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April 25, 2016

Dr. Larson’s April 2016 Report to The Board of Trustees

OCC president Dr. Larson

Phi Theta Kappa

Tau Iota, OCC’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, received wonderful recognition at the Combined Regional and International Phi Theta Kappa Annual Convention held at the National Harbor, Maryland, outside of Washington, D.C., from Thursday, April 7, to Sunday, April 9, 2016.  Phi Theta Kappa is the oldest, largest, and most prestigious honor society recognizing students pursuing two-year degrees.  More than 3 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918.

Nine Tau Iota officers and three advisors attended the convention.  Ocean County College was recognized as follows:

  • Katarzyna Wac and Brianna Badami were each inducted into the Regional Chapter Officers Hall of Honor
  • Steven Jones was inducted into the Regional Members Hall of Honor
  • Steven Jones was named Distinguished Chapter Member for the Middle States Region
  • The Tau Iota Executive Board was named the Outstanding Chapter Officer Team for the Middle States Region
  • Tau Iota received first place in the Fellowship Chapter Cheer competition based on a video made on the Ocean County College campus, which was presented at the convention
  • Dr. William Rickert received a Recognition Award for serving forty years as a Phi Theta Kappa Chapter Advisor

All who attended the convention agreed it was an exciting and stimulating experience.  Dr. Rickert and several students have been invited to attend Monday’s meeting to share Tau Iota’s award-winning video and talk about their trip to the convention.

Finance and Administration

EACUBO Annual Workshop

  • Ms. Sara Winchester, Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration, attended the Eastern Association of College and University Business Officers annual workshop in Boston on March 10 and 11, 2016.  Ms. Winchester, accompanied by Mr. Manal Meseha from Sussex County Community College, presented a session entitled “Building Win/Win e-Learning Partnerships.”  The session described the successful partnership between Ocean and Sussex, which allowed Sussex to take advantage of OCC’s e-Learning capacity and leapfrog into the online learning environment quickly with minimal up-front cost.
  • Ellucian Live 2016
  • Ms. Winchester attended the Ellucian Live 2016 conference in Denver, Colorado.  Mr. Chuck Keeler, Ellucian General Manager, Ms. Chrissy Coley, Ellucian Consultant, and Ms. Winchester presented a session entitled “Building Business Partnerships to Enhance Student Success.”  The session focused on strategies to leverage existing business partnerships to improve student success and explore new opportunities for establishing effective business partnerships to enhance institutional effectiveness and student success.
  • College Relations
  • Grants – April has been an active month for grant submissions.  The Grants Office administrated support to various departments across the campus to successfully submit proposals that will expand OCC’s programming and service to students and the community. The following grant proposals, totaling $1,611,358, have recently been submitted by the College:
    • TRIO Talent Search ($1,200,00) – To provide academic, career, and financial counseling to 500 middle and high school students and encourage them to graduate from high school and continue on to and complete postsecondary education.  OCC proposed to serve students at the following schools:  Barnegat Township School District (High School and Middle School), Lacey Township School District (High School), Pinelands Regional School District (High School), and Toms River School District (High School South and High School East).
    • UBTech/Harman Innovation Award ($25,000) – To combat the problem of faculty isolation in online learning, OCC’s application highlighted the creation of an online faculty community by leveraging AV technology in FlipGrid to support and inspire faculty exchanges in the online environment.
    •  University of Washington ($4,000) – To develop an onsite, online course titled, Philosophy of Asian Studies.
    • State of New Jersey, Department of Education ($377,358) – To increase the academic achievement of students in mathematics and science by enhancing the content knowledge and teaching skills of classroom teachers.
    • Frank and Lydia Bergen Foundation ($5,000) – To offset the cost of providing world class classical entertainment and educational outreach for the students at OCC and the surrounding communities during month-long programming on Global Education for Girls.
  • Alumni – On April 21, 2016, the Alumni Office and Career, Employment, and Counseling Services hosted “If You’re Not Digital, You’re Invisible,” an interactive workshop for structuring a resume that gets noticed, focusing on effective strategies for advancing professional networks using social media and best practices.  The presenters for the workshop featured OCC alumni from the fields of digital marketing and career coaching.  This event was offered free to OCC students and alumni as well as Kean Ocean students and alumni.
  • Veterans Initiatives – Through a promotional/recruitment campaign, an investment was made in GI Jobs, a Veterans online and print magazine; already this year, there have been 1,675,999 page views.  Through this campaign, OCC is able to reach veterans across the county and has an opportunity to highlight OCC’s veteran students and their stories.  The profile of one our students, Mr. Joe Dai, a current full-time Criminal Justice student who recently returned home from deployment in Afghanistan as part of a combat support sustainment battalion, can be read at this link to the magazine:

  • TV Studio
    • Work continues on the Ocean County Prosecutor’s anti-drug campaign.  The finalists were selected and the Prosecutor’s Office will begin production of the anti-drug messages.
    • Comcast successfully completed its second taping of Comcast’s Newsmakers.  Featured on the program was Dr. Marilyn Kralik, College Lecturer II of Humanities and Fine Arts, who talked about the College’s Study Abroad program.   Linda and Jay Grunin Center for the Arts
  • The Grunin “Salute to Ocean County” show was provided with technical support and broadcast television production in the Grunin Center on April 7.  The program was aired live on Ocean TV 20 and streamed live on the internet.  As part of the TV test drive initiative, students from OCC, Jackson Liberty High School, and Lacey High School participated on the production crew for this very successful event.
    • Production is complete on a promotional video for the new Veterinarian Technician Program for Continuing and Professional Education.  The program will air on TV20 and OCC’s website as well as be sent to high schools for their municipal channels.
  • Planetarium – On April 12, 2016, Amanda Boyle was featured on the Wake Up with Jeremy show with host Jeremy Grunin on WOBM-AM.   It can be seen at:

  • Facilities – On Thursday, March 31, 2016, Facilities hosted its first Powered Industrial Forklift Truck training at the Facilities Management Warehouse building using both electrical and gas-powered vehicles.  Mr. John Salapka, Facilities Central Receiving Stock Assistant, has been certified as a Train-the-Trainer instructor.  He instructed the class for five hours using PowerPoints, videos, demonstrations, and personal one-on-one tutorials with each employee in operating the forklift. Each participant was required to undergo a Safety Awareness Assessment to receive a certificate of completion, which requires updating every three years.  Every employee successfully completed the assessment.
  • Human Resources
    • On April 7, 2016, Leadership Academy cohort members participated in the first of four personal coaching sessions with Ms. Janice Coleman (of Janice Coleman Corporation).  In addition to individual leadership growth goals, results from 360 feedback reports were discussed.  This effort is part of the Leadership Academy, which aligns with Strategy Three of Strategies for Success, Strengthen Leadership at All Levels.
    • A workshop titled “Emotional Intelligence” will be held on April 21.  Facilitated by Corporate Strategies/SkillPath, members of this year’s Leadership Academy and others will learn about the core competencies of Emotional Intelligence:  Self Awareness, Self- Regulation, Social Awareness and Relationship Management.  There is a growing body of research that has shown the correlation of emotional intelligence and professional success and effectiveness.  Participants have been given a pre-workshop book reading assignment, Emotional Intelligence, by Mr. Daniel Goleman.  A second workshop on this topic will be offered in June to enable more employees to develop their skills in this critical area.  This effort is designed to meet goals in two strategic areas, Strategy Three, Strengthen Leadership at All Levels, and Strategy Five, Create a Challenging and Supportive Work Environment.  Additionally, it is expected that it will strengthen the culture of civility at OCC.
    • Ms. Jacqueline D’Amore, Human Resources Specialist, and Ms. Debbie Humphreys, Employee Benefits Supervisor, attended a half-day employment law update on April 14.  The event was sponsored by the Jersey Shore Association for Human Resources, an affiliate of the Society of Human Resources Management.  Topics covered were managing leaves of absence, proposed revisions to the Department of Labor’s overtime regulations, and the anatomy of depositions. Ms. Humphreys also attended the New Jersey Council of Community Colleges’ Labor Relations/Human Resources Affinity Group meeting on April 15.  Along with normal agenda items, a special presentation on “Managing Leaves Under the ACA” took place.
  • The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts
  • Upcoming events include:
    • The Bronx Wanderers, May 7, 2016, at 8:00 p.m. – With superlative vocals and musicianship, a father and two sons exude dynamic enthusiasm and a genuine love of the rock ‘n roll music they perform.  The Bronx Wanderers recreate the magic of the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, and the music of today by building an energetic bond with their audience.
    • A Tale of Two Cities, May 15, 2016, at 8:00 p.m. – Justice, sacrifice, class, love, and duty are put to the test as leaders are beheaded and a people rebel.  As blood flows in the streets, is anyone truly innocent?  As America’s longest running touring company, National Players has traveled America for 65 years, presenting classic plays interpreted in fresh and invigorating ways.
    • Neville Dickie, May 18, 2016, at 8:00 p.m. – The great British pianist, Neville Dickie, will return to perform a very special “History of the Jazz Piano:  The First 50 Years.”

The College will be the host site for the 2016 New Jersey Teen Arts Festival on June 1, 2, and 3, 2016.  Many high schools students will share their talents in the visual and performing arts.  A list of workshops and student performances can be found on the New Jersey Teen Arts Festival website.

  • Information Technology
    • The Office of Information Technology (OIT) began its training efforts for the new Learning Management System on April 4, 2016, for face-to-face faculty, with classes being held on the Toms River campus and the Southern Education Center campus during the week, as well as WebEx online training on the weekends.
    • OIT continues to investigate a new solution by Ellucian “Cloud Analytics,” a “Software as a Service” (SaaS)-based solution that will:
      • Provide a better value by reducing the total cost of ownership
      • Provide tighter integration with Ellucian Colleague
      • Utilize a larger data model with more Analytics domains defined
      • Match our vision of the Colleague system, which will be migrated to a SaaS model within a consortium of other New Jersey community colleges.

The first module of this Analytics solution, Recruiter Analytics, is currently in beta testing; OCC would like to become a beta test site for Recruiter Analytics.  As this project moves forward, other College departments will need to assign the necessary resources to participate in the evaluation and testing.

Student Affairs

  • Barnegat Bay Sailing Hall of Fame

The Ocean County College Sailing Program and Barnegat Bay Sailing Hall of Fame are sponsoring the 6th Barnegat Bay Sailing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday, October 1, 2016, in the Health and Human Performance Center Gymnasium.  The first Sailing Hall of Fame ceremony was held in September 2004 with more than 200 people in attendance; that number continues to increase every year.

The Barnegat Bay Sailing Hall of Fame promotes the area’s maritime heritage by recognizing individuals whose accomplishments on the water and/or shore have significantly enhanced the Barnegat Bay’s character and strengthened its status as a maritime center.

  • Ocean County College Athletics
    • Ocean County College Viking Athletics is sponsoring the 2016 Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on June 29, 2016, at 6:00 p.m. in the Health and Human Performance Center Gymnasium.  Ocean County College has been consistently ranked as one of the top ten two-year college athletic programs in the nation, and our student achievement in the classroom is second to none.  OCC’s Hall of Fame consists of not only tremendous student-athletes, but also role models who have made contributions to their communities, work forces, and many public programs.
    • For the first time in a long while, the Ocean County College Baseball and Softball teams traveled for a spring training trip during spring break, March 20 to 26, to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  The baseball team competed in nine games against very tough competition and finished with three wins and six losses.  Softball finished with six wins and two losses and defeated some very strong competition which earned them a national ranking by weeks end.  Softball Coach Bob Mazanec also won his 200th game during the trip.  Both teams were extremely happy that they had the opportunity to compete in beautiful weather at the Ripken Experience and Ned Donkle Complex and get in much needed game repetitions earlier than they ever have before.  Games were played against NJCAA Division II and Division III teams as well as club four-year programs from New York, Illinois, Maryland, South Carolina, and West Virginia. A special thank you to the Ocean County College Foundation for sponsoring a large portion of the trip costs.  Appreciation is also expressed to the sponsors and others who went out of their way to assist the teams with raising funds.  Due to this enormous generosity, 85% of the trip was entirely funded through our fundraising efforts with only 15% coming from player contributions.
  • Displaced Homemakers Program
  • Since its inception in 2007, the Displaced Homemakers Program has significantly impacted the lives of over 730 Ocean County women, helping them move to economic self-sufficiency.  This year has been an exciting and busy year for the Program, with 117 clients.  In fall 2015, 22 clients were enrolled in credit classes, for a total of 246 credits; in spring 2016, 19 clients are registered for a total of 194 credits.  Three clients who graduated from OCC are continuing their education at Kean Ocean, and one client is working on her master’s degree.  The Program anticipates four graduates this May, and one client was accepted into Alpha Beta Gamma, the national business honor society. As a result of continued federal Superstorm Sandy Social Service Block Grant (SSBG) funding, 19 clients are enrolled in Continuing and Professional Education training programs, such as Pharmacy Technician, Medical Billing, Dental Assistant, Physical Therapy Aide, Medical Office Specialist, Certified Medication Aide, and Home Health Aide.  One of the clients, Ms. Patricia Cannon, who is presently taking Medical Billing will tell her story at the Board meeting on Monday. In addition, with the help of generous volunteers, we distributed food gift cards were distributed to 15 new clients and their families. The second annual pizza party with Santa was held in December.  In addition to enjoying pizza, the children received small gifts from Santa and the parents received gift cards.  This event is organized by a former employee and her family. The Displaced Homemakers’ Seventh Celebration of Achievement will be held May 19.  All are welcome. Dr. Kate Pandolpho, Director of Career, Employment, and Personal Counseling, and Ms. Eileen Budge, Community Services Specialist, will provide you with additional information on Monday.  Following their presentation, the Board is requested to adopt a resolution to proclaim May 2016 as Displaced Homemakers Awareness Month at Ocean County College.
  • Educational Opportunity Fund – Each year, the State recognizes the highest achieving Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) students across New Jersey. This year more than 1,000 students were nominated and qualified as top performing students, the highest number of students in the history of the EOF program.  OCC nominated and qualified 16 students who were recognized at the 2016 Graduate Achievement Awards on Friday, April 8, at Monmouth University:
  • Outstanding Academic Achievement Award – Presented to any EOF graduating student who has a cumulative grade point average range from 3.5 to 3.99. .
    • Keshia Aante                              3.79 GPA
    • Terry Asante                               3.69 GPA
    • Lisa Bethel                                  3.64 GPA
    • Janelle George                          3.63 GPA
    • Ronnie Grieco                            3.53 GPA
    • Joseph Levy                                3.72 GPA
    • Deep Patel                                   3.74 GPA
  • Academic Achievement Award – Presented to any EOF graduating student who has a cumulative grade point average range from 3.2 to 3.4.
    • Jasmin Boyer                             3.42 GPA
    • Dondre Craig                             3.44 GPA
    • Tyler Fitzgerald                          3.29 GPA
    • Klever Goracy                             3.2 GPA
    • Breanna Van Leer                      3.32 GPA
    • Marcos Vasquez                         3.2 GPA
  • Outstanding Achievement Award – Presented to one EOF student who best exemplifies the spirit and intent of the EOF program.  The nominee in this category may also receive an award in one of the three academic categories.
    • Kevin Campos
  • EOF Graduate Achievement Award Spotlight – One nominee is spotlighted:
    • Klever Goracy – Despite never finishing high school, family turbulence, housing issues, balancing employment and school, and even the birth of his son, Klever Goracy defied odds and expectations in every way.  Klever is truly remarkable.  He is both humble and kind; always working hard, always willing to help.  He is resilient, bright, determined, and focused and most deserving of Ocean County College’s EOF Spotlight Student nomination. While his first semester was challenging, Klever’s intellect and grit propelled him forward, and each semester was met with success. On top of his family and work responsibilities, Klever achieved stellar grades, always maintained excellent progress in our program, and never missed an appointment or event, despite his busy schedule.  A business major with a 3.33 GPA, Klever is a member of Phi Beta Lambda, OCC’s business honor society, and made the President’s List for academic honors for three semesters. Klever made terrific connections during his time at OCC.  He built a professional rapport with his accounting and business professors, evident in his glowing progress reports.  He was a constant figure in EOF, volunteering his time to assist the office weekly while we have been without administrative support.  Since the birth of his son in February 2013, Klever has worked full-time to support the needs of his child.  His energy and passion to work hard to complete his degree are inspirational. Klever is destined to do great things in life, and, while it is bittersweet to see him leave our campus, we know he will make strides to reach his goals and continue improving his life and the lives of his loved ones.

Holocaust Remembrance Events

The Center for Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education at Ocean County College is inviting the community to attend its 2016 Holocaust Remembrance Program from May 2 to May 6.  Events are free and open to the public.

  • Monday, May 2, Candle Lighting and Memorial Service at the Flagpole on the campus mall at 2:30 p.m. – World Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day. known as Yom ha Shoah, is the day of commemoration for the approximately six million Jews and five million others who perished in the Holocaust as a result of the actions carried out by Nazi Germany and for the Jewish resistance in that period.  It was inaugurated in 1953, anchored by a law signed by the Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and President Yitzhak Ben-Zvi.  Join our annual remembrance program with Rabbi Moshe Gourarie of Chabad House, Toms River; Mordechai  Grubin, Alumni Representative to the OCC Board of Trustees; and Dr. Ali Botein-Furrevig, OCC Associate Professor of English and Director of the Center for Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education.
  • Tuesday, May 3, A Survivor’s Odyssey and Legacy in the Lecture Hall, Room 104, of the Gateway Building at 12:30 p.m. – This year’s keynote speaker is Manny Lindenbaum.   In October 1938, the Lindenbaum family was part of a mass deportation from Germany to Poland with one day’s notice because, although German citizens, they were of Polish descent.   In 1939, just days before the Nazi invasion, Manny and his brother escaped from Poland to England as refugees on the famous Kindertransport.  In 2014, at the age of 83, Manny retraced his refugee journey backwards, from Poland to Germany, on a bicycle.  He made the journey, along with his grandchildren, to raise money for HIAS programs in Chad in honor of World Refugee Day.  In 2015, Manny was invited to speak at a reception at the White House and, along with his granddaughter Lauren, participated in the lighting of the Hanukkah menorah alongside President and Mrs. Obama.
  • Wednesday, May 4, Two Women, Two Scars in Room 203, Bartlett Hall at 8:00 a.m.  – A  film viewing and discussion of Inheritance, the award-winning PBS documentary chronicling the 1994 meeting in Poland between Monica Hertwig, daughter of Nazi commandant Amon Goeth, and Monmouth County resident Helen Jonas Rosenzsweig, who lived enslaved under Goeth’s roof as his servant and prey for nearly two years during the Holocaust.  This is the story of two women whose sorrows and angers intersect in the haunting memory of one man.  Discussion led by Dr. Ali Botein-Furrevig.
  • Thursday, May 5, Only a Number: A True Story of the Struggle to Survive, to Love, and to Remember in Room 203, Bartlett Hall at 12:30 p.m. – Hamilton, New Jersey, filmmaker Steven Besserman tells the story of his mother, Aranka, a Holocaust survivor, through her own words.  Aranka grew up in Hungary during WWII and relates the horrors she witnessed and endured at the hands of the Nazis.  Besserman visits the sites where his parents grew up, the camp where they first met, and he discusses the lasting impact the Holocaust had on victims and later generations.  The film is not only a true documentary but a love story:  Aranka and Josef met in a concentration camp separated by a barbed wire fence, without the aid of a common language, and ravaged by torture, starvation, and brutality. They fell in love and gave each other the strength to survive their final weeks of captivity.  Discussion led by Dr. Ali Botein-Furrevig.
  • Friday, May 6, From Communism to Camps to America: My Mother’s Story in the Lecture Hall, Room 104, of the Gateway Building at 12:30 p.m. – Lecture by Dr. Amy Gilley, OCC Dean of School of the Arts and Humanities.  Towards the end of WWII, many refugees fleeing communist regimes in the Baltic region found themselves in Nazi occupied Germany where they were forced to work in factories alongside camp inmates.  When the camps were liberated, these non-German refugees were considered displaced persons.  Dr. Gilley’s talk focuses on her mother’s experiences, fleeing Estonia in 1944, spending the remainder of the war in Germany, before eventually finding her way to America.
  • Friday, May 6, Nazi Propaganda and the Holocaust in the Lecture Hall, Room 104, of the Gateway Building at 2:00 p.m. – Ernie Arian, OCC graduate and former intern for OCC’s Center for Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education, is currently at Rutgers University majoring in History and Genocide Studies.  Using lecture and film, this presentation will cover how, following the Nazi seizure of power in 1933, Hitler established a Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda headed by Joseph Goebbels.  The Ministry’s aim was to ensure that the Nazi message was successfully communicated through art, music, theater, films, books, radio, educational materials, and the press.

Academic Affairs

  • School of the Arts and Humanities
    • The Irish Heritage Festival continues to offer many activities and will culminate with a closing ceremony on April 25.
    • The Public Relations class employed a survey regarding the presidential election that will be the subject of a Viking news article. The class surveyed faculty, staff, and students.
    • The music faculty hosted a very well attended faculty recital.
    • Dr. Jayanti Tamm, Assistant Professor of English and Literature, wrote a short play, “Black Friday,” that was selected to be staged by the Luna Stage Theatre Company for its New Play Festival in early May.
  • School of Business and Social Sciences


    • Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) – Ocean County College has officially received National Fire Academy FESHE (Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education initiative) recognition for our newly revised Fire Science program.  Mr. Chad Sexton, Professor of Sociology, was instrumental in updating the curriculum to meet national accreditation standards.
    • Hotel Impossible – Mr. Anthony Melchiorri, the host of Travel Channel’s “Hotel Impossible,” spoke to high school students from Lacey High School, as well as OCC students, about careers in the hotel and hospitality industry.  The program was moderated by Ms. Jennifer Evans, College Lecturer II of Business Studies.
    • Rutgers University/Eagleton Institute of Politics – Mr. Jason Ghibesi, College Lecturer II of Political Science, was invited to participate in a panel discussion at the annual meeting of the New Jersey Political Science Association at Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics.  The panel discussion was titled “New Jersey Strong: Building a Bridge between Two and Four Year Programs.”  The discussion was moderated by Dr. William Field, Undergraduate Program Director at Rutgers University- New Brunswick.  The panel consisted of Dr. Ray Caprio, Undergraduate Program Director, Rutgers University-Bloustine, and Dr. Danielle Gougon, Professor of Political Science at Rowan University.  Mr. Ghibesi discussed the study of Political Science from a community college perspective and touched on various themes that included:  the rigor of course work, student access in terms of open-enrollment, transferability, Ocean County College’s political science offerings, as well as OCC’s Global Studies Degree Program.
    • United Nations/ Color Purple – Mr. Ghibesi also led a group of 40 students and community members to the United Nations on April 12.  The group was accompanied by Professor of Social Sciences Lynn Kenneally and participated in guided tours of the United Nation’s main divisions, including the General Assembly and Security Council.  Following the visit to the United Nations, the group attended the production of The Color Purple on Broadway.
    • Voter Drive – OCC’s Political Science club, Students Learning about Politics, and their advisor, Mr. Ghibesi, organized a Voter Registration Drive that took place on March 14 and 15.  Faculty from across campus volunteered to assist students in the registration process.  Approximately 250 students registered to vote as a result of the drive, and many more benefitted from having their questions answered in regards to what to do on Election Day.
    • Political Visitors – As part of the OCC Political Science Institute, Ms. Jennifer Barnes, College Lecturer II of Political Science, arranged for New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno and Ocean County Freeholder Ginny Haines to address the OCC community on March 15 to speak about their personal experiences as women in the political arena.
    • Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) – OCC had a very successful showing at this year’s Phi Beta Lambda State Leadership Conference held on April 2 in Edison.  An estimated 135 students participated.  The students placed in 14 competitions, winning 6 first place awards, 6 second place awards, and 2 third place awards. They also won a number of New Jersey State individual recognition awards, which included largest professional division, Who’s Who (Danielle Wittman), Outstanding Member (John Lauria), Outstanding Office (Nichols Leight), Most Dedicated Service (John Lauria), Chapter Business Professional (Prof. Jen Evans), and recognition of Leadership and Service as New Jersey Membership Director (Danielle Wittman).

For the first time in OCC’s history, the College competed in Hospitality Management, and Amanda DeSombre earned second place.  One of our Accounting Supplemental Instruction Leaders, Nicole Murphy, placed second in Accounting Analyzation and Decision-Making.

OCC students were the only community college students to participate; they competed against schools such as Rutgers, The College of New Jersey, Rider University, and Rowan University.  Danielle Witman was victorious in Public Speaking, while two Rider students took second and third place.  The second place winner, Frank Kellog, is an OCC graduate and current Rider University student.  Leticia Adames won first place in Client Services, while two Rutgers University students took second and third places.  Gaberiel Bolyayev was victorious over a Rutgers University student in the Business Law competition.

List of winners:
Largest Professional Division – Ocean County College
Who’s Who – Danielle Wittman
Outstanding member – John Lauria
Outstanding Officer – Nichols Leight
Chapter professional – Professor J. Evans
Most Dedicated, Service – John Lauria
Recognition for Leadership and Service as 2015-2016 New Jersey State Membership Director – Danielle Wittman

Third Place Winners
Accounting Principles – Sam Toll
Job Interview – Leticia Adames

Second Place Winners
Accounting Analyzation & Decision Making – Nicole Murphy and John Lauria
Impromptu Speaking – Kenneth Raspas
Entrepreneurship Concepts – Matt Yostpille
Human Resource Management – Amanda DeSombre
Hospitality Management – Amanda DeSomber
Job Interview – Nicholas Zbrieic

First Place Winners
Sales Presentation – Nicholas Leight
Integrated Marketing Campaign – Nicholas Leight, Nina Rogers and Danielle Wittman
Public Speaking – Danielle Wittman
Entrepreneurship Concepts – Evans Swartley
Client Services – Leticia Adames
Business Law – Gabe Belyayev

  • School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
    • Dr. Catherine Murphy’s Honors by Contract student, Mr. Fabrizio Galindo, has completed his project on Isolation of Antibiotic Producing Bacteria from Soil Samples.
    • Dr. Mary Ellen Rada’s Honors students did a research project on water quality and environmental contaminants.  He presented a PowerPoint presentation to the class which initiated an in-depth discussion on the quality and properties of water and drinking water choices.
    • Dr. Rada participated in OCC’s Irish Heritage Celebration. She conducted a presentation on Science and the Irish in which she discussed leading topics in Genomic Research and other impressive major science contributions by Irish scientists to their respective disciplines.
    • Professor Eric Antonelli and Dr. Angel Camilo received one of two awards for their presentation on The Use of Cell Phone Digital Media in Science Labs at the NJEdge conference.  Both Professor Antonelli and Dr. Camilo will receive free passes and hotel lodging at the NJ Edge Annual Conference in November.
    • Professor Antonelli submitted an abstract to the New Jersey Academy of Science on Substrate Colonization Preferences by Fungi.  This included work from two OCC students, Mr. Steven Jones and Ms. Shivani Patel, and Dr. Camilo.
    • Professor Antonelli is advising OCC student Steven Jones on researching fungi and glyphosate toxicity testing.
    • Professor Antonelli’s Honor’s by Contract student, Mr. Alix Coughin, is conducting research on the measuring rates of photosynthesis.
    • Professor’s Michael Pezzimenti and Theodore Gordon participated in the Phi Theta Kappa Honor’s Society Mathematics Lecture Series.  Professor Pezzimenti lectured on Recursion, and Professor Gordon lectured on Fractals.
    • Professor Neil Schiller worked with representatives from six area school districts (Toms River, Brick, Manchester, Southern Regional, Jackson and Manasquan) to submit an application for an NJ MSP grant.  The grant can provide an award up to $380,000 a year for two years to fund K-12 teacher training, assessment and research on the Next Generation Science Curriculum at OCC.
    • Professor Duane Grembowicz received a Life Time Achievement recognition for 30 years of service as a Commissioner on the Ocean County Cultural and Heritage Commission.  Recognition from U.S. Congressman Thomas MacArthur, New Jersey State Legislatures, and the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders were presented at the annual Salute to Ocean County event held in the Grunin Center on April 7.
    • Mr. Scott Farrell led OCC’s Science Club to participate in the New Jersey State Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) competition held at Stockton University.  OCC won first place in Job Seeking and Biotech Skills, beating out four-year universities, such as Rutgers University and NJIT.
    • The Science Club is teaming up with HOSA for a Blue Claws game fundraiser to raise money to attend the HOSA National Competition in Nashville, Tennessee, from June 22 to 25.  Also, on April 22, 2016, the Science Club will host a “Star Gazing Night” fundraiser next to the Planetarium (Pad) with telescopes set up.
    • Mr. Vijay Ramdeen chaperoned three students from OCC’s Ocean Pride student club to attend the Northeast LGBT Conference held at SUNY Stony Brook on Long Island, New York.
  • Library
    • The OCC Library is working on the final stages of some exciting projects as well as beginning new projects.  The Chess Collection team has finished its proposal for refurbishing the room in which the collection will be housed and has presented its recommendation to Associate Vice President of Facilities Matthew Kennedy for his review and his team’s assistance in determining vendors from whom to order furniture. Most of the metadata records that describe the resources have been created, and the books have been processed to allow for their use.  The Chess Collection team will be moving the collection to temporary shelving in the Chess Collection Room in the near future so that people can begin to use the collection.Ms. Caitlyn Cook, the Librarian in charge of the team and the Library’s liaison to STEM, is working with other members of the OCC community to plan events with the Chess Collection as the focal point.  Ms. Cook and her colleagues will be working with local high schools to invite Chess Club members to visit OCC and experience the Chess Collection Room and its resources.  The Chess Collection team created an impressive Chess display on the main floor of the Library, and Mr. Chris Graham developed a chess-based scavenger hunt that utilizes QR codes that students can read using their smartphones.  Several students are enthusiastically working their way through the hunt.
  • The Librarians have recently taught information literacy sessions to groups of high school students who visited the campus.  Mr. James Marshall reported that the students were interested and highly engaged in the sessions.  Outreach to high school groups will be expanded to increase campus visits as well as to potentially visit the schools to partner with their librarians for related programs.
  • Mr. James Marshall prepared a Program Map of the Library’s electronic resources and analyzed the cost per use for each database.  The Librarians are using this map to make collection development decisions for FY 2017.
  • Searches are underway for several key Library personnel, and many staff members are participating on the search committees.  Training programs are being designed for the new staff members and cross-training is being emphasized in our ongoing effort to bring transparency and cooperation to the work processes within the Library.
  • Several members of the Library staff are creating a program for the children who will be visiting campus on Bring Your Child to Work Day on April 28, 2016.  Children’s literature, graphic novels, and manga collections will be showcased, and the children will be provided the opportunity to find books in the collection and check them out to a patron using the Library’s database.
  • School of Nursing and Health Sciences
    • The Student Nursing Organization (SNO) held a blood drive on April 14, 2016.  Students and SNO advisors assisted in the planning and implementation of the drive, collecting a total of 39 pints of blood from 40 donors.  The blood drive was sponsored by the New Jersey Chapter of the New York Blood Center.
    • Kean Ocean Traditional BSN Program – Representatives from Kean University and OCC will meet with the New Jersey State Board of Nursing Educational Committee on May 6, 2016, to endorse the proposal supported by Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks for a joint degree.
  • e-Learning and Learning Enterprises
    • New Partnerships – On Monday, April 11, a partnership agreement was signed between OCC and Ahram Canadian University (ACU) in Cairo, Egypt.  This fourth partnership agreement between OCC and international partners, under Learning Enterprises, serves as another achievement for OCC.  This particular partnership agreement paves the way for the training of ACU faculty, an endeavor that Dean of e-Learning Jack Kelnhofer is currently undertaking on-site in Cairo, as well as the development of a bridge program for ACU students.  The bridge program would cover any developmental mathematics and English needs, academic success, and generally provide an introduction to American higher education methods for ACU students who wish to pursue their education in the United States.
    • Domestic e-Learning Initiatives – The e-Learning team continues to make forward progress in implementing the new LMS Canvas and in transitioning all recruitment, retention, and marketing initiatives from Pearson to new vendors (Inside Track, etc.).  The complete transition will occur between March and August 2016.  Ongoing faculty and student trainings have begun and will persist throughout the year.  A significant effort is currently underway to engage non-academic units of the College with Canvas, such as Student Life, Human Resources, Athletics, and others.

e-Learning is also currently developing the online certificate in the recently accredited Fire Science program.

  • International Initiatives – On April 15, 2016, OCC enrolled its third cohort of students through our partnership with IMI International (Cairo, Egypt).  This project continues to be a source of revenue for OCC and also serves to open future opportunities, many of which are being explored now. On April 19, 2016, OCC was approved as the first community college institutional member of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA).  This membership, and the fact that OCC is the first community college member, reflects OCC’s innovative and mold-breaking philosophies.  Capitalizing on this membership, and in conversation with Essex County College, Essex will be submitting a grant application with OCC in the fall, utilizing OCC’s UISFL grant administration model.  Essex will essentially attempt to reproduce OCC’s model and jointly, with OCC, develop a network of study abroad partners, in which OCC will serve as the hub and central agency.
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