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Swapping Suntans for Social Responsibility

Painting fences on a farm that teaches farming skills to men rehabilitating from drugs and alcohol doesn’t sound like a typical activity for college students on spring break.

Neither does working at a home for boys, from 8-18 years old, teaching them English and playing volleyball, basketball, Frisbee, and soccer with them.

But that is just what a dozen Keuka College students will do as part of the College’s annual Alternative Spring Break when they travel to Quesada, Costa Rica March 20-27. These students will not be working on their suntans. They will simply be working—hard.

Hosted by Mary Curtiss Miller ’53 and her husband Ralph, and led by Rev. Eric Detar, Keuka College chaplain and director of the Center for Spiritual Life, and Tim White, assistant director of residential life and director of the Success Advocates, the students are part of Alternative Spring Break’s first international edition. The Millers have been missionaries in Costa Rica for more than 50 years.

“When Tim and I first began leading Alternative Spring Break trips four years ago, they were seemingly random, but we always found someone, and some way, to help,” said Detar. “We are beginning to become more strategic in our trips, and we want to offer four unique experiences throughout a student’s years at Keuka College. We hope to offer trips in an urban setting, an environmental setting, a rural setting, and an international trip. During each trip, we will look at culture, stewardship, and poverty of each area we visit.”

Junior Faith Garlington is particularly excited about working at the home for boys.

“As an occupational science major, I am interested to see the differences between how the boys play as to how kids in America play,” said Garlington, a Boonville resident. “I want to see how and when they reach their milestones in a culture that is different from mine. I am excited to connect what I have learned in the classroom with what I will see.”

Katie Crossley, a sophomore unified early childhood education major from Panama, N.Y. chose to participate in Alternative Spring Break because she believes she felt “a calling to go and is exactly where I am supposed to be in my life right now,” while Bloomfield resident Jeff Miller says he wants to reorient himself.

“It’s so easy to get caught up in your own world and forget that we are more fortunate than a lot of others in the world,” said the junior occupational science major. “I am grateful for what I have.”

For Lindsay Holmes, a senior occupational science major from West Henrietta, this is her second Alternative Spring Break trip.

“I went on the trip to Washington, DC last year, and experienced the culture of the homeless; it was eye-opening,” she said. “I think this will be similar, but on a larger scale.”

Emily Grecco, a sophomore psychology major from Waverly and Haley Jordan, a junior occupational science major from Auburn, agree that participating in Alternative Spring Break will be a reality check.

“I will be helping people with something they need, and not just be on another vacation where I am a tourist,” said Grecco.

“It’s easy to think that that one person can’t have much of an impact, but we’ve seen from past trips that it’s not true. I am so glad that I will not be a tourist and that I will get to interact with the people on a greater level,” said White.

While the students will not be tourists, they will be able to explore the country through activities such as speeding down a zip line, go horseback riding, swimming in the hot springs of Arenal Volcano, and visiting Sarchi, a quaint painted oxcart village. The group will also participate in worship services at a Methodist Church.

Other students participating include: Emily Pidgeon, a junior social work major from Oneonta; Rachel Guthrie, a junior child and family studies major from North Rose; Ashley Terry, a sophomore political science and history major from Andes; Emily Black, a sophomore political science and history major from Athens, Pa.; Jenny Schafer, a junior occupational science major from Fayetteville; and Patricia Wallace, a senior occupational science major from Bath.

No Beaches for this Bunch

Jamaica, Miami, South Padre Island, and Puerto Vallarta are among the Travel Channel’s Top 12 spring break destinations for college students this year.

A destination notably missing is Washington, D.C., probably due to its lack of palm trees and white sand beaches.

But a dozen Keuka College students, who chose to swap suntans for shovels, will travel to the nation’s capital April 1-6 to spend spring break helping those in need. The students, along with Eric Detar, College chaplain, and Tim White, resident director for Blyley and Harrington Halls and a retention counselor, are participating in Keuka College’s annual Alternative Spring Break.

The Keuka team will work with the Center for Student Missions (CSM), which provides urban missions and service experiences for youth, adult, and family groups.

While working in Washington, the Keuka students will prepare and serve breakfast and lunch to the homeless, assist with an after-school program for elementary school children, help with the construction and renovation of a church, and assist at a senior center day care program.

“Right now, we just know each other by name and maybe a couple of other things,” said Detar. “The students who choose to take Alternative Spring Break trips will have a unique shared group experience that no one else will have. By the end of this trip, each of us will be much more than just a face around campus.”

Courtney Ray, a junior social work major from Cato, believes the trip will be an eye-opening experience.

“As a social work major, I anticipate working with the kind of people I will work with in my career,” she said.

Kaysie Burnett, a junior education major from Shortsville, wanted to go on the Alternative Spring Break “because I have never been to Washington, D.C., and thought a service trip would be a good way to spend spring break.”

And while participating in a mission trip may be new to Burnett, helping others is in Nina Fusco’s blood. The freshman occupational science major has been practicing social responsibility through her church since she was 13. But since her church closed several months ago, the Mechanicsville resident has been looking for a service project. So, when she heard about the Alternative Spring Break trip, Fusco jumped at the chance.

“Participating in this trip lets me continue doing something I love to do, and I am looking forward to going,” said Fusco.

So are Penn Yan resident Alicia Parkhurst, who is pursuing her master’s degree in education, and junior Francesca Spina.

Two years ago, Spina, an adolescent social studies major, worked with nine other students at Franciscans for the Poor in Cincinnati, Ohio, for the 2011 edition of Alternative Spring Break.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the trip and it changed my perspective on my life,” said the Rochester resident. “It made me realize how blessed I am and how much I can give to others in need. That is way I want to go to Washington and help again.”

After the students have performed the day’s work, they will have an opportunity for reflection at the Douglas Memorial Methodist Church, and enjoy dinners at ethnic restaurants. Also planned are   visits to the National Mall, Lincoln Memorial, World War II Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

White expects the Keuka group to be impacted by what they see and do while in Washington.

“The work we will do has been going on for a long time, and will continue after we leave,” said White. “We will get a snapshot of what people do every day to help those who need it most. What we get from this trip will be far more that what we give.”

Other students participating in Alternative Spring Break include: Robby Magee, a senior adolescent social studies/special education major from Fairport; Megan Russo, a freshman psychology major from Ceaderville, N.J.; Mattie Waldstein, a senior education studies major from Needham, Mass.; Patricia Wallace, a junior occupational science major from Bath; Lindsay Holmes, a junior occupational science major from West Henrietta; Sean Boutin, a sophomore criminology/criminal justice major from Purling; and Niki Chase, a junior social work major from Oneonta.

Nuns, Crayons, and Music Men

Members of the student affairs staff were in the Halloween spirit as they captured first place with their box of crayons group costume.

What do a box of crayons, a bag of pepperoni, Flo of Progressive Insurance fame, a prom-going zombie, the Ball Hall tower, and a fox have in common?

Ariel Scott

They were all characters who won the annual Halloween costume contest held on the Keuka College campus Wednesday, Oct. 31.

Tracy McFarland, associate vice president for student development, portrayed the crayon box, while Eva Moberg-Sarver, director of student activities; Eric Detar, chaplain; and resident directors (RD) Kevin Perry, Tim White, Rebecca Capek, Margeaux DePrez, and Kelsey Deso posed as the crayons.

McFarland and her colorful crew earned first place in the group category.

Amanda Burlingame

Junior Ariel Scott (zombie), an organizational communication major from Unadilla, received the top prize in the scariest category, while the most original prize went to Amanda Burlingame, a senior adolescent mathematics/special education major from Keuka Park, for her portrayal as Flo.

Nathan Calabria

Jennie Snyder

The top costumes in the male and female categories went to Nathan Calabria (the fox), and Jennie Snyder (pepperoni). Calabria and Snyder, part of the D.R.I.V.E. program, earned $30 each for their efforts.

Sue DeLyser

For staff and faculty, a Halloween hat contest with desk-to-desk competition, was held. Human Resources Manager Sue Delyser, earned bragging rights with her ‘hat’—the Ball Hall tower.

Each contestant received a gift certificate to the Terrace Café courtesy of AVI Fresh, the College’s food service provider.

More Halloween photos.

College Marks 9/11 Anniversary

College Chaplain Eric Detar lights a candle at the College's 9/11 remembrance service.

Keuka College marked the 11th anniversary of 9/11  with a candle-lighting and bell-ringing ceremony at the September 11 Memorial Tree outside Dahlstrom Student Center.

At each time a plane crashed Sept. 11, 2001—8:45 a.m. (North Tower of the World Trade Center); 9:03 a.m. (South Tower of the World Trade Center); 9:43 a.m. (Pentagon); and 10:10 a.m. (Somerset County, Pa.)—the bells in the Ball Hall bell tower rang, and a candle was lit at the base of the tree.

“While it is important never to forget what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, you must also find a way to heal and move on with your life,” said College Chaplain Rev. Eric Detar.

Detar was “touched by the number of people at the service last year, and the number of people personally affected by the tragedy. I listened to the stories students, faculty, and staff told of the people they knew who were in the towers, or who should have been there, but for some reason, were not.”

Before coming to Keuka in 2009, Detar served as associate pastor at Grace United Methodist Church in Indiana, Pa., and fulfilled the role of campus minister to the students at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP).

“The Shanksville field, where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed, is about 45 minutes away from Grace United, and we had a camp—Camp Allegany—that backs up to that field,” said Detar. “Camp Allegany was turned into a place where workers stayed and people received help. Tim [White, residence director for Blyley and Harrington Halls] and I have been to the field, and it seems to me that the people on that plane chose that spot specifically in hopes of saving lives on the ground.”

The tree, planted last year to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the attacks, also held a vase with one red, one blue, and one white carnation. A plaque by the base of tree reads: “To honor and remember the victims, emergency personnel, and other heroes who died in the attacks on our country.”

Advocating Success

The success advocates include, from left: Margeaux DePrez, Kevin Perry, McKala Accetura, Eugene Mont, Kelsey Deso, Tim White, and Rebecca Capek..

Keuka College has long been touted for its family-like atmosphere.

And a new effort by the Office of Student Affairs just might bring the family even closer, while hopefully having a positive impact on retention. In addition to their regular duties, the College’s seven residence directors (RDs) will become success advocates (SAs) for this year’s new crop of matriculates.

The role of the SAs is to be a friend, another resource on campus to help the students solve problems, and guide them on their path to graduation.

Jim Blackburn, vice president for student development and dean of students.

“We usually hear of unsuccessful students when we can no longer help them,” said Jim Blackburn, vice president for student development and dean of students. “What the success advocates will do is reduce some of the reactivity. We want to be proactive, connect with students right away, and focus on ways that will make each student successful.”

Seen as a front line resource for students, the SAs include RDs Margeaux DePrez (Space Hall), Eugene Mont (Ball Hall), Tim White (Blyley and Harrington Halls), McKala Accetura (Strong Hall Apartments), Kelsey Deso (Davis Hall), Rebecca Capek (Saunders Hall), and Kevin Perry (Keuka Park Apartments). (more…)

Employees Honored at Community Day

Forty-nine faculty and staff members were recognized for their service and dedication to Keuka College at Community Day Aug. 20.

Keuka College President Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera, second from right, poses with five-year service award recipients.

Five-year service awards were presented to: Eva Moberg-Sarver, director of student activities/associate director of New Student Orientation; Doreen Hovey, executive assistant to the vice president for academic affairs; Jonathan Accardi, director of campus recreation; Christopher Leahy, associate professor of history; Andrew Robak, assistant professor of chemistry; Patricia Mattingly, assistant professor of nursing; Jennifer Mealy, assistant professor of social work; Kimberly Fenton, interlibrary loan librarian; Joshua Ficks, manager of TeamWorks!; Judy Gilmartin, administrative programmer; John Locke, director of instructional design and multidisciplinary studies; Kathleen Snow, academic skills counselor; Marjorie Multer, administrative assistant, admissions; Julie Burns-Percy, assistant professor of social work, Accelerated Studies for Adults Program (ASAP); Jessica Noveck, student services representative; Chevanne DeVaney, director of multicultural affairs; Teri Spoor, IKON site manager; Craig Gelder, manager, Follett Bookstore; Terry Reape, dining services; Korey Goodman, dining services; Steven Riekofski, maintenance; and Sue Morse, housekeeping.

Keuka College President Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera, second from right, poses with 10-year service award recipients.

Ten-year service awards were presented to Tim Sellers, associate vice president for academic affairs; Vicki Smith, chair and professor of occupational therapy; Tom Tremer, chair and professor of criminology/criminal justice; Anna Decker, secretary, education graduate studies and administrative assistant, Lightner Library; Sharon Tyler, associate professor and librarian; and Susan DeLyser, human resource manager.

Fifteen-year service awards were presented to Jean Wannall, professor of occupational therapy; Anne Weed, vice president of academic affairs; Brad Turner, technical support technician; Kathy Waye, executive director of alumni and family relations; and Kasey Klingensmith, professor of biology.

A 20-year service award was presented to Jeff Bray, assistant director of athletics and head athletic trainer.

Twenty-five year service awards were presented to Doug Richards, chair and professor of English; and Sherry Fox, accounts payable.

College President Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera and Professor of Biology Joan Magnusen.

Tom Carroll, professor of chemistry and physics (left) with College President Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera.

Thirty-year service awards were presented to Tom Carroll, professor of chemistry and physics; and Joan Magnusen, professor of biology.

Merit awards were presented to: Laura Alfieris, assistant director of admissions; Carroll; Rachel E. Dewey, communications specialist; Kathleen Hastings, assistant director of admissions counseling; Jennie Joiner, assistant professor of English; Kelly Lickert, head coach, women’s lacrosse; Eugene Mont, resident director, Ball Hall and retention counselor; Tim White, resident director, Blyley and Harrington Halls and retention counselor; and Penny Webber, office manager for Academic Success at Keuka (ASK).

College President Díaz-Herrera (center) with Tracy McFarland (left) and Christen Accardi.

Two Presidential Awards for Sustained Outstanding Achievement were presented to Christen Accardi, marketing manager, ASAP; and Tracy McFarland, associate vice president for student development.

It Gets Better

In September 2010, syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage created a YouTube video with his partner, Terry Miller, to inspire hope in young people facing harassment.

Charles Scheetz, assistant director of financial aid.

The It Gets Better Project was created to show members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach that they are not alone; and it will get better. The It Gets Better Project has become a worldwide movement, inspiring more than 50,000 user-created videos, including one produced at Keuka College.

The moving force behind the Keuka video was Charles Scheetz, assistant director of financial aid.

(more…)

Fort Drum Delivery an “Eye-Opening” Experience

College Chaplain Rev. Eric Detar had mixed emotions when the last of the College’s three shipments to the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) in Afghanistan was “returned to sender.”

“I was disappointed that our Keuka College t-shirts and various supplies didn’t get to the soldiers but on the other hand, ‘return to sender’ meant that they had returned home and I was happy for them,” said Detar.

Detar’s emotions turned to all-out joy when he, Resident Director Tim White and three students presented the t-shirts to their adopted platoon in person at Fort Drum Nov. 18.

“We were invited to attend the CAB’s uncasing ceremony,” said Detar, who was accompanied by Samantha Chesnut, a freshman sociology major from Mexico, N.Y.;  Kathryrn Drueschler, a freshman childhood education major from East Aurora; and Amanda Collins, a sophomore early childhoodASL major from Manchester, Conn.

When CAB deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, its colors were cased—taken down, rolled up, and placed into a protective case. Upon its return to Fort Drum, where it is part of the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division, the colors were uncased, unfurled, and flown.
(more…)

Elves, Witches, and Superman

Although the holiday season is still a few weeks away, Santa Claus and several of his elves made a stop on the Keuka College campus Monday, Oct. 31.

Pat Reape, director of housing and residence life, dressed as the guy in the red suit for the annual Halloween costume contest in Dahlstrom Student Center. His elves, resident directors (RD) Eugene Mont, Tim White, Rebecca Capek, McKala Accetura, and Margeaux DePrez posed with gifts and candy canes.

Reape and the RDs earned first place in the contest—a pizza party for 15 people.

Second place winners were a group of students known as the Average Lows. The students—Isaiah Nalls, Brandon Franklin, Mark Butto, Justin Napolitano, Alex Fiore, Ricky Newton, Nate Smith, Kyle Rivera, Coty Paige, and Anthony Jones—each earned a certificate for a free meal in the Terrace Café for their efforts.

Third place recipient, Andy Robak, assistant professor of chemistry, received a certificate for a free smoothie at the Terrace Café for his portrayal of the Macho Man.

Check out more Halloween photos.

Snapshots of a ‘True Keukonian:’ Fred L. Hoyle

An avid photographer, Fred Hoyle’s images have graced at least six Keuka magazine covers, numerous inside features, plus countless flyers, brochures and web site pages promoting the people and programs of the College where he worked since 2005.

But the image of the man himself – passionate about students, the College mission and diverse recreational pursuits – has come into sharp focus in the short time since his passing. Hoyle, associate vice president for admissions at Keuka, lost his 11-month battle against melanoma Oct. 26 at the age of 47.

While his death left the College in mourning, his life and heart have inspired many in the campus community and beyond to celebrate his dedicated service and passionate spirit.

With both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Rochester Institute of Technology, Hoyle’s expertise and verve in the areas of photography, information technology, telecommunications and interactive media commanded attention when he first interviewed for the web coordinator position at Keuka in 2005. Handwritten notes jotted on his resume indicate he was the first candidate to mention a different look and “read” necessary for web marketing. Indeed, the interweaving of branding, imaging and marketing was Hoyle’s specialty.

A Fred Hoyle shot of vineyards overlooking one of his favorite Finger Lakes.

Making his mark as webmaster, he soon progressed to associate dean of admissions and marketing, then dean, and in 2010 became associate vice president for admissions. He led a team of nearly a dozen admissions counselors and staff in recruiting and welcoming each year’s freshman class.

“Fred was one of the smartest hires I ever made,” said COO/Executive Vice President Carolanne Marquis. “He exemplified exactly what Keuka College was about. He knew how to lead a team, how to handle the Admissions process in a way that fit the mission of our College. He was adored by every constituent on this campus.”

Vice President for Academic Affairs Anne Weed said Hoyle “brought tremendous wisdom, compassion, and dedication to his work with Keuka’s students – and took genuine pride in their success.”

Chris Austin, a 2008 graduate, conducted a Field Period, the 140-hour yearly internship that is a cornerstone of every Keuka degree, under Hoyle in 2007 and recalled Hoyle’s excitement about the potential of social media to engage prospective students. While Austin discovered that Facebook rules then prevented organizations from hosting their own pages, Hoyle never let go of the idea, Austin said. Today, Keuka boasts multiple Facebook pages, including ones for special admissions subgroups, such as incoming student classes, where Hoyle often commented and interacted with students himself.

“I will remember Fred as a visionary,” said Austin. “Under his leadership, the reach of the Keuka College marketing initiatives increased its geographic territory which no doubt has helped Keuka grow. Keuka College has lost a profound leader that helped make [it] what it is today.”

Hoyle's shot of sunrise at Point Neamo, along the campus shoreline.

In a written commentary, Joseph Burke, president emeritus of Keuka, said Hoyle embodied the Keuka spirit, even encouraging Burke to stay focused on the students when Burke would phone Hoyle at home during recovery from treatments.

“He was the epitome of a true Keukonian. He was passionate about everything,” Burke said, naming the quality of the school’s educational program, its mission and student welfare as just a few examples. “Fred mixed his passion with an uncanny ability to inspire the very best in those around him.”

Hoyle was especially devoted to students, and relished helping them, recommending scholarships and hearing their stories, said Keuka Webmaster Pete Bekisz, who worked under Hoyle for five years.

“When he’d talk to families, Fred made them feel like the most important people in the world. That’s something not a lot of people know how to do,” Bekisz said. Referencing the numerous student memories shared online, as well as on posters placed in the campus dining hall, he added: “There’s a lot of students who would say that what [Fred] might have considered a small conversation really changed their life, and that’s just the kind of person that he was.”

Hoyle, at left, with a fellow competitor, was a member of the Dutch Wheelmen Susquehanna Bicycle Racing Team of Bloomsburg, Pa.

Other passions of Hoyle’s included car racing – particularly at nearby Watkins Glen – and competitive cycling. Hoyle finished fifth in the 55-mile master’s division (ages 35-44) cycling race in the 2006 Empire State Games, hosted in the Rochester region. He later bested that with a bronze medal finish in the 2008 Games. For pleasure, Hoyle often cycled the 40-mile round trip between his Middlesex home and campus.

Fine wines – particularly French ones – and gourmet foods were another pursuit. Hoyle’s recipes, photography and travel adventures with his wife, Pam, would often be featured on his blog, www.afoodexperience.net.

On campus, Hoyle started a unique marketing initiative: a summer barbecue for prospective students and their high school counselors where Hoyle himself would grill the hamburgers and hots.

“He was a fantastic chef. He made some of the best-tasting things I’d ever had, and there wasn’t a food dilemma he couldn’t fix,” recalled Bekisz, who shared Hoyle’s culinary interests. “He had specific, quirky interests with food. He’d travel miles on end for a good cut of beef.”

He also enjoyed bird-watching, animals, jazz music and what Hoyle called the technological “art” of Apple products, Bekisz recalled.

Residence directors Tim White and Eugene Mont named Hoyle an executive producer in their campus film, The Curse of Ball Hall, which will debut at the College Halloween night. White described how Hoyle went out of his way to support the project, lending the two a video camera to film scenes and suggesting a variety of marketing strategies to pique interest from the student body.

“He was excited from the word ‘Go,’ – and [shared] how we could tailor it into an Admissions piece to recruit and retain students,” White said, adding that he and Mont are now dedicating the film to Hoyle’s memory.

“Fred’s enthusiasm was contagious, whether it be about cycling, food, wine or photography,” said Lynn Lannon, a 1969 Keuka graduate and member of the Board of Trustees. “And then there was his enthusiasm for and commitment to Keuka. He was an amazing ambassador, committed and passionate … We have lost a wonderful human being, a wonderful Keukonian.”

Condolences from students, former colleagues, and countless friends have poured into the College from all corners for Hoyle and a scholarship has been established in his honor. Contributions to the Fred L. Hoyle Endowed Scholarship for incoming Keuka College students may be directed to: the Division of College Advancement, Keuka College, P.O. Box 98, Keuka Park, N.Y. 14478.

Visitation and Memorial Service Information:

Calling hours for Fred Hoyle will be held Sunday, Oct. 30,
from 2 to 6 p.m. at:

Johnson-Kennedy Funeral Home
47 North Main St.
Canandaigua, N.Y.  14424
Phone: (585) 394-4280
Web site: www.johnsonkennedy.com

A memorial service for Fred will be held Saturday, Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. in Norton Chapel. A reception will follow in Lightner Library.

Messages of sympathy may be sent to:

Mrs. Pam Hoyle
996 Old Vineyard Road
Middlesex, N.Y.  14507

We invite you to share your memories of Fred and condolences for his family by leaving a comment below.