University Police recently added Officer Mario J. Dragone as the newest member of the police department.
University Police Chief Matt Heller said, “We’re pleased to welcome Mario to our ranks. Along with being an accomplished police officer, he served in the military from 1999 to 2005 as a member of the Marine Corps Reserve. During his service, he was a radio operator and last held the rank of sergeant. He was deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, and was a responder after the World Trade Center attacks in New York City in 2001.”
Dragone is not new to the SUNY system or to University Police (UP). In 2012, he started his service with UP at the University at Buffalo (UB) as a campus public safety officer (CPSO), a position he held for nearly two years. As a CPSO, his main duties were the effective handling of all calls received at the dispatch center and dispatching police, fire, and EMS resources. In 2014, Dragone completed his basic course for police at the Erie County Law Enforcement Academy and was promoted to University Police officer 1. Dragone then worked at UB as a police officer for two more years.
During his tenure at UB, he received hours of mandatory in-service training and completed New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services courses in RADAR/LIDAR, Crisis Intervention, Naloxone, and Law Enforcement Bicycle Patrol. In 2016, Dragone transferred to the Amherst Police Department, where he became Taser certified.
After completing high school in Rochester, Dragone enrolled at the University at Buffalo and majored in history.
As part of his duties at Alfred State, Dragone is looking forward to providing educational programming in the residence halls, speaking to groups, and assisting in the Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) program.
For the third straight year, Alfred State Pioneers and supporters came together in an annual tournament to play a round of golf, enjoy one another’s company, and raise funds for the college.
And once again, the event was a big success, as 32 teams vied for the coveted Alfred State “blue jacket.” Also, following expenses, proceeds of more than $29,000 were raised that will benefit the Alfred State College Development Fund Inc., to provide for student scholarships, athletics, and other needs of the college.
Presented by Mach Architecture, PC, the third annual Pioneers Drive for the Development Fund was held on Friday, June 16 at the Twin Hickory Golf Club in Hornell. Team captain Fran Argentieri led his foursome of Bob Forness, Dan McDonall, and Alex Fitzpatrick to a score of 19 under to capture the title.
The second-place team, which scored 16 under, included Troy Morehouse, Steve Wintersteen, Matt Horvoth, and Jeremy Lite, while the Otis Eastern team of Tom Hirsch, Chuck Neal, Brent Rohrbacker, and Mike Obuhanich placed third.
The top three teams took home $500, $300, and $200 respectively. In addition, a Weber gas grill was awarded for the closest shot to pin on the fourth hole, and other contest prizes included a putter, printer, and numerous gift certificates, cash, a 50/50 drawing, lottery board, silent auction items, and more than 75 door prizes. A dinner was held immediately following the tournament at The Main Place.
Event sponsors included Auxiliary Campus Enterprises Services, Inc.; Labella Associates, PC; and Pathfinder Engineers and Architects. Eagle sponsors included Alesco Advisors, LLC; Laborer’s Local #621; Otis Eastern; U&S Services, Inc., and West Herr Automotive. There were more than 33 contest and hole sponsors.
Executive Director of Institutional Advancement Danielle White stated that, “Our success is only due to the tremendous support from many businesses in our community and region, as well as our amazing, generous, and kind alumni and friends. The tournament continues to grow each year both in support and fun, and we look forward to increasing both in the future. It gives us great pleasure to be able to help meet the needs of the college and our students.”
Despite ending up with a “DNF” (did not finish) in the 2017 Great Race because of some bad luck on the last lap, the Alfred State team still managed to run a “great race” and get its vehicle across the finish line.
This year, the annual controlled-speed endurance rally began June 24 in Jacksonville, FL, and continued for 2,300 miles through several other states before ending July 2 in downtown Traverse City, MI. The event tests teams’ abilities to follow precise course instructions and their vehicle’s ability to endure on a cross-country trip.
Facing 120 other teams, the Alfred State squad competed in the event for the third straight year in its 1953 Dodge Power Wagon tow truck. Nick Shelp, motorsports technology, Endicott, served as the driver of the vehicle this year, while Nick Guarino, automotive service technician, Alexander, and Liam Dechick, motorsports technology, Syracuse, were the navigators.
Automotive Trades Professor Mike Ronan, the team’s faculty adviser, noted that Sam Holevinski, heavy equipment, truck and diesel technician, Canisteo, was loaned to the El Camino College team from Los Angeles after that school became in need of a navigator.
According to Ronan, the Alfred State team’s troubles began during the “Trophy Run” which is essentially a warmup rally about 200 miles long held the Friday before the race starts. During this event, the Power Wagon broke a rear axle, and the team had to contact a specialty parts supplier in Iowa to send the new one overnight.
The team then used a trailer to haul the truck from northern Florida back to Jacksonville for repairs. The cause of their problem? A retaining pin that came out of position after being in the same location since the truck was made in 1953.
After fixing this issue, the team made it to the start of the race just in time.
“We headed for our start position three miles away with minutes to go,” Ronan said.
Having overcome this hurdle, “everything went great” for the team, Ronan said, until the last day.
“The truck started running very poorly about 96 miles from the finish line,” he said. “Although it still drove, it was not going to make the finish line in the allotted time. We put it on the trailer, then unloaded it near the finish line so it could make a ceremonial finish (done at the request of the organizers). Turns out, it broke a valve spring.”
Despite having experienced difficulties before and at the end of the race, the team ran quite well along the way, even earning three “aces” (perfect times) on individual legs of the rally. All in all, Ronan is proud of the way the students performed.
“Alfred State was fortunate to have four wonderful ambassadors representing the college over the 2,300-mile event,” Ronan said. “The students were helping other teams with mechanical problems virtually every night, and the truck was able to make the start due to their sheer determination.”
Finishing in the top 10 in a national competition category is nothing new for Alfred State’s Andrea Koston.
Last year, the 2017 culinary arts: baking, production and management graduate from Rochester earned a fifth-place spot in the commercial baking category in the 52nd annual National SkillsUSA Championship. This year, Koston fared even better against the competition, taking home a silver medal in commercial baking in the 53rd annual event, which took place in Louisville, KY.
Alfred State Culinary Arts Instructor Brian Decker, who served as an adviser to the students during the trip to Kentucky, along with Automotive Trades Instructor Bradley Smith, said, "Andrea mentioned to me several times that her current employer, where Andrea has baking responsibilities, was very willing to let her practice prior to the competition while on the job. She indicated that they were very supportive and encouraging, which truly speaks to Andrea's strengths and character. I am very proud of Andrea for her silver medal win, as well as all of our students who competed in this year's SkillsUSA Nationals."
More than 6,000 students compete in 100 occupational and leadership skill areas at the SkillsUSA championships, according to the SkillsUSA website. The site further adds that these competitions establish industry standards for entry-level workers in many fields.
Having recently earned her two-year degree, Koston will continue her education at Alfred State in the fall in the college’s four-year technology management program. Also representing Alfred State at the national championship were Jacob Knapp, autobody repair, Dansville; Nicholas Most, building trades: building construction, Endicott; Brenton Yager, masonry, Falconer; Mike Burdick, automotive service technician, Webster; and Cole Smith, electrical construction and maintenance electrician, Collins.
For over 30 years, the Bethesda Foundation has been a major supporter of Alfred State’s nursing and health-related programs, having generously donated funds for grants, scholarships, and major projects.
And today, that relationship is still going strong, as the Foundation continues to support nursing education locally by funding scholarships for students from Steuben, Allegany, and Livingston counties who are enrolled in nursing at Alfred State.
For the 2016-2017 academic year, the Foundation’s scholarship support totaled $15,000, an amount the organization typically donates on an annual basis to ensure that Alfred State nursing students can afford an education. This year, recipients of Bethesda Foundation-supported nursing scholarships included:
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. The Foundation’s first grant to Alfred State was in 1987, and to date, the organization has awarded to the college approximately $354,178, which includes grants and scholarship support.
One of the Foundation’s most recent noteworthy contributions to Alfred State health-related education came in the form of a $50,000 donation used for the purchase of new imaging equipment for the college’s radiologic technology program. Afterward, in recognition of the Foundation’s support, Alfred State officially dedicated the Bethesda Foundation Imaging Suite in the Agriculture Science Building.
Linda Panter, chair of the Nursing Department, said, “The Alfred nursing program has greatly appreciated all the financial support given to students over many years. The nursing program is also grateful for their support in other program initiatives. Years ago, it was the Bethesda Foundation that supported the funds to create a special skill lab for students to learn their intravenous skills. The Bethesda Foundation scholarships have assisted hundreds of students.”
Phil Loree, president of the Bethesda Foundation, said, "The strong and long lasting bond that exists between our organization and Alfred State nursing is a reflection, in part, of the Bethesda Foundation's belief that education is the most effective investment we can make in seeking to support community health needs."
Money Magazine’s report on the Best Colleges for Your Money 2017 awarded Alfred State stellar ratings, with the college among the top 10 in the nation out of schools offering a dozen different majors.
After evaluating more than 2,400 colleges and universities around the country, Money Magazine ranked Alfred State number 200 overall. That places the college in the top 10 percent of all schools and a top performer in many categories.
When students search for individual majors Alfred State was highly ranked, including one first-place award:
|US Rank||Alfred State Degree||Money's Description of Major|
|No. 1||IT: Web Development||Web/Multimedia Management and Webmaster|
|No. 2||Cyber Security||Computer and Information System Security|
|No. 2||IT: Applications Software Development||Computer Programming, Specific Applications|
|No. 2||IT: Network Administration||System, Networking and LAN/WAN Management|
|No. 3||Architectural Technology||Architectural Technology|
|No. 3||Computer Engineering Technology||Computer Engineering Technology|
|No. 3||Surveying & Geomatics Engineering Technology||Surveying Technology|
|No. 5||Digital Media and Animation||Animation, Interactive Technology|
|No. 7||Mechanical Engineering Technology||Mechanical Engineering Technology|
|No. 8||Financial Planning||Financial Planning|
|No. 8||Forensic Science Technology||Forensic Science and Technology|
|No. 9||Electrical Engineering Technology||Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering Technology|
“By calling this list the ‘best for your money,’ you know that affordability is one factor being considered,” said Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan. “These rankings also take into account how our faculty provide a high-quality education through hands-on learning, how well prepared our students are to start their careers, and how our alumni are high achievers in the working world. I’m so proud of our faculty, students, and alumni. They deserve all the credit for these tremendous accolades.”
When announcing the list, Money Magazine noted, “Like any generalized list, Money’s college rankings serve only as a starting point. We’ve created a free Web tool that allows you to build your own rankings.” In this way, students and parents can add the aspects of a college that are most important to them.
By narrowing search results to include only public institutions and schools with fewer than 5,000 students, Alfred State quickly rockets up the list to the number seven position for best colleges in the US.
About Alfred State, the magazine points out that, “Graduates report average salaries to Payscale that are about 10 percent higher than graduates of similar institutions.” The magazine’s description of the college includes praise for alumni success and focuses on the use of applied learning throughout the curriculum to prepare students for their careers.
To compile the list, Money Magazine used data from the US Department of Education, Peterson’s, Payscale.com, and College Measures. The evaluation covered 27 factors in three categories: quality of education, cost, and alumni success. Out of the 2,400 schools evaluated, 711 met the magazine’s standards to be named one of the Best Colleges for Your Money.
Money Magazine’s database tool to build your own rankings is available at: www.time.com/money/best-colleges/.
Alfred State has earned a $75,000 manufacturing innovation grant for the further development of fuel cells, and to assist a western New York company in adding a projected 15 jobs in the next four years. The funds will help Alfred State partner with Rochester-based American Fuel Cell LLC to produce membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs), the core component of a fuel cell.
FuzeHub’s Manufacturing Innovation Fund awarded the grant to Alfred State’s Energy Storage and Conversion Laboratory. FuzeHub is a not-for-profit organization responsible for assisting small to medium-sized manufacturing enterprises (SMEs) in New York State by matching them with technical and business resources.
“Energy research is an issue that is front and center as we plan for the future of our society,” said Dr. John Williams, dean of the Alfred State School of Architecture, Management and Engineering Technology. “Dr. Jon Owejan is a leader in this area and created the Energy Storage and Conversion Lab at Alfred State. This award will support industrial partnerships and enrich student learning through project-based learning in a world-class facility. We offer Jon our hearty congratulations and look forward to the contributions and impact Jon and his team will have in the field of sustainable energy.”
According to the award announcement from FuzeHub: “Alfred State’s collaboration with American Fuel Cell, a Rochester-area company that produces Fuel Cell MEAs is illustrative of New York State’s leadership in the field of alternative energies. Alfred’s Energy Storage and Conversion Laboratory will integrate new testing capabilities that will allow for rapid advances in the company’s manufacturing operations, and position the laboratory to pursue other collaborative projects with New York State-based fuel cell companies. American Fuel Cell expects to hire up to 10 engineers and five technicians in the next four years with the skillset fostered by this project.”
FuzeHub recently launched the Jeff Lawrence Manufacturing Innovation Fund. Lawrence, who passed away in 2015, was a top executive at the Center for Economic Growth, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) center for the Capital Region, and a champion for New York manufacturing and entrepreneurial communities.
The Manufacturing Innovation Fund, consisting of $1 million annually for five years, supports a set of activities designed to spur technology development and commercialization across New York State. FuzeHub is administering this fund as part of its role as the Empire State Development (ESD)-designated statewide MEP center.
Along with Alfred State, Clarkson University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Weill Cornell Medicine will split the nearly $300,000 from this summer’s round of awards. These grant awardees are projected to incrementally add 37 new jobs to both existing and startup companies across New York State in the next two years.
“One of the goals of the fund, and the Manufacturing Innovation Grants, is to spur economic development in the manufacturing sector, and we’re seeing that even these small investments in manufacturing projects are allowing companies to add jobs, strengthen their teams and contribute to their growth,” FuzeHub Executive Director Elena Garuc noted. “These projects are a great example of how New York’s innovation assets are supporting industry and contributing to economic growth in New York,” she added.
To provide a new facility that enables students to learn about motorcycle and power sports diagnosis and repair, Alfred State has construction crews in high gear to meet a fall deadline.
“Right now students are signing-up to join the first class of our motorcycle and power sports technology program, which is a first-of-its-kind degree in the entire northeast,” stated Dr. Skip Sullivan, president of Alfred State. “These students will be moving into a brand new building, specifically built for the needed hands-on laboratories. Students will work on all kinds of full-size functioning vehicles from motorcycles to jet skis.”
The Associate in Occupational Studies degree will train graduates for careers such as a motorcycle technician, marine vehicle technician, small engine/lawn and garden equipment technician, service manager, and repair shop supervisor. Some graduates may also choose to be their own boss and own a maintenance and repair shop.
Training includes all aspects of motorcycle and small vehicle repair, working with gasoline and diesel engines, transmissions, electrical/electronic systems, brake systems, steering systems, and suspension systems.
The new motorcycle and power sports facility is being built in Alfred between the college farm and motorsports technology labs, along Route 244. Several years earlier the site was dubbed ‘Pioneer Landing’ and construction was to include both the college president’s residence, and a space to host special events. After his inauguration in 2014, President Sullivan decided that the college should seek another purpose for the location. College leaders considered construction of a new student residence hall before determining that a facility for academic programs would be best.
“I believe making use of this location for our new motorcycle and power sports technology lab is a great way to facilitate another in-demand program which helps interested students and employers seeking these graduates,” said Sullivan. “It’s a tremendous new facility, and I can’t wait to see it filled with students, bikes, and other power sports equipment.”
Being a pioneer means possessing many of the same qualities of a leader: innovativeness, confidence, inspiration, focus, and more.
For Alfred State Pioneers, many avenues exist for developing and strengthening these leadership traits and others, from a leadership minor, to the Alfred State Leadership Programs, to the Civic Leadership Living Learning Community.
Now, another path has become available for Alfred State students who are looking to lead, as the college has added a chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success to its more than 100 clubs and organizations. The chapter will launch during the beginning of the 2017-2018 academic year.
According to its website, the National Society of Leadership and Success is the nation’s largest leadership honor society. Students are selected by their college for membership based on either academic standing or leadership potential, and candidacy is a nationally recognized achievement of honorable distinction.
Additionally, the Society provides a step-by-step program for members to build their leadership skills through participation at their campus or online, the website states. Upon completing the program, members receive their leadership certificate and join the top student leaders at their school and across the country.
Furthermore, members may list their affiliation with the Society on all statements of personal accomplishment, including their resume. Membership, the website states, is for life and provides access to benefits, including scholarships and awards; exclusive on-campus events; employer recruitment through an online job bank; and discounts on computers, textbooks, and more.
According to Troy Morehouse, director of Student Engagement, the chapter will increase the leadership development opportunities for Alfred State students by offering trainings and a speaker series in an effort to help students to achieve their goals. Morehouse, along with Zac Barbis, residence hall director and coordinator of Student Leadership, applied for and received a grant to cover the cost of the 2017-2018 annual membership fee of $2,800.
“Launching a local chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success is very exciting for us, because it allows us to expand the opportunities available for our students,” Morehouse said. “We are very excited to use this partnership to continue developing leaders here at Alfred State!”
“With the addition of the National Society of Leadership and Success,” Barbis said, “I look forward to our students having increased opportunities to learn from and engage with national speakers and leaders.”
More than two dozen gifted high school students from across New York converged at Alfred State this month for the NYSSSA School of Media Arts, an intensive four-week program that offers courses in filmmaking, video and sound art, photography, animation, and more.
This marked the first time that Alfred State has hosted the program, which is one of many within the New York State Summer School for the Arts (NYSSSA). This institute is run by the New York State Education Department for students of the arts in various disciplines, from music and the performing arts to visual arts, and programs for each discipline are hosted at college campuses across New York State.
Artistic Director Ghen Zando-Dennis said, “NYSSSA School of Media Arts is committed to an experimental and exploratory pedagogical approach to art-making. Students combine the technical skills with the critical skills to make work, and many go on to attend notable art/film schools, sometimes with scholarships awarded from their portfolios of work made in our classes. Alfred State is a good fit for us, and we are excited to be working with our hosts in the Department of Digital Media and Animation.”
Steven Kendrat, assistant director of administration for the NYSSSA School of Media Arts, said, “We are excited to be hosted this year by Alfred State, a new host campus to the program, and look forward to continued collaboration and relationship-building. Everyone here has been quite supportive and enthusiastic about the program.”
Each day, the School of Media Arts includes a rather full schedule, with daily classes running from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., then lectures or visiting artist presentations taking place in the evenings.
“The curriculum includes producing work, learning media art history and contemporary practices, and engaging with nearby media art-related spaces such as Squeaky Wheel in Buffalo, and the Visual Studies Workshop and George Eastman House in Rochester,” Zando-Dennis said. “Classes run for eight hours each day, and are taught by faculty from as far away as Los Angeles and as close as Buffalo, including filmmakers, video artists, photographers, experimental composers, and animators who have experience working in the art world and the industries.”
Although the schedule is rigorous, the students, Kendrat said, “have a blast as they pursue the work they are passionate about,” under the guidance of experienced faculty artists. Similar to the experience had by Alfred State students, a lot of learning happens outside of class.
“Much of the students' work takes them out of the classroom, as they undertake photo shoots on campus or in the community, or collaborate with other students to shoot scenes for video projects,” Kendrat said. “The proximity of the town to the Alfred State campus is something many students have already taken advantage of, and I was impressed with the many unique visions of Alfred portrayed in the students' mid-term presentations.”
Zando-Dennis noted that the program is adjudicated, meaning high school students apply with a written artist statement and samples of their work. Students, she said, do not need to have worked directly with the mediums they apply to study in the program.
“For example, students may not have had prior access to 16 mm filmmaking materials or professional sound-mixing software or recording tools, and so we select young artists who are generally imaginative, curious, creative, and committed to learning new skills,” she said. “Other NYSSSA summer schools include ballet, dance, theater, orchestral and choral studies, and visual arts, and they are hosted at other SUNY campuses.”
To help with the cost of the program, NYSSSA offers sliding-fee scholarships to students of low-income families. Students must be in high school and a New York State resident to be eligible to attend.
As a NYSSSA Media Arts alumnus returning in a new role, Kendrat said it’s nice to see the consistency in the artistic mission of the program, in addition to being continually inspired by the work of the students and faculty artists.
“It's amazing to see how much high-quality work comes from the students in just four weeks,” he said. “Of course it helps that our students are highly focused and self-motivated. Most plan to go to college for their media discipline.”
The students’ final work will be featured on campus Friday, July 28 in the Bret Llewellyn Art Gallery (third floor of the Engineering Technology Building) at 11 a.m., and during a screening in the Orvis Activities Center at 1 p.m. The public is invited to attend both the gallery and the screening.
For more information on the NYSSSA School of Media Arts, visit www.oce.nysed.gov/nysssa/media-arts.