Election Day 2015 was a stellar success for two Keuka College graduates. Aileen McNabb-Coleman ’00 and Tom Drumm ’15 both won seats in the Cayuga and Oswego county legislatures, respectively.
Running on the Democrat, Independent and Working Family lines, Mc-Nabb-Coleman defeated opponent Joseph Runkle, to win a four-year term in Cayuga’s 6th District seat. Meanwhile, Drumm, who ran on the Democratic and Women’s Equality lines for Oswego’s 16thDistrict seat, defeated Republican opponent James Scanlon and will serve a two-year term. At Keuka College, McNabb-Coleman earned a degree in unified childhood/special education while Drumm earned degrees in political science and history and organizational communication.
“I believe strongly in engagement and participation in local government,” said McNabb-Coleman “Due to the climate of the national stage of politics, I find that citizens are disengaged; couple that with having busy careers and family life, and it is difficult to increase awareness.”
So she did something about it.
“When I finally decided to run for county legislator, what drove me was the idea of setting our county on a new fiscally responsible path so that my children could enjoy the fruits of our labor—and representing women on a 15-member, all male, county legislature,” said McNabb-Coleman, who used the phrase “Run Like a Girl” in her campaign signs to reinforce her position.
Drumm said he ran on a message of “new energy and new blood” at the county level. He started getting that message out about six months ago when he launched his campaign and sticking to it proved effective, he said.
“I think those in the county are craving new leadership,” Drumm said. “I discussed that we seem to have become stagnant, whether in social issues or some economic areas as well.”
Drumm’s campaign got a boost the Sunday before Election Day from six political science and history majors at Keuka College who traveled to Oswego with Dr. Angela Narasimhan, assistant professor of political science and history. After convening briefly at the union hall for Oswego’s UA Local 73 to hear from Drumm about his platform, the group picked up campaign literature and set out to help Drumm make door-to-door visits.
“It was huge how that team helped me cover my entire district in a day,” Drumm said. “My opponent was a lifelong resident in the city, raised a family and he’s lived here probably 45 years, and sometimes that works to people’s advantage. I’m fresh out of college and it can take a lot to establish a coalition. The big thing is the final push – you have to turn out the vote. To get a push like that from students who traveled two hours to Oswego to help knock on doors for a campaign like mine – I’m in debt to them. I’m so grateful.”
According to Dr. Narasimhan, three of the students had never met Tom and several were interested in getting involved politically back home so they were eager to hear his story and his advice.
“He used each Field Period™ experience and his major to explore different avenues, and was able to tell my students about the connections he made and how he found an office to run for,” Dr. Narasimhan said, describing how Drumm learned from local party leaders the strategy they envisioned for him to win an open seat. The canvassing experience “absolutely” aligned with the College’s focus on experiential learning, she added.
During his time as a student, Drumm conducted separate Field Period™ experiences with Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), U.S. Rep. Dan Maffei (D-N.Y.) and the NYS Democratic Committee. He also completed his senior practicum with Doug Lippincott, Keuka College’s executive director of grants, government relations and compliance. Some of the individuals he met became mentors, Drumm said.
“It’s very rewarding to see it all pay off – it’s exciting, and honestly, it’s a little overwhelming,” Drumm said, attributing his win to “not only how much I’ve learned but the amazing people I met during college —professors like Drs. Narasimhan, Chris Leahy, David Leon—who gave me the confidence and knowledge to be able to make a political run at 22.”
Both Drumm and McNabb-Coleman will be sworn into their new offices in early January.
To say the race for the White House has been wild and wacky is an understatement.
It wasn’t that long ago that pundits were predicting a Clinton-Bush rematch—this time Hillary and Jeb. Yes, Hillary is leading the Democratic polls but it’s been a rollercoaster ride for the former U.S. senator and secretary of state. And who knows what will happen after the Benghazi hearing? Who would have guessed her primary challenger would Bernie Sanders, the senator from Vermont. And Bernie is big, as his portrayal by Larry David on Saturday Light Live attests.
On the other side, Jeb has tumbled in the polls thanks to two insurgents—billionaire Donald Trump, whose bombastic style and views on immigration have drawn admiration and disgust, and Dr. Ben Carson, the soft-spoken surgeon who spoke at Keuka College in 2010.
What better person to make sense of all this than Dr. Chris Leahy, professor of history and political analyst. Leahy analyzed all the political maneuverings on the October edition of Keuka College Today, which airs on WFLR (1570 AM, 96. 9/101.9 FM, Finger Lakes Radio Network).
Adding intrigue to the show, hosted by Executive Director of Grants, Government Relations, and Compliance Doug Lippincott, was that it aired live a day after Joe Biden announced he would not run for president.
Leahy, a regular guest on the show, will offer his analysis during the primary season, after the conventions, and right before Americans go to the polls next November.
You know that old saying, right?
“There’s something for everyone.”
Seldom is it true, but in the case of Keuka College’s Green & Gold Celebration Weekend, it’s impossible to find fault with that description.
The College has assembled a stellar lineup of events Oct. 16-18, ranging from a look at former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt’s impact on the College to a performance by Nik and the Nice Guys, North America’s No. 1 party band. Also on the agenda are a carnival and fun zone, theatre production, Athletics Hall of Fame induction, fireworks display, and plenty more.
The big weekend was the focus of the September edition of Keuka College Today, which airs on WFLR (1570 AM, 96.9/101.9 FM), part of the Finger Lakes Radio Network. Executive Director of Grants, Government Relations, and Compliance Doug Lippincott talked with the dynamic duo from the Office of Alumni and Family Relations, Kathy Waye (executive director) and Laurie Adams (assistant director), about the upcoming fall spectacular.
Tom O’Mara is in his third term in the New York State Senate. He represents the 58th District, which includes Keuka College.
O’Mara also commented on the last legislative session, which saw both the Senate and Assembly leaders arrested on corruption charges.
Angela Schmidt Fishbaugh, a 1995 Keuka College graduate and teacher at Campbell-Savona Central, has authored two books based on her love of teaching: Seeking Balance in an Unbalanced World: A Teacher’s Journey and Celebrate Nature! Activities for Every Season.
Her third book, published recently by Skyhorse Publishing, is not based on her affection for the teaching profession, but there is much to be learned from Angela’s Decision: Outsmarting My Cancer Genes and Determining My Fate.
The genesis for the book came in 2009 when she had a routine pap smear, but there was nothing routine after that. She tested positive for BRCA1, which means she had an 87 percent chance of getting breast cancer and a 44 percent chance of contracting ovarian cancer.
In this interview on Keuka College Today, aired on WFLR (1570 AM/96.9 and 101.9 FM, Finger Lakes News Network) in Dundee and hosted by Executive Director of Grants, Government Relations, and Compliance Doug Lippincott, Fishbaugh discusses the emotions she dealt with after her positive test, the choices she was confronted with, and the toughest decision she ever made.