Gov. Christie addressing the crowd, including President Dr. Gale E. Gibson

Gov. Christie addressing the crowd, including President Dr. Gale E. Gibson

Within the setting of the newly renamed Essex County College Public Safety Academy in Cedar Grove, Gov. Chris Christie held his 136th Town Hall Thursday, April 23. The event inside the Academy’s gymnasium attracted 220 residents and College personnel, including President Dr. Gale E. Gibson and Board of Trustees Chair Calvin Souder.


In his introduction of the governor, County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo also praised the College as the “best college in the state” under the leadership of Dr. Gibson and Mr. Souder.


“We are pleased that the Essex County College Public Safety Academy is able to offer Gov. Christie the opportunity to address state policy and give the community the chance to hear firsthand his direction,” said Dr. Gibson.


Gov. Christie opened the session by pointing out he was born in Newark and grew up in Livingston before discussing the challenges of the state budget. He then took off his jacket and spent the next hour fielding questions from the audience.


Questions included the controversial PARCC test, school construction, ways to bring healthy alternatives into school lunch programs, double dipping public employees, smoking bans in parks and disability rights.


The governor was also asked whether he will run for president. “I have to decide whether it’s right for me, right for my family and right for the country,” he replied. Gov. Christie said he will be making his decision in “May or June.”


Following the Town Hall, Acting Dean of Community and Continuing Education/West Essex Campus Elvy Vieira said she was pleased the Academy was able to host the event. “It is always good to be able to showcase our College. It is also important to show the type of things we are doing in the community.”

Posted in Community, Essex County College News
President Dr. Gale E. Gibson officially opens the new Nursing Simulation Lab

President Dr. Gale E. Gibson officially opens the new Nursing Simulation Lab

Essex County College Nursing students can now take advantage of the latest technology in patient care right on the school’s Newark campus. The Center for Health Sciences Nursing Simulation Laboratory, featuring nearly lifelike mannequins as patients, was officially opened April 16 with a formally ribbon-cutting ceremony.


“This amazing simulation lab will prepare our students even more than ever to function more effectively as Registered Nurses,” said Essex President Dr. Gale E. Gibson. “While our students, trained by our outstanding faculty, have always excelled, this new lab will further enhance their skills. As we continue to improve the College and its facilities and offerings to students we know that the new age of health innovation requires providing the latest technology for students to be effective health service providers.”


“The new lab will provide outstanding training for our students before they begin their clinical assignments,” said Dr. Evadne Harrison-Madu, Chairperson of the Division of Nursing & Allied Health. An important component of the students’ training is the clinical work at hospitals, and she said the new lab will provide excellent preparation. The lab will also allow for mistakes, or as Dr. Madu put it, “They may kill the mannequin, but they won’t kill the patient.”


Funding for the project totaled $696,217 and includes $640,967 from the state Higher Education Equipment Leasing Fund and the rest from the state Facilities Trust Fund.


The College renovated its existing Nursing Simulation Lab into the spacious high-tech training area. Four new mannequins – three adults and one baby – can simulate a variety of chronic illnesses. The mannequins can perform such functions as breathe, sweat, and blink, simulating what students in the College’s Associate degree Nursing Program will encounter in a hospital or similar setting.


Dr. S. Aisha Steplight Johnson, Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs/Chief Academic Officer, noted the popularity of the College’s Nursing Department which sees more than 800 applicants a year. “They see Essex as a beacon of light” and this new simulation lab is another way the College is providing residents with the tools  necessary to succeed in life.


The training area includes a Debriefing Room where the instructor can go over the student’s work after leaving the mannequins. A separate Observation Room for up to 30 is also part of the lab.


Tracy Mulcahey, from Laerdal Medical, the company that provided the equipment, gave an overview of the new lab’s capabilities. “The lab has been designed to provide the opportunity for things to literally go wrong, allowing for the students to learn how to handle emergencies,” she said.  Students the provided a demonstrations on how the mannequins react to a variety of medical emergencies.


The new lab will also impact and enhance the many students in the Allied Health Division: Radiography program, Physical Therapist Assistant Program and the Health Information Technology Programs. In the Health Technology Program, for example, students will use the lab for data entry training and storing electronic record keeping.


Dr. Gibson said the project fits into a number of the College’s Strategic Plan goals. These include: Student Success & Completion – Job #1; State of the Art Technology & Support Services, and Modernized Facilities.

Posted in Academic, Essex County College News

Essex County College is the only two-year school in the state included in a Newark high school student scholarship offer through an initiative from the Newark Housing Authority (NHA). The application deadline for the grants this year from the Newark College Promise Scholarship program is May 7.


An applicant must be a Newark high school senior and a current resident in NHA public housing or in the Housing Choice Voucher Program. The student must also have been accepted into Essex or a number of approved New Jersey four-year public colleges.


For Essex County College bound students, the NHA requirement includes committing to transfer to one of the four-year colleges immediately following earning an Associate degree from Essex. The Essex degree must be received within 36 months of enrollment.


Essex currently has articulation agreements with a number of the four-year institutions on the NHA list and is the leading school for transfer students to Rutgers University, New Jersey Institute of Technology and Montclair State University.


The value of the renewable awards is determined on a case-by-case basis.


Additional information is available at

Posted in Academic, Essex County College News