The Alfred State College lacrosse team had four players honored by Region III and two players honored by the Western New York Athletic Conference.
Freshman midfielder Mike Hart (Ajax, ONT) was named 1st team All-Region after leading the Pioneers in goals, points, and ground balls. Hart finished the campaign with 42 goals, nine assists (51 points), and 77 ground balls. Hart recorded hat tricks in nine of the Pioneers 14 games. He had season high five goal games versus Onondaga CC and Tompkins Cortland CC.
Goalie Brad Stowell (Marcellus) was named honorable mention All-Region and 2nd team All-WNYAC. He played every minute between the pipes for the Pioneers and set a new school record with 293 saves.
Sophomore defender Tim Dyer (Penn Yan) was also named honorable mention All-Region and 2nd team All-WNYAC. He was called on to defend the opponent's top scorer.
Sophomore attackmen Kevin Gardrvits (Glen Cove) was named honorable mention All-Region. Gardrvits scored 21 goals and passed out five assists on the season. He had a season high four goals versus Herkimer CCC and Niagara CCC.
Hart and Stowell return in 2012 to anchor the Pioneers as they look to return to the postseason.
Two seniors enrolled in Alfred State College's School of Applied Technology Stephen Richard, ASC associate professor, masonry; Charles Jessup, business manager, Southern Tier Concrete; Helire; Pat Palmer, 2005 masonry graduate and research and development manager for Southern Tier Concrete; Johnson; and Ben Palmer, owner, Southern Tier Concrete Products, Inc., Alfred. Southern Tier Concrete Products has long been involved in the masonry program at the college. Its contributions of technical support, materials, tools, and training aids as well as scholarships, are greatly appreciated by the college in helping it produce graduates with the necessary skills to succeed in the trade.
Two Alfred State College faculty members, who also happen to be brothers, will be picking up stakes temporarily to travel halfway around the world to divergent destinations.
Physical and Health Sciences, will travel to Poland and Russia, respectively, Leon in May, and John in August, to use their skills in the service of others.
Leon will work with an international team of students and professionals to build a replica of the Gwo?dziec Synagogue timber frame roof structure and the vaulted ceiling for permanent exhibition at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Poland as the first major element of the core exhibition for the new Museum of the History of Polish Jews.
Leon initially went to Poland in 2003, again as part of an international team, to investigate the feasibility of the project, and, since the Nazis burned all the wooden synagogues in Poland, to look at churches of other faiths of the same time frame to get clues to tools and techniques used by builders of the time.
Now that the project has moved into its building phase, 22 crew members have been chosen worldwide, from eight different countries; Leon is one of 12 Americans on the team. The program calls for a true historic replication of the synagogue using period-appropriate tools and techniques for display in the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, under construction in Warsaw. The project runs from May 23 to July 1.
This project, which will also serve as a credit-bearing studio course, is open to beginning and advanced students from all disciplines but particularly students of art, architecture, history, anthropology, Jewish studies, material culture, building arts, international studies, and Polish language.
Leon will travel to Poland with the students and other professionals where they will create an 85% scale replica of the timber roof structure from the now lost 17th century wooden Gwo?dziec Synagogue. The project includes the very ornate duplication of the painting of the interior of the roof dome, which will take 18 months compared to the six-week construction schedule. All of the nearly 200, 17th and 18th century wooden synagogues built throughout the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth were destroyed by the end of World War II, yet the vernacular wooden architectural styles - both aesthetically and structurally – are still apparent in many other existing wooden structures in Poland.
Students will start arriving in groups of 15 or so for two-week rotations starting a week after the instructors’ arrival. The group will begin by visiting significant historic sites in Krakow, the former seat of the Polish monarchy, and see significant sites in the surrounding areas of Malopolska -- the UNESCO sites -- Wielczka Salt Mines, 13th c., and Auschwitz Concentration Camp.
They will also travel through the southeastern region and visit several significant examples of 16th-18th century wooden architecture of Malopolska and Podkarpackie.
Scheduled to open in 2012, the Museum of the History of Polish Jews will present the 1,000-year history of Polish Jews and the civilization that they created. Understandably, the Shoah and the void that it has left have overshadowed this story. By presenting the civilization that Jews created in the very place where they created it, the Museum will convey the enormity of what was lost. Standing on the site of the former Warsaw Ghetto, the Museum of the History of Polish Jews will honor those who died by remembering how they lived.
The Museum, the first public-private partnership of its type in Poland and joint effort of the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland, the Government of Poland, and the City of Warsaw, will fulfill its educational mission not only through its Core Exhibition, but also through it Educational Centre, public programs, and facilities, including a resource center, mediateque, large auditorium, two cinematheques, rooms for conferences and workshops, and galleries for temporary and traveling exhibitions. Total space is about 12.000 m2, including 4.000 m2 for the Core Exhibition. In the Museum’s multi-media narrative exhibition, which is more a “theatre of history” than a conventional exhibition of objects, visitors will discover the vibrancy of what was once the largest Jewish community in the world and center of the Jewish Diaspora. The single most spectacular element in the Core Exhibition will be the Gwozdiec wooden synagogue ceiling and roof.
Handshouse Studio, through which this program is offered, is a not-for-profit, innovative, educational organization that creates adventurous hands-on projects through community-service, building projects with non-profit partners around the world and is a Cooperating Institute with the Massachusetts College of Art and Design Professional and Continuing Education Program. Handshouse creates projects outside of the traditional classroom that energize history through the reconstruction of large historical objects.
Leon’s career has centered around building things; his experiences led to an interest in timber framing and an offshoot of his contracting business, called Ischua Valley Timber Frames. Along with this came membership in an approximately 2,000-member world-wide organization called the Timber Framers Guild, then a seat on its Board of Directors, and eventually vice presidency of the Guild.
Leon pursued historic log and/or timber frame projects, which generally had connections to people, places, and events of long ago. An interest in and collection of antique wood-working tools led to investigation of how those tools were used by yesterday’s master craftsmen. Gaining proficiency with those tools has opened doors to projects where the end product, or structure built, is sometimes no more important than demonstrating and passing along the skills, knowledge, and techniques of our forefathers.
In 1993, Leon participated in a Timber Framers’ Guild-sponsored trip to St. Petersburg, Russia, where he assisted in building a timber-framed addition to a wooden-boat-building school.
Additionally, Leon has participated in USDA Forest Service-funded research, resulting in "The Effects of Time on the Longevity of the Linn Run Bridges" paper. He has also published and presented throughout the Northeast.
In addition to his affiliation with the Timber Framers’ Guild, Leon is also a member of the boards of the NYS Barn Coalition and the Preservation Trades Network.
In 2001 Leon was hired at Alfred State College to develop and teach courses in historic preservation and timber framing. He remains active in the Timber Framers Guild and the Traditional Timber Frame Research and Advisory Group. He holds a degree in construction engineering technology from Alfred State.
John D. Buckwalter, who was awarded the Fulbright Community College Faculty Award for teaching in Russia, will share his extensive two-year college teaching and administrative experience with colleagues and students at a similar institution in Russia. He is the fourth Alfred State College professor in the 60-year history of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship program to receive this honor. (Earlier ASC recipients included Yogendra (Yogi) Jonchhe, Mechanical Engineering Technology Department, 2009; Dr. Eunice Davis, Social and Behavioral Sciences Department, 1992-93; and Professor William D. Sheehan, Electrical Engineering Technology Department, 1991-92.)
Although the details of his assignment are still being worked out, he says that he will be teaching for the fall semester at Astrakhan State Technical University (ASTU) in Astrakhan, Russia. Astrakhan is a city of about 500,000 at the south end of the Volga River near where it enters the Caspian Sea. ASTU has about 7,000 students in a variety of technical programs at the bachelor's and master's level. They have an English Web site at http://astu.astu.org/en/.
“I expect to participate in several ways in which the needs of the host institution and my experience intersect,” says John, “including teaching, developing new courses and/or programs, sharing pedagogical approaches and experience with educational technologies, assisting with student exchanges, and in general working together to increase understanding between our countries and cultures.”
John’s contribution to ASTU will be enhanced by the experiences he brings to his host institution, including considerable international education experience: three years of high school teaching in Ethiopia, and leading six college study tours to Costa Rica, learning to work with students whose first language is not English, and to function as a cultural ambassador.
“My teaching experience in Ethiopia was especially important in developing ways to effectively communicate and work with students whose first language was not English, and I would continue to apply those approaches in this project. With students at any level and in any cultural setting I have found it very helpful to illustrate lectures with personal experiences (theirs and mine) and to make connections of theoretical material with real life applications. I constantly watch for current events, both international and local, that can be tied in with course material.”
Buckwalter’s pedagogy has been recognized by the State University of New York (SUNY), not once, but twice: he was the recipient of the State University of New York Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, and was promoted to the rank of Distinguished Teaching Professor as an outstanding teacher at a public college of technology.
More than 25 years of college teaching experience in several biological sub-disciplines (general biology, genetics, microbiology, human anatomy & physiology, botany, environmental science) as well as in introductory chemistry and first aid affords him versatility in instructional settings.
Buckwalter also boasts administrative experience, having served as interim dean of School of Arts & Sciences, including related leadership in program development and assessment. In this role, he also oversaw development and approval of bachelor-level programs in forensic science, nursing, and human services management.
During his eight years as chair of Physical and Life Sciences Department, which is ostensibly 50% teaching and 50% administrative, John taught in the disciplines of biology and chemistry. Related administrative duties during that time included faculty development and evaluation, program assessment, and student recruitment.
Additionally, John chaired the Faculty Senate Curriculum Development and Academic Affairs Committees which afforded him a working knowledge of academic regulations and program requirements, including accreditation agency requirements.
Because John has always enjoyed building relationships with students, both native and international, outside of the classroom, he becomes involved in some student activities, including serving as co-adviser for the college's International Club, and academic adviser to many international students. In these capacities he serves as a cultural broker and helps students navigate our system of higher education.
At the conclusion of the project, John anticipates “having a rich supply of new illustrations and material for teaching at Alfred State. I would offer to share my experiences formally and informally with classes and groups on campus and in the community. I also expect to serve as a liaison for future student and faculty exchanges and other cooperative ventures between the host institution and my own college.”
Buckwalter, a member of the Alfred State College faculty since 1982, holds a master of arts degree in biology, with an emphasis in ecology, from SUNY Geneseo, and a bachelor of science degree in biology, with a minor in chemistry, from Houghton College. He has participated in several National Science foundation research workshops, and has authored or co-authored several articles over his academic career. He is, or has been, a member of the Allegany County (NY) Public Health Advisory Board, 2002-08, Empire State Association of Two-Year College Biologists, and American Scientific Affiliation.
For more than 60 years, Fulbright scholars have been advising businesses, governments, and other organizations on a broad range of science and technology issues. Since its creation in 1946, the goal of the exchange program has been to honor top scientists and promising young professionals by providing opportunities to conduct research and share their knowledge, while also serving a broader public interest - increasing mutual understanding among nations.
Jennifer Forsberg, Jamestown, a technology management major at Alfred State College, has been named the 2010-11 Alfred State College Student Employee of the Year. Forsberg works in the Annual Giving Office and was nominated by her supervisor Danielle White, director of Annual Giving.
Students are nominated on the basis of reliability, initiative, quality of work, disposition, and contribution to employer.
Forsberg’s duties included assisting in supervising student callers, updating constituent information in Raiser’s Edge database, preparing nightly mailings, organizing caller pledge cards, maintaining an organized environment, and assisting in collections and closing each night.
In the nomination for the award, Forsberg is characterized as reliable, dependable, and timely. White also wrote: “Jennifer takes the initiative to get things done in the office without being micromanaged. She is a quick learner and takes her job seriously. She performs her tasks with excellence and does so with a positive attitude. She assumes great responsibility for the work and takes a personal interest in making sure her information and duties are correct and complete.”
Other nominees included
Jonathan Butts, Rochester, a mechanical engineering technology major, who served as a tour guide and student host for the Admissions Office. He was nominated by Kandi Geibel, associate director of Admissions. Butts’ responsibilities included supervising the student caller and tour guide programs, providing campus tours, training new student ambassadors, contacting prospective students by phone, and assisting in the Admissions Office as needed.
Butts’ nomination noted that reliability is one of his key traits as he not only performs his assigned duties, but often volunteers additional tour hours when needed. Also, Geibel noted, Butts’ knowledge of Alfred State and his friendly disposition, make him an ideal tour guide.
Jim Palaszynski, Buffalo, a heavy equipment: truck and diesel technician major, worked in the ASC Fitness Center where he greeted customers, completed computer data entry, was responsible for opening and closing the facility, and keeping the equipment clean.
Palaszynski’s supervisor, Gene Doorley, manager, Fitness Center and volleyball coach, characterized him as not only reliable, but always ready to work beyond his assigned duties. He also noted that Palaszynski is a good manager of other student employees.
Will Hess, West Valley, a business administration major, nominated by his supervisor, Nikkie Hockenberry, ASC student activities assistant, served as an activities assistant, providing technical support during student events.
Hess was noted to be prepared and able to secure the necessary equipment for student clubs and their events.
Dennis Billings, Rexville, a business administration, baccalaureate-level major, works as a late night manager and house manager for Student Activities and was nominated by his supervisor Nikkie Hockenberry.
As house manager, Billings coordinates all late night events. The nomination characterized him as personable with a great sense of humor. It was noted that Billings was always “one step ahead” of the scheduled events, ensuring a smooth activity.
Emily Sprague, Pavilion, a forensic science technology major, who performed clerical duties in the Admissions Office, was nominated by Barbara Brockway, her supervisor.
Sprague was characterized as requiring minimal training before jumping into her duties. She was commended for her attention to detail and her commitment to the confidentiality clause those working in Admissions must commit to.
Issac McGee, Rochester, a business administration major, served as a late-night co-captain, managing late night events and a team of late night staff for Student Activities.
McGee was noted for his timeliness with paperwork and billing, handling a large student budget, as well as ordering materials for events. He was also credited for creating events during “slow” periods.
Andrea Goff, Arcade, a construction management engineering technology major, was also nominated by Hockenberry for her work as lead house manager in Orvis. Goff was cited for her dependability, initiative, and consistent quality work. In addition, Hockenberry noted that Goff has “an amazing attitude; she is outgoing and friendly, and speaks to all facets of student activities and orientation.”
Jadon Norton, Almond, a human services management major, worked as a lead activities assistant, coordinating the activities assistants and helping at campus events. Hockenberry noted that he was “essential to Family/Homecoming Weekend .” She also noted that Norton boasts a “huge resume in Student Life, from orientation leader, house manager, activities assistant, Greek Life,” and a selection of other campus clubs.
Holly Jacobs, Dansville, a baccalaureate-level surveying engineering technology program major, was nominated by her supervisor, Hockenberry, for her work as an orientation coordinator and activities assistant. In this position, Jacobs assisted in taking the lead for hiring, training, planning, and implementing orientation activities and opening week activities. Hockenberry noted that Jacobs can be counted on for whatever needs to be done; she is a self-starter who looks beyond her assigned duties, possesses great organizational skills, exhibits an even-tempered disposition, and does exceptional work.
Nikki Giacco, Lansing, a liberal arts and sciences: social science major, worked as an office manager for Student Activities and Orientation, where she staffed the reception desk in Orvis Activities Center, assisted with campus posters (production and distribution), answered phones, and performed data entry, among other duties.
In addition to her work ethic and reliability, Hockenberry characterized Giacco as “delightful,” greeting everyone with a smile. “Nikki’s super personality coupled with involvement in Greek life and community service makes her an outstanding employee. She is helpful, friendly, and outgoing, the perfect combination for an office manager.”
Eileen Glaus, West Falls, a veterinary technology major, worked as a house manager and office assistant, staffing the reception desk in the Orvis Activities Center, and performing clerical duties.
Among her traits, in addition to dependability and initiative, Glaus’ nomination read, in part: “She was especially helpful to us for SkillsUSA, a day when we are busy directing students, answering questions, making copies, and sending and receiving faxes. Eileen was essential to the success of this day.”
Patrick Bark, Perry, a business administration major, also nominated by Hockenberry, served as an orientation coordinator, where he led the orientation team through training and summer orientation. In the nomination, Hockenberry noted that Bark planned and implemented a solid training schedule to prepare the orientation leaders for summer orientation sessions.
A reception honoring the nominees was held during the spring semester, where Alfred State College Vice President for Administration and Enrollment Valerie Nixon presented the awards.
Dr. Stephen Havlovic, vice president for Academic Affairs.
“We are delighted to complete our search for the dean with Dr. Williams,” said Havlovic. “He has shown, in the classroom, as department chair, and most recently, as interim dean of the school, that he has the breadth of experience needed to manage the school successfully.”
As dean, Williams’ responsibilities include providing leadership for academic disciplines in both engineering technology and management including two- and four-year programs in architectural, computer, construction management, electrical, and mechanical engineering technology, computer information technology, accounting, and business administration. He has oversight of TAC/ABET accreditation, online course delivery, integration of technology and liberal education, the promotion of excellence in teaching, research, scholarly activities, and professional development. The dean leads approximately 60 faculty and staff and reports directly to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Williams has been awarded numerous grants in his field, and his professional affiliations and activities include membership in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers; American Society for Engineering Education; and New York State Engineering Technology Association. He has been included in 2002-03 and 2004-05 Strathmore’s Who’s Who Directory, Who’s Who among America’s Teachers 2003-04, and America’s Registry of Outstanding Professionals 2002-03.
Additionally, Williams served on the National Engineering Technology Honor Society, Tau Alpha Pi, Board of Directors, (2005-present) and was elected to a three-year term as chair of the Engineering Technology Division (ETD) of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). Williams has recently been chosen to join ABET’s (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) Academic Advisory Council which provides a formal means for the academic community to share its perspective, give advice, and communicate with the ABET leadership in such areas as accreditation; issues related to applied science, computing, engineering, and technology education; and feedback on proposed programs, procedures and policies relating to higher education.
Williams joined the ASC faculty as department chair in 2002; he has taught classes in manufacturing management, mechanics of materials, mechanics of materials laboratory, plastics and composites, and materials science. Prior to joining the ASC faculty, Williams served as an assistant professor in the Mechanical Engineering Division of Alfred University.
Williams holds three degrees in mechanical engineering from Clarkson University, Potsdam: the PhD, a master of science, and a bachelor of science.
Alfred State College, a member of the technology college sector within the State University of New York (SUNY) system, offers outstanding educational opportunities for students in its 52 associate degree programs, 19 baccalaureate degree programs, and three certificate programs. ASC continues to expand its online education offerings to include more than 56 online courses as well as two complete curriculum options (health information technology and court and realtime reporting). Numerous vocational-technical offerings stressing hands-on learning are available at the School of Applied Technology Campus located in nearby Wellsville, NY. The College is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, and several programs are also accredited or approved by program-specific professional organizations. In recent years, the College has expanded its computing and networking choices to include a wireless option. While stressing technical education, the College continues to pride itself on maintaining close personal ties among students and faculty. Academic programs, residential facilities, and co-curricular activities are provided to meet the educational, cultural, social, and recreational needs of students. Alfred State's reputation for excellence attracts students and faculty from throughout New York, neighboring states, and several foreign countries. The College is located in Alfred, NY, a scenic village in Allegany County. It is 15 miles north of the Pennsylvania border, 70 miles south of Rochester, and 90 miles southeast of Buffalo.
All programs and services of the College are administered without discrimination on the basis of age, sex, marital or military status, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation.
Mo Parks (Avoca) and JP Frey (Erie, PA) have been named the 2011 Alfred State College senior athletes of the year. Parks was a two-year member of the soccer and track & field teams while Frey has been a mainstay on the baseball team the past two years.
Parks had a 20-7-4 record in goal for the Lady Pioneers. She made 196 saves and recorded 12 shutouts. For her efforts on the soccer field she was named All-WNYAC twice and All-Region once. In track & field competition Parks earned All-Region honors by winning the hammer throw and helped the Lady Pioneers to the Region III Championship in 2011. She also qualified for the NJCAA Division III National Championships with the 3rd best throw of the year.
Frey led the Pioneers with a .379 batting average. He collected eight doubles, two triples, a homer, and 15 RBI. He also stole 16 bases. For his two-year career he started in all 93 games, hit .381 with 46 RBI and 42 stolen bases. He has been named All-WNYAC twice, All-Region once, and was the 2010 ASC freshman athlete of the year. He will continue his collegiate career next year at Delaware State University.
Parks and Frey were honored at a ceremony held recently at the Lake Lodge.
Tara Murphy (Rochester/Wilson) and Colter Johnson (Warren, PA) were named the 2011 Alfred State College freshman athletes of the year. Murphy ran to All-American honors in track & field while Johnson punted his way to All-American on the football gridiron.
Murphy was a member of the cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field teams. She won the Region III titles, both indoor and outdoor, in the 400, 800, and 4 x 400 relay. At indoor nationals she set a new school record in the 800 with her 6th place finish. At outdoor nationals she earned 2nd team NJCAA All-American honors in the 400 and 4 x 400. She was named All-Region in both indoor and outdoor season and was named the most outstanding track athlete at the outdoor regionals.
Johnson was one of the top punters in the NJCAA this past season. He was named honorable mention All-American and 1st team All-Northeast Football Conference after averaging 38.6 yards per punt this year. Ten of his punts landed inside the 20 and his longest punt of the season was 77 yards. He was named the NJCAA and NFC special teams player of the week on November 8th. Johnson will return for his second year as the top punter in the NJCAA.
Murphy and Johnson were recently presented with their awards at the annual sports banquet held at the Lake Lodge.
One of the fixtures of the Alfred State College athletic department for the past 30 years has been Kathy Feldman. This winter, Feldman announced her retirement and served her last day at the college on May 13.
Feldman has worn many hats over her years at Alfred State. She started her career at ASC as a coach (volleyball & softball) and instructor in the physical education department. She went on to coach softball for 10 years and volleyball for fifteen.
In 1995, Feldman was named the college’s director of athletics and has held the post ever since. In her position she is in charge of the athletic department, the physical education department, the fitness center, and intramurals & recreation.
During her leadership, the college has seen significant facility upgrades including the building of Pioneer Stadium, new baseball and softball fields, refurbishments to Orvis Gymnasium, the fitness center, and the athletic training room. On the field, three Pioneer teams have won NJCAA National Championships and the college has hosted national championships (cross country, softball, and track & field) events and countless regional championships.
On top of her duties at ASC, Feldman has also served as the NJCAA Region III women’s director between 1987 and 1995 and then again from 1996 until 2011. In this position she has represented all the colleges in Region III at the national level and has chaired and served on numerous national committees.
During her tenure, Feldman has received numerous honors. In 1996 she received the USA Volleyball Outstanding Service Award, in 1999-2000 she was named the WNYAC Person of the Year, in 2001 she received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Professional Service, in 2005 she was named the Region III Athletic Director of the Year, in 2006 she was inducted into the NJCAA Volleyball Hall of Fame and given the NJCAA Certificate of Loyalty, and in 2008 she received the George E. Killian Award of Excellence by the NJCAA national office.
Always an advocate for the important lessons learned through athletics and physical education, Feldman has left a legacy of excellence at Alfred State.
Nearly 600 two- and four-year graduates, their families, professors, and friends were on hand Sunday, May 15, as Alfred State College honored its 100th graduating class. Presiding over the ceremony, which was held at McLane Center on neighboring Alfred University’s campus, was Dr. John M. Anderson, college president.
Giving the welcome from students was AJ LaMere, Rochester, chair, ASC Student Senate. In addition to his responsibilities as View more photos of the 100th commencement ceremony.
Just as most college students are planning for some fun in the summer sun, 23 Alfred State College students are heading for the tropics of Haiti to lend a hand (or 46) in the rebuilding of that island nation, more than a year after the devastating January 2010 earthquake.
This year, 23 students will echo last year’s ASC efforts, traveling in two teams to lend their expertise to continuing relief efforts: 12 students will be in Haiti from May 17 - 27, and 11 students will be in Haiti from May 26 - June 5. These students have paid $500 toward their trip and have worked as a group to raise more than $12,000 toward trip expenses and building materials for the project in Haiti.
Students from the building trades, nursing, and veterinary technology programs will help build a medical clinic for a ministry called Haiti Health Ministries. The building trades students will spend all of their time with the construction, while the other students will volunteer in their respective fields as well as help in the construction.
Last year, two teams totaling 21 students, traveled “back to back” to Haiti in May and June. These teams were involved primarily in construction, but also helped with some feeding programs and provided some veterinary care to Haitian livestock.
Like last year, this year’s traveling students will stay at a guesthouse in Christianville, very close to the epicenter of the earthquake. These young men and women can also expect similar day-to-day experiences: a work day beginning at 7 a.m., and heat and humidity reaching uncomfortable levels by that time.
In 2010, the ASC building trades students were responsible for building forms, preparing foundations for concrete pours, and laying block to help build the new facilities. The work was labor intensive: the cement blocks were made two at a time by hand with the aid of a manually operated machine to press the cement mix into forms to create the blocks. The students helped operate the press and carry the blocks to a curing area. About 700 blocks could be produced in one work day. Alfred State students also spent many hours bending rebar and sorting the pile of rubble into usable fractions. This year’s building trades students can expect much the same type of labor.
Alfred State students with expertise in vet tech last year were able to provide some care for the local livestock by conducting a veterinary clinic for the local farmers. This work provided exposure to diseases and vaccines foreign to upstate New York.
Beyond all of the work, however, building relationships with the Haitian people made the heat and toil worthwhile. Language barriers fell as students worked side-by-side with their Haitian co-workers. They quickly mastered innovative nonverbal communication skills, developing their own brand of sign and body language. The students also made a valiant effort to learn Haitian Creole and were quite good at learning vocabulary.
“It was heart-warming to see the hugs and tears as the Haitians and the Alfred State students said their good-byes at the end of the trip,” said Dr. Douglas Pierson, who accompanied the students last year and will repeat that experience, himself, this year as well.
“This was a transformative experience for the Alfred State students. Most had never been immersed in another culture and certainly most had never experienced poverty at the level that it exists in Haiti. This trip changed perspectives and brought new appreciation we all should have as Americans for the quality of life we enjoy. These Alfred State students also left Haiti with a new compassion and a desire to share their time and talent when possible to improve the lot of others around them, whether in their own community or across borders around the globe,” Pierson added.
Thanks to Alfred State’s ability to prepare students to “hit the ground running,” ASC students possess a strong foundation for employment in diverse industries. These same skills that are valuable to employers are also invaluable in places like Haiti.