More than 500 students and volunteers from Alfred State, Alfred University, and Houghton College joined forces for a national day of service this October. Photos by Lucas Bayus.
Now in its second year, the Celebrate Service Celebrate Allegany event, held this October in Allegany County as part of the national Make a Difference Day, attracted more than 500 students and volunteers from Alfred State, Alfred University, and Houghton College.
Groups spread out across Allegany County to lend a hand raking leaves, winterizing buildings, and performing other needed community service projects. “This day is about providing meaningful assistance to our Allegany County neighbors, helping to meet community needs and build relationships,” said Jonathan Hilsher, director of civic engagement at Alfred State.
Award-winning architect Tod Williams lectures before a packed auditorium at Alfred State.
World-renowned architect Tod Williams of Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects in New York City visited the Department of Architecture and Design at Alfred State this October to deliver the lecture titled “Architecture is a noun.” Attracted by the new Bachelor of Architecture program’s unusual emphasis on the ‘Poetics of Construction,’ which is also the theme of the Department’s lecture series this year, Williams took the time to give invaluable feedback to students and discuss their ongoing projects before beginning his lecture. Department Chair Dr. Heinrich Hermann hopes this sort of interaction becomes commonplace in the program as the BArch degree ramps up. Now in its first year, the degree is one of only eight such programs in the entire State of New York and the only one of its kind in the SUNY system, Hermann says.
“Over a quarter of Allegany County adults do not eat the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables per day” says Jonathan Hilsher, director of civic engagement at Alfred State. “This is just one example of local nutritional challenges, which are compounded by the food security issues that come with living in a county with one of the highest levels of poverty in New York.”
The new solar energy system is just one part of a long-term plan to update and improve the arboretum grounds while educating the public about renewable energy technology. The 446-acre facility operated by the Agriculture Research Service in Washington, D.C., is the principal intramural scientific research agency of the USDA. This particular phase will supply power to the arboretum to offset electricity costs associated with the facility’s bonsai displays.
When he isn’t teaching, Jeremy Speed Schwartz, assistant professor of Digital Media & Animation at Alfred State, spends his time traversing wormholes, discovering the surface of Mars (in Ireland), and diving headfirst into aquifers. He calls himself an imaginary scientist, and his work redraws (or altogether erases) the line between fact and fiction, science and art. And believe it or not, it’s his wild imagination that’s allowed him to pair up with some of the greatest minds in science and technology. “In the past, we’ve worked with biologists at MIT, NASA geophysicists, and, most recently, scientists at the Memphis Ground Water Institute,” Speed Schwartz said. It also landed him the rare opportunity to deliver a TEDx talk in Buffalo on October 15 at Canisius College.