Keuka College President Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera, along with a select number of other invited college presidents and higher education leaders, will today (Dec. 4) join President Obama, the First Lady, and Vice President Biden to announce new actions to help more students prepare for and graduate from college.
The White House College Opportunity Day of Action helps to support President Obama’s commitment to partner with colleges and universities, business leaders, and nonprofits to support students across the country to help our nation reach its goal of leading the world in college attainment.
The summit—which will include remarks from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, President Obama, the First Lady, and Vice President Biden—begins at 9 a.m. and will be available for live streaming.
Participants invited to the White House will commit to new action in one of four areas: improving degree completion, creating partnerships that encourage college-going, training high school counselors as part of the First Lady’s Reach Higher initiative, and increasing the number of college graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
As a member of the Yes We Must Coalition, Keuka College has made its commitment to making the dream of achieving a higher education a reality for more students than ever before.
“Everyone, certainly society as a whole, benefits from greater access to higher education. To maintain America’s leadership role and continue our long history of technological innovation, a college education must be available to all who are willing to achieve one,” said Díaz-Herrera.
The Yes We Must Coalition is a three-year-old organization of small, non-profit, private colleges and universities where 50 percent or more of each campus’ undergraduate enrollment is eligible for federal Pell grants to assist with the cost of college. The coalition’s purpose is to share resources, information, and promising practices to improve the success of low-income and first generation students as well as to be a voice for students in the policy arena.
Expanding opportunity for more students to enroll and succeed in college is vital to building a strong economy and a strong middle class. According to the White House, today only 9 percent of those born in the lowest family income quartile attain a bachelor’s degree by age 25, compared to 54 percent in the top quartile.
“A liberal arts-based education is the most powerful tool one has when it comes to advancing socioeconomic status,” said Díaz-Herrera. “Twelve U.S. presidents, six U.S. Supreme Court chief justices, and more than 50 percent of today’s Fortune 500 CEOs have a liberal arts education. As a liberal arts institution, Keuka College is preparing the next generation of citizens and leaders to serve the nation and the world of the 21st century.”
Keuka College’s Digital Learning at Keuka College (DL@KC) initiative is a revolutionary combination of digital learning, the liberal arts, and hands-on experience in professional practice. This fall, the College introduced the new Digital Studies minor, designed to give students in any field practical, real-world, and useful experience with analytics, big data analysis, digital storytelling, and coding.
“Leading the world in college attainment is a lofty goal for the future, and Keuka College is doing its part by creating and implementing forward-thinking curricula that will ensure our graduates are poised for success in the 21st century’s global, technology-driven economy,” said Díaz-Herrera.
U.S. Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) met with Keuka College students, faculty, staff, and administrators at the Jephson Community Athletic Complex Thursday afternoon to talk about a pressing and serious issue: domestic violence and sexual assault.
According to the National Institute of Justice, one in five women experiences sexual assault during her college years, a figure that Reed hopes to reduce not only through proposed legislation, but by personally educating college students in his district through visits similar to Thursday’s.
Reed told the story of how his 18-year-old niece was sexually assaulted during a high school prom. “This topic is personal to me …. she was the victim of a horrific crime, and it tore our family apart,” he said.
Reed shared his first-hand experience with the impact sexual assault and domestic violence has on women and their families to a captive audience, many of whom were student-athletes and mentors to new students.
Reed said seeing his niece’s pain devastated him, but that he was proud of her for “standing up [in court], facing her attackers, looking them in the eye, and saying what they did was not okay.
“I decided to use my office as a means to bring awareness to these issues, and together, we’re going to say ‘no more’ to sexual assault and domestic violence,” Reed told the crowd, referencing the national campaign he and his staff are involved with. NO MORE seeks to raise awareness of, and bring an end to, domestic violence and sexual assault.
Reed also talked about the recently introduced Campus Accountability and Safety Act, a piece of bipartisan legislation he and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) are together championing along with more than a dozen other lawmakers.
“I’m a republican and she’s a democrat, but that doesn’t matter,” he said. “We need to come together as a nation and say enough is enough.”
The proposed legislation requires, among other things, training for college personnel and gives students access to confidential advisors on campus, two things Keuka College’s policies already require. The bill would also increase accountability and cooperation with law enforcement at all of the nation’s colleges and universities.
Sophomore Kelly Bailey, an adolescent mathematics education major from Avon and member of the women’s volleyball team, said she is encouraged that elected leaders such as Reed and Gillibrand are doing everything they can to raise awareness of these issues.
“I thought it was a great message and brings a lot to our campus,” she said. “I’m training to be a high school math teacher, and this is a big issue in high schools, too.”
When asked how students can help, Reed replied by saying they should share his message.
“Talk about it. Talk about what it’s like to be in a healthy relationship. And when you see something wrong, step up and say something. Do something. I know each and every one of you will know it when you see it,” Reed said.
Reed’s message aligns perfectly with Keuka College’s commitment to threading social responsibility throughout its curriculum.
“To have the congressman talk so openly and honestly about this was surprising to many, but I don’t think it’s something our students will forget, and that’s a good thing,” said Keuka College President Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera. “Keuka College is one of the safest campuses in the country, but we can never lower our guard. We must talk about these topics openly and honestly to prevent anything from happening.”
“We want our students to be citizens and leaders who serve their communities, the nation, and the world. Sharing stories such as Congressman Reed’s is one powerful way they can do that.”
New York State Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy will deliver the commencement address and receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the College’s 106th commencement this Sunday (May 25).
Duffy has been in the news recently after announcing that he will not seek re-election with Gov. Andrew Cuomo this fall.
Doug Lippincott caught up with the former mayor and police chief of Rochester a few days after he revealed that decision and in this interview, taped May 13 and aired May 22 on WFLR’s (Dundee) Keuka College Today, Duffy discussed his decision not to run for a second term.
Clearly honored by Keuka’s invitation to address the Class of 2014, Duffy tells us what receiving an honorary degree from the College means to him. He also discusses the state of higher education in New York, why small colleges such as Keuka are a key to the economic vitality of the Empire State, and more.
Part of the Keuka College educational model provides students with the genuine understanding of not only how to make computer technology and the digital tools of the age work for them, but how to think in computational as well as conceptual terms.
But that thinking and understanding is not limited to students. Case in point: Keuka College President Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera, who is one of four editors of the recently published Computing Handbook, Third Edition (previously the Computer Science Handbook).
Keuka College was the site of a summer music camp conducted by the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, July 14-26.
The camp, designed for middle and high school students, featured a range of classes, as well as master classes, small and large ensembles, and individual instructon in jazz, strings, voice, and guitar. Each program was led by distinguished faculty from the Eastman School of Music and Eastman Community School. Free and open to the public concerts were also staged during the camp. (There is one scheduled Friday, July 26, at 3 p.m. in Norton Chapel),
In this interview on WFLR, Executive Director of Communications Doug Lippincott interviewed students Ciara McCarthy from Stanley, a senior-to-be at Marcus Whitman Central School; Pittsford resident Owen Goettler, a freshman-to-be at Pittsford Sutherland High School; and faculty member Doug Stone.