Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Animation Jeremy Speed Schwartz recently took home first place in the Experimental Film category at the ASIFA East Awards ceremony in New York City.
Now in its 48th year, the ASIFA East Awards event is America’s longest continuously running animation awards ceremony. ASIFA (Association Internationale du Film d’Animation) is an organization that was founded in 1960 in Annecy, France by a group of international animators to increase worldwide visibility of animated films. Its eastern US chapter, ASIFA East, is based in New York City.
Speed Schwartz’s winning film, “Iterations,” is described as an “abstract iterative loop with changing timeframes,” in which shapes and lines overlap and affect each other across three different loops. The piece was inspired by the work and techniques of Adam K. Beckett, an undisputed master of optical printing, whose works (“Sausage City” and “Dear Janice”) utilize single iterative loops. The music track for “Iterations” was developed and performed by Speed Schwartz and musician Anton Flint, of Hornell.
Prior to being honored at the ASIFA East Awards, “Iterations” premiered at the Punto y Raya festival in Karlsruhe, Germany last October, and has since screened internationally at 15 festivals, including the Ann Arbor Film Festival and Athens Animfest. Upcoming screenings include the Melbourne International Animation Festival and the Animex Festival at Teesside University in Middlesbrough, England.
Speed Schwartz said most of the animators he knows reside in southern California, and that the award has provided him a great opportunity to become more involved with the animation community on the East Coast.
“The outpouring of support from the animation community has been wonderful,” he said, “and has been a great energy boost for the continuing independent animation work I’ve been doing.”
Experimental animation, Speed Schwartz said, is an area of animation practice that can be difficult to define, and is often misunderstood to indicate a technique or idea that is unfinished. Encompassing innovations in technique, process, design, and structure, experimental animation is “probably better understood as innovative or avant-garde animation,” Speed Schwartz said.
“Animation in popular culture is dominated by character-based works primarily for children, but there is a dedicated community of experimental animators that have existed since the earliest days of cinema constantly pushing to expand what the medium can do,” Speed Schwartz said. “It’s great to see organizations such as ASIFA honor the work of those animators.”
Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan recently presented five faculty and staff members with the college’s Pioneer Award.
Recognized at the college’s employee recognition banquet were: Garth Grantier, Jeffrey Wilcox, Kent Johnson, Danielle Green, and Larry Fox. Each received a certificate and a monetary gift.
The Pioneer Award acknowledges those who have demonstrated commitment and dedication to the college mission and goals, have made contributions that have had meaning and measurable positive impact on college operations, are seen as positive role models and show creativity and initiative, and have shown a consistent level of exceptional performance throughout their employment.
Grantier, academic advisor in the Student Success Center, has had a very positive impact on the college, and especially the students from Educational Opportunity Program. These students generally need guidance to help navigate the college transition. Grantier helps guide, provide advice, and supports the students academically.
With his help, these students are becoming great learners and leaders, which is of great benefit to the college. In addition, Grantier is a member of the Faculty Senate, Pathways Leadership Team, Placement Test Committee, CDR committee, and the Summer Prep Academy Committee.
Wilcox, a lieutenant in the University Police Department, has performed every function of the department, from clerical duties to executive and administrative duties. He has also invested countless hours into the successful reaccreditation of the University Police Department.
Wilcox has also trained hundreds in the use of Naloxone, a life-saving drug that counteracts opiates in a person’s system. The department even has documented cases in which individuals who have received this training from Wilcox have saved lives. As a member of the Commissioner’s Training Team, he has traveled across the state providing “Fair and Impartial Policing” training to others.
As chair of the Automotive Department, Johnson enthusiastically describes the merits of an Alfred State education to parents and hopeful students at Open House events, while recruiting at high schools, recruiting industry support for the department, and serving as a member of the advisory board.
Since taking over chair responsibilities, one of his goals is to make the Automotive Department nationally recognized. The first attempt at this recognition was entering the Green Grand Prix held at Watkins Glen International Speedway. Another event that Johnson has supported was attempting to set a speed record for a one-liter vehicle at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. With Johnson’s support, Alfred State has also participated in the ELK Charity Challenge, Fireball Run Adventure Rally, and the college’s latest adventure, the Great Race.
Green, an assistant professor and chair of the Business Department, consistently takes the time to mentor new faculty, advise students, and assist in the development and production of assessment and five-year reviews for every curriculum in the department. Since Green became chair of the Business Department, the two-year program applications and acceptances have increased by more than 10 percent and the four-year program applications and acceptances are up more than 25 percent.
Green is responsible for Alfred State’s current status as an institutional member of the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) and she is currently leading the team that is pursuing full IACBE accreditation for all eight primary business programs at Alfred State. She was also one of the original pioneers for online education and advocates for a Center for Online Learning, and oversees Operation Gratitude, an annual event that raises clothes, money, and more for soldiers overseas.
Fox began his 36-year career working as a cleaner for the custodial crew. His hard work and dependability paid off, as he has been granted multiple promotions to grounds supervisor and ultimately, the college's locksmith. He has the knowledge to work in just about every position in Facilities Services, and because of his positive, can-do attitude and his leadership qualities, he is the back-up to the maintenance supervisor as needed.
Fox is always willing to lend a hand whether it be shoveling snow or helping an employee find their lost keys. He is also always willing to do whatever it takes to support the students, dropping whatever he is working on to help them in their rooms, or coming in on weekends to fix doors, windows, and work on other miscellaneous projects.
Recipients are nominated by their peers and selected by the Reward and Recognition Committee.
Alfred State celebrated the achievements of hundreds of students during the 33rd 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. view photos
The Alfred State Concert Band played the academic processional to open the ceremony, which was followed by the singing of the national anthem by the Alfred State Men’s Quartet. Daniel Huff and Gonio Miller of the Lehman Dar Dowdy Living Cultural Center, Seneca Nation 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. Robert Curry (School of Arts and Sciences). The recipients of the awards were Hannah Schaus, culinary arts: baking, production and management, Arcade; Nia Seward, digital media and animation, Newark Valley; and Jenii Statt, nursing, Andover. The deans later handed out the Student Awards for Excellence.
Receiving the Provost’s Award for Academic Excellence was Brandon Bryniarski, electrical engineering technology, Springville. Gregory Sammons, vice president for Student Affairs, recognized Robert Mahany, construction management, Orchard Park; and Mary Rose Ricotta, forensic science technology, Derby, 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 Holly Fiore, architectural technology, Niagara Falls; Katherine Holmok, business administration, Prattsville; and Kara Johnson, digital media and animation, Bergen. Holmok also received the Newman Civic Fellows Award from Fogarty.
Sullivan presented the Distinguished Alumni and Outstanding Young Alumni Awards to 1975 graduate Dale Stell (landscape development), 1966 graduate Thomas Ward (accounting), and Steven Elwell (financial planning).
The Seneca Nation’s Huff and Miller gave the benediction, and the Alfred State Concert Band played the academic recessional to close out the ceremony.
Two dozen students, faculty, and staff were recently recognized for their contributions to Alfred State over the past year during the annual award showcase known as the STUEYs.
The event was hugely successful, with a large turnout from the Alfred State community. This year, there were a total of 24 award recipients who were selected for initiatives surrounding civic engagement, culturally inclusive programs, performing arts, Greek life, student engagement, and more.
Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan provided the opening remarks for the event, expressing how fortunate he was to be the head of such an outstanding institution where students and staff are so devoted and dedicated in their pursuits. Shortly after, as department representatives called their award winners to the stage, Sullivan and Vice President for Student Affairs Greg Sammons handed out awards to recipients.
The ceremony also featured four student acts spread intermittently throughout night. Abigail Campbell (construction management, Geneseo) sang a breathtaking a cappella rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” from “Les Miserables.” Musician friends, Torin Rockwell (mechanical engineering technology, Elmira) and Spencer Mosier (mechanical engineering technology, Wellsburg) gave a splendid performance of “Wagon Wheel,” featuring a banjo and guitar.
The Latin American Dance Team (LASO) provided a stunning dance number, and Alfred State’s flow arts and performance group, Cirklarna, closed the night with a spectacular lights show. Instrumental Music, led by Jerry Ives, also played several beautiful pieces throughout the show.
Sammons wrapped up the awards showcase by providing the closing remarks. He noted that the nominees and award recipients who were recognized that evening would go out to be true leaders and “difference makers” in their communities and workplaces after graduating from Alfred State.
Members of the Alfred State Honors Program recently enjoyed a rare sunny afternoon at the Wellsville campus by examining the college’s fleet of hybrid and electric automobiles.
The cars, purchased with money from grants earned by faculty and students, are used to train technicians to service these still somewhat unique vehicles. Several graduating seniors in the program explained the intricacies and risks faced when servicing electric cars. Note to “shade tree” mechanics: those orange wires mean “very high voltage!”
Honors Program members then took turns driving the cars around Wellsville. Everyone got a bonus when several classic cars arrived, driven by local members of the Chemung Valley Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America. Especially impressive was a beautifully restored 1953 Chevy two-door hardtop owned by Jerry Perry, of Andover.