More than 900 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 27th annual SkillsUSA Region I Leadership Conference and Skills Olympics March 8 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 Kansas City, MO, in June. A postsecondary SkillsUSA state competition will also take place on the Wellsville campus on Saturday, March 26.
Skills tests ranged from criminal justice to TV/video production to precision machining. 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
Auto Service Basic
Automated Manufacturing Technology
Crime Scene Investigation (Three-Person Teams)
Custom Painting & Graphics
Electrical Construction & Wiring
Food Prep Assistant
Health Knowledge Bowl (Four-Person Teams)
Job Demo A
Job Demo Open
Power Equipment Technology
Precision Heavy Equipment
Quiz Bowl (Five-Person Teams)
Related Technical Math
Members of the Honors Program met at the college greenhouse Feb. 24 with Sandy Dennison, marketing director of Auxiliary Campus Enterprises and Services, Inc., and Emily Rhoades, AmeriCorps VISTA representative, to learn about food production and growing practices in Western New York.
Dennison, a past Spirit of Service awardee and founding member of the Alfred Community Garden, told students, “Rural Western New York has so much land, yet many people are unfamiliar with growing and harvesting their own food, too often relying on expensive, highly processed food with low nutritive value.”
She also presented various methods of growing food available for people with limited space or experience in gardening. Rhoades then distributed organic seeds and soil and allotted each student space in the greenhouse for planting. Students were encouraged to take their plants and their knowledge of modern “victory garden” possibilities back to their homes at the semester’s end.
In photo: Honors Program members from left to right, are, front row: Sarah Wojtowicz (interdisciplinary studies, Ellicottville), and Nicole Raymond (forensic science technology, Hinsdale), and back row: Austin Harvey (computer information systems, Cameron), Anthony Harvey (air conditioning and heating technology, Cameron), Jordan Seltzer (business administration, West Valley), Jacob Fassett (drafting/CAD, Cooperstown), Cole Smith (electrical construction and maintenance electrician, Collins), Justin King (electrical construction and maintenance electrician, Uniondale), Courtney Green (human services, Lisbon), Grant Tinker (electrical engineering technology, McGraw), and Molly Kase (architecture, Rochester).
More than 100 students from four area high school districts visited Alfred State Friday, Feb. 26 to explore engineering and technical careers 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.
Throughout the week, 60 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 Alfred State groups included American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Associated General Contractors, Architecture Club, Robotics Club, Alfred State Information Security Team, and SAE (formerly known as Society of Automotive Engineers).
School districts that attended the Feb. 26 event were from Arkport, Hornell, Corning Christian Academy, and Watkins Glen. After learning about the clubs that were present, students then took part in a design challenge in which they were tasked with designing and building a crane in 45 minutes to see how heavy a load it could lift, using the materials at hand.
The winners of the challenge were as follows:
First place – Kassidy Kramer, Nicole Katsur, Olivia Chatain (all from Arkport), and Claire McManus (Watkins Glen).
Second place – Taryn Parker and Ty Rawleigh (both from Hornell) and Jordan Rappleye and Brandon Barber (both from Watkins Glen).
Third place - Brendan Deebs (Hornell), Bernadette Osborne, Clara Chedzoy (both from Watkins Glen), and Louis Payne (Arkport).
Dr. John Williams, dean of the Alfred State School of Architecture, Management, and Engineering Technology, said National Engineers Week is about sharing enthusiasm for engineering, and promoting the many exciting career opportunities that exist.
“A large function is to help students better understand the required academic preparation and professional responsibilities during practice,” Williams said. “This is a phenomenal experience for high school students. The Alfred State student clubs transform the gym to showcase their programs and projects and have many interactive displays and presentations to engage our visitors. The peer-to-peer (student-to-student) contact occurs easily and is very effective.”
Alex Surdyk, an electrical engineering technology major from Hamburg, said, "Engineering is one of those things that has no partisan lines. The love and passion for science is inclusive to everybody who participates. It has no bias and aims to advance the quality of life for everybody, which is why this week is so important.”
He added, “These young people are the next generation of thinkers and doers; to see the excitement in their faces when they ‘feel’ what engineering offers gives me all the hope I need. In a world of division, these students are uniting under science."
In photo: Zachary Herrington, a mechanical engineering technology major from Horseheads, assists Hornell High School students with a National Engineers Week design challenge.
The public is invited to accompany Alice to Wonderland and through the looking glass during the Alfred State Drama Club’s fifth annual dinner theater performance, "Alice in Wonderland," March 31 to April 2 at the Lake Lodge, 6107 Terbury Road, Alfred Station.
Performing Eva Le Gallienne’s and Florida Friebus' adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Alice books, a cast of 16 actors will portray more than 30 characters from both "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There." This year's Alice-themed menu is pear salad, glazed carrots, duchess twice-baked potatoes, penne with rustic marinara, orange marmalade haddock, and flank steak with chocolate sauce and sautéed mushrooms, cheesecake with assorted toppings, and coffee and teas served at intermission.
As in previous years, there will be a full cash bar open during the dinner hour and at intermission. Dinner begins at 6 p.m.
Tickets for dinner theater are $20 per person and must be reserved by March 17 through the Alfred State Campus Store at 607-587-4020. The store accepts cash, check, credit cards, student campus spending account, and meal swipes.
If you'd like to visit Wonderland without dinner, please come to the Wednesday evening performance on March 30 at 7 p.m. Tickets for that show, which will be available at the door and for reservation through the campus store, are $2 for students and $5 for general admission. A bus will run to and from campus before and after the performance, and there will be an opening night dessert reception after that show.
“Alice in Wonderland (Le Galliene and Friebus)” is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.
Dr. Richard Kellogg, professor emeritus of psychology, is the author of an article appearing in the most recent issue of Paperback Parade, a quarterly journal for readers and book collectors. The article is titled “Colonel Peter Trees: John Quirk's Master Spy.”
Kellogg notes that Commander James Bond, code name 007, is the most famous fictional spy in the dangerous world of international espionage. The iconic Bond was created by British writer Ian Fleming (1908-1964). However, American author John Quirk (1920-1969) also created a memorable spy in his novels about Colonel Peter Trees. There are fascinating similarities in the personalities and skill sets of Colonel Trees and the legendary Commander Bond.
The author concludes that the exciting spy novels of John Quirk offer a provocative glimpse into the cultural transformation taking place in the United States during the height of the Cold War. There was an increase in the use of illegal drugs, social values related to sexual morality were changing, communism was spreading, and many feared the possibility of a nuclear holocaust. This turbulent era ushered in a period of increased espionage among the most powerful nations in the world.
Dr. Kellogg writes frequently about the literary works of author Philip Wylie and the adventures penned by Arthur Conan Doyle. He is the author of a popular series of children's books, illustrated by graphic artist Gary Kato, which feature the precocious boy detective Barry Baskerville. The most recent entry, available on the Amazon website, is titled “Barry Baskerville Traps a Thief.”
In only its second season, the Alfred State Polo Club is already making a name for itself, having won nine out of its 10 contests, including two victories over Harvard in early February.
Playing home matches at 3150 Chandler Road in Piffard, the Alfred State club defeated the Harvard group Feb. 6 by a score of 27-9, and again on Feb. 7 by a 24-7 margin. Alfred State has also won against Skidmore, the Cornell IS team, University of Massachusetts, Yale, and the University of Guelph.
Currently ranked third in the Northeast, Alfred State Polo officially formed in January 2015 after receiving approval from the college and the United States Polo Association. A major highlight for the club last season was its first-place finish at the Northeastern Intercollegiate Women’s Preliminary Tournament, held Feb. 27 to March 1 at Yale.
This year’s roster consists of five players, Anna Campbell, technology management, Geneseo; Kasandra Wohlschlegel, surveying and geomatics engineering technology, Lima; Abigail Campbell, construction management engineering technology, Geneseo; Hannah Manns, veterinary technology, Cortland; and Gwendolyn Shear, heavy equipment operations, Killawog.
Coaches are Terry Mehlenbacher and Robert Donnan, and the club’s adviser is SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Agriculture and Veterinary Technology Victoria Bolton. Deanna Wohlschlegel, Kasandra’s mother, has been instrumental in organizing and scheduling matches and travel, designing and ordering team polo shirts and jackets, and she also serves as team score-keeper and photographer.
Bolton noted of the club, “This team is amazing. The freshmen have really stepped up their play and skill levels. Our coaches are amazing, as well. They volunteer their time. The use of the barn and horses are donated to the team, and the horses love playing polo as much as their riders do.”
Alfred State Polo will wrap up its season during the Northeastern Intercollegiate Regional at Cornell March 18-20.
Pictured is Alfred State Polo member Gwendolyn Shear, heavy equipment operations, Killawog, right, competing against Harvard earlier this month.
Emily Erdmann, an Alfred State senior drafting/CAD major from Whitesville, has recently been named a 2015-2016 Vanguard Student Recognition Award winner.
The award recognizes outstanding students who are enrolled in career and technical education (CTE) programs that prepare them for careers that are not traditional for their gender. Erdmann was one of four post-secondary education winners who were selected from a pool of nominees.
The winners will be recognized with a Vanguard Award Dinner in their honor on Thursday, April 7; a Vanguard Award Ceremony at the Association of Career & Technical Education Administrators (ACTEA) Conference Breakfast on Friday, April 8; and a videotaped interview with each of the awardees, which will be posted at www.netprogram.org. All festivities will be held in Albany at the Desmond Hotel.
Outside of the classroom, Erdmann is also a student ambassador and tutor. Karen Young, chair of the Computerized Design and Manufacturing Department, said Erdmann is “an instructor’s dream,” noting her excellent work ethic and attention to detail.
“Emily absorbs information extremely well, and applies everything she has learned along the way,” Young said. “She is a very positive influence in the classroom and I am so very proud of her accomplishments. She will have an excellent career in drafting/CAD because she has all the characteristics of a great detailer.”
The Vanguard Award is administered by the New York State Nontraditional Employment & Training (NET) Program, which is committed to the promotion of gender neutral educational strategies and practices. A program of the Center for Women in Government & Civil Society, it is funded through a grant from the New York State Education Department.