A Newly Minted Dean and Three Assistant Deans
During the June 23 Board of Trustees meeting, the College officially appointed Dena Leiter to the position of Dean of Learning Resources and approved the hiring of three new assistant deans.
Three current employees competed for the recently created assistant dean positions and all three earned promotions. Sara Lacagnino is the College’s new assistant dean of Humanities and will support Dean Elise Donovan. Nicole Cippoletti has become the assistant dean of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) under Dean Liesl Jones. And Dr. Carlos Barrezueta is our assistant dean of Social Sciences/Businesses, which has Dr. Lester Sandres Rapalo as the new dean.
As Dean of Learning Resources, Ms. Leiter will be responsible for the Libraries, the Academic Learning Centers, the Media Center, and Distance Education. She directs services at three campus-based libraries and the Academic Learning Centers, managing faculty librarians, library staff, and ALC staff. She manages a $2.3 million budget. Before becoming a director in 2012, she served in an interim role and as an assistant librarian and an adjunct librarian. In these roles, she instructed students in research methods using the library Web site, which included use of the online catalog, electronic databases, and bibliographic-management tools. She also managed library acquisitions. Her educational credentials includes a master’s degree in Library and Information Studies from Rutgers University.
Ms. Lacagnino has worked for Union since 2009, as a coordinator and then a project director for the College’s Title V-funded programs for Hispanic students. The initial program was the Center for Student Success. Then in 2012, the College introduced a new Title V program called LEAP (Learning Enhanced through Accelerated Paths). Ms. Lacagnino’s prior experience included positions in Financial Aid offices at Seton Hall University and Wagner College. She has a master’s degree in Human Resources Training and Development from Seton Hall.
Ms. Cippoletti joined Union in 2012, and served as an academic affairs administrator for Cranford Campus Associate Vice President Negar Farakish. Her prior experience at Union included work as a program assistant for the Title V STEM program and as a youth-programs instructor for Continuing Education. Her prior work experience includes full-time teaching positions at Hackettstown High School, Weehawken High School, and McNair Academic High School, and as a Director of the Harlem Educational Activities Fund in NYC. She has a master’s degree in Education from St. Peter’s University of Jersey City.
Dr. Barrezueta has served as the College’s ombudsman and affirmative-action officer since 2013. His prior experience includes work at Miami Dade College as the executive director for the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Initiatives. He earned his juris doctorate degree from Yale Law School, where he also served as a post-doctoral fellow. His bachelor’s is in Political Science and History from Columbia University.
Ms. Leiter’s promotion and the appointment of the three new assistant deans become official on July 1.
Assemblyman Holley Visits Union's ALC
New Jersey Assemblyman Jamel Holley had received a great report about Union County College’s Academic Learning Centers, so he wanted to get a first-hand view.
When he was Roselle’s Mayor and as an adjunct instructor at the College, he had heard high praise about the Academic Learning Center. “Constituents and students have come up to me over the years telling me that they wouldn’t have made it to graduation were it not for the tutoring help they received at the ALC,” he says.
Now as Assemblyman for the 20th District, and recently appointed to the NJ State Assembly’s Higher Education Committee, he decided to make visiting the ALC a priority.
Assemblyman Holley went to the ALC on May 21. Even though the College’s Spring semester had ended a week before, and Commencement held a day before, the ALC was still in business serving students looking to get a jump on summer-term classes.
What gives the ALC its edge are its “peer tutors.” These are the high-achieving Union County College students or recent graduates who earn work-study pay to provide tutoring assistance on all three Union campuses for any student asking for help.
The numbers of students served is staggering. Over the past year, the ALC’s peer tutors provided more than 50,000 instruction sessions across all disciplines, but mostly in Math. In fact, five years ago, when Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin became Union’s president, one of her first priorities was to establish Math Success Centers as part of each campus ALC.
During his tour of the ALC on Union’s Cranford Campus, Assemblyman Holley devoted much of his visit to listening to students individually discuss their own educational and career aspirations. “The stories of these students, their backgrounds and their dreams—they tug at your heartstrings. I felt a great deal of empathy for them.”
Empathy proved to be a two-way street as Assemblyman Holley told his own story, of his being raised in the County by a single mother and having overcome a number of obstacles on his own path to success.
His message to students was welcome: “Keep studying hard and making the most of the opportunity that Union County College is offering. This is a great community college and a Union County treasure.”
Union County College’s New Research Director
On April 7, Elizabeth Cooner became Union County College’s new Executive Director of Institutional Research in the Assessment, Planning and Research Department. In this role, she manages a staff of three that supports the College’s strategic planning, institutional development, and assessment.
The APR Department provides data and reports to support decision-making, management, policy formulation, evaluation, and accountability. In addition, APR prepares and submits mandated federal and state reports to external agencies such as New Jersey Higher Education, the New Jersey Council of County Colleges, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and the US Department of Education.
Ms. Cooner brings to Union more than fifteen years of relevant research and planning experience in both higher education and in the corporate research industry. Her prior experience includes more than seven years at Harris Interactive, Inc., a subsidiary of Neilsen, where she served as the Vice President of Social and Public Policy. Ms. Cooner’s experience in higher education includes having served as the Assistant Director of Monmouth University’s Polling Institute and as Monmouth’s Director of Marketing and Institutional Research. She also served in a one-year interim role at Brookdale Community College conducting market and survey research.
Ms. Cooner has a master’s degree in Public Policy Analysis from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University.
Union County College President Margaret McMenamin says Ms. Cooner’s arrival at the College is “welcome and much needed.” She adds, “The APR Department provides data and analysis and forecasts to inform the decisions we make in every aspect of our operations, from budgeting to marketing to academic programming. With our College only two years away from a Middle States visit, Ms. Cooner is coming to us at a critical time. I’m pleased that she understands and appreciates our urgency and that she has the proven track record for being someone capable of hitting the ground running.”
Union County College is undergoing a College-wide Self Study as part of the decennial reaccreditation process, which will culminate with a Middle States visit in 2017.
Trinitas Open House at Union County College on April 21
The Open House will be held on April 21, 2015, from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Theater located on the lower level of the Lessner Building at the College’s Elizabeth campus. The Trinitas School of Nursing is located on the third floor of the College’s Kellogg Building. It is a NLN Center of Excellence in Nursing Education. The Trinitas School of Nursing is a cooperative program with Union County College that awards students a diploma in nursing from the school and an associate in science degree from the College. Representatives will be available to provide information on the enrollment process, including admissions, financial aid, student services, and student activities. The College’s Elizabeth campus is located at 40 W. Jersey Street. If you plan to attend the Open House, please RSVP to email@example.com or call (908) 709-7518. The open house session is free; however, RSVPs are recommended.
Singh Joins Union County College as New Chief Information Officer
CRANFORD - Union County College has a new Chief Information Officer.
Inder V. Singh joins the College with more than 25 years’ experience developing information-technology strategies and plans in higher education. For the past 14 years, Singh served as the associate vice president of IT for The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.
Singh’s management experience includes developing IT strategies, budgeting, support services, and project management. In addition, he has designed and built information-technology infrastructures that have enabled multiple campuses to support administrative and academic requirements and to provide centralized emergency notifications.
At Union County College, Singh will lead information technology and communication systems over three campuses. He will manage a $15 million technology network and a staff of 28 employees charged with keeping the College’s three- campus computer infrastructure and network functional at all times.
Singh has an MBA in Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a certificate in computer programming from Madurai, India. He also holds his Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Delhi University.
Union County College’s Dr. Castaldi Named to NLN Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation Board of Commissioners
CRANFORD – Union County College’s Dr. Patricia Castaldi, Director of Practical Nursing and Allied Health, and Interim Dean of the College’s Plainfield campus, has been named to the National League of Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation Board of Commissioners effective March 1, 2015.
In 2014, Dr. Castaldi was asked to be a member of the CNEA Steering Committee, which is responsible for maintaining the bylaws and policies for the CNEA. As a member of this committee, she was then asked to participate on the Standards Subcommittee for Practical Nursing Education. The Standards Committee participated in the development and revision of the accreditation standards.
The NLN Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation promotes excellence and integrity in nursing education through an accreditation process that respects the diversity of program mission, curricula, students, and faculty. By emphasizing a culture of continuous quality improvement within nursing education globally, the CNEA accreditation process influences the preparation of a caring and skilled nursing workforce.
For a program to be considered for accreditation, it must prepare a student to practice the core values of caring, diversity, integrity, and excellence. By focusing on these four areas, students are taught to uphold process and rigor in a caring manner; respecting each program’s diversity of mission, curricula, faculty, and students; to exercise personal, professional and organizational integrity throughout the process; and to promote excellence through clarity of the accreditation process.
Dedicated to excellence in nursing education, the National League for Nursing is the preferred membership organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education. NLN members include nurse educators, education agencies, health care agencies, and interested members of the public. The NLN offers faculty development programs, networking opportunities, testing and assessment, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its 33,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members.
Union County College’s New Italian Partner
ELIZABETH – On Wed., Mar. 25, Union County College entered into an articulation agreement with John Cabot University, a private, accredited American liberal arts university located in Rome, Italy.
The agreement provides seamless transfer for Union County College associate-degree graduates to the University. John Cabot President Franco Pavoncello visited the Elizabeth Campus to sign the agreement with Union’s Chief Academic Officer Dr. Maris Lown.
Before an audience that included Board of Trustees Chair Vic Richel and Trustees Frank Bolden, George Castro, and Wilson Londono, Dr. Pavoncello chose this occasion to announce the commitment by John Cabot University to fully fund a scholarship for a Union County College graduate every year. Tuition at the University is about $30,000.
Lacrosse is ranked 10 in nation
Union County College Lacrosse team has been battling Mother Nature to get out on the field this season, but once they did they earned their way to being ranked 10th in the country throughout NJCAA.
The Owls opened their season hosting Tompkins Cortland Community College from New York. Union defeated Cortland 6-2 and started the season on a strong note. This past Sunday Union hosted Cecil College who travel from Maryland to play Union again. The Owls worked well together and started to build momentum throughout this game and beat Cecil 17-2.
With the lack of outdoor field practice time the team has been overly excited to get out onto the open field to play. With this said, Union County College Men's Lacrosse is currently ranked 10th in the Nation for NJCAA.
The Owls are scheduled to travel to the 3rd nationally ranked college throughout NJCAA, CCBC Essex in Maryland this Wednesday at 7pm.
The Women's Basketball team is advancing to the District Championship.
The Women's Basketball team beat Dean College on Saturday and is advancing to the District Championship. The score was 62-57.
Teams advancing to the Championship will compete in the NJCAA DivII National Tournament in Overland Park Kansas on March 17-21.
Dr. Negar Farakish of Union County College to Receive Exemplary Leadership Award
CRANFORD – Dr. Negar Farakish serves as Associate Vice President and Dean of American Honors at Union County College. She has been employed at the College for almost four years and in that time, she has markedly contributed to the advancement of student success. To honor her success, she has been chosen as a recipient of The Chair Academy’s 2015 International Exemplary Leadership Award. This award recognizes the ability of an individual to advance post-secondary academic and administrative leadership.
The Chair Academy, a department of Mesa Community College, and the Maricopa County Community College District, is dedicated to delivering exemplary leadership development. The Academy has offered world-class, competency-based, leadership development programs for college and university leaders since 1992. Leadership programs are offered at organizational, state, regional, national, and international level. The Annual International Leadership Conference attracts leaders from around the world to experience distinguished keynote speakers and presentations. The Academy’s refereed journal is respected as a source of inspiration and best practices in leadership.
Dr. Farakish will receive her Idahlynn Karre International Exemplary Leadership award at the Chair Academy’s 24th Annual International Conference. The conference is entitled, “Leadership in the High- Definition Age,” and will be held at the Sheraton in downtown Seattle, Washington from April 7-10. Dr. Farakish was nominated by her colleague, Dr. Barbara Gaba, who serves as Provost of the College’s Elizabeth campus and Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs.
Union County College is a public comprehensive community college providing quality, affordable, accessible education programs that serve the greater Union County region. It is the oldest of New Jersey’s 19 Associate Degree colleges, serving both career-minded and transfer-oriented students since 1933. The College enrolls almost 30,000 credit, non-credit and continuing education students and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Many programs lead to the Associate in Arts, Science, and Applied Science degrees.
Union County School Counselors Association to Host College Fair at Union County College
CRANFORD – On Monday, March 16, 2015, the Union County School Counselors Association will be hosting a College Fair at Union County College’s Cranford campus. More than 90 colleges and universities from throughout the tri-state area will be in attendance. All members of the community, particularly high school students and their parents, are encouraged to attend.
The College Fair will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the gymnasium, cafeteria, and the Richel Student Commons. This is an opportunity to speak with representatives from the varied colleges and universities and to learn about the differences and similarities amongst the many institutions of higher education. Representatives from the Armed Services, State Police, and Vocational-Technical Schools will also be in attendance. A financial aid information session will also be held.
There is no cost for the College Fair or for parking for the event. Union County College’s Cranford campus is located at 1033 Springfield Avenue.
Union County College's Women Basketball Team Win Region XIX Championship!
Union County College's Women basketball won the region XIX Div.II Championship beating Lackawanna Communitity college 69-46. Coach Cheryl Bell was named the Donna Herran, Div.II Coach of the year and Zhane Robinson was the MVP of the tournament.
Union County College will host the next round of the NJCAA Women's Division II District playoffs at the County College of Morris on Saturday March 7 and Sunday March 8. Game times TBD.
Union County College's Men and Women Basketball Team's in Region XIX Tournament
Women: Overall record of 23-4, Tied for first place in the region with Lackawanna. The women’s basketball team beat 3rd seed team Harcum 57- 56 today at County College of Morris.57-56. Advancing Union into the region xix championship game to be held on Saturday at County College of Morris. Game time 11:00AM
Men Finished fourth in the Region. Beat Brookdale in the quarter-final round on Tuesday evening, 90-67 advancing them to the semi-final round. The men will play top seed, County College of Philadelphia tonight at 7:30 at Brookdale Community College. Region Championship game on saturday 3:00 PM.
Dr. Barbara Gaba of Union County College to Receive Educational Excellence Award from National Council of Negro Women
Dr. Barbara Gaba serves as the Provost of Union County College’s Elizabeth campus and is an Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs for the College. She is an active member of the greater Elizabeth community as well. Dr. Gaba has been chosen by the National Council of Negro Women, Inc., Greater Elizabeth Area Section, to be a recipient of the Prestige Recognition Award, “NCNW Educational Excellence Award.”
Dr. Gaba will receive this award at the 10th Annual Harambee Breakfast and Awards Ceremony being held on March 14 at the Renaissance Airport Hotel in Elizabeth. Dr. Gaba is one of five individuals who will be awarded for their outstanding commitment to community service.
The keynote speaker at the ceremony will be the Honorable Alexis Herman, the first African American United States Secretary of Labor. As well, the National Council of Negro Women will be celebrating 80 years of enriching and fulfilling the lives of African American women and their families. The organization was established in 1935 by Mary McLeod Bethune, distinguished educator and life rights leader.
The mission of the NCNW is to lead, develop and advocate for women of African descent as they support their families and communities. The organization fulfills its mission through research, advocacy and national and community- based health, education, and economic empowerment services and programs in the United States and Africa.
Union County College is a public comprehensive community college providing quality, affordable, accessible educational programs that serve the greater Union County region. It is the oldest of New Jersey’s 19 Associate Degree colleges, serving both career-minded and transfer-oriented students since 1933. The College enrolls almost 30,000 credit, non-credit and continuing education students and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Many programs lead to the Associate in Arts, Science, and Applied Science degrees.
Showing of the film “I Shall Not Be Silent” at Union County College in Celebration of Black History Month
Union County College continues its monthly celebration of African American heritage with the keynote event for the month which will take place on in the Richel Commons. The College will host a screening of I Shall Not Be Silent, a film featuring the life of Rabbi Joachim Prinz, an advisor and supporter of Dr. Martin Luther King.
Following the film will be a panel discussion, Nancy Giles, a writer and contributor to CBS News Sunday Morning, will serve as the panel moderator. Panelists include; State Senator Ray Lesniak; Union County Freeholder Chairman Mohamed Jalloh; Newark Mayor Raz Baraka; Rabbi Prinz’s daughter, Deborah Prinz; Rabbi Clifford Kulwin Rabbi Prinz’s successor and Rabbi of Temple B’nai’ Abraham in Livingston and the two filmmakers, Rachel Fisher and Rachel Pasternak.
As event organizer Shirley Hollie-Davis says, “In light of what is happening in America today--in Ferguson, Missouri, New York City and in Sanford, Florida--an ongoing dialog is necessary to continually engage a public, but specifically, students, who may have limited access to information regarding how the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement were diverse in ethnicity and religion, how dedicated they were to the Movement, and what significant contributions they made in the name of freedom.”
The event will begin at 2 p.m. and will be held in the Roy Smith Theater on the College’s Cranford campus, located at 1033 Springfield Avenue. This event is being dedicated to the memory of Dr. Clement Price, the distinguished Rutgers professor and historian who passed away on Nov. 5, 2014.
Union County Freeholder Board supports opening of Union County College's new facility in Rahway
Union County Freeholder Chairman Mohamed S. Jalloh and Union County College President Dr. Margaret McMenamin cut the ribbon officially opening the new Union County College facility in Rahway. They were joined by Freeholder Sergio Granados, Rahway Mayor Samson Steinman, Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC) Board President Dr. Sondra Fishinger and Executive Director Dr. Lawrence McCullough, members of the College's Board of Trustees and Board of Governor and faculty, staff, and students.
By opening this facility in Rahway, Union expands its ability to bring class offerings closer to home for individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations in the Rahway area.
"We are bringing the arts to the County of Union on a higher level than it's ever been done before. We have the facilities, we have the resources, and now we have the education right here in Union County for our students to stay here, to learn here, to live here and to do arts here," said Freeholder Chairman Jalloh.
Presented as part of the Freeholder Chairman's 2015 "Build a Community of The Arts" initiatives - a set of initiatives that seek to build a county-wide arts ecosystem that will grow and stimulate our economy - the opening of this facility is the result of a partnership between the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Union County College, the City of Rahway, and the Union County Performing Arts Center.
Among the planned programs at the new Rahway location are credit and non-credit classes in acting, dance, public speaking, and more. In these classes, students will have an opportunity to volunteer with several of the acting companies that stage productions at the UCPAC. In addition classes will be offered by the Industry-Business Institute for employees of businesses in the area. These are free classes funded by a grant from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Also courses will be available through the college's Senior Scholars Program and Office of Continuing Education. Classes at the new Rahway location, like all others offered through the county college, will be open to all residents.
"I think it's absolutely essential that we provide these opportunities for our students who endeavor upon the arts for their future. I think people who look at the world from that perspective can make a difference in the world. I'm truly excited to have the partnerships that we have established. Today is about making it happen - this was an idea, now it's a reality," said Chairman Jalloh.
For more information about Freeholder Chairman Jalloh's 2015 "Build a Community of The Arts" initiatives visit ucnj.org.
Union County College’s Board Member Zimmermann Named to ACCT Governance and Bylaws Committee
Union County College President Margaret M. McMenamin is pleased to announce that Mary M. Zimmermann, Chair of the Union County College Foundation, and member of the College’s Board of Governors and Board of Trustees, has been named to represent Union as an Associate Member of the Governance and Bylaws Committee of the Association of Community College Trustees.
The Governance and Bylaws Committee is responsible to review resolutions related to the governance of the ACCT, amendments to the bylaws, and the board policies. In fulfilling this charge, the committee helps ensure that the Board of Directors of ACCT is fulfilling its role to represent the member boards in determining and demanding appropriate organizational performance through its written policies. Associate members of the committee may serve three consecutive one-year terms and have full voting rights.
Mrs. Zimmermann, a resident of Summit, NJ, describes herself as a “professional volunteer.” In addition to the time she spends serving and helping to improve Union County College, she also commits her time to other organizations. In July 2010, Mrs. Zimmermann was named Volunteer of the Month by SAGE Eldercare. In her volunteer capacity she delivered meals once or twice a week for the Meals on Wheels program and participated in Summit’s “Loaves and Fishes” food pantry at St. Teresa’s of Avila Church, sorting and bagging grocery staples for families in need. SAGE Eldercare chose to honor Mrs. Zimmermann as a Volunteer of the Month for July 2010 because of her passion and commitment to helping those less fortunate than herself.
Mrs. Zimmermann also serves as one of five commissioners on the Summit Housing Authority. The SHA owns and manages 195 low-rent family, elderly, and handicapped housing units. The authority is also the City of Summit’s designated local redevelopment agency and administers the City’s Community Development Block Grants Program. The Authority is responsible for the administrative aspects of the management, development and rehabilitation of affordable lower income housing.
Union County College is a public comprehensive community college providing quality, affordable, accessible educational programs that serve the greater Union County region. It is the oldest of New Jersey’s 19 Associate degree colleges, serving both career-minded and transfer-oriented students since 1933. The College enrolls almost 30,000 credit, non-credit and continuing education students and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Many programs lead to the Associate in Arts, Science, and Applied Science degrees.
Freeholder Chair Jalloh helps kick off Black History Month celebrations at Union County College
Union County College President Margaret M. McMenamin was joined by Union County Freeholder Chairman Mohamed Jalloh on Feb. 3, at the opening celebration of the college's series of Black History Month events. Freeholder Jalloh addressed the crowd of students, faculty, and staff, speaking about the significant contributions made by members of the black community and the influence of African American culture on today's world.
In addition to Chairman Jalloh, Union County Freeholder Vice Chairman Bruce Bergen and Freeholder Sergio Granados attended the ceremony. After the welcoming remarks by President McMenamin, the audience was entertained and educated by a group from the Greg Bufford School of Music on elements of dancing, singing, and the history of drumming. Their performance was entitled, "Drums Dance and Music: From Africa to the New World."
The Greg Bufford School of Music is located in West Orange. The mission of the school is to provide the highest caliber of artistic training for musicians and singers in the community, so that they may achieve their fullest potential as artists, leaders and global citizens. The faculty is comprised of internationally renowned musicians/singers, preeminent jazz, classical, R&B artist, gold/platinum and Grammy award- winning composers and producers. Their skill, talent, dedication and patience is the cornerstone of the learning experience for students of all ages and levels.
The founder, Greg Bufford, studied composition and orchestra percussion at Berklee College of Music. He went on to study jazz drums under with master drummer Philly Joe Jones. He continued his studies in drum and bass with Larry Ridley, Jazz piano with Kenny Barron, Jazz/Motown drums with Freddie Waits, Vibes and Improvisation with Steve Nelson, African percussion with Chief Bey, Brazilian percussion with Dom Um Romao and was mentored by master drummer Papa Jo Jones for three years.
Bufford earned a B.A. in music from Rutgers University 1979. For more information, visit www.thebuffordschoolofmusic.com.
The Cranford Jaycees visit in mid-January to thank Union County College President Margaret M. McMenamin for once again enabling them to host an event in October that raises funds to support local charities.
Cranford - The Cranford Jaycees visited in mid-January to thank Union County College President Margaret M. McMenamin for once again enabling them to host an event in October that raises funds to support local charities. Shown here is a “big check” for $13,000 that the Jaycees donated to the Cranford First Aid Squad. Along with President McMenamin (left) and leaders of the Cranford chapter of the Junior Chamber are two graduates from Union County College’s EMT program—Jason Cruz (third from left) and Kruti Brahmbhatt (second from right)—who are working EMTs for the Squad.
January 2015 Commencement Images are Available on Flickr