The healing power of laughter was the theme of the third annual administrative professionals luncheon held at Keuka College Tuesday, April 2.
While Administrative Professionals Week isn’t until April 21-27, Keuka held its luncheon during the College’s spring break to accommodate a larger attendance.
The featured speaker was Dr. Catherine “Dr. Kate” Ansuini, chair of the Department of Health and Wellness at Buffalo State College. She spoke on “You’ve Gotta be Kidding Me! The Healing Power of Humor” to some 45 office support staff members.
“We have been trying to have Dr. Kate as the speaker for all three years we’ve had a luncheon,” said Diana Rockwell, administrative assistant for IT Services. “I took a seminar from her in the mid-1990s and always wanted to hear her speak again.”
According to Sue DeLyser, human resource manager, Ansuini is a nationally recognized keynote speaker and inspirational health and wellness professional.
“She is best recognized for her energetic and humorous delivery of accurate health and wellness information that is described to be both inspirational and motivational,” said DeLyser. “She is active within her field as an author, nationally recognized keynote speaker, grant writer and leader in her community.”
In keeping with the theme of the lunch, four models participated in a short skit based on the TV show “What Not to Wear.” DeLyser; Carol Sackett, library circulation supervisor; Sandy Miller, instructional resource coordinator in the Center for Professional Studies; and Lynne Heath, executive secretary for the Center for Professional Studies, modeled clothing that was wrinkled, mismatched, not appropriate for work, and stained. A final outfit displayed professionalism.
“We decided to have a skit for a little fun, and since it was during break and we could take a little more time [at the luncheon], said Paulette Willemsen, secretary for the Division of Education and Division of Social Work.
DeLyser said the College has celebrated Administrative Professionals Week as a way to say ‘thank you’ to the office support staff that assists administrators and faculty on campus. This year’s luncheon was sponsored by the Staff Advisory Council and Office of Human Resources.
Editor’s Note: This is the eighth in a series of profiles of new, full-time faculty members who have joined the Keuka community.
Robert Dischner loves being in the classroom and said it’s always been his dream to be a college professor.
The former director of learning and development for utility companies such as Niagara Mohawk and National Grid, joined the full-time Accelerated Studies for Adults Program (ASAP) faculty this year and sees many similarities between the corporate night classes he once led for utility company staffers and the ones he now teaches for Keuka management students in cohorts in Corning and Elmira.
Business experience was woven through his professional career, which includes nearly 30 years of human resources and professional development work. Dischner even had a brief stint as a stockbroker, before he landed his first teaching job: instructing company employees of Niagara-Mohawk in finance and accounting.
In addition to developing employees in technical disciplines, his department set up a corporate university that sought to expand the role of a traditional training department.
“We wanted to educate our employees, not train them, and doing that at night was the way the industry was headed. I didn’t realize at the time, but I was practicing, in a classic way, the model that Keuka has,” Dischner said of ASAP’s once-weekly evening classes, small-group cohorts, and modular format. “It’s a great way to do research and learn at the same time.
“I started off working in the field, then in the training department teaching and getting involved with major change initiatives,” added Dischner, who ultimately found himself in charge of technical training in gas and electric utilities, with approximately 80-90 people reporting to him. But the classroom called to him still.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science, a master’s in education, and a Ph.D. in education, all from the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB). While his dissertation was in education, it included a focus on business development and reinforced a passion for the difference between training and teaching, he said. (more…)
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