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January 27, 2021

Dr. Larson’s January 2021 Report to the OCC Board of Trustees

OCC president Dr. Larson

Amendments to Board of Trustees Bylaws

Amendments to the attached two Board of Trustees Bylaws are being introduced at Thursday’s Board meeting. Following your review, they will be recommended for adoption at the February 25, 2021, Board meeting, in accordance with Policy #1370, Amendments to Bylaws.

  • Bylaw #1120, Mission of the College, is being amended to add the new mission statement that was included in the Ocean County College 2021-2026 Strategic Plan approved by the Board of Trustees at its June 25, 2020, meeting following a presentation by Alexa Beshara-Blauth, Executive Director of Institutional Planning, Effectiveness, and Compliance.
  • Bylaw #1252.2, Bylaws, Policy, and Curriculum Committee, is being amended to more clearly define procedures to ensure oversight of self-assessment by the Board of Trustees. The Office of Institutional Planning, Effectiveness, and Compliance has as one of its goals “to maintain compliance with Middle States Commission on Higher Education standards and to continue to receive commendations.” The self-assessment of the Board of Trustees clearly fits within that goal; therefore, the Office will assist in determining the timelines within which the Board undertakes self- assessment.

As the College carries out its self-study in preparation for the Middle States accreditation visit in 2023, current bylaws, policies, and procedures will be reviewed and updated over the next two years. I anticipate the process will bring forward many of the College bylaws and policies for approval by the Board.

Middle States

On January 6, 2021, Ocean County College received approval from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education for eight more high schools to become additional locations within the scope of its accreditation. The high schools that were approved include: Brick Memorial, Brick Township, Central Regional, Jackson Liberty, Jackson Memorial, Toms River East, Toms River North, and Toms River South. The reclassification of the status of these locations allows OCC to offer 50% or more of an academic program at the locations, expanding opportunities to students.

Spring 2021 Colloquium

The virtual Spring 2021 Colloquium took place on Thursday, January 21, 2021, at 9:30 a.m. Because it was virtual, my message was abbreviated. However, the Colloquium provided the opportunity to recognize new College employees; employees who have assumed additional responsibilities; employees who celebrated milestones of having served the College for twenty, thirty, and forty years; and employees selected for President’s Leadership Awards for Excellence.

Following a welcome from Dr. Antoinette Clay, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, and my comments, six virtual workshops relating directly to OCC’s new 2021-2026 Strategic Plan were offered for faculty and staff:

  • Workshop 1 – Goal 1: Empower Students to Learn, Engage, and Achieve
  • Workshop 2 – Goal 2: Optimize and Expand Enrollment of All Learners
  • Workshop 3 – Goal 3: Elevate Organizational Effectiveness
  • Workshop 4 – Goal 4: Expand Relationships
  • Workshop 5 – Snap, Crackle, Reflect: Dig into the Middle States Self-Study Process
  • Workshop 6 – The Return to Campus Plan: Flexible options for the Road Ahead

A copy of my comments is attached for your review, or, if you prefer, a video is available to view on the College website at

Academic Affairs

School of Nursing and Health Sciences

  • Sixty-two students completed the Nursing Program in December 2020 and are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN®). Licensure passing rates for Ocean County College continue to remain above the national scores.
  • Linda Simmons, BSN, RN, Nursing Lab Coordinator, introduced various products into lab and simulation experiences to engage students and support their learning of various hands-on nursing skills. These experiences included animated videos, which provided a review of various medication calculation formulas. Game-based learning was utilized to validate knowledge of hands-on skills and allowed students to compare their levels of knowledge to their peers. QR Codes were created to provide students the ability to quickly scan information to their phones on various topics, including lab procedures and CDC Guidelines, for future
  • Nursing students returned to campus on January 11, 2021, to begin practicing for competency validation. All returning students are required to demonstrate competency in skills previously learned at the beginning of each new semester. Students are also required to complete orientation programs for each clinical agency they will be attending during the semester.
  • Ninety students will begin the Nursing Program in the Spring 2021 semester. Orientation for new students took place on January 12, 2021. During the orientation program, students were introduced to program faculty, basic policies and procedures, and strategies to enhance learning. The Student Nurse Organization (SNO) also met with the students to welcome them to the School of Nursing.
  • Orientation for new Clinical Instructors took place on January 14, 2021. There are four new instructors joining OCC this semester. The orientation 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.
  • Faculty and staff met with all Clinical Instructors on January 14, 2021, to review Information on assignments, simulation and skills lab initiatives, and changes in policies and procedures. Faculty met with Clinical Instructors to discuss plans and schedules for the semester. This semester there are approximately 35 clinical rotations with 30 instructors assisting faculty within various clinical agencies.

School of Arts and Humanities

  • Each January, Assistant Professor of Communications Gary Shaffer and Associate Professor of English Jayanti Tamm lead a group of students and community members on a study abroad trip called Theatre in London. Since they could not travel this year, Shaffer arranged a reunion with former trip members on January 6, 2021. He assigned two streaming offerings from the National Theatre and the Donmar Warehouse for participants to watch in advance, and then the group met for a discussion of the plays. Twenty-four community members joined the event.
  • College Lecturer II in English Heather Sciarappa organized an Adjunct Professional Development Webex Series meeting, which featured a presentation on increasing adjunct faculty involvement in OCC and academic initiatives on and off This meeting included a presentation by College Lecturer II Robert Marchie, who encouraged participation in OCC’s multiple governance committees, overseeing student clubs and organizations, and engaging in discipline-specific organization membership, such as becoming a member of the National Endowment for the Arts or the Organization of American Historians. Additionally, English Adjunct Professor Christine Cassidy presented on using Breakout Rooms  in  Webex. As this is the first semester using this function, Ms. Cassidy reiterated how to divide students into breakout rooms from a technical perspective and then discussed how she uses breakout rooms in her class. She included sample lessons for student group work.
  • College Lecturer II in English Richard Carr is currently working on two tutorials for instructors, one of which is for importing specific content from one CANVAS class to another and the second is about hardware for instructors which could help them host stronger remote learning experiences. Carr also was recently featured in an article on about his academic journey entitled, How Learning How to Learn Is Rocking My Students’ World.
  • Kathleen Basilotto, Assistant Professor in the American Sign Language (ASL)-English Interpreting Program, organized virtual workshops by Wink and Mr. Crom Saunder for students during the 2020 Fall semester. These workshops focused on depiction in interpreting and idiomatic ASL. During Wink’s workshop, students worked on sentences to examine structures in source messages, discussed the options to depict, and then reexamined all structures to constrict the available options in order to construct a truly equivalent target message. During Mr. Saunder’s workshop, students learned idioms that are unique to ASL and Deaf Culture, to identify and use ASL idioms within appropriate context, and to understand ASL idioms to translate/interpret them appropriately.
  • On December 18, 2020, Music Instructor Karin Gargone and Fine Arts College Lecturer II Brian Gilmore hosted a Virtual Recital Series featuring pianist Devral Seidel. Seidel performed works by Beethoven and Chopin. The Music Club also presented a 2020 Winter Virtual Student Recital. Finally, Mr. Gilmore shared his recordings of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas to celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday.
  • School Dean Heidi Sheridan and Alexa Beshara-Blauth presented on the progress of the Middle States Self-Study to the Board of Trustees at the January 7, 2021, retreat.

School of Business and Social Sciences

  • Katherine Toy, College Lecturer II in Economics, reported that an additional 23 students completed the Bloomberg Market Concepts Certification during the 2020 Fall semester. To date, this brings the total number of OCC students who have earned the Bloomberg certification to 121. There will be a new group of students working on certification remotely during the 2021 Spring semester.
  • Margaret Maghan, College Lecturer II in Psychology, will be one of a group of Psi Beta officers who will collaboratively present at the 2021 American Psychological Association Virtual Conference. The topic of the symposium will be Psychosocial Factors of Undergraduate Students at Community Colleges and their Impact on Scholarship.
  • Stephanie Frattini, Interim College Lecturer II in Student Success, worked with the Grunin Center to schedule motivational speaker Kaila Mullady to visit all STSC-150 Student Success Seminar classes during the 2020 Fall semester. Ms. Mullaly is the 2015 and 2018 World Beatbox Champion and recently ended her run on Broadway as a cast member in Lin Manuel Miranda’s Hip Hop Improv Show titled Freestyle Love Supreme. In addition to her career as an artist and stage performer, Ms. Mullady travels the world to share her personal journey, while using her passion for beatboxing as a tool to teach students leadership skills, self- expression, goal setting, personal motivation, and community organizing.

Ms. Frattini also worked with the Grunin Center to coordinate a professional development workshop for Student Success adjunct faculty. The workshop, titled Trauma Informed Teaching, was conducted by Mr. Kevin Spencer, Adjunct Lecturer in Special Education at Carlow University in Pittsburgh. Faculty workshop participants were provided with guidelines, resources, and best practices in identifying trauma-related issues within the classroom. In addition to his role at Carlow University, Mr. Spencer is a research consultant for the Occupational Therapy Department and Arts in Medicine program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, a subject matter expert and Fulbright Specialist on arts integration for special populations for the U.S. Department of State, and an Approved Provider of Continuing Education for the American Occupational Therapy Association.

  • Denise Gaetano, Assistant Adjunct Professor in Social Work, worked with student members of the Social Work Club to organize, collect, and assemble gift bags for residents of the dementia wing of Hampton Ridge Rehabilitation Center. Students were able to successfully socially distance to make up the gift bags, each of which contained either a doll or stuffed animal, pocket tissues, puzzle book, and a customized joke. Forty-six bags were assembled and given to the rehabilitation center to be distributed to the residents for the holiday season.

School of STEM

  • The School of STEM, Computer Studies, hosted a Webex lecture by Cheryl Cooper on Friday, November 13, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. Dr. Cooper discussed an overview of the cybersecurity environment, including vulnerabilities, privacy and information liability, cyber- attacks and counter cyber-measures, the effect of COVID-19 and remote learning, and a look ahead at future cybersecurity challenges. She also discussed the gap in the number of women and minorities in STEM careers and recommended ways to pursue a career in cybersecurity. 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 a university adjunct professor teaching cybersecurity and is the founder and president of Women in Security Mentors, Inc., whose mission is to promote women and minorities in STEM careers.
  • The Computer Studies Department published Vol. 2, No. 3, in its series of Newsletters, which can be viewed here: CS Newsletter (PDF)
  • The number of labs returning to campus will increase for Spring 2021, drawing from lessons learned, best practices, and successes.
  • OCC is one of ten community colleges chosen as a recipient of a national grant through the Department of Education. The Pathway to Credentials grant is designed to give students industry-recognized credentials stacked into their degrees. Recently STEM has partnered with New Jersey Natural Gas with this in
  • OCC is on track to become an academia partner to the EC-Council, the organization offering Certified Ethical Hacker certification.
  • Sylvia Riviello, Dean of STEM, and Ms. Pam Bogdan, College Lecturer II in Engineering, presented remotely at PADLA (Pennsylvania/Delaware/New Jersey Distance Learning Association, “Striving for Seamless Delivery of Instruction Across All Modalities.”
  • The final session in a series of Fall STEAM Spatial Visualization workshops for middle schoolers was held on Thursday, December 3, 2020. Many students are looking forward to the Spring workshops. When polled, students said they would not change anything and also expressed interest in the Engineering Design Contest.
  • Pam Bogdan applied for and received a grant from the OCC Foundation in the amount of $7,840 to be used for prizes/awards in the upcoming Engineering Design Contest for students.
  • Antoinette Clay, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, reports that Title III has received approval from Department of Education to fund “Hot Spots” for OCC students who have limited or no internet access. Upon request, OCC students will receive a Chrome Book with WiFi activation for the 2020 Spring semester to ensure their internet accessibility.
  • Finally, from Amir Sadrian, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, OCC’s Workforce and Professional Education organization began a new $450,000 grant cycle for the Work Readiness Assistance Program (WRAP) Grant in December 2020, which will run through September 2021. The grant is to serve and support 68 Ocean County youth and young adults experiencing significant barriers to successful education and employment. The grant has enabled the College to add a Job Development Specialist, who will be connecting young adults with local internship opportunities. From January 11 to February 19, 2021, participants will go through an “Exploration of Career Pathways and Entrepreneurship” boot camp to obtain a better understanding of their unique strengths and interests and how those may translate into a sustainable career path. This month, nine young adults attended the Ocean County Achievement Center Orientation. These participants will join the 30 active at-risk youth currently served by the OC Achievement Center.

Finance and Administration

  • The new COVID-19 relief measure (commonly referred to as Stimulus funding), approved by Congress December 21, 2020, and signed into law December 27, 2020, provides $22.7 billion in emergency assistance for higher education institutions and students. The Department of Education has not yet released how it will allocate the main pot of $20.2 billion in the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act to nonprofit colleges and universities around the country. The American Council on Education (ACE) estimates that Ocean County College may receive approximately $8 million, with at least $2.3 million to be distributed directly to students.

The funding formula in the new law is based on institutional enrollments, both twelve-month headcount and full-time equivalent, with an emphasis on Pell Grant recipients. Unfortunately, the law does not repeal prior guidance on student eligibility for emergency aid, which says that only those who can participate in Title IV federal student aid programs can receive money. It is possible that the Biden administration will repeal this guidance and allow the College to provide funds to all needy students.

Other than the requirement that colleges must spend a portion of the funding on emergency grants to students, the statutory language appears to provide schools with wide discretion on how to award student assistance and spend the money to meet institutional needs. But the Department of Education has not yet released guidance on this round of funding, and any forthcoming direction could limit how colleges can use the money. Because guidance on how colleges can spend this funding is not yet available, the FY 22 budget will not be presented for approval at Thursday’s meeting. It is expected that this funding will have a material impact on the FY 22 operating budget, and it is in the College’s best interest to delay the budget until this funding can be included.


Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration Sara Winchester, Director of Facilities Jim Calamia, and Director of Safety and Security John Lopez presented a workshop on the College’s plans for a gradual return to campus. The plans developed by the Back to Campus Committee were discussed as were possibilities for Spring and future semesters. Most of the time was devoted to questions and answers, and attendees had the opportunity to offer suggestions based on lessons learned during the 2020 Fall semester. The workshops were very well attended and the campus community appreciated learning about the procedures currently in place for the use of the campus and the many improvements and upgrades that have been made to safety and cleanliness.

As noted previously, several Finance and Administration employees were honored with awards at Colloquium. The President’s Award for Excellence at the team level was awarded to the Information Technology team members; the award at department level went to Mr. Matthew Tutela from  the  Facilities  Department;  and  the  award  at  college-wide  level  is  shared  by  Ms. Jaqueline D’Amore from Human Resources and Mr. Kenneth Malagiere from the OCC Foundation.


In early January, the College was notified that the State of New Jersey will be granting institutions of higher education an extension on the Coronavirus Relief Funding (CRF). Previously allocated CRF I and CRF II funding had a spending deadline of December 30, 2020. Institutions have been granted additional time to expend this funding; the new deadline is March 30, 2021. This is good news for OCC, as expending the highly restricted funds in such a tight time frame was problematic, and the time extension will help ensure that all allocated funding is expended.

Ocean County College Foundation

Blauvelt Speaker Series Update

Best-selling author and journalist David Ignatius will be at OCC for a virtual lunch and learn on Wednesday, March 3, 2021, at 12:30 p.m. Dr. Temple Grandin will be welcomed back to OCC on Saturday, March 13, 2021. Advanced registration is required, and both events and more information can be found at

The Blauvelt Speaker Series Committee continues to meet as it develops the balance of the Spring 2020 Series and continues into Fall 2021 and beyond.


The current scholarship award period is well underway. Named scholarships will be awarded this week for the coming Spring semester. All rollover awards from the Fall semester have been submitted to the cashiers to be posted to student accounts.

Efforts continue through the HUB and Student Affairs teams daily to reach students with 2020 Fall semester balances to bring them current so eligible students may enroll in the 2021 Spring semester using the recently approved dollar for dollar match opportunity provided by the Foundation. With much appreciation to the Foundation Board’s leadership, these opportunities will have a meaningful impact for the students of Ocean County College.

Major Gifts Update

The Foundation has received this month the final installment of the H. Hovnanian Pledge of $500,000. Discussions continue with Academic Affairs to identify specific opportunities that would qualify for the additional $1.25 million set-aside funds available under the grant agreement.

The Gia Maione Prima Foundation Pledge payment has also been received to bolster its expendable Fund for the Arts and the Performing Arts Academy.

Annual Appeal

To date, the Foundation’s annual appeal has raised an additional $30,000 for the students of OCC, which is a tremendous response given the vast majority of gifts in this campaign have been under $100.

The Year Ahead

The Foundation is currently working with its Board Chair and respective committees to determine special events dates for 2021 and into 2022. The Annual Scholarship Celebration is scheduled to be held on Friday, June 18, 2021, guidance permitting.

The Foundation and Alumni Advancement, in partnership with community organizations and College divisions, have scheduled SUP the River, the annual stand-up paddle board race on the Toms River, for Saturday, September 18, 2021.

The Annual Foundation Golf Outing has been scheduled for Tuesday, October 12, 2021.

College Relations

TV Studio

The pilot program Veteran’s Voices, a collaborative effort with Mr. Ryan Luurtsema, Coordinator of the Veterans Military Resource Center, and the TV Studio, was filmed and will air on Ocean TV 20. The half-hour show features the co-founders of Project Refit, a veteran’s organization which provides services to active military, veterans, and first responders to combat PTSD and related issues adjusting to civilian life.


The Winter/Spring 2021 Ocean Views alumni magazine is complete and in production. This issue features a Nursing alumna with deep-rooted ties in the local community; OCC’s Vice President of e-Learning, Dr. Eileen Garcia, who helped steer the College during its transition to remote instruction and operation; several student highlights and accomplishments; and many exciting and newsworthy stories of how OCC continues to be a beacon of light in our community. The issue will be distributed to over 38,000 alumni, donors, and community leaders in an effort to highlight OCC’s accomplishments and promote the OCC brand. The

magazine will mail February 10, 2021, and be in homes in mid-February. An online flipbook version can be viewed here:×1 1_v


Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG)

The New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education has provided $265,000 in funding, which will be used to support HUB staff and to increase marketing initiatives. The project is managed by Ms. Sara Winchester during the period November 15, 2020, through June 30, 2021.

Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success

The U.S. Department of Education, Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) has awarded OCC $444,130 over a three-year period, January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2023, and designated the College as a Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success. The project will be managed by Mr. Ryan Luurtsema.

Funding will be utilized to:

  • Support the expansion of the Veterans and Military Resource Center and staff under the leadership of Ryan Luurtsema to create a centralized location for all student- veteran needs.
  • Improve veteran student enrollment, persistence, and completion rates.
  • Holistically support veteran students academically, technologically, socially, emotionally, and physically during their time at OCC.
  • Train OCC faculty and staff on how to best support student-veterans.
  • Engage student-veterans in meaningful workshops related to soft skill development, career, advising, finances, and transition to civilian life.
  • Create new opportunities for veteran engagement and recognition.
  • Facilitate broader marketing and outreach initiatives.
  • Expand program creation, mentorship, and partnerships within the community of Ocean County.
  • Bridge the Joint-Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst partnership and program support.


  • College Relations and Enrollment Services collaborated on a campaign to promote the New Jersey City University partnership, including a landing page,, as well as partnership-branded email messages for prospective and new students.
  • Maureen Conlon, Associate Director of Web Services, collaborated with Middle States self-study co-chairs, Dr. Alexa Beshara-Blauth and Dean Heidi Sheridan on a Middle States Accreditation Process landing page that provides the College community with answers to common questions regarding the self-study process. A shortened URL,, was created for easy access to the page.

Human Resources

Training and Organizational Development

The Winter/Spring Training Calendar has been published and a training opportunity broadcast announcement was sent in mid-December to all employees. The online training catalog, residing in the Faculty/Staff portal, is updated to reflect the Spring 2021 line-up. Employees continue to participate in remote training. To date, 34 employees took the First- Time Supervisor Course and 84 took the Managing One-on-One Course.


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 26,  2020,  through  January 14, 2021.

Student Affairs


Student Planning and Advising Sessions

The Advising Office offered three New Student Information sessions during the Fall semester and leading into the start of the Spring semester. New students are given an overview to navigating OCC, including information on using Student Planning, connecting with resources, and understanding their schedules. They also have the opportunity to ask questions and receive assistance from advisors prior to beginning their first semester at OCC.

Transfer Update

Advising has continued to facilitate interaction between OCC students and four-year institutions. Coordinator of Transfer Services Laura Wills organized virtual visits with The College of New Jersey and New Jersey City University. OCC and Stockton University continue to collaborate to guide students through the Transfer Pathways Partnership, with OCC students earning a degree before transfer to Stockton.

NJCU also has several applications for the new 3+1 Business degrees for Spring 2021.


NJ STARS Coordinator Jennifer Kipp reports there are approximately nine NJ STARS students transferring to OCC from four-year institutions this Spring. Additionally, the NJ STARS Club hosted a Kahoot Night on December 16, 2020, to raise money for the Jersey Shore Animal Center.


Throughout the Fall semester, work continued to identify and resolve issues in Advise CRM (customer relationship management) regarding grade import from Canvas. Following a solution implemented by OCC’s IT department, the issues have been resolved, and usage of Advise will be able to move forward more productively in the Spring semester.

Plans for Advise include improving and expanding usage of the CRM to support the Title III grant. Additional alerts will be created to identify students early in the semester who need outreach and assistance from the Title III Coaches. Alerts will also be created to follow students throughout the semester and facilitate outreach to students with low course averages. Advising staff will use Advise to facilitate communications to advisees and document student interactions. In collaboration with the HUB, communications will be sent to pre-nursing students in order to provide them with timely and consistent information. Advise will also identify NJ STARS students who might be in jeopardy of losing their scholarships due to academic difficulties and facilitate outreach to them.

Career Services

  • On December 15, 2020, the Career Services department premiered its new CRM called Handshake, providing student engagement and connection to more than 500,000 employers and 1,000 colleges and institutions nationwide. Over 11,000 OCC students and new alumni have been added to the system, and it will be available to all past alumni and future students moving forward. Over 280 new employers have been added, making available over 1,700 internships and employment opportunities to OCC students and alumni.
  • OCC Computer Science major Sean Patrick O’Connor was selected for a prestigious virtual internship at Otsuka America, a global healthcare company, in its Applied Innovation and Process Improvement Team. This professional opportunity was offered to OCC students through a partnership with the New Jersey Council of County Colleges.

Counseling Center

  • The Counseling Center continues to be very busy, providing a full range of services and programs in remote operations. In December 2020, the Center partnered with the Planetarium to present the popular Sunset Meditation program; 24 people attended this inspiring presentation. Another session is being planned for the Spring.
  • For the 2020 Spring semester, a number of exciting activities are scheduled for remote operations. Two sessions of the evidence-based suicide prevention program, Question, Persuade and Refer (QPR), are scheduled for February 10 and March 9, 2021, in collaboration with the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Hundreds of OCC, Kean Ocean, and community members have trained in QPR over the past two years. On February 16, 2021, a two-hour Vision Board Retreat will be conducted. Supplies will be provided to students who want to create this powerful tool for setting and achieving goals as well as reducing stress and anxiety. Recognizing the increasing need for stress reduction and management, the weekly Relax and Recharge sessions on Thursdays will be continued, adding gentle yoga on the fourth Thursday of each month.
  • Addiction is being addressed through programs focused on tobacco cessation and alcohol use prevention. A renowned speaker, Matt Bellace, Ph.D., will present Finding Your Natural High, scheduled for April 12, 2021, as part of the OCC Supporting Students in Recovery Program. Funded in part by a grant from the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Supporting Students in Recovery Program served 80 students in its first program year. The Recovery Program continues to build in remote operations, utilizing the self-enrolled, non-credit Canvas course for programming and communication. The second year of the program began on October 1, 2020; activities include weekly recovery meetings, peer recovery coaching, community activities through partnership with Hope Sheds Light, and a series of seminars on academic issues to support student academic success.
  • Activities focused on retention and student success include the academic intervention program, Restore Your Score (RYS). Students with a second-level academic probation sanction were enrolled in a non-credit Canvas course. The students were contacted four times throughout the semester by phone and email, as well as through the RYS Canvas course. Individual meetings were held with 14 students. The academic results of all the students in the program are now being assessed.

This academic program is expanding to reach out to students with the first level of an academic warning sanction. These students were contacted throughout the semester by email and phone. Another non-credit Canvas course and program, Starfish, have been developed for the Spring semester for students with academic warning status. This program is designed to expand academic intervention and support to these students.

  • The Displaced Homemakers Program is providing services to 68 clients (19 new clients and 49 continuing clients). Two clients are enrolled in the Medical Assistant Certificate Program for the Spring semester, and one client will complete the evening Medical Assistant Program in June 2021. The program has assisted nine clients to secure employment this program year. Information sessions have been provided by staff for Providence House, Francis Counseling Center, Ocean County Mental Health Awareness Committee, Ocean County Mental Health Board, and Ocean County Commission on the Status of Women. Additional presentations are planned. The program continues to provide a full range of training in computer skills, employment, career, life, and professional development using WebEx.
  • The CARE Team has been working on reports submitted by faculty and staff. From July 1, 2020, to January 18, 2021, there were 427 reports filed, with 392 reports received since September 1, 2020. In comparison, for the same time periods in 2019, 157 reports were filed from July 1, 2019, to January 18, 2020, with 148 reports September 1, 2019, to January 18, 2020. A subcommittee to work on the academic CARE reports has been formed and will begin this Spring semester.
  • The counseling staff continues professional training in the salient issues related to student mental health and well-being. They attended the 17th annual suicide prevention conference, sponsored by the Rutgers Traumatic Loss Coalition and the NASPA Strategies Conference, focused on mental health, substance/alcohol prevention, sexual violence, and well-being/health issues. Displaced Homemakers staff attended a full-day professional development training by the State funder of the program.

Disability Services

  • The Office of 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. Disability Services is working collaboratively with e-Learning and the School of Arts and Humanities to launch Ally for Canvas for courses this 2021 Spring semester. Campus-wide outreach about Ally has been underway, and information was presented in the Lecturers Institute as well as the Adjunct Institute.
  • The OCC Institutional Review Committee approved Disability Services to collaborate with Rutgers School of Health Professions for research on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to Enhance Educational Outcomes Among Students with Psychiatric Disabilities in Post-Secondary Education.
  • Disability Services staff member Jamie Arasz Priolo completed training to obtain New Jersey Disaster Response Crisis Counselor (NJDRCC) certification. The NJDRCC certification represents a partnership between the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services’ Disaster and Terrorism Branch, the Mental Health Association of New Jersey, and The Certification Board of New Jersey, INC.
  • To continue community engagement and support, Disability Services is again collaborating with the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management in providing another Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training. This virtual training will be conducted in February 2021; to date, 29 individuals have enrolled, including 5 OCC students. The free CERT training is open for all staff, faculty, and students to participate.

Southern Education Center

  • Pinelands Regional High School has joined the Promoting Learners to Achieve Now (P.L.A.N.) program for the 2021-2022 school year. L.A.N. is a program whereby high school juniors and seniors will complete 24-30 college credits through a combination of dual enrollment/OCC embedded classes as well as OCC classes through the Early College program, likely taken at the Southern Education Center (SEC). After Mr. James Hauenstein, Director of the Southern Education Center, presented the concept to the District Guidance Department and it was reviewed by the Pinelands Regional School District administration, P.L.A.N. has been endorsed. The collaborative effort recognized Ms. Karen Kenny, Pinelands Regional Guidance Director, and Ms. Sue Raylman and Ms. Marla Heinemann, Guidance Counselors, for their support and active input. Subsequent to the endorsement, the Guidance Counselors, Mr. Hauenstein, and Ms. Sheenah Hartigan, Executive Director of Enrollment Services, have met to begin the process of outreach to students and parents regarding this opportunity in preparation for the 2021-2022 school year.

Pinelands Regional School District joins the Barnegat Township School District in the P.L.A.N. program.

Meetings involving Ms. Leah Purpuri, Barnegat Township School District’s Supervisor of Guidance, Mr. James Hauenstein, and Ms. Sheenah Hartigan have also occurred to develop the outreach to the students and parents regarding P.L.A.N. at Barnegat High School. PowerPoint slides are in draft form to be part of the annual guidance scheduling presentation. Additional efforts for informing the Barnegat community of the opportunities afforded students through the P.L.A.N. program are being developed.

  • During the Fall 2020 semester, the SEC Canvas shell was used as a message board to students based in Southern Ocean County. Previous messaging updates in this SEC report indicate the various departments utilizing the outreach through Announcements and Modules. The total views of these various Announcements exceed 10,000 for the Fall semester. This messaging platform will continue in the Spring 2021 semester as well.
  • Jeff Kurz, Student Services and Recruiting Specialist, SEC, and Ms. Michele Marcum, Senior Student Services Technician, SEC, continue to assist Academic Advising and the HUB, respectively.
  • Early College information was distributed via email to the Guidance Counselors at Pinelands Regional, Barnegat Township, Southern Regional, and OCVTS MATES. This outreach provided each high school guidance counselor with information that can be used to assist the high school students seeking to avail themselves of the opportunity to earn college credit through OCC during the Spring semester.

Veterans and Military Resource Center

  • The Veterans and Military Resource Center (VMRC) has been busy developing a marketing commercial to promote the televised program, Veterans Voices, with the plan of showcasing one or two episodes per month. Programs will include local non-profits that partner with OCC in support of the military-affiliated population, as well as broaden OCC resources for on- and off-campus collaborations. The program is broadcast on OceanTV20 and Comcast Channel 24. The YouTube platform is currently being developed with College Relations.
    • Episode one in January: Project Refit
    • Episode two in February: Operation Chillout, which focuses on homeless veterans of New Jersey, instilling rehabilitation practices, and coaching
  • Military and Veterans Information Sessions continue, with the second one held on January 14, 2021, led by the VMRC, in collaboration with Academic Advising, Financial Aid, Cashiers, Disability and Access, Southern Education Campus, and the Student Veterans Organization. Topics covered educational benefits, on- and off-campus resources, intra-department partnership with an on-boarding support team, program developments, future initiatives, and contact information for all military liaison personnel on campus. A total of 799 students opened the CANVAS course invitation, and 109 students were invited through “Reggie.”
  • Military-affiliated enrollment to date for Spring 2021 is 212 VET-Coded students, up from 201 students at the end of the Fall semester on December 23, 2020.
  • It is estimated there will be 225 military-affiliated students by the start of the Spring 2021 semester.

e-Learning and Learning Enterprises


The e-Learning Academic and Instructional Design and Technology Team completed the Honorlock implementation for the Spring 2021 term, including sections that are utilizing proctoring or authentication. By the end of the Spring 2021 semester, over 500 e-Learning online and face-to-face courses will be proctored. e-Learning will continue to facilitate Honorlock training for the College community.

Course Design

The Instructional Design and Technology Team continues to work on course development for the Summer 2021 term. The kick-off meeting for the Fall 2021 Course Developments will start in July 2021. This also includes Hands-On Labs STEM courses for face-to-face and online students, which are being evaluated to reduce the lab fees.


The Instructional Design and Technology Team is currently searching for two Lead Instructional Designers, a Part-Time Instructional Designer (CARES Funding), and a Graduate Intern position. Meanwhile, 22 new adjuncts and part-time instructors are scheduled to teach their first online classes this Spring. This includes a combination of newly hired e-Learning adjuncts as well as college lecturers from the academic schools.

Professional Development Series

The Spring 2021 e-Learning Professional Development Series began on January 21, 2021, and will continue to occur each week throughout the semester. The Spring semester will include evening sessions in addition to daytime sessions. The series offers opportunities to learn from OCC peers, vendors, and publishers about ways to enhance learning in an online environment. Detailed information on all sessions and links to attend are provided on the Center for Instructional Empowerment website. Additional information may be obtained by contacting Mr. Eric Daniels, Educational Technologist, at


In addition to requiring new instructors to complete a self-paced training course in Canvas, the e- Learning Department recently enhanced its onboarding process. Now, all new e-Learning instructors are invited to a live webinar two weeks before the term and are walked through the process of preparing their Canvas courses for publication. Then, a week into the term, they are given a second training in which the best online teaching practices are emphasized and instructors are offered strategies for achieving a successful teaching evaluation. The first training took place on January 13, 2021, and was led by Dr. Christine Webster-Hansen, Assistant Dean of e-Learning, and Mr. Eric Daniels. Over 25 instructors attended the orientation. A follow-up training is scheduled for February 3, 2021.

Adjunct Roundtables

This semester, student retention will be the focus of one or more roundtable discussions as instructors of high-enrolled, high-attrition courses are invited to provide insight into how to improve retention.


Ms. Vivian Lynn, Dean of e-Learning, and Mr. Eric Daniels presented at the Adjunct and Lecturer Institutes with Student Affairs. Ally is a product that integrates seamlessly into Canvas to improve course content accessibility for students and is a tool that supports both faculty and students. Ally automatically generates alternative formats—such as tagged PDF, HTML, electronic braille, or audio—that students can download and use to support their learning. In the Spring 2021 semester, over 300 instructors will participate in the pilot.

International Education

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

With the start of Spring semester, all pre-semester registering, training, and transferring of students to Kean University has been completed. With the postponement of Fall final exams and results at Ain Shams University due to COVID-19, the OCC team collaborated with the Kean University team to facilitate the acceptance of the students who might be affected by such a delay.

Discussions also began regarding the upcoming OCC/Kean/Ain Shams marketing plan for 2021-2022 in coordination with College Relations.

Badr and Alexandria University

Both Badr University and Alexandria University were sent agreement drafts for the Ocean/Kean B.S. in Business program. With the postponement of Spring semester in Egypt, both universities may delay the start of the program until Fall 2021.

Special Programs

  • Eileen Schilling, Executive Director of Academic Assessment, and Dr. Maysa Hayward, Associate Vice President of International Programs, continue to work on course mapping for programs needed in Egypt. Programs with William Paterson University are almost finalized.
  • OCC is extending the Egypt international program partnership discussions with Southern New Hampshire University and University of Maryland Global Campus.
  • Egyptian National and Technological Universities: A proposal for OCC’s and affiliates’ Special Programs was sent to El Galala and El Alamein National Universities. The documents are under review by the Egyptian Minister of Higher Education, Dr. Khaled Abd El Ghaffar.

OCC and New Jersey City University in Egypt

New Jersey City University’s legal team finalized the master agreement and sent it to MES counsel for final review.

New Projects

 Arab Academy for Management Banking and Financial Sciences

In November, Dr. Amr El Dabaa, Dean of the Academy, requested a proposal to deliver Business special programs with our affiliates to allow the academy to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Business. A working document was sent, and a response is expected after the Academy’s winter break.

Potential Nigeria Tech Park/Smart City Educational Hub

Dr. El Sobky, founder and Managing Director of the ACACIA Integration GmbH, Berlin, Germany, asked OCC and its affiliates to be part of a consortium led by ACACIA Integration. OCC will be responsible for the Education Hub of the project in four Nigerian states. The project is sponsored by the African Bank for export and import. The International team delivered a community college proposal as a working paper to Dr. El Sobky, which is under review.

Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ                               BYLAWS FOR THE OPERATION OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES GENERAL

Mission of the College #1120


Ocean County College, an innovative academic leader, provides affordable, student-centered, high- quality educational experiences that empower diverse learners to succeed.

To  achieve  its  mission,  OCC  invests  in  and  fosters   academic,   economic,   and   cultural   excellence and ensures financial strength by  generating  multiple  revenue  streams,  engaging  in  national and international university and corporate partnerships, and cultivating a technologically progressive and entrepreneurial spirit.

It is the mission of Ocean County College to foster excellence and a caring environment through its commitment to:

  • Offer comprehensive educational programs that develop intentional learners of all ages and ensure the full assessment of student learning in these programs;
  • Provide broadly-based student support, starting from our initial contact with every individual, regardless of his or her unique needs;
  • Measure employee attitudes toward the workplace and student attitudes toward the learning experience and make responsive adjustments in institutional strategies;
  • Provide a well-designed campus and facilities with advanced technology;
  • Address our human resource needs by recruiting and hiring highly qualified people and continuing to develop the potential of each employee;
  • Generate and manage fiscal resources to best serve strategic priorities;
  • Organize a leadership team committed to outreach, development, engagement, institutional effectiveness, and a fully realized implementation of the college’s vision;
  • Reach out to members of the Ocean County community and beyond in order to create meaningful, fulfilling, and mutually beneficial

ADOPTED: February 22, 1965

Revised: November 7, 1983

Revised: August 21, 1995

Revised: December 13, 1999

Revised: December 13, 2004 Revised: January 28, 2021

Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ                               BYLAWS FOR THE OPERATION OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES ORGANIZATION

Committees of the Board Standing Committees

Bylaws, Policy, and Curriculum #1252.2


The Bylaws, Policy, and Curriculum Committee shall be responsible for and shall make recommendations to the full Board regarding the following areas:

The policy development for the total organization and operation of Ocean County College. The development and approval of the program offerings.

The determination of the need for new programs.

The evaluation of the effectiveness of the programs being offered.

The oversight of the Board’s self-assessment procedures., as recommended by the Office of Institutional Planning, Effectiveness, and Compliance to ensure compliance with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

ADOPTED: February 22, 1965

Revised:  November 7, 1983                                                               REVIEWED: March 5, 1991

Revised: April 28, 2008 Revised: January 28, 2021

Spring 2021 Ocean County College Colloquium Remarks

January 21, 2021

9:30 a.m.

Jon H. Larson, Ph.D.


“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.”

–     Mark Twain

Good morning! Welcome to a new year!

Farewell to 2020 – may we all look forward to a better year in 2021, keeping in mind Ralph Waldo Emerson’s advice:

“This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.”

Thank you, Toni, for your comments. I hope the little dance video featuring Dr. Clay and me ‘hoofing it’ brought a smile to your faces!

Thanks to Ralph Bertini, our resident videography genius, who produced this number with a little help from Jib Jab, so we can kick off our Spring Semester with a little fun. Ralph enjoyed this as much as the dancers! And, no; Toni and I will not be giving dance lessons when we all return to campus!

The breakout sessions will seek to find answers as to how we can make our time over the next two years and following “a very good one” for each of us and for our wonderful institution, Ocean County College.

Our Theme for this Colloquium is:

Reflections on the Past with an Eye to the Future: How the 2021 Strategic Plan and Upcoming Self-Study will Shape OCC for Years to Come”

I urge everyone to take an active part in these reflections and forecasts. Our Core Accreditation Team and the Self-Study Committee, led by Dr. Alexa Beshara-Blauth and Heidi Sheridan, have worked very diligently over the past year to make available to our entire campus family opportunities to contribute to the Self-Study.

We all need to understand the new Middle States Commission on Higher Education standards and processes, as well as to integrate the goals of the Self-Study into our strategic plan, “Ocean County College at the Helm: Leading People to a Better Life.”

When the Middle States accreditation site visit occurs in the Spring Semester of 2023, it is essential that every member of our College community is ready to knowledgably engage with the visiting team.

Alexa and the Self-Study Committee have developed some aids to assist you in being ready – a pocket guide to the goals we have set for our Self-Study and an outline of the key aspirations of our strategic plan.

We want you to carry this fold-out guide with you when you come to campus and refer to it periodically. We will be offering an incentive program involving random checks to see if you have your copy of the pocket guide. If you do, the reward will be, in addition to your well-deserved pride, a variety of scrip chits you can use in the Bookstore and the Cafeteria. We will keep a record of the winners and have a group get-together when we hear the visiting team recommendations. In 2023, it should be COVID-safe to do so.

Because we have a significant number of employee recognitions and awards to present, we are foregoing the usual lengthy recitation of achievements during the Fall Semester in favor of a briefing on our state of operations under Governor Murphy’s Executive Orders establishing conditions that we must meet before we can return to normal on-campus operations and instruction.

At this time, the principal author of the Return to Campus Plan, Heidi Sheridan, will explain where we are now and what we anticipate is likely to be our modus operandi for the Spring and Summer terms. I will pick up with the recognitions and awards following Heidi’s presentation.

Executive Vice President, Sara Winchester, who chairs the Return to Campus Committee, Jim Calamia, and John Lopez will take questions about these likely scenarios during the breakout sessions.

We have a number of new employees to introduce whom we hired since our Fall Colloquium, as well as many current employees with new responsibilities.

Our new employees include:

  • Matthew Ascah, Faculty Training Coordinator, Title III
  • Carmine Bousanti, Security Officer II
  • William Brownson, Laboratories Technician
  • Lauren Burbank, Instructional Design Specialist
  • Scott Cuthbert, Part-Time e-Learning Instructional Designer
  • Brian Deturo, Senior LMS Support Services Technician
  • Lianet Falcon, Part-Time e-Learning Instructional Designer
  • Carly Kutsup, Instructional Design Specialist
  • Jaime Lepore, Security Officer II
  • Gerlando LoTempio, Part-Time Professional Tutor in Writing
  • Kaiby Sandoval, Financial Aid Technician
  • Susan Schneider, College Lecturer II in Nursing and Health Sciences

Employees who have new position responsibilities and subsequent position title changes are:

  • Mary-Beth Brophy, Part-Time Professional Tutor in Writing
  • Kayci Clayton, Associate Director, Grant Administration
  • Krista Croghan, Part-Time e-Learning Instructional Designer
  • Stephanie Frattini, College Lecturer II in Student Success Seminar
  • Melissa Jerden, Office and Resource Coordinator, WRAP Grant
  • Ryan Kelly, Help Desk Technician
  • Ann Lohrey, Academic Administrator, Early College Program
  • Marybeth Millan, College Lecturer II in Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Dinara Sherman, Assistant Buyer
  • Jonathan Weiss, College Lecturer II in Computer Science
  • Kevin Wright, Part-Time Security Officer II

Now, our Employee Years of Service Recognitions:

  • Employees completing twenty years of service are:
    • Patrick Chidume, Adjunct Associate Professor of Social Sciences
    • Debora Humphreys, Senior Employee Benefits Specialist
    • Cathy Lanzetti, Registration and Records Technician
    • Janine Martins-Shannon, Adjunct Associate Professor of Social Sciences
    • Alison Noone, Assistant Director of Student Life
    • Laidley Ramdeen, Adjunct Associate Professor of Mathematics
    • Eileen Schilling, Executive Director of Academic Assessment
    • Linda Smolinski, Adjunct Associate Professor of English and Literature
    • Sydney Stroman, Assistant Director of Security
    • And me!
  • Thirty-year employees are:
    • Yvonne Doval Von Scheidt, Assistant Director of Educational Opportunity Fund
    • Shirley Grone, Assistant Professor of Mathematics
    • Garrett Joest, Adjunct Associate Professor of Business Studies
  • And, celebrating forty years of employment are:
    • Neil Lavender, Professor of Social Sciences, and
    • Debra Pfaff, Academic Administrator of the School of Arts and Humanities

Congratulations to all! We very much appreciate your contributions to the College for all these many wonderful years.

We also have a number of retiring employees, all of whom deserve our recognition and appreciation for their service to the College as well as our best wishes as they move into the future. They are:

  • Louise Archetti, Nursing Clinical Instructor, January 1, 2021
  • Mary Ellen Carr, Professor of English, January 1, 2021
  • Patricia Chirco, Part-Time Assistant Buyer, October 1, 2020
  • Ellen Corvinus, Administrative Assistant, Library, October 1, 2020
  • Joseph Czachowski, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Humanities, September 1, 2020
  • Joseph DiMeo, Security Officer II, January 1, 2021
  • Pamela Falcone, Adjunct Associate Professor of Social Sciences, December 1, 2020
  • Kaaren Finberg, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, February 1, 2021
  • Joseph Heumiller, Construction Project Manager, October 1, 2020
  • Raymond Hohman, Adjunct Associate Professor of Business Studies, October 1, 2020
  • Nidhal (Nancy) Marashi, e-Learning Adjunct Assistant Professor of Science, January 1, 2021
  • Lori Sefcik, Part-Time Academic Coach, Title III, December 1, 2020
  • Barbara Whitby-Hayles, College Lecturer II-Nursing, June 1, 2021
  • Roy Wilkens, Manager of Recreational Activities, September 1, 2020,
  • Linda Wilson, Nursing Office Coordinator, June 1, 2021, and
  • The longest serving full-time faculty member in Ocean County College history (55 years!) William Rickert, July 1, 2021!

Let us give all our retirees a hearty round of American Sign Language applause in appreciation of their service!

Thank you!

President’s Awards For Excellence

And, now, we present the President’s Awards for Excellence to recognize individuals for their work at Ocean County College.

The purpose of this program is to acknowledge and express appreciation for outstanding accomplishments at the department, division, and College-wide levels that do not fall entirely within the scope of normal duties, but, rather, clearly indicate above-and-beyond routine efforts. Employees are nominated based on their achievements in one or more of the following criteria, all of which support the College’s strategic plan. The categories are:

  • Outstanding Service to Students
  • Efficiency and Innovation
  • New Markets, and
  • Work Environment

The award recipients were nominated by their fellow employees and all nominations were reviewed and considered by the President’s Leadership Team.

Each recipient receives a monetary award, an engraved cup (which you will receive after it is engraved with your name), and lunch with the President’s Leadership Team, when we can return to the campus. This year, awards will be mailed to recipients’ homes. Additionally, engraved cups for each award level will reside in the Administration Building in a showcase, where, annually, awardee names will be added and displayed.

Without further ado, we are proud to recognize the outstanding performance of the recipients of the President’s Award for Excellence for the year 2020.

This year, given the many challenges faced as a result of the pandemic and the closing of the College campus in March, it was decided to add a Team Level Award. This award, in the category of “Efficiency and Innovation,” is being awarded to the members of the Information Technology department.

Many, many employees throughout the College deserve commendations for the outstanding work they undertook to continue the business of the College when the need arose to move all facets of our operations to a remote environment. However, none of it would have been possible without the tireless efforts of the Information Technology team. From the day the College closed last March, IT was available 24/7 to meet the needs of our students, teaching personnel, administration, and Board of Trustees.

Under the leadership of James ‘JR’ Ross, the IT team ensured that the technology needs of students, faculty, and staff were met and that laptops were available for all students and employees who needed them. The team met unbelievable challenges and disruptions at all hours of the day and night and successfully addressed every one of them. IT staff have been on campus consistently since the pandemic began to ensure service to students and College business was uninterrupted. We all owe all members of the IT staff our appreciation for all they have done for us.

The recipients of the Team Level Awards are:

  • James ‘JR’ Ross, Chief Information Officer
  • Kevin Braendly, Audio Visual Support Coordinator
  • Bennett Broder, Lead Network and Information Security Administrator
  • Erich Carstens, Assistant Director, User Services
  • Stefan DeRosa, Programmer Analyst
  • Richard Futrell, Programmer Analyst
  • Robert Herbst, PC Technician
  • Kirk Humphreys, Network and Unified Communication Administrator
  • Anthony Jordan, Enterprise Applications Director
  • Thomas Murasky, Virtual Desktop Administrator
  • Steven Myszka, Network and Systems Administrator
  • Sean O’Leary, Technical Director
  • Joseph Pelkey, Senior Programmer Analyst
  • Patrick Stivale, Senior Network and Systems Administrator
  • Nicholas Tyler, Programmer Analyst
  • Thomas Van Duyne, PC Technician
  • Nicole Wehnke, PC Technician, and
  • Ellen Younger, OIT Office Coordinator

Congratulations to the Information Technology team members on this well-deserved recognition of your exceptional service to Ocean County College and its students!

Now, the recipient of the President’s Award for Excellence at the Department Level is Matthew Tutela, Campus Services Coordinator. Matt was nominated in the category of Work Environment.

Matt is being recognized for his excellent service to the College community, pre-COVID and especially over the trying times we have experienced since March.

Pre-COVID, Matt authored and produced a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) to serve as a reference guide that captured valuable information on how “things get done” within the Physical Plant Department. Matt’s 21-page SOP is so well done that it has become the standard for other departments to follow.

During the current pandemic, Matt has been a welcome visible presence to the members of the campus community who arrive to receive departmental mail and deliveries. He has been a “jack- of-all trades.” With steady confidence, he assumed many additional responsibilities related to work control, warehouse receiving and inventory, and payroll, and he quickly resolved any unusual issues or difficulties that arose. He has admirably filled in when there was work to be completed and always offered assistance when needed. Matt did all these extra activities voluntarily and successfully.

Perhaps Matthew’s best attributes are his positive attitude and physical presence, trustworthiness and accountability, innovation, and superior customer service, all of which contribute to the overall morale of the campus community. He does whatever is needed and has been an invaluable asset to Campus Services and to the College. His performance deserves recognition.

Therefore, we are proud to present this Department Level Award to Matthew Tutela for his outstanding service and commitment to the College.

The recipient of the President’s Award for Excellence at the Divisional Level is Dr. Tracy Walsh, Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. Tracy was nominated in the categories of “Outstanding Service to Students.”

Dr. Walsh has been a leader at OCC for many years; the School of Nursing has been ranked consistently in the top tier of institutions in New Jersey as measured by both high NCLEX scores and graduation rates. We have observed her excellent leadership and consistent performance as she ensured that our Nursing students could continue their education despite the effects of COVID- 19.

When the Governor’s Executive Order forced the campus to close and shift to remote operations last Spring semester, it was an uncertain time for everyone, but especially for the School of Nursing because of the hands-on skills that are required for a practitioner in this field.

Tracy was faced with some difficult tasks. She successfully moved to a virtual setting for delivery of courses as well as coordinated the activities of our Nursing students with the various clinical sites. Three unique factors complicated this transition: remote learning was not commonplace in nursing; the State Board of Nursing had not yet defined any shift in its expectations for the pedagogy of nursing in a remote learning environment; and clinical placements were ‘on hold’ because the hospitals were unsure how to address the issue of placing students in their facilities at the start of the pandemic.

Without much guidance from the State Board of Nursing or ACEN, the national accreditation agency for nursing, Tracy established new guidelines to ensure that OCC’s program would meet the expectations of the State Board. She also collaborated closely with the clinical sites to maintain the student experience at a similar level as before the pandemic, while, at the same time, ensuring the safety of the students and instructors in the laboratories and clinical sites.

Tracy achieved these great successes by exhibiting outstanding leadership qualities, staying positive, and working collaboratively with her team and external constituent groups. Through her efforts and by tracking the progress of her students, we expect that the same level of learning outcomes that have become the standard for OCC will continue in this COVID-19 environment. This success is a clear indication of Tracy’s commitment to exceptional student service.

We thank you, Tracy, for your innovation and outstanding efforts on behalf of the Nursing Department, the College, and our students!

This year we have two recipients of the President’s Award for Excellence at the College-Wide Level. The first is Jacqueline D’Amore, Senior Human Resources Specialist in Talent and Organizational Development, who was nominated in the category of Work Environment.”

Jackie is a perennial strong performer, and her commitment to the College and her job are apparent on a regular basis. At the time of the College’s closure due to the pandemic, Jackie rapidly and effectively moved Human Resources Training and Organizational Operations to a remote operating service, providing much-needed support to managers and employees.

In less than a month, Jackie’s team of two (herself and another staff member in HR who reports to her) posted 70 self-paced study courses to the OCC employee training site and methodically began to move internally-developed face-to-face training courses to the virtual delivery mode. Included in this were two courses that are foundational to maintaining OCC’s high- performance employee culture: “The Ocean Way” and “Managing One-On-One.” Jackie also understood and responded immediately to the need for training to address the new work environment reality; she deployed the course, “Managing Your Team Remotely,” as well as two other courses addressing work- related issues in a remote environment.

When it was time to prepare for the Fall 2020 semester limited restart on campus, Jackie coordinated the development and implementation of informational/procedural training with “Return to Campus, Fall 2020—What You Need to Know.”

One of the overarching goals of our strategic plan, ‘Charting Our New Course,’ is to enhance individual employee performance and the intrinsic work culture at OCC through a variety of means, with training and skill development providing the foundation. Jackie’s rapid response to the new reality for remote operations honored all the progress that has been made in this regard and has been critical to how well the College has transitioned to and continues to operate in this remote mode.

Jackie’s achievements during the pandemic/remote operations embody most of the Principles of the Guiding Coalition. She was proactive, supportive, communicative, positive, courageous, collaborative, and accountable in her tireless efforts to make Training and Organizational Development available and accessible as quickly as possible.

Thank you, Jackie, for your influence in enabling enhancement of employee performance and the work culture at OCC – to the benefit all of our employees!

Our second recipient of the College-Wide President’s Award for Excellence is Ken Malagiere, Executive Director of the Ocean County College Foundation, who was nominated in the category of “Outstanding Service to Students.”

Ken has helped the Foundation become a more agile organization, able to react quickly to the ever- changing needs of our students and the College. The Foundation has always been a wonderful partner to the College and, under Ken’s leadership, it has become an even greater resource and source of support for the College.

Ken has championed the OCC Food Bank, helping to make emergency food contributions available for students. He increased the visibility of the Food Bank and developed a positive connection between the Foundation and the student-led Food Bank.

Serving as the main point of contact for Fulfill, an Ocean/Monmouth County community food bank, Ken spearheaded many events to support Fulfill’s efforts to provide food and other resources to students in need.

When the brilliant Executive Director of the Grunin Center for the Arts and the Planetarium, Mark Wilson, resigned to take a similar role at Lehigh University, Ken stepped up, without additional compensation, and assumed leadership of Grunin Center activities. Ken has kept the staff moving forward during a difficult period when they could not perform their jobs as usual and encouraged them to find ways to connect with students and the public virtually.

Ken modified long-practiced procedures to allow the Foundation to award scholarships earlier in each semester, which is critically important to students who are struggling to pay for college. He persuasively presented to the Foundation Board, and then implemented, many efforts supporting student needs and new programs, including the rollover of student scholarships from the fall to spring and making scholarships available for Quick-Term students and high school students.

Ken has been an ardent supporter of the Blauvelt speaker series and National Geographic Live, which have brought the Foundation and Grunin Center together as partners to present high quality, contemporary programs that attract both community members and students.

Ken brings positivity, energy, and great enthusiasm to his work. Coworkers, Foundation Board members, and donors all appreciate these qualities and support his efforts because of them.

Thank you, Ken, for your enthusiasm and extraordinary efforts on behalf of the students at OCC in building a strong relationship with the Foundation as well as the College and our larger Ocean County community.

Congratulations to our President’s Award recipients!

The workshops we are offering today relate directly to OCC’s new 2021-2026 Strategic Plan:

Workshop 1 – Goal 1: Empower Students to Learn, Engage, and Achieve Presenters include Chris Carbone, Jen Fazio, Dr. Eileen Garcia, Dr. Joe Konopka, and Anna Regan

Workshop 2 – Goal 2: Optimize and Expand Enrollment of All Learners Presenters: Dr. Rosann Bar, Sheenah Hartigan, Dr. Maysa Hayward, Dr. Jerry Racioppi, Dr. Sylvia Riviello, Dr. Amir Sadrian, Eileen Schilling

Workshop 3 – Goal 3: Elevate Organizational Effectiveness Presenters: Tracey Donaldson, Matthew Kennedy

Workshop 4 – Goal 4: Expand Relationships Presenters: Jan Kirsten, Ken Malagiere

Workshop 5 – Snap, Crackle, Reflect: Dig into the Middle States Self-Study Process Presenters: Dr. Alexa Beshara-Blauth, Heidi Sheridan

Workshop 6 – The Return to Campus Plan: Flexible options for the Road Ahead Presenters: Sara Winchester, Jim Calamia, John Lopez

As we begin our new semester in this new year, we do so with optimism. Against all odds, we have accomplished much since last March, and we continue to offer our students an excellent education. With the distribution of the vaccine in the next few months, we can begin to think about coming together again. We are a strong institution because all of you are committed to making this college the boldest, most creative, most innovative, most entrepreneurial, student-centered college in the nation!

Thank you for participating in this most unusual Colloquium.

I thank each, and every member, with the utmost sincerity, of our wonderful faculty – traditional Full-Time Faculty, College Lecturers IIs, Adjunct Faculty, and Part-Time Teachers who make up our key constituency delivering the best collegiate education anywhere in the world! You are helping Ocean County College become the very best public college in the nation. A College on the road to greatness!

I thank each and every one of our talented leadership TEAM – the best in New Jersey, with the utmost sincerity. Each is a special talent in their own right; they run this College with passion, fidelity, premier skills, and effective leadership.

I thank each of our Managerial, Technical, and Support Staff for your extraordinary dedication, hard work, persistence, and well-deserved pride in keeping the College safe, secure, clean, beautiful, and superbly functional. Your dedication, your loyal service, your skill and commitment to making Ocean County College one of the premier colleges in this great country, the USA, is admirable.

Most importantly, I thank our sagacious and dedicated Board of Trustees for modeling the way for our College, with time, treasure, talent and perspicacity – without which we would be just another community college adrift in uncharted seas – but not here! Not at Ocean County College!

May God bless our entire community and all your efforts to bring this wonderful institution to greatness.

I look forward to seeing you all in person again soon.

Thank you all for your participation today, ladies and gentlemen.

We appreciate your courteous attention. I hope you enjoy the workshops and have a fabulous Colloquium day!

Required Reporting Statistics Board of Trustees Meeting January 28, 2021

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 11/26/2020 through 1/14/2021


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
Occurred: Reported: NONE
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
Occurred: Reported: 12/20/2020 12/20/2020 Fire Alarm All clear , Fire Department not dispatched. False Alarm


Respectfully Submitted, John A. Lopez – Director of Security

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