University at Buffalo - The State University of New York
Skip to Content

1Capen: a Teched-Out Heart of the Campus

Published August 15, 2017

Article by Benjamin Blanchet

Photos by Douglas Levere

1Capen, a student support center merging key services into one space, is open as of August 2017. The innovate space features new, never-before-seen-on-campus technology, which UB Information Technology helped design and implement.

Technology Throughout

Photo

Benjamin Blanchet (UB student, Class of 2018) is an English major with an interest in journalism. After graduating from UB, he hopes to attend grad school and pursue a career writing about music and the arts. An Albany, NY native, Benjamin enjoys biking and reading in his spare time.

UBIT was integral in equipping 1Capen with a state-of-the-art queueing system to ensure efficient customer service, abundant digital signage, and AV technologies for the Buffalo Room, an over 100-capacity conference room in 1Capen.

“There’s a massive screen in there, and technology for video conferencing,” said Dan Deakin, UBIT Customer Service Manager. The room will be a multi-purpose space used for university press conferences, broadcasting and visits from high-profile guests.

UBIT’s Network and Classroom Services also worked to integrate cameras, wireless microphones and other tech features into the space—Kevin Lijewski, A/V Team Lead, and David Shurtleff, Conference and Capture Service Team Lead with UBIT Customer Service, were among the technical staff who contributed to 1Capen’s technology offerings.

Adjacent to the Buffalo Room is another multi-use conference room that boasts a 65" display, along with ceiling-attached microphones and a flexible camera for conferences. There is also a control room in 1Capen which not only holds all of the space's A/V technology, but also has capabilities for an operator to work with the various electronics in the Buffalo Room.

As is always the case with cutting-edge technology, what’s visible is only part of the picture.

“One of the big challenges is that much of the technology has to be hidden, so it’s not obvious it’s there,” Deakin said. “There’s a lot of collaboration happening to make this possible.”

Behind the Queues

Office space behind and around 1Capen houses departments that have either relocated entirely, such as the UB Card office, or set up a subsidiary location, such as Student Accounts and Financial Aid.

Mark Ferguson, UBIT Classroom Design Manager, said the task to equip the spaces in 1Capen required collaboration across many different departments. Especially in spaces like the Buffalo Room, departments such as the Office of University Events helped UBIT cater to their technological needs.

Exceeding Expectations, Despite the Challenges

With a collaborative project of this size, Deakin says one of the greatest challenges is keeping all the moving pieces in sync, and remaining flexible as timetables shift.

“The hardest part of any project of this scale is communication—making sure decisions are widely known, and communicated to all the people involved,” Deakin said. “You have to stay on top of what is happening, and adjust plans accordingly.”

This kind of flexibility is part of what UBIT does every day, and it’s why Deakin is excited about being part of a project that promises greater flexibility and convenience for students.

“Flexibility is key to exceptional customer service—understanding what our customers need, and doing what’s necessary to meet those needs,” Deakin said.

For more on 1Capen, visit 1capen.buffalo.edu, where you can access everything from transcripts to parking permits. Or, simply stop by.