Finishing in the top 10 in a national competition category is nothing new for Alfred State’s Andrea Koston.
Last year, the 2017 culinary arts: baking, production and management graduate from Rochester earned a fifth-place spot in the commercial baking category in the 52nd annual National SkillsUSA Championship. This year, Koston fared even better against the competition, taking home a silver medal in commercial baking in the 53rd annual event, which took place in Louisville, KY.
Alfred State Culinary Arts Instructor Brian Decker, who served as an adviser to the students during the trip to Kentucky, along with Automotive Trades Instructor Bradley Smith, said, "Andrea mentioned to me several times that her current employer, where Andrea has baking responsibilities, was very willing to let her practice prior to the competition while on the job. She indicated that they were very supportive and encouraging, which truly speaks to Andrea's strengths and character. I am very proud of Andrea for her silver medal win, as well as all of our students who competed in this year's SkillsUSA Nationals."
More than 6,000 students compete in 100 occupational and leadership skill areas at the SkillsUSA championships, according to the SkillsUSA website. The site further adds that these competitions establish industry standards for entry-level workers in many fields.
Having recently earned her two-year degree, Koston will continue her education at Alfred State in the fall in the college’s four-year technology management program. Also representing Alfred State at the national championship were Jacob Knapp, autobody repair, Dansville; Nicholas Most, building trades: building construction, Endicott; Brenton Yager, masonry, Falconer; Mike Burdick, automotive service technician, Webster; and Cole Smith, electrical construction and maintenance electrician, Collins.