Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of profiles of 2014 Work Study Supervisor of the Year nominees. The winner will be announced at a luncheon Thursday, April 17.
When considering candidates for the Work Study Supervisor of the Year, there is only one name that comes to the mind of sophomore Ben Schreiber—Sports Information Director John Boccacino.
The management major from Rochester began working last spring as a sports information assistant and nominated Boccacino for the Work Study Supervisor of the Year Award because he believes Boccacino is a great role model, and is everything he would like to see in a future boss.
“John really allows all of us to feel like a major part of the staff, and makes the sports information department a desirable department of employment,” said Schreiber. “That’s why when John sends out a text message or an email asking me to work, I immediately jump at the opportunity.”
Schreiber said Boccacino “gives every student employee a game day responsibility and allows us to take care of that task without looking over our shoulder the whole time,” said Schreiber.
According to Schreiber, some of the game day responsibilities could include running the video at a game, being a spotter, or doing stats “a very challenging task,” each employee must pay full attention to the sporting events at all times.
Even so, Schreiber said Boccacino “always finds time to make sure questions are answered and the department is running smoothly through the entirety of a sporting event,” he said. “John is always there with some form of guidance, whether it is solving a simple problem like a video connection or helping an employee catch up with the statistics of the game. He makes sure each employee is challenged and truly given the opportunity to make an important contribution to the sports information team.”
Schreiber said that “not only do I get to be around sports, which I love, but John has also taught me a lot of skills I will be able to use elsewhere—including responsibility for my actions and my work, communication skills, and a need to be punctual.”
Said Schreiber: “I can only hope that I am either able to work for someone like John again, or get to lead a group of employees the way John leads the sports information department. John is respectful, understanding, and most importantly, he helps all of his employees improve at their jobs every day. I have the utmost admiration for John not only as a supervisor, but as a person.”
Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of profiles of 2014 Student Employee of the Year nominees. The winner will be announced at a luncheon Thursday, April 17.
When Sports Information Director John Boccacino came to Keuka College in August 2011, there was no social media presence for Keuka College athletics.
But thanks to Lee Bottoni, a junior unified childhood education major from Prattsbugh, that has all changed.
“Lee knows how to draw people to Keuka College athletics through our social media pages, and his efforts are a major reason why our brand has grown tremendously on social media in the last two years,” said Boccacino.
Just check the numbers.
“Lee is responsible for providing constant in-game updates from our home games during the different seasons, and through his hard work and dedication, we have grown our social media presence from nothing two years ago to 732 followers on Facebook, and 511 followers on Twitter,” said Boccacino.
Bottoni provides in-game updates on the Keuka College Storm’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, which Boccacino said are similar to those being produced at Syracuse University, the University of Florida and other larger schools and universities.
“Lee has been a huge help in transforming the sports information shop into what it currently is—an informative, multi-media friendly department that constantly produces high-quality stories, photo galleries and video stories on our 17 sports teams, and our hundreds of student-athletes,” said Boccacino.
According to Boccacino, Bottoni is always trying to think of new ways to promote the Keuka College sports teams and student-athletes.
“One way is with his in-game social media updates. Lee never misses a beat and is quick to highlight a particularly impressive accomplishment,” said Boccacino, “such as when Jessica Bandrowski eclipsed 1,000 career points or Danielle Gravel became the school’s all-time leader in made three-point baskets this winter.”
But it’s not just Bottoni’s in-game highlights or quick thinking that impresses Boccacino.
“He has also shown an ability to step in and handle the public address duties when needed,” he said. “At the scorers’ table, it is important to present a professional atmosphere during our home games, something similar to what you would see at a professional sports game.”
Added Boccacino: “Lee has an outstanding ability to handle a lot of work in a short period of time. He is always willing to show up and work hard at whatever task he is charged with. He definitely represents the best that Keuka College’s student-workers can accomplish. Without Lee, my job would be a lot harder.”
Seventeen faculty and staff members were recognized for their service and dedication to Keuka College at Community Day Jan. 28.
Five-year service awards were presented to: Wendy Gaylord, dean for China programs; Penny Webber, office manager for Academic Success at Keuka (ASK); Katie Marcella, head women’s basketball coach; Vicki O’Connor, assistant professor of social work; and Dennis Hoins, general manager of facilities.
Ten-year service awards were presented to: Linda Park, librarian and director of Lightner Library; Pam Jennings, academic skills counselor for ASK; and Jan Enos, coordinator of international student services.
A 20-year service award was presented to Jackie Robinson, secretary of the Division of Basic and Applied Social Sciences.
Merit awards were presented to John Boccacino, sports information director; Eva Robbins, director of student activities; Tim Sellers, associate vice president for academic programs; Deb Gates, associate professor of nursing and chair, Division of Nursing; Carol Grover, controller; and Andy Hogan, manager of information and classroom technology.
Presidential Awards for Sustained Outstanding Achievement were presented to Anne Killen, associate vice president of Center for Professional Studies; and Jason Paige, head men’s lacrosse coach.
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.