Alfred State is among 20 State University of New York (SUNY) campuses that have recently been named to the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
The list recognizes colleges and universities that achieve meaningful, measurable outcomes in the communities they serve and show a clear commitment to community service and service learning.
“Participating in community service is an important part of any college experience, and a hallmark of our strategic plan,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Each of our SUNY campuses has an astounding array of options for students as well as faculty and staff to give back to their local communities, and to have a greater impact on communities across the country and abroad. Congratulations and thank you to each of the campuses recognized by the President’s Honor Roll this year.”
Last year, Alfred State students contributed nearly 60,000 hours of service, civic leadership, and workforce-ready knowledge to communities in need. In addition to participating annually in civic engagement opportunities such as Celebrate Service Celebrate Allegany and the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, the college’s students have also assisted communities devastated by Superstorm Sandy and Haitian communities recovering from the 2010 earthquake.
Jonathan Hilsher, director of the Center for Civic Engagement at Alfred State, said the college being named to the President’s Honor Roll recognizes the exemplary community service undertaken by its students, faculty, and staff and highlights how this represents best practices in community impact and service.
“Alfred State’s culture of civic engagement results in community challenges being addressed in a meaningful way,” Hilsher said, “even as student learning is enhanced through applied curricular and co-curricular experiences.”
For the past 25 years, top design and construction students from colleges across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic have gathered to showcase their skills to potential future employers at the annual Associated Schools of Construction Region 1 Student Competition.
This year, 16 schools and more than 220 bright minds vied for placement, and Alfred State students walked away with honors in two categories — a second place in design-build, and a third place in commercial building.
“Our students made an impressive showing,” said Tim Piotrowski, an Alfred State associate professor of civil engineering technology, who accompanied the students on their trip. “These were real-world simulations with real-world deadlines and all the associated stress. But our students excel at those types of challenges.”
Alfred State students traveled to Morristown, NJ, for the two-day event from Nov. 14-15, with teams entering each of the competition categories: design-build, heavy/civil construction, and commercial building. Design-build teams had to create a plan for a college athletic center, commercial building squads were tasked with renovating a hospital, and heavy/civil construction teams had to devise methods for rebuilding two railroad bridges.
On the first day, teams were provided with actual contract documents and given 15 hours to create a cost estimate, construction schedule, site-specific safety plan, logistical plan for using the site, and a strategy to execute the project. The following day, each team gave a 30-minute oral presentation to the judges, describing their proposal and why they were the best team to build the project.
Teams were then judged on the quality of both their proposal and their oral presentation.
“This is a capstone to our students’ educational careers,” Piotrowski said. “They were judged by the very industry professionals who built the projects used in the competition.”
Derrick Clark, a construction management engineering technology major from Alfred, said the competition exceeded his expectations and provided a glimpse of the type of work he’ll be doing after graduation.
“It was a great experience and I am looking forward to doing it again next year,” Clark said.
Thomas Parmenter, a construction management engineering technology major from Pavilion, said, "It is unbelievable what six people working together can get done in the course of 24 hours. Through teamwork, and a lack of sleep, we were able to complete these tasks and were able to place third in a field of 15 prestigious universities.After completing a proposal and presentation in that time, no project seems like it can't be completed in one day with the right team."
Although the competition was fierce, students who attended had an unprecedented opportunity to network with their peers and potential future employers during the accompanying job fair. Employers received access to 37 teams of self-motivated students from top programs.
“It was a real, first-hand look at the construction industry for our students,” Piotrowski said. “They got to experience the level of effort it takes to be successful.”
Pictured is the design-build team, from left, clockwise, Ryan Grace, of Syracuse; Michael Goddard, of Honeoye; Derrick Clark, of Alfred; Trentin Reese, of Red Creek; Brian Williamson, of Oneida; and Kristin Szkolnik, of Liverpool. Williamson, Goddard, and Clark are construction management engineering technology majors, while Szkolnik and Grace are architectural technology students, and Reese is a Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) major.
Shown here is the commercial building team, from left, Christopher Marron, of Greece; Thomas Parmenter, of Pavilion; James Hammond, of Collins; Shawn Lorraine, of Irondequoit; Ryan Ortiz, of Brockport; and Justin Skretny, of Delevan. These students are all construction management engineering technology majors.
From left to right are members of the heavy/civil construction team, Zach Metcalfe, of Sodus; Andrew Hydock, of Lyndonville; Mackenzie Delaney, of Mayfield; Autin Leri, of Endicott; Tyler Smith, of Horseheads; and Dan Christoffersen, of Binghamton. These students are all construction management engineering technology majors.
Alfred State’s Choral and Band Performing Arts Teams will present their annual winter concerts this week at the Cappadonia Auditorium in the Orvis Activities Center.
Voices, the college’s choir group, will sing at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 3, and Instrumental Music, the college’s band club, will play at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5. Admission to both concerts is free.
Wednesday’s concert will include traditional Christmas songs; popular songs; “Masquerade” from “Phantom of the Opera;” a contemporary choral piece, “Lux Aurumque” (Light and Gold) by Eric Whitacre; and several solos from members of “Voices.” Friday’s show will feature old and new jazz pieces, a rock band, and a Latin American band.
A “stress-relief bag” will be given to each student who attends the Voices concert. That show will also include a door prize and people are invited that night to donate their unused instruments to the Music Performing Arts Teams to be given to the ARC.
“These concerts are marvelous demonstrations of what students will do in order to keep music in their lives,” said Linda Staiger, Alfred State’s choral director. “They are not music majors, so every ounce of time they share in the name of making music is a gift to all of us, as well as each other. In some ways, music doesn’t get any better than this.”
Voices President Michaela Olin, a nursing major from Perry, and Instrumental Music President Samantha Orlando, a nursing major from Spencerport, said in a combined statement, “These nights are a fun, family-friendly, and stress-free time, where people can relax and listen to a great variety of music.”
A pair of Alfred State cybersecurity teams battled against several universities from across the country Oct. 20-21 at the University of Connecticut (UConn) during the CyberSEED: Cybersecurity, Education, and Diversity Challenge Week competition.
Sponsored by UConn and Comcast, the event was intended to hone cybersecurity skills sets of students “who will eventually be employed to protect our nation’s infrastructure,” said Jim Boardman, assistant professor and chair of the Computer and Information Technology Department. Boardman coached the Alfred State teams, who participated in the Capture the Flag (CTF) challenge both days, finishing second and fourth overall the first day and fifth and sixth overall on day two.
“The teams did absolutely fantastic, especially considering most teams had graduate student members, whereas Alfred State teams were composed of all undergraduate students,” said Boardman, who noted that each member of the second-place team received a free Apple TV on day one. “The results demonstrate that our students are receiving an outstanding education due to the dedication of our faculty and our outstanding lab facilities that emphasize hands-on learning in all areas of information technology, with special emphasis on cybersecurity.”
During the CTF competition, students were placed in a scenario where they took on the role of a cyberware unit, racing to breach the systems of a large oil company for documents about a rumored oil find and its development. The competition allowed participants to understand the technology and thought process of hackers, while also sharpening their security skills and learning new techniques.
Anthony Dahmane, a network administration major from Bath, said CyberSEED was an invaluable experience that showed him not only how to apply the skills he’s acquired in study, but how much there is to learn in the field of information security.
“Over the two days of the competition, I learned a tremendous amount of skills to further prepare me for future competitions and my career,” Dahmane said.
Michael Fiore, a network administration major from Poughkeepsie, said, “Being able to take skills learned from class and implement them in real-world environments truly is a great experience, and competitions such as CyberSEED are no exception.”
Boardman said 20 teams competed in the CTF challenge, including those from schools such as Brown, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Florida State, Penn State, Syracuse University, Delaware Technical Community College, and more.
“Our students are proving they can compete well with the best students from across the United States,” Boardman said.
Pictured, from left, are members of Alfred State’s cybersecurity teams that recently participated in the CyberSEED: Cybersecurity, Education, and Diversity Challenge Week competition: Jeff Andolora, of Caledonia; Chris Bishop, of North Tonawanda; Craig Gratton, of Buffalo; Anthony Dahmane, of Bath; Tom Hakes, of Waverly; Assistant Professor and Chair of the Computer and Information Technology Department Jim Boardman; Conor Mitchell, of Binghamton; Joe Tomapat, of Goshen; and Michael Fiore, of Poughkeepsie. Andolora and Bishop are applications software development majors; Gratton, Dahmane, Mitchell, Tomapat, and Fiore are network administration students; and Hakes is majoring in information security and assurance.
The Alfred State Marketing and Communications Office recently won a Gold MarCom Award for its Orientation Progression 2014 meme postcards and emails.
MarCom Awards is an international creative competition that recognizes outstanding achievement by marketing and communication professionals. This year, more than 6,500 entries were submitted from throughout the United States, Canada, and 15 other countries.
The Gold Award is presented to those entries judged to exceed the high standards of the industry norm. Alfred State’s entry included postcards and emails sent to accepted students about Orientation.
These mailings featured humorous memes of Alfred State’s mascot, Orvis the Pioneer, and Spencer Peavey, senior director of student engagement, urging students to register for orientation. They also included helpful information about campus life, staying informed on potential emergencies, and financial aid.
Female middle school students will learn to cultivate confidence, self-respect, and assertiveness during a two-day Girls Empowerment Workshop in February at Alfred State.
The workshop will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 17-18 at the Student Leadership Center on the Alfred campus. The registration fee is $30, which also covers the cost of lunch and snacks.
A number of experts will be on-hand for this event, including Alyshia Zurlick, assistant director of student engagement and Emerging Pioneer Leadership Program (EPLP) mentor; Dr. Scott Waldeis, lecturer in the Physical and Life Sciences Department; Nikkie Hockenberry, interim coordinator of equity, inclusion, and Title IX; Magan Straight, mental health counselor and EPLP mentor; and Teresa O’Connor of Cattaraugus Community Action.
Topics will include “The Art of Self-Compassion,” “Nutrition for Healthy Living,” “What Do You Value? Clarifying Values,” “Self-Esteem, Self-Acceptance, and Authentic Leadership,” “Healthy Relationships,” and “Everything I Need to Know About Leadership I Learned in Kindergarten.”
Greater Southern Tier BOCES cosmetology students will also be performing demonstrations on manicures and hair-styling.
For more information or to learn how to register, call the Center for Community Education and Training at 607-587-4015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Department of Architecture and Design at Alfred State has announced the winners of this year’s Bob Pahl Award, given annually to two students who kept the top sketch journals while studying abroad in Sorrento, Italy, as part of their urban sketching course.
The honor began in 2012 and is named for Bob Pahl, a Boston-area architect, who graduated from Alfred State in 1981 with a degree in architectural engineering technology. Pahl donated the first- and second-place prizes, which were presented this year to Taquon Middleton, of Brooklyn, who received $800, and Kara Anderson, of Ontario, who received $200.
Nicholas Cultrara, of Buffalo, was the recipient of a $100 third-place prize, which was donated by Professor Joy Carlson. All three students are architectural technology majors.
“We are extremely grateful to Bob for his generous donation each year,” said Jeffrey Johnston, assistant professor in the Architecture and Design Department and coordinator of the study abroad program in Sorrento. “The Bob Pahl Award provides a valuable incentive for Sorrento architecture students to carefully document, through drawings, their travel experiences and observations.”
Pahl said as a freshman, new to college but with a love of architecture, walking into Johnston’s introduction to architecture course was a dream come true.
“He inspired me, through his talk of travels and his incredible talent in sketching, to make architecture my passion and my life,” said Pahl. “I sketch daily in my profession, and love to give back to the place that had such an impression in my life. I also want to keep the ‘art alive in architecture,’ supporting hand sketching any way I can.”
Pictured, from left, are Jeffrey Johnston, assistant professor in the Architecture and Design Department; Dr. Kristin Poppo, vice president of academic affairs; architectural technology majors Taquon Middleton, of Brooklyn, Kara Anderson, of Ontario, and Nicholas Cultrara; and Dr. Cristiana Panicco, president of Sant’Anna Institute in Sorrento, Italy.
Alfred State will host a holiday buffet from 5-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 3 at the Culinary Arts Building on the School of Applied Technology campus in Wellsville.
The cost, which includes beverages, is $20 per person and $10 for children under 10 years of age. The menu will feature classic French cuisine, such as crown roast of pork, coq au van, crème brulee, French onion soup, cream puffs, cassoulet with duck, broccoli mornay, and much, much more.
Proceeds will benefit the Culinary Honors Program. This event is open to the public; no reservations will be accepted. Questions may be directed to 607-587-3170.
Alfred State students in the Architecture and Design department are helping to improve the quality of the built environment in Allegany County and the surrounding region through a number of Southern Tier Architectural Resource (STAR) Center civic engagement projects.
The STAR Center is a collaboration of two organizations in the department: the Architecture Club and the Interior Design Club, which, through the promotion of sound design and planning principles, seek to enhance the local built environment.
Last semester, architectural technology majors Jeremy Dearing, of Allentown, PA, and Andrew Scott, of Arverne, NY, proposed designs for a project at Pioneer Park in Dansville. The project involved creating a place for a monument marking the park as Dansville’s first cemetery - where many are still interred - as well as landscaping and lighting work.
“What the clients were proposing was fairly low impact and it was really meant to just formalize the park and create a place for a new monument that they had already made,” said Bill Dean, chair of the department of Architecture and Design. “Most of the time you would create the plan first and then place the monument. They had the monument first and it was like, ‘All right, where do we put it?’
“Jeremy and Andrew worked on that and talked about two different possible locations for the monument and did renderings of what that might look like, just to kind of give them some guidance.”
Dearing said, “I’m very glad that I was able to get some real hands-on experience with actual clients.”
In the fall of 2013, Dean said, two students through the STAR Center also presented designs for a project that involved placing a welcome sign in downtown Bath. The clients ultimately chose architectural technology major and Syracuse, NY, native Katie Dussing’s plan.
“We’ve done a lot of these conceptualizations but we’re starting to see more activity with actually implementing them,” Dean said, “which is nice because it’s great to have the ideas on paper but you want to see them built at some point.”
Since 2013, according to Dean, the STAR Center students have undertaken eight typically infrastructure-related civic engagement projects, mainly in the Southern Tier. Potential upcoming projects include conceptual planning for a pocket park in Scio, documenting existing conditions for a veterans’ center in Rushford and for a building in downtown Buffalo, and a master plan for Lions Camp Badger in Spencer, NY.
Another project involves two students working with the Alfred State Sustainability Committee on converting an L-shaped area near the Central Dining Hall into a community garden.
“It’s not a huge space, it’s not a big project, but any place we can help, we’re happy to give the students that type of experience,” Dean said. “We don’t know if the garden is going to be edibles or perennials. That hasn’t been decided yet.”
Libby Dussault, an architecture and interior design student, from Horseheads, NY, said the STAR Center provides an awesome opportunity for students.
“It’s a good way to meet and work with other people and form relationships and learn how to work on a project with someone else because we do a couple of partner projects in the studio but nothing that has follow-through and you don’t see the end result and I think working with clients, that’s a good opportunity, too,” she said.
Dean noted, “These students are actually getting that experience of talking to people about their problems and helping them develop solutions to the extent that they can do that through an academic exercise, so I think it really provides a tremendous experience for the students that they’re not going to get in every architecture program.”
Pictured in photo above are, from top, counter-clockwise, Alfred State architectural technology majors Jeremy Dearing and Andrew Scott, and members of the Pioneer Park Committee Patricia Kreiley, Paul Hoffman, and Jane Schryver. The students worked with the committee members on a civic engagement project at Pioneer Park in Dansville last semester through the college’s Southern Tier Architectural Resource (STAR) Center.