Members of the faculty and staff at Alfred State were honored recently for their years of service at the college.
Those employees honored for 20 years included Edward Abbott, Hornell, maintenance assistant, Facilities Services; John Garippa, Wayland, associate professor, Automotive Trades; Kenneth Geer, Andover, associate professor, Building Trades; Diane Winans (21 years), Wellsville, payroll examiner, Business Affairs; and JoAnne White, Wellsville, secretary 1, Residential Life.
Honorees received a college clock and a certificate to commemorate the occasion.
Pictured, from left to right, are John Garippa, JoAnne White, and Edward Abbott.
The Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC, has listed Alfred State in a recent report as the top two-year or lower college whose alumni possess the most valuable skills.
The report, “Beyond College Rankings: A Value-Added Approach to Assessing Two- and Four-Year Schools,” determined that the value of Alfred State alumni skills is $69,219, which is more than $9,500 greater than the average value of alumni skills at all two-year or lower colleges, $59,664.
Dr. Jonathan Rothwell, a fellow at the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, said the institution obtained a list of the 25 most commonly listed skills on LinkedIn resumes for roughly 2,500 colleges, then evaluated those skills by matching them to those advertised on millions of online job vacancies posts, in which the vacancy had included both a skill and a salary.
“High-value alumni skills, like those listed by Alfred State alumni, are those associated with high average salaries,” Rothwell said.
The significance of Alfred State’s top ranking, according to Rothwell, is that it implies that the content of what is taught at the college either directly provides skills highly valued in the labor market or prepares students to acquire those skills after leaving Alfred State.
“The fact that Alfred State ranks at the top suggests that its teachers instill the most valuable skills in the country, relative to all other two-year colleges,” he said.
The value of alumni skills, Rothwell said, was one of the most important predictors of strong performance on the three alumni economic outcomes that Brookings measured: mid-career salaries, loan repayment rates, and occupational earnings power.
“Notably, alumni skills not only predict better outcomes for alumni, they predict higher value-added performance,” Rothwell said. “That is to say, that even after controlling for student characteristics — like test scores and family income — higher value skills predict greater success. Alfred State scored in the top 2 percent and top 9 percent of all colleges on value-added contribution to occupational earnings power and loan repayment.”
Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan said, “I am extremely pleased about Alfred State’s top ranking in the Brookings Institution’s report. This ranking is a testament to the high-quality education our students receive here and I could not be more proud of our students, alumni, faculty, and staff.”
Retired Associate Professor of Biology and Alfred Station resident Dr. Steven Jakobi recently published a collection of non-fiction short stories, titled "Giorgio the 'Possum and Other Stories from Nature."
The 28 essays cover the spectrum of life forms, from bacteria and fungi, to plants and animals. Each story is presented in a nontechnical fashion and prior knowledge of biology is not required to understand and enjoy the topics.
There are also autobiographical sketches to illustrate how biology and love of nature have shaped the author's life and attitudes. More information about the essays and the author can be found at www.stevenjakobi.com. The book is available at Amazon and on Kindle reader.
Jakobi is a native of Hungary who immigrated to the US in 1967. He has attended colleges in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and his dissertation work on the control of chestnut blight was conducted at West Virginia University. Jakobi has taught biology and environmental science courses at colleges in West Virginia, Massachusetts, and at Alfred State over a nearly three-decades-long career, prior to retiring from full-time teaching in 2013.
The Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc., annually funds up to eight Alfred State students through its work-grant program, allowing students who are ineligible for work-study funds to find employment on campus. The grant is renewable on an annual basis.
Additionally, departments within Alfred State can request student workers with specific skills and the work-grant coordinator attempts to meet those needs with appropriate student help.
Students funded through the Ed Foundation to work in specific areas on campus are considered “regular” employees of the college and are expected to maintain the level of professionalism required of their colleagues.
For award year 2014-2015, seven students from Engineering, Math/English, Public Relations/Sports, Athletics, Student Engagement, and International Affairs earned a total of $9382.25 from the work-grant program.
The program is administered through the Student Records and Financial Services Office.
The Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc., is a private foundation representing faculty, staff, and friends of Alfred State dedicated to improving the college community through the support of educational programs. The activities pursued by the Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc., are governed by a board of directors made up of representatives from each of the following groups: alumni, College Council, faculty and staff, and friends of the college.
The foundation provides monetary support to enhance learning opportunities for students through scholarships, work grants, and community service projects. The Ed Foundation also funds the Building Trades programs’ hands-on home construction projects.
Additionally, the foundation owns and maintains the School of Applied Technology campus in Wellsville. The 22-acre parcel consists of more than 20 buildings with some 800 students enrolled in 19 programs. The programs, which stress “learning by doing,” incorporate traditional classroom experience with comprehensive “on-the-job” laboratory experiences.
Since 1996, the foundation has invested more than $2.3 million in improvements on the campus.
Alfred State recognized approximately 900 May 2015 graduates during commencement ceremonies on Sunday. Dr. Skip Sullivan, president, presided over the event, held at Pioneer Stadium on the Alfred campus.
Offering some welcoming remarks was Eunice Lewin, State University of New York (SUNY) Board of Trustees member. Lewin serves on several boards of directors, including as commissioner of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, founding member of Roswell Park Alliance, and member of Buffalo Urban League, Hispanic United of Buffalo, and Canisius College Board of Regents. She is also a member of the Erie County Chapter of Links, Hispanic Women’s League, and Buffalo Niagara Guitar Festival Originators.
The student speaker was Kory Shick, who earned his human services associate degree in December 2014 and is working toward his bachelor’s degree in human services management. Shick is also the student representative on the Alfred State College Council, past president of the Greek Senate, a brother of Pi Rho Zeta, executive vice president of the Student Senate, and president incumbent of the Commuter Council.
Keynote speaker for the ceremony was Dr. J. Gregory Ferry, chaired professor of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Penn State. Ferry is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and past editor of the Journal of Bacteriology. He has served on numerous national committees and currently is co-chair of the Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Science that advises the federal government on matters of space exploration.
A former member of Alfred State’s undefeated wrestling team, Ferry received his AAS degree in agronomy from Alfred State in 1963, followed by BS and MS degrees from the University of Georgia. He continued his education at the University of Illinois, where he earned a PhD in biochemistry in 1974.
Ferry was appointed assistant professor of microbiology at Virginia Tech in 1976 and rose to the rank of professor. In 1995, he moved to Penn State to accept an endowed chair in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He has authored more than 200 scientific publications.
Ferry recently created the James G. and Marilyn A. Ferry Endowed Scholarship to assist students with a strong desire to learn and who have the need for financial assistance.
Specially recognized at the ceremony were Merrill B. Allen, of Gowanda, who earned his AAS degree in radio communications from Alfred State in 1943, and Donald M. Bergreen, of Olean, who attended the college from Oct. 5, 1942, until June 25, 1943, also majoring in radio communications.
Allen and Bergreen were two of several men who, in the years between 1942 and 1945, left their homes, families, friends, and the opportunity to finish their college career or attend graduation to serve in the military to help defend and preserve the American way of life. Many of these men were unable to attend graduation, even if they were fortunate enough to complete their course work, as they were swept away to serve in the military immediately upon or before fulfilling their degree requirements.
Allen was presented with a diploma recognizing his graduation from Alfred State, and Bergreen was given a certificate in recognition of his time spent studying at the college.
Another highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of the Paul B. Orvis Award for Excellence to five graduating students. The award honors Paul B. Orvis, a former president of Alfred State and State University of New York dean for two-year colleges. Recipients must meet the criteria of service, leadership, character, and scholarship.
Receiving the award were Jessica L. Baier, Rochester (School of Applied Technology associate degree recipient); Samantha J. Duquette, Churchville (School of Architecture, Management and Engineering Technology baccalaureate degree recipient); Sheyenne N. Hooker, Angelica (School of Architecture, Management and Engineering Technology associate degree recipient); McKenzie E. Mallaber, Livonia (School of Arts and Sciences baccalaureate degree recipient); and Emily A. Gilfert, Wellsville (School of Arts and Sciences associate degree recipient).
Near the end of the ceremony, Shawn Sanfilippo, electrical engineering technology, won a 2003 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer Edition vehicle after his ticket was drawn in a raffle.
The Alfred State Men’s Quartet performed the national anthem and the college’s alma mater. Students were led out in recessional to the music of the Gates Keystone Police Pipes and Drums.
Six dogs were able to bring some much-needed relief to students studying for final exams on Monday, May 11, during the Hinkle Memorial Library’s Dogs in the Library event.
From 6-8 p.m., the dogs and their handlers came to the library to visit with students and help them relax and de-stress during finals week. Five of the canines are registered through Therapy Dogs International, an organization that trains, regulates, and certifies therapy dogs and their handlers for service in community settings, such as libraries, schools, and nursing homes. Another dog was affiliated with Pet Partners of Syracuse, a group of volunteers who promote the health benefits of the human-animal bond.
Amie Acton, instructional support assistant at the library, said, “The event has quickly become a mainstay during finals week and something students consistently look forward to attending.”