Best-Selling International Math and Science Author to Speak at OCC Free Public Lectures

Oakland Community College is pleased to present award-winning author, journalist and TV producer Simon Singh for two free public lectures, October 21 and 22. Singh, who specializes in science and mathematics, will appeal to anyone interested in math in the world around us and the “goofy side” of math and mathematicians.14584 Simon Singh Lectures_403x403

Singh wrote the first book about mathematics to become a No.1 bestseller in the UK called “Fermat’s Last Theorem.” In America, the book is titled “Fermat’s Enigma.”  His latest book, “The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets,” explores the vast amount of mathematics smuggled into the world’s most successful sitcom by its highly numerate writing team.

Singh began his media career directing and producing programs for the BBC including “The Proof,” a BAFTA winner and Emmy-nominated documentary about the world’s most notorious mathematical problem.

The two free lectures will be distinctly different.

The lecture on Tuesday, October 20, at 6:30 p.m. at the Royal Oak campus will focus on Cosmology—specifically the evolution of the “Big Bang Theory.” This lecture will appeal to anyone who is curious about the universe and how we’ve come to know our place in it. Find out what the “Big Bang” model says about the origin and evolution of the universe and the evidence underpinning it in only 60 minutes! No prior knowledge of astronomy or cosmology required. OCC’s Royal Oak campus is at 739 S. Washington.

The lecture on Wednesday, October 21, at 10 a.m. at the Auburn Hills campus is about math in the world around us. Singh will discuss the mathematics used for codes and code-breaking; the world’s most notorious mathematical problem, Fermat’s Theorem; and how mathematics are hidden in “The Simpsons” and “Futurama.” OCC’s Auburn Hills campus is at 2900 Featherstone.

Both OCC lectures are free, however, early registration will guarantee a seat. Register at

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OCC Culinary Program Off To A Great Fall Start

OCC’s Culinary Studies Institute has kicked off the 2015-16 academic year with a bountiful lineup of offerings and events.

Culinary 2015 schedJoin us for special fall events.

  • Alumni Guest Chef Dinner, Oct.22, at 6 p.m. with celebrated Michigan Chefs Steve Allen and Chuck Rachwitz of Novi’s prestigious Steve and Rocky’s. Enjoy an American farm-to-table experience with strolling cocktail hour serving delectable hors d’oeuvres, signature drinks, and five unique courses infused with the season’s fresh flavors that are sure to satisfy your appetite. Join us and the Culinary Studies Institute’s award winning chefs for a night of carefully crafted delights and special musical entertainment. Price is $55 per person. Order tickets early.
  • Halloween Luncheon Booffet, Oct. 29, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Treat us with your presence for a spooky afternoon of epicurean undertaking and mystical beverages. It’s a Halloween bash, so dress up if you dare! Ghoulishly terrific food, drinks, and witches brew will be served. Price is $12 per person.
  • A Winter Wonderland Holiday Evening Buffet, Dec. 3, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Celebrate the holidays with merriment and joy with your family, club, or corporate gathering. Come indulge on lively libations at our open bar and feast on culinary creations from delectable starters all the way to delightful finishes. This is an excellent opportunity to bring your group together to toast another successful year with a little bubbly and good cheer. Price is $18 per person; cash bar is available. Paid reservation required. Tickets can be purchased using this form.
  • 29th Annual Wassail Dinner, Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. The Wassail Feast is celebrating its 29th year at the Culinary Studies Institute. Traditional English fare with a contemporary twist is served with appropriate wines and beats, and a gaggle of jesters and minstrels inciting general mayhem. This is a historic night for us – and we thank our patrons for their continued enthusiastic support. Wassail Dinner sells out quickly every year, please purchase tickets early. Price is $65 per person.
  • High Tea in Reflections is 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m., Oct. 1, Nov. 19, Feb. 11 and April 7. A full lunch is included and ladies are encouraged to wear a fabulous hat! High Tea tickets are $25. Advance purchase is required. Tickets can be purchased using this form.
  • Grand Buffets are from 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 29 and March 10 for lunch and Dec. 3 and April 21 for a new dinner buffet 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the 3rd floor of Building J. The sample menu features appetizers, salads, fish, seafood, poultry and beef entrées, starches and vegetables, and a dessert table. Reservations with a deposit are required for large groups. 

    For more event information and a list of the winter 2016 events, visit

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OCC Approves New Jobs Training Funds for Seven Oakland County Companies

Oakland Community College recently entered new agreements with seven companies in Oakland County to provide training and funds for training 693 new employees under the Michigan New Jobs Training (MNJT) program.

OCC will provide the training in a variety of areas to include Advanced Manufacturing, Quality, Leadership and Product Design and Development at the following companies:

Total Quality Logistics and Mahindra North America are Troy companies. Oerlikon Balzers Coating, Orion Township; Nemo Capital Partners, Farmington Hills; Hirata, New Hudson; STEC, USA, Madison Heights and ABB, Inc., Auburn Hills. Combined, MNJT agreements with these Oakland County companies total $1.5 million.

“The College’s public and private sector partnerships allow us to play a key role in the state’s ability to attract and retain talent,” said OCC Chancellor Dr. Timothy Meyer. “OCC provides the customized training companies need while funding from the MNJT program is an incentive that makes the difference.”

MNJT enables companies working with community colleges to divert the Michigan income taxes of new employees to provide new jobs training. Since 2011, OCC has awarded more than $10 million in training incentives to train employees at 17 companies in Oakland County.

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OCC reaches agreement with Operating Engineers Local 324

The Oakland Community College (OCC) Board of Trustees approved a two-year collective bargaining agreement with the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 324, at its September 15 regular meeting. The agreement provides each member with an ”off-schedule” lump sum payment of $900 each year in lieu of general salary increases. The cost of the lump sum payment is offset by the suspension of the employee tuition reimbursement program during the term of the agreement.

“We are pleased to have reached a collaborative agreement,” said William MacQueen, vice chancellor of human resources at OCC. “The bargaining group acknowledged resources are scarce in education today; however, everyone was committed to finding common ground and resolving the issues in a reasonable fashion.”

In addition, the new agreement includes a refocused benefits package. As the cost of health care has increased, the College sought out a variety of medical plan options that would maintain high quality care, while also controlling costs.

In light of Michigan’s statute governing employer-provided health care coverage, the Oakland Community College Board of Trustees adopted a budget for the 2015/2016 fiscal year that includes a move to the state “hard cap” maximums for medical insurance coverage effective January 1, 2016. This is a change from the College’s current approach wherein the College pays 80% of the medical insurance premium cost. Moving to the “hard cap” on medical insurance costs for all employee groups will save the College over $1 million for the second half of the 2015/2016 budget year and approximately $2 million annually. As a result of the College’s due diligence in seeking out new medical plan options, premium contributions by employees will actually be reduced without sacrificing the quality of the insurance coverage.

The Operating Engineers’ unit is the first bargaining unit to settle a new agreement among the five units negotiating with the College this year. “We remain committed to collaborative problem-solving with our bargaining groups,” said MacQueen. “Our commitment is to being fiscally responsible while finding collaborative and innovative solutions.”

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Recycling Event Keeps Waste Out of Landfills

Oakland Community College is teaming with Verizon Wireless and Global Electric Electronic Processing (GEEP) to sponsor two electronic waste (e-waste) recycling events at the Royal Oak and Southfield campuses. The event is sponsored by OCC’s Sustainability Committee in support of Campus Sustainability Month.

e-Waste collection times, dates and locations are:

  • Saturday, October 17, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the OCC Royal Oak Campus South parking lot, 218 W. Hudson Ave., Royal Oak (corner of S. Washington Ave. and West Hudson Ave.)
  • Saturday, October 24, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the OCC Southfield Campus, West parking lot, 22322 Rutland Drive, Southfield

GEEP will collect approved e-waste from students, staff, faculty and Oakland County community residents and transport the waste to the company’s facility.

“We make it easy for those wishing to drop off their electronic waste items,” said Mike Halaburda, OCC facilities manager. “OCC employee volunteers and GEEP team members will collect items from cars that drive up to the event drop-off station at our OCC parking lots in Royal Oak and Southfield. When the collection is over, we transport it to a local GEEP facility for processing.”

Over the past three years, OCC has collected over 61,000 pounds of waste. In previous years, collections have included special recycling in our community including used phones for Haven.

The following items will be accepted: computers, laptops, printers, copiers, cell phones, office phones, microwaves, chargers, TVs, cable boxes, lithium ion and car batteries, hard drives, industrial equipment, personal electronics, radios, computer monitors, audio equipment, routers, circuit boards, cables, wires, cords and home appliances.

The following materials will not be accepted: bio-hazard material, radioactive material, VHS tapes, CDs, Freon-containing devices, alkaline batteries, leaking batteries, any non-electronics and hazardous waste (such as paint or oil).

For more information, contact Mike Halaburda at or (248) 341-2016.

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