Dr. Anne M. Kress, president of Monroe Community College (MCC), will deliver the address at Keuka College’s mid-year conferral of degrees Sunday, Dec. 8.
More than 100 traditional and Accelerated Studies for Adults Program (ASAP) students will receive degrees at the ceremony, which begins at 1 p.m. in Norton Chapel.
Since beginning her tenure at MCC in 2009, Kress has elevated the college’s role in several key areas—readiness for college, college completion, workforce development, diversity and sustainability—to better serve the needs of students and the community.
New initiatives launched under her leadership include an enhanced Honors Institute, which provides the most academically prepared students with a comprehensive program of study that includes undergraduate research, and more meaningful collaborations with area school districts in strengthening the K-12 pipeline and improving college completion rates.
A native of Milwaukee, Wis., Kress earned a doctoral degree in higher education administration, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in English, and a bachelor’s degree with honors in finance, all from the University of Florida.
Her career spans more than 20 years as an administrator and educator in higher education. Kress is a member of the American Council on Education’s Commission on International Initiatives; the American Association of Community Colleges’ Commission on Academic, Student and Community Development; and the Council on Foreign Relations’ Higher Education Working Group on Global Issues. She also serves as a member of a State University of New York Innovation Team focused on advancing the “Seamless Education Pipeline” initiative in SUNY’s strategic plan.
In 2011, Kress was named a member of the Regional Economic Development Council by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. Locally, she is a board member of the Rochester Business Alliance, Greater Rochester Enterprise and the United Way of Greater Rochester.
Other highlights of the ceremony include the presentation of the Adjunct Professor of the Year Award and a speech by Lakesha Carter, a Rochester resident who will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in organizational management. College President Dr. Jorge Díaz-Herrera, Chairman of the Board of Trustees Robert Schick, and President of the Keuka College Alumni Association Jeremy Hourihan ’08 will also address the graduates.
Editor’s Note: When it comes to commencement, the address given by the invited guest typically garners the most attention. For example, Esther Yoder’s ’60 talk at Keuka’s 105th commencement was covered on online and in the area print media. However, there were some other noteworthy moments from May 26 and we’ll take a look at some of them here.
“Everyone has a duty to repair the world,” said Sophia Veffer, who delivered the baccalaureate address. “We share our humanity and we all want to live in a peaceful world.”
Veffer, past president of the Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo Board of Directors and current executive board member, said the main reason she gives lectures at schools and colleges is to spread the message not to be a bystander.
Citing the Holocaust and present-day genocides as examples, Veffer said bystanders are the most dangerous group because “they enable the perpetrators to commit their crimes by being silent. They make an amoral decision to tolerate the injustices in their society. “
Veffer urged the Class of 2013 and others who attended the service to “be vocal when you witness injustice and discrimination.
“Don’t say, ‘I, alone, cannot change the world.’ One person can make a difference, for example, Rosa Parks, who did not want to give up her seat on the bus and ignited the Civil Rights Movement. Even if nobody will listen to you, it makes you a better person that you tried to repair the world. It gives you self respect because you tried to make this global world a more peaceful world to live for yourself and other people. Each one of you can make a difference in your own way. Be a caregiver and be a caring and involved citizen and repair the world. What you do matters.”
In the past, said Veffer, one’s immediate neighborhood was very narrowly defined; it included their school, church, block around their home, playground, etc. That has changed.
“You are the generation that lives in a global society, where your neighbors may live in Rwanda or Turkey,” explained Veffer. “And you live in a very diverse world. You have to adjust to different life styles, different customs, different religions, etc. Your whole world is your neighborhood and as good neighbors, you have to stay connected and care for the welfare of each human being. You have to be participating and caring global citizens because what happens in one part of the world can affect us.”
Baccalaureate also featured On Love, the class poem written and read by Erica Ruscio; The Prayer, a song performed by Amanda Burlingame and Chelsea Sherwood; an Unity, an interpretive dance performed by Ashlee Eilers, Johnathon Pugh, and Elizabeth Vinette.
Professor of the Year
President Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera described Professor of Psychology Mike Rogoff as “a dedicated educator who exhibits great enthusiasm for learning and a passion for helping students to be successful. His commitment to students has been evident over the years in his innovative teaching and in the individual assistance he provides to his students.”
Students routinely describe Rogoff, who came to Keuka in 1971, as “amazing,” “well-prepared,” “fantastic,” “challenging,” “genuine,” and “a great person.”
“In four decades of student-centered teaching, he has truly exemplified Keuka’s emphasis on the individual student,” said the president. “His particular attention to the well-being of first-year students deserves commendation. Over the past decade and more, he has made significant contributions to our retention efforts through his research analyzing student study habits. This work has been of enormous benefit to the College, to his colleagues on the faculty, and most especially to students, as he compiled, interpreted, and shared with colleagues the data he collected.”
In addition to his work in the classroom, Rogoff served as chair of the Division of Basic and Applied Social Sciences for many years.
“In this role, he managed a division of independent-minded colleagues in a persistent and often admirably tireless manner,” said the president. “In untold ways, he performed the day-to-day administrative work that kept a centrally-important division running.”
Most recently, his work on the ad hoc Curriculum Task Force “testifies to his continuing commitment to enhancing students’ educational experiences at Keuka,” added Díaz-Herrera.
Retiring Faculty Members
Vice President for Academic Affairs Anne Weed recognized:
Michaela Cosgrove, professor emerita of Spanish, who will be the focus of an upcoming feature story on Keuka College Today.
A sundial reflecting Keuka’s global impact is located in front of Dahlstrom Student Center.
Keuka College’s Class of 2013 will receive degrees at the College’s 105th commencement Sunday, May 26.
The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. on the Norton Chapel lawn.
Esther Yoder, a 1960 Keuka College graduate and former chair of the Board of Trustees, will deliver the commencement address and receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.
Yoder, owner of Subway EAY Stores Inc. in Gainesville, Fla., was a member of Keuka’s governing board 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 the Board.
She chaired the Shaping the Future: One Graduate at a Time campaign, the most prolific fundraising campaign 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 Award.
Other commencement highlights include talks by Class of 2013 members Reis Cunningham and Martha Walker, and the presentation of the Professor of the Year Award.
In addition, six students from the DRIVE (Diversity, Responsibility, Inclusion, Vision, and Experiential learning) program will receive an Award of Higher Education.
In the program, Keuka College students serve as peer mentors to young adults with intellectual disabilities as they assimilate into the college environment and explore their personal goals.
DRIVE is a collaboration between Keuka College, Penn Yan Central School District, and Yates County ARC.
Commencement day activities will kick off with the baccalaureate service at 9:30 a.m. in Norton Chapel. Sophia Veffer, past president of the Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo Board of Directors and current executive board member, will deliver the address.
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…)
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