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Posts Tagged ‘division of education’

Slovakia and More

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth 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.

What began as a Skype session with high school students in Assistant Professor of Education Klaudia Lorinczova’s native country of Slovakia last year has turned into a Field Period opportunity for Keuka students.

The students will have the chance to travel to Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Austria during a summer Field Period.

Junior Tyler Kroon is among those who will travel to the three European Union countries.

“I’ve been fortunate to grow up as part of a family who places a high value on experiencing other cultures, so after reading about Judith Oliver Brown, I was excited to discover her love for travel, too,” said Kroon, a unified childhood/special education major from Canandaigua.

And while Kroon may be a seasoned traveler—he’s been to such countries as Italy, Fiji, and New Zealand, among others—he expects this Field Period to be “especially eye-opening.

“We will have the opportunity visit the high school we began Skyping with, so we will have the chance to interact with those Slovakian students,” he said. “This is particularly interesting to me because I believe that our education in the U.S. is narrowly focused. I would like to bring my experiences from schools in other countries into my future classroom to provide my students with a more culturally diverse education.”

Kroon and others on the trip will tour local landmarks, town centers, castles, and manor houses. The group will also explore the cities of Prague, Nitra, Banska Stiavnia, and tour the United States Embassy in Bratislava.

“Not only do I want to learn about the culture and history of the three countries we will visit, I want to develop the ability to function and interact with the people who live there,” said Kroon. “And I want to gain an understanding of important historical and political events that have helped shape Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Austria.”

Kroon is also interested in art, “so this trip will be an amazing opportunity to take photographs of castles and other sights unique to central Europe. I’m especially hoping for free time on this trip to people-watch and sketch scenes from the various places we’ll be learning about.”

Library Lingo

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth of six profiles of nominees for the 2012 Student Employee of the Year award that will be presented at the Annual Student Employment Awards Luncheon April 16.

Carol Sackett, circulation supervisor in Lightner Library, says “it is sometimes difficult to find a student that represents the higher goals that place them in the status of the Student Employee of the Year category.”

However, she says senior Charlie Clark fulfills these goals with “grace and style,” and Sackett is confident in her nomination of the Cheektowaga resident for the award.

Clark, a unified childhood/special education major, has worked as a student circulation desk and lab assistant for two years and has “always been one of the backbones of our student workers in the library,” said Sackett. “She is cheerful and continuously inspires other workers to do their best. She possesses superior leadership skills and has been a wonderful mentor to all workers.” (more…)

The Consummate Mail Clerk and More

Editor’s Note: This is the first of six profiles of nominees for the 2012 Student Employee of the Year award that will be presented at the Annual Student Employment Awards Luncheon April 16.

According to Teri Spoor, IKON site supervisor, Tyler Moran, a senior adolescent English/special education major from Sandy Creek, deserves the Student Employee of the Year award for several reasons.

Moran has worked in the mail room as a mail clerk for two years, and while his job description says he is responsible for the distribution of all mail on the Keuka campus, and assisting with copy jobs as needed, Spoor says Moran does much more than that.

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Cultural Immersion: Senior to Travel through Europe

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of features on recipients of the Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Award.

Heather Graff

This month, senior Heather Graff will travel to several countries in Europe as part of her fifth Field Period.

Four are required for graduation.

“I decided to complete a fifth Field Period because this will be an entirely different opportunity than my other Field Periods,” said the unified childhood/special education major from Amsterdam. “I believe I should get as much out of my time at Keuka as I can, and my fifth Field Period, where I will travel around Europe, is the perfect culmination of my work at Keuka College.”

While at Keuka, she has “learned how valuable experiential hands-on learning is, and I am excited to take it to an international level.”

With that in mind, Graff will travel to such countries as England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Poland, and France.

“I believe this opportunity will help me gain a better understanding of these countries, their people, and cultures,” said Graff. “Through exploration of these countries, I will be able to see not only the difference in cultures, but the similarities in all people regardless of where they live. I hope to experience how people act and live in the various communities I visit by immersing myself into their day-to-day interactions and behavior.”

Graff intends to back-pack through Germany and France, travel by train, and stay at hostels to “get a better feel for the people in these countries.”

Graff also plans to compare the cultural differences between America and Europe by sampling local cuisines, visiting historical sites, and interacting with people.

“Many professions and jobs are becoming international,” said Graff. “I’d like to have some experience in some different countries in case an international job opportunity comes my way. I also think it is important to be culturally aware because classrooms are so diverse. If I can pull from experiences like this trip in my teaching, the topic may seem more exciting and relevant to the students.”

The Slovakian Connection

What recently transpired in a Keuka College classroom is further proof that the world is getting smaller.

High school students in a Slovakian classroom use Skype to chat with Keuka students in an education classroom.

Some 30 students in Assistant Professor of Education Denise Love’s EDU 105: Education of Diverse Learners class, used Skype to find out what makes Slovakian students tick.

And vice versa.

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Meet New Faculty: Alice Harnischfeger

Editor’s Note: This is the eighth in a series of profiles on new, full-time faculty members.

One of the things that convinced Alice Harnischfeger to apply for a teaching position at Keuka was the same thing that convinced many students to apply for admission: the College’s commitment to experiential learning.

“Though we can learn much from textbooks, nothing in the ‘real world’ is textbook,” said the instructor of education, who has been teaching for more than 20 years. “The world offers myriad experiences and Field Period offers the chance to try a career before graduation so the students can get as much out of the world as they can.”

“The College’s philosophy matches my own, and I like the education department, the friendly atmosphere, and the beautiful campus. I also find the College innovative. I am excited to be here.”

Harnischfeger  is completing her dissertation for a Ph.D. in education (with a concentration in teaching and curriculum) at the University of Rochester’s (UR) Warner School of Education.

“I was teaching at Penfield High School while I was a part-time student at Warner,” said Harnischfeger. “But I wanted to have the entire Ph.D. experience, including the opportunity to work on research and collaborate with fellow students more, and the ability to attend informational meetings and lectures more frequently. So, I left Penfield to be a full-time student at the University of Rochester.”

Harnischfeger was “one of those kids who always wanted to be a teacher. The aspect about teaching that is most appealing to me is just simply—and not at all simply—the people. I have always been a ‘people person’ and am fascinated by trying to understand them, both as learners and as individuals.”

After high school, Harnischfeger was told not to go into teaching because she would not find a job, so she pursued a bachelor’s degree in psychology. But the siren song of teaching was too strong to resist, so she volunteered at Rochester School for the Deaf (RSD) before receiving her teaching certification in English, science, and special education.

“I was eventually hired as a teacher at RSD and taught just about everything,” she said. “I taught there for two years and at National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) as an adjunct professor.”

Harnischfeger also taught “everything” at Penfield High School for 16 years, “including special education, English, science, social studies, math, and sometimes health, too.  I guess I’m a real jack of all trades,” she said. “The one continuous area I taught was English.”

Harnischfeger, who has also taught at SUNY Brockport and U of R, teaches Societal Prospective in Special Education and Educational Psychology at Keuka.

As a teacher, Harnischfeger has “always taken student teachers because I learn just as much from them as they learn from me. I love their passion and enthusiasm, and I love how they question things and their creativity. I love working with students new to teaching and I find it exciting for them.”

Harnischfeger’s dissertation is titled Identifying Construction in Relation to School Practices on Students who are Alternatively Placed in a School that is Considered Successful by State Standards.

“I want to focus on kids who have fallen through the cracks,” she said. “These are the students with no ‘label’ and other less-obvious students not recognized by the school. My goal is to always consider diverse needs, including those which may or may not be obvious.

“In schools that are considered successful, there are always a certain percentage of students that are not successful,” continued Harnischfeger. “Those are the kids on whom I want to focus. I want to get my students to understand the definition of diversity includes the full student and their needs.”

According to Harnischfeger: “I try to tell my students to teach the whole person, not just teach the content. This ties back into my research interest of trying to understand how people construct identity. I want my students to assist others in seeing the richness in each person as a unique individual and learner. It also connects to my interest in discerning the boundaries of diversity and in recognizing the resources inherent in our ‘differences.’”

High Speed Learning


In April, Pat Pulver, professor and chair of education, had never heard of a mobile learning device (MLD).

Two months later, an MLD replaced the books she intended to use in teaching Literature Materials and Technology in Literature, a graduate education course. The course focuses on children’s literature, materials, and technology as instructional tools for literacy learning in elementary school.

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Eichhorn is Dedicated to Education

Editor’s Note: This is the sixth of 10 profiles of nominees for the 2011 Student Employee of the Year award that will be presented at the Annual Student Employment Awards Luncheon April 11.

Emily Eichhorn

According to Paulette Willemsen, secretary for the Division of Education and Division of Social Work, senior Emily Eichhorn is a young woman of great integrity who is extremely dedicated to the field of education.

Eichhorn is an office assistant for the education and social work divisions and secretary for Information Technology Services (ITS).

(more…)

Pedal Pushers

It isn’t unusual for New York state college students to travel to Florida during breaks from their academic pursuits.

However, getting to the Sunshine State on bicycles is a bit unusual, but that’s the mode of transportation chosen by two Keuka College students.

Senior unified childhood/special education majors Emmalee Pearce and Joe Olgin planned a summer bike tour from Olgin’s hometown of Lyons to his uncle’s home in Altemonte Springs, Fla.

The trip also served as an opportunity to complete a Field Period for Pearce, a Wilson resident, so “while it didn’t directly relate to what I have learned in my education classes, the experiences I had during this trip gave me life experiences that I will someday be able to use in the professional field.

“I learned and acquired a great deal of skills that I can take and use in my future classroom,” added Pearce. “I have a better understanding of the geography of the east coast of the U.S., and learned some of the ways other states are different than New York.”

The duo each pedal around 6,000 miles a year, so “we didn’t really have to do any training [for the trip to Florida],” said Olgin. “Every day was just like another bike ride. We knew we would not have any problem riding a distance like that.”

The distance turned out to be 3,831 miles roundtrip. Pearce and Olgin rode through 12 states and Washington, D.C., and spent 57 days riding. Both Olgin and Pearce rode Trek 520s, which are bicycles made for touring. According to Olgin, the bikes have tires which are slightly thicker than a road bike, but are similar in appearance.

“These bikes have racks over the front and back wheels so that bags can be used,” he said. “They are a little heavier than regular road bikes so that they will be durable enough to carry the weight of gear. We both had front and rear bags that carried our clothes, camping gear, cleaning supplies, and food.”

“We left Lyons on June 13, and although we zigzagged a little in the beginning, we made it to Florida in about three weeks,” said Pearce. “We stayed for a few days in Florida, and took around four weeks to get back, because we were not going down the flat coast, but rather through the mountains.”

The number of miles and length of time they rode each day fluctuated.

“The days we were riding along the coast, where it was flat, we rode between 90 and 120 miles, while the days we were riding through more hilly areas we averaged around 80 miles a day,” said Olgin. “We didn’t have a certain path we were following, but we knew where we wanted to stop.  We usually planned our route the night before, and used AAA maps to navigate.”

Pearce and Olgin carried a SPOT, a satellite tracking device which sent a signal of their location every 10 minutes.

“The SPOT had a ‘Help’ button and a ‘911’ button if we were ever in trouble,” said Pearce. “Family and friends were able to check our location via the Internet. The SPOT also had an ‘OK’ button that would send out an ‘okay’ message via e-mail or text message. This came in handy when we did not have cell phone reception when we made camp.”

According to Pearce, the majority of the time she and Olgin “went ‘gorilla camping,’ where we camp in areas on the side of the road that are heavily wooded, not posted, and not near a lot of houses.”

There were also a few times that Olgin and Pearce camped behind churches and a fire department. The pair also stayed with members of Warm Showers, a worldwide online hospitality group for cyclists.

“We are members of Warm Showers, meaning other touring cyclists can stay at our house if they are in the area, and we can stay at other members’ house if we are in their area,” said Pearce. “We tried to utilize this as much in the south as possible because there were not as many areas that were conducive to camping. There were about four occasions that we stayed at a hotel.”

“At the beginning of the trip, we rode through the Catskill State Park before reaching the Hudson River,” said Olgin. “We rode into New Jersey and Pennsylvania, where we visited Hershey, York, and Gettysburg. From there, we continued into Maryland and Washington, D.C.”

Pearce and Olgin traveled on part of the Mt. Vernon trail and continued through Virginia and into North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. They rode through Ft. Stewart, and visited the Civil War POW camp in Andersonville.

While in Florida, Pearce and Olgin visited Atlantic Beach, the Kingsley Plantation, Daytona, Orlando, and went to Universal Studios for a day.

On the way home, they again crossed into Georgia and toured parts of Tennessee, rode through Great Smokey Mountain Park and on the Blue Ridge Parkway. They Mt. Mitchell, and visited Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, N.C., where Olgin attended college for a semester before transferring to Keuka.

“After that, we rode into Virginia, West Virginia, touched on Ohio and back into Pennsylvania before getting back into New York,” said Olgin. “From there, we visited family in Eden, Arcade, Wilson, and Chili before returning to our starting location in Lyons.

“The experiences I had on this tour have helped prepare me for future challenges that I may encounter in life,” said Pearce.

Added Pearce: “Although the majority of the trip went relatively smooth, there were a number of times that were especially demanding, both emotionally and physically. This trip definitely proved to be challenging and eye opening, while at the same time was a very rewarding and unforgettable experience.

Two Student Employment Award Winners Have Ties to Education Division

Associate Director of the Center for Experiential Learning Sally Daggett, Webmaster Pete Bekisz, and College President Joseph G. Burke flank 2010 Student Employee of the Year Jennifer Graham

An organized, enthusiastic, and talented Web blogger/editor and an efficient staff member who takes time to listen to students and lends her support/guidance were the respective recipients of the 2010 Student Employee and Work-Study Supervisor of the Year awards at the Student Employment Awards Luncheon April 14.

Sophomore unified early childhood/special education major Jennifer Graham and Secretary for the Divisions of Education and Social Work Paulette Willemsen were selected by two separate panels of judges.

Paulette Willemsen, secretary for the Divisions of Education and Social Work, received the first-ever Work-Study Supervisor of the Year award

The decision was not an easy one, according to Head Athletic Trainer/Assistant Director of Athletics Jeff Bray, who served as a judge for the student competition. The other judges were Peter Talty (faculty), Cathy McGinnis (administration), Jessica Noveck (staff), and Jane Palmer (student).

“It’s easier to nominate than judge,” said Bray, who has nominated five students over the past 17 years he has worked at Keuka (three of whom were selected as New York State Student Employee of the Year by the National Student Employment Association). “It was enlightening for me to read what other supervisors had to say. They felt much the same way as I have: what would we do without the help from our students?

“Hopefully nominating them for this award tells our student employees just what they mean to us,” added Bray. “It’s incredibly difficult to put in the work-study commitment they do while doing their academic work. And every one of this year’s nominees also excels academically.”

The nine Student Employee of the Year nominees pose with President Burke. From left to right: Kendall Wolven, Ashley Lent, Alicia Stubbs, Matthew Connell, Jennifer Graham, Holly Fultz, Junelle King, and Ashley Valentine

Bekisz and Graham

Graham was nominated for the award by Webmaster Pete Bekisz.

The other student nominees were Matthew Connell, Holly Fultz, Jennifer Heinrich, Junelle King, Ashley Lent, Alicia Stubbs, Ashley Valentine, and Kendall Wolven.

“Keuka College’s basic educational foundation is experiential learning, and that’s what these awards are all about,” said Keuka College President Joseph G. Burke at the luncheon. “The nine nominees for Student Employee of the Year are the top nine out of 400 students who perform about 600 jobs for an average of seven hours per week. If we were to hire full-time employees to do the work they do, we would need 120 more employees. So, Keuka students do a massive amount of work.”

Eichorn and Willemsen

Willemsen was one of three work-study supervisors nominated for the inaugural award. She was nominated by Emily Eichorn, a student office assistant for the Division of Education.

“There are a total of 70 work-study supervisors,” said Burke. “And they are an integral part of the educational process.”

“We talk about how students can step up, but we don’t often look at who helps them to step up,” said senior Casey Dahlstrom, one of six judges for the supervisor award. “It was a difficult process looking over why students nominated [the three nominees], and each of the nominees deserve a ‘congratulations’ and ‘thank you.’”

Work-Study Supervisor of the Year nominees Jeff Snow, Carol Sackett, and Paulette Willemsen are flanked by Sally Daggett and President Burke

The other judges for Work-Study Supervisor of the Year were Neil Siebenhar (faculty), Fred Hoyle (administration), Kathy Waye (administration), Betty Hill (staff) and Lynley Walter (student).

Each of the nominees was recognized at the luncheon by his or her nominator and presented with a gift. The names of the student and supervisor award recipients will be added to two separate plaques housed in the Center for Experiential Learning. The Student Employee of the Year banner is hung up in the winner’s work-study location until the following year’s award luncheon.

The luncheon is hosted by Burke and the Center for Experiential Learning. It is organized by Sally Daggett, associate director of the Center for Experiential Learning.