How they teach may differ, but the goals of the Keuka College professors named to this semester’s Star Faculty Panel are the same: Preparing students for fulfilling careers through interactive, real-world lessons and activities.
The professors – Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy Dr. Cassie Hey, Assistant Professor of Visual Communication Design Carrie Kehoe, and Chair of the Division of Criminal Justice and Social Work Dr. Jason McKinney – shared their teaching methods with an audience of several dozen on Oct. 18 in the Hawkins Lounge.
Not surprisingly, all placed a premium on the experiential learning models the College is renowned for.
For Prof. Kehoe, that means getting the class out of the classroom.
“I took a group of advanced design students into Penn Yan because I wanted them to look at Birkett Mills through a different lens,” she said. “They are familiar with the big pancake griddle out front, but there is so much more happening there beyond the griddle. The students were assigned to create a new design for the mill, so we walked along the Outlet Trail to get a 360-view of the mill and then took a tour.”
That immersive experience engaged the sense of excitement and learning in the students that was brought back to the classroom. It was just what Prof. Kehoe was looking for.
Dr. McKinney also looks for new methods to teach students. One is called the Teacher as Client Therapy simulation model, which began when one student didn’t have a partner to practice clinical psychotherapy techniques with.
“So I became the client for that student,” said Dr. McKinney. “When everyone else switched partners, I stayed with that student to provide immediate clinical supervision and problem-solve anything that felt clunky to them. The student loved it … was terrified by it, but appreciated the immediate feedback.”
This proved so successful that the next semester, Dr. McKinney started making the clinical demonstration assignment a requirement.
Dr. Hey also shared some of the techniques she uses to ensure her students are fully prepared to help their future clients.
“We do a lot of funky student-teacher interactions in my classes, like playing the human version of Hungry Hungry Hippos,” said Dr. Hey. “Oftentimes, we are meeting people who are at their most vulnerable. So we do activities in and out of the classroom that will set students up for success when they are working with their future clients. The activities are designed to bring some awareness to how the patient may be feeling.”
Sponsored by the College’s Faculty Development Committee and moderated by Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Brad Fuster, the hour-long event also allowed the instructors to share a few outside-the-classroom interests:
• Prof. Kehoe lives on a farm with a working sawmill, has a bear that eats her sunflowers, and enjoys spending time with her family.
• Dr. McKinney practices Ju Jitsu, plans to go to Ireland and Scotland in June, and has a French Bulldog named Bubba.
• Dr. Hey loves spending time on her hobby farm, won first place in her first — and only — tractor pull, and would tell her 18-year-old self to try more things, to be mindful, and that it’s OK to make mistakes. That’s how you grow.