“Butch,” a fifth-grader at Penn Yan Elementary School, didn’t like reading.
But thanks to a three-week partner project where Keuka College students met one-on-one with schoolchildren to craft a personal story from the child’s perspective, it wasn’t long before he changed his mind. So says Butch’s new buddy and personal “author,” Keuka freshman Will Staub.
“Butch told me the first day he didn’t like reading, then the next week he showed me this book he’d read,” Staub described. In truth, it was more like Butch raced to Staub’s side, book in hand, thrusting it into view and leaning forward in eager anticipation for the response.
Watching the interaction – and others like it across 17 such pairs of college and elementary students – were Dr. Jennie Joiner, assistant professor of English at Keuka, and fifth-grade teacher Terry Test, herself a 1973 Keuka graduate. The two teamed together, with support from elementary principal Edward Foote, to enable the collegiate “authors” to craft a three-page story from the perspective of each child selected from the joint classroom Test shares with team teacher Rebecca Morse.
The project, dubbed “Who is Penn Yan?,” was the final assignment for Joiner’s Literature in the Wider World course, a new introductory English course in Keuka’s general education curriculum. The course was designed to highlight the focus the English program is placing on literature as the doorway to culture, society, community and more. Over the course of three weeks, each college student spent time getting to know his or her child, and ultimately, learning more about Penn Yan through the child’s eyes or imagination.
The fifth-graders all chose character names for themselves and wore name tags to each session, where partners paired up, using whatever chairs, tables, floor space, gym mats, or window ledges were available to continue their conversations.
“Look at the dynamics of this,” Test said, gesturing around the room at the pairs. “The ‘I’m too cool to do this’ vibe just shattered in the first second, and my students are real, being true to themselves. The energy is here on all sides. I’m so impressed at Dr. Joiner’s scaffolding of this.”
To say the children were thrilled would be an understatement. Some brought sketches, notebooks, origami, and more to share with their college author during the second and third sessions. A handful of boys could be seen half out of their seats, leaning forward to dialogue with their authors, while other children were seated more casually, body positions mimicking the college students taking detailed notes.
Watching from a few steps away each week, Test and Joiner were almost as excited as their students at the energy generated during the interactions, and the impact it had on student learning. By the end of the first week’s session, when alerting everyone in the room that only two minutes were left on the clock, Joiner said she could tell the project was en route to success.
“Every student – big and little – turned around and went ‘awww’ in disappointment,” Joiner said. “Some of my students who are not as vocal in class totally engaged with the children. It was just a cool thing.”
Test said the impact on her fifth-graders was almost immediate. (more…)
Editor’s Note: Where can a Keuka degree take you? This is the 10th in a series of snapshot profiles on members of Keuka’s Class of 2012.
In the spring of 2012, Alex Jones of Conklin earned a Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry from Keuka College, then headed to Pace University in Lower Manhattan, New York City.
He is now halfway through a two-year program and on track to earn his Master of Science in forensic science in 2014. With degree in hand, Jones hopes to land a job in a criminal justice laboratory.
“At the graduate level, the classes are always interesting because it’s more specialized and the students learn about their interest in their chosen career field,” he said. Looking forward to classes every day, a student is more likely to walk away with a basic understanding and a drive to further develop it, he added.
According to Jones, the small class sizes at Keuka allow every student to stay engaged in c lectures and labs. Beyond that, the element he most valued was the challenge Keuka professors gave students with “tough questions to make us think like real scientists. This improved thought process has helped me become more successful in graduate school.”
The accreditation of Keuka College’s social work program has again been reaffirmed by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
Keuka offers a bachelor’s degree in social work in its traditional program on the Keuka Park campus and at sites across New York state through the Accelerated Studies for Adults Program (ASAP).
One reason why CSWE accreditation is critical is that social workers seeking licensure from the National Association of Social Workers must hold a master’s degree from an accredited social work program, according to Stephanie Craig, professor and chair of the Division of Social Work.
“Being accredited by CSWE also allows us to provide a program that is accepted across the United States and permits students to apply for admission to master’s degree programs at an accredited school,” said Craig.
CSWE is a national association that “preserves and enhances the quality of social work education for practice that promotes the goals of individual and community well-being and social justice.” CSWE pursues this mission through setting and maintaining policy and program standards, accrediting bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in social work, promoting research and faculty development, and advocating for social work education.
The CSWE conducted a site visit and review of Keuka’s program earlier this year, but the College spent “two to three years” preparing for it, according to Craig.
“It was much more arduous this time because we added a social work degree through ASAP in 2007,” said Craig. “In addition to conducting a self-study, we rewrote the syllabus, developed assessments, and analyzed how the program fits within the College.”
Social work has been part of the Keuka College curriculum since 1950 and became fully accredited by the CSWE in 1982.
“Our traditional social work program has earned the respect of human service providers across New York state, from Watertown to Binghamton and in between through the service of our students and faculty, as well as the employment of our graduates,” said Craig.
Craig said that “with the addition of the innovative ASAP delivery model—resulting in an increase of 50 to some 300 students—Keuka has provided access to secondary education that would otherwise be unobtainable.”
On the surface, hip hop music isn’t something that would warrant serious scholarly investigation.
But when you dig deeper, as Athena Elafros did, it most assuredly does.
“The sociological study of hip hop culture teaches a great deal about culture and society in an increasingly globalized and interconnected world,” said Elafros, assistant professor of sociology at Keuka College
Her doctoral dissertation, Global Music, Local Culture: Popular Music Making in Canada and Greece, was completed at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. It featured 62 interviews, as well as song lyrics, in order to analyze how global cultural forms, such as rap music, are rearticulated within local contexts in Toronto and Vancouver, Canada, and Athens, Greece.
“Hip hop music began as a predominantly African-American, Puerto Rican and Latino youth culture in the South Bronx in the mid 1970s,” said Elafros, who earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto. “The loss of good-paying factory jobs within the South Bronx contributed to the poor social and economic conditions within which hip hop culture developed.”
Turn the pages of Tipsy Magazine’s Summer 2013 edition and you’ll find the latest trends in high-fashion nail and manicure art.
Tipsy caters to salon owners, manicure artists and nail divas nationwide who turn to the 9×12 glossy for up-to-the-minute articles and photos on polish products, fingertip designs and the edgy nail jewelry that celebs like Lady Gaga have catapulted to fame. Its touted trends take the traditional acrylic manicure (Only one shade of polish? Puh-lease!) to a color-and-jewel-crazed, punk rock-level.
Which is why it should come as no surprise that Dr. Andrew Robak, associate professor of chemistry, has landed in the pages of a Tipsy article. Robak, who holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry, has self-described “wacky interests” in chemistry or science as art. His expertise was sought by writer Erin Hart, who started her own design business, Nail Pop LLC, just over a year ago, working on location doing photo shoots, nail parties and fashion shows. Hart endured a nasty chemical burn after she tried to mix fake gold leaf, a decorative metallic, with nail glue to create her own quick-dry polish.
“The gold leaf is so popular right now because it just looks so decadent and when you’re having your nails done, you want to go all out,” said Hart, noting the element comes in either sheets or flake form and can be found at craft or art stores. Hart said she was at home with a friend, experimenting with the fake gold leaf by gluing a big piece to the tip of her finger when “decadent” turned into “drama.”
“The burning started immediately and as I was trying to peel away the [gold] leaf, my skin blistered and came off. I didn’t lose too much skin, about the size of an eraser head, but boy did it hurt!” Hart said, adding it reminded her of burning her finger on a marshmallow stick when she was a kid.
“It took about a week for it to heal using your standard first aid burn care.”
According to Hart, staying ahead of the trends in nail art happens most often by experimenting with different materials, so to best inform other nail artists of any potentially dangerous combinations, she packed up the gold leaf and glue and shipped them to Robak for a thorough chemical analysis and explanation. The two are cousins and Hart had no problem asking for a family favor, she said.
“He was the first person I thought to call after I burned myself and I knew he’d be able to figure it out, which he did immediately after receiving the samples I sent,” Hart said. “I was really impressed with how quickly he was able to compose an explanation that I could actually understand.”
It turns out the fake gold leaf flakes are essentially a combination of tin, zinc and shiny copper. The tin and zinc prevent the copper from tarnishing, Robak informed Hart. The nail glue, known as ethyl cyanoacrylate, is a polymer that will cure, or dry rapidly, once exposed to small amounts of moisture in the air or on surfaces. What non-scientists like Hart think of as “glue drying” is really the substance changing from liquid to solid form, Robak said.
Ordinarily, a tiny, almost imperceptible amount of heat is released as the glue hardens, but when mixed with the fake gold leaf, the tin and zinc become catalysts, speeding up the process such that there is an excess of heat energy, Hart learned. The gold-glue mixture can’t hold as much heat energy as the liquid glue alone, and not only causes chemical burns but can even produce small tufts of smoke, Robak informed Hart.
So what’s a nail artist to do?
Well, one solution would be to use real gold, Robak suggested, noting the pure element is one of the least reactive substances and won’t require tin to protect it from tarnish. According to the New York Mercantile reported on CNNMoney.com, real gold is currently retailing for about $1,391 an ounce.
If you can’t afford that option but seeing a shiny, metallic gleam at the end of your fingertips is still a must-have, then switching to a simple, clear polish and mixing that with the fake gold leaf will produce the same ritzy look without the Ritz-Carlton price tag. The clear nail polish won’t dry as fast as the glue, but it won’t create an exothermic reaction either, Robak advised.
And that was the advice Hart chose to share with fellow Tipsy readers after she came across a call for submissions for upcoming issues. As it turns out, her unexpected science revelation became her first “big” article for a magazine.
“I’m hoping to do more writing in the future, but I think this first attempt went pretty well,” Hart said, noting she called her cousin for permission to include him in the article. “Most of what you mix with nail glue won’t create an exothermic reaction, but I’ve also experienced heat from nail glue when it comes in contact with cotton fibers. It’s something I’ll need Dr. Robak’s expertise to explain further.”
The imaginary county in Mississippi that William Faulkner fashioned to serve as the foundation for his fiction will come to vivid, online life in a new digital humanities project involving some two dozen Faulkner scholars from around the country – including Dr. Jennie Joiner, assistant professor of English at Keuka College.
“Dr. Joiner’s participation in this important and prestigious digital humanities project promises to raise Keuka’s profile significantly in the field of digital scholarship,” said Doug Richards, professor of English and chair of the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts.
Over the next three to five years, Faulkner scholars will collaborate to translate the characters, timelines, dialogue and events of his short stories and novels into interactive online maps that help readers visualize and glean new insights into Faulkner’s works. According to Joiner, Faulkner himself drew a map of Yoknapatawpha indicating locations and events portrayed in his stories.
“He considered it his little postage stamp of native soil of which he was sole owner and proprietor. Thus, this project is attempting to digitalize his fiction and expand on his mapping,” Joiner explained.
Stephen Railton, professor of English at the University of Virginia, is directing the project and invited Joiner to come aboard in late August. This fall Joiner will team with Taylor Hagood, associate professor of English at Florida Atlantic University, to map a short story “The Unvanquished” (later revised and known as “Riposte in Tertio”), first published in The Saturday Evening Post as part of a 1934 series. Joiner and Hagood are facing a year-end deadline to finish digital mapping of the short story and then, Joiner will be assigned to a team mapping one of Faulkner’s 15 novels.
The project, which received a nearly $60,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), builds upon a 2011 Yoknapatawpha map prototype created by the University of Virginia Library’s Digital Media Lab. The NEH grant was one of 23 awarded through its start-up program to promote progress in the digital humanities. Back in 1957-58, Faulkner held the university’s first writer-in-residence post, so the current online archive includes nearly 30 hours of audio recordings of public readings or remarks he gave, according to a news article from the Virginia website.
According to the website, the project centers on the 15 novels and 48 stories Faulkner wrote between 1926 and 1960 and set in Yoknapatawpha. The prototype models a way to enter every character, location and event from separate works into a robust database that then maps that data into an atlas of interactive visual resources, according to the demands of each particular story. Ultimately, the entire body of Yoknapatawpha fiction would be linked together in new, cumulative maps enabling scholars or students to study, for example, all black inhabitants and the roles they play in Faulkner’s works, or his representations of violence, religion, or family, the site indicates. (more…)
Editor’s Note: Where can a Keuka degree take you? This is the ninth in a series of snapshot profiles on members of Keuka’s Class of 2013.
About two weeks prior to graduation, Melissa Garcia ’13 of Keuka Park accepted a job offer in the Division of Neuroscience and Physiology Research at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse.
In addition, Garcia, who received a bachelor’s degree in American Sign Language (ASL)-English Interpreting, is seeking freelance interpreting work with two agencies in Syracuse.
While Garcia’s new job was not directly connected to her Field Period internships, she said her three years as a work-study employee in student affairs helped her land the job.
She added that fellow Keuka ASL-English Interpreting graduates who did conduct Field Period internships with the ASL agencies where she is seeking work referred her through their connections.
“I truly value the hands-on experience and the Field Period(s) required for the [program],” Garcia said, adding that despite the extra work, “it helped me become more knowledgeable of what is expected of me and more prepared for the real world.”
In addition, Garcia praised the personal touch of the Keuka community: “I love the fact I felt like I was family and belonged within the Keuka staff and students.”
To explore what might be in your future with a Keuka degree, request more information.
Editor’s Note: Where can a Keuka degree take you? This is the eighth in a series of snapshot profiles on members of Keuka’s Class of 2013.
Halie Squires ’13 of Parish, N.Y., earned a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in occupational sciences and is continuing at Keuka to pursue her master’s degree in occupational therapy.
She’s currently completing the first of two 12-week fieldwork placements for hands-on experience in both traditional and non-traditional OT environments. Her current post is at a short-term rehab facility in Saratoga Springs, and when that concludes, she’ll return to campus for another semester of studies.
Squires said she is most thankful for the professionalism developed through Keuka’s Field Period program.
“After eight Field Periods or fieldwork placements, I feel as if I can carry myself with respect in a professional place of employment and communicate effectively and assuredly,” she said.
They range from social workers to business professionals to police officers to nurses to college administrators.
They are the 2013 class of inductees into the Keuka College chapter of Alpha Lambda Sigma (ASL), the national honor society for adult students.
ASL recognizes the special achievements of adults who accomplish academic excellence while facing competing interests of home and work. It is dedicated to the advancement of scholarship and recognizes high scholastic achievement in an adult student’s career.
Ten Accelerated Studies for Adults Program (ASAP) students and one graduate were inducted into Chi Alpha Lambda, Keuka’s local chapter, Aug. 9:
Dr. Frank Colaprete, ASAP associate professor of criminal justice, delivered the keynote address. He challenged the inductees to reflect inward. (more…)
Keuka College has received approval from the New York State Department of Education to offer a major in art and design beginning in the fall 2013 semester.
The major is geared toward students interested in design, visual expression, and digital communication.
Keuka’s program provides “practical, career-entered advising and experiences” that a recent national report on education in the arts recommends, “including a first-year introduction to the principles and practices of building a professional portfolio and a stand-alone, upper-level seminar focused on “Art in the World,”’ said Doug Richards, professor of English and chair of the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts.
“While fostering creative development and personal expression, the major provides the skills and experiences essential for success in the field of design and visual communication. The program’s enhanced emphasis on digital media and graphic design will open up cutting edge opportunities for students as they transition to the workforce or advanced study,” said Richards.
Students may choose to pursue a stand-alone, core-major program in art and design, or an art and design major with any of the following concentrations: advertising/marketing, communication, digital graphic design, small business/entrepreneurship, studio art, theatre arts, and verbal arts.
“The new program has more of a design influence, and reflects that there is more interest in digital media,” said Melissa Newcomb, assistant professor of art. “However, students will not be limited to design, and will learn layout, digital publishing and how to build their portfolios.”
As the “artistic community” at Keuka grows, Newcomb believes there will be more opportunities for students to share their work on campus, build their portfolios, and enhance their marketable skills.
Added Newcomb: “Ever since I arrived at Keuka, I’ve had this big dream of where I want to take the art program. I feel very good about where it is going.”
To explore any of Keuka’s academic programs, request more information.
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