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September 23, 2021

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

OCC president Dr. Larson

OCC at the Helm

Goal Leaders have been working hard with their teams to develop actionable initiatives that will move each of the College’s four Goals forward over the next five years.  In addition, measures have been identified for each Goal and Objective.  Goal Leaders met with the Guiding Coalition on August 31, 2021, to discuss these initiatives and address any underlying questions.  The conversation was productive and resulted in a deeper understanding of the supporting projects.

Attached to my report is the Strategic Planning Scorecard which contains:

  1. Scorecard Tabs: Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Goals and Objective Measures
  2. Planning Tabs: Detailed initiatives supporting the Objectives

At Thursday’s meeting, Ms. Jackie D’Amore, Senior Human Resources Specialist, Talent and Organizational Development, and Mr. Anthony Jordan, Director of Enterprise Applications, co-chairs of the Guiding Coalition, will provide a brief presentation highlighting some of the supporting initiatives for each goal.

Ms. D’Amore has completed her term as co-chair of the Guiding Coalition.  Ms. Janine Emma, Registrar, will be introduced to you as the new co-chair who will be serving with Mr. Jordan during the next year.

Center for Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education

Center Director Ali Botein-Furrevig’s fourth book, Beyond the Pale:  Shtetl Roots, Emigrant Routes, and a New York City Love Story, debuted in late August.  The book is a history of the intertwined history of Polish and Russian Jewry, life in the shtetls, and emigration to, and life on, New York’s Lower East Side.

Dr. Botein-Furrevig participated in two online interactive workshops: A seven-week course on children’s rights through the University of Geneva, and a seminar on current relations between Black and Jewish communities sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), African-American Museum in Philadelphia, and the Museum of Jewish History.  Dr. Botein-Furrevig also donated her new painting, My Shtetl is No More, to the Center.

At Thursday’s meeting, Dr. Botein-Furrevig will discuss her new book with you.

Academic Affairs

School of Arts and Humanities

  • English Professor Jayanti Tamm recently participated in a teacher training hosted by the University of Washington National Resource Center. The training was titled, “A New Normal ‘Post-Pandemic’?”  The session explored the impact of the past year and COVID-19 on teaching and learning through disciplinary perspectives, such as economics, creative writing, communications, anthropology, environmental studies, business, geography, history, and sociology.
  • Jennifer Dellner, Professor of English, presented at the Fall 2021 Adjunct Faculty Institute and Lecturer Institute. She presented, “Using VoiceThread to Create Dynamic Assignments and Interactive Spaces.”  Dr. Ameer Sohrawardy, English College Lecturer II, also was part of a team presenting at the institutes.  His presentation was titled, “Student Collaborations Across OCC’s International Campuses.”
  • History College Lecturer II Steven Downey presented, “What to Expect from Your Professors” at the orientation program for new students held September 3, 2021.
  • In collaboration with the OCC Foundation, the department of music recently accepted an Altenburg petit grand piano donated by Tom and Carol Fikslin. The donors are especially excited to know that their piano will be used by many students for recitals and practice for years to come.
  • In collaboration with the OCC Foundation and two local organizations, two student art contests were held as part of the Arts on Campus initiative. Student Skylar Hudson won a contest for her design of the Riverwood Community Garden sign, which was held in collaboration with the Toms River Cultural Arts Project. Separately, student Natalie Weisenstein won the contest to design artwork for Bacchus Winemaking and may have her artwork displayed at its Toms River facility.
  • The Social Justice Series kicks off September 28, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. with a screening of the film, I am Greta. The powerful documentary follows Ms. Greta Thunberg, a teenage climate activist from Sweden, on her international crusade to persuade people to pay attention to scientists about the world’s environmental problems.  College Lecturer in English Jason Molloy will host the event and lead a post-film discussion.

School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

  • Last month, Intel announced a major expansion of its Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Workforce Program to help educate the next generation of U.S. technologists, and OCC is excited to be a part of it.  Intel’s program enables students to gain technical confidence in AI, enhances employability for AI-related jobs, and demonstrates how to apply the latest trends in AI to produce solutions to industrial and social issues. OCC has worked closely with Intel to offer a new Associate in Computer Science degree with a concentration in Artificial Intelligence, a Certificate of Completion in Artificial Intelligence, and five new Artificial Intelligence-based courses, which include machine learning, computer vision, and natural language processing.  The OCC AI programs and courses will be available for student enrollment starting with the Spring 2022 semester.
  • OCC has been approved to be an authorized training program partner by the Project Management Institute.  This will allow the College to be an official training location for students wanting to pursue PMP® (Project Management Professional) certification.  OCC has begun this semester to offer the course ENGT 196, Project Management.  It is anticipated that the course will attract a significant number of non-traditional students because it is a required certification for many jobs.
  • OCC has launched a stackable curriculum in cybersecurity that provides options for a one-year certificate of completion, desirable industry certifications, a stand-alone two-year Associate in Applied Science degree, and an Associate in Science degree with articulation to four-year bachelor’s degree programs at partner institutions.
    • College Lecturer II in Computer Studies Jon Weiss hosted a CyberCamp last month for 24 in-person students from Brick Memorial High School and an additional 20+ remote students from other Ocean County high schools.  The camp incorporated games and activities to teach cybersecurity principles and careers.  Afternoon sessions included practical labs and real-world, hands-on experiences for high schoolers who may have an interest in pursuing future education and careers in cybersecurity.
  • College Lecturer II in Engineering Pam Bogdan had the opportunity to give cybersecurity campers (mainly eighth and ninth graders) an overview of the School of STEM on August 18, 2021. The campers then worked on an engineering and industrial/technical studies roadshow activity called Balloon Car Design Challenge.  Certificates were given to the two teams that achieved either the longest average distance or the most significant increase due to their redesign.  These types of activities both on campus and on location at the various schools around Ocean County will be pursued throughout the year.
    • The next steps for cybersecurity at OCC include the first offering of CSIT 240, Ethical Hacker Techniques and Tools, this semester.  Also, an updated CSIT 200, Information Security Fundamentals, will be delivered using the CompTIA learning management system and associated materials.  CSIT 241: Cybersecurity Legal and Regulatory Overview, will be offered for the Spring 2022 semester.
  • Assistant Dean Carolyn Showalter attended two webinars in August. The first webinar was titled, “Engaging, Retaining, and Including Black Males in STEM,” while the second was titled, “Women’s Equality Day: Exploring Gender Equity in the STEM Community.”  Also, Ms. Showalter hosted a webinar for OCC STEM adjunct faculty as they prepared for the Fall semester.

School of Nursing and Health Sciences

  • Beginning August 23, 2021, over the course of six days, 197 Nursing program students participated in two-hour sessions within the skills labs under the guidance and direction of lab personnel to practice skills in preparation for the Fall semester.
  • The School of Nursing admitted 107 new students into the program for the Fall 2021 semester; in total, there are 304 students enrolled in the program this semester. There are 32 clinical instructors providing education for 33 clinical groups within various healthcare facilities.
  • Students and faculty attending clinical experiences in Hackensack Meridian Healthcare (HMH) facilities were provided with N95 mask-fit testing and medical clearance prior to being fit tested. HMH collaborated with the School of Nursing to provide the mask-fit testing, and RWJ Barnabas provided the medical clearance services.
  • Laura Coccia joined the School of Nursing on September 7, 2021, in the position of Academic Affairs Technician. She is a graduate of OCC and the Ocean County Vocational School Licensed Practical Nurse program.  In addition to patient care experiences, Ms. Coccia has managed various health service offices throughout Ocean County.
  • Nursing College Lecturer II Sharon Scrofine, MSN, RN, CNE, successfully completed the National League for Nursing Certified Nurse Educator examination.

School of Business and Social Sciences

  • Margaret Maghan, College Lecturer II in Social Work, announced that she will be partnering with an Ocean County-based organization called Advocates in Action to create a group advocacy experience for OCC social work majors during their final capstone practicum course. Advocates in Action was founded in 2016 by CEO Joy England, MPA, CESP, with the mission “to be the voice to those who don’t have one; achieving this through empowerment, education, support, and leadership.”
  • Jason Ghibesi, College Lecturer II in Political Science and Coordinator of the Governmental Affairs Institute, and Professor of Social Sciences Lynn Kenneally, in collaboration with Ms.  Jan Kirsten, Executive Director of College Relations, organized the 20th anniversary 9-11 remembrance ceremony. The Patriot Day commemoration was held on the campus mall on September 9, 2021.  Assistant Dean of STEM Carolyn Showalter served as emcee.
  • Patricia Gianotti, College Lecturer II in Addictions Studies, announced that the newly formed Institute for Counseling Professionals hosted its first presentation on September 8, 2021. Kenneth Finn, MD, delivered a lecture titled, “Lesson from Colorado: Cannabis and the Opioid Epidemic. The Unintended Consequences of Legalizing Marijuana.”
    • Dr. Finn has been practicing pain medicine in Colorado Springs since 1994.  He is board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, pain medicine, and pain management.  He is president of the American Board of Pain Medicine and has served on the Colorado governor’s task force on Amendment 64 (which legalized marijuana for recreational use), consumer safety and social issues workgroup, and Colorado’s Medical Marijuana Scientific Advisory Council.  He is editor of “Cannabis in Medicine:  An Evidence-Based Approach.”
    • This presentation was approved by the Addiction Certification Board of New Jersey for three hours of continuing education for the following credentials:  LCADC, CADC, LMFT, LAMFT, LPC, LAPC.
    • National Addiction Professionals Day was celebrated on September 20, 2021, as part of National Recovery Month.  In 1992, the day was established by NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals, to commemorate the hard work that addiction professionals do on a daily basis.  NAADAC is the largest membership organization for addiction-focused healthcare professionals and represents the professional interests of more than 100,000 addiction counselors, educators, and other addiction-focused health care professionals in the United States, Canada, and abroad.
    • It is respectfully requested that the Board of Trustees adopt a resolution at Thursday’s meeting to recognize and express appreciation to addiction professionals who are committed to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by substance abuse.

Academic and Tutoring Support Services

Academic and Tutoring Support Services held a two-day training on August 30 and 31, 2021. The training was for all new and returning peer tutors, professional tutors, and academic support leaders.  It covered topics on collaborative learning, culturally responsive practices, and asking powerful questions.  In addition to those topics, several guest speakers from other departments also participated:  Ms. Jamie Arasz Prioli, Assistant Director of Disability Services, presented on working with students with varying abilities; Ms. Kencis Kleinschmidt, Veterans Program Coordinator, explained the resources offered by the Veterans and Military Resources Center to veteran- and military-affiliated students; and Mr. Sean Bips, College Lecturer II in Hospitality, Recreation, and Tourism Management, presented on the importance of customer service.  Forty-two participants were in attendance on both days.

Center for Academic Success

  • OCC’s College Readiness Now VII report was submitted to the New Jersey Council of County Colleges’ Center for Student Success. Despite working remotely for the 2020-21 academic year, CRN VII assessed 430 students, with 366 needing remediation in English and/or mathematics.  Out of the 366 students enrolled in CRN VII, 179 applied to OCC, and 139 enrolled at OCC, which represents a 78% college-going rate in a year that was primarily remote
  • The fifth cohort of Lacey College Academy students is beginning with a total enrollment of 38 students. Cohort 4, with a total of 34 students, is in its final year of the program and students will graduate in Spring 2022.  To date, the Lacey College Academy program has graduated more than 60 liberal arts degree students.
    • The Center is also working with Pinelands High School to roll out its first ninth-grade history program.  This fall, the high school is offering its entire incoming freshman class an opportunity to take HIST 172, Western Civilization from 1650.  Pinelands will be offering three sections of the course.  The Center for Academic Success joined enrollment management on September 15, 2021, to discuss the freshman history course opportunity, as well as Pinelands’ dual enrollment options.

Finance and Administration

On September 7, 2021, Bubbakoo’s Burritos, along with the Toss’em Wing Factory (Bubbakoo’s sister company), and Koo’s Coffee Co., serving Starbucks products and grab ‘n’ go items, opened in the Larson Student Center at Ocean County College.  The opening was well received by students, and sales for the first week of classes exceeded all expectations.  Bubbakoo’s is providing low-cost options for students, and the OCC Foundation provides vouchers for students who need help paying for their meals.

Purchasing and Payables

Ms. Christine Healey, Director of Purchasing and Payables, was invited to represent Ocean County College by the Government Affairs team at Kean University at the “BID” (Bridging the Information Divide) Small Business Conference on Friday, September 17, 2021.  Small businesses had the chance to walk around, speak to College representatives, ask questions, and learn more about the process for bidding on contracts with colleges and universities.

The purpose of the conference was to help bridge that gap and make small business owners aware of the endless opportunities available to grow their businesses by contracting with educational institutions.

Ocean County College Foundation

  • The Foundation 2020-21 audit has been completed. Kenneth Malagiere, Executive Director, expressed appreciation to the OCC Accounting staff for their efforts to ensure smooth preparation prior to the audit and their cooperation while the auditors performed the audit.  Requests to review the annual audit may be directed to the Foundation.
  • Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin will be welcomed, live, to the Grunin Center on October 6, 2021, as part of the Blauvelt Speaker Series. Tickets and information are available at

Work continues on introducing a sub-series focused on health care to the Blauvelt Speaker Series.  This partnership with RWJ Barnabas promises to be inspiring for students, faculty, staff, and the broader community.

  • Annual endowment reports are being prepared over the next several weeks and will be distributed to all stakeholders at the end of October, as scheduled.
  • The Foundation is hosting the 20th Annual Golf Classic on Tuesday, October 12, 2021, at Pine Barrens Golf Club. This event is dedicated to raising scholarship funds for the students of Ocean County College. Sponsorship and registration information is available at
  • The Scholarship Committee has reviewed over 200 scholarship applications and awards were made for the traditional semester. Applications for Jump Start/Academy awards remain open through September 26, 2021, as do the Allied Health/WPE grants through the Hovnanian Endowment.


  • The OCC Foundation co-hosted the 2021 SUP the River paddleboard race on Saturday, September 18, 2021, at the Toms River Yacht Club. Almost 50 paddlers participated with beautiful weather on the Toms River.  A networking breakfast aboard the River Lady was hosted concurrent to the race for supporters to view the paddleboarders on the river.  The event was a great success as the OCC Foundation, in partnership with the Kiwanis Club of Toms River, engaged alumni, donors, event committee members, and event sponsors from local businesses and organizations in Ocean County.
  • The Summer/Fall 2021 edition of the OCC magazine, Ocean Views, is complete and has been mailed to nearly 40,000 alumni and OCC stakeholders. The magazine promotes alumni success stories, including that of Gregg Bauer, ‘83, who is now the Vice President and General Manager of Lockheed Martin’s C6ISR business as well as the General Manager of Lockheed’s Manassas Operations.  Also featured are the reopening of the campus, the new Student Enrollment Building, pilot programs in Addictions Counseling, the success of the OCC Foundation’s Scholarship Celebration, and the many efforts to support the students and programs at the College.

College Relations

  • Nicolaus Burr, Social Media/Web Developer, created a social media campaign that welcomed students back to campus and highlighted campus events, resources, and our beautiful campus. The campaign was viewed by 37,941 individuals and engaged with 3,561 times across multiple social media platforms.
  • College Relations and the College Safety and Security Department conducted a test of Ocean County College’s emergency notification system, Viking Alert, on August 31, 2021. Currently, there are 9,733 registered users of Viking Alert, which disseminates urgent notifications to students, faculty, and staff via SMS text message, voice messaging, and email.  Students, faculty, and staff can update their contact information on Viking Alert at
  • The web team collaborated with College Lecturers Mary-Ellen Rada and Vijay Ramdeen from the School of STEM on a redesign of the Jersey Shore Junior Science Symposium (JSJSS) web landing page, including videos showcasing winning students’ presentations. This rich content increased the time website visitors spend on the page from an average of 5:57 minutes to an average of 9:47 minutes.


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 August 24 through September 17, 2021.

Student Affairs


Transfer Events

Transfer Coordinator Laura Wills has scheduled transfer events throughout the Fall semester to meet the needs of students both in person and virtually.  The list of college visits has been expanded to include some new and exciting four-year colleges/universities:

  • Stockton University is working with OCC students bi-weekly to provide admissions, scholarship, and academic advising for the Transfer Pathways partnership. The Stockton representative, working closely with Ms. Wills, advises students to plan for graduation and transfer from whatever point a student is starting their academic journey.
  • Kean Ocean is now meeting students in the new Student Enrollment Building to help provide a seamless transition to Kean Ocean programs. The Academic Advising and Transfer teams can refer directly to Kean Ocean admissions and evaluation specialists to review all of the important information related to transfer.
  • During September and October, representatives from New Jersey four-year colleges will be in the Larson Student Center for students to discuss transfer options following graduation. Visiting OCC will be Rowan University, Georgian Court University, Rider University, Felician University, Caldwell University, Drew University, Saint Elizabeth University, Montclair State University, and Thomas Edison State University.  Penn State University, Niagara University, and Marywood University will also be on campus this year to offer new and exciting opportunities for students.  Additionally, Montclair State University is offering an Instant Decision Day on October 7, 2021, to help students gain admission to Montclair quickly and easily.


  • In collaboration with the Hub, IT, and Academic Affairs, the Advising Office is moving forward with Advise initiatives for Fall 2021. A robust communication plan is in place for NJ STARS students.  This plan will deliver important information to students regarding this scholarship program, including eligibility requirements and reminders, registration information, and graduation outreach.  Starting in week four of the semester, NJ STARS students with at least one course with an average below 80% will receive a communication regarding their scholarship eligibility and campus resources.  Students with more than one course below 80% will receive follow-up communications via phone and text.
  • A pilot program is currently underway with the STEM Center, utilizing Advise early warning capability to encourage students to seek tutoring services. Advise will send communications regarding tutoring services to students in designated sections of MATH 156, Introduction to Statistics, who have below a 70% course average.  IT is also working to import data from Tutor Trac into Advise, which provide the number of students who sought tutoring after receiving the communication.  This data will not only determine if the communications were effective, but it will also provide follow-up communications to students who have not responded.
  • Finally, a communication plan for all students will be implemented this Fall. Tips to be successful in classes will be delivered throughout the semester to students with low homework assessments and low course averages.  This plan will lay the foundation for a more robust retention effort in Spring 2022 and forward, as the Retention Team is put in place.  Communications and proactive outreach will be increased incrementally, with the goal of using Advise to support student retention at OCC in an intentional, meaningful, and data-driven way.

Career Services

Presentations and Workshops

Ms. Kirsten Bollinger, the Interim Career Services Coordinator, has given eight in-person or virtual generic presentations on Career Services to students, faculty, and staff, and six more presentations are scheduled.  Three virtual workshops are scheduled for October to discuss career and major exploration, resume writing, and job search strategies with students.  All students will be able to RSVP for the workshops on Handshake.


Eleven employers have booked tables in the Larson Student Center to informally recruit and network with students on 15 different dates.  It is anticipated more employers will be on campus and additional dates will follow throughout the semester.  The employers thus far represent education, business, hospitality, psychology, and social work.  Law, STEM, and healthcare industry employers will be invited as well.  Ms. Bollinger met with a STEM employer and a faculty member to discuss partnership opportunities.


There are currently 78 local job and internship flyers posted to the Career Services page on the OCC app.  This page is public to all app users, so anyone can view the hiring flyers.  Page members receive a notification every time a job or internship flyer is posted.  The app page is also utilized to promote the services, workshops, and employer tables offered by Career Services.


Career Services is actively promoting its workshops, employer tables, and job/internship opportunities across various platforms:

  • Career Services: OCC App and Handshake
  • College Relations: Ocean Connect, flat screen TVs, and all social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram Stories
  • Academic Advising: Canvas and Advise
  • Southern Education Center: Canvas
  • Faculty and Lecturers: Canvas and email messages

Counseling Center

  • The Counseling Center has been very busy interacting with many students visiting for information, appointments, and interventions. The Center is reintroducing programs to the campus community, conducting the reinvented Restore Your Score program, and sponsoring a variety of events.
  • Carmen Mora, MSW, joined the Counseling Center as the Coordinator of the Displaced Homemakers Program. She is a graduate of OCC, Stockton University, and New England University.  Mora participated as a 100 Women mentee, working with Dr. Tracy Maksel, Director of the Ocean County Department of Human Services.   She began her experience with the Displaced Homemakers Program as a participant and was recognized by the Displaced Homemakers Network for her accomplishments in the program.  Ms. Mora shared her powerful story about her journey to self-sufficiency at an OCC Board of Trustees meeting.
    • The Displaced Homemakers Program is providing services on campus and remotely.  There are 5 new clients and 80 continuing clients; services include remote computer skills training and career seminars.  Ms. Mora is implementing a comprehensive marketing plan to county agencies.  A search is underway to fill the Community Services Coach position.
  • The Supporting Students in Recovery Program has been renewed for a third year. The program continues to expand, with new students engaging daily.  Drop-in hours, weekly support groups, and recovery meetings are all taking place in the on-campus Wellness and Recovery Center.  Planning is underway for the official opening of the Wellness and Recovery Center for the first week of November.
  • Katie Hueth, Prevention Education Coordinator, completed the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR) program for recovery coaching, ethical considerations, and facilitator training. She is now qualified to provide training and assist others in becoming Recovery Coaches.
  • The Counseling Center, in partnership with OCC Student Life and Kean Ocean Campus Life, presented In Their Shoes, a mental health awareness and suicide prevention exhibit provided by Attitudes in Reverse. Students, faculty, and staff viewed the exhibit in the campus mall on September 15, 2021, as part of OCC’s recognition of Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month.  Volunteers and counselors were available to provide education, connection, and resources to the campus community.
  • On September 20, 2021, the Counseling Center, in collaboration with the Grunin Center’s Blauvelt Speaker Series, Student Life, and the School of Arts and Humanities, presented “Lunch Hour with Mike Veny, Transforming Stigma in College.”
  • On September 29, 2021, the Center will co-host “Share Your Stories” with Hope Sheds Light to reduce stigma and support recovery from substance use disorders. This event will take place on the campus mall.
  • On September 30, 2021, Rachel Piazza’s “Feminist Self Defense” is being sponsored. During this event, participants will become empowered and discuss the need for all to work together towards the prevention of sexual violence.
  • Student Development Specialist Kelly Petrolis is working on the revised Restore Your Score program, which is focused on students with an academic probation sanction. There were 206 students with this sanction from the Spring 2021 semester, and all have been contacted by mail, at least twice, about the program.  Of these students, 152 have registered for classes in the Fall terms.  So far, 40 students have responded to the announcements, and 15 have attended the introduction seminar presented by Ms. Petrolis.  She is making follow-up appointments with those students and conducting another outreach to the remaining students.
  • CARE reporting continues to increase, with 56 reports since the beginning of the semester. Issues include the impact of COVID on students’ mental health, academics, home life, finances, increasing rates and severity of anxiety and depression, academic difficulties, personal or family illness, and concerning behaviors.

Disability Services

  • Assistant Director of Disability Services Jamie Arasz Prioli conducted an overview of Disability Services for faculty and staff from the School of STEM. The overview included best practices for supporting students with disabilities, including effective communication skills, organization tools, and other resources.
  • Disability Services continues to host weekly virtual “drop-in” support sessions for faculty and staff to learn more about Ally or request technical assistance. Virtual “drop-in” support sessions are also being held for students interested in services or requiring additional support with accommodations.  The virtual “drop-in” days are held each Friday through October and are open captioned.  No appointment is needed and all are welcome.

Student Enrollment Services, the HUB

  • OCC’s degree completion program with partner Kaiser Permanente continues to expand year after year in terms of number of students and credits, with the latest increase during the Summer reporting term. Enrollment Services continues to support the partnership, funded through the Ben Hudnall Memorial Trust, to enroll, retain, and graduate program students.
  • Coordinator of Outreach and Enrollment Services Jim Campbell, joined Mr. Ryan Luurtsema, Assistant Director of the Veterans and Military Resources Center, for an Education and Jobs Fair on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst on August 18, 2021.  Caldwell and other Ocean representatives were able to talk to active military members and their families.  It was the first in-person event on the base since prior to the pandemic.
  • In August, the HUB saw 1,467 in-person transactions with an average service duration time of 3.25 minutes. This includes student ID cards, assisting with applications, answering financial aid questions, and other enrollment-related tasks. The HUB also received 2,691 emails throughout the month.
  • Reggie sent 184 campaigns in August, including interactive campaigns with response rates as high as 81%.
  • The last Express Enrollment Day took place on August 18, 2021, with 81 students completing their registrations, enjoying a campus tour, receiving ID cards, and meeting with various student support services representatives.

Student Life

During the week before the Fall semester began, Student Life welcomed students back to the main campus by hosting two New Student Launch events.  These events targeted both new students and not-so-new students, those who started last year remotely and would be in-person for the first time this Fall.  Over the course of two days, 550 students attended, and they were given the opportunity to tour the campus, discover key support services, attend workshops, and meet other students during the fun activities that were offered.  Experiences like this are critical to student success; engaging students from the start of their academic journeys helps them feel connected to the College community, which improves their persistence toward completion.  This was a collaborative effort across multiple departments.  Overall, the feedback from students who attended was very positive, with some even noting that they couldn’t wait for classes to start.

Southern Education Center

  • With the Fall 2021 semester underway, the SEC Canvas shell continues to serve as a vital communication tool for students who are enrolled in SEC or MATES courses, although this semester these classes are offered remotely. The first weeks of SEC Canvas Announcements focused on welcoming students, the Hospitality/Recreation/Tourism Management program, and a career opportunity posting, have already amassed over 2,650 views.  The SEC Canvas shell will continue to announce student service programs and opportunities through the Fall semester.
  • Michele Marcum, SEC Senior Student Services Technician, continues to assist the HUB via remote channels in responding to student inquiries. Mr. Jeff Kurz, SEC Student Services and Recruitment Specialist, is supporting Academic Advising through virtual advising appointments and managing the Advising email in-box.
  • The Spring 2022 SEC master course schedule is in the final stages of development. In collaboration with the Academic Administrators, the full Spring 2022 proposed course schedule has been analyzed and developed based on past enrollment trends.  The schedule includes a few courses utilizing the immersive/synchronous technology that allows one professor to instruct the same course in two locations, the SEC and the main campus, at the same time.  Details are being finalized for this innovative use of technology-based educational connectivity.
  • James Hauenstein, Director of the Southern Education Center, has completed outreach to the southern area high schools in the continued effort to advance the Promoting Learners to Achieve Now (P.L.A.N.) program as their school year begins. P.L.A.N. is designed to allow high school students to complete Early College course work to achieve 24 or more OCC credits prior to high school graduation.

Veterans and Military Resources Center

  • The Veterans and Military Resources Center has continued the discussion to host the third-annual Veterans Town Hall in collaboration with Congressman Andy Kim. On November 11, 2021, a panel of three veterans with diverse backgrounds will showcase experiences and times of reflection to Ocean County community members.  Securing a specific location on OCC’s campus is currently being discussed.
  • The VMRC has expanded its team with the addition of Program Assistant Rachelle Bertholf, MSW, who will assist with the Center of Veteran Student Success and student engagement and activities.
  • Veteran Program Coordinator and Army National Guard First Sergeant Kencis Kleinschmidt completed with success the Ocean County College Remembrance Ceremony for the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 Patriots Day.  Kleinschmidt is the Senior Enlisted Leader of the 63rd Army National Guard Band who played multiple musical renditions for the public to participate in and observe.
  • The VMRC has established an Events Calendar for the semester and hosted its first Chat and Chew of the semester. Students were able to meet staff and learn about resources available to them.  Monthly sessions will include food, networking, and socializing for all military-connected students, staff, and faculty.
  • VA-VITAL Representative Jennifer Garcia has made two visits to the VMRC to assist students with valuable resources. During her visits, she was able to assist with medical appointments, veteran benefits literacy, counseling services, and morale among student veterans.   Garcia will return to the VMRC on October 6, 2021.
  • The Center is conducting a VETS (Veterans Engaging Teachers and Students) program with Sociology College Lecturer Margaret Maghan. The focus of the program will be the veteran’s perspective on grief management, combat trauma, and veteran transitioning experiences.
  • Assistant Director Ryan Luurtsema partnered with College Relations Social Media/Web Designer Nicolaus Burr in creating a TikTok social media platform to increase social equity with the military community on and off campus. Mr. Burr indicated the TikTok has been the most viewed and reacted content for OCC accounts.
  • The Corporal Rory Hamill Lending Library has proven to be successful. Over half the Chrome Books and protective sleeves that were purchased for military- and veteran-connected students are being used.

e-Learning and Learning Enterprises

  • The e-Learning department welcomes Ms. Lauren Remenyi, ESL College Lecturer II; Ms. Asqa Sheikh, Biology College Lecturer II; Ms. Caroline Brittain, Academic Administrator; and Ms. Lauren Evans, Graduate Intern.
  • e-Learning leadership is reviewing online programs and course offerings to create an educational plan for students to earn an associate degree in less than two years. The plan will include short-term sessions for degree completion.  College Relations and Student Services are working collaboratively with e-Learning on this new initiative.
  • The e-Learning Department will be attending the virtual OLC Accelerate Conference from September 20 to 24, 2021. The conference will feature sessions on leadership, research, instructional design, and blended learning.  Additionally, the members of the department will attend InstructureCon 2021, a virtual one-day conference focusing on the Canvas LMS, best practices in online education, and other dedicated sessions for higher education.

e-Learning Design

The Instructional Design and Technology team, Lead Instructional Designers, and Instructional Design Specialists will participate in the October 2021 Cohort and November 2021 Cohort of the VoiceThread Certified Educator Course.  This certification course will allow participants to learn the advanced features of VoiceThread, including design, assessment, safety, and security, and ADA compliance.  The Design team will be able to apply what they have learned to improve online courses by developing high quality and engaging content for OCC students.

e-Learning Professional Development

  • The Fall 2021 e-Learning General Meeting took place on Wednesday, August 31, 2021, with 76 e-Learning faculty and lecturers in attendance. Based on the initial survey results, most attendees found the sessions engaging and relevant and are interested in attending future training.
  • The e-Learning Fall 2021 Professional Development Series started in August 2021.  Eric Daniels, Educational Technologist, provided online group training on the skills needed to teach e-Learning courses using Canvas LMS.  Mr. Jack Kelnhofer, College Lecturer II, and Ms. Laura Wingler, Lead Instructional Designer, facilitated webinars on the revised English 151 and 152 courses, showcasing new technologies and pedagogical foundations for the redesign.  Ms. Mary Landolfi, Adjunct Faculty Member, and Ms. Laura Wingler presented on the newly developed Spanish 151 and 152 courses that now utilize Duolingo.
  • e-Learning continues to offer trainings with college partners. Webinars were offered on how to use Smarthinking (online tutoring services), Dropout Detective (student retention services), as well as subject-specific training in math and writing.
    • October sessions will include VoiceThread for Beginners with Ms. Laura Wingler and Instructional Design Specialist Jade Hermes, as well as three sessions provided by our partners, Using MacMillan’s Achieve for all Disciplines, What’s New with Cengage, and Teaching with McGraw Hill Connect.  Scheduling information and recordings of all sessions can be found on the Center for Instructional Empowerment at

Fall 2021 Colloquium

A workshop on International Degree-Granting Partnerships – New Jersey Footprints in Egypt was offered at the Fall 2021 Colloquium by Guest Speaker Dr. Tamara Cunningham, Associate Vice President for Global Initiatives, New Jersey City University; Dr. Maysa Hayward, Associate Vice President of International Programs; and Dr. Howaida Wahby Eraky, Assistant Dean of e-Learning, International Programs.

The workshop discussed the New Jersey City University and Ocean County College partnership to establish a four-year bachelor’s degree-granting campus in Cairo, Egypt, using a 2+2 design by building upon the joint degree model of community college and university partnerships.  Presenters shared the international context for this program under Egyptian International Branch Campus Law, the academic design for the program, and the strategic partners involved in seeing the project to fruition.

Fall 2021 Lecturer Institute and Adjunct Lecturer Institute

In a collaboration between the e-Learning Department and the School of Arts and Humanities, the Fall 2021 Lecturer Institute and Adjunct Lecturer Institute included a presentation on the topic of Student Collaborations Across OCC’s International Campuses by Dr. Howaida Wahby Eraky; Mr. Ameer Sohrawardy, College Lecturer II in English; and Ms. Margot R. Bruemmer, e-Learning Adjunct Assistant Professor in English. The three presenters shared their experiences fostering collaborations among students at OCC’s Toms River and Ain Shams University (Egypt) campuses, and among Arabic- and Spanish-speaking ESL learners.  Creative, concrete strategies were suggested for how lecturers in Arts and Humanities, STEM, Nursing, and other disciplines might reap the benefits of the human, civic, and natural resources available across/within our international classrooms.  Keeping with OCC’s Strategic Plan, they presented the outlook for the future of such collaborations, with the involvement of Kean University’s Office of Career Services and International Studies.


Dr. Maysa Hayward, Dr. Howaida Wahby Eraky, and Ms. Enjee Auda, Student Coordinator, are facilitating a series of Marketing Webinars every Tuesday and Friday at 1:00 p.m. U.S. time (EST),  7:00 p.m. Egypt time (EET).  The webinars aim to recruit students for the sixth cohort to the triple-degree partnership with Kean University and Ain Shams University.  The webinars are advertised on the program’s Facebook page and in OCC’s office at Ain Shams University.

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