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.
Even before graduation, Alfred State is providing guidance for architecture students to gain professional licensure. To assist, the Department of Architecture and Design recently appointed Adrienne Drumm as a student architect licensing advisor.
Drumm will join Professor William C. Dean, RA, AIA, the department’s faculty architect licensing advisor, in providing information and guidance on experience and registration to the department’s 170 architecture students. Upon successful completion of the BArch degree, graduates may begin an internship and the other professional steps leading to licensure as a registered, practicing architect.
Architect licensing advisors are responsible for disseminating up-to-date information on the Architectural Experience Program (AXP) to students and faculty at their school. The AXP is administered by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), and is required for becoming an architect in New York State.
Like the AXP state advisors, these volunteers are informed on AXP by the National Chapter of the AIA on a daily basis, and also communicate with the AIA, NCARB, and with each other regularly. These individuals are also considered trusted sources of information on AXP and are funded to attend the annual Architect Licensing Advisor’s Conference.
Of her new position, Drumm says, “It is never too early for students to start thinking about licensure, and I am excited to help make sure we can make information easily accessible to all students.”
Drumm is enrolled in the Bachelor of Architecture program at Alfred State, and is pursuing a concentration in construction management. For the past three summers, she has been gaining professional experience through internships at Klepper, Hahn & Hyatt in Syracuse, Clark Patterson Lee in Olean, and Ramsgard Architectural Design in Skaneateles. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mark and Suzanne Drumm of Tully.
Emeritus Professor John Buckwalter returned to the Alfred State campus recently to meet with members of the college’s Honors Program, and present up-to-date information on GMO (genetically-modified organism) foods.
The topic of GMO foods is sometimes controversial, and the processes behind creating them are often poorly understood by the average person, Buckwalter said. While the benefits of using the process to create pest-resistant strains of numerous plants are clear, not every country allows GMO crops to be planted.
According to Buckwalter, humans have been genetically ‘modifying’ food crop plants for millennia, and today’s GMO foods have undergone a lengthy, rigorous review process before being introduced to the public. Buckwalter retired in 2013 after teaching biology at the college for 31 years, finishing his career at the rank of SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor. During his career, Buckwalter also taught in Ethiopia, China, and Russia, accompanied to each location by his wife, Laurel.
Following the retirement of Lt. Ed Kenney, Officer Kris Bianchi has been promoted to the rank of lieutenant within the University Police Department at Alfred State. Bianchi began his new duties on Feb. 23.
Originally from downstate New York, Bianchi began his law enforcement career with the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office, where he served as a corrections officer. Bianchi was hired as an officer with the University Police Department in August 2012, and graduated from the Elmira Regional Police Academy in 2013. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the State University of New York at Oneonta.
Chief Matt Heller said, “Kris Bianchi has shown over his time with the department that he iscommitted to the department and the college. He has taken on additional responsibilities and has shown he is ready for the next step in his career. Lt. Bianchi is looking forward to the challenges of the position, and I know he will be successful.”
Since graduating from the academy, Bianchi has attended numerous Department of Criminal Justice Services trainings, some of which include: Police Field Training Officer, Law EnforcementBicycle Patrol, Patrol Rifle, Active Shooter, Interview and Interrogation, and Naloxone Training for Law Enforcement Officers.
The University Police Department is an accredited police agency in New York State, and Bianchi is one of the department’s accreditation managers.
Dr. Richard Kellogg, professor emeritus of psychology at Alfred State, is the author of a short story appearing in the most recent issue of The Digest Enthusiast, a bi-annual journal published by Larque Press. The Digest Enthusiast contains book reviews, author interviews, and original fiction.
Kellogg's contribution is a mystery titled “Fencer's Document Caper.” The adventure, which involves the illegal sale of fraudulent documents, is based upon the Spenser detective stories created by the late Robert B. Parker (1932-2010). The author notes that Spenser, a private investigator based in Boston, has become one of the most iconic characters in the world of mystery fiction. Actor Robert Urich (1946-2002) played the detective in a series of television programs from 1985 to 1988, which were based on the Spenser novels.
Dr. Kellogg writes frequently about mystery fiction and is the author of four books about legendary detective Sherlock Holmes. He is the creator of the Barry Baskerville series of mysteries for children. The most recent book in the series, available on the Amazon website, is titled “Barry Baskerville's Blue Bicycle” (Airship 27, 2016).
The Alfred State western equestrian team finished its regular season on a high note recently, earning top spots in its final two shows, and sending many of its riders off to the regionals.
In its last regular-season action of the year, the group was deemed the High Point Team (first place) for its morning show and the Reserve High Point Team (second place) for the afternoon show. Team captain Haleigh Hurd (accounting, Greenwood) was the Reserve High Point Rider for both shows, qualified for regionals, and earned a trip to compete at the semifinals at West Texas A&M in March.
The team, led by Hurd and fellow team captain Mary LaPlante (agricultural business, Angola), and coached by Rose Stayer-Ruffner, will be well represented at regionals, which will be held 9 a.m. Feb. 26 at the Bromeley-Daggett Equestrian Center, 5174 Lake Road, Alfred Station.
Victoria Bolton, who has been instrumental in forming and guiding the team since its inception, said, “The team members are very dedicated and have worked very hard honing their riding skills under the guidance of Rose. The riders accumulate points by placing in their classes at the eight regular season shows. To have 10 riders qualify for the regional show is very impressive.”
In addition to Hurd, nine other riders have earned the points needed to move on. In the Beginner Horsemanship division, are Amber Laibe (veterinary technology, Vestal), Hannah Schaus (culinary arts: baking, production and management, Arcade), Erika Sutherland (veterinary technology, Dundee) and John Thompson (human services, Hornell). Intermediate riders who qualified are Jessica Bongard (architecture, Webster), Morgan Hynes (veterinary technology, Retsof), Rachel McNeal (radiologic technology, Elmira), and Rachel Von Hagn (nursing, Bath). Hannah Brizzee (agricultural business, Canisteo) qualified for Novice and Hurd will be riding Open Reining.
Many impressive rides were given by team members, including Hurd who took a first and second in Open Reining, Alyssa Beardsley (architectural technology, Silver Springs) who had a strong pattern to earn a third and fourth in Advanced Horsemanship, and Brizzee, who walked away with a first in Advanced. Von Hagn won her Novice Horsemanship.
In a large and competitive Intermediate 2 division, Kirstin Reynolds (diagnostic medical sonography, Cuba) earned first in both shows, Sarah Czelusta (welding technology, Bliss) another first, McNeal a second, and Mackenzie Caletka (veterinary technology, Apalachin) a third. For Intemediate 1, the morning show resulted in the Alfred State riders taking first (Laibe), second (Thompson) and third (Schaus), and Sutherland took second in the afternoon show. A couple of newcomers to the team also performed well, as Katelynn Lawson (agricultural business, Savannah) placed first and second in Beginner and Willow Voegtlen (agricultural technology, Columbia Cross Roads, PA), in her first-ever show, received a second in Beginner.
The team would love to have the support of Alfred State students, employees, and community members at the regional show Sunday. The top two riders in each division in the regional show will move on to semifinals, which will be March 25-26 in Texas. Riders who advance to semifinals who place in the top four will move on to finals, which will be held May 4-7 in Lexington, KY.