As an avid gamer, Eric Doty always knew he wanted to pursue a career in video games.
While it may have taken a few years of education and experience to level up his knowledge and skills, Eric now finds himself living out his passion every day as a game design industry professional within the Greater Los Angeles area. Today, he is the head of product at Mobcrush, a technology and entertainment company at the epicenter of gaming, live streaming, and the creator-driven media revolution.
The first level of Eric’s professional journey began when he enrolled as a computer engineering technology student at Alfred State.
“There were a lot of parts of the program that I really enjoyed – learning how computers work, learning how to put the actual physical circuits together,” he said. “Just learning right down to the bare bones of how a computer works.”
In addition to the skills and knowledge he acquired in his program, Eric was also able to grow his leadership and managerial skills as a residence assistant, an orientation leader, and a Help Desk worker.
Another benefit of being an Alfred State student, Eric said, was finding “a lot of like-minded technology and gaming enthusiasts, which really fostered my love of video games and technology.”
“Without the community that I was a part of, I really don’t think I would have excelled in the field that I am currently in,” he said.
After earning his degree in 2007, Eric decided that if he was going to succeed in the video game industry, he was going to need to put himself in a so-called “tech hub.” He then moved to Seattle and took a job as a digital media coordinator at CBS Radio.
A few months later in February 2008, Eric got his foot in the door of the gaming world when he was hired as a content coordinator for Xbox Marketplace at Microsoft in California. He continued leveling up within the company’s Xbox division, becoming program manager in July 2008, community program manager in June 2009, and strategist in April 2013.
While he greatly enjoyed working for Xbox, Eric decided it was time for a new challenge in 2014.
“After working for a large company, I decided I wanted to really check out the startup space to learn different skills and push myself in an environment that doesn’t have near infinite resources,” he said. “It’s a whole new challenge.”
In October 2014, Eric became director of user acquisition at online app Overdog. In April 2015, Eric was hired by his current employer, Mobcrush, in a director role.
Earlier this year in February 2019, Eric was promoted to Head of Product at Mobcrush. In this role, Eric is in charge of overseeing the company’s product roadmap as well as a subsidiary company that owns and operates a profitable Minecraft server partnered with Microsoft.
Specifically, Mobcrush is a service that brings a suite of tools to video game streamers that help grow their fan bases and monetize their streams.
“We have a multi-stream feature that allows you to stream into a single point and then we rebroadcast it out to all of your channels, including Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and Mixer, so you just set up one source and then we take care of everything else,” he said. “We also have a unified chat feature. Instead of having to watch all four of those platforms, we bring all of that chat into a single dashboard. Additionally, we have mobile apps that allow you to stream directly from your mobile phone without any external hardware, which we take a lot of pride in.”
Another tool of Mobcrush’s is called “Go Live, Get Paid.”
“That’s the monetization aspect,” Eric said. “We are able to partner you with a brand and, using our tools, insert that brand into your stream and track the success of the campaign.”
For Eric, the best part of his job is working with his fellow employees.
“They’re just brilliant and they love learning about new technology,” he said.
In April 2019, Eric returned to Alfred State’s main campus for the college’s inaugural Esports Invitational. The event featured students from five area high schools who came to learn more about the growing world of competitive gaming.
In addition to touring Alfred State’s new Esports Suite in the Student Leadership Center and playing some video games there, the students were also able to hear from Eric about what it’s like to work in the game development field.
“It’s huge for me to come back to campus, having worked in games and esports, to help those just starting out by sharing what I’ve learned along the way,” he said.
The field of competitive gaming, Eric said, is a “juggernaut” that is “only going to get bigger.” He wants anyone interested in becoming involved in esports to know that they don’t necessarily have to be a player if they are not at a professional level.
“There are plenty of other ways to be involved in the esports space where you can support those teams, whether it’s managing their social media account or working in other companies that supplement the industry with tools,” he said.
Reflecting on Alfred State’s new esports team and suite, Eric said, “It’s awesome to see the college that I attended, especially as a tech school, take such a strong first step in supporting esports as a whole.”
Eric was delighted to return to campus, remarking how much it has changed and grown since he graduated. He also acknowledged how much Alfred State was able to help him grow and build the skills he needed to succeed in the professional world.
“Those skills that I learned 12 years ago, I still use today as the head of product at a startup,” he said. “I really can’t thank Alfred State enough for giving me that education and opportunity to grow and find success.”
Alfred State College is proud to announce that Admissions Counselor Brook Smith recently received the State University of New York College Admissions Professionals’ (SUNYCAP) Larry Appel New Professionals Award.
The annual award recognizes outstanding performance and achievement among new SUNY professionals with one to five years’ of SUNY admissions experience. Smith joined the Alfred State staff in 2016 as an admissions counselor. She is also a Pioneer alumna, having graduated from the college with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
“As a young professional, my goal was to find an institution that would support professional growth,” Smith said. “At Alfred State College I feel at home with colleagues who support my growth. I feel honored to be part of the Alfred State College team and a recipient of this prestigious award.”
According to its website, SUNYCAP was established in 1970. The organization’s purpose is to “foster the professional growth of the membership; develop and maintain a system of professional communication and dialogue among admissions professionals, with the guidance community and other professional organizations; serve as a professional forum for discussion of admission policies and procedures; encourage research consistent with the other purposes of this organization; and work with SUNY System Administration in the best interest of applicants and the university.”
Testing their skills against fellow state contest winners from all over the country, Alfred State College students recently ended up taking home gold and bronze medals, as well as a pair of top 10 finishes in the 55th annual National SkillsUSA Championship in Louisville, KY.
Brandon Meek, an electrical construction and maintenance electrician major from Akron, was awarded a gold medal for first place in the nation in the Electrical Construction Wiring (College) category. Receiving a bronze medal for third place in the nation in Carpentry was Mitchell Davis, a 2019 building trades: building construction graduate from Bath who has re-enrolled in Alfred State’s technology management major.
Other Alfred State students placing in the top 10 included Ryan Lee, heavy equipment, truck and diesel technician, Depew (sixth place, Automotive Service Technology) and Ryan Shipherd, masonry, Randolph (sixth place, Masonry). Rounding out the 2019 Alfred State SkillsUSA Nationals team were Justin Clark, autobody repair, Burlington Flats, who competed in the Automotive Refinishing category; Steven Mazzone, heavy equipment, truck and diesel technician, Marilla, who took part in the Diesel Equipment Technology competition; and Allan Jones, welding technology, Farmersville Station, who competed in the Welding category.
Alfred State College faculty and staff who accompanied the students to Louisville included Jeffrey Stevens, dean of the School of Applied Technology; Dr. Craig Clark, vice president for Economic Development; and Daniel Acomb, instructor in the Automotive Trades Department. During the competition, more than 6,400 students from around the country competed hands-on in 103 different trade, technical, and leadership fields. Students work against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in occupations such as electronics, computer-aided drafting, precision machining, medical assisting, and culinary arts.
Contests are run with the help of industry, trade associations, and labor organizations, and test competencies are set by industry. Leadership contestants demonstrate skills including extemporaneous speaking and conducting meetings by parliamentary procedure. Top student winners received gold, silver and bronze medallions. Many also received prizes such as tools of their trade and/or scholarships to further their careers and education. The SkillsUSA Championships is for high school and college-level students who are members of SkillsUSA.
High scorers in the contests received Skill Point Certificates. The Skill Point Certificate was awarded in 72 occupational and leadership areas to students who achieved a high score defined by industry. The SkillsUSA Championships have been a premier event since 1967.
For Alfred State students, being able to take part in The Great Race each year is an excellent opportunity to showcase their skills on a national stage, gain even more real-world experience, and make incredible memories that will last a lifetime.
This year was no exception, as a team of Pioneers once again had an amazing time competing in the thrilling classic car competition. The 2019 event took place from June 22-30, beginning in Riverside, CA, and continuing about 2,300 miles north until the final finish line in Tacoma, WA.
Automotive Trades Instructor Greg Traugh, who served as faculty adviser to the 2019 group, noted that the level of support the team receives each year from the Alfred State Family demonstrates the commitment of the college to providing national-level experiential learning opportunities to its students.
This year, those students included returning team members Jacob Derk, a technology management major and heavy equipment, truck and diesel technician grad from Cattaraugus, and Jordan Dunning, a 2019 heavy equipment, truck and diesel technician graduate from Cicero. Three new members this year were Jacob Minkel, a 2019 mechanical engineering technology graduate from Attica; Caryl Koch, a 2019 motorsports technology graduate from Cuba; and Hunter Mayne, a 2019 motorsports technology graduate from Attica.
As it has in the past, Alfred State participated in the X-Cup Division, which is designed for high school and college teams. This year, the Pioneers competed in a black 1956 Mercury Medalist two-door sedan.
Automotive Trades Professor Mike Ronan noted that, in addition to being annual competitors, Alfred State Great Race teams are known for volunteering their skills and knowledge to assist other racers with mechanical issues “that will inevitably crop up in an endurance event filled with old cars.”
“The team actually changed an engine in a classic Model A the night before the race even started,” Ronan said. “They continued to help other competitors throughout the race.”
One particularly special moment for the Alfred State team came during the return trip from Tacoma, when they stopped in Chicago to see a unique motorcycle collection owned by Diane Fitzgerald, president of the RPM Foundation.
“The RPM Foundation supports students nationwide that have an interest in classic automobiles,” Ronan said. “The Foundation has granted Alfred State automotive students more than $20,000 in scholarships in the past few years.”
Overall, while the team finished “mid-pack” (66th out of more than 110 competitors) in the 2019 Great Race, they have much to be proud of, Ronan said.
“The event is very competitive, and many of the participants have years of experience,” he said. “Also, the Alfred State team rotates students in and out of the car on a daily basis. This practice may take a toll on consistency, but it allows all five team members to share in the experience.”
Presented by Mach Architecture, this year’s golf tournament took place June 14 at the Wellsville Country Club. A total of 32 teams competed and raised more than $33,000 in cash and gifts in kind. Proceeds from the event will help fund student scholarships, athletics, and other needs of the college.
Earning the coveted blue jacket as the winners of the golf tournament for the second year in a row were Troy Morehouse, Steve Wintersteen, Matt Horvath, and Jeremy Light. The second-place team included Joe Karpinski, Mike Kurtz, Matt Kurtz, and Bill Hau, while the team of RC Weston, Ray Weston, Mike Burdsall, and Mike Bree placed third.
The top three teams took home $500, $300, and $200, respectively. In addition, the tournament featured a silent auction, a number of skill prizes, and fun games on the course such as corn hole and blackjack.
Event sponsors this year included Pepsi Co.; Five Star Equipment; Pathfinder Engineers and Architects; Corning, Inc.; and Otis Eastern Service, LLC. Additionally, the event had a record-high number of hole sponsors, 31, as well as four eagle sponsors and two contest sponsors.
Trish Haggerty, director of Annual Giving at Alfred State, said this year’s tournament was the most successful one yet, despite the chilly temperatures golfers faced that day.
“We are extremely fortunate to have such loyal supporters here at Alfred State who join us every year to help raise funds for our students and the greatest needs of the college,” she said. “Thanks to the sponsors, alumni, faculty, and staff, the chilly weather did not slow down our participants a bit.”
Haggerty noted that all of the participants had a terrific time, saying, “Everyone really enjoyed themselves. We offered some additional fun and interactive holes on the tournament course and received a lot of really great feedback from everyone involved. We were very excited to offer over 100 door prizes at this year’s tournament, and would like to say thanks to our amazing donors and sponsors.”
Alfred State, Haggerty said, is already looking forward to next year’s tournament, which will be held Friday, June 12.
This article originally appeared in the 2019 edition of Building the Southern Tier and is reprinted with permission from DEL Communications Inc.
By Paul Adair
There is currently a pressing need within the US construction industry to fill a dearth of managerial and supervisory roles, a void largely brought on by the large number of construction professionals now aging out of the industry and retiring. According to EMSI (Economic Modeling Specialists International), in 2012, 53 percent of skilled trades workers were over the age of 45, and almost 20 percent were between the ages of 55 and 64; numbers that would seem to indicate that the demand for a supply of new workers won't be soon diminishing.
In addition to retirement, the construction industry has become increasingly intertwined with cutting-edge technology and innovation, which has created a challenge for many construction tradespeople now working in the field who may have a difficult time transitioning to the software-centric role that superintendents often find themselves in.
Alfred State College has responded to this industry challenge by developing its new Bachelor of Technology (BTech) in construction supervision degree, which will be seeing its first crop of graduates entering the workforce later this year.
"It used to be that a skilled tradesperson would get all of their training on the job and advance up the ranks, from apprentice to journeyman, to foreman, to superintendent," says Timothy Piotrowski, professor, Civil Engineering Technology Department at Alfred State. "But with the complexity of today's projects - and the sophistication of project management in general, where almost everything is managed with some kind of computer software - learning the kind of specialized skills you need for a supervisory role out in the field just takes much longer than it used to, if it's even possible.
Filling a need
The BTech in construction supervision is a completion degree that adds valuable construction business skills to a student's existing technical background, whether that's in the fields of carpentry, heavy equipment, electrical, mechanical, architecture, or any other.
"The BTech in construction supervision fills a need for those students with a specialty sub-contractor background, giving them the additional management coursework they wouldn't be able to get otherwise out in the field," says Jeff Marshall, associate professor, Civil Engineering Technology Department at Alfred State. "The construction industry of today demands such a specific set of skills, and our program sets out to develop a potential employee who's ready to hit the ground running - eager to get in there and start managing construction projects."
Prospective students who enter the program must have an associate degree or 60 credits in a related curriculum with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. Upon graduation, all successful students will have a complete and working knowledge of construction management skills, such as estimating, scheduling, project administration, and contract law. In addition, there's an intense focus on business content, from accounting to economics, to principles of management. These skills - along with the student's previous technical competencies - will make a BTech in construction supervision graduate a prized asset for any company involved in the construction industry.
"We want motivated students with any kind of construction background or degree who have the vision to know they're going to further themselves into a management or supervisory role with additional education," says Piotrowski. "We are looking for the students with foresight who are looking further into the future of their careers and asking, 'How am I going to stay in this industry as long as I can?' For these kinds of students, this program will give them an avenue toward advancement sooner than if they simply worked their way up the ranks."
From the classroom to the job site
By the completion of this program, students will be able to experience how their skills can be applied to build the environment in which they live. As such, the BTech in construction supervision program also includes a full-semester internship where students will have an opportunity to put academic skills into practice within a professional setting, while also building critical working relationships and valuable industry networks.
The response from both industry and students to the quality of the program has been overwhelmingly positive, and each of this year's graduates have obtained multiple job offers; many received their offers through the full-semester internships in the back half of the program.
"What attracted me to the program was that it was a new program which allowed a lot of one-on-one time with my teachers," says senior Brandon Davis. "I also appreciated that it gave me an opportunity to apply my specific background trade (electrical) to my schooling. The program has allowed me to put together a great resume that stands out from the crowd and employers seem to love. I have a project manager/estimator job waiting for me with an electrical contractor, Schuler-Haas, based in Ithaca."
While this program can be completed on campus like a traditional undergraduate program, one of its big advantages and benefits is that all of its courses are offered online, which allows students and working professionals from across the US the flexibility to continue working as they fulfill the requirements of the degree over the internet.
"By primarily taking my classes online, I've been able to complete assignments and study on a schedule that works for me; without this combination of on-campus support and online flexibility, I'm not sure I could have been so successful," says senior Travis Randall. "I strongly believe that anyone with the right attitude can do the same thing I've done and, having worked in the construction field for 14 years, I'm very confident that what I've learned here at Alfred State will allow me to continue advancing in my industry for years to come."
Alfred State’s own Jen Taylor was recently presented with the 2019 Fireman of the Year for Heroism award at the Allegany County Firemen’s Annual Meeting in Bolivar.
Taylor, a cleaner at Alfred State, received the award along with fellow Allentown volunteer firefighter Greg Taylor for potentially saving the lives of three people during a working house fire in May.
As the first phase of the inaugural Alfred State Police Academy winds down, organizers are reflecting on the success of the program, while also looking forward to its future.
Wendy Dresser-Recktenwald, Alfred State’s chief of staff of Human Resources and the Center for Community Education and Training (CCET), said the program was started with the goal of operating an academically rigorous academy that would prove to be an “academy of choice” for local and statewide recruits.
“We focused our efforts on both technical and soft skills and looked specifically for cadets with emotional intelligence,” she said. “Working in law enforcement in today’s world is hard. The hours are long, the public is difficult on law enforcement officers, and they need to be proficient with both technical skills and the ability to communicate.”
Dresser-Recktenwald noted that Session Director Scott Richardson “worked hard and stacked our academy with a great group of trainers from law enforcement agencies all over western New York.” These include the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the Hornell City Police Department, the Hornell Fire Department, the Cuba Police Department, the Wayland Police Department, the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office, the Canisteo Police Department, the Wellsville Police Department, the Alfred Police Department, Retired State Trooper Walt Mackney, the Allegany County Sheriff’s Department, and Alfred State staff members within the University Police Department, the criminal justice programs, and Health and Wellness Services.
Additionally, SUNY Cortland donated a police car to the academy. The vehicle had been taken out of service and will be utilized for vehicle pullover training, as well as the Emergency Vehicle Operation Course (EVOC).
“It is the support we received from outside law enforcement that has really helped to build this program,” Dresser-Recktenwald said. “We want more than a police academy; we want to be a resource for law enforcement training and to be the training site of choice for western New York law enforcement.”
The first phase of the Alfred State Police Academy officially launched in May. Over the past two months, 18 recruits have learned a great deal about law enforcement, from conducting various types of investigations, to vehicle stops and traffic enforcement, to dealing with crimes in progress, and much more.
Richardson said he is very pleased with how well the academy has been going.
“I have been hearing very positive comments from both the law enforcement community and the civilian community,” he said. “I believe the success of the academy is a result of the tremendous support that we have received from everyone involved, including Alfred State College, local police chiefs, county sheriffs, and NYS DEC for allowing their officers and deputies to instruct our recruits. I am very excited about the direction we are going in to make Alfred State College a quality police academy and law enforcement training center.”
Dr. Greg Sammons, vice president for Student Affairs, said Alfred State set the bar high in order to provide high-quality law enforcement training.
“The police academy, under the leadership of Session Director Scott Richardson, has exceeded our already-high expectations. In speaking with several police chiefs, some are already planning to make the Alfred State Police Academy their training location of choice moving forward,” Sammons said. “As absolutely pleased as I am, we will always commit to identifying ways to make our academy even stronger with each new session and class. This begins soon with our Phase Two of the basic academy that starts in one month.”
Specifically, the second phase of the police academy will begin Aug. 12. Also in August, Alfred State Police Academy representatives will be on site at the Steuben County Fair in Bath to answer any questions about the academy. The fair runs from Aug. 13- 18.
Looking further into the future, Dresser-Recktenwald said Alfred State expects a high-volume enrollment for the 2020 academy. She encourages all prospective recruits to begin preparing now, especially physically.
“We encourage our recruits who may be thinking about our academy to get their paper work in and to start getting in physical shape now,” she said. “Physical fitness seems to be the biggest obstacle for recruits, even when they are told from the start to get in shape. This is a real academy, and if they can’t pass the physical fitness, they are not able to get through the program, and there are no exceptions.”
Those interested in learning more about the Alfred State Police Academy should contact CCET at 607-587-4015 or CCET@alfredstate.edu.