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Archive for the ‘Points of Pride’ Category

New Video Game has Keuka College Connection

When you combine a train, a birthday party, and a cast of characters who may or may not help you on your journey into the unknown, you get The Charnal House Trilogy, the latest video game from Owl Cave Games.

And the trilogy, comprised of Inhale, Sepulchure, and Exhale, has a Keuka College connection. Kelsey R. Marquart ’12 is a voice actor in two of the games, Inhale and Exhale. In Inhale, Marquart portrays the answering machine of the main character, Alex. For Exhale, she voices Carli, a minor villain.

“I like playing video games and villains, so this was a great way to combine some of my interests,” said Marquart. “I always wanted to be a voice actor in some way. A couple of years ago, I took a one-night voice-acting class at Cayuga Community College, and I was able to put what I learned into the games.”

She also credits Mark Wenderlich, professor of theatre, for boosting her aplomb and encouraging her as she was active in the College’s theatrical productions.

Kelsey R. Marquart

“While I was the stage manager for most of the plays, I helped with stage readings, was in a couple of on-campus movies, performed in one Keuka College production, and was in a play at Auburn Community Theatre,” said Marquart. “Mark gave me the confidence to get on stage—he’s amazing.”

And she can also thank a popular form of social media for helping her land her first voice-acting roles.

“I became friends with the game developer, Ashton Raze, after following her on Twitter,” said Marquart, who recorded her lines via her computer’s webcam. “She released Sepulchre first as a free stand-alone game in September 2013 and then the trilogy as a whole was recently released. She asked if I would voice characters in Inhale and Exhale. I received the script and read the whole thing so that I could figure out how to record my lines.”

For example, for the answering machine, Marquart tried to get the “human-ness” out of her voice. Marquart described Carli like a character out of Mean Girls.

According to Marquart, “the games are point-and-click style adventure games, in the same vein as King’s Quest and Monkey Island. The art is also in the same style.”

Kelsey R. Marquart '12 voices Carli, shown far right, in the new video game The Charnel House Trilogy

“The games are interactive horror-mystery and players must figure out the nature of the world in the game,” said Marquart. “The story is driven by exploration, and you must solve puzzles along the way. For example, if you need to get into a door but it’s locked, you need to figure out what to do or where to go in order to get the key to that door.”

For those interested in giving the game a whirl, here’s a brief synopsis:

Sepulchre casts you in the role of Dr. Harold Lang as you piece together his memory and navigate his fateful journey into the unknown. Find out how some strange characters are connected in this unsettling take on trains, historians, and huge bags.

In Inhale, you play as Alex, who is celebrating her birthday on the train. She is waiting impatiently for an urgent delivery—one that will change her life. Haunted by snatches of a past she can barely face, Alex longs to escape her room, her apartment, and her life. Discover the part she plays on the ominous train journey.

Alex wakes up in a familiar location after a with tragedy in Exhale. Join her in her desperate search to find the doctor she met and travel to the mysterious island of Augur Peak. Can she survive the journey? Why does she want to escape? And what is the dark and terrible secret from her past that doesn’t seem to want to stay hidden?

Marquart also serves as the editor-in-chief of the gaming and geek culture site Nerdy But Flirty, and is a member of the StreamFriends livestreaming group.

To purchase the game, log onto http://store.steampowered.com

In Praise of Art: the Power of Belief

This spring’s senior art show at Keuka College will feature the works of four seniors, each accomplished artists in their own rights and each with their own signature style.

Their joint exhibit, “Underneath It All,” will be featured in Lightner Gallery in the Lightner Library at Keuka College from April 20 – May 15. An artists’ reception, where light refreshments will be served, will be held Thursday, April 23, from 4:30-6 p.m.


Within the show are four separate themes conveying the work of each student artist. Potsdam resident Kaycee Maguire’s segment, “Ode to Spring,” features patterned designs created by the lacrosse midfielder who is completing a minor in graphic design and marketing. Horseheads resident Danielle Alred created a series of movie posters depicting the hidden, inner world where people can battle any of the seven deadly sins, while appearing otherwise fine on the outside in her works, “7 Deadly.” Dundee resident Jesse Ninos is going big with his larger-than-life mixed media and graphic design with an art noveau style in “We are Dragons.” Meanwhile, Interlaken resident Megan Chase uses watercolor paint, black india ink and fabrics to showcase women “Breaking the Boundaries” of traditional standards of beauty.

"Confinement" by Megan Chase

“I see women as snowflakes— while there are millions, there are no two who are exactly alike. Our differences as human beings should be praised rather than shamed,” Chase offered as explanation for her presented works.

In her four years on campus, Chase said she was able to explore many different mediums and styles of art as well as writing (she’s passionate about both) and will graduate with a diverse skill set, thanks to her visual and verbal art degree. After a digital photography course followed by a Foundations of Art course during her freshman year, Chase said she chose to switch her major from English to visual and verbal art.

“I am leaving Keuka College with a lot more than just an art degree, I’m leaving with communication skills that can be applied to all other aspects in life as well as a career. The program here has really allowed me to find and pursue my passions in life and I believe it allows all art majors to do so,” Chase said.

"Spring Circle" design by Kaycee Maguire

For Maguire, Keuka College offers a “ton of resources,” she said, counting Melissa Newcomb, assistant professor of art, among them. “Ms. Newcomb is a great advisor who always pushes students to strive for the best,” Maguire said.

“Graduating as one of the first few with an art & design major is awesome,” Maguire added, referring to the major the College introduced in 2013. “I have a ton of experience in a variety of fields. This program is headed in a great direction.”

And it’s preparing graduates for success too, as evidenced by the job offer Danielle Alred of Horseheads already received, to join the Elmira Jackals hockey team as its art director after graduation. Alred conducted a Field Period™ study with the Jackals in January, providing graphic design support for the East Coast Hockey (ECHL) minor league team, producing designs for their website, Jumbo-Tron and outdoor billboards, as well as social media. She credits her ability to stand out to the Jackals and others because of the handful of art classes she began taking each year after discovering a passion for graphic design in her sophomore year.

One of Danielle Alred's "7 Deadly" designs

“As soon as I stepped foot into that design class I fell in love with art, which led to my student-initiated minor in digital design. Having a minor in digital design and having the skills in various Adobe design programs has helped me to stand out on campus as well as at Field Period™ sites. Being in the art program has led to a variety of different opportunities that honed my skills in not only graphic design but in a variety of different art forms,” the organizational communication major said.

Ninos too, can boast enhanced skills through his Keuka College training, having produced works in mediums that span everything from spray-painted street art, caricatures, sculpture, comics-style art and graphic design. Describing himself as “infatuated” with mixed media, Ninos has begun to focus on fantasy-themed works evocative of his artistic idols Alan Lee (illustrator of Lord of the Rings), Mary Doodles of YouTube fame, and various DC, Marvel and Wildcats comic-book artists.

Ninos's work, "Troll"

“I have learned that I love capturing the element of movement, with strong lines, the essence of an organic object or the gesture of a figure drawing coming alive on the page,” Ninos said, adding that his best work often consumes eight hours or more.

Ninos said he enjoys creating art that can serve “as a strong narrative element in storytelling.” Given his love of movement, expression and emotion in art, he is pursuing further study and has applied to graduate art programs at SUNY Oswego and Alfred University.

"Winter Circle" design by Kaycee Maguire

Newcomb praised the seniors for preparing unique works reflecting different life values, beliefs, interests or personal identification with the world, and in doing so in a short two-and-a-half months time.

“Each one has a strong presence, and powerful statement built through layers of meaning,” Newcomb said. “They are leaving a strong impression on the future of the Art & Design program.”

Fulbright Scholar to Lecture on Campus April 27 -28

Keuka College will welcome a visiting scholar from Nigeria to campus April 27 and 28, thanks to the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Outreach Lecturing Fund (OLF). A senior lecturer in engineering at Nnamdi Azikiwe Unversity in Awka, Nigeria, Dr. Matthew Menkiti is currently conducting research at Texas Tech University as a Fulbright visiting scholar.

Visiting Fulbright Scholar Dr. Matthew Menkiti

Dr. Menkiti will speak twice during his campus visit. His first lecture, entitled Petroleum Produced Water Treatment Processes and Management,” will focus on the utilization of novel plant and animal extracts as active treatment agents and will be held from 4 – 5:30 p.m. in Hegeman Hall, Room 109. In his second talk, entitled “Republican Democracy in the Traditional ‘Igbo Nation’ of Nigeria,” he will focus on his home culture. That lecture will focusing on the evolution and influence of Europeanization from the colonial to post-colonial era, and will be held from 1-2:30 p.m. in the Brezinsky Room of Dahlstrom Student Center. Both lectures are free and open to the public.

Since 1946, the federally-funded international educational exchange program has been operating and is considered an important diplomatic tool, building relationships between American academics, policy experts, and students and their foreign counterparts. Each year, some 800 faculty and professionals from around the world receive highly competitive Fulbright Scholar grants to travel to higher education institutions to conduct advanced research and lecture at other universities on their research specialties and the history and culture of their home countries. American faculty can also apply for competitive grants to travel abroad for research or teaching opportunities, while students can apply for international exchange study.

Through the Fulbright Scholar Program, U.S. students, faculty and community members have the opportunity to exchange ideas with visiting Fulbright scholars and the foreign scholars themselves can become better acquainted with U.S. higher education, and create links between their home institutions, host institutions stateside and the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES).

Dr. Angela Narasimhan

According to Dr. Angela Narasimhan, assistant professor of political science, this is the first time Keuka College has welcomed a Fulbright scholar as a visiting lecturer, and it’s the beginning of what she hopes will be many new academic advantages for the College, its faculty and students.

For example, the College could apply to host a Fulbright visiting scholar on campus for a year, and Narasimhan is particularly excited about the possibility of hosting foreign language tutors who could teach new languages to Keuka College students. Meanwhile, Keuka College faculty could apply for Fulbright scholarships to teach abroad or conduct research.

“I’ve always dreamed of doing a Fulbright [scholarship] to go back to Romania where I did my undergraduate degree and teach there, maybe for a semester or a year,” Narasimhan said.

Dr. Wendy Gaylord

Among the campus community, Dr. Wendy Gaylord, dean of the Keuka China Program (KCP), in which Chinese students at four partner schools overseas receive Keuka College degrees, received a Fulbright Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) award in 2002-03 to conduct research for her dissertation in Indonesia. She gave the program high praise, saying that “the Fulbright community was a wonderful group of doctoral students doing dissertation research in various fields, professors teaching or doing research and [foreign] scholars going to the U.S. for study or research or teaching.”

No matter what opportunities may be sought from the Fulbright program in the future, Narasimhan said that the first step is to host someone internationally recognized and distinguished for a campus visit. Dr. Menkiti’s visit will serve as the beginning of an “active relationship” with the Fulbright Scholar program.

“We’re going to start to take advantage of the opportunities that are available,” Narasimhan said.

To that end, Narasimhan and fellow assistant professor of political science, Dr. David Pak Leon, will host an informational session on the Fulbright program from 4-5 p.m., Tuesday, April 28 in Hegeman Hall, Room 109. Narasimhan and Leon are campus representatives for the Fulbright Scholar program.

“This is part of trying to encourage global citizenship and active engagement, whether at home or abroad,” Narasimhan said.

For more information on the Fulbright Visiting Scholar program, visit online at: http://www.iie.org/fulbright.

 

Jenn Burt Doesn’t Let Cystic Fibrosis Slow her Down

Senior Jennifer Burt (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan) was born with Cystic Fibrosis, a life-threatening disorder that wreaks havoc on a person’s lungs and digestive system.

Burt, who is a four-year member of the Keuka College women’s lacrosse team, has not let her Cystic Fibrosis slow her down or prevent her from achieving her athletic goals.

Cystic Fibrosis is an inherited condition that affects 30,000 people nationwide. Its victims experience a congestion or backup in one’s secretory glands, the glands that produce mucus and sweat.

In patients with Cystic Fibrosis, the lungs and the pancreas are hit especially hard with thicker-than-usual fluids that, instead of acting as a lubricant, can clog up essential tubes, ducts and passageways.

There is no known cure for Cystic Fibrosis, but in the last 10 years, modern medicine has helped Cystic Fibrosis patients live longer, fuller lives than ever before.

A decade ago, the life expectancy of a child diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis was 18 years. Today, that figure has doubled to 37.5 years, on average, and the hope in the medical community is that one day very soon, life expectancy will exceed 40 years and keep climbing.

A three-sport standout at nearby Penn Yan Academy, Burt, an attacker, has blossomed into one of the most lethal scoring threats in the history of Keuka women’s lacrosse.

Burt ranks third all-time in career goals (132) and assists (48), and she is fourth in career points (180) while leading Keuka to back-to-back North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) postseason championships and the program’s first two berths in the NCAA Division III tournament.

She is a two-time All-NEAC selection who has scored 35 or more goals in each of her three full seasons in Keuka Park, including scoring 62 points on 41 goals with 21 assists her freshman year, the eighth-highest point total in a season in school history.

And while she has had her fair share of difficulties because of Cystic Fibrosis, you wouldn’t know it watching her play the sport she loves.

Burt has been resolute in her determination to live each day to the fullest, whether on the lacrosse field, in the classroom, or hanging out with her friends.

“My parents (Jon and Sandy) raised me to never let anything stop me from doing what I want in life, and having Cystic Fibrosis was no exception,” said Burt, a business management major.

“I was diagnosed at birth, and my parents were always very open about my condition, so it never seemed different or unusual for me to have this growing up. I was a three-sport athlete until just before I graduated from Penn Yan and I rarely had any instances where you would tell I have this disease unless I mentioned it.”

Burt and her Wolfpack teammates are pitching in to join the fight against Cystic Fibrosis. When Keuka hosts NEAC rival SUNY Polytechnic at 1 p.m. Saturday, it will be the first Cystic Fibrosis Awareness game in school history.

The student-athletes on the team hope to raise more than $500 for the Blooming Rose Foundation, an organization that helps support families who have a child diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis.

Burt, who has appeared in and started 55 games in her Wolfpack career, said the only real observable clue that she was dealing with a medical condition while playing would be an occasional coughing fit, depending on the weather.

“I was always told that exercise in any form would help improve my lung function,” Burt said. “I never used my condition as an excuse to get out of something that the team was doing, but rather I used it as a motivator to push myself harder. My coaches knew, but not very many of my teammates knew, and I was just fine with that. No reason to get attention or sympathy when I didn’t need, want or deserve it. Cystic Fibrosis has pushed me to become a better athlete and it has helped drive my passion for playing lacrosse.”

Unlike previous years, during her senior season, Burt decided to open up to all of her teammates about her Cystic Fibrosis.

The disease, which currently affects roughly one in 3,500 newborn children annually, varies on severity depending on the patient.

Burt, who describes her Cystic Fibrosis as a “mild enough” case, said she has only been hospitalized for treatment once since being diagnosed.

But complications can arise when dealing with the common cold or other respiratory illnesses, which can lead to a shortness of breathe easier than those without Cystic Fibrosis.

“The biggest struggle has been making time for taking care of myself, doing my breathing treatments when I need to, and going to my frequent doctor’s appointments,” Burt said. “I have to work that much harder to make sure I don’t get sick. I can’t afford to skip out on sleep or not eat enough during the day, since it is the little tasks that can add up and get me feeling drained.”

In order to raise money in the fight against Cystic Fibrosis, Keuka has set up a GoFundMe page for fans who would like to contribute. Donations can be made at http://www.gofundme.com/qqnuak.

“I’m honored that my teammates are willing to participate in this awareness game and help raise money to fight Cystic Fibrosis,” Burt said. “A handful of women on my team have been with me every step of the way of my college career, and they have always been accepting and supportive of me. I’m so grateful to have them help bring awareness to my illness.”

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

Top Student, Boss Honored

Eight students were nominated for Keuka College's 2015 Student Employee of the Year, including from left: Brittany Kuhn, Tyler Redington, Savannah Fuller, Zach Ward, Sini Ngobese, Connor Delavak, and Courtney Nojeim. (photo by Abigail Oderman '18)

A “pillar in the athletics department” and a “friend who changes student lives for the better” were the respective recipients of the 2015 Student Employee and Work-Study Supervisor of the Year awards at the Student Employment Awards Luncheon April 15.

Senior psychology major Connor Delavak and Co-Curricular Transcript Coordinator and Community Service Coordinator Valerie Webster were selected by two separate panels of judges.

Delavak, nominated for the award by Jeff Bray, associate director of athletics and head athletic trainer, has worked as a student athletic trainer for four years, and the longer Bray has been at Keuka College, the more increasingly selective he has become of those he chooses to hire as his work-study students.

Connor Delavak and Jeff Bray. (photo by Abigail Oderman '18)

In 23 years of supervising student employees, Bray says senior Delavak ranks in his top five, touting his demeanor and sincerity for setting him apart. In fact, Bray says Delavak has become a pillar within the athletics department.

“He has a tremendous grasp on what is expected of him and the role he plays within our department,” said Bray, adding Delavak is part of the fabric of the athletic training staff and the athletic department. “It has gotten to the point that when we are scheduled to depart for a weekend road trip, I simply ask him if we are ‘all set’ and he replies with a very confident ‘yes sir.’ He truly cares about the job that he does and it shows every time he works.”

And Bray does not hesitate to say that Delavak is a “tremendous asset” to the athletics department.

“I believe there is added responsibility that comes with that,” said Bray. “Connor has always represented himself, our department, and Keuka College in a positive and professional manner. In fact, there are times that our coaches forget that he is a student and not a full time staff member.”

Added Bray: “I think we often take for granted the importance and the impact our student employees have on our campus. With Connor, he is a respected member of my staff. I feel fortunate to have played a small role in his collegiate experience.” 

The other student nominees were Tyler Redington, Brittany Kuhn, Ethan Eschler, Savannah Fuller, Courtney Nojeim, Sini Ngobese, and Zach Ward.

“All of our student employees are winners, but the eight nominees are the cream of the crop,” said Sally Daggett, human resources manager. “I thank all of the nominators who took time to nominate your student employee. It sends a powerful message to those students, as it tells of the importance of them in your lives.” 

Savannah Fuller and Valerie Webster (photo by Abigail Oderman '18)

Webster was one of five work-study supervisors nominated for the award. She was nominated by occupational science major Savannah Fuller.

In the three years senior Fuller has worked in the Community Service Resource Office as a Community Service Advocate, she said Webster has pushed her to think outside of the box and find new ways to reach out to others.

“Upon accepting this job three years ago to help pay for college, I had no idea the true wealth I would gain from Valerie,” said Fuller. “Over this time we have established a strong working relationship, and she is a phenomenal work-study supervisor.”

That’s because Webster “provides each of us with appropriate guidance and leadership to help us grow and be successfully independent in our roles as a work-study students,” said Fuller. “No matter what challenges life presents Valerie with, she always given her work-study students 100 percent.”

After commencement, Fuller believes that the friendship she and Webster share, as well as the dedication to each of their communities, will last beyond her work-study position and long after her graduation from Keuka College.

Added Fuller: “The impact Valerie has had on my life, and the lives of countless other students, is invaluable and transcendent. Valerie has a way of changing student’s lives for the better. It has been an honor to work with her.”

The other supervisor nominees were John Boccacino (sports information director), Rachel Dewey (communications specialist), Carol Sackett (library circulation supervisor), and Xong Sony Yang (international student advisor).

From left: Rachel Dewey, Sony Yang, John Boccacino, Valerie Webster, and Carol Sackett. (photo by Abigail Oderman '18)

“It is an honor for me to talk to you at this luncheon, as it is one of my favorite events of the year,” said Jim Blackburn, vice president of student development. “The work student employees perform is immeasurable. Keuka College employees 511 students in 814 jobs. That is the equivalent of 150,000 hours of work per year—enough for 134 additional full-time positions. So, Keuka College students do a massive amount of work.”

Each of the nominees was recognized at the luncheon by his or her nominator and presented with a gift. The names of the student and supervisor award recipients will be added to two separate plaques housed in the Center for Experiential Learning. The Student Employee of the Year plaque is hung up in the winner’s work-study location until the following year’s awards luncheon.

More photos from the 2015 Student Employee of the Year Luncheon can be found here.