Faculty members who teach in the Division of Business and Management bring significant, real-world experience to the classroom.
For example, take Rita Gow, associate professor of accounting, who came to Keuka College in 2005 after a distinguished career at Ernst & Young, a public accounting firm in Boston, Mass. She also worked for a Fortune 500 company, not-for-profit organizations including the Susan B. Anthony House (a national historic landmark), and a family-run insurance agency.
“Teaching is a different culture than I was used to, but I did what I tell everyone—persevere,” said Gow, who retired after the 2013 fall semester. “It’s OK to try new things, to take a chance and do something different. Change can be invigorating.”
In fact, change was the focus of the speech she delivered at academic convocation—her reward for being named Professor of the Year in 2011.
Gow said change “pushes us outside our comfort zone.
“But it’s good to step outside that box,” she said at the ceremony. “We all feel a bit of anxiety at some point—this is not necessarily a bad thing. It can motivate you.”
And motivation is what can help students who may be struggling in their classes.
“If a student is simply willing to try, work hard and persevere, they will succeed,” said Gow. “The College has had some fantastic success stories, including those who work for one of the ‘Big Four’ accounting firms or have done well in graduate school. We have had students work at both Ernst & Young and KPMG, and many have found success at both large and small accounting firms.”
Reflecting on her years at Keuka, Gow said “there are a lot of hard-working people [here] and I’ve been lucky to work with some really great students, like Joe DeBarr ‘12. He came to Keuka, while his twin brother went to SUNY Albany. Both were accounting majors. Every so often, I’d ask Joe how he liked it here and if he was considering transferring to Albany. Each time, he said ‘no’ [to the second part of the question]. While he enjoyed visiting his brother, the culture at Keuka was a perfect fit for him.”
After graduation, both brothers applied—and were accepted—to Syracuse University for graduate school.
“To me, this is a great success story,” said Gow. “It says that even though Keuka has a small accounting major, we have proven over and over that it is still rigorous enough to compete with a larger program.”
Gow said ”it’s been fun to see the students come in as freshmen and evolve into seniors. I like that I may have had a part in helping students grow, even if they are not accounting majors. I like that about my job.
“Sometimes, I’ll get a note, or card, or Facebook message from a former student thanking me for teaching them. It’s not always obvious to them at the time that they will use what they have learned here. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard ‘I wish I’d paid more attention in accounting…’”
If she had collected those nickels, she might have saved them and used them to visit her daughter, who will move to Capetown, South Africa.
“My husband and I might use Capetown as a jumping off point to travel some more,” said Gow. “We will also visit my son and his wife in Virginia, who have three daughters, including twins. They are all under 3-years-old.”
And while Gow plans to travel, Keuka Lake will always be home.
“We live on Keuka Lake and we love it here, so we plan to stay,” said Gow. “I am active in the community, including serving as treasurer for the Keuka Housing Council, and the board of the Yates Community Endowment Fund. I may also teach Accounting for Managers, a course I have taught before, in the Accelerated Studies for Adults Program (ASAP).”
Alex Perryman, assistant professor of management and finance, was selected to serve as an NCAA Division III faculty athletics representative (FAR) fellow.
Perryman, who has served as Keuka’s FAR for three years, will represent Keuka and the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) at the annual FAR Fellows Institute Oct. 4-6 at NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis, Ind.
“It’s quite an honor and this is good for the College, for our student-athletes, and for myself,” said Perryman.
Perryman was nominated by Candice Poiss Murray, commissioner of the NEAC, as well as the FAR Institute Planning Committee.
“You put in for something like this but you think you won’t get selected. The really cool thing is now that I’m selected, I’ll be working with other Division III FARs, not just in the NEAC but across all of the NCAA,” said Perryman.
At the institute, Perryman will take part in a 360-degree leadership assessment process and will develop an action plan for implementation at Keuka.
The FAR Institute also provides an opportunity for fellows to bounce ideas off each other and examine the best practices of other schools.
“I like being able to see how other schools handle the situations we deal with, and how they get along with their athletic director and the others in the athletics department,” Perryman said. “We need to look at each others’ best practices and make sure our students are as successful as they can be.”
According to the NCAA, a FAR is “a member of an institution’s faculty or administrative staff holding faculty rank, who is designated by the institution’s chief executive officer or other appropriate entity to represent the institution and its faculty in the institution’s relationships with the NCAA and conference.”
As Keuka’a FAR, Perryman reviews and evaluates academic and general support services for student-athletes, conducts studies and monitors the time demands on student-athletes, and reviews student-athletes’ orientations, study hall sessions, classroom attendance, and final grades.
“Our student-athletes understand that, in my role, I’m looking out for them and trying to prepare them for when they graduate,” Perryman said. “Most of the student-athletes here have a big level of respect for me and what I do. Everything I do is for the benefit of our student-athletes.”
Another competition trophy has joined the collection in the division of Business and Management on the second floor of Hegeman Hall, as the Keuka College Enactus team brought back a symbol of its performance at Friday’s (March 22) regional competition in Baltimore, Md.
Members of the presentation team, which included six student speakers, two alternates, and two audio-visual coordinators, presented Ann Tuttle, interim chair of the division, with a first runner-up trophy Monday morning. Keuka finished behind the University of Virginia, York College, and Messiah College.
Enactus is an international, non-profit organization that works with leaders in business and higher education to mobilize students to make a difference in their communities while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders. The international organization formerly known as Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) changed its name to Enactus this fall. (more…)
The Keuka College Enactus (formerly SIFE) team will sponsor a spaghetti dinner Thursday, Feb. 21 from 5-7 p.m. at the Moose Lodge in Penn Yan.
Tickets are $7 and can be purchased from Jordan Eaves, Enactus fundraiser coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org; or Desiree Ford, Enactus president, at email@example.com. Tickets will also be sold at the door. Members of the College community may have dinners delivered to campus (in front of Ball Hall) at 6:15 p.m. or 7:15 p.m.
Proceeds from the dinner will help fund the team’s trip to Baltimore, Md. in March for the Enactus regional competition, which carries an invitation to the May 21-23 national competition in Kansas City, Mo. The Keuka Enactus team has qualified for nine national competitions in the past 11 years.
At the regional competition, the students will deliver a 17-minute presentation describing four community service projects they have completed this year, including a Campus Sustainability Initiative (CSI); One Piece a Week, which donates restored furniture to the Tompkins County Task Force for Battered Women to help improve living conditions; and entrepreneurial programs at Penn Yan Academy and PathStone, a private, not-for-profit regional community development and human service organization that provides services to farm workers, low-income families and economically depressed communities throughout New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana, Vermont, Virginia, and Puerto Rico.
For more information on the dinner, contact Eaves or Ford.
Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of profiles of new, full-time faculty who have joined the Keuka community.
Back in the fall of 2006, Dr. Yang Zhao served as an academic adviser to four international students attending classes on the home campus in Keuka Park. Today, some 79 international students from 12 countries attend classes here, learning how to compare and contrast America with its global neighbors in background, economy, and leadership development.
This fall, after earning her doctorate and serving several years as an adjunct professor for Keuka, Zhao became part of the full-time faculty, teaching courses in economics and leadership to graduate students in Keuka’s Master of Science in management with a concentration in international business (MSMIB) program.
Her studies in China focused on economics, and she holds a B.S. in economics from Shangdong University of Finance and an M.A. in economics from Dongbei University of Finance and Economics. While teaching in China’s Qiqihar University, Zhao published seven research articles relative to strategic planning, management, marketing, economics and business to help entrepreneurs and companies to better serve their community. In 2003, she won the Outstanding Young Professor award, for the Hei Long Jiang province of China. During that time, she also served as an academic coordinator for the Keuka China Program (KCP) and assistant professor at Qiqihar University.
Here in the U.S., she has added an M.S. in management from Keuka, and just this summer, completed an education doctorate in executive leadership from St. John Fisher College. In addition to her many years of experience in international education, as a full-time and adjunct professor, Zhao has also spent seven years as a local business owner and entrepreneur working in property management. Her connection to the local business and community network, as well as related marketing and financial management skills, help provide what international learners and domestic students are looking for when they study at Keuka, she said.
“As a business leader, you have to understand the entrepreneur’s point of view, to understand how to help students start thinking as a future leader, not just a manager. That will help students to be successful in their career development,” Zhao said.
Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of profiles of new full-time faculty who have joined the Keuka community.
Nearly 35 years ago, Sam Ferrara left Clyde, a small town in Central New York, to head out to college for a degree and a career in big business. During his 20 years in sales and consulting, he worked in Albany; Charlotte, N.C; San Antonio, Texas; Cleveland, Ohio; and Melbourne, Australia. He then made a switch to education and now has another seven years in academia. Before coming to Keuka, Ferrara was an adjunct professor at Skidmore College.
Now making a daily trek from Clyde to Keuka Park, Ferrara instructs undergraduates as an assistant professor of management in the Division of Business and Management. This semester finds him teaching courses in advertising, training and development, and operations and production management. Part of the allure of this job was the opportunity to return to his roots.
“I enjoy working with students from small towns in this area and I’d like to make a contribution back to an area that’s pretty economically depressed right now: upstate New York in general and my hometown specifically,” he said.
Ferrara holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from SUNY Brockport, an MBA from Baldwin-Wallace College, and is completing his doctorate in organizational studies at University at Albany. His dissertation involves interdisciplinary study of organizations and Ferrara is honing in on the impact of CEO duality on firm performance in a post-financial crisis world.
Duality is the term given when the top executive is both CEO and chairman of the board, and while having one person in a dual role may make it easier to get projects done, questions arise whether that one person has too much power.
“I’m very interested in corporate governance, and who watches out for the shareholders,” Ferrara said, citing the high-risk decisions and outright malfeasance of some in the realms of high finance. “It doesn’t matter what level you’re at — it’s interesting how people with power will use the power in self-interest. Does power do that to a person, or does the person have that power?
My hypothesis is that it’s not the whole, it’s the few.”
Ferrara said his goal as a professor is to engage students in both utilitarian (practical) and intrinsic knowledge, and he hopes to be effective in helping students grow as individuals and professionals.
“I want to prepare them to work in an ethical way and keep community awareness in mind,” he said.
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…)
“Spend-ready” customers are the ones business owners most desire.
Now, a dozen members of Keuka’s SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) team are ready-and-available to assist local Chamber of Commerce members from Rochester to Ithaca better market their businesses with Google Places.
A web tool from the online search-engine giant, Google Places merges the basics of Google Maps and the phone book with a simple business listing. But everything from hours of operation, photos, videos, payment options, customer reviews and more can be added to the basic listing to create a web search tool powerful enough to tempt say, a thirsty traveler with a GPS-enabled smartphone, anxious to satisfy a caffeine craving at the nearest coffee shop.
That’s how it works for Dan Stephens, sophomore English education major from Montour Falls.
“Anytime I go someplace I’m not familiar with, such as when I go to the Adirondacks in the summer, or go out to eat or go shopping, [I] go on Google [with my phone] and type in ‘local pizza parlors,’ and find 10 different [listings.]” (more…)
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