Bilingual Division Receiving New Computers

The Board approved a $6,210 contract with Dell Computers of Round Rock, Texas, for six new desktop computers.  The computers will be installed in the Division of Bilingual Studies’ language lab, said Division Chair Marie Girault.  The new computers will replace units which are six years old, which is par to the College’s replenishment program.

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Winter Intersession Classes Hit Record Numbers


More than 300 students have signed up for the 2013-2014 Winter Intersession, the 10-session term that started December 18 and runs through January 6.  That’s up from the close to 200 students who had signed up last year.

“This is a great opportunity to work toward our institutional goal of graduating within three years by enrolling in one of the General Education courses offered,” said Professor Emeritus Donald Yee, Coordinator of the Winter Intersession.

There are 18 courses in a wide range of disciplines offered.  Each 3 credit course completed counts as part of a student’s regular Spring 2014 schedule; if a student takes nine or more additional credits in Spring 2014, he/she will be considered a full-time student.  All classes are held in the Center for Technology in Newark.

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WISE Women’s Center: Not Singing the Blues


“Handling The Holiday Blues,” a workshop in the continuing series of lunchtime monthly events hosted by WISE Women’s Center, was held on November 20.   The workshop presented by Denise Sanders Brooks, WISE Coordinator, was offered as a collaborative effort between WISE and ECC’s Human Resources Department for employees as well as students.

“The holiday blues are periods of depression or sadness associated with activities or events occurring during the holiday season,” noted Ms. Sanders Brooks.  “Mood changes, unrealistic expectations, over-commercialization, financial stress, anxiety, fatigue, overeating, overdrinking, loneliness, loss of loved ones, and unresolved relationship conflicts can affect our ability to cope with personal, career, academic and holiday related activities and responsibilities.”

Workshop attendees were encouraged to fight back the blues by being honest about their feelings and realistic in how they can contribute to the holiday celebrations.  In addition, the speakers advised attendees to speak to their doctor about the feelings they may experience, if necessary.

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9 Trainings in 2 Months for ECC’s Corporate and Business Training

The New Jersey Family Care Training is offered statewide through a partnership with NJ State Governor’s Office, Civil Service Commission, Department of Health Services and the New Jersey Community College Consortium.  As a program participant, ECC’s Corporate and Business Training (CBT) has scheduled nine New Jersey Family Care Training classes since October 2013, and trained 106 participants.

“With the State’s largest number of community-based organizations, Essex County is expected to receive a large response to this statewide initiative,” said Maureen Behr, Director of ECC’s CBT.  “In anticipation of the high client demand, CBT has requested to schedule another 16 training classes through the end of March 2014.”

The Consortium’s expected project revenue of $432,000 will be shared among the State’s colleges.  The project is expected to continue for almost one year.

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ECC’s Extension Programs FOCUS on Outreach

Essex County College and the FOCUS Hispanic Center for Community Development held a student orientation for extension center students on November 22.  The purpose of the event was two-fold:

  • to raise the awareness of the academic, career and student support services available to extension center students; and
  • to raise the awareness of the pivotal role the extension center plays in terms of community outreach to the academic division chairpersons and staff.

Opening remarks were given by Casto Maldonado, President and CEO of FOCUS; Dr. Stephanie Steplight-Johnson, Dean of Liberal Arts; and Carlos Rivera, Acting Dean of Business, Industry and Government.

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Two Humanities Faculty Shine on the “Small Screen”


Two ECC Humanities faculty are now stars of the small screen, a.k.a. television, as an adjunct faculty member serves as an expert on a series on the Travel Channel and as our resident master pianist takes on a new cable show.

Art adjunct faculty member Traci Lombardo is a featured regular on the Travel Channel show Baggage Battles.  The half-hour documentary television series follows 3 teams of savvy auction specialists as they travel around the world to bid on Lost Property Auctions.  Traci’s bio is available on the show’s website:  Baggage Battles airs Tuesday nights @ 9:00 pm on the Travel Channel.

Music Program Coordinator Prof. Richard Alston, pianist, is host and producer of Performing Arts Showcase at Essex County College.  The new cable show celebrates talented instrumentalists, singers, actors, dancers and composers from the New Jersey/New York Metropolitan area. The performances are also available online at YouTube by clicking on the following links:

The second installment features music major and jazz vocalist Ricky DeMarco with “The Richard Clements Trio.”


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ECC’s Annual Employee Health Benefits Fair a Success


The Human Resources Department hosted its Annual Employee Health Benefits Fair to kick off ECC’s “Open Enrollment Month” sending a message to employees that the administration of the College is committed to promoting employees’ overall health and well-being.   Twenty-six vendors visited campus, ranging from the traditional health to current investment carriers serving our ECC community.

“The month’s programs began with the Health Awareness Lunch ‘n Learn Week Series and culminated with the College community ECC Wear Your Pink Day,” said Ms. Julette Cherrington, Manager, Human Resources.  “Nursing Professor Vickie Grosso – a cancer survivor – graciously shared her compelling story with her colleagues.”

To increase overall engagement, students representing Physical Therapist Assistants, Nursing and Vision Care Technology also participated.  The Human Resources Department coordinates two fairs during this period at both campuses, Newark and West Caldwell.

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New Furniture for the Main Campus

The Trustees approved two contracts totaling $61,209.66 with Nickerson New Jersey, Inc. of Keyport for furniture. Both expenditures are through Chapter XII funds from the County of Essex. The $34,295.25 contract provides a variety of furniture – desks, chairs, and cabinets – for the 5th Floor offices.  The remainder of the contract is for new storage cabinets and tables for the 3rd Floor Biology and Chemistry labs.

“The existing furniture will be recycled throughout the building where it is needed most,” explained Dr. Joyce Wilson Harley, VP of Administration & Finance.  “The contract also provided an upgrade of our labs so our students can have state of the art equipment for working with the proper environment.”

Dr. Harley added the labs are undergoing a complete overhaul of protocol for safety, crediting Biology & Chemistry Chair Dr. Jill Stein and lab coordinator Poliana Da Silva for overseeing the work.

“These purchases are all necessary and fit in with our policy of spending money wisely,” Dr. Harley said.

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New Contract for Metropolitan Food Service

Metropolitan Food Services, Inc. will continue providing cafeteria and catering services for the next five years, following approval of a new contract with the Massapequa, New York company. The contract also calls for the company to run the concession stand at the Newark campus.

“We have received very positive feedback about Metropolitan’s service from our students, faculty and staff, and outside people who visit the campus and eat in our cafeteria,” said Dr. Joyce Wilson Harley, Vice President of Administration & Finance.  “In addition, it makes financial sense for Metropolitan to also run the concession stand, since the company can secure better pricing on a variety of items.”

Metropolitan also now accepts credit cards, following an agreement with the College earlier this year.


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Online Tutorial Services Expanding

The College is expanding its online tutorial services, thanks to a one-year contract extension with Link-Systems International, Inc., Tampa, Florida. The extension for $30,789 approved by the Board of Trustees continues the 24-hour online service. It also provides a supplemental service option to support the online/hybrid courses offered.

“The expansion of services provides our students with additional options for tutoring, which we expect will increase our retention rate,” said Assistant Dean for Academic Foundations Leigh Bello-de Castro.

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