The reason behind the Faculty and Staff Appreciation Dinner was two-fold.
“We looked at [the dinner] as a chance for students to show their appreciation and for the students, faculty and staff to get to know each other outside of the classroom,” said Allie Waye-Walker, community service associate who collaborated with fellow associate Molly Flanagan on the event.
“Allie and Molly came to me back in February trying to develop a program that would allow faculty and staff to interact with students from the usual work-academic setting,” said Sally Daggett, who supervises the associates. “Apparently, they had heard some of the stories of when most of the faculty and staff lived in Keuka Park and how they were also interacting with the students outside of regular ‘working’ hours.
“There is not just one winner,” added Daggettt. “This program was designed to allow students to nominate a person who has made a difference in their life while at Keuka College.”
The pilot program is co-sponsored by Student Senate and the Center for Experiential Learning. In addition to the dinner, held Thursday, April 16, the nominees each received a Certificate of Appreciation.
Following is the list of the faculty/staff nominees along with their student nominators and the student’s reason for nominating him/her.
Jonathan Accardi, director of campus recreation and aquatics and resident director of Space Hall, nominated by Melissa Cappelluti. “Jon is extremely personable and builds relationships with the students so even those that are not his residents know they can come to him with problems or concerns they have in an atmosphere of trust and confidence,” wrote Cappelluti. “He has also greatly impacted me and the campus community through the recreation program, trying to hold fun and creative events for all students.”
Drew Arnold, professor of psychology, nominated by Jane Palmer. “He’s been a great professor and took over Dr. Rogoff’s classes when he fell sick and, with his load, still makes time to make sure that he is there for his students when they need him,” wrote Palmer. “He also encourages us to call him at home if, and when, we need him.”
Janine Bower, assistant professor of criminology/criminal justice and sociology, nominated by Brittany Shepard. “She has always gone above and beyond in teaching her students by always making sure they are on track and helping them understand the material,” wrote Shepard. “Not only is she a great teacher, she is also an amazing adviser. She has helped me tremendously with ideas for getting into graduate school and helping me through financial aid issues, and has acted as a counselor in times of emotional need.”
Tim Bower, assistant professor of applied and comparative sociology, nominated by Jesse Kramer. “Not only has he dedicated much time and effort through the classes I have had with him, but he also spends much time outside the classroom with his students,” wrote Kramer. “He has even taken time to help me with classes that he doesn’t even teach, or give me his opinion or suggestion on almost anything for which I ask.”
Holly Bunn, manager of the Office of Health and Counseling Services, nominated by Helene Nikiforakis. “Holly is my supervisor in the health office and is important to me,” said Nikiforakis. “I have been struggling with health problems and she has been my ultimate support system.”
Sally Daggett, associate director of the Center for Experiential Learning, nominated by Laura Williams. “Sally has been supportive in all of the activities I have undertaken (school projects, job searches and community service),” wrote Williams. “She is constantly motivating me to do more and brainstorm possibilities. Most of all, she believes in all of our ideas and helps us to make them work.”
Chevanne DeVaney, director of multicultural affairs, nominated by Brandon Pierson. “Chevy came onto this campus and made change happen,” wrote Pierson. “Her motivation has led many people in a positive direction both in academics and clubs. She is always willing to discuss your day and offer solutions. She is an asset to this campus.”
Debra Dyer, assistant professor of education, nominated by Matthew Connell. “Dr. Dyer is more than an adviser; she is a friend and someone to whom I can turn when a problem arises,” wrote Connell. “She is willing to go above her own teaching responsibilities to talk about teaching at all levels. She believes in her students and will do what is needed to help them succeed.”
Jennifer Furner, director of student activities, nominated by Elizabeth Meyers. “As site supervisor during my student activities Field Period, Jen had everything outlined with details of our goals for the month to come,” wrote Meyers. “Being an organizational communication major, communication is important to me and Jen always communicated effectively. One of the greatest things about Jen is that she was always appreciative. Many times people forget the simple things such as praising one for all he or she does.”
Joan Magnusen, professor of biology, nominated by Kelin Wheaton. “She demands the best for each of her students, and students sign up for her classes knowing a fair challenge is ahead of them,” wrote Wheaton. “I have been in several of Dr. Magnusen’s classes, and each one has impressed upon me the importance of hard work in order to maximize the learning process. I am grateful for the dedication Dr. Magnusen demonstrated toward my most recent Field Period. She spent several hours in the lab with me in the fall semester in an Independent Study as I tried to prepare for my roles in a schizophrenia research laboratory in Australia. Dr. Magnusen’s student-first mentality and endless work ethic makes her an ideal candidate to be recognized.”
Hilda Mannato, librarian/associate professor, nominated by Shannon Hinke. “Hilda has made a huge difference in my experience at Keuka,” wrote Hinke. “Not only has she helped me in the library, but she has also helped me in my personal life with issues that are bigger than I. Her help and guidance is what helped me get acclimated to Keuka and return to the College after leaving for a year.”
Mike McKenzie, associate professor of philosophy and religion, nominated by Melissa Cappelluti. “First taking his class as a freshman, I quickly learned that he is passionate about what he does, and gives all students the optimal opportunity for success in his classes,” wrote Cappelluti. “Even his invention of the Socrates hunt allows students to challenge themselves and put their knowledge to work doing something fun.”
Patricia Pulver, professor of education, nominated by Brandon Pierson. “Dr. Pulver is not only a top-notch education professor who is knowledgeable, she is also willing to talk through problems and provide ways to help,” wrote Pierson. “She goes above and beyond to help novice teachers become all they can.”
Martha Rich, director of health services, nominated by Sara Rodgers. “Martha has been my work-study supervisor for the four years that I’ve worked in health services,” wrote Rodgers. “She uses her wry sense of humor to put students at ease when they come to see her. She is also a staunch advocate for student health. She is also a role model and mentor. Whenever I have a problem, she is the first to sit me down and listen to what I have to say.”
Gail Roberts, chair/professor of social work, nominated by Rebecca Brundage. “She is an amazing and insightful teacher,” wrote Brundage. “Her ability to provide real life experiences and apply them to our learning is a great help. She has served her profession and students extremely well.”
David Romm, associate professor of management, nominated by Ryan Ellingworth. “He is different than all my other teachers—but in a good way,” wrote Ellingworth. “I have always focused on getting good grades in a class, but Mr. Romm has helped me to actually focus on learning. I am eager to learn what he has to share—which is a lot.”
Carol Sackett, library circulation supervisor, nominated by Clarise Saeva. “Carol has made a difference in many ways,” wrote Saeva. “First, she is willing to help me and other students any way she can. I have asked her questions regarding the library, and personal questions relating to my life. She listens attentively and gives me her opinion and advice about anything I ask. Secondly, she was more than willing to write me letters of reference for scholarships or jobs.”
Christen Smith, associate director of communications/instructor of computer applications, nominated by Danielle Clark. “She has helped me to shape my future by expanding my mind and showing me that I would excel in graphic design,” wrote Clark. “With her help, I have become a more goal-oriented person.”
Teri Spoor, Mailroom/Copy Center site manager, and Amanda Underhill, mailroom clerk, nominated by Matthew Szczesniak. “Both have supported me since sophomore year,” said Szczesniak. “I was struggling and Amanda was always there to help; Teri was always helpful with time off. I could not choose between the two because they have equally helped me on my path of righteousness.” Spoor was also nominated by Chris Mazella, who wrote: “Teri has been my work study supervisor for as long as I’ve been at Keuka. Her witty humor and good leadership has made my experiences in the mailroom enjoyable. She looks out for me and is accommodating if there is an unusual circumstance.”
Sally Ann Swartley, nominated by Heather Graff. “Sally Ann is helpful in many ways,” wrote Graff. “She has helped me develop my resume to a professional level. She also worked with me to get an internship in Washington, D.C. Beyond the professional help, Sally Ann is always there to talk, and provide a smile to brighten my day.” Swartley was also nominated by Melissa Cappelluti, who wrote: “Sally Ann is dedicated to her job and the students with whom she works. Through her help over the years, I have found Field Period opportunities that have profoundly improved the skills I will need to be successful in the future.”
Sandy Teague, coordinator of Field Period and internships, nominated by Megan Arthur. “Sandy is easy to work with and is always smiling,” wrote Arthur, who works in the OT department. “If I have a problem, she is willing to help. She tries to make the jobs fun and enjoyable.”
Carolyn Teter, assistant professor of occupational therapy, nominated by Emily Conrad. “I am nominating Carolyn because I work in the OT department and Carolyn always has projects for the workers to do,” wrote Conrad. “She always makes sure to tell me she appreciates what I am doing and goes out of her way to thank me for helping. Carolyn is one of the nicest faculty members I have met since coming to Keuka.”
Kathy Waye, executive director of alumni and family relations, nominated by Matthew McFetridge. “Kathy made my transition to Keuka from a large university so easy,” said McFetridge. “Not only did she make it easy to adjust, but she made sure that I knew as much as possible about Keuka life. She takes time out of her busy and important job to make sure I am comfortable and up-to-date with many aspects of Keuka involvement. She is “Wonder Woman” and she definitely has shown me the ‘Waye’ around Keuka.” Waye was also nominated by Tierney Coyne, who wrote: “Kathy is my mom away from home. Her office is warm and welcoming. She helped me receive a mentor position, fill out my schedule for next semester, tell me what’s right to do when things get bumpy, but most of all, she is always there willing and able to help any student.”
Val Webster, co-curricular transcript coordinator, nominated by Laura Williams. “Valerie is constantly lending her support and ideas for all situations,” wrote Williams. “She motivates us and steps in to help with problems.”