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Accardi Wins Local, Regional Supervisor of the Year Award

Jonathan Accardi, director of campus recreation and aquatics at Keuka College, received a double dose of good news Thursday (April 18).

After winning the College’s Work-Study Supervisor of the Year Award, Accardi learned he had also captured the Northeast Association of Student Employment Administrators (NEASEA) Supervisor of the Year Award.

The NEASEA’s Supervisor of the Year program begins at an institutional level and progresses to the regional level. The  award was established to recognize the integral part that the supervisor plays in the education of a student employee. Supervisors act as mentors and provide education to their students not gained through the classroom. Students at colleges and universities across the region were asked to nominate supervisors they felt were especially worthy of recognition.

In all, 91 supervisors were nominated, including seven from Keuka, and 11 schools submitted their winner for consideration for the NEASEA award. Accardi bested winners from colleges in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, Pennsylvania, and West Virgina.

According to senior Samantha Stevenson, who nominated Accardi, he communicates continuously with student workers, is always open to comments or concerns, and freely shares his vision for future campus recreation  programming. Stevenson called Accardi one of her greatest mentors. (more…)

Talented and Trustworthy

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of profiles of Student Employee of the Year nominees. The winner will be announced at a luncheon Thursday, April 18.

Two years ago, when Jon Accardi, director of campus recreation, was looking for a senior supervisor for intramurals, he didn’t have to look far.

Travis Simmons

Accardi turned to Travis Simmons, an intramurals student employee and participant. He said selecting Simmons as senior supervisor was an “easy decision.

“Travis possesses enthusiasm, commitment and natural leadership ability, all of which played a key role in the tremendous growth intramurals experienced,” said Accardi.

Accardi says the program reached an all-time high of 47 percent participation from the student body in 2011-2012. The program is on pace to reach more than 50 percent in 2012-2013.

These stats are just one reason Accardi nominated Simmons, a business management major from Norwich,  for Student Employee of the Year.

“I absolutely believe there is a direct correlation between the success of the program and Travis’ abilities as a staff supervisor and event manager,” said Accardi. “At games and events, Travis goes above and beyond by greeting participants and spectators, which helps shape a fun and friendly atmosphere. He is the face of intramurals.”

Simmons, who supervises a staff of 18 referees and scorekeepers,” is the most well-rounded, talented, dedicated, and trustworthy student employee I have had. He is always the first one to show up and the last to leave for events.”

Accardi says Simmons has set a new standard for his position, and he is always looking for new opportunities to learn more and improve the program. For example, Simmons asked to assist with the student-employee evaluation process.

“He viewed the additional work as an opportunity to learn how to evaluate someone, as well as provide and obtain feedback,” said Accardi.

According to Accardi, Simmons extends his commitment to the intramurals program through his service on the Recreation Advisory Board, helping refine the current program and generate new ideas to keep things fresh and exciting.

Simmons plans to pursue a career in collegiate recreation and intramurals.

“The positive experiences he’s had as a work-study student in our office has led him toward that path,” said Accardi. “He is a prime example of the importance and value of the work-study program. It is this type of hands-on experience that will prepare Travis for success in the real world.”

First-Ever Spring Storm Madness A Huge Success

The first-ever Spring Storm Madness pep rally occurred Tuesday night inside a jam-packed Weed Physical Arts Center. The Storm's winter sports teams were recognized for their accomplishments while the eight spring sports teams were introduced to the community. At the end, a Keuka College "Harlem Shake" video was created (photo courtesy of Erik Holmes, Keuka College Sports Information Department).

The first-ever Spring Storm Madness pep rally occurred Tuesday night as Keuka's winter sports teams were recognized for their accomplishments while the eight spring sports teams were introduced to the community.

The first-ever Spring Storm Madness pep rally occurred Tuesday night as Keuka’s winter sports teams were recognized for their accomplishments while the eight spring sports teams were introduced to the community.

Tuesday night saw a number of firsts for the Keuka College athletics department.

First, the men’s volleyball team picked up its first-ever North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) victory with a four-set win over Wells College.

Then, the Weed Physical Arts Center was transformed into a massive pep rally as students, coaches, faculty, staff and administrators packed the gym for Keuka’s first-ever Spring Storm Madness.

Decked out in green, these participants eagerly cheered on the Storm’s winter sports teams and their many accomplishments while giving a warm welcome to Keuka’s eight spring sports teams.

The event was organized and run by senior Nate Smith (Hilton, NY/Hilton), a men’s soccer standout who was extremely pleased with the turnout and the support shown to the Storm’s student-athletes. The event was also organized by Keuka’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) with assistance from the Student Senate.

During this pep rally-style celebration, members of Keuka College and the surrounding community got the chance to meet these student-athletes and participate in school spirit activities.

For senior Montana McDonald (Romulus, NY/Romulus), a member of Keuka’s women’s basketball and soccer squads, the highlight of the evening was towards the end of the festivities, when hundreds of Keuka student-athletes, coaches and administrators participate in the Storm’s version of the viral “Harlem Shake” video.

“Having the ‘Harlem Shake’ costume competition among the teams was exciting because we all were dressed up and we really got the crowd excited,” said McDonald, who along with the members of the women’s basketball team dressed up in 1980s-style apparel for the video.

“With our video, we wanted to show that our school is full of high-spirited, intense athletes as well as a student body that is 100 percent supportive of us. We want other NEAC schools to see that off the floor we are a bunch of crazy college students that love to dress up and have fun. It was really exciting and such a fun way to kick off the spring sports season.”

Among the games that occurred during the pep rally: a tug-of-war contest amongst the classes, a sack race featuring members of the SAAC and a paper airplane contest.

Additionally, there was a dance-off and assorted costume contests. Assorted prizes and Keuka paraphernalia were given away during the Spring Storm Madness.

The men’s and women’s basketball teams and their coaching staffs were honored for successful seasons that saw the women post a 20-4 overall mark (16-1 in the NEAC) and claim the school’s fourth NEAC North Division championship in seven years.

The men’s basketball team went 10-13 and 8-7 in NEAC play and won the most games since the 2008-09 season.

Among the highlights: seniors Teddy Tuggles (Rochester, NY/Gates Chili) and Mariah Mouzon (Elmira, NY/Elmira Free Academy) each surpassed 1,000 career points during the season, while five student-athletes earned All-NEAC honors.

For the women, juniors Jessica Bandrowski (Center Moriches, NY/Center Moriches) and Danielle Gravel (Sidney, NY/Sidney) earned first-team All-NEAC, while Mouzon was named third-team All-NEAC.

For the men, Tuggles garnered second-team All-NEAC while sophomore Trevor Healey (Wethersfield, CT/Wethersfield) was named third-team All-NEAC.

While Storm Madness has always honored the fall sports teams while introducing Keuka’s basketball teams and its men’s volleyball squad, this unique pep rally gave fans their first look at the Storm’s lacrosse, baseball, softball, tennis and golf teams.

“It was really exciting because the spring sports never really have the chance to be recognized and we have some of the most successful teams on campus,” McDonald said. “All the athletes were really excited and absolutely loved being announced, along with getting the chance to throw items out to the crowd.”