June 4, 2015                                                                                                                              Number 7 

Looking Back to Look Ahead


By Rochelle Hendricks

Secretary of Higher Education


As we head into the summer months to pursue new opportunities, explore further studies, conduct research and perhaps enjoy

Secretary Hendricks

some well-deserved rest and relaxation, the months ahead also represent a chance to reflect on what we have accomplished and what remains to be done.


Looking back, we realize just how valuable the Governor's Task Force Report on Higher Education has been as a catalyst for advancing higher education in New Jersey. We can review some of the major recommendations and see the progress made.  Headed by former Gov. Kean, the task force recommended that the State pursue capital funding, and we responded with the first voter-approved construction projects in more than 25 years, with 176 projects totaling $1.3 billion from five funds.


The task force called for a bold new vision for Rutgers, led by the acquisition of a medical school and a School of Public Health from the former UMDNJ. This was one of the largest academic mergers ever - and it dramatically enhanced Rutgers' reputation as a world-class university. We have also improved the availability of higher education in the southern part of the State, establishing Rowan University as an exciting, rapidly growing new research university.


But our work, as the recommendations of the task force remind us, is far from finished. I am partnering with the Presidents' Council's executive committee, which represents the presidents of the colleges and universities throughout the state. Together, we are examining financial trends and possibilities with the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, a nonprofit organization comprised of some of the best-respected, well-informed policy analysts in the nation.  


Our office will continue to address difficult, important questions about how students can finish their degrees, at an affordable price, with skills that lead to meaningful careers and fulfilled lives. We will continue our collaborations to meet workforce demands and drive economic growth in the State. We will identify better ways to promote accountability so that institutions are fulfilling their distinctive missions, delivering the highest quality of education.


We are proud of our accomplishments. They give us confidence to address the critical issues that remain. We are here to serve and make a difference. Enjoy the summer!    

Rana Elmekadem, of Camden County College, was elected the 2014-15 New Jersey State President for Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. 

Camden County College Student Receives International Awards from Phi Theta Kappa


A member of the Camden County College Class of 2015, who served as state president of the top honor society for community college students, has been recognized by that honor society's international governing body for her outstanding leadership.


Rana Elmekadem of Barrington was elected 2014-15 New Jersey State President for Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, becoming the first Camden County College student to achieve this office. She recently won Phi Theta Kappa's 2015 Most Distinguished Regional Officer Award for her exceptional service and also was a member of the 2015 Most Distinguished Regional Officer Team. In addition, her work helped the Middle States Region win the 2015 Most Distinguished Region Award.


Elmekadem previously served as co-president of Camden County College's Alpha Nu Mu chapter of Phi Theta Kappa and contributed to its receiving the Middle States Region's Gold Award and being named a Five Star Chapter. She also completed the international organization's Five Star Competitive Edge program as an individual.


The Honors Program, Dean's List and President's List student - who also served as treasurer for the College Chemistry Club and played on the CCC tennis team - was one of two candidates from CCC who were named to the 2015 All-New Jersey Academic Team. In addition, she was selected to deliver the graduating student address for the College's 47th commencement exercises on May 16, sharing the stage with Congressman Donald Norcross and United Stated Department of Labor Deputy Secretary Christopher P. Lu.


Elmekadem completed her associate in science degree in pre-pharmacy with a 3.75 grade-point average. She currently is employed as a state-certified pharmacy technician at CVS in Marlton and will continue her higher education in pursuit of a doctor of pharmacy degree.

New Jersey EOF 
Students Have Best Graduation Rates  in National

New Jersey's EOF students rank first  when compared with graduation rates for low-income students in public, four-year colleges in 15 states.

As the nation's most comprehensive and successful State program for students with economic and educational disadvantages, the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) helps students and families fulfill the dream and promise of a higher education and a better way of life.

By investing in the success of our EOF students, New Jersey is rewarded many times over. Whether they emerge with undergraduate or professional degrees, EOF students are well-prepared to take leadership roles in society.


The numbers speak for themselves. Ninety-one percent of the students enrolled in the program are making satisfactory academic progress. Students successfully completed 86.9 percent of the courses they attempted.


Read the report

Study Documents High Performance of Aim High Academy Students at Six New Jersey Colleges and Universities


Students who participated in the Aim High Academy program from 2011 to 2013 had significantly higher levels of college acceptance, enrollment, academic achievement, and persistence in college, scoring much better than the students from the same schools who did not participate in the Academy, according to a new study by Dr. Bernadette Tiernan.


Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks is encouraged by the results of this study as preparations are being made for a fifth year of the Aim High Academy program at six New Jersey institutions of higher education. The Aim High Academy is administered by Eric Taylor of the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education through the federally funded College Access Challenge Grant.


The Secretary would like to thank Dr. Tiernan of William Paterson University for providing her study, "The Role of Higher Education in Precollege Preparation for Underrepresented Students." 


Read the study

Bionic Eye Implant by Mayo Clinic Surgeon, a Rutgers Alumnus, Goes Viral

Sight-restoring procedure allows 68-year-old man to see his wife of 45 years for the first time in a decade


When surgeon Raymond Iezzi implanted a bionic eye in his blind patient at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, earlier this year, he expected local media to notice.


What the two-time Rutgers graduate didn't expect was that the story would go viral. But since a touching video of 68-year old Allen Zderad beholding his wife of 45 years for the first time in a decade hit the Internet in February, more than 200 newspapers, magazines and TV stations around the country have run the story.


See the full story and video


Two Initiatives Keeping Education Affordable at Rowan College at Gloucester County

$250,000 Dedicated to Start Smart/Finish Smart Scholarships at Rowan College at Gloucester County


Three years ago, Rowan College at Gloucester County (RCGC) created a unique scholarship for Gloucester County high school students. The "Presidential Start Smart Scholarship" was designed for students ranked directly under the top 15 percent of their graduating class. It provides qualified first-year students with a $1,000 award when enrolled in a full-time course of study.


Earlier this month, on May 6, Rowan College at Gloucester County President Frederick Keating (left) and Rowan University Vice President of Enrollment Management Dr. Jeff Hand (center) added to the original scholarship program.


Rowan University introduced its "Finish Smart Scholarship," which will provide a $1,000 award to 125 eligible Start Smart Scholarship recipients who begin their education at RCGC in September 2015 and transfer to Rowan University for a bachelor's degree in 2017. This combined scholarship agreement -- with RCGC's "Start Smart Scholarship" and Rowan University's "Finish Smart Scholarship" -- will help make higher education more affordable for Gloucester County residents.


Pictured with President Keating are (left to right): GCIT senior and 2015 Start Smart Scholarship recipient Aaron Diza, Dr. Hand, Rowan University Executive Director Michael Plagianakos and Gloucester County Professional Counselors Association President James DiGennaro. Rowan College at Gloucester County's 250-acre campus is located on Tanyard Road in Deptford, just off Exit 56 of Route 55. 


Rowan Choice: Freshmen Get the 'College Experience' at a Reduced Cost

There's a "new" college experience available to freshmen looking to attend Rowan University this September, and the savings are substantial. Premier partner Rowan University and Rowan College at Gloucester County (RCGC) have connected another link between the two institutions, this time offering incoming University freshmen a way to save up to $10,000 while still enjoying campus life.


The new initiative, Rowan Choice, allows 250 students to select a one-year option to live on Rowan's main Glassboro campus while taking RCGC classes. Room and board are charged at the University price, but tuition and fees are calculated at the community college cost.


Students enrolled in the Rowan Choice program may pursue 30 college credits, all which have been reviewed and approved by both institutions. Academic advising, financial aid counseling, course registration and tutoring assistance are provided by RCGC staff.  As long as students meet program requirements, college credits seamlessly transfer for their sophomore year. The majority of courses taught on the Rowan University campus will be located in the Enterprise Center on Rowan Boulevard, with additional electives accessible less than 15 minutes away at RCGC. A shuttle service will run between the two campuses. 


"This is a great opportunity for first-year students who have selected Rowan University as their school of choice, want the college experience of living on campus but are looking for a way to reduce the cost and loan debt," said RCGC President Frederick Keating. "Rowan Choice offers students access to a quality education that is affordable and transferable."


At an estimated annual cost of approximately $12,650 for tuition, fees, room and board, the Rowan Choice program is an ideal fit for students who may have just missed earning a Rowan University merit scholarship or for parents looking to save money while still providing their children with a residential college experience.


Rowan Choice is open to all in-state freshman applicants; however, seats are limited. Interested students must first apply to Rowan University before completing the Rowan Choice interest form. Once accepted into the program, a $300 deposit is required to hold a seat.


For more information

Candlelight Vigil: Caldwell University Supports Nepalese Students and Alumni Following Earthquake

The Caldwell University community gathered for a candlelight walk and a program on April 29 to support its Nepalese students and alumni following the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Nepal on April 25. Caldwell  has 33 students from Nepal and many alumni  from that nation.


The evening included remarks from Nepalese students and Caldwell University staff and administration, a minute of silence, prayers, music, videos and a candlelight walk to the campus peace pole.


Hritesh Regmi, a student from Nepal and a communication arts major, said that for the Nepalese students the extent of the trauma is incomprehensible. The places that they grew up loving, that "thousands from across the world came to visit, are now gone," he said. "The idea of walking around our hometown and nothing being the same is disorienting."


Caldwell's president, Dr. Nancy Blattner, expressed the university's care for its Nepalese students and alumni. She said they rejoice that as of this time, no immediate family members of students have been counted among those who perished in the aftermath of the earthquake. 


"Together as a community, we mourn for the loss experienced by our students and their family members --loss of homes and personal possessions, loss of familiar landmarks in Kathmandu, loss of cultural heritage in Nepal that dates back to 300 AD," she said.


The students are raising money for the American Nepal Medical Foundation. They have set up a Facebook site called "Caldwell University Prays for Nepal."


How to help: Go here for information about the American Nepal Medical Foundation.


During a cultural exchange in Cuba, Fairleigh Dickinson University students had the chance to meet with students studying at University of Matanzas. (Photo courtesy of Lisetty Nigrinis)
Fairleigh Dickinson University Students Find a Vibrant and Creative Cuba in Cultural Exchange Program

By Kenna Caprio


Retro cars line the streets while the architecture reflects a mix of Spanish and Art Deco styles and socialist influences, according to Fairleigh Dickinson University students Alexandra Romanczuk, Olivia Ford and Byanjana Thapa. This is Cuba: Exotic. Foreign. Embargoed.


Over winter break, 11 Global Scholars from the Metropolitan Campus visited Cuba, a country seemingly frozen in time, and still untouched by a looming thaw. As more details of the warming relationship between the United States and Cuba emerged in the news, the FDU travelers arrived for a nine-day cultural exchange - to see university life, experience Old Havana and Pinar del R?o, and appreciate traditional and modern art and dance.


"Cuba is not just a traditional Caribbean getaway - not a week of sun and sand accented by a tropical margarita. Cuba is still the land of La Revoluc?on, a nation of a people who fought the exploitation of sugarcane resources and sought to make something self-sustaining," says Thapa, a senior biology major originally from Kathmandu, Nepal. "Cuba has retained its colorful charm in all the sights, smells and movements. And yet, this is a landscape that is slowly changing. In Cuba, it is the perpetual uncertainty that gives vigor to existence." 


Each winter break, the Global Scholars Program sponsors an international trip to a locale determined through student input and cost considerations. In 2014, it was Belize, in 2013, Istanbul, Turkey. "We develop something that will have an educational purpose and fits in with the Global Scholars values," says Samuel Raphalides, the political science and history professor and Global Scholars director, who accompanied the students abroad with Lisetty Nigrinis, assistant director of global partnerships.


"It's important to develop lines of communication with other cultures to see how different people cope with everyday life, what their expectations are and how creative the human spirit can be in any number of environments," continues Raphalides. More than just a sightseeing trip, the goal is for students to really learn about a developing country through "co-curricular field experience."


Read more

Montclair State University Researchers Fight Bio-Terrorism with Chemistry

With $2.5 Million Grant

David Rotella, right, talks with fellow researcher Sreedhar Tummalapalli about their work to find an antidote to the lethal botulinum toxin.
E ach year millions of people are injected with deadly botulinum toxin-- or Botox -- to combat everything from migraines and crossed eyes to wrinkles and excessive sweating. 
"When a minute amount is injected into a specific, localized area of the body by a highly trained plastic surgeon, it's generally safe," says David Rotella, the University's Sokol Professor of Chemistry.

In fact, Botox use has become so widespread it is easy to forget that it is the most lethal neurotoxin known to man. The same toxin that is such an effective weapon against the effects of aging causes botulism -- a life-threatening disease characterized by paralysis and respiratory failure -- and has the potential to be an even more powerful bioterror weapon. Rotella has been awarded a $2.5 million, five-year contract from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency to help the United States combat bioterrorism by developing inhibitors of the lethal botulinum toxin.


"If you were exposed to it by food or water consumption or inhalation, the results could well be fatal," says Rotella.

Early symptoms include weakness, fatigue and difficulty speaking and seeing. Untreated, botulism can lead to paralysis, coma and death. While advances in palliative care have improved chances of survival in recent years, the mortality rate is still as high as 10 percent.


"The aim of this project is to identify a molecule or molecules that would provide either effective treatment for exposure to botulinum toxin, or provide prophylactic protection prior to exposure," Rotella explains. "I am just one part of the agency's comprehensive, long-term, multimillion-dollar commitment to finding an antidote to this serious bioterrorism weapon."


Read more

Thanks in Part to Unique VIPER program, Military Times Cites Warren County Community College as Among 'Best for Vets' Nationwide


The highly respected publication, Military Times, has announced that Warren County Community College is rated as one of the "Best for Vets: Colleges 2015."


In their fifth year, the rankings factor in the most comprehensive school-by-school assessment of veteran and military students' success rates. The Best for Vets: Colleges 2015 is an editorially independent news project that evaluates the many factors that make an organization a good fit for service members, military veterans and their families. Warren County Community College soared to No. 13 in part as a result of its hugely successful VIPER program.


"We are extremely proud of this designation," said WCCC President, Dr. Will Austin. "We continue to work hard to make the educational experience as seamless as possible for our military people. A lot of colleges do help current military and veterans, but our VIPER program takes things a step further."


Last year the college launched what has become the nationally recognized Veterans In Pursuit of Educational Readiness (VIPER) program, which assists military veterans, National Guard/Reservists and active military personnel to get on the fast-track toward earning their college degrees. The program, launched in conjunction with New Jersey's Thomas Edison State College, allows veterans to translate military training into college credits. The first graduates of the VIPER program received their degrees in May of 2013. Fox News Network highlighted VIPER in a broadcast last year.


Read more



Monmouth University students with Professor and Chair of the Department of Music and Theatre Arts Joe Rapolla (fourth from left)

Monmouth University Students Participate in 'History of Gospel Music' Workshop at The White House

Monmouth University and Asbury Park High School students met First Lady Michelle Obama and participated in the educational workshop "The History of Gospel Music" at the White House on April 14.  The event paid tribute to the fundamental role gospel music has played in the American musical tradition and the important artists and repertoire that have marked its vibrant history.  The Asbury Park High School students were invited by the University to join the program.


The First Lady welcomed 10 Monmouth University students, seven Asbury Park High School students and more than 100 students from across the country to take part in the interactive student workshop held in the State Dining Room. 


"This is the kind of lesson that can't be taught in a classroom," said Joe Rapolla, professor and chair of the Department of Music and Theatre Arts at Monmouth University. "Gospel music has had such an impact on American culture. It's an important part of our culture to share with future generations. To be invited to the White House and have the First Lady help make that connection is an experience all the students will remember for the rest of their lives." 



Monmouth University Names New School of Education Dean

Accomplished Teacher-Scholar 
John E. Henning, Ph.D., to Start in July


Monmouth University has named John E. Henning, Ph.D., its new dean for the School of Education. Henning will join the University community on July 1, 2015. He succeeds Mary Brennan who has served as interim dean since January 2015, following the retirement of former Dean Lynn Romeo.


"Dr. Henning is an innovative and energetic leader with more than 30 years of experience in teaching and teacher education," said Laura J. Moriarty, Monmouth University provost and vice president for academic affairs. "His diverse background, which includes service as a public school teacher, university professor, and academic administrator, will foster a comprehensive and holistic approach to leading the School of Education."


Henning noted that Monmouth's understanding of the importance of the role that external partnerships play in giving students a competitive advantage is one of the things that most excites him about the opportunity.


"Strong partnerships can multiply the power and effectiveness of any organization, and this is especially true for a school of education," he said. "Fostering a network approach to professional preparation promotes great teaching, will keep the school at the forefront of innovation in teacher education, and will provide unique research opportunities for our students."


"Dr. Henning's proven capacity for leading transformational initiatives through partnerships with public schools, community agencies, and universities will enhance the learning experience for our students while greatly expanding their professional opportunities," said Monmouth University President Paul R. Brown, Ph.D.


Burlington County College student Michael Ippoliti (left) was named one of 15 Guistwhite Scholars by Phi Theta Kappa, which also selected BCC Assistant Math Professor William Whitfield as one of 30 Distinguished Advisors.

Burlington County College Student and Professor Earn Prestigious Awards from International Honor Society


Burlington County College (BCC) student Michael Ippoliti, of Edgewater Park, was named one of 15 Guistwhite Scholars by the international honor society Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), which also selected BCC Assistant Math Professor William Whitfield as one of 30 Distinguished Advisors.


"The outstanding efforts of Burlington County College students and faculty make a difference in our communities and are recognized throughout the world," said Burlington County College President Paul Drayton. "We are very proud of Michael and Professor Whitfield for providing two excellent examples of why Burlington County College is such an incredible place to learn and achieve."


Ippoliti, who is on track to earn his associate degree in psychology this spring, will receive a $5,000 scholarship toward his baccalaureate studies in psychology. In addition to serving as a vice president of scholarship for Chi Iota, the college's PTK chapter, Ippoliti is a Service-Learning Scholar and volunteers to help people in crisis as a peer advocate at Legacy Treatment Services' Screening and Crisis Intervention Program.


The Guistwhite Scholarships have been awarded by PTK since 1992. Ippoliti is the first BCC recipient since 2002. He was one of 15 selected by a panel of independent judges from more than 1,700 applicants.

More from Burlington County College: Brookings Institution Affirms BCC's Ability to Increase Students' Earnings


Burlington County College (BCC) ranked among the top community colleges in the nation for its ability to increase its graduates' earning power, according to a recent report that ranks the "value added" by colleges from the independent Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution.

"This is clear, compelling and objective evidence for students to choose Burlington County College for educational and career success," BCC President Paul Drayton said. "If you want a bottom-line reason to attend BCC, this thorough analysis by Brookings affirms our ability to add significant dollars to your future salary.

"These results are a testament to all of the hard-working faculty and staff who make Burlington County College one of the best colleges in the country," President Drayton added.

According to the report, "Beyond College Rankings: A Value-Added Approach to Assessing Two and Four-Year Schools," a Burlington County College graduate's mid-career earnings is 6.1 percent higher than peers who graduate from other institutions. That ranks BCC among the top 50 two-year colleges in the nation that were analyzed by Brookings.

View data from the report


From left, Salem Community College representatives (from left) Thaddeus Wascheck, advisor William Mays, Dana Yangello, Aaron Yangello and Emmanuel Rivera attended the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society convention in San Antonio.

Salem Community College Students Attend International Convention

Four Salem Community College students recently attended the Phi Theta Kappa International Convention in San Antonio.


"To be around 4,000 other college students who share common interests and motivation was simply amazing," said Aaron Yangello, chapter president.  "We got to share ideas about improving our chapters, all while creating lifelong friendships."


Students also benefited from the convention's educational forums on an array of topics, from team building to using a smartphone to make presentations.  "One of the things I learned is that technology plays a very important role in a student's ability to succeed in college," said Thaddeus Wascheck.  


The international honor society of two-year colleges, Phi Theta Kappa, provides opportunities for the development of leadership and service.

News from Seton Hall University

Seton Hall University Announces Kathleen M. Boozang as New Dean for Law School


A Nationally Recognized Health Law Scholar, Boozang Launched Seton Hall's Center for Health & Pharmaceutical Law & Policy


Seton Hall University Provost Larry A. Robinson announced today the appointment of Kathleen M. Boozang as the new Dean of

Dean Kathleen Boozang
Seton Hall School of Law. She will begin her tenure as Dean effective July 1, 2015.


Boozang, currently Associate Dean for Academic Advancement and Professor of Law, joined Seton Hall Law in 1990. She helped launch and currently directs the school's prestigious Center for Health & Pharmaceutical Law & Policy, ranked a Top 10 law health program by U.S. News and World Report for the past 19 years. She co-founded the Seton Center for Religiously Affiliated Nonprofits, and created the Law School's Division of Online Learning.


"We are delighted that Professor Boozang will serve as the new Dean of Seton Hall School of Law. Kathleen has been an innovator since she joined the law school 25 years ago," said Provost Robinson. "She has been a driving force in the law school's dedication to academic excellence and diversity, as evidenced by her forging the Law School's partnership with NJ LEEP. Professor Boozang is deeply dedicated to students and faculty, as well as the community which Seton Hall Law serves. She embodies Seton Hall Law's mission, which makes her the perfect choice as our next dean."


Boozang will be the third woman to serve as Dean of the Seton Hall School of Law. Miriam T. Rooney served as the school's founding Dean in 1951 - the first woman Dean of an accredited law school in the United States. Elizabeth Defeis, now a Professor of Law at Seton Hall, served as Dean from 1983 to 1988.


Read more



Ambassador Susan Rice Speaks at

Seton Hall University


The Donald M. Payne, Sr. Global Foundation Lecture Series and Seton Hall University's School of Diplomacy and International Relations World Leaders Forum hosted U.S. National Security Advisor Ambassador Susan E. Rice on Thurs., April 30, 2015 at Seton Hall University.


Ambassador Rice described how the U.S. is responding to global crises in several regions, particularly in Africa, where Congressman Payne played a key role in advancing effective U.S. engagement. Rice explained that the U.S. is working to prevent atrocities and strengthening accountability when they do occur. She referred to recent legislation, signed by President Obama, that will "expand the State Department's authority to offer cash rewards for information leading to the arrest or conviction of individuals accused of atrocities by any international tribunal. We are committed to working with our partners to bring to justice those who are responsible for such unconscionable crimes."


Payne, Sr., a 1957 graduate, was also remembered by his brother William D. Payne, chairman of the board of the Donald M. Payne, Sr. Global Foundation. "It was on the campus of this venerable institution of learning that my brother, Donald Milford Payne, a scholarship student, began to formulate his philosophy of life that would guide him toward initiatives to uplift the disadvantaged youth of his community and beyond."


"We are thrilled to have had the opportunity through the Payne Foundation to honor the memory of distinguished Seton Hall alumnus, the late Congressman Payne, by hosting such an influential guest on campus," said Andrea Bartoli, dean of the School of Diplomacy and International Relations. "I could not think of a more perfect addition to join the ranks of impressive World Leaders to come to Seton Hall than our National Security Advisor, Ambassador Rice."


Read more

Seton Hall Law Professor Thomas Healy Named a Guggenheim Fellow

Author of acclaimed history of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes' impact on the First Amendment turns his attention to Soul City and its implications for the civil rights movement


Seton Hall Law Professor Thomas Healy has been named a 2015 Fellow by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. 

Awarded annually on the basis of "prior achievement and

Thomas Healy

exceptional promise," the Guggenheim Fellowship is one of the most coveted mid-career awards in the country. Since 1925, the Foundation has granted over $325 million in Fellowships to almost 18,000 individuals, among whom are scores of Nobel laureates and poets laureate, as well as winners of the Pulitzer Prize, Fields Medal, and other important, internationally recognized honors.


Professor Healy is one of 175 scholars, artists and

scientists who were selected this year from among more than 3,100 applicants.


A professor at Seton Hall since 2003, Healy is the author of The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind - and Changed the History of Free Speech in America (Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt), which won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award, and the New Jersey Council for the Humanities Book Award. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in the category of general non-fiction and will spend the year researching and writing his next book, Soul City: The Lost Dream of an American Utopia.

Soul City, a concept developed and nurtured in the 1970s by civil rights leader Floyd McKissick, was designed to be a model of black economic empowerment and to help relieve the blight of the northern ghettos. The planned city was to be built on an abandoned slave plantation in rural North Carolina, reflecting the latest innovations in social policy and urban planning. Despite support from the Nixon administration and various private organizations, the plan ran into stiff resistance from conservatives, including Senator Jesse Helms, and was abandoned after 10 years.

"Soul City was one of the most important projects to grow out of the civil rights movement, yet it is now largely forgotten as both a concept and a place," said Professor Healy. "I plan to tell the fascinating story of its rise and fall and to explore the lessons it offers us about race relations and economic inequality today."

News from New Jersey City University
New Jersey City University (NJCU) inaugurated its Institute for Dispute Resolution earlier this spring. Among those participating in the opening event were (front row from left): Dr. Daniel J. Julius, NJCU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs; Lisa Burke, Director of the Hudson County Bar Association; Laura A. Kaster, Esq., Vice-President of the Garibaldi Inn of Court and Distinguished Neutral; Dr. Sue Henderson, NJCU President; Hon. Sandra B. Cunningham, New Jersey State Senator; Karen DeSoto, Esq., Co-Director, The Center for International Mediation and Negotiation Studies at the NJCU School of Business (CIMS) and NJCU assistant professor of political science; Lorraine M. Brennan, Esq., JAMS Neutral and Adjunct Professor, Georgetown Law; Justice Helen E. Hoens, New Jersey Supreme Court (Retired); (second row from left): John Ukegbu, Esq., Senior Attorney, Hudson County Jersey City Office Northeast Legal Services; Rafael Perez, Esq., Chairman, NJCU Board of Trustees; Dr. Bernard McSherry, Interim Dean, NJCU School of Business; David Weiss, Esq., Distinguished Scholar and Co-Director, The Center for International Mediation and Negotiation Studies at the NJCU School of Business; and Robert E. Margulies, Esq., Executive Director of the Garibaldi Inn of Court, Adjunct Professor Rutgers Law, and Distinguished Neutral.
NJCU Inaugurates Institute for Dispute Resolution

New Jersey City University (NJCU) inaugurated its newly established Institute for Dispute Resolution (IDR) on March 30, 2015 with a jointly sponsored special event, "Ethical Issues in Business Mediation and Navigating your Client's Concerns" at the Brennan Courthouse Courtroom of the Hon. Mary K. Costello, P.J. Cv. in Jersey City.

The continuing legal education (CLE) program was co-sponsored by the Hudson County Bar Association and Foundation, Justice Marie L. Garibaldi Inn of Court, New Jersey Hispanic Bar Association, and Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services International (JAMS).

About 100 attorneys and former local, county, and state judges earned two NJ/NY CLE ethics credits in an interactive program with top instructors. Topics covered included: party tactics, confidentiality, self-determination, informed consent, and mediation vs. lawyer "Ethics Codes" as applied. The program was fully subscribed.  Justice Helen E. Hoens, New Jersey Supreme Court (Retired), delivered the keynote address.

Three from NJCU Receive Fulbright Student Awards

Two New Jersey City University students and one recent alumna have been awarded Fulbright U.S. Student Awards to teach abroad in 2015-2016.

Claudia Severino '11 of Jersey City, a graduate student in multicultural education, will serve as a U.S. cultural ambassador in Colombia, where she will teach English to undergraduate students and work with the organization, Sisma Mujer, to raise awareness about violence against women.

Currently a language arts teacher in Paterson Public Schools, Ms. Severino holds a bachelor's degree in English and secondary education certification from NJCU.

Jacqueline DaSilva of Kearny, a senior majoring in English with a dual certification in elementary education and special education, will serve as a U.S. cultural ambassador in Brazil, where she will teach English and conduct English language workshops for special needs students.

Bridget O'Neill, a 2014 alumna of New Jersey City University, has been awarded a Fulbright Student Award to teach abroad in 2015-2016.  Currently a 12th-grade English teacher at Lacey Township High School in Lanoka Harbor, Ms. O'Neill will serve as a U.S. cultural ambassador in Malaysia where she will teach English and conduct a program that will partner Malay and American students as virtual pen pals. Ms. O'Neill's community outreach efforts will involve promoting female leadership skills through the pursuit of physical fitness.

County College of Morris Cyber Security Team Finishes Seventh at Regional Finals


Student Kimberly Monka Has Particularly Impressive Showing at Competition


The County College of Morris (CCM) cyber defense team finished its first year of competition with a successful trip to the regional finals.


The CCM Cyber Centurions finished seventh at the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (MACCDC) Regional Finals. The MACCDC was held at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Maryland. This was the first time the team, consisting of members from the college's Cyber Security Club, competed in any cybersecurity competition, and it was the first and only team from any New Jersey college or university to enter the competition. The school was one of only 10 teams to make it to regionals.


Individually, CCM student and president of the Cyber Security Club Kimberly Monka, of Denville, had an impressive showing. During the virtual qualifying round, Monka successfully kept the Red Team, the designated attack team, out of her server by continually fending off attacks for the entire three-hour duration of the competition.

The competition ranked individuals by their success in capturing flags. A flag is a hidden file on a system. Monka finished 10th out of 110 individuals. 

Photo: The County College of Morris Cyber Centurions, from left to right, Kimberly Monka, Alexander Zielinski, Brian Seligson, Sergiy Tsyarchuk, Patrick McGrath, Shaun Carroll, Rayne Cafaro, Mihir Kansagra, Professor Patricia Tamburelli, Professor Joseph Tamburelli and Jared Rudow.


From left, "The Youngtown Edition" adviser Russ Crespolini, Editor-in-Chief Chelsea Cattano, Managing Editor Derek Allen and Staff Writer Stephanie Brady celebrate the newspaper's seven wins at the New Jersey Collegiate Press Association Awards on April 11.

County College of Morris Student Newspaper Wins Trio of First Place Awards


'The Youngtown Edition' Takes Home Seven Overall at NJCPA Ceremony


"The Youngtown Edition," the student newspaper at County College of Morris (CCM), continues its run of success on the state level.


The publication once again garnered several top-level honors from the New Jersey Collegiate Press Association (NJCPA), this year winning first place awards in news writing, sports writing and overall website in the 2014-15 College Newspaper Contest. A luncheon recognizing award winners, presented by the New Jersey Press Foundation, took place on Saturday, April 11.


" 'The Youngtown Edition' is a tremendous source of pride for the CCM community," said Russ Crespolini, adjunct professor at CCM and the paper's faculty advisor. "'The Youngtown' is put together, stem to stern, by student volunteers who are dedicated to honing their writing skills and producing high-quality work. To see their hard work pay off in a near-sweep of the news writing category is particularly gratifying. Their unflinching approach to tough issues like the CCM budget makes them a credit to the school. These awards are well-deserved and it is gratifying to see their efforts honored."


Editor-in-Chief Chelsea Lauren Cattano, of Denville, was honored with first place for her news story "CCM faces $4M budget crisis." Cattano also took top prize for overall website and third prize for feature writing for her "County College of Morris director wins award" profile. Senior Managing Editor Tayah Grace Swedlund, of Randolph, picked up a second-place prize for news writing for her story, "Students seek grading system parity." Swedlund also picked up a pair of third-place nods for her sports piece, "1,000 points: No hassle for Ryan Harris" and her entertainment feature, "'Jekyll and Hyde' cast transforms expectations." Staff writer Stephanie Brady, of Long Valley, rounded out the victories with a first-place win in sports writing for her story, "Gender equality extends to lacrosse at CCM."

The Henry M. Rowan Family Foundation has donated $15 million, which will establish a permanent endowment exclusively for the College of Engineering.  Industrialist and philanthropist Henry Rowan (left, pictured with faculty and students) and his late wife, Betty, donated $100 million to then-Glassboro State College in 1992.

Henry M. Rowan Family Foundation commits $15M to Rowan University


The Henry M. Rowan Family Foundation has committed $15 million to Rowan University's College of Engineering, which will be named the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering, Rowan President Dr. Ali Houshmand has announced. 


The gift, which will establish a permanent endowment exclusively for the College of Engineering, marks the second largest contribution in the University's history. South Jersey industrialist and philanthropist Henry Rowan and his late wife, Betty, made the largest gift - $100 million - to then-Glassboro State College in 1992. That record-breaking gift had the effect of transforming the institution as it grew to become Rowan University, and it supported the founding of its nationally ranked College of Engineering. This endowment creates just the second named college at Rowan University, a major milestone for colleges and universities. The first, the William G. Rohrer College of Business, was established in 2005 following a $10 million pledge from the William G. Rohrer Charitable Foundation.

"This new, remarkable gift will ensure our continued ability to deliver a world-class engineering education," said Houshmand. "It will support critical programs in the College, including our newly established Engineering Ph.D. program and the Henry M. Rowan Globalization Fellowship Program. It will enable us to grow our cutting-edge research programs, such as our unique virtual reality lab. Equally important, the endowment will enable Rowan University to expand scholarship support as it increases access for some very exceptional students in our region, in the State and beyond." 

News from Centenary College
Professor George Petersen with his class (from left to right): Jessica Milstrey, Justina Gun, Amanda Madonna and Marissa Galfo as they Skype with identical twins Camille and Kennerly Kitt, also known as the Harp Twins.

World's Only Identical Twin Professional Harpists Skype with Centenary Class


Professor George Petersen, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, wanted to expose his students to a real-life success story.  His class, which is Academic Foundations Course (AFC) entitled "Where it Begins", is a first-year course that focuses on setting goals and succeeding in college and life.  He decided to reach out to identical twins Camille and Kennerly Kitt, also known as the Harp Twins, who are multi-talented professional dual harpists and actors to see if they would chat with his class about their own professional journey.


Camille and Kennerly agreed to skype with his class recently.  They spoke to the students and Professor Petersen about the progression of their careers, their advice about developing goals, staying flexible and being true to oneself.  Both urged students to find a career path that they love.  Only then can someone become highly successful.  They also discussed their own branding and their love of volunteerism, plus recommended Centenary students to carve out time for community service on a regular basis.  They also emphasized the importance of knowing when to say no when making career decisions.


"This was such a unique and wonderful experience for my students," says Professor Petersen.  "They were able to interact with Camille and Kennerly Kitt even though they are located in another part of the country.  I believe this opportunity was one that was inspirational.  It was my intent to have them converse with young, bright talent who have carved out a niche for themselves and have experienced much success.  I hope this exercise showed them that it is important to believe in yourselves and persevere."

Read more

Centenary College Publishes Free e-Book to Help College Bound Students Navigate the World of Financial Aid 


Centenary College is offering college bound students tips on finding their way through  the financial aid labyrinth in a new, downloadable e-book entitled "Navigating the World of College Student Financial Aid," now available on the Centenary College website.


"This e-book is intended as a resource to help students and their families really understand the financial aid process," says Evelynne Blatt, Director of Financial Aid at Centenary College.  "It is designed in an easy-to-read format, so individuals can be better equipped to pursue a college education that is personally beneficial and affordable."


"Navigating the World of College Student Financial Aid" covers the types of financial aid available from a range of sources, including scholarships, grants and different types of loans. The e-book also focuses on college loan limits, how students can earn money during college, and the key factors to consider in selecting a school that meets your dreams while remaining affordable. Other topics that are explored in the document include special issues related to adult learners and how to work with a college's financial aid office.

Click Here to Download the Free e-Book 

Centenary College Enactus Team

Centenary College Enactus Team Finishes in the Top 32 in National Competition
The Centenary College Enactus team finished in the top 32 of the 181 Colleges that competed in the National Competition recently in St. Louis, Missouri.  The team was the only New Jersey Enactus Chapter to advance to the quarter-finals. The team placed second in their league in quarter final round, putting them in the top 20% of all competing schools.

The Centenary Enactus team will continue working during the summer on their projects by meeting with individuals who can help grow their already existing ideas.


"Centenary's Enactus team has a lot to be proud of," says Professor Kathy Naasz, Associate Professor of Business at Centenary College and Centenary College Enactus Director.  "This is a committed group of students who have invested countless hours in these projects that create sustainable models to improve livelihoods.  In addition, we did not settle for the easy nor convenient projects.


"We focused on those truly in need, such as women fighting breast cancer, struggling small businesses in the area, and an impoverished village in Colombia, and successfully implemented the projects by creating a ripple effect around the world by using our social, mobile, and cloud technology approach to scale our projects beyond campus," Professor Naasz said.


Not only did the Centenary College Enactus team do well in the competition, they also excelled in the job segment. Every year at the National Exposition, there is a large career fair with many of the Enactus corporate sponsors. These sponsors range from businesses such as, Walmart, Pepsi Co., Hershey, Unilever, Schwan's Food Co., ADP, Sealed Air and many more.


Centenary College is one of 533 Enactus programs in the United States.  Participating students use business concepts to develop community outreach projects, transform lives and

shape a better, more sustainable world.


During this academic year, the Enactus Centenary College team organized six projects in the local, regional and international communities, including the Guapi Hope Leaf and Chickens for Prosperity projects, in which artisans and entrepreneurs in Guapi, Colombia were able to grow their own village and give back to their community; and S.O.S. - Small Business Optimization services, which focuses on coaching small business owners on how to market their business properly and effectively.


The culmination of the Enactus program is an annual series of competitions that provides a showcase for teams to present the results of their projects and be evaluated by business leaders serving as judges. The national champion from each of the 36 contending countries then meet at the Enactus World Cup to gain the world title.

Deadline for Next E-Letter and Other Production Notes

The copy deadline for the next e-letter is Monday, August 31, 2015. Please send your articles and photographs to

We'd like to take the opportunity to thank you for your very strong support of a new idea our office started just about a year ago, on June 18, 2014.  Our first electronic newsletter, or e-letter, began with seven stories, and 11 links. 


When we started this, some said no one would contribute stories. Fortunately, just the opposite has happened. With the distribution of this e-letter -- our seventh issue -- we have now published more than 185 stories, contributed by 41 different higher education institutions.


Our open rate -- the number of people on our list who actually open the e-letter -- has grown, too. In the beginning, we were being viewed by 36.8 percent of our target audience. The most recent e-letter, published in April, was opened by 44.6 percent of the people on our list. The industry average, according to Constant Contact, is about 17 percent.


The cooperation we have received from our partners in this enterprise -- the presidents of the colleges and universities in New Jersey -- has been phenomenal. Because they are forwarding the e-letter to all of their full- and part-time students, faculty and staff, we are reaching more than 400,000 people with each edition. It is also distributed to every state legislator, the Governor's office and to business and industry leaders.

By participating in the e-letter, each college and university is gaining access to the entire college student population in New Jersey. We publish what colleges and universities send us, with the stories and photos that they recommend.


We'd also like to thank our partners at the Department of Education (DOE) and at the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) for forwarding the e-letter to teachers, administrators and guidance counselors throughout the State, adding thousands more to our circulation.


The goal is to improve the brand and flow of information about higher education in New Jersey. Each issue proves that higher education institutions in New Jersey are doing impressive, creative, newsworthy things. 

Because of the cooperation we have received, and the great number of contributions we have received, the e-letter has more than tripled in size since its inception. To fix this problem, and to keep a good thing going, we are redesigning the e-letter and this fall we will send out a new, shorter, one-column format that you will be able to read easily on your cell phone. More than 60 percent of the e-letters are being read now on cell phones, according to Constant Contact, and we want to stay current and adjust our platform to the way people are reading their messages. 


We will be able to fit seven to 10 items in each issue of the redesigned e-letter. So we'll be back to the original size. But we can keep the flow of news going if we send it out more frequently. It will be shorter, easier to read, and published on a more regular basis. We can still have the same impact -- actually a better impact -- if our colleges and universities continue to send each issue to their students, faculty and staff. 


Please remember that the deadline for the next issue will be Monday, August 31. The redesigned, shorter version will debut in September. Thank you for your contributions and for your continued support.


Alan Guenther

Office of the Secretary of Higher Education


Campus News from Around the State

Rutgers Awarded $500,000 to Plan Innovation Park


Industry-Academia Collaboration To Be Focus of University's First Research Park


NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.-The effort to build an innovative technology park in New Jersey where academic and industry researchers can collaborate received a boost today (May 22) with the announcement of a nearly $500,000 federal grant to Rutgers University to continue planning the proposed Innovation Park@Rutgers.


Rutgers is developing a unique and creative plan for the physical space and programs in the research park, which would be a first such facility at the university, said Christopher J. Molloy, the university's senior vice president for research and economic development.


"...Rutgers has a responsibility to leverage the world-class work by our scientists and engineers to benefit our state's economy and its residents," Molloy said. "We are developing a new strategy for creating a research park based on genuine collaboration with industry and government, along with technology commercialization, workforce development and community partnerships."

The proposed site is 30 acres on Rutgers' Livingston Campus in Piscataway bordered by Avenue E to the north and Rt. 18 off-ramp to the west. The land is vacant except for an electric substation.

Read more


Wall Street Journal: Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Graduate Makes Most of New Chance in Life

Tyrone Wheeler, 41, overcame a life of crime and found a the help he needed through the EOF programs at Essex County College and Seton Hall EOF programs. Now he is the subject of a feature story in the Wall Street Journal. 


Stockton University
Harvey Kesselman, Acting President, Stockton University 


Dr. Harvey Kesselman to Remain Stockton's

Acting President at Request of Trustees; Withdraws as 

President of University of Southern Maine


Dr. Harvey Kesselman has agreed to a request by the Board of Trustees that he remain as Acting President of Stockton University, providing continuity and valuable leadership while the University resolves challenges which have thwarted plans to develop a campus at the former Showboat Casino Hotel in Atlantic City.


"Stockton has been a part of me since its founding, and I cannot walk away now," said Acting President Kesselman. "With President Saatkamp on medical leave, the trustees felt they needed someone with thorough knowledge of the University, the region and the state to ensure continuity as we enter the next academic year and maintain our tradition of excellence in education."


Board Chair Madeline Deininger had written to the University of Southern Maine on behalf of the trustees, asking that Dr. Kesselman be allowed to withdraw from his contract to become President of USM beginning in July. His Stockton contract as Acting President is being extended after the University of Southern Maine agreed to release Dr. Kesselman from his contract.


"Dr. Kesselman has the confidence not just of the Board and the Stockton community, but business and government leaders throughout the region and state," Deininger said. "Harvey is known and respected by all, and is immensely qualified to keep Stockton moving forward on all fronts."


Read more


   Photo by Associated Press
Bon Jovi Writes and Performs New Song at Commencement

Performing a song he had writer specifically for the Rutgers-Camden class of 2015, Jon Bon Jovi encouraged a crowd of 4,000 at the school's convocation ceremony Thursday to "write your song," and "start your own revolution."


After receiving an honorary doctorate of letters degree from Rutgers-Camden, the rocker-turned-philanthropist took to the podium at the Susquehanna Bank Center to address the 293 graduate students in front of him, set to receive their Master's and doctorate degrees, advising them it's OK to map out their lives in advance - so long as they do it "in pencil."

See the video and the South Jersey Times story.

New Jersey Four-Year Public Colleges Rank 5th in Nation in Graduation, Completion Rates

The state colleges and universities applaud Governor Christie's recent call to enhance learning in school classrooms and to elevate academic standards to ensure high school graduates are prepared for college-level work and a career, said Dr. Michael W. Klein, executive director of the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities. 


The senior public colleges and universities in New Jersey are already national leaders in graduation rates and in college completion rates, ranking

Dr. Michael W. Klein, NJASCU Executive Director

fifth nationally in both measures. The six-year graduation rate at New Jersey's public four-year institutions is 66.5 percent, and the six-year graduation rate at the state colleges and universities

is 60.4 percent. The national average for public four-year institutions is 56.0 percent.


According to the National Student Clearinghouse data, the six-year completion rate at New Jersey's four-year public institutions of higher education for first-time, degree-seeking college students who first enrolled in 2008 was 73.3 percent, more than 10 percentage points higher than the national average of 62.9 percent. Completion rates include students who graduate from their starting institution or transfer to another institution. 


"Our institutions are proud to be among the national leaders in helping our students cross the finish line as quickly as they can and to continue toward their professional aspirations," said Dr. Klein. "Completion rates are even more significant than graduation rates because they include all of the students at our institutions -- full-time, part-time and transfers." 

New Jersey's state colleges and universities look forward to working with Commissioner of Education David Hespe to  pursue the important goals outlined by the governor, Dr. Klein said.   

William Paterson University


William Paterson University Named One of Top Schools for Hispanics for Second Consecutive Year


William Paterson University is featured in Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education's list of Top 100 Colleges and Universities for Hispanics in a special May 2015 issue.


William Paterson is ranked 75th on this year's list and was 99th in 2014. Hispanic Outlook magazine's annual ranking is based on Department of Education statistics including the total bachelor's degrees granted. graduate student enrollment and undergraduate enrollment (two and four-year schools).

Union County College

Summer Youth Courses Offered at Union County College


This summer the Office of Continuing Education at Union County College is expanding its course offerings for youth ages 11-18. Many classes are taught by NJ-certified teachers and local businesses that specialize in delivering high-quality youth programs.


A sample of educational classes for youth ages 11-13 include Design Your Own Comic Book, Guitar, Better Thinker-Better Writer-Better Grades, Cartooning, Order in the Court, Algebra Review and Graffiti Art/Design Projects.


The College also partners with Super Science, Black Rocket and IncrediFlix to offer classes such as Minecraft Modders, LEGO Star Wars and Motorized Machines, Advanced Imagination Flix, and more.


New this year is our partnership with FYI Creations. The New Jersey based organization offers creative and innovative summer enrichment workshops with imaginative programming targeted toward girls such as Duct Tape Divas, Girls Rule! and Teaching 101. 


Sample classes for students ages 14+ include SAT Test Prep, Algebra Review, Write for College, Teen Finance Workshops, Cartooning, Servsafe for Teens, The Artist Within, App Attack, Minecraft Designers, Make Your First Video Game and Certified Pharmacy Technician. The cost of the courses vary, and all classes will be held at the College's Cranford campus, located at 1033 Springfield Avenue.


Call (908) 709-7600, or for more information online, click here. 

Berkeley College 

Message from President Dario A. Cortez: 

Commencement and High Rankings in U.S. News

& World Report


It has been an exhilarating spring so far. Last month, we celebrated the culmination of the collegiate experience at Berkeley College -- Commencement. I was proud to preside over my seventh Commencement ceremony as President, celebrating the nearly 2,300 graduates who earned certificates and degrees.


In May, Berkeley College was ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs for Veterans by U.S. News & World Report for the second consecutive year. The Berkeley College Office of Military and Veterans Affairs provides support to our veteran students through on-site Veterans Resource Centers in New Jersey and New York, as well as through a virtual center. Also this month, the College opened its seventh Veterans Resource Center for students in Woodbridge, in conjunction with our Memorial Day ceremony there.

Read about these events and more in this issue of Berkeley College Newsline.


The College of New Jersey 


Jamie LeRoy shows Mayo judges how the Thor motor attaches to any longboard.


At TCNJ, food startup wins $22K in Mayo Biz Competition


Until recently, all Mehak Aswani, Pauleena Pal, and Sheenal Parikh had to show for their future restaurant, Tikka Roll, was an Excel file full of projected sales figures and long list of needs, including a fridge, a sink, and a fryer.


But after winning first prize in the 2015 Mayo Business Plan Competition on April 8, the three seniors have $22,000 to put toward making the restaurant a reality.


Two other student groups-Thor Electric Longboards and ProjectSpotter-also competed in the finalist round that evening. The longboard team, made up of Jamie LeRoy, Ian Nolan, and Jenna Wilson, won second place, with a purse of $12,000. ProjectSpotter's Jessica Gorham, Matthew Hellenbrecht, Patrick Kelly, and Eric Sawyer took home third place and $6,000.

"There are no losers here," said School of Business Dean Bill Keep. "Everyone goes home with money, and six months of hard work for an experience they'll ne ver forget."

That seems undeniable for Team Tikka Roll. What's more is that their roll-out plans for the restaurant stand to directly benefit TCNJ students.


"We're hoping to acquire space in CampusTown," said Mehak Aswani, a finance and political science double major and the company's chief operating officer. The restaurant plans to offer late-night hours and delivery by bike. "There's not much Indian food closer than Hamilton and Princeton," she said, during the group's presentation on market competition.


For the uninitiated, a tikka roll is the union of paratha, a soft, circular flatbread, and a spicy meat or veggie filling. The women expect to charge about $5 per roll.


For more information and photos, click here.

Warren County Community College


Library Dedicated to Former Freeholders Haytaian and Maier


Two former Warren County freeholders who spearheaded the effort to make Warren County Community College a reality were last month when the College library was named the Haytaian-Maier Library.


Garabed "Chuck" Haytaian and Chris Maier, a Republican and a Democrat respectively, teamed up in the mid 1970s to have the county move forward with a community college.


Initially a "college without walls," Warren County Community College has grown tremendously over the years, with a permanent campus on Route 57 in Washington Township, and a satellite location in Phillipsburg. 


WCCC has been ranked as one of the fastest growing community colleges in the country, and as a result of its VIPER program, is among the leading military-friendly colleges in the U.S. 


"There is no doubt that without the fortitude of these two men behind the effort it is possible that we would not have a community college here," said Dr. Will Austin, President of WCCC. "At the time they made some tough decisions because they truly believed in the concept of the College. Thanks to them the College has become a real asset to the area. I don't think you can find two other people who would be more deserving of this honor." 

Union County College

Track and Field Team Wins Big at Nationals

It was a stellar weekend for Union County College's Track and Field team as they earned three gold and a silver medal at the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III Track and Field National Championships. The competition was held in Utica, N.Y., from May 7 to 9, 2015.

Sophomore Team member Samard Walker, of Jersey City, took the gold in the Men's Discus. He threw 46.89 meters, beating Kyle Dunn-Devine of Thaddeus Stevens. He also earned a silver medal in the Shot Put.                

Walker was also named the Region XIX Men's Field Athlete of the Year for the East Region and was a recipient of the USTFCCCA's National Athlete of the Week. He was the only NJCAA Division III athlete to be invited to compete in the prestigious Penn Relays Carnival.

For the Women's team, Lady Owl Tamoya Brown, of Elizabeth, made Union proud when she won two gold medal s. Her first gold medal was in the 100 Hurdle with the time of 15.49 and her second gold medal was earned in the 400 Hurdle with her time of 1:05.51. Brown also took fifth place in the Women's Long Jump.  Brown was also named the Region XIX Women's Track Athlete of the Year for the East Region in the 100 Hurdle and 400 Meters. She led the squad to a third-place Region XIX finish.

Caldwell University


Caldwell University's Katie Flynn: A Zeal for Lobbying for Students


Katie Flynn graduated from Caldwell University in May with a passion for making college affordable for students. That enthusiasm grew from her leadership experiences including serving as vice chair of the student advisory committee for the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority and as president of the Caldwell University Student Government Association. It was amazing, she says, to work with HESAA "to lobby for student needs and put students first. That dedication to students is what makes HESAA successful."

The student government presidency at Caldwell "gave me an opportunity to live out the four core values of respect, integrity, community and excellence," Katie says. It was a chance to fully immerse herself in the Caldwell experience-a lot to juggle, yes, "but fully worth it." 


She learned quite a bit about leadership and what it takes to represent others to help them get what they need and what they want. Her zeal for working on behalf of students gave her opportunities to network with other students, community leaders and lawmakers on the state and national levels. 


She is proud of the work the Caldwell SGA did in her junior year creating and hosting the successful "Meeting of SG Voices" on Caldwell's campus, bringing together student and higher education leaders and legislators to discuss state higher education issues and to learn about professional development.


That's the beauty of Caldwell, Katie says: "We came up with crazy ideas" and got to implement them. "And it was even funny when things didn't work out," which was also a learning experience, she says.


As a member of the SGA for four years, Katie traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend events including the American Student Government Association conference and the National College Affordability Summit. For two years she attended the East Coast Catholic Colleges and Universities Affordability Summit, which Caldwell University, along with Georgetown and Loyola universities, hosted this year.


She received a B.A. in communication arts and political science and says the best part about attending Caldwell "was that you are not pigeon-holed. There is emphasis on development outside of the classroom, so you gain a wide variety of skills."


She was awestruck by some of her Caldwell experiences including being selected to be the 2015 commencement speaker representing undergraduate students and a speaker at the 75th anniversary convocation-where it was special to "be surrounded by so many people."


She was chosen to receive the Caldwell University Trustee Recognition Award and the Independent College Fund of New Jersey's Barry Gilman Humanitarian Scholarship for her work on behalf ofcollege affordability and leadership development for aspiring young female leaders.

Essex County College   
Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks (left) and Essex County College President Dr. Gale E. Gibson (right) with Nursing students in the College's new simulation lab. The students, from left, are Lisa Cupid, Brizia Gonzales and Diana Gonzales-Suarez.


Essex County College Unveils Health Sciences Nursing Simulation Lab


Essex County College Nursing students can now take advantage of the latest technology in patient care right on the school's Newark campus. The Center for Health Sciences Nursing Simulation Laboratory, featuring nearly lifelike mannequins as patients, was officially opened April 16 with a formally ribbon-cutting ceremony.


"This amazing simulation lab will prepare our students even more than ever to function more effectively as Registered Nurses," said Essex President Dr. Gale E. Gibson. "While our students, trained by our outstanding faculty, have always excelled, this new lab will further enhance their skills. As we continue to improve the College and its facilities and offerings to students we know that the new age of health innovation requires providing the latest technology for students to be effective health service providers."


Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks had received an advanced tour of the

simulation lab from Dr. Gibson in March. The Secretary also had the opportunity to meet with Nursing students who are now receiving training in the lab. 


"The new lab will provide outstanding training for our students before they begin their clinical assignments," said Dr. Evadne Harrison-Madu, Chairperson of the Division of Nursing & Allied Health. An
important component of the students' training is the clinical work at hospitals, and she said the new lab will provide excellent preparation.

Funding for the project totaled $696,217 and includes $640,967 from the state Higher Education Equipment Leasing Fund and the rest from the state Facilities Trust Fund.


Dr. Gibson said the project fits into a number of the College's Strategic Plan goals. These include: Student Success & Completion - Job #1; State of the Art Technology & Support Services, and

Modernized Facilities.   

Raritan Valley Community College 

RVCC Children's Campus Receives $10,000 Grant from Grow NJ Kids 

A love for books is encouraged early at RVCC's Children's Campus.


The Children's Campus at Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) in Branchburg has received a $10,000 grant to implement a quality improvement plan at the College's professional and child development center. The grant is part of New Jersey's quality rating improvement system (QRIS), Grow NJ Kids, which is facilitated through the NJ Department of Human Services and the Department of Education's Race to the Top.


The Children's Campus is participating in Grow NJ Kids as one of 10 pilot schools in Somerset County. It will provide input that will help to shape the future of early care and education in the state.


Each pilot school has been provided with training and assessment tools to rate relationships, curriculum, classroom environments and learning outcomes for young children and their educators. With the support of Quality Improvement Specialist Nikki Bryant of Community Child Care Solutions, Children's Campus Director Cathy Griffin and her staff have utilized the professional development and assessments to create a unique and relevant quality improvement plan. The grant includes equipment and curriculum supports that will allow teachers to provide very specific projects and programs.


Fairleigh Dickinson University 


FDU student journalists won top honors. Pictured is the award-winning front page.

Fairleigh Dickinson University's Student Newspaper,The Equinox, Wins Journalism Awards


The New Jersey Collegiate Press Association has announced that The Equinox, the student newspaper of Fairleigh Dickinson University's Metropolitan Campus, won two awards in its 2015 journalism competition - first place in Enterprise/Investigative Journalism for "NEC Money Wars," by Angela Calvo, and third place in Layout and Design for the front page layouts of Issue VII and Issue VIII, designed by Gerald Parson.


Competing against other New Jersey colleges and universities including Rutgers, Seton Hall and Rider, FDU brought home its first journalism awards in more than 10 years.


Read more

Student volunteers dish out hot, fresh meals at the Hoboken Shelter. (Photo courtesy of Timothy Fann)

At FDU: Serving the Underserved on Alternative Spring Break 


By Hanifa Addi 


Each day of service at the Hoboken Shelter began with tasks that included dining room preparation, dish washing, sorting and folding donated clothing, meal preparation and meal service. Over the three days, we dished out about 300 meals.

On average, more men came through the shelter than women and the diversity in background of those who came for the shelter's services was not what one would typically expect. Some were college educated with credentials from Rutgers University and Cornell Law School in Ithaca, N.Y.

Others were service people, firefighters and former policemen, and I had the privilege of speaking with one former Marine. Others suffered a life-changing event that left them with nothing but their name and the c lothing on their back. Many faces frequented the shelter over the three days we spent there, and though the atmosphere was reserved, there was still a feeling of intimacy among the people.

At dinner service each volunteer is positioned behind a food item set on a long steel table, announcements on upcoming government services or things to note, a round of applause for the volunteers, and then hats off for prayer. Meals are prepared fresh by a volunteer who is also a co-executive chef in a prominent New Jersey restaurant....


...The alternative spring break was such an outstanding experience and easily takes its place among my most memorable college experiences. It showed me the type of person I am willing to be: more action-oriented, caring, selfless and devoted. I willingly serve others through community service projects because I care, and I will forever do so with gratitude. 



Kean University 
Jasmine Rand
Civil Rights Attorney and Activist Jasmine Rand Delivers Call to Action  at Kean University's Research Days

Union, New Jersey -- There was standing room only in Kean University's STEM auditorium on Tuesday, April 28 when civil rights attorney and activist Jasmine Rand delivered the keynote address at Kean University's Research Days. 


Rand has represented the families of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and Trayvon Martin, placing her at the forefront of some of the most prominent civil rights cases in recent memory. Rand expressed her delight to be addressing students "at one of the most ethnically diverse universities in the nation." Her timely and engaging discourse highlighted a broad array of contemporary civil and human rights issues. 


A gifted orator, Jasmine Rand's first attempt at public speaking at the age of four rendered her unconscious.  She overcame those fears and wove a gripping personal narrative for Kean University's students and faculty, placing the "moral arc" of our nation within the context of her personal struggles. 


A first generation college student, Rand was born in rural Vermont to a teen mother and a construction worker father. Her journey to success as a lawyer and educator was not an easy one.  Invoking the words of Nelson Mandela she said, "do not judge me by my successes but judge me by the number of times I fell and got back up again."


Although Rand's ambitions took shape early, she wanted to be a civil rights attorney from the time she was 10 years old, there were many setbacks along the way. 


Rejected by "the worst law schools in the country," Jasmine Rand went on to become one of the youngest law professors at the University of Miami and recently accepted a position as visiting lecturer on Human Rights at Harvard University.  She is currently involved in police brutality cases throughout the nation, from the LAPD to the NYPD.


Rand engaged her students in the Trayvon Martin case and they helped coin the phrase "I Am Trayvon Martin," launching what quickly became an international call to action.  Rand told the inspiring story of how Martin's tragic untimely death sparked a national debate about racial profiling and "stand your ground" laws and shared the story of Tamir Rice, a Cleveland youth gunned down by police in a park.


As she narrated Tamir's final moments she urged the audience to, "Be his body. Be his eyes."  "Now," said Rand, "I want you to be your eyes and feel with your heart and I want you to refuse the silence that has so long been a co-conspirator to inhumanity." 

"At Kean we try to foster an ongoing interdisciplinary dialogue with human rights always at the forefront of teaching and learning," said Kean University Provost Dr. Jeffrey Toney.  "My hope is that Jasmine Rand's story will inspire "Kean Upstanders" to take action in support of human rights."


Each year, Kean University celebrates student and faculty research and creative endeavors during Kean Research Days, a two-day campus-wide event that brings together students and faculty from all disciplines.  Faculty presentations and panels were scheduled on Tuesday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm in the STEM building.  These spanned a diverse array of disciplines and topics ranged from climate change and disaster planning in urban environments to the impact of IPOs on corporate identity.


This year, over 300 Kean University students, mentored by 77 Kean faculty members, are presenting research and creative projects across a wide range of disciplines.


Video Feature:
Laser Work Informs Princeton Graduate Student Kim Shepard's Study of Polymer Materials



A Jersey Native and Stevens Institute Graduate, Wins Prestigious Fellowship


Kimberly Shepard - "born, raised and college-educated in New Jersey" - is a chemical and biological engineering graduate student at Princeton University, studying the behavior of polymer glasses. She is one of four co-winners of this year's Porter Odgen Jacobus Fellowship, Princeton's top honor for graduate students.


See the video where she discusses her career, her work and her Jersey roots.


Acknowledgement of Service: College President Retirements


Eight presidents of higher education institutions have either announced their intention to retire or have already retired during the academic year ending on June 30, 2015. They are:

  • Rosemary Jeffries, Georgian Court College
  • Mort Rozanski, Rider
  • Herman Saatkamp, Stockton
  • Patricia Donohue, Mercer County Community College
  • Joan Baillie, Salem Community College
  • Paul Mazur, Sussex County Community College
  • Chris Grevesen, DeVry University
  • Dario Cortes, Berkeley College.
A ninth president, Sheldon Drucker of Fairleigh Dickinson University recently announced his intention to retire at the end of the next academic year, ending in June 2016.

Groundbreaking for NJCU's School of Business in Jersey City's Waterfront Financial District 


New Jersey City University broke ground on April 15, 2015 for the new location of its School of Business in a 70,000-square-foot space at Harborside Plaza 2 directly on the Jersey City waterfront, adjacent to the Exchange Place PATH station. 

Among the dignitaries who participated in the ground breaking ceremony were: 

  • Dr. Sue Henderson, NJCU President 
  • Rafael Perez, Esq., NJCU Chairman of the Board of Trustees
  • Dr. Bernard McSherry, Interim Dean of the NJCU School of Business
  • State Senator Sandra B. Cunningham
  • State Senator Raymond J. Lesniak
  • Hudson County Executive Thomas A. DeGise
  • Hudson County Freeholder William O'Dea
  • Jersey City Deputy Mayor Marcos D. Vigil
  • David Donnelly, Executive Director, Jersey City Redevelopment Agency
  • Roger B. Jacobs, Esq., Chairman of the New Jersey Educational Facilities Authority
  • John Servidio, General Manager, NJTV
The custom-designed facility in the heart of New Jersey's financial hub is scheduled to open in September 2015. 

The location will centralize NJCU's growing undergraduate and graduate business programs and provide students with convenient access to corporate employers both in Jersey City and New York City. The School of Business will relocate to the waterfront from the NJCU Main Campus at 2039 Kennedy Boulevard.

The architectural plans for the School of Business will feature cutting-edge technology, a simulated trading floor, classrooms, faculty offices, and a conference space with stunning views of lower Manhattan. NJTV will also broadcast a nightly business report from a studio located in the School of Business.


NJCU holds a 20-year lease on the Harborside Plaza facility, which is owned by Mack-Cali Realty Corporation.

In announcing plans for the new facility, NJCU President Sue Henderson said, "This is a defining moment for the NJCU School of Business. The creativity and ingenuity of this project will bring enormous benefits to the University and encourage learning opportunities that are valuable beyond measure for our students, faculty, and corporate partners."

Dr. Bernard McSherry, interim dean of the NJCU School of Business, stated, "The School will be part of the business community in an exciting, world-class environment where students will study with top scholars and practitioners and learn to become future business leaders."


New Jersey Institute of Technology

100 Returns and Counting: NJIT Volunteer 'CPAs' Pump it Up on Tax Day

It was early in the morning on Tax Day and a team of student accountants had assembled at the downtown office of Newark Emergency Services for Families, prepared for crunch time.


A crowd of taxpayers, intent on meeting the filing deadline awaited, and it was the volunteers' job to guide them through the sometimes confusing forms.


"We are expecting to help at least 100 families file today, but not to worry. We are more than ready for them! We attended months of tough training, checked for tax law updates on a regular basis since the beginning of the year, and honed our customer service skills," Shakiya Charles '16, an accounting major from Millville who coordinates the team of NJIT volunteers, noted shortly after arriving.


Indeed, the student accountants are now veterans who have been helping families fill out their tax returns in designated locations throughout the Newark metro region since January.


They're official, too, having passed the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) certification exam to act as tax preparers for the agency's Volunteer Income

Tax Assistance (VITA) program, a free service offered to low-to-moderate income families, people with disabilities, the elderly, and speakers with limited English. 


"I'm a believer in experiential learning, and our students sit down with the people they're helping just like a CPA (certified public accountant) would," says their advisor, Karen Schoenebeck, a senior university lecturer of accounting who began a VITA pilot program at NJIT in 2014.


This year, 22 of her students passed the IRS exam and eight volunteered to help taxpayers with their returns - no small commitment at 15 hours a week.


"You can't get more real-world than sitting across from a taxpayer!" Schoenebeck notes, adding with a laugh, "It's also proof that what we're teaching in class will actually help them."


Charles said that what she most valued about the experience was the chance to work closely with a diverse array of families.


"I come from a small town and was never really exposed to an urban environment. It's exciting to help so many different people, including the moms who came in with kids who were filing their very first returns," she recounted. 


"It's also really nice to be appreciated. The families were so patient, so willing to work with us as we learned. In the beginning we were a little nervous and I know they saw that, but now we're comfortable."

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