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Students, Community Residents Team Up to Make a Difference Through Celebrate Service… Celebrate Yates

By Desiree Ford ’13

Volunteers got their green thumbs together for the Community Garden

On Sunday, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Jim Blackburn welcomed the 184 volunteers for the Celebrate Service…Celebrate Yates (CSCY)  community service day  by sharing the new Keuka College mission statement:“To create exemplary citizens and leaders to serve the nation and the world of the 21st century.”

Dean Blackburn welcomes volunteers to the kickoff ceremony (Stephanie Lockhart '15)

For the 16th year, CSCY volunteers showed just how exemplary members of the College and community truly are by stepping up to serve 24 non-profit agencies across Yates County. Each year, non-profits, including youth camps, community centers, churches, libraries, fire departments and more gain a helping hand from area residents and Keuka students  who come together to pitch in on spring cleaning projects.

CSCY is a collaboration between the College and Yates County Chamber of Commerce, with support from local merchants and business sponsors.

Community service is nothing  new for Class of 2016 members Preston Vick, Jake Altman, and Rich Weit, who signed up for CSCY with other members of the Keuka men’s soccer team. While CSCY is not something the players are required to do, team members still volunteer for the day, Altman said. The trio worked with others to rake leaves  at Camp Cory on the east side of Keuka Lake,

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Partnering with a Purpose

MSMIB Team Star presented a plan for Penn Yan Rotary Club. Left to right, Hui "Spencer" Shen, Fredric Tassone, Sida "Panta" Liu, Club president Robert Schwarting, and Lin "Molan" Zhang

Install a specialty digital printing press that could produce high-quality wine labels in batches of less than 10,000. Recruit young professionals to join the Penn Yan Rotary Club. Design a new brand strategy for a food service supply company with 75 years of local history. Introduce a video game for individuals with autism through a kickoff event where the crowd will source (fund) the project. Market Hunt Country Vineyard wines to prospective new customers. Promote a study-abroad program to campus students with a video.

These are just some of the recommendations that students in a Keuka College graduate program presented Feb. 20 and 21 to local merchants and business leaders as part of Dr. Yang Zhao’s Marketing for Managers class.

The students met with leaders of local companies or non-profit organizations to assess the needs of the respective businesses, then worked in small teams to develop marketing plans to address the primary issues. Each team conducted research, interviews, surveys, and financial analysis to develop recommendations for their  clients. The students then created a formal marketing plans showcased them in Powerpoint presentations during the final week of the eight-week course.

Illustration from an MSMIB presentation to benefit Keuka's Center for Global Education.

The eight-week course is part of a one-year program where students earn a Master of Science degree in management with a focus on international business (MSMIB). The MSMIB is similar to an MBA, but with more practical application. Enrollment features a mix of American, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Lebanese students, as well as one from Lesotho.

According to Fredric Tassone of Syracuse, whose team prepared a plan to help the Penn Yan Rotary Club recruit six new young professionals each year, conducting surveys was the hardest part. However, after analyzing the data the research uncovered, the team recommended the club target new members in the 23-35 age range, one of three market segments they identified, and of the three, the one most likely to have the time and interest to join.

“We gave them the most feasible option, since they don’t have a lot of money to advertise, and with their networking focus, that’s probably the best way to build up the club,” Tassone said. (more…)

Beyond the Hospital Walls

In the world of higher education, the niche Keuka has carved with its occupational sciences program is virtually unparalleled for a small, private, liberal arts college.

Studying anatomy of the body is part of Keuka's OT program.

In 2010, three state-of-the-art occupational therapy (OT) labs opened where students are taught cutting-edge OT techniques. Keuka boasts a pediatric play lab, a clinical care lab and a community living skills lab, set up much like a small apartment, where some 95 upperclass and graduate students take classes in occupational science. Nearly all students in Keuka’s OT program go on to a fifth year of study at the graduate level, in order to qualify for the certification exam that must be passed to obtain a permanent license as an occupational therapist.

A unique change to the program is that while Keuka’s OT students are building diverse, hands-on skills, it’s not all happening inside the walls of hospitals or schools. Traditional placements like a hospital are now supplemented by non-traditional placements, said Jean Wannall, Ph.D., who coordinates field work placements for OT students and is a full professor in the program.

“We’re seeing fewer jobs in traditional settings because of the changes in Medicare and Medicaid,” said Wannall.”A lot of agencies are downsizing and letting therapists go, so we are training therapists to be entrepreneurs, to go out and seek places where there could be a niche. At hospitals, the length of stay is shorter and shorter these days as people are being pushed out into the community quicker and quicker. More care is happening out in the community.”

Toys are part of therapy for children in the OT program.

In addition, OTs may find more work with assisted living communities or home health care as more members of the aging population try to stay in their own homes as long as possible, Wannall said. Keuka lies in Yates County, one of the poorest counties in the state, and other opportunities for non-traditional OT support may lie in areas with migrant workers, those who are illiterate, or other needy individuals, she said.
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Sign-ups Ongoing for Sponsors, Work Sites and Volunteers for CSCY 2012

Camp Koininea was one site where volunteers worked last year.

While time is running short for local companies or individuals to sponsor the 15th Annual Celebrate Service… Celebrate Yates day of community service, non-profit agencies anxious to serve as host sites or volunteers eager to lend a literal helping hand still have time to sign up.

During Celebrate Service… Celebrate Yates, Yates County students, families or senior citizens interested in making the community a better place to live and work come together to perform painting, cleaning, building, and repairs to help local non-profit agencies and groups. This year’s event will be held Sunday, April 22, and plans are underway to make it a special one with added touches such as entertainment to mark the 15th anniversary.

A collaborative effort of volunteers from Keuka College and the Yates County Chamber of Commerce, Celebrate Service … Celebrate Yates would not be possible without support from local organizations, merchants, businesses, and citizens. Individuals or companies interested in sponsoring the 2012 event for $250 or a donation of goods or supplies have until March 1 to contact Mike Linehan, executive director of the Yates County Chamber of Commerce, at (315) 536-3111, or mike@yatesny.com.
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Keuka Administrator, Limnologist Appointed to Finger Lakes Museum Board

Tim Sellers has been a vocal fan and supporter of the Finger Lakes Museum, almost from Day One.

And now, he will advocate for the Museum in an official capacity, as a member of the Board of Trustees. Sellers, associate vice president for academic programs at Keuka College, will serve a three-year term.

Board President John Adamski announced Sellers election at the board’s July meeting. Retired Rushville businessman John Meisch, husband of 1958 Keuka graduate, Kay Meisch, was also named to the board. Adamski compared the appointments to “hitting two home runs” in terms of advantages to the museum’s development.

“Tim’s expertise as a limnologist and professor of biology and environmental science will be a tremendous asset in planning the natural history component of the museum,” Adamski stated. “We are all very excited to have him aboard.”

Organizers of the project plan to bring an earth-friendly, 40,000-square foot museum showcasing the wildlife, natural and cultural history of the Finger Lakes to Keuka Lake State Park, a short drive from Keuka College. Sellers was a vocal advocate for locating the museum near the College two years ago when the board was deciding whether to build on Keuka or Seneca Lake. (more…)