KEUKA PARK, N.Y.— Marching forward fearlessly into the future are several young men and women recently awarded diplomas from Keuka College. They hail from a host of different majors and home countries. Their interests are as varied as their personalities. But they all have two distinct qualities in common: a Keuka College education and the professional life-learning experiences of the annual Keuka College Field Period™, a 140-hour personalized experience that may take the shape of a professional internship, a cultural study, artistic endeavor, service project or spiritual exploration. Here, each one shares the primary benefits of his or her collegiate experience:
What she’s up to now: Graphic designer for the Elmira Jackals East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) hockey team.
Notable parts of her KC journey? Designing her own minor after falling in love with graphic design her sophomore year.
“Designing a minor in digital design and having the skills in Adobe design programs helped me stand out on campus and at Field Period™ sites. I wouldn’t trade my Keuka College education for anything because of the personalized attention that I have received from professors and staff. I had amazing experiences here that helped me earn awards, scholarships, and my degree.”
Where she’s headed next: Roger Williams University for a master’s degree in forensic psychology.
“I will forever be grateful for the education I received and the people I met while a student at Keuka College. One of the greatest benefits was Field Period™. I gained a lot of great experience and made professional contacts that are extremely valuable.”
What she’s up to now: Cost accountant at G.W. Lisk
How’d she get her job? “I started as a math major, but after completing my first Field Period™ at G.W. Lisk, I changed my major. I loved it at Lisk: the atmosphere, the work, everything. I returned to Lisk to work summers and breaks, so I have been working there part-time for the last four years.”
Best part of her KC degree program? “Each Field Period™ was a huge learning experience, and each experience helped shape my goals and dreams. It is by far the most valuable aspect of my education at Keuka College”
What he’s up to now: Working for Catholic Charities of Oswego. Oh, and campaigning for a seat on the Oswego County Legislature.
Notable parts of his KC journey? Played baseball for the Wolfpack, which taught him how to manage his time and multitask. Completed Field Period™ internships at the offices of U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), U.S. Rep Dan Maffei (D-NY), and the NYS Democratic Committee.
“The Field Period™ is what sets Keuka College apart. I was able to build real-life connections starting my freshman year. The Field Period™ allowed me to cultivate meaningful relationships and helped me reaffirm that politics was my passion. I am very grateful.”
Where she’s headed next: Rochester Institute of Technology on a scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in computational finance. She’ll learn how to analyze big data through math, finance, and programming. Ultimately, she wants to enter the insurance industry.
Notable parts of her KC journey? Multiple extra-curricular activities and earning a Judith Oliver Brown scholarship that helped pay for two Field Period™ experiences abroad.
“By coming to Keuka College I received more than just valuable education—I also received a promising future. I could not have done it without the help of my supportive professors. If there were one thing I encourage future students to take advantage of, it would be the small class sizes and interpersonal relationships. Develop these professional relationships because they will help you succeed.”
Where he’s headed next: Marywood University for a master’s of social work degree.
Notable parts of his KC journey? Brandon was named one of six 2015 Student Social Workers of the Year for the Genesee Valley division of the state National Association of Social Workers (NASW).
Notable people? “Professors Stephanie Craig and Jen Mealey supported me and encouraged me to do my best. They’re absolutely wonderful people and wonderful social workers and I don’t know where I’d be without them, to be honest.”
“In grad school, I have to complete a 518-hour internship, but I’m so ready because of Field Period™. I’m definitely prepared academically and I’m not worried about the internship at all.”
Where she’s headed next: Duke University Graduate School on a $28,000 fellowship to pursue a Ph.D. in bio-organic or synthetic organic chemistry.
Notable parts of her KC journey? A co-publishing credit for a research study published in the Journal of American Animal Welfare Science (JAAWS), an article “Why People Mistrust Science” published in local newspapers, and a 10-week study of enzyme kinetics at the University of Buffalo through a program funded by the National Science Foundation.
Best part of her KC degree program? “I really appreciate the size of Keuka College and the hands-on experience I gained. I’ve been able to work with professors one-on-one or in small groups for independent studies and research projects. They know me and care about my interests and where I want to go. Field Period™ was instrumental in helping me figure out what I want to do. I was able to gain experience both in a career I realized I didn’t want to go into and one that I do want to pursue.”
What she’s up to now: HR Coordinator for Biogen Idec, a Fortune 500 biotechnology company in Boston.
Notable parts of her KC journey? Two paid Field Period™ experiences in different branches of Biogen Idec paved the way for a job offer before graduation.
“Keuka College offered so many outlets for developing myself in a multitude of ways. Field Period™ scholarships enabled me to engage in a life-changing spiritual/cultural journey in Thailand, and the emphasis the College places on experiential learning through Field Period™ helped me land my dream job at a Fortune 500 company.”
Where she’s headed next: Pace University in NYC for an MBA in marketing management.
Notable parts of her KC journey? Two Field Period™ experiences at the Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Tokyo, Japan offices of Dentsu, Inc. – the fifth-largest ad agency in the world.
Best part of her KC degree program? “Keuka College provides an environment that encourages you to discover the world through hands-on experience, which is a better fit for me than only sitting and listening to lectures. I’m so thankful for the support from not only my friends around the world, but also the faculty and staff at the school. My professors not only cared about my performance in class, but also helped me figure out my next steps and how to achieve my goals.”
What she’s up to now: Working with families and children as a family advocate at Peace, Inc., where she conducted a Field Period™ during her sophomore year.
Best part of her KC degree program? “I have come to realize how great Field Period™ actually is. In the end you walk away with so much experience and even potential jobs. I am grateful to the professors I had — they truly care about their students and how they are doing. The small classes and great teachers were the reasons for my success at the College and I am thankful to have had the experience I did!”
Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of features on recipients of the Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Award. The award, named after the late 1963 Keuka graduate, is supported by Brown’s family and the Class of ’63. It is designed to assist students who pursue a culturally-oriented Field Period™.
Like many people, Keuka College junior Brittany Gleason has a bucket list. And like many people, traveling is among the items on the list.
Thanks to receiving the Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Award, Gleason had the opportunity to cross ‘traveling’ off of her list during her January Field Period™. The mathematics major and Carthage resident traveled to San Jose, Costa Rica, where she took classes at Centro Cultural de Idiomas (CCI), a cultural language center.
“To me, traveling means learning and experiencing new cultures and broadening my horizons,” said Gleason. “It also means meeting new people and forming lifelong friendships. I was excited to push myself and get as much out of the experience as possible.”
But she was not the only Keuka student who traveled to Costa Rica for her January Field Period™. Sophomore Kathryn Zawisa, another recipient of the Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Award, went too, intent on learning more about how Costa Rican small businesses are run.
Gleason, Zawisa, a marketing and management major from Amsterdam—and four other Keukonians—participated in Finger Lakes Community College’s (FLCC) study abroad program. During the Field Period™ each conducted, Gleason and Zawisa had the opportunity to improve their Spanish language proficiency, and develop an understanding and appreciation of Costa Rica’s culture. They also had the opportunity to tour sites of interest and be housed with a host family.
“It’s been my dream to travel to a Spanish-speaking country where I could use what I have learned,” said Zawisa. “Taking Spanish classes since sixth grade has transformed into a minor at Keuka. Not only have I enjoyed learning the language, but I’ve also found myself yearning to learn more about the culture. Costa Rica gave me the opportunity to understand the Spanish culture and feed my interest.”
It was also a chance to practice community service.
“I have been involved in my community from an early age, so when I heard we were going to work with young girls, I jumped at the chance to help,” said Gleason.
She worked at a social services organization which provides room, board, and schooling to adolescent girls who have been removed from their homes due to domestic violence, neglect, and or abuse.
Gleason enlisted the help of her fellow Enactus teammates to ask the College community for donations for the girls. Together they collected pens, pencils, erasers, markers, colored pencils, notebooks, stickers, ponytail holders, headbands, and barrettes, among others. Zawisa also intended to donate part of her award money to a Costa Rican charity.
“I believe I am a driven and passionate student, which is shown through my interaction with others,” said Zawisa. “I hope I displayed this passion while in Costa Rica.”
Part of that passion was the desire to compare how a small Costa Rican business is run versus an American one.
“My family owns two small businesses in New York state so I already know much about how to run one,” said Zawisa. “But seeing what differs in Costa Rican businesses, instead of reading it online, was an unforgettable opportunity.”
And she was not just interested in how the businesses are run.
“I wanted to learn the differences of communication in a Spanish-speaking country such as nonverbal cues, inter-gender communication, and more,” said Zawisa. “Learning these skills could put me one step ahead of other Spanish minors because I’d not only know the language, but I’d also know how to approach, and speak to, a native Spanish speaker.”
Added Gleason: “Being at Keuka has given me the confidence and knowledge I need to be a productive member of society. I believe traveling to Costa Rica was a life-changing experience, especially because I learned more about the world while helping others in need.”
Senior Dylan Campbell received a $500 scholarship from the Upstate New York Chapter of the Turnaround Management Association (TMA) at its recent student night in Rochester.
An accounting major from Rockville, Md., Campbell was nominated for the scholarship by Professor of Management and Chair of the Division of Business and Management Ann Tuttle. The scholarship recognizes students who excel in academics, service, and leadership, and who have vast business experience.
“This is a scholarship that often goes to MBA students,” said Tuttle. “It’s a big deal to win one of TMA’s scholarships because Keuka students are competing with students from all over Western New York—many from SUNY schools.”
“It was a tremendous honor to receive this scholarship from such a prestigious organization,” said Campbell. “I will use the scholarship money to help offset graduate school application fees. It feels good to be recognized for all of my hard work at Keuka. I think my Field Period experiences helped me earn the award as well.”
“He has had opportunities at a minor league baseball team, an accounting firm, as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission,” said Tuttle. “These Field Periods have supported his in-classroom learning and put him at the top.”
Campbell competed against students from St. John Fisher, SUNY Brockport, Ithaca College, Rochester Institute of Technology, and SUNY Buffalo School of Law. He is the second Keuka student to receive the award; the first was Laura Williams in 2007.
The annual TMA student night was sponsored by JC Jones & Associates and serves as a networking event, according to Tuttle.
“Typically, the TMA has members from accounting, management, banking, and law, as well as industrial auctioneers,” said Tuttle, who has been taking students to TMA’s student night since 2005. “Students are able to meet with these business professionals and discuss potential opportunities and industry changes.”
Other students from Keuka who were at the meeting included Jeremy Pyszczynski, a senior accounting major from Alden; Stuart Gardner, a senior management major from Durban, South Africa; Brittany Griffiths, a senior accounting major from Keuka Park; and Brittany Gleason, a junior mathematics major from Carthage.
The TMA is the only international non-profit association dedicated to corporate renewal and turnaround management. Established in 1988, TMA has more than 9,000 members in 49 chapters, including 32 in North America.
Imagination. Courage. Determination. Partnership. Accountability. Curiosity. Those six traits and four community service initiatives will be shared by six Keuka students at the regional Enactus competition in Baltimore, Md. March 22.
Enactus is an international, non-profit organization that works with leaders in business and higher education to mobilize students to make a difference in their communities while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders. The international organization formerly known as Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) changed its name to Enactus this fall.
Regional winners automatically receive an invitation to the national competition, which Keuka has done nine of the past 11 years. This year’s nationals will be held May 21-23 in Kansas City, Mo.
The Keuka team will deliver a 17-minute presentation outlining four community service projects it completed this year, Including:
Members of the presentation team include:
The team is coached by faculty adviser Sam Ferrara, assistant professor of management.
The late American educator Mary Ellen Chase once said “Christmas is not a date. It is a state of mind.”
And the Christmas state of mind was evident in the number of ribbons and bows that adorned the bags and boxes for 38 children receiving gifts though Keuka College’s Angel Tree Project. The gifts for the children were wrapped and delivered to the Child and Family Resource Center in Penn Yan Monday, Dec. 3, where Santa Claus was on hand to give the gifts to the children.
“Angel Tree gives the College a way to do community service,” said Valerie Webster, community service advocate adviser and co-curricular transcript coordinator. “It makes people stop and realize how important it is to help others, and to understand the true meaning of the holidays.”
Freshman Mary Leet agrees.
“[Helping others at] Christmas feels more like Christmas when you give, rather than receive,” said the visual and verbal art major from Stanley, who also serves as a community service advocate.
A community service staple and College favorite, the annual Angel Tree Project is designed to make the holidays a bit brighter for area children in need. Students, staff, and faculty select a paper angel from a Christmas tree. The angel contains a child’s age and gender, and a suggested gift of toys, clothes, or both.
Savannah Fuller, a junior occupational science major from Philadelphia and community service advocate, said Christmas “is a time to cherish all kids, and by choosing an angel from the tree, I felt good knowing I helped make a child’s Christmas brighter.”
Webster said two clubs—Rotaract Club and Drama Club—bought gifts for two families. The clubs combined to give the families necessity items including cleaning supplies, laundry supplies, towels, and pots and pans.
Rotaract Club member Brittany Gleason, a sophomore mathematics and management major from Carthage, says “the club is all about community service, and we feel good knowing that a family is getting things they need that they might not otherwise be able to get.”
Added Webster: “The Angel Tree Project gives everyone a chance to have those wishes we all have. And it gives the community of Yates County insight into the giving spirit of Keuka College students.”