Just before Christmas, Lisa Makarick finished a course in community health. Just after Christmas, Makarick discovered a profound contrast between the classroom and Calabrete, Dominican Republic, where she traveled with 11 others from Keuka College to bring health education to some of the youngest residents of the community.
“It’s one thing to do a windshield study on [community health] and it’s a whole other beast to do a service project, to get down there with the people and work hand-in-hand with them,” said Makarick, a Hammondsport resident.
Makarick is pursuing her baccalaureate nursing degree through the College’s Accelerated Studies for Adults Program (ASAP). She attends classes at Corning Community College, one of 2o ASAP sites around the state. Nine other nursing students from cohorts in the Syracuse, Elmira, Ithaca, and Utica areas, and one occupational science major from the home campus in Keuka Park, also traveled to Calabrete.
From January 2-9, the Keuka College group, led by Patty Mattingly, associate professor of nursing, assisted the Mariposa DR Foundation, which invests in sustainable solutions to end generational poverty, serving girls as young as 8-years-old. By battling barriers that keep the poor vulnerable and limited, and offering support such as access to quality health care and education, the Mariposa DR Foundation seeks to educate, empower and employ girls in Calabrete to ultimately give back to their community.
The students presented a workshop on dental hygiene and hand-washing, gave a first-aid presentation to parents, and made home visits to assess safety risks and recommend follow-up by Foundation staff. In addition, students also toured a public hospital and an HIV clinic in the area. The trip also fulfilled Keuka College Field Period ™ requirements for the students. Typically, a Field Period ™ enables a student to explore professions, other cultures, or even provide community service for others, but usually, only one of those elements happens at one time. However, the 2014 Keuka College team accomplished all of the above.
According to Makarick, a maternal service nurse and mother of five who will finish her nursing program in April, the trip was an “amazing experience” that she hopes to repeat. The team worked with 15 girls, ages 8 -11, providing encouragement with extracurricular activities that included simple games and health-care instruction. In that region, children only attend a half-day of school and often lack positive alternatives to “just wandering around all afternoon,” said Makarick.
Thanks to one of her daughters, Makarick said she was educated on the threat of sex trafficking and modern slavery facing these young girls. According to New Friends, New Life, a human rights agency seeking to raise awareness, 13 is the average age at which American girls, particularly those vulnerable to poverty, are trafficked into the sex industry. For the poor and vulnerable from developing countries, where legal protection is nearly nonexistent, sexual exploitation and forced prostitution may happen even earlier. As such, Makarick said the impact the team could make was clear.
“I was absolutely not disappointed,” said Makarick. “You can see the effect fairly quickly, even small, little [things] of having someone encourage them … they just bonded with us, and we learned from them, too.”
The group split into two teams of six to conduct home inspections in the neighborhoods where the girls lived, and, in some cases, the level of poverty was “pretty overwhelming,” Mattingly said, describing scenarios where rat poison was left where children could come in contact with it. One student described barbed wire “clotheslines” so low to the ground that children’s bodies and faces bore cuts from running into it. Other elements of culture shock were encountered in el barrio (the ghetto) and the local hospital, which had just five beds in its Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and where equipment and staff practice was like “turning the clock back 30 years,” said Makarick.
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.
Editor’s Note: Where can a Keuka degree take you? This is the eighth in a series of snapshot profiles on members of Keuka’s Class of 2013.
Halie Squires ’13 of Parish, N.Y., earned a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in occupational sciences and is continuing at Keuka to pursue her master’s degree in occupational therapy.
She’s currently completing the first of two 12-week fieldwork placements for hands-on experience in both traditional and non-traditional OT environments. Her current post is at a short-term rehab facility in Saratoga Springs, and when that concludes, she’ll return to campus for another semester of studies.
Squires said she is most thankful for the professionalism developed through Keuka’s Field Period program.
“After eight Field Periods or fieldwork placements, I feel as if I can carry myself with respect in a professional place of employment and communicate effectively and assuredly,” she said.
The occupational therapy students pass skeletal hand forms back and forth along the table top counters in the science lab room. Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy Holly Preston quizzes them on the bones, joints and muscles that connect each intricate part of the fingers, thumb, palm and wrist.
As part of Preston’s pop quiz, the students palpate their palms and observe the innate response of their fingers to the change in pressure. In addition to the natural study their own bodies provide for the class – Applied Anatomy – Preston passes out iPads for students to share and instructs them to open up an app called “Muscle and Bone Anatomy 3D.”
Sophomore Caleigh Alterio uses her fingertips to scroll from a muscular view of the body to a 360-degree rotation of the skeleton. Across the table, sophomore Nick Scherer scrolls through a similar screen image on his personal iPad, pointing out how it lets the viewer see multiple layers of muscle and bone, all of which can be rotated in 3-D. The download was just $7, he says.
“It’s so cool just being able to actually see what we’re feeling,” sophomore Mackenzie Berger says as she mimics the movements of the arm, wrist and hand onscreen with her own appendage.
“I didn’t know the answer to [labeling] pictures on the lab exam, so this helps,” adds sophomore Taylor Szwec. Indeed, the iPad app boasts video and even has an online quiz feature that Preston encourages students to work through. (more…)
Three alumni of Keuka College’s Master of Science degree program in criminal justice administration and two students pursuing master’s degrees in occupational therapy (OT) were selected to present papers at the SUNY Brockport Graduate Student Research Conference Saturday, April 14.
Class of 2011 members Danielle T. Harrington and Sherry L. Hunter will present their Action Research Projects (ARP) at the conference, which will showcase the work of master’s level students from colleges and universities in Upstate New York and southern Ontario, Canada. Another member of the Class of 2011, Stephanie Caloren, was selected to present but is unable to attend. Also scheduled to present papers are fifth-year OT students Melissa Schlegel and Megan McGowan.
In the world of higher education, the niche Keuka has carved with its occupational sciences program is virtually unparalleled for a small, private, liberal arts college.
In 2010, three state-of-the-art occupational therapy (OT) labs opened where students are taught cutting-edge OT techniques. Keuka boasts a pediatric play lab, a clinical care lab and a community living skills lab, set up much like a small apartment, where some 95 upperclass and graduate students take classes in occupational science. Nearly all students in Keuka’s OT program go on to a fifth year of study at the graduate level, in order to qualify for the certification exam that must be passed to obtain a permanent license as an occupational therapist.
A unique change to the program is that while Keuka’s OT students are building diverse, hands-on skills, it’s not all happening inside the walls of hospitals or schools. Traditional placements like a hospital are now supplemented by non-traditional placements, said Jean Wannall, Ph.D., who coordinates field work placements for OT students and is a full professor in the program.
“We’re seeing fewer jobs in traditional settings because of the changes in Medicare and Medicaid,” said Wannall.”A lot of agencies are downsizing and letting therapists go, so we are training therapists to be entrepreneurs, to go out and seek places where there could be a niche. At hospitals, the length of stay is shorter and shorter these days as people are being pushed out into the community quicker and quicker. More care is happening out in the community.”
In addition, OTs may find more work with assisted living communities or home health care as more members of the aging population try to stay in their own homes as long as possible, Wannall said. Keuka lies in Yates County, one of the poorest counties in the state, and other opportunities for non-traditional OT support may lie in areas with migrant workers, those who are illiterate, or other needy individuals, she said.
Reis Cunningham ’13 has always been interested in getting a behind-the-scenes look at how Keuka College “works” because, as he puts it, “I’m paying for it.”
Fortunately for Cunningham, the College offers that opportunity to two students each year. Keuka is one of the few schools in the country where students serve on the governing board and Cunningham took part in his first Board meeting Sept. 30.
Cunningham was elected by his peers to the Board of Trustees and is serving the first of a two-year term. Senior Molly Flanagan is the other student representative.
Flanagan, in her second year as a trustee, told Cunningham that student trustees are expected to contribute; it’s not a ceremonial position where they sit and observe as others make recommendations and decisions.
An interest in teaching smaller classes in order to foster greater student interaction is part of what brought Ithaca resident Laurel Hester to a new post at Keuka College this fall.
The small-college feel got in the assistant professor of biology’s veins during her own undergraduate studies at Swarthmore College, where she double-majored in biology and history. As a graduate student, Hester discovered she had a love of teaching, especially teaching biology, and as she worked toward her Ph.D. at the University of Michigan, she began putting that passion into play. She went on to teach at the University of South Carolina, and later Cornell, where she taught as many as 400 students at a time in large lecture halls.
“The chance to teach smaller classes where I can really get to know the students and teach a wider variety of classes in a more interactive way is really what drew me here,” Hester said.
Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of profiles on new, full-time faculty members.
Lisa McGowan plans to share more than her occupational therapy (OT) acumen with Keuka students.
McGowan, a 2000 graduate of Keuka’s OT program, brings knowledge of Keuka and what it takes to succeed in the OT program. She has sat in some of the same seats that her students are sitting in now, so she knows exactly what they are going through and what they need.
“As a student here, I cried, laughed, learned, was challenged and made friends and I hope that I can share those experiences with my students now,” said McGowan.
McGowan, whose primary therapy focus is children, teaches the pediatric-level courses, including Occupational Development in Childhood and Occupational and Assessment Intervention in Childhood I. She has worked in school districts and BOCES, and earned her master’s degree in education from Alfred University.
“It wasn’t hard,” she says of her decision to return to Keuka. “I knew where things were, I was comfortable and I knew some of the professors.”
She encourages her students to utilize examples from their Field Periods in class discussion to get them to understand the experiences that occupational therapists face every day.
“I have them draw from Field Periods; their experiences are unique, and I try to get them to convey what they have learned,” says McGowan. “Some of the examples are positive and some are negative, but they are all part of the profession.”
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