Passionate Donors Endow Undergraduate Scholarship

In the late 1960s when Dolores Speach began working on her bachelor’s degree at the former University College (now the College of Professional Studies at Syracuse University), she was somewhat of an anomaly as a married woman with two young children.

Lor, as she’s known, recalls those days fondly. Her determination and thirst for knowledge were so strong that after earning a bachelor’s degree, she went on to complete a master’s degree at Syracuse University. Lor then taught for several years in Syracuse, including a full-time position as a Regents biology teacher at East Syracuse Minoa High School for two years before moving to the West Coast.

Now retired, Lor and her husband of more than 60 years, Steven Speach, have never lost their Orange spirit. They say it’s important for them to give back so other students can attain the same success and pride of accomplishment they both achieved at the university.

That’s why the Speaches recently established an endowed undergraduate scholarship at the College of Professional Studies as part of the Forever Orange campaign. Through estate planning, Lor and Steve, both life-long educators, are pleased to be able to assist a future generation of students realize dreams of their own.

“We have always tried to touch the lives of students in some meaningful way,” says the couple. “We are gratified that we can continue to help deserving individuals pursue higher education at Syracuse University.”

Dean Michael Frasciello is humbled by the Speach’s generosity and thoughtfulness, as well as their tremendous passion for continuing education. “Lor and Steve each pursued advanced degrees as they balanced careers and personal lives,” he said. “They’re not only honoring their educational triumphs, but most importantly, the memories they hold dear of their time at Syracuse University.”

Though the couple relocated to California, Central New York remains close to their hearts. They began to raise son, Steven, and daughter, Lorraine, in the Syracuse area, where they also set out on their educational and professional journeys. Steve graduated from Le Moyne College and completed 30 credits in the chemical engineering program at Syracuse University. Lor earned an associate degree in humanities from Onondaga Community College, setting her sights on continuing her education at Syracuse University.

In 1973, the couple moved to California to pursue career opportunities. Steve, who completed a Ph.D. at the University of California at Riverside in 1983, served many years as a teacher and administrator, retiring as a school district superintendent in Oceanside, CA. Lor worked as a special education teacher, counselor and administrator for 40 years and earned several additional master’s degrees along the way.

Enjoying a well-deserved retirement near the Pacific Ocean, Lor and Steve Speach continue to reflect on their humble beginnings in Syracuse. They share that through their endowed scholarship, they hope to lighten the financial burden “so students can focus on learning and achieving their maximum academic potential.”

To learn how to establish an endowed scholarship fund for College of Professional Studies students, contact Jeffry Comanici, executive director of post-traditional advancement, at 315.443.1409 or email

About Forever Orange: The Campaign for Syracuse University

Orange isn’t just our color. It’s our promise to leave the world better than we found it. Forever Orange: The Campaign for Syracuse University is poised to do just that. Fueled by 150 years of fearless firsts, together we can enhance academic excellence, transform the student experience and expand unique opportunities for learning and growth. Forever Orange endeavors to raise $1.5 billion in philanthropic support, inspire 125,000 individual donors to participate in the campaign, and actively engage one in five alumni in the life of the University. Now is the time to show the world what Orange can do. Visit to learn more.

About the College of Professional Studies
The College of Professional Studies is a global, inclusive and future-facing college, providing access to a diverse population of students and learners seeking a Syracuse University degree, credential, certificate or educational experience from anywhere in the world.

The College of Professional Studies Announces Cannabis Studies Minor

A fully online cannabis studies minor is now available to Syracuse University undergraduate students through the College of Professional Studies.

The 18-credit cannabis studies online minor provides a foundation of knowledge across the cannabis industry including governing laws, plant science and extracts, medicinal properties, plant cultivation and harvesting, as well as business and employment opportunities.

The dynamic learning environment for the online courses are built with a blend of both synchronous and asynchronous learning. Much of the coursework is designed to be completed on your own time, in combination with a required weekly meeting time which allows students to engage in active discussions, receive immediate feedback, and participate in personal interactions with classmates and instructors.

Syracuse University undergraduate students who wish to enroll must enter the program no later than the first semester of junior year and be in good academic standing with the approval of their home college. Students can register to start take courses in the fall when registration opens on Wednesday, April 13.

To learn more, visit

About the College of Professional Studies

The College of Professional Studies is a global, inclusive and future-facing college, providing access to diverse students and learners seeking a Syracuse University degree, credential, certificate or education experience.

MVCC, Alfred State, SU, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and National Electrical Contractors Association partner to provide education pathway for Local 43 members

Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC), Alfred State College, Syracuse University, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 43 and the National Electrical Contractor Association (NECA), have joined forces to build an education pathway for IBEW Local 43 members.

The partnership provides apprentices in the NECA/IBEW Local 43’s five-year training program with a MVCC Electrical Service Technician AOS degree at no cost and an opportunity to earn a Project Management Certificate from Syracuse University, as well as a pathway to transfer seamlessly into Alfred State College’s bachelor’s degree program in Business Administration: Technology Management — a fully online degree that is highly accessible for working adults.

Also, by leveraging preexisting agreements that Alfred State has with MBA programs around the state, including one with Syracuse University, the pathway for the IBEW population extends through a professional degree.

The joint announcement was made on April 8,  by MVCC President Dr. Randall J. VanWagoner, Ph.D.; Alfred State College President Steven Mauro, Ph.D.; Dean, College of Professional Studies from Syracuse University Michael J. Frasciello, Ph.D.; IBEW Local 43 Business Manager/Financial Secretary Alan Marzullo; and NECA President James Engler.

MVCC President VanWagoner said, “Our coalition of diverse partners has constructed a first of its kind, non-redundant, coherent pathway for highly skilled electrical workers to advance along the project management career ladder that fundamentally relies on a noncredit-to-credit pathway breaking the traditional mold of higher education and acting as an exemplar model, ripe to replicate.”

Syracuse University’s Dean Frasciello said, “Our partnership with MVCC, Alfred State, and the IBEW is the first of many collaborations that provide talented students with the opportunity to advance their careers while shaping the future of the electrical trades and the industries they serve. This partnership focuses three of the region’s leading academic institutions on developing the next generation of future-ready electrical trades professionals.”

Alfred’s President Mauro said, “Alfred State College is proud to partner with IBEW, MVCC, and Syracuse University to strengthen our long history of working with unions to create non-traditional pathways for career advances in the skilled trades. As advances in technology continue, skilled tradespeople will require greater competencies. It is partnerships like this that will provide advanced training for our electrical technicians who wish to gain a workforce advantage and become managers and leaders in their trade. We look forward to continuing our tradition of providing local and regional industry with workforce-ready graduates.”

IBEW’s Marzullo said, “This complex but highly synergistic partnership will enable IBEW Local 43 to further enhance the welfare of our members while maintaining perfect alignment to our steadfast commitment of providing the highest quality of skilled electricians to our contractors. We have long provided college-level learning to our apprentices and we are thrilled that our college partners have identified a mechanism to recognize this. There is now great congruity between organized labor training and higher education and it is for the betterment of all.”

About Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC)

Mohawk Valley Community College, established in 1946, is New York State’s first community college with a mission to provide accessible, high-quality educational opportunities for everyone. As the community’s college, MVCC is committed to student success through partnerships, transfer and career pathways, and personal enrichment. With campuses in Utica and Rome, MVCC is the region’s primary provider of college education, offering 90 degree and certificate options for its enrollment of 6,000 full- and part-time students. MVCC also serves an additional 6,000 people through its corporate and community education programs, and its campuses welcome more than 50,000 people annually for community events. For more information, visit

About Syracuse University

Syracuse University is an independent research university that advances knowledge across disciplines to drive breakthrough discoveries and breakout leadership. Our 13 schools and colleges and over 200 majors close the gap between education and action, so graduates are equipped to be resourceful, responsive and real-world ready. In and beyond the classroom, we connect people, perspectives and practices to solve interconnected issues with innovative approaches. Together, we’re a powerful community of game changers that moves ideas, individuals and impact forward. For more information, visit


About Alfred State College

Alfred State College is a public college in Alfred, New York. It is part of the State University of New York system. The college, formerly the Technical College at Alfred, offers a wide variety of majors in both 4-year bachelor’s degrees or 2-year associate degrees. It is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and is a member of the Rochester Area Colleges consortium. Visit for more information.


About the IBEW

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) represent over 800,000 workers throughout the United States and Canada in all phases of the electrical industry. Local 43 represents nearly 1200 + hard-working men and women in these six counties of New York: Cortland, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego and parts of Cayuga, Chenango, Otsego, Tompkins and Wayne counties. Visit for more information.


About NECA (National Electrical Contractors Association)

NECA is the voice of the $171 billion electrical contracting industry representing over 4500 electrical contracting businesses in the US and Internationally.  The Finger Lakes Chapter NECA represents Central NY contractors who employ IBEW Local 43 electricians, and funds the IBEW educational training program creating a skilled workforce.  Visit for more information.

2022 Honors Reception Recognizes Part-time Student Academic Achievements

Syracuse University’s College of Professional Studies presented its annual academic awards on March 11 to recognize the academic achievement of Syracuse University students pursuing their degrees part-time and earning dean’s list status during the spring and fall 2021 semesters. In total, 148 part-time students from across Syracuse University’s campus were recognized at the reception.

The honors reception also inducted students into the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society.

Alpha Sigma Lambda is the nation’s largest and oldest chapter-based honor society for nontraditional students. To be considered for membership, a candidate must have completed 24 credit hours at Syracuse University and be in the top twenty percent of the class with a minimum grade point average of 3.2. These students will join more than 200 existing members at the University.

This year’s Alpha Sigma Lambda inductees are:

  • Mark Wilson Chapman
  • Edward J. Furcinito
  • Scott G. Howard
  • James Thomas Leonard
  • Diane M. Malikow
  • Tamrie Alexandra Oliver
  • Andrea Turnbull

The College of Professional Studies offers a variety of online and residential degree and certificate programs. For more information, visit or call 315.443.9378.

How Continuing Ed Can Revitalize Local Communities

via Illumination by Modern Campus

Continuing education can act as a gateway for the public to access a college or university. It’s crucial for CE leaders to understand and engage with people who live in the area, feel the beat of the community and respond accordingly with programming that the residents find valuable.  

Continuing ed can be the bridge between a community and an institution.  

On today’s episode of Illumination, Michael Frasciello, Dean of the College of Professional Studies at Syracuse University, talks with host Amrit Ahluwalia about how CE units can help their institutions achieve their mission and attract partnerships with local employers. 

The demand for experts in continuing ed has grown since the start of the pandemic, Frasciello says. Colleagues of his are being asked for advice on how institutions can better use their existing infrastructures to better accommodate distance learning.  

“For years, continuing ed divisions have been ‘those guys down there at the other corner of campus,’” he says. “But now we’ve seen people leaning into what continuing ed can do, how we do it and the expertise around staffing and frameworks.” 

This newfound attention is not a short-lived phenomenon either. The demand for conversations around how CE develops programming at Syracuse has been continuous. Online program management demand has also skyrocketed in the last few years.  

Universities are beginning to understand how crucial it is to build infrastructures that can accommodate the demands for CE and distance learning.  

“I hate to say it, but this might not be our last pandemic,” Frasciello says. “It may not be the last external exigency that requires universities to pivot quickly and staff up to be able to deliver services that are not on the ground full-time.” 

It’s unfortunate that it took a global catastrophe for senior academic leaders to see the value in CE, Frasciello says, but at least it’s happening.  

Part of the reason CE is such a successful endeavour for so many institutions is that CE puts community engagement is front and center. CE is making the area more appealing to those who surround the campus, especially for in-person classes. 

For example, Syracuse’s College of Professional Studies spearheads community engagement for the entire university. Each Thursday since 1959, the college has hosted a roundtable of local leaders.  

The investment of a college campus is in fact an investment of its surrounding community. There is so much more to a campus than just classrooms and libraries; it’s a place for ideas to permeate and for people to collaborate. 

“We are the gateway to the university for the community,” Frasciello says. “Many of our students are part time, and all are either online or commuter. Those commuter students are coming from a 90-mile area around the university, but they know Syracuse University through us, through the continuing education unit.” 

That connection extends to employers as well.  

Upskilling and reskilling services can have an enormous impact on the surrounding area’s ability to attract employers. 

“Large cities have been able to really leverage everything to those schools,” Frasciello says. “They can transform an entire city.” 

With nearly 4,000 faculty and staff, Syracuse University is the largest employer in its region. 

“Not only is there an obligation for the school to do good for the public, but it’s in our best interest to do that,” Frasciello says. “The people that work here, live here.” 

Developing partnerships with businesses is also essential for the continuing ed division, as businesses can really spotlight what employers are looking for in the school’s recent grads.  

 Syracuse is only eight miles from an Amazon warehouse. Those employees can attend the university at a significant discount for part-time certificates, degree and non-credit credentials. The idea is to make the university accessible to a larger number of people in the same area, while at the same time learning what they need from those who they spend the most time with: their employer.  

The new skills are provided by the university; the information and students are provided by the business. It is a symbiotic relationship in which both parties benefit.