Keuka College has received a gift from Donald and Christine Wertman of Hall, N.Y., to help establish the Keuka College Center for Business Analytics & Health Informatics.
Donald Wertman is COO of Seedway LLC, vice president of the Keuka College Board of Trustees, and sits on the Finger Lakes Health (FLH) Board of Directors.
The Wertmans are supporting the Center because of their interest in health care, in particular student wellness.
“While we support all areas of the College’s Long Range Strategic Plan, we are financially supporting the component of the plan that deals with student wellness in all forms—physical, mental, and spiritual,” said Donald Wertman. “Wellness is critically important to student success.”
FLH plans to partner with the College on the project because “we believe it has the potential to improve the struggling economy of Yates County while enhancing the region’s health education opportunities and access to health care services,” said Dr. Jose Acevedo, president and CEO of FLH.
Keuka College President Dr. Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera agrees.
“The Center will leverage the College’s existing health care expertise and programs through its highly rated nursing and occupational therapy programs,” said Díaz-Herrera.
Keuka offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing at sites around New York state through its Accelerated Studies for Adults (ASAP) program, as well as a bachelor’s degree in occupational science and master’s degree in occupational therapy on its home campus in Keuka Park.
Pending approval by the New York State Education Department, the College and FLH will jointly offer a bachelor’s degree in nursing beginning in fall 2014.
Díaz-Herrera expects the Center to anchor a new college-town development—called for in the strategic plan— that will become the hub for Yates County entrepreneurial programs and research.
Part of that college-town development could include a health clinic—perhaps managed by FLH—that would serve the needs of students and the community, according to Wertman.
While a health clinic remains only a possibility for now, there is no doubt that the Center for Business Analytics & Health Informatics would be a boon to Yates County in terms of jobs.
“The Center will provide the required infrastructure for expanding business opportunities and job creation in the region,” said Acevedo.
Díaz-Herrera said the Center will “create construction, high-tech, health sciences, and education jobs in addition to helping our region’s fastest growing employment sector train and retain a highly educated work force.
“The Center will help the county and region support the need for new high-tech industry development while providing health care workers with specific health informatics training,” said the president. “It is a perfect fit for our Digital Learning@Keuka initiative.”
“It’s clear,” said Wertman, “that the Center and partnership between Keuka College and FLH will not only be a win-win for both entities, but for our entire community. We trust that our gift will inspire others to evaluate how they might share resources in support of Keuka College’s strategic plan.”
Editor’s Note: This is the first in a two-part series of Q&As with new, full-time faculty members. Today, meet three of Keuka’s new additions.
Dr. David Pak Leon, assistant professor of political science, teaches International Relations, Political Development in Asia, and Globalization.
Last book read: Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty, by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson.
Favorite quote: “Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past,” by George Orwell.
If you could be a fictional character, who would be and why? I can’t really think of a fictional character that I would like to be.
What makes teaching fun? It is always fun and interesting when I see students grow in knowledge throughout a semester. I enjoy lively discussions in and outside the classroom when different perspectives are presented. It is also nice when students tell me what they are learning and reading on their own, or when they bring in relevant outside materials or their own experiences that enrich our collective understanding of different issues. Seeing eager and engaged students makes teaching rewarding.
What do you do for fun? I enjoy listening to music and reading (politics, history, architecture, economics, and finance). I like browsing bookstores and antique shops, and biking.
Sunny Winstead of Burdett, N.Y., assistant professor of occupational therapy, is teaching classes in occupational therapy assessment and intervention for older adults.
Last book read: Other than a textbook? Maybe a Ruth Rendell mystery, but unfortunately it’s been awhile!
Favorite quote: You’ll never be sorry for taking the high road.
If you could be a fictional character, who would you be, and why? Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter books. She’s smart, inventive, and brave. Plus, I’d love to have a Time-Turner so I could be in two places at once!
What makes teaching fun? Collaborating with students and seeing their confidence grow as they move toward clinical practice.
What do you do for fun? I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, gardening, and hiking.
Dr. Jason McKinney of Penfield, assistant professor of social work, is teaching a number of classes this year, including Youth Services Delivery, Research Methods, Ethics and Diversity, and Field Practicum.
Last book read: Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness, by Scott Jurek.
Favorite quote: “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” Mahatma Gandhi
If you could be a fictional character, who would you be, and why?:Cookie Monster. I wish I could eat junk food all day and never gain a pound!
What makes teaching fun? Students make teaching fun! I love the interactive part of teaching, such as class discussion or learning activities designed to connect theory and practice.
What do you do for fun? I play guitar, ukulele, and percussion. I run, garden, lift weights, and study Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Coming Monday: Three more Q&A profiles of new, full-time faculty members.
Keuka College will be well represented at the Master’s Level Graduate Research Conference Saturday, April 20, at SUNY Brockport.
Nine occupational therapy majors will present original research, including:
Emily Conrad and Alicia Steeves: “Effects of Parent Training for Children with Behavioral Difficulties.”
The Master’s Level Graduate Research Conference is open to the public and will feature work by hundreds of master’s level students across the disciplines from Brockport and more than 30 other colleges and universities.
Students will present original research and artistic endeavors in poster sessions, oral presentations, and creative performances. In addition, there will be workshops for on career development and doctoral study and one for visiting faculty on government and foundation grant opportunities.
Dr. Timothy Killeen, president of the SUNY Research Foundation and SUNY vice chancellor for research, will deliver the keynote address on “National and International Change Research.”
Professor of Occupational Therapy Jean Wannall and graduate students Emily Conrad and Cindy Prober represented Keuka College and the OT profession at the recent Healthcare Alliance of the Finger Lakes’ Career Exploration Day at Finger Lakes Community College.
More than 270 students from 15 Finger Lakes high schools learned about health care and human service needs, according to Wannall.
The Healthcare Alliance of the Finger Lakes is a partnership of private and public sector agencies whose primary goal is to create solutions for finding and keeping a qualified workforce in the healthcare industry within the local area.
“The main focus of the career fair is to expose our youth to various health care professions and agencies while encouraging them to learn, work and live in the Finger Lakes area,” said Wannall. “Various professionals from around the area gave of their time to present information about their chosen profession.”
Including the trio from Keuka, who shared what it was like to be an occupational therapist.
“Students learned not only the educational requirements of becoming an OT, but where OTs work,” explained Wannall. “Demonstrations included the use of adaptive equipment, technology, and several evaluation tools typically used by OTs.”
Providing the high school students with a glimpse of what it is like to be occupational therapists was very important to Wannall.
“We need to reach out to the youth of today and get them excited about the potential career opportunities within health care or we are not going to have enough people to take care of the needs in our society,” she said.
Both graduate student presenters took the day off from their Level II internships to share their knowledge about the field and encourage younger students to explore the field of occupational therapy.
And it’s certainly worthy of exploration.
“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, OT is one of the top 10 needed professions in health care right now,” said Wannall. “Baby boomers are retiring, people are living longer healthier lives and as a result staying in their own homes longer. Not only is there a huge need for therapists to work with the geriatric population but within school districts as well. According to recently released studies from the U.S. government, the rate of children on the autism spectrum has risen from 1 in 88 to 1 in 50, creating the potential for many more jobs for OTs working in pediatrics.”
Conrad is finishing up her second placement at Marcus Whitman School District and Prober is completing her second at Geneva General Hospital in both the acute and long-term care sections of the hospital. Both students will graduate in May and have already started interviewing for jobs in the local area.
Said Wannall: “Cindy and Emily are prime examples of what the Healthcare Alliance of the Finger Lakes is all about— keeping people in our area.”
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.”