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Fisher Celebrates Official Opening of DePeters Family Center for Innovation and Teaching Excellence

June 6, 2022

On Friday, June 3, St. John Fisher College celebrated the official opening and dedication of the DePeters Family Center for Innovation and Teaching Excellence, a vibrant new space designed to provide faculty with opportunities to experiment with creative and flexible instructional approaches and cutting-edge tools to enhance their teaching.

Jack and Donna DePeters pose with their daughters in front of the center that bears their names.

The Center was made possible thanks to a $1 million gift from Jack ’73 and Donna DePeters and a $1 million matching gift from Wegmans Food Markets.

 “Today, we dedicate this space but also celebrate the DePeters family’s outstanding support of the College and the impact it has already made and will continue to make on our institution,” said President Gerard J. Rooney, during the ceremony. “The establishment of this Center furthers our commitment to teaching and learning in a student-centered educational environment in state-of the-market active learning spaces that utilize the latest technology, design elements, and furnishings.”

The Center includes a model “classroom of the future,” outfitted with flexible chairs and desks and mobile technology that allow for movement during the learning process as instructors weave the latest active learning teaching strategies into their classrooms. It also includes a studio where faculty can record lectures.

The Center is operated by four full-time staff members including Katie Sabourin, Robin Schmid, Emma Daitz, and Tyler Woodward, all of whom hold expertise in education technology, software, and platforms related to curriculum creation, design, and delivery. Faculty Fellows Drs. Emily Dane-Staples, Ed Freeman, and Deborah VanderBilt offer workshop, facilitate events, and consult with colleagues to support projects within the Center. Each Faculty Fellow has a unique area of focus based on their own expertise and campus initiatives.