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Campus News

More than 200 Alfred State students among 500 volunteers for Celebrate Service Celebrate Allegany

Posted Date: Tuesday, October 28, 2014 - 08:15

In an effort to provide meaningful help through volunteer service and build relationships with community members, around 500 student volunteers from Alfred State, Alfred University, and Houghton College pitched in Saturday for the third annual Celebrate Service Celebrate Allegany.

The event coincides with the national Make a Difference Day, the largest national day of community service. CSCA began in October 2012 as a Leadership Allegany project with a vision to develop a countywide day of service involving students from all three Allegany County-based colleges.

students participating in 2014 Celebrate Service Celebrate AlleganyVolunteers undertook dozens of mainly-outdoor oriented activities across the county Saturday at such places at schools, playgrounds, churches, food pantries, and libraries. Their tasks varied from painting and inventorying disaster kits to raking leaves and cleaning.

Jonathan Hilsher, director of the Center for Civic Engagement at Alfred State, said more than 200 Alfred State students participated this year, which is the highest total number of volunteers the college has had at the event so far.

“I think it’s great to see different organizations making CSCA a part of what they do,” Hilsher said. “For example, the baseball team volunteered at two Wellsville sites on Saturday. Coach Jason Cronin and the team often make it a point to include community service into their busy schedule, something I’m seeing more and more of in other organizations throughout campus.”

Unlike the first two times Celebrate Service Celebrate Allegany took place, the weather cooperated this year.

“It was great that the weather was so nice, especially with so many outside projects,” Hilsher said. “That hasn’t been the case the last two years with the weather typically being either drizzly or windy, and maybe 20 degrees cooler than it was on Saturday.”

Derek Perry, an Alfred State technology management major from Angola, said he volunteered at the Yorks Corners Mennonite Church in Wellsville, redirecting water that was draining into the building. He said Celebrate Service Celebrate Allegany is a great way for students to give back to the community.

“We had a much larger turnout this year than we did last year, which is very promising to see,” Perry said. “I felt this year went very well, the weather was absolutely beautiful, registration went quickly for how many people attended, and there were no problems with transporting people to locations.”

According to Hilsher, an important aspect of the event is that students are able to cultivate relationships with local businesses and non-profit organizations.

“There was a lot of meaningful volunteer help provided Saturday. But, I also feel that this day is a great platform for relationship building. It enables students to get off campus and meet community members and community members to meet college students,” Hilsher said. “I think that’s one of the best things about an event like this.”

In photo above: Alfred State students, from left to right, Collin Kratzer, a financial services major from Canisteo; Felix Paulino, a computer information systems major from Bronx; and Stephen Eaton, an architectural technology major from Rochester, prep and clean storm windows Saturday during the third annual Celebrate Service Celebrate Allegany.

Shipping container provides hands-on experience for architecture students

Posted Date: Monday, October 27, 2014 - 11:00

Related news in the Evening Tribune

Architecture students in Design Studio 1 at Alfred State were able to actualize their plans for a housing-design project and gain hands-on experience thanks to A-Verdi Storage Containers, which let the students borrow a shipping container to use in their endeavor.

Architecture and Design Department Assistant Professor Terry Palmiter and Professor Richard Carlo tasked the students last month with designing a temporary living environment for a single family unit within the confines of a standard 20-foot shipping container. They were divided into 15 groups of three, with one student serving as the programmer, another as the client, and the third student as the designer.

students inside a container they utilized for a recent housing-design projectThe programmer interviewed the client, who created a hypothetical scenario based on what his or her future family would be like and what sort of housing that family would require if affected by a natural disaster. The programs were shuffled and handed out to a group member who would design a “house” based on the program he or she received.

Students then created real-scale household items out of cardboard, including a toilet, a tub, a refrigerator, and more. This, according to Carlo, allowed students to study human dimensions and the relationship to critical or essential residential living activities.

“The idea of making the cardboard items was so that they could just start to see the limits of what one container was like and maybe get a feel for the interaction of scale of standard objects based on human performance within a limited space like the container,” said Carlo.

The class was able to secure usage of the container because an uncle of one of Palmiter’s students, Robert Apgar, an architectural engineering technology major, from Waterloo, owns Savannah-based A-Verdi Storage Containers, the premier provider of storage and office solutions throughout New York State. After Apgar approached his uncle, Joe Verdi, about the possibility of letting the students borrow a container, Verdi complied.

The container gave students a chance to apply their plans to an actual, limited-space area.

“Normally, it’s just lines on a drawing,” said Alexandra DiMaria, a Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) major from Orchard Park. “You can imagine it and picture it but it’s nice to be actually in a space with life-sized objects to kind of see how you can change your design and move things around and how things would work out better, what constraints you have. It makes the assignment more real.”

Adrienne Drumm, a BArch major from Tully, said the project allowed the students to think about space a lot differently.

“In most of our projects, we have an unlimited amount of space, we just have to come up with a good idea, so you just kind of make these giant rooms and do whatever, but once you actually are forced to fit within a 10-by-20 container, you really have to think about how you’re going to fit everything you need in there without having to climb over a desk, basically,” Drumm said.

Carlo said, “I think part of the reason that we do this project with a container is, if you say, ‘Design a house,’ people tend to fix on the mental model of the house they grew up in and they mimic that. But when we say, ‘Design a living facility for this imaginary program that we’ve made and, by the way, it has to be in containers,’ they have to rethink the entire idea of what a house is.”

Pictured above are several Alfred State sophomore Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) students inside the container they utilized for a recent housing-design project. The students borrowed the container from A-Verdi Storage Containers out of Savannah.

They scare because they care

Posted Date: Monday, October 27, 2014 - 15:15

Every year during October, the Andover Haunted House serves up frights to a multitude of visitors twice a week, utilizing a variety of props and actors scary enough to make your blood turn to ice and your heart palpitate. While the four-floor haunted Victorian mansion at 5 W. Greenwood St. in Andover might be a popular local attraction, what’s perhaps not as well-known is that some of the actors scaring people silly are Alfred State students in the Emerging Pioneer Leadership Program (EPLP).

The EPLP is an exciting program that passionately believes that anyone can be a leader and a positive change in the community. Through this initiative, students engage in interactive workshops, develop meaningful mentor relationships, and get involved in significant community service and engagement opportunities.

Tim Morgan, a digital media and animation major from Huguenot and an EPLP member, said as part of a Gold Level group project, nine students this semester are serving as actors at the Andover Haunted House, which opens at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays in October. The students had reached out to the Andover Haunted House Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization that raises money for a number of local charities, about their interest in assisting with the haunted house.

“I’m not sure how much money we’ve helped them raise, but basically by us acting in the show, we’re helping them by volunteering our time so that they don’t have to pay anybody to work there,” Morgan said.

Around 50 Alfred State students attended a Late Night Alfred trip to the Andover Haunted House on Friday. While the normal cost of admission is $13, students on the Late Night tour only paid $8.

“It was a lot of fun,” Morgan said of the trip. “I really enjoyed that we were able to get students off campus and get them out into the community. I also liked the fact that a lot of students participated in the trip and that the money the students gave is going to charity.”

For more information about the Andover Haunted House, visit www.hauntedandover.com.

Farm hosts Alfred University women’s volleyball players for team-building event

Posted Date: Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 14:15

The Alfred University women’s volleyball team visited the Alfred State Farm earlier this month for a team-building exercise.

On Sunday, Oct. 12, according to Tom Cannon, Alfred State professor in the Department of Agriculture and Veterinary Technology, the team spent the day mostly around the farm’s dairy cows.

“We ran out of time to visit the horses’ and alternative species’ barns,” Cannon said. “The team members learned how to tie knots to restrain cows, learned what feeds cows eat in a day, how much a cow eats in a day, watched the robot milk cows, and learned how unique the Alfred State organic dairy farm is on a national basis. We are one of only four colleges nationwide to have an organic dairy farm.”

AU student on college farm with cowThe team members, Cannon said, “also led cows, sorted and moved cows from the freestalls to the robot to be milked, learned the unique ways that calves suckle their milk, and milked cows in the conventional parlor. The Alfred University women’s volleyball team had a unique and educational afternoon at the Alfred State Farm.”

The volleyball squad’s team-building exercise resulted from a two-week large-animal-handling seminar the college Farm hosted in May for Alfred University pre-vet and biology majors. Cannon said Emily Rechin, a senior leader on the volleyball team, attended the seminar and that the two of them outlined the group’s team-building exercise afterward.

Rechin said the purpose of the event was to educate and bond with teammates.

“Some of the girls from New York City had never experienced farm life or being around large animals,” Rechin said, “so it was truly a great experience for them to complete an event well out of their comfort zone.”

WETD 90.7 FM begins online streaming

Posted Date: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - 09:45

WETD& 90.7 FM officially began streaming its broadcast signal online through its newly renovated website, www.wetd.fm, on Sept. 27 during the Alfred State Homecoming/Family Weekend celebration.

This means the radio station can now be heard around the world, allowing Alfred State's prospective students, alumni, and community members 24/7 access to WETD's broadcast signal online. WETD students and staff worked tirelessly to provide this historic moment and positive comments from Alfred State students and alumni, and community members have been pouring into the radio station as a result.

2 WETD students with their technical adviserWETD Technical Adviser Dale Burns and WETD General Manager Logan Merrill, an information technology: web development major from Campbell, NY, were instrumental in this process, continuing the work done over the past 10 years by other Alfred State and WETD alumni and staff.

“I know that our listeners who are alumni have been asking for streaming for quite some time and as someone who has a passion for radio, a passion for what we’re doing here at WETD and at Alfred State, I think streaming is a huge step forward for us,” Merrill said. “It allows people outside of our coverage area to tune in and to stay updated with what’s happening around the campus and the community.”

Streaming on WETD 90.7 FM is made possible through its membership with the nationally recognized College Broadcasting, Inc. (CBI), the leading college broadcasting organization. CBI Executive Director Will Robedee has guided WETD's leadership in preparing to maintain legal compliance with SoundExchange, a non-profit performance rights organization, having personally testified before Congress and negotiated with SoundExchange on behalf of hundreds of college and university broadcast stations nationwide.

During the summer of 2009, CBI and SoundExchange reached a settlement under the Webcaster Settlement Act of 2009, which, from 2009 until 2015, provides significant recordkeeping relief for college stations that pay only the minimum fee.

Another digital media industry leader that assisted WETD was ATC Labs, of Newark, NJ, which provided the SoundMax™Q24 Perceptual Audio Processor and Streaming Encoder involved in the live-streaming process. Mike Lyons, ATC vice president of marketing and sales, has been personally involved with WETD 90.7 FM in developing its streaming audio codex and much more. Founded in 2004, ATC Labs operates a design, test, and development center in Newark, NJ, as well as a software/ technology development and manufacturing center in Noida, India.

With oversight from Lyons, WETD has also begun utilizing remote broadcasting capabilities using ATC Labs' ALCO Professional Reporting Tool, a software codex for field use. In addition, Bryan Hance of Radioactivity.FM continues to enhance both WETD's streaming and broadcasting logs, utilizing web-based software to provide the metadata playlist logging required under CBI's Webcaster Settlement of 2009.

WETD Adviser Rick Herritt said, “It was an amazing opportunity to see the continuing care and cooperation that these leaders in the broadcasting industry such as CBI, ATC-Labs, and Radioactivity.FM have for each other, and for college radio stations such as WETD. WETD thanks each one for their continued support and encouragement over the years.

“History has been made at WETD, opening the doors to a future of broadcasting live reporting, athletic events, and much more. And the long-planned live streaming will bring Alfred State listeners from around the world.”

In photo above, from left, are WETD 90.7 FM Technical Adviser Dale Burns, WETD Director of Public Relations Matt Digennaro, and WETD Technical Director Clarence Ellington.

Professor anticipating greater interest, enrollment in court reporting through Take Note campaign

Posted Date: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - 09:30

With the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) launching its new Take Note campaign to promote court reporting education, professors such as Melissa Blake are hoping to see more interest and enrollment in court reporting programs in colleges nationwide.

“It is definitely the hope of Alfred State and the National Court Reporters Association that the new Take Note campaign will result in increased interest in court reporting careers and, in turn, increased enrollment in our programs, not just at Alfred State, but at all court reporting schools around the country,” said Blake, Alfred State’s court reporting and captioning program curriculum coordinator. “I think that just about all schools have seen decreased enrollment in court reporting programs in the last five to seven years; the hope is to get more students into these programs so that we’ll have enough court reporters to meet the demand in the coming years.”

The campaign’s website, http://www.crtakenote.com, contains links with information on court reporting careers, finding a school, and requesting information. The NCRA filters requests and forwards them to colleges that are appropriate to what the person is asking for, whether it’s schools in a geographic area, online or on-campus programs, judicial or captioning programs, etc.

In the last couple of weeks alone, 39 requests for information have been forwarded to Blake. Each request receives an email response with general information about Alfred State and an attached brochure with specific information on the college’s court reporting and captioning certificate program and its court and realtime associate degree program.

“We have no way of knowing if any of those requests will result in students applying to our programs, but we are very hopeful that they will,” Blake said. “I will send information to all of those who request it in hopes that we can get some court reporters or captioners trained to fill the need now and in the future when today’s reporters retire.”

Those interested in learning more about court reporting and captioning careers can email Blake at blakemj@alfredstate.edu or visit the CRTakeNote website for more information.

Architecture and Design Department educators and students take a bite out of The Big Apple

Posted Date: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - 15:45

Three Alfred State professors in the Architecture and Design Department recently took some of their students on an educational one-day field trip to New York City, where they toured a number of sites such as the 9/11 Memorial and Museum and the Museum of Modern Art.

The group consisted of Professor Rex Simpson and his 16 fourth-year architectural technology students in the Urban Design Studio, Associate Professor Alex Bitterman and his 15 interior design students, and Professor Richard Carlo and his 15 sophomore Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) students in Design Studio 1. They departed for Manhattan on Sept. 15 and returned to Alfred in the early-morning hours of Sept. 16.

Simpson organized the trip because his students are participating in the Vision 42 Design Competition, which encourages architects, planners, and urban designers from around the world to develop creative proposals for remaking New York City’s traffic-clogged 42nd Street into a world-class pedestrian environment and public space.

“My students spent four hours photographing, measuring, and studying 42nd Street,” Simpson said. “They took 1,000 photos and then we went down to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, had dinner downtown, and then worked our way back up to 42nd Street.”

architecture students on an educational one-day field trip to New York CityAccording to Simpson, his students have been working on their project for the last four weeks and a group submission is due Oct. 1. Simpson said the majority of his students are from small towns in western New York and do not have a perspective on true urban life and the issues associated with it.

“The trip exposed the students to one of the most densely populated cities in the world and engaged the students in the competition,” Simpson said.

Simpson had sought others to accompany him and his students on the trip, so Carlo and Bitterman elected to go along with their pupils. Carlo said he and his students visited the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Times Square, and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, which included Memorial Park, the Freedom Tower, and the World Trade Center transportation hub.

One of Carlo’s students, Shirleejae Illsley, a BArch major, from Whitney Point, NY, said prior to going to New York City, she had done a research project on Daniel Libeskind, who won the competition to be the master architect of the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site.

“I thought I got the maximum education through researching all of his work, knowing his style and his career and the purpose of his master plan to redevelop the World Trade Center Memorial and then being able to visit the site and see the work first-hand,” she said.

Bitterman said he and his students also visited the MoMA, the High Line, Grand Central Terminal, the New York Public Library, and Times Square, covering six miles in 12 hours.

Carlo said the trip to New York City is part of a department initiative to “get the students out” of Alfred to places such as Philadelphia, Cleveland, Buffalo, and Rochester, where they can view impressive and noteworthy work by masterful designers and architects. The trips, Bitterman summarized, promote active and engaged learning.

“Our students, from ocean to lake in New York State, are out exploring the work of the masters that is in our backyard and at our back door,” Bitterman said. “Rather than just sitting in a classroom and learning about something, they’re actually standing in it and experiencing it.”

Area high school students flock to Alfred State for Agriculture Skills Contest

Posted Date: Monday, October 20, 2014 - 14:00

Alfred State hosted around 350 Future Farmers of America students from 14 western New York high schools Oct. 9 for the 28th annual Agriculture Skills Contest.

students around a green tractor at 28th annual Agriculture Skills ContestThe contest included a variety of events designed to test students’ knowledge and skills in agriculture and veterinary technology, such as tractor driving, small animal handling and medicine, dairy judging, agronomy, and others. Ribbons were awarded in every competition, as well as for overall individual and team placing.

“For the past 28 years, we have offered area high school the opportunity to test their skills and knowledge, meet students from other schools, and see the College Farm and campus,” said Dr. Philip Schroeder, chair of the Agriculture and Veterinary Technology Department. “I believe the students learn a lot and expand their vision of what the future may hold for them.”

Pioneer Woodsmen’s Club a cut above the rest at timber sports matches

Posted Date: Monday, October 20, 2014 - 13:45

The Alfred State Pioneer Woodsmen’s Club recently excelled in a pair of timber sports competitions.

The club took second place in the men’s division and first place in the mixed Jack and Jill division at the third annual FLCC Logging Sports Competition held Oct. 4 at Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua. At a match at Syracuse University on Oct. 11, the club finished first in the men’s division and first in the Jack and Jill division.

“The club did extremely well at the competitions,” said Coach Scott Bingham.

Pioneer Woodsmen’s Club at competition

The Alfred State team competed against several other schools at both locations, including Syracuse University, Paul Smith’s College, Finger Lakes Community College, the State University of New York at Cobleskill, and the SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry Ranger School, with the University of Connecticut also participating in the competition in Syracuse. The squads competed in a number of team, individual, and double events, including bowsaw, log roll, axe throw, and underhand chop.

The Alfred State Pioneer Woodsmen’s Club studies the ideas, tools, and techniques of the competitive lumberjack community, practices four times a week, and participates in several intercollegiate timber sports competitions throughout the school year. The club’s next match will be Nov. 1 at Fleming College in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.

In photo above: Alfred State Woodsmen’s Club men’s division members Sutton Carhart, left, a construction management engineering technology major from Stafford, NY, and Dan Ognibene, a construction management engineering technology major, from Alexander, NY, compete in the team crosscut event at a timber sports match held Oct. 11 in Syracuse.

Alfred State to enhance student political involvement, civic engagement through TurboVote

Posted Date: Wednesday, October 8, 2014 - 11:30

Alfred State is looking to increase students’ democratic participation and civic engagement efforts by partnering with Democracy Works to bring TurboVote technology to campus.

Democracy Works, a non-profit, non-partisan tech startup, created TurboVote, an online platform that helps college students to register to vote, request an absentee ballot, and sign up for text or email reminders with relevant election information such as dates and deadlines for local, state, and national elections.

And it’s all free to students, according to Jonathan Hilsher, director of the Center of Civic Engagement at Alfred State.

“Ultimately, the goal is to promote civic learning and advance civic action as a life-long practice, producing graduates committed to being informed, active citizens in their communities,” Hilsher said.

Students can now register for TurboVote, Hilsher said, and in time for Election Day on Nov. 4.

“The voter registration deadline is Oct. 10 and the deadline to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 28,” he said. “However, other features such as text and email reminders on voting days have no due date.”

To sign up for TurboVote, visit Alfred State’s co-branded site at alfredstate.turbovote.org.

“TurboVote is a great tool to make the voting process less intimidating and enable greater civic engagement among students,” Hilsher said.