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Laraiso and Szpaicher honored with Alfred State alumni awards

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Joseph Laraiso, Dr. Steven Mauro, and Madison Szpaicher prior to the start of the Honors Convocation.

                ALFRED, NY, May 2, 2022 – Alfred State alum Joseph Laraiso ’67 and Madison Szpaicher ’17 have been honored for brining distinction to their alma mater and to themselves through their outstanding personal and professional achievements.

Laraiso was named the 2022 Alfred State Distinguished Alumni while Szpaicher was named the 2022 Alfred State Outstanding Young Alumni Award Winner. The pair was honored at the college’s Honors Convocation.

Joseph Laraiso – 2022 Alfred State Distinguished Alumni

A successful engineer, business owner, philanthropist, and decorated veteran, Joseph (Joe) Laraiso is an example of the best of our Alfred State College alumni.

Laraiso enrolled in the mechanical engineering technology program at Alfred State in 1965. That decision and his time at ASC created a solid base for a long and remarkable career in the construction industry.

After graduating from Alfred State in 1967, he served in Vietnam, where he earned the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V for valor while under intense enemy fire, along with other citations. He earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Buffalo after returning from the military.

Following graduation from Buffalo, Laraiso began a 40-year career working with ABC Paving and their affiliate companies. He climbed all the way to the president position before retiring from the company in 2014. Retirement did not last long as he joined a couple of former employees, formed M&C Utilities, LLC, and became one of the owners. M&C, a company of forty-four employees, primarily performs underground maintenance and installation of underground utilities for various utility companies in Western New York.

Thankful for the strong foundation that Alfred State provided him and ensuring that other Pioneers can find their path, Laraiso has been a loyal supporter of the college. He is a Development Fund Board member and is a Major Gifts Campaign donor. Recently, he established the Skip Sullivan special needs fund and is renovating the Construction and Geomatics Lab. The special needs fund helps students who have emergency needs while the renovated lab will improve the group-work environment in a technologically advanced and modern setting.

“My fondest memory of Alfred was the friendships made and the sincere effort made by the instructors to instill in us the importance of learning. They established a base for moving forward with our education.”

Madison Szpaicher – 2022 Alfred State Outstanding Young Alumni Award Winner

Madison Szpaicher has been able to combine her passion for sports and her desire to help others. Since 2019, she has helped families in Western New York battling childhood cancer. For her efforts, she is the 2022 Alfred State Outstanding Young Alumni Award recipient.

Szpaicher, a 2017 sport management graduate, was a Volleyball USCAA All-American and a member of three consecutive teams that played in the USCAA National Championships. She was also a part of the planning for the programs annual breast cancer game Pink Pride.

She joined P.U.N.T. Pediatric Cancer Collaborative in 2019 as the program and event coordinator before receiving a promotion to assistant director in July of 2021. Her organization financially and emotionally assist Western New York families facing a pediatric cancer diagnosis. They work hand and glove with the psycho/social teams at Oishei Children’s Hospital, Roswell Park, and Essential Care.

Szpaicher and her family also run an annual golf tournament in honor of her late father that has awarded over $45,000 in scholarships to her alma mater Ellicottville Central School.

“My four years provided me with a foundation to launch my career into the sport business world. It taught me that this business realm is ever changing, to think creatively and problem solve, and that networking is key.”

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