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Keuka College News

Snapshot of a Graduate: Mike Kelly ’14

Editor’s Note: Where can a Keuka College degree take you? This is the fifth in a series of snapshot profiles on members of Keuka’s Class of 2014.

As a busy member of the campus community, Mike Kelly ’14 of Black River, N.Y. gained plenty of experience in leadership, service and special events.

During his four years at Keuka College, Kelly served as president of the College chapter of Enactus, the international non-profit which empowers students to coordinate entrepreneurial projects to improve the lives of people in need. He worked as an advertising assistant in the office of student activities, and chaired the fundraising committee for the annual Relay for Life event for the American Cancer Society during sophomore and junior years. His senior practicum was spent assisting with communications and social media for the 17th annual Celebrate Service … Celebrate Yates (CSCY) day of service event, which is a collaboration between the College and the Yates County Chamber of Commerce. In addition, Kelly served three years as a resident assistant to other students living in two residence halls.

The organizational communication major was recently accepted to Lasell College in Boston where he intends to pursue a master’s degree in communication with a concentration in integrated marketing communication. Kelly said he is looking for jobs in that area, too, so he can work while attending grad school.

Looking back, Kelly said he sees the biggest benefit of his Keuka College education is “that I am incredibly prepared for the ‘real world.’”

Kelly said he owes Dr. Anita Chirco, professor of communication, many thanks for the one-on-one time in she gave in senior seminar class to work with each student to prepare portfolios, resumes and LinkedIn profiles.

“Not only am I confident that the things I’ve learned in my communication classes will help me professionally, they have given me personal confidence, something you cannot put a price on,” he said.

To explore what might be in your future with a Keuka College degree, request more information.

 

Tobias Named Inaugural Staff Member of Year

Capping the first year of quarterly staff recognition awards, Vickie Tobias of Bath emerged as the 2013-14 Staff Member of the Year for Keuka College.

According to co-workers, Tobias has touched the lives of students and the careers of colleagues throughout Keuka College in a real and palpable way. As the database administrator in the Information Technology Services department, she helps keep the entire college plugged in, so to speak, and ensures day-to-day network demands continue functioning for optimal productivity.

Tobias was named the inaugural staffer of the year during Commencement May 25. The staff recognition award, given by the Staff Advisory Council (SAC), was set up to identify and celebrate staff members like Tobias who consistently go above and beyond the duties of their job and make outstanding contributions to Keuka College. The award recognizes four staff members each year, with one selected as the overall winner for the year. This year’s other quarterly winners included Brett Williams, digital media producer in the Office of Marketing and Communications, McKala Accetura, judicial coordinator and resident director of Strong Apartments, and Merrie Heins, assistant director of financial aid. Each quarterly winner receives a desk nameplate and reserved parking place for three months, following their award.

According to Casey Kendall, senior systems administrator in ITS, Tobias is “the most dedicated and professional employee with whom I have ever worked.” In a nomination letter, Kendall detailed how Tobias “puts in long hours and never asks for compensation, helping her peers succeed without ever asking for anything in return.” (more…)

Snapshot of a Graduate: Dung Hoang ’14

Editor’s Note: Where can a Keuka College degree take you? This is the fourth in a series of snapshot profiles on members of Keuka’s Class of 2014.

Dung Hoang came to Keuka College from a partner school in Hanoi, Vietnam to pursue a degree in management with a minor in accounting. After graduation May 25, she moved to Anaheim, Calif. where she is now working as an accounting assistant for Business Expo Center, an events company.

Hoang’s student visa permits her a limited time after graduation to work in an off-campus job related to her field of study.

“Honestly, I feel that I am so lucky to get this job,” she said, adding her excitement at the chance to apply what she learned from her classes and gain even more experience in accounting. 

Her duties include processing and reconciling payments and other business transactions using a system based on the QuickBooks software, a popular accounting tool she’d never heard of until introduced to it in her Keuka College classes. Hoang conducted a Field Period™ with the California company over winter break and credits the real-world internship experience there for leading to her job offer.

“I love the way Keuka College requires us to take the Field Period™ every year, because we can apply what we learned from college in a real working environment, we support our future career,” she said, adding her thanks to her academic adviser, professors, Field Period™ supervisor and many friends who helped “lead me to the right way for my future.”

“I am so thankful for what I have today,” Hoang said. “I love the education here and I grew up a lot from this environment.”

To explore what might be in your future with a Keuka College degree, request more information.

Snapshot of a Graduate: Kyle McVannan ’14

Editor’s Note: Where can a Keuka College degree take you? This is the third in a series of snapshot profiles on members of Keuka’s Class of 2014.

Kyle McVannan ‘14 of Endicott graduated with a B.A. in organizational communication and has begun a new job working in the video production department of the Binghamton Mets, the Double-A affiliate of the New York Mets.

In between McVannan’s junior and senior years, he conducted a Field Period™ in the Mets’ video department, which paved the way for his job offer upon graduation. A Field Period™ is a self-initiated placement of at least 140 hours that each Keuka College undergraduate completes each year. It can be an internship like McVannan’s, a cultural exploration, community service or creative project or a spiritual/faith-based exploration. 

During his time at Keuka College, McVannan pitched for the baseball team and played some at third base while also serving as one of four team captains. In his senior year, the team made a significant turn-around under a new coach, winning the most games in a season in school history while earning a share of the North Eastern Athletic Conference’s (NEAC) regular season title. He also completed a senior practicum within his major, working with the College’s digital media producer on a variety of video-related marketing projects.

McVannan has been excited to carry his love of the game over into a job opportunity involving his favorite sport. His Field Period™ experience was “awesome,” he said, because it put him in “a real-world position” to explore career opportunities.

“The best thing about my Keuka College education is that I was able to branch out and have Field Periods™ that really helped me in my decision on what I wanted to do with my life,” McVannan said.

To explore what might be in your future with a Keuka College degree, request more information.

The Art of Chemistry

Kat Andonucci and Dr. Andy Robak, associate professor of chemistry (Photo by Erik Holmes '13)

Start with a science lab. Add one chemistry professor with self-described “wacky interests.” Introduce a visual and verbal art major with a passion for photography and painting. Mix together a variety of chemistry experiments and have the student capture them on camera or canvas. What do you get?

The Art of Chemistry, an exploration into the beauty and form caused by a variety of chemical reactions.

Robak's hand pours a luminol solution into a narrow glass tube over a 15-second exposure (Photo by Kat Andonucci '13)

Student photographer Kat Andonucci completed a year-long independent study under the guidance of Dr. Andrew Robak, associate professor of chemistry. With Robak casting the vision and directing her in each experiment, Andonucci crafted the compositions, often using a tripod, a remote shutter and a long exposure to create the images.

“We wanted to treat it as a course, the chemistry of things that are neat to look at, to have a clue what they were,” Robak said, pointing out how many science textbooks use photography to illustrate experiments. The two received a $500 grant from Keuka College’s Division of Academic Affairs to help cover costs of printing and framing the images.

Glycerol makes glass objects dipped into it appear to disappear. (Photo by Kat Andonucci '13)

When Robak went in search of a student who could help illustrate experiments that would show “the fun side of chemistry,” he contacted Melissa Newcomb, assistant professor of art. Newcomb referred him to Andonucci, sparking the creative collaboration.

“I’ve always been interested in chemistry as art or science as art. You can see from the pictures that a lot of stuff I work with is really cool,” said Robak, who holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry. He rattled off a variety of compounds, from mercury, with its shiny metallic texture that is “really fun to play with,” to flourescein, which turns neon-green when in contact with water, to glycerol, which refracts light in a way that seems to make objects submersed in it disappear.

The hand of Erik Holmes '13, holding methane gas bubbles, a quick-second experiment shot by Andonucci '13.

Andonucci had to be sure to take several shots of each experiment, capturing images on camera as experiments were conducted several times in a row. She brought fellow visual and verbal art major Erik Holmes ’13 into the process, putting him to work as a hand model in some of the images.

Robak managed to convince Holmes to paint a graffiti mural on a concrete wall.  The mural illustrated the chemical structure of concrete itself, and gave Robak an idea for a second creative collaboration with Andonucci.  The two teamed up again on a project to create the letter code of select elements of the Periodic Table with paint created from each of the scientific elements themselves. Another Academic Excellence Initiatives grant funded this second project.

Andonucci paints the symbol for Lead.

According to Robak, all of the pigments Andonucci used to paint the periodic table symbols contain the elements.

Egyptian blue in solid form, before baking to convert it to powder form to then mix into a paint.

Using stand-alone 12×12 canvas squares painted with each element, Andonucci arranged them to hang so that some of the squares appear to be raised and some depressed, creating a more dynamic artwork. As such, the oversize work, she described as “an abstract kind of 3-D Periodic Table” could serve as a permanent reference source in a classroom or lab. In fact, the piece served as the backdrop for a National Pi Day event. Meanwhile, several of Andonucci’s images are now gracing the walls within the science center as permanent installations.

“I’ve got too many ideas and not enough artists,” Robak said. “I’m totally looking for more people to rope into these kinds of things.”