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The Times
  • Students, parents explore HCCC during open house

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  • Potential students and their parents visited Herkimer County Community College during an open house Saturday, giving them the opportunity to see the college center, classrooms and housing, and to hear from administrators who discussed the qualities of the school.
    “We know we're not one of the biggest, but we do know we're one of the best,” said Matthew Hawes, dean of students, during the closing remarks.
    “Getting your degree isn't an easy thing to do. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it,” said Hawes. “It's a commitment. When you do get it, it adds on to your life … Getting that degree is critically important.”
    Hawes talked about his own personal doubts when trying to complete his doctorate's degree, but with the encouragement of his wife, he was able to get it done.
    “Sometimes you're going to have those moments when you doubt,” he said.
    Hawes then showed a video called “212 Degrees” from simpletruths.com to help inspire students to go and get their degree. The video states at 211 degrees, water is considered hot. One degree more is when water boils and everything changes. That's when it can produce steam, which is powerful enough to move a locomotive.
    “This is a chance to showcase our services, faculty and staff,” said Robert Palmieri, associate dean of enrollment management, at the Robert McLaughlin College Center on Saturday. He said about 80 students had signed up for the open house, but noted that it wasn't a final tally.
    “The students come from all over,” said Palmieri.
    Palmieri said the open house highlighted the college's new dining center, its new science labs in Johnson Hall and its new academic programs, which include quality assurance and mobile applications development. He also said they talked about the college's pending engineering science and mathematics degrees, which is tied in with the developing STEM industry.
    Palmieri said teachers were in their classrooms and labs for visitors to see them at work.
    The open house activities included a welcome from HCCC President Ann Marie Murray and Michael Oriolo, dean of academic affairs. Information tables on campus security, academic support services, athletics and other services at the college were set up at the college center.
    Visitors then had a chance to take a self-guided tour of the campus to meet the faculty. Austin Fuller, of West Schuyler, said he enjoyed seeing the broadcasting studio the school has during his visit Saturday. Fuller, a junior at Whitesboro High School, is interested in the school's radio-television broadcasting program.
    Visitors also had the opportunity to take a guided tour of the campus and its housing. There was a financial aid session, followed by a parent question and answer session and a student question and answer session.
    Page 2 of 2 - At the parent question and answer session, parents asked about academic advisement, student activities, campus safety and residence life.
    When asked why the school is so special, Jaclyn Harrington, director of academic advisement, who was participating in the parent question and answer panel, said, “I liked it so much, I came to work here.”
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