Greg Freitag

Greg Freitag is proof it’s never too late to find your passion. The 55-year-old father of seven found what he was looking for when he took his daughter on a college visit to Paul Smith’s in the Adirondacks. “I loved their presentation on hospitality management and realized I was much more excited about it than she was!” A short time later he saw a news story about Paul Smith’s and OCC partnering on a bachelor’s degree program and everything fell into place for him.

Freitag enrolled in OCC’s Hospitality Management program, went to classes during the day and held down his overnight job in the physical plant at SUNY Upstate Medical University. Freitag also took a second job in the hospitality industry, working at the Courtyard by Marriott in Armory Square where he was named employee of the month. Through it all he maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average and was inducted into the College’s student honor society Phi Theta Kappa. He was also rewarded with a SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, one of only six OCC students to be so honored.

Freitag earned his degree from OCC in December 2014. “Before I came back to school I had convinced myself I couldn’t do it, but once I returned and got into it I loved it. I enjoyed the teachers, I enjoyed the people I was going to school with, I loved all of it.”

Freitag will start working toward his bachelor’s degree from Paul Smith’s College in the fall. In the meantime he has an athletic goal to pursue. In 2014 he medaled in the Senior Empire State Games Track & Field competition. This summer he will be one of 12,000 participants in the National Senior Games in Minneapolis.

SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Student Excellence Winners

Six Onondaga Community College students will receive SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Student Excellence April 2 in Albany. The awards will be presented by SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher at a ceremony at the Empire State Plaza. Honorees demonstrated the ability to combine academic excellence with other accomplishments, which may include leadership, campus involvement, athletics, career achievement, community service, or creative and performing arts. OCC’s six honorees are all members of student honor society Phi Theta Kappa. They are:

Karim Abdel-Razek
Abdel-Razek

Karim Abdel-Razek

Karim is a native of Egypt who came to OCC from Syracuse’s Nottingham High School. In December 2014 he earned a degree in Architectural Technology. He is also pursuing a degree in Engineering Technology.

 

 

 

Sai Htet Aung
Aung

Sai Htet Aung

Sai is a native of Yangon, Myanmar majoring in Business Administration. He is vice president of the Student Association and the Student Association Executive Committee. He is also a student advisor on the Learning Center Student Advisory Council and treasurer of the College’s International Club.

 

Bertina Bailey
Bailey

Bertina Bailey

Bertina graduated from Marathon High School and is earning degrees in Criminal Justice and Humanities while serving the campus as a Resident Advisor. Her goal is to become a psychological profiler.

 

 

Cerro
Cerro

Alena Cerro

Alena came to OCC from Liverpool High School. While majoring in Electronic Media Communications she has served as an officer in Phi Theta Kappa, an Honors Program Student Ambassador and an Honors Program Committee Student Representative.

 

Greg Freitag
Freitag

Greg Freitag

Greg is a Hospitality Management major from Olympia High School in Greece, NY. He is a 55-year-old father of seven who maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average while working multiple jobs. He has medaled in the Empire State Senior Games and this summer will compete in the National Senior Games in Minneapolis.

 

Guevara
Guevara

Greg Guevara

Greg is a Liberal Arts & Sciences major from Allynwood Academy in Hancock, NY. He is past president of Phi Theta Kappa and received a Study Abroad Scholarship to study Mayan Medicine and Culture in the Yucatan Peninsula.

 

 

“We are so proud of each of our students who will be honored by SUNY and Chancellor Zimpher for excellence at a statewide level. Their accomplishments both in the classroom and in the community make Central New York a better place for all of us and we congratulate each of them,” said OCC President Dr. Casey Crabill.

OCC’s Best Honored in Albany

Two of OCC’s best and brightest students were honored for their academic excellence and community service Monday, March 9 in Albany. Alena Cerro and Greg Frietag represented the College at the USA Today Phi Theta Kappa All-New York Academic Team Recognition Ceremony at the New York State Museum. SUNY Community College students from across the state were singled out for their achievements.

Students and family members in attendance were treated to inspirational remarks from SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher and Dr. Rod A. Risley, Executive Director of Phi Theta Kappa, the student honor society for two-year college students. During the ceremony each student was called up individually, presented an honorary medal and photographed with Zimpher and Risley.

Four of Central New York’s elected representatives came to the museum to congratulate Cerro and Freitag including: Assemblyman William Magnarelli (D, 129th District), Assemblyman Sam Roberts (D, 128th District), Assemblyman Al Stirpe (D, 129th District) and Senator Dave Valesky (D, 53rd District).

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Following the event Cerro and Frietag were escorted to the New York State Assembly chambers were they were singled out for their accomplishments. Assemblyman Al Stirpe, a Democrat representing the 127th District told his colleagues about Cerro and Freitag’s achievements:

  • “Alena Cerro is an Electronic Media Communications major at Onondaga Community College. She is vice president for public relations for the College’s Alpha Sigma Zeta chapter. Cerro also serves as an Honors Program Student Ambassador and Honors Program Committee Student Representative. Cerro has earned President’s List status each semester on campus, received numerous scholarships and awards and participated in service learning projects. She is an intern in OCC’s External Relations and Marketing & New Media departments. Cerro is a 2013 graduate of Liverpool High School.”
  •  “Greg Freitag is a Hospitality Management major at Onondaga Community College. He has maintained a 4.0 GPA while volunteering for campus events, working several jobs and raising seven children. Freitag works full time on the overnight shift as a Plant Utilities Engineer at SUNY Upstate Medical University. He also works in the hospitality industry at the Courtyard by Marriott in Armory Square where he has been named employee of the month. In 2014 Freitag medaled in the Empire State Games Track & Field competition. This summer he will be one of 12,000 participants in the National Senior Games in Minneapolis. Freitag is a 1977 graduate of Olympia High School in Greece, New York.”

William Magnarelli, a Democrat representing the 129th District also addressed fellow colleagues. “Alena is a young lady with her whole future in front of her. Greg’s accomplishments are remarkable as well. Both of them are to be commended and I wish them the best in their future endeavors.” When Magnarelli finished speaking members of the Assembly applauded Cerro and Freitag.

The day of recognition was greatly appreciated by Cerro and Freitag.

Alena Cerro
Alena Cerro
Greg Freitag
Greg Freitag

“I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. It’s an honor to be able to accept this award on behalf of my college and the mentors who have nominated me for it. It’s just such a special day. I’m so lucky to be here,” Cerro said.

 

“I am overwhelmed. I think of myself as such a regular guy, not someone who’s worthy of all the attention that’s been given me. It’s all been a great honor and an extreme pleasure,” Freitag said.

Students Earn Statewide Honors

Two OCC students will be honored for their academic excellence and community service at a statewide event in Albany.cropped ptk logo The USA Today Phi Theta Kappa All-New York Academic Team Recognition Ceremony will take place Monday, March 9 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the New York State Museum. All SUNY Community College Presidents will be in attendance along with elected officials. Speakers will include SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher and Dr. Rod A. Risley, Executive Director of Phi Theta Kappa.

OCC’s student honorees are Alena Cerro and Greg Freitag.

Alena Cerro
Alena Cerro

Cerro is an Electronic Media Communications major, is vice president of public relations for the College’s Alpha Sigma Zeta chapter and serves as an Honors Program Student Ambassador and Honors Program Committee Student Representative. She has earned President’s List status each semester on campus, received numerous scholarships and awards and participated in service learning projects. Cerro is an intern in OCC’s External Relations and Marketing & New Media departments. She is a 2013 graduate of Liverpool High School.

Greg Freitag
Greg Freitag

Freitag is a Hospitality Management major. He has maintained a 4.0 GPA while volunteering for campus events, working several jobs and raising seven children. He works full time on the overnight shift as a Plant Utilities Engineer at SUNY Upstate Medical University. Freitag also works in the hospitality industry at the Courtyard by Marriott in Armory Square where he has been named employee of the month. In 2014 he medaled in the Empire State Games Track & Field competition. This summer Freitag will be one of 12,000 participants in the National Senior Games in Minneapolis. He is a 1977 graduate of Olympia High School in Greece.

“We are so proud of Alena and Greg and all they have accomplished,” said OCC President Dr. Casey Crabill. “Their stories are a wonderful example of the opportunities available here at OCC and on community college campuses across the nation through Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. A student who graduated from high school two years ago and a seasoned adult student making a career change are both succeeding at high levels and preparing themselves for outstanding careers. We salute both of them and look forward to honoring their achievements during this ceremony.”

Alena-Cerro,-EMC