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Campus News

Regional Science and Technology Fair showcases dozens of student projects

Posted Date: Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 13:45

A total of 85 science and technology projects completed by students from 14 local school districts were on display for judging and viewing April 8 at Alfred State’s 17th annual Regional Science and Technology Fair.

Participating were Alfred-Almond, Addison, Andover, Arkport, Canaseraga, Franklinville, Friendship, Genesee Valley, Hinsdale, Hornell, Portville, Prattsburgh, Wellsville, and home-schooled students.

Participants were divided into three divisions, senior (grades 10-12), junior (grades seven through nine), and novice (grades four through six). A total of 100 students presented their projects to the judges for a chance at the $1,590 in prize money.

Winners in the senior division included first-place winner ($250) Lydia Lukomski from Portville with “Portable MRI,” second-place winner ($150) Taylor North from Portville with “RoboDoc,” and third-place winner ($100) Courtney Rowley from Portville with “Deciphering Deception.”

Winners in the junior division included first-place winner ($250) Elizabeth Przybyla from Hinsdale with “Your Heart Rate & Exercise,” second-place winner ($150) and home-schooled student Silas Cochran with “Fire Generated Electricity,” and third-place winner ($100) Mackenzi Adams from Hinsdale with “The Effect of Blade Factors on Voltage Output.”

Winners in the novice division included first-place winner ($50) Gabrielle Chandler from Prattsburgh with “Turn That Music Down,” second-place winner ($25) Eric Butts from Andover with “Electromagnet Generator,” and third-place winner ($15) Grace Darrin from Genesee Valley with “Electric Paint.”

The grand prize ($500) went to Mariah Bloise from Portville with “Pricey to Priceless Gel Electrophoresis.”

The best junior division school winner was Hinsdale and the best senior division school winner was Portville. Both schools were awarded a silver tray.

Each participant received a certificate of participation, and individual ribbons were presented to first-, second-, and third-place prize winners in all divisions. The Science and Technology Fair was sponsored by Auxiliary Campus Enterprises and Services (ACES), Student Senate, the Physical and Life Sciences Department, Wards Scientific, and Fisher Scientific.

students who were awarded for their science and technology projects April 8, 2016

Pictured are the students who were awarded for their science and technology projects April 8 at Alfred State’s 17th annual Regional Science and Technology Fair. In the front row from left are Eric Butts (Andover), Elizabeth Przybyla (Hinsdale), Mackenzi Adams (Hinsdale), and Grace Darrin (Genesee Valley). In the back row are Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences Dr. Robert Curry, Mariah Bloise (Portville), Lydia Lukomski (Portville), Taylor North (Portville), Courtney Rowley (Portville), Silas Cochran (home-schooled), and Mathew Waugh (Portville). Not pictured is Gabrielle Chandler (Prattsburgh).

Police officer Wilcox promoted to lieutenant

Posted Date: Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 15:30

Jeffrey WilcoxAlfred State and the State University Police Department are pleased to announce that Jeffrey Wilcox has been promoted to the position of lieutenant within the University Police Department, effective April 7.

Wilcox graduated from the Rural Police Training Institute police academy in Batavia in 2000, and soon after, began his law enforcement career at SUNY Binghamton. After some time at Binghamton, Wilcox transferred to Alfred State. He then left for SUNY Geneseo, but returned to Alfred State after a couple of years.

In addition to his full-time position at the college, Wilcox currently serves as the chief of police for the Town of Nunda Police Department, a position he has held since 2006. As chief, Wilcox is a member of the Livingston County Law Enforcement Council and a board member of the Livingston County Drug Task Force.

During Wilcox’s time at Alfred State, he has performed the duties of a police officer on all three shifts and become a familiar face not only on the Alfred campus, but also on the Wellsville campus. Wilcox is engaged with the students, faculty, and staff in a number of different ways, and as such, has a strong network across the campus.

Most recently, Wilcox has been instrumental in working with other departments on campus to develop, coordinate, and implement a number of community policing and civic engagement projects. Some of these include Naloxone training for law enforcement and civilians, Child Passenger Seat Safety Program, Coffee with a Cop, Green Dot Bystander Intervention, and Fair and Impartial Policing.

“Lt. Wilcox has the ability to think outside of the box and try different ideas to engage with our students, faculty, and staff,” said Matthew Heller, chief of police at Alfred State, “and will be a great addition to the University Police Command staff.”

Wilcox has an extensive training history. Some of these trainings include police general topics instructor, police field training officer, a course in police supervision, New York State law enforcement accreditation manager, Glock Armorer, and numerous FEMA incident command classes. He has taught at the Rural Police Training Institute in Batavia and is one of the department’s firearms instructors.

In addition to his service as a police officer, Wilcox served in the United States Navy from 1987 to 1993, holding the position of fireman on the USS Kitty Hawk.

After his military time, Wilcox earned his AAS degree from Corning Community College and completed his Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice at SUNY Brockport.

Initial members of new Sigma Lambda Chi honor society installed

Posted Date: Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 15:15

More than a dozen students were recently installed in a new chapter of the Sigma Lambda Chi (SLC) honor society that was chartered April 4 at Alfred State.

Civil Engineering Technology Associate Professor Timothy Piotrowski will act as the adviser to the 14 newly installed student members, all of whom are construction management engineering technology majors, which include Steven Andrzejewski, of Arcade; Ryan Caslin, of Corning; Derrick Clark, of Alfred; Fred Dumond, of Liberty; Tyler Elliott, of Perry; Ryan Etue, of East Nassau; Dakota Fraser, of Lima; Henry Gifford, of Berne; Michael Goddard, of Honeoye; Austin Leri, of Endicott; Kassandra Militello, of Akron; Andrew Pionteck, of Endicott; Carina Scalise, of Baldwinsville; and Brian Williamson, of Canastota.

Also inducted were faculty members Associate Professor and Department Chair Erin Vitale, Associate Professor Jeff Marshall, and Assistant Professor Tabitha Sprau-Coulter. Retired Professor Ron Nichols was inducted as an honorary member.

Sigma Lambda Chi is an international honor society within the construction industry. Chapters may be established at a school, college, or university that has a major discipline of education in construction.

To be installed by a chapter, a student must be at least a junior and have a GPA in the upper 20 percent of qualified students in the program. They must also have participated in one or more extracurricular activities; demonstrated excellent leadership, character, and personality traits; and worked in some phase of construction for at least one summer or winter break.

Membership in this society is certainly an important milestone in a student’s college career and indicates a significant accomplishment for the inductee, as well as to potential employers. Members are permitted to wear the memorabilia associated with the society at graduation for further recognition.

According to SLC International President Christine Piper, there are approximately 75 chapters and more than 19,000 current members in the United States, Australia, and Ireland.

members of the newly installed Alfred State chapter of the Sigma Lambda Chi honor society

Pictured are the members of the newly installed Alfred State chapter of the Sigma Lambda Chi honor society. All students are construction management engineering technology students. In the front row, from left to right, are Steven Andrzejewski, of Arcade; Associate Professor and Civil Engineering Technology Department Chair Erin Vitale; Associate Professor Jeff Marshall; Retired Professor Ron Nichols; and Associate Professor Timothy Piotrowski. In the second row, from left, are Kassandra Militello, of Akron; Brian Williamson, of Canastota; Carina Scalise, of Baldwinsville; Henry Gifford, of Berne; Dakota Fraser, of Lima; Fred Dumond, of Liberty; Andrew Pionteck, of Endicott; Ryan Caslin, of Corning; Austin Leri, of Endicott; Derrick Clark, of Alfred; and Michael Goddard, of Honeoye. Not pictured are Tyler Elliott, of Perry; Ryan Etue, of East Nassau; and Assistant Professor Tabitha Sprau-Coulter.

Third annual soil pH clinic set for April 22

Posted Date: Monday, April 11, 2016 - 15:45

Cassandra Bull and Sam PulisStudents in the soils class at Alfred State will hold a pH clinic for the community from 2-6 p.m. Friday, April 22 in room 103 of the Agriculture Science Building on the Alfred campus.

Community members are encouraged to bring up to four soil samples (sandwich bag-sized) for pH measurement and texture determination (approximate amount of sand, silt, and clay). Student and faculty advisers will be on-hand to assist community members in interpreting their results for specific garden or landscaping needs.

Jessica Hutchison, lecturer in the Agriculture and Veterinary Technology Department, said testing soil pH is important because pH values outside a plant’s preferred range can limit growth and productivity.

“Bringing a sample to the soil pH clinic is a fun, free way to get information about your soil and interact with students who are excited about putting their knowledge to the test,” she said.

If unable to attend the event, community members are encouraged to drop off or mail samples to Jessica Hutchison, 123B Agriculture Building, Agriculture and Veterinary Technology Department, 10 Upper College Drive, Alfred, NY 14802. If mailing or dropping off samples, please ensure that samples arrive prior to the day of the event.

Contact Hutchison at HutchiJM@alfredstate.edu or 607-587-3616 regarding any questions.

Pictured in photo: Cassandra Bull, left, an Alfred University student from Saratoga Springs who is studying agricultural technology at Alfred State, and Sam Pulis, an agricultural technology major from Hector, analyze soil samples during last year’s soil pH clinic at Alfred State.

Chemistry faculty member discovers interesting properties of metal surfaces

Posted Date: Monday, April 11, 2016 - 15:30

Scott SimpsonUntil it is properly researched and proven, a theory has two ultimate conclusions, like the flip of a coin for winning or losing. And in this case it would be the flip of a copper penny.

While working with theoretical computations, Physical and Life Sciences Assistant Professor Scott Simpson noticed that copper interacted with an organic molecule called p-benzoquinonemonoimine in a different way compared to some other metals. This led to a hypothesis that copper actually strengthens the bonds of the molecule. This is quite unusual, as bonds typically weaken upon interaction with a metal surface.

“When I ran the numbers, I noticed something strange with copper, and quite frankly my first reaction was that the calculations must be in error, so of course I ran them again,” stated Simpson. “As I looked at the data closer, I came to theorize that something special must be happening here that you don’t see with other coinage metals. This intrigued me and some of my colleagues to research it further.”

Simpson and his colleagues are published in the periodic Journal of Physical Chemistry. Their finding can be valuable in the field of synthetic chemistry which is the formation of complex compounds by uniting simpler ones. Understanding the unique ways that molecules adhere to the surface of metals can lead to new production methods for synthetic compounds.

A native of Allegany, Simpson sees Alfred State as a way of coming home and inspiring another generation of students. “Synthetic chemistry is used, for example, in the creation of new pharmaceutical drugs and in this arena, changing one or two atoms can be the difference between life and death when introduced into the human body. I teach my students how understanding chemistry can open their eyes. I remember how chemistry class gave me lots of those ‘Aha!’ moments, which still motivate me to this day.”

Simpson is cited as the lead author of the article entitled "Modulating Bond Lengths via Backdonation." Additional authors include James Hooper of Jagiellonian University in Poland, Daniel P. Miller and Eva Zurek with the State University of New York at Buffalo, and Danna A. Kunkel and Axel Enders from the University of Nebraska. This is the seventh occasion for Simpson's work to be published in the ACS Journal of Physical Chemistry. Simpson earned his bachelor’s degree at SUNY Fredonia and PhD at the State University of New York at Buffalo before joining the faculty at Alfred State.


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