Harley Carter '17 (l) and Kaitlyn Carhart are ready to make an impact each day.
Meet Harley Carter, manager of donor relations and engagement, and Kaitlyn Carhart, director of annual giving. They are two of Keuka College’s newest employees—Harley’s first day was Sept. 10, while Kaitlyn began Oct. 21. Each works in the College’s Office of Development, and each is eager to bring her own brand of Keuka College spirit to the job.
Some of you probably already know Harley, as she is a member of the College’s Class of 2017. After graduating with a degree in organizational communications, she served as a graduate assistant in Elmira College’s Office of Advancement while pursuing her master’s degree in management.
Kaitlyn earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Alfred State College, and took the long walk across the street to Alfred University where she earned her MBA. After graduation, Kaitlyn served nearly four years at Alfred State College as the associate director of annual giving and alumni relations.
Kaitlyn is now responsible for overseeing Keuka College’s annual fundraising activities, including the Keuka Fund, Day of Giving, and phonathon activities, while Harley’s role focuses on keeping donors engaged with the College, acknowledging stewardship, and ensuring the College and its needs are forefront in the minds of donors and alumni.
Harley and Kaitlyn have only known each other for a handful of weeks, but you wouldn’t guess that from talking to them. They have an easy way about them, as they finish each other’s thoughts, and bounce ideas back and forth. It seems as if they have worked together for years, not weeks.
In this Q&A, we learn a bit about why they want to be part of the Keuka College story, and how they aim to make an impact.
How did you hear about Keuka College?
Kaitlyn: I frequently visit Hammondsport, so I had heard of Keuka College, plus I know some graduates of the College.
Harley: When I was beginning the college search, I wanted a small school close to home (at that time, Waterloo) so that I could commute. I was already familiar with Keuka College through different retreats our high school took. And after visiting again, I decided I needed to stay on campus, at least for a couple of years. I found it to be a small, close-knit community, and by staying on campus, my connection to the area strengthened.
Why did you want to work at the College?
Kaitlyn: I like the College’s intimate setting, but coming from a trade/technical school, I was slightly hesitant about a liberal arts school. But I quickly found that Keuka College provides the education to enter the workforce right away and make a difference. I love the class sizes and location, and that the students are the primary focus. And the hands-on aspects, like Field Period®, really resonated with me.
Harley: My student-employment was working with Tara Bloom, [director of Field Period® program and internships, who nominated Harley for Student Employee of the Year in 2017], and I completed my senior practicum in the Office of Development. I worked with Brie Chupalio ’05, M’15, [then-associate director of annual giving] planning the 2017 edition of the Day of Giving. Because of my positive experience working at Keuka College as a student, I wanted to pursue a career in in a higher education setting, and I specifically wanted to return to Keuka College for work.
What do you hope your impact will be?
Harley: As a young alumna, I want to build a better bridge between our older alumni and younger alumni and students, because that is what alumni my age are looking for. In my role, I can help close the gap between alumni and students to form a stronger connection and begin a better dialogue. In just the short time I’ve worked here, I have gained an appreciation of all of our alumni that I didn’t have before, and am learning so much fascinating history about the College. I’ve also learned that supporting the College is not just about donating, so just ask me how you can help keep the College strong.
Kaitlyn: I hope to be able to continue and preserve the strong College traditions we already have and encourage new traditions to be embraced as we move the College forward financially. This will allow more students to attend Keuka College by providing more financial opportunities to match their needs. I want to promote and enhance the good work we already have with things that are new.
What are you looking for in your new roles?
Harley: I look forward to continue building relationships and bonding over our shared Keuka College experiences, whether alumni or students.
Kaitlyn: I am looking forward to embracing the Keuka College spirit and getting to know our loyal alumni and friends. If I am ever down in your area, I would love to meet you and chat about your time at Keuka College. I am excited to learn more about the College, and am confident alumni will be my best source of knowledge!