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Keuka College News

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Pete Bekisz
Senior Director of Marketing and Communications
(315) 279-5484

Suicide Terrorism and Power Politics Focus of Community Luncheon

Keuka College’s Community Luncheon Series will continue Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016 with a talk by Dr. David Pak Leon, assistant professor of political science at the College.

Dr. Leon will discuss “Suicide Terrorism and Power Politics: A Global Perspective” at noon in the Gannett Room of Lightner Library.

“In the past 15 years, the world has seen a drastic rise in terrorist attacks, especially suicide terrorist attacks, which tend to be more lethal and harder to deter,” said Dr. Pak Leon, who began teaching at Keuka College in 2013. “This presentation goes beyond the daily headlines and looks at suicide terrorism’s causes, effects, and trends around the world over the past 20 years. I will also discuss its relationship to oil, security policies, and power politics.”

Dr. Pak Leon’s teaching interests and research projects focus on international security and economic relations, globalization, U.S. foreign policy, China and the Asia-Pacific, international relations theory, and the philosophy of social science. Prior to joining Keuka College, he taught at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Minnesota, where he received both a master’s degree and a doctoral degree. He earned a bachelor’s degree in government and politics and a minor in economics from the University of Maryland.

Tickets for the luncheon are $13, a portion of which goes to the Penn Yan Keuka Club Scholarship Fund. The fund provides an annual scholarship to a local student attending Keuka College. Seating is limited, so reservations are advised. Make checks payable to Keuka College and mail to: Office of Alumni and Family Relations, Keuka College, Keuka Park, N.Y. 14478. Reservations may be made online at

For more information call (315) 279-5238 or e-mail

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.

Drumm Sticks to Keuka College Lessons, Experience to Win Oswego County Seat

Less than six months after earning degrees in political science and organizational communication from Keuka College, Tom Drumm ’15 was elected to the 16th District seat on the Oswego County Legislature.

The 22-year-old recently discussed his experience as a candidate and what lies ahead on Keuka College Today, a monthly show aired on WFLR (96.9 and 101.9 FM, 1570 AM), part of the Finger Lakes Radio Network. The program is hosted by Executive Director of Grants, Government Relations, and Compliance Doug Lippincott.

Drumm credits his Keuka College education—primarily the teaching acumen of his professors and Field Period, including one with U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer—for playing a major role in preparing him for the challenges of a political campaign and holding elected office.

The Keuka College influence did not end on graduation day, however. Drumm recalled that a few days before the election, Dr. Angela Narasimhan, assistant professor of political science, led a group of six students to Oswego County to volunteer for the Drumm campaign, most notably by going door-to-door in the 16th District.

Drumm said he is focused on doing his best for the people of Oswego County, but he may just have what it takes to be a voice on the statewide and national political scenes in the years ahead.

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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.

Starbucks® Coffees Coming to Keuka College in the Fall

KEUKA PARK, N.Y.— Your favorite Starbucks beverage is coming to the Keuka Commons. A College-run café slated for the new building will be part of a limited co-branding partnership program known as “We Proudly Serve Starbucks.”

The program enables AVI Food Systems, Inc., the College’s dining service, to serve specialty beverages from the popular coffee company within a larger café operated by AVI. Drinks will be served by Starbucks-trained baristas.

In addition to the “We Proudly Serve Starbucks” program, the café will offer pastries sourced from a local bakery and other menu offerings prepared by AVI. Menu selections are still being finalized, and samplings and “sneak peeks” will be offered during the spring semester.

The new café will replace the existing Terrace Café in Dahlstrom Student Center. The café, like many other college services, is intended to serve the College’s population but will be open to the general public. The café’s hours are still being determined.

While the College had announced a planned Tim Horton’s franchise in the new Keuka Commons building, recent changes proved the initial proposition financially unsound. Last year, AVI surveyed students, faculty and staff on a variety of potential franchise partners, and Tim Horton’s and Starbucks nearly tied in the results.