Best in Class

These six members of the Women’s Basketball team made the honor roll during the fall semester. Each was named to either the President’s List or Provost’s List. They are (left to right): Nadia Diaz from the Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central, Katelyn Karleski from Westhill HS, Karleigh Wucher from Onondaga Central HS, Sydni Eure from East Syracuse Minoa HS, Kelsey Brown from Scotia-Glenville HS and Holly Sleeth from Liverpool HS.

Onondaga Community College student-athletes had an outstanding fall semester in the classroom. Dozens of students achieved honor roll status and were named to either the President’s List (grade point average between 3.70 and 4.0) or the Provost’s List (grade point average between 3.40 and 3.69). Six members of the Women’s Basketball team were among those recognized and half of them achieved perfect 4.0 grade point averages.

“We are so proud of our student-athletes who work so hard both in the classroom and on the playing fields. Their success is a testament to their perseverance and the outstanding support staff we have here at Onondaga which is dedicated to helping our student athletes succeed,” said OCC Athletics Director Mike Borsz.

A complete list of high achieving student-athletes is below. Congratulations to all!



  • Ty Abell
  • Joseph Burry
  • Cameron Curtis
  • Bryce Guernsey


Cross Country

  • Michael Laszlo



  • Aaron Deluca


Men’s Basketball

  • Nathan Abdo
  • Liam Stewart


Men’s Lacrosse

  • Michael Brandow
  • Petey Maxwell
  • Kyle Worsley


Men’s Soccer

  • David Pinker
  • Liam Raaen
  • Manuel Silva


Men’s Tennis

  • Nicholas Jerome
  • Juan Perez Castro



  • Delanie Alberici
  • Natalie Durocher



  • Armando Adrian
  • Michael Laszlo



  • Lauren Burbidge
  • Devan Burritt
  • Maggie Prusinowski


Women’s Basketball

  • Kelsey Brown
  • Nadia Diaz
  • Sydni Eure
  • Katelyn Karleski
  • Holly Sleeth
  • Karleigh Wucher


Women’s Lacrosse

  • Marguerite Cuddy
  • Samantha Dixon
  • Katelyn Karleski
  • Holly Sleeth


Women’s Soccer

  • Caitlin Barry
  • Elena Fecco
  • Rachel Greene
  • Claire Maring
  • Leah Pawlewicz
  • Augustine Wait
  • Erica Weber


Women’s Tennis

  • Jordan Cole
  • Jennifer Lapp
  • Kathryn Lesselroth

P-TECH Program Sparks Careers

William DeJesus grinds metal in OCC’s machine shop classroom in the Whitney Applied Technology Center. DeJesus started taking classes at OCC two years ago while he was a high school junior. Next May he will earn his Mechanical Technology degree.


OCC’s P-TECH program has worked out better than William DeJesus could have imagined. He’s found his passion and had the opportunity to go to the White House to talk about it. “I know I made the right decision. This program set me on a path going in one direction.”

P-TECH students (left to right) Robert Felder, William DeJesus and Lilly La share their stories with Congressman John Katko and White House Adviser Ivanka Trump.

DeJesus began taking P-TECH classes at OCC two years ago when he was a junior at the Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central (ITC). P-TECH stands for Pathways in Technology Early College High School. The program helps high school students earn valuable credits toward an associate degree while partnering with industry leaders. P-TECH students can pursue a degree in either Electrical Engineering Technology or Mechanical Technology. “I was nervous when I started coming to OCC. I wondered how I was going to manage classes at two different places. But with all of the support of the professors here and the support at the high school I was able to do it.”

In June, DeJesus was a member of the first graduating class of the P-TECH program at ITC. A few weeks after commencement he and two other students participated in a roundtable discussion at the school on education and workforce development. White House adviser Ivanka Trump participated in the discussion and was so impressed with the students she invited them to Washington for a jobs-related bill signing ceremony two weeks later. “It was a phenomenal experience. Being in that room where so many famous people had been before us, you got a chill going through you.” DeJesus took advantage of the setting, networking with CEO’s from IBM, FedEx and Wal-Mart and exchanging contact information with them.

DeJesus (far left) at a bill signing ceremony at the White House in July.

DeJesus also received three job offers during the summer but made the decision to continue his education full-time at OCC. Thanks to the 32 college credits he amassed while attending ITC, he will earn his associate degree in Mechanical Technology next May. “The P-TECH program has opened up so many opportunities for me. In my family I’m the first person to go to college.”

The P-TECH program is continuing to present opportunities for all who follow DeJesus. Nearly 100 high school students are taking classes at OCC as part of P-TECH. They’re coming to campus from DeJesus’ alma mater, ITC and The Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation (CiTi BOCES) in Oswego County. OCC also offers P-TECH programs in Clinical Laboratory Technology, Computer Information Systems, Drone Technology and Health Information Technology.

You can learn more about supporting OCC students through the Believe In Better fundraising campaign here.

Maysarah Mohamed

  • Major: Mathematics & Science with a specialization in Biology and an Honors minor
  • High school: Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central, class of 2017

When Maysarah Mohamed was considering her higher education options she thought about attending a four-year school, then thought otherwise. “I discovered it’s a really smart choice to go to OCC instead of going somewhere else and paying so much more. This was the smart way to get the most out of my money.”

Maysarah is a native of Egypt who arrived in Central New York with her mother and sister in time to enter 8th grade. She had started learning English in kindergarten so her transition in school was relatively easy. It took her a little longer to adjust to the weather. “I remember the first day I saw snow. I stood at the window for an hour watching it. I was fascinated! After two days I was like, ‘when is this going to be over?’”

While a student at the Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central, Maysarah came to the OCC campus and earned 12 credits in English, Biology and Psychology. In the fall of 2017 she became a Mathematics & Science major with a specialization in Biology. She is also in the Honors program.

Maysarah is an officer in the College’s chapter of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) where she serves as Vice President for Scholarship. “I love PTK. I’ve gotten so many opportunities. I’ve gone to conferences. I’m part of the leadership team. I love the environment. I’ve made really good friends here.”

Maysarah is on track to earn her degree in the spring of 2019. Her dream is to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Johns Hopkins University and pursue a career in science. Between now and then she plans to enjoy her time at OCC and put smiles on the faces of as many people as possible. “It’s really important in today’s world for people to be nice to each other. I enjoy complimenting people, improving their day and making them feel better about themselves.”

Vernon Macklin

Vernon Macklin
Vernon Macklin
  • High School: Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central, Class of 2015
  • Major @ OCC: Electronic Media Communications

Vernon Macklin started fitting in on the OCC campus while he was in high school. He took classes here while attending the Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central, easing his transition once he became a full-time student. “I already knew people on campus and where all of the buildings were. It definitely gave me a head start.”

Macklin’s high school coursework in Media Communication made OCC’s Electronic Media Communications (EMC) major a natural fit for him. “The whole EMC Department here is really good. You feel like you know everyone. You have many of the professors more than once and really get to know them while you are here.”

Outside class Macklin has been involved in clubs and organizations where one opportunity has led to another. As a freshman he served as Vice President of the Film Club and Secretary of the Drama Club. His position with the Drama Club required him to attend Student General Assembly meetings. His participation there led to him being named Vice President of Entertainment and Programming for the Student Association during his sophomore year. “Once I started getting involved in things I felt like, ‘I can do more on campus.’”

Macklin will earn his degree this May. He plans to transfer to either SUNY Oswego or SUNY Purchase. His career goal is to become a writer for television and film. All of his experiences on campus helped him plan his future. “Being here at OCC helped me focus on what I want to do in life. All the extracurricular activities gave me purpose. There are so many things you can be involved with and take part in.”

New Student Leaders

2016-17 Student Association Officers are (front row, left to right): Henry Humiston, Michael Phelps, Vernon Macklin and Deyoni Stith. Back row left to right: Sandy Klinzman, Joanna Reyes and Liz Angle.
2016-17 Student Association Officers (front row, left to right): Henry Humiston, Michael Phelps, Vernon Macklin, Deyoni Stith, (back row left to right): Sandy Klinzman, Joanna Reyes and Liz Angle.

A new group of officers have been selected to lead the Student Association during the 2016-17 academic year. The new student leaders are:

Sandy Klinzman, President

  • Major: Humanities
  • HS: Marcellus


Deyoni Stith, V-P of Clubs & Organizations

  • Major: Business Administration
  • HS: Clara Barton in Brooklyn


Vernon Macklin, V-P of Entertainment

  • Major: Electronic Media Communications
  • HS: Institute of Technology


Michael Phelps, V-P of Media

  • Major: Electronic Media Communications
  • HS: Corcoran


Joanna Reyes, Student Representative on the Board of Trustees

  • Major: Humanities & Social Sciences
  • HS: Cicero-North Syracuse


Liz Angle, Student Representative to the OCCA Board

  • Major: Early Childhood Education
  • HS: Oneida


Henry Humiston, Student Representative to the OCCA Board

  • Major: Nuclear Technology and Electronic Engineering Technology
  • HS: Faith Baptist Academy


The Student Association provides students with opportunities for governance while developing leadership skills and serving the needs of the student body. Elected student officers and professional staff collaborate with students, faculty, staff and administration to identify and deliver programming and services that reflect the needs and preferences of the student body.

A Career in the Kitchen

High school students considering a career in the hospitality management industry had a chance to see a professional at work. Eric Rose, a chef and adjunct instructor at OCC, brought his utensils to the Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central where he was Guest Chef for a day.

Chef Eric Rose shows students how to sear meat in the kitchen at the Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central.
Chef Eric Rose shows students how to sear meat in the kitchen at the Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central.

Rose conducted a question-and-answer session with juniors and seniors. He told them how he became a chef, discussed the different career options for students interested in the industry and explained the hard work and dedication needed to succeed. Rose also put on a cooking demonstration in the school’s kitchen. He showed students how to make a risotto dish with braised beef.

Institute of Technology student Dwan Strout (left)  took a class with Chef Eric Rose at OCC as part of the "Smart Scholars" program.
Institute of Technology student Dwan Strout (left) took a class with Chef Eric Rose at OCC as part of the “Smart Scholars” program.

Institute of Technology senior Dwan Strout is very familiar with Rose. Strout is one of 30 seniors participating in the “Smart Scholars” program. In the morning she takes classes at the Institute of Technology, and in the afternoon she earns college credits while taking classes at OCC. During the fall 2014 semester Strout took a Basic Food Prep class taught by Rose. “It was very challenging and amazing. I loved the class and the total experience with Chef Rose,” said Strout. “I brought back recipes I learned from him and we used them here in school.”