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Campus News

Local Students Embark on Civic Engagement Trip to Peru

Posted Date: Monday, May 19, 2014 - 10:30

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.

College Students Honor Friend with Bolivar Service Project

Posted Date: Monday, April 21, 2014 - 09:00

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.”

Bolivar Service Project

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.

Local Student Wins National Award for Civic Engagement

Posted Date: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 15:15

Kayla FranchinaAlfred 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.”

15th Annual Regional Science and Technology Fair Winners Announced

Posted Date: Friday, April 11, 2014 - 14:30

Student displays from nine local school districts (Addison, Andover, Canaseraga, Hammondsport, Hinsdale, Portville, Prattsburgh, St. Anne’s Academy, and Tuscarora) were judged at Alfred State’s 15th Annual Regional Science and Technology Fair on April 4. Sixty-three science and technology projects were on display for judging and public viewing. Participants were divided into senior (grades 10-12), junior (grades 7-9), and novice grade categories. A total of 77 students presented their projects to the judges for a chance at $1,590 in prize money.

Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan congratulates grand prize winner Ryan Kent of PortvilleThe grand prize of $500 was awarded to Ryan Kent, of Portville, for his “Benefits of air power” project. Hinsdale and Portville school districts won best junior and senior division schools respectively. (Pictured here, Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan congratulates grand prize winner Ryan Kent.)

Winners in the senior division included Lydia Lukomski, of Portville, who earned a $250 first place prize for her “physics of volleyball” project; Ryan Thierman and Darienne Slocum, both of Portville, who won a $150 second place prize for their “Breaking bad battery;” and Nicholai Dowdy, of Hinsdale, who won a $100 third place prize for his “Visual agent best camouflage” project.

Winners in the junior division included Grace Lenhard, of Prattsburgh, who won first place and $250 for her “Likes and dislikes of smells” project; Kristin Chapman, of Hinsdale, who won second place and $150 for “Crank it to power it,” and Tyler Vroman, of Addison, who won third place and $100 for “Mushroom ethanol.”

Winners in the novice division included first place and $50 to Brenden Everdyke, of Prattsburgh, with “Marble Race”; second place and $25 to David Mcintosh and Ryan Reynolds, of Canaseraga, with “Fracking;” and a $15 third place win to Nolan Randall, of Prattsburgh, with “Bess Beetle.”

Each participant received a certificate of participation, and individual ribbons were presented to first-, second-, and third-place prize winners in all divisions. Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan stopped by the event to congratulate the winners and view the projects. The prizes were sponsored by Alstom Transportation, Alfred State Student Senate, Alfred State Physical and Health Sciences Department, Wards Scientific, Fisher Scientific, Bio-Rad laboratories.

Winners of the 15th Annual Regional Science and Technology Fair

Back row (left to right): Ryan Kent, grand prize winner (Portville); Nicholai Dowdy, third place senior division (Hinsdale); Ryan Thierman, second place senior division (Portville); Lydia Lukomski, first place senior division (Portville); Tyler Vroman, third place junior division (Addison); Ryan Reynolds, second place novice division (Canaseraga); Grace Lenhard, first place junior division (Prattsburgh)
First row (left to right): Darienne Slocum, second place senior division (Portville); Brenden Everdyke, first place novice division (Prattsburgh); Nolan Randall, third place novice (Prattsburgh); David Mcintosh, second place novice (Canaseraga); Kristin Chapman, second place junior division (Hinsdale)

Construction Management and Engineering Technology Program Renews Accreditation

Posted Date: Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 11:15

The Board of Trustees of the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE) announces the renewal of accreditation of the construction management program at Alfred State. The program has maintained the stringent standards of the ACCE and has proven to the board, through a visiting team of its peer and industry practitioners, that the program is worthy of accreditation.

The construction management engineering technology (BS) program at Alfred State includes a series of technical courses designed to familiarize the graduate with all aspects of construction management, as well as a series of related courses in math, science, and several business courses, which give the graduate a broad-based education that provides the skills needed in a leadership role in today's construction business.

The ACCE was established in 1974 to be a leading global advocate of quality construction education and to promote, support, and accredit quality construction education programs around the world. The ACCE is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the accrediting agency for four-year baccalaureate degree programs in construction, construction science, construction management, and construction technology and is the accrediting agency for two-year associate degree programs of a similar nature.

Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc., Welcomes New Board Members

Posted Date: Friday, February 28, 2014 - 11:45

The Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc., a private foundation representing faculty, staff, and friends of Alfred State, welcomed two new board members earlier this year, Carissa M. Knapp, of Belmont, and Sandra E. Sawyer, of Wellsville.

Carissa M. KnappKnapp, second assistant county attorney for the Allegany County Attorney’s Office, received her associate degree in liberal arts and social sciences from Alfred State; her bachelor’s degree in history from Alfred University; a master’s degree in professional studies, community service administration from Alfred University; and her law degree from The George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C. She is a past president of the Belmont Rotary Club. An Allegany County native, Knapp and her husband, Eric, live in Belmont.

Sandra E. SawyerSawyer, of Sawyer Realty, Inc., in Wellsville, is a former teacher at Friendship Central School, where she spent nearly 40 years guiding young minds. She has also been a class advisor and grant writer and remains an active community leader. She is a member of the NYS Retired Teachers’ Association, the National Association of Realtors, and the NYS Association of Realtors. She is currently a real estate salesperson and part-time consumer science teacher. Sawyer received her bachelor’s degree in education from SUNY Geneseo and her permanent teaching certification from Alfred University. She has maintained her New York State real estate salesperson license since 2003. Born in Oneida, Sawyer lives in Wellsville near her son, Patrick.

Culinary Arts Students to Prepare a Mardi Gras Celebration Dinner

Posted Date: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 10:15

Students enrolled in the Culinary Arts programs at Alfred State are bringing a taste of the fun and festivities of Mardi Gras to Wellsville. These future food industry experts will be preparing a delicious New Orleans-style menu—and giving out complimentary Mardi Gras beads in the traditional colors of green, gold, and purple—on Tues., March 4, from 5-7 p.m., in the student dining room of the Culinary Arts Building on the Wellsville campus.

The cost of attendance is $17 for adults; $7 for children 10 and under. Proceeds from the event will benefit Culinary Arts scholarships. This event is open to the public; no reservations will be accepted.

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.