Alfred State recently welcomed 41 new faculty and staff members.
The Division of Academic Affairs has 21 new hires, including Danel Bowen, Aric Bryant, Yvonne Bustamante, Elizabeth Coats, Lisa Gardner, Vincent Grottanelli, Jennifer Guthrie, Karen Kelly, Dr. Alison Levitch, Donald Lokey, Linda Loria, Jason Miller, Dr. Reza Rashidi, Bruce Riley, Dr. Stephanie Rugg, Dr. Ashley Shaloo, Zachary Smith, Christopher Vavrek, Mariann Walsh, Simon Whitehouse, and Dr. Mark Whitman.
Bowen, of Bolivar, is now an instructional support assistant in the Electrical Trades Department. He earned his associate degree in electrical construction and maintenance electrician at Alfred State.
Bryant, of Corning, is a new assistant professor in the Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Technology Department. He holds associate and bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering technology from Alfred State, and a master’s in mechanical engineering from Binghamton University.
Bustamante, of Hornell, was hired as an assistant professor in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department. She received her bachelor’s degree from Keuka College, her Master of Science at Nova Southeastern University, and is working toward her educational doctorate at Argosy University.
Coats, of Keeseville, has joined the college as an assistant professor in the Nursing Department. Coats earned an associate degree at Alfred State; a bachelor’s at The College at Brockport, State University of New York; and a master’s from Western Governors University.
Gardner, of Hornell, is the new assistant to the provost. She holds an associate degree in business administration from Empire State College.
Grottanelli, of Caneadea, has joined the college as a heavy equipment operations instructor in the Building Trades Department.
Guthrie, of Hornell, is a new instructional support assistant in the Nursing Department. She holds an associate degree from Jamestown Community College.
Kelly, of Almond, is now in the position of assistant professor in the Mathematics and Physics Department. She earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Engineering degree in civil engineering from Cornell University.
Levitch is a new assistant professor in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department.
Lokey, of Johnson City, TN, was hired as the coordinator of Assessment and Accreditation. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from East Tennessee State University, and a Master of Arts from Tusculum College.
Loria, of Rochester, joins the college as an assistant professor in the Nursing Department. She earned an Associate in Applied Science in nursing from Alfred State, a Bachelor of Science degree from Empire State, and a master’s degree in nursing from Excelsior College.
Miller, of Belmont, is now in the position of instructor in the Building Trades Department. Miller holds an associate degree in building trades: building construction from Alfred State.
Rashidi, of Charlotte, NC, is a new assistant professor in the Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Technology Department. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Sharif University of Technology, his Master of Science from the University of Tehran, and his doctorate from the University of British Columbia.
Riley, of Wellsville, was hired as an academic support assistant in the School of Architecture, Management and Engineering Technology. He received an Associate in Arts degree and a Bachelor of Science degree from Cazenovia College, as well as a Master of Science from Misericordia University.
Rugg, of Lyons, joins the college as an assistant professor in the Physical and Life Sciences Department. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology, as well as a doctorate from the University of Rochester.
Shaloo, of Alfred Station, is a new assistant professor in the Physical and Life Sciences Department. She earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from Georgian Court University and a doctorate in molecular and cell biology from Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.
Smith, of Alma, is now a math support specialist in the Student Success Center. He received an associate degree from Alfred State and a bachelor’s degree from The College at Brockport.
Vavrek, of Almond, joins the college as a digital media and animation technician. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in intermedia from Arizona State University and a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture/4-D from California State University.
Walsh, of Canaseraga, is a new academic advisor and student success specialist. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Alfred University and a Master’s in Education from Nazareth College.
Whitehouse, of Alfred Station, was hired as an assistant professor in the Mathematics and Physics Department. He earned a Master of Arts degree in mathematics from Buffalo State.
Whitman, of York, PA, is now in the position of assistant professor in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department. He earned a Master of Professional Studies degree in community service administration from Alfred University and a doctorate in criminal justice from Capella University.
The Division of Administration, Advancement and Enrollment has hired 15 new employees, including Brian Bailor, Brad Billings, Kaitlyn Brown, Anthony Contello, Adam Copland, Connie D’Arcy, Keri Edsall, Jon Nickerson, Russell Nunley, Shane O’Brien, Donnasue Olin, Kristopher Ross, Craig Trescott, Karrie Waters, and Duane Williams.
Bailor, of Hornell, is a new cleaner in the Hinkle Memorial Library.
Billings, of Wellsville, joins the college as the director of Procurement and Payment Services. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Alfred University.
Brown, of East Syracuse, was hired as the associate director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Alfred State.
Contello, of Bath, is now in the position of agency program aide in the Student Records and Financial Services Office.
Copland, of Wellsville, is a new cleaner. He holds two associate degrees from Alfred State.
D’Arcy, of Hornell, is now an office assistant 1 in the Admissions Office. She holds an Associate in Arts degree in liberal arts and sciences: social science from Alfred State; a Bachelor of Arts from Alfred University, where she was a dual major in sociology and criminal justice; and an Associate in Applied Science in accounting from Alfred State.
Edsall, of Painted Post, joins the college as a loan officer in the Student Records and Financial Services Department. She holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania.
Nickerson, of Scio, was hired as a project manager/architectural engineering designer. He received an Associate in Applied Science degree in architectural technology and Bachelor of Science degree in architectural technology, both from Alfred State.
Nunley, of Knoxville, TN, joins the college as director of Marketing Communications. He earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and management from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
O’Brien, of Almond, is a new cleaner.
Olin, of Hornell, is now a cleaner in the Student Leadership Center.
Ross, of Belmont, joins the college as a cleaner.
Trescott, of Conesus, was hired as a cleaner.
Waters, of Troupsburg, is now a cleaner in the Student Leadership Center. She earned an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Phoenix.
Williams, of Rexville, joins the college as a cleaner on the School of Applied Technology campus.
The Division of Student Affairs has five new hires, including Kent Baker, Thomas Daniels, Joshua Engelbrecht, Anthony Spencer, and Byron Thomas.
Baker, of Lantana, FL, is the new cross country and track and field coach. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from the University of Michigan.
Daniels, of Hornell, was hired as coordinator of Intercultural Student Support. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in human services management from Alfred State.
Engelbrecht, of Syracuse, is a new assistant athletic trainer. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Bradley University, a Master of Science from Logan University, and a Master of Science from Plymouth State University.
Spencer, of Las Vegas, joins the college as an assistant football coach. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business management from Carroll College and a Master of Arts in health, physical education, and recreation from the University of South Dakota.
Thomas, of Los Angeles, is now an assistant football coach. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Dakota and a master’s from St. Cloud State.
Faculty and staff weren’t the only ones welcoming new students to Alfred State last month during the college’s annual Week of Welcome.
On Saturday, Aug. 27, the Hinkle Memorial Library brought in a group of therapy dogs for students needing to catch their breath amidst all of the exciting events taking place on campus that week, which are intended to help students have fun, get involved, and feel at home. The canines were from the same Therapy Dogs International (TDI) Canisteo chapter that sends them and their handlers to the library during finals week for both the fall and spring semesters.
“Handlers are always thrilled to visit the library, saying they look forward to seeing our students and interacting with them,” said Library Instructional Support Assistant Amie Acton. “Ice cream sundaes were also served that day, much to the students’ delight. The event helped the library boost awareness of its presence, space, and services among incoming students, and is a part of the library’s continuing efforts to be more visible on campus.”
Students won’t have to wait long for the therapy dogs’ next visit, which will be in December during finals week.
For his role in developing a new environmentally friendly cooling system, Dr. Jon Owejan, an assistant professor in Alfred State’s Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Technology Department, has recently been nominated as a Campus Connector for the 2016 Upstate Venture Ecosystem Awards.
The organizers of the awards, Upstate Venture Connect (UVC), received more than 100 submissions celebrating entrepreneurial leaders throughout Upstate New York who are transforming the region’s economy.
“This is a clear sign of how our ecosystem has become more connected and inclusive with so many entrepreneurial leaders emerging to transform their communities, and the region as a whole,” said UVC Founder and Venture Catalyst Martin Babinec.
Winners, chosen by an independent panel of judges, will be announced at a special luncheon event held at Turning Stone Resort in Verona on Sept. 16, featuring keynote speaker Tim Keenan, co-founder of the Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship.
Owejan’s nomination comes after he, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Technology Department Chair Dr. Matthew Lawrence, and Nathan DeMario, a mechanical engineering technology student from South Wales, worked to develop a cooling and dehumidification system that does not use chemical refrigerants and compressors to carry heat out of buildings. The goal was to improve energy efficiency while eliminating the harmful impact that hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants have on global warming.
As part of the commercialization effort, a start-up company called Phase Innovations was formed with the intent to launch a product that will significantly reduce operational and maintained costs relative to conventional systems. For more information, visit phaseinnovations.com.
Owejan noted that technology transfer activities are an ideal catalyst for engaging engineering students in purpose-driven learning.
“The successes of these activities are highly dependent on the strong entrepreneurial network in upstate New York,” he said.
Speaking about Owejan’s award nomination, Lawrence said it represents an overdue recognition of one of Alfred State’s best young faculty.
“Jon has excelled in every possible way during his time here, and this nomination demonstrates his successes reach far beyond the classroom,” Lawrence said. “Dr. Owejan has, in addition to his regular duties as a professor, pursued this applied research not just in the classroom and lab, but he is actively leading a team through NEXUS-NY, a very competitive seed accelerator program based in Rochester.
He added, “Jon is as good as an engineering technology professor can be. His expertise in his field is world-class, his passion for his discipline is evident in his classroom instruction, and he involves students in his many cutting-edge research initiatives.”
With the new minor in psychology, Alfred State students now have the opportunity to explore various psychological processes and their impact on human behavior.
The minor, which was added in time for the start of the fall 2016 semester, is open to students in any of the college’s baccalaureate programs. However, it may particularly interest students in programs such as forensic science technology, business administration, human services management, and more.
Dr. Jill Amati, chair of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department, which houses the minor, said, “The psychology minor is a great addition for our students. It complements Alfred State’s baccalaureate programs and offers students the opportunity to specialize their degree plan in a way that relates to their major.”
The psychology minor requires a minimum of 15 credit hours in psychology and includes an introductory course, two upper-level psychology courses, and two psychology electives. At least three credits must not count toward the student’s major, and at least three credits must be completed at Alfred State.
Visitors to the David A. Howe Library in Wellsville from Wednesday, Sept. 21 to Friday, Sept. 23 will have a chance to learn more about the history of Alfred State as part of Allegany County History Awareness Week, which runs from Sept. 19-25.
From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. those days, the college will have a table set up at the library displaying a number of pictures, historical items, old yearbooks, a DVD highlighting Alfred State’s 100th anniversary, and books produced to commemorate the college’s 60th and 100th years.
“Alfred State is proud to be a part of the first-ever Allegany County History Awareness Week,” said Michael Colomaio, assistant professor in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department. “We look forward to educating those who visit our display on the rich history of our college, as well as the exciting progress it has made since being founded in 1908.”
History buffs who visit the Wellsville library during the week will also have the chance to view famous American artifacts in the exhibition room, as well as historical presentations in the library auditorium in the evenings. Allegany County museums will be opening their doors at varying times and days during the week, and the Palmer Opera House in Cuba will host an event on Sept. 25 at 2 p.m. featuring re-enactors who will share the life stories from various notable historical personalities representing different towns in Allegany County.
Allegany County is pleased to announce that Craig Clark, PE, Ph.D., vice president for Economic Development at Alfred State and economic developer for Allegany County, will be the executive director of the Allegany County Industrial Development Agency (ACIDA). Due to the recent resignation of Jack Wood as chairman and CEO of ACIDA, Dr. Clark will now lead all county economic development projects, supervising efforts, and coordinating groups to fulfill Wood’s vision of one goal and one voice for Allegany County.
Allegany County legislators thank Jack Wood for his passionate leadership for economic development and for being chairman and CEO of the ACIDA for the past few years. Through Wood’s leadership of the ACIDA, the county is moving forward with the Friendship–Belvidere Waterline Project for the anticipated Crossroads site development. The county is also communicating with developers for a new hotel and associated businesses to be built at the Crossroads site. These two projects are at the core of the visible economic development in the county that Wood has championed. His colleagues believe the county is well positioned to take economic development to the next level because of the many projects that Jack has undertaken during his tenure working with the county.
"Jack put the needed fire under several development projects for Allegany County and engaged high- caliber individuals from government, business, and education to help fan the flame. We look forward to taking these projects to the next level working with Craig Clark, the Allegany County Economic Development Team, and the ACIDA," said Curt Crandall, chairman of the Allegany County Board of Legislators.
“Jack has invested his time, energy, and skills to create an economic development blueprint for us to follow for many years to come,” stated Dr. Skip Sullivan, president of Alfred State. “I want to personally thank Jack for his untiring dedication as the citizens have been so well served with his devotion to improving our county. Alfred State remains committed to continue assisting and facilitating economic development in our communities.”
Wood’s creation of a county-wide Steering Committee for Economic Development based on bringing together the Allegany County Legislature, business, and college leaders has been a major achievement. On April 25, the Allegany County Board of Legislators voted to approve a new economic development mission and vision document that is supported by the County’s Planning and Economic Development Committee, Economic Development staff, and the Economic Development Steering Committee that was formed to guide this process. The vision statement is intended to be a source for inspiration and motivation for the future: “To be a sound economic competitor that consistently attracts, retains, and expands local businesses and industries through ongoing local, state, national, and foreign direct investments in Allegany County.”
Allegany County’s participation in the SELECT USA Summit, the highest-profile event that promotes foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States, was a goal of Wood’s that came to fruition with participation in both 2015 and 2016. The summit provides an unparalleled opportunity to bring together companies from all over the world, economic development organizations from every corner of the nation, others working to facilitate investment in the United States, and high-level government officials.
Making the US News & World Report Best Colleges rankings for the 10th straight year, Alfred State performed better than ever before.
The prestigious publication recognized a tremendous value at Alfred State for the price. For schools with out-of-state tuition below $18,000, Alfred State is the number one regional college in the North.
Another gold medal achievement recognizes that many students are looking for just the right-sized school. US News & World Report notes an 18:1 faculty to student ratio for personalized attention at Alfred State, while also operating a campus large enough to offer students a wide variety of activities and choices for majors. For schools with an undergraduate population of 3,000 students or more, again Alfred State is ranked in first place among northern regional colleges.
When considering all factors in the Best Colleges rankings, Alfred State advanced seven spots, coming in at 12th place overall for regional colleges in the North, up from last year’s 19th ranking.
“It’s extremely gratifying for US News & World Report Best Colleges to recognize the fine reputation of our faculty, the excellence of our staff, and the superior experience that we offer students,” said Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan. “We work hard to provide the very best education at a reasonable price and to deliver personalized attention to a good-sized student population. On those two measures of low cost and right sized, US News & World Report ranks us number one among northern regional colleges. We couldn’t be more proud.”
The college also earned a sixth-place ranking among all public regional colleges in the North. In the rankings for Best Regional Colleges for Veterans in the North, Alfred State moved up eight spots, coming in at sixth, and also ranked third among public regional colleges for veterans in the North.
US News & World Report’s Best Colleges list is one of the most sought-after rankings among colleges and universities across the nation. The rankings include data from 1,620 colleges and focus on academic excellence, with schools ranked on seven measures of academic quality.
“The US News & World Report rankings are a testament to the excellent programs and services provided by faculty and staff across SUNY, and a reminder to our current and future students that SUNY is dedicated to providing them with a highly valuable degree that will serve them well long after graduation,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Congratulations to Alfred State on this much-deserved recognition.”
For students on Alfred State’s Wellsville campus, the Pioneer Student Union (PSU) is a place to relax and have fun in between or after classes, whether it’s kicking back in the MindSpa or enjoying a game of basketball.
Now, with the addition of a new Health and Wellness Center, it is also a place where they can receive physical, personal, and emotional treatment.
On Thursday, the college celebrated the opening of the new center with a reception attended by faculty, staff, students, and College Council members. The center includes two exam rooms that provide privacy, a centralized nurse’s station for convenience, a well-designed lab, a handicap-accessible bathroom, and plenty of storage space.
Hollie Hall, senior director of Health and Wellness Services, said the center’s offerings make the space conducive to providing excellent medical services on a college campus. She added that its location in the Pioneer Student Union (PSU), which was formerly known as the Student Activities Center, allows the medical staff to provide outreach and programming opportunities to students who frequent the building because of all its wellness offerings.
“It’s a great space and we are very excited and appreciative for the opportunity to move into the Pioneer Student Union and continue to carry out our mission of providing health services and wellness opportunities to our Wellsville students,” she said.
Offering brief remarks during Thursday’s celebration were Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan and Vice President for Student Affairs Gregory Sammons. Also on-hand was the Allegany County Department of Health, which provided educational materials and information about the illness prevention and testing services it provides for the community.
The health center is just the latest addition to the Pioneer Student Union, which has made some major upgrades within the past couple of years, thanks largely in part to the Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc. The private foundation provides monetary support to enhance learning opportunities for students through scholarships, work grants, and academic club activities.
The Foundation’s connection to the Pioneer Student Union goes back to the facility’s origin in the late 1960s, when the Foundation hired a company to construct a student activities building on the Wellsville campus for about $54,000.
The recent improvements made possible by the Foundation have included new painting, trim, doors, ceiling tiles, the creation of a revamped computer lab with new stations, a MindSpa that focuses on stress reduction, and a revamped gymnasium. Student Senate had also provided funding for new foosball tables, a new ping pong table, furniture, and new, modern computer desks for each of the seven stations in the lab.
Speaking about the PSU, Justin Cornelius, coordinator of Student Affairs at the Wellsville campus, said, “I’m just excited to see the progression within this building over the past few years. The support from a lot of people has really led to increased opportunities for our students.”
Ana McClanahan, dean of the School of Applied Technology, noted that a number of Wellsville students had a hand in creating the new health center, and credited both Hall and Cornelius for being instrumental in the process.
“Justin cares so much about the students that he comes in outside of working hours to improve their space,” McClanahan said. “Thanks to Justin, along with the support of Hollie Hall and the Student Affairs team, student life is improving steadily on the Wellsville campus.”
Each of the college’s two campuses has a Health and Wellness Center to treat student illnesses, accidents, and personal or emotional needs. A registered nurse and counselors are available during posted hours on a non-appointment basis.
The health center on the Wellsville campus is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Alfred campus’ health center, located in TA Parish Hall, is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday.
America needs brick layers and concrete masons. The building industry is challenged by a hefty gap between the number of workers and the needs of the sector.
Currently, there are about 250,000 masonry tradespeople in the US with the job market seeking another 40,000 people just to stay level. As construction climbs back to pre-recession era levels the need will only get greater. Alfred State is working to bridge this gap with industry responsive programs that give students the skill sets they need to succeed as masons.
The Southern Tier Builders Association and Associated Building Contractors of the Triple Cities recently featured Alfred State’s masonry program in its annual magazine “Building the Southern Tier.” The program also is gaining attention as many masonry suppliers in the northeast are displaying a sign encouraging young people to enroll in the Alfred State program to meet the demand for more workers.
“The average age in the trade right now is 53 years. This indicates a workforce that is nearing retirement and shows a large opportunity for youth to get involved,” says Stephen Richard, assistant professor, Building Trades, at Alfred State. “Regardless of new building techniques and materials there still needs to be stair towers, elevator shafts and facades built. The demand for masons will continue to be strong well into the future.”
The masonry program at Alfred State is one that blends knowledge with first-year carpentry and masonry students sitting for many of the same subjects. Here, students of carpentry get grounding in basic masonry technique such as layout and hardscape while the masonry students take in classes about basic framing and joinery. “Together students learn about things such as wall moisture and reinforcement. This approach creates better grads with a broader knowledge base. This has proven to be very valuable for employers.”
Alfred State offers the only masonry program in the SUNY system. It is perhaps for this reason that the building sector pays a lot of attention to the program. “We have a five-year review of curriculum and maintain an advisory board made up of leading members of the trade.” According to Richard, members of the building sector such as Superior Clay, brick manufacturers and others such as companies that specialize in permeable pavers participate by lending their expertise in seminars that students use to attain an AIA (American Institute of Architects) credit. “These seminars are also key in obtaining Hilti certifications as well as OSHA 10.”
Richard suggests that the job of being a mason demands unique skills that require a lot of practice and training. “To succeed students must develop both mind and body. This is a trade that is thousands of years old and students must fully understand the entire range of requirements on the job. Walls must be plumb and level and masons must know all about the materials they use. We take students through one step at a time to create a new generation of tried and true trade professionals.”
Graduates of the Alfred State program can offer much to builders. Students are schooled in estimating, layout, and they build a range of masonry and concrete flatwork systems. More, students learn how to properly supervise people as well as how to choose and implement personal and jobsite safety and access equipment. Graduates know how to read and interpret construction drawings and specifications. They also have the skills to communicate construction details and estimates with written documents and scale shop drawings. To complete the program each student has to have mastered layout, preparation, and installation of a variety of concrete flatwork, block work, stonework, and brickwork. Skills are also acquired to allow each student to access trade-related specifications from computers and perform computer-based research and communication.
Behind all this effort is a genuine desire to see both students and the building sector move forward. “Without local masons builders are at a real disadvantage when they bid on jobs. We are working to bring young workers up the ladder with the right skills to make a difference in a market that demands the best.”
About Building the Southern Tier: Building the Southern Tier is the official publication of the Southern Tiers Builders Association and the Associated Building Contractors of the Triple Cities, Inc.
Without the assistance of college volunteers, many public, non-profit, and community-based organizations would not be able to fulfill their missions of service to others. That’s why a Community Involvement Fair at Alfred State attracted a crowd of organizations eager to enlist the support of more students.
Many of the organizations present at the fair have benefited from a flood of Alfred State student volunteers and interns in the past, which is why they were looking to recruit Pioneers again.
Susan Hooker, executive director of the Hornell Area Concern for Youth, noted that “there are so many ways” in which Alfred State students have helped her organization. She particularly complimented the human service management students who have completed their 400-hour management-focused internship at Concern for Youth, saying they have been “excellent.”
“Alfred State students are well prepared to enter into non-profit internships or volunteer experiences,” she said. “They come in, interact with the youth, and share their ideas and talents.”
Hannah Spalding, recruitment manager for The Service Collaborative of Western New York, mentioned two recent Alfred State graduates who have served as Americorps members through programs offered by her organization. One of them served in Clifton Springs helping veterans, and another is currently a tutor and mentor in Buffalo city schools.
“The whole point of our agency is to connect individuals with volunteer and service opportunities in the community, wherever their community may be,” she said. “We wouldn’t be able to exist without people who want to be engaged, so I would say Alfred State students absolutely help us do what we do.”
Though Bryan Gamache became the executive director of the Allegany County United Way in July, he is no stranger to working with Alfred State students, noting that he has had positive experiences with them in the past when he was with Accord. Given the number of students who had expressed interest in volunteering with the United Way during the fair, the impact they could have would be “phenomenal,” he said.
“We depend a lot on volunteers, and based on the conversations I’ve had today,” he said, “going forward, if we were to have this group of students come together, I think a lot of good ideas would come of that.”
At the Community Involvement Fair, 28 organizations from Alfred and the surrounding region were on-hand to highlight internship, volunteer, and community engagement opportunities. Students from nearby Alfred University were also invited to participate, as students network with potential employer or internship sites, make valuable community connections, and discover ways to get involved.