Each year Onondaga Community College recognizes distinguished graduates who have made a difference in their community and professional life, naming them "Alumni Faces" honorees. Tonight at 5:30 p.m. in the Frederick Marvin and Ernst Schuh Recital Hall in the Academic II building, we will pay tribute to the Alumni Faces Class of 2022. In the weeks leading up to the event we are proudly profiling our honorees on our website and social media. Today we recognize Dr. Danielle Berry '13.
Dr. Danielle R. Berry came to Onondaga Community College with a newly found passion and turned it into the foundation for a career. "Attending OCC was the best choice for me to begin my college education because it was affordable and it allowed me to stay home. I knew about the quality of the education because my siblings had attended there."
Berry is a Senior Research Specialist in Technical Services and Development for Consumer Electronics at Dow. She didn't realize she was interested in science until age 15 when she attended a robotics program in Syracuse sponsored by Mercy Works. Berry, who was homeschooled, completed high school work one year later and came to OCC as a Mathematics & Science major.
Shortly after arriving on campus she became involved in the Collegiate Science and Technology Program which is often referred to as C-STEP, which is supported and funded by the New York State Department of Education. "C-STEP was a huge part of my success at OCC and beyond. It introduced me to scientific conferences, provided laboratory research opportunities, and gave me access to mentors who pushed me to maximize my potential." Berry would attend statewide and national conferences in Washington, D.C. where her work was recognized and applauded. The honors convinced her she was pursuing the right field of study. After earning her associate degree in 2013 she transferred to SUNY-ESF. She received a bachelor's degree in Chemistry and worked in the industry for a year before being accepted into the Ph.D. program at the University of Texas at Dallas.
While working toward her doctorate she attended the Building Engineering and Science Talent symposium hosted by Dow where she learned about career options. She was impressed with their presentation, made contacts, and landed a job. Nine years after completing her work at OCC she remains grateful for the impact the College had on her. "I am very thankful for my experience at OCC. It built my foundation to where I am today. I remain committed to continue career conversations with anyone pursuing STEM because of the impact my educators and mentors had on my development. I hope my story encourages current and future students and shows them the sky is the limit if they put in the work."
Dr. Berry joined us for an episode of OCC's podcast, "Chatting About College." You can listen to it by clicking on this link. You can also find it at places where you regularly download podcasts by searching "Chatting About College."