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Campus News

Police officer Wilcox promoted to lieutenant

Posted Date: Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 15:30

Jeffrey WilcoxAlfred State and the State University Police Department are pleased to announce that Jeffrey Wilcox has been promoted to the position of lieutenant within the University Police Department, effective April 7.

Wilcox graduated from the Rural Police Training Institute police academy in Batavia in 2000, and soon after, began his law enforcement career at SUNY Binghamton. After some time at Binghamton, Wilcox transferred to Alfred State. He then left for SUNY Geneseo, but returned to Alfred State after a couple of years.

In addition to his full-time position at the college, Wilcox currently serves as the chief of police for the Town of Nunda Police Department, a position he has held since 2006. As chief, Wilcox is a member of the Livingston County Law Enforcement Council and a board member of the Livingston County Drug Task Force.

During Wilcox’s time at Alfred State, he has performed the duties of a police officer on all three shifts and become a familiar face not only on the Alfred campus, but also on the Wellsville campus. Wilcox is engaged with the students, faculty, and staff in a number of different ways, and as such, has a strong network across the campus.

Most recently, Wilcox has been instrumental in working with other departments on campus to develop, coordinate, and implement a number of community policing and civic engagement projects. Some of these include Naloxone training for law enforcement and civilians, Child Passenger Seat Safety Program, Coffee with a Cop, Green Dot Bystander Intervention, and Fair and Impartial Policing.

“Lt. Wilcox has the ability to think outside of the box and try different ideas to engage with our students, faculty, and staff,” said Matthew Heller, chief of police at Alfred State, “and will be a great addition to the University Police Command staff.”

Wilcox has an extensive training history. Some of these trainings include police general topics instructor, police field training officer, a course in police supervision, New York State law enforcement accreditation manager, Glock Armorer, and numerous FEMA incident command classes. He has taught at the Rural Police Training Institute in Batavia and is one of the department’s firearms instructors.

In addition to his service as a police officer, Wilcox served in the United States Navy from 1987 to 1993, holding the position of fireman on the USS Kitty Hawk.

After his military time, Wilcox earned his AAS degree from Corning Community College and completed his Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice at SUNY Brockport.


Initial members of new Sigma Lambda Chi honor society installed

Posted Date: Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 15:15

More than a dozen students were recently installed in a new chapter of the Sigma Lambda Chi (SLC) honor society that was chartered April 4 at Alfred State.

Civil Engineering Technology Associate Professor Timothy Piotrowski will act as the adviser to the 14 newly installed student members, all of whom are construction management engineering technology majors, which include Steven Andrzejewski, of Arcade; Ryan Caslin, of Corning; Derrick Clark, of Alfred; Fred Dumond, of Liberty; Tyler Elliott, of Perry; Ryan Etue, of East Nassau; Dakota Fraser, of Lima; Henry Gifford, of Berne; Michael Goddard, of Honeoye; Austin Leri, of Endicott; Kassandra Militello, of Akron; Andrew Pionteck, of Endicott; Carina Scalise, of Baldwinsville; and Brian Williamson, of Canastota.

Also inducted were faculty members Associate Professor and Department Chair Erin Vitale, Associate Professor Jeff Marshall, and Assistant Professor Tabitha Sprau-Coulter. Retired Professor Ron Nichols was inducted as an honorary member.

Sigma Lambda Chi is an international honor society within the construction industry. Chapters may be established at a school, college, or university that has a major discipline of education in construction.

To be installed by a chapter, a student must be at least a junior and have a GPA in the upper 20 percent of qualified students in the program. They must also have participated in one or more extracurricular activities; demonstrated excellent leadership, character, and personality traits; and worked in some phase of construction for at least one summer or winter break.

Membership in this society is certainly an important milestone in a student’s college career and indicates a significant accomplishment for the inductee, as well as to potential employers. Members are permitted to wear the memorabilia associated with the society at graduation for further recognition.

According to SLC International President Christine Piper, there are approximately 75 chapters and more than 19,000 current members in the United States, Australia, and Ireland.

members of the newly installed Alfred State chapter of the Sigma Lambda Chi honor society

Pictured are the members of the newly installed Alfred State chapter of the Sigma Lambda Chi honor society. All students are construction management engineering technology students. In the front row, from left to right, are Steven Andrzejewski, of Arcade; Associate Professor and Civil Engineering Technology Department Chair Erin Vitale; Associate Professor Jeff Marshall; Retired Professor Ron Nichols; and Associate Professor Timothy Piotrowski. In the second row, from left, are Kassandra Militello, of Akron; Brian Williamson, of Canastota; Carina Scalise, of Baldwinsville; Henry Gifford, of Berne; Dakota Fraser, of Lima; Fred Dumond, of Liberty; Andrew Pionteck, of Endicott; Ryan Caslin, of Corning; Austin Leri, of Endicott; Derrick Clark, of Alfred; and Michael Goddard, of Honeoye. Not pictured are Tyler Elliott, of Perry; Ryan Etue, of East Nassau; and Assistant Professor Tabitha Sprau-Coulter.


Third annual soil pH clinic set for April 22

Posted Date: Monday, April 11, 2016 - 15:45

Cassandra Bull and Sam PulisStudents in the soils class at Alfred State will hold a pH clinic for the community from 2-6 p.m. Friday, April 22 in room 103 of the Agriculture Science Building on the Alfred campus.

Community members are encouraged to bring up to four soil samples (sandwich bag-sized) for pH measurement and texture determination (approximate amount of sand, silt, and clay). Student and faculty advisers will be on-hand to assist community members in interpreting their results for specific garden or landscaping needs.

Jessica Hutchison, lecturer in the Agriculture and Veterinary Technology Department, said testing soil pH is important because pH values outside a plant’s preferred range can limit growth and productivity.

“Bringing a sample to the soil pH clinic is a fun, free way to get information about your soil and interact with students who are excited about putting their knowledge to the test,” she said.

If unable to attend the event, community members are encouraged to drop off or mail samples to Jessica Hutchison, 123B Agriculture Building, Agriculture and Veterinary Technology Department, 10 Upper College Drive, Alfred, NY 14802. If mailing or dropping off samples, please ensure that samples arrive prior to the day of the event.

Contact Hutchison at HutchiJM@alfredstate.edu or 607-587-3616 regarding any questions.

Pictured in photo: Cassandra Bull, left, an Alfred University student from Saratoga Springs who is studying agricultural technology at Alfred State, and Sam Pulis, an agricultural technology major from Hector, analyze soil samples during last year’s soil pH clinic at Alfred State.


Chemistry faculty member discovers interesting properties of metal surfaces

Posted Date: Monday, April 11, 2016 - 15:30

Scott SimpsonUntil it is properly researched and proven, a theory has two ultimate conclusions, like the flip of a coin for winning or losing. And in this case it would be the flip of a copper penny.

While working with theoretical computations, Physical and Life Sciences Assistant Professor Scott Simpson noticed that copper interacted with an organic molecule called p-benzoquinonemonoimine in a different way compared to some other metals. This led to a hypothesis that copper actually strengthens the bonds of the molecule. This is quite unusual, as bonds typically weaken upon interaction with a metal surface.

“When I ran the numbers, I noticed something strange with copper, and quite frankly my first reaction was that the calculations must be in error, so of course I ran them again,” stated Simpson. “As I looked at the data closer, I came to theorize that something special must be happening here that you don’t see with other coinage metals. This intrigued me and some of my colleagues to research it further.”

Simpson and his colleagues are published in the periodic Journal of Physical Chemistry. Their finding can be valuable in the field of synthetic chemistry which is the formation of complex compounds by uniting simpler ones. Understanding the unique ways that molecules adhere to the surface of metals can lead to new production methods for synthetic compounds.

A native of Allegany, Simpson sees Alfred State as a way of coming home and inspiring another generation of students. “Synthetic chemistry is used, for example, in the creation of new pharmaceutical drugs and in this arena, changing one or two atoms can be the difference between life and death when introduced into the human body. I teach my students how understanding chemistry can open their eyes. I remember how chemistry class gave me lots of those ‘Aha!’ moments, which still motivate me to this day.”

Simpson is cited as the lead author of the article entitled "Modulating Bond Lengths via Backdonation." Additional authors include James Hooper of Jagiellonian University in Poland, Daniel P. Miller and Eva Zurek with the State University of New York at Buffalo, and Danna A. Kunkel and Axel Enders from the University of Nebraska. This is the seventh occasion for Simpson's work to be published in the ACS Journal of Physical Chemistry. Simpson earned his bachelor’s degree at SUNY Fredonia and PhD at the State University of New York at Buffalo before joining the faculty at Alfred State.


National Volunteer Week events planned

Posted Date: Thursday, April 7, 2016 - 12:45

Giving back to the community and helping others are strongly focused on at Alfred State, and as a result, the college has a number of events planned for National Volunteer Week April 10-16.

Most notably, the college’s Office of Health and Wellness Services will sponsor a Foodlink mobile food pantry to combat hunger and food insecurity from 3-4:30 p.m. Friday, April 15 at St. Jude Chapel on campus adjacent to the University Police Department. Foodlink will be providing free access to essential food items to anyone in need from the surrounding area. Food will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis during this one-day-only event, and no income or residency restrictions will be enforced.

All are welcome to help in creating comfort bags in the Student Leadership Center now through April 12 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. These comfort bags are for victims and survivors who come to local shelters and rape crisis centers seeking support because of sexual or interpersonal violence. Alfred State has pledged to fill 75 bags in this SUNY-wide effort, titled “SUNY’s Got Your Back,” with donations provided through the New York State Police and JM Murray. The college is accepting donated sweatpants, sweatshirts, T-shirts, or money to purchase these items.

A virtual US Peace Corps information session will be held from 4-5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 12. This is an opportunity to learn more about this two-year international volunteer opportunity and how your skills can make a difference. Utilize the contact information below to get the Web link to join the session from any location.

A Volunteer Management Workshop will take place at the Student Leadership Center from 9-11:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 13 for area professionals and students. The agenda will feature networking, information sharing, and speakers sharing content relevant to enhancing an organization’s volunteer capacity and resources. Carol Wood, director of 2-1-1 HELPLINE of the Institute for Human Services, will be a featured speaker of this ongoing professional development series. Pre-registration is required.

The Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences will host a Human Services Career Fair from noon to 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 13 in the Allegany Room in the Central Dining Hall. This is a valuable chance to explore internship, career, and community service opportunities with local and regional non-profit and human service organizations.

Lastly, the second annual Spring into Action Day of Service will take place from 9 a.m. to mid-afternoon Saturday, April 16. Service projects will occur in Alfred, Hornell, Wellsville, and in other nearby communities. The purpose is to serve alongside partners in Steuben and Allegany counties in community service and relationship building activities. Examples of past projects include trail cleanup in area state parks, renovation of town parks, and preparation of Little League fields.

For more information about National Volunteer Week and how students and the public can get involved, contact civicengagement@alfredstate.edu.


Matt Heller promoted to chief of police

Posted Date: Thursday, April 7, 2016 - 11:45

Matt HellerPresident Dr. Skip Sullivan has appointed Matt Heller chief of the State University Police at Alfred State effective April 7. Heller first came to the campus as a patrol officer in 1996, was promoted to lieutenant, then interim assistant chief of police, and most recently served as interim chief of police.

“Keeping all of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors safe is a top priority on campus, and throughout his 20 years of service, Matt has excelled in both his operational knowledge and leadership skills,” stated Sullivan. “For our police force to be effective we need a leader who can handle the many challenges he may face, from effectively managing emergency calls to adeptly interacting with everyone from students to fellow police organizations. In Matt we have a dedicated and service-oriented professional who has earned our trust.”

Heller also has 15 years of municipal policing experience with the Angelica and Andover Police Departments. His involvement with local police surrounding Alfred State aids in the coordination and collaboration between agencies. His awards and honors include recognition as past recipient of the Allegany County Top Cop award, New York State DCJS Accreditation Council, SUNY Police Meritorious Service Award, and the Alfred State Pioneer Award for his commitment, role modeling, high level of performance, and positive impact on the college.

After earning an associate degree in criminal justice at Finger Lakes Community College, Heller achieved a bachelor of science in management at Houghton College, and is a graduate of the police academies in Albany and Batavia. Heller holds dozens of certificates related to law enforcement including specialized areas of expertise such as fair and impartial policing, communicable diseases, weapons of mass destruction, and cyber bullying.

“We are very proud of the officers who work so diligently to protect and serve Alfred State, and I’m certain that in his new role as chief, Matt will work tirelessly to keep his team alert, responsive, and ready to show the community how dedicated they are to maintain a safe and secure environment,” added Greg Sammons, former chief of police and vice president of Student Affairs.


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