Esther Yoder, a 1960 Keuka College graduate and former chair of the Board of Trustees, will return to her alma mater May 26 to deliver the commencement address.
The Gainesville, Fla., resident will also receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.
Yoder, owner of Subway EAY Stores Inc. in Gainesville, was a member of the Board of Trustees for the better part of the last 20 years, serving as chair in 2006-07 and vice chair from 2001 to 2006. She is now an emeritus member of Keuka’s governing board.
Yoder chaired the Saving the Future: One Graduate at a Time campaign, the most prolific fund-raising drive in Keuka history.
She is one of only six people in Keuka history to receive the Norton Blyley Presidential Medallion, which recognizes service to the College “above and beyond an extraordinary high standard,” and is a recipient of the Alumni Association’s Eleanor Judd Wilkes Service to Keuka College Award.
Yoder is an active member of the Gainesville community, donating her time and talents to Trinity United Methodist Church, NEFL State Mental Health Hospital Advisory Board, Gainesville Sports Commission Executive Committee; Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and other organizations.
Few college dropouts go on to become college presidents but one who did spoke at Keuka College’s mid-year conferral of degrees today (Dec. 9).
Of course, Dr. Carole A. McCoy eventually received three degrees—including a Doctor of Public Administration— and in 2007 became president of Jefferson Community College (JCC) in Watertown.
Since then, McCoy has led the campus through the development of a new strategic plan, facilities master plan, and feasibility study for the implementation of student residence halls. She also played a key leadership role in creating the partnership between JCC and Keuka that provides North Country residents the opportunity to pursue Keuka bachelor’s degree completion programs through its Accelerated Studies for Adults Program (ASAP).
Keuka President Dr. Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera referred to McCoy as “one of our state’s most dynamic and visionary community college presidents.”
Not bad for someone, who in 1973, “was a college dropout working as a directory assistance operator.
“Always believe it is never too late to change,” said McCoy. “I attended college one year and never felt that I fit in or saw the purpose of getting a degree. I was in my late 30s when I achieved my baccalaureate degree, in my 40s when I completed my master’s degree, and slightly north of 50 when I finished my doctorate.”
While conceding there is some risk associated with change, McCoy said there is risk with not changing as well.
“Complacency is a big risk,” she explained. “It seems like almost every day we read about the number of high-tech jobs that are going unfilled in the United States because we don’t have workers with the needed skills. And how many jobs no longer exist because they become obsolete? Complacency is not a good thing.”
She also urged the Class of 2012 to “find something you can be passionate about. Passion for something is what gets you up in the morning and has you excited about your day. Passion sustains you when you are having a rough time. Passion is about what’s in your heart. We make small decisions from our heads, but our big decisions, our life decisions, the decisions that really matter need to come from our hearts. Over my career, I have changed jobs several times because I was still seeking that one thing I could be passionate about for the rest of my life.”
That one thing was being president of JCC.
“Consider the words of Mark Twain, who said, ‘The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why,’” said McCoy. “I lead a community college because I am committed to providing a college education to anyone who can possibly benefit from that education. For me, community colleges are the epitome of democracy. We transform lives through learning. The day I understood the mission of the community colleges was the day I knew why I was born.”
Palmyra resident Randy Kuhn, who received his Master of Science degree in criminal justice administration, also spoke at the ceremony. An officer with the Newark Police Department, he received a bachelor’s degree from Keuka in 2010.
Another highlight was the presentation of the Adjunct Professor of the Year Award to Gary Prawel, who began his Keuka career as director of campus security and served as the first director of ASAP’s criminal justice program. Prawel has taught criminal justice in ASAP since the program’s beginnings in 2001 and teaches Introduction to Sociology and criminology courses in the traditional program on a regular basis.
The director of the ASAP criminal justice program —Richard Martin—nominated Prawel for the award. He wrote that “Gary takes personal ownership of each student in the class. Their success is his success and their failure is his failure. He believes strongly in the American justice system and considers it a privilege to be able to continue to have a hand in teaching the future of that system. His successes are evident in almost all of the police agencies in Monroe County, as those in command positions of the county’s law enforcement agencies have been taught by Mr. Prawel at one time or another.”
Dr. Carole A. McCoy, president of Jefferson Community College (JCC), will deliver the address at Keuka College’s mid-year conferral of degrees Sunday, Dec. 9.
The ceremony begins at 1 p.m. in the Weed Physical Arts Center gymnasium.
McCoy was appointed the fifth CEO of JCC Feb. 1, 2007. Since then, she has led the campus through the development of a new strategic plan, the facilities master plan, and feasibility study for the implementation of student residence halls while maintaining an emphasis on enrollment growth.
In addition, she played a key role in bringing bachelor’s degree completion programs to the North Country through Keuka’s Accelerated Studies for Adults Program.
McCoy donates her time and talents to several community organizations, including the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization, Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce, WPBS, Victim’s Assistance Center, and Watertown Rotary Club. She is also a member and secretary of the New York Community College Presidents Association.
Prior to assuming the presidency of JCC, McCoy held three posts at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Md.: vice president for learner support services, vice president for learning systems and technology, and chief of learning systems and technology.
She was also director of research computing at The Children’s Hospital of Boston, Mass., and manager of technical services and manager of applications for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
McCoy earned her Doctorate of Public Administration degree from the University of Baltimore, Master of Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts, and Bachelor of Arts in economics from Framingham (Mass.) State College.
Palmyra resident Randy Kuhn, who will receive a Master of Science degree in criminal justice administration, will also speak at the ceremony. He is an officer with the Newark Police Department and a 2010 Keuka graduate (B.S., criminal justice systems). Another highlight will be the presentation of the Adjunct Professor of the Year Award.
Some folks travel many miles to attend or take part in college commencements.
Then there’s Dr. Anne Weed, vice president for academic affairs at Keuka College, who added some 20,000 miles to her frequent flyer account.
That’s the Keuka College of the 21st century.
Weed took part in six Keuka commencements, beginning with the one in Keuka Park May 27. She followed that up with four ceremonies in China: Tianjin University of Science and Technology (TUST) May 30,Yunnan University of Finance and Economics (YUFE) in Kunming June 1, Jimei University’s Chengyi College (June 5) and Jimei ‘s Overseas Education College (June 6) in Xiamen. Then it was off to Vietnam National University in Hanoi, where she delivered the commencement address June 10.
“Although the languages, cultures, and ceremonies differ in so many respects, the excitement and joy of the graduates were wonderfully identical,” said Weed. “It is so inspiring to share the stage with our newest alumni, in the place that they call home.”
Fifty-four students received Keuka degrees at the Hanoi commencement.
Keuka College’s 104th commencement did not conclude with the awarding of degrees Sunday, May 27, in Keuka Park.
It continued yesterday (Wednesday, May 30) morning when 85 students from Tianjin University of Science and Technology (TUST) in China received Bachelor of Science degrees in management.
Keuka President Dr. Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera, Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Anne Weed, and Administrative Chancellor for China Campuses Dr. Michael Hwang were on hand to congratulate the newest additions to the College’s alumni ranks.
In his commencement address, Díaz-Herrera said there are “very few students anywhere in the world today who will earn separate undergraduate degrees from two great academic institutions, from two different nations, two far apart continents, and in two very different languages.” (more…)
Joyce Cohen, a 1967 Keuka College graduate, didn’t deliver the typical, run-of-the mill commencement speech at her alma mater today (Sunday, May 27).
Indeed, members of the Class of 2012 should have taken notes because Cohen offered sound, practical advice that could help them land their first job after graduation or their dream job later on.
After reflecting fondly on her undergraduate years at Keuka, the Huntington, Conn., resident offered practical job search tips developed during her career as a leading figure in the field of career development and life planning. (more…)
Keuka College’s Class of 2012 will receive degrees at the College’s 104th commencement Sunday, May 27.
The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. on the Norton Chapel lawn (Weed Physical Arts Center in case of inclement weather).
Joyce Cohen, a 1967 Keuka graduate and a leading figure in the field of career development and life planning for more than 25 years, will deliver the commencement address. (more…)
There was a different twist to the commencement ceremony at Jefferson Community College (JCC) in Watertown Friday (May 18).
For the first time, students earning Keuka College bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice systems through the Accelerated Studies for Adults Program (ASAP) participated in the ceremony.
Receiving degrees were Valerie Chapman (Watertown), Amber Hammitt (Calcium), Brittney Kiblin-Raymundo (Woodville), Lacey Northrup (Glenfield), Heather Patterson (Mannsville), and Sherry Williams (Watertown). (more…)
The win-win partnership between Keuka’s Division of Business and Management and Fox Run Vineyards is so beneficial to both that it just might call for a toast.
For the second straight year, Fox Run has supplied students in Keuka’s Business Entrepreneurship class, with four vintages of wine to market as souvenirs in a microbusiness operation that runs from concept and sales strategy, to inventory management and accounting, to delivery of goods. The off-site sales add to the winery’s revenues while providing students a unique opportunity to learn the ins and outs of operating a small business.
The course and the winery partnerships, which have included Hunt Country Vineyards in Branchport and Keuka Springs in Penn Yan, have coincided hand-in-hand since 1991. Currently taught by Neil Siebenhar, chair of the division and retiring associate professor of business, the class is offered in the spring of each year. The specialty-label wines are marketed as “bottled memories” to the graduating class, their parents, alumni, staff, and faculty of the College. (more…)
The Rev. Marlowe V.N. Washington, pastor of Christ Community Church in Rochester and a social justice and human rights advocate, will deliver the baccalaureate address at Keuka College Sunday, May 27.
One of the College’s commencement day traditions, baccalaureate begins at 9:30 p.m. in Norton Chapel.
Born in the Bronx, N.Y., Washington earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from St. Francis College in Brooklyn. He attended Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey, but received a Master of Divinity degree from New York Theological Seminary in Manhattan. (more…)