Advocacy is defined as “the act of pleading or arguing in favor of something, such as a cause, idea, or policy.”
And no one did it better than four Keuka College seniors who traveled to Albany last week for New York Student Aid Alliance Advocacy Day.
Dee Metzger, Erin Scott, Shadayvia Wallace, and Tom Drumm are passionate about Keuka College and the aid that will make it possible for them to join the College’s alumni ranks this May.
Metzger and Wallace shared that passion with a large crowd of students and others gathered in the Well of the Legislative Office Building. The storytelling continued when all four students met with a staffer in State Sen. Tom O’Mara’s office. They extolled the virtues of TAP and HEOP and reinforced the need to keep those and other student aid programs vibrant for students who will follow their path to Keuka College and other schools in the Empire State.
How good were these students at advocating for student aid?
“If you didn’t believe student aid was a just cause,” said Executive Director of Grants, Governmental Relations, and Compliance Doug Lippincott, “you would after listening to Dee, Erin, Shadayvia, and Tom. Their personal stories were captivating and their knowledge of the issues impressive.”
The New York Student Aid Alliance is a coalition of colleges and universities and other stakeholder organizations that support funding vital student aid programs in New York State.
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 has been shining on Keuka Lake for 125 years, drawing students from across the county, region, state, country, and internationally. From the beginning, the College has been committed to providing students the benefit of an education at a reasonable cost.
Each year Keuka College awards more than $11 million in grants and scholarships and is able to assist more than 98 percent of students with the cost of their college education. In addition to the standard federal and state programs available to most students, Keuka College offers grants and many guaranteed scholarships.
Keuka College has never been more committed to the education of its students, and providing the opportunity for them to explore, define, and prepare for their future. Likewise, the College’s tradition of service has never been stronger. Keuka College students, faculty, and staff performed more than 74,550 hours of community service in 2014 alone.
Such accomplishments do not occur in a vacuum. It is only because of generous donations that Keuka College is able to make its innovative, private education affordable.
To that end, Keuka College has established a Day of Giving Challenge set for Sunday, Jan. 25 at 1:25 p.m. It goes through Monday, Jan. 26 at 11:59 p.m. The Day of Giving is an innovative online fundraising initiative to celebrate Keuka College’s 125th anniversary by raising $125,000 in one day.
The primary goal of this event is to collect money for the Keuka College annual fund, which is used to bridge the gap between tuition and operating expenses and helps ensure our students have the best educational experience possible. This is also an opportunity to boost participation in a collective effort and to showcase that we Believe in What We Can Do Together.
Whether you have been giving to Keuka College’s Keuka Fund for 40 years or you just made a first-time financial contribution, every dollar counts— regardless of amount. Board of Trustees members Kay Meisch ’58 and Barbara Allardice ’61 will match dollar for dollar until we reach our goal—up to $125,000.
We can’t do this without you.
Help ensure the continued success of Keuka College and its students, make your donation online at keuka.edu/one25, call (315) 279-5262, or email email@example.com.
Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of features on recipients who received Field Period™ scholarships. Junior Emily Michienzi received a Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Award. The award, named after the late 1963 Keuka graduate, is supported by Brown’s family and the Class of ’63. It is designed to assist students who pursue a culturally-oriented Field Period™.
From a young age, junior Emily Michienzi’s mother instilled in her a desire to see the world and expand her horizons. That is why she has always believed that travel is one of the greatest forms of education.
And the Lake Pleasant resident will get the chance to do both as she travels to London during her January Field Period™. Michienzi intends to learn about the social problems plaguing England’s capital city as a participant in Comparative Social Issues, a sociology course offered through Cayuga Community College.
“As a sociology and political science/history major, this trip will greatly enhance my education,” said Michienzi. “In my sociology courses, we often discuss culture. One concept that is foundational in sociology is cultural relativism. This concept is when we see another culture and its practices in its own right, rather than using our culture to judge another’s as right or wrong.”
By traveling to London and experiencing a new culture, Michienzi intends to use cultural relativism “in a more practical manner and then translate that practice into my classroom discussions and other course requirements.”
This trip also appeals to Michienzi’s interest in history.
“America’s history with Great Britain frequently comes up in my class conversations and readings,” she said. “We always compare our government to Great Britain’s since our government was influenced by theirs. One of our day trips in London will be to Downing Street, the British seat of government. I will be able to see their government up close and learn, while on site, more about their government. By seeing this, I will be able to understand how our government is similar and different from Britain’s and then share that knowledge in my classes.”
In addition to visiting Downing Street, Michienzi intends to visit the British Museum, Parliament, and Windsor Castle, among other sites.
“These sites will show us not only the history of one of the world’s super powers, but also the culture and issues the country has faced over time,” she said. “From Britain’s era of serfdom to their current struggle as a world power, we will learn how Britain has changed and impacted the lives of its citizens and the world.”
Added Michienzi: “This trip is a once in a lifetime opportunity that will change the way I think, and understand the world and my classes here at Keuka College.”
Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of features on recipients who received Field Period™ scholarships. Senior Mackenzie Ellis received a Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Award. The award, named after the late 1963 Keuka graduate, is supported by Brown’s family and the Class of ’63. It is designed to assist students who pursue a culturally-oriented Field Period™.
For senior Mackenzie Ellis, Keuka College has always encouraged and promoted diversity, challenging students to see the true value in a global mindset.
Ellis, a biology major, says she has been “blessed” with the opportunity to experience other cultures through the people she has met on campus and by attending the various programs offered by the College.
“This is a commendable portion of my education at Keuka College,” said Ellis, a resident of Owego. “However, the knowledge and understanding I have gained can only be further enriched by visiting the places I have learned so much about. My favorite was always Africa. With no travel experience to date, the first country I would like to check off my long list of places to experience is South Africa.”
By visiting South Africa during her Field Period™, Ellis believes she will not only enrich her college experience, but also the experiences of those with whom she interacts after she returns to campus.
“South Africa boasts a plethora of well-represented cultures and religions, which will allow me to continue to be globally minded,” said Ellis. “By traveling to South Africa, I will inevitably acquire a refreshed world view, in addition to firsthand experience with other religions and societies.”
And Ellis will take advantage of her Field Period™ opportunity by engaging in a variety of activities which will allow her to see the various facets that make up the culture as a whole.
“I plan to meditate at a Buddhist temple, visit a Hindu temple, and volunteer at orphanages,” she said. “I also plan to visit a an Apartheid museum, and speak with those who experienced Apartheid before its collapse. By doing so, I will develop a more personal understanding of the challenges and suffering facing minorities. I believe that through understanding our mistakes in the past, we may improve the future.”
Ellis also intends to visit an animal reserve; tour Cape Town and Cape Town University; go to UShaka Marine World; enjoy the Durban Botanical Gardens; and visit the Phansi Museum, host of one of the biggest and most spectacular collections of African arts and crafts in the world.
According to Ellis, she also has the “rare” opportunity to partake in a traditional Zulu wedding, “a treat not normally extended outside the Zulu culture itself,” she said. “This unique experience will allow me to celebrate life and happiness in a different way, to complement my new understanding of oppression and pain.”
Added Ellis: “Traveling is an essential part of becoming a well-rounded adult in today’s global society. In order to fully appreciate and succeed in the world, we must take the opportunity to immerse ourselves in other cultures and ways of living. By traveling to South Africa, I will develop beyond my current experience thus complimenting and completing my education here at Keuka College in the most effective and memorable way possible.”