STEM Scholars

Elizabeth Luke (left) and Kirstin Amisano (right) are two of Onondaga's initial STEM Scholars.
Elizabeth Luke (left) and Kirstin Amisano (right) are two of Onondaga’s initial STEM Scholars.

OCC’s highly successful STEM Scholars program is continuing into the future. A recent grant totaling nearly $600,000 from the National Science Foundation ensures students in specific programs will have both merit and need-based funding into the foreseeable future. Acceptance into the program is both merit-based and need-based. Selected STEM scholars receive scholarships up to $5,000 per semester, and are also supported by peer mentors, faculty mentors, and are encouraged to engage in internship opportunities that will prepare them for their transfer and career choices.

The STEM scholars program is an entry point for students interested in pursuing a career within a growing industry. New York State ranks 3rd in the nation for projected growth in STEM jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates 477,000 STEM-related jobs will be available in New York by 2018.

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. Onondaga offers nine different STEM degree programs:

  • Computer Forensic Science
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering Technology
  • Engineering Science
  • Environmental Technology
  • Math and Science Liberal Arts
  • Mechanical Technology
  • Nuclear Technology

Students selected to be STEM Scholars at OCC receive a scholarship renewable each semester provided they maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average and continue full-time progress toward their associate degree.

Associate Professor of Biology Maryann Page oversees the STEM Scholars program. “We’re thrilled the program will be continuing and growing into the future,” said Page. “Our incoming students will be mentored by returning students in the program. We will meet with incoming scholars on a weekly basis to keep in touch with them and monitor their progress. This type of guidance will be invaluable.”

During the spring 2014 semester 16 students were part of OCC’s first class of STEM Scholars. One of them was Elizabeth Luke who came to the College from East Syracuse Minoa High School. Luke is pursuing a Mathematics and Science degree. After graduating in May 2015 she’s planning to take advantage of the College’s “2+2 partnership agreement” with SUNY Upstate Medical University and enroll in its medical biotechnology program.

Kirstin Amisano is also one of the College’s initial 16 STEM Scholars. She’s a 2013 graduate of Baldwinsville High School whose love for science began in 6th grade when she participated in a career research project. After graduating in May 2015 she also plans to take advantage of the College’s “2+2 partnership agreement” with St. John Fisher College. “My grandfather went to school there, and it’s always been where I wanted to go,” said Amisano.

It was a busy summer for Onondaga students with STEM majors. Luke worked on a bacteria research project at Syracuse University thanks to a research scholarship she earned. Her project will have her engaged in cutting-edge biotechnology research throughout the upcoming academic year as well. Three STEM Scholars in the Nuclear Technology degree program learned important on-the-job training through internships at Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station (Daniel Loveless and Eric Schreiber) and at National Grid (Jason Densmore).

“It’s so wonderful for our students to engage these opportunities during the summer,” said Page. “When our students graduate we want them to be armed with both knowledge learned in our classroom and valuable on-the-job training experience.”

Representing the Students

Deynaba Farah, Student Trustee
Deynaba Farah, Student Trustee

Deynaba Farah is the Student Representative on OCC’s Board of Trustees for the 2014-15 academic year. “I am honored to be selected as the voice of the students and promise each of them they will be heard.”

Farah is a native of Danlahel, Somalia. She moved to Syracuse in 2006 and graduated from Nottingham High School before coming to Onondaga.

Farah is a Human Services major who is on track to graduate in May 2015. Her career goal is to work with children and help them understand the benefits of getting an education.

2014 Celebration of Success

2014 Alumni Faces honorees (left to right): Andy Italiano, '85, Gabriel Bol Deng, '04, Stella Barbuto Penizotto, '90 and Cody Jamieson, '08.
2014 Alumni Faces honorees (left to right): Andy Italiano, ’85, Gabriel Bol Deng, ’04, Stella Barbuto Penizotto, ’90 and Cody Jamieson, ’08.

Onondaga Community College’s annual “Celebration of Success” was held Wednesday, October 1 in the SRC Arena and Events Center. The event honors extraordinary alumni and scholarship recipients. Four graduates were named “Alumni Faces” for their professional achievements and contributions to the College and the community:

Gabriel Bol Deng, ’04, Mathematics – Humanitarian

Deng was 10 years old when militiamen led a violent attack on his village of Ariang in South Sudan. He fled, not knowing the fate of his parents or siblings. After surviving a perilous journey to reach a refugee camp in Ethiopia, Gabriel received a life-changing opportunity when he, along with other “Lost Boys,” was resettled in the United States in 2001. After completing his associate degree from Onondaga and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Le Moyne College, Gabriel went back to Ariang and used his education to bring people hope. Gabriel founded HOPE for Ariang Foundation in 2007, building clean drinking wells and a school that provides education to over 600 children. Today, Gabriel shares his story and mission with schools and organizations around the world.


Andrew P. Italiano, ’85, Radio/Television – Sports Videographer

As soon as Italiano visited the Radio/Television department at Onondaga, he knew what he wanted to do with his life. Through hard work and determination, Andrew became a world-renowned sports videographer. He has spanned the globe covering everything from the rock band Metallica to the Olympic Games, Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournaments, and regular season and championship games for the NBA, NFL and MLB. Through it all, he credits the faculty in the Radio/Television department in giving him a start in the business and looks to provide similar help to others whenever possible.


Cody R. Jamieson, ’08, Recreational Leadership – Attack, Rochester Knighthawks (NLL)

Considered by many to be the best lacrosse player in the world, Jamieson led Onondaga to two national championships during his tenure at the College. During that time he was a two-time All-American. In 2007, Cody was the first and only lacrosse player to win the Dave Rowlands Award given to the Junior College Athlete of the Year. After graduating from Onondaga, Cody became a star player at Syracuse University before being drafted by the Rochester Knighthawks of the National Lacrosse League with the first overall selection in 2010. Cody has gone on to lead the Knighthawks to three world championships and was named championship game MVP in 2012 and 2013.


Stella Barbuto Penizotto, ’90, Human Services – Child Care Professional

Penizotto is the co-owner of “Shining Stars Daycare” with three state-of-the art child care centers in Onondaga County. Stella credits Onondaga for a solid foundation in education and the College’s Small Business Development Center for its guidance when she expanded her company. Today, she employs over 70 people and services 330 families. Stella frequently holds fundraisers to benefit several area non-profits while also assisting local students with employment opportunities. She was named “NYS Small Business Person of the Year” in 2010 and represented New York at a White House event where she met President Barack Obama.

During the celebration each recipient spoke at the podium. Newschannel 9, WSYR TV Managing Editor and News Anchor Dan Cummings emceed the event. The annual Celebration of Success is possible thanks to our generous donors and sponsors including:

Diamond Sponsor: M&T Bank

Gold Sponsors: MVP Health Care, Welch Allyn

Silver Sponsors: Bottar Leone, PLLC, Learn As You Grow Child Care Centers

Bronze Sponsors: Dunkin Donuts, INFICON, National Grid, Pioneer Companies, SRC, Inc., Stickley Audi & Co., Visual Technologies

Copper Sponsors: Appel Osborne Landscape Architecture, Cayuga Tree Service, Inc., Geddes Federal Savings and Loan Association, Hueber-Breuer Construction Co., Inc., Ironworkers Local 60, ONEGROUP Bailey & Haskell Insurance, Research and Marketing Strategies, Inc., Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 267 .

Exemplary Employees

Ten Onondaga Community College faculty and staff members were named winners of SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence. The system-level honors acknowledge and provide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and encourage the ongoing pursuit of excellence.


“Faculty and staff who receive the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence have served their students, fellow faculty and staff, campuses, and communities with the utmost distinction,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “It is a great honor to be able to recognize them. Congratulations to all of this year’s honorees.”

View  Onondaga’s SUNY Chancellor’s Awards past winners.

Guitar Hero

From his garage band to Lionel Richie’s band, Ben Mauro uses lessons learned at Onondaga and a tireless work ethic to climb to the top.
From his garage band to Lionel Richie’s band, Ben Mauro uses lessons learned at Onondaga and a tireless work ethic to climb to the top.

Music has always been part of former Onondaga student Ben Mauro’s life. In middle school he played French horn and was a member of All-County Band. At age 16 he started playing guitar wherever and whenever he could and never stopped. Today he’s at the top of his profession, a highly sought-after live guitar player who has performed in some of the world’s biggest arenas on-stage with industry giants.

During a break in his hectic touring schedule Mauro returned to the Onondaga campus in May. He visited the new Academic II building, home of the College’s signature Music program, and spent time with students, sharing his stories and answering their questions. “Anything’s possible,” Mauro told students. “Through persistence, hard work, and love of playing guitar, I was able to make a career out of being a musician. You can do it too.”

Mauro poses for a picture with his parents, Dolores (left) and John (right) after speaking with students at Onondaga.
Mauro and his parents, Dolores (left) and John (right) in Onondaga’s Academic II building.

Mauro grew up in Camillus, the son of two teachers. His mother Dolores was a professor in the Nursing department at Onondaga, and his father John taught in the Liverpool School District. While Mauro was a student at West Genesee High School he formed a garage band. “We’d play at my dad’s parties and high school variety shows,” Mauro said. Despite occasional noise complaints from neighbors, he kept rehearsing late into the night. “My parents were behind me with one condition. They said, ‘If you make it your career, you make it your job, you have our support.’”


Mauro calls Dr. Joe Jewell (above) one of the most important people in his development. Jewell taught classical guitar at Onondaga for nine years. He is now Associate Professor of Guitar and Commercial Music Studies at Fullerton College in California.
Mauro calls Dr. Joe Jewell (above) one of the most important people in his development. Jewell taught classical guitar at Onondaga for nine years. He is now Associate Professor of Guitar and Commercial Music Studies at Fullerton College in California.

Mauro came to Onondaga in 1987 and began building what would be the foundation for his career. “The training I got here really prepared me to do anything.” Mauro studied classical guitar under Professor Joe Jewell and discovered he loved it. “If you can master classical music you can play anything. You need proper technique to play it well.” Jewell turned out to be one of the most influential people in Mauro’s development. “He didn’t give compliments easily. When he told you you sounded good, you knew youreally sounded good. His compliments meant a lot.”

Mauro had a strong bond with fellow music students at Onondaga. “We all had the same dreams, passion, and desire to get better. It felt like home. We were part of a community. I remember all of us hanging out in the cafeteria after class with our guitars out. We were all inspired by each other. It was very memorable.”

If you were in a band in the Syracuse area, one of the top local places to play was Shifty’s Bar and Grill on Burnet Avenue. One night a week Shifty’s was reserved for open mic night. “If you had the courage to perform solo and perform well, it was a great opportunity,” Mauro said. Eventually he got up the nerve to play solo there, and it had a significant impact on him. “It was huge in my development. It’s where I learned how to perform alone, and I met someone there I wound up forming a bigger band with.”

Eventually Mauro left Syracuse and went out on his own, playing with whomever he could, whenever and wherever he could. His goal was to play every night, and at one point he was a member of 10 bands simultaneously. “I was always happy playing guitar, no matter how much I was struggling financially. I was happy to be able to support myself.” For more than a decade Mauro would make his living crisscrossing the country, his life an endless string of hotels and highways.

Everywhere Mauro goes he shoots video and interviews on his cell phone and uses them in a show he posts on YouTube called “Let’s Go.” Mauro put together an entire episode on his return to the Syracuse area. You can watch it here. It includes visits to Onondaga, West Genesee High School, Liverpool Elementary, the Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park, Gannon’s Isle Ice Cream, Heid’s, and the Dinosaur Restaurant.

Mauro often scoured classified ads, searching for bands in need of a guitarist. In 1999 one of those ads turned into an audition to play with music icon Lionel Richie. His illustrious career included more than 100 million albums sold worldwide, and he was one of only two songwriters in history to have number one records for nine consecutive years. Mauro’s audition was in the theater next to New York City’s Madison Square Garden. He played “Brickhouse,” a hit song by the Commodores. Richie belonged to the Commodores before going solo, and Mauro was familiar with “Brickhouse” having played several Commodores songs during his days in Syracuse.

The audition went well and Mauro was invited to come see that night’s show. When he arrived Mauro was surprised to be asked to play live on stage! When the concert was over Richie passed Mauro backstage and said to him, “See you on the next one.” Just like that Mauro was a member of the band, packing up and heading to Dubai for their next concert. “Lionel has a reputation for hiring great musicians. Getting hired by him was validation of my entire career.”

Fifteen years later Mauro is still touring with Richie. But as was the case in the 1990s when he was in as many as 10 different bands at the same time, Mauro needs a steady income, and that means working when Richie isn’t. In his “spare time” he’s toured with Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Prince, Peter Frampton, Don Felder of the Eagles, John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival, and the first American Idol tour featuring Kelly Clarkson. He’s also been able to showcase his talents on numerous network television shows including Saturday Night Live, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The View, and Good Morning America.

Mauro’s return to Central New York in May also included a return to Shifty’s where he held a release party for his second EP, “Take Your Time.” Despite the tens of thousands of miles he’s traveled and the countless bars, nightclubs, and arenas he’s played in, places like Shifty’s and Onondaga still feel like home. “Seeing the College now and what it’s grown into is amazing. It wasn’t anything like this when I was a student here.”

Mauro speaks with students in the instrument and choral rehearsal room in Academic II.
Mauro speaks with students in the instrument and choral rehearsal room in Academic II.

During his conversation with students, they were very attentive and hung on his every word. Greg Terrill, a guitar player who came to Onondaga from Cicero-North Syracuse High School, found himself inspired by Mauro’s message. “I learned to succeed you have to make it your life. He gave me a much clearer focus on what I need to do. He came through here and experienced success. There’s no reason I can’t do the same.”

Nuclear Energy Technology

Students enrolled in Onondaga’s Nuclear Energy Technology (NET) program received an extraordinary level of new financial and educational support.

In August 2014 the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced it would fund scholarships benefiting students in the NET major. The program will provide 10 first-year students with scholarships totaling 50% of in-county tuition and fees, and 12 returning students with funding which covers 100% of in-county tuition and fees.

Students in the NET program will also benefit from the contributions of Exelon Corporation, the nation’s leading competitive energy provider. Their generous contribution of $250,000 has provided student scholarships and a state-of-the-art Lab-Volt Process Workstation which brings nuclear plant operations into the classroom giving students the opportunity for hands-on learning.

During the summer eight Onondaga NET students completed a nine-week-long internship at Exelon Generation’s Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station in Scriba. Students divided their time evenly among all three maintenance disciplines; instrument & controls, mechanical, and electrical and received hands-on experience working throughout the plant. Three more Onondaga NET students interned at Nucor Steel of Auburn which has similar operational processes to a nuclear facility.

Onondaga’s NET program started in the fall 2013 semester in response to a workforce demand. The nuclear energy industry estimates approximately half of its workforce will be eligible to retire in the next 10 years. Students who successfully complete the two-year degree program will be eligible for a job at a nuclear facility with a starting salary of more than $50,000. Onondaga is one of only 36 colleges in the nation that offer the NET degree.

50th Class Reunion

Pictured are (front row – left to right)Herbert Lightner, Patricia DeSantis-Lightner, Karen (BeVard) Tucker, Loretta (Mannara) Chase and Robert Meade Jr.; (second row – left to right) Dr. Robert McGruder, Marilyn Marra, Peter Laun and Sheila (LaRose) Turverey; (third row – left to right) Anthony Meggesto, Richard Powell, Tom Mecum, Patricia Pistilli, Ron Bailey and Janice Roller; (top row – left to right) Eugene Shields, David Marcy, William Webb, Don Davis, Dr. Walter Thomas, Dean Thomas, Judith Templar and David Bench.
Pictured are (front row – left to right)Herbert Lightner, Patricia DeSantis-Lightner, Karen (BeVard) Tucker, Loretta (Mannara) Chase and Robert Meade Jr.; (second row – left to right) Dr. Robert McGruder, Marilyn Marra, Peter Laun and Sheila (LaRose) Turverey; (third row – left to right) Anthony Meggesto, Richard Powell, Tom Mecum, Patricia Pistilli, Ron Bailey and Janice Roller; (top row – left to right) Eugene Shields, David Marcy, William Webb, Don Davis, Dr. Walter Thomas, Dean Thomas, Judith Templar and David Bench.

Members of Onondaga’s first graduating class, the Class of 1964, gathered on campus in July for their 50th reunion.

From Interns to Employees

Onondaga Students and AmeriCU interns turned employees (left to right) Sean Dana, Lindsey Markell, and Nate Anderson.
Onondaga Students and AmeriCU interns turned employees (left to right) Sean Dana, Lindsey Markell, and Nate Anderson.

AmeriCU opened a new financial center on the first floor of the Whitney Applied Technology Center in time for the fall 2013 semester. The site provides a full complement of financial services and is a host location for student internships, financial literacy education, and financial planning services for students, faculty, staff and the community. It is fully staffed by AmeriCU professional associates.

Three Onondaga students completed valuable internships there. Nate Anderson, a sophomore Humanities major (Baldwinsville Christian Academy) did three internships of his own. He worked as a social media trainer and made presentations at senior management meetings. He followed that up with a marketing internship, then worked as a Member Service Specialist. “Managing an internship while working a full-time job and going to school taught me how to manage my time,” said Anderson. “I’m very grateful for AmeriCU. They did everything they could to make this the most positive experience possible.” Anderson was able to turn his internship into a job as a Member Service Specialist.

Business Administration major Lindsey Markell (Cicero-North Syracuse) also went from intern to employee, earning a position at AmeriCU’s Cicero financial center. “My experience interning with AmeriCU was very successful. I want to become an accountant. OCC is the most feasible way to get from an associate to a bachelor’s to a master’s,” said Markell. She’s on schedule to graduate in December 2014, then take advantage of the College’s “2+2 partnership agreement” and transfer to Le Moyne College.

Sean Dana (Westhill) graduated from Onondaga in May 2014 with a degree in Business Administration. He turned his AmeriCU internship into a full-time position at its Fayetteville financial center. “My experience as an intern was great. I learned how to be a professional and met a lot of wonderful people. I’m looking forward to a career in this industry,” said Dana.

As part of AmeriCU’s partnership with Onondaga, AmeriCU established a Community Scholars scholarship, helping to ensure that more students, regardless of socio-economic status, are able to attain a college degree and the opportunities one affords.

More information on the services AmeriCU provides are available at

SUNY CUAD Award Winners

Onondaga made a strong showing at the annual State University of New York Council on University Advancement (SUNYCUAD) conference in June. SUNYCUAD represents professionals in a cross-section of advancement areas at every SUNY campus. Their skill sets encompass a broad range of responsibilities, from publications and web page maintenance to alumni relations, marketing and development.

SUNYCUADAwardOnondaga’s Susan Tormey and Nicole Schlater earned “Best of Category” recognition for a community relations programs related to the restoration and rededication of the General John A. Ellis Cemetery. Tormey is the Assistant to the Vice President for Human Resources and External Relations. Schlater is an Associate Vice President for Research and Grants.

Amanda Pendock earned a “Judge’s Citation” for a student recruitment package she created titled “Your Life. Your Future. Your Onondaga.” Pendock is a Graphics Coordinator in the Marketing Department.

Amy Kremenek and Roger Mirabito were awarded a “Judge’s Citation” in the category of Media Relations for their strategy and results connected to the arrival of new Onondaga President Dr. Casey Crabill. Kremenek is the Vice President of Human Resources and External Relations. Mirabito is a Communications Coordinator.


Employee Accomplishments – September 2014

David Abrams, D.M.A., Music, Malkiel Choseed, Ph.D., English/Reading/Communication, and Michael O’Connor English/Reading/Communication, authored critiques for the internationally acclaimed arts website, CNY Café Momus ( Abrams, also the site’s editor, recently reviewed performances by the Metropolitan Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, and Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music. Choseed and O’Connor reviewed plays and musicals at Syracuse Stage, Redhouse Theater, SU Drama and Covey Theatre.

Dr. Paula Banerjee, visiting Fulbright Scholar, presented a webinar for the National Diversity Council on “Why Women Are Still Considered Second Class as Asylum Seekers.”

Jennifer Bergamo, Mathematics, participated in the June 2014 reading and scoring of the College Board’s Advanced Placement Statistics Examinations in Kansas City, Missouri.

Tom Boll, English/Reading/Communication, completed the Professional Development Institute’s “Teaching Learning to Learn: Using Process Education” course this summer run by Pacific Crest.

Robert Bridge, D.M.A., Music, was awarded the National Society of Leadership and Success “Excellence in Teaching Award” and the Onondaga Board of Trustees Ralph R. Whitney Jr. Award.

Gladys L. Cleland, English/Reading/Communication and Electronic Media Communications, joined the automation and robotics company NewBotic, Corporation as director of education and marketing.

Alex M. Cole, Marketing & New Media, was named the recipient of the Onondaga-Keuka Joint President Scholarship and will earn his M.S. in Management in spring 2016.

Barbara Dennehy, MBA., Lifelong Learning, served on the planning committee for the Continuing Education Association of New York 2014 Conference.

Elizabeth Dublin, Children’s Learning Center, graduated from Onondaga in May with an associate degree in Human Services and Teacher Education. Dublin was hired by the Children’s Learning Center in July as a cooperating infant teacher.

LaRhonda Ealey, Social Science, received the Jublilee Homes of Syracuse Award for outstanding commitment and dedicated service.

Michele Ferguson, Children’s Learning Center, presented “Creating Campus and Community Connections” at the SUNY Child Care Conference in June.

Betty Hauswirth, Business Administration, Dan Fox, Duplicating, and Ed Kulas, Duplicating, earned Onondaga Faculty Appreciation Awards.

Linda Herbert, Electronic Media Communications, and Tim Brachocki, Electronic Media Communications, screened their independent documentary feature “A Resonant Chord: Rodger Mack and the Creative Process” at Stone Quarry Hill Art Park in Cazenovia as part of the Cazenovia Counterpoint Arts Festival sponsored by the Society for New Music in July. They also participated in an artists’ panel discussion on the creative process and presented at the Cazenovia Rotary Club as part of the festival’s events.

Corey Hudson, Educational Opportunity Program, co-presented on mentoring programs at the 2014 New York State Community College Institute’s annual conference.

Wendy Carl Isome, JOBSplus!, assisted in organizing a silent auction which benefited a scholarship fund for the Central New York American Society of Trainers and Developers. She has been an active member of the organization since 2009.

Bridgette L. Jacob, Ph.D., Mathematics, submitted a research paper at the International Conference on Teaching Statistics (ICOTS9) in Flagstaff, Arizona in July. She also received High Marks recognition for the Early Career Scholar competition. Dr. Jacob’s research article titled “Statistical Reasoning with the Sampling Distribution,” authored with Dr. Helen M. Doerr, professor of mathematics and mathematics education at Syracuse University, will be published this year in a special statistics education edition of Quadrante, a Portuguese education research journal. Dr. Jacob also received an Onondaga Spirit Award at the Employee Appreciation Ceremony in May for her work in developmental mathematics as part of the Advanced Manufacturing TAACCCT Department of Labor Grant, which commenced in a new degree and certificate program at Onondaga this fall.

Amy Kremenek, External Relations and Human Resources, completed one-year term as Past President, Board of Directors for SUNY Council on University Advancement, following 2-year term as Board President 2011-2013; appointed 2014-15 Committee Chair of the Harry and Barb Charlton Newcomer Scholarship, SUNY Council on University Advancement; attended American Association of Women in Community Colleges (AAWCC) LEADERS Institute, Salt Lake City, June 2014; attended National Council for Marketing & Public Relations Annual Conference, New Orleans, March 2014.

Arnaud F. Lambert, Ph.D., Anthropology, published four academic articles: “Megaliths and the Early Mezcala Urban Tradition of Mexico,” Almogaren (Institutum Canarium) 44-45: 135-145; “Cup-and-Ring Marked Stones in Ancient Mesoamerica,” Antrocom: Online Journal of Anthropology 10 (1): 111-119; “Cave Imagery in the Non-Olmec Rock Art of Oxtotitlán, Guerrero, Mexico,” The Post Hole 37 (May): 35-43; “Chalcatzingo: Olmec Propaganda, Power, and Sacrifice,” Current World Archaeology 66 (August/September): 26-29.

Nick Lisi, Photography, took part in two summer volunteer photography projects. “From Where We Stand” gave Syracuse community members an opportunity to tell their story using photography and video. Participants learned photography skills and visual storytelling techniques. He also led a “photo walk” with neighbors who live on the south side of Syracuse. The goal was to teach basic photography techniques. Photos from their walk can be viewed at

Gabriela S. Lozanova, Admissions, presented at the National Association of International Educators conference in May 2014 in San Diego on “Harmonizing Advising Efforts to Support International Students in their Job Search.”

Ronald Margrey, Math, received an Excellence in Teaching Award at Syracuse University/University College, where he also teaches.

Kenneth Meyer, D.M.A, Music, directed the first annual OCC Day of Guitar; performed a solo recital for the Syracuse University Hill Corporation at a reception welcoming seven newly elected presidents to University Hill Institutions; and was an electric guitarist for the Geneva Music Festival featuring the tango quintet music of Astor Piazzolla.

Michael Oppedisano, Mathematics, and Candice Dance, Mathematics, will be presenting a session at the American Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges conference November in Nashville. Their title is “Puzzle Fun – The Geometry of the Soma Cubes.”

Maryann Page, Biology, is coordinator of the STEM Scholars grant which provides scholarships to students enrolled in any of Onondaga’s nine STEM degree programs. Successful submission of a first year report to the National Science Foundation ensured funding of this nearly $600,000 grant through 2018. During the summer Page served as an external reviewer for a SYNAPSE grant project at SUNY-ESF, a program which better connects biology, chemistry and writing courses for freshmen at ESF.

Amanda Pendock, Marketing and New Media, was named to the 2014 YWCA Academy of Diversity Achievers, awarded a 2013-14 Ann Felton Multicultural Leadership Award, and received a 2013-14 Spirit Award for Campus.

Stephen Pierson, Ph.D., English/Reading/Communication, delivered a paper in July at the 15th International Mikhail Bakhtin Conference in Stockholm, Sweden and published a book chapter entitled “Dialogism and Monologism in ‘Song of Myself’” in a collection of essays titled “Dialogism and Poetry: Hearing Over” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

Michael Podolny, Ph.D., English/Reading/Communication, had an essay titled “Enunciations of a War Machine: Crossing The Thin Red Line” published in a Cambridge Scholars collection titled “Innocence and Loss: Representations of War and National Identity in the United States.”

Eric T. Robinson, Admissions, presented in June at SUNYCAP (SUNY College Admission Professionals) on working with student-veterans.

Matt Ruddy, Ph.D., Biology, was selected to be a New Case Fellow of the Science Case Network. Through support of the National Science Foundation, Dr. Ruddy created a case study based on the emergence of oropharygeal cancers and their association with human papillomavirus. He presented his work at the BioQuest/SCN conference at the University of Delaware in June 2014.

Jamie Sindell, English/Reading/Communication, completed the American Association for Women in Community Colleges LEADERS Institute in Salt Lake City, UT. She was also the Onondaga Convocation Speaker for fall 2014. Sindell received the Onondaga Spirit Award for Community for work on the DOL TAACCCT Grant.

Donna Stuccio, Criminal Justice, was appointed to the board of directors for the Salt City Playhouse; was selected to continue as Artistic Director of Armory Square Playhouse; and was invited to join the faculty at the Downtown Writer’s Center at the YMCA to teach playwriting.

Jane Tanner, Mathematics, was selected to serve on the program committee of the Alpha Phi Foundation. She continues to serve on several other foundations, including Delta Kappa Gamma Society International Educational Foundation and the Pi State Educational Foundation.

Wendy Tarby, Institutional Planning, Assessment and Research, presented “The Voluntary Framework of Accountability: For Community Colleges, By Community Colleges” at the SUNY Faculty Council of Community Colleges Spring Plenary on April 4, 2014.

Susan Tormey, Human Resources and External Relations, received a SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service. Tormey and Nicole Schlater, Research and Grants earned “Best of Category” SUNY CUAD Award recognition for a community relations program related to the restoration and rededication of the General John A. Ellis Cemetery.

Paul Tranchell, Environmental Technology, was elected vice chair of the Central New York Air Waste Management Association for 2014-2015.

Harry G. Tuttle, Ed. D, Modern Languages, gave two presentations at the International Society for Technology in Education conference, two at the Global Education conference, and two at the New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers conference.

Anastasia L. Urtz, College-Affiliated Enterprises & Asset Management, was named a recipient of the 2014 Onondaga Trustee Award; was selected to attend the 2014 State University of New York Executive Leadership Workshop; and was named member of the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council SUNY 2020 Grant Program Committee.

David Waite, English/Reading/Communication, served as assistant editor for the national creative writing journal “Clockhouse;” assisted the local CNY Reads committee which received a National Endowment for the Arts grant for 2014; presented a paper for the plenary panel of the Clockhouse Writers’ Conference; and conducted a year-long creative writing workshop for Chittenango High School students.

Julie White, Ph.D., Student Engagement and Learning Support, presented for a symposium at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting titled “The Academic, Version 2.0: The Scholar in the Era of Social Media,” in April in Philadelphia. She also presented at the SUNY Chief Community College Student Affairs Officers Meeting on “The Impact of Financial Aid on Student Success,” in June in Jamestown, NY.

Eunice Williams, Chief Diversity Officer, was appointed to the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation’s Board of Directors; was appointed to the Brady Faith Center Board of Directors; was appointed vice president of the CNY Arts Board of Directors; and presented the keynote address on “Developing A Diversity Master Plan” at the 2014 New York State Community College Institute’s annual conference.