Curriculum Honors

News Briefs
School of Liberal Arts

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 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 Liberal Arts:

American Sign Language - Augustine Wait

  • Henninger High School, Class of 2017

  • Faculty testimonial from Professor Jennie Sabo: “Augustine Wait is a native of the Karen language and culture. She came to America from the Thailand-Burma border region in Southeast Asia. Her language is Karen and her second language is English. She is passionate about being an ally to refugees in America who are both deaf and non-deaf. Her career goal is to work with this refugee population to teach ASL and English and to work as a multilingual interpreter, thus the reason she decided to get the ASL degree at OCC. Auggie has the potential to bring a specific skill set for intercultural communication that is much-needed in our area and community. Auggie also values volunteer work and was actively involved in volunteering before coming to Onondaga and continued while she was here. While at OCC, she was involved in the community through Service-Learning. This past fall she successfully completed a Service-Learning project at Whole-Me, and in the spring committed to another Service-Learning project with Hopeprint. Hopeprint was where she felt more in her element, working with deaf and non-deaf in the refugee community. In summary, Auggie has been an inspiration to all of her ASL instructors and classmates. She has had to learn English and ASL while learning the course content. This was not an easy task and she has worked incredibly hard to succeed. Overall Augustine is a highly motivated, dedicated, personable and very likable student who will prove to be successful in her future career as an ASL teacher and multi-lingual interpreter. Her willingness to seize opportunities for growth and collegiality and diligence are only a few reasons why Auggie deserves this year’s ASL curriculum award.”

Augustine Wait
Augustine Wait, American Sign Language Curriculum Honoree


Communication Studies - Caleb White

  • Alternative Community School In Ithaca, Class of 2004
  • Faculty testimonial from Professor Ben Miller: “Caleb is one of the most talented students we have seen in the Communication Studies program. He is a true leader and other students in his Communication classes respect him immensely. His professors for Introduction to Communications, News Writing, and Intercultural Communication noted that he was a standout individual and demonstrated strong leadership in those courses. In courses with a wide range of perspectives and values, Caleb was always accepting of everyone. He encouraged and accepted each person and was a steady presence of calm and strength. He is also a very talented student and grasped both theoretical material and practical material very well. Caleb truly embraced diversity, specifically in his Intercultural Communication class, with representatives from at least 10 countries. Caleb was always open to other ideas and served as a unifying force for the entire class. Caleb is the type of leader we need to see in this world and the Communication Studies faculty wholeheartedly support his nomination as Communication Studies curriculum honoree!”
Caleb White
Caleb White, Communication Studies Curriculum Honoree


General Studies - Allison Carroll

  • Lafayette Jr/Sr High School, Class of 2018
  • Faculty testimonial from Professor Kerry Evans: “Allison has quietly and consistently worked on achieving her goals and has increased her GPA each semester until achieving a 4.0 in the Fall 2019 semester. She will be starting nursing school at Pomeroy College of Nursing at Crouse Hospital for the Fall 2020 semester. Allison would like to express her appreciation for her OCC experiences and noted, ’every professor that I have had within these past 2 years has been wonderful and made me feel like they wanted me to succeed. This has helped me to become very confident that I can achieve my goal to become a Registered Nurse. I will forever be grateful that I started my journey at OCC. Thank you OCC!’”
Allison Carroll
Allison Carroll, General Studies Curriculum Honoree


Humanities and Social Sciences - Maddie Bohrer

  • Skaneateles High School, Class of 2017
  • Faculty testimonial from Professor Shawn Wiemann: “Maddie is an exceptional person. Her passion for learning is apparent in all she does; it is in her dedication to her course work and in her participation in community activities on and off campus. Consistently demonstrating an incredible work ethic, Maddie did not shy away from difficult tasks that lead to rewarding results. In class, Maddie proved to be a valuable contributor, interested in important questions and engaging in thoughtful ways that brought out the best in her classmates. Maddie’ success as an Honors Scholar in the OCC Lillian Slutzker honor society are a clear showcase of her academic interests and drive. They are also a reflection of her ability to connect, get involved, and engage in community and make a difference. Maddie is going places and we are proud to have played a part in her journey.”
Maddie Bohrer
Maddie Bohrer, Humanities and Social Sciences Curriculum Honoree


Lillian Slutzker Honors College - Nidaa Aljabbarin

  • PSLA at Fowler, Class of 2018
  • On April 24 Aljabbarin was selected to receive the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s prestigious Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. It will pay her up to $40,000 a year when she transfers to Syracuse University to complete her bachelor’s degree, and provide up to $75,000 in funding towards graduate school. Aljabarrin is one of only 50 recipients nationwide, and one of only five in New York State. The other four New York State recipients are all from the New York City area.
  • Faculty testimonial from Professors Chris Thuot and Jackie Barstow: “Nidaa is part of the inaugural class of Lillian Slutzker Honors College Scholars. As an Honors College student, Nidaa set a high standard in the classroom, particularly in completing our core curriculum. While pursuing her Liberal Arts: Mathematics and Science degree at OCC, she excelled in reading and discussing ancient and modern texts in philosophy, literature, and history. She is exactly what we look for in an Honors student - someone who possesses intellectual humility and curiosity, sensitivity, and an openness and eagerness to learn new things. Nidaa’s commitment to scholarship is also demonstrated in her role outside of the classroom. She is the Co-Vice President for Scholarship for OCC’s award-winning chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK). Outside of the extensive and excellent work she does for PTK, Nidaa organizes and leads study groups for students in our Honors College. In addition to her excellent performance in her Honors classes, Nidaa has excelled in the Math/Science program, which is one of the most challenging degrees here at OCC. Nidaa puts a smile on the faces of members of the Honors College community with her Inness and subtle sense of humor. After transferring to Syracuse University to study Biochemistry, Nidaa plans to focus on genetics in medical school. The Honors College is proud of Nidaa and looks forward to seeing her continued success as she continues her academic journey.”
Nidaa Aljabbarin
Nidaa Aljabbarin, Lillian Slutzker Honors College Curriculum Honoree
Onondaga Community College