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November 3, 2014

President’s November 2014 Report to the OCC Board of Trustees

July 27, 2016

Charting Our New Course

I have invited Dr. Don Norris and Dr. Tim Gilmour, Strategic Initiatives, Inc., who are facilitating our Charting Our New Course initiative, to attend Monday’s meeting to give you a report on the significant progress that is being made by the Guiding Coalition and the Strategic Action Teams toward ensuring Ocean County College’s success as it moves into the future.

This process has been embraced by so many in the College community, all of whom are enthusiastically offering their time, expertise, and creativity to develop, improve, and transform the strategies, leadership, and culture of Ocean County College.

Attached to my report is a status report prepared by Drs. Norris and Gilmour.  They will give you additional information at Monday’s meeting.

Grant Awards

  • Ocean County College has been awarded a three-year $599,608 grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Program, to support an OCC Middle East Center.  Dr. Maysa Hayward, Dean of Instructional Outreach, will serve as the project manager, and the Center will be housed within the Ocean Global Institute. Among the activities supported by the grant are the hiring of a Middle East specialist, the revision of courses in Arabic and Hebrew to be placed online, an expansion of coursework in Middle Eastern culture, the creation of certificate programs in Middle Eastern studies, and the creation of more internships and study abroad programs for our students. This highly competitive grant is rarely awarded to first-time applicants. OCC will be working in collaboration with Kean University, Brigham Young University, and the research and educational organization AMIDEAST on certain parts of the grant. Activities supported by the grant will begin this fall semester. Appreciation is expressed to Dr. Maysa Hayward and Ms. Sharla Trimm, Ellucian’s Senior Grant Consultant, for their efforts in organizing the grant application that led to this very successful outcome.
  • Ocean County College also received an $824,450 four-year grant award from the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration to partner in a Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) program.  This partnership, led by Bergen Community College, includes OCC and ten other New Jersey community colleges, 20 employers, and 10 local Workforce Investment Boards to create a New Jersey Health Professional Pathways to Regional Excellence Project Consortium.  Overall, Bergen Community College and the consortium partners were awarded almost $15 million for the three-year project. As part of the consortium, OCC will establish credit Patient Care Technician certificate and degree programs as well as Holistic Health and Wellness credit degree and certificate programs and a non-credit certificate program. This project will be overseen and facilitated by Dr. Jianping Wang, Vice President of Academic Affairs; Dr. Lisa DiBisceglie, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs; Ms. Allison King, Vice President of e-Learning and Enterprise Initiatives; Ms. Patricia Fenn, Assistant Vice President of Continuing and Professional Education and Workforce Development; Ms. Kathy Caro, Administrator of Nursing and Allied Health; and Ms. Mary Ellen Rada, Lecturer II in Anatomy.

Facilities Employee Improvement

The Facilities Department is encouraging the continuation of education for its employees.  As such, an AutoCAD 2-D class was offered for the first time.  This course, a computer-aided drafting software program used for creating two-dimensional building blueprints, will enable the employee to collaborate and document design ideas to create potential building/structure concepts or update existing building prints more accurately.  Both productivity and cost savings increase when using AutoCAD software, especially when utilized inter-departmentally.

Additionally, on September 30, Facilities held its annual Supervisory Development Workshop for HVAC supervisors to assist in strengthening abilities and improve performance through a better understanding of the key elements of supervision.  Coordinated by Mr. Matthew Kennedy, Assistant Vice President of Facilities Management and Construction, the workshop proved to be very informative and productive for the participants.

More training opportunities will be offered for those employees who desire to develop and improve their skills.

The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts

The Grunin Spotlight Series started off with a bang with the October 11 performance of Bernie Williams and his All-Star Band.  A four-time World Series Champion and a five-time All-Star, Mr. Williams and his band brought the house down with his charm and musical talent.  With an almost sell-out crowd (435 in a 460 seat house), the audience showed its approval with a standing ovation, and Mr. Williams’ encore piece of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” left many with a tear in their eyes.  The Meet and Greet after the performance had 75 fans clamoring for his autograph.  The Master Class was attended by 20 music students who were enthralled by the experience.  Also in attendance at the Master Class was the Ocean County College Jazz Band lead, Mr. Dave Marowitz.

During the Master Class, Mr. Williams worked and played actively with the student members of the Jazz Band.   He was also interviewed by a student reporter for Ocean TV 20.  The Ocean TV 20 crew recorded the Master Class, the rehearsal, the performance, as well as the Meet and Greet.  The entire event was not only a lot of fun, but it was also educational over many disciplines.

This was but the first of many first-class performances scheduled for the 2014-15 season made possible by the generous donation from the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation.  We expect each of the performances of the Spotlight Series to be well attended and well received:

  • Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Broadway – Thursday, October 30
  • An Evening with Sutton Foster – Saturday, January 17
  • Anthony McGill – Monday, February 9
  • Chanticleer – Tuesday, February 24
  • Emerson String Quartet – Sunday, March 22
  • The Hit Men, featuring former stars of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons – Saturday, April 11
  • An Evening with Branford Marsalis – Saturday, May 30

Ocean County College Bookstore

In recognition and support of October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Ocean County College Bookstore supported the cause by donating a portion of the sale of special pink merchandise to breast cancer charities.

Office of Information Technology

  • CBS News recently aired a newscast that highlighted security concerns as they relate to copy machine internal hard disks.  The video is available for your viewing at  In general, the College’s IT Department takes every precaution available to protect our data, and many of the best practice security measures are employed to safeguard our equipment. The College currently uses multi-function copiers from two manufacturers, Lexmark and Ricoh.  Lexmark internal hard disks are encrypted to protect the content on them.  Encryption scrambles data to make it unreadable to anyone who does not possess the proper key to access it.  Although the internal hard disks of Ricoh copiers are not encrypted, IT scrubs the data on the disks when the copiers are reassigned from one office to another.  As each machine reaches its end of life, the hard disk is removed before the machine leaves our site. When laptop and desktop computers have reached the end of their useful lives, IT secures the hard drives in an IT safe.  When the data is no longer needed, the drive is physically destroyed using a mallet or a hard disk shredding service.  The hard drives of all file servers are retained in the safe.
  • The Voice Over IP upgrade and video conferencing project was successfully implemented, providing the College with the latest version of CISCO unity and call manager.  IT continues to work on the new features, including integration between the phone system and the email system, speech connect, dial by name, speech view, and the transcription of voice mail messages to email the text to the user’s email box.

Human Resources

In compliance with the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act, the Human Resources Department has implemented mandatory online training for all College employees.  The Act increases transparency on campus about incidents of sexual violence, guarantees victims enhanced rights, sets standards for disciplinary proceedings and requires campus-wide prevention education programs.  The Campus SaVE Act, signed into law in 2013, amends the Clery Act, which addresses campus sexual assault policies within the Higher Education Act of 1965.

The College recognizes that training is an important component to fostering a safe, civil, and professional workplace environment.  This new interactive training program is intended to educate faculty and staff about Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the SaVE Act.  This training will supplement the mandatory sexual harassment prevention online training already in place for all employees.

Veterans Day

OCC will commemorate Veterans Day on Tuesday, November 11, at 12:00 noon at the Veterans Memorial on the campus mall.  A reception will follow in the Library Tower Room.  Even in the event of rain, the ceremony will remain at the Memorial.

On the same day, at 10:00 a.m., a Veterans Day Ceremony will be held at the Southern Education Center.  The Southern Regional High School ROTC will present the Colors.  Mr. Steve Chapman, an OCC and Kean University graduate, will be the guest speaker.  Mr. Chapman is a retired police officer and served in the U.S. Air Force.  Ms. Elizabeth Weidenhof, an OCC student at the SEC, will sing.  Additional information may be obtained from Mr. Jeff Kurz, Assistant Director of Academic Outreach at the SEC, extension 695.

OCC Disability Awareness Day

As part of a Leadership and the Humanities class project by student Mitchel Sieling, Ocean County College will be hosting its first-ever Disability Awareness Day on Thursday, November 20, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Solar Lounge.

This day of awareness will give students, faculty, and staff an opportunity to learn about the many services available at OCC to assist their individual needs.  In addition, there will be a number of vendors in attendance, including NJ Transit Access Link, Advancing Opportunities, and the Toms River Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Development Disabilities.  Guests will also have the opportunity to participate in stations representing different challenges in an effort to simulate the difficulties that people sometimes have to overcome on a daily basis.

Student Success

Ellucian, the College’s technology partner, recently published a whitepaper, “Retention and Student Success:  Implementing Strategies that Make a Difference.”  The paper describes what institutions can do today to design, develop, and launch retention and student success programs that work.

Ocean County College is prominently featured in the whitepaper, with descriptions of some of the College’s best practices to support students and enhance the learning experience.  It notes OCC as an “exemplary model of the best practices of establishing a shared vision of student success, focusing on what successful students do, determining an intervention strategy, starting small, building bridges, and using data in meaningful and actionable ways.”

Ocean County College Athletics

  • The women’s cross country team earned its fourth Region XIX title in the past six years with a 15 point sweep on Saturday, October 25, at Branch Brook Park in Newark.  Camden County College was second with 51 points, and Rowan College at Gloucester County was third with 61 points. Individually, Ocean had five women earn All-Region Honors, with top seven finishes.  Elizabeth Kowalski earned the individual title with an Ocean record of 19:24 at Branch Brook Park.  Meghie Weinberger and Lizz Rosario were second and third, both smashing the twenty minute mark for the first time in their careers.  Completing the scoring for Ocean were Morgan Blusewicz and Dana Knowtig in fifth and seventh places, respectively. The men’s cross country team fought a hard battle, finishing in fourth place.  The second to fifth place teams all finished within seven points of each other.  Rowan College at Gloucester County won.  Individually, Kevin Charette proved he was the best in the field, winning in 27:07.
  • Also on Saturday, October 25, the women’s volleyball team defeated Passaic County Community College in the Region semifinals and played for the championship against Northampton Community College.  The team was excellent but came up short in the championship match.  Liz Kolesar was named to the All-Tournament Team for her outstanding performance.  The team finished the season as the Garden State Athletic Conference champion and the Region XIX runner-up. The coaching staff for this first year of volleyball play, Head Coach Brett Kollman and Assistant Coach Jen Kelleman, were named the Garden State Athletic Conference Coaching Staff of the Year for their undefeated matches in the conference.
  • The National Junior College Athletic Association Women’s Division III National Soccer Championship Tournament, hosted by OCC, is approaching. This prestigious event, from Wednesday, November 12, to Sunday, November 16, will bring eight of the best women’s soccer teams from around the country to OCC for a four-day tournament at the OCC Stadium.    A total of eleven games will be played as follows:

Wednesday, November 12
8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Team Practice
6:00 p.m., Championship Banquet.

Thursday, November 13, and Friday, November 14
Game Times: 10:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., and 6:00 p.m.

Saturday, November 15
Rain Date

Sunday, November 16
10:00 a.m., Fifth Place Game (5th – 6th place)
12:30 p.m., Third Place Game (3rd – 4th place)
3:30 p.m., National Championship Game (1st – 2nd place)

Event-level sponsors are Ocean Orthopedic Associates and the Ocean County College Foundation.  Sponsorship opportunities are still available.  Spectator Admission is $15 per day or $40 for a Tournament Pass.  Children 8 years old and younger are free.


Ocean County College hosted a town hall meeting for NJTV on Monday and Tuesday, October 6 and 7, in the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts.  The State of NJ’s Health: Living in Sandy’s Shadow, moderated by NJTV News Senior Correspondent Mike Schneider, explored the long-lasting psychological impact of Hurricane Sandy on New Jersey residents who live in some of the hardest-hit communities.  The storm left lasting emotional scars, fatigue, and frustration.  Many individuals are still coping with rebuilding and re-engagement in their communities and still seeking help for the after-effects.

The program raised awareness of the personal and traumatic impact of the storm and served as a source of information for community resources.  The town hall panel of specialists included psychologists, mental health professionals, business owners, a pediatrician, and Toms River Mayor Tom Kelaher.  Ms. Maria Tchaplygin, College Relations Technician, participated on the panel and shared her difficult experiences and heartbreak from her perspective as a mother of two young children who have been dislocated for two years with no firm date as to when they will be able to return home.

Ms. Jan Kirsten received a note of appreciation from NJTV for the excellent service received from College Relations and Theatre staff.

Ocean County College Holiday Celebration

The OCC 50th anniversary holiday celebration will be held on Friday, December 5, at 6 p.m. at Jack Baker’s Lobster Shanty in Point Pleasant.  Formal attire is requested, and the ticket price is $35 per person.  The live band, Mission Dance, will entertain with fantastic music and non-stop energy.

A limited number of seats are available so, if you are interested in attending, please let me know.

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