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As proud family and friends looked on, 1,118 members of the Essex County College Class of 2022 received their hard earned Associate degrees at the College’s 53rd annual Commencement on Friday, June 3. The ceremony, the first in-person graduation since 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, was held in the Prudential Center, Newark.
Class Valedictorian and Liberal Arts major Latina Byrd said she is “honored and humbled” by her selection. She then handed her classmates one last assignment. “Remember how you feel today. I want you to guard this feeling and don’t let anyone, situation, nor circumstance interfere with this feeling. Furthermore, always remember that it was that same feeling that allowed you to keep going to school during a global pandemic. Ultimately, that feeling is why you are graduating today.”
A Newark City Firefighter, Latina was surprised when given several bouquets of flowers from her fellow firefighters. She is transferring to Seton Hall University with a career goal of becoming an attorney.
Chair of the College’s Board of Trustees, Marion A. Bolden said, “Today, we celebrate your achievements and salute you for your hard work, your resilience, and your determination to succeed. For many of you, the journey was indeed arduous … juggling work and family responsibilities with the myriad challenges of everyday life, including the COVID-19 pandemic. And yet you overcame obstacles in every possible way. Be proud of your success and now move confidently into the next phase of your life’s plan.”
ECC’s President, Dr. Augustine A. Boakye, who presided over the ceremony, acknowledged all students who are serving or have served in the armed forces, as well as members of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and Educational Opportunity Fund. “Our 2022 graduates come from Essex County; from across the state of New Jersey and many nations around the world including Antigua & Barbuda, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Cote D’Ivoire, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Nigeria, Trinidad & Tobago, and Russia. We take pride in the rich diversity of our students at Essex County College.”
New Jersey Assemblywoman Britnee N. Timberlake, representing the state’s 34th Legislative District, was keynote speaker. “I congratulate you on your achievements. Many of you are now first and second-generation college graduates. We need you to keep going and achieve. Fortune favors the bold,” she said. After her address, Assemblywoman Timberlake was presented an honorary Degree of Associate in Liberal Arts.
Krystle Sanabria, a Social Science major, served as class Salutatorian. She is transferring to Montclair State University where she will major in Education.
Class of 2022 Assistant Marshals, who had the honor of leading the processional into the arena, were Fatoumata Fofana (General Science); Ines Kenfack Donfack (Biology, Pre-Medicine); Jenny Simbaina (Finance); and Nicholas Stremel (Engineering).
Biology Professor Yasser Kabakibiwas Grand Marshal for the class. “Today is a day of celebration, recognition of your achievements and earning of your diplomas. This is a time of new beginnings, not the end. It is a beginning of a journey to reach your future goals. A journey that is full of innovations, self-advancements, opportunities to impact others to make the world a better place, and self-reflections for continuous improvements,” he told the class prior to the traditional tassel turning.
The youngest graduate in this year’s class is Maya Abdurrashid, 15. Linda Brown, at 73, is the oldest new alumna. Both majored in Liberal Arts.
Since opening in 1985, the Essex County College Gymnasium had simply known as the Physical Education Building. A change occurred on May 27, 2022, when the newly renovated Gym was formally dedicated as the Cleo Hill, Sr. Physical Education Building, complete with exterior signage. Additionally, the Cleo Hill, Sr. name also emblazoned on the new Gym floor.
Cleo Hill, Sr. was an NBA standout and legendary ECC Men’s Basketball Coach and Athletic Director. Born and raised in Newark, he was a graduate of South Side (now Malcom X Shabazz) High School and Winston-Salem Teachers College (now University). In 1961, he was the top draft choice of the St. Louis Hawks, the fifth player ever drafted from a Historically Black College and University.
Unfortunately, he was “blackballed” from the NBA following his rookie year. He subsequently played in the American Basketball League and the Continental Basketball League before coming to ECC as head coach.
At ECC, Coach Hill compiled an amazing 489-128 record over 24 years, including a trip to the National Junior College Athletic Association championship game.
“We loved you Cleo Hill and hope we’ve done well by your family today,” said Marion A. Bolden, Chair of the College’s Board of Trustees during the dedication ceremony. College Trustee Johanna Wright added Coach Hill had great courage. “Courage is something you can’t buy; it’s the willingness to stand for right, even if you stand alone. That is who we honor today.”
Fighting back tears, an emotional Cleo Hill, Jr. said, “Our family is forever grateful to Essex County College, Newark and Essex County for this honor. My father was passionate about winning, the fundamentals of basketball and, most importantly, the grooming of young men.”
Before the formal cutting of the green ribbon in front of the Cleo Hill, Sr. Physical Education Building, former ECC basketball players offered testimonies to their coach.
“Coach Hill was the first person to teach me about life. He mentored me and got me on the start to where I am today,” said Essex County Commissioner and former ECC basketball player Rufus Johnson.
“I couldn’t wait to get here today and show my appreciation to Coach Hill. Coach first saw me when I was a kid playing basketball at the rec center. He taught me so much,” said Louis Grimsley. Grimsley was the longtime basketball coach at Shabazz High School and served as an assistant coach at Elizabeth City (North Carolina) State University.
Former ECC players Russell Shuler and Kim Fisher also offered testimonies. “It’s difficult to find the words for what Coach Hill meant to me. He was like a second father,” said Shuler.
“Cleo Hill, Sr. dedicated his life to Essex County College. We will never forget what he did for us,” said ECC’s President, Dr. Augustine A. Boakye. Dr. Boakye also thanked Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. for the role he played in renovating the interior of the Gym, including the floors, hallway and lighting.
County Executive DiVincenzo called the culmination of the dedication ceremony a “team effort. Rufus Johnson first suggested naming the Gym for Cleo Hill. It is the right thing to do. Today is Cleo’s day. This will be here forever. He was an important man who did a lot of good for a lot of people.”
ECC Athletic Director Michael Doughtie said, “We are honoring the legacy of an individual who had such an impact on both our College and Essex County. His legacy at the College might be as impressive as his playing ability” He added that an ECC Athletic Hall of Fame is also planned for the Gym.
Essex County College was well represented in two prestigious Track & Field meets this Spring, the Penn Relays and the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Outdoor National Track & Field Championships. The Men’s and Women’s teams are coached by Lionel Leach.
At the Penn Relays, held in Philadelphia April 28-30, the Women’s 4x400 Relay Team captured the College Eastern title with a time of 3:52.15. Members of the victorious team were Megan Thompson, Delverna Broomfield, Thomyka Valcent, and Jelese Alexander.
The Men’s 4x100 Relay team, with Dwight Henry, Carl Drakes, Daniel Cunningham, and Rashaun Stewart, finished 4th in the Men’s 4x100 College Eastern race. The Men’s Sprint Relay posted the 4th best time at the meet. This race was run by Carl Drakes, Dwight Henry, Daniel Cunningham, and Khabeeba Mills.
The Women’s 4x100 Relay team of Elaine Robinson, Yanique White, Megan Thompson, and Jelese Alexander finished 7th.High Jumper James Bell came in 10th overall in his event.
“I am extremely proud of the performances by our talented student-athletes at such a prestigious event. Their hard work throughout the year has shown. Our student-athletes shining on one of tracks biggest stages, in front of huge crowd and national audience, is excellent exposure for our students and Essex County College” said ECC Athletic Director Michael Doughtie.
At the 2022 NJCAA National Championships, held May 20-21 in Hutchinson, Kansas, Jelese Alexander placed 4th in the Women’s’ Heptathlon. Dwight Henry came in 6th in the Men’s 100 Meter Hurdles. The Women’s 4x800 Meter Relay, run by Megan Thompson, Thomyka Valcent, Delverna Broomfield, and Zoey-Ann Wint finished 7th. James Bell tied for 7th in the High Jump.
Summer Camp for Future College Students
Rising high school juniors and seniors can earn college credits at Essex County College's Summer Camp 2022. The program runs from July 11 to August 18.
There’s also an online option for the program.
"The program is for those students interested in college after graduating high school,” said Dr. Elvy Vieira, Dean of ECC's Office of Community, Continuing Education & Workforce Development. The program is offered free through funding from the State Office of Higher Education and the New Jersey Council of County Colleges, she said.
“Summer Camp 2022 is an excellent opportunity for high school students to receive academic enrichment, experience college life and learn more about what Essex County College has to offer,” Dr. Vieira said of the popular program.
"Our High School Initiatives program provides future college students with a foundation to better succeed at the next level of their education," said ECC’s President, Dr. Augustine A. Boakye.
Students will have a great opportunity to take college courses (ENG and MTH), earn college credits, participate in college and career exploration, as well as professional and social skills workshops.
High school students interested in Summer Camp 2022 should contact their high school guidance counselor or Essex County College's Pre-College Readiness Program Coordinator Yelena Pirtskhalava at 973-877-1899, [email protected]
College Joins Medical School Pathway Partnership
Essex County College has entered into a partnership with Caldwell University and St. George’s University (SGU) designed to enable ECC students a pathway for admission into SGU’s School of Medicine. The program is dubbed the 2+1+4 Partnership.
The partnership allows ECC students who earn an Associate degree in Biology, Pre-Medicine to transfer to Caldwell University for one year. They can then move on to St. George’s University’s School of Medicine, in Grenada, to pursue a four-year medical degree. They'll also have the opportunity to spend their first year of medicine at Northumbria University in the United Kingdom, which maintains a partnership with St. George's University.
"We're extremely excited about this new partnership," said Dr. Augustine A. Boakye, President of Essex County College. "We’re pleased to be able to help our students who aspire to careers in medicine make their dreams a reality at St. George's University. Essex County College’s curriculum will help ensure students receive a solid foundation as they continue on the path toward becoming medical doctors.”
“By including Caldwell University in our new partnership with St. George’s University, our students will be even more prepared for the rigors of medical school. The third year at Caldwell University will provide students with the extra confidence to succeed at St. George’s University School of Medicine,” said Dr. Alvin Williams, Executive Dean of Faculty and Academics at Essex County College.
"We are thrilled to establish the first-ever 2+1+4 partnership for high-achieving students at Essex County College and Caldwell University," said Dr. G. Richard Olds, President of St. George's University. "The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the depth of the U.S. doctor shortage. Partnerships like this one will help close that gap by making the path to medicine more accessible for aspiring physicians,” he stated.
In order to remain eligible for the program, students must maintain a 3.4 grade point average while enrolled at Essex County College and at Caldwell. They must also register a competitive score on the MCAT.
Students accepted into the 2+1+4 program will receive a $10,000 scholarship upon matriculating at St. George's University. They will receive their Bachelor of Science degree from Caldwell upon successfully completing the first year of the SGU's MD program.
"Caldwell University is thrilled to partner with St. George's University and Essex County College to offer students the opportunity to pursue medicine with exposure to medical professionals from around the world. This collaboration will provide our high achieving students the chance to earn both undergraduate and medical degrees through a global lens," said Caldwell University’s President, Dr. Matthew Whelan.
ECC Basketball Star Jakira Coar Named to All American Team
Jakira Coar began playing basketball at the age of eight, under the tutelage of her father. Through a lot of hard work and talent, she developed into a highly regarded player.
After starring at Lincoln High School in Jersey City, Jakira came to Essex County College and has already established herself as a star in just her first year of collegiate basketball.
Jakira concluded the 2021-22 campaign for the Lady Wolverines averaging 26.2 points a game, tops in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II this year. She is also an NJCAA 3rd Team All American. That honor comes on the heels of her selection as Garden State Athletic Conference Player of the Year and being named to the NJCAA’s Region 19 First Team.
Coach Anthony Green said he had his eye on Jakira while she was playing high school ball. “We were lucky to get her,” he said.
“That attention I received from ECC helped me to decide to come here,” Jakira said in an interview conducted in the ECC Gymnasium.
“As an Athletic Department, we are extremely proud of Jakira’s individual accomplishments, as well as the team’s success this year to put Essex County College Women’s Basketball back into the national spotlight. She had one of the best individual seasons in program history. We look forward to watching her and the team build off of their successes from this year and continue to grow in 2022-23,” said ECC Athletic Director Michael Doughtie.
“At the start of the season I was a bit nervous,” the Criminal Justice major admitted. “But after a few games everything started to click,’ the shooting guard added.
Coach Anthony Green said he could see Jakira getting more and more comfortable after each game, and she was starting by the fourth game. Then on January 25 against the County College of Morris, Jakira exploded for 51 points, following it up with a 44 point effort against Sullivan College.
For the rest of the season, Jakira had to face a variety of defenses constantly keying on her. “I think I adjusted well to that challenge,” she said with a smile. And she successfully shot her way out of any slump.
The team, composed entirely of freshmen, concluded the season with a 14-8 record.
Jakira is working on her overall game this off season. “My goal is to maintain good grades and transfer to a good Division 1 college after graduation from ECC.”
When James Spivey earned his Associate degree in Nursing from Essex County College in 2020, he was also starting his one-year term as President of the New Jersey Nursing Students, Inc. His leadership role carried the added distinction as he was the first African American to hold that position. “That was an amazing honor,” he said.
From ECC, James headed to Clara Maass Medical Center, in Belleville, part of RWJBarnabas Health.
“When I graduated, we were in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. That was a scary time working in the ER,” James, a Roselle resident, recalled. He saw that patients were especially traumatized and wanted to help in a meaningful way.
“I advocate for my patients at their most vulnerable times, and I’ve seen how mental health care can really help people,” James said, who worked as a behavioral health nurse.
His work at Clara Maass was highlighted in RWJBarnabas Health’s Nurses series. “That was a real honor being recognized as spokesperson for their department,” James said. In the series he said, “My team has coped with the increased demand for mental health services by taking care of each other so we can give our all to our patients.”
“Working at Clara Maass has been fantastic, but I want to help even more people. Plus, I love to travel,” said James explaining his decision to enter into a new phase of his Nursing career. James is now a Travel Nurse.
“Travel Nurses are in demand, especially in areas hard hit by the pandemic,” James said. He recently completed a stint in California, which included work at a correctional facility. He said the assignments, contracted through an agency, can be anywhere in the country. “That’s exciting and I love the lifestyle.”
James’ success comes as no surprise to Dr. Gale Gage, Chair of ECC’s Nursing Department.” James was a reserved student at first, who gained his confidence and clinical competency after tackling several of the more difficult courses in the program. He has been recognized by his peers for his perseverance and leadership,” she said.
“ECC changed my life, providing me the skills needed to be a competent Nurse and deal with adversity. I’ve received a life-long career and that can’t be replaced. The training from my professors was priceless,” James said.
Essex County College’s Veterans Service Group is off to a good start, having only been established in October of 2021 with a handful of members by Business Administration major Thishin Jackson. The group was recently chartered a National Veterans Honor Society by the organization SALUTE (Service, Academics, Leadership, Unity, Tribute, Excellence).
“We have veterans performing outstanding academically at the College,” said Thishin, a Newark resident. He stated that while the group is similar to the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (of which he is a member with a 4.0 grade point average), it is specifically to acknowledge veterans for exceptional academic performance.
Thishin said he is unaware of any similar two-year college chapters in the area. “My goal is to give veterans the opportunity to stand out and be recognized for their outstanding achievement.”
He explained that SALUTE is an excellent vehicle for providing veterans with scholarships, networking and referral opportunities. “It’s important for veterans to have a strong support system,” he added.
Thishin is a 10-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, which included two tours of Afghanistan.
SALUTE was formed in 2009 by the Colorado State University Veterans Office through a grant by the American Council of Education and Wal-Mart Foundation.
Membership into the National Veterans Honor Society is based on a veteran’s grade point average. It’s broken into four tiers: Alpha (3.75-4.0); Bravo (3.50-3.74); Charlie (3.25-3.49), and Delta (3.24-3.0).
“It’s the responsibility of all Americans to ensure that veterans are welcomed back home by providing them needed support. ECC is providing that support through our education programs, enabling veterans to advance academically,” said Veterans Service Group Advisor Shawn Yearwood, advisor/mentor in the Business Division.
The Veterans Service Group is a great way for the College to show support to those who have served. I want to thank Thishin for all he has done, and I’m confident the group will continue to grow and flourish,” said Dr. Keith Kirkland, Dean of Student Affairs.
Thishin is graduating this Spring from ECC and is looking to transfer to the Rutgers University-Newark School of Business. But he promised, upon graduation, to help in any way he can the ECC Veterans Service Group.
Dr. Augustine A. Boakye will be inaugurated as Essex County College’s 9th President in an Inaugural ceremony on Thursday, May 5, 2022. The ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. in the Cleo Hill, Sr. Physical Education Building on the College’s Newark campus.
Dr. Boakye was appointed Interim President on July 21, 2020. He was officially appointed President by the College’s Board of Trustees effective November 1, 2021.
“We look forward to a long and productive relationship with our new President, one that will certainly continue to put Students First,” stated Board of Trustees Chair Marion A. Bolden. “The Inaugural ceremony shows the commitment that everyone has at Essex County College to move our proud institution into our next chapter of service to the community,” she added.
The Inaugural theme is Servant Leadership, a philosophy in which the goal of the leader is to serve. The theme fits into the Essex County College slogan of Students First and the personality of the institution’s new leader.
Dr. Boakye started his Essex County College career in 2009 as an Associate Professor of Economics. He has also served as Chair of the Division of Business, and Acting Dean of Liberal Arts and Business. He earned his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom.
Participants in the ceremony include Essex County College President Emeritus Dr. A. Zachary Yamba, Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, and Rutgers University-Newark Chancellor Nancy Cantor. Father Edwin Leahy, Headmaster at St. Benedict’s Preparatory School, in Newark, will deliver the invocation.
Other state, Essex County and local officials, and representatives from New Jersey colleges and universities are expected to attend the Inauguration.
Following the Inauguration, there will be a community reception at the College.
In the evening, the College will hold its Presidential Scholarship Gala at the Crystal Plaza, in Livingston, NJ.
Additional information on the Essex County College Inauguration is available at essex.edu/inauguration.
Dayana Arrue is an environmental staff engineer for the engineering consultant firm Langan while also pursuing an advance degree from the Colorado School of Mines. She is a proud graduate of Essex County College, Class of 2015, coming a long way since her family emigrated to the United States from El Salvador when she was only six.
Settling in Newark, Dayana graduated from Science Park High School and saw that ECC was her best option. “I felt I was at a low point academically and very uncertain about myself when I came to ECC. But that all changed once I started classes. I can say with 100 percent certainty that I would not change that part of my life,” Dayana said in a telephone interview from Golden, Colorado.
Dayana was part of ECC’s intense Honors Program, graduated with Highest Honors in Biology, Pre-Medicine, and earned the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Transfer Scholarship. She then transferred to Rutgers University-Newark, from where she graduated in 2018 with a degree in Geoscience Engineering.
It was through her Honors Program Capstone project that Dayana had the opportunity to conduct thermal analysis research at Rutgers. She started working at Langan during the Summer while attending Rutgers. That led to a fulltime position with the firm.
Her biggest project at Langan has been the preliminary environmental investigation ahead of a major expansion at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Looking back at her time at ECC, Dayana said Dr. Eunice Kamunge’ s Microbiology class was her favorite. She also left a favorable impression on Dr. Kamunge, now head of the Division of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. “She was highly motivated and focused on her educational goals. She is a perfect example of what we do here at Essex County College,” Dr. Kamunge said of Dayana.
For now, Dayana is concentrating on earning her Master’s degree in Hydrologic Sciences and Engineering, and working part-time on assignments out of Langan’s Denver office.
“Essex County College opened my mind and eyes, and challenged my world view. I will also always be thankful for that,” Dayana said.
Biology, Pre-Medicine major Ines Kenfack Donfack has the honor of being Essex County College’s recipient of the 2022 Essex County Althea Gibson Leadership Award. Ines, of Irvington, received the award from Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. on Wednesday March 30. The theme of the program this year, in celebration of Essex County’s Women’s History Month, was Students Achieving Today – Our Leaders of Tomorrow.
“This honor caught me totally be surprise. I certainly wasn’t expecting it, but I’m certainly grateful for it,” said Ines, who was born in Duala, Cameroon. She has lived in the United States since she was three years old. A high school graduate of Newark Tech, she has a 3.97 grade point average at ECC.
Ines was recommended for the award by ECC Chemistry Professor Nidhal Marashi in her capacity as co-advisor to the College’s Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Alpha Theta Theta. Ines is a member of PTK as well as treasurer of the Biology/Pre-Medicine Club and the Essex Chemical Society. She is also a tutor in the College’s Learning Center.
“Ines is a wonderful young lady, an outstanding student and with her work as a tutor and volunteer, she is worthy of this recognition,” said Dr. Marashi.
“The experiences I’ve had at ECC have helped me grow in confidence, and taught me the importance of teamwork, community, creativity, organization, and much more,” said Ines. She is looking to transfer to Rutgers University-Newark in the fall, with an eye on medical school. Her goal is to be a pediatric surgeon.
Web and in-person registration for Summer I 2022 classes at Essex County College is underway. The College’s Summer I term starts Monday, May 9 and runs until June 23, 2022.
Students may also register for Summer II and Fall 2021 classes at this time.
“Essex County College offers more than 50 Associate degree programs and Academic Certificates in a wide range of disciplines. Essex graduates transfer as juniors to many New Jersey colleges and universities, as well as top schools around the country. Register early to get the classes you want,” said Dr. Alvin Williams Executive Dean of Faculty and Academics.
For more information, please click on this link: https://www.essex.edu/registration/. Students may be eligible for scholarships and qualify for the Educational Opportunity Fund program. Additional registration information is available through the College’s Welcome Center, located on the 2nd Floor at the Newark campus, or by calling the Center at 973-877-4477.
“Essex County College has always and continues to provide high quality and affordable educational opportunities. Our Summer I term allows students to complete a semester in a more compressed time. Our many support services help students stay on track to graduate and realize their dreams,” said ECC President Dr. Augustine A. Boakye.
The College is an open access institution and fully accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Led by the nation’s leading scorer, the Essex County College (ECC) Women’s Basketball team enters the 2022 Region 19 tournament as the second seed and will host a semi-final game at 6 p.m. on Thursday, February 24, in the College Gym. The regional tournament is the first stage of the National Junior College Athletic Association’s (NJCAA) Division II basketball championships.
The Lady Wolverines are 14-7 and paced by freshman standout Jakira Coar. Jakira is the top scorer in Division II, averaging just over 24 points a game. Fellow freshman Salma Abouelkheir enters the tournament as the team’s leading rebounder, with 8.6 boards a game.
ECC will take on Harcum College in the regional semi-final game.
ECC did not field a team the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This year’s squad is composed entirely of freshmen and a first-year coach in Anthony Green. “What the team has been able to accomplish is remarkable. Everything in the past two years has been unique, which makes this season even more impressive,” said ECC Athletic Director Michael Doughtie.
“The entire College applauds the success of our Women’s Basketball team. Congratulations to our student-athletes, coaches and Athletic Department. They have and will continue to make us proud,” said ECC’s President, Dr. Augustine A. Boakye.
Essex County College’s Men’s and Women’s Track & Field teams continued its successful 2022 indoor campaign with five first place finishes at the Monmouth Winter Collegiate Invitational held on Saturday, February 12.
The Wolverines, coached by Lionel Leach, competed against a number of four-year institutions, including host Monmouth University, St. Peter’s University and Lafayette College. ECC is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).
On the men’s side, Dwight Henry led the way with wins in the 60 meter dash and 60 meter hurdles. James Bell won the high jump, and Daniel Cunningham the 500 meter run. The Women’s 4x400 meter relay team of Delverna Broomfield, Megan Thompson, Zoey-Ann Wint, and Thomyka Valcent won their event.
Other high finishers for the men included Carl Drakes, 2nd in the 60 meters and 3rd 200 meters; Khabeeba Mills, 2nd in the 800 meters; Mohamed Soumare, 2nd in the 500 meters, and Rashaun Stewart, 2nd in the 200 meters.
For the women, Jelese Alexander finished 3rd in the high jump, and Delverna Broomfield, 4th in the 500 meters.
“This team has really developed into one of the top tier programs in the region as well as the country. The results at Monmouth University show that our small community college can compete with four-year institutions, and it helps us as we prepare for Nationals (NJCAA Indoor Championships) the first week of March,” said Coach Leach.
Both the Men’s and Women’s teams are ranked Number 1 in the Atlantic Region for two-year colleges by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
Resource Day Fair at Essex County College was an overwhelming success as more than 300 people learned what resources are available to them, both at the College and the community. The event on Tuesday, February 8, 2022, was presented by the College’s Office of Student Development and Counseling.
A steady stream of students and College staff filled the 2nd Floor Forum to take in all the information and services available to them. Some faculty members brought their classes to the event so the students could obtain information about different services.
“The Resource Day helped to bring awareness to our students about both on-campus and off-campus resources that are available to them. The participating offices and organizations provided information that ranged from career services, mental health counseling services, library resources, and the EOF program available on-campus. There was also information on health and social services resources, homeless prevention, housing and energy assistance, library resources, available off-campus,” said Dr. S. Aisha Steplight Johnson, Director of Student Development and Counseling.
“Students need to be supported as a whole to succeed both academically and personal. Our office is committed to support our students’ needs. By supporting our students, we are increasing retention and graduation rates. We want our students to know that we do not only care about their education, but we also care about their everyday life experiences, their emotional and physical well-being,” said Shirlgandy Saint Jean, Coordinator of Career Resources and Student Development Initiatives
The Essex County College Men’s & Women’s Track & Field teams scored big at the DeSchriver Invitational on February 5, capturing an overall total of eight first place finishes. The meet was held at East Stroudsburg (Pa.) University.
Dwight Henry led the way for the Wolverines, winning both the 55 meter and 200-meter dashes. Other first place finishers on the men’s side were:
On the Women’s side, first place winners were:
The teams, coached by Lionel Leach, competed against four-year universities and colleges at the NCAA Division II and Division III levels. These schools included Rutgers University-Newark, East Stroudsburg University, Kutztown University, Adelphi University and Pratt Institute. ECC is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).
Other high place Wolverine finishers at the invitational included for the men:
Other women’s high finishers were:
“What I’m most impressed about with our student-athletes is their consistency and improvement from week to week. These are dress rehearsals leading up to next month’s NJCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships,” said ECC Athletic Director Michael Doughtie.
“I’m very proud of the performance of our student-athletes. They have dedicated themselves to representing our College is a true championship way,” said Dr. Keith Kirkland, Dean of Student Affairs.
As part of Essex County College’s celebration of February as Black History Month, there is a special exhibition on the 2nd Floor, Pan Africana in Nine Boxes. The exhibition was curated by Dr. Akil Khalfani, Director of the College’s Africana Institute and professor of Sociology and Africana Studies.
Dr. Khalfani said the exhibition, on display throughout February and March, contains artifacts from the African Continent and the Diaspora. He added that visitors will see the weaving of African culture through artifacts ranging from northern to southern Africa, and from West Africa to Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, and the United States.
He has collected African and Diaspora art and artifacts world-wide for more than 30 years. The exhibited items come from his personal collection and those of the Africana Institute.
The exhibition includes:
Dr. Khalfani will offer a live virtual tour of the Africana Institute on Friday, February 25 at 6 p.m. This tour will include a viewing of and commentary on the Pan Africana in Nine Boxes exhibition.
Register at: https://essex-edu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJckdu2qpz4sGNHK39VsTx4Jtl9I4oqAIILD
Essex County College’s Men’s 4x400 meter relay team reigned supreme at the prestigious Millrose Games, held Saturday, January 29, at The Armory, New York City. The Wolverine team captured the title
in the 4x400 meter College Relay, besting a field of 4-year colleges and universities.
“Congratulations to our student-athletes on such a great showing,” ECC Athletic Director Michael Doughtie said of Carl Drakes, Khabeeba Mills, Mohamed Soumare and Daniel Cunningham. The team, coached by Lionel Leach, won the relay with a time of 3:20.83, a full second ahead of the second-place team from St. Francis College of Brooklyn.
The full race is available for viewing here: https://vimeo.com/672001897
“The sky is the limit for these young men; few athletes can lay claim to winning the Millrose Games 4x400 meter College Relay. I am so proud of them. Many more titles will follow if they stay the course,” said Coach Leach.
“A wonderful showing by our outstanding student-athletes. I applaud our team, Coach Leach, Athletic Director Doughtie and our entire College Athletic Department. We are very proud of you,” said ECC’s President, Dr. Augustine A. Boakye.
The ECC Women’s 4x400 meter relay team finished fourth in their race. Delverna Broomfield, Kayla Charles, Megan Thompson, and Zoey-Ann Wint ran for Essex.
The 23 excited members of the Essex County College Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Class of 2021 took center stage on Friday, January 21. They were joined by their proud families and friends in a joyous celebration held in the College’s Smith Hall. The students completed their requirements in December of 2021
After first taking note of the long hours of rigorous course work required for him and his classmates to reach this point, LPN Class President Leonardo Vaca declared, “We are feeling great and ready to move on!”
Moving on as LPNs, as well as continuing their health care education, is on the minds of these graduates. Their first step is preparing for the upcoming National Council Licensure Examination (known as NCLEX).
Leonardo, who served in the United States Army for six years, said his military experience has inspired his career path. “I want to help those who served. I’m ready to become an RN and then earn my Bachelor’s degree in Nursing.” He eventually wants to work in the mental health field.
Loleeta Butler has worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant for 18 years. “Receiving my LPN is a continuation of my nursing career,” said the Newark resident, adding she plans to continue toward becoming a Registered Nurse. “I’ve always been interested in the medical field. As a child I loved walking around with my medical play bag,” she said with a laugh.
“Nursing has always been my dream,” said Anita Peters. She recalled a family tragedy when her cousin was in a car accident in another country and died from those injuries. That tragedy inspired Anita, of East Orange, to pursue her dream and be in a position to “give back to the less fortunate.” Her goal is to become a nurse practitioner.
Tomas Olivier works in the ER at St. Michael’s Medical Center and had been thinking of continuing his education. “I heard about the LPN program at ECC and decided to give it a try,” Tomas said. Now that he has earned his LPN, he believes his medical experience will help when working with Covid patients. “Covid is a very complex issue and we have to be in a position to help the community out,” said the Newark resident.
Ricky Saurel is very clear where she sees herself going. “Nursing is my passion,” said the Newark resident. She hopes to become a nurse within five years and has the confidence to achieve that goal.
LPN class Valedictorian, with a 3.83 grade point average, is Augusta Nwachukwu, and Salutatorian, with a 3.81 average, is Tania Cheron.
“When you entered the program here, you had a dream. You followed your dream and tonight we see the fruits of that dream. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams,” keynote speaker Dr. Eunice Kamunge, Chair of ECC’s Division of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, said.
After congratulating the graduates on their achievement, ECC President Augustine A. Boakye said, “you need to first understand this important job and then commit to it. Do it from your heart and with love. Today we need more nurses due to do battle with Covid-19.”
In closing, Dr. Boakye said he expects to see the graduates back on campus working toward their RN degrees. That’s something which the Class of 2021 agrees.
Once again, the National Science Foundation (NSF) is providing scholarships for current, fulltime Essex County College students enrolled in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Associate degree programs. The Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (S-STEM) awards are $2,000 per semester.
S-STEM is geared toward financially needy, academically talented students majoring in the STEM fields. Students must have a minimum 3.2 grade point average and been awarded financial aid, such as a Pell grant.
Dr. Jill Stein, ECC Professor of Biology, said the College has been participating for five years in the NSF scholarship program. To date, she said that 51 ECC students have received the scholarship awards.
“The S-STEM grant provides students the additional funds that financial aid doesn’t cover. I urge eligible students to apply for this grant. It’s money that the student can use for any educational purpose,” said Dr. Stein.
Essex received a portion of the NSF award as a participant in a Rutgers University-Newark led initiative along with two other community colleges.
Although this is the last year of the 5-year NSF grant initiative, Dr. Stein said the College is working toward extending this program.
“These additional funds are critical for so many of our students to be able to remain in college. I certainly agree with Dr. Stein in encouraging our eligible students to apply for the NSF grants,” said ECC President Dr. Augustine A. Boakye.
Applications for the NSF grants are being accepted through January 28, 2022.
The application can be found at https://www.essex.edu/gs-lsamp/
Questions may be sent to [email protected].
When Essex County College’s (ECC) Student Nurse Association put out a campus-wide call for donations to its Toy and Coat Drive benefitting ECC’s Child Development Center (CDC), the response was enormous.
“It was on short notice, but we received an overwhelming response from everyone. We all came together as a team to benefit the children,” said Nursing student Takeyah Spann, Director of Community Service for the Association.
In just one week, donations poured which enabled Santa and Mrs. Claus to visit the Center on December 17, where they presented more than 60 bags of toys for the children. Clothing and coats were also collected and presented to the families of the children.
“Our CDC families left the event thrilled and elated about the items received and the care that went into putting the event together. Santa and Mrs. Claus were a big hit and put smiles on the faces of every child. Your joy and your spirit of giving were precious,” said CDC Director Virginia Flanigan.
You have helped spread the holiday spirit,” Porsha Davis, the CDC’s Interim Family Engagement and Assessment Coordinator, told the students.
For the record, Santa was played by Nursing student Terrence Rose. Nursing Professor Majuvy Sulse had the honor of portraying Mrs. Claus at the event.
Takeyah said it was an easy decision to select the CDC as the recipient of the Toy and Coat Drive. “The Center is right here at the College and we have done some of our nursing clinicals there. There’s a need in the community and we wanted to help,” she said.
In addition to Takeyah, other members of the Student Nurse Association Executive Board include Joshua Morales, President; Racquel Young-Daley, Vice President; Clementine Williams, Secretary; Rox-Anne McKenzie, Treasurer; Laura Provenzano, Director of Fundraising; and Jennifer Alexandre, Director of Public Relations. Professors Majuvy Sulse and Donna Francis serve as advisors to the group.
On-line registration for the Spring I 2022 Semester at Essex County College is underway. The College’s Spring I Semester starts Monday, January 10, 2022. Students may also register in person from January 4 to January 7, 2022.
Spring I classes run through April 28, 2022. Weekend College classes will be held from January 14 to April 23, 2022.
The College is requiring all students taking classes on campus, as well as faculty and staff, to be vaccinated against COVID unless they receive an exemption. The College also follows all CDC recommended safety guidelines, including wearing a mask and social distancing, while on campus.
Classes will be held on the Newark campus. There will also be virtual on Zoom, hybrid (a mix of virtual and Zoom sessions), and independent online classes offered.
“We are confident that you will find courses that will fit your schedule, and are compatible with your social distancing comfort level. Our goal is to ensure you are safe and secure so that you can continue your educational pursuits,” said Dr. Alvin Williams, Executive Dean of Faculty and Academics.
For more information please click on this link: https://www.essex.edu/registration/. Students may qualify for free tuition through the state Community College Opportunity Grant program. Go to https://www.essex.edu/tuitionfree/ to see how to qualify. Additional registration information is available through the College’s Welcome Center at 973-877-4477.
“Essex County College offers more than 50 Associate degree programs and Academic Certificates in a wide range of disciplines. Essex graduates transfer as juniors to many New Jersey colleges and universities, as well as top schools around the country. Register early to get the classes you want,” stated Dr. Williams.
“Our College continues to provide high quality and affordable educational opportunities despite the pandemic. Our many support services help students stay on track to graduate and realize their dreams. Essex County College has all you need to succeed,” said ECC President Dr. Augustine A. Boakye.
Karolina Kowal and David Alonge have the honor of being Essex County College’s 2022 representatives on the All USA-New Jersey Community College Academic Team. The announcement of the honor caught both students a little by surprise.
“Honestly, I was not expecting this. I was both excited and surprised when I received the word from Professor Wilson,” said Karolina, a Computer Science major from North Caldwell. Karolina has a 3.97 grade point average at ECC.
Professor Lynn Wilson serves as one of the advisors to the College’s Alpha Theta Theta Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, to which both students serve as officers.
David, a Computer Science major from Newark, expressed similar surprise and gratitude in receiving the honor. “I’m extremely grateful to have the opportunity to represent Essex County College on the Academic Team,” he said. David has a 3.91 grade point average.
Karolina and David, who were nominated for the honor by Phi Theta Kappa, will be recognized by the New Jersey Council of County Colleges in the Spring on a date to be announced, said Professor Wilson.
Both students are also eligible for a number of national scholarships through the All USA-Coca Cola Foundation. Nominees are also eligible for the All USA National Academic Team.
"This is a great news! Congratulations to our students and Phi Theta Kappa mentors," said Essex County College President Dr. Augustine A. Boakye.
“Karolina is a wonderful student and student officer who can always be counted on when it comes to chapter activities and events. So much so that she was recognized as one of the top 10 members of the Phi Theta Kappa Middle States Region during the recent Honors in Action Leadership Conference,” said Professor Wilson. Karolina is the Chapter’s Vice President of Service, and is President of the College’s Robotics and Computer Club.
“David is the second person in his family to serve as an officer of Alpha Theta Theta. Like his sister Deborah (Officer Team 2020 – 2021) he has a ‘can do’ spirit that inspires others. As VP of Social Media, David has been pivotal in making sure that our chapter is represented and recognized throughout Middle States,” said stated Professor Wilson. David has also participated in the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholarship program at ECC.
In keeping with the holiday spirit, members of the Essex County College Radiography Class of 2023 took it upon themselves to help the less fortunate.
“This year’s labor of love,” as Professor Darlyn Warner put it, was to collect personal items for the homeless youth staying at Newark’s Covenant House of New Jersey. “The students collected various items such as toothpaste, towels, pillows and shampoo to include in the packets the children receive at Covenant House,” stated Professor Warner Coordinator of the College’s Radiography Program.
“Our students and program faculty are honored to support Covenant House of New Jersey and want to thank their staff for the amazing work and commitment they offer to the youth of Newark who are in need,” added Professor Warner. “This is our way of giving back to the community,” she said.
“Because of your donation of personal care items, we will be able to expand our welcome kits for our youth who arrive with little to no belongings. Your donation is actually helping to impact many of our young people,” Covenant House Volunteer Coordinator Nabijah Shabazz said in her thank you to the ECC students. “Students like you help keep our mission of unconditional love for our youth alive,” she added.
“I applaud the generosity of our students. This spirit of giving and helping the community is what Essex County College is all about during this special time of the year,” said ECC’s President, Dr. Augustine A. Boakye.
Professor Warner said her students annually help out a local organization. “Covenant House is in our neighborhood and this project worked out perfectly,” she added.
Essex County College’s 2nd Floor Forum was transformed into an employment opportunity center on December 7, 2021 with a College Career Fair. The event was sponsored by the College’s Office of Student Development and Career Services.
“Our Career Fair is geared toward students and alumni. The Fair is also open to area residents, as we are working to meet the needs of the community,” stated Shadiquah Hordge, Assistant Director of Career and Transfer Services, as she watched employment recruiters field questions from a steady stream of students.
“The Career Fair gave our students the opportunity to speak with various employers offering opportunities ranging from short term employment to internships to careers. There were openings available for students with skills in Business, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Engineering, Human and Social Services, Marketing, Nursing, Physical Therapy and other areas related to their majors at our College,” said Dr. S. Aisha Steplight Johnson, Director of Student Development and Career Services.
Ms. Hordge said the next College Career Fair is planned for the Spring.
The 12 Essex County College students who took part in the week-long NASA Community College Aerospace Scholarship (NCAS) virtual program this fall were recently treated to a special campus celebration. The Essex County College Chemical Society co-sponsored the celebration with the College.
“You did it! I see the energy you have and the role our faculty and administration can play for you to move forward. The NASA program is an excellent opportunity to help you become future STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) professionals,” ECC’s President, Dr. Augustine A. Boakye, told the students.
ECC was one of only seven community colleges participating in this year’s NASA program in which teams of students developed a prototype rover capable of lunar and planetary exploration. The College has had a three-year relationship with the NCAS, including several on-campus programs pre-pandemic. In all cases, ECC students worked with their counterparts from around the nation on the projects.
“With this all virtual program, the students didn’t know what to expect. But in the end, they accomplished something with NASA and they did it in just one week. I’m really humbled by their accomplishments,” said ECC Chemistry Professor Dr. Nidhal Marashi. Dr. Marashi and Physics Professor Dr. Nadia Lvov serve as the College’s NASA program coordinators.
At the celebration, several students recalled their NASA experiences.
“At first, I wasn’t sure I could go through with it. But the program showed me what I could expect in my career path and, in the end, our team developed a very strong bond,” said Mechanical Engineering major Chinanue Edward Igbokwe. He added the mentors, ECC adjuncts Dr. Patrick Dzisah and Professor Faraz Siddique, provided excellent support.
Going in, Rashown Rumble admitting he didn’t have a “NASA type background. But I saw it as a great opportunity and I had a lot of fun. I would recommend the NASA program to any student interested in this field,” he said.
“Being a part of the NASA program was not only an honor, but also a great asset for any future undertakings,” said Manuel Simo.
Dr. Lvov said for the students to get to the weeklong simulation, they had to compete a five-week virtual Summer program. “All the credit for what they accomplished goes to our students. It was a very intense week,” she said.
Registration is underway for Essex County College’s Winter Intersession, where students can earn three college credits in just 10 days. Classes run from December 23, 2021 to January 7, 2022. All classes will be held virtually via Zoom.
Each class is approximately 2 hours, 40 minutes in length. Classes are offered in the morning, afternoon and evening.
“Winter Intersession offers students a wonderful opportunity to complete one class during the break and be that much closer to graduation. The compressed time makes the class intense, but it’s certainly well worth the effort,” said Director for Enrollment Services Renee Ojo-Ohikuare.
Registration information can be found at: https://www.essex.edu/registration/
“We hope many of our students take advantage of Winter Intersession. This is just one way we are assisting students toward earning their degree in a timely fashion,” said ECC’s President, Dr. Augustine A. Boakye.
Winter Intersession is popular among college students. The compressed nature of the courses at ECC enables students to quickly earn credits, many times in a required class. The Winter Intersession classes are for both Essex students and for those who attend another college or university and are home on holiday break.
That can result in savings, both in money and time, for students as they move toward graduation.
Essex is offering Winter Intersession classes in such areas as English, history, business, sociology, art and music.
Paced by a pair of outstanding sophomores, Essex County College’s Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams are Region 19 champions. The Wolverine harriers captured the titles on October 30, 2021 in Newark, Delaware.
Sophomore Davian Gray traversed the 5 mile course in 27:50, a full three minutes faster than his nearest competitor. Sophomore Megan Thompson completed her 3.2 mile run in 21:28 in winning the women’s title.
Other ECC finishers for the men were Khabeeba Mills (2nd), Daniel McDonald-Hylton (4th), Mohammed Soumare (5th) and Daniel Cunningham (7th). On the women’s side it was Zoey-Ann Wint (2nd), Khadija Lynch (3rd) Delverna Broomfield (5th) and Kayla Charles (6th).
The Women’s team is ranked 24th in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), its highest ranking ever. The College competes athletically in Region 19 of the NJCAA.
“I am so proud of these young men and women. After a 5-year drought, it feels good to bring the regional championship back home. They are peaking at just the right time for Nationals,” said Coach Lionel Leach. He is assisted by Eddie Greene.
“I’m extremely proud of the perseverance of our student-athletes, especially with all the Covid related challenges they have had to face, to reach such a high standard of excellence. I especially want to salute our sophomores who have continued to push themselves in order to succeed at this level,” said ECC Athletic Director Michael Doughtie.
“Once again, our student-athletes and coaches have done our College proud. Congratulations to all on a job well done,” said Dr. Augustine A. Boakye, ECC President.
“This is fantastic! Congratulations to our Cross Country teams and coaches for an outstanding performance,” said Dean of Student Affairs Dr. Keith Kirkland.
The College will be sending a contingent to the NJCAA championships on November 13 in Richmond, Virginia. Athletic Director Doughtie said all five women runners will compete. On the men’s side, Davian Gray, Daniel McDonald Hymon and Khabeeba Mills are representing the College at Nationals.
Essex County College is offering training in fast growing tech careers this Fall, with funding available for qualified students through a grant from the Johnson Controls Community College Partnership program.
The program aims to equip students with in-demand knowledge and skills supporting employment and a pathway for life-long careers upon graduation.
“The $90,000 Johnson Control grant will allow us to expand offerings into the Information Technology sector, and provide certification programs for IT and Help Desk careers,” said the College’s Training, Inc. Director, Mitra Choudhury. The 15-week courses will focus on A+ Certification and IT Fundamental Training, she said.
The classes, with instruction both in-person and online, will be offered during the day and in the evening. The training is scheduled to begin later this Fall.
Registration information is available from Adelaide Ramos Lopez at 973-877-3341, or Tanya Wright at 973-877-3012.
Ms. Choudhury said that the grant will provide free training for students who are underserved, unemployed, low income, minorities and women.
ECC is one of ten community colleges nationwide receiving grants for the 2021‒2022 academic year. The grant is provided by Johnson Controls in an effort to expand associate degree and certificate programs in areas where the U.S. Bureau of Labor is predicting an increased need for skilled trades expertise in the coming years.
In addition to the funding, Johnson Controls employees will support the College through volunteering and mentorships, providing students with real-world experience, internship opportunities and professional networking connections.
“We are very grateful to be participating in the Johnson Controls Community College Partnership program. The materials and training our students will receive will provide them with outstanding long-term career opportunities,” said ECC Interim President Dr. Augustine A. Boakye.
ECC’s participation in the Johnson Controls program also enables the College to create a partnership with CompTIA (Computing Technology Industry Association) to expand IT certification programs for careers in IT and Help Desk positions.
“The courses, coupled with possible internships, will propel students toward lucrative careers in the IT field,” said Dr. Elvy Vieira, Dean of Community, Continuing Education and Workforce Development.
“We believe the program will empower people to build life-long careers that will transform their lives and the city,” said Grady Crosby, VP of Public Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer at Johnson Controls. “Just as smart, healthy buildings are critical to our well-being, well-educated and trained technicians are crucial to keeping our environments operating safely and efficiently. As a leader in the building industry for over a century, Johnson Controls is honored to share our expertise with the country’s leading community colleges.”
Under sunny skies Friday, September 10, a groundbreaking ceremony signaled the official start of work on Essex County College’s new 51,700-square-foot West Essex campus building, on the site of the old facility in West Caldwell. Governor Phil Murphy was a special guest at the ceremony.
“This beautiful new facility will allow us to expand our academic programs for degree students and provide more Workforce Development training opportunities for other residents. Our new state-of-the art campus has been designed to meet the needs of our students,” said ECC Interim President Dr. Augustine A. Boakye.
The new four-story building will be constructed closer to Bloomfield Avenue than the current 1920s elementary school structure. It will provide space to complement the current curriculum offered by the College and is designed with flexibility to accommodate any changes that may arise in the future. It will include space for classrooms, labs, an information center, the ECC Skilled and Technical Science Academy and multi-purpose halls. Officials said the new campus is expected to be open in the Fall of 2022.
Dr. Boakye noted that the College has been in West Caldwell for over 40 years in an aging building. “We could not provide enough resources and space to meet our students’ needs.” That will change with the new spacious campus, he added.
“Our community colleges touch the entire spectrum of our state. Students from 18 years of age to our seniors attend community college, all looking for an education, additional job training, to start a new career, or for enrichment. The community college system is our secret weapon in the state’s future. I just had to be here today,” said Gov. Murphy. A project like this requires a partnership, which we have here,” he added.
“I want to thank Governor Murphy and Dr. Boakye for their partnership on this project. Building this new campus is an example of what can be accomplished when different government agencies share the same goals and work together to achieve them,” said Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr.
The project’s funding includes school construction grants and a grant from the state’s Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act. Funds also are being provided from the State of New Jersey and the Essex County Capital Budget.
Jim Johnson, from project designer Netta Architects of Mountainside, said the new campus will consist of “a lot of glass and openness, driven by technology and a modern Information Commons. It will be a place where students want to come and stay. It will be a pinnacle to this County for years to come.”
Essex County College Board of Trustees Chair Marion A. Bolden said “days like this are what it’s all about. Community college is a lifeline for so many and this new campus will provide outstanding educational opportunities.”
ECC Students Government Association President Jessica Clark and Vice President Nicholas Mendez thanked Gov. Murphy and County Executive DiVincenzo for their support, presenting the officials with special College gifts.
The demolition of the original campus building is being handled by Two Brothers Contracting, Inc. of Totowa. The contract to construct the new campus building will be put out to public bidding in a few weeks.
On-line registration for the Fall II Term at Essex County College is underway. The College’s Fall II Semester starts Thursday, September 23, 2021.
In-person registration will be held September 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, and 22. Fall II classes run through December 20, 2021.
The College follows all CDC recommended safety guidelines including wearing a mask and social distancing while on campus.
A majority of the classes will be held on campus. There will also be virtual on Zoom, hybrid (a mix of virtual and Zoom sessions), and independent online classes offered.
The College is requiring all students taking classes on campus, as well as faculty and staff, to be vaccinated against COVID unless they receive an exemption.
“Fall II classes offer the same high-quality, affordable academic programs as the more traditional Fall I semester. The College has more than 50 Associate degree programs and Academic Certificates in a wide range of disciplines. Essex graduates transfer as juniors to many New Jersey colleges and universities, as well as top schools around the country. Register early to get the classes you want,” said Dr. Alvin Williams, Executive Dean of Faculty and Academics.
For more information please click on this link: https://www.essex.edu/registration/. Students may qualify for free tuition through the state Community College Opportunity Grant program. Go to https://www.essex.edu/tuitionfree/ to see how to qualify. Additional registration information is available through the College’s Welcome Center at 973-877-4477/3389.
“Essex County College offers a Fall II term as part of our policy of providing easier access to our academic programs for our residents despite the ongoing pandemic. Our many support services help students stay on track to graduate and realize their dreams. Essex County College has all you need to succeed,” said ECC Interim President Dr. Augustine A. Boakye.
Essex County College is fully accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, with open access to everyone.
On-line registration for the Fall 2021 Semester at Essex County College is underway. The College’s Fall I Semester starts Thursday, September 2, 2021.
In-person registration will be held August 23-26 and August 31. Fall I classes run through December 21, 2021. Weekend College classes will be held from September 3 to December 18, 2021.
A majority of the Fall I classes will be held on campus. There will also be virtual on Zoom, hybrid (a mix of virtual and Zoom sessions), and independent online classes offered.
“Essex County College offers more than 50 Associate degree programs and Academic Certificates in a wide range of disciplines. Essex graduates transfer as juniors to many New Jersey colleges and universities, as well as top schools around the country. Register early to get the classes you want,” said Dr. Alvin Williams, Executive Dean of Faculty and Academics.
“Essex County College continues to provide high quality and affordable educational opportunities despite the pandemic. Our many support services help students stay on track to graduate and realize their dreams. Essex County College has all you need to succeed,” said ECC Interim President Dr. Augustine A. Boakye.
The College is fully accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, with open access to everyone.
Nkuah Asare, Essex County College’s newly elected Alumni Association President, is quick to point out how his classes at ECC prepared him for when he transferred to NJIT. “I quickly realized, especially in math class, how my time at Essex made my adjustment to a four year university that much easier,” said Nkuah. He graduated from Essex in 2015 with an Associate degree in Environmental Science.
Now a Geotechnical Engineer at Frank H. Lehr Associates, in East Orange, the Newark resident figures he is in a good position to give back to his first collegiate alma mater. Nkuah earned a Civil Engineering degree from NJIT and this Fall will pursue a Master’s degree there in Civil Engineering with a concentration in Geotechnical Engineering.
Although his two year term has just started, Nkuah is already formulating an Alumni Association agenda with other members of the Executive Board.
“It’s important that we showcase the College to prospective students as an affordable option. Students take the same courses in their first two years of college and they can save money by starting at Essex. Then they can transfer to a four-year school with junior status,” he said.
“My plan is for everyone who ran for a seat on the Executive Board to bring many other alums into the Association. That will increase our membership exponentially. I would also like everyone who voted in the election to become active and then we can go from there. We are a team,” he stated.
Upcoming Alumni Association meetings will be on Zoom and eventually in person. The next meeting is scheduled for August 19. “We should also have a platform to provide graduates information on the importance of giving back. “If one day, which I don’t want to happen, Essex County College is no longer functioning, our degrees will not look as good as they do now. Support your alma mater and your degree is that much more valuable,” said Nkuah.
For now, Nkuah wants the Alumni Association to raise money for scholarships at various events. “We will be building for Essex County College,” he said.
Other Alumni Association Executive Officers are Stephanie Carter, Vice President; Patrick Saint Fort, Treasurer; Allison James-Frison, Corresponding Secretary; Nesseline Belceus, Recording Secretary; and Maria Andrade, Serena Barnes, and Corneille Adanou.
“I’m pleased that the Alumni Association had its election with such outstanding candidates. I have confidence in Mr. Asare’s leadership as President and the rest of the Association’s Executive Officers. The College is well on its way toward building a strong and vibrant Alumni Association,” said Interim President Dr. Augustine A. Boakye.
“The College administration is looking forward to giving Mr. Asare, his leadership team and the entire Alumni Association our full support. We are in the process of creating a Welcoming Packet that will be available at our Welcome Center for all alumni,” said Alfred Bundy, Executive Director for Institutional Advancement. He said the packet will provide information on the College’s various services available to alumni.
The Dual Enrollment program at Essex County College allows pre-college students to take college for-credit classes while still attending their local high schools. This year, 21 Newark Tech students were recognized for earning their Associate degree during ECC’s Virtual Commencement on June 4, 2021.
One of these students from Newark, Tatyanna Nelums, is a true overachiever. In addition to earning her Associate degree, she also had the honor of serving as Newark Tech’s Valedictorian this year.
“Going to college while attending high school was a wonderful opportunity for me and definitely worth the extra work,” the 17-year-old said, who will be heading to Syracuse University this fall to major in Aerospace Engineering. To make it work, Tatyanna said it was a matter of budgeting her time after she decided to enroll in the ECC program as a high school freshman.
“Our program prepares these high school students for college by giving them additional classes each year,” said Dr. Elvy Vieira, Dean of Community, Continuing Education & Workforce Development at ECC. Dr. Vieira explained that the students receive the necessary tutoring to keep them on track. The courses are taught by ECC faculty and College adjunct instructors.
Newark Tech Principal Carmen Morales has been very impressed by Tatyanna. “She is bright, articulate, and unafraid to push boundaries, thinks outside the box, and puts in the hard work that is needed to achieve the goals she sets. Her strong work ethic, competitive nature, and ability to work as a team player is what has led Tatyanna to this level of success in her academic career. There is no doubt that she will continue to soar and achieve many great things," Principal Morales stated.
In addition to her College courses during the regular school year, Tatyanna took several ECC courses over each summer in the program, including the College Success Seminar and history classes.
Interestingly, Tatyanna also served as class Valediction in both elementary and middle school.
On her career choice, Tatyanna said, “I’ve always been interested in science. When I learned about NASA and space exploration, that really sparked my interest in science and aerospace.”
She has received a full tuition scholarship to attend Syracuse. Since she has earned her Associate degree at ECC, Tatyanna will be on course to complete her Bachelor’s requirements early.
Tatyanna is not resting on her laurels and taking the Summer off. Before starting at Syracuse on August 24, she will spend four weeks in Italy through the Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE) program. “I want to learn about the culture of Italy and travel through the country,” she said. “I know it will be a great experience.”
“I’m confident Tatyanna is well on her way toward doing great things. All of us at Essex County College are extremely proud of all our high school graduates from the Dual Enrollment Program. I wish all of the students continued success,” said ECC Interim President Dr. Augustine A. Boakye.
Essex County College is the recipient of a $90,000 grant as part of the Johnson Controls Community College Partnership program, which aims to equip students with in-demand knowledge and skills supporting employment and a pathway for life-long careers upon graduation.
In addition to the funding, Johnson Controls employees will support ECC through volunteering and mentorships, providing students with real-world experience, internship opportunities and professional networking connections. Johnson Controls is an international company, with a United States office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The funding will support the purchase and development of classroom materials, learning technologies and student scholarships. ECC’s award also enables the College to create a partnership with CompTIA (Computing Technology Industry Association) to expand IT certification programs for careers in IT and Help Desk positions.
“Through this grant, participating students will be better prepared for IT certification at no cost to them. The courses, coupled with possible internships, will propel students toward lucrative careers in the IT field,” said Dr. Elvy Vieira, Dean of Community, Continuing Education and Workforce Development.
ECC is one of ten community colleges receiving grants for the 2021‒2022 academic year. The grant is provided by Johnson Controls in an effort to expand associate degree and certificate programs in areas where the U.S. Bureau of Labor is predicting an increased need for skilled trades expertise in the coming years.
“Johnson Controls is proud to build upon our significant presence in the city by partnering with Essex County College on the Community College Partnership Program. We believe the program will empower people to build life-long careers that will transform their lives and the city,” said Grady Crosby, VP of Public Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer at Johnson Controls. “Just as smart, healthy buildings are critical to our well-being, well-educated and trained technicians are crucial to keeping our environments operating safely and efficiently. As a leader in the building industry for over a century, Johnson Controls is honored to share our expertise with the country’s leading community colleges.”
When Abimbola Arigbe assumed the presidency of the Essex County College Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society for the 2020-21 year, she knew the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic would create unique challenges to the vibrant group of high achieving students.
“Because most classes are online and we have all new officers, we have been adapting. We meet weekly via Zoom, even if it’s just a short discussion on College projects,” said the Biology, Pre-Medicine student from Newark. She said a number of service projects are planned including an on-campus mural initiative.
The College’s Alpha Theta Theta Chapter of the Honor Society has won numerous awards at both the Middle States and International conventions, including the prestigious “Five Star Chapter.”
Even though the recently completed NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) program had a different look this fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Essex County College participants still had a fulfilling experience that will only help them going forward.
NASA officials modified the virtual challenge to student teams designing a mission to the Moon or Mars. ECC, with 22 participants, had the largest contingent out of the hundreds of students taking part nation-wide. The College was also was the only community college from NASA’s six pilot institutions to continue the program during the pandemic.
“It was such a great experience. We learned to be part of a group and do the best to achieve the goals that we set up for the day. We listened to each other and discussed every decision to move forward and asked for help when we had questions,” said Salma Alami Yadri. She graduated from ECC in the spring with a degree in Engineering. She is now at NJIT majoring in Electrical Engineering.
“Our students had a very unique experience working with peers around the country and having access to NASA professionals,” said Dr. Nidhal Marashi, ECC Chemistry Professor, and the PI and Program Coordinator. Dr. Marashi and ECC Physics Professor Nadia Lvov mentored students during the summer portion of the program.
“I’m extremely pleased with all our participants,” Dr. Marashi said.
Sixty desks, spread out across the expansive floor, occupy a good portion of the Essex County College’s Gymnasium basketball court. Normally the home of ECC’s successful Wolverine basketball teams, the Gym now serves a new role during the COVID-19 pandemic: Internet Café.
With the College offering a majority of classes through remote instruction, it has created a number of challenges for students, especially those with limited or no access to the Internet and computers.
The Internet Café, open 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, has been designed to provide a safe and secure space for computer work. Students can even borrow fully charged iPads and Notebooks for use in the Café. The Internet Café aide will provide students with the password for borrowed equipment. Students may also
bring their own computer equipment.
The Café’s available bandwidth capability allows more stations to be added as needed.
“I’m very impressed by the support of the College staff, especially IT, in creating this innovative, customized Internet Café for our students. “The Café has been designed for student success as we continue dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Acting/Interim President Dr. Augustine Boakye during a tour of the facility.
“We know remote instruction has created challenges beyond the normal rigors of college. The Internet Café is just one way of lessening the pressure and ensuring you stay on track toward reaching your academic goals,” Dr. Boakye said.
During the pandemic, Essex County College follows all CDC health and safety guidelines, including social distancing. The stations are positioned to maintain at least six feet between students and staff. Wearing a mask on campus is mandatory, and that includes the Internet Café. In addition, disinfectants and hand sanitizers are available for Internet Café users.
The College's Associate degree Nursing program has received continuing accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) for the next eight years. The next ACEN evaluation visit will be in Fall of 2027.
"This is a true testament to our faculty and their commitment to Nursing education for our students," said Dr. Gale Gage, Chair of ECC's Nursing Department. "We are proud of the quality education we provide to our students, our new nurses."
Dr. Gage said the accreditation approval from the ACEN is timely this year as 2020 has been designated by the World Health Organization as the International Year of the Nurse.
"This is phenomenal news and is a testament to the great work being done by our Faculty and Nursing Chairperson," said ECC's President, Dr. Anthony E. Munroe. "Our students and their future patients are the real winners," he added.
"We look forward to continued successes for your nursing program. On behalf of the Board of Commissioners, we thank you and your colleagues for your commitment to quality nursing education," wrote Dr. Marsal P. Stoll, ACEN's Chief Executive Officer, in the confirmation letter to Dr. Gage.
An ACEN team visited the College last fall to evaluate the program. The final site visit report determined all six standards had been met. Final ACEN approval came following the recent action by the ACEN Board of Commissioners.
Essex County College was front and center during the March 10 New Jersey State Senate Budget Committee hearing, as President Dr. Anthony E. Munroe delivered the 2020-2021 budget presentation and issues on behalf of all 18 state community colleges. The hearing was held at neighboring NJIT.
Dr. Munroe was accompanied by ECC students Ronnie Bermeo and Madeline Mendez. Ronnie, a Newark Supply Chain Management major also addressed the Senate panel on the importance of continuing the state’s Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG) program, which covers tuition costs for qualified students.
Dr. Munroe remarked that more than 7,000 students state-wide have taken advantage of the CCOG program, which is the “last resort” following the exhaustion of other aid and grants. He urged the program be made permanent. At ECC since the Fall of 2019, 631 students have received CCOG aid, totaling $713,357.
Dr. Aaron Fitchner, President of the New Jersey Council of Community Colleges, joined Dr. Munroe at the hearing.
A free computer training and programming workshop, using the program Python, will be held Friday, March 13.
The half day workshop is from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. It will be held in Room 4164B on the Newark campus.
The hands-on program is made available through a Carl D. Perkins Vocational Education Grant. Underrepresented students are encouraged to enroll in the program.
“Python is a programming language which has a wide range of applications in many high-demand, well-paying IT fields,” said Engineering and Computer Science Professor Dr. Hossein Assadipour, who will teach the class. “Anyone who needs to know coding, whether it is in health sciences or business and economics, can use the program.”
Seating for the workshop is limited. To apply/register, contact Dr. Assadipour at [email protected].
The recent Essex County College Supply Chain Management field trip to Fleet Distribution Center in Harrison began at the top with a round table discussion with founder and Chief Executive Officer Mr. Alex Habbaz.
Students flipped their regular classroom session for this educational tour to gain practical exposure to Supply Chain Management and the technology that supports logistics, customer service operations, transportation systems, strategic value-add operations within distribution centers and the logic of cross-docking.
In his question and answer session with students, Mr. Habbaz emphasized innovation and development of solutions to meet the needs of manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and end users. He encouraged the students to pursue their career with vigor and know that “while things can go wrong, success comes when we learn from our experiences and reposition ourselves to improve our desired outcomes.”
Supply Chain Management student Madeline Mendez was fascinated by the tour. “This was my first visit to a Third Party Logistics Company. During the tour, we saw logistics processes involving operations, receiving containers, unloading, repackaging and branding products for specific retail and wholesale stores. Seeing our classroom discussions come alive in the real world confirmed the role of Supply Chain Management in our service-driven economy.”
Professor Pavi Jalloh, instructor of the College’s Supply Chain Management courses, added that interaction with industry practitioners is a game changer for our students and Fleet Distribution Center has been an excellent partner for ECC’s Supply Chain Management program
Speaking to the students, Dr. Augustine Boakye, Acting Dean of Liberal Arts & Business, said “our job is to support, mentor and encourage you to keep the momentum. We will give you the keys and show you the doors to opportunities, the rest is up to you to make it happen.”
The A.S. degree Supply Chain Management program was introduced at Essex in January, 2017, the first two-year institution in New Jersey to offer the degree. The program has graduated 12 students to date while 40 students are in the pipeline.
A free day-long workshop using Matlab/Octave will be held Wednesday, October 30.
The morning session is from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., while the afternoon portion is from 1 to 4 p.m. The workshop will be in Room 4165B on the Newark campus. Participants need to commit to both sessions.
The hands-on program is funded through a Carl D. Perkins Vocational Education Grant. Underrepresented students are encouraged to enroll in the program.
“This workshop is ideal for students to learn about Matlab/Octave and the opportunities available in this high paying field,” said Engineering and Computer Science Professor Dr. Hossein Assadipour, who will teach the class.
Seating for the workshop is limited. To apply/register, contact Dr. Assadipour at [email protected]
Freshmen Navasky Anderson and Leon Clarke represented themselves and Essex County College well at the National Junior College Athletic Association Indoor Track and Field Championships, held March 1-2 in Pittsburg, Kansas.
Competing in the 800 meter run, Navasky finished seventh in his qualifying heat with a personal best time of 1:54.71. He then placed seventh overall in the finals.
Leon also ran his personal best of 1:19.55 in the qualifying round of the 600 meter run. In the finals, he finished eighth overall.
Both Navasky and Leon finished with the second fastest freshman times in their respective events.
The Wolverine track team is led by Head Coach Shaylah Counts and Assistant Coach Lionel Leach.
Due to the inclement weather and unsafe road conditions, Essex County College will be closed today, Thursday March 5th, 2015.
The Essex County College Lady Wolverines soccer team seeks to defend its Region XIX title this Saturday, October 27. The team advanced to the finals following a 1-0 victory over Harcum College this past Saturday.
Ashari Bowen, off an assist from Shanearay Wilkins, netted the game’s lone goal in the first half. Goalie Nicolette Craig recorded four saves in posting the shutout.
Coach Monique Edouard’s 9-1-1 squad will take on Sussex County Community College at 12 p.m. in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. The Lady Wolverines have a 1-0 victory earlier this season over the Sussex Skylanders.
“It way an amazing victory to bring the team back to the region final,” said Coach Edouard. “It was a collaborative effort from the entire team and I am so proud of them. But we still have a big one coming up this Saturday. We just need to stay focused.”
Meanwhile, the 9-1 men’s soccer team will take on Harcum College at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow, October 23 in the Region XIX semi-finals. That game is set for 2:30 p.m. at Weequahic Park in Newark. Dr. Richard Esposito’s team won at Harcum, 3-1, earlier this year.
The winner of that game will travel to Conshohocken as well on Saturday for the regional final.
Essex County College (ECC) will receive up to $305,000 as part of the state’s Community College Innovation Challenge. This grant, awarded to all community colleges that applied, is but a small piece of Gov. Murphy’s multi-million dollar Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG). The ultimate goal of the CCOG is to provide free community college tuition for state residents who meet specific economic guidelines.
These funds will be utilized in order to continue the affordable, high quality education which ECC has provided its students for 50 years. Bolstered by the state money, ECC will continue to enhance our support and wraparound services to students while our College, as always, develops new programming to help satisfy the needs of a constantly evolving future. By next fall the College anticipates receiving additional dollars from the governor’s Student First Initiative.
“When fully implemented, this initiative will be boon for the entire state of New Jersey, and especially for the many residents who will be eligible for the free tuition,” said Essex President Dr. Anthony E. Munroe. “It is extremely important we work together to position ourselves to take full advantage of state CCOG money as it becomes available over the next few years.”
As you know, ECC is fully-accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, serving the dynamic needs of diverse constituencies through comprehensive educational programs and services. In today’s ever changing economy, more and more New Jersey residents will need a post-secondary credential or degree for a career that provides a family sustaining wage. That’s extremely important right here in Essex County, where some 15 percent of all residents do not possess a high school diploma.
ECC has comprehensive Financial Aid and Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) programs with over 70 percent of ECC students receiving such assistance. Additionally, ECC students receive over $700,000 in scholarships and grants each year. Still, there is a large population in Essex County in need of tuition assistance.
Our accomplishments are many. Since 2012, ECC has been one of the leading two-year institutions in the nation in producing Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Transfer Scholars who receive up to a $120,000 award from this prestigious organization.
We were recognized as a “Rising STEM Star in Northern New Jersey” in the August edition of University Business magazine for our many nationally-recognized science and allied health degree programs. About 40 percent of our graduates earn their Associate degree in one of the STEM fields. Our Division of Business is one of only two New Jersey community colleges accredited by the Accreditation Council of Business Schools & Programs.
A recent Stanford University study found that ECC students have greatly increased their earning power over the past few years. In fact, the study showed that 30 percent of Essex students moved up two or more income quintiles after graduation, which ranked the institution 26th out of the 690 two-year colleges surveyed. Each quintile jump is a 20 percent increase.
College Choice named Essex County College the 50th Best Community College for 2017.
ECC is New Jersey’s only two-year College designated a Predominantly Black and a Hispanic Serving Institution.
We must continue to position ourselves to take advantage of programs that will provide our most deserving students the money necessary to continue their education. If you want ECC to be part of your life please visit https://essexedu2483.wpengine.com/why-ecc/ or call 973-877-3100 for more information.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to provide a brief update to let you know that we are on schedule with our national search to identify the next President of Essex County College (ECC). I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who participated in the online survey, as well as the public forums, through which participants had opportunities to discuss the qualities and qualifications ECC is seeking in our next president. Your feedback was insightful and valuable, and your contributions informed the development of the Presidential Profile.
On May 19, 2021, the Presidential Search Committee met for orientation and training, and to work on the draft Presidential Profile. On May 25, the Board of Trustees held a special meeting to review and approve the Presidential Profile.
The Presidential Profile is now finalized and can be found at the ECC presidential search webpage: https://www.essex.edu/presidentialsearch2021/
The target date for applications is August 25, 2021.
The Board of Trustees is committed to conducting an equitable, inclusive, and transparent national search process. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to reach out to our ACCT Search Consultants:
Marion A. Bolden, Chair, Essex County College Board of Trustees
The Essex County Register’s Office has launched its Public Records Electronic Search System (PRESS) today May 13th. This system allows the public to search documents electronically through the internet at: https://press.essexregister.com/prodpress/index.aspx