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 email@example.com.
As a result of the impact that Alfred State’s Reaching Individual Success in Education (RISE) program has had on young adults with intellectual disabilities, ACHIEVE Career Consultants recently presented the college with its 2016 Community Partner of the Year award.
This honor is given to a community agency who has partnered with the Allegany Arc in the mission of providing support to and creating opportunities for community members with special needs, with the goal of helping them build better lives for the future. ACHIEVE, which is a division of Allegany Arc, provides multiple avenues for individuals to prepare for and become successful members of the workforce community.
Alfred State’s RISE program focuses on creating a unique educational experience that nurtures students’ social and academic growth. Students are given access to a variety of experiential learning opportunities through service learning, work study, mentoring, and internships.
RISE centers on academic instruction, employment experiences through work-based learning, and social and independent living. In the program, Alfred State students serve as peer mentors to the participants as they assimilate into the college environment, audit college classes, and explore their personal goals.
Melanie Ryan, Alfred State coordinator of Student Disability Services and campus liaison to the RISE program, said she was very honored to accept the award on behalf of the college and that the program was recognized in this way.
“The students and staff involved with this program are wonderful to work with,” she said. “I am delighted with the success of the RISE program here at Alfred State and look forward to celebrating our first graduating class from this program this spring.”
Reinvention is the key to longevity in business if Alfred State’s Auxiliary Campus Enterprises and Service Inc. (ACES) is any example. This fall, the company is celebrating its 70th year in business.
At ACES, reinvention means that every fall the company has to renew itself to appeal to its new crop of customers. ACES is a not-for-profit company that supports the education mission of Alfred State.
“College students always want the latest and greatest innovations in services, it’s really human nature,” explained ACES Executive Director David Sengstock. “What is fun about our company is that we have to anticipate the services they want and then deliver them with excellence. This challenge keeps us young.”
ACES provides dining services, campus bookstores, transportation, vending, and laundry services at Alfred State. The organization also owns and manages the Lake Lodge in Alfred Station.
As a partner of Alfred State, ACES plays a critical role in attracting the best students to the college. Last year, the company provided more than 500 scholarships for area high school students who meet academic criteria. ACES annually provides additional educational support for the college, including help for the peer tutoring program and the culinary arts program among others.
“Our remarkable longevity can be attributed to our ability to stay nimble and our long-standing commitment to the college,” Sengstock explained.
As a 70-year-old company, ACES relies on a stable, flexible, and well-trained workforce to keep moving forward.
“It’s important to note that our employees -- many, many of whom have worked for us for over 20 years -- are critical to our company and to our student customers. It is our dedicated full-time staff who helps us become a new company every year,” stated ACES Director of Human Resources Christina Loper. “They are completely dedicated to our students. We get to know our student customers and love and nurture them as they move through their college experience.”
On Nov. 17, ACES will celebrate this major milestone throughout the day with prizes and gifts for lucky students. Employees will receive a special token as well. A celebration cake, crafted by Alfred State culinary arts: baking, production & management students from Wellsville, will cap off the festivities at the Terrace in Central Dining Hall during dinner on the Alfred campus.