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December 9, 2020

Dr. Larson’s December 2020 Report to the OCC Board of Trustees

OCC president Dr. Larson

Policy #1365, Public Comments/Conduct at Board of Trustees Meetings

  • New OCC Policy #1365, Public Comments/Conduct at Board meetings, was introduced last month at the November 5, 2020, meeting for trustee review and comment. This policy and its accompanying procedures were developed in compliance with New Jersey regulations that resulted from local government bodies meeting remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of these regulations is to ensure that public bodies conduct official business in an open and transparent manner whenever an emergency requires a meeting without physical attendance by members of the public.
  • Following trustee review and input, the policy is in its final form. The policy is being recommended for formal adoption on the Bylaw, Policy, and Curriculum Committee agenda at Thursday’s meeting.
  • Policy and Procedure #1365, Public Comments/Conduct, are attached to this report as well as included in the Board agenda.

Sabbatical Leave Report

  • Ms. Jayanti Tamm, Associate Professor of English and Literature, was granted a sabbatical leave during the Spring 2020 semester. She will attend Thursday’s meeting to share with you a brief summary of her sabbatical and her final report, the focus of which is on intergenerational learning.
  • Ms. Tamm has been teaching at Ocean County College since September 2005 and was promoted to Associate Professor of English in 2017. She has been extremely involved in promoting women’s education and examining the history of women in the arts, as well as organizing and hosting the Foundation-sponsored Visiting Writers Series and participating in student registration events.
  • Additionally, she has facilitated the Adjunct Faculty Institute; is the advisor to Seascape, OCC’s literary magazine; and co-chaperoned the Theatre in London seminar.

Remote Instruction Survey

  • In response to the shift to remote instruction for the 2020 terms, a short survey was developed by Mr. James Marshall, Assistant Director of Assessment, in collaboration with Academic Affairs and Institutional Research. This survey allowed students to rate the effectiveness and frequency of various instruction practices and techniques that were used in these classes. A version of this survey was deployed in July 2020 and then redeployed in October 2020. The survey was sent via email with a pre-
    notification from the Reggie chatbot; it yielded over 500 responses.
  • The survey results will help identify the instruction techniques students find highly effective, as well as the frequency with which they appear in the courses. This information can inform professional development opportunities and provide insight for Spring 2021 remote instruction as well as future course design. Longitudinal data shows improvement in both the effectiveness and frequency of remote instruction from the summer to fall terms. Students were also prompted to respond to two open-ended questions concerning instruction practices, technological issues, and additional support
  • At Thursday’s meeting, Dr. Alexa Beshara-Blauth, Executive Director of Institutional Planning, Effectiveness, and Compliance, will provide introductory remarks, and Mr. Marshall will share with you the results of the survey.

Academic Affairs

School of Nursing and Health Sciences

  • The New Jersey Presidents’ Council has acknowledged OCC’s A.A.S. in Health Science Degree, which may now be implemented. Development of this program was under the leadership of Ms. Mary Fennessy, Director of Program Services for Nursing and Health Sciences. This program will provide students who have experience in health-related fields with the opportunity to obtain college credits towards a degree in Health Sciences.
  • MaryAnn Kaufmann MSN, RN, CHSE, Nursing Skills, Simulation, and Student Retention Specialist, successfully defended her dissertation titled, Immersion of Pre-licensure Associate Nursing Students in Simulation-Based Learning. Ms. Kaufmann will receive a Ph.D. in Nursing Educational Leadership from Kean University.
  • The School of Nursing held an Advisory Committee meeting on November 18, 2020. There were 20 participants representing various clinical agencies as well as members of the community, students, faculty, and staff. Clinical agencies offered support to provide students with clinical experiences in the Spring 2021 semester. Representatives from major acute care organizations spoke highly of Ocean County College graduates and indicated they are hiring new nurses who complete the program.
  • Meetings continue with Kean University to develop the 3+1 BSN Program. Curriculum is being mapped out to blend the OCC and Kean nursing programs together based on the expertise of each. In addition to developing the overall program, an Associate in Science degree has been identified for students to receive from Ocean County College after their first two years of studies.
  • Plans are being developed for students to return to campus for hands-on practice within the Skills and Simulation Labs as well as for clinical experiences in the Spring 2021 semester. Students currently enrolled in the program will begin returning to campus the week of January 11, 2021, to practice skills in preparation for competency validation the first week of the semester. The School of Nursing continues to work closely with Security and Facilities to assure a safe environment for students, faculty, lecturers, and staff.

School of Arts and Humanities

  • Humanities College Lecturer II Stephanie Shestakow organized a lecture for Art History students featuring artist Andrew Wyeth’s granddaughter, Victoria Wyeth, on November 10, 2020. Ms. Wyeth is also the niece of contemporary artist Jamie Wyeth. Ms. Wyeth’s years of conversation with these artists provided a foundation for an excellent informative and insightful art history lecture.
  • College Lecturer II in English and Literature Richard Carr gave a well-received presentation titled, How to TikTok for Education!, as part of the e-Learning series on November 11, 2020. Mr. Carr shared how he develops an educational TikTok video as part of the lessons in his English courses and how TikTok can be used as an educational tool.
  • Co-chairs of the Middle States Self-Study, School Dean Heidi Sheridan and Dr. Alexa Beshara-Blauth held a kick-off meeting for the Middle States Steering Committee and Working Groups on November 13, 2020. The kick-off shared the structure, purpose, expectations, process, timeline, and next steps for this critical Middle States Self-Study project.
  • On November 16, 2020, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin presented a virtual discussion, Election 2020: Where Do We Go from Here? A Historical Perspective. This presentation, made possible by the late Bradford Thomas and Eleanor G. Blauvelt and the Wintrode Family Foundation, was moderated by History College Lecturer II Stephen Downey. Mr. Downey also moderated a question and answer session for our students as a part of this well attended virtual event.
  • As a part of International Education Week events, hosted by the Global Education Committee, English Professor Jennifer Dellner and English College Lecturer IIs Ameer Sohrawardy and Samantha Glassford took part in a panel discussion on November 16, 2020. The panel discussion, Fictional Plague Worlds: Distance and Community in the Time of Pandemic, addressed themes of community and isolation in plague fiction works. Among the works discussed by the panel were Blindness by Jose Saramago; Stand Still, Stay Silent by Minna Sundberg; and The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe.
  • Performing Arts faculty from the School of Arts and Humanities collaborated with Advising and Grunin Center staff to present an engaging information session for current and potential students highlighting the opportunities for students within the A.A. degree in Performing Arts options. The November 18, 2020, virtual information session was opened with remarks from Dean Heid Sheridan and an overview of the A.A. Performing Arts degree by Ms. Laura Wills, Coordinator of Transfer Services/Academic Advising. Music Instructor Karin Gargone and College Lecturer II Brian Gilmore spoke about the Music Option. College Lecturer II Catherine Mancuso presented information about Arts Administration and Dance. Associate Professor Elizabeth Brierley and College Lecturer II Paul Chalakani rounded out the discussion of options with their presentation on the Theatre Option. Ms. Karin Gargone shared scholarship opportunities, while Ms. Michelle Youngs, Assistant Director of Operations and Production at the Grunin Center, shared opportunities for students to be involved with the Center. The session closed with a question and answer period for students.
  • The Social Justice Series continued in December with a film screening of Color of Fear. This screening of the 1994 film directed by Lee Mun Wah was hosted by Director Laura Rickards and Ms. Ana DeNise from the Center for Access and Equity and moderated by English and Film College Lecturer II Jason Molloy. The film highlights the personal stories of eight men and their experiences of being men of color in America. While the film is almost three decades old, it is still considered very relevant and is often used in diversity training. Two screenings of the film were held on December 2, 2020.

School of Business and Social Sciences

  • Dean Heidi Sheridan and College Lecturer II Catherine Mancuso are currently collaborating on an articulation project with New Jersey City University and the Joffrey Ballet. This collaboration is addressing how OCC’s courses could transfer seamlessly to NJCU and Joffrey Ballet’s BFA program in Dance and Musical Theatre.
  • Dr. Patricia Gianotti, College Lecturer II in Addictions Counseling, has served as OCC’s liaison in the design, formulation, and implementation of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office (OCPO) Michael Camillus Project. With this new initiative, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office is funding the tuition for its officers and prosecutors to attend OCC’s Addictions Studies Program.
    • This program is the brainchild of Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Renee White and was made possible by Operation Helping Hands funding. The name Michael Camillus was derived by combining the names of two saints: Saint Michael, the patron saint of law enforcement, and Saint Camillus, the patron saint of the sick. The project name reflects the heightened level of service and compassion this training hopes to achieve. The intention of Prosecutor White in developing this initiative was to provide an education and training experience that would expand the officers’ understanding of substance use disorder, thus improving interactions and outcomes with local addicts.
    • The pilot group will consist of 15 students, with the hope that funding will be extended into the next calendar year, making the enrollment of additional personnel possible. The courses will be taught by Dr. Gianotti; Ms. Renee White, Supervising Assistant Prosecutor; and Ms. Kimberley Veith, MSW, LCADC, Director of Adult Clinical Services at Ocean Mental Health. The OCPO students will be enrolled in the first winter intersession of 2021 and continue through the 2021 Spring and Summer to complete the program in the Fall 2021 semester. When the officers have completed their education hours, they will be eligible to complete the process to become Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors in the State of New Jersey. If they choose to become certified, they will be completing the required supervised clinical hours at Ocean Mental Health under the direction of Ms. Veith.
  • Dr. Patricia Gianotti has also announced that a Webex event to support OCC’s GAINS Student Apprentices is scheduled to take place on Thursday, December 17, 2020, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. The event will feature a panel of clinicians and human resources personnel from treatment programs in Ocean and Monmouth Counties. The panel will present information on topics related to acquiring and maintaining a clinical position. To date, there are four professionals who will be participating from the following agencies: Preferred Behavioral Health, Lakewood; Ocean Mental Health, Bayville; Relevance Behavioral Health, Freehold; and New Hope Behavioral Health, Marlboro.
  • Topics will cover information needed in a resume when applying for an internship; guidance on how to navigate an interview successfully; skills and qualities HR and clinical directors look for in a trainee; and employer expectations of counselors-in-training in the clinical environment. The panelists’ presentation will be followed by a question and answer session for students. The event is intended for ALDC students who will be seeking paid apprenticeships funded by the GAINS grant, but it is also suitable for other students who are considering a career in the behavioral health field. Interested students who are not enrolled in the ALDC program may ask their professors to forward a list of suitable attendees.
  • Mr. Jason Ghibesi, College Lecturer II in Political Science, planned a series of events focusing on the impact of COVID-19 that have featured a variety of experts to discuss the pandemic through the lenses of medicine and health, social work, and economics. The third and final event in this series took place on November 12, 2020, with Dr. Simone Wegge, Professor of Economics at the College of Staten Island and the Graduate Center, both of the City University of New York. Professor Wegge discussed the various aspects of how the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the U.S. economy. Dr. Wegge’s research focuses on economic history, specifically migration to the U.S. during the 18th and 19th centuries.
    Dr. Wegge’s work has been published in various academic journals, including the Journal of Economic History, The American Historical Review, European Review of Economic History, Social Science History, History of the Family, and Historical Methods. In 2002, the International Economic History Association awarded her Ph.D. thesis a Dissertation Prize for Best Doctoral Research. Her work has been supported financially by the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Economic History Association, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
    This public COVID-19 event was moderated by Ms. Marina Wassef, College Lecturer II of Economics, and was sponsored by the Governmental Affairs Institute.
  • Ms. Charlotte Langeveld, College Lecturer II in Social Sciences, presented at OCC’s Annual International Education Week panel with a lecture titled Girls Education in Afghanistan. Ms. Langeveld’s discussion covered the major barriers for girls’ education in Afghanistan and how progress on education indicators has stagnated in recent years (2016-2018). Her lecture also touched upon the fact that education of girls in Afghanistan has often been highlighted as a success story by donors and the Afghan government as well as that millions more girls are in school today than were in school under Taliban rule.
  • Jeffrey McWeeney, Esq., Adjunct Assistant Professor in Business Law, has been instrumental in arranging an internship for OCC student Nicole Miller within the Bloomfield, New Jersey, Law Office of Katherine M. Lordi, Esq. Under the guidance of Ms. Lordi, Ms. Miller has been responsible for drafting letters to clients and other attorneys, preparing informal accounting
  • Dr. Margaret Maghan, College Lecturer II in Psychology, announced that on November 14, 2020, the Social Sciences Club participated as a team in a virtual walk-a-thon to raise money for the Ocean’s Harbor House, a safe haven for youth in need. Dr. Maghan further reported that the Social Sciences Club will be co-hosting an upcoming contactless giving tree for families in Ocean County. Holiday gifts will be dropped off at the Security Building and will then be distributed in Parking Lot #1 on December 19, 2020, with the help of Santa and his Elves.
  • Jeffrey McWeeney, Esq., Adjunct Assistant Professor in Business Law, has been instrumental in arranging an internship for OCC student Nicole Miller within the Bloomfield, New Jersey, Law Office of Katherine M. Lordi, Esq. Under the guidance of Ms. Lordi, Ms. Miller has been responsible for drafting letters to clients and other attorneys, preparing informal accounting drafts for estates, preparing refunding bonds and releases, and drafting complaints for breach of contract. Ms. Miller’s duties have also included administrative management of legal files and conducting case-related research. Ms. Miller is positioned to graduate from OCC this Fall semester with an Associate in Applied Science degree in Business, Paralegal Studies Option.

School of STEM

  • On Friday, October 30, 2020, the School of STEM hosted a remote presentation by Mr. Howard Israel, expert in the field of cybersecurity. Mr. Israel worked in the field for 38 years as a product engineer, strategist, consultant, and virtual Chief Information Security Officer. He shared his experiences and cybersecurity principles during his presentation.
  • On Friday, November 13, 2020, Dr. Cheryl Cooper provided an overview of the cybersecurity environment via Webex, including vulnerabilities, privacy and information liability, cyber attacks and counter cyber-measures, the effect of COVID-19, and remote learning.
  • A $100,000 grant proposal, GenCyber Summer Camp for middle school students and teachers, was submitted this past month. Ocean County College proposes to launch GenCyber Safe, a five-day nonresidential camp for middle school students. Utilizing GenCyber First Principles and Concepts, GenCyber Safe will introduce students to cyber technology through engaging learning activities that relay the basics of security information and related career pathways. GenCyber Safe will build a scaffolding of cybersecurity fundamental knowledge in a vibrant, fun, and peer-driven learning environment. Offered twice over the summer, with an anticipated 30 students participating in each camp, GenCyber Safe has the potential to reach students across Ocean County, providing inroads for learning about the most pressing, growing employment gap in the country.
  • Mr. Gerald Cohen, College Lecturer II in Computer Studies, reported that the Learning Assessment Committee has accepted the report for the assessment carried out last Spring for the Associate in Science Computer Science degree and related options.
  • The second issue in a series of newsletters from Computer Studies was published and distributed.
  • The Education Partnership Agreement between Naval Air Warfare Division (NAWCAD) and OCC was recently renewed. The Educational Partnership Agreement (EPA) is to extend education outreach programs and encourage OCC engineering students to pursue continuing education at affiliated universities. An article about the agreement renewal can be found at: educational-partnership/Thu-10292020-1417.
  • The Fall semester Engineering Advisory Board, funded through the Perkins grant, met to discuss several new initiatives. The Engineering disciplines are working with the Alumni office to create a stronger link between OCC’s alumni, students, and programs.
  • Dr. Cooper holds a doctorate in Computer Science and has twenty years of telecommunication and cybersecurity experience with Sprint and T-Mobile corporations. She is an adjunct professor teaching Cyber Security and the founder and president of Women in Security Mentors Inc., whose mission is to promote women and minorities in STEM careers.
  • The Engineering Club’s second annual fundraiser, Jazz4PCA: An evening of Baseball and Technology and Jazz, was held on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. via Webex.
  • Mr. Sam Pinkava, College Lecturer II in Mathematics, presented at the annual conference of the Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges of New Jersey. His presentation was on his experiences with the Project ACCCESS (Advancing Community College Careers: Education, Scholarship, and Service) Fellowship.
  • Several mathematics faculty and lecturers are working with the e-Learning Instructional Designers to create common canvas shells which will be available for all modalities of teaching.
  • From November 9 through 18, 2020, many STEM faculty and lecturers attended the virtual Online Learning Consortium (OLC) Accelerate 2020 remote conference, which emphasized the most innovative and impactful research and effective practices in the field of online, blended, and digital learning.
  • The Industrial Hygiene and Hazardous Materials Certificate and all corresponding courses were approved by the Board of Trustees. Courses will be offered in 2021 Spring and Summer terms. The certificate is a stackable credential in conjunction with training courses, giving an OCC student potential to obtain a $93,000 job as a lab technician in the State of New Jersey.


  • The Library is pleased to announce a new e-resource subscription: the EBSCO Engineering Source collection. The funds for this purchase were awarded through CARES Act funding. Access to the database collection is available at Ocean Connect-Library Services-Databases by subject-Science-Engineering Source.
  • For FY 2020-2021, the Library has subscribed to the Kanopy film streaming service. Please visit and log in with OCC credentials for access. For requests to purchase access to films, please contact Ms. Donna Rosinski-Kauz, Director of Library Services, at
  • Mr. John Wallace, College Lecturer II for the Library, was recently elected to serve a three- year term as Member-at-Large for the New Jersey Library Association. He will serve on the Bylaws Committee and help guide the Association in its search for a new Executive Director for the first time in over thirty years.

Articulations and Tutoring

  • Ocean County College recently signed an updated articulation agreement with Southern New Hampshire University reflecting the addition of several new degree pathways, including a new link for the Addiction Studies program.
  • Staff in Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and College Relations recently met to plan for the finalization of the implementation for the 3+1 partnerships with New Jersey City University (NJCU) for Spring 2021. OCC students will be able to access up to 30 additional credits at OCC through a financial aid consortium agreement. OCC is also in conversation with NJCU to develop alignments for several of their degrees in performing arts and graphic design.
  • Kean University is entering the 3+1 foray with a newly developed curriculum pathway for Exercise Science to be implemented in conjunction with its existing financial aid consortium agreement.
  • OCC is in the final stages of negotiation with Rutgers University in Newark on an articulated pathway to its B.A. in Public and Non-profit Administration; this degree program can be completed through Rutgers by attending online or face-to-face courses at the Rutgers Campus.
  • Academic and Tutoring Support Services purchased and put to service Knewton Alta, an AI adaptive technology software program, in order to provide supplemental support to students needing help in mathematics and science courses, in addition to but outside of tutoring sessions.
  • Tutoring Support Services worked in collaboration with College Relations to take over OCC’s Instagram for the day: OCC tutors created and posted videos about themselves and OCC’s services, which were then uploaded to OCC’s Instagram page. Ms. Mary-Beth Brophy, Professional Writing Tutor I, and Mr. Nicolaus Burr, Social Media and Web Developer, coordinated and facilitated this successful social media event. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with 2,277 views on the posts and stories within the first two days.

Finance and Administration

  • Ms. Sara Winchester, Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration, was a panelist in Ellucian’s e-Live virtual session entitled, A Conversation with CFOs: Setting the Strategic Direction, on November 10, 2020. The panel consisted of a select group of educational finance leaders from across the world, including Mr. Harshan Bhangdia, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Ellucian. The session was a live, interview-style discussion on how to lead through disruption and shape an institution’s strategy, optimize performance, and pave the path for financial sustainability and long- term success.

CARES Funding

The Accounting staff is managing a variety of funding sources for expenses related to the Coronavirus pandemic. Recently, Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding through the County of Ocean has become available to the College. A recommendation is being made on Thursday’s agenda for approval of the Ocean County CARES Grant Agreement, and its subsequent Clarification to the Grant Agreement, wherein the County of Ocean will dedicate a portion of its CARES Act funds to reimburse Ocean County College for COVID-related costs and expenses and, further, to authorize the Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration to manage the funds received. Funds eligible for reimbursement must be expended by December 30, 2020. 
There are four other sources of Coronavirus Relief Funding, all of which are restricted to expenses directly related to the pandemic:
    • HEERF – $2,132,585 for institutional expenses. The Federal CARES Act established and funded the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. Funds must be expended by April 2021.
    • GEERF – $757,932. State funding to be expended by September 30, 2021.
    • CRF 1 – $1,297,908. Coronavirus Relief Funding from the State to be expended by 
December 31, 2020.
    • CRF 2 – $1,587,029. Coronavirus Relief Funding from the State to be expended by 
December 31, 2020.
  • The budgeting, management, draw-down, and accounting for these funding sources is a complex task that is being managed by Ms. Sara Winchester and Ms. Mary Lancaster, Controller.
OCC’s partnership with Nelnet Campus Partners went live on Monday, November 9, 2020, in coordination with the start of Spring 2021 enrollment. This partnership provides students with the opportunity to pay their tuition and fees online or to create a payment plan. The payment plan schedule for Spring is available through the census date of February 5, 2020, and requires down- payment of just the $30 payment plan fee plus 10% of the tuition charges. The remaining balance is divided among four payments from February through May. Students have the option of designating either a bank account or credit/debit card for auto-payments. The auto-withdrawal feature will save students from incurring fees for late payments. In the first three weeks the system has been live, almost $1.25 million in student payments has been processed, including $90,000 in initial payments on 331 payment plans.

 Ocean County College Foundation

  • OCC Foundation Board Chair Michael York and Executive Director Kenneth Malagiere announced the addition of two new Foundation Board members, Mr. Richard “Ricky” Moore and Mr. Ethan Rosen.
  • Mr. Moore is an OCC alumnus, Class of ‘85. He presently works for the Department of Defense and is an active and engaged citizen, most notably as a board member of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates).
  • Mr. Rosen will be the second third-generation trustee to sit on the Board and represents the Rosen family and family business, Good Friend Electric. Mr. Rosen is also an engaged member of our community, most notably serving as a board member of 21 Plus, an organization founded by his grandfather.
  • The Spring Scholarship Award period opened November 2, 2020, and will remain open through December 21, 2020. All students are encouraged to apply.
  • New scholarships for Spring 2021 include the:
    • James C. Kellogg Scholarship
    • Agape, Stamos Family Scholarship
    • Central Ocean Business Association (COBA) Scholarship in Business
    • Guy H. Ericksen Memorial Scholarship

College Relations

  • The College participated in the Warmest Wishes Coat Drive sponsored by the United Way of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. New coats (with tags attached) were dropped off on campus on Friday, December 4, 2020, to provide the gift of warmth for local children. Additionally, the College community can help this year by donating food so that others won’t go hungry. The College partners with the Fulfill Food Pantry, which collects non-perishable food items year round.
  • The Foundation’s 100 Women Group also held a donation drive on campus on Friday, December 4, 2020, for the Code Blue Warming Center. The group collected toothpaste, toothbrushes, wipes, mini tissue packets, feminine hygiene products, Chap Stick, lotion, socks, floss, and shampoo. Donations were provided to the Code Blue Warming Center in Toms River’s Riverwood Park. When the temperature drops below 35 degrees, the center provides a place to sleep, a fresh meal, and other services for the local homeless population.
  • Mr. Michael Leon, Manager of Graphic Design, and Ms. Sheenah Hartigan, Executive Director of Enrollment Services, collaborated on a promotional 
virtual designs include direct links and highlight why, how, what, and where students can apply today.


  • The OCC Foundation’s annual appeal to donors was mailed on November 18, 2020, to approximately 1,100 renewal donors. This year’s appeal is a combination of the Foundation’s annual donor impact report that informs donors by reporting on how donor dollars were utilized, while also soliciting year-end gifts for future scholarship and programmatic support. An OCC Foundation-branded facemask was included in the mailing as a premium, and the mailing will be followed by three email solicitations leading up to year end.
  • Mr. Ralph Bertini, Television Production Director, Ms. Maureen Conlon, Associate Director of Web Services, and Mr. Nicolaus Burr collaborated with the Veterans and Military Resource Center on the development of a virtual Veterans Day commemoration. The commemoration content was viewed 21,655 times from November 2 through November 11, 2020, and was engaged 917 times. Highlights of the commemoration included a remembrance of OCC alumnus Leonard G. “Bud” Lomell; a story highlighting Veterans Coordinator, Ryan Luurtsema; a Virtual Town Hall featuring Congressman Andy Kim;, and my remarks in honor of veterans and active military service members in our community. 
The link to the video is

Human Resources

  • The Office of Human Resources continues to operate fully and employee assistance resources have been made available in the form of webinars, articles, and the normal access to trained counselors, all of which is offered through Preferred Behavioral Health.
  • The Human Resources website has a section devoted to COVID-19 resources.
  • Working closing with the Tutoring Center, efforts are being made to supplement the tutoring staff while demand is high due to remote instruction. Human Resources is reaching out to administrators and adjunct faculty to identify individuals interested in immediate tutoring assignments in the disciplines of biology, chemistry, math, physics, and writing.
  •  In the Training and Organizational Development area, final preparations are underway for the Winter/Spring training schedule. A broadcast announcement, along with updates to the training calendar on the Faculty/Staff Portal, will occur prior to the winter break.
  • Pathways and FAFSA presentations, which are being used as part of the College’s enrollment campaign. The presentations were sent to high school counselors to distribute to their students. Layout material was also converted for OCC landing page postings on the PowerPoint for College 101 website.


  • 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 November 6, 2020, through November 25, 2020.

Student Affairs


    • Following an inaugural season in the Spring, at the end of which the OCC Vikings Esports team won a National Junior College Athletic Association Esports (NJCAAE) Singles Championship, OCC Esports has had another strong season this Fall 2020. Newcomer Luke Leonard and sophomore team captain Jacob Leiva each finished the regular season with six wins, advancing to the post-season, which began on Monday, December 7, 2020. The team competes in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on the Nintendo Switch, and the Athletics Department is currently researching the possibility of competing in more than one game during the Spring 2021 season.


  • During October, the Advising Office hosted two Pre-Nursing Information sessions in collaboration with the OCC School of Nursing, Registration and Records, Academic Affairs, and Kean Ocean. The virtual sessions were coordinated by Advisor Lauren Humphrey. Over 110 students who attended the sessions received information on Nursing admissions, the OCC Nursing program, and the Kean Ocean BSN.
  • The Advising Office has hosted Webex sessions throughout the Fall semester to assist students with planning and registration for the Spring 2021 semester. Approximately 30 students attended one of six general sessions; major-specific sessions for Business, Education, Engineering, Criminal Justice, Psychology, STEM, and Social Work were also executed in collaboration with faculty and lecturers in those areas. Although these sessions were not as well attended as hoped, they did provide an opportunity for students and a framework for future events. 
Additionally, in partnership with Academic Affairs, the Advising Office hosted major-specific information sessions for Performing Arts on November 18, 2020, and a session for Interpreter Training on November 23, 2020. Planning is underway with Kean Ocean for a session to combine History, English, Global Studies, Political Science, and Pre-Law.
  • Ms. Laura Wills, Coordinator of Transfer Services, and Ms. Kirsten Bollinger, Academic Advisor, hosted a Transfer Information Session for students in November. Over 30 students attended, which is a great turnout for this event. The session also resulted in several individual transfer appointments.
  • The Advising staff has hosted advising training sessions for all campus advisors throughout the Fall semester. Included in these trainings were multiple opportunities for advisors to learn how to use and advise students using Student Planning. Advisor Lauren Humphrey, in collaboration with Ms. Helen Konz, Student Support Services Project Specialist, and Ms. Alexis Lopez, Student Support Services Technician, hosted trainings on Advising First-Generation College Students. Ms. Lauren Humphrey also collaborated with Ms. Jamie Prioli, Adaptive Services Specialist, on sessions to train advisors on accessibility and accommodations in remote advising. Advising is working with College Relations to post recordings of these trainings for advisors who were unable to attend.
  • Advising has been working with IT, the HUB, and Academic Affairs, as well as Ellucian, throughout the Fall semester in an effort to identify and resolve technical issues affecting Advise implementation. Through a process developed by the IT Department, data for Title III courses was finally able to be imported from Canvas to Advise in November. On November 11, 2020, an automated communication was sent to students enrolled in Title III courses in danger of failing a course, alerting the students to contact their Title III Coach and making them aware of the withdrawal deadline.
  • Although the Title III Coaches have been working with students through data from reports, this was the first time Advise was able to be utilized to communicate with students about data imported from Canvas to Advise. While the ability to do this was hampered by technical issues, this communication did lay the groundwork for how Advise will be used in the future for Title III and other student populations.

Career Services

  • On December 7, 2020, Career Services will be premiering a new customer relationship platform (CRM) called Handshake. Ocean County College will be the first community college in New Jersey to add this professional network platform to its Career Services department. Handshake provides student engagement and connection to more than 500,000 employers and 1,000 colleges and institutions nationwide. This will allow for an increase in internship and employment opportunities for students, as well as a seamless transition for alumni to senior college and university employment development.
  • On November 20, 2020, Career Services hosted a Virtual Hospitality Career Fair as part of the Hospitality Virtual Pathway to Success (HVPS). The online career fair allowed for students and alumni to interview live online with hospitality employers throughout New Jersey. On November 19, 2020, Career Services provided industry and event support to the Health Sciences Career Exploration Fair. Students and alumni were provided with the opportunity to learn from health care professions from Hackensack Meridian Health about numerous health care careers and employment opportunities with the organization.

Counseling Center

  • The academic intervention program, Restore Your Score, coordinated by Student Intervention Specialist Kelly Petrolis, provides support to students with academic probation sanctions. Students are enrolled in a non-credit Canvas course and receive information and notifications. Follow-up calls and meetings have been conducted with students. Additionally, another series of informational emails was sent to students who are in academic warning status.
  • The CARE Team continues to receive numerous reports from faculty and staff. Comparing 2019 to 2020, there has been a tripling of reports filed. For the period July 1 through November 20, 2020, there were 342 reports filed, with 307 reports received since September 1, 2020. In comparison to the same time periods in 2019, 112 reports were filed for the period July 1 through November 20, 2019, with 103 reports from September 1 to November 20, 2019.
  • The Supporting Students in Recovery program began its second year of programming. Upcoming events include a series of student success seminars focused on maintaining recovery and achieving academic success. Program coordinator Katie Hueth and Student Intervention Specialist Kelly Petrolis are collaborating on this series, which will be offered over three weeks.

Disability Services

  • The Displaced Homemakers Program has been working with 17 new clients and 49 returning clients.
  • The Office of Disability Services continues to provide proactive outreach to OCC faculty, staff, and local high school personnel focusing on accessing reasonable accommodations at OCC. This proactive outreach includes providing technical support and assistance to ensure equal access for students with disabilities. Staff from Disability Services performed two training opportunities for Advising and Transfer Services staff addressing best practices for engaging students with disabilities. Collaborative efforts continue with the New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS); the Ocean County office and staff presented at a student/parent virtual open house event hosted by Toms River High School North.
  • Staff from Disability Services attended the 2020 Higher Ground Virtual Conference, which was held November 9 to 19, 2020. The conference focused on the implementation and benefits of Universal Design and assistive technology in the university and public setting. The conference placed heavy emphasis on campus accommodation, Universal Design, and curriculum accessibility. Staff will share newly learned skills and techniques with faculty and students.
  • After a six-month delay related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Disability Services staff collaborated with the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management to complete training of 12 students enrolled in the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training. The last two classes were conducted remotely, and students graduated from the program after successful completion, which allows them to join their local municipality teams. A January/February virtual training is being planned, and CERT training will again be open to all staff, faculty, and students to participate.
  • Disability Services continues to facilitate training and awareness of Ally for Canvas. Ally, an integrated program that helps check for accessibility issues within Canvas and generate alternative accessible format materials for students, has been purchased through the CARES Act funding. A pilot cohort, consisting of representatives from e-Learning, Disability Services, Library, Tutoring Center, Military and Veterans Services, Arts and Humanities, and IT, continues to receive training on use of the software within Canvas. Select classes will begin use of the product in Spring 2021. A timeline will be announced for extending access, training, and support to the entire OCC community in the upcoming months.


  • Dr. Kathleen Mohr, Assistant Director of Enrollment Services, presented at the Integrating Student Service Professionals 2020 Virtual Conference on From Implicit to Explicit: Developing, Implementing, and Evaluating an Effective One-Stop Training Program.
  • Enrollment Services, alongside Academic Affairs, completed the first round of registrations for 15 officers through the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office to enroll in the Alcohol and Addictions Counseling program for the Winter as part of the Michael Camillus grant-funded program.
  • Virtual presentations were conducted by Ms. Sheenah Hartigan, Executive Director of Enrollment Services, and Ms. Jenna Puglisi, Enrollment Services Technician, at Lakewood High School on November 18, 2020, for high school seniors in their English classes.

Southern Education Center

  • Development of the Promoting Learners to Achieve Now (P.L.A.N.) program, endorsed by the Barnegat Township Board of Education at its October 2020 meeting, continues with the goal of implementation for the 2021-2022 school year. P.L.A.N. will utilize existing dual enrollment/embedded courses at Barnegat High School, along with Early College classes offered at the Southern Education Center (or other courses offered on the main campus in Toms River) to provide Barnegat High School juniors and seniors with an avenue to achieve 24-30 college credits before graduating from high school. 
The next step will involve developing an awareness campaign for Barnegat High School students and parents. Meetings with Ms. Leah Purpuri, Barnegat Township School District’s Supervisor of Guidance, Mr. James Hauenstein, Director of the SEC, and Ms. Sheenah Hartigan, are being scheduled to set up the informational campaign and timelines. Additionally, Mr. Hauenstein and Ms. Hartigan have involved Mr. Thomas Gialanella, Executive Director of School Relations, and Dr. Henry Jackson, Executive Director of Academic Success, to expand the opportunities afforded through the P.L.A.N. program to students at other county high schools.
  • The SEC Canvas site continues to be a message board to the more than 1,400 students who are taking or have taken courses identified as SEC-based, although currently in a remote model. During November, announcements were made supporting the following departments: OCC Foundation, Title III Academic Coaching services, Advising, and the Veterans and Military Resource Center. There have been 1,800 views registered for these Canvas announcements and the subsequent supporting documents posted as modules. This outreach will continue with other Student Services Departments to alert students to the support systems available. The next focused messaging will provide students with the avenues for Spring 2021 registration.
  • Mr. Jeff Kurz, SEC Student Services and Recruiting Specialist, and Ms. Michele Marcum, SEC Senior Student Services Technician, continue to assist Academic Advising and the HUB, respectively.
  • In conjunction with College Relations, OCC will be advertising the 20th anniversary of educational opportunity in Southern Ocean County at the SEC through the Southern Ocean Chamber of Commerce’s Spring/Summer Land and Sea publication. Land and Sea will be released with 15,000 hard copies available throughout the southern county in May; digital copies will be available through multiple formats as well.

Veterans and Military Resource Center

  • On November 11, 2020, the Veterans Town Hall event took place for the first time virtually, 
reaching over 130 people who completed the entire show of 56 minutes.
    • 39 people joined the live Q&A session
  • There were 17 inquiries for program and initiative development
  • Two scholarship requests equating to $2,000 towards Military and Veteran Success

The Veterans and Military Resource Center (VMRC) has confirmed continued support from Congressman Andy Kim to develop 2021 Veterans Town Halls, and a representative of Senator Corey Booker has confirmed interest in participating next year, which will bring more regional support to the overall program.

  • The VMRC has developed a News Report for the Southern Education Center. Mr. James Hauenstein reported interest increased dramatically over the first three days after it was released on November 19, 2020:
    • 18 views received on the first day
    • 240 views the second day
    • 321 views on the third day
  • Congressman Andy Kim announced the approval, as of November 20, 2020, of the Increased Local Hiring initiative for military construction programs that would put New Jersey building trades members to work on projects at the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and other military construction sites.
    Additionally, it was announced from the Armed Service Committee that the National Guard and Reserve received hazard pay equal to their active duty counterparts. This will provide critical pay to members of the New Jersey National Guard who are engaged in COVID-19 mitigation efforts state-wide.
  • The VMRC has started to develop the Veterans Voices television and radio program. The first invitations to participate went to the Founders of Project Refit, Mr. Dan Lombard and Mr. James Corbett ( ).
  • The VMRC Coordinator will interview local stakeholders within the military and veteran community, bring them to campus, and discuss the reasons Ocean County College is a premier location for all military and veteran resources and educational aspirations.
  • The goal of Veteran Voices, when launched, will be to increase the College’s representation as a pillar of veteran resources for both Ocean County and New Jersey. Producing this program will advocate for more student involvement, exercise support for veteran isolation and mental health resources both on and off campus, and clearly demonstrate the efforts of the College during the harsh times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

e-Learning and Learning Enterprises


  • The e-Learning team has begun the Honorlock implementation for the Spring 2021 semester. Over 250 online course sections will be utilizing proctoring or authentication. Honorlock instructor trainings will be offered during the months of December 2020 and January 2021.

Course Design 

  • Planning for the Fall 2021 course development schedule is complete. The team will focus on updating distance learning master courses to meet curriculum changes. SPAN 151, Beginner Spanish I, and SPAN 152, Beginner Spanish II, will be redeveloped by removing Rosetta Stone and utilizing other educational and design software to create high quality and engaging Spanish courses. This change is projected to reduce costs by $50,000 per academic year.

Hands-On Labs

e-Learning continues to work with the School of STEM Dean and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) on the redevelopment of distance learning science courses utilizing Hands-On Labs to reduce the cost of lab kits for students. This requires working with the e-Learning College Lecturers and SMEs to redevelop labs by designing virtual labs or assignments that meet the learning outcomes without using traditional lab kit components. Three courses were redeveloped for Spring 2021: BIOL 232, Microbiology; PHYS 171, Physics I; and PHYS 172, Physics II.
  • Dr. Eugene De Silva, Science College Lecturer II, has completed the redevelopment of Physics I and II. The students will have access to a free textbook, through open educational resources, and using simulated labs. This redevelopment, will save each student between $125 – $160, for a savings of up to $62,720 per year for the current average of 392 students. In November, Microbiology savings were mentioned as $650 per student; for 260 students per year, the savings totals $169,000. The redevelopment of these three courses could bring a savings of approximately $230,000 per year to students.
Additionally, the following courses will be redeveloped to minimize cost to online student learners. These courses were selected based on enrollment, priority, and cost to students.
    • Summer 2021
      • BIOL 130, Human Anatomy & Physiology I
      • BIOL 131, Human Anatomy & Physiology II
      • PHYS 281, General Physics I
      • PHYS 282, General Physics II
    •  Fall 2021
      • BIOL 114, Principles of Biological Science
      • CHEM 283, Organic Chemistry I
      • CHEM 284, Organic Chemistry II

Academic Affairs Projects/Workforce Development

  • Two Part-Time Instructional Designers who are assisting with Academic Affairs-related projects are currently working with designated face-to-face faculty members to design and develop a Face- to-Face Hybrid Master Course Shell for instructors. The shell is being developed to allow courses to have a similar brand and user experience for students. This will include a course Homepage, as well as a Get Started Module with content items that the design and faculty members felt were important to include across all subject areas. The Instructional Designers will be completing this project the week of December 7, 2020.
  • The Instructional Designers will also assist with the 3+1 Ocean County College/Southern New Hampshire University Partnership. Ms. Rachel Doss-Block, Associate Director of e-Learning, is currently working with Mr. Seth Matthews, Associate Dean of Social Sciences at SNHU, to obtain access to the two courses that will be hosted and taught by OCC’s instructors on OCC’s LMS, Canvas. Once access is provided, the Instructional Designers will begin to copy the course content from SNHU and build it into a course shell in OCC’s LMS. This will require using the Distance Learning Master Course Template, removing SNHU branding, as well as expanding content and assessments to meet the fifteen-week course structure.
  • Additionally, instructional design assistance is being provided for the development of online courses for Workforce Development. The following courses are currently being designed and developed with the help of Part-Time Instructional Designer Elizabeth Metzger. Course completion is projected for April 2021.
    • Business Engagement
    • Community Healthcare Worker
    • Veterinarian Technician
    • Alternative Certification (Education)
    • Center for Advancement


  • The Instructional Design and Technology team is currently searching for a Part-Time Instructional Designer and will soon be posting for two Full-Time Lead Instructional Designer positions.

Professional Development

  • In an effort to promote the innovation of online education, the e-Learning Department continues to host weekly professional development sessions. Scheduling information and recordings can be found in the CIE at
  • Dr. Christine Webster-Hansen, Assistant Dean of e-Learning, and Ms. Laura Wingler, e- Learning, Instructional Designer, will represent the e-Learning Department at the Online Learning Consortium Innovate Conference in March 2021, by presenting on From Facilitation to Instruction: Supplementing Online ‘Master Courses’ through Multimodal Communication and Technology. This presentation will provide instructors of pre-built online courses with examples of how to engage students and supplement existing material through educational technology.
  • More than 40 instructors attended the e-Learning Department’s November Adjunct Roundtable. Keynote speaker Dr. Howaida Wahby Eraky, Assistant Dean of e-Learning, International Programs, presented Gen Z in 10 Minutes to orient instructors to the educational needs of contemporary college learners, and Ms. Laura Wingler presented Engaging Gen Z Learners, which highlighted ways of incorporating graphics, polls, and gaming within online courses.

College-Wide Contributions

  • On November 17, 2020, Ms. Patricia Kunzman, e-Learning College Lecturer II, organized a live Webex presentation entitled Entrepreneurial/Small Business Management Series for Business students; five students from her class were available to attend, with invited guest speaker Mr. Rob Nagel, OCC alumnus and founder/owner of the Surf Taco restaurants. The purpose of the presentation was to provide students with direct access to an entrepreneur/business owner.
    Mr. Nagel presented his entrepreneurial story and discussed how he opened his first location in Point Pleasant Beach in 2001 on a shoestring budget. The business has grown to include 20 locations while weathering a very turbulent era, including 9/11, Super Storm Sandy, the Great Recession, and most recently COVID-19. He shared his philosophies on small business management and treating employees as assets. Students had the opportunity to ask questions of Mr. Nagel in a live session.
    Ms. Kunzman plans to continue offering these informational and engaging entrepreneurial sessions for students each Spring and Fall semester.
  • Additionally, on November 20, 2020, Ms. Kunzman presented Resume Writing and Interview Techniques, a live Webex workshop for Hospitality and Business students during the Hospitality Virtual Pathway to Success Program, sponsored by Hospitality College Lecturer Sean Bips and the OCC Hospitality Department. The purpose of the workshop was to provide students with a thorough discussion on effective resume writing, as well as tips on cover letter creation and interview techniques. The one-day program was a collaborative effort, including Career Services.

International Education

Ocean County College, Ain Shams University, and Kean University Partnership 

  • New Cohort 5 students attended a face-to-face and asynchronous orientation and training sessions. The students started November 1, 2020, and a weekly check on their progress is being administered to ensure the success of their learning experience.
  • The Kean University team continues to meet with OCC’s e-Learning International team twice a month to follow up on the current program’s issues, such as marketing and student progress, as well as to discuss new potential programs in Egypt.

Alexandria University 

  • Dr. Maysa Hayward, Associate Vice President of International Programs, met with Dr. Hisham Gaber, Alexandria University Interim President and Vice President of Academic Affairs; Dr. Mohamed Abou El Naga, Interim Dean of Business School; and Dr. Magda Madbouly, Alexandria University Program Coordinator. The meetings included discussions on course sequences for the OCC/Kean/Alexandria University Business program as well as a tentative schedule for orientation and trainings before the targeted start date in February 2021. Meanwhile, Dr. Wahby-Eraky and Dr. Madbouly finalized the academic component of the operational plan. The financial and legal components are currently under review by our financial and legal teams. The Alexandria University program is scheduled to be launched in February 2021.

Partnership with Badr University 

  • Dr. Hayward met with Dr. Amr Al Atraby, Vice President of Badr University and former Dean of the School Business at Ain Shams University, to discuss the OCC/Badr University pilot programs. Badr University will start with the Business program, applying the three-way partnership between OCC/Kean/Badr in Management and Accounting. Dr. Mostafa Kamal, President of Badr University, also discussed Badr University’s need for OCC’s non-credit English for Specific Purposes (ESP) courses. Dr. Wahby-Eraky drafted a description of OCC’s ESP courses and is currently working with Dr. Eileen Garcia, Vice President of e- Learning and Learning Enterprises, and Ms. Sara Winchester on the final proposal. The targeted date to start the ESP courses is September 2021.

Special Programs

  • The special programs are still under review by the Curriculum Committees in Egypt. Upon the request of Dr. Khalid Abd El Ghaffar, Egyptian Minister of Higher Education, the International team resubmitted the Community College proposal with the affiliate four-year University options to be applied to the new National Universities as well as the four technological Universities in Egypt. Dr. Samir Hamza, Egyptian Cultural Attaché, is following up on the progress of the proposal with the Egyptian ministry.

OCC and New Jersey City University in Egypt

The contract draft is under a last review by New Jersey City University’s legal team.


  • The Board recognizes the dignity, worth, and free speech rights of each member of the community and the importance of public comment/discourse at Board meetings. Public comments will be invited in advance of meetings and by the Board Chair during meetings. The Board embraces, supports, and defends free speech, and it is the intent of the Board to promote and foster an atmosphere and environment where civil discourse takes place. The Board expects that each member of the community will treat other members with dignity and respect when public comments are made. Adopted: December 10, 2020

Required Reporting Statistics

Board of Trustees Meeting
December 9, 2020

The following has been prepared for presentation to the Ocean County College Board of Trustees, for its regular meeting. This report consists of all offenses defined as reportable crimes under the federal Jeanne Clery Act, fires, and other emergencies which occurred on campus during the reporting period of 11/6/2020 through 11/25/2020

1. A count and classification of all criminal incidents (defined as reportable crimes under the federal Jeanne Clery Act) which occurred on campus and which were recorded by campus security, campus security authority (CSA) or local police departments.

Date Crime Summary Status
Occurred: Reported: NONE
Occurred: Reported:

2. A list of campus alerts, threats, or emergencies which occurred on campus.

Date Alert/Threat Summary Status


3. A count and classification of all fire incidents which occurred on campus and which were recorded by campus security and local fire departments.

Date Fire Incident Summary Status

Respectfully Submitted,

John A. Lopez – Director of Security

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