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.
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.
“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.
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.
“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 www.honorflightrochester.com, online applicants may not be grouped with others from Yates County. The Yates County coordinators also work to defray travel costs for guardians.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
“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.
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.”
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.
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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of Q&As with full-time faculty members who recently came aboard at Keuka College. Today, meet three of our professors.
Dr. Margaret “Malia” Spofford-Xavier, assistant professor of Spanish and intercultural studies, currently teaches all Spanish classes as well as ENG 207 (Latin American literature and society) and INS301R (Intercultural Studies). She joined the faculty at the start of the 2015-16 academic year.
Last book read: The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Favorite quote: “Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words. Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions. Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits. Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character. Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny.” (Author unknown)
If you could be a fictional character, who would you be, and why: The Little Prince has always charmed me with his optimism and creativity.
What makes teaching fun: I enjoy getting to know students as they transform their dreams into reality through critical thinking and hard work.
What do you do for fun? I like to jog, kayak, and garden. I spend time with my husband Bruno and two children, Nicholas and Olivia. We enjoy cooking, being outdoors, swimming, and visiting the library.
Christopher Clinton, assistant professor of social work, directs the BSW field placement program for the Division of Social Work. Currently, he teaches Social Work Practice I, SW Policy II and Senior Practicum.
Last book read: Joseph Campbell “The Power of Myth”
Favorite quote: “I have the world’s largest collection of seashells. I keep it on all the beaches of the world … perhaps you’ve seen it,” by Steven Wright.
If you could be a fictional character, who would you be, and why: The Cat in the Hat, the greatest of iconoclasts, challenger of authority all the while awakening the mind and spirit to a new world of possibilities that would have otherwise remained hidden. Be careful what you wish for children, this cat will surely take you to the edge of your comfort zone, hang you by your feet staring down at the abyss of new possibilities and consequences and then throw you back on your comfy-cushy couch begging for more….and once that iconoclastic kitty-cat leaves, you will never be satisfied with your once-accepted status quo. Best of all, after all that mayhem and unadulterated fun, you don’t have to lift a finger to clean up. Let’s not forget that he also banished Dick and Jane to the bookshelves of the humdrum and uninspired: ”What would you do if your mother asked you?”
What makes teaching fun: When the effort and consciousness of teaching dissolves and we are effortlessly learning, consumed by the moment and collectively transformed by the experience. Spontaneous forays into role plays all the while making new connections between seemingly disparate concepts that fold into one another as if they were puzzle pieces effortlessly falling into place before our very eyes. How did that happen?
What do you do for fun? Hiking or hiking and hunting for mushrooms, listening to and playing music, tennis and kayaking.
Dr. Darlene Del Prato, professor of nursing, teaches Philosophy and Theories of Teaching and Learning, Nursing Theory and Research, Teaching and Learning Environments and Governance, Health Care Policy, Teaching and Learning Methods. She joined the faculty in early 2015.
Last book read: Parker Palmer’s “The Heart of Higher Eduction: A Call to Renewal”
Favorite quote: “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” Vince Lombardi
If you could be a fictional character, who would you be, and why: Hmm, I don’t typically read fiction.
What makes teaching fun: The energy and exchange of ideas!
What do you do for fun? I enjoy being on the water, long walks in nature, gardening, and spending time with family and good friends.