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400 Paramus Road Paramus, New Jersey 07652

The Bergen Community College Newsletter Spring 2014

Volume 1, Issue 2

Agreements Support Affordability and Smooth Landings Faculty Finish Rewarding Fall


Art Left in Sandy’s Wake


he tragedy and triumph arising from Hurricane Sandy lived on through “Sandy: Artists Respond to a Once and Future Superstorm” in Gallery Bergen, the visual arts exhibition space at Bergen Community College’s main campus in Paramus. At an opening reception the evening of Oct. 15, Bergen faculty, staff and students joined members of the public in viewing the work of 13 area artists. Conceived, co-curated and organized by Bergen professors Suzaan Boettger and Marriott Sheldon, the exhibition featured photographs, paintings, prints and video before closing in December. ■

wo faculty projects have earned submission to the League of Innovation in the Community College as the Bergen representatives for the organization’s John and Suanne Roueche Excellence Award and the Innovation of the Year Award. Professor Rachel Wieland (pictured) earned the Roueche Award for her leadership of the “green team,” a group of fulltime students directing campus-wide sustainability initiatives. With their help, more than 10,000 lbs. of paper is recycled each semester at the College. Meanwhile, Professor Margaret Hayes’ mobilization of nursing faculty in integrating video evaluations into coursework earned her team the Innovation Award. Students now produce movies demonstrating their ability to perform safe nursing practices. Professors Maryanne Baudo, Dr. Maria Fressola, Marie Griffo, Joan McManus, Carrie Polnyj and Natalie Timme collaborated on the project. ■

Bulldogs Show Bite


he fall 2013 Bulldogs defended their yard: five of the six sports qualified for the Region XIX tournament, with many athletes earning individual honors along the way. • After qualifying for the national tournament with a third place finish in the region tournament, the men’s cross country team earned a top ten showing, completing their season eighth in the nation. Women’s runner Elizabeth O’Brien placed 13th out of 36 competitors at nationals. • Finishing with nine wins, the men’s soccer team received strong contributions from players like Leonardo Lopez and Jonathan Maher, who both earned all-region and all-conference honors. • Notching nine goals and five assists, Sara Ramirez (pictured) helped pace the women’s soccer team to a 7-4 record; she earned recognition as one of the top 10 players in the region and first-team all-conference honors. • Leading the volleyball team to its fourth consecutive region tournament appearance, all-region and two-time all-conference sophomore middle hitter Marissa Lortz received conference player of the week and Bergen student-athlete of the month honors in September. • Women’s tennis team members Tello (Stella) Citlali and Isabella Delgado reached the region tournament semifinals. ■

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pair of transfer agreements signed this semester will not only streamline the path to a four-year degree, but feature unique characteristics: one eases the burden on wallets; the other offers a “smooth landing” at the top aeronautical university in the U.S. In October, Bergen officials met with their counterparts from Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) to formally unveil the BCCFDU Scholars Program, a transfer agreement that provides participating students with a 40-percent tuition discount at the fouryear school located in Florham Park and Teaneck. Additionally, the agreement paved the way for the creation and management of a dedicated FDU office at Bergen’s main campus in Paramus. The office represents the first such arrangement for the College. Two months later, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) administrators departed the sunny skies of Daytona Beach and arrived in snowy Paramus to certify an agreement between the two schools. ERAU will accept at least 64 credits from Bergen’s A.S. in professional studies (aviation administration option) or natural sciences (aircraft operations option) programs. “It’s quite an academic achievement for us to be entering into an agreement of such depth with a college of such renown as Embry-Riddle,” Dr. William Mullaney, Bergen’s vice president for academic affairs said. Bergen’s aviation courses launched in 2012, buoyed by the opening of the College’s Emil Buehler Trust Aviation Center,

(Sitting) Bergen President Dr. B. Kaye Walter, FDU President Dr. Sheldon Drucker, (standing) FDU Senior Vice Provost for Institutional Effectiveness Dr. Joseph Kiernan, Assemblyman Gordon M. Johnson (D-Englewood) and Bergen Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. William Mullaney.

which includes airplane and helicopter simulators. Grants totaling $2 million from the Emil Buehler Trust funded the creation of the center and the program. Courses include introduction to aeronautics and aviation safety. Bergen maintains more than 40 articulation agreements with four-year schools. ■

Medallion Supports Scholarships


mid ball gowns and bowties, guests helped raise more than $135,000 in support of student scholarships at the 29th annual Bergen Community College Foundation Medallion Awards Dinner Nov. 15 at the Sheraton Mahwah Hotel. For his continued contributions to Bergen students, Mahwah resident Lawrence R. Inserra Jr., Inserra Supermarkets Inc. president, received the 2013 Award for Merit for Corporate Responsibility and Philanthropy at the College’s signature gala event. Mr. Inserra leads the operation of 22 ShopRite stores in the region. The company bearing the family’s name began in 1954 with Larry’s grandfather Patsy, who operated “Patsy’s” in Lyndhurst; an Inserra ShopRite now stands on that parcel of land. The foundation board of directors, comprised of community leaders from the public and private sector, works closely with the College to develop fundraising opportunities to meet the needs of the institution. Since its inception in 1982, total contributions received by the foundation have surpassed $17 million. ■

Don’t Miss the Bus


n the “wheels” of a federal grant, Bergen Community College students can now travel between the Paramus and Meadowlands locations via shuttle bus. At the launch of the free student service, College and county officials such as Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan (pink jacket) cut the ribbon on the community resource. A three-year, $634,836 “Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Grant” — with a county match of more than $211,000 – will help fund the service that runs every half-hour when classes meet. The shuttles meet ADA requirements. ■

Campus Calendar Curtain Up! Big stage talents… in Bergen County. Anna Maria Ciccone Theatre Black 47 March 7, 7:30 p.m. Tickets for events: $35 (General); $20 (Faculty/Staff/Seniors); $10 (Students)

BergenStages Students share their talents and begin their paths to stardom. Other People’s Money February 21, 22, 27 and 28 and March 1 Ender Hall Lab Theatre The Threepenny Opera April 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19 Anna Maria Ciccone Theatre or (201) 447-7428 for tickets.

Speakers, Conferences and Events “Seduction/Destruction” Art Exhibition February 4 - March 26 Gallery Bergen STEM C^2 Research Summit April 11, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Moses Family Meeting & Training Center (TEC 128) TEDx Conference March 11, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Pitkin Education Center Room A-104 Commencement 2014 May 22, 7 p.m. Izod Center, East Rutherford

A Schedule for All Seasons • Spring II: February 11 – May 13 • Spring III: March 25 – May 13 • Summer I: May 27 – July 3/August 7 Register at


Students Are So “Money”

01. The Educational Opportunity Fund program sponsored its first ever all-star basketball fundraiser to support the EOF student emergency fund.


or many students, the line between attending college and not having the financial wherewithal to do so remains razor-thin. To bridge the gap, many seek scholarships – including those offered through the Bergen Community College Foundation and various national, state and county programs. In just the past few months: • The foundation distributed more than $180,000 to 110 students at its third annual mid-year scholarship awards ceremony; • Blyss Molina Ayala (left) received a $3,500 scholarship from the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program to study abroad in Spain this semester — making her the fourth Bergen student to earn the prestigious award; • Janus Varela (center) and Brenda Turkdogan (right) each received $2,000 scholarships from the State of New Jersey for the cost of enrollment in certificate programs at Bergen as part of the Governor’s Industry Vocations Scholarship for Women and Minorities (NJ-GIVS) after receiving assistance in obtaining them from the College’s Division of Continuing Education. ■

02. Local residents converged on Ridgewood High School for “Seniors in Suburbia: Setting New Goals,” sponsored by the College’s Suburban Studies Group and the Village of Ridgewood.


03. Animator Bill Plympton shared his creative process — including how he developed “Your Face,” which earned an Academy Award nomination.


04. As part of its annual Veteran’s Day recognition ceremony, the College opened its Veterans and Military Affairs Center, which offers veteranspecific support services.




06. Professor Jim Bumgardner, student Jessi Melendez and Assemblyman Tim Eustace (D-Maywood) took part in “PRIDE Fest” to raise awareness regarding the GLBT community.

Faculty Focus Tom LaPointe


nglish Professor Thomas LaPointe’s instrumental involvement with the College’s Center for Peace, Justice and Reconciliation (CJPR), serves as a testament to his influential work in global culture. At an early age, LaPointe nurtured his appreciation for diversity and cross-cultural understanding through a career that started abroad – before finally landing at Bergen in 2010. Beginning his career as a reporter in Central America, LaPointe, professor of literature and composition at Bergen, later joined Shanghai International Studies University in China, teaching English to native students. There, the professor also helped develop the nation’s first high school textbook covering the Cambodian genocide. The professor recently co-authored another book: “Hidden Genocides.” LaPointe uses his sustained interest in exploring other cultures to teach students how to be effective citizens — both locally and worldwide. “Students should be honored for their differences because without them they would have a diminished sense of identity,” LaPointe said. As co-director of the CJPR, now a state-recognized Holocaust Resource Center, LaPointe works to raise awareness on campus — and in the community — about the history of genocide and conflict resolution. LaPointe’s experiences carry into his teaching to help students “facilitate critical thinking skills” and realize their own personal impacts on society. ■

Inside Bergen • The Bergen Community College Newsletter |

Spring 2014

05. Sponsored by the Literary Arts Series, poet and Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy K. Smith read from her collections in November.



07. The College’s Rotary treated veterans to a lunch prepared by the school’s hotel/ restaurant/hospitality program students and served by members of the Student Government Association. 08. Actress and Bergen County native Ali Stroker, paralyzed since age two, discussed overcoming obstacles and earning a role on television’s “The Glee Project.”




09. Professor Lynn Schott, Professor Emeriti Jean Goldstein and George Skau and former Executive Vice President Virginia Laughlin visited the Sidney Silverman Library archives as part of an upcoming project. 10. Latino Heritage Month at Bergen wrapped up with a dinner highlighting the achievements of Latino students and staff at the College.

Inside Bergen • The Bergen Community College Newsletter |

Spring 2014


Inside Bergen: Volume 1, Issue 2