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As an Assistant Commissioner for the New Jersey State Department of Health, Stefanie Mozgai oversees the Health Facility Survey & Field Operations for the department. And, without hesitation, she credits the decision she made more than 20 years ago to enroll at Essex County College as being the impetus that has led her to this stage in her life.

 

Mrs. Mozgai was fresh out of college, armed with Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Psychology, and “wondering what I was going to do with it.” The then Bloomfield resident landed a part-time nursing aide job at the Carrier Clinic, in Belle Meade, where she became interested in the health care profession.

 

She decided the best way to improve her marketable skills was to take some science courses, opting to enroll at nearby Essex County College. She subsequently decided the College’s highly regarded Associate degree Nursing program would be an outstanding career option. And the Class of 1996 alumna has never forgotten what Essex has meant to her.

 

In fact, Mrs. Mozgai has in her state office several reminders of her time as an Essex student. On her desk is her Spirit of Nursing Award clock and plaque she received at the time of her graduation. She also has a chair emblazoned with the College logo.

 

After graduation, Mrs. Mozgai went to work for a long term care facility. “I never thought I would want to work a 3 to 11 p.m. shift in a geriatric unit, but I loved it,” she recalled. After several years there, she saw a job posting in the state department, working her way up and leading to her current position.

 

Mrs. Mozgai oversees a unit of 100 nurses, dieticians, pharmacists, and building inspectors that ensures that all health care facilities in New Jersey including hospitals, dialysis units, home health agencies, nursing home, assisted living residences, and same day surgical centers are safe and operating in compliance with state and federal regulations.

 

“In the 17 years I have been here, no day has ever been the same,” said Mrs. Mozgai. Noting that health care changes so rapidly, she said that a major regulatory focus is on infection control, for example.

 

In addition to her state position which also involves speaking to numerous organizations on new Medicare regulations, Mrs. Mozgai also finds time to serve as treasurer for the Association of Health Facility Survey Agencies. The Association advocates, oversees, and coordinates health care standards to assure high quality care for all state and federally regulated health care providers.

 

Mrs. Mozgai looks back nostalgically on her somewhat intimidating first day Nursing orientation. In no uncertain terms, Mrs. Mozgai and the rest of her classmates were told what was expected of them going forward.

 

“I look at how much I’ve accomplished and it would not be possible without my Nursing degree from Essex County College and I mean it with all my heart.”

 

 

Posted in Essex County College News

Essex County College will be the site of the two-week New Ark Fellowship Project for Essex County high school students. Sponsored by the College’s Africana Institute, this free pilot program’s goals include bringing awareness to area youth about three important life enhancing pillars: College, Careers and African History.

 

High school seniors who complete the program and subsequently enroll at Essex majoring in Africana Studies this coming fall will be eligible for scholarships. The program is open to students in grades nine through 12.

 

“We want students to understand the value of a college education in maximizing their future opportunities,” said Dr. Akil Khalfani, director of the Africana Institute.  “This initiative will open the door for more youth and their parents to be aware of the excellent opportunities provided by Essex County College.  However, we do not see attending Essex as the only option for students, the project’s goal in this regard is for students to attend any college after high school graduation.”

 

The program will be held from July 11 to July 22, and include day trips and mentorships for the participants.

 

The New Ark program utilizes the STREAM (Science, Technology, wRiting, Engineering, Art, and Math) concept, with emphasis on cinematography as a point of access. The students will focus on utilizing cameras, editing and sound to create high quality, community-based stories with an emphasis on African history & culture, cinematography, dance, architecture, science, technology and financial literacy.

 

The New Ark Fellowship Project takes a holistic approach to education. While focusing on STREAM and Africana Studies, students will be exposed to ideas about health and wellness, life skills, dance, entrepreneurship, and other complementary ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Essex County College News

The West Essex campus of Essex County College will conduct an open house for prospective students Tuesday, July 26, 4 to 6 p.m. The campus is at 730 Bloomfield Avenue in West Caldwell.

 

Prospective students who attend the open house will have their application fee waived. If qualified, they will receive an on-the-spot admission decision. Information on financial aid, transfer options, and credit and non-credit programs will be available, with tours of the campus included.

 

Fall Semester classes start September 6. The Weekend College begins September 9 and Fall II classes are set to start September 23.

 

Students can earn a number of associate degrees by taking classes solely at the West Essex campus. These majors include Social Sciences, Liberal Arts, Education, Business Administration and Accounting.

 

Additional information is available at 973-877-6590.

Posted in Essex County College News