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SUNY Chancellor-elect Kristina Johnson tours Buffalo State


BUFFALO -- SUNY Chancellor-elect Kristina Johnson toured the Buffalo State campus Wednesday, taking in the newest campus facilities and hearing about the college’s latest initiatives from Buffalo State President Katherine Conway-Turner.

The president and Steve Shaffer, Buffalo State’s facilities planning manager, led Johnson through the newly renovated Science and Mathematics Complex and Caudell Hall, along with the $36.5 million Technology Building that opened in fall 2013. All three buildings offer students state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment, smart classrooms, and beautiful meeting spaces.

Johnson's background as an engineer, entrepreneur, and inventor dovetailed nicely with the facilities she saw—from the demonstration kitchen in Caudell Hall to the fabric printer in the Technology Building.

During the tour, she spoke easily about her love of making strawberry-rhubarb pie, her experience doing research as an undergraduate, and her interest in creating a line of microfiber clothing.

In April, Johnson was named the 13th chancellor of SUNY following Nancy Zimpher’s decision to step down. Johnson will officially assume her new position on Tuesday, September 5.

The founder and chief executive officer of Cube Hydro Partners LLC, which develops hydroelectric generation facilities that provide clean energy to communities and businesses throughout the country, Johnson was appointed U.S. undersecretary of energy by President Barack Obama. She also has served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Johns Hopkins University; dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University; and professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

In addition, Johnson holds 42 U.S. patents. Her inventions include a camera that can detect cancerous or precancerous cells and 3-D technology used in films and television.

“What a pleasure to share an overview of Buffalo State with Chancellor-elect Johnson today,” said Conway-Turner. “It was exciting to showcase some of our newly renovated and developed facilities and to discuss our evolving Academic Commons. It was a wonderful visit and it was great sharing with her our mission, passion, and commitment to educating urban-engaged students.”