With Love: Vietnam

Ngoc Huynh is the new entrepreneur in residence at With Love. She’s brought her family recipes from Vietnam to Central New York.

When Ngoc Huynh would prepare the food of her native Vietnam it was always done from memory. “I never cooked with recipes. Everything was by word of mouth. It was a sprinkle of this and a little of that. I recently realized how important measuring really is!”

Huynh is sharing her native food as the new entrepreneur in residence at “With Love,” Onondaga Community College’s teaching restaurant located at 435 North Salina Street in Syracuse. “With Love: Vietnam” opened for business in late January.

Her journey to running a restaurant in Central New York was a lengthy one. Huynh was born in Tra Vinh, Vietnam. Her father and uncles served alongside Americans during the Vietnam War. When the war ended she and her family escaped by boat. They ran out of food and water at sea but were rescued by the Japanese. After living in Japan for a few years they were granted asylum and moved to the United States.

Despite being half a world away from Vietnam her native food was always with her thanks to her mother and grandmother’s cooking. Taking over at With Love gave Huynh the opportunity to document the recipes which she had in her head. “It was hard to preserve their old recipes. I’ve enjoyed writing everything down and having the opportunity to teach people and teach my siblings.”

Huynh constructed a menu which she says is representative of the best of what her families region of origin has to offer. “There’s a dish called Bun Mam. It’s a seafood noodle dish and it’s very authentic to my mother’s hometown which is one of the 13 provinces in the Mekong Delta. The Noodle Soup is a blend of Vietnamese and Cambodia cuisine. We have a lot of mixed communities and it shows in our food.” You can view the entire menu here.

With Love: Vietnam is open Tuesday through Friday from 12pm to 2pm and from 5pm to 8pm. The restaurant was recently featured in a story on WSYR TV, Newschannel 9. You can view the story here.

The OCC Effect: Mike Carno, ’13

Mike Carno, ’13 visited the “machine shop classroom” in the Whitney Applied Technology Center recently.

Mike Carno has always enjoyed being a “hands on” kind of worker. After graduating from Bishop Ludden in 2011 he spent the summer working in a machine shop. He planned to attend OCC in the fall but wasn’t sure what he would major in. “A week before the semester started I got a tour of the machine shop (classroom in the Whitney Applied Technology Center) and became a Mechanical Technology major. I wound up loving it.”

While excelling in Mechanical Technology, Carno learned about the College’s Nuclear Technology program. He was intrigued by the career possibilities but stuck with Mechanical Technology, earning his associate degree in 2013 and a bachelor’s degree from SUNY IT two years later.

By the fall of 2015 Carno was back on the OCC campus pursuing degrees in both Nuclear Technology and Electrical Technology. “The cool thing about the nuclear program is that they get people who work at Nine Mile and Fitzpatrick (nuclear plants) to come and teach. They would tell us about the job market and when to apply.”

Carno was about three-quarters of the way through the programs when he applied for a job at Nine Mile and was hired almost instantly. His position in Operations pays extremely well and he’s found the work environment to be outstanding. “It’s a very controlled, very steady pace. Everything is controlled by nuclear procedures. Safety is very big. People are also very open to feedback, especially when you come in as a newer employee and look at things differently than others.”

Two years into his nuclear career Carno remains grateful to OCC and all of the professors who he learned from in the Mechanical Technology, Nuclear Technology and Electrical Technology majors. “The people who were teaching you had done these jobs before and knew what they were talking about. If you had a question that wasn’t straight out of a book, they could answer it. They were very open to helping you as long as you put the work in and definitely oveprepared you.”

You can learn more about OCC’s Mechanical Technology, Electrical Technology and Nuclear Technology majors here. Students who do well in these majors have the option of going directly into the workplace with outstanding starting salaries or transferring and pursuing bachelor’s degrees.

Boeheim’s Army Coming To OCC

The team of former Syracuse University basketball players known as Boeheim’s Army will be playing at Onondaga Community College this summer. The SRC Arena and Events Center has been selected as one of eight regional sites nationwide for The Basketball Tournament (TBT). The annual summer tournament awards a $2 million dollar, winner-take-all prize to the champion. Boeheim’s Army will play its first three games in the SRC Arena July 26, 27 and 28. Tickets will be available through the TBT website.

“Syracuse is a basketball city and we are honored to be chosen as a host site for the TBT Tournament,” said OCC President Dr. Casey Crabill. “The SRC Arena has established itself as one of the region’s premier facilities for intercollegiate and scholastic athletic competitions, graduation ceremonies, trade shows and countless community-focused events. We look forward to welcoming teams and fans into our air conditioned arena to watch hotly contested basketball which has become a hallmark of the TBT Tournament.”

“TBT has been a wonderful experience for our fans and former players. It’s something I look forward to every year and support 100 percent,” said Syracuse University Head Coach Jim Boeheim. “Bringing the regionals here will be tremendous for all… our community, players and fans! It will be great to see all our loyal fans coming out to support our guys!”

Joining OCC and the SRC Arena as regional sites are the cities of Columbus, Greensboro, Lexington, Memphis, Richmond, Salt Lake City and Wichita. Each regional winner will advance to Championship Weekend in Chicago August 1-4.  The TBT Tournament features 64 teams competing in a single-elimination 5-on-5 tournament. Last year more than 60 players with NBA experience played in TBT including multiple former lottery pics, NBA Champions and All-Stars. The 2019 TBT Tournament will be televised by ESPN.

4 Tips to Survive Winter at OCC

winter tips (1000px)

Winter came early this year! In Central New York it’s a way of life so many of us know how to survive it already. But this may be the first time you’re attending college while dealing with snow. It’s a little different when you need to drive and walk across campus in the cold or snow (or both). Here are our tips for dealing with the snow at OCC.

1. Give Yourself More Time to Drive to Campus

Maybe this will be the first semester you will need to commute to campus in the snow. If so, make sure you give yourself a lot of extra time to get to campus. Snow always slows down traffic so you should prepare to have your commute be doubled on bad weather mornings.

2. Avoid the Cold by Walking Across Campus Inside Buildings

Walking over a cold and windy bridge in the middle of winter can be a real struggle. To stay warm between buildings, cut through Academic II. It connects Gordon and Ferrante so you won’t need to walk across the bridge on those windy blustery days.

There’s also a bridge on the 2nd floors of Mawhinney and Coulter that connects the two buildings.

3. Dress in Layers

Things can get a little chilly in Central New York. The easiest way to stay warm is to listen to your parents and wear those layers. So get out your socks, shirts, undershirts, and coats to make sure you avoid the chilly weather.

4. Be Careful on Hills 

No matter which way you come to campus, you’ll likely need to go up a hill to get to OCC. When going up hills, make sure you don’t stop or power up a hill. Your pacing should be pretty even. When approaching a large downhill slope, make sure to reduce your speeds. It will be hard to stop on a snowy or icy hill.


Bill Galvin

Bill Galvin pictured in Storer Auditorium at the induction ceremony for OCC’s chapter of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa.
  • Major: Emergency Management
  • High School: Bishop Grimes, class of 1980

This is Bill Galvin’s time and he’s making the most of it. Galvin is a 56-year-old Syracuse Police Sergeant who raised two daughters and is now focused on life after law enforcement. That’s why he’s come to college later in life. “My biggest accomplishments are my daughters and that I was able to raise them on my own. Now that they’re older I want to complete my education at OCC.”

Galvin’s dream was always to be a Syracuse Police officer just like his father, three uncles and a cousin. When he graduated from Bishop Grimes High School in 1980, Galvin joined the United States Army. He spent three years active duty as a Military Police officer followed by three years in the reserves. In 1985 he continued the family tradition and joined the Syracuse Police force.

Galvin had taken the career path he always wanted but eventually realized it wasn’t enough. “People in the blue collar bracket I was in didn’t think we needed college at the time because we had a great career, we made good money, the pensions were great and the health benefits were great. I was able to raise a family. But over the years I’ve always felt ‘just a little bit less of myself’ because I didn’t have that degree to back up my professional life.”

In recent years family conversations often turned to Galvin going to college. Younger daughter Kelly had taken classes at OCC as had older daughter Courtenay who went on to earn a bachelor’s at Le Moyne and a master’s while serving in the United States Army. “Courtenay was a driving force in getting me to go to college. She gave me a lot of encouragement.”

Galvin began taking classes in the spring 2018 semester. He was apprehensive initially but any concerns about feeling out of place as an older student disappeared quickly. “I was very scared coming here to start. I’m thinking ‘I’m in my 50s. What am I doing?’ Then I met the staff here and they were great. My advisors have been great. My teachers and instructors have been great. I feel very comfortable here. I’m really enjoying it and liking it a lot.”

Galvin earned a perfect 4.0 grade point average in his first semester and in October was inducted into the College’s chapter of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa during a ceremony in Storer Auditorium. “I was surprised I was able to come back to school after so many years away and complete the assignments to the point where I could do so well. It was an honor to be inducted. I was very impressed hearing the stories of the other students who were also inducted.”

Galvin plans to earn his degree in December 2019. His long-term goal is to give himself the best employment opportunities possible after he retires from the Syracuse Police Department. “Before I started taking classes I asked many local business leaders what they were looking for. All of them said they needed people with backgrounds in emergency management. Getting a degree and presenting to future employers a better package is my goal. I have all of my police training but I want to give employers more options.”

What’s Happening for Week 2 of Spring Classes at OCC

week 2 blog article image (spring 2019)

It’s the second week of classes! We’ve got plenty going on this week for our new and returning students. Here are all the events happening this week.

Monday, January 28, 2019

11:00 AM – 1:00 PM, Gordon Great Room, Part-Time Job Fair

  • Looking for a little spending cash while taking classes? Stop by during college hour and check out the various opportunities in the area!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

11:00 AM – 1:00 PM, Mawhinney Lobby, A Taste of OCC

  • If you’re feeling a bit peckish between classes, stop by for a taste of the most popular menu items in the Gordon Cafeteria.

Attention: Tuesday is the last day to Add or Drop a class without grade via student planning. Talk to your advisor for more information before then. Tuesday is also the last day to apply for a 75% refund of your tuition!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

11:00 AM – 12:30 PM, Gordon Cafeteria, Robert Channing: Mind Reader

  • Prepare to be mystified by Robert Channing’s mind-reading powers while you enjoy a hearty lunch!

Friday, February 1, 2019

10:30 AM – 2:30 PM, Gordon Student Center, Big Chair Photos

  • Group photo time! Gather your friends for a picture outside the cafeteria!

11:00 AM – 1:00 PM, Gordon Cafeteria, Latin Music at Lunch

  • Some relaxing Latin music to listen to while you eat, courtesy of the Spanish Club.

6:00 PM – 10:00 PM, Syracuse War Memorial, Syracuse Crunch Hockey Game

  • It’s the Crunch vs the Utica Comets! Buses depart the SRC Arena at 6 PM, seats are limited

The GPS Project: Bridging the Gap to Student Success

Onondaga Community College has received approximately $3 million from the United States Department of Education which it will use to help increase completion rates. The project is called Guided Pathways to Success, or GPS. Program goals include:

Dr. Julie White
  • 7 percentage point increase in course completion rates among developmental students.
  • 8 percentage point increase in fall-to-fall retention rates of first-time, full-time students.
  • 5 percentage point increase in degree completion rates by 2022.

The GPS project is the subject of our monthly podcast, Higher Ed News You Can Use from Onondaga Community College. Our guest is Dr. Julie White, OCC’s Senior Vice President for Student Engagement and Learning Support. You can listen to the podcast by clicking here.

Spring 2019 Student Officers

The spring 2019 Student Officers are (seated left to right) Liam Stewart, Calli Giron, Allison Guzman-Martinez, Breanna Cherchio, (standing left to right) Petey Maxwell and Billy Campbell.

OCC’s Student Officers are gearing up for a great spring semester! As campus leaders, they are responsible for providing support for Student Clubs and Organizations, the Student Government Association, the Lazer Lounge, student leadership development and campus-wide activities. Student officers meet monthly with OCC President Dr. Casey Crabill to discuss issues and events happening on campus. One of the students is also a member of the Board of Trustees and is involved in decision making at the highest level. The spring 2019 officers are:


Breanna Cherchio, President

  • Home schooled, from Camillus
  • Major: American Sign Language


Liam Stewart, Vice President of Clubs and Organizations

  • High School: Saratoga Springs, class of 2015
  • Major: Communications


Billy Campbell, Vice President of Media

  • High School: Liverpool, class of 2016
  • Major: Communication Studies


Allison Guzman-Martinez, Student Representative to the Board of Trustees

  • High School: Westhill, class of 2017
  • Major: Mathematics & Science


Calli Giron, Student Representative to the OCCA Board

  • High School: Chandler HS in Arizona, class of 2015
  • Major: Criminal Justice with a minor in Liberal Arts General Studies


Petey Maxwell, Student Representative to the OCCA Board

  • High School: Windsor HS in Colorado, class of 2016
  • Major: Exercise Science


The Student Officers are headquartered in the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement which is in room G114 in the Gordon Student Center.

New this semester is a team of Senators-At-Large. Those students are Armando Adrian, Michaela Denson, Paris Graziano, Alexandra Hoffman, Patrick McGuinness and Dawn Penson.

Any student interested in serving as a Student Officer or Senator-At-Large can contact Shawn Edie, Director of the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement at s.l.edie@sunyocc.edu.

The spring 2019 Senators-at-large are (left to right) Michaela Denson, Armando Adrian, Patrick McGuinness, Dawn Penson, Paris Graziano and Alexandra Hoffman.

Scholastic Art Brightens Whitney

The amazing art work of high school students is helping brighten the Onondaga Community College campus during the coldest and darkest times of the year. The Central New York Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have taken over the halls and atrium of the Whitney Applied Technology Center.

More than 5,000 pieces of art were entered into the competition by approximately 2,000 students in grades 7 through 12 who attend school in the 13-county Central New York Region. Over 1,000 pieces or portfolios were recognized with Gold Key (first place), Silver Key (second place) or Honorable Mention status. All Gold Key winners will advance to a national competition.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is the largest annual art competition in America. The participating Central New York awards program has been honoring the creative work of students for over 70 years. The program is sponsored by M&T Bank.

The exhibit is open until March 1. It is free and open to the campus community and the public. Group visits for high schools can be scheduled by emailing recruitment@sunyocc.edu, calling (315) 498-2221 or filling out the online form.

A slideshow featuring some of the award-winning work is below.

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Every Important Date You Need to Know for Spring 2019 Semester 

Deadline Blog Article

Keeping track of the important dates in a semester can be hard. That’s why we made this list to boil it down to the basics.

If you have any questions about any of the dates you can always reach out to us at 315-498-2000, occinfo@sunyocc.edu or on social media at OnondagaCC.

Important Note: This list of important dates applies to full semester classes that aren’t part of the Weekend College. Classes with half semester run times and Weekend College classes have different important dates. You can view those dates on our Academic Calendar

Tuesday, January 29th, 2019 – Last Day to Add a Class and Enroll in a Payment Plan 

This is the last day to add or drop a class to your schedule for the Spring 2019 Semester.

To add a Class:

You can login to  Webadvisor , visit the advising center in the Gordon Student Center or call 315-498-2904 to register. 

Enrolling in a Payment Plan: 

January 29th is also the last day to enroll in an affordable payment plan for your tuition for the semester. Make sure you login to Webadvisor and sign-up for the Nelnet payment plan before then. If you need assistance enrolling, reach out to Nelnet at 800-609-8056.

Note: January 29th is also the last day to drop a class via Webadvisor. See note on dropping classes below. 

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019 – Last Day to Drop a Class 

This is the last day to drop a class from your schedule. To drop a class after January 29th, you’ll need to call 315-498-2000, email occinfo@sunyocc.edu or stop into Student Central in the Gordon Student Center to check and see how dropping a class might affect you.

(Friday, February 15th, 2019) – Advisor Assignment

Log in to Lazer Success to see who your assigned advisor is and how to meet with them. Meet with your advisor ASAP so you can get ready for your fall and spring semesters.

Monday, March 18th – Friday, March 22nd, 2019 – Spring Break

Enjoy some time away! Classes resume on Monday, March 25th.

Wednesday, March 27th, 2019 – Registration for Academic Year 2019-2020 Begins for Current Students

Registration for the ’19-20 school year semester starts on March 27th. For the first time, you’ll be able to register for a full year of classes at once. 

While your exact registration date may vary, it’s a good idea to meet with your advisor prior to this date in order to be ready to hit the register button once your classes open. Once, you’ve met with an advisor, you can visit our enrollment lab in advising for assistance with the registration process.

It’s also a good idea to plan out your finances prior to registering for the next semester. Our Community Care Hub can assist you with your long-term financial planning if you are in need of assistance figuring it all out.

Wednesday, April 24th, 2019 – Last Day to Withdraw from a Class

This is your last possible chance to withdraw from a course. After February 12th, you will receive a W on your transcript and you will be responsible for full tuition. However, you still have the opportunity to withdraw from a course until the 24th. If you have any questions about withdrawing from a class, contact us at 315-498-2000 or occinfo@sunyocc.edu.

Tuesday, May 14th – Last Day of Classes

It’s important to be ready for finals by the time the Last Day of Classes rolls around. They will come quicker than you think!

Wednesday, May 15th – Tuesday, May 21st, 2019 – Final Exams

The Final Exams schedule will be posted on students.sunyocc.edu prior to final examinations. Utilize the services of the Learning Center to make sure you’re ready to ace your finals!

A Note About Tuition Refunds

If you are thinking of dropping your courses and discontinuing your studies at OCC, the timing of that decision will determine what percentage of your tuition will be refunded. Below are a list of dates and how much of your tuition will be refunded if you drop your courses and deregister.

  • Tuesday, January 29th, 2019 – Last Day to Receive a 75% Refund in tuition
  • Tuesday, February 5th, 2019 – Last Day to Receive a 50% Refund in tuition
  • Tuesday, February 12th, 2019 – Last Day to Receive a 25% Refund in tuition

If you have any questions about this or are contemplating de-registering please reach out to us at 315-498-2000, occinfo@sunyocc.edu or on social media at OnondagaCC. For a full list of dates, visit our Academic Calendar website.