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Keuka College News

Keuka’s Athletic Trainers are Experienced Experts

Jeff Bray (l), Gabrielle Lorusso, and Phil Rahr provide Keuka College's student-athletes all phases of preventive training, care and injury rehabilitation for all intercollegiate sports at the College.

When Keuka College’s student-athletes come to campus as freshmen, they hope to enjoy productive and healthy collegiate careers that include plenty of wins on the field, and success in the classroom.

They also hope to remain healthy as they practice and suit up for the Wolfpack’s 18 intercollegiate sports teams.

While a student-athlete can’t predict when or if they will need the services of an athletic trainer, Keuka College student-athletes are supported by an athletic training staff that includes three National Athletic Trainers’ Association (N.A.T.A.)-certified athletic trainers who collaborate with physicians and other allied health care professionals to provide the best possible medical care.

The athletic training staff administers all phases of preventive training, care and injury rehabilitation for all intercollegiate sports at the College.

Jeff Bray has served as Keuka’s head athletic trainer since July of 1992, while Gabrielle Lorusso has been an assistant athletic trainer since December, 2012, and Phil Rahr was hired as an assistant athletic trainer in August of 2014.

Combined, Keuka’s three athletic trainers possess more than 36 years of experience in athletic training. Their experiences range from secondary school to Division I NCAA athletics to the National Football League.

“Our staff challenges each other to continually improve and gain knowledge of the latest trends in athletic training,” said Bray, adding that each staffer pays attention to the latest trends in sports medicine and has attended recent seminars on the importance of properly diagnosing and treating concussions and concussion-like symptoms.

“Each staff member is committed to treating each student-athlete as an individual, and we work as a unit to develop and oversee a sports medicine program that focuses on the overall well-being of our student-athletes.”

Bray has taped thousands of student-athletes and professional athletes during a career that, among other stops, has seen him work the sidelines of NFL games with the Philadelphia Eagles, alongside pit crews for assorted auto racing events across the world, and behind the bucking chutes at top-flight bull riding competitions.

A native of Sterling, Kansas, Bray earned his bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University (’87) and obtained his master’s degree in education from Boise State University (’90). Bray is a certified athletic trainer who has been certified by the Board of Certification. He is also registered with the New York State Department of Education and is a member of both N.A.T.A. and the New York State Athletic Trainers Association (N.Y.S.A.T.A.).

Both Lorusso and Rahr bring a tremendous skill set with rehabilitation techniques and the ability to relate to the student-athletes. 

Lorusso has been certified by the Board of Certification, and she is also registered with the New York State Department of Education and is a member of both the N.A.T.A. and N.Y.S.A.T.A. Lorusso attended Daemen College and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in health care studies (’11). She also earned her master’s degree in athletic training.

Rahr, who graduated from Keuka College in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in biology, is a certified athletic trainer who has been certified by the Board of Certification.

Rahr received his master’s degree in athletic training from Shenandoah (Va.) University. In both 2011 and 2012, Rahr traveled with and was a trainer for the under-18 boys teams that captured gold medals at the USA Hockey national championships.

For the latest stories, schedules and results from Keuka athletics, visit, go to the Keuka Athletics Facebook page,, and like us on Instagram and Twitter @KeukaAthletics.

Keuka College to Raise $125,000 on Inaugural Day of Giving 1/25

Keuka College has been shining on Keuka Lake for 125 years, drawing students from across the county, region, state, country, and internationally. From the beginning, the College has been committed to providing students the benefit of an education at a reasonable cost.

Each year Keuka College awards more than $11 million in grants and scholarships and is able to assist more than 98 percent of students with the cost of their college education. In addition to the standard federal and state programs available to most students, Keuka College offers grants and many guaranteed scholarships.

Keuka College has never been more committed to the education of its students, and providing the opportunity for them to explore, define, and prepare for their future. Likewise, the College’s tradition of service has never been stronger. Keuka College students, faculty, and staff performed more than 74,550 hours of community service in 2014 alone.

Such accomplishments do not occur in a vacuum. It is only because of generous donations that Keuka College is able to make its innovative, private education affordable.

To that end, Keuka College has established a Day of Giving Challenge set for Sunday, Jan. 25 at 1:25 p.m. It goes through Monday, Jan. 26 at 11:59 p.m. The Day of Giving is an innovative online fundraising initiative to celebrate Keuka College’s 125th anniversary by raising $125,000 in one day.

The primary goal of this event is to collect money for the Keuka College annual fund, which is used to bridge the gap between tuition and operating expenses and helps ensure our students have the best educational experience possible. This is also an opportunity to boost participation in a collective effort and to showcase that we Believe in What We Can Do Together.

Whether you have been giving to Keuka College’s Keuka Fund for 40 years or you just made a first-time financial contribution, every dollar counts— regardless of amount. Board of Trustees members Kay Meisch ’58 and Barbara Allardice ’61 will match dollar for dollar until we reach our goal—up to $125,000.

We can’t do this without you.

Help ensure the continued success of Keuka College and its students, make your donation online at, call (315) 279-5262, or email

Keuka College Establishes a VITA Tax Center

Stacey Mirinaviciene

Keuka College is an IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) center for the 2014 tax season.

Stacey Mirinaviciene, assistant professor of accounting and certified public accountant, is in charge of the College’s program.

“There are no VITA centers in Yates County, so I applied for the center and was approved,” said Mirinaviciene. “We plan for the center to be open every tax season.”

According to Mirinaviciene, the Keuka College VITA center will prepare tax returns for individuals with earning less than $60,000 a year. The IRS provided computers, software and printers, training materials and all of the forms.

“Open to all Yates County residents, the Keuka College VITA program is a free service completed by IRS-certified volunteers,” said Mirinaviciene. “We will accept taxpayers by appointment beginning Sunday, Feb. 1. We can also come to taxpayers’ homes if they are disabled.”

According to Mirinaviciene, this program was created by the IRS and New York State to “help individuals with tax preparation so they can have it done for free. We have four or five volunteers right now, but we plan to have more. All volunteers must have completed their certification exams and will be supervised by representatives from the IRS.”

With her own full service accounting practice, Mirinaviciene is experienced in audits, tax, and business consulting. She has more than 20 years of experience in both international and national business financial management, and is a member of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), the New York State Society of CPAs (NYSCPA).

Located on the third floor of the Keuka Business Park building in Penn Yan, returns will be immediate and submitted electronically. To make an appointment, call Mirinaviciene at (315) 279-5451.

Athletics Department Receives National Honor

For selfless actions and service following floods that devastated community neighbors in May, the Keuka College athletics department was honored Saturday afternoon as one of three institutions to earn a national community service award from the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators (NADIIIAA)/Jostens.

Comprised of athletics administrators from the nearly 450 institutions and 43 conferences competing at the NCAA Division III level, the NADIIIAA recognizes select institutions for impressive community service projects performed by its student-athletes during the 2013-14 academic year. For volunteer efforts during the days following torrential May downpours & flooding that devastated the neighboring Penn Yan community, student-athletes, coaches and administrators within the Keuka College athletics department received the community service award in the NADIIIAA’s one-time project category.

Both the village of Penn Yan and nearby Branchport saw anywhere between five and nine inches of rain fall during the storms. In the wake of the devastation, roadways were flooded, houses and businesses destroyed, leaving residents and business owners with the huge chore of rebuilding their lives.

As part of a coordinated relief effort led by the Rev. Eric Detar, the college chaplain, the Keuka College community came together, taking to the streets to help start the tedious task of cleanup following the storm. During the middle of their preparations for finals, more than 250 Keuka College students, plus several staff and faculty members, boarded busses bound for Penn Yan, intent on helping their neighbors in need in any way possible. These students—many of them student-athletes—spent the better part of three days removing debris from flooded basements and other low-lying storage areas hit hard along downtown Penn Yan. Student-athletes also chose to cancel their annual awards banquet and instead send the food, water and snacks reserved for it to community volunteers instead.

Keuka College athletics was awarded a commemorative trophy highlighting the one-time project honor, and the NADIIIAA and Jostens will make a $1,000 contribution to the general scholarship fund at Keuka College.

McGuigan accepts the trophy on behalf of Keuka College athletics.

Molly McGuigan ’11, the current adventure program manager and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (S.A.A.C.) co-advisor, received the award on behalf of the Wolfpack’s athletics department. The awards were given out during the NADIIIAA Reception at the NCAA Convention in National Harbor, Md. before one hundred athletic directors, conference commissioners, school presidents and other Division III staff members.

“When we were helping with the cleanup efforts, we certainly weren’t doing it to win a national award,” said McGuigan. “When we were in Penn Yan assisting with the cleanup, it just felt great seeing how our students, faculty and staff dropped everything and ran out to help their community. It was just a natural reaction for us to go and help those in need, and to get this recognition only added to the level of pride I felt about how we reacted to the flooding.”

Keuka College was recognized by NADIIIAA alongside two other schools: Moravian College, which won in the category for an array of projects, and Oswego State, for the ongoing projects category.

Community service has long been a hallmark of Keuka College, with numerous clubs and groups conducting service projects and fundraisers throughout the academic year. The College also hosts an annual county­wide day of service, in conjunction with the Yates County Chamber of Commerce, known as Celebrate Service … Celebrate Yates (CSCY).

This strong focus on community service has helped earn the College a spot on the U.S. President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the past eight years.

“Keuka College is known for its experiential-based learning method, and the emphasis we put on community service within that experiential education. Winning a national award of this nature just solidifies and gives further credence to this component of a Keuka education,” said Dave Sweet, who is in his 30th year as Keuka College’s athletic director.

“To have other athletic directors recognize our student-athletes, coaches and staff for their efforts in assisting our neighbors during their time of need is a huge honor.”

Torrential storms in May led to major flood damage for many portions of the Penn Yan community, destroying many homes and crippling businesses.

The storms occurred as the members of Keuka’s intercollegiate sports teams were preparing to celebrate their assorted accomplishments from 2013-14 at the annual athletics awards ceremony.

Recognizing the need to step up and help out their neighbors, the student-athletes approached Sweet with an idea: rather than celebrate their own accomplishments, the student-athletes opted to forgo their awards banquet and instead, contribute to the relief efforts. The food, water and snacks that normally would be consumed during the awards ceremony were donated to volunteers who were aiding in the cleanup efforts.

Among the places where volunteer workers came to the aid of those in need were: the Calvary Chapel of Penn Yan, Deano’s Outdoors store, and the Penn Yan Diner, where some nine feet of water had rushed through the basement. Student-athletes who made an impact all spoke of lessons learned through service to others.

Then-sophomores Ally Muller (Bath, N.Y./Haverling) and Liz Warren (Elmira Heights, N.Y./Thomas A. Edison), members of the Keuka softball team, helped a resident remove layers of mud from the basement of her Penn Yan home and cleaned up at both the Wagner Restaurant and Longs’ Cards and Books. According to Muller, people were “extremely appreciative” to receive help.

“They were going through a very stressful moment in their lives, and for people to come help, it showed that we cared while helping these people deal with the emotional toll of the storm,” Muller said. “It was a time for us all to come together and rebuild the town.”

“I went down there because as a human that’s what we’re supposed to do: help each other whenever we can,” said Thad Phillips, Keuka College’s men’s basketball coach.

“Our community — my community — needed help. I was lucky our house had little damage and effects from the storm and flooding, but others I know weren’t so fortunate.”

Phillips went into town with student-athletes Joe Tortolon (Dundee, N.Y./Dundee), Casey Williams (Syracuse, N.Y./Jamesville-DeWitt) and Vinney Zambito (Elba, N.Y./Batavia Notre Dame) to lend a hand.

Phillips, left, and some of his men's basketball team members, helped in the cleanup.

They helped clean up at the CrossFit location, which had experienced heavy water damage. As much as 10 feet of water came in and left a thick mud coat covering most of the interior of the building. The basketball student-athletes and their coaches also helped remove equipment from the Sampson Theatre.

“It’s always great when our teams win on the field of play. But when they take the values you’re trying to teach to them on the field, and they apply that to their everyday lives, that is truly special, and that’s what everyone did with the cleanup efforts,” Sweet said. “They put others before themselves, and that lesson is one of the things that makes Keuka College such a special place.”

The NADIIIAA/Jostens Community Service awards program was established in 2001 to recognize the many contributions Division III student-athletes regularly make to their campuses and local communities.

 “The efforts and selflessness of Keuka College’s student-athletes certainly made an impact on the committee,” said Danielle Drews, director of athletics at The Sage Colleges who chaired the selection committee that reviewed the nominations.

For the latest stories, schedules and results from Keuka athletics, visit, go to the Keuka Athletics Facebook page,, and like us on Instagram and Twitter @KeukaAthletics.


London Calling

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of features on recipients who received Field Period™ scholarships. Junior Emily Michienzi received a Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Award. The award, named after the late 1963 Keuka graduate, is supported by Brown’s family and the Class of ’63. It is designed to assist students who pursue a culturally-oriented Field Period™.

From a young age, junior Emily Michienzi’s mother instilled in her a desire to see the world and expand her horizons. That is why she has always believed that travel is one of the greatest forms of education.

And the Lake Pleasant resident will get the chance to do both as she travels to London during her January Field Period™. Michienzi intends to learn about the social problems plaguing England’s capital city as a participant in Comparative Social Issues, a sociology course offered through Cayuga Community College.

“As a sociology and political science/history major, this trip will greatly enhance my education,” said Michienzi. “In my sociology courses, we often discuss culture. One concept that is foundational in sociology is cultural relativism. This concept is when we see another culture and its practices in its own right, rather than using our culture to judge another’s as right or wrong.”

By traveling to London and experiencing a new culture, Michienzi intends to use cultural relativism “in a more practical manner and then translate that practice into my classroom discussions and other course requirements.”

This trip also appeals to Michienzi’s interest in history.

“America’s history with Great Britain frequently comes up in my class conversations and readings,” she said. “We always compare our government to Great Britain’s since our government was influenced by theirs. One of our day trips in London will be to Downing Street, the British seat of government. I will be able to see their government up close and learn, while on site, more about their government. By seeing this, I will be able to understand how our government is similar and different from Britain’s and then share that knowledge in my classes.”

In addition to visiting Downing Street, Michienzi intends to visit the British Museum, Parliament, and Windsor Castle, among other sites.

“These sites will show us not only the history of one of the world’s super powers, but also the culture and issues the country has faced over time,” she said. “From Britain’s era of serfdom to their current struggle as a world power, we will learn how Britain has changed and impacted the lives of its citizens and the world.”

Added Michienzi: “This trip is a once in a lifetime opportunity that will change the way I think, and understand the world and my classes here at Keuka College.”