Editor’s Note: Where can a Keuka degree take you? This is the seventh in a series of snapshot profiles on members of Keuka’s Class of 2013.
Jose Cervantes ’13 was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco-Mexico, but grew up in Horseheads. With aspirations of working for Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) in its Madrid, Spain branch office, Cervantes earned a degree in business management with a marketing concentration and will pursue a second degree through Keuka: a master’s of management with a concentration in international business.
Cervantes played midfield on Keuka’s men’s soccer team in his junior and senior years after transferring in from Corning Community College, where he played as a sophomore. He’ll compete one more year for Keuka while grad school is underway. Indeed, sports have played a major role in the internship experiences Cervantes pursued through Keuka’s Field Period program. His senior year internship was conducted at Watkins Glen International Speedway.
“I benefited the most from the Field Periods,” Cervantes said of Keuka. “Having [job] experience before graduation is a great plus in the ‘real world.’”
While grad school is underway, Cervantes will branch out in his new role as restaurant chain supervisor at Garcia’s Mexican restaurant (his family’s business), where he will also oversee marketing.
To explore what might be in your future with a Keuka degree, request more information.
Editor’s Note: This is the fifth in a series of profiles on new, full-time faculty members who have joined the Keuka community.
Perhaps it’s fair to say that Angela Narasimhan is intent on expanding the borders of possibility, whether those borders be in political science, motherhood and family life, or long-held traditions about college education.
Indeed, Keuka’s newest assistant professor of political science went beyond borders to pursue her collegiate studies, moving from Washington, D.C., to Romania, where she spent a year in language school before earning her B.A. in political science from Babes-Bolyai (pronounced “Bobbish- Boyea”) University in Transylvania, Romania. That was followed by a master’s degree in political science from Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. And while her Ph.D. – also in political science – is from Syracuse University, Narasimhan maintains a particularly global view on American politics.
“I wanted to study post-communist transition, but I was very interested in American politics from an international perspective. My dissertation was on globalization and the Supreme Court, and how different American institutions are dealing with globalization,” she said, adding that her studies have also touched on American politics, public law and public policy.
“We have many individual rights. We have the strongest, most enduring constitution, and we’re very inclusive, very democratic. These are all important, unique things that many Americans take for granted,” she said. “At the same time, we also lag behind other countries in certain things, and there’s a lot of fear of globalization undermining American values. However, the world is increasingly interdependent. We have to deal with other countries on a more direct basis, and we’re expected to have a global set of abilities to compete.”
Prior to coming to Keuka, Narasimhan taught political science at Idaho State University and the Unversity of North Dakota. She and her husband, Kamesh, who hails from India, moved to be near her parents, who had retired to Central New York.
“I’ve been to more rural places than Keuka and Keuka is more diverse than some places,” she said. “Keuka has this international program reputation, so I was excited to come to a place where students do travel and get out in the world, but it’s not just traveling abroad. Once you work in a real-world environment, you start to understand the practical skills you can take away. I like that. I like to teach to the real world; that fits with my personality. Experiential learning is a contact back and forth between practical and theoretical and that’s how my academic pursuit has always been.”
Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of profiles of new, full-time faculty who have joined the Keuka community.
Back in the fall of 2006, Dr. Yang Zhao served as an academic adviser to four international students attending classes on the home campus in Keuka Park. Today, some 79 international students from 12 countries attend classes here, learning how to compare and contrast America with its global neighbors in background, economy, and leadership development.
This fall, after earning her doctorate and serving several years as an adjunct professor for Keuka, Zhao became part of the full-time faculty, teaching courses in economics and leadership to graduate students in Keuka’s Master of Science in management with a concentration in international business (MSMIB) program.
Her studies in China focused on economics, and she holds a B.S. in economics from Shangdong University of Finance and an M.A. in economics from Dongbei University of Finance and Economics. While teaching in China’s Qiqihar University, Zhao published seven research articles relative to strategic planning, management, marketing, economics and business to help entrepreneurs and companies to better serve their community. In 2003, she won the Outstanding Young Professor award, for the Hei Long Jiang province of China. During that time, she also served as an academic coordinator for the Keuka China Program (KCP) and assistant professor at Qiqihar University.
Here in the U.S., she has added an M.S. in management from Keuka, and just this summer, completed an education doctorate in executive leadership from St. John Fisher College. In addition to her many years of experience in international education, as a full-time and adjunct professor, Zhao has also spent seven years as a local business owner and entrepreneur working in property management. Her connection to the local business and community network, as well as related marketing and financial management skills, help provide what international learners and domestic students are looking for when they study at Keuka, she said.
“As a business leader, you have to understand the entrepreneur’s point of view, to understand how to help students start thinking as a future leader, not just a manager. That will help students to be successful in their career development,” Zhao said.
Editor’s Note: In terms of “What’s new at Keuka College,” the newest are 174 Vietnamese students who began pursuit of management science degrees Oct. 3 at the University of Science, Vietnam National University—Ho Chi Minh City (HCMUS), ITEC (International Training and Education Center). Assistant Editor Rachel E. Dewey conducted an interview with six of them via Skype and email.
Twenty-one year-old Tran Thi Phuong Khanh (“Khanh”) found much to love in the first week of classes at HCMUS.
“The professors are so friendly, and that makes me feel comfortable,” she said. Tran chose Keuka in order to study in an international environment that would make her confident, and provide realistic experiences, not just pages in a book.
“Yesterday, I learned about international experiential education,” she said, referring to Keuka’s reputation as the national leader in experiential, hands-on learning.
Like a handful of other new HCMUS students, Tran would like to finish her Keuka degree at the Keuka Park campus. After graduation, she hopes to become a public relations manager, in addition to organizing and promoting events.
Editor’s Note: The Keuka China Program (KCP) is a bona fide success story. From modest beginnings in 2002, KCP now enrolls some 3,000 students at four major universities [Tianjin University of Science and Technology (TUST), Jimei University (JMU), Wenzhou University (WZU), and Yunnan University of Finance and Economics (YUFE)] and five separate schools in China. Not only does Keuka College boast the largest enrollment of any American college or university operating in China, but the College’s alumni ranks have swelled by some 6,000 thanks to KCP. One of the key authors of the KCP success story is Administrative Chancellor for China Campuses Dr. Michael T.C. Hwang. It was Hwang and President Emeritus Dr. Joseph G. Burke who spearheaded the development of KCP and to mark the 10th anniversary of the program, I talked with Dr. Hwang about his personal and professional attachment to KCP.
KM: What was it about Keuka College that convinced you that this partnership could work?
MH: We had the same mission and vision to create excellent educational opportunities for Chinese students. I discovered that Keuka College was student-centered and valued experiential education, which meshed with the focus of my professional career. Our partner relationship is interdependent; like “I need you as much as you need me.”
KM: Back in the formative stages KCP, did you ever envision that Keuka College would one day be the largest provider of an American education in China?
MH: No, but I am not surprised that it has. Keuka came into China at just the right time. It is a trend of the times.
You don’t have to be a beauty queen to believe in yourself and your dreams.
That’s what Ngoc “Ruby” Nguyen, 21, of Hanoi, Vietnam believes. In her home country, Nguyen has modeled fashions for online magazines. She was also a student at Keuka’s partner school, the International School – Vietnam National University, Hanoi, choosing to study in Keuka Park about a year ago. Her modeling skills served her well last spring as coordinator of Keuka’s annual multicultural fashion show, sponsored by BAKU (Bearers of Ancient Kultures United). Yet while she certainly loves beautiful clothes, shoes and accessories, Nguyen says she is about much more than shiny hair, perfect skin or a fan club following.
That’s why she helped form the “I (Heart)* Me” Club at Keuka early this year. So far, some 34 people, including one man, have attended meetings where Nguyen and other members work together to build self-confidence, self-esteem and a positive mental image. Indeed, “Embrace Self-Esteem” is the motto for the club.
“So many girls don’t think they are beautiful. They have problems with image: not pretty enough, not thin enough, not good skin, not good hair,” she explains. “I think the media says, ‘You’re not good enough. You have to use this product or something to be beautiful.’ Why put yourself under such pressure?”
Nguyen says each meeting has a dual focus: tips on outer beauty are a part, yes, but a connection is always made to inner beauty, self-confidence and strength of character. (more…)
Several international students spent their Thanksgiving break (Nov. 24-28) touring New York City.
International student adviser Tracee Senti took a group of 13 to the Big Apple to “encourage the students to travel and see more of New York state.”
Students representing China, Vietnam, and Japan made the trip, and all but one are undergraduates. The other student is pursuing a master’s degree.
The group, which stayed at a hostel, toured Central Park, Times Square, Ground Zero, Ellis Island, art museums, the Statue of Liberty, and the Empire State building. (more…)
In some ways, the commencement address delivered by Dr. Gary Smith at Methodist College in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was typical of a graduation speech you would hear in the United States.
Like most commencement speakers, Smith, vice president of Keuka’s Center for Professional Studies, offered some sound advice. His was targeted at the importance of students “having a solid educational foundation in the liberal arts.”
On the other hand, his talk was atypical, in that he offered the graduates an opportunity to continue their studies at Keuka College with the support of scholarships.
The national leader in experiential, hands-on learning, Keuka College looks to become a global leader in the same right.
Toward that end, President Joseph G. Burke proposed establishing an Asian-Pacific International Forum of University Presidents on Career Management and Experiential Education while in China for nine days in June, participating in graduation exercises alongside Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Ginny Coombs.
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