Celebrating Our Alumni Faces Class Of 2021

Alumni
Alumni Faces honorees group pic
2021 Alumni Faces honorees are (left to right) Lisa GreenMills '08, Glenn LaPoint '16, Lanessa Owens-Chaplin '03, Karinda Shanes '98, and Michael Speach Jr. '02. They are pictured with OCC President Dr. Casey Crabill (far right).

Onondaga Community College recognized seven distinguished graduates as Alumni Faces honoree during an induction ceremony held Wednesday, October 6 in the Frederick Marvin and Ernst Schuh Recital Hall. OCC President Dr. Casey Crabill emceed the event and reminded each honoree of the significance of this honor. "We have more than 50,000 alumni, but only 72 Alumni Faces. Congratulations on everything you have done and the difference each of you have made and will continue to make in our community."

The class of 2021 is: 

Lisa GreenMills '08

  • High School: East Syracuse Minoa
  • OCC Degree: Mathematics & Science
  • Profession: Public Health Professional
  • Lisa served the Central New York community as Program Coordinator at Syracuse Healthy Start, then as Director of Disease Control for the Onondaga County Health Department through much of the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this year she began working at Syracuse University as Director of Operations at the Barnes Center at The Arch. It is the hub for student wellness on the S.U. campus.

 

Carolyn Hastings '94

  • High School: Canastota
  • OCC Degree: Health Information Technology
  • Profession: Health Information Management and Coding Administrator
  • Carolyn began taking classes at OCC nearly a decade after graduating high school. Today she is Assistant Vice President for Health Information Management and Coding at Albany Medical Center. She is also President of the New York Health Information Management Association.

 

Glenn LaPoint, '16

  • High School: Marcellus
  • OCC Degree: Electronic Media Communications
  • Profession: Radio Broadcaster
  • Glenn was one semester away from earning his degree in 1981 when he accepted a full-time job in radio. Thirty-five years later he decided to come back to OCC and finish what he started, completing his degree in 2016. Now celebrating more than 40 years in broadcasting, Glenn is known as "Gomez Adams" on radio station WTKW, TK-99 where he has helped listeners start their day with a smile every morning since 1994. He also continues to have close ties to his alma mater, serving on the OCC Foundation Board of Directors.

 

Michelle Morley '84

  • High School: Academy of Mount St. Ursula in the Bronx
  • OCC Degree: Business Management
  • Profession: Circuit Court Judge
  • Michelle went right to work after graduating high school. Several years later she realized she needed a college degree and came to OCC. She worked full time while taking classes and earned her degree in less than two years. She continued her education, earning a bachelor's degree and law degree. Today she is a Circuit Court Judge in the Fifth Judicial Court in central Florida.

 

Lanessa Owens-Chaplin '03

  • High School: Henninger
  • OCC Degree: Humanities
  • Profession: Attorney and Civic Leader
  • Lanessa overcame significant life challenges on her way to becoming a force in the community. By age 17 she was living on her own while attending Henninger High School. After receiving her diploma she came to OCC where a Business Law class gave her the confidence to pursue a career in law. She would eventually earn a law degree in Florida, then return to Syracuse with the goal of making a difference in the community. Today she is the lead counsel for the New York Civil Liberties Union  which is working to ensure an equitable outcome by removing the elevated portion of Interstate 81 in  Syracuse. Lanessa lived in the public housing next to Interstate 81 while attending OCC.

 

Karinda Shanes '98

  • High School: Chenango Valley Jr/Sr
  • OCC degree: Criminal Justice
  • Profession: Youth Development and Leadership Administrator
  • Karinda has spent more than two decades in leadership positions with human services-type agencies focused on youth development programs. Presently she is Regional Executive Director at Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection, a nationally-recognized program which helps at-risk youths stay in school and graduate from high school with the skills and confidence necessary to enter college or the workforce. Her husband Leonard and their three sons Dante, Armondo, and Quintin are all Onondaga Community College Alumni.

 

Michael Speach Jr. '02

  • High School: Liverpool
  • OCC Degree: Electronic Media Communications
  • Profession: President and Head Chocolatier, The Speach Family Candy Shoppe
  • Michael is President and Head Chocolatier of The Speach Family Candy Shoppe in Syracuse which celebrated its 100th year in business in 2020. After graduating from Liverpool High School, his desire for a performance-related education led him to OCC's Electronic Media Communications degree program. He went from OCC to Ithaca College, and then to Broadway where he worked as an apprentice on numerous plays. After a few years there, he returned home and took over the struggling family business. His education, life experiences, and strong work ethic helped him transform Speach's Candy into a nationally-known brand.

During the ceremony each honoree was introduced by a current OCC student whom they had spent time with earlier in the day.

The event was shown live on OCC's Facebook page and YouTube channel. You can view the ceremony by clicking on this link. The ceremony begins approximately 9:30 into the feed. It was produced by OCC Broadcast Media Communications Professor and Alumnus Tony Vadala and staffed by students.

Professor Tony Vadala
Broadcast Media Communications Professor Tony Vadala (right) coordinated the live stream of the 2021 Alumni Faces ceremony. Seated next to him is Professor Shane Patterson.

Earlier in the day honorees visited classrooms on campus and had conversations with students. They discussed their academic path, career journey, and answered questions.

GreenMills speaks with CSTEP students.
Lisa GreenMills '08 had a conversation with students in the CSTEP program.
Glenn LaPoint '16 in the BMC studio.
Glenn LaPoint '16 spoke with students in the Broadcast Media Communications degree program.
Lanessa Owens-Chaplin
Lanessa Owens-Chaplin '03 spent time with students in a History class.
Karinda Shanes '98
Karinda Shanes '98 shared her thoughts with students in a Criminal Justice class.
Michael Speach Jr. '02
Michael Speach Jr. '02 discussed his journey to small business owner with students in a Business class.

All of the day's events, from classroom visits to the Alumni Faces ceremony, were coordinated by OCC's Russ Corbin.

Congratulations to the 2021 class of Alumni Faces!

Keywords
OCC
Onondaga Community College
Alumni Faces