OCC Employees Recognized for Commitment and Service

Gerald "Jerry" Kelley Recognized for 50 years of Service
 
For half a century, OCC has been Gerald “Jerry” Kelley’s home away from home. Not only has he worked at the College for the past 50 years, but he also has another rare accomplishment – he is part of OCC’s first graduating class. 

Kelley
Gerald "Jerry" Kelley

The 75-year-old Pontiac native began his journey at OCC when it opened in 1965. He took classes at the Auburn Hills campus where a series of buildings housed military students and portable classroom trailers donned the center of campus.

While taking classes as a full-time student, Kelley worked in a learning lab at OCC earning $1.50 per hour – the first of many jobs at the College that helped pay for his expenses at OCC and eventually supported his studies at Oakland University. 

Now, five decades later, Kelley works as a paraprofessional in OCC’s Computer Information Systems (CIS) Lab at the Auburn Hills campus. 

“The working conditions at OCC are excellent,” he said. “There’s no reason at all for me to leave. When your work becomes your family, you don’t want to leave your family.” 

Employee milestones and retirements celebrated 

Kelley was among nearly 120 employees and retirees recognized Friday, Feb. 18 during an anniversary and retirement virtual event. He was recognized as the employee with the most years of service, having worked in circulation at the Auburn Hills library for about 10 years before moving to CIS. 

“Our employees are truly at the heart of OCC, ensuring our students succeed,” OCC Chancellor Peter Provenzano said. “Their dedication and hard work are measured not only in milestone and professional achievements, but, more notably, in the success of those we serve throughout our community.” 

During the event, honorees shared in a virtual presentation on “The Butterfly Effect,” took part in a thought-provoking and lively test of College trivia, and recognized for their deep commitment and dedication to the College by Provenzano, Provost Dr. Jennifer Berne, and Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice Andre’ Poplar. Employees and retirees also received a commemorative book and a recognition lapel pin for their years of service. 

The butterfly effect: seemingly small changes can result in large differences later 

When students need help with their computer or don’t understand computer software, chances are they have met Kelley inside the CIS Lab. During the past 35 years, he has gone from teaching students the basics of a computer, such as how to turn it on and use a mouse, to helping them with C++, Fortran, and other computer programming. 

“If a student can leave here and feel more comfortable doing their work on their computer, that is a great achievement as far as I’m concerned,” he said. To his credit, many certainly have gone on to successful careers with his support and guidance. 

During Kelley’s tenure, computer information systems have changed dramatically, and many students and employees have passed through OCC’s doors as he worked diligently behind the scenes. It wasn’t until a few years ago that that he met an OCC chancellor – one of the highlights of his years at OCC. He was sitting by himself at a table eating lunch in between graduation ceremonies when Provenzano asked if he could sit at his table. 

“That was fantastic,” he recalled. “I’ve never done that in all these years at the College. I thought to myself, I’ve finally met the chancellor.” 

Kelley graduated from OCC in the Class of 1967 with an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Education with a teaching certificate and Master’s Degree in English at Oakland University. During his time at OCC, he spent a few years working as an adjunct Faculty English member.

Below are the employees and retirees recognized for their years of service at OCC.

2021 Milestone Honorees 

50 Years

-Gerald Kelley - Paraprofessional, CIS 

40 Years 

-Paula Baldwin - IT Support Supervisor, IT
-Tina Wilson - Dental Hygiene Specialist, Dental Hygiene Clinic 

35 Years

-Janet Dean – Administrative Assistant, Institutional Effectiveness
-Allan Gibson – Grounds Keeper, Grounds Maintenance
-Robert Kangas – Faculty, Photography
-Catherine Sorenson - Student Services Specialist, Counseling
-Beverly Stanbrough - Academic Dean, College Readiness & Secondary Partnerships  
-Brenda Townsend – Mailroom Shipping & Receiving Clerk, Shipping & Receiving

30 Years 

-Bee Chen – Project Manager, Information Technologies
-Rebecca Guenther – Business Manager, Business Office
-Phelicia Jones – Financial Aid Manager, Student Financial Resources and Scholarships
-Mary-Jo Lord – ACCESS Coordinator, ACCESS
-Alicia Paramo-Dionne – Faculty/Counselor, Counseling 
-Kathryn Schulte – Faculty, Nursing
-Steven Stott – Facility Technician, Mechanical Systems and Plant Operations
-Ann Walaskay – Faculty/Librarian, Learning Resources
-Thomas Zakrzewski – Faculty, CIS

25 Years 

-Erin Abraham – Paraprofessional, Academic Support Center
-Peter Anderson – Faculty, Physics
-Kurt Birkle – Paraprofessional, CIS
-Mary Chambers – Human Resources Coordinator, Human Resources
-James Davis – Facility Technician, Mechanical Systems and Plant Operations
-Beth Eppers – Administrative Specialist II, Sciences
-Corine Fikes – Secretary, General Science
-Warren Hawkins – Custodian, Custodial Services
-Karyn Holiday - Faculty, English as a Second Language
-David James – Faculty, English
-Ricky Jones – Grounds Keeper, Grounds Maintenance
-Judith Matteson – Faculty, CIS
-Kenneth Reynolds – Chief of Campus Facility Operations, Facility Operations
-Lisa Skowronski – Dean, Student Services
-Kurt Wirth – Facility Technician, Mechanical Systems and Plant Operations

20 Years 

-Alex Bezvik - Technical Web Master, Marketing & Communications 
-David Board – Public Safety Officer, Public Safety
-Jennifer Craft – Faculty, English as a Second Language
-Brenda Dilworth – Paraprofessional, Academic Support Center
-Christina Felcyn – Financial Aid Officer, Student Financial Resources and Scholarships
-Eleanor Fox – Research Analyst, Institutional Effectiveness
-Beth Garnsey – Faculty/Librarian, Learning Resources
-Thomas Hendricks – Academic Dean, Business and Information Technologies
-Deona Jennings-Bowen – Student Services Specialist, Student Services
-Michelle Jerome – Accounting Specialist, Financial Services
-Richard Koblin – Faculty, Biology
-Douglas Kolly – Program Coordinator, Paralegal Program
-Sarah Lemelin – Faculty, English as a Second Language
-Leanne Nadlicki – Administrative Assistant, Student Services
-Matthew Meixner – Facility Technician, Mechanical Systems and Plant Operations
-Juanita Narducci – Custodian, Custodial Services
-Kenneth Sigler – Faculty, CIS
-Vernita Thomas – Student Services Specialist, Student Services
-John Wells – Public Safety Officer, Public Safety 
-Scott Werhnyak – ACCESS Specialist, ACCESS
-Dawn Young – Faculty, Accounting

15 Years

-Anthony Baracco – Faculty, History
-Karen Barr – Learning Resources Technician, Learning Resources
-Sandra Harrold Foster – Purchasing & Auxiliary Services Assistant, Purchasing & Auxiliary Services
-Joseph Helminski – Faculty, English
-Marquel Howell – Administrative Specialist II, Communication, Arts, and Humanities
-Gia Huff – Administrative Specialist, EMIT & Mathematics
-Kelly Hyduk – Online Learning Technologies Manager, Academic Technologies
-Steven Jablonski – Financial Aid Manager, Student Financial Resources and Scholarships
-Suzanne Labadie – Faculty, English
-Steven McRae – Programmer Analyst, Information Technologies
-Andrea Powell – Academic Specialist II, College Readiness
-Lori Przymusinski – Vice Chancellor, Student Services
-Virginia Seeterlin – Financial Aid Specialist, Student Financial Resources and Scholarships
-Brian Shaw – Faculty, Mathematics
-Nadja Springer-Ali – Faculty/Librarian, Learning Resources
-Sandra Strong – Financial Aid Manager, Student Financial Resources and Scholarships

10 Years 

-John Baugh – Faculty, CIS
-Tara Broeckel – Faculty, English
-Shari Buttrey – Administrative Specialist I, Administrative Services
-Deron Burgess – Superintendent Buildings/Grounds 
-Aurelio Cappella – Facility Technician, Mechanical Systems and Plant Operations
-Katelyn Cottone – Faculty, Chemistry
-Baiba Ejups – Secretary, ACCESS
-Alkinie Lewis – Administrative Specialist II, Student Services
-Valerie Merriwether – Faculty, Academic Support Center
-Glenn Meyer – Facility Technician, Mechanical Systems and Plant Operations
-Lindsay Mitchell – Learning Resources Technician, Learning Resources
-Hany Othman – Faculty, CIS
-Dawn Robinson – Student Services Specialist
-Michelle Rodgers – Student Services Specialist, Student Services
-Aydeh Selameh – Faculty, Mathematics
-Dianne Smothers – Secretary, Physical Education and Recreation
-Kurt Stanley – Faculty, Biology
-Gheorghita Tres - Faculty, Spanish
-Sally White – Paraprofessional, Academic Support Center

2021 Retirees

-Robbie Board – Custodian (DO)
-Beverly Brown – Directory of Secondary Partnerships (AH)
-Joel Cohen – Faculty Teaching (OR)
-Robert Cowles – Grounds Keeper (AH)
-Mulutin "Luti" Erbeznik – Faculty Teaching (AH)
-James "Jim" Frost – Paraprofessional (HL)
-Laurie Huber – Director of Admissions (AH)
-Nancy Huey – Financial Aid Specialist (SF)
-Lisa Jackson – Secretary (OR)
-Laura Ketelhut – Public Safety Officer (RO)
-Lawrence "Larry" Kodosky – Faculty (AH)
-Youmin Lee – Faculty (RO)
-Kathleen Liggett – Faculty (RO)
-Charles Machise – Facility Technician (RO)
-Albert Mallast – Craftsman (HL)
-Linda Mastin – Paraprofessional (OR)
-Michelle May – Faculty Counselor (SF)
-Scott McCallister – Human Resources Associate (DO)
-Lisa Miller – Manager Bookstore (HL)
-Jean Murphy – Student Service Specialist (RO)
-Donna Nissen – Paraprofessional (AH)
-Kathleen Pfahlert – Student Services Specialist (HL)
-Nicole Pitts – Faculty – English (SF)
-Judith Portwood – Learning Resources Tech (AH)
-Janet Roberts – Marketing (DO)
-Leslie Roberts, Faculty – English (OR)
-Cari Rummel – Faculty Teaching – English (AH)
-Gary Scavnicky – Faculty Teaching -Spanish (OR)
-David Stoddard – Faculty (OR)
-Suba Subbarao – Faculty (AH)
-David Webb – Facility Technician (AH)
-Janet Whitfield – Buyer (DO)
-Tina Wilson – Dental Hygiene Specialist (HL)

About OCC

Offering nearly 100 degrees and certificates, OCC is Michigan’s largest multi-campus community college and No. 1 transfer institution in the state. The College provides academic, career training and enriching experiences, designed to empower students to reach their potential and enhance our community. 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.

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