The Alumni Faces program celebrates alumni who discovered and honed their natural talents and interests at Onondaga, and whose achievements exemplify the notion that Onondaga Community College provides the foundation for extraordinary lives.
Laurie Halse Anderson, ’81
Renowned author Laurie Halse Anderson has written more than 20 books, short-stories and plays for children and young adults. Her works have won countless awards and regularly appear on the New York Times’ and other “bestseller” lists. Speak, published in 2000, earned her a National Book Award nomination, and was made into a movie appearing on Showtime and the Lifetime Channel. Through her frequent lectures at schools, libraries and community centers across the country, Ms. Halse Anderson continues to inspire generations of young readers.
Roy A. Bernardi, Attended OCC ’62 -’64
The son of Italian immigrants and the first in his family to attend college, Roy Bernardi went on to receive advanced degrees from the University of the Americas and Syracuse University. From his start as elected City Auditor of Syracuse, to his two-terms as Mayor of Syracuse, to his appointment as Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2003, Mr. Bernardi has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to leadership through public service.
Sharon A. BuMann, ’75
SculptorSharon BuMann began working as a professional sculptor in 1977. Specializing in terra cotta and bronze, Ms. BuMann’s field includes traditional fine art sculpture as well as architectural collaborations, and her works range in scale from miniature to monumental. Popularly known for her imaginative butter sculptures at state and county fairs in New York, Texas and Oklahoma, her public commissions, including the historic bronze monument “Jerry Rescue” installed in Syracuse’s Clinton Square, are widely hailed. Ms. BuMann’s personal works, held by private collectors and in galleries and museums across the country, have also earned widespread acclaim.
Gregory B. Butler, Attended OCC ’75 -’77
Appointed Senior Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel of Northeast Utilities System in 2003, Gregory Butler earned a bachelor’s degree from Stony Brook University and a law degree from Albany Law School. Mr. Butler has held executive positions at major utility companies and was a senior attorney with the United States Department of Justice and associate counsel for the Minority Leader of the New York State Assembly. A former Chairman of the Madison County Republican Party, Mr. Butler has also served as an advisor in numerous political campaigns at local and state levels.
Wendy Faulkner, ’72 (awarded posthumously)
IT Executive, Philanthropist
A world-class leader in the Information Technology field, Wendy Faulkner held executive positions with numerous companies including MONY and most recently, AON Corporation. She provided leadership to teams working in countries around the globe, and on September 11th, tragically lost her life in the terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center. Ms. Faulkner’s memory and her philanthropic spirit live on through The Wendy Foundation, which carries on her commitment to providing much needed resources to children around the world.
Frank M. Malfitano, ’67
Frank Malfitano is the founder and executive producer of the Annual Syracuse Jazz Fest, the largest free outdoor jazz festival in the Northeast. Mr. Malfitano is also the former director of Syracuse's Landmark Theater and Detroit's Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, and the artistic director of the Annual Detroit International Jazz Fest, North America's largest free jazz event. As founder of the Syracuse Area Music Awards, Mr. Malfitano has established himself locally, regionally and nationally as a champion of music and music education, and a tireless advocate for the arts. His dedication to promoting jazz worldwide for the past 30 years has earned him numerous accolades.
Gary W. Miguel, ’71
During his more than three decades with the Syracuse Police Department, Gary Miguel has risen through the ranks from “street cop” to lead a department of more than 500 officers. Appointed Syracuse Chief of Police in 2005, he is noted for his ability to bring police and the community together. Among Chief Miguel’s many achievements are 16 commendations for police excellence and two medals for heroism – conferred once for saving a fellow officer’s life.
Roberto Prats Palerm, ’88
A native of Puerto Rico, Roberto Prats Palerm earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy from Cornell University, studied law at Georgetown University School of Law and later earned a law degree from Intramerican University. He has held a number of elected offices in Puerto Rico, including Deputy Mayor of San Juan, and at age 33 he became the youngest person ever elected to the Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico. Now in private practice in San Juan, Mr. Prats Palerm specializes in corporate law, serving some of the largest companies in the world. He continues to be active in politics, currently serving as the Chairman of the Democratic Party of United States in Puerto Rico.
Joy T. White, ’94
After earning a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Clarkson University, Joy White embarked on her career as a Chemical Engineer with Proctor & Gamble, where she has since held increasingly responsible positions. Coordinating product development for several lines, she provides leadership across multiple company functions. From concept to design to market, Ms. White helps bring innovation to everyday products used in households across the country and around the world. Daughter of the late Ann Felton, OCC Professor Emeritus and Diversity Awareness Officer, Ms. White shares her mother’s commitment to community by volunteering with numerous civic and religious organizations
Kelly J. Burke, D.M.A. ’80
Educator and Musician
After graduating from Onondaga, Dr. Kelly Burke went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s of music degrees from the Eastman School of Music, and a D.M.A. from the University of Michigan. She is a professor of music at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Dr. Burke is the principal clarinetist with the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra and bass clarinetist with the Eastern Music Festival Orchestra. She has performed as a soloist with orchestras around the world, and is frequently heard in concert with the Mallarmé Chamber Players, the East Wind Trio d'Anches, Middle Voices, and the Cascade Wind Quintet. Dr. Burke’s discography includes several recent releases with Centaur Records.
John B. Dau ’05
John Dau is one of the former “Lost Boys” who fled the war-torn country of Sudan to find safe refuge in the United States. He is one of three people featured in the award-winning documentary film “God Grew Tired of Us,” based on Dau’s book of the same title. Mr. Dau is president of the CNY American Care for Sudan Foundation and the Sudanese Lost Boys Foundation of New York, and has successfully raised funds to build a health clinic in his hometown in southern Sudan. He speaks five languages and hopes to use his studies in immigration law at Syracuse University to help other refugees.
Mark E. Tryniski ’81
A former partner at PriceWaterhouseCoopers where he spent 18 years, Mr. Tryniski joined Community Bank System, Inc. in 2003 and was appointed president and CEO in 2006. He holds a B.S. in accounting from the State University of New York at Oswego and is a certified public accountant. Equally committed to civic engagement and community service, Mr. Tryniski is a board member for several local non-profit arts and educational organizations.
Scott A. Edison, M.D.
Attended OCC ’78-‘79, Humanities
Following his academic preparation at Onondaga, Dr. Edison earned a B.S. in Chemistry at Bard College. He went on to study medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, NY, with further endoscopic training in Ludwigshaven, Germany A practicing gastroenterologist since 1992, Edison has published several articles on a range of topics including the Gastrointestinal Manifestation of AIDS, and is a member of the American College of Gastroenterology.
Helen M. Etherington, Ed.D. ’65
Dr. Etherington pursued her degree at Onondaga while raising four children and earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at Syracuse University. With great appreciation for the dedication and effort required to balance educational pursuits with personal obligations, Dr. Etherington has dedicated her life to education. Dr. Etherington began her career at Onondaga in 1970 and has served in roles as professor, chair of the faculty, department chair and vice president for Academic and Student Services. She is a past member of the OCC Foundation Board of Directors, and she and her husband are the benefactors of the Helen and John Etherington Scholarship Endowment.
Carol V. Braund, RN, Ph.D. (ABD) ’79
Health Care Professional After a successful teaching career, a change of heart brought Carol Braund to a career in nursing that began at Onondaga. Ms. Braund excelled in her new profession, eventually becoming clinical manager in coronary care while pursuing a doctorate in social sciences. She serves as administrative supervisor and assistant director of nursing at SUNY Upstate Medical University. Recognized for her exceptional skills and ability to “multi-task,” she is credited as a co-founder of the “No One Dies Alone” program at University Hospital, served on the Onondaga Alumni Association Board of Directors and is an active member of the Fayetteville Ethics Committee.
Donna M. LaManna Francher ’74
Math and Sciences
Pharmaceutical Research Executive
After a successful academic career at Onondaga and Syracuse University, Ms. Francher focused her concentration in pharmaceuticals positioning her as a national leader in oncological pharmaceutical research. She is a respected mentor to women in science and technology, co-founder of AstraZeneca Oncology Women in the Workplace Initiative, an industry representative to the American Association of Cancer Research and leads an international cross-functional product team of experts developing a drug for the treatment of lung cancer, thyroid cancer and other solid tumors. Ms. Francher serves as global product vice president at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals.
James E. Reith ’82
Radio and Television
Radio Personality and Community Advocate
Jim Reith’s quarter-century career on the airwaves of Central New York began after graduating with honors from Onondaga and after a five-year tour of duty in the United States Navy. From a successful career as a reporter and anchor for WSYR, Reith went on to be named host of “The Jim Reith Show” in 1999 – now the area’s number one live local radio talk show forum. From the “inner sanctum” at studios in Syracuse, Mr. Reith keeps his listeners informed about local political, economic and social issues and is widely respected by the College for being one of its most passionate advocates.
Michael Wolniak ’75
With an original ambition of marine biology, Michael Wolniak began his studies at Onondaga in mathematics and science. His studies eventually led to a degree in architectural technology at Onondaga which inspired him to pursue a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Syracuse University. After a successful architectural career with several local and New York City firms, Mr. Wolniak established Wolniak & Associates in 1986, an internationally recognized architectural firm in Syracuse. In his words, “the act of creation, the translation of ideas into a built reality has been an enduring passion… OCC was and continues to be instrumental in making my life’s work possible.”
Craig J. Todeschini ’02 (awarded posthumously)
New York State TrooperA life of service cut tragically short. At age 19, Craig Todeschini had already assisted in over 500 calls with the Taunton Volunteer Fire Department. After Onondaga, he graduated in 2003 from the New York State Police Academy and continued to volunteer as a Lieutenant with the Solvay Volunteer Fire Department. On April 23, 2006, as a member of New York State Police Troop D in LaFayette, NY, Trooper Todeschini tragically lost his life in the line of duty while pursuing a fleeing vehicle. The NYS Legislature established the Craig J. Todeschini Law, making it a felony offense to flee a police officer in a motor vehicle. Todeschini is remembered as a man of great honor and courage.
Julius Tyrone Albright ’02
Computer Information Systems
Data Security Analyst and Athlete
A desire to better support his family led Julius Tyrone Albright to Onondaga at age 24. He earned his degree in Computer Information Systems and graduated as one of the most prominent members of the Onondaga men’s basketball team. An all-time leader in assists and a nationally ranked leader with exceptional grades, Mr. Albright went on to play basketball at Syracuse University. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University and earned the respect of the community as a member of their 2003 NCAA National Championship team. He now coaches and volunteers locally and is active in his chosen career as a data security analyst.
Helen B. Q. Anderson ’72 (awarded posthumously)
Community and College Advocate
After raising three children, Helen Anderson came to Onondaga to pursue a Humanities degree and earned high honors. She was the first graduate from the new Onondaga Hill campus. After Onondaga, she earned a B.A. and M.S.W. from Syracuse University, graduating magna cum laude. Mrs. Anderson was a committed community advocate and volunteer for numerous organizations. She felt her greatest personal achievement was as a member of the Onondaga Board of Trustees for 23 years, serving many years as Chair and playing a pivotal role in the College’s growth. The Onondaga family is grateful for Mrs. Anderson’s service and leadership. Helen Anderson passed away on January 19, 2009.
Michael J. Ancillotti ’82
After earning his degree at Onondaga, Michael Ancillotti pursued his dream of a career in advertising and marketing by continuing his education at Syracuse University, earning a B.F.A. from the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Mr. Ancillotti’s talents and motivation led him to build a successful 25-year career, including more than 20 years with one of Syracuse’s premier agencies, Latorra, Paul & McCann. As an agency Principal and Executive Vice President of Account Services for LP&M, Mr. Ancillotti’s expertise in a variety of industries and markets has resulted in multiple awards for regional, national and international campaigns.
Lucille D. Browning ’84
International Community Ambassador
When a US Air Force assignment brought her husband and family to Syracuse, Lucille Browning decided to study at Onondaga . Her associate degree in business and master’s degree from Syracuse University opened the door to the International Center of Syracuse where she served as Executive Director for more than 7 years. Ms. Browning represented Central New York and our nation in hosting international visitors and promoting citizen diplomacy. Ms. Browning brought students from many foreign countries to study at Onondaga as part of the Freedom Support Act program. Lucille Browning has showcased the friendly people and outstanding quality of life in Central New York to the world.
Daryll C. Dykes, M.D., Ph.D. ’84
Mathematics and Science
A top spine surgeon at Twin Cities Spine Center in Minneapolis, Dr. Daryll Dykes acknowledges his supportive family, friends and teachers for their invaluable contributions while both he and his wife raised their family and pursued their educational dreams. After serving in the US Marine Corps, Dr. Dykes attended Onondaga. He credits the College with inspiring him to achieve his life’s goal in medicine. Dr. Dykes went on to earn bachelor, medical, and doctoral degrees in Syracuse before pursuing several post-graduate fellowships in Minnesota. He has authored numerous professional publications and is a prominent member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Hon. Joseph E. Fahey ’69
County Court Judge
First admitted to the New York State Bar in 1976, Judge Joseph Fahey began his legal career as senior staff attorney at the Hiscock Legal Aid Society, and went on to private practice as a partner in the Wiles and Fahey Law Firm in Syracuse. While pursuing his passion for law as a practicing attorney and inspired by his love of politics, Judge Fahey was elected a Commissioner of the Syracuse Board of Education in 1985 and selected Board President. His expertise in criminal law and his desire to serve in a judicial post led to his election in 1996 as a County Court Judge by the citizens of Onondaga County for a ten-year term and re-election to that post in 2006.
Karen A. White ’80
Mathematics and Science
Owner, Julie’s Place, home of Karen’s Catering
After serving active duty with the US Army, Karen White came to Onondaga as a determined student prepared to earn a college degree at the same time she worked her full-time job. Carrying 21 credit hours per semester, she pursued a career in the food/catering industry and earned her degree. Ms. White’s college-inspired ability to learn quickly, extensive experience in the industry and her passion “to feed the world” resulted in the creation of Julie’s Place, home of Karen’s Catering in Syracuse. Since 1992, Ms. White has earned an impeccable reputation for offering quality service, creative menus and elegant dining, drawing rave reviews from dining enthusiasts all across the US.
Karen J. Docter, Esq. ’74
Managing her own law practice in Fayetteville, NY, Ms. Docter practices mediation and collaborative law, two “cutting edge” alternatives to traditional court proceedings for families. She earned a bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies from Cornell University; two master’s degrees in education and in child and family studies; and her Juris Doctor, all from Syracuse University. Ms. Docter is a member of the NYS and Onondaga County Bar Associations, a frequent speaker on family law issues, a stakeholder for the local and statewide Child Welfare Court Improvement Project and recipient of the Michael F. Dillon Law Guardian Award for Distinguished Service.
Thomas F. Slater, III ’70
Executive Director, Food Bank of Central New York
After earning his degree at Onondaga, Thomas Slater earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy at Wadhams Hall Seminary College and a master’s degree in information resources management from Syracuse University. As executive director of the Food Bank of Central New York for over 15 years, Mr. Slater has dedicated his professional life to the elimination of hunger through nutritious food distribution programs, education and advocacy. Under his leadership, the local Food Bank has assisted almost 600 charitable food programs across an 11 county area. Both Mr. Slater and the organization he leads have been recognized nationally for innovative programs.
Berhane S. Tadese, P.E. ’79
Principal Engineer, New York City Transit Authority
Born in Ethiopia, Berhane Tadese chose to attend Onondaga one week after coming to the US as a young man with little mastery of the English language. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and his master’s degree in electrical engineering from the CUNY School of Engineering. A professional member of the Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Mr. Tadese is a licensed professional engineer and 26-year veteran in the field of Train Control/Signal Engineering. As principal engineer, he is responsible for all signals system design and commissioning for the New York City Transit Authority, the largest transportation network in North America.
Steven F. Aiello ’81
President, COR Development CompanyPresident and one of the founding partners of COR Development Company of Syracuse, Steven Aiello has been a leader in commercial real estate development for over 25 years, developing over 5 million square feet of shopping and office space throughout the country. As a member of the Reach Beyond Capital Campaign Leadership Committee, Mr. Aiello helped guide the largest fundraising initiative in College history. As a business leader and alumnus, his advocacy efforts on behalf of the college and his leadership with major campus renovation and construction projects have been invaluable. A Niagara University graduate, he was appointed by the Governor to the Onondaga Board of Trustees in 2008.
Ali Al-Mudamgha, M.D. Attended OCC ’82 - ’83
Mathematics and Science
Cardiologist/Cardiac Electrophysiologist, St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center
Nationally recognized in the field of internal medicine and cardiology, Dr. Al-Mudamgha earned his medical degree at SUNY Upstate Medical University where he is currently a member of the faculty. He continued his studies in cardiac electrophysiology at Stanford University Medical Center and is medical director of electrophysiology services at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Syracuse. Dr. Al-Mudamgha has authored numerous publications on clinical research and lectures at symposiums across the country. His reputation in the field of cardiology have evolved as a result of his devotion to his patients, his compassionate and caring nature, and his commitment to community and patient education.
Donna J. DeSiato, Ed.D. ’69
Superintendent of Schools, East Syracuse Minoa School District
A respected leader in public education, Dr. Donna DeSiato acknowledges Onondaga for providing a strong foundation which inspired her to earn a bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami, a master’s degree from SUNY Cortland, a certificate of advanced study from SUNY Oswego, and a doctorate in educational leadership from Syracuse University. She has received many honors for her commitment to education including being named Outstanding Educator for NYS by the School Administrators Association of NYS. As superintendent of the East Syracuse Minoa Central School District, Dr. DeSiato is highly regarded in education and the business community at all levels for her expertise.
Anthony J. Malavenda Attended ’74-’76
Mathematics & Science
Partner, Duke-Malavenda Group
Originally a Syracuse northsider, Anthony Malavenda came to Onondaga as a young student leader and became the first student representative on the OCC Board of Trustees. After pursuing a degree in international politics at Georgetown University and studies at the London School of Economics, he entered business with a close childhood friend. Together, they still serve as partners of the Duke-Malavenda Group, a business enterprise serving municipal public works agencies throughout the US. He is dedicated to improving the quality of life in Onondaga County through his volunteer service, including leadership roles on numerous non-profit boards.
Karin “Pinky” Franklin-King ’69
President, KFK Consulting
A Brooklyn native, Ms. Franklin-King claimed she would soon return to NYC after earning her Onondaga degree. Fortunately, her successful experience as a drama major led her to earn a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Oswego and a master’s degree from Cornell University. Her roots fostered careers in TV, radio, higher education, non-profit/corporate consulting and, her first loves, music and theatre. A Syracuse Press Club Hall of Fame recipient and former member of the OCC Foundation Board, she has received numerous awards for professional and volunteer work but states her greatest reward is the opportunity to encourage others to do great things... and to always give something back!
Sidney K. Smith ’07
Lacrosse Defenseman, Rochester Knighthawks (NLL)
One of the greatest lacrosse defensemen in the world, Sidney Smith has achieved the pinnacle of success in all levels. Recruited from Six Nations Reservation, Canada, Smith led the first national championship men’s lacrosse team at Onondaga and earned NJCAA National Defenseman of the Year, First Team and All-American honors. With a full athletic scholarship to Syracuse University he earned his bachelor’s degree, garnered All-American honors, and anchored a defense vital to SU’s consecutive national championships. Named the 2009 National Lacrosse League #1 draft pick, Mr. Smith currently plays for the Rochester Knighthawks and was named 2010 Co-Defensive Player of the Year.
Gary P. Lowery ‘72
President, Lowery Bros. Chrysler-Jeep, Inc./Lowery Bros. Infiniti of Syracuse
One of many members of the Lowery family to attend OCC, Gary Lowery earned his associate degree and a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Relations from Le Moyne College. His career passion is the automobile industry, and he has successfully operated his own business for over 30 years. Recognized by his peers in the industry, Gary is past Vice President of the Syracuse Automobile Dealers Association. A great supporter of the area’s youth and their education, Gary has served as a member of the Westhill Central School District Board of Education for nine years, and has been active in coaching youth sports and high school CYO basketball.
Sandra L. Baker ‘80
Business Executive, Former County Legislator
The business education that Sandra L. Baker received at Onondaga paved the way to greater opportunities. She has held leadership positions as VP of Broadcast Advertising Specialists, VP of the Oncenter, and director of business development at Research & Marketing Strategies. Additionally, Mrs. Baker served the community as a Baldwinsville Village Trustee and a member of the Onondaga County Legislature. Mrs. Baker supported the efforts of the College as a member of the Legislature’s Education and Libraries Committee. She has also served on numerous boards and committees, including the OCC Association, the Northwest Family YMCA and the Onondaga Republican Committee.
Deraux L. Branch ‘88
Small Business Entrepreneur
Attending Onondaga allowed Deraux Branch the opportunity to stay local and work full time at the family business: Branch’s Driving School. For nearly 50 years, Branch’s Driving School has remained an institution in the CNY community, successfully fulfilling its mission of dedicated service and driver safety to students of all ages. Mr. Branch serves as company president and CEO. Before taking over the family business, Mr. Branch earned an associate degree in humanities from Onondaga and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University at Albany. Additionally, he went on to earn an MBA from Columbia College. His past experience has included working in the banking industry.
Marcia Rees Conrad, AIA, LEED AP, CSI ‘72
Ms. Conrad began her lifelong architectural career at Onondaga and was the first female in the first class of graduates from the College’s architectural technology program. She continued her education at The Ohio State University, earning a bachelor's in architecture and opening the door to a career in Ohio that has lasted for more than 40 years. Ms. Conrad returns to her hometown of Syracuse during the summer as an architecture instructor for children as part of Onondaga’s College for Kids program. Her experience at the College was such a positive one that she generously created the William S. Oliver Scholarship Fund in memory of one of her professors and greatest role models.
Kathleen N. LaGrow ‘79
Child Care Center Professional
Among the many lessons she learned at Onondaga, Kathleen N. LaGrow credits the College with teaching her what it means to serve and give back to the community. As CEO and owner of Central New York’s six Learn As You Grow Child Care Centers, she has been involved in projects with the Rescue Mission, Golisano Children’s Hospital, and organizations sending Christmas gifts to members of the military. Ms. LaGrow began her career in Early Childhood Education and Development by earning a human services degree at Onondaga and a bachelor’s degree in special education through the SUNY system. Additionally, she completed graduate coursework at Syracuse University. Ms. LaGrow founded the Learn As You Grow Child Care Centers in 1986.
Arthur H. Rees, CPA ‘78
Former Utility Executive
Mr. Rees earned the foundation he needed to thrive at Onondaga. He continued his education at Le Moyne College, earning a bachelor’s degree in business and accounting that lead to success as a tax manager and corporate accounting manager. Additionally, Mr. Rees spent more than 25 years at National Grid as director of tax planning and compliance, lead financial analyst, and VP for business services. He now provides corporate tax consulting services as a CPA. In addition to serving as a member of the OCC Foundation Board, Mr. Rees created an endowed scholarship at Onondaga in honor of William E. Markovitz, a professor who was instrumental in his life and career goals.
Nikolas A. Tamurian ‘05
Electronic Media Communications
Television Sports Anchor and Reporter
Nikolas “Niko” A. Tamurian has been a television sports anchor and reporter in Syracuse since 2007, working for the stations of CNY Central. After earning his associate degree from Onondaga, Mr. Tamurian went on to complete his bachelor’s degree at Buffalo State College. An East Syracuse native, it has been Mr. Tamurian’s dream come true to cover the teams he grew up supporting by delivering the news to his family, friends, and fellow Central New Yorkers as a sports reporter. His passion for Central New York sports has earned him numerous awards for his professionalism, including Newcomer and Story of the Year from the Syracuse Press Club.
Miles M. Bottrill, ’82
Business, Government, Education Miles Bottrill is Director of Development at Syracuse University’s College of Law. He graduated from Onondaga in 1982 with a degree in Business. Mr. Bottrill continued his education at the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he earned a bachelor’s in Business Economics, and he earned an MBA at Vanderbilt University. Mr. Bottrill has served the community in various positions including: Councilor on the Syracuse Common Council, a member of the OCC Foundation Board of Directors, and past president of the Onondaga Community College Alumni Association. Bottrill lives in Syracuse.
Samuel D. Roberts, ’00 and ’01
’00, Apprentice Training: Machine Trades & ’01, Labor Studies
New York State Assemblyman
Mr. Roberts is a New York State Assemblyman representing the 119th District, which includes parts of the city of Syracuse and the Towns of DeWitt, Onondaga and Salina. He graduated from Onondaga in 2000 with a degree in Apprentice Training – Machine Trades and received a second degree in Labor Studies in 2001. He also has a bachelor’s from Empire State College and certificates in Labor Studies from Cornell University. Mr. Roberts is a retiree of General Motors, where he worked as a journeyman tool and die maker for 30 years. He served his co-workers as Recording Secretary of UAW Local Union #465 and served the community as a five-term member of the Onondaga County Legislature.
Dolores “Lor” A. Speach, ’67
Educator and Scholarship Donor
Dolores is a retired educator, counselor and administrator. She graduated from Onondaga in 1967 with a degree in Humanities. Speach continued her education at Syracuse University where she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Speach worked as a special education teacher, counselor and special education administrator for 33 years. Her husband, Steve, was also an educator who served as both a teacher and administrator. The couple are charter members of the OCC Foundation’s Legacy Society. Speach lives in Southern California. She and her husband have two children and three grandchildren.
Andrew P. Italino, '85
As soon as Andrew Italiano visited the Radio/Television department at Onondaga, he knew what he wanted to do with his life. Through hard work and determination, Andrew became a world-renowned sports videographer. He has spanned the globe covering everything from the rock band Metallica to the Olympic Games, Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournaments, and regular season and championship games for the NBA, NFL and MLB. Through it all, he credits the faculty in the Radio/Television department in giving him a start in the business and looks to provide similar help to others whenever possible.
Cody R. Jamieson, '08
Attack, Rochester Knighthawks (NLL)
Considered by many to be the best lacrosse player in the world, Cody Jamieson led Onondaga to two national championships during his tenure at the College. During that time he was a two-time All-American. In 2007, Cody was the first and only lacrosse player to win the Dave Rowlands Award given to the Junior College Athlete of the Year. After graduating from Onondaga, Cody became a star player at Syracuse University before being drafted by the Rochester Knighthawks of the National Lacrosse League with the first overall selection in 2010. Cody has gone on to lead the Knighthawks to three world championships and was named championship game MVP in 2012 and 2013.
Gabriel Bol Deng, '04
Mathematics and Science
Gabriel Bol Deng was 10 years old when militiamen led a violent attack on his village of Ariang in South Sudan. He fled, not knowing the fate of his parents or siblings. After surviving a perilous journey to reach a refugee camp in Ethiopia, Gabriel received a life-changing opportunity when he, along with other “Lost Boys,” was resettled in the United States in 2001. After completing his associate degree from Onondaga and bachelor’s and master's degrees from Le Moyne College, Gabriel went back to Ariang and used his education to bring people hope. Gabriel founded HOPE for Ariang Foundation in 2007, building clean drinking wells and a school that provides education to over 600 children. Today, Gabriel shares his story and mission with schools and organizations around the world.
Stella Barbuto Penizotto, '90
Child Care Professional
Stella Penizotto is the co-owner of “Shining Stars Daycare” with three state-of-the art child care centers in Onondaga County. Stella credits Onondaga for a solid foundation in education and the College’s Small Business Development Center for its guidance when she expanded her company. Today, she employs over 90 people and services 330 families. Stella frequently holds fundraisers to benefit several area non-profits while also assisting local students with employment opportunities. She was named “NYS Small Business Person of the Year” in 2010 and represented New York at a White House event where she met President Barack Obama.
Anne Marie Abt, DPT, '75
Mathematics & Science
Dr. Anne Marie Abt came to OCC from Bishop Grimes knowing she wanted a career in physical therapy. She earned her associate degree and graduated from Upstate Medical Center two years later. Today Dr. Abt is a physical therapist in the Jamesville-Dewitt School District where she works with students with diagnosed disabilities. Dr. Abt is also an adjunct instructor in the Physical Therapy Education Program at SUNY Upstate Medical University, teaching a pediatrics therapy course to doctoral students. She is a board certified pediatric clinical specialist and is part of the Fitness Inclusion Network affiliated with Upstate, which promotes inclusive fitness for children and adults with disabilities.
Richard Delmonico, Ph.D, '77
Dr. Richard L. Delmonico came to OCC from Liverpool High School and credits OCC’s Counseling Department with helping him decide on a major, advance educational opportunities and career options. Dr. Delmonico earned his bachelor’s degree from U.C. Davis and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri. Currently, he is the Chief of Neuropsychology at the Kaiser Foundation Rehabilitation Center, Regional Lead for Neuropsychology Services for Kaiser Permanente in Northern California, and an Associate Clinical Professor at the U.C.Davis School of Medicine. Dr. Delmonico’s work has focused on neuropsychology and rehabilitation in persons with neurological conditions.
London Ladd, '95
London Ladd brings words to life through illustrations that tell the stories of some our nation’s most historic figures. The Corcoran High School graduate came to OCC as a Computer Science major before switching to Art. His work is nationally renowned and he has worked for publishers including Scholastic, Disney/Hyperion and Lee & Low Books. His subjects have included Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Frederick Douglass. In between projects, Ladd remains active in the community, serving as a facilitator and teacher for Syracuse’s Say Yes to Education after-school program and as a member of the Syracuse Public Arts Commission.
Dinyar Vania, '99
Music always played a significant role in Dinyar Vania’s life. After graduating from Marcellus High School with dreams of being a professional musician, Vania enrolled in OCC’s Music program. The exceptional faculty and immersive education nurtured his great potential as a classical vocalist. After graduation, he went to New York City. After a brief time with the New York City Opera, Vania performed leading tenor roles on the main stage for the company at Lincoln Center. Vania is now one of the most sought after talents in opera throughout the United States and Europe.
Jeff Cleland, ‘13
Liberal Arts & Sciences – General Studies
Public Policy and Veterans Affairs
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 F. Meath, ‘87
Fire Protection Technology
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.
Dr. Thomas Zengeya, ‘02
Mathematics and Science
A native of Zimbabwe, Dr. Thomas Zengeya came to America in 2001 to study science. Twelve years later, he earned his doctorate in chemistry from (SUNY) Binghamton University. He is currently a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the National Institute in Maryland. Dr. Zengeya is already an accomplished scientist with several awards, publications and presentations to his credit and hopes to one day be able to teach and give back to other students much like his mentors at OCC did for him.
Kathy Rowe, ‘80
Radio & Television
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.
EDWARD M. RILEY ’73-’78
Edward Riley graduated from Christian Brother’s Academy and attended OCC throughout the mid1970s during which he built the foundation for his future success. Riley continued his studies in Architecture at Syracuse University and went on to become a nationally-renowned developer. He would eventually return to the area with a strong desire to give back to his home community. Last year, he completed one of the hallmark projects of his career, the restoration of the former and historic Hotel Syracuse. It reopened in August 2016 as the Marriott Syracuse Downtown.
JANET H. RILEY ’74
Janet Riley came to OCC from Bishop Ludden High School, earned her Nursing degree and became a leader in the Central New York medical community. She served as a Registered Nurse at Crouse Irving Memorial Hospital, a Triage Nurse at Syracuse University Health Center and held several nursing and management positions at SUNY Upstate Health & Science Center prior to her retirement. Her leadership positions included Clinical Manager of Ophthalmology and Cardiology along with Nurse Manager of the Children’s Surgery Center Recovery Room. Janet lives in Syracuse with her husband Edward and has three adult children.
JOHN D. DELVECCHIO ’79
Radio & Television
TV Sports Director
John DelVecchio was 11 years old when he saw his future watching the pre-recorded open to Monday Night Football which highlighted what happened behind the scenes in the control room. His love of television production brought him to OCC where he earned his degree and became an Emmy Award winning Director. He worked on Saturday Night Live and NBC’s Today Show before moving to sports full time. He’s directed Olympic games, college football and now specializes in golf where he has worked dozens of major championships including 13 British Opens.
MARTHE J. B. NGWASHI, ESQ. ’03
A life-long passion for public service and justice led Marthe Ngwashi to law school at age 35 and later to start a public interest law firm. Ms. Ngwashi, a first-generation Congolese-American, credits her parents, Dr. A. Eric and Elizabeth Ngwashi, with providing the foundation she needed to accomplish such goals. “My parents designed a service-oriented template for life, of which I could follow or discard. I chose the former.” As a result, Ms. Ngwashi serves as an advocate for the disenfranchised, a role she considers a privilege.
DEIRDRE A. N. HUNTER, PH.D. ’02
Professor of Engineering
Dr. Deirdre Hunter is a trailblazer. She fell in love with science and engineering while growing up working on engines with her father in his diesel repair shop. She came to OCC from Jersey Village High School in Houston, Texas, with the intent of obtaining a position at a local factory. Instead, she spent 15 years in higher education on the way to earning her doctorate at Virginia Tech. Her research and teaching has positively impacted student motivation and engagement in engineering, particularly for women. Today, Dr. Hunter is a Lecturer of Engineering Design at Rice University in Houston.