Alfred State’s William Dean, professor in the Department of Architecture and Design, and Jonathan Hilsher, director of the Center for Civic Engagement, recently presented their jointly authored paper titled “Generating Discipline-Based Community Impact through Academic and Student Affairs Collaboration” as part of the 105th ACSA Annual Meeting in Detroit. The theme of this year’s meeting was “Brooklyn Says, ‘Move to Detroit.’”
This was the first time that Alfred State has been invited to participate at this national conference, which is sponsored by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA).
Dean’s and Hilsher’s presentation featured a discussion of the sustained regional community engagement of the Department of Architecture and Design. It also elaborated on the enhanced impact realized through collaboration with a student affairs civic leadership initiative through the Center for Civic Engagement.
A series of Southern Tier Architectural Resource (STAR) Center case study examples were used to illustrate best practices and a pathway to collaboration on course design, creative cooperation, and intentional partnership designed to maximize student learning and community impact.
While nanotechnology involves the study and application of very small things, Alfred State’s new Micro-Nano Fabrication Laboratory is one very big addition to the college’s Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Technology Department.
Located on the fourth floor of the Engineering Technology Building, the facility houses a clean room for advanced device, microstructure, and circuit development. Within the lab are state-of-the-art instruments for designing, fabricating, characterizing, and testing complex micro-scale structures and devices in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and microelectronics.
The clean room is equipped to support education and research activities in various science and engineering fields, allowing advances in areas as diverse as biomedical engineering, energy harvesting, electronics, cell biology, and high-performance materials. The facility allows students to design, build, and test their own simple devices, while gaining experience in microelectronic and MEMS fabrication techniques.
The main purpose of the clean room is to provide a valuable hands-on experience for students who are looking to work in microelectronics, MEMS, and microfabrication industries after graduation. Very few schools offer such a hands-on learning opportunity to undergraduate students.
While the facility was upgraded at one time in 2003, it was recently expanded through a $1 million grant from the State University of New York (SUNY). The expansion included building renovation and equipment purchases, allowing a host of microelectronic and MEMS devices with features the size of one micron or larger to be fabricated in the same clean room.
Alfred State recently celebrated this new facility with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, attended by faculty, staff, students, friends of the college, Allegany County Legislator Dwight Fanton, and representatives from the offices of US Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, and State Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean. Providing welcoming remarks was Dr. John Williams, dean of Alfred State’s School of Architecture, Management, and Engineering Technology.
“This is an exciting day,” he said. “This is many years in the making. We were kind of, up until this point, the best-kept secret. People would hear about what (Associate Professor) Dave Hunt was doing and the systems and the processes that were in place here, and they were impressed. So, this facility actually takes it to the next level, and I think will make us a school of choice.”
Dr. Kristin Poppo, Alfred State provost, said the lab provides an amazing opportunity for Alfred State and its students.
“We are the college of technology for western New York and we have to be at the front end of all these endeavors,” she said. “I think what we do in engineering technology at Alfred State meets the huge demand from the industry because our curricula are not just academic and theoretical. They’re hands on, and our students leave knowing what they’re doing.”
The final speaker for the ceremony was Dr. Skip Sullivan, president of Alfred State, who said ensuring that the college offers state-of-the-art facilities that prepare students for the workforce is a top priority.
“We need this kind of equipment to train our students so when they cross the stage and get their diploma, and even before, they’re ready to go to work,” he said. “This facility is certainly evident of the industry standard that has been set, and we’re delighted to make it available to our students.”
Watch a student video of the new micro-nano lab ribbon cutting.
Come join hundreds of Alfred State students next month as they raise money and awareness for the American Cancer Society during the college’s annual Relay for Life event.
Held in the Orvis Activities Center gymnasium, the event will take place from noon until midnight April 8. The public is invited to join a team or put their own team together by visiting relay.acsevents.org.
The theme of this year’s Relay is “Decades.” Participants are encouraged to dress up in clothing worn during different decades from the 1920s until present, with outfits changing on an hourly basis.
“Anyone who attends is encouraged to dress up, but may wear casual clothes or whatever is comfortable,” said Relay for Life Committee public relations rep Jacob Allen, a construction management major from Palmyra. “There will be mini-games every hour to keep everyone involved and active.”
Allen noted that in the past, the Alfred State Relay has been able to raise more than $20,000 in just one year for the American Cancer Society, and that the committee is attempting to set a new record this year, in terms of fundraising and participation.
“Every penny will help,” he said, “so please come down to see what Alfred State is really about, and what we can accomplish together as a community in the fight against cancer.”
More than 950 high school students from Region I Board of Cooperative Education and Services (BOCES) districts, encompassing Western New York and the Southern Tier, competed in the 28th annual SkillsUSA Region I Leadership Conference and Skills Olympics March 7 at Alfred State.
The winners of this regional competition will advance to the next level in Syracuse in April, where all six regions in New York State will meet to attempt to qualify for the national competition in Louisville, KY, in June. A postsecondary SkillsUSA state competition will also take place on the Wellsville campus on Saturday, March 25.
Skills tests ranged from criminal justice to TV/video production to public speaking. Alfred State faculty, staff, and students were heavily involved in the design, implementation, and judging of many of the contests. Many of the high school students were exposed to a college campus for the first time.
Contestants from the following schools attended:
Genesee Valley (Batavia); Career and Technical Education Center at Belmont; Lake Shore/ Carrier Educational Center (Angola); Charles G May Career-Tech Center (Mt. Morris); Greater Southern Tier (GST) BOCES, Coopers Campus (Painted Post); Edison Tech and Occupational High School (Rochester); Eastern Monroe Career Center (EMCC) (Fairport); Ellicottville CTE Center; Finger Lakes Technical and Career Center (Stanley); GST BOCES Pauline Bush Campus (Elmira); Harkness Career and Technical Center (Cheektowaga); Hewes Educational Center (Ashville); Kenton Career and Technical Education Center (Tonawanda); LoGuidice Center (Fredonia); Niagara (Sanborn); Olean CTE Center; Orleans Career and Technical Education Center (Medina); WD Ormsby Educational Center (East Aurora); Potter Career and Technical Center (West Seneca); Wayne Technical and Career Center (Williamson); WEMOCO Career and Technical Education Center (Spencerport); and GST BOCES, Wildwood Campus (Hornell).
An awards ceremony honored the following winners:
Auto Body Helper
Crime Scene Investigation (Three-Person Teams)
Electrical Construction & Wiring
Food Prep Assistant
Health Knowledge Bowl (Four-Person Teams)
Job Demo A
Job Demo Open
Precision Heavy Equipment
Quiz Bowl (Five-Person Teams)
Related Technical Math
Beginning this fall, some 40 students entering high school in Orchard Park will also be making a big step on their path toward a career. A partnership between Alfred State and Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES will allow these students to earn both a regents diploma from high school, along with an associate degree from college, to better prepare them to enter the workforce.
P-Tech (Pathways in Technology Early College High School) infuses the critical elements of high school, college, and industry together in a customized educational program. Students will complete high school, earn a college degree in only one additional year, and be ready to begin a career. The length of the program is tailored to the learning needs and educational goals of each student.
“P-Tech will follow many of our best practices at Alfred State. Students will work with specialized educators and industry leaders using project-based and personalized learning,” stated Dr. Craig Clark, vice president for Economic Development at Alfred State. “There are high-wage, high-tech, high-demand jobs in advanced manufacturing, and graduates with a related associate degree will be first in line for these employment opportunities.”
This initiative launches with a two-week summer program prior to the start of the first day of fall classes. Students interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) are encouraged to join the program. The academy will incorporate a high-rigor STEM curriculum, and students participate in internships and job-shadowing experiences.
P-Tech empowers students to begin their college and professional lives more quickly by offering a supportive, small, customized learning environment to earn their Regents Diploma from their school district and an Associate of Occupational Science Degree in electrical construction and maintenance electrician or welding technology from Alfred State. As part of a structured program, students receive mentoring and internship opportunities to prepare them for available jobs in the region.
“Employers are looking for qualified workers who are fluid in technology, adaptable to change, and able to think on their feet,” Clark said. “This program will create what can be called ‘high-tech manufacturing athletes of the future’ to help companies continue to grow and innovate, while engaging students in a program that leads to great careers and builds a better workforce for the regional economy.”
Roughly 80 students from five area high school districts visited Alfred State recently to explore engineering and technical careers and take part in a hands-on building competition as part of National Engineers Week.
Founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers in 1951, the week is dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers, according to www.nspe.org.
During the high schools’ visit, Alfred State students in the School of Architecture, Management, and Engineering Technology showcased the many great projects and activities they engage in at the college through various clubs and organizations. Participating student groups included Associated General Contractors of America, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Women Engineers are Pioneers, Architecture Club, Robotics Club, Alfred State Information Security Team, Radio Control Club, Science Society, and Baja SAE (formerly known as Society of Automotive Engineers).
School districts that attended the event were from Alfred-Almond, Arkport, Avoca, Hornell, and Scio. After learning about the clubs that were present, students then took part in a design challenge in which they used materials to make a windmill to pick up a load of marbles. The students were judged on the size and weight of the windmill, the speed of picking up the load, and the amount of weight picked up.
The winners of the challenge were Hunter Gurnsey and Ben Stilson (both of Avoca), and Nicole Katsur and Marc Arnault (both of Arkport). Each student received a certificate of achievement and a prize pack.
Dr. John Williams, dean of the Alfred State School of Architecture, Management, and Engineering Technology, said that the showcase is a great way for high school students to explore and learn more about technical and engineering careers.
“Students don’t often recognize or consider that technology and engineering are viable career paths,” Williams said. “There are some preconceived notions that only the strongest math students should make the attempt. This simply isn’t true and there is an entire spectrum where students can find a pathway to a successful career and we hope to share this message and help students make more informed choices.”
When asked to ‘Picture Yourself Here,’ students are responding positively to an award-winning marketing campaign that promotes Alfred State. A national panel of higher education marketers, graphic designers, creative directors, and advertising professionals honored the college with six awards, including two gold medals, and four bronze for advertising materials designed to attract prospective students and their families.
“While Alfred State has established a reputation for career-focused education and hands-on learning over the years, it’s no easy task to keep our message fresh and relevant to new generations. That’s why we’re so proud that our marketing communications team is being recognized for their work,” stated Deborah Goodrich, associate vice president for Enrollment Management. “It’s imperative for us to spread our message to an ever-growing audience, to let students know that Alfred State can prepare them to ‘hit the ground running®’ in the working world.”
The 32nd Annual Higher Education Advertising Awards honored Alfred State with gold medals for both the Applied Technology Student Viewbook, and for a Parents’ Calendar that utilizes variable data to tailor the printed materials to recipients. The college earned bronze medals for a television advertising series, orientation booklets, social media campaigns, and fundraising materials. In all, State University of New York (SUNY) colleges and universities received 16 awards, with six of them going to Alfred State.
Alfred State is the only public school in the state to win an award in these five categories: fundraising, calendars, orientation, social media, and television advertising. Out of all entries in this contest, only 7 percent earned a gold medal this year, and Alfred State is the only SUNY college to earn multiple gold medals.
Alfred State is unique among SUNY award winners for utilizing on-campus resources for advertising concept, writing, video editing, and graphic designs. The Marketing Communications staff performed this work without the aid of outside agencies, while the college’s Print and Mail Services team handled all printing, variable data insertion, and distribution of the winning publications.
Sponsored by the Higher Education Marketing Report, these awards started in 1986. It is the longest-running educational advertising contest in America, with thousands of entries from more than 1,000 different institutions spread across 50 states and several foreign countries.
Looking to recruit Pioneers to their workforce, a total of 70 employers visited the Alfred State School of Applied Technology campus in Wellsville recently for a career fair.
Elaine Morsman, director of the Career Development Center at Alfred State, said, “The fair was a great success. It almost broke the previous Wellsville career fair record of 72 employers, and more than 520 students also attended, which beat the attendance at the last Wellsville spring career fair by 40.”
Companies at the career fair spoke highly of Alfred State’s students and programs. Representatives from Goforth Electric, a full-service electric company based out of Brockport, complimented the college’s electrical construction and maintenance electrician major, saying “there’s no other program like it.” They noted that last year was the first time they came to the Wellsville career fair and that they were really impressed.
“I was kicking myself for not coming sooner,” said Executive Vice President Greg Goforth.
On-hand to recruit students from a variety of majors was Barbara Dominesey, general manager at Hidden Valley Animal Adventure. Located in Varysburg, this company features two restaurants, two hotel rooms in a timber-framed lodge, a banquet hall, and an hour-long wild game safari guided trolley tour.
“Alfred State students have solid basic skills that our company looks for in our employees,” she said. “We see the solid skill set and good foundation that the school instills in its students.”
In addition to its Wellsville event, the college will be hosting a career fair on the Alfred campus March 22.