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Snapshot of a Graduate: Mike Kelly ’14

Editor’s Note: Where can a Keuka College degree take you? This is the fifth in a series of snapshot profiles on members of Keuka’s Class of 2014.

As a busy member of the campus community, Mike Kelly ’14 of Black River, N.Y. gained plenty of experience in leadership, service and special events.

During his four years at Keuka College, Kelly served as president of the College chapter of Enactus, the international non-profit which empowers students to coordinate entrepreneurial projects to improve the lives of people in need. He worked as an advertising assistant in the office of student activities, and chaired the fundraising committee for the annual Relay for Life event for the American Cancer Society during sophomore and junior years. His senior practicum was spent assisting with communications and social media for the 17th annual Celebrate Service … Celebrate Yates (CSCY) day of service event, which is a collaboration between the College and the Yates County Chamber of Commerce. In addition, Kelly served three years as a resident assistant to other students living in two residence halls.

The organizational communication major was recently accepted to Lasell College in Boston where he intends to pursue a master’s degree in communication with a concentration in integrated marketing communication. Kelly said he is looking for jobs in that area, too, so he can work while attending grad school.

Looking back, Kelly said he sees the biggest benefit of his Keuka College education is “that I am incredibly prepared for the ‘real world.’”

Kelly said he owes Dr. Anita Chirco, professor of communication, many thanks for the one-on-one time in she gave in senior seminar class to work with each student to prepare portfolios, resumes and LinkedIn profiles.

“Not only am I confident that the things I’ve learned in my communication classes will help me professionally, they have given me personal confidence, something you cannot put a price on,” he said.

To explore what might be in your future with a Keuka College degree, request more information.

 

Enactus Team a Quarter-Finalist at National Competition

The Keuka College Enactus team has returned triumphant from a strong showing at the 2014 National Expo in Cinncinati, Ohio, held March 31- April 3.

According to co-adviser Enid Arbelo Bryant, assistant professor of communication, the group advanced through the first round to the quarter finals, earning a trophy along the way.

“I’m so proud of the group and their hard work this year,” Bryant said, noting that the team was up against some admirable competitors who moved ahead into the semi-finals. Some of the contenders included schools as large as the University of Southern Maine, University of North Caroline at Charlotte and Kennesaw State University.

The 2014 Enactus team in Ohio

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 in the fall of 2012.

Each year, Enactus teams from college campuses across the nation send exposition teams to participate in regional competitions. Through rehearsed and choreographed multimedia presentations, team members give a formal retelling of the club’s accomplishments during that academic year. The judges panel is comprised of private-sector business executives and can be tough to impress. Regional winners automatically receive an invitation to the national competition, which the Keuka College team has done 10 of the past 12 years.

The College was represented in Cinncinati by Enactus members Michael Kelly ’14, president; Darrcy Matthews ’14, COO; Brittany Gleason ’15, Amanda Markessinis ’16, Kathryn Zawisa ’16, Joshua Crummenauer ’15, Trevor Irby ’16, Ashley Smith ’16, Joseph Rosario ’16, Marilynn Schoen ’15 and Margaret Tower ’16. Another five students round out the full club on campus.

According to Kelly, the team has overcome a number of challenges in the last three years, and this year’s finish capped it off.

“Considering this is the farthest we’ve gone in three years, this year has been extremely successful,” said Kelly. “I’m grateful to all the team members who worked tirelessly to make sure all the projects were going well throughout the year. Even though I will graduate and be sad to leave the team, I’ll be excited to watch how they’re doing from the sidelines.”

Three projects were part of this year’s work: the Seeds of Change initiative, which enables teenage girls at a Costa Rican shelter for the underprivileged to make and sell handmade bracelets in their local community and ship them back to the Enactus team for sale here; the Campus Sustainability Initiative (CSI) which the team has coordinated since 2009 to raise awareness about a number of environmental and societal issues; and a new initiative to begin selling paid ads for the Keukonian student newspaper.

In addition to Bryant, Dr. Yang Zhao, assistant professor of international management, also serves as adviser to the team.

Costa Rica Provides Plenty for Field Period™

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 who pursue a culturally-oriented Field Period™.

Brittany Gleason

Like many people, Keuka College junior Brittany Gleason has a bucket list. And like many people, traveling is among the items on the list.

Thanks to receiving the Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Award, Gleason had the opportunity to cross ‘traveling’ off of her list during her January Field Period™. The mathematics major and Carthage resident traveled to San Jose, Costa Rica, where she took classes at Centro Cultural de Idiomas (CCI), a cultural language center.

“To me, traveling means learning and experiencing new cultures and broadening my horizons,” said Gleason. “It also means meeting new people and forming lifelong friendships. I was excited to push myself and get as much out of the experience as possible.”

But she was not the only Keuka student who traveled to Costa Rica for her January Field Period™. Sophomore Kathryn Zawisa, another recipient of the Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Award, went too, intent on learning more about how Costa Rican small businesses are run.

Gleason, Zawisa, a marketing and management major from Amsterdam—and four other Keukonians—participated in Finger Lakes Community College’s (FLCC) study abroad program. During the Field Period™ each conducted, Gleason and Zawisa had the opportunity to improve their Spanish language proficiency, and develop an understanding and appreciation of Costa Rica’s culture. They also had the opportunity to tour sites of interest and be housed with a host family.

Kathryn Zawsia

“It’s been my dream to travel to a Spanish-speaking country where I could use what I have learned,” said Zawisa. “Taking Spanish classes since sixth grade has transformed into a minor at Keuka. Not only have I enjoyed learning the language, but I’ve also found myself yearning to learn more about the culture. Costa Rica gave me the opportunity to understand the Spanish culture and feed my interest.”

It was also a chance to practice community service.

“I have been involved in my community from an early age, so when I heard we were going to work with young girls, I jumped at the chance to help,” said Gleason.

She worked at a social services organization which provides room, board, and schooling to adolescent girls who have been removed from their homes due to domestic violence, neglect, and or abuse.

Gleason enlisted the help of her fellow Enactus teammates to ask the College community for donations for the girls. Together they collected pens, pencils, erasers, markers, colored pencils, notebooks, stickers, ponytail holders, headbands, and barrettes, among others. Zawisa also intended to donate part of her award money to a Costa Rican charity.

“I believe I am a driven and passionate student, which is shown through my interaction with others,” said Zawisa. “I hope I displayed this passion while in Costa Rica.”

Part of that passion was the desire to compare how a small Costa Rican business is run versus an American one.

“My family owns two small businesses in New York state so I already know much about how to run one,” said Zawisa. “But seeing what differs in Costa Rican businesses, instead of reading it online, was an unforgettable opportunity.”

And she was not just interested in how the businesses are run.

“I wanted to learn the differences of communication in a Spanish-speaking country such as nonverbal cues, inter-gender communication, and more,” said Zawisa. “Learning these skills could put me one step ahead of other Spanish minors because I’d not only know the language, but I’d also know how to approach, and speak to, a native Spanish speaker.”

Added Gleason: “Being at Keuka has given me the confidence and knowledge I need to be a productive member of society. I believe traveling to Costa Rica was a life-changing experience, especially because I learned more about the world while helping others in need.”

Kelly Coordinates Events for Student Life

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of profiles of Student Employee of the Year nominees. The winner will be announced at a luncheon Thursday, April 18.

Michael Kelly ’14 of Black River, a junior organizational communication major, has been nominated for the Keuka College 2013 Student Employee of the Year award for his work as the marketing and advertising assistant in the student activities office.

In that  role, Kelly has been bringing fresh ideas that support and grow campus programming, said Eva Moberg-Sarver, director of student activities. Kelly is responsible for the advertisements and promotions students see in the window of the office, as well as on digital signage, Campus Activities Board (CAB) bulletin board, and social media accounts, said Moberg-Sarver, who nominated him for the award along with Kevin Perry, resident director.

After taking the initiative to attend a regional training conference, Kelly collaborated with two offices, a campus club, and  Student Senate to bring a new program to campus. As a result, motivational speaker Erin Davies, known for her FAGBUG vehicle, presented her documentary on her experiences touring the country with the car and speaking to the LGBTA community. Kelly also coordinated the Enactus “Green Bingo” event, held on St. Patrick’s Day, to raise awareness and encourage students to “go green” in a number of ways.

According to Moberg-Sarver, Kelly has gone “above and beyond” with his marketing ideas, even going so far as to investigate a texting program that would enable updates to be delivered directly to students’ cell phones, and researching  promotional pieces for prospective students that could bring multiple campus offices together.

“Overall, we could not be more pleased with his work ethic and dedication, as well as the opportunity to work with him,” she said.

Enactus Team a Runner-Up at Regionals

Keuka's team, from left: Brittany Gleason, Darrcy Matthews, Rich Matrassi, Marilyn Schoen, Desiree Ford and Tom Hoang.

Members of Keuka’s Enactus Team with Ferrara, left, present division chair Ann Tuttle, right with their trophy from regional competition.

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…)