March 2015

High school students flock to Alfred State for National Engineers Week event

Posted Date: Monday, March 2, 2015 - 15:45

Alex Surdyk, an electrical engineering technology major from Hamburg, right, judges one of the entries in the design challenge that was part of Friday’s National Engineers Week event.Nearly 150 high school students from five area school districts visited Alfred State Friday to discover the exciting worlds of engineering and technology as part of National Engineers Week.

Founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers in 1951, the week is dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers, according to Throughout last week, 34 Alfred State students in the School of Architecture, Management, and Engineering Technology showcased the many great projects and activities they engage in at the college through various clubs and organizations.

Participating Alfred State groups included the Society of Automotive Engineers, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Architecture Club, the Associated General Contractors of America, the Robotics Club, the Alfred State Information Security Team, Women In Non-traditional Studies, and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping Glickman Chapter.

High schools that attended Friday’s event were from Hornell, Arkport, Elmira, Scio, and the Greater Southern Tier BOCES Wildwood campus. In addition to learning from Alfred State students, high school students also took part in a fun design challenge, in which their teams were tasked with designing and building a table out of a newspaper that was at least 8 inches tall and could hold, at minimum, a 200-page textbook.

Alex Surdyk, an electrical engineering technology major from Hamburg, said the event was Alfred State’s chance to show high school students that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields are “not just math and numbers, but instead something that you can see, feel, and be a part of.”

“It is crucial to the continuing development of society and the human race as a whole to continue to make advancements in STEM,” he said. “We need young minds to lead us into the future.”

For Josh Weaver, a junior from the Elmira City School District, and Jasmine Mosko, a freshman from Arkport Central School, the day was about fun and learning.

“It was fun and people were nice about everything while they were trying to teach everyone what was going on and trying to get other people interested in what they were doing,” Weaver said. “I learned about how certain architectural things are made.”

Mosko said, “It was fun because we got to do hands-on activities and learn different things.”

Dr. John Williams, dean of the School of Architecture, Management, and Engineering Technology, said he received many positive comments from the visitors and that the vast majority of high school students were engaged in the event. He also noted that he is very proud of his school’s students.

“Watching them represent their fields and seeing the passion they have for what they are studying, it was a great day,” Williams said.

In photo above: Alex Surdyk, an electrical engineering technology major from Hamburg, right, judges one of the entries in the design challenge that was part of Friday’s National Engineers Week event.

Project Prom Dress Extravaganza set for April 11

Posted Date: Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - 10:45

Olivia Ciesla with 2 red prom dressesTeenage girls from Allegany County and the surrounding areas won’t have to pay a cent to look like a million bucks this prom season, thanks to Alfred State’s Project Prom Dress Extravaganza.

Held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 11, at the Pioneer Center on the Alfred campus, the event allows attendees to select from hundreds of new or lightly used prom dresses and take one home without any cost. People may also make donations that day, including dresses, shoes, and gear.

Founded by Kayla Franchina, of Gerry, who graduated in 2014 with a degree in human services management, Project Prom Dress focuses on collecting donated prom dresses, accessories, and cash donations for underprivileged teenage women.

Alfred State wishes to thank its amazing donors for this year’s event: Elegance Bridals and Formals, of Canisteo; Belle Ruche Bridal Boutique, of Olean; Jessica Dugo, of Geneseo; JBK Bridal and Prom, of Horseheads; Bonjulies Main Street Bride, of Horseheads; Bella You, of Rochester; and One Enchanted Evening, of Fairport.

For more information, contact Alyshia Zurlick, assistant director of the Office of Student Engagement, at

Caption: Pictured is Olivia Ciesla, president of Delta Chi Omega, which runs the Project Prom Dress Extravaganza every year, along with the Emerging Pioneer Leadership Program Gold Group.

Melissa Holland graduates from NAFSA Academy for International Education

Posted Date: Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - 11:00

Melissa Holland, senior international admissions counselor at Alfred State, recently graduated from the 2014 NAFSA Academy for International Education.

NAFSA, according to, is “the largest association of professionals committed exclusively to advancing international higher education. The association provides leadership to its diverse constituencies through establishing principles of good practice and providing professional development opportunities. NAFSA encourages networking among professionals, convenes conferences and collaborative dialogues, and promotes research and knowledge creation to strengthen and serve the field.”

The Academy for International Education is an intensive yearlong training program with extensive networking opportunities, according to The program accelerates the learning process of participants, prepares them for leadership, and is an investment in international education.

In the academy, the website states, participants gain knowledge and skills to serve as an international education resource at their institution; boost their proficiency as an international educator through an individualized learning plan, training, and networking; and build a network of international education colleagues, both in their region and nationally.

Leadership suites initiative recognized with NASPA 2015 Excellence Award

Posted Date: Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - 11:45

NASPA, the leading voice for the student affairs profession, has recognized Alfred State’s leadership suites initiative as a 2015 Excellence Award recipient within the Civic Learning, Democratic Engagement, Service-Learning, Community Service category. 

Each year through Excellence Awards, the association recognizes contributions of its members who are “transforming higher education through exceptional programs, innovative services, and effective administration.” Alfred State joined California State University and Trinity University for top honors in the category they were awarded within. 

According to NASPA, Excellence Award winners were selected by meeting criteria such as having a positive impact on student learning, demonstrating success in addressing student needs and/or critical campus issues, collaboration with academic affairs and other departments, originality and creativity, effective use of technology and other resources, and more. 

The purpose of Alfred State’s 13 leadership suites, located in the Student Leadership Center, is to inspire students to discover their passion and make a difference. Suites are awarded to student organizations actively involved in exciting and meaningful civic engagement projects locally, regionally, and globally. 

“Leadership suites are occupied by some of the most engaged student organizations committed to civic engagement through fundraising, volunteerism, advocacy, and education,” said Jonathan Hilsher, director of the Center for Civic Engagement. “These students, alongside advisers and community partners, are using their passion, energy, and skills to solve problems, build relationships, and address community challenges.”

University of Cincinnati professor lecture at Alfred State draws large crowd

Posted Date: Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - 12:00

University of Cincinnati Professor Anton Harfmann giving a presentationThe Architecture and Design Department at Alfred State launched its second installment of the spring 2015 lecture series with a presentation by University of Cincinnati Professor Anton Harfmann on Monday, March 2.

The event drew a large crowd of students and faculty who came to see Harfmann discuss his recent work in a lecture titled "Forays in Building Information Modeling." Harfmann spoke about some of his recent student projects and the renovation of a building on the University of Cincinnati campus by noted architect Peter Eisenman. Both topics highlighted the use of building information modeling (BIM), a new process in architecture that involves digitally modeling a building with all of its components and utilizing that data to construct or renovate a structure.

Harfmann is a licensed architect and builder who teaches BIM, construction and structures, and graduate studio courses in the School of Architecture and Interior Design at the University of Cincinnati. He was the lead faculty member for the university’s participation in the 2007 Solar Decathlon competition and has taught net-zero design studios on several occasions since.

His research interests include net-zero architectural design, as well as BIM at the component level, and he has published many papers on this approach since the early 1990s. Harfmann is an early adopter of computing in practice and education that was recognized by Apple, which inducted him into the Apple Distinguished Educator program in 2004.

His commitment to teaching has also been recognized by the American Institute of Architects, which named him one of the top ten educators in architecture in 2009, as well as receiving an honorable mention award from the AIA’s Technology in Practice group in 2013 for his introductory class on teaching the logic of construction and structures through BIM.

Caption: University of Cincinnati Professor Anton Harfmann gave a presentation Monday, March 2, at Alfred State as part of the Architecture and Design Department’s spring 2015 lecture series.

Drama Club to present ‘Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon’ April 15-18 at Lake Lodge

Posted Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2015 - 09:15

Experience the magic and wonder of the Alfred State Drama Club’s production of the “Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon” this spring at the Lake Lodge, 6107 Terbury Road, Alfred.

Produced by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc., the show will bring an enormous ensemble of fairy tale favorites to life in a jam-packed comedy experience. The show dates are April 15-18.

According to a description of the show on, “The fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm are turned on their heads in this fast-paced, rollicking ride as two narrators and several actors attempt to combine all 209 stories ranging from classics like ‘Snow White,’ ‘Cinderella,’ and ‘Hansel and Gretel’ to more bizarre, obscure stories like ‘The Devil's Grandmother’ and‘The Girl Without Hands.’ A wild, free-form comedy with lots of audience participation and madcap fun.”

The show is not appropriate for young children.

Tickets are $2 for students and $5 for general admission to the April 15 show, which starts at 7 p.m. Bus transportation from campus is available.

The April 16-18 dinner theater shows will include a cash bar and begin at 6 p.m. The cost is $20, or two meal swipes for students. Please purchase your dinner theater tickets by April 3.

All ticket sales are made through the Alfred State Book Store, which can be reached at 607-587-4020. Tickets for the April 15 performance will also be available at the door.

Cash, check, and credit cards are accepted. Alfred State students can also use their campus spending account or dining dollars.

Area students compete in 26th annual SkillsUSA Regional Conference at Alfred State

Posted Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2015 - 09:45

faculty, staff, and students served as competition judgesApproximately 1,000 students from Region I Board of Cooperative Education and Services (BOCES) districts, encompassing Western New York and the Southern Tier, competed in the 26th annual SkillsUSA Region I Leadership Conference and Skills Olympics March 3 at Alfred State.

The winners of this regional competition will advance to the next level at the Oncenter in Syracuse, where all six regions in New York State will meet to attempt to qualify for the national competition in Kansas City, MO, in June. A postsecondary SkillsUSA state competition will also take place on the Wellsville campus on Saturday, March 28.

Skills tests ranged from advertising design to welding to restaurant services. Alfred State faculty, staff, and students were heavily involved in the design, implementation, and judging of many of the contests. Many of the high school students were exposed to a college campus for the first time. Contestants from the following schools attended:

Genesee Valley (Batavia); Career and Technical Education Center at Belmont; Lake Shore/ Carrier Educational Center (Angola); Charles G May Career-Tech Center (Mt. Morris); Greater Southern Tier (GST) BOCES, Coopers Campus (Painted Post); Edison Tech (Rochester); Eastern Monroe Career Center (EMCC) (Fairport); Ellicottville CTE Center; GST BOCES Pauline Bush Campus (Elmira); Harkness Career and Technical Center (Cheektowaga); Hewes Educational Center (Ashville); Kenton Career and Technical Education Center (Tonawanda); LoGuidice Center (Fredonia); Niagara (Sanborn); Olean CTE Center; Orleans Career and Technical Education Center (Medina); WD Ormsby Educational Center (East Aurora); Potter Career and Technical Center (West Seneca); Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES (Newark); WEMOCO Career and Technical Education Center (Spencerport); and GST BOCES, Wildwood Campus (Hornell).

An awards ceremony honored the following winners:

Action Skills

  • Marcus Sample, WEMOCO, 1st
  • Leah Sparks, EMCC, 2nd
  • Ryan Kelly, Lake Shore/Carrier, 3rd

Advertising Design

  • Alexis Hinkley-Mair, WEMOCO, 1st
  • Haley Gill, Wildwood, 2nd
  • D’asia Bailey, Edison, 3rd

Animal Careers

  • Joelle Randall-McCann, W.D. Ormsby, 1st
  • Justin Bulega, W.D. Ormsby, 2nd
  • Dylan Herold, Wayne, 3rd

Auto Body Helper

  • Stephan Morris, EMCC, 1st
  • William Little, Wayne, 2nd
  • Andrew Holbrook, C.G. May, 3rd

Auto Service Basic

  • Tyler Trumbul, Wildwood, 1st
  • David DiSalvo, EMCC, 2nd
  • Mike King, Genesee Valley (Batavia) 3rd

Auto Technology

  • Jayson Sears, Niagara, 1st
  • Tyler Rendell, LoGuidice, 2nd
  • Zachary Knight, EMCC, 3rd

AutomatedManufacturing Technology

  • Niagara, 1st
  • WEMOCO, 2nd
  • Orleans, 3rd

Carpenter's Assistant

  • Matthew Smith, GST Bush, 1st
  • Adam Bush, GST Bush, 2nd
  • Conner Doerr, WEMOCO, 3rd


  • Aaron Miller, Wildwood, 1st
  • Andrew Freeman, Coopers, 2nd
  • Rob Monroe, WEMOCO, 3rd

Collision Repair

  • Brian McCadden, Harkness, 1st
  • Corey Derowitch, C.G. May, 2nd
  • Audrey Smith, EMCC, 3rd

Commercial Baking

  • Alexis Colon, WEMOCO, 1st
  • Ashley Driscoll, EMCC, 2nd
  • Patricia Pacer, W.D. Ormsby, 3rd

Computer Maintenance

  • Connor Long, Wildwood, 1st
  • Storm Hartman, Hewes, 2nd
  • Austin Doepp, Orleans, 3rd

Cosmetology Jr.

  • Lillian-Guzman Mancuso, EMCC, 1st
  • Jackie Clarke, EMCC, 2nd
  • Adriana Bryer, Niagara, 3rd

Cosmetology Sr.

  • Ivy Marie Gilbert, Orleans, 1st
  • Brianna Musco, EMCC, 2nd
  • Kaley Herring, Belmont, 3rd

CPR/First Aid

  • Emily Wysocarski, EMCC, 1st
  • Patrick MacDonald, EMCC, 2nd
  • Kaitlyn Desjarlais, W.D. Ormsby, 3rd

Criminal Justice

  • Otaysha Townsend, GST Bush, 1st
  • Elaina Brownell, Wildwood, 2nd
  • Anthony Ozzella, Olean, 3rd

Crime Scene Investigation (Three-Person Teams)

  • Niagara, 1st
  • GST Bush, 2nd
  • C.G. May, 3rd

Culinary Arts

  • Derek Kretchman, Coopers, 1st
  • Faith Mierzwa, LoGuidice, 2nd
  • Christopher Artinian, EMCC, 3rd

Custom Painting & Graphics

  • Briana Hutchinson, W.D. Ormsby, 1st
  • Megan Warren, Orleans, 2nd
  • Elijah Howard, WEMOCO, 3rd

Diesel Mechanics

  • Luke Anderson, Niagara, 1st
  • Alexander Fischer, Niagara, 2nd
  • Christopher McDonald, Orleans, 3rd

Early Childhood

  • Katelyn Morse, Ellicottville, 1st
  • Wynter Dumont, Orleans, 2nd
  • Cailynn Jaehn, Ellicottville, 3rd

Electrical Construction & Wiring

  • Dan Gardner, Orleans, 1st
  • Emmanuel Dyman, Finger Lakes, 2nd
  • Jonathan Guzman, Potter, 3rd

Electronics Technology

  • Chelsie Cloutier, Orleans, 1st
  • Tyler Sattelberg, Orleans, 2nd
  • Josh Varner, WEMOCO, 3rd

Employment Application

  • Kelsey Curazzato, EMCC, 1st
  • Lindsay Gnage, WEMOCO, 2nd
  • Jordan Coon, EMCC, 3rd

Extemporaneous Speech

  • C.J. Sawdey, EMCC, 1st
  • Killian Groom, Belmont, 2nd
  • Heather McLean, EMCC, 3rd

Food Prep Assistant

  • Madison Montana, EMCC, 1st
  • Isaiah Washington, Coopers, 2nd
  • Taylor Sparrow, Wayne, 3rd

Health Knowledge Bowl (Four-Person Teams)

  • Orleans, 1st
  • Wildwood, 2nd
  • Niagara, 3rd

Job Demo A

  • Wendy Lipares-Rivera, Wayne, 1st
  • Evan McMahon, Coopers, 2nd
  • Bryanna Herr, W.D. Ormsby, 3rd

Job Demo Open

  • Ashley Groll, Niagara, 1st
  • Felicia Jones, Wayne, 2nd
  • Mariah Rees, Orleans, 3rd

Job Interview

  • Jessica Heary, Orleans, 1st
  • Erin Maynard, Olean, 2nd
  • Laicey Axtell, GST Bush, 3rd


  • Jordan Matthews, GST Bush, 1st
  • Kyle Lacy, Wildwood, 2nd
  • Kyle Rosenzweig, EMCC, 3rd

Nail Technician

  • Nyomi Brooks, GST Bush, 1st
  • Mikaela Parwulski, Potter, 2nd
  • Roxy Tubbs, Potter, 3rd


  • Adam Montoya, EMCC, 1st
  • Alexandra Pasquale, EMCC, 2nd
  • Hannah Crouse, Wildwood, 3rd

Power Equipment

  • Logan Robinson, Wildwood, 1st
  • Cory Moore, WEMOCO, 2nd
  • Jared Eklund, Hewes, 3rd

Precision Heavy Equipment

  • Darren Ross, Wildwood, 1st
  • Thomas Kunlel, Niagara, 2nd
  • Cody Sauuagegu, Niagara, 3rd

Precision Machining

  • Jason Rodriguez, WEMOCO, 1st
  • Patrick Pruden, Coopers, 2nd
  • Cody Westmorland, Niagara, 3rd

Prepared Speech

  • Megan Smith, WEMOCO, 1st
  • Ashley Bower, Orleans, 2nd
  • Rachel McCarthy, LoGuidice, 3rd

Quiz Bowl (Five-Person Teams)

  • GST Bush, 1st
  • EMCC, 2nd
  • Genesee Valley (Batavia), 3rd

Related Technical Math

  • Katelyn DiBenedetto, Orleans, 1st
  • Jacob Bristow, WEMOCO, 2nd
  • Makia Hall, GST Bush, 3rd

Restaurant Services

  • Nate Cornett, Niagara, 1st
  • Josh Santiago, WEMOCO, 2nd
  • Alexandria Zentz, LoGuidice, 3rd

Small Engines

  • Louis Benjamin, Wayne, 1st
  • Ben Stahl, Niagara, 2nd
  • Zach Brochta, Wildwood, 3rd

Technical Drafting

  • James McAdam, Niagara, 1st
  • Kolby Reumann, W.D. Ormsby, 2nd
  • Hayden Whittlesey, Finger Lakes, 3rd

T-Shirt Design

  • Mariah Clark, Coopers, 1st
  • Sierra Meade, Coopers, 2nd
  • Tayton Troidl, W.D. Ormsby, 3rd

TV/Video Production

  • GST Bush, 1st
  • Niagara, 2nd
  • Olean, 3rd


  • Spencer Cappon, Niagara, 1st
  • Ian Milliman, Genesee Valley (Batavia) 2nd
  • Christopher Steves, Orleans, 3rd

Academic Success Coach Cynthia Thorp presents at 34th annual Conference on The First-Year Experience in Dallas

Posted Date: Monday, March 16, 2015 - 12:00

Cynthia ThorpAcademic Success Coach for the Student Success Center at Alfred State Cynthia Thorp was selected to present at the 34th annual Conference on The First-Year Experience, held Feb. 7-10 in Dallas.

The conference provides an ongoing forum in which higher-education professionals may share experiences, concerns, and accomplishments related to supporting student learning, development, and success in the first college year, according to

Titled “Digging Deeper into Student Engagement and Learning with Case Studies,” Thorp’s presentation demonstrated how case studies and scenarios contribute to deeper-level thinking skills. Thorp also discussed attitudes, behaviors, and habits linked to academic success in the first year.

Navy SEAL veteran and transgender woman Kristin Beck to speak March 25

Posted Date: Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 10:30

Kristin BeckThe 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."

Community invited to attend poetry reading April 8

Posted Date: Monday, March 23, 2015 - 14:30

Members of the English and Humanities Department at Alfred State invite the public to a free spring poetry reading at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 8, in the Allegany Room of the Central Dining Hall.

Come and enjoy music, desserts, and artwork, all created by Alfred State students.

Faculty, staff, students, and community members are invited to bring either a favorite or an original poem to read. Staff members of Ergo, the campus creative arts magazine, will also read from their works.