Andy Italiano, ’85, is living every football fan’s dream. Each fall and winter Italiano works as a sports videographer for CBS, traveling to the biggest National Football League games every weekend and bringing exciting action into the homes of millions of viewers. On December 21st, the next-to-last Sunday of the regular season, Italiano was at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh where the Steelers hosted the Kansas City Chiefs.
Being on some of the nation’s biggest stages is nothing new for Italiano. The Nottingham High School graduate has spanned the globe covering everything from the Olympics, to Major League Baseball, to professional and college basketball. Italiano always credits the professors in OCC’s Electronic Media Communications department with giving him his start in the business.
In October 2014 OCC honored Italiano with the Alumni Face distinction for his professional accomplishments and contributions to the community.
Students receiving financial assistance through the OCC Foundation recently had the opportunity to learn about the history and purpose of the scholarships they receive. The first “Thank-a-Thon” was held in the Gordon Student Center as part of National Philanthropy Day. As students learned about the generous donors who made their scholarship possible, they took the opportunity to express thanks.
“Without scholarship support it would have been financially impossible to go back to school. I appreciate being able to pursue my dreams and express gratitude for the help I’ve received.” -Betheny Witherell, recipient of the Community Scholars Scholarship
“Thank you very much for this scholarship. You really don’t know how much this means to me and my family. I am honored to receive this and to be put in the same category as Wesley Valentine.” -Dominic Tibbetts, recipient of the Wesley Valentine Memorial Scholarship Endowment
“It was a huge honor to receive this scholarship and my parents were so proud of me. This money has helped to buy books for my classes. Thank you so much!” -Bridget Cleeton, recipient of the Donald M. Mawhinney, Jr. Endowed Scholarship
“I would like to thank the donors for making this scholarship possible. It has helped with my college expenses and made my college experience less stressful. I am very honored and grateful for being recognized. Thank you!” -Maria Everson, recipient of the Ann McKinnon Memorial Endowed Scholarship
“It was so awesome to receive this scholarship! I am a very non-traditional student and it was so rewarding to be offered an opportunity to get a scholarship. It will help my family, and I am so honored. Thank you!” -Allison Teachout, recipient of the Helen & John Etherington Endowed Scholarship
Students participating in the Thank-a-Thon were able to participate in a drawing for a $100 gift certificate from the Barnes and Noble College bookstore and other prizes.
Students in the Mechanical Technology major are learning to literally read sparks. When a piece of metal is put up against a grinding wheel, the resulting pattern and color of sparks indicates the type of metal that it is. The color, length, shape, quantity of spurts, and volume of the spark indicates the various alloys that make up the steel or metal. For instance, wrought iron will produce a large stream of sparks that has very few spurts and is straw colored near the grinder and white colored near the end of the stream.
Mechanical Technology Professor Bob Tanchak says it is critical for students to understand and know what kind of metal that they are about to work with. “For instance, if a part needs to be made from a low carbon, low alloy steel you probably would not want to use a high carbon, high alloy steel. Every material has certain properties or characteristics that will cause the material to behave differently when subject to a mechanical load or force. If the material needs to be heat treated, the high carbon steel will become very hard and very brittle. It can actually shatter like a piece of glass when impacted.”
Freshman Mechanical Technology major Daniel Taylor (Phoenix High School) is fascinated by the hands-on learning. “It’s interesting to learn the impact and importance of picking the right metal when you make something.” Taylor is using his OCC education to become a CNC machinist and operator.
The tension that comes along with finals week on the OCC campus was broken up Monday by man’s best friend. Therapy dogs were brought to the first floor of Coulter Library, giving students a respite from end-of-semester deadlines and challenges.
Abby Gorton-Tyler, a freshman from Oswego, was able to escape from reality for a few minutes with Chase, a friendly 2-year-old leonberger who said hello by licking her face. “This is great. It’s definitely a stress reliever,” Gorton-Tyler said while drying off and giggling. “I love dogs and pets. They’re awesome.”
Mary McMann plans to make pet therapy a bi-annual occurrence on campus. McMann is a licensed mental health counselor in OCC’s counseling department who sees tremendous value in the event. “I’m such a big believer in the healing power of pets. I started talking with Pauline (Lynch Shostack of the Library) about it. We organized this and are planning to do it every semester,” McMann said.
More stress relief was in progress on the second floor of Ferrante Hall in the lobby outside Storer Auditorium. Students could experience the benefits of an oxygen bar, or receive automated body massages while laying down or sitting in a chair.
All of the stress relief events in Coulter were sponsored by both the library and counseling departments. Library staff members also donated hot chocolate for participants to enjoy. Stress relief events outside Storer were sponsored by the Student Association.
Melissa Siravolo proves every day you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. She’s a full-time mom, a full-time student and one of the leaders of student honor society Phi Theta Kappa (PTK).
Siravolo grew up in the Camillus and Geddes area where she earned her GED. After having a daughter she began taking OCC classes online. While earning 24 credits at home she raised her daughter (now age 9) and son (age 4). “Taking classes while raising a family was very challenging. I think it made me appreciate what I was accomplishing even more.”
When her son became old enough to attend Pre-K Siravolo made the decision to start taking classes on campus. “I had to work really hard to be able to come to school but I realized the opportunities it would give me.” She’s majoring in human services with a concentration on social work and criminal justice and is also pursuing an Honors minor. “I want to become a social worker. I love the idea of helping people. It’s very important to me.”
It’s also important to her to continue spending time with her children. “They are my focus. The role model I am providing them with is super important to me.”
Siravolo has found a group of people important to her on campus as well. Her outstanding grades have earned her membership in PTK, and she is the organization’s vice president for service. “I love Phi Theta Kappa. The advisors (Annie Tuttle and Jackie Barstow) are always there to help me. It’s great to have that support on campus. It’s like a family.”
The holiday season started early for OCC students graduating this winter. The College held its December Graduate Recognition Ceremony in Storer Auditorium exactly two weeks before Christmas.
Students and family members heard remarks from OCC President Casey Crabill, Provost and Senior Vice President Cathleen McColgin and Faculty Chair J.T. Ryan. Music Professor David Rudari sang the National Anthem and the OCC Alma Mater.
There was also a musical performance from the OCC Guitar Ensemble. Students Greg Terrill, Jake Simmons, Tim Rustani, Kayah Sleight, Mike Teixeira and Kenneth Meyer performed “Couleur Milonga.”
Congratulations to all of our December 2014 graduates! All are invited to participate in the College’s spring commencement ceremony May 16 at 1 p.m. in the SRC Arena and Events Center.
Students in need were the big winners when OCC celebrated National Philanthropy Day in November. National Philanthropy Day® is the special day set aside to recognize and pay tribute to the great contributions that philanthropy – and those people active in the philanthropic community – have made to our lives, our communities and our world.
OCC’s National Philanthropy Day fundraiser generated $1,800 for the Promise annual fund, $1,000 of which was earmarked to support the College’s food pantry. The money is used to restock shelves with food which goes to students in need. The food pantry has been utilized more than 100 times during the fall 2014 semester.
The food pantry is located in room 112 in the Gordon Student Center, and is open every Monday and Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. New this semester is a refrigerator which provides students access to donated perishable foods. Students who come for assistance are asked to fill out a questionnaire, and then collect items based on a point system which encourages them to shop for meals. Students who can’t come in when the food pantry is open will have a care package put together for them.
Food donations can be dropped off at the Student Association in room 104 in Gordon, or in the Educational Opportunity Program office in room 130. If you are interested in a financial donation to the food pantry please visit www.giving.sunyocc.edu or contact the OCC Foundation at (315) 498-6060.
Former OCC student-veteran Will McKinney’s personal story of tragedy and triumph has earned him high praise from the Central New York Veterans Parade and Expo. McKinney has been honored as a recipient of the “Share Your Stories, Honor Our Heroes” award.
The story of McKinney’s remarkable journey was presented to the public at the 2014 CNY Veterans Parade and Expo at the New York State Fairgrounds, an event sponsored by New York State Assemblymen Williams Magnarelli. In September 2011 McKinney was a Sergeant in the United States Army’s 10th Mountain Division serving in Afghanistan.
His life changed forever when he stepped on a land mine and lost his left leg below his knee. McKinney would be flown back to Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, MD where he was fitted with a prosthetic limb and underwent countless hours of physical therapy.
One year later McKinney was well enough to enroll in classes at OCC. He credited Keith Stevenson, Program Coordinator in the College’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs, with making his transition a smooth one. “Keith helped me with everything. Coming out of the military and getting into college is overwhelming.” Stevenson, who is also a veteran, understands how difficult the process can be. “For most of our veterans this is their first time in college. They don’t have their parents helping them get things done. I take veterans through the entire enrollment process and give them as much help as possible.” Thanks to the hard work of Stevenson and his staff OCC has been named a “Military Friendly School” by G.I. Jobs Magazine for four consecutive years.
As for McKinney he has moved on from OCC and is now at the Colorado School of Mines where he is majoring in engineering. Despite what he went through while serving his country McKinney remains upbeat and positive. “I have a lot of friends who lost way more than I did. They don’t make excuses and I shouldn’t either.”
When you support Onondaga Community College, you are making a statement that you believe in the importance of quality affordable education for everyone. You are creating new opportunities and new beginnings for students and our greater community.