OCC honored its 2016 class of Alumni Faces October 26 in the Recital Hall of the Academic II building. Four distinguished graduates were recognized for their professional achievements and contributions to the College and the community.
Corporal Jeff Cleland, ‘13
- Major at OCC: Liberal Arts & Sciences – General Studies
- Profession: Public Policy and Veterans Affairs
- High School: West Genesee, Class of 2005
Jeff Cleland was a Corporal in the United States Marine Corp. He worked as an Infantry Machine Gunner while serving in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. After retiring from active duty Cleland began a career of public service at Clear Path for Veterans and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families. Today he is leading research and policy efforts for the Military Service Initiative at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, TX.
Michael F. Meath, ‘87
- Major at OCC: Fire Protection Technology
- Profession: Strategic Communications Consultant
- High School: Bishop Grimes, Class of 1975
Michael Meath has helped hundreds of businesses throughout the nation deal with crisis communications. When unexpected events occur Meath is called in to provide strategic insight and practical, down-to-earth business sense. Meath also shares his wisdom with college students by teaching public relations, business ethics and crisis communications at McMaster University and Syracuse University.
Kathy Rowe, ‘80
- Major @ OCC: Radio & Television
- Profession: Radio Personality
- High School: North Syracuse, Class of 1977
Kathy Rowe was an on-air personality at radio station Y94 (WYYY-FM) for more than 30 years. She started working there in 1982 and was Y94’s morning show host for more than a decade. During her distinguished career Rowe also worked at Syracuse radio stations WAQX-FM and WOLF-AM. Rowe is married to Syracuse Jazz Fest founder and executive producer Frank Malfitano, ’67 who is also one of OCC’s Alumni Faces.
Dr. Thomas T. Zengeya, ‘02
- Major: Mathematics & Science
- Profession: Research Scientist
Thomas Zengeya is a native of Zimbabwe who came to the United States in 2001 to study science. He earned degrees from four SUNY schools including OCC, ESF, Oswego and Binghamton. Zengeya is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the National Cancer Institute in Maryland. He has several awards, publications and presentations to his credit.
The honorees etchings, which are pictured next to each of their stories, were placed in the Alumni Faces exhibit in the first floor hallway of the Academic II building.
The ceremony was highlighted by outstanding musical performances by faculty in the College’s signature Music department. Dr. David Rudari, D.M.A. sang both the National Anthem and OCC’s Alma Mater. Dr. Rudari also teamed up with Professor of Piano Dr. Kevin Moore on “The Impossible Dream” from Man of LaMancha.
The Alumni Faces ceremony was part of a day-long celebration across campus. Each of the honorees had the opportunity to speak with students whose academic interests align with the honoree’s career achievements. Cleland spent time with student veterans, Meath met with Business Club and Honor students and Zengeya shared his thoughts with math, science and international students. Each of the honorees was also invited to lunch with College President Dr. Casey Crabill.
You can view a slideshow highlighting the day’s events below. Congratulations to our 2016 Class of Alumni Faces!