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Posts Tagged ‘division of business and management’

Meet New Faculty: Finance, Biology and Occupational Therapy

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of Q&As with full-time faculty members who recently came aboard at Keuka College. Today, meet three of Keuka’s new additions.

Dr. Lee-Hsien (Ken) Pan, assistant professor of finance, is teaching classes in international finance and intermediate accounting this semester.

Last book read: “My Lifelong Challenge: Singapore’s Billingual Journey” by Lee Kuan Yew.

Favorite quote: Fight to the death; never give up!

If you could be a fictional character, who would you be, and why: Bruce Lee. He is a strong man not only physically but also spiritually.

What makes teaching fun: Exchanging thoughts and experiences with students are the happiest thing in the world.

What do you do for fun? Play tennis, listen to music, and watch YouTube videos.

Dr. Luciana Cursino-Parent (aka “Dr. C”), assistant professor of biology, is teaching BIO102 “Science of Life” and BIO 135 “Cells and Organisms” this semester.

Last book read: “The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching the Practice of Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning” by James E. Zull

Favorite quote: none.

If you could be a fictional character, who would you be, and why: Little Lulu Moppet because she reminds of myself as a little girl with my two brothers, based on a description of the character: “She is a very good little girl, and rarely initiates a battle with the boys; she just takes them on when they bother her or the other girls. Lulu is very imaginative, and she tells stories to Alvin to divert him from mischief and teach him a lesson. She also records some of her adventures in “Lulu’s Diary”

What makes teaching fun: Watching my students have fun and experiencing the “I get it” moment.

What do you do for fun? Outdoor activities: in summer and fall  - swimming and fishing; in the winter – snowmobiling and ice fishing.

Cassie Hey MSM, OTR/L, is assistant professor of occupational therapy and joined the faculty in 2014. She is currently teaching classes in mental health application and mental health community application.

Last book read: “Log Hotel” by Anne Schreiber. It is always the last book I read, as it is my 7-year old son’s favorite bedtime story.

Favorite quote: “I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better” – Abraham Lincoln

If you could be a fictional character, who would you be, and why:  Eowyn from “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, due to her strength, compassion and courage.

What makes teaching fun: Seeing students gain passion and making connections

What do you do for fun? I enjoy spending time with my family and children, golfing and working on our “hobby farm.”


Meet New Faculty: OT, management and sociology

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of Q&As with full-time faculty members who recently joined us at Keuka College. Today, meet three of the College’s new additions.

Dr. Kristen Bacon, assistant professor of occupational therapy, teaches OCC 430, guiding students in theories for field practice

Last book read: Pedretti’s Occupational Therapy Practice skills for physical dysfunction.

Favorite quote: Two personal quotes of mine: ”I don’t do math in public,” & “I’m an OT. I can adapt and overcome…almost anything.”

If you could be a fictional character, who would you be, and why: Tinker Bell… because she can fly anywhere she wants.

What makes teaching fun: The variety of students on campus, their personalities, & the satisfaction knowing you’ve taught the students part of something they’ll be using for the career.

What do you do for fun? I enjoy spending time with my husband & two daughters and together we enjoy family time and camping.

Dr. Mikhail Sher, assistant professor of operations management, currently teaches BUS 330 on operations and production management, and will teach a variety of management, finance and business analytics courses in the future.

Last book read: “The Power of Intuition” by Gary Klein. This book is about how we can use our intuition to make better decisions at work as well as in our personal lives.

Favorite quote: “It is not enough to do your best; you must know what to do, and then do your best.” — W. Edwards Deming

If you could be a fictional character, who would you be, and why: Neo from “The Matrix.” Do I really need to say why?

What makes teaching fun: I love seeing the growth and progress of my students!

What do you do for fun? I enjoy playing chess, watching football (Go Steelers!!!) and spending time outdoors.

Dr. Jessica MacNamara, assistant professor of sociology, joined the campus in 2014, and teaches classes including: Introduction to Sociology, Sociology of the Family, Environmental Sociology, Social Problems, Methods of Social Research, Applied Research Methods, First Year Workshop in Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Sociology, FYE Popular Culture & Society, and Independent Study in Sociology of Gender and Transgender Studies.

Last book read: “In the Shadow of the Banyan” by Vaddey Ratner

Favorite quote: “Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity, or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.” —Paulo Freire, “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”

If you could be a fictional character, who would you be, and why: I can’t think of a single fictional character I’d like to be. I prefer my real life to anything fictional. But in terms of historical figures, I would enjoy spending a day in the life of W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963), American Sociologist and social reformer.

What makes teaching fun: Both the students and teaching subjects I’m passionate about make it fun!

What do you do for fun? I like to hike, swim, and travel.

Answering the Call of the Big Apple

When Canandaigua native Amber Smith graduated from Keuka College in 2011, she had dreams of the Big Apple.

Smith as the character Billie Dawn in the Keuka College play "Born Yesterday."

Forging her own path at the College, Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in management, but fleshed out her concentration in theatre and minor in communication studies by investing time acting in campus plays, serving as president of the Arion Players (drama club) and honing leadership skills. For example, she coordinated special events such as an all-arts or improv night for the Arion Players.

When she graduated, there were three potential career options in mind: acting, hip-hop dance or managing her own business.

Now a New York City resident, the dancer/actress/singer has begun to make her mark in choreography, putting her hip-hop dance talents to use in three music videos and now, serving as co-choreographer for the Bristol Valley Theater production of “Rent,” which runs through July 19 in Naples. She is also a cast member.

The Bristol Valley Theater cast of "Rent."

“In the ensemble, I sing and dance a lot as I play about six different characters minor to the show. Singing and dancing are what I love to do,” said the Canandaigua native.

Amber Smith '11 as one of several supporting characters in the summer production of the Tony-award winning musical "Rent," at the Bristol Valley Theater in Naples.

As a co-choreographer for “Rent,” Smith has choreographed the tango sequence and dance sequence – two of the biggest numbers – with what she calls a “softer side.” Where other versions of the show have portrayed characters dancing with little thought or intent, Smith’s choreography seeks to echo the lyrics and rhythm of those songs in the physical movement, she said.

Audience members may also see elements of hip-hop in the choreography, a nod to Smith’s dance specialty. Her music videos include two for rap artist D’Chrome Foster and one for the rock band dec3. In addition to dance, Smith has sung backup vocals for Foster, and will return to the Big Apple following “Rent” to record vocals for his next album and then choreograph his next music video.

Smith sees great marketability when a performer can sing, act and dance on stage or screen, so she plans to continue choreographing whenever the opportunity arises. Ultimately, however, she would love to utilize her business skills as a manager in the music industry, she said.

“I’d really like to help guide people in developing their entertainment careers,” she said. To that end, Smith believes her Keuka College education prepared her well for success.

Amber Smith, Class of 2011

She cited faculty members Mark Wenderlich, professor of theatre, and Ann Tuttle, professor of management, for their guidance and encouragement to pursue her dreams, push herself to success and be confident in her decisions. In addition, the “small-town friendliness” that encompasses the campus community has served her well in New York City, where she said people respond positively when she interacts with them in a warm, open way atypical of big-city residents.

“The atmosphere at Keuka College sticks with you and helps you relate to people on different levels,” she described.

If it takes a little while to build up the business side of her career, Smith is not worried. Meanwhile, she stays busy auditioning for roles, taking dance lessons and more on top of her job at a couture children’s boutique inside the Plaza Hotel.

“If someone offers me a part in a show, there’s no way I’d say no,” she explained. “Who’s going to say no when you can sing and dance and do what you love?”


Keuka College Announces Community-based Scholarships to Expand Opportunity and Strengthen Local Economies

Keuka College President Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera announced on Monday two new community-based scholarship packages. The scholarships are in honor of the College’s 125th anniversary and pay homage to Keuka College’s century-old reputation as a pillar of community and regional service, empowerment, and engagement.

The “Back to Business” scholarship aims to combat unemployment in Yates County and the counties surrounding Keuka College, including Steuben, Schuyler, Seneca, Livingston, Ontario, Monroe, and Wayne. All accepted applicants to the College’s on-campus Master of Science in Management (MSM) program from these counties will automatically receive the scholarship, valued at $15,500. Keuka College’s accelerated MSM program, which was recently ranked by The Financial Engineer among the top 50 in the United States, enables students to earn a graduate degree in business in ten months of intensive, full-time study on the College’s Keuka Park campus.

“In this current job market, management graduate degree holders are almost 20 percent less likely to be unemployed than those who have only a bachelor’s degree,” said Dr. Daniel Robeson, chair of the Division of Business and Management and director of the College’s Center for Business Analytics and Health Informatics. “And those with a graduate degree in management will enjoy approximately $12,000 more in gross salary annually over the course of one’s life…. that translates to an extra $1,000 per month.”

The second scholarship program, developed in conjunction with the Hillside Family of Agencies, provides two $22,000 scholarships each year to students who are involved in the Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection and are interested in four years of undergraduate study on Keuka College’s Keuka Park campus.

“At the White House College Opportunity Day of Action in December, much of my time was spent talking with presidents from other colleges and universities about ways in which we can make higher education more accessible,” said President Díaz-Herrera. “Community partnerships, such as the one we’re announcing today with Hillside, are one of the many ways in which Keuka College is showing our commitment to accessible, affordable private education.”

Keuka College is a member of the Yes We Must Coalition, a consortium of institutions of higher learning striving to increase degree attainment of low-income students and students from underrepresented populations. Combined, the 36 member institutions will produce an additional 3,200 graduates by 2025.

Those who are interested in learning more about these scholarship programs are encouraged to contact the College’s Office of Admissions at (315) 279-5254 or emailing Information is also available online at

START-UP NY Partnership a Boost to College and Community

Late last year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced 13 more businesses will be coming to the Empire State as part of the START-UP NY program—including one at Keuka College.


O'Brien, Robeson and Griffin

Sensored Life LLC, which manufactures MarCELL, a remote monitoring device that allows customers to protect property and monitor activity while they are away, will be located in the Skaneateles Building at Keuka Business Park. MarCELL detects temperature, humidity, and power conditions.

The company expects to add 17 new jobs—from warehouse workers to software engineers—to the Yates County work force.

START-UP NY was designed to provide major tax incentives for businesses to relocate, start up, or significantly expand in New York State through affiliations with public and private universities, college, and community colleges.

Sensored Life was founded by Michael O’Brien and James Odorczyk, two successful serial entrepreneurs.

O’Brien; Dan Robeson, professor and chair of the Division of Business and Management and founding director of the Center for Business and Health Informatics; and Steve Griffin, CEO of the Finger Lakes Economic Development Center, joined Doug Lippincott for the Feb. 3 edition of Keuka College Today on WFLR.

The trio discussed the impact the START-UP partnership between Sensored Life and the College will have on the campus and community.

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