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Archive for the ‘Around the Tower’ Category

Keuka’s Athletic Trainers are Experienced Experts

Jeff Bray (l), Gabrielle Lorusso, and Phil Rahr provide Keuka College's student-athletes all phases of preventive training, care and injury rehabilitation for all intercollegiate sports at the College.

When Keuka College’s student-athletes come to campus as freshmen, they hope to enjoy productive and healthy collegiate careers that include plenty of wins on the field, and success in the classroom.

They also hope to remain healthy as they practice and suit up for the Wolfpack’s 18 intercollegiate sports teams.

While a student-athlete can’t predict when or if they will need the services of an athletic trainer, Keuka College student-athletes are supported by an athletic training staff that includes three National Athletic Trainers’ Association (N.A.T.A.)-certified athletic trainers who collaborate with physicians and other allied health care professionals to provide the best possible medical care.

The athletic training staff administers all phases of preventive training, care and injury rehabilitation for all intercollegiate sports at the College.

Jeff Bray has served as Keuka’s head athletic trainer since July of 1992, while Gabrielle Lorusso has been an assistant athletic trainer since December, 2012, and Phil Rahr was hired as an assistant athletic trainer in August of 2014.

Combined, Keuka’s three athletic trainers possess more than 36 years of experience in athletic training. Their experiences range from secondary school to Division I NCAA athletics to the National Football League.

“Our staff challenges each other to continually improve and gain knowledge of the latest trends in athletic training,” said Bray, adding that each staffer pays attention to the latest trends in sports medicine and has attended recent seminars on the importance of properly diagnosing and treating concussions and concussion-like symptoms.

“Each staff member is committed to treating each student-athlete as an individual, and we work as a unit to develop and oversee a sports medicine program that focuses on the overall well-being of our student-athletes.”

Bray has taped thousands of student-athletes and professional athletes during a career that, among other stops, has seen him work the sidelines of NFL games with the Philadelphia Eagles, alongside pit crews for assorted auto racing events across the world, and behind the bucking chutes at top-flight bull riding competitions.

A native of Sterling, Kansas, Bray earned his bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University (’87) and obtained his master’s degree in education from Boise State University (’90). Bray is a certified athletic trainer who has been certified by the Board of Certification. He is also registered with the New York State Department of Education and is a member of both N.A.T.A. and the New York State Athletic Trainers Association (N.Y.S.A.T.A.).

Both Lorusso and Rahr bring a tremendous skill set with rehabilitation techniques and the ability to relate to the student-athletes. 

Lorusso has been certified by the Board of Certification, and she is also registered with the New York State Department of Education and is a member of both the N.A.T.A. and N.Y.S.A.T.A. Lorusso attended Daemen College and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in health care studies (’11). She also earned her master’s degree in athletic training.

Rahr, who graduated from Keuka College in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in biology, is a certified athletic trainer who has been certified by the Board of Certification.

Rahr received his master’s degree in athletic training from Shenandoah (Va.) University. In both 2011 and 2012, Rahr traveled with and was a trainer for the under-18 boys teams that captured gold medals at the USA Hockey national championships.

For the latest stories, schedules and results from Keuka athletics, visit, go to the Keuka Athletics Facebook page,, and like us on Instagram and Twitter @KeukaAthletics.

Keuka College Establishes a VITA Tax Center

Stacey Mirinaviciene

Keuka College is an IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) center for the 2014 tax season.

Stacey Mirinaviciene, assistant professor of accounting and certified public accountant, is in charge of the College’s program.

“There are no VITA centers in Yates County, so I applied for the center and was approved,” said Mirinaviciene. “We plan for the center to be open every tax season.”

According to Mirinaviciene, the Keuka College VITA center will prepare tax returns for individuals with earning less than $60,000 a year. The IRS provided computers, software and printers, training materials and all of the forms.

“Open to all Yates County residents, the Keuka College VITA program is a free service completed by IRS-certified volunteers,” said Mirinaviciene. “We will accept taxpayers by appointment beginning Sunday, Feb. 1. We can also come to taxpayers’ homes if they are disabled.”

According to Mirinaviciene, this program was created by the IRS and New York State to “help individuals with tax preparation so they can have it done for free. We have four or five volunteers right now, but we plan to have more. All volunteers must have completed their certification exams and will be supervised by representatives from the IRS.”

With her own full service accounting practice, Mirinaviciene is experienced in audits, tax, and business consulting. She has more than 20 years of experience in both international and national business financial management, and is a member of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), the New York State Society of CPAs (NYSCPA).

Located on the third floor of the Keuka Business Park building in Penn Yan, returns will be immediate and submitted electronically. To make an appointment, call Mirinaviciene at (315) 279-5451.

Athletics Department Receives National Honor

For selfless actions and service following floods that devastated community neighbors in May, the Keuka College athletics department was honored Saturday afternoon as one of three institutions to earn a national community service award from the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators (NADIIIAA)/Jostens.

Comprised of athletics administrators from the nearly 450 institutions and 43 conferences competing at the NCAA Division III level, the NADIIIAA recognizes select institutions for impressive community service projects performed by its student-athletes during the 2013-14 academic year. For volunteer efforts during the days following torrential May downpours & flooding that devastated the neighboring Penn Yan community, student-athletes, coaches and administrators within the Keuka College athletics department received the community service award in the NADIIIAA’s one-time project category.

Both the village of Penn Yan and nearby Branchport saw anywhere between five and nine inches of rain fall during the storms. In the wake of the devastation, roadways were flooded, houses and businesses destroyed, leaving residents and business owners with the huge chore of rebuilding their lives.

As part of a coordinated relief effort led by the Rev. Eric Detar, the college chaplain, the Keuka College community came together, taking to the streets to help start the tedious task of cleanup following the storm. During the middle of their preparations for finals, more than 250 Keuka College students, plus several staff and faculty members, boarded busses bound for Penn Yan, intent on helping their neighbors in need in any way possible. These students—many of them student-athletes—spent the better part of three days removing debris from flooded basements and other low-lying storage areas hit hard along downtown Penn Yan. Student-athletes also chose to cancel their annual awards banquet and instead send the food, water and snacks reserved for it to community volunteers instead.

Keuka College athletics was awarded a commemorative trophy highlighting the one-time project honor, and the NADIIIAA and Jostens will make a $1,000 contribution to the general scholarship fund at Keuka College.

McGuigan accepts the trophy on behalf of Keuka College athletics.

Molly McGuigan ’11, the current adventure program manager and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (S.A.A.C.) co-advisor, received the award on behalf of the Wolfpack’s athletics department. The awards were given out during the NADIIIAA Reception at the NCAA Convention in National Harbor, Md. before one hundred athletic directors, conference commissioners, school presidents and other Division III staff members.

“When we were helping with the cleanup efforts, we certainly weren’t doing it to win a national award,” said McGuigan. “When we were in Penn Yan assisting with the cleanup, it just felt great seeing how our students, faculty and staff dropped everything and ran out to help their community. It was just a natural reaction for us to go and help those in need, and to get this recognition only added to the level of pride I felt about how we reacted to the flooding.”

Keuka College was recognized by NADIIIAA alongside two other schools: Moravian College, which won in the category for an array of projects, and Oswego State, for the ongoing projects category.

Community service has long been a hallmark of Keuka College, with numerous clubs and groups conducting service projects and fundraisers throughout the academic year. The College also hosts an annual county­wide day of service, in conjunction with the Yates County Chamber of Commerce, known as Celebrate Service … Celebrate Yates (CSCY).

This strong focus on community service has helped earn the College a spot on the U.S. President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the past eight years.

“Keuka College is known for its experiential-based learning method, and the emphasis we put on community service within that experiential education. Winning a national award of this nature just solidifies and gives further credence to this component of a Keuka education,” said Dave Sweet, who is in his 30th year as Keuka College’s athletic director.

“To have other athletic directors recognize our student-athletes, coaches and staff for their efforts in assisting our neighbors during their time of need is a huge honor.”

Torrential storms in May led to major flood damage for many portions of the Penn Yan community, destroying many homes and crippling businesses.

The storms occurred as the members of Keuka’s intercollegiate sports teams were preparing to celebrate their assorted accomplishments from 2013-14 at the annual athletics awards ceremony.

Recognizing the need to step up and help out their neighbors, the student-athletes approached Sweet with an idea: rather than celebrate their own accomplishments, the student-athletes opted to forgo their awards banquet and instead, contribute to the relief efforts. The food, water and snacks that normally would be consumed during the awards ceremony were donated to volunteers who were aiding in the cleanup efforts.

Among the places where volunteer workers came to the aid of those in need were: the Calvary Chapel of Penn Yan, Deano’s Outdoors store, and the Penn Yan Diner, where some nine feet of water had rushed through the basement. Student-athletes who made an impact all spoke of lessons learned through service to others.

Then-sophomores Ally Muller (Bath, N.Y./Haverling) and Liz Warren (Elmira Heights, N.Y./Thomas A. Edison), members of the Keuka softball team, helped a resident remove layers of mud from the basement of her Penn Yan home and cleaned up at both the Wagner Restaurant and Longs’ Cards and Books. According to Muller, people were “extremely appreciative” to receive help.

“They were going through a very stressful moment in their lives, and for people to come help, it showed that we cared while helping these people deal with the emotional toll of the storm,” Muller said. “It was a time for us all to come together and rebuild the town.”

“I went down there because as a human that’s what we’re supposed to do: help each other whenever we can,” said Thad Phillips, Keuka College’s men’s basketball coach.

“Our community — my community — needed help. I was lucky our house had little damage and effects from the storm and flooding, but others I know weren’t so fortunate.”

Phillips went into town with student-athletes Joe Tortolon (Dundee, N.Y./Dundee), Casey Williams (Syracuse, N.Y./Jamesville-DeWitt) and Vinney Zambito (Elba, N.Y./Batavia Notre Dame) to lend a hand.

Phillips, left, and some of his men's basketball team members, helped in the cleanup.

They helped clean up at the CrossFit location, which had experienced heavy water damage. As much as 10 feet of water came in and left a thick mud coat covering most of the interior of the building. The basketball student-athletes and their coaches also helped remove equipment from the Sampson Theatre.

“It’s always great when our teams win on the field of play. But when they take the values you’re trying to teach to them on the field, and they apply that to their everyday lives, that is truly special, and that’s what everyone did with the cleanup efforts,” Sweet said. “They put others before themselves, and that lesson is one of the things that makes Keuka College such a special place.”

The NADIIIAA/Jostens Community Service awards program was established in 2001 to recognize the many contributions Division III student-athletes regularly make to their campuses and local communities.

 “The efforts and selflessness of Keuka College’s student-athletes certainly made an impact on the committee,” said Danielle Drews, director of athletics at The Sage Colleges who chaired the selection committee that reviewed the nominations.

For the latest stories, schedules and results from Keuka athletics, visit, go to the Keuka Athletics Facebook page,, and like us on Instagram and Twitter @KeukaAthletics.


Keuka College to Mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day With a Day of Service Jan. 19

During last year's MLK Day of Service, Keuka College students help paint the set for the Penn Yan Middle School's theatrical production.

Social responsibility has long been part of the Keuka College fabric, particularly as it pertains to the local community.

For example, Keuka College students, staff, and faculty participate in Make a Difference
Day, the Angel Tree Project, and Celebrate Service…Celebrate Yates. Members of the College community also volunteer their time and talents at Milly’s Pantry, the Humane Society of Yates County, and Clinton Crest Manor, among others.

Six years ago, Keuka College began a new tradition of service to the local community—one that honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This year, the event is set for Monday, Jan. 19.

“We hope members of the community will ​join volunteers from Keuka College for the day, as we remember the legacy of Dr. King through service to the local ​community,” said Chevanne DeVaney, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs. “We are making this a day on, not a day off.”

Members of the College's basketball teams will again conduct a hoop clinic at Penn Yan Academy.

As part of the annual MLK Day of Service, members of Keuka College’s men’s and women’s basketball teams will conduct a free hoop clinic for children 5-12 years old at the Penn Yan Academy gym from 1-3 p.m. Pizza and water bottles will be provided to the volunteers and the kids participating.

Other service opportunities for volunteers will be made available between the hours of 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Volunteers will serve two-hour shifts at their location, which include Milly’s Pantry, the Once Again Shoppe, the Arc of Yates, and Clinton Crest Manor.

Senior management major Amanda Kubitz, a resident of Spencerport, is helping organize the day of service as part of her Field Period™.

She hopes that by participating, “volunteers will become more involved in promoting awareness [of the needs ] in the Penn Yan community.”

In addition, the Penn Yan Public Library will host an event celebrating the life and work of Dr. King from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 20. The interactive program will consist of speech, song, imagery and discussion of Dr. King’s legacy.

Those present will have the opportunity to deliver short selections of relevant oratory—excerpts of the speeches of Dr. King, his contemporaries, and other civil rights leaders; lines of music lyrics or poems; observations from contemporary or subsequent accounts of the key events in the civil rights movement; or anything that participants believe connects meaningfully to that time and place in history.

Music from, and descended from, that era will serve as a backdrop to these brief orations and to imagery of civil disobedience, protest, and civic action. Discussion points will also be available to spur dialogue as time and interest allow.

“The hope is that these elements will form a multimedia, narrative tapestry of Dr. King’s life and work, as well as the overriding issues and principles that have driven those like him for decades,” said Alex Andrasik, adult services librarian at the Penn Yan Public Library.

If you are interested in participating, contact Andrasik at (315) 536-6114 or by email at

The seventh annual event at Keuka College comes three months before Celebrate Service… Celebrate Yates, a day of community service organized by Keuka College students and the Yates County Chamber of Commerce. It has helped dozens of non-profit organizations and agencies enhance the quality of life in the region for the past 17 years.

Dr. King and Keuka College have a connection dating back more than 50 years. He delivered the baccalaureate address and received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree June 16, 1963. He was accompanied to Keuka Park by his wife, Coretta Scott King.

To volunteer for the MLK Day of Service, or for more information, contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs at or (315) 279-5225.

Connor Latimer Drafted by Canadian Lax League

Connor Latimer (center) was drafted third overall by the Barrie (Ont.) Blizzard of the CLAX League. He rewrote the Keuka College men's lacrosse record books during his two seasons on campus.

Connor Latimer (Whitby, Ont./Father Leo J. Austin) established himself as one of the premier goal scorers in Division III during his two years as a decorated attacker for the Keuka College men’s lacrosse team.

Now, Latimer will have a chance to showcase his skills at the professional level after he was selected in the first round of the 2014 CLAX (Canadian Lacrosse League) draft by the Barrie (Ont.) Blizzard.

Latimer, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound scoring threat, earned first-team All-North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) honors during his two seasons in Keuka Park as the Wolfpack posted a 26-2 record, winning a pair of NEAC postseason titles.

The Blizzard tabbed Latimer, 22, with the third overall pick in the entry draft.

“Being drafted is awesome. This is a step in the right direction for my lacrosse career,” said Latimer, who capped his stellar two-year career with 154 points on 86 goals with 68 assists, finishing second in points, third in assists and seventh in goals.

“I am thankful for the chance to go out and play at a high level and hopefully get noticed by other National Lacrosse League (NLL) teams and coaches.”

During his senior season, Latimer helped spark Keuka (14-1) to its greatest season in program history, capped with a fourth straight NEAC championship and the school’s first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament.

Connor Latimer

He scored 71 points (42 goals with 29 assists) to key a prolific Keuka offense that scored 244 goals in 15 games (averaging 16.27 goals per game) as the Green and Gold set a school-record for wins in a season.

Latimer and the Blizzard will open up the season Sunday afternoon with a 2 p.m. home game against the Southwest Cyclops at the Barrie Molson Centre in Barrie, Ont.

The CLAX regular season consists of eight games, with the top four teams qualifying for the playoffs. Barrie advanced into the postseason during the 2014 season before falling to the Niagara Lock Monsters 9-8 in the semifinals.

There were rumors that Latimer, a two-time Junior College All-American at Genesee Community College before transferring to Keuka, had a shot at being drafted into the NLL.

Latimer was not drafted by an NLL squad, but he views this opportunity with the Blizzard as a second chance to prove himself worthy of a tryout with an NLL squad.

The NLL, with nine teams, is the preeminent professional indoor lacrosse league in North America.

“I feel if I keep progressing, I have a decent chance to move onto the NLL,” said Latimer, who also hopes to return to Keuka Park later this spring to assist head coach Jason Paige with the men’s lacrosse program.

“I have a good work ethic, and if I keep working and improving my game, hopefully I get a chance to be picked up by an NLL team. CLAX will give me a chance to show what I can do against great competition, and this will help me grow as a two-way player.”

Latimer, who was primarily an offensive threat with the Wolfpack, must focus on his defensive game in the CLAX, where he is expected to contribute on both sides of the field.

He is excited to be reunited with head coach Brad MacArthur, who previously served as Latimer’s coach for four seasons with the Clarington Green Gaels, a Junior ‘B’ squad in the Ontario Lacrosse Association (OLA).

“I definitely need to work on my defense. This is a two-way game, and while it’s not the NLL, there are a lot of skilled Junior ‘A’ players who will challenge me,” said Latimer, who broke Keuka records during his junior season, scoring 85 points on 44 goals with 41 assists to lead the nation in points per game (6.54).

“I also need to become more accurate with my outside shot, and be able to score more from the outside. This is a fast-paced league, but it will help my development, having a familiarity with (coach) MacArthur. He knows I can play both offense and defense.”

Barrie is located about 80 miles southeast of Latimer’s hometown of Whitby, Ont. Having the chance to play professional lacrosse close to home is another reason why Latimer is excited about this latest lacrosse opportunity.

During the Blizzard’s exhibition game against the Durham Turfdogs on Saturday, Latimer showed it wouldn’t take long for him to successfully adjust to the new league. He scored one goal with three assists in a 19-11 triumph for Barrie.

After leading the Wolfpack into their first-ever NCAA appearance — which ended with a 20-6 setback against perennial national power Cortland — Latimer starred for the Oakville Titans, a Senior ‘B’ squad in the OLA. In 11 games with the Titans, Latimer scored 44 points on 18 goals with 26 assists.

To follow Latimer’s progress with the Blizzard, visit

For the latest stories, schedules and results from Keuka athletics, visit, go to the Keuka Athletics Facebook page,, and like us on Instagram and Twitter @KeukaAthletics.