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Campus News

Students to Mark National Court Reporting Week with Outreach to Local Veterans and More

Posted Date: Monday, February 17, 2014 - 14:15

Court reporting and captioning students at Alfred State are marking National Court Reporting and Captioning Week, Feb. 16-22, by participating in a national veteran’s oral history project coordinated by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), the leading organization representing stenographic court reporting and broadcast captioning professionals.

As part of the project, Alana Devaul, a senior court reporting student and native of Fulton, will use court reporting methods and equipment designed for capturing, storing and retrieving information to transcribe the service story of renowned local artist Chet Swier of Cuba who served during World War II as a pilot in the Army Air Corps. Swier, a native of Kenmore, NY, was shot down over Germany and was captured as a prisoner of war. Although Swier passed away in 2011, his story was caught on tape during annual trips to Cuba Elementary School where he related his story to the young students. The oral account of his service will be collected and donated to the Library of Congress where it will be preserved as part of American history.

Also in celebration of the week, on-campus students will be spending a day at the Allegany County Courthouse where they will shadow official court reporters Jo Ann Tredway of Cuba and Pam Rohrabacher of Wellsville as they “capture the record” in local court cases. The students will also be given a tour of the rest of the courthouse facilities to see how legal documents are created and stored.

In addition, court reporting students will be participating in a civic engagement project they’re calling ASC Operation Gratitude. The project will consist of soliciting a variety of items from the Alfred State community to assemble care packages to send to overseas veterans. Included in the packages will be cards signed by members of the student body, faculty, and staff. Students will also make paracord bracelets (survival bracelets) to send with the care packages.

Alfred State’s associate degree and certificate programs in court reporting and captioning are the only NCRA-approved programs in Western New York. Both programs are online and typically take four semesters (including a summer session) to complete.

“Court reporting and captioning is a highly technical profession that requires great skill and knowledge,” said Francine Staba, chair of the business department. “These professionals make invaluable contributions to the legal and deaf and hard-of-hearing communities each and every day.” As a result, career opportunities for new graduates entering the field are plentiful. The profession offers both flexibility and significant income potential. In New York State, for example, the average annual income for reporting professionals is $84,000.

Alfred State’s court reporting graduates typically find work in the field within six months of graduation and are qualified to be a closed-captioner for live events, broadcast and videography purposes, freelance court reporters, medical transcriptionists, rapid text entry specialists, and real-time reporters.

To learn more about the upcoming events for National Court Reporting and Captioning Week at Alfred State or, to learn more about the program, contact Danielle Green at greendr@alfredstate.edu or Melissa Blake at blakemj@alfredstate.edu.

Information Security Team Qualifies for Prestigious Competition

Posted Date: Monday, February 10, 2014 - 10:15

Eight Computer and Information Technology students were selected to compete in the upcoming Northeast Collegiate Cyber Defense competition in New Hampshire

On Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, Alfred State’s Information Security Team competed in the Northeast Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NECCDC) qualifying round and, after a highly successful showing, was selected as one of nine to compete in the NECCDC competition at the University of New Hampshire March 14-16, 2014. “When it comes down to it, a lot of hard work and late nights go into making sure we are ready to put our best foot forward,” said Matt Dennison, team captain. “The qualifier is just one day of competition, but it is really fast paced. We have set the bar high for the regional competition in New Hampshire. Last year we did really well as a team. Our plan for this year is to keep the momentum going, continue to improve, and secure a spot in the top three.”

Fourteen teams competed at the qualifying competition on Jan. 25, including teams from Rochester Institute of Technology, SUNY IT, and other technology-focused campuses. The Alfred State Information Security Team was represented by six students in the information technology: network administration program—Captain Matthew Dennison, of Granville; Co-Captain Adam Smith, of Marietta; Michael Fiore, of Poughkeepsie; Mathew Gandron, of Derby; Craig Gratton, of Lackawanna; and Edward Swackhamer, of Brewerton. The team also included Jeffrey Andolora, of Caledonia, in the information technology: applications software development program, and Christopher Grabski, of Aurora, in the information security and assurance program.

“The team started preparing for this competition when they returned from the 2013 NECCDC which was held at the University of Maine,” said Professor and Chair of Computer Information Technology Jim Boardman, team coach. “The team finished sixth out of 10 teams competing at the 2013 NECCDC, which is very good considering all other teams had graduate student members. RIT came in first place; however, their captain was the captain of Alfred State’s 2012 NECCDC team. He is now a graduate student at RIT.”

This three-day event began by specifically focusing on the operational aspect of managing and protecting an existing commercial network infrastructure. Students who participated got a chance to test their knowledge in an operational environment while networking with industry professionals and learning about many of the security and operational challenges they will soon face in the job market. “This competition is all about hands-on experience and our students excel because our program focuses on hands-on training in a project based learning environment,” Boardman said. “I’m very proud of our team. They have practiced countless hours delving into the details of how to properly secure a network and network applications. But, most importantly, they have spread their enthusiasm for cyber security to all students in their department and many other schools by hosting local security competitions in the spring of 2013 and fall of 2013.”

Much credit goes to the students that competed, Coach Jim Boardman, proctors Dr. John Burke and Professor Scott O’Connor, and computer technician Russell Rittenhouse, who helped the team get through the qualifying round.

Two Western New York Colleges Put Civic Engagement into Action

Posted Date: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 - 14:15

Alfred State and Alfred University partnered on a day of community service last weekend in remembrance of a great civic leader

MLK Jr. Dream Week Day of ServiceOn Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, Alfred State and Alfred University students braved the cold for a good cause—heading out into the community in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy of social justice and civic engagement for their annual MLK Jr. Dream Week Day of Service.

“Students served in Alfred, Almond, Belmont, Wellsville, and Hornell,” said Jonathan Hilsher, director of the Center for Civic Engagement at Alfred State. “Approximately 140 students, faculty, and staff participated in this event, including the Alfred State baseball team, Alfred University tennis team, and Greek organizations. President and Mrs. Sullivan also took time to lend a hand in the effort.”

College students, faculty, and staff worked on 16 separate projects, which included the Alfred Lions Club, food pantries, Wellsville Community Kitchen, Almond 20th Century Library, Allegany ARC, and buildings on both campuses. Volunteers painted rooms, made treats, visited with the elderly and disabled, cleaned and organized, and connected with local nonprofits.

“It was sincerely appreciated. Our school is now shining and sparkling,” said Carman Banzaca, executive director of the Alfred Montessori School. “The children and staff will be so thrilled.” This event rounded out a week of programming on both campuses in commemoration of the holiday and its namesake.

“Two of the most important outcomes of this event are the relationship building and fostering greater awareness of the challenges and opportunities in our larger community. I definitely see this day as a launching point for further civic involvement by our students,” Jonathan said.

Alfred State and Alfred University were recently awarded a New York Campus Compact 2014 MLK Collegiate Challenge Grant. Only a dozen schools in the state received the honor. Both institutions will collaboratively use the funds to honor the life of Dr. King by inspiring students to serve and helping members of the community to work together to address community challenges.

The U.S. National Arboretum Gets a Boost from Renewable Energy

Posted Date: Friday, November 15, 2013 - 09:00

Alfred State Students install third and largest solar array at the U.S. National Arboretum

Nineteen students and graduates and two instructors from Alfred State’s electrical construction and maintenance electrician program headed to Washington, D.C., this October to complete the largest phase of what has been a five-year project to help the U.S. National Arboretum meet its sustainability goals. Their mission: to install a 15 kilowatt photovoltaic system.

The newest solar energy system is part of the Arboretum’s long-term plan to update and improve the grounds while educating the public about renewable energy technology. The 446-acre facility operated by the Agriculture Research Service in Washington, D.C., is the principal intramural scientific research agency of the USDA. The 15 kilowatt solar array will supply power to the Arboretum to offset electricity costs associated with the facility’s bonsai displays.

U.S. National Arboretum project 2013Alfred State students and faculty made their first trip to the Arboretum in 2008, when the college participated in the USDA Bioenergy Awareness Days conference at the facility. There, students presented a hands-on display focused on renewable energy projects. Impressed with the college’s expertise, Arboretum Director Tom Elias asked Alfred State to help them with further projects—namely, conducting major solar installations and training at the facility.

Starting in 2009, Jeffrey Stevens, associate professor of electrical trades, led a team of students back to Washington, D.C., to do the first solar installation at the Arboretum—a 1 kilowatt array used to power a drip-irrigation system.

As part of the agreement, the college has now completed three solar installs—1 kilowatt, 5 kilowatts, and 15 kilowatts—and has provided workshops and training on renewable energy hosted at the Arboretum. Alfred State students themselves lead these workshops, providing demonstrations from their own experiences working on the design, installation, and implementation of other photovoltaic systems on campus. Each educational session has attracted more and more homeowners, engineers, contractors, and government officials such as Earl F. Gohl, federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).

Since 1996, the college has partnered with organizations like the ARC on grants that allowed the college to develop its proficiency in small wind and photovoltaic systems. The expertise and facilities developed by the ARC grant were then used to win a $2.1 million New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) grant to expand clean energy training in New York State and give students the hands-on experience they need to become experts in the dynamic world of renewable energy technology. Those same students are now becoming teachers in their own right through opportunities like the solar installation projects and workshops at the Arboretum.

And just this November, Joe Kurch, a native of Buffalo and a senior in the electrical construction and maintenance electrician program, won the first-ever Enphase Energy, Inc. North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners Scholarship Giveaway after gaining experience working on the 15 kilowatt solar installation at the Arboretum. The scholarship will allow Kurch to take his education to the next level with free online training courses, NABCEP training books, and a paid, entry-level NABCEP exam.

“I cannot express how proud I am of the students, for their exemplary work ethic, professionalism, attention to detail, and overall excellence throughout the entire project,” Stevens says. “The students have demonstrated Alfred’s excellence in education.”

Although this year’s install at the Arboretum constitutes the end of the agreement between Alfred State and the facility, both organizations are eager to extend it into the foreseeable future. “Projects like this help prepare our students. They involve planning and working in a real world environment with real deadlines,” says Craig Clark, interim vice president for academic affairs at Alfred State. “This will be an adventure.”

Learn more about the group’s past and future projects on Facebook.

Professor Mitchell Confronts Both Triumph and Loss in His Newest Book of Poetry

Posted Date: Monday, October 21, 2013 - 14:45

When he isn’t encouraging students at Alfred State to express themselves through writing, Richard Mitchell, professor of English, is contemplating his own creative endeavors—namely, poetry. His latest book, Before Every Other Fall (Aldrich Press), hit the stands this July and is already receiving acclaim. “Mitchell's poetry is distinctive—it triggers emotion in the reader without the use of sentimentality, intellectual thought without the use of lecture, and above all, an appreciation of sensory opportunities that the reader instinctively feels she would have missed without Mitchell's poetry to serve as a prompt,” says Dr. Daniel Barwick, president of Independence Community College in Independence, Kansas. “Some of the poems are tragic and some are lighter fare, but all prompt a feeling of immediacy, intimacy, and sensory richness.”

The book is a collection of poems—each with its own voice and emotional quality—all sharing the same sense of poignancy. “What happens to us when things are lost?” Mitchell asks. “The impetus came from me asking myself that question—how do people deal with different kinds of loss?”

Although the poems are intimately connected, each piece is written using a different persona. And while some of these voices stem from the writer’s own experiences, many, Mitchell says, are simply tools he uses to peel away the layers of subjective experience in order to get at the heart of what it is, for anyone, to feel significant loss. “As a poet, he asks us to use all of our senses, and he challenges us by creating complex metaphors about human nature and the natural world,” says Calista McBride, interim chair of English and Humanities and professor of English at Alfred State. “As readers, we are compelled to move with him…from the vulnerability of innocence to the strength of graceful experience.”

Mitchell grew up in Johnson City, New York, and developed a love of poetry from an early age through his mother’s encouragement. He received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from SUNY Oswego and his Ph.D. from the University of Nevada, Reno, concentrating in Renaissance drama and non-dramatic literature, American literature, and the eighteenth-century novel. Prior to taking a position at Alfred State, Mitchell taught at SUNY Delhi and at North Country Community College.

Mitchell’s work has appeared in the Louisville Review, Skylark, the Cimarron Review, the Concho River Review, and the Wisconsin Review among others. His first book, Speaking of Seed and Night, was published by Chiron Press. Before Every Other Fall is available for purchase from Amazon.com.

Educational Foundation of Alfred Inc. to Showcase New Student-Built Home for Sale during Wellsville’s Annual RidgeWalk

Posted Date: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - 14:15

The Educational Foundation of Alfred Inc., a private foundation dedicated to improving the college community through support of educational programs, will be hosting an open house showcasing a brand-new home (dubbed House 53) now available for purchase. Students in Alfred State’s School of Applied Technology built the home, which will be on display during Wellsville’s annual RidgeWalk, Run, Race, Ride on Oct. 20 from 2 to 4 p.m.

“The Educational Foundation exists to enhance learning opportunities and improve the community through education,” says Julie Hart, the foundation’s president. “This home was built by students, which provided them with hands-on experience in their fields, and the proceeds from the home’s sale will help create more opportunities like this in the future.”

This 2,078-square-foot, two-story home includes an attached two-car garage and full basement. It is vinyl sided with a stone front and sits on 3.16 acres. The house has four bedrooms and two and a half baths, including a master bath with its own whirlpool tub, shower, and walk-in closet. It features a vaulted ceiling in the parlor, a wood-burning fireplace, a formal dining room, custom oak cabinets with concrete countertops in the kitchen, and a breakfast room with a sliding glass door that opens up onto a large back deck. The home is a showcase of energy efficiency and technology, with a combination of hot water baseboard and radiant floor heating; a professional-quality phone, data, and communication networking system; and a centralized cabling and termination center for video. The asking price is $225,000.

The home, located at Meservey Hill Heights on Foundation Drive in Wellsville, New York, will be open to the public and prospective buyers during Wellsville’s 21st RidgeWalk, an annual celebration of healthy outdoor experiences. The RidgeWalk, Run, Race, Ride is part of the Eastern Grip Trail Running Series and regularly attracts hundreds of runners and mountain bikers of all ages and fitness levels. Participants enjoy the great outdoors in everything from casual two-mile road walks to eight-mile mountain bike races. The festivities culminate in a celebratory bash at Big Hill horse farm, with refreshments, music, and kids’ activities.

House 53

Professor Schwartz to Give TEDx Talk in Buffalo Today

Posted Date: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - 10:45

Jeremy Speed Schwartz, assistant professor of Digital Media & Animation, will be delivering a talk as part of TEDxBuffalo, an independently organized TED event, on Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 11:24 a.m. at Canisius College’s Montante Cultural Center. Professor Speed Schwartz will be discussing experiments and collaborations in science and art. Alfred State will also be broadcasting the event live on its own campus in the Student Leadership Center’s small event space.

Speed Schwartz’s talk, titled "Imaginary Science: Experiments and Collaborations in Science/Art," is a presentation of some of his work with the League of Imaginary Scientists, an interdisciplinary art group focused on collaboration with scientists in various fields. Their work combines video, interactive media, animation, sculpture, and performance. “In the past, we've worked with biologists at MIT, NASA geophysicists, and most recently scientists at the Memphis Ground Water Institute,” Speed Schwartz says. “The focus of the talk is the benefits we as artists gain from working with people who have radically different methodologies. This includes how we might use their research as a jumping-off point to explore new ideas and how we might incorporate their strategies into our conceptualization and production. I will also be discussing what these scientists gain from working with us.”

In the spirit of the original TED talks, TEDx is a series of local, self-organized events intended to bring various people together to share in a TED-like experience. TEDxBuffalo has taken place each October since 2011. The event is free thanks to numerous donations and is organized and hosted by volunteers. The event is scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 4:06 p.m. and includes an after-party.

Department of Architecture and Design Brings Award-Winning Architect Tod Williams to Campus

Posted Date: Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 14:30

Architecture is a noun poster image, Entrance to the new Barnes Foundation Museum in Philadelphia designed by Tod Williams The Department of Architecture and Design is proud to announce “Architecture is a noun,” an upcoming lecture by Tod Williams of Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects on Oct. 14 at 6 p.m. in room 215 of the Engineering Technology Building on the Alfred campus.

Tod Williams has been in partnership with Billie Tsien since 1986. Their studio, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects in New York City, focuses on work for institutions such as museums, schools, and non-profits—organizations that value issues of aspiration and meaning, timelessness and beauty.

Their buildings are carefully made and useful in ways that speak to both efficiency and the spirit. A sense of rootedness, light, texture, detail, and most of all experience are at the heart of what they build. Parallel to their practice, Williams maintains an active teaching career and lectures worldwide.

Among their distinguished buildings are the American Folk Art Museum; the Asia Society Hong Kong Center; the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center; the Center for the Advancement of Public Action at Bennington College; the Cranbrook Natatorium; the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, California; the Phoenix Art Museum; the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago; and the new home for the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. Their long list of design awards includes the 2013 AIA Architecture Firm Award.

The Department of Architecture and Design gratefully acknowledges the lecture’s sponsorship by Joseph Venture and his firm ArtWalk Tile in Rochester, New York, a gallery style store with an inventory of luxury tile and hardwood displayed as fine works of art.

The Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc., Welcomes New Board Member

Posted Date: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 13:30

The Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc., a private foundation representing faculty, staff, and friends of Alfred State, welcomed a new board member earlier this year, Patrick Barry of Wellsville.

Barry, senior vice president of The Dolomite Group based in Hornell, manages operations at the former A.L. Blades & Sons, Inc. He received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Tri-State University in Angola, Indiana, and his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University at Buffalo.

He is an active community member in the Wellsville area, a member of the Wellsville First United Methodist Church, and maintains membership in a number of professional organizations and societies, including the Associated General Contractors (AGC), the Association of Pennsylvania Contractors (APC), and the Association for Bridge Construction and Design (ABCD). He is a member and has been a president of the local chapter of the National Society of Professional Engineers. Barry is also a former Allegany County legislator and is the director of Stannards Water, Inc.

A native of Scio, Barry has two children—Shannon Alban and Christopher Barry—and currently lives with his wife Michele in Wellsville.

Alfred State Expands its Renewable Energy Portfolio with New Wind Turbine

Posted Date: Friday, September 13, 2013 - 16:00

New Wind TurbineThe newest member of Alfred State’s growing renewable energy family is currently catching the breeze above campus—a 100 kilowatt grid-tied wind turbine that will offset some of the college’s electricity usage. The turbine came online just a few weeks ago and is already producing clean, green energy.

“This community wind project is another example of sustainability at the college and highlights the progress of our Center for Renewable Energy,” says Craig Clark, interim vice president for academic affairs at Alfred State.

The wind project has been 14 months in the making—an initiative made possible through grants from both the Appalachian Regional Commission and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), which together provided more than 50 percent of the funding.

“The project will not only produce energy for the campus but also expose students to another wind turbine on campus,” Clark says. In fact, one of the project’s main goals is to establish a small wind laboratory for students within already existing programs, offering them even more hands-on experience with green technologies. “This knowledge will increase industry demand for these graduates,” he says.

Alfred State already has several other smaller wind turbines on the Wellsville campus, as well as a zero energy demonstration home, active and passive solar technology, geothermal, and a host of other green technologies already in place in facilities like the new $33 million Student Leadership Center. And a second zero energy demonstration home—dubbed Pioneer Landing—is also in the works, with students getting involved in the design and building of the project.

In a world with rising energy costs, climate change, and dwindling resources, Alfred State is taking a proactive approach to the future of energy. “This wind turbine is an important step towards achieving Alfred State’s emissions reduction goals,” says Julian Dautremont-Smith, chief sustainability officer at Alfred State. The project will complement the college’s growing emphasis on sustainability and strengthen the region’s access to training and employment in green industries.

“Alfred State has been a leader in educating technical students since at least the 1940s and students in trades for more than 45 years. It’s what we’re known for,” Clark says. “There is a real lack of this type of skilled workforce in the region, and a lack of models to sell community wind. This project will allow Alfred State to continue training the highly skilled workers the industry requires and help meet national, state, and regional needs.”