Penn Yan native Tony Collins, motivational speaker and retired NFL player, will speak at Keuka College Tuesday, Sept. 23.
Free and open to the public, Collins will discuss “Choices and Opportunities: Become What You Believe. The Power of Positive Thinking,” at 7 p.m. in Hegeman Hall 109. Collins, a motivational speaker, will share his story of addiction and the choices he needed to make to get him where he is today.
Selected in the second round of the NFL Draft in 1981, Collins spent eight seasons with the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins. His successful football career was highlighted by a Pro Bowl selection in 1983, and a single-game rushing record of 212 yards for the Patriots. This led him to the biggest stage imaginable for a football player—playing in the Super Bowl.
Before playing on football’s biggest stage, Collins first garnered notoriety in high school as a starter on the 1976 New York State Class B Champion Penn Yan Academy Mustangs. After high school, Collins attended East Carolina University (ECU) where he continued to break records and was inducted into ECU’s Hall of Fame.
Although he did not complete his undergraduate degree during his initial time at ECU, realizing the value of an education, he returned back to school and received his bachelor’s degree in communications in May 2011.
While Collins’ successes on the field were many, the destructive choices he made off the field resulted in a downward spiral. Collins shares his story in his recently published biography, BROKEN ROAD, Turning My Mess into a Message. His story is a reminder that positive thinking has the power to save a life.
Keuka College is proud to unveil a new and redesigned athletics website that will allow fans of the Wolfpack’s teams and student-athletes easier access to the latest news and information about the College’s 19 intercollegiate athletic squads.
Partnering with PrestoSports, a company that has designed and built athletics websites for hundreds of colleges and universities, the redesigned site will incorporate the College’s new athletics identity — the Wolfpack — and can be found at www.KCWolfpack.com.
The new and improved website will allow fans across the country better access to follow their favorite teams all season long.
The design has been cleaned up and mainstreamed, with a brighter and more reflective look.
There is also more of an emphasis placed on both videos and social media, with easy to find social media tabs for the Wolfpack’s Twitter (@KeukaAthletics), Facebook (www.facebook.com/KeukaAthletics), Instagram (@KeukaAthletics) and YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/KeukaAthletics) accounts.
Each sport’s schedule, roster and the latest news on that team is easily found on both the homepage and each sport-specific page. (more…)
Two of the survivors of the Seton Hall University arson of Jan. 19, 2000, Shawn Simons and Alvaro Llanos, will share their experiences at Keuka College Friday, Sept. 5.
Free and open to the public, the program begins at 7 p.m. in Norton Chapel. Simons and Llanos, who were freshman roommates, were severely burned during the fire. They will speak as part of the Office of Campus Safety’s fire safety training for the fall semester.
What started as a prank in the early morning hours in Seton Hall University’s freshman residence hall, Boland Hall, ended with three freshmen losing their lives and nearly 60 injured. Of the 58 student injuries, five were critical, including Simons and Llanos, and required extensive hospitalization.
“Shawn and Alvaro suffered extensive, disfiguring burns, and I am certain that seeing and listening to them will be an experience those in attendance will not soon forget,” said Pat Kasnick, director of campus safety.
At approximately 4:30 a.m. that morning, a fire alarm was received for the six-story Boland Hall in the security office at Seton Hall. The fire on the third floor quickly involved the furniture in the elevator lobby and adjoining area.
Students would later recount that false fire alarms were almost considered a way of life on the college campus, with the result that they tended to be largely ignored. Within minutes, however, students—including Simons and Llanos—became aware that there indeed was a fire. This time, it wasn’t a false alarm.
Scared, the roommates crawled in the direction that they were accustomed to going, not knowing that they were crawling right into the fire. If they had headed to the nearest exit, a stairwell they rarely used, there was the possibility they could have escaped the building without injury.
Losing each other in the blackened hallway, Simons crawled right through and past the fire, but not without his hands taking on third degree burns as his palms stuck to the sweltering floor tiles as he pushed for safety. He also suffered first and second degree burns to his head and face, bringing his percentage of body burned to 16 percent and an insurmountable amount of smoke inhalation. His face was so badly burned that doctors predicted he would be frighteningly disfigured. They feared his fingers, seared almost to the bone, would have to be amputated.
Llanos was hurt even more gravely. As he approached the burning lounge, Llanos saw a glimmer of light from the stairwell adjacent to the lounge. As he stood up to push the door open, a fireball erupted from the burning ceiling tiles, igniting his coat and causing third degree burns from his head to his torso. As he tumbled out into the hallway still ablaze, two resident assistants were able to put the fire out on Llanos, but not before he experienced burns on 56 percent of his body. Chunks of his once athletic frame were gone. From his waist up, nothing was spared
Simons endured months of physical and occupational therapy, while Llanos’ recovery process took years. Not only was it a physical toll on Llanos and Simons, but it was a mental and emotional roller coaster as well. Learning to deal with being comfortable in their new “burned” skin was a mission all in itself.
Two students who started the fire as a prank were indicted in mid-2003, reached a plea agreement with prosecutors in late 2006, and were sentenced to five years’ imprisonment in early 2007.
A film documenting the tragedy, After the Fire, was made in 2012. To view the trailer of the movie click here.
Twenty-two faculty and staff members were recognized for their service and dedication to Keuka College at Community Day Aug. 19.
Five-year service awards were presented to: Dianne Trickey-Rokenbrod, assistant professor of occupational therapy; Lynne Heath, academic records specialist; Troy Cusson, instructional design manager, Wertman Office of Distance Education; Michele “Mikki” Sheldon, administrative assistant for the Office of Academic Affairs; Jessica Dunkelberger, director of program administration and student services; Christen Accardi, assistant director of marketing; Teresa Ripley, administrative assistant for the Division of Humanities and Fine Art; Eric Detar, College chaplain; Timothy White; resident director and assistant director of housing and residence life; Alex Perryman, assistant professor of finance; Melissa Newcomb, assistant professor of art; and Jennie Joiner, chair, Division of Humanities and Fine Art and assistant professor of English.
Ten-year service awards were presented to: Kristen Harter, assistant director of admissions, traditional; Janet Lanphear, data entry coordinator; and Carmela Battaglia, professor of occupational therapy.
Fifteen-year service awards were presented to: Mike McKenzie, assistant professor of philosophy and religion; Jason Paige, head men’s lacrosse coach; and Deb Jensen, accounting assistant, payroll.
A 20-year service award was presented to Gary Smith, professor of management.
Merit awards were presented to Rebecca Capek, resident director and success advocate; and Dunkelberger.
Presidential Awards for Sustained Outstanding Achievement were presented to: Ann Tuttle, professor of management; Detar; and Sandra Devaux, graphic designer.
U.S. Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) met with Keuka College students, faculty, staff, and administrators at the Jephson Community Athletic Complex Thursday afternoon to talk about a pressing and serious issue: domestic violence and sexual assault.
According to the National Institute of Justice, one in five women experiences sexual assault during her college years, a figure that Reed hopes to reduce not only through proposed legislation, but by personally educating college students in his district through visits similar to Thursday’s.
Reed told the story of how his 18-year-old niece was sexually assaulted during a high school prom. “This topic is personal to me …. she was the victim of a horrific crime, and it tore our family apart,” he said.
Reed shared his first-hand experience with the impact sexual assault and domestic violence has on women and their families to a captive audience, many of whom were student-athletes and mentors to new students.
Reed said seeing his niece’s pain devastated him, but that he was proud of her for “standing up [in court], facing her attackers, looking them in the eye, and saying what they did was not okay.
“I decided to use my office as a means to bring awareness to these issues, and together, we’re going to say ‘no more’ to sexual assault and domestic violence,” Reed told the crowd, referencing the national campaign he and his staff are involved with. NO MORE seeks to raise awareness of, and bring an end to, domestic violence and sexual assault.
Reed also talked about the recently introduced Campus Accountability and Safety Act, a piece of bipartisan legislation he and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) are together championing along with more than a dozen other lawmakers.
“I’m a republican and she’s a democrat, but that doesn’t matter,” he said. “We need to come together as a nation and say enough is enough.”
The proposed legislation requires, among other things, training for college personnel and gives students access to confidential advisors on campus, two things Keuka College’s policies already require. The bill would also increase accountability and cooperation with law enforcement at all of the nation’s colleges and universities.
Sophomore Kelly Bailey, an adolescent mathematics education major from Avon and member of the women’s volleyball team, said she is encouraged that elected leaders such as Reed and Gillibrand are doing everything they can to raise awareness of these issues.
“I thought it was a great message and brings a lot to our campus,” she said. “I’m training to be a high school math teacher, and this is a big issue in high schools, too.”
When asked how students can help, Reed replied by saying they should share his message.
“Talk about it. Talk about what it’s like to be in a healthy relationship. And when you see something wrong, step up and say something. Do something. I know each and every one of you will know it when you see it,” Reed said.
Reed’s message aligns perfectly with Keuka College’s commitment to threading social responsibility throughout its curriculum.
“To have the congressman talk so openly and honestly about this was surprising to many, but I don’t think it’s something our students will forget, and that’s a good thing,” said Keuka College President Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera. “Keuka College is one of the safest campuses in the country, but we can never lower our guard. We must talk about these topics openly and honestly to prevent anything from happening.”
“We want our students to be citizens and leaders who serve their communities, the nation, and the world. Sharing stories such as Congressman Reed’s is one powerful way they can do that.”