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Keuka College News > Author Archives: Rachel E. Dewey

CSCY Celebrates 19 Years

By: Genille Gordon ’16

At St Luke's Episcopal Church & Parish House in Branchport Donna Gridley, site host, at left said: “This is the sixth time we've had volunteers come out on CSCY - the help is amazing. They always do a great job and it's fun to work with them. "

On Sunday, president Dr. Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera, welcomed the 274 volunteers for the Celebrate Service…Celebrate Yates (CSCY) day of service. CSCY is a collaborative between the Keuka College and Yates County Chamber of Commerce, with support from local merchants and business sponsors. For the 19th year, CSCY volunteers showed their dedication to their community by assisting non-profit agencies across Yates County. Each year, non-profits, including youth camps, community centers, churches, libraries, fire departments and more, gain a helping hand from Keuka students and members of Yates county community.

Across the county on Sunday, a number of volunteers and non-profit site hosts had good things to say about this annual service event. Here’s a taste of CSCY in their own words:


Michelle Jenkins ’16 at the Yates Co. Fairgrounds: “I chose to help today because it is a nice thing to help the people in the community where I have gone to school and lived for four years.”

Vincent Meccariello ‘19  at the Catholic Charities House – PYIRA:”I love doing community service because of the impact it has on the community. Anyone can donate their money but it helps when you spend time in the community, cleaning it up, and communicating with the members of the  community that really makes the experience valuable.”

Clay Kinyoun holds CSCY sign

Michele Griffin, one of the coordinators for the National Junior Honor Society of Penn Yan, which brought 45 (yes 45!) volunteers to CSCY, said about 13 students and four chaperones helped at the Branchport FD, while the rest of their group went to help with Outlet Trail cleanup between Elm Street and Cherry Street.

Clay Kinyoun, freshman, said: “It feels good to help out the fire department … and maybe they can do their job a little bit better because their fire department is a little cleaner now.”

Volunteers at Point Neamo

Leah Seager ’17 at the First Presbyterian Church of Penn Yan:

“ It’s a great way to help the community. In my prospective field of social work I will need to know how to be versatile. Social work is all about helping others when they need it and before they need it. Applying that to community service helps me to understand that it’s best to help something or someone before it’s too late.”

Aubrey Clark

Sarah Hauser ‘17 at the Catholic Charities Cramer House “I volunteer because as a leader on Keuka College campus it’s a good thing to do. As a college student it is important to lead by example instead of implementing words. It’s much better to give your time than your money.”

Aubrey Clark ’16 at the Penn Yan Fire Department: “ I love seeing the joy of everyone’s face when we arrive to help them. It’s the right thing to do.”

Clarie Sandstrom in the brown sash

Jen & Bob Mosich, playground ambassadors, welcomed the CSCY volunteers from Keuka College International Club (KCIC) and the Penn Yan Brownie Troop 40801, to Vincents playground in Branchport and said it was the first time many of the international students had ever held a rake.

Claire Sandstrom of Penn Yan, one of the Brownies, age 7, said: “We’re cleaning the playground. We’re learning how to save the community by picking up garbage and cleaning it up. I’m having fun! We’re at a playground and she said maybe after we’re done we can play on it!”

KCIC master’s student Yen Hoang ‘16, “I feel I’m doing a good contribution for the community.”

KCIC student Linh Bui ’18 “It’s really cool. It’s the first time we’re out and helping people, not studying on campus. It’s a great opportunity. ”

By the time the afternoon of service was over, all three KCIC students had “earned” an honorary Brownies badge. They were delighted to pose for photos with their new friends in the local Brownie troop.

Mike Manahan of Penn Yan, a member of the KC Community Associates Board, working at the Bluff Point church, said:

“We’re just getting started here! This is the first time I’ve done CSCY in about 15 years. Back then, I planted trees up behind the Penn Yan Elementary School for almost five years, as I recall. I’m on the Community Associates Board. I heard about CSCY from Kathy Waye and Mike Linehan and I was glad to do it.”

Working at the American Legion, Kenna Kosinski ’18 said: “My friends and I wanted to give back to those in Yates County.”

The coordinators of this annual day of service thank the following local business merchants for helping to underwrite costs of this year’s CSCY event: Eastview Veterinary Clinic, Eaves Family Dental Group, Ferro Corporation, Five Star Bank, Friendly Dodge, Finger Lakes Health, Graphic Connections, Keuka College Office of Community Relations & Events, Keuka College Student Senate, Keuka College Office of Student Affairs, Keuka Spring Vineyards, Knapp and Schlappi, K-Ventures, Longs’ Cards & Books, Lyons National Bank, Penn Yan Moose Lodge #2030, Nothnagle Realtors – Hometown Choice, Penn Yan Community Health, Penn Yan Elks Lodge #1722, Radio Hill Raceway, Phelps Sungas, Tony Collins ’77 Golf Classic, and Stork Insurance Agency.


Keuka College Student Club Donation Aids Honor Flight

Thanks to the efforts of the student members of the Keuka College Veterans Club, a local veteran will be able to participate in an Honor Flight from Rochester to Washington, D.C. in the spring.

Left to right, Bob Johnston, former Marine and director of AVI Food Systems on campus, Denise Duby, mother of a Marine and member of the KC advancement staff, Andy Swarthout, Siobhan Costain '17, Laurie Adams '83, club advisor and assistant director of alumni and family relations, Rich Martin '05, club advisor, a U.S. Army veteran, and program director of the (ASAP) criminal justice program.

Honor Flight Rochester is one of 130 hubs in a national network which enables members of the military who served during WWII, the Korean, Vietnam or Cold Wars, to travel free of charge to Washington, D.C. to visit the monuments and memorials honoring their service. The non-profit program, coordinated by volunteers, funds trips entirely through the generosity of donors and sponsors. Veterans fly to D.C. accompanied by a “guardian” who assists them in navigating travel to and from the various sites.

The Keuka College Veterans Club conducted two fundraisers in the spring to raise $300 to donate toward the Honor Flight Program; a veteran’s trip is valued at $500. At this year’s Veterans’ Day ceremony in Norton Chapel, Siobhan Costain ‘17, president of the club, participated in a symbolic gesture of giving to a local veteran; a formal check presentation was made Dec. 17 on campus.

Siobhan Costain '17 hugs a local veteran during the Honor Flight recognition portion of the Nov. 11 veterans day ceremony at Norton Chapel.

“A lot of times veterans are forgotten more than they should be,” said Costain, whose father and grandfather served in the military. “We are awed by the fact that these men and women have done so much for the country, and this is what we could do for them.”

P. Earle Gleason, former director of the Yates County Veterans Service Agency and an Army veteran who served in Vietnam, helps coordinate Honor Flight travel for Yates County veterans along with locals Norm Koek and Andy Swarthout. According to Gleason, some 23 veterans from throughout the county have taken Honor Flights to D.C. so far and another six to eight have applications in process for the coming year.

The Penn Yan volunteers help coordinate local contingents of Yates County veterans to travel together within one of the three honor flights offered from Rochester each fall or spring. Honor flights are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis, with priority given to veterans of the oldest eras first, then to those in more recent service eras suffering terminal illness.

Veterans enjoy a complimentary dinner following the Nov. 11 ceremony

Unlike other Honor Flights around the country, veterans who travel from Rochester enjoy a 36-hour trip, including an overnight stay at the Hilton Hotel at Baltimore-Washington International airport after a full Saturday of travel to D.C. memorials. A special banquet is hosted for the veterans that evening and according to Rich Stewart, president of Honor Flight Rochester, the time after the keynote speaker concludes can be “quite moving” as veterans begin to share their memories.

“A lot of them will open up and tell stories never told before, even with their families,” explained Stewart, who has made the trip a half dozen times as a guardian or bus leader. “People who’ve never publicly spoken in their lives will say ‘I need the microphone’ and it takes your breath away sometimes.”

Thanks to Honor Flight Rochester, 2,121 veterans have visited the military memorials since Rochester trips began in 2008, Stewart said, adding the vets are often greeted in D.C. by military and government officials. When veterans return to Rochester Sunday morning, they may find as many as 500 to 700 people to greet them, he said. In addition to friends and family, the airport welcome includes patriot guard riders bearing flags, a variety of community bands playing patriotic songs, and even members of the Knights of Columbus who create an archway of swords for veterans to pass under, Stewart described.

Local veterans stand at attention Nov. 11 during the playing of "Taps."

“It’s really a hero’s march, if ever there was one. It never gets old,” Stewart said. “Please thank the young folks down there for all they’re doing!”

Local veterans from WWII, the Korean War or ill veterans from the Vietnam or Cold War eras interested in applying for the next Yates County tour-within-a-tour are encouraged to contact Norm Koek at St. Mark’s Terrace or the Yates County Veterans Service Agency for an application to Honor Flight Rochester, Gleason advised. While applications can also be made directly online at, online applicants may not be grouped with others from Yates County. The Yates County coordinators also work to defray travel costs for guardians.

Starbucks® Coffees Coming to Keuka College in the Fall

KEUKA PARK, N.Y.— Your favorite Starbucks beverage is coming to the Keuka Commons. A College-run café slated for the new building will be part of a limited co-branding partnership program known as “We Proudly Serve Starbucks.”

The program enables AVI Food Systems, Inc., the College’s dining service, to serve specialty beverages from the popular coffee company within a larger café operated by AVI. Drinks will be served by Starbucks-trained baristas.

In addition to the “We Proudly Serve Starbucks” program, the café will offer pastries sourced from a local bakery and other menu offerings prepared by AVI. Menu selections are still being finalized, and samplings and “sneak peeks” will be offered during the spring semester.

The new café will replace the existing Terrace Café in Dahlstrom Student Center. The café, like many other college services, is intended to serve the College’s population but will be open to the general public. The café’s hours are still being determined.

While the College had announced a planned Tim Horton’s franchise in the new Keuka Commons building, recent changes proved the initial proposition financially unsound. Last year, AVI surveyed students, faculty and staff on a variety of potential franchise partners, and Tim Horton’s and Starbucks nearly tied in the results.

Putting Some Soul Into Design

Self-portrait of the artist (Sandra Devaux)

Sandra Devaux believes art should contain something of the soul. A lifelong aficionado of art and design, Devaux also enjoys finding words that convey her aesthetic beliefs.

One of those words, “meraki,” means “to do something with soul, creativity or love; to put something of yourself into your work,” and given the term reflects her relationship with the world of art, Devaux chose it as the title of her exhibit. “Meraki,” which runs through Dec. 11 in Lightner Gallery at Lightner Library, features many branded creations Devaux has created for Keuka College, as well as photography and select drawings. An artist reception with light refreshments will be held Thursday, Nov. 12 from 4:30 – 6 p.m. and Devaux hopes guests who attend will see beyond words and graphics to the creative passion beneath them.

Drawings by Devaux

“I like to incorporate more artistic sensibilities into the design process. A lot of people think of graphic design as functional and practical, but I want people to see it as an art as well,” Devaux said.

Indeed, Devaux’s work has taken her to New York City, before a return home to Penn Yan, where, after a two-year transition freelancing for the New York Yankees and designing ads for a weekly newspaper, she joined the College in December 2012. Since then, Devaux has made her mark, so to speak, revamping a number of print and digital materials across the College before being tasked with a lead role in transforming the visual identity, including the school’s logo and its athletics mascot, in 2014. In recognition for that work, she received the school’s highest employee award, the Presidential Award for Sustained Outstanding Achievement, in August 2014.

A fresh perspective on color palettes by Sandra Devaux

According to Melissa Newcomb, assistant professor of art and curator of Lightner Gallery, it was important to showcase the work of a graphic designer at the gallery. The College offers a major in Art and Design, and a minor in digital design has just been added to the curriculum as well.

“Sandra’s work has impacted the College aesthetically in so many ways.  She is so talented, and has learned from some of the best, including Milton Glaser In New York City,” Newcomb added, referring to the man artists consider the “Father of Design.”

When Devaux first moved to the Big Apple in July 2005 she applied for an internship at Milton Glaser, Inc. and spent a few months under the tutelage of Glaser and his design team. Glaser is known for the state’s famous “I (Heart) NY” icon and the popular silhouette of Bob Dylan with multicolor hair.

College of design materials for the NY Yankees

“What really excited me about working there was the passion and dedication everyone had, a drive to communicate a message in a way that made it appealing and as clear as possible. That was really the first experience for me in the real world and it was very encouraging to work with people so dedicated to what they do. It was an amazing start in the right direction,” Devaux said.

From there, Devaux freelanced a short time for mNovack Design in New York, designing materials for hospitals and city colleges. The transition from internship to freelance work was fortuitous, she said, as she ultimately landed a job at the Catch 24 Advertising and Design Agency in Manhattan. There, she was assigned to national accounts including DirectTV, Lufthansa Airlines, American Express and the Yankees. She worked in New York City almost seven years before returning home to Penn Yan.

Devaux uses unique angles to showcase a collage of College designs.

A few select works from Devaux’s big-city career appear in her show; most, however, are more recent designs created for the College. But while Devaux hopes guests enjoy seeing some original prints, feeling textured paper and flipping pages, she didn’t merely frame her works. Many print pieces on the gallery walls are presented from a new perspective, one created when Devaux photographed them, often by spreading the works across a surface and shooting at an angle or adding filter effects.

“It’s amazing how typography and imagery can take on an entirely different personality depending how you look at it,” she said. “Including photographs that show design in a more abstract way helps convey that sense of art as well, and I want them to see design as I see it.”

Big Night, Big Wins for Keuka College Alumni

Election Day 2015 was a stellar success for two Keuka College graduates. Aileen McNabb-Coleman ’00 and Tom Drumm ’15 both won seats in the Cayuga and Oswego county legislatures, respectively.

Aileen Coleman-McNabb, center, celebrates her victory Election Night. (Image courtesy the Auburn Citizen.)

Running on the Democrat, Independent and Working Family lines, Mc-Nabb-Coleman defeated opponent Joseph Runkle, to win a four-year term in Cayuga’s 6th District seat. Meanwhile, Drumm, who ran on the Democratic and Women’s Equality lines for Oswego’s 16thDistrict seat, defeated Republican opponent James Scanlon and will serve a two-year term. At Keuka College, McNabb-Coleman earned a degree in unified childhood/special education while Drumm earned degrees in political science and history and organizational communication.

“I believe strongly in engagement and participation in local government,” said McNabb-Coleman “Due to the climate of the national stage of politics, I find that citizens are disengaged; couple that with having busy careers and family life, and it is difficult to increase awareness.”

So she did something about it.

McNabb-Coleman and her family. (Image courtesy Aileen McNabb-Coleman).

“When I finally decided to run for county legislator, what drove me was the idea of setting our county on a new fiscally responsible path so that my children could enjoy the fruits of our labor—and representing women on a 15-member, all male, county legislature,” said McNabb-Coleman, who used the phrase “Run Like a Girl” in her campaign signs to reinforce her position.

Drumm said he ran on a message of “new energy and new blood” at the county level. He started getting that message out about six months ago when he launched his campaign and sticking to it proved effective, he said.

“I think those in the county are craving new leadership,” Drumm said. “I discussed that we seem to have become stagnant, whether in social issues or some economic areas as well.”

Drumm’s campaign got a boost the Sunday before Election Day from six political science and history majors at Keuka College who traveled to Oswego with Dr. Angela Narasimhan, assistant professor of political science and history. After convening briefly at the union hall for Oswego’s UA Local 73 to hear from Drumm about his platform, the group picked up campaign literature and set out to help Drumm make door-to-door visits.

The Keuka College team with Dr. Narasimhan, center, gave Drumm, left of her, in blue, a final boost.

“It was huge how that team helped me cover my entire district in a day,” Drumm said. “My opponent was a lifelong resident in the city, raised a family and he’s lived here probably 45 years, and sometimes that works to people’s advantage. I’m fresh out of college and it can take a lot to establish a coalition. The big thing is the final push – you have to turn out the vote. To get a push like that from students who traveled two hours to Oswego to help knock on doors for a campaign like mine – I’m in debt to them. I’m so grateful.”

According to Dr. Narasimhan, three of the students had never met Tom and several were interested in getting involved politically back home so they were eager to hear his story and his advice.

Drumm and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, during Drumm's freshman-year Field Period™ at one of Schumer's regional offices.

“He used each Field Period™ experience and his major to explore different avenues, and was able to tell my students about the connections he made and how he found an office to run for,” Dr. Narasimhan said, describing how Drumm learned from local party leaders the strategy they envisioned for him to win an open seat. The canvassing experience “absolutely” aligned with the College’s focus on experiential learning, she added.

During his time as a student, Drumm conducted separate Field Period™ experiences with Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), U.S. Rep. Dan Maffei (D-N.Y.) and the NYS Democratic Committee. He also completed his senior practicum with Doug Lippincott, Keuka College’s executive director of grants, government relations and compliance. Some of the individuals he met became mentors, Drumm said.

“It’s very rewarding to see it all pay off  – it’s exciting, and honestly, it’s a little overwhelming,” Drumm said, attributing his win to “not only how much I’ve learned but the amazing people I met during college —professors like Drs. Narasimhan, Chris Leahy, David Leon—who gave me the confidence and knowledge to be able to make a political run at 22.”

Both Drumm and McNabb-Coleman will be sworn into their new offices in early January.