While Val Nixon oversees administration, advancement, enrollment, and finances for Alfred State’s two campuses, she remains committed to helping students figure out their own finances for college, and recently won a statewide award for her dedication. The State University of New York Financial Aid Professionals (SUNYFAP) honored Nixon with the 2017 Daniel Sistarenik Advocacy Award.
“Over the course of nearly 30 years of service to Alfred State, Val has advanced in increasing roles of authority, and she remains devoted to providing a student-centered campus,” said Dr. Skip Sullivan, president of Alfred State. “Through her supervision, she directs her staff to provide comprehensive service to our students. We’re proud of Val for winning this award and for being an outstanding advocate on behalf of students”.
Dan Sistarenik, retired SUNY New Paltz director of financial aid, was honored by SUNYFAP when the group established this award in his name in 2015. The student advocacy award is only bestowed when nominating committee members believe that there is a deserving individual who has given a significant long-term commitment to the profession. Sistarenik and Dan Hunter, director emeritus of Financial Aid for Buffalo State, nominated Nixon for the 2017 honor.
Nixon started her career at Alfred State as director of financial aid in 1988. More recently, she was promoted to executive vice president in 2012 and led the college as interim president during the presidential search in 2013. Prior to that, Nixon served as vice president for administration and enrollment and vice president for enrollment management, having been named vice president in 2005. She has also been director of student financial services and director of financial aid. Before joining the college, she held positions at Alfred University, Rochester Institute of Technology, and The College at Brockport.
The recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service in 1994, Nixon has received numerous professional awards, including the New York State Financial Aid Administrator's Association (NYSFAAA) Founder's Award, and the NYSFAAA region 2 Service Award, which she received twice. She is the recipient of the State University of New York Financial Aid Professionals (SUNYFAP) Daniel Sistarenik Advocacy Award, and the Bill Troy Service Award, the highest honor that organization bestows.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from SUNY Fredonia and a Master of Professional Studies degree in community services administration from Alfred University. Nixon is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society, and serves on a number of professional boards and committees, including the executive boards of the State University Business Officers Association (SUBOA), Upstate New York College Collaboration (UNYCC) and the Alfred Technology Resources, Inc. She is past president of CCSG, Inc., a charitable organization that provides support for local needy families.
Retired Alfred State Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Steven Jakobi has published a new book on Amazon's CreateSpace platform. Titled “Birds, Bats, Bugs, Beavers, Bacteria: Lessons from Nature,” this collection of 37 essays spans the spectrum of life from viruses and bacteria to plants and animals.
“The stories not only touch on the lives and habits of the organisms themselves, but also delve into folklore, myth, and the history of discovery by people who advanced scientific knowledge,” Jakobi said. “The stories also highlight how life has solved many of the technical and engineering problems that people are currently working on, and the lessons we can learn from even the simplest of creatures.”
Each essay is presented in a short (three to 10 pages), nontechnical fashion, and includes autobiographical sketches of how biology has shaped the author's life and attitudes. An earlier version of this book was published in 2015 as “Giorgio the 'Possum and Other Stories from Nature,” but this new volume has up-to-date information, seven additional stories and pen-and-ink drawings made by the author. “Birds, Bats, Bugs, Beavers, Bacteria: Lessons from Nature” is available from Amazon, on Kindle, or can be ordered from retail outlets.
Steven Jakobi, PhD, has taught biology and environmental science for 30 years. His love of biology and nature began at a young age in his native Hungary. Although retired from full-time teaching, he continues to serve as adjunct instructor at Alfred State.
From a mechanical bull, to a competitive tug of war contest, to a time capsule dedication, this year’s Hog Wild Day celebration on Alfred State’s School of Applied Technology campus was definitely one to remember.
Featuring a carnival theme, the annual end-of-the-school-year celebration included a number of activities, such as jousting, mechanical bull-riding, and carnival games. Various prizes and raffle tickets were awarded, and a number of contests also took place, including tug of war, “Loudest Exhaust,” and “Loudest Stereo.”
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Wellsville campus, the college held a time capsule dedication at the Pioneer Student Union (PSU). The capsule is located just outside the PSU and is not to be opened for another 25 years.
Inside the capsule are a number of items, including copies of historical papers from the opening of the campus in October 1966, a list of original faculty members, a Wellsville campus faculty and staff directory, a school calendar from the 1966-1967 academic year, curriculum lists, and a map of the campus. Also included in the capsule are copies of current year’s 50th anniversary celebration memorabilia, a current faculty and staff directory list, school calendar, curriculum catalog, and a map of the campus.
Speaking at the time capsule dedication was Jeff Stevens, interim dean of the Wellsville campus, who played the No. 1 songs from 50 years and 25 years ago over a speaker during his speech. He encouraged everyone to return to campus 25 years from now for the opening of the time capsule, and also to remember how “we took time out to have fun today, eat some snow cones, play some tug of war, and enjoy each other’s company.”
“It’s important in life to slow down sometimes and just remember what was important,” he said. “We might remember the songs, we might remember the moments, but we’ll certainly have some great memories of the friendship and the camaraderie that came along with it.”
Since Alfred State classes first began in Wellsville in 1966, the Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc. has owned and maintained the campus, having made more than $8 million in improvements over the years. The group is a private foundation representing faculty, staff, and friends of Alfred State dedicated to improving the college community through the support of educational programs.
More than 30 of the brightest and most highly motivated adult students within the Rochester area were honored recently with Outstanding Adult Student Awards, including three from Alfred State.
Presenting the awards was the Rochester Area Colleges Continuing Education (RACCE), a consortium of area colleges that promotes and advocates for continuing education to adult and other non-traditional students in the greater Rochester area. RACCE’s extensive network of college administrators provide information about educational programs to students and fosters collaboration and professional development opportunities among its membership.
The Outstanding Adult Student Award recognizes adult students who have excelled academically while successfully combining their college education with other commitments to family, job, career, and service to the community. Receiving awards from Alfred State were Kyle Brown, nursing, Randolph; James Dombert, automotive technology, Hornell; and Robert Orton, entrepreneurship, Wellsville.
Brown, who maintains a 3.88 GPA, has had model performance in his classes in preparation for a bachelor’s in nursing. His participation, attitude, assistance to other students, and scholarly work are always exemplary.
Brown has received multiple awards and honors for his scholarly abilities and for his participation in civic engagement and community work. He also contributes his time and knowledge as a supplemental instructor to the nursing students at Alfred State, and has experience as a registered nurse at a summer camp as a lead RN.
Dombert, who has earned a 3.0 GPA, is a very dedicated student. His effort and performance on labs, homework, as well as midterm and final exams were outstanding. In addition to his academic work, Dombert works part time at Lowes in Hornell, and is a father to two boys.
Dombert’s patience with other students in the class is always impressive. One particular student he worked with throughout an entire course did not have tools or a vehicle to work on. Dombert was kind and compassionate with this student, allowing him use his tools and project vehicle.
Orton, who maintains a 3.73 GPA, has been on the dean's list since the fall of 2015. He is married and has two young children. In addition to family and school, Orton is a teacher's aide in the Cattaraugus-Allegheny School District and works with special needs students. He is a member of the Cross Town Alliance Church and is a lead usher, groundskeeper, and leader of two groups, the Teenage Group and Couples' Group.
Orton is a veteran of the United States Air Force and spends time working with other veterans on campus. Outside of school, Orton is very busy with family, work, and volunteering. His ability to balance each of these aspects of his life is remarkable.
A number of amazing scientific projects were recently featured in Alfred State’s 18th annual Science and Technology Fair, as 107 students from 11 local schools competed for cash prizes.
Participating districts included Addison, Alfred-Almond, Arkport, Friendship, Hinsdale, home-school, Hornell, Pavilion, Portville, Prattsburgh, and St. Ann’s Academy.
Students were divided into three divisions, senior (grades 10-12), junior (grades seven through nine), and novice (grades four through six). Students presented their projects to the judges for a chance at the $1,590 in prize money.
Winners in the Senior Division included first-place winner ($250) Gabriella Wilson from Portville with “Affordable Filtrations: A True Life Saver,” second-place winner ($150) Christine Pagett from Portville with “Heating a Pool Using an Exothermic Reaction,” and third-place winner ($100)James Daley from Portville with “An Energy Source Out of This World.”
Winners in the Junior Division included first-place winner ($250) Elizabeth Przybyla from Hinsdale with “Heart Rate: Males vs. Females,” second-place winner ($150) Zoe Tarun from Alfred-Almond with “Do Drugs That Inhibit Wound Healing Also Inhibit Regeneration of Planaria?”and third-place winner ($100) Silas B. Cochran, a home-schooled student, with “Dragons are Real.”
Winners in the Novice Division included first-place winner ($50) McKenzie Calderwood from Prattsburgh with “Hydroponics at Home,” second-place winner ($25) Nicholas Gray from St. Ann’s Academy with “How Old Are Your Ears?” and third-place winner ($15) Jennie Bensley from Alfred-Almond with “Bread Mold Growth.”
The grand prize ($500) went to Ronald Lott III from Portville with “Genetic Engineering of Arabidopsis to Produce Serotonin.”
The Best Junior Division School winner was Hinsdale and the Best Senior Division School winner was Portville. St. Ann’s Academy was the Best Novice Division School winner. All winners received a graphing calculator, and the Senior and Junior winners were also each presented with a silver tray.
Each participant received a certificate of participation, and individual ribbons were presented to first-, second-, and third-place prize winners in all divisions. The Science and Technology Fair was sponsored by Otis Eastern Service, Auxiliary Campus Enterprises and Services (ACES), Perkin Elmer, Fisher Scientific, Wards, Alfred State’s Science Society Club, and the Physical and Life Sciences Department.
Earning a bachelor’s degree as a working adult can sometimes be a challenge, especially for those employed in a health-related field.
That’s why Alfred State’s new healthcare management program allows a student to build on their associate degree to complete a bachelor’s degree 100 percent online. This new degree completion program is designed for professionals who want to enhance their skills for promotions or additional employment opportunities.
Mark Amman, program coordinator and chair of the Physical and Life Sciences Department, explained that the Bachelor of Technology in healthcare management is a flexible, online, upper-division program designed to allow a student or working professional who has earned an associate degree (AAS, AA, or AS) in a health-related area (or at least 60 credits toward such a degree) to complete a bachelor’s degree.
“Interested individuals are those who may currently be working in a laboratory, radiology, records, occupational therapy, surgical technology, paramedic, or ultrasound setting and are seeking advancement into management or administrative positions,” he said. “The program emphasizes the development of managerial skills through a set of core courses and a wide array of electives delivered in 7.5-week sessions.”
Electives include options in nursing, business administration, accounting, technology management, biology, marketing, health sciences, human services, and psychology. This degree will also provide an opportunity for students to continue their education toward an MBA to become a chief nursing officer (CNO), chief executive officer (CEO), or chief operating officer (COO).
Occupational opportunities for graduates of the program include health-related managerial positions in medical and health services departments, public relations and fundraising, administrative services, and training and development.
Dr. Skip Sullivan, president of Alfred State, said, “Our college continues to find ways to allow people the opportunity to advance their education and achieve their career goals. We are therefore delighted to now offer this flexible, online healthcare management major, and I thank everyone involved in its creation.”
Dr. Kristin Poppo, provost, said in hospitals across the country, successful employees are promoted into leadership positions with strong performance in their technical areas, but little experience in supervision, budgets, and the broader healthcare industry.
“In consultation with healthcare providers, Alfred State designed the healthcare management program to provide the skills and knowledge for technicians to be successful managers,” she said. “We are pleased to provide this program serving working adults to our region and state.”
Dr. Robert Curry, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, noted that the new Bachelor of Technology in healthcare management was developed with working healthcare professionals specifically in mind.
“The program is designed for maximum flexibility, with year-round short-term courses and multiple entry points,” he said, “and it will provide an excellent opportunity for those with a two-year healthcare-related degree to earn a four-year degree online.”
The State University of New York Board of Trustees appointed Dr. Kristina M. Johnson as the 13th chancellor of SUNY on April 24. Her distinguished career includes leadership roles in government, education, and innovation.
Johnson is a former Johns Hopkins University provost, and dean of Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering. As US undersecretary of energy, she supervised advanced energy research. Her credentials as an innovator include contributions to create the technology behind 3-D glasses, membership in the National Academy of Engineers, and induction in the Inventors Hall of Fame.
“At Alfred State, we are excited to welcome Dr. Johnson as the new chancellor of SUNY, and look forward to assisting her initiatives,” said Dr. Skip Sullivan, president of Alfred State. “We believe our pioneering work in development of bio-refinery technology is just one example of programs at our college that match Dr. Johnson’s interests in environmental sustainability, alternative energy, and innovation.”
“Throughout her distinguished career, Kristina Johnson has not only been a faculty member, administrator, and visionary in higher education but also a dedicated public servant, national energy czar, successful entrepreneur, and an acclaimed inventor,” said SUNY Chairman H. Carl McCall.
“Dr. Johnson is a proven leader and innovator whose cross-sector experience and strong belief in the power of education will be a great benefit to The State University of New York,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “In academia, she has brought stakeholder groups together to create and implement strategic vision crafted at the hands of many. On the national forefront, she successfully managed and uplifted our country’s most advanced energy research. And as a former faculty member turned entrepreneur, time and again she has bridged the gap between higher education and business to create programs that prepare students for in-demand careers. The future of SUNY is indeed bright under the leadership of Dr. Johnson.”
“The State University of New York is a complex, captivating system like no other in higher education, and the opportunity to serve as its chancellor is the highest honor of my career,” said Johnson. “I look forward to building on the excellent foundation for SUNY that Gov. Cuomo, Chancellor Zimpher, and the Board of Trustees have developed in partnership with SUNY presidents, faculty, staff, and students as well as the communities they serve in every region.”
Johnson is the current founder and chief executive officer of Cube Hydro Partners, LLC, which develops hydroelectric generation facilities that provide clean energy to communities and businesses throughout the country. She was appointed by President Barack Obama as US undersecretary of energy and served as Johns Hopkins University provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University, and professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder.
Throughout her career, Johnson has been an advocate for women in leadership, advanced STEM and STEAM education, pioneered the creation of jobs through higher education-industry partnerships, established intensive research opportunities for students and faculty, and positioned leading institutions of higher education for greater success through the development of innovative strategic plans.
Johnson is an inventor and entrepreneur who holds 118 US and international patents. She became a member of the National Academy of Inventors and the National Academy of Engineering in 2016 and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, together with Gary Sharp, in 2015, for the development of polarization-control technologies that enabled high-quality 3-D movies and TV.
Zimpher will step down from the position in June 2017 after an eight-year term, during which she has positioned the university system as a national model through an unprecedented partnership with Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Johnson’s appointment as chancellor is effective Sept. 5, 2017, at an annual state salary of $560,000. Interim leadership for the period between June and September will be appointed by the SUNY Board of Trustees at its June 21, 2017, meeting.
About the Bio-refinery Development and Commercialization Center:
As leaders in advanced manufacturing technology and bioprocessing science, Alfred State, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and Applied Bio-refinery Sciences are developing the $14.2 million SUNY Bio-refinery Development and Commercialization Center (BDCC). This facility will be a research, commercialization, and product development resource for businesses and research institutions statewide and nationally. It will apply Hot Water Extraction bio-refinery technology to manufacture forest resource-based bio-products, including commercial fiber packaging, green compostable/biodegradable plastic, cellulosic nano materials, platform bio-chemicals, food additives, advanced technology biomaterials, high-tech wood products, and biofuels.