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Keuka College News > Author Archives: Peter Bekisz

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 admissions@keuka.edu. Information is also available online at www.keuka.edu.

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 www.keuka.edu/asap.

 

Keuka College President Attending White House Event Today to Discuss College Attainment and Access

Keukonians and friends of the College are asked to show their support for college attainment and access on social media today with #CollegeOpportunity.

Prof. Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera, Ph.D.

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 Visits Campus, Educates Students on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

Reed and President Díaz-Herrera pose with students who attended the congressman's talk, including the women's volleyball team, new student mentors, and the men's and women's soccer teams.

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.”