Keuka College’s Class of 2013 will receive degrees at the College’s 105th commencement Sunday, May 26.
The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. on the Norton Chapel lawn.
Esther Yoder, a 1960 Keuka College graduate and former chair of the Board of Trustees, will deliver the commencement address and receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.
Yoder, owner of Subway EAY Stores Inc. in Gainesville, Fla., was a member of Keuka’s governing board for the better part of the last 20 years, serving as chair in 2006-07 and vice chair from 2001 to 2006. She is now an emeritus member of the Board.
She chaired the Shaping the Future: One Graduate at a Time campaign, the most prolific fundraising campaign in Keuka history. She is one of only six people in Keuka history to receive the Norton-Blyley Presidential Medallion, which recognizes service to the College “above and beyond an extraordinary high standard,” and is a recipient of the Alumni Association’s Eleanor Judd Wilkes Service to Keuka Award.
Other commencement highlights include talks by Class of 2013 members Reis Cunningham and Martha Walker, and the presentation of the Professor of the Year Award.
In addition, six students from the DRIVE (Diversity, Responsibility, Inclusion, Vision, and Experiential learning) program will receive an Award of Higher Education.
In the program, Keuka College students serve as peer mentors to young adults with intellectual disabilities as they assimilate into the college environment and explore their personal goals.
DRIVE is a collaboration between Keuka College, Penn Yan Central School District, and Yates County ARC.
Commencement day activities will kick off with the baccalaureate service at 9:30 a.m. in Norton Chapel. Sophia Veffer, past president of the Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo Board of Directors and current executive board member, will deliver the address.
A semester spent a traveling the Atlantic Ocean while visiting countries in Europe and South America, and daily observations of veterinary work garnered the top awards in experiential learning for senior Erica Rusio and freshman Lydia Watkins at the annual Honors Convocation ceremony May 4 at Keuka College.
During the fall semester, Ruscio sailed around the Atlantic Ocean on the MV Explorer, an 836-passenger floating classroom, as part of the Semester at Sea program.
“I went to 12 countries, took classes, attended seminars, navigated through unfamiliar cities and new experiences, and discovered new understandings of what it means to be human. It was the coolest thing I have ever done,” said Ruscio.
It also earned Ruscio, an English major from Rushville, the Upperclass Experiential Learner of the Year Award, which recognizes learning from Field Period, co-curricular involvement, and community service.
Nominated by Allison Schultz, international student adviser in the Center for Global Education, Rusico said she has taken learning far beyond the traditional four-walled classroom.
“As an English major, I love books, but they only tell half of the story,” she said. “The concrete experiences can’t be replicated, and can’t be doubled in a book.”
Ruscio said Keuka College and the Semester at Sea program share the same philosophy when it comes to learning: you learn more by doing.
For example, Ruscio said she didn’t just read in a book what South Africa was like, “I explored it myself and made friends there. I didn’t just see a picture of the native people of the Amazon; I spent the night in the jungle with them. I didn’t just read a statistic about poverty in Latin America; I played with the kids in the Argentine slums.”
Ruscio said that she now has more faith in the opportunity to try, take chances, make mistakes, and try again.
“Experiential learning, which embraces the whole person, is what I received from Keuka College and the Semester at Sea program,” she said. “I haven’t just ‘done’ this experience, I’ve become it.”
An active participant in the College’s Arion Players Drama Club and the Women’s Center Advocacy Club, Ruscio also serves as a TeamWorks! facilitator, editor of Red Jacket, and is a writing tutor. She also lends her time and talents to the Literacy Volunteers of Ontario and Yates Counties.
Watkins’ January Field Period at Southtown Veterinary Hospital in Montrose, Pa., solidified her career choice.
The Field Period also helped earn Watkins, a biomedical major from Springville, Pa., the Freshman Experiential Learner of the Year Award. The award recognizes learning from Field Period, co-curricular involvement, and community service.
Watkins, who has known since she was 10 that she wanted to be a large animal veterinarian, was nominated for the award by Andy Robak, assistant professor of chemistry.
“I nominated Lydia because she had a great first Field Period,” said Robak. “She had her first experience working in a small animal veterinary clinic, and built relationships with the people with whom she was working.”
And while the vets at Southtown Veterinary Hospital care for small animals, Watkins still “learned a lot of information about the veterinary field, and I cannot wait to have the V.M.D. in front of my name. By watching the vets, I expanded my knowledge and fine tuned my interests.”
Watkins was able to watch several procedures, including spays, neuters, ACL repair, bone surgery, and a splenectomy. Shortly after her Field Period ended, she was hired as a veterinary assistant. Watkins will work weekends, summers, and other times when classes are not in session.
Watkins said she “loved my Field Period, and now my job, but I still want to work with cows.”
Said Robak: “A lot of students will do similar Field Periods in vet offices, but rarely does it end up in a great relationship like she found. Lydia is also an excellent student, excelling in sophomore chemistry as a freshman, and is well on her way to veterinary school when she graduates.”
One of the College’s enduring traditions, May Day Weekend, got off to an auspicious start with a talk by Dr. Andrew Delbanco, recipient of the 2011 National Humanities Medal, Friday night (May 3).
Delbanco delivered the 25thAnnual Carl and Fanny Fribolin Lecture after conducting a Q&A session with students, faculty, staff, and the media earlier in the day.
The lecture series carries the names of Geneva resident Carl Fribolin, an emeritus member of the College’s Board of Trustees and recipient of an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in 2004, and his late wife.
College President Dr. Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera thanked Fribolin for his longtime support of the series and wished him an early happy birthday. Fribolin will celebrate No. 95 next month.
Delbanco is Mendelson Family Chair of American Studies and Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. He was awarded the 2011 National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama “for his writing that spans the literature of Melville and Emerson to contemporary issues in higher education.”
May Day Weekend activities will continue through Sunday.To view the full schedule of events, go to: http://life.keuka.edu/files/2013/04/2013_May-Day-Schedule-1.pdf
The healing power of laughter was the theme of the third annual administrative professionals luncheon held at Keuka College Tuesday, April 2.
While Administrative Professionals Week isn’t until April 21-27, Keuka held its luncheon during the College’s spring break to accommodate a larger attendance.
The featured speaker was Dr. Catherine “Dr. Kate” Ansuini, chair of the Department of Health and Wellness at Buffalo State College. She spoke on “You’ve Gotta be Kidding Me! The Healing Power of Humor” to some 45 office support staff members.
“We have been trying to have Dr. Kate as the speaker for all three years we’ve had a luncheon,” said Diana Rockwell, administrative assistant for IT Services. “I took a seminar from her in the mid-1990s and always wanted to hear her speak again.”
According to Sue DeLyser, human resource manager, Ansuini is a nationally recognized keynote speaker and inspirational health and wellness professional.
“She is best recognized for her energetic and humorous delivery of accurate health and wellness information that is described to be both inspirational and motivational,” said DeLyser. “She is active within her field as an author, nationally recognized keynote speaker, grant writer and leader in her community.”
In keeping with the theme of the lunch, four models participated in a short skit based on the TV show “What Not to Wear.” DeLyser; Carol Sackett, library circulation supervisor; Sandy Miller, instructional resource coordinator in the Center for Professional Studies; and Lynne Heath, executive secretary for the Center for Professional Studies, modeled clothing that was wrinkled, mismatched, not appropriate for work, and stained. A final outfit displayed professionalism.
“We decided to have a skit for a little fun, and since it was during break and we could take a little more time [at the luncheon], said Paulette Willemsen, secretary for the Division of Education and Division of Social Work.
DeLyser said the College has celebrated Administrative Professionals Week as a way to say ‘thank you’ to the office support staff that assists administrators and faculty on campus. This year’s luncheon was sponsored by the Staff Advisory Council and Office of Human Resources.
Kayla Curtis, a senior psychology major, found out today (April 18) she made it to the Final Four of the National Student Employment Association (NSEA) Student Employee of the Year competition.
Curtis was honored at a luncheon for being the 2013 Keuka College, New York state, and Northeast Association of Student Employment Administrators (NEASEA) Student Employee of the Year. As the regional winner, she went up against three other regional winners (from University of Iowa, California Polytechnic State University, and Auburn University) for the NASEA award, which was won by the student from Auburn University.
Nonetheless, winning the NEASEA award is impressive because nearly 100 schools/institutions from 11 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and six Canadian provinces are members of the organization.
“Two-hundred students, including six from Keuka College, were nominated at the institutional level,” said Sally Daggett, associate director of the Center for Experiential learning and director of student employment. “Nineteen schools from nine states submitted their winners for state awards and the regional winner was chosen from that group.”
Curtis, who hails from of Red Creek, is a psychology major who has served as student coordinator for the Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) chapter on campus since arriving on campus as a transferring sophomore. BBBS pairs volunteer “Bigs” (college students) with “Littles,” young students befriended and mentored by the Bigs.
Curtis was nominated by Valerie Webster, co-curricular transcript coordinator in the Center for Experiential Learning
According to Webster, Curtis increased the number of matches from one to 12, handles all aspects of training and data entry for the “Bigs,” and does “98 percent of the work to keep the program operational.”
Curtis exhibits a “work ethic, initiative and commitment to understanding and serving others” that will make her an asset to any organization after graduation, said Webster. “Her positive attitude, patience and ability to work with people are refreshing and energizing.”
Curtis has also been a resident assistant, a three-year member of the Psychology Club (current vice president), a member of two honor societies, and holds a 3.8 GPA.
Curtis received a certificate and a check for $250 from NEASEA, and a plaque and $100 gift card to the bookstore from the College.
Keuka College will be well represented at the Master’s Level Graduate Research Conference Saturday, April 20, at SUNY Brockport.
Nine occupational therapy majors will present original research, including:
Emily Conrad and Alicia Steeves: “Effects of Parent Training for Children with Behavioral Difficulties.”
The Master’s Level Graduate Research Conference is open to the public and will feature work by hundreds of master’s level students across the disciplines from Brockport and more than 30 other colleges and universities.
Students will present original research and artistic endeavors in poster sessions, oral presentations, and creative performances. In addition, there will be workshops for on career development and doctoral study and one for visiting faculty on government and foundation grant opportunities.
Dr. Timothy Killeen, president of the SUNY Research Foundation and SUNY vice chancellor for research, will deliver the keynote address on “National and International Change Research.”
Jonathan Accardi, director of campus recreation and aquatics at Keuka College, received a double dose of good news Thursday (April 18).
After winning the College’s Work-Study Supervisor of the Year Award, Accardi learned he had also captured the Northeast Association of Student Employment Administrators (NEASEA) Supervisor of the Year Award.
The NEASEA’s Supervisor of the Year program begins at an institutional level and progresses to the regional level. The award was established to recognize the integral part that the supervisor plays in the education of a student employee. Supervisors act as mentors and provide education to their students not gained through the classroom. Students at colleges and universities across the region were asked to nominate supervisors they felt were especially worthy of recognition.
In all, 91 supervisors were nominated, including seven from Keuka, and 11 schools submitted their winner for consideration for the NEASEA award. Accardi bested winners from colleges in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, Pennsylvania, and West Virgina.
According to senior Samantha Stevenson, who nominated Accardi, he communicates continuously with student workers, is always open to comments or concerns, and freely shares his vision for future campus recreation programming. Stevenson called Accardi one of her greatest mentors. (more…)
Professor of Occupational Therapy Jean Wannall and graduate students Emily Conrad and Cindy Prober represented Keuka College and the OT profession at the recent Healthcare Alliance of the Finger Lakes’ Career Exploration Day at Finger Lakes Community College.
More than 270 students from 15 Finger Lakes high schools learned about health care and human service needs, according to Wannall.
The Healthcare Alliance of the Finger Lakes is a partnership of private and public sector agencies whose primary goal is to create solutions for finding and keeping a qualified workforce in the healthcare industry within the local area.
“The main focus of the career fair is to expose our youth to various health care professions and agencies while encouraging them to learn, work and live in the Finger Lakes area,” said Wannall. “Various professionals from around the area gave of their time to present information about their chosen profession.”
Including the trio from Keuka, who shared what it was like to be an occupational therapist.
“Students learned not only the educational requirements of becoming an OT, but where OTs work,” explained Wannall. “Demonstrations included the use of adaptive equipment, technology, and several evaluation tools typically used by OTs.”
Providing the high school students with a glimpse of what it is like to be occupational therapists was very important to Wannall.
“We need to reach out to the youth of today and get them excited about the potential career opportunities within health care or we are not going to have enough people to take care of the needs in our society,” she said.
Both graduate student presenters took the day off from their Level II internships to share their knowledge about the field and encourage younger students to explore the field of occupational therapy.
And it’s certainly worthy of exploration.
“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, OT is one of the top 10 needed professions in health care right now,” said Wannall. “Baby boomers are retiring, people are living longer healthier lives and as a result staying in their own homes longer. Not only is there a huge need for therapists to work with the geriatric population but within school districts as well. According to recently released studies from the U.S. government, the rate of children on the autism spectrum has risen from 1 in 88 to 1 in 50, creating the potential for many more jobs for OTs working in pediatrics.”
Conrad is finishing up her second placement at Marcus Whitman School District and Prober is completing her second at Geneva General Hospital in both the acute and long-term care sections of the hospital. Both students will graduate in May and have already started interviewing for jobs in the local area.
Said Wannall: “Cindy and Emily are prime examples of what the Healthcare Alliance of the Finger Lakes is all about— keeping people in our area.”
The Division of Nursing will co-sponsor the Finger Lakes Region Future of Nursing Conference, scheduled May 4 from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the Smith Opera House in Geneva.
The conference is designed for nurses, nursing students, consumers, and health care decision-makers interested in the nurse’s role in “transforming the health care system of the future” in the areas of training and education, professional development and leadership, and policy making.
Presentations will provide attendees with a status report on Future of Nursing activities, as well as state and regional updates and contacts. Participants will leave the conference with a toolkit and strategies to promote the recommendations of the Future of Nursing to consumers, health care educators, and nurses in their institution/county/area. Participants can earn six contact hours.
Presenters include Cathryne Welch, co-chair of the New York State Future of Nursing Committee; Dr. Deb Stamps, vice president and Chief Nursing Officer of Newark-Wayne Hospital and a member of the State Future of Nursing Steering Committee; Mel Callan, legislative strategist; and the Hon. Richard Dollinger, Monroe County Supreme Court judge.
Dr. Debra Gates, associate professor and chair of the Division of Nursing at Keuka, will co-facilitate a breakout session. Gates, along with Dr. Heather Cook-Smith of Unity Health in Rochester, is one of the co-leaders of the Finger Lakes Region Future of Nursing’s Remove Barriers to Practice initiative.
To register online, go to http://www.npagr.org/FONConference.shtml. The cost is $75 for nurses, $30 for nursing students, and $65 per person for groups of three from the same institution/area. Those paying at the door should make checks payable to NPAGR Future of Nursing Conference.
For more information regarding key messages and recommendations put forth by the Institute of Medicine Report October 2010—“The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health”— go to http://futureofnursing-nys.org/recommendations/priorityRecs.htm and/or http://thefutureofnursing.org/.