Five OCC students will receive SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Student Excellence April 5 in Albany. The awards will be presented by SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher during a ceremony in the Empire State Plaza Convention Center.
Honorees demonstrated the ability to combine academic excellence with other accomplishments which may include leadership, campus involvement, athletics, career achievement, community service or creative performing arts. OCC’s honorees are all members of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa.
Hometown: Johannesburg, South Africa
Major at OCC: General Studies with an Honors minor
Adams works at a refugee center three nights a week and is the head teacher for a class of middle school-aged girls. She plans to transfer and double major in International Relations and Political Science. She wants to become a lawyer who advocates for refugees.
Hometown: Oswego. Earned her GED in 1999.
Major at OCC: Humanities & Social Sciences with minors in Honors and Women’s Studies.
Flewelling is a 34-year-old mother who will transfer to Syracuse University. She will pursue a bachelor’s in Public Health with a minor in Medical Anthropology.
High School: Sandy Creek, Class of 2008
Majors at OCC: Nuclear Technology and Electrical Engineering Technology
Haskins is in training as an equipment operator at Nine Mile Point. She plans to become a licensed reactor operator.
High School: Fayetteville-Manlius, Class of 2015
Major at OCC: Liberal Arts & Sciences – Humanities + Social Sciences with an Honors minor
Hoffman intends to transfer to SUNY Geneseo, pursue a bachelor’s in American History and a master’s in Education.
High School: Mexico, Class of 2007
Major at OCC: Mathematics & Science
Witherell plans to transfer to SUNY Upstate Medical University and pursue a degree in Medical Imaging Science/Radiography.
Congratulations to our five SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Student Excellence winners!
Ashley Haskins has been on a remarkable journey since graduating from Sandy Creek High School in 2008. She attended Syracuse University, fell in love with politics and education policy and earned a degree in policy studies in just three years. Her desire to experience teaching first-hand led her to join “Teach For America,” a national teacher corps of recent college graduates who commit two years to teach and to effect change in under-resourced and rural public schools.
Haskins wound up on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. “It was really amazing. There are a lot of challenges on the reservation you have to deal with every day. I gained a lot of resilience and grit as a result of being there.” Haskins taught 7th grade math her first year, then taught a combined class of 2nd and 3rd grades. Despite the numerous challenges she treasured the experience so much she stayed an extra year. “I really enjoyed teaching math. As I was teaching it I really started loving it.”
At the end of her third year Haskins returned home and become a special aide in the Sandy Creek school district. She began studying other career options, learned about OCC’s Nuclear Technology program and decided to enroll.
In August 2015 Haskins began taking classes as a dual major in Nuclear Technology and Electrical Engineering Technology. Her outstanding academic background earned her scholarships from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the College’s STEM Scholars program which covered her entire tuition costs.
Despite being a few years older than traditional students Haskins found a home on campus right away. “Everyone here in both majors has been great. We naturally formed study groups and they’ve been great for everyone. I see my teaching background shining through because I enjoy helping other students.” Aside from helping students within her major, Haskins has also worked as a math tutor in the College’s Learning Center.
Haskins perfect 4.0 grade point average earned her induction into international honor society Phi Theta Kappa in April. She’s on track to graduate with two degrees in May 2017.
In her hometown of Sandy Creek she’s committed to making a difference. Haskins is a member of the library’s board of trustees. She’s also a volunteer firefighter and EMT with the Lacona Fire Department. “Eight years ago my involvement in education was about trying to do good in the world. I’ve realized my job doesn’t have to revolve around that. I can do it through volunteering.”
OCC students experienced an unprecedented level of success while competing against fellow college students in regional and national events during the spring semester.
A group of students from OCC, SUNY ESF, and Syracuse University earned first place honors in the the U.S. Department of Energy’s Challenge Home Student Design Competition April 26 and 27 in Denver, Colorado. Student teams were required to create and present designs for a cost-effective, zero energy ready home for mainstream builders. Onondaga students Jacek Bartczak (Klucze, Poland), Andrew Kenneally (West Genesee), Krystal Tyrrell (Faith Heritage) and David Wallace (Fulton) were members of the winning team. They won first place in the category of Detached Single Family Homes. SUNY ESF student Brent Crump (Sandy Creek), who graduated from Onondaga in 2009, was also a member of the winning team.
Dewayne Garner Jr. (Cicero-North Syracuse) took first place honors in the Emerging Researchers National Conference in February in Washington, D.C. Garner was honored for his presentation on the Immunomodulation of Cystic Fibrosis in the category of Microbiology, Immunology, and Virology. Both of Garner’s parents, Dewayne Sr. and Kionna, are Onondaga alumni.
Onondaga was well represented at NASA’s National Community College Aerospace Scholars program in Huntsville, Alabama in February. Only six students in all of New York State were invited to participate, and four of them came from Onondaga: Joshua Manrow (Jordan-Elbridge), Bryan Morris (Fair Haven), Elijah Tillman (Syracuse), and Shaquille Young (Brooklyn). To be selected, students needed to put together a presentation which would send a lunar rover to Mars. Their plan needed to include objectives and goals, a strategically selected landing site, a carefully planned budget, and a design of their rover. While in Huntsville students took part in meetings and briefings conducted by NASA engineers and scientists, and they were part of an exploration team project directed by NASA engineers.
Onondaga’s Hospitality Management team won the first ever Culinary Beef Tour and Competition April 10 and 11 in Canandaigua, New York. Students Anthony Pernisi (West Genesee), Tom Hooker (East Syracuse Minoa), and Jullen Merrill (East Syracuse Minoa), along with Chef Eric Rose, defeated teams from Paul Smith’s College, SUNY Cobleskill, Finger Lakes Community College, and two teams from Niagara Culinary Institute. Each Onondaga student earned a $500 scholarship for their efforts. The competition required each team to turn a beef ribeye into an appetizer and an entree within a two hour period. Students were asked to create one beauty plate and five tasting plates for the judges, along with 12 servings of each recipe to divide and shared with fellow contestants. Each team also had to learn the marketing side of hospitality management, name their recipes, print them out for customers, and utilize Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to post their “special of the week.” The competition was sponsored by the New York Beef Council.
Zachary Field (Onondaga Central) was the recipient of the New York State Community College Grand Prize in the 2014 David A. Garfinkel Essay Contest, sponsored by the Historical Society of the Courts of the State of New York. His essay was titled, “Balancing National Security and Freedom of the Press.” Zachary was presented his award at the Law Day 2014 Ceremony April 30 at the New York State Court of Appeals in Albany, New York.
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