SUNY Smart Track

May 1st, 2014 | Comments Off on SUNY Smart Track | Posted in College News & Events

Editor’s Note:  I received this information from Jacqueline Darquea, CCC Assistant Director of Financial Aid and Scholarship Coordination.  If you have someone in your household who needs information on financial commitments for a college education, you may find this helpful.

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When you compare Cayuga’s tuition and fees to national averages, the value of a Cayuga education is clear – our tuition and fees are among the lowest and most competitive in the nation. The majority of all full-time undergraduate students at Cayuga receive financial aid, and there are many Federal, State, and College financial aid programs to help students meet the costs of attending college.

Because it is important for students to clearly see the bottom line on college costs, we’re committed to transparency regarding the financial commitments of attending our college.

SUNY has created Smart Track, a collection of resources – including our Net Price Calculator – designed to help students and families understand college costs and develop a financial plan for the future. It’s just another reason why SUNY and Cayuga Community College is a smart investment and a sound economic decision.

Visit the SUNY Smart Track website for more information and create a new account to access this financial literacy tool.

 

Cayuga Nursing Students Success Rate

May 1st, 2014 | Comments Off on Cayuga Nursing Students Success Rate | Posted in College News & Events

For the third consecutive year, Cayuga’s 2013 nursing class achieved a 100 percent pass rate.  The announcement was made by the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX) in February.  As Cayuga’s nursing graduates have consistently done, the 2013 class surpassed the state and national average pass rates by 22 points and 17 points, respectively.  CCC’s five-year pass rate is a notable 98 percent.

“The performance of our graduates on the NCLEX is a tribute to the unwavering commitment to excellence that is embraced daily by the faculty and staff of Cayuga Community college,” said Professor and Director of Nursing Linda Alfieri, MS, RN.  “As well, it gives clear and decisive evidence of the dedication and hard work put forth by all of our students as they work to prepare for a career or continued education in nursing.”

Another impressive statistic is the placement percentage for the 2013 graduates.  Eighty-eight percent were hired for nursing positions and 12 percent were accepted into a four-year bachelor of science in nursing program for a final placement total of 100 percent.

Cayuga’s program currently enrolls 100 students, and we when they graduate, we will be proud to call them alumni.

Linda Alfieri presents Christine MacDavitt with her pin at the 38th Annual Professional Advancement and Pinning Ceremony last May.

Linda Alfieri presents Christine MacDavitt with her pin at the 38th Annual Professional Advancement and Pinning Ceremony last May.

CCC Foundation Recognized as “Top 100” in America

May 1st, 2014 | Comments Off on CCC Foundation Recognized as “Top 100” in America | Posted in Foundation News & Events

Top100Logo2Since its inception in 1982, the Cayuga Community College Foundation has consistently earned praise as one of the best in SUNY. Now, the CCC Foundation has taken its place among the best foundations in America, ranking #95 among the nation’s community colleges.

Dr. William R. Crowe, Director of the University of Georgia’s Center for Continuing Education, has completed extensive research on public two-year colleges and their supporting foundations. His work was based on the annual tax returns (IRS 990 filings) of each foundation, ranking them in an order based on total assets and funds raised. The data included filings from 2009-2012, making this the most comprehensive research project ever conducted in the arena of two-year college advancement.

“Dr. Crowe’s research continues the national recognition given to the CCC Foundation in recent years,” said Executive Director Jeff Hoffman. “Our Foundation has earned accolades from the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship for its support of Cayuga’s ‘E-ship Across the Curriculum’ model. In addition, our good friends Jack and Jerry Bisgrove were honored in Washington, DC by the Council for Resource Development (CRD) for their support of CCC. Their award was one of only ten given nationwide to community colleges.”

“This recognition of the Cayuga Community College Foundation is a testament to our donors,” said Board President Lloyd Hoskins. “The outstanding support we receive, both for annual giving and for capital campaigns, has helped us earn this recognition. We take our responsibility very seriously to raise significant support for the College, and to be diligent in our management of all funds entrusted to the care of the CCC Foundation.”

New Presidential Scholarships Offered

May 1st, 2014 | Comments Off on New Presidential Scholarships Offered | Posted in Foundation News & Events

CCC has launched the new Cayuga Presidential Scholarships for fall 2014. Funded by the CCC Foundation, this will provide full scholarships (after Pell, TAP, and other CCC Foundation grants) to outstanding students from Cayuga and Oswego Counties. Students must graduate in the top 20 percent of their high school class based on academic performance. The CCC Foundation has allocated $300,000 to this program for the next two academic years.

Dr. Gregory DeCinque, Cayuga’s interim president, said that “While the scholarship rewards students for their strong academic performance, it also brings students to Cayuga who are often part of honors programs, student government and other leadership positions. These students serve to raise the academic bar for everyone and help improve persistence to graduation.” Foundation executive director Jeff Hoffman noted, “Cayuga Community College is consistently given high marks by our alumni; 90 percent of the most recent graduating class said Cayuga helped them reach their educational goals. This scholarship will attract the brightest students from local communities, who will become the next generation of outstanding Cayuga alumni.”

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The Nature Trail over the Past 5 Years

May 1st, 2014 | Comments Off on The Nature Trail over the Past 5 Years | Posted in Nostalgia Photos

What Does Eco-Friendly Mean?

May 1st, 2014 | Comments Off on What Does Eco-Friendly Mean? | Posted in Lifestyle

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In recent years, terms like “going green” and “eco-friendly” have become buzz words on talk shows, commercials and product packaging. The term “eco-friendly” has been used for so many different products and practices, its meaning is in danger of being lost. By understanding the true meaning of eco-friendly, you can implement the practices that will lead to healthier living for the planet and its inhabitants, big and small.

Definition

Eco-friendly literally means earth-friendly or not harmful to the environment. This term most commonly refers to products that contribute to green living or practices that help conserve resources like water and energy. Eco-friendly products also prevent contributions to air, water and land pollution. You can engage in eco-friendly habits or practices by being more conscious of how you use resources.

Product Qualifications

Making a truly eco-friendly product keeps both environmental and human safety in mind. At a minimum, the product is non-toxic. Other eco-friendly attributes include the use of sustainably grown or raised ingredients, produced in ways that do not deplete the ecosystem. Organic ingredients or materials are grown without toxic pesticides or herbicides. Products with “made from recycled materials” contain glass, wood, metal or plastic reclaimed from waste products and made into something new. Biodegradable products break down through natural decomposition, which is less taxing on landfills and the ecosystem as a whole.

Practice Examples

You can develop eco-friendly habits to help you use less and make the most of what you have. Turn off lights in empty rooms and use a programmable thermostat so you’re only heating or cooling your home when it’s occupied. Businesses can also institute such practices, in addition to bigger initiatives, such as company-wide recycling programs to conserve natural resources and telecommuting for employees, which decreases air pollution and fuel consumption by eliminating daily travel to work.

Greenwashing

Companies sometimes label their products “eco-friendly” or “environmentally friendly” without them truly being so. Called “greenwashing,” marketing campaigns perpetuate this practice, aimed at helping companies increase their product sales by appealing to ecologically conscious buyers. To avoid purchasing “greenwashed” products, look for products approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Energy Star program or an ecologically conscious consumer-advocacy group such as the Green Good Housekeeping Seal.

What’s Really Behind ‘Eco-Friendly and ‘All Natural’

May 1st, 2014 | Comments Off on What’s Really Behind ‘Eco-Friendly and ‘All Natural’ | Posted in Lifestyle

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Earth Day Activities For Adults

May 1st, 2014 | Comments Off on Earth Day Activities For Adults | Posted in Lifestyle

There are a number of ways people get involved on Earth Day, either by planting a tree, cleaning up litter or changing out harmful light bulbs in their home. No act is too small and they all count! Here are some ways you can get involved to celebrate Earth Day by making a difference.
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Earth Day Activities You Can Do

There are a number of Earth Day events in your area that you can find by going to Earthday.org. You can also plan an event yourself if you have something in mind, or want to copy an event you see in another area.

  • Calculate your carbon footprint: Want motivation for participating in Earth Day events? Why not see just how much carbon your lifestyle contributes to the planet with Nature.org’s carbon footprint calculator
  • Go global: Before you begin participating in local Earth Day activities, consider contributing to an international charity supporting environmentalism and clean water around the world. Organizations like charity:water help provide clean water for people in need around the globe. You can also support a charity that helps clean up the oceans, fights pollution or works to protect rain forests. Whichever you choose, it’s nice to know you’ve made an impact outside of your immediate neighborhood.
  • Pick up litter: Many people get together in groups with friends and family to go out and pick up litter at a park or local beach, or even right on your own Main Street. It doesn’t require much planning, so you have a good chance of getting people to join in – and may find some people joining in as you go.
  • Plant trees: If you want to get your hands in the earth, you can gather your friends and family to help plant a tree on your property, or see if you can get permission to plant a tree in your community, at a park or local school. Talk to your neighbors and see if they are willing to also plant a tree on their property, or help with your effort to plant trees on community property.
  • Start recycling: Your Earth Day contribution could also be to start recycling in your home or switch to using renewable energy. You might not be able to install solar panels on your house or apartment, but you can switch out energy sucking appliances, and replace them with energy efficient models. Separate your trash into recyclable and non-recyclable items, and get in the habit of buying recycled materials.
  • Begin composting: You may have heard of composting, which is nature’s way of recycling decomposed organic materials into a rich soil, known as compost. Deciding to compost is a popular activity for Earth Day. Compost can be used in your garden as it is a very good source of nutrition for plants. Composting biodegrades your food waste, manure, leaves, grass trimmings, paper, wood and crop residue, making it into something very good for the environment – which is a win-win!
  • Involve your office: Check with your employer to see if they would like to participate in the Earth Day activities. Maybe they don’t recycle printer toner, paper and aluminum cans- materials many businesses go through quickly. When businesses go green, in addition to helping the Earth, they can often times get tax deductions or other financial benefits, so see if your company is open to making an Earth Day commitment. This can save money for home businesses too!
  • Clean a local water source: Cleaning up a local waterway like a river or stream to remove garbage and debris is also a great way to celebrate Earth Day. You can also commit to helping people in other parts of the world, like Africa, to help get access to clean water. Earth Day is also a day for education about the Earth and realizing how you can help other communities that may need the things you take for granted – like clean water to drink and bath in.

And while these actions are great for adults, do get your kids involved. They love to plant, dig, compost, recycle, and be a part of anything that seems fun that they see adults doing. It’s fun to get creative with kids and think of ways to do things differently to help the Earth.

earth day activities for adults ideal home garden

The History Of Earth Day

Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson’s idea for Earth Day was to create an event for environmental activism and enlighten everyone on the idea of widespread support for environmental issues. Nelson’s plan was so successful that it inspired grassroots support for environmental legislation including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act and the need to protect wilderness areas in the U.S. In fact, it was only three years later after Nelson’s Earth Day celebration on April 22, 1970 that the Environmental Protection Agency was created.

Earthday.org has a campaign called One Billion Acts of Green, asking people, businesses and governments to record their acts of kindness toward the earth. No matter how you reduce carbon emissions – whether just in your home or in a big company, millions of acts have been recorded and they want to reach one billion.

Go online and you will be inspired by the myriad of ways people have gotten involved to save the Earth, and make sure you log onto Earthday.org and share your contributions!

11 Dirty Things to Do On Earth Day

May 1st, 2014 | Comments Off on 11 Dirty Things to Do On Earth Day | Posted in Lifestyle

Planting a Tree

Happy Earth Day! In honor of Mama Earth, ditch the idea of simply wearing green or decorating a cake that looks like a globe. The real change is gonna require you to get messy. Try these activities that will dirty your hands (and maybe more).

  1. Tear up your schoolyard and plant a garden. Growing vegetables and fruit locally will reduce the fuel used to ship produce from foreign countries.
  2. Take a walk on a nature trail and bring a younger sibling with you (or go with your BFF and their bro or sis if you’re an only child). According to a study from the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, one-third of children spend less than an hour being active outdoors.
  3. Get your hands in the dirt and plant a tree. Trees soak up the carbon dioxide that we humans love to emit.
  4. Get rid of weeds the old-fashioned way – with your hands. Weed-killing sprays release harmful chemicals into the ecosystem.
  5. Find a marker or pen and draw the recycling symbol plus a stat about the environment on your body. This “temporary tattoo” is sure to draw awareness around Earth Day.
  6. Host a scavenger hunt and clean up litter in a public space. Teams can compete to find the most litter, giving different point values to plastic, metal, and other items.
  7. Clean out the dusty attic and donate the items. Instead of throwing unwanted possessions away, donate your books, clothes, and electronics to help those in need.
  8. Invite friends to walk to school and take a route off of the sidewalk (if you’re able). Travel through the woods, field or some other unpaved place.
  9. Grab a hammer and build a bird house. Help preserve the bird population in your own backyard by hanging it on a nearby tree branch.
  10. Cut your shower time in half and encourage water conservation. If you’re feeling really adventurous skip the shower all together. Just make sure to remember the deodorant.
  11. Carpool. You get extra time with your friends and you’re helping the environment.

Living an Eco-Friendly Lifestyle On a Budget

May 1st, 2014 | Comments Off on Living an Eco-Friendly Lifestyle On a Budget | Posted in Lifestyle

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Combating a number of medical problems, including chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and severe reactions to chemicals and artificial products, Kimberly Button decided to adopt eco-friendly living habits in 2001, which not only improved her health but also paid off financially. She started using natural cleaners like vinegar and baking soda, which meant no harmful chemicals and no fragrance residues. She also gave up sodas and prepared drinks and began drinking only water.

A lot has changed in the 12 years since Button, a freelance journalist based in an Orlando, Fla., and author of “The Everything Guide to a Healthy Home,” modified her lifestyle. Over the past decade, enhanced technology and growing consumer demand for natural products and organic foods have transformed the way many U.S. manufacturers do business. Even the razor business has gone green: Schick, for example, now sells a $10 “intuition naturals sensitive care razor,” with a shaving solid that’s made from natural Aloe and Vitamin E. The product’s packaging is manufactured with no artificial colors and is 100 percent recyclable.

As Richard Kujawski, managing editor of LivingGreenMag.com, puts it, “Living green has turned the corner from a fad or a vestige of the hippy days.”

Still, Brian Keane, author of “Green Is Good: Save Money, Make Money, and Help Your Community Profit From Clean Energy,” says some people worry about the costs associated with sustainable living. But he says many homeowners don’t realize how much energy and money they can save just by reducing “phantom load” – the energy an appliance or electronic device uses even when it’s turned off. According to Cornell University, leaving items such as televisions, cell phone chargers, microwaves and coffee makers plugged in year-round can add around $200 to your annual energy bill.

Aside from switching off appliances, there are plenty of green consumer behaviors that don’t require large financial sacrifices. Here are some easy, effective ways to live an eco-friendly lifestyle without wrecking your budget:

Shop smart for fruits and veggies. Some foods are worth buying organic. Fruits and vegetables such as apples, grapes, potatoes, spinach and cucumbers are on the Environmental Working Group’s 2013 “dirty dozen” list – meaning, according to the environmental health research and advocacy organization, they’re high in pesticide residues. As such, buying those items organic may be better for your health. The EWG’s “clean fifteen” list contains produce that’s generally safe to purchase without shelling out extra for organic, including onions, mushrooms, pineapples, sweet potatoes and mangos.

Renée Loux, an eco-advisor for spas, restaurants and hotels and host of the television show “It’s Easy Being Green,” says more retail chains like Safeway are producing organic items in-house, offering an alternative to pricey organic brand names. (According to the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada, organic fruits and vegetables can cost anywhere from 10 percent to 174 percent more than conventional produce.)

Grow your own food. If buying organic foods isn’t financially feasible, try out your green thumb. Growing your own produce can help cut costs, but setting up and maintaining a garden takes work. Be prepared to devote time to preparing the soil, irrigating and fertilizing your crops and dealing with pests. Such labor can prove costly for some if it eats up too much time.

If you decide to grow your own produce, also keep in mind what fruits and vegetables are suitable for your climate. Button says growing cold-weather crops like broccoli in Florida, for example, isn’t good for water conservation, as they’ll require watering twice a day.

Farmers markets may be a reasonably priced option if you don’t want to get your hands dirty.

Don’t be wasteful when eating out. Going green doesn’t have to mean giving up meals at your favorite restaurants, but Button says there are several eco-friendly practices to follow when eating out. Bring Tupperware to take home leftovers, as Styrofoam boxes are difficult to recycle. Tell your server ahead of time if you’re not going to eat a side dish that comes with your meal, so the food doesn’t go to waste. And one of the easiest behaviors to change: If you’re going to leave the restaurant shortly, don’t let the server refill your water glass.

Replace old appliances. Lowering your utility bills also conserves energy, making it a win-win for your finances and the environment. In fact, a number of utility companies offer customers rebates for saving energy. When Diane MacEachern, author of “Big Green Purse: Use Your Spending Power to Create a Cleaner, Greener World,” bought an energy-efficient refrigerator, she received $100 from Pepco, and the utility company gave her $50 for recycling her old refrigerator.

EnergyStar.gov provides information on what appliances are the most energy-efficient.

Lease solar panels. While solar panels are the gold standard, most consumers simply can’t afford the technology. For a typical three-bedroom home, installing a medium-sized 4-kilowatt system can cost upwards of $25,000 to $30,000, based on 2012 data from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association.

However, there are a number of national solar leasing companies such as SolarCity.com, Sungevity.com and SunRunHome.com. “A homeowner can get the benefit of solar panels and lower utility bills immediately without having to lay out all that capital,” Loux says. For the average three-bedroom home, leasing solar panels costs around $100 to $300 a month. (Many companies don’t charge a down payment.) According to SolarCity.com, for a typical three-bedroom home with a current electricity bill of $200 per month, installing a 4-kilowatt solar system will generate enough electricity to reduce the bill to an estimated $60 per month.

Patch minor damage. A poorly insulated home requires more air conditioning in the summer and, naturally, more heat in the winter. Loux says this can be a major problem in older homes that are less energy-efficient than homes built in the last 10 to 20 years.

Two of the biggest culprits are gaps and cracks, which expand over time. Low-cost calks, sealants and repairs can make your home more insulated and save you hundreds in utility costs each month.

Control your home’s temperature. Another way to reduce energy costs is by installing a programmable thermostat, which costs as low as $40. You can program the device so, say, the in-house temperature is higher when you’re at work, then cools down when you’re at home. Some devices let you set different temperatures for specific rooms.

Change the lights. Installing energy-efficient lighting like LED bulbs throughout your home is also a way to save money. “I have [energy-efficient] light bulbs in my house that I haven’t changed in 10 years,” MacEachern says. “It’s a no-brainer.” LED bulbs last up to 10 times as long as compact fluorescents and significantly longer than typical incandescents. They also only use 2 to 17 watts of electricity – a fraction of what incandescents or CFLs need – meaning with LEDs, you save money on both energy and replacement costs.

Pinpoint areas in your home for improvement. For specific tips on how to make your home more eco-friendly, consider getting an energy audit. You can pay an energy professional to inspect your home and identify ways to make the property more energy-efficient. (Some utility companies offer free home energy audits.)

Reuse materials. When doing home renovations, you can often recycle old materials. If you’re doing a kitchen remodel and replacing the cabinetry, for example, rather than disposing of the old cabinets, consider installing them in your garage for extra storage space. If you’re putting new tile in the laundry room, use the old tiles as a walkway outside.

Homeowners planning to renovate can visit their local Habitat for Humanity ReStore, a nonprofit store and donation center that sells new and gently used building materials at a fraction of the retail price. You can find your nearest ReStore outlet at habitat.org/restores.

Burn less fuel. Driving a fuel-efficient car is the best way to save money on gas, but it’s also a quick way to drain your bank account. If you can’t afford a green vehicle, you can still make small lifestyle changes. “Fundamentally, the most eco-friendly car you can get is the one you have and to just drive it less,” Loux says.

If you’re running errands within a short vicinity, park your car at one place and walk to the nearby locations. Since heavier cars burn gas quicker, removing excess weight from your vehicle will reduce your visits to the pump. You can also improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent by keeping your tires properly inflated, according to FuelEconomy.gov.

When renting a car, depending on how far you’re driving, it may be worth paying extra for a hybrid. Go to FuelEconomy.gov if you’re trying to determine the best fuel-efficient rental car on the lot.

The bottom line. By taking steps to improve your home’s energy efficiency, conserve gas and waste less food, you can do the environment – and your wallet – a favor.