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Siena College Opens New Scientific Instrumentation Lab, the SAInT Center

Siena College Opens New Scientific Instrumentation Lab, the SAInT Center

Friday, March 13, 2015

Left to Right: Lead Donor William Dake, Siena College President Br. F. Edward Coughlin, O.F.M., Ph.D., Lead Donor and Siena Trustee Susan Dake and Siena Trustee Virginia Darrow '83 tour the SAInT Center.
Left to Right: Lead Donor William Dake, Siena College President Br. F. Edward Coughlin, O.F.M., Ph.D., Lead Donor and Siena Trustee Susan Dake and Siena Trustee Virginia Darrow '83 tour the SAInT Center.

Siena College officially opened its brand new, cutting-edge scientific instrumentation lab known as the SAInT Center with a celebration in Roger Bacon Hall and tours of the facility.

The acronym “SAInT” stands for Stewart’s Advanced Instrumentation and Technology in recognition of the lead gift from the Dake Family and Stewart’s Shops that allowed for the construction of this state-of-the-art facility.

“The SAInT Center provides Siena students with access to the most modern equipment and technology on the market today,” said School of Science Dean Allan Weatherwax, Ph.D. “Undergraduates at Siena will have the opportunity to use equipment that is usually in the domain of only graduate students, post-docs or medical school students.”

SAInT Center equipment has a myriad of applications, including bio-imaging, nanoscale microscopy, proteometrics and environmental analysis.  Its instruments have been incorporated into relevant academic coursework, exposing Siena students to the latest technology and preparing them for careers in many emerging fields.

“At Siena, students get a more rounded experience. They are able to explore and push their own limits beyond the traditional education for undergraduate students,” said SAInT Center Director Kristopher J. Kolonko, Ph.D. Kolonko added that more than 300 Siena students used instruments in the SAInT Center during its first semester of operation and so far, more than 60 students have been trained to use all of its equipment.

Biochemistry major Jakob Hebert ’15 knows firsthand the value of that training. He’s worked closely with Kolonko to conduct research using the SAInT Center equipment. Hebert said his experience impressed a potential employer in the pharmaceutical research and development field.

“I would not have stood out among my peers if it were not for the research experience that the SAInT Center has allowed me to do,” Hebert said. “I’m very thankful for the opportunities.”

Lead donors William Dake and his wife, Siena College Trustee Susan Dake, hope their investment in the SAInT Center will yield a positive return in the form of jobs and graduate school opportunities for Siena students.

“This Center, I think, will close the gap between theory, education and execution, and also increase the likelihood that all our graduates will get not just a job, but a meaningful job,” Susan Dake said. To reinforce their commitment to the SAInT Center’s mission, the William and Susan Dake announced an additional gift of $250,000.

Along with preparing students for success as they continue their education or begin their careers, the SAInT Center will advance Siena College’s academic mission by augmenting existing programs, fostering undergraduate research and supporting the development of a Scientific Technology minor program.

“The SAInT Center is a wonderful new addition to the Siena campus. It will create an environment for the type of experiential learning and student-faculty collaboration that makes a Siena College education unique,” said Br. F. Edward Coughlin, O.F.M., Ph.D. “The SAInT Center will also strengthen the College’s connections within Tech Valley and beyond. We are grateful to all of the people who made this instrumentation lab come to life.”

Along with the Dake family and Stewart’s Shops, Michael R. O’Leary ’74, M.D., Colleen E. O’Leary, M.D. and The George Alden Trust also provided generous support to help Siena College launch this impressive new instrumentation center.