It was Tyler Beagle’s sophomore year at Solvay High School. He was playing the role of hotel manager Bernard S. Dunlap in the play Suite Surrender. That’s when it hit him. “I enjoyed being a hotel manager and I thought, ‘You know what? I can do that?'”
Beagle jumped on the internet and began searching for a college where he could learn what he needed to know. The world wide web produced an answer that was just six-and-a-half miles from Solvay High School. “I came up with the Hospitality Management major at OCC and here I am!”
Beagle graduated from Solvay in 2015, brought a significant number of college credits with him to OCC and was inducted into the College’s chapter of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa in the fall semester. After he earns his degree in May 2017 Beagle plans to transfer to a four-year college and keep pursuing his dream of becoming a hotel manager.
Outside class Beagle has been very active on campus. He’s a member of the Drama Club and works at the Southwest YMCA assisting with child care. “It’s been great here. I’ve enjoyed meeting new people. I’ve broadened my friendships and found we all really learn from each other.”
Onondaga Community College and the Syracuse City School District’s (SCSD) partnership which prepares youth with developmental disabilities for success in the workplace has earned statewide recognition. The New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) awarded OCC and the SCSD the “Youth Transition Award” for providing an outstanding educational program which prepares students with disabilities for success in the workforce. The award was presented at the OPWDD’s annual “Works For Me” recognition event October 22 at the New York State Museum in Albany.
The joint effort between OCC and the SCSD is now in its 9th year. OCC provides classrooms and computers while the SCSD contributes the teachers and instructional materials. SCSD students between the ages of 17 and 21 participate in job or internship programs on campus. The opportunities include positions at Coulter Library, the College’s Facilities Maintenance department, American Food and Vending and the Southwest YMCA. Upon completion of the program students have a credential, a resume, work experience and recommendations based on their overall performance.
Winning this award is a tremendous honor,” said Maureen Blake-Cooper, a Special Education Teacher for Syracuse City Schools who is based at OCC. She credits the collaboration with SCSD Co-Teacher Anne Connolly and notes that, “The award is truly a team effort. We have outstanding mentors here on campus who are extremely dedicated. Vi Marcy in the Library and Allen Smithler in Facilities Maintenance play a huge role in the program’s success. Businesses throughout the community have also made a significant commitment and are hiring some of our students. We are fortunate to have so many people throughout Central New York who are committed to helping youths with developmental disabilities.”
The OPWDD’s Communications Department put together a video on the OCC/SCSD partnership. It was played at the awards ceremony. You can view it below.
Pauline Lynch Shostack
Professor, Library Department Chair
Hometown: Syracuse (Corcoran High School)
Education: B.S., Le Moyne College; M.L.S., Syracuse University
History at OCC: I was hired as the Electronic Resources Librarian in 2002. I managed Coulter Library’s media-reserve department, library website, and electronic resources until 2012. I am currently the Library Department Chair and I continue to manage the library website.
Favorite Student Story: I find it rewarding when we are successful at creating library experiences big and small that encourage life-long learning and community building outside the classroom that connects students, faculty, staff and local community members in ways they may not typically interact. One example of this is our Human Library event. Students have stated that they like “checking out” a person for a conversation about a particular topic. They find that they learn about the topic in a completely new and personal way.
Little-Known Fact: I love to play and create all kinds of games. I have created games for my neighborhood block parties, personal exercise-related games, and I even had the wonderful experience of creating a campus-wide game to celebrate our college’s 50th anniversary.
Meaningful Experiences Outside Education: I am the social media volunteer for the YMCA Folksmarch Walking Club. In this role I manage their Facebook and Twitter accounts. The part I enjoy most is helping members learn about and use social media.