In many ways, Alfred State is all about opening doors for students.
This can be taken literally, as it is common for students, faculty, and staff alike to hold doors open for one another when entering a building on campus. It can also be taken in a more symbolic sense, in which “doors” (opportunities) are opened for students because of the education and experiences they receive at Alfred State.
President Dr. Skip Sullivan focused on this very topic in his Opening Remarks speech for the spring 2017 semester. He began by talking about famous doors, doors in popular movies, scary doors, and even the band The Doors, before encouraging everyone to take seriously the notion of opening doors for students.
“Bus driver, faculty member, ISA, administrator, cleaner, tutor, coach, let’s make it a point to open doors for our students,” he said.
Sullivan then shared the story about how Paychex founder/chairman and Alfred State alum Thomas Golisano has maintained a close relationship with his former accounting professor, Tom Dunn, over the years. Golisano attributes a lot of his success to Dunn’s mentorship, and the “doors” that Dunn opened for him as a student at Alfred State.
The president then outlined ways in which employees can open doors for students on campus, including challenging them to step outside their comfort zones, introducing them to someone or an organization that might benefit them, helping them find a job or internship, and building their confidence.
“College is full of open doors,” Sullivan said. “We need to constantly encourage our students to push themselves, to open doors, to close the bad doors, or look for open doors. We the faculty and staff of Alfred State open doors all the time. Don’t take the responsibility lightly, but do embrace it. When our students knock on opportunity’s door, they must be ready and confident to open that door and walk in it.”
Additionally, Sullivan also spoke about new and planned programs, completed facilities and those under construction, projects in development, the college budget, athletics, enhancements to a number of areas, and more.
For those looking to escape the cold and dark winter in Western New York, Ivy Stevens-Gupta’s colorful paintings currently on display at Alfred State’s Hinkle Memorial Library offer warmth and energy.
Stevens-Gupta’s solo exhibition, “Winter Escape: Color Me Happy,” includes 25 paintings ranging in size from 10 inches by 10 inches to 48 inches by 48 inches. The exhibit is on display now through March 3, and is open for viewing during normal library hours.
According to Stevens-Gupta, color plays an integral role when designing her work, and has tremendous expressive qualities that can alter people’s moods.
“My acrylic paintings are a continued exploration of the psychology of art from my graduate studies,” she said. “I like to explore how color affects the brain and how science and digital technology have influenced how we perceive images.”
Stevens-Gupta’s visual odyssey in her paintings focuses on exuberant colors, textures, shapes, and space. When creating her artwork, she focuses on a cornucopia of colors in highly distinctive aesthetic patterns.
“My process includes several layers of paint on canvas, which is often emblazoned by metallic and iridescent overlays, glitter, glass, beads, gold leaf, and miscellaneous mixed media,” she said. “I then apply a clear coat of high-gloss polymer epoxy resin that offers the duality of sealing in the artwork while making the colors pop by reflecting light. The result is a luxurious composite that is full of energy and captivating interplay of colors.”
After studying art at Alfred University, Stevens-Gupta received her AAS in business administration from Corning Community College, a BS in marketing and an MS in liberal studies from SUNY Empire State College, and a certificate in interior design from Interior Design Institute. She is a former advertising manager for Gannett Newspaper Division and corporate relations director for Johnson at Cornell University.
Stevens-Gupta currently teaches color theory and painting, and works as a marketing consultant. Her vibrant paintings can be found in homes and offices all over the world and have appeared in several books on contemporary international artists. Her Ithaca studio is open by appointment. To view her work online, visit Ivycreativedesigns.com.
In addition to her exhibit, Stevens-Gupta will present in the spring 2017 lecture series of the Architecture and Design Department at Alfred State on Feb. 9 at 5 p.m. During her presentation, “Color Matters: Introduction to Color Theory,” Stevens-Gupta will discuss how color is used in global marketing, the psychological and cultural connotative properties of color, and the science behind color.
The event is free and open to the public, and will take place at the college’s Orvis Activities Center Auditorium. A reception will follow from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Hinkle Memorial Library, during which refreshments will be served.
To inquire about exhibiting your work in the Hinkle Gallery, email email@example.com or call 607-587-4313.
Finding a job after graduating from college doesn’t have to be a challenge. In some career fields, employers cannot fill positions quickly enough, as the number of openings is much greater than the number of qualified, college-educated candidates available.
Research from Georgetown University predicts that by 2020, 69 percent of all jobs in New York will require postsecondary education. Unfortunately, only 58 percent of New Yorkers aged 25 or older have earned that level of education. Nationwide it’s predicted that this skills gap will result in 5 million jobs remaining unfilled.
Elaine Morsman, director of the Career Development Center, said Alfred State’s emphasis on applied learning and real-world experience really gives students the skills they need when it comes time to enter the workforce, as does the college’s in-demand academic offerings.
“We’re consistently seeing terrific employment and continuing education rates among graduates throughout our 70-plus majors, whatever their related field’s job outlook is,” Morsman said, “but in those career areas that have more openings than graduates to fill them, Alfred State is certainly being a part of the solution by offering so many in-demand majors and by preparing students to be ready to work from day one.”
Alfred State offers numerous majors that continue to produce skilled, job-ready graduates who are helping to fill the skills gap in these high-need areas. By offering in-demand programs, Alfred State has a 99 percent employment and continuing education rate for graduates.
The following list shows 20 degree offerings that the college has identified in which there are employers ready to make more hires than there are graduates available:
According to studies by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, the degree clusters which have seen the greatest number of jobs created in the past several years are business management (1.6 million), and health-related professions (1.5 million), followed by technical occupations (966,000). When looking at percentage increases in new jobs, health care, and STEM jobs are among the fastest-growing occupational clusters. These trends show how a wide variety of Alfred State’s programs are directly aligned with the occupational needs of tomorrow.
This past year was certainly a memorable one for Alfred State. The college welcomed a $5 million manufacturing training facility to its Wellsville campus; hosted a major woodsmen’s competition, as well as visitors from Nigeria; and began renovating the largest residence hall on campus, the MacKenzie Complex.
“The success of our students and ways for us to further support their development, those are the sort of events that mean the most to me when looking back at the year,” stated President Dr. Skip Sullivan. “I want to congratulate the students, faculty, staff, and alumni who all made incredible contributions to the college in 2016.”
Reflecting upon its major highlights from 2016, the college has listed 10 of them below in chronological order:
Other notable highlights from this past year include the Basic Utility Vehicle (BUV) team tying for first in a national race and manufacturing design competition with Purdue University (April), the dedication of the Bethesda Foundation Imaging Suite (April), and the announcements of new majors, including graphic and media design (Associate in Science), diagnostic medical sonography (Associate in Applied Science), health sciences (Bachelor of Science), and motorcycle and power sports technology (Associate in Occupational Studies).
For its inaugural Day of Giving, Alfred State called upon alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends of the college to come together and help raise $50,000 from at least 300 donors.
That call was answered in a big way, as 680 donors contributed a grand total of $102,249 in cash and pledges that will be used toward technology, new programs, athletics, scholarships, student clubs and organizations, and more.
Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan said, “I am extremely pleased by the tremendous generosity shown by all members of the Alfred State Family in our inaugural Day of Giving. It is through the support of many Pioneers and friends of the college that we were able to far surpass our goals, and I thank each and every donor for their kindness. Each contribution is greatly appreciated and goes a long way toward helping our students.”
Trish Haggerty, director of Annual Giving, said, “We are ecstatic about the results of our first-ever Day of Giving here at Alfred State. The support for our students and the college as a whole was overwhelming. We hoped to surpass our goal of $50,000 and 300 donors, but I don’t think any of us expected such an amazing day of philanthropic outpouring from our alumni, faculty, staff, students, friends, and family. We had been planning this day for more than six months, and could not have done it without the help of our committee members and volunteers!”
Throughout the day Nov. 29, Alfred State held a number of fun events to coincide with the Day of Giving, including raffles, Christmas tree decorating, a chess challenge, an organization suite decorating contest, band performances, and more. The college also posed challenges that were unlocked whenever a certain goal was met.
The challenges, all of which were unlocked, were as follows:
“The excitement of the event was amplified by the student activities throughout the day and the engagement from the student body,” Haggerty noted. “Overall, we could not have asked for a better day!”
Maintaining relationships after college isn’t always easy. Jobs, family, continuing one’s education, and numerous other reasons can often result in friends going their separate ways.
That’s why it is so remarkable that for more than 50 years, a group of Alfred State Gamma Theta Gamma brothers and Pi Nu Epsilon sisters have made it a point to get together at least twice a year for a reunion. They come together to laugh, tell stories, and to simply enjoy being in one another’s company.
For the past 58 years, Ed and Shirley (Reigle) Hatter have hosted the majority of the get-togethers, both at their home in Fort Myers, FL, and at their residence on Owasco Lake in Auburn, NY. Ed, a Cortland-area native, is a 1958 graduate of the air conditioning program, and Shirley, originally from Akron, studied medical secretarial science in 1958 and 1959.
The reunions began simply enough. Originally, several Theta Gamma brothers and Pi Nu sisters would gather every other weekend at Shirley’s parents’ home in Akron, NY. Once word of the get-togethers spread, the numbers soon grew and the venues changed.
“In the early years, we alternated between our home, the Millers’, the Kidds’, and the Blazeys’. After a while, by unanimous vote,” Shirley said, “it was decided to get together twice a year at our home on Owasco Lake near Auburn, NY, in the summer, and at our home in Fort Myers, FL, in the winter. This way, we could accommodate some different people. However, many of the regulars attend both.”
Of the roughly 40 couples who have attended the reunions, several of the regulars over the years, included Jack and Joann Hanel, Bob and Bev Miller, John and Judy Blazey, Bill and Judy (Allein) Abraham, Bob and Gail (Myers) Granger, Earl and Sue Herrington, Howard and Zena Weimer, Ken and Connie (Darling) Oaks, John and Bev O’Malia, Al and Judy (Delmore) Styrcula, Wayne and Helen Kidd, Pete and Lorraine Steen, and Bob and Jane Mullen. Many others also attend as often as possible.
As for the Hatters themselves, who recently celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary, they met at Alfred State at a Student Council meeting. Shortly after Ed graduated, the couple married and Ed bought a 25 percent interest in the family’s HVAC business, which they eventually took over completely. Shirley became a stay-at-home mom until their son and daughter started school.
After Shirley joined the business, it expanded into commercial and industrial projects. The couple also started an oil business and a residential development.
“Life has been very good to us,” Ed said. “We have many very good friends all over the world, and I can truthfully say that Alfred State certainly played a large part in our success.”
To this day, Ed and Shirley continue to greatly enjoy the company of the friends they made at the college so long ago. Ed said he and Shirley hope that they will be able to host the reunions for many more years, but added, “nothing is forever.”
“We have lost several of our dear Theta Gamma and Pi Nu friends over the last 15 years, but they all are always part of our thoughts and memories,” he said.
Shirley notes that hosting the reunions “is so easy” because everyone brings food and drinks and pitches in to help clean up.
“I especially enjoy keeping up with what their children and grandkids are doing,” she said. “It’s hard to believe, but no one has changed in 58 years!”
What else hasn’t changed, and what will likely never change, are the longstanding friendships of these Theta Gamma brothers and Pi Nu Epsilon sisters, who continue to reunite and reminisce of days gone by.
“Our common bond is Alfred State, and especially Theta Gamma and Pi Nu,” Shirley said. “Although our jobs, our families, and our interests have taken us in many different directions, I can truly say that there is a great amount of love in our group. We tell the same stories over and over. We laugh, sometimes we cry, but we never forget.”