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.
In conjunction with the 50th anniversary celebration of Alfred State’s Wellsville campus, the college’s Automotive Trades Department will be hosting a new driver awareness seminar and child safety seat inspection at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, April 29 in the Senior Automotive Building.
Delivering the seminar will be Department Chair Kent Johnson and Associate Professor Eric Wilmot, who will speak about vehicle maintenance needs, such as how to check fluids and how to change a tire. During this time, the child safety seat inspection will be taking place in the same building.
“We’re excited to participate in the 50th anniversary celebration of the School of Applied Technology campus, and to also be able to provide these great opportunities to the public,” Johnson said. “It is essential that each new driver be aware of basic car maintenance, and that all child safety seats are properly functioning. We strongly encourage the public to attend.”
While the cost of the event is free, registration is required, and can be completed by emailing Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alfred State classes first began in Wellsville on Oct. 19, 1966. Since that time, 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.
Students pursuing careers in law enforcement and public safety now have both two- and four-year degree options at Alfred State, with the recent addition of a Bachelor of Science (BS) in criminal justice. Classes for this new major begin in the fall 2017 semester.
The program provides graduates a solid foundation in the field of criminal justice, both its essential components and emerging areas, with a focus on leadership and applied learning. With strong preparation in conceptual knowledge, students gain practical experience in criminal justice, including the opportunity to complete either an internship or a lab-based criminal investigation course in their final semester.
The BS in criminal justice also provides basic knowledge in such contemporary areas of concern as terrorism, cyber security and private security administration, and community policing. Furthermore, the program has the flexibility to allow students to include a minor in such areas as information security, leadership, and psychology.
Graduates will be well-prepared to enter the criminal justice job market or pursue advanced education. Employment opportunities exist in law enforcement at the local, county, state and federal levels, and within correctional institutions, parole and probation departments, private security companies, homeland security, military policing and corrections, and police science organizations, among others.
In order to prepare graduates for a wide variety of careers, the program emphasizes several areas within criminal justice, including:
· ethical law enforcement practices
· community relations
· working with diverse populations
· public safety
· criminal justice leadership and administration
Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan said, “Alfred State is excited to now offer a four-year degree in criminal justice. This program allows for a natural transition from our two-year Associate in Science criminal justice major, and will well-prepare our students for careers in law enforcement and public safety. I thank everyone involved in the creation of this program.”
Dr. Kristin Poppo, provost, said, “Career opportunities have expanded in criminal justice. Alfred State’s programs provide students the ability to pursue traditional positions in law enforcement, as well as emerging fields such as cyber and homeland security. Alfred State is pleased to offer this new degree program at the associate and bachelor’s level.”
Dr. Robert Curry, dean of the school of Arts and Sciences, said, “We’ve seen a strong demand from students for a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, so we are very pleased the new BS program is starting this fall. Given the many career pathways for criminal justice graduates and the number of jobs nationally, we think this will be a strong, successful program.”
Dr. Mark Whitman, program coordinator, said, “The new criminal justice program provides a well-rounded practitioner for private security, public safety, and potentially federal agencies. This program is a blend of new technologies and meeting court standards.”
Alfred State is currently seeking approval to offer the New York State-certified “Basic Course for Police” beginning in the summer of 2018. Graduates of this course, operated as a police academy, earn official certification to begin working as a police officer in New York State.
Students enrolled in the criminal justice Bachelor of Science major can work with their academic adviser to apply up to 12 credits toward required course work and potentially complete the baccalaureate degree in three-and-a-half years after successfully completing the Basic Course.
Looking to prepare the construction workforce leaders of tomorrow, Alfred State is pleased to announce that it is now offering an upper-division program in construction supervision. Classes for this major will begin in the fall 2017 semester.
This Bachelor of Technology (BTech) major will add valuable construction business skills to a technical background. Students with carpentry, heavy equipment, electrical, mechanical, and architecture skills, to name a few, will be able to see how their skills are utilized to build the environment in which they live.
Graduates of this major will have earned a working knowledge of construction estimating, scheduling, and contract law. These skills, along with their technical competency, will make graduates a prized asset to companies that are involved in the construction industry.
The program, which includes a full-semester internship, is set up as a completion degree, meaning students entering must have an associate degree or 60 credits in a related curriculum. Interested students may contact the Alfred State Admissions Office for more information at 607-587-4215 or 1-800-4-ALFRED.
Dr. Skip Sullivan, president of Alfred State, said, “We are delighted to add the construction supervision BTech degree to our academic offerings, and look forward to helping meet the need for quality supervisors for the trades in western New York and beyond. Thank you to all who made this new program possible.”
Dr. Kristin Poppo, Alfred State provost, said, “Alfred State is pleased to provide leadership in the building trades through our new construction supervision degree. By blending the expertise of building trades, civil engineering and business faculty, students will graduate prepared to manage people and projects.”
Dr. John Williams, dean of the School of Architecture, Management, and Engineering Technology at Alfred State, said, “This major is a great addition and allows our graduates of two-year construction-related programs or those with some college credit and construction experience to enter a pathway to a bachelor’s degree. Graduates of the new program will have many opportunities to enter the workforce in a technical management capacity.”
Erin Vitale, chair of the Civil Engineering Technology Department, said, "This program is a great way for students to see how the business of construction is impacted by the work of the skilled trades."
Katherine Holmok not only leads the Alfred State campus as president of the Student Senate, but thanks to her activism and ability to inspire other students, she has been nationally recognized for her leadership. Campus Compact, a Boston-based non-profit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education, has announced that Holmok is among 273 students who will make up the organization’s 2017 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows.
Holmok, a business administration major from Prattsville, is a leader active in political engagement, seeking to inspire greater involvement by the student body in the local community. She actively advocates for shared governance and community engagement.
For the last two years, Holmok has provided leadership to voter registration and education efforts, resulting in enhanced voter participation. Her efforts culminated last fall with programming and new partnerships designed to maximize student involvement in the general election. This renewed interest in political activity among students led to Alfred State’s recent designation as a Voter-Friendly School
Dr. Skip Sullivan, president of Alfred State, noted that Holmok also played a key role in developing a new collaborative structure with the local village board of trustees. Specifically, the structure has enabled a student government representative to participate and sit alongside elected village leaders.
“This has enabled a more consistent student presence within village governance, and created more timely and meaningful communication between students and residents,” Sullivan said. “Her contributions have enhanced the ability of students to make a meaningful difference in their community.”
Holmok said that an immense capacity exists for creating impactful and sustainable progress due to global interconnectedness and availability of information. However, she noted, it begins with political engagement in local communities.
“Every day, therefore, I strive to empower others to realize their potential to influence and create change through democratic participation and civic engagement,” she said.
As a 2017 Newman Civic Fellow, Holmok will be a part of the first cohort to benefit from a completely re-designed fellowship. The Newman Civic Fellowship, named for Campus Compact co-founder Frank Newman, is a one-year experience emphasizing personal, professional, and civic growth.
Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides a variety of learning and networking opportunities, including a national conference of Newman Civic Fellows in partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. The fellowship also provides fellows with access to exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities.
“The cultivation of community-committed leaders has never been more crucial,” said Campus Compact President Andrew Seligsohn. “We rebuilt the Newman Civic Fellowship experience because our country needs more people who know how to bring communities together for positive change. We are thrilled to welcome this group of 273 exemplary students as the first cohort to participate in this new model.”
The Newman Civic Fellowship is supported by the KPMG Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation.
In conjunction with Earth Week 2017, Alfred State has planned a number of related events from April 17-26.
Monday, April 17
● 3:30-4:30 p.m. - Local food taste testing in the Student Leadership Center park space. Come sample delicious local food made from produce grown right here in Allegany County.
● 6-8 p.m. - Screening of the documentary film "Home" in room 215 of the Engineering Technology Building. The film uses striking aerial photography to illustrate humanity’s effect on the planet, as well as the incredible diversity of life on Earth. Snacks will be provided.
Tuesday, April 18
● 10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. - Water taste test outside of The Terrace in the Central Dining Hall. The Sustainability Club will be asking students to taste the difference between bottled water and municipal water, and explain the various regulations within both processing systems.
● 3:30-4:30 p.m. - Used/dead technology drive in the Student Leadership Center park space. The Center for Civic Engagement will be accepting any dead or broken technology that students cannot use in an effort to promote the “dead technology box” that is available in the first floor of the SLC, and to raise awareness of proper technology disposal protocol.
● 7-9 p.m. - Screening of the documentary "Dirt!" in room 215 of the Engineering Technology Building. The film provides a glimpse into the complex interactions between humans and the soil. Snacks will be provided.
Wednesday, April 19
● Noon to 1 p.m. – Final project presentation by a group of engineering seniors in the Student Leadership Center park space. Learn about the cool projects in sustainability that Alfred State students are working on. Umang Dharamshi (mechanical engineering technology, Wappingers Falls), Clayton Ferry (mechanical engineering technology, Akron), and Adam Skorupski (mechanical engineering technology, Akron) have built a solar-powered device that converts film and non-recyclable plastics into energy to heat homes.
● 3:30-4:30 p.m. - Water bottle giveaway in the Student Leadership Center park space. The Sustainability Club will give away 65 metal water bottles to promote the club and its mission, as well as provide students with another means to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
● 4-5 p.m. - Creek clean up beginning at the foot bridge near the townhouses. Get outside and volunteer with the Outdoor Recreation Club to help clean up your local community and keep Alfred’s creeks clean.
Thursday, April 20
● Noon to 1 p.m. – A guided tour of the Pioneer Trail beginning at the entrance to the trail, located at the parking area behind and above the Orvis Activities Center (parking lot 24). Take a walk with botanist, forester, and longtime faculty member Dr. Steven Jakobi, who will take participants on a tour of the newly opened Pioneer Trail and discuss local and indigenous trees, mushrooms, and birds, and lead a discussion on the long history of forestry in western New York. Trail-friendly snacks will be available.
● 3:30-4:30 p.m. – Ribbon-cutting of the Bottle/Can Redemption Center in the first floor of the Student Leadership Center. Be the first to witness the opening of the new reverse vending machine that will be available to students and community members who wish to redeem their bottle and can deposits in the village of Alfred. Bring bottles and cans. Snacks will be provided.
● 7-9 p.m. - Screening of the documentary "Chasing Ice" in room 310 of the Student Leadership Center. The Ski Club is hosting a screening of the award-winning documentary “Chasing Ice” that captures a multi-year record of the world's changing glaciers. Snacks will be provided.
Friday, April 21
● 3:30-4:30 p.m. - Make seed bombs in the Student Leadership Center park space. The Center for Civic Engagement will be providing the materials to make seed bombs - small pellets of seeds that can be thrown or dropped anywhere that needs some beautification. Walk away with morsels of change - wild flower seeds, clay, soil, and recycled paper pulp will come together to make seed bombs.
Monday April 24, and Wednesday, April 26
● 2-4 p.m. - Screening of the film “My Name is Allegany County” in the Orvis Activities Center Auditorium. Learn about Allegany County’s past in its efforts to keep a nuclear waste dump site away from residents’ homes. The film explores the historic, successful nonviolent protest movement that occurred. Snacks will be provided.
State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher honored 256 SUNY students from across the state in Albany recently with the 2017 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, including two recipients from Alfred State.
"It is my honor to celebrate the achievements of students who have surpassed SUNY’s highest standards of academic excellence and leadership both on and off campus," said SUNY Chancellor Zimpher. "Every student we recognize today has demonstrated a strong commitment to their degree program, home campus, greater community, and much more. Congratulations to all of the students receiving this year’s award.”
Steve Levy, an ESPN SportsCenter anchor and SUNY Oswego class of 1987 graduate, joined Zimpher through a video message in congratulating the students on their success in college, and providing encouragement for the future. Through hard work and dedication to his craft, along with the opportunities presented at SUNY Oswego, Levy credits his college experience as setting him on a path to what is now a 25-year career at ESPN.
The two Alfred State students who received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence were Robert Mahany, a construction management major from Orchard Park; and Mary Rose Ricotta, a forensic science technology student from Derby.
Mahany was offered and accepted a full-time project engineer position upon graduation from the company for which he interned, Balfour Beatty Construction of Washington, DC. He has also received several men’s soccer awards for his performance while on the college’s team. In addition, Mahany held many student leadership positions during his time at Alfred State, including co-captain of men’s soccer, civic engagement advocate, leadership assistant, and Alfred Programming Board member. Mahany was unable to attend the ceremony because he has been participating in Alfred State’s study abroad program in Sorrento, Italy, throughout the spring 2017 semester.
Ricotta has been very involved at Alfred State, organizing an on-campus assembly featuring David King, founder of the iMatter Foundation, speaking to students about the importance of mental health awareness. In addition, she volunteered with Habitat for Humanity during spring break 2016 in Myrtle Beach, SC, and returned as a student leader during spring break 2017. Ricotta also serves as president of Alpha Sigma Sorority and liaison for a new student group seeking recognition as a Greek organization.
The Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence was created in 1997 to recognize students who have best demonstrated, and have been recognized for, the integration of academic excellence with accomplishments in the areas of leadership, athletics, community service, creative and performing arts, campus involvement, or career achievement.
Each year, SUNY campus presidents establish a selection committee, which reviews the accomplishments of exemplary students. Nominees are then forwarded to the Chancellor’s Office for a second round of review. Finalists are then recommended to the Chancellor to become recipients of the award.