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December 6, 2018


Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail

TO: Members, OCC Board of Trustees

FROM: President Jon H. Larson, Ph.D

SUBJECT: Items of Interest for the December 6, 2018, Board Meeting

DATE:  December 3, 2018


  • The Association for Institutional Research (AIR) is the world’s largest professional organization for institutional researchers.  It provides educational resources, best practices, and professional development opportunities for more than 4,000 members and is committed to building the institutional research capacity of America’s two-year institutions.
  • Mr. Joseph Rua, Institutional Research Analyst, was recently nominated for a Data and Decisions Academy Presidential Scholarship.  After a significant investment of time, completion of assignments, and interaction with mentors, Mr. Rua successfully completed two courses, Longitudinal Tracking for Institutional Research and Designing IR Research, which will assist in building a solid foundation of skill and knowledge to support data-informed decision making at OCC.
  • Mr. Rua will be presented with a certificate from AIR at Thursday’s meeting in recognition of his accomplishment.

New Jersey Network for School Success

  • Ocean County College is developing a regional center to serve the needs of New Jersey school districts in their quest for continuous school improvement and success.  The New Jersey Network for School Success will assist in elevating the life prospects of every student they serve through state-of-the-art resources and strategies for teachers and school leaders throughout New Jersey.
  • The Network intends to coordinate ideas and resources from OCC, the Ocean County Superintendent’s Office, and participating school districts. The Network is partnering with an internationally known education firm, PLS 3rd Learning, which has designed systems for educational agencies, universities, K-12 school districts, and state educational departments.
  • The platform design will be a dynamic online curriculum management system fundamentally based on New Jersey Learning Standards providing teachers, parents, and students with high quality, tightly aligned, and cost effective classroom resources and strategies. The design will include a formative assessment builder that will provide real-time feedback on student progress to allow curriculum and instruction to be modified to meet individual student needs.
  • The platform will target teacher strengths and growth opportunities for the establishment of individualized professional growth plans. Online modules, facilitated by master teachers, will be aligned with modern teaching methods to ensure congruity with New Jersey’s teacher evaluation initiatives.  The modules will enable school leadership to embed an understanding of New Jersey Learning Standards, address cross district professional growth needs, provide high quality support to all participating school districts, enhance the onboarding of new teachers and reduce their attrition, support substitute teachers, provide targeted support to teachers in need of remediation, and elevate the capacity of all participating schools to capitalize on the opportunities presented by this Network.
  • Mr. Thomas Gialanella, Executive Director of School Relations, will provide a brief PowerPoint presentation on Thursday on the progress being made on this important initiative.


  • Vice President of e-Learning and Learning Enterprises Hatem Akl and Assistant Vice President of International Programs Maysa Hayward will present a slide show on our recent trip to Egypt from November 10 to 18, 2018.
  • On November 12, 2018, Mr. Hatem Akl, Interim Associate Vice President of e-Learning and Learning Enterprises, Dr. Maysa Hayward, Assistant Vice President of International Programs, and I visited Dr. Mohamed Othman El Khosht, President of Cairo University, and discussed the possible programs Cairo University would like offered by OCC.  Dr. El Khosht indicated he will sign the agreement on our next visit to Egypt.
  • Dr. Abd El Wahab Ezzat, President of Ain Shams University, and Dr. Hussein Eissa, Chair of the Budget and Planning Committee of the Egyptian Parliament, met with us to discuss the bylaws and logistics of establishing OCC in Egypt when the Presidential decree is announced.  In a later meeting with Dr. Hayward, Dr. Eissa offered to arrange a public hearing in the People’s Assembly inviting legislators, industry executives, and parents to present the new College operation, begin discussions, and answer questions.
  • On November 13, 2018, we visited Helwan University’s main campus and met with Dr. Maged Negm, President, and all of the Vice Presidents of the University.  Agreement was reached to begin OCC Helwan with two programs:  Hospitality and Business.  Dr. Negm would like to facilitate an agreement with OCC’s affiliates for Helwan students to come to the U.S. for their third and fourth years.
  • On November 14, 2018, the American Charge’ d’Affaires, Tom Goldberger, hosted a reception in his residence in honor of Dr. Joel Bloom, President of NJIT, and me with over 300 people in attendance.
  • On November 15, 2018, Dr. Bloom, Dr. Simon Nynens, NJIT Vice President of Business Incubation, and I met with Amr Talaat, ICT Minister, and discussed the plan for Knowledge City and the Ministry’s need to house NJIT/OCC in the City.
  • On November 16, 2018, Dr. Bloom and I participated on a panel as part of the Egypt Entrepreneurship Summit in Luxor; a copy of the program announcement is attached. I also met with Dr. Mansour, President of South Valley University.
  • Before and after my visit, Dr. Hayward was busy having meetings and workshops, attending conferences, and participating in Roundtable discussions promoting OCC in Egypt.  She was invited by the Minister of Immigration to attend the Youth Forum held in Sharm El Sheikh on November 1, 2018. The forum included a panel on Egypt’s 2020 Plan for improving higher education.  Khalid Abd El Ghaffar, Minister of Higher Education, presented to Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El Sisi the plan introducing the 2+2 Model and the way it will be based on the Egyptian market need for technological education.
  • Dr. Hayward then met with Mohamed Yakut, AUC Director of Partnerships in the School of Continuing Education, at his request, to discuss the SCE need for OCC to deliver non-credit vocational entrepreneurial courses sometime between February and March 2019.  Dr. Hayward offered a two-day workshop for Vice Presidents, Deans, and Department Chairs of the nine participating universities to discuss the logistics of OCC ‘s operation in their respective universities.

Finance and Administration

  • The Vision 2028 Leadership Summit hosted by the New Jersey Council of County Colleges was held on November 16, 2018. Several OCC senior staff members joined more than 240 community college leaders at Middlesex County College for a full-day event.  The goal was to energize the conversation about the future of community colleges, to celebrate the full range of people who make our colleges successful, to hear from community college leaders and stakeholders, to begin to build and expand partnerships.  Presentations by William Rodgers, Dean Moshe Kam, and Secretary Zakiya Smith Ellis and the panel discussions with community college Presidents and key experts were all thought-provoking, inspirational, and forward thinking.
  • The Council will be working diligently over the next two months to pull together the input gathered at the Summit, from the idea box, and from discussions with more than 300 community college leaders into a report that outlines a bold and innovative framework for the future of New Jersey community colleges.
  • Work on the Ocean County College FY2018 audit report is ongoing. Normally the audit would be presented at the December Board meeting, but it is delayed this year due to the implementation of GASB 75.  GASB 75 requires data from the State on post-retirement benefits that is not yet available to New Jersey community colleges.
  • Auditor Bob Nehila will meet with the Audit Committee at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 10, 2019, prior to the Board Retreat.  Mr. Nehila will review the report with members of the Finance Committee during the regular committee meeting on Thursday, January 24, 2019.  He will then attend the Board’s public meeting, during which a recommendation will be made to accept the Audit Report.

Human Resources

  • A new Earned Sick Leave law became effective in the State of New Jersey on October 29, 2018. At OCC, the law provides new benefits to Temporary Employees, Coaches, CPE Instructors, Federal Work Study Students, OCC Work Study Students, and Nursing Clinical Instructors.  In compliance with the law, these categories of employees will begin to accrue earned sick leave.  All full-time staff are governed by J.S.A. 18A:64A-13, and current paid sick leave programs are not affected by the new legislation.
  • The search process for the position of Vice President of Academic Affairs has been underway for the past few months. The search committee, chaired by Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration Sara Winchester, recommended two candidates.  I interviewed the candidates and recommended both as finalists.  As such, Campus-Wide Open Forums will be held for Joseph Konopka and Dr. Marsha Pollard on December 3 and December 12, 2018, respectively, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the Gateway Building.  Campus community members who are unable to attend may participate through a WebEx audio conference.
  • The finalists’ resumes, full visit schedules, and other pertinent materials are posted on the OCC Faculty/Staff Portal.  After their visits, input will be solicited from the campus community regarding each candidate through a brief (non-anonymous) survey.  Comments must be received by noon on December 21, 2018, in order to be considered.
  • Interviews with trustees are scheduled with both candidates on Wednesday, December 12, 2018.

The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts

  • Students from Barnegat, Southern Regional, Lacey, Pinelands, and Manchester High Schools performed with Hamilton star Mandy Gonzalez on Friday November 2, 2018.  Gonzalez sang some of her favorite Broadway hits as well as performed a song written for her by Broadway’s Lin-Manuel Miranda for soloist and choir.
  • On Sunday, November 4, 2018, the community was treated to music from San Jose Taiko. The loud pounding drums brought people to their feet.  The group also offered matinee performances for elementary and secondary students on Monday, November 5, 2018, and performed at the Larson Student Center for the college community.

A special performance with the Deaf Percussion ensemble from Governor Livingston High School also took place.  These performances demonstrate the power of the arts to bring diverse groups of people together.

The holidays are coming and so are the shows at the Grunin Center. A Christmas Carol was sold out on Saturday, December 1, 2018, and the OCC Concert Band performance had over 350 patrons.  On Sunday, December 2, 2018, Christmas with the Celts also attracted over 350 patrons, and the Saturday, December 8, 2018, performance of The Nutcracker is sold out.

Upcoming December shows include:

  • The Holiday Express Band presents: A Family Matinee – Sunday, December 9, 2018
  • Rockapella – Thursday, December 13, 2018
  • Canadian Brass: Christmas Time is Here – Friday, December 14, 2018
  • Ana Gasteyer: Holiday Tipple – Saturday, December 15, 2018
  • The Glenn Miller Orchestra – Friday, December 21, 2018
  • A Very Electric Christmas – Sunday, December 23, 2018

The OCC Repertory Theatre is thriving and is on track to surpass revenue goals for the 2018-19 season. Tickets are available for the Repertory Theatre’s current production of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”  This show did so well last year that additional shows have been added this season.

A Corporate Partnership brochure has been published to reach out to the business community. The brochure will be distributed at the Board meeting and additional copies will be made available to trustees who wish to spread the word about sponsorship opportunities at the Grunin Center.  Mark Wilson, Director of Cultural Affairs, will share with you details about this brochure and sponsorships at the Board meeting.

College Relations

  • The College Relations team worked on re-branding the Southern Education Center.  The building now reflects the same look and feel as the main campus with new signage on the building, alumni banners, and Kean Ocean light pole banners.  The team is now working with the new Director to increase advertising outreach within the southern part of the county.
  • The TV studio televised a live event, “Unbreakable,” at the RWJ Barnabas Arena in Toms River on November 15, 2018. The event was in support of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s initiative to combat bullying.  A crowd of over 2,000 people heard from students on both sides of the issue, those who bullied and those who were victims of bullying.  The evening concluded with performances by Richie Sambora, guitarist of the rock band Bon Jovi and Gatin Matarazo of the hit TV show “Stranger Things.”  Ten students from the TV Studio Production class, with assistance from TV studio staff, had a unique “real world” experience by crewing the event.


  • 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 October 24, 2018, through November 28, 2018.

Student Affairs

  1. Advising

  • The Advising Office collaborated with Information Technology and Academic Affairs to establish guidelines in Colleague to manage advising assignments. Until now, advisor assignments had been made manually, which resulted in a tedious and time-consuming process.  As part of this change, incorrect advisor assignments were ended, and old assignments were expunged for students no longer enrolled.  The new guidelines resulted in more accurate and consistent assignments to faculty advisors.  Moving forward, the process of assigning advisors will occur once a semester in an automated fashion.
  • Two workshops were presented to each Student Success class over the course of four weeks this semester. The first presentation focused on an introduction to OCC advising.  Students were able to meet with a member of the advising staff and receive an advising syllabus.  Advisors spoke with students about advising learning objectives, the usage of Student Planning, advisor and student responsibilities, and advising and transfer resources.
  • The second presentation was a career pathways workshop, which focused on self, academic major, and career exploration.  Students were introduced to a career inventory and encouraged to think about whether their major is the correct pathway for their chosen career.  Students were provided with various resources, including the ability to create an account on the College Central Network.
  • The Advising and Admissions Offices partnered with Kean Ocean and OCC faculty and lecturers to host a Career Fair focused on the areas of business, finance, hospitality, government, law enforcement, social services, and seasonal and part-time employment. In attendance were 40 employers and approximately 150 students and community members.
  • Led by Assistant Director Michele Connolly and Advisor Samantha Walter, Advising partnered with the Hub, Admissions, Financial Aid, Student Life, and Testing to execute an Express Enrollment Day on Friday, November 16, 2018. Students tested, met with academic advisors, and registered for Spring 2019 in one day, most in three hours or less.  Students had the opportunity to meet with financial aid counselors as well as pay their bills.  In total, 83 students registered for the event, and 38 successfully enrolled for Spring 2019.
  • Laura Wills, Transfer Coordinator, hosted two important Transfer Workshops for students in November:
  • Will My Credits Transfer? – Wills helped students navigate the world of credit transfer to in-state and out-of-state colleges, as well as to learn how courses will impact their status at the four-year college. The workshop covered NJ Transfer, majors, and admission information, such as prerequisite courses necessary to gain entrance to various programs.  Over 20 students began discussions and scheduled follow-up appointments with Ms. Wills.
  • Education Workshop – Teacher’s Certification: Wills and her co-presenters met with 22 students for an important conversation about what is needed to enter a teacher’s certification program at a four-year institution.  Co-presenter Dr. Jane MacDonald, College Lecturer II in Education, spoke about the OCC Education courses and Praxis testing, and Ms. Wills presented a general guideline on transfer majors and colleges offering teacher’s certification.  In addition, Kean Ocean’s Education advisors were able to explain the prerequisite courses, program requirements, and testing required at a four-year institution.  Students were invited to review any transfer questions after the meeting.  The Advising Office hopes to offer this workshop again and include pilot partner Stockton University to allow students to hear about the seamless program OCC has developed for students seeking teacher’s certification.
  • The Advising, Transfer, and Career Services Office, in collaboration with Records and Registration, the School of Nursing, and Kean Ocean, hosted two Pre-Nursing Information Sessions in October. In total, 85 students attended the two sessions and received information on Nursing admissions, the Nursing Program, and the Kean BSN.  These sessions were coordinated by Associate Director Pamela Donohue.
  • An essential component to the revised matriculation processes has been to convert New Student Orientation from an in-person to online presentation. The Online Orientation Committee, chaired by Connolly, has been meeting since May to gather content for the new online format.  OCC’s New Student Orientation facilitates the transition of new students and prepares them for the educational opportunities, responsibilities, and integration into the intellectual, cultural, and social facets of the institution.  The orientation begins the conversation with students about goal setting and creating the best path to reach their academic, professional, and personal goals.  Ms. Walter has assumed primary responsibility for the creation and evolution of the online New Student Orientation, which is now available via Canvas.  The course will be updated frequently as new content becomes available.  Advising is currently collaborating with Information Technology to enroll students.
  • The NJ STARS Club, under the supervision of NJ STARS Coordinator Jennifer Kipp, is holding several fundraisers this semester to raise money for Ocean of Love, a local organization that assists families of children diagnosed with cancer.  The club held a clothing drive from October 1 to 5, 2018, and a bake sale on November 7, 2018, raising $338. The club also sponsored a food drive to benefit The People’s Pantry in Toms River.  The donations collected were delivered in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.


  • The Admissions Department hosted the Fall Open House on Saturday, November 3, 2018.  There were 310 attendees, which included 264 potential students and 46 guests.  This was the most well attended Fall Open House on record.  The event was truly a collaborative effort with facilities, security, faculty, administration, staff, and students all working together to make it a success.  The Open Houses were offered on weeknights in the past; however, as a result of the outstanding attendance at the past two Saturday Open Houses, the event will continue on Saturdays.

Counseling and Student Development Services

  • Three major functions operate within Counseling and Student Development Services:  Counseling services, the Student Support Services Program (SSS), and the Displaced Homemakers Program.
  • The Student Support Services Program and Displaced Homemakers Program completed their move to offices in the Russell Building.

Counseling Services

  • Kelly Petrolis, Student Intervention Specialist, has been working closely with sexual assault and domestic violence community agencies to bring activities and knowledge to campus. Under her leadership, Counseling Services hosted a variety of events in recognition of domestic violence prevention month, including:
  • Two powerful seminars on Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking featured speakers from the Sexual Abuse and Assault Prevention Program, St. Francis Counseling Services; the Dreamcatcher Program; and HEAAT (Helping to Educate and Advocate Against Trafficking). Tabitha C. shared her powerful and moving story of how domestic violence impacted her family and what has happened to the family since her sister’s death. OCC Security discussed its role and various procedures, and OCC Counseling Services likewise presented information about its role and the support provided to students who have experienced domestic violence, sexual violence, and trauma.  Nearly 200 people attended the seminars.  Information tables were sponsored by Dottie’s House and Providence House in the Larson Student Center.
  • On Tuesday, October 23, 2018, the campus was painted purple again to demonstrate support for the elimination of domestic violence; Ms. Juliana Dressner, Counseling and Student Development Administrative Assistant, created purple flowers that were posted throughout campus; the Student Support Services Club hosted a bake sale, with proceeds of $100 donated to local domestic violence programs.
  • Petrolis also led a collaboration with the OCC Governmental Affairs Institute to present a seminar on “How NOT to Cope with Anxiety.” This seminar featured presentations by the Ocean County Health Department and the DART Prevention Coalition.  Topics included smoking and vaping, as well as healthy ways to manage stress and anxiety.
  • Healthy Eating was the topic of an information-sharing session on November 7, 2018. A registered dietician from ShopRite discussed eating, menus, and food, provided information, and measured the BMI’s of students.
  • Upcoming activities include PTSD information and screening, featuring Jennifer Garcia, LCSW, from the VITAL Program, on Thursday, December 6, 2018, and Wednesday, December 12, 2018, from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm in Bartlett Hall; Health Day, on Monday, December 10, 2018, in the Larson Student Center, features local helping agencies, such as Fulfill and Ocean Health Initiatives, distributing information about financial assistance, housing, and health insurance. On Tuesday, December 11, 2018, in collaboration with the Barnes & Noble Bookstore, Zen Day will be featured with three-minute meditations held at 11:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 12:30 p.m. in the Bookstore conducted by Counseling Services staff.
  • Counselors conducted training for the HUB staff on handling distressed students in whatever way the students present, including the REGGIE system, calls, emails, or in person.

Student Support Services Program

  • There are 124 students currently participating in the Student Support Services Program, which is nearly at the 90% participation mark. The SSS Program staff members are compiling the data for the Department of Education’s Annual Performance Report, which will be due in March 2019.
  • Two new tutors joined the SSS Program this semester.
  • Students enjoyed a trip to the Broadway show, Aladdin, as one of their cultural enrichment activities, which supplement classroom learning and enhance overall educational experiences.
  • The SSS Club has been working on the annual Pizza with Santa event, which is held for SSS students, clients of the Displaced Homemakers Program, and their children. The SSS Club is hosting the annual Giving Tree in the Larson Student Center with ornaments on the tree identifying requested gifts for the children who attend the event.  The OCC community has proven its generosity; the Giving Tree ornaments used for the gift collection have been replaced twice.  The NJ STARS Club is collaborating with the SSS Club on this project.

Displaced Homemakers Program:

The Displaced Homemakers Program is working with 30 new clients and 60 continuing clients.  Education is essential to gain economic self-sufficiency.  This program helps defray the cost of books with financial assistance.  Currently:

  • 10 clients are enrolled in OCC classes for 104 credit hours
  • 3 clients are enrolled at Kean Ocean for 31 credits
  • 1 client is enrolled at Georgian Court University
  • 2 clients are enrolled at Rutgers University

There are currently seven clients in Continuing and Professional Education training, which provides work skills for employment.  They are enrolled in Medical Assistant, Phlebotomist, Safe Serve, and Microsoft Office Certificate Programs. The job readiness program, “Be Passionate about Your Future,” was conducted with five clients attending the twenty-four hour series, which is designed to hone job search and employment skills.

Financial Aid

The second phase of the College Pathways program started on October 25, 2018.  During this phase, the Financial Aid Department conducts financial aid presentations to high school seniors during the day and Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) workshops for parents and students at night.  Thus far, 39 presentations have been completed at the Central Regional, Manchester, Brick Memorial, Brick Township, Lacey, and Barnegat high schools.  Additionally, 143 families from these high schools were assisted in the completion of the FAFSA and the NJ Alternative Financial Aid Application.  In the upcoming week, the Financial Aid staff will present at Lakewood High School and will finalize this part of the program in December with the Toms River North, Toms River South, and Toms River East High Schools.

Student Life

Student Life is highlighting a recent project taken on by the OCC Makers Club, a club that exists to stimulate creativity on campus.  In conversation with Ms. Jamie Prioli, Adaptive Services Specialist in the Center for Academic Excellence, the Makers Club students came to understand a problem some students were experiencing using standard keyboards found on campus.  Students with hand control issues were hitting two keys at the same time.  An insert is available to purchase as a possible solution, but it is at the high cost of approximately $200.  The Makers Club, with the help of the Computer Science Club, made an insert for a keyboard commonly found on campus utilizing materials purchased by the club.  The cost to the club for a solution to assist their fellow students was approximately $5.  The prototype for the keyguard is currently being used by students on campus.

Several members of the Makers Club, their advisor, Dr. Angel Camilo, and Ms. Prioli will attend Thursday’s meeting to talk about the development of the keyguard.

Academic Affairs

  • Danielle DiSessa, a student of Professor Kathy Basilotto in the Interpreter Training Program, represented Ocean County College at the Invitation Only Forum by NJ Deaf News (an online news organization run by Deaf individuals for Deaf individuals) on November 10, 2018.  The forum addressed concerns regarding issues directly impacting the Deaf community in New Jersey, such as the escalating violence in our country, interacting safely with police, and ways to help protect the Deaf community. It was an honor for the Sign Club to be recognized by this Deaf organization. Sign Club board representative Danielle DiSessa is looking forward to sharing her experience at the Board meeting.

School of Nursing and Health Sciences

  • The Nursing Advisory Council met on November 14, 2018. Council members included representatives from various clinical facilities, current students, alumni, and faculty.   Members shared practice issues, and clinical experiences within the various facilities.  Program outcomes, including licensure examination passing rates, completion and job placement rates, and graduate satisfaction data were reviewed and discussed.  Clinical facilities continue to indicate positive experiences with students completing clinical rotations and with new graduates hired within their facilities.
  • The Student Nurse Organization (SNO) held a Career Day on November 16, 2018. Representatives from 15 clinical facilities attended the event.  Students were provided with information on applying for positions following completion of the program.  Information was available to current Nursing Program students regarding application for nursing assistant positions.  Kean University also participated in the event and provided information to prospective students regarding the BSN Completion Program.

SNO sponsored a bake sale on October 31, 2018, and over $300 was raised.  Proceeds are utilized to award students with scholarships at the annual Pinning Ceremony held in May.

  • Linda Simmons, BSN, RN, CEN, joined the School of Nursing on November 26, 2018. In her position as Skills Lab Coordinator, Simmons will be working weekdays from 12:00 noon to 9:00 p.m. to assure consistency in services provided to the students during the evenings.  She received her A.A.S. in Nursing from Ocean County College and a BSN from Rutgers University. She is an MSN candidate at Drexel University.
  • Teresa Walsh, MSN, RN-BC, Dean of Nursing and Health Sciences, has been appointed to the Board of Trustees at RWJ/Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center. Located in Toms River, the Behavioral Health Center provides acute psychiatric care within a 100-bed inpatient facility.  Extensive outpatient services are also available at the facility.

School of Arts and Humanities

  • The School of Arts and Humanities faculty and lecturers continue to introduce new curriculum. A. degrees in both English and History are in the final editing stages before being circulated throughout the higher education institutions in the state.  College Lecturer II in English Kristyn Stout created a Humanities course for the upcoming study abroad trip to Germany.
  • Associate Professor of English and Literature Jayanti Tamm and students in the Seascape Literary Magazine Club hosted a Day of the Dead open mic in the Larson Center. The room was filled with students sharing their poetry, songs, and prose.
  • Three students from the A.S. American Sign Language-English Interpreter Training Program, Ms. Danielle DiSessa, Ms. Sylvia Castillo, and Ms. Briana Gamba, served as volunteer interpreters for an Easter Seals event on Saturday, November 17, 2018. The event featured UFC fighter, Matt “The Hammer” Hamill, who happens to be Deaf, and storyteller Keith Wann.  These students interpreted for vendors and Deaf guests throughout the day.
  • College Lecturer II in Communications and Theatre Paul Chalakani reports the Repertory Theatre Company production of Driving Miss Daisy was a huge success. The final weekend was sold out, and there were standing ovations after each performance. Appreciation is expressed to David Wintrode and the Wintrode Family Foundation for sponsoring the production.
  • Robert Marchie and Mr. Stephen Downey, both College Lecturer IIs in History, completed two successful trips. Fifty students and community members visited Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, and the 9/11 Museum and Memorial.  Additionally, 50 students and community members attended the annual trip to Philadelphia to visit Eastern State Penitentiary and Independence Hall.  Mr. Marchie travelled to Gettysburg on Saturday, November 24, 2018, with 20 students and Professor Rick Trimble.  The History Club recently raised $250 to donate to Colemantown Meeting House and Jacobs Chapel for preservation of the historical site.
  • Myths and Stories: An Examination of Storytelling in Literature from Around the Globe was presented on Wednesday, November 14, 2018, by Jennifer Dellner, Professor of English and Literature; Dr. Joaquin Rolon, Associate Professor of English and Literature; Dr. Sandra Brown, Professor of English and Literature, and Associate Professor Tamm. This presentation was part of the International Education Week celebration.
  • College Lecturer II in Dance and Theatre Catherine Mancuso’s dance students held their Fall Showcase on December 4, 2018, in the Grunin Theatre to much applause from the audience.
  • The Music Department continues to offer a wide variety of programs for their students. In November, Applied Music Facilitator Brian Gilmore introduced students to the Bosendorfer Piano that is currently on loan.  The presentation included an educational film, a short presentation, and some repertory.

School of Business and Social Sciences

  • On November 29, 2018, the Future Addiction Counselors Club, led by College Lecturer II in Addictions Jeffrey Lang, sponsored a program at OCC, “Suicide Assessment, Intervention, and Treatment.” The workshop was offered by Michael Reading, MS, NCC, LMHC, Chief of Operations at King County Behavioral Health and Recovery Division in Seattle, Washington.  Mr. Reading is a nationally renowned speaker on this important public health issue.  Father Ed Reading (no relation), OCC Adjunct Professor of Addictions, assisted in the planning of this event.
  • College Lecturer II in Political Science and History Jason Ghibesi has been involved in planning and participating in a number of Global Education Committee events commemorating International Education Week.  The events included multidisciplinary presentations connected to this year’s theme of “Storytelling.”  These events included:
  • Charlotte Langeveld, Adjunct Professor of Anthropology, who spent ten years doing international field work in Africa and Afghanistan, spoke about her field work experience and its global connections, especially with regard to food security, education, and human rights. Challenges of effective humanitarian aid delivery were also discussed.
  • German-born Fatima Osipowicz immigrated to the United States as a child and has done extensive work in the field of international education. She taught in the English Language Institute at American University and the College of General Studies at George Washington University.  Her lecture focused on teaching ESL in Cuba, Bahrain, the former Soviet Union, Azerbaijan, as well as Poland and North Africa.
  • John Ramos served as a volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps in Madagascar from 2007 to 2009. His primary role was teaching English in the local school system.  He also worked closely with environmental and health volunteers on several auxiliary projects.  He discussed, in candid detail, his experience living and working abroad for twenty-seven months as a Peace Corps volunteer.
  • Jennifer Dellner, Dr. Joaquin Rolon, Dr. Sandra Brown, and Ms. Jayanti Tamm participated in “Myths and Stories: An Examination of Storytelling in Literature from Around the Globe.”
  • Kevin Bales hosted a virtual/Skype lecture and discussion facilitated by Mr. Ghibesi. Mr. Bales is the author of Slave Next Door, Blood and Earth: Modern Slavery, Ecocide and the Secret to Saving the World and Ending Slavery.  He is also the author of Disposable People, a required reading for all Global Issues students at OCC.  Mr. Bales is the Co-Founder of Free the Slaves, Washington D.C., and former Professor of Contemporary Slavery at the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation at the University of Hull.  He is considered the world’s leading expert on contemporary slavery, who regularly lectures and appears in a popular TED Talk on the topic.  He currently is a Professor of Contemporary Slavery at the University of Nottingham.
  • Jennifer Barnes, Professor of Political Science, attended the New Jersey State League of Municipalities Annual Convention in Atlantic City, where she participated in various seminars pertaining to the substance abuse issues within our state and the anticipated consequences associated with the impending legalization of recreational marijuana.
  • Rosann Bar, Dean of the School of Business and Social Sciences, recently attended a conference and workshop in Lowell, Massachusetts, that centered on “Establishing a Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.” In addition to gaining core information on innovation centers by experts in this field, she was able to tour the University of Massachusetts Lowell Innovation Hub, as well visit Bunker Hill College to gain insight into the challenges and best practices in creating such a center.

School of STEM

  • Bill Rickert, Professor of Mathematics, presented a discussion titled “Gosh Numbers” to mathematics students.
  • A mid-semester Computer Studies adjunct faculty meeting was led by Gerald Cohen, Computer Studies College Lecturer II; Ms. Andrea Hrehovcik, Computer Studies Administrative Assistant; and Assistant Dean of STEM Carolyn Showalter. Topics included various Computer Studies courses, grading, the attendance policy, as well as an open discussion for questions and answers.  Assistant Dean Showalter presented information on OCC’s C.A.R.E. Team reporting, advising, and student withdrawals.  Eight Computer Studies adjuncts attended the meeting
  • A mid-semester meeting was also coordinated for science adjuncts by John McElroy, College Lecturer II in Biology; Dr. Mary-Ellen Rada, College Lecturer II in Anatomy; Dr. Caterina Gibson, College Lecturer II in Science; Dr. Angel Camilo, College Lecturer II in Biology; and Mr. Vijay Ramdeen, College Lecturer II in Chemistry.  The meeting addressed several questions on the attendance policy, course teaching protocol, testing/lab practicals, and grading.  Also in attendance were Dean of STEM Paul Silberquit, Assistant Dean Showalter, and Ms. Barbara Collins, Science Lab Manager.  Ten science adjuncts attended the meeting.
  • Angel Camilo participated in a webinar titled “Successful Learning STEM Digital Education” conducted by Dr. Steven Furino, Assistant Dean of Online Studies, University of Waterloo. The goal of this webinar was to discuss student success in online STEM courses.
  • Several upcoming events in the STEM area include:
  • Jersey Shore Junior Science Symposium, a high school student science competition. Registration and abstract deadline by December 5, 2018.
  • Tau Iota Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa honor society’s Induction Ceremony of new members on December 7, 2018.
  • TechPrep Robotics competition on December 12, 2018.
  • MathCounts, a middle school student mathematics competition on February 9, 2018.

e-Learning and Learning Enterprises

  • Christine Webster-Hansen was welcomed as the new Assistant Dean of e-Learning on November 26, 2018.
  • Rachel Doss-Block, Associate Director of e-Learning, reports that course development for Spring 2019 is coming to a close, which includes online courses that have been newly developed, redeveloped, and reviewed, as well as those with textbook updates. The next development schedule, for Fall 2019, has been determined; individuals assigned to complete the work will undertake required trainings before working on their course assignments. Courses for Fall 2019 will be due July 1, 2019.
  • Online Instructor Training and Master Course Developer Training are currently underway and will end on December 17, 2018. Additional training dates are scheduled.  All online instructors must take and pass the Online Instructor Training prior to Fall 2019 assignments.
  • The e-Learning Department will be piloting Examity, an online proctoring service, in Spring 2019 with three sections of MATH 023, Algebra Basics. This will include integrating Examity with Canvas, providing training for the two instructors, creating guides on the service, pairing each course exam with a FairExam Level, and surveying the students and instructors at the end of the course to gain insight into their experiences.  Each FairExam Level will be tested three to four times. This pilot will allow the department to determine if Examity is the appropriate proctoring service for OCC students and instructors.
  • The Online Learning web pages are progressing. The Instructional Design Specialist and Graduate Intern have outlined content pages, gathered content, and are now laying out the content in WordPress.

Additional projects in e-Learning include:

  • Reviewing and restructuring online language courses
  • Developing a “help” video guide for online students
  • Scheduling training offerings for face-to-face and online faculty for January 2019
  • Working on courses for Egyptian partnerships
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