For his role in developing a new environmentally friendly cooling system, Dr. Jon Owejan, an assistant professor in Alfred State’s Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Technology Department, has recently been nominated as a Campus Connector for the 2016 Upstate Venture Ecosystem Awards.
The organizers of the awards, Upstate Venture Connect (UVC), received more than 100 submissions celebrating entrepreneurial leaders throughout Upstate New York who are transforming the region’s economy.
“This is a clear sign of how our ecosystem has become more connected and inclusive with so many entrepreneurial leaders emerging to transform their communities, and the region as a whole,” said UVC Founder and Venture Catalyst Martin Babinec.
Winners, chosen by an independent panel of judges, will be announced at a special luncheon event held at Turning Stone Resort in Verona on Sept. 16, featuring keynote speaker Tim Keenan, co-founder of the Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship.
Owejan’s nomination comes after he, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Technology Department Chair Dr. Matthew Lawrence, and Nathan DeMario, a mechanical engineering technology student from South Wales, worked to develop a cooling and dehumidification system that does not use chemical refrigerants and compressors to carry heat out of buildings. The goal was to improve energy efficiency while eliminating the harmful impact that hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants have on global warming.
As part of the commercialization effort, a start-up company called Phase Innovations was formed with the intent to launch a product that will significantly reduce operational and maintained costs relative to conventional systems. For more information, visit phaseinnovations.com.
Owejan noted that technology transfer activities are an ideal catalyst for engaging engineering students in purpose-driven learning.
“The successes of these activities are highly dependent on the strong entrepreneurial network in upstate New York,” he said.
Speaking about Owejan’s award nomination, Lawrence said it represents an overdue recognition of one of Alfred State’s best young faculty.
“Jon has excelled in every possible way during his time here, and this nomination demonstrates his successes reach far beyond the classroom,” Lawrence said. “Dr. Owejan has, in addition to his regular duties as a professor, pursued this applied research not just in the classroom and lab, but he is actively leading a team through NEXUS-NY, a very competitive seed accelerator program based in Rochester.
He added, “Jon is as good as an engineering technology professor can be. His expertise in his field is world-class, his passion for his discipline is evident in his classroom instruction, and he involves students in his many cutting-edge research initiatives.”
Faculty and staff weren’t the only ones welcoming new students to Alfred State last month during the college’s annual Week of Welcome.
On Saturday, Aug. 27, the Hinkle Memorial Library brought in a group of therapy dogs for students needing to catch their breath amidst all of the exciting events taking place on campus that week, which are intended to help students have fun, get involved, and feel at home. The canines were from the same Therapy Dogs International (TDI) Canisteo chapter that sends them and their handlers to the library during finals week for both the fall and spring semesters.
“Handlers are always thrilled to visit the library, saying they look forward to seeing our students and interacting with them,” said Library Instructional Support Assistant Amie Acton. “Ice cream sundaes were also served that day, much to the students’ delight. The event helped the library boost awareness of its presence, space, and services among incoming students, and is a part of the library’s continuing efforts to be more visible on campus.”
Students won’t have to wait long for the therapy dogs’ next visit, which will be in December during finals week.
Alfred State recently welcomed 41 new faculty and staff members.
The Division of Academic Affairs has 21 new hires, including Danel Bowen, Aric Bryant, Yvonne Bustamante, Elizabeth Coats, Lisa Gardner, Vincent Grottanelli, Jennifer Guthrie, Karen Kelly, Dr. Alison Levitch, Donald Lokey, Linda Loria, Jason Miller, Dr. Reza Rashidi, Bruce Riley, Dr. Stephanie Rugg, Dr. Ashley Shaloo, Zachary Smith, Christopher Vavrek, Mariann Walsh, Simon Whitehouse, and Dr. Mark Whitman.
Bowen, of Bolivar, is now an instructional support assistant in the Electrical Trades Department. He earned his associate degree in electrical construction and maintenance electrician at Alfred State.
Bryant, of Corning, is a new assistant professor in the Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Technology Department. He holds associate and bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering technology from Alfred State, and a master’s in mechanical engineering from Binghamton University.
Bustamante, of Hornell, was hired as an assistant professor in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department. She received her bachelor’s degree from Keuka College, her Master of Science at Nova Southeastern University, and is working toward her educational doctorate at Argosy University.
Coats, of Keeseville, has joined the college as an assistant professor in the Nursing Department. Coats earned an associate degree at Alfred State; a bachelor’s at The College at Brockport, State University of New York; and a master’s from Western Governors University.
Gardner, of Hornell, is the new assistant to the provost. She holds an associate degree in business administration from Empire State College.
Grottanelli, of Caneadea, has joined the college as a heavy equipment operations instructor in the Building Trades Department.
Guthrie, of Hornell, is a new instructional support assistant in the Nursing Department. She holds an associate degree from Jamestown Community College.
Kelly, of Almond, is now in the position of assistant professor in the Mathematics and Physics Department. She earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Engineering degree in civil engineering from Cornell University.
Levitch is a new assistant professor in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department.
Lokey, of Johnson City, TN, was hired as the coordinator of Assessment and Accreditation. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from East Tennessee State University, and a Master of Arts from Tusculum College.
Loria, of Rochester, joins the college as an assistant professor in the Nursing Department. She earned an Associate in Applied Science in nursing from Alfred State, a Bachelor of Science degree from Empire State, and a master’s degree in nursing from Excelsior College.
Miller, of Belmont, is now in the position of instructor in the Building Trades Department. Miller holds an associate degree in building trades: building construction from Alfred State.
Rashidi, of Charlotte, NC, is a new assistant professor in the Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Technology Department. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Sharif University of Technology, his Master of Science from the University of Tehran, and his doctorate from the University of British Columbia.
Riley, of Wellsville, was hired as an academic support assistant in the School of Architecture, Management and Engineering Technology. He received an Associate in Arts degree and a Bachelor of Science degree from Cazenovia College, as well as a Master of Science from Misericordia University.
Rugg, of Lyons, joins the college as an assistant professor in the Physical and Life Sciences Department. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology, as well as a doctorate from the University of Rochester.
Shaloo, of Alfred Station, is a new assistant professor in the Physical and Life Sciences Department. She earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from Georgian Court University and a doctorate in molecular and cell biology from Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.
Smith, of Alma, is now a math support specialist in the Student Success Center. He received an associate degree from Alfred State and a bachelor’s degree from The College at Brockport.
Vavrek, of Almond, joins the college as a digital media and animation technician. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in intermedia from Arizona State University and a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture/4-D from California State University.
Walsh, of Canaseraga, is a new academic advisor and student success specialist. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Alfred University and a Master’s in Education from Nazareth College.
Whitehouse, of Alfred Station, was hired as an assistant professor in the Mathematics and Physics Department. He earned a Master of Arts degree in mathematics from Buffalo State.
Whitman, of York, PA, is now in the position of assistant professor in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department. He earned a Master of Professional Studies degree in community service administration from Alfred University and a doctorate in criminal justice from Capella University.
The Division of Administration, Advancement and Enrollment has hired 15 new employees, including Brian Bailor, Brad Billings, Kaitlyn Brown, Anthony Contello, Adam Copland, Connie D’Arcy, Keri Edsall, Jon Nickerson, Russell Nunley, Shane O’Brien, Donnasue Olin, Kristopher Ross, Craig Trescott, Karrie Waters, and Duane Williams.
Bailor, of Hornell, is a new cleaner in the Hinkle Memorial Library.
Billings, of Wellsville, joins the college as the director of Procurement and Payment Services. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Alfred University.
Brown, of East Syracuse, was hired as the associate director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Alfred State.
Contello, of Bath, is now in the position of agency program aide in the Student Records and Financial Services Office.
Copland, of Wellsville, is a new cleaner. He holds two associate degrees from Alfred State.
D’Arcy, of Hornell, is now an office assistant 1 in the Admissions Office. She holds an Associate in Arts degree in liberal arts and sciences: social science from Alfred State; a Bachelor of Arts from Alfred University, where she was a dual major in sociology and criminal justice; and an Associate in Applied Science in accounting from Alfred State.
Edsall, of Painted Post, joins the college as a loan officer in the Student Records and Financial Services Department. She holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania.
Nickerson, of Scio, was hired as a project manager/architectural engineering designer. He received an Associate in Applied Science degree in architectural technology and Bachelor of Science degree in architectural technology, both from Alfred State.
Nunley, of Knoxville, TN, joins the college as director of Marketing Communications. He earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and management from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
O’Brien, of Almond, is a new cleaner.
Olin, of Hornell, is now a cleaner in the Student Leadership Center.
Ross, of Belmont, joins the college as a cleaner.
Trescott, of Conesus, was hired as a cleaner.
Waters, of Troupsburg, is now a cleaner in the Student Leadership Center. She earned an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Phoenix.
Williams, of Rexville, joins the college as a cleaner on the School of Applied Technology campus.
The Division of Student Affairs has five new hires, including Kent Baker, Thomas Daniels, Joshua Engelbrecht, Anthony Spencer, and Byron Thomas.
Baker, of Lantana, FL, is the new cross country and track and field coach. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from the University of Michigan.
Daniels, of Hornell, was hired as coordinator of Intercultural Student Support. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in human services management from Alfred State.
Engelbrecht, of Syracuse, is a new assistant athletic trainer. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Bradley University, a Master of Science from Logan University, and a Master of Science from Plymouth State University.
Spencer, of Las Vegas, joins the college as an assistant football coach. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business management from Carroll College and a Master of Arts in health, physical education, and recreation from the University of South Dakota.
Thomas, of Los Angeles, is now an assistant football coach. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Dakota and a master’s from St. Cloud State.
For the seventh year in a row, some Alfred State senior building trades: building construction students are heading south to put their skills to work helping those in need.
Accompanied by retired Building Trades Associate Professor Norm Ellis, the 14 Semester in the South students departed from Alfred Friday for Scottsboro, AL, where they’ll spend six weeks working with the National Park Service at Russell Cave National Monument to convert ranger housing into classrooms to offer more educational opportunities. The next six weeks will be spent in New Orleans, where the Alfred State group will once again partner with St. Anna’s Episcopal Church, working on renovating houses and small businesses, and repurposing a mansion built in 1846 into a school and arts center for the Treme neighborhood.
Participating students this year include Cullen Ball, of Lewiston; Vito Diorio, of Staten Island; Tom Guinta, of Livonia; John Kimmel, of Wayland; Francesca Mastrobattisto, of Baldwinsville; Dakota Matthie, of Madrid; Joe Miraglia, of Byron; Nathan Piegdon, of Elmira; Kyle Rosenzweig, of Webster; James Venticinque, of Rochester; Brian Williams, of Oswego; Robert Zaccaria, of White Plains; Ryan Reynolds, of Linwood; and David Stalker, of Walworth. The group is expected to return to Alfred Nov. 19.
Education, Ellis said, is best when it can be described as an adventure, which is what the college is providing with Semester in the South in terms of new cultures, climates, people, work experiences, food, and traditions.
“I still get excited about that adventure and I know these students are going to look back to Semester in the South as one of the best adventures they ever had,” he said.
Diorio noted that he is looking forward to gaining real-life experience and assisting those in need.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to go down there and help out,” he said.
For Mastrobattisto, the opportunity to participate in Semester in the South is one she has been eagerly anticipating since she first came to Alfred State for her college visit.
“I’m very excited,” she said. “I’m most looking forward to making connections, learning a lot, getting a sense of the different cultures, and just going down there to help because that’s the main reason we’re going.”
Alfred State officially welcomed more than 1,400 freshmen to campus Thursday morning during a New Student Convocation led by President Dr. Skip Sullivan at the Orvis Activities Center.
This year’s incoming class consists of 1,443 students from 61 of New York’s 62 counties and 19 additional states, plus 22 international students from 10 countries. Of these new students, 97 have been identified as Alfred State Distinguished Scholars and 194 additional students have been offered other scholarships in recognition of their outstanding academic achievements, exceptional vocational skills, and extraordinary talents outside of the classroom. A number of students also bring with them previous work experience, military experience, and successful college course work.
Speaking first to students, Sullivan provided a brief history of Alfred State. He then mentioned some of the new and exciting things happening at the college, Alfred State’s emphasis on hands-on learning, and the fact that students have many opportunities to get involved on campus.
“I hope you are excited to be starting your college career here,” Sullivan said. “We are delighted to have you as part of the Alfred State family.”
Also speaking about the Alfred State family was Patricia K. Fogarty, College Council chair, who assured students that though they may face problems or concerns, they will receive help along the way. She also urged students to step outside their comfort zones, explore cultural activities, support the college’s athletic teams, and to take advantage of the college’s many civic engagement opportunities.
“You are entering a great adventure,” she said. “Take this opportunity by the tail and give it a spin. The future is yours, and we are here to help you reach your goals.”
Dr. Kristin Poppo, provost, spoke about the college’s excellent programs, faculty, co-curricular opportunities, and available student support. Her greatest hope, she told the students, is that in two, three, four, or five years, she will shake their hand and give them their diploma on their graduation day.
“My hope is on that day, you are not only more prepared to embark on your career or more education, but that you have learned more about yourself and who you want to be in the world,” she said. “I hope that you will have found purpose in your life, and that when you walk across that stage, you will do so with a recognition of how you can help create a better world.”
Greg Sammons, vice president for Student Affairs, then introduced students to Alfred State’s “Principles of Community” and Student Senate President Katherine Holmok, a business administration major from Prattsville, led students, faculty, and staff in reciting the college oath.
After Sullivan’s concluding remarks, students, faculty, and staff headed to Pioneer Stadium to create a human Alfred State logo for a photo session, which was followed by food, music, and activities outdoors nearby the stadium.
The passion that Alfred State students have for helping out the community and those in need is undeniable, even for those who haven’t yet set foot in the classroom.
On Tuesday, Aug. 23, a total of 93 incoming students took part in Community Action Day, held during the college’s annual Week of Welcome. Designed with new students in mind, the week includes a number of events that are intended to help students have fun, get involved, and feel at home.
This year, Community Action Day included projects in churches, libraries, and other non-profit organizations in Alfred, Allentown, Almond, Belmont, Hornell, and Wellsville. These included organizing the community rooms in the basement of the Almond 20th Century Club Library, landscaping and gardening at the Hart Comfort House in Wellsville, and cleaning up outside the Alfred United Methodist Church.
Jonathan Hilsher, director of the Center for Civic Engagement at Alfred State, said, “Community Action Day is a great tradition that allows new students to build friendships, volunteer alongside partnering non-profit organizations, and connect with their new community. This tradition is one way Alfred State lives out our ongoing commitment to civic engagement.”
Bo Glover, an architecture major from Rochester, was one of several incoming students who helped pound trail signage into the ground along the new Pioneer Trail on the Alfred campus. She said she has always done volunteer work in her hometown and decided Community Action Day was a great way to get to know the campus and to give back to the community she is now a part of.
“It feels great,” she said. “I hope to be more active in the community and to also take on more of a leadership role in the future.”
Civic engagement is a key focus at Alfred State, with students, faculty, and staff taking part in days of service such as Celebrate Service Celebrate Allegany and Spring Into Action, and volunteering out-of-state in places such as South Carolina and New Orleans.
The number of service hours contributed by Alfred State’s students has seen significant increases in recent years. Through internships, clinical treatments, and volunteering, the number of service hours has climbed by more than 10 percent per year and has surpassed 80,000 hours of community service per school year.
With a new school year getting underway, Alfred State students will soon become involved in activities, further their hands-on education, and find opportunities to hone leadership skills that prove valuable later in life. These type of experiences can have a profound impact on students, as thousands of the college’s graduates have risen to the top of their company, as owner, president, director, CEO, or a similar position.
These alums’ businesses are spread out all over the country, from Massachusetts, to Florida, and as far west as Hawaii. Their concentrations range from auto parts and service, to auctioneering, to carpentry, to court reporting, and much, much more.
Nearly 1,600 alums who are business chiefs have stayed in constant contact with Alfred State’s Alumni Relations Office. Out of those:
The college has been honored to host many of these civic leaders on campus to award them with honorary degrees, including:
John Coughlin, a 1978 graduate of the heavy equipment maintenance technology/ technician program, is now the president and CEO of the Linder Industrial Machinery Company based out of Plant City, FL. Coughlin remembers fondly how his professors prepared him.
“They helped you identify your strengths, insisted that you talk to the class about what you had discovered, and prepared you for public speaking and things that you don’t recognize the importance of when they’re putting you through it,” he said.
Long before they became heads of their own companies, however, these alums and many others started out as first-year Pioneers. Though these graduates may have taken different paths, the common thread that ties all these stories together is Alfred State.
“These alums who have risen to the top of their profession are not only an inspiration, but are also an example of the high quality of education and experiences that all Pioneers receive,” said President Dr. Skip Sullivan. “Many of our graduates say Alfred State helped provide a solid base for their future and played a key role in getting them to where they are today. I am extremely proud of all our alumni, students, faculty, and staff, and tremendously gratified to know that our college is making a difference in so many lives and in the world we live in.”
Alums are always encouraged to let the college know about their careers and to keep in communication with Alumni Relations. To contact the office, call 607-587-3930 or email email@example.com.