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NPR Host Scott Simon to Deliver Fribolin Lecture

Photo by Will O'Leary

Scott Simon, host of Weekend Edition Saturday on NPR, will deliver the 26th Annual Carl and Fanny Fribolin Lecture Tuesday, May 6, at Keuka College.

Simon will speak at 6:30 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.

In addition to Weekend Edition Saturday, which has an audience of 4.2 million listeners, Simon hosts the PBS television series Backstage With … that features his conversations with some of the biggest names in theater, including Tom Hanks, Patricia Heaton, and Katie Holmes. He also hosts Need to Know on PBS.

Simon narrated the documentary film Lincoln of Illinois for PBS, and was blown up by Martians in the Grammy Award-nominated 50th anniversary remake of The War of the Worlds (co-starring Jason Robards).

Simon has reported from all 50 states and every continent. He has covered 10 wars, hundreds of campaigns, sieges, famines, hurricanes, earthquakes, civil wars, scandals, state funerals, and opening nights. He has interviewed and profiled some of the most interesting personalities of the times, from Mother Teresa, Ariel Sharon, and Wyclef Jean, to roving street kids in Rio, and refugees in Kosovo, Ethiopia and Sudan.

Simon has received numerous honors for his reporting, including a special 1989 George Foster Peabody Award for his weekly essays. He was awarded the Studs Terkel Media Award in 2009 and is the only journalist to serve on the National Institute on Civil Discourse (other members of the Institute include Colin Powell and Bill Clinton). He is also on the board of the Hemingway Collection at the JFK Presidential Library.

Simon has written for The New York Times Book Review and op-ed pages, The Wall Street Journal opinion and book page, The Los Angeles Times, Friends Journal, and Gourmet Magazine (his article on “Conflict Cuisine” won the James Beard Award for Best Food Writing, as well as the International Culinary Professionals Award).

Simon’s book, Home and Away: Memoir of a Fan, was published in the spring of 2000 by Hyperion. It topped The Los Angeles Times nonfiction best-seller list, and was cited as one of the best books of the year in The Washington Post, Boston Globe, and several other publications. His second book, Jackie Robinson and the Integration of Baseball, kicked off the prestigious Wiley Turning Points series in September of 2002, and was the Barnes and Noble Sports Book of the Year.

His most recent book, Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other: In Praise of Adoption, is a memoir about the subject of adoption and made the extended best-seller list.

In 2005, Simon published Pretty Birds, his novel about teenage girls during the siege of Sarajevo. Acclaimed as “the start of a brilliant new career,” it is now in its 13th printing. His most recent novel, the best-selling, political comedy Windy City, was chosen by The Washington Post as one of the best novels of 2008. Simon is working on a memoir about the life and death of his mother, tentatively titled Unforgettable (2015, Flat Iron Books).

A lover of ballet, Simon has appeared as Mother Ginger in the Ballet Austin production of The Nutcracker.

Roosevelt Recapped Campus Visit in 1938 Column

Today (Feb. 18) is the 76th anniversary of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt’s My Day column in which she recapped her visit to Keuka College.

Roosevelt told her readers that Keuka College “is a small college which takes approximately 200 girls. For that very reason, the girl who might not be able to obtain anything of value from a big college, may receive a real education here and develop in a way which might be out of the question if she did not have individual attention.”

She reported that “the tuition and board are lower than in many colleges, opportunities are made for work, and they have a few scholarships. They draw largely from the State of New York and from the smaller towns, villages and rural districts.”

She seemed particulalry impressed by one student who was a “victim of infantile paralysis and was still on crutches. She seemed entirely independent, however, and I learned she had earned a large part of her college expenses by work in the book shop.”

Roosevelt wrote that President J. Hillis Miller’s “influence on the girls is excellent. The Dean, Miss Chloe Owens, is a woman who has done so many interesting things that I imagine she can fire the imagination of almost any youngster.”

Two years later the United States was on the brink of war. President Miller wanted the College to contribute to the war effort should the country be drawn in. But how? The answer came from Roosevelt.

Miller wrote Roosevelt and she replied by urging the College to set up courses in nursing and work with the Red Cross.

Three years later, during World War II, Keuka’s nursing program was born.

Pitcher Receives Keuka College/CCC Joint Presidential Scholarship

James "J.T." Pitcher (center), recipient of the Keuka College/Cayuga Community College Joint Presidential Scholarship, is flanked by Mark Petrie (left), vice president for enrollment management at Keuka College, and Dr. Gregory Decinque, interim president of Cayuga Community College.

James “J.T.” Pitcher, head men’s lacrosse coach at Cayuga Community College (CCC) in Auburn, recently received the Keuka College/CCC Joint Presidential Scholarship.

Pitcher will begin pursuit of a Master of Science degree in management through Keuka College’s Accelerated Studies for Adults Program (ASAP) in February.

Pitcher is part-time lacrosse coach at CCC and works full-time as project manager at D&W Diesel. A graduate of Auburn High School, he holds a degree in materials science and engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

The M.S. in 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 CCC.

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

Cato Resident, Cato-Meridian Senior Recognized for Community Service

Breeanna Rothenburg

Breeanna Rothenburg, a resident of Cato and senior at Cato-Meridian High School, is the January recipient of Keuka College’s George H. Ball Community Achievement Award.

She joins Dakota Skinner, Bethany Derleth, Victoria Anderson, and Taylor McIntyre as recipients of the $68,000 scholarship ($17,000 annually), which recognizes strong academic and community service records. The College will award one more scholarship for 2013-14.

The award honors Rev. Dr. George Harvey Ball, founder and first president of Keuka College.

Rothenburg was nominated for the award by Sally Lebro, family and consumer science teacher at Cato-Meridian.

“I can’t imagine anyone who is more deserving of this award than Breeanna,” said Lebro. “She is No. 1 at helping anyone at anytime, regardless of what their needs are, and does this totally without regard for her own wants and needs.”

Rothenburg works with elementary students in after-school programs and is a peer tutor. In addition, she serves as a volunteer teaching assistant who“has earned great respect from the students she assists,” said Lebro. “She helped orchestrate a benefit for a patient with health problems and volunteers to help our local PTO whenever it needs assistance.”

She has helped organize numerous events at school and “spent countless hours cleaning and reorganizing the classrooms of teachers who need her help,” said Lebro.

Rothenburg assists senior citizens at the grocery store; shovels snow for people who can’t do it themselves; participated in the 5K Run for Respect race, a fundraiser for Special Olympics; and helped run a local kiddie carnival.

“She is a self-starter and doesn’t wait to be asked before pitching in,” said Lebro. “She just does it, and then sticks with it until everything is taken care of.”

Dakota Skinner

Skinner was nominated by Steven Gillule, a guidance counselor at Tioga Central.

“Community service has always been an integral part of my life,” said Skinner. “I continue to be active in programs and organizations that have a focus of helping individuals improve their quality of life.”

At school, he has been involved in numerous organizations, including SADD, the band, student council, and National Honor Society while engaging in a host of service activities such as American Red Cross blood drives and roadside clean-ups, among others.

The consummate student-athlete, Skinner has played varsity baseball since his freshman year and captained the varsity basketball team as a junior. He also serves as videographer for the football team.

Skinner donates his time and talents to numerous youth programs offered by his church, including vacation Bible school and Children’s Chat. He is also involved with various creative ministries, such as assisting with the choreography of hand puppet shows at nursing and retirement homes and singing Christmas carols for shut-ins.

His commitment to social responsibility is also evidenced by his work with Operation Christmas Child, participation in food drives for the local pantry, and assisting coaches at youth baseball clinics.

Bethany Derleth

Derleth, a resident of Rochester and senior at Greece Athena High School, was nominated for the award by Sarah Culp, associate pastor of the Greece Baptist Church.

“Bethany is involved in many aspects of community service, both within and outside the church,” said Culp, who is responsible for youth programming. “Always ready to lend a hand, Bethany is especially good with children, often assisting with their classes and volunteering in the nursery Sunday morning.”

Derleth spends many of her vacations and school breaks in service of others. Since seventh grade, she has spent spring break at Flower City Work Camp, helping low income homeowners with needed repairs. She also traveled to New Orleans, La., to assist with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in the Lower Ninth Ward.

She also donated her time and talents in Washington, D.C., planting trees, clearing a walkway, and cleaning up litter in an urban park, as well performing various tasks to prepare for the opening of a new school.

“Over the summer months, Bethany can be found at Cameron Community Ministries, assisting children with reading and math as well as helping out in the clothing closet and soup kitchen,” said Culp.

Victoria Anderson

Anderson, a resident of Glenville and student in the Hudson Valley Educational Consortium,  was nominated for the award by Helen Hagen, director/principal of Hudson Valley Educational Consortium, “a collaborative effort among SUNY Orange, Ulster, Rockland, and Sullivan community colleges to create broader access to academic programs and workforce training throughout the four-county region.”

“Victoria is a one-in-a-million, shining-light person,” said Hagen. “She brings her optimistic, enthusiastic, diligent, respectful charm to all she does. The trait I find most astounding in Victoria is her bone-deep kindness and empathy.”

Here are just a few examples of how Anderson has made a difference in her school, community, and world:

“Victoria is making the world a better place one day at a time,” said Hagen. “She has the skills and determination to make big things happen.”

Taylor McIntyre

McIntyre, a resident of Trumansburg and senior at Watkins Glen High School, was nominated for the award by Tammy Lotocky, an instructor in the criminal justice program at The Greater Southern Tier (GST) BOCES.

“Taylor has helped her community and made a difference to the people around her,” said Lotocky. “This consistent willingness to go above and beyond best describes her.”

Read more on McIntyre.

For more information on the George H. Ball Community Achievement Award, or to nominate a high school senior, go to: http://www.keuka.edu/community/

The US and Iran: Appeasement or Good Sense?

By Dr. Sander Diamond, professor of history

When al-Assid used poison gas against his people in Syria, President Obama threatened to remove the stockpiles by force. Instead, he opted for diplomacy. al-Assid “promised” to permit the removal of the gas stockpiles from his territory, which most observers believe was unworkable in the middle of a violent civil war. It was here that Washington, Moscow, and Tehran found common ground. The last thing any of them wanted was for poison gas to fall into the hands of al-Qaeda, which is freely operating in Syria. The upshot of these back door talks was the opening of a portal for further talks.

This coincided with the end of the presidential term of Iran’s belligerent president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who many Iranians viewed as an embarrassment. He was replaced by Hassan Rouhani, who the West viewed as ‘moderate’ within the context of Iranian life. His international debut came at the United Nations, and rather than a tirade of Holocaust denials, calls for the destruction of Israel, and strident anti-Americanism, his remarks suggested that Tehran may be open to talks with Washington.

From Iran’s vantage point, they saw in Obama a president who may give diplomacy a chance, as well as a slight cooling in Washington’s relationship with Tel-Aviv. From Obama’s point of view, the time had arrived to test the waters with Iran after 34 years of isolation.

In November, Secretary of State Kerry and representatives of our Western allies met with their Iranian counterparts in Geneva. A six-month agreement was cobbled together:  in exchange for Iran applying some braking power on the production of fissionable material in its far-flung facilities and re-opening these sites to outside inspectors, some of the most pressing sanctions will be lifted and Tehran will gain access to some of its frozen cash assets.

For those who applauded the agreement, it represented a major diplomatic success which transcends the details. President Obama expressed the hope that diplomacy could help turn the tide in the turbulent Middle East

Elsewhere, the Geneva Accord was greeted with anger and bitterness. The Israelis and Saudis saw the Accord as a concession to Iran that will tilt the balance of power in its favor. Both believe that Obama cannot be trusted and that his actions are not borne out of a lack of experience but a concerted effort to redirect U.S. foreign policy. Many in Obama’s party were also dismayed, as were members of the Republican Party. They were in complete agreement with Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, who said that now Iran “is a turn of a screwdriver away” from having WMDs.

For those with long memories, the Geneva Accord could not have been more poorly timed. September 2013 marked the 75th anniversary of the Munich Agreement, which added the word “appeasement” to the lexicon of diplomatic mistakes.  For Iran’s most strident detractors, those who call the shots in Tehran are the sons of Hitler who will in time strike Israel and expand their theocratic vision to the entire Middle East. Obama and some in the West see it differently.  They are well aware that the Supreme Leader calls the shots, but working with President Rouhani may lead to internal changes inside Iran and it is time to give diplomacy a chance. And testing the waters for six months hardly rises to the level of appeasement.

The Geneva Accord may come to little in six months. If the chatter out of Tehran can be believed, the Supreme Leader is not happy with the direction the new president has taken. And if Israeli intelligence is accurate, Iran will have atomic weapons by spring. Once again, the shifting sands of the Middle East are at work and talk of war is in the air. Obama knows that a massive strike against Iran by either the U.S. or Israel will trigger a major regional war. He believes that diplomacy can arrest a march toward war. As we prepare to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, we can only hope he is right.

Smile, You Really Are on Candid Camera

Candid Microphone was a popular radio show hosted by the late Allen Funt, who asked ordinary people oddball questions, not knowing they were being recorded. When they gave bizarre and funny answers, the audience collapsed into laughter when Funt told them they were on national radio. It was a formula that worked and ABC picked up the show for TV, employing a hidden camera. It was renamed Candid Camera, which debuted Aug. 10, 1948, and ran on and off for 56 years. Funt’s catch phrase— “Smile, you’re on Candid Camera”—caught on and is still heard today at the conclusion of well-timed practical jokes.

In reality, Candid Camera is a metaphor for what is happening today, namely, we are all on candid cameras. Cameras are pervasive—in stores, streets, airports, toll booths, and police cars—embedded everywhere we go in the name of security. To be sure, we are still navigating our way through the early years of the Age of Terrorism and a rising epidemic of domestic violence.  However uncomfortable we might be with these intrusions into our lives, and while we might not smile about being on one of these candid cameras, most Americans are willing to let security trump privacy. On the eve of the New York City Marathon, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly revealed that the NYPD had mounted free-standing cameras, 2,100 in all, along the 26-mile route. After what happened at the Boston Marathon in April, when images of the bombers were captured by a camera mounted on a department store, no one was complaining.

But the collection of data about the American people goes much further than capturing our images. No different than the use of cameras, the collection of massive amounts of data is part of a concerted effort to afford us greater security. The National Security Agency (NSA) is vacuuming every scrap of information about us, our opponents, and friends overseas. It is one thing for the NSA to spy on those living outside of our borders. Spying has been going on since the dawn of civilization. But it is a far different story when it comes to the NSA’s collection of data about ordinary citizens. The NSA is vacuuming all of our communications— phone calls, Web searches, Facebook and Twitter messaging—in essence, everything we send out and receive.

When we contracted with purveyors of computer websites, Google and others, we never imagined that our searches and all sorts of electronic communications, more often than not the minutiae of our lives, would be of any interest to the government. This being said, it is in this minutiae where the NSA hopes to find key words, nuggets so-to-speak, which when connected with other data will lead not to our doorstep but to the doorstep of those who plan to do harm.

A Congressional committee has recommended limitations on this surveillance and we have been assured that the government is not opening our mail or listening to our calls. We are still protected by the Fourth Amendment and a long list of legal decisions that protect us from unreasonable searches without probable cause. Still, some argue that in time, we will move in the direction of a quasi-totalitarian society as the collection of our data accelerates. Such allegations have been aired before. However, while many people were shocked to learn what the NSA has been doing, it has not coalesced into a tidal wave of protest, with most of us believing it just may be necessary in this new environment where we have come to learn security remains conditional.

It’s Candid Camera on an epic scale, and we can only hope that we can smile about our long cherished desire for privacy being preserved.

Wertman Gift will Help Establish Center for Business Analytics & Health Informatics

Christine and Donald Wertman.

Keuka College has received a gift from Donald and Christine Wertman of Hall, N.Y., to help establish the Keuka College Center for Business Analytics & Health Informatics.

Donald Wertman is COO of Seedway LLC, vice president of the Keuka College Board of Trustees, and sits on the Finger Lakes Health (FLH) Board of Directors.

The Wertmans are supporting the Center because of their interest in health care, in particular student wellness.

“While we support all areas of the College’s Long Range Strategic Plan, we are financially supporting the component of the plan that deals with student wellness in all forms—physical, mental, and spiritual,” said Donald Wertman. “Wellness is critically important to student success.”

FLH plans to partner with the College on the project because “we believe it has the potential to improve the struggling economy of Yates County while enhancing the region’s health education opportunities and access to health care services,” said Dr. Jose Acevedo, president and CEO of FLH.

Keuka College President Dr. Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera agrees.

“The Center will leverage the College’s existing health care expertise and programs through its highly rated nursing and occupational therapy programs,” said Díaz-Herrera.

Keuka offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing at sites around New York state through its Accelerated Studies for Adults (ASAP) program, as well as a bachelor’s degree in occupational science and master’s degree in occupational therapy on its home campus in Keuka Park.

Pending approval by the New York State Education Department, the College and FLH will jointly offer a bachelor’s degree in nursing beginning in fall 2014.

Díaz-Herrera expects the Center to anchor a new college-town development—called for in the strategic plan— that will become the hub for Yates County entrepreneurial programs and research.

Part of that college-town development could include a health clinic—perhaps managed by FLH—that would serve the needs of students and the community, according to Wertman.

While a health clinic remains only a possibility for now, there is no doubt that the Center for Business Analytics & Health Informatics would be a boon to Yates County in terms of jobs.

“The Center will provide the required infrastructure for expanding business opportunities and job creation in the region,” said Acevedo.

Díaz-Herrera said the Center will “create construction, high-tech, health sciences, and education jobs in addition to helping our region’s fastest growing employment sector train and retain a highly educated work force.

“The Center will help the county and region support the need for new high-tech industry development while providing health care workers with specific health informatics training,” said the president. “It is a perfect fit for our Digital Learning@Keuka initiative.”

“It’s clear,” said Wertman, “that the Center and partnership between Keuka College and FLH will not only be a win-win for both entities, but for our entire community. We trust that our gift will inspire others to evaluate how they might share resources in support of Keuka College’s strategic plan.”

Update from the Philippines

Editor’s Note:  Here is an update on a story published last month (http://news.keuka.edu/featured-story/student-devasted-by-news-of-typhoon-asks-for-prayers) on Vanessa Coy, a senior from Wellsville and native of the Philippines. Some members of Coy’s family “lost everything” as a result of Typhoon Haiyan.

Vanessa Coy

When last we talked with Vanessa Coy, she had not spoken with her relatives in the Philippines.

Since then, she has.

“My mom and I were just talking on Skype with my aunt and uncle in Manila and everything is alright so far,” she said. “They received the money we sent them and they started building a new home. They are still relying on food boxes provided by the U.S. Only a select few can receive them; it is on a first-come, first-served kind of thing. The food boxes [contain] 10 pounds of rice, canned peas and carrots, and canned tuna [as well as] paper plates, plastic forks and spoons, a can opener, and three water bottles.”

Her aunt and uncle reported that looting remains a problem in Manila.

“My aunt told me that she had to build a gate around their property because people were trying to steal their supplies and food,” explained Coy.

Coy said “there is still a lot to be done around Manila because there is a lot of cleaning up to do…  garbage, sewer, and debris.”

Added Coy: “I want to thank everyone who has been praying for the Philippines and those who have took the time to donate.”

The Center for Spiritual Life is leading a Keuka College drive to raise funds for the Philippines through ShelterBox USA (http://shelterboxusa.org). ShelterBox is an international organization that “responds instantly after natural and other disasters by delivering boxes of aid to those who need it most. Each ShelterBox supplies an extended family with a tent and essential equipment to use while they are displaced or homeless.”

A complete box costs $1,000 “but we will donate whatever funds we raise,” said Rev. Eric Detar, College chaplain.

Donations (cash or check) may be dropped off in the Center for Spiritual Life (Dahlstrom  13). Checks should be made payable  to “Keuka College” (indicate Shelter Box – Philippines in the memo line).

MCC President Encourages Graduates to Live by ‘Plethora of Ps’

From left: Robert A. Schick, chairman of the Keuka College Board of Trustees; Dr. Anne M. Kress, president of MCC; and Dr. Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera, president of Keuka College. (photo by Stephanie Lockhart '15)

When they were youngsters, students who took part in the mid-year conferral of degrees Sunday, Dec. 8 at Keuka College, learned their ABCs.

Prior to receiving their diplomas, they learned their five Ps.

“My goal today is to encourage you to live by a plethora of Ps: perspective, preparation, persistence, passion, and principles,” said Dr. Anne Kress, president of Monroe Community College (MCC), the featured speaker at the ceremony.

Perspective, said Kress, “is what helps you see the huge wave about to overtake you is made up of small drops of water, each easily deflected. It’s what allows you to keep a sense of humor when things get stressful, to prioritize when the piles of work look like canyon walls all around you.”

Preparation, she explained, is what opens the door to opportunity; it’s what turns potential into reality. “We prepare not by talking and rushing but by researching, reviewing, reflecting, and listening.”

Persistence, according to Kress, “is how you get up time and time again until you cross the finish line. As the great philosopher, Bond, James Bond, once said, ‘I don’t stop when I am tired; I stop when I am done.’”

Passion is the ‘P’ that lights the fire, she explained. “Community colleges are my passion; they’re in my blood, heart, and soul. Keep your passion. It will warm you and reward you; it is invaluable.”

Kress said principles are hard won. “If you haven’t already, you will come to a day when you need to make a choice between doing the right thing and doing something quite different. Remember that such a choice won’t just impact you, it reverberates and it rebounds. Make sure you have non-negotiables, articulate them to those around you, and keep them safe and secure.”

Tina Fey, stated Kress, “claims the worst question in the world to ask a working mother is: ‘How do you juggle it all?’ I’ll extend it: it’s the worst question to ask anyone. During your time at Keuka, you’ve had to juggle too many balls and sadly, I’m here to tell you that won’t change even after today. With perspective, preparation, persistence, passion, and principles—and your outstanding Keuka education—you have more than enough power to keep the most important balls speeding through the air successfully.”

Lakesha Carter

Rochester resident Lakesha Carter, who received her Bachelor of Science degree in organizational management through Keuka’s Accelerated Studies for Adults Program (ASAP), also spoke at the ceremony. Earlier this year, she was inducted into the Keuka College chapter of Alpha Lambda Sigma, the national honor society for adult students.

A wife and mother, Carter said “the driving force behind my success as a Keuka College student is the many competitions I have with myself and the message I am sending to my children by continuing my education.

“I grew up in the projects in Rochester,” she added. ”I am the youngest of seven children. I am the only the second person in my family to graduate from high school and the first one to go to college. I wanted to give my family something to be proud of. I want to be able to show my children that I don’t just talk the talk; I walk the walk.”

Karen Reid

Another highlight was the presentation of the Adjunct Professor of the Year Award to Karen Reid, who has taught in the Division of Social Work since 2007 and served as a cohort adviser since 2010. She was nominated by Ed Silverman, director of the ASAP social work program.

“Karen has been instrumental in the growth and excellent quality of the social work program in the Syracuse/Auburn region,” said Silverman. “She has gained the respect of her students and colleagues alike with her honest and straightforward approach to student teaching and helps each student achieve personal and professional growth, and academic success.”

Silverman said Reid “challenges students to get out of their comfort zone and encourages each of them to trust in their own potential and strength. Her success in reaching students has its foundation in her own modeling of high quality and competent social work. Students appreciate her ability to bring real-world connection to concepts covered in the classroom.”

Added Silverman: “Karen is of the mindset that if she does a good job, then she knows that the students will go out into the world and truly make a difference in the life of someone who is hurting or in need.”

For more commencement photos, click here.

MCC President to Speak at Mid-Year Conferral of Degrees

Dr. Anne M. Kress, president of Monroe Community College (MCC), will deliver the address at Keuka College’s mid-year conferral of degrees Sunday, Dec. 8.

More than 100 traditional and Accelerated Studies for Adults Program (ASAP) students will receive degrees at the ceremony, which begins at 1 p.m. in Norton Chapel.

Since beginning her tenure at MCC in 2009, Kress has elevated the college’s role in several key areas—readiness for college, college completion, workforce development, diversity and sustainability—to better serve the needs of students and the community.

New initiatives launched under her leadership include an enhanced Honors Institute, which provides the most academically prepared students with a comprehensive program of study that includes undergraduate research, and more meaningful collaborations with area school districts in strengthening the K-12 pipeline and improving college completion rates.

A native of Milwaukee, Wis., Kress earned a doctoral degree in higher education administration, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in English, and a bachelor’s degree with honors in finance, all from the University of Florida.

Her career spans more than 20 years as an administrator and educator in higher education. Kress is a member of the American Council on Education’s Commission on International Initiatives; the American Association of Community Colleges’ Commission on Academic, Student and Community Development; and the Council on Foreign Relations’ Higher Education Working Group on Global Issues. She also serves as a member of a State University of New York Innovation Team focused on advancing the “Seamless Education Pipeline” initiative in SUNY’s strategic plan.

In 2011, Kress was named a member of the Regional Economic Development Council by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. Locally, she is a board member of the Rochester Business Alliance, Greater Rochester Enterprise and the United Way of Greater Rochester.

Other highlights of the ceremony include the presentation of the Adjunct Professor of the Year Award and a speech by Lakesha Carter, a Rochester resident who will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in organizational management. College President Dr. Jorge Díaz-Herrera, Chairman of the Board of Trustees Robert Schick, and President of the Keuka College Alumni Association Jeremy Hourihan ’08 will also address the graduates.