News Release: SUNY Poly Marks the Successful Conclusion of the Inaugural Class of the Chancellor’s Summer Research Excellence Fund

News Release: SUNY Poly Marks the Successful Conclusion of the Inaugural Class of the Chancellor’s Summer Research Excellence Fund

Wednesday, August 16, 2023 - 10:59
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Initiative Provided Support for the Summer Undergraduate Research Program

UTICA, NY – Officer-in-Charge Dr. Andrew Russell today celebrated the successful conclusion of SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s (SUNY Poly’s) Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP), which was funded in part by the Chancellor’s Summer Research Excellence Fund. SUNY Poly was one of the initial participants of the Summer Research Excellence Fund, along with Binghamton University, University at Buffalo, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and Stony Brook University. 
SUNY Poly’s 10-week Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) provides qualified undergraduate students with the opportunity to conduct research, as well as engage in an innovative hands-on experience to work with the university’s world-class faculty.
In 2023, the SURP at SUNY Poly was supported through the SUNY Chancellor's Summer Research Excellence Fund, internal funds, and industry partners.  The chancellor's funds, specifically, supported summer salaries for seven SURP scholars and provided housing stipends for a number of participants. Twenty-one students participated in the program this summer, with the overwhelming majority hailing from SUNY Poly.
“The skills our students learn as part of SURP are invaluable as this program provides them with an intensive hands-on learning experience that sets the stage for further research-focused success,” said Officer-in-Charge Dr. Andrew Russell. “The knowledge and tools gained will serve them well as they consider graduate school opportunities and enter the workforce. We are grateful for the support of SUNY, Chancellor John King, and our industry partners for making this opportunity possible.”  
 SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. said, “Gaining research experience is essential to providing students with real-world, practical experience that will prepare them for further education and their future careers. SUNY believes that every student should have access to programs that develop these skills. The Chancellor’s Summer Research Excellence Fund is an essential step in making that a reality and investing in the upward mobility of SUNY students.”
There are four SURP at SUNY Poly tracks students can be involved in: SURP-Funded Research, Faculty grant-funded SURP, Volunteer Positions, and Research for Credit. They were supported by faculty and staff who were part of the 2023 SURP team: Dr. Carolyn Rodak; Dr. Ji Ung Lee; Dr. Rebecca Weldon; Elaine Garrett; Valerie Black; Dr. André Melendez; and Dr. Michael Carpenter.
“Students gained exposure to all aspects of the research process,” Dr. Weldon explained, “from coming up with a research idea, to seeing what others have done in the field (i.e., background literature), to learning new techniques in the lab. They also learned that you can’t predict what will happen. In science, the data is the data. You never know what it’s going to look like.”
Exposure to research has also opened participating students’ eyes to the possibility of continuing their education and research opportunities at the graduate level. Students also gain valuable communication skills, whether from what they learn in the classroom or through their project-based work. They also gather with their peers at the concluding poster session (where they describe what they’ve been working on) at the culmination of the session.
For more info about SURP, click here.

About SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly)
SUNY Poly is charting a path to become New York State’s and the nation’s premier public polytechnic. The university offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in technology, including engineering, cybersecurity, computer science, and the engineering technologies; professional studies, including business, communication, and nursing; and arts and sciences, including natural sciences, game design, mathematics, humanities, and social sciences at its campus located in Utica. Complementing the campus experience and our hands-on approach to providing an affordable, targeted education for in-demand careers, you will also find thriving athletic, recreational, and cultural programs, events, and activities. For more information visit