Fredonia Division of Engagement and Economic Development

Collaboration . . .

The Future of Northern Chautauqua County

The NCCF Local Economic Development Committee (LED) presented Chautauqua County: On the Move! on Thursday, May 19, 2016, at the SUNY Fredonia Science Center. Over 80 community members turned out for an update on the exciting opportunities coming to Northern Chautauqua County.

Dr. Kevin Kearns, VP for Engagement & Economic Development at SUNY Fredonia and Diane E. Hannum, Executive Director for the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation welcomed attendees. Rich Alexander, the LED Chair, provided the background and goals of the LED as it engages education, business, and private sector leaders in moving Northern Chautauqua County forward.

Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan brought excitement to the room as he talked about the "New Wave of Economic Development in Chautauqua County." This "new wave" of a countywide economic boost includes a cross section of industry, manufacturing, tourism, agriculture and small business.

The Athenex project was the focus for the two keynote speakers. Michael Fancher, VP for Business Development & Economic Outreach at SUNY Polytechnic Institute and Teresa Bair, Athenex Senior VP of Corporate Development & Legal Affairs brought the audience up-to-date on the business end of Athenex. Fancher focused on how the Dunkirk facility is an extension of the existing nanotechnology corridor that runs along the NYS Thruway between Albany and Dunkirk. 

Teresa Bair brought good news with her presentation that included the employment opportunities that Athenex brings to the area. These jobs include technical and nontechnical employment for area residents. She also stressed "We look forward to opportunities to get to know one another better. We want to engage with the community, learn what is already here, and figure out how we can help one another moving forward."

Earth Month events sought for April 2016 celebration calendar


The Fredonia campus will celebrate Earth Month during the entire month of April 2016. The tradition has grown from Earth Day to Earth Week to the first campus-wide Earth Month celebration this year.

Building on the success of the many events, activities and speakers in 2015, the goal continues to include activities and events from all areas on campus for Earth Month 2016. Kevin Cloos, Director of Facilities Services, and Sarah Laurie, Director of Environmental Health and Safety and Sustainability, have agreed to co-chair the Earth Month 2016 Planning Committee.

Campus organizations, departments, faculty, staff, and student groups are invited to submit events to include in the Earth Month calendar. If an event, film series scheduled, or a relevant educational activity with a theme related to Earth Day, environmental education, or sustainability is planned for the month, the university would like to include the event on the Earth Month calendar.

Events listed on the official calendar will benefit from inclusion in Earth Month promotional efforts and will be posted on the Earth Month website. Planning is already underway for the popular Electronics Recycling Event on Saturday, April 23, 2016.

To put an event on the calendar, students, faculty and staff should fill out the short submission form so organizers have all the details related to the event. For more information, visit or contact Ms. Laurie (ext. 3796) or Mr. Cloos (ext. 3452).

HR Management students win Chautauqua County contest on Dec. 7

hr A team of six Fredonia students have won the "I Love Chautauqua --     Working  Here" video contest, sponsored by the Chautauqua County Visitors  Bureau. The team included seniors Richelle Dalaba (Cassadaga), Marybeth Koetz (Hamlin), Joseph Moran (East Meadow) and Darren Pope (Clarence), along with juniors Kevin Geiser (Horseheads) and Emily Honeyman (Williamsville).

The students created the video as a group project required for the School of Business' Human Resource Management class (BUAD 330), taught by Fredonia's Associate Director for Human Resources, Jodi Rzepka.

The prize for winning is $250, which was presented to the team by Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan, and matched by Fredonia's Division of Engagement and Economic Development, presented by Vice President Kevin Kearns.

Fredonia Technology Incubator to feature James East’s artwork 

Fredonia Technology Incubator to feature James East’s artwork

"Lake Erie State Park," by retired Professor James East, is among many works which will be on exhibition at the Technology Incubator through Dec. 11.

Local artist James East will exhibit, “Recent Works: Landscapes,” from Nov. 9 to Dec. 11 at the Fredonia Technology Incubator, located at 214 Central Avenue in Dunkirk. The exhibition can be viewed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays.

An opening reception is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 12, from 4 to 6 p.m. Parking is available in the incubator’s lot, accessible behind the building from Washington Street.

“We are pleased to host exhibitions featuring art from our campus and the community,” said Incubator Director Chuck Cornell. “As a mixed-use business incubator focusing on arts- and technology-based businesses, featuring talented artists at our facility adds great value to the community and our business clients.”

James East is a Professor Emeritus of Clarinet at Fredonia’s School of Music, where he taught for 38 years. He was also Executive Director and Principal Clarinetist with the Western New York Chamber Orchestra, and Principal Clarinetist with the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra in Erie, Pa.

When Mr. East retired from Fredonia, he resumed his interest in painting, which he had abandoned since high school to focus exclusively on his music studies. East has worked with Fredonia Technology Incubator Advisory Board Member and SUNY Distinguished Professor of Painting Alberto Rey. Prior to working with Professor Rey, East enrolled in workshops at the Art Students League and Spring Street Studio in Manhattan.

“I have been working with ‘Jay’ since 2012, and it has been a pleasure having him in my classes,” said Rey. “He is one of the most motivated and hardest working students that I have had. He is adventurous in his explorations and we continue to explore new directions every semester.”

Mr. Cornell acknowledged Cathy and Jesse Marion Art Gallery Director Barbara Räcker for overseeing the exhibition. Those interested in attending the reception can register at

The Fredonia Technology Incubator promotes economic growth in Western New York by supporting entrepreneurship and the development of new, innovative companies into successful business ventures. The incubator provides services to startups which, in turn, create jobs in the community. In addition, the incubator develops real-world internships and training opportunities for students, attracts and retains graduates for the area, provides a first-class facility for community activities, and provides support services to community organizations and leaders.

The incubator is part of Fredonia’s Division of Engagement and Economic Development (EED), established in 2013 to facilitate and support university-community collaborations that enhance the intellectual, cultural, artistic and economic vibrancy of the region. Such collaborations include active community engagement and partnerships with local and regional organizations, governments, businesses and universities. In addition to the incubator, the division oversees the university’s StartUp New York economic development program. The division is led by Vice President Kevin Kearns.

Dr. Gary Welborn presents Service Learning Workshop on Oct.16

Gary Welborn, coordinator of Community Engagement and faculty coordinator for Service Learning at SUNY Buffalo State, presented a workshop on Service Learning on Oct. 16 in the Williams Center.

The event was sponsored by the Fredonia Division of Engagement and Economic Development, the Career Development Office and the Professional Development Center.

Service Learning allows students to apply their classroom learning to community projects and work with local agencies on important issues to make a positive impact. In the workshop, Dr. Welborn shared some of his high-impact practices, theories, resources and course construction that has been a success at SUNY Buffalo State.

It is hoped that there will be another opportunity to benefit from a visit from Dr. Welborn in the future along with his colleague, Laura Hill Rao. A planned follow-up workshop will assist faculty who wish to modify their syllabus to include a Service Learning component.

Community Engagement Forum held on Sep.16

Community Engagement Forum held

Facilitator BethMarie Ward, Tracy Collingwood, Dr. Michael Jabot, Joyce Harvard Smith, Dr. Kevin Kearns, Dr. Russell Boisjoly, Dawn Eckenrode and facilitator Connie Foster. 

The divisions of Engagement and Economic Development and Academic Affairs recently hosted a Community Engagement Forum in conjunction with the university’s Professional Development Day.

Over 70 faculty, staff, and administrators participated in the morning facilitated session providing input on a variety of important areas including how to develop a sustainable model for community engagement, assess and track community engagement activities, and integrate and align community engagement activities with existing initiatives. A smaller group of faculty and administrators participated in a lively visioning session in the afternoon.

Click here for Engagement Forum Executive Summary

A Message from Vice President Kearns

Kevin KearnsWelcome to the Division of Engagement and Economic Development (EED)! Our mission is to facilitate and support university - community collaborations that enhance the intellectual, cultural, artistic, and economic vibrancy of our region. Such collaborations include active community engagement and partnerships with local and regional organizations, governments, businesses, and universities.

As the newest division of the university, our mission reflects Fredonia’s commitment to the values outlined in the Power of Fredonia strategic plan: “Fredonia depends upon shared and vital networks of involvement, communication, and understanding in our relationships with one another and in our connections to Chautauqua County and the broader region. As a public, regional university, Fredonia has an important role in the cultural, intellectual, and economic growth of the region. Community engagement is valued both as a form of faculty scholarship and as an important learning experience for students. As a community that values creativity and collaboration, Fredonia relies on the diverse perspectives each person brings to campus relations and community partnerships.”

We are excited to work across all divisions of the university as we document our level of community engagement and regional economic impact, and we look forward to working with community partners to enhance the quality of life in our area. We invite you to learn more about our long standing involvement in the community through the Fredonia Academic Community Engagement (FACE) center, the Center for Regional Advancement (CRA), the Native American SUNY: Western Consortium, and other engaged units across the university. The FACE center promotes campus and community collaboration in the areas of civic engagement, sustainability, service learning, and community-based research. The CRA enhances our regional vitality through community engagement by connecting the talents, knowledge and passions of Fredonia's faculty, staff and students to community needs and opportunities. The Native American Consortium is one of two consortia created by the State University of New York (SUNY) to address the higher education needs of Native American students and communities.

Another example of Fredonia’s long standing commitment to community engagement and economic development is the Fredonia Technology Incubator (FTI) in Dunkirk, NY. The 22,000 square foot LEED Silver facility houses a variety of small startup companies. The Incubator staff provides support, mentorship, and assistance to the startup companies that aspire to grow their businesses and graduate into the community. Clients in the incubator are given access to business resources and assistance, technology expertise, and a wide range of highly qualified faculty and business mentors that enhance their chances to succeeded and thrive. The Fredonia Center for Social Entrepreneurship program, a graduate of the FTI, continues to actively serve the community with programs such as Spoke Folk and Meals on Two Wheels.

We are committed to working collaboratively on programs and initiatives that can contribute to the economic and intellectual vitality of our region. New York State’s StartUP NY program, a tax free incentive program designed to attract businesses and jobs to the state, is a prime opportunity for regional cooperation. To maximize the economic impact of the initiative, we are working closely with SUNY institutions in the region to create jobs and prosperity, and revitalize our local economy. We are also partnering with Chautauqua County Government, the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency (CCIDA), the City of Dunkirk, the Village of Fredonia, and our local business community on the Fredonia StartUP NY campus plan.

Fredonia’s Division of Engagement and Economic Development (EED) is actively seeking input from community members, faculty, staff and students on how we can further support campus and community collaborations. We look forward to working with you.

Engagement and Economic Development

Dr. Kevin Kearns Vice President for Engagement and Economic Development
701 Maytum Hall
State University of New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, NY 14063
(716) 673-3758