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Keuka College News

In it for the “Long” Haul

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of profiles of 2014 Student Employee of the Year nominees. The winner will be announced at a luncheon Thursday, April 17.

Freshman Brianna Long began working as an Information Technology (IT) Services office assistant at the beginning of the academic year.

In that time, the psychology major from Arkport has made her mark on the office and impressed her supervisor, Assistant Director of Technology and Media Services Andy Hogan.

“Brianna is extremely well organized and detail-oriented in her approach to tasks,” said Hogan, who nominated Long for the Student Employee of the Year award. “She masters assignments and routine activities quickly due to her keen intellect, and carries them out in a precise and error-free manner.”

As she continued to demonstrate her organization and leadership skills, Hogan said Long was given more challenging tasks and has become one of the primary “go to” individuals within IT Services.

“Time-critical and mission-critical tasks tend to find their way to Brianna’s plate as she has developed a positive reputation within IT Services for completing assignments on time and in a professional manner,” said Hogan. “Her strong performance in this area is one of the determining factors as to which tasks and assignments for which she is responsible. Brianna’s initiative and willingness to go beyond what is expected for an ITS office assistant has allowed her to be exposed to more responsibility and greater challenges.”

Hogan had such confidence in Long that he assigned her as project manager for developing an inventory process that would incorporate greater quantities of IT supplies and consumables being maintained onsite.

“This concept, referred to as the ‘ITS Store,’ allowed the turnaround time for delivering a wide array of products—ranging from computers to various adapters—to be deployed to IT Services’ clients much quicker than in the past,” said Hogan. “The ability to consistently fulfill requests of this nature much more agilely has allowed us to improve its Service Level Agreements (SLAs). The project was well documented, managed, and completed on time.”

According to Hogan, Long takes great pride in her work, and attention to detail “far surpasses” what is expected for any work study student.

“Brianna works alongside the IT Services staff as if she had just as much invested as they do,” said Hogan. “She has demonstrated that she is willing to put in the extra effort up front to ensure a positive conclusion to the task at hand. She has a unique blend of technical aptitude, dedication, common sense and motivation that allows her to excel in her role as an IT Services office assistant.”

Kayla Garrow is a ‘Natural Leader’ as a D.R.I.V.E. Program Peer Mentor

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of profiles of 2014 Student Employee of the Year nominees. The winner will be announced at a luncheon Thursday, April 17.

While the classic board game Scrabble may not be the first tool used to help students read and write, it is the perfect choice for some of the students in the D.R.I.V.E. program.

According to Karlee Roberts, peer mentor supervisor of the D.R.I.V.E. program, games like Scrabble are favorite tools for sophomore Kayla Garrow, a peer mentor for the D.R.I.V.E. program.

“Kayla loves to use games to help students work on words in our Wilson Class, which teaches reading and writing,” said Roberts, who nominated the occupational science major from Niagara Falls for the Student Employee of the Year Award. “She comes up with ideas to use in the classroom, and has been known to do a project at home and then bring it to class and teach the students how to do it.”

Roberts says the D.R.I.V.E. peer mentors work hard.

“They go to Keuka College classes with our students, help them with homework, and participate in our life skills classes,” she said. “They attend night and weekend activities with our students, and help them with socialization at lunch time. Some of our students are challenging, and it can take a lot of coaxing to get them to start work.”

But Roberts says Garrow has “this wonderful ability to find out why they are upset, or not wanting to work. Once she does, she can bring them around and make them feel better and ready to face the day. Not everyone can do this.”

It is because of Garrow’s ability to ‘bring them around’ that “teachers always request her for their classes because of how wonderful she is,” said Roberts. “She doesn’t need any direction from the classroom teachers, and independently identifies the needs of our students. Kayla knows what to do and does it well.”

Added Roberts: “Kayla is a natural leader who is focused on her job, and it is evident every day that she loves her job. She has an amazingly positive attitude, is reliable, professional, and serves as an excellent role model for our students, and for the other mentors in the program.”

Keuka College, Head Start Classes Get a Jump on Easter

Savannah Fuller '15 helps her new friend open goodies she received from the Easter Bunny

Peter Cottontail might be out of a job.

That’s because, as the perennial favorite says, members of the Keuka College community brought every girl and boy—in the two Head Start classrooms at Penn Yan Elementary School—baskets full of Easter joy.

Keuka College students, staff, and faculty donated toys, books, bubbles, stuffed animals, and other Easter basket goodies and distributed them to the children in each class.

“The Easter Basket Project is a community service program that benefits children in our local HeadStart Program,” said Savannah Fuller, a junior occupational science major from Philadelphia, N.Y. and Community Service Advocate. “The goal of our project is to provide children with gifts from the Easter Bunny that they might not get otherwise. This project is a rewarding and enjoyable experience for all involved.”

The Community Service Resource Center in the Center for Experiential Learning, Rotaract, the Multicultural Student Association, and the Class of 2015 coordinated the Easter Basket Project, a Keuka College tradition since the mid-1990s. The baskets were then given to the Dundee and Penn Yan classes.

Jamie Allen '15 checks out the toys in her friends' baskets

On hand to deliver the baskets were Fuller, Casey Cacala, a sophomore childhood education major from Pine City and a member of Rotaract; David Caramella, a junior management major from Oswego; Jamie Allen, a junior psychology major from Canandaigua; and Emily Knapsack, a senior psychology major from Montgomery, Pa.

Poet Laureate of Missouri to Read Here April 15

Keuka College’s Spotlight Series will continue with a reading by William Trowbridge, the Poet Laureate of Missouri, Tuesday, April 15.

Free and open to the public, the reading begins at 7 p.m. in the Gannett Room of Lightner Library.

Trowbridge holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s degree in English from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a doctoral degree in English from Vanderbilt University. In April 2012, he was appointed to a two-year term as Poet Laureate of Missouri.

Trowbridge has five collections of poetry, including Ship of Fool, The Complete Book of Kong, Flickers, O Paradise, and Enter Dark Stranger; and three chapbooks including The Packing House Cantata, The Four Seasons, and The Book of Kong.  

A Distinguished University Professor Emeritus at Northwest Missouri State University, his poems have appeared in more than 30 anthologies, textbooks, and periodicals including Bouelvard, Colorado Review, Columbia, Crazyhorse, Gettysburg Review, The Georgia Review, New Letters, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Southern Review, and Tar River Poetry, among others. Two of Trowbridges’s books consist of monologues delivered by King Kong.

Among his awards include an Academy of American Poets Prize, a Pushcart Prize, a Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference scholarship, a Camber Press Poetry Chapbook Award, and fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Ragdale, Yaddo, and The Anderson Center. Trowbridge served as an editor of The Laurel Review, one of the Midwest’s leading literary journals, for 18 years.

Now living in Lee’s Summit, Mo., Trowbridge teaches in the University of Nebraska low-residency MFA in writing program.

Romantic Whims A-Plenty in College Production

Photo by Stephanie Lockhart '15

A look at two couples’ recent divorces in 1906 New York City society sets the scene for The New York Idea, the spring theatrical production at Keuka College.

The farce, written by Langdon Mitchell and updated by David Auburn, depicts the comedic entanglements of divorce while mixing in one visiting English lord smitten with the city’s easy way with matrimony.

Directed by Professor of Theatre Mark Wenderlich, The New York Idea opens Thursday, April 10. The show begins at 8 p.m. in the Red Barn Theater, with additional performances Friday, April 11-Saturday, April 12 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 13 at 7 p.m.

The plot follows Cynthia Karslake, a freewheeling young divorcee, who decides to settle down again into a much more stable relationship with the prominent Judge Philip Phillimore. Little does she know, however, that neither of their impetuous and unpredictable ex-spouses, nor her beloved race horse Cynthia K, is down for the count.

Photo by Stephanie Lockhart '15

Cynthia’s impulsiveness has driven her ex-spouse, John, to near financial ruin—and, she fears, into the seductive arms of Vida, Phillimore’s vampish ex-wife. To complicate matters, both Cynthia and Vida find themselves attracted to a visiting English gentleman with a lordly estate and an eye for American beauty. In duly antic course, one couple reunites and one stays divorced, while both the old idea of a socially ‘suitable’ marriage and the superficial new “New York idea”—marry for a whim and leave the rest to the divorce court—get thoroughly kicked around. But will Cynthia and John realize that they truly belong together forever before Cynthia makes it to the altar?

Members of the cast include Kimberley Sweet (Mrs. Phillimore), a freshman adolescent mathematics major from Cuba; Michael Musolino Jr. (Sir Wilfred Cates-Darby), a freshman American Sign Language-English interpreting major from Durhamville; Sierra Lynch (Vida Phillimore), a senior psychology major from Watervliet; Caleigh Alterio (Cynthia Karslake), a senior occupational science major from Akron; Phil Atherlay (Sudley/Fiddler), a sophomore adolescent mathematics education major from Deposit; Alicia Brown (Jacqueline), a junior occupational science major from Kirkwood; and William Staub (Thomas), a freshman adolescent English major from Rochester. Justin Krog, program developer for the College’s Office of Information Technology Services (ITS), portrays Phillip Phillimore. Penn Yan resident Brian Cobb ’08, M’11 will return to his alma mater to portray Matthew Phillimore in the production. Cobb teaches English at Penn Yan Middle School. Pat Fegley, a Geneva resident who has worked with the Pennsylvania Yankee Theater Company (PYTCo), portrays John Karslake.

Photo by Stephanie Lockhart '15

Members of the crew include Marissa Rogers, a freshman psychology major from Pompton Plains (stage manager); Danica Zielinski, a senior American Sign Language major from Congers (costume designer); Dan Roach (sound designer); and Trish Ralph (lighting designer).

Ralph is chair of the Department of Theatre and Music Studies and an associate professor of theatre at SUNY Brockport, while Roach has worked with the Eastman Opera, Geva Theatre and Downstairs Cabaret Theatre, among others.

The April 10 performance will benefit the cast members’ annual trip to the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. All tickets are $7 and will be sold at the door. Tickets for the other three performances are $5 for Keuka College students, faculty, staff, and alumni; and $10 for the general public. Seating is limited.

New Volunteers, Contest Adds to 17th Annual CSCY Day of Service

A young member of the International Harvesters' team that served at Camp Iroquois on the bluff.

By Mike Kelly ’14

On Sunday, under sunny skies, more than 218 volunteers – from community members to College students, faculty and staff – spread across 20 non-profit work sites in Yates County to complete community service for the 17th annual Celebrate Service…Celebrate Yates (CSCY) event. Those are the largest numbers of volunteers for the day of service since its record-breaking 248 volunteers back in 2010.

A collaboration between Keuka College and the Yates County Chamber of Commerce, CSCY is the one day each year when volunteers join hands across the community to serve the county’s non-profit agencies, completing tasks such as raking, cleaning, repairing and painting. This year’s work sites included camps (Camp Cory, Camp Koinonia, Camp Iroquois), cemeteries (St. Michael’s Cemetery, Evergreen Cemetery), and other non-profit organizations such as Milly’s Pantry, Penn Yan Ambulance Corps., and the Izaak Walton League chapter clubhouse in Guyanoga.

Volunteers from the community formed one team that pitched in packing school supplies at Milly's Pantry

First-time volunteer and Yates County District Attorney Valerie Gardner said she was “thrilled to assist in community projects that benefit us all.”

Gardner’s entire office staff participated this year, handling spring cleaning tasks at the Arts Center of Yates County Sunny Point location in Dundee. According to Gardner, the event served as a “good way to connect [Keuka College and Yates County] and to foster good interaction.”

Volunteers working outside Bluff Point United Methodist Church

Given the severity of the winter weather this year, Rev. Eric Detar, co-chair of the CSCY steering committee and chaplain for Keuka College, said he was initially nervous that extended wintry conditions might hinder volunteers from completing the full array of work – often outdoors – that non-profits count on each spring. But with near 60-degree temperatures and sunny skies at the youth baseball complex on Elm Street in Penn Yan, where he was serving with others, Detar let out a sigh of relief.

“It was a beautiful day because the weather was perfect and the community worked together,” Detar said, adding that when it comes to CSCY, he holds firm to a 1968 quote from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve…you only need a heart full of grace.”

Over at the ARC of Yates on Hamilton Street, Mike Wainwright ’15, was also upbeat, pleased that the weather held out for the day.

“It was nice to be out in the sun and enjoy the day and work with your hands—and nice to be outside after a week of studying,” Wainwright said.

The team at the ARC of Yates: Eric Saltrelli '15, Haley Jordan '15 (piggyback), Mike Wainwright '15, and Sara Sloan '15 (under sign)

Working in a garden nearby was Haley Jordan ’15, who recently returned from Costa Rica, where the College’s Alternative Spring Break team had conducted community service during the final week of March.

“While there, we talked about how to give back at home and that got me motivated to come back and do community service locally,” said Jordan, a first-year volunteer.

Eric Saltrelli ’15 was also part of the group of CSCY volunteers helping the ARC clean up garden beds and lay sod to prepare for spring.

Keuka College international students helping to clean up the grounds at Evergreen Cemetery.

“I just like to help out the community and help those who can’t necessarily do this and make their surroundings look nice,” the first-year volunteer said, adding: “Any chance I get, I want to help out.”

Around the county, volunteer teams also participated in the first-ever CSCY Selfie Contest, snapping photos of themselves at work sites. Some of the selfies entered into the contest included one of Jordan stepping inside a tall blue recycling bin, Richard Weit ’15 posing with lost shoes on a pole at Camp Cory and the district attorney’s team getting in the spirit with a CSCY committee member at Sunny Point. Selfies were posted across the Instagram, Facebook and Twitter social media platforms and two winners were selected, one winning a Dunkin Donuts gift card and another an iTunes gift card.

CSCY received additional help from a number of Keuka College student athletes who volunteered as teams to serve at Camp Cory. The efforts of collegiate student athletes were mirrored by their high school counterparts, as more than a dozen volunteers affiliated with the Penn Yan Academy baseball teams pitched in at Camp Koinonia in Italy Valley.

Cleaning inside the clubhouse at the Izaak Walton League work site.

Molly McGugian, a Keuka College alumnus and now manager of the College’s Teamworks! Adventure course also assisted at Camp Cory. As a student, McGuigan volunteered with CSCY and was excited to come back to serve her community Sunday.

“It’s a great opportunity for our athletes to get a different look at the community we are in,” she said, adding, “It’s great to see people are still enthusiastic and willing to help.”

This year, CSCY was supported through the generous donations and in-kind goods and services of the following sponsors and business merchants: ARC of Yates County, AVI Fresh Catering, Eaves Family Dental Group, Esperanza Mansion, Ferro, Fitzgerald Brothers, Keuka College Campus Safety, and the Office of Alumni and Family Relations; Knapp and Schlappi, Knights of Columbus, K-Ventures, Lyons National Bank, Ricoh, Roto-Salt, Seneca Lake Duck Hunters Association, Stork Insurance Agency, Tony Collins Class of ’77 Celebrity Gold Classic, and the Yates County Chamber of Commerce.

Enactus Team a Quarter-Finalist at National Competition

The Keuka College Enactus team has returned triumphant from a strong showing at the 2014 National Expo in Cinncinati, Ohio, held March 31- April 3.

According to co-adviser Enid Arbelo Bryant, assistant professor of communication, the group advanced through the first round to the quarter finals, earning a trophy along the way.

“I’m so proud of the group and their hard work this year,” Bryant said, noting that the team was up against some admirable competitors who moved ahead into the semi-finals. Some of the contenders included schools as large as the University of Southern Maine, University of North Caroline at Charlotte and Kennesaw State University.

The 2014 Enactus team in Ohio

Enactus is an international, non-profit organization that works with leaders in business and higher education to mobilize students to make a difference in their communities while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders. The international organization formerly known as Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) changed its name to Enactus in the fall of 2012.

Each year, Enactus teams from college campuses across the nation send exposition teams to participate in regional competitions. Through rehearsed and choreographed multimedia presentations, team members give a formal retelling of the club’s accomplishments during that academic year. The judges panel is comprised of private-sector business executives and can be tough to impress. Regional winners automatically receive an invitation to the national competition, which the Keuka College team has done 10 of the past 12 years.

The College was represented in Cinncinati by Enactus members Michael Kelly ’14, president; Darrcy Matthews ’14, COO; Brittany Gleason ’15, Amanda Markessinis ’16, Kathryn Zawisa ’16, Joshua Crummenauer ’15, Trevor Irby ’16, Ashley Smith ’16, Joseph Rosario ’16, Marilynn Schoen ’15 and Margaret Tower ’16. Another five students round out the full club on campus.

According to Kelly, the team has overcome a number of challenges in the last three years, and this year’s finish capped it off.

“Considering this is the farthest we’ve gone in three years, this year has been extremely successful,” said Kelly. “I’m grateful to all the team members who worked tirelessly to make sure all the projects were going well throughout the year. Even though I will graduate and be sad to leave the team, I’ll be excited to watch how they’re doing from the sidelines.”

Three projects were part of this year’s work: the Seeds of Change initiative, which enables teenage girls at a Costa Rican shelter for the underprivileged to make and sell handmade bracelets in their local community and ship them back to the Enactus team for sale here; the Campus Sustainability Initiative (CSI) which the team has coordinated since 2009 to raise awareness about a number of environmental and societal issues; and a new initiative to begin selling paid ads for the Keukonian student newspaper.

In addition to Bryant, Dr. Yang Zhao, assistant professor of international management, also serves as adviser to the team.

It’s All About Connections

Steve Mitchell '08 talks to students during the spring Backpack to Briefcase event April 4.

Students networked with alumni such as Steve Mitchell ’08 during the Spring Backpack to Briefcase Alumni Networking Fair today (April 4).

Mitchell majored in criminology/criminal justice as an undergraduate, and serves as a police officer with the Rochester Police Department.

Sponsored by the Alumni Association, Office of Alumni and Family Relations, and the Center for Experiential Learning, Backpack to Briefcase is a series of events to help students achieve their career goals.

Alumni are also in town to meet members of the Class of 2014 at the annual Rising Stars event. A networking opportunity for seniors to discuss “Life after Keuka,” they will met graduates working in a variety of career fields, as well Alumni Association Executive Council members.

Students also had the opportunity to have professional photographs taken.

More photos from Backpack to Briefcase.

More photos from Rising Stars.

Junior Sini Ngobese Explores Thailand

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of features on recipients of the Spiritual Exploration Field Period™ Award. A Spiritual Exploration Field Period™ involves work with churches, missions, hospitals, or hospices with an eye toward providing aid to needy individuals and/or groups, in this country or abroad. Funding for the scholarship is provided by an Institutional Renewal Grant from The Rhodes Consultation on the Future of the Church-Related College.

Travel to a new land. Experience new people and a different religion. Immerse herself in an entirely different culture. Encompass the type of adventure and life experience that is paramount to her.

These are some goals junior Sini Ngobese had for her January Field Period™. The business management and organizational communication major from Durban, South Africa, traveled to Thailand “as part of my life goal to be a culturally and spiritually diverse, world-minded, global citizen.”

While in Thailand, a predominantly Buddhist country, Ngobese, a Christian, said she had no plans to change her current religious affiliations, but “I was passionate to discover the diverse ways in which believers of other religious express their spirituality,” she said. “I also wanted to see what houses of worship are sacred to them, what monuments encompass their devotion for their deity, and what actions or rituals help them feel closer to their deity and spiritually awakened.”

Ngobese wanted to meditate and practice yoga with experts in order to attain greater spiritual engagement as a Christian. She toured historical landmarks, Buddhist temples and other heritage sites, zoos, botanical gardens, snorkeled, and visited an orphanage.

“I wanted to see the things that weave together Thailand’s history, which influence the country as it is today,” said Ngobese. “One of those influences includes the various, extravagant drag shows orchestrated by Thailand’s transvestite population. I looked forward to attending some of the shows.”

Additionally, Ngobese planned to observe the mannerisms and behaviors of the monks at the temples to not only gain a better understanding of these spiritual leaders, but also to draw parallels, contrasts, and comparisons to various Christian spiritual leaders, and learn what perceptions Buddhists have of Christians.

“I also explored Thai culture through one of the most fundamental ways in which one can experience a new culture—its food,” said Ngobese. “From enrolling in a cooking course to sampling the culinary creations of various street stalls, I learned what tastes, combinations of spices, textures, and culinary aromas form what the Thai people have deemed their best and most popular national dishes.”

Added Ngobese: “The founder of Keuka College, Dr. Rev. George Harvey Ball, believed that an individual’s college experience should be both educationally developing and spiritually enriching. Traveling to Thailand helped me become both.”

In addition to receiving the Spiritual Exploration Field Period™ Award, Ngobese also earned a Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Award. The award, named after the late 1963 Keuka 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™.

Mindful Awareness, Loving Kindness was Focus of Field Period™

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of features on recipients of the Spiritual Exploration Field Period™ Award. A Spiritual Exploration Field Period™ involves work with churches, missions, hospitals, or hospices with an eye toward providing aid to needy individuals and/or groups, in this country or abroad. Funding for the scholarship is provided by an Institutional Renewal Grant from The Rhodes Consultation on the Future of the Church-Related College.

Samantha Layton

Seniors Samantha Layton and Alexandra Fiore have similar goals for their future. They both are psychology majors and plan to earn master’s degrees—Layton in cognitive behavior therapy and Fiore in transpersonal psychology.

To help achieve those goals, each student completed a Field Period™ at Shambhala Mountain Center in Red Feather Lake, Colo. Established in 1971, Shambhala Mountain Center provides an opportunity to explore paths of deepened awareness, personal well-being and societal transformation. The center offers indigenous wisdom traditions, body awareness practices, contemplative arts, and mindful living, among others.

Layton, a resident of Painted Post, is a Methodist, which to her “means the decision to respond to God’s grace with intentional commitment and who takes the responsibility for living as a member of the body of Christ and fulfilling God’s purposes.”

But she said that throughout her college studies, she has become introduced and “felt connected” to other religious practices, including the teachings of Buddha.

“I have found myself practicing insight meditation, which has allowed me to become intrigued with mindful awareness,” said Layton. “This exploration has brought me to want to further my knowledge of the mind, body, and spirit through the teachings of Buddha.”

Alex Fiore

So does Fiore. The Brookfield, Conn. resident has “acquired a sense of loving kindness for myself by practicing meditation on my own,” she said. “I have noticed and developed an appreciation for the Buddhist teachings, and this Field Period™ was an opportunity to directly correlate those teachings to with my future career. It also helped me let down all of my guard and find a love and compassion for myself as well as others.”

Layton said that while she believes she is in touch with God, she feels out of touch with herself.

“This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Layton. “[A retreat such as this] was something I imagined taking part in since my exploration into the teachings of Buddha.”

She expected to develop a “depth of realization of Buddha’s path of liberation” during her Field Period™, and Layton believes “this opportunity will continue to benefit me after the completion of my bachelor’s degree,” she said. “My experience at Shambhala Mountain Center will help me with my future clients because I will be able to utilize my experience to help others.”

Fiore, too, intends to use what she learned during her Field Period™ while pursuing her master’s degree and career.

“I wanted to see how self-knowledge and understanding grow as we realize we can live each moment either with inattention, fear and judgment, or with clarity, kindness and wakefulness.

“By cultivating the power of awareness, we discover our path to liberation, inner freedom and a peaceful heart,” said Fiore. “This Field Period™ meant more than anything to me because it was the first step I have taken to broaden my horizons.”