Alfred State President John M. Anderson recently presented five members of the college faculty and staff with the college’s Pioneer Award. Recognized at the college’s employee recognition banquet were: Dr. Melvin Chambliss of Alfred Station, NY; Deborah Claire of Arkport, NY; Mark Payne of Canisteo, NY; Charlene McGregor of Canisteo, NY; and Lieutenant Scott Bingham. Each received a certificate and a monetary gift.
The Pioneer Award acknowledges those who have demonstrated commitment and dedication to the college mission and goals, have made contributions that have had meaning and measurable positive impact on college operations, are seen as positive role models and show creativity and initiative, and have shown a consistent level of exceptional performance throughout their employment.
Chambliss, associate professor in the agriculture and veterinary technology program , has been with Alfred State since 1999, and also volunteers his time and expertise to the Hornell Area Humane Society as the shelter veterinarian available after hours for critical cases. Charles Neal, associate vice president for academic affairs, noted that Chambliss demands “nothing but the best skills, competency, and attitude from his students in the classroom, knowing full well they may be assisting in surgery and critical care for someone’s animal,” and strives to improve the program and bring in skilled faculty for the betterment of the students and the college.
A senior programmer/analyst in technology services, Claire “sets the standard for professionalism at Alfred State,” remarked Neal. With a friendly, knowledgeable disposition and a willingness to take on more projects when asked, Claire is known as an excellent resource. Three years ago, she wrote a program for students to request their boarding room the following year via Banner Web, eliminating many hours of paperwork and allowing students autonomy in room selection. She is always willing to “write us a little something” to fulfill needs of the campus.
Payne, assistant professor in the building trades  program, serves as an example of civic engagement at its best, providing students with the opportunity to work hands-on and gain experience in the community. He has led students in the heavy equipment operations program to the Binghamton, NY, area to provide cleanup from flooding, showcasing the civic engagement of Alfred State students and earning the college print and television notoriety. In so doing, he aims to improve the college experience for his classes. “A great role model for his students, as well as other faculty members,” Neal said, Payne receives high praise from his students each semester and is admired by them, staff, and faculty alike.
An employee of Alfred State for 22 years, McGregor’s work ethic as a member of custodial staff is, according to Neal, “evident in her commitment to continuously provide outstanding custodial services to students, staff, and visitors.” She also requires a high level of performance from her crew, and her ingenuity and work ethic was evidenced in summer of 2011 when McGregor organized a complex network of hoses to bring water from Peet Hall’s basement to the fourth floor and electricity for equipment, all the while working around contractors. Her abilities and can-do attitude lead her and her crews to success.
Bingham, an officer with university police , “has always been a police supervisor that all the staff have felt comfortable going to,” Neal remarked. His integrity and fairness are hard to match, and he is respected for his willingness to help with day-to-day tasks in his department. He also serves as the coach/adviser for the Pioneer Woodsmen team, and has overseen a flourishing team with students who look up to and highly respect him. Bingham is invested in the lives of the students and has an impact on their lives while at Alfred State.
Recipients are nominated by their peers and selected by the Reward and Recognition Committee.