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Campus News

Hands-on development of assistive technology

Posted Date: Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 12:30

John Williams, Brian Schneider, Robert Romano, and Brian Kazalski at the CREATE conference in AlbanyStudents at Alfred State expect to apply their knowledge to real-world problems. And for two engineering students recently featured in Albany, there was the added benefit of knowing that their invention will help New Yorkers with disabilities.

As part of the CREATE (Cultivating Resources for Employment with Assistive TEchnology) initiative, Brian Kazalski, mechanical engineering technology, Sidney, and Jeff Evans, electrical engineering technology, Friendship, are developing a device that helps workers with disabilities at Arc of Livingston-Wyoming perform their jobs smoothly and more efficiently.

“The goal is to find many different ways that our students can take their knowledge and put it to the test, working on actual business and industrial problems,” stated Dr. John Williams, dean of the School of Architecture, Management and Engineering Technology. “By evaluating the problem, testing different solutions, creating a design, and then manufacturing a new device, they will be helping workers with disabilities at that non-profit, to realize the satisfaction of a job well done.”

The device being developed by the students inserts an instruction package into a very tight roll for a specific work contract at Arc of Livingston-Wyoming. Their ingenuity was included at a statewide showcase of tech inventions focused on improving the workplace for New Yorkers with disabilities. According to event organizers, the Alfred State invention should improve productivity, reduce material costs, and alleviate workers’ stress.

CREATE is an initiative sponsored by New York State Industries for the Disabled, Inc. (NYSID). Student engineers and professors across New York State are invited to partner with NYSID organizations to develop innovative and assistive technology that helps these rehabilitation agencies. The inventions enhance work opportunities for New Yorkers with disabilities and improve work flow, while providing applied engineering experience to students.

In photo: John Williams, dean of the School of Architecture, Management and Engineering Technology; Brian Schneider, vice president of contract administration with NYSID; Robert Romano, president and chief executive officer of NYSID; and Brian Kazalski, mechanical engineering technology student, Sidney, at the CREATE conference in Albany.

Alfred State holds 32nd annual Honors Convocation

Posted Date: Tuesday, April 19, 2016 - 15:00

Alfred State celebrated the achievements of more than 370 students during the 32nd annual Honors Convocation held Sunday, April 17, with Dr. Kristin Poppo, provost, presiding over the event, and SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Mathematics and Physics Lawrence E. Burns serving as grand marshal.

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. Larry Greil, adviser of Hillel at Alfred, gave the invocation.

President Dr. Skip Sullivan and Alexandra M. Argentieri Following the welcome by President Dr. Skip Sullivan and the provost’s remarks, Dean’s Awards for Academic Excellence were presented by the deans of the three schools, Ana McClanahan (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 Aaron Aumick, building trades: building construction, Port Jervis; Sarah Jastrzab, applications software development, North Tonawanda; and Vivian Rohe, nursing, Freedom, respectively. The deans later handed out the Student Awards for Excellence.

Receiving the Provost’s Award for Academic Excellence was Fred Dumond, construction management engineering technology, Liberty. Gregory Sammons, vice president for Student Affairs, recognized Katelynn Andera, forensic science technology, Ellicottville; and Anna Campbell, technology management, Geneseo, as the Chancellor’s Awards for Student Excellence recipients. Sammons later presented Travis Armison, instructional support assistant in the Agriculture and Veterinary Technology Department, with the Freshman Advocate Award.

Patricia K. Fogarty, chair of the College Council presented the Leadership through Civic Engagement Award to Karla Chun, forensic science technology, Broadalbin; and Chevon Phillip, applications software development, Brooklyn. Receiving the Newman Civic Fellows Award from Fogarty was Kemar Kidd, business administration, Bronx.

Sullivan presented the Distinguished Alumni and Outstanding Young Alumni Awards to 1985 graduate Thomas Blackwell (chemical technology) and 2011 grad and Hornell resident Alexandra M. Argentieri (liberal arts and sciences: social science).

Christopher Yarnal, director of Campus Ministry at St. Jude’s Chapel, gave the benediction, and the Alfred State Concert Band played the academic recessional to close out the ceremony.

In photo: President Dr. Skip Sullivan presents Alexandra M. Argentieri, '11 with the Outstanding Young Alumni Award.

View more photos of this event.

Honors Program students meet with Peace Corps volunteers

Posted Date: Tuesday, April 19, 2016 - 14:45

The Honors Program members participated in a virtual conference with Anne Tartarsky, Peace Corps regional recruiter for western New York, on Tuesday, April 12.

Tartarsky, who served in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic, described some of the assignments the more than 7,000 current Peace Corps volunteers are engaged in around the world. While she served in the Dominican Republic, Tartarsky taught local people to build and maintain kitchen ovens and stoves. She said, “The amazing sense of community and caring I experienced there will always stay with me.”

Jonathan Hilsher, Alfred State’s director of the Center for Civic Engagement, facilitated the conference and also told of his time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras. Hilsher, then with a newly-minted bachelor’s degree in political science, discovered that his experience of growing up on a farm proved to be of more value to the people he worked with than his college degree.

Hilsher said his time volunteering in Honduras “helped me discover the ‘public’ side of my personality” and, in fact, propelled him on an entirely new career path. The Peace Corps, founded by President John Kennedy in 1961, has the mission of providing technical assistance, helping people outside the United States to understand American culture, and helping Americans to understand the cultures of other countries.

Kyle Brown, Jonathan Hilsher, Ian Potash, and Courtney GreenPictured, from left, are Kyle Brown, nursing, Randolph; Jonathan Hilsher, director of the Center for Civic Engagement; Ian Potash, digital media and animation, Syracuse; and Courtney Green, human services, Lisbon.

New members inducted into Phi Kappa Phi honor society

Posted Date: Friday, April 15, 2016 - 15:30

More than 40 students, faculty, staff, and friends of Alfred State were initiated Thursday, April 14 into the college’s chapter of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society. 

Student inductees included: 

Also initiated were Michael Colomaio, assistant professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences; Patricia Fogarty, president of the Alfred State College Council; Dr. Jerry Fong, professor of Physical and Life Sciences; David Haggstrom, director of libraries; and Dr. Matthew Lawrence, professor of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Technology. 

Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, according to www.phikappaphi.org, Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. It has chapters on more than 300 campuses in the United States and the Philippines. 

Each year, around 30,000 members are initiated, and only the top 10 percent of a graduating class and the top 7.5 percent of juniors are invited to join. Alfred State’s chapter was formed in February 2015.

Pictured in photo: President Dr. Skip Sullivan speaks during a Phi Kappa Phi honor society induction ceremony.

65th annual Alumni Choral Concert to take place April 24

Posted Date: Friday, April 15, 2016 - 10:30

Alfred State will present its 65th annual Alumni Choral Spring Concert at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 24 in the Anthony C. Cappadonia Auditorium in the Orvis Activities Center on the Alfred campus.

Groups performing will include the Alumni Jazz Singers, ’87 Collegiate Quartet, AAA (Anthony’s A cappella Alliance) and the Alumni Choir. The concert is free and open to the public.

The Alfred State Concert Choir Alumni organization was founded in 1957 and consists of alumni who performed under the direction of Anthony C. Cappadonia, during his 56-year tenure as both instrumental and choral director at Alfred State. On April 29, 2012, the Anthony C. Cappadonia Auditorium was officially dedicated. It will forever be a testament to the musical inspiration Cappadonia provided to his students.

He continued to direct the alumni groups until his passing in February 2014. Alumni from all over the country return to campus to perform this annual concert in his honor.

Earth Week events scheduled for this month

Posted Date: Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 14:15

In recognition of Earth Week 2016 and Alfred State’s strong commitment to sustainability, the college planned a number of related events from April 14-26.

The Sustainability Club kicked off Litter Clean Up Day Thursday, April 14, fanning out over the Alfred campus to dispose of any litter they encountered. In room 117 of the Engineering Technology Building, the club will screen a short animated documentary film about the lifecycle of material goods called “The Story of Stuff,” from 2-2:30 p.m. Monday, April 18, and from 2:30-3 p.m. Thursday, April 21. All are welcome to attend the screening.

At 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 20 at the footbridge to town on campus, the Outdoor Recreation Club will host a creek cleanup. Participants are encouraged to wear boots and clothes that can get wet. Also on that day, the Sustainability Club will show the film “The Lorax” for students at 7 p.m. in room 215 of the Engineering Technology Building.

From 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. April 21 in the Student Gathering Space in the Central Dining Hall will be a water taste test, in which participants compare bottled water and tap water. Events are scheduled for Earth Day (April 22) in the Student Leadership Center, including “Pot a Plant,” hosted by the Caribbean Student Association, and a presentation on composting by Robert Mahany, a construction management engineering technology major from Orchard Park.

Rounding out the events will be a screening of a documentary titled “North of the Sun” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 26 in room 310 of the Student Leadership Center. Presented by the Alfred State Ski and Snowboard Club and Residential Life housing assistants, the film is about a pair of surfers who spend a winter above the Arctic Circle and survive by building a cabin from drift wood and washed-up materials and by eating free, expired food from the grocery store. The screening is open to anyone who wishes to attend.

For questions about Sustainability Club Events, contact David Kendall, assistant professor of Mathematics and Physics, at kendalda@alfredstate.edu.