Guggenheim Fellow

Lida Suchy (right) in the Ukranian Village of Kryvorivnya. Her portraiture project there has spanned parts of three decades and earned her a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Lida Suchy (right) in the Ukranian Village of Kryvorivnya. Her portraiture project there has spanned parts of three decades and earned her a Guggenheim Fellowship.

OCC Photography Professor Lida Suchy has been named a Guggenheim Fellow. It’s the second prestigious award for Suchy who was named a Fulbright Scholar in 2011. Guggenheim Fellowships are intended for men and women who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.

Suchy is a first-generation American who was born into a refugee family. She chronicles communities through portraiture. Much of her work is done in Eastern and Central Europe and in immigrant enclaves in the United States. Her ongoing work is titled, “Portrait of a Village: the People of Kryvorivnya.” “For more than 20 years I have portrayed many of the village’s 2,000 inhabitants with the idea of creating a composite portrait of this community through individual portraits of its members,” she said. The series has evolved into a multi-layered community portrait that now includes the notion of cultural persistence and change through the passage of time. You can view her portraits here and see how people have changed as time has passed.

Suchy first traveled to Kryvorivnya in the early 90s, shortly after Ukraine gained its independence from the Soviet Union. Even though she’d never been there before, she felt a sense of familiarity. “In my childhood growing up in the United States the environment had been described to me in detail by my parents. I grew up in a refugee family that was forced to leave Ukraine when it fell under Soviet rule. Through my photographs I want to confront the image built up from the recollections of my parents with one of my own.”

Congratulations to Lida Suchy on her Guggenheim Fellowship and her continuing journey!

Celebrating Shakespeare

FEATURE shakespeare

William Shakespeare may be the greatest writer in the history of the English language. His plays have been translated into several languages and are performed more often than those of any playwright. April 23rd will mark the 400th anniversary of his death and the “OCC Players” will help celebrate his legacy with a series of events on campus. We hope to see you at many of them!


Friday, April 15  11:15 a.m.

  • Bells & Motley, Renaissance music & dance show
  • Location: Quad by the clock
  • Rain location: Mawhinney 176


Tuesday, April 19              7-10 p.m.

  • Film Club – Macbeth, showing and discussion of cinematic techniques
  • Location: Mawhinney 345


Wednesday, April 20      11:15 a.m.

  • Murder! Mayhem! Macbeth!, discussion facilitated by the Criminal Justice Club
  • Location: Mawhinney 245


Wednesday, April 20      11:15 a.m.

  • Syracuse Country Dancers, show and interactive instruction
  • Location: Quad by the clock
  • Rain location: Mawhinney 176


Thursday, April 21            7-10 p.m.

  • Scotland, PA, showing and discussion
  • Location: Mawhinney 345


Friday, April 22  7:30 p.m.

  • Complete Works Abridged performed by the OCC Players At intermission OCC’s ASL Club will sign sonnets 12 & 24. Professors Ken Meyer and David Rudari will perform John Downland songs.
  • Location: Recital Hall in Academic II
  • Admission: $5 for OCC students, employees and alumni, $10 for all others Tickets available in advance at


Saturday, April 23             2 p.m.

  • Live Action Role Play, combat demo and instruction
  • Location: The lawn between residence halls A & B Rain location: Lounge in residence hall B


Saturday, April 23             7:30 p.m.

  • Complete Works Abridged performed by the OCC Players At intermission there will be a Shakespeare open mic and costume contest
  • Location: Recital Hall in Academic II
  • Admission: $5 for OCC students, employees and alumni, $10 for all others Tickets available in advance at

Self-Advocate of the Year

Kayla McKeon is presented the National Down Syndrome Society's Self Advocate of the Year Award by the organization's President, Sara Hart Weir.
Kayla McKeon is presented the National Down Syndrome Society’s Self Advocate of the Year Award by the organization’s President, Sara Hart Weir.
Kayla with U.S. Senator Charles Schumer of New York
Kayla with U.S. Senator Charles Schumer of New York

Kayla McKeon is a remarkable woman. Tuesday, April 12 she was presented the National Down Syndrome Society’s (NDSS) Self Advocate of the Year Award. NDSS self-advocates are volunteer advocates with Down Syndrome who are committed to taking part in the democratic process and serve as liaisons between NDSS and their communities to continually raise awareness, educate and advocate for public policy solutions that benefit the Down Syndrome community at the federal, local and community levels. McKeon received the award at the Buddy Walk® on Washington, the annual NDSS advocacy event in Washington, DC.

McKeon lives in Syracuse and is a student at both Onondaga Community College and Le Moyne College. She is an intern in the office of Congressman John Katko and an employee at Gigi’s Playhouse in Cicero. McKeon has been a longtime advocate in the Down Syndrome community and was vital in getting members of Congress to sign on to co-sponsor the Stephen Beck Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, which was signed into law in 2014.

NDSS is a nonprofit organization representing the more than 400,000 Americans with Down Syndrome. Its mission is to be the national advocate for the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down Syndrome. NDSS envisions a world in which all people with Down Syndrome have the opportunity to enhance their quality of life, realize their life aspirations, and become valued members of welcoming community.

Dr. Deirdre Hunter, ’02

Dr. Deidre Hunter (center) with some OCC CSTEP students and Program Director, Drake Harrison (back right)
Dr. Deirdre Hunter (center) with OCC C-STEP students and Program Director Drake Harrison (back right wearing red sweater)

Dr. Deirdre Hunter’s interest in STEM-related fields began at an early age. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math. Hunter loved to follow her father around while he worked as a mechanic, tuning-up engines in his garage. “I was always fascinated by the work my father did. He had to understand the importance and delicate nature of each part to have the engine run properly.” Her interests put her on a unique path. “For me it was all about gaining knowledge. It never crossed my mind to not take courses in certain fields based on my gender because it all came so naturally to me.”

Dr. Hunter with Professor Eugene Camerota
Dr. Hunter with Professor Eugene Camerota

Hunter came to Onondaga Community College and enrolled in Engineering Science. “After the first class I knew I had made the right choice. The class sizes were small and students were all very dedicated. We were all financing our educations and had a vested interest in succeeding.” One of Hunter’s professors, Eugene Camerota, encouraged her to continue her education beyond OCC. “He saw something in me I didn’t see in myself. He helped me fill out an application for Syracuse University and mailed it. I am forever grateful for his encouragement.”

Hunter earned a bachelor’s degree at Syracuse and in 2015 added a doctorate in engineering education from Virginia Tech. Today she is the Director of U.S. Development at La Gran Familia de Gregory in Mexico. Hunter develops programs that expand educational, economic and sustenance opportunities for the children living in the home and surrounding neighborhood in an effort to provide opportunity and hope for the future. She credits OCC with helping build the foundation for her success. “If I would have attended a four-year university right out of high school I do not think I would have excelled academically to the extent that I have. For me OCC was not an only choice, it was my choice.”

Tyler Beagle

TOP OF STORY Tyler BeagleIt was Tyler Beagle’s sophomore year at Solvay High School. He was playing the role of hotel manager Bernard S. Dunlap in the play Suite Surrender. That’s when it hit him. “I enjoyed being a hotel manager and I thought, ‘You know what? I can do that?'”

Beagle jumped on the internet and began searching for a college where he could learn what he needed to know. The world wide web produced an answer that was just six-and-a-half miles from Solvay High School. “I came up with the Hospitality Management major at OCC and here I am!”

Beagle graduated from Solvay in 2015, brought a significant number of college credits with him to OCC and was inducted into the College’s chapter of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa in the fall semester. After he earns his degree in May 2017 Beagle plans to transfer to a four-year college and keep pursuing his dream of becoming a hotel manager.

Outside class Beagle has been very active on campus. He’s a member of the Drama Club and works at the Southwest YMCA assisting with child care. “It’s been great here. I’ve enjoyed meeting new people. I’ve broadened my friendships and found we all really learn from each other.”

Celebrating Success

TOP OF STORY Celebration of Success 002OCC’s Celebration of Success was held Thursday, April 7 in the SRC Arena and Events Center. The annual event provides student scholarship recipients the opportunity to share their success stories with College supporters.

Three students stepped to the podium, told their unique stories and thanked OCC’s Foundation for its support.

  • Latoya Simpson is a Nursing major who will graduate next month. She earned her degree while commuting from Buffalo. Simpson was the recipient of the Mary Porcari Brady Nursing Support Scholarship. “When I realized I had received the scholarship I said to myself, ‘LaToya, you’re about to see your dreams come true.’ I started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you to the OCC Nursing department faculty and staff for always believing in me and equipping me with the tools necessary for greatness in my professional life.”
  • Karim Abdel-Razek discussed his journey from Egypt to Central New York where he graduated from Syracuse’s Nottingham High School on his way to OCC. One year ago he earned a degree in Architectural Technology. He’s about to complete work toward his Engineering Science degree. He also earned his Green Card. “Thank you to everyone who has been there for me. Thank you to the OCC Foundation and generous donors who help make students dreams a reality.”
  • Jamel McMullin, Jr. began to envision success in his life both personally and academically during his time on campus. He went from OCC to the University at Buffalo to Syracuse University where he is now pursuing a master’s degree. “For a kid from the south side of Syracuse who grew up without a father in my life, if I can be here today doing some of the things I’m doing I want you to know you can be whatever you want to be. You can do whatever you want to do. All you have to do is believe it and picture it in your mind.”
The OCC Singers performed the National Anthem along with "Tribute" and "Trickle Trickle."
The OCC Singers performed the National Anthem along with “Tribute” and “Trickle Trickle.”

The Celebration of Success was masterfully emceed by WSYR TV, Newschannel 9 Anchor and Managing Editor Dan Cummings. The OCC Singers performed throughout the event under the direction of Dr. David Rudari. They were accompanied by Professor Katherine Ciarelli.

Event speakers included OCC President Dr. Casey Crabill, OCC Foundation Board Chair James F. Holland of SRC, Inc. and OCC Board of Trustees Chair Allen J. Naples.

The Celebration of Success was sponsored by:

  • Diamond level – M&T Bank
  • Gold level – American Food & Vending, MVP Health Care
  • Silver level – Learn As You Grow Child Care Center, Bottar Leone Attorneys
  • Bronze level – SRC, International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Ironworkers, Visual Technologies
  • Copper level – appel osborne landscape architecture, INFICON, One Group, Research & Marketing Strategies Inc.

For more information on how you can make a difference in the life of a student contact the OCC Foundation at (315) 498-6060 or

New Honor Students

Storer Auditorium was packed for Monday night's Phi Theta Kappa induction ceremony,
Storer Auditorium was packed for Monday night’s Phi Theta Kappa induction ceremony,

OCC’s chapter of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) gained more than 200 new members Monday night during its spring induction ceremony.

The celebration of academic excellence began with the National Anthem performed by vocalists and OCC Music students Justin Abbott, Brittany Montpetit and Darci Prentice. They were accompanied by Dr. Kevin Moore on the piano.

After PTK officer Josh Hummell welcomed everyone to the ceremony, Interim Provost and Senior Vice President Dr. Julie White delivered congratulatory remarks.

PTK Advisor Dr. Annie Tuttle reviewed the organization’s activities during the 2015-16 academic year. She also presented a PTK Honorary Membership to PTK and Honors Coordinator Jacqueline Barstow.

PTK President Iga Szczepanik spoke next and shared her story of coming to the United States from Poland and how much the organization played a role in her growth.

Following Szczepanik each of the new inductees were honored. Students must achieve a minimum 3.5 grade point average to be considered for membership. New inductees names are listed at the bottom of this story beneath the photo slideshow.

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The spring 2016 PTK inductees are:

  • Justin Michael Abbott
  • Alexis Danielle Ackerman
  • Michael Fuller Aldrich
  • Maryam Ammar Ali
  • Yasir Motta Almdallal
  • Ashley Anchor
  • Jacob Joseph Anderson
  • Mackie M. Anson
  • Bianca Archange
  • Chiara Filomena Armstrong
  • Felix Mineso Ashiono
  • Emily K. Baker
  • Jennifer L. Barrows
  • Kristen Antonia Bella
  • Ryan Scott Biel
  • Hannah Marie Bittner
  • Calvin Douglas Bohrer
  • Joshua Daniel Bostick
  • Martin Boyd
  • Seth Michael Boyke
  • Lesley A. Brooks-Bianchi
  • Ian R. Brothers
  • Cassidi Jay Bryden
  • Marymargaret Alicia Burke-Hill
  • Michael Aaron Capella
  • Bridget Carta
  • Ryan Edwin Case
  • Azure Lee Catalano
  • Morgan Glen Chapman
  • Courtney Elizabeth Clark
  • David Robert Cleverley
  • David J. Cline
  • Breigh Allison Cobb
  • Elisabeth Polina Cohen
  • Laura Elizabeth Cook
  • Mary Evelyn Cope
  • Caroline Margaret Corcoran
  • Lyanne Delia Corporan de la Cruz
  • Chase L. Cramer
  • Jonathan Robert Crandall
  • Julie A. Cyr
  • Jennifer Lynn Degone
  • Morgan Lyn Deland
  • Tamara Lindsey Demeritt
  • Jennifer Renee Derosa
  • Caleb Martin Dickenson
  • Teresa Jeanne Dilday
  • Aubree Caroline Dixon
  • Talita Dos Reis
  • Joshua Clayton Dunn
  • Joseph Allen Dykes
  • Theodore Charles Ebbing
  • Samantha Edinger
  • Nizar Elmir
  • Emily Emmons
  • Christopher Daniel Entwistle
  • Elizabeth Ashley Evans
  • Mary Flannery
  • Denise Mary Floss
  • Marisa Ann Fortino
  • Brooke Renee Fortune
  • Sarah Joy Fox
  • Kiefer Thomas Fuller
  • Josephine Caitlin Fulton
  • Krista Minalyn Furman
  • Erich Louis Gauss
  • Natasha Latoya Gayle-Williams
  • Jamila Belen Geuder
  • William Cornelius Gibbs
  • Joanna Grace Goncalves
  • Natalya A. Gonchar
  • Harold F. Gonzalez
  • Jazlynn N. Gray
  • Rickey Gregory
  • Bhim Gurung
  • Leah Elizabeth Haines
  • Jacob Ian Roy Hammond
  • Margaret Harris
  • Mersida Hasanovic
  • Ashley Rose Haskins
  • Melissa Elizabeth Hayes
  • Jillian Marie Henry
  • Ian T. Herrmann
  • Samantha Nicole Hillman
  • Chloe J. Hoffman
  • Noora Hosheshi
  • Haley Hurst
  • Tovia Jackson
  • Zia Renee Jackson
  • Frederick Joseph Janack
  • Paige Elizabeth Jaskula
  • Talon L. Johnson
  • Abigale Tillie Johnson
  • Verland Joseph
  • Jared Lon Keeley
  • Irina Anatolevna Khrushch
  • Anthony James Kite
  • Bryon George LaFlair
  • Robert Laframboise
  • Cary Lam
  • Gregory Michael Lang
  • Ellen Triska Legg
  • Allison Margaret Leone
  • Catherine Jane Lerner
  • Channia Sharon Lounsbery
  • Akeem Steve Lovell
  • Dionne M. Luffman
  • Emily Rose Lynch
  • Christopher Alan Maddocks
  • Steven Maio
  • Yoviel Marrero-Armas
  • Anthony Michael Marturano
  • Anthony Michael Massicci
  • Robert Richard Mayers
  • Sean Patrick McAndrew
  • Claire Elizabeth McCarthy
  • Benjamin Paul McDonald
  • Tanner McGuire
  • James Gerald McKay
  • Alan Roy McReynolds
  • Laura Marion Melfi
  • Claudia Merino Garcia
  • Andrew Scott Messinger
  • Julianna C. Meyers
  • Joshua Shayne Miller
  • Michael L. Mingo
  • Jon Carl Minnberg
  • Benjamin Brian Moore
  • Andrea Theresa Morabito
  • Anita Moroz
  • Natalie Mosby
  • Famo D. Mukoma
  • Kevin William Myers
  • Trevor Edwin Nelson
  • Vy Phuong Nguyen
  • Linh Thi My Nguyen
  • Nuong Thi My Nguyen
  • Ngoc Thi My Nguyen
  • Troy Patrick Norton
  • Paige Nutter
  • Marina Marian Oakes
  • Mark Thomas Obrien
  • Kimberly Michelle O’Brien
  • Jeremy Travis Odell
  • Adeline Jane Olmsted
  • Pavlik Leonard Ososkalo
  • Joshua Joseph Ouimette
  • Kristen Elizabeth Paparelli
  • Priya Prakash Patel
  • Anthony Joseph Pecoriello
  • Thomas Herman Petersen
  • Corrina Alexandria Petit
  • Jacob Nicholas Pieklik
  • Samantha Lyn Pope-Bower
  • Ramadevi Prathipati
  • Morgan Anne Pusey
  • Derrick Ragland
  • Anmol Rai
  • Lauren Emily Rapp
  • Cassidy Lauren Rattray
  • Peter Lucas Raymond-Smiedy
  • Maria M. Reals
  • Lindsey Elizabeth Redden
  • Joseph Francis James Rescigno
  • Jennifer Lee Riddle
  • Casey Phyllis Rochette
  • Kaitlynn Patricia Rooney
  • Joseph Peter Rosaschi
  • Haniyh Sataki
  • Austin James Scruton
  • Kendell Noelle Shanklin
  • Erin G. Simmons
  • Melquea D. Smith
  • Zachary David Smith
  • Tia A. Smith
  • Amari Renee Smith
  • Rina Sofyan
  • Kevan Edward Spencer
  • Katie Marie Spriggs
  • Bertina Anne St John
  • Kathryn Alaina Steele
  • Taylor Anthony Stensrude
  • Alicia Anne Stevenson
  • Inez Sustache
  • Sabrina Ann Sweet
  • Nayla Dayana Tamargo
  • Francesco Mario Tangredi
  • Artemiy Terekhin
  • Renee Janene Thompson
  • Stephen Boyd Tidwell
  • Corrine Ashley Tilton
  • Jerry Matthew Tingley
  • Michaela Tracy
  • Alexander James Travers
  • Nikoleta Kirilova Tsankova
  • Paige Tucker
  • Coqui-Anna Michelandria Turner
  • Stephanie June Vandusen
  • Elizabeth Volles
  • Kenneth Joshua Vreeland
  • Nathan J. Waggoner
  • Mingchen Wang
  • Zakery Tyler Ward
  • Autia Latesha-Anne Watts
  • Daniel Gregory Wayne
  • Terry Todd Weiss
  • Mackenzie Cheri Welch
  • Jessica Wickham
  • Christine Lynne Williams
  • Kelsie Wilson
  • Kaitlyn Marie Winks
  • Erica Renee Wirth
  • Taylor C. Wojtalewski
  • Shana Marie Wolfram
  • Kaitlyn Marie Yager
  • David Reynier Yasell-Ramirez

Bone Marrow Drive

TOP OF STORY Bone Marrow Jack Brumfield 001
Jack Brumfield

Jack Brumfield, the 11-year-old son of English Professor Kristen Brumfield, was diagnosed with a recurrence of leukemia and is in need of a bone marrow transplant. In honor of Jack and his family a bone marrow registry drive will be held on campus Wednesday, April 20 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Bistro in the Gordon Student Center. The family wants to help others who are fighting cancer like Jack. Potential donors must be between the ages of 18 and 44. If you want to help but can’t attend the event you can join the donor registry online.

A New Career at 60

Ralph Lyke, '13 prepares tax returns for low-income families. He started a new career after spending 32 years at New Process Gear.
Ralph Lyke, ’13 prepares tax returns for low-income families. He started a new career after spending 32 years at New Process Gear.

Ralph Lyke has a knack for numbers. Ask him when he started working at New Process Gear in Dewitt and without hesitating he says, “May 17, 1976.” Ask him when his last day on the job was and he rattles off, “May 2, 2008” just as fast. Perhaps it’s no coincidence his new career is centered around numbers. Lyke prepares tax returns for low-income citizens. He credits OCC’s Career and Applied Learning Center with helping set him on the right path.

After getting laid off in 2008 Lyke spent several years doing volunteer work. “I wanted to help people in the community. It was also important to have something on my resume between New Process Gear and whatever would come next.”

Lyke began working on “whatever would come next” in the summer of 2011 when he began pursuing an Accounting degree at OCC. His tuition was covered thanks to the Trade Adjustment Act. It  provides support for workers who lost their jobs due to foreign trade and offers services in gaining the necessary knowledge and skills to obtain future employment.

Rose Martens
Rose Martens in OCC’s Career and Applied Learning Center

Lyke remembers the day everything changed for him. “I was in income tax accounting class and a student told me he was doing an internship. He told me to go see Rose Martens in the Career and Applied Learning Center.” Lyke took the student’s advice and he was on his way. “She arranged an internship for me at PEACE.” Lyke worked as a tax preparer and did so well he was named the PEACE 2013 Volunteer of the Year. That same year he earned his Accounting degree from OCC.

As the 2014 tax season approached a position with PEACE opened up. Lyke was offered it and accepted. He now comes to OCC every Monday during tax season and works on returns for low-income people who need assistance. The rest of his time is spent in Dewitt’s Shoppingtown Mall where he does tax returns Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. “This isn’t a job. It’s more like a calling. We help middle and low income people. It’s very rewarding when you can help people out.”

Lyke is not only happy to help others, he’s grateful for the new career he found. “I was lucky. I’m 60 years old. Your options are limited at my age. The starting point was Rose Martens. If I hadn’t met her I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Awards for Student Excellence


OCC's five SUNY Chancellor's Awards for Student Excellence winners are (left to right) Iga Szczepanik, Jade Lewis, Leighann Bulich, Toni Jones and Dan Quackenbush.
OCC’s five SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Student Excellence winners are (left to right) Iga Szczepanik, Jade Lewis, Leighann Bulich, Toni Jones and Dan Quackenbush.

Five OCC students received SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Student Excellence April 5 in Albany. The awards were presented by SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher at a ceremony at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center. Honorees demonstrated the ability to combine academic excellence with other accomplishments which may include leadership, campus involvement, athletics, career achievement, community service, or creative and performing arts. OCC’s five honorees were:

Leighann Bulich

  • High School: Lake George Jr.-Sr., 2014
  • Major at OCC: Emergency Management
  • Leighann took more than 20 credits each semester, was an RA, an officer in international honor society Phi Theta Kappa and a certified emergency medical technician. She earned her degree in December 2015 and is now attending the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Toni Jones

  • High School: Corcoran, 1998
  • Majors at OCC: Communication Studies, Humanities and Social Sciences with an Honors minor
  • Toni is a member of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa and a member of the History Club who went on several study abroad trips. Toni is 36-years-old and will graduate this May along with her mother, 58-year-old Sharon Hill.

Jade Lewis

  • High School: Silver Creek, 2014
  • Majors at OCC: Electronic Media Communications and Humanities with an Honors minor
  • Jade was a member of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa, played on the Women’s Soccer team, was an RA and a member of the Politics Club. She will graduate in May and transfer to Syracuse University.

Daniel Quackenbush

  • High School: Cicero-North Syracuse, 2014
  • Major at OCC: Electronic Media Communications and Computer Information Science
  • Daniel achieved a perfect 4.0 grade point average, was a member of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa and the Politics Club. He will graduate in May and transfer to Rochester Institute of Technology.

Iga Szczepanik

  • High School: Bishop Grimes, 2014
  • Major at OCC: Business Administration with minors in Women’s Studies and Honors
  • Iga is an international student from Poland. She’s president of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa and a student ambassador. She will graduate in May and transfer to Rochester Institute of Technology.

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