Skip to content

Keuka College News > Author Archives: Gretchen Parsells

Poet Bruce Bennett to Read from His Works as part of Keuka College’s Spotlight Series

Poet Bruce Bennett will read from his works Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. in the Gannett Room of Lightner Library.

Part of the College’s Spotlight Series, the reading is free and open to the public.

Bennett, who serves as professor of English and director of creative writing at Wells College,  is the author of nine full-length books of poetry and more than 20 poetry chapbooks. His books include Something Like Karma and Subway Figure. His chapbooks include Visitation and The Holding Stone, and A Girl Like You. His latest book, Swimming in a Watering Can, was published this year.

His New and Selected Poems: Navigating the Distances was chosen by Booklist as “One of the Top 10 Poetry Books of 1999.” Bennett has reviewed contemporary poetry books in The New York Times Book Review, The Nation, Harvard Review, among others, and his poems have appeared widely in literary journals, textbooks, and anthologies. He was awarded a Pushcart Prize for his villanelle, The Thing’s Impossible, which appeared in the fall 2011 issue of Ploughshares.

He received three degrees, including his doctorate, from Harvard University, and taught at Oberlin College from 1967-70. While at Oberlin, Bennett co-founded and served as an editor of Field: Contemporary Poetry and Poetics.

In 1970 he moved to Cambridge, Mass., where he co-founded and served as an editor of Ploughshares. Three years later, he began teaching at Wells College.

During the 1980s and 90s, Bennett served as co-associate editor at Judith Kitchen’s State Street Press in Rochester and Brockport. In 1993, he co-founded the Wells College Book Arts Center and Wells College Press, and served as director of both until 2002. Under his direction, Wells College Press published a number of poetry chapbooks and pamphlets, as well as poems by writers featured in the Wells College Visiting Writers Series.

Penn Yan Native Tony Collins to Speak at Keuka College Sept. 23

Penn Yan native Tony Collins, motivational speaker and retired NFL player, will speak at Keuka College Tuesday, Sept. 23.

Free and open to the public, Collins will discuss “Choices and Opportunities: Become What You Believe. The Power of Positive Thinking,” at 7 p.m. in Hegeman Hall 109. Collins, a motivational speaker, will share his story of addiction and the choices he needed to make to get him where he is today.

Selected in the second round of the NFL Draft in 1981, Collins spent eight seasons with the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins. His successful football career was highlighted by a Pro Bowl selection in 1983, and a single-game rushing record of 212 yards for the Patriots. This led him to the biggest stage imaginable for a football player—playing in the Super Bowl.

Before playing on football’s biggest stage, Collins first garnered notoriety in high school as a starter on the 1976 New York State Class B Champion Penn Yan Academy Mustangs. After high school, Collins attended East Carolina University (ECU) where he continued to break records and was inducted into ECU’s Hall of Fame.

Although he did not complete his undergraduate degree during his initial time at ECU, realizing the value of an education, he returned back to school and received his bachelor’s degree in communications in May 2011.

While Collins’ successes on the field were many, the destructive choices he made off the field resulted in a downward spiral. Collins shares his story in his recently published biography, BROKEN ROAD, Turning My Mess into a Message. His story is a reminder that positive thinking has the power to save a life.

Topics:

Finger Lakes Guitar Quartet to Perform at Keuka College Sept. 20

The Finger Lakes Guitar Quartet will perform at Keuka College Saturday, Sept. 20.

Free and open to the public, the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in Norton Chapel.

Comprised of Joel Brown, Sten Isachsen, Brett Grigsby, and Paul Quigley, the Finger Lakes Guitar Quartet has performed throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Past performances include the Eastman School of Music, Ithaca College Guitar Festival, Skidmore College, and the Sandisfield Arts Center in Sandisfield, Mass.

Brown serves as the chair and senior artist-in-residence of Skidmore College’s music department. His performances as a soloist and chamber musician have included appearances with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood, the Saratoga Chamber Music Festival, the Caramoor Festival, and the Killington Festival. Internationally, he has played at the Barbican in London with soprano Dawn Upshaw, in British Columbia at the Music in the Mountains Chamber Music Festival, in the Czech Republic at the Mikulov Guitar Festival as concerto soloist with the Martinu Chamber Orchestra. Notable appearances in the United States include Carnegie Hall with Dawn Upshaw, recitals on both coasts with mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, and with the Boston Pops Orchestra. Brown has also performed on NBC’s Today, CNN’s Showbiz Today, on NPR, and on the BBC.

Isachsen, who serves as an instructor of guitar at Schenectady County Community College, has appeared as concerto soloist with the University at Albany Orchestra and the Ithaca College String Quartet. Possessing a bachelor and master of music in guitar performance from Ithaca College, he has studied guitar with Frederick Hand, Ed Flower and Brown. He has also participated in master classes with Manuel Barrueco, Sergio and Odair Assad, and Benjamin Verdery.

Isachsen is also a member of the Musicians of Ma’alwyck, a string trio-in-residence at the Schuyler Mansion, the Cohoes Music Hall, and Schenectady County Community College. In addition to his work as a classical guitarist, Isachsen performs regularly on steel string, and electric guitars, and mandolin, and maintains a private studio in Delmar. Clients include Gibson-endorsed mandolinist Skip Gorman, jazz guitarist George Muscatello, jazz saxophonist Brian Patneaude, Empire Jazz Orchestra, and the Lustre Kings.

Grigsby oversees the guitar department at Skidmore College, and has held faculty positions at Lehigh University, the College of St. Elizabeth, and Kean University. He has performed as both soloist and chamber musician for more than 15 years. Notable performances include solo concerts at the 92nd St. YMCA, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, an all-Bach program at Steinway Hall, and at the esteemed concert series at St. Paul’s Chapel in New York City. As a chamber musician, Grigsby has performed with both his guitar duo, A Piacere, and as a member of various guitar quartets performing at the International Festival Domaine Forget, in conjunction with the National Jazz Ballet Company of Montreal. Grigsby has performed in master class settings for Roberto Aussel, Hubert Kappel, Andrew York, Bruce Holzman, Nigel North, and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet.

An adjunct instructor of guitar at Schenectady County Community College, Quigley also serves on the faculties the College of Saint Rose and SUNY Adirondack, where he teaches classical and electric guitar. He has performed with the Glens Falls Symphony, the College of Saint Rose Camerata, and at the Saratoga Arts Center Theatre, Shakespeare & Company, and the Oberwald Concert Series in Basel, Switzerland, among others.

Quigley has performed in master classes for Magnus Anderson, Eliot Fisk, David Russell. David Tanenbaum, David Starobin, Luis Zea, and Duo Suonare. Additionally, Quigley was a featured performer on the Queen Elizabeth II World Cruise as well as the Queen Mary II and Crystal Symphony ships.

Seton Hall University Arson Survivors will Speak at Keuka College Sept. 5

Two of the survivors of the Seton Hall University arson of Jan. 19, 2000, Shawn Simons and Alvaro Llanos, will share their experiences at Keuka College Friday, Sept. 5.

Free and open to the public, the program begins at 7 p.m. in Norton Chapel. Simons and Llanos, who were freshman roommates, were severely burned during the fire. They will speak as part of the Office of Campus Safety’s fire safety training for the fall semester.

What started as a prank in the early morning hours in Seton Hall University’s freshman residence hall, Boland Hall, ended with three freshmen losing their lives and nearly 60 injured. Of the 58 student injuries, five were critical, including Simons and Llanos, and required extensive hospitalization.

“Shawn and Alvaro suffered extensive, disfiguring burns, and I am certain that seeing and listening to them will be an experience those in attendance will not soon forget,” said Pat Kasnick, director of campus safety.

At approximately 4:30 a.m. that morning, a fire alarm was received for the six-story Boland Hall in the security office at Seton Hall. The fire on the third floor quickly involved the furniture in the elevator lobby and adjoining area.

Students would later recount that false fire alarms were almost considered a way of life on the college campus, with the result that they tended to be largely ignored. Within minutes, however, students—including Simons and Llanos—became aware that there indeed was a fire. This time, it wasn’t a false alarm.

Scared, the roommates crawled in the direction that they were accustomed to going, not knowing that they were crawling right into the fire. If they had headed to the nearest exit, a stairwell they rarely used, there was the possibility they could have escaped the building without injury.

Losing each other in the blackened hallway, Simons crawled right through and past the fire, but not without his hands taking on third degree burns as his palms stuck to the sweltering floor tiles as he pushed for safety. He also suffered first and second degree burns to his head and face, bringing his percentage of body burned to 16 percent and an insurmountable amount of smoke inhalation. His face was so badly burned that doctors predicted he would be frighteningly disfigured. They feared his fingers, seared almost to the bone, would have to be amputated.

Llanos was hurt even more gravely. As he approached the burning lounge, Llanos saw a glimmer of light from the stairwell adjacent to the lounge. As he stood up to push the door open, a fireball erupted from the burning ceiling tiles, igniting his coat and causing third degree burns from his head to his torso. As he tumbled out into the hallway still ablaze, two resident assistants were able to put the fire out on Llanos, but not before he experienced burns on 56 percent of his body. Chunks of his once athletic frame were gone. From his waist up, nothing was spared

Simons endured months of physical and occupational therapy, while Llanos’ recovery process took years. Not only was it a physical toll on Llanos and Simons, but it was a mental and emotional roller coaster as well. Learning to deal with being comfortable in their new “burned” skin was a mission all in itself.

Two students who started the fire as a prank were indicted in mid-2003, reached a plea agreement with prosecutors in late 2006, and were sentenced to five years’ imprisonment in early 2007.

A film documenting the tragedy, After the Fire, was made in 2012. To view the trailer of the movie click here.

Mary Martini-Hauser Nominated for Geneva ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award

Keuka College’s Director of Counseling Services Mary Martini-Hauser is among the five nominees for this year’s Geneva ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award.

Established in 2007, the award is for an emerging woman leader, 40 years of age or younger, who demonstrates excellence, creativity and initiative in her business or profession; provides valuable service to improve the quality of life for others in her community; and clearly serves as a role model for young women, both professionally and personally.

“I am honored to be among this incredible group of women,” said Martini-Hauser, who was nominated by her husband, Justin Hauser. “Hearing what they have done for our community is inspiring, and it makes me want to do even more.”

Martini-Hauser’s husband works with the Geneva Chamber of Commerce and Seneca County Chamber of Commerce, and “knows some past recipients,” she said. “He thought about what I do for the community and decided to nominate me. He believed my hard work needed to be highlighted, and his nomination of me was a complete surprise.”

In her role at Keuka College, the Geneva resident provides Keuka College students with professional counseling services and works alongside the College to enrich student lives, both physically and mentally.

“My office offers confidential individual counseling, couples and roommate counseling, and group counseling,” said Martini-Hauser. “We offer stress relief tips, provide alcohol screening, and participate in One Walk, which raises awareness to help prevent suicide.”

She also is involved in resident assistant (RA) training, and speaks with all new students in their wellness classes.

“I hope after I talk with them, they see me as a trusted person they can talk with,” said Martini-Hauser, who strives to be a positive role model to the students.

Martini-Hauser serves as an ambassador for the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce, where she volunteers at such events as the annual golf tournament, membership barbeques, and Cork & Fork, a popular two-day event that offers participants an opportunity to sample and buy locally-made products from area farms, wineries, chefs, restaurants and other food producers.

In addition, she is a founding member of Finger Lakes Young Professionals, a group that offers networking forums, professional development, and volunteer opportunities to young professionals of the Greater Finger Lakes Region. She also is an active volunteer at St. Mary’s Church in Waterloo.

Added Martini-Hauser: “If I receive the award, it will push me to be sure I am doing the best I can.”

The winner will be announced Sept. 18 at the 10th annual ATHENA Awards dinner at Ventosa Vineyards in Fayette.