The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) recently hosted seven Alfred State students at the 16th annual Appalachian Teaching Project (ATP) symposium in Washington, DC.
Supported by ARC and organized by the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services at East Tennessee State University, ATP coordinates student teams from participating colleges and universities in Appalachia to develop applied research projects on topics related to building a sustainable future for the Appalachian Region. As part of ATP, student teams travel to Washington, DC, to formally present their research to other participating schools and ARC leadership.
“Each year, the Appalachian Teaching Project brings together students from across the region to share their research, work, and vision,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl. “These next-generation leaders are energetic and innovative, and give a glimpse into Appalachia’s bright future.”
The Appalachian Regional Commission is a regional economic development partnership of federal and state governments across 420 counties in 13 Appalachian states. ARC's mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia.
The 2016 ATP symposium was held at the Crystal City Marriot in Arlington, VA, and featured 150 students representing 14 schools from 11 Appalachian states. The team from Alfred State included fourth-year students in the Urban Design Studio. They presented their research titled “Connecting Downtown to the River: A Vision for Sustainability and Growth in Wellsville, New York,” which discussed the Community Visualization Study completed for that community in fall 2016.
The research team was led by Professors David Carli and William Dean. Dean was also named an Appalachian Teaching Fellow for the 2016–2017 academic year, along with Dr. Craig Clark. Carli and Dean both teach in the Department of Architecture and Design. As part of their ATP visit to Washington, DC, the Alfred State team also toured a number of monuments and museums on the National Mall, including the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Led by the Consortium of Appalachian Centers and Institutes, the ATP offers students a unique opportunity to conduct active community-based research on their campuses.
Nearly 2,000 students from 20 colleges and universities across Appalachia have participated in the ATP since the program began in 2001.
Electrical workers from across the Southern Tier and beyond converged on the Wellsville campus recently to meet some of their future coworkers. By giving students the opportunity to meet members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), these young people are gaining an in-depth view of what it’s like on the job and may be making connections for finding an employer.
“We run this as an annual event cooperatively with the Career Development Center to offer opportunities for students to learn about career pathways,” said Electrical Trades Department Chair Jeff Stevens. “It shows our students the choices they have as graduates of Alfred State.”
Electrical workers came from several different local IBEW chapters, including: Local 106 Jamestown, Local 139 Elmira, Local 86 Rochester, Local 840 Geneva, and Local 241 Ithaca. Some of the visiting electrical workers are always looking for more talented electricians to add to their teams and they have the opportunity to find out more about each student.
“For about 45 minutes, the electrical workers met as a group and then individually met with interested students,” stated Stevens. “This is a tremendous opportunity that our Electrical Trades Department and the School of Applied Technology offers to our students. Students leave empowered, knowledgeable about the choices they have, and a future within the Skilled Trades.”
The IBEW members find this gathering so beneficial that they have come to meet Alfred State students each year. Plans are already underway for a meeting between another group of electrical professionals and students this spring.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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).