Just before Christmas, Lisa Makarick finished a course in community health. Just after Christmas, Makarick discovered a profound contrast between the classroom and Cabarete, Dominican Republic, where she traveled with 11 others from Keuka College to bring health education to some of the youngest residents of the community.
“It’s one thing to do a windshield study on [community health] and it’s a whole other beast to do a service project, to get down there with the people and work hand-in-hand with them,” said Makarick, a Hammondsport resident.
Makarick is pursuing her baccalaureate nursing degree through the College’s Accelerated Studies for Adults Program (ASAP). She attends classes at Corning Community College, one of 2o ASAP sites around the state. Nine other nursing students from cohorts in the Syracuse, Elmira, Ithaca, and Utica areas, and one occupational science major from the home campus in Keuka Park, also traveled to Cabarete.
From January 2-9, the Keuka College group, led by Patty Mattingly, associate professor of nursing, assisted the Mariposa DR Foundation, which invests in sustainable solutions to end generational poverty, serving girls as young as 8-years-old. By battling barriers that keep the poor vulnerable and limited, and offering support such as access to quality health care and education, the Mariposa DR Foundation seeks to educate, empower and employ girls in Cabarete to ultimately give back to their community.
The students presented a workshop on dental hygiene and hand-washing, gave a first-aid presentation to parents, and made home visits to assess safety risks and recommend follow-up by Foundation staff. In addition, students also toured a public hospital and an HIV clinic in the area. The trip also fulfilled Keuka College Field Period ™ requirements for the students. Typically, a Field Period ™ enables a student to explore professions, other cultures, or even provide community service for others, but usually, only one of those elements happens at one time. However, the 2014 Keuka College team accomplished all of the above.
According to Makarick, a maternal service nurse and mother of five who will finish her nursing program in April, the trip was an “amazing experience” that she hopes to repeat. The team worked with 15 girls, ages 8 -11, providing encouragement with extracurricular activities that included simple games and health-care instruction. In that region, children only attend a half-day of school and often lack positive alternatives to “just wandering around all afternoon,” said Makarick.
Thanks to one of her daughters, Makarick said she was educated on the threat of sex trafficking and modern slavery facing these young girls. According to New Friends, New Life, a human rights agency seeking to raise awareness, 13 is the average age at which American girls, particularly those vulnerable to poverty, are trafficked into the sex industry. For the poor and vulnerable from developing countries, where legal protection is nearly nonexistent, sexual exploitation and forced prostitution may happen even earlier. As such, Makarick said the impact the team could make was clear.
“I was absolutely not disappointed,” said Makarick. “You can see the effect fairly quickly, even small, little [things] of having someone encourage them … they just bonded with us, and we learned from them, too.”
The group split into two teams of six to conduct home inspections in the neighborhoods where the girls lived, and, in some cases, the level of poverty was “pretty overwhelming,” Mattingly said, describing scenarios where rat poison was left where children could come in contact with it. One student described barbed wire “clotheslines” so low to the ground that children’s bodies and faces bore cuts from running into it. Other elements of culture shock were encountered in el barrio (the ghetto) and the local hospital, which had just five beds in its Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and where equipment and staff practice was like “turning the clock back 30 years,” said Makarick.
James “J.T.” Pitcher, head men’s lacrosse coach at Cayuga Community College (CCC) in Auburn, recently received the Keuka College/CCC Joint Presidential Scholarship.
Pitcher will begin pursuit of a Master of Science degree in management through Keuka College’s Accelerated Studies for Adults Program (ASAP) in February.
Pitcher is part-time lacrosse coach at CCC and works full-time as project manager at D&W Diesel. A graduate of Auburn High School, he holds a degree in materials science and engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.
The M.S. in management program at Keuka College features an accelerated format; students attend class one night a week and complete their degree requirements in less than two years.
Keuka College offers seven degree programs through ASAP: four bachelor’s degree programs (criminal justice systems, nursing, organizational management, and social work) and three master’s degree programs (criminal justice administration, management, and nursing). Classes are offered at some 20 locations in New York state, including CCC.
For more information on ASAP, contact the Center for Professional Studies at 866-255-3852 or asap.keuka.edu.
Editor’s Note: This is the second in a two-part series of Q&As with new, full-time faculty members.
Kevin Murphy of Elmira, assistant professor of social work, is teaching traditional and ASAP courses this fall, including Social Welfare Policy and Service I & II, Ethics and Diversity in Social Work, and Generalist Social Work Practice I. Come spring, he is scheduled to teach Group Processes I & II, Social Work Research Methods, Generalist Social Work Practice I & II, and Social Welfare Policy & Service I.
Last book read: Dr. Sleep, by Stephen King.
Favorite quote: Non decor deco (Latin for “I am not led, I lead.”)
If you could be a fictional character, who would you be and why? No one. I like my real life too much.
What makes teaching fun? Seeing the passion the students bring to the table, and being privileged enough to be a part of their transformational journey.
What do you do for fun? Time with the wife and kids, campfires in my backyard on weekends, reading, writing, and obstacle course racing.
Guadalupe Morales-Gotsch, visiting assistant professor of Spanish, is teaching Intercultural Studies, Introduction to Spanish, Spanish for Communication, and Latin American Short Stories.
Last book read: Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.
Favorite quote: “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge,” by Albert Einstein.
If you could be a fictional character, who would you be and why? Dora the Explorer, because she loves to engage herself with new friends and situations, making the best of those situations and her new friends.
What makes teaching fun? Students and their desire to learn.
What do you do for fun? Travel, meet new people and learn about their culture, reading for pleasure
Nicholas Koberstein, instructor of child and family studies, teaches Introduction to Human Development, Development in Middle Childhood, and Psychology of Adulthood and the Aging.
Last book read: Go Dog Go, by P.D. Eastman. My daughter, Harper and son, Wyatt, read every night before bedtime. Go Dog Go is a great book that helps them develop skills in language, learn colors, numbers, and orientations, all with some subtle humor. It is a mainstay on our bedtime bookshelf.
Favorite quote: “My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me,” by Winston Churchill. My wife, Kristen, is the cornerstone of our family. I have never met a more gorgeous, intelligent, kind-hearted, and hard-working woman.
If you could be a fictional character, who would you be and why? Indiana Jones, the ultimate renaissance man. If nothing more than to have some flashy, three-piece tweed suits. Jones lives a fascinating life of exploration and adventure. He always escapes danger and fights for what is right and just.
What makes teaching fun? Influence. To make a positive change in a student’s life or to teach them something that changes their world view. Learning is an experience that is more than the information that is taught in the classroom. It is a culture that is co-created and shared by the students. Every new class is a different than the last.
What do you do for fun? I love to explore with my family. Every weekend my family and I try to experience something new. Since we moved to the area in August from Connecticut, there is plenty of exploring to do.
Betty Morris-Mitchell, Assistant Professor of Social Work in the Accelerated Studies for Adults (ASAP) program, is teaching Social Work Practice III (SWK 351) & Social Welfare Policy & Services II (SWK 401).
Last book read: The Good Dream by Donna VanLiere
Favorite quote: Character is found in how you treat people who can’t do anything for you.
If you could be a fictional character, who would you be, and why?: I would be Ivorie from the book, The Good Dream. Ivorie, a single woman, rescues and raises an abused young child despite talk and opposition from members of the community.
What makes teaching fun: Helping students achieve their God-given dreams; helping them to understand that they were created to soar.
What do you do for fun? I read. I enjoy reading fiction, non-fiction, self-improvement books, and biographies. I also write short-stories when I have the time.
Occam, a 14th century logician and Franciscan friar, and the Warren Commission would have you believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.
Occam contends that when there are two competing theories, or explanations for something, the simpler one is better than the complex one.
It’s called Occam’s Razor and Stan Wilczek Jr., assistant professor of management in the Accelerated Studies for Adults Program (ASAP), believes it makes perfect sense, especially when applied to the tragic events that played out 50 years ago in Dallas, Texas. (more…)
A group of Keuka College nursing students attended the New York State Fair but not to play games, ride the Ferris wheel, or take in the Grace Potter or Luke Bryan concerts.
The students—all registered nurses (RNs) pursuing bachelor’s degrees at Keuka’s Accelerated Studies for Adults Program (ASAP) sites at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Onondaga Community College (OCC)—were there to encourage fellow nurses to follow in their footsteps.
According to Associate Professor of Nursing Carolyn Christie-McAuliffe, the students completed their Field Period, an annual 140-hour required internship, by securing a booth at the fair promoting the Future of Nursing organization.
“The main goal of the Future of Nursing booth was to show the public what the nursing future looks like, and encourage nurses with their RN to go back to school and earn their bachelor’s degrees,” said Christie-McAuliffe, who serves as co-regional leader of the Central New York chapter of the Future of Nursing.
“I am in my 33rd year of nursing and until now, I have hesitated to be involved with any nursing group,” said Christie-McAuliffe. “But the Future of Nursing is different. I think it represents all nurses equally, no matter what their level of education. The Future of Nursing organization provides opportunity for leadership and direction for nursing within the health care system.”
And the Fair was a perfect vehicle to deliver the message.
According to Christie-McAuliffe, the students developed and provided information on specific schools for the various regions of the state; tips for adult students such as time management tricks; and information on how to obtain scholarships and loans to fund their continued education.
“The majority of RN visitors to the booth were clearly interested in pursuing their education, which we want to continue to encourage and support,” said Christie-McAuliffe.
In 2008, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation approached the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to propose a partnership between the two organizations. The resulting collaboration became the two-year Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing at the IOM. Its goal was to look at the possiblitiy of transforming the nursing profession to meet the challenges of a changing health care landscape. The report produced by the committee, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, makes specific and directed recommendations in the area of nurse training, education, professional leadership, and work force policy.
Through the initiative, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation supports the research agenda set forth by the report and implements the recommendations in the areas of nurse training, education, professional leadership, and work force policy. New York state was designated one of five initial pilot regional action coalitions to advance the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action.
“One those recommendations—that RNs seek to further their education—was featured at our booth,” said Christie-McAuliffe. “In fact, the Future of Nursing has a goal that by 2020, 80 percent of all nurses will have their bachelor’s degrees. St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse has begun requiring all RNs to sign a pledge to complete their bachelor’s degree in a certain number of years.
“In addition to this requirement, the hospital also financially supports their nurses to pursue their continued education,” added Christie-McAuliffe. “Decisions by health care institutions such as this encourages nurses to obtain their bachelor’s degrees. In part, because hospitals like St. Joseph’s are making these investments, it is evidence that patient outcomes are improved when higher percentages of RNs in the institution have bachelor’s degrees.”
The students “were charged with everything pertaining to the booth, from initiating the contract with the state fair, soliciting volunteers from across the state, soliciting funds, and developing and distributing literature,” said Christie-McAuliffe. “They also openly shared their experiences as a nurse and as a student with visitors to the booth. From this experience, the students will take what they have learned to their classes and places of employment. They will also analyze the results of the event for future recommendations and create a manual for next year.”