Want to See My Picture On the Cover…

From OCC to Local City Council to the Cover of TIME® Magazine

Journalist, vice president of Preservation Farmington, and the youngest candidate and top finisher elected to Farmington City Council, Maria Taylor carries an impressive resume. Add gracing the recent cover of TIME Magazine® among a group of women deemed ‘The Avengers,’ and 2018 is shaping up to be another exciting year for this OCC Alum.

time cover avengers occ.jpgLess than 10 years ago, Taylor was a student at OCC’s Orchard Ridge campus in Farmington Hills, working hard to not lose points for speaking too fast in faculty member Carole Bennett’s public speaking class, and trying to figure out credits toward graduation with her counselor, Rhonda Brown. While she had an interest in serving the community –she had worked at the historic Warner Mansion in downtown Farmington and marched with the community Warnerettes—Taylor credits OCC for preparing her to serve in her current role as Farmington City Council Member.

“When you go to a commuter college your classmates come from all walks of life. Older, younger, different races and religions—all different backgrounds. That’s what the real world is like and that’s a valuable experience to have when it comes to serving the community,” said Taylor. “There’s a common misconception about community colleges as a place to go when students find they can’t get into a four-year institution. My experience absolutely discredits that myth: I found OCC to be top tier in instruction and experience, where the instructors really care about their students.”

Her advice to future and current students: consider dual enrollment while in high school and take a public speaking class. The latter she clarified by stating, “Experience in public speaking really helps in any profession.”

After graduating from OCC in 2010 with a degree in Liberal Arts, Taylor went on to study English at Alma College. She served on the Farmington Historical Commission in 2014-2015 before co-founding Preservation Farmington and securing a seat on the Farmington City Council in 2017.

TIME Magazine’s story on ‘The Avengers’ describes “an unprecedented surge of first-time female candidates, overwhelmingly Democratic, running for offices big and small, from the U.S. Senate and state legislatures to local school boards” through the eyes of those trailblazers.

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Distinguished Alumnus and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson to Speak at OCC’s 2018 Commencement

Ruth Johnson, Michigan’s Secretary of State and the first woman ever elected to serve as clerk/register of deeds in Oakland County, will deliver Oakland Community College’s 2018 commencement address to over 2,700 graduates on Saturday, May 19. In addition to commencement speaker, Johnson will also be recognized as Alumni of the Year.

As Secretary of State, Johnson serves as chief motor vehicle administrator and chief election officer for the state’s nearly 10 million residents. She also maintains the state’s official repository of records and certifies documents as Keeper of the Great Seal. She is second in line of succession to the governor.

“It is an honor to have such an outstanding alum as Secretary of State Ruth Johnson serve as our 2018 commencement speaker,” said OCC Chancellor Peter Provenzano. “Ruth is an outstanding example of how a community college can create a pathway to great success.”

A life-long resident of Oakland County, Johnson began her college career at OCC. She also holds a bachelor’s degree from Oakland University and a master’s degree, with honors, from Wayne State University.

Among her accomplishments, Johnson improved customer service with the launch of ExpressSOS.com and MI-TIME Line, a line management tool at Michigan’s busiest Secretary of State branch offices that allows customers to hold their place in line electronically while they stay home or run errands.

Johnson’s work as secretary continues a distinguished career in public service. As a three-term member of the Michigan House of Representatives from 1999 through 2004, she also served on the Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, Education, Health Policy and Transportation Committees.

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Travel to Neverland at OCC’s “Peter and the Starcatcher”

peter and the star catcher.jpgExploring how a young orphan ultimately became Peter Pan, Oakland Community College’s production of “Peter and the Starcatcher” opens to the public March 15-24.

“It’s theatrical, magical and inventive,” said Dennis North, OCC Fine and Performing Arts faculty member and show producer. “This show is a wonderful new take on the story you thought you knew.”

“Peter and the Starcatcher” is a play based on the 2004 novel of the same name by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. Adapted for the stage by Rick Elice, the Broadway show has won a slew of awards, including five Tony Awards. The play provides a backstory for the characters of Peter Pan, Mrs. Darling, Tinker Bell and Hook, and serves as a prequel to J. M. Barrie’s “Peter and Wendy.”

From marauding pirates and jungle tyrants to unwilling comrades and unlikely heroes, 15 actors representing more than 11 communities across the region, portray more than 100 eccentric characters in “Peter and the Starcatcher.”

According to Actor and OCC Alumnus Miles Bond, OCC theatre has long offered an opportunity to learn through people who represent a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences.

“This diversity contributes something truly unique to each show,” said Bond, who portrays Peter in the show. “It is especially true in our upcoming production which relies heavily on strong imaginations and personalities. Working with these people has helped me grow so much as a performer and a person, reflecting my overall feeling of OCC.”

Show dates are March 15, 16, 17 and 22, 23, 24. All performances are at 8:00 p.m. at the Oakland Community College, Smith Theater on the Orchard Ridge campus, 27055 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills. General admission is $15; students and seniors (age 62+) pay $5.

Advance tickets are available at occevents.eventbrite.com or at the Smith Theater Box Office each night of the performance. For more information about OCC’s theatre program contact Dennis North at (248) 522-3636 or visit the College’s theatre program home page.


Peter and the Starcatcher Cast:

Christine Manzagol – Clarkston

Miles Bond –                 Detroit

Jordan Barkey –           Detroit

Alyssia Rogers –           Farmington Hills

Justin Gnagi –               Hazel Park

Nick Gnagi –                 Hazel Park

Christpher Burns –      Milford

Kiran-Duràe Lambert– Oak Park

Phillip Shaun DeVone– Rochester

Thomas Croft –              Southfield

Ezana Dejne –             Southfield

Ben Hafen –                Southfield

Sara Lillian Bishop – Troy

Leia Serlin –                 West Bloomfield

Ellen Molina –              Ypsilanti

Chandler St. Aubin –   Private

Grayson Bourdeau –   Private

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Oakland Community College Chancellor’s Scholarship – Qualifying High School Students Sought for 2018-19 Awards

Students planning to attend Oakland Community College for the 2018-19 academic year are encouraged to apply for the Chancellor’s Scholarship awards. These scholarships help incoming, qualified students get a financial head start on their higher education experience.

The Chancellor’s Scholarships are awarded to one student from each public or private Oakland County high school and one student from each qualified Adult Education/Alternative Education Center each year.

The award is for $3,500 ($1,750 for the fall semester and $1,750 for the winter semester) and covers full tuition and fees for the first academic year following high school, or qualified adult education/alternative education center graduation.

“It is an honor to offer this scholarship to our county residents because it helps to reduce the financial barrier that often limits students from achieving their dream of a college education,” said OCC Chancellor Peter Provenzano. “I received a scholarship toward college and recognize the difference that it made in life.”

The application deadline is April 15. Recipients must attend Oakland Community College at least full-time (12 credit hours minimum) for both fall and winter semesters. If the student does not attend classes, the scholarship is forfeited.

Eligibility Criteria

for High School Students:

  • Must be a current Oakland County public or private high school student
  • Must have a minimum cumulative (not weighted) GPA of 3.0
  • Official transcript must include the fall semester grades
  • Must graduate in June prior to college attendance

for Adult Education/Alternative Education Center Students:

  • Must be a current Oakland County Adult Education/Alternative Education Center student
  • Must have a minimum cumulative (not weighted) GPA of 2.5
  • Official transcript must include the fall semester grades
  • Must have completed a minimum of three terms of adult/alternative education
  • Must graduate in June prior to college attendance

Applications are available online or contact any of the four offices of Financial Assistance and Scholarships.

For more information on these awards, visit https://www.oaklandcc.edu/finaid/chancellors-scholarships.

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Get Ready to Ride! OCC Partners with Secretary of State for Motorcycle Safety Courses

For true bikers, every day is a good day for a ride – except in Michigan ice and snow. With the promise of warmer weather around the corner, will you be ready to take advantage of powering the open road on two wheels?

Oakland Community College (OCC) and Michigan Secretary of State are offering two Motorcycle Safety programs beginning in April and fill quickly. A motorcycle endorsement is required to drive on public roads; the motorcycle safety course is required for teens.

    • motorcycle endoresementBasic Rider Course- Web Enhanced: Designed for someone who has minimal experience operating a motorcycle, this course focuses on the development of basic riding skills. Three hours of online preparation is to be completed prior to class start date. The course is offered Apr. 20-22; Apr. 27-29; May 4-6; May 18-20; June 1-3; June 8-10 and June 22-24.
    • Returning Rider Course: A one-day course designed for the experienced but unlicensed rider to become licensed and legal. Many experienced, licensed riders use this course as a refresher and skills tune up. This session takes place May 12 or June 16.


Courses run through June and held at the College’s Auburn Hills’ campus at 2900 Featherstone Road. Call (248) 232-4167 to reserve your seat and get ready to ride!

To obtain an endorsement, drivers have two options: either you must successfully pass a motorcycle safety course; or, pass a written and vision test at a Secretary of State office, obtain a motorcycle temporary instruction permit which allows drivers to practice riding legally on the streets, pass a motorcycle skills test at a third-party testing organization like OCC, and present your skills test certificate at a branch office.

Full details on OCC’s motorcycle safety program are available at: www.oaklandcc.edu/ce/docs/MotorcycleSafety2018.pdf

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