Alfred State officially welcomed more than 1,300 freshmen to campus Thursday during a New Student Convocation led by President Dr. Skip Sullivan.
This year’s incoming class is comprised of 1,340 students from 60 of New York’s 62 counties and 11 additional states, plus 30 international students from 10 countries. Of these new students, 145 have been identified as Alfred State Distinguished Scholars and 186 additional students have been offered other scholarships in recognition of their outstanding academic achievements, exceptional vocational skills and extraordinary talents outside of the classroom. A number of students also bring with them previous work experience and successful college course work.
Sullivan told the students inside a packed Orvis Activities Center that he firmly believes they will leave Alfred State with the passion to make a difference in this world.
“Now, from the time you stepped foot on this campus, you have resources available to you,” Sullivan said. “You have everything you need to transform the world and to transform yourself. Take advantages of these resources. Look for them. Seek them out.”
Kristin Poppo, newly appointed vice president for academic affairs, followed the college president’s remarks by reflecting on some words by American educational philosopher John Dewey, who said, “Education is a social process; education is growth; education is not a preparation for life but it is life itself.”
Poppo then encouraged students to take advantage of all Alfred State has to offer.
“Engage in our cutting-edge sustainability and civic engagement initiatives. Go to all classes. Get to know your faculty,” Poppo said. “Put your all into the projects that faculty create for you. Join clubs and organizations. Recognize the opportunity you have each day to grow.”
After Poppo spoke, College Council Chair Pat Fogarty offered some welcoming remarks.
“This college exists for all of you,” Fogarty told the students. “We are here for you. You have a wonderful, wonderful faculty. Go to them with your problems. Go to them for direction. They will help you. And don’t ever doubt that any of us are here to help you.”
Greg Sammons, vice president for student affairs, then introduced students to Alfred State’s “Principles of Community” and Executive Vice President of Student Senate Kory Shick led students in reciting the college oath.
After Sullivan’s concluding remarks, students, faculty, and staff headed to Pioneer Stadium to create a human Alfred State logo for a photo session, which was followed by food, music and activities outdoors nearby the stadium.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan, Alfred Village Mayor Justin Grigg, Allegany County Board of Legislators Chairman Curt Crandall and others are inviting the public to attend an upcoming Citizen Preparedness Training Program.
The free program will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, in the Student Leadership Center at Alfred State, 10 Upper College Drive, Alfred. All participants must register in advance at www.prepare.ny.gov.
The program seeks to provide citizens with the tools and resources to prepare for emergencies and disasters, respond accordingly and recover as quickly as possible to pre-disaster conditions. Each family that attends the program will receive a New York State Disaster Preparedness Kit that contains key items to assist individuals in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.
“We are excited to offer the Citizen Preparedness Training Program,” said Sullivan. “The expertise of our employees is extraordinary, and the more citizens that are trained and educated, the better our communities will be as a result.”
Grigg said, “Since becoming the mayor of Alfred, one of the lessons I've learned is the importance of an engaged, active citizenry. In a rural community like Alfred, we depend on each other to volunteer for everything from assisting with one-time special events to staffing our fire and ambulance services year after year.
“I view the Citizen Preparedness Training Program as an opportunity to further strengthen the existing fabric of citizen readiness and for this reason encourage everyone to attend.”
Alfred State’s Bachelor of Architecture program has moved one step closer toward accreditation from the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) after the board formally granted the program initial candidacy status earlier this month.
Dr. John C. Williams, dean of the School of Architecture, Management and Engineering Technology, said NAAB granted the status after approving the Architecture and Design Department’s accreditation plan and conducting an initial candidacy visit.
“That is the hurdle we have cleared, so now we are an official, formal candidate for accreditation,” Williams said. “In 2016, there will be a continuation of candidacy visit. Two-year intervals are required to check your progress as you move forward.”
Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan said, “The programs at Alfred State are ever working to improve. This milestone of initial candidacy reflects not only a lot of hard work by faculty and staff, but is also a testament to the quality of our programs.”
Alfred State’s Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) degree is the only BArch in the State University of New York (SUNY) system. It is also one of only seven BArch degrees offered in New York State.
Williams said the Architecture and Design Department hopes the BArch program will be accredited by 2018.
“That’s the goal. That’s our hope,” Williams said. “It’s most beneficial for our graduates. They would be part of our first graduating class to have completed the program in its entirety and then they would have the status of an accredited program. We’re really pushing for that.”
According to its website, www.naab.org, the NAAB is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture.
“Most of the state registration boards require a NAAB-accredited degree to license somebody to be a professional architect, so that’s the impetus of having an accredited degree,” Williams said.
The Architecture and Design Department, Williams said, is very excited about the BArch program receiving initial candidacy status.
“It just shows the hard work, the quality of the program and the quality of the faculty,” Williams said. “They’ve done the lion’s share of the work, put in a lot of effort and a lot of work and continue to do so. It’s been a dream of the department’s. This was the first step. We’re making our way to accreditation. It’s within our grasps.”
The Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc., annually funds up to eight Alfred State students through its work-grant program, allowing students who are ineligible for work-study funds to find employment on campus. The grant is renewable on an annual basis.
Additionally, departments within Alfred State can request student workers with specific skills and the work-grant coordinator attempts to meet those needs with appropriate student help.
Students funded through the Ed Foundation to work in specific areas on campus are considered “regular” employees of the college and are expected to maintain the level of professionalism required of their colleagues.
For award year 2013-14, 10 students from Engineering, Physical and Life Sciences, Public Relations/Sports, Student Engagement, International Student Services, Business Department, and Student Records and Financial Services earned a total of $9,013.28 from the Work Grant Program.
The program is administered through the Student Records and Financial Services Office.
The Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc., is a private foundation representing faculty, staff, and friends of Alfred State dedicated to improving the AS community through the support of educational programs. The activities pursued by the Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc., are governed by a board of directors made up of representatives from each of the following groups: alumni, College Council, faculty and staff, and friends of the college.
The Foundation provides monetary support to enhance learning opportunities for students through scholarships, work grants, and community service projects. The Ed Foundation also funds the Building Trades programs’ hands-on home construction projects.
Additionally, the Foundation owns and maintains the School of Applied Technology campus in Wellsville. The 22-acre parcel consists of more than 20 buildings with some 800 students enrolled in 19 programs. The programs, which stress “learning by doing,” incorporate traditional classroom experience with comprehensive “on-the-job” laboratory experiences. Since 1996, the Foundation has invested more than $2.3 million in improvements on the campus.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced the approval by the Buffalo Board of Education to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the state and community partners to create an advanced manufacturing early college program at PS 301 Burgard High School. Burgard teachers, together with Alfred State instructors, will train students in skills such as automotive technology, welding, and machine tool technology (CNC machining). This initiative grew out of the Buffalo Billion Investment Development Plan which, in an effort to bridge the gap in workforce needs, stresses aligning Buffalo’s training system with the career paths, certificates, and degrees required for growth in core industries, such as manufacturing. Being a comprehensive college of technology with four- and two-year programs across the spectrum in advanced manufacturing, Alfred State is a critical academic partner in this initiative and will enhance the curriculum at Burgard while providing associate degrees to students who complete a 13th year.
“Alfred State is pleased to be asked to play a key role in developing the new Advanced Manufacturing Early College. This initiative will prepare Burgard students to be qualified for advanced manufacturing careers, which are in high demand in the region,” said Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan.” It will change lives.”
It is estimated there will be more than 17,000 vacancies in local advanced manufacturing jobs in Western New York between now and 2020. Through this innovative MOU, Burgard High School will serve as a pipeline of well-educated and well-trained workers for advanced manufacturing careers, as well as increase the diversity of workers in the advanced manufacturing industry.
The school will also become a middle/early college school where students attend college courses taught by Burgard teachers in collaboration with Alfred State and obtain an associate’s degree after completion of the 13th year. Say Yes Buffalo, a national non-profit committed to dramatically increasing high school and college graduation rates for the nation’s inner-city youth are providing scholarships, and Dream It/Do It, a program created to educate the next generation workforce about careers in advanced manufacturing, will provide tours and connections to manufacturers for Burgard students and faculty. The New York State Department of Labor (DOL) and Mayor’s Office of Youth will also provide summer internship and job assistance for some students who choose to work after graduation from high school.
The program will start July 1 with a freshman academy for incoming students that will assist with reading and math remediation. A Success Keys program will emphasize self-empowerment for both students and teachers with the goal of teaching them how to own their futures.
Burgard currently has career and technical education (CTE) programs in welding and fabrication, automotive repair technology and computer aided drafting/computer aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM), but has struggled with graduation rates in general education. The state expects that this program will increase the high school graduation rate, as well as the number of students obtaining associates degrees. The program has no negative impact on Buffalo Public School teacher jobs.
“Not only will this initiative help us expand the reach of our applied technology programs into communities and industries that will truly benefit from these high-paying jobs, but it will also offer our current and future students further opportunities for success through these new connections,” said Alfred State Executive Vice President Valerie Nixon.
Dr. Richard Kellogg, professor emeritus of psychology at Alfred State, is the author of an article appearing in the most recent issue of THE SERPENTINE MUSE, a quarterly literary journal. The article, titled “Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Sherlockian,” summarizes the life and literary legacy of Gilman (1860-1935), a prominent writer and a crusader in the feminist movement. Gilman is most remembered today for “The Yellow Wallpaper,” a short story written in 1892 after she experienced a serious episode of postpartum depression.
The author notes that Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a fan of Sherlock Holmes and delighted in reading Doyle’s stories about the great detective. Accordingly, Gilman wrote a mystery novel titled UNPUNISHED in 1927. However, the novel was rejected by her publisher and it did not appear in print until it was released by The Feminist Press in 1997. UNPUNISHED is not only a fine mystery novel but it contains a cautionary message about the evils of domestic violence within our society.
Kellogg has authored four books about Sherlock Holmes and is currently writing a series of children’s books featuring Barry Baskerville, boy detective. His most recent entry, illustrated by noted artist Gary Kato, is titled BARRY BASKERVILLE RETURNS (Airship 27, 2014). The series is designed to not only entertain children between the ages of seven and 10 but to enhance their perceptual and problem-solving skills. The Barry Baskerville books can be found at the Amazon website in both print and Kindle formats.
Dr. Earl Packard, a Hornell native and professor in the Alfred State Mathematics and Physics Department, was selected to participate in the annual College Board’s Annual AP Reading in calculus – it was his 12th time serving in this capacity.
Each June, exceptional AP teachers and college faculty members from around the world gather in the United States to evaluate and score the free-response sections of the AP Exams. During the June 2014 scoring sessions, more than 12,500 AP Readers evaluate more than 4.2 million AP Exams.
AP Readers are high school and college educators who represent many of the world’s leading academic institutions. The AP Reading is a unique forum in which an academic dialogue between educators is both fostered and encouraged. “The Reading draws upon the talents of some of the finest teachers and professors that the world has to offer,” said Trevor Packer, Senior Vice President, AP and Instruction at the College Board. “It fosters professionalism, allows for the exchange of ideas, and strengthens the commitment to students and to teaching. We are very grateful for the contributions of talented educators like Earl Packard.”
The Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) enables willing and academically prepared students to pursue college-level studies – with the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement or both – while still in high school. Through AP courses in 34 subjects, each culminating in a rigorous exam, students learn to analyze complex problems, construct solid arguments, and see many sides of an issue – skills that prepare them for college and beyond. Research indicates that students who score a 3 or higher on an AP Exam typically experience greater academic success in college and are more likely to earn a college degree than non-AP students.
Packard, who joined the AS faculty in 2003, holds a PhD in mathematics from Tulane University, a bachelor of science of education (BSE) in mathematics from Mansfield University, and a bachelor of science degree in music education from Mansfield State College. Prior to joining the AS faculty, Packard taught at Kutztown University (PA) and the University of Arkansas, Monticello.
Students from Alfred State will journey from Alfred to Lima, Peru, from May 20 to May 29 to participate in a civic engagement project. This group of nine students; Mathematics and Physics Department faculty member Dr. Kathleen Ebert; and one Business Department faculty member, Dr. Lisa McCool, who is heading up the project, began preparations for the trip in November.
Students will be working with two groups: InMed, a support service for women and children, and Cooperar Peru, an orphanage located in Tankarpata. The group worked to raise funds and collect donated items for the trip’s service organizations. Donations included 1,000 birthing kits donated by Vonta International, 100 hand-crocheted newborn caps donated by Olean General Hospital, and numerous baby layette items donated by McKenzie Mallaber’s family.
April Heckman, a Rexville, N.Y., native and student in the business administration program, is looking forward to this potentially life-changing experience. “I’m excited about seeing a new culture,” she said. After arriving in Peru, the group will tour four cities, including Machu Picchu. One goal is to share a day with the children in the orphanage playing games and doing crafts. “I want to make a difference and see how others live,” said McKenzie Mallaber, of Livonia, N.Y., a student in the human services management program.
This project is being done in collaboration with the Office of Civic Engagement and International Student Services.
Twenty-one students from Alfred State’s electrical construction and maintenance electrician program braved the wintry weather last month to honor friend and fellow student, Trevor Randall, who died in a recent car accident, by completing one of Trevor’s unfinished service projects in their spare time—spending two Saturdays wiring the new Bolivar town highway barn. Professors Steve Kielar, Calvin O’Dell, and Dan Noyes were also involved in the project.
“Mr. Kielar came to me and told me Trevor had been working on a project near his hometown and they needed someone to finish it,” said student Daniel Napolionello, of Valley Stream. For Daniel and many of the other students in his class, Trevor was both a friend and an inspiration—a young man who worked hard and went out of his way to help others. ”Pretty much everyone in the class wanted to be in on it from the beginning. It wasn’t hard saying we’d give up two Saturdays for him because of the impact he had on all of us.”
Trevor started the project after hearing about it from his instructors, who’d been approached by town officials with the opportunity for a service project. Although unable to fit the project into the curricula, faculty in the electrical construction and maintenance electrician program knew of one student who’d be willing to put in the time and effort—Trevor Randall, a native of the Bolivar area.
“Trevor was already an incredibly hard-working, dedicated professional and he hadn’t even graduated yet,” said Steve Kielar, an instructor in the program and a resident of Olean. “We knew he’d get the work done and do a great job.”
“It was pretty amazing how, throughout the whole job, we knew Trevor had taken it all on by himself. It might have taken him a full month going five days a week, but he would have done it,” Daniel said.
Trevor was only able to work on the project for three days before a car accident claimed his life, but his fellow students were more than willing to step in and finish the project in memory of their friend. These 21 young people completed wiring the entire structure, from inside and outside lights to the electrical panel, all in just two 10-hour days.
The students also created and sold bracelets, the proceeds from which will go toward a memorial bench outside Bolivar-Richburg Central School in Trevor’s honor.
When asked, the students say they simply hope the project helps keep Trevor’s memory alive. “I hope people realize how good of a guy he was and how much of an impact he had on the whole class and the program,” Daniel said. “This wasn’t a job we were hoping to be recognized for. It was just for Trevor.”
Back row (from left to right): Brad Schiralli, superintendent of highways town of Bolivar; Dylan Loney, Massapequa; Tyler Vanderbilt, Williamson; Brandon Hayes, Freeville; Joshua Lenahan, Woodhull; Evan Sutterby, Sterling; Dalton MacMyne, Binghamton; Nathan Kulak, Grand Island; Nathan Andres, Sandusky; Michael Drago, Brooklyn; Alex Ortiz, Bolivar; Shane Kehlenbeck, Shortsville; Robert Park, Depew. Front row (from left to right): Steve Kielar, instructor electrical construction and maintenance electrician program, Olean; Timothy Monahan, Fairport; Daniel Napolionello, Valley Stream.
Not pictured: Conner Fox, Phelps; Mathew Henkel, Clarence; Dylan Snyder, Penn Yan; Kevin Morsman, Bolivar; Joseph Kurch, Buffalo; Candice Westmorland, Lockport; Danel Bowen, Bolivar.
Alfred State student Kayla Franchina, of Gerry, has recently been named a 2014 recipient of the Newman Civic Fellows Award from Campus Compact for her role in launching Project Prom Dress at Alfred State. Kayla is one of less than 200 students in the country being honored this year and the only Alfred State student to ever receive the award. The Newman Civic Fellows Award is given to those student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in enacting positive and lasting change in their communities through service, research, and advocacy.
Project Prom Dress, of which Kayla is the founder, focuses on collecting donated prom dresses, accessories, and cash donations for underprivileged teenage women. The group also hosts dress drives and sponsors proms at low-income schools. “For me, it isn’t just about getting dresses for these girls; it’s about helping them have the night of their lives,” Kayla says. “This project helps these women feel great about themselves, even if they can’t afford to go into a store and pick out something new to wear.”
Kayla started her prom dress drive after experiencing the sticker shock of looking for her own prom dress on a tight budget. “I was with my mom and we were in a prom dress store—the only one within hours of our town—and there wasn’t a single dress under $100. I knew it would be hard for me to get one, and I knew a lot of my friends wouldn’t be able to get a dress at all. I had to do something about it, so I started my first dress drive, and it just snowballed from there.”
This prom dress project has since attracted a lot of attention—from local media to businesses to local government, even earning significant support from Erie County Legislator Lynne Dixon. After transitioning the project to Alfred State and helping to form it into a highly regarded club, Kayla began acting as a mentor to new club members. She now helps form connections between club members and members of the community in order to facilitate donations and keep the project moving forward.
“Today, I’m teaching the young men and women who will be taking the project over and getting them ready to take the wheel. This experience has really taught me a lot about networking and the importance of reaching out to people at all levels. That’s the only way you can really make a difference,” Kayla says.
To date, Kayla and project prom dress have collected hundreds of dresses, accessories, and shoes from generous local businesses and passed them on to dozens of young women. And this year, thanks to their efforts and local fundraising, Whitesville Central School will be able to host its own prom.
“I’ve learned that people love helping other people if you give them the chance. It’s one of the best learning experiences of this project. You get to see how generous these small communities are and how easily they come together.”