Two Alfred State faculty and staff members were honored recently with a Leadership through Civic Engagement Award.
The award is presented annually by the College Council to acknowledge students, faculty, staff, and alumni who have led or initiated exemplary academic and/or co-curricular initiatives that demonstrate a commitment to engaging in the community— locally, nationally, or globally — through service, volunteerism, activism, politics, and much more. This year’s recipients were Debra Burch, associate professor in the Culinary Arts Department, and Jason Cronin, senior staff assistant and head baseball coach in the Athletics Department.
Burch has demonstrated leadership by inspiring students, colleagues, and community members to support local disabled veterans. During the fall 2015 semester, Burch arranged for retired US Army Brig. Gen. Arthur Austin Jr. to speak at a Veteran’s Day ceremony. His visit launched a fundraising campaign for the LEEK Hunting and Mountain preserve - an organization that offers programs to wounded and disabled veterans.
Burch mobilized the efforts of 17 baking program students over several days to prepare bread, rolls, doughnuts, and other baked goods for the college sponsored bake sale. Furthermore, she arranged the visit for the Culinary Arts staff and student participants to the LEEK Preserve on Dec. 4 and presented the nearly $3,600 donation received through the bake sale. This campaign raised awareness and funds and exemplifies how college community members utilize their skills and gifts to support a larger cause.
Cronin has developed a culture of civic engagement among the approximately 30 members of his team through example and action. He directs and inspires his team to take part in many local and regional community projects, setting an ambitious goal of 300 community service hours. The team regularly participates in the Celebrate Service Celebrate Allegany day of service each fall and has partnered with New York Special Olympics, the Alfred Box of Books Library, the American Red Cross, and the Bath Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
The squad assisted Chemung County Habitat for Humanity with construction of the Elmira Habitat home in November 2015. They even took time out of a busy tournament schedule during the 2016 spring break to support the Habitat for Humanity affiliate in Myrtle Beach, SC.
Three faculty and two staff members at Alfred State were recently honored with Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching, Professional Service, Classified Service, and Faculty Service.
David Hunt received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, Matthew Ryan was honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service, Scott Bingham was presented with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service, and George “Joe” Richardson and John Santora were both named recipients of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service. Each received a certificate and a medallion.
Hunt, an associate professor in the Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Department, is known for his passion in teaching and for his dedication to students, who respect him for the wealth of information and support that he offers them. He makes the world their learning ground, as he provides practical and professional knowledge to them that they will need to be competitive in their field of study and work. His student strive to meet the challenges he presents them, and they do so willingly because of their regard for his abilities and intelligence.
As faculty adviser of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Club, Hunt attends all major club events, giving freely of his time on weekends and after class. He is also the faculty adviser to the Robotics Club, and has travelled with the club to regional and national competitions.
Ryan, the senior director of Residential Services, worked with the vice presidents of Academic and Student Affairs to pilot and chair the college’s first Academic Intervention Team. He also led the redesign of the room selection process in order to provide both group housing options and affinity living areas for upper-class students.
Furthermore, Ryan has enthusiastically embraced the campus’ emphasis on civic engagement. Examples of his involvement, both on and off campus, include supervising Alfred State students’ relief work at the Lion’s Camp Badger in Spencer; leading a relief trip to Binghamton to assist in the cleanup after Hurricane Sandy; co-organizing a donation drive for Johnson City flood victims, and serving as an active member of the Scio Lions Club.
Bingham, a lieutenant in the University Police Department, is a consummate professional and a highly skilled and dedicated police officer. As a lieutenant in a small organization, he is asked to perform every function of the department from clerical duties to executive/administrative duties. At times, Scott has prioritized his time – even when personally inconvenient - for the needs of the department, whether it be staying late to complete an investigation or switching to a completely different shift and days off for an extended period of time.
In addition to his role as a law enforcement officer, Bingham worked with a student to begin the Pioneer Woodsmen’s Club in 2009. Since then, he has built the team into one that consistently competes for first place in multiple divisions at the competitions they attend. This past April, he helped coordinate a large spring woodsmen’s meet called the “Northeast Woodsmen’s Conclave” that brought regional exposure to Alfred State.
Professor Richardson, the chair of the Building Trades Department, has served the college, SUNY, and the local community at a national and international level through numerous student and faculty projects. He has generously given his time and creativity to many in numerous ways, including as faculty adviser to the Solar Decathlon teams of 2013 in China and 2015 in California, and as interim dean of the School of Applied Technology for two separate time periods.
He also was instrumental in moving a Buffalo Billions initiative forward, worked extensively to help make green energy technology training available in the region, had extensive involvement in continued efforts to fund construction of the School of Applied Technology Workforce Development Center, and coordinated the construction of the Alfred State Zero Energy House to be certified as· an Energy Star Home and green building.
As a professor and chair of the Culinary Arts Department, Santora seeks to inspire students to perform at levels that are higher than what is required to meet current standards. Drawing on his personal expertise in the culinary arts, he has consistently involved his students in a variety of community projects that bring their class lessons to life.
Santora’s efforts have been recognized with awards in community service and in multiple articles in trade publications and in the regional press. His excellence in areas of specialization have led to television appearances that in tum provide inspiration to his students. He was recognized for his many accomplishments with a SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities in 2005.
The Rochester Chapter of Financial Executives International and the Rochester Business Journal recently named Alfred State Controller Joseph Greenthal as the honoree in the “Rising Star” category in their eighth annual 2016 Financial Executive of the Year Awards.
Greenthal was honored during a ceremony held Thursday, May 19 at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center in Rochester. The awards recognize financial executives who have made outstanding contributions to their organizations and to the Greater Rochester community during the past year.
Other award categories included Small For Profit, Medium For Profit, Large For Profit, Small Non-Profit, Large Non-Profit, and Lifetime Achievement Award. Roughly 500 people were expected to attend the awards ceremony. Each finalist and honoree was profiled in a special in-paper section in the May 13 issue of the Rochester Business Journal.
Greenthal has been with Alfred State since 2010, previously serving as the payment services assistant and interim controller, until he took on the latter position full time in May 2013. He is a graduate of Alfred State, having received a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in financial planning and an associate degree in business administration.
Prior to joining the college as an employee, Greenthal worked as a financial planning analyst at Nixon Peabody Financial Advisors LLC, and Seneca Financial Advisors LLC. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom from his service in the US Army.
Dr. Skip Sullivan, president, said, “I congratulate Joe on receiving this honor. It is well deserved, and I thank him for all of his hard work, his dedication, and his service to our college, to our students, and to our country.”
It’s not every day that industry executives, sports and music celebrities, and others make their way into Wellsville in classic cars, a replica of the DeLorean time machine from “Back to the Future,” and more, all in a collective effort to give back to children in need.
Such was the case on Wednesday, May 25, however, as more than 40 teams cruised onto the Alfred State School of Applied Technology campus, which served as one of the stops along the thrilling, seven-day Everyone Loves Kids (ELK) Charity Challenge.
Beginning this year in Detroit on May 21 and ending in Lake Placid on May 27, the ELK Charity Challenge, according to its website, www.elkcc.org, is an interactive adventure that pits “philanthropic vehicle enthusiasts against one another in a seven-day journey to give back to America’s children. Each day, participants navigate through numerous challenges and locations, testing their dedication, determination and preparation.” The team with the most points is given $10,000 at the end of each day for its respective children’s charity, including Shriners Hospitals for Children, Texas EquuSearch, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
While in Wellsville, the challengers took part in multiple events in three locations on campus, testing their electrical, automotive, and culinary arts skills. At the end of the day, the racers assembled bicycles to be donated to a local charity.
Competing from Alfred State in a 2012 Chevy Volt were School of Applied Technology Dean Ana McClanahan, Automotive Trades Assistant Professor James Fleischman, and Hannah Van Norman, a heavy equipment, truck and diesel technician major from Geneva.
Speaking about what she has liked most about the Charity Challenge, Van Norman said, “I really enjoy meeting all these new people, and I like the surprise of what challenges we have that day. We’re handed an envelope and have to search on Google and use our GPS to find out where we’re going. I like the suspense of not knowing what we’re going to be doing that day. It’s been a lot of fun.”
McClanahan has been impressed by the level of camaraderie that developed on the race, as well as the level of devotion to charities.
“The combination of benevolence and competition is really good, clean fun,” she said. “It’s fun to be around people who like that.”
Taking part in the race and having the Wellsville campus serve as one of the stops along the way also provided an excellent opportunity for making connections and showcasing Alfred State’s commitment to hands-on learning and producing job-ready graduates.
“I have made several contacts during this event who have agreed to come and share their expertise and experience with Alfred State as a whole,” McClanahan noted, “so I believe all three schools within our college will benefit.”
Craig Corbell, who headed the group that launched the ELK Charity Challenge, spoke about how impressed he has been with the way Alfred State is preparing students for the real world.
“Alfred State does a wonderful job of giving students real-life experience working on houses, vehicles, equipment, and more,” he said. “It’s first class and I would recommend this college to anybody who is looking to enter a trade type of program.”
A video report showing the ELK Charity Challenge events in Wellsville is available online at: www.tinyurl.com/jpobykv
The Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc., a private foundation representing faculty, staff, and friends of Alfred State, has welcomed a new board member, Mark Payne, of Canisteo.
An assistant professor in the Building Trades Department, Payne joined the Alfred State faculty in 2007. He instructs students in the heavy equipment operations program, works with the Office of Student Engagement to manage the Hands On Project Room (HOPR) in the Student Leadership Center, and also serves as the Alfred State Disaster Relief Team adviser. In 2012, he received the Leadership through Civic Engagement Award and the Pioneer Award.
Prior to joining Alfred State, Payne worked for the New York State Department of Transportation and the Greater Southern Tier BOCES. Payne and his wife, Sarah, are the parents of two children, Nathan and Riley.
Alfred State’s reputation for hands-on training and job-ready graduates is attracting international attention, and is now identified as a model for building a new college half a world away. Alfred State recently hosted representatives from a Nigerian school who came to Alfred to discuss best practices for running a successful technical college.
Visitors from Nigeria’s Kwara State Government and the International Vocational Technical & Entrepreneurship College (IVTEC) in Ajasse Ipo came to discuss a partnership and to see how well suited Alfred State is for meeting their goals.
Dr. Skip Sullivan, president of Alfred State, noted that the interest in forming a partnership came about when the college was contacted by representatives working with IVTEC and Kwara State. Through emails, conference calls, and conversations, that initial interest developed even further.
“I think the meetings have gone very well,” Sullivan said. “Executive Governor Ahmed is a very gracious man and we’re delighted he and his team chose to spend some time with us in developing this Memorandum of Understanding. This is a creative opportunity for Kwara State to lead Nigeria in a new way of doing vocational and occupational education, and Alfred State is pleased to be a partner in that.”
Both Sullivan and Abdulfatah Ahmed, executive governor of Kwara State, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a plan that would allow IVTEC faculty to visit Alfred State to shadow and work alongside its faculty for at least one full semester. The plan would further allow three IVTEC administrators to spend a semester at Alfred State to learn processes and administrative structure to help determine and define the needs of IVTEC.
Ahmed said he and the other visitors were happy with what they saw on their tours of both campuses in Alfred and Wellsville, especially in their particular areas of interest, including technology, construction, and automotive trades.
“I foresee a very strong relationship with Alfred State because we believe it’s truly going to blossom into levels where this type of training and technology will be given the right footing in Nigeria,” he said. “Most importantly, they will help us see how we can truly set up entrepreneurship in Nigeria to help fit into today’s economy.”
Among those who made the trip to the Southern Tier were Alh. Abdulfatah Ahmed, executive governor of Kwara State; Yomi Ogunsola, chief economic assistant to the governor and director general of Kwara Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Bureau (acting as IVTEC project supervisor); Mosunmola Bello-Sha’aba, assistant director of Kwara PPP Bureau (acting as IVTEC project manager); Dr. Ade Somide, CEO BET, acting as IVTEC project consultant; Kayode Adeyemi, SSA Government House head of Protocol; and Gbolahan Oseni, member of Protocol.
Kwara State, according to its website, www.kwarastate.gov.ng is known as “The State of Harmony” because of the peaceful relations that exist among its multicultural and diverse population of about 2.5 million people. Created in May 1967, Kwara State is one of the 36 states that make up the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country.
According to information on the Kwara State PPP Bureau’s website, www.kwarappp.gov.ng/ivtec, IVTEC is a vocational and technical college, with aims to train and raise not just technically sound artisans, but entrepreneurs with the skills necessary to build businesses that would contribute to the development of the economy of the nation of Nigeria.
Provost Dr. Kristin Poppo noted that Alfred State uses applied learning to prepare exceptional professionals in the trades, and that such experts are in demand around the world.
“We look forward to working with Kwara State in Nigeria to open a technical college where young Nigerians can learn building trades, automotive technology, electrical trades, and welding through excellent instruction and hands-on learning,” she said. “Bringing Nigerian instructors and administrators to Alfred State will ensure that this new school offers our same level of excellent instruction recognized by employers throughout the United States and now drawing attention internationally.”
Pictured at the table during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding are Alh. Abdulfatah Ahmed, executive governor of Kwara State, left, and Dr. Skip Sullivan, president of Alfred State. In the second row, from left to right, are Yomi Ogunsola, chief economic assistant to the governor and director general of the Kwara Public-Private Partnership Bureau; along with Patricia K. Fogarty, Alfred State College Council chair.