Lifesaving Donation

OCC student Caitlyn Garbutt donated her bone marrow after signing up at a “Be The Match” registration drive on campus. Garbutt is a 2014 graduate of LaFayette High School.

Caitlyn Garbutt remembers getting “the call.” It was February 2019, approximately two years since she had given a sample of her DNA at a “Be The Match” registration drive on campus. “My phone rang and the person calling asked if I was still interested in donating bone marrow. They told me I was a match with a 49-year-old woman.”

The person in need had Myelodysplastic syndrome, a group of disorders caused by blood cells that don’t work properly. “Once I was called I thought, ‘I could save somebody’s life. She might have kids and a family.’ I decided to go ahead with it. Everyone in my family was very proud of me. It helped to have their support.”

In March, Garbutt underwent surgery at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester and donated bone marrow from her hip. She was up walking shortly after the procedure and recovered quickly. “My biggest challenge was putting on socks. It took me about two weeks before I could put my own socks on again.”

Garbutt has not yet met the woman she helped. Under the terms of being a donor, they can exchange letters in the months following the donation. If both parties want to meet after one year, they can do so. Garbutt hopes to meet her one day and encourages anyone considering donating to do so. “Being able to save someone’s life was pretty cool. You should join the registry. If you decide to donate, think about the person’s life you could save and how it might effect them, their family and their children. Saving a life is worth a little bit of pain.”

LaFayette High School Joins OCC Advantage Program

LaFayette High School’s Class of 2022 celebrates joining the OCC Advantage program during a ceremony in the high school auditorium.

Carolyn Redmore knows she’s fortunate. Redmore is a 9th grade student at LaFayette High School and her class is the school’s first to be a part of OCC Advantage. “We have this amazing opportunity to go to OCC for two years for free. We can save a lot of money for college. This is a great opportunity.”

Student Carolyn Redmore is interviewed by Spectrum TV videographer Mike Collins.

LaFayette High School’s Class of 2022 joined the OCC Advantage program during a signing ceremony last month. OCC Advantage is a unique college-readiness and scholarship program. All freshman students at LaFayette who meet attendance and grade point average (GPA) requirements, complete community service and graduate will be eligible to attend OCC tuition free. The GPA requirement is 2.0 which is the letter grade equivalent of a “C.”

Once enrolled at OCC students will have two years to complete work toward an associate degree or certificate, preparing them for a career or transfer to a four-year institution. During their time on campus students must meet minimum grade point average requirements and perform community service.

All 60 students who are presently freshman at LaFayette are eligible for the OCC Advantage program. As members of the class of 2022 they will be college-ready and able to attend OCC tuition-free should they choose to do so. During the 2018-19 academic year, full-time tuition at OCC is $2,450 per semester.

LaFayette joins the East Syracuse-Minoa, Jordan-Elbridge, Onondaga Central and Solvay school districts as participants in the OCC Advantage program. OCC Advantage is supported through the generosity of contributors to our Believe in Better fundraising campaign. You can learn more about Believe in Better and find out how you can support students on our website.

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.

Students on Patrol

Student Patrol members (left to right) Zack Smith, Robert Moore and Garrett Sikora.
Student Patrol members (left to right) Zack Smith, Robert Moore and Garrett Sikora.

Monday, November 7 seemed like a routine night for members of OCC’s Student Patrol. Robert Moore, Garrett Sikora and Zachary Smith were going door-to-door across campus, checking buildings and locking doors. Shortly before 10 p.m. they stepped inside the Gordon Student Center and smelled trouble in the air. “I walked in and realized, ‘It doesn’t smell like normal in here,’” said Moore. “We called in to base and let them know we smelled a strong scent of gas,” said Smith.

A short time later Ron Lewandowski who works in Maintenance at OCC showed up with a gas detection unit. “The cafeteria was filled with gas,” said Moore. “On the meter the levels were off the charts.” It was a dangerous situation which could have been far worse without the actions of Student Patrol. “Gas levels the next morning would have been lethal,” said Sikora. “It would have only taken a small spark for something bad to happen.”

Dave Wall
Dave Wall

The fast work of Moore, Sikora and Smith was recognized at November’s OCC Board of Trustees meeting. “They literally saved a building and potentially lives,” said Dave Wall, Director of Campus Safety and Security. “You could imagine what might have happened had this situation gone undetected for another eight hours.”

Moore, Sikora and Smith are three of the 15 members of OCC’s Student Patrol. They perform valuable services across campus on a daily basis. “They are our eyes and ears similar to a neighborhood watch,” said Wall. “They are in the residence halls, they are checking buildings. In a community policing approach they are very much a part of the team.”

Being a member of Student Patrol can provide a path for those interested in a career in criminal justice. Moore, Sikora and Smith are all on track to earn their degrees in May 2017. Sikora (Liverpool High School, class of 2015) is a Humanities major still considering options but both Moore and Smith are interested in a career in law enforcement. Moore (Lafayette High School, class of 2013) is a dual major in both Criminal Justice and Mathematics & Science. His goal is to become a forensic technician. Smith’s inspiration for a career in law enforcement came from his uncle who is a member of the New York City Police Department. Smith will take civil service exams in the spring for future police openings.

“We are so fortunate to have outstanding students here who make up our Student Patrol,” said Wall. “It’s a great way for us to connect with students and the entire campus community. I appreciate their dedication.”