Among the many values that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. cherished and encouraged throughout his lifetime was that of service to others. Embodying the legacy that Dr. King left behind, Alfred State students, faculty, and staff all devote their time and efforts to make their community and the world a better place.
One way in which Alfred State pays tribute to Dr. King is by honoring those who represent his spirit of service. This year, the college will host its seventh annual Spirit of Service Award Ceremony at 5 p.m. Jan. 26 at the Alfred Village Hall. This ceremony continues to be a collaborative program between Alfred State and Alfred University.
Each year during the ceremony, the college presents a student, a faculty or staff member, and a community member with a Spirit of Service Award, which recognizes and celebrates those in the Greater Alfred community who demonstrate a strong commitment to serving others. The award is intended to honor people who are actively living out the principles Martin Luther King Jr. stood for, including equality, social justice, community, and service.
Last year’s recipients were 11 students (seven from Alfred State and four from Alfred University) who had joined the A.E. Crandall Hook and Ladder Company for volunteer fire and ambulance service; Matthew Ryan, Alfred State senior director of Residential Life; and community member Melissa Jusianiec. David Snyder, access services coordinator at Alfred University’s Herrick Library and the Alfred Sun publisher, was presented with the 2016 Alfred University Faculty/Staff Spirit of Service Award. Alfred University student Robert Graves, an art and design major from Alfred Station, was presented with the 2016 Alfred University Student Spirit of Service Award.
The college also recognizes students, faculty, and staff who demonstrate leadership through civic engagement by presenting the College Council Leadership through Civic Engagement Award and the Newman Civic Fellows Award.
Examples of some of the civic engagement opportunities that Alfred State is a part of include Celebrate Service Celebrate Allegany, a day of community service projects that take place throughout Allegany County. In the fall semester, Building Trades students also traveled to New Orleans and Scottsboro, AL, to provide skilled service alongside community partners as part of the Semester in the South program. During the 2015-2016 academic year, students performed approximately 80,000 hours of community service through class- based applied learning and co-curricular programs.
Alfred State is excited to announce that Project Prom Dress Extravaganza 2017 will be taking place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, April 9 in the Pioneer Center on the Alfred campus.
A student-driven initiative, Project Prom Dress has grown tremendously over the past three years, thanks to the passion of the sisters of Delta Chi Omega. All year long, the girls work hard collecting new or gently used prom gowns, shoes, and accessories from local bridal shops or individuals.
Then in April, their hard work comes to life, as they invite teenage girls from Allegany County and surrounding areas to come to their Extravaganza event at Alfred State, where they can choose a gown free of charge.
“In today’s economy, prom gowns are simply not in the budget for many families,” said Alfred State Event Concierge Sandra Burdick. “These girls wanted to help every girl have a beautiful gown and the opportunity to go to prom.”
Also on April 9, the Delta Chi Omega sisters will be collecting donations of gowns, shoes, and accessories.
Alfred State wishes to thank some of its amazing donors for this year’s event: Belle Ruche Bridal Boutique, of Olean; JBK Bridal and Prom, of Horseheads; Bonjulies of Horseheads; Bella You, of Rochester; and the Purple Iris, of Horseheads; as well as several individual donors.
For more information, please contact Burdick at email@example.com or at 607-587-4098.
Dr. William D. Rezak who led Alfred State as president from 1993 until he retired in 2003 is being remembered as an accomplished educator, engineer, author, benefactor, and good friend. Rezak passed away on January 14 after battling cancer. A memorial service is planned for Saturday, January 21 in Orlando, FL.
“Bill was an outstanding president to work under as a vice president,” stated SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor and longtime member of Alfred State’s Business Department Jim Grillo. “He was extremely supportive of his people, and under his leadership, we significantly expanded our bachelor’s degrees, and began to increase our enrollment. Bill will be remembered as a tremendous mentor and good friend to many of us here at Alfred State.”
“Bill was a tremendous advocate for students and remained a great supporter of Alfred State College,” stated President Dr. Skip Sullivan. “This pioneer will be missed.”
President Rezak was instrumental in adding baccalaureate programs to the former two-year technical college. In 1996 he created the Alfred State College Development Fund for enlisting alumni support and the college’s endowment quadrupled during his tenure. During his administration funding and enrollment declined across SUNY institutions but enrollment increased at Alfred State while also raising standards for student selectivity. Additional innovations included creation of the college’s first football team in 1995, and development of plans for a multi-million-dollar Workforce Development Training Center on the Wellsville campus.
While Alfred State’s President, Rezak was also honored to be on the Allegany County United Way Board of Directors, serving as both campaign chair and president for multiple years. Alfred State students with financial need continue to benefit from the Radia Khouri Rezak Family Endowed Scholarship established in 1994. His generosity is also reflected in sponsorship of a leadership suite for clubs and benevolent organizations at the Student Leadership Center.
His beloved wife Paula died in late 2006. As first lady of Alfred State, she was a founder of the Rainbow Union. She established the Paula Rezak Memorial Library Collection, which includes books, movies and additional resources that are constantly updated for the LGBTQ community. Bill and Paula also established an endowed fund dedicated to enhancing the living-learning environment for all students, especially those addressing the challenges associated with sexual orientation.
Prior to Alfred State, Rezak was Dean of the School of Technology at Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, Georgia. Before entering higher education, he spent 18 years in engineering, design and construction of power generation facilities, both nuclear and fossil fueled. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University where he played on Lehigh’s 1961 Lambert Cup Championship Football Team. He also has a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Human Resource Development from Georgia State University. He was a registered professional engineer in several states.
In retirement Rezak authored a book entitled “The Arab and the Brit: The Last of the Welcome Immigrants” a memoir that spans multiple generations and countries. Born of a Palestinian father and British mother, he traced the lives of his ancestors and narrated their experiences against the backdrop of two world wars and the volatile Middle East. In 2013 the college hosted the former president as he discussed his book and how history shapes modern events and policies.
Next he published “The Best Dang Job in the World: A Leadership Guide for College and University Administrators” based on observations from his own career. In the novel, Rezak created a fictional campus to highlight characteristics, attributes, and behaviors that are a key to success in leading an institution of higher learning. Both books remain available for purchase online.
In lieu of flowers, the Rezak family is asking for donations to be made to the Radia Khouri Rezak Family Endowed Scholarship or the Paula Rezak Support for a Caring Campus Endowed Fund at AlfredState.edu/make-a-gift.
The ongoing support of the Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc. has greatly contributed to student success at Alfred State through a generous annual donation to peer tutoring.
Since the 2010-2011 academic year, the Foundation has provided $5,000 annually to the college’s peer tutoring program. As a result, the program has fulfilled more than 450 student requests over the last three years, providing more than 2,650 hours of support.
Students receiving assistance through peer tutoring have earned a significantly higher GPA (1.02 GPA points on average higher), and report, through student surveys, a “stronger confidence in the course material.” Furthermore, the peer tutoring program has initiated a new Tutor Training Program to enhance the service provided, with initial steps being taken to earn national College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA) Certification.
These funds will also support a new initiative in the spring 2017 semester: Alfred State “Learning Labs.” Learning Labs will provide drop-in tutoring in the content areas of business, biology/chemistry, psychology/sociology, and physics. This evening service will support students during homework hours, answering questions for drop-in students from 6-8 p.m.
Alfred State offers free peer tutoring services for most courses. Peer tutors are students who have earned an “A” or “B” in a course and have received special training. Sessions are usually face-to-face, but online tutoring may be arranged upon request.
The peer tutoring program is housed in the Student Success Center, located in the Hunter Development Center on the Alfred campus, and the Student Services Building on the Wellsville campus. Casey Cowburn is the peer tutoring coordinator in Alfred and Leslie Buckley serves as tutoring coordinator and coordinator for Disability Services in Wellsville.
The Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc., is a private foundation representing faculty, staff, and friends of Alfred State dedicated to improving the college community through the support of educational programs. The activities pursued by the Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc., are governed by a board of directors made up of representatives from each of the following groups: alumni, College Council, faculty and staff, and friends of the college.
The Foundation provides monetary support to enhance learning opportunities for students through scholarships, work grants, and community service projects. The Ed Foundation also funds the Building Trades programs’ hands-on home construction projects.
Additionally, the Foundation owns and maintains the School of Applied Technology campus in Wellsville. The campus, which attracts some 800 students annually, is recognized as one of the best applied technology schools in the nation.
Since 1966, the foundation has invested approximately $8 million in improvements on the campus.
Aiming to combat drug and alcohol abuse among teenagers, Alfred State is teaming up with the Steuben Prevention Coalition and the Steuben County District Attorney’s Office to sponsor a free program titled, “High in Plain Sight: Current drug, concealment, and alcohol trends.”
Taking place Wednesday, March 29 at the Bath-Haverling High School, 25 Ellas Ave., Bath, the program will be held from 9-11 a.m. for school personnel, area professionals, educators/prevention providers; from 1-3 p.m. for law enforcement, probation officers, first responders, and fire departments; and from 6-7:30 p.m. for community members/parents.
During the program, Officer Jermaine Galloway, also known as “Tall Cop,” will cover alcoholic energy drinks, alcopops, alcohol and drug concealment methods, drug paraphernalia, over-the-counter drugs, e-cigarettes, popular party drugs, and more. Each presentation is tailored to meet the education needs of the audience. A teenager’s “mock room” will be available at the afternoon and evening sessions.
Wendy Dresser-Recktenwald, senior director of Human Resources and the Center for Community and Education and Training (CCET) at Alfred State, said organizers are confident no one will be disappointed at the level of expertise Galloway brings to the training.< /p>
“Alfred State is honored to be a part of the Steuben County consortium and excited to bring this incredible prevention education opportunity to our area,” she said. “If you have kids, even if you don’t think they will ever do drugs, this training is an opportunity for every parent to get state-of-the-art education on a difficult subject.”
Dresser-Recktenwald noted that the period of adolescence becomes even more challenging when a family is affected by a youth’s or other family member’s substance use disorder.
“Because we are rural, our area is not immune to the drug epidemic sweeping our country,” she said. “Opioid addiction is widespread in our rural area, and unfortunately our youth are at high risk of using opiates and other drugs such as marijuana and alcohol. Thousands of New Yorkers die of addiction each year, and this program is an example of a collaboration of agencies and programs who worked hard together toward one common goal to provide one of the best prevention education trainings available for counselors, law enforcement, parents, and families.”
Norm McCumiskey, Drug Free Communities project coordinator, said as a former health educator for 34 years, he has been involved with alcohol and drug prevention all his adult life, and has attended many workshops and presentations about substance abuse, including High in Plain Sight last year.
“This presentation was absolutely the best I have ever attended about youth and drugs,” he said. “The presenter, Jermaine Galloway, does a tremendous job at showing the audience the current drugs that are being abused today by youth. His knowledge of what is being used, how it is being used, how it is being hidden by youth is second to none.”
McCumiskey added that he thinks every adult who has children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews should attend High in Plain Sight.
“You may never again see a program of this caliber,” he noted.
The mission of the Center for Community Education and Training at Alfred State is to advance economic development in the Southern Tier through the integration of vocational/occupational training, personal and career development, and organizational development. The mission of the Steuben Prevention Coalition is to promote healthy and safe communities in Steuben County by reducing alcohol and drug use among teens and young adults.
Supervised child care will be provided by the Youth Action Forum during the evening session. To participate, attendees must pre-register with the Center for Community and Education at Alfred State at 607-587-4015 or firstname.lastname@example.org and include their group affiliation to be put in the appropriate session.