Communication is key. That’s the advice Kim Colasanti gives students every time she speaks with them. “You can have as many technical skills as you want but if you can’t communicate, negotiate and compromise it’s hard to go far. If you want to get ahead you need good communications skills.” She shared those words with students when she spoke to members of OCC’s Collegiate Science & Technology Entry Program in November 2014 in the Gordon Student Center.
Colasanti is a shining example of the power of OCC. She started her college education ten years after graduating from Syracuse’s Fowler High School. Colasanti worked full-time during the day and went to college full-time at night. “My life was very hectic but I loved my classes, I loved my teachers and I loved going to OCC. I worked very hard on my homework because I always wanted it to be perfect.”
During her time at OCC Colasanti discovered a love for numbers and formulas. “My favorite professors were all of the math professors. When I was in high school I struggled with math. It was a real deficiency. I found a real passion for teaching here. The professors were very involved with students and always helping, and it made a big difference in me.”
Faculty involvement coupled with Colasanti’s tireless work ethic made for the perfect student. She carried a 4.0 GPA while earning a degree in math and science in 1993. Colasanti would go on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science from Syracuse University.
In 2000 Colasanti was hired by Skaneateles based medical device maker Welch Allyn where today she is Manager of Quality Assurance for New Product Development. She is responsible for coordinating and harmonizing Welch Allyn’s global software process with national and international standards and regulations, functionally managing a team of quality engineers, and working with new product development teams to ensure that processes and standards are applied effectively and efficiently.
Colasanti is always willing to take time out of her busy work schedule to return to campus and let students know they are on the right path. “I tell them my story and it helps remind them why they are here and what they are working toward. I want them to know all of the hard work is worth it in the end.”
As she flourishes professionally Colasanti remains the College’s biggest cheerleader. “There are two reasons why I recommend OCC. You save a lot of money coming here, and the professors are focused on teaching and helping students. Why spend the money to go to a school where you are not going to get the help you need?”