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Touring London Through Literature

Editor’s Note: This is the fifth in a series of features on recipients of the Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Award. The award, named after the late 1963 Keuka graduate, is supported by Brown’s family and the Class of ’63. It is designed to assist students pursuing culturally-oriented Field Periods.

To Britani Pruner, college is more than just an education— it’s about creating experiences that will influence her for the rest of her life.

So when the Pennellville resident enrolled at Keuka, she told herself two things: every Field Period would be a challenging and new experience, and she would take every opportunity presented to her.

I have the chance to do both when I will travel to London,” said Pruner before she departed for the capital of England. “Becoming more culturally aware is a component I wish to add to my experience. As a junior English major, I have the opportunity to explore London through literature.”

She is participating in Literary London, a two-week course offered through Cayuga Community College. The course examines London through selected samples of English literature. Pruner will have the opportunity to tour such iconic locales as Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Globe Theatre, Windsor Castle, Tower of London, and walking along Fleet Street.

“Among my goals for this Field Period are to bring to life the words I’ve read in books,” said Pruner. “Many authors, such as Virginia Woolfe and Charles Dickens, have based their work in and around London. To be able to visit such influential places would add a beneficial layer to my understanding of literature.”

Through the course, Pruner will participate in tours, lectures, discussions and walks to deepen her understanding of the history, geography, and culture of the city. She will also attend theatre performances and visit literary-specific museums, including the Sherlock Holmes Museum, Dickens House, and Keats House.

Studying Spanish, Investigating Alzheimer’s Disease

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of features on recipients of the Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Award. The award, named after the late 1963 Keuka graduate, is supported by Brown’s family and the Class of ’63. It is designed to assist students pursuing culturally-oriented Field Periods.

For her Field Period, Katherine Kostuck is visiting several cities in Costa Rica and staying with a host family for two weeks

The junior occupational science major admits that living with a Spanish-speaking host family “will be exciting but challenging, as my Spanish could use some work around the edges. Living with them will teach me more about their culture first-hand and help develop my language skills.”

The Cortland resident is also taking a Spanish class.

“Being immersed in the culture will allow me to truly participate within it and come to appreciate everything it has to offer,” said Kostuck, before she left for Costa Rica. “I am excited to try the food and experience different customs. I believe this will be a life-changing opportunity.”

In addition to her Spanish classes, Kostuck will have the opportunity to visit volcanoes, rain forests, coffee plantations, hot springs, and gardens.

After Costa Rica, Kostuck will travel to Tacoma, Wash. and spend two weeks at Pioneer Place, an Alzheimer’s care center.

“My grandfather died of Alzheimer’s disease and when I was younger, I didn’t quite understand the disease, but I would like to,” said Kostuck. “This Field Period will allow me to better understand it by taking part in the patients’ daily activities. I intend to learn from the staff, as well as from the patients. I will not only take this knowledge into my occupational therapy classes, but also to the nursing home in which I volunteer in Penn Yan.”

Going to two different locations for her Field Period gives Kostuck “the opportunity to better understand other cultures. Everything I will experience on these trips will make me a better-rounded person. My brother and sister  both had the chance to travel abroad and they told me how much they had learned and what they learned about themselves. Now it’s my turn.”

Belize Beckons Brown Recipient

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of features on recipients of the Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Award. The award, named after the late 1963 Keuka graduate, is supported by Brown’s family and the Class of ’63. It is designed to assist students pursuing culturally-oriented Field Periods.

Junior Meghan Houlihan believes that choosing to pursue a major in criminology or law enforcement means you will deal directly with large cross sections of a diverse and global population.

She also believes that true multicultural experiences can only come from multicultural exposure.

To that end, Houlihan is completing her Field Period at Gallon Jug Community School/Casey Community School in Belize City, Belize.

“I have had the opportunity to travel before, and I believe my understanding of people in general has been broadened by cultural exposure,” said Houlihan, a criminology/criminal justice major from Elysian, Minn. “If you are entering the criminology or criminal justice profession, one important thing that you have to have in your back pocket is effective communication styles and skills.”

By having the opportunity to pursue a Field Period in a Third World nation, Houlihan intends to add to her communication skills, which she intends to rely on throughout her career.

“Few colleges have taken active interest in developing countries, so a Field Period like this puts Keuka in select company,” said Houlihan prior to her departure. “Developing an understanding for the underprivileged will allow me to stand out as I pursue my career.”

One of her goals while at Gallon Jug School is to study the socialization of youth in middle school, with a special focus on how teachers and school staff promote student success and respond to student misbehavior or deviance.

“With today’s increased mobility and the emergence of a global economy, a world view of educational systems is essential,” she said. “During my Field Period, I will work with children and adolescents who have diverse life challenges. I expect to gain insight into the basis for some of these difficulties.”

According to Houlihan, the country of Belize is “struggling economically, but filled with highly motivated people hoping to improve conditions there. It is my goal to use knowledge I have gained in my classes to help the kids and families I will meet.”

Hopping Through German History

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of features on recipients of the Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Award. The award, named after the late 1963 Keuka graduate, is supported by Brown’s family and the Class of ’63. It is designed to assist students pursuing culturally-oriented Field Periods.

For senior Diane DePrez, her interest in Germany began when she was in high school.

“We had exchange students from Germany come to our school, and I always wanted to learn more about the culture of a country that—on the outside—seems so similar to our own,” said DePrez, a resident of Fairport. “It has such a rich history and I am curious about so many things.”

DePrez is satisfying her curiosity this month during a Field Period in Deutschland.

“Many people are under the misconception that Germany is all about the two World Wars,” said DePrez before she left for Germany. “This is something I would like to dispel. As a political science and history major, I am especially interested in how Germany’s history and political system have affected its modern culture. One of the ways I will learn about these is to talk to Germans about their country’s history.”

DePrez’s itinerary called for a trip to Museum Island, so called for the complex of five internationally significant museums—all part of the Berlin State Museums—that occupy the island’s northern half.

“While in Germany, I will stay in hostels, which I have been told is a good way to meet people from all over the world,” said DePrez. “One goal while conducting my Field Period is to immerse myself in German culture and to see how it compares to America. I will travel throughout Berlin and Potsdam, and tour many sites significant to German culture and history.”

DePrez says this Field Period “will provide me with the opportunity to learn more about Germany’s history through guided tours, as well as visiting museums and historic sites,” she said. “One of the places I will visit is the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, a damaged tower that is a symbol of Berlin’s resolve to rebuild the city after World War II and a reminder of the destruction of war.”

Added DePrez: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I am excited to learn all I can from the people, food, and culture of Berlin.”

Down Under with the Animals

Not just any old zoo will do. Nope. Janelle Davidson headed halfway ‘round the world to get an up-close-and-personal look at the kangaroos, wallabies, and other exotic animals at Sydney Wildlife World in Australia this month.

The Cortland resident was set to endure 20 hours of travel time before arriving in Australia just after the New Year’s holiday for a short-term tour of the country and its exotic wildlife. A senior biology major, Davidson was eager to get started on this, her first trip outside the continental U.S. She also planned to visit the University of Melbourne’s veterinary school to compare and contrast what those Down Under learn about animal diseases and care-taking.

“My hope with this Field Period is to see what it’s like working with those exotic, almost-extinct animals, and decide [a focus on small or large animals] by the time I go off to vet school in the fall,” said Davidson, who is interested in a veterinary career. “Right now, I have the most experience with small animals, but I’m really interested in zoo animals, such as tigers, lions, koalas, kangaroos – not ones that everybody gets to work with.”

Teaching Sign Language in Senegal

Nicole Caparulo makes the sign for "Africa," an arc of the hand from left to right.

Editor’s Note: This is the fifth in a series of features on recipients of the Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Award.

Keuka junior Nicole Caparulo of Corning is combining her interests in special education and sign language this month by conducting  a Field Period internship at a residential school for deaf children in Senegal, West Africa.

Caparulo is a unified childhood/special education major with a concentration in American Sign Language (ASL), and discovered the West African school through Martha French,  associate professor of education. A friend of French’s, Dr. Angela Bednarczyk, worked 20 years at Galludet University’s Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, and now works as assistant to the educational director at the Renaissance School for the Deaf (L’Ecole Renaissance des Sourds) in Dakar, the capital city of Senegal.

According to Bednarczyk, the Renaissance School for the Deaf was founded in 2007 and follows the Senegalese national curriculum with instruction based on the use of the Francophone West African sign language. The school serves 35 students and has five classrooms, five teachers, and a deaf teacher in training. Each year, students attend whose ages range from 4 to 16.

Caparulo said she expects some elements of ASL will carry over to the sign language used in Senegal, but compared it more to a dialect.

“I am very interested in deaf education, special education, diversity and being open and accepting differences and ways to do things. That plays a major part in education, because you need to be able to do things and experience them,” said Caparulo.

“Special education teaching just stands out for me, along with sign language,” she added. “It’s such a beautiful language, how could I not be drawn to it? It’s always been a passion and now I have an opportunity to learn about it. I’m taking advantage of that. (more…)

Saving Turtles and Taking Photos

Courtney French

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of features on recipients of the Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Award.

Junior Courtney French wants to be a photographer for National Geographic someday, and her January Field Period—working with Global Volunteer Network’s (GVN) Turtle Project program in Costa Rica—could bring her one step closer to realizing that dream.

Photographs by French, a visual and verbal art major from Massena, were featured in the student art gallery in Hegeman Hall. The images were taken in and around Penn Yan.

“Traveling to Costa Rica and helping with the Turtle Project will help me improve my photography portfolio because it will be much more diverse than photos I have taken previously,” said French. “I will photograph the beauty of the reptiles and the country throughout the trip.”

Her duties with GVN will include providing support to biologists involved in the conservation of the Olive Ridley turtles’ nesting grounds for 14 days. Considered the most abundant sea turtle in the world, an estimated 800,000 Olive Ridley females nest annually.

“These elegant animals are becoming endangered due to natural predators and poachers,” said French. “I will work side-by-side with locals and biologists at the turtle hatcheries and nesting sites. and go on nightly beach patrols, tag turtles, relocate nests into hatcheries, count eggs and turtles, and help with beach reforestation efforts.”

Overseen by the Costa Rican government, the Turtle Project includes a sustainable egg harvesting program that feeds or provides income to the local communities, and is designed to prevent other forms of harvesting and poaching.

“I will also have the opportunity to live among the local villagers of San Jose, Costa Rica,” said French. “I think this will be hard, but definitely an experience I will never forget. It will broaden my horizons as an individual, and make me a better-rounded person.”

In addition, French will take Spanish lessons at Maximo Nivel, which is at the GVN international headquarters in San Jose.

French has “always had a strong passion” for traveling and learning about foreign cultures.

“I decided on Costa Rica because I always wanted to travel to Central and South America,” she explained. “Also, my favorite flower, the bird of paradise, is abundant in Costa Rica.”

French has been to the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec and “all over” the East Coast.

“My favorite place would have to be on top of the high peaks in the Adirondacks,” said French. “I completed a two-day hike in the Adirondacks that measured about 16 miles, and covered three mountains—Algonquin, Whales Tail, and Iroquois—and we were able to trench through Avalanche Pass.”

Her next adventure?

“Hopefully,” she said, “to Ecuador or Tanzania.”

Cultural Immersion: Senior to Travel through Europe

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of features on recipients of the Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Award.

Heather Graff

This month, senior Heather Graff will travel to several countries in Europe as part of her fifth Field Period.

Four are required for graduation.

“I decided to complete a fifth Field Period because this will be an entirely different opportunity than my other Field Periods,” said the unified childhood/special education major from Amsterdam. “I believe I should get as much out of my time at Keuka as I can, and my fifth Field Period, where I will travel around Europe, is the perfect culmination of my work at Keuka College.”

While at Keuka, she has “learned how valuable experiential hands-on learning is, and I am excited to take it to an international level.”

With that in mind, Graff will travel to such countries as England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Poland, and France.

“I believe this opportunity will help me gain a better understanding of these countries, their people, and cultures,” said Graff. “Through exploration of these countries, I will be able to see not only the difference in cultures, but the similarities in all people regardless of where they live. I hope to experience how people act and live in the various communities I visit by immersing myself into their day-to-day interactions and behavior.”

Graff intends to back-pack through Germany and France, travel by train, and stay at hostels to “get a better feel for the people in these countries.”

Graff also plans to compare the cultural differences between America and Europe by sampling local cuisines, visiting historical sites, and interacting with people.

“Many professions and jobs are becoming international,” said Graff. “I’d like to have some experience in some different countries in case an international job opportunity comes my way. I also think it is important to be culturally aware because classrooms are so diverse. If I can pull from experiences like this trip in my teaching, the topic may seem more exciting and relevant to the students.”

Barcelona Beckons Senior Soccer Player

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of features on recipients of the Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Award.

Ron Burd

For the members of the men’s soccer team, August 2012 could be a month they will never forget.

And perhaps Penn Yan resident Ron Burd, a forward for the Storm, is looking forward to the summer month more than any of his teammates.

“I have been provided the opportunity to go to Spain as part of the men’s soccer team,” said Burd, a senior political science/history major. “I became interested in soccer after playing in the Yates County Soccer League as a child. It was something that I both excelled at and had a phenomenal time doing.”

According to Burd, the opportunity to go to Spain was brought up by Head Men’s Soccer Coach Matt Tantalo.

“After all, what soccer player doesn’t want to play in Spain?” said Burd, who totaled 8 points (4 goals) as the Storm posted an 8-5-3 mark in 2011. “Who wouldn’t want to step onto the pitch of FC Barcelona, the club that has seemed to perfect the game?”

And his interest in soccer goes beyond playing the game. Although Burd has seen the professional game on television and in magazines, “I can only imagine the depth, philosophical, and cultural undertones at play,” he said. “My favorite professional player is Andres Iniesta, center midfielder for FC Barcelona. His composure and ability to create chances for his teammates are out of this world.”

And Burd may get the chance to meet Iniesta, since part of the trip features a tour of the FC Barcelona stadium and its facilities. The team will also attend training sessions and soccer matches, and visit beaches and museums in Barcelona and Madrid.

“In my opinion, soccer is a culture apart, a true gem in the eyes of the world,” said Burd. “The Spanish have perfected the game, and the Spanish national team is the reigning FIFA World Cup champion.”

What makes traveling to Spain particularly beneficial, said Burd, is the ability to experience these things with his teammates.

“Coach Tantalo has taught me two very important things about the game of soccer,” said Burd. “First, he has made me understand that each day should be enjoyable. Every practice is one that should be looked forward to, and every game a chance for the team to show what it does in practice every day, as well as how much it loves the game.

“Second, he has taught me to love both the game and my teammates,” said Burd. “From this, you are willing to do what it takes to help the team win—whether it is embracing a new role, playing a position you have never played before, and at times, coming off the field.”

Said Burd: “I like soccer because of the excitement I experience every time I step on the field. It allows me to have fun with people I enjoy being around, and more times than not, find success with them. That keeps me coming back.”

On Fashion, Foreign Travel and Fine Arts

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of features on recipients of the Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Award.

Mia Barnello is eager to follow in her mother’s footsteps. In January, that path will take the junior organizational communication major to the Florence University of the Arts in Italy.

During her spring semester of study, Barnello, a Syracuse resident, will also travel throughout the country to explore the culture in cities such as Sicily, Rome and Venice. She received a $2,200 Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Award to help with expenses. The scholarship assists students pursuing culturally oriented Field Periods and is named for the late Brown, a member of the Class of 1963 who spent her junior year as a Norton Scholar in Switzerland.

“I’m definitely interested in finding the little, not-so-touristy attractions, hidden treasures, the food, the boutiques, and so on,” Barnello said of the tucked-away spots she hopes to discover.

According to Barnello, her mother spent almost a full year in Italy as a college student herself “and almost didn’t come back.

“She studied art in a small town called Urbino. She’s talked about it for my entire life,” Barnello said. “I’m definitely hoping to bring back experiences and memories we can kind of bond over, things we both [experienced] while in Italy.”

The trip will be Barnello’s first trip overseas, indeed, her first time traveling outside the U.S. She is eager to see the work of different artists and architects that she studied in an online art history class taught by Assistant Professor of Art Melissa Newcomb last summer. After visiting museums and churches, seeing sculptures and other famous works, Barnello said she plans to e-mail Newcomb about the experience.

“I want to bring back pictures and things that are exciting to share and encourage more people to [study abroad],” she said.

While Barnello’s mother studied fine arts, Barnello is hoping to focus more on design and the fashion industry, which is a special interest of hers. Last year, Barnello and fellow Keuka communication major Ashley Larimore teamed up on a special class project to create a draft of a fashion magazine for Assistant Professor of Organizational Communication and English Bob Berkman’s media writing class.  At Keuka, she is completing classes for a minor in art.

Barnello said she plans to spend at least one day of her overseas trip visiting the headquarters of the Italian edition of Vogue magazine. Ideally, she’d like to get in touch with photographers or writers to get a flavor for the working environment, and see what a “day in the life” is like there.

“In the future, I really want to be involved in fashion. Being in Italy and learning the background, I think will help me decide if I want to focus on fashion through design and publications [or another way],” Barnello said.  “Since my hope was to do graphic design and that’s not really offered [in Florence], I’m kind of designing my own [course of study.]’

While in Florence, Barnello will take classes in jewelry design and Italian fashion, as well as a beginner’s course in the Italian language.

“As of right now, I don’t know anything of the language, which is terrifying, but hopefully, that [course] will help. My mom actually didn’t take any language courses when she was there – she just picked it up. I’m a little scared, but … We’ll see what happens. “