Alfred State College (ASC) is looking to expand its number of medical imaging programs thanks to a grant from the State University of New York (SUNY) Performance Improvement Fund.
The grant, worth $367,000, has been awarded for a two-year-maximum period and is primarily intended to advance the creation of several proposed programs within the medical imaging field. Those proposed include echocardiography (Associate in Applied Science), magnetic resonant imaging (certificate), computed tomography (certificate), and medical imaging sciences (Bachelor of Technology). While the four proposed medical programs are under development, no launch date has been determined.
Currently, because of high demand, Alfred State’s existing medical imaging programs – radiologic technology and diagnostic medical sonography – are full to capacity and have waiting lists for interested students. As a result, the college is looking to add these new majors to meet the growing demand for medical imaging technologists.
Dr. Skip Sullivan, president of Alfred State, said, “Alfred State is grateful to SUNY for providing these much-needed funds that will help us to better address the high level of interest within the medical imaging field. These majors attract students with a deep desire to assist others in this expanding medical profession.”
Dr. Kristin Poppo, Alfred State provost, said, “Alfred State is pleased to expand offerings in allied health professions. Our radiologic technology and diagnostic medical sonography majors are in huge demand. The new associate and bachelor’s degrees will provide great opportunities for our students to meet the high demand for medical imaging technicians.”
Assistant Professor Bridgett Mayorga, who is the program director of the radiologic technology and diagnostic medical sonography majors, said, “This grant will allow ASC an incredible opportunity to expand the programs offered within medical imaging. Not only will the grant allow us to provide educational opportunities to our students, but it will also help support surrounding healthcare facilities with valuable workforce resources. I personally am excited to be involved with the expansion and growth of medical imaging here at Alfred State College.”
Growing up in Springville, Alfred State alum Jeff Mahl had heard the story many times before – the one about how his great-grandfather, George Schuster, had won the 1908 Great Race from New York City to Paris.
But as can be expected for any youngster, he hadn’t paid very much attention. That is, until he reached age 14 and wrote a paper on the subject for an English assignment.
“I of course waited until the last minute on Thursday night to settle on a subject,” he said. “Desperate, I decided to do a story on the 1908 race. I received an “A+” (knowing more about this part of automotive history than the teacher), and then it dawned on me that I was hearing history from the man who lived it. Fortunately, from that time on, I paid very close attention to what ‘Great Gramp’ was saying.”
As it turned out, “Great Gramp” had a pretty amazing story to tell. On Feb. 12, 1908, in New York City, George Schuster got behind the wheel of the Buffalo-built Thomas Flyer automobile for a thrilling international competition known as “The Great Race.”
In this event, George went head to head against five other teams from Italy, France, and Germany, all of which took off from Times Square on that cold winter day for what would become the longest automobile competition in history. Altogether, the race covered 22,000 miles, 13,341 of which were driven, as it was necessary for the teams to cross the Pacific Ocean by ship, as opposed to the original plan of crossing via the frozen Bering Straits.
The race drew international interest and was extensively covered, earning front-page news in the New York Times for six months. It would later serve as the inspiration for the 1965 movie “The Great Race,” starring Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Natalie Wood, and Peter Falk.
Finally, after 169 days of facing unpaved and unplowed roads, unreliable maps, and little food, George Schuster and the Thomas Flyer arrived in Paris on July 30 to win The Great Race. The American Thomas Flyer was one of only three vehicles to have finished the competition, along with the German Protos and the Italian Briax-Zust.
Over the years, Jeff, a 1967 Alfred State marketing graduate, has researched The Great Race passionately, and at one point provided narration for a video on the competition. He has also told the story in person numerous times to audiences around the world, including once at his alma mater, Alfred State.
Jeff’s visit to the Wellsville campus in 2013 prompted the college to enter a modern version of the Great Race that bears the same name and is for vintage cars only. Each year since 2014, Alfred State has competed in the 2,000-plus-mile controlled-speed endurance rally in a 1953 Dodge Power Wagon tow truck.
A retired ship captain, Jeff now passionately devotes his time to The Great Race, having been closely involved with mentoring teams for the past several years in the competition’s X-Cup Division, which is designed for high school and college teams.
For the 2018 Great Race, which is set to begin June 23 in Buffalo and end July 1 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Alfred State is looking to field two teams, including one all-female squad, which would be a first for the X-Cup Division.
But while more than 100 cars will be heading from Buffalo to Halifax that day, another group of antique automobile drivers will be embarking on a much more symbolic journey.
“Since 2018 marks the 110th anniversary of the original Great Race from New York to Paris, something special will also be happening,” Jeff said. “A group of us will be starting in New York City at Times Square and arriving in Buffalo on the 23rd. We will then be departing from the starting line that morning as well, however, we will be going west for the Eiffel Tower in Paris, covering the 13,000-plus-mile original 1908 route across three continents.”
As he follows in his grandfather’s footsteps (or rather race tracks), Jeff will be driving a 1929 Ford Model A Roadster Pickup.
“It will be a great experience comparing the world today with pictures and stories from the same spots Great Gramp passed through in 1908,” he said. “It will also be much easier with things like paved roads and GPS.”
No doubt, repeating the same race course his great-grandfather took more than a century ago will mean a lot to Jeff. He acknowledged that he was fortunate to have had the chance to bond with his Great Gramp, who also lived in Springville before he passed in 1972 at the age of 99. George was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in Detroit in 2010 for his racing accomplishments.
“He was quite a guy, still driving at 95 and shoveling snow in the western New York winters at 98,” Jeff said. “By that time, I was in my 20s and had heard the story (about The Great Race) many times. He also kept extensive notes as he was circumnavigating the globe, saved hundreds of original photographs and artifacts from the race, and even wrote a book with his memoir.”
Though he may not have initially paid much attention to the story when he was very young, Jeff has certainly more than made up for it over the years through his research, his involvement with the modern Great Race, and by spreading the word about his great-grandfather’s amazing feat. And for the first time ever when he heads from New York City to Paris in June, Jeff will not only be sharing Great Gramp’s story, he will also be living it.
A group of Alfred State technology management students got a first-hand glimpse into the world of manufacturing during a recent tour of the Alstom facility in Hornell.
According to the students’ instructor, Susan Gorman, a lecturer in the Business Department, the tour was part of an applied learning component that coincided with a manufacturing simulation that the students completed for the management technology innovation course.
“The simulation was designed so that students would go through a research and development process of designing an innovative technology product to full production, implementing areas of value chain, logistics, human resources, accounting/finance, and marketing,” Gorman said.
Along the tour, students were connected with all phases of the creation of rail cars, from Web-based programming to live manufacturing.
“Because of the increase in technology in manufacturing as a whole, it is important to connect the next generation of the workforce with new innovative opportunities that manufacturing brings,” Gorman said.
Alstom Sourcing and Supply Chain Director in Hornell Sacha Bodin provided the tour, along with fellow employees Dave Andersen, quality director, and Dave Woolever, industrial director. Bodin said Alstom is pleased to partner with Alfred State, to host student tours, and to “have them discover our Hornell operations and career opportunities literally just down the road from the college.”
“At Alstom, we feel that there is no better way to engage local talent than to open our doors and let them see first-hand what contributions they could make as future employees, engineers, and managers,” said Bodin. “It is a win-win situation both for Alstom and for our local community, giving us the opportunity to bring on and to continue to develop individuals that bring new ideas and technologies to the rail industry, strengthening our business in the face of a challenging and growing market, and helping us secure the sustainability of our operations.”
Speaking to the partnership between Alfred State and Alstom, Business Department Chair Danielle Green said, “The partnership between Alfred State and Alstom is creating excellent opportunities for our students and is a great example of how education and industry can work together to create the workforce of the future. Alfred State Business Department students are exposed to the formal theories and practices of textbook knowledge and then shown how that knowledge can be applied in real-world industries. The partnership itself creates better informed and more successful graduates through internships and interactions with industry professionals.”
Competing against seven other schools, Alfred State placed third in the design-build division in this year’s Associated Schools of Construction Region 1 Student Competition held last month in Albany.
College teams worked on plans for various projects in four divisions in this year’s event: pre-construction, commercial, heavy-civil, and design-build. Alfred State had strong showings in both pre-construction and commercial, and came in third in the design-build category – the only public school to place in that division, according to Erin Vitale, associate professor in the Civil Engineering Technology Department.
On the first day, teams received project documents at 8 a.m. and had 16 hours to complete their submission to project sponsors, who had devised each problem. The next day, teams made an oral presentation to the project sponsors, who then judged the written submissions and the oral presentations and ranked the top three teams.
The pre-construction category focused on construction of a state-of-the-art, central dining hall on a college campus. In the commercial building division, teams were tasked with creating a plan for an upscale senior living facility. The design/build competition centered on a four-story, 83,500-square-foot multi-disciplined medical office building in Syracuse. Vitale advised the pre-construction and commercial teams, and William Dean, professor in the Architecture and Design Department, advised the design-build team.
Mitchell Design Build in Rochester was a major competition sponsor for the Alfred State team.
“I am always pleased and excited to help my alma mater, especially with an event like this,” said Spencer Read (architectural technology, ’05), vice president and senior project manager with the firm. “As a company that almost exclusively does design-build projects, we think it is great to see students learning and experiencing this project delivery method in a real-world setting.”
In addition, alumni who are now employed at Balfour Beatty and Manning Squires Hennig, Co. mentored the pre-construction and commercial teams, respectively. Overall, 16 schools, 35 teams, and 210 students participated in the competition.
Over the last few years, Alfred State College has invested nearly $1 million in the College Farm to modernize facilities and infrastructure. The college is committed to maintaining this momentum.
To keep its students competitive in an evolving agricultural industry, Alfred State is diversifying its educational offerings.
“Primarily, the farm has been a dairy operation for decades and we are very proud of that tradition,” said Dr. Skip Sullivan, president of Alfred State. “We want to build on that proud heritage with the introduction of new species and new opportunities for our students. What’s really interesting is that the process of deciding what works best with our land and facilities is exactly the sort of decision-making our students need to understand when they launch their careers.”
Many alumni proudly recall the thriving College Farm atmosphere. The college plans to continue this tradition by offering unique hands-on experiences for its students, utilizing new agricultural technologies.
With these efforts, Alfred State can capitalize on the growing job markets in agriculture. A study released by Purdue University in 2015 showed that between 2015 and 2020, an estimated 57,900 jobs would be created annually in agricultural, food, and renewable natural resources.
Dr. Phil Schroeder, chair of the Agriculture and Veterinary Technology Department, said, “To complement our state-of-the-art free-stall robotic dairy, we will develop agricultural innovation spaces. These spaces will provide room to diversify our agricultural programs, and may include opportunities for our students to work with meat goats, beef cattle, rabbits, swine, horses, and maple syrup production.”
And not only will agriculture students benefit from the college diversifying its farm, but veterinary students will, too.
Dr. Mel Chambliss, associate professor in the Agriculture and Veterinary Technology Department and program coordinator of the veterinary technology major, said, “Increased diversity of species at the College Farm will greatly enhance the large animal husbandry and handling experiences for our veterinary technology students.”
Speaking to how well Alfred State College (ASC) prepares students for that next step after graduation, the college has achieved an employment and continuing education rate of 99 percent for the eighth straight year.
“Since our founding, Alfred State has focused on career preparedness,” said Deborah Goodrich, associate vice president for Enrollment Management. “There’s a national debate about the value of a college education with critics arguing that some degrees don’t align with employment opportunities. We believe the answer is to offer majors with hands-on experience matching in-demand jobs. By working closely with employers, we identify workforce needs and help our students gain the skills needed to launch their careers.”
A survey of 2016 graduates determined that 99 percent of respondents have either secured employment after earning their degree from Alfred State or are continuing their education for another degree. Of those 99 percent, 65 percent are employed, while 34 percent are pursing advanced degrees. Of the 65 percent who have a job, 94 percent of them are employed in their chosen field.
Elaine Morsman, director of Career Development, noted that ASC students are in high demand for jobs.
“The average number of active jobs in our JobLink database on any given day over the past two years has been 550-plus. There is a long line of companies eager to hire our graduates, with our employer database now over 5,000 employers strong,” she said.
Additionally, big-name employers travel to Alfred State’s campuses to attract top talent for their workforce, including San Francisco-based Cisco Meraki; Balfour Beatty; Corning, Inc.; Anheuser-Busch; Main Drilling and Blasting; and Tesla. Companies eagerly seek Alfred State students, offering them jobs and many paid internships that turn into full-time jobs. Some notable companies where Pioneers have found careers include Fisher-Price, Walt Disney World, and The Hershey Company, among numerous others.
Over the past several years, Morsman said, word of the value and effectiveness of Alfred State’s career fairs has spread among students, faculty, and employers. For example, in the fall 2012 semester, 34 employers came to the Wellsville Career Fair, and 37 employers attended the one on the Alfred campus, with 63 total unique employers for both fairs.
In the fall 2017 semester, however, both of those totals had risen substantially, as the Wellsville Career Fair brought in 68 employers, while 85 employers came to the Alfred Career Fair, for a total of 129 unique employers attending – crushing the record of 109 for last year’s fall recruitment.
“I often receive calls from recruiters who state that a colleague in their industry told them about the Alfred State career fairs and suggest that they start attending,” Morsman said. “On the student side, we see a steady flow of students stopping by for a résumé critique and to pick up a stack of complimentary résumé paper that we offer. One student who dropped in for résumé paper asked if there was a limit, since he planned to connect with 30 employers at the Alfred campus fair.”
And not only do employers support ASC students through jobs and internships, they also provide equipment to give students real-world experience working with the latest technology in their fields. Recent examples include Pierce Steel donating steel for student classwork in the welding program, and Monroe Tractor donating heavy equipment machinery.
Many ASC majors traditionally have more employers ready to hire than there are available graduates. A list of these in-demand degrees is available at www.AlfredState.edu/more-jobs.
As for students looking to further their education, Alfred State’s programs provide a seamless transition for pursuing advanced degrees. Some Pioneers choose to continue their education at other SUNY institutions, University of Rochester, Syracuse University, Cornell University, or dozens of other schools across the country.
“Alfred State is doing its part to ensure that students are well prepared for that next step after graduation, whether it’s continuing in a higher degree program or having a job lined up as soon as they have that diploma in hand,” Morsman said. “Students are at the heart of everything we do here at Alfred State, and our ultimate goal is to prepare them to succeed.”
Studying for final exams can be pretty stressful. That’s why Hinkle Memorial Library brought in 10 therapy dogs during finals week, helping to take some of the pressure off and allowing students the chance to unwind with some furry friends.
For three nights, students were able to interact with the canines and their handlers while enjoying some refreshments as part of the library’s biannual Therapy Dogs in the Library event. The dogs were a variety of breeds, including a Plott Hound mix, a rescue mix, three Golden Retrievers, a Vizsla, and a Newfoundland, among others.
The dogs were registered through either the Pet Partners chapter out of Syracuse or through two chapters of Therapy Dogs International. Library Instructional Support Assistant Amie Acton said the program is invaluable to students during this time of year.
“The dogs are all well known to the students, and many of them take annual selfies with their favorite dog,” she said. “Some students, upon seeing their favorite dog, go directly to the dog and stay there the entire time, petting it and talking with the handler. So many of them tell us they look forward to the dogs all semester, that it’s the best part of the semester.”
The event is also one of the handlers’ favorites, too.
“They love our students and find great joy in interacting with them,” Acton said. “It’s the best possible arrangement I could’ve ever hoped for.”
With the holiday season in full swing, festive music can be heard everywhere, whether it’s over the radio waves or in concert, bringing a little joy to those who hear it.
At Alfred State, music is an important tradition, especially around the holidays, as the college just hosted its free annual Instrumental Music Winter Concert, this year titled “A Night of Broadway.” For alums of the Alfred State College Choir, keeping this tradition strong is also important, as they even have their own website and provide funds for two music-related scholarships – the Anthony C. Cappadonia Endowed Scholarship and the Richard D. Stillman Memorial Endowed Scholarship.
And for one particular couple, the Alfred State College Choir has its own special significance. Singing in the choir, in fact, ended up leading to a harmonious, decades-long story of love for the pair, with plenty of high notes along the way.
While attending Alfred State in the mid-to-late-1950s, Martha Radley and Jared Woolley were both members of the college choir, with Jared singing tenor and Martha performing as an alto.
Rehearsal took place daily at 3 p.m. at the Alfred Village Fire Hall, and would quite often run close to supper time. As a result, some of the gentlemen singers who owned cars would offer rides to the young ladies to help them get to the dining hall on campus in time for dinner.
And one fateful day, Jared decided he would offer Martha a ride.
“He pulled up the car and I asked, ‘Where are the others?’ He replied, ‘There aren’t any others.’ He was providing a ride for just me to supper,” she said. “Then he asked if I was going with anyone. I replied, ‘Where?’ thinking of an event coming up on the weekend. He said he meant going steady with anyone in particular. I replied, ‘No,’ which began our nearly 60 years of making harmony together.”
That harmonious beginning would eventually lead to several members of the Woolley family becoming Pioneers as well, joining in on the wonderful medley that is the Alfred State Family.
After graduating from the executive secretarial science program in 1958, Martha began working at the FBI in Buffalo as a stenographer. She remained in that position for a little more than a year, and moved to Forestville upon marrying Jared (a 1958 animal husbandry grad) on Sept. 12, 1959. The couple have maintained a farm together on 500 acres of land there ever since.
In addition to Martha and Jared, two of their children, Jim and Mark, and two of their grandchildren, Jessica and Michael, have also graduated from Alfred State.
Speaking to the fact that so many of her family members have become Pioneers, Martha says she is grateful and excited that it was and is possible. She said each of them appreciate the experiences and education they received at the college.
In addition to their Alfred State education, Martha, Jared, and their son Jim also share the fact that they all sang in Anthony Cappadonia’s choir. Cappadonia served as the instrumental and choral director at Alfred State for 56 years, and in 2012, the Anthony C. Cappadonia Auditorium in the Orvis Activities Center was officially dedicated in his honor.
Martha notes that when she and Jared attended the college, approximately 115 students were in the choir. This required three buses to transport the singers to the various locations where they performed.
The couple has since returned to campus several times over the years for alumni choir weekends. Sadly, however, Jared passed into eternal rest on Jan. 28, 2017.
What started out as a simple car ride from choir rehearsal ended up becoming so much more. And while Jared may have passed on, the harmony he created with Martha continues to live on in her heart and in the hearts of the entire Woolley family, who will always be a high note in the Alfred State Family medley.
View a festive video of the Alfred State choir through the years:
With the Eastern Hills Mall in Clarence having lost a number of tenants over the past few years, a group of Alfred State College (ASC) architecture students recently developed a comprehensive study to revolutionize the site into a new, first-of-its-kind lifestyle center.
Speaking to members of the Clarence Town Board, ASC architecture Design Studio 5 students recently presented their idea, which involves creating a huge campus where people would live, work, and play. The students say it is designed for everyone, with a particular emphasis on those with disabilities.
Instead of demolishing the buildings, the students found it made more sense to use some of the existing structures on the site. Buffalo TV news station WGRZ covered the students’ presentation to the board, and asked Dr. Alex Bitterman, chair of the Alfred State Architecture and Design Department, how this impressive project would be funded.
“What we say in architecture school is we’ve had a Swiss budget for this project,” he said. “We’ve dreamed very big, very large. So where will the dollars come from? That’s a very interesting question because at this point, this is one potential project for this site of many potential projects that could happen on this site.”
According to WGRZ, the owners have said they want to work with other developers to turn the area into a mixed-use residential and retail site, and that if the right buyer comes along, it could be entirely sold.
View the Eastern Hills Mall television story: Courtesy WGRZ
As 2017 comes to a close, Alfred State is taking a look back at some of its biggest stories from the year.
The following are some major highlights, in no particular order, from 2017:
Other notable highlights from this past year include the opening of the college’s new tubing hill, student Justin King’s team coming in fourth place in the governor’s “Making College Possible Coding Challenge,” former President John Anderson being honored with a portrait in the Student Leadership Center, and the Basic Utility Vehicle (BUV) Team earning a second straight first-place finish in the annual intercollegiate BUV Design Competition in Batavia, OH.