Curriculum Honors

News Briefs
School of Arts, Design, Media, & Music

Every April, OCC holds a ceremony called Curriculum Honors during which we recognize the top student in each of the College’s majors. It’s one of the highlights of the year. During the ceremony a faculty member introduces each student and details his or her accomplishments, the student receives a certificate and a light blue stole to be worn at commencement, and the student is photographed with OCC President Dr. Casey Crabill. Due to the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, we were unable to hold our ceremony this year.

Nonetheless, we are proud to recognize the achievements of each of our 2019-2020 honorees. We are announcing each of them in conjunction with the reorganization of our majors into 8 schools. Following are the recipients in the School of Art, Design, Media & Music:

Architectural Technology - Bogdan Bondarenko

  • East Syracuse Minoa High School, Class of 2018
  • Faculty testimonial from Professor Teresa Godiers: “It is a pleasure to recognize Bogdan Bondarenko as the 2019-20 Curriculum Honoree for the Architectural Technology program. Bogdan started his architecture degree at OCC in the fall of 2018, after earning 17 credits starting in the 10th grade at ESM High School. His focus and discipline has been noted by his professors and is evident in his success in the classroom, and at work. In addition to being an excellent student (3.78 GPA), Bogdan has participated in multiple projects in service to the community. Bogdan would like to thank all the faculty and staff that helped along the way, his employer for their flexibility, along with his family, friends and classmates that supported and kept him motivated through the process.”
Bogdan Bondarenko
Bogdan Bondarenko, Architectural Technology Curriculum Honoree


Art - Anthony Beckham

  • Nottingham High School, Class of 1996
  • Student testimonial from Anthony Beckham: “Being named the top student in the Art major means a lot to me because I never thought of what it took for me to get to this point. I had been making art my whole life but because of a learning disability, emotional issues, and financial difficulties, I didn’t pursue a college degree until my late thirties. I chose graphic design because I like the graphics and artwork on packaging, album covers, and reading materials. I like how the art is combined in the layouts. I enjoy organizing things and graphic design is basically organizing art, photos, and text to create a finished project. During my time in the graphic design program, I have really enjoyed all my classes and learned so much. My art professors have all been so knowledgeable and easy to get along with. I’m so thankful to them and grateful to have learned from them. In my time at OCC I have tried my hardest to become the best student I could be. I have studied efficiently and put lots of time into my art projects and assignments. I plan to apply to Syracuse University’s Communications Design BFA program either this fall, or next year.“
Anthony Beckham
Anthony Beckham, Art Curriculum Honoree


Electronic Media Communications - Lane Russell

  • West Genesee High School, Class of 2018
  • Faculty Testimonial from Professor Mike Kaminski: “During his first semester it was easy to see Lane displayed signs of great potential. From the first class project throughout each class and milestone thereafter, it was obvious that Lane was cut out to be in the media, even though he wasn’t quite sure of himself. Lane spoke with clarity and maturity, grasping concepts and how they apply to content creation with very little explanation. He asked pertinent and probing questions. Lane’s comfort in front of the camera was instant. Each opportunity showed receptiveness to our critique and significant growth. Lane’s writing reflects the idealism of his contemporaries, but with the caution and common sense of a much wiser, and in many cases more experienced man. During his time at OCC Lane had several challenges to overcome, dealing with the pressure of balancing work, school, and life in general, but every slight doubt was answered quickly with an action that solidified his path to success. It has been our pleasure to witness Lane’s journey from an unsure freshman to a confident and driven graduate.”
Lane Russell
Lane Russell, Electronic Media Communications Curriculum Honoree


Interior Design - Alexa Shumway

  • Tupper Lake High School, Class of 2013

  • Faculty testimonial from Professor David Green: “Alexa started her Interior Design degree in the fall of 2018 after earning a B.A. in Human Development from SUNY Oswego and working as a medical receptionist. Alexa started to realize she had a passion for activities that involved logic and creativity and had a sense that she really wanted to be a designer. As she started exploring a new career path, Alexa discovered the Interior Design program at OCC and thought, ‘What a great way to start a new career without spending another four years in college. As she neared completion of her first year in the Interior Design program, Alexa realized she was also interested in architecture and became a dual major in the Architectural Technology program. Alexa is currently working as an intern at King+King architects and has been offered a position with the firm when she graduates in May. Alexa’s creativity, focus, discipline, and camaraderie have been noted by her professors and is evident in her success at work and her 3.935 GPA. Alexa would like to thank her parents, sister, boyfriend, and friends for supporting her pursuit of this degree.”

Alexa Shumway
Alexa Shumway, Interior Design Curriculum Honoree


Music - Meghan Wilmot

  • Skaneateles High School, Class of 2018

  • Faculty testimonial from Professor David Rudari: “Ms. Wilmot will complete her AS Degree in Music, as a Voice major with an outstanding academic record. She came to us from the Skaneateles Central Schools, and has been a wonderful member of our Music Community. One of our more quiet and reserved students, Meghan is always ready to work. A no-nonsense student and performer, she is a constant in our classes, and she is always available to lend a hand with an extra project. A member of the Leadership team of our award-winning Phi Theta Kappa chapter, she is a highly dependable and supportive colleague with a fine sense of humor. She has been a pleasure to teach, and our Faculty has enjoyed watching her perform, and seeing her come into her own as a musician and a student here with us. Meghan is taking some time after graduation before continuing her studies. We wish her well in every endeavor.”

Meghan Wilmot
Meghan Wilmot, Music Curriculum Honoree


Photography - Cassandra Palmer

  • East Syracuse Minoa High School, Class of 2006
  • Faculty testimonial from Professor Meredith Cantor Feller: “Cassandra Palmer joined the Photography Program at OCC and immediately I knew that she would be leaving her mark both on peers and myself. ‘C.J.’ as she was known around the lab brought a work ethic that inspired her classmates. Her energy was infectious and her peers often sought her advise and critique. As an artist C.J. was always pushing her creative boundaries while continuing to make beautiful images. Her work spanned from elegant landscapes to touching portraits. C.J. would never shy away from opportunities to expand her skills and brought her new experiences back to the classroom. Whether she transfers, opens her own business, works as a freelance photographer, or all of the above, I am confident C.J. will be successful at anything she puts her mind to.”
Cassandra Palmer
Cassandra Palmer, Photography Curriculum Honoree
Onondaga Community College