Editor’s Note: Where can a Keuka degree take you? This is the fourth in a series of snapshot profiles on members of Keuka’s Class of 2013.
Erica Ruscio ’13 graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and visual and verbal art. The Middlesex resident will be pursuing a master’s degree in English with a concentration in children’s literature at Kansas State University this fall. Ruscio landed a graduate teaching assistantship where she said she will “earn her keep” by teaching one section of expository prose, similar to Keuka’s freshman composition course, in the fall and two sections in the spring.
Ruscio said she believed the Field Period experience she could include in her admission application, particularly one Field Period working with the children’s librarian at the Penn Yan Public Library, helped showcase her as a desirable candidate. Keuka’s Field Period is a 140-hour annual internship or exploratory study required each year for undergraduates.
During her time at Keuka, Ruscio participated in the annual Red Jacket Literary journal, the Arion Players theatrical presentations, wrote a College blog for incoming freshman, and showcased several paintings, mixed media and photos in the senior art show. She said Keuka provided her the ability to explore what she really wanted to do with her life through its internships, small class sizes, and “awesome professors and advisers.”
“If it hadn’t been for Keuka, the Field Period [program], and my first advisor, Ms. Harris, I may have been stuck writing press releases instead of studying literature, making art, and doing what I really want to do,” Ruscio said.
Red, black and white clothing designs fashioned out of more recycled goods than just fabric. A giant animal cage adorned with photos and paintings of rescue dogs, with a door allowing a person to step inside. A bronzed sculpture of a hawk, wings stretched out before it takes flight.
All three art projects are the work of a trio of graduating seniors at Keuka College and can be seen as part of the student art show, which runs through May 30 in Lightner Gallery, and also features additional works by underclassmen. And all three seniors are clear that their respective artwork makes a statement they want others to “hear.”
With her collection of red, black and white dresses, Crystal Cochell of Trumansburg is protesting in color and form the waste she observes in the environments around her, especially corporations. Nicole Groth of Henrietta showcases her work with humane societies through black and white photos of puppies playing in the yard of an animal shelter and color paintings of dogs adopted into families she knows, including her own. And Stephanie Lange of Apalachin is eager to invite interaction from the public — students, faculty and visiting community members — with the bronze installation she hopes might become the first of several sculptures to adorn the campus. (more…)
Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of features on recipients of the Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Award.
Mia Barnello is eager to follow in her mother’s footsteps. In January, that path will take the junior organizational communication major to the Florence University of the Arts in Italy.
During her spring semester of study, Barnello, a Syracuse resident, will also travel throughout the country to explore the culture in cities such as Sicily, Rome and Venice. She received a $2,200 Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Award to help with expenses. The scholarship assists students pursuing culturally oriented Field Periods and is named for the late Brown, a member of the Class of 1963 who spent her junior year as a Norton Scholar in Switzerland.
“I’m definitely interested in finding the little, not-so-touristy attractions, hidden treasures, the food, the boutiques, and so on,” Barnello said of the tucked-away spots she hopes to discover.
According to Barnello, her mother spent almost a full year in Italy as a college student herself “and almost didn’t come back.
“She studied art in a small town called Urbino. She’s talked about it for my entire life,” Barnello said. “I’m definitely hoping to bring back experiences and memories we can kind of bond over, things we both [experienced] while in Italy.”
The trip will be Barnello’s first trip overseas, indeed, her first time traveling outside the U.S. She is eager to see the work of different artists and architects that she studied in an online art history class taught by Assistant Professor of Art Melissa Newcomb last summer. After visiting museums and churches, seeing sculptures and other famous works, Barnello said she plans to e-mail Newcomb about the experience.
“I want to bring back pictures and things that are exciting to share and encourage more people to [study abroad],” she said.
While Barnello’s mother studied fine arts, Barnello is hoping to focus more on design and the fashion industry, which is a special interest of hers. Last year, Barnello and fellow Keuka communication major Ashley Larimore teamed up on a special class project to create a draft of a fashion magazine for Assistant Professor of Organizational Communication and English Bob Berkman’s media writing class. At Keuka, she is completing classes for a minor in art.
Barnello said she plans to spend at least one day of her overseas trip visiting the headquarters of the Italian edition of Vogue magazine. Ideally, she’d like to get in touch with photographers or writers to get a flavor for the working environment, and see what a “day in the life” is like there.
“In the future, I really want to be involved in fashion. Being in Italy and learning the background, I think will help me decide if I want to focus on fashion through design and publications [or another way],” Barnello said. “Since my hope was to do graphic design and that’s not really offered [in Florence], I’m kind of designing my own [course of study.]’
While in Florence, Barnello will take classes in jewelry design and Italian fashion, as well as a beginner’s course in the Italian language.
“As of right now, I don’t know anything of the language, which is terrifying, but hopefully, that [course] will help. My mom actually didn’t take any language courses when she was there – she just picked it up. I’m a little scared, but … We’ll see what happens. “