Keuka College will welcome a visiting scholar from Nigeria to campus April 27 and 28, thanks to the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Outreach Lecturing Fund (OLF). A senior lecturer in engineering at Nnamdi Azikiwe Unversity in Awka, Nigeria, Dr. Matthew Menkiti is currently conducting research at Texas Tech University as a Fulbright visiting scholar.
Dr. Menkiti will speak twice during his campus visit. His first lecture, entitled Petroleum Produced Water Treatment Processes and Management,” will focus on the utilization of novel plant and animal extracts as active treatment agents and will be held from 4 – 5:30 p.m. in Hegeman Hall, Room 109. In his second talk, entitled “Republican Democracy in the Traditional ‘Igbo Nation’ of Nigeria,” he will focus on his home culture. That lecture will focusing on the evolution and influence of Europeanization from the colonial to post-colonial era, and will be held from 1-2:30 p.m. in the Brezinsky Room of Dahlstrom Student Center. Both lectures are free and open to the public.
Since 1946, the federally-funded international educational exchange program has been operating and is considered an important diplomatic tool, building relationships between American academics, policy experts, and students and their foreign counterparts. Each year, some 800 faculty and professionals from around the world receive highly competitive Fulbright Scholar grants to travel to higher education institutions to conduct advanced research and lecture at other universities on their research specialties and the history and culture of their home countries. American faculty can also apply for competitive grants to travel abroad for research or teaching opportunities, while students can apply for international exchange study.
Through the Fulbright Scholar Program, U.S. students, faculty and community members have the opportunity to exchange ideas with visiting Fulbright scholars and the foreign scholars themselves can become better acquainted with U.S. higher education, and create links between their home institutions, host institutions stateside and the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES).
According to Dr. Angela Narasimhan, assistant professor of political science, this is the first time Keuka College has welcomed a Fulbright scholar as a visiting lecturer, and it’s the beginning of what she hopes will be many new academic advantages for the College, its faculty and students.
For example, the College could apply to host a Fulbright visiting scholar on campus for a year, and Narasimhan is particularly excited about the possibility of hosting foreign language tutors who could teach new languages to Keuka College students. Meanwhile, Keuka College faculty could apply for Fulbright scholarships to teach abroad or conduct research.
“I’ve always dreamed of doing a Fulbright [scholarship] to go back to Romania where I did my undergraduate degree and teach there, maybe for a semester or a year,” Narasimhan said.
Among the campus community, Dr. Wendy Gaylord, dean of the Keuka China Program (KCP), in which Chinese students at four partner schools overseas receive Keuka College degrees, received a Fulbright Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) award in 2002-03 to conduct research for her dissertation in Indonesia. She gave the program high praise, saying that “the Fulbright community was a wonderful group of doctoral students doing dissertation research in various fields, professors teaching or doing research and [foreign] scholars going to the U.S. for study or research or teaching.”
No matter what opportunities may be sought from the Fulbright program in the future, Narasimhan said that the first step is to host someone internationally recognized and distinguished for a campus visit. Dr. Menkiti’s visit will serve as the beginning of an “active relationship” with the Fulbright Scholar program.
“We’re going to start to take advantage of the opportunities that are available,” Narasimhan said.
To that end, Narasimhan and fellow assistant professor of political science, Dr. David Pak Leon, will host an informational session on the Fulbright program from 4-5 p.m., Tuesday, April 28 in Hegeman Hall, Room 109. Narasimhan and Leon are campus representatives for the Fulbright Scholar program.
“This is part of trying to encourage global citizenship and active engagement, whether at home or abroad,” Narasimhan said.
For more information on the Fulbright Visiting Scholar program, visit online at: http://www.iie.org/fulbright.
Brittany Heysler believes in accountability.
The criminology and criminal justice major just completed an extensive project to help Ontario County’s STOP-DWI office research and document a list of unpaid DWI fines dating back to 1986. It turns out nearly a quarter million dollars is owed to the county by some 156 individuals convicted of DWI charges.
On Oct. 31, each defendant was sent a certified letter to their last known address – carefully researched by Heysler. But to ensure no stone went unturned, the full list of delinquent fines, with names, year of conviction and case numbers, was published by the Daily Messenger newspaper in Canandaigua a week later. WHEC-Channel 8 in Rochester also broadcast the launch of “Operation Personal Responsibility,” highlighting Heysler’s work. Those with delinquent fines have 60 days to pay in full or arrange a payment plan with the STOP-DWI office before court action begins to collect what they owe.
STOP-DWI Administrator Sue Cirencione said her office has already collected $8,000 of the total $238,533 unpaid in the first week of the public phase. Cirencione, a Keuka College Class of ‘96 graduate herself, took the helm of the STOP-DWI office in May after 10 years as a probation officer for Ontario County. She said coming in, she knew recovering unpaid fines was a significant need, given fines fund the program budget. Such a time-intensive project would probably take Cirencione alone a year or more, given the many responsibilities of her new post, she said.
Instead, Cirencione knew it would be the perfect project for an intern. Enter Heysler.
As a senior criminology and criminal justice major, Heysler is required to complete a full-semester internship of 490 hours. She already boasted three previous internships at the Sherrill, N.Y. police department in her hometown; the Oneida Tribal Indian Nation police near Canastota; and with the U.S. Marshals office in Syracuse. That’s because the Keuka College Field Period™ program requires every undergraduate to devote at least 140 hours a year to a hands-on internship, cultural study, artistic endeavor or spiritual exploration.
“When I met Brittany, I knew right away she’d be great and she’d be able to tackle this,” said Cirencione.
Eager to “take charge of a project of my own and make a difference for the county,” Heysler said she began digging through the data, spending Aug. 25 – Oct. 29 building and refining the list. She removed the names of those who had passed away, any youthful offenders, and any who had made even sporadic payments. She also ran checks on all 156 names to see if they had a valid license or any other judgment filed against them. Ultimately, the list of delinquent fines represents those who never made an effort to pay what they owed. (more…)
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.