ECC pacesetters at walk 2016Under a bright October sky, the 26-member Essex County College Pacesetters team took to the streets of Newark as part of the 19th annual American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Newark 5K walk. The walk, which attracted several thousand participants, was held Sunday, October 16.


The Essex team has raised more than $2,000 to date this year, landing in the top 20 of the 2016 team participants. Donations are still being accepted and may be made by contacting Pacesetters team captain/coordinator Sonia Rios-Cardoso at 973-877-3155. She added that donations will be accepted through the end of October.


The Pacesetters team has been participating for a number of years in this important local family event.


“Overall, it was a very touching events; there were young children and families walking together, all doing their part,” said Ms. Rios-Cardoso. She added she was gratified to see the large turnout of people, as well as the other donors, to help fight this disease.


More than $200,000 total has been raised in total so far from the Newark walk.


In addition, October 19 has been designated as Essex County College Wear Pink Day by the Department of Human Resources




Posted in Essex County College News
Africana Institute Director Dr. Akil Khalfani flanked by Burkina Faso visitors Seydou Sinka (left) and Apollinaire Ouedraogo

Africana Institute Director Dr. Akil Khalfani flanked by Burkina Faso visitors Seydou Sinka (left) and Apollinaire Ouedraogo

With an eye toward developing educational exchanges and other joint programs, Essex County College welcomed a pair of government officials from the West African nation of Burkina Faso. The Friday, October 14 visit was arranged through the College’s Africana Institute.


Charge d’Affaires Seydou Sinka, from the Embassy of Burkina Faso, and Deputy Counsel General Apollinaire Ouedraogo met with College representatives and more than a dozen students to informally discuss possible joint education programs.


Mr. Sinka noted that when he was a student in the early 1990s, Burkina Faso only had one public university. “Now we have 10 public universities and some private ones. We have so many young people who need to go to university.”


Dr. Akil Khalfani, Director of the Africana Institute, said Essex will continue to have more formal dialogues with Burkina Faso officials to identity the types of educational programs they can develop. “We will identity any challenges and put together the type of programs we need. Ultimately, we would like to have an exchange program” with students from Burkina Faso.


Essex Journalism Associate Professor Nessie Hill said developing a strong working relationship with Burkina Faso “will give wonderful exposure to our students and bring different ethnic groups together.”


Dr. Mahmoud Abu-Joudeh, chair of the Division of Mathematics & Physics, said a vibrant exchange program would provide the College’s students and staff the opportunity to explore a new culture and meet new people.


“We need this kind of partnership,” Mr. Sinka said. He added that his nation would benefit from students educated in the technology fields, singling out renewable energy as one example.


The Africana Institute has run several summer trips to Africa, including South Africa in 2008 and Ghana in 2012, with a trip planned next year to Nigeria. In addition, representatives from a number of African nations have visited the College. “Part of our goal is to continue to have dialogues with other African nations.”


Dr. Khalfani noted that during last month’s annual Bridging the Gap program, Essex students were able to Skype with students from the University of Nigeria. “We want to continue to forge that kind of bond.”




Posted in Essex County College News

Essex County College is joining the state’s other 18 community colleges the week of October 17 in the 4th annual New Jersey Community College Completion Challenge (NJC4), an initiative to increase awareness on the importance of completing associate degree and certificate programs.


The College’s effort is spearheaded by Essex’s Alpha Theta Theta Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, assisted by the Academic Advisement Center.


“Our Phi Theta Kappa chapter is performing a valuable service to our students,” said Marva Mack, Associate Dean for Retention and Academic Advisement. “Any time you have your peers advising and providing resources, you will see positive results.”


Monday through Wednesday, the students will be able to sign the Completion Challenge pledge as well as receive information on how to successfully plan and prepare for community college completion, and transfer to four year schools. The information will be provided through,  a resource which will be outlined by participating Essex students to their classmates.


On Monday, October 17, the program will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the West Essex campus (West Caldwell). On Tuesday, October 18, the location shifts to the Newark campus from 2:30 to 5 p.m., and Wednesday, October 19, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Both of the Newark programs will be held in The Learning Center, 2nd floor.


On Thursday, October 20, the program concludes with the Pathway to Graduation project starting at 2:30 p.m., in Smith Hall. This will be the opportunity for students to receive answers to questions they submitted during the week and from the floor. Associate Dean Mack said College staff will be available to answer the questions.


Although this is the fourth year of the NJC4, Essex has been doing the Completion Project since 2011, when the College’s Phi Theta Kappa students held their first rally on campus.


State-wide since 2013, more than 30,000 students have signed the completion pledge.


“We are excited about NJC4 at New Jersey’s 19 community colleges,” said New Jersey Council of County Colleges (NJCCC) President Dr. Lawrence A. Nespoli. He added the effort helps community colleges’ Phi Theta Kappa Chapters inform students about the importance of staying in school to earn a college credential.


Project partners include the New Jersey Education Associate, Kean University, Rutgers University-Newark and the NJCCC’s Center for Student Success.


The national Community College Completion Initiative began in April 2010 when leaders from the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, along with the American Association of Community Colleges, the Association of Community College Trustees, the League for Innovation in the Community College, and the Center for Community College Student Engagement signed Democracy’s Colleges: A Call to Action. Each of these organizations developed action plans and strategies to involve their constituents to produce 5 million more associate degree and certificate holders by 2020.







Posted in Essex County College News