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 Health:
Health Information Technology - Rose Ann Harrington
- Puerto Galera National High School in Puerto Rico, Class of 2006
- Rose Ann came to America four years ago, became a United States citizen, and began studying at OCC. She pursued a career in nursing, then switched to Health Information Technology. She was working in a hospital as a medical coder when she was laid off due to COVID-19. She will take her credentialing exam in June.
Nursing - Jessica Montena
- Cicero-North Syracuse, class of 1995
- Faculty testimonial from Professor Dianna Lewis-Brewster: “Not only is she a 4.0 student but a full picture of Florence Nightingale. Her compassion and love for Nursing is amazing. Her goal is caring for people. She wants a job where she can make an impact on people and their lives. Very altruistic goals. She is very helpful to lower level students as she has not forgotten what it was like to be brand new and just starting out. She is meticulous and does everything at 150% because she wants to do it the right way. She has aspirations to become a ‘hospice nurse.’ During her Geriatric rotation at Van Dunn Nursing Home she was the first person that was able to get a certain patient out of his room, walk, talk, and even eat. She was highly recognized during this event from everyone in the nursing home as this man wouldn’t leave his room for almost one entire year. I can’t even tell you the chills that came down my spine, not to mention how proud I was to be her instructor for that rotation. I can speak personally of her character of volunteerism and service to others. She came to summer camp on her own free time last summer with a few other students to help screen, complete physicals, and comfort children as they experienced their first overnight camp session. She is everywhere, all over the place helping others, writing words of encouragement, supporting and always able to see the positive side of things. My mother was hospitalized and Jessica frequently visited her to check in on her for me, her advisor. She sat with my mother to help her occupy these long hospital hours during a very busy college time for myself. I did not ask her. She was just there like an angel. During her community health rotation, she was recognized for her teaching abilities as she helped her patient believe in her ability to successfully breast feed her baby. The patient provided the praise back to the lactation consultant. She is the perfect balance of being caring, smart, reasonable, and enjoyable to be around. She is a leader and an excellent role model.”
Physical Therapy Assistant - Jennifer Wilczek
- Union Springs High School, Class of 2012
- Faculty testimonial from Professor Kristen Lounsbery: “Jennifer is well-deserving of this award with her positive attitude she uses to hurdle each obstacle, perseverance to succeed, and kindness towards everyone she encounters. With the support of her family and friends, Jennifer has been a leader among her classmates. She has strong interpersonal skills and an amazing work ethic. Jennifer greets others with a smile and friendly approach. Jen was able to succeed in this program while simultaneously handling a family crisis. Her teachers want to acknowledge her traits of determination and caring during this challenging time. She is a natural as a clinician and belongs in a profession where she can help others. She will be an asset to the Physical Therapy profession.”
Surgical Technology - Nicholas Bailey
- Chittenango High School, Class of 2013
- Faculty testimonial from Professor MaryPat Annable: “Nick came into our program with a B.S. in Biology from Le Moyne College but decided he wanted a career that would be more of a challenge. He currently works in an EP lab at Crouse Hospital assisting in interventional procedures. We have also seen him on television ads for Crouse, so he’s a television star! When I asked him what made him choose Surgical Technology he said ‘I wanted to challenge myself in a different area of health care. Being able to assist a surgeon is a unique opportunity where you are able to have a large impact on the health of the patient. With many surgical specialties available there are multiple opportunities to find the right fit.’ Nick’s future plans include working as a CST and possibly exploring other areas of health care such as radiology technology, or opportunities that a Physician Assistant might offer.”