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June 29, 2022

Dr. Larson’s June 30 2022 Report to the OCC Board of Trustees

OCC president Dr. Larson

Phi Theta Kappa

At last month’s meeting, Ms. Carolyn Showalter, Assistant Dean of STEM and PTK Advisor, shared with you some activities and projects being undertaken by PTK students.  Ms. Showalter will return this month with Kaitlyn Barrett, who was honored in April by the New Jersey Council of County Colleges (NJCCC) as a member of the 2022 New Jersey All-State Academic Team and for her outstanding academic achievements and exceptional service to Phi Theta Kappa.

We are delighted Kaitlyn will be with us Thursday to present her with her medal of achievement and certificate of honor.  Additionally, Congressman Andy Kim asked that we present Kaitlyn with a Congressional resolution in recognition of her All-State status.

Honors by Contract

On May 4, 2022, the Honors by Contract awards program was held.  Students who participated in the Honors by Contract program in Spring and Fall 2021 had the opportunity to be nominated by their professors for an outstanding project.  A committee was formed in early March to review all nominated projects.  Three students were selected for monetary awards granted by the Ocean County College Foundation.  Ellison O’Grady, who worked with Dr. Katherine Toy, was the first-place recipient of $1,200.  Donte Calabrese was in second place with an award of $1,000, and Nancy Natividad Cruz earned third place with an award of $800.  Students attended along with family and friends.  Dr. Joseph Konopka, Vice President of Academic Affairs, and I attended the presentation with other special guests.

Assistant Professor of Science and Coordinator of the Honors by Contract Program Christine Pericone will attend Thursday’s meeting to provide an overview of the Honors by Contract program and introduce Ellison, Donte, and Nancy to comment on their winning projects.

Fulbright Program

Dr. Rosann Bar, Dean of the School of Business and Social Sciences, has been informed that she was selected by the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board for the Fulbright International Administrators award to Germany during the 2022-23 academic year.  Dean Bar looks forward to studying German’s educational system during the Fall semester, especially with regard to apprenticeships, and hopes to return with ideas that can be incorporated into OCC’s programs.  As a result of her study, there is also a potential for new international partners.

The 12-member Foreign Scholarship Board supervises the Fulbright Program worldwide, approving all Fulbright recipients.  The United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs oversees the program’s operations.  Grants are made possible through funds appropriated by the U.S. Congress and contributions from partner countries and private parties.  The program is devoted to increasing mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries.  Since its inception in 1946, more than 400,000 Fulbrighters have participated in the program.

I have asked Dean Bar to join us on Thursday to share more about this exciting opportunity and how the Fulbright Program works.

Proposed FY 2023 State Budget

On Monday evening, the State legislature made public the proposed State budget for FY 2023.  It is anticipated that it will soon be approved by the Senate and Assembly and signed by the Governor.  The proposed budget includes:

  • An increase of $5 million in operating aid to community colleges – The Governor’s proposed budget kept the operating aid level at $144 million. The legislature has increased this amount to $149 million in its proposed budget.  This is the second year in a row that the budget includes an increase in operating aid, after 13 years of level funding.  The $15 million increase in the last two budgets is an 11% increase in State operating aid.
  • The budget also includes key items that were proposed by the Governor, including:
    • Expansion of the Community College Operation Grant (CCOG) Program – As proposed by the Governor, the budget includes an additional $8 million in funding for CCOG, which would allow individuals in households with incomes between $65,001 and $80,000 to receive financial aid support equal to half the cost of tuition.
    • Funding for the Workforce Consortium – The budget includes $9 million for the Workforce Consortium, as proposed by the Governor. This includes $3 million for the Workforce Literacy Program (a partnership with NJBIA) and $6 million to support the NJ Pathways to Career Opportunities Initiative.
    • New CCOG Program for Adults at Vocational Technical High Schools – The budget also includes $4 million for a Vocational Technical CCOG Program provided these programs are connected to programs at community colleges and $3 million for a new returning adult initiative to support efforts of colleges and universities to engage the one million New Jersey adults who have earned some college credits but have not earned a college degree.

The efforts of everyone who lent their voices to the effort to shape the State budget and to advocate for an increase in operating aid to community colleges clearly had an impact and are very much appreciated.

Academic Affairs

   School of Arts and Humanities

  • On June 2, 2022, Interim Assistant Dean Samantha Glassford distributed the inaugural issue of Between the Lines, a newsletter for updates and insights into the School of Arts and Humanities.  The first issue included some spotlights and shout-outs for May, as well as general information for the Summer.
  • From June 17 to 19, 2022, The Barn Theatre in Montville, New Jersey, staged a production of The Holy Grill, a play written by Assistant Professor of Humanities Gary Shaffer.  The play centered on an engaged couple’s routine interview with the clergy and how that conversation devolved into a hilarious good cop/bad cop interrogation.
  • On June 22, 2022, Professor of Humanities Marilyn Kralik co-presented a session at New Jersey City University’s Community College Showcase, along with Dr. Andrea Siegel, Director of the Hudson County Community College Foundation Art Collection; Mr. Kenneth Malagiere, Executive Director of the OCC Foundation; and Ms. Heidi Sheridan, Interim Executive and Artistic Director of the Grunin Center for the Arts.  The presentation, “Building a Great Community College Art Collection Across New Jersey,” focused on plans and procedures for the organization, acquisition, and installation of new art on campus, which is especially relevant for OCC considering the scheduled expansion of the Grunin Center.
  • College Lecturer II in Communications/Theatre Paul Chalakani and the OCC Repertory Theatre Company are preparing to present Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, at the Grunin Center, scheduled to run from July 15 to 17 and July 22 to 24, 2022.

School of Business and Social Sciences

  • Another successful semester ended for the business lab as 16 students completed Bloomberg certification in Spring using the lab terminals.  Combined with the 18 students Bloomberg allowed to receive certification remotely in Fall 2021, the yearly total of new certifications has climbed to 34.  Bloomberg has now ended the complimentary remote access to certification it had provided during much of the pandemic, bringing this activity back into the lab.  In addition to various OCC business and economics class demonstrations, the lab hosted a visit by sixth-graders from the Toms River School District and also participated in the evening Spring Open House.  Dr. Katherine Toy, College Lecturer II in Economics, made brief presentations and demonstrations on the stock market for these occasions.
  • Mr. Sean Bips, College Lecturer II in Hospitality, Recreation, and Tourism Management, will teach the Culinary Foundations Certificate this Summer offered through OCC’s Workforce and Professional Education department.  This culinary program will provide students with essential skills and the foundational methods of cooking that form the basis of cuisines around the world, including knife skills; cooking techniques; plating and presentation; kitchen and food safety; nutrition; and methods for preparing specific types of foods, such as foods for special diets.  The Culinary Foundations Certificate begins on July 6, 2022, and runs through the end of August.
  • Ms. Stephanie Frattini, College Lecturer II in Student Success, collaborated with OCC Campus Security Training Officer Wayne Reed to teach active shooter training in 24 Student Success (STSC 150) classes this Spring semester, reaching 365 students.  Officer Reed discussed active shooter events and noted, in most cases, there is no apparent pattern or method to select victims.  These situations are dynamic and evolve rapidly, with the immediate deployment of law enforcement officers to stop the event and mitigate harm.
  • It is the goal of the Ocean County College Safety and Security Department to keep students, faculty, and staff safe at all times.  Active shooter training not only prepares someone for a hostile situation but can provide them with the necessary tools to create an action plan for themselves, a group, or their department.  Being aware of your surroundings is critical to being prepared.  “If You See Something, Say Something.”

School of Nursing

There were 109 Nursing Program graduates for the 2021-22 academic year. The School hosted the Pinning Ceremony for the classes of December 2021 and May 2022 on May 24, 2022, with 99 graduates attending the ceremony.

The Pinning Ceremony presented approximately $30,000 in scholarships and awards to current students and graduates.  Recipients included:

Graduate Awards

  • Community Medical Center Scholarships: Taylor Gargaloni, Thomas Parsons, and Kristy Visinski
  • D’Onofrio Foundation Scholarship: Rebecca Schmall
  • Joyce Previte Memorial Scholarship: Laynise Lewis
  • The Paul Family Scholarship (In Memory of Joyce Previte): Jessica Nagan
  • Student Nurses Organization (SNO) Awards: Alexandra Kachriminzade and Jennifer McMahon
  • The Roberta W. Wintrode Memorial Scholarship: Jennifer McMahon
  • The Academic and Clinical Excellence Awards presented by Nursing Faculty:
    • Fall 2021 Graduate: Crystal Ashby
    • Spring 2022 Graduate: Gretchen Johnson

Undergraduate Awards

  • Jacqueline S. Baer Memorial Scholarship: Gianna Addalli
  • Carluccio, Leone, Dimon, Doyle and Sacks, L.L.C. and Stephan and Judith Leone Scholarship: Melissa Gibbs
  • James F. Foley Scholarship: Courtney Schuber
  • Julie Foukarakis Scholarship: Frances Asciolla and Ann-Marie McGuire
  • Peter M. and Mildred J. Galanti Scholarship: Danielle Carpenter and Kimberly Karkovice
  • Dorothea Brayden Johnson Scholarship: Kathleen Murphy
  • Kotzas-Demos Scholarships: Tessa Arguello, Asante Bowen, Mae S. Krol, and Sylvia Rohe
  • Carmela J. Saxton Memorial Scholarship: Nicole  Sullivan
  • Jesse Schulman Scholarship: Dierdra McGrath, Kiarra Unger, and Nicole Wenz
  • Janis Neary-Zimmerman Memorial Scholarship: Crystal Wheeler
  • Student Nurse Organization (SNO) Award: Kaylah Briscoe

The School of Nursing lecturers participated in an annual workshop from May 18 to 25, 2022. Instructors completed an assessment of all Nursing courses,  program outcome data, and licensure test plans to revise curriculum content as needed.  The School’s Systematic Plan of Evaluation, which addresses the standards and criteria required for accreditation, was also reviewed.

On June 1, 2022, 49 students from Lakewood High School visited the School of Nursing. MaryAnn Kaufmann, Ph.D., MSN, RN, CHSE, Simulation, Skills, and Student Retention Specialist, and Linda Simmons, MSN, RN, CEN, CNE, Lab Coordinator, provided students with an overview of the program and an introduction to the simulation labs where they practiced listening to body sounds.  Hand hygiene techniques were demonstrated, and students had the opportunity to practice their skills.  The visit also included a video that discussed the various areas available for registered nurses to practice.

School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

In June, OCC was awarded the $63,000 GenCyber Safe Grant.  Safe creates a memorable educational experience for high school campers, free from participation barriers due to the provision of transportation, meals, and laptop loans.  Participants have five days of fun, highly interactive activities led by experienced cybersecurity and telecom professionals leveraging OCC’s Cybersecurity curriculum and facilities.

OCC is a National Cybersecurity Education and Training (NCyTE) member institution and CompTIA Security+ and EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker Academia Partner.  Campers develop an improved cybersecurity posture for their devices, elevated awareness of GenCyber security principles and concepts, and exposure to the disciplines and career opportunities that await emerging information security professionals.

The camp serves as an inroad to higher education and a career pathway for high school students who may otherwise be unfamiliar with the many academic and professional opportunities that cybersecurity fundamentals can open for them.  OCC ran a successful camp program in 2020 using institutional funds and is now seeking funds to continue the GenCyber Safe experience for future participants.

  • College Lecturer IIs in Computer Science Jon Weiss and Ken Michalek presented OCC’s Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence programs at the Tech Teacher workshop on May 19, 2022.  Approximately 40 teachers from County high schools received overviews and demos that showcased the programs and their capabilities.  Feedback from the workshop has been excellent, with many teachers requesting another workshop next year.
  • College Lecturer II in Computer Studies Helga Paggi reports significant progress has been made with a partnership between OCC and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst to provide CSIT internship opportunities for students and the implementation of HyFlex at the base.  Master Sergeant Steve Hoare is responsible for the base’s Spark Innovations Lab, a technology laboratory for proof-of-concept projects.  He has identified several potential internship projects for OCC students in the areas of website design, virtual reality testing, and technology integration.  Student projects are scheduled for Fall 2022.  This partnership is an excellent opportunity for a long-term relationship with the base.
  • College Lecturer II in Computer Studies Edmond Hong and College Lecturer II in Biology Angel Camilo, in conjunction with three Brookdale Community College faculty members, are applying for a $6,500 grant to develop a device that will be able to control remotely an Open Education Resource digital microscope developed by Brookdale.  This device will mimic the controls on a real microscope and give virtual students a more realistic feel of the microscope.  Dr. Camilo and Mr. Hong will design and develop the microscope and then integrate it with the Brookdale and OCC faculty.  This device will be 3D printable, allowing 3D printer files to be used as OER.
  • College Lecturer II in Engineering Pam Bogdan is offering a free K-12 STEM Research and Projects Experience (guided independent study, based on acceptance of a proposal from the student).  Participants will be paired with mentors as they do individual research or technical exploration projects.  The program will conclude the week of August 22, 2022, with students displaying their work in poster format.
  • A free STEAM camp will be offered for middle and high schoolers from August 22 to 26, 2022.  This program will provide participants with a fun way to explore both STEM and art.
  • A summer camp will be held for Brick High School’s incoming freshmen from August 15 to 19, 2022.  The camp will provide participants with a hands-on experience with the engineering design process and project management as they respond to the following design challenge: “Design, build, and test a prototype for a solution that addresses one of the six basic needs of modern society in an equitable manner.”
  • Professional development workshops for middle and high school teachers will be held with the following topics:  Fusion 360, Civil Air Patrol-Aviation Educator Program, Oscilloscope Basics, and Green Zone Training provided by the Veterans and Military Resources Center.
  • On June 8, 2022, students from the OCC Engineering Club visited InfoAge in Wall Township.  They met with experts from the Radio Club and received technical assistance and agreements for future partnerships for their guitar amplifier project.
  • The Engineering and Technical Studies departments continue to assist students and alumni with job placements for Summer, both part-time and full-time, and with jobs after graduating from four-year programs.  The departments also continue to receive at least one or two calls per month from local industry partners seeking to hire OCC students.
  • Throughout the Summer, Engineering and Technical Studies faculty and lecturers will be working on Open Educational Resources content for an OER textbook for ENGR 161, Construction Methods and Procedures (author, Adjunct  Professor of Engineering Roger Marino), and Spanish language labs and learning supplements for ENGT 144, DC/AC Electric Circuits (authors Adjunct Professor of Engineering Lorena Fahringer, Adjunct Professor of Computer Science John Fraterrigo, and College Lecturer II in Engineering Pam Bogdan).
  • To better meet the needs of OCC’s ESL students, and thanks to the skills and knowledge of Engineering Adjunct Lorena Fahringer, the Engineering and Industrial Technical Studies department is offering the following:   ENGT 195, Tools for Technical Communications will be taught bi-lingually in Fall 2022; one section of ENGR 181, Graphics for Engineers, will be taught by a bi-lingual instructor; and ENGT 144, DC/AC Electric Circuits, will have versions of the labs and learning aids written in Spanish.
  • The OCC Engineering Club held its annual Leadership Summit, at which the new officers defined and reviewed the club’s vision, values, mission statement, and programs for the year.
  • The blog post, “And the Patent Goes to:  The Dream Award for Every Engineer,” by Ms. Pam Bogdan, Ocean County College Michelson IP Educator in Residence, National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship, was published (Benefits of a Patent for Every Engineer – Michelson IP).
  • Although Ms. Pam Bogdan’s two-year term as a Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property Educator in Residence has concluded, she hopes to continue to share educational resources, such as the newly created training materials and other support to encourage both the inclusion of intellectual property in OCC’s curriculum as well as promote creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship with students and the community-at-large.
  • Well-deserved congratulations are extended to Ms. Pam Bogdan, who was recently granted her 27th patent.
  • Dean Sylvia Riviello and College Lecturer II in Biology Lincoln Simmons met with Orsted and Atlantic Shore Winds, the wind energy companies bringing renewable energy to New Jersey.  Dr. Riviello presented OCC’s HyFlex model with Vice President of Academic Affairs Joseph Konopka and discussed possible long-term collaborative opportunities in wind energy and other areas, such as IT and engineering technicians.  In addition, Mr. Lincoln Simmons met with the managing director of NJEDA Wind Institute to discuss possible grant opportunities for OCC.  Conversations continue with New Jersey City University and Kean University regarding 2 + 2 articulation agreements.

Finance and Administration

The College’s Insurance Broker, Connor Strong & Buckelew, prepared the property and casualty insurance renewal package for fiscal year 2023.  Property insurance rates have increased countrywide as insurers attempt to manage their portfolios in a challenging risk landscape.  Losses are being driven by several factors, including the increased frequency and severity of extreme weather events and severe insured water, rainfall, and flood losses; supply chain disruption, causing higher costs for construction materials like lumber and steel; and significant inflation.

Other issues contributing to the rising costs of insurance include:

  • Increasing litigation
  • Broader contract interpretations/more plaintiff-friendly legal decisions
  • Larger jury awards
  • Anti-corporate sentiment


  • Organized, sophisticated plaintiff’s bar
  • Trolling online/years of consistent ads
  • Litigation funding
  • Erosion of tort reform

Despite these challenges, SAIF presented a very aggressively priced program with the same comprehensive coverage as expiring.  SAIF maintained its Cyber Liability retentions from members at $10,000 per claim.  During our marketing efforts for a standalone Cyber option, all of the eight insurers OCC approached required retentions between $25,000 and $50,000.  Since the other insurers require a higher SIR and SAIF does not provide any premium reduction for declining its Cyber Liability coverage, the College is maintaining coverage within SAIF’s property form.  Overall, College premiums will increase from $853,000 to $919,000, a 7.7% increase.

Library Renovation

A selection committee, consisting of Executive Vice President Sara Winchester, Executive Director of Procurement and Compliance Christine Healey, Interim Associate Vice President of Facilities Jim Calamia, Senior Project Manager Ryan Ward, and Director of Library Services Donna Rosinski-Kaus, was convened to consider the proposals submitted by architects for the Library Renovation Project.  The committee reviewed three proposals and selected two to provide presentations based on price and other factors.  Following the presentations, the committee prepared evaluation sheets and recommended BKP Architects. The pricing submitted by BKP was substantially lower than the other firms.  BKP’s references were checked, and the firm is highly qualified and has experience in library design.


The Purchasing staff, led by Ms. Christine Healey, has renewed efforts to ensure that OCC complies with the New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act.  The Act establishes a prevailing wage level for workers engaged in public works.  The Act requires the payment of minimum rates of pay to laborers, craftsmen, and apprentices employed on public works projects.  Covered workers must receive the appropriate craft prevailing wage rate as determined by the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development.  This applies to OCC’s contracts for maintenance and construction, and ongoing diligence is required to ensure compliance.  Prevailing wage records are maintained by the Facilities Office and are available for inspection by the State at all times.

College Relations

  • College Relations Graphic Design Specialist Nicole Howard created a 32-page advertisement booklet for the Grunin Center for the Arts Spring 2023 events.  The 7,500 booklets are expected to be distributed soon.  In collaboration with Ms. Jessica Zawerczuk, Grunin Center Assistant Director of Marketing and Sales, Ms. Howard designed 15 posters featuring upcoming concerts, musicians, authors, and actors, such as Judy Collins, Paula Poundstone, and more, as well as ads, brochures, lobby signage, and window clings for events, including a night with musician, author, and actor Ice-T.  All of these efforts will promote the Grunin Center through Spring 2023.  In addition to the booklet, Grunin Center events can be found at
  • The web team collaborated with Workforce and Professional Education on a new scalable layout for all WPE program pages.  This updated layout features critical decision-making information for prospective students, such as employment opportunities, learning outcomes, and program highlights.  Programs represented in this new layout include the Culinary Foundations Certificate and the Google IT Support Professional Certificate.  Since their launch, the pages have been visited 1,485 times; in 628 instances, these pages were the entry point for visits to the College website.


  • The OCC Foundation sponsored the annual Pride Event in downtown Toms River on Saturday, June 11, 2022.  A table was staffed to provide information on enrollment, scholarships, and upcoming events open to the local community.  The event continues to grow yearly, and the Foundation looks forward to a continued partnership.
  • The first of two Salary Negotiation workshops for members of the 100 Women Campaign was held on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in the Gateway Building.  The program was facilitated by an organization called Disrupt the Gap and received excellent reviews.  The second of the two workshops will be hosted this Fall on Wednesday, September 14, 2022.  These programs are made possible thanks to the Gale G. Wayman Fund for the Education of Women.
  • The Annual BlueClaws OCC Picnic for Students, Alumni, Faculty, and Staff, will take place on Friday, August 5, 2022.  Tickets are available at and include admission to the ballpark for an evening game and a buffet dinner – all for $10 per ticket.  Please join the College community for a fun evening.  Seats are filling up.
  • The Annual SUP the River Paddle Board Race, co-hosted by the OCC Foundation and the Kiwanis Club of Toms River, is scheduled on Saturday, September 17, 2022, at the Toms River Yacht Club.  The race is open to all OCC alumni, Foundation constituents, and local community members, and all proceeds will support the OCC Foundation and Kiwanis Club.  Registration information to compete in the race can be found at or by visiting  Sponsorships are also available through the Foundation.

Ocean County College Foundation

  • The Foundation was pleased to announce the official launch of its multi-year $25 million Legacy Campaign at this year’s annual Scholarship Celebration on June 24, 2022.
  • The Foundation and Organization for Black Unity, under the leadership of Dr. Henry Jackson, Executive Director of Academic Success, and College Relations, hosted a Lunch and Learn at noon on Monday, June 20, 2022, in recognition of the Juneteenth federal holiday to bring awareness to the campus community on the history of this day and the reasons it is celebrated.  All were welcome to attend.
  • The Nominating Committee of the Foundation will meet this Summer, as is tradition, to review the standing of current Board members and to entertain recommendations from community members to join the Board.  Recommendations should be forwarded to the Board Chair, Mr. David Paulus, and Mr. Michael York, Nominating Committee Chair, for consideration.
  • The Gale G. Wayman Celebration of Life will be held on July 15, 2022, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Vansant Park in Island Heights.  An email invitation will be sent to members of the Foundation Board and the College Board of Trustees.  Additional information is available by contacting the Foundation Office at
  • Foundation Art Collection Exploratory Committee members had their first walk-through to identify campus spaces in collaboration with the leadership of Arts on Campus, which focuses on displaying student art.  Recommendations are being developed for the committee to review to determine its next steps in this project.

Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts

  • Organizers Sanford Josephson and Ricky Riccardi of the Jazz on a Sunday Afternoon series, which the New Jersey Jazz Society generously sponsors, reported that the series recently received rave reviews in both NJ Stage and Jersey Jazz.  Both reviews highlighted the caliber of the performers, including the Charlie Apicella Quartet, featuring Don Bradon, on May 22, 2022, and David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band on June 12, 2022.
  • From June 6 to 9, 2022, the Grunin Center hosted a residency for the Ephrat Asherie Dance company.  This residency and the subsequent performance in October are supported by an Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) Arts Forward grant.
  • Ms. Jessica Zawerczuk, Assistant Director of Marketing and Sales, and Ms. Victoria Buczynski, Marketing and Sales Specialist, finished the annual launch for the Grunin Center 2022-23 season, with both the brochure and the website ready for viewers.
  • The Grunin Center welcomed The Bronx Wanderers, a world-class family band performing multigenerational songs, on June 26, 2022, for two shows that were almost sold out.
  • Assistant Director of Education and Community Engagement Jaclyn Wood and Education and Community Engagement Coordinator Erik Stratton are finalizing preparations for Camps on Campus, which begin on July 5, 2022.
  • On June 28, 2022, Ms. Jaclyn Woods organized the Jeff Boyer CAMP (Community Arts and Music Program), generously sponsored by The Wintrode Family Foundation, which brings children from local daycares or other camps to attend events at the Grunin Center.
  • The Grunin Center technical staff, including Technical Production Manager Bryn Farce and Part-Time Technicians Stephan Caldwell, Susan Towery, and John Tomasara, were publicly acknowledged by several recent performers on campus, most recently by the Ephrat Asherie Dance company, for their outstanding technical expertise and hospitality.

Robert J. Novins Planetarium

  • Associate Director of the Novins Planetarium Cara Muscio was selected to deliver two presentations at the Middle Atlantic Planetarium Society meeting in Orono, Maine, in May.  She presented one paper on local and regional collaboration with colleagues from Rowan University and Raritan Valley Community College called “Collaboration with Colleagues.”  She presented another paper, “The Art of Crafts:  Adding Interactivity, Fun, and Value to Shows,” on using show-related crafts to increase audiences and add value to planetarium shows.
  • In June, Ms. Cara Muscio and Planetarium Technician Kevin Molnar attended five-day virtual training for the recently installed new Digistar 7 digital software.  The software will ultimately assist the planetarium staff in fully utilizing this powerful new system.
  • The planetarium shifted its public shows to a Summer schedule in June by featuring shows later in the day and some weekday matinees to minimize competition with outdoor activities.  The shows will provide science-based education and entertainment for youth and their families during the school break.

Workforce and Professional Education

  • The Adult Basic Skills and Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education Discretionary Grant Program (Title II Grant) has expanded in year two, from $450,000 annually to just under $900,000 (July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023).  The additional funds will be used to serve a significant number of students, offer other career preparation and training, and build up participants’ digital literacy resources.


  • OCC recently submitted its updated Emergency Operations Plan to the New Jersey Department of Higher Education.  The State of New Jersey requires all colleges to submit an Emergency Operations Plan every five years.  The plan is used to prepare for and respond to any large-scale emergency on campus, including natural and man-made disasters.  It outlines specific actions in support of local and county response and recovery activities.
  • 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 of May 28, 2022, through June 24, 2022.

Student Affairs


New Student Schedule Review

  • To ensure accurate schedules for incoming students, the Advising staff is currently reviewing schedules for any student registered for an Express Enrollment event.   Because these students are registered ahead of time, adjustments to the schedules are often made or needed due to scheduling conflicts or changes in curriculum.
  • Advisors ensure that the registered classes are appropriate for the degree program, address potential issues, and check items such as higher-level math.   This review requires outreach to the student and often an additional follow-up to ensure all issues are resolved.  The goal is for all new students to begin the Fall semester with accurate schedules that meet their needs.

Counseling Center

  • The Counseling Center continues to provide services and programming during the Summer months.  Summer is also a time of planning, training, and assessment.  In addition to planning activities for the Fall semester, the Center works collaboratively with Disability Services and Academic Affairs on joint programming opportunities for faculty and students.
  • The Counseling Center staff continues to show their commitment to professional development to ensure they provide excellent services and programming to the campus community.  Ms. Heather Mayer, Mental Health Technician, completed her graduate studies and achieved a Master of Arts degree in Communication and New Media Marketing.  Ms. Carmen Mora, Displaced Homemakers Program Coordinator, met the Licensed Social Worker (LSW) requirements and is now working on the requirements for the Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
  • The Counseling staff completed a four-session series of R.A.C.E. (Race and Cultural Empathy) training and attended training in trauma, neurodiversity, counseling techniques, and addiction and recovery.
  • Ms. Katie Hueth, Prevention Education Coordinator, presented at the annual New Jersey College Counselors Association conference.  Her presentation on Current Topics in College Counseling – Addressing Substance Use Among College Students, focusing on opioids, was well received by the 55 college counselors in attendance.  Ms. Hueth also directs OCC’s Recovery Support Program, which provides services and information to students to support their recovery.  There are currently 191 students participating in the Recovery Support Program.  Activities and services will continue throughout the Summer.
  • The Displaced Homemakers Program is working with 46 new clients and 79 continuing clients.  The paperwork is currently being completed for the renewal grant, which begins on July 1, 2022.  The DHP staff has conducted many outreach sessions, meeting with the Ocean County Probation Office and Ocean Crest of Bright Harbor Health Care. It has upcoming sessions with Keeping Families Together.
  • Since July 1, 2021, the CARE Team has handled 904 CARE reports.  This is 92 more reports than the same time frame in 2020-21.  Ms. Susan Ebeling-Witte, Student Intervention Specialist, handles most of the counseling-related CARE reports.  The CARE Team thanks the campus community for diligence in reporting concerning behaviors and students experiencing challenges impacting their academic success.


  • Using the HUB’s post-service text survey, the Enrollment Services department received 4.8 out of 5 stars during May.  Students said the overall experience made them very likely to recommend the HUB to friends and included suggestions like offering snacks, drinks, and music.
  • In May, the HUB assisted with 1,006 in-person transactions in the Student Enrollment Building.  The average service duration was 2.89 minutes, and the average wait time for students to receive services was 4.65 minutes.
  • The Success Team completed over 2,800 calls to students during May related to not logging in, faculty alerts, academic warnings, low course averages, welcome calls, advising appointments, and withdrawal deadlines.  The calls also included students who were registered for Spring but had not yet enrolled for the Fall 2022 semester.
  • On June 6, 2022, Dr. Sheenah Hartigan, Executive Director of Enrollment Services, along with Mr. Jim Hauenstein, Director of the Southern Education Center, Ms. Jamie Arasz Prioli, Assistant Director of Student Disability Services, and Dr. Henry Jackson, Executive Director of Academic Success, spoke with parents of incoming ninth-graders in the Toms River School District.  Parents learned about the benefits of taking Early College classes, asked questions, and gained insightful information on how to start to enhance their children’s educational journeys.
  • An Express Enrollment Day was held on June 8, 2022, for 55 students with guests and family members.  The students received their Fall OCC schedules, took tours of the College, listened to Academic Advising workshops, and met with representatives from Financial Aid, the Equal Opportunity Fund, and Student Support Services.
  • Enrollment Services, Financial Aid, and Academic Advising visited Lakewood High School on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, to assist high school seniors in registering for their Fall classes.  Students were given OCC t-shirts and walked through the enrollment process.
  • Mr. Jim Campbell, Coordinator of Outreach and Enrollment Services, facilitated the renewal of an MOU with Ben Hudnall Memorial Trust in collaboration with Kaiser Permanente.  The contract is a three-year contract, for the first time, and allows employees from Kaiser to take classes at Ocean at no cost to the employee (Kaiser pays in full).  The contract also includes courses that weren’t previously covered, doubling the course offerings for Kaiser employees.
  • On June 3, 2022, Mr. Jim Campbell met with the Environmental Sustainability Program Advisory Board to discuss ways to promote the academic program to the community and businesses to increase leads and enrollment in the two new certificate programs.

Office of Disability Services

  • Beginning June 21, 2022, the Office of Disability Services is hosting a bi-weekly ADHD Peer Support Group for students living with ADHD.  This virtual support group provides opportunities for community, sharing of experiences, mutual support, and meaningful connection.  Students can attend any meeting and are not required to come every time.  The Office of Disability Services sponsors the ADHD Support Group, but the group is meant to be for and about students.  As such, this is a student-led group, so students can organically make the group and the shared space what they want and need it to be for them.
  • To promote community engagement and support, the Office of Disability Services continues to collaborate and serve as chair of the Ocean County Core Advisory Group – Emergency Preparedness for Individuals with Disabilities.  On June 8, 2022, the office hosted a monthly meeting addressing trends within the community, including OCC students, and identifying barriers and resources for individuals with access and functional needs.
  • A disability awareness workshop was held on June 10, 2022, for staff from the Tutoring Center.  During this meeting, staff was provided with an overview of disabilities.  An interactive discussion contributed to learning strategies for best practices and effective communication in handling situations within the tutoring session.
  • Ms. Jamie Arasz Prioli, Assistant Director of Disability Services, completed her Master of Science degree in Vocational Rehabilitation from the University of Buffalo-The State University of New York.  In addition, Ms. Prioli passed a national examination to become a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC).  The designation of Certified Rehabilitation Counselor indicates an advanced level of specialized education and training focused on assisting persons with both physical and mental disabilities across their lifespan from birth to geriatrics in a holistic manner addressing vocational, psychological, social, educational, and medical aspects of individual functioning.  The CRC certification follows adherence to rigid standards of ethical practice and an ongoing commitment to lifelong learning.
  • Ms. Jamie Arasz Prioli was elected to the 2022-24 Executive Board for NJ AHEAD (Association on Higher Education and Disability ®).  NJ AHEAD is an affiliate organization of international AHEAD and is coordinated by an Executive Board of elected officers.  The purpose of NJ AHEAD is to advance the importance and quality of accommodations and services at post-secondary education institutions in New Jersey.  The specific objectives of this association are to provide leadership for postsecondary disability service providers, compliance officers, and administrators from all colleges/universities throughout New Jersey; to maintain a network for the service providers to enhance compliance with ADA legislation in both the spirit and the letter of the law; and to provide for a confidential format for professional consultation and peer support.

Southern Education Center

  • SEC Academic Advisors  Jenna McAteer and Toni Ann DiPasquale assisted the June 8, 2022, Express Enrollment event on the main campus.  Both handled various tasks to assist with the event, including registration of attendees and speaking during the Student Planning workshop.   Both also looked to connect with registrants who live in Southern Ocean County to present the many courses and services available at the SEC.
  • The SEC Student Affairs staff continues to advise students by handling the email inbox as well as virtual appointments, walk-in visits, and incoming phone inquiries.
  • On Tuesday, June 14, 2022, Mr. James Hauenstein, Director of the SEC, along with Ms. Jenna McAteer and Ms. Toni Ann DiPasquale, attended the Barnegat Township School District’s “Bulldog to Bengal” event at Barnegat High School.  This annual event invites all Brackman (Barnegat) Middle School eighth-grade graduates to attend a high school orientation event.  Mr. James Hauenstein presented an honor cord on behalf of Ocean County College to Barnegat High School senior Maya Faulds, who has already earned 47 OCC credits through Early College and has completed the requirements to receive recognition as the first Promoting Learners to Achieve Now (P.L.A.N.) student.  Ms. Faulds spoke of her accomplishment and the benefits gained through the OCC P.L.A.N. program.  Following the presentations, the new freshman students and parents were invited to learn more about high school clubs and activities via a tabling event.  The SEC team connected with 45 students and parents expressing interest in the Early College opportunity.  Each of the 45 students will receive a follow-up email to provide additional detailed information about Early College and the P.L.A.N. program.
  • On June 6, 2022, Dr. Henry Jackson, Executive Director of Academic Success, Dr. Sheenah Hartigan, Executive Director of Enrollment Services, Mr. James Hauenstein, Director of SEC, and Ms. Jamie Arasz Prioli, Assistant Director of Student Disability Services, gave a Webex-based presentation focused on the concepts and opportunities afforded students attending the three Toms River Regional School District high schools regarding Early College at OCC.  The presentation had 90 attendees.
  • As the Summer sessions proceed, the SEC Canvas Announcement shell continues to be a compelling message board for students attending classes at the SEC.  June’s Canvas Announcements informed students of Summer Second Five-Week Session course opportunities, the hours and services of the SEC Advising team, and the opportunity to take Fall 2022 business-related courses.  Although many students are enjoying summer, the analytics indicate almost 300 student views for each of these various messages.
  • The Workforce and Professional Education program continues to use the SEC as an additional location for Adult Basic Education, specifically the English as a Second Language program, with evening classes through the end of June 2022.
  • Looking ahead, the SEC staff has started to look at enrollment trends and past course offerings at the SEC to develop the Spring 2023 proposed course offerings and master schedule.


  • The OCC golf team recently returned from Chautauqua, New York, where the members competed in the NJCAA D-III National Championship.  OCC’s number 1 and number 3 starters, Josh Kerley and Dane Bodziak, posted their best scores of the season throughout the four-day tournament, with Josh hitting an amazing hole-in-one from 150 yards on the 8th hole of the course.  His ace was just the fourth in the championship’s twenty-two-year history.
  • Ms. Ilene Cohen, Executive Director of Athletics, and Josh Kerley will attend Thursday’s meeting to talk about the golf tournament.
  • The baseball and softball spectator bleacher areas are currently being refurbished.  New ADA-compliant bleachers are being installed that will make it easier for all OCC fans to watch games comfortably.
  • This year, 39 student-athletes earned Academic honors for achieving a 3.0 grade point average or better while participating in sports; 13 of the student-athletes earned Academic All-American honors for a 3.6 grade point average or better, with four of the student-athletes having a grade point average of 4.0.  E-Sports Academic honors are recognized by the semester, not the year; four students had a grade point average over 3.5 for the semester.

e-Learning and Learning Enterprises

e-Learning Academics

Simple Syllabus

The e-Learning Department is finalizing steps to launch a Simple Syllabus pilot for the 2022 Summer Accelerated 4 term.

Simple Syllabus is a centralized template-driven platform that will provide the ability to create and publish interactive class syllabi for its online courses.  The software will assist with efficiency by automating the syllabi requests for online students.  Additionally, the software will give students immediate access to research courses before registration and identify required course materials and expectations, as well as allow faculty to personalize specific information for their courses.  With Simple Syllabus, course information is easily accessible in web, mobile, and print formats and automatically integrated within the Canvas LMS system.

The Simple Syllabus pilot in the Accelerated 4 term will streamline access to syllabus content for more than 880 e-Learning students in 64 sections represented by 18 sections from the School of Arts and Humanities, 18 sections from the School of Business and Social Sciences, and 28 sections from the School of STEM.

Students must acknowledge that they have read the syllabus digitally, and faculty and administrators will have access to the student syllabus engagement reports. This acknowledgment will increase the connectivity of the e-Learning students to their course requirements and, ultimately, their chances of success in achieving the learning outcomes.

On June 28, 2022, e-Learning faculty and lecturers received training on the cutting-edge features of Simple Syllabus and how to navigate this product to publish their online syllabi.

Faculty Evaluations

The e-Learning Department is collaborating with Human Resources on the adjunct evaluation process.  Currently, the department is utilizing Smartsheet to track and monitor evaluations.  By the end of the Summer term, over 160 evaluations will be completed and eventually transferred to the Human Resources CRM (customer relationship management) system. The CRM will serve as a repository for adjunct faculty professional development.

Student Course Evaluations

In Spring 2022, the e-Learning Department gathered the results of the e-Learning Student Course Evaluation survey via a new software adopted by the institution, Watermark. Watermark provides a platform for students that is easy to use, can be accessed via mobile devices, and includes automatic reminders prompting students to complete the evaluations.  In the 2022 Spring semester, Spring Quick Term, and Summer Accelerated 2 Term, over 50% of the online students participated, which was a significant improvement compared to student participation in previous surveys.  Finally, the data gathered from 151 e-Learning faculty and lecturers will assist the administrative team in understanding the instruction facilitated by faculty, course design, and technology effectiveness. 

Honorlock Third-Party Integration Launch

The e-Learning department has launched the Honorlock proctoring for third-party courses in the 2022 Summer Accelerated 4 Term.  As a result, four course sections will have third-party integration assessments, which will impact 42 students.  The third-party publishers proctoring the online courses are Knewton Alta, Macmillan Launchpad, Pearson, McGraw-Hill ALEKS, Cengage CNowV2, Cengage WebAssign, and Cengage MindTap.  For additional support, the design team has placed student announcements and quizzes within the e-Learning courses that will be affected.  This transparency will allow faculty to optimally guide their students when they are required to navigate outside of Canvas to take publisher assessments.

e-Learning Professional Development Series

The e-Learning Department will host the first e-Learning Adjunct Roundtable Summer Retreat.  Over 40 adjunct faculty have registered for the event entitled “Building a Professional e-Learning Community Among Faculty.”  More than 15 e-Learning adjuncts will present on various topics at the retreat.  The retreat will focus on the collaborative efforts of the faculty, showcasing the best practices used in their online courses.  In addition, the attendees will receive a certificate of participation.  Approximately 40 adjunct faculty attend these types of discussions regularly.  All professional development training is recorded to be readily available to faculty, lecturers, and administrators.

Due to the popularity of Check-in Chats, the e-Learning Department will continue to host informal virtual office hours for adjunct faculty.  Check-in Chats are well-liked because of the private nature of the communications in which faculty can openly address issues that will ultimately create better e-Learning experiences for students.

Knewton Pilot

The e-Learning department is expanding the use of the Knewton Alta learning platform for distance learning courses in mathematics.  MATH 156, Introduction to Statistics, and MATH 265, Calculus I, focus on this innovative launch.

MATH 156 enrolls an average of 550 e-Learning students and MATH 265 enrolls an average of 175 e-Learning students each academic year.  The subject matter experts for the course development were chosen, and their training, supported by Knewton, has been completed.

Knewton is a courseware solution explicitly designed for math and science that can adapt to the learning levels of the students and provides insight for the instructors to customize instruction based on student performance.  Knewton provides data on how often a student viewed course materials or attempted to solve problems.  This data, like a compass, guides faculty and lecturers to adjust instruction.

Instructors can view the progress data that indicate if students are meeting their learning objectives for the entire class and as individual students.  When a student completes the assignments, Knewton, using Artificial Intelligence, will adjust to the student’s ability and provide additional opportunities for the student to solve problems until achieving mastery.  AI can progress from basic to intermediate and then to the most advanced levels of understanding.  Knewton also uses a variety of OER, eliminating the need for a textbook, resulting in cost savings for students.

e-Learning Personnel

The department welcomes Ms. Tina Davis, Senior Instructional Designer, to the e-Learning Team.

International Programs

  • The International Programs team met with Ms. Michelle Youngs, Assistant Director of Student Life, to collaborate on launching a new conversation club for international and domestic e-Learning students.  The club will give students opportunities for speaking practice and cultural exchange.  Student member recruitment and drafting of the club constitution will begin shortly.  The International Programs team also began planning other clubs and activities to engage e-Learning and international students more, such as student-led workshops, drama, and improv collaborations.
  • The International Programs team is preparing to visit Cairo, Egypt, in August 2022, during which the leadership team will meet with the president and administration of Badr University.  During these meetings, the team hopes to finalize the launch of our new partnership with Badr, recruit students to the program, and train Badr University faculty and staff.  In addition, the team is developing new orientation and training materials and finalizing the agreement documents for approval by both institutions.
  • Dr. Howaida Wahby-Eraky, Assistant Dean of International Programs, attended Part I of the Chair Academy’s Global Leadership Academy Training in Atlantic City, New Jersey, from June 20 to 24, 2022.
  • Ms. Lauren Remenyi, College Lecturer II for ESL and Applied Linguistics, has submitted three presentation proposals for the TESOL International Conference to be held in March 2023.  The proposals are currently awaiting review and acceptance.  Ms. Remenyi has also begun redevelopment of the Student Success seminar course, to be completed by November 2022, and the Research Methods course for international students, to be completed by October 2022.
  • Ms. Marwa Khalifa, Academic Administrator for International Programs, recently developed a tracking system for student payments, bursar updates, and outstanding balances.  In addition, she met with Ain Shams University program coordinators to inform them of how the system will be used collaboratively to streamline the process of collecting tuition payments and communicating with students.
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