EXCELLENCE IN ALL WE DO: There's nowhere like OCC

Veteran staff and retirees honored at a celebration of excellence.OAKLAND COUNTY, Michigan — Joel Cohen received a standing ovation from his colleagues when he said, “there’s nowhere like OCC for academic freedom and teaching.”

Cohen, a 50-year veteran of Oakland Community College, was among nearly 100 employees and recent retirees recognized at an anniversary and retirement lunch hosted at the college’s Culinary Studies Institute on the Orchard Ridge campus. They feasted on culinary delights prepared by students, participated in a rousing game of trivia and were recognized by Chancellor Peter Provenzano for their deep commitment and dedication to the college.

“It is so important to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives,” he said. “This incredible group of current and retired employees represent literally hundreds of years of service to our students and our community.”

“It is this type of dedication helps makes OCC the college of choice, the partner of choice and the employer of choice in the community.”

Cohen agreed. “I would never have had the academic freedom to truly teach my students as I have during my tenure here at OCC had I chose to teach at one of the large universities,” Cohen said. “What a great experience this has been for me as an educator.”

Karen Bathanti, OCC vice chancellor of human resources, who spearheaded the event planning said, “Our employees change the lives of our students, inspire one another and consistently advance our community with the resources entrusted to us. Their dedication, passion and commitment is inspiring. We are so fortunate these individuals have made OCC their employer of choice.”

A list of honorees follows.

50 years

  • Joel Cohen

40 Years

  • Richard Driscoll
  • Russ Karman

35 Years

  • Patrick Dean
  • Tahir Khan
  • Carlos Olivarez
  • David Webb Jr.

30 Years

Stephanie Holman

25 Years

  • Rita Hayes
  • Mike Khirallah
  • Youmin Lee
  • Mary Jo Lord
  • Michele Merritt
  • Godson Nasari
  • Jeff Parent
  • Nicole Pitts
  • Eleanor Wilkinson

20 Years

  • Edward Bowie
  • Patrick Buck
  • Mary Eichold
  • Wilma Porter
  • Gary Vickers
  • Darryl Wood
  • Sue Work

15 Years

  • Antoine Bright
  • David Ceci
  • Sherri Colon
  • Shawn Dry
  • Bryan Dubin
  • Regina Dunham
  • Dawn Edford
  • Crystal Fiss
  • Lina Gerchak
  • Mercedita Gooding
  • Donna Heath
  • Carol Johnson
  • Darlene Johnson-Bignotti
  • Jeannie Kincaide
  • William Konkolesky
  • Richard Lee
  • Lori Linden
  • Charles Martin
  • David McRoberts
  • Robert Montgomery
  • Michelle Pergeau
  • Jearlene Phelps
  • Anthony Ragland
  • Pamela Ryals
  • Michael Schmidt
  • Janet Whitfield
  • Robert Wilson

10 Years

  • Kathryn Allen
  • Kenneth Aud
  • Nestor Baron-Lopez
  • Kim Combs
  • Thomas Dennis
  • Jessica Dietz
  • Valerie Emanoil
  • Kenneth Faulk
  • Krystal Ford
  • Cherie Foster
  • Christina Genei
  • Chantell Hickman
  • Jessica Lizardi
  • Robert Long
  • Gina Mandas
  • Tameka McClellan
  • John Mousty
  • Cheryl Neely
  • Chad Nykamp
  • Rosalind Reaves       
  • Krishna Stilianos
  • Kelly Taylor
  • Kathy Tiell
  • Rasheedah Wright

2018 Retirees

  • Susan Baier
  • Michael Barber
  • Kim Boose
  • William Bratton
  • Gary Casey
  • Kathleen Cham
  • Alice Degrandchamp
  • Deborah Fiott
  • Joy Frost
  • James Hallemann
  • Kimberly Hugelier
  • Lee  January
  • Sheri Kleopfer
  • Charles Kurzer
  • Vera Lewis
  • Jayne Lobert
  • Terry McCauley
  • Brian Mullkoff
  • Caroline O'Neill-Nacy
  • Michelle Rose
  • Catherine Soldan
  • Nancy Szabo
  • Sue Work
  • Marcia Worthy

About OCC

With multi campus system in Oakland County, OCC is Michigan’s No. 1 transfer institution, offering nearly 100 degrees and certificates. The College empowers academic and developmental experiences, allowing students to reach their potential and enhance their communities. More than 1 million students have enrolled in the college since it opened in 1965. A seven-person Board of Trustees governs OCC. Board members are elected on a non-partisan, at-large basis, serve as volunteers and are not paid. Mission statement: OCC is committed to empowering our students to succeed and advancing our community. Learn more at oaklandcc.edu.


Media Contact: Marketing & Communications | 248.341.2020 | contactus@oaklandcc.edu