ECC students have a sense of belonging and successful alumni have made themselves a part of ECC’s extended family.


“At Essex I found affordable tuition, small classes, a nurturing environment, and indeed a family atmosphere! My dream deferred has become a dream fulfilled, thanks to the education, support, and encouragement from ECC.” – Bertheleau Ngakam


Bertheleau Ngakam (2007 Valedictorian) graduated with an A.S. in Biology/Pre-Med (4.0 GPA) and was the fifth ECC student in seven years (Susan Stepney in 2001, Claudia Ordonez in 2005, Jose Medina in 2006, Kerry McCann, also in 2006) to be recognized on the All-USA Community & Junior College Academic First Team. Bertheleau was also the second ECC student to receive the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship of $90,000 for three years of baccalaureate studies. He is now a junior at Cornell University.


“Essex is like my second home. Its population is so diverse, reflecting so many cultures. It has been very rewarding coming here. Essex is truly a good start in one’s career and the academic experience is great! The teachers are very knowledgeable, caring, supportive, and understanding.” – Gladys Durand


Gladys Durand (Class of 2006) graduated with honors in the summer of 2008 from NJIT’s Civil Engineering program. She has already secured a full-time position as an engineer in the ECO Restoration Group of the New Jersey engineering firm Louis Berger Group, Inc. in Morristown. She will be involved in environmental mitigation projects, particularly wetland mitigation and hydraulic design. While working full-time at the firm, she will also be taking master’s level courses part-time in NJIT’s Civil Engineering program, focusing on water resources and hydraulics.


“Coming to ECC has helped me tremendously. If you take advantage of all the activities and academics available here, you can really go far. Financial considerations made me choose ECC. Once I got here, the college opened my eyes and helped me achieve so much in a relatively short time.” – José Medina


José Medina (2006 Valedictorian), ECC’s first recipient of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation scholarship ($90,000 for three years), is in his final year of engineering study at Georgia Tech. In the summer of 2008 he interned for John Deere in Iowa, working on power train systems. In Fall 2008 he started another internship in Illinois with Caterpillar, Inc. in its division of power motion and controls. Medina, who graduated from the engineering program at ECC, was the third ECC student to be recognized in the All-USA Community College Academic First Team.


“I will always be grateful for opportunities bestowed upon me while I attended ECC. Being the recipient of the Open Door and Dingler scholarships allowed me to broaden my future and excel. I am deeply appreciative.” – Bosede Olaogun


Bosede Olaogun (Class of 2002), pictured here with Dr. Benjamin Carson, Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery and Co-Director of the Johns Hopkins Craniofacial Center, completed her baccalaureate with honors from Johns Hopkins University in May 2005 and then her master’s in Information Systems and Telecommunications from Johns Hopkins (3.86 GPA) in May 2007. Currently she is working as an IT Specialist for the Social Security Administration in Maryland. Bosede next plans to attend New York Institute of Technology to pursue a master’s in Business Administration.