Last year, West Genesee grad Tara Carr took part in a mentorship program offered through OCC’s Career Services Office as a way to find out more about her profession of choice, Interior Design. “I was encouraged to take part in the program by one of my professors who thought she had someone in mind that would serve as a good match,” said Carr. That someone was Kelly Kinahan ‘00, of Kinahan Associates LLC, who had done something like this before, but not with an OCC student, and wanted to share her knowledge and passion for the industry.
“I wanted to share my story to tell Tara that life is not always traditional, but if you surround yourself with people who look out for you that all will turn out okay,” said Kinahan. The mentor program turned out better than either expected as both of them forged a friendship that went beyond the end of the program in May. The two would have lunch from time to time and stay in touch over the summer and when Carr started her sophomore year she wanted to line up an internship during her fourth semester.
She looked no further than her mentor in order to get the industry experience she was looking for. “It seemed like a perfect fit, and when I asked Kelly about the opportunity of an internship with her company, she was more than happy to complete the paperwork and work on a schedule that would be compatible with my classes.” Thus far, Carr has found the experience beneficial on several fronts most notably, in that she is interested in starting her own business at some point and is also adapting what she learns in the classroom to the business world.
The opportunity has also been equally beneficial for Kinahan as well. “Seeing Tara grow and be able to trust her with direct client contact has been a great help in freeing me up for business development.” Carr has taken this experience and expanded her portfolio and confidence and is excited for what is next. She will attend Cazenovia College in the fall and with some potential new business for Kinahan may be able to evolve her internship into paid work while obtaining her bachelor’s degree. “It’s been a great experience and I cannot thank Kelly enough for all of her advice, time and confidence in my skills to allow me to take the next step towards my dream.”
An out-of-this-world opportunity has landed on the OCC campus. Nine students have been selected to be part of NASA’s New York Space Grant program during the spring 2016 semester.
The students will receive sizeable scholarships and take a “Methods of Scientific Research” course. During the summer they will be paired with mentors while completing paid internships. Only 24 students in all of New York State were chosen to participate, more than one-third are OCC students.
Professor Fred Jaquin who is Chair of the Chemistry and Physical Science department will teach the course. “Our involvement is a tremendous achievement both for our students and our College,” said Jaquin. “It’s a testament to the outstanding work being done here.”
The goal of the NASA New York Space Grant program is to increase the number of community college and technical school students completing degrees and/or transferring to four-year colleges in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.
When you look at the picture of Matthew Ferranti posing near the statues of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse in front of Cinderella’s castle at Disney World you realize what a character he is. Literally.
Ferranti is a character performer at Disney World in Orlando, Florida thanks to OCC’s affiliation with the Disney College Program. It allows students to get valuable, on-the-job experience in Disney’s parks and resorts while expanding their knowledge in the classroom.
Ferranti is a 2013 West Genesee graduate who learned about the Disney program after arriving on campus. “I saw flyers on campus about it, then attended a presentation. I was interested, applied and here I am!”
Ferranti is majoring in Liberal Arts & Sciences – Adolescence Education. He’s also a member of OCC’s student honor society, Phi Theta Kappa, and the History Club. Ferranti will graduate in the fall of 2015. He plans to transfer and pursue a four-year degree.
Helping people is very important to Nikolai Tillman because the generosity of others has played a critical role in his life. Tillman helps prepare meals for the Rescue Mission and is becoming a mentor or a “big brother” for the organization Big Brothers and Big Sisters. “Growing up in Brooklyn I used to go the Boys and Girls Club when I was a kid. It really shaped me and help me become who I am now. I know how important it is to give time and help others. You don’t have to give a lot of time. Just give a little bit and it will help.”
Tillman moved to Central New York before his junior year of high school, enrolled in West Genesee and graduated in 2013. He decided to stay close to his new home and come to OCC. “It was definitely different at first. The pace in this area is much different from what I was used to in Brooklyn. I made some really good friends and I enjoy it here.”
Tillman is a member of OCC’s student honor society Phi Theta Kappa. He’s majoring in Humanities and will earn his degree in 2015. He plans to transfer to a four-year college, major in Political Science and ultimately earn a law degree.
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