August 14, 2011

SUNY Empire State College Receives Motorola Solutions Foundation Innovation Generation Grant to Support Science Education

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SUNY Empire State College President Alan R. Davis today announced the college has received $48,000 as part of the Innovation Generation grant program from the Motorola Solutions Foundation, the charitable arm of Motorola Solutions Inc. Through the grant, the college will develop six core undergraduate courses in biology, chemistry and physics that will be delivered fully online and which will include a rigorous laboratory component.

“Motorola deserves credit for stimulating creative solutions to the delivery of much needed science, technology, engineering and math education,” said Davis. “At the same time the college is experiencing increasing demand to offer STEM courses, which reflects the realities of today’s job market.”

“Many of our students are looking to advance in their current careers or are considering second careers such as teaching,” said Dr. Mary Mawn, who co-authored this grant-funded project with Ken Charuk, with the support of colleagues at the college’s Center for Distance Learning. “These courses will provide adult learners with opportunities to explore and pursue STEM-related degrees.”

The college’s Innovation Generation grant supports the development of six courses consisting of two semesters each of biology, chemistry, and physics. Course development will take place during the 2011-2012 academic year, with initial offerings starting in spring 2012.

These courses will serve a population of students, primarily adult learners with career and family responsibilities, who are not able to attend traditional face-to-face classes, but still need the laboratory experiences expected of a science major. These learners will be able to explore science in an accessible format, engage in authentic laboratory experiences from a distance, and decide whether to pursue a STEM-related degree.

This project will provide adult learners with “innovative, alternative and flexible approaches to higher education” consistent with the college’s mission. It builds on the college’s prior successes developing online general education science courses, and expands access to fully online science courses across SUNY.

The Motorola Solutions Foundation's Innovation Generation program is designed to inspire students to learn about science, technology, engineering and math. Innovation Generation funding equips students with the skills essential to both their lives today and their future success through funding, employee volunteers and intra-grantee collaboration.

In 2011, the Motorola Solutions Foundation will provide $5.5 million in Innovation Generation grants that engage U.S. preschool through university students -- especially girls, underrepresented minorities and teachers -- in STEM programming.

 “The future of American innovation depends on a diverse pipeline of critical thinkers who are well versed in STEM principles,” said Matt Blakely, director of the Motorola Solutions Foundation. “Through the Innovation Generation program, we are thrilled to partner with programs like SUNY Empire State College to provide students and teachers with the necessary tools to explore their STEM interests and pursue innovation.”

Innovation Generation is a part of Motorola Solutions’ larger commitment to engaging youth in STEM education. Beyond funding, SUNY Empire State College will receive ongoing support from Motorola Solutions employee volunteers, who will act as mentors, tutors and experts in STEM careers, which utilizes the expertise of Motorola Solutions’ workforce to inspire the next generation of inventors. SUNY Empire State College also now is part of the Innovation Generation network, where it can create vital connections with hundreds of other organizations with the common vision to make a greater impact on STEM education.

Established in 2007, the Innovation Generation grants have awarded more than $25.5 million to STEM programs nationwide. For more information on the grant program, please visit For additional information on SUNY Empire State College please visit

About SUNY Empire State College
Celebrating its 40th anniversary throughout 2011, SUNY Empire State College was established in 1971 to offer adult learners the opportunity to earn associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the State University of New York. Students learn through independent studies, online courses, seminars and residencies. Learners also may earn credit for prior college-level learning from work and life experience.

The college serves more than 20,000 students worldwide at 35 locations in New York state and online. Its 63,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, not-for-profit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.

For more on the 40th anniversary, please follow this link.

About Motorola Solutions Foundation
The Motorola Solutions Foundation is the charitable and philanthropic arm of Motorola Solutions. With employees located around the globe, Motorola Solutions seeks to benefit the communities where it operates. The company achieves this by making strategic grants, forging strong community partnerships and fostering innovation. The Motorola Solutions Foundation focuses its funding on public safety, disaster relief, employee programs and education, especially science, technology, engineering and math programming. For more information on Motorola Solutions Corporate and Foundation giving, visit

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