ACT Awards Presented to Alfred State College Students

The Association of Council Members and College Trustees (ACT) of State University of New York (SUNY) has notified Alfred State College that students have captured awards in two categories in its annual ACT for Excellence Scholarship Award and Student Initiative Awards for Region I:  Elsa Guenther, Arkport, court and realtime reporting and technology management, has been named as the ACT for Excellence scholarship winner and the Architecture Club's Alfred Bus Shelter Project was named the Student Initiative Award winner. Accepting this award on behalf of this group were past and present architectural technology students, including Alex Nowak, Buffalo, currently a senior; Justin Cross,'08, Bloomfield, SEI Design Group; Trevor VanSickle, '08, Rochester, Razak Associates, LLC; Andrew Altoft, Castile, senior and current president, Architecture Club; and Robert Brunner, '08, Cowlesville, Mach Architecture and Engineering, PC. This award is given annually to a recipient(s) from each of the four SUNY campus regions in recognition of a student-initiated service that has been provided or a need that has been addressed through an event, service, or program that wouldn't exist on campus or in the community without student action.

The ACT for Excellence Scholarship was awarded to Guenther, a student pursuing dual majors in court and realtime reporting and technology management, based on her academic achievements since leaving high school. 

Prior to her 2005 high school graduation, Guenther earned 32 college credits from Alfred State College and Corning Community, allowing her to complete an associate's degree in liberal arts and sciences: social science from Alfred State in one year. 

Elsa GuentherIn 2006, Guenther transferred to SUNY Brockport, but returned to ASC to pursue a degree in court and realtime reporting. A year later, Guenther decided to pursue a dual major and added courses in the college's baccalaureate technology management degree program.  Since deciding on this academic path, Guenther has maintained a 4.0 grade point average (out of 4.0).  She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa international honor society and appears each semester on the dean's list. 

Guenther, in addition to being a diligent student, also volunteers to participate in recruitment efforts for Alfred State and her curriculum; she donates hours of her time to cheerleading camps.  Thanks to her outgoing personality and good communication skills, Guenther excels in her volunteer efforts and in her job as a waitress.

Several of Guenther's instructors characterized her as hardworking, ambitious, bright, and self-motivated.  Additionally, her skills as a leader were noted.

She remains involved in her high school as the class of 2005's president, reviewing all applications for a scholarship created by her graduating class.

Guenther received her $750 scholarship at ACT's annual conference, held this year in Canandaigua, in November.

The Alfred Bus Shelter Project students consisting of members of the Architecture Club of Alfred State College (and their faculty advisers Rex Simpson and Terry Palmiter) and COTTA (Community Outreach Through the Arts), a club at neighboring Alfred University, designed and built a community bus shelter on Main Street in the Village of Alfred.  Over the course of two years, the club designed and built a bus shelter for the community with a sister university club, other campus departments, and individuals of ASC and the Village of Alfred community.

Following an Alfred community charrette, a collaborative session in which a group of designers and community residents drafts a solution to a design problem, the original design was refined to reflect the needs and desires of the community.  Following Village of Alfred approval, the build phase of the project began.  Members of the community as well as Alfred State students and faculty associated with several academic disciplines and students from Alfred University pitched in to create the bus shelter.

Issues that were taken into consideration included its proximity to the village bandstand, and as a result, trellises were incorporated into the design as a tribute to that revered structure.  Its size was also considered, so that the shelter did not impinge on the Box of Books and the shelter where Alfred folk recycle their read books. Additionally, the shelter was to be used as a kiosk where the community could post hand bills to announce upcoming events.  Finally, a decorative historic terra cotta tile roof was designed and installed by the students.  Retired AU professor Glen Zweygardt fabricated and installed a metal ridge to complete the roof; Zweygardt was the designer and builder of the original bus shelter more than 30 years ago.

"This was a true community effort," notes Terry Palmiter, ASC assistant professor of architecture, adviser of the Architecture Club and ASC faculty member since 1972.

He adds, "In my many years of teaching, I have never seen a more active, enthusiastic, self-motivated group involved with an architecture program. 

"My philosophy as adviser is to not control or assign, but to listen, consult, and aid in any way possible using my networking and the resources of Alfred State College to assist their endeavors," wrote Palmiter, in his nomination of the group.

The project was a completely voluntary effort, initiated and completed by the students and those volunteers who chose to help.  No course ‘credit' or ‘make-up' points were involved to serve as incentive.

"It boils down to enthusiastic and motivated students anxious to serve the community they've lived in during their college years," adds Palmiter.

Alfred Bus Shelter Project students with their faculty advisersThe students recently traveled to Canandaigua with their campus advisers to accept their awards.  Pictured here, l-r:  Palmiter; Alex Nowak, McKenna Grehlinger, guest of Cross; Justin Cross,'08; Trevor VanSickle, '08; Jessica Sorrento, guest of VanSickle; Andrew Altoff; and William Dean, associate professor and chair, Computer Imaging and Architectural Engineering Technology Department.