Four Onondaga Community College students have been named 2019 recipients of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence. The awards are handed out annually to students who have best demonstrated the integration of academic excellence with other aspects of their lives which may include leadership, campus involvement, athletics, career achievement, community service or creative and performing arts. This is the highest honor which can be bestowed upon a SUNY student. OCC’s students will be recognized during a ceremony at the Albany Capital Center Wednesday, April 24. The honorees are:
High School: Fairfax in Los Angeles, class of 2013
Major at OCC: General Studies – Liberal Arts & Sciences
Bae was born in Korea, moved to the United States at age 16 and served in the United States Army at Fort Drum before coming to OCC. He was a member of the college’s chapter of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa, an officer in the Student Association, a VA Work-Study in OCC’s Veterans office, a Peer Connector in the Advising Center and a First Year Experience Mentor. He was also a Social Media Reporter and blog contributor for the college’s media channels. Bae completed his studies in December and now attends Harvard University.
Burroughs is a member of the college’s chapter of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa, is one of only three OCC students to be named a NASA Scholar, has served the campus community as a member of Student Patrol and as an RA. He will earn his degree in May. Burroughs plans to pursue a master’s degree in either Mechanical Engineering or Engineering and Management.
Major at OCC: Humanities & Social Sciences with an Honors minor
Grainger is a member of the college’s chapter of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa, has done community outreach teaching people of all ages about technology and social media, and has served as president of Brothers and Sisters for Christ. She will earn her degree in May. Grainger plans to pursue a Ph.D. in history and become a professor.
Maxwell is a member of the college’s chapter of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa, an officer in the Student Association and a member of the national champion Men’s Lacrosse team. He will earn his degree in May and plans to transfer to a four-year school and continue his lacrosse career while pursuing a bachelor’s degree.
Congratulations to our 2019 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence honorees!
Eight years ago Seth Bae and his family moved from Korea to Los Angeles. After arriving in his new home he began working to learn the English language. “I knew the alphabet and a few words. That was it.”
Fast-forward to Tuesday night and the December graduation ceremony in Storer Auditorium at Onondaga Community College. Bae (pronounced BAY), who will be attending Harvard University in the spring, was the student speaker and told his classmates they could accomplish whatever they wanted. “Your pattern overrides your potential. You are here today because for the past two years, you committed yourself to what you believed in and dedicated your time and effort. I want to encourage everyone to continuously practice that pattern you devoted yourself to here at OCC. Don’t let your present circumstances define your destiny and don’t let your doubts stop you from moving forward.”
Bae has lived that very message. When his family arrived in southern California he was 16 years old. He was placed in English as Second Language class and struggled in school. “I knew I wasn’t ready to do well in college. I thought it made more sense to go in a different direction.” After graduating from Fairfax High School in Los Angeles in 2013, Bae joined the United States Army. While stationed at Fort Drum about 90 miles north of the OCC campus, Bae drove to Central New York weekly to worship at the Korean Church of Syracuse. He liked the people he met there, enjoyed the area and decided to move closer to Syracuse after he was discharged.
Bae started taking classes at OCC in the summer of 2017 and majored in General Studies – Liberal Arts & Sciences. As his English skills improved he became more immersed in campus life. He was Student Association Vice-President of Media, a VA Work Study student in the Student Veterans’ office, a Peer Connector in the Advising Center and a First Year Experience Mentor. He was also a Social Media Reporter, blog contributor for OCC’s website and presented a TED Talk on healthy communication, sharing wisdom on how people can better understand each other and manage disagreements or conflicts. In the classroom he owned a perfect 4.0 grade point average which earned him membership in the college’s chapter of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa.
Next month Bae will be a visiting student at Harvard University. In the fall he plans to transfer to Yale University. His goal is to work for the United States government in some capacity. Language is his specialty. Bae speaks Korean and English fluently and is learning Chinese and Spanish. Everything came together for him at OCC and for that he is thankful. “OCC is a great transition for wherever you want to go. It was life changing for me here. I’m really grateful for how things worked out. My message is that hard work really pays off. ”
Service to his country brought Seth Bae to the east coast. He’s pleased to have found Onondaga Community College and is enjoying his time on campus. “The facilities here are great and I’m really impressed with the quality of the faculty.”
Bae was born in Korea and attended high school in Los Angeles. After graduating in 2013 he enlisted in the United States Army and was stationed at Fort Drum. During his four years there he worshiped at the Korean Church of Syracuse. He liked the people he met there, enjoyed the area and decided to move closer to Syracuse after he was discharged.
Bae started taking classes at OCC in the summer of 2017. This academic year he’s serving the campus community as the Student Association’s Vice-President of Media, a VA Work Study student in the Student Veterans’ office, a Peer Connector in the Advising Center and a First Year Experience Mentor. He has also worked as a Social Media Reporter on campus and last year presented a TED Talk on healthy communication, sharing wisdom on how people can better understand each other and manage disagreements or conflicts. In the classroom he owns a perfect 4.0 grade point average which has earned him membership in the college’s chapter of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa.
Bae’s career goal is to become a linguist. He speaks both English and Korean fluently. He plans to transfer to a four-year college, major in East Asian Languages and learn Chinese. Bae would like to use his language skills while working for the United States government.
In the meantime, here are a few random things which Seth would like people to know about him:
He completed a triathlon this summer.
His favorite TV show is “The Office” and he says he has a similar personality to Michael Scott, the character played by actor Steve Carell.
He enjoys eating Philly Cheese Steak in the cafeteria.
His favorite football team is the Green Bay Packers.
Meet the new team of Student Officers! They were elected to their positions during the spring 2018 semester. During the academic year they will provide support for Student Clubs and Organizations, the Student Government Association, the Lazer Lounge, student leadership development and campus-wide activities.
In their roles the student leaders will meet monthly with OCC President Dr. Casey Crabill. One of the students is also a member of the Board of Trustees and will be involved in decision making at the highest level.. The 2018-19 officers are:
Leigh-Ann Dence, President
High School: Central Square, class of 2016
Major: Architectural Technology & Interior Design
Liam Stewart, Vice President of Clubs and Organizations
High School: Saratoga Springs, class of 2015
Seth Bae, Vice-President of Media
High School: Fairfax in Los Angeles, class of 2013
Major: General Studies: Liberal Arts & Sciences
Breanna Cherchio, Vice-President of Entertainment and Programming
Home schooled, from Camillus
Major: American Sign Language
Allison Guzman, 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.
When you support Onondaga Community College, you are making a statement that you believe in the importance of quality affordable education for everyone. You are creating new opportunities and new beginnings for students and our greater community.