Curriculum Honors

News Briefs
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Every April, OCC holds a ceremony called Curriculum Honors during which we recognize the top student in each of the College’s majors. It is 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 them in conjunction with the reorganization of our majors into 8 schools. Following are the recipients in the School of Business:

Business Administration - Wendy Emborski

  • Chittenango High School, Class of 1992
  • Faculty testimonial from Professor Kristen Costello: “After graduating high school Wendy attended SUNY Oswego and earned a B.F.A. In Studio Art in 1996. She lived in Arizona for four years before returning home to Syracuse. After fifteen years of production work in a sign shop, Wendy decided she needed a change. OCC offered evening classes and a local campus so she could earn a degree while continuing to work full-time. She eventually transferred into the Weekend College program because it gave her increased access to the courses she needed to complete her degree on time. Wendy relied on the help of her professors and the staff at the Learning Center to assist her in getting to this point. Without their assistance and the support of her family, Wendy says there is no way she could have achieved her 4.0 GPA, been inducted into honor society Phi Theta Kappa, and graduated from OCC Summa Cum Laude. She is now enrolled in the SUNY Plattsburgh online Accounting program and plans to earn her B.S. in Accounting. Her goal is to become a Certified Public Accountant.“
Business Administration major Wendy Emborski is pictured outside Whitney Commons, the eye-catching business classroom on the second floor of the Whitney Applied Technology Center.
Wendy Emborski, Business Administration Curriculum Honoree

Business Technology - Mindy Tousant

  • Cicero-North Syracuse High School, Class of 1998 
  • Faculty testimonial from Professor Kristen Costello: “Two years ago, Mindy Tousant was working a warehouse job that offered little opportunity for career advancement. She was burnt out and feeling like she did not matter. With some guidance from her fiancé and her daughter who is a freshman in college, she decided to pursue a college degree. Mindy had not had any formal education since she graduated from high school in 1998 and was unsure if she could succeed at the college level. Online learning was challenging for her in the beginning. She doesn’t consider herself ‘tech savvy,’ so her learning curve was steep. Despite this, she was able to learn by researching on the internet, and by accepting the support of her professors, fellow classmates, and family members. Mindy says she is extremely proud of what she accomplished at OCC: receiving honors, awards, and an induction into the national honor society Phi Theta Kappa, and earning a 3.8 grade point average. She will be only the third person in her family’s history to receive a college degree. After graduation, Mindy’s goal is to pursue and obtain stable employment with a company that offers opportunities for career advancement. She says ‘I now know the sky is the limit and I plan on building on the solid foundation OCC has provided me.’”

Mindy Tousant
Mindy Tousant, Business Technology Curriculum Honoree


Hospitality Management - Rosemary Thompson

  • Westhill High School
  • Faculty testimonial from Chef Deb Schneider: “Rosemary entered the Hospitality Management program as a non-traditional student. She took a leap and changed careers to follow her passion of cooking. Rose was a quiet student when I first met her. She would absorb any and all information that was put before her. When she started her second year, I saw a change. She was more confident and willing to take risks. This is when she joined the Syracuse Chapter of American Culinary Federation. Along with students from Morrisville and Syracuse University, Rose represented OCC in the ACF North Regional Culinary Knowledge Bowl Championship. We traveled to Atlantic City to compete against other future culinarians. Even though Rose was out of her comfort zone, she took the lead as captain of the team. From then on Rose became even more confident in her role as a leader. She created the winning recipe for the Virtual Veal Tour competition in which Rose and three of her classmates received $2,000 in scholarships from the New York State Beef Council. Rose told me that her grandmother was her reason she got into cooking and the Hospitality Industry. Based on her grandmother’s inspiration and recipes, Rose has crafted new menus in her new leadership role as the Executive Chef at Sunset Ridge Golf Club. I am proud to present her with the well-deserved Curriculum Honors award in Hospitality Management.”
Rosemary Thompson
Rosemary Thompson (right) is pictured with Chef Deb Schneider (left) after winning the Virtual Veal Tour competition.

Congratulations to each of our honorees!

Onondaga Community College