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August 22, 2019

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

OCC President Dr. Larson

OCC Study Abroad Trip to Ireland

  • Ocean County College students, faculty, and community members participated in the 3rd annual Ireland Study Abroad trip from August 2 through 10, 2019.  Students elected to enroll in HIST 255, History and Culture of Ireland, taught by Dr. Maureen Reustle, Part-Time Teacher of Humanities and Coordinator of the trip, or SCIE 129, Global Science taught by Mr. Vijay Ramdeen, College Lecturer II in Science, as part of the academic and cultural journey.  Participants attended four pre-trip meetings to form a community of “informed travelers,” familiarizing themselves with Irish history, culture, and one another.  The final session on Thursday, August 22, 2019, involves presentations by students; discussion on the significance of the travel abroad experience; music; storytelling; as well as dinner, all in the spirit of Irish warmth and hospitality.
  • This year’s trip included a return to key sights, such as Trinity College, Kilmainhaim Gaol, Powerscourt Estate, and Giant’s Causeway.  It also included many new destinations:  German Military Cemetery and Glencree Center for Peace, Glendalough, St. Kevin’s Monastery, and the Cliffs of Moher and Galway City, to name a few.   Participants appreciated the breadth and depth of the experience and found the intensity of the travels offset by their enjoyment and love of learning.
  • Dr. Maureen Reustle and Mr. Ramdeen led the students on this study abroad trip.  Dr. Reustle and several students will attend Thursday’s meeting to provide a brief overview of this year’s experience.

Patriot Day

Patriot Day on September 11 honors the memory of the nearly 3,000 people who were killed in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.  Each year, the day is dedicated to remembering those who died as well as those who risked their own lives to save others.

OCC’s Commemoration of Patriot Day will be held at 11:15 a.m. on Wednesday, September 11, 2019, in the Gateway Building Roundabout on the upper campus.  Participants at the event include:

  • Benny Castillo, OCC College Lecturer II in Criminal Justice, who will serve as Emcee
  • Alfred Parchment, OCC Student
  • Joseph Konopka, OCC Vice President of Academic Affairs
  • Paul Brady, Retired Captain, Port Authority Police Department
  • Richard Trimble, Retired OCC Professor
  • Stephen Kubow, Acting Associate Vice President for Kean Ocean
  • Kathryn Latona , Kean Ocean Alumni
  • Jason Ghibesi, OCC College Lecturer in History and Political Science
  • Lynn Kenneally, OCC Professor of Social Sciences

 If you are able, please join us on September 11.

Fall 2019 Colloquium

  • The Fall 2019 Colloquium will take place on Thursday, August 29, 2019, in the Grunin Center Theatre.  It will begin with a continental breakfast from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., which will be available not only in the first floor lobby but also on the second floor in the Gallery, where a Poster Session will be available.
  • The President’s State-of-the-College Address will start at 9:00 a.m., at the conclusion of which new employees will be introduced.  From 10:15 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., several workshops, held concurrently, will be offered and again twice more, from 11:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 12:15 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Lunch will then be served from 1:15 p.m. to 2:25 p.m.  School meetings will begin at 2:30 p.m.

Barnegat Bay Sailing Hall of Fame

  • The 2019 Barnegat Bay Sailing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Cocktail Reception is scheduled for Saturday, November 9, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. in the OCC Gymnasium.  This year’s inductees include Ms. Louise Colie, Mr. Dan Crabbe, Mr. Clay Johnson, Mr. Peter Kellogg, Mr. Ed Vienckowski, Mr. Newt Wattis, and Mr. Roy Wilkins.
  • The Barnegat Bay Sailing Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the area’s maritime heritage by recognizing individuals whose accomplishments on the water and/or on shore have significantly enhanced Barnegat Bay’s maritime character and strengthened its status as a maritime center.  Organized in 2004, the Barnegat Bay Sailing Hall of Fame recognizes not only sailors with ties to Barnegat Bay but also those who have achieved excellence in the sport of sailing and/or contributed to the sport in some extraordinary manner.
  • Tickets for this always pleasurable event are available at  Proceeds will support the Ocean County College Sailing Program.

Academic Affairs

School of Nursing and Health Sciences

  • The School of Nursing is preparing for students to return to campus the week of August 26, 2019, to practice skills in preparation for the Fall 2019 semester. All returning students are required to demonstrate competency in skills prior to entering clinical agencies.  There are 340 students enrolled in the Nursing Program for the Fall 2019 semester.
  • Orientation for 120 new Nursing students will be held on August 21, 2019. During the orientation program, students are introduced to the faculty, policies and procedures of the program, electronic textbooks, as well as strategies to enhance learning.  The Student Nurse Organization also meets with the students and provides a luncheon to welcome them to the School of Nursing.
  • An orientation program for new Clinical Instructors will be held on August 20, 2019. There are four new instructors joining OCC this semester.  The program provides instructors with information on program policies and procedures, orientation to clinical agencies, teaching strategies within the clinical area, as well as student evaluation methods and documentation.
  • A meeting for all Clinical Instructors is also scheduled for August 20, 2019.  Information presented during this meeting focuses on faculty assignments, simulation and skills lab initiatives, and a discussion of policies and procedures.  The College Lecturers also meet with Clinical Instructors to discuss plans and schedules for the semester.  This semester, there are 36 clinical rotations with 29 instructors assisting lecturers within various clinical agencies.
  • School of Nursing College Lecturer IIs organized and attended a series of one-hour educational webinars during the summer intended to enhance their teaching strategies. These five presentations included Evidence to Guide Your Teaching (June 26, 2019); Teaching Today’s Techno-Savvy Student on a Shoestring Budget (July 10, 2019); Living Lectures:  Alternatives to PowerPoints (July 17, 2019); The New Face of the Lab: Flipped, Action-Packed, Contextualized, and Experimental (July 24, 2019); and Video and Recording: Podcasting to YouTube and Beyond (August 7, 2019).
  • Teresa (Tracy) Walsh, Dean of Nursing and Health Sciences, attended the graduation of the first RNs to complete the Nurse Residency Program at Community Medical Center on July 24, 2019. The Residency Program provides new graduates with a year-long orientation assisting them to safely transition to professional practice.  Graduates of nursing programs must apply for a position within the program, which is highly competitive.  Eighteen of the twenty-seven graduates of this first cohort were students who completed the OCC Nursing Program.
  • Nursing College Lecturers participated in an educational program on August 6, 2019, presented by the HURST Review Services titled, Learning to Improve Outcomes in Nursing Education Using the NCLEX Test Plan. HURST is the educational service utilized by the School of Nursing to prepare students to successfully complete the licensure examination and practice as RNs.  The program focused on developing learning assessment tools to assist students to master entry-level nursing practice.

School of Arts and Humanities

  • Ameer Sohrawardy and Ms. Heather Sciarappa have joined the School of Arts and Humanities as College Lecture IIs in English.
  • Assistant Dean Veronica Guevara-Lovgren and Director of Financial Aid Yessika Garcia-Guzman have been working with Lakewood High School guidance counselors Oscar Orellana and Tracy Paolantonio to provide evening courses at the high school this Fall 2019 semester to help serve the Latino population in Lakewood. Additionally, in collaboration with Director Kaitlin Everett and the Continuing and Professional Education Department, discussion is taking place to identify methods of connecting the Lakewood Latino community to the wealth of opportunities in the area and throughout the campus.
  • Veronica Guevara-Lovgren attended the Community College Showcase: Promoting Equity and Student Success Conference held at New Jersey City University in Jersey City, New Jersey. This conference, attended by community college faculty, staff, and administrators from New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, brought together national leaders and decision makers passionate about the equity, success, and mission of the American community college.
  • College Lecturer II of Dance Catherine Mancuso attended the August 2 to 4, 2019, Dance Teacher Conference at Broadway Dance Center in New York City. Workshops were offered on anatomical best practices, innovations in technique, and classes covering the latest trends in various dance disciplines.  A cross-training class in Body Art was taken.  This method is based on physical therapy principals and is meant to correct, heal, and re-align the body for optimal dance performance.  During this conference, Mancuso was able to connect with dance educators on an international level and discuss class formats for students of varying abilities.

School of Business and Social Sciences

  • Sean Bips, College Lecturer II in Hospitality, Recreation, and Tourism Management, attended the annual ICHRIE (International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education) Conference held in New Orleans, Louisiana, from July 24 to 27, 2019. ICHRIE is a leader in HRTM research and education trends, as well as professional training and development for the hospitality, tourism, and culinary arts industries.

Mr. Bips participated in a variety of seminars and workshops, including Factors Influencing Consumer Behavior in Online Food Delivery Services, The Hotel Room and Experience of the Future, and Sustainable Practices in the Restaurant Industry.  Networking opportunities also allowed Mr. Bips to discuss the potential for both national (York College, Pennsylvania) and international (Skill Campus, Nepal) articulation agreements with OCC’s HRTM program, as well as an HRTM study abroad trip to Ireland in conjunction with Technical University of  Dublin, Ireland.

  • Neil Lavender, Professor of Psychology, continues to contribute to blogs for Psychology Today and to support LoveLife, a mental health and education center in Toms River designed to train counselors in Christian counseling. Dr. Lavender also ran a two-day marriage seminar, The Art of Marriage, for the local community.
  • A new A.S. degree in Social Work, new A. degree in Liberal Arts with an option in Psychology, and new A.A. degree in Liberal Arts with an option in Education were added to the School’s curricula, thanks to the efforts of Ms. Maria Paradiso, College Lecturer II in Social Work, Dr. Margaret Maghan, College Lecturer II in Psychology, and Dr. Jane MacDonald, College Lecturer II in Education, respectively.
  • When the new business lab opened in the Spring 2018 semester, it included two Bloomberg terminals, a stock ticker, two flat panel displays, and two laptop computers for use by business students. An increasing number of students are interested in the Bloomberg Market Concepts certification course as they gain experience with an array of Bloomberg functions and applications, enhancing their educational and career opportunities.

Dr. Rosann Bar, Dean of the School of Business and Social Sciences, Ms. Stephanie Kroeger, College Lecturer II in Business, and Dr. Kathy Toy, College Lecturer II in Business, will attend Thursday’s meeting to discuss the application and use of technology that is available through the Bloomberg terminals for accounting students as well as demonstrate the ways in which scaffolding and stackable credentials are being utilized to meet the needs of diverse groups of accounting students.

 School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

  • The School of STEM welcomed three new College Lecturer IIs for the upcoming Fall 2019 semester: Vandana Saini, Mathematics; Mr. Lincoln Simmons, Science; and Mr. Kenneth Michalek, Technology.
  • The Makerspace has begun its campus-wide campaign with the installation of the “Wandering Ambassador” beginning in the lobby of the Instructional Building. A donation of hydroponic tomatoes was made to the American Legion Victory Garden.  The Makers Club, Computer Science Club, and History Club are setting up a podcast space in the Student Center and will make it available college-wide in the near future.
  • Science College Lecturer II Caterina Gibson, with the help of STEM staff, completed set up of the new lab in the old Nursing Building for the upcoming semester to enable Anatomy and Physiology labs to be offered at the same time, which will result in additional enrollment.
  • Plans are underway for the Computer Science Advisory Committee and the Engineering Advisory Committee to meet in the Fall 2019 semester. Also, the grant process for Jersey Shore Junior Science Symposium 2020 has begun under the directorship of Mary Ellen Rada, College Lecturer II in Anatomy.
  • Vijay Ramdeen will attend a one-day C2 Summit for Pedagogical Advancements in STEM at Raritan Valley Community College on Friday, October 18, 2019.  The summit will celebrate best practices in teaching STEM at the community college.  There will be 30 unique presentations from faculty representing a wide range of STEM disciplines.
  • Samuel Pinkava, College Lecturer II in Mathematics, has been accepted into the 16th cohort of AMATYC’s (American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges) Project ACCCESS: Advancing Community College Careers:  Education, Scholarship, and Service. The project’s goal is to provide experiences that will help new teaching professionals become more effective teachers and active members of the broader mathematical community.  Fellows will attend national meetings where they will participate in a program developed specifically for new instructors, as well as in regular conference activities.  For the duration of the project, an electronic network will link ACCCESS Fellows with each other and with a group of distinguished mathematics educators.  As an integral part of their professional development during the Fellowship year, Fellows are expected to develop, implement, and evaluate a project at their home institutions.


  • The Library is preparing for an excellent Fall 2019 semester. The Canvas course developed by Assistant Director of Assessment James Marshall, LRIL-01, Library Resources and Information Literacy, will be available to all faculty, lecturers, and students.  The Canvas course helps the Library provide services to all, allows resources to be highlighted, and provides training for both face-to-face and distance learning teaching personnel and students.  With  Marshall’s move from a Lecturer II to Assistant Director of Assessment, Ms. Janet Brown Marler is the Library’s new Information Literacy Coordinator.  She will continue developing this superb resource.  She will also be building new relationships and developing new initiatives to promote Information Literacy.
  • Marler is leading the college-wide Open Educational Resources (OER) initiative and has completed training to be one of four VALE consortium OER Ambassadors. The Ambassadors will help colleges and universities throughout New Jersey to develop robust OER programs.  Courses developed using no- or low-cost textbooks and supplementary materials benefit students financially and provide first-day access to course materials.
  • Library Assistant Professor Catherine Pontoriero is performing an intensive assessment of the Reference Collection, with a plan to remove out-of-date materials and to improve the collection’s accessibility by incorporating more electronic resources. She brought in to the Library a new career series from Salem Press, which includes electronic book access as well as print books that have been added to the Reference Collection.
  • Access Services and Technical Services staff members are working together to improve informational signage in the Library. They are also working with College Lecturer II John Wallace, the Library’s emerging technologies and systems expert, to develop a project management database for the Library.  This database will promote knowledge of projects being developed, project needs, and joining project groups.
  • Library College Lecturer II Quinn Morris-Pearson is working with the School of STEM to assess the Library’s collection in terms of new STEM courses that are being developed, and she is bringing in new resources to support these new programs and courses.

Student Affairs

Advising Pilot Update

As of August 15, 2019, comparative data from the pilot group vs. a control group demonstrates a 4.4% higher retention rate for the fall cohort, and a 3.5% higher retention rate for the spring cohort, for students in the pilot from Fall 2018 to Fall 2019 and Spring 2019 to Fall 2019, respectively.  In Fall 2019, the Advising Office will launch the Proactive Advising Initiative, which will be administered using the same communications and protocols as the pilot.  In addition to the advising staff, there are 22 campus staff advisors participating in the program.  The focus of the Proactive Advising Initiative will be student success and retention, with an emphasis on helping students feel connected to OCC.


  • As of August 15, 2019, there are 366 returning and new/potential NJ STARS students enrolled for the Fall 2019 semester, of which approximately 183 are new/potential students. This represents an increase of approximately 19 new students from this time last year.
  • Additional measures were taken in the 2018-19 academic year to support NJ STARS students in academic jeopardy. Nine NJ STARS students were in danger of losing their STARS eligibility following the Fall 2018 semester due to having GPAs below 3.0.  NJ STARS Coordinator Jennifer Kipp coordinated the request for progress reports from instructors mid-way through the Spring 2019 semester.  Academic Support Specialist Diane DeFilippo followed up with those students whose instructors indicated as not making satisfactory progress.  Six of these nine students improved their GPAs to 0 by the end of the Spring semester, thus maintaining their STARS eligibility.

Southern Education Center

  • The Southern Education Center held a Summer Open House and Enrollment Day on Tuesday, August, 13, 2019, in preparation for the Fall 2019 semester; 27 students attended the event.  During the Open House, students had the opportunity to enroll and register for classes, seek information on transfer options and financial aid, speak with OCC advisors to develop plans, meet with representatives from Kean Ocean and Stockton, and take placement testing.  Academicians from the Schools of STEM, Business and Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, and Nursing and Health Sciences were present to address any questions from students and parents regarding academic concerns.  Students and parents could also meet with a variety of Student Services program representatives, including Student Life, EOF, Student Support Services, Disability Services, Athletics, Library Services, Counseling and Displaced Homemakers, Career Services, and Veterans/Military Services.  The OCC Foundation also had a representative present to provide scholarship information.
  • The event was very successful and displayed all of the services that are offered to any OCC student within the comfort of the Southern Education Center.   Appreciation is expressed to all of the representatives who assisted, especially the Admissions Office staff, all of whom welcomed every student and parent, greeting each with a smile and information to make their visits productive.
  • The Southern Education Center Student Services staff continues to handle walk-in student needs each day while also preparing the facility to welcome students in September.


Admissions representatives attended and presented at multiple college and career events within Ocean County.  Prospective students were able to learn more about OCC.  Highlights include:

  • Visiting 177 locations throughout the County to promote “Free College Tuition” through the Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG) between August 5 to 14, 2019
  • Hosting eight tours on campus
  • Hosting three “Free College Tuition” CCOG presentations
  • Attending the Certificate Medical Assistant Info Session (CPE) to promote Pathways to College credit
  • Promoting the Early College Partnership with the Performing Arts Academy and moderating a Q&A Session with high school freshman parents on August 14, 2019

Upcoming activities include:

  • Providing tours at the New Student Launch events
  • Delivering College Pathways Presentations at 14 High Schools – September
  • Delivering multiple Parent Night Presentations in the high schools – September
  • Promoting Early College opportunities and OCC at Back-to-School Nights – September
  • Hosting the Ocean County Directors of Counseling Affinity Group at the Southern Education Center – September 27, 2019
  • Hosting all Ocean County Guidance staff at the Annual Share-the-Knowledge event – October 11, 2019
  • Dual Credit High School Embedded Enrollment Processing with Registration and the HUB – September and October
  • OCC e-Learning Open House – To be determined

Since the Fall recruiting season is soon to begin, the Admissions team has reviewed and revised its recruiting materials to ensure their accuracy and relevancy.  The transfer booklet will now highlight partnerships with Kean University, Stockton University, and Thomas Edison State University with full-page dedications; the Early College trifold will include more information for parents and students while promoting the benefits of getting a ‘jump start’ on a college education; and the College Pathways booklet will now include a checklist of all sessions with the intention of increasing participation.

Admissions is also collaborating with Registration and the School of Nursing to develop recruiting materials that demystify the program and simplify the enrollment process.

Most importantly, the paper acceptance packet that was mailed to students after applying is now online (  This online version allows students to start enrollment steps immediately, from anywhere.  The easily accessible webpage features specific checklists designed for each type of student, such as degree or non-degree, full-time or part-time.  Eliminating the paper packet will ensure that the information received is current, will reduce student prep time, and, ultimately, will save money.

Additionally, Admissions, in collaboration with the greater College community, will be hosting prospective students and families at the Fall Open House on Saturday, October 26, 2019, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Registration and Records

  • A new service was implemented on August 6, 2019, with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) called SecurePrint, a free, print-to-mail service that allows NSC to handle the process of manually printing, compiling, and mailing transcripts daily. Prior to implementing this service, Registration and Records was receiving up to 20 transcript requests to process each day; with this service, requests have decreased to approximately 5 per day.
  • To address a back log of diplomas from 2016 to 2017 that were not picked up by students, 608 diplomas were mailed to student addresses on file. Only 29 diplomas were returned with no forwarding address information.

Veteran and Military Resource Center

  • Through the collaboration of the Veteran and Military Resource Center and Career Services, OCC hosted the largest bipartisan Veteran and Military Initiatives summit that has ever been held in New Jersey on July 31, 2019, with Congressman Andy Kim taking the lead on employment initiatives for military spouses and dependents, the opioid crisis in Ocean County, and continuous education and transferable certifications.  Senior leaders and advisors were brought to one round-table to talk solutions, not problems.  These entities included the Department of Labor, Joint Base Dix-Lakehurst-McGuire, New Jersey Department of Military and Veteran Affairs, Vocational Rehabilitation Division of Veteran Affairs, Governor Murphy’s Office, Assemblyman Ronald Dancer, Senator Corey Booker’s Office, Veterans of Foreign War State Commander, American Legion State Commander, and Small Business Administration of New Jersey.
  • As a result of the success of the first summit, Congressman Kim is hoping to continue hosting the summit at OCC.

Student Support Services

  • Student Support Services (SSS) traveled to Tree to Tree Adventure Park, in Cape May, New Jersey, with 13 program participants and 3 staff members, Ms. Helen Konz, Project Specialist; Ms. Alexis Lopez, SSS Technician; and Ms. Megan Miskin, Project Director.  Led by Tree to Tree leader, Mr. Clinton “Rock” Holloway, students and staff engaged in team building exercises, honing in on areas like the importance of communication, attention to detail, defining success, and developing a “never give up” attitude.  SSS students, who are either first-generation college students, low-income college students, and/or college students with disabilities, were given real life, hands-on examples on how to strengthen their mindset in order to overcome the life and academic challenges SSS students deal with on a daily basis.  After a quick lunch, students completed a series of zip line obstacle courses.  Each step of the course required focus, communication, teamwork, and attention to detail, objectives covered in the morning course.  Students pushed through their comfort zones, overcame challenges, worked together, and ultimately had fun.

Counseling Center

  • The department is thrilled to announce three major changes – A change in name from Counseling and Student Development Services to the Counseling Center, a change in phone number to extension 2911, and a change in location to a beautiful new office suite in the Library, Building #3, Room 010. The Counseling staff and the Displaced Homemakers Program staff are all located in the suite.
  • At Thursday’s meeting, Kate Pandolpho, Director, and Ms. Susan Ebeling-Witte, Student Intervention Specialist, will be sharing information about the activities that will recognize September as National Suicide Prevention Month. The Counseling Center is expanding the OCC and Kean Ocean campus community’s awareness and knowledge of suicide prevention through a number of activities, sponsored in collaboration with OCC Student Life and Kean Ocean Campus Life.  The International Association of Suicide Prevention has designated the theme of this year’s programming as “Working Together to Prevent Suicide.”

More than 100 staff, faculty, lecturers, and students have completed the evidence-based Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) gatekeeper training program presented in collaboration with the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services. A final session is scheduled for Thursday, September 26, 2019.  The powerfully moving visual display of “In Their Shoes” will be on Monday, September 9, 2019, on the campus mall.  Counselors will staff tables to share information and resources on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, in the Larson Student Center and Thursday, September 12, 2019, in the Gateway Building.

On Tuesday, September 24, 2019, I will welcome attendees to a presentation by Lucas, a young adult who shares his inspirational story of hope and resilience after experiencing unrecognized and untreated severe depression during high school and college.  Lucas is a representative of Minding Your Mind, an organization that promotes mental health awareness and eliminating stigma.

I respectfully request that the Board of Trustees adopt a resolution at Thursday’s meeting to recognize suicide as a serious public health issue and the impact it has on Ocean County College’s students and the campus community as well as to proclaim September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month at Ocean County College.

  • Activities are being planned for October’s Domestic Violence Prevention Month. The Counseling Center is collaborating with external organizations to bring a variety of activities to campus, including a panel discussion on October 28, 2019, which features Assistant Vice President of Human Resources Tracey Donaldson, Security Officer Wayne Reed, and representatives from local domestic violence programs.
  • An OCC group is working collaboratively with external partners on a year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, which provided equal voting rights to women. Katie Hueth, Prevention Education Coordinator, is chairing the subcommittee on women’s wellness.
  • Kelly Petrolis, Student Intervention Specialist, is leading the development and implementation of Restore Your Score, an innovative intervention program for students who are academically at-risk due to grades. A pilot program is planned for the Fall 2019 semester. Institutional Research is assisting with the development of this pilot program.
  • Kate Pandolpho presented a seminar on CARE reporting to the Student Affairs Division and will present the same topic at the Fall 2019 Colloquium on Thursday, August 29, 2019.
  • Marcia Slekitis is rejoining the Displaced Homemakers Program as the Community Services Technician. Ms. Slekitis and Ms. Eileen Burdge, Community Services Specialist, have an ambitious schedule of activities planned for the program year.  There are 11 new clients, and 4 are registered for CPE training.  Ms. Slekitis and Ms. Burdge have implemented a marketing plan, which includes working directly with local organizations, such as Providence House and Dottie’s House.

Finance and Administration

  • Staff members have been exploring better ways to track the revenue and expenses associated with grants and capital projects that cross over multiple budget years. This has become a higher priority as OCC becomes more and more successful in obtaining grants.  A Colleague module called Projects Accounting will be implemented that will consolidate various disparate systems into a single system that tracks all grant- and project-related activities.  Projects Accounting integrates with the general ledger and allows for seamless checking to see if there are funds available in the account.  It was designed specifically for higher education and was built for accurate accounting of grant awards and construction or refurbishment projects.  With the use of the software, time and cost savings are expected over project and grant management lifecycles.
  • During the month of August, two separate process reviews took place with Ellucian consultants. One review focused on Accounts Receivable, and several processes were revamped for efficiency. The second review will take place at the end of August and will focus on Accounting and Purchasing.  The review sessions are used to make the best use of technology, identify outdated or redundant work flows, and retrain staff to use the software more effectively.  The sessions are also used as opportunities to upgrade skills and cross-train staff.

College Relations

  • In collaboration with the OCC Foundation and Alumni, the latest edition of Ocean Views has arrived.  In this “Commencement” issue, the College Relations team covered the successful graduation of the first Egyptian cohort at OCC, as well as the first College Academy cohort to receive associate degrees and high school diplomas in the same school year.  The team also rolled out new advertisements and calls to action, designed for OCC’s alumni audience, in order to increase attendance at public events and help the Foundation meet its fundraising goals.  Director of Alumni and Advancement Kimberly Malony will share additional highlights of the Alumni magazine at Thursday’s meeting.


  • The Tau Omega Alumni Chapter picnic, celebrating the 50th reunion of the chapter, was well attended on August 10, 2019, at the American Legion in Toms River. Approximately 40 alumni and guests attended a memorial ceremony.
  • Alumni will receive a new discount, $199 per golfer, for the annual OCC Foundation Golf Outing to be held on October 15, 2019.   Information is available through Ken Malagiere, OCC Foundation Executive Director or Ms. Kim Malony.

The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts

  • The Grunin Center thanks the Wintrode Family Foundation for providing financial support to allow free summer shows to be offered to campers during the months of July and August. The Grunin Center saw over 3,000 campers from across Ocean County this summer.
  • Free tickets are available to the opening night of the Blauvelt Speaker Series. Former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson will speak on a range of topics on Thursday, September 12, 2019, at 5:00 p.m.  This event is being moderated by John Comiskey, a professor from Monmouth University’s Department of Criminal Justice.  If any of the trustees are interested in attending, please let Connie Bello know.
  • The Grunin Center has been awarded grants from the following organizations:
    • The Provident Bank Foundation $  4,100    Brooks Gibbs
    • The New Jersey State Council on the Arts $12,750    Mobilizing Our Community
    • The Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation $  5,500    Layer the Walls
    • The National Endowment for the Arts $10,000    Mobilizing Our Community

Novins Planetarium

  • Cara Muscio, Planetarium Manager, and her team are currently working with the Toms River School District to bring all 6th grade students to the Novins Planetarium during the month of October.
  • The staff is also preparing for another sold out weekend of Harry Potter shows in September.

Human Resources

  • Human Resources continues to offer opportunities for developing new skills. The most recent session, Correcting Performance Issues, was held on August 14, 2019.  A college-wide broadcast was sent on July 10, 2019, with the Summer/Fall 2019 Training Catalog  These trainings enable everyone to reach for Strategy #5, to “create a highly effective, challenging, supportive, and sustainable work environment.”
  • Ocean Way Training will occur on August 23, 2019. This is a revised version, which has replaced trainers, updated presentations, and added Civility and Ethical Behavior as the new Module 1.


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 July 23, 2019, through August 19, 2019.

e-Learning and Learning Enterprises

Instructional Design and Operations

The design side of e-Learning is currently gearing up for the Fall 2019 semester start.  This includes course copy and integrations for online courses running in the Fall Semester, Accelerated 6 Term, and the Fall 2019 Quick Term.  All course sections that will be utilizing Examity Online Proctoring are now set up.  Examity training for instructors took place August 13 and 15, 2019.

Courses on the Spring 2020 Development Schedule are in progress and are due November 1, 2019.  The next development schedule, courses due for Fall 2020, will begin in December 2019 and will conclude July 2020.

Online courses that will be assessed in Spring 2020 for General Education have been reviewed to ensure they are current.

Starting in January 2020, a self-paced version of Online Instructor Training will be available.


  • This upcoming Fall, the e-Learning team will launch a virtual Professional Development Series designed to showcase OCC staff, faculty, lecturers, adjuncts, and administrators on various higher education topics. The purpose of the series is to provide opportunities for the College community to enhance their skills and knowledge on best practices in pedagogy, innovative technology trends, and student success in higher education.
  • In the month of November, the first Virtual Open House will be targeted to e-learners in Ocean County and afar. The committee chair is AJ Trump, Director of Admissions; he has been working diligently with representatives from various departments on campus.  Ms. Vivian Lynn, newly appointed Dean of e-Learning, has taken an active role on the committee with the planning of the event.
  • The e-Learning Department is working in collaboration with Examity and Academic Affairs to launch its second proctoring pilot for several online courses. At the end of the term, the e-Learning Department will submit a report and recommendations to the Academic Dishonesty Committee, chaired by Antoinette Clay, Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs, on a plan to implement proctoring services for online and traditional students enrolled at OCC.

International Partnerships

  • Partnership with New Jersey Institute of Technology and Tatweer Misr

A Middle States substantive change application is being developed.  Additionally, a plan is underway to describe the International Branch Campus project, which will be submitted to the Office of the New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education.  The team is also collaborating with NJIT to complete an International Branch campus application required by the Egyptian government.

  • The American Community College in Egypt

 All pilot programs are ready for implementation.  Protocols are prepared for signature by the Presidents of Ain Shams University, Helwan University, and Alexandria University during our visit to Egypt in September.

The e-Learning team is also working with Mr. Tom Gialanella, Executive Director of School Relations, and Dr. Al Longo, Part-Time e-Learning Teacher, on customized professional development hybrid courses for instructors as part of the preparation for the American Community College in Egypt.

Collaboration continues with the Grants Office and Executive Vice President Sara Winchester to develop a grant proposal for USAID in support of the American Community College in Egypt project.

  • Visit to Egypt

Dr. Hatem Akl, Interim Associate Vice President of e-Learning, and Dr. Maysa Hayward, Assistant Vice President of International Programs, will accompany me to Egypt from September 4 through 15, 2019, to visit the initial sites of the American Community College in Egypt – Ain Shams University, Helwan University, and Alexandria University.  A meeting will also be scheduled with Dr. Ahmad Shalaby, CEO and Managing Director of Tatweer Misr.

In addition, we will visit Badr University, a private university in Cairo, to continue discussions with Dr. Hasan El Kalla, President, who visited earlier this month and discussed potential collaborations with OCC.

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