The Alfred State College Dining Services team celebrated winning a Gold Award from the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS) in August. The team won the award over the summer for a Mediterranean Cruise special event it hosted at the college in March, beating out other small schools in the category like Bryn Mawr and Marist College. The Dining Services team is part of Auxiliary Campus Enterprises and Services Inc. (ACES) , the not-for-profit corporation that provides dining services on campus.
“We are thrilled with this win,” said Karen Canne, director of Dining Services. “Every part of our team contributed to a memorable evening for our students.”
The cruise theme for the event was designed to help the college highlight the college’s study abroad program at Sant'Anna Institute (formerly Sorrento Lingue Institute) in Sorrento, Italy -- -- a semester-long study abroad program that Dr. Steve Havlovic , vice president, Academic Affairs has called “the best-kept secret at Alfred.”
The event kick-off was an Internet teleconference hosted by Alfred State President John Anderson  and Cristiana Panicco, director of Sant'Anna Institute.
“ACES was determined to help promote the program and help the students who were abroad for the semester reconnect with the campus and their friends at home,” Canne explained. “But the food was really the highlight.”
Students used their regular meal plan to enjoy bruschetta, lobster ravioli, paella, an olive and cheese bar, and Spanish pork tenderloin among other delicacies. Students from the Alfred State College Culinary Arts programs  offered a special table-side presentation of Bananas Foster.
With the help of students and the staff of ACES, The Terrace  (dining hall) was transformed into a cruise ship with a gangway, outdoor café seating (complete with a hand-made lemon tree), a vineyard, and floor-to-ceiling painted windows depicting shoreline and ocean views.
This year’s win marks the seventh time that ACES has won an award from NACUFS after a 10-year hiatus from competition as the company focused on two building construction projects that changed the face of dining at Alfred.
The Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards are presented annually to the best dining services organizations in the country. Entries are evaluated by a committee of college dining peers from institutions around the country. Not only did the event have to be perfect, but the submission had to be perfect as well. The submission had to follow strict guidelines and include only limited information as defined by the entry form. A scrapbook was prepared by ACES and helped the judges evaluate the event in terms of presentation, marketing, menu choices, budget and originality. The ACES dinner received excellent marks overall and one judge commented how effectively the dinner supported the campus mission and gained involvement from campus administration and faculty.
Auxiliary Campus Enterprises & Services (ACES) is a not-for-profit corporation that supports the mission of Alfred State College. ACES is located on campus and provides dining services, campus bookstore, transportation, vending, and laundry services to its customers.