As a way to honor and give back to those who served in the military, longtime Alfred State friend and supporter Evelyn Turner and the college’s Culinary Arts Department recently each made a substantial contribution to the Allegany County Vietnam Veterans Organization.
During the college’s Festa Italiana dinner, which was a fundraiser for the organization, Turner donated $5,000 to the veterans group, which maintains 110 acres of woodland as a retreat and recreation sanctuary for military veterans in Alma. In addition to Turner’s generosity, the Culinary Art Department’s fundraiser dinner, bake sale, and donation jar from that day raised roughly $4,000 for the organization.
Mark Voorhees, chaplain of the veterans group, said, “On behalf of the Allegany County Vietnam Veterans Organization, we’d like to thank Alfred State and everyone involved with putting on this event, as well as all of the folks from Alfred State who have come up to our 110 acres of serene and beautiful woodland at our camp in the town of Alma.”
Turner briefly spoke to the chaplain before presenting his organization with the check.
“I’m proud to be able to present this check to you after visiting your facilities,” she told him. “I was immediately impressed and made my decision then, little did you know. I’ve kept you waiting for this special occasion and I’d like to present you with a check for $5,000 to start out.”
Deb Burch, chair of the Alfred State Culinary Arts Department noted, “Evelyn and the culinary team have a great respect for our veterans. When we are aware of a group of veterans trying to help other veterans, there is never any hesitation by this group of professionals to help the cause and I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of this special group of people and Alfred State College. It really warms my heart.”
Burch added that her culinary team is “truly blessed to have a community and Alfred State administration that supports our efforts to teach students the techniques and processes in effectively catering a high-volume event such as the Festa Italiana dinner,” which served approximately 400 guests.
The Culinary Arts Department itself continues to benefit from Turner’s generosity, as the Wellsville resident recently made a donation of approximately $55,000 toward her two Alfred State culinary scholarships: the Evelyn Turner Culinary Arts Annual Scholarship and the Evelyn Turner Excellence in Culinary Arts Annual Scholarship.
The Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc., a private foundation representing faculty, staff, and friends of Alfred State, has welcomed a new board member, Bradley Smith, of Arkport.
An instructor in the Automotive Trades Department, Smith joined the Alfred State faculty in 2015. In this position, he instructs freshman automotive students. Smith is also an Alfred State alumnus, having graduated with his automotive service technician degree from the college in 1992.
In addition to his responsibilities at the college, Smith is also currently a scoutmaster for the Troop 16 Arkport Boy Scouts. He and his wife, Clarissa, are the parents of four children, Aaron, Elizabeth, Anna, and Sarah.
Students anywhere in the nation searching for a school with a degree in web development will find there is no higher-ranked choice than Alfred State College (ASC).
There are several databases for students to seek the best colleges offering certain majors. According to these objective sources, ASC is one of the top 10 schools in the US offering 11 different computer and engineering degrees. In many programs, the college offers a choice of associate or bachelor’s degrees.
According to Money Magazine’s Best Colleges for Your Money, Alfred State is second only to Yale for schools offering a degree in computer programming, specific applications.
“These rankings are a reflection of the outstanding technical programs at Alfred State. Simply put, we provide a great education that leads to a rewarding career.” said Dr. John Williams, dean of the School of Architecture, Management, and Engineering Technology. “These majors are high-tech and the employer demand in these areas is projected to grow. We have a long history of excellence in professional technical education and these rankings are a valuable resource for prospective students to identify a college of choice.”
When searching several majors related to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), Alfred State ranks highly when compared to all US colleges and universities:
#1 IT: Web Development – BTech
#2 Cyber Security – BTech
#2 IT: Applications Software Development – BTech
#2 IT: Network Administration – BTech
#3 Computer Engineering Technology – AAS & BS
#3 Surveying & Geomatics Engineering Technology – AAS & BS
#7 Mechanical Engineering Technology – AAS & BS
#9 Electrical Engineering Technology - BS
#32 Construction Management – BS
Top 38 Construction Engineering Technology – BS
Again this year Alfred State is a STEM Jobs Approved College for focusing on majors aligned with in-demand and high-paying careers. The most recent STEM Jobs Report Card graded the college with a stellar 97 percent opportunity score for providing internships and hands-on training.
According to John Slenker, a regional analyst for the New York State Department of Labor, those with a STEM-related career in western New York earn $67,000 annually compared to a $39,000 annual salary for non-STEM workers.
To encourage more female students in STEM-related majors, the college offers the Women Engineers are Pioneers (WEP) Club. The goal is to enable collaboration and support among members, while also reaching out to the community to increase interest in technology and engineering degrees among women. ASC offers students many tools to help discover which major is right for them including programs they may have never considered. Like the STEM-related majors, female students can find suggestions for more nontraditional career choices at www.AlfredState.edu/nontraditional.
With House 54 completed and occupied, Alfred State School of Applied Technology students and faculty have now turned their attention toward constructing the next house for the Wellsville community.
According to Jack Jones, chair of the Building Trades Department, the lot for House 55 was cleared during the spring, and the groundbreaking on the foundation took place once classes began this fall. Once completed, the 1,800-square-foot residence will include three bedrooms, two bathrooms, an open-concept floor plan, a large master suite, outdoor living space, and a full basement.
The project involves the efforts of students in numerous programs, including building trades: building construction; masonry; heavy equipment operations; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning; and electrical construction and maintenance electrician.
As for the work that has been completed so far, Jones said the foundation has been built and the walls and roof have been framed.
“We are really just getting started. We have three-plus semesters of work left,” he said, noting that the project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2019.
The houses Alfred State students regularly build for the Wellsville community, valued at more than $200,000, take two years to complete and are then subsequently sold on the open market and occupied.
Students build and detail the houses in a subdivision owned by the Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc., a private foundation dedicated to improving the Alfred State community through the support of educational programs. The Educational Foundation funds the construction of the houses.
Under the supervision of their instructors, tomorrow's craftspeople prove themselves by building for discerning homeowners. For students, it's an unmatched opportunity to put their learning into practice and gain real-world experience.
“This is as real as it gets in an educational environment,” Jones said. “Students are experiencing what it means to work through challenges posed by working in real-world situations. Obstacles, which have included poor weather and delays in getting electricity on site, have been fielded and overcome throughout the project. This is consistent with what you would normally encounter in the industry. The students and faculty have persevered, however, and come out on top with this project.”
Speaking about everyone involved in the project, Jones said, “They have had to work interdepartmentally and across trades to keep things moving forward. I’m really proud of what they have accomplished so far.”
Alfred State College is pleased to announce that Campus Public Safety Officer (CPSO) Jaime Howe was recently presented with a State University of New York (SUNY) Professional Service Award.
This system-wide honor is given to members of University Police departments for acts that greatly enhance the operation of their respective department.
“By going well above and beyond what her job duties call for, Jaime has improved the operation and the reputation of our department and University Police as a larger agency, and is a deserving recipient of the Professional Service Award,” said Alfred State University Police Chief Matthew Heller.
Oftentimes, Heller said, the most underappreciated members of any law enforcement agency are the communications personnel, such as the CPSOs.
“Our CPSOs are often the first point of contact with the public who come into our office, and have a significant role in that person’s experience with our department,” Heller said. “Jaime Howe is an outstanding CPSO, as her evaluations have routinely reflected. In addition, Jaime has taken on numerous ancillary duties that I appreciate.”
In her position, Howe spearheaded the effort to give the dispatch center a much-needed facelift, and has taken the lead on promoting the department and University Police across New York State through social media. She also routinely organizes and participates in community events across Allegany County as a child safety seat technician.
Additionally, Howe is a communications training officer, has completed the Department of Criminal Justice Instructor Development Course, is regarded as Alfred State’s primary first-aid/CPR instructor, and has represented the department’s CPSOs on numerous police department search committees.
The noise of the Manhattan crowd was deafening as 2 million strong cheered and clapped. Children held out their hands for high fives along the jam-packed streets in the crisp early-November air.
In the midst of it all were the more than 50,000 runners from all around the world who were taking on the 26.2-mile course that was the 2017 New York City Marathon. And among those many racers was Alfred State’s very own Robin Torpey.
An associate professor in the Computer and Information Technology Department, Torpey ran in the NYC Marathon for the first time. After 3 hours, 35 minutes, and 38 seconds, he crossed the finish line, averaging an impressive 8:14 per mile or 7.2 mph.
“I’m pretty happy with my finishing time,” he said. “Just finishing the NYC Marathon is a huge accomplishment and a bucket-list item. It was exciting. I started running marathons because I wanted to be able to run the NYC one and I finally was able to do it after first running five others.”
The 59-year-old finished 145th in his age group and 6,017th overall, putting him in the top 7 percent of his age bracket, in the top 12 percent overall, and qualifying him for the 2019 Boston Marathon. He had already previously qualified for the 2018 Boston Marathon.
Training for the New York City race, Torpey said, took about three months. He noted that running long distances requires a strong cardiovascular system for aerobic endurance, a strong musculoskeletal system for running endurance, and a trained nervous system to coordinate everything.
“I did weekly long runs ranging from 15-20 miles at 15 seconds to 45 seconds slower than marathon race pace to develop running endurance,” he said. “Four of those runs were 20-mile runs. I did weekly 6-10-mile tempo runs at marathon pace to train my muscles and nervous system to work efficiently at that pace.”
Torpey said that he also did “weekly speed runs,” running “multiple intervals of 800 meters to 1 mile at about a 5K race pace, roughly 80 seconds faster than marathon pace, with short rest periods between intervals, to build aerobic endurance.” He also followed a diet that included extra protein and lots of complex carbohydrates, such as vegetables and whole grains.
Finally, after months of training, the big day had arrived. Before the race began, Torpey met and chatted with runners from around the world, including a barefoot racer from India, a woman from Italy who had previously ran marathons in the Swiss Alps, and another woman who was originally from Australia but now lives in South America.
“Running in the NYC Marathon was the primary reason all three of them came to New York City,” Torpey said.
During the race, which is the largest marathon in the world in terms of number of competitors, Torpey passed several thousand runners. He said he always had to wait for an opening because “there was a wall of runners in front of me for the entire 26.2 miles.”
The course itself, he said, was hillier than he had expected, adding that the bridges made it even worse because of their steep gradients.
“The second major bridge was about 15 miles into the race. When I came off that bridge, my calves and quads were starting to cramp and I still had 11 miles left to run. I didn't go to New York City to drop out of the race, so I pushed through it,” he said. “After I crossed the finish line, I spent about 30 minutes in the medical tent because my leg muscles were cramping so badly I couldn't walk.”
The discomfort he experienced is understandable, however, given the grueling nature of running a marathon. As Torpey noted, even Meb Keflezighi, the American pro who won the 2009 NYC Marathon and the 2014 Boston Marathon, collapsed at the finish line and had to be helped off the course after running the race in 2:15:29.
But at the end of the day, through all of the aches and pains, hills, bridges, and miles upon miles of road, both Torpey and Keflezighi were able to hold their heads high as finishers of the 2017 New York City Marathon.
“Now Meb and I have something in common,” Torpey said. “We both gave this race everything we had.”