Brittany Heysler believes in accountability.
The criminology and criminal justice major just completed an extensive project to help Ontario County’s STOP-DWI office research and document a list of unpaid DWI fines dating back to 1986. It turns out nearly a quarter million dollars is owed to the county by some 156 individuals convicted of DWI charges.
On Oct. 31, each defendant was sent a certified letter to their last known address – carefully researched by Heysler. But to ensure no stone went unturned, the full list of delinquent fines, with names, year of conviction and case numbers, was published by the Daily Messenger newspaper in Canandaigua a week later. WHEC-Channel 8 in Rochester also broadcast the launch of “Operation Personal Responsibility,” highlighting Heysler’s work. Those with delinquent fines have 60 days to pay in full or arrange a payment plan with the STOP-DWI office before court action begins to collect what they owe.
STOP-DWI Administrator Sue Cirencione said her office has already collected $8,000 of the total $238,533 unpaid in the first week of the public phase. Cirencione, a Keuka College Class of ‘96 graduate herself, took the helm of the STOP-DWI office in May after 10 years as a probation officer for Ontario County. She said coming in, she knew recovering unpaid fines was a significant need, given fines fund the program budget. Such a time-intensive project would probably take Cirencione alone a year or more, given the many responsibilities of her new post, she said.
Instead, Cirencione knew it would be the perfect project for an intern. Enter Heysler.
As a senior criminology and criminal justice major, Heysler is required to complete a full-semester internship of 490 hours. She already boasted three previous internships at the Sherrill, N.Y. police department in her hometown; the Oneida Tribal Indian Nation police near Canastota; and with the U.S. Marshals office in Syracuse. That’s because the Keuka College Field Period™ program requires every undergraduate to devote at least 140 hours a year to a hands-on internship, cultural study, artistic endeavor or spiritual exploration.
“When I met Brittany, I knew right away she’d be great and she’d be able to tackle this,” said Cirencione.
Eager to “take charge of a project of my own and make a difference for the county,” Heysler said she began digging through the data, spending Aug. 25 – Oct. 29 building and refining the list. She removed the names of those who had passed away, any youthful offenders, and any who had made even sporadic payments. She also ran checks on all 156 names to see if they had a valid license or any other judgment filed against them. Ultimately, the list of delinquent fines represents those who never made an effort to pay what they owed. (more…)
Taylor McIntyre, a resident of Trumansburg and senior at Watkins Glen High School, is the September recipient of Keuka College’s George H. Ball Community Achievement Award.
McIntyre will receive a $68,000 scholarship ($17,000 annually) in recognition of her strong academic and community service record.
The award honors Rev. Dr. George Harvey Ball, founder and first president of Keuka College.
McIntyre was nominated for the award by Tammy Lotocky, an instructor in the criminal justice program at The Greater Southern Tier (GST) BOCES.
“Taylor has helped her community and made a difference to the people around her,” said Lotocky. “This consistent willingness to go above and beyond best describes her.”
Here are just a few examples of how McIntryre has made a difference in her school and community:
McIntyre will major in criminology and criminal justice at Keuka and has prepped for her college career in the criminal justice program at GST BOCES. She was selected to serve on the Bush Campus CSI Team, a three-person group that competes in forensic science knowledge and skills on the state and regional level. The team captured second place in a regional competition and this year she will lead the team and train new members for competitions in March and April.
In addition, she was selected by her peers and instructors to serve an eight-week stint as class lieutenant— the highest rank—and was responsible for peer academic support and classroom discipline.
For more information on the George H. Ball Community Achievement Award, or to nominate a high school senior, go to: http://www.keuka.edu/community/
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 pursuing culturally-oriented Field Periods.
Junior Meghan Houlihan believes that choosing to pursue a major in criminology or law enforcement means you will deal directly with large cross sections of a diverse and global population.
She also believes that true multicultural experiences can only come from multicultural exposure.
To that end, Houlihan is completing her Field Period at Gallon Jug Community School/Casey Community School in Belize City, Belize.
“I have had the opportunity to travel before, and I believe my understanding of people in general has been broadened by cultural exposure,” said Houlihan, a criminology/criminal justice major from Elysian, Minn. “If you are entering the criminology or criminal justice profession, one important thing that you have to have in your back pocket is effective communication styles and skills.”
By having the opportunity to pursue a Field Period in a Third World nation, Houlihan intends to add to her communication skills, which she intends to rely on throughout her career.
“Few colleges have taken active interest in developing countries, so a Field Period like this puts Keuka in select company,” said Houlihan prior to her departure. “Developing an understanding for the underprivileged will allow me to stand out as I pursue my career.”
One of her goals while at Gallon Jug School is to study the socialization of youth in middle school, with a special focus on how teachers and school staff promote student success and respond to student misbehavior or deviance.
“With today’s increased mobility and the emergence of a global economy, a world view of educational systems is essential,” she said. “During my Field Period, I will work with children and adolescents who have diverse life challenges. I expect to gain insight into the basis for some of these difficulties.”
According to Houlihan, the country of Belize is “struggling economically, but filled with highly motivated people hoping to improve conditions there. It is my goal to use knowledge I have gained in my classes to help the kids and families I will meet.”
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…)
Joyce Richardson’s path to a Keuka College degree began in 1983.
It will end Sunday, when the Stanley resident receives her Bachelor of Science degree in criminology/criminal justice.
And while it took the mother of two and grandmother of four nearly three decades to do what her classmates did in four years, she is the envy of some of her fellow members of the Class of 2012.
“A couple of weeks ago, I was offered a job as an investigator with the Ontario County Public Defender’s Office, where I completed my senior internship,” said Richardson. “That is what makes Keuka so great. Instead of a 20-minute job interview, I had the chance to have a four-month interview. I would not have gotten this job without my senior internship.”