Jonathan Accardi, director of campus recreation and aquatics at Keuka College, received a double dose of good news Thursday (April 18).
After winning the College’s Work-Study Supervisor of the Year Award, Accardi learned he had also captured the Northeast Association of Student Employment Administrators (NEASEA) Supervisor of the Year Award.
The NEASEA’s Supervisor of the Year program begins at an institutional level and progresses to the regional level. The award was established to recognize the integral part that the supervisor plays in the education of a student employee. Supervisors act as mentors and provide education to their students not gained through the classroom. Students at colleges and universities across the region were asked to nominate supervisors they felt were especially worthy of recognition.
In all, 91 supervisors were nominated, including seven from Keuka, and 11 schools submitted their winner for consideration for the NEASEA award. Accardi bested winners from colleges in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, Pennsylvania, and West Virgina.
According to senior Samantha Stevenson, who nominated Accardi, he communicates continuously with student workers, is always open to comments or concerns, and freely shares his vision for future campus recreation programming. Stevenson called Accardi one of her greatest mentors. (more…)
Editor’s Note: Here is a look at the seven people nominated by students for the Work-Study Supervisor of the Year Award, which will be presented at a luncheon April 18.
According to international student Sini Ngobese ’15 of South Africa, College Chaplain Rev. Eric Detar creates a warm and positive work environment in the Center for Spiritual Life. With his kindness, generosity, compassion and patience, as well as light-hearted spirit, the rewards of working in the CSL office have extended farther than wages, she said.
The work shift begins with a heartfelt smile and greeting and a few moments to catch up and ensure that all is well, Ngobese said. It’s not simply a polite inquiry, she said, “but a genuine interest for my well-being which, as a student who is an ocean and continent away from home, helps me feel welcome, cared for and important.”
Each work shift has enabled her to learn positive skills that will benefit future workplace endeavors, she said. New tasks are explained with patience and stated in a conversational manner, rather than as commands. If ever a mistake is made, Detar never chastises, but rather empowers her how not to make errors in the future.
“He wholeheartedly praises the good, which helps me as the employee feel motivated, important, encouraged, enthusiastic and inspired,” she said, adding that, Detar’s personable demeanor and propensity to share laughter have helped instill a love for the job and a passion for contributions made to the department.
“As a result, I feel more a fundamental part of the office and its prosperity as opposed to a mere work-study employee. Consequently, I have a huge sense of pride for the office, its projects and events,” Ngobese said. However, she added that of all the great experiences gained as Detar’s office assistant, “the best reward of all is the awesome friendship we’ve established.”
A fun, sweet, helpful and friendly spirit are among the many positive characteristics of Eva Moberg-Sarver, director of student activities.
According to Lauren Esposito ’15, who works for Moberg-Sarver as a student activites and Campus Activities Board (CAB) assistant, “Eva brings fun and energy into the office” and has helped make it more exciting for Esposito to come to work each day.
“I have never seen her in a bad mood and she is always nice to everyone,” said Esposito. “She truly cares about the campus, especially the students. She challenges me to do better and work harder. She is my inspiration and I look up to her or advice, wisdom, cheering up and just nice conversations.”
Moberg-Sarver has been a “remarkable” addition to the Keuka community, Esposito said, and has put in hard work across the numerous areas of campus activities and events that she oversees. Through a positive personality, Moberg-Sarver gets others excited about happenings on campus and is herself, excited about what is happening.
“Her shining personality makes her more than worthy for this prestigious award,” Esposito said.
One of the first people sophomore Savannah Fuller ’15 met as a freshman was Valerie Webster, co-curricular transcript coordinator and community service coordinator. Fuller received the Experiential Learner of the Month Award as a high school senior in January 2011 and a partial academic fellowship to attend Keuka.
Knowing that completing at least 50 hours of community service was a fellowship requirement, Fuller, an occupational science major, kept Webster’s name in her head.
“I went into her office and was immediately greeted with enthusiasm and spunk,” said Fuller. “After volunteering at the office, she recommended that I apply for the community service advocate work-study position. Having a supervisor who is passionate about helping others makes being a community service advocate meaningful.”
Webster’s ”unrelenting dedication to her work-study students and enthusiasm for community service are the highly commendable,” said Fuller. “She told me there was always work to be done and that I was always welcome. Knowing this has made working in the office rewarding.”
According to Fuller, Webster “is always on top of the projects in which community service advocates are involved, and knows how to approach any problem we encounter, big or small. Even while on leave due to major surgery, Valerie made it a point to check up on the community service advocates and give us advice.”
Not only does Fuller count on Webster as a supervisor, but also as a friend.
“She is a mother figure to me,” said Fuller. “I count myself among the large number of students who know we can lean on Valerie when we are having a bad day, and are too far away from home to hug our own mothers. Her office is a safe haven when the stressors of college become overwhelming, and her guidance and support have allowed me to build important skills essential to success.”
While Emily Ekstrom ’13 has been TeamWorks! facilitator for just one semester, she said it’s the only work-study job she’s had that has challenged her and made her a better person. She gives a lot of the credit to her work-study supervisor, Molly McGuigan ’11, TeamWorks! manager.
“It is Molly’s first year in charge of the TeamWorks! program, and she has gone above and beyond any supervisor I have ever had on campus,” said Ekstrom.
As an education major, Ekstrom said her work-study job helped prepare her for the challenge of student teaching.
“A large component of this was Molly,” she said. “She helped me build my TeamWorks! facilitating skills so that I could bring them into the classroom for my students. She not only provided me with the materials, but ideas and advice on different lessons I could do with my students.”
Ekstrom said McGuigan provides a challenging work environment, and pushes the facilitators to go outside their comfort levels.
“Molly encourages us to grow as workers and students with a combination of classic team building activities and fresh ideas,” said Ekstrom. Even though TeamWorks! is a student-led program, Molly is there for moral support, which is always welcome when running a program. She knows just what to say to help us through, and I think she is not so much as boss, as she is an older sibling watching over your shoulder. She is there help us when we have a problem as well as celebrate our successes.”
Ekstrom said that whether she wants to chat about an upcoming program, grab a piece of candy, or just talk about a class, one of the best aspects of having McGuigan as a supervisor is her open cubby policy.
“A real benefit of knowing that Molly graduated from Keuka is that she knows what we are going through, and always has some insightful help when we are in a pickle,” said Ekstrom.
According to Samantha Stevenson ’13, who has worked under Jon Accardi, director of campus recreation and aquatics, for the past four years, Accardi has expanded campus intramural programs from just four sports to more than 30 different annual events that go beyond intramural competitions to include overall fitness and health.
“[Jon] does everything he can to try and get more of the student body involved and active in the Weed Physical Arts Center,” Stevenson said.
As a result, many of the new programs or events introduced under Accardi’s tenure were launched by work-study students. Some of these events include yoga, fitness boot camp, Zumba, a dodgeball tournament now in its sixth year, a rewards program that marks 30-, 45- and 60-day uses of the fitness center with small prizes, and an obstacle-course event last year that has morphed into a “Zombie” Run event this year. The latter three were created with the inspiration of former students Ashley Valentine, Joe Debar, and Alicia Wimmer.
Accardi interacts with work-study employees in a way that makes them feel like colleagues, not “underlings,” Stevenson said, describing how that includes encouragement and praise, recognition of hard work, and at times, a push to press on in spite of challenges.
“I gained determination and integrity to achieve any goal I set for myself from Jon’s leadership. With these experiences, I have achieved a higher understanding not only of what it means to work hard, but how to motivate others to do the same,” Stevenson said, calling him one of her greatest mentors. “I know that I’m a better person because of it, and anyone working under Jon in the future will be, too.”
Halie Squires ’13 has worked in the Office of Admissions as a student ambassador for a year-and-a-half. In that time, her work-study supervisor, Tom Jackson, marketing and administrative manager for traditional admissions, has made her believe her role is valuable.
“One of Tom’s main goals in the office is to ensure that the student ambassadors know we are part of the collective whole of the admissions staff,” said Squires, a senior occupational science major. “This is one of his most important roles as our supervisor. He also provides guidance and support to the administrative assistants within the office, ensures prospective students will have a great visit to campus, and collaborates with everyone on campus.”
According to Squires, Jackson also tries to have the student ambassadors connect what they’re learning in class to what they try to achieve in their work-study role.
“During our staff meetings, he encourages us to incorporate our skill sets and background into our tours and interactions with prospective students and their families,” said Squires. “Tom encourages us to work together, ask questions, and be part of a team so that students enjoy their visit to the fullest potential, and make the admissions office run smoothly.”
Squires admits that the admissions office can sometimes be a difficult and stressful place to work, since what needs to be accomplished must be accurate, organized, and completed in a timely manner.
“Tom reassures us that yes, while the work can be challenging at times, it is rewarding,” said Squires. “He knows how to keep us motivated and working toward the goal of admissions—finding students who will enjoy the Keuka College experience. He will tell us, ‘Remember when you’re walking on campus, and see people you took on tour who are now enrolled as Keuka College students? Isn’t that worth the work?’”
Added Squires: “Tom is a wonderful addition to the admissions office, and a phenomenal work-study supervisor. Without him in the office, I am not so sure things would run as smooth as they do.
Rachel Dewey, communications specialist in the Office of Communication and Keukonian co-adviser, was nominated by Danielle Petrilli, editor of the student newspaper.
“Even with her own hectic schedule, Rachel is always willing to talk with the Keukonian staff if they have any concerns with changes made, or if they have questions about how to interview or get in contact with Keuka staff and faculty,” said Petrelli.
Petrilli preaised Dewey for Rachel always having a “welcoming spirit” and being ”eager to help in whatever way she possibly can, whether it be story ideas, or how to approach a story lead.
“No one deserves this [award] more than her; she is the most flexible person, and is always willing to set up a time that works for us, as well as keeping me informed of her schedule so I don’t just drop in and have her be gone. Rachel keeps us on track, but also allows us to do our jobs without hesitation.”
Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of profiles of Student Employee of the Year nominees. The winner will be announced at a luncheon Thursday, April 18.
Two years ago, when Jon Accardi, director of campus recreation, was looking for a senior supervisor for intramurals, he didn’t have to look far.
Accardi turned to Travis Simmons, an intramurals student employee and participant. He said selecting Simmons as senior supervisor was an “easy decision.
“Travis possesses enthusiasm, commitment and natural leadership ability, all of which played a key role in the tremendous growth intramurals experienced,” said Accardi.
Accardi says the program reached an all-time high of 47 percent participation from the student body in 2011-2012. The program is on pace to reach more than 50 percent in 2012-2013.
These stats are just one reason Accardi nominated Simmons, a business management major from Norwich, for Student Employee of the Year.
“I absolutely believe there is a direct correlation between the success of the program and Travis’ abilities as a staff supervisor and event manager,” said Accardi. “At games and events, Travis goes above and beyond by greeting participants and spectators, which helps shape a fun and friendly atmosphere. He is the face of intramurals.”
Simmons, who supervises a staff of 18 referees and scorekeepers,” is the most well-rounded, talented, dedicated, and trustworthy student employee I have had. He is always the first one to show up and the last to leave for events.”
Accardi says Simmons has set a new standard for his position, and he is always looking for new opportunities to learn more and improve the program. For example, Simmons asked to assist with the student-employee evaluation process.
“He viewed the additional work as an opportunity to learn how to evaluate someone, as well as provide and obtain feedback,” said Accardi.
According to Accardi, Simmons extends his commitment to the intramurals program through his service on the Recreation Advisory Board, helping refine the current program and generate new ideas to keep things fresh and exciting.
Simmons plans to pursue a career in collegiate recreation and intramurals.
“The positive experiences he’s had as a work-study student in our office has led him toward that path,” said Accardi. “He is a prime example of the importance and value of the work-study program. It is this type of hands-on experience that will prepare Travis for success in the real world.”
Forty-nine faculty and staff members were recognized for their service and dedication to Keuka College at Community Day Aug. 20.
Five-year service awards were presented to: Eva Moberg-Sarver, director of student activities/associate director of New Student Orientation; Doreen Hovey, executive assistant to the vice president for academic affairs; Jonathan Accardi, director of campus recreation; Christopher Leahy, associate professor of history; Andrew Robak, assistant professor of chemistry; Patricia Mattingly, assistant professor of nursing; Jennifer Mealy, assistant professor of social work; Kimberly Fenton, interlibrary loan librarian; Joshua Ficks, manager of TeamWorks!; Judy Gilmartin, administrative programmer; John Locke, director of instructional design and multidisciplinary studies; Kathleen Snow, academic skills counselor; Marjorie Multer, administrative assistant, admissions; Julie Burns-Percy, assistant professor of social work, Accelerated Studies for Adults Program (ASAP); Jessica Noveck, student services representative; Chevanne DeVaney, director of multicultural affairs; Teri Spoor, IKON site manager; Craig Gelder, manager, Follett Bookstore; Terry Reape, dining services; Korey Goodman, dining services; Steven Riekofski, maintenance; and Sue Morse, housekeeping.
Ten-year service awards were presented to Tim Sellers, associate vice president for academic affairs; Vicki Smith, chair and professor of occupational therapy; Tom Tremer, chair and professor of criminology/criminal justice; Anna Decker, secretary, education graduate studies and administrative assistant, Lightner Library; Sharon Tyler, associate professor and librarian; and Susan DeLyser, human resource manager.
Fifteen-year service awards were presented to Jean Wannall, professor of occupational therapy; Anne Weed, vice president of academic affairs; Brad Turner, technical support technician; Kathy Waye, executive director of alumni and family relations; and Kasey Klingensmith, professor of biology.
A 20-year service award was presented to Jeff Bray, assistant director of athletics and head athletic trainer.
Twenty-five year service awards were presented to Doug Richards, chair and professor of English; and Sherry Fox, accounts payable.
Thirty-year service awards were presented to Tom Carroll, professor of chemistry and physics; and Joan Magnusen, professor of biology.
Merit awards were presented to: Laura Alfieris, assistant director of admissions; Carroll; Rachel E. Dewey, communications specialist; Kathleen Hastings, assistant director of admissions counseling; Jennie Joiner, assistant professor of English; Kelly Lickert, head coach, women’s lacrosse; Eugene Mont, resident director, Ball Hall and retention counselor; Tim White, resident director, Blyley and Harrington Halls and retention counselor; and Penny Webber, office manager for Academic Success at Keuka (ASK).
Two Presidential Awards for Sustained Outstanding Achievement were presented to Christen Accardi, marketing manager, ASAP; and Tracy McFarland, associate vice president for student development.
By Ryan Nichols ’12
Rarely is there an idea, concept, or craze that starts from one single person and spreads to the masses in a frenzy.
Snuggies, Beanie Babies, Twilight are some example. Now Zumba is sweeping the nation by storm and the Keuka Storm has joined the bandwagon.
“I love to just dance around, so I thought it would be a fun way to exercise,” said Jessamine Qualman ’13. “Zumba is a fun way to get people who may be intimidated by the gym, or who don’t know exactly what to do, moving and exercising. It is a fun, organized way to get people active and bring them together with a common goal.”
Zumba has its roots in Latin dance and fitness programs. The originator, fitness instructor Alberto “Beto” Perez, created Zumba in the 1990s in his native country of Columbia. One day he forgot the aerobics music for a fitness class and all he had was his traditional Latin salsa and merengue. So, he had to improvise.
Keuka got caught up in the Zumba craze last semester when classes taught by Billie Rizboskin ’14, began. Rizboskin started Zumba in her hometown of Waverly two years ago.
Rizboskin met with Director of Campus Recreation and Aquatics Jon Accardi and offered to instruct the class herself.
“I love Zumba; I didn’t care if I was not paid,” she said. “I just wanted classes.”
Apparently, so did many others.
“I was shocked. Back home there is generally about 20 people who participate. The first two Mondays [at Keuka] we had more than 100 people attend. When I started the music, people began cheering,” she said.
“Most schools offer group exercise programs. We want to offer options and Zumba is a stepping stone for finding out what interests the Keuka population,” says Accardi.
Until the recent addition of the auxiliary gym, Keuka did not have the space to do offer group exercise programs.
According to Accardi, he has received many e-mails about Zumba and all have been positive.
“People are excited about it and want more classes offered – apparently, two are not enough,” he explained, ” and everyone loves Billie.”
Accardi said that a survey about fitness programs sent to members of the campus community revealed that Zumba was the most sought-after fitness class. Others that were mentioned: yoga, turbo kick, boot camp, and pi-yo, a blend of Pilates, yoga and toning movements.
The majority of people taking Zumba classes are women, said Accardi, although some males have taken part. Zumba has attracted students who do not participate in intramurals and faculty and staff as well.
“I was thrilled it was being offered on campus because I live locally and it worked out to be a good time,” said Visiting Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy Holly Preston. “I had been craving an outlet for relieving the stress of being a new professor. Zumba is a great workout and a lot of fun.”
Preston believes that more faculty and staff staff will get caught up in the Zumba craze.
“There were some new people who tried it toward the end of the semester and plan on continuing in the spring. I know of others who would like to participate, though scheduling is an issue,” said Preston, who would like to see an introductory Zumba session for faculty and staff.
Accardi and Rizboskin are hoping to offer offer at least three classes this semester. For now, classes are held Mondays and Wednesdays, 6- 7 p.m., Accardi said.
A Zumba-thon for charity is also in the works, according to Rizboskin.
“Zumba-thons are when people dance for a certain amount of time, and they raise money for a variety of charities, for example Party in Pink, and Party Hearty (heart disease),” she explained. “You can combine with vendors and hold raffles or auctions. I’m thinking of doing one for three hours.”
Zumba classes will be held every Monday and Wednesday at 6pm in the Auxiliary Gym at Keuka College.
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