Social responsibility has long been part of the Keuka College fabric, particularly as it pertains to the local community.
For example, Keuka students, staff, and faculty participate in Make a Difference Day, the Angel Tree Project, and Celebrate Service…Celebrate Yates. Members of the College community also volunteer their time and talents at such places as Milly’s Pantry, the Humane Society of Yates County, and Clinton Crest Manor, among others.
Four years ago, Keuka began a new tradition of service to the local community–one that honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Three Keuka students—seniors Tyler Hoosier, Justin Hess and Justin Napolitano— have organized a community day of service Monday, Jan. 21 to mark the federal holiday. The event is designed to benefit local non-profit organizations.
“Justin, Tyler, and Justin are helping coordinate site locations, activities, volunteers, food for the volunteers, and the basketball clinic that will be held that day,” said Chevy DeVaney, director of multicultural affairs, who is supervising Keuka’s MLK Day of Service.
“I have participated in the MLK Day of Service for the last three years and wanted to be more involved this year,” said Hoosier, a management major from Saratoga Springs.
So did Napolitano, a Syracuse resident.
“I participated in the basketball clinic with my teammates one year, and helped paint the campus safety office last year,” said Napolitano, a management major. “This year, I have the opportunity to help organize the event.”
This is Hess’ first time participating in the MLK Day of Service.
“I respect Dr. King’s dreams, visions, and goals, and now I have the opportunity to match my words with action,” said the political science/history major from North Rose.
“Participating in the MLK Day of Service will give me a different outlook on people who may be struggling,” said Napolitano. “Performing community service not only helps others, but it’s the right thing to do.”
“By helping organize the MLK Day of Service, I am helping others and getting first-hand experience of what it’s like to plan events, which is something I am considering for a career,” he said.
Volunteers will gather at Penn Yan Baptist Church at 9 a.m. and be placed into groups. After a welcome from DeVaney, volunteers will head to various sites, including Clinton Crest Manor, the ARC of Yates, Yates County Arts Center, American Legion, and Finger Lakes Community Health.
“Volunteers should expect to do anything from Wii bowling and painting fingernails to clearing debris from construction worksites and painting,” said DeVaney.
In addition, members of Keuka’s men’s and women’s basketball teams will conduct a hoop clinic at Penn Yan Middle School.
Lunch and a reflection of the day for all volunteers will be at 11:30 a.m. at the church. Lunch for the children who participate in the basketball clinic will be held at the school after the clinic.
The fourth annual event at Keuka comes three months before Celebrate Service… Celebrate Yates, a day of community service organized by Keuka students and the Yates County Chamber of Commerce. It has helped dozens of non-profit organizations and agencies enhance the quality of life in the region for the past 15 years.
Dr. King and Keuka College have a connection dating back nearly 40 years. He delivered the baccalaureate address and received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree June 16, 1963. He was accompanied to Keuka Park by his wife, Coretta Scott King.
To volunteer, or for more information, contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs at email@example.com or call (315) 279-5225.
Carl Atkins, professor and chair of the music program and professor of fine arts at RIT, will speak and perform at Keuka College Monday, Feb. 27.
Atkins will speak at 4:15 p.m. in the Brezinsky Room of Dahlstrom Student Center, and then be joined by the other members of Culture Clash for a 7 p.m. performance in the Brezinsky Room. Part of Keuka’s Black History Month celebration, both events are free and open to the public.
Atkins formerly served as chair of the jazz studies program at the New England Conservatory of Music and co-director of the Thelonious Monk Institute for Jazz Performance. He was also president of the David Hochstein School of Music and Dance and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.
He has served on the faculties of Northeastern University, Brown University, the University of Rochester, and the Eastman School of Music. Atkins has also served as associate dean for advanced studies and served on the faculties in musicology and jazz studies at the New England Conservatory.
A noted saxophonist and composer, Atkins has enjoyed a broad musical career that spans European classical music to jazz. He has performed or recorded with such major artists as Diane Wilson, Ray Charles, Wayne Shorter, and Herbie Hancock, among others.
Also among his credits are performances and recordings with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Columbus (Ohio) ProMusica, Boston Musica Viva, the American National Opera Co., the Black Collective of New York, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, and the John Coltrane Memorial Orchestra.
Atkins received a Bachelor of Music in woodwinds from Indiana University, a Master of Music in conducting from the New England Conservatory, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in performance and literature from the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music.
The other members of Culture Clash are Howard Potter (vibes and marimba), Geoff Smith (bass), and Jay Alan Jackson (percussion).
For some, Martin Luther King Day was a day off.
However, for others—including some 60 members of the Keuka College and Penn Yan communities—their day off turned out to be a day on. The volunteers turned out to participate in various community service projects to mark the birthday of the slain civil rights leader.
The event was organized by Keuka College criminal justice majors Danielle Gravel and Cortney Chamberlain to celebrate the Jan. 16 federal holiday.
On the surface it seems ironic that Keuka College’s Peace Club would construct a Wall of Hate.
However, it makes perfect sense when the goal is to “empower each other to create a more positive environment in which all us can live, work and learn,” said Chevanne DeVaney, director of multicultural affairs.
By highlighting words, symbols, and phrases that people use to hurt, devalue, and dehumanize others, club members hoped to inspire others to get involved in taking action against hate, discrimination, and oppression.
Members of the campus community were invited to “contribute” to the 6 by 8-foot wall, which was erected in the Phillips Lunge of the Dahlstrom Student Center, beginning Dec. 5 and then return Dec. 9 to watch it be dismantled.
“We acknowledged that many found the words, images and symbols that appeared on the wall offensive, but that is exactly the point of the project,” said DeVaney. “Through construction of this display, the Peace Club wishes the community to understand the impact of these behaviors on the individual and on the community.”
Keuka College will celebrate International Education Week (Nov. 7-11) with a variety of events.
Sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Center for Global Education, International Education Week is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. The week also promotes programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States.
All International Education Week events at Keuka College are free and open to the public.
“We talk about what international education means at Keuka College because we are becoming more international, and we want our students to be knowledgeable about other cultures,” said Chevy DeVaney, director of multicultural affairs. “International Education Week is a good opportunity to get students, faculty, and staff excited about who we are and what makes up Keuka College.”
International Student Adviser Tracee Senti agrees.
“International Education Week celebrates the diversity we have at Keuka, and provides an opportunity for all Keuka students, staff, and faculty to share the things in which we are involved,” she said. “The campus and community will learn more about the countries our international students represent, which can help create an understanding of different cultures.”
Among the events to mark the week at Keuka includes a special program of Vietnamese performing arts featuring master artists. The performance, co-sponsored with Hobart and William Smith Colleges, will highlight folk songs, traditional and tribal music, poetry chant, musical theater, comedy, films, traditional and contemporary costumes, and culinary demonstration.
To kick off International Education Week, the Vietnamese group will be on campus Monday, Nov. 7 to showcase a culinary and vegetable decoration display at 2:30 p.m., and a traditional concert and theatrical performance at 4 p.m. Both events will be held in the Brezinsky Room of the Geiser Refectory.
Under the direction of Dr. Phong Nguyen, one of the most prominent Vietnamese scholars and musicians, and a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellow, the group features artists who have participated in national and international stages and television systems.
In addition to Nguyen, the group includes Professor Hoang Chuong (a top expert on Vietnamese traditional theater forms), Ms. Kieu Oanh (merited actress and folk singer), Ms. Tuyet Hoa (a well-known singer of Hanoi minstrel songs), Master Chef Tinh Hai (an expert on Vietnam’s imperial cuisine), Mr. Tommy Nguyen (a designer of Saigon traditional dresses—ao dai), and Mr. Dinh Khiem (a film and television critic).
The group will return to campus Tuesday, Nov. 8 for a fashion and theatrical makeup show from 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. in the Phillips Lounge of Dahlstrom Student Center. According to DeVaney, eight students will model traditional Vietnamese clothing.
Other International Education Week events at Keuka include:
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…)
The Office of Multicultural Affairs offered a “small taste of the world” at a welcome celebration Aug. 31 at the Lucina.
After welcomes from College President Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera and Director of Multicultural Affairs Chevy DeVaney, students from around the globe, staff, and faculty sampled a variety of dishes, greeted new members of the Keuka family and reconnected with old friends.
In addition, the president entertained the crowd by playing some musical selections on his harp.
It’s a tragedy that so many of today’s commemorations honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the slain civil rights leader, have become tame, stately memorials.
So says Rev. James Miller, an emeritus member of the Keuka College Board of Trustees, who will speak at a 7 p.m. ceremony honoring Dr. King, Tuesday, April 5 at Norton Chapel. April 4 is the 43rd anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination.
“The meetings, assemblies, and gatherings that Dr. King always led gave us marching orders,” said Rev. Miller, whose professional service as a Baptist minister started in that era. “We’re into memorial services today, and that’s a tragedy, because that’s not the best [way of] honoring Dr. King’s legacy. We’ve got to continue [carrying out] the marching orders.”
King delivered the baccalaureate address at Keuka College in June 1963.
Brandon Cohen can now say he has literally followed in his father’s footsteps.
Years ago, Cohen’s father celebrated his bar mitzvah with a visit to the Wailing Wall, or Western Wall, in Jerusalem, a remnant of the Jewish Temple destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. The elder Cohen placed a letter to God among the cracks, and in January, his son did the same thing, while on a tour of Israel with other Jewish college students through the Birthright Kesher organization.
To Brandon Cohen, a Keuka sophomore and Marlboro, N.J. resident, that moment was a powerful one.
For some, Martin Luther King Day was a day off.
However, for 90 members of the Keuka College and local community, their day off turned out to be a day on.
The volunteers turned out to participate in various community service projects to mark the birthday of the slain civil rights leader. (more…)