Skip to content

Keuka College News

Jones Wins Scholarship for Adult Students

KEUKA PARK, N.Y.— Juan Jones, an admissions specialist at Corning Community College (CCC) in Corning, was recently named winner of the Joint Presidential Scholarship. This partnered award from Keuka College and CCC provides a full-time CCC employee a tuition-paid degree through Keuka College’s Accelerated Studies for Adults Program (ASAP). Jones is the 6th recipient of this scholarship award, and plans to begin his education this August.

Jones currently holds an A.S. degree in Humanities and Social Science from CCC and plans to further his education with a B.S. in Organizational Management from Keuka College. He first started school at the CCC Elmira campus, which used to house a Head Start program. Since then he has spent more than 20 years working with the local Elmira community. Whether it is volunteering at his local library, helping with the Chemung County Head Start program, or volunteering in the Elmira City School District. Jones looks forward to using the new skills he’ll gain by acquiring a higher education.

Kimberly Morgan, Director of Admissions for ASAP, said that Jones is held in such high regard “it was like he was the mayor,” and at least 20 people came to the ceremony to honor his achievement.

Embodying the ideal of service and giving back, Jones is planning on using the scholarship to better serve his community and said he was “truly honored” to receive it.

President of CCC Dr. Katherine P. Douglas, Recipient Juan Jones, President of Keuka College Dr. Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera

The B.S. in Organizational Management program at Keuka College features an accelerated format; students attend class one night a week and complete their degree requirements in less than two years.

Keuka College offers seven degree programs through ASAP: four bachelor’s degree programs (criminal justice systems, nursing, organizational management, and social work) and three master’s degree programs (criminal justice administration, management, and nursing). Classes are offered at some 20 locations in New York State, including Corning Community College.

For more information on ASAP, contact the Center for Professional Studies at 866-255-3852 or asap.keuka.edu.

Keuka College Earns START-UP NY Initiative Approval


Keuka College was one of four upstate New York colleges to be unanimously approved for a tax-free designation thanks to the START-UP NY initiative.

START-UP NY is an initiative from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo designed to provide major incentives for businesses to relocate, start up, or significantly expand in New York state through affiliations with public and private universities, colleges and community colleges. Businesses will have the opportunity to operate free of state and local taxes- on or near academic campuses, and their employees will pay no state or local personal income taxes. In addition, businesses may qualify for additional incentives.

START-UP NY tax relief is more extensive than what is offered under other similar government programs, such as industrial development agencies. Under START-UP NY, participating companies will not pay any state or local taxes for 10 years, including property, income, business, corporate or sales taxes. Franchise fees are also forgiven.

2,530 square feet of vacant space at Penn Yan’s Keuka Business Park was declared eligible for inclusion in the state’s tax-free START-UP NY program, which links universities and colleges to business growth. Part of the initiative states that of the three million feet of space for private universities, 2.4 million feet must go to campuses upstate.

“This proposal was completed in conjunction with the Finger Lakes Economic Development Center,” said College President Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera, “and now that we have this relationship with START-UP NY, we hope to be able to revise our proposal to include the Keuka Commons once construction is underway. The designation would make it even more appealing for high-tech business from out-of-state and new technology startups to come to the Keuka College campus.”

Preliminary plans call for a 30,000 square foot Keuka Commons building across from the main campus with 4,000 square feet designated as tax-free space. Among other things, the building would house the College’s Center for Business Analytics and Health Informatics.

According to Steve Griffin, CEO of the Finger Lakes Economic Development Center, receiving the initiative is a momentous accomplishment.

“The START-UP NY initiative makes a significant incentive for businesses going forward, and is vitally important to keep us in a competitive environment with the rest of the state,” said Griffin.

“The START-UP NY board has also approved plans from Clarkson University, Columbia University, and the University of Rochester—so we are in extraordinarily good company and among one of the first private institutions to have space approved,” said President Díaz-Herrera.

“The space is small enough to get a business started, but has room for future allocations,” said Griffin. “There are overhead doors to accommodate large machinery. I think it will fill quickly.”

ISIS: From a Protector of Children to Most Feared in the Middle East

By Sander A. Diamond, professor of history

In the Cradle of Civilization, which most remember as the Fertile Crescent, the pantheon of the gods was filled with protectors of the living and the dead. One was the goddess ISIS, who emerged in the Nile Delta and was later found in Greco-Roman civilization. ISIS had many roles; for some the protector of the dead, for others the protector of the downtrodden and children. Today, these gods are long forgotten, sometimes resurrected in college classes on religion or the origins of civilization. However,  ISIS is all over the news and it has nothing to do with her or images of her that can still be seen on Egyptian tomb paintings along the fabled Nile River.

ISIS is associated with terror in modern-day Syria and Iraq. It is a violent and extreme Fundamentalist Sunni Muslim military group, an off-shoot of al-Qaeda that not only wants to erase the borders of Syria and Iraq but also create a transnational caliphate (Islamic state) based on the most strident interpretation of Sunni Islam. In its full name and not the abbreviation, we can understand its intentions and grasp its ultimate goal:  I (Islamic) S (State) of I (Iraq) and S (al-Sham-Syria). Its black-clad cadres carry black flags and conjure up images of the SS on the move. In a well-planned and well-coordinated blitzkrieg assault, ISIS seized much of central and eastern Syria and is now moving through Iraq, its aim to isolate Baghdad and seize the south. It now controls the border crossings with Jordan and Saudi Arabia and many fear these nations are its next targets in keeping with its dream of a Sunni caliphate. It has seized banks, oil facilities, and weapons left behind by the USA for use by the now nearly defunct Iraqi army, including six Blackhawk helicopters and missiles. Overnight, ISIS has replaced Iran as the most feared threat in a region not known for stability.

If ISIS takes Baghdad and manages to consolidate its control over Iraq, the Middle East, as the world has known it for decades, may become a thing of the past. ISIS will have realized bin Laden’s ultimate goal: a major nation of his own to export terrorism and stand at the heart of a revived Sunni caliphate.

However frightening and dismal the situation appears, ISIS may have overreached itself; taking territory is one thing, holding on to it quite another. The Kurds are strong enough to repel an invasion and the Shi’a militias are battle-hardened after years of fighting the Americans. If the militias, working with the rump Iraqi army, arrest the ISIS assault and push them back, Obama may arm the Shi’a militias, our old foe. As a force on the move, ISIS is far from its home base in northern Syria and must loot what it needs to continue.

But ISIS is a very tough opponent; one has to be struck by the speed of its Blitzkrieg assault, picking up countless recruits and armaments along the way. We should be prepared for years of continued chaos filled with extreme brutality in Iraq. The mass murder of 1,700 Iraqi soldiers by the ISIS is a harbinger of what both sides will do to each other.

The United States has no intention of getting involved in a Third Iraqi War. However, if ISIS moves into Jordan and Saudi Arabia, the geopolitical situation in the Middle East will topple and the door will be opened to an assault on Israel, Lebanon, and perhaps Egypt. If our traditional friends and allies are placed in harm’s way, Washington will have to act using the full resources of the United States. A Sunni Muslim caliphate led by terrorist butchers is as unthinkable as the Germanization of Europe was in 1914 and 1939.

 

Seeing Their Stories in Print

Look out, Harry Potter. The debut of a recent book in the fifth-grade classroom of Terry Test ’73 in Penn Yan Elementary School could be poised to rival old standbys on the summer reading list. At least if Test’s students have anything to say about it.

Dr. Joiner hands out books to fifth-graders in Penn Yan Elementary School.

Each of Test’s students received a copy of the book, “Who is Penn Yan?” Wednesday, hand-delivered by Dr. Jennie Joiner, assistant professor of English at Keuka College. Late last fall, the 17 students in Joiner’s “Literature in the Wider World” course paired up with 17 fifth-graders Test and teaching partner Rebecca Morse selected from their shared class. For three weeks, College “authors” met one-on-one with schoolchildren to craft a personal story from the child’s perspective. Each three-page story – part of the final project in Joiner’s class – was bound into the special edition keepsake for all participants. Based on the buzz around the classroom, it was quite a hit.

"Maddie," right, points out a story to "Jamie," left.

Most students started by flipping through the book searching for a photo of themselves with their “author.” Or they scanned the story titles until they found the one with their name, or more specifically, the name of the character they had chosen for themselves for the story project. Then it was on with the read, until –

“Did you see mine? I still have to read yours!” exclaimed “Miranda,” jumping up from her desk and crossing the room to her friend “Charlotte,” just to point out a particular page. Similar excitement bubbled up around the room as other students eagerly pored over pages, flipping and pointing their own finds to classmates seated nearby.

Terry Test '73 asks some of the boys in her class what they learned through the book-writing project.

“It’s fun to watch them all reading so intently,” Joiner said, pausing at the desks of several girls to ask if they’d seen page 45 yet, where a stuffed monkey belonging to “Maddie” made it into the photos. 

"Riley" reads the new book.

“The story is really good – he did a really good job,” “Mikie” said of his author, junior Devon Locher, who crafted his tale of an aspiring college scientist-baseball player. “I think I want to read it a million times.”

"Allison," gets into a good read.

At another desk, “Allison” was raving over the zombie story written for her by freshman Sabrina Androvett, pointing out their photo together and praising Androvett’s “very graphic descriptions.”

“She even made it kind of funny, like putting in a detail about one of my dogs chewing on the corpse’s bones,” said Allison, alluding to the other-worldly aspects of the story.

Indeed, among the advice Test’s students gave Joiner for how to approach the project next fall with a new crop of college and elementary students was “use your imagination.”

According to Test, the College authors did great work capturing what each fifth-grader tried to describe and using that to guide the plot each child tried to present in his or her story.

“In reading these, I can hear the fifth-grade voice and I can also feel the Keuka author’s interpretation,” said Test. “It was valuable for the fifth-graders to see how stories are the outcome of ideas.”

Teacher Terry Test '73 shares in the excitement over the new book.

By crafting a story through collaboration, the project enabled each college student to learn more about Penn Yan through the eyes or imagination of each child. But beyond that, it served to highlight how literature is the doorway to community, culture, society and more – part of the overall goals for the introductory English course itself.

"Duffy" shows off the book to Kelly Dallos, vice-principal of Penn Yan Elementary School.

Peppered with story titles including “Butch’s Greatest Adventure,” “The Amazing Annabeth,” and “Miranda Saves the Day,” the book of personal stories seems poised to be saved and cherished by each of its starring characters. Hunched over his desk, poring through the pages of the story Devon Errigo wrote about him, “Rico” had big plans to share the book with his family at home.

“I’m gonna tell my parents that a kid from Keuka College made it and he gave me details and I gave him details and we put a story together,” Rico said.

Seated nearby, “Miranda” had similar enthusiasm and praise for the story written by her author, Tiffany Scott.

“I love this!” she gushed. “I love the details she put into it, and that it’s exactly the same way I wanted it to be.”

Snapshot of a Graduate: Nakita Simons ’14

Editor’s Note: Where can a Keuka College degree take you? This is the sixth in a series of snapshot profiles on members of Keuka’s Class of 2014.

Simons, left and fellow social work graduate.

Nakita Simons ’14 of Prattsburgh began a new job May 27 as a foster care caseworker for Steuben County Department of Social Services (DSS). The Prattsburgh resident first truly explored the social work field when she conducted her sophomore Field Period™ with DSS and had “a great experience,” Simons said.

The work went so well Simons applied for a high-profile BSW Child Welfare Scholarship from New York’s Social Work Education Consortium in her junior year. Winners of the scholarship are essentially guaranteed a two-year job as a child welfare caseworker with a county DSS agency and can also earn additional scholarship money for a master’s degree in social work, provided all goes well in a semester-long practicum during their senior year. Thanks to her 3.9 GPA and her record of stellar service in multiple volunteer and leadership roles outside the classroom, Simons not only landed the scholarship and job with Steuben County DSS but was named one of six student Social Workers of the Year for the Genesee Valley Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). She will be pursuing her MSW online through a program offered by Fordham University.

Simons said she found the College social work program faculty “really helped me to get the most out of my education. They were supportive and encouraging. They got to know you on a personal level and helped me to discover my passion and reach the goals I set for myself.”

To explore what might be in your future with a Keuka College degree, request more information.