I’ve spent the past several weeks working to publicize the grand opening celebration of RIT’s new Center for Student Innovation. In preparation, I did some homework to get a sense of what the center would be all about.
I read background material, including colleague Kathy Lindsley’s piece on the center in University Magazine. I spoke to Ian Gatley, the center’s director. I even wandered over to the 10,000 square-foot circular glass structure a few random times to get a sense of what was happening there.
But I didn’t truly grasp what a special place the center has potential to become until I heard Nathan Green, a computer science graduate student, being interviewed by YNN (formerly known as R News) and the Democrat and Chronicle.
“This place represents a lot of opportunities to work together with other majors, collaborate across the college boundaries. So, it’s a good melting pot for all of us with new ideas to seek individuals to help us out,” Green told YNN.
Sound familiar? It does to me. It’s the message RIT President Bill Destler has been drilling into the RIT community since his arrival. It’s one thing to hear it from the university president. It’s quite another to hear it from a student, without any prompting or coaching. Green clearly gets what it means to be the “Innovation University.” He’s eager to join forces with other students, equipped with diverse talents, and do things that have never been done before.
Something special is taking root on campus. And it’s looking like the Center for Student Innovation may be the epicenter of it all. I, for one, can’t wait to see what happens next.
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