The Board of Trustees honored two members of the OCC family during its January meeting.
Dr. Emad Rahim was awarded his OCC degree. Rahim graduated from Fowler High School in 1997, came to OCC but transferred before receiving his degree. He conquered a learning disability and today is an Endowed Chair and Director of the Project Center of Excellence at Bellevue University in Omaha, Nebraska. Rahim works remotely from his home on the west side of Syracuse.
In 2017 Rahim was awarded the Outstanding Alumni Award from the American Association of Community Colleges. “In putting him up for this award we realized he transferred before receiving his OCC diploma,” said OCC President Casey Crabill. “Having looked at his credit accumulation since and having it verified by the Registrar with our degree requirements I’m pleased to award the associate degree to Dr. Emad Rahim.”
“This is probably the proudest moment in my life because this was my starting point,” Rahim told board members. “I barely graduated high school. When I came here I didn’t know what college was. I was a first generation college student and no one in my neighborhood graduated college so no one could explain to me what college was and what to expect. When people saw me struggle here they didn’t let me go by the wayside. OCC was my first stop. It was a wonderful experience and it’s still a wonderful experience as an alumnus now.”
The board also recognized Edward Cox, a Peace Officer with the Department of Campus Safety and Security. When the residence halls closed at the end of the fall semester Officer Cox tracked footprints in the snow and found a student sleeping on a heat grate who didn’t have anywhere to go. “He was able to activate the resources of the campus, take care of the student and help him figure out where he could get his needs met,” said OCC President Casey Crabill. “Members of our Campus Safety and Security serve students every day. This act was so striking I wanted to make sure you were aware of it and we recognized him.”