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Snapshots of Our Adult Graduates

Editor’s Note: For adults interested in fitting a bachelor’s or master’s degree program around an already-busy work and home life, the Keuka College Accelerated Studies for Adults Program (ASAP) may offer the shortest route to reach their goal.  Here, five of our graduates describe the primary benefits of pursuing their respective degrees at sites across Western New York near where they live and work, and the steps they are taking into the future.

Heather Bock of Canandaigua, N.Y.
Major: M.S. in Management
Where she took KC ASAP classes: Finger Lakes Community College

Why she pursued her degree through our ASAP program: Getting a master’s degree was one of my life goals. After a recent promotion into management at work, I knew that I needed to prioritize that. As a full-time professional, I needed a program that would fit my schedule, while providing a fantastic education. The Keuka College ASAP MSM program offered me exactly what I needed to achieve my goals.

Notable highlights of her KC degree program: Seeing my hard work come together into a data-driven paper for the Action Research Project (ARP) was a form of personal validation that I had not experienced before. I am also passionate about my job so having a project that contributed to what I do each day motivated me.

Personal benefits? The course work exposed me to ethics, leadership, and business law, which I have been able to translate into my personal life. I use the theory discussed in the leadership course almost every day, both at work and at home.

Next steps: I will continue in the same position, but through completing my degree, I see lots of opportunity for growth in my career.

Matt Carpenter of Rochester, N.Y.
Major: M.S. in Criminal Justice Administration
Where he took KC ASAP classes: MCC – Damon Center

Why he pursued his degree through our ASAP program: I have been an active instructor at the police academy since 2008, and thoroughly enjoy teaching. The next logical step was to obtain my master’s degree. Another reason I returned to college was the personal satisfaction of achievement, and the hope to inspire my five daughters to never settle or make excuses against hard work.

Notable highlights during the program: I received the 2015 Rochester Area Colleges’ Continuing Education (RACCE) Outstanding Adult Student Award. My Action Research Project (ARP) directly related to work I do instructing in defensive tactics and helped me to better understand and explain portions of the police recruit training curriculum.

Next steps: I am looking for positions as an adjunct professor at local colleges and also looking for a Ph.D. program.

Shawn Lorraine Futch of Rochester, N.Y.
Major: B.S. Organizational Management (2014)
Where she took classes: MCC – Damon Center

Why she pursued a Keuka College degree through the ASAP program: This lifelong desire had been derailed by life’s challenges.

Notable highlights of her KC degree program: I have a higher standard in my personal work ethic now. Having six of my grandchildren at my graduation was another highlight. My grandson watched in awe. After the ceremony he told his mother he “came from a family of hard workers.”  We now have a family benchmark: everyone has to have at least a bachelors’ degree.

What she most valued in her Keuka College education?: I had a stroke two months prior to starting the program so this was a challenge because my speech and mental capacity had been affected. Having supportive teachers who were willing to work with me after hours when needed was a huge benefit and it contributed to my success.

Emily Grose of Horseheads, N.Y.
Major: M.S. in Nursing with a concentration in nursing education (2014)
Where she took KC ASAP classes: Arnot-Ogden Medical Center in Elmira, N.Y.

Why she pursued her degree through the ASAP program: After accepting a new position at work, I believed an advanced degree would help me excel and achieve future professional goals.  I have always been interested in nursing education, and the Keuka College ASAP program offered that component which many other online and hybrid programs did not.

Notable highlights of her KC degree program: My Field Period™ allowed me to put to use many of the techniques and concepts we had learned in class. I learned a lot about the nursing academia field, and I made connections with experienced nursing instructors who were eager and willing to share their experiences and be a resource for me both in and outside of the classroom.
I was also inducted as a Nurse Leader to Sigma Theta Tau National Honor Society

What she most valued in her KC education?  The experience and professionalism of all the professors.  They are all masters of their content areas and approachable, so I felt that I truly was learning from the best of the best. I also value the relationships forged with my cohort. I love that we all stay in touch and continue to support one another personally and professionally!

Personal benefits? The location and class times were easy for me to accommodate while working full-time and having a newborn at home.

Next steps: I have accepted a full-time position at Corning Community College as a clinical instructor and am very excited to start in the fall! The Field Period™ really helped me to realize that this setting was where I excelled. I am thrilled to be given this opportunity so soon after completing my degree.

Michelle McGlory Whyte of Canandaigua, N.Y.
Major: B.S. in Social Work (2014)
Where she took classes: Finger Lakes Community College

Why she pursued her degree through our ASAP program: As a stay-at-home mother of three young children, I was motivated to brighten the future of our family and be a role model in continuing education.

Notable parts of her KC degree program: The social work values taught throughout the program were extremely valuable. Returning to school as an adult and a parent felt like a daunting task, but the ASAP program made it practical.

What she most valued in her KC education? Flexibility, awareness of working adults and family along with some wonderful professors.

Next stepsI recently completed my MSW in an advanced standing program and currently work at the University of Rochester as a psychiatric therapist.


Snapshot of a Graduate: Nakita Simons ’14

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

Simons, left and fellow social work graduate.

Nakita Simons ’14 of Prattsburgh began a new job May 27 as a foster care caseworker for Steuben County Department of Social Services (DSS). The Prattsburgh resident first truly explored the social work field when she conducted her sophomore Field Period™ with DSS and had “a great experience,” Simons said.

The work went so well Simons applied for a high-profile BSW Child Welfare Scholarship from New York’s Social Work Education Consortium in her junior year. Winners of the scholarship are essentially guaranteed a two-year job as a child welfare caseworker with a county DSS agency and can also earn additional scholarship money for a master’s degree in social work, provided all goes well in a semester-long practicum during their senior year. Thanks to her 3.9 GPA and her record of stellar service in multiple volunteer and leadership roles outside the classroom, Simons not only landed the scholarship and job with Steuben County DSS but was named one of six student Social Workers of the Year for the Genesee Valley Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). She will be pursuing her MSW online through a program offered by Fordham University.

Simons said she found the College social work program faculty “really helped me to get the most out of my education. They were supportive and encouraging. They got to know you on a personal level and helped me to discover my passion and reach the goals I set for myself.”

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

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.


Snapshot of a Graduate: Dung Hoang ’14

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

Dung Hoang came to Keuka College from a partner school in Hanoi, Vietnam to pursue a degree in management with a minor in accounting. After graduation May 25, she moved to Anaheim, Calif. where she is now working as an accounting assistant for Business Expo Center, an events company.

Hoang’s student visa permits her a limited time after graduation to work in an off-campus job related to her field of study.

“Honestly, I feel that I am so lucky to get this job,” she said, adding her excitement at the chance to apply what she learned from her classes and gain even more experience in accounting. 

Her duties include processing and reconciling payments and other business transactions using a system based on the QuickBooks software, a popular accounting tool she’d never heard of until introduced to it in her Keuka College classes. Hoang conducted a Field Period™ with the California company over winter break and credits the real-world internship experience there for leading to her job offer.

“I love the way Keuka College requires us to take the Field Period™ every year, because we can apply what we learned from college in a real working environment, we support our future career,” she said, adding her thanks to her academic adviser, professors, Field Period™ supervisor and many friends who helped “lead me to the right way for my future.”

“I am so thankful for what I have today,” Hoang said. “I love the education here and I grew up a lot from this environment.”

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

Snapshot of a Graduate: Brian DelPino ’14

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

Brian DelPino ‘14 of Oneida earned his B.A. in biochemistry and will be heading to graduate school at the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York City this fall.

DelPino’s time at Keuka College included competing on the men’s cross-country team where he logged top-five team finishes in five of seven meets, during his junior year. DelPino’s top finishes included running an 8K in 35:08.72 in 2013, and a 6K Invitational race in 29:02.59 in October 2012.

Indoors, DelPino made his mark in the sciences, and for a final Field Period™, he worked with Rebecca Evanicki ’14 and Professor of Chemistry Tom Carroll to set up new high-tech lab equipment and write instruction manuals for state-of-the-art machines added to the third-floor analysis lab in Jephson Science Center over winter break. The four Perkin-Elmer machines enable student researchers to identify unknown substances in minutes when it used to take hours on paper.

DelPino said the biggest benefit of his Keuka College education was the ability to “become close with my professors and have the opportunity to get help or academic advice when I needed it.”

Once in New York City, DelPino plans to study one year in the Touro biomedical sciences program then pursue a Doctor of Osteopathy degree, which he said is similar to an M.D. but based in a different philosophy. Many patients may not realize their doctor actually holds an osteopathy degree, he said.

“I would go there for four years and then apply for a residency position for another couple years of training. I could be a pediatrician, cardiologist, surgeon etc.,” DelPino said. “Ultimately, I would love to specialize in surgery but it is hard to tell if that’s what I will end up doing. In terms a residency, which is after medical school, I am not sure where I will go. It’s a whole process of applying to hospitals and depends on your grades and test scores in medical school, but hopefully, if I put in the same amount of work I have here [at Keuka College], I will get into a competitive residency position.”

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