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Campus News

Doviak Named New Athletic Director

Posted Date: Thursday, March 9, 2017 - 16:15

Man smiles for pictureAfter a nationwide search, Vice President for Student Affairs Greg Sammons has announced that Alfred State has named Jason Doviak the new athletic director. Doviak, who will begin his new duties this spring, will oversee the day-to-day operations of intercollegiate athletics, physical education, and intramurals.

Sammons was impressed with his meeting with Doviak. "Jason's preparedness and attention to detail were very clear during our national search. His clearly articulated vision for the future of Alfred State athletics is generating excitement for his era to begin as a Pioneer."

College President Dr. Skip Sullivan is excited to welcome Doviak to Alfred State. "We are pleased to bring someone with such great experience and enthusiasm to our Athletic Department as we complete our NCAA journey. Jason brings a culture of winning that is just what we need at this time."  

Doviak is ready to get started in his new position. "I am extremely humbled and excited to serve as the next athletic director at Alfred State. The academic programs offered coupled with the 19 varsity sports programs provide the student-athletes with a great recipe for a truly successful Division III experience. I am looking forward to successfully completing the final year of the NCAA provisional membership and ultimately achieving official NCAA Division III status." 

Doviak comes to Alfred State after spending the past 12 years at Salem State (MA) University. He started at Salem as the assistant athletic director and worked his way up to associate athletic director, and senior associate director of Athletics and Recreation roles. At Salem, Doviak was in charge of the oversight of athletics including athletic training, sports information, equipment operations, scheduling, and 13 head coaches. He also was in charge of the annual budget development, developing and conducting leadership training sessions for students and coaches, and assessment and end-of-year reporting for the department.

Some of the accomplishments that he was part of at Salem State included: 

·         Initiated current department branding efforts including design and implementation of new athletic logos.

·         Broadened the scope and effectiveness of athletic communications through implementation of a third-part website and added platforms of social media.

·         Developed business plan and worked closely in designing the Gassett Fitness Center, a fitness and recreation project of over $15 million.

·         Restructured department organizational chart and reallocated primary and secondary duties.

·         Developed annual head coach assessment to evaluate the program, staff, and student-athletes.

·         Established the Salem State National College Athlete Honor Society.

·         Member of the NCAA DIII Baseball National Championship Committee.

·         Served as a representative for numerous NCAA postseason contests.

·         Served as an assistant baseball (pitching) coach between 2005-2011.

Prior to joining the staff at Salem State, Doviak was the athletics business administrator at the College of St. Rose (Albany, NY). He was responsible for annual budget development and creation for the athletic department including operational budget, restricted funds, and athletic aid. He also managed daily revenue and expense transactions, assisted in oversight of all fundraising activities, and assisted with coordination of department events, including alumni events, Hall of Fame, and a golf tournament.

Doviak also spent time as a marketing communications assistant at Pinnacle Systems Team Sports (Lowell, MA) and performed two internships - assistant director of Athletics intern and sports information director intern - within the Athletic Department at Siena College (Loudonville, NY).

A member of NACDA, Doviak has regularly attended the NCAA Convention and has served on numerous NCAA, MASCAC, and college committees.

Doviak has a Bachelor of Science in sport management from SUNY Cortland and a Master of Business Administration from The College of St. Rose. While at Cortland, Doviak was a member of the baseball team, a SUNYAC All-Academic team member, and a member of the national honor society, Phi Kappa Phi.

Doviak and his wife Leanne are the proud parents of two children, Jordyn and Zachary. "I would like to thank Dr. Skip Sullivan and Greg Sammons along with the search committee for this outstanding opportunity. I am honored to have been selected for this position and eager to begin working with the outstanding coaches, staff, student-athletes, and community members at Alfred State. This is a very exciting time for my family, and we are thrilled to begin this next chapter of our lives as Pioneers."

Student proves it’s never too late to succeed in college

Posted Date: Wednesday, March 8, 2017 - 16:00
Man poses next to HVAC equipment
Cameron resident Anthony Harvey is a graduate of Alfred State’s air conditioning
and heating technology major, and is currently enrolled in the college’s technology
management program.

As he looked through the brochures he was holding, Anthony Harvey liked what he was seeing: information about a college of technology that offered more than 70 hands-on majors and paths to a brighter future.

Having recently lost his job as a mechanic due to a factory closing and shipping operations overseas, Harvey, 49, found himself at a career fair searching for a solution as to what his next step in life would be. As it turns out, the answer was right in his hands: Alfred State.

Intrigued by multiple majors, Harvey, a Cameron resident, ultimately decided to enroll in Alfred State’s air conditioning and heating technology program, where he learned about all phases of residential and commercial installation, maintenance, troubleshooting, and repair.

While in this two-year major, he received numerous valuable hands-on experiences, including the opportunity to participate in the 2015 US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon in Irvine, CA. This competition challenged collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive.

While in California, Harvey served as the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) technician for Team Alfred, which consisted of both Alfred State and Alfred University students.

“It was a phenomenal experience,” he said. “I loved it. I never would have gotten to do that if I hadn’t come to Alfred State.”

Harvey excelled in the air conditioning and heating technology major, becoming an Honors Program student and graduating with a 4.0 GPA. He then re-enrolled in the college’s technology management major, which is preparing him to someday own his own business or take on a managerial or supervisory role.

“The college has helped me immensely, and not just because of the degrees that I’m earning,” he said. “It’s also helped me grow as a person.”

Helping him afford college was the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program established under the Trade Act of 1974, which allowed him to receive $10,000 toward tuition per year for up to two years. This program’s ongoing mission is to provide trade-affected workers with the opportunity to obtain new in-demand skills that will, in turn, lead to suitable employment.

These days, Anthony is one of three Harvey family members attending Alfred State: his son, Austin, and daughter, Kylie, are both enrolled in the computer information systems major there. The trio carpool to and from school daily, and spend hours studying, working on homework together, or just chatting about their day.

“Having the chance to come to school with both of my children is something I’m never going to get back,” he said. “I would never have gotten this opportunity to spend time with my kids this much if I had went out and gotten another job instead of going to college.”

For any adults considering going to college like he did, Harvey offers encouragement by saying, “It’s nothing but rewarding and you’re not going to regret it.” Looking back on his decision to attend Alfred State, Harvey is positive he made the right choice, as he feels he is now well prepared for that next phase of his life.

“I’m living proof,” he said. “If you apply yourself, good things happen.”

Sport management students learn from the pros

Posted Date: Friday, March 3, 2017 - 13:30
Group gathers for picture
Pictured, front row, from left to right, are Cassidy McCourt and Leigh Swartzfager.
Second row, from left to right, Alfred State Business Department Associate
Professor Dr. Clifford McPeak, Ryan Mills, Madison Szpaicher, Kenny Bello,
Jared Williams, Adidas Director of Marketing Jeremy Darlow, Alfred State Business
Department Assistant Professor John Lisec, and Fernando Ramos.

Getting the chance to learn from and network with industry professionals, a group of Alfred State sport management students recently attended the inaugural Niagara University Sport, Recreation, & Tourism Summit.

Held at Niagara University, the event allowed students to interact with sport management professionals, and attend panel discussions and keynote addresses from amateur, recreation, intercollegiate, and professional sport industry experts. Areas of expertise included marketing, brand management, media relations, sport communications, digital content, intercollegiate athletics, sport events, and tourism.

John Lisec, assistant professor in the Business Department, said the summit provided these students with “a truly unique and special opportunity to gain insightful information and network with premier sport industry professionals with countless years of experience and perspective.”

On-hand industry experts were from Adidas, College Football Playoff, NBC Sports, PGA of America, Buffalo Sabres, Montreal Canadiens, New Era Cap, KeyBank Center, University of Iowa, University at Buffalo, Wasserman Media Group, Niagara Sport Commission, and Niagara Ice Dogs. Keynote speakers included Jeremy Darlow, director of marketing at Adidas, and Gina Lehe, senior director of communications and brand management at College Football Playoff.

Ryan Mills, of Massapequa, said the summit was a great experience and noted that the lineup of speakers was very impressive and well-rounded.

“There were professionals who specialize in event management, social media, marketing, brand management, sports commissions, and more,” he said.  “I was exposed to unique insight into the industry of sports, and I was able to expand my network by meeting a lot of very successful people.  Many thanks to Niagara University for hosting the event, and I look forward to the possibility of attending again next year.”

Jared Williams, of Rochester, credited the summit with “taking my networking experience to a whole new level,” as he was able to make connections both on LinkedIn and in person.

“It was more than asking for business cards and contact information,” he said. “It was about making a connection with the brand representative, and our Alfred State sport management students did a wonderful job building those relationships.”

In addition to Williams and Mills, other Alfred State sport management students who attended included Cassidy McCourt, of Buffalo; Kenny Bello, of Brooklyn; Fernando Ramos, of Yonkers; Madison Szpaicher, of Ellicottville; and Leigh Swartzfager, of Nunda.

Alfred State western equestrian team makes impressive showing at regionals

Posted Date: Friday, March 3, 2017 - 08:45
Western team gathered together with seven members showing off their ribbons
Pictured are the members of Alfred State’s western equestrian team at regionals
Feb. 26. Front row, from left to right, are John Thompson, Jessica Bongard,
Erika Sutherland, Hannah Schaus, and Hannah Brizzee. Second row, from left to
right, are Victoria Bolton, Rose Stayer-Ruffner, Rachel McNeal, Mary LaPlante,
Morgan Hynes, Katelynn Lawson, Amber Laibe, Mackenzie Caletka, Rachel Von
Hagn, and Alyssa Beardsley.

Alfred State riders showcased their hard work and talent against the best riders from within the region Feb. 26 during the Regional Western Equestrian show held at the Bromeley-Daggett Equestrian Center in Alfred Station. 

Competing in addition to Alfred State were Alfred University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Cornell University, and The College at Brockport. Ten Alfred State riders qualified to show in this competitive and intense venue, and only the top two riders in each division move on to semifinals. 

Team captain Haleigh Hurd (accounting, Greenwood) took second in Open Reining, while Hannah Brizzee (agricultural business, Canisteo) came in second in Novice Horsemanship. Hannah Schaus (culinary arts: baking, production and management, Arcade) earned first place in Beginner Horsemanship, and Amber Laibe (veterinary technology, Vestal) took second in Beginner Horsemanship. All four of these riders move onto the semifinals at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, TX on March 25-26. 

Four Alfred State riders also competed at regionals in the Intermediate division, which contained three cuts, with top riders then being called back for a final class. Competing were Rachel Von Hagn (nursing, Bath), who took third place; Morgan Hynes (veterinary technology, Retsof), who came in sixth place; Rachel McNeal (radiologic technology, Elmira); and Jessica Bongard (architecture, Webster). The Beginner Horsemanship division included Erika Sutherland (veterinary technology, Dundee) who earned third place, and John Thompson (human services, Hornell), who took fourth place. 

SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor Victoria Bolton, who has helped guide the team since its inception, said, “All of the riders performed very well and were commendable representatives of themselves, their team, and Alfred State.”

Alfred State to present Al Styrcula with honorary degree

Posted Date: Thursday, March 2, 2017 - 14:30
Man sits in chair and smiles for picture
Albert R. Styrcula will receive an honorary degree at Alfred State’s 106th
commencement ceremonies Sunday, May 14.

Alfred State is pleased to announce that alumnus Albert R. Styrcula will be receiving the Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree during the college’s 106th commencement ceremonies Sunday, May 14.

Styrcula, who grew up on a dairy farm around the Dundee and Penn Yan area, has been helping others from a very young age when his mother was widowed with several children to raise. Enlisting in the US Marine Corps immediately following high school graduation, Styrcula served in the Korean War. He entered the workforce in 1959 fresh out of college after graduating from Alfred State with an associate degree in general business management.

His career started out at Foodcraft, a small processing and distribution company that dealt in dairy products. Initially, his jobs varied from accounting work to driving trucks to delivering milk to washing bottles.

However, by 1972, Styrcula had worked his way up to the top of Foodcraft, becoming CEO and chairman of the board, positions he held until 1988, when Uni-Marts Inc. acquired the company. During that time, the company’s sales increased from $2 million to $50 million under his leadership. In the mid- to late-‘80s, he even fended off corporate raiders, having to use much ofhis own money to assure he maintained control of his company.

Despite all of his success, Styrcula has remained as down-to-earth as ever, never forgetting from where he came. He not only credits Alfred State with giving him the knowledge and knack necessary to run a small business, but also for Judith, his wife of more than 57 years, whom he met at the college.

Styrcula has also been a generous donor and dear friend to the college for several years. He has been a longtime member of the Alfred State President’s Society, a dedicated group of alumni, friends, parents, faculty, staff, and corporations/foundations who support the college through contributions of $1,000 or more annually to the Alfred State College Development Fund, Inc.

Additionally, Styrcula created the Albert and Judith Styrcula Endowed Scholarship, which is awarded to hard-working students with financial need from Dundee, Marcus Whitman, or Penn Yan High Schools or from Yates County. His support has and will continue to benefit and make a difference for numerous students for many years. Mr. and Mrs. Styrcula have had a profound impact on many lives through their philanthropic efforts, including improvements to health care facilities and endowments to two other colleges in the Williamsport, PA, area where they reside.