News & Events
News & Events
September 22, 2014
TO: Members, OCC Board of Trustees
FROM: Jon H. Larson, Ph.D.
SUBJECT: Items of Interest for the September 22, 2014, Board Meeting
DATE: September 17, 2014
Ocean County College Center for Peace, Genocide, and Holocaust Studies
I received a letter from the Executive Director of the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education, Dr. Paul B. Winkler, congratulating the College’s Center for Peace, Genocide, and Holocaust Studies for the excellent programs offered during 2013-2014 for students, educators, survivors, and the community.
The core mission of the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education is to promote Holocaust education in New Jersey. On a continual basis, the Commission surveys the status of Holocaust/Genocide Education; promotes the implementation of programs; and coordinates events that will provide appropriate memorialization of the Holocaust on a regular basis.
Dr. Ali Botein-Furrevig, Associate Professor of English and Literature, has assumed the role of Program Advisor for the Ocean County College Center for Peace, Genocide, and Holocaust Studies. She deserves our commendation for her outstanding efforts in assisting the State to meet its Holocaust/Genocide mandate by offering educational programs at Ocean County College.
Dr. Botein-Furrevig will attend Monday’s meeting to share with you upcoming events, including a presentation that will be given by Mr. John Pehlivanian on the Armenian Genocide, a topic on which he has done a considerable amount of research.
NJ STARS Legislation
On September 10, Governor Chris Christie signed legislation that revised the eligibility requirement for the New Jersey Student Tuition Assistance Rewards Scholarship (NJ STARS) program. The NJ STARS program began in 2004; since then, almost 1,800 students have participated.
In the past, the program was limited to students who graduated in the top 15 percent of their high school classes. The new law provides that eligibility will be based on the class rank at the completion of students’ junior or senior years of high school. Since students normally consider colleges early in their senior years, determining eligibility at the end of the junior years will give them ample time to determine if they qualify for the scholarship so they can make informed decisions.
One of the primary sponsors of this bill was Assemblyman Dave Wolfe, former Special Assistant to the President. The bill was unanimously approved by the legislature. The community colleges are appreciative of Governor Christie’s support of the NJ STARS program.
The Military Friendly logo continues to appear on all College publications, the website, social media, and other OCC materials.
Finance and Administration
The National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR) has indicated that Ocean County College has been selected to receive 2014 Medallion Awards in four categories. Medallion awards recognize excellence in community, technical, and junior college marketing and public relations activities. The categories being recognized are:
The awards will be announced at the annual NCMPR District 1 Conference on Monday evening, October 13, at the National Harbor in Maryland. Ms. Jan Kirsten, Executive Director of College Relations, will attend the conference to accept the awards.
Congratulations are extended to Ms. Kirsten; Mr. Scott Bruinooge, Coordinator of Publications, who designed the Barnegat Bay Program, the anniversary logo, and the Gateway Building invitations; and Ms. Maureen Conlon, Manager of Web Services, who coordinated implementation of the new website.
OCC will be the host site for the next Congressional Debate on Friday, October 17, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. in the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts. The event is sponsored and will be moderated by Town Square Media’s New Jersey 101.5 radio station. Faculty will be encouraged to bring their classes to the debate and provide questions for the candidates. Ocean TV 20 will stream the event live and provide social media options for students to tweet questions to the moderator.
In the afternoon, Dr. Musgrave will offer a free program to OCC and Ocean County high school students on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). In the evening, at a ticketed event, he will discuss his life experiences as an astronaut and motivational speaker. He will also sign his book, The NASA Northrop T-38; Photographic Art from an Astronaut Pilot.
Faculty, staff, students, and trustees are encouraged to attend this unique and exciting event. Proceeds will be dedicated to the Planetarium lighting project.
Grunin Center for the Arts
We have many wonderful events scheduled this season. As they near, I will call them to your attention each month:
Office of Information Technology
The Information Technology Department has been busy preparing the campus for the start of the fall semester. Some of the projects include:
eCompanion is a Pearson solution that is very similar to eCollege, which has been in use by e-Learning since the 2011 fall semester. eCompanion licensing is bundled in the existing agreement between OCC and Pearson. Using eCompanion for face-to-face and online/onsite courses ensures uniformity in our classrooms and eliminates the need to maintain multiple Learning Management Systems from different vendors.
Ocean County College Foundation
The Ocean County College Foundation Scholarship Celebration, held on Saturday, August 23, 2014, raised over $140,000 to assist the Foundation in its mission to make higher education accessible to Ocean County residents through scholarships and awards. This year, two guest speakers addressed the audience of over 250 people. Mr. Phillip G. Zitelli, who was the evening’s Honorary Chair, was the first guest speaker. Mr. Zitelli served as Ocean County College’s first Student Government President and was also a member of the first graduating class. The second guest was Ms. Maria Pipitone, 2009 alumna.
Special appreciation is extended to Event Chair, Mr. Kenneth Malagiere of Narcissus Florals and Gifts; the evening’s major sponsor, Investors Bank; and all others who ensured the evening’s success—sponsors, attendees, committee members, vendors, and staff.
The College has implemented a new on-line tool in the Ellucian Datatel system called Student Finance. This new view is student friendly and provides real time account information to students in an easy-to-understand format. Ms. Karen Papakonstantinou, Controller, will demonstrate Student Finance at Monday’s Board meeting.
Mr. Joe Pelkey, Programmer Analyst, Ellucian/Ocean County College, and OCC graduate, recently placed second in a statewide cybersecurity competition, the New Jersey Governor’s Cup CyberChallenge. Governor Chris Christie challenged students from across the state in an effort to identify and develop New Jersey's best talent in cybersecurity in response to a demand for well-trained individuals with significant hands-on cybersecurity skills.
Mr. Pelkey was a top 40 scorer from 950 registrants for the preliminary testing, finished among the 25 top performers of the 104 finalists, and was then invited to be one of ten participants at the New Jersey Cyber Aces Academy, which is funded through a two-year National Science Foundation grant. Participants will receive $25,000 in free online/self-study master’s level cybersecurity courses from the SANS Institute, a company that specializes in information security and cybersecurity training.
Of three educational tracks from which to choose, Mr. Pelkey selected Advanced Forensics. He will begin the courses within the next few weeks and must complete five courses within one year. If successful, he will be offered an internship position in cybersecurity. Because Ellucian is a partner of SANS, his internship will be integrated into his current OCC role.
I have invited Mr. Pelkey to Monday’s meeting so we may congratulate him on his very impressive achievement. We enthusiastically support his participation in this critically important program.