Academic Affairs

Center of Workforce Innovation

Through the Centers of Workforce Innovation (CWI) initiative, which is sponsored by the New Jersey Council of Community Colleges (NJCCC) and the New Jersey Business and Industry Association (NJBIA), the Workforce and Professional Education Department and the School of STEM are working together to expand postsecondary education offerings at the College. Under the leadership of Dr. Sylvia Riviello, Dean of the School of STEM, and Ms. Elizabeth Metzger, Director of Customized Training and Business Engagement, OCC teams are building new curriculum to serve the learning lifespan of students and workers.

At Thursday’s Board meeting, Dr. Riviello and Ms. Metzger will highlight the new courses and programs that are under development in advanced technology areas, including cybersecurity and software development.

HyFlex Classes

In the summer of 2022, OCC offered 26 HyFlex sections and provided HyFlex navigators to faculty and lecturers who needed support with the technology in their classes. At the end of the summer terms, two meetings were held with the faculty, lecturers, HyFlex navigators, and a number of administrative staff to learn about faculty/lecturer experiences and make any needed adjustments. The general consensus was very positive. This Fall semester, OCC is offering 64 HyFlex sections. As of the end of Week 5, the results continue to be encouraging. To get a better understanding of student behavior in HyFlex classes, the attendance of a remote student is being tracked. In the sampling of seven HyFlex sections with a total enrollment of 180 students, on average, about 14% of the students have attended remotely. In other words, in a class of 30 students, on average, about four students have attended remotely per class in the first five weeks of this semester. OCC is planning to offer about 100 HyFlex sections in Spring 2023.

At the Fall 2022 Lecturer Institute, plenary speaker Dr. Adrienne Phelps-Coco shared tangible actions that faculty and lecturers teaching HyFlex classes could implement to produce high levels of student engagement. A HyFlex town hall discussion was held on October 18, 2022. This provided a forum for faculty and lecturers to share ideas and exchange best practices for teaching HyFlex classes.

Ms. Catherine Mancuso, Dean of Faculty Development and Learning Innovation, will be holding a variety of HyFlex training sessions throughout November and December to help prepare faculty and lecturers for success in their Spring 2023 HyFlex courses. HyFlex Basics: An Overview of Teaching HyFlex at Ocean County College will be offered on November 1, December 6, and December 8, 2022, to provide hands-on training on setting up HyFlex equipment for classes in both regular HyFlex rooms and Cisco rooms, troubleshooting basic technical issues, and creating interactive and engaging activities for remote and in-person students. A HyFlex course development series will give faculty and lecturers an opportunity to work on material for their Spring 2023 HyFlex classes. Sessions will be offered as follows: Organizing your HyFlex Classroom (November 4, 2022), In-Class Activities for HyFlex Classes (November 11, 2022), and HyFlex Assessments (November 18, December 2, and December 9, 2022).

Academic and Tutoring Support Services

Since the beginning of the Fall semester, Academic and Tutoring Support Services has held two department-wide training sessions. Ms. Jamie Prioli, Assistant Director of Disability Services, facilitated September’s training; and Dr. Kate Pandolpho, Director of Counseling and Student Development, facilitated October’s training on submitting CARE reports. There were 25 attendees in each training session.

To provide students with easy access to scheduling a tutoring appointment, Academic and Tutoring Support Services created QR codes whereby students can scan the code, enter their OCC credentials, and then be redirected to the scheduling system. These QR codes have been posted all over campus, including the Gateway Building. As of September 30, 2022, there have been 534 scans. The flyers were made in collaboration with College Relations and Title III Program Director, Dr. Mary Gibson.

School of Arts and Humanities

  • Instructor of Fine Arts Nathaniel Bard went to the Art Alliance of Monmouth to curate an exhibition for members, and some of his paintings were in the storefront windows for the month of October.
  • Mark Westmoreland, College Lecturer II of Philosophy, was nominated to the Committee on Philosophy in Two-Year Colleges for the American Philosophical Association.
  • Led by English College Lecturers Dr. Madison Peschock and Kristyn Stout, and in conjunction with the Hospitality Club and Mr. Sean Bips, College Lecturer II in Business, OCC recognized Banned Books Week, held this year from September 18 to 24, 2022, with 19 presentations on works that had been previously banned, including GenesisLeaves of Grass, and Harry Potter. Students were able to attend the readings and discussions and enjoy a culinary treat provided by OCC’s Hospitality, Recreation, and Tourism Management students. Contributions to the bake sale went to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
  • On October 3 and 4, 2022, auditions were held for the OCC Repertory Theatre Company’s presentation of Tis the Wind and Nothing More, which is set to open on November 11, 2022. Directed by College Lecturer II in Communications and Theatre Paul Chalakani, the play will have audiences traveling to some of the darkest corners inside Edgar Allan Poe’s mind, as some of his favorite tales and poems are blended to create a chilling excursion.
  • The Interpreter Training Program and OCC’s American Sign Language (ASL) students attended the Mexican Theater for the Deaf’s performance in the Grunin Theatre on October 12, 2022. After the performance, all attended a workshop presented by the actors.
  • On October 12, 2022, faculty and lecturers from history, English, philosophy, ASL, broadcast and journalism, music, and graphic arts participated in OCC’s Fall Open House. Everyone found the event to be extremely successful.
  • On October 19, 2022, the English Department, in coordination with the Social Justice Series, hosted its annual “Shakespeare’s Whistleblowers” event. The event was held both in person and virtually. A filmed version of scenes from All’s Well That Ends Well was shown. Afterward, there was a discussion about how understanding Shakespeare can help in the fight against gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment today.
  • History College Lecturer II Robert Marchie and the History Club, together with several other student clubs, hosted a Halloween-themed trivia night on October 25, 2022.
  • Madison Peschock, English College Lecturer II, led October’s English Adjunct Round Table on October 26, 2022.
  • October 28, 2022, marked the first in a series of four recitals devoted to the music of Cesar Franck. The event featured OCC Adjunct Professors of Music Jee Sun Lee and DoYeon Kim and College Lecturer II of Humanities and Fine Arts Brian Gilmore. They performed Franck’s Violin Sonata in A major and his Piano Trio in f# minor.
  • History College Lecturers Robert Marchie and Justin Pfeifer joined OCC students on a field trip to Philadelphia on October 29, 2022. The trip included stops at Eastern State Penitentiary and Independence Hall.
  • The Deaf Interpreter presentation/workshop was held with Summer Seiger, who offered students a first-hand perspective of what it’s like working with the Deaf and as an interpreter.
  • Throughout October, students in the Interpreter Training Program volunteered their time at the Point Pleasant, Little Egg Harbor, Stafford, and Barnegat branches of the Ocean County Library system. Students signed stories for Diversability Awareness Month.
  • College Lecturer II in English Kristyn Stout and College Lecturer II in Business Sean Bips are co-leading a travel seminar to Las Vegas, Nevada, from March 18 to 24, 2023. They held an information session on October 5, 2022.

School of Business and Social Sciences

  • OCC’s annual Constitution Day celebration took place on September 19, 2022. Constitution Day commemorates the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787. This year’s event featured a screening and discussion of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a documentary directed and produced by Ms. Betsy West and Ms. Julie Cohen. The film took a candid look at Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s exceptional life and career as a long-standing U.S. Supreme Court Justice, champion of women’s rights, and pop culture icon. This event was sponsored by OCC’s Library and Governmental Affairs Institute and was facilitated by Mr. Jason Ghibesi, College Lecturer II in Political Science. Pocket copies of the U.S. Constitution were available for all attendees.
  • Business Studies College Lecture II Chris Bottomley reported that the Business Innovation Consortium (BIC) has gained 44+ members after the first club fair meeting on September 20, 2022, and the first BIC meeting of the semester on September 28, 2022. Through coordinated and aggressive marketing by the Business Studies and Student Life teams, BIC is back to pre-COVID levels of interest and participation.
  • College Lecturer II Sean Bips hosted a Hospitality Club field trip to the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City on October 21, 2022. The club toured the hotel and casino and met with key hotel management members to help students gain a clear understanding of how the front and back of house operations work and what they do to serve the guests in a casino hotel property. The tour included visits to the front office, banquet, catering event, gaming, and security departments.
  • College Lecturers in Business Chris Bottomley and Ibrahim Moustafa will host the MKTG Symposium: Google Analytics with Jim Mahlmann of NetCetra. This is a microtargeted event for the marketing students in the School of Business and School of Social Sciences. In this symposium, the students will measure key performance indicators to track business return on investment. This event will take place on November 17, 2022.
  • College Lecturer II in Education Nicole Kammer’s students in her EDUC 140, Math for Professional Educators, class are corresponding as pen pals with a fifth-grade class of students located in the Township of Hamilton for the Fall semester. The goal for OCC students is to understand elementary school children’s motivation and perspectives regarding their math class. The letters will include addressing social emotion issues, including how to manage stress in school, dealing with math anxiety, and developing a growth mindset when math is difficult.

Ocean County College Library

Employee Recognition

  • Associate Professor Catherine Pontoriero, Librarian, received her Master of Fine Arts degree from Southern New Hampshire University.
  • Library College Lecturer II Anastacia McCloskey received her Master of Educational Technology degree from Boise State University.
  • Malia Padalino, full-time Information Access Technician, received her Master of Arts degree in English from Monmouth University.
  • New Employees Welcomed
  • Madison Maresca, part-time Information Access Technician
  • Shawn Oates, part-time Information Access Technician
  • Malcolm Wagner, full-time Library Technical Services Technician
  • Madison Akins, OER and Business Librarian
  • Cheyenne Riehl, STEM and Outreach Librarian
  • The Podcast Station is now open to all students, faculty, and staff at OCC and Kean Ocean. Located in the Library, the Podcast Station boasts professional-grade recording equipment, including microphones, boom arms, headphones, and a recording console designed specifically with podcasting in mind. Bookings can be made in advance at go.ocean.edu/PodcastStation.
  • The Library is in the process of revising its Scavenger Hunt procedures. An announcement will be made soon.
  • Each month, the Library curates a rotation of displays that feature relevant and interesting materials housed in the library. This month, materials are being showcased on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, LGBT+ History Month, Christopher Columbus and Italian American Heritage, Health Literacy, Halloween, Dia de los Muertos, 247th Anniversary of the Founding of the Navy, Emergency Nurses Day, National Mad Hatter Day, and World Vegetarian Day.

Center for Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education

  • Ali Botein-Furrevig, Part-Time Program Coordinator of the Center for Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education, participated in the National Association of Scholars webinar, “Title IX Tyranny,” hosted by NAS Policy Director and Heritage Foundation Legal Fellow Sarah Perry. The interactive workshop discussed the history and current abuses of Title IX.
  • The Center is bringing back its pre-COVID popular film series, “Cinema, Coffee, and Conversation,” offered over the course of the academic year.
  • Botein-Furrevig and Dr. Justin Pfeiffer, History College Lecturer II, collaborated on writing a course proposal, History of the Holocaust, which will be recommended to the Curriculum Committee for approval. The course will be taught by Dr. Pfeifer, and Dr. Botein-Furrevig will do several guest lectures.
  • On November 9 and 10, 2022, Dr. Botein-Furrevig will present a program commemorating the 84th anniversary of Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass) in Germany on November 9 and 10, 1938, which was the spark that ignited the Holocaust. The program will feature a discussion and survivor testimonies.
  • The theme of the 2023 Holocaust Remembrance Week, from April 17 to 21, 2023, will be “Not Like Lambs to Slaughter: Resistance and Survival During Nazi Occupation.” The program features lectures, film, and keynote speaker Maud Dahme, who will discuss her experiences as a hidden child during that time.

School of Nursing and Health Sciences

  • Nursing faculty attended a virtual educational program, Next Generation NCLEX® #2023, on October 13, 2022. Objectives of this program focused on understanding the reason and research related to the new Registered Nurse licensure examination that will become effective in April 2023. The program also focused on incorporating case study design to facilitate the development of students’ clinical judgment for successful outcomes on the new examination.
  • The School of Nursing submitted the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) annual report on October 13, 2022, which is required to maintain national accreditation. Information regarding enrollment, faculty and staff vacancies, faculty and student demographics, as well as data on program outcomes and end-of-program student-learning outcomes are required to be submitted for review by the ACEN Board of Commissioners.
  • Representatives from the School of Nursing attended OCC’s Fall Open House on October 12, 2022. Staff and faculty provided prospective students and their families with information on admission to the School of Nursing.
  • Pre-nursing information workshops were held on October 19 and November 4, 2022, both in person and remotely. These sessions are offered to students who intend to enter the nursing program. Mary Fennessy, Director of Program Services, collaborates with representatives from the Advising Department as well as Registration and Records to provide key information regarding the nursing program to prospective nursing students.

School of STEM

  • The School of STEM hosted a free STEM workshop for parents, which ran in parallel with the STEAM workshop, Spatial VIS I, from October 17 to November 7, 2022. Parents learned about the nursing programs, careers, and helping their children on a STEM pathway.
  • The Wednesday with STEMS Speaker Series began again on October 19, 2022. The first installment highlighted various OCC School of STEM K-12 outreach activities, including the Projects and Research Experience. Participants from this activity showcased their projects/research that was completed during the summer of 2022.
  • College Lecturer II in Computer Studies Ken Michalek is serving as a coordinator and representing OCC at AI Incubator Network meetings. He was requested to give an overview of the OCC AI program to the other institutions involved in the AI Incubator Network, focusing on how OCC used grant funds to build an AI lab. In addition, Mr. Michalek presented to Toms River middle and high school students about the College’s AI and Cybersecurity programs. He is taking Coursera machine learning specialization from Deep Learning Company to ramp up on new machine learning topics and is preparing course materials for CSIT 192, Machine Learning, so it can be offered next summer. This is the third course in the certification program. It is anticipated the last course for AI certification will be completed next summer and be offered by Fall 2023.
  • College Lecturer II in Computer Studies Joe Brickley and STEM Dean Sylvia Riviello met with Rowan University’s Fred Stinchcombe to discuss our 2+2 articulation agreement, which will ensure the courses being developed at OCC will offer students a seamless transfer to Rowan University’s computer systems technology degree. Brickley is also being trained through the Cisco Academy and receiving certifications in the areas of CCNA and Cybersecurity Ops to teach several Cisco courses at OCC in collaboration with Workforce and Professional Education. Through the funding awarded to OCC from the Centers of Workforce Innovations, the following courses are being developed: Foundations of Computer Forensics, Computing Fundamentals, and Penetration Testing Fundamentals.
  • Assistant Dean Carolyn Showalter made a presentation on Inclusion and Equity to the School of STEM and attended an academic impressions webinar on “Rethinking Engagement for Gen Z Students.”
  • Student Mathematics League Competition was held on October 25, 2022. Round 1 is held during the Fall semester, and Round 2 is during the Spring semester. Students compete both as individuals and as team members representing their schools.
  • College Lecturer II in Biology Lincoln Simmons reported that Jersey Central Power and Light has joined OCC’s Environmental Management Advisory Committee. The Environmental Club hosted Terracycle, a new environmental committee member and global solid waste management company. The main discussion points were employment and project collaboration between OCC and Terracycle. Simmons attended the New Jersey STEM Pathways Network’s quarterly meeting. He also attended the New Jersey Economic Development Authority Offshore Wind Workforce and Skills Development Grant Challenge on October 9, 2022.

Finance and Administration

Fiscal Year 2022 Audit

The audit for fiscal year 2022 is underway. The auditors have completed the enrollment audit and are now in the process of conducting the financial audit. It is expected that financial statements and the complete audit report will be presented for approval at the December Board meeting.

Enrollment for the current semester, Fall 2022, did not meet budget projections. This will require adjustments in planned expenses for the remainder of the fiscal year. Currently, vacancies are under review to determine which positions can be frozen. In addition, other expense curtailment may be necessary to rebalance the 2023 fiscal year budget.

Presidential Search

The search process to identify the next President of Ocean County College is on schedule. OCC attracted a strong and diverse pool of candidates from throughout the state, region, and nation. The College Search Committee has completed its work and has made recommendations to the Board Search Committee.

The Board Search Committee completed the semi-finalist interviews and is in the process of determining final candidates. The names of the final candidates will be released shortly, and it is expected that the final candidates will visit OCC the week of November 7, 2022. All finalists will spend a full day on campus and participate in public forums.

Update on Gateway 5th Floor

The following changes have been accomplished to date:

  • Emergency exit door (red button) is now alarmed to sound loudly at the doorway and in the Security Office when breached. Signage indicating “Emergency Exit Only” is in place.
  • The temporary fence installed between the 4th and 5th floors was removed by order of the Fire Marshall. A large sign indicating “5th Floor is Closed” is in place as well as a chain and cones.
  • The north patio door lock has been repaired.
  • All exterior doors on the 5th floor are checked daily to ensure magnetic locks are working.
  • Elevator key access locks to the 5th floor have been changed; only Security and Facilities have the key.
  • 5th floor atrium’s fire safety gates are down, closing off access to the interior floors below.
  • A Security Officer is posted in the building from 6 a.m. through 11 p.m. This will end when the fencing on the 4th floor is in place.

Additional items in process:

  • On October 12, 2022, Carl’s Fencing submitted a proposal and drawing to install a permanent tall gate with interior push exit bar on the landing between the 4th and 5th This option was discussed with the Fire Marshall and Building Inspector, and approval is pending their review of the drawings.
  • A proposal was made to install a motion sensor (analytic) camera overlooking the 5th-floor stairwell and landing. This camera would be activated by motion and have advanced searching features.
  • Permission was received from the Fire Marshall on October 12, 2022, to allow key locks to be installed on both exterior patio doors on the 5th floor in addition to current swipe card access; locks were installed by the end of October. The Fire Marshall also gave his approval to add a key lock to the exterior patio door in Kean’s conference room 427.
  • Integrated Systems is submitting a proposal for an elevator card access reader to replace the keys. The card access will allow Security and Facilities to know who accesses the 5th floor via the elevator.

To address the walk from the emergency door to the fire stairs:

  • Carl’s Fencing submitted a proposal for fencing to enclose the exterior walkway from the emergency door to the roof staircase located on the far end of the roof. The fencing will be 6 feet tall and be secured to withstand high winds and all types of weather. There is a four to eight week delivery time.

Items still to be addressed include:

  • Atrium barriers will be installed on the 5th, 4th, and 3rd
  • Additional safety railings will be installed for maintenance areas/roof edges.

It is noted that the two patio swipe doors have always had restricted access. Only Security and Facilities personnel are cleared to open those doors.

College Relations

TV Studio

  • At Thursday’s meeting, Ms. Mary Granahan, TV Studio Director, will provide an update on the new initiatives at Ocean TV-20:
  • Ocean TV-20 has an updated broadcast schedule for the fall/winter season. New programming has been added, such as Aging InsightsFamily Historian, and Saturday Morning Cartooning, while retaining audience favorites, including the ever popular Sit and Be Fit.

The new schedule is comprised of themed time blocks to keep our viewers tuned in by airing similar programming back-to-back. These blocks include:

  • News and Politics
  • Children’s Programming
  • Arts
  • Crafts
  • Nature and Travel
  • Technology

Movies have been rescheduled to air Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings and have been paired with programs to enhance the experience. Creature Feature on Fridays follows paranormal programs; Saturdays are ‘dinner and a movie’ with cooking and baking shows, followed by Retro Movies; and on Sundays Classic Movies are aired, followed by episodes of The Lucy Show and Bonanza.

Currently, pre-production has begun on a new thirty-minute monthly program, Shore of Support, which will feature non-profit organizations in the area. Each episode will have a theme, the first being food insecurity with guests from Fulfill and Plentiful Plates. A short video has also been created for the campus food pantry, Helping Hands, which will air as a commercial break and be promoted on OCC’s channel and social media pages.

In addition to long-form content, the studio is collaborating with faculty, lecturers, and staff to create promotional videos for courses offered at Ocean County College. Recently, studio personnel worked with College Lecturer II in Economics Sharmistha Banerjee to create a Supply Chain Management video which, when complete, will be the first of this series. The Viking Video Club has been formed with students from the Digital Mass Media (DMM) program. This club will enhance the DMM program by offering engaging projects and hosting guest lectures from industry professionals.

The TV Studio staff looks forward to growing the station and appreciates the administration’s and Board’s continued support of Ocean TV-20.


  • The quarterly Alumni e-Newsletter was sent early this month to nearly 20,000 alumni emails to promote events, alumni services, professional development, and ways to get involved with the College.
  • The OCC Foundation’s Annual Appeal announcement is complete and is in production to be mailed to approximately 1,200 donors and prospects to solicit support for scholarships and special programs at the College. A series of supplemental emails will also be sent in the coming weeks to the recipients to encourage giving and provide an online portal to donate. A modified version of this appeal will also be sent electronically to all OCC alumni.


Jan Kirsten, Executive Director of College Relations, will provide an update on awards won by the College Relations team for design. The awards were presented at the National Council for Marketing and Publications (NCMPR) conference on October 3, 2022, in Syracuse, New York.

The National Council for Marketing and Public Relations is the only organization of its kind that exclusively represents marketing and public relations professionals at community and technical colleges. As one of the fastest-growing affiliates of the American Association of Community Colleges, NCMPR has more than 1,600 members from nearly 550 colleges across the United States and Canada. The National Council for Marketing and Public Relations provides professional growth for those working in marketing and communication at community and technical colleges. With a focus on learning, networking, and advocacy, NCMPR helps members become better at their jobs and supports two-year colleges in their mission to promote student success

Michael Leon, Associate Director of Graphic Design, created OCC’s Campus Security Safety Report for 2022-23. The annual booklet design addresses student and campus safety and the steps the OCC Security Department implements. Current Security staff, vehicle, and campus photography was produced for this project. In collaboration with Mr. Thomas DeSimone, Director of College Safety and Security, the booklet will be shared this Fall with faculty, lecturers, and staff throughout the campus. Content includes crime statistic updates, emergency preparedness, updated contact information, and safety instructions. The booklet will be used across multiple marketing platforms, such as print, social, and web distribution.

OCC Foundation

Annual Appeal

The Foundation’s Annual Appeal will once again feature three donors, each highlighting “Why I Give.” Special appreciation is expressed to two dedicated board members, Mr. Michael Manzo and Ms. Anne Kraljic, as well as Foundation stakeholder, Mr. Praveen Jeyarajah, for their participation in this appeal. The completed piece will be mailed this Fall and will be supported by social media and email solicitations for support.

The Legacy Campaign

Officially launched this summer and since the August 15, 2022, initial mailing, pledges of over $1 million have been received for the Legacy Campaign. The first meet and greet/engagement event for elder law attorneys in Ocean County is scheduled for November 1, 2022. All Board members are invited to attend the event, during which the many opportunities and ways to participate in the Legacy Campaign will be reviewed for the attorneys to share with their clients.

Endowment Reports

As part of the Foundation’s continued stewardship efforts, all reports are scheduled to be distributed by the start of November. As in years past, custom reports will be created for each of the endowments with detailed financial information as well as reports on the distribution of funds this past academic year.

Global Travel Experience

The Foundation is very pleased to report both the Exploring Italy and Theater in London trips for this coming winter are filled. The students and advisors are excited about their participation in these trips.

New Member Orientation

The Foundation welcomes two new members of the Foundation Board, Ms. Julia Maroney and Mr. Michael Maschi. The Foundation will be hosting a new member onboarding meeting in November, and the terms of the new members will officially begin on January 1, 2023.

Golf Outing

Many thanks to all who participated in this year’s Foundation Golf Outing, especially to the Golf Committee Chair, Mr. Michael York, and to Ms. Sherri A. Bray, Associate Director of Advancement and Donor Engagement, for hosting a beautiful event. Together, over $60,000 was raised to support the mission of the Foundation and the students of Ocean County College.

Foundation Events

  • The Foundation Board and non-Board member volunteers deserve accolades for their efforts as donor engagement events continue to expand in variety and frequency. Collectively, their assistance keeps the Foundation and the College at the forefront in the community throughout the year.
  • The Foundation’s next scheduled event is on January 20, 2023, when a mini-golf tournament will be hosted in the Larson Student Center. This first-ever joint fundraiser with Community Medical Center Foundation promises to be great fun as funds and awareness are raised for both organizations.

Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts

  • Assistant Director of the Center, Ms. Jessica Zawerczuk, reports that two shows were sold out from the Grunin Presents Series: the first with Paul Riser featuring Vance Gilbert on October 8, 2022; and the second, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, on October 29, 2022.
  • Ricky Riccardi, OCC alumnus and co-organizer of the Jazz on a Sunday Afternoon Series, hosted the first event of the season with the Champian Fulton Trio on October 9, 2022. The concert was outstanding, and it provided the audience with a variety of original compositions and jazz standards for their listening pleasure.
  • The Grunin Center hosted the second week of a two-week dance residency for Ephrat Asherie Dance Company from October 18 to 21, 2022. As part of OCC’s award of the Arts Forward Grant from the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, this residency included three workshops, two with the Grunin Performing Arts Academy and Toms River North Dance Academy as well as an inter-generational workshop. It also included a school performance and public performance of their new piece, UNDERSCORED, which they developed in part at the Grunin Center.

The Grunin Center’s superior technical crew, who made this residency possible, deserves recognition for their outstanding work: Ms. Bryn Farace, Mr. Stephan Caldwell, Mr. Mark Keeler, Ms. Erin O’Brien, Ms. Terri O’Neill, Ms. Mady McCabe, and Ms. Audrey Wilcockson.

  • Assistant Director of Education and Community Engagement Jaclyn Wood organized the first Schools n’ Stage performance of the 2022-23 academic year on October 12, 2022, with Sena y Verbo: Teatro de Sordos (Mexican Theater for the Deaf) and partnered with Instructor of Humanities Saundra Piscatelli and Assistant Professor of Humanities Kathy Basilotto to bring American Sign Language (ASL) and Interpreter Training Program students to both the show and to a special workshop with the company on non-verbal communication. This program was funded by the Ocean County Board of Commissioners and Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation.
  • With the assistance of Education and Community Coordinator Erik Stratton, the Center organized two pop-up concerts in the Student Center. The first featured the string quartet Brooklyn Rider; and the second will feature Matt and Eryn O’Ree, who will hold a guitar workshop for OCC Music Club students and perform later that evening in the Gia Maione Prima Theatre.
  • The Center’s new Assistant Director of Operations and Production, Laura Westmoreland, has been busy the past month. Two Theatre Technicians were hired, Mr. Christopher Regan and Mr. Joseph Goldman; and two usher trainings took place. The Center now has 32 volunteer ushers available for the 2022-23 season.
  • An article about the Grunin Center was featured in the September issue of the Causeway Gazette. View the article here: https://causewaycares.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Causeway-Gazette-September-2022.pdf

The Novins Planetarium

The Planetarium, in collaboration with the Toms River School District, is bringing 1,300 sixth graders into the dome to learn about the Reasons for the Seasons throughout the Fall. In addition, around 1,000 third grade students from the district are scheduled to come through the Planetarium this Spring. In total, this will bring over 2,300 local students to more than 40 live shows that reinforce the Next Generation Science Standards and align with New Jersey’s science curriculum. The cooler Fall weather is also bringing an increase in private party and scout shows.

Workforce and Professional Education

Apprenticeship and Pre-Apprenticeship Opportunities for Allied Health Students

New cohorts of apprentices and pre-apprentices started in occupational training programs this Fall, including 12 Community Health Worker (CHW) students, 12 Medical Assistants, and 6 students in the newly-approved pre-apprenticeship program in Medical Billing and Coding. The CHW students are part of a collaborative project with the New Jersey Department of Health and are taking part in the “Earn While You Learn” model. These students take an imbedded competency exam which is worth 9 college credits. Active apprentices are already matched with local employer partners, and pre-apprentices are completing training prior to job placement. Placement assistance is supported by the WPE Student Success Coach.

At-Risk Youth Work Readiness Grant Awarded for Another Year

The Work Readiness Assistant Program (WRAP) Grant was re-awarded in early October, at $252,000 of the $450,000 funding requested. The youth-focused program, which will run through September 30, 2023, will serve at least 42 participants. The Workforce and Professional Education Department will provide an in-person, seven-week training course that offers on-the-job learning, industry-valued credentials, a leadership academy, mentors, follow-up services, and additional career and work readiness skill development. During the October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022 program year, 61 at-risk youth were served by this on-campus program, with completers enrolling in credit degree programs, OCVTS, and occupational training programs at OCC.

Expanding Opportunities in Adult Basic Education

Fall classes began September 10, 2022, with a total of 460 students enrolled in Title II courses (High School Equivalency (HSE): 69; ESL: 307; Civics: 84). Fall classes will end December 22, 2022, and the Spring session will begin February 6, 2022. A waiting list is already in place for students interested in ESL, and marketing materials are now available in a variety of languages during outreach events as well as on the website and via the department’s phone tree. A new location this Fall has 126 enrolled students; and a new, monthly, week-long Bootcamp is being offered for students who need only one or two subjects to pass the HSE exam. This Bootcamp includes 16 hours of intense instruction, and students will test immediately following course completion. At the end of the fast-paced Summer session, four students earned their HSE Diploma.

Helping Families Achieve Self-Sufficiency

The Workforce and Professional Education Department has partnered with Waters & Sims Employment Services and St. Francis Community Center to provide services for Work First New Jersey (WFNJ) participants. The WFNJ grants provide ready to-work activities to recipients on Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), General Assistance (GA), and/or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), ensuring that public assistance is a short-term transitional experience. During this partnership, a self-paced, seven-week training course will be provided called Exploration of Career Pathways and Entrepreneurship, which offers on-the-job learning (OCC facilities, warehouse, security, maintenance), as well as a credential in Customer Service and Sales and certification in CPR/BLS. In addition, a community service component is offered to improve participant interpersonal skills, as well as employability and job retention skills.


In accordance with New Jersey Public Law 2015, Chapter 220, and College Policy #2332, Reporting of On-Campus Criminal and Fire Events, attached is the monthly statistics report of crimes, fires, and other emergencies on campus for the reporting period of September 17, 2022, through October 28, 2022.

Student Affairs

On October 13, 2022, Dr. Jerry Racioppi, Vice President of Student Affairs, presented his AACC presentation, “Ocean County College’s Unique One-Stop Drives Enrollment,” to Florence-Darlington Technical College in Florence, South Carolina. Dr. Jermaine Ford, President, and his Enrollment Management team were impressed to hear how OCC’s initiatives increased new student enrollment utilizing Reggie and revamped HUB procedures.


Advise CRM Faculty CX (Instructor Alerts)

OCC instructors are currently utilizing Faculty CX to submit alerts for students for issues including attendance, lack of participation, missed assignments, and low grades.

As of October 9, 2022, a total of 21 instructors have submitted 465 alerts for 370 unique students. The Success Coaches, supervised by Dr. Kathleen Mohr, Assistant Director of Enrollment Services, are responding to the alerts by calling students to discuss resources and strategies for success.

Advisor Training

Advising and Transfer Services is hosting an Advisor Training Workshop Series this Fall. All campus advisors, as well as anyone interested in advising topics, are invited to participate. Topics include: Advising Using Student Planning, Utilizing Curriculum Tracks in Student Planning, Advising for Pre-Nursing Students, Advising for Transfer, Advising for Kean Ocean Transfer, and Using NJ Transfer.

Advising Information Sessions for Students

Advising and Transfer Services is offering Information Sessions for students this Fall. Topics include: Pre-Nursing; Registering for Spring 2023; Transfer for Nursing Majors; Transfer Admissions; Transferring Credits from OCC; Spring 2023 Registration for NJ STARS Students; Major Exploration: Top 10 Ways to Date Your Major; Pre-Nursing for NJ STARS Students; Transfer for Education Majors; and Transfer for Social Work Majors.

Career Services

OCC’s Career Services Department welcomes to the team Dr. Deborah Kepics as the new Director of Career Services.


  • The Career Services team participated in OCC’s Fall Open House. Taylor Dulemba, Career Services Coordinator, presented College to Career: How OCC Can Help You Land Your Dream Job to prospective students and families. Ms. Maria Galindo, Administrative Assistant, and Ms. Debbie Kepics, Director of Career Services, greeted and interacted with students at the tabling event.
  • Maria Galindo participated in hosting a Career Services table at the Helping Hands Fair held on Wednesday, October 12, 2022.
  • Taylor Dulemba participated in presenting at the Pre-Nursing Information session held on October 19, 2022, to offer career services and support to students.
  • Debbie Kepics and Ms. Taylor Dulemba participated in the Guidance Counselor Breakfast held on October 21, 2022. This event provided the opportunity to share services with local guidance counselors.

Career Fairs

  • Career Services and the Engineering Department, led by College Lecturer II in Engineering Pam Bogdan, collaborated to host a Civil Engineering Career Fair on Thursday, October 27, 2022. This event gave students the opportunity to meet with professionals, learn about the industry, and preview available job openings.
  • On November 2, 2022, Career Services hosted its Fall 2022 Internship and Career Fair virtually on Handshake from 2 to 6 p.m.

Counseling Center

  • The Counseling Center held several activities during September to recognize Suicide Prevention Month, including comfort dogs on campus and a session of Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR).
  • Counseling is delighted to announce that the Supporting Students in Recovery Program has been funded for a fourth year. On September 28, 2022, Counseling hosted “Recovery Speaks” with its community partner, Hope Sheds Light. Individuals shared powerful stories of recovery and overcoming adversity through music and the spoken word.
  • The academic support intervention program, Restore Your Score (RYS), is underway for the Fall semester. There are 117 students participating in RYS. The staff is reaching out to students through Canvas and phone calls.

The outcomes from the Spring 2022 Restore Your Score show:

  • 87% of the engaged RYS students from Spring 2022 are currently enrolled for Fall 2022 compared to 40% of the non-engaged students. This is a 47% increase in retention.
  • 55% of the engaged RYS students from Spring 2022 had a higher cumulative GPA after the Spring 2022 semester as compared to 29% of the non-engaged students. This is a +26%difference in improved cumulative GPA.
  • 53% of the engaged Spring 2022 RYS students had a higher semester GPA at the end of the semester than in their prior term as compared to 26% of the non-engaged students. This is a +27% difference in improved semester GPA
  • Other Fall programming includes:
  • Relax and Recharge began in October both virtually and in-person.
  • The Living with Loss support group is holding sessions twice a month.
  • Level Up Your Social Game is held on Tuesdays.
  • Empowerment and Self Defense with Ms. Rachel Piazza took place on October 18, 2022.
  • More sessions of Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) are scheduled throughout the semester.

The calendar of events is available on the Counseling Center’s web page.

  • The CARE Team handled 151 reports since July 1, 2022. An increase is being seen in student mental health concerns, family issues, and housing insecurity.
  • The Displaced Homemakers Program is working with 9 new clients and 100 returning clients. Three clients are enrolled in OCC degree programs, and two are enrolled in Workforce and Professional Education training. Clients are participating in computer skills classes.
  • The status of a number of legislative bills concerning mental health in higher education at both the federal and state level are being monitored, and some of the required activities are being incorporated into OCC programs and services.

Enrollment Services (HUB)

  • The Enrollment Services Department hosted the College’s Fall Open House and Fall Fest on Wednesday, October 12, 2022. Attendees were treated to a campus tour, a selection of workshops, refreshments, and swag. They were able to interact with faculty, lecturers, and staff, and a great time was had by all.
  • Enrollment Services, in collaboration with others across campus, hosted 250 Barnegat High School freshmen on Wednesday, October 12, The students were able to participate in various activities, including a planetarium visit, campus tours, and a presentation called, “Do You Speak College.”
  • The Pathways presentations continued through October with another nine high schools being visited. A parent night and attendance at the Ocean County School Counselor Association fair also took place.
  • Enrollment Services received 326 applications for the Early College Foundation Grant, which is awarded in collaboration with the Ocean County College Foundation, to 150 deserving high school students taking college classes while still in high school.
  • Jim Campbell, Coordinator of Enrollment and Outreach, attended the Jobs Fair on September 16, 2022, at the Toms River Branch of the Ocean County Library. On September 22, 2022, Mr. Campbell attended a Health and Wellness Fair held at Trinity Solar headquarters in Wall Township, New Jersey.
  • Executive Director of College Relations Jan Kirsten and Mr. Jim Campbell met with the New Jersey Business and Industry Association (NJBIA) on September 26, 2022. OCC and NJBIA will partner to connect with businesses to determine the benefits the College can offer to employees. NJBIA members employ over 1 million people in New Jersey.

Office of Disability Services

  • On October 4, 2022, the Office of Disability Services hosted a campus resource fair recognizing Disability Awareness Month. The event brought over 15 service providers from Ocean County and other state representatives. Valuable information about funding assistance, transportation, support, and counseling services was shared with attendees.
  • Disability Services staff attended the Fall Open House event and discussed services available to prospective students. In addition, a separate Accessibility Services table was set up to provide on-site accommodations, such as large print materials and other access services for visitors.

Southern Education Center

  • The Southern Education Center (SEC) celebrated students completing the halfway point of the Fall semester. Academic Advisors Jeff Kurz, Toni Ann DiPasquale, and Jenna McAteer, along with SEC Director Brian Schillaci, greeted students as they arrived to the building the week of October 31, 2022, with a variety of snacks to congratulate them on a job well done.
  • The SEC Student Advising staff continues to assist students through the handling of the [email protected] email inbox. The advising team did a great job reviewing enrollment trends and previous course offerings to finalize the Spring 2023 schedule of classes. Since the Spring schedule was released for student view last week, the team has been responding to virtual appointments, walk-in visits, and phone inquiries about upcoming student schedules.
  • Director Brian Schillaci met with representatives from Kean Ocean and Stockton University to coordinate days to be on site to discuss future opportunities with students at the SEC. There have also been a number of days set up this semester for OCC representatives from many of OCC’s services to visit the SEC. This affords SEC students the chance to gain a stronger understanding of the opportunities available to them closer to home. Members of the Advising team engaged in student connections/activities on the main campus with Barnegat High School, as well as visits to Pinelands Regional and Lacey Township High Schools. Academic Advisor Toni Ann DiPasquale and Director Brian Schillaci also attended the OCC Fall Open House. These connections continue to give students and families a chance to learn more about opportunities at the SEC.
  • The SEC Canvas Announcement shell continues to be an effective message board for students. Academic Advisor Jenna McAteer gave the SEC main page a “facelift,” making it easier for students to access up-to-date information. Announcements throughout October shared dates when various services would be represented at the SEC, as well as updated students about the opportunity to register for the upcoming Spring semester. The analytics for Canvas Announcements indicate approximately 900 views during the month of October.

e-Learning and Learning Enterprises

Fall 2022 Open House

In preparation for the Fall 2022 Open House held on October 12, 2022, several e-Learning College Lecturer IIs and administrators collaborated to create an engaging presentation and experience for prospective students. In addition to assisting Enrollment Services with tours and managing program inquiries from students and parents during the event, e-Learning College Lecturer IIs facilitated virtual chemistry labs embedded in the online chemistry courses, via Webex, with attendees of the Open House. The presentation allowed prospective students to explore the interactive technology components of an online e-Learning class.

Math Master Course Redevelopment

To better assist students in online mathematics courses, a team of e-Learning adjunct faculty course developers, under the leadership of College Lecturer II Ti Peng, have been working to redevelop these courses using Knewton Alta software. Using Artificial Intelligence, the Knewton software creates customized student active learning experiences aligned to their ability to complete the coursework. Additionally, the course content completely utilizes OER (Online Educational Resources). Once the redevelopment is complete in Spring 2023, the e-Learning administration will evaluate longitudinal data to see if the tool positively impacts the Introduction to Statistics (MATH 156) and Calculus I (MATH 265) online courses.

Professional Development

Instructional Technology Council Leadership Academy

This Fall, Ms. Vivian Lynn, Dean of e-Learning, completed the Instructional Technology Council Leadership Academy and was awarded a certificate of completion. At the Academy, Dean Lynn was able to network with distance educator administrators to assess online education challenges and brainstorm practical solutions, review online program accreditation requirements, and learn strategic techniques to foster professional relationships.

Master Course Development Kick-Off Meeting

All faculty selected to develop an online master course are required to attend the Master Course Development Kick-Off meeting which is held in preparation for scheduled master course development. This meeting provides the pedagogical foundations of course development with an emphasis on communicating the importance of building and sustaining a professional relationship between the Subject Matter Expert, Designer, and Reviewer, all of whom are the builders of an online course.

On October 18, 2022, the e-Learning Deans hosted the Master Course Kick-Off meeting. After participating in the kick-off meeting, the Subject Matter Experts and Reviewers will self-enroll in the e-Learning Content Development Training, the next step in the preparation of master course development. This training provides the framework for developing an interactive online course that is student-centered and aligned with the course learning objectives. Additionally, training examines the use of Outside Educational Resources to build course content and address student learning styles to construct dynamic content for the online learner.

October Adjunct Roundtable

On October 20, 2022, over 35 online faculty participated in the October Adjunct Roundtable entitled “Don’t Lose Your Head! It’s Easy with Voice Thread! Using VoiceThread to Create Community in Online Learning.”

VoiceThread is a state-of-the-art, interactive media player with a discussion space allowing faculty and students to ask questions, comment, and critique work. Pictures, presentations, videos, and documents are uploaded onto an online board, similar to a slide presentation.

Adjunct faculty discussed the benefits of this interactive tool that enables them to create innovative assessments to promote active learning. VoiceThread increases student engagement and enhances student communication, critical thinking, and collaboration skills in their online courses.

The next Adjunct Roundtable will focus on networking; it will be held on November 17, 2022, at 6:00 p.m.

e-Learning Personnel

The e-Learning Department welcomes Dr. Cari Crumly, Lead Instructional Designer, for the instructional design of online courses within the areas of Business and Social Sciences. Dr. Crumly has a Ph.D. in Post-Secondary and Adult Education and has worked in instructional design and technology for over ten years. She will oversee the course design, development, and maintenance of e-Learning Business and Social Science Master Courses. Additionally, Dr. Crumly will collaborate with the department’s Subject Matter Experts to design and create high-quality and engaging content in OCC’s e-Learning course offerings.

Instructional Design

The Instructional Design team is completing course development for the Spring 2023 semester, and 11 e-Learning Master courses were developed to utilize OER. With the initiative to adopt OER in e-Learning course offerings, the College continues to reduce course material costs to students and move away from publisher-created textbooks. To date, the e-Learning Department has nearly 48 out of 196 (24%) total e-Learning courses across the Schools of STEM, Arts and Humanities, and Business and Social Sciences that utilize OER, with the goal of having 50% of online courses using OER by Fall 2024.

Below is the list of courses that were developed using OER for Spring 2023:

  • Art History I, ARTS 181
  • General Biology I, BIOL 161
  • Environmental Science, ENVI 152
  • English to Speakers of Other Languages, ESOL 096
  • Western Civilization I, HIST 171
  • Western Civilization II, HIST 172
  • Elementary Italian I, ITAL 100
  • Introduction to Critical Thinking, PHIL 190
  • American State and Local Government, POLI 162
  • General Psychology, PSYC 172
  • Student Success Seminar, STSC 150

The e-Learning Department will continue to partner with Ms. Donna Rosinski-Kauz, Director of Library Services, to develop online courses following OCC’s OER Task Force initiative.

International Programs

  • In partnership with Ain Shams University (ASU), OCC’s International Programs team has been preparing to start a new cohort in the School of Business in the Accelerated 6 term. OCC’s academic team has reviewed the training materials for Cohort 6 and the orientation materials for the new Cohort 7, holding Webex meetings with students to address questions and academic issues.
  • All preparations are in place for receiving Cohort 1 of the Ocean Badr Kean program in Management and Accounting. In addition, Associate Vice President of International Programs Maysa Hayward will run orientation sessions and training workshops for instructors, students, and facilitators during the first week of November 2022.