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June 23, 2021

Dr. Larson’s June 2021 Report to the OCC Board of Trustees

OCC president Dr. Larson

Return to Campus Update

Governor Phil Murphy recently signed legislation and Executive Order 244, ending the state’s public health emergency due to COVID-19.   This means that, after more than a year of virtual learning and teaching, of remote interactions and restrictions on gatherings, Ocean County College is now able to move forward with reopening plans.  Most staff will return to campus on July 7, 2021, and all Student Services will be available in person beginning July 7.  Planning continues to fully reopen the campus for the Fall semester.

In accordance with CDC guidelines and gubernatorial directions, mask guidelines on campus will be as follows:  Fully vaccinated individuals are no longer required to wear masks indoors.  Vaccinated individuals can opt to wear or not wear masks.  Non-vaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals should continue to wear masks for the protection of themselves and other non-vaccinated individuals.

Academic Affairs

Civics Literacy

As noted at the April 16, 2021, Board meeting, a review was undertaken of current College course offerings that include civics education as part of their syllabi.  Dean of the School of Business and Social Sciences Rosann Bar and Political Science Lecturer Jason Ghibesi are ready to discuss their findings during a brief presentation at Thursday’s Board meeting.  They will also share their goals for the Fall semester, including new curriculum ideas, a voter drive, and planned events sponsored through the Governmental Affairs Institute.

School of Nursing and Health Sciences

  • A total of 150 students completed the Nursing Program requirements during the 2020–2021 academic year and graduated on May 27, 2021.
  • The School of Nursing hosted the Pinning Ceremony for 122 students from the December 2020 and May 2021 classes on Tuesday evening, May 25, 2021. Over $25,000 in scholarships and awards was presented to current students and graduates during the Pinning Ceremony.  Recipients included:

Graduate Awards

    • Paul Family Scholarship: Ian Horn
    • Joyce Previte Memorial Scholarship: Eileen McAndrew
    • D’Onofrio Foundation Scholarship: Graziella Devito
    • Gus Demme Award: Allison Cottrell
    • Community Medical Center Award: Kathleen Mairowicz, Megan Ross, Caitlin Sullivan-Kraus, and Alexa Esposito

Undergraduate Awards

    • Jesse Schulman Scholarship: Megan Bacorn, Demetra Aurelo, Deanna Milk
    • Dorothea Brayden Johnson Scholarship: Angela Plewa, Crystal Ashby
    • Jacqueline S. Baer Memorial Scholarship: Cheyenne Sauers
    • Janis Neary-Zimmerman Memorial Scholarship: Donna Michaels
    • Kotzas-Demos Scholarship: Laynise Lewis, Nancy MacMillan, Laura Dorsa
    • Carluccio, Leone, Dimon, Doyle and Sacks, L.L.C. and Stephan and Judith Leone Scholarship: Cara Waldron
    • Peter and Mildred Galanti Scholarship: Carissa Welch, Kaitlyn Graham
    • Pilot Sisters Survivor Award: Donna Michaels
  • The School of Nursing participated in an annual workshop from May 18 to 26, 2021. Nursing Lecturers completed an assessment of all Nursing courses, program outcomes data, and licensure test plans to revise curriculum content as needed.  The School of Nursing’s Systematic Plan of Evaluation, which addresses standards and criteria required for accreditation, was also reviewed.

School of Arts and Humanities

  • At the May 27, 2021, graduation ceremony, two members of the School of Arts and Humanities won awards for excellence in teaching. Associate Professor in English and Literature Jayanti Tamm won Outstanding Faculty of the Year in the ten-month category and College Lecturer in English and Literature Richard Carr won Outstanding Professional Educator of the Year in the twelve-month category.
  • Students who worked on OCC’s literary magazine, Seascape, held a celebration for its annual publication on May 7, 2021. This group is advised by Associate Professor Jayanti Tamm.
  • On May 6, 2021, Professor of Humanities and Fine Arts Marilyn Kralik and College Lecturer in Humanities and Fine Arts Stephanie Shestakow led students on a Virtual Metropolitan Museum of Art Talk. The topic was Museum Highlights.
  • The Music Club held its virtual Spring 2021 Student Recital on May 14, 2021. Humanities and Fine Arts Instructor Karin Gargone, College Lecturer Brian Gilmore, and Adjunct Professors Mark Farley and David Marowitz were the advisors for the project.  For the first time, an OCC student, Alexa Tabbacchino, was the editor.
  • On May 20, 2021, the OCC Repertory Theatre Company presented In the Shadow of the Globe by Michelle Cameron. In the Shadow of the Globe is a verse novel in ten acts of the lives and loves of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.  While primarily a book of poetry, it is also a fusion of genre.  Because there is a distinct storyline, describing the imagined lives of actual people, it is historical fiction.  As it is told in many voices, it can also be considered a piece of theater.
  • Associate Professor of Communications and Theater Elizabeth Brierley attended the virtual event series called Strategies for Recruiting Students to the Humanities on June 8, 2021.
  • On June 9, 2021, Professor of English and Literature Jennifer Dellner attended a Tech Day on campus, which included learning about professional development opportunities from Discovery Education as well as providing feedback about new technology incorporated into the classroom.
  • A number of Arts and Humanities Program Chairs, including Assistant Professor Kathleen Basilotto (American Sign Language), College Lecturer II Brian Gilmore (Music), Catherine Mancuso (Dance), Lee Kobus (Broadcast), and Renate Pustiak (Graphic Design), attended the monthly meeting of the Ocean County School Counselors Association to speak to guidance counselors about OCC programs.
  • On June 24, 2021, several members of the School and Tutoring Support Services will present at Macmillan Learning’s Corequisite Composition Summer Camp. The presentation, titled Partnering for Student Success:  Collaboration Between the Accelerated Learning Program and Writing Services, will be offered by Veronica Guevera-Lovgren, Assistant Dean of the School; Ms. Samantha Glassford, College Lecturer II in English​; Ms. Brianna DeCicco, Associate Director, Academic and Tutoring Support Services​; Ms. Krystle Wilmot, Professional Writing Tutor I​; and Dr. Mary-Beth Brophy, Professional Writing Tutor I.

School of Business and Social Sciences

  • Sean Bips, College Lecturer II in Hospitality, Recreation, and Tourism Management, announced that four OCC students will compete in this year’s Phi Beta Lambda National Leadership Conference that will take place online. Students and their respective categories include Brandon Piserchia in Financial Services, Kyle Fischer in Macroeconomics, and Gianna Busichio in Management Concepts and Marketing Concepts.  The event began June 7, 2021, and runs through June 23, 2021; the Awards of Excellence Ceremony and Competitive Events Awards will be announced June 26 and 27, 2021.  Winners will be published in Tomorrow’s Business Leaders, National Leadership Experience, Special Edition Online.
  • Katherine Toy, College Lecturer II in Economics, announced that an additional 32 students completed the Bloomberg Market Concepts Certificate Program during the 2020-2021 academic year. This brings the total number of OCC students who have completed the Bloomberg Market Concepts Certification Program to 130.

Additionally, Dr. Toy announced that, in collaboration with Ms. Marina Wassef, College Lecturer II in Economics, with the financial assistance of CARES funding that was dedicated to enhancing the remote learning experience, dozens of economics students participated this past year in the Capsim “Inbox” Microeconomics Simulation.  This game replicated the experience of a manager utilizing various economic concepts, such as revenue and market structure, all from the viewpoint of the manager’s email inbox.  Students had to apply classroom concepts to solve practical business problems throughout this game, and they offered positive feedback to their instructors following their participation.

  • James Hadley, College Lecturer II in Accounting and Business, announced that, with CARES funding dedicated to enhancing the remote learning experience, 19 Accounting students participated this past year in the Marketplace Simulations Accounting Mini-Simulation Bundle, which included Fundamentals of Accounting, Profitability, and Pricing. The simulation provided students with the opportunity to apply the concept being covered in class to a simulated “real’ business.  The average grade on the Simulation was 94%, with several students earning 100%.  An anonymous survey of students rated Marketplace Simulations Accounting Mini-Simulation Bundle an 8.87 out of 10.  In general, feedback from the students was very positive.  Students liked that it was web-based and interactive, and they could work at their own pace.  They also said it reinforced concepts introduced in class, and it was more practical than a typical homework assignment.
  • Margaret Maghan, College Lecturer II in Psychology, was recently selected as a reviewer and contributor to a life span development textbook published by McGraw Hill Publishing. Dr. Maghan will be listed as a contributor in the text book and will be credited as a Lecturer at Ocean County College.  The book will be published in Spring 2022.

In addition, Dr. Maghan was selected as a representative of Psi Beta National to present research on community colleges and food insecurity at the American Psychological Associations (APA) National Convention in August 2021.  Dr. Maghan, along with two other community college faculty members from across the country, will look at the role of basic needs access on community college students.

School of STEM

  • College Lecturer II in Mathematics Paul Kuehne attended the AMATYCNJ (American Mathematics Association of Two-Year Colleges of New Jersey) virtual meetings held in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 at community colleges around the state. Faculty and lecturers who attended shared best practices, while also discussing various instructional initiatives.   Krista Camilo, Instructor of Mathematics, is Ocean County College’s current representative at AMATYCNJ.

College Lecturer II in Mathematics Paul Kuehne also attended the AMATYCNJ meeting and hosted a Community College Roundtable on June 4, 2021.  Discussion included COVID-19 Slide and Community College Students, Teacher Education Requirements, and the Changing Role of Community Colleges.

  • Pam Bogdan, College Lecturer II in Engineering is pleased to announce another OCC Engineering and Technology student was placed in a summer job. The student is pursuing a degree in Civil Engineering and will be working with a surveying crew all summer.  The student expressed his excitement about the job placement, noting he knew he needed experience during his college years but did not expect he would be placed so soon.
  • The results of the Spring 2021 Engineering Design competition were announced. The winners will be assigned mentors to guide them through the development of prototypes of their designs.
  • Engineering Course Assignments Group – Individual
    • 1st Place: Paige Sabolchick – Eraser (ENGR 181, Graphics for Engineers)
    • 1st Place: Brendan Gesicki – Guitar Pick (ENGR 181, Graphics for Engineers)
  • Engineering Course Assignments Group – Group (Common Group Assignment)
    • 1st Place: Ethan Milak, Luis Morales, Tyler Whalen – Repurposing Aerodynamics (STSC 160, Student Success Seminar for Engineering Majors)

Ms. Pam Bogdan announced students Nicholas DeMartino and Jordan Minetti have been awarded the OCC Engineering Department’s Request for Proposals (RFP) for Frictionless Pulley replacements for the Physics Lab.  They will work over the summer to deliver the products as specified in their response.

  • Dean of STEM, Dr. Sylvia Riviello, and College Lecturer II Pam Bogdan co-wrote CSIT – Applied Programming for All Majors: A Contextualized Course Based on Inter-Disciplinary Curriculum Development, which will be presented at the Frontiers in Education 2021 Conference held from October 13-16, 2021.
  • Maria Steblyanko, College Lecturer II in Science, collected and analyzed data that was subsequently used in a poster and oral presentation at the AAI (American Association of Immunologists) national conference. The manuscript summarizing findings is currently in review.
  • Several STEM School members attended a virtual conference from June 9 to 11, 2021, the STEM Institute for Student Success and Retention, which was hosted by Academic Impressions. Those participating were   Sylvia Riviello, Assistant Dean of STEM Carolyn Showalter, College Lecturer II in Mathematics Sam Pinkava, and Dr. Maria Steblyanko.
  • Neil Schiller, Associate Professor of Engineering, developed and ran a Virtual Robotics Race for schools in Ocean County. The division winners were Lacey Township High School and Manchester Middle School.  Members on the winning high school team each received a certificate and a free three-credit class at OCC.  In addition, Robotic Coach of the Year Certificates were awarded to Mrs. Maura Simister, Manchester Middle School, and Mr. John Setaro, Lacey Township High School.  These coaching awards honored their dedication and leadership, which allowed their students to work safely with the hardware kits and win their events.
  • Vandana Saini, College Lecturer II in Mathematics, presented her poster, Connecting Shrimps and Period-Doubling Cascades, at the SIAM (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics) Dynamical Systems Conference on May 26, 2021.
  • Scott Farrell, College Lecturer II in Chemistry and Advisor to HOSA – Future Health Professionals, is sponsoring an OCC student, Sara Sywancyz, who is competing virtually at the International Leadership Conference from June 20 to 27, 2021. After graduating with an A.S. degree in General Studies-Science, Sara is continuing at Rutgers University where she will be majoring in Biochemistry on a pre-med track.

Finance and Administration

The Accounting Department is continuing to review the recently released HEERF III guidelines, authorized by the American Rescue Plan, to understand Congressional intent for use of Institutional Portion allocations.  The funds are intended to help colleges and universities recover from the impacts of the pandemic.  Now that the crisis and reactionary phases are behind us, institutions will be expected to support students effectively, as we return to some sense of normalcy, and proactively prepare for and be capable of responding to additional disruptive events as they arise in the future.

OCC Foundation

Summer Scholarship Celebration

This year’s hybrid celebration took place on our beautiful campus mall on Friday, June 18, 2021.  Appreciation is expressed to all who contributed to this Foundation fund-raising efforts; donations totaled over $165,000.  This year, the Foundation Board honored Dr. Henry A. Jackson, Dr. Teresa Walsh, and the 200 Club of Ocean County.

Major Gift Announcement

The Wintrode Family Foundation pledged a gift of $2 million to establish the Roberta W. Wintrode Memorial Fund.  This expendable fund is intended to immediately impact the students of Ocean County College by providing support to all opportunities of educational and intellectual value.  Approved expenditures include, but may not be limited to, special program support; student travel, both foreign and domestic; guest lectures; capital projects; and scholarships and grants.

Gratitude is expressed to Mr. David Wintrode and the Wintrode Family for their continued, most generous support of the Foundation and the College.

Blauvelt Speaker Series

The upcoming season is scheduled to begin on September 16, 2021, with Misty Copland, the first African American Female Principal Dancer with the American Ballet Theatre. On October 6, 2021, Ms. Doris Kearns Goodwin, world-renowned presidential historian, public speaker, and best-selling author, will visit the campus, and many more notable thinkers, innovators, and inspirational leaders will follow throughout the academic year.


The scholarship application period is open for the Fall Semester and will remain open through August 16, 2021.  All students are encouraged to apply at

Human Resources

Employee Career Week 2021

Charting Your Career Success – Owning, Mapping, and Navigating Your Future       

The virtual fair was held June 1 to June 4, 2021.  This initiative was developed with multiple goals in mind:

1) to help employees gain a better understanding of different functional areas within the College;

2) to inform employees about the traits and competencies that are highly valued by managers and critical to an employee’s success; 3) to envision opportunities for themselves; and 4) to provide real tools to Own, Map, and Navigate their careers.  By equipping employees in this way, the College builds a talented and nimble workforce that is able to meet challenges and take advantage of the many opportunities presented.

Event co-organizers were Ms. Carol Appleby, Senior HR Specialist, Talent Acquisitions; and Ms. Jackie D’Amore, Senior HR Specialist, Talent and Organizational Development.  They were assisted by Ms. Christina Matuszewski, Talent Acquisition Coordinator; and Ms. Alyssa Tipton, Talent and Organizational Development.

The Employee Career Week sessions addressed:

  • Careers in the areas of Finance and Administration; e-Learning and Learning Enterprises; Student Affairs; Academic Affairs; and Institutional Planning, Effectiveness, and Compliance
  • Career Exploration: Using Career Assessments to Plan Your Next Career Move!
  • Competing as an Internal Applicant
  • Educational Benefits
  • OCC’s Career Paths
  • The Path I Took: Personal Career Success Stories
  • Things I Wish My Boss Told Me
  • Understanding OCC’s Classification and Compensation Structure

Ninety individuals participated in 27 sessions; the total attendance at all sessions was 323.

College Relations

TV Studio

The OCC TV Studio, in collaboration with the Grunin Center and the Ocean County Cultural and Heritage Commission, will hold a virtual Salute to Ocean County.  Salute to Ocean County honors outstanding cultural organizations, exceptional local artists, historians, preservationists, educators, and government leaders.  Student performances are also Critiqued for Excellence as part of the 2021 Ocean County Teen Arts Festival.  The virtual event will be held on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, at 7:00 p.m. on Ocean TV20, as well as live-streamed on Vimeo and Verizon Fios.

The Web

  • Nicolaus Burr, Social Media/Web Developer, and Ms. Maureen Conlon, Associate Director of Web Services, collaborated on a Memorial Day social media campaign to remember those who died in active military service by sharing past Memorial Day Ceremony photographs, a Memorial Day poem, and my Memorial Day remarks. The web team worked with Mr. Ryan Luurtsema, Assistant Director of Military and Veteran Services, on a special remembrance of Corporal Rory Hamill, who was a Marine, Purple Heart Recipient, Congressional Veteran Spokesperson for NJ Veterans, Ocean County Divergent Mentor, and OCC alumnus.  The Memorial Day campaign was viewed 16,496 times by social media users and was engaged 1,137 times.
  • College Relations implemented an automated ADA compliance system, SiteImprove, which integrates into the existing content management system to identify opportunities for improvement in ADA compliance, quality assurance, and search engine optimization. During the web team’s first month of usage, ADA compliance and search engine optimization increased by 7%, and quality assurance increased by 9%.  The new software will be introduced to College website editors during a WordPress Community of Practice scheduled on June 28, 2021, and hosted by College Relations.

Alumni Affairs

  • The Local Alumni Network is resuming in-person events with a social networking gathering on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, at Bahama Breeze from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. The event will help connect local alumni for professional networking and provide information about services, benefits, and events available to them at Ocean County College.
  • The Annual Alumni, Faculty, and Staff Picnic at the Jersey Shore BlueClaws stadium is set for Thursday, August 5, 2021, at 7:05 p.m. Each ticket is $15 for admission and includes a voucher for a hot dog, soda, ice cream, and a boardwalk game ticket.

Office of Information Technology

The Office of Information Technology has worked with Academic Affairs and Facilities to review an analytics program to supplement the existing X25 scheduling system used by the College.  The X25 web-based analytic tool provides the data in clear, colorful graphic reports to identify inefficiencies in space and equipment allocation, set improved policies, and justify construction, closure, or renovation.  X25’s dashboard navigation allows focus on the metrics that matter most.  The program will provide the ability to drill down to explore and reveal space relationships on campus and generate reports to support master planning and campus vision.  The new software will enable the following:

  • Create clear, understandable graphic reports to pinpoint patterns, spot problems, and identify missed opportunities
  • Modify the parameters and scope of each report as needed
  • Generate reports on supply/demand for IT and other changing resources
  • Supply data to support scheduling decisions
  • View and compare results for critical periods, such as drop/add dates, end-of-term dates, and census dates
  • Use dashboard functions to view and compare reports
  • Compare levels of demand among venues to identify where new facilities are needed
  • Perform simulated changes to existing X25 data and examine the utilization patterns and other effects of those changes

The team is looking forward to implementing the analytics tool and optimizing the scheduling system on campus.


In accordance with New Jersey Public Law 2015, Chapter 220, and College Policy #2332, Reporting of On-Campus Criminal and Fire Events, attached is the monthly statistics report of crimes, fires, and other emergencies on campus for the reporting period May 18, 2021, through June 15, 2021.

Student Affairs

The HUB/Enrollment Services

  • The Express Enrollment Day on June 9, 2021, was the first on-campus event held for recruitment in over a year. The event attracted 117 new Ocean students, along with parents and guests, who received a campus tour, enjoyed refreshments and Ocean gifts, as well as were acquainted with many Student Services departments.  Students were able to have one-on-one appointments with Financial Aid and Advising representatives and were registered for classes for the upcoming Fall term.  This event was the kickoff to a series of Express Enrollment events that will resume on July 15, 2021, weekly, for recruitment of new students for Fall 2021.
  • On June 3, 2021, Jenna Puglisi from Enrollment Services and Academic Advising met with Lakewood High School seniors to do virtual advising and registration days. Students were given information on how to register, Ocean Connect, and how to complete the New Student Registration form.
  • To date, 549 new students have been enrolled at Ocean County College for the Fall using the New Student Registration form found on the College website. Students complete a short survey that requests their preferred major, days of the week for classes, and other pertinent information.  The HUB and Enrollment Services work together with volunteers from Athletics to register students, schedule classes, and provide additional information and feedback.


  • In collaboration with the HUB and other Student Services Offices, the Advising Office participated in the Express Enrollment Day on June 9, 2021. In preparation for the event, advisors reviewed programs and provided schedules for 140 students.  Each student met with an advisor to review Fall semester schedules and revise them if needed.  Students were able to ask questions about their degrees and courses, and they registered for an upcoming New Student Information Session.  Associate Director of Academic Advising Shirley Baker provided the leadership for this project.
  • In order to ensure accurate schedules for incoming students, the Advising staff is currently performing a scheduled review for any student who requests a schedule via the New Student Registration form. Assistant Director Michele Connolly conducted training for the staff charged with creating the new student schedules, providing them with resources and follow-up training sessions.  Advisors are reviewing the schedules on a weekly basis and contacting students as needed regarding adjustments.  The Advising staff has reviewed more than 480 schedules, which entailed assisting students who requested a change of major, adjusting for AP credit and higher-level math, and advising students on Guided Self-Placement.

Career Services

  • As of June 15, 2021, there were 1,411 employers approved to post job and internship openings on Handshake, including local employers in New Jersey and many from out of the state. The benefit of approving out-of-state employers is to provide remote opportunities for students.  Interim Career Services Coordinator Kirsten Bollinger is maintaining Handshake and developing policies for employer and job posting approvals.
  • Career Services is now active on the OCC app. There are currently 20 local job and internship flyers posted to the Career Services page on the app.  This page is public to all users, so anyone can view the hiring flyers.  Page members receive a notification every time Career Services posts to the page.
  • Three students are currently enrolled in INTR 290, Internship, for the Summer Ten-Week term. A Liberal Arts student is completing a remote internship out of Los Angeles in the film industry.  A Criminal Justice student is interning at the Toms River Police Department, and the third student is a General Studies, Business major, completing a product development internship at Plastic Place in Lakewood.  All three students have faculty mentors to lead them throughout the summer.    Kirsten Bollinger has facilitated these internships and is the point of contact should the students have questions or concerns.
  • Kirsten Bollinger is continuing to meet with students to discuss My Plan career assessment results, career/major exploration, resume reviews, job searching, and all other career-related questions. Most students have been referred to Career Services by academic advisors, other departments, or faculty and lecturers from across the campus.  The Career Services email is also very active.
  • Career Services participated in Express Enrollment Day on June 9, 2021. Twenty new students and their families stopped by the Career Services table to inquire about internships and career/major exploration.   Kirsten Bollinger followed up with the students by email to provide her contact information and the link to the Career Services webpage.

Southern Education Center

  • As the Spring 2021 semester concluded, details of the Southern Education Center Canvas page outreach via Announcements were finalized and reviewed. Announcements were made throughout the semester to inform remote, SEC, and MATES students of opportunities, including the OCC Foundation scholarships, Veteran Affairs programs, instant decision days at Kean Ocean, job opportunities through Handshake, counseling services, tutoring services, the HEERF grant program, CERT training program, EOF, as well as details of Fall 2021 registration.  Over the Spring semester, the SEC Canvas shell Announcements received over 11,600 student views.
  • Efforts to expand awareness continue at the SEC and are especially focused on the southern county high schools. Both Barnegat High School and Pinelands Regional High School received a set of posters highlighting the benefits of the L.A.N. (Promoting Learners to Achieve Now) program.  The posters will be placed throughout the high schools to remind students of the benefits of completing 24 college credits through Early College prior to high school graduation.  The southern area high schools also received lists of Fall 2021 remote classes that could be available for the high school students.  Finally, Mr. James Hauenstein, Director of the Southern Education Center, was a judge at Lacey Township High School’s annual Marketing II Shark Tank program.  Through this participation, he was able to speak with students regarding the opportunities at OCC as well as at the SEC.
  • Michele Marcum, Senior Student Services Technician, continues to assist the HUB via remote channels in responding to student inquiries.
  • James Hauenstein manned the SEC table at the June 9, 2021, Express Enrollment event in Toms River. As students and parents worked their way through the various information tables, those residing in the southern portion of the county were able to learn of the opportunities afforded to them at the Manahawkin location.
  • Finally, work on the Spring 2021 master schedule of classes at the Southern Education Center has begun.

Veterans Department

  • As of June 1, 2021, the Veterans Military Resources Center has expanded its team, adding Kencis Kleinschmidt as the newly appointed Veterans Program Coordinator and Advisor.  Ms. Kleinschmidt joins the team with twenty years of military service with the Marine Corps as well as New Jersey National Guard.  The Veterans Department is excited to work with Ms. Kleinschmidt on the following:
    • The focus of the Center during 2021-2022 will be to provide additional engaging opportunities for military-connected students both on and off campus
    • Increase enrollment and retention of military students throughout New Jersey
    • Lead future cohorts of the New Jersey Military and Veterans Administrative Program Officers, as well as advocate for a supported transition process from military duty to successful veteran and civilian pathways
  • The VMRC completed the fourth episode of Veterans Voices and will record the fifth episode at the end of July. The fourth episode showcases OCC alumni, and Student Veteran President, Maryellen De Leon, interviewing VMRC Assistant Director Ryan Luurtsema.

 Episodes can be watched on OceanTV20 and Comcast Channel 24:

    • Wednesdays at 11:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
    • Thursdays at 12:00 a.m.
    • Sundays at 7:00 p.m.

Additional information can be found at

  • In November 2021, the VMRC will be offering the inaugural Green Zone Training: Military and Veteran Cultural Awareness workshops to staff, faculty, and community stakeholders.
  • The Corporal Rory Hamill Lending Library project is moving forward with the purchase of an assortment of Chromebooks and laptops that will be provided to military- and veteran- connected students, all made possible by the Center of Veteran Student Success grant and the CPL Rory Hamill Foundation.
  • In partnership with the OCC community and managing departments of Student Affairs, Student Services, and Academic Affairs, the VMRC has developed the Ocean County College Military Support Committee (MSC).
  • Thirteen independent Military and Veteran Liaisons will be members of the committee; they will act as points of contact for individual support and resources to the military and veteran student-connected community.
  • MSC will develop mutual strategies and objectives to service the unique population of students as well as create future policy and procedures across the campus.

e-Learning and Learning Enterprises

e-Learning Personnel

The e-Learning Department welcomes Ms. Jacquelyn Coletta as the new Executive Assistant to the Vice President of e-Learning and Learning Enterprises.  Searches are currently underway for an Academic Administrator, Academic Technician, LMS Systems Administrator, and College Lecturer IIs in Business, Biology, Physics, and Psychology.

Professional and Course Development

  • e-Learning will offer training on two of its third-party integrated software products in July. The training will cover course preparation and best practices in Mind Tap and Web Assign.  Presenters will show instructors how to fully utilize both programs.  The department aims to empower instructors by demonstrating how they can be more involved in the teaching process inside pre-built master courses with the institution’s publisher partners, Cengage and Pearson.

In addition, e-Learning will offer technical training and pedagogical application in Duolingo, which will be replacing Rosetta Stone in Spanish I and Spanish II courses during the Fall 2021 semester. Eventually, all online language courses will utilize Duolingo, so instructors will be trained in preparation for this change. Representatives from Cengage will partner with e-Learning trainers to provide updates on each platform and field advanced-level questions.  The department is excited to use Duolingo because it will provide increased ease of navigation for students and instructors.  The design updates for the language courses will reduce costs by $50,000.

  • The Instructional Design and Technology team continues its course development for Fall 2021, with an expected completion date of July 1, 2021. A total of 24 Distance Learning Master Courses will be revised for Fall 2021.  The Spring 2022 Course Development Schedule is currently in progress, with seven DL Master Courses being revised with NJEdge instructional design services and OCC Subject Matter Experts (SMEs).  NJEdge will also assist in the development of three Master Courses for Summer 2022:  BUSN 163, Transportation Systems; CRIM 152, Introduction to Law Enforcement; and PSYC 273, Adolescent Psychology.  The e-Learning Department continues to explore OER as the first option for all course development to reduce the overall cost of textbooks for OCC students.

Honorlock Proctoring for Fall 2021

Starting in Fall 2021, e-Learning faculty and lecturers will be setting up Honorlock proctoring in their class sections, which in previous terms was facilitated by the Instructional Design and Technology team.  In addition, training and additional communication will be provided over the summer regarding the process and implementation.

International Programs

July Visit to Egypt

On July 4, 2021, Vice President of e-Learning and Learning Enterprises Eileen Garcia and I will fly to Egypt.  Dr. Maysa Hayward, Associate Vice President of International Programs, and Dr. Howaida Wahby Eraky, Assistant Dean of e-Learning, International Programs, will leave a few days earlier to prepare for the visit.  The July Egypt trip will include several meetings with the Ministry of Higher Education team and the presidents of Ain Shams, Badr, Helwan, Alexandria, El Galala, El Alamein, Arab Academy, and Ahram Canadian universities.  The meetings will target several goals, the main one being to expedite and facilitate all pending agreements.  The OCC team will attend the Special Program meeting of the Ocean/Kean/Ain Shams Program and sign the Cohort 6 OCC/Kean Business Program Agreement.  All other university meetings will focus on start dates for programs and marketing plans.

Current OCC/Kean/ASU Program

The current program’s Cohort 6 agreement as well as six other special program agreements are under final review by Kean University.  The International team is conducting a midway and exit assessment for Cohorts 4 and 5 to measure the students’ progress and success.  The team is also working with Kean’s team on a marketing plan to increase enrollment in Fall 2021.

This May, four students from Cohort 4 received $300 each towards tuition through the International Scholarship for achieving a GPA of 3.8 and higher.  The students who received the awards are Joy Makram, Celesta Bekheet, Mohamed Wael Atef Shaheen, and Noha Eid.  As always, we are proud of and commend these outstanding students.

NJCU Egypt

The MES and OCC agreements with New Jersey City University were scheduled to be presented to NJCU’s Board of Trustees on June 18, 2021.  NJCU will be joining the OCC team on the Egypt trip if the agreements are finalized.

Special Programs

William Paterson University

Dr. Richard J. Helldobler, President of William Paterson University, visited the OCC campus on June 21, 2021, and signed the OCC/William Paterson/Egypt joint admission agreement for the Egyptian programs.

Southern New Hampshire University

On June 10, 2021, the International team and I met with Southern New Hampshire University executives.  Also in attendance were Executive Vice President Sara Winchester, Vice Presidents Eileen Garcia and Joseph Konopka, and Executive Director of Articulation Eileen Schilling.  The meeting focused on the curricula and financial model of disciplines of interest for joint admission agreements, such as Data Analytics and Computer Information Technology.

Florida International University

Ms. Eileen Schilling, Dr. Maysa Hayward, and Dr. Sylvia Riviello are mapping the curriculum of OCC’s Engineering A.S. degree with that of Florida International University for a potential joint agreement.

Branding and Marketing

The International team, under the supervision of Dr. Eileen Garcia, worked with College Relations to develop a brand, name, and logo for Ocean International Programs.  The name Ocean Global has been selected.  The word ‘GLOBAL’ has been added to the OCC logo for International Programs.

Dr. Howaida Wahby Eraky is working diligently with Associate Director of Web Services Maureen Conlon on the International website page.  The link will appear on the main OCC site page; it will present the ways in which OCC’s online programs can assist International students in pursuing 2+2 degrees.

Meanwhile, OCC and Kean are forming promotional video clips to use for the marketing for Kean/OCC programs in Egypt.

International Hub

On May 15, 2021, Dr. Eileen Garcia, Dr. Maysa Hayward, and I met with Dr. Hasan El Kalla, CEO and owner of Badr University, in Virginia.  Dr. El Kalla presented his plans for involving OCC in his new international Hub in Egypt.  A follow-up meeting will occur during the July trip to Egypt.

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