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Ethan Ball Earns Keuka College’s Freshman Field Period® and Experiential Learner of the Year Award

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Ethan Ball '23, was named Keuka College's 2019-20 Field Period® and Freshman Experiential Learner of the Year Award recipient. (photo provided by Ethan Ball)

For Keuka College sophomore Ethan Ball, there is no better feeling than rushing down a snowy mountain on a pair of skis – unless it’s helping someone else learn to love the sport he has enjoyed since he was four years old. So, what better place to conduct his first Field Period® during his freshman year than at Bristol Mountain, a mere five minutes from his home in Naples.

The experiences he gained helped earn Ethan, a business management major, the College’s 2019-20 Field Period® and Freshman Experiential Learner of the Year Award.

The award is given annually to two students—one freshman and one upperclassman. The College established the award in recognition of its longstanding emphasis on experiential learning, and to celebrate individual achievements by its students.

Ethan, who nominated himself for the award, chose to complete his first Field Period® at Bristol Mountain, where he serves as a ski instructor. 

“One of the big reasons that I chose Bristol Mountain is because it’s a seasonal business that also deals with a variety of other different types of business,” says Ethan, who spent the month of January learning first-hand what it takes to run a successful business. “I enjoyed getting an overarching look at the differing types of business and of the duties both staff and managers accomplish on a day-to-day basis.”

Those duties included everything from running the daily operations, to food service, to administration, including attending senior management meetings with the resort’s owner, Dan Fuller. 

“The most rewarding aspects were time spent with the staff, and listening to what they felt were the positives and negatives of their employment,” says Ethan. “Based on these conversations, I was able to have more meaningful discussions with Mr. Fuller.”

Ethan also spent time researching and writing papers concerning the effects of climate change on the ski industry, and how legislation on climate change could impact the resorts. 

“After this Field Period®, I feel like I have a better sense of business, and this will help me choose the type of business I would like to go into,” says Ethan. “This experience helped me define a good manager who promotes a productive and positive environment, as opposed to a manager who uses power in a negative manner.”

In fact, since this Field Period®, Ethan has considered the ski industry and its culture as a potential career choice.

“My Field Period® introduced me to the world of Business Management in an industry with many moving parts—all of which rely on each other to make the whole resort run effectively and profitably,” says Ethan. “My first foray into the world of field experience at Keuka College was one in which I learned, grew, and determined that I had made the right decision in my college choice. I was challenged, and in meeting that challenge, I believe that I am on the right path with my education at Keuka College.”


Click here to read more about Ethan’s first Field Period®.

In addition to Ethan, three other freshmen were nominated for Field Period® and Freshman Experiential Learner of the Year Award: Lydia Hall ’23, Emily Hoffman ’23, and Gabriela Robinson ’23.

Lydia Hall ’23, a biology major from Canandaigua, was nominated by Dr. Andrew Robak.

Field Period® Placement: Perry Vet, Livonia Center (January 2020).

A word from Dr. Robak: “As a freshman Keuka College student, Lydia really took the experiential learning model to heart, and had a great experience assisting and shadowing at a veterinary hospital. Her portfolio was excellent, and really showcased the experience she had there.”

Click here to view Lydia’s Field Period® experience.

Emily Hoffman ’23, a communication studies major from West Henrietta, was nominated by Melissa Newcomb, associate professor of art.

Field Period® Placement: 5LINX, Rochester (winter 2020).

A word from Ms. Newcomb: “Emily chose a Field Period® that would help her explore communications and marketing further. She was not afraid to go outside of her comfort zone to see what would be best for her in the long run. When reviewing Emily’s experience, the presentation of materials showcased not only her learning, but also her eye for design. Since her experience, Emily chose to switch her major from Art and Design to Communication Studies, and was very confident in her decision after her first Field Period®.”

Click here to view Emily’s Field Period® experience.

Gabriela Robinson ’23, a nursing student from Horseheads, was self-nominated.

Field Period® Placement: Visiting Nurse Services of Tompkins County, Ithaca (winter 2020).

A word from Ms. Robinson: “I was able to see and experience a lot more than many first-year students. I received a hands-on experience in the home health field, where I saw a wide range of diagnoses and ages, from 11 to 94. Each case was different from the next, and I was never sure what I would be walking into, which made each day a learning experience for me. I was able to learn a lot about patient care, family dynamics, religious dynamics, diagnoses, wound-care, environmental safety, and medications.”

Click here to view Gabriella’s Field Period® experience.

Discover Women's History

Throughout Women’s History Month, Keuka College is celebrating the women – past and present – whose dedication, accomplishments, and influence have contributed to the College’s legacy. Explore our stories below.

The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll
New York College of Distinction
The Financial Engineer style=
National College of Distinction
Money Magazine's Best Colleges
America's Best Nursing Schools