A pair of Alfred State cybersecurity teams battled against several universities from across the country Oct. 20-21 at the University of Connecticut (UConn) during the CyberSEED: Cybersecurity, Education, and Diversity Challenge Week competition.
Sponsored by UConn and Comcast, the event was intended to hone cybersecurity skills sets of students “who will eventually be employed to protect our nation’s infrastructure,” said Jim Boardman, assistant professor and chair of the Computer and Information Technology Department. Boardman coached the Alfred State teams, who participated in the Capture the Flag (CTF) challenge both days, finishing second and fourth overall the first day and fifth and sixth overall on day two.
“The teams did absolutely fantastic, especially considering most teams had graduate student members, whereas Alfred State teams were composed of all undergraduate students,” said Boardman, who noted that each member of the second-place team received a free Apple TV on day one. “The results demonstrate that our students are receiving an outstanding education due to the dedication of our faculty and our outstanding lab facilities that emphasize hands-on learning in all areas of information technology, with special emphasis on cybersecurity.”
During the CTF competition, students were placed in a scenario where they took on the role of a cyberware unit, racing to breach the systems of a large oil company for documents about a rumored oil find and its development. The competition allowed participants to understand the technology and thought process of hackers, while also sharpening their security skills and learning new techniques.
Anthony Dahmane, a network administration major from Bath, said CyberSEED was an invaluable experience that showed him not only how to apply the skills he’s acquired in study, but how much there is to learn in the field of information security.
“Over the two days of the competition, I learned a tremendous amount of skills to further prepare me for future competitions and my career,” Dahmane said.
Michael Fiore, a network administration major from Poughkeepsie, said, “Being able to take skills learned from class and implement them in real-world environments truly is a great experience, and competitions such as CyberSEED are no exception.”
Boardman said 20 teams competed in the CTF challenge, including those from schools such as Brown, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Florida State, Penn State, Syracuse University, Delaware Technical Community College, and more.
“Our students are proving they can compete well with the best students from across the United States,” Boardman said.
Pictured, from left, are members of Alfred State’s cybersecurity teams that recently participated in the CyberSEED: Cybersecurity, Education, and Diversity Challenge Week competition: Jeff Andolora, of Caledonia; Chris Bishop, of North Tonawanda; Craig Gratton, of Buffalo; Anthony Dahmane, of Bath; Tom Hakes, of Waverly; Assistant Professor and Chair of the Computer and Information Technology Department Jim Boardman; Conor Mitchell, of Binghamton; Joe Tomapat, of Goshen; and Michael Fiore, of Poughkeepsie. Andolora and Bishop are applications software development majors; Gratton, Dahmane, Mitchell, Tomapat, and Fiore are network administration students; and Hakes is majoring in information security and assurance.
Alfred State’s Choral and Band Performing Arts Teams will present their annual winter concerts this week at the Cappadonia Auditorium in the Orvis Activities Center.
Voices, the college’s choir group, will sing at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 3, and Instrumental Music, the college’s band club, will play at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5. Admission to both concerts is free.
Wednesday’s concert will include traditional Christmas songs; popular songs; “Masquerade” from “Phantom of the Opera;” a contemporary choral piece, “Lux Aurumque” (Light and Gold) by Eric Whitacre; and several solos from members of “Voices.” Friday’s show will feature old and new jazz pieces, a rock band, and a Latin American band.
A “stress-relief bag” will be given to each student who attends the Voices concert. That show will also include a door prize and people are invited that night to donate their unused instruments to the Music Performing Arts Teams to be given to the ARC.
“These concerts are marvelous demonstrations of what students will do in order to keep music in their lives,” said Linda Staiger, Alfred State’s choral director. “They are not music majors, so every ounce of time they share in the name of making music is a gift to all of us, as well as each other. In some ways, music doesn’t get any better than this.”
Voices President Michaela Olin, a nursing major from Perry, and Instrumental Music President Samantha Orlando, a nursing major from Spencerport, said in a combined statement, “These nights are a fun, family-friendly, and stress-free time, where people can relax and listen to a great variety of music.”
For the past 25 years, top design and construction students from colleges across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic have gathered to showcase their skills to potential future employers at the annual Associated Schools of Construction Region 1 Student Competition.
This year, 16 schools and more than 220 bright minds vied for placement, and Alfred State students walked away with honors in two categories — a second place in design-build, and a third place in commercial building.
“Our students made an impressive showing,” said Tim Piotrowski, an Alfred State associate professor of civil engineering technology, who accompanied the students on their trip. “These were real-world simulations with real-world deadlines and all the associated stress. But our students excel at those types of challenges.”
Alfred State students traveled to Morristown, NJ, for the two-day event from Nov. 14-15, with teams entering each of the competition categories: design-build, heavy/civil construction, and commercial building. Design-build teams had to create a plan for a college athletic center, commercial building squads were tasked with renovating a hospital, and heavy/civil construction teams had to devise methods for rebuilding two railroad bridges.
On the first day, teams were provided with actual contract documents and given 15 hours to create a cost estimate, construction schedule, site-specific safety plan, logistical plan for using the site, and a strategy to execute the project. The following day, each team gave a 30-minute oral presentation to the judges, describing their proposal and why they were the best team to build the project.
Teams were then judged on the quality of both their proposal and their oral presentation.
“This is a capstone to our students’ educational careers,” Piotrowski said. “They were judged by the very industry professionals who built the projects used in the competition.”
Derrick Clark, a construction management engineering technology major from Alfred, said the competition exceeded his expectations and provided a glimpse of the type of work he’ll be doing after graduation.
“It was a great experience and I am looking forward to doing it again next year,” Clark said.
Thomas Parmenter, a construction management engineering technology major from Pavilion, said, "It is unbelievable what six people working together can get done in the course of 24 hours. Through teamwork, and a lack of sleep, we were able to complete these tasks and were able to place third in a field of 15 prestigious universities.After completing a proposal and presentation in that time, no project seems like it can't be completed in one day with the right team."
Although the competition was fierce, students who attended had an unprecedented opportunity to network with their peers and potential future employers during the accompanying job fair. Employers received access to 37 teams of self-motivated students from top programs.
“It was a real, first-hand look at the construction industry for our students,” Piotrowski said. “They got to experience the level of effort it takes to be successful.”
Pictured is the design-build team, from left, clockwise, Ryan Grace, of Syracuse; Michael Goddard, of Honeoye; Derrick Clark, of Alfred; Trentin Reese, of Red Creek; Brian Williamson, of Oneida; and Kristin Szkolnik, of Liverpool. Williamson, Goddard, and Clark are construction management engineering technology majors, while Szkolnik and Grace are architectural technology students, and Reese is a Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) major.
Shown here is the commercial building team, from left, Christopher Marron, of Greece; Thomas Parmenter, of Pavilion; James Hammond, of Collins; Shawn Lorraine, of Irondequoit; Ryan Ortiz, of Brockport; and Justin Skretny, of Delevan. These students are all construction management engineering technology majors.
From left to right are members of the heavy/civil construction team, Zach Metcalfe, of Sodus; Andrew Hydock, of Lyndonville; Mackenzie Delaney, of Mayfield; Autin Leri, of Endicott; Tyler Smith, of Horseheads; and Dan Christoffersen, of Binghamton. These students are all construction management engineering technology majors.
Alfred State is among 20 State University of New York (SUNY) campuses that have recently been named to the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
The list recognizes colleges and universities that achieve meaningful, measurable outcomes in the communities they serve and show a clear commitment to community service and service learning.
“Participating in community service is an important part of any college experience, and a hallmark of our strategic plan,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Each of our SUNY campuses has an astounding array of options for students as well as faculty and staff to give back to their local communities, and to have a greater impact on communities across the country and abroad. Congratulations and thank you to each of the campuses recognized by the President’s Honor Roll this year.”
Last year, Alfred State students contributed nearly 60,000 hours of service, civic leadership, and workforce-ready knowledge to communities in need. In addition to participating annually in civic engagement opportunities such as Celebrate Service Celebrate Allegany and the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, the college’s students have also assisted communities devastated by Superstorm Sandy and Haitian communities recovering from the 2010 earthquake.
Jonathan Hilsher, director of the Center for Civic Engagement at Alfred State, said the college being named to the President’s Honor Roll recognizes the exemplary community service undertaken by its students, faculty, and staff and highlights how this represents best practices in community impact and service.
“Alfred State’s culture of civic engagement results in community challenges being addressed in a meaningful way,” Hilsher said, “even as student learning is enhanced through applied curricular and co-curricular experiences.”
A 16-foot-tall Santa Claus decoration is making spirits bright on Wellsville’s Main Street this holiday season, thanks to some Alfred State students.
The decoration, made of exterior plywood, is currently in front of the Wellsville Area Chamber of Commerce building, 114 N. Main St. in Wellsville. Students in the college’s building construction program built the Santa Claus and students in the digital media and animation program painted it.
Joe Richardson, chair of the Building Trades Department, said the idea for the decoration came about through Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan and Wellsville Mayor Judy Lynch discussing how the college could help out the village community.
“The mayor brought up the idea of recreating the Santa that was displayed in the late ‘50s, early ‘60s on Main Street,” Richardson said. “I have no idea what happened to the original, but we used an old newspaper photo to come up with the design.”
Richardson said the building construction students created a grid, laid out the outline for the decoration, and also painted some of the base color for the suit. His department then called on Digital Media and Animation Department Assistant Professor Constance Pennisi to see if she had any talented students who could add artistic details to the display.
“These students traveled from Alfred and over a four-day period provided the artistry to bring this to life,” Richardson said. “The students who worked on this were highly motivated to help out the community with this exciting project. I personally feel that the group did an amazing job, having started with almost no information other than the old photo.”
The project took about three-and-a-half weeks to complete, according to Richardson. Digital media and animation students involved in the project included Skyler Reisner, of Olean; Taylor Stevenson, of West Seneca; Alexis Parker, of Honeoye Falls; and Deanna Barber, of Rochester.
Building construction students involved in the endeavor were Brennan Zenoski, of Belmont; Robert Smith, of Bronx; Jacob Vannorman, of Mount Morris; John Sexton, of Sunnyside; Robert Walsh, of Wellsville; Brandon Whittle, of Tioga, PA; Sean Ryan, of Batavia; Courtney Yauchzee, of Le Roy; Ryan Williams, of New Baltimore; Chandler Winling, of Pavilion; Glenn Proctor, of Belfast; Autumn Wells, of Madrid; and Kevin Rogers, of Frewsburg.
Pictured are building construction students, along with Louis Zver, lecturer in the Building Trades Department (far right). From left to right are Brennan Zenoski, of Belmont; Robert Smith, of Bronx; Jacob Vannorman, of Mount Morris; John Sexton, of Sunnyside; Robert Walsh, of Wellsville; Brandon Whittle, of Tioga, PA; Sean Ryan, of Batavia; Courtney Yauchzee, of Le Roy; Ryan Williams, of New Baltimore; Chandler Winling, of Pavilion; Glenn Proctor, of Belfast; Autumn Wells, of Madrid; Kevin Rogers, of Frewsburg; and Zver.
Half a dozen canines brought a little relief to some Alfred State students studying for final exams on Monday, Dec. 8, during the Hinkle Memorial Library’s Therapy Dog Event.
From 6-9 p.m., six dogs and their handlers came to the library to visit with students and to help them relax and de-stress during finals week. The dogs are registered through Therapy Dogs International, an organization that trains, regulates, and certifies therapy dogs and their handlers for service in community settings, such as libraries, schools, and nursing homes.
Amie Acton, instructional support assistant at the library, said the library staff provided refreshments, the dogs brought smiles and laughter, and the handlers chatted with the students.
“It was a welcoming event that let the students unwind and relax amidst the stressful preparations of final exams, papers, and presentations,” Acton said.
In photo: A student de-stresses with the help of a dog named “Kilroy” during the Hinkle Memorial Library’s Dec. 8 Therapy Dog Event.
10. The college has been named a military-friendly school for five straight years.
9. Alfred State ranks 22nd among top regional colleges in the North for 2015 and seventh among top public schools, according to U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges list.
8. We are partnering with Burgard High School in Buffalo to create an advanced manufacturing early college program. Burgard teachers, together with Alfred State instructors, will train students in skills such as automotive technology, welding, and machine tool technology (CNC machining).
7. For registered nurses seeking a bachelor’s degree, the BS-N program is offered in an online format. This provides flexibility and learning style choices for the adult student and working professional.
6. Kayla Franchina, of Gerry, a 2014 graduate, won a national award for civic engagement for her role in launching Project Prom Dress, which collects donated prom dresses, accessories, and cash donations for underprivileged teenage women.
5. The Alfred State Solar Decathlon team is working with Alfred University to prepare for the 2015 Solar Decathlon in California.
4. The 2014 New York State STEM collaborative took place at the Alfred campus this summer, with more than 200 attendees. The college will host the collaborative again in 2015.
3. The college has joined the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference and the United States Collegiate Athletic Association.
2. High school students applying for the associate-degree program in nursing who meet all established entrance requirements will be offered acceptance through a new 1+2+1 format. This allows students to earn the associate degree at the end of the third year, take the registered nurse licensing exam (NCLEX), then earn their Bachelor of Science degree in nursing in their fourth year.
1. The Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) program has moved one step closer toward accreditation after the National Architectural Accrediting Board granted the program initial candidacy status in August.
Basic funding for the $5 million, 16,000-square-foot SAMC is through a NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program and the Western New York Regional Council. Craig Clark, executive director and dean of Applied Technology at Alfred State, said the building will house the first- and second-year welding and second-year machine tool technology programs.
The center will be used to train electrical construction and maintenance electrician, welding technology, and machine tool technology students in state-of-the-art renewable energy aspects of sustainable energy advanced manufacturing through installation of a photovoltaic system and energy monitoring of all energy systems in the center, including advanced lighting, HVAC, and process improvements through waste reduction and LEAN Six Sigma processes.
The Alfred State Solar Decathlon team is working with Alfred University to prepare for the 2015 Solar Decathlon in California. The design is in final phase, with students beginning construction during the fall 2014 semester.
The Sustainability Club acts as an information hub for sustainability ideals for the Alfred State populace and local communities. It is a resource for sustainability education and aid. The club also will lobby and carry out projects that deal with sustainability issues.
New LED lights have been installed at Lot 13 on the Alfred campus and a plan is being developed to install LED in all exterior lighting to include parking lots and buildings.
Our approach to sustainability is outlined in our sustainability and carbon neutrality plan, Pioneering Sustainability. The plan, which was developed as part of our commitment as a proud signatory of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment, includes a pledge to eliminate or neutralize our direct carbon emissions by 2040.
Dr. Richard Kellogg, professor emeritus of psychology at Alfred State, is the author of an article appearing in the most recent issue of “Paperback Parade,” a quarterly journal for readers and book collectors. The article is titled “Percival Wilde: Master of Mystery.”
Percival Wilde (1887-1953) is best remembered today as a popular playwright and the author of textbooks dealing with the theater arts. However, Wilde also wrote several mystery novels worthy of recognition. His titles in that genre include “Mystery Weekend” (1938), “Inquest” (1940), and “Design for Murder” (1941).
The author concludes that Percival Wilde was a marvelous storyteller and that his mysteries are funny, whimsical, and always entertaining. Wilde's novels are representative of what many critics consider to be the Golden Age of detective fiction.
Dr. Kellogg is the author of four books about legendary investigator Sherlock Holmes, as well as a series of illustrated books for children featuring boy detective Barry Baskerville.
Laboratory Design recently published Assistant Professor Tabitha L. Sprau-Coulter's article: Modifying energy auditors’ behavior to align with facility owner’s needs.