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College Marks Veterans Day with Ceremony, Card Signing

A member of the Penn Yan VFW Honor Guard pauses at the College's World War II monument.

Keuka College honored veterans and active duty personnel with a Nov. 11 ceremony held in Hegeman 109 and on the lawn near the World War II memorial.

The ceremony featured remarks by College President Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera; Chris Leahy, associate professor of history; Sander Diamond, professor of history; and Linda Park, director of Lightner Library. Eric Detar, College chaplain, offered a prayer of remembrance, and members of the Penn Yan VFW Honor Guard also took part.

Before the ceremony, members of the College and area community signed some 580 holiday cards that will be sent to veterans and active-duty service personnel across America and abroad.

Part of the American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program, the College campaign was sponsored by the Staff Advisory Council’s (SAC) Events Committee, co-chaired by Paulette Willemsen, secretary for the Division of Education and Division of Social Work, and BJ Hill, office manager for student affairs.

“Writing cards to our service men and women is a good way to spread holiday cheer and make them feel appreciated,” said Willemsen.

Vicki Tobias, database administrator and committee member, agrees.

“I had four brothers, a sister, and now a niece and nephew serve in the military, and I appreciate what they have done and continue to do,” she said.

Committee member Judy Gilmartin, administrative programmer, said writing her name on the cards “makes a more personal contact with a veteran, and I believe everyone should think about all of those in the service, not just those we know.”

Senior Caroline Arancio, an organizational communication major from Clinton, took time to sign a card because her best friend just returned from basic training, and “I want him to know that I am proud of him and support him.”

Olivia Hudson, a junior occupational science major from Adams, “doesn’t think the people in the military get enough credit for all they do,” while Bryan Chaffee, a sophomore criminal justice/criminology major from Keuka Park, wanted to “thank those who fight for our freedom.”

Kathryn Standinger (left) and Emily Grecco sign cards as part of the College's Holiday Mail for Heroes card signing campaign.

Aubrey Clark, a sophomore occupational science major from Fillmore; Dani Alred, a junior organizational communication major from Horseheads; Emily Grecco, a sophomore psychology major from Waverly; Jakiem Brown, a junior educational studies major from Rochester; Nicole Naidoo, a sophomore accounting major from Durban, South Africa; and Melissa Whipple, a sophomore psychology major from Victor all wanted to sign a card to show their appreciation for the service our military personnel provides.

Those who took part were asked to write a short message and sign their name on a card. In addition to writing messages and signing their names, many members of the campus and local community donated cards, including students at Keuka Lake School and Prattsburgh Central School, residents of Clinton Crest Manor, and participants in College’s Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

More photos can be found here.

College Will Mark Veterans Day with Ceremony

Associate Professor of History Chris Leahy speaks at last year's Veterans Day ceremony.

Keuka College will mark Veterans Day Monday, Nov. 11, with a 4 p.m. ceremony at the World War II memorial near Lightner Library. (In case of inclement weather, it will be held in Hegeman Hall 109.)

College President Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera will deliver remarks along with Chris Leahy, associate professor of history; Sander Diamond, professor of history; and Linda Park, director of Lightner Library. Rev. Eric Detar, College chaplain, will offer a prayer of remembrance, and members of the Penn Yan VFW Honor Guard are expected to take part.

After the ceremony, refreshments will be served in Lightner Library.

Erected by members of the Political Science and History Club in 2005, the memorial commemorates the 60th anniversary of V-E Day, honors World War II veterans, and recognizes the contributions Keuka College nurses made during the war.

For more on Veterans Day, read an opinion piece by Professor of History Sander Diamond.

Faculty Development Committee Honors 3

By Mary Leet ’16

The Faculty Development Committee recognizes faculty for excellence in experiential learning, teaching, and academic achievement through an awards program. All three awards include a $500 prize. Here is a capsule look at the 2012-13 recipients:

Excellence in Experiential Learning Award: Dr. Patricia Pulver
The Excellence in Experiential Learning Award goes to a faculty member that has demonstrated an effective practice or activity that allows students to learn through their experiences.

And that is precisely what Dr. Patricia Pulver, professor of education, does through her Master Teacher Insight Project.

Pulver believes that by observing teachers in the classroom, then discussing relevant issues and reflecting on their actions, students gather first-hand knowledge and experience that shapes them into effective teachers “a lot faster than reading textbooks.”

In addition to observing current teachers teaching, students conduct four separate interviews over the course of a semester with a teacher they know and consider a “master teacher.” Students discuss what came out of the interviews with classmates and then compose a reflective paper that summarizes what they learned.

They must identify common themes and provide “specific illustrative examples.”

Through this project, “students are able to articulate what they learned about the process and any ‘take away’ strategies that they might utilize in their future classroom,” said Pulver.

Excellence in Teaching Award: Dr. Christopher Leahy

While the traditional history lecture is still important, “students learn history best— and enjoy it more— when they actually do what historians do,” said Assistant Professor of History Dr. Christopher Leahy.

Leahy employs the historical method to teach all his classes, effectively turning what can otherwise be a dry subject into a discipline that requires critical reading, logical thinking, and persuasive and effective writing.

Students respond enthusiastically to this unique approach, calling Leahy “interesting,” “captivating,” and “the best professor I have ever had.” Shelby Seeley ‘13 noted that “Dr. Leahy is a teacher who can make even the most tedious topics interesting and intriguing.” “His classes are the ones that the students are truly excited to take,” according to Diane DePrez ‘13. “It has often been said… that it is a sad semester when you don’t have a Leahy class.”

By using primary sources and working with students to interpret them, Leahy’s students say that he makes history accessible and understandable on a relevant level.

“[He] always strives to give his students a deeper understanding not just that an event happened, but how it happened, why it had to happen, what brought it about, and what might have happened if it never did occur,” said Josh Beaver ’13..

Excellence in Academic Achievement Award: Dr. William Brown

Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. William Brown isn’t hesitant to involve students in research or have them present at professional conferences.

Recently, Brown presented a poster with collaborators from Kutztown University using data that had almost entirely been generated by students in his biostatistics classes.

Brown attended the annual meeting of the Rochester Academy of Science last fall, accompanied by undergraduates Kelsey Morgan ’15 and Amber De Jong ’16. Morgan presented her research at that meeting, and De Jong recently completed a research project of her own, “Temporal Changes in Red-shouldered Hawk Morphology,” which she will present at the 2013 meeting of the Rochester Academy of Science this fall.

In January 2012, a peer-reviewed paper composed by Janelle Davidson ’12, Brown, and ecologist Marion Zuefle was published in The Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, the leading peer-reviewed journal on the science of animal welfare. Titled “Effects of Phenotypic Characteristics on the Length of Stay of Dogs at Two No Kill Animal Shelters,” it has been read more than 800 times, making it the most-read paper published in the journal.

Dr. Sharon Malone Lecture Cancelled

Dr. Sharon Malone

THIS LECTURE HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

On June 11, 1963, Vivian Malone Jones became one of two African-American students to enroll at the University of Alabama after first being barred at the door by the defiant governor, George Wallace.

Five days later, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the baccalaureate address and received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at Keuka College.

The College will mark the 50th anniversary of those two events with a lecture by Dr. Sharon Malone, the younger sister of Vivian, Monday, April 22.

Malone will discuss “From Emancipation to Obama: An American Family” at 7 p.m. in Norton Chapel. Sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs and the political science and history program, it is free and open to the public.

“The courageous action of Vivian Malone and James Hood was a seminal moment in the civil right movement,” said Chris Leahy, associate professor of history. “Alabama was the last southern state to comply with the Warren Court’s instruction to integrate public schools ‘with all deliberate speed.’ Gov. Wallace, determined to take a stand against the federal government, defied a court order allowing Malone and Hood to register for classes at the state’s flagship university in Tuscaloosa. His ‘stand in the schoolhouse door’ and televised exchanged with Nicholas Katzenbach, President Kennedy’s deputy attorney general, not only made national news but remains one of the most remembered events in American history.”

In 1965, Vivian Malone became the first African-American to graduate from the University of Alabama. She died in 2005.

Sharon Malone regularly gives public lectures on her sister, the civil rights movement, and African American history. She was featured on the 2012 PBS documentary “Slavery by Another Name” and is the wife of Eric Holder, attorney general of the United States.

Malone is a partner with Foxhall Ob/Gyn and is consistently recognized by Washingtonian Magazine as one of “Washington’s Best Doctors.”

She serves on the boards of the DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and historic Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C.  She also serves on the regional panel for the selection of White House Fellows Program and was recently appointed to the selection committee for the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction awarded by the University of Alabama School of Law.

Malone graduated cum laude with a degree in psychology and social relations from Harvard University in 1981 and received her medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1988.

Keuka College Faculty Member to Appear on C-SPAN Program

A national television show will have a local flavor as Associate Professor of History Chris Leahy is slated to appear on C-SPAN’s “First Ladies: Influence and Image Series” Monday, April 1.

The show, which airs live at 9 p.m., highlights one first lady each week, in order, from Martha Washington to Michelle Obama. Leahy is scheduled to discuss Julia Gardiner Tyler, the second wife of 10th President John Tyler, via telephone.

“At first, I was asked to be a consultant, with the show putting some of Julia’s letters on the screen,” said Leahy. “But as I was talking with the producers, they asked me to call in and talk more about her letters. I will provide clarification of some quotations from the letters and describe the context about what was happening in her life at the time.”

Leahy and his wife, Sharon, have edited Julia Gardiner Tyler’s letters and plan to publish them in a book, tentatively titled From Yankee Heiress to Southern Matriarch: The Letters of Julia Gardiner Tyler. A friend of Leahy’s is an editor of Eleanor Roosevelt’s papers and he mentioned Leahy’s work to the producers at C-SPAN. A producer at C-SPAN then contacted the Leahys.

“The producer told me that if they get squeezed for time they may have to cut my segment, since I will not be in the C-SPAN studio,” said Leahy. “But I am excited about the prospect. Even if I am not on the show, I will be in its credits as a consultant, and my affiliation with Keuka College will be in there as well.”

College Pays Tribute to Veterans

Associate Professor of History Chris Leahy.

Keuka College marked Veterans Day with a presentation by Chris Leahy, associate professor of history and a prayer of remembrance by Rev. Eric Detar, College chaplain.

Members of the Penn Yan VFW sounded a 21-gun salute and played Taps at the end of the service held Nov. 9 at the World War II memorial.

Leahy’s remarks follow:

“Sixteen million men and women served for the United States in some military capacity in World War II; 10 million men served in combat. These men are dying at a rate of nearly 1,000 per day.

“1, 789,000 served in combat during the Korean War; these men are also dying at a rapid rate.

“8,744,000 served in combat in Vietnam; 698,000 men and women served during the first Persian Gulf War.

“1,048,844 troops have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. One-third of them served more than one tour. Of course, men and women are combat veterans now.

“Our veterans hold a special place in the hearts of many Americans—indeed, should hold a special place in the hearts of all Americans.

“When Dwight Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander in World War II, addressed the troops on June 6, 1944, as he launched Operation Overload, the Normandy invasion of D-Day, he spoke simply.

“’Full victory—nothing else,’ he said.

“The brave men who stormed the beaches that day and made their way to the cliffs overlooking those beaches, took those words to heart. Forty years later, on the anniversary of that day, President Ronald Reagan was in Normandy. He honored these men with an eloquent and moving speech.

Members of the Penn Yan VFW helped mark Veterans Day on campus.

“’These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc,’” he said. ‘These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war.’”

“He told them: ‘Forty summers have passed since the battle that you fought here. You were young the day you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet, you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith and belief; it was loyalty and love.

“’The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge—and pray God we have not lost it—that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.’

From left: students Phillip Longyear and John B. Miller, as well as College staff members John Locke, Dale Mosher, and Jim Blackburn were honored for their service to our country. They each received a red carnation.

“President Reagan spoke these words to the World War II veterans who fought so valiantly on D-Day. But he could well have spoken them to veterans of the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, or the veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“As could these words, again, forcefully spoken by President Reagan:

The College's World War II memorial.

“’You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One’s country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you.’

“Reagan concluded his speech with words that could and should inspire us, as Americans, as we honor our veterans:

“’Strengthened by their courage, heartened by their value [valor], and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died.’

“Veterans of foreign wars, thank you for your service to our country.”

I Want to be Elected!

Rocker Alice Cooper proclaimed those words in his 1970s hit Elected.

Some 40 years later, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are saying the same thing–in many ways to many people because the 2012 presidential election is shaping up to be one of the closest in history.

Given the expected razor-thin margin of victory that Obama or Romney will come away with Nov. 6, a lot of attention has been focused on 270: the number of electoral votes needed to win the White House.

Some people have called for abolishing the Electoral College and having the popular vote determine the election. Other contend it is the fairest way to elect the president.

Chris Leahy, associate professor of history, has been tracking the swing states, electoral votes, and other issues surrounding the Obama vs. Romney race. In this interview with Executive Director of Communications Doug Lippincott, aired recently on WFLR in Dundee, Leahy discusses the history of the Electoral College, previous close races, the possibility of an electoral vote tie, the chances of the popular vote winner losing the electoral vote, and more.

Listen to the Show

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About Keuka College Today

Keuka College Today airs the fourth Thursday of every month from 8:30 – 9 a.m. on WFLR (1570 AM and 96.9 FM).

McFetridge Pursues Master’s At Top Chinese University

What’s it like to take graduate courses at the “Harvard” of China?

Just ask Matt McFetridge ’12, who is settling into his second month of graduate studies in the international relations program at Tsinghua University (pronounced “Ching-wah”) in Beijing, China.

“I’m studying with some of the foremost scholars on U.S.-China relations,” said the Penn Yan native in a recent email interview.

McFetridge on a recent trip with classmates at Tsinghua University to the Great Wall of China.

In 2010, McFetridge spent the fall semester as an exchange student at Yunnan University of Finance and Economics (YUFE) in Kunming, one of Keuka’s partner universities.

That experience set him on a new course:  to incorporate connections to China into his political science and history degree, and future career. Exposure to the Chinese language and the city that serves as hub of China’s foreign relations could give him an edge if he pursues a doctoral program in history or works as an analyst, perhaps with the government or a think tank.

“I love the program, I love the school, and the intellectual community here is equally impressive,” he wrote. “It’s such a difference between Keuka where I was one of 1,000. Here, I am one of 31 in my cohort surrounded by 30,000 of the best minds from China and abroad.”

(more…)

College to Celebrate Constitution Day

On Sept. 17, 1787, 39 delegates to the Constitutional Convention gathered in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall to sign the document they had created, the United States Constitution.

We commemorate this historic moment annually on Sept. 17, designated as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. The website below provides the full text of the U.S. Constitution as well as a discussion of its history and significance:

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/charters.html

At Keuka College, Assistant Professor of Political Science Julie Van Dusky-Allen will discuss the Constitution in her World Politics class. In particular, she will focus on how Article I of the Constitution affects how members of Congress  are elected.

Chris Leahy, associate professor of history, will also discuss the Constitution in his Monday classes.

College Honors Veterans, Those Serving Now

Keuka College honored current military servicemen and women and those who served in past wars and foreign conflicts Friday in a ceremony marking Veterans Day.

Members of the Yates County VFW perform a Presentation of Arms during the Veteran's Day service Nov. 11.

“Today, we pay tribute to the veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam, including those nurses who were trained at Keuka College. The College’s nursing program was created in response to the need for nurses in World War II,” said President Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera in a welcome at Norton Chapel.

First known as Armistice Day, the nation marked the laying down of arms that took place on the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, following the signing of the armistice that ended World War I. President Woodrow Wilson, feeling the weight of his decision to send American “doughboys” into battle in Europe, asked citizens a year later to honor the sacrifice of their fellow countrymen with solemn pride, said Chris Leahy, associate professor of history.

“Wilson envisioned that every Nov. 11 from that point forward would see parades throughout the small towns and big cities of the United States, and a brief suspension of business at 11 a.m.,” Leahy said.

In 1938, it became a federal holiday, but not until 1953 was a name change proposed, Leahy said. After Kansas shoe store owner Al King began a campaign to recognize all veterans, not just those from World War I, a Kansas Congressman introduced a federal bill, which was signed into law in 1954 by President Dwight Eisenhower. Thus, it officially became known as Veterans Day.

Professor of History Sander Diamond described the stately precision with which the 22 domestic and 24 overseas cemetery battlefields or memorials are kept in tribute of those who gave their lives. In 1921, one more tradition, that of placing a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, was begun when Sgt. Edward Younger first placed a spray of white roses on the third of four caskets of unidentified American soldiers placed in a row at a city hall not far from the Meuse-Argonne cemetery in France. The casket Younger chose was taken by ship for burial at Washington’s Arlington National Cemetery, where other unknown soldiers have been buried alongside it, he said.

Diamond noted that the last two World War I veterans, American Frank Buckles and England’s Harry Patch, both died at age 110 this year. Since America’s first war, the War for Independence, some 2,489,335 men and women have given their lives for their country, including 3,542 in Iraq and 1,425 in Afghanistan, where military conflicts are not yet resolved. And many who serve come back home with horrific wounds, both physical and psychological, from disfigurement to mental problems once called “shell-shock” but known today as PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), he added.

“It is now up to us and our government to see to it that our most recent veterans have their needs met, no matter what the cost, even in this era of cost-cutting,” Diamond said, drawing parallels between the Keuka mission, which stresses “service above self,” and the mindset of many veterans and family members who wait for their return home.

“We are mindful that American service men and women are still fighting and dying in Afghanistan.  This gives Veterans Day more immediacy, more poignancy,” said Leahy, adding that it was important to honor and remember the brave women, as well as men, who have served.

The event closed with a prayer of remembrance, led by College Chaplain Rev. Eric Detar and a Presentation of Arms by an honor guard from the Yates County VFW, Post 745, at Keuka’s World War II monument, which stands near Lightner Library.

“We cannot fully repay those who gave up two lives, the life they were living and the life they would have lived,” said Detar.

Check out more photos from the service.