Serving Those Who Served

Steve White (left) leads OCC’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs. Robert Tuff (right) is retired from the United States Air Force and a student at OCC. Both are part of this month’s edition of our podcast, Higher Ed News You Can Use from Onondaga Community College.

Onondaga Community College’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs provides Student Veterans the services they need to successfully transition from life in the military to life on a college campus. As we approach Veterans Day weekend, the office is the focus of this month’s edition of our podcast, “Higher Ed News You Can Use from Onondaga Community College.” You can listen to it here. During the podcast you will meet two people. Steve White is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps who runs the office. Robert Tuff is a retired Master Sergeant from the United States Air Force who is a student at OCC.

The Office of Veterans’ Affairs serves 240 veterans and their spouses. The College’s high level of service has repeatedly earned it the prestigious “Military Friendly” designation by G.I. Jobs Magazine. The office is located on the second floor of Coulter Hall near the top of the main stairway in room C217. You can contact the office by phone at (315) 498-2200 or by email at

OCC’s New College For High Achievers

Professor Chris Thuot (left) is Chair of OCC’s Lillian Slutzker Honors College. Griffin Sasso (right) is one of OCC’s 15 Honors College students.

When it was time to choose a college, Griffin Sasso had plenty of options. He was among the top students in West Genesee’s graduating class of 2018 and a talented three-sport athlete. In the end, the opportunity to be enrolled in OCC’s Lillian Slutzker Honors College was too good to pass up. “Getting into the Honors College meant a lot to me. The prestige that goes along with it is invaluable. Colleges and universities take that very seriously when considering transfer applications. I hope I can capitalize on it when I leave OCC.”

The Honors College is the subject of our monthly podcast, “Higher Ed News You Can Use from Onondaga Community College. You can listen to the podcast here.

Thanks to an endowment from the Lillian Slutzker Foundation, Sasso is attending OCC tuition-free. He’s also receiving a $300 stipend each semester for books and supplies. The Honors College also includes group activities outside the classroom with fellow scholars. Honors Scholars also have access to the Honors suite on the second floor of Coulter Hall. The space includes a common area with computers, a printer, a lounge area and a study space with smart technology.

The selection process for the Honors College was rigorous. Students submitted letters of recommendation, answered essay questions and committed to attend OCC for two years. Candidates who cleared those hurdles were interviewed. The 15 students who were chosen for the inaugural Honors Scholar class stood out for both their past academic achievement and their passion for learning.

Lillian Slutzker

OCC’s Honors Scholar cohort within the Honors College exists thanks to the generosity of the Lillian Slutzker Foundation. Slutzker was a native of Hungary who was working in Germany when she fled Nazi control, settled in England and came to Syracuse in 1947. She and her husband Emmanuel opened Manny’s Apparel Shop on Marshall Street in the Syracuse University area in 1949. They managed Manny’s until Emmanuel fell ill in 1976. For nine years Lillian worked 16-hour days at Manny’s while caring for Emmanuel at night until he passed away. Lillian sold the store in 1995 but today it remains an iconic part of the S.U. area. Lillian Slutzker passed away in 2016 at age 98.

Motivated by Slutzker’s passion for learning, her Foundation’s Board of Directors continuously looked for opportunities to make a difference in the community. “She was so dedicated to education, especially Honors programs. She never had the opportunity to go to college herself. It was always her goal to make sure people got a wonderful education and OCC’s Honors College was the perfect opportunity,” a board representative said.

OCC Honors Scholars will benefit from the generosity of the Slutzker Foundation throughout their time in higher education. Not only will 15 additional high-achieving students have the opportunity to attend OCC tuition-free each year, they will also be better prepared when they move on. “Nationwide, very few community colleges have an endowed Honors College. We are extremely fortunate. Academically we are unique among community college Honors programs in offering a core curriculum strongly grounded in the liberal arts tradition,” said Dr. Christopher Thuot, Faculty Chair of the Honors College.

“Students will develop their academic voices here,” added Jackie Barstow, Coordinator of the Honors College and OCC’s chapter of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa. “With the support our students receive from faculty and staff they will be much more likely to be accepted and receive scholarships to institutions than they would have been out of high school.”

OCC also has an outstanding Honors Affiliate cohort which is part of the Honors College. Students take special sections of classes designed by professors who have high-achieving students in mind. Coursework includes exploration of subject matter in greater depth in small class settings.

Chloe Hoffman

An Honors Affiliate education was exactly what Chloe Hoffman needed when she came to OCC from Fayetteville-Manlius High School. “Honors classes introduced me to a whole different structure of class that encouraged collaboration between the professor and student, as opposed to the traditional lecture style. Through the Honors curriculum I learned my voice is valuable and how I can use it.” Hoffman earned her degree from OCC in Humanities and Social Sciences with an Honors designation. Today she is a History major at SUNY Geneseo with minors in Anthropology and American Studies. She is passionate about public policy and protecting the rights of marginalized groups of people. Hoffman hopes to pursue a career in law.

The college’s commitment to providing high-achieving students with opportunities to excel is one more reason Sasso is proud of his choice to come to OCC. “I think everyone should go to community college first. The students I’ve met in the Honors College are pretty darn smart. I know they will go to good universities from here and they will do so without debt.”

The first class of Honors College students is pictured with OCC President Dr. Casey Crabill.

Serving Students at the Community Care Hub

Mariel Anderson is the Director of the Community Care Hub. She’s the guest in this month’s edition of our podcast, Higher Ed News You Can Use from Onondaga Community College.

Onondaga Community College’s Community Care Hub is assisting OCC students as they deal with challenging life situations. The multitude of services the Community Care Hub provides students with is the subject of our monthly podcast, Higher Ed News You Can Use from Onondaga Community College. You can listen to our podcast here. Our guest is Mariel Anderson, Director of the Community Care Hub.

The Community Care Hub provides students’ assistance in the following areas:

  • Food access and assistance
  • Housing referrals
  • Food Link, SNAP/WIC
  • Transportation assistance
  • Child & Family Care referrals
  • Referral for Legal Matters
  • Financial Literacy
  • Tax Preparation during tax season
  • Referral to Mental Health Services
  • Health Insurance referrals
  • Scholarship Opportunities to those who qualify
  • Mentoring
  • Referral to LGTBQ support services

The Community Care Hub is located in the lower level of the Gordon Student Center in suite G134. You can contact the Community Care Hub via email at or by phone at (315) 498-2801. Students who need assistance can email, call or walk in.

The Community Care Hub is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There is also a satellite Community Care Hub location in Mawhinney Hall, room M186. It is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Community Care Hub has created a video highlighting the services it offers. You can watch the video here.

The Community Care Hub was highlighted recently in a story on WSYR TV, Newschannel 9. You can view the story here.

Enjoy the podcast!

Jobs For Students

The Career Services Office is presenting a Part-Time Job Fair for students Thursday, August 30 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Great Room of the Gordon Student Center. The Career Services staff is (left to right) Matt Horan, Audrey Dreier-Morrison, Abbey Baird, Michele Carey, Amy Stewart and Kim Siriano.

If you are a student looking for a job which will work with your class schedule, the Part-Time Job Fair is for you! The job fair will be held Thursday, August 30 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Great Room of the Gordon Student Center. More than 30 employers will be present, giving students the opportunity to apply for part-time jobs both on and off campus. Students should dress professionally and bring a resume if they have one.

The Part-Time Job Fair is presented by OCC’s Career Services office which provides students with a variety of employment related services year round including resume and cover letter review, job searching and interview preparation, career exploration, job shadowing and internship opportunities. Students interested in attending the Part-Time Job Fair can access a list of participating employers through Purple Briefcase, OCC’s online career portal and job board. Employment opportunities are regularly posted on Purple Briefcase throughout the year as well.

The Career Services Offices is located in Coulter Hall, room C110. If you enter Coulter through the main entrance, the Career Center is on your immediate right. You can contact the Career Services office by email at or by phone at (315) 498-2585.

You can learn more about the Part-Time Job Fair and all of the services the Career Center offers by listening to our podcast, Higher Ed News You Can Use from Onondaga Community College. Our guest is Abbey Baird, Director of the Career Services office. Enjoy the podcast!

Strengthening The First Year Experience

Dr. Dan Ryan is the Director of OCC’s First Year Experience program. He’s pictured in the new Student Resource Center, located in Ferrante Hall room 262.

Onondaga Community College has a new program which is focused on helping new students of all ages succeed. The First Year Experience is the subject of our podcast, “Higher Education News You Can Use from Onondaga Community College.”

Dr. Dan Ryan is the Director of the First year Experience. He’s a native of Chicago who came to OCC one year ago and began crafting the program. The First Year Experience will include weekly Student Success Sessions which focused on a variety of valuable topics including :

  • Relationship building with faculty
  • Time management
  • Money management
  • Health and wellness

The First Year Experience will include First Year Mentors. These will be returning students who will share their knowledge with new students and help guide them.

The First Year Experience’s home on campus is the Student and Faculty Resource Center in Ferrante Hall, room 262.

The First Year Experience is the product of an outstanding cross-campus collaboration between Dr. Ryan and the following members of his work group: Jackie Barstow, Meredith Cantor-Feller, Denise Johns, Thomas Keenan, Ryan Nellenback, Lindsey Reider, Joseph Sullivan and Leanne Waterman.

Enjoy the podcast!

Weekend College Image

Earn Your Two-Year Degree On The Weekend!


Weekend College Image

Onondaga Community College is starting Weekend College! The accelerated program will give students the opportunity to earn a two-year associate degree on weekends. Weekend College classes will be held Friday nights (5:30-9:30 p.m.) and Saturday’s (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) on the OCC campus. Financial aid and scholarships are available for those who qualify. Classes begin Friday, August 24.

The four degree programs being offered are: Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education and Alcohol & Substance Abuse Counseling. Business Administration is a 12-month program. The other three majors will take 14-and-a-half months to complete. For students majoring in Business Administration or Criminal Justice, OCC’s partnership with SUNY Oswego will ensure students a seamless transfer into a bachelor’s degree program which is offered through a combination of online and in-person classes at SUNY Oswego’s downtown Syracuse campus at Clinton Square. With this partnership, students can complete their associate and bachelor’s degrees at a SUNY price right here in Syracuse.

OCC’s Weekend College is the focus of this month’s podcast. You can learn more about it during our conversation with Dr. Daria Willis, OCC’s Provost and Senior Vice President. Listen to it here! This podcast was recorded in early June. At that time, OCC had only received approval to offer one of the majors. In late June we received approval from SUNY and the New York State Education Department to expand out offerings to four majors.

2018 Student Commencement Speaker


Andrea Capodagli, Student Commencement Speaker.

Andrea Capodagli is OCC’s 2018 Student Commencement Speaker. She was selected following a campus-wide nomination and interview process. Commencement will be held Saturday, May 12 at 10 a.m. in the SRC Arena and Events Center.

Capodagli is a Communication Studies major with an Honors minor. She’s a member of the College’s chapter of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa who has assisted fellow students as a Peer Connector in the Advising Center and worked as an intern in the Corporate Communications office at SRC, Inc. Capodagli is a licensed cosmetologist who founded, “A Movement of Shear Faith.” She volunteers her time to provide free haircuts to the less fortunate. She is a 2009 graduate of Bishop Grimes High School who plans to transfer to Syracuse University in the fall and major in Public Relations.

You can hear Capodagli talk about her time at OCC in this month’s edition of our podcast, “Higher Ed News You Can Use from Onondaga Community College.”

Helping Businesses Start


Onondaga’s Small Business Development Center staff is (standing left to right): Karen Livingston, Business Advisor; Paul Brooks, Business Advisor; Frank Cetera, Business Advisor; Joan Powers, Director; Michael Cartini , Business Advisor; Keyona Kelly, Business Advisor. Sitting (left to right) are Regina Powell, Coordinator and Melissa Zomro Davis, Business Advisor.

Onondaga Community College’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is helping entrepreneurs across Central New York realize their dreams. The SBDC provides confidential, high-quality business consulting, at no cost, to both start-up and existing businesses. The organization is the subject of this month’s edition of our podcast, “Higher Ed News You Can Use from Onondaga Community College.”

The SBDC services approximately 1,000 clients per year. It offers professional training and workshops in areas such as:

  • QuickBooks Accounting Software
  • Cyber Security
  • Credit and Budgeting
  • 20-hour intensive training on how to start a small business (offered monthly)

OCC’s SBDC office serves businesses in six counties including Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego and Seneca counties.

You can learn more about the SBDC by visiting its website or calling (315) 498-6070.

OCC’s SBDC office is located on the fourth floor of Mulroy Hall, 4926 Onondaga Road (Route 173), Syracuse 13215.

Enjoy the podcast! You can listen to it here.

Highlighting the Learning Center on Our Podcast


Joe Cesta (left) tutors student Jeanne Bergett (right) in OCC’s Learning Center.

When students on the OCC campus need help with their coursework they go to the Learning Center.  That’s where they find over 100 tutors who are available there to help achieve success in the classroom.

Kathy D’Aprix

The Learning Center’s embedded tutoring program was recognized recently by the League for Innovation in the Community Colleges. Kathy D’Aprix, the Learning Center’s Associate Vice President of Academic Support Services, attended the League for Innovations national conference in March and shared OCC’s success story with attendees.

The embedded tutoring program puts tutors in classrooms so they understand how teachers are presenting the coursework. Those tutors are in a better position to help when students come to them seeking assistance. Embedded tutors are strategically placed in some of the College’s most demanding classes.

The Learning Center and the services it provides are available to anyone taking an OCC class whether it is on the main campus, through OCC at Liverpool, online or in high school The Learning Center is located in the Gordon Student Center in room G202 and is open seven days a week. You can contact the Learning Center by phone at (315) 498-2103 or by email at

The Learning Center and the services provided there are the subject of our monthly podcast, “Higher Ed News You Can Use From Onondaga Community College. You can listen to it here!

Helping Students Explore Career Options

Abbey Baird is Director of OCC’s Career Services Office which helps students find internship, volunteer and employment opportunities.

Onondaga Community College’s Career Services Office is preparing students for opportunities which will help them explore career options. Numerous student focused workshops will be happening throughout the month, leading up to a large internship, volunteer and employment fair on campus. The list of workshops includes:

Wed, Feb 7          Walk-in Resume Clinic                                                                11am-1pm          Coulter 110

Thurs, Feb 8        Wizard of Oz-themed Resume and Wardrobe Clinic           11am-2pm          Coulter 116

Tues, Feb 13       Mardi Gras-themed Resume Clinic                                          12pm-2pm          Coulter Lobby

Mon, Feb 19       Walk-In Resume Clinic                                                               10am-1pm          Coulter 110

Tues, Feb 20       Walk-In Resume Clinic                                                              9:30am-2pm      Coulter 110

Wed, Feb 21       Walk-In Resume Clinic                                                               11am-1pm           Coulter 110

Thurs, Feb 22     Walk-In Resume Clinic                                                              9am-2pm            Coulter 110

Fri, Deb 23           Walk-In Resume Clinic                                                            2pm-4pm            Coulter 110

Mon, Feb 26       Walk-In Resume Clinic                                                             10am-1pm            Coulter 110


The workshops will prepare students for an Internship, Volunteer and Job Fair which will held in the SRC Arena Wednesday, February 28 from 11am to 2pm.

The Career Services office is conveniently located in room 110 of Coulter Hall which is just inside the main entrance on the right side. You can reach the Career Services offices via email at or by phone at (315) 498-2585.

Abbey Baird, Director of the Career Services program is our guest on this month’s edition of our podcast, “Higher Ed You Can Use from Onondaga Community College.” We encourage you to listen to our conversation and learn more about all of the services available to students in our Career Services office. Enjoy the podcast!