Skip to content

Keuka College News

Sherman Receives Keuka College/GCC Joint Presidential Scholarship

Skip Sherman, third from left, recipient of the Keuka College/Genesee Community College Joint Presidential Scholarship, is flanked by Kim Morgan, director of admissions; Mark Petrie, vice president for enrollment management, Dr. Paul Forestell, provost and vice president for academic affiars; Kyle Cute, admissions counselor; and William Emm M'08, GCC's vice president for planning and institutional effectiveness

Robert “Skip” Sherman, head baseball coach at Genesee Community College (GCC) in Batavia, received the Keuka College/GCC Joint Presidential Scholarship in a ceremony at GCC on Friday, Feb. 6.

Sherman, who lives in Holley with his wife and young children, will begin pursuit of a Master of Science degree in management (MSM) this spring through Keuka College’s Accelerated Studies for Adults Program (ASAP).

Dr. James M. Sunser, president of GCC, and Dr. Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera, president of Keuka College, selected Sherman for the award.

“The goal of providing opportunities for continued academic success is one that GCC and Keuka College proudly share,” Sunser said. “I can think of no better candidate for a scholarship to pursue a Master of Science in management through Keuka College than our own Skip Sherman. I trust Skip will not only be a dedicated student, but with his background and experience, I am confident he will help make a lively and spirited classroom cohort.”

Aside from his role as head baseball coach, Sherman also leads GCC’s academic mentoring program for student-athletes. As a head baseball coach, Sherman has enjoyed many successful seasons with more than 350 wins, but says that the greatest successes of his career have occurred off the field.

“My position is rewarding because I have an impact on the students’ success in the classroom, and their athletic and academic experiences help them be career ready,” he said. “Sixty-eight of my student-athletes have had the opportunity to continue to four-year institutions with a baseball scholarship.”

Leadership and service are core components of Keuka College’s MSM program, which was recently ranked as one of the top 50 MSM programs in the country by The Financial Engineer. Candidates are evaluated for admission based on, among other things, their prior academic experience, volunteer and community service history, and leadership potential.

Sherman’s résumé includes oversight of an impressive number of community outreach programs, including a youth baseball camp and a Kid’s Night program that has hosted more than 9,000 children in nine years.

“This award is an outstanding opportunity, and I am excited to give back everything this master’s program has to offer while working at GCC,” he said.

Keuka College’s MSM program is offered at nearly a dozen partner locations across western New York, including GCC’s Batavia campus. The program features a rigorous accelerated format designed for working professionals, allowing them to earn their degree in 18 months. For more information, visit


“Barefoot” Women’s Hoops Fundraiser Benefits Needy Children

When the student-athletes on the Keuka College women’s basketball team go to practice or play in a game, they wear a special athletic shoe designed to handle the rigors of running up and down a basketball court.

Once they step off the court, the student-athletes remove their basketball shoes and don their winter boots or sneakers for the trek back to their residence halls or apartments. In their closets are more pairs of shoes, often for other seasons, other sports or even dress shoes for special occasions.

The abundance of footwear for each player stands in stark contrast to children living in impoverished countries across the world, many of whom don’t even have a single pair of shoes to protect their feet.

The Wolfpack women’s basketball team wants to do its part to change that.

Partnering with the national Samaritan’s Feet program, the women’s basketball team is raising money and awareness through the College’s first Samaritan Feet Game.

When the Wolfpack hosts North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) rival the College of St. Elizabeth for a 1 p.m. contest on Saturday, Feb. 14, head coach Sarah Gaffney will coach barefooted on the sidelines, to raise awareness about the cause.

Additionally, there will be a 50/50 raffle, a Valentine’s Day raffle with prizes from local businesses, and concessions will be sold, with all proceeds going to Samaritan’s Feet ( There will also be a youth basketball game at halftime, as every element of the fundraiser is designed to spread the word that Samaritan’s Feet aims to provide shoes to children in need.

“A lot of our student-athletes don’t appreciate all that they have, especially with sneakers. Where some of our student-athletes have two, three or even four pairs of sneakers, children across the world don’t even have one pair of sneakers,” said Gaffney, in her first year leading the Wolfpack.

The women's team huddles up.

“This year, I’ve been challenging our student-athletes to think of how they can give back to the community through community service. It’s about being more than just a student on campus. Their basketball careers are important, but coming to Keuka College is all about being a good person and a good citizen. With this event, we can help provide shoes to children in need.”

Across the country, for every $1,000 donated to Samaritans Feet, 100 brand-new shoes are donated to children in these developing and low-income countries.

The chance to give back to those less fortunate really resonated with junior Mackenzie Cole (Ogdensburg, N.Y./Ogdensburg Free Academy).

Mackenzie Cole tears down the court.

“While we are student-athletes on the basketball team, we’re about more than just playing basketball and going to class. We want people in the community to know that we’re here to make this a better place,” Cole said.

“We want to get as much support for this event as possible. We’re trying to raise money and awareness for this great cause, and we all just want to give back to those less fortunate. We take it for granted we’re going to have shoes on our feet, yet in some parts of the world, children can get diseases or even die from not having sneakers. This is a great cause for us to join.”

TOMS Shoes, a company that donates a pair of new shoes to a child in need for every pair purchased, is represented on campus through the College’s TOMS Shoe Club. Each spring, the club’s members and Keuka College Chaplain Rev. Eric Detar, holds a Day Without Shoes event on campus to raise awareness about the need to provide shoes to needy children.

The TOMS club on campus is also assisting with the Samaritan Feet efforts being spearheaded by the women’s basketball team.

“There’s a big need for projects like this, and at our age, a lot of college kids are so focused on their school work and their hobbies that they don’t pay much attention to our surroundings,” said senior Amanda Kubitz (Spencerport, N.Y./E.J. Wilson).

Amanda Kubitz pushes the ball for the Wolfpack.

“There are little children that would die for a new pair of shoes, while some of us complain about the shoes we have,” she said. “We take things for granted, but we are about more than ourselves. I feel at the end of this effort, we will help children get the shoes they need, and we will feel great about how we made a difference.”

For the latest stories, schedules and results from Keuka athletics, visit, go to the Keuka Athletics Facebook page,, and follow them on Instagram and Twitter @KeukaAthletics.


START-UP NY Partnership a Boost to College and Community

Late last year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced 13 more businesses will be coming to the Empire State as part of the START-UP NY program—including one at Keuka College.

Sensored Life LLC, which manufactures MarCELL, a remote monitoring device that allows customers to protect property and monitor activity while they are away, will be located in the Skaneateles Building at Keuka Business Park. MarCELL detects temperature, humidity, and power conditions.

The company expects to add 17 new jobs—from warehouse workers to software engineers—to the Yates County work force.

START-UP NY was designed to provide major tax incentives for businesses to relocate, start up, or significantly expand in New York State through affiliations with public and private universities, college, and community colleges.

Sensored Life was founded by Michael O’Brien and James Odorczyk, two successful serial entrepreneurs.

O’Brien; Dan Robeson, professor and chair of the Division of Business and Management and founding director of the Center for Business and Health Informatics; and Steve Griffin, CEO of the Finger Lakes Economic Development Center, joined Doug Lippincott for the Feb. 3 edition of Keuka College Today on WFLR.

The trio discussed the impact the START-UP partnership between Sensored Life and the College will have on the campus and community.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Keuka College’s Inaugural Day of Giving Exceeds Expectations

In celebration of Keuka College’s 125th Anniversary year, the first annual Keuka College Day of Giving was a huge success.

The College scored a big win January 25, as members of the College community came together to celebrate the Keuka College experience through the inaugural Keuka College Day of Giving. The 36-hour fundraising drive exceeded expectations, raising $253,131.50—more than double the goal of $125,000—from 638 gifts. Most gifts were to the Keuka Fund, which supports every facet of the student experience. The average gift was $396.

“We exceeded our goal because of the incredible outpouring of support from students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, community members, and friends,” said Keuka College President Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera. “All of these gifts translate into support for our students, faculty, staff, and collective vision for the future. Your gifts will help us change lives that will change the world.”

Gloria and Jim Long

Jim and Gloria Long, owners of Long’s Cards and Books in Penn Yan, chose to donate because “it’s wonderful to have Keuka College in this area.”

“The College brings diversity, excitement, and enthusiasm—all of the things that are associated with a college, and it’s phenomenal,” said Gloria Long. The Longs received the 2011 Donald and Corinne Stork Award for Community Service. “Keuka College has activities and sports—just so many things that bring life to a community. That’s why retirees are no longer looking for a retirement community; they’re looking for college towns because they’re vibrant. They want to go somewhere that has young voices.”

And just like the Longs and other residents of the community, members of the College community participated from across campus.

“We have had such a tremendous response from all College constituents,” said Vice President for Advancement and External Affairs Amy Storey. “An unprecedented number of faculty and staff—64.3%—participated. Many divisions had 100% participation, and Keuka College employees contributed nearly $20,000 to the effort.”

To increase the impact of the Day of Giving, and to encourage and reward the philanthropy of other participants, Board of Trustees members Kay Meisch ’58 and Barbara Allardice ’61 offered a dollar-for-dollar match up to $125,000.

“This is truly amazing, and is just the beginning,” added Díaz-Herrera.

The primary goal of this event was to collect money for the Keuka College annual fund,which is used to bridge the gap between tuition and operating expenses and helps ensure our students have the best educational experience possible. This was also an opportunity to boost participation in a collective effort and to showcase that we Believe in What We Can Do Together.

And the power of togetherness is something else Jim and Gloria Long appreciate about the College.

“We love that Keuka College student-teachers work at St. Michael’s School, and participate with homework help,” said Gloria. “Field Period™ is wonderful, and we’ve had students work for us part-time during the year and full-time in the summer. We’ve had outstanding experiences [with the students]. Those are big benefits, especially for a small area like we are.”

Each year Keuka College awards more than $11 million in grants and scholarships and is able to assist more than 98 percent of students with the cost of their college education. In addition to the standard federal and state programs available to most students, Keuka College offers grants and many guaranteed scholarships.

Keuka College has never been more committed to the education of its students, and providing the opportunity for them to explore, define, and prepare for their future. Likewise, the College’s tradition of service has never been stronger. Keuka College students, faculty, and staff performed more than 74,550 hours of community service in 2014 alone.

Missed the Day of Giving, or want to donate more? You can still help ensure the continued success of Keuka College and its students by making your donation online at, call (315) 279-5262, or email

Terrorist Attacks Put “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” to the Test

By Sander A. Diamond, professor of history

It was Paris where the Revolution of 1789 unfolded, giving the world the phrase “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.” The recent sad events in Paris—when radical Muslim terrorists slaughtered 12 people in the offices of Charlie Hebdo, the satirical magazine, and a lone gunman shot four customers to death in a Jewish grocery—are putting this to the test.

Many people in European Union (EU) countries have concluded that Islam is an inherently violent religion and are pointing their fingers not only at the Middle East but also to the growing Muslim populations in their midst. France’s Muslim population is close to 6 million and growing.  In Germany, it is 4 million out of a total of 82 million, and 5 percent of the population in the Netherlands is Muslim.

Anti-Islamic sentiment, or Islamophobia, is on the rise along with anti-immigration sentiment. In France the leading anti-immigration party is the National Front, led by 46-year-old Marine Le Pen, whose followers stir the pot of Islamophobia. In Holland it is led by Geert Wilders, a member of Parliament since 1998 and whose documentary Fitna highlighted the spread of Islam in Holland. And in Germany, a new movement yet to become a political party, Pediga (an acronym for (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident), is led by Lutz Bachmann. It is located in Dresden, and given Germany’s history, images of flag-waving Germans chanting “Wir sind das Volk” (“We are the People”) is troublesome for many Germans and those outside the Federal Republic.

All religions have their extremists. The average Muslim in Europe goes about his business quietly each day— vendors, store owners, and members of the high civil service. In fact, the policeman who was shot in Paris was a Muslim. On the other hand, it appears that the alienated Muslim youth are increasingly becoming radicalized and eschew Western values. Some become Jihadists. Their aims are well known: wreak havoc on civil society by any means. Terrorism is war on the cheap.

Restrictive immigration, with set caps on nation of origin, are already in place in some countries and will spread to others. Security services will spend billions tracking terrorists working hand-in-glove with the USA and the UK and there will be NSA-style monitoring of all Muslims, especially the Imams in the mosques that dot the landscape.

And then there are the fears of the Jewish communities in France, Belgium and Holland. Anti-Jewish hostility and attacks on Jews were born out of the seemingly endless rift between the Israelis and Palestinians. Today, it is rooted in old-fashioned Jew hatred. The mere trickle of Jews leaving France for the Jewish state—7,000 last year—will grow. French Jews are so fearful they are not wearing the symbol of the faith, the skullcap, in public and keeping their children out of school. When Israel’s prime minister spoke in the Great Synagogue in Paris, he invited all Jews to “come home.” However, Germany’s 265,000-strong Jewish community does not appear to be moving anytime soon. And in the post-Holocaust world, no one should expect the huge Muslim populations to be put on trains and sent home. Millions are nationals in their own lands, born inside the EU.

Greater efforts have to be made to meld Muslims into the broader community, what Germany’s Chancellor Merkel calls “The Middle Road.” It may take many generations to accomplish this.  At the end of the day, the French will not permit Muslim extremists to shatter the land that gave the world “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.” When a million or more people chanted “Je suis Charlie” (“I am Charlie”) it spoke volumes. It had a better ring to it than the xenophobic “Wir sind das Volk” across the border

If the situation in the traditional homelands of Muslims starts to stabilize, some will leave. But millions will stay and hopefully, with time, diversity will win out over xenophobia.