Editor’s Note: Where can a Keuka degree take you? This is the eighth in a series of snapshot profiles on members of Keuka’s Class of 2013.
Halie Squires ’13 of Parish, N.Y., earned a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in occupational sciences and is continuing at Keuka to pursue her master’s degree in occupational therapy.
She’s currently completing the first of two 12-week fieldwork placements for hands-on experience in both traditional and non-traditional OT environments. Her current post is at a short-term rehab facility in Saratoga Springs, and when that concludes, she’ll return to campus for another semester of studies.
Squires said she is most thankful for the professionalism developed through Keuka’s Field Period program.
“After eight Field Periods or fieldwork placements, I feel as if I can carry myself with respect in a professional place of employment and communicate effectively and assuredly,” she said.
By Mary Leet ’16
When it comes to construction and renovation, especially within cities, it is tempting to do what is fastest and easiest without considering the long-term impact on the environment.
Unless, of course, Lu Engineers, a civil and environmental engineering firm, is involved in the project.
Gina Ferruzza ’14, an environmental science major from Penfield, discovered just how committed the firm is to the environment by conducting a Field Period at their Pittsford office this summer.
“We investigate, identify problems, and then make a plan with a contractor to excavate,” said Steve Campbell, Ferruzza’s supervisor and director of the Environmental Division.
He explained that each site is a commitment the firm takes on, because even post-excavation sites must be continually monitored for many years in case other problems arise.
Campbell’s division assists in areas such as bridge and highway design, natural resource assessment, and site design to optimize the use of safe materials and methods in construction and renovation projects.
Where previous Field Period experiences had Ferruzza working in a lab, she has received “training she can use wherever she goes” as a certified Hazmat transporter, according to Campbell.
“The people here were relaxed and very patient with me as I was learning, and they’re also very funny,” said Ferruzza.
She has compiled data reports, collected and sent samples, and evaluated— with the survey crews— if bridges were built with hazardous materials.
“It’s important to us that our students are here to learn, not making copies,” said Campbell.
At a recent site, Ferruzza helped take soil samples to identify where contamination in groundwater was coming from.
The knowledge Ferruzza has obtained from her work at real sites is something she notices even off the job.
“I was so impressed when we started going to survey sites that Mitch [a coworker from the survey department] could look and see right away that certain materials were present, but now, I can look and see them too,” she said. “Sometimes, when I’m driving with my mom, I’ll look at a truck and know that it contains a flammable liquid.”
With one Field Period requirement left, Ferruzza hopes to return to Lu Engineers in January to hone her new skills at even more sites.
After almost two years of modern-day “pen pal” communication via Skype, a number of Keuka College education majors finally met – in person – the Slovakian high school students they previously saw on the computer screen.
This group Field Period included education majors, taught by Dr. Denise Love and Dr. Klaudia Lorinczova, both assistant professors of education, and other Keuka students, including several visual and verbal art majors taught by Melissa Newcomb, assistant professor of art. The Keuka Field Period is a required annual internship or exploratory study of 140 hours.
Seventeen students, two faculty members and two parent chaperones traveled overseas in early June to visit the cities of Prague, Nitra, Bratislava and Vienna. Over 11 days, Newcomb directed students in photographic study of architecture and culture while Lorinczova led an exploration of Slovakian education and other unique social, political and cultural traditions of her home country and its European neighbors. Students had already gone through weeks of “pre-teaching” in advance of the trip, learning from Lorinczova a number of cultural anomalies to expect and reviewing a manual on basic digital photography with Newcomb, as well as gaining a basic understanding of architectural styles such as Baroque, Gothic or Rococo.
A last-minute foot injury kept Love confined at home, but ultimately, she was able to coordinate from the couch, helping the two professors “on the ground” navigate unexpected challenges almost as soon as they cropped up. The first biggie: severe flooding in many portions of Prague – the first stop on the trip –shortly after the group arrived. Love offered advice and assistance with the travel agency as the group moved around Prague and then on to other cities, and communicated with Newcomb and Lorinczova via daily Skype sessions.
All three professors recommended “an anchor” back home, given the benefits gleaned in this experience. The three professors had previously structured the trip to include student reflections in words and images, utilizing online blogs as electronic journals. The blogs proved a saving grace for worried parents back home who heard news reports of the flooding much earlier than the students themselves. And while students did post a few photos of flooded streets and commentary on dealing with nonstop rains, images of cathedrals, statues, gardens, public squares, restaurants and cafes far outnumbered them.
In the words of Sarah Hillman ‘13, a final, rainy day in Prague was salvaged with a spur-of-the-moment museum tour, where the whole group saw “paintings, sculptures, and other works from Alfons Mucha and Salvador Dali. They were great!” (more…)
Editor’s Note: Where can a Keuka degree take you? This is the third in a series of snapshot profiles on members of Keuka’s Class of 2013.
Emily Ekstrom ’13 graduated cum laude with a B.S. in education and has accepted a post as a special education teacher serving grades 3-5 at Holiday Park School in Phoenix, Ariz.
During her four years at Keuka, the Ashville, N.Y. resident participated in the Equestrian and Education clubs, worked as a lifeguard and also as a facilitator for the Teamworks! Adventure course, served on Student Senate and was vice-president of Sigma Lambda Sigma, Keuka’s college-wide honor society.
“Although I have never done a Field Period at the school, my previous Field Periods have helped,” she said, referring to Keuka’s required 140-hour annual internship. “As much as I hated the paper work, I loved my Field Periods and all the experiences I gained from them.”
Ekstrom’s prior Field Period internships included a third-grade inclusion classroom in Bowling Green, Va., a 4-H summer camp in Long Island, N.Y., a month in two different special education classrooms at Chautauqua Central School, and a fourth-grade classroom in Falconer, N.Y.
Ekstrom added that another bonus was the support from close personal ties at Keuka, such as those she found in the division of education, via a mentor affiliated with the Teamworks! Adventure course and the College chaplain.
Editor’s Note: Where can a Keuka degree take you? This is the first in a series of snapshot profiles on members of Keuka’s Class of 2013.
Jayme Peterson ’13 earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology and criminal justice and was hired by a private probation company, Intervention Inc., in Colorado less than a month after graduation.
According Dr. Janine Bower, associate professor of criminology and criminal justice, Peterson received the job offer after completing a semester-long internship this spring with a probation department in the 20th Judicial District, Boulder, Colo. During her time at Keuka, Peterson participated in a number of campus clubs, served as a tutor at Dundee Library and in the Academic Success at Keuka (ASK) office, was a member of the step team, and served on the Student Athletic Advisory Committee.
“This is exactly what I wanted to do after graduating college and the experience from my Field Period directly influenced my ability to obtain this job,” said Peterson, adding that she also received a job offer from one Field Period site, but turned it down because the position was partly volunteer.
The Gloversville resident said she most valued the ability to work closely with professors as an active learner and beleived Keuka’s small class sizes led to better discussions and more in-depth analysis of course material. In addition, Keuka’s Field Period program helped her practice how to research and apply for jobs, and develop confidence with professionals in her field, she said.
Conducting a 140-hour annual internship or exploratory study each year was “very valuable,” Peterson said, because it developed work experience prior to graduation and helped her confirm that working as a probation officer “was actually the right career path for me.”
By Mary Leet ’16
This year marks the 75th anniversary of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt’s influential visit to Keuka College.
The woman who inspired a nation visited Keuka College in the years leading up to World War II, and urged then President J. Hillis Miller to create a nursing program to support the war effort.
Erin Scott ’15, an adolescent education major with a concentration in English, worked to preserve the legacy of the former first lady this summer. She recently completed a Field Period in Washington, D.C. at the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project, an effort supported by the National Archives, National Endowment for the Humanities, and George Washington University, where it is housed. The group working on the project collects, accessions, transcribes, and annotates original material relating to the life of this impactful historical figure. There will be five volumes of these materials created in total.
The creator of the project, Editor and Principal Investigator Christopher Brick, spoke at Keuka in the spring of 2012 at the invitation of Assistant Professor of History Dr. Christopher Leahy. After hearing him speak in Leahy’s New York state history class, Scott attended his campus-wide program, where she learned the project accepted interns.
“I had previously done museum work at the Erie Canal museum [in Syracuse] and I wanted to take the opportunity to go somewhere new,” said Scott. “I really wanted to get out of my comfort zone.”
At the encouragement of Dr. Leahy and her adviser, Dr. Jennie Joiner, assistant professor of English, Scott applied for the program and was accepted. She stayed with Nancy Riker ’69 while in Washington, D.C.
In addition to all the typical curatorial and accessional work, each intern has what Scott calls a “pet project.” Hers is a civil rights timeline of Roosevelt’s work from 1953-1962. The rich timeline covers her strong relationships with Philip Randolph, W.E.B. Du Bois, and other leaders within the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
“She was majorly ahead of her time, especially with her involvement in the United Nations,” said Scott, who added that Roosevelt was also an instrumental figure in the founding of the Wiltwyck School, which educated poor African-American boys.
Documents included in the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project come from multiple places – including Japan through the National Association of Sciences – that demonstrate the true global impact Eleanor Roosevelt had in her time.
“In August the creators are going to Hyde Park,” said Scott, noting the New York town where the Roosevelts had a house.
Each “paper” is not actually collected, but a high quality digital photograph is taken and brought back for the team to read, annotate, and upload to the digital archive from which the books will be created. This can be a challenge, as Roosevelt’s handwriting can be somewhat hard to decipher.
Roosevelt was a high-profile delegate in her day, always by the side of her husband, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, during World War II. Scott supposes that she became a fixture to the American people, who were as fond of Roosevelt as she was of them.
“She wrote a My Day column, detailing what she had done and thought about each day. She also wrote a monthly If You Ask Me column, which answered questions sent to her from everyday people. She would give them advice, and follow up with them to make sure their problems were resolved,” said Scott.
Scott reiterated that her experience has been of great value to her, both academically and personally.
“I walked into this experience knowing about [Roosevelt’s] impact on the world, but working here brought her down to a human level for me,” she said. “I also learned that I really would like to get more involved in archival work, especially with the history of Keuka College.”
Scott’s experience has been chronicled at dear-dc.tumblr.com, where she has shared photos of her travels and daily video-logs, adding details about what she worked on every day.
If members of Keuka’s Class of 2013 are looking for inspiration as they enter the job market, they should check out Stephanie Lange, who was in their shoes just a year ago.
In her time at Keuka, Lange ’12 of Apalachin made quite a mark. While completing a double major in visual and verbal art and organizational communication, Lange helped found and lead an intellectual exploration group known as Tabula Rasa, worked as the graphic designer for the student newspaper, and completed a bronze sculpture installation of a red-tailed hawk as her senior art project.
Now she’s venturing into new ground in the arts, and landed what she calls her “dream job.”
In late January, Lange started work as the program coordinator for the Schweinfurth Arts Center in Auburn. She is now directing a two-week annual conference, “Quilting by the Lake,” for the non-profit in addition to helping promote the Arts Center’s five annual exhibits, communicating with corporate sponsors, and producing and designing the center’s newsletters and other marketing materials.
The annual quilt show convention, held each July on the campus of Onondaga Community College near Syracuse, features more than 30 quilting-related classes and lectures, a quilt show and specialty vendors. According to Lange, while traditional quilting styles and methods are featured, there is a focus on modern quilting techniques involving painting on the fabric and elements of geometry, all of which creates an artistic quality.
“It’s not like something my grandma does,” Lange said. “The precision required for quilting is difficult to master.”
Like others, Lange had been forewarned to expect great challenge finding a salaried, full-time position in the arts field and said that awareness had her raving to her family that this opportunity was amazing. Not only does she help stage exhibits – some in the same measurements she learned as a student assisting with shows in Keuka’s Lightner Gallery – but she can participate in art classes hosted by the Center, as well as meet artists and local residents through Schweinfurth’s special events. (more…)
A semester spent a traveling the Atlantic Ocean while visiting countries in Europe and South America, and daily observations of veterinary work garnered the top awards in experiential learning for senior Erica Rusio and freshman Lydia Watkins at the annual Honors Convocation ceremony May 4 at Keuka College.
During the fall semester, Ruscio sailed around the Atlantic Ocean on the MV Explorer, an 836-passenger floating classroom, as part of the Semester at Sea program.
“I went to 12 countries, took classes, attended seminars, navigated through unfamiliar cities and new experiences, and discovered new understandings of what it means to be human. It was the coolest thing I have ever done,” said Ruscio.
It also earned Ruscio, an English major from Rushville, the Upperclass Experiential Learner of the Year Award, which recognizes learning from Field Period, co-curricular involvement, and community service.
Nominated by Allison Schultz, international student adviser in the Center for Global Education, Rusico said she has taken learning far beyond the traditional four-walled classroom.
“As an English major, I love books, but they only tell half of the story,” she said. “The concrete experiences can’t be replicated, and can’t be doubled in a book.”
Ruscio said Keuka College and the Semester at Sea program share the same philosophy when it comes to learning: you learn more by doing.
For example, Ruscio said she didn’t just read in a book what South Africa was like, “I explored it myself and made friends there. I didn’t just see a picture of the native people of the Amazon; I spent the night in the jungle with them. I didn’t just read a statistic about poverty in Latin America; I played with the kids in the Argentine slums.”
Ruscio said that she now has more faith in the opportunity to try, take chances, make mistakes, and try again.
“Experiential learning, which embraces the whole person, is what I received from Keuka College and the Semester at Sea program,” she said. “I haven’t just ‘done’ this experience, I’ve become it.”
An active participant in the College’s Arion Players Drama Club and the Women’s Center Advocacy Club, Ruscio also serves as a TeamWorks! facilitator, editor of Red Jacket, and is a writing tutor. She also lends her time and talents to the Literacy Volunteers of Ontario and Yates Counties.
Watkins’ January Field Period at Southtown Veterinary Hospital in Montrose, Pa., solidified her career choice.
The Field Period also helped earn Watkins, a biomedical major from Springville, Pa., the Freshman Experiential Learner of the Year Award. The award recognizes learning from Field Period, co-curricular involvement, and community service.
Watkins, who has known since she was 10 that she wanted to be a large animal veterinarian, was nominated for the award by Andy Robak, assistant professor of chemistry.
“I nominated Lydia because she had a great first Field Period,” said Robak. “She had her first experience working in a small animal veterinary clinic, and built relationships with the people with whom she was working.”
And while the vets at Southtown Veterinary Hospital care for small animals, Watkins still “learned a lot of information about the veterinary field, and I cannot wait to have the V.M.D. in front of my name. By watching the vets, I expanded my knowledge and fine tuned my interests.”
Watkins was able to watch several procedures, including spays, neuters, ACL repair, bone surgery, and a splenectomy. Shortly after her Field Period ended, she was hired as a veterinary assistant. Watkins will work weekends, summers, and other times when classes are not in session.
Watkins said she “loved my Field Period, and now my job, but I still want to work with cows.”
Said Robak: “A lot of students will do similar Field Periods in vet offices, but rarely does it end up in a great relationship like she found. Lydia is also an excellent student, excelling in sophomore chemistry as a freshman, and is well on her way to veterinary school when she graduates.”
It’s a cold day in Buffalo, typical for this industrial city, which is dusted with a fine coat of snow. Traversing the numerous buildings and animal habitats at the Buffalo Zoo, but sporting warm and cheerful smiles, are Ashley Hager and Megan Hilsdorf, junior biochemistry majors at Keuka College.
Both put in 8-hour-a-day, 6-day work weeks for three weeks in January to conduct 140-hour, Field Period internships at the zoo. While Hager spent most of her time in the Reptile House, working in the Hellbendar (salamander) acquatics lab, Hilsdorf worked with primates, birds and other animals in the M&T Rainforest Falls exhibit. Both were exposed to sections of the zoo the public never sees, such as where specialized meals are prepared for each exhibit, animals receive any needed veterinary care, and babies are are kept until they are old enough to venture out into the display habitats.
Thanks to a relative of Hilsdorf’s who offered use of his Buffalo apartment for three weeks when he wasn’t going to be there, both girls were able to stay in the city and commute to the zoo each day for the internship, which is an annual part of every Keuka student’s graduation requirements.
“They’re so short-staffed, and they told (tell ok) us we’ve been a big help,” said Hager.
Josh Mead, a Keuka College junior from Hilton, had already done a good deal of career planning by the seventh grade.
Having an interest in sports, the young Mead wanted to be a broadcaster or sports journalist. Like many broadcasters and writers, Mead played sports in high school. He was a bowler and played baseball and has continued playing baseball in college—he’s a pitcher for the Storm.
“I decided to transfer [from SUNY Brockport] to Keuka for the baseball program,” said Mead. “But I also liked Keuka’s organizational communication program. I thought I could get the business aspects of broadcasting through classes while getting the hands-on experience with Field Period.”
And he was right. Thanks to a suggestion by his work-study supervisor, Sports Information Director John Boccacino, the organizational communication major pursued his January Field Period at WFLR radio in Dundee.
“I knew the passion Josh had for sports and for journalism, and I thought he could learn a lot about the radio industry by doing his Field Period with Lucas Day [WFLR's news and sports director],” said Boccacino. “Josh has a great mind for sports and knows how to tell a good story. I envisioned him contributing to the station’s day-to-day operations and assisting with live sports broadcasts.”
And that is exactly what Mead did.
“During my Field Period, I was able to do play-by-play and color commentary for Penn Yan and Dundee high school boy’s and girl’s basketball games with Lucas,” said Mead.
Mead introduced some new features into the broadcasts: key player, key match-up, and key play of the game.
“Lucas loved it and to me, it made the broadcast feel more like something you might hear on ESPN radio,” said Mead.
Day said Mead was a quick study.
“I can’t say enough about how prepared he was,” said Day. “Within a week, he was editing, recording, and producing on air. For him to step in and get on the air is a testament to his skill level and what he is learning in his Keuka classes. Josh displayed tremendous communication knowledge and carried himself well. I have always been impressed with Keuka College students and how well prepared they are when they come into an internship.”
While Mead was familiar with basketball, he admits to being nervous about trying to figure out when to interject his take on the game, “but once I did, it was a lot of fun.”
No stranger to radio broadcasting, Mead hosted a three-hour show at Brockport that included a two-minute sports recap each hour, “and because of that experience, I wasn’t nervous being on the radio at WFLR,” he said.
Among Mead’s other duties was converting live broadcasts from an MP3 format to a Windows Media Audio (WMA) format and then uploading it to the station’s website.
“This Field Period really confirmed that broadcasting is the career field for me,” said Mead.
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