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Keuka College, Head Start Classes Get a Jump on Easter

Savannah Fuller '15 helps her new friend open goodies she received from the Easter Bunny

Peter Cottontail might be out of a job.

That’s because, as the perennial favorite says, members of the Keuka College community brought every girl and boy—in the two Head Start classrooms at Penn Yan Elementary School—baskets full of Easter joy.

Keuka College students, staff, and faculty donated toys, books, bubbles, stuffed animals, and other Easter basket goodies and distributed them to the children in each class.

“The Easter Basket Project is a community service program that benefits children in our local HeadStart Program,” said Savannah Fuller, a junior occupational science major from Philadelphia, N.Y. and Community Service Advocate. “The goal of our project is to provide children with gifts from the Easter Bunny that they might not get otherwise. This project is a rewarding and enjoyable experience for all involved.”

The Community Service Resource Center in the Center for Experiential Learning, Rotaract, the Multicultural Student Association, and the Class of 2015 coordinated the Easter Basket Project, a Keuka College tradition since the mid-1990s. The baskets were then given to the Dundee and Penn Yan classes.

Jamie Allen '15 checks out the toys in her friends' baskets

On hand to deliver the baskets were Fuller, Casey Cacala, a sophomore childhood education major from Pine City and a member of Rotaract; David Caramella, a junior management major from Oswego; Jamie Allen, a junior psychology major from Canandaigua; and Emily Knapsack, a senior psychology major from Montgomery, Pa.

It’s All About Connections

Steve Mitchell '08 talks to students during the spring Backpack to Briefcase event April 4.

Students networked with alumni such as Steve Mitchell ’08 during the Spring Backpack to Briefcase Alumni Networking Fair today (April 4).

Mitchell majored in criminology/criminal justice as an undergraduate, and serves as a police officer with the Rochester Police Department.

Sponsored by the Alumni Association, Office of Alumni and Family Relations, and the Center for Experiential Learning, Backpack to Briefcase is a series of events to help students achieve their career goals.

Alumni are also in town to meet members of the Class of 2014 at the annual Rising Stars event. A networking opportunity for seniors to discuss “Life after Keuka,” they will met graduates working in a variety of career fields, as well Alumni Association Executive Council members.

Students also had the opportunity to have professional photographs taken.

More photos from Backpack to Briefcase.

More photos from Rising Stars.

Dr. Walter Cooper to be Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Speaker April 11

Dr. Walter Cooper will be the 2014 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration speaker at Keuka College Friday, April 11.

Dr. Cooper will discuss “Education Then and Now: How Historically Underrepresented Groups are Faring in the Current Climate” at 7 p.m. in Norton Chapel. It is free and open to the public.

A scientist, humanitarian, activist, and educator who was heavily involved in civil rights work both in Rochester and in Mali, Dr. Cooper received his bachelor’s degree from Washington and Jefferson College in 1951.

After briefly attending Howard University, he became the first African-American to earn a doctoral degree in physical chemistry from the University of Rochester in 1956.

That same year, Dr. Cooper was hired by Eastman Kodak as a research scientist and was promoted to senior research chemist, research associate, and technical associate. Named manager of the Office of Technical Communications in 1985, he oversaw the publications and technical reports of 2,300 scientific and research personnel and managed the Office of Research Innovation. He retired from Kodak in 1986.

Dr. Cooper served as the Rochester branch president for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and co-founded the Rochester branch of the Urban League in 1965 where he served on the Board of Directors into the 1970s. He was also a board member of the Baden Street Settlement, a non-profit organization working with northeast Rochester residents to improve the quality of life.

When the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 was passed, Dr. Cooper took a leave of absence from Kodak to help form Action for a Better Community Inc. or ABC, an anti-poverty agency in Rochester. He served as the associate director for two years, then as executive director. The organization established a local version of the national Head Start Program, along with other aid programs.

Dr. Cooper established Rochester’s Sister City program with Bamako, Mali in 1975. As part of the program, he worked with the Rochester Institute of Technology to establish scholarships for students from Bamako. He was named a Knight of the National Order of Mali in 1981.

In 2005, he received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from SUNY Geneseo. Three years later, Dr. Cooper received the Frederick Douglass award from the University of Rochester in recognition of his lifetime involvement in civil rights.

In 2010, Rochester City School No.10 was named the Dr. Walter Cooper Academy in his honor. The school emphasizes research and interactive learning, the methodology Cooper promoted during his time as a Regent of the State of New York and as the education committee chair of the Urban League of Rochester.

The lecture is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Center for Spiritual Life. For more information or questions contact or 315-279-5225.

Swapping Suntans for Social Responsibility

Painting fences on a farm that teaches farming skills to men rehabilitating from drugs and alcohol doesn’t sound like a typical activity for college students on spring break.

Neither does working at a home for boys, from 8-18 years old, teaching them English and playing volleyball, basketball, Frisbee, and soccer with them.

But that is just what a dozen Keuka College students will do as part of the College’s annual Alternative Spring Break when they travel to Quesada, Costa Rica March 20-27. These students will not be working on their suntans. They will simply be working—hard.

Hosted by Mary Curtiss Miller ’53 and her husband Ralph, and led by Rev. Eric Detar, Keuka College chaplain and director of the Center for Spiritual Life, and Tim White, assistant director of residential life and director of the Success Advocates, the students are part of Alternative Spring Break’s first international edition. The Millers have been missionaries in Costa Rica for more than 50 years.

“When Tim and I first began leading Alternative Spring Break trips four years ago, they were seemingly random, but we always found someone, and some way, to help,” said Detar. “We are beginning to become more strategic in our trips, and we want to offer four unique experiences throughout a student’s years at Keuka College. We hope to offer trips in an urban setting, an environmental setting, a rural setting, and an international trip. During each trip, we will look at culture, stewardship, and poverty of each area we visit.”

Junior Faith Garlington is particularly excited about working at the home for boys.

“As an occupational science major, I am interested to see the differences between how the boys play as to how kids in America play,” said Garlington, a Boonville resident. “I want to see how and when they reach their milestones in a culture that is different from mine. I am excited to connect what I have learned in the classroom with what I will see.”

Katie Crossley, a sophomore unified early childhood education major from Panama, N.Y. chose to participate in Alternative Spring Break because she believes she felt “a calling to go and is exactly where I am supposed to be in my life right now,” while Bloomfield resident Jeff Miller says he wants to reorient himself.

“It’s so easy to get caught up in your own world and forget that we are more fortunate than a lot of others in the world,” said the junior occupational science major. “I am grateful for what I have.”

For Lindsay Holmes, a senior occupational science major from West Henrietta, this is her second Alternative Spring Break trip.

“I went on the trip to Washington, DC last year, and experienced the culture of the homeless; it was eye-opening,” she said. “I think this will be similar, but on a larger scale.”

Emily Grecco, a sophomore psychology major from Waverly and Haley Jordan, a junior occupational science major from Auburn, agree that participating in Alternative Spring Break will be a reality check.

“I will be helping people with something they need, and not just be on another vacation where I am a tourist,” said Grecco.

“It’s easy to think that that one person can’t have much of an impact, but we’ve seen from past trips that it’s not true. I am so glad that I will not be a tourist and that I will get to interact with the people on a greater level,” said White.

While the students will not be tourists, they will be able to explore the country through activities such as speeding down a zip line, go horseback riding, swimming in the hot springs of Arenal Volcano, and visiting Sarchi, a quaint painted oxcart village. The group will also participate in worship services at a Methodist Church.

Other students participating include: Emily Pidgeon, a junior social work major from Oneonta; Rachel Guthrie, a junior child and family studies major from North Rose; Ashley Terry, a sophomore political science and history major from Andes; Emily Black, a sophomore political science and history major from Athens, Pa.; Jenny Schafer, a junior occupational science major from Fayetteville; and Patricia Wallace, a senior occupational science major from Bath.

Exposing the Myth of Racial Colorblindness

Dr. Aram deKoven, associate professor of education studies at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, will discuss “Subconsciously Held Bias: Exposing the Myth of Racial Colorblindness” Monday, March 17.

The lecture will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Jephson Science Center 104. The presentation, free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Division of Academic Affairs, Division of Social Work, Office of Multicultural Affairs, and the Social Work Club.

deKoven holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and music from State University of New York at Oswego and a master’s degree in human resources management from Mercy College. He earned a second master’s degree in education and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Cornell University.

deKoven began teaching in after school programs and working with at-risk youth. Later, he taught in Cornell University’s teacher education program and served as visiting assistant professor of education at SUNY Cortland.

“Aram’s message applies across a broad range of bias and is generally geared toward educators,” said Gretchen Rymarchyk, assistant professor of social work. “Teachers might be an obvious target [of those who have bias], but we are all to blame. It happens to adults as well as kids. We don’t mean to do it, but it’s there.”

But Rymarchyk says those in other majors, such as nursing, social work, and occupational therapy, will also benefit from this presentation.

“These students will one day be in a position of power with their client, patient, or student,” said Rymarchyk, “so if they are exercising bias, than they are not getting the outcomes that they should.”

Bias and racism are learned, not inherent, according to Rymarchyk.

“We have bias because we are raised in a society that has on-going oppression,” she added. “I don’t think I have a particular hatred toward others, but I do have bias and I try to pay attention to it. My friends and family have it. I know it’s unintentional, and we don’t mean to have bias, but I see it all around me.”

Added Rymarchyk: “I hope the audience comes to the presentation with a truly open mind, and walks out with ideas on how they can uncover their own bias.”

If you cannot come to the presentation, click to attend via Adode Connect.

Hwang Gift will Help Students Travel to China

Many students covet the opportunity to travel internationally during their college experience, and Keuka College students are no exception. Thanks to a $20,000 gift from Dr. Michael Hwang, administrative chancellor for Keuka College China Campuses, Keuka College students may find travelling to China within easier reach.

Hwang, who also serves as professor of career management and experiential education for Keuka China Program, gave the gift in honor of his late colleague, Dr. Anne Marie Guthrie. Guthrie and Hwang worked closely together during the creation of Keuka College’s China programs, and continued their friendship and professional partnership until Guthrie’s passing.

Guthrie, who served 12 years as dean of Keuka College’s Center for Experiential Learning, was an exceptional leader, and a strong advocate for Field Period™. She passed away Oct. 29, 2013 after an eight-year battle with breast cancer.

Hwang will donate $4,000 each year for five years to a Keuka College student who will travel and learn more about experiential learning in China. The student will spend several months at one of Keuka College’s partner universities and either take courses, or complete a research project, on experiential learning while in China.

Students will complete an application and proposal to be considered for the scholarship. The proposal and application must include a specific plan, what the student intends to do with the learning experience, extracurricular activities, and academic performance, among other criteria. While no minimum grade-point-average is required, the applicant should be an upperclassman.

Applications and proposals will be reviewed and selected by Dr. Anne Weed, vice president for academic affairs.

Seeking Nominations for Stork Award

From left: Keuka College President Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera, Corinne Stork, and 2013 Stork Award recipients Carolyn and George Schaeffer.

Keuka College’s Community Associates Board is seeking nominations for the 2014 Donald and Corinne Stork Award for Community Service.

The College established the award to recognize individuals who exemplify its historic commitment to the value and benefit of using individual initiative for the common good. It was named after the first recipients (1991) of the award, Penn Yan resident Corinne Stork and the late Donald Stork.

Nominations may be sent to the Office of Alumni and Family Relations, Keuka College, 141 Central Ave., Keuka Park, N.Y., 14478 or by Friday, April 4.

The 2014 award will be presented Tuesday, Aug. 12, at noon in the Geiser Refectory, Dahlstrom Student Center.

NPR Host Scott Simon to Deliver Fribolin Lecture

Photo by Will O'Leary

Scott Simon, host of Weekend Edition Saturday on NPR, will deliver the 26th Annual Carl and Fanny Fribolin Lecture Tuesday, May 6, at Keuka College.

Simon will speak at 6:30 p.m. in Norton Chapel. It is free and open to the public.

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.

In addition to Weekend Edition Saturday, which has an audience of 4.2 million listeners, Simon hosts the PBS television series Backstage With … that features his conversations with some of the biggest names in theater, including Tom Hanks, Patricia Heaton, and Katie Holmes. He also hosts Need to Know on PBS.

Simon narrated the documentary film Lincoln of Illinois for PBS, and was blown up by Martians in the Grammy Award-nominated 50th anniversary remake of The War of the Worlds (co-starring Jason Robards).

Simon has reported from all 50 states and every continent. He has covered 10 wars, hundreds of campaigns, sieges, famines, hurricanes, earthquakes, civil wars, scandals, state funerals, and opening nights. He has interviewed and profiled some of the most interesting personalities of the times, from Mother Teresa, Ariel Sharon, and Wyclef Jean, to roving street kids in Rio, and refugees in Kosovo, Ethiopia and Sudan.

Simon has received numerous honors for his reporting, including a special 1989 George Foster Peabody Award for his weekly essays. He was awarded the Studs Terkel Media Award in 2009 and is the only journalist to serve on the National Institute on Civil Discourse (other members of the Institute include Colin Powell and Bill Clinton). He is also on the board of the Hemingway Collection at the JFK Presidential Library.

Simon has written for The New York Times Book Review and op-ed pages, The Wall Street Journal opinion and book page, The Los Angeles Times, Friends Journal, and Gourmet Magazine (his article on “Conflict Cuisine” won the James Beard Award for Best Food Writing, as well as the International Culinary Professionals Award).

Simon’s book, Home and Away: Memoir of a Fan, was published in the spring of 2000 by Hyperion. It topped The Los Angeles Times nonfiction best-seller list, and was cited as one of the best books of the year in The Washington Post, Boston Globe, and several other publications. His second book, Jackie Robinson and the Integration of Baseball, kicked off the prestigious Wiley Turning Points series in September of 2002, and was the Barnes and Noble Sports Book of the Year.

His most recent book, Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other: In Praise of Adoption, is a memoir about the subject of adoption and made the extended best-seller list.

In 2005, Simon published Pretty Birds, his novel about teenage girls during the siege of Sarajevo. Acclaimed as “the start of a brilliant new career,” it is now in its 13th printing. His most recent novel, the best-selling, political comedy Windy City, was chosen by The Washington Post as one of the best novels of 2008. Simon is working on a memoir about the life and death of his mother, tentatively titled Unforgettable (2015, Flat Iron Books).

A lover of ballet, Simon has appeared as Mother Ginger in the Ballet Austin production of The Nutcracker.

Cato Resident, Cato-Meridian Senior Recognized for Community Service

Breeanna Rothenburg

Breeanna Rothenburg, a resident of Cato and senior at Cato-Meridian High School, is the January recipient of Keuka College’s George H. Ball Community Achievement Award.

She joins Dakota Skinner, Bethany Derleth, Victoria Anderson, and Taylor McIntyre as recipients of the $68,000 scholarship ($17,000 annually), which recognizes strong academic and community service records. The College will award one more scholarship for 2013-14.

The award honors Rev. Dr. George Harvey Ball, founder and first president of Keuka College.

Rothenburg was nominated for the award by Sally Lebro, family and consumer science teacher at Cato-Meridian.

“I can’t imagine anyone who is more deserving of this award than Breeanna,” said Lebro. “She is No. 1 at helping anyone at anytime, regardless of what their needs are, and does this totally without regard for her own wants and needs.”

Rothenburg works with elementary students in after-school programs and is a peer tutor. In addition, she serves as a volunteer teaching assistant who“has earned great respect from the students she assists,” said Lebro. “She helped orchestrate a benefit for a patient with health problems and volunteers to help our local PTO whenever it needs assistance.”

She has helped organize numerous events at school and “spent countless hours cleaning and reorganizing the classrooms of teachers who need her help,” said Lebro.

Rothenburg assists senior citizens at the grocery store; shovels snow for people who can’t do it themselves; participated in the 5K Run for Respect race, a fundraiser for Special Olympics; and helped run a local kiddie carnival.

“She is a self-starter and doesn’t wait to be asked before pitching in,” said Lebro. “She just does it, and then sticks with it until everything is taken care of.”

Dakota Skinner

Skinner was nominated by Steven Gillule, a guidance counselor at Tioga Central.

“Community service has always been an integral part of my life,” said Skinner. “I continue to be active in programs and organizations that have a focus of helping individuals improve their quality of life.”

At school, he has been involved in numerous organizations, including SADD, the band, student council, and National Honor Society while engaging in a host of service activities such as American Red Cross blood drives and roadside clean-ups, among others.

The consummate student-athlete, Skinner has played varsity baseball since his freshman year and captained the varsity basketball team as a junior. He also serves as videographer for the football team.

Skinner donates his time and talents to numerous youth programs offered by his church, including vacation Bible school and Children’s Chat. He is also involved with various creative ministries, such as assisting with the choreography of hand puppet shows at nursing and retirement homes and singing Christmas carols for shut-ins.

His commitment to social responsibility is also evidenced by his work with Operation Christmas Child, participation in food drives for the local pantry, and assisting coaches at youth baseball clinics.

Bethany Derleth

Derleth, a resident of Rochester and senior at Greece Athena High School, was nominated for the award by Sarah Culp, associate pastor of the Greece Baptist Church.

“Bethany is involved in many aspects of community service, both within and outside the church,” said Culp, who is responsible for youth programming. “Always ready to lend a hand, Bethany is especially good with children, often assisting with their classes and volunteering in the nursery Sunday morning.”

Derleth spends many of her vacations and school breaks in service of others. Since seventh grade, she has spent spring break at Flower City Work Camp, helping low income homeowners with needed repairs. She also traveled to New Orleans, La., to assist with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in the Lower Ninth Ward.

She also donated her time and talents in Washington, D.C., planting trees, clearing a walkway, and cleaning up litter in an urban park, as well performing various tasks to prepare for the opening of a new school.

“Over the summer months, Bethany can be found at Cameron Community Ministries, assisting children with reading and math as well as helping out in the clothing closet and soup kitchen,” said Culp.

Victoria Anderson

Anderson, a resident of Glenville and student in the Hudson Valley Educational Consortium,  was nominated for the award by Helen Hagen, director/principal of Hudson Valley Educational Consortium, “a collaborative effort among SUNY Orange, Ulster, Rockland, and Sullivan community colleges to create broader access to academic programs and workforce training throughout the four-county region.”

“Victoria is a one-in-a-million, shining-light person,” said Hagen. “She brings her optimistic, enthusiastic, diligent, respectful charm to all she does. The trait I find most astounding in Victoria is her bone-deep kindness and empathy.”

Here are just a few examples of how Anderson has made a difference in her school, community, and world:

“Victoria is making the world a better place one day at a time,” said Hagen. “She has the skills and determination to make big things happen.”

Taylor McIntyre

McIntyre, a resident of Trumansburg and senior at Watkins Glen High School, was nominated for the award by Tammy Lotocky, an instructor in the criminal justice program at The Greater Southern Tier (GST) BOCES.

“Taylor has helped her community and made a difference to the people around her,” said Lotocky. “This consistent willingness to go above and beyond best describes her.”

Read more on McIntyre.

For more information on the George H. Ball Community Achievement Award, or to nominate a high school senior, go to:

Faculty Member, Author will Discuss His Novel Look at the Kennedy Assassination

Keuka College’s Community Luncheon Series will continue Wednesday, Jan. 22, with a talk by a former nuclear engineer who has written a novel about the assassination of President Kennedy.

Stan Wilczek Jr., assistant professor of business and management, will discuss “Did Oswald Act Alone? Author Believes He Did, but His Book Tells a Different Story,” at noon in the Gannett Room of Lightner Library.

Wilczek is convinced Oswald acted alone Nov. 22, 1963, but his novel, Last Witness, is filled—as the jacket of the book describes—with “secrets, seductions, sex, lies, cover-ups, and conspiracies.”

“I love writing fiction,” said Wilczek, “because I can write whatever I want.”

He has published three other mystery thrillers: The Kept Secret, The Soma Man, and Death’s Revenge.

Wilczek spent 30 years in the nuclear and utility industry, the last third as vice president and corporate officer. He earned an associate degree in engineering science from Mohawk Valley Community College, a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering from SUNY Buffalo, an MBA from Syracuse University, and graduated from Harvard’s Advanced Management Program.

Tickets for the luncheon are $12.75, $2.50 of which goes to the Penn Yan Keuka Club Scholarship Fund. The fund provides an annual scholarship to a local student attending Keuka College. Seating is limited, so reservations are advised.

Make checks payable to Keuka College and mail to: Office of Alumni and Family Relations, Keuka College, Keuka Park, N.Y. 14478. Reservations may also be made online at The reservation deadline is Friday, Jan. 17, 2014.

For more information, call (315) 279-5238 or email