Few college dropouts go on to become college presidents but one who did spoke at Keuka College’s mid-year conferral of degrees today (Dec. 9).
Of course, Dr. Carole A. McCoy eventually received three degrees—including a Doctor of Public Administration— and in 2007 became president of Jefferson Community College (JCC) in Watertown.
Since then, McCoy has led the campus through the development of a new strategic plan, facilities master plan, and feasibility study for the implementation of student residence halls. She also played a key leadership role in creating the partnership between JCC and Keuka that provides North Country residents the opportunity to pursue Keuka bachelor’s degree completion programs through its Accelerated Studies for Adults Program (ASAP).
Keuka President Dr. Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera referred to McCoy as “one of our state’s most dynamic and visionary community college presidents.”
Not bad for someone, who in 1973, “was a college dropout working as a directory assistance operator.
“Always believe it is never too late to change,” said McCoy. “I attended college one year and never felt that I fit in or saw the purpose of getting a degree. I was in my late 30s when I achieved my baccalaureate degree, in my 40s when I completed my master’s degree, and slightly north of 50 when I finished my doctorate.”
While conceding there is some risk associated with change, McCoy said there is risk with not changing as well.
“Complacency is a big risk,” she explained. “It seems like almost every day we read about the number of high-tech jobs that are going unfilled in the United States because we don’t have workers with the needed skills. And how many jobs no longer exist because they become obsolete? Complacency is not a good thing.”
She also urged the Class of 2012 to “find something you can be passionate about. Passion for something is what gets you up in the morning and has you excited about your day. Passion sustains you when you are having a rough time. Passion is about what’s in your heart. We make small decisions from our heads, but our big decisions, our life decisions, the decisions that really matter need to come from our hearts. Over my career, I have changed jobs several times because I was still seeking that one thing I could be passionate about for the rest of my life.”
That one thing was being president of JCC.
“Consider the words of Mark Twain, who said, ‘The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why,’” said McCoy. “I lead a community college because I am committed to providing a college education to anyone who can possibly benefit from that education. For me, community colleges are the epitome of democracy. We transform lives through learning. The day I understood the mission of the community colleges was the day I knew why I was born.”
Palmyra resident Randy Kuhn, who received his Master of Science degree in criminal justice administration, also spoke at the ceremony. An officer with the Newark Police Department, he received a bachelor’s degree from Keuka in 2010.
Another highlight was the presentation of the Adjunct Professor of the Year Award to Gary Prawel, who began his Keuka career as director of campus security and served as the first director of ASAP’s criminal justice program. Prawel has taught criminal justice in ASAP since the program’s beginnings in 2001 and teaches Introduction to Sociology and criminology courses in the traditional program on a regular basis.
The director of the ASAP criminal justice program —Richard Martin—nominated Prawel for the award. He wrote that “Gary takes personal ownership of each student in the class. Their success is his success and their failure is his failure. He believes strongly in the American justice system and considers it a privilege to be able to continue to have a hand in teaching the future of that system. His successes are evident in almost all of the police agencies in Monroe County, as those in command positions of the county’s law enforcement agencies have been taught by Mr. Prawel at one time or another.”
Dr. Carole A. McCoy, president of Jefferson Community College (JCC), will deliver the address at Keuka College’s mid-year conferral of degrees Sunday, Dec. 9.
The ceremony begins at 1 p.m. in the Weed Physical Arts Center gymnasium.
McCoy was appointed the fifth CEO of JCC Feb. 1, 2007. Since then, she has led the campus through the development of a new strategic plan, the facilities master plan, and feasibility study for the implementation of student residence halls while maintaining an emphasis on enrollment growth.
In addition, she played a key role in bringing bachelor’s degree completion programs to the North Country through Keuka’s Accelerated Studies for Adults Program.
McCoy donates her time and talents to several community organizations, including the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization, Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce, WPBS, Victim’s Assistance Center, and Watertown Rotary Club. She is also a member and secretary of the New York Community College Presidents Association.
Prior to assuming the presidency of JCC, McCoy held three posts at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Md.: vice president for learner support services, vice president for learning systems and technology, and chief of learning systems and technology.
She was also director of research computing at The Children’s Hospital of Boston, Mass., and manager of technical services and manager of applications for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
McCoy earned her Doctorate of Public Administration degree from the University of Baltimore, Master of Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts, and Bachelor of Arts in economics from Framingham (Mass.) State College.
Palmyra resident Randy Kuhn, who will receive a Master of Science degree in criminal justice administration, will also speak at the ceremony. He is an officer with the Newark Police Department and a 2010 Keuka graduate (B.S., criminal justice systems). Another highlight will be the presentation of the Adjunct Professor of the Year Award.
After earning a place in the larger and more competitive master’s universities category, Keuka College has again received high marks for its commitment to community service by Washington Monthly.
A year ago, Keuka was ranked No. 8 out of 309 baccalaureate colleges in the Washington Monthly College Guide and Rankings. In the service metric, Keuka was ranked No. 1 in the country in terms of “community service participation and hours served.”
This year, competing in an advanced category that includes 682 master’s universities, Keuka was No. 6 in that same metric. That was the primary reason the College earned a No. 73 overall ranking.
“A No. 6 ranking in the service metric and top 11 percent overall ranking are impressive, especially when you consider that we competed in an advanced category against more than twice as many schools, most with larger enrollments and a longer history of offering master’s degree programs,” said College President Dr. Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera.
The president also stated that Keuka “is at the top” of its peer schools that were ranked this year.
Díaz-Herrera said Keuka “advanced to a new category by choice in order to promote excellence at a new level that highlights the growth and expansion in its academic and social mission.”
In addition to service—“The students in our best colleges,” say editors of the magazine, “are taught by example and design to look beyond themselves and give back” – Washington Monthly ranks colleges on:
For more on the Washington Monthly College Guide and Rankings, go to http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/college_guide/rankings_2012/masters_universities_rank.php
Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said “a full pocketbook groans louder than an empty stomach.”
Professor of Psychology Dr. Drew Arnold contends that FDR’s statement rings truer today than it did in post-Great Depression America.
“It seems that poverty hardly enters our national discourse,” said Arnold, who delivered the keynote address at the annual academic convocation today (Aug. 28). “The word poverty is seldom used by politicians. President Obama has been using the term ‘vulnerable’ instead of ‘poor.’ It’s become the ‘p’ word.”
Where can a Keuka degree take you? This is the sixth in a series of snapshot profiles on members of Keuka’s Class of 2012.
Nick Simpson ’12 graduated Keuka with a degree in management and has been employed since May with Places.Mobile, a company that provides mobile marketing for businesses, and was certified by Google on May 1 as the upstate New York contractor for Google Business Photos. Thanks to the new Google program, a company such as an auto dealer, coffee shop, restaurant or other retailer, can give prospective customers a 360-degree interactive virtual tour of the inside of their establishment. The virtual tour is directly attached to Google search results, maps or ads and can be embedded into a businesses’ website or Facebook page.
Simpson is one of three Keuka students working as independent sub-contractors with Jim Hilker, Keuka’s director of educational technology, and owner of Places. Mobile. Simpson, who served as president of the Keuka Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team, connected with Hilker during the spring semester for a training session on how to market enhancements to a business’s Google Places listing so merchants could capitalize on mobile marketing to smartphone users. Now, he is handling panoramic photography, while the two other Keuka students are focused on sales and marketing.
Even before this door opened, Simpson said, “I wanted to get involved with all this stuff because Jim kind of led me into the whole Google universe and the opportunity that existed there. He’s grown with that to find new and better opportunities within that Google sphere.”
According to Hilker, the efforts of the three Keuka students gave Places.Mobile a top three standing for Google in its first month, and for June, was Google’s No. 1 certified independent photo contractor nationwide, based on its number of photo shoots.
“I think it has the potential to turn into a true full-time position,” said Simpson, who has traveled to Rochester, Syracuse and other locales to shoot the panoramic images.
While Simpson said he could not yet make direct correlations between his classes and the responsibilities of this job, he felt what he learned from Keuka goes beyond textbooks.
“The lesson may be getting up in the morning and doing a full day’s work, or advice from professors that you have to be flexible and not limit yourself. You might say, ‘I want to be an advertising consultant in Rochester, N Y,’ but it may not be what you thought it was going to be. You need to run with the opportunities presented to you and make the most of them.”
To explore what might be in your future with a Keuka degree, request more information.
Geneva resident Robert Schick, president and chief executive officer of The Lyons National Bank, was elected chairman of the Keuka College Board of Trustees at its recent spring meeting.
Schick, who joined the Board in 2005, replaces Dr. Melissa Brown ’72 (Flourtown, Pa.), who chaired the Board since 2010 and was a member of the governing body for 19 of the past 20 years.
“Lissa Brown was the very first person I met—associated with Keuka College—during the ‘airport’ interview process [of the presidential search],” said Dr. Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera, president of the College. “I felt immediately connected with her personality and drive. Her enthusiasm for the College made me feel very, very good about the job and this was immensely responsible for me accepting the offer. I was not wrong, and she will always be my first Board of Trustees chair.
The president said Schick “was the first person from the Keuka College board with whom I had a long conversation over dinner, right after I was selected president. We immediately struck a chord and have had a lot of respect for each other ever since. I think of Bob as a close adviser; he has a wealth of wisdom and experience that will benefit the College moving forward.”
In addition to Schick, the officers for 2012-13 include Vice Chairman Don Wertman (Hall), Secretary Nancy Feinstein (Hammondsport), and Treasurer William Goodrich (Fairport).
In other Board news, four new members were elected to three-year terms, including Sally Kuehl (Rochester, N.Y.), Jill Martin ’77 (Hamden, Conn.), David Miller (Williamsburg, Va.), and The Rev. Marlowe Washington (Rochester, N.Y.), while a fifth, Nick Scherer ’13 (Oneida), was elected to a two-year term.
Kuehl retired from Eastman Kodak Co. after a 30-year career in information systems development and production management. After retirement, she started a craft business and served as a part-time visitor information specialist at the Greater Rochester Visitors Association.
Kuehl lends her time and talents to the Rochester Knitting Guild, Bethany Presbyterian Church, and Palatine Settlement Society. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Cornell University, where she was a member of the Big Red fencing team that captured the national championship in 1967.
Martin, who holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and history from Keuka, is professor and chair of the legal studies department at Quinnipiac University, where she earned the prestigious James Marshall Award for Outstanding Service to the Quinnipiac Community.
She is also active in her community, serving as a kitchen volunteer at the St. Thomas More soup kitchen at her church and as an International Special Olympics volunteer, among others. Martin, who earned a master’s degree in history from Yale University and a juris doctorate from Albany Law School, received the Keuka College Alumni Association’s Professional Achievement Award in 2009.
Miller was general sales manager for Duke Power Company/Duke Energy Corporation from 1994 to 2006, when he retired. He also held various posts at Schlumberger Industries from 1973 to 1994, including vice president for systems and service. He was a transmission and distribution engineer at Rochester Gas & Electric from 1968 to 1973.
Miller holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Union College. His civic affiliations include Leadership Charlotte, Class 22; United Way of Central Carolinas; and Child Care Resources, a United Way agency.
A social justice and human rights advocate, Washington is pastor of Christ Community Church in Rochester. He serves on 10 boards, including the YMCA, The Center for Youth, Community Place of Greater Rochester, and the Roberts Wesleyan College School of Social Work. He is former chairman of the Rochester Education and Literacy Commission and teaches church leadership and urban ministry as an adjunct faculty member at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School.
Washington earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from St. Francis College in Brooklyn. He attended Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey, but received a Master of Divinity degree from New York Theological Seminary in Manhattan.
Scherer, an occupational science major, will serve as one of two student members of Keuka’s governing body.
The following trustees were re-elected to three terms: A. Paul Bradley Jr. (Lake George), Elizabeth Bueschel ’65 (Wilmette, Ill.), Feinstein, Wanda Polisseni (Fairport), Robert Taisey (New York City), Katherine Wilhelm ’67 (Carmel, Ind.), and Barbara “Bebette” Yunis (Syracuse).
Returning to the Board after a leave of absence are Susan Bolman (Stamford, Conn.) and Rev. William Carlsen (Fayetteville).
Keuka College’s 104th commencement did not conclude with the awarding of degrees Sunday, May 27, in Keuka Park.
It continued yesterday (Wednesday, May 30) morning when 85 students from Tianjin University of Science and Technology (TUST) in China received Bachelor of Science degrees in management.
Keuka President Dr. Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera, Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Anne Weed, and Administrative Chancellor for China Campuses Dr. Michael Hwang were on hand to congratulate the newest additions to the College’s alumni ranks.
In his commencement address, Díaz-Herrera said there are “very few students anywhere in the world today who will earn separate undergraduate degrees from two great academic institutions, from two different nations, two far apart continents, and in two very different languages.” (more…)
Joyce Cohen, a 1967 Keuka College graduate, didn’t deliver the typical, run-of-the mill commencement speech at her alma mater today (Sunday, May 27).
Indeed, members of the Class of 2012 should have taken notes because Cohen offered sound, practical advice that could help them land their first job after graduation or their dream job later on.
After reflecting fondly on her undergraduate years at Keuka, the Huntington, Conn., resident offered practical job search tips developed during her career as a leading figure in the field of career development and life planning. (more…)
The inauguration of Dr. Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera as Keuka College’s 19th president May 4 was truly an international affair.
Delegates and guests from a number of foreign countries traveled to Keuka Park for the ceremony including Madame Hiam Sakr, president of the American University of Science and Technology (AUST) in Beirut, Lebanon.
“I was honored that Madame Sakr and Dr. Nabeel Haidar, vice president for academic affairs at AUST, joined us for the celebration,” said Díaz-Herrera. “I am particularly pleased to have the pleasure of welcoming Madame president to Keuka Park and the Lucina, where she was the guest of honor at a small, family-oriented reception. In a short time, I have developed a real affinity for her school and Lebanon; quite simply, Beirut is a most enchanting place.” (more…)
Saying that “we are obliged to reconsider a liberal arts education in a digital, connected world,” Keuka College President Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera today (May 4) set the College on a path to become “the cradle for the next generation of scientists and humanists.”
In remarks after being invested as the College’s 19th president, Dr. Díaz-Herrera encouraged the faculty of this “great institution to create the liberal arts curriculum for the 21st century.
“What if we were to integrate computational methods seamlessly across the curriculum?” said the president, a native of Barquisimeto, Venezuela. “What if we were to produce criminal justice experts who solved cybercrime, nurses proficient in medical informatics, and English majors fluent in digital storytelling?”
Reaffirming the College’s historical commitment to the liberal arts, the president disagreed with those who question the value of a liberal arts education because graduates can’t find jobs.
“A liberal arts education provides its own rewards and combined with our Field Period innovation is a superb preparation for the world of work and service,” he said. “A liberal arts foundation is good for the economy and for democracy.”
Even highly technical jobs require a high degree of intellectual skills and contextual understanding, said the president, who pointed to Google, which is hiring 6,000 new employees this year, 5,000 from the liberal arts or humanities.
“As the late Steve Jobs said, ‘Technical skills are not enough,’” said Díaz-Herrera, contrasting what Daniel Pink, chief speechwriter for former Vice President Al Gore, calls conceptual workers vs. knowledge workers. “Conceptual workers are anchored in the liberal arts—strong in science, math, and humanities, plus technology.”
An education with a liberal arts base “allows us to be able to address difficult, global, complex issues by allowing us to place this knowledge in context without compartmentalization,” said Díaz-Herrera. “This is an education that unique places like Keuka can provide, and it’s one of the reasons that drew me to the job.”
Although the president has spent a good deal of time “ascertaining the hopes, dreams, and concerns” of the College community, he also spearheaded a campus-wide, long-range strategic planning effort. One of the first outcomes of that work is a new mission statement:
Keuka College exists to create citizens and leaders to serve the world in the 21st century.
Among the many topics being discussed during the on-going strategic planning process is the arts.
“We must bring the arts back to Keuka College,” said the president. “Conversations are under way with the Eastman School of Music to see what we can do together. Another exciting project is the potential reviving of the Sampson Theatre in downtown Penn Yan. We should be part of this effort and also participate wholeheartedly in the Penn Yan 20/20 planning effort. The Finger Lakes Museum is another project that plays in this arena.”
Díaz-Herrera pledged to “enthusiastically give my full dedication to the College in the only way I know: with passion and firmness. You can be sure that I will put my heart and soul toward moving this institution to the next level.”
But the president said a team effort is required to reach that level.
“Resilient academic institutions succeed because their faculty, staff, students, and friends are strongly committed to them,” he said. “I will need your total commitment, and I will work hard on building confidence and trust to achieve the solidarity needed to address difficult and changing times.”
In the discussions he has had with members of the College community during his 10 months on the job, Díaz-Herrera said one thing resonates loud and clear.
“Our community is passionate about this place,” he said, “and I must confess that the enthusiasm is contagious. I am fired up!”
To view a brief album of photos from the Inauguration, click HERE.