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Ruscio Garners Raves as Web Assistant

Editor’s Note: This is the third of six profiles of nominees for the 2012 Student Employee of the Year award that will be presented at the Annual Student Employment Awards Luncheon April 16.

Erica in her art studio in Allen Hall

When the Keuka College Class of 2015 arrived on campus in the fall of 2011, there weren’t many people they could greet by name. But thanks to the wonders of the web, junior Erica Ruscio was an exception.

That’s because the Middlesex resident was already familiar to incoming students who had read her blog posts for Eye on the Storm, the official blog for undergraduate admissions at Keuka, and interacted with Ruscio on the class’s official Facebook group page.

But Ruscio is far more than a social media butterfly, says Webmaster Pete Bekisz, for whom Ruscio works as a web assistant. Since she first began writing for Bekisz as a freshman, she’s penned some 130 posts for Eye on the Storm, enticing readers with advice such as The College Admissions Essay: How to Successfully Write One Without Having a Mental Breakdown.

As an English and visual and verbal art major, Ruscio writes on topics covering everything from the perfect packing list for dorm life to the celebration of diversity possible around the lunch table. According to Bekisz, most of Ruscio’s blog posts average more than 500 words, and half of those garner average page-read times of more than five minutes, a web statistic he calls “huge” in the world of online traffic.

“She was particularly ecstatic during the first few days of this academic year because of the number of first-year students who greeted her, shared their positive feedback and how useful and meaningful her advice was to them during their college selection process,” Bekisz wrote in a nomination letter for Keuka’s 2011-12 Student Employee of the Year award.

“Erica is truly Keuka College’s secret weapon when it comes to recruitment and yield,” he said, praising her “capital attention to detail, prolific writing skills, and unparalleled commitment and enthusiasm.”

Ruscio’s writing also showcases “top-notch” research skills, Bekisz said, noting she recently culled the College archives to author a feature on the history of Keuka’s presidency. That work will become a major part of the website and programming for the inauguration of Keuka’s 19th president May 4, he noted.

An accomplished artist and academic, Ruscio comes to work with “an infectious enthusiasm for her job, her major, Keuka College and life itself,” Bekisz said.

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