Skip to main content

New SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society chapter formed

New SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society chapter formed

Six faculty and staff members were recognized Saturday, Sept. 12 as the honorary inductees of the new Alfred State chapter of the SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society.

Headquartered out of Colorado State University, the honor society was funded by an ACE/Wal-Mart Foundation Success for Veterans Grant. SALUTE is the first national honor society established for student veterans and military in two-year and four-year institutions of higher education.

Honorary inductees each received a certificate and a red, white, and blue cord at halftime of the Homecoming/Family Weekend football game against Husson University. They included:

  • Jim Grillo, a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor and Faculty Senate chair, who was a United States Marine Corps sergeant, serving from 1966 to 1969.
  • Matt Pettis, an assistant professor in the Electrical Trades Department, and a US Navy lieutenant commander, who is retired from active duty service, having served from 1991 to 2011.
  • Dr. Ed Tezak, a SUNY Distinguished Service Professor and chair of the Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Technology Department. He is a retired colonel who served in the US Army Corps of Engineers from June 5, 1963, to June 30, 1993.
  • Joe Greenthal, controller, who was a sergeant in the US Army, having served from 2001 to 2005.
  • Timothy Piotrowski, an associate professor in the Civil Engineering Technology Department, who served in the US Navy as an E-5, personnelman second-class petty officer. His dates of service are July 1974 to July 1978 (active) and July 1978 to July 1980 (inactive).
  • Ken Geer, an associate professor in the Building Trades Department, who served in the US Navy as a second-class petty officer from August 1974 to August 1978.

Piotrowski, who is also a co-adviser of the chapter, said of being an honorary inductee, “I was certainly grateful for the recognition and happy to share the experience with my fellow Alfred State employees.”

Students will be inducted as the first class of the Alfred State chapter of SALUTE in the spring 2016 semester. To qualify, undergraduates must meet the following criteria:

  • Be currently enrolled as a student.
  • Qualify as a military/veteran student under locally derived and maintained definitions.
  • Earn a GPA that fits one of four different tiers: Alpha Tier (3.75-4.0 GPA), Bravo Tier (3.50-3.74), Charlie Tier (3.25-3.49), and Delta Tier (3.00-3.24).
  • Have served or are currently serving in the military, National Guard, or reserves.
  • Maintain the highest ethical standards.

ROTC cadets may also submit their undergraduate transcripts for consideration, but will not be inducted until after accepting a commission, however.

Nikkie Hockenberry, coordinator of Equity, Inclusion, and Title IX at Alfred State, said it is exciting to see Alfred State veterans receive recognition for their academic success.

“The experience they bring to our campus and our classrooms should be honored,” she said, “and we are happy to be able to make that recognition official with SALUTE.”

Melanie Ryan, student disability services coordinator and co-adviser of the Alfred State chapter of SALUTE, said, “We are very proud of our veterans and are honored to be able to celebrate their academic achievements. SALUTE offers Alfred State an opportunity to publicly celebrate our veterans’ academic successes, and I am delighted to be an adviser for Alfred State’s branch of the SALUTE honor society.”

For more information on SALUTE, visit To find out more about the Alfred State chapter, contact Piotrowski at 607-587-4654 or Ryan at 607-587-4506.