Student Honors

OCC’s highest achieving students were honored during the annual Student Honors Ceremony April 22 at Storer Auditorium.

Curriculum Honor Awards were presented to students representing 43 majors and certificate programs. Each student’s story was highlighted by a faculty member who shared brief remarks on their accomplishments. Students were presented plaques commemorating their achievement, and photographed with a faculty representative and College President Dr. Casey Crabill.

Student stories included examples of how he or she excelled in class, and in some cases recounted significant life obstacles the student had overcome to earn their degree. One of the most memorable stories focused on Gladys Thomas who is pictured at the top of this story with her family. Thomas is a 74-year-old cancer survivor who does volunteer work with women in her church and raises three adolescent grandchildren. “Miss Gladys” as she’s affectionately known was honored for her work in the Professional Communications major.

Following is a complete list of Curriculum Honor Awards recipients:

  • Accounting, A.A.S., Rhonda DeMarzio
  • Advanced Manufacturing Certificate, Hunter Berthelot
  • American Sign Language, A.S., Chelsea Levy
  • Architectural Technology, A.A.S., Ivan Hanson
  • Art, A.A.S., Dominique Ostuni
  • Automotive Technology, A.A.S., Christopher Pettit
  • Business Administration, A.S., Brittany Dunn
  • Business Technology, A.A.S., Hope Tucker

    Hope Tucker (center) is honored for her work in the Business Technology major by College President Dr, Casey Crabill and Business Administration Department Chair J.T. Ryan. Tucker earned her degree over a 10 year period. She is part-owner of Fradon Lock in Syracuse.
    Hope Tucker (center) is honored for her work in the Business Technology major by College President Dr, Casey Crabill (left) and Business Administration Department Chair J.T. Ryan (right). Tucker earned her degree over a 10 year period. She is part-owner of Fradon Lock in Syracuse.
  • Computer Forensics, A.S., Charles Leavitt
  • Computer Information Systems, A.A.S., Michael Buza
  • Computer Science, A.S., Jesse Peplinski
  • Criminal Justice, A.A.S., Alice Mundschenk
  • Criminal Justice, A.S., Christina Lewis
  • Early Child Care Certificate, Tori Kazek
  • Electrical Engineering Technology, A.A.S., Robert Perrine
  • Electronic Media Communications, A.A.S., Rebecca Gillette
  • Emergency Management, A.A.S., Victoria Schaefer
  • Engineering Science, A.S., Stephanie DeRosa
  • Environmental Technology, A.A.S., Ezekiel McGinn
  • Fire Protection Technology, A.A.S., Tory Zinsmeister
  • Health Information Technology/Medical Records, A.A.S., Lisa Porter
  • Hospitality Management, A.A.S., Amy Williams
  • Human Services, A.S., Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counseling, Karenina Gilmore
  • Human Services, A.S., Early Childhood Education, Rachel Roberts
  • Human Services, A.S., Social Work, Erin Vanbrocklin
  • Interior Design, A.A.S., Vera Sokol
  • Liberal Arts & Sciences – Adolescence Education, A.A., Brandon Kapcinski
  • Liberal Arts & Sciences – Childhood Education, A.A., Anne Farnsworth
  • Liberal Arts & Sciences – General Studies, A.A.,Gregory Guevara
  • Liberal Arts & Sciences – Humanities and Social Sciences, A.A., James Malm
  • Liberal Arts & Sciences – Mathematics and Science, A.A., Chantal Seller
  • Liberal Arts & Sciences – Mathematics and Science, A.S., Thakur Bhattarai
  • Line Mechanic – Utility Worker Certificate, John Dunham
  • Mechanical Technology, A.A.S., Jon Distefano
  • Music, A.A.S., Mikaela Derby
  • Nuclear Technology, A.A.S., Steve Einbinder
  • Nursing, A.A.S., Hans Stumpf
  • Photography, A.S., Kevin Plumley
  • Physical Education & Exercise Science Studies, A.S., Allison Teachout
  • Physical Therapist Assistant, A.A.S., Kristen Thompson
  • Professional Communication, A.A.S., Gladys Thomas
  • Surgical Technology Certificate, Shauna Buchanan
  • Telecommunications Technology – Verizon, A.A.S., Michael Rieth

Student achievement was also recognized in several other categories including:

Civic Engagement Recognition Award    Daniel Quackenbush

Outstanding Service-Learning Award     Christina Salsbery


President’s Volunteer Service Award

“Bronze Level”            Gregory Guevara

“Silver Level”               Marie Canuso-Reiner, Anne Germano, Andrew Grant, Sarah Hafler, Joshua McGinley, Jennifer Ohlsen, Amanda Pezzulo and Shelbie Pidkaminy.

The “silver level” students are Nursing majors who completed a service learning trip to Guatemala during the semester break.


“Gold Level”                Maria Reid


SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence

Karim Abdel-Razek , Sai Aung, Bertina BaileyAlena Cerro, Greg Freitag and Gregory Guevara.

Freitag is a 55-year-old father of seven who earned a 4.0 grade point average in the Hospitality Management major while working full-time. He is pictured below (wearing blue blazer) with his family.

cropped Greg Freitag with family

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