STEM Scholars

TOP OF STORY STEM Scholars 2016-17 003

Students enrolled in OCC’s STEM Scholars program held their first meeting of the semester Friday, August 26. College President Casey Crabill welcomed the students to campus and encouraged each of them to make the most of everything the program offers. “We’re excited to have you on campus and have this opportunity to support you and make sure you have a good start to whatever science or technology field draws you in. We have high expectations for each of you,” said Crabill.

The STEM Scholars program is an entry point for students interested in pursuing a career within a growing industry. New York State ranks 3rd in the nation for projected growth in STEM jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates 477,000 STEM-related jobs will be available in New York by 2018.

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. OCC offers nine different STEM degree programs including:

  • Computer Forensic Science
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering Technology
  • Engineering Science
  • Environmental Technology
  • Math and Science Liberal Arts
  • Mechanical Technology
  • Nuclear Technology

Students selected to be STEM Scholars at OCC receive a scholarship renewable each semester provided they maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average and continue full-time progress toward their associate degree.

The College’s STEM Scholars program is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation totaling nearly $600,000, ensuring students in specific programs have both merit and need-based funding. Selected STEM scholars receive scholarships up to $5,000 per semester, and are also supported by peer mentors, faculty mentors, and are encouraged to engage in internship opportunities that will prepare them for their transfer and career choices.

OCC’s STEM Scholars program is coordinated by Associate Professor of Biology Maryann Page.

Natalia Montilla

Natalia Montilla
Natalia Montilla
  • High School: Nottingham, Class of 2015
  • Major at OCC: Engineering Science

Natalia Montilla’s college experience started while she was attending Nottingham High School thanks to the Liberty Partnerships Program (LPP), an organization which provides assistance to students who may be at risk or underprepared for college or a career. “Through LPP I was able to take summer classes here for free. LPP helped me get my feet wet so when I became a student full-time I was more prepared.”

Montilla enrolled in the College’s Engineering Science major and was accepted into the STEM Scholars program. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math. Montilla’s area of study is one of nine STEM-related majors the College offers.

Montilla’s support system on campus includes the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (C-STEP) and Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation Program (L-SAMP). “Both have provided me the opportunity to meet students with similar mindsets. I’ve made a lot of friends who have similar classes so there is always someone I can ask if I need help with a project.”

In September 2016 Montilla was honored by the community-wide Hispanic Heritage Month Committee for her accomplishments while in high school and college. She received an award at the opening ceremony for Hispanic Heritage Month, La Casitas “Balcon Criollo.”

Montilla will earn her associate degree in 2017. She plans to pursue both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering. She credits OCC and the organizations she has been a part of with helping her build a strong foundation. “I’ve felt so comfortable here. There is always someone available who can help you.  Every new connection I make is so helpful. You can really succeed at OCC as long as you are willing to put yourself out there.”

Jerry Tingley

TOP OF STORY Jerry Tingley
Jerry Tingley
  • High School: East Syracuse Minoa, Class of 2015
  • Major at OCC: Computer Studies

Jerry Tingley became an outstanding student as a freshman on campus. “I got motivated during my first semester. Something clicked and I really became interested in school. I realized I could accomplish what I wanted in life if I kept improving my grades. Now I’m trying to do the best I can.”

After two strong semesters Tingley was inducted into international honor society Phi Theta Kappa. He’s serving as the organization’s Vice President for Leadership during the 2016-17 academic year.

Tingley is part of the College’s STEM Scholars program and is pursuing a degree in Computer Science, a major he’s seem destined for since his youth. “When I was 12 I knew I wanted to work with computers. I taught myself how to program so it seems natural to me. Programming is what I really like to do.”

Tingley will receive his degree in May 2017. He plans to transfer to a four-year college and pursue a dual major in computer science and mathematics. “I feel like I’ve come so far here at OCC. I’m excited to see what the future holds.”

STEM Scholars Begin New Academic Year

 

Students and faculty members who make up OCC’s STEM Scholars program met during College Hour on the first day of classes. The meeting was coordinated by Associate Professor of Biology Maryann Page who oversees the STEM Scholars program.

The program is an entry point for students interested in pursuing a career within a growing industry. New York State ranks 3rd in the nation for projected growth in STEM jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates 477,000 STEM-related jobs will be available in New York by 2018.

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. Onondaga offers nine different STEM degree programs:

  • Computer Forensic Science
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering Technology
  • Engineering Science
  • Environmental Technology
  • Math and Science Liberal Arts
  • Mechanical Technology
  • Nuclear Technology

Students selected to be STEM Scholars at OCC receive a scholarship renewable each semester provided they maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average and continue full-time progress toward their associate degree.

In 2013 the College’s STEM Scholars program received a grant totaling nearly $600,000 from the National Science Foundation, ensuring students in specific programs will have both merit and need-based funding into the foreseeable future. The first scholarships were awarded in 2014. Selected STEM scholars receive scholarships up to $5,000 per semester, and are also supported by peer mentors, faculty mentors, and are encouraged to engage in internship opportunities that will prepare them for their transfer and career choices.

Liz Luke

Liz Luke is a member of OCC’s first-ever class of STEM Scholars. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.

Luke is a 2013 graduate of East Syracuse Minoa High School majoring in Mathematics and Science. As a STEM Scholar she receives scholarships up to $5,000 per semester. “The program has been great for me. The financial assistance is very valuable and I’m building a foundation for what I’m going to do after I graduate.”

Luke is planning to take advantage of the College’s “2+2 partnership agreement” with SUNY Upstate Medical University and enroll in its medical biotechnology program. In between now and then she’s working hard in class and doing an internship at Syracuse University’s Biomaterials Institute. “I’m doing research related to cystic fibrosis. I’m learning a lot and finding out how much I like working in a lab.”

Kirstin Amisano

Kirstin Amisano is making history at OCC as a member of the College’s first class of STEM Scholars. Amisano built her academic foundation at Baker High School before graduating in 2013. “The classes I was taking in high school were very challenging but there was a lot of help available just like there is at OCC.”

Amisano excelled academically at OCC and was selected to be part of the STEM Scholars program. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. The program is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation and is both merit-based and need-based. Students receive scholarships up to $5,000 per semester, and are also supported by peer mentors, faculty mentors, and are encouraged to engage in internship opportunities that will prepare them for their transfer and career choices.

“This program has helped me immensely. It’s taken a lot of financial stress out of my life so I can really concentrate on my school work,” said Amisano. “OCC has been very focused and challenging for me. I love the small class sizes. There are no huge lecture halls here. All of the teachers are very helpful.” Despite Amisano’s challenging course load this semester she is finding time to help others, working as a tutor in the College’s new Learning Center.

Amisano will graduate in May 2015 with a degree in Math and Science. She’s planning to transfer to St. John Fisher and continue pursuing a career in the sciences.

Onondaga offers nine different STEM degree programs:
*Computer Forensic Science
*Computer Information Systems
*Computer Science
*Electrical Engineering Technology
*Engineering Science
*Environmental Technology
*Math and Science Liberal Arts
*Mechanical Technology
*Nuclear Technology

STEM Scholars

Elizabeth Luke (left) and Kirstin Amisano (right) are two of Onondaga's initial STEM Scholars.
Elizabeth Luke (left) and Kirstin Amisano (right) are two of Onondaga’s initial STEM Scholars.

OCC’s highly successful STEM Scholars program is continuing into the future. A recent grant totaling nearly $600,000 from the National Science Foundation ensures students in specific programs will have both merit and need-based funding into the foreseeable future. Acceptance into the program is both merit-based and need-based. Selected STEM scholars receive scholarships up to $5,000 per semester, and are also supported by peer mentors, faculty mentors, and are encouraged to engage in internship opportunities that will prepare them for their transfer and career choices.

The STEM scholars program is an entry point for students interested in pursuing a career within a growing industry. New York State ranks 3rd in the nation for projected growth in STEM jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates 477,000 STEM-related jobs will be available in New York by 2018.

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. Onondaga offers nine different STEM degree programs:

  • Computer Forensic Science
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering Technology
  • Engineering Science
  • Environmental Technology
  • Math and Science Liberal Arts
  • Mechanical Technology
  • Nuclear Technology

Students selected to be STEM Scholars at OCC receive a scholarship renewable each semester provided they maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average and continue full-time progress toward their associate degree.

Associate Professor of Biology Maryann Page oversees the STEM Scholars program. “We’re thrilled the program will be continuing and growing into the future,” said Page. “Our incoming students will be mentored by returning students in the program. We will meet with incoming scholars on a weekly basis to keep in touch with them and monitor their progress. This type of guidance will be invaluable.”

During the spring 2014 semester 16 students were part of OCC’s first class of STEM Scholars. One of them was Elizabeth Luke who came to the College from East Syracuse Minoa High School. Luke is pursuing a Mathematics and Science degree. After graduating in May 2015 she’s planning to take advantage of the College’s “2+2 partnership agreement” with SUNY Upstate Medical University and enroll in its medical biotechnology program.

Kirstin Amisano is also one of the College’s initial 16 STEM Scholars. She’s a 2013 graduate of Baldwinsville High School whose love for science began in 6th grade when she participated in a career research project. After graduating in May 2015 she also plans to take advantage of the College’s “2+2 partnership agreement” with St. John Fisher College. “My grandfather went to school there, and it’s always been where I wanted to go,” said Amisano.

It was a busy summer for Onondaga students with STEM majors. Luke worked on a bacteria research project at Syracuse University thanks to a research scholarship she earned. Her project will have her engaged in cutting-edge biotechnology research throughout the upcoming academic year as well. Three STEM Scholars in the Nuclear Technology degree program learned important on-the-job training through internships at Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station (Daniel Loveless and Eric Schreiber) and at National Grid (Jason Densmore).

“It’s so wonderful for our students to engage these opportunities during the summer,” said Page. “When our students graduate we want them to be armed with both knowledge learned in our classroom and valuable on-the-job training experience.”