Annual Honors Convocation

Honors Convocation Stage Party Members 2007Alfred State College student academic achievement was celebrated April 28 during the 23rd annual Honors Convocation. ASC Interim President Dr. John B. Clark welcomed the gathered students, families, faculty, and friends and congratulated them on their achievements.

Keynote speaker Michael Ronan, associate professor, Automotive Trades Department, addressed the students, describing to the audience "the face of a scholar." Using three or four specific examples of students who were being honored on Saturday, Ronan illustrated that no matter what students study, how they look, or where they come from, everyone has an opportunity to succeed, not only at Alfred State College, but throughout our wonderful nation.

Ronan, who joined the Alfred State faculty in 1985, has served the campus community through his involvement in Faculty Senate where he has served as Senate chair and vice chair; he served as UCT (University Colleges of Technology) governance chair on the statewide University Senate; he was the faculty representative on the Alfred State College Council; he is the regional conference college coordinator for Skills/USA, and he is the faculty adviser for Sigma Tau Epsilon, the School of Applied Technology honor society.

Prior to joining the ASC faculty where he specializes in instruction in the drive train area, Ronan owned and operated Tri-County Transmissions, Yorkshire; he also worked at Four Car Garage and Olde English Garage, Burlingame, CA, as a Rolls-Royce mechanic.

His professional affiliations include the Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association, WNY State testing proctor; the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence Certification exam test-writing team.

Ronan has been the recipient of the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service, the ASC Pioneer Award, a two-time winner of the Alumni Teacher of the Year Award, and the president's Advisory Council on Excellence Award.

Ronan holds a bachelor's degree from SUNY Fredonia; he attended Georgetown University School of Law. Ronan also attended Skyline Community College, taking courses in the auto trades.

Another facet of the ceremony was the presentation of the State University of New York (SUNY) 2007 Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence to winners Wendy Simpson, Binghamton, and Adam Wilczak, Lancaster. The Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence was created to recognize students who have best demonstrated, and been recognized, for the integration of academic excellence with accomplishments in the areas of leadership, athletics, community service, creative and performing arts, or career achievement. Announcement of the award was made by Dr. Steven J. Tyrell, vice president for student affairs.

Simpson, an architectural technology major, is a Dean's List student and active member of the Alfred State Honors Program, Phi Theta Kappa, Tau Alpha Pi, and is a Presidential Scholar. Wendy is also actively involved with Student Senate as vice president and finance chair; president and past vice president of the Women in Non-Traditional Studies (WINS) Club; and treasurer of the Architecture Club. Wendy is a tutor and proctor in the math lab.

Wilczak, an interior design major, serves as a resident assistant, Student Senate representative, and contributing photographer of the student newspaper and yearbook. Adam is the co-vice president of WINS and is involved in community service and outreach including volunteer work with Adopt-a-Family. Adam is a Dean's List student and recipient of several scholarships.

Additionally Tyrell presented the Freshman Advocate Award, sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs, which is given to the employee at Alfred State who had a most positive influence on a student's freshman year at the College. This year's winner, Sarah Spencer, instructional support assistant, The Learning Center, was cited by Jennifer Lorow, Angelica, a liberal arts and sciences/humanities major, as a "wonderful listener, mentor, supervisor, and friend who lights up a room with her smile and her energy."

Pictured here, Alfred State College Interim President Dr. John B. Clark, center, is flanked by other members of the stage party, l-r: Dr. Ronald R. Rosati, vice president for Academic Affairs; Ronan; Lawrence ("Ed") Burns, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor, and longest-tenured faculty member who served as grand marshal; and Rev. Daniel P. Callahan, S.A., vice president, Mission Services, St. James Mercy Health System, who gave the invocation and benediction at the ceremony.