The vision for Gannon University has grown as its enrollment, number of degrees offered and its geographical footprint has grown since being granted authorization to award degrees 70 years ago. With our Mission in mind, it is the entrepreneurial faculty and staff who’ve spearheaded this vision to provide a best-value Catholic education while maintaining accessibility for all students. This is lived out in the learning environments where our students and faculty are expanding their knowledge and are training to become future global leaders every day.
The $14.5 million modernization of the Recreation and Wellness Center was completed and opened to the Gannon community on Aug. 29. The facility features nearly 52,000 square feet of subdivided indoor space for year-round athletic, intramural and fitness activities, an 80-yard indoor field house, a Human Performance Laboratory and a healthy juice and snack bar. The Rec Center now offers fitness classes free of charge to students, faculty and staff, which include kickboxing, yoga and cycling.
In this updated facility, the Human Performance Laboratory offers collaboration with the physical therapy, sport and exercise science, nutrition and human performance, occupational therapy and biomedical engineering programs. In this region’s only laboratory, students and faculty are able to study motion analysis and human performance testing.
Another laboratory recently created to enhance existing academic programs is the Biomedical Engineering Laboratory. This lab houses an electromyography system that measures the electrical activity of muscles and correlates that activity with the force that the muscle generates. This greatly enhances understanding of those who are disabled or have suffered medical conditions such as strokes. The facility also incorporates a robotic device that can be used for understanding how the brain controls movements, as well as a motion capture system. The students learn to analyze all aspects of muscle movement to assist with the creation of prosthetics and medical devices.
The Forensic Investigation Center (FIC) also encompasses a laboratory for the students in the criminal justice program. The FIC is modeled to emulate an actual residence, where students practice solving crimes staged in mock crime scenes where they gather evidence. The forensic laboratory is then used to analyze the evidence they’ve collected. This facility also includes an interview/interrogation room, allowing the students to learn the process of solving crimes. The students gain additional hands-on experience with the firearms training simulator, where they learn the importance of firearm safety and the real-life responsibility associated with this career.
Additionally, the University acquired two buildings that are now a part of the Gannon campus, the first being the Center for Communication and the Arts. With the recent formation of the School of Communication and the Arts, the need for a centralized location for Gannon’s student-run media outlets and arts programs was apparent. This new facility integrates programs in human communication studies, media studies and the digital and performing arts, and co-locates 90.5 WERG, Gannon's award-winning radio station, the Schuster Gallery, the Gannon Knight newspaper, Archaeological Museum Gallery and the Erie Chamber Orchestra. This new facility also opened opportunities for new art and dance classes as well.
The 80-yard indoor field house located in the Recreation and Wellness Center provides students with an area for year-round athletic, intramural and open recreation activities.
The second building, still under renovation, is the Center for Business Ingenuity, which will bring together the Dahlkemper School of Business with the University's Small Business Development Center and Erie Technology Incubator. This strategic synergy will provide students, entrepreneurs and business owners access to networking and knowledge sharing that is vital in today’s business climate. The technology housed within the building, such as the Business Integration Systems Laboratory (BISL), will allow for advanced collaboration between not only the three entities within the building, but with other universities and businesses across the nation, and the globe. The BISL will utilize the shared software provided through the Dahlkemper School of Business’ recent acceptance into the SAP® University Alliances program to learn how technology can empower businesses to optimize key processes such as accounting and controlling, supply chain management and project planning. The Center for Business Ingenuity’s 900 State St. location, in the heart of Erie’s central business district, places Gannon’s business school in a prime geographic area.
It is the students, faculty and staff who are driving the vision for these new additions and enhancement to the University’s academic environments. By incorporating multi-disciplinary learning opportunities, innovative learning resources and present-day technology and encapsulating the global understanding that is affecting all career fields today, Gannon University has become a leader in an education that is best-quality, best-value and best preparing its students.