Editor’s Note: The 2013 Experiential Learner of the Year award nominees will be recognized at a May 2 luncheon. The freshman and upperclass winners will be announced at Honors Convocation. May 4. Here is a capsule look at the nominees:
Josh Beaver, a senior political science/history major from Terre Haute, Ind., nominated by Chris Leahy, associated professor of history:
Beaver said he has had numerous chances to explore potential career paths though Field Period, and he knows firsthand that it works.
“I came to Keuka knowing I wanted to be a doctor, but through coursework and Field Period, I figured out that was not the path for me right now,” said Beaver. “At the end of my junior year, I changed my major to political science/history, a passion second to science. What a difference. My grades are better, I feel less stressed, and have a smile on my face.”
Beaver completed his January Field Period at Vigo County Historical Society Museum in Terre Haute and it helped him realize he made the right choice switching his major.
“I was an assistant curator during my time at the museum” said Beaver. “I conducted research to help prepare for a new exhibit on the evolution of the transportation system in Terre Haute and the Wabash Valley in Indiana.”
He had the opportunity to work as an archivist, working to find photos, newspaper clippings, old documents, and selected items to go into exhibit.
“I also conducted grant research, and realized this Field Period solidified what I want to do with my career,” said Beaver. “In addition, I was able to design the cabinet layout and write the text to accompany the exhibit’s artifacts.”
Beaver participates in Celebrate Service… Celebrate Yates, Spiritual Life Advisory Board (SLAB), the Multicultural Advisory Group, and spent three semesters as a member of Student Senate.
Lydia Watkins, a freshman biomedical major from Springville, Pa., nominated by Andy Robak, assistant professor of chemistry:
Lydia Watkins has known since she was 10 that she wanted to be a large animal veterinarian. But for her first Field Period, she shadowed the vets at Southtown Veterinary Hospital in Montrose, Pa., a small animal clinic.
Watkins was able to watch several surgeries, including spays, neuters, ACL repair, bone surgery, and a splenectormy.
“I learned a lot of information about the veterinary field, and I cannot wait to have the V.M.D. in front of my name,” said Watkins. “The practice moved to a larger space and I went home for spring break to help them officially open the doors. While I was there, I was hired as a veterinary assistant.
“By watching the vets, I expanded my knowledge and fine tuned my interests,” she said. “And while I loved my Field Period, and now my job, at Southtown, I still want to work with cows.”
Logan Ackerley, a junior political science major from Liberty, nominated by Sander Diamond, professor of history:
Like many students at Keuka, one of the reasons Logan Ackerley enrolled at the College was Field Period.
“My first two Field Periods were disappointing, and I began to dread having to look for a place for my third one,” said Ackerley. “But then I took Europe in the World with Dr. Diamond, which reminded me why I chose my major. It made learning interesting again, and I once more began to see Field Period as the opportunity it was meant to be.”
So Ackerley thought of possible Field Period sites and found the Museum of Jewish Heritage: A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York City.
“I assisted a museum educator with activities for special needs high school students,” he said. “I was nervous because I had never worked with special needs students, or any students older than elementary school. But this became one of my most significant tasks, especially because I was asked to take over that program while I was there.”
This experience gave Ackerley “great knowledge about how a museum department works. My Field Period allowed me to develop not only professionally, but personally as well. It made me think critically, solve problems creatively, and gave me a level of motivation I’ve never had before. It also confirmed my career goal to become a museum administrator.”
Ackerley is involved with the Arion Players Drama Club, serves as treasurer of the Political Science and History Club and C.H.A.O.S. Club, and performed a monologue from The Diary of Anne Frank during Keuka College’s Fine Arts Night.
Alex Morgan, a junior biology major from New Berlin, nominated by Andy Robak, assistant professor of chemistry:
According to Alex Morgan, Keuka College takes the ideas of experiential learning and amplifies its importance with Field Period.
“As a biology major with a concentration in biomedical studies, I plan to become a doctor,” said Morgan. “I have taken the opportunity of Field Period as a path to explore different areas of the medical profession so I can narrow down which I’d like to pursue.”
Morgan spent his Field Period at the Bassett Clinic, a family medicine clinic in Sherburne with Dr. David Haswell, who Morgan said would often quiz him on information pertaining to a patient.
“I was able to see ordinary medical cases, as well as cases of walking pneumonia, Necrotizing fasciitis, a rare flesh-eating disease, infantile projectile vomiting, flu, prostate and testicular exams, suture removals, and pap smears,” said Morgan. “I was also able to listen to a patient’s carotid artery through a stethoscope.”
Morgan serves as president of Rotaract, and is a member of the President’s Leadership Circle, Keukonian, and Chemistry Club.
Crystal Billings, a sophomore social work major from Groton, nominated by a former Follett (College bookstore) employee:
Crystal Billings worked at the Red Cross Homeless Services Program in Ithaca for her January Field Period, and said the fast-paced, multi-faceted environment gave her the opportunity to work with a broad spectrum of clients.
“Going into the Field Period, I was not quite sure what to expect,” admitted Billings, who worked at the shelter and Friendship Center, a place where people could drop in during the day. “I thought I would serve food and answer the phone, and learn how a homeless shelter operates and what resources it provides.”
However, the experience was “so much more than that,” she said.
“I did different things each week, including covering for my supervisor in the office, helping with the children’s Christmas party, and working with parolees, including a man who had murdered three people,” she said. “I also provided direct client services, interacted with shelter residents and the chronically homeless, and dealt one-on-one with several clients who suffer from mental illness and substance abuse.”
Because Billings learned she was able to work with those on parole, she now wants to try a Field Period working with adolescent parolees at a school near her hometown.
During her Field Period, Billings saw the great need at the Red Cross, and wondered what she could do to help. An active Zumba participant on campus and at home, she thought a Zumba-thon would be the perfect idea.
“I organized and promoted the Zumba-thon, and I hoped to make $50, but realized $115,” she said. “I was proud of myself and excited to give back.”
Billings said working at the Red Cross Homeless Services Program helped her help others, “which is what I truly want to do with my life. This was an amazing experience and I wish I could have stayed longer.”
An active participant in the Association of Future Social Workers (AFSW), Billings has also been a member of the Arion Players Drama Club.
Courtney Ray, a junior social work major from Cato, nominated by Stephanie Craig, associate professor and chair ofsocial work:
Ray has always known she wanted to help people, and why she chose social work. But she was unsure which area of the field to pursue until her January Field Period, when she worked at LCSW Counseling Solutions under Stephanie Gregory, a counselor.
“I believed I would gain more knowledge about counseling, and I did, but the entire Field Period went above my expectations,” said Ray. “Stephanie asked for my opinion and feedback on several functional behavioral assessments, a problem-solving process for addressing student problem behavior. I was also able to sit in on evaluations, counseling and therapy sessions, as well as gain intervention knowledge.”
While Ray was an observer during the counseling sessions, she and Gregory would process what went on after they ended.
“This allowed me to connect and understand what the client may be going through,” said Ray. “It’s what I liked most about my Field Period because it felt like this is where I belonged.”
The process of therapy has always interested Ray, and she said being able to “connect with a complete stranger by helping them through whatever is going on in their life is meaningful. After sitting through these sessions, I can see myself going into the marriage and family side of counseling.”
Ray is active in Peace Club, Up ’til Dawn, Association of Future Social Workers (AFSW), Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and serves as a peer advocate.
Shane Devlin, a sophomore childhood studies education major from Manchester, nominated by Pat Pulver, professor and chair of education:
Shane Devlin spent his January Field Period in a self-contained special education classroom of nine students in grades 3-5 at Kelley Intermediate School in Newark. After working with teacher Kristen Nardozzi, he realized one of his Field Period goals: what it’s like to work with students with special needs.
“They don’t always get the right answer the first time, so it takes more time and a better explanation to get those key ideas,” he said. “I found I liked working with smaller groups, as I was able to gain a better understanding of the disabilities each student had. The spectrum ran from ADHD to autism, to speech and hearing impairments.”
He was able to work with students on math assignments, and one particular student with ADHD.
“I worked one-on-one with him and while I found the lessons challenging because he couldn’t sit still for long, I remembered it was not his fault and I learned to be more patient,” said Devlin.
A resident assistant, Devlin also serves as a Student Senate representative, and is a member of the cross country team.
Ashley Larimore, a senior organizational communication major from Horseheads, nominated by Anita Chirco, professor of communication studies:
One of the reasons Ashley Larimore chose Keuka was because of the Field Period experience.
“I trusted that completing an internship five months into my freshman year would give me the opportunity to see if organizational communication was indeed right for me,” said Larimore. “Little did I know at the time that my first Field Period would do much more than reveal I had chosen the right major. It led me to a job offer in the admissions office, three months before graduation.”
Four years later, Larimore’s other three Field Periods have equally had a major impact on her. For her final Field Period, she split the required 140-hours into two 70-hour Field Periods, one in the College’s marketing department and one with Java-Gourmet, a local small business that sells coffee, spice rubs, marinades, and chocolates.
“As a student ambassador in admissions, I am familiar with the arsenal pieces the College sends to interested students,” said Larimore. “But they are outdated and need to be revamped. While in Keuka’s marketing department, it became my job to help create these pieces, both in print and digitally. I learned the importance of editing and developed my design skills as I revamped some marketing pieces. This Field Period experience enabled me to refine my writing skills, and develop my familiarity with InDesign.”
“Working at Java-Gourmet allowed me to refine my social marketing and media skills, as well as learn webpage management and networking skills,” said Larimore. “I also was able to take some of the products home to use in recipes and document my success on social media, as well as update the company website.”
Larimore is involved in Sigma Delta Tau, the international English honor society; Sigma Lambda Sigma, the service, leadership, and scholastic honor society; is president of Lambda Pi Eta, the national communication honor society; and is a member of the President’s Leadership Circle, Students Helping Students, and Center for Spiritual Life. She is also a member of the Student Judicial Panel and mentor.
Erica Ruscio, a senior English major from Middlesex, nominated by Allison Schultz, international student adviser in the Center for Global Education:
During the fall semester, Erica Ruscio sailed around the Atlantic Ocean as part of the Semester at Sea program on board the MV Explorer, an 836-passenger floating classroom.
Ruscio said the philosophy of the Semester at Sea program and Keuka College are one in the same—it all comes down to experiential learning.
“I went to 12 countries, took classes, attended seminars, navigated through unfamiliar cities and new experiences, and discovered new understandings of what it means to be human. It was the coolest thing I have ever done,” said Ruscio.
Through co-curricular involvement, community service, and exploring the world, Rusico said she has taken learning far beyond the traditional four-walled classroom.
“As an English major, I love books, but they only tell half the story,” she said. “The concrete experiences can’t be replicated, and can’t be doubled in a book.”
For example, Ruscio said she didn’t just read in a book what South Africa was like, “I explored it myself and made friends there. I didn’t just see a picture of the native people of the Amazon; I spent the night in the jungle with them. I didn’t just read a statistic about poverty in Latin America; I played with the kids in the Argentine slums.”
Ruscio said that she now has more faith in the opportunity to try, take chances, make mistakes, and try again.
“Experiential learning, which embraces the whole person, is what I received from Keuka College and the Semester at Sea program,” she said. “I haven’t just ‘done’ this experience, I’ve become it.”
An active participant in the Arion Players Drama Club and the Women’s Center Advocacy Club, Ruscio also serves as a TeamWorks! facilitator, editor of Red Jacket, and is a writing tutor. She also lends her time and talents to the Literacy Volunteers of Ontario and Yates Counties.
Amanda Markessinis, a freshman organizational communication major from Albany, nominated by Anita Chirco, professor of communication studies:
Amanda Markessinis spent her January Field Period at the Times Union newspaper in Albany, and said the hands-on learning experience she acquired from this Field Period went beyond what she expected.
“By being immersed in the journalism industry, I learned how it works, the different jobs at the paper, and whether or not I believed I fit in this job,” said Markessinis. “I worked with Jennifer Gish, a features editor and sports writer, who wanted me to experience the journalism career to the fullest. So every day she would present me with new tasks.”
Gish had Markessinis craft interview questions, write blog posts, work with other reporters on stories, and set up interviews for her own stories.
“I wrote a ‘dos and don’ts’ for exercise in the health section of the paper during my first week,” said Markessinis. “Working and being treated like a professional made me want to do my best, and gave me insight into what I can expect if I were to pursue a career in journalism.”
She said her experience at the newspaper taught her more than just the basics of journalism—it shaped her future.
“Now, not only am I a better writer, I am also more familiar with my strengths and weaknesses,” said Markessinis. “I have not only added to my resume, I have reevaluated my goals and the directions of my career path. This Field Period taught me that while I like aspects of journalism, I don’t want to go into the field.”
Markessinis participates in Enactus, For the Kids, and was a leader at the Center for Spiritual Life’s winter retreat.
Sierra Lynch, a junior psychology major from Watervliet, nominated by Athena Elafros, assistant professor of sociology:
Lynch completed her January Field Period at Sunmount Developmental Disabilities Service Office Center for Intensive Treatment (CIT) in Tupper Lake.
Lynch’s activities included observing people with anger management issues, attending training sessions, writing lesson plans for the sessions, and witnessing the behavior of those on the CIT unit, including sexual assault perpetrators, who may also have been victims.
“This experience taught me about psychiatric examination, the field I wish to pursue, by forcing me to see another perspective,” she said. “I want to work with inmates who have mental health problems, and this Field Period gave me that opportunity.”
She said she came to realize her potential through her experience, which she has used in and out of the classroom.
“I learned about different perspectives and ways to handle situations I came across, and will come across. And, I learned to clearly communicate my ideas,” said Lynch.
But she admits she had a hard time hearing the personal stories of the consumers, which are what those at CIT are called.
“During my last week there, the consumers started to open up and tell me about themselves,” said Lynch. “Some of the stories ripped me apart because of the terrible things they had been through. Even still, this Field Period confirmed I do want to pursue a career in psychiatric examination.”
An Academic Success at Keuka (ASK) notetaker, Lynch also works in the ASK Center, is a member of the Arion Players Drama Club, Psychology Club, and Sociology, Criminology, and Criminal Justice Club.
Thanh Thi Hoang Do, a senior management major from Hanoi, Vietnam, nominated by Patricia Speers, ESL academic skills counselor in the Center for Global Education:
The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C., served as a classroom for the month of January for Thanh, who served as an intern in the human resources department for the Court.
“Human resource management will require me to deal with many different types of people in my career,” said Thanh, “and luckily, the U.S. is an excellent place for me to get that experience because of its diverse population.”
While she didn’t have much to do with the court cases, Thanh completed research and created a training session with her supervisor’s guidance. In addition, she co-facilitated the session with another intern. She also created and updated personnel files, screened resumes, and scheduled interviews.
“I believe Keuka College has prepared me with the knowledge to help discover the outside world, and I am impressed by the Field Period program,” said Thanh. “It helps me combine my class lesson with the work environment. My last Field Period made me more mature, professional, and experienced. Applying the knowledge that I received at Keuka in the business setting was a great opportunity for me.”
Thanh has a work study position in the Center for Global education, was in the fashion show, serves as treasurer of the International Club, participated in Celebrate Service…Celebrate Yates, and is a transfer student mentor.
Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of profiles of Student Employee of the Year nominees. The winner will be announced at a luncheon Thursday, April 18.
Ask Assistant Director of Admissions Kristen Harter to play word association when it comes to senior Ashley Larimore and she’ll give you three: dedicated, determined, and driven.
Harter nominated the organizational communication major for the Student Employee of the Year for a second year in a row.
“One of my top recruits to attend Keuka College, I have known and worked with Ashley since she was a freshman,” said Harter. “She is extremely reliable and organized, and has gained an excellent perspective of how an admissions office is run.”
According to Harter, Larimore, a resident of Horseheads, knows what admissions material Keuka has and introduces it to new students effectively.
“Ashley is able to easily communicate by phone, email and in person with prospective students from the minute she meets them,” said Harter. “She adapts to all situations in the office, whether it’s giving a tour, calling a prospective student, sending out information or answering phones.”
It’s this personal communication that Harter said “stands out to our students and even more to our students’ parents. Ashley has the ability to connect with all types of families and make them feel at home at Keuka.”
As a freshman, Larimore took the opportunity to complete a Field Period with Harter in admissions.
“I was honored Ashley wanted to learn more about our office and the admissions process for prospective students,” said Harter. “She worked many extra hours in preparation for scholarship days and made sure that prospective students had all of their questions answered.”
Harter describes Larimore as a self-motivated, determined, and focused young woman “who has the confidence and ability to learn and adapt to new things in the work environment.”
This motivation is especially evident to Harter because as an admissions counselor, she is “on the road” for about five months out of the year and in the office only randomly at other times. But Harter doesn’t worry about things in the office while she’s away.
“Ashley has the ability to start new projects, answer emails and phone calls professionally, and represent Keuka College,” said Harter. “I can count on her to complete projects for me and ensure that prospective students from my territory know all there is to know before making the decision to enroll at Keuka College.”
Harter also said Larimore is always willing to help any of our staff members complete a project and cover when a staff member may be out of the office.
“Ashley leads by example, and is highly respected by the admissions professionals as well as other areas across campus,” said Harter. “She is a leader in admissions, especially when training and working with new student ambassadors. I often wonder how she does it all.”
Added Harter: “Ashley is obviously committed and dedicated to Keuka College. I have no doubt that she will make an outstanding admissions counselor if she decides to pursue it as a career.”
Prismacolor butterflies. Black and white typography. Cupcakes and dandelions, in triplicate. Colored-pencil portraits. A powerful pink-and-orange sunset. A ship sailing off on a sea of cotton.
These are some of the works featured in the Keuka College student art show, running through April 18 in the Lightner Gallery, with additional works on display on the fourth floor of Hegeman Hall.
The gallery, located in Lightner Library, is open during regular library hours, which vary during the academic semester, but can be found online at: http://library.keuka.edu
The exhibit will featured drawings, paintings, sculpture, mixed media, and photography from the hands of freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, as well as a few seniors who are non-art majors.
Senior Ashley Larimore and others enrolled in the new graphic design course offered this spring have debuted typography collections in the show. Larimore said that although she does not major in art, she loves drawing and painting, and “couldn’t wait” to add the new course to her schedule so that she could build more design skills working with Adobe software.
“The experience I gained working in Adobe Illustrator after the first project is incredible. I’ve really enjoyed overcoming the challenge of creating art through a screen using a mouse, rather than my hands,” Larimore said. “Every time I see my finished product, I have to remind myself it’s my work.”
According to Melissa Newcomb, assistant professor of art, the submissions for this student show are “the best yet” in her four years teaching at Keuka.
“I say every time, ‘It’s the best show yet,’ and it seems to get better every year,” Newcomb said. “The quality is just great.”
The majority of pieces surround drawing and photography works from the Drawing I & II and digital photography courses held in the fall. In addition, works from last spring’s Painting I course, and mixed media pieces from a general-education course, Foundations of Art and Design, as well as Sculpture I & II, which were both offered this spring, appear in the show.
Junior Stephanie Collins, an occupational therapy major, said she could relate a lot of the material she learned in art education class to art therapy. The show features a series of colorful butterflies Collins created using colored pencils.
“I’ve never really used them for a project before so it was really cool to see how bright I could get the colors,” Collins said. “This class lets me explore different materials like crayons and colored pencils that I wouldn’t be able to use on other projects. It teaches me how to incorporate art into things I never would have thought of before.”
According to Collins, the student works in the show tell her a key point about Keuka: “I am impressed with all of the talent at the school!”
The student show will be followed by Keuka’s senior show, which will feature capstone works from six seniors majoring in visual and verbal arts.
A “dependable and wonderful multitasking student” and a “detail-oriented staff member who takes time to listen to students and lends her support and guidance” were the respective recipients of the 2012 Student Employee and Work-Study Supervisor of the Year awards, respectively, at the Student Employment Awards Luncheon April 16.
Senior political science/history major Ron Burd and Administrative Assistant for the Division of Occupational Therapy (OT) Sandy Teague were selected by two separate panels of judges.
Burd was nominated for the award by Executive Director of Alumni and Family Relations Kathy Waye, Office Manager for Alumni and Family Relations Terry Finger, and Admissions Events Coordinator Eva Moberg-Sarver. (more…)
By Amanda Harrison ’12
Editor’s Note: This is the fifth 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.
Ashley Larimore ’13 is a superb communicator, which is one reason she was nominated for the Student Employee of the Year Award by her supervisor, Kristen Harter, admissions counselor.
Larimore has worked in the Office of Admissions for three years, and according to Harter, has grown during this time into an excellent and dependable worker.
“Ashley is able to learn what admissions material we have and introduce it to new students in a very effective way,” said Harter. “She is able to communicate via phone, email, and in person with all prospective students.”
Larimore also uses these communication skills to help prospective students and their parents feel at home at Keuka College.
“Her personal communication stands out to our students and even more to our students’ parents,” said Harter. “Ashley has the ability to connect with all types of families and make them feel at home at Keuka College.”
Around the admissions office, Larimore is seen as a leader and a hard, dedicated worker.
“She is always willing to help any of our staff members to complete a project and cover when a staff member may be out of the office,” said Harter. “She volunteers many extra hours to the admissions office to help any of our staff members meet deadlines or complete important projects.”
As an admissions counselor, Harter is out of her office recruiting students approximately five months of the year. During this time, Larimore’s job becomes even more important, and she has met that expectation with exemplary work.
“She has the ability to start new projects, answer emails and phone calls professionally, and represent Keuka College,” said Harter, who added that her nominee also trains student employees in the admissions office.
According to Harter, Larimore completed a Field Period with the admissions office in 2010 to “learn more about our office and the admissions process for prospective students.”
“I believe that Ashley will not only continue to succeed, but will also continue to make our institution an even better place,” says Harter. “She understands the importance of self-motivation, and has the confidence and ability to learn and adapt to new things in the work environment. She believes in herself and has full support of those in the campus community who know her.”
In the U.S., 30 million people over age 16—14 percent of the country’s adult population—don’t read well enough to understand a newspaper story written at the eighth grade level or fill out a job application.
In addition, low literacy costs the country $225 billion or more in workforce non-productivity, crime and loss of tax revenue due to unemployment.
Lambda Pi Eta, the Keuka College communication honor society, plans to put a dent in those statistics Thursday, Nov. 17 with a community read-a-thon.
The event, free and open to the public, begins at 3:30 p.m. in the lower level of St. Michael’s Church in Penn Yan. Each participant will receive a bookmark and certificate of participation. Pizza and drinks will be provided beginning at 4:30 p.m.
While the honor society encourages everyone to come and read, it is targeting elementary and middle schoolers in Penn Yan, Dundee and Marcus Whitman school districts.
“The read-a-thon will benefit the Literacy Volunteers of Yates County,” said Middlesex resident Erica Ruscio, who came up with the idea. “There will be a donation box at the event.”
Ruscio, a junior English and visual and verbal art major, was thinking about ways to “bring attention to illiteracy and low literacy and the impact that they have on a community in terms of the economy and jobs.
“I thought read-a-thon would be a good way to bring attention to illiteracy,” said Ruscio.
“A project like this, that fosters a love of reading in the community, is an inspiring effort on [the honor society’s] part,” said Professor of Communication Studies Anita Chirco, who serves as Lambda Pi Eta adviser. “I am especially impressed that the students came up with the idea and took the initiative to organize the entire project on their own, which demonstrates a high level of dedication to community service, as well as superb organizational skills.”
“For every half-hour [the participant] reads, a coupon with his or her name will be entered in a drawing,” said Ruscio. “Three $50 gift cards to Long’s Cards and Books in Penn Yan will be awarded; two for children and one for adults.”
A limited supply of books will be available, but participants are encouraged to bring their own favorite books, magazines, and newspapers.
Said Chirco: “Membership in Lambda Pi Eta is an honor for communication majors and minors, who are selected on the basis of their high academic performance and dedication to the field. Their dedication to promoting literacy community-wide is more evidence of that commitment.”
In addition to Ruscio, members include Allie Waye-Walker, a senior organizational communication major from Penn Yan; Ryan Nichols, a senior organizational communication major from South Glens Falls; Jenna Chapman, a junior organizational communication major from Gorham; Molly Flanagan, an organizational communication and marketing major from Rochester; Ashley Larimore, a sophomore organizational communication major from Horseheads; Junelle King, a senior organizational communication major from Ithaca; and Stephanie Lange, a senior visual/verbal art and organizational communication major from Apalachin.
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