Keuka College’s Spotlight Series will continue Tuesday, April 7 with a poetry reading by Michael Jennings.
The reading, free and open to the public, begins at 7 p.m. in the Gannett Room of Lightner Library.
Jennings is the author of eight books of poetry, most recently River Time and Bone-Songs and Sanctuaries: New and Selected Poems.
Born in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Jennings grew up in east Texas and the deserts of Iran. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and was a Fellow in Creative Writing at Syracuse University. He is also an internationally recognized breeder and judge of Siberian Huskies and the author of three books on the breed that are recognized as definitive.
Jennings began writing poems as a way to recapture the Iranian landscape of his childhood and early youth, resulting in a chronicle of a soul’s interaction with the spirits of place, what he calls inner and outer weather.
“My poems are ritual soundings, in the ancient oral tradition, for the bones and colors of experience, which is to say, they are written to be heard—sound paintings, sounded-out stories, and sometimes songs,” said Jennings.
At age 19, Jennings visited the Picasso Retrospective in Paris and was intrigued by his different periods displayed in different rooms. Jennings believes various sections of Bone-Songs and Sanctuaries, are roughly equivalent to different “rooms,” not necessarily chronological but psychically ordered into a kind of plot or journey.
Said Jennings: “I have recorded this rather long work in large part because I believe that the sound in the air is essential to the authentic form of a poem, the ‘body’ that is breath and timing and the movement of the tongue.”
In answer to the age-old question ‘what did you do on your spring break?’ a group of Keuka College students will not reply with an answer you’d expect them too.
That’s because these students traded bathing suits for paint brushes, flip flops for feather dusters, and sunscreen for visiting orphans and senior citizens as part of the College’s sixth annual Alternative Spring Break.
Alternative Spring Break provides students an opportunity to give to others as well as experience personal reflection, growth, and fun along the way. The annual Alternative Spring Break trip serves as a tool for letting Keuka College students become more familiar with the world, introduce them to experiences they have never had, and exemplify the College’s vision and mission.
This group of Keuka College students traveled to Quesada, Costa Rica March 19-26, and while the temperatures average 86 degrees in March, the students are not working on their suntans; they were simply working—hard.
Hosted by Mary Curtiss Miller ’49 and her husband Ralph, and led by Rev. Eric Detar, Keuka College chaplain and director of the Center for Spiritual Life, and Tim White, assistant director of residential life and director of the Success Advocates. The Millers have been missionaries in Costa Rica for more than 50 years.
“This is our second trip seeing the beautiful country of Costa Rica,” said Detar. “We will spend time at an orphanage and a senior living center, clean and paint at a Christian school, and attend a worship service in Spanish. Costa Rica is very refreshing; yet personally and spiritually challenging.”
Junior Kathryn Standinger, an occupational science major from Candor, and Sean Boutin, a senior criminology major from Purling, agree.
Standinger hopes to experience a culture “that is different from our own in so many ways,” while Boutin views this trip as having the ability “to learn about religious beliefs that may be dissimilar to my own.”
“I see this trip challenging me spiritually,” added Standinger, “because it’s going to require a lot of hard work and patience, and it may be harder to communicate with the people who we will be working with. But I’m really looking forward to it.”
For junior Emily Scholl, an occupational science major from Saugerties, the trip provides the chance to “experience meaningful connections, learn from one another, and learn more about myself through our service work in Costa Rica” that she looks most forward to. “I hope to further identify and explore the spiritual aspects throughout what we do.”
Emily Pidgeon, who went on the Alternative Spring Break trip last year, is excited to see the changes in the boys living at the orphanage.
“I think the biggest challenge will be saying goodbye at the end of the trip, knowing that I am graduating and this opportunity may not arise again,” said the senior social work major from Onenota.
Freshman JuneAnn Chadima, a Grand Island resident and occupational science major, is anxious to “offer my service to people that need us. I think the language difference is going to be challenging, but I am excited for this trip. I can’t wait to help other people and see what it is like in a different part of the world.”
While the students will not be tourists, they will be able to explore the country through activities such as speeding down a zip line, going horseback riding, and swimming in the hot springs of Arenal Volcano.
Other students participating include: Caitlin Jones, a junior clinical science major from Weedsport; Scott Thielman, a senior sociology major from Amherst; Megan Hall, a junior exploratory major from Scottsville; Roland Trajano, a sophomore occupational science major from Westlake Village, Calif.; and Francisco Rodriguez, a senior sociology major from New York City. Xang Song Yang, international student advisor, also participated in the trip.
First came the stories. A year ago, fifth-graders in the Penn Yan Elementary School classroom of Terry Test ’73 met three times for interviews with Keuka College “authors” in the introductory English course “Literature in the Wider World” to craft stories from the perspective of each child. Now, colorful images bring an extra punch to the words on each page.
The project, dubbed “Who is Penn Yan?” was the brainchild of Associate Professor of English and Chair of the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts, Dr. Jennie Joiner. The goal was to provide both college and elementary students with a hands-on learning experience in story development and characterization.
Rather than an exercise in creative writing, the assignment emphasizes “the power of story,” Joiner said. “It’s catered to the child, and goes back to the narrative form and what it means to take someone’s story in your own hands and be responsible for it.”
This year, the collaboration took on new dimensions with the addition of an illustration component, provided by students in the book illustration course taught by Melissa Newcomb, assistant professor of art and design. A group of college artists were assigned to produce illustrations spanning a wide range of artistic styles and mediums.
Both the stories and illustrations came together over several weeks during the fall semester. College artists met first with each child, to discuss what they had in mind. The fifth-graders borrowed books from the library to use as examples of styles they liked. The College author teams then spent three weeks meeting with fifth-graders at the elementary school to hear how the children envisioned their stories unfolding, jotting down notes each time to take back and work into drafts in progress. College artists then collaborated with authors to determine what key story element to illustrate for each one.
According to Test, the Keuka College students made quite an impression on her class.
“To have fifth-graders see a college student sit down and write and take notes—well, this year’s class was impressed. They mentioned it after the first day and I see much better note-taking than there was before,” she said, adding that she was also seeing improvements in their writing too, particularly in response to literature.
And it’s not just the tangible improvements that have Test thrilled.
“They see that real people go to college and how it’s do-able. In talking with their authors, they realize they have to get good grades, finish high school, and they have to plan for it,” she said.
Just before Thanksgiving break, College authors brought near-finished drafts of each fifth-grader’s story to the school to read them aloud and gather any additional feedback. More than a few were waiting with bated breath. Take Elysia Robbins ‘18, for example, who teamed with “Jack” on a story about his character facing football tryouts.
“I was really nervous coming here this morning, but this is so rewarding!” Robbins said after hearing Jack rave over the results. “Coming down here is such a unique experience.”
In another corner of the room, “Tiffanie” listened to Katie Crossley ‘16 read through the story of her character’s experience fast-forwarding through life with a magic remote control.
“I kind of like the end more,” Tiffanie explained. “My character finally realized she didn’t need to live in the past. She can live in the now.”
At another table, Ian Ault ‘17, an adult student, sat with “Johnny,” reviewing a detailed tale of Johnny’s exploits as a superhero known as Lizard Ninja. As far as Ault was concerned, far more than mere fantasy happened in the tale.
“It’s a matter of taking a concept, such as good versus evil, and recreating how you view it, and with kids, they make up a story and that’s how they decide what decisions they’ll make,” Ault said. “For some, like Johnny, you create the story and the concepts, and that’s how you learn.”
Similar revelations unfolded when the artists returned to the elementary school on December 1, visiting Test’s classroom to unveil final paintings, drawings or multimedia works to each child.
“It was challenging, because it wasn’t just my fifth-grader’s vision, but it had to fit the author’s vision too,” said Courtney Knauber ’17, who illustrated two different stories of a dog named Pug-Popo for “Christy.”
According to Prof. Newcomb, creating different pieces in different styles and mediums for each child stretched her art students outside their comfort zones, and provided personal experience in working with a “client” just as they could encounter as a professional.
The sustained interaction with Keuka College students was maturing Test’s classroom in new ways too, she said.
“You had 17 ten-year-olds discussing art for 40 minutes in hushed, gallery tones,” said Test.
Back at campus, College authors made final revisions to each “Who is Penn Yan?” story, turning them in to Joiner as part of the final project for her English course. Then over winter break, artist Jesse Ninos combined all of the elements into the second volume of the “Who is Penn Yan?” collector’s book for his senior Field Period™. The finished books rolled off the press just days before Test’s entire class made a special visit to Lightner Library where the new College mascot, Kacey, waited with Joiner, Newcomb and their students to celebrate the book’s release.
Flanked by special guests from the Keuka College Executive Alumni Association, which co-sponsored the field trip for the fifth-graders to come to campus, the Wolfpack mascot gave each child a hug before handing him or her their book.
“Beautiful job, you guys,” Dr. Paul Forestell, provost and vice president for academic affairs, told the fifth-graders as he got a first glimpse of the special edition and praised them for sharing their great ideas.
“What’s really interesting is to realize how much you as fifth-graders have taught our College students, and other way around. That’s a really important learning adventure, so thank you for being willing to join us and share it so well,” Forestell said.
Speaking above the laughter and excitement of her class as they downed cookies and punch, Test added her thanks to each Keuka College student for “the amount of time you invested into 10 year-olds.”
“We have a fifth-grade class that now loves writing and it’s an honor to say that,” Test added.
As fifth-graders and college students turned the crisp, new pages of their shared book, exchanging hugs — and autographs—praise for the project continued. Seated next to author Anna Kramer ’18, “Marley” demonstrated how the book flips open in the middle —right to her story.
“Oh, I like it! Two thumbs up!” Marley gushed.
Holding his copy of the work, Ian Ault ‘17 gestured to the schoolchildren beaming smiles.
“The book is cool, but the experience of doing it — you can’t put that on paper. This makes the college experience deeper.”
Geoffrey Rosenberger, charter school proponent and managing member of Lily Pond Ventures LLC, and Steven J. Sasson, 35-year Kodak veteran and inventor of the digital camera, will deliver the 27th Annual Carl and Fanny Fribolin Lecture Friday, May 1 at Keuka College.
Rosenberger will speak from 6:30-7:15 p.m. while Sasson will deliver his remarks from 7:15-8 p.m. in Norton Chapel. It is free and open to the public.
The lecture series carries the names of Geneva resident Carl Fribolin, an emeritus member of the College’s Board of Trustees and recipient of an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in 2004, and his late wife, Fanny.
Rosenberger began his career in 1976 as a security analyst and portfolio manager for Manning & Napier Advisors Inc.
In 1984, he co-founded and was managing director of Clover Capital Management, Inc. until his retirement in 2004. The investment management firm which, subsequent to its 2008 sale to Federated Investors, is now known as Federated Clover Investment Advisors.
Rosenberger earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and an MBA from the University of Kentucky, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), which he received from the CFA Institute, formerly Association for Investment Management & Research (AIMR).
Rosenberger serves on several boards of directors in the Rochester area including the Broadstone Net Lease (REIT), where he also serves as lead independent director; Broadtree Homes; SiMPore Inc.; Vnomics Corp.; True North Rochester Preparatory Charter School; Greater Rochester Health Foundation; Holy Sepulchre Cemetery; and is an advisory board member for the Greater Rochester Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Rosenberger also serves as chair of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Gatton College of Business & Economics at the University of Kentucky. In 1996, Rosenberger was a congressional candidate for New York state’s 28th Congressional District.
Joining Kodak in 1973, Sasson worked as an individual contributor in the Kodak Apparatus Division research laboratories and engaged in a number of early digital imaging projects. Among these was the design and construction of the first digital still camera and playback system, as well as the first mega pixel digital camera utilizing DCT compression that stored images to flash memory cards.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Sasson served in a variety of positions, including development manager of output systems for Kodak’s Professional Products organization, which developed and introduced a number of groundbreaking products—including two families of thermal printers that provided the output engines for large kiosk placements. He also served as the chief engineer on the “Colorease” printer project, which produced Kodak’s first high volume page size thermal printer, and the development manager for the emerging thermal printing platform within Kodak.
In 2001, he transitioned to the position of R&D development manager for the Retail Photofinishing Platform. Three years later, Sasson moved to Corporate Commercial Affairs (CCA) where he served as the project manager for a major intellectual property litigation, and testified at a number of International Trade Commission litigation hearings on behalf of Kodak. He continued to work in the Intellectual Property Transactions (IPT) group at Kodak until his retirement in February 2009.
Sasson graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering. He has been publicized in “Thirty Years of Digital Photography Development at Eastman Kodak Company,” from the Society for Imaging Science and Technology (IS&T) International Symposium on Technologies for Digital Fulfillment in 2007.
He has earned numerous awards including the Eastman Innovation Award; Progress Award from the Photographic Society of America; Visionary Award from the Photographic Manufacturers and Distributors Association; the Economist Magazine Consumer Products Innovation Award; Professional Photographers Association (PPA) Technology Impact Award; George R. Stibitz Computer & Communications Pioneer Award (American Computer Museum); and the Stevens Institute of Technology Honor Award.
Sasson has also received recognition from around the globe, including praise from England’s Royal Photographic Society, earning both the Progress Medal and Hurter and Driffield Lecture Medal. He has also earned the Distinguished Scholar, School of Journalism & Communication from Peking University (China), Culture Award of the Photographic Society of Germany; as well as His Highness Sheikh Salem Al Ali Sabah Informatics Badge of Honor from the State of Kuwait.
Sasson has received honorary degrees from the University of Rochester and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and has been inducted into the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame, the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Hall of Fame, Rochester Institute of Technology Center for Imaging Science Hall of Fame, and the Brooklyn Technical High School Hall of Fame.
He is also the recipient of the Davies Medal for Engineering Achievement (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), Rochester Intellectual Property Law Association Distinguished Inventor of the Year, and earned the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.
Currently, Sasson is an independent intellectual property consultant in the field of digital imaging.
By Victoria Grisdale ’17
KEUKA PARK— Celebrate Service … Celebrate Yates (CSCY) is now less than one month away, and with April 12th fast approaching, area residents are encouraged to sign up soon to participate in this annual service event. Organized by Keuka College and the Yates County Chamber of Commerce, CSCY is the day each year in which volunteers team up across the community on behalf of the county’s non-profit organizations. In the last 17 years, work sites have included youth camps, churches, cemeteries, libraries, fire departments and more.
Last year, a number of Keuka College students in various clubs, organizations, and sports teams —as well as individuals from the communities of Penn Yan, Branchport and Dundee — came out to help rake, clean, paint, and plant whatever was needed at 20 different non-profit work sites across the county.
One of those volunteers, Mike Wainwright ’15 worked alongside classmates Sara Sloan ’15, Haley Jordan ‘15 and Eric Saltrelli ‘15 at the ARC home on Hamilton Street last year and said they helped clean up garden beds and lay sod for spring, receiving a very warm welcome. Wainwright said he has participated every year and it has been a great experience seeing more and more students volunteer each year.
This is a great, supportive community that is always a part of the College, whether it is at sporting events or by hosting Field Period™ students,” he said. “I’m excited to go back this year and put a smile on someone’s face for something as small as fixing the yard where the snowplow scraped it up.”
Wainwright added that in addition to getting out in the community, CSCY provides a good opportunity to “roll up your sleeves and spend time with friends.”
Katie Talbot ‘17, a co-captain on the Keuka College women’s soccer team worked alongside teammates raking and mulching trails in the Teamworks! Adventure Complex on the hill behind the campus.
“It was a rewarding experience that helped bring our community together,” the sophomore said. “I’m looking forward to helping out again this year and spending the day getting to know the community better.”
To that end, volunteers are urged to pre-register online at http://cscy.org by Friday, March 20 to guarantee a free CSCY T-shirt and submit a request for any round-trip transportation needed to work sites on the day of the event. While walk-in volunteers will still be accepted the day of the event, March 20 is the cutoff to reserve transportation and guarantee an event T-shirt.
One of the sponsors of the event, AVI Fresh, will provide a free lunch in the Geiser Refectory in Dahlstrom Student Center between 11 a.m. and 12:50 p.m. for all volunteers checking in to receive work assignments the day of the event. The kickoff ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. and will include Keuka College’s new mascot, Kacey the Wolf.
Students in the Penn Yan Central School District will be receiving brochures to take home to their families to encourage participation, thanks to the generous support of school district leaders and the ARC of Yates print shop, which donated printing services to help spread the word.
Elsewhere in the community, the Ferro corporation has issued a “corporate challenge” to other area businesses to empower teams of company employees to volunteer during the event this year. Ferro is recruiting its own company team of volunteers for CSCY and is urging other businesses to do the same. In prior years, teams from the Eaves Dental Group, the District Attorney’s Office and others have participated on behalf of local companies to support the county-wide event.
Non-profit agencies also have until March 20 to submit a request online for volunteer services as a designated work site this year. The form can be accessed online at: http://www.cscy.org/volunteer/become-a-work-site/