Meet the OCC Teams

Core Team

Core Team members will provide progress updates on a regular basis at College Leadership Council, faculty meetings, OCCAC meetings, Staff Association meetings and Student Assemblies. If you have an event or meeting that you would like an ATD update, or if you have questions about anything ATD, please contact one of the Core Team co-chairs (Anne DeLand or Patrick DeFazio (

Core Team
  • Anne DeLand, co-chair:Director of Testing Services
  • Patrick DeFazio, co-chair:Chairperson/Professor of Mathematics
  • Debbie Barney: Assistant to the Vice President of EnrollmentManagement
  • Sarah Collins:Assistant Director of Student LeadershipDevelopment
  • Kathy D’Aprix:Associate Vice President of Academic SupportPrograms
  • Mike O’Connor:Chairperson/Professor ofEnglish/Reading/Communication
  • Julie White:Senior Vice President of Student Engagement andLearning Support
  • Andrea Root:Coordinator of Student Conduct and CommunityStandards

Data Team

Data Team

  • Agatha Awuah, co-chair: Chief IPAR Officer
  • Jennifer Bergamo, co-chair:Professor of Mathematics
  • Kyle Chase:Manager of Enterprise Services
  • Linda Kelley:Assistant to the Senior Vice President of College Affiliated Enterprises
  • Heather Meyers:Software Engineer, Information Technology
  • Seth Tucker:Associate Vice President of College Affiliated Enterprises 

Developmental Ed Implementation Team

Priority: Accelerate Completion of Developmental and/or Gateway Courses through holistic support systems

Dev Ed Team


  • Kathy D’Aprix, Chair:Associate Vice President of Academic SupportPrograms
  • Malkiel Choseed:Associate Professorof English/Reading/Communication; Coordinator of Writing Skills Center
  • Matt DelConte:Professor of English/Reading/Communication
  • David Furney: Professor of Mathematics
  • Jessica Harnly:Professor of Mathematics
  • Yvette Jenkins:Counselor
  • Sophia Marku:Professor of English/Reading/Communication
  • Abby Klein:Assistant Director of Advising

Our data indicate that many students do not return after their first semester or first year. Our data also indicate that students who complete developmental courses and begin major classes within the first year are more likely to persist and graduate. This priority is meant to help students complete all developmental and gateway courses in the first year. Scaling and supporting existing programs designed to ensure proper placement will eliminate unnecessary developmental work for some students, allowing them to begin their credit-bearing courses. For students who require developmental coursework, expanding and scaling our already successful developmental education initiatives and enhancing academic support will provide the best opportunity for students to succeed in their developmental courses and move on to gateway courses more quickly. Departments will identify appropriate gateway courses for each major, allowing students and faculty to have a clear picture of the coursework and skills necessary for continued success.

Related interventions to this priority are:

  • Enhanced support for students in developmental courses
  • Scaled expansion of successful existing Developmental Education initiatives
  • Identified appropriate gateway courses for programs
  • Scaled and supported programs to ensure proper placement
  • Non-cognitive skill instruction
  • Intentional connections between efforts to achieve priority two with those designed to address priority one. Acknowledged link between successful completion of developmental and/or gateway courses in the first year and a successful first year program. 

1st Year Implementation Team

Priority: Improve and refine welcome, onboarding, advising, and sustained support for students in their critical first year.

1st Year Team 


  • Sarah Collins, Chair:Assistant Director of Student LeadershipDevelopment
  • Meredith Cantor-Feller:Chairperson of Photography; Interim Dean ofArts, Academic Affairs
  • Lindsey Reider:Chairperson of Health and Physical Education
  • Pauline Shostack:Chairperson of the Library
  • Alex Cole:Team Leader/Coordinator of Recruitment
  • Liz Goldschein:Assistant Director of Housing DevelopmentCorporation
  • Rebecca Hoda-Kearse:Associate Vice President of Student Engagement
  • Denise Johns:Coordinator of Advising
  • Ryan Nellenback:Coordinator of Student Onboarding, EnrollmentManagement
  • Leanne Waterman:Chairperson of Nursing
  • Tom Keenan:Professor of Biology

In order to prepare first-time students for success here and beyond, Onondaga Community College will implement a comprehensive set of programs and services designed to improve fall-to-spring and fall-to-fall persistence in the first year, and ultimately improve graduation rates. The areas of focus will include college readiness, college orientation, and student engagement programming emphasizing the first semester, but also continuing throughout the first year, as well as a case management approach that employs active advising and academic planning as core processes designed to increase student success.

Related interventions to this priority are:

  • Identified structures for developing and coordinating first year efforts.
  • Identified core components of the first year, including student learning outcomes and assessment protocols, linking existing activities to these student learning outcomes.
  • Incorporated active, ongoing advising into students’ first year based on best practice research.
  • Supported professional development of faculty and staff with the knowledge and skills necessary for this work.
  • Intentional connections among efforts to achieve priority one with those designed to address priority two. Acknowledged link between successful completion of developmental and/or gateway courses in the first year and a successful first year program.