August 2018

STEM advocates gather for annual conference at Alfred State College

Posted Date: Wednesday, August 1, 2018 - 09:30

Numerous educators and industry professionals once again gathered at Alfred State College earlier this week for the sixth New York State STEM Education Collaborative (NYSSEC) STEM Summer Institute to discuss and share best practices for increasing interest in science, technology, engineering, and math careers among young men and women.

This year’s event featured 42 diverse STEM presentations, as well as tours of Alfred State’s Zero Energy Home, forensics labs, and Micro-Nano Fabrication Laboratory. The full conference provided up to 18 hours of Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) certified professional development hours.

One of the keynote speakers for the event was Dr. Clint Ballinger, the founder and CEO of several high-tech companies, most notably SelfArray and Evident Technologies. Ballinger spoke about a number of STEM-related topics, including LEDs, nanotechnology, the importance of listening to customers, the expected abundance of STEM-related jobs in the future, and making STEM relevant to be compelling enough to be studied.

“STEM education is one way to help lead society to breakthroughs that will impact all of us,” Ballinger said.

Also providing keynote remarks were John Kent, vice president of the Worldwide Program Management Office at GlobalFoundries, and Dr. Donald Duggan-Haas, director of Teacher Programming at the Paleontological Research Institute and its Museum of the Earth and Cayuga Nature Center in Ithaca.

In addition, several STEM leaders were presented with the 2018 Summer Institute Margaret Ashida STEM Leadership Award, which seeks to honor those who are making significant STEM connections within their community through their time, actions, talents, and dedication.

This year’s honorees included Omer Zengin, a high school math educator at Syracuse Academic of Science Charter School; Aaron Straus, instructional coach for science and technology at the Salamanca City School District; Kathy Southwell, executive director of curriculum, learning and instruction at the East Syracuse Minoa School District; and Dr. Mary Margaret M. Small, the educational partnerships director at Clarkson University.

Craig Clark, PE, PhD, vice president for Economic Development at Alfred State, said, “Alfred State is delighted to have once again hosted the New York State STEM Summer Institute for the fourth time. We thank NYSSEC, the speakers, and attendees for coming out and making the conference such an enlightening and productive event for STEM education across the state.”

Dr. Clint Ballinger standing in front of audience with microphone
Dr. Clint Ballinger delivers one of the keynote addresses during the 2018 New York State STEM Summer Institute.

ASC Motorsports Technology Supports Woodhull Racers Aug. 11

Posted Date: Wednesday, August 1, 2018 - 13:15

Woodhull Raceway is happy to announce a new sponsorship partner that has jumped onboard late in the 2018 season.

Local higher education institution Alfred State College has joined the growing list of track sponsors at “New York’s Toughest Bullring.”  Specifically, Alfred State’s motorsports technology program will participate in the race night on Saturday, Aug. 11.

Any current Alfred State motorsports technology students or students set to begin study in 2018 will be admitted free of charge to the General Admission grandstands. A list of students will be available at the ticket office, so be prepared to present college or another form of identification.

Alfred State has contributed financially to increase purse or offer incentives for winning heat races for all seven of Woodhull’s paying divisions. The premier division, Insinger Performance Modifieds, will see $550 added to the top five positions in the running order.

The NAPA Crate Sportsman and Joe Willcox Performance Automatics Street Stocks will see purse increases of $400 to the top 5 positions and $325 to the top six positions respectively for each division.

Meanwhile, the SWL Awards Crate Late Models, Woodhull Auto Supply Hobby Stocks, Daugherty’s Auto Sales & Service Mini Stocks, and Bear’s Auto Body Front Wheel Drives will all compete for $25-to-win their respective heat races.

“This is very exciting to us and we very much look forward to working with Woodhull Raceway,” said Alfred State Automotive Trades Department Chair Eric Wilmot.

Along with the purse and incentives offered on Aug. 11, Alfred State will also add its name to the list of sponsors that have joined Woodhull Raceway’s weekly Facebook Live podcast “Inside the Bullring,” airing on Monday nights at 6 p.m.

“This is a great partnership of two entities that go together like PB&J,” said Woodhull Raceway Media Director Steven Ovens.  “There are many Alfred State graduates on crews here at the raceway and many more that pilot racecars here every weekend.  We want to thank Eric, Andrew, and President Sullivan for their collaboration to help put this together.”

Alfred State College in 2018 was named No. 1 in the United States by for colleges with vehicle maintenance and repair tech programs. Students who complete the motorsports technology curriculum will have experience with almost every aspect of motor racing that a technician needs and will be ready for a successful career in any form of racing. Alfred State graduates are involved in many forms of motor racing, including but not limited to: circle track, road racing, drag racing, and rally racing.

For more information on Alfred State, visit as it is not too late to sign up for classes beginning this fall. The staff of the Automotive Trades Department, the Admissions Office, and the Financial Aid Office are ready to serve you and assist in navigating the registration process. Race fans and potential students can also contact Alfred State by phone at 1-800-4-ALFRED (25-3733).

For more information on Woodhull Raceway, race over to, “like” Woodhull Raceway on Facebook at, or follow Woodhull on Twitter @WoodhullPR.

Woodhull Raceway is located in Woodhull, just 30 minutes west of Corning, and competitions take place weekly there on Saturday nights from mid-April through Labor Day weekend. The track offers several special events, including the Patriot Sprint Tour 360 Sprints in May and July and the Short Track Super Series Modifieds in early August.

Alfred State Auto Trades student

DASNY announces start of $18 million second phase renovation of MacKenzie Complex

Posted Date: Thursday, August 2, 2018 - 14:15

Gerrard P. Bushell, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY), announced today the start of the $18 million second phase renovation of Alfred State College's MacKenzie Complex.

This project is part of more than $73 million in capital renovation projects DASNY is beginning on SUNY campuses statewide. The renovation was financed through DASNY’s SUNY Dormitory Facilities Program, which issues low-cost, tax-exempt bonds supported by student residence hall fees. Construction is expected to be completed in July 2019.

“New York State’s higher education institutions are boosting innovation and driving economic development in the region,” said Dr. Bushell. “DASNY is proud to work with SUNY to ensure its campuses have best-in-class, energy efficient facilities that will provide students the environment they need to achieve success.”

The Phase Two Renovation Project will include the renovation of the MacKenzie South and East wings. The project will be constructed to LEED-Silver standards under the sustainability and energy efficiency guidelines of the U.S. Green Building Council.

Some of the LEED elements include installing a tankless water heating system, which provides an endless supply of hot water while saving space and reducing energy costs, a new high-efficient heating system, energy-saving LED lighting in the hallways and student rooms, equipping bathrooms with water-efficient plumbing fixtures to reduce indoor water usage, and an upgraded ventilation system that uses energy recovery technology.

As of March 31, 2018, 42 DASNY projects have received a rating of LEED Certified or better, helping to reach Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s statewide energy goals to build a clean energy future for all of New York State.

In addition, all power, lighting, and alarm systems will be renovated. Mechanical and plumbing systems will be reconstructed and a fire protection system will be installed throughout the entire building. Student rooms will receive new paint and upgraded carpet throughout the interior.

Exterior renovations will include roof and window replacement and the construction of new entrance foyers. New sidewalks and landscaping will be completed for both buildings, encouraging student wellness and outside activities.  

“With 40 percent of state buildings under our ownership, SUNY has a significant footprint in New York State, and therefore a sizable opportunity to build on energy sustainability,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson. “We are thankful for DASNY’s partnership to retrofit our facilities to be more energy efficient, while at the same time providing a safe and healthy environment for our students.”

“Alfred State College is excited that Phase Two of the MacKenzie Makeover project is now underway,” said Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan. “We applaud DASNY for helping us to significantly improve the energy efficiency and the aesthetics of MacKenzie, as we strive to make this facility the residence hall of choice for our students.”

The MacKenzie Complex, which houses approximately 1,100 students is comprised of four wings and a central quad. It is the largest residence hall on campus. The MacKenzie Hall projects will be renovated in three phases, with each phase addressing approximately 24,000 square-feet of the building.

As part of the Phase One renovation, an existing two-story dining hall on the accompanying quad was renovated to create food service, student laundry, a fitness room, and seating areas. Additional work included replacement of windows as well as heating, plumbing, power, and data systems. A new fire protection system was added for student safety. The Phase One renovation incorporated various energy-efficient upgrades, including LED lighting, premium efficiency motors and variable speed drives on all pumps, high efficiency boilers and water heaters, low-flow plumbing fixtures and enhanced ventilation in student rooms.

View photos of phase one of the MacKenzie Complex project.

Bringing the power: ASC professors install solar suitcases for communities in Puerto Rico

Posted Date: Monday, August 6, 2018 - 11:15

A pair of Alfred State College faculty members made a powerful difference recently when they helped install sustainable solar devices for Puerto Rican communities in need.

Late last month, Dr. Alex Bitterman, professor and chair of the Architecture and Design Department, and Erin Vitale, professor and chair of the Civil Engineering Technology Department, traveled to Puerto Rico to collaborate with SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson on a project with We Care/We Share Solar. This organization conducts solar suitcase installation programs, which provide highly efficient solar energy systems to communities without reliable electricity. The suitcases power medical lighting, mobile communication, and essential medical devices.

Johnson was volunteering as part of the “NY Stands with Puerto Rico Recovery and Rebuilding” initiative set forth by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. While in Puerto Rico, the State University of New York chancellor helped install sustainable solar technology, volunteered with SUNY students at three separate All Hands and Hearts worksites, and signed a system-level Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for academic collaboration between SUNY and the University of Puerto Rico (UPR).

Vitale noted that she and Bitterman witnessed the signing of the MOU on Thursday of the trip. Then on Friday, they helped install a solar panel and a solar suitcase at Programma de Apoyo y Enlace Communitario, Inc. (PAEC) – a community center in Aguada – and also presented a solar suitcase and portable solar panel to UPR to use for community demonstrations and teaching purposes. On Saturday, they installed a solar panel and a solar suitcase at the UPR Cayey campus in the town of Cayey.

While in Puerto Rico, the two Alfred State professors met one particular woman who had a profound impact on them: Maria Hernandez, director of the PAEC community center in Aguada. According to Bitterman, the PAEC building was the only one in the area that had had power for four months because of its generator.

As a result, Bitterman said, Hernandez was faced with making tough decisions every day about how to use the limited power available, whether for charging cellphones to call out for help and supplies, or for life-sustaining support equipment such as dialysis machines and nebulizers.

“When we powered up the solar suitcase, the look on her face was like, ‘Wow, it works,’ but it was also like, ‘Wow I’m never again going to have to make that terrible choice on a daily basis. We now have enough power that we can always power cellphones and have some left over, even with the generator, to use for emergency or critical-use kinds of things,’” Bitterman said. “So, I think the initial goal of the trip was being trained on how the solar suitcase works, the technology behind it, and the installation process, but the secondary goal that snuck up on me was the human component to all of that.”

Reflecting on the trip, Vitale said, “I was just sort of overwhelmed by being able to meet people in these communities, and I just felt blessed because if in any way I was part of relieving the stress of people such as Maria, then it was well worth it.”

Bitterman described the trip as the “opportunity of a lifetime” for him, both professionally and personally.

“I was absolutely blessed to have this opportunity, and really just very humbled by these folks who, for over a year, have really been struggling with not having power, not having resources, and their generosity and their genuineness in showing us their communities, their neighborhoods, and sharing food with us, and making lunch with us,” he said. “Everywhere we went, we had a homemade lunch, which, when you think about the fact that these people have had a tough time getting food and water and electric for like a year, the fact that they planned to make us lunch every day was very heartwarming and touching.”

Alfred State professors during Puerto Rico trip
Pictured during their recent trip to Puerto Rico, from left to right, are Dr. Daniel B. Hess, chair of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University at Buffalo; SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson; and Alfred State Professors and Department Chairs Dr. Alex Bitterman and Erin Vitale.
Solar suitcase
Solar suitcases, such as the one pictured here, were installed by Alfred State’s Dr. Alex Bitterman and Erin Vitale during their recent trip to Puerto Rico.


President Sullivan focuses on memories during Opening Remarks speech

Posted Date: Monday, August 13, 2018 - 12:00

Alfred State College President Dr. Skip Sullivan asked faculty and staff to join him in a walk down memory lane during his fall 2018 Opening Remarks speech.

Sullivan began by noting that throughout history, mankind has created monuments to remember important occasions and people, whether it’s statues at professional sports venues, war memorials, and even gravestones. He then asked employees to remember some significant moments in their own lives, from their first bike, to their first car, to their first kiss.

The president then spoke about a mother’s wisdom and the importance of remembering the values that moms can instill in their children, such as compassion, integrity, and courtesy.

“Remember those values, remember your mother often, and understand the impact on your life that she mother made,” he said.

Next, Sullivan urged employees not to forget where they came from, but to remember to celebrate success and to set their own course. He closed his speech by showing videos of alumni and former employees speaking about their memories from their time at Alfred State.

“We are creating our own memories and memories for those who work with us and particularly for our students,” Sullivan said. “I am so fortunate to speak with many alums who only remember the ‘good things’ about their time at Alfred State. I want you to continue to help make these memories good and continue to make Alfred State successful.”

Additionally, Sullivan spoke about programs in development, facilities upgrades, athletics, achievements, the college budget, and more.

President Skip with Orvis and Ox mascots

Homecoming and Family Weekend set for Oct. 5-7

Posted Date: Wednesday, August 15, 2018 - 08:45

Pioneer Pride will be in full force once again during Alfred State College’s annual Homecoming and Family Weekend celebration, scheduled for Oct. 5-7 this year.

Kicking off the “Fun Friday” festivities will be the fifth annual spirit rally and bonfire at 7 p.m. in the parking lot at Pioneer Stadium. Pioneers and their families are encouraged to come show their Alfred State spirit and cheer on a student team during the continued friendly competitions such as the Not-So-Naked-Half-Mile and the tug-of-war. Additionally, a live band will perform as participants enjoy the bonfire while indulging in a walking taco, brick oven pizza, cotton candy, and plenty of other goodies that will be available.

At 10 p.m. Friday, the annual Alfred’s Got Talent show will take place in the Orvis Activities Center auditorium. This fun annual event includes the many talents of Alfred State students, faculty, staff, and alumni who sing, play musical instruments, recite poetry, perform magic, dance, and much more.

A chili competition, car show, and a corn hole competition will get things started on Saturday at 10 a.m. at Pioneer Stadium. Later, the eighth annual Carly’s Club Race for a Cure 5K run/walk will take place at 11 a.m. beginning in the parking lot behind the baseball field.

Registration for the 5K will begin at 10 a.m. at Pioneer Stadium, and the run/walk will occur on the Alfred State cross-country trail. The cost to participate is $15, which will be donated to Roswell Park Cancer Institute for pediatric cancer research. The first 75 participants will receive a free T-shirt.

At noon on Saturday, the football team will go head-to-head against the Maritime Privateers at Pioneer Stadium. The End Zone Party for fans 21 and older will also take place at this time and location. The post-football barbecue and party will begin at 2:30 p.m. in a tent near the stadium. This is a great opportunity to gather with family, alumni, and friends to listen to one of the area’s favorite bands, Lucky Number. Two local breweries will be participating in the festivities, and the final Pioneer Challenge events – pie eating and stump contest – will also be taking place.

Continue the fun with magician Daniel Martin who will perform on Saturday night at 6 p.m., in the Orvis Activities Center auditorium. Martin has quickly become one of the most in-demand performers touring today. His high-energy performances are a unique fusion of exhilarating magic, psychological illusions, and sarcastic improv, which continually leads to record-breaking crowds at theaters, universities, and celebrity events worldwide.

Martin has received a number of awards, including “Best Variety Artist,” “Best Male Performer,” and “Entertainer of the Year.” His award-winning magic has been experienced on Netflix, CBS, NBC, the BBC, Discovery, and by millions online.

male student holding a playing card
The annual “Alfred’s Got Talent” show is always a fun and entertaining event, and has become a staple of Homecoming and Family Weekend.

Healthy demand for medical professionals leads to new department

Posted Date: Wednesday, August 22, 2018 - 12:00

As a result of the growing demand for highly skilled healthcare professionals and increasing student interest in various medical fields, Alfred State College has added a number of related programs within the past few years, such as radiologic technology, diagnostic medical sonography, and healthcare management.

With the addition of these majors, and with even more in the pipeline, Alfred State has recently created a new home for these current and future programs: the Allied Health Department. Students in this all-new department will receive a strong education in a wide range of allied health disciplines through online and on-campus curricular offerings.

Existing programs that have become a part of the Allied Health Department include coding and reimbursement specialist (certificate), diagnostic medical sonography (AAS), health information technology (AAS), healthcare management (BTech), and radiologic technology (AAS).

Allied health consists of a diverse range of specialized occupations that fall outside the traditional medical and healthcare professions such as doctors, nurses, and dentists. Some careers involve direct care of patients, usually as a member of a multidisciplinary healthcare team, and others involve office work and administration.

Provost Dr. Kristin Poppo, said, “We are excited to announce the addition of Allied Health as the 18th department at Alfred State College. The interest we have seen in various medical fields over the past few years has led us to create several majors that are in such high demand that we regularly have to waitlist students for some of them. The Allied Health Department will help us to better focus our efforts in cultivating and expanding these programs, as well as those currently in development.”

Kathy L. Young
Kathy L. Young

​Poppo also welcomed Kathy L. Young, who has been selected to serve as the chair of the Allied Health Department. Young earned an associate degree in respiratory care and a bachelor’s degree in advanced cardiorespiratory science from SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse (now Upstate Medical University), and her master’s degree in health administration from Ohio University.

Prior to joining Alfred State, Young served as an adjunct instructor for SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse, Mohawk Valley Community College, and Onondaga Community College; as a respiratory therapist at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse, University of Maryland Hospital, and Franklin Square Hospital in Baltimore; a respiratory therapy manager at Franciscan Health Support; center manager of Capital Oxygen Service; staff respiratory therapist at Canton Potsdam Hospital; pharmaceutical sales representative for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals and InVentiv Health; and as director of quality and compliance at the Cerebral Palsy Association of the North County in Canton.

“I am very excited to be selected as the chair for the new Allied Health Department,” Young said. “It provides me an opportunity to utilize my previous professional experiences to maintain and grow an already robust department. The need for allied health professionals is increasing, and I look forward to assisting Alfred State College in providing highly qualified professionals to New York.”

In addition to Young, the Allied Health Department consists of faculty and staff who bring a plethora of industry experience from laboratories and healthcare settings to their work with students. They share the common goal of effectively delivering the practical and theoretical foundations of disciplines through a rich blend of interactive lectures, informal discussion, meaningful laboratory inquiries, and professional practice or clinical experiences.

Allied Health students are able to greatly benefit from direct use of modern laboratory/clinical equipment in real-world or simulated settings, as well as the highest-level virtual laboratory experiences. Programs are housed in either the Physical and Health Sciences Building or the Agriculture Science Building.

Learn more about the Allied Health Department.

three female student in a lab with medical equipment
Radiologic technology is one of several programs now housed within the new Allied Health Department.

Students arrive on campus for start of new school year

Posted Date: Wednesday, August 22, 2018 - 14:30

With summer break coming to a close and the start of classes just around the corner, Alfred State College recently welcomed students to campus for the beginning of the 2018-19 academic year.

During the week before the new semester kicks off, roughly 1,200 first-year students began moving into their new living spaces, eager to embark on the next major phase of their lives. Altogether, around 2,400 students enjoy on-campus living.

red van, people moving items into Burdick Hall, yellow and blue balloons
Students moved into their residence halls during the school’s annual Move-In Day

Assisting the students on Move-In Day with hauling their belongings up to their rooms were a number of “helpers,” which include athletes, members of student clubs and organizations, and faculty and staff members. Residence directors also decorated the residence halls to welcome the students coming in.

“It’s always exciting to see students moving into the residence halls for the start of the new school year,” said Matt Ryan, senior director of Residential Services. “We do our best each year to make sure that students feel welcome on campus, especially in the living areas that they will be calling home for the next several months.”

Once they arrived on campus, students couldn’t help but notice the improvements and upgrades that the college has been making throughout the summer. Campus workers have been busy on a number of projects over the past few months, including beginning phase two of the MacKenzie Makeover project, with renovations to the South and East wings. Additionally, Robinson/Champlin Hall and Getman Hall now have brand-new bathrooms.

Additionally, the Student Success Center has been rebuilt to allow for more areas to enhance collaboration among students and mentors, and a new echocardiography lab has been added to the Agriculture Science Building. Across campus, satellite boilers are now installed to increase energy efficiency.

“We’ve also added parking to both campuses, upgraded the locker rooms at the Orvis Activities Center, added new paint to the automotive labs, and much more,” said Glenn Brubaker, senior director of Facilities Services. “It’s been a very busy and productive summer here at Alfred State, and it’s always rewarding to see, once the new academic year starts, just how much our efforts pay off and really help to enhance the students’ experience at our college.”

Check out a video of Move-In Day 2018.

Alfred State College greets new students for 2018-19 academic year

Posted Date: Thursday, August 23, 2018 - 14:15


Alfred State College officially welcomed more than 1,400 freshmen to campus recently during a New Student Convocation led by President Dr. Skip Sullivan at the Orvis Activities Center.

This year’s incoming class consists of 1,445 students from 57 of New York’s 62 counties and 15 additional states, plus international students from eight countries. Of these new students, 131 have been identified as Alfred State Distinguished Scholars, and 199 additional students have been offered other scholarships in recognition of their outstanding academic achievements, exceptional vocational skills, and extraordinary talents outside of the classroom. A number of students also bring with them previous work experience, military experience, and successful college course work.

In his remarks, Sullivan encouraged students to “jump in and be a part of things” by joining student clubs and organizations, and to seek out leadership opportunities. He also emphasized Alfred State’s focus on real-world learning.

“You may find yourself organizing disaster relief efforts for nearby communities or even in Haiti, competing in the Basic Utility Vehicle challenge or applying for a US patent,” Sullivan said. “Experiences like these enable our students to truly know how to solve problems you will face on the job, which is why our college has such a high employment and continuing education rate.”

Next, College Council Chair Patricia K. Fogarty provided some welcoming – and reassuring – remarks.

“Let me assure you, you would not be here if you did not have the ability to succeed,” she said. “Take a deep breath, put one foot in front of the other, and keep going. It’s your time to blossom in life.”

Dr. John Williams, dean of the School of Architecture, Management and Engineering Technology, noted the exceptional faculty at Alfred State.

“Our faculty is committed to helping you in both your personal and professional growth,” he said. “We care about both who you are and who you long to be. As educators, we see our responsibility to help guide you in your growth, and to create experiences that challenge you, support you, and shape you. We are committed to your success.”

Greg Sammons, vice president for Student Affairs, then introduced students to Alfred State’s “Principles of Community” and Student Senate President Matt Landis, a heavy equipment operations major from Richmondville, led students, faculty, and staff in reciting the college oath.

After Sullivan’s concluding remarks, students, faculty, and staff headed to Pioneer Stadium to create a human Alfred State logo for a photo session, which was followed by food, music, and activities, outdoors nearby the stadium.

Watch Alfred State students make their first "A."

Students, faculty, and staff create a human Alfred State College logo
Students, faculty, and staff create a human Alfred State College logo following the 2018 New Student Convocation.

Alumna introduces New Zealand farming practices into family business

Posted Date: Friday, August 24, 2018 - 14:00

After graduating from Alfred State College in 2012, Diana Burley found herself on an airplane bound for New Zealand to work on a 2,000-cow grazing farm in Canterbury. It was here that the agricultural business graduate first encountered the “Kiwi” cows, a particular breed that produces quality milk that is high in butterfat and protein.

These days, inspired by her travels, Diana’s family's farm in Warsaw now has hundreds of Kiwi-crosses, and employs several practices used by New Zealand farmers.

Check out the full story by Country Folks here.