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Keuka’s Family Tree

Keuka College now has a family tree, thanks to Huong (Haley) Nguyen ’13.

Nguyen, who spent the last two years in Keuka Park after beginning her studies at Keuka’s partner university Vietnam National University International School in Hanoi, wanted to say ‘thank you’ to her professors, advisers, supervisors, and others who work at the College.

Reflecting on what it means to be a student, she came up with the idea to create a family tree.

“As a student, I go to school and get knowledge so I can help create the future,” said Nguyen. “And I think of each human’s life as a tree, in that we’re growing up every day. Our trees cannot grow up without the help and support from everyone from Keuka College. They are the key factors who make us learn, do, dream, and become more.”

Nguyen’s tree features the names of everyone who works at the College. She utilized Photoshop, using the names to form the trunk, branches and leaves. Tamara Ingram, ESL academic skills counselor, said Nguyen’s image was used for thank you cards.

“Haley and other members of the Keuka College International Club had the cards available for students to write thank you notes to members of the staff and faculty,” said Ingram. “Then, members of the club distributed them.”

Nguyen said she “wanted to create something special at the end of the school year to pay my respect to those who dedicated themselves for us (students). Even if I don’t know them, I know they’re still working every day to support me, my studies and activities, as well as the studies and activities of all other students.”

She is particularly thankful for her faculty members.

“The marketing program at Keuka is really good,” she said. “All of my professors have inspired me, and they made me think hard about my future. They made me want to go further, study harder, and become better. I really appreciate all things that they did for me and for all Keuka students.”

Nguyen said she won’t forget her two years at Keuka, or the “incredible” friends she’s made, especially her “adviser Allison [Schultz, international student adviser], Tamara, and Lisa [Marciniak, assistant director of international enrollment], as well as others who work in Geiser, student activities, multicultural affairs.

“If my future career is a tree,” said Nguyen, “they will be the solid roots that help my tree be strong, and stay strong in face of life’s challenges.”

Beyond 9 – 5

Carol Sackett and two of her paintings, "Still Waters," left and "Sunrise," right.

By day, Penn Yan resident Carol Sackett manages the circulation desk at Lightner Library, a post she has held for 32 years. But through March 7, visitors to Keuka College can glimpse a different side of her, as seen in three oil paintings gracing the walls of Lightner Gallery.

Sackett’s paintings are on display alongside numerous other works from members of Keuka’s faculty and staff, whose job titles may not necessarily disclose the individuals as creative “artists-in-residence.”

Beyond 9 to 5: The Hidden Talents of Keuka’s Faculty and Staff runs through March 7 in Lightner Gallery,located in Lightner Library. It features  a range of artistic mediums, including painting, photography, ceramics, glass work, digital art, and film.  More than 20 faculty and staff members submitted work for the show, including President Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera.

During a special artists’ reception – open to the public – Thursday, Feb. 21 from 4:30 – 6 p.m., the exhibit will also feature select culinary art from four members of the faculty and staff. The exhibit remains open daily during library hours, available online at:

Hand-painted glass by Doreen Hovey


ESL “Summer Institute” Provides Chinese Students a Head Start

Hoping to keep as cool as possible amid near 100-degree temps, the class of 16 Chinese graduate students watches as video clips projected from play onscreen.

The image of triple-digit numbers scattered across the map of the U.S.A. lingers for a moment, before instructor Patricia Speers speaks.

“How hot will it be in Washington, D.C. today? What did the experts say you have to do when it gets hot?” asks the English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL)/academic skills counselor for Keuka College’s Center for Global Education. “What’s the ‘a/c’?”

“Air conditioning,” many reply in unison.

The morning class is part of two offered daily for six weeks this summer that are designed to acclimate incoming international students to the differences of classroom listening and speaking, and academic reading and writing in their second language – English. The program has been dubbed the ESL Summer Institute, and the Chinese graduate students and another seven undergraduates, including one Vietnamese student, who will enroll in Keuka business and management programs this fall, started classes July 11.

According to Vernon Larson, associate vice president, Center for Global Education, he and Dr. Gary Smith, vice president of the Center for Professional Studies, realized last year that the bright students coming from partner universities in China and Vietnam began fall classes without a transition, not just to immersion in the English language, but the unique culture of the American college classroom.

“Here, there is a lot of discussion, and in China, the teacher just tells us,” says Yao “Sophie” Sun, who will start a one-year program this fall to earn a Master of Science in management with a concentration in international business. Sun already earned a bachelor’s degree at Jimei University in Xiamen, one of the four partner schools offering Keuka degrees in China.