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June 26, 2019

Dr. Larson’s June 2019 Report to the OCC Board of Trustees

OCC President Dr. Larson

Sabbatical Leave Report

Dr. Ali Botein-Furrevig, Associate Professor of English and Literature and Director of the OCC Center for Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education, recently completed her 2018-19 sabbatical leave project during which she developed and taught three courses for the Center as well as developed and implemented innovative initiatives and educational programs.

Additionally, Dr. Botein-Furrevig has been asked by the Asbury Park Press to participate on a panel of rabbis and academics to educate the public on the Lakewood Orthodox community as part of its new initiative, Project Unity. The first panel discussion, taking place this month, will air on social media and NJ News, and an article will be included in a future edition of the Press.

Dr. Botein-Furrevig will attend Thursday’s meeting to share with you her sabbatical leave project report, which will be distributed at the meeting.

Academic Affairs

The New Jersey Chair Academy for Leadership and Development

Dr. Rosann Bar, Dean of the School of Business and Social Sciences, and Ms. Heidi Sheridan, Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, attended the New Jersey Chair Academy for Leadership and Development in Atlantic City during the first week in June. The Academy strives to provide high quality leadership and professional development training for administrators in higher education. Participants, who engage in year-long activities with mentors, reflect on their learning styles, values, strengths, and work styles and are provided strategies for effective leadership.

School of Arts and Humanities

  • Curriculum

Courses are being updated and developed in Art History, Modernism, History, English, and Audio Engineering by College Lecturer IIs Lee Kobus, Humanities and Fine Arts; Catherine Mancuso, Dance and Theatre; Robert Marchie, History; Dr. Madison Peschock, English and Literature; and Stephanie Shestakow, Humanities and Fine Arts.

Also, Canvas resource pages are being created and updated for adjuncts in the areas of English, History, Applied Music, and Communications by several College Lecturer IIs: Christine Bryant, English and Literature; Richard Carr, English and Literature; Stephen Downey, History; Brian Gilmore, Humanities and Fine Arts; Samantha Glassford, English and Literature; Robert Marchie; Jason Molloy, English and Literature; and Kristyn Stout, English and Literature.

  • Events
    • The alumni recital for music students organized by Mr. Brian Gilmore and Instructor of Music Karin Gargone was held on May 31, 2019, featuring Benjamin Burnham ’16, Diana McEntee ’17, and Emily Boyer ’18. On the program were Solo de Concours by Rabaud, Preludes and Fugues from the Well-Tempered Clavier by J. S. Bach, Chopin’s Ballade No. 3, and the first movement of Beethoven’s Concerto in C minor.
    • The piano trio featuring Ms. Lydia Paluk, Ms. Shannon DeRochers, and Mr. Brian Gilmore, performed a full program on Friday, May 31, 2019, for the New Jersey Teen Arts Festival in the Gallery of the Grunin Center and at the Forked River Presbyterian Church on Saturday, June 1, 2019. On Wednesday, June 5, 2019, the piano trio also toured local high schools and performed for the orchestra students at Toms River High School East, High School North, and High School South. The intention was to bring to the attention of graduating seniors and Jump Start students the high level at which they can become musically involved at OCC. On June 13, 2019, the trio performed for Mr. Gilmore’s Music Appreciation class.
  • Professional Development and Workshops
    • Earlier this month, Ms. Samantha Glassford attended the Conference on Acceleration in Developmental Education (CADE), in San Diego, California, which was hosted by the Community College of Baltimore County.
    • Dr. Jennifer Dellner, Professor of English and Literature, attended the Digital Humanities Summer Institute in Victoria, British Columbia, this month.
    • Dr. Madison Peschock has been peer-editing some of the chapters of Dr. Maryann DiEdwardo’s upcoming book, Critical Hermeneutics, Cognition, and Writing.
    • Assistant Dean Veronica Guevara-Lovgren attended two professional development seminars – The NJ OER Summit at Raritan Valley Community College on June 13, 2019, and the Department of Education, Five-Year Plan in Career and Technical Education (Perkins), on May 31, 2019.

School of Business and Social Sciences

    • New Jersey Prevention PEER Summit

On May 9, 2019, Mr. Jeffrey Lang, College Lecturer II in Alcohol and Drug Counseling, presented Dimensions of Wellness at the New Jersey Prevention Network’s Addiction Treatment Conference held in Atlantic City. In addition to his presentation, Mr. Lang escorted 25 Ocean County College students to the conference so they could experience its educational and networking opportunities. Overall, the event attracted nearly 1,400 New Jersey addictions professionals.

    • Blauvelt Lecture Series

Mr. Ben Castillo, College Lecturer II in Criminal Justice and Homeland Security, has been working to support the efforts of Mr. Mark Wilson, Director of Cultural Affairs, and Mr. Ken Malagiere, Executive Director of the Ocean County College Foundation, to bring Mr. Jeh Johnson, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, to speak at OCC on September 12, 2019. The presentation by Secretary Johnson, who served as the fourth DHS Secretary from 2013 to 2017, will be part of the Grunin Center’s Blauvelt Lecture Series.

    • Bloomberg Lab

Dr. Katherine Toy, College Lecturer II in Economics, announced that 20 additional business students completed Bloomberg certification in the Business Lab during the Spring semester from January 2019 through May 2019. This brings the total to 65 students who have completed Bloomberg certification since the terminals first arrived on campus in January 2018.

School of Nursing and Health Sciences

    • The School of Nursing is collaborating with Kean University to offer a BSN program on the Ocean campus. At this time, an application is being prepared for submission to the State Board of Nursing for permission to develop the new program.
    • Faculty have selected the book, Make Peace with Your Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You from Your Inner Critic by Mark Coleman as the summer read for returning nursing students. This book addresses the importance of utilizing self-judgement in developing plans to achieve success.
    • As part of the Title III Grant, the School of Nursing and Health Sciences is working with the New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII) to determine health care programs that may be developed to support the needs of the community and the educational goals of our students.

School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)

    • Dr. Angel Camilo, College Lecturer II in Biology, and students from the Makers Club are working with the Barnegat Bay Partnership to design and develop a sensor array to monitor conditions of the Barnegat Bay. The sensor will be installed in the upcoming weeks.

The group is also working on a Victory Garden with the American Legion on Church Road in Toms River. Ms. Pamela Bogdan, College Lecturer II in Engineering, is assisting along with members of the OCC Foundation. The planting beds have been prepared by the Boy Scouts, and the project received donated equipment.

    • On Friday, June 7, 2019, the TechPrep Consortium held the annual Cardboard Canoe Race at the Toms River YMCA. This year, there were 31 teams with 156 students; 71 girls and 85 boys. Twelve schools participated in the event as follows:
    • Six Middle Schools: Carl Goetz, Lake Riviera, Lakewood, Manchester, Memorial, Veterans Memorial
    • Six High Schools: Brick Memorial, Brick Township, Jackson Liberty, Jackson Memorial, Lacey Township, and Manchester Township.

Appreciation is expressed to all who assisted with this event:

  • Mr. Paul Butler, Part-Time Teacher, Mathematics and Engineering
  • Ms. Maryann Birdsall, Professor of Mathematics
  • Ms. Pamela Bogdan, College Lecturer II in Engineering
  • Ms. Barbara Collins, Laboratory Coordinator, STEM
  • Ms. Britni Epstein, Academic Administrator, e-Learning
  • Ms. Caterina Gibson, College Lecturer II in Science
  • Ms. Kathleen Hamilton, Administrative Assistant, STEM
  • Ms. Allison Irwin, Senior Student Services Technician
  • Mr. Neal McHale, Student Life Coordinator
  • Mr. Vijay Ramdeen, College Lecturer II in Chemistry
  • Ms. Catherine Russomanno, Bookstore
  • Mr. Neil Schiller, Associate Professor of Engineering
  • Ms. Lisa Szymendera-Vota, Bookstore
  • Ms. Ellie Younger, Office Coordinator, OIT

Student Affairs


  • High School Registration Days

The Offices of Admissions and Advising and Transfer Services collaborated to host 16 high school registration days with 15 area high schools. OCC provided transportation from the high schools to the College as well as tours and lunches for the students and counselors. With assistance from Records and Registration, Testing, and the Hub, enrollment was facilitated for nearly 600 students via these events. Advising support was also received from offices across campus, including Academic Affairs, Student Life, the Center for Student Success, Athletics, Student Support Services, and Counseling and Student Development.

  • Express Enrollment Event

A one-day Express Enrollment Day was held for new students on June 12, 2019. Students were able to test, meet with an academic advisor, and register for Fall 2019. They also had the opportunity to meet with financial aid counselors and pay their bills.

In total, 30 students successfully enrolled. Students who did not attend or did not complete registration were invited to the next Express Enrollment Day, June 27, 2019. Express Enrollment Days are scheduled weekly through the summer starting July 8, 2019.


NJ STARS Coordinator Jennifer Kipp reports approximately 133 NJ STARS program students graduated or will be graduating in the 2018-19 academic year.

Fall 2018 – 39 NJ STARS Graduates
Spring 2019 – 82 NJ STARS Graduates
Summer 2019 – Anticipating 12 NJ STARS Graduates

Financial Aid

The Opening Pathways to Education Now (OPEN) program completed its tenth year of holding workshops to assist with the completion of FAFSA paperwork and discuss the basic concepts of financial aid. The Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 sessions served 207 students, parents, and guardians. As of June 1, 2019, the Financial Aid Office received 9,011 FAFSA applications during 2018-19.

As part of the pilot program for New Jersey’s Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG), Ocean County College awarded $488,821 to 400 students for the Spring 2019 semester.

Southern Education Center

The Summer First Five-Week Session at the Southern Education Center ended on Tuesday, June 25, 2019; before students left, an end-of-the-session student life event was held on June 20, 2019. Students enjoyed a light breakfast as they worked towards the completion of final assignments.


Admissions representatives attended and presented at multiple college and career events in Ocean County. Prospective students and parents learned more about all that OCC has to offer at these events:

  • Making College Affordable – Stafford Library – May 29, 2019
  • Wawa University Ocean County General Manager Presentation – May 30, 2019
  • HSEA Orientation Event – June 11, 2019
  • Wawa Education and Career Advancement Day – June 18, 2019

Upcoming events include:

  • Veterans Resource Event at Ocean County One-Stop – June
  • The Pines at Whiting Recruitment – June
  • NJSO at OCC – June
  • Lakewood Blueclaws – June/July
  • Multiple CCOG Free College Information Sessions and Material Distributions – July
  • OCC e-Learning Open House – September

Admissions and College Relations created a webpage detailing the College Pathways program. Prospective students, parents, school counselors, and OCC staff can utilize the page to find important dates, contacts, resources, and a description of the program. The page can be found at:

Dr. A.J. Trump, Director of Admissions, represented OCC at the Ocean County Achievement Center Graduation Ceremony in the Gateway Building on June 12, 2019. As a guest speaker, Dr. Trump gave a congratulatory speech to the graduates and encouraged them to continue their goals as students at OCC. A special registration event for these students is scheduled on June 26, 2019.

Counseling and Student Development Services

Counseling and Student Development Services has a new phone extension, 2911. The department staff are preparing to relocate to the Library building where they will have a larger office suite, and Counseling and Displaced Homemaker program staff will be in one central, easily accessible space.

Dr. Kate Pandolpho, Director of Counseling and Student Development Services, was re-elected to the Executive Board of the New Jersey College Counseling Association. Dr. Pandolpho serves as a Member-at-Large and is the only community college representative on the Board.

Dr. Pandolpho and Ms. Susan Ebeling-Witte, Student Intervention Specialist, attended the New Jersey College Counseling Association’s Annual Conference. The conference topics were Racial Battle Fatigue in a Diverse Society and Clinical Strategies for Working with Muslim College Students.

Dr. Pandolpho, Katie Hueth, Prevention Education Coordinator, and Kelly Petrolis, Student Intervention Specialist, are working on the annual Silent Witness Project in cooperation with a number of local domestic and sexual violence organizations and Soroptimist International of Toms River.

Programming Activities

With suicide being the second highest cause of death among people ages 15 to 34, and 1 in 5 college students reporting they experienced stressful events that were strongly associated with mental health problems, including harming themselves and suicidal thoughts, Counseling Services continues to make suicide prevention programming a priority for our campus community. This summer, the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services will present QPR – Question, Persuade and Refer, a simple three-step process designed for people without mental health training. This two-hour training educates participants on the ways to recognize the warning signs of suicide, how to offer supportive words, and where to get help. The dates are Friday, July 26, 2019, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. and Monday, August 12, 2019, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Registration is through Counseling Services, extension 2911 or

Programming is being developed for the Fall 2019 semester, which will feature wellness, meditation and mindfulness, suicide prevention, domestic violence, and alcohol and substance abuse. An intervention program for students who are academically at-risk is also being developed.

Displaced Homemakers Program

The Program ends its current year on June 30, 2019, with tremendous success. Highlights include:

  • 162 clients participated, including 93 new clients
  • 15 clients completed short-term training through CPE in pharmacy technician, medical assistant, certified medication aid, EKG, phlebotomist, Microsoft Office, and Safe Serve
  • 28 clients were employed during the year
  • 1 client graduated from the joint OCC and Rutgers program; 4 clients completed bachelor’s degrees
  • 1 client was inducted in Phi Theta Kappa
  • 162 hours of job readiness training and 220 hours of computer skills training were provided
  • Ms. Carmen Leyva received the New Beginnings Award from the Displaced Homemakers Network at the annual

Legislative Reception in Trenton. Ms. Leyva presented her story at a previous Board of Trustees meeting and at the 10th annual Displaced Homemakers Program’s Celebration on May 7, 2019.

Of particular note, representatives from the state funder, the New Jersey Division of Children and Families, met with Ms. Eileen Burdge, Community Services Specialist, and Dr. Pandolpho as part of their “talking tour of the New Jersey Displaced Homemaker Programs”; they complimented Ms. Burdge on the consistency of the Program’s performance, its outcomes and services, her expertise using the current software reporting system, and the overall excellent quality of the Program. They also selected Ms. Burdge to test and pilot their new reporting software system.

Student Services – The HUB

For the first time, due to analytics through QLess, the queue software within the HUB, the average wait times and service times are able to be assessed. Throughout the month of May, the HUB was able to achieve its goal of serving students quickly and efficiently, with an average service time of 4:59 minutes (under the 5 minute goal).

Finance and Administration

The Accounting Office is in the process of the closing fiscal year 2019. Final payments from the FY2019 budget are in process, after which financial statement preparation can begin. The FY2020 budget is open, and departments are able to make purchases against the new year. At the same time, the College is submitting planning documents that will be considered in the budgeting process for the fiscal year 2021.

College Relations

  • Ocean County College Catalog

Through a collaboration among Academic Affairs, College Relations, and Information Technology, a new digital College Catalog has been developed. The new catalog features multiple search options, degree and certificate requirements, and links to course descriptions. The catalog will provide students, faculty, and staff with quick access to the most current programs and courses, as well as academic policies and procedures.

Special thanks to the catalog team which worked diligently to develop this updated tool for our students: Ms. Jan Kirsten, Executive Director of College Relations; Ms. Maureen Alexander, Academic Administrator for the School of Business and Social Sciences; Dr. Toni Clay, Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs; Ms. Mary Fennessy, Director of Program Services for the School of Nursing and Health Sciences; Ms. Susan O’Connor, Director of Curriculum Development; Ms. Debra Pfaff, Academic Administrator for the School of Arts and Humanities; and Mr. James Ross, CIO.

Ms. Kirsten will provide a brief demonstration of the electronic catalog at Thursday’s meeting.

  • Alumni

The 6th Annual Alumni, Student, Staff Picnic at the Lakewood Blueclaws will take place on Friday, August 9, 2019, at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are $25.95 for adults and $17.95 for kids, which include the game day ticket and a picnic buffet. Please join us.

  • TV Studio

The TV studio and students from the Digital Mass Media program supported the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office on Saturday, June 1, 2019, by recording the student resource fair and concert, Opportunity Rocks, at the Barnabas Health Arena in Toms River. The event was designed to showcase summer opportunities and activities for students K through 12. It was sponsored by the Prosecutor’s Office and consisted of vendors from areas related to karate, music, and art as well as organizations such as 4H, the National Guard, and OCC. The event concluded with a concert by A Work in Progress, the band featuring Gatin Matarazzo of the TV show, Stranger Things.

The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts

The Grunin Center has announced its performance schedule for the 2019-2020 season. Additional details may be found on the Center’s website. Highlights for the fall include:

      • Savion Glover & The Ideal Ensemble – Friday, October 4, 2019, at 8:00 p.m.
      • Neil Berg’s 102 of Broadway – Friday, October 11, 2019, at 8:00 p.m.
      • Graham Nash – Sunday, October 13, 2019, at 7:30 p.m.
      • An Evening with Cowboy Junkies – Thursday, November 7, 2019, at 7:30 p.m.
      • Max Weinberg’s Jukebox – Friday, November 22, 2019, at 8:00 p.m.
      • The Ten Tenors – Tuesday, November 26, 2019, at 7:00 p.m.
      • Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy Present: A Celtic Family Christmas – Friday, December 6, 2019, at 8:00 p.m.
      • Vienna Boys Choir – Wednesday, December 11, 2019, at 7:00 p.m.

RWJ Barnabas Family Shows for the fall include:

      • Pinkalicious: The Musical – Saturday, October 12, 2019, at 1:00 p.m.
      • A Christmas Carol – Saturday, December 7, 2019, at 1:00 p.m.
      • The Nutcracker – Saturday, December 14, 2019 @ 1:00 p.m.
      • Angelina Ballerina: The Very Merry Holiday Musical–Sunday, December 22, 2019, at 1:00 p.m.

Additionally, five free summer shows, sponsored by the Wintrode Family Foundation, are being offered:

      • Big Bang Boom – Tuesday, July 23, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. and noon
      • Doktor Kaboom – Tuesday, July 30, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. and noon
      • The Amazing Max – Wednesday, August 7, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. and noon
      • Squirrel Stole My Underpants – Tuesday, August 13, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. and noon
      • Janet’s Planets – Monday, August 19, 2019, at 9:30 a.m.

Novins Planetarium

  • In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, a week-long space camp with Janet Ivey from the PBS Television show Janet’s Planets! is scheduled from Monday, August 19 through Friday, August 23, 2019, in the Novins Planetarium.
  • Harry Potter continues to be a popular, favorite show. The Harry Potter show, from June 21 through June 23, 2019, is sold out. The next shows will be in September.
  • The live Northern Lights show on Friday, May 7, and Saturday, May 8, 2019, with composer Roman Zavada, which combined music and technology, was a success. Mr. Zavada performed “Résonances Boréales” under a full-dome original movie of the aurora borealis. The Quebec Consulate was a $2,000 sponsor of this program.


Ocean County College continues to provide leadership to the New Jersey Council of County Colleges’ Joint Purchasing Consortium. Recently, a contract was awarded to Consolidus, LLC, for promotional products. The contract includes the launch of the new website,, the online store for New Jersey community colleges to purchase promotional items. Merchandise for each college is branded individually, and all participating schools are benefitting from bulk pricing.

The Joint Purchasing Consortium also awarded a multi-college contract to Canvas for its Learning Management System (LMS). OCC had been paying for Canvas via an individual contract; consortium pricing has resulted in significant savings for the College. For New Jersey colleges that do not use Canvas, a separate consortium contract for Blackboard is in place. In addition, a consortium contract for proctoring services is also available to all New Jersey community colleges at preferential pricing.

Human Resources

Mandatory compliance trainings for the upcoming fiscal year have been made available online. All College employees – Adjuncts, Administrators, Faculty, Managerial/Technical, Professional Educators, Temporary/Reserves, Athletic Coaches, and Supportive Staff – are required to complete the training courses in Harassment and Discrimination Prevention and Bridges: Building a Supportive Community.

Continuing Education

June 12, 2019, was a special day for 26 students who received their high school equivalency diplomas through the Achievement Center at Ocean County College. A commencement ceremony was held in the Gateway auditorium, during which the students received their diplomas and additional awards based on the TASC (Test Assessing Secondary Completion) test. The awards included the highest achievement by subject (math, social studies, science, reading, and writing). Also celebrated were four participants who achieved the Most Dedicated and Best Attendance awards for the Work Readiness Assistance Program. There were 11 participants who also completed their first college course, Student Success, with Dr. Henry Jackson, Executive Director of Academic Success.

All of the students entered the Achievement Center after dropping out of high school and deserve commendation. In addition, Perseverance awards were given to students who overcame unusually difficult barriers but never gave up. We are proud of the graduates and have great aspirations for them, including entering Ocean County College in the fall.


In accordance with New Jersey Public Law 2015, Chapter 220, and College Policy #2332, Reporting of On-Campus Criminal and Fire Events, attached is the monthly statistics report of crimes, fires, and other emergencies on campus for the reporting period May 22, 2019, through June 23, 2019.

e-Learning and Learning Enterprises

  • Course development for Fall 2019 will be completed the first week of July, and course development for Spring 2020 has started. This includes new builds, redevelopments, content updates, and textbook updates. A list of “course enhancements” was recently established to improve online master courses; College Lecturer IIs will assist with this project over the summer months.
  • All instructors teaching in Fall 2019 will have completed Online Instructor Training by June 24, 2019. A self-paced version of the Online Instructor Training has been developed and will deploy September 2019.
  • In addition to course development, course reviews, and training, the Center for Instructional Empowerment (CIE) course has been built in Canvas and will go live on August 5, 2019. All face-to-face and distance learning instructors, academic administrators, including deans, associate deans, and assistant deans, and e-Learning staff will be enrolled in this course. The Center provides resources to assist instructors prepare and teach successful courses as well as encourages open discussion forums relating to academic disciplines.
  • Two Instructional Design Specialists, Laura Wingler, and Ashley Shanley, were recently employed. The positions of e-Learning Instructional Designer, LMS Specialist, and Graduate Student Intern need to be filled.
  • In early February 2019, OCC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Lviv Polytechnic National University (LPNU); in early March 2019, an invitation was received to visit LPNU to evaluate partnership opportunities modeled after the Business program currently operating in Egypt with Ain Shams University. Dr. Marshall Botkin, a consultant who initiated communication between OCC and LPNU, and Mr. Hatem Akl, Interim Associate Vice President of e-Learning and Learning Enterprises, visited Lviv from May 14 to 17, 2019.
  • LPNU was founded in 1816, and it is the oldest technical university in Ukraine. LPNU has a student population of approximately 35,000, which makes it among the country’s largest polytechnic institutions. The university became a center of scientific and technological research during the nineteenth century. Later, it became known as one of central Europe’s most well-known technical educational institutions. LPNU has a long heritage; additional information about the university may be found at
  • During their visit, Mr. Akl and Dr. Botkin met with Dr. Oleh Matviykiv, Vice-Rector for Education and International Relations, and Dr. Nazar Podolchak, CEO Tech Startup School,, and the principal contact for the Business program at LPNU. They also met with many faculty members and students.

Some of the collaboration ideas discussed were:

  • A 2+2 program in business – Lviv is establishing a new two-year degree, to be named a Junior Bachelor degree, which could include an online OCC associate in science degree as the first pilot of this new degree. The student would then complete the third and fourth year curriculum at LPNU.
  • Future consideration for an MBA degree, perhaps with NJIT.
  • Future consideration for the expansion to include other disciplines, especially in Information Technology and Engineering.
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