John Gould

JCROPPED ohn Gould 004John Gould’s road to a college degree has been a long and winding one. In the 1970s he was a high school All-American basketball player in Garden City, Long Island. Due to a series of bad choices he was never able to turn his athletic abilities into opportunities in higher education. Four decades later, he is about to earn a college degree.

In the spring of 2009 at the age of 48 Gould started taking classes at OCC. “I was nervous because I had never been to college. I was worried I’d be much older than everyone else. When I got here and saw some students around my age I felt much more comfortable. The faculty and staff were wonderful about accepting me.”

In his seven years at OCC Gould has become a leader on campus. He’s served as president of the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement for two consecutive years. He didn’t seek the position, it found him. “I came to the office one day, started asking questions and the next thing I knew I was being asked to run for president. As I got more involved I saw the issues which impact students and I became a person who wanted to help. Every student needs a voice. There are faculty and staff here who really want to help them achieve their dream.”

The fact Gould has time for anything outside of class is remarkable. He and his wife live in Ithaca where they are raising two grandsons. He also works full time in Syracuse at CNY Services. “My schedule is very challenging. There’s never enough time in the day.”

Gould will graduate in May with a degree in Alcohol & Substance Abuse Counseling. His goal is to transfer to Syracuse University and pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees. “I thank OCC for the opportunity it has given me. The relationships with students, faculty and staff have been great!”

Feeling The Bern!

TOP OF STORY Maurice BrownOCC student Maurice Brown is paying attention to Presidential politics like never before. The 23-year-old Brooklyn native is a delegate to Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Brown was one of only six Sanders delegates chosen in New York State’s entire 24th Congressional district. How was he selected? “I went to a Bernie Sanders debate party and began talking with people. I liked who I met and liked that Bernie talked about the issues. He has a message that connects with the college-aged group.” A short time later Brown was asked to be a Sanders delegate.

Brown is no stranger to politics. He’s president of OCC’s Politics Club. He is also vice president of the College’s Black Student Union and a U.S. Army Reservist. He’s on track to graduate in December 2016 with a degree in Communication. “I’ve really enjoyed my time at OCC. In my role with the Politics Club I get to meet local politicians. I enjoy meeting people and speaking with them. Education is really about what you do with it and who you meet.”

Brown has both the ability to speak in public and to make people laugh. He’ll have the chance to put both of those skills on display this weekend. Sunday, February 28 Brown will be the master of ceremonies for a Bernie Sanders fundraiser from 4-9 p.m. at Mac’s Bad Art Bar in Mattydale. The fundraiser is titled “Bust a Gut for Bernie.” On Monday, February 29 at 7 p.m. Brown will be performing his stand-up comic routine in the Recital Hall of Academic II on the OCC campus. Brown is a regular on the stand-up comic circuit. He’s performed locally at Funny Bone, Funk N’Waffles and in the Rochester area. He says his success as a comic depends on starting strong. “You have to get the crowd to like you immediately. If you don’t have them in the first five seconds you’re in trouble. The key is to practice a lot. He who fails to prepare prepares to fail. You have to rehearse and you have to be confident.”

Steve Schill ’78

Schill posing with Inficon logo at East Syracuse Facility
Schill, ’78 at Inficon in East Syracuse

Steve Schill ‘78 grew up on the West Side of Syracuse with his four brothers and his mom where he attended Sacred Heart before it closed at the end of his junior year in 1975. The following year, he and a group of fellow classmates finished their studies at Fowler High School and would become part of the very first graduating class from there. Following high school, Schill didn’t really know what he wanted to study in college, but the choice was simple. “My mom (Margaret ’88) worked at OCC (Onondaga Community College) for 25 years,” Schill said. “That on top of the savings and being able to identify what I wanted to do made the decision easy.”

STEVE_~1His freshmen year, computers were just arriving on the scene in a noticeable way and during that time he had taken a part-time job at Cook’s Department Store in the electrical and plumbing department so he decided to enter into the electrical engineering program. Reflecting on his time at OCC, Schill remembered the relationships between faculty and students more than anything else. “There were not many students in the program so it was easy to get know the faculty as more than an instructor, but as mentors because they had professional experience too, which they would infuse into their lessons,” he said. Entering his sophomore year, Schill was now working full-time at Cook’s, so he would go to class in the morning then go to work until closing, so there was little time for much else. “When I wasn’t at school, I was working and when I wasn’t at work I was studying,” Schill said, “it was a very busy time of my life, but I knew the work would pay off in the end because it would get me to where I wanted to be.”

Steve ‘78 and Kathleen Schill ‘81 and ’03 (seated left) are second generation OCC alumnus. Steve’s mother, Margaret “Peg” Schill ’88 (standing right), earned a degree in business administration and retired in 2000 after 33 years from OCC Bursar’s Office. Kathleen’s mother Elna Dwyer ’85 (seated lower right) received an accounting degree. Susie Schill ( standing left), also attended the College.
Steve ‘78 and Kathleen Schill ‘81 and ’03 (seated left) are
second generation OCC alumnus. Steve’s mother, Margaret “Peg” Schill ’88 (standing right), earned a degree
in business administration and retired in 2000 after 33 years from OCC Bursar’s Office.
Kathleen’s mother Elna Dwyer ’85 (seated lower right) received an accounting degree.
Susie Schill ( standing left), also attended the College.

Following his graduation from OCC in 1978, he enrolled at Buffalo State to further his engineering degree, but it was during this same time that he met a woman who kept him coming home every weekend during his junior year. This woman, Kathleen Dwyer ‘81, would later become his wife of 34 years and together they would have two children, Robert and Susan. The latter would also attend OCC as her parents had before. During the summer of his junior year Schill would make his stay in Syracuse permanent by applying for and obtaining a job with INFICON as a technician. While at INFICON, he started his studies back up at Syracuse University (SU) to obtain his bachelor’s degree, but decided to switch gears and enroll in the marketing management program, which would set him back a bit. “Because many of my credits were with electrical (engineering) not all of them transferred,” he said, “so instead of entering with junior status I was starting my sophomore year over again.”

Schill '78 (center) receiving John H. Mulroy Founders Award with Trustee Donna DeSiato '69 (left) and OCC President Casey Crabill (right)
Schill ’78 (center) receiving the John H. Mulroy Founders Award with Trustee Dr. Donna DeSiato ’69 (left) and OCC President Dr. Casey Crabill (right).

The challenge did not deter him from achieving his goal as he took one class a semester minus a two-year hiatus due to a relocation to Japan for business, he would finish his bachelor’s in 1993. “It was not your traditional way by any stretch,” he said while laughing, “but I got it and have never regretted making the change.” Schill will celebrate his 37th anniversary with INFICON in June and has had many promotions over time including Marketing Director, Business Line Manager and currenlty Senior Director of Global Strategic Projects in addition to receiving an Executive MBA from SU in 2003. During this time, he also served on the OCC Foundation Board from 2008 – 2014, which proved to be another learning experience for him. “Serving on the board allowed me to reconnect with OCC and see the College grow and to understand how important it is to the community,” he said, “seeing first-hand all what was offered to students and how the community’s investment had propelled them to where they are today gave me a real sense of pride.” When his term came to a close two years ago, the College recognized Schill for his time and commitment to the institution by awarding him the John H. Mulroy Founders Award, which was named after the first county executive of Onondaga County. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without OCC,” Schill said, “the education I received gave me a great foundation and I think it is a viable option for any student.”

Super Tuesday Super Display

Dick Woodworth with his autographed "Kennedy for President" poster.
Dick Woodworth with his autographed “Kennedy for President” poster.

Dick Woodworth buttonsOCC retired professor Dick Woodworth is bringing his you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it display of political memorabilia to campus on Super Tuesday! His collection spans back to the 1824, the year Andrew Jackson was elected President. Woodworth has amassed more than 2,000 items including coins, buttons, pins, posters, signs, ties, hats and more. The exhibit is titled “Art of the Campaign” and will be located in the lobby outside Storer Auditorium Tuesday, March 1 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. It’s free and open to the public. March 1 is referred to as Super Tuesday because more than a dozen Presidential primaries will be held on that day.

Woodworth’s fascination with political memorabilia started nearly 50 years ago. “In 1967 I was on the interstate driving through Tennessee when I stopped at a truck stop and bought a John F. Kennedy poster for $2. A couple of years later I picked up a Kennedy button. Then one of my friends gave me a Barry Goldwater button. Before I knew it, I had a hobby,” he said.

dick woodworth's kennedy johnson signNearly a half-century later, Woodworth’s Syracuse home is filled with political memorabilia, and the items related to President John F. Kennedy are among his most treasured. When the nation remembered the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s death in November of 2013, Woodworth put his memorabilia on display at Syracuse’s Palace Theater. People of all ages attended, from students in OCC’s History Club to people old enough to remember where they were when they heard the news of Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963. “It was wonderful how many people came. They remembered and wanted to reflect on that time,” said Woodworth.

Woodworth has no idea how much his collection is worth and he wouldn’t sell it at any price. One of his old Kennedy campaign posters has photos of both Kennedy and his running mate, Lyndon Johnson. “This poster is very rare because there are two people in it who became President. About five years ago the Lyndon Johnson Museum in Texas was looking for one of these, but I decided I didn’t want to sell it,” Woodworth said. “There’s something magical about looking at these posters. You look at them and they take you back to that time.”

We hope you’ll come experience the magic of the “Art of the Campaign” exhibit on Super Tuesday on the OCC campus.

Sign Up to Vote!

Student Tess Eller (left) registers to vote in the Gordon Student Center
Student Tess Eller (left) registers to vote in the Gordon Student Center

“Are you registered to vote?” “Do you want to vote in this year’s elections?” Those questions were repeated over to and over to passersby during a voter registration drive on campus Monday, February 22. Registration tables were set up in three buildings and staffed from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., giving students and members of the campus community plenty of time to stop by and register to vote.

Student Tess Eller registered to vote in the Gordon Student Center. She’s a Human Services major and 2010 graduate of Altmar-Parish-Williamstown. “I think it’s important to be part of choosing the next President, especially for younger people,” she said. “It’s our future. As you get older you realize how important it is to be a part of everything.”

A similar scene was repeated in the Atrium of the Whitney Applied Technology Center where students also signed up. Thaddeus Sitnik is an Adolesence Education major who graduated from Central Square in 2015. He felt a duty to register. “I want to be a productive member of society. If there are people out there risking their lives it’s important I do my part as a United States citizen, register and be aware of what is going on in the world.”

More than 200 students joined Eller and Sitnik as new registered voters. The event was sponsored and coordinated by the Syracuse Metro League of Women Voters and OCC’s Politics Club. If you are interested in registering to vote you can learn more at the Onondaga County Board of Elections’ website.

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Jade Lewis

Jade Lewis - Top of StoryJade Lewis’ desire to make a difference and be the best is evident in everything she does. She’s a member of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa, a double major in Electronic Media Communications and Humanities with an Honors minor and is a two-year member of the Women’s Soccer team. While a student at Silver Creek High School about 35 miles southwest of Buffalo, Lewis was recruited by OCC to play soccer. During her time on campus she’s also been an RA and a member of the Politics Club.

Lewis found her passion while working on her Honors project. She put together a documentary on Title IX and sexual assault. “The process was very rewarding,” Lewis said. “We spoke to a number of victims of sexual assault. I was worried about being in college but not really doing anything. You study, you take tests but you’re not making an impact. I want to help people. Doing this has given me motivation.”

Lewis will graduate in May and plans to Syracuse University. As her time at OCC winds down she has a tremendous appreciation for everything the College represents. “This is a great school with great opportunities if you look for them. You can do literally anything you want here as long as you are willing to put the work in.”

Lewis worked countless hours on her documentary. You can view it below.

Pathway to Success

Professor Bob Latham (right) is Chair of OCC's Electrical Technology and Mechanical Technology programs.
Professor Bob Latham (right) is Chair of OCC’s Electrical Technology and Mechanical Technology programs.

A new program is giving students the opportunity to work toward a rewarding career at a young age. It’s called “P-TECH” which stands for Pathways in Technology Early College High School. The program helps high school students earn valuable credits toward an associate degree while partnering with industry leaders. The College is taking part in three P-TECH grants:

  • This partnership between the Syracuse City School District, OCC and the Manufacturer’s Association of Central New York allows students to pursue a degree in either Electrical Engineering Technology or Mechanical Technology. All costs including tuition, books and fees are covered by a grant from the New York State Education Department.
  • This collaboration includes the Syracuse City School District, OCC, Broome Community College, SUNY Upstate Medical University, St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center and the Laboratory Alliance of Central NY. Degree choices include Health Information Technology from OCC or Clinical Lab Technician from Broome C.C. All costs are covered by the grant.
  • This partnership includes nine Oswego County school districts, the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation, OCC, Novelis, Huhtamaki and the Fulton Companies. Degree choices are Electrical Engineering Technology and Mechanical Technology. All costs are covered by the grant.

P-TECH students will have the opportunity to take part in job shadowing and internships. All students will be assigned a mentor who will provide support throughout the program. Successful students will be first in line for entry level employment positions within their respective majors. You can learn more about P-TECH here.


Food, Wine and Cheese Classes Begin in March!

FEATURE Wine & Cheese winner #1Ever wonder what kind of wines to pair with certain types of food? Or which kinds of cheese work best with Italian wine? All of those questions and more will be answered in a series of new classes! The College’s Food & Wine series begins in March. All of the classes will be offered on the main campus. Attendees must be 21 or older to register. The classes include:

Cooking and Wine Pairing – Monday, March 28   5:30-9 p.m.

  • Explore Moroccan cuisine and prepare various traditional dishes. At the conclusion of the cooking portion, the class will dine together and sample wines that pair well with each course. Tuition: $55.

Wine Basics – class offered Friday, April 8 and Thursday, May 19   7-8:30 p.m.

  • Learn about wine varietal grapes, the process of wine making including vineyard characteristics, grape fermentation and how to properly evaluate wine. Sample and evaluate wines for key quality indicators. Tuition: $45 for either class (these two classes are identical).

Italian Wine and Cheese Pairing – class offered Friday, April 22 and Friday, May 6   7-8:30 p.m.

  • Learn about Italian cheese, cheese making and how to select the appropriate Italian wine to match a cheese, its flavor palettes, overall menu and time of the year. You will be taught how to score cheese and wine and serve both properly. The April 22 class will highlight wines from northern Italy. The May 6 class will focus on wines from southern Italy. Tuition: $50 per class.

The classes are offered through the College’s Lifelong Learning program. More information is available online or by calling (315) 498-6000.

Country Strong: Cassidy Lynn ’08

Country Strong: Cassidy Lynn '08

For most toddlers the primary focus of each day is playing with friends, honing their ABCs, counting skills and snack time. In other words, choosing a career is usually not one of their top priorities, but for Cassidy Lynn ’08 she knew what she wanted to do right away. “From the age of four, I told my parents I wanted to be a singer,” she said. From that point on she would play whatever records her mom and dad had on hand and sing, while also performing with the Syracuse Children’s Theatre and Choir. Her father was in the radio business so he had a lot of equipment for her to play with, which included a big karaoke machine where she would sing along with songs ranging from John Denver to Patsy Cline.

Lynn attended school in the East Syracuse-Minoa School District and when she reached the age of 12, her uncle and mom started to take her around to county fairs and other summer gatherings to perform. “My uncle invested in a sound system to help me get out and perform publicly. I would sing a variety of songs that were popular then and when the song was over I would talk to the audience while my mom would load in the next karaoke CD for me to sing along to,” she said between laughs. It was during this time where Lynn’s love for country music would develop due, in large part, to watching the Grand Ole Opry with her grandfather.

12524294_10156481142245173_1442654616226715481_nFour years later, she landed herself in a popular local band called the Seven Bridges Band who were also lovers of classic country music. When reflecting on her first professional foray into the world of music, Lynn learned there was much more to it than just performing. “It like was Music Business 101. As a 16 year old girl, I had to prove myself to the guys in the band night after night, not to mention the crowds,” she said, “but the experience gave me the knowledge and appreciation for all that went into performing.” Just before Lynn joined the band, they had lost their lead singer and she would seize the opportunity, which was her first big break into building a fan base. “When we first started together, we had to transition from a male lead singer to a female lead singer, which was a complete change of pace for the players,” Lynn said, “but once we made the transition we came out on the other end stronger than ever and we had the lines out the door to prove it.”

She would remain the lead singer of the Seven Bridges Band up until she graduated from high school in 2006. Her original plan was always to move to Nashville at that time, but with a growing local fan base that she felt she could carry with her to Tennessee, she decided to stick close to home a bit longer. Staying close to home proved to be a good formula for Lynn as she enrolled at Oneonta and started a new band called Skyline, which included a couple members from Seven Bridges. “All during my time at Oneonta I would be doing shows every weekend and as a result the number of our followers just continued to grow by the show,” she said. She was doing pretty well but never felt at home at Oneonta, so she transferred to Onondaga Community College (OCC), where she would keep up the same touring schedule and work on finishing up her associate’s degree all while saving money by living at home. She would go on to major in business administration and minor in voice, which may have surprised some people. “Three days before classes started, I changed my major to business,” she said, “I knew that if I wanted to be in the music business, a music performance degree saying I could sing wouldn’t do much good for me; I was going to have to prove myself either way.”

Coming to OCC proved to be a better fit for Lynn because she knew more people and actually was able to work with Professor Katherine Montcrief, who she had gotten to know from performing locally. “She knew my background, but made me work just as hard,” she said, “the program there was great in that it brought me back to the basics and reinforced breathing and vocal techniques, which I still use today.” While at OCC she continued to tour with Skyline, who was expanding her ever-growing fan base while playing in crowded venues across Central and Northern New York and in the County Fair Circuit. During this time, she was able to perform in front of upwards of 5,000 people and open for nationally renowned country acts like John Michael Montgomery, Emerson Drive, and actually perform with Brian White and with Tommy Cash, the younger brother of the legendary Johnny Cash.

Upon graduating from OCC in 2008, she felt the time was right for her to make the move she had always dreamed of so she enrolled at the prestigious Belmont University where she would major in music business. “I did a lot of work while at OCC to make sure all my credits would transfer,” Lynn said, “I entered Belmont as a junior and was well on my way to getting my Bachelor’s in two years in addition to pursuing my dream in music.” When she graduated from Belmont she would take a job at a music publishing house for just over two years, while pursuing her own publishing deal as a songwriter.

10927852_10155129922280173_3479743393924847505_oLynn decided to focus more on a song writing deal first knowing that some of the best-known artists followed the same path, and she felt it might payoff for her artistry in the long run. During this transition she won a “Listner’s Choice” contest put on by Nashville Songwriter’s Association International that provided her with the opportunity to attend the County Music Awards where she would be amongst some of the biggest names in country music. Not long after, she had her first song recorded by an artist besides herself, which spent three weeks in the #1 spot on Sirius XM radio The Highway. The song was “Ball Cap” by Glen Templeton. It was then that Lynn went on to sign her first professional songwriting deal with Given Music Publishing on Music Row.

Looking back on all she has accomplished from becoming a professional artist to singing at some of the most sacred music venues in Nashville like the Bluebird Café, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge and the Ryman Auditorium, Lynn is still hustling. “It has taken a lifetime of dedication to get me to where I am today,” she said, “These days I’ve got a great team of people behind me and I’m working with exciting up and coming artists as well as some of the industry’s biggest songwriters regularly, so I can’t wait to see what’s around the next bend.” However, despite all of these accomplishments, Lynn understands the importance of living life in order to keep her success moving in the right direction. “Songwriters are a small group of people who are challenged with making everyone else in the world feel, think and experience something,’ she said, “so in order to write songs about life we need to experience it, so it can be helpful to take some time off here and there so we have more to draw from.”

Cassidy LynnNext for Lynn, aside from booking shows in and around Nashville, is an exciting Nashville-based song writer festival in April, called Tin Pan South, where people from all over the country will gather for this ten day event to listen to not only song writers perform their most beloved songs, but the stories that inspired them. “I’m hoping for the chance to perform there again this year like I did last year,” Lynn said, “the vibe there is one of a kind and it’s truly an honor to be included with such incredible talent.” In addition, never one to forget her roots, she will also make her annual trip back to Central New York for a couple of weeks in the summer with her newly formed country quartet called Cassidy Lynn and the Tune Shine Boys (which still includes the drummer from the Seven Bridges Band) and play at some of the same venues where she first made her name. “It’s always nice to come back home to see family, friends and fans,” she said, “they’ve been with me since the very beginning and they support me more than I could even ask them to. For that, I am eternally grateful.” For a list of Lynn’s upcoming shows, you can visit

Lawrence Chiappone

Lawrence ChiapponeLawrence Chiappone is an artist. Whether he’s juggling on campus during Party on the Quad, playing bass in local progressive metal band Spire or editing videos, Chiappone loves to focus on both the details and the craft of whatever he is working on. His academic passion is video editing, a skill he works on regularly as an Electronic Media Communications major.  “Professor Mark Ballard is my mentor. He’s the greatest teacher I’ve ever come across. He’s done a lot of good for me the way he speaks about this art form. His passion is transferrable. You can feel it when he speaks with you.”

Chiappone is very active outside class as the vice president of media for the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement. Being involved in campus life has had a profound impact on him. “I was a quiet introvert. It gave me a chance to help other students and share my experience and my advice with them and gave them a reason to listen and take it seriously. Helping other students has helped me develop myself.”

Chiappone is a 2007 graduate of West Genesee High School. He’s on track to earn his associate degree in May 2016. His goal is to direct music videos or documentaries.