Honoring Our 2018 Alumni Faces

The 2018 Alumni Faces honorees on stage in the Recital Hall are (left to right) Jim Campagna, ’79, Nancy Pasquale, ’90, Mark Re, ’85, OCC President Dr. Casey Crabill, Jeremy Thompson, ’09 and Jerome Thompson, 2006-2009. Honoree David Bamonte, ’81 was unable to attend the event.

The 2018 Alumni Faces ceremony was filled with emotion. One by one the honorees walked on stage, received their awards and expressed heartfelt gratitude for those who helped them achieve success. They thanked their spouses, their families and faculty members at OCC who played critical roles in their development. You can watch the entire event here.

This year’s celebration was held in the Recital Hall on the night of October 3. It included six distinguished former students who were recognized for their professional achievements and contributions to the college and the community. The honorees included:

David Bamonte, ’81

  • High School: North Syracuse
  • Major at OCC: Music
  • Profession: Educator and Trumpet Player
  • David has traveled the world playing the trumpet with acclaimed conductors such as Leonard Bernstein and Zubin Mehta. Today he is a member of the Oregon Symphony and a professor at Portland State University. Unfortunately Bamonte was unable to attend the ceremony.

 

The 2018 Alumni Faces etchings are on display in the main hallway of the Academic II building.

Jim Campagna, ’79

  • High School: North Syracuse
  • Major at OCC: Radio & Television
  • Profession: Television News Director
  • Jim is News Director at WSYR TV, Newschannel 9. Throughout much of his career he shared his expertise with the next generation of professionals, serving as an adjunct professor in OCC’s Electronic Media Communications (EMC) major from 2001 to 2015. Today he continues to serve as a member of the EMC Advisory Board.

 

Nancy Pasquale, ’90

  • High School: The Convent School
  • Major at OCC: Humanities
  • Profession: Educator and Advocate
  • Nancy was a founding member of the college’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the national honor society for community colleges. She taught English at Fayetteville-Manlius and Solvay High Schools until she retired in 2015. Today she serves a co-chair of the OCC Advantage fundraising initiative.

 

Mark Re, ’85

  • High School: Bishop Ludden
  • Major at OCC: Business Administration
  • Profession: Real Estate Regional Manager
  • Mark is Vice President and Regional Manager of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. He has been a steadfast supporter of OCC, serving on the Foundation Board since 2004. He is co-chair of the OCC Advantage Fundraising initiative.

 

Jeremy Thompson, ’09

  • High School: LaFayette
  • Major at OCC: General Studies
  • Profession: Professional Lacrosse Player
  • Jeremy was an All-American lacrosse player at Lafayette High School, OCC and Syracuse University. He was also a two-time New York State Champion and a National Champion with the Lazers. He and his brother Jerome are the face of Nike’s line of Lacrosse gear and part owners of Thompson Brothers Lacrosse.

 

Jerome Thompson, 2006-2009

  • High School: LaFayette
  • Major at OCC: General Studies
  • Profession: Professional Lacrosse Player
  • Jerome and his brother Jeremy are the face of Nike’s line of Lacrosse gear and part owners of Thompson Brothers Lacrosse. Jerome helped lead the Lazers Men’s Lacrosse team to National Championships in 2007 and 2009. Both he and his brother Jeremy continuously give back to the Native American community and are icons and role models for their work.

 

Earlier in the day several of the Alumni Faces honorees spent time on campus, speaking with students about their time at OCC and answering their questions. You can view a slideshow of them on campus below.

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2018 Class of Alumni Faces

The latest Alumni Faces honorees are recognized on the first floor of the Academic II building.

Six distinguished former Onondaga Community College students have been named 2018 “Alumni Faces” honorees for their professional achievements and contributions to the college and the community. They will be honored for their accomplishments during an induction ceremony Wednesday, October 3 at 5:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall. Their likenesses will be added to the Alumni Faces display in the Academic II building.

The 2018 class of Alumni Faces is:

David Bamonte, ’81
High School: North Syracuse
Major at OCC: Music
Profession: Educator and Trumpet Player

David has traveled the world playing the trumpet with acclaimed conductors such as Leonard Bernstein and Zubin Mehta. Today he is a member of the Oregon Symphony and a professor at Portland State University.

 

Jim Campagna, ’79
High School: North Syracuse
Major at OCC: Radio & Television
Profession: Television News Director

Jim is News Director at WSYR TV, Newschannel 9. Throughout much of his career he shared his expertise with the next generation of professionals, serving as an adjunct professor in OCC’s Electronic Media Communications (EMC) major from 2001 to 2015. Today he continues to serve as a member of the EMC Advisory Board.

 

Nancy Pasquale, ’90
High School: The Convent School
Major at OCC: Humanities
Profession: Educator and Advocate

Nancy was a founding member of the college’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the national honor society for community colleges. She taught English at Fayetteville-Manlius and Solvay High Schools until she retired in 2015. Today she serves a co-chair of the OCC Advantage fundraising initiative.

 

Mark Re, ’85
High School: Bishop Ludden
Major at OCC: Business Administration
Profession: Real Estate Regional Manager

Mark is Vice President and Regional Manager of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. He has been a steadfast supporter of OCC, serving on the Foundation Board since 2004. He is co-chair of the OCC Advantage Fundraising initiative.

 

Jeremy Thompson, ’09
High School: LaFayette
Major at OCC: General Studies
Profession: Professional Lacrosse Player

Jeremy was an All-American lacrosse player at Lafayette High School, OCC and Syracuse University. He was also a two-time New York State Champion and a National Champion with the Lazers. He and his brother Jerome are the face of Nike’s line of Lacrosse gear and part owners of Thompson Brothers Lacrosse.

 

Jerome Thompson, 2006-2009
High School: LaFayette
Major at OCC: General Studies
Profession: Professional Lacrosse Player

Jerome and his brother Jeremy are the face of Nike’s line of Lacrosse gear and part owners of Thompson Brothers Lacrosse. Jerome helped lead the Lazers Men’s Lacrosse team to National Championships in 2007 and 2009. Both he and his brother Jeremy continuously give back to the Native American community and are revered as icons and role models for their work.

 

Congratulations to our Alumni Faces Class of 2018! You can see a complete list of all of our Alumni Faces honorees here.

OCC Nursing Program Among New York State’s Best

Nursing student Matt Duda (left) practices draining a tracheostomy on a simulated patient under the watchful eye of Professor Cynthia Arcuri (right).

Matthew Duda thinks Onondaga Community College’s Nursing program is as good as it gets. “What separates it is the positive learning environment. From day one the message from faculty to the students has been, ‘this is hard but you can do this and we are here to help.’ Our instructors take a genuine interest in helping students succeed. They are always asking the students for feedback in a constant attempt to improve the learning experience.”

People with Registered Nursing.org agree. That’s why the organization recently named OCC’s Nursing program one of the top ten in all of New York State. In its evaluation Registered Nursing.org stated: “Onondaga Community College produces competent and confident nursing graduates who succeed to fill gaps in nursing care throughout the state and beyond. OCC graduates advance the standards of nursing care.” OCC received a score of 93.33 out of 100.

Duda is a 1996 graduate of Bishop Ludden High School who tried his hand at many different occupations before winding up in OCC’s Nursing program. His work history includes positions as an editor and producer at World Wrestling Entertainment and an English teacher in Yemen in a program sponsored by the State Department.

Today life couldn’t be better for Duda. He and his wife Taylor are expecting their first child in the fall. He hopes to be earning his Nursing degree a year from now as he continues on his path to becoming a certified registered nurse anesthetist. He’ll get where he wants to go with guidance from OCC’s Nursing program. “It’s the best value by far. The affordable tuition makes this program ideal for anyone who already owns a mountain of student loan debt or for those smart enough to not take any on in the first place.”

You can learn more about OCC’s Nursing program by visiting the College’s website.

Honoring Our 2017 Alumni Faces

OCC President Casey Crabill with the 2017 class of Alumni Faces (left to right): Ed Riley, Janet Riley, Marthe Ngwashi, Deirdre Hunter and John DelVecchio.

They returned to campus with their stories of success. There was a real estate developer, a nurse, a professor of engineering, a television director and an attorney. What brought them together was a common bond, Onondaga Community College. OCC paid tribute to these five former students on the night of November 1, recognizing them as distinguished Alumni Faces during a ceremony in the Recital Hall. “Each one of them has gone on to make their mark in Central New York and beyond with notable careers, service to community and living a life that exemplifies the importance of giving back to others,” said College President Casey Crabill during her opening remarks.

The Class of 2017 is:

John DelVecchio

John D. “JD” DelVecchio, ‘79

  • Major: Radio & Television (now Electronic Media Communications)
  • Profession: Television Director for the Golf Channel
  • High School: Corcoran, class of 1977

DelVecchio is an Emmy award-winning television sports director who has overseen coverage of some of the world’s biggest sporting events. Today he works for the Golf Channel. His resume includes the Olympics, College Football, Saturday Night Live, David Letterman and the Cosby Show.

 

Deirdre Hunter

Deirdre N. Hunter, Ph.D., ‘02

  • Major: Engineering Science
  • Profession: Professor of Engineering
  • High School: Jersey Village High School in Houston, class of 1998

Hunter fell in love with science and engineering while working on cars with her father in his auto repair business. She earned degrees from OCC, Syracuse University and Virginia Tech. She was one of the few women in her educational field and received many accolades for her research. Today she is a Lecturer of Engineering Design at Rice University in Houston.

 

Marthe Ngwashi

Marthe Ngwashi, Esq., ‘03

  • Major: Business Administration
  • Profession: Lawyer
  • High School: Nottingham High School, class of 1994

After earning her associate degree at OCC and her bachelor’s at SUNY Empire State College, Ngwashi worked in the State Attorney General’s Office where co-workers encouraged her to pursue a law degree. She took their advice and today practices law in her firm, Ngwashi & Associates PLLC in Buffalo.

 

Ed and Janet Riley

Edward M. Riley

  • Major: Architectural Technology
  • Profession: Developer
  • High School: Christian Brothers Academy, class of 1972

Riley is a nationally renowned developer. In 2016 he completed one of the hallmark projects of his career when he restored the old Hotel Syracuse. It reopened in August 2016 as the Marriott Syracuse Downtown.

 

Janet H. Riley, ‘74

  • Major: Nursing
  • Profession: Registered Nurse
  • High School: Bishop Ludden, class of 1972

Riley was a Registered Nurse at Crouse Irving Memorial Hospital, a Triage Nurse at Syracuse University Health Center, and held several nursing and management positions at SUNY Upstate Health & Science Center prior to her retirement.

Earlier in the day the honorees spent time with current students enrolled in the majors in which the alumni earned degrees. They told students about their journey from the OCC campus to where they are today, offered career advice and answered questions.

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In conjunction with the Alumni Faces being on campus the College announced a new initiative, “The OCC Effect.” We’re asking former students to share their stories with the tens of thousands of people who make up the OCC community. If you attended OCC please take a moment, visit our alumni web page and let us know how your time at OCC impacted your life. Your story is a significant part of OCC’s story which began more than a half-century ago when we first opened our doors in 1961. We’re proud our middle name is “community” and we’d love to hear about OCC’s effect on you. We’ve assembled a few stories about our alumni which we hope will inspire you to share your story with us.

2017 Alumni Faces Honoree Janet Riley, ’74

Janet Riley

Onondaga Community College annually recognizes distinguished graduates by naming them “Alumni Faces” for their accomplishments and contributions to the community. The 2017 class will be honored during a ceremony tonight, November 1 at 5:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall which is located in the Academic II building. One of the graduates we will honor is Janet Riley.

Janet is a 1972 Bishop Ludden High School graduate who earned her Nursing degree from OCC in 1974. She was a Registered Nurse at Crouse Irving Memorial Hospital, a Triage Nurse at Syracuse University Health Center and held several nursing and management positions at SUNY Upstate Health & Science Center prior to her retirement. In 1995 she received the Outstanding Nurse for the Perioperative Division award.

Alumni Faces Class of 2017

The etchings of Alumni Faces honorees are on display in the Academic II Building (above) and the Gordon Student Center.

Five former students have been named 2017 “Alumni Faces” honorees for their professional achievements and contributions to the college and the community. They will be honored for their accomplishments during an induction ceremony Wednesday, November 1 at 5:30 p.m. in the Academic II building’s Recital Hall. The honorees are:

 

DelVecchio

John D. “JD” DelVecchio, ‘79

  • Major: Radio & Television (now Electronic Media Communications)
  • Profession: Television Director for live sports events
  • High School: Corcoran, class of 1977

JD DelVecchio is an Emmy award-winning television sports director who has overseen coverage of some of the world’s biggest sporting events. Today he works for the Golf Channel. His resume includes Olympic Games, College Football, Saturday Night Live, David Letterman and the Cosby Show.

 

Hunter

Deirdre N. Hunter, Ph.D., ‘02

  • Major: Engineering Science
  • Profession: Professor of Engineering
  • High School: Jersey Village High School in Houston, class of 1998

Dr. Deirdre Hunter fell in love with science and engineering while working on cars with her father in his auto repair business. She earned degrees from OCC, Syracuse University and Virginia Tech. She was one of the few women in her educational field and received many accolades for her research. Today she is a Lecturer of Engineering Design at Rice University in Houston.

 

Ngwashi

Marthe Ngwashi, Esq., ‘03

  • Major: Business Administration
  • Profession: Lawyer
  • High School: Nottingham High School, class of 1994

After earning her associate degree at OCC and her bachelor’s at SUNY Empire State College, Marthe Ngwashi worked in the State Attorney General’s Office where co-workers encouraged her to pursue a law degree. She took their advice and today practices law in her firm, Ngwashi & Associates PLLC in Buffalo.

 

Riley

Edward M. Riley

  • Major: Architectural Technology
  • Profession: Developer
  • High School: Christian Brothers Academy, class of 1972

Ed Riley is a nationally renowned developer. In 2016 he completed one of the hallmark projects of his career when he restored the old Hotel Syracuse. It reopened in August 2016 as the Marriott Syracuse Downtown.

 

Riley

Janet H. Riley, ‘74

  • Major: Nursing
  • Profession: Registered Nurse
  • High School: Bishop Ludden, class of 1972

Janet Riley was a Registered Nurse at Crouse Irving Memorial Hospital, a Triage Nurse at Syracuse University Health Center and held several nursing and management positions at SUNY Upstate Health & Science Center prior to her retirement.

Congratulations to our Class of 2017! You can see a list of Alumni Faces honorees here.

Funding a Pathway

One of Central New York’s most prominent families has come forward to help our community once again. Candace and John Marsellus have created an award for Onondaga Community College graduates who are continuing their pursuit of a bachelor’s degree at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF). Each year two OCC graduates will receive a generous stipend from the Marsellus Family OCC to ESF Fund to support their educational expenses. “We realize the value of a strong education which we were fortunate to experience. We have a desire to help others have similar opportunities,” said Candace and John Marsellus.

Asante Holder (left) and John Spencer (right) are 2014 Marsellus Family OCC to ESF Award recipients.
Asante Holder (left) and John Spencer (right) are 2014 Marsellus Family OCC to ESF Award recipients.

2014 graduates Asante Holder and John Spencer were thrilled to benefit from the Marsellus family’s generosity this past spring. Holder is a Syracuse native who came to OCC from Bishop Ludden High School. He earned a degree in Mathematics and Science. Holder is majoring in Environmental Engineering at SUNY-ESF. “I’m honored to be chosen for this stipend,” said Holder. “The money will be very useful as I pursue my degree. Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Marsellus!”

Spencer is a graduate of Mexico High School. He also majored in Mathematics and Science at OCC, and is majoring in Bioprocess Engineering at SUNY-ESF. His goal is to acquire a doctorate and perform his own research in bio-fuels. “Thank you very much Mr. and Mrs. Marsellus for making this award possible,” said Spencer. “It will help me greatly as I pay for my education. I will continue to work hard so I can achieve my goals and begin my research as soon as possible.”

The Marsellus family has a long history of supporting the Central New York community. Since establishing their first named scholarship at Onondaga Community College in 2002, their passion for helping students at Onondaga has continued through the Marsellus Family Community Scholars Scholarship established in 2011, and most recently, the Marsellus Family OCC to ESF fund. “Five generations of our families have lived and worked in Onondaga County. We are committed to helping the hard-working students in our community achieve their goals. Scholarships for education can be life-changing. It can help financially disadvantaged students focus less on financial concerns and more on their higher education.”

The Marsellus family’s decision to assist OCC graduates pursuing bachelor’s degrees is in response to the ongoing success they have seen at the College, and they are proud to support OCC’s continued focus on partnerships with four-year institutions. “The growth in enrollment, faculty and facilities at OCC during the past 20 years is impressive. A new level of academic excellence has been achieved. The collective accomplishments of students, faculty, administration and Onondaga County leadership are worthy of our support,” said Candace and John Marsellus.