Jamel Rizek

Jamel Rizek
  • Major: Biology with a minor in Communications
  • High School: Westhill, class of 2017

Jamel (pronounced juh-MEEL) Rizek serves the campus community as a Student Ambassador, giving campus tours to prospective students and their families. He views tours as an opportunity to not only show off the campus, but also to find out people’s backgrounds. “I love talking to parents and hearing what they have to say. They have so much knowledge to share. During one tour I met someone who was in the profession I want to get into and I learned so much from them.”

Rizek’s goal is to become a nurse. He loves helping people and is a member of the Howlett Hill Fire Department. When he was 16 he was certified by New York State to be a first responder. Last semester, on a day when Rizek had two final exams in the morning, he drove to Rochester in the afternoon and passed his test to become a certified Emergency Medical Technician.

During his two years on campus, Rizek has embraced coursework and found the college classroom experience has made him a better student. “I enjoy what I’m learning here. In a Chemistry lab, we made baby aspirin with two chemicals you wouldn’t expect to put together. Doing things like that make learning so enjoyable and engaging.”

His older sister Nor also attended OCC and is now enrolled at Harvard University. She commutes weekly from Central New York to Cambridge, Massachusetts for classes. “When she comes home we enjoy seeing each other and catching up. We also work with each other on school work. I love math so I’ll help her with math in exchange for her help with my writing.”

Rizek will earn his degree in May. Between now and then he plans to give a lot of campus tours. He enjoys seeing the looks on people’s faces as he shows them around. “If the sun is out and there is no snow, the areas people enjoy the most are near Stonewalls Restaurant and the amphitheater next to Gordon. If the weather is bad everyone likes the Academic II hallway. I tell them ‘this is a bridge across campus. When the weather is bad you can just walk through here to get from one side to the other.’ They like hearing that.”

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