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December 2015

Dr. Poppo named provost

Posted Date: Wednesday, December 2, 2015 - 11:00

Dr. Kristin PoppoAlfred State is pleased to announced that Dr. Kristin Poppo has been promoted to provost, effective Jan. 1, 2016.

Poppo has served as the college’s vice president for Academic Affairs since July 2014. She will continue to provide academic leadership for Alfred State in her new position.

Dr. Skip Sullivan, president, said, “Dr. Poppo has served Alfred State well during her time here, having helped to move the college through the accreditation process and multiple new program designs. She is well-deserving of this new role.”

Poppo said the provost position is critical to affirming that Alfred State’s purpose and mission are providing exceptional academic programs in the context of a robust college experience.

“I am honored to serve in this role,” she said, “as I believe that the Alfred State community is one where we care deeply for each other and for students, resulting in great outcomes for all.”

Prior to joining Alfred State, Poppo was the associate provost and executive director of regional centers and the National Institute of Teaching Excellence at Cambridge College. She has also held teaching positions at colleges in Vermont, North Carolina, and Washington. Poppo was head of graduate and professional studies at IslandWood/University of Washington from 2001 to 2008 and director of extended learning at Olympic College, a Washington State community college, from 2008 to 2011.

Her extensive background includes both education and community service. Poppo has been a minister at Madura Congregational Church in Wakefield, KS, and an associate minister at Second Congregational Church in Beverly, MA. She also served in the Solomon Islands as a community development worker/medical discharge with the US Peace Corps and has held chaplaincy internships at Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital and Goddard Chapel at Tufts University.

Poppo received her PhD in the social and philosophical foundations of education from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro; her master’s in divinity from Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, MA.; her master’s in teaching/environmental communications from Antioch University – New England in Keene, NH; and her bachelor’s degree in philosophy and religion, with a minor in women’s studies from Colgate University in Hamilton.

Bethesda Foundation donates $50,000 to radiologic technology program

Posted Date: Monday, December 7, 2015 - 14:30

Continuing to support Alfred State and its health care-related academic offerings, the Bethesda Foundation recently contributed $50,000 to the college’s new radiologic technology program.

The Foundation’s donation will help defray the costs associated with purchasing equipment, particularly an ionizing machine, needed for the success of the new two-year AAS in radiologic technology. The program, which launched in the fall 2015 semester, prepares qualified students to become health care professionals who administer X-rays to produce photographic and digital anatomical images for diagnostic, therapeutic, and research applications.

Phil Loree, back row, second from left, President Dr. Skip Sullivan, Fred Marks, sitting; Danielle White, back row, first from left; and Bridgett MayorgaPhil Loree, president of the Bethesda Foundation, said, “We’ve been long supporters of Alfred State and when this opportunity to donate to the program arose, we were more than happy to be a part of it and we will continue to support it.”

Dr. Skip Sullivan, president of Alfred State, said, “We are extremely grateful to the Bethesda Foundation for its generous donation and for its continued support of our college. The number of students who go through this program will be significant and impactful, certainly in western New York and I think in all of New York State and beyond. Our health care programs stay full and the Bethesda Foundation has helped to accomplish that.”

Based in North Hornell, the Bethesda Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization devoted to the funding and support of health-related projects and scholarships in the Hornell area. It provides roughly $15,000 a year for scholarships at Alfred State for nursing students.

Alfred State faculty and staff who were involved in the creation of the radiologic technology program and in preparing the information for its proposal include Dr. Kristin Poppo, vice president for Academic Affairs; Dr. Robert Curry, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences; Mark Amman, professor and chair of the Physical and Life Sciences Department; Dr. Scott Waldeis, lecturer, Physical and Life Sciences; and Bridgett Mayorga, assistant professor, Physical and Life Sciences, and director of the radiologic technology program.

Mayorga said the Foundation’s generous donation will allow radiologic technology students the opportunity to develop the skills they are acquiring in the classroom by using state-of-the-art digital imaging technology.

“The digital lab is a wonderful learning tool that will enhance student learning and support the mission and goals of the radiologic technology program and Alfred State,” she said. “The donation from the Bethesda Foundation has helped make the digital imaging lab a reality. As the program director, I am excited by the possibilities the new lab will provide our students.”

In photo above, Bethesda Foundation President Phil Loree, back row, second from left, presents Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan with a check for $50,000 to benefit the college’s new radiologic technology program. Also pictured are Bethesda Foundation Executive Director Fred Marks, sitting; Executive Director of Institutional Advancement Danielle White, back row, first from left; and Physical and Life Sciences Assistant Professor Bridgett Mayorga.

Students earn two third-place finishes in construction competition

Posted Date: Wednesday, December 9, 2015 - 10:00

Competing against 15 other schools, Alfred State placed in two divisions in this year’s Associated Schools of Construction Region 1 Student Competition held Nov. 13-14 in Morristown, NJ.

College teams worked on plans for various projects in three divisions in this year’s event: commercial building, heavy highway, and design/build. Alfred State came in third in both the heavy highway and design/build categories, and was the only public school to place in any of the three divisions, according to Erin Vitale, associate professor in the Civil Engineering Technology Department.

On the first day, teams received project documents at 8 a.m. and had 16 hours to complete their submission to project sponsors, who had devised each problem. The next day, teams made an oral presentation to the project sponsors, who then judged the written submissions and the oral presentations and ranked the top three teams.

The commercial building category focused on construction of a state-of-the-art, 72,000-square-foot skilled nursing and rehabilitation center. In the heavy highway division, teams were tasked with creating a plan for a major utility project on the Green Line Extension in Boston. The design/build competition centered on refurbishing a building at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Overall, 16 schools, 37 teams, and 222 students participated in the competition. Students from Alfred State who competed, along with their majors and hometowns, are as follows:

Commercial building: From left to right are Ryan Ortiz, Brockport; Shawn Lorraine, Webster; Dan Gallmann, Angelica; Kassandra Militello, Akron; Dan Christoffersen, Port Crane; and Dustin Short, Caledonia. All team members are construction management engineering technology majors.

Commercial building team members - 2015 competition

Heavy highway: From left to right are Fred Dumond, Liberty; Andrew Perno, Hornell; Rick Hoglund, Mayville; Herald Ymaj, Bronx; Zachary Warren, Port Byron; and Dan Ognibene, Alexander. All team members are construction management engineering technology majors.

Heavy highway team members - 2015 competition

Design/build: From left to right are Nicholas Scalise, architecture, Campbell Hall; Derrick Clark, construction management engineering technology, Alfred; Josh Greenaker, architecture, Castile; Wade Franklin, architecture, Arkport; Mike Goddard, construction management engineering technology, Honeoye; and Trentin Reese, architecture, Red Creek.

Design/build team members - 2015 competition

WINS Club holds 23rd annual Women in the Field Dinner

Posted Date: Wednesday, December 9, 2015 - 11:15

Adelaide Matteson; Stacy Duink, of Hamburg, a senior Bachelor of Architecture major and WINS Club president; Shanley Keenan MacCrea; Elizabeth Parker, of Campbell, a senior Bachelor of Architecture major and WINS Club treasurer; and Heather Rogers Landis.The Women In Non-traditional Studies (WINS) Club hosted its 23rd annual Women in the Field Dinner.

WINS Adviser Professor Joy Carlson invited three female Alfred State graduates to campus to discuss their careers, give advice, and provide contact information to 24 current students. Speakers included Adelaide Matteson, who received a BS in construction management engineering technology from Alfred State in 2012, and is now project manager at Crane-Hogan Structural Systems in Spencerport; Shanley Keenan MacCrea, who earned an AS in engineering science from Alfred State in 2006, a BS in aeronautical engineering from Clarkson University in 2008, an MS in mechanical engineering from Columbia University in 2012, and is now a product engineer at Dresser-Rand in Wellsville; and Heather Rogers Landis, who received a BS in architecture from Alfred State in 2008, an MArch from Syracuse University in 2011, and is currently employed at CJS Architects in Rochester.

The two main goals of WINS are to further the knowledge of women in male-dominated fields and to sponsor civic engagement/fundraising projects, both locally and globally. WINS is open to all members of the Alfred State community, regardless of gender.

Pictured from left to right are Adelaide Matteson; Stacy Duink, of Hamburg, a senior Bachelor of Architecture major and WINS Club president; Shanley Keenan MacCrea; Elizabeth Parker, of Campbell, a senior Bachelor of Architecture major and WINS Club treasurer; and Heather Rogers Landis.

Alfred State hosts Capture the Flag cyber security competition

Posted Date: Tuesday, December 15, 2015 - 08:30

male students in a computer labStudents from four colleges put their cyber security skills to the test Dec. 6 at Alfred State during the ASIST Cyber Security Capture the Flag Competition.

Held in the Engineering Technology building on the Alfred campus, the event featured two teams from the State University of New York at Buffalo, one from Syracuse University, two from the Rochester Institute of Technology, and two from Alfred State. Each squad had five members.

During the competition, teams earned points for penetrating a network using cyber security penetrating applications. All of the networks were running on Alfred State’s own virtual data center.

One of the goals was to set off a building fire alarm by hacking into a simulated IBM mainframe computer. Each network featured a real fire alarm that was rigged to ring if students were successful in penetrating the mainframe. Markus Hall, an applications software development major from Hornell, designed and built the fire alarms, which ran on a Raspberry Pi - a low-cost, credit-card-sized computer.

The competition, which was organized by Alfred State Information Security Team (ASIST) members, allowed participants to understand the technology and thought process of hackers, while also sharpening their security skills and learning new techniques. In the end, two teams from RIT took first and second place, with an Alfred State group coming in third, followed by Syracuse University in fourth.

Jim Boardman, assistant professor and chair of the Alfred State Computer and Information Technology Department, said the students “loved” the competition.

“Thanks to the hard work of our ASIST club, it was a giant success,” he said.

Robert Symonds, a network administration major from Woodhull, agreed.

“The competition was really successful,” he said. “It went very smoothly. I thought it was very challenging and I learned quite a bit about Linux computer systems and how to better safeguard networks in the future.”

Conor Mitchell, ASIST president and a network administration major from Binghamton, said ASIST members had a great time organizing the event and received a lot of positive feedback afterward.

“I personally believe that a security professional in today's IT field cannot truly understand the defending of a network without first understanding how a network is attacked,” he said. “Competitions like this really allow students to put themselves in the shoes of an attacker in a fun and educational way. Cyber security is not limited to just one IT discipline; it's all-encompassing. And I think that by allowing our students this opportunity and exposure, they become vastly more valuable in today's workforce.”

In photo above, three Alfred State students, from left to right, Mitchell Skinner, network administration, Tonawanda; Riley Robbers, computer information systems, Almond; and Chris McCormick, cyber security, Henderson, NV.

Dr. Clark named VP of Economic Development

Posted Date: Tuesday, December 15, 2015 - 15:30

Craig R. Clark Craig Clark, PE, PhD, has been promoted to vice president of Economic Development at Alfred State, effective Jan. 1.

Associated with the college since 1979, Clark has served in a variety of teaching and administrative capacities, including professor and chair of the Civil Engineering Technology Department, as well as interim vice president for Academic Affairs. Since 1996, he has been the dean of the School of Applied Technology in Wellsville, and he is also the executive director of that campus.

Clark holds a PhD and a Master of Science degree in civil engineering from North Carolina State University, a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Colorado, and an Associate of Science degree in engineering science from Jamestown Community College. He has completed course work at Carnegie-Mellon University, College Management Program, Heinz School of Public Policy and Management.

Dr. Skip Sullivan, president of Alfred State, said, “Dr. Clark has done a terrific job in each position he has held at our college. We are excited that he will continue to accomplish great things for not only Alfred State, but Allegany County, as well.”

Curt Crandall, chairman of the Allegany County Board of Legislators, said, “We are looking forward to working with Dr. Clark as he takes on this new position, especially given his background and all that he has achieved for both Alfred State and Allegany County already.”

In his new role, Clark is responsible for developing and implementing an economic and industrial development program for Allegany County, with an emphasis on attracting businesses and industries to locate within the county and promoting expansion of existing businesses and industries. Work is performed under the general direction of the County Board of Legislators Planning and Economic Development Committee. He will continue to be college liaison with the START-UP NY program, Empire State Development, Appalachian Regional Commission, and other grant-funding and economic development organizations related to the college.

“The Bio-refinery Development and Commercialization Center is also a project that I will continue to work on to assure we have the funds to develop this exciting facility, which will lead to larger commercial plants,” Clark said.

As dean of the Wellsville campus, Clark has established many educational and business partnerships that stressed what is typically one of the top drivers behind economic development: workforce development. All educational programs continue to be updated and new programs in welding technology, machine tool technology, motorsports technology, and heavy equipment operations have been created and implemented. Most of the new Wellsville programs and many curriculum updates have been implemented using more than $1.9 million in grants from the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Other major grants that have improved programs across the college include $1 million from the Gleason Foundation for manufacturing programs, $2.9 million from NYSERDA that developed clean-energy programs statewide, and $3.2 million to develop advanced manufacturing programs at Burgard High School. The Wellsville campus continues to improve its facilities through the Educational Foundation and private and public grant support, including the construction of the Zero Energy Home, the new 30,000-square-foot Construction Industry Workforce Development Center, and the new 16,500-square-foot Advanced Manufacturing Center, which is the first state-funded building on the Wellsville campus.

“My contacts developed over the past 20 years as dean of Applied Technology will greatly assist in this transition,” he said. “My 18 years on the Alfred Village Board of Trustees, including eight years as mayor, have also prepared me for the economic development role at the college.”

Clark said given the strong educational institutions in Allegany County, economic development will be easier than in some areas.

“I am often told by visitors from companies that they wish they had these educational institutions in their backyard,” he said. “Now, the goal is to attract these companies to our backyard to assure economic development success in the county.”

Alfred State president asks Gov. Cuomo to sign bill to improve university police retention

Posted Date: Wednesday, December 16, 2015 - 11:00

Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan is requesting Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign a bill that would help solve an ongoing problem of recruiting and retaining a stable and diverse campus police force.

The bill, S.3221(Robach)/A.4519(Abbate), would give university police officers across the system the option to transfer from their current retirement plan to the New York State and Local Police and Fire Retirement System (P&F), which offers a 25-year, half-pay retirement benefit. All other police agencies in New York State offer plans in the P&F retirement system, and approximately 95 percent of those agencies offer a 20-year, half-pay retirement benefit.

The bill was delivered to the governor on Dec. 7. The governor has the option to sign it or veto it.

“Campus safety is among the governor’s top priorities, yet the current university police retirement plan is inadequate when compared to the plan offered to more than 500 other municipal police departments in the state,” said Sullivan. “The result is a greater migration of officers from the university police force to police departments that offer more appropriate pension and disability benefits, leading to high attrition and instability among the campus police forces.”

Among those expressing support for the bill are SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, SUNY Board of Trustees Chairman Carl McCall, as well as New York Women in Law Enforcement, National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives, and advocacy centers against sexual assault. It is also supported by the PBA of the New York State Troopers, the New York State Public Employee Conference, the Police Conference of New York, the Alliance of Public Retiree Organizations of New York, SUNY Student Assembly, the NYS Association of Chiefs of Police, and the PBA of NYS.

The cost for the state to train a university police officer is between $85,000 and $100,000. Their early departure from the force for a police officer job within the state means the university has lost those funds, while the officer’s new police agency has just saved money for training costs.

The high rate of attrition affects campuses in many ways. It means there are more open positions throughout the year, resulting in officers working longer shifts. And it means fewer officers with the appropriate experience to enhance community policing and prevent and investigate crimes.

Furthermore, SUNY officers are dealing with higher rates of suicide and mental illness on campus, new sexual assault policies, a heroin epidemic, and rapidly growing campuses due to the START-UP NY program. With campus safety a top national concern, and a steady stream of threats to soft targets from active shooters and global terrorist groups, experience and appropriate staffing are extremely important.

“Police force stability is an important factor in keeping students, faculty, staff, and visitors safe while they are on campus,” Sullivan said. “Our campuses lack this stability under the current conditions. Signing this bill will correct this issue, and thereby make our campuses safer.”

Alfred State receives $1.5 million grant for Bio-refinery Development and Commercialization Center

Posted Date: Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - 10:45

The proposed Bio-refinery Development and Commercialization Center (BDCC) on Alfred State’s Wellsville campus received some significant financial support recently, in the form of a $1.5 million grant from the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council (WNYREDC).

The grant was part of the $83.9 million awarded for 125 projects in various locations within the state under the latest round of funding from the WNYREDC. This is in addition to the $1 million in state aid secured in September by State Sen. Catharine Young, R, C,I-Olean.

Dr. Skip Sullivan, president of Alfred State, said, “We are grateful for all the support we continue to receive for the establishment of the BDCC and are excited about the impact we expect that facility to have on our students and the New York State economy.”

Dr. Craig Clark, dean and executive director of the School of Applied Technology, noted, “We will continue to work with other funding streams that will assure the BDCC starts construction in the near future.”

Sen. Young said, “We are now well on our way toward transforming the economy across rural New York. The best economic strategy is to capitalize on your strengths – what makes your area special – and the BDCC project at Alfred State will do that, creating jobs and economic opportunities for our region by becoming a groundbreaking international research and development center. The project now has $3.0 million committed in state funding and we can use those dollars to leverage additional resources and garner greater support.”

The intention of the BDCC is to further advance research of the Hot Water Extraction (HWE) process, which extracts useful chemicals from natural products, and take the current successful HWE process, developed in the laboratory at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), to a commercial level. The chemicals can be used for a number of industrial products and the remaining cellulose material can be used for pellets and products used in structures. HWE is the process through which an industrial-based concept known as New Forest Economy (NFE) uses natural resources.

Alfred State students and faculty will be involved in the development and building of the BDCC, including students majoring in welding, machine tool technology, drafting/CAD, mechanical engineering technology, electrical engineering technology, and electrical trades. Learning opportunities will include development of the HWE process, process control, pressure vessels, and many other components. Alfred State will work with SUNY ESF on other programs, including bioprocessing engineering.