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Keuka College News > Author Archives: Peter Bekisz

Dr. Michael Rogoff Passes Away at 71

Dr. Michael A. Rogoff, professor of psychology, passed away Thursday, March 10 at age 71.

A member of the Keuka College faculty since 1971, Dr. Rogoff was perhaps known best for his iconic messy desk. But even with papers and books piled high on nearly every available square inch of space, he knew where every page was, and could find it almost instantly.

“The joke around the office was that there were memos from George Harvey Ball under there,” said Dr. Sander Diamond, professor of history. “Mike was absolutely the consummate professor. He was dedicated to his students, always. He was a very good colleague and everyone liked him. He was very smart, always impressed me, and he loved Keuka College.”

Dr. Rogoff was named Keuka College’s 2012-13 Professor of the Year and College President Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera described Mike as, “a dedicated educator who exhibited great enthusiasm for learning and a passion for helping students be successful. His commitment to students was evident over the years in his innovative teaching, as an early adopter of technology, and in the individual assistance he provided to his students.”

Students routinely describe Dr. Rogoff as “amazing,” “well-prepared,” “fantastic,” “challenging,” “genuine,” and “a great person.”

“In four decades of student-centered teaching, he truly exemplified Keuka College’s emphasis on the individual student,” said the president. “His particular attention to the well-being of first-year students deserves commendation. Over the past decade and more, he made significant contributions through his research analyzing student study habits. This work was of enormous benefit to the College, his colleagues on the faculty, and most especially to students.”

In addition to his work in the classroom, Dr. Rogoff served as chair of the Division of Basic and Applied Social Sciences for many years.

“Mike was a good chairman, and added a social dimension to work, as he encouraged the exchange of ideas,” said Dr. Diamond. “He was hilarious, had a good sense of humor, and was a lot of fun.”

Most recently, Dr. Rogoff’s work on the ad hoc Curriculum Task Force “testified to his continuing commitment to enhancing students’ educational experiences at Keuka College,” added Díaz-Herrera.

In recognition of his commitment and dedication to Keuka College, Dr. Rogoff was presented a 40-year service award in August 2011, and a Presidential Award for Sustained Outstanding Achievement in February 2012. Dr. Rogoff has also served as chair of the College’s United Way Campaign with great enthusiasm for many years. In addition, the Board of Trustees granted Dr. Rogoff  professor emeritus—the highest honor the College can bestow upon a faculty member—status at its March 2016 meeting.

In the fall of 2010, Dr. Rogoff was a founding member of The Academic Excellence Initiatives at Keuka College, which provide competitive grant awards in support of the College’s mission to challenge students intellectually and to foster their academic development.

In addition to his recognition at the College level, Dr. Rogoff’s biography was selected for inclusion in the 2011 edition of Who’s Who in America. His listing in the publication notes his faculty status at Keuka College, his involvement with the Assessment of Learning Styles and Study Skills, his leadership with the United Way of Northern Yates County, and other activities. Who’s Who has been recognized as the standard for reliable and comprehensive biographical data since 1899. Dr. Rogoff was previously listed in Who’s Who Among American Teachers.

Norton Chapel will be open today (Friday, March 11) from 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. for members of the community to light a candle and to write memories/goodbyes to Dr. Rogoff. The cards will be shared with his family. Spoken prayers will be offered at noon, 1 p.m., and 2 p.m.

We will keep the campus community posted as future arrangements are made. We invite you to share your memories of Dr. Rogoff and condolences for his family by leaving a comment below.

Keuka College to Change Athletics Nickname at End of Season

At the conclusion of the 2015-2016 season, Keuka College will stop using the athletics nickname “Wolfpack.” At the start of next season, the College’s teams will be recognized as the “Wolves.” The change comes after legal pressure from North Carolina State University. The College’s mascot will remain the same, as will the wolf head image and much of the Keuka College athletics logos.

The Keuka College athletics nickname “Wolfpack” came about as a result of student recommendation after the student body came together in a powerful group to clean up after a serious flood hit and severely damaged the area.

However, several months ago, North Carolina State sent Keuka College an official request to stop using that nickname, claiming an infringement upon NC State’s trademark.

Many athletics teams co-exist with the same trademarked nickname, which is legally possible because the litmus test is whether there was a likelihood of consumer confusion between the two marks.

“No one could reasonably confuse Keuka College with NC State given the significant differences in our schools— from our size, to our division, to our colors,” said Dr. Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera, president of Keuka College. “While NC State may be willing to spend their monetary resources on legal challenges at a time when the very value of higher education is being called into question, Keuka College is not.”

About Keuka College

Keuka College is a small, private liberal arts college located on the shores of Keuka Lake in New York’s Finger Lakes region. The College offers a broad spectrum of programs in education, business, social sciences, health and human services, math and science, and the humanities and fine arts. The home campus hosts nearly 1,000 undergraduate and 60 graduate students, while an additional 900 students earn Keuka College degrees at branch campuses and partner sites throughout New York state.

Keuka College Receives More Than $160,000 for Energy Conservation Efforts

Robert Schick, chair of the Keuka College Board of Trustees and president of the Lyons National Bank, will accept a $168,351 check on behalf of the College for energy and conversation measures undertaken in campus facilities. He will accept the check during the College’s June 24 Board of Trustees meeting.

The measures are part of a $4 million campus-wide modernization project that will reduce Keuka College’s environmental impact while increasing the productivity and comfort of students, faculty, staff, and guests to the campus. The upgrades will leverage new technology, including LED lighting and adaptive energy management strategies, and ultimately reduce Keuka College’s operational expenses by more than $6 million over 20 years.

As a result of the project’s plans, the College has earned the $168,351 efficiency rebate provided by the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA).

“Environmental sustainability is an important component of Keuka College’s long-range strategic plan,” said Dr. Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera, president of Keuka College. “We are committed to investments in sustainable technologies, and this project will reduce the main campus’ carbon footprint by more than 14 percent each year.”

“The 14 percent reduction is equivalent to 709 metric tons of CO2, the same emitted by more than 79,700 gallons of gasoline,” added Jerry Hiller, vice president for finance and administration.

Keuka College’s leadership team evaluated numerous investment options, ultimately selecting the best blend of financial and technical performance. Funding for the project was obtained through a financing program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development assistance program.

The project will be delivered by Trane and includes new natural gas-fired heating plants to service 12 buildings, several high-efficiency heating, ventilating, air conditioning (HVAC) systems, exterior LED lighting, complete renovation of Harrington Hall’s comfort systems and a comprehensive, web-based energy management platform to maximize performance and efficiency.

Keuka College Announces Community-based Scholarships to Expand Opportunity and Strengthen Local Economies

Keuka College President Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera announced on Monday two new community-based scholarship packages. The scholarships are in honor of the College’s 125th anniversary and pay homage to Keuka College’s century-old reputation as a pillar of community and regional service, empowerment, and engagement.

The “Back to Business” scholarship aims to combat unemployment in Yates County and the counties surrounding Keuka College, including Steuben, Schuyler, Seneca, Livingston, Ontario, Monroe, and Wayne. All accepted applicants to the College’s on-campus Master of Science in Management (MSM) program from these counties will automatically receive the scholarship, valued at $15,500. Keuka College’s accelerated MSM program, which was recently ranked by The Financial Engineer among the top 50 in the United States, enables students to earn a graduate degree in business in ten months of intensive, full-time study on the College’s Keuka Park campus.

“In this current job market, management graduate degree holders are almost 20 percent less likely to be unemployed than those who have only a bachelor’s degree,” said Dr. Daniel Robeson, chair of the Division of Business and Management and director of the College’s Center for Business Analytics and Health Informatics. “And those with a graduate degree in management will enjoy approximately $12,000 more in gross salary annually over the course of one’s life…. that translates to an extra $1,000 per month.”

The second scholarship program, developed in conjunction with the Hillside Family of Agencies, provides two $22,000 scholarships each year to students who are involved in the Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection and are interested in four years of undergraduate study on Keuka College’s Keuka Park campus.

“At the White House College Opportunity Day of Action in December, much of my time was spent talking with presidents from other colleges and universities about ways in which we can make higher education more accessible,” said President Díaz-Herrera. “Community partnerships, such as the one we’re announcing today with Hillside, are one of the many ways in which Keuka College is showing our commitment to accessible, affordable private education.”

Keuka College is a member of the Yes We Must Coalition, a consortium of institutions of higher learning striving to increase degree attainment of low-income students and students from underrepresented populations. Combined, the 36 member institutions will produce an additional 3,200 graduates by 2025.

Those who are interested in learning more about these scholarship programs are encouraged to contact the College’s Office of Admissions at (315) 279-5254 or emailing [email protected]. Information is also available online at

Sherman Receives Keuka College/GCC Joint Presidential Scholarship

Skip Sherman, third from left, recipient of the Keuka College/Genesee Community College Joint Presidential Scholarship, is flanked by Kim Morgan, director of admissions; Mark Petrie, vice president for enrollment management, Dr. Paul Forestell, provost and vice president for academic affiars; Kyle Cute, admissions counselor; and William Emm M'08, GCC's vice president for planning and institutional effectiveness

Robert “Skip” Sherman, head baseball coach at Genesee Community College (GCC) in Batavia, received the Keuka College/GCC Joint Presidential Scholarship in a ceremony at GCC on Friday, Feb. 6.

Sherman, who lives in Holley with his wife and young children, will begin pursuit of a Master of Science degree in management (MSM) this spring through Keuka College’s Accelerated Studies for Adults Program (ASAP).

Dr. James M. Sunser, president of GCC, and Dr. Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera, president of Keuka College, selected Sherman for the award.

“The goal of providing opportunities for continued academic success is one that GCC and Keuka College proudly share,” Sunser said. “I can think of no better candidate for a scholarship to pursue a Master of Science in management through Keuka College than our own Skip Sherman. I trust Skip will not only be a dedicated student, but with his background and experience, I am confident he will help make a lively and spirited classroom cohort.”

Aside from his role as head baseball coach, Sherman also leads GCC’s academic mentoring program for student-athletes. As a head baseball coach, Sherman has enjoyed many successful seasons with more than 350 wins, but says that the greatest successes of his career have occurred off the field.

“My position is rewarding because I have an impact on the students’ success in the classroom, and their athletic and academic experiences help them be career ready,” he said. “Sixty-eight of my student-athletes have had the opportunity to continue to four-year institutions with a baseball scholarship.”

Leadership and service are core components of Keuka College’s MSM program, which was recently ranked as one of the top 50 MSM programs in the country by The Financial Engineer. Candidates are evaluated for admission based on, among other things, their prior academic experience, volunteer and community service history, and leadership potential.

Sherman’s résumé includes oversight of an impressive number of community outreach programs, including a youth baseball camp and a Kid’s Night program that has hosted more than 9,000 children in nine years.

“This award is an outstanding opportunity, and I am excited to give back everything this master’s program has to offer while working at GCC,” he said.

Keuka College’s MSM program is offered at nearly a dozen partner locations across western New York, including GCC’s Batavia campus. The program features a rigorous accelerated format designed for working professionals, allowing them to earn their degree in 18 months. For more information, visit