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.
The Alfred Community Garden first launched in 2010. Today it is the recipient of an AmeriCorps VISTA grant designed to combat local food insecurity.
Only three new projects in the State of New York earned a coveted AmeriCorps VISTA grant for Nov. 2013 to Nov. 2014. And Alfred State, with its focus on nutritional literacy and community-based gardening in collaboration with Literacy West NY, Inc. and Alfred Community Garden, was one of the fortunate recipients.
“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.”
Nineteen students and two instructors from Alfred State’s electrical construction and maintenance electrician program headed to Washington, D.C. this October to complete the largest phase of what has been a five-year project to help the U.S. National Arboretum meet its sustainability goals. Their mission: to install a 15 kilowatt photo voltaic system.
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.
Alfred State Students Adopt a Highway Group
Alfred State students are doers, not bystanders. In fact, last year alone, more than 2,000 of this college of technology’s students contributed more than 46,000 hours of service, civic leadership, and workforce-ready knowledge to communities in need. And this August, the college was selected to participate in a national initiative on civic learning and democratic engagement for the second consecutive year.
Alfred State has been named one of just 70 colleges and universities in the nation designated Lead Institutions by NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, the leading voice for the student affairs profession.