Editor’s Note: Here is a look at the seven people nominated by students for the Work-Study Supervisor of the Year Award, which will be presented at a luncheon April 18.
According to international student Sini Ngobese ’15 of South Africa, College Chaplain Rev. Eric Detar creates a warm and positive work environment in the Center for Spiritual Life. With his kindness, generosity, compassion and patience, as well as light-hearted spirit, the rewards of working in the CSL office have extended farther than wages, she said.
The work shift begins with a heartfelt smile and greeting and a few moments to catch up and ensure that all is well, Ngobese said. It’s not simply a polite inquiry, she said, “but a genuine interest for my well-being which, as a student who is an ocean and continent away from home, helps me feel welcome, cared for and important.”
Each work shift has enabled her to learn positive skills that will benefit future workplace endeavors, she said. New tasks are explained with patience and stated in a conversational manner, rather than as commands. If ever a mistake is made, Detar never chastises, but rather empowers her how not to make errors in the future.
“He wholeheartedly praises the good, which helps me as the employee feel motivated, important, encouraged, enthusiastic and inspired,” she said, adding that, Detar’s personable demeanor and propensity to share laughter have helped instill a love for the job and a passion for contributions made to the department.
“As a result, I feel more a fundamental part of the office and its prosperity as opposed to a mere work-study employee. Consequently, I have a huge sense of pride for the office, its projects and events,” Ngobese said. However, she added that of all the great experiences gained as Detar’s office assistant, “the best reward of all is the awesome friendship we’ve established.”
A fun, sweet, helpful and friendly spirit are among the many positive characteristics of Eva Moberg-Sarver, director of student activities.
According to Lauren Esposito ’15, who works for Moberg-Sarver as a student activites and Campus Activities Board (CAB) assistant, “Eva brings fun and energy into the office” and has helped make it more exciting for Esposito to come to work each day.
“I have never seen her in a bad mood and she is always nice to everyone,” said Esposito. “She truly cares about the campus, especially the students. She challenges me to do better and work harder. She is my inspiration and I look up to her or advice, wisdom, cheering up and just nice conversations.”
Moberg-Sarver has been a “remarkable” addition to the Keuka community, Esposito said, and has put in hard work across the numerous areas of campus activities and events that she oversees. Through a positive personality, Moberg-Sarver gets others excited about happenings on campus and is herself, excited about what is happening.
“Her shining personality makes her more than worthy for this prestigious award,” Esposito said.
One of the first people sophomore Savannah Fuller ’15 met as a freshman was Valerie Webster, co-curricular transcript coordinator and community service coordinator. Fuller received the Experiential Learner of the Month Award as a high school senior in January 2011 and a partial academic fellowship to attend Keuka.
Knowing that completing at least 50 hours of community service was a fellowship requirement, Fuller, an occupational science major, kept Webster’s name in her head.
“I went into her office and was immediately greeted with enthusiasm and spunk,” said Fuller. “After volunteering at the office, she recommended that I apply for the community service advocate work-study position. Having a supervisor who is passionate about helping others makes being a community service advocate meaningful.”
Webster’s ”unrelenting dedication to her work-study students and enthusiasm for community service are the highly commendable,” said Fuller. “She told me there was always work to be done and that I was always welcome. Knowing this has made working in the office rewarding.”
According to Fuller, Webster “is always on top of the projects in which community service advocates are involved, and knows how to approach any problem we encounter, big or small. Even while on leave due to major surgery, Valerie made it a point to check up on the community service advocates and give us advice.”
Not only does Fuller count on Webster as a supervisor, but also as a friend.
“She is a mother figure to me,” said Fuller. “I count myself among the large number of students who know we can lean on Valerie when we are having a bad day, and are too far away from home to hug our own mothers. Her office is a safe haven when the stressors of college become overwhelming, and her guidance and support have allowed me to build important skills essential to success.”
While Emily Ekstrom ’13 has been TeamWorks! facilitator for just one semester, she said it’s the only work-study job she’s had that has challenged her and made her a better person. She gives a lot of the credit to her work-study supervisor, Molly McGuigan ’11, TeamWorks! manager.
“It is Molly’s first year in charge of the TeamWorks! program, and she has gone above and beyond any supervisor I have ever had on campus,” said Ekstrom.
As an education major, Ekstrom said her work-study job helped prepare her for the challenge of student teaching.
“A large component of this was Molly,” she said. “She helped me build my TeamWorks! facilitating skills so that I could bring them into the classroom for my students. She not only provided me with the materials, but ideas and advice on different lessons I could do with my students.”
Ekstrom said McGuigan provides a challenging work environment, and pushes the facilitators to go outside their comfort levels.
“Molly encourages us to grow as workers and students with a combination of classic team building activities and fresh ideas,” said Ekstrom. Even though TeamWorks! is a student-led program, Molly is there for moral support, which is always welcome when running a program. She knows just what to say to help us through, and I think she is not so much as boss, as she is an older sibling watching over your shoulder. She is there help us when we have a problem as well as celebrate our successes.”
Ekstrom said that whether she wants to chat about an upcoming program, grab a piece of candy, or just talk about a class, one of the best aspects of having McGuigan as a supervisor is her open cubby policy.
“A real benefit of knowing that Molly graduated from Keuka is that she knows what we are going through, and always has some insightful help when we are in a pickle,” said Ekstrom.
According to Samantha Stevenson ’13, who has worked under Jon Accardi, director of campus recreation and aquatics, for the past four years, Accardi has expanded campus intramural programs from just four sports to more than 30 different annual events that go beyond intramural competitions to include overall fitness and health.
“[Jon] does everything he can to try and get more of the student body involved and active in the Weed Physical Arts Center,” Stevenson said.
As a result, many of the new programs or events introduced under Accardi’s tenure were launched by work-study students. Some of these events include yoga, fitness boot camp, Zumba, a dodgeball tournament now in its sixth year, a rewards program that marks 30-, 45- and 60-day uses of the fitness center with small prizes, and an obstacle-course event last year that has morphed into a “Zombie” Run event this year. The latter three were created with the inspiration of former students Ashley Valentine, Joe Debar, and Alicia Wimmer.
Accardi interacts with work-study employees in a way that makes them feel like colleagues, not “underlings,” Stevenson said, describing how that includes encouragement and praise, recognition of hard work, and at times, a push to press on in spite of challenges.
“I gained determination and integrity to achieve any goal I set for myself from Jon’s leadership. With these experiences, I have achieved a higher understanding not only of what it means to work hard, but how to motivate others to do the same,” Stevenson said, calling him one of her greatest mentors. “I know that I’m a better person because of it, and anyone working under Jon in the future will be, too.”
Halie Squires ’13 has worked in the Office of Admissions as a student ambassador for a year-and-a-half. In that time, her work-study supervisor, Tom Jackson, marketing and administrative manager for traditional admissions, has made her believe her role is valuable.
“One of Tom’s main goals in the office is to ensure that the student ambassadors know we are part of the collective whole of the admissions staff,” said Squires, a senior occupational science major. “This is one of his most important roles as our supervisor. He also provides guidance and support to the administrative assistants within the office, ensures prospective students will have a great visit to campus, and collaborates with everyone on campus.”
According to Squires, Jackson also tries to have the student ambassadors connect what they’re learning in class to what they try to achieve in their work-study role.
“During our staff meetings, he encourages us to incorporate our skill sets and background into our tours and interactions with prospective students and their families,” said Squires. “Tom encourages us to work together, ask questions, and be part of a team so that students enjoy their visit to the fullest potential, and make the admissions office run smoothly.”
Squires admits that the admissions office can sometimes be a difficult and stressful place to work, since what needs to be accomplished must be accurate, organized, and completed in a timely manner.
“Tom reassures us that yes, while the work can be challenging at times, it is rewarding,” said Squires. “He knows how to keep us motivated and working toward the goal of admissions—finding students who will enjoy the Keuka College experience. He will tell us, ‘Remember when you’re walking on campus, and see people you took on tour who are now enrolled as Keuka College students? Isn’t that worth the work?’”
Added Squires: “Tom is a wonderful addition to the admissions office, and a phenomenal work-study supervisor. Without him in the office, I am not so sure things would run as smooth as they do.
Rachel Dewey, communications specialist in the Office of Communication and Keukonian co-adviser, was nominated by Danielle Petrilli, editor of the student newspaper.
“Even with her own hectic schedule, Rachel is always willing to talk with the Keukonian staff if they have any concerns with changes made, or if they have questions about how to interview or get in contact with Keuka staff and faculty,” said Petrelli.
Petrilli preaised Dewey for Rachel always having a “welcoming spirit” and being ”eager to help in whatever way she possibly can, whether it be story ideas, or how to approach a story lead.
“No one deserves this [award] more than her; she is the most flexible person, and is always willing to set up a time that works for us, as well as keeping me informed of her schedule so I don’t just drop in and have her be gone. Rachel keeps us on track, but also allows us to do our jobs without hesitation.”
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.
The requests were simple: a teddy bear, a baby doll, books, CDs, puzzles, pajamas, and slippers.
And for the 46 residents of Penn Yan Manor Nursing Home, these requests—and more—were fulfilled by 23 members and advisers of Keuka College’s Student Senate and Sigma Alpha Pi Honor Society.
“Heather Reed, activities director at the nursing home, contacted me and asked if we had any student groups interested in pairing up with Manor residents,” said Eva Moberg-Sarver, director of student activities. “Britani Pruner, a junior English major from Penneville and president of Student Senate, jumped at the chance to help. She then worked with members of Sigma Alpha Pi, who volunteered to co-sponsor the event.”
Erica Piedmonte, a senior management major from Auburn and secretary of Sigma Alpha Phi, assisted in the delivery of the gifts.
“My mother made two of the residents two hand-knitted scarves each, and I gave them everything they requested,” she said. “I think this was a great opportunity to give people some Christmas spirit.”
Madeline McColgin, a junior unified childhood/special education major from Penn Yan, liked adopting a resident “because I work in a group home, and I know how the residents feel when they do not get Christmas and do not get to see their families. Each resident said ‘thank you’ to me and you could tell they were filled with joy from having us there.”
After speaking with each of the residents, Reed sent over paper angels with gift ideas, according to Moberg-Sarver.
“The residents’ wish lists were heartwarming,” said Moberg-Sarver. “Some of them offered to share gifts with their spouse who was also at the Manor, or asked for donations to local places in need for the holidays. Each student was able to take an angel and choose gifts according to these wishes.”
Piedmonte bought things like holiday pins, blankets, books, and calendars, while McColgin gave her resident a blouse, earrings, and a CD. Stephen Funk, a junior psychology major from Homer, donated money to Milly’s Pantry in honor of his resident.
“She was so pleased with this kind gesture she had a thank you card written for Stephen before we left the building,” said Moberg-Sarver. “One student purchased a baby doll for a resident who never had one growing up.”
Carlie Ellison, a senior occupational science major from Belfast, “felt great after leaving Penn Yan Manor. I felt like I had made someone’s day, and it made me feel a little better about myself. It was great spending time with residents, hearing some of their stories, and seeing pictures of themselves and their families in their rooms.”
Another highlight of the gift delivery for Piedmonte was being able to “sit down with one of the residents I bought for and having a long talk with her.”
Ellison “would like to do it for holidays throughout the year.”
Other students who participated in the delivery included Meghan Marks, a senior childhood education major from Horseheads; Jeff Miller, a sophomore occupational science major from Bloomfield; Becky Allen, a sophomore childhood/special education major from Oxford; Taylor Smith, a junior occupational science major from Webster; and Bridgette Fletcher, a junior psychology major from Walton.
What do a box of crayons, a bag of pepperoni, Flo of Progressive Insurance fame, a prom-going zombie, the Ball Hall tower, and a fox have in common?
They were all characters who won the annual Halloween costume contest held on the Keuka College campus Wednesday, Oct. 31.
Tracy McFarland, associate vice president for student development, portrayed the crayon box, while Eva Moberg-Sarver, director of student activities; Eric Detar, chaplain; and resident directors (RD) Kevin Perry, Tim White, Rebecca Capek, Margeaux DePrez, and Kelsey Deso posed as the crayons.
McFarland and her colorful crew earned first place in the group category.
Junior Ariel Scott (zombie), an organizational communication major from Unadilla, received the top prize in the scariest category, while the most original prize went to Amanda Burlingame, a senior adolescent mathematics/special education major from Keuka Park, for her portrayal as Flo.
The top costumes in the male and female categories went to Nathan Calabria (the fox), and Jennie Snyder (pepperoni). Calabria and Snyder, part of the D.R.I.V.E. program, earned $30 each for their efforts.
For staff and faculty, a Halloween hat contest with desk-to-desk competition, was held. Human Resources Manager Sue Delyser, earned bragging rights with her ‘hat’—the Ball Hall tower.
Each contestant received a gift certificate to the Terrace Café courtesy of AVI Fresh, the College’s food service provider.
Editor’s Note: This is the second 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 Kathy Waye, executive director of alumni and family relations, the Office of Alumni and Family Relations at any college or university plays an important part in the success of the institution.
So it is “vital” that the students who work in that office are great ambassadors for Keuka, she said.
There is no doubt in her mind that senior Ron Burd fits the criteria. That’s why she—along with Terry Finger, office manager for the Office of Alumni and Family Relations and Eva Moberg-Sarver, admissions event coordinator—nominated Burd for the Student Employee of the Year award.
Burd, a political science/history major from Penn Yan, has worked for the alumni and family relations office for two years.
“Our alumni, families, and community members really enjoy their interaction with Ron,” said Waye. “He is great at multi-tasking projects which is necessary in our office. He always gives 110 percent to any project that he is given.”
Burd is responsible for answering questions, running reports, typing, filing, planning and working special events, and contacting alumni, families, and community members.
“When his projects are complete, he doesn’t hesitate to see if someone else in the office needs assistance, a true sign of a team player,” said Waye.
“What makes Ron even more special is he also works for admissions,” said Moberg-Sarver. “Ron originally started working for admissions over his January break in 2010 as a student ambassador, helping us with special events, and evening and weekend visits. During that time he became far more than an employee for six weeks. He was hired as a summer employee last year and has been asked to return again this year.”
While working in admissions, Burd’s primary responsibilities include answering questions, making phone calls, giving tours, and sending mailings. But most importantly, says Moberg-Sarver, he helps students feel comfortable during their campus visits.
“He is always willing to help in any way that he can,” said Moberg-Sarver. “He is a dependable and wonderful resource for students who are looking at Keuka.”
Fingar says she “can’t emphasize enough that Ron is a congenial and reliable person. He wants to make a difference with his life, and you can sense his confidence and genuine expectation to succeed.”
“He is committed and willing to give his best in everything in which he participates,” she said. “He shows great drive and initiative, he delights in the work he does, and he completes the work in a highly professional manner.”
According to Moberg-Sarver, Burd is considered a valuable member of both staffs.
“Not only is he remarkably prompt and reliable in performing his various duties as a student assistant and student ambassador, he goes beyond his job descriptions in many ways,” she said. “He doesn’t hesitate to make suggestions to make the projects in each office a success.”
Waye says Burd takes challenging courses and excels in them.
“He has made the Dean’s List, and values learning for learning’s sake,” she said. “He is an excellent student who is always willing to help a classmate when needed. His demeanor makes him very approachable.”
In addition to his academics and work-study positions, Burd is active in several extracurricular activities including Student Senate, the Political Science and History Club, and the Multicultural Student Association (MSA), which he serves as vice president. He is a starter on the men’s soccer team and is a member of the Health and Fitness Club, Intramural Advisory Board, and the Sociology, Criminology, and Criminal Justice Club.
Added Waye: “Ron is one of those students that you know will make a difference in the world. We are excited to see what he achieves. The sky is the limit for this young man.”
Editor’s Note: This is the second 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.
According to Eva Moberg-Sarver, admissions events coordinator, it is rare that one encounters a student like Megan McGowan.
Moberg-Sarver is so impressed with the senior occupational therapy major and Batavia resident, that when the request came for student ambassadors to give campus tours to the final presidential candidates, McGowan was the first name that came to mind.
“Megan not only knows her facts about Keuka, and what makes this small school on the lake special, but her passion for what Keuka offers students is clear,” said Moberg-Sarver. “She knows how to connect with potential students, and always follows up on their questions. That is something many visiting families comment on during campus interviews and campus visit evaluations.