May 2018

Alfred State surpasses Relay for Life fundraising goal

Posted Date: Tuesday, May 1, 2018 - 10:45

Over 200 community members and students recently participated in the annual Relay for Life at Alfred State College to raise money and awareness for the American Cancer Society. 

This year’s theme for the event was “Lights, Camera, Relay.” Each of the 23 teams that participated focused on a different movie or TV show, which brought out costumes, props, and plenty of spirit in support of the Relay cause. 

“We put a lot of hard work and hours into bringing this project to life, and it is always a great feeling when the students and community get involved,” said Alison Norton (interdisciplinary studies, Greene), a Relay committee member and the event’s social media representative. 

Students from both Alfred State and Alfred University, as well as local community members came ready to relay for 12 hours with a fundraising goal of $20,000. Altogether, 23 teams were able to surpass that goal. 

Event committee member and participant Sarah Travers (architecture, Pittsford) said, “As someone who has several family members and close friends affected by cancer, it is heartwarming to know that the survivors and caregivers are not alone.” 

Krystal Perlman, Relay for Life club adviser and Help Desk coordinator, said, “It was wonderful to see Hornell-area and AU participants alongside all of our Alfred State teams.” 

several people walking in the gymnasium
Clubs, organizations, and teams of all kinds came out in force to raise awareness and money for the American Cancer Society and its mission during the annual Relay for Life at Alfred State College.


Alfred State breaks ground on House 56

Posted Date: Tuesday, May 1, 2018 - 13:30

With the sun and warm weather out in full force, Alfred State College students were finally able to break ground on House 56.

According to Building Trades Department Chair Jack Jones, the foundation excavation and driveway installation are now underway on the site of the future Wellsville home. Students in the following majors will work on House 56 as a hands-on learning experience: heavy equipment operations; masonry; building trades: building construction; electrical construction and maintenance electrician; and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.

Once completed, the 2,010-square-foot open concept house will feature three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a large master suite, a two-car garage, a full basement, and a wrap-around porch. The house will be located at 3889 Foundation Drive.

While House 56 is now in its initial phase of a two-year process, construction on House 55 began in September 2017 and 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.

“These student-built houses are an excellent example of the terrific hands-on education that Alfred State College offers,” Jones said. “We’re excited to get started on House 56 and to be able to provide yet another high-quality house to the Wellsville community.”

several students standing in front of heavy equipment
Alfred State College recently broke ground on House 56 for the Wellsville community.

ASC competes in Green Grand Prix

Posted Date: Wednesday, May 2, 2018 - 10:15

Students in the automotive service technician and motorsports technology programs recently participated in the Green Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, and ended up earning victories in several categories.

The Green Grand Prix is an educational and competitive event that is the only official Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) road rally that promotes entry of all road-legal vehicle types and fuels in North America.

According to Eric Wilmot, chair of the Automotive Trades Department, the college entered six vehicles in the competition, four of which belong to the school, and two others that are student-owned. Students drove or co-drove the cars, while everyone had volunteer duties that involved assisting the Green Grand Prix organizers with fueling, tech inspections, and set-up.

The race itself, Wilmot said, involved two hours of driving 45 mph along a 2.4-mile road course. Students were rated on their vehicle’s miles per gallon, as well as consistency of lap times.

This marked the seventh straight year Alfred State has competed in the Green Grand Prix. Providing assistance to students this year were Automotive Trades faculty Jason Kellogg, Mike Ronan, and Andrew Smith.

Alfred State students fared well in the race. Liam DeChick (motorsports technology, Syracuse) and Don Piatek (motorsports technology, Springville) won the Stock 4 Cylinder Gas event, as well as the Doris Bovee Memorial Award with a 2016 Mazda 3. This award takes into account best miles per gallon and consistent lap times. For earning this honor, DeChick and Piatek received a trophy, while Alfred State was awarded $1,000.

2016 Mazda 3
Pictured is the 2016 Mazda 3 owned by student Liam DeChick that won the Doris Bovee Memorial
Award in the 2018 Green Grand Prix at Watkins Glen. The vehicle was co-driven by DeChick and
fellow student Don Piatek. Photo courtesy of motorsports technology student Connor Dowling, of
East Quogue.

Driving a 2012 Volkswagen Golf Diesel, Jesse Apostolakes (motorsports technology, Greenfield Township, PA) and Quinn Goyette (motorsports technology, Wayland) won the Modified 4 Cylinder Diesel category, and placed third in the Consistent Lap Times event. Winning Autocross Best Time awards were Troy Berg (electric vehicle class), a motorsports technology major from Gerry, who drove a 2014 Electric Vehicle Sports Racer (EVSR); Marcus Hofer (exhibition class), an automotive service technician student from Canandaigua, who drove a 2012 Chevy Volt; and Anthony Brinda (hybrid class), a motorsports technology major from Lancaster, who drove a 2009 Fusion Hybrid.

Wilmot said the entire day was an amazing experience for everyone involved. He noted that students got a firsthand look at the hard work that goes into a major racing event, as well as the rewards that result from that hard work.

“The day started very cold and rainy but nobody seemed to be bothered at all,” Wilmot said. “Minds were focused on the competition and the students performed exceptionally. We are all very proud of their accomplishments.”

DeChick said his experience at the 2018 Green Grand Prix was one he will never forget.

“I am glad that Alfred State participates in this event every year, and I’m glad I could get the school some bragging rights and prize money,” he said.

Nursing students awarded scholarships from veteran organization

Posted Date: Thursday, May 3, 2018 - 11:30

Nine nursing students were recently awarded scholarships from The Forty & Eight, a United States Armed Forces veteran honor society.

The organization, formally La Société des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevaux (The Society of Forty Men and Eight Horses), supports a number of charitable programs, including nursing training. Since 1955, the Forty & Eight has granted over $35 million to nursing students, helping to ensure the graduation of 35,000 Registered Nurses.

The Forty & Eight Allegany County Chapter awards scholarships to nursing students at ASC and Jamestown Community College (JCC).

During the scholarship award presentation at Alfred State, the students were presented with Forty & Eight emblem training pins.

This year brought the largest group of The Forty & Eight nursing scholarship recipients from ASC. The nine students are: Ashlyn Brown (Belfast), Matthew Burns (Andover), Haley Burton (Belmont), Lyla Corwine (Andover), Shane Grandusky (Almond), Christy Lee (Whitesville), Jessica Norris (Almond), Ashley Powell (Wellsville), and Jennifer Vanskiver (Canaseraga).

several students and veterans with a certificate
Pictured are the nursing students who received scholarships from the Allegany County Chapter of The Forty & Eight organization, along with members of the organization. Students pictured are, front row from left to right, Ashlyn Brown, Haley Burton, and Jessica Norris; second row, second, third, and fourth from the left Lyla Corwine, Ashley Powell, and Jennifer Vanskiver; and third row, second and third from the left, Shane Grandusky and Matthew Burns. Not pictured is scholarship recipient Christy Lee.

Alfred State College holds 34th annual Honors Convocation

Posted Date: Friday, May 4, 2018 - 10:00

Alfred State College celebrated the achievements of hundreds of students recently during the 34th annual Honors Convocation, with Dr. Kristin Poppo, provost, presiding over the event, and SUNY Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Physics Lawrence E. Burns serving as grand marshal. 

Following the academic processional to open the ceremony was the singing of the national anthem by the Alfred State Men’s Quartet. Ahmed ElHady ElSayed, senior capital projects manager, gave the invocation. 

Following the welcome by President Dr. Skip Sullivan and the provost’s remarks, Deans Awards for Academic Excellence were presented by the deans of the three schools, Jeffrey Stevens (interim dean, School of Applied Technology), Dr. John Williams (School of Architecture, Management and Engineering Technology), and Dr. Ingrid Johnston (interim dean, School of Arts and Sciences). The recipients of the awards were Mitchell Davis, building trades: building construction, Bath; Grant Tinker, electrical engineering technology, McGraw; and Robert Privitera, human services management, North Tonawanda. 

Receiving the Provost’s Award for Academic Excellence was Kelsey Williams, forensic science technology, Elmira. Gregory Sammons, vice president for Student Affairs, recognized Hannah Vuozzo, interdisciplinary studies, Salt Point; and Katherine Holmok, business administration, Prattsville, as the Chancellor’s Awards for Student Excellence recipients. 

Patricia K. Fogarty, chair of the College Council, presented the Leadership through Civic Engagement Award to Mitchell Colvin, nursing, Campbell; Danielle Russo, human services management, Manorville; Samantha Smith, nursing, Eldred, PA; and Peter York, construction management, Akron. Receiving the Newman Civic Fellows Award from Fogarty was Hannah Weaver, business administration, Spencerport. 

Sullivan presented the Outstanding Young Alumni Award to Richard John (RJ) Klisiewicz, who graduated in 2011 with his associate degree in business administration and in 2013 with his bachelor’s degree in business administration; and Miranda Dischner, who studied in the nursing and human services programs. 

Laurie DeMott of Union University Church gave the benediction just prior to the academic recessional to close out the ceremony. 

student Grant Tinker shakes hands with Dr. John Williams
Student Grant Tinker shakes hands with Dr. John Williams, dean of the School of Architecture, Management and Engineering Technology, after having received a Deans Award for Academic Excellence during the college’s 34th annual Honors Convocation.


Students showcase undergraduate work at SUNY-wide conference

Posted Date: Monday, May 7, 2018 - 09:30

Several Alfred State College students recently participated in the fourth annual SUNY Undergraduate Research Conference (SURC), hosted by Monroe Community College (MCC).

The conference showcases the original research and creative activities of undergraduate students across the State University of New York (SUNY) system through oral presentations, posters, and performances.

In the Biological Communication session, Fabiola Carcamo (forensic science technology, Brooklyn) and Adjuwa Tomlin (interdisciplinary studies, Brooklyn) presented “Screening and discovery of soil bacteria with antimicrobial activity against bacterial pathogens from the Sinclair Refinery Wetlands.”

Hannah Vuozzo (interdisciplinary studies, Salt Point) presented her senior capstone project, “Project Matryoshka: Creating an Adoption Story,” in the Engaging Issues session.

“With hands-on learning at its core, Alfred State encourages a distinct type of innovation in undergraduate research and projects,” explained Vuozzo. “My peers and I really learn to pioneer in our respective fields.”

Architecture students Chris Hydos (architectural technology, Cornwall), Christian Jankuloski (architecture, Webster), Christiana Mehmel (architecture, Olean), and Matthew Mustac (architecture, Washingtonville) shared their design project “The Revitalization of the Village of Canaseraga, NY” in the Economy, Inclusion, and Cognition session.

four students
Front row is Christian Jankuloski, Matthew Mustac, left, and Christiana
Mehmel are in the middle row, while Chris Hydos is in the back row.

​Hydos enjoyed being able to not only present, but to attend other presentations, as well, stating, “It was a valuable experience not just because we were able to present our project, but also because we had the chance to listen in on other presentations varying in scope and subject.”

SURC is designed to enhance multidisciplinary perspectives and encourage networking between students and faculty alike.

In the Scientific Experimentation session, Brendon Declerck (mechanical engineering technology, Naples) presented “Investigation of Convective Flow in a PEMFC Cathode Gas Diffusion Layer,” which focuses on work to improve hydrogen fuel cells. Declerck shared this research on behalf of his team members, Devan Albrecht (mechanical engineering technology, Lyons), Alfred University student Matthew Finley, and Thomas Moracco (mechanical engineering technology, Waterloo).

“I enjoyed having a platform to talk about an area that I am interested in with people in my field. I am grateful for the experience and opportunity to share the knowledge that I have gathered at Alfred State College,” Declerck shared.

ASC graduates ready to launch careers

Posted Date: Monday, May 7, 2018 - 11:45

With commencement set for Sunday, May 13, Alfred State College (ASC) seniors are preparing for their next steps. For a majority of ASC graduates, it’s a seamless transition from school life to the working world.

The employment and continuing education rate at Alfred State has remained a rock-solid 99 percent for the past eight years. A survey of recent graduates shows 65 percent are employed, while 34 percent are pursing advanced degrees. This strong link from education to employment is not only good news for students, but also for employers looking to fill positions in high-demand fields.

According to a recent report by the Washington State Auditor, many students think that choosing any major with a four-year bachelor’s degree is a clear path to employment. The reality is that certain industries are more eager to hire. Good jobs in the skilled trades are available with a two-year associate degree. Jobs requiring specific technical skills are also going unfilled while waiting for applicants with the right bachelor’s degree.

The already high demand for workers in the construction trades, for example, will rise considerably over the next several years, as revealed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Across the US, millions of jobs remain open because applicants do not have the right technical or trade skills.

The Alfred State Class of 2018, however, is prepared to fill these positions. Seth Gilligan, of Canandaigua, a soon-to-be graduate of the electrical construction and maintenance electrician program, had no trouble finding a job.

“It’s pretty easy to get a job in the electrical field. They’re everywhere,” explained Gilligan, who was contacted directly by his future employer through “Alfred State is known for its vocational degrees, so companies are very aware of the potential of students and their knowledge.”

Kacie Matuszak, of Henrietta, is also starting work in the construction industry. Before even earning her bachelor’s degree in architecture, she has a position waiting for her at Pathfinder Engineers & Architects, based in Rochester.

“I've heard from some architecture firms that they really like the education we receive here at Alfred State because of how technical it is,” said Matuszak. "It doesn't feel real yet, having been here for four years, that I'm actually done and will be starting a real job." Every year ASC has a number of programs in which there are more employers ready to hire than there are available graduates. For more information, go to

Alfred State’s 2018 commencement ceremonies will take place on Sunday, May 13 at noon in Pioneer Stadium.

Kacie Matuszak at a table with papers
Student and soon-to-be graduate Kacie Matuszak

Arrest Made in MacKenzie Residence Hall Arson Case

Posted Date: Monday, May 7, 2018 - 14:30

After an extensive investigation into a series of small fires that took place in November 2017 in the Mackenzie North residence hall at Alfred State College, the State University Police Department announced the arrest of Mazen M. Elzibk, 20, of Smithtown.

On March 12, an arrest warrant was issued charging Elzibk with three counts: arson in the second degree (a class B felony), criminal mischief in the second degree (a class D felony), and reckless endangerment in the second degree (a class A misdemeanor). University Police arrested Elzibk upon his return to Alfred on May 7. Elzibk was processed at the police department and arraigned in front of Andover Village Justice Heckman, where his bail was set at $20,000 cash or $40,000 secure property bond. Elzibk was remanded to the Allegany County Jail and is due to appear in village court at a later date. 

“I would like to thank all the individuals and agencies involved throughout this investigation,” stated University Police Chief Matt Heller. “Arson cases are complex investigations. University Police were extremely fortunate in this case to have had county and state fire investigators working alongside our officers in the initial stage of this investigation. The evidence gathered early on in the investigation was crucial and made it possible for us to identify a suspect and make the arrest at this time.”

Over a seven-day period in November, trash and/or clothing was set on fire inside the MacKenzie North residence hall on Nov. 8, Nov. 14, and Nov. 15. No one was injured during the incidents and the fires were quickly extinguished.

University Police were assisted in the investigation by the Alfred Police Department, the New York State Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, the Hornell Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Allegany County District Attorney’s Office, Alfred A&E Crandall Fire Department, the Allegany County Fire Investigation Team, the NYS Office of Fire Prevention, and the Alfred State Fire and Life Safety Office.

Heller added, “I would like to acknowledge the work of Lt. Scott Bingham in this case. Lt. Bingham led this investigation from the beginning for this department and has done an outstanding job while patiently leading the efforts. This was an example of what can be accomplished when law enforcement and fire personnel work together.”

College Consensus ranks Alfred State No. 5 in the North

Posted Date: Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - 11:15

College Consensus, a unique new college ratings website, recently ranked Alfred State College (ASC) No. 5 in its list of the Best Regional Colleges in the North for 2018, and as the top regional college among all State University of New York (SUNY) schools.

Prospective students want to hear first-hand from students to find out what it is really like on campus. College Consensus confirms that ASC is highly valued by existing students. When it comes to the Student Consensus rating, Alfred State’s score of 75 ranks ASC best in New York among all public colleges and universities of any size. 

“We are delighted at the recent College Consensus rankings, particularly because they consider student feedback as one of the two main components of their scores,” said Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan. “Students are at the forefront of everything we do at Alfred State, and we strive to make their college experience the best it can be. Therefore, to receive such positive responses from our students is extremely gratifying.”

Out of nearly 50 schools in the 11-state northern region, a College Consensus score of 61.5 places ASC fifth best, and the No. 1 public regional college in the north.

Taking a new approach to college rankings, College Consensus combines the latest results from the most respected college ranking systems such as US News & World Report and the WalletHub Best Colleges Ranking with thousands of real student review scores from sources around the web such as Niche and My Plan to produce an aggregate rating for each school. Among the criteria taken into consideration are academic reputation, student satisfaction, affordability, and social mobility for students to achieve more than their parents,

For more information, visit or

National university and college rankings are influenced by the high scores Alfred State Students give the college.


Students pitch in to help Lions Camp Badger

Posted Date: Wednesday, May 9, 2018 - 09:15

Alfred State College (ASC) students in multiple majors recently rolled up their sleeves and got to work providing some much-needed assistance to a camp in Tioga County.

Located in Spencer, Lions Camp Badger focuses on providing services that “enhance the educational, vocational, personal growth, and independence of differently-abled youth and adults,” according to the camp’s website.

For an entire weekend at the camp, led by Building Trades Assistant Professor Mark Payne, Culinary Arts Instructor Brian Decker, and Building Trades Lecturer Jason Linn, the team of seven ASC students installed a 200-foot French drain, repaired drainage ditches to minimize water damage, completed spring cleanup, and installed a fence to restrict campers to a certain area.

student operating a bulldozer in front of a cabin

Students who participated include: Tyler Rouis, mechanical engineering technology, Ballston Spa; Tom Engle, heavy equipment operations, Conklin; Jacob Nohai, heavy equipment operations, Lagrangeville; Karl Platt IV, heavy equipment operations, Albany; Steven Lock, mechanical engineering technology, Silver Creek; Cody Decker, architectural technology, Fredonia; and Sara Perez, mechanical engineering technology, New York City.

Working at the camp, Payne said, offered Alfred State students a hands-on service opportunity that cannot be matched.

“Often, students from the trades work on projects such as this that directly relate to their course of study,” he said. “Students in other majors who are involved in these projects are then taught basic skills to work with the team and to contribute to project completion. We all enjoyed our time at Camp Badger and the extra time with students.”

Lock said he had a positive experience helping out Lions Camp Badger, noting he learned how to use a skid steer and worked with some terrific people.

Platt said he believes the experience was a great way for students to get out and help the community. It also provided a valuable learning opportunity.

“Some students learned the applications of basic land surveying equipment, while others learned how to operate a skid steer, as well as a mini excavator,” Platt said. “The students used this experience to learn, hands-on, new ways to use the machinery and processes of small-scale earthwork. I am happy we could help the camp. I know the students look forward to being able to help again in the future.”