Saturday, January 31, 2009

University of Albany's Kaloyeros helped persuade New York to put $900 million into a UAlbany operation that now employs 2,200 researchers

As staff at the College of Nanoscale Science & Engineering wait patiently in a conference room, a loud rumble shatters the silence. "Must be him," someone says. Alain E. Kaloyeros has just pulled into a parking lot at the State University of New York's Albany campus in his $220,000 black Ferrari F430 F1 Spider, the one with the "Dr. Nano" license plates. Minutes later, Kaloyeros, 52, the school's $696,000-a-year CEO, strides into the room talking into his BlackBerry and wearing a white long-sleeve cotton shirt and faded jeans. He apologizes for being late. "I can't understand why some people think they're saving money driving 15 miles an hour," he fumes.

Fast and flamboyant, Kaloyeros epitomizes a new breed of entrepreneurial public servant. He has helped persuade the state of New York to inject $900 million in taxpayer money into research and development facilities, including one of the world's most advanced clean rooms for making prototypes of next-generation chips.

Kaloyeros earns his high salary by running an operation that employs 2,200 researchers and has drawn $3.5 billion in R&D investment from the likes of IBM (IBM), Advanced Materials (ADMG), Tokyo Electron, and the government-industry chip-research consortium Sematech, for whom mastering materials at the atomic scale is vital for future products. The effort helped persuade IBM to build a plant nearby to make silicon wafers, the material used to manufacture chips. In October, struggling chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) said it will build a $4.5 billion wafer facility near Albany with help from Abu Dhabi. New York is contributing $1.2 billion in tax breaks and cash rebates to help cover construction and equipment costs.

SUNY Albany's nanotech push marks a daring new direction in economic strategy sweeping U.S. states—one that is now being severely tested. States have lavished perks on private industry for decades. In recent years, though, some have brazenly crossed the line between the public and private sectors, designing strategies that look a lot like industrial policy. They have been targeting specific businesses and technologies and, alongside companies, investing big bucks in elaborate research centers, plants to test new technologies, and industrial parks whose occupants receive a special boost. States from Pennsylvania to Oregon have become increasingly important sources of early startup capital to technology companies.

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By Pete Engardio

University of Albany Tennis Opens Spring Season With Wins Over Fairfield and Long Island - UAlbany Sports

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Albany, N.Y. – Kim Weltman won both of her matches at No. 2 singles, while also teaming up with Aubrey Brooks for a doubles win to lead UAlbany to season-opening wins over Fairfield at Long Island in tennis action over the weekend. The Great Danes defeated the Stags, 5-1, on Friday evening, before posting a 6-1 win over Long Island at the UAlbany Bubble on Saturday afternoon.

UAlbany and Fairfield competed in singles only on Friday, with the Great Danes claiming all but one victory in a match that started at 8 p.m. Sophomore Susan Ma won her first match at No. 1 singles, defeating Kristen Liu, 1-6, 6-3, 6-1. Weltman lost just one set at the second singles position, posting a 6-1, 6-0 win over Fairfield’s Dana Postupack. Sophomore Charlotte Tatler was victorious at No. 3 singles with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Paulina Rys. Laine Mackey and Holly Smith posted victories for UAlbany at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively. Mackey defeated Michaela Cerrone, 6-2, 6-0, while Smith recorded a 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Fairfield’s Alyssa Ruiz. Gretchen Amberg claimed Fairfield’s lone win at the sixth singles position, defeating Melissa Coughlin, 6-1, 6-4.

In the first home match of the spring, the Great Danes conceded one doubles match and one singles match in the UAlbany Bubble. Weltman gave UAlbany the first point, defeating senior Ashley Harvey, 6-1, 6-1, at No. 2 singles. Tatler and Mackey won at third and fourth singles, respectively. Tatler claimed a 6-5 default win over Stephanie Elie and Mackey posted a 6-1, 6-7 (6), 3-1 win against Liliana Cortes. Smith defeated Amy Hostosuji, 6-2, 6-0, while Brooks recorded a 7-5, 0-2 default win against Dara Lahens in the final two singles spots. Selma Babic defeated Ma in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0, at No. 1 singles. In doubles action, Tatler and Smith posted an 8-2 score at the No. 2 spot against Harvey and Hostosuji. Weltman and Brooks claimed the doubles point for UAlbany with an 8-4 win over Elie and H’Ann Johnson. Babic and Lahens defeated Ma and Mackey at the top doubles position with a score of 8-4.

The Great Danes will return to action on Feb. 6 with a home match against Providence, starting at 7 p.m. at the UAlbany Bubble.


UAlbany 5, Fairfield 1

1. Susan Ma (UA) def. Kristen Liu (FC), 1-6, 6-3, 6-1

2. Kim Weltman (UA) def. Dana Postupack (FC), 6-1, 6-0

3. Charlotte Tatler (UA) def. Paulina Rys (FC), 6-2, 6-3

4. Laine Mackey (UA) def. Michaela Cerrone (FC), 6-2, 6-0

5. Holly Smith (UA) def. Alyssa Ruiz (FC), 1-6, 6-3, 6-4

6. Gretchen Amberg (FC) def. Melissa Coughlin (UA), 6-1, 6-4

UAlbany 6, Long Island 1


1. Selma Babic/Dara Lahens (LIU) def. Susan Ma/Laine Mackey (UA), 8-4

2. Charlotte Tatler/Holly Smith (UA) def. Ashley Harvey/Amy Hostosuji (LIU), 8-2

3. Kim Weltman/Aubrey Brooks (UA) def. Stephanie Elie/H’Ann Johnson (LIU), 8-4


1. Babic (LIU) def. Ma (UA), 6-0, 6-0

2. Weltman (UA) def. Harvey (LIU), 6-1, 6-1

3. Tatler (UA) def. Elie (LIU), 6-5 (def.)

4. Mackey (UA) def. Liliana Cortes (LIU), 6-1, 6-7 (6), 3-1

5. Smith (UA) def. Hostosuji (LIU), 6-2, 6-0

6. Brooks (UA) def. Dara Lahens (LIU), 7-5, 0-2 (def.)

Hartford Extends Home Winning Streak to 33 Games with 73-47 Win Over Women's Basketball

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

West Hartford, Conn. – Diana Delva recorded 19 points and pulled down six rebounds to propel the Hartford Hawks to a 73-47 victory over UAlbany in America East Conference women’s basketball action on Saturday evening at Chase Arena. The Hawks extended their winning streak at home to 33 games, which ranks second in the nation behind top-ranked Connecticut.

Hartford (11-8, AE 6-1) took advantage of five early turnovers by the Great Danes to score eight of the game’s first 10 points in the opening four minutes of the contest. Delva had four of her 11 first-half points during the stretch. Facing an 8-4 deficit, point guard Felicia Johnson entered the game for the first time and led the first Great Dane rally of the opening half. The redshirt freshman stole the ball at midcourt and converted a layup to bring UAlbany within two, while Ashley Lindsay tied the game at 12-12 with 8:53 on the clock when she canned a 20-foot jumper from the top of the key.

The Hawks, who advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season, answered right back by scoring the next four points. After UAlbany’s Tiffanie Johnson drilled a three-point field goal, Hartford built its lead up to nine, 24-15, on a good jumper by Katie Kelley.

UAlbany (3-17, AE 1-6) rallied once again as Kate Cronin took a pass from Kim Clements and converted a layup on a backdoor cut down the left side to make it a four-point game. However, Lisa Etienne made a layup on the other end as time expired to give the Hawks a 26-20 advantage at the break.

Hartford, which shot 57.1 percent from the field and a perfect 11-for-11 from the line in the second half, used a balanced scoring attack and opened the stanza on a 23-2 run. Britney McGee canned a shot from behind the arc with the Hawks leading by a 49-25 margin, but the Great Danes would not be able to overcome the deficit. The Hartford lead ballooned to as many as 37 points when Amanda Weaver hit a jumper with 4:36 left in regulation before two free throws by UAlbany’s Adrienne Jones sealed the final outcome.

"We had a lot of our young players step up today,” said head coach Trina Patterson. “I think that for Tabitha [Makopondo] to play that type of game and hold her own against the caliber of post play that Hartford has says that our future is bright. I was very disappointed with our guard play. We committed 26 turnovers, which was sloppy. We did not take care of the ball. Our only bright spot was our post play."

Makopondo scored all of her team-best 12 points in the second half and matched her career high with nine rebounds to lead the way for the Great Danes. UAlbany got six of its 23 bench points from Charity Iromuanya while Cronin scored a career-best four points. Delva’s 19 points came on 8-for-10 shooting from the field to pace the Hawks. Erica Beverly added 11 points and seven rebounds, while Ilicia Mathis contributed eight points, four rebounds, and a game-high three steals.

Friday, January 30, 2009

University of Albany Women's Soccer to Hold Prospect Clinic - UAlbany Sports

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Albany, N.Y. - The UAlbany women’s soccer team will be holding a winter prospect clinic on February 17th and 19th 2009. Anyone interested in attending the clinic please fill out the brochure (linked above) and return it to assistant coach Kristin Shaw. This clinic incorporates individual and group training. For any additional information please contact the women’s soccer coaching staff.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

University of Albany Men's Basketball Rolls Over Hartford In America East Action - UAlbany Sports

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Albany, N.Y. – Will Harris had 19 points and 10 rebounds as UAlbany pulled away in the second half for a 59-50 America East Conference victory over Hartford on Wednesday, Jan. 28 at SEFCU Arena. The Great Danes avenged a 10-point loss in the first meeting of the season between these teams.

Hartford (6-16, AE 2-6) built a 34-29 advantage early in the final period after Clayton Brothers canned a three-point field goal and Michael Turner split a pair of free throws. UAlbany (13-8, AE 5-3) stormed back with eight unanswered, including two conventional three-point plays. Mike Johnson was fouled on a follow shot in the lane, before Jerel Hastings was hit while converting a fastbreak layup.

The Hawks, who have dropped five in row, drew even at 37 apiece when Turner came up with his own three-point play as he scored off a back-cut to the hoop. But the Great Danes responded with 11 of the game’s next 13 points. Tim Ambrose, one of three UAlbany players in double figures with 11, knifed his way to the basket on the left baseline and Hastings delivered a slam dunk in transition in breaking the tie. Freshman guard Anthony Raffa later sank a 3-pointer from right of the key and nailed a 14-foot baseline jumper that helped extend the lead to 48-39 with 3:48 remaining.

The Great Danes, who lost at Hartford, 64-54, in the conference opener on Jan. 3, maintained their advantage at the free throw line over the final minute. Jimmie Covington, a 6-foot-7 senior who had five points and a season-best six rebounds off the bench, made 3-of-4 from the line during that span. Raffa, who contributed 10 points and five rebounds, added three more from the charity stripe.

“This is a brutal match-up for us,” said UAlbany coach Will Brown, whose club held the visitors to 33.9-percent shooting on 19-of-56 attempts. “Every time they shoot a three, I cringe. We did a good job of making the right guy shoot three’s and limited (Morgan) Sabia’s and (Jaret) von Rosenberg’s attempts. We were more focused than the first time we played them.”

In the first half, the Hawks jumped out to a 13-6 lead as Sabia drilled a 3-pointer from the top of the arc. The 6-foot-8 sophomore finished with 13 points, all in the opening half. UAlbany rallied with nine consecutive points, as Ambrose put his team in front with a driving layup. The opening twenty minutes featured six lead changes and three ties. Turner, who totaled 14 points and six rebounds, made a long-range jumper with three seconds left to give his team a 26-25 lead at the intermission.

“You never want to lose to the same team twice,” explained Harris, who had 16 first-half points and has reached twin figures in eight straight contests. “We worked on some things that we messed up on the first time. Mike Johnson has been our savior the last two games with his energy and defense. He has been scrappy and diving on the floor.”

Jaret von Rosenberg, one of the conference’s top scorers, had 13 points for the Hawks, who reached last year’s America East tournament championship final. UAlbany’s Johnson, a junior guard, had a productive 22 minutes as a non-starter with three points, five rebounds and three assists.

“Time is the difference between that first game and now,” Covington offered. “They are a tough team to guard and we did what we had to do. Mike and Raffa have done a better job at point guard. We just need to be consistent and not on a roller coaster.”

University of Albany FCS Football Players Nguti And Lynch Look Towards NFL

If the NFL thinks you have a shot, they'll find you, whether you play at Auburn or Albany.

"I do expect to hear my name called," said Nguti, a mammoth offensive tackle from the University of Albany. "Whether it's a sixth-round or seventh-round draft pick, it doesn't matter to me."

Are you going to argue with a 6-foot-7, 330-pound lineman?

Being selected or not won't seal the pro fates of Nguti or Lynch, a UAlbany punter/holder with a strong leg. For all the pre-draft hype focusing on select blue-chippers, many future stars come from more humble pro beginnings. Think of that while watching Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner and Pittsburgh Steelers running back Willie Parker, unwanted free agents on their draft day who'll star on Super Bowl Sunday.

Meanwhile, Charles Rogers and Ryan Leaf and a host of other first-rounders come and go, only to be quickly forgotten.

Nguti and Lynch signed Tuesday with National Sports Management, a Schenectady agency that represents several dozen NFL and pro baseball players. As agents they're charged with hooking up these Great Danes with the right trainers while working the phones with NFL teams.

"We really lobby these teams to give those kids a look," said vice president/co-owner Michael Giorgio. "Kids do fall through the cracks."

These players have jobs now: Training and preparing for auditions before NFL scouts, likely at Pro Days. In a sense, with a pen stroke Tuesday they became pro athletes

"It's a very important step in the process to making it to the NFL," said Nguti, an FCS Coaches All-American who lost almost 60 pounds dating to his freshman year. "I don't know if I feel like a professional … but I feel like I'm on my way."

... all the scouting and evaluation that goes into college players in the years, months and days leading up to a draft, no team truly knows who is going to make a good, let alone great, NFL player. "All I have ever said to any of those questions is 'I don't have a clue,'" UA coach Bob Ford said. "This is not an exact science."

When a lineman is as big as Nguti, he will get noticed. (UAlbany Coach Ford said most NFL teams came to Albany to scout him.)

When you're a punter like Lynch, you're not going to get drafted, so you have to impress a scout, get invited to a camp and hope there's an opening. "I never had a punting coach," said Lynch, who will get specialized training in the weeks leading up to Pro Days and tryouts. "I just have to keep working on my form to get more like the guys on TV."

From most of the thousand or so players with pro dreams a little more than 300 will be drafted, with a like number of first-year players sticking with some team. And those 300 include drafted players, free agents and holdovers from previous incoming classes.

Some were stunned to hear Rashad Barksdale's name announced in the sixth round of the 2007 draft, when he was taken by the Philadelphia Eagles. The former UAlbany cornerback finished this past season on the New York Giants' roster. After awhile in the NFL it doesn't matter where you came from.

But now the idea of a Great Dane playing in the NFL is not so outlandish. The odds are still long... unless you ask Nguti. Then, if he puts in the work he promises, it's merely expected.

Courtesy: Mark McGuire

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Richard Perez, a renewable-energy researcher at the University of Albany, Is Unconnected

"I HAVEN'T paid an electricity bill since 1970," says Richard Perez with noticeable glee. He can afford to be smug. While most of us fretted over soaring utility bills this year, he barely noticed. Nor is he particularly concerned about forecast price hikes of 30 to 50 per cent in 2009.

Perez, a renewable-energy researcher at the University at Albany, State University of New York, lives "off-grid" - unconnected to the power grid and the water, gas and sewerage supplies that most of us rely on. He generates his own electricity, sources his own water and manages his own waste disposal - and prefers it that way. "There are times when the grid blacks out," he says. "I like the security of having my own electricity company."

Perez is not alone. Once the preserve of mavericks, hippies and survivalists, there are now approximately 200,000 off-grid households in the US, a figure that Perez says has been increasing by a third every year for the past decade. In addition, nearly 30,000 grid-connected US households supplement their supply with renewables, according to the non-profit Interstate Renewable Energy Council. In the UK there are around 40,000 off-grid homes: the number has also risen in recent years due to escalating house prices and now to more expensive home loans, both of which have driven buyers far from conventional utility networks in search of properties they can afford.

For people who live off-grid, self-sufficiency means guilt-free energy consumption and peace of mind. "It feels brilliant to use clean, free energy that's not from fossil fuels," says Suzanne Galant, a writer who lives off-grid in rural Wales. "And if something goes wrong, we can fix it ourselves." Now even urbanites are seeing the appeal of generating some if not all of their own power needs. So is energy freedom an eco pipe-dream or the ultimate good life?

Whether you live in town or the middle of nowhere, the first consideration for any wannabe off-gridder is to calculate how much energy it takes to run your home and whether it is feasible to replace this with alternative sources of power where you live.

The good news is that the energy you require is likely to be a fraction of what you presently use, says Tony Brown, head engineer at the UK's Centre for Alternative Technology near Machynlleth in Powys. The average UK household uses around 4500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually, plus some 18,000 kWh of gas for cooking, hot water and domestic heating. In the US the figure varies considerably from region to region. For example, households in New York City use around 4700 kWh a year, whereas those in Dallas use 16,100 kWh: there are a lot of air conditioners in Texas. In chillier regions where people use gas for heating and cooking, on the other hand, they can burn up an extra 28,000 kWh or so per household.

It would be a struggle to generate this much energy from renewables alone, so an important first step is to dramatically reduce wasted energy. This may be less fun than installing shiny new energy-generating gadgets, but it is almost as effective in cutting your reliance on fossil fuels and the grid.

The biggest energy savings will come from properly insulating your home to minimise heat loss. That done, you'll need to work out what is eating up the rest of the power you consume. The easiest way to do this is to buy an energy monitor that can provide a live display of your total energy consumption or that of individual appliances (see "What's guzzling the juice?"). This will help you focus on reducing consumption to the bare minimum, not just by switching to low-energy light bulbs and energy-efficient white goods, but also by turning unused appliances right off rather than leaving them in standby mode. With a bit of effort and investment, you should be able to get by on a few hundred kilowatt-hours of electricity a year.

Now you are ready to start replacing this with home-grown energy. Some 80 per cent of off-gridders rely on the sun to do this, with good reason: it blasts our planet with enough free energy every hour to power the world for a year and you don't need to live in the middle of nowhere to get it. The simplest way to tap into this is to use a solar collector for your domestic heating or hot water. In the summer, solar thermal devices installed on a south-facing roof or wall (north-facing in the southern hemisphere) could provide all your hot-water needs. Even in winter, solar collectors can make a worthwhile dent in heating bills, even if the water needs top-up heating from the grid or from a stove that runs on logs, wood pellets or other biomass.

The sun blasts our planet with free energy and you don't need to live in the middle of nowhere to get it
For electricity generation, photovoltaic (PV) solar panels are also a good option. They convert the sun's rays into direct-current electricity with up to 20 per cent efficiency, and most are guaranteed to retain at least 80 per cent of their original efficiency after 25 years. A 2-square-metre panel rated to give 1 kW per square metre in peak conditions could provide up to 1500 kWh per year in the UK. In more southerly and reliably sunny latitudes - somewhere like Texas, say - it would probably provide 2000 kWh per year.

With enough solar panels it is possible to cover all your electricity needs with PV, year round; the downside is that it requires a significant investment up front. Installing 8 square metres of PV panels, enough to sustain a family of four in the UK, plus storage batteries and accessories such as inverters to convert DC into alternating current, can cost tens of thousands of pounds and will take up more space than is available to most urban households. Until the cost comes down substantially, switching to a grid supplier that gets its energy from renewables may be a more realistic alternative - although it will not free you from the risk of supply interruptions.

Outside towns and cities, though, there are more options. If you have access to a nearby river or stream with a reliable flow, hydro is an excellent, cheap source of power, and flow rate is usually greater in winter when you need more power. Galant's home, a five-bedroom house in the second-wettest part of Europe, is powered by a fast-flowing mountain stream that drives a turbine, plus solar water heating and PV panels. All this reliably supplies her with around 5500 kWh per year. "If you came to my house, you wouldn't know it was off-grid," she says. "It's always lovely and warm and there's always plenty of hot water."

Anyone who has an exposed windy hillside can exploit wind power. Tony Marmont, an off-grid pioneer from Loughborough, in the English Midlands, gets 40,000 to 50,000 kWh per year from his two 25 kW turbines. People with a lot of land can benefit from a ground source heat pump, which works in the same way as a refrigerator, using electricity to transfer heat from a cool space (the ground, in this case) to a warm one (the house). A typical installation, with 500 metres of underground piping, will stabilise the temperature of a well-insulated home, keeping further heating or cooling requirements to a minimum. If, like Marmont, you have a lake to store the pipes, so much the better: it saves the trouble of digging up the lawn.

Being completely off-grid, however, does mean you need to store excess energy for when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow. Most off-gridders use bulky, expensive lead-acid batteries for this purpose. These can store electricity only for a couple of days and their performance degrades over time, but for now they are the best available option. A few pioneers, like Marmont, use excess electricity to produce hydrogen by electrolysing water; the gas is then stored in tanks and used to power fuel cells when needed. This allows electricity generated in summer to be used in winter, but it is prohibitively expensive for most: a system like Marmont's will set you back around £1 million. What's more, the hydrogen tanks take up a lot of space.

For most of us, the energy-storage issue is a major stumbling block to going completely off-grid. And it's one reason why, for most people, it's not yet worth pulling the plug. Cost is likely to be another show-stopper - though not for those who live in really remote locations. "If you live more than a quarter of a mile from the grid, then installing your own systems works out considerably cheaper than connecting to the grid," says Otto van Geet of the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. Perez, for example, was told it would cost him $280,000 to be connected, which made the decision to install $25,000-worth of PV panels an easy one. Both of these barriers are coming down, albeit slowly. Engineers are working on reducing the size and cost of renewable-energy installations, while fuel-cell and battery manufacturers are trying to increase power output and storage life. The cost of generating and storing your own energy will fall as the commercial and domestic generation market grows and as new technologies emerge: thin-film PV panels, for instance, are cheaper to make than existing PV cells, which use crystalline silicon. For many, the transition is becoming easier and less costly as newly built houses are increasingly offered for sale with some of the infrastructure for renewables, such as inverters for PV panels, already installed.

In the meantime, one way to beat the problem of how to store surplus power and make good on your investment is to stay connected to the grid - or connect if you are already off-grid - and sell what you don't use to a utility company. It may not be the energy freedom you had in mind, but it does means that the grid effectively becomes your battery - there when you need more electricity, and able to take your excess power. The return you will receive for this varies widely, but Germany has already shown that such a system can work. There, homeowners selling back renewably generated power are guaranteed to get four times the market rate charged to consumers for electricity. As a result, Germany has a thriving market in domestically generated energy, with 200 times the solar electricity output of the UK. The UK is planning to bring in a similar "feed-in tariff" system in 2009, although it is not yet clear what sort of price power-generating homeowners can expect. In the US, California and New Jersey are leading the way with feed-in tariffs in the range of 8 to 31 cents per kWh, depending on the contract and the time of day when the power was generated. Most other states have a long way to go.

There is no doubt that being off-grid has its problems and it is not always the cheapest way to get your energy. Even so, pioneers like Galant, Marmont and Perez have proved that it can be done, and without giving up a 21st-century lifestyle.

"I've got five computers, two laser scanners, two fridge-freezers, a microwave, a convection oven, vacuum cleaners - you name it," says Perez. "There's an external beam antenna on the roof for the cellphone and a bidirectional satellite for internet connection. I've got 70 kWh stored in batteries that could last me five days. I have too much electricity." Too much electricity and no more bills. That's got to be worth aiming for.

Three University of Albany Track and Field Student-Athletes Garner America East Weekly Accolades - UAlbany Sports

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Cambridge, Mass. – UAlbany’s Fey Adaramola, Jenn Gurrant and Nasim Siddeeq have been selected as the America East Conference male and female indoor track and field performers of the week, as announced on Tuesday, Jan. 27 by the conference office. The trio helped the men’s and women’s programs sweep the team titles for the first time at the seventh annual Great Dane Classic over the weekend.

Adaramola, who was named the conference’s track athlete of the week for the first time, accounted for two school records and met three ECAC qualifying standards in the sprinting events. She finished fifth in the 200-meter dash in 24.80 seconds, which barely eclipsed the standard of 24.81 set by Ellakisha Williamson in 1998. Adaramola was also fourth in the 55-meter dash, crossing the line in 7.14. The junior transfer from Central Florida accounted for a second school record as a member of the 4x400-meter relay which finished second overall in 3:51.44. Furthermore, all three times are America East highs this winter.

Gurrant, who broke the school record in the long jump at the New York City Gotham Cup on Jan. 16, earned her second consecutive women’s field athlete of the award for her performance in the triple jump at the Great Dane Classic. She recorded a winning leap of 42 feet, 3-1/4 inches to become the first America East student-athlete to provisionally qualify for the NCAA Championship in any field event.

Siddeeq, a junior transfer from Robert Morris where he shares the school and Northeast Conference championship meet records in the triple jump, was honored as the men’s field athlete of the week. He broke UAlbany’s program standard in the triple jump with a winning mark of 51-7.25, surpassing teammate Mike McCadney’s record of 50-11 set in 2007 and 2008. He also became the second student-athlete at an America East school to provisionally qualify for the NCAA Championship in a field event after UAlbany pole vaulter Luke Schoen.

Women's Basketball Comes Up Short in Conference Play

Albany, N.Y. – Misha Horsey netted 17 points and pulled down seven rebounds as Stony Brook rallied from 12 points down midway through the first half to defeat UAlbany, 64-56, in America East Conference women’s basketball action at SEFCU Arena on Tuesday afternoon on Commitment to Education Day. Over 500 local elementary school students attended the game.

Tiffanie Johnson scored five consecutive points to open the game for the Great Danes, who never trailed in the first half. UAlbany (3-16, AE 1-5) built its lead up to 12 points at 24-12 when Ashley Lindsay made a baseline cut and hit a jumper in the lane at the 9:54 mark.

Stony Brook (3-15, AE 1-5), which won its first road game in ten tries this season, chipped away at the Great Dane lead and closed out the opening stanza with an 11-2 run the final eight minutes. Crystal Rushin recorded consecutive baskets to pull the Seawolves within two with 1:54 left, and Horsey zinged the strings with four seconds left to send the teams to the locker rooms knotted at 28.

The Seawolves took their first lead of the game when Horsey hit a jumper from the circle on the opening possession of the second half. UAlbany scored four consecutive points to regain the lead courtesy of a turnaround jumper by Johnson and two free throws by McGee, who shot a perfect 6-for-6 from the line. However, the Seawolves responded with 12 consecutive points.

Tabitha Makopondo, who finished with a career-best 13 points, ended the Stony Brook run by converting a rare four-point play. After Lindsay missed a jumper, Makopondo got the rebound and put the ball back through the hoop. Due to an intentional foul on the play following the made shot, Makopondo was awarded two free throws and drained both to make it a six-point game.

UAlbany then took the ball out of bounds and Lindsay made a move in the right lane and knocked down a jumper to bring the lead down to four points, 42-38, with 13:10 left.

“I have really been trying to focus on rebounding, especially offensive rebounding,” said Makopondo, who has averaged 6.1 rebounds in conference games after grabbing just 1.9 boards in non-conference action. “We were taking good shots, but (all of us on the post) were there to give us second chances.”

Charity Iromuanya cut the Seawolf lead to just two points, 44-42, at the midway point when she took a pass from McGee and canned a jump shot from the free throw line. That was the closest the Great Danes would get the rest of the way, and Stony Brook, which shot 60.9 percent from the field in the final 20 minutes, held on for its first win in conference play this season.

In addition to netting a career-best 13 points, Makopondo grabbed five offensive rebounds and eight total to lead the way for the Great Danes, while also shooting 7-for-7 from the charity stripe. Johnson led all UAlbany scorers with 14 points, while Iromuanya contributed six points and a game-high 10 rebounds off the bench. Lindsay added eight points and three boards.

Horsey’s game-high 17 points came on 7-for-10 shooting, while Kirsten Jeter had 10 points and three assists and Joia Daniels contributed eight points and four assists. Rushin, who scored 11, helped Stony Brook hold a commanding 25-14 advantage in bench points.

“Our energy level was flat today, but I thought that Tabitha played very well and that Charity provided us a (good spark) off the bench,” said head coach Trina Patterson, whose team will visit Hartford on Saturday, Jan. 31, whose 32-game home winning streak ranks second in the nation behind No. 1 Connecticut. “We just did not play well again in the second half.”

For the game, the Seawolves outshot the Great Danes, 46.4 percent (26-56) to 35.8 percent (19-53) from the floor and 37.5 percent (3-8) to 7.1 percent (1-14) from behind the arc. UAlbany was able to outshoot Stony Brook 81 percent (17-21) to 69.2 percent (9-13) at the free throw line.

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information



Sunday, January 25, 2009

University of Albany's Ambrose Nets Career-High in Men's Basketball's 80-71 America East Conference Victory - UAlbany Sports

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Albany, N.Y. – Tim Ambrose had a career-high 26 points and Will Harris added 20 in leading UAlbany to an 80-71 America East Conference victory over UMBC on Sunday, Jan. 25 at SEFCU Arena.

UMBC (8-11, AE 2-5) rallied from 12 down in the second half to go ahead with 9:44 remaining. Freshman Chauncey Gilliam had nine of his team-high 18 points in that run. Gilliam converted a conventional three-point play when he was fouled on a fastbreak layup. He closed the gap to 56-55 by scoring with an offensive rebound and hitting a jumper in the circle. Senior guard Jay Greene then put his team in front with a pair of free throws.

UAlbany (12-8, AE 4-3) went back ahead when freshman Anthony Raffa and Harris canned back-to-back three-point field goals. The Great Danes, who shot a season-best 53.7 percent and made 10 long-range jumpers, extended their margin to 69-63 when Raffa canned another 3-pointer.

Darryl Proctor, a first-team all-conference forward who had 15 points, sliced the deficit to a single basket twice, including a 16-footer from right of lane that got his team within 71-69. But the Great Danes responded with eight of the game’s next nine points. Ambrose, a 6-foot sophomore who had 17 first-half points, sank four consecutive free throws. Harris and Brian Connelly added three more from the line after each corralled rebounds off missed three-point attempts.

“I thought our effort was good and our point guard didn’t turn the ball over,” said UAlbany coach Will Brown, whose team was coming off a pair of double-figure losses in league play. “We made some mistakes, but we pushed the ball, attacked and were much more aggressive. We forced (Darryl) Proctor to work for his points and we got some contributions off the bench.”

The Retrievers, who won last year’s America East Conference championship and made their first-ever NCAA appearance, ran off nine unanswered to take a 28-21 lead in the opening half. Matt Spadafora, who had nine points, five assists and four steals, converted a fastbreak opportunity to break a 21-21 deadlock. The early action featured 10 lead changes and five ties.

The Great Danes, who had their seven-game home win streak snapped two days ago, regrouped to go ahead, 35-33, when Ambrose scored in transition. Harris, who extended his double-digit scoring streak to seven straight, then drilled one of his career-best five 3-pointers from the left wing, before Ambrose hit a layup over his head off a fastbreak pass from Raffa. UAlbany took a 44-36 lead to the locker room.

“We are seeing a lot of zone defenses and we can’t stand around on the outside,” offered Ambrose, who made 10 of 14 from the floor and grabbed six rebounds. “I was able to get into the lane and my shots started to drop.”

UMBC’s Greene finished with 16 points, including the 1,000th of his career, and five assists in playing all 40 minutes. Brian Connelly, a 6-foot-8 senior, was the third UAlbany player in double figures with 10 points and nine rebounds.

“We needed to get back on track,” said Harris, who made 5-of-8 from the arc and had seven rebounds after battling the flu over the last 48 hours. “I was trying to be aggressive and help us win. Conference play is a whole new season and we need to continue on from here."

University of Albany Track and Field Sweeps Team Titles and Sets Seven School Records at Great Dane Classic - UAlbany Sports

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

New York, N.Y. – Nasim Siddeeq and Jenn Gurrant each won the triple jump with NCAA provisional qualifying marks to help the UAlbany indoor men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams sweep the team titles at the seventh annual Great Dane Classic held at the New York City Armory Track and Field Center on Friday, Jan. 23. The Great Danes also set seven school records at the meet.

The UAlbany men finished with 145.5 points, which was 82.5 points better than second-place Duquesne, to win the team championship at the meet for the second straight season. The Great Dane women accumulated 81 points. This marked the first time that the Great Danes won both team titles at the annual event.

Siddeeq and Gurrant led a list of five Great Danes who accumulated points in the triple jump for placing in the top eight. A junior transfer from Robert Morris University where he holds both the indoor and outdoor program standards in the event, Siddeeq leaped 51 feet, 7-3/4 inches to break teammate Mike McCadney’s school record of 50-11 set in each of the past two seasons. Gurrant, who set the school record in the long jump last week at the New York City Gotham Cup, recorded a personal-best mark of 42-3.5 in the event. Sandy Antenor qualified for the ECAC Championship with a third-place jump of 39-7.

Led by Valete Graham, three individuals on the men’s team qualified for the IC4A Championship for posting the top two finishes and three of the top five in the long jump. Graham won the event with a school record leap of 24-3.75, breaking Freddie Wills’ standard of 24-3.5 which was recorded last year. McCadney placed second for jumping 23-7.5, while Fred Casimo recorded a fifth-place mark of 23-5.5.

Wilfredo de jesus Elias and Kadine Johnson won the men’s and women’s weight throw, respectively, by setting new school records. Elias recorded a toss that sailed 62-9.5, which bettered his previous standard of 59-8.5 set last season. Johnson recorded a mark of 55-1, breaking Joy Williams’ throw of 52-1 in 2005. In addition, it was also four feet better than her previous personal-best mark.

John Moore won the 1,000-meter run in a school record time of 2:26.43 to pace the Great Danes in the middle distance events. He qualified for the IC4A Championship and eclipsed the previous standard of 2:26.50 held by Gered Burns, who was an All-American in the 800-meter run and now serves as a volunteer assistant coach.

Aaron Lozier and Tyler Fogarty also recorded IC4A qualifying marks in the mile and 1,000-meter run, respectively. Lozier won the mile in 4:11.42, while Fogarty placed second in his event, clocking in at 1:51.71. Zuliana Fontanez and Laura Cummings led the women’s team in the middle distance events. Fontanez was second in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:16.07, and Cummings was third in the 1,000-meter run, finishing in 3:00.69.

Fey Adaramola led the sprinters by breaking the school record in the 200-meter dash while also recording a pair of ECAC qualifying marks. She finished fifth in the 200 in 24.80 seconds, which barely eclipsed the standard of 24.81 set by Ellakisha Williamson in 1998. Adaramola was also fourth in the 55-meter dash, crossing the line in 7.14.

Pat Weider, Joe Greene and Alie Beauvais all posted IC4A marks and finished third in their respective sprinting events. Weider finished the 200-meter dash in 21.96, Greene clocked in at 47.91 in the 400-meter dash and Beauvais recorded a time of 1:03.82 over 500-meters.

The Great Danes continued to dominate in the 4x400-meter relay event, as the men had a squad that fell a second shy of provisionally qualifying for the NCAA Championship while one of six women’s groups broke a school record. The men’s team consisting of Jeffery Barnes, Beauvais, Joe Belokopitsky and Greene finished with a winning time of 3:11.48. On the women’s side, Kamilah McShine, Adaramola, Melissa Lee and Fontanez finished with a second-place time of 3:51.44 and qualified for the ECAC Championship.

The UAlbany men also got strong contributions in the men’s pole vault. Luke Schoen won the pole vault for the third time in as many meets for clearing 16-8.75, while Dempsey’s fifth-place mark of 15-9 was also an IC4A qualifying mark. Emily Mino led all Great Dane women for leaping 9-10.

Jean Juste and McShine each recorded IC4A and ECAC marks in the 55-meter hurdles. Juste recorded a second-place time of 7.48, while McShine was also second for crossing the finish line with a personal-best mark of 7.96.

R.J. Sniffen and Laine Sefick recorded the highest finishes in the distance events. Sniffen was second in the 3,000-meter run with a time of 8:31.12 which qualified him for the United States Junior National Championship in June, while Sefick placed fifth in the 5,000-meters for clocking in a mark of 18:34.34.

“This was an unbelievable performance by both of our teams,” said head coach Roberto Vives. “We did exactly what we wanted to do. Seeing us compete this well as the host school was (very special).”

PAW PRINTS: This marked the first time that UAlbany swept the team titles at the Great Dane Classic, which started in 2003 ... A total of 39 men’s teams and 41 women’s programs competed at this year’s event ... The UAlbany men’s and women’s teams combined to accumulate seven school records and two NCAA provisional qualifying marks while also meeting 23 IC4A and ECAC standards.


Men’s Team Rankings

1. UAlbany 145.50, 2. Duquesne 63, 3. Army 51, 4. Delaware State 46.50, 5. Binghamton 41.50, 6. Morgan State 39, 7. Northeastern 34, 8. Carolina Perchy 33, 9. Southern Connecticut State 27.50, 10. Virginia Military Institute 27, 11. Maryland-Eastern Shore 24, 12. Pennsylvania 21, 13. Rider 20, 14. Iona 18, T-15. Adelphi 14, T-15. Columbia 14, 17. Long Island 13, 18. Manhattan 11, 19. Ramapo 9, T-20. Essex C.C. 8, T-20. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 8, T-22. Delaware 7, T-22. Florida International 7, T-24. Montclair State 5, T-24. Saint Peter’s 5, 26. Lafayette 4, T-27. Villanova 2, T-27. Monmouth 2, 29. Wagner 1.

Women’s Team Rankings

1. UAlbany 81, 2. Morgan State 69, 3. Northeastern 64, 4. Princeton 59.50, 5. Massachusetts 55, 6. St. John’s 46, 7. Pennsylvania 35.50, 8. Columbia 31, 9. Delaware State 30, 10. Army 26, 11. Duquesne 24, 12. Essex C.C. 23, 13. Maryland-Eastern Shore 19, 14. Toledo 18.75, 15. Wagner 14, 16. Villanova 13.75 17. Florida International 12, 18. Rider 10, 19. Southern Connecticut State 9.75, 20. Montclair State 8, T-21. Long Island 6, T-21. Delaware 6, T-21. Manhattan 6, T-21. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 6, T-21. Wheeling Jesuit 6, 26. Binghamton 5.75, T-27. Adelphi 5, T-27. Lafayette 5, T-27. Virginia Military Institute 5, 30. Monmouth 1.

Men’s Event Champions

55-Meter Dash: Yavid Zackey (Carolina Perchy) 6.32. 200-Meter Dash: Yavid Zackey (Carolina Perchy) 21.60. 400-Meter Dash: Allodin Fothergill (Maryland-Eastern Shore) 47.46. 500-Meter Dash: Leslie Murray (Delaware State) 1:03.47. 55-Meter High Hurdles: Domonick Sylve (Army) 7.41. 800-Meter Run: Felix Kitur (Virginia Military Institute) 1:51.52. 1,000-Meter Run: 1. John Moore (UAlbany) 2:26.43. 11. Nick Santos 2:34.83. Mile: 1. Aaron Lozier (UAlbany) 4:11.42. 3,000-Meter Run: Josh Eddy (Duquesne) 8:18.01. 5,000-Meter Run: Jonathan Anderson (Army) 14:56.02. High Jump: James Blocker (Morgan State) 7-1. Long Jump: Valete Graham (UAlbany) 24-3.75. Triple Jump: 1. Nasim Siddeeq (UAlbany) 51-7.25. Pole Vault: Luke Schoen (UAlbany) 16-8.75. Shot Put: Nate Hunter (Northeastern) 59-11.75. Weight Throw: 1. Wilfredo de jesus Elias (UAlbany) 62-9.50. 4x400-Meter Relay: UAlbany, 3:11.48. Distance Medley Relay: Binghamton, 10:06.91.

Women’s Event Champions

55-Meter Dash: Porshe Giddings (Northeastern) 6.99. 200-Meter Dash: NeKisha Franklin (Delaware State) 24.23. 400-Meter Dash: Avionne Sloan (Morgan State) 56.00. 500-Meter Dash: Tanisha Kendrick (Morgan State) 1:14.56. 55-Meter High Hurdles: Natasha Ruddock (Essex C.C.) 7.67. 800-Meter Run: Tyneka Greene (St. John’s) 2:15.76. 1,000-Meter Run: Anna Aagenes (Pennsylvania) 2:51.40. Mile: Alex Banfich (Princeton) 4:56.26. 3,000-Meter Run: Reilly Kiernan (Princeton) 9:38.74. 5,000-Meter Run: Shiyi Zan (Massachusetts) 17:50.86. High Jump: Priscilla Frederic (St. John’s) 5-10. Long Jump: Consandria Walker (Northeastern) 18-11.75. Triple Jump: Jenn Gurrant (UAlbany) 42-3.25. Pole Vault: Kristen Bakanowski (Massachusetts) 12-3.50. Shot Put: Leitawsha Bronson (Morgan State) 46-0.75. Weight Throw: 1. Kadine Johnson (UAlbany) 55-1. 4x400-Meter Relay: Morgan State, 3:49.01. Distance Medley Relay: Maryland-Eastern Shore, 12:15.84.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

University of Albany Men's Lacrosse Ranked #12 In Inside Lacrosse Preseason Poll - UAlbany Sports

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Baltimore, Md. -- UAlbany is ranked among the top-20 teams nationally in a pair of men’s lacrosse preseason polls. Face-Off Yearbook and Inside Lacrosse list the program at No. 12, while Lacrosse Magazine has the Great Danes at No. 18 in the publication’s ranking. Virginia was tabbed as preseason favorite to capture the NCAA Division I men’s championship in both polls.

Six teams on UAlbany’s 2009 schedule appeared in at least one of the national preseason polls. Syracuse, the defending national champion, is No. 2 in both rankings. Johns Hopkins is fourth by Face-Off Yearbook and rated fifth by Lacrosse Magazine. UMBC, Princeton and Denver appear in both top-20 listings. Delaware, who reached the 2007 NCAA Final Four, is No. 20 in the Face-Off Yearbook poll.

The Great Danes, who rebounded from four one-goal losses early in the season to finish 8-8 overall last year, received votes for the final 2008 USILA and Inside Lacrosse national polls.

UAlbany head coach Scott Marr has 28 letterwinners returning from a squad that reached the America East championship final for the seventh consecutive season. The Great Danes have three all-conference players in the fold. Brian Caufield, who earned first-team all-league honors as a freshman, led the team in scoring with 27 goals and 21 assists. Canadian attacker Corey Small and Capital Regional scholastic standout Chris Schongar, a long-sticker midfielder, were second-team all-conference selections. Small had 34 goals and 11 assists one year ago. UAlbany has 14 newcomers in a class that includes four U.S. Lacrosse High School All-Americans and one junior college All-America player.


Face-Off Yearbook/Inside Lacrosse Preseason Poll

1. Virginia, 2. Syracuse, 3. Maryland, 4. Cornell, 5. Johns Hopkins, 6. Georgetown, 7. Duke, 8. North Carolina, 9. Notre Dame, 10. UMBC, 11. Navy, 12. Albany, 13. Brown, 14. Princeton, 15. Hofstra, 16. Denver, 17. Colgate, 18. Bucknell, 19. Loyola, 20. Delaware.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Men's Basketball Comes Up Short In Conference Matchup

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Albany, N.Y. -- Muhammad El-Amin scored 11 of his 17 points in the second half to propel Stony Brook to a 58-45 victory over UAlbany in America East Conference action on Friday, Jan. 23 at SEFCU Arena. The Seawvolves, who were coming off a four-overtime loss in their last outing, ended a six-game skid in the series.

Stony Brook (10-9, AE 2-4) led 40-39 midway through the second half, but then pulled away with nine of the game’s next 11 points. Chris Martin made two free throws, before El-Amin drillied a left baseline jumper. El-Amin, a transfer from Lansing Community College in Michigan, later drilled a 23-foot shot from the top of the three-point arc. Demetrius Young’s tip-in off a missed 3-point attempt gave his club a 49-41 advantage with 8:55 remaining.

UAlbany (11-8, AE 3-3) closed within 49-45 on a tip-in by Will Harris, a junior forward who totaled 14 points and eight rebounds despite battling flu symptons. The Great Danes, who shot less than 40 percent for the 11th time this season, failed to score the rest of the way. Tommy Brenton, a 6-foot-5 freshman who had 10 points, hit a basket after collecting an offensive rebound and then converted a slam dunk after his steal to push SBU’s margin to 55-45 with 1:39 to play.

“Our defense keeps us in games,” said Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell, whose squad held the Great Danes to 7-of-21 from the field in the final period. “We changed up enough (on defense) to be effective. Marques Cox did a good job of guarding Harris and (Tim) Ambrose. We moved the ball, made some big three’s and made our free throws down the stretch.”

In the opening stanza, UAlbany wiped out a 10-7 deficit with 12 unanswered. Tim Ambrose scored off a lob pass from Harris to put his team in front. Jerel Hastings later tipped in Scotty McRae’s missed jumper in the lane. Ambrose nailed a three-pointer from left of the key to end that run. The Great Danes led by as much as 11 points in the period before settling for a 26-21 halftime margin.

The Seawolves helped to end UAlbany’s seven-game home win streak by reeling off 11 straight points early in the second half. Freshman guard Bryan Dougher, who netted 12 points, delivered a 3-pointer to put his team ahead, 30-28. Stony Brook extended that margin to six twice, including 40-34 when Martin connected in the lane.

“We did nothing to help ourselves the last twenty minutes,” explained UAlbany coach Will Brown, whose team was held to its lowest point total in regular-season conference play since Feb. 26, 2004. “We didn’t value the basketball and blew some defensive assignments. I firmly believe you get what you deserve. We have not made any progress the last two games.”

UAlbany’s Anthony Raffa, a freshman guard, had nine points, while Ambrose added seven. Ambrose, the team’s top scorer, played just 15 minutes and fouled out with less than five minutes remaining.

University of Albany Football's Tom Pandolf Leads Group of 11 UAlbany Players on NEC Fall Academic Honor Roll - UAlbany Sports

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Somerset, N.J. -- Tom Pandolf, an All-America defensive tackle, and Chris Simpson, an FCS academic all-star linebacker, lead a group of eleven University at Albany football players who have been named to the 2008 Northeast Conference Fall Academic Honor Roll, as announced on Thursday, Jan. 22 by the conference office.

Pandolf, who is enrolled in UAlbany’s graduate school, has a 3.55 grade point average. He earned an undergraduate degree in history with a minor in education last May. Pandolf, who totaled 66 tackles on a highly-regarded defense, was named to the Sports Network FCS All-America squad as an honorable mention selection and was voted first-team All-NEC for the second consecutive season.

Simpson, a junior outside linebacker, has a 3.97 GPA in physics. He was one of 43 players chosen nationally to the FCS Athletic Directors Association Academic All-Star Team. Simpson, who was picked to the NEC academic honor roll for the second year in a row, is a member of the school’s 3+2 engineering program and has served as a research intern for Nanoscale Science and Engineering.

Other UAlbany athletes named for the second straight year were tight end Dan Archer (3,50, business administration, wide receiver Daniel Bocanegra (3.25, business administration), offensive guard Andrew Stevens (3.31, business administration), defensive end Tony Sparano (3.40, history), quarterback Frank Blasinsky (3.47, business administration), defensive end Wil Moushey (3.51, undeclared), offensive tackle Keith Peifer (3.42, business administration) and inside linebacker Chris Bright (3.25, physical therapy). Offensive guard Vince Gonzales (3.22, history) was selected for the first time.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tim Ambrose In The Spotlight

Courtesy: America East Communications

Hometown: Brentwood, NY Long island
Class: Junior
High School: Our Savior New American
Major: African Studies
Favorite Musical Group/Artist: Jay-Z

Three Things I Can’t Live Without:
1. My family, especially my mom and brother 2. God 3. Basketball

Q. Why I Chose University Albany:
A- I chose to attend UAlbany because it was a promising program, and I was really impressed with the coaching staff and the surrounding environment.

Q. Favorite class and why:
A- My favorite class so far has been Analytical Writing. This class has helped me expand my writing skills by leaps and bounds while being entertaining at the same time.

Q. One thing I have learned at UAlbany that I will carry with me for the rest of my life is:
A- The most important thing I have learned and continue to learn is how to be accountable for my-self. With every decision there is a consequence good or bad and in the end I am the one responsible for that decision, not anybody else.

Q. My Dream Job, other than the NBA/WNBA, is:
A- When I began school I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but after recognizing how much I really do love the sport of basketball and team camaraderie I have realized that I want to pursuE a future in coaching basketball at the Division 1 level.

Q. The person, other than my parents, who has had the most influence on me is, and why:
A- Definitely my older brother, he has always and continues to push me to be the best that I can be regardless of what it is.

Q. The best thing about being an Albany Great Dane is:
A- I know that I am part of something special, and not everyone has that chance. It is a great privilege to wear the Great Dane uniform and I do my best to wear it with pride.

Q. Most memorable moment as an athlete:
A- So far it has been winning the National High School Slam Dunk Contest in North Carolina.

Q. What I did this week as a student (classes, tests, projects, study hall):
A- I really hit the books hard this week and pulled out an A on a big quiz.

Q. What I did this week as an athlete (practice, games):
A- I contributed 2 big free throws to help my teammates pull out a big win against Boston University.

Q. Based upon my experiences growing up, my advice for young kids about school and athletics is:
A- Stay on top of your school work, and work hard at whatever sport you chose to participate in and you will achieve overall satisfaction.

Q. Why I am looking forward to the America East Basketball Championship:
A- It is a chance to prove ourselves and bring another championship to UAlbany.

Inside Lacrosse Previews #12 University of Albany Men's Lacrosse - UAlbany Sports

Inside Lacrosse Preview

Women's Basketball Falls Again

Baltimore, Md. – Carlee Cassidy netted 21 points while Erin Brown netted 14 points and shot 7-for-9 from the field to lead the UMBC Retrievers to a 76-63 victory over the University at Albany in America East Conference women’s basketball action on Wednesday afternoon. Trailing by 15 points at halftime, the Great Danes made it a one-possession game on three occasions in the second half. However, the Retrievers held off every rally to win their third conference game of the season.

UMBC (11-7, AE 3-2) scored the first four points of the game and led the entire first half. However, the Retrievers were not able to build greater than a four-point advantage until a layup by Toneisha Mack made it 20-14 with 9:50 left to play. Janea Aiken, who finished with 18 points and seven rebounds, converted a layup in transition to bring UAlbany within four, however, the Retrievers then embarked on a 9-0 run to pull ahead by a 13-point margin.

A layup by Amira Ford following her own defensive rebound with 5:36 left ended the streak, but the Great Danes could not bring the Retriever lead down to single digits before the stanza was over. A layup on the other end by Katie Brooks with 1:19 on the clock gave UMBC its largest lead of the frame at 40-25, which was how the first half ended.

UAlbany (3-14, AE 1-3) held the Retrievers without a field goal for over five minutes to start the second half. Britney McGee cut the deficit to 10 points by hitting two free throws and a three pointer, forcing the Retrievers to call a timeout at the 17:43 mark. A layup by UAlbany’s Tabitha Makopondo trimmed the lead to single digits. Aiken followed with a 10-foot jumper to make it a six-point game with 15:49 remaining to keep the crowd of 1,517 fans silent.

Two free throws by Cassidy, who joined the school’s 1,000-point club, scored the first UMBC points of the second half at the 15:32 mark, and Michelle Kurowski nailed the team’s first field goal of the half with 14:38 remaining in regulation. The Retrievers were forced to call another timeout with 12:01 on the clock when Ashley Lindsay hit a layup to make it a one-possession game at 47-44.

“I knew we should not have been in the hole we were in at halftime,” said Lindsay, who scored all of her career-high 10 points in the last 20 minutes. “I went out there (in the second half) ready to play. I felt that as a team, we stepped up on both sides of the ball. We just have to learn to put a full 40 minutes together.”

UMBC continued to shake off any threat by the Great Danes to take the lead, and a three-point field goal by Michele Brokans put her team ahead by eight, 58-50, with 6:33 left. UAlbany came as close as four points on three occasions before the Retrievers hit their free throws down the stretch to seal the final outcome.

For the game, the Retrievers outshot the Great Danes, 49.2 percent (29-59) to 38 percent (27-71) from the floor and 70.6 percent (12-17) to 50 percent (6-12) from the charity stripe. UMBC also outshot UAlbany 40 percent (6-15) to 16.7 percent (3-18), from behind the arc.

“We have not been able to put two great halves together on the road with the exception of our win over Rhode Island,” said head coach Trina Patterson. “UMBC shot us out of the gym in the first half. The second half was a little bit better, and we had good play from our post players which was encouraging. Our goal was to be at .500 right now in our conference games, so we have some ground to make up moving forward.”

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

University of Albany's Joe Greene & Jenn Gurrant Receive Weekly America East Track and Field Awards - UAlbany Sports

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Cambridge, Mass. – University at Albany’s Joe Greene and Jenn Gurrant have been selected the America East Conference male and female indoor track and field performers of the week, as announced on Tuesday, Jan. 20 by the conference office.

Greene, a senior from Rochester, N.Y., placed first in a field of 61 competitors in the 500-meter dash by clocking in at 1:03.64 in last Friday’s New York City Gotham Cup. The time was good enough to qualify the All-America sprinter for the IC4A championship, the second event he will compete in at that regional competition. Greene also ran the anchor leg of the 4x400-meter relay team that placed third among 25 squads.

A senior from Batavia, N.Y., Gurrant established a school record in the long jump at the New York City Gotham Cup by an inch and a half. Her jump of 19-feet, 3.25-inches placed her third among 31 competitors and qualified her for March’s ECAC championship. She eclipsed a mark set by the late Kimberly Toone, who leaped 19-2 in 1996.

UAlbany will host the Great Dane Classic on Friday, Jan. 23 at the New York City Armory. More than 40 men’s and women’s teams are expected to compete.

University of Albany Solidifies Partnership with Tula State

Courtesy: University of Albany

University at Albany Interim President George M. Philip recently signed an agreement with Rector Nadezhda A. Shaidenko, of Tula State Pedagogical University of Russia, to deepen and expand collaborative efforts between the two universities. The formal agreement is the first of its kind between the two institutions, and is a culmination of previous collaborations initiated through the longstanding Albany-Tula Alliance.

"We are deeply honored to continue our partnership with Tula State University," said Philip. "This collaboration has helped both institutions develop and expand programs in such fields as social welfare, public health, and public policy." Philip noted the two universities have much in common, with both playing key roles in the capitals of their states and regions.

The ongoing relationship between UAlbany and Tula State has resulted in faculty exchanges and international conferences in social welfare, helping the two universities build programs in gerontology, disaster response and social work. The new agreement expands the social work initiatives to include new student service learning projects, study tours, and international field placements. In addition, UAlbany's schools of Education, Business, and Public Health will explore collaborative opportunities with counterparts at Tula State.

Ronald Toseland, professor and director of the Institute of Gerontology, was in Russia last year, giving a keynote talk at a conference on disasters. Toseland is a Senior Fulbright Specialist. While in Russia, he also presented on social work education in the U.S. and lectured at Tula State. In 2003, he brought a delegation to Russia for a two-day conference on aging, the result of which was the first book on social work and gerontology in Russian. Since then, Toseland has co-edited or contributed to three more Russian books on social work and aging.

Anne E. Fortune, professor and director of the School of Social Welfare's Internships in Aging Project, also attended the 2003 conference, where she presented on innovative approaches to field education for social workers in aging. She contributed chapters on U.S. social work education and work with older persons for the four Russian texts. "The opportunity to contribute to development of social services and care for the elderly in Russia is gratifying, and faculty exchanges with Tula State have enriched our education at UAlbany," said Fortune.

UAlbany faculty serving on the Albany-Tula Alliance have played an active role in public health, public policy, the development of non-governmental organizations, and entrepreneurial, private sector innovations.

The Tula Alliance began in 1991 when Mayor Thomas M. Whalen III and Charlotte Buchanan established a steering committee and the City of Tula, Russia, was chosen as a sister city. Early in 1992, during the first harsh winter after the collapse of the Soviet Union and directed by Ray Joyce, 16,000 lbs. of clothing, food, and medications were airlifted from the Capital Region to Tula. Later that year, the first exchange of educators began. There has been a long history of exchanges in education, health, business, law, government, and the arts. UAlbany faculty have regularly participated in the exchange, including music Professor Emeritus Findlay Cockrell, who gave several piano concerts in the city from 1995 through 2004.

Monday, January 19, 2009

University of New York State System To Name Chancellor - By January 27

The search for a new chancellor at the State University of New York should be wrapped up by Jan. 27, according to SUNY Chairman Carl Hayden. According to word among the college administrators' network, the search committee is seriously considering Nancy L. Zimpher, the first female president of the University of Cincinnati.

Described as "a bit of a wonk" in a recent article in the Cincinnati Enquirer, Zimpher gained notoriety for forcing out popular basketball coach Bob Huggins in 2005. The article also noted that in her six years, the Big East school recorded a 7 percent increase in its graduation rate, saw research funding rise to record levels, almost tripled the school's number of National Merit Scholars, and grew enrollment by 10 percent.

The 62-year-old professor of education previously was a dean at Ohio State University, her alma mater (for her bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees), and chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee from 1998 to 2003.

Courtesy: James M. Odato

2009-2010 UAlbany Recruits


2009 University at Albany Football Signings
Name, Pos., Ht., Wt., Hometown (High School)

Corey Bundrage, DE, 6-3, 215, Liverpool, N.Y. (Liverpool)
Matt Custer, OL, 6-5, 290, Ashburn, Va. (Stone Bridge)
Jahi Fields, DE, 6-3, 215, Hempstead, N.Y. (Hempstead)
Alex Helmer, S, 6-1, 180, Pompton Lakes, N.J. (Pequannock Township)
Justinian Mason, S, 6-1, 180, Mason, Ohio (Cincinnati St. Xavier)
Ben Miseikis, RB, 5-10, 185, Fort Johnson, N.Y. (Amsterdam)
Zach Stocum, DE, 6-2, 240, Painesville, Ohio (Riverside)
Eddie Tretina, ILB, 6-0, 215, Cherry Hill, N.J. (Camden Catholic)
Rhakeem Wiggins, WR, 5-10, 175, Cheektowaga, N.Y. (Cleveland Hill)
Kadeem Williams, OL, 6-7, 335, Jersey City, N.J. (Hudson Catholic)
Tramaine Wilson, RB, 5-10, 180, Staten Island, N.Y. (Tottenville)
Nate Papso - WR/TE - 6'4", 220, Binghamton High
Paul Layton - QB and punter - 6'0, 205, Burnt Hills


John Puk – West High School – Waterloo IA - 6’-10” - 215lbs

Ralph Watts – Peekskill High School – Peekskill NY – 6’6” – 195lbs

Gavin Glanton – Forrest City HS – Forrest City, AR – 6’7” – 200lbs

Blake Metcalf – Plainfield, IN – 6’9” – 250 lbs

Mike Black – Oak Park, IL – 6’0” – 170 lbs


Anthony Ostrander - Farmingdale - (LI empire defenseman)

Will Fuller- Garden City - Attackman

Brian Winterfeldt- Calhoun - (LI empire defenseman)


Rachael Burek - Columbia High


Gabby Whitworth - 6ft middle blocker/right side hitter - Kailua, Hawaii
Traci Vandegrift - 6ft middle hitter - Mogadore, Ohio


Jasmine Blakemore, F, 6-2, Houston, Texas (Bush)
Terika Lunsford, G, 5-11, Lakeland, Fla. (Suffolk)
Keyana Williams, F, 6-1, Kingston, N.Y. (Kingston)


Kylie Apostolina of Smyrna, Del. (Smyrna H.S.) - Catcher
Lindsey Stout of Vestal, N.Y. (Vestal Central H.S.) - Catcher
Allison Weiser of Wildwood Crest, N.J. (Wildwood Catholic H.S.)- Pitcher

Saturday, January 17, 2009

University of Albany Indoor Track and Field's Luke Schoen and Jenn Gurrant Set School Records At Gotham Cup - UAlbany Sports

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

New York, N.Y. – Junior Luke Schoen and senior Jenn Gurrant set school records in the pole vault and long jump, respectively, in leading the University at Albany men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams at the New York City Gotham Cup held at the Armory Track and Field Center on Friday, Jan. 16. In addition to Schoen and Gurrant, six other individuals and two relays earned qualifying marks for the IC4A and ECAC Championships at the prestigious non-scoring meet which featured over 1,600 student-athletes.

Schoen’s winning mark of 17 feet, 6-3/4 inches in the pole vault provisionally qualified him for the NCAA Championship, and it bettered the school record of 17-1 he set at the Yale Collegiate Invitational last week.

“I set goals before I compete, and so far they are coming true,” said Schoen, who was named an All-American outdoors for placing fifth in the event at the NCAA Championship last spring. “My ultimate goal is to automatically qualify for NCAAs, which would put me in a good position to finish in the top three.”

Michael Dempsey qualified for the IC4A Championship for clearing 15-9 and finishing third overall in the event. On the women’s side, Celine Cauderlier placed seventh with a mark of 10-4.

Gurrant leaped 19-3.50 in the women’s seeded long jump, which placed her third among 31 competitors and was also a qualifying mark for the ECAC Championship. The previous standard was held by Kimberly Toone, who jumped 19-2 in 1996.

“The women’s team is off to a great start this year,” said Gurrant, who was one of three women to qualify for ECACs. “We have a lot of talented newcomers who have provided us depth. This start definitely gives us hope to win our first America East indoor title.”

Sandy Antenor set a personal record in the event for leaping 17-1.25, which was good for 12th overall. Tiffany Bennett was seventh in the high jump, clearing 5-3, while Jordan Pollock led the men’s jumpers with an eighth-place mark of 44-9 in the triple jump.

After recording IC4A qualifying marks in the 400-meter dash last week at Yale, Joe Greene and Alie Beauvais each qualified for the championship event in the 500-meter dash this afternoon. Greene won the event in 1:03.64, while Beauvais was third in 1:03.95. Zuliana Fontanez and Melissa Lee each finished one second shy of qualifying for the ECAC Championship in the event. Fontanez was third in 1:16.81, while Lee placed fourth with a personal-best time of 1:16.92.

Kamilah McShine qualified for the ECAC Championship in the 60-meter high hurdles, finishing second overall in the finals in a personal-best time of 8.65 seconds. Christen Griffin also fared well in the event, placing sixth in 9.03. Garrett Askew led a trio of Great Danes who made it to the finals on the men’s team, finishing seventh in 8.38 seconds. Alfred Pryor and Mohamed Kanu also advanced to the finals in the event.

Fey Adaramola became the third Great Dane to qualify for the ECAC Championship in March for clocking in a time of 7.69 seconds and placing third in the finals of the 60-meter dash. Quante Harris and Gurrant also advanced to the finals and finished 12th and 14th with times of 8.01 and 8.14, respectively. Mike McCadney’s ninth-place time of 7.11 led the men, while Pat Weider also advanced to the finals. He finished 12th in 7.19 seconds.

Tyler Fogarty turned in the best performance in the middle distance events. His fifth-place time of 2:28.21 in the 1,000-meter run qualified him for the IC4A Championship. In the seeded 800-meter run, Nick Santos and Joe Belokopitsky were each one second short of reaching the IC4A mark. Santos was third in 1:55.86, while Belokopitsky was right behind him with a time of 1:55.96. Laura Cummings led the women’s team with a ninth-place performance of 5:13.23 in the seeded mile.

Two of the three men’s relays finished with IC4A qualifying times. Improving last week’s time by three seconds, the distance medley relay team finished first in 10:10.36. Fogarty led off with the 1,200-meter leg and was followed by Beauvais running the 400-meter leg, John Moore running the 800-meter leg and Jon Juleus anchoring the squad with a 4:16 split. The 4x400-meter relay consisting of Andrew Overbaugh, Peter Rowell, Joe Belokopitsky and Joe Greene was third in 3:18.66.

The best effort by the women’s team came in the 4x400-meter relay. McShine, Adaramola, Elia Francis and Tierra Chavis combined to finish with a second-place time of 3:54.83, which was under a second shy of qualifying for the ECAC Championship.

R.J. Sniffen, Ricardo Estremera Ally Panos and Ada Lauterbach paced the Great Danes in the distance events. Sniffen was fifth in the men’s seeded 5,000-meter run, while Estremera was seventh in 8:34.49 in the seeded 3,000-meter run. Running in the un-seeded women’s 3,000-meter run, Panos’ time of 10:34.08 placed her second. Lauterbach finished third in 10:34.89.

UAlbany got strong contributions from Kadine Johnson and Ashley Lewis in the women’s throwing events, and Will Anger led the men’s throwers. Johnson was second in the weight throw for recording a mark of 51-5, while Lewis was fourth in the shot put with a throw that sailed 39-5.75. Anger’s toss of 52-10.25 in the weight throw placed him eighth.

Men's Basketball Is Knocked Out of First Place with 72-61 Loss

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Orono, Maine – Kaimondre Owes scored 20 points off the bench and Sean McNally added 14 as Maine ended UAlbany’s three-game winning streak with a 72-61 America East Conference victory on Saturday, Jan. 17 at Alford Sports Arena.

Maine (7-11, AE 2-3) led 32-24 early in the second half, but then pulled away seven straight points. Freshman Gerald McLemore hit a jumper that beat the shot clock. Malachi Peay, a 6-foot-5 sophomore who had 11 points, followed with a conventional three-point play. McNally ended that outburst by converting an offensive rebound.

The Black Bears, who had dropped seven of their previous eight contests, increased their margin to 52-29 with 11:46 remaining. McNally was fouled on a slam dunk for another three-point play, before Peay made two free throws.

The Great Danes almost worked their way back into the contest with 4:18 left behind the play of Will Harris, who had 20 points and eight rebounds. Brian Connelly, who netted 11 of his 13 points in the final period and grabbed nine boards, scored on the left baseline to cut the lead to 60-50. But the Black Bears responded on their next possession when all-league perfomer Mark Socoby canned a three-point field from the right wing. His team’s lead was never seriously threatened after that point.

"They played forty minutes of zone against us and packed it in and sagged,” said UAlbany coach Will Brown, whose team made 38.7 percent of its field goal attempts and committed 18 turnovers on the afternoon. “We were not aggressive against it and they scored off our turnovers. It was not a good overall effort. We were slow, flat and all of the above."

UAlbany (11-7, AE 3-2) looked as cold from the field in the opening half as the sub-zero temperatures outside the arena. The Black Bears employed a trapping 3-2 zone defense that took the visitors out of their rhythm and held them to 29.2-percent shooting in the period.

Maine reversed a 17-16 deficit with a string of 10 unanswered. Socoby, one of four UM players in double figures with 10 points, sank two foul shots to put his team ahead. Owes, a senior guard who tranferred from St. Peter's College two years ago, made consecutive three-pointers, including one from right of the key. Owes, who scored 13 in the half, later connected on a three-point play after his steal for a 29-18 advantage.

Tim Ambrose added 10 points for the Great Danes, who fell out of a tie for first place in the conference standings. Louis Barraza, a sophomore guard, added eight points off the bench.

"I told our team it was easy to get to the top of the standings, but harder to stay there,” added Brown, whose club is off until next Friday when they host Stony Brook at SEFCU Arena. “I have been careful with our team because of their inexperience. That inexperience caught up with us today."

Women's Basketball Falls Short In Conference Action

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Albany, N.Y. – Tonya Young scored a career-best 24 points and also grabbed 10 rebounds as the University of Vermont defeated the University at Albany, 77-54, in America East Conference women’s basketball action at SEFCU Arena on Saturday afternoon. The Catamounts, who were picked first in the league’s preseason coaches poll, broke a 38-38 deadlock at halftime by scoring the first 13 points of the second stanza to win their third conference game of the season.

Trailing by just four points, UAlbany (3-13, AE 1-2) went on a 16-4 run in the middle of the first half to take a 29-21 advantage with 6:25 left to play. Britney McGee scored six of her 12 points on a pair of trifectas during the stretch.

Vermont (9-8, AE 3-1) brought the Great Dane lead down to one, 29-28, with five minutes to play courtesy of a good jumper by Young before Janea Aiken answered back on the other end. Young gave the Catamounts their first lead since the 12:50 mark when she converted another jump shot in the paint with 26 seconds left in the half.

However, Felicia Johnson drilled two of her career-high 12 points to tie the score for the sixth time in the half. The teams headed to their locker rooms knotted at 38 through 20 minutes of action.

Young sparked a 13-0 Catamount run to start the second half, scoring the first seven points in the stretch. Following a timeout, the Great Danes, who held a 26-8 advantage in bench points, hit their first bucket when Johnson stole the ball from Alissa Sheftic and converted a layup on the other end.

Vermont, which outrebounded UAlbany by a 44-30 clip, netted the next six points to build a 17-point cushion with 8:38 remaining in regulation. A free throw by Shelby Coon cut the lead down to 14 points, but that was the closest the Great Danes would get the rest of the way.

“I thought we played a great 20 minutes against a very good team,” said head coach Trina Patterson, whose team shot 50 percent from the floor and behind the arc in the first half and just 26.9 percent from the floor in the second half. “They got away from us in the second half when they started to really go inside. Once they did that, we started to get worn out.”

In addition to Young’s career outing, Courtnay Pilypaitis, the league’s reigning player of the year, and May Kotsopoulos, last season’s America East defensive player of the year, combined for 32 points. Pilypaitis netted 17 points and also recorded six rebounds, six assists and five steals. Kotsopoulos scored 15 points while adding four assists.

Johnson, who stands only 5-foot-4, grabbed a team-best six rebounds and also dished out three assists. After netting just three points through the first 14 games, she has contributed 23 points in the past two contests. Amira Ford recorded four points, three rebounds and three assists. Janea Aiken added nine points and four rebounds, while Ashley Lindsay contributed six points off the bench.

For the game, the Catamounts outshot the Great Danes, 47.8 percent (32-67) to 39.7 percent (23-58) from the floor, and 50.0 percent (8-16) to 29.4 percent (5-17) from behind the arc. Vermont also outshot UAlbany, 71.4 percent (5-7) to 60 percent (3-5) from the free-throw line. The Catamounts shot 85.7 percent (6-7) from behind the arc in the second half, while the Great Danes did not convert a three-point field goal in the final 20 minutes.

“I thought we played well in the first half,” said Johnson, who set a career high in scoring for the second straight game. “We showed that we can compete with one of the best teams in our league. We will just have to get them back when we go to their place.”

Friday, January 16, 2009

University of Albany Athletics Needs Donors To Step Up Now To Support Stadium Fund

Lee McElroy’s e-mail inbox and voicemail system are clogged every day with questions about the stadium complex he wants to build at the University of Albany.

“It’s complicated,” says McElroy, the school’s athletics director.

That’s an understatement in the ongoing recession. McElroy is rewriting his department’s business model as he contends with the state’s multi-billion-dollar deficits, which threaten to delay progress on the prized sports complex.

UAlbany has asked McElroy to cut spending in his $13 million budget by up to 10 percent. At the same time, as much as 10 percent of the school’s donors and sponsors—including auto dealers—have cut back or eliminated their contributions amid the sour economy.

It’s a situation filled with nuances that illustrate the challenges McElroy faces as he tries to build his fundraising department.

“We can cut and cut and cut, but we must generate more revenue and income. We really have to rethink how we go about that,” McElroy said.

‘Not there yet with donor base’

McElroy risks undercutting his own program, depending on how he responds to the fiscal pressures.

He joined the school in 2000, one year after UAlbany made the jump to Division I athletics, the highest level of competition in the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Donations have soared in the past two years, spurred by back-to-back conference championships and NCAA Tournament appearances by the men’s basketball team.

McElroy credits that national exposure for exciting new and existing donors. Yet travel is the department’s third-largest expense, and McElroy intends to decrease the out-of-state trips that the school’s 19 teams take next school year to save money.

“Our coaches are focusing on regional competition now,” McElroy said. “But that could have an impact on recruiting and fundraising. In what other event can Albany compare to schools like Stanford?”

UAlbany athletics did not need many donors before it moved up to Division I competition because most funding came from the school or the state, said Don Ostrom, the school’s director of athletic development. He is half of the school’s two-person athletics fundraising operation.

Today, state funding and student fees supply almost half of the department’s budget, which supports 70 full-time employees. The majority of the budget—as much as 60 percent—comes from ticket and merchandise sales, sponsorships, advertising and donations.

Ostrom, who visits with 15 to 20 donors a month, wants to build an endowment so the department can decrease its reliance on fundraising. The economy has delayed those plans.

“The vast majority of donations that come in during a fiscal year are being spent in that same fiscal year. We need those dollars to operate today,” Ostrom said.

“When you’re only in your 10th year of competing at a Division I level, we’re just not there yet with our donor base,” he added. “And unfortunately, we need to get there sooner than later.”

Positive signs exist. UAlbany has sold all its sponsorships for a men’s basketball conference tournament it’s hosting in March—a “miraculous” feat, McElroy said.

Still, the economy has led some donors to spread out their contributions over the year, as opposed to writing one check. Others have skipped their annual donation.

‘still pushing’

This year, state legislators could decide that they, too, lack the funds to support McElroy’s proposed sports complex. If so, that would delay the project, McElroy said.

The centerpiece of the sports complex is a new stadium that would cost between $40 million and $50 million, holding as many as 15,000 fans. That would at least double both the athletic department’s budget and its seating capacity for football games.

McElroy’s sales pitch rests on economic development.

“This stadium is not just for UAlbany athletics. That’s part of it, but it’s more for the economic development and promotion of the Capital Region,” McElroy said. “It’s an investment in the future.”

Adds Daniel Nolan, a key donor: “This could have a positive economic impact for decades.”

McElroy will be asking for millions of dollars at a time when legislators must erase $15.4 billion of red ink over the next 15 months. Funding for the complex was dropped from last year’s state budget in last-minute negotiations.

UAlbany has paid $300,000 for a site study that should be finished by the end of next month. The study will recommend various designs and locations for the new complex.

McElroy said he needs at least $20 million from the state to make the complex feasible.

“The state’s investment will drive the design,” he said.

Private donations for the project, which McElroy has been securing for nearly two years, would have to supply most of the remaining funds.

“It would be pretty tough, unless Albany has some sugar daddies ready to step up. And even if they do, it’s a bigger step up for them now than it was six months ago, with the economy,” said Bruce Johnson, a sports economics professor and stadium expert at Centre College in Kentucky.

Nolan, a 1974 alumnus, said he’s not as concerned that the economy will dent so-called “major gifts” that are tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in size.

“We’re still early into this [economic] crisis. But, I’ve never seen an economy where it’s so bad that people just stop giving. The economy will scare people, but it won’t scare them down to zero,” said Nolan, managing director of Johnson Illington Advisors LLC, an Albany financial firm.

McElroy hopes that’s the case, even as he and his donors deal with fewer resources.

“We aren’t slacking,” he said. “It’s a perilous time, but we still have to act and lead. We’re still pushing.” | 518-640-6818

Thursday, January 15, 2009

University of Albany's Steward Ceus Drafted by Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids - UAlbany Sports

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

St. Louis, Mo. – University at Albany’s Steward Ceus was chosen in the 2009 Major League Soccer Draft’s third round by the Colorado Rapids, held today at the Saint Louis Convention Center. He was the 37th overall selection. Ceus, a third-team NSCAA/adidas All-American and America East Conference Goalkeeper of the Year, is the first Great Dane in school history to be drafted by an MLS franchise.

“I am very excited to take the next step in my career and play at the professional level,” said Ceus, a 6-foot-6 goalkeeper who will join Bouna Coundoul, a 2005 UAlbany graduate and two-time America East goalkeeper of the year, in Colorado. “This was also very ironic. I came to UAlbany to try and follow the path that Bouna paved. Now I am following his path again, and I will once again try to fill his shoes.”

In 2008, Ceus became the first UAlbany men’s soccer player to garner All-America honors at any level since Marty Hearney was voted to the Division III All-American squad in 1991. The senior co-captain eclipsed Division I program records for career shutouts (19) and saves (329) while posting a .856 save percentage, an 0.96 goals against average and seven shutouts as a senior. He finished the season ranked fourth in the nation in saves per game (5.93) and ninth in save percentage.

“Steward is a gifted goalkeeper who should do very well and follow in the steps behind Bouna, who can help him as a mentor,” UAlbany coach Johan Aarnio offered. “I congratulate him and wish him the best of luck.”

UAlbany posted a 12-4-2 overall record this year, which matched a Division I program record set in 2004. The team’s nine-win improvement tied for third in the nation with Fairleigh Dickinson, only trailing Maryland (13) and St. John’s (10). In addition, the Great Danes’ seven-game unbeaten streak before suffering a 1-0 double overtime loss to Binghamton in the semifinal round of the conference tournament was a program standard in the club’s Division I history.

Question - Answer Session With Brett Gifford

Courtesy: America East Communications

Brett Gifford

Hometown: Columbia, MO
High School Rock Bridge HS
Class: Junior
Major Business: Administration
Favorite Musical Group/Artist Lupe Fiasco

Three Things I Can’t Live Without:
1. Friends 2. Family 3. Food

Q. Why I Chose University Albany:
A- I chose to come to the University at Albany because of the family atmosphere of the program. It was great to see that the team got an incredible amount of support from the coaches, the administration, the faculty and the community. I also chose to go to school here because we have an opportunity to win an America East Championship every year and go to the NCAA Tournament.

Q. Favorite class and why:
A- My favorite class was History of Europe 1914-1945 because I enjoy history and it was a very interesting class. It was great to learn about an important time in our history. Also, the teacher was really cool. He did a good job of capturing that time in history.

Q. One thing I have learned at UAlbany that I will carry with me for the rest of my life is:
A- One thing I have learned at UAlbany that I will carry with me for the rest of my life is to not take people for granted. Like I said earlier, my team is like a second family so it is important to treat those people with respect and dignity.

Q. My Dream Job, other than the NBA/WNBA, is:
A- My dream job other than the NBA is to be a Hollywood actor. Given that I am the face of UAlbany Athletics, I feel that I am well on my way.

Q. The person, other than my parents, who has had the most influence on me is, and why:
A- The people, other than my parents, who has had the most influence on my have to be my friends because I am always around them. Although we may not notice it, we all influence each other in many different ways simply based on the fact that we spend a lot of time together.

Q. The best thing about being an Albany Great Dane is:
A- The best thing about being an Albany Great Dane is having a chance to win an America East Championship every year. It’s great to be on a team that works well and plays hard together.

Q. Most memorable moment as an athlete:
A- My most memorable moment as an athlete is winning the 2007 America East Championship and going on to play in the NCAA Tournament. It was an experience that I will never forget.

Q. What I did this week as a student (classes, tests, projects, study hall):
A- Since it is winter break, this week as a student I didn’t have any responsibilities. I should be getting ready for the upcoming semester though – gathering my books, looking at my syllabi, and preparing myself for another tough academic semester.

Q. What I did this week as an athlete (practice, games):
A- This week as an athlete I practiced quite a bit and travelled to Vermont to play our second America East Conference game.

Q. Based upon my experiences growing up, my advice for young kids about school and athletics is:
A- Based upon my experiences growing up, my advice for young kids about school and athletics is to do what you love and not what people tell you or expect you to do. It is important to take care of your academics before your athletics because without one you can’t be successful at the other. School has helped me to become a better basketball player through hard work and discipline.

Q. Why I am looking forward to the America East Basketball Championship:
A- I am looking forward to the America East Basketball Championship because it’s another opportunity to get to the NCAA Tournament. I am really looking forward to winning and becoming the face of the America East Conference.

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