Tuesday, March 8 was a big day for Onondaga Community College in the state capitol. The annual USA Today Phi Theta Kappa All-New York Academic Team Recognition Ceremony at the New York State Museum in Albany had an OCC feel to it.
Students Leighann Bulich and Iga Szczepanik were among those honored for their academic excellence and community service. Another OCC student, Music major Brittany Montpetit wowed the crowd with a stirring rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. College President Dr. Casey Crabill also played an important role in the celebration by introducing student honorees.
Bulich came to OCC from Lake George Jr.-Sr. High School (60 miles north of Albany) where she was a member of the class of 2014. Bulich served her community as a member of the West Glens Falls Emergency Squad and an emergency medical technician. She graduated from OCC in December 2015 after just three semesters on campus. She took more than 20 credits each semester, worked as an RA and was Vice President for Service in the College’s chapter of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa. Bulich earned a degree in Emergency Management with an Honors minor. She is now attending the University of Nebraska at Omaha where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Emergency Management. Her career goals include becoming an Emergency Manager at a V-A Hospital and a management position with FEMA. Bulich was unable to attend the event.
Szczepanik is an International Student from Swidnica, Poland. She started learning English when she was in preschool and today speaks the language fluently. Szczepanik came to the U.S. when she was high school aged and graduated from Bishop Grimes in 2014. She’s majoring in Business with minors in both Women’s Studies and Honors. She’s also a member of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa and is President of OCC’s chapter. Szczepanik also works as a student ambassador, going to area high schools and promoting the Honors Minor program. After earning her degree in May Szczepanik plans to Rochester Institute of Technology and pursue a degree in international business.
Montpetit is a Music major with a specialization in Voice who will earn her degree in May 2016. She’s also a member of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa and a 2014 graduate of Cicero-North Syracuse high school.
Assemblymen Al Stirpe (D, 127th District) and Gary Finch (R, C, I, 126th District) were also part of the OCC contingent. They brought with them New York State Assembly Certificates of Recognition for Sczezpanik and Bulich.