Alfred State’s track record for attracting more female students into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs is not the only way that the college of technology is encouraging under-represented groups to achieve success. By awarding more contracts to minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MWBE), the college is partnering with an increasingly diverse set of business owners.
“Due to our location, MWBE vendors are scarce in certain trades and industries,” said Joe Greenthal, controller. “This requires a significant effort by our Procurement and Payment Services Department to find certified vendors that provide us the products and services we need.”
Alfred State has once again met a goal set by the State University of New York (SUNY) for 30 percent or more of its discretionary spending to be with MWBEs. Greenthal described how difficult it can be to effectively encourage these new vendors, while juggling additional priorities.
“A delicate balance must be created to provide opportunities to MWBEs, while remaining an economic engine to the small businesses within our local communities,” said Greenthal. “We have an obligation and a responsibility to both, but it does create challenges to ensure we give appropriate attention to the college’s many stakeholders.”
Recently, Gov. Andrew Cuomo hosted the sixth annual MWBE forum to allow MWBE firms to network, find mentors, and to learn about major contract opportunities such as redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport and other top infrastructure projects.
While Alfred State’s contracts are nowhere near the size of those for major infrastructure projects around the state, Greenthal said it’s important for the college to follow the guidelines.
“A goal of the program is to stimulate competition in the market and work to reduce barriers to entry, which, ideally,” he said, “will create better pricing to the end consumers.”
Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) maintains a comprehensive directory of firms that are MWBE certified and qualified companies are encouraged to join the list. More information is available at: www.esd.ny.gov/doing-business-ny/mwbe.
The Performing Arts Department would like to invite you, your family, and friends to a free combined vocal and instrumental music winter concert on Friday, Dec. 2, beginning at 7 p.m. in the Orvis Activities Center’s Cappadonia Auditorium.
The concert band, under the direction of Gerald Ives, will perform the works of McBeth, Galante, and Reed, along with a medley of songs from the motion picture, “Pirates of the Caribbean.” The college’s vocal group, under the direction of Mary Weimer, will be performing songs from Broadway musicals.
This is the second full year of the rock ensemble, which will play classic rock numbers during the show. The jazz ensemble will be performing music ranging from the standard jazz repertoire to popular music.
“Our concert will close with the combined concert band and vocal groups performing a number to help celebrate the holidays,” Ives said. “Please come, watch, and enjoy Alfred State’s talented musicians ringing in the holiday season.”
Attendees are also encouraged to bring in their unused instruments and donate them to help an aspiring young musician - who cannot afford an instrument - enjoy and create the sounds of music.
With the 2016 presidential election having taken an emotional toll on the nation, Alfred State recently held an event for the entire college community to come together to discuss and share their dreams for a better future.
The college’s “Spirit of Unity” event invited all in attendance to socialize, decompress, and fill out a postcard beginning with “Dear America: I hope” stating their hope and vision for making the country better. The forward-focused postcards were strung together and put on display at the Student Leadership Center “as a symbol that recognizes while people all hold individuals beliefs, they can still work together to make a better tomorrow,” said Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan.
“By coming together with fellow students, faculty, and staff, we as a college community were able to share our positive hopes and dreams with one another,” Sullivan said. “The Alfred State Family is strong, safe, and tight-knight because we look out for one another and want to see each other succeed. Also, we are fortunate to be in a community that cares about our students and employees, regardless of political orientation.”
Kassie Buffham, a forensic science technology major from West Monroe, wrote on her card, “I hope we are able to overcome our differences and come together as one.” She was grateful that the college hosted the event.
“I really appreciate that the faculty, the administration, and President Sullivan were able to come out and address everything because I think the election has created a lot of tension, and so I think it’s really nice that they took the time to organize the event and express that we’re still a safe community,” she said.
Joseph Damrath, just two months into retirement after 27 years as Hornell City Court judge, had some very powerful memories to share when he met with members of the Honors Program Nov. 14.
Following a brief explanation of the local, county, and state court systems, Damrath, first elected in 1989, told students of the satisfaction he felt serving as judge in the same community for nearly three decades. Despite hearing some very unsavory cases over the years, Damrath says he still has faith in humanity, believing that “most people are good people.”
Sounding a further positive note, he praised the area’s public defenders and prosecutors who worked with him. He is particularly proud of helping establish the drug court to work with non-violent offenders.
When Damrath finished his comments, students got to turn the tables and question the judge about his experiences in his time on the bench. Damrath, a professor in the Business Department, said he plans to continue teaching for at least another year.
Empowering young women with the skills and knowledge they need to protect themselves in the event of an attack, Alfred State recently held its first Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) class.
The course was hosted by the University Police Department and taught by Officer Corwin Mackney and Campus Public Safety Officer Jennifer Chiaino, both of whom are nationally certified RAD instructors.
The RAD class is a comprehensive, women-only course that focuses on self-awareness, prevention, risk reduction, and risk avoidance, while progressing on to the basics of hands-on defense training. The course includes educational components composed of lecture, discussion, and physical resistance strategies. The goal of the program is to develop and enhance a woman's options for self-defense, giving her viable options if she is ever attacked.
Students learned by participating in a series of hands-on, realistic, self-defense tactics and reinforcing the power of the voice. RAD is not a martial arts program. This course was split into two- and three-hour sessions held over a six-week period, which provided flexibility for the busy college students.
Mackney said, “This was a great first RAD program for Alfred State. We enjoyed working with the women to educate them and teach them a variety of self-defense techniques. They were all very receptive to what the instructors had to say. I was pleased that the students learned the techniques we were teaching, but also had fun in the process. The students began the class as individuals, but ended as friends, and that was great to see.”
Alfred State Chief of Police Matthew Heller said Mackney and Chiaino expressed interest in bringing a RAD program to Alfred State more than a year ago.
“They have both invested time and resources into this initial RAD course and are looking forward to building upon it,” he said. “As the program moves forward they would like to see a mix of Alfred State, Alfred University, and local community members in the classes. Corwin and Jennifer both have a genuine interest in the safety of the young women on our campuses and in our communities.”
Lauren Marzolf, a veterinary technology major from Lansing, said the instructors were able to cover “a very touchy subject” and make the class very enjoyable.
“The class challenged me a bit, but it taught me that there were a lot of things I could do physically and mentally,” she said. “I enjoyed the class very much, and I met a new group of friends. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a self-defense course or just wanting something to do for a few hours every few weeks.”
Morgan Sliker, a forensic science technology student from Dansville, said, “I really enjoyed learning these techniques and it makes me feel much safer knowing I have these tools for future reference. I had a ton of fun in this course, the instructors were incredible and encouraging, and I would love to continue with training or come back in the future. I definitely recommend RAD to other women. It is better to be safe than sorry and some extra skills on how to protect yourself are always a good idea.”
Emily Stilson, a diagnostic medical sonography major from Canisteo, said the course was extremely valuable to her and is great for all ages.
“The techniques were simple and easy to remember; perfect for an emergency situation,” she said. “I truly think that everyone should take the course. They won’t regret it.”
Upon completion, the students received a workbook/reference manual. The manual outlines the entire program for reference and continuous personal growth.
Participants who complete the program are eligible for RAD Systems' Lifetime Return and Practice Policy, allowing them free acceptance to any class held in the United States or Canada for additional practice and education. This program is a great opportunity for women of all skill levels.
The University Police Department will be conducting another free RAD class during the spring semester. Although this class was composed of all Alfred State students, Mackney encourages any women interested in future classes to contact him for information at firstname.lastname@example.org.