Supporting Summer Learning

Support from National Grid provided students the opportunity to learn and grow during OCC’s Summer STEM Camp.

National Grid’s generosity played a critical role in ensuring students of all ages engaged in valuable learning experiences over the summer. The energy supplier’s charitable contribution of $20,000 paid dividends across campus.

College-aged students who are National Science Foundation scholars had the opportunity to take classes at no cost. Carolyn Keller (West Genesee HS, 2015) is a Mechanical Technology major. She took a Business class and a Statistics class during the summer. “I’m so appreciative that National Grid paid for my classes. It took such a weight off me. It’s nice to know National Grid supports you and wants you to succeed.”

OCC students (left to right) Oksana Drulyk, Trevor Averill and Carolyn Keller.

Trevor Averill (Tully HS, 2016), an Engineering Science major, chose to retake a Calculus class during the summer and improved his grade. “When I took Calculus during the school year I had way too much going on. Taking it during the summer allowed me to focus on it more. It really helped not having to worry about how I was going to pay for the class.”

Oksana Drulyk (Liverpool HS, 2016) enjoyed a similar experience. The Mathematics & Science major retook Calculus and performed much better the second time around. “I think it was a really good thing National Grid did supporting us. It made a big difference in my life not having to pay for this class.”

National Grid’s support also benefitted members of Girls Inc. and other students who attended OCC’s annual STEM Camp. Participants had the opportunity to engage in hands-on learning in a classroom setting, building robots and working on other STEM-related projects. Students also visited Central New York employers offering vibrant careers in STEM-related fields.

Marwa AlQuarishi

Marwa AlQuarishi, a May 2017 OCC alumna, helped supervise STEM Camp students and guide them through STEM-related projects. She received a stipend from National Grid for her services and enjoyed the experience. “When I was their age I’m sure I didn’t know as much as they do now. It’s fascinating to see what they do and how they do it.” AlQuarishi is now a student at Crouse Hospital’s School of Nursing.

“National Grid is proud to support Onondaga Community College and the STEM programs and scholarships offered to high school and college students to experience how science, technology, engineering, and mathematics play a huge role in business every day,” said Melanie Littlejohn, vice president of National Grid in New York. “Today’s students are the future leaders of Central New York, the same individuals who will one day engineer and design the systems that will continue to help improve our lives in the years and decades ahead. The STEM curriculum at OCC provides a great resource for students to learn from one another and to help spark an interest in STEM careers.”

Alumni Faces – Class of 2016

2016 Alumni Faces honorees (left to right): Dr. Thomas Zengeya, Kathy Rowe, OCC President Dr. Casey Crabill, Jeff Cleland and Michael Meath.
2016 Alumni Faces honorees (left to right): Dr. Thomas Zengeya, Kathy Rowe, OCC President Dr. Casey Crabill, Corporal Jeff Cleland and Michael Meath.

OCC honored its 2016 class of Alumni Faces October 26 in the Recital Hall of the Academic II building. Four distinguished graduates were recognized for their professional achievements and contributions to the College and the community.

cropped-cleland-etchingCorporal Jeff Cleland, ‘13

  • Major at OCC: Liberal Arts & Sciences – General Studies
  • Profession: Public Policy and Veterans Affairs
  • High School: West Genesee, Class of 2005

Jeff Cleland was a Corporal in the United States Marine Corp. He worked as an Infantry Machine Gunner while serving in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. After retiring from active duty Cleland began a career of public service at Clear Path for Veterans and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families. Today he is leading research and policy efforts for the Military Service Initiative at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, TX.

cropped-meath-etchingMichael F. Meath, ‘87

  • Major at OCC: Fire Protection Technology
  • Profession: Strategic Communications Consultant
  • High School: Bishop Grimes, Class of 1975

Michael Meath has helped hundreds of businesses throughout the nation deal with crisis communications. When unexpected events occur Meath is called in to provide strategic insight and practical, down-to-earth business sense. Meath also shares his wisdom with college students by teaching public relations, business ethics and crisis communications at McMaster University and Syracuse University.

 

cropped-rowe-etchingKathy Rowe, ‘80

  • Major @ OCC: Radio & Television
  • Profession: Radio Personality
  • High School: North Syracuse, Class of 1977

Kathy Rowe was an on-air personality at radio station Y94 (WYYY-FM) for more than 30 years. She started working there in 1982 and was Y94’s morning show host for more than a decade. During her distinguished career Rowe also worked at Syracuse radio stations WAQX-FM and WOLF-AM.  Rowe is married to Syracuse Jazz Fest founder and executive producer Frank Malfitano, ’67 who is also one of OCC’s Alumni Faces.

 

cropped-zengeya-etchingDr. Thomas T. Zengeya, ‘02

  • Major: Mathematics & Science
  • Profession: Research Scientist

Thomas Zengeya is a native of Zimbabwe who came to the United States in 2001 to study science. He earned degrees from four SUNY schools including OCC, ESF, Oswego and Binghamton. Zengeya is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the National Cancer Institute in Maryland. He has several awards, publications and presentations to his credit.

The honorees etchings, which are pictured next to each of their stories, were placed in the Alumni Faces exhibit in the first floor hallway of the Academic II building.

The ceremony was highlighted by outstanding musical performances by faculty in the College’s signature Music department. Dr. David Rudari, D.M.A. sang both the National Anthem and OCC’s Alma Mater. Dr. Rudari also teamed up with Professor of Piano Dr. Kevin Moore on “The Impossible Dream” from Man of LaMancha.

The Alumni Faces ceremony was part of a day-long celebration across campus. Each of the honorees had the opportunity to speak with students whose academic interests align with the honoree’s career achievements. Cleland spent time with student veterans, Meath met with Business Club and Honor students and Zengeya shared his thoughts with math, science and international students. Each of the honorees was also invited to lunch with College President Dr. Casey Crabill.

You can view a slideshow highlighting the day’s events below. Congratulations to our 2016 Class of Alumni Faces!

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2016 Alumni Faces Honorees

The Alumni Faces display in the Academic II building.
The Alumni Faces display in the Academic II building.

Four distinguished graduates have been named 2016 “Alumni Faces” honorees for their professional achievements and contributions to the College and the community. Jeff Cleland, Michael Meath, Kathy Rowe and Dr. Thomas Zengeya will be honored for their accomplishments during an induction ceremony Wednesday, October 26 at 5:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall which is located in the Academic II building.

Let’s meet the 2016 Alumni Faces!

Jeff Cleland, 2016 Alumni FaceJeff Cleland, ‘13

  • Major: Liberal Arts & Sciences – General Studies
  • Profession: Public Policy and Veterans Affairs
  • West Genesee, Class of 2005

Jeff Cleland was a Corporal in the United States Marine Corp. He worked as an Infantry Machine Gunner while serving in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. After retiring from active duty Cleland began a career of public service at Clear Path for Veterans and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families. Today he is leading research and policy efforts for the Military Service Initiative at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, TX.

 

Michael Meath, 2016 Alumni FaceMichael F. Meath, ‘87

  • Major: Fire Protection Technology
  • Profession: Strategic Communications Consultant
  • High School: Bishop Grimes, Class of 1975

Michael Meath has helped hundreds of businesses throughout the nation deal with crisis communications. When unexpected events occur Meath is called in to provide strategic insight and practical, down-to-earth business sense. Meath also shares his wisdom with college students by teaching public relations, business ethics and crisis communications at McMaster University and Syracuse University.

 

Kathy Rowe, 2016 Alumni FaceKathy Rowe, ‘80

  • Major: Radio & Television
  • Profession: Radio Personality
  • High School: North Syracuse, Class of 1977

Kathy Rowe was an on-air personality at radio station Y94 (WYYY-FM) for more than 30 years. She started working there in 1982 and was Y94’s morning show host for more than a decade. During her distinguished career Rowe also worked at Syracuse radio stations WAQX-FM and WOLF-AM.  Rowe is married to Syracuse Jazz Fest founder and executive producer Frank Malfitano, ’67 who is also one of OCC’s Alumni Faces.

 

Thomas Zengeya Wall of Fame photoDr. Thomas T. Zengeya, ‘02

  • Major: Mathematics & Science
  • Profession: Research Scientist

Thomas Zengeya is a native of Zimbabwe who came to the United States in 2001 to study science. He earned degrees from four SUNY schools including OCC, ESF, Oswego and Binghamton. Zengeya is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the National Cancer Institute in Maryland. He has several awards, publications and presentations to his credit.

Congratulations to our 2016 Alumni Faces honorees!

STEM Camp

STEM Camp student Katherine Evans watches her robot begin its journey through the obstacle course.
STEM Camp student Katherine Evans’ robot begin its journey through the obstacle course as classmates look on.

It’s the final day of STEM Camp in OCC’s Mulroy Hall and you can cut the tension with a knife. There’s a high-level competition in progress between female participants and the ultimate prize is on the line. Students have spent the week building robots in preparation for this day. They’ve programmed their robots to navigate through an obstacle course. Each time a student sends her robot into the obstacle course and doesn’t make it she hears words of encouragement and advice from instructor Scott Stagnitta. “That was good! Program the turn so it’s ten degrees more and it will work next time,” Stagnitta says. The student listens and returns to her desk to reprogram her robot. This is serious business. At the finish line rests a large pile of candy which will go to whomever can get her robot there first!

Fun coupled with learning have become annual summer traditions at OCC’s STEM Camp. It’s held the last week of July for boys and girls entering grades nine through 12 who are interested in careers in science, technology, engineering or math related fields. Students spend half of each day in class learning about modern manufacturing, robotics design and programming while participating in team building experiences. During the other half of the day they take field trips to businesses and explore their relation to robotics and automation. Participating businesses include Lockheed Martin, National Grid, Schneider Packaging, Time Warner Cable News and Welch Allyn.

STEM Camp is divided by gender and finding enough girls to fill the class at times can be challenging. That’s where Girls Inc at the YWCA comes in. The organization reaches out to the community and finds girls interested in careers in science. “We go to local schools and talk about the program,” said Flavia Rey de Castro, Youth Development Director with the YWCA. “We require girls to write an essay about why they would be interested in attending the program. Along with the essay they have to submit a letter of recommendation from a teacher or mentor.” At the end of the process Girls Inc at the YWCA selects five girls to attend STEM Camp. Camp tuition is paid for through a grant from National Grid.

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Craelle Hinds is one of the students who attended thanks to Girls Inc at the YWCA and National Grid. She’ll be a freshman at West Genesee High School in the fall. “I want to be a cosmetologist and I’m very interested in learning how hair products are made. Seeing how things were put together at places like National Grid and Schneider Packaging was very interesting. I’m very grateful to Girls Inc. for helping me come to STEM Camp.”

The 2016 STEM Camp was a hit with other attendees too:

  • “This week reinforced my interest in science and showed me the career side of it. I learned what I would be doing and how I would be interacting once I completed college and was in a career. I liked seeing the manufacturing side of operations at Welch Allyn. It was interesting to see the production and creation of products.” – Liam Hawes, 9th grader at Marcellus High School
  • “I was planning on becoming either a computer programmer or an engineer. Now I’m leaning more toward becoming a mechanical engineer. All of the companies we visited use mechanical engineering. I know there are good careers there.” – Justin Kehoe, 9th grader at Cicero-North Syracuse High School
  • “I really like tech and came here and found out how much fun it was to put things together. That got me interested in mechanical engineering. Then I learned about biomedical engineering and it seemed like an interesting career for me. I really liked Welch Allyn because of the biomedical engineering connection. I also enjoyed National Grid because of the hands-on experience. We got to use tools and look at how they actually operate in the field.” –Katherine Evans, 9th grader at Westhill High School

OCC’s STEM Camp would not be possible without the generous support of National Grid. The electricity and natural gas utility contributed $10,000 to the program. National Grid also donated $5,000 to the College’s summer STEM Scholars program which helps college-aged students stay on track with their degree requirements.

You can learn more about STEM Camp by contacting the College’s Office of Lifelong Learning at (315) 498-6000 or lifelong@sunyocc.edu.

Josh Hummell

TOP OF STORY Josh Hummell 006Josh Hummell became an outstanding student and discovered his career path during his two years at Onondaga Community College. Hummell graduated from West Genesee High School in 2014. By his own admission he wasn’t a great student and was unsure what he wanted to do. As a member of the Junior ROTC program he had considered going into the military. At the same time family members were encouraging him to pursue an engineering degree at Clarkson.

Hummell began looking at everything OCC offered and decided to attend in the fall 2014 semester. Initially he was interested in the Business major, changed to Humanities and finally settled on History with an Honors minor. “I always loved history. I was in denial for a while. Everyone told me I wouldn’t find a job in it and I should just be an engineer. I came here and realized I could make a career out of history. If you have a passion for something you should go for it.”

The clincher for Hummell was a class he took his freshman year, 19th Century American History. “The way Professor Tara Ross taught made the difference. Class was always a discussion. We read this book, “Disunion,” about the Civil War. It was the most interesting book I’d ever read about history. It was fascinating. The discussions in class required you to study and apply yourself. It gave me a whole new perspective.”

Outside class Hummell was affiliated with numerous clubs and organizations. He was inducted into international honor society Phi Theta Kappa and served as its vice president for scholarship. Hummell was also vice president of the Ski Club and enjoyed the Psychology, History, Geology and Whole Earth Clubs.

Hummell plans to transfer to SUNY Binghamton and major in history with minors in French and Latin. His goal is to become a college professor or a museum curator. He’s thankful for the foundation and direction he found on campus. “I really did enjoy my time here at OCC. I learned a lot. It changed my perspective and my life in general.”

Lawrence Chiappone

Lawrence ChiapponeLawrence Chiappone is an artist. Whether he’s juggling on campus during Party on the Quad, playing bass in local progressive metal band Spire or editing videos, Chiappone loves to focus on both the details and the craft of whatever he is working on. His academic passion is video editing, a skill he works on regularly as an Electronic Media Communications major.  “Professor Mark Ballard is my mentor. He’s the greatest teacher I’ve ever come across. He’s done a lot of good for me the way he speaks about this art form. His passion is transferrable. You can feel it when he speaks with you.”

Chiappone is very active outside class as the vice president of media for the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement. Being involved in campus life has had a profound impact on him. “I was a quiet introvert. It gave me a chance to help other students and share my experience and my advice with them and gave them a reason to listen and take it seriously. Helping other students has helped me develop myself.”

Chiappone is a 2007 graduate of West Genesee High School. He’s on track to earn his associate degree in May 2016. His goal is to direct music videos or documentaries.

Grainger Sasso

TOP OF STORY Grainger SassoGrainger Sasso is on the fast track to success. When he graduated from West Genesee High School in June 2015 he had already accumulated 38 college credits through a combination of AP classes and OCC’s College Credit Now program. The strong foundation he built in high school will lead to a degree from OCC in just one year.

Sasso is majoring in Mathematics and Science and is in the College’s Honors program. He’s tailored his academic schedule to go along with Cornell University’s Biomedical Engineering program which he’ll transfer into for the fall 2016 semester. It requires several high-level classes which he’s been able to excel at here thanks to the great learning environment he’s found on campus. “What has blown me away is the dynamic between professors and students. I’m amazed at my professors’ caliber of qualification, their teaching styles and their effectiveness in the classroom. I’m taking some difficult classes, especially in mathematics. These teachers have made it so easy for me with their support outside of class.”

In November Sasso was inducted into international honor society Phi Theta Kappa. He also began a valuable internship coordinated through the College’s Career and Applied Learning Center. Sasso is working at a research lab, Ichor Therapeutics which is located on Route 11 in Lafayette. He’s getting hands-on experience with diagnostic machinery and learning basic procedures for toxicity tests. His internship will go through the spring semester and into the summer.

Sasso’s commitments outside class include working as a Student Ambassador, giving tours to prospective students and their families. In the spring he’ll be especially busy as a member of OCC’s Men’s Lacrosse team. Sasso played two years of varsity lacrosse at West Genesee and hopes to earn a national championship ring with the Lazers. OCC has won seven consecutive national titles, nine in the last 10 years and owns an active 105 game winning streak. Sasso plans to continue playing lacrosse at Cornell as well.

Music Student for a Day

Music department Chair Rob Bridge holds a question-and-answer session with high school students interested in percussion.
Music department Chair Rob Bridge holds a question-and-answer session with high school students interested in percussion.

Interested in majoring in music in college? OCC’s “Music Student for a Day” program is a great way to find out if it’s the perfect fit for you. That’s why more than 90 students from 23 area high schools came to the College Friday, October 23. They, along with several high school teachers, spent most of the day experiencing everything OCC’s Music major has to offer.

Students began their day with breakfast in the Instrument and Choral Rehearsal room. Next they moved to the Recital Hall where they were welcomed by College President Dr. Casey Crabill. Rob Bridge, Chair of OCC’s Music department, introduced students to fellow faculty members. Students were then allowed to spend the next two hours attending classes with current OCC students in disciplines such as Theory, History and Music Appreciation.

After classes College Music faculty held a recital for the high school students in Storer Auditorium. That was followed by break-out sessions at which students could speak with faculty members who teach what they are interested in including voice, woodwinds, strings, percussion, trumpet, flutes, guitars, low brass and the oboe.

West Genesee High School students (left) Emma Karp and (right) Kaylin Hubbard enjoyed their Music Student for a Day experience.
West Genesee High School students (left) Emma Karp and (right) Kaylin Hubbard enjoyed their Music Student for a Day experience.

The students’ day wrapped up with lunch in the Instrument and Choral Rehearsal room. “I thought it was a great educational experience,” said Kaylin Hubbard, a junior from West Genesee High School. “I learned so much just by being here. The chances of me coming here are higher after seeing what it’s like.” Emma Karp, a senior from West Genesee also enjoyed being an OCC Music Student for a Day. “I learned quite a bit in Music Theory class. It will put me a little ahead when I go back to school. I also enjoyed Music History because that isn’t offered at my school.”

Students and teachers from the following school districts attended the Music Student for a Day program: Alexandria, Altmar Parish Williamstown, Beaver River, Bishop Grimes, Camden, Copenhagen, Fayetteville-Manlius, Frankfort-Schuyler, Fulton, Homer, Midlakes, Oriskany, Oswego, Red Creek, Saranac Lake, Sherburn-Earlville, Sackets Harbor, Skaneateles, South Jefferson, Union Endicott, Union Springs, Waterloo and West Genesee.

High school students or teachers interested in participating in a future Music Student for a Day program or scheduling a visit can do so by contacting Music department secretary Leslie Kraus at krausl@sunyocc.edu.

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Alex Pompo

Alex Pompo graduated from West Genesee High School in 2012 and decided to leave home to attend a four-year college. When he discovered it wasn’t the right fit for him, he returned to the area and found exactly what he was looking for at OCC. Pompo has excelled in his year on campus. He’s an Engineering Science major and a member of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa. He was voted the organization’s Vice President for Scholarship. “I appreciate the class sizes here. It’s much different when you are in a lecture hall with more than 100 students and you can never get in touch with your professor.”

Pompo’s career goal is to work in the aerospace industry. He’ll be getting a first-hand look at how the industry works in October when he represents OCC in the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars Program. He was the only student in all of New York State to be selected to take part in the nationwide competition. Pompo will spend three days at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama working side-by-side with NASA Engineers. “I’m very excited about going,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity for me.”

Legendary Gift of Music

Legendary concert pianist Frederick Marvin talks music with Piano majors Kevan Spencer (left) and Ryan Case (right).
Legendary concert pianist Frederick Marvin talks music with Piano majors Kevan Spencer (left) and Ryan Case (right).

Ryan Case and Kevan Spencer have experienced a life milestone they say they will never forget. Both are Music majors specializing in Piano at OCC who dream of being concert pianists. They are attending the College tuition-free thanks to scholarships funded by world-renowned concert pianist Frederick Marvin and his husband, Ernst Schuh. On September 9, Marvin and Schuh came to the College’s Recital Hall and listened as Case and Spencer took turns playing for them. They did so on a Hamburg Steinway model B, a mid-sized grand piano worth more than $40,000 that Marvin and Schuh donated to the College in July. “It’s a beautiful instrument. I was so excited to play for such a legend,” said Spencer. “Knowing the history of all he’s accomplished, that he’s one of the great pianists is just amazing. I will always remember this day,” said Case.

Case (Dolgeville H.S.) and Spencer (West Genesee H.S.) are the first in a long line of students who will benefit from Marvin and Schuh whose commitment to OCC began a few years ago when they heard the College was building a new home for its music majors. “I thought this would be an ideal place for my whole microfilm collection,” said Marvin. “I donated 190 rolls.” He also gave the College all of his printed music by Franz Liszt as well as a number of books related to Liszt, a Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist, conductor and teacher who was well-known in Europe in the early nineteenth century.

Frederick Marvin (left) and Ernst Schuh (right) in their Syracuse home.
Frederick Marvin (left) and Ernst Schuh (right) in their Syracuse home.

Shortly after the new building, named “Academic II,” opened in the fall of 2013, Marvin and Schuh gave $25,000 to the OCC Foundation with the request that the money be used for scholarships for Music majors specializing in piano. “Scholarships worked very well for me when I was a student,” said Marvin. “I know they’ll work well for these students. It’s important to be able to help others.”

Music has always been at the center of Marvin and Schuh’s lives. In fact, it’s what brought them together more than 50 years ago in Austria. In 1959, Marvin was a concert pianist touring the world and Schuh was an opera critic. They happened to be visiting the grave of composer Anton Bruckner in the Abbey of St. Florian at the same time. “We started talking immediately about music, concerts and opera,” said Schuh. “It brought us together.”

Schuh took over managing Marvin’s career, a career that started in 1936 with his debut concert in Los Angeles at age 16. Two years later his concert at Carnegie Hall was voted its best performance of the year. Suddenly Marvin was in demand, touring the United States and Europe. When Marvin and Schuh’s paths finally crossed they decided to make Vienna their home base while they toured the world.

Marvin’s abilities as a concert pianist earned him awards in several nations. While receiving a medal from the Spanish government he met Salvador Dali, one of the most celebrated artists of all time. Dali invited Marvin and Schuh into his home. “He was very genial and very warm,” said Marvin. “It was a very interesting experience. I had been an admirer of his for years.”

Marvin and Schuh never hid the fact they were a couple and always hoped the day would come when same-sex unions would become legal. When laws changed they were married in 2011 in both Austria and in the United States. Mayor Stephanie Miner performed the service at Syracuse City Hall in October of that year.

Now Marvin is 95 years old and Schuh is 93. They are departing Central New York for Austria. As they leave they are proud to give the gift of music to students at OCC. “We hope our gifts will help revive culture in the community,” said Marvin. “We want to make music and culture more popular so other people will want to do the same,” added Schuh.

By the way, Marvin is still an excellent pianist. On a recent trip to his home he played the beginning of Antonio Soler’s “Fandango” for us.

OCC Music Professor Kevin Moore specializes in teaching piano. He’s known Marvin and Schuh since he began working at the College in 1975. “Fred and Ernst’s generosity to Onondaga Community College’s Music Department has been and will be a wonderful way to help out our young piano students. I know that they appreciate this a great deal. Fred’s piano is a magnificent gift that will benefit the entire community every time we have a concert, which we plan to do often.”

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