Fresh off victories in the Region XIX title competition, both the Essex County College men’s and women’s track teams are poised for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Outdoor Track & Field Championships May 15-17 in Mesa, Arizona.
Sophomore Andre Colebrook will be seeking his second 800 meter run national title in less than three months after capturing the NJCAA indoor title in March. Meanwhile, fellow sophomore Shawn Rowe is poised to improve on last May’s performance in the 400 meter hurdles when he came in second as a freshman. Amenze Uhunmwanghu will look to move up in the women’s triple jump standings after she came in third last year. She is also competing in the long jump.
Overall, Coach Michael Smart’s teams have a mix of veterans and first year runners in a number of events.
Also on the men’s side, sophomore O’Jay Ferguson will compete in the 400 meters. He has signed a Letter of Intent to attend Texas A&M University this fall. Freshman Jonathan Greenwood will join Andre in the 800 meters.
For the Lady Wolverines, sophomore Fawzia Kheir will run in the 800 meters. Sophomore Nickheila John is scheduled to compete in the 200 meters, 400 meters and the 4×100 meter relay. She will be joined in the relay by freshmen Alexis Smith (who is also running the 100 meter hurdles), Kadeisha Hield (also competing in the long jump), and Ranee Ricketts (also running the 100 meters and 200 meters). Fellow freshmen Jennaya Hield and Taska Johnson are running the 1500 meters and 800 meters, respectively.
ECC won the Region XIX Outdoor Track & Field Championships May 2-3 in Newark. Smart, who is president of the NJCAA Track & Field Coaches Association, was named Region XIX Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Coach of the Year. He was previously named Indoor Women’s National Coach of the Year, and Region XIX Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year.
Watch Essex County College’s President, Dr. Gale E. Gibson’s recent interview on NJTV NEWS where she discusses how the College’s Strategic Plan, which includes seven strategic directions, aligns with President Obama’s National Plan to educate and train more technical skilled workers.
Her strategic directions include increasing student skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). A focus on these fields will help students transition into jobs right away. Also, Essex will be increasing partnerships with industries and businesses to find out their needs so that training and certificate programs for students can be created.
Dr. Gibson also discusses her goal to increase the retention and graduation rate at ECC. Since her tenure began two and a half years ago, the graduation rate has increased from five percent to eight percent.
Listen to Dr. Gibson discuss her strategic plan to increase the success rate of students. Below is a podcast of her interview on WCTC-AM radio:
Dr. Phil Linfante has been selected as a recipient of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society’s Distinguished College Administrator Award. He is one of only 25 college administrators, nominated by the individual PTK chapters, who will be so honored this year.
Currently a Division of Social Sciences Professor at the West Essex campus, Dr. Linfante is being recognized for his years as Executive Dean for Student Success. He will receive the honor April 25 during the 96th annual Phi Theta Kappa Convention in Orlando, Florida. Member of ECC’s Alpha Theta Theta Chapter will also attend the convention.
“I am just so honored that our PTK students felt enough of my help toward them to submit my name,” said Dr. Linfante. “I’ve always had open communication with the students and the fact that they felt comfortable with me is what we here at Essex are all about.”
Dr. Linfante said the PTK chapter receives support from President Gale E. Gibson and faculty, and “I benefited by working closely with the best group of students as they move toward accomplishing their goals.”
Sean O’Connell, Humanities Division Instructor and one of three advisors for the PTK chapter, said, “Many thanks to Dr. Linfante for everything you have done for PTK at Essex County College.”