State University of New York Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson spoke passionately about the importance of STEM education recently during a keynote address she gave at Alfred State College.
Speaking to educators of all levels at the 2019 New York State STEM Education Collaborative (NYSSEC) STEM Summer Institute, Johnson reflected on how several of her instructors instilled in her a love of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) when she was in junior high and high school. The chancellor explained how one physics experiment she had performed as a student in 1975 helped her figure out a problem she faced as an energy industry professional during the 2010 BP oil spill.
“You never know how every kid that you teach every day may change the world by something you said or something you encouraged them to do,” she said.
Johnson also told the crowd, “Some of the experiences that I gained when I was in the classroom really paid off in terms of helping me find out my particular path.”
At another point in her address, Johnson applauded Alfred State and noted her excitement about getting to tour several facilities on the college’s main campus after delivering her speech. Alfred State, she said, “has developed an international reputation for engaging innovative and cutting-edge research and development in STEM programming.”
Near the end of her remarks, Johnson noted that the annual three-day conference is about far more than illuminating the importance of the technical sciences in society, saying, “It’s really about the future of our society and our economy.”
She also concluded, “The future belongs to nations that understand the importance of STEM education.”
In addition to the SUNY chancellor, two other speakers provided keynote addresses at the conference. They were SUNY Fredonia Distinguished Teaching Professor in Mathematics Dr. Robert Rogers and Clarkson University President Dr. Anthony Collins.
Numerous educators and industry professionals gathered for the annual event in an effort to discuss and share best practices for increasing interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers among young men and women.
This year’s event featured 50 cutting-edge presentations, as well as tours of Alfred State’s Micro-Nano Fabrication Laboratory, and agriculture and nursing facilities. The full conference provided up to 17 hours of Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) certified professional development hours.
Additionally, several STEM leaders were presented with the 2019 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 Jennifer Leonberger, instructional support teacher at Greater Southern Tier (GST) BOCES; Ellen Falk, a mathematics teacher at North Salem High School; Dr. Lorena Harris, the director of the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (C-STEP) and the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation Program (LSAMP) at SUNY Schenectady; Lisa Blank, the director of STEM programs for the Watertown Central School District; and James King, a partner at King + King Architects.
Dr. Craig Clark, vice president for Economic Development at Alfred State, said, “This year’s institute again included great presentations and keynotes that allow faculty to connect and continue to improve STEM education. Thank you to the SUNY chancellor, as well as all of our speakers, presenters, attendees, and supporters for once again making this conference such a success.”
This fall, a group of students in Alfred State College’s Architecture Design Studio will team up with officials from the village and town of Bolivar in a community revitalization effort.
According to an article by the Wellsville Regional News, the students will work on a community visualization study that will focus on “revitalizing the existing downtown business district into a vibrant public realm.”
Construction crews and employees at Alfred State College have been hard at work this summer making exciting improvements around campus before students arrive for the fall semester.
“Whether it’s our College Farm, our athletic facilities, or even our new intranet portal, we have been busy making plenty of changes this summer in an effort to improve experiences on campus for students and employees alike,” said Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan.
Numerous facilities have undergone renovations this summer. In athletics upgrades, an all-new track has been installed and painted in Alfred State blue. Also, the gymnasium floor has been resurfaced and now includes the new mascot logo.
The College Farm has welcomed a number of additions, including an exhibit barn for student projects, new species such as black angus beef cattle, and a robotic automatic feeder for cows. Further improvements underway include a new roof and windows for the Hinkle Library, a new walking bridge to downtown Alfred, and upgrades to several facilities on the Wellsville campus. These include the Heavy Equipment, Truck and Diesel Building; Freshman Automotive Shop; and the Freshman Electrical Trades Building.
Work continues to progress on the second phase of the MacKenzie Complex project, which involves renovations to the South and East wings. Additional residence hall work includes exterior window replacements at Peet and Braddon Halls.
Alfred State is also introducing a new intranet portal to replace my.alfredstate.edu. Built with input from students and faculty, it features an enhanced user experience, making information easier to find.
Further projects include installing emergency generators in several buildings, renovations to the Huntington Administration Building and Student Leadership Center, and installing smart water meters in multiple buildings on campus.
“Summer is always a busy, but exciting time for our college,” Sullivan said. “Each year when our students return to campus for the fall semester, they notice the many terrific changes that have taken place since the last time they were here, and I’m proud to say this year will be no exception. We can’t wait until students are back and the new academic year is underway.”
From parents, to teachers, to nurses, to firefighters, everyone has a number of hats that they literally or figuratively wear every day.
In his Opening Remarks speech for the fall 2019 semester, President Dr. Skip Sullivan spoke to college employees about hats and the different kinds that they may wear in their own daily lives.
“Hats off to you! At the drop of a hat, tip of the hat, putting on a different hat – think of all the hats that you wear in a lifetime,” Sullivan said.
After listing several real and metaphorical hats, from berets, to fedoras, to brother and sister hats, Sullivan spoke about another very notable type of “hat.”
“Most would probably agree that the role of mother or father may be one of the most important hats we wear,” he said. “Does the phrase, ‘The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree’ ring a bell with any of you? Have you said that or has it been said to you? Do you ever see yourself in your parents – mannerisms, things you say, how you do things? Probably yes.”
Next, the president spoke about the different “hats” people wear at work, whether it’s boss, colleague, or motivator. One of the most important hats that an employee can wear, Sullivan said, is a customer service hat. This entails a number of qualities, from listening to all sides of an issue, to considering internal and external customers, to being sympathetic.
The president then called upon more than a dozen employees to join him at the front of the room to present them with Alfred State caps, signifying that they are customer service experts.
“We want the name of Alfred State and the college of Alfred State to be synonymous with good customer service,” he said.
Sullivan concluded by telling employees that any time they have an opportunity to work with students or parents to remember the emphasis that needs to be placed at the college on customer service.
“We are an incredible college known for many things,” he said. “Let customer service certainly be one of them.”
Additionally, Sullivan spoke about programs in development, facilities upgrades, athletics, achievements, the college budget, new initiatives, and more.
The Alfred State College Council has announced its meeting dates for the 2019-2020 academic year.
The meeting dates, times, and locations are as follows:
The middle of August always brings a familiar sight to Alfred State College’s main campus – moving vehicles, parents and students hauling mini-fridges up staircases, and a sense of excitement that indicates the dawning of a new academic year.
During the week before the fall semester kicks off, 1,170 first-year Pioneers began moving into their new living spaces, eager to embark on the next major phase of their lives. Altogether, 2,360 students enjoy on-campus living at Alfred State.
Assisting the students on Move-In Day with hauling their belongings up to their rooms are a number of “helpers,” which include athletes, members of student clubs and organizations, Greek Life members, and faculty and staff. Additionally, residence directors decorated the residence halls to welcome students.
Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan, who also assisted with Move-In Day, said, “We are delighted that our freshmen are arriving today. It’s busy, the parking lots are full. There are a few tears here and there but it’s a great freshman class coming in this year. We’re going to have a great fall here at Alfred State and we want to wish everyone a successful fall semester.”
Senior Director of Residential Services Matt Ryan noted that Move-In Day is “really the first step in a student’s college experience.” He said the Alfred State community always comes together that day in welcoming the newest Pioneers.
“On a day that started off cloudy and rainy, it became a wonderful Move-In Day,” Ryan said. “I think it went really well, as we had a lot of smiling parents and students. Thank you to all the clubs, organizations, athletic teams, and employees that helped our new students out today.”
Alfred State College officially welcomed hundreds of 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 1,400 students from 56 of New York’s 62 counties and 14 additional states, plus international students from several countries. Of these new students, 119 have been identified as Alfred State Distinguished Scholars, and 209 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 get involved on campus, seek out leadership opportunities, and get to know new people.
“I hope after hearing all this, you’re just as excited about the upcoming school year as I am,” he said. “Get ready to work hard, go to class, but have some fun along the way. This will be the best and most memorable experience of your life.”
Next, College Council Chair Patricia K. Fogarty applauded the students for deciding to enroll at Alfred State.
“You are now part of a higher institution of outstanding leadership and learning qualities,” she said. “Over the next few years, you will be exposed to knowledge and skills beyond what you have experienced to date. They will challenge you and excite you.”
Dr. Kristin Poppo, provost, told students that “each and every one of you can be successful,” and reminded them that Alfred State employees are here to help.
“So, go to class, get to know your professors, ask for help, study hard, and do not forget why you are here,” she said. “A college degree means a lot. You can do it. Keep your eye on the prize.”
Dr. Greg Sammons, vice president for Student Affairs, then introduced students to Alfred State’s “Principles of Community” and led students, faculty, and staff in reciting the college oath. Afterward, Student Senate President Austin Oakes introduced this year’s recipient of the Student Advocate Award, Glen Cole, an adjunct instructor in the Building Trades Department.
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.
In addition to its reputation as an excellent hands-on learning facility, the Alfred State College Farm is now also recognized for being attractive and well-maintained after earning a “Dairy of Distinction” award.
According to its website, the Dairy of Distinction program recognizes the hard work and dedication of dairy owners and operators “who have attractive, well-kept farms and promote a good dairy industry image.”
College Farm Manager Virginia Chamberlain said, “The farm staff is delighted to see this award reinstated. We will continue to work hard to have our facilities, our livestock groups, and our robotic dairy be proud examples for Alfred State College."
Dr. Phil Schroeder, chair of the Agriculture and Veterinary Technology Department, said, “The Alfred State College Farm is one of the most technologically advanced agricultural teaching facilities in the United States, and we are thrilled that our farm has earned this recognition.”
Alfred State Chief Financial Officer Joseph Greenthal said, “We are very proud of this accomplishment. Alfred State has worked hard to revitalize our college farm. Agriculture is our history, and we strive to make sure it has a solid foothold in our future. This recognition is vindication we are moving in the right direction.”
The Dairy of Distinction Program, according to its website, is “based on the concept that attractive farmsteads enhance consumer confidence in the dairy industry. The award also recognizes the hard work and efforts of all Northeast dairy farmers.”
All active dairy farms in Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Vermont are eligible to apply for the Dairy of Distinction award, the website states. Winning farms receive a special roadside sign for their farmstead.
Alfred State College President Dr. Skip Sullivan was recently accepted as a board member for Campus Compact of New York and Pennsylvania (CCNYPA).
According to its website, Campus Compact “is a national coalition of 1,000-plus colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education.” The organization builds democracy through civic education and community development. The CCNYPA branch has more than 100 member colleges and universities located throughout New York State and Pennsylvania.
Alfred State Director of Civic Engagement Jonathan Hilsher said that Sullivan joining the board “demonstrates Alfred State leadership in the area of civic engagement locally and regionally.”
Sullivan noted, “Alfred State Pioneers are committed to making a difference in the lives of others through civic engagement. I am therefore delighted to become a member of the CCYNYPA Board.”
CCNYPA Executive Director Laurie Worrall said, “I am pleased that President Sullivan has joined the board of Campus Compact of NY and PA. In so doing, he continues Alfred State's deep commitment to community and civic engagement as an integral part of higher education. Welcome to the board, Skip!”
Before the fall semester even began, new Alfred State College Pioneers were already having an impact on the local community.
Recently, 115 incoming students participated in the college’s Community Action Day, the annual day of service that takes place during Alfred State’s Week of Welcome, in which new students engage in a number of local community service projects.
A total of 15 projects took place in seven areas this year – Almond, Hornell, Wellsville, Alfred, Belmont, Allentown, and Alfred Station. The projects ranged from yard cleanup at Almond Woodlawn Cemetery, to weed removal and painting at St. Jude’s Chapel in Alfred, to assisting with running a healthy snack cook-off at Hornell Area Concern for Youth.
Jonathan Hilsher, director of the Center for Civic Engagement at Alfred State, said this year’s Community Action Day was the largest to date in terms of student participation.
“This program is a great way for new students to connect with their community, help out, and build relationships with others in their new home,” he said.