May 2017

DASNY issues residence hall project bonds

Posted Date: Monday, May 22, 2017 - 08:15

ALBANY, N.Y.  -- Gerrard P. Bushell, DASNY President & CEO, announced today that the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York and The State University of New York issued approximately $150 million in low-cost, tax-exempt bonds through DASNY’s SUNY Dormitory Facilities Program for residence hall capital projects across New York State. 

The DASNY-SUNY financing partnership is expected to deliver more than $37 million to the Western New York Region. Approximately $12 million would support the $16 million conversion of Bishop Hall at Buffalo State College. The 1970s residence hall will undergo complete bathroom, resident room, lounge and laundry room upgrades. The renovations are being completed to LEED-Silver standards under the U.S. Green Building Council’s sustainability and energy efficiency guidelines. 

An additional $5 million in financing is provided for additional residence hall renovations on the Buffalo State campus, approximately $15 million would support renovations of Alfred State College’s MacKenzie Complex, more than $5.5 million would support facility upgrades at the University at Buffalo, and an additional $.4 million going towards renovations at the SUNY Fredonia campus.

DASNY President and CEO Gerrard P. Bushell said, “The cornerstone of New York’s economy is a highly educated work force. DASNY’s partnership with SUNY to deliver low-cost financing ensures students in Western New York will be provided exceptional environments to live and learn.”

SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher said, “SUNY is happy with the excellent result of this bond sale, which will provide low-cost borrowing for the self-sufficient residence hall program. This will help maintain a safe, convenient, and affordable living environment for our students. We are pleased to, once again, provide this necessary financing in partnership with DASNY.”

Alfred State College President Dr. Skip Sullivan said, “Built in 1970 as the largest single housing complex in the SUNY system, the renovation of MacKenzie Hall with 1,100 beds will make a huge impact on our students. It’s only thanks to Alfred State’s partnership with DASNY that this facility can truly be transformed into a modern and inviting location for students to call home.”

MacKenzie Hearth and Central Quad
MacKenzie Hearth and Central Quad

Buffalo State President Katherine Conway-Turner said, “We at Buffalo State thank SUNY and DASNY for their assistance in returning Bishop Hall back to its original purpose as a residence hall. Given its location in the center of campus and the exciting amenities that will be added, Bishop Hall will be a highly coveted living space by our students when it re-opens in the fall of 2018.”

University at Buffalo Vice President for Student Life A. Scott Weber said, “We’re very pleased to make these upgrades to our campus living environment at UB. Investments in campus residence halls and associated amenities help assure that our students have an outstanding educational experience.”

Fredonia President Dr. Virginia Horvath said, “We are appreciative of DASNY’s support of SUNY and Fredonia. These funds will support upgrades that will improve our residence halls and the overall student experience on our campus.”

View project photos here:

STEM Summer Institute gets to the roots of education

Posted Date: Monday, May 22, 2017 - 10:30

A celebrated slate of speakers is coming to Alfred State for the 2017 New York State STEM Summer Institute. From July 30 through Aug. 1, educators from kindergarten classes through higher education will hone their skills at inspiring future technicians, engineers, scientists, and mathematicians.

As one of the founding partners of the NYS STEM Education Collaborative, Alfred State’s Dr. Craig Clark, vice president for Economic Development, is involved in the planning of the three-day conference. He noted that educating students for 21st century STEM-related careers is a primary focus for the college.

“Alfred State looks forward to hosting the 2017 STEM Summer Institute that aligns with our programs and connections with high schools in the region,” said Clark. “The opportunity to share best practices throughout the region will continue to improve STEM education that is critical to the region’s economic development.”

Educators are coming together to learn new techniques for engaging students of all ages. Presentations and workshops will share ideas on how to spark interest in the STEM curriculum through classroom projects, afterschool activities, and even with gaming. A few of the prestigious guest speakers are:

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who chairs 10 Regional Economic Development Councils that have transformed the state’s economy by building upon regional strengths through long-term strategic plans. The councils include leaders from academia, business, labor and not-for-profits and, to date, have invested $4 billion into more than 4,100 projects across the state. The lieutenant governor also chairs the State Workforce Investment Board, which addresses the No. 1 concern of businesses: the lack of skilled workers.

Bill Daggett, Ed.D., the founder and chairman of the International Center for Leadership in Education, who is recognized worldwide for his proven ability to move pre-K–12 education systems toward more rigorous and relevant skills and knowledge for all students. For 25 years, he has crisscrossed the nation, as well as the industrialized world, to lead school reform efforts to effectively prepare students for their future.

Deb Newberry, who is the director/instructor of the Nanoscience Technician program at Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, MN. She created the 72-credit nanoscience technician program in 2003 and began the program with National Science Foundation funding. Newberry also serves as the director and principle investigator of the Center for Nanotechnology Education, better known as Nano-Link, which has been funded by more than $9 million from the National Science Foundation.

Registration for the NYS STEM Summer Institute and housing reservations can be secured at

Graduate keeps heating and cooling business in the family

Posted Date: Monday, May 22, 2017 - 10:45
Sallome Father and Son
John Sallome Sr. and Jr.

Reprinted with permission. Written by Howard B. Owens, The Batavian.

For more than 70 years, there's been a Sallome in the heating and cooling business in Batavia, and with John Sallome Jr. joining his father's business, the tradition looks to continue for decades more, at least.

"I went to school and all my friends were like, ‘it’s pretty cool that you get to work for your own family business instead of going to work for somebody else,' ” John Jr., said.

The 21-year-old Sallome, the son of John and Marianne, graduated from the heating and air technology program at Alfred State, where he was a top student and received the New York Propane Gas Association Ganey Memorial Scholarship Award and Air-Conditioning and Heating Outstanding Student Award.

After graduating from Batavia High School, John Jr. thought he might like to work in computers, but after starting down that path, he found it didn't really interest him, so he went to his dad and said, "I want to work with my hands like you."

John Sr., who joined the business in 1977 while still in high school, working for his grandfather, decided to put him to the test.

"I took him on some of the worst, dirtiest jobs we ever had and he loved it, absolutely loved," John Sr. said.

John Sr., who has no plans to retire anytime soon, said his son joining the business is "a dream come true."

"It’s great that my son has come into the business and I'm looking forward to the future with him," John Sr. said.

Recent grad earns national acclaim by taking the reins

Posted Date: Monday, May 22, 2017 - 10:45

Riding horses has been a dream her entire life and once coming to Alfred State, Haleigh Hurd, Greenwood, really hit her stride. The 2017 accounting graduate placed sixth in the nation in Open Reining at the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) National Championship in Lexington, KY.

“The hallmark of IHSA is the random draw of a horse that is meant to level the playing field and allow riders to showcase true horsemanship,” stated SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor Victoria Bolton, of the Agriculture and Veterinary Technology Department. “Haleigh was a strong contender in the individual Open Reining and earned an impressive sixth-place finish. Haleigh displayed talented riding, grace, and sportsmanship in the face of a fierce field of riders.”

The IHSA offers college student-equestrians a way to compete without having to own their own horse. With both western and hunt seat divisions, the IHSA has been developing young talent for 50 years by offering friendly college-versus-college competition.

In celebration of the IHSA National Finals, the website chose inspiring stories of accomplishment from a few selected riders. Meagan DeLisle authored this feature story of how Hurd made it to the nationals:

Haleigh Hurd says she had dreamed of being able to ride since she could walk, aside from the fact that no one in her family had any history in horses. At the age of 11, she began riding at a local barn, which led her to join Alfred University’s IEA team that fall. After riding in horsemanship for two years, she moved onward and upward into reining. For the six years that Hurd rode with the IEA, she went to Nationals each year. Despite taking her senior year of high school off from riding, her experiences in IEA and her passion for horses led her to join the IHSA team at Alfred State.

Juggling her school schedule, her time dedicated to the IHSA, and her part-time job isn’t always easy, but she always manages to make it work. She manages to squeeze in one to two rides a week in with her coach, Rose Ruffner, in the evenings. “Every practice I have, I go in very open to try whatever it takes to help me be the best I can be,” says Hurd. She doesn’t let a limiting schedule get in her way.

“IHSA has impacted me tremendously,” she continued. “It has taught me that even though I have worked so hard and tried my best that I might not always be successful and that’s OK but if I keep trying and never give up, I can do great things.” After a challenging start to her season, Hurd struggled with keeping up her positive mentality, but she persevered and made the best of every situation thrown her way — eventually leading her to her qualifying ride at semi-finals. “Rose always tells me that I don’t give myself enough credit for everything that I have accomplished and I know should, I have been very humble about my success.”

That qualifying ride is Hurd’s best memory from her IHSA career. Having her family and a close family friend there to cheer her on and celebrate with her over her win made her weekend. “I drew the perfect horse, we had the perfect ride, and out of twelve riders I won. It was a moment I have been waiting and praying for my entire life and I will never forget it,” she said of her weekend at West Texas A&M University.

If you are considering joining an IHSA team, Hurd is one of many who would encourage you to pursue that goal. She has learned so much, both as an individual and as a member of a team. “I have more confidence from the back of a horse than I do anywhere else, but IHSA has improved that through the experiences I have been able to have.” She encourages each rider to push any fears they might have aside and take the plunge into this amazing experience. “You can learn so much from other riders and coaches and it is just a great overall experience. If you have the opportunity, do not be afraid to try it.”

Alfred State employees receive Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence

Posted Date: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 - 08:30

One faculty and two staff members at Alfred State were honored recently with Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching, Professional Service, and Classified Service.

Timothy Piotrowski received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, Jonathan Hilsher was honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service, and Vanessa Stachowski was presented with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service.

“The many faculty and staff honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence are the best of our best, having ensured student success as they educate and mentor students with innovative approaches to academic instruction, infuse curricula with applied learning opportunities, adapt best practices from throughout SUNY, and much more,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “It is an honor to recognize the excellent work of Timothy Piotrowski, Jonathan Hilsher, and Vanessa Stachowski at Alfred State and that of their colleagues across SUNY. Congratulations to all of this year’s recipients."

Tim PiotrowskiPiotrowski, an associate professor in the Civil Engineering Technology Department, is an outstanding teacher who is held in high esteem by students and administration alike. He is a skilled educator who brings his experiences from professional associations and conferences directly back to his students.

Piotrowski demonstrates a flexible instructional policy that addresses student needs and interests. He continually develops new projects for his courses each semester, and they are designed exclusively by him to address current trends and requirements in the civil engineering technology field.

His work does not stop in the classroom, however, as he serves as faculty adviser to the student chapter of the Associated General Contractors Club, and has involved club members in a number of exciting experiences both within the college and across the region. Piotrowski is an active member of the American Concrete Institute, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the American Institute of Architects. He is also a Faculty-in-Residence Program mentor, a member of the Veterans Task Force Committee, an academic staff representative for the SALUTE veterans’ honor society, and academic mentor for Sigma Lambda Chi International Honor Society.

Jonathan HilsherOver the past five years, Hilsher has made significant contributions to Alfred State in areas of civic engagement, student leadership, and sustainability as director of the Center for Civic Engagement.

Since he was hired, Hilsher has helped Alfred State move from 46,000 community service hours a year to 86,000 in 2015-16 alone. Furthermore, upon the opening of the Student Leadership Center in 2012, Jonathan provided oversight and guidance for the Student Leadership Suites, which yielded 9,916 service hours and $25,646 in philanthropic fundraising in 2015-16.

Hilsher also created a pinnacle event known as Celebrate Service Celebrate Allegany. Over the past five years, this annual event has featured more than 2,000 students providing more than 11,000 hours of service within Allegany County. Beyond his duties at Alfred State as director of Civic Engagement, Hilsher has also been acknowledged as an expert in his field, receiving multiple awards and recognition for Alfred State, including the NASPA Excellence Award, SUNY Outstanding Student Affairs Program Award, and the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

After graduating from Alfred State’s registered nursing program in 1984, Stachowski began a notable career in the field, excelling in many areas. She joined Alfred State Health Services 26 years ago, and since that time she has exemplified excellence. She also received board certification as a college health nurse in 1993.

Stachowski not only cares for students as a nurse in an “above and beyond” way, she also takes her professional career to the same level. She has been on many committees as a leader and a member, including her 24 years of extensive work in the PEF union as a state representative, as well as a nurse’s committee member.

Stachowski is a 20-year member of the SUNY Health Services Counsel, representing Alfred State Health and Wellness Services. This core group of directors and staff work collaboratively to provide the highest level of care and safety for SUNY students. Her activity in this group has positioned Alfred State at the top of SUNY Health and Wellness Centers, and many campuses have emulated our services and reach out to Vanessa often for guidance in their own centers.

Employee receives Leadership through Civic Engagement Award

Posted Date: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 - 11:30

Alfred State recently honored Melanie Ryan, coordinator of Student Disability Services, with the Leadership through Civic Engagement Award.

The award is presented annually by the College Council to acknowledge students, faculty, staff, and alumni who have led or initiated exemplary academic and/or co-curricular initiatives that demonstrate a commitment to engaging in the community — locally, nationally, or globally — through service, volunteerism, activism, politics, and much more.

In her 15 years of working at Alfred State, Ryan has been a part of numerous committees and initiatives that have bettered her department, the campus, and the community. She is a leader in the Scio Lions Club, an officer in the MS Walk, a former member of the college’s Sexual Assault Response Team, a current and former adviser to numerous clubs and organizations, and has been instrumental in creating both the RISE program and the college’s chapter of the SALUTE National Veteran's Honor Society. 

For her work with the Scio Lions Club, Ryan was named "Lion of the Year" this past year by her chapter. She was also named the ARC's Community Partner of the Year for her outstanding work with the RISE program, which has grown tremendously under her watch. Additionally, Ryan has also created more on-campus internship opportunities for Alfred State human services management students who may not have off-campus transportation. 

Melanie Ryan


Alfred State recognizes Pioneer Award recipients

Posted Date: Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 14:00

Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan recently presented five faculty and staff members with the college’s Pioneer Award.

Recognized at the college’s employee recognition banquet were: Garth Grantier, Jeffrey Wilcox, Kent Johnson, Danielle Green, and Larry Fox. 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.

Garth Grantier
Garth Grantier

​Grantier, academic advisor in the Student Success Center, has had a very positive impact on the college, and especially the students from Educational Opportunity Program. These students generally need guidance to help navigate the college transition. Grantier helps guide, provide advice, and supports the students academically.

With his help, these students are becoming great learners and leaders, which is of great benefit to the college. In addition, Grantier is a member of the Faculty Senate, Pathways Leadership Team, Placement Test Committee, CDR committee, and the Summer Prep Academy Committee.

Jeffrey Wilcox
Jeffrey Wilcox

Wilcox, a lieutenant in the University Police Department, has performed every function of the department, from clerical duties to executive and administrative duties. He has also invested countless hours into the successful reaccreditation of the University Police Department.

Wilcox has also trained hundreds in the use of Naloxone, a life-saving drug that counteracts opiates in a person’s system. The department even has documented cases in which individuals who have received this training from Wilcox have saved lives. As a member of the Commissioner’s Training Team, he has traveled across the state providing “Fair and Impartial Policing” training to others.

As chair of the Automotive Department, Johnson enthusiastically describes the merits of an Alfred State education to parents and hopeful students at Open House events, while recruiting at high schools, recruiting industry support for the department, and serving as a member of the advisory board.

Kent Johnson
Kent Johnson

Since taking over chair responsibilities, one of his goals is to make the Automotive Department nationally recognized. The first attempt at this recognition was entering the Green Grand Prix held at Watkins Glen International Speedway. Another event that Johnson has supported was attempting to set a speed record for a one-liter vehicle at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. With Johnson’s support, Alfred State has also participated in the ELK Charity Challenge, Fireball Run Adventure Rally, and the college’s latest adventure, the Great Race.

Danielle Green
Danielle Green

Green, an assistant professor and chair of the Business Department, consistently takes the time to mentor new faculty, advise students, and assist in the development and production of assessment and five-year reviews for every curriculum in the department. Since Green became chair of the Business Department, the two-year program applications and acceptances have increased by more than 10 percent and the four-year program applications and acceptances are up more than 25 percent.

Green is responsible for Alfred State’s current status as an institutional member of the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) and she is currently leading the team that is pursuing full IACBE accreditation for all eight primary business programs at Alfred State. She was also one of the original pioneers for online education and advocates for a Center for Online Learning, and oversees Operation Gratitude, an annual event that raises clothes, money, and more for soldiers overseas.

Larry Fox
Larry Fox

Fox began his 36-year career working as a cleaner for the custodial crew. His hard work and dependability paid off, as he has been granted multiple promotions to grounds supervisor and ultimately, the college's locksmith. He has the knowledge to work in just about every position in Facilities Services, and because of his positive, can-do attitude and his leadership qualities, he is the back-up to the maintenance supervisor as needed.

Fox is always willing to lend a hand whether it be shoveling snow or helping an employee find their lost keys. He is also always willing to do whatever it takes to support the students, dropping whatever he is working on to help them in their rooms, or coming in on weekends to fix doors, windows, and work on other miscellaneous projects.

Recipients are nominated by their peers and selected by the Reward and Recognition Committee.

Speed Schwartz earns first-place award for experimental film

Posted Date: Friday, May 26, 2017 - 15:15

Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Animation Jeremy Speed Schwartz recently took home first place in the Experimental Film category at the ASIFA East Awards ceremony in New York City.

Now in its 48th year, the ASIFA East Awards event is America’s longest continuously running animation awards ceremony. ASIFA (Association Internationale du Film d’Animation) is an organization that was founded in 1960 in Annecy, France by a group of international animators to increase worldwide visibility of animated films. Its eastern US chapter, ASIFA East, is based in New York City.

Speed Schwartz’s winning film, “Iterations,” is described as an “abstract iterative loop with changing timeframes,” in which shapes and lines overlap and affect each other across three different loops. The piece was inspired by the work and techniques of Adam K. Beckett, an undisputed master of optical printing, whose works (“Sausage City” and “Dear Janice”) utilize single iterative loops. The music track for “Iterations” was developed and performed by Speed Schwartz and musician Anton Flint, of Hornell.

Jeremy Speed Schwartz, right, receives his award for first place from Animator Robert Lyons
Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Animation Jeremy Speed Schwartz, right, receives his
award for first place in the Experimental Film category at the ASIFA East Awards ceremony in
New York City from Animator Robert Lyons

Prior to being honored at the ASIFA East Awards, “Iterations” premiered at the Punto y Raya festival in Karlsruhe, Germany last October, and has since screened internationally at 15 festivals, including the Ann Arbor Film Festival and Athens Animfest. Upcoming screenings include the Melbourne International Animation Festival and the Animex Festival at Teesside University in Middlesbrough, England.

Speed Schwartz said most of the animators he knows reside in southern California, and that the award has provided him a great opportunity to become more involved with the animation community on the East Coast.

“The outpouring of support from the animation community has been wonderful,” he said, “and has been a great energy boost for the continuing independent animation work I’ve been doing.”

Experimental animation, Speed Schwartz said, is an area of animation practice that can be difficult to define, and is often misunderstood to indicate a technique or idea that is unfinished. Encompassing innovations in technique, process, design, and structure, experimental animation is “probably better understood as innovative or avant-garde animation,” Speed Schwartz said.

“Animation in popular culture is dominated by character-based works primarily for children, but there is a dedicated community of experimental animators that have existed since the earliest days of cinema constantly pushing to expand what the medium can do,” Speed Schwartz said. “It’s great to see organizations such as ASIFA honor the work of those animators.”