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.”