Elaine Polvinen Scholarship

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Professor Elaine Polvinen started her career at Buffalo State in 1992 after earning her M.F.A. from the Rochester Institute of Technology in design. Her career passion was infusing technology into the fashion program and across campus. She was an innovator in the use of technology for student gallery sites and was often the first to adopt new software, and new methodology. A dedicated and talented textile designer, her activities in AATCC brought exposure and numerous awards for many Buffalo State students.
One of her highest priority teaching goals was to initiate development of multiple product development student projects with industry partners and to present capstone experiences that also provide scholarship for students. Over the years she worked on industry projects with companies such as Designworks International, Tony Walker, Fisher Price, JCPenney, Melton Shirt Company in Batavia, NY, and Cotton Inc.
Professor Polvinen saw the financial difficulties that many of her students experienced – not only to attend college, but in purchasing the textbooks and supplies needed in order to be successful in the classroom.  

In 1998, she initiated the RUNWAY fashion show, which not only highlighted student work and brought positive publicity to campus, but also developed a method of raising funds for student scholarships. Endowing the first scholarship took six years, and the newly formed fashion department named it in honor of Professor Polvinen for her hard work and dedication to the students and the department. The Elaine Polvinen Scholarship is approximately $1,000.

Through her thoughtfulness and foresight in creating a revenue source for scholarship funding, we can offer students help in achieving their goals.
Professor Polvinen lost her three year battle with cancer in October 2015.

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