Batavia student helps explore Appalachia development | Lifestyles

ALFRED — A Batavia resident is among six Alfred State College architecture students who participated in the 21st annual Appalachian Teaching Project Symposium.

The symposium is a regional economic development conference sponsored by the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Alfred State College is one of 16 colleges and universities which participated in this year’s project. Its team included Alicia Scroger of Batavia; Nicholas Crego of Spencerport; Kaitlin Girard of Ontario; Alan Espinosa Lopez of Millbroo; Vincent Orologio of Rochester; and Craig Salzman of Binghamton.

The team presented “Leveraging Historic Transportation Networks to Promote Heritage Tourism and Community Connectivity: A Vision for Sustainability and Growth in Allegany County, New York.”

The presentation was the culmination of a seven-week project which involved three architecture studios completing visualization studies for Belmont, Belfast and Fillmore in Allegany County.

To prepare for the event, 34 students enrolled in ARCH 7306 Design Studio 5 taught by Professors William Dean, Matthew DiRado, and Alan Vlakancic. The course focuses on designing and leading research projects in Appalachian communities to address regional challenges.

Each ATP project reflects one of four themes: addressing community needs and challenges; economic development; tourism; and capacity building.

As a capstone to the work, students normally travel to Washington, DC to present their work to other student delegations from other ATP participating institutions. This year, due to the continuing COVID-19 crisis, the ATP Symposium took place online.

“This was an exciting project for the students to work on in collaboration with the people in three different communities, and we had great turn-outs for each public presentation,” Dean said in a news release. “We also received a great deal of support from the Allegany County Department of Planning and Director of Planning Kier Dirlam and his staff. This project illustrates Alfred State’s commitment to civic engagement, applied learning, and making a local and regional impact.”

Since 2001, over 2,650 college and graduate students from across Appalachia have participated in the Appalachian Teaching Project. This is the 12th year a student delegation from Alfred State has participated in ATP. Many ATP alumnae have gone on to careers in public service, community development, and other related fields across the Region.

ATP is one of four academies and institutes sponsored by the Appalachian Regional Commission. Through these experiential learning opportunities, participants build networks, hone skills, and cultivate an enduring commitment to Appalachia’s future.

“Appalachia needs young leaders, like those participating in the Appalachian Teaching Project, to bring forward-thinking economic development plans to life,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “This group of change-makers is capable of creating positive impacts in our communities, and I am excited to see the lasting effects these innovative projects will have on our region long-term.”

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