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Inaugural Foreign Field Period™ Winners

Nyahwai, left, and Gordon, right

Later this week, Genille Gordon of the Bronx and Primrose Nyahwai of Harare, Zimbabwe will be on a plane to China, bound for a first-hand experience of another culture that both Keuka College sophomores hope will be transformational in their personal and professional development.

Dr. Anne Marie Guthrie

Nyahwai and Gordon are the first recipients of the Dr. Anne Marie Guthrie Educational Fund Scholarship, which was funded by Dr. Michael Hwang, administrative chancellor for Keuka College China Campuses. Since 2002, the Keuka China Program (KCP) has enabled nearly 7,000 Chinese students to complete an American bachelor’s degree in business at one of four partner universities — Tianjin University of Science and Technology, Jimei University in Xiamen, Wenzhou University, and Yunnan University of Finance and Economics in Kunming.

Dr. Hwang established the scholarship fund in memory of Dr. Guthrie, who died in October 2013 after an extended illness. Dr. Guthrie served 12 years as dean of the Center for Experiential Learning at Keuka College, and the two worked closely together during the creation of the KCP learning model. According to Dr. Hwang, she was a “great supporter” of the Career Management and Experiential Learning course, a “highlight and unique part” of the KCP curriculum.

“I am certain that the Keuka China Program would not have reached its credibility and status in China without that course. And Dr. Guthrie was such a key part of making all of this happen,” Dr. Hwang said.

Experiential learning is embedded in the Keuka College curriculum and flourishes in Field Period™, conducted each year by undergraduate students who invest several weeks into hands-on learning experiences. A Field Period™ may consist of an internship in a professional field, a community service or creative project, exploration of another culture, or a spiritual exploration study such as a charitable mission trip. Diversity is also upheld as a key College value, and the marriage of experiential learning and diversity in the Guthrie scholarship represents another unique offering where collaboration results in powerful opportunities for student learning.

Nyahwai and Gordon were selected for the honor on the basis of their GPAs, personal leadership accomplishments, and involvement in campus clubs and activities, according to Dr. Anne Weed, vice president for academic affairs. Weed was commissioned to review candidates and select the first winners.

Nyahwai

While Nyahwai hopes to study Chinese practices of recycling and sustainability, with the purpose of implementing what she learns at an elementary school back in Zimbabwe, Gordon hopes to develop skills in understanding and collaborating with those in China and ultimately, to raise awareness of the shared humanity of individuals, back on the home campus. Both young women also plan to study Chinese dialects and glean as much as they can of a foreign language.

“Cross-cultural experiences, such as those afforded to Genille and Primrose through this scholarship, provide a new perspective on the world and allow students to learn about cultural differences through direct experience outside the classroom,” said Dr. Wendy Gaylord, dean of KCP for the College. “This is a major goal of experiential learning, and we thank Dr. Hwang for assisting our students in this way.”

According to Dr. Gaylord, Dr. Hwang’s generous funding will allow both young women to meet Chinese students, learn about campus life in China, and experience Chinese culture, in addition to completing their Field Period™ projects. The interaction with Chinese culture will continue when they return to the home campus in Keuka Park, as the College hosts many exchange students from China, Gaylord said. (more…)

Keuka College Celebrates Earth Day

Freshman Mary Leet picks up trash as part of the College's Earth Day Campus Clean up.

The Keuka College campus is cleaner, thanks to the 11 staff, faculty, and students who came together to celebrate Earth Day (April 22).

Sponsored by the Staff Advisory Council’s Events Committee, paper, old gum, bottles, cigarette butts, and nails, among other items, were collected and placed in trash bins or set aside to be recycled.

Brett Williams, digital media specialist, wanted to participate in the campus clean up because “it makes me feel good to get together with friends and colleagues to make Keuka a little cleaner.”

Keuka’s initiative was spearheaded by SAC Events Committee members Paulette Willemsen, secretary for the Division of Education and the Division of Social Work; Vickie Tobias, database administrator; Justin Krog, program developer, and BJ Hill, office manager for the Division of Student Affairs.

Other Earth Week events at Keuka include:

Enactus Team Heads for Regional Competition

Matrassi, Gleason, Matthews, Ford, alternate Josh Crummenauer, and Schoen, rehearsed the Enactus presentation Friday March 15

Imagination. Courage. Determination. Partnership. Accountability. Curiosity. Those six traits and four community service initiatives will be shared by six Keuka students at the regional Enactus competition  in Baltimore, Md. March 22.

Enactus is an international, non-profit organization that works with leaders in business and higher education to mobilize students to make a difference in their communities while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders. The international organization formerly known as Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) changed its name to Enactus this fall.

Regional winners automatically receive an invitation to the national competition, which Keuka has done nine of the past 11 years. This year’s nationals will be held May 21-23 in Kansas City, Mo.

Enactus Team President Desiree Ford, a senior, describes the Pathstone project the team operates, originally launched through a grant from then-Senator Hillary Clinton

The Keuka team will deliver  a 17-minute presentation outlining four community service projects  it completed this year, Including:

At the close of practice, Enactus team members took questions on projects. From left, tech assistant Dan Stephens, Ford, Crummenauer and Schoen

Members of the presentation team include:

The team is coached by faculty adviser Sam Ferrara, assistant professor of management.

SIFE Out, Enactus In

SIFE, a familiar acronym on the Keuka College campus since the advent of the 21st century, no longer exists.

In a move designed to reaffirm its “long-standing commitment to using entrepreneurial action as a catalyst for progress,” the international organization Students in Free Enterprise has changed its name to Enactus.

“We needed a name that captured the entrepreneurial spirit that fuels everything we do,” said Alvin Rohrs, CEO. “We were also eager to create a name that reflected how global this organization has become.”

Some 57,000 students are members of Enactus clubs in 1,600 colleges and universities in 39 countries.

“Entrepreneurial action is not something that is relevant to a single culture or nationality,” said Rohrs. “What we do is just as powerful in Shanghai as it is in Sao Paulo, just as transformative whether we are in San Francisco or Sydney.”

Or in Keuka Park, N.Y., where the Keuka College SIFE  team has enhanced the quality of life in the region while qualifying for nine SIFE national competitions in the past 11 years. (more…)

SIFE Team Garners ‘Seed Money’ for Green Project

Senior Katelin Maxson led a team of SIFE students whose work on a sustainability project will bring "green" savings through motion-sensor technology to light switches like the one Rick Becker, maintenance manager, helps point out at Keuka's facilities plant.

The lights will soon dim in a campus building near you.

That’s what students working on the Keuka College CSI (Campus Sustainability Initiative) project are hoping. As members of Keuka’s Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) team, those working on the environmentally friendly project created a “green” project recommending motion-sensor lighting technology be used more places on campus, such as in classrooms vacated near the end of the day, dorm hallways and other locales.

SIFE CSI Project Manager Katelin Maxson submitted a proposal in early September to the national SIFE organization, hoping to be chosen one of 15 elite teams across the Northeast to qualify for a grant award through SIFE’s sponsor, o.b® a brand of Johnson and Johnson. In keeping with the sponsor’s marketing theme, “women for less waste,” adding motion-sensor lighting to select classrooms and hallways would reduce energy usage and waste, according to SIFE team president Nick Simpson. The team learned Dec. 1 they had won a re-grant award.

“I’m on campus late most nights,” said Maxson,, a senior accounting major from Whitney Point. “I go by Hegeman [Hall] and see almost every classroom lit up with computer screens and lights on at 9 p.m., but no one’s been in those classrooms for several hours.”

Simpson called the $1,500 award “seed money” for the next phase of competition, when the SIFE team can present data showing what kind of impact the green initiatives had on the campus. Maxson explained that the CSI team will receive an initial $1,250 to launch the project, with the remaining $250 to come when the tracking data – actual net savings shown on utility bills – is submitted to the national SIFE organization, likely in April. Prizes earned at the next level of competition could garner the team an additional $1,000 – $2,500.

(more…)