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Students depart for Semester in the South to aid struggling communities

Students depart for Semester in the South to aid struggling communities

Students departing for Semester in the South with their professor Norm Ellis A group of eight Alfred State senior building trades: building construction students will be spending the fall 2015 semester performing service work for communities in need as part of the college’s Semester in the South program.

Accompanied by Building Trades Associate Professor Norm Ellis, the students departed from Alfred Friday for Biloxi, MS, where they will spend six weeks working with Habitat for Humanity on building a new home. The following six weeks will be spent in New Orleans, working for St. Anna’s Episcopal Church on repurposing a mansion built in 1846 into a school and arts center for the Treme neighborhood.

Taking part in the Semester in the South this year are Brock Delgato, of Clarence; Kyle Parish, of Buffalo; James Friedeborn, of Ithaca; Jake Baran, of Clarence; Brian Mitchell, of Derby; Kevin Rogers, of Frewsburg; Kayla Miller, of Bronx; and Cody Marvin, of Bath.

This is the sixth year Alfred State students have journeyed to the southern states to apply their knowledge, gain valuable hands-on learning, experience a new culture, and make a difference in struggling communities. The students are expected to return to Alfred Nov. 21.

According to Ellis, the students will be performing mainly carpentry-related tasks while in Biloxi, though in New Orleans, they will be looking to do masonry, roofing, electrical, and plumbing work.

“The program has been a phenomenal success,” he said. “It’s the perfect place to teach. When you’re in the classroom, sometimes you don’t get the chance to reinforce and do the things we’re talking about, so if we’re going out there and building a whole house, we’re pretty much covering everything we’re learning, and also helping out communities in need in the process.”

Rogers said he decided to participate in the Semester in the South program because, “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience and it also looks great on a resume.”

Miller said, “I wanted to get out of Alfred and do something to help out a community in need.”