Jeremiah Konde Chaettle
Class of 2019
April 20, 2014 was the day my life experienced a dramatic change, finally I was given a visa to join part of my family in the United States. I was excited and anxious at the same time because I did not know what to expect when I left Ghana; but one thing was certain, I wanted to pursue academic excellence.
Aside from coping with a new climate, I had to adjust to American culture. I felt like I was taking a course titled “American Life 101.” I adjusted to living in this country, and when it came down to the issue of furthering my education, it was an easy decision because my brother was a student here. He told me “Westchester Community College is the school for you.” Fascinated with computers, I am a double major in Cyber Security and Computer Information Systems.
Westchester Community College is playing a pivotal part in my academic transformation and self-development by providing me with all the resources I need. I vividly remember telling myself I will drop out after being totally lost and confused during my first week of classes. However, I am one semester away from graduating as an honor student due to the many resources and financial assistance that the college provides for its students.
My goal is to transfer to a four-year institution to complete my bachelor’s degree in both Cybersecurity and Computer Information Systems, earn Masters and Doctorate degrees, work at one of the top tech companies, and ultimately establish my own company here in the USA and Ghana. I would like to bridge the gap in the IT Cybersecurity field between the Western world and Africa.
I am proud to say Westchester Community College is preparing me for this journey and I will forever remain a proud student and Alumni of Westchester Community College when I go out to conquer the world.
Class of 2018
My name is Samantha Rentas and I am a first generation college student attending Westchester Community College. A quote that has motivated me throughout my time at WCC is, “If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” I often find the best outcomes present themselves when you take risks or put yourself out there in unfamiliar/uncomfortable situations. These experiences are the ones that will lead to the greatest outcomes and will leave you with new perspectives.
As Co-Vice President of Membership in the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and a member of the Honors Program. I can truly say I have met amazing faculty and staff here at the college. I have also made lifelong friends coming from all walks of life. They have all encouraged me to grow as a student and an individual. Another quote that has inspired me every day is, “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.” The Kathryn Davis Scholarship has blessed me with the opportunity to finish the courses I need to transfer to a four-year institution in the fall. I think the impact of Kathryn Davis is really very powerful; she has left for her legacy the mission of helping students further their education. This inspires me every day to become someone who can make an important impact on the world, to give back, and to help others.
Class of 2000
I graduated from Westchester Community College in the year 2000, I chose this school because of its reputation and it was close to home. After graduating, I transferred to Iona and received a B.B.A. in International Business.
Currently, I work at Atria Senior Living as an Executive Director. I’m responsible for the day to day operations of the community. Overseeing, planning, development, implementation, evaluation and improvement of program services; management of staff, financial execution and the delivery of high-quality service for residents, families and employees. Revenue growth. Interview, hire, orient, train, supervise and evaluate staff. Constantly assess resident’s needs. Assist in the development of operational budgets and capital requirements, including forecasting and approving all expenses. It takes a lot of emotional intelligence, adaptability and flexibility, you have to be customer focused, have strong decision-making, coaching, and leadership skills. It is a great place to work!
Westchester Community College helped me define my career path by offering so many options to be a part of the college community, such as clubs, mentors, and students. I was involved with the Brazilian Club, ECHA Club, Italian Club, and the Mentor Program with Careers Services.
I had some memorable classes and Instructors: Prof. Hugh McCable, Prof. Carlo Sclafani, Prof. Frank Maddalena and Prof. Adis Fazzino. Languages have been a great passion of mine and these professors have certainly added to that. Prof. McCabe was kind, open minded, the right fit to teach an International Business course. I am happy they were part of my educational experience.
If I could give advice to potential students, it would be do not wait and be active once you are enrolled. I waited an entire semester after high school before starting at Westchester, do not wait, even if you take one class to start, don’t take time off. Get involved, take advantage of the various programs and clubs, be active, it helped define me personally and professionally!
David J Berry
Class of 1975
I started at WCC right after high school. I spent a year at WCC and decided to join the US Navy. I spent 4 years in the Navy, and returned to WCC upon leaving the military. I personally needed the Navy experience because I lacked the necessary discipline that I felt I should have. My mom and dad didn’t find out I had enlisted until about a month before I left for active duty! The GI Bill covered my tuition at Westchester Community College, and for that I’m thankful.
After WCC, I worked for PepsiCo and entered Pace University. I received my bachelor’s degree in 1982. Additionally, I have taken many courses from the many employers for whom I have worked.
Today, I am a sole proprietor of NomadCIO. My current company is Bombardier Aereospace in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I commute weekly from NY. At Bombardier, I am a Program Leader for an integration of an acquisition. I am responsible for the ‘carve in’ of an acquisition that makes the wings for the Global 7500 business jet (this is the largest and longest flying jet in the world with a flying distance of some 8000 nm without refueling and carries about 20 passengers). I have a team of about 120 people including employees, contractors and systems integrators.
My typical day includes lots of meetings. The program I am responsible for will cost the company some $20 million in IT costs to integrate into the core of Bombardier. Working with many project managers and subject matter experts, my scope covers everything from manufacturing systems, financial, quality, methods, engineering, reporting, infrastructure and training of about 1300 employees and contractors in the US and Canada at our aircraft assembly facilities.
I was able to juggle school and work while at Westchester Community College, so this gave me a sense of balancing my life. I had some really cool professors, and in fact, during an Ecology course, I was able to give a slide show about what it was like living in the Aleuti.an Islands while stationed there during the Navy. . I also had a history course that was taught by an ex-Army Colonel. He gave me some wisdom about staying the course with history (my major at the time) and I subsequently changed to computer science. I have been in this field ever since.
By changing to computer science, I was able to ride the wave of technology which was really in its infancy at the time. It was all about mainframes. Mini-computers were just starting, and there was no such thing as a PC nor a smartphone or tablet! And there was no internet!
Want to know more about Westchester Community College?
Westchester Community College’s faculty and professional staff have received more SUNY Chancellors Awards for Excellence than any other community college in the system. More than 98% hold masters or doctorate degrees in their fields. Student/faculty ratio is 16.1:1.
The college offers 66 associate and certificate programs. We have three types of associate degrees in 36 subject areas: the Associate in Arts for students transferring to four-year institutions in the liberal arts; the Associate in Science for those transferring to four-year institutions for business, math, science or health careers; and the Associate in Applied Science for those preparing to seek immediate employment, change careers or transfer. In addition, certificate programs typically requiring between 15 to 33 credits are offered in approximately 20 career fields.
Nearly 33% of Westchester Community College students receive some form of financial aid. Financial Aid is available to students who qualify. In addition, the Westchester Community College Foundation offers $1.6 million in scholarships annually.
The Westchester Community College Athletic Department sponsors thirteen different intercollegiate athletic teams in various sports. The roster of sports offered includes Men’s Baseball, Women’s Softball, Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Men’s and Women’s Bowling, Men’s and Women’s Cross Country, Men’s Golf, Men’s and Women’s Track and Field, Men’s Soccer, and Women’s Volleyball. Visit the Vikings Athletics website for schedules, reports, and more.
We’re accessible: Public transit-friendly main campus and extension locations. Online classes for wherever you are. Valhalla (main campus); extension sites in New Rochelle, Mount Vernon, Yonkers, Shrub Oak, Mahopac, Ossining, Port Chester and Peekskill (Center for the Digital Arts) and White Plains (Center for the Arts).
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