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‘GIVE-ing’ to Those Less Fortunate

Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of 2015 Field Period™ scholarship recipients. Sophomores Aysia Smith and Emma Barden each received a Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Award. The award, named after the late 1963 Keuka College graduate, is supported by Brown’s family and the Class of ’63. It is designed to assist students who pursue a culturally-oriented Field Period™.

Aysia Smith

If there is a motto that rings true for sophomores Aysia Smith and Emma Barden, it might be ‘never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.’

That’s because while these Keuka College classmates each had intentions to travel while they were still in college, they both wanted to wait until they believed they had more life experience.

For example, Smith originally intended to complete a cultural Field Period™ during her senior year.

“I thought I should wait until I had more college experience and time to raise money,” said the early childhood/special education major with a global concentration. “My plans shifted dramatically in July, when my 14-year-old little brother, Alex, was killed in a farming accident. This tragedy taught me that you should pursue experiences and make a difference whenever possible.”

Barden shares that thought, as she also experienced loss over the summer with the death of her grandmother.

“Many people, like my grandmother, don’t have the opportunity to travel, but wish they had,” said the art and design major. “Her life was taken from pancreatic cancer, and she never had the chance to travel and learn about different cultures.”

So when both young women saw the opportunity to travel, they took it. Smith and Barden will travel with Growth International Volunteer Excursions (GIVE) to the Southeastern Asian nations of Laos and Thailand. GIVE is a Seattle-based volunteer organization that unites international volunteering with adventure travel to create a meaningful volunteer experience abroad. Both Smith and Barden will assist the local communities by teaching English to children and help build sustainable infrastructures using recycled plastic bottles as bricks.

“When I enrolled at Keuka College, I knew I wanted to spend time volunteering in Asia,” said Smith. “I have always loved volunteering, and Southeast Asia’s culture of helping each other is fascinating.”

“I believe that the best learning comes from first hand experiences of life lessons and culture that cannot be created in a classroom,” she added. “As an educator, I want to understand how to teach students who are English-learners and learn how to create lessons that are culturally appropriate.”

Emma Barden

And while Smith creates those lesson plans, Barden will focus more on understanding why Buddhism means so much to her.

“Buddhism inspires me and I am excited to learn more about this religion,” said Barden. “Buddhists conduct their lives so peacefully, and I think about the way they live as a way to help me overcome my anxiety. This journey will bring me the opportunity to speak with the local monks during a Buddhist Alms ceremony.”

Barden will also volunteer at the Asiatic Black Bear Rescue Center where she will assist with landscaping and terracing.

“Not only will I be volunteering, but immersing myself into the local lifestyle and culture,” she said. “This is exciting because I have a strong desire for traveling and learning, and this experience will help fulfill my passions. I look forward to realizing my Field Period™ goals and objectives, bringing them to life during my journey.”

Smith agrees.

“Allowing myself to be submerged in a new culture will grant me the opportunity to learn about myself, and what I can do to be a more culturally rounded individual,” she said. “I will also learn to form connections with people who are different from me as I develop a deeper appreciation for the Asian culture. This will help me become a more knowledgeable educator and citizen, as this is critical in today’s world.”

Added Barden: “Volunteering abroad has always been my dream, and I am grateful to receive the Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Fund Award and follow in her footsteps. This award will allow me to have a life-changing experience which I can share and encourage fellow students to do the same.”

Penguins, Monuments, Wine, and More

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of 2015 Field Period™ scholarship recipients. Junior Aksel Jensen received a Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Award. The award, named after the late 1963 Keuka College graduate, is supported by Brown’s family and the Class of ’63. It is designed to assist students who pursue a culturally-oriented Field Period™.

Lucius Annaeus Seneca once said ‘travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.’ And new vigor is what junior Aksel Jensen intends to pursue during his Field Period™ to South Africa.

The management major will spend 12 days in the home of his friend and Keuka College senior Stuart Carmichael-Green and his family, including Stuart’s brother James, who is a sophomore at the College.

“The Carmichael-Green family has offered me a great opportunity with their willingness to show me the cultural activities of their homeland,” said Jensen.

One of the activities that will be familiar to Jensen is the opportunity to attend wine tours and see firsthand how their wine country compares to that of the Finger Lakes. According to Jensen, one of the biggest imports from South Africa to America is wine.

“Stuart and James’ father, Mark, is a wine maker,” said Jensen. “He has offered to show me the differences he sees in business between South Africa and America, as he takes trips to America for business. As a management major, this is what I am extremely excited about, as this will help me have a better understanding of international business.”

“This will allow me to discover different types of business activities and markets in another country such as the importation and exportation of different goods between South Africa and America,” Jensen added.

In addition, Jensen said the Carmichael-Green family will help him explore “attractions that regular travelers would see, but we will also tour the ‘real’ highlights of the area, such as the different historical monuments that commemorate the contributions slaves made to the city and the discrimination they faced.”

Jensen will also visit the beaches of Boulder’s Bay, which features South Africa’s largest penguin population, and try popular foods like biltong, a dried meat product similar to beef jerky.

Added Jensen: “I am extremely excited to immerse myself in a different culture for the first time.”

Keuka College to Mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day With a Day of Service Jan. 18

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question,” said Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “is ‘what are you doing for others?’”

Keuka College is providing an answer to that question for its students and community residents as it continues a 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. 18. On that day, millions of volunteers will come together to donate their time and talents to honor the legacy of Dr. King, and help fulfill his vision for a better America.

“The Office of Multicultural Affairs has organized a day of service in recognition of Dr. King’s birthday since 2009. This year will be no different,” said Chevanne DeVaney, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs. “Together, let’s make this a day on, not a day off.”

As part of Keuka College’s annual MLK Day of Service, members of the College’s men’s and women’s basketball teams, with support from Deb Curbeau, girls varsity basketball coach at Penn Yan Academy, will conduct a free hoops clinic for children 5-12 years old at the Penn Yan Academy gym from noon-2 p.m. Refreshments will be provided.

Kacey helps members of the Keuka College Wolfpack basketball teams give advice on how to play the game during last year's MLK Day of Service.

Other service opportunities that day include helping to paint the set for Penn Yan Middle School’s upcoming musical at the Penn Yan Middle School Auditorium from 9 a.m.-noon. Volunteers could also spend time with residents of Clinton Crest Manor from 9:30-11:30 a.m. and play board games, provide nail manicures, or read the Bible, among other activities.

Members of the men's basketball team chat with residents of Clinton Crest Manor during last year's MLK Day of Service.

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 learn more about ways to get involved in this service event, contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs at or call (315) 279-5225.

Keuka College Student Club Donation Aids Honor Flight

Thanks to the efforts of the student members of the Keuka College Veterans Club, a local veteran will be able to participate in an Honor Flight from Rochester to Washington, D.C. in the spring.

Left to right, Bob Johnston, former Marine and director of AVI Food Systems on campus, Denise Duby, mother of a Marine and member of the KC advancement staff, Andy Swarthout, Siobhan Costain '17, Laurie Adams '83, club advisor and assistant director of alumni and family relations, Rich Martin '05, club advisor, a U.S. Army veteran, and program director of the (ASAP) criminal justice program.

Honor Flight Rochester is one of 130 hubs in a national network which enables members of the military who served during WWII, the Korean, Vietnam or Cold Wars, to travel free of charge to Washington, D.C. to visit the monuments and memorials honoring their service. The non-profit program, coordinated by volunteers, funds trips entirely through the generosity of donors and sponsors. Veterans fly to D.C. accompanied by a “guardian” who assists them in navigating travel to and from the various sites.

The Keuka College Veterans Club conducted two fundraisers in the spring to raise $300 to donate toward the Honor Flight Program; a veteran’s trip is valued at $500. At this year’s Veterans’ Day ceremony in Norton Chapel, Siobhan Costain ‘17, president of the club, participated in a symbolic gesture of giving to a local veteran; a formal check presentation was made Dec. 17 on campus.

Siobhan Costain '17 hugs a local veteran during the Honor Flight recognition portion of the Nov. 11 veterans day ceremony at Norton Chapel.

“A lot of times veterans are forgotten more than they should be,” said Costain, whose father and grandfather served in the military. “We are awed by the fact that these men and women have done so much for the country, and this is what we could do for them.”

P. Earle Gleason, former director of the Yates County Veterans Service Agency and an Army veteran who served in Vietnam, helps coordinate Honor Flight travel for Yates County veterans along with locals Norm Koek and Andy Swarthout. According to Gleason, some 23 veterans from throughout the county have taken Honor Flights to D.C. so far and another six to eight have applications in process for the coming year.

The Penn Yan volunteers help coordinate local contingents of Yates County veterans to travel together within one of the three honor flights offered from Rochester each fall or spring. Honor flights are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis, with priority given to veterans of the oldest eras first, then to those in more recent service eras suffering terminal illness.

Veterans enjoy a complimentary dinner following the Nov. 11 ceremony

Unlike other Honor Flights around the country, veterans who travel from Rochester enjoy a 36-hour trip, including an overnight stay at the Hilton Hotel at Baltimore-Washington International airport after a full Saturday of travel to D.C. memorials. A special banquet is hosted for the veterans that evening and according to Rich Stewart, president of Honor Flight Rochester, the time after the keynote speaker concludes can be “quite moving” as veterans begin to share their memories.

“A lot of them will open up and tell stories never told before, even with their families,” explained Stewart, who has made the trip a half dozen times as a guardian or bus leader. “People who’ve never publicly spoken in their lives will say ‘I need the microphone’ and it takes your breath away sometimes.”

Thanks to Honor Flight Rochester, 2,121 veterans have visited the military memorials since Rochester trips began in 2008, Stewart said, adding the vets are often greeted in D.C. by military and government officials. When veterans return to Rochester Sunday morning, they may find as many as 500 to 700 people to greet them, he said. In addition to friends and family, the airport welcome includes patriot guard riders bearing flags, a variety of community bands playing patriotic songs, and even members of the Knights of Columbus who create an archway of swords for veterans to pass under, Stewart described.

Local veterans stand at attention Nov. 11 during the playing of "Taps."

“It’s really a hero’s march, if ever there was one. It never gets old,” Stewart said. “Please thank the young folks down there for all they’re doing!”

Local veterans from WWII, the Korean War or ill veterans from the Vietnam or Cold War eras interested in applying for the next Yates County tour-within-a-tour are encouraged to contact Norm Koek at St. Mark’s Terrace or the Yates County Veterans Service Agency for an application to Honor Flight Rochester, Gleason advised. While applications can also be made directly online at, online applicants may not be grouped with others from Yates County. The Yates County coordinators also work to defray travel costs for guardians.

Two Keuka College Alumni Named to Rochester Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 List

Two Keuka College alumni have been named to the Rochester Business Journal’s (RBJ) Forty Under 40 list.

Ryan Hallings M’12, vice president, commercial/agricultural loan officer at Lyons National Bank, and Lindsay Morrow-Lilly M’15, corporate communications officer at Canandaigua National Bank were recognized at an awards presentation today (Nov. 19).

“I am humbled to be included with the company of past and present recipients of this award,” said Hallings, who earned a master of management (MSM) degree from Keuka College. “I am appreciative that the RBJ and its panel chose to include me.”

With nominations from the community and selections by a committee of business leaders, the Forty Under 40 awards recognize 40 men and women under the age of 40 who have achieved professional success and made significant civic contributions to their communities.

Steve Griffin, CEO of Finger Lakes Economic Development Center, nominated Hallings to the list, while Robert Schick, president of Lyons National Bank and chair of Keuka College’s Board of Trustees, adds that Ryan, “a Penn Yan native and a real asset to the bank, came to us ‘work ready.’”

Ryan Hallings

As a commercial/agricultural loan officer at Lyons National Bank, Hallings’ primary role is to work closely with existing and prospective business customers to provide appropriate financial products to meet their capital and cash flow needs.

“I also participate in bank management meetings regarding operations and balance sheet performance, as well as co-chair the LNB culture committee comprised of leaders from each functional area,” said Hallings, who has been with the bank nearly four years.

And Hallings credits his Keuka College education for providing “unique scenarios and opportunities to practice and improve leadership skills, such as decision making, self-awareness, teamwork, and presentation skills, among others,” he said, adding this was perhaps the largest benefit of the program.

While Hallings considered other master’s in business administration and master’s in public administration programs in the area, he said Keuka College’s MSM coursework was a “good blend of the two degree programs and was competitively priced. The accelerated cohort format with evening classes was especially convenient, as I could complete the program in just 18 months while working full time.”

In addition, Hallings credits the course content, including accounting, macroeconomics, and marketing, as being “helpful in many ways.”

Lindsay Morrow-Lilly

Morrow-Lilly serves as vice president for corporate communications and shareholder relations manager at Canandaigua National Bank & Trust (CNB), is a 2015 graduate of Leadership Rochester, graduate of the American Bankers Association School of Bank Marketing & Management, and completed the McArdle Ramerman Leadership Agility Program.

“Being named to the Rochester Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 is an incredible honor,” said Morrow-Lilly. “I am truly humbled to join such a prestigious group of leaders in the Rochester region. An honor such as this encourages me to continue to give back and support others in their efforts to make our communities a better place to live, work, and play.”

Steve Martin, senior vice president at CNB coordinated Morrow-Lilly’s nomination to the Forty Under 40 list.

“Lindsay is a special and universally respected individual whose work ethic is unquestioned,” said Martin. “Nominating her for the RBJ’s Forty Under 40 list was an easy choice from our point. With her enormous gift for communications, Lindsay has a bright future ahead of her, and it is truly my honor to call her my colleague.”

As corporate communications and shareholder relations manager, Morrow-Lilly’s primary responsibilities include serving CNB’s constituents—focusing specifically on internal and external communications. She is also responsible for events and community involvement, fostering a strong CNB brand and corporate culture, as well as establishing and managing a shareholder relations program.

“In the five years between receiving my undergraduate degree and entering the Keuka College program, a master’s degree seemed to become less of an ‘option’ and more of a necessity for those looking to excel corporately,” said Morrow-Lilly. “I didn’t want my lack of an advanced degree to hold me back in the future, and the breadth of Keuka College’s management program seemed a perfect fit at an ideal time in my life.

She chose Keuka College because “it is a local, well-regarded institution that offers an intensive, yet convenient option for an advanced degree program.”

“The cohort style of learning at Keuka College fostered lasting friendships and enhanced my professional network,” Morrow-Lilly added. “A master’s degree from Keuka College has been a true compliment to my professional experiences, nurturing a strategic and innovative vision and critical thinking skills. I have praised the program to others at every opportunity.”