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Enactus Team a Quarter-Finalist at National Competition

The Keuka College Enactus team has returned triumphant from a strong showing at the 2014 National Expo in Cinncinati, Ohio, held March 31- April 3.

According to co-adviser Enid Arbelo Bryant, assistant professor of communication, the group advanced through the first round to the quarter finals, earning a trophy along the way.

“I’m so proud of the group and their hard work this year,” Bryant said, noting that the team was up against some admirable competitors who moved ahead into the semi-finals. Some of the contenders included schools as large as the University of Southern Maine, University of North Caroline at Charlotte and Kennesaw State University.

The 2014 Enactus team in Ohio

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 in the fall of 2012.

Each year, Enactus teams from college campuses across the nation send exposition teams to participate in regional competitions. Through rehearsed and choreographed multimedia presentations, team members give a formal retelling of the club’s accomplishments during that academic year. The judges panel is comprised of private-sector business executives and can be tough to impress. Regional winners automatically receive an invitation to the national competition, which the Keuka College team has done 10 of the past 12 years.

The College was represented in Cinncinati by Enactus members Michael Kelly ’14, president; Darrcy Matthews ’14, COO; Brittany Gleason ’15, Amanda Markessinis ’16, Kathryn Zawisa ’16, Joshua Crummenauer ’15, Trevor Irby ’16, Ashley Smith ’16, Joseph Rosario ’16, Marilynn Schoen ’15 and Margaret Tower ’16. Another five students round out the full club on campus.

According to Kelly, the team has overcome a number of challenges in the last three years, and this year’s finish capped it off.

“Considering this is the farthest we’ve gone in three years, this year has been extremely successful,” said Kelly. “I’m grateful to all the team members who worked tirelessly to make sure all the projects were going well throughout the year. Even though I will graduate and be sad to leave the team, I’ll be excited to watch how they’re doing from the sidelines.”

Three projects were part of this year’s work: the Seeds of Change initiative, which enables teenage girls at a Costa Rican shelter for the underprivileged to make and sell handmade bracelets in their local community and ship them back to the Enactus team for sale here; the Campus Sustainability Initiative (CSI) which the team has coordinated since 2009 to raise awareness about a number of environmental and societal issues; and a new initiative to begin selling paid ads for the Keukonian student newspaper.

In addition to Bryant, Dr. Yang Zhao, assistant professor of international management, also serves as adviser to the team.

Partnering with a Purpose

MSMIB Team Star presented a plan for Penn Yan Rotary Club. Left to right, Hui "Spencer" Shen, Fredric Tassone, Sida "Panta" Liu, Club president Robert Schwarting, and Lin "Molan" Zhang

Install a specialty digital printing press that could produce high-quality wine labels in batches of less than 10,000. Recruit young professionals to join the Penn Yan Rotary Club. Design a new brand strategy for a food service supply company with 75 years of local history. Introduce a video game for individuals with autism through a kickoff event where the crowd will source (fund) the project. Market Hunt Country Vineyard wines to prospective new customers. Promote a study-abroad program to campus students with a video.

These are just some of the recommendations that students in a Keuka College graduate program presented Feb. 20 and 21 to local merchants and business leaders as part of Dr. Yang Zhao’s Marketing for Managers class.

The students met with leaders of local companies or non-profit organizations to assess the needs of the respective businesses, then worked in small teams to develop marketing plans to address the primary issues. Each team conducted research, interviews, surveys, and financial analysis to develop recommendations for their  clients. The students then created a formal marketing plans showcased them in Powerpoint presentations during the final week of the eight-week course.

Illustration from an MSMIB presentation to benefit Keuka's Center for Global Education.

The eight-week course is part of a one-year program where students earn a Master of Science degree in management with a focus on international business (MSMIB). The MSMIB is similar to an MBA, but with more practical application. Enrollment features a mix of American, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Lebanese students, as well as one from Lesotho.

According to Fredric Tassone of Syracuse, whose team prepared a plan to help the Penn Yan Rotary Club recruit six new young professionals each year, conducting surveys was the hardest part. However, after analyzing the data the research uncovered, the team recommended the club target new members in the 23-35 age range, one of three market segments they identified, and of the three, the one most likely to have the time and interest to join.

“We gave them the most feasible option, since they don’t have a lot of money to advertise, and with their networking focus, that’s probably the best way to build up the club,” Tassone said. (more…)

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: http://lightner.keuka.edu

Hand-painted glass by Doreen Hovey

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Meet New Faculty: Yang Zhao

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of profiles of new, full-time faculty who have joined the Keuka community.

Back in the fall of 2006, Dr. Yang Zhao served as an academic adviser to four international students attending classes on the home campus in Keuka Park. Today, some 79 international students from 12 countries attend classes here, learning how to compare and contrast America with its global neighbors in background, economy, and leadership development.

This fall, after earning her doctorate and serving several years as an adjunct professor for Keuka, Zhao became part of the full-time faculty, teaching courses in economics and leadership to graduate students in Keuka’s Master of Science in management with a concentration in international business (MSMIB) program.

Her studies in China focused on economics, and she holds a B.S. in economics from Shangdong University of Finance and an M.A. in economics from Dongbei University of Finance and Economics. While teaching in China’s Qiqihar University, Zhao published seven research articles relative to strategic planning, management, marketing, economics and business to help entrepreneurs and companies to better serve their community. In 2003, she won the Outstanding Young Professor award, for the Hei Long Jiang province of China. During that time, she also served as an academic coordinator for the Keuka China Program (KCP) and assistant professor at Qiqihar University.

Here in the U.S., she has added an M.S. in management from Keuka, and just this summer, completed an education doctorate in executive leadership from St. John Fisher College. In addition to her many years of experience in international education, as a full-time and adjunct professor, Zhao has also spent seven years as a local business owner and entrepreneur working in property management. Her connection to the local business and community network, as well as related marketing and financial management skills, help provide what international learners and domestic students are looking for when they study at Keuka, she said.

“As a business leader, you have to understand the entrepreneur’s point of view, to understand how to help students start thinking as a future leader, not just a manager. That will help students to be successful in their career development,” Zhao said.
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