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Campus News

Third annual soil pH clinic set for April 22

Posted Date: Monday, April 11, 2016 - 15:45

Cassandra Bull and Sam PulisStudents in the soils class at Alfred State will hold a pH clinic for the community from 2-6 p.m. Friday, April 22 in room 103 of the Agriculture Science Building on the Alfred campus.

Community members are encouraged to bring up to four soil samples (sandwich bag-sized) for pH measurement and texture determination (approximate amount of sand, silt, and clay). Student and faculty advisers will be on-hand to assist community members in interpreting their results for specific garden or landscaping needs.

Jessica Hutchison, lecturer in the Agriculture and Veterinary Technology Department, said testing soil pH is important because pH values outside a plant’s preferred range can limit growth and productivity.

“Bringing a sample to the soil pH clinic is a fun, free way to get information about your soil and interact with students who are excited about putting their knowledge to the test,” she said.

If unable to attend the event, community members are encouraged to drop off or mail samples to Jessica Hutchison, 123B Agriculture Building, Agriculture and Veterinary Technology Department, 10 Upper College Drive, Alfred, NY 14802. If mailing or dropping off samples, please ensure that samples arrive prior to the day of the event.

Contact Hutchison at HutchiJM@alfredstate.edu or 607-587-3616 regarding any questions.

Pictured in photo: Cassandra Bull, left, an Alfred University student from Saratoga Springs who is studying agricultural technology at Alfred State, and Sam Pulis, an agricultural technology major from Hector, analyze soil samples during last year’s soil pH clinic at Alfred State.

Chemistry faculty member discovers interesting properties of metal surfaces

Posted Date: Monday, April 11, 2016 - 15:30

Scott SimpsonUntil it is properly researched and proven, a theory has two ultimate conclusions, like the flip of a coin for winning or losing. And in this case it would be the flip of a copper penny.

While working with theoretical computations, Physical and Life Sciences Assistant Professor Scott Simpson noticed that copper interacted with an organic molecule called p-benzoquinonemonoimine in a different way compared to some other metals. This led to a hypothesis that copper actually strengthens the bonds of the molecule. This is quite unusual, as bonds typically weaken upon interaction with a metal surface.

“When I ran the numbers, I noticed something strange with copper, and quite frankly my first reaction was that the calculations must be in error, so of course I ran them again,” stated Simpson. “As I looked at the data closer, I came to theorize that something special must be happening here that you don’t see with other coinage metals. This intrigued me and some of my colleagues to research it further.”

Simpson and his colleagues are published in the periodic Journal of Physical Chemistry. Their finding can be valuable in the field of synthetic chemistry which is the formation of complex compounds by uniting simpler ones. Understanding the unique ways that molecules adhere to the surface of metals can lead to new production methods for synthetic compounds.

A native of Allegany, Simpson sees Alfred State as a way of coming home and inspiring another generation of students. “Synthetic chemistry is used, for example, in the creation of new pharmaceutical drugs and in this arena, changing one or two atoms can be the difference between life and death when introduced into the human body. I teach my students how understanding chemistry can open their eyes. I remember how chemistry class gave me lots of those ‘Aha!’ moments, which still motivate me to this day.”

Simpson is cited as the lead author of the article entitled "Modulating Bond Lengths via Backdonation." Additional authors include James Hooper of Jagiellonian University in Poland, Daniel P. Miller and Eva Zurek with the State University of New York at Buffalo, and Danna A. Kunkel and Axel Enders from the University of Nebraska. This is the seventh occasion for Simpson's work to be published in the ACS Journal of Physical Chemistry. Simpson earned his bachelor’s degree at SUNY Fredonia and PhD at the State University of New York at Buffalo before joining the faculty at Alfred State.

National Volunteer Week events planned

Posted Date: Thursday, April 7, 2016 - 12:45

Giving back to the community and helping others are strongly focused on at Alfred State, and as a result, the college has a number of events planned for National Volunteer Week April 10-16.

Most notably, the college’s Office of Health and Wellness Services will sponsor a Foodlink mobile food pantry to combat hunger and food insecurity from 3-4:30 p.m. Friday, April 15 at St. Jude Chapel on campus adjacent to the University Police Department. Foodlink will be providing free access to essential food items to anyone in need from the surrounding area. Food will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis during this one-day-only event, and no income or residency restrictions will be enforced.

All are welcome to help in creating comfort bags in the Student Leadership Center now through April 12 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. These comfort bags are for victims and survivors who come to local shelters and rape crisis centers seeking support because of sexual or interpersonal violence. Alfred State has pledged to fill 75 bags in this SUNY-wide effort, titled “SUNY’s Got Your Back,” with donations provided through the New York State Police and JM Murray. The college is accepting donated sweatpants, sweatshirts, T-shirts, or money to purchase these items.

A virtual US Peace Corps information session will be held from 4-5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 12. This is an opportunity to learn more about this two-year international volunteer opportunity and how your skills can make a difference. Utilize the contact information below to get the Web link to join the session from any location.

A Volunteer Management Workshop will take place at the Student Leadership Center from 9-11:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 13 for area professionals and students. The agenda will feature networking, information sharing, and speakers sharing content relevant to enhancing an organization’s volunteer capacity and resources. Carol Wood, director of 2-1-1 HELPLINE of the Institute for Human Services, will be a featured speaker of this ongoing professional development series. Pre-registration is required.

The Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences will host a Human Services Career Fair from noon to 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 13 in the Allegany Room in the Central Dining Hall. This is a valuable chance to explore internship, career, and community service opportunities with local and regional non-profit and human service organizations.

Lastly, the second annual Spring into Action Day of Service will take place from 9 a.m. to mid-afternoon Saturday, April 16. Service projects will occur in Alfred, Hornell, Wellsville, and in other nearby communities. The purpose is to serve alongside partners in Steuben and Allegany counties in community service and relationship building activities. Examples of past projects include trail cleanup in area state parks, renovation of town parks, and preparation of Little League fields.

For more information about National Volunteer Week and how students and the public can get involved, contact civicengagement@alfredstate.edu.

Matt Heller promoted to chief of police

Posted Date: Thursday, April 7, 2016 - 11:45

Matt HellerPresident Dr. Skip Sullivan has appointed Matt Heller chief of the State University Police at Alfred State effective April 7. Heller first came to the campus as a patrol officer in 1996, was promoted to lieutenant, then interim assistant chief of police, and most recently served as interim chief of police.

“Keeping all of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors safe is a top priority on campus, and throughout his 20 years of service, Matt has excelled in both his operational knowledge and leadership skills,” stated Sullivan. “For our police force to be effective we need a leader who can handle the many challenges he may face, from effectively managing emergency calls to adeptly interacting with everyone from students to fellow police organizations. In Matt we have a dedicated and service-oriented professional who has earned our trust.”

Heller also has 15 years of municipal policing experience with the Angelica and Andover Police Departments. His involvement with local police surrounding Alfred State aids in the coordination and collaboration between agencies. His awards and honors include recognition as past recipient of the Allegany County Top Cop award, New York State DCJS Accreditation Council, SUNY Police Meritorious Service Award, and the Alfred State Pioneer Award for his commitment, role modeling, high level of performance, and positive impact on the college.

After earning an associate degree in criminal justice at Finger Lakes Community College, Heller achieved a bachelor of science in management at Houghton College, and is a graduate of the police academies in Albany and Batavia. Heller holds dozens of certificates related to law enforcement including specialized areas of expertise such as fair and impartial policing, communicable diseases, weapons of mass destruction, and cyber bullying.

“We are very proud of the officers who work so diligently to protect and serve Alfred State, and I’m certain that in his new role as chief, Matt will work tirelessly to keep his team alert, responsive, and ready to show the community how dedicated they are to maintain a safe and secure environment,” added Greg Sammons, former chief of police and vice president of Student Affairs.

Two Alfred State students receive 2016 SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Student Excellence

Posted Date: Thursday, April 7, 2016 - 08:45

State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher honored 248 SUNY students from across the state in Albany Tuesday, April 5, with the 2016 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence, including two students from Alfred State.

“This award is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to stand-out SUNY students whose achievements reflect their own impressive hard work as well as the support of their families and friends, and SUNY’s world-class faculty and staff,” said Zimpher. “The 248 students we honor with this year’s award have excelled academically, become role models on campus, and established themselves as leaders in the community. Congratulations to all of the students receiving the 2016 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence.”

Joining the chancellor to recognize the students for their achievements via a video message was NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly. In his video, Kelly mentioned the ways in which his time at SUNY Maritime College prepared him for the challenges he faced during his year in space, as well as a successful 29-year career in government.

The two Alfred State students who received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence were Katelynn Andera, a forensic science technology major from Ellicottville; and Anna Campbell, a technology management student from Geneseo.

Katelynn AnderaGrowing up, Andera spent most of her time playing sports, working on her family farm, and enjoying time with her extended family. As a student, Andera has been active in research conferences and events on campus and state-wide. She has received honors and awards in academic excellence, leadership, athletics, and community service. Her future plans are to become a high school teacher using her degree in forensic science technology to teach biology, chemistry, and forensics.

Anna CampbellOne of 10 children, Campbell enjoys spending time with her family, playing guitar, and writing music. She has been involved in equestrian polo from a young age, and is currently interning with the United States Polo Association. Campbell was the founder and captain of the Alfred State’s women’s polo club, and has received national awards for collegiate and athletic excellence. She has served on campus student engagement committees, was a recipient of the Phi Theta Kappa Transfer Scholarship, and is passionate about helping those around her.

The Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence was created in 1997 to recognize students who have best demonstrated, and have been recognized for, the integration of academic excellence with accomplishments in the areas of leadership, athletics, community service, creative and performing arts, campus involvement, or career achievement.

Each year, SUNY campus presidents establish a selection committee, which reviews the accomplishments of exemplary students. Nominees are then forwarded to the Chancellor’s Office for a second round of review. Finalists are then recommended to the Chancellor to become recipients of the award. Each recipient receives a framed certificate and medallion, which is traditionally worn at Commencement.

New student applications up 17 percent

Posted Date: Wednesday, April 6, 2016 - 09:45

With more than 65 in-demand majors and a hands-on approach to learning, Alfred State is experiencing a strong increase in the number of students wanting to enroll for the fall 2016 semester. The number of applications is up 17 percent over the same time last year.

As April begins, Alfred State has received 5,865 applications and the 17 percent hike over 2015 is the second highest percentage increase among all 26 state-operated SUNY campuses. Only once in the past 23 years has a recruitment effort at Alfred State resulted in more applications. The number of accepted students has also spiked. Acceptance letters are still being processed, but already this year’s number has only been surpassed once in the past 18 years.

“We are extremely pleased to see this growing interest and heightened enthusiasm for our college from prospective students,” said Deborah Goodrich, associate vice president for Enrollment Management. “While the standards for admission have increased over the years, so too have the number of applicants. The interest from high school seniors this year has broken all Alfred State records with more than 46,000 inquiries.”

Alfred State is also an affordable option for students, having enhanced the number of scholarships offered by more than 14 percent since last year, up to 524 in 2016 from 458 in 2015.

Student ambassadors lead future Pioneers and their families on a campus tourHelping students prepare for future careers is a focus at Alfred State, and the college also makes sure that incoming students can acclimate to life on campus. On Saturday, April 2, Alfred State welcomed approximately 200 future Pioneers and their families for Accepted Student Day.

During the event, attendees were able to participate in a variety of programs designed to provide in-depth information related to their major and to learn about student life. Representatives from Admissions, Athletics, Financial Aid, Residential Life, the Student Success Center, and some of the 100 student clubs were available to answer questions one-on-one. Campus tours gave families a sense of what it’s like to live, eat, study, and play at Alfred State while visiting classrooms, labs, dining facilities, fitness centers, and residence halls.

Additionally, the college is gearing up to welcome even more visitors during an Open House on April 17 for prospective students and their families, beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the Orvis Activities Center on the Alfred campus. Attendees are invited to participate in a variety of programs, both formal and informal, designed to provide flexibility in visiting any area of interest to the student.

Similar to Accepted Student Day, a wide variety of representatives will also be available for the Open House, as will campus tours, academic department tours and presentations on financial aid and campus life. For additional information, contact the Admissions Office at 1-800-4-ALFRED or 607-587-4215.

“We encourage all students interested in our college to attend an Open House or to arrange a tour and see for themselves all of the wonderful things that Alfred State has to offer,” said Goodrich.

In photo above: Student ambassadors lead future Pioneers and their families on a campus tour.