Radio station TK-99 morning show host Glenn “Gomez Adams” LaPoint among the members of OCC’s Alumni Faces class of 2021
Seven former Onondaga Community College graduates will be recognized as distinguished Alumni Faces honorees for their professional achievements and contributions to the college and the community. Their accomplishments will be highlighted during an induction ceremony next month, and their likenesses and success stories will be added to the Alumni Faces display on campus.
The event will be held at The Frederick Marvin and Ernst Schuh Recital Hall, Academic II building, Onondaga Community College, 4585 West Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse 13215-4585. Academic II is the building which spans the Furnace Brook Gorge. Most convenient place for media to park is lot 7 which is a gated lot. Drive up the gate, press the button on the squawk box and identify yourself, and the gate will be raised for you.
2021 Alumni Faces Class of 2021 Honorees
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 throughout 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 40 years in broadcasting, Glenn is known as “Gomez Adams” on radio station WTKW, TK-99 where he has entertained and informed listeners 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 tried a four-year college after graduating high school, withdrew after her first semester, and went to work. 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 bachelor’s and law degrees. 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, working to ensure an equitable outcome by removing the elevated portion of Interstate 81 in Syracuse. While attending OCC Lanessa lived in Pioneer Homes, the public housing which is located next to the elevated portion of Interstate 81.
Karinda Shanes, ‘98
- High School: Chenango Valley
- 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 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 2020. Throughout that year Speach donated a percentage of their profits to different not-for-profit agencies each month. 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 turn Speach’s Candy into a nationally known brand.
“This is such an outstanding class of Alumni Faces honorees. They are a shining example of what a community college education is all about. Some came here right out of high school while others waited until later in life. As each of them grew both personally and professionally, they also focused on making their community a better place for all. Their accomplishments are an inspiration to our entire campus community. We look forward to welcoming them home next month and recognizing their contributions,” said OCC President Dr. Casey Crabill.
Onondaga Community College, Central New York’s partner in education for success, is a two-year college located on a 280-acre campus in Syracuse, NY. OCC operates under the State University of New York (SUNY) system and is locally sponsored by Onondaga County. We are the first public college in the nation to partner with Barnes & Noble College on the “Box of Books” program which provides students with flat-rate, predictable pricing for textbooks and technology. OCC is an Achieving the Dream college and was named “Military Friendly” and “Best For Vets” for our service to student veterans. The College’s commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility has earned recognition as a “Green College” by the Princeton Review, a “Cool School” by the Sierra Club and a “Sustainable Campus” by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. A 2019 report titled “The Economic Value of Onondaga Community College” shows students enjoy an attractive 21.7% rate of return on their educational investment. For every dollar of support from state and local governments, taxpayers see a return of $3.90 on their investments. The average annual rate of return for taxpayers is 9.3%. OCC’s 15 athletics teams have won 16 national championships. Learn more about the College at www.sunyocc.edu. Listen to our podcast, “Chatting About College,” on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you download podcasts from.