Recognition Header 




2013 SUNY Chancellor’s Award Winners


All past, present and future winners of SUNY Chancellor’s Awards are recognized in the lobby outside Storer Auditorium. A new exhibit was dedicated there in May.

A flame, taken directly from the college crest, is filled with the names of all previous winners. Within the College’s crest, the flame represents self-discovery with its tip bending toward the horizon, symbolizing a pathway toward the future. To the left of the flame are the photos of the most recent honorees.

The Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence are system-level honors conferred to acknowledge and provide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and to encourage the ongoing pursuit of excellence. A committee chaired by Chef James Taylor of the Hospitality Management program and representatives made up of the College community, accepts nominations from across the campus and votes on the recipients. The awards provide recognition in five categories: Faculty Service, Librarianship, Professional Service, Scholarship and Creative Activities, and Teaching.

“SUNY employs an exemplary body of faculty and staff across the state and the annual presentation of these awards underscores our deep appreciation for those who serve SUNY campuses, students, and communities with the highest levels of distinction,” said Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher.

Chancellors Award Wall 


Onondaga’s 2013 SUNY Chancellor’s Award winners were honored at this year’s Commencement ceremony.


Flame Fran Ducich

Excellence in Teaching
Frances Dulcich

Professor Dulcich has served at Onondaga for 14 years. She teaches Human Services and Teacher Education.

Flame Steve Pierson

Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities
Stephen Pierson, Ph.D.

Dr. Pierson has served at Onondaga for nine years. He teaches in the English/Reading/Communication department.

Flame - Christine Root

Excellence in Professional Service
Christine Root

Root has served at Onondaga for 10 years and works in Enrollment Management and Student Development.



Flame - Tanner

Excellence in Teaching
Jane Tanner

Professor Tanner has served at Onondaga for 31 years and teaches Mathematics.

Flame Gwen Wehebe

Excellence in Teaching
Gwen Wehbe, Ph.D.

Dr. Wehbe has served at Onondaga for 16 years and teaches Biology.

Sandra Wiley

Excellence in Classified Service
Sandra Wiley

Ms. Wiley has served at Onondaga for 29 years as Department Secretary in the Coulter Library.

Onondaga celebrated its second Fulbright Scholar in as many years with the naming of Dr. Valerie Melburg, an Associate Professor of Psychology in the Social Science department. The Fulbright Program is an international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Melburg is presently in Russia helping colleges develop online courses.

Last year Lida Suchy was named a Fulbright Scholar. Suchy teaches Photography in Onondaga’s Art department. She also teaches advanced studio courses where students develop portfolios.

Fulbright Melburg 
Fullbright Banerjee 

In the spring 2014 semester Onondaga will host a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence from India. Dr. Paula Banerjee, an associate professor of South and Southeast Asian studies at the University of Calcutta, was awarded the Fulbright grant by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Banerjee is an expert in the areas of borders and border conflict, the plight of refugees and internally displaced persons, and women’s efforts as peacemakers. She will teach courses and collaborate with faculty, guest speak at area universities and schools, conduct research, and engage with both student and community groups, including Central New York’s large refugee population.





  • Americu Bank CenterEnergy Stars 

Onondaga Residence Halls A, B, and C earned the Energy Star label from the Environmental Protection Agency for the third consecutive year. The designation is awarded to residence halls that are more efficient than 90% of similar residence halls in the country




Student Profile: Monica Blaisdell - Humanities and Social Sciences

Monica Blaisdell

"I was able to
start school late
and stay on track"

Onondaga’s Flex Start program was exactly what Monica Blaisdell needed. Two months after graduating from Lafayette High School as co-salutatorian, she started classes at Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ. Blaisdell quickly realized it wasn’t the right place for her and returned home. Rather than sit out an entire semester, Blaisdell came to Onondaga and enrolled in Flex Start, a program which allows students to start school late and earn college credit in a condensed, 10-week period of time. “It was perfect for me. I was able to start school late and stay on track.”

After completing her Flex Start semester in fall 2012, Blaisdell followed the traditional semester schedule in spring 2013. Now she is at Binghamton University where she is majoring in both Sociology and Pre-Law.




Certified Excellence

Onondaga’s SRC Arena and Events Center has earned LEED Gold Certification. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is a third-party certification system that ensures buildings are designed and constructed using green building principles. The green features of the building are documented by the building design and construction firms and reviewed by an independent team of experts to verify that specific green building criteria were met.

SRC Leed Certified

The SRC Arena and Events Center earned high marks in several categories.

Maximize Open Space 

The College set aside green space in another part of campus equal to twice the size of the building. This is consistent with Onondaga’s Sustainable Landscape Master Plan, which provides guidelines for managing the College’s landscaping in a sustainable manner such as maintaining wildlife habitat, using native plant species, and preserving green space on campus. The College has grown meadows and wildflowers throughout campus to enhance wildlife habitats and to reduce the fuel required to mow the lawn.

Stormwater Management  

The building site was designed to effectively manage stormwater runoff in an environmentally sensitive way. An infiltration basin was installed that captures stormwater runoff from the site. This prevents contaminants from entering nearby water sources and reduces the flow of stormwater during heavy rain events.

Alternative Transportation  

The building is located next to a bus stop to encourage public transportation.

Water Efficiency  

The building uses 39% less water than a conventional building due to efficient faucets, toilets, and urinals. The exterior of the building was also designed so landscaping doesn’t require irrigation.

Energy and Atmosphere  

The lighting and HVAC systems use energy efficient technologies such as high efficiency heating and cooling units, heat recovery systems, high performance lighting, and occupancy sensors. The building consumes about 26% less energy than a conventional building of this type. Onondaga also purchases wind energy to offset the environmental impacts of the electricity for the building.


During building construction, 93% of all waste was either reused or recycled. Materials such as metal, cardboard, concrete, asphalt, and drywall were all diverted from going to a landfill or incinerator. The project diverted over 4,500 tons of materials. Approximately 33% of the building is made up of recycled materials including ceiling tiles, metal doors, carpet tile, structural steel and the 200 meter running track on the arena floor.

Regional Materials  

Many of the building materials were manufactured in this region, significantly reducing the environmental impact associated with transporting the materials long distances. Concrete used for the floor was manufactured locally. Some of the structural steel was manufactured less than 10 miles away. Overall, about 23% of the building materials came from within 500 miles of the project location.

Certified Wood  

More than 92% of the wood used in the project was sustainably grown as verified by a non-profit organization, the Forest Stewardship Council.

Walk off Mats  

They are located at each entrance to prevent contaminants from entering. Walk-off mats collect dirt, moisture, and other debris to prevent it from being tracked throughout the building. The mats are cleaned regularly to ensure that they are functioning properly.

Low-Emitting Materials  

The materials used for the building followed strict guidelines related to maintaining healthy indoor air quality. The adhesives and sealants, paints and coatings, flooring systems, and composite wood products were all low-emitting materials, meaning they do not release Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs.





  • Americu Bank CenterLifesavers 

Four members of Onondaga’s Campus Safety and Security Department teamed up to save a life and were honored multiple times for their heroics. On March 23 during a conference at the SRC Arena and Events Center, 76-year-old retired New York City Police Officer Jack Moyse suffered a heart attack. His life was saved due to the combined efforts of Information Aide Josh Cantello, Safety Officer Daniel Aldrich, Information Aide Mary Buchal, and Peace Officer Jeff Draper.

Moyse’s brother was with him when he had his heart attack. Larry Moyse says the emergency room doctor told him if his brother had the heart attack at home, he would have died. Having the heart attack where he did saved his life. Today Jack Moyse is very much alive and at his Southern Tier home in Bainbridge, NY. He’s waiting for a defibrillator for his heart, and after he gets it he wants to meet the people who saved his life.

For their lifesaving actions Aldrich, Buchal, Cantello, and Draper were honored on several different occasions. At the College’s annual Employee Appreciation Ceremony, they received special recognition from the president and board of trustees. The Onondaga County Legislature honored them with gold seals, sponsored by Judy Tassone, Chairperson of the County Legislature’s Facilities Committee. The American Heart Association gave them Heartsaver Hero awards. Onondaga’s Board of Trustees passed a resolution in their honor. Each time their story was told and they were presented with awards, those in attendance responded with a standing ovation.

Doug Kinney is Vice President of Campus Safety and Security. He’s thrilled with what his men and women accomplished March 23 and the work they do every day. "I am extraordinarily proud of those members of the Department of Campus Safety that worked as a team to save his life. All members of the department take this type of training very seriously as they do every aspect of their jobs, and the campus community is very grateful to them for their service.”





Military Friendly School

Military Friendly 

Onondaga was named a “Military Friendly School” by G.I. Jobs Magazine for the second year in a row for providing an exceptional level of service and opportunity for its student-veterans. The listing is available at

Onondaga serves hundreds of student-veterans and veterans dependents each year through its full-time Office of Veterans’ Affairs. The services it provides include:

  • Assistance with the V.A. application process and requirements for entering students eligible for VA education benefits including veterans, reservists, National Guard and dependents.
  • Timely emails to notify students of veteran related news and events.
  • Resolution of pay/benefit issues with the VA Regional Office in Buffalo.
  • Referrals to federal, state or county veteran service agencies as appropriate.
  • Student Account bill deferment based on expected VA education benefits.
  • Emergency Book Loan Fund
  • Laptop Loaning Program
  • Liaison service with the OCC Bookstore for student veterans on the V.A. Vocational Rehabilitation program.

More information is available at or by calling the Office of Veterans Affairs at (315) 498-2200.





National Players of the Year

Onondaga’s Randy Staats and Warren Hill were voted players of the year by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Association.


Randy Staats 

Randy Staats

Staats, an attackman, was selected as the Offensive Player of the Year. A sophomore from Six Nations in Canada, Staats led the NJCAA in scoring with 156 points. He will continue his career at Syracuse University.


Warren Hill 

Warren Hill

Hill, a goalie, was chosen Defensive Player of the Year. He is also from Six Nations in Canada.


In May Staats and Hill helped lead the Lazers to their fifth consecutive national championship, their seventh since 2006, and a college lacrosse record 70 consecutive wins.

“Both Warren and Randy had tremendous individual seasons to help the team win the 2013 National Championship,” said Head Coach Chuck Wilbur. “I guarantee if you asked either one of them they would point to the team’s success for the reason they were able to win such prestigious awards.”






Statewide Stars

SUNYCUADOnondaga’s External Relations department was a big winner at the annual State University of New York Council on University Advancement (SUNYCUAD) conference. SUNYCUAD represents advancement professionals responsible for a wide gamut of specialties, from publications and web page maintenance to alumni relations, marketing and development. SUNYCUAD’s annual Awards for Excellence recognize the highest level of work performed daily by those professionals.

Onondaga earned “Best of Category” recognition for: 

50th Anniversary Celebration 

A yearlong observance of the College’s first half-century. It included a series of events which benefited students, employees, alumni, and community members. 

Report to the Community Website 

Onondaga’s 2011-12 edition of the “Report to the Community” was presented entirely online at 


    Onondaga earned “Judges Citation” recognition for: 

    Poster Project 

    In recognition of Onondaga’s 50th anniversary, the College collaborated with a local non-profit organization, the Syracuse Poster Project, for a special series of anniversary-related posters. 

    Media Relations 

    Onondaga redesigned its listing of faculty experts, making it more comprehensive and user friendly for members of the media. It can be found at 

    New Public Website 

    Onondaga redesigned its entire website, making it more user-friendly for students, faculty members, and the community. 

      Onondaga earned more SUNYCUAD awards than any other community college in the SUNY system and had the fourth highest total among all SUNY colleges and universities.