The forensic science technology program has recently obtained full accreditation status from the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC), becoming one of only 20 FEPAC-accredited bachelor-level programs within the field nationwide.
Wayne Bensley, program director and associate professor in the Physical and Life Sciences Department, said the accreditation is a monumental achievement for the Bachelor of Science program.
“It has been a goal of those of us associated with the program since its inception in 2008,” Bensley said. “It affirms the belief that we have held all along regarding the high level of strength found in the curriculum, faculty and staff, facilities, and students associated with the forensic science technology program.”
The five-year accreditation was granted as a result of a yearlong process including a lengthy self-study, as well as recommendations put forth by an administrative team and an on-site team, both composed of forensic science academicians and practitioners. The final decision on accreditation was granted by a Board of Commissioners at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences meeting held in February in Las Vegas.
Among the numerous individuals who worked to ensure the accreditation are Bensley, Physical and Life Sciences Department Chair Mark Amman, retired SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor John Buckwalter, Professor Dr. Jerry Fong, all of the Physical and Life Sciences faculty and staff, program graduates and current students, administrators, and outside benefactors such the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Northeast Regional Laboratory and its director, Thomas M. Blackwell.
Dr. Skip Sullivan, president of Alfred State, said, “Our college is very excited about the accreditation of our forensic science technology program. We are proud of the hard work and dedication of our faculty and staff who worked to make this happen. I would like to thank each of them for their contribution and congratulate them all on their success.”
Dr. Robert Curry, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, said, “This is a significant accomplishment and a powerful validation of the program’s high quality. I commend our faculty, staff, and students for a recognition well-deserved.”
Amman said the accreditation was “the perfect storm, in the best of terms, of the many intentional actions to have this come to fruition.”
“There is the deeply dedicated faculty and expertise, a curriculum well seated in solid science and superior instrumentation, continued support by administration, state allocation in our building rehabilitation highlighting the program, and a wealth of student interest in the discipline,” Amman said. “We anticipate that this accreditation will not only serve to enhance the continued recruitment of top-notch students, but also serve as a model for other institutions.”
Students within the laboratory-based, on-campus forensic science technology program complete classwork focusing on three areas of physical evidence analysis: biological applications, chemical practicalities, and microscopic-based examinations. Occupational opportunities include law enforcement laboratories, government crime laboratories, and industrial laboratories employing chemical or biological technologists.
Accreditation from an outside panel of experts, Bensley said, allows the college to market the program as being equal to those found in colleges and universities that are much larger than Alfred State.
“We anticipate that the ‘stamp of approval’ will only help in the recruitment of exceptionally strong students to the program,” Bensley said, “and will also help graduates of the program find additional opportunities for employment and entrance into post-graduate programs.”
Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan is pleased to name Nikkie Hockenberry to the new position of chief diversity officer (CDO). Hockenberry’s appointment will begin on April 1 to champion efforts related to diversity, equity, and inclusion on the college campus.
Hockenberry will serve as part of a statewide network of CDOs supporting the State University of New York’s diversity goals. Alfred State is also seeking candidates for a new coordinator of Intercultural Student Support to further expand initiatives promoting diversity and inclusion.
“Diversity on campus helps prepare students for future career success,” stated Sullivan. “I will be working closely with our chief diversity officer to ensure that we are making real progress on institutional objectives. I’ll also point out that the growing number of New York City students who choose Alfred State shows how successful we have been at fostering a welcoming environment for everyone seeking a career-focused education.”
Alfred State has many programs underway to help students from every background acclimate and flourish. The college is expanding the summer prep academy for first-year students’ success, a new women’s leadership living learning community is being launched, and there are new initiatives to enhance support for transgender students.
Hockenberry holds an associate degree in liberal arts and sciences: humanities from Alfred State, a bachelor’s in English secondary education from SUNY Fredonia, and a master’s in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in women and gender studies from Empire State College. In May, she will complete her advanced graduate certificate in women and gender studies, also from Empire State. Her career at Alfred State spans 15 years in various roles within Student Affairs. Previously, she served as coordinator of Equity, Inclusion, and Title IX, and she will continue to oversee Title IX compliance.
“I have been impressed with Nikkie’s passion and dedication concerning diversity, inclusion, and social justice around the world and on our campus,” added Sullivan.
Interview with WGRZ, WNY Students' Innovation Powers Eagle Cam.
Bald eagle fans around the world are watching for baby eagles to hatch live via the Internet, thanks to a solar power system for video monitoring designed and installed by students from Alfred State’s Electrical Trades Department.
On March 18, the first of two eggs hatched in a nest on the grounds of the US National Arboretum in Washington, DC. In October, five students installed the solar power system to support a video camera monitoring system for a pair of eagles named “Mr. President” and “The First Lady.”
“I’m thrilled that our students at Alfred State have helped people around the world monitor the birds and to witness as a new eaglet emerges,” stated Jeff Stevens, assistant professor of Electrical Trades. “We’ve installed multiple photovoltaic systems at the Arboretum but all of the media attention to this webcam is unusual. It’s a tremendous asset to promote the American Eagle Foundation and for making people aware of Alfred State.”
Media organizations around the world have publicized the webcam at www.DCeaglecam.org and explained how Alfred State students installed a unique solar-powered trailer at the site to supply the energy for the public to view the nesting and hatching. Network television newscasts have also broadcast the webcam live to monitor progress inside the eagles’ nest.
The innovative solar power installation was handled by Alfred State electrical construction and maintenance electrician majors: Ethan Yanda, Wayland; Thomas Wzientek, West Seneca; Justin King, Uniondale; Oliver Jackson, Williamsville; and Mike Lee, Brooklyn.
The Health and Wellness Services Department has recently been named a recipient of a Rochester Business Journal Health Care Achievement Award in the Innovation Category.
The journal created the awards in an effort to recognize excellence, promote innovation, and honor the efforts of organizations and individuals making a significant impact on the quality of health care in the area. Awards categories include: Behavioral Health, Health Care Staff, Innovation, Management, Nurse, Physician, Senior Care, and Volunteer.
Honorees will receive their awards during a luncheon and ceremony that will take place March 22 at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center. They will also be profiled in a special Rochester Business Journal supplement, which will be published this month.
Specifically, the Health and Wellness Services Department was recognized for an exciting new space in the Student Leadership Center, known as “The Oasis.” This area includes an inviting lounge where weekly events are held, and a MindSpa equipped with massage chairs, aromatherapy, an extensive audio library, an oxygen bar, and more. All services offered at The Oasis are free for students.
“We at Health and Wellness Services are very excited to see that our hard work paid off,” Counselor Erica Alger said of the department receiving the award. “This recognition just motivates us to continue to explore innovative resources to offer our students as they manage college and life stressors. We created The Oasis for students to utilize to combat stress, and it has taken off. We have plans to expand these services by the fall of 2016.”
Alfred State is excited to announce that three country music artists will be performing this year at the college’s annual spring concert, sponsored by the Alfred Programming Board, the Pioneer Woodsmen’s Team, and Alfred State Late Night Events.
Jon Pardi, Josh Thompson, and Frank Foster will each take the stage April 23 at Pioneer Stadium. Gates open at 5 p.m., with the show to begin at 7 p.m.
Presale tickets cost $10 for students and $15 for faculty/staff and community members, and can be purchased at the Alfred State Campus Store, or on its website at http://www.alfredstatebookstore.com/home.aspx. Any remaining tickets will be sold at the door for a cost of $15.
Hailing from Dixon, CA, Pardi released his debut album, “Write You a Song,” in 2014, which peaked at No. 14 on the US Billboard 200 chart, and No. 3 on the Top Country Albums chart. Signed to Capitol Records Nashville, he has opened for several artists who have influenced him, including Alan Jackson, Dwight Yoakam, Dierks Bentley, Gary Allan, and Luke Bryan.
Thompson’s debut album “Way Out Here,” released in 2010, offered two Top 20 singles, “Beer On The Table,” and “Way Out Here.” The Cedarburg, WI native’s 2014 album, “Turn It Up,” debuted in the Top 10 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. “Change: The Lost Record, Volume One (out Oct. 9) and Volume Two (to be released this year)” contain some of his most personal songs to date, according to his website.
Foster’s musical journey began in 2011, with the release of his first album, “Rowdy Reputation.” The Cypress Bottom, LA-born artist’s 2013 album, “Southern Soul,” debuted at No. 11 on the Billboard Country Charts. His fourth and fifth albums, “Rhythm and Whiskey,” and “Boots on the Ground,” released in 2014 and 2016 respectively, each debuted in the top 10 on the Billboard Country Charts.
No alcohol or tobacco products, nor any bags (purses, backpacks, etc.) will be permitted inside the stadium for the concert. In the event of inclement weather, the show will take place in the Orvis Activities Center Gymnasium.
The Center for Community Education and Training at Alfred State will once again host a free “Community Overdose Training” event Wednesday, May 11 in the Pioneer Lounge at the Pioneer Center on the Alfred campus.
The event will include a training session for law enforcement from 8:30-10 a.m., and another session for community and human service organizations from 1-2:30 p.m. Attendees must preregister by April 15 by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 607-587-4015.
Administered by University Police Officer Jeff Wilcox, training will discuss the impact of opioid overdoses in New York State, and teach participants how to recognize one. Attendees will further learn the steps they should take if they encounter someone with an overdose, and also learn how to use a mucosal atomizer in an attempt to save the life of the person who overdosed. Free responder kits will be given out to human services agencies, as well.
The mission of the Center for Community Education and Training at Alfred State is to advance economic development in the Southern Tier through the integration of vocational/occupational training, personal and career development, and organizational development.