career paths that can strengthen our communities,” said Michael T. Keegan, Regional President, M&T Bank. “Through our investment in this cutting-edge, inspirational program, we are proud to empower participants to become leaders in the science that is paying dividends for communities across New York State.”
“RBC is excited to support the Girls Inc. Eureka!® program for a second year, as we help encourage these young women to pursue careers as scientists and engineers and become pioneers in the field of nanotechnology,” said Chris Hamel, Head of U.S. Municipal Finance at RBC Capital Markets. “Through responsible community investment and by working with organizations like CNSE/SUNYIT and Girls Inc. of the Greater Capital Region, we are helping to build a strong foundation for educational and career opportunities across New York State.”
“SEFCU is delighted to continue our partnership with CNSE/SUNYIT and Girls Inc. to drive critical scientific curiosity and nanotechnology-centered learning for young girls in the Capital Region,” said Michael J. Castellana, SEFCU President and CEO. “At a time when the region and New York State have become the epicenter for high-tech growth and innovative careers, we are excited to enable children from our communities to be able to engage with this expanding ecosystem and learn about the opportunities that it presents while they experience a state-of-the-art college setting that can help launch bright futures.”
Each sponsor is supporting a specific cohort of participants as they move through the five-year Girls Inc. Eureka!® program: M&T Bank provided funding for 30 girls to take part in their first year in the program; RBC supported the class of nearly 30 girls who have now completed their second year in the program; and SEFCU is continuing to support the first Girls Inc. Eureka!® program class, which consists of more than 20 girls, by providing funding for all five years to enable their high-tech experience. Additionally, both RBC and SEFCU are spearheading educational modules related to financial literacy, leadership development, workforce preparation, and community service in order to promote participants’ self-esteem and personal development as part of this comprehensive program.
Designed to engage underserved populations within the cities of Albany and Schenectady, participants spend the first two years of the program taking part in an intensive four-week summer camp at CNSE/SUNYIT’s state-of-the-art $20 billion Albany NanoTech Complex. The curriculum includes a variety of hands-on activities that explore advanced nanoscience concepts and applications, including forensic DNA fingerprinting, wafer patterning, microfluidics and microcontact printing, cell encapsulation and therapy, and clean energy through investigations of fuel cells and photovoltaics.
In years three through five, each girl partners with a mentor to complete an independent research project, participates in paid internships with local businesses and organizations, and engages in college preparatory activities. Internship experiences to-date have included learning about sales and commercial lending, in addition to the importance of wellness and community service at SEFCU; gaining first-hand knowledge of communications technologies at Windstream Communications; setting up and observing cases for a judge at the Albany County Family Court; and learning about 3D modeling and video game development technologies at 1st Playable Productions; among others. The students will continue to take part in a number of popular CNSE/SUNYIT outreach events to share what they have learned, including Community Day, when they conduct experiments for thousands of people who visit the NanoCollege during NANOvember, part of a month-long series of nanotechnology-related events.
The Girls Inc. Eureka!® 2014 summer program began in July and is scheduled to conclude August 7 with poster presentations by participants that detail the variety of skills and knowledge that they have gained. For more information on the opportunities that the SUNY CNSE/SUNYIT-Girls Inc. Eureka!® program offers participants, visit http://www.sunycnse.com/NanoforKids/GirlsInc.aspx.