Alfred University News

Kevin Earley, Alfred University history major, already publishing articles

Kevin Early
Kevin Early

Kevin Earley, an Alfred University undergraduate ready to begin his fourth year, is a history major with an interest in ice hockey and pop culture. When he took the class Writing History, with Assistant Professor of History Mallory Szymanski, he focused his attention on music and film in the 1980’s that reflect shifting attitudes toward the Cold War.


Kevin Earley, an Alfred University undergraduate ready to begin his fourth year, is a history major with an interest in ice hockey and pop culture. When he took the class Writing History, with Assistant Professor of History Mallory Szymanski, he focused his attention on music and film in the 1980’s that reflect shifting attitudes toward the Cold War.

He also began researching the ups and downs of ice hockey in Elmira, his hometown and host city for the now defunct professional hockey team Elmira Jackals. The result is an essay that was accepted by the Chemung County Historical Society and is available for reading on the Society’s website.

Earley’s hockey article notes the Elmira Jackals formed in 2000, when the United Hockey League awarded Elmira a franchise for professional hockey. At the same time, Elmira had opened First Arena, a multi-purpose sports facility located in the central part of the city. The management and operation of First Arena has been plagued with financial difficulties since its opening. It was eventually taken over by the Chemung County Industrial Development Corporation.

Earley began studying both the history of ice hockey in Elmira, beginning with its 1973 inclusion in the intercollegiate sports program at Elmira College, and summarizing the financial vicissitudes of First Arena. Growing up in Elmira, he had played in local youth hockey organizations; the subject matter was near and dear.

“I’ve been pretty involved in the sport,” he says. “I thought it would be a fun piece to do.”  

A lot of the research involved combing through back issues of the Elmira Star Gazette and the Corning Leader newspapers. Earley also found troves of statistical data maintained by the Elmira College Athletic Department and available on-line.

“I’ve been in love with history since the fourth grade,” he says. “Just kind of studying how far mankind has come in the time we’ve been on this planet.”

Along with ice hockey, he’s happy to talk about movies like Top Gun, Rocky IV, and Red Dawn.