Page 1

RAMAPO

Winter 2014

COLLEGE MAGAZINE

A MIGHTY RESOLVE: Damien A. Conners ’06 Works for the Dream > p. 2

Who Gives Up World Tours for a World-Class Education? Meet Anthony Miller ’15 > p. 8

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: College News > p. 12 Faculty News > p. 16 Alumni News > p. 24 Alumni Spotlight > p. 30

2010215-50_Winter_Magazine.indd 1

12/16/13 2:09 PM


from the office of the president PETER P. MERCER, Ph.D.

contents COLLEGE EXECUTIVE OFFICERS Peter P. Mercer, Ph.D. President Beth E. Barnett, Ed.D. Provost Cathleen Davey Vice President for Institutional Advancement Maria Krupin, Interim Vice President of Finance and Administration

What does it mean at Ramapo College to say we are involved in the community? At the core of a Ramapo education is a commitment to civic engagement. This engagement manifests in our students, faculty, and staff through communitybased programming, service learning, and our shared advocacy efforts at local

BOARD OF GOVERNORS Frances K. Hackett ’80 Chair

Ramapo students have a rich tradition of engaging with civic leaders on campus.

Carolyn Merkel ’78 Alumni Association Board, Chair

Upendra Chivukula to campus to speak for Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month; the College Republican Club hosted Congressman Scott Garrett, Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce, and Bergen County Freeholders Maura DeNicola and John Felice. In addition, Governor Chris Christie visited campus and delivered remarks on the recent bond referendum; and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg also spent time with us this fall to hear alumnus Damien A. Conners speak about his passion for his job as Executive Director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. His story, an inspiration for anyone who aspires to help improve our world, graces the front cover of the magazine and may be read in the pages to come. Ramapo College is an institution of higher learning made stronger every day by Dr. Jackie Ehlert-Mercer and President Peter P. Mercer greeted Siddhartha (center), founder of the Fireflies Ashram in Bangalore, India, and a Schomburg Fellow, during his September visit to Ramapo.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES George C. Ruotolo, Jr. Chair

and national levels.

For example, the Southeast Asian Student Association brought Assemblyman Board of Trustees Chair George C. Ruotolo, Jr., Dr. Jackie Ehlert-Mercer and President Peter P. Mercer greet New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on his recent visit to the College in October.

Dorothy Echols Tobe, Ed.D. Chief Planning Officer

the thoughtful contributions of its students, faculty, staff, and friends. Further, through these constituencies, the College is increasingly connected to persons and networks across the country. Our faculty, staff, and some students are routinely invited to present at prestigious international conferences, and our peers and elected representatives identify a Ramapo education with impressive graduates such as Mr. Conners—graduates whose liberal arts backgrounds have provided them the skills to engage on difficult issues, to discern the causes of conflict and

Deborah Richin Friends of Ramapo, Chair

RAMAPO MAGAZINE STAFF Cathleen Davey Editor-in-Chief

In President Peter P. Mercer’s seventeenth State of the College address in September, the President was joined by (L-R): Dean of ASB Lewis Chakrin, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Chris Romano, and Board of Trustees member William Dator.

FEATURES

Anna Farneski Executive Editor Mary Cicitta Managing Editor Cynthia Burns Foundation Editor Carolyn Herring Photo Editor

>p. 2

A Mighty Resolve: Damien A. Conners ’06 Works for the Dream

>p. 8

Who Gives Up World Tours for a World-Class Education? Meet Anthony Miller ’15

Design: Stamats, Inc. This magazine can be made available upon request in alternate media. Requests should be directed to: 201.684.7611

DEPARTMENTS

Alumni contact and change of address: 201.684.7254

>p. 12

College News

>p. 22

Foundation News

Student Affairs contact: Miki Cammarata at 201.684.7591 Pat Chang at 201.684.7731

>p. 16

Faculty News

>p. 24

Alumni News

>p. 19

Planned Giving

>p. 27

Class Notes

>p. 20

Grant News

>p. 30

Alumni Spotlight

Ramapo Magazine is produced by the Office of Communications and Public Affairs.

the paths to resolution, and to lead.

Peter P. Mercer, Ph.D. President, Ramapo College of New Jersey

Upon his arrival at Ramapo, Governor Chris Christie spent time with a line of waiting students, greeting them and shaking hands. The Governor visited the College to mark the construction progress on the G-Wing, new state-of-the-art labs, and the Adler Center for Nursing Excellence. The Governor offered these words of advice to Ramapo students, “Make sure you spend your time experiencing everything campus life here has to offer you.”

Front Cover: Damien Conners ’06

Photo Courtesy: John Glenn Photography

www.ramapo.edu

2010215-50_Winter_Magazine.indd 2-1

1

12/16/13 2:09 PM


from the office of the president PETER P. MERCER, Ph.D.

contents COLLEGE EXECUTIVE OFFICERS Peter P. Mercer, Ph.D. President Beth E. Barnett, Ed.D. Provost Cathleen Davey Vice President for Institutional Advancement Maria Krupin, Interim Vice President of Finance and Administration

What does it mean at Ramapo College to say we are involved in the community? At the core of a Ramapo education is a commitment to civic engagement. This engagement manifests in our students, faculty, and staff through communitybased programming, service learning, and our shared advocacy efforts at local

BOARD OF GOVERNORS Frances K. Hackett ’80 Chair

Ramapo students have a rich tradition of engaging with civic leaders on campus.

Carolyn Merkel ’78 Alumni Association Board, Chair

Upendra Chivukula to campus to speak for Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month; the College Republican Club hosted Congressman Scott Garrett, Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce, and Bergen County Freeholders Maura DeNicola and John Felice. In addition, Governor Chris Christie visited campus and delivered remarks on the recent bond referendum; and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg also spent time with us this fall to hear alumnus Damien A. Conners speak about his passion for his job as Executive Director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. His story, an inspiration for anyone who aspires to help improve our world, graces the front cover of the magazine and may be read in the pages to come. Ramapo College is an institution of higher learning made stronger every day by Dr. Jackie Ehlert-Mercer and President Peter P. Mercer greeted Siddhartha (center), founder of the Fireflies Ashram in Bangalore, India, and a Schomburg Fellow, during his September visit to Ramapo.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES George C. Ruotolo, Jr. Chair

and national levels.

For example, the Southeast Asian Student Association brought Assemblyman Board of Trustees Chair George C. Ruotolo, Jr., Dr. Jackie Ehlert-Mercer and President Peter P. Mercer greet New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on his recent visit to the College in October.

Dorothy Echols Tobe, Ed.D. Chief Planning Officer

the thoughtful contributions of its students, faculty, staff, and friends. Further, through these constituencies, the College is increasingly connected to persons and networks across the country. Our faculty, staff, and some students are routinely invited to present at prestigious international conferences, and our peers and elected representatives identify a Ramapo education with impressive graduates such as Mr. Conners—graduates whose liberal arts backgrounds have provided them the skills to engage on difficult issues, to discern the causes of conflict and

Deborah Richin Friends of Ramapo, Chair

RAMAPO MAGAZINE STAFF Cathleen Davey Editor-in-Chief

In President Peter P. Mercer’s seventeenth State of the College address in September, the President was joined by (L-R): Dean of ASB Lewis Chakrin, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Chris Romano, and Board of Trustees member William Dator.

FEATURES

Anna Farneski Executive Editor Mary Cicitta Managing Editor Cynthia Burns Foundation Editor Carolyn Herring Photo Editor

>p. 2

A Mighty Resolve: Damien A. Conners ’06 Works for the Dream

>p. 8

Who Gives Up World Tours for a World-Class Education? Meet Anthony Miller ’15

Design: Stamats, Inc. This magazine can be made available upon request in alternate media. Requests should be directed to: 201.684.7611

DEPARTMENTS

Alumni contact and change of address: 201.684.7254

>p. 12

College News

>p. 22

Foundation News

Student Affairs contact: Miki Cammarata at 201.684.7591 Pat Chang at 201.684.7731

>p. 16

Faculty News

>p. 24

Alumni News

>p. 19

Planned Giving

>p. 27

Class Notes

>p. 20

Grant News

>p. 30

Alumni Spotlight

Ramapo Magazine is produced by the Office of Communications and Public Affairs.

the paths to resolution, and to lead.

Peter P. Mercer, Ph.D. President, Ramapo College of New Jersey

Upon his arrival at Ramapo, Governor Chris Christie spent time with a line of waiting students, greeting them and shaking hands. The Governor visited the College to mark the construction progress on the G-Wing, new state-of-the-art labs, and the Adler Center for Nursing Excellence. The Governor offered these words of advice to Ramapo students, “Make sure you spend your time experiencing everything campus life here has to offer you.”

Front Cover: Damien Conners ’06

Photo Courtesy: John Glenn Photography

www.ramapo.edu

2010215-50_Winter_Magazine.indd 2-1

1

12/16/13 2:09 PM


E D M R A FEATURE

> BY CHRISTOPHER HANN

I grew up in a family that was always, always

A MIGHTY RESOLVE DAMIEN A. CONNERS ’06 WORKS FOR THE DREAM

T

he executive director of the Southern Christian

been intimately involved in its planning for more

Leadership Conference has just settled into a booth at

than a year now. Conners may be blessed with

Cure Bar & Bistro inside the Grand Hyatt in Washington,

the unblemished face of a man who may or may

D.C. A waiter arrives. The executive director of the

not be old enough to order a drink, but his work

Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)

on behalf of one of the most storied civil rights

orders a glass of red wine. The waiter hesitates. He

organizations in American history provides him

does a double take. Then he asks for some form

with a litany of grown-up responsibilities.

of identification. Twenty-eight-year-old Damien A.

The SCLC had weathered a series of internal

Conners ’06 brandishes his driver’s license. The waiter

struggles by the time Conners was hired in

checks the photo on the license, looks at Conners,

December 2010, just four and a half years removed

checks the photo again, looks at Conners again, then

from Ramapo. He’d been recommended

turns and strides toward the bar, apparently satisfied

for the job by the Rev. Bernard

that the executive director of the Southern Christian

Lafayette, the chairman of

Leadership Conference is, in fact, of legal age.

the

“If that can happen for the next 15 years,” Conners says,

a professor at Emory

“that’d be great.”

University

in

(Conners,

who

Conners has come to Washington, from his

SCLC

board

and

Atlanta.

Damien A. Conners ’06

“I feel good about the potential of the organization, given that

remembers her first grandchild as a serious little boy who

the organization has been through a lot,” he says. “And it's

talked about becoming a minister and always liked to dress

really at a pivotal phase in the life of an organization. And I think

nicely. When the family went to dinner at Red Lobster, she says,

that this convention in particular was a moment for the SCLC to

it was young Damien who insisted they all get gussied up for

reintroduce itself to the civil rights world.”

the occasion. “He was a very interesting child,” Bell says.

“I grew up in a family that was always, always concerned

Conners grew up in Newark, in an extended family dominated

about people,” Conners says. “My mother, my aunt, extended

by women, although his mother, Althea Bell, says it was young

family, cousins, we all kind of lived together. I was like the only

Damien who dominated the home. The boy loved to talk,

child for a very long time. I was nurtured by these women.

and he loved an audience. Althea Bell recalls that even at 5

And I witnessed them work hard. I witnessed them struggle.

or 6 years old Damien’s gift for oratory could persuade family

I witnessed them strive to get ahead, so to speak. It always

members to don their Sunday best while he pretended to

seemed like there were obstacles, whether it was a bill, a

deliver a sermon. “I remember coming home one day and

relationship issue, or any host of other variables. But despite

everyone was taking off their church clothes and I was like,

their challenges they always seemed to have a sense of

What did I miss?” she says. “He was very headstrong. If he

resolve, you know, resiliency. And I admired that.”

wanted it to happen, he found a way to make it happen.”

When her son was just 7 or 8, Althea Bell converted to Islam,

Damien attended Greater Abyssinian Baptist Church,

and Damien found himself attending a local mosque, trying to

usually with his maternal great-aunt, Eva Smith and

learn chants and prayers that seemed foreign to him. By and by his

sometimes with his grandmother Juanita Bell. Bell

mother sensed his discomfort, and one day she asked him if he’d

has

home in Atlanta, to take part in the SCLC’s annual

a Master of Theology

convention. But he’s also here to attend a series of

degree from Emory,

events marking the 50th anniversary of the Rev. Martin

still

Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered

teaching

at the base of the Lincoln Memorial following the

under

1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

With others of his

Tomorrow, August 28, at the very spot from which

generation

King made history, dozens of speakers, including

key

President Barack Obama, former Presidents Jimmy

roles, Conners

Carter and Bill Clinton, and such stalwarts of the civil

says the SCLC

rights movement as Joseph Lowery, Andrew Young,

stands

ready

Julian Bond, and Congressman John Lewis will recall

to

return

King’s address and tender their own meditations on

to

the current state of race relations in America. Conners

prominent

will be no mere spectator to the gathering, which will

as a leading civil

draw an audience in the tens of thousands. In fact, he’s

rights group.

works

concerned about people.

as

a

assistant

Lafayette). in

leadership

its

once-

role

Conners’ extended family, led by women, has been a tremendous support to him throughout his college years and now. (L-R): Eva Mae Smith, great aunt, Bridgett Webb, cousin, Samuel Arnold, uncle, Damien A. Conners, Juanita Bell, grandmother, Brother Beadie, family friend, and Melba Campbell, aunt.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character—Martin Luther King, Jr. 2

Ramapo College Magazine Winter 2014

2010215-50_Winter_Magazine.indd 2-3

www.ramapo.edu

3

12/16/13 2:09 PM


E D M R A FEATURE

> BY CHRISTOPHER HANN

I grew up in a family that was always, always

A MIGHTY RESOLVE DAMIEN A. CONNERS ’06 WORKS FOR THE DREAM

T

he executive director of the Southern Christian

been intimately involved in its planning for more

Leadership Conference has just settled into a booth at

than a year now. Conners may be blessed with

Cure Bar & Bistro inside the Grand Hyatt in Washington,

the unblemished face of a man who may or may

D.C. A waiter arrives. The executive director of the

not be old enough to order a drink, but his work

Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)

on behalf of one of the most storied civil rights

orders a glass of red wine. The waiter hesitates. He

organizations in American history provides him

does a double take. Then he asks for some form

with a litany of grown-up responsibilities.

of identification. Twenty-eight-year-old Damien A.

The SCLC had weathered a series of internal

Conners ’06 brandishes his driver’s license. The waiter

struggles by the time Conners was hired in

checks the photo on the license, looks at Conners,

December 2010, just four and a half years removed

checks the photo again, looks at Conners again, then

from Ramapo. He’d been recommended

turns and strides toward the bar, apparently satisfied

for the job by the Rev. Bernard

that the executive director of the Southern Christian

Lafayette, the chairman of

Leadership Conference is, in fact, of legal age.

the

“If that can happen for the next 15 years,” Conners says,

a professor at Emory

“that’d be great.”

University

in

(Conners,

who

Conners has come to Washington, from his

SCLC

board

and

Atlanta.

Damien A. Conners ’06

“I feel good about the potential of the organization, given that

remembers her first grandchild as a serious little boy who

the organization has been through a lot,” he says. “And it's

talked about becoming a minister and always liked to dress

really at a pivotal phase in the life of an organization. And I think

nicely. When the family went to dinner at Red Lobster, she says,

that this convention in particular was a moment for the SCLC to

it was young Damien who insisted they all get gussied up for

reintroduce itself to the civil rights world.”

the occasion. “He was a very interesting child,” Bell says.

“I grew up in a family that was always, always concerned

Conners grew up in Newark, in an extended family dominated

about people,” Conners says. “My mother, my aunt, extended

by women, although his mother, Althea Bell, says it was young

family, cousins, we all kind of lived together. I was like the only

Damien who dominated the home. The boy loved to talk,

child for a very long time. I was nurtured by these women.

and he loved an audience. Althea Bell recalls that even at 5

And I witnessed them work hard. I witnessed them struggle.

or 6 years old Damien’s gift for oratory could persuade family

I witnessed them strive to get ahead, so to speak. It always

members to don their Sunday best while he pretended to

seemed like there were obstacles, whether it was a bill, a

deliver a sermon. “I remember coming home one day and

relationship issue, or any host of other variables. But despite

everyone was taking off their church clothes and I was like,

their challenges they always seemed to have a sense of

What did I miss?” she says. “He was very headstrong. If he

resolve, you know, resiliency. And I admired that.”

wanted it to happen, he found a way to make it happen.”

When her son was just 7 or 8, Althea Bell converted to Islam,

Damien attended Greater Abyssinian Baptist Church,

and Damien found himself attending a local mosque, trying to

usually with his maternal great-aunt, Eva Smith and

learn chants and prayers that seemed foreign to him. By and by his

sometimes with his grandmother Juanita Bell. Bell

mother sensed his discomfort, and one day she asked him if he’d

has

home in Atlanta, to take part in the SCLC’s annual

a Master of Theology

convention. But he’s also here to attend a series of

degree from Emory,

events marking the 50th anniversary of the Rev. Martin

still

Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered

teaching

at the base of the Lincoln Memorial following the

under

1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

With others of his

Tomorrow, August 28, at the very spot from which

generation

King made history, dozens of speakers, including

key

President Barack Obama, former Presidents Jimmy

roles, Conners

Carter and Bill Clinton, and such stalwarts of the civil

says the SCLC

rights movement as Joseph Lowery, Andrew Young,

stands

ready

Julian Bond, and Congressman John Lewis will recall

to

return

King’s address and tender their own meditations on

to

the current state of race relations in America. Conners

prominent

will be no mere spectator to the gathering, which will

as a leading civil

draw an audience in the tens of thousands. In fact, he’s

rights group.

works

concerned about people.

as

a

assistant

Lafayette). in

leadership

its

once-

role

Conners’ extended family, led by women, has been a tremendous support to him throughout his college years and now. (L-R): Eva Mae Smith, great aunt, Bridgett Webb, cousin, Samuel Arnold, uncle, Damien A. Conners, Juanita Bell, grandmother, Brother Beadie, family friend, and Melba Campbell, aunt.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character—Martin Luther King, Jr. 2

Ramapo College Magazine Winter 2014

2010215-50_Winter_Magazine.indd 2-3

www.ramapo.edu

3

12/16/13 2:09 PM


FEATURE > CONTINUED

AI H F T “

Johnson says he’s not surprised by Conners' career

success, only by how quickly he achieved it. “You could

tell he was a motivated student,” Johnson says. “He’s representative of the newer type of student that we

want to come out of liberal arts colleges like Ramapo. Karl Johnson, Associate Professor of African-American Studies

Longtime New Jersey State Senator and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg presented Conners with a joint resolution from the NJ State Legislature congratulating him on his success.

Damien in 2005

rather return to the church. He took a minute to answer because on the track team, sang in Professor Mack Brandon’s gospel

me as a student, which I appreciated,” Conners says of Johnson.

he didn’t want to disappoint her. Then he said yes, he would. “I choir, conducted campus tours as a student ambassador,

“Because it made me feel like he was interested in what I had to

like the music,” he told her. For Conners, his mother’s willingness served in the Student Senate, and worked two part-time jobs.

say. And I felt like what I had to say was kind of important because

to allow him to determine his own religious path made an impact He was especially influenced by Sharon Goldman, an assistant

what I had to say was not necessarily centered around my interests,

that resonates still today. He said the full realization of his mother’s professor of Political Science who has since left Ramapo, and

per se, but how I perceived society and how I imagined that I

gesture occurred to him years later, after he’d graduated from Karl Johnson, an associate professor of African-American

could help people in the future.” Johnson says he’s not surprised

Ramapo and was attending Princeton Theological Seminary in Studies. He remembers Goldman as a conservative Republican

by Conners’ career success, only by how quickly he achieved it.

pursuit of a Master of Divinity degree.

with a degree from Yale—“a young, Jewish lady, a mother,”

“You could tell he was a motivated student,” Johnson says. “He’s

“Being in seminary, you have to do a lot of reflecting,” Conners Conners says. In other words, he says, someone who might be

representative of the newer type of student that we want to come

says. “You have to really chart your journey: What brought you expected “to not be conversant in your language, so to speak.” there, why you’re there. You’re doing a lot of searching. And then But in Goldman’s Political Theory class, among others, Conners

out of liberal arts colleges like Ramapo.”

In the aftermath of Howard Creecy’s death, a reporter for the

the classes force you in many ways to dig deep. It was at that learned otherwise.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution asked Conners, then just 26, if he was

point that I realized that my religion and my religious experience

"If we were discussing Rousseau, if we were talking about

interested in becoming the next president of the SCLC. “I’m not

really informed my politics and how I view people, how I view Plato, or Locke or whomever the theorist may have been,

interested in titles,” Conners said. “I’m more about getting the

the world, and how I imagine we should treat one another even Professor Goldman would take their concept of human nature,

work done.”

Conners was congratulated by Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver on his dedication to the SCLC.

My religion and my religious experience really informed my politics and how I view people, how I view the world, and how I imagine we should treat one another even despite

differences or perceived differences. That we

should embrace one another, allow people to

operate in their own space and give them the space to be who they are, no matter what.

Damien A. Conners ’06

despite differences or perceived differences. That we should and from there she would break down how their politics worked,"

There’s been a lot of work to do to carry forth an organization

embrace one another, allow people to operate in their own Conners says. "No matter what your perspective, she was able to

that traces its roots to the dawn of the modern civil rights movement.

space and give them the space to be who they are, no matter help you put it in context to more fully articulate your position.

Founded in January 1957, the SCLC was spawned from the 1955 its inaugural president, the SCLC led similar demonstrations across

what. And that was a lesson I learned from my mother; she She was able to create a space that was amazing for people to

bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, a landmark demonstration the South in the ’50s and ’60s and moved legislative mountains in

provided me with the option and afforded me the agency to stay really engage one another and to really engage the topic.” When

of civil disobedience. Martin Luther King organized the boycott Washington, providing an unyielding voice in the fight to pass the

in church or to convert to Islam." Conners arrived on the Ramapo Conners applied to the Princeton seminary, Goldman wrote him

following the arrest of Rosa Parks, a daughter of slaves who, in 1964 Civil Rights Act and, a year later, the Voting Rights Act.

campus in the fall of 2002, after graduating from Chad Science a letter of recommendation.

violation of chapter 6, section 11 of the Montgomery City Code,

Academy in Newark, a private school where he had earned a full

Conners says Johnson has kept in touch with him since his

refused to relinquish her seat on a city bus to a white man. The advance the issues that Creecy, in his brief tenure as president,

academic scholarship. Although he commuted to Ramapo from graduation from Ramapo. He still cites the impact of a book that

boycott ended on December 20, 1956, after 381 days, five weeks had identified as the organization’s top priorities: education,

East Orange after his first year, he wove himself firmly into the Johnson taught in one of his classes, Race to Incarcerate, by Mark

after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a federal court’s ruling that voting rights, and HIV/AIDS awareness. But the day-to-day

fabric of campus life. He majored in political science, minored in Mauer, which chronicles the dramatic growth of the U.S. prison

declared racial segregations laws, such as those that governed work of a national civil rights organization often involves the

Africana studies and music, ran the 60-, 100-, and 400-meter dash population over the past three decades. “He kind of cherished

the Montgomery bus system, to be unconstitutional. Behind King, behind-the-scenes details that never make headlines. As the

Conners has spent much of his time at the SCLC trying to

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.—Martin Luther King, Jr. Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

4

Ramapo College Magazine Winter 2014

2010215-50_Winter_Magazine.indd 4-5

www.ramapo.edu

5

12/16/13 2:09 PM


FEATURE > CONTINUED

AI H F T “

Johnson says he’s not surprised by Conners' career

success, only by how quickly he achieved it. “You could

tell he was a motivated student,” Johnson says. “He’s representative of the newer type of student that we

want to come out of liberal arts colleges like Ramapo. Karl Johnson, Associate Professor of African-American Studies

Longtime New Jersey State Senator and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg presented Conners with a joint resolution from the NJ State Legislature congratulating him on his success.

Damien in 2005

rather return to the church. He took a minute to answer because on the track team, sang in Professor Mack Brandon’s gospel

me as a student, which I appreciated,” Conners says of Johnson.

he didn’t want to disappoint her. Then he said yes, he would. “I choir, conducted campus tours as a student ambassador,

“Because it made me feel like he was interested in what I had to

like the music,” he told her. For Conners, his mother’s willingness served in the Student Senate, and worked two part-time jobs.

say. And I felt like what I had to say was kind of important because

to allow him to determine his own religious path made an impact He was especially influenced by Sharon Goldman, an assistant

what I had to say was not necessarily centered around my interests,

that resonates still today. He said the full realization of his mother’s professor of Political Science who has since left Ramapo, and

per se, but how I perceived society and how I imagined that I

gesture occurred to him years later, after he’d graduated from Karl Johnson, an associate professor of African-American

could help people in the future.” Johnson says he’s not surprised

Ramapo and was attending Princeton Theological Seminary in Studies. He remembers Goldman as a conservative Republican

by Conners’ career success, only by how quickly he achieved it.

pursuit of a Master of Divinity degree.

with a degree from Yale—“a young, Jewish lady, a mother,”

“You could tell he was a motivated student,” Johnson says. “He’s

“Being in seminary, you have to do a lot of reflecting,” Conners Conners says. In other words, he says, someone who might be

representative of the newer type of student that we want to come

says. “You have to really chart your journey: What brought you expected “to not be conversant in your language, so to speak.” there, why you’re there. You’re doing a lot of searching. And then But in Goldman’s Political Theory class, among others, Conners

out of liberal arts colleges like Ramapo.”

In the aftermath of Howard Creecy’s death, a reporter for the

the classes force you in many ways to dig deep. It was at that learned otherwise.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution asked Conners, then just 26, if he was

point that I realized that my religion and my religious experience

"If we were discussing Rousseau, if we were talking about

interested in becoming the next president of the SCLC. “I’m not

really informed my politics and how I view people, how I view Plato, or Locke or whomever the theorist may have been,

interested in titles,” Conners said. “I’m more about getting the

the world, and how I imagine we should treat one another even Professor Goldman would take their concept of human nature,

work done.”

Conners was congratulated by Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver on his dedication to the SCLC.

My religion and my religious experience really informed my politics and how I view people, how I view the world, and how I imagine we should treat one another even despite

differences or perceived differences. That we

should embrace one another, allow people to

operate in their own space and give them the space to be who they are, no matter what.

Damien A. Conners ’06

despite differences or perceived differences. That we should and from there she would break down how their politics worked,"

There’s been a lot of work to do to carry forth an organization

embrace one another, allow people to operate in their own Conners says. "No matter what your perspective, she was able to

that traces its roots to the dawn of the modern civil rights movement.

space and give them the space to be who they are, no matter help you put it in context to more fully articulate your position.

Founded in January 1957, the SCLC was spawned from the 1955 its inaugural president, the SCLC led similar demonstrations across

what. And that was a lesson I learned from my mother; she She was able to create a space that was amazing for people to

bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, a landmark demonstration the South in the ’50s and ’60s and moved legislative mountains in

provided me with the option and afforded me the agency to stay really engage one another and to really engage the topic.” When

of civil disobedience. Martin Luther King organized the boycott Washington, providing an unyielding voice in the fight to pass the

in church or to convert to Islam." Conners arrived on the Ramapo Conners applied to the Princeton seminary, Goldman wrote him

following the arrest of Rosa Parks, a daughter of slaves who, in 1964 Civil Rights Act and, a year later, the Voting Rights Act.

campus in the fall of 2002, after graduating from Chad Science a letter of recommendation.

violation of chapter 6, section 11 of the Montgomery City Code,

Academy in Newark, a private school where he had earned a full

Conners says Johnson has kept in touch with him since his

refused to relinquish her seat on a city bus to a white man. The advance the issues that Creecy, in his brief tenure as president,

academic scholarship. Although he commuted to Ramapo from graduation from Ramapo. He still cites the impact of a book that

boycott ended on December 20, 1956, after 381 days, five weeks had identified as the organization’s top priorities: education,

East Orange after his first year, he wove himself firmly into the Johnson taught in one of his classes, Race to Incarcerate, by Mark

after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a federal court’s ruling that voting rights, and HIV/AIDS awareness. But the day-to-day

fabric of campus life. He majored in political science, minored in Mauer, which chronicles the dramatic growth of the U.S. prison

declared racial segregations laws, such as those that governed work of a national civil rights organization often involves the

Africana studies and music, ran the 60-, 100-, and 400-meter dash population over the past three decades. “He kind of cherished

the Montgomery bus system, to be unconstitutional. Behind King, behind-the-scenes details that never make headlines. As the

Conners has spent much of his time at the SCLC trying to

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.—Martin Luther King, Jr. Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

4

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www.ramapo.edu

5

12/16/13 2:09 PM


FEATURE > CONTINUED

HO E P During his visit to Ramapo College, Conners addressed a History II class with (L-R): Professor of Psychology S. Virginia Gonsalves-Domond, Professor of History and Teacher Education Alex Urbiel and Associate Professor of African-American Studies Karl Johnson.

link between the board of directors and the national office, Conners manages the Atlanta staff and oversees chapter and

affiliate relations. He’s also responsible for helping find ways to

make the SCLC financially sustainable over the long term. “The

Photo Courtesy: John Glenn Photography

business part of it can be very draining, you know, because

you have to deal with people, personalities,” Conners says.

“You’re dealing with sponsors. You’re dealing with funders, some who the outside world, and particularly people who are

in civil rights or who are some way connected to social justice work, may think aren’t good people. So it’s a lot that happens

at one time. The kind of business of that and the kind of labor of that can be a lot on you emotionally.”

In the late-morning of October 9, Conners is seated inside

returned to the Ramapo campus, at the invitation of President Peter P. Mercer, to be the featured speaker for the College’s

Constitution Day festivities. The door to the Green Room opens to reveal longtime New Jersey State Senator Loretta Weinberg, who has come to Ramapo to present Conners with a joint legislative resolution in his honor. Weinberg takes one

look at Conners. “You’re too young!” she says. “Can I see some identification?” And so it goes.

A few minutes later Conners is introduced to robust applause

from a near-capacity crowd inside the Sharp Theater. Before he

begins his remarks, he acknowledges a group of family members seated in the front row. “They have been my backbone,” Conners

says, his voice growing thicker. “Even when I commuted, from warm meals to washing my clothes and folding them and giving money for gas and making sure I had a car to drive, they have

been my support system. I will never forget your sacrifices and your contributions to my own success.” More applause.

Conners then embarks on a 20-minute speech inspired by the 50th of you and me as we’re assembled here today.” Afterward,

President of the SCLC Reverend C.T. Vivian with Conners at work at the SCLC.

anniversary of the March on Washington but encompassing the during a question-and-answer session, Conners is asked about

500-year history of the African experience in America. He quotes the role of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference “in the

The SCLC has always been the moral voice of

Martin Luther King and Shakespeare. He quotes a former slave current dynamic of black leadership.” In his response, Conners

the country,” he says. “SCLC has attempted to

legislature in 1883 and a Virginia state legislator who declared singular history.

raise the moral conscience of the country, to

Proclamation, “We do not believe that the colored man is the he says. “SCLC has attempted to raise the moral conscience

hold the country accountable to the ideals that

the Green Room, deep in the bowels of the Berrie Center. He’s

At the invitation of President Peter P. Mercer, Conners visited Ramapo as the featured speaker for the College's Constitution Day SCOTUS Discussion Series. (L-R): The Reverend Dr. Vernon C. Walton, Conners, President Peter P. Mercer, and Associate Professor of African-American Studies Karl Johnson.

testifying about voter disenfranchisement before the Georgia sets the organization’s future course within the context of its in 1901, nearly four decades after Lincoln’s Emancipation equal of the white man.”

“The SCLC has always been the moral voice of the country,”

of the country, to hold the country accountable to the ideals

He invokes a story, recalled in King’s autobiography, about a that are set forth not only in the constitution but in subsequent

are set forth not only in the Constitution but in

woman in Montgomery, Alabama, who, while walking to work legislation and within the kind of ethos that grounds who we

subsequent legislation and within the kind of

tired,” she said, “but my soul is rested.”

ethos that grounds who we are as Americans.

that she could say, in the midst of a bus boycott, that my feet are directly against the forces that seek to reverse the hands of

Damien A. Conners ’06

during the bus boycott, refused an offer of a ride. “My feet are are as Americans.

“So I see SCLC playing that role, continuing to be the voice,

“For me,” Conners says, “that line spoke volumes. The fact continuing to be the organization that empowers others to act

tired but my soul is rested, spoke to a certain resolve, a resolve time and create situations where there are greater have-nots that existed in many of those who fought and who walked and than those that have.” who labored on behalf of others, and who labored on behalf

Martin Luther King, Jr.—An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.

6

Ramapo College Magazine Winter 2014

2010215-50_Winter_Magazine.indd 6-7

www.ramapo.edu

7

12/16/13 2:09 PM


FEATURE > CONTINUED

HO E P During his visit to Ramapo College, Conners addressed a History II class with (L-R): Professor of Psychology S. Virginia Gonsalves-Domond, Professor of History and Teacher Education Alex Urbiel and Associate Professor of African-American Studies Karl Johnson.

link between the board of directors and the national office, Conners manages the Atlanta staff and oversees chapter and

affiliate relations. He’s also responsible for helping find ways to

make the SCLC financially sustainable over the long term. “The

Photo Courtesy: John Glenn Photography

business part of it can be very draining, you know, because

you have to deal with people, personalities,” Conners says.

“You’re dealing with sponsors. You’re dealing with funders, some who the outside world, and particularly people who are

in civil rights or who are some way connected to social justice work, may think aren’t good people. So it’s a lot that happens

at one time. The kind of business of that and the kind of labor of that can be a lot on you emotionally.”

In the late-morning of October 9, Conners is seated inside

returned to the Ramapo campus, at the invitation of President Peter P. Mercer, to be the featured speaker for the College’s

Constitution Day festivities. The door to the Green Room opens to reveal longtime New Jersey State Senator Loretta Weinberg, who has come to Ramapo to present Conners with a joint legislative resolution in his honor. Weinberg takes one

look at Conners. “You’re too young!” she says. “Can I see some identification?” And so it goes.

A few minutes later Conners is introduced to robust applause

from a near-capacity crowd inside the Sharp Theater. Before he

begins his remarks, he acknowledges a group of family members seated in the front row. “They have been my backbone,” Conners

says, his voice growing thicker. “Even when I commuted, from warm meals to washing my clothes and folding them and giving money for gas and making sure I had a car to drive, they have

been my support system. I will never forget your sacrifices and your contributions to my own success.” More applause.

Conners then embarks on a 20-minute speech inspired by the 50th of you and me as we’re assembled here today.” Afterward,

President of the SCLC Reverend C.T. Vivian with Conners at work at the SCLC.

anniversary of the March on Washington but encompassing the during a question-and-answer session, Conners is asked about

500-year history of the African experience in America. He quotes the role of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference “in the

The SCLC has always been the moral voice of

Martin Luther King and Shakespeare. He quotes a former slave current dynamic of black leadership.” In his response, Conners

the country,” he says. “SCLC has attempted to

legislature in 1883 and a Virginia state legislator who declared singular history.

raise the moral conscience of the country, to

Proclamation, “We do not believe that the colored man is the he says. “SCLC has attempted to raise the moral conscience

hold the country accountable to the ideals that

the Green Room, deep in the bowels of the Berrie Center. He’s

At the invitation of President Peter P. Mercer, Conners visited Ramapo as the featured speaker for the College's Constitution Day SCOTUS Discussion Series. (L-R): The Reverend Dr. Vernon C. Walton, Conners, President Peter P. Mercer, and Associate Professor of African-American Studies Karl Johnson.

testifying about voter disenfranchisement before the Georgia sets the organization’s future course within the context of its in 1901, nearly four decades after Lincoln’s Emancipation equal of the white man.”

“The SCLC has always been the moral voice of the country,”

of the country, to hold the country accountable to the ideals

He invokes a story, recalled in King’s autobiography, about a that are set forth not only in the constitution but in subsequent

are set forth not only in the Constitution but in

woman in Montgomery, Alabama, who, while walking to work legislation and within the kind of ethos that grounds who we

subsequent legislation and within the kind of

tired,” she said, “but my soul is rested.”

ethos that grounds who we are as Americans.

that she could say, in the midst of a bus boycott, that my feet are directly against the forces that seek to reverse the hands of

Damien A. Conners ’06

during the bus boycott, refused an offer of a ride. “My feet are are as Americans.

“So I see SCLC playing that role, continuing to be the voice,

“For me,” Conners says, “that line spoke volumes. The fact continuing to be the organization that empowers others to act

tired but my soul is rested, spoke to a certain resolve, a resolve time and create situations where there are greater have-nots that existed in many of those who fought and who walked and than those that have.” who labored on behalf of others, and who labored on behalf

Martin Luther King, Jr.—An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.

6

Ramapo College Magazine Winter 2014

2010215-50_Winter_Magazine.indd 6-7

www.ramapo.edu

7

12/16/13 2:09 PM


FEATURE > BY CHRISTOPHER HANN

WHO GIVES UP WORLD TOURS FOR A WORLD-CLASS EDUCATION?

MEET ANTHONY MILLER ’15

2

1 THE FREEDOM WORLD TOUR

OVER 50 CITIES

It’s a long way from the concert halls of Europe and Asia to the altar of the Community Baptist Church in Englewood, New Jersey, where keyboardist Anthony Miller finds himself on this Thursday night for the rousing weekly rehearsal of the church’s 50-member gospel choir. A Ramapo junior and the church’s music director, Miller spent seven years on tour with Alicia Keys, traveling the world as a member of the band behind the multi-Grammy winning artist. From 2004 to 2010, he played in hundreds of Keys’ concerts — from Los Angeles to London, from Chicago to Shanghai, from New York to Dubai to Johannesburg. He played the MTV Awards and the American Music Awards. He played on Leno and Letterman and Oprah. But three years ago, after Keys became pregnant with her first child, Miller decided to pursue a longstanding ambition to earn a college degree. So he enrolled at Ramapo, resisting the temptation to rejoin the band when Keys, a prolific concert performer, returned to the road.

“Now I’m playing for one of the biggest artists in the world,” he says. “We’re on tour with Beyoncé and Missy Elliot. I’m like in awe that this is happening. I’m also trying to contain my composure at the same time.”

“I already had made a commitment that I was going to finish this through,” Miller says. “I want to put the degree on top of everything I’ve done.” Growing up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn, Miller never really listened to music other than the gospel he would hear on Sundays when his grandmother took him to Unity Temple Church of God in Christ. His uncle was the church organist, and he taught Miller to play “Jesus Loves You.” (On his own, Miller figured out how to play the song in every key.) With no formal training, Miller started to dabble with the piano. He played by ear, teaching himself to play the music he heard on TV cartoons and sitcoms such as The Transformers, The Flintstones, and I Love Lucy. When his uncle died, the congregation decided that Miller should succeed him. He was 13 years old.

1

SATURDAY, MARCH 20

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ MONDAY, MARCH 22

BOSTON, MA

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 24

NORTH AMERICA FREEDOM TOUR

BALTIMORE, MD

THURSDAY, MARCH 25

WASHINGTON, DC

SATURDAY, MARCH 27

MIAMI, FL

8

Ramapo College Magazine Winter 2014

2010215-50_Winter_Magazine.indd 8-9

SUNDAY, MARCH 28

TAMPA, FL

TUESDAY, MARCH 30

ATLANTA, GA

FRIDAY, APRIL 2

DALLAS, TX

SATURDAY, APRIL 3

HOUSTON, TX

TUESDAY, APRIL 6

LOS ANGELES, CA

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 7

SANTA BARBARA, CA FRIDAY, APRIL 9

LAS VEGAS, NV SATURDAY, APRIL 10

OAKLAND, CA

2 EUROPE

FREEDOM TOUR

LISBON, PORTUGAL

THURSDAY, APRIL 29

ARNHEM, HOLLAND

SATURDAY, MAY 8

MONDAY, MAY 17 ZURICH, SWITZERLAND

SATURDAY, MAY 1

SUNDAY, MAY 9 FRANKFURT, GERMANY

WEDNESDAY, MAY 19

SUNDAY, MAY 2

WEDNESDAY, MAY 12 HAMBURG, GERMANY

ISCHGL, AUSTRIA VERONA, ITALY TUESDAY, MAY 4

MARSEILLE, FRANCE FRIDAY, MAY 7

BERLIN, GERMANY

THURSDAY, MAY 13 OBERHAUSEN, GERMANY SATURDAY, MAY 15

ANTWERP, BELGIUM

BIRMINGHAM, UK SUNDAY, MAY 21

DUBLIN, IRELAND SUNDAY, MAY 23

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND TUESDAY, MAY 25

LONDON FRANCE www.ramapo.edu

9

12/16/13 2:09 PM


FEATURE > BY CHRISTOPHER HANN

WHO GIVES UP WORLD TOURS FOR A WORLD-CLASS EDUCATION?

MEET ANTHONY MILLER ’15

2

1 THE FREEDOM WORLD TOUR

OVER 50 CITIES

It’s a long way from the concert halls of Europe and Asia to the altar of the Community Baptist Church in Englewood, New Jersey, where keyboardist Anthony Miller finds himself on this Thursday night for the rousing weekly rehearsal of the church’s 50-member gospel choir. A Ramapo junior and the church’s music director, Miller spent seven years on tour with Alicia Keys, traveling the world as a member of the band behind the multi-Grammy winning artist. From 2004 to 2010, he played in hundreds of Keys’ concerts — from Los Angeles to London, from Chicago to Shanghai, from New York to Dubai to Johannesburg. He played the MTV Awards and the American Music Awards. He played on Leno and Letterman and Oprah. But three years ago, after Keys became pregnant with her first child, Miller decided to pursue a longstanding ambition to earn a college degree. So he enrolled at Ramapo, resisting the temptation to rejoin the band when Keys, a prolific concert performer, returned to the road.

“Now I’m playing for one of the biggest artists in the world,” he says. “We’re on tour with Beyoncé and Missy Elliot. I’m like in awe that this is happening. I’m also trying to contain my composure at the same time.”

“I already had made a commitment that I was going to finish this through,” Miller says. “I want to put the degree on top of everything I’ve done.” Growing up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn, Miller never really listened to music other than the gospel he would hear on Sundays when his grandmother took him to Unity Temple Church of God in Christ. His uncle was the church organist, and he taught Miller to play “Jesus Loves You.” (On his own, Miller figured out how to play the song in every key.) With no formal training, Miller started to dabble with the piano. He played by ear, teaching himself to play the music he heard on TV cartoons and sitcoms such as The Transformers, The Flintstones, and I Love Lucy. When his uncle died, the congregation decided that Miller should succeed him. He was 13 years old.

1

SATURDAY, MARCH 20

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ MONDAY, MARCH 22

BOSTON, MA

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 24

NORTH AMERICA FREEDOM TOUR

BALTIMORE, MD

THURSDAY, MARCH 25

WASHINGTON, DC

SATURDAY, MARCH 27

MIAMI, FL

8

Ramapo College Magazine Winter 2014

2010215-50_Winter_Magazine.indd 8-9

SUNDAY, MARCH 28

TAMPA, FL

TUESDAY, MARCH 30

ATLANTA, GA

FRIDAY, APRIL 2

DALLAS, TX

SATURDAY, APRIL 3

HOUSTON, TX

TUESDAY, APRIL 6

LOS ANGELES, CA

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 7

SANTA BARBARA, CA FRIDAY, APRIL 9

LAS VEGAS, NV SATURDAY, APRIL 10

OAKLAND, CA

2 EUROPE

FREEDOM TOUR

LISBON, PORTUGAL

THURSDAY, APRIL 29

ARNHEM, HOLLAND

SATURDAY, MAY 8

MONDAY, MAY 17 ZURICH, SWITZERLAND

SATURDAY, MAY 1

SUNDAY, MAY 9 FRANKFURT, GERMANY

WEDNESDAY, MAY 19

SUNDAY, MAY 2

WEDNESDAY, MAY 12 HAMBURG, GERMANY

ISCHGL, AUSTRIA VERONA, ITALY TUESDAY, MAY 4

MARSEILLE, FRANCE FRIDAY, MAY 7

BERLIN, GERMANY

THURSDAY, MAY 13 OBERHAUSEN, GERMANY SATURDAY, MAY 15

ANTWERP, BELGIUM

BIRMINGHAM, UK SUNDAY, MAY 21

DUBLIN, IRELAND SUNDAY, MAY 23

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND TUESDAY, MAY 25

LONDON FRANCE www.ramapo.edu

9

12/16/13 2:09 PM


FEATURE > CONTINUED

The phone call that changed Miller’s life came in

2000, she was a singer on the rise, a member of a band called

January 2004—“from out the blue,” he says. He’d

Divine, a trio of R&B singers whose first single, “Lately,” had

been living in New Jersey for about 10 years

shot to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for a week in November

and playing organ in the Community Baptist

of 1998 and reached number 2 on Billboard’s Hot R&B Singles

band since 1998, the year after he graduated

chart. Thornton remembers holding one-month-old Toni while

from Lakewood (N.J.) High School. The voice on the other end of the line belonged to Paul John Jr.,

“I thought it was

the drummer for Alicia Keys. In the 1990s Miller and John had played together in a gospel band in Queens,

very brave of him to give

New York, called Leon’s Inner Voice. But John had been

up something so big,” Miller’s

playing drums for Keys since 2000, so Miller was taken aback

wife Kia Thornton says. “But at the

by the phone call. John told Miller there was an opening for a

same time, going to college, getting

the gig. “He could have called a million musicians,” Miller says.

his degree  —  something that would last forever— was even braver. When he finishes college and he gets his degree, no one can ever take that away from him.”

keyboardist in Keys’ band. He told him he should audition for “He just so happened to call me.” Miller knew about Keys, of course. At that point, who in America hadn’t? Her debut record, “Songs in A Minor,” had sold a few zillion copies and earned her five Grammy Awards. Her follow-up, “The Diary of Alicia Keys,” won four more. But Miller wasn’t exactly a fan. And the audition was the next day. He stayed up all night, learning all of Keys’ songs. And then he went out and nailed the audition. And before he realized what was happening, on Valentine’s Day 2004, after two weeks of rehearsals, he was in Chicago, getting ready to play the first show in his first intercontinental tour. “Now I’m playing for one of the biggest artists in the world,” he says. “We’re on tour with Beyoncé and Missy Elliot. I’m like in awe that this is happening. I’m also trying to contain my composure at the same time.” That was not always easy to do for someone who had never been overseas. “When I went out for the first time, I was like a tourist rather than a musician,” Miller says. “Every day we had a day off, I was checking out the sights. Sometimes I look back myself and I’m like, wow.” Paris. Madrid. Barcelona. Lisbon. Hamburg. Berlin. Bonn. Antwerp. Zurich. Montreux. Monte Carlo. Vienna. London. Manchester. Dublin. And that was just Europe. Beijing. Kuala Lampur. Hong Kong. Singapore. Manila. Another night, another city, another show. Miller’s passport bulged. Bangkok. Seoul. Osaka. Tokyo. Melbourne. Sydney. “Alicia doesn’t take a break,” Miller says. “She’s constantly touring.” Along the way, Miller was recognized by Keyboard magazine and picked up an endorsement from Yamaha, which supplied him with six organs. “That’s a great honor to be endorsed by Yamaha,” he says. “They don’t give those out.” And then Keys got pregnant, and Miller had a decision

watching her husband on TV playing behind Alicia Keys at the 2008 Grammy Awards. Miller had always thought about getting a college degree, and now a few of his friends were urging him on. He knew he’d miss the steady paychecks and the travel. He wouldn’t miss living out of a suitcase and being away from his family. He enrolled at Ramapo. He was 32 years old. “I thought it was very brave of him to give up something so big,” Thornton says. “But at the same time, going to college, getting his degree—something that would last forever—was even braver. When he finishes college and he gets his degree, no one can ever take that away from him.” Miller is majoring in music production and performance. In a very real way, his musical education at Ramapo has been like starting from scratch. Under professors such as Seth Cluett and Ben Neill and Mack Brandon, he’s learning to read music for the first time in his life, learning fingering methods he’d never known, and learning studio production techniques that he hopes to spin into a second career. “I’m breaking all my bad habits,” Miller says, laughing. “I’m learning the correct way to play certain styles of music, such as classical. It’s definitely opening me up to different types of music. I’m definitely appreciating all the professors here at Ramapo. They care about your education here.” Miller enrolled in adjunct professor Itay Goren’s Technique for Keyboard class and last spring took private piano lessons—his first—with Goren. Though Miller lacks basic musical training, such as working from a written score, Goren says he’s been a quick study. “He’s very talented and motivated,” Goren says. “When he sets his mind to do something, he works on it, which is very important.” When he graduates, Miller hopes to work in music production and possibly teach. These days he’s also the music director for R&B singer Jermaine Paul, who last year won NBC’s singing competition show, “The Voice.” (Next month Miller will play behind Paul at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.) Of course, every Sunday morning finds him on the altar at Community Baptist, leading the church’s five-piece band. “Everything I learned outside on tour, traveling the world, I try to bring here to enhance the church experience,” Miller says. “People pay money to be entertained. I feel like when people come to church, they should be able to expect the same—not

to make. He was married by now, to Kia Thornton, a fellow

entertained, but expect the same level of musicianship when it

congregant at Community Baptist who’d grown up practically

comes to their place of worship. You can have good music here

next door to the church. They had two girls, the youngest just

too, just like they have good music out in the world.”

2½ (earlier this year they added a third). When they met in 10

Ramapo College Magazine Winter 2014

2010215-50_Winter_Magazine.indd 10-11

www.ramapo.edu

11

12/16/13 2:09 PM


FEATURE > CONTINUED

The phone call that changed Miller’s life came in

2000, she was a singer on the rise, a member of a band called

January 2004—“from out the blue,” he says. He’d

Divine, a trio of R&B singers whose first single, “Lately,” had

been living in New Jersey for about 10 years

shot to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for a week in November

and playing organ in the Community Baptist

of 1998 and reached number 2 on Billboard’s Hot R&B Singles

band since 1998, the year after he graduated

chart. Thornton remembers holding one-month-old Toni while

from Lakewood (N.J.) High School. The voice on the other end of the line belonged to Paul John Jr.,

“I thought it was

the drummer for Alicia Keys. In the 1990s Miller and John had played together in a gospel band in Queens,

very brave of him to give

New York, called Leon’s Inner Voice. But John had been

up something so big,” Miller’s

playing drums for Keys since 2000, so Miller was taken aback

wife Kia Thornton says. “But at the

by the phone call. John told Miller there was an opening for a

same time, going to college, getting

the gig. “He could have called a million musicians,” Miller says.

his degree  —  something that would last forever— was even braver. When he finishes college and he gets his degree, no one can ever take that away from him.”

keyboardist in Keys’ band. He told him he should audition for “He just so happened to call me.” Miller knew about Keys, of course. At that point, who in America hadn’t? Her debut record, “Songs in A Minor,” had sold a few zillion copies and earned her five Grammy Awards. Her follow-up, “The Diary of Alicia Keys,” won four more. But Miller wasn’t exactly a fan. And the audition was the next day. He stayed up all night, learning all of Keys’ songs. And then he went out and nailed the audition. And before he realized what was happening, on Valentine’s Day 2004, after two weeks of rehearsals, he was in Chicago, getting ready to play the first show in his first intercontinental tour. “Now I’m playing for one of the biggest artists in the world,” he says. “We’re on tour with Beyoncé and Missy Elliot. I’m like in awe that this is happening. I’m also trying to contain my composure at the same time.” That was not always easy to do for someone who had never been overseas. “When I went out for the first time, I was like a tourist rather than a musician,” Miller says. “Every day we had a day off, I was checking out the sights. Sometimes I look back myself and I’m like, wow.” Paris. Madrid. Barcelona. Lisbon. Hamburg. Berlin. Bonn. Antwerp. Zurich. Montreux. Monte Carlo. Vienna. London. Manchester. Dublin. And that was just Europe. Beijing. Kuala Lampur. Hong Kong. Singapore. Manila. Another night, another city, another show. Miller’s passport bulged. Bangkok. Seoul. Osaka. Tokyo. Melbourne. Sydney. “Alicia doesn’t take a break,” Miller says. “She’s constantly touring.” Along the way, Miller was recognized by Keyboard magazine and picked up an endorsement from Yamaha, which supplied him with six organs. “That’s a great honor to be endorsed by Yamaha,” he says. “They don’t give those out.” And then Keys got pregnant, and Miller had a decision

watching her husband on TV playing behind Alicia Keys at the 2008 Grammy Awards. Miller had always thought about getting a college degree, and now a few of his friends were urging him on. He knew he’d miss the steady paychecks and the travel. He wouldn’t miss living out of a suitcase and being away from his family. He enrolled at Ramapo. He was 32 years old. “I thought it was very brave of him to give up something so big,” Thornton says. “But at the same time, going to college, getting his degree—something that would last forever—was even braver. When he finishes college and he gets his degree, no one can ever take that away from him.” Miller is majoring in music production and performance. In a very real way, his musical education at Ramapo has been like starting from scratch. Under professors such as Seth Cluett and Ben Neill and Mack Brandon, he’s learning to read music for the first time in his life, learning fingering methods he’d never known, and learning studio production techniques that he hopes to spin into a second career. “I’m breaking all my bad habits,” Miller says, laughing. “I’m learning the correct way to play certain styles of music, such as classical. It’s definitely opening me up to different types of music. I’m definitely appreciating all the professors here at Ramapo. They care about your education here.” Miller enrolled in adjunct professor Itay Goren’s Technique for Keyboard class and last spring took private piano lessons—his first—with Goren. Though Miller lacks basic musical training, such as working from a written score, Goren says he’s been a quick study. “He’s very talented and motivated,” Goren says. “When he sets his mind to do something, he works on it, which is very important.” When he graduates, Miller hopes to work in music production and possibly teach. These days he’s also the music director for R&B singer Jermaine Paul, who last year won NBC’s singing competition show, “The Voice.” (Next month Miller will play behind Paul at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.) Of course, every Sunday morning finds him on the altar at Community Baptist, leading the church’s five-piece band. “Everything I learned outside on tour, traveling the world, I try to bring here to enhance the church experience,” Miller says. “People pay money to be entertained. I feel like when people come to church, they should be able to expect the same—not

to make. He was married by now, to Kia Thornton, a fellow

entertained, but expect the same level of musicianship when it

congregant at Community Baptist who’d grown up practically

comes to their place of worship. You can have good music here

next door to the church. They had two girls, the youngest just

too, just like they have good music out in the world.”

2½ (earlier this year they added a third). When they met in 10

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COLLEGE NEWS

> BY JULIANNE BRANDA ’14

RAMAPO COLLEGE RANKS AMONG BEST IN NORTHEAST BY PRINCETON REVIEW

(L-R): Gary L. Montroy, Board of Trustees member, Chief Planning Officer Dorothy Echols Tobe, Andrew Keen, Vice President of Institutional Advancement Cathleen Davey, President Peter P. Mercer, Professor of Law and Society and Faculty President Jillian Weiss, Board of Trustees Chairperson George C. Ruotolo, Jr., Interim Vice President of Finance and Administration Maria Krupin, Board of Trustees member William Dator, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Beth Barnett, and Student Trustee Anthony Darakjy ’14.

OPENING CONVOCATION 2013 FEATURES AUTHOR ANDREW KEEN On Tuesday, September 3, Ramapo College’s Opening Convocation welcomed guest speaker Andrew Keen, author of Digital Vertigo: How Today’s Online Social Revolution Is Dividing, Diminishing, and Disorienting Us,” (Macmillan/May 2012) signaling the beginning of the 2013–2014 academic year. The book was assigned to the class of 2017 for discussion and analysis in their First Year Seminars. Digital Vertigo explores the harmful effects of social media, which Keen argues diminishes the importance of the individual. Keen also explores how social media websites extract personal information users provide through their website, which can be used for other ethically questionable purposes. Keen is a prolific writer and critic who has contributed to publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Economist. His previous book, The Cult of the Amateur: How the Internet is Killing our Culture, is credited with beginning a conversation on the Internet’s widespread effect on information and learning. Opening Convocation is the first year student’s opportunity to become engaged in learning before they enter college. Digital Vertigo, like the selections before it, was assigned to the incoming class of 2017 in preparation for Opening Convocation. Following Keen’s lecture on Digital Vertigo, students asked pertinent and thought–provoking questions to the author to expand their understanding of the subject matter. Throughout the semester, Digital Vertigo, as well as Keen’s lecture, will be incorporated into discussions and papers in First Year Seminar classes.

RAMAPO COLLEGE JOINS NASPA’S LEAD INITIATIVE NETWORK NASPA, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, recognized Ramapo College as one of 73 schools that strive to integrate civic engagement into their curriculum and activities. Institutions were selected through The Lead Initiative on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement, which emphasizes integrating civic learning and involvement into student affairs and increasing interest in civic learning on campus. The Lead Initiative also encourages Student Affairs to compile data measuring the success of these efforts. Kevin Kruger, Ph.D., President of NASPA, stated, “Through the Lead Initiative, NASPA is shining a light on the unique contributes that student affairs professionals are making to democratic engagement. In a time of concern and worry abut our civic society, it is critical that college administrators are doing all they can to present students with opportunities to help them develop as productive and engaged citizens.” The Lead Initiative represents a varied yet exclusive network of private and public colleges and universities that highlight civic learning and democratic engagement as a crucial element in their students’ future success.

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Princeton Review once again honored Ramapo College of New Jersey as one of the 226 best institutions for higher learning in the Northeast region. Ramapo was featured in their rankings of “2014 Best Colleges: Region by Region,” an annual assessment of colleges and universities in each area of the United States. The criteria for the rankings is based on the quality of academic offerings at each school, as well as data collected from surveys filled out by students, who quantify everything from the quality of the school’s food to professor availability. Additionally, experts in college advisement assess each school based on academic excellence, size, location, and selectivity. Ramapo students who participated in the survey commended the College for “a small student to faculty ratio,” as well as “individualized attention.” Ramapo also received high marks for its “emphasis on outside learning and experience” in addition to “professors who are aware of how to teach, motivate and inspire, instead of simply lecturing.” Ramapo was highly acclaimed for the Business and Nursing programs, which were described as “extraordinary.” Additionally, the College received high marks for the “beautiful scenery” and “fabulous dorms.” The Princeton Review is an education services company that provides prospective college students with test prep courses, tutoring services, and postsecondary advisement. Their “2014 Best Colleges: Region by Region” report includes only 25% of the nation’s four-year institutions.

GALLERIES TO BE ASSESSED The Ramapo College Art Galleries are home to the Selden Rodman Collection of Popular Arts, featuring world-renowned Haitian and related works of art. While demand for the collection use at Ramapo and from prestigious academic institutions and museums elsewhere has greatly increased, storage and preservation of the works, including climate and humidity concerns, present a challenge. We are pleased to announce that the galleries have been awarded a federal Museum Assessment Program grant in the category of Collections Stewardship for the 2013-2014 year. Funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Department of Museum Standards & Excellence at the American Alliance of Museums, this intensive evaluation provides consultants to examine the ethics of collections care and other planning and legal issues, as well as related audience matters. The MAP program also assists with identifying funding for research for collections, and advises on the accreditation process.

RAMAPO COLLEGE U.S. CONSTITUTION DAY CELEBRATION SERIES INCLUDES SCOTUS DISCUSSION SERIES AND ALUMNUS GUEST SPEAKER

RAMAPO COLLEGE SELECTED AS A MILITARY FRIENDLY SCHOOL BY VICTORY MEDIA Victory Media, an organization run by U.S. military veterans that specializes in developing products and services for members of the military and their families, named Ramapo as one of its “Military Friendly” institutions on September 17, 2013. Ramapo College landed in the top 15% of schools throughout the United States that focus on recruiting students in the military and accommodating their needs accordingly.

AFFORDABLE COLLEGES ONLINE RANKS RAMAPO COLLEGE AS ONE OF THE HIGHEST RETURN ON INVESTMENT COLLEGES IN NEW JERSEY Affordable Colleges Online ranked Ramapo College of New Jersey as one of New Jersey’s colleges and universities that provide the “Highest Return on Investment.”

Students signed the constitution on Constitution Day.

Professor of Law and Society and Faculty Assembly President Jillian Weiss, Cindy Meneghan, and Maureen Killian at the same-sex marriage SCOTUS series presentation in October.

On September 17, 2013, Ramapo College’s Law and Society Faculty Group and the Civic Community Engagement Center kicked off a series of events celebrating the signing of the United States Constitution. On the anniversary of the signing, students gathered around the Havemeyer Arch and signed a copy of the Constitution, met Benjamin Franklin, and enjoyed refreshments.

With student debt rising, it is critical that the average student can afford their education and that it will lead to employment. Affordable Colleges Online crunches the numbers to reveal which colleges and universities fulfill these expectations. The rankings were calculated based on tuition costs, alumni starting salaries, and included only fully accredited fouryear institutions. The organization evaluated 162 schools in New Jersey. Ramapo ranked number 10 out of 24 schools that offer affordable and valuable college educations.

The Constitution Celebration Series continued throughout the semester with a series of discussions and lectures about the Constitution and the Supreme Court. The first event took place on October 9 and featured speaker Damien A. Conners ’06, an alumnus of Ramapo who is currently Executive Director of the Southern Christian Leadership Council. Conners discussed the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington as well as the recent SCOTUS Voting Rights Act ruling. Conner’s appearance kicked off The SCOTUS Discussion Series, which began on October 10 and focused on the Supreme Court’s recent decisions that rendered both Prop 8 and DOMA unconstitutional. This signified a major turning point in the fight for same-sex marriage. Professor Jillian Weiss presented the historical context surrounding marriage equality and was joined by Cindy Meneghin and Maureen Kilian, marriage equality advocates. The November 4 Discussion was held the night before Election Day. Accordingly, SCOTUS focused on the Voting Rights Act, led by Professor Sanghamitra Padhy. At the panel, students discussed the fairness of Section 5, a significant portion of the Voting Rights Act, which was recently declared unconstitutional. Students questioned and debated the significance of the ruling, which could negatively impact minority voters. The final installment of the SCOTUS Discussion Series took place in Friends Hall on December 5 and discussed the case of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, which challenged the constitutionality of affirmative action. While the Supreme Court did not make a ruling on Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, the case nonetheless renewed the dialogue on affirmative action. Professor Mihaela Serban led the discussion on the case and questioned its significance for the future of affirmative action.

RCNJ MOURNS DEATH OF BENEFACTOR JOSEF A. ROSS The College community was saddened to learn of the death of benefactor Josef A. Ross who passed away November 30. He and his wife, Roslyn, created the Ross Family Survivor to Survivor Scholarship. It is available to students who are former U.S. service personnel or their children. A Holocaust survivor, Mr. Ross’s education abruptly ended in the fourth grade when the Nazis invaded his Polish hometown in 1939. He was sent to the Terezin Concentration Camp and liberated in 1945. He immigrated to New York in 1949 and became a mechanic in a luggage factory, where he rose through the ranks. Seven years later he founded his own luggage manufacturing business. The experiences Mr. Ross endured in his youth shaped his decision to create the scholarship. He said, “I wanted to pay back the American forces that liberated the concentration camps. I was forbidden to attend any schools during the war in Europe, so I know how it feels not to have an education.” He contributed his vast talents to many organizations. He served on the board of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Ramapo College, was a member of the President’s Council of the World Jewish Congress, and an active supporter of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Mr. and Mrs. Ross founded the American Stage Company based at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Ross resided in Delray Beach, FL, with his wife. www.ramapo.edu

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COLLEGE NEWS

> BY JULIANNE BRANDA ’14

RAMAPO COLLEGE RANKS AMONG BEST IN NORTHEAST BY PRINCETON REVIEW

(L-R): Gary L. Montroy, Board of Trustees member, Chief Planning Officer Dorothy Echols Tobe, Andrew Keen, Vice President of Institutional Advancement Cathleen Davey, President Peter P. Mercer, Professor of Law and Society and Faculty President Jillian Weiss, Board of Trustees Chairperson George C. Ruotolo, Jr., Interim Vice President of Finance and Administration Maria Krupin, Board of Trustees member William Dator, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Beth Barnett, and Student Trustee Anthony Darakjy ’14.

OPENING CONVOCATION 2013 FEATURES AUTHOR ANDREW KEEN On Tuesday, September 3, Ramapo College’s Opening Convocation welcomed guest speaker Andrew Keen, author of Digital Vertigo: How Today’s Online Social Revolution Is Dividing, Diminishing, and Disorienting Us,” (Macmillan/May 2012) signaling the beginning of the 2013–2014 academic year. The book was assigned to the class of 2017 for discussion and analysis in their First Year Seminars. Digital Vertigo explores the harmful effects of social media, which Keen argues diminishes the importance of the individual. Keen also explores how social media websites extract personal information users provide through their website, which can be used for other ethically questionable purposes. Keen is a prolific writer and critic who has contributed to publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Economist. His previous book, The Cult of the Amateur: How the Internet is Killing our Culture, is credited with beginning a conversation on the Internet’s widespread effect on information and learning. Opening Convocation is the first year student’s opportunity to become engaged in learning before they enter college. Digital Vertigo, like the selections before it, was assigned to the incoming class of 2017 in preparation for Opening Convocation. Following Keen’s lecture on Digital Vertigo, students asked pertinent and thought–provoking questions to the author to expand their understanding of the subject matter. Throughout the semester, Digital Vertigo, as well as Keen’s lecture, will be incorporated into discussions and papers in First Year Seminar classes.

RAMAPO COLLEGE JOINS NASPA’S LEAD INITIATIVE NETWORK NASPA, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, recognized Ramapo College as one of 73 schools that strive to integrate civic engagement into their curriculum and activities. Institutions were selected through The Lead Initiative on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement, which emphasizes integrating civic learning and involvement into student affairs and increasing interest in civic learning on campus. The Lead Initiative also encourages Student Affairs to compile data measuring the success of these efforts. Kevin Kruger, Ph.D., President of NASPA, stated, “Through the Lead Initiative, NASPA is shining a light on the unique contributes that student affairs professionals are making to democratic engagement. In a time of concern and worry abut our civic society, it is critical that college administrators are doing all they can to present students with opportunities to help them develop as productive and engaged citizens.” The Lead Initiative represents a varied yet exclusive network of private and public colleges and universities that highlight civic learning and democratic engagement as a crucial element in their students’ future success.

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Princeton Review once again honored Ramapo College of New Jersey as one of the 226 best institutions for higher learning in the Northeast region. Ramapo was featured in their rankings of “2014 Best Colleges: Region by Region,” an annual assessment of colleges and universities in each area of the United States. The criteria for the rankings is based on the quality of academic offerings at each school, as well as data collected from surveys filled out by students, who quantify everything from the quality of the school’s food to professor availability. Additionally, experts in college advisement assess each school based on academic excellence, size, location, and selectivity. Ramapo students who participated in the survey commended the College for “a small student to faculty ratio,” as well as “individualized attention.” Ramapo also received high marks for its “emphasis on outside learning and experience” in addition to “professors who are aware of how to teach, motivate and inspire, instead of simply lecturing.” Ramapo was highly acclaimed for the Business and Nursing programs, which were described as “extraordinary.” Additionally, the College received high marks for the “beautiful scenery” and “fabulous dorms.” The Princeton Review is an education services company that provides prospective college students with test prep courses, tutoring services, and postsecondary advisement. Their “2014 Best Colleges: Region by Region” report includes only 25% of the nation’s four-year institutions.

GALLERIES TO BE ASSESSED The Ramapo College Art Galleries are home to the Selden Rodman Collection of Popular Arts, featuring world-renowned Haitian and related works of art. While demand for the collection use at Ramapo and from prestigious academic institutions and museums elsewhere has greatly increased, storage and preservation of the works, including climate and humidity concerns, present a challenge. We are pleased to announce that the galleries have been awarded a federal Museum Assessment Program grant in the category of Collections Stewardship for the 2013-2014 year. Funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Department of Museum Standards & Excellence at the American Alliance of Museums, this intensive evaluation provides consultants to examine the ethics of collections care and other planning and legal issues, as well as related audience matters. The MAP program also assists with identifying funding for research for collections, and advises on the accreditation process.

RAMAPO COLLEGE U.S. CONSTITUTION DAY CELEBRATION SERIES INCLUDES SCOTUS DISCUSSION SERIES AND ALUMNUS GUEST SPEAKER

RAMAPO COLLEGE SELECTED AS A MILITARY FRIENDLY SCHOOL BY VICTORY MEDIA Victory Media, an organization run by U.S. military veterans that specializes in developing products and services for members of the military and their families, named Ramapo as one of its “Military Friendly” institutions on September 17, 2013. Ramapo College landed in the top 15% of schools throughout the United States that focus on recruiting students in the military and accommodating their needs accordingly.

AFFORDABLE COLLEGES ONLINE RANKS RAMAPO COLLEGE AS ONE OF THE HIGHEST RETURN ON INVESTMENT COLLEGES IN NEW JERSEY Affordable Colleges Online ranked Ramapo College of New Jersey as one of New Jersey’s colleges and universities that provide the “Highest Return on Investment.”

Students signed the constitution on Constitution Day.

Professor of Law and Society and Faculty Assembly President Jillian Weiss, Cindy Meneghan, and Maureen Killian at the same-sex marriage SCOTUS series presentation in October.

On September 17, 2013, Ramapo College’s Law and Society Faculty Group and the Civic Community Engagement Center kicked off a series of events celebrating the signing of the United States Constitution. On the anniversary of the signing, students gathered around the Havemeyer Arch and signed a copy of the Constitution, met Benjamin Franklin, and enjoyed refreshments.

With student debt rising, it is critical that the average student can afford their education and that it will lead to employment. Affordable Colleges Online crunches the numbers to reveal which colleges and universities fulfill these expectations. The rankings were calculated based on tuition costs, alumni starting salaries, and included only fully accredited fouryear institutions. The organization evaluated 162 schools in New Jersey. Ramapo ranked number 10 out of 24 schools that offer affordable and valuable college educations.

The Constitution Celebration Series continued throughout the semester with a series of discussions and lectures about the Constitution and the Supreme Court. The first event took place on October 9 and featured speaker Damien A. Conners ’06, an alumnus of Ramapo who is currently Executive Director of the Southern Christian Leadership Council. Conners discussed the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington as well as the recent SCOTUS Voting Rights Act ruling. Conner’s appearance kicked off The SCOTUS Discussion Series, which began on October 10 and focused on the Supreme Court’s recent decisions that rendered both Prop 8 and DOMA unconstitutional. This signified a major turning point in the fight for same-sex marriage. Professor Jillian Weiss presented the historical context surrounding marriage equality and was joined by Cindy Meneghin and Maureen Kilian, marriage equality advocates. The November 4 Discussion was held the night before Election Day. Accordingly, SCOTUS focused on the Voting Rights Act, led by Professor Sanghamitra Padhy. At the panel, students discussed the fairness of Section 5, a significant portion of the Voting Rights Act, which was recently declared unconstitutional. Students questioned and debated the significance of the ruling, which could negatively impact minority voters. The final installment of the SCOTUS Discussion Series took place in Friends Hall on December 5 and discussed the case of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, which challenged the constitutionality of affirmative action. While the Supreme Court did not make a ruling on Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, the case nonetheless renewed the dialogue on affirmative action. Professor Mihaela Serban led the discussion on the case and questioned its significance for the future of affirmative action.

RCNJ MOURNS DEATH OF BENEFACTOR JOSEF A. ROSS The College community was saddened to learn of the death of benefactor Josef A. Ross who passed away November 30. He and his wife, Roslyn, created the Ross Family Survivor to Survivor Scholarship. It is available to students who are former U.S. service personnel or their children. A Holocaust survivor, Mr. Ross’s education abruptly ended in the fourth grade when the Nazis invaded his Polish hometown in 1939. He was sent to the Terezin Concentration Camp and liberated in 1945. He immigrated to New York in 1949 and became a mechanic in a luggage factory, where he rose through the ranks. Seven years later he founded his own luggage manufacturing business. The experiences Mr. Ross endured in his youth shaped his decision to create the scholarship. He said, “I wanted to pay back the American forces that liberated the concentration camps. I was forbidden to attend any schools during the war in Europe, so I know how it feels not to have an education.” He contributed his vast talents to many organizations. He served on the board of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Ramapo College, was a member of the President’s Council of the World Jewish Congress, and an active supporter of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Mr. and Mrs. Ross founded the American Stage Company based at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Ross resided in Delray Beach, FL, with his wife. www.ramapo.edu

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> CONTINUED

From March 27 through May 1, Ramapo College’s Kresge Gallery featured “The C of O Show,” a collection-based exhibition about originality. The “C of O” in the title refers to the cult of originality, meaning the tendency to fetishize the original touch of the artist when assessing the value of artwork. Centered around Asian works from Ramapo’s large Bukstein Collection, the exhibition showcased pieces produced through a collaborative effort which does not credit the individual creators, alongside contemporary artists who deal with ideas of authorship and originality. “The C of O Show” was curated by Director of Art Galleries Sydney Jenkins and Art Galleries Documentation Assistant Hannah Craft.

Photo Courtesy: Sydney Jenkins

Historically, notions of artistic authorship and originality had an individual focus in the West, but involved a more collaborative process in the East. “Western culture deifies the artist’s hand. However, in this innovative exhibition we are showcasing artists who deliberately don’t make their own work, which is sometimes made by teams, like a product,” Jenkins said. “Additionally, we are excited to connect our Bukstein and Rodman Collections with several of the leading contemporary art stars of our time.” The exhibition included a diverse array of styles and art objects. San Francisco artist Stephanie Syjuco explores her own Asian heritage by finding Asian Art images on the web, printing them to scale, and mountRamapo student Nicole Stewart constructing Yoko Ono’s Painting to Hammer a Nail. ing them on plywood to form lifelike constructions. The artists’ collective HANIMAL worked with Ramapo students to paint the large mural “Like a Bridge” using a commercial template of a water bridge in Japan. For his installation “Parrot, Parrot,” Michael Rees, director of the graduate fine arts program at William Paterson University, made three-dimensional computer-based sculptures in response to sculptural shapes in the Bukstein Collection. Internationally renowned realist painter Kehinde Wiley was represented with one of his signature portraits, which was actually painted by other people in China. South African artist Liza Lou presented a super-realist sculpture of a coiled rope comprised of thousands of glass beads which was constructed by many villagers. Other artists included Hennessy Youngman, whose video performance piece satirically poked fun at the originality of British artist Damien Hirst, and Ramapo alum Joshua Knoblick ’06, who creates cut metal sculptures based on musical compositions. The exhibition also featured a famous conceptual artwork by Yoko Ono. The piece originates when the artist asks gallery visitors to hammer a nail onto a small board, and exemplifies the main idea of the show. Ono is credited with creating the art, which is collaboratively made with the audience. “Painting to Hammer a Nail” is also known for being a point of conversation during Ono’s first meeting with future husband John Lennon in 1966. A record number of classes from other disciplines attended the show to participate in educational programs. “It’s a contemporary, fun show that deals with relevant issues in art today, in addition to tying in pieces from the College’s collection,” according to co-curator Hannah Craft. “The C of O Show” was partially funded by the Bukstein Endowment, which also provides scholarships to Ramapo students.

VISITS RAMAPO COLLEGE

RAMAPO COLLEGE CHOSEN FOR NATIONAL PROGRAM: A NETWORK FOR UNDERSTANDING THE NEW EUROPE Ramapo College was accepted to join an elite and selective coalition of 20 universities across America that will offer the program A Network for Understanding the New Europe, hosted by New York University and the European Union. As a regional partner for the program, Ramapo will encourage awareness concerning European immigration, politics, and economics in the New York metropolitan area. This feat will be accomplished through a series of conferences, lectures, workshops, and panels, all of which will be supported through a two-year grant Ramapo was awarded. The programs held provide opportunities for educators, as well as the public, to learn more about the issues surrounding the European Union, and develop and implement curriculum for students from K-12. Schools were selected to participate based on their dedication to international education in addition to outreach with minority communities across the United States. Ramapo faculty lending their services to the program include Professor of Political Economy Bahzad Yaghmaian, Professor of Sociology Henri Lustiger Thaler, and Professor of International Studies Hassan Nejad. Dean of SSHS Samuel Rosenberg will supervise and maintain records for the program. In June, a representative of Ramapo attended a conference held at New York University entitled: “Understanding the New Europe: Immigration,” as well as a panel discussion at NYU’s Center for Global Affairs that discussed immigration issues facing the European Union. The additional programs will take place this winter in Athens, Greece, and next summer.

RAMAPO TO RECEIVE HAITIAN ART FROM FILMMAKER JONATHAN DEMME This spring, Ramapo College’s Rodman Collection will receive an ample donation of Haitian Art from acclaimed film director Jonathan Demme. Demme is one of the country’s leading Haitian Art collectors famous for his films “Silence of the Lambs” and “Philadelphia.” He has donated works from the Cap-Haitien school, a type of art, which originates in the city of the same name on the north coast of the country. Haitian Art stereotypically features bold, bright colors and vivid contours, and is often characterized by systems of Vodou symbolism. Cap-Haitien works, however, are usually more subdued and present more subtle coloration. In many cases, compositions show an awareness of art training with carefully delineated aspects of traditional perspective and realistic architecture. For example, works by artists in the Obin family may show intricate details of historical scenes and skillful renderings, which capture moments of everyday life. “Such beautiful paintings are more valuable and rare,” Sydney Jenkins, Director of Art Galleries, said of the group of works to be donated. “This fantastic gift superbly balances the many strong works we have, increasing the scholarly potential of our teaching collection, while broadening community appeal.”

TO DISCUSS INVESTMENTS

On October 1, Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie visited Ramapo College to discuss the new improvements underway through an investment made into 46 institutions throughout New Jersey, totaling about $1.3 billion. The state ballot initiative will allocate approximately $20 million for enhancements at Ramapo. It is the first government investment in capital improvements the College has received in nearly 25 years, and was made possible by the Building Our Future Bond Act. The money will go towards the G-Wing Science Complex, as well as upgrades for the College’s wireless Internet network. Governor Christie spoke to a crowd of hundreds of students and faculty in front of the Arch. The Governor enthusiastically greeted students with handshakes before he made his way to the podium to speak. Aside from speaking about the new improvements the bond made possible, Governor Christie also touched upon the recent government shutdown, which he called, “a failure of people in public life for everybody in this country, who are depending upon a government that will get its ‘stuff’ together.” “I think it’s going to be money well invested and well spent on all of you and New Jersey’s future,” the Governor said. Governor Christie plans to return to Ramapo soon to check on the progress of the G-Wing improvements. President Mercer said that Governor Christie’s visit, “was invaluable to our students, who heard firsthand from a sitting Governor, but it also marked a milestone for the College as we continue to make our needs known among state leaders in Trenton.”

RAMAPO’S INNOVATIVE CLASS “ARTS AND INTERACTION” ENTERS ITS 40TH YEAR This fall marks 40 years of the class “Arts and Interaction” at Ramapo College. The course gives students the unique opportunity to visit jails, psychiatric centers, and homeless shelters to complete art projects with residents. The program was started in 1973 by Professor of Art Judith Peck, who saw an opportunity for students to develop an understanding of the hardships people go through, as well as give attention and therapy to those in need of an emotional and mental outlet. Last year, the program was featured in an article in the Star-Ledger. Professor Peck attributes the press surrounding the program and its enduring success to the fact that it is, “the first of its kind. Now, many schools have similar programs, but Ramapo College was the first to develop it.”

Photo Courtesy: Sydney Jenkins

RAMAPO COLLEGE’S KRESGE GALLERY FEATURES “C OF O SHOW”

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE

Photo Courtesy: The Governor's Office

COLLEGE NEWS

This fall, the course, now co-taught by Gina Miccinilli ’95, gave students the opportunity to visit the Bergen County Jail, Strengthen Our Sisters, Holley Child Care and Development Center, and Care One at Wellington. At these institutions, Ramapo students worked with men and women struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, abused and abandoned children, veterans, and senior citizens. At the beginning of the semester, representatives from each site visited the campus to speak to students at a class orientation, where they were given an overview regarding whom they would be working with, guidelines of behavior, and the benefits of the arts.

U.S. CONGRESSMAN SCOTT GARRETT VISITS RAMAPO On September 24, Congressman Scott Garrett visited Ramapo College to discuss the Federal Government’s budgetary issues. The event was sponsored by the College Republicans and was held in H-Wing auditorium. Congressman Garrett, a Republican, spoke to an audience of students and faculty about his work with the House Budget and Financial Services Committees, both of which he is a member of. Congressman Garrett also holds a position as chairman of the Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises Committee.

Ramapo art donor and film director Jonathan Demme (L) with his Collections Manager Jose Zelaya.

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From March 27 through May 1, Ramapo College’s Kresge Gallery featured “The C of O Show,” a collection-based exhibition about originality. The “C of O” in the title refers to the cult of originality, meaning the tendency to fetishize the original touch of the artist when assessing the value of artwork. Centered around Asian works from Ramapo’s large Bukstein Collection, the exhibition showcased pieces produced through a collaborative effort which does not credit the individual creators, alongside contemporary artists who deal with ideas of authorship and originality. “The C of O Show” was curated by Director of Art Galleries Sydney Jenkins and Art Galleries Documentation Assistant Hannah Craft.

Photo Courtesy: Sydney Jenkins

Historically, notions of artistic authorship and originality had an individual focus in the West, but involved a more collaborative process in the East. “Western culture deifies the artist’s hand. However, in this innovative exhibition we are showcasing artists who deliberately don’t make their own work, which is sometimes made by teams, like a product,” Jenkins said. “Additionally, we are excited to connect our Bukstein and Rodman Collections with several of the leading contemporary art stars of our time.” The exhibition included a diverse array of styles and art objects. San Francisco artist Stephanie Syjuco explores her own Asian heritage by finding Asian Art images on the web, printing them to scale, and mountRamapo student Nicole Stewart constructing Yoko Ono’s Painting to Hammer a Nail. ing them on plywood to form lifelike constructions. The artists’ collective HANIMAL worked with Ramapo students to paint the large mural “Like a Bridge” using a commercial template of a water bridge in Japan. For his installation “Parrot, Parrot,” Michael Rees, director of the graduate fine arts program at William Paterson University, made three-dimensional computer-based sculptures in response to sculptural shapes in the Bukstein Collection. Internationally renowned realist painter Kehinde Wiley was represented with one of his signature portraits, which was actually painted by other people in China. South African artist Liza Lou presented a super-realist sculpture of a coiled rope comprised of thousands of glass beads which was constructed by many villagers. Other artists included Hennessy Youngman, whose video performance piece satirically poked fun at the originality of British artist Damien Hirst, and Ramapo alum Joshua Knoblick ’06, who creates cut metal sculptures based on musical compositions. The exhibition also featured a famous conceptual artwork by Yoko Ono. The piece originates when the artist asks gallery visitors to hammer a nail onto a small board, and exemplifies the main idea of the show. Ono is credited with creating the art, which is collaboratively made with the audience. “Painting to Hammer a Nail” is also known for being a point of conversation during Ono’s first meeting with future husband John Lennon in 1966. A record number of classes from other disciplines attended the show to participate in educational programs. “It’s a contemporary, fun show that deals with relevant issues in art today, in addition to tying in pieces from the College’s collection,” according to co-curator Hannah Craft. “The C of O Show” was partially funded by the Bukstein Endowment, which also provides scholarships to Ramapo students.

VISITS RAMAPO COLLEGE

RAMAPO COLLEGE CHOSEN FOR NATIONAL PROGRAM: A NETWORK FOR UNDERSTANDING THE NEW EUROPE Ramapo College was accepted to join an elite and selective coalition of 20 universities across America that will offer the program A Network for Understanding the New Europe, hosted by New York University and the European Union. As a regional partner for the program, Ramapo will encourage awareness concerning European immigration, politics, and economics in the New York metropolitan area. This feat will be accomplished through a series of conferences, lectures, workshops, and panels, all of which will be supported through a two-year grant Ramapo was awarded. The programs held provide opportunities for educators, as well as the public, to learn more about the issues surrounding the European Union, and develop and implement curriculum for students from K-12. Schools were selected to participate based on their dedication to international education in addition to outreach with minority communities across the United States. Ramapo faculty lending their services to the program include Professor of Political Economy Bahzad Yaghmaian, Professor of Sociology Henri Lustiger Thaler, and Professor of International Studies Hassan Nejad. Dean of SSHS Samuel Rosenberg will supervise and maintain records for the program. In June, a representative of Ramapo attended a conference held at New York University entitled: “Understanding the New Europe: Immigration,” as well as a panel discussion at NYU’s Center for Global Affairs that discussed immigration issues facing the European Union. The additional programs will take place this winter in Athens, Greece, and next summer.

RAMAPO TO RECEIVE HAITIAN ART FROM FILMMAKER JONATHAN DEMME This spring, Ramapo College’s Rodman Collection will receive an ample donation of Haitian Art from acclaimed film director Jonathan Demme. Demme is one of the country’s leading Haitian Art collectors famous for his films “Silence of the Lambs” and “Philadelphia.” He has donated works from the Cap-Haitien school, a type of art, which originates in the city of the same name on the north coast of the country. Haitian Art stereotypically features bold, bright colors and vivid contours, and is often characterized by systems of Vodou symbolism. Cap-Haitien works, however, are usually more subdued and present more subtle coloration. In many cases, compositions show an awareness of art training with carefully delineated aspects of traditional perspective and realistic architecture. For example, works by artists in the Obin family may show intricate details of historical scenes and skillful renderings, which capture moments of everyday life. “Such beautiful paintings are more valuable and rare,” Sydney Jenkins, Director of Art Galleries, said of the group of works to be donated. “This fantastic gift superbly balances the many strong works we have, increasing the scholarly potential of our teaching collection, while broadening community appeal.”

TO DISCUSS INVESTMENTS

On October 1, Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie visited Ramapo College to discuss the new improvements underway through an investment made into 46 institutions throughout New Jersey, totaling about $1.3 billion. The state ballot initiative will allocate approximately $20 million for enhancements at Ramapo. It is the first government investment in capital improvements the College has received in nearly 25 years, and was made possible by the Building Our Future Bond Act. The money will go towards the G-Wing Science Complex, as well as upgrades for the College’s wireless Internet network. Governor Christie spoke to a crowd of hundreds of students and faculty in front of the Arch. The Governor enthusiastically greeted students with handshakes before he made his way to the podium to speak. Aside from speaking about the new improvements the bond made possible, Governor Christie also touched upon the recent government shutdown, which he called, “a failure of people in public life for everybody in this country, who are depending upon a government that will get its ‘stuff’ together.” “I think it’s going to be money well invested and well spent on all of you and New Jersey’s future,” the Governor said. Governor Christie plans to return to Ramapo soon to check on the progress of the G-Wing improvements. President Mercer said that Governor Christie’s visit, “was invaluable to our students, who heard firsthand from a sitting Governor, but it also marked a milestone for the College as we continue to make our needs known among state leaders in Trenton.”

RAMAPO’S INNOVATIVE CLASS “ARTS AND INTERACTION” ENTERS ITS 40TH YEAR This fall marks 40 years of the class “Arts and Interaction” at Ramapo College. The course gives students the unique opportunity to visit jails, psychiatric centers, and homeless shelters to complete art projects with residents. The program was started in 1973 by Professor of Art Judith Peck, who saw an opportunity for students to develop an understanding of the hardships people go through, as well as give attention and therapy to those in need of an emotional and mental outlet. Last year, the program was featured in an article in the Star-Ledger. Professor Peck attributes the press surrounding the program and its enduring success to the fact that it is, “the first of its kind. Now, many schools have similar programs, but Ramapo College was the first to develop it.”

Photo Courtesy: Sydney Jenkins

RAMAPO COLLEGE’S KRESGE GALLERY FEATURES “C OF O SHOW”

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE

Photo Courtesy: The Governor's Office

COLLEGE NEWS

This fall, the course, now co-taught by Gina Miccinilli ’95, gave students the opportunity to visit the Bergen County Jail, Strengthen Our Sisters, Holley Child Care and Development Center, and Care One at Wellington. At these institutions, Ramapo students worked with men and women struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, abused and abandoned children, veterans, and senior citizens. At the beginning of the semester, representatives from each site visited the campus to speak to students at a class orientation, where they were given an overview regarding whom they would be working with, guidelines of behavior, and the benefits of the arts.

U.S. CONGRESSMAN SCOTT GARRETT VISITS RAMAPO On September 24, Congressman Scott Garrett visited Ramapo College to discuss the Federal Government’s budgetary issues. The event was sponsored by the College Republicans and was held in H-Wing auditorium. Congressman Garrett, a Republican, spoke to an audience of students and faculty about his work with the House Budget and Financial Services Committees, both of which he is a member of. Congressman Garrett also holds a position as chairman of the Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises Committee.

Ramapo art donor and film director Jonathan Demme (L) with his Collections Manager Jose Zelaya.

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RAMAPO PROFESSOR JUDITH PECK AWARDED SANTA FE ART WORLD’S FEATURED ARTIST OF THE MONTH

> BY JULIANNE BRANDA ’14

G. Elaine Patterson, Professor of Nursing in School of Theoretical and Applied Science, was recently appointed to a three-year term on the National League for Nursing, the lead organization of nursing educators. Patterson will join the Board of Governors, a prestigious group of 12 nursing educators from universities across the country. “The NLN is the premier organization for nursing education and is responsible for setting and maintaining standards of practice nationally,” Patterson explained.

Professor of Nursing G. Elaine Patterson.

Professor of Literature/Creative Writing James Hoch and Associate Professor of Political Science Jeremy Teigen received the 2013 Henry Bischoff Excellence in Teaching Award.

PROFESSORS JAMES HOCH AND JEREMY TEIGEN HONORED WITH HENRY BISCHOFF EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING AWARD On October 9, Professor of Creative Writing James Hoch and Professor of Political Science Jeremy Teigen received the Henry Bischoff Excellence in Teaching Award at a reception held in the Alumni Lounges. The 2012 recipients of the award, Professor of Marketing Ed Petkus and Associate Professor of Developmental Psychology Maya Poran, presented the honor to Hoch and Teigen. Petkus and Poran lauded the two professors for their dedication, imagination, and their ability to leave a lasting positive impact on the lives of their students. Hoch and Teigen accepted the award by creating a “four act play,” inspired by their years of teaching and learning. They provided insights into their lives as both students and teachers, citing passion as one of the most important qualities a teacher can possess. Hoch included a touching anecdote about his 5-year-old son, Owen, and related it to teaching: “I’ve never met anyone who loves life more than Owen. You see, everyday Owen wakes up, he does not want to be anywhere else. That’s what made all these teachers great teachers—when they walk into the classroom, they do not want to be anywhere else.” The Henry Bischoff Excellence in Teaching Award was first established in 1997 and was named in honor of retired professor of History, Henry Bischoff. A committee of professors nominates their colleagues for the distinction. Both Hoch and Teigen have achieved substantial success both in and outside of the classroom; Teigen was a Fulbright scholar, while Hoch has written two books and has had numerous poems published in various publications. Nevertheless, both Teigen and Hoch continue to strive to improve their teaching and are, as Professor Hoch said, still “works in progress.”

Patterson’s appointment was the culmination of 40 years of working within the field as a nurse and an educator. Patterson joined Ramapo in 1995 and has since taught classes in both the undergraduate and graduate nursing programs, in addition to being a faculty advisor for Ramapo’s Sierra Leone Study Abroad Program. She has also worked in South Africa and Ghana. “The highlights of my career have been working both locally and globally,” she said.

To qualify for the selective position, a nursing educator must have their doctorate and complete work with the NLN prior to their appointment. This includes serving on committees, presenting at summits and conferences held by the NLN, and peer nominations. Patterson emphasized decades of teaching and service, as well as her experiences abroad, as deciding factors in her nomination and subsequent selection for the NLN. Patterson will serve her term on the NLN’s Board of Governors with professors from nationally recognized colleges and universities. “I’ll be representing nursing from a school that is smaller, and I am hoping to put a face on Ramapo College’s nursing program, especially as we are expanding with the new building,” Patterson said. She also emphasized the significance of her appointment in light of recent changes in the nursing field, which include the difficulties some nurses undergo finding jobs after graduation despite a nursing shortage. “This is an opportunity to work at the highest level of the profession; I can contribute at a high level to move nursing forward,” Patterson said. “The profession is going through changes with technology, nursing shortages, and healthcare. The NLN is the only organization politically connected to the health of the nation. To be able to work with them during all of these transitions is a great honor,” Patterson said. Patterson’s appointment is indicative of the recent improvements and recognition Ramapo College’s Nursing Program has received, along with the construction of the Adler Center for Nursing Excellence. Additionally, The New Jersey League of Nurses, the NLN chapter for the state, honored G. Elaine Patterson with the Nurse Recognition Award, which was presented to her on November 1.

Photo Courtesy: Peter Scheckner

G. ELAINE PATTERSON APPOINTED TO NATIONAL LEAGUE FOR NURSING, WINS AWARD FROM NJLN

Professor of Communications Patricia Keeton and Professor of Literature Peter Scheckner, authors of American War Cinema and Media Since Vietnam: Politics, Ideology, and Class.

RAMAPO FACULTY PATRICIA KEETON AND PETER SCHECKNER PUBLISH BOOK, AMERICAN WAR CINEMA AND MEDIA SINCE VIETNAM: POLITICS, IDEOLOGY, AND CLASS Patricia Keeton, Professor of Communication Arts, and Peter Scheckner, Professor of Literature, have co-authored the book, American War Cinema and Media Since Vietnam: Politics, Ideology, and Class, published by Palgrave MacMillian. The book explores the media’s effect on public consciousness since the war in Vietnam, as well as Hollywood depictions of war in the decades following the end of the conflict. “A large portion of the book deals with who benefits from war, and who pays the price,” Professor Scheckner said. Moreover, the book discusses the implications the media’s influence has on the American public’s perception of war, class, and politics. “We thought about how the influence and power of the media shapes the values of the public and alters the way we think,” Professor Keeton said. After publishing their research on social class in film in the Society of Cinema and Media Studies, Keeton and Scheckner were approached by Palgrave and MacMillian to work on a book project relating to the subject of their paper. In the wake of the 2008 economic crisis, Keeton and Scheckner considered how damaging military spending has been for the national deficit, as well as how the media has perpetuated the growing gap between the rich and the poor. They decided the main themes of the book would focus on the discrepancy between the propaganda that influences middle and lower class people to support wars that do not protect their own interests, the contemporary wars of the last ten to twenty years (including Iraq and Desert Storm), and how Hollywood promotes patriotism through film. In other words, Keeton and Scheckner sought to find out, “how does Hollywood mediate the contradictions of war?” While researching in preparation for the book, Scheckner and Keeton read other scholarly articles on related subject matter, examined government statistics and information, tracked the fluctuation of military expenses over time, watched hundreds of films and television programs, and read the Journal on Council of Foreign Affairs, which is a collection of articles on international issues written by elite journalists and public figures. The book also compares the public perception before, during, and after Desert Storm and the Iraq War, when America was beginning to be perceived as the “world’s police,” and the public became “more and more critical and the idea of, ‘this is all for good,’ was challenged,” Keeton explained. Additionally, a chapter of the book delves into the portrayal of war in literature, and explores violent conflict in texts going as far back as Homer’s Iliad. “The trend of questioning war began in Literature, but movies are becoming increasingly aware of who pays the price recently,” Scheckner explained. The book is ideal for academics studying the media’s effect on public consciousness, as well as, “those who love to study and analyze media, those who want to question policy relating to war in the United States, and look at film differently,” Professor Keeton said.

Judith Peck, Professor of Art at Ramapo College, was Santa Fe Art World’s Featured Artist of the Month for September 2013. Santa Fe Art World is an online directory of professional artists that specializes in highlighting pieces of art to garner attention from curators, art professionals, and collectors as well as honor artists for their achievements. Peck, who has been a member of Ramapo College’s faculty since 1971, was approached by painting and sculpture curator Denis Ticer with the “Abrupt Departure” honor of being the featured artist on Santa Fe Art World’s extensive matrix of pieces. Throughout Peck’s career, she has specialized in “sculptural stories,” which are often life size renderings of real life situations. Some of her most striking pieces, titled “Refugees,” and “Abrupt Departure,” offer a small glimpse into the life of people fleeing their war-torn country (inspired by the unrest in Kosovo) and a broken family. Peck strives to marry different aspects of the human condition, as well as themes from her own life, to draw inspiration for her work. She mainly uses materials like bronze for indoor pedestal work, and fiberglass and steel for outdoor work for its ability to withstand the elements. She is also a writer and has used many of the subjects of her sculptures as inspiration for her writing, and vice versa. “I believe knowing oneself is a start for helping others. My work as a novelist, writing screenplays, and stories is very narrative. Therefore a lot of my sculptures tell stories interconnected to my life, teaching, and artwork,” Peck said. “As I get older, I want to do more writing, as sculpting is very hands on.” Peck has translated her outdoor sculpture, “Abrupt Departure,” into a novel focusing on themes of family dysfunction. High-resolution photos of Peck’s sculpture work can be accessed at SantaFeArtworld.com or her own website, JudithPeck.com.

FORMER RAMAPO GRADUATE AND CURRENT ADJUNCT PROFESSOR HAS ESSAY PUBLISHED Melissa Adamo, a former Ramapo graduate and current adjunct professor, recently had an essay on poet Rachel Hadas published on the Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline Project earlier this year. Her essay focuses on Hadas’ easy to read style and form of poetry, along with her discussion of questions and language, which make her work essentially timeless. The essay briefly delves into the history of her life and goes on to deeply analyze and critique her poems, writing style, and other published works. The Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline Project aims to Melissa Adamo become the largest database of women poets in the world. According to the site, it “is as a meeting place for poets, scholars, and students of poetry to see global relationships among women poets across time, space, and national barriers.” Each female poet has a photo, data entry, essay written specifically for the database and occasional poems or links to them. The site was launched on March 27, 2010 and continues to grow to this day. It features poets from around the world from all different time periods. As of the end of August, Adamo is one of just 47 people with essays published on the Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline.

“We hope that the book raises a lot of important questions,” Keeton added.

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RAMAPO PROFESSOR JUDITH PECK AWARDED SANTA FE ART WORLD’S FEATURED ARTIST OF THE MONTH

> BY JULIANNE BRANDA ’14

G. Elaine Patterson, Professor of Nursing in School of Theoretical and Applied Science, was recently appointed to a three-year term on the National League for Nursing, the lead organization of nursing educators. Patterson will join the Board of Governors, a prestigious group of 12 nursing educators from universities across the country. “The NLN is the premier organization for nursing education and is responsible for setting and maintaining standards of practice nationally,” Patterson explained.

Professor of Nursing G. Elaine Patterson.

Professor of Literature/Creative Writing James Hoch and Associate Professor of Political Science Jeremy Teigen received the 2013 Henry Bischoff Excellence in Teaching Award.

PROFESSORS JAMES HOCH AND JEREMY TEIGEN HONORED WITH HENRY BISCHOFF EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING AWARD On October 9, Professor of Creative Writing James Hoch and Professor of Political Science Jeremy Teigen received the Henry Bischoff Excellence in Teaching Award at a reception held in the Alumni Lounges. The 2012 recipients of the award, Professor of Marketing Ed Petkus and Associate Professor of Developmental Psychology Maya Poran, presented the honor to Hoch and Teigen. Petkus and Poran lauded the two professors for their dedication, imagination, and their ability to leave a lasting positive impact on the lives of their students. Hoch and Teigen accepted the award by creating a “four act play,” inspired by their years of teaching and learning. They provided insights into their lives as both students and teachers, citing passion as one of the most important qualities a teacher can possess. Hoch included a touching anecdote about his 5-year-old son, Owen, and related it to teaching: “I’ve never met anyone who loves life more than Owen. You see, everyday Owen wakes up, he does not want to be anywhere else. That’s what made all these teachers great teachers—when they walk into the classroom, they do not want to be anywhere else.” The Henry Bischoff Excellence in Teaching Award was first established in 1997 and was named in honor of retired professor of History, Henry Bischoff. A committee of professors nominates their colleagues for the distinction. Both Hoch and Teigen have achieved substantial success both in and outside of the classroom; Teigen was a Fulbright scholar, while Hoch has written two books and has had numerous poems published in various publications. Nevertheless, both Teigen and Hoch continue to strive to improve their teaching and are, as Professor Hoch said, still “works in progress.”

Patterson’s appointment was the culmination of 40 years of working within the field as a nurse and an educator. Patterson joined Ramapo in 1995 and has since taught classes in both the undergraduate and graduate nursing programs, in addition to being a faculty advisor for Ramapo’s Sierra Leone Study Abroad Program. She has also worked in South Africa and Ghana. “The highlights of my career have been working both locally and globally,” she said.

To qualify for the selective position, a nursing educator must have their doctorate and complete work with the NLN prior to their appointment. This includes serving on committees, presenting at summits and conferences held by the NLN, and peer nominations. Patterson emphasized decades of teaching and service, as well as her experiences abroad, as deciding factors in her nomination and subsequent selection for the NLN. Patterson will serve her term on the NLN’s Board of Governors with professors from nationally recognized colleges and universities. “I’ll be representing nursing from a school that is smaller, and I am hoping to put a face on Ramapo College’s nursing program, especially as we are expanding with the new building,” Patterson said. She also emphasized the significance of her appointment in light of recent changes in the nursing field, which include the difficulties some nurses undergo finding jobs after graduation despite a nursing shortage. “This is an opportunity to work at the highest level of the profession; I can contribute at a high level to move nursing forward,” Patterson said. “The profession is going through changes with technology, nursing shortages, and healthcare. The NLN is the only organization politically connected to the health of the nation. To be able to work with them during all of these transitions is a great honor,” Patterson said. Patterson’s appointment is indicative of the recent improvements and recognition Ramapo College’s Nursing Program has received, along with the construction of the Adler Center for Nursing Excellence. Additionally, The New Jersey League of Nurses, the NLN chapter for the state, honored G. Elaine Patterson with the Nurse Recognition Award, which was presented to her on November 1.

Photo Courtesy: Peter Scheckner

G. ELAINE PATTERSON APPOINTED TO NATIONAL LEAGUE FOR NURSING, WINS AWARD FROM NJLN

Professor of Communications Patricia Keeton and Professor of Literature Peter Scheckner, authors of American War Cinema and Media Since Vietnam: Politics, Ideology, and Class.

RAMAPO FACULTY PATRICIA KEETON AND PETER SCHECKNER PUBLISH BOOK, AMERICAN WAR CINEMA AND MEDIA SINCE VIETNAM: POLITICS, IDEOLOGY, AND CLASS Patricia Keeton, Professor of Communication Arts, and Peter Scheckner, Professor of Literature, have co-authored the book, American War Cinema and Media Since Vietnam: Politics, Ideology, and Class, published by Palgrave MacMillian. The book explores the media’s effect on public consciousness since the war in Vietnam, as well as Hollywood depictions of war in the decades following the end of the conflict. “A large portion of the book deals with who benefits from war, and who pays the price,” Professor Scheckner said. Moreover, the book discusses the implications the media’s influence has on the American public’s perception of war, class, and politics. “We thought about how the influence and power of the media shapes the values of the public and alters the way we think,” Professor Keeton said. After publishing their research on social class in film in the Society of Cinema and Media Studies, Keeton and Scheckner were approached by Palgrave and MacMillian to work on a book project relating to the subject of their paper. In the wake of the 2008 economic crisis, Keeton and Scheckner considered how damaging military spending has been for the national deficit, as well as how the media has perpetuated the growing gap between the rich and the poor. They decided the main themes of the book would focus on the discrepancy between the propaganda that influences middle and lower class people to support wars that do not protect their own interests, the contemporary wars of the last ten to twenty years (including Iraq and Desert Storm), and how Hollywood promotes patriotism through film. In other words, Keeton and Scheckner sought to find out, “how does Hollywood mediate the contradictions of war?” While researching in preparation for the book, Scheckner and Keeton read other scholarly articles on related subject matter, examined government statistics and information, tracked the fluctuation of military expenses over time, watched hundreds of films and television programs, and read the Journal on Council of Foreign Affairs, which is a collection of articles on international issues written by elite journalists and public figures. The book also compares the public perception before, during, and after Desert Storm and the Iraq War, when America was beginning to be perceived as the “world’s police,” and the public became “more and more critical and the idea of, ‘this is all for good,’ was challenged,” Keeton explained. Additionally, a chapter of the book delves into the portrayal of war in literature, and explores violent conflict in texts going as far back as Homer’s Iliad. “The trend of questioning war began in Literature, but movies are becoming increasingly aware of who pays the price recently,” Scheckner explained. The book is ideal for academics studying the media’s effect on public consciousness, as well as, “those who love to study and analyze media, those who want to question policy relating to war in the United States, and look at film differently,” Professor Keeton said.

Judith Peck, Professor of Art at Ramapo College, was Santa Fe Art World’s Featured Artist of the Month for September 2013. Santa Fe Art World is an online directory of professional artists that specializes in highlighting pieces of art to garner attention from curators, art professionals, and collectors as well as honor artists for their achievements. Peck, who has been a member of Ramapo College’s faculty since 1971, was approached by painting and sculpture curator Denis Ticer with the “Abrupt Departure” honor of being the featured artist on Santa Fe Art World’s extensive matrix of pieces. Throughout Peck’s career, she has specialized in “sculptural stories,” which are often life size renderings of real life situations. Some of her most striking pieces, titled “Refugees,” and “Abrupt Departure,” offer a small glimpse into the life of people fleeing their war-torn country (inspired by the unrest in Kosovo) and a broken family. Peck strives to marry different aspects of the human condition, as well as themes from her own life, to draw inspiration for her work. She mainly uses materials like bronze for indoor pedestal work, and fiberglass and steel for outdoor work for its ability to withstand the elements. She is also a writer and has used many of the subjects of her sculptures as inspiration for her writing, and vice versa. “I believe knowing oneself is a start for helping others. My work as a novelist, writing screenplays, and stories is very narrative. Therefore a lot of my sculptures tell stories interconnected to my life, teaching, and artwork,” Peck said. “As I get older, I want to do more writing, as sculpting is very hands on.” Peck has translated her outdoor sculpture, “Abrupt Departure,” into a novel focusing on themes of family dysfunction. High-resolution photos of Peck’s sculpture work can be accessed at SantaFeArtworld.com or her own website, JudithPeck.com.

FORMER RAMAPO GRADUATE AND CURRENT ADJUNCT PROFESSOR HAS ESSAY PUBLISHED Melissa Adamo, a former Ramapo graduate and current adjunct professor, recently had an essay on poet Rachel Hadas published on the Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline Project earlier this year. Her essay focuses on Hadas’ easy to read style and form of poetry, along with her discussion of questions and language, which make her work essentially timeless. The essay briefly delves into the history of her life and goes on to deeply analyze and critique her poems, writing style, and other published works. The Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline Project aims to Melissa Adamo become the largest database of women poets in the world. According to the site, it “is as a meeting place for poets, scholars, and students of poetry to see global relationships among women poets across time, space, and national barriers.” Each female poet has a photo, data entry, essay written specifically for the database and occasional poems or links to them. The site was launched on March 27, 2010 and continues to grow to this day. It features poets from around the world from all different time periods. As of the end of August, Adamo is one of just 47 people with essays published on the Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline.

“We hope that the book raises a lot of important questions,” Keeton added.

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> CONTINUED However, with about 800 million of India’s 1.7 billion people living in poverty, millets are a more nutritious, affordable, and easier to produce option. In addition, millets have larger leaves, which take in large volumes of carbon dioxide and counteract climate change. Siddhartha stressed two components to solving the climate crisis: mitigation and adaptation. He believes millets to be instrumental in putting these two processes into effect: “Where rice and wheat fail, millets will adapt; poor communities will be able to grow them where there is very little water.” Siddhartha was instrumental in the effort to introduce millets into public distribution in India under the Food Security Act, which aims to provide every Indian with food for a very affordable price. Ultimately, he was successful, as two types of millets will be made available to all Indians through the government, an achievement Siddhartha labeled as a “huge victory. Millets will be revolutionary in the impact they will have on farms.”

Associate Professor of Music Industry and Production Ben Neill

RAMAPO PROFESSOR BEN NEILL PERFORMS IN MUISXPLORE CONCERT SERIES Ramapo Professor of Music Production Ben Neill performed at the Ivanhoe Wheelhouse on October 20. The concert series titled MuisXplore began this fall and will continue into the spring, and features experimental musicians and composers. The concert series was featured in an article in the Star Ledger in September, which included mention of Neill’s musical innovations. He is well known for the creation of the mutantrumpet, a blend of the classical trumpet and electronic elements. “The mutantrumpet has extra bells and valves, which add more capability to the work with color of sound,” Neill said of his invention, which he created through a series of experiments that began in the early 1980s. “It is a mix of open and muted sound, integrated with electronic sounds through keyboards,” Neill explained. His musical stylings were further developed at the STEIM, Studio for ElectroInstrumental Music in Amsterdam, and were once featured at the Love Parade music festival in Berlin. At his most recent concert in Paterson, Neill debuted a new component to his groundbreaking technique, which combines the sounds of the mutantrumpet with a visual show to go along with the music. “The mutantrumpet will control the range of progressions in the interactive visual material. When I perform, it’s quite unusual and sometimes people cannot sense what’s going on. The visual elements create a multifaceted experience. With the sounds and images changing, the movements in the music will be more apparent, which will convey more to the audience,” Neill explained. Video clips of his inventive music and performances can be accessed at BenNeill.com.

INDIA STUDY ABROAD PARTNER SIDDHARTHA VISITS RAMAPO COLLEGE From September 16 through September 20, Siddhartha visited Ramapo College to deliver several lectures on environmental issues. Each spring, Siddhartha is a contributor to Ramapo’s Study Abroad Program in India, which the Roukema Center has offered for 10 years. Siddhartha visited several classes during his visit, in addition to dining with President Mercer and 50 India Study Abroad alumni. He also delivered a lecture on September 18 titled, “Millets, Food Security and Sovereignty in the Context of Climate Crisis.” The main lecture, which was held in the Anisfield School of Business and drew a large student turnout, focused on how the production of millets in Southern India provides opportunities to feed the poor and ease climate change. Millets are small-seeded grasses that can be grown with little water, no pesticides or chemical fertilizer, and can be produced in dry lands like Southern India. They are extremely cheap and easy to produce and have gained a reputation as being the “food of the poor,” while rice and wheat are associated with status.

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The lecture also focused on the shortcomings of the United States’ industrialized food system, which include genetic engineering of maze as well as the carbon footprint left from importing produce from different countries. Siddhartha, as well as many of the professors and students in attendance agreed that the solution lies in food that is, “locally produced, locally procured, locally stored, and locally distributed.” Ramapo College students who participate in the Indian Study Abroad Program stay at Fireflies Ashram outside of Bangalore, where Siddhartha is from. The ashram’s main focus is to marry spiritual growth with ecological progress, a philosophy that study abroad students also become very familiar with throughout the semester. “We try to expose students to economic systems, political systems, and cultural values that are different from their own, [in addition to asking] what is the purpose of our existence?,” said Siddhartha.

RAMAPO COLLEGE PROFESSOR BEHZAD YAGHMAIAN PUBLISHES ARTICLE ON theGLOBALIST On June 12, Professor of Political Economy at Ramapo College Behzad Yaghmaian published the article, “Election 2013: Expectations of the Iranian People” on theGlobalist, an online magazine that focuses on globalization and its impact on economics, politics, and culture. In the article, Behzad focused on the presidential election in Iran, which he believed was greeted with, “an eerie silence and outright indifference.” The silence among the Iranian people was in stark contrast to the energetic reception to the election in 2009, which resulted in the fixed reelection of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. While millions protested the result, little progress was gained, causing Iranians who protested for their rights four years ago to remain mum, Yaghmaian argues.

PLANNED GIVING

CHARITABLE GIFT ANNUITY SUPPORTS THE LEONE LEGACY E

arlier this year, Joe and Eileen Leone created a charitable gift annuity at Ramapo College that will be designated to the Leone Family Endowed Scholarship. As a life income gift, Joe and Eileen will receive annual income for their lifetimes, an immediate charitable tax deduction and a portion of their annual payments will be tax free. “Providing Ramapo students with financial support and gaining tax and income advantages for ourselves are the primary reasons for participating in this program,” says Joe Leone. Proceeds from the charitable gift annuity will be added to the Leone Family Endowed Scholarship. Joe and Eileen have been involved with Ramapo College for many years. Joe is a retired vice chairman and chief financial officer of CIT Group Inc. As a member of the Ramapo College Foundation Board of Governors, Joe helped link CIT’s philanthropic goals with Ramapo students. He was instrumental in creating the CIT Scholars program in 1999 and garnered support for the Ramapo College Performing Arts Dinner Series. Eileen has served on the Performing Arts Dinner Series Committee since 2004. The Series provides valuable scholarship assistance to Ramapo College students. In 2004, Joe and Eileen launched The Joseph M. Leone Family Fund Endowed Scholarship benefitting motivated students from underserved communities across the State of New Jersey. Next year, this endowed scholarship will celebrate 10 years and will have provided $26,275 in awards to 12 recipients.

Ashley Orlando ’15, the 2012–2013 Joseph M. Leone Family Scholarship recipient, is from Hazlet, NJ. She is a Business Administration major and Psychology minor. She is a member of the Business Club, the Math Club, and Feminists United, and is a dancer who was involved with theater productions in high school. Ashley plans to own a business after graduation.

“Repression and the loss of trust in the system have driven voters away from the polls in one of the most crucial times in Iran’s recent history,” Yaghmaian says. Additionally, Iran’s economy has been in a precarious state, with high rates of both inflation and unemployment. Iranians also dealt with the looming threat of nuclear war from both Israel and the United States, which heightened national anxiety, Yaghmaian states. Yaghmaian stressed the importance of the election by laying out the candidates and explaining their political affiliations and stances. Predictions of the election’s outcome favored candidate Saeed Jalili, although Yaghmaian believed Hassan Rouhani stood a chance of winning if the Iranian youth and middle class were to become more involved. Rouhani ran on the platform of improving Iran’s relationship with the West, increasing freedom of the press, and easing censorship of “culture and arts.” “These positions appeal to the young, media savvy and modern electorate of Iran,” Yaghmaian says. However, Yaghmaian argued that Rouhani’s election, while progressive and forward thinking, could complicate efforts to unify Iran, as his stances on many issues are somewhat radical for a nation in transition.

Joe and Eileen Leone

www.ramapo.edu

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12/16/13 2:09 PM


FACULTY NEWS

> CONTINUED However, with about 800 million of India’s 1.7 billion people living in poverty, millets are a more nutritious, affordable, and easier to produce option. In addition, millets have larger leaves, which take in large volumes of carbon dioxide and counteract climate change. Siddhartha stressed two components to solving the climate crisis: mitigation and adaptation. He believes millets to be instrumental in putting these two processes into effect: “Where rice and wheat fail, millets will adapt; poor communities will be able to grow them where there is very little water.” Siddhartha was instrumental in the effort to introduce millets into public distribution in India under the Food Security Act, which aims to provide every Indian with food for a very affordable price. Ultimately, he was successful, as two types of millets will be made available to all Indians through the government, an achievement Siddhartha labeled as a “huge victory. Millets will be revolutionary in the impact they will have on farms.”

Associate Professor of Music Industry and Production Ben Neill

RAMAPO PROFESSOR BEN NEILL PERFORMS IN MUISXPLORE CONCERT SERIES Ramapo Professor of Music Production Ben Neill performed at the Ivanhoe Wheelhouse on October 20. The concert series titled MuisXplore began this fall and will continue into the spring, and features experimental musicians and composers. The concert series was featured in an article in the Star Ledger in September, which included mention of Neill’s musical innovations. He is well known for the creation of the mutantrumpet, a blend of the classical trumpet and electronic elements. “The mutantrumpet has extra bells and valves, which add more capability to the work with color of sound,” Neill said of his invention, which he created through a series of experiments that began in the early 1980s. “It is a mix of open and muted sound, integrated with electronic sounds through keyboards,” Neill explained. His musical stylings were further developed at the STEIM, Studio for ElectroInstrumental Music in Amsterdam, and were once featured at the Love Parade music festival in Berlin. At his most recent concert in Paterson, Neill debuted a new component to his groundbreaking technique, which combines the sounds of the mutantrumpet with a visual show to go along with the music. “The mutantrumpet will control the range of progressions in the interactive visual material. When I perform, it’s quite unusual and sometimes people cannot sense what’s going on. The visual elements create a multifaceted experience. With the sounds and images changing, the movements in the music will be more apparent, which will convey more to the audience,” Neill explained. Video clips of his inventive music and performances can be accessed at BenNeill.com.

INDIA STUDY ABROAD PARTNER SIDDHARTHA VISITS RAMAPO COLLEGE From September 16 through September 20, Siddhartha visited Ramapo College to deliver several lectures on environmental issues. Each spring, Siddhartha is a contributor to Ramapo’s Study Abroad Program in India, which the Roukema Center has offered for 10 years. Siddhartha visited several classes during his visit, in addition to dining with President Mercer and 50 India Study Abroad alumni. He also delivered a lecture on September 18 titled, “Millets, Food Security and Sovereignty in the Context of Climate Crisis.” The main lecture, which was held in the Anisfield School of Business and drew a large student turnout, focused on how the production of millets in Southern India provides opportunities to feed the poor and ease climate change. Millets are small-seeded grasses that can be grown with little water, no pesticides or chemical fertilizer, and can be produced in dry lands like Southern India. They are extremely cheap and easy to produce and have gained a reputation as being the “food of the poor,” while rice and wheat are associated with status.

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The lecture also focused on the shortcomings of the United States’ industrialized food system, which include genetic engineering of maze as well as the carbon footprint left from importing produce from different countries. Siddhartha, as well as many of the professors and students in attendance agreed that the solution lies in food that is, “locally produced, locally procured, locally stored, and locally distributed.” Ramapo College students who participate in the Indian Study Abroad Program stay at Fireflies Ashram outside of Bangalore, where Siddhartha is from. The ashram’s main focus is to marry spiritual growth with ecological progress, a philosophy that study abroad students also become very familiar with throughout the semester. “We try to expose students to economic systems, political systems, and cultural values that are different from their own, [in addition to asking] what is the purpose of our existence?,” said Siddhartha.

RAMAPO COLLEGE PROFESSOR BEHZAD YAGHMAIAN PUBLISHES ARTICLE ON theGLOBALIST On June 12, Professor of Political Economy at Ramapo College Behzad Yaghmaian published the article, “Election 2013: Expectations of the Iranian People” on theGlobalist, an online magazine that focuses on globalization and its impact on economics, politics, and culture. In the article, Behzad focused on the presidential election in Iran, which he believed was greeted with, “an eerie silence and outright indifference.” The silence among the Iranian people was in stark contrast to the energetic reception to the election in 2009, which resulted in the fixed reelection of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. While millions protested the result, little progress was gained, causing Iranians who protested for their rights four years ago to remain mum, Yaghmaian argues.

PLANNED GIVING

CHARITABLE GIFT ANNUITY SUPPORTS THE LEONE LEGACY E

arlier this year, Joe and Eileen Leone created a charitable gift annuity at Ramapo College that will be designated to the Leone Family Endowed Scholarship. As a life income gift, Joe and Eileen will receive annual income for their lifetimes, an immediate charitable tax deduction and a portion of their annual payments will be tax free. “Providing Ramapo students with financial support and gaining tax and income advantages for ourselves are the primary reasons for participating in this program,” says Joe Leone. Proceeds from the charitable gift annuity will be added to the Leone Family Endowed Scholarship. Joe and Eileen have been involved with Ramapo College for many years. Joe is a retired vice chairman and chief financial officer of CIT Group Inc. As a member of the Ramapo College Foundation Board of Governors, Joe helped link CIT’s philanthropic goals with Ramapo students. He was instrumental in creating the CIT Scholars program in 1999 and garnered support for the Ramapo College Performing Arts Dinner Series. Eileen has served on the Performing Arts Dinner Series Committee since 2004. The Series provides valuable scholarship assistance to Ramapo College students. In 2004, Joe and Eileen launched The Joseph M. Leone Family Fund Endowed Scholarship benefitting motivated students from underserved communities across the State of New Jersey. Next year, this endowed scholarship will celebrate 10 years and will have provided $26,275 in awards to 12 recipients.

Ashley Orlando ’15, the 2012–2013 Joseph M. Leone Family Scholarship recipient, is from Hazlet, NJ. She is a Business Administration major and Psychology minor. She is a member of the Business Club, the Math Club, and Feminists United, and is a dancer who was involved with theater productions in high school. Ashley plans to own a business after graduation.

“Repression and the loss of trust in the system have driven voters away from the polls in one of the most crucial times in Iran’s recent history,” Yaghmaian says. Additionally, Iran’s economy has been in a precarious state, with high rates of both inflation and unemployment. Iranians also dealt with the looming threat of nuclear war from both Israel and the United States, which heightened national anxiety, Yaghmaian states. Yaghmaian stressed the importance of the election by laying out the candidates and explaining their political affiliations and stances. Predictions of the election’s outcome favored candidate Saeed Jalili, although Yaghmaian believed Hassan Rouhani stood a chance of winning if the Iranian youth and middle class were to become more involved. Rouhani ran on the platform of improving Iran’s relationship with the West, increasing freedom of the press, and easing censorship of “culture and arts.” “These positions appeal to the young, media savvy and modern electorate of Iran,” Yaghmaian says. However, Yaghmaian argued that Rouhani’s election, while progressive and forward thinking, could complicate efforts to unify Iran, as his stances on many issues are somewhat radical for a nation in transition.

Joe and Eileen Leone

www.ramapo.edu

19

12/16/13 2:09 PM


GRANT NEWS

> BY CYNTHIA BURNS

THE HUDSON RIVER AS A TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Andrew Nappi (right) of Ardsley, NY, asks workshop coordinator Stephen Rice, dean of the Salameno School of American and International Studies at Ramapo College, a question about the rock formations along the Hudson River. They were aboard The Pride of the Hudson as part of a weeklong workshop, The Hudson River in the Nineteenth Century and the Modernization of America.

Professor Meredith Davis (in hat) pinpoints the group’s location on a map of the entire waterway. With her are (L-R) Benjamin Joseph of Leominster, MA; Katherine Bassen of Wayland, MA; Marie Leone Meyer, Ph.D. of Verona, NJ; and Tanya Pastor of Lyndhurst, NJ. The Hudson Valley’s natural treasures were the focus of a weeklong exploration of the Hudson River.

W

ould you like to experience a week during which you visit the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City; take a water taxi to lower Manhattan; view paintings at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers; take a guided tour of Washington Irving’s home, Sunnyside, in Tarrytown and cruise the Hudson Highlands out of Newburgh? A well-planned vacation? Hardly. These historically significant points of interest constituted site visits that were part of a National Endowment for the Humanities national teacher seminar, The Hudson River in the Nineteenth Century, and the Modernization of America. Meredith Davis, associate professor of Art History and Stephen Rice, dean of the Salameno School of American and International Studies were awarded a prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities Grant of $179,876 to fund the two week-long programs. The workshop is part of NEH’s Landmarks of American History and Culture program for a national audience of K–12 educators. The College received its first grant to sponsor the program in 2011. Teachers from throughout the nation learned about the Hudson Valley and its treasures to help them develop teaching tools to make what’s historically, culturally, and economically important in their own geographic regions come alive for their students. They collaborated

to develop lesson plans and apply what was learned to the requirements of their specific classrooms. Daniel Martin, a high school History teacher from Lancaster, PA, applied to the NEH workshop to increase his knowledge of the historic time period and to hone his teaching skills. “I plan to apply what I learned here to the history of the Susquehanna River,” he said. Clif Ruddick of Springdale, AR, teaches an art enrichment class. He had viewed works by Hudson River School painters at a museum and, even though his enrichment class focused on their techniques and subject matter, had never visited the region that inspired them. He is incorporating what he garnered in the workshop to better instruct his students in subject and technique in a watercolor class. Sense of place is a conceptual thread that runs throughout the workshop. For Diane Phares, a high school art teacher in Mt. Olive, NJ, who was a 2011 participant and returned to share how she’s applied what she learned to her lesson plans, sense of place is equated with luminosity. The sense of place was concrete for Eileen LaTorre, a fifth grade Mathematics and Science teacher in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ. She uses a map of the Hudson River to teach real-world problem investigating through the use of scales and topography. Lourdes Orta,

a 2013 participant who teaches in a magnet school in Homestead, FL, plans to help students develop their own sense of place through photography and writing and connecting both to the world around them. Complementing the site visits are lectures by renowned scholars, followed by hands-on activities that focus on the Hudson’s history in the 19th century when the river was a commercial thoroughfare; a tourist destination; and the scene of dramatic technological, industrial, and environmental changes. Thomas Wermuth, publisher of The Hudson River Valley Review: A Journal of Regional Studies and a dean at Marist College, said participants need a context to develop an aesthetic, historic, cultural, and economic perspective of the time period. Wermuth addressed the economic and travel implications of the opening of the Erie Canal and how the Hudson River region was transformed from a bartering to a cash system. An interesting fact that emerged from the residential workshops of 40 educators each week, held July 7 to 12 and July 14 to 10, is that for the entire length of the river to Albany, NY, when the tide goes out, the river flows south; when the tide comes in, the river flows north.

The National Endowment for the Humanities is charged with maintaining the humanities in our lives. Founded in 1965 the NEH offers workshops for teachers that are attended by educators from all of the states. Selection for participation in an NEH seminar is competitive and the programs are rigorous and demanding.

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www.ramapo.edu

21

12/16/13 2:10 PM


GRANT NEWS

> BY CYNTHIA BURNS

THE HUDSON RIVER AS A TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Andrew Nappi (right) of Ardsley, NY, asks workshop coordinator Stephen Rice, dean of the Salameno School of American and International Studies at Ramapo College, a question about the rock formations along the Hudson River. They were aboard The Pride of the Hudson as part of a weeklong workshop, The Hudson River in the Nineteenth Century and the Modernization of America.

Professor Meredith Davis (in hat) pinpoints the group’s location on a map of the entire waterway. With her are (L-R) Benjamin Joseph of Leominster, MA; Katherine Bassen of Wayland, MA; Marie Leone Meyer, Ph.D. of Verona, NJ; and Tanya Pastor of Lyndhurst, NJ. The Hudson Valley’s natural treasures were the focus of a weeklong exploration of the Hudson River.

W

ould you like to experience a week during which you visit the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City; take a water taxi to lower Manhattan; view paintings at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers; take a guided tour of Washington Irving’s home, Sunnyside, in Tarrytown and cruise the Hudson Highlands out of Newburgh? A well-planned vacation? Hardly. These historically significant points of interest constituted site visits that were part of a National Endowment for the Humanities national teacher seminar, The Hudson River in the Nineteenth Century, and the Modernization of America. Meredith Davis, associate professor of Art History and Stephen Rice, dean of the Salameno School of American and International Studies were awarded a prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities Grant of $179,876 to fund the two week-long programs. The workshop is part of NEH’s Landmarks of American History and Culture program for a national audience of K–12 educators. The College received its first grant to sponsor the program in 2011. Teachers from throughout the nation learned about the Hudson Valley and its treasures to help them develop teaching tools to make what’s historically, culturally, and economically important in their own geographic regions come alive for their students. They collaborated

to develop lesson plans and apply what was learned to the requirements of their specific classrooms. Daniel Martin, a high school History teacher from Lancaster, PA, applied to the NEH workshop to increase his knowledge of the historic time period and to hone his teaching skills. “I plan to apply what I learned here to the history of the Susquehanna River,” he said. Clif Ruddick of Springdale, AR, teaches an art enrichment class. He had viewed works by Hudson River School painters at a museum and, even though his enrichment class focused on their techniques and subject matter, had never visited the region that inspired them. He is incorporating what he garnered in the workshop to better instruct his students in subject and technique in a watercolor class. Sense of place is a conceptual thread that runs throughout the workshop. For Diane Phares, a high school art teacher in Mt. Olive, NJ, who was a 2011 participant and returned to share how she’s applied what she learned to her lesson plans, sense of place is equated with luminosity. The sense of place was concrete for Eileen LaTorre, a fifth grade Mathematics and Science teacher in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ. She uses a map of the Hudson River to teach real-world problem investigating through the use of scales and topography. Lourdes Orta,

a 2013 participant who teaches in a magnet school in Homestead, FL, plans to help students develop their own sense of place through photography and writing and connecting both to the world around them. Complementing the site visits are lectures by renowned scholars, followed by hands-on activities that focus on the Hudson’s history in the 19th century when the river was a commercial thoroughfare; a tourist destination; and the scene of dramatic technological, industrial, and environmental changes. Thomas Wermuth, publisher of The Hudson River Valley Review: A Journal of Regional Studies and a dean at Marist College, said participants need a context to develop an aesthetic, historic, cultural, and economic perspective of the time period. Wermuth addressed the economic and travel implications of the opening of the Erie Canal and how the Hudson River region was transformed from a bartering to a cash system. An interesting fact that emerged from the residential workshops of 40 educators each week, held July 7 to 12 and July 14 to 10, is that for the entire length of the river to Albany, NY, when the tide goes out, the river flows south; when the tide comes in, the river flows north.

The National Endowment for the Humanities is charged with maintaining the humanities in our lives. Founded in 1965 the NEH offers workshops for teachers that are attended by educators from all of the states. Selection for participation in an NEH seminar is competitive and the programs are rigorous and demanding.

20

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www.ramapo.edu

21

12/16/13 2:10 PM


FOUNDATION NEWS

ECLECTIC SLATE OF ENTERTAINERS FEATURED IN PERFORMING ARTS DINNER SERIES The 2013–2014 season of the Performing Arts Dinner Series opened with Hotel California, “A Salute to the Eagles.” The series promises exceptional seating to an eclectic slate of performances, affordable ticket prices, a wonderful dining experience, and an opportunity to meet the performers. Next up is Matthew Piazzi and The Debonairs on March 22; and Forever Ray, a tribute to Ray Charles, on May 4. Tickets and further information: lkloak@ramapo.edu or 201.684.7611.

What is it about nurses? For Mike and Elaine Adler, it was their realization, after Mr. Adler suffered a stroke, that they are on the front line of patient care. Ramapo College is grateful for their support of Nursing students and for their gift to erect a building dedicated to training nurses in the profession’s best practices in state-of-the art classrooms and skills labs. At the Topping Off Ceremony, Ramapo College’s Nursing students were out in force to show their appreciation for the Adlers’ support.

Dr. Jackie Ehlert-Mercer, President Peter P. Mercer, performance sponsor Rick DeSilva, owner of Liberty Subaru and Liberty Hyundai dealerships, Arthur Patosa ’14, this year’s BMW North America Diversity Scholarship recipient and Wendy DeSilva enjoyed Hotel California, A Salute to the Eagles that featured the biggest hits of the six time Grammy Award winners.

BUSINESS PARTNERS GET A PERSPECTIVE ON THE ECONOMY Executives from the Business Partners program, along with colleagues from interested corporations, attended a luncheon hosted by the President at the Trustees Pavilion in June. The program featured a roundtable discussion, “The State of the Economy,” led by Congressman Scott Garrett and Lawrence Salameno, chairman, Penny Black Holdings, an investment company.

(Sitting, left-right): Congressman Scott Garrett, Lawrence Salameno, Board of Governors member Theresa Salameno, (Standing, left-right): Trustee William Dator, President Peter P. Mercer, and Student Trustee Anthony Darakjy ’15 at the Business Partners Luncheon.

GUESTS BEAM AT TOPPING OFF CEREMONY

Corporations represented at the luncheon included Beattie Padovano; Dator Commercial Real Estate Agency; Lakeland Bancorp, Inc.; McCarter & English, LLP; Net-A-Porter; Sharp; SNS Architects & Engineers; Stryker; TD Bank; and UBS Financial Services, Inc.

Ramapo College’s Adler Center for Nursing Excellence moved a step closer to completion as donors Myron and Elaine Adler and College officials signed the last beam to “top off” the two and a half story structure. As if on cue, a brilliant rainbow arced across the sky, boosting the festive mood of the event. Myron “Mike” Adler signed the last beam to “top off” the two and a half story Adler Center for Nursing Excellence. Looking on is his wife, Elaine, who also penned her name on the beam.

The Topping Off ceremony is a centuries-old milestone celebrated during construction projects. The beam was signed by the Adlers, President Peter P. Mercer, members of the Ramapo College Board of the Trustees and Board of Governors, and nursing students, and then raised by a crane atop the structure. “We feel blessed to help Ramapo College graduate well-educated nursing professionals who will be at the forefront of the challenges facing society,” said Elaine Adler.

Getting ready to kick-off their foursome are (L-R): Board of Governors member Roy Putrino, R.Ph., Board of Trustees Chairman George C. Ruotolo, Jr., Wally Brady and President Peter P. Mercer.

In November 2010, the Adlers made a $2 million gift to name the Adler Center for Nursing Excellence. It will be the home of Ramapo College’s highly acclaimed and expanding Nursing programs and state-of-the-art labs to enhance the education of students in the sciences. Ramapo’s undergraduate Nursing program has had significant increases in enrollment since its inception in 1993, and a Master of Science in Nursing Education was added in 2002. More than 460 students are enrolled in both Nursing programs.

Peter Seminara ’00 with his father-in-law, Steve Walkiewicz, who won the Prestige Skills Challenge, received a cash prize and a student scholarship to be named for him.

“Mike and Elaine's vision for and support of Ramapo College has not wavered,” said President Peter P. Mercer. “We thank them for their compassion and leadership. The Adlers have been consistent supporters of the College for more than 25 years and Mrs. Adler serves as a member of the Board of Governors.

GOING FOR THE GREEN AT ANNUAL GOLF OUTING Congenial, yet competitive, participants took to the links at the Tuxedo Club for the 26th Annual Golf Outing held July 15. The event raised more than $92,000 to support student scholarships, innovative student and faculty research initiatives, and ongoing capital projects. The Ramapo College Foundation is grateful to event sponsors for their continued support: the Marino Family; Century 21 Construction; BMW of North America, LLC; Prestige BMW and Prestige MINI; McCarter & English, LLP; Stryker; Inserra Shoprite Supermarkets; O’Connor Davies, LLP; SEIKO Corporation of America; Liberty Mutual; Lakeland Bank; TD Bank; UPS; and Cambridge Construction Management and Dial America.

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A steel beam, the last to be welded to the shell of the Adler Center for Nursing Excellence, is hoisted into place. The tree symbolizes new growth and respect for the environment.

www.ramapo.edu

23

12/16/13 2:10 PM


FOUNDATION NEWS

ECLECTIC SLATE OF ENTERTAINERS FEATURED IN PERFORMING ARTS DINNER SERIES The 2013–2014 season of the Performing Arts Dinner Series opened with Hotel California, “A Salute to the Eagles.” The series promises exceptional seating to an eclectic slate of performances, affordable ticket prices, a wonderful dining experience, and an opportunity to meet the performers. Next up is Matthew Piazzi and The Debonairs on March 22; and Forever Ray, a tribute to Ray Charles, on May 4. Tickets and further information: lkloak@ramapo.edu or 201.684.7611.

What is it about nurses? For Mike and Elaine Adler, it was their realization, after Mr. Adler suffered a stroke, that they are on the front line of patient care. Ramapo College is grateful for their support of Nursing students and for their gift to erect a building dedicated to training nurses in the profession’s best practices in state-of-the art classrooms and skills labs. At the Topping Off Ceremony, Ramapo College’s Nursing students were out in force to show their appreciation for the Adlers’ support.

Dr. Jackie Ehlert-Mercer, President Peter P. Mercer, performance sponsor Rick DeSilva, owner of Liberty Subaru and Liberty Hyundai dealerships, Arthur Patosa ’14, this year’s BMW North America Diversity Scholarship recipient and Wendy DeSilva enjoyed Hotel California, A Salute to the Eagles that featured the biggest hits of the six time Grammy Award winners.

BUSINESS PARTNERS GET A PERSPECTIVE ON THE ECONOMY Executives from the Business Partners program, along with colleagues from interested corporations, attended a luncheon hosted by the President at the Trustees Pavilion in June. The program featured a roundtable discussion, “The State of the Economy,” led by Congressman Scott Garrett and Lawrence Salameno, chairman, Penny Black Holdings, an investment company.

(Sitting, left-right): Congressman Scott Garrett, Lawrence Salameno, Board of Governors member Theresa Salameno, (Standing, left-right): Trustee William Dator, President Peter P. Mercer, and Student Trustee Anthony Darakjy ’15 at the Business Partners Luncheon.

GUESTS BEAM AT TOPPING OFF CEREMONY

Corporations represented at the luncheon included Beattie Padovano; Dator Commercial Real Estate Agency; Lakeland Bancorp, Inc.; McCarter & English, LLP; Net-A-Porter; Sharp; SNS Architects & Engineers; Stryker; TD Bank; and UBS Financial Services, Inc.

Ramapo College’s Adler Center for Nursing Excellence moved a step closer to completion as donors Myron and Elaine Adler and College officials signed the last beam to “top off” the two and a half story structure. As if on cue, a brilliant rainbow arced across the sky, boosting the festive mood of the event. Myron “Mike” Adler signed the last beam to “top off” the two and a half story Adler Center for Nursing Excellence. Looking on is his wife, Elaine, who also penned her name on the beam.

The Topping Off ceremony is a centuries-old milestone celebrated during construction projects. The beam was signed by the Adlers, President Peter P. Mercer, members of the Ramapo College Board of the Trustees and Board of Governors, and nursing students, and then raised by a crane atop the structure. “We feel blessed to help Ramapo College graduate well-educated nursing professionals who will be at the forefront of the challenges facing society,” said Elaine Adler.

Getting ready to kick-off their foursome are (L-R): Board of Governors member Roy Putrino, R.Ph., Board of Trustees Chairman George C. Ruotolo, Jr., Wally Brady and President Peter P. Mercer.

In November 2010, the Adlers made a $2 million gift to name the Adler Center for Nursing Excellence. It will be the home of Ramapo College’s highly acclaimed and expanding Nursing programs and state-of-the-art labs to enhance the education of students in the sciences. Ramapo’s undergraduate Nursing program has had significant increases in enrollment since its inception in 1993, and a Master of Science in Nursing Education was added in 2002. More than 460 students are enrolled in both Nursing programs.

Peter Seminara ’00 with his father-in-law, Steve Walkiewicz, who won the Prestige Skills Challenge, received a cash prize and a student scholarship to be named for him.

“Mike and Elaine's vision for and support of Ramapo College has not wavered,” said President Peter P. Mercer. “We thank them for their compassion and leadership. The Adlers have been consistent supporters of the College for more than 25 years and Mrs. Adler serves as a member of the Board of Governors.

GOING FOR THE GREEN AT ANNUAL GOLF OUTING Congenial, yet competitive, participants took to the links at the Tuxedo Club for the 26th Annual Golf Outing held July 15. The event raised more than $92,000 to support student scholarships, innovative student and faculty research initiatives, and ongoing capital projects. The Ramapo College Foundation is grateful to event sponsors for their continued support: the Marino Family; Century 21 Construction; BMW of North America, LLC; Prestige BMW and Prestige MINI; McCarter & English, LLP; Stryker; Inserra Shoprite Supermarkets; O’Connor Davies, LLP; SEIKO Corporation of America; Liberty Mutual; Lakeland Bank; TD Bank; UPS; and Cambridge Construction Management and Dial America.

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A steel beam, the last to be welded to the shell of the Adler Center for Nursing Excellence, is hoisted into place. The tree symbolizes new growth and respect for the environment.

www.ramapo.edu

23

12/16/13 2:10 PM


ALUMNI NEWS

RECENT LITERATURE GRADUATE GETS PUBLISHED ONLINE Sarah Galo ’13, who recently graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing and a minor in Human Rights and Genocide Studies, had her article, “Sylvia Plath Speaks to Millenials” published on Salon.com on June 12. Her article focuses on how Plath’s The Bell Jar correlates strongly to today’s society of young adults despite the novel being published 50 years ago. “My article appealed to a wide variety of readers because I drew connections between the struggles of The Bell Jar’s Esther Greenwood and my own generation. The Bell Jar is set in an uncertain time that is not entirely dissimilar to the current political climate,” Galo explained. “Esther is

ALUMNI IN THE SUMMER SWING influenced by the uncertainty, as I feel many recent graduates, such as myself, are influenced by the unsettled nature of our nation’s economic and political situation. My ability to draw these connections is, of course, owed to the careful and dedicated teaching of Ramapo’s professors. Speaking from my own experience, the professors of the Literature program often bridged the gap between academia and the real world, confirming the importance of a wellrounded liberal arts education.” Galo began blogging during her final semester of college for The Line Campaign, which aims to empower young people to advocate for the end of sexual violence. In May, she began writing for PolicyMic.com after being accepted to participate in their Feminist Writing Skillshare. She worked closely with the editors of the site in order to improve her overall writing craft, as well as produce multiple articles on feminism, culture, and current events that were published online. “Sylvia Plath Speaks to Millennials” was originally posted on PolicyMic, and the editors of Salon requested to cross-post it to their site. Galo became only the second ever writer for PolicyMic to have an article featured on Salon. “This fall, I’m writing again for PolicyMic and The Line Campaign,” Galo said. “In my down time, I have begun my own blog called A Potential Woody Allen Character. On this platform, I hope to produce similar pieces to my article on Sylvia Plath by continually drawing connections between books, films, and the world around us.”

Alumni had the opportunity to swap stories about their accomplishments at two events held this past summer. On July 11 they gathered at the Annual Alumni BBQ hosted in conjunction with the kickoff of the TD Bank Summer Concert Series on the Ramapo campus. The Summer Alumni/Greek Reunion was held at Bar Anticipation in Belmar, NJ, on July 20. This festive event promotes camaraderie among younger alumni.

(L-R): Enjoying a blazing cting summer day and reconne at the annual Summer berg Reunion are Melyssa Gold ila ’11, Alyssa Press ’12, Teh d ’11, Nugiel ’11, Michelle Frie and Alyson Angstreich ’11.

Ramapo Alumnus Kevin McOwen Wins 2013

New Jersey Distinguished Student Teacher Award

Kevin McOwen, a 2012 graduate of Ramapo’s Teacher Education Program, was honored with the New Jersey Distinguished Student Teacher Award. The award is incredibly prestigious and selective, as Owen was one of only 15 student teachers awarded in New Jersey. 24

Ramapo College Magazine Winter 2014

2010215-50_Winter_Magazine.indd 24-25

The New Jersey Distinguished Student Teacher award is organized by the New Jersey Department of Education annually to recognize exceptional student teachers. Colleges and universities submit applications on behalf of their best student teachers in their educational programs, which are then examined by a panel of educational professionals and experts. McOwen, who currently teaches mathematics at Ridgewood High School, is the third Ramapo graduate in the past five years to earn the prestigious distinction. Lauren Santaniello and Ruthann Inserra, both of whom graduated from Ramapo in 2013, were also nominated for the award and present at the ceremony held at Rider University. They received certificates for their achievements.

(L-R): The annual Alumni Barbecue was a wonderful family fun night for the Amicos . Pictured are Lucia, Victoria ’94, Bryan ’94 and Maxwell.

www.ramapo.edu

25

12/16/13 2:10 PM


ALUMNI NEWS

RECENT LITERATURE GRADUATE GETS PUBLISHED ONLINE Sarah Galo ’13, who recently graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing and a minor in Human Rights and Genocide Studies, had her article, “Sylvia Plath Speaks to Millenials” published on Salon.com on June 12. Her article focuses on how Plath’s The Bell Jar correlates strongly to today’s society of young adults despite the novel being published 50 years ago. “My article appealed to a wide variety of readers because I drew connections between the struggles of The Bell Jar’s Esther Greenwood and my own generation. The Bell Jar is set in an uncertain time that is not entirely dissimilar to the current political climate,” Galo explained. “Esther is

ALUMNI IN THE SUMMER SWING influenced by the uncertainty, as I feel many recent graduates, such as myself, are influenced by the unsettled nature of our nation’s economic and political situation. My ability to draw these connections is, of course, owed to the careful and dedicated teaching of Ramapo’s professors. Speaking from my own experience, the professors of the Literature program often bridged the gap between academia and the real world, confirming the importance of a wellrounded liberal arts education.” Galo began blogging during her final semester of college for The Line Campaign, which aims to empower young people to advocate for the end of sexual violence. In May, she began writing for PolicyMic.com after being accepted to participate in their Feminist Writing Skillshare. She worked closely with the editors of the site in order to improve her overall writing craft, as well as produce multiple articles on feminism, culture, and current events that were published online. “Sylvia Plath Speaks to Millennials” was originally posted on PolicyMic, and the editors of Salon requested to cross-post it to their site. Galo became only the second ever writer for PolicyMic to have an article featured on Salon. “This fall, I’m writing again for PolicyMic and The Line Campaign,” Galo said. “In my down time, I have begun my own blog called A Potential Woody Allen Character. On this platform, I hope to produce similar pieces to my article on Sylvia Plath by continually drawing connections between books, films, and the world around us.”

Alumni had the opportunity to swap stories about their accomplishments at two events held this past summer. On July 11 they gathered at the Annual Alumni BBQ hosted in conjunction with the kickoff of the TD Bank Summer Concert Series on the Ramapo campus. The Summer Alumni/Greek Reunion was held at Bar Anticipation in Belmar, NJ, on July 20. This festive event promotes camaraderie among younger alumni.

(L-R): Enjoying a blazing cting summer day and reconne at the annual Summer berg Reunion are Melyssa Gold ila ’11, Alyssa Press ’12, Teh d ’11, Nugiel ’11, Michelle Frie and Alyson Angstreich ’11.

Ramapo Alumnus Kevin McOwen Wins 2013

New Jersey Distinguished Student Teacher Award

Kevin McOwen, a 2012 graduate of Ramapo’s Teacher Education Program, was honored with the New Jersey Distinguished Student Teacher Award. The award is incredibly prestigious and selective, as Owen was one of only 15 student teachers awarded in New Jersey. 24

Ramapo College Magazine Winter 2014

2010215-50_Winter_Magazine.indd 24-25

The New Jersey Distinguished Student Teacher award is organized by the New Jersey Department of Education annually to recognize exceptional student teachers. Colleges and universities submit applications on behalf of their best student teachers in their educational programs, which are then examined by a panel of educational professionals and experts. McOwen, who currently teaches mathematics at Ridgewood High School, is the third Ramapo graduate in the past five years to earn the prestigious distinction. Lauren Santaniello and Ruthann Inserra, both of whom graduated from Ramapo in 2013, were also nominated for the award and present at the ceremony held at Rider University. They received certificates for their achievements.

(L-R): The annual Alumni Barbecue was a wonderful family fun night for the Amicos . Pictured are Lucia, Victoria ’94, Bryan ’94 and Maxwell.

www.ramapo.edu

25

12/16/13 2:10 PM


ALUMNI NEWS

CLASS NOTES

>CONTINUED

A.R.C.H.

IN MEMORIAM:

The Office of Admissions is looking for enthusiastic alumni who wish to share their Ramapo College experience with potential applicants and future Roadrunners. If you are interested in staying connected with your alma mater and help the Admissions office recruit bright and talented future alumni, here are several ways to participate:

Men’s Soccer Alumni Get a Kick Seeing Each Other Again

• Representing Ramapo at college fairs in your local area. • Congratulating accepted students with personalized letters or phone calls. • Participating in on-campus recruitment events like Open House and Admitted Student Days.

Contact the Admissions Office at 201.684.7300 or email us at admissions@ramapo.edu

ATHLETICS ALUMNI RETURN TO CAMPUS

Baseball Rich Martin | 201.684.7066 | rmartin@ramapo.edu

Softball Ish Falcon | 201.684.7680 | ifalcon@ramapo.edu

Men’s Soccer

DJ Pinton | 201.684.7198 | dpinton@ramapo.edu

“It is safe to say that I would not be who I am today except for the extraordinary academic programs, the caring and outstanding faculty, and the welcoming community and sports organizations that made for four unforgettable years at RCNJ. Thirty-five years after graduation, I gather annually to play ice hockey with my teammates and remain in contact with dozens of lifelong friends. Only with twentytwenty hindsight did I realize how important it was to study hard and participate fully in the rich community that is Ramapo. For this alumnus it was truly life changing.”

Ed Chapel ’77 26

Ramapo College Magazine Winter 2014

2010215-50_Winter_Magazine.indd 26-27

ALICE MAE FEDERICO

’76

ROBERT SERGEANT

’76

PETER J. MAURO, JR.

’81

DAVID ASHARE

’83

MAXINE (ZOLA) LESLIE

’91

LOUIS F. OVITTORE, JR.

’93

ESTHER A. DANIEL, ESQ. ’85 opened The Law Offices of Esther A. Daniel, Esq. She practices family law, civil litigation, and municipal defense.

MELISSA ANN (ROTH)

LOVINO

’02

CHRISTOPHER MICHAEL

The annual Men’s Soccer Alumni Reunion held October 6 was an aggregate score. More than 25 alumni athletes participated in a match and a buffet dinner afterward. Team Kull beat Team Tighe 7–5. The reunion recognized 42 years of the Men’s Soccer program. Putting the kick in the game was (Back Row: L-R): PJ Bartolotto ’98, Jason Burnside ’00, Mike Kull ’09, Ian Tighe ’11, Jason Weiner, DJ Pinton ’99, Rob Santaniello ’13, Paul Taylor ’04, Ryan Lahey ’09, TJ Quinn ’06, James Biwald ’08; (Front Row-L-R): Brian Rampone ’03, Will Mazzuto ’07, Fatmir Mimini ’96, Brett Tracey ’14, Jaivon Palmer ’13, Danny Walsh ’00, Bryan Choma ’09, Fred Shouldice ’81. Not pictured: Filippo Baldino ’97, Kevin Bradley ’07, Kevin Carbone ’13, Jim Clementi ’12, Pedro Martinez ’10, Andy Mindest ’06, Justin Pinton ’02, Nelson Ramirez ’80, and Jeremy Taylor ’07.

Athletics alumni have been busy this fall. Reunions were held for Baseball, Softball, and the Men’s Soccer teams in October alone. If you are interested in participating in future athletics reunions and reconnecting with your teammates, please reach out to the following contacts…we’d love to see you back on campus.

STEPHEN JOHN DORMER ’15

TOM BENDER ’83 was a guest speaker at a meeting of the Garden Club of Harrington Park, NJ and led a discussion on hostas and related shade plants. Bender is a tree and shrub specialist at Rohsler’s Allendale Nursery and Florists.

“Teachers focus on teaching and motivating their students, rather than just lecturing from a book or PowerPoint presentation. I also believe it's important to get involved on campus. I believe this is especially vital at a college with a small student body like Ramapo, in order to meet friends and spend time doing other activities, studying for tests, or doing school work. Being a part of the Men's Soccer program for four years not only allowed me to create lifelong friends, but I realized that if I'm devoting my time daily to a sport to better my skill, I should be doing the same with my school work to stay academically competitive within my major.”

Robert Santaniello ’13

HOLMES

’10

ANDREW CAPIZZI

’11

ALLISON BANKS-MOORE ’77 was awarded the Ramapo College 2013 President’s Award of Merit at this year’s commencement ceremony. Banks-Moore is the chief diversity officer at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. Banks-Moore is a member of the New Jersey Law and Education Empowerment Project advisory board, the Tri-State Diversity Council’s board of directors, and Christ the King School accreditation planning board. MARK HAHN ’80 is senior vice president of the National Association for Printing Leadership and a member of its Business Advisory Team. Hahn also publishes a monthly blog, “The Target Report” (www. targetreport.org), where he provides a review of trends in printing, packaging, and related industries.

JONATHAN MARCUS ’93 was a candidate this past November to fill a vacant seat on the Mahwah Township Council for a one-year unexpired term. Although he did not win the seats, he has vowed to run in 2014. TIM LORENCOVITZ ’94 was appointed chairman of the Board for 2013–2014 by the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP). Lorencovitz is a marketing manager for the Sultan Healthcare division of Dentsply International, PA. RUTH NASS ’99 campaigned for the Westwood (NJ) Borough Council. Nass, billed as a newcomer to Westwood politics, did not win the seat.

JOSEPH COLLINS ’75 was promoted from assistant principal to principal of Indian Hills High School, Oakland, NJ. JAMES DEVINE ’75 published a book The Dominion’s Dilemma: The United States of British America.

AMY LANGEVIN ’93 campaigned to become a trustee on the HoHo-Kus Board of Education. She received 351 votes compared to her opponent's 386.

CASEY BURDETTE ’05 and DOUG ADAY ’05 had their destination wedding at the TPC Golf Course in Las Vegas, NV, in June. Burdette teaches in River Edge and Aday teaches in Ridgewood. DEBRA MCGAULEY, ESQ. ’92 was elected a trustee to the Montvale Board of Education in November. McGauley was also appointed art director of S.A.I.L., a day program for adults with special needs at the YJCC in Washington Township, NJ. In addition, she is the owner and instructor of Crafting a Calmer Self, L.L.C. BRYAN DUNST ’02 earned the designation of certified portfolio manager (CPM) from the Academy of Certified Portfolio Managers at Columbia University. Dunst is a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch. DOMINIC D’AMBROSIO ’93 was promoted to administrator at Schervier Nursing Care Center, NY, specializing in long-term and rehabilitation care.

JOHN MIGLIACCIO ’84 visited the Ramapo Reservation with his two children, Michael and Sophia on Labor Day and enjoyed a day of fishing. Sophia had the first catch of the day. Migliaccio was happy to see the Ramapo Reservation has not changed since his days as a student.

MICHELLE SHELLEY SMITH ’03 and SHANNON STRAUCH ’12 performed with Mary Lou Hale’s School of Dance, Lake Hiawatha, NJ, in June. KIAI JONES ’01 graduated with a master’s degree in Administration and Supervision from Grand Canyon University, AZ. ANTOINETTE JOYCE FRANNICOLA ’02 became engaged to Nicholas Gennarelli. A fall 2013 wedding is planned. Frannicola is an elementary school teacher with the Nutley (NJ) Board of Education. SIOBHAN TAUCHERT ’02 is principal of Westbrook School in West Milford, NJ. In 2000, Tauchert was awarded the Crystal Apple National Teaching Award. RORY MCCOURT ’03 was appointed superintendent of the River Vale (NJ) School District.

JOHN LALLY ’00 is a critical care and emergency room nurse at Holy Name Hospital, NJ, and an adjunct Clinical Nursing professor at Holy Name School of Nursing.

BOB ZIMMERMANN ’05 became engaged to Trish Kida on Christmas Day. Zimmermann works for Precision Garage Door. A summer 2014 wedding is planned.

JAY SOLLERS ’00 was awarded Teacher of the Year of Washington/ Memorial Elementary School, in Little Ferry, NJ. Sollers teaches computer lab courses for kindergarten through fourth grade.

ANDRE JACKSON ’06 was sworn in to the South Brunswick, NJ, police force in July. Jackson specializes in undercover narcotics investigations, tactical firearms, and prosecution of street gangs.

www.ramapo.edu

27

12/16/13 2:10 PM


ALUMNI NEWS

CLASS NOTES

>CONTINUED

A.R.C.H.

IN MEMORIAM:

The Office of Admissions is looking for enthusiastic alumni who wish to share their Ramapo College experience with potential applicants and future Roadrunners. If you are interested in staying connected with your alma mater and help the Admissions office recruit bright and talented future alumni, here are several ways to participate:

Men’s Soccer Alumni Get a Kick Seeing Each Other Again

• Representing Ramapo at college fairs in your local area. • Congratulating accepted students with personalized letters or phone calls. • Participating in on-campus recruitment events like Open House and Admitted Student Days.

Contact the Admissions Office at 201.684.7300 or email us at admissions@ramapo.edu

ATHLETICS ALUMNI RETURN TO CAMPUS

Baseball Rich Martin | 201.684.7066 | rmartin@ramapo.edu

Softball Ish Falcon | 201.684.7680 | ifalcon@ramapo.edu

Men’s Soccer

DJ Pinton | 201.684.7198 | dpinton@ramapo.edu

“It is safe to say that I would not be who I am today except for the extraordinary academic programs, the caring and outstanding faculty, and the welcoming community and sports organizations that made for four unforgettable years at RCNJ. Thirty-five years after graduation, I gather annually to play ice hockey with my teammates and remain in contact with dozens of lifelong friends. Only with twentytwenty hindsight did I realize how important it was to study hard and participate fully in the rich community that is Ramapo. For this alumnus it was truly life changing.”

Ed Chapel ’77 26

Ramapo College Magazine Winter 2014

2010215-50_Winter_Magazine.indd 26-27

ALICE MAE FEDERICO

’76

ROBERT SERGEANT

’76

PETER J. MAURO, JR.

’81

DAVID ASHARE

’83

MAXINE (ZOLA) LESLIE

’91

LOUIS F. OVITTORE, JR.

’93

ESTHER A. DANIEL, ESQ. ’85 opened The Law Offices of Esther A. Daniel, Esq. She practices family law, civil litigation, and municipal defense.

MELISSA ANN (ROTH)

LOVINO

’02

CHRISTOPHER MICHAEL

The annual Men’s Soccer Alumni Reunion held October 6 was an aggregate score. More than 25 alumni athletes participated in a match and a buffet dinner afterward. Team Kull beat Team Tighe 7–5. The reunion recognized 42 years of the Men’s Soccer program. Putting the kick in the game was (Back Row: L-R): PJ Bartolotto ’98, Jason Burnside ’00, Mike Kull ’09, Ian Tighe ’11, Jason Weiner, DJ Pinton ’99, Rob Santaniello ’13, Paul Taylor ’04, Ryan Lahey ’09, TJ Quinn ’06, James Biwald ’08; (Front Row-L-R): Brian Rampone ’03, Will Mazzuto ’07, Fatmir Mimini ’96, Brett Tracey ’14, Jaivon Palmer ’13, Danny Walsh ’00, Bryan Choma ’09, Fred Shouldice ’81. Not pictured: Filippo Baldino ’97, Kevin Bradley ’07, Kevin Carbone ’13, Jim Clementi ’12, Pedro Martinez ’10, Andy Mindest ’06, Justin Pinton ’02, Nelson Ramirez ’80, and Jeremy Taylor ’07.

Athletics alumni have been busy this fall. Reunions were held for Baseball, Softball, and the Men’s Soccer teams in October alone. If you are interested in participating in future athletics reunions and reconnecting with your teammates, please reach out to the following contacts…we’d love to see you back on campus.

STEPHEN JOHN DORMER ’15

TOM BENDER ’83 was a guest speaker at a meeting of the Garden Club of Harrington Park, NJ and led a discussion on hostas and related shade plants. Bender is a tree and shrub specialist at Rohsler’s Allendale Nursery and Florists.

“Teachers focus on teaching and motivating their students, rather than just lecturing from a book or PowerPoint presentation. I also believe it's important to get involved on campus. I believe this is especially vital at a college with a small student body like Ramapo, in order to meet friends and spend time doing other activities, studying for tests, or doing school work. Being a part of the Men's Soccer program for four years not only allowed me to create lifelong friends, but I realized that if I'm devoting my time daily to a sport to better my skill, I should be doing the same with my school work to stay academically competitive within my major.”

Robert Santaniello ’13

HOLMES

’10

ANDREW CAPIZZI

’11

ALLISON BANKS-MOORE ’77 was awarded the Ramapo College 2013 President’s Award of Merit at this year’s commencement ceremony. Banks-Moore is the chief diversity officer at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. Banks-Moore is a member of the New Jersey Law and Education Empowerment Project advisory board, the Tri-State Diversity Council’s board of directors, and Christ the King School accreditation planning board. MARK HAHN ’80 is senior vice president of the National Association for Printing Leadership and a member of its Business Advisory Team. Hahn also publishes a monthly blog, “The Target Report” (www. targetreport.org), where he provides a review of trends in printing, packaging, and related industries.

JONATHAN MARCUS ’93 was a candidate this past November to fill a vacant seat on the Mahwah Township Council for a one-year unexpired term. Although he did not win the seats, he has vowed to run in 2014. TIM LORENCOVITZ ’94 was appointed chairman of the Board for 2013–2014 by the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP). Lorencovitz is a marketing manager for the Sultan Healthcare division of Dentsply International, PA. RUTH NASS ’99 campaigned for the Westwood (NJ) Borough Council. Nass, billed as a newcomer to Westwood politics, did not win the seat.

JOSEPH COLLINS ’75 was promoted from assistant principal to principal of Indian Hills High School, Oakland, NJ. JAMES DEVINE ’75 published a book The Dominion’s Dilemma: The United States of British America.

AMY LANGEVIN ’93 campaigned to become a trustee on the HoHo-Kus Board of Education. She received 351 votes compared to her opponent's 386.

CASEY BURDETTE ’05 and DOUG ADAY ’05 had their destination wedding at the TPC Golf Course in Las Vegas, NV, in June. Burdette teaches in River Edge and Aday teaches in Ridgewood. DEBRA MCGAULEY, ESQ. ’92 was elected a trustee to the Montvale Board of Education in November. McGauley was also appointed art director of S.A.I.L., a day program for adults with special needs at the YJCC in Washington Township, NJ. In addition, she is the owner and instructor of Crafting a Calmer Self, L.L.C. BRYAN DUNST ’02 earned the designation of certified portfolio manager (CPM) from the Academy of Certified Portfolio Managers at Columbia University. Dunst is a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch. DOMINIC D’AMBROSIO ’93 was promoted to administrator at Schervier Nursing Care Center, NY, specializing in long-term and rehabilitation care.

JOHN MIGLIACCIO ’84 visited the Ramapo Reservation with his two children, Michael and Sophia on Labor Day and enjoyed a day of fishing. Sophia had the first catch of the day. Migliaccio was happy to see the Ramapo Reservation has not changed since his days as a student.

MICHELLE SHELLEY SMITH ’03 and SHANNON STRAUCH ’12 performed with Mary Lou Hale’s School of Dance, Lake Hiawatha, NJ, in June. KIAI JONES ’01 graduated with a master’s degree in Administration and Supervision from Grand Canyon University, AZ. ANTOINETTE JOYCE FRANNICOLA ’02 became engaged to Nicholas Gennarelli. A fall 2013 wedding is planned. Frannicola is an elementary school teacher with the Nutley (NJ) Board of Education. SIOBHAN TAUCHERT ’02 is principal of Westbrook School in West Milford, NJ. In 2000, Tauchert was awarded the Crystal Apple National Teaching Award. RORY MCCOURT ’03 was appointed superintendent of the River Vale (NJ) School District.

JOHN LALLY ’00 is a critical care and emergency room nurse at Holy Name Hospital, NJ, and an adjunct Clinical Nursing professor at Holy Name School of Nursing.

BOB ZIMMERMANN ’05 became engaged to Trish Kida on Christmas Day. Zimmermann works for Precision Garage Door. A summer 2014 wedding is planned.

JAY SOLLERS ’00 was awarded Teacher of the Year of Washington/ Memorial Elementary School, in Little Ferry, NJ. Sollers teaches computer lab courses for kindergarten through fourth grade.

ANDRE JACKSON ’06 was sworn in to the South Brunswick, NJ, police force in July. Jackson specializes in undercover narcotics investigations, tactical firearms, and prosecution of street gangs.

www.ramapo.edu

27

12/16/13 2:10 PM


CLASS NOTES

LAURA FORDHAM ’08 and Antonio Tenebruso ’08 became engaged in April 4. A fall 2014 wedding is planned. SAMANTHA PRYOR ’06 became engaged to Brent Hermack. Pryor works for IPKeys Technologies, Eatontown, NJ. A March 2014 wedding is planned.

CHRISTOPHER BARBARINO ’07 became engaged to Nicole D’Angelo. Barbarino is a commercial real estate underwriter for Spencer Savings Bank, Elmwood Park, NJ. He is pursuing a professional certificate in Real Estate Finance and Investment at New York University. A July 2014 wedding is planned. ARYEH LOVE ’07 received an MBA from Montclair State University, NJ, in August. LAURA (GREENE) SAVIO ’07 and her husband, Bill, welcomed their second child, Francesca Paula, on April 5 at 10:34 a.m. She weighed 6 lbs., 9 oz. and measured 18½ inches long. Francesca was also welcomed by her two-year-old brother, William Nicholas. MATTHEW R. DONDARSKI ’08 married Mary Elizabeth Schultz in July. Dondarski is in law enforcement in New Mexico. KYLE ULSCHT ’11 participated in a summer internship at Volunteer Lawyers for Justice (VLJ). Ulscht is studying at Seton Hall University School of Law.

28

JESSICA OFFER ’08 was promoted from supervisor accountant to manager accountant at WithumSmith+Brown (WS+B), Certified Public Accountants and Consultants. The firm has offices in NJ, NY, PA, MD, FL, and CO.

MARIA GARTNER ’09 became engaged to Rami Ratel. Gartner is a registered nurse and the Staff Development and Infection Prevention coordinator at Laurelton Village Care Center in Brick, NJ. A November 2014 wedding is planned.

KYLE LEE COSTA ’08 and JESSICA LEIGH SEIDLER ’09 were married at the Pleasantdale Chateau in January. Costa is a graduate student at Seton Hall University and is a police officer with the Oradell Police Department. Seidler is pursuing her doctorate at Kean University.

CHRISTINE O’CONNOR ’09 is a counselor at Cresskill (NJ) High School.

STEVEN BLOOM ’08 and Tara Bloom (Ruda) were married in July at the Crystal Plaza in Livingston, NJ. Fellow alumni STEPHEN CUCCHIARA ’08 AND ADAM VENANZI ’07 and Professor Alexandre Olbrecht were groomsmen and many other alumni were in attendance. Bloom will complete his MBA at Monmouth University in spring 2014 and was recently promoted to manager of Finance at L’Oreal USA in Berkeley Heights, NJ. DR. ADAM RYAN TOTH ’08 graduated from Des Moines University, IA, with a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree. Dr. Toth will start his residency in surgery and anesthesia at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, NH. AMANDA D’AMATO ’09 graduated from the University of Florida in December with a master of science in Forensic Serology and DNA. LAUREN DONNELLY ’09 is a kindergarten teacher at Traphagen School, Waldwick, NJ. COLLEEN FREUND ’09 became engaged to Daniel Libertz. A summer 2014 wedding is planned. Freund is a residence director at Drew University and is an adjunct faculty member at Ramapo College. GEMMA CHALKLEY ’08 became engaged to Ryan Saum. A 2014 wedding is planned.

Ramapo College Magazine Winter 2014

2010215-50_Winter_Magazine.indd 28-29

ALISANDRA WEDERICH ’09 collaborated with MercerARC’s Artists Collective to curate an exposition of artwork by the Collective’s members. Wederich is also the manager of the Straube Center and art director and co-founder of the Red Filter Fine Art Gallery, Lambertville, NJ.

STEVEN PARDALIS ’09 and MELISSA ANDERSEN ’09 became engaged in May at Disney World in Animal Kingdom. Pardalis graduated from Seton Hall Law School in May and is a law clerk to the Honorable Paul A. Kapalko, Monmouth County Superior Court, Civil Division. Andersen works in advertising as a print production assistant for Wakefern Food Corporation.They were wed in October 2013. FATEMA RAZA ’09 was promoted from senior accountant to supervisor accountant at the New Brunswick office of WithumSmith+Brown(WS+B), Certified Public Accountants and Consultants. KRISTINE AUSTRIA ’10 was named a finalist in Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR) 2013 Emerging Leaders Awards, which honors young women (ages 23–30) who greatly influence the communications field and show the potential to transform the industry. NICOLE JEAN OSTERTAG ’10 married A.J. Lindenberg in April. Ostertag is a renal dialysis nurse at Fresenius Medical Center in Watertown, NY. JOSEPH WILDER ’10 was appointed to the Woodbridge Township (NJ) Police Department. Wilder completed the state-mandated police training program at the Monmouth County Police Training Academy. MICHAEL FIORELLI ’08 is a writer for theneuroticcritic. com, which features his review of films.

STEPHANIE FRUGIS ’11 published her first novel, Brave Love, available online and in print. Frugis also cantors at Catholic churches in New Jersey and is the co-conductor in the Rockin’ Railroad band at Kidville in Westfield, NJ. ANDREW BROWN ’11 competed and won a bronze medal in the 19th World Games in Israel as a member of the United States men’s volleyball team. Brown won a gold medal at the Pan American Maccabiah games in 2011. He serves as the head women’s volleyball coach at Saint Peter’s University, Jersey City, NJ. CHRISTINA LABARBIERA ’11 is a licensed real estate associate with the Keller Williams Village Square Realty, Ridgewood, NJ, sales team. CHRISTOPHER MAZAWEY ’11 was named to the dean’s list at Pace Law School for the spring 2013 semester of his second year.

LISA FISCHMAN ’06 was the assistant coach for the Maccabi USA Women’s Basketball National Team which competed and won a gold medal in the 19th World Maccabiah Games in Israel in July. Fischman has won five gold medals at the Maccabiah games and has been a part of the Maccabi USA National Team since 2005. Fischman is also the assistant varsity coach and head freshman coach for the Montclair (NJ) High School girls’ basketball teams. STEVEN YOURSTONE ’12 completed his first year in a Ph.D. program at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Yourstone is studying Analytical Chemistry. NICHOLAS SCHRECK ’13 is an account coordinator for the DSM Group, a full-service advertising, public relations, and marketing agency in Franklin Lakes, NJ. BRANDON BOUKNIGHT ’13 was accepted to the University of Westminster in London, U.K., where he will work toward his master’s degree in Media Management. He previously spent a semester abroad studying at the University of Westminster through the Roukema Center for International Education at Ramapo. Bouknight was influenced to continue his education there based on his initial experience.

Ramapo College Study Abroad Program Featured in Roundtable Abroad RACHEL KEHOE ’13 and GARY MINUCCIO ’13 participated in the Ramapo Study Abroad Program in Documentary Photography in Argentina and presented a collection of student photos at a conference at the Universidad de El Salvador in Buenos Aires. The faculty-led program, run by Assistant Professor of Art (Photography and Digital Media) Yolanda del Amo, encouraged students to document their experiences learning about a new culture through photography. Students spent two weeks in Buenos Aires, the country’s capital city, and one week in the northern region of Salta. They met with renowned Argentinian artists, visited museums, and took away a feel for the culture that informed the themes of the photography presented in El Salvador. Throughout the duration of the program, students developed a documentary photography project focused on their new surroundings in Argentina. “Some of my goals for the program were to help students develop visual vocabulary, respond to an environment outside of their comfort zone, be alert to what they see, notice the difference between American culture and Argentinian culture, and make sense of the inevitable culture shock,” Del Amo said. At the end of the program, students put together a portfolio of their photography from the trip. Many of the photos collected in their portfolios were featured in the roundtable at the Universidad de El Salvador.

Giving to Ramapo... It’s easier than ever! Ramapo continues its proud tradition of providing the tools which foster excellence in education, and Ramapo College alumni, parents, students, faculty/staff, friends, and board members are a driving force in supporting the Annual Fund. Ramapo depends on these gifts to support the mission of the College.

SO JUST POINT, CLICK, GIVE! www.ramapo.edu/giving/annual-fund

www.ramapo.edu

29

12/16/13 2:10 PM


CLASS NOTES

LAURA FORDHAM ’08 and Antonio Tenebruso ’08 became engaged in April 4. A fall 2014 wedding is planned. SAMANTHA PRYOR ’06 became engaged to Brent Hermack. Pryor works for IPKeys Technologies, Eatontown, NJ. A March 2014 wedding is planned.

CHRISTOPHER BARBARINO ’07 became engaged to Nicole D’Angelo. Barbarino is a commercial real estate underwriter for Spencer Savings Bank, Elmwood Park, NJ. He is pursuing a professional certificate in Real Estate Finance and Investment at New York University. A July 2014 wedding is planned. ARYEH LOVE ’07 received an MBA from Montclair State University, NJ, in August. LAURA (GREENE) SAVIO ’07 and her husband, Bill, welcomed their second child, Francesca Paula, on April 5 at 10:34 a.m. She weighed 6 lbs., 9 oz. and measured 18½ inches long. Francesca was also welcomed by her two-year-old brother, William Nicholas. MATTHEW R. DONDARSKI ’08 married Mary Elizabeth Schultz in July. Dondarski is in law enforcement in New Mexico. KYLE ULSCHT ’11 participated in a summer internship at Volunteer Lawyers for Justice (VLJ). Ulscht is studying at Seton Hall University School of Law.

28

JESSICA OFFER ’08 was promoted from supervisor accountant to manager accountant at WithumSmith+Brown (WS+B), Certified Public Accountants and Consultants. The firm has offices in NJ, NY, PA, MD, FL, and CO.

MARIA GARTNER ’09 became engaged to Rami Ratel. Gartner is a registered nurse and the Staff Development and Infection Prevention coordinator at Laurelton Village Care Center in Brick, NJ. A November 2014 wedding is planned.

KYLE LEE COSTA ’08 and JESSICA LEIGH SEIDLER ’09 were married at the Pleasantdale Chateau in January. Costa is a graduate student at Seton Hall University and is a police officer with the Oradell Police Department. Seidler is pursuing her doctorate at Kean University.

CHRISTINE O’CONNOR ’09 is a counselor at Cresskill (NJ) High School.

STEVEN BLOOM ’08 and Tara Bloom (Ruda) were married in July at the Crystal Plaza in Livingston, NJ. Fellow alumni STEPHEN CUCCHIARA ’08 AND ADAM VENANZI ’07 and Professor Alexandre Olbrecht were groomsmen and many other alumni were in attendance. Bloom will complete his MBA at Monmouth University in spring 2014 and was recently promoted to manager of Finance at L’Oreal USA in Berkeley Heights, NJ. DR. ADAM RYAN TOTH ’08 graduated from Des Moines University, IA, with a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree. Dr. Toth will start his residency in surgery and anesthesia at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, NH. AMANDA D’AMATO ’09 graduated from the University of Florida in December with a master of science in Forensic Serology and DNA. LAUREN DONNELLY ’09 is a kindergarten teacher at Traphagen School, Waldwick, NJ. COLLEEN FREUND ’09 became engaged to Daniel Libertz. A summer 2014 wedding is planned. Freund is a residence director at Drew University and is an adjunct faculty member at Ramapo College. GEMMA CHALKLEY ’08 became engaged to Ryan Saum. A 2014 wedding is planned.

Ramapo College Magazine Winter 2014

2010215-50_Winter_Magazine.indd 28-29

ALISANDRA WEDERICH ’09 collaborated with MercerARC’s Artists Collective to curate an exposition of artwork by the Collective’s members. Wederich is also the manager of the Straube Center and art director and co-founder of the Red Filter Fine Art Gallery, Lambertville, NJ.

STEVEN PARDALIS ’09 and MELISSA ANDERSEN ’09 became engaged in May at Disney World in Animal Kingdom. Pardalis graduated from Seton Hall Law School in May and is a law clerk to the Honorable Paul A. Kapalko, Monmouth County Superior Court, Civil Division. Andersen works in advertising as a print production assistant for Wakefern Food Corporation.They were wed in October 2013. FATEMA RAZA ’09 was promoted from senior accountant to supervisor accountant at the New Brunswick office of WithumSmith+Brown(WS+B), Certified Public Accountants and Consultants. KRISTINE AUSTRIA ’10 was named a finalist in Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR) 2013 Emerging Leaders Awards, which honors young women (ages 23–30) who greatly influence the communications field and show the potential to transform the industry. NICOLE JEAN OSTERTAG ’10 married A.J. Lindenberg in April. Ostertag is a renal dialysis nurse at Fresenius Medical Center in Watertown, NY. JOSEPH WILDER ’10 was appointed to the Woodbridge Township (NJ) Police Department. Wilder completed the state-mandated police training program at the Monmouth County Police Training Academy. MICHAEL FIORELLI ’08 is a writer for theneuroticcritic. com, which features his review of films.

STEPHANIE FRUGIS ’11 published her first novel, Brave Love, available online and in print. Frugis also cantors at Catholic churches in New Jersey and is the co-conductor in the Rockin’ Railroad band at Kidville in Westfield, NJ. ANDREW BROWN ’11 competed and won a bronze medal in the 19th World Games in Israel as a member of the United States men’s volleyball team. Brown won a gold medal at the Pan American Maccabiah games in 2011. He serves as the head women’s volleyball coach at Saint Peter’s University, Jersey City, NJ. CHRISTINA LABARBIERA ’11 is a licensed real estate associate with the Keller Williams Village Square Realty, Ridgewood, NJ, sales team. CHRISTOPHER MAZAWEY ’11 was named to the dean’s list at Pace Law School for the spring 2013 semester of his second year.

LISA FISCHMAN ’06 was the assistant coach for the Maccabi USA Women’s Basketball National Team which competed and won a gold medal in the 19th World Maccabiah Games in Israel in July. Fischman has won five gold medals at the Maccabiah games and has been a part of the Maccabi USA National Team since 2005. Fischman is also the assistant varsity coach and head freshman coach for the Montclair (NJ) High School girls’ basketball teams. STEVEN YOURSTONE ’12 completed his first year in a Ph.D. program at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Yourstone is studying Analytical Chemistry. NICHOLAS SCHRECK ’13 is an account coordinator for the DSM Group, a full-service advertising, public relations, and marketing agency in Franklin Lakes, NJ. BRANDON BOUKNIGHT ’13 was accepted to the University of Westminster in London, U.K., where he will work toward his master’s degree in Media Management. He previously spent a semester abroad studying at the University of Westminster through the Roukema Center for International Education at Ramapo. Bouknight was influenced to continue his education there based on his initial experience.

Ramapo College Study Abroad Program Featured in Roundtable Abroad RACHEL KEHOE ’13 and GARY MINUCCIO ’13 participated in the Ramapo Study Abroad Program in Documentary Photography in Argentina and presented a collection of student photos at a conference at the Universidad de El Salvador in Buenos Aires. The faculty-led program, run by Assistant Professor of Art (Photography and Digital Media) Yolanda del Amo, encouraged students to document their experiences learning about a new culture through photography. Students spent two weeks in Buenos Aires, the country’s capital city, and one week in the northern region of Salta. They met with renowned Argentinian artists, visited museums, and took away a feel for the culture that informed the themes of the photography presented in El Salvador. Throughout the duration of the program, students developed a documentary photography project focused on their new surroundings in Argentina. “Some of my goals for the program were to help students develop visual vocabulary, respond to an environment outside of their comfort zone, be alert to what they see, notice the difference between American culture and Argentinian culture, and make sense of the inevitable culture shock,” Del Amo said. At the end of the program, students put together a portfolio of their photography from the trip. Many of the photos collected in their portfolios were featured in the roundtable at the Universidad de El Salvador.

Giving to Ramapo... It’s easier than ever! Ramapo continues its proud tradition of providing the tools which foster excellence in education, and Ramapo College alumni, parents, students, faculty/staff, friends, and board members are a driving force in supporting the Annual Fund. Ramapo depends on these gifts to support the mission of the College.

SO JUST POINT, CLICK, GIVE! www.ramapo.edu/giving/annual-fund

www.ramapo.edu

29

12/16/13 2:10 PM


ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

R

amapo College continues to encourage students to become active in causes they believe in, whether it’s raising money to find a cure for a disease, improving the

environment, or traveling to distant countries to help impoverished people. For some, activism becomes a life choice, one on which to build a career. Meet two alumni who have dedicated their careers to improving the emotional and fiscal well-being of individuals and healthcare providers.

Dean of SSHS Sam Rosenberg reviews the upcoming Alumni-Student Networking Roundtable panel discussion with Peter Pastras.

APRIL NATURALE ’82

“A collaborative effort between alumni, students, advisors, and faculty broadens one’s perception of the world.”

30

As a senior technical specialist for Inner City Fund International (ICF), April Naturale, Ph.D., LCSW ’82 must quickly arrive at solutions to monumental problems. A member of ICF’s Homeland Security division, her expertise is disaster behavioral health. She specializes in disaster recovery planning and public health preparedness. “Providing information decreases anxiety,” she says. “We have ways to bounce back from adversity. Ten percent of the population doesn’t get better on their own.” A Psychology major at Ramapo, Naturale earned a master’s degree from Columbia University, a Ph.D. from New York University, and is a licensed clinical social worker in four states. Her education helped prepare her to become the statewide director for Project Liberty, the FEMA-funded 9/11 mental health response, under the auspices of the New York State Office of Mental Health, that created the largest crisis counseling assistance and training program in the 30-year history of the office. Naturale spent two years working in each of the states affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Wilma, and Ike. She also worked with the Mental Health Association-New York City to launch the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Distress Helpline and to oversee the 9/11 10th Anniversary Healing and Remembrance program. Naturale says helping is innate to her personality and Ramapo professors fostered that trait by encouraging her to make a mark on the world. “There was always an emphasis on the world, especially the environment. It was an extraordinary experience.” One ICF assignment found Naturale in Dubai debriefing a group of Muslim men after seven humanitarian aid workers were killed in Pakistan. Given the cultural differences, she drew on her personal credo—be prepared, be practiced, and consistently updated on facts—to complete the assignment. Naturale’s position is stressful, especially with the realization that she is not able to help everyone. To combat the opposing emotions of success and failure she strives for a balance of work and leisure, which includes Ramapo College. She serves on the Alumni Advisory Board of the School of Social Science and Human Services and participates in the school’s annual Alumni-Student Networking Roundtable event. “It’s always helpful to network,” Naturale says. “A collaborative effort between alumni, students, advisors, and faculty broadens one’s perception of the world.”

Ramapo College Magazine Winter 2014

2010215-50_Winter_Magazine.indd 30-31

PETER PASTRAS ’81 “...Ramapo College was critical to his personal development. “It was a unique environment and a supportive place,” he said.

It is accurate to say that through his company, Clinical Services Management, P.C. (CSM), Peter Pastras, LCSW, DCSW ’81 takes the fiscal and clinical pulse of agencies, hospitals, and corporations. Simply put, “It’s like family therapy in the workplace,” says Pastras, principal and lead consultant. CSM specializes in program evaluations, new program development, strategic planning, and remediation/turnarounds of troubled organizations. He and his staff rescue providers from the brink of losing mandatory licensing and accreditation. As an example, in December 2011, with just several weeks’ notice, he sent a team to a Fairbanks, Alaska, children’s residential program. The state had informed the agency it would be shut unless a management group could be brought on board to run the organization through a remediation process. The community was at risk of losing a limited resource that helped teens to cope with Alaska’s high rates of adolescent suicide, substance abuse, and domestic violence. Over the course of a year, Clinical Services Management was able to restore the program. Now it is licensed and provides residential services to more than 50 adolescents. In contrast to this macro organizational level project, the clinical services company is retained to provide micro individualized behavioral health services to corporations. With the goal of improving relationships and productivity, they bring resolution to acrimonious departmental squabbling or assist workers to obtain reliable child care. CSM’s client list is recognizable: leading organizations such as Bergen Regional Medical Center, New Jersey Division of Mental Health Services, Valley Hospital, Hackensack University Medical Center, Cabrini Medical Center, and South Jersey Healthcare System. The Metropolitan Studies and Literature major says Ramapo College was critical to his personal development. “It was a unique environment and a supportive place,” he said. “It gave me the opportunity to explore interests without having had them determined for me.” He took many literature courses with Professor Ernest Simon and believes they benefitted his career. “Literature is a unique opportunity to see into the minds of people, their strengths, and the flaws that result in success or failure.” Relationships are important to Pastras. They are what have shaped his career and his continued involvement with Ramapo College as chairman of the Alumni Advisory Board of the School of Social Science and Human Services and his participation in the Alumni-Student Networking Roundtable. Pastras earned a LCSW degree at Columbia University and received the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Achievement. He also holds a Diplomat in Clinical Social Work from the National Association of Social Workers.

www.ramapo.edu

31

12/16/13 2:10 PM


ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

R

amapo College continues to encourage students to become active in causes they believe in, whether it’s raising money to find a cure for a disease, improving the

environment, or traveling to distant countries to help impoverished people. For some, activism becomes a life choice, one on which to build a career. Meet two alumni who have dedicated their careers to improving the emotional and fiscal well-being of individuals and healthcare providers.

Dean of SSHS Sam Rosenberg reviews the upcoming Alumni-Student Networking Roundtable panel discussion with Peter Pastras.

APRIL NATURALE ’82

“A collaborative effort between alumni, students, advisors, and faculty broadens one’s perception of the world.”

30

As a senior technical specialist for Inner City Fund International (ICF), April Naturale, Ph.D., LCSW ’82 must quickly arrive at solutions to monumental problems. A member of ICF’s Homeland Security division, her expertise is disaster behavioral health. She specializes in disaster recovery planning and public health preparedness. “Providing information decreases anxiety,” she says. “We have ways to bounce back from adversity. Ten percent of the population doesn’t get better on their own.” A Psychology major at Ramapo, Naturale earned a master’s degree from Columbia University, a Ph.D. from New York University, and is a licensed clinical social worker in four states. Her education helped prepare her to become the statewide director for Project Liberty, the FEMA-funded 9/11 mental health response, under the auspices of the New York State Office of Mental Health, that created the largest crisis counseling assistance and training program in the 30-year history of the office. Naturale spent two years working in each of the states affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Wilma, and Ike. She also worked with the Mental Health Association-New York City to launch the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Distress Helpline and to oversee the 9/11 10th Anniversary Healing and Remembrance program. Naturale says helping is innate to her personality and Ramapo professors fostered that trait by encouraging her to make a mark on the world. “There was always an emphasis on the world, especially the environment. It was an extraordinary experience.” One ICF assignment found Naturale in Dubai debriefing a group of Muslim men after seven humanitarian aid workers were killed in Pakistan. Given the cultural differences, she drew on her personal credo—be prepared, be practiced, and consistently updated on facts—to complete the assignment. Naturale’s position is stressful, especially with the realization that she is not able to help everyone. To combat the opposing emotions of success and failure she strives for a balance of work and leisure, which includes Ramapo College. She serves on the Alumni Advisory Board of the School of Social Science and Human Services and participates in the school’s annual Alumni-Student Networking Roundtable event. “It’s always helpful to network,” Naturale says. “A collaborative effort between alumni, students, advisors, and faculty broadens one’s perception of the world.”

Ramapo College Magazine Winter 2014

2010215-50_Winter_Magazine.indd 30-31

PETER PASTRAS ’81 “...Ramapo College was critical to his personal development. “It was a unique environment and a supportive place,” he said.

It is accurate to say that through his company, Clinical Services Management, P.C. (CSM), Peter Pastras, LCSW, DCSW ’81 takes the fiscal and clinical pulse of agencies, hospitals, and corporations. Simply put, “It’s like family therapy in the workplace,” says Pastras, principal and lead consultant. CSM specializes in program evaluations, new program development, strategic planning, and remediation/turnarounds of troubled organizations. He and his staff rescue providers from the brink of losing mandatory licensing and accreditation. As an example, in December 2011, with just several weeks’ notice, he sent a team to a Fairbanks, Alaska, children’s residential program. The state had informed the agency it would be shut unless a management group could be brought on board to run the organization through a remediation process. The community was at risk of losing a limited resource that helped teens to cope with Alaska’s high rates of adolescent suicide, substance abuse, and domestic violence. Over the course of a year, Clinical Services Management was able to restore the program. Now it is licensed and provides residential services to more than 50 adolescents. In contrast to this macro organizational level project, the clinical services company is retained to provide micro individualized behavioral health services to corporations. With the goal of improving relationships and productivity, they bring resolution to acrimonious departmental squabbling or assist workers to obtain reliable child care. CSM’s client list is recognizable: leading organizations such as Bergen Regional Medical Center, New Jersey Division of Mental Health Services, Valley Hospital, Hackensack University Medical Center, Cabrini Medical Center, and South Jersey Healthcare System. The Metropolitan Studies and Literature major says Ramapo College was critical to his personal development. “It was a unique environment and a supportive place,” he said. “It gave me the opportunity to explore interests without having had them determined for me.” He took many literature courses with Professor Ernest Simon and believes they benefitted his career. “Literature is a unique opportunity to see into the minds of people, their strengths, and the flaws that result in success or failure.” Relationships are important to Pastras. They are what have shaped his career and his continued involvement with Ramapo College as chairman of the Alumni Advisory Board of the School of Social Science and Human Services and his participation in the Alumni-Student Networking Roundtable. Pastras earned a LCSW degree at Columbia University and received the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Achievement. He also holds a Diplomat in Clinical Social Work from the National Association of Social Workers.

www.ramapo.edu

31

12/16/13 2:10 PM


DATEBOOK

LES PAUL FOUNDATION SATURDAY, JANUARY 25, 8:00 p.m.

Bobby Broom Trio/Jean Prosper Guitarist Bobby Broom and pianist Jean Prosper collaborate for an exuberant celebration of modern Jazz. Sharp Theater at the Russ and Angelica Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts. Call the Box Office for tickets at: 201.684.7844

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 8:00 p.m.

Third Annual Les Paul Tribute Festival Ramapo College and the Mahwah Museum join forces to celebrate the trailblazing musical stylings of legendary guitarist Les Paul through a fundraising concert. Sharp Theater at the Russ and Angelica Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts. Call the Box Office for tickets at: 201.684.7844

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 8:00 p.m.

Mack Brandon’s Gospel Explosion featuring Matthew Whitaker Mark Brandon’s joyful gospel choir will perform along with pianist and organ player Matthew Whitaker in an interactive show. Sharp Theater at the Russ and Angelica Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts. Call the Box Office for tickets at: 201.684.7844

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 8:00 p.m.

American Repertory Ballet Performs Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare’s iconic tale of star-crossed lovers is performed through dance and accompanied by Prokofiev’s romantic score. Sharp Theater at the Russ and Angelica Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts.

MARCH 5–7, 10–12, 8:00 p.m. MARCH 8, 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

School of Contemporary Arts Theater Program Presents Dead Man’s Cell Phone An absurdist and comedic performance that chronicles the relationship between a young woman and a deceased man through his cell phone. Adler Theater at the Russ and Angelica Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts. Call the Box Office for tickets at: 201.684.7844

SATURDAY, MARCH 22, 8:00 p.m. Matthew Piazzi & The Debonairs Matthew Piazzi and The Debonairs perform classic doo wop, pop, R&B, and soul tunes from the glory days of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Sharp Theater at the Russ and Angelica Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts. Call the Box Office for tickets at: 201.684.7844

APRIL 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 8:00 p.m.

School of Contemporary Arts Theater Program Presents Spring Awakening Book and Lyrics by Steven Sater, Music by Duncan Sheik, Directed by Cat Miller, Music Direction by David Gordon, Choreography by Laura Ward. The winner of eight Tony awards and featuring “the most gorgeous Broadway score this decade.” (Entertainment Weekly). Spring Awakening follows a group of 19th century German teens as they grapple with sexuality, morality, and rebellion in a world of unresponsive adults and institutions. Spring Awakening explodes the boundaries of musical theater to reveal the vital and passionate journey of growing up. Sharp Theater at the Russ and Angelica Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts. Call the Box Office for tickets at: 201.684.7844.

Call the Box Office for tickets at: 201.684.7844

SATURDAY, MARCH 1, 8:00 p.m.

New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players: I’ve Got a Little Twist

32

2010215-50_Winter_Magazine.indd 32-3

SATURDAY, APRIL 26, 8:00 p.m.

The Ladies of Laughter Funny and Fabulous Tour

New York Gilbert and Sullivan players keep the Broadway legacy alive by performing classics from Rodgers & Hammerstein, Bernstein, Sondheim, Lerner & Loewe, Meredith Wilson, and Jerry Herman.

This tour follows the heralded national contest in search of the country’s funniest comediennes. Featuring NJ’s own Robin Fox “The REAL NJ housewife” plus Connecticut mom, Jane Condon and the inaugural winner from Caesars Casino, Chris Rich.

Sharp Theater at the Russ and Angelica Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts.

Sharp Theater at the Russ and Angelica Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts.

Call the Box Office for tickets at: 201.684.7844

Call the Box Office for tickets at: 201.684.7844.

Ramapo College Magazine Winter 2014

“This generous gift from the Les Paul Foundation will provide our students with a broad historical foundation of industry standard analog technologies, while taking advantage of tremendous developments in digital technology,” said Ramapo President Peter P. Mercer.

LES PAUL FOUNDATION BESTOWS

$150,000 Gift

(L-R): Aris Ladas, Patrick Risi, Jennifer O’Brien, Tim Paziora, Rusty Paul (Les Paul’s son), Seth Cluett, Executive Director of the Les Paul Foundation Michael Braunstein , Nicolas Figueroa, Emma Munro, Joseph Markey and Keenan Ward

/ The centerpiece of the new studio will be a hybrid digital po Following the lead of music legend Les Paul, Rama of ng teachi the allow will that le conso mixing analog College will build a state-of-the-art music production classic, historical, and foundational techniques in an al music the te educa will that studio design and sound environment that takes advantage of contemporary that luminaries of the future in a unique, hybrid facility computer control and recording practices. Keeping bridges the worlds of analog and digital sound. Paul, with the Les Paul Foundation mission, the studio will ologist, who pushed boundaries as a performer and techn emphasize Paul’s early experimentation by including lived in Mahwah. technologies such as reel-to-reel tape and analog The idea for the grant began with the 2011 Mahwah reverberation, but modernized with state-of-the-art the Museum tribute to Les Paul, who lived in Mahwah for ry digital control. The studio will offer exposure to indust last 50 years of his life. and ing, record all standard microphones common to “This generous gift from the Les Paul Foundation will sound design and production facilities. tion founda provide our students with a broad historical a The College’s music curriculum emphasizes Paul as of industry standard analog technologies, while taking uced to introd is Paul r. reneu entrep and tor, innova ist, guitar advantage of tremendous developments in digital ing. students as one of the inventors of multi-track record r. Merce P. Peter ent Presid po Rama said technology,” er chamb echo the of use the in role He also played a crucial ago. The College’s current studio was upgraded 13 years to l crucia logy techno a s, space tic acous for simulating g It already attracts a blend of students who are pushin the history of sound design for film. His departures with and music what of visions new create aside limitations to and the electric guitar help to teach how the instrument sound design can be. g -playin guitar ed chang and amplification developed “We concentrate, in the tradition of Les Paul, on the techniques and performance practices. The Music major ction (Produ Music of sor whole artist,” said Assistant Profes of at Ramapo College is dedicated to encouraging the kind live and Industry) Seth Cluett. “We teach audio engineering, ied embod is that tion creativity, innovation, and experimenta to sound engineering, sound design, and music production in the legacy of Les Paul. hip–hop people who are singer-songwriters, pop musicians, producers and DJs.” www.ramapo.edu

12/16/13 2:10 PM


DATEBOOK

LES PAUL FOUNDATION SATURDAY, JANUARY 25, 8:00 p.m.

Bobby Broom Trio/Jean Prosper Guitarist Bobby Broom and pianist Jean Prosper collaborate for an exuberant celebration of modern Jazz. Sharp Theater at the Russ and Angelica Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts. Call the Box Office for tickets at: 201.684.7844

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 8:00 p.m.

Third Annual Les Paul Tribute Festival Ramapo College and the Mahwah Museum join forces to celebrate the trailblazing musical stylings of legendary guitarist Les Paul through a fundraising concert. Sharp Theater at the Russ and Angelica Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts. Call the Box Office for tickets at: 201.684.7844

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 8:00 p.m.

Mack Brandon’s Gospel Explosion featuring Matthew Whitaker Mark Brandon’s joyful gospel choir will perform along with pianist and organ player Matthew Whitaker in an interactive show. Sharp Theater at the Russ and Angelica Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts. Call the Box Office for tickets at: 201.684.7844

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 8:00 p.m.

American Repertory Ballet Performs Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare’s iconic tale of star-crossed lovers is performed through dance and accompanied by Prokofiev’s romantic score. Sharp Theater at the Russ and Angelica Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts.

MARCH 5–7, 10–12, 8:00 p.m. MARCH 8, 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

School of Contemporary Arts Theater Program Presents Dead Man’s Cell Phone An absurdist and comedic performance that chronicles the relationship between a young woman and a deceased man through his cell phone. Adler Theater at the Russ and Angelica Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts. Call the Box Office for tickets at: 201.684.7844

SATURDAY, MARCH 22, 8:00 p.m. Matthew Piazzi & The Debonairs Matthew Piazzi and The Debonairs perform classic doo wop, pop, R&B, and soul tunes from the glory days of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Sharp Theater at the Russ and Angelica Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts. Call the Box Office for tickets at: 201.684.7844

APRIL 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 8:00 p.m.

School of Contemporary Arts Theater Program Presents Spring Awakening Book and Lyrics by Steven Sater, Music by Duncan Sheik, Directed by Cat Miller, Music Direction by David Gordon, Choreography by Laura Ward. The winner of eight Tony awards and featuring “the most gorgeous Broadway score this decade.” (Entertainment Weekly). Spring Awakening follows a group of 19th century German teens as they grapple with sexuality, morality, and rebellion in a world of unresponsive adults and institutions. Spring Awakening explodes the boundaries of musical theater to reveal the vital and passionate journey of growing up. Sharp Theater at the Russ and Angelica Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts. Call the Box Office for tickets at: 201.684.7844.

Call the Box Office for tickets at: 201.684.7844

SATURDAY, MARCH 1, 8:00 p.m.

New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players: I’ve Got a Little Twist

32

2010215-50_Winter_Magazine.indd 32-3

SATURDAY, APRIL 26, 8:00 p.m.

The Ladies of Laughter Funny and Fabulous Tour

New York Gilbert and Sullivan players keep the Broadway legacy alive by performing classics from Rodgers & Hammerstein, Bernstein, Sondheim, Lerner & Loewe, Meredith Wilson, and Jerry Herman.

This tour follows the heralded national contest in search of the country’s funniest comediennes. Featuring NJ’s own Robin Fox “The REAL NJ housewife” plus Connecticut mom, Jane Condon and the inaugural winner from Caesars Casino, Chris Rich.

Sharp Theater at the Russ and Angelica Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts.

Sharp Theater at the Russ and Angelica Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts.

Call the Box Office for tickets at: 201.684.7844

Call the Box Office for tickets at: 201.684.7844.

Ramapo College Magazine Winter 2014

“This generous gift from the Les Paul Foundation will provide our students with a broad historical foundation of industry standard analog technologies, while taking advantage of tremendous developments in digital technology,” said Ramapo President Peter P. Mercer.

LES PAUL FOUNDATION BESTOWS

$150,000 Gift

(L-R): Aris Ladas, Patrick Risi, Jennifer O’Brien, Tim Paziora, Rusty Paul (Les Paul’s son), Seth Cluett, Executive Director of the Les Paul Foundation Michael Braunstein , Nicolas Figueroa, Emma Munro, Joseph Markey and Keenan Ward

/ The centerpiece of the new studio will be a hybrid digital po Following the lead of music legend Les Paul, Rama of ng teachi the allow will that le conso mixing analog College will build a state-of-the-art music production classic, historical, and foundational techniques in an al music the te educa will that studio design and sound environment that takes advantage of contemporary that luminaries of the future in a unique, hybrid facility computer control and recording practices. Keeping bridges the worlds of analog and digital sound. Paul, with the Les Paul Foundation mission, the studio will ologist, who pushed boundaries as a performer and techn emphasize Paul’s early experimentation by including lived in Mahwah. technologies such as reel-to-reel tape and analog The idea for the grant began with the 2011 Mahwah reverberation, but modernized with state-of-the-art the Museum tribute to Les Paul, who lived in Mahwah for ry digital control. The studio will offer exposure to indust last 50 years of his life. and ing, record all standard microphones common to “This generous gift from the Les Paul Foundation will sound design and production facilities. tion founda provide our students with a broad historical a The College’s music curriculum emphasizes Paul as of industry standard analog technologies, while taking uced to introd is Paul r. reneu entrep and tor, innova ist, guitar advantage of tremendous developments in digital ing. students as one of the inventors of multi-track record r. Merce P. Peter ent Presid po Rama said technology,” er chamb echo the of use the in role He also played a crucial ago. The College’s current studio was upgraded 13 years to l crucia logy techno a s, space tic acous for simulating g It already attracts a blend of students who are pushin the history of sound design for film. His departures with and music what of visions new create aside limitations to and the electric guitar help to teach how the instrument sound design can be. g -playin guitar ed chang and amplification developed “We concentrate, in the tradition of Les Paul, on the techniques and performance practices. The Music major ction (Produ Music of sor whole artist,” said Assistant Profes of at Ramapo College is dedicated to encouraging the kind live and Industry) Seth Cluett. “We teach audio engineering, ied embod is that tion creativity, innovation, and experimenta to sound engineering, sound design, and music production in the legacy of Les Paul. hip–hop people who are singer-songwriters, pop musicians, producers and DJs.” www.ramapo.edu

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CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED

505 Ramapo Valley Road Mahwah, NJ 07430-1623 www.ramapo.edu Nominate someone in New Jersey who has made a difference in the lives of others for the Russ Berrie Award for Making A Difference. Nominations accepted through February 14. Info: https://its.ramapo.edu/rbamd/.

Pushing Boundaries SUCCESS BEYOND RAMAPO For 40 years Ramapo College has launched graduates who have succeeded in Pushing Boundaries both personally and professionally. Today, Ramapo College continues to inspire its students. Hear what our alumni say about these four promises:

Faculty who Teach and Mentor Daniel G. Walsh ’00 SSAIS, Partner, Belowich & Walsh, LLP, Attorneys at Law, White Plains, NY “I had opportunities most college students never get the chance to experience. In-depth and engaging discussions with a variety of faculty encouraged me to expand upon the topics and lead class discussions. This helped me push my boundaries and gave me the opportunity to develop my public speaking skills, which ultimately prepared me for my work in the courtroom.”

Hands-on Learning Jennifer Lazar ’06 TAS, Global Program Director, Life Sciences, Frost & Sullivan, Mountain View, CA “A large part of my success is a direct result of my Ramapo experience. Small, discussion-based classes helped strengthen my ability to collaborate with others and work as a team. I had the opportunity to present my class research at national conferences. Ramapo definitely prepared me for a business environment in a professional world.”

A Foundation for a Lifetime Sheryl Bagalio ’88 SSAIS, World-wide Regulatory Affairs Director, Becton Dickinson, BD Diabetes Care, Franklin Lakes, NJ “I knew when I went to school that I wanted something global. At Ramapo there is so much diversity. Learning to communicate effectively and respectfully while trying to negotiate and maintain cooperation across cultures is imperative in today’s world. The professors and students at Ramapo opened up a whole new world to me and revealed the importance of understanding other cultures and customs. Every encounter at Ramapo and since then has prepared me for the challenges and responsibilities I face today.”

Small Elite College David Kasperowicz ’86 ASB, Manager, Supply Chain, Bloomberg, New York, NY “I received a great education at Ramapo College while managing a variety of financial and family responsibilities. The classes were dynamic and engaging and the flexible schedule allowed me to take classes while working full time. I’ve always been a go-getter and Ramapo helped me get going.”

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Ramapo Magazine Winter 2014  
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