The Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC, has listed Alfred State in a recent report as the top two-year or lower college whose alumni possess the most valuable skills.
The report, “Beyond College Rankings: A Value-Added Approach to Assessing Two- and Four-Year Schools,” determined that the value of Alfred State alumni skills is $69,219, which is more than $9,500 greater than the average value of alumni skills at all two-year or lower colleges, $59,664.
Dr. Jonathan Rothwell, a fellow at the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, said the institution obtained a list of the 25 most commonly listed skills on LinkedIn resumes for roughly 2,500 colleges, then evaluated those skills by matching them to those advertised on millions of online job vacancies posts, in which the vacancy had included both a skill and a salary.
“High-value alumni skills, like those listed by Alfred State alumni, are those associated with high average salaries,” Rothwell said.
The significance of Alfred State’s top ranking, according to Rothwell, is that it implies that the content of what is taught at the college either directly provides skills highly valued in the labor market or prepares students to acquire those skills after leaving Alfred State.
“The fact that Alfred State ranks at the top suggests that its teachers instill the most valuable skills in the country, relative to all other two-year colleges,” he said.
The value of alumni skills, Rothwell said, was one of the most important predictors of strong performance on the three alumni economic outcomes that Brookings measured: mid-career salaries, loan repayment rates, and occupational earnings power.
“Notably, alumni skills not only predict better outcomes for alumni, they predict higher value-added performance,” Rothwell said. “That is to say, that even after controlling for student characteristics — like test scores and family income — higher value skills predict greater success. Alfred State scored in the top 2 percent and top 9 percent of all colleges on value-added contribution to occupational earnings power and loan repayment.”
Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan said, “I am extremely pleased about Alfred State’s top ranking in the Brookings Institution’s report. This ranking is a testament to the high-quality education our students receive here and I could not be more proud of our students, alumni, faculty, and staff.”
Dr. James Gregory Ferry, chaired professor of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Penn State, will serve as the speaker for Alfred State’s 104th Commencement on May 17.
Ferry is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and past editor of the Journal of Bacteriology. He has served on numerous national committees and currently is co-chair of the Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Science that advises the federal government on matters of space exploration.
A former member of Alfred State’s undefeated wrestling team, Ferry received his AAS degree in agronomy from Alfred State in 1963, followed by BS and MS degrees from the University of Georgia. He continued his education at the University of Illinois, where he earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry in 1974.
Ferry was appointed assistant professor of microbiology at Virginia Tech in 1976 and rose to the rank of professor. In 1995, he moved to Penn State to accept an endowed chair in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He has authored more than 200 scientific publications.
The one thing that hasn't changed viscerally at Alfred State, said Ferry, is the culture; faculty are here because they want to teach students and foster their full potentials. Ferry recently created the James G. and Marilyn A. Ferry Endowed Scholarship to assist students with a strong desire to learn and who have the need for financial assistance.
He and Mrs. Ferry are high school sweethearts who have been married 49 years. They have two daughters and three grandchildren.
The Alfred State New Horizons Forum scheduled for Tuesday, April 28, will feature the documentary, “Hope On The Horizon” and special guest speakers, Donna York, president of HARK, and Alfred State alum Debra (McQueen) Quinn, who will present on Familial Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
The forum will be held at 6 p.m. in the Cappadonia Auditorium of the Orvis Activities Center and is open to the public. Admission is free; however, donations will be gladly accepted at the door.
Created by HARK, a Hillsborough, NJ, charity that gives financial aid, medical equipment, and other support to families struggling with ALS, “Hope on the Horizon” is an inspiring 27-minute film documenting the incredible journey of four hikers trying to do what nobody has done before: scale 48 mountains in 24 days. They attempted to cover 250 miles of dangerous terrain in perhaps the bleakest wilderness of North America.
Four hikers started the journey and only two completed it, but not before taking Martin Wallem, an ALS patient, athlete and outdoorsman, to the top of the 46th peak. The odyssey through severe terrain is a metaphor for the hardships faced by ALS patients and their loved ones in dealing with this devastating disease. Anyone with a life-threatening illness will be inspired by “Hope on the Horizon.”
“This film is about hope in facing life’s challenges and courage in the face of one’s worst fears,” said York. “Patients with ALS and their families say the diagnosis is like embarking on a journey through a dark tunnel. The people of HARK, who have been down that tunnel, want to help others through the ordeal. Our mission is to change the way the world views ALS.”
Quinn, who holds a business management degree from Alfred State, began her fight with Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) in October 2009. Upon researching her genealogy, she traced the disease through 13 generations of her grandmother’s family to the early 1600s, discovering more than 20 additional family members who suffered from ALS.
Quinn has brought awareness into her community, working tirelessly with the Hearts for ALS NY organization and speaking at local and national platforms.
The New Horizons Forum, sponsored by the School of Arts and Sciences, showcases current scholarly, creative, and public service work by faculty, students, alumni, professional staff, and invited guests. It is guided by a campus-wide team of advisers whose goal is to enrich the intellectual life of the institution.
For more information, contact Forum Advisory Board member Erica Matteson at MattesES@alfredstate.edu.
Alfred State will present its 64th annual Alumni Choral Spring Concert at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 26 in the Anthony C. Cappadonia Auditorium in the Orvis Activities Center on the Alfred campus.
Groups performing will include “Voices,” the college’s student choral group directed by Linda Staiger; the Alumni Jazz Singers; and the Alumni Choir. The concert is free and open to the public.
The Alfred State Concert Choir Alumni organization was founded in 1957 and consists of alumni who performed as students under the direction of Anthony C. Cappadonia, who was the instrumental and choral director at Alfred State for 56 years. On April 29, 2012, the Anthony C. Cappadonia Auditoriumwas officially dedicated.
The auditorium will forever be a testament to the musical inspiration Cappadonia provided to all of his students during his many years of teaching and directing both instrumental and choral groups, as well as his continued relationship with alumni. Cappadonia passed away in February 2014, and the alumni continue to perform annual concerts in his honor.
The Office of Equity, Inclusion and Title IX, The Kaleidoscope Coalition at Alfred State, and the Institute for Cultural Unity at Alfred University are proud to host Kristin Beck, former US Navy SEAL and star of the CNN documentary “Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story.”
Screening of the documentary will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, March 23, at the Terra Cotta coffee house, 34 N. Main St., Alfred. Beck will be speaking at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 25, at the Cappadonia Auditorium in Orvis on Alfred State’s main campus (location change).
“Ms. Beck offers a brave and unique view of what it is like to be a member of the LGBTQ community as well as a veteran,” said Nikkie Hockenberry, coordinator of Equity, Inclusion, and Title IX at Alfred State. “She attended Alfred State and Alfred University in the late ‘80s, and we could not more honored that she is returning to the village to share her story with us.”
Both events are open to the public and free of charge. Born June 21, 1966, as Christopher Beck, the documentary "Lady Valor" chronicles the journey that 20-year Navy SEAL veteran Christopher Beck underwent in becoming Kristin Beck, a transgender woman.
"I fought for 20 years for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” Beck said. “I want some happiness."
Alfred State will host a free alumni event from 5-7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3, at the David A. Howe Public Library, 155 N. Main St., Wellsville.
The event provides an opportunity for the 700 alumni residing in Wellsville and the surrounding areas to meet and greet College President Dr. Skip Sullivan and one another.
Alumni will also have the chance to learn about Alfred State’s 19 baccalaureate and 50 associate-level programs, its 800-acre working farm, its move to NCAA Division III athletics, and the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program, which will help fund a Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing Center (SAMC) at the School of Applied Technology.
Students at the SAMC will be trained in state-of-the-art techniques of sustainable manufacturing, including advanced lighting, HVAC, and process improvements through waste reduction and LEAN Six Sigma processes. The SAMC will be designed and constructed to minimize the energy typically used in manufacturing and will also serve as a prototype to assist manufacturers in developing new products and systems in a sustainable environment.
Hors d’oeuvres and cocktails will be served during the event. Those interested in attending should contact Cindy Croston by Sept. 30 at 607-587-3931 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.