Since a visit last December by an American Bar Association (ABA) Site Review Committee, Essex County College has been waiting to see if the Paralegal Studies (PLS) Program would receive approval from the national organization. The wait is over following the ABA granting program approval on August 9.


The term of approval is seven years, ending in August of 2023.


“The designation reaffirms that our Paralegal Program is a sound, highly regarded program. Perhaps most importantly, it also exemplifies an institutional commitment to enhancing the lives and advancing the careers of our students, permitting them to contribute to the economy of Essex County,” said Professor Linda Carter, director of the PLS Program.


“In addition to all the hard work performed by the College’s PLS ABA Core Team, which includes Professors Charles Reid and John Smith, faculty, students, and key department administrators and staff, I also want to thank the Essex County Bar Association (ECBA). The ECBA disseminated surveys to its members in order for the program to use results of those surveys to prepare PLS students to meet the expectations and requirements for paralegal positions,” she said.


“This is fantastic news,” Dean of Liberal Arts S. Aisha Steplight Johnson said in congratulating Professor Carter and her team. “You have all worked long and hard to make this recognition become a reality. What a wonderful honor for Essex County College.”


Acting President A. Zachary Yamba noted, “What an accomplishment! Congratulations to you and all those individuals who worked with you and stayed the course.”


“I congratulate Professors Carter and Reid on their tenacity and scholarship in completing the application to a standard that the ABA approved this program,” said Division of Social Sciences Chairperson Mamie Bridgeforth. “This gives our students the opportunity to pursue an ABA approved program at a centrally located, accessible and budget friendly institution.”


The Associate in Science degree program, in the Division of Social Sciences, was formerly the Legal Assistant Studies Program.  In 2005, the College began the process of seeking ABA approval for the program, which required collecting seven years of employment and continuing education data on the program graduates.

Posted in Essex County College News
Dr. Leila Sadeghi (center) sworn-in by, from left, Board Attorney Juan Fernandez, Acting President A. Zachary Yamba, her husband Dr. Daniel Korya and Board Chair Bibi Taylor

Dr. Leila Sadeghi (center) sworn-in by, from left, Board Attorney Juan Fernandez, Acting President A. Zachary Yamba, her husband Dr. Daniel Korya and Board Chair Bibi Taylor

Thomas C. McDermott, Jr. (center) sworn-in by Attorney Juan Fernandez and Chair Bibi Taylor

Thomas C. McDermott, Jr. (center) sworn-in by Attorney Juan Fernandez and Chair Bibi Taylor

An educator from West Orange and a business executive from the Short Hills section of Millburn have been appointed to the Board of Trustees at Essex County College.


Dr. Leila Sadeghi is Executive Director for the Guarini Institute for Government and Leadership at Saint Peter’s University. Thomas C. McDermott, Jr. is Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Midland Steel Corp., Bronx, New York. Both were named to three-year terms as state appointees by Gov.  Christie.


As per state statute, community college boards include two state appointees.


Dr. Sadeghi previously served as chair of the Department of Educational leadership at Kean University. She has also been an assistant professor with the Center for Executive Leadership in Government at Rutgers University.


She earned her doctorate in Urban Educational Policy from Rutgers University-Newark. She also received a master’s in Educational Administration from St. Peter’s University and her undergraduate degree from California State University-Dominguez Hills.


Mr. McDermott also served for more than a decade on the Millburn Township Committee, six of those years as Mayor. He is an honorary member of the Paper Mill Playhouse Board of Trustees.


Mr. McDermott is a graduate of Lynchburg (Virginia) College, earning his degree in Political Science/History. He has also studied Finance at both Yale and the University of New Haven.


“I’m excited and ready to start working on the board for to benefit our students,” said Dr. Sadeghi.


“I’m pleased that I have this opportunity and I’m looking toward helping move the College forward,” said Mr. McDermott.


“I am very pleased with the appointments of Dr. Sadeghi and Mr. McDermott to our Board of Trustees,” said Essex County College Board of Trustees Chair Bibi Taylor. “I know they will be valuable assets to Essex.”

Posted in Essex County College News

Essex County College will sponsor its 18th annual Golf & Tennis Scholarship Tournament on Tuesday, October 4, 2016 at the Maplewood Country Club in Maplewood. The tournament, a key source of money for scholarships, features round robin play in both golf and tennis.


“The money raised will help our most-deserving students earn a valuable college education and take the next step forward to achieving their dreams,” said Acting President A. Zachary Yamba. “That has been our mission at Essex County College for nearly 50 years.”


The tournament presents an excellent opportunity for companies to use the event as a vehicle for community building while supporting a good cause. It’s also fun for individuals who enjoy playing a round of golf or a lively tennis match.


The day’s activities begin at 10:30 a.m. and extend through the day, culminating with a reception and awards dinner at the club. A highlight of the evening is the heartfelt testimonies of former Essex students who were able to attend college in part because they were scholarship beneficiaries.


Individuals can sign up to golf for $300 per person, or for tennis at $200 per person.  There are also a number of prize incentives, such as longest drive, offered at the tournament. Donations of all sizes will also assist students. Checks should be made payable to the Essex County College Foundation.


For more information on the scholarship tournament go to


Tournament information is also available by contacting Dr. Leigh Bello de Castro at (973) 877-3484 or via email:



Posted in Essex County College News