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Barbara Berreski, JD, MS

Chief Executive Officer

Director, Government & Legal Affairs



Patricia S. Berry

Chief Operating Officer


Pamela J. Hersh

Communications & Public Affairs


Support Staff

Charlene R. Pipher

Executive Assistant/Web Design


Terry Toth

Part-Time Secretarial Assistant


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New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities

150 West State Street

Trenton, New Jersey 08608

609-989-1100 office

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Quick Takes are current brief updates on legislative and policy issues being followed by NJASCU.

Current and Previously Featured "Quick Takes" are below:

Newark Museum Internship Puts Kean University Senior on Path Toward Arts Leadership
February 25, 2019

A Kean University art history student is being groomed as a future leader in the art world with a prestigious three-year internship at the Newark Museum.

Senior Jennifer Zuniga, who grew up in Jersey City and now lives in Elizabeth, started her Diversifying Art Museum Leadership Initiative internship in June 2018. The program exposes college students to the full range of museum departments, paying them while training them in all aspects of the business.

“It’s an understatement to say I’m excited at this opportunity to gain in-depth museum experience while continuing my education at Kean,” said Ms. Zuniga, who is one of six interns in the program at the museum. “I will graduate with three years of experience, which already sets me up with a foot in the door.”

The $6 million initiative is funded by the Ford Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation at 20 museums across the country with the goal of diversifying curatorial and management staff. Newark Museum is the only museum in the New York-metropolitan area that is part of the initiative.  Read full story.

Cyber Threat Intelligence Experts to Gather at New Jersey City University for National Security Symposium
February 25, 2018

New Jersey City University (NJCU) will host the Seventh Northeast Regional Security Education Symposium on Friday, March 22, 2019 from 8 am to 2 pm at the NJCU’s School of Business Skyline Room in downtown Jersey City.

The symposium features leading experts in the security industry, along with faculty members, alumni, and students from the NJCU Professional Security Studies Department. The theme this year is Cyber Threat Intelligence in Government and Private Sectors.

“This regional symposium is a particularly valuable opportunity for professionals and NJCU students to network with leading experts in the field,” said Scott Fisher, co-chair of the Professional Security Studies Department. “It is also designed for anyone seeking undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral degrees in the field of national and civil security, and distinguishes our program as a leader in security education.”

“The symposium brings together key players in the cyber security field with students, potential students, alumni and faculty to deliver an unforgettable learning experience,” said Deborah Woo, dean of the College of Professional Studies. “This year’s event revolves around urgent cyber security issues and features a poster session presented by NJCU doctoral candidates.” Read full story.

William Paterson University Galleries to Receive $20,000 Grant from National Endowment for the Arts

February 21, 2019


The William Paterson University Galleries has been approved to receive a $20,000 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support a site-specific installation and exhibition by artist Marion Wilson that will connect watershed research with the visual arts and provide STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) education for underserved populations.


“We are excited to be one of 13 organizations in New Jersey to receive NEA funding and we are honored for the opportunity to collaborate with artist Marion Wilson, who uses the lens of ecology to work non-hierarchically with diverse community members,” said Kristen Evangelista, director of the William Paterson University Galleries.  “Art will serve as a catalytic tool to address environmental concerns and increase the public knowledge of and connection to their surroundings.”


The year-long project by Ms. Wilson, which begins this spring, will be informed by research on water sustainability and hydrology and integrate art and science.  Ms. Wilson will collaborate with Nicole Davi, a William Paterson associate professor of environmental science, and undergraduate students, along with community partners, to examine the ecology of watersheds, and the connection to surrounding land-use, at a local study site.


“Our students are very excited about integrating science and art, and it is pushing them to think creatively,” says Dr. Davi.  “They are learning how the arts can raise environmental awareness and even support community buy-in for sustainable initiatives – critical elements for success and recurring themes in my class.”  Students will conduct stream studies, which include measuring stream flow, testing water, and drawing stream visualizations. The types of insects, invertebrates, and plant life that are collected reveal significant information about water quality and the need for conservation.  This scientific data is also highly visual and lends itself to artistic interpretation.  Read full story.

Montclair State University Earns R2 Designation (High Research Activity) from Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education

February 21, 2019



Montclair State University has achieved yet another milestone in its ascension to the ranks of the nation’s top public universities.


The institution has earned the designation of R2 – Doctoral University – High Research Activity – in the latest reclassification of the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.  Seen as the national standard for college and university classifications, the Carnegie Classification has been the leading framework for recognizing and describing higher education institutional diversity since 1970.


The accomplishment comes just three years after Montclair State earned an initial Research Doctoral University (R3) designation, and signifies a continued expansion of the University’s research portfolio and doctoral program offerings.


“Our new designation as a Carnegie R2 institution is a well-deserved validation of what we have already known – that we are a dynamic research university with faculty and students who are producing cutting-edge research,” said Vice Provost for Research and Dean of The Graduate School Scott Herness.  Read full story.

Symposium at William Paterson University Launches the Propel Paterson Initiative

February 21, 2019


William Paterson University hosted meetings Friday, February 15, as part of Propel Paterson, a partnership with the city intended to revitalize it through economic development, learning and research.


William Paterson University President Richard Helldobler explained that federal entities will sponsor research and the university is seeking grants.  The university is also diversifying its revenue stream, which is keeping the price of tuition from rising, and Propel Paterson is providing jobs for students.  “Applying the intellectual capital of the university allows faculty and students to apply their knowledge in real-world situations,” Dr. Helldobler said.  “If we can figure out how to create better cities for our kids, it gives other cities a blueprint.”


President Helldobler said that a revitalized Paterson keeps its graduates in the state, and he noted that 30 percent of New Jersey high school graduates do not seek post-secondary education.


“As the city of Paterson improves, our associate brand improves,” Dr. Helldobler said.  “Given our social justice effort, increasing the quality of life is an important endeavor …. What is a university?  We exist to support our students …. The single most important aspect regarding the educational attainment of a child is the health and educational attainment of the mother.  Today is the beginning of a new chapter in our storied history.”


Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh believes Paterson is poised for progress, noting the city has accrued $130 million in tax credits.


“Wherever I go, I say I am from Paterson where Hamilton set the stage,” Mayor Sayegh said.  “…. We were the first planned industrial city in the nation.  Very often we operate in silos.  We are looking to create synergies.  We are looking for research and resources.  Paterson is going to rely on analytics’, so we can measure what we are offering to our residents:  police, fire, and EMS response time.”  Read full story.

Commencement News: Congressman Jeff Van Drew Will be Keynote Speaker at Stockton’s Commencement, 

May 10

February 19, 2019


U.S. Representative Jeff Van Drew will be the keynote speaker at Stockton University’s Baccalaureate Commencement Ceremony at noon May 10 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.


“We are honored that Congressman Van Drew has agreed to be our Commencement speaker this year,” Stockton President Harvey Kesselman said.  “He has had a long history of public service to New Jersey and his constituents.  We look forward to him sharing his insights with our graduating students.”


Dr. Van Drew was elected to Congress in November, 2018.  He was sworn in on January 3, 2019, and has been named to serve on the House Agriculture Committee and the House Natural Resources Committee.  Van Drew also sits on the following subcommittees, Biotech, Horticulture, and Research, Nutrition Oversight, and Department Operations, Commodity, Exchanges, Energy and Credit, General Farm Commodities and Risk Management, and Water, Oceans, and Wildlife.  He previously served four terms in the New Jersey State Senate and three terms in the state Assembly where he earned the role of Assistant Majority Leader.


A dentist and resident of Dennis Township in Cape May County, Dr. Van Drew earned a reputation as a strong advocate for South Jersey municipalities and residents, especially veterans, senior citizens and consumers.  He has been honored with numerous awards for his advocacy.  He has also shown a willingness to work on a bipartisan basis.


One of his first acts in Congress was to introduce the “End Government Shutdowns Act” that would permanently prevent the federal government from shutting down.  In his first speech on the House floor he asked for support for legislation that would keep the Coast Guard and Federal Aviation Administration funded during the recent shutdown.



Kean University Ranked Top in the Nation as Military Friendly University

January 31, 2019


Kean University is ranked first in the nation among large public schools for its commitment, effort and success in creating sustainable and meaningful benefits for its student veterans, according to the Military Friendly Schools survey.


In awarding Kean the #1 national ranking and gold status, Victory Media, the producer of the Military Friendly Schools Survey, highlighted how Kean far exceeds standards for academic policies, culture, financial aid, military support services and other key areas for student veterans.


In its 17th year, the Military Friendly® Schools list is released by Victory Media, a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business that connects the military community to civilian employment, educational and entrepreneurial opportunities.


“This elite designation shows that Kean University is in a class by itself when it comes to helping our military veterans’ transition to student life,” said Kean President Dawood Farahi, PhD.  “At every step of the educational journey, we want to demonstrate our respect for their service to our country and support their success as students.”


Vito Zajda, a veteran of the Coast Guard and Kean’s director of Veteran Student Services, said that Kean offers one-on-one support to its 251 students who served in the military.


“We ask our students, ‘What is your goal?’ and then we talk through how Kean can help them achieve their goals,” he said.  “We have 15 veterans who are mentors.  They track the students and help sort out any issues, whether they are academic or related to their military service.  At Kean, a student veteran is not a number and is not alone.”


Daniel Darasz of Jersey City, a criminal justice student who served four years on active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps and now is in the Marine Corps Reserve, said he benefited from Kean’s personal approach.


“Vito Zajda actually kept in day-to-day email contact with me last winter when I was deployed in Asia to ensure that my enrollment process at Kean was painless,” he said.


Kean provides a broad range of services to its student veterans, including a Transition to Kean course exclusively for veterans.  It had a big impact on Almee Jane Gamboa from Secaucus, a physical education student who was in the Marines and served in Afghanistan in 2013.


“The Transition to Kean course was extremely useful because it dealt with what we go through as we move from military life to civilian life,” she said.  “I learned so much and got help for everything I needed.”


Kean also has the Veterans Integration to Academic Leadership (VITAL) program, which gives on-campus, personal support in accessing Veterans Affairs services; and the Veteran Services Lounge in the Center for Academic Success, where former military men and women can socialize and study.


Another program, operated in partnership with Kean’s industrial design faculty, gives veterans a creative outlet to support their emotional needs.  They design and create objects using Kean’s 3-D printer.  Student veterans have used their time in digital fabrication lab to create inserts to make prosthetic limbs easier to adjust and that help Kevlar helmets fit better.  Another veteran created an X-Box game piece.


New programs this year include the Remind service, which gives Kean’s student veterans 24/7 access, via texting, to a support team in any crisis.  Also, Zajda has applied to be a Veteran Service Officer, the third in Union County, to support veterans on campus and in the community with medical, military-related and other Department of Veterans Affairs issues.


Juan M. Leon-Torres of East Brunswick was in the U.S. Navy for five years and is now pursuing a bachelor’s degree in exercise science.


“The transition to Kean was easy because the veterans’ office is staffed with people from the military, which made the environment familiar,” Mr. Leon-Torres said.  “If I needed help on anything related to education or for personal information, I get an answer quickly.”


Institutions earning the Military Friendly School designation were evaluated using both public date sources and responses from a proprietary survey completed by the school.  Student survey data was also taken into consideration for the designation.  More than 1,400 schools participated in the 2018-2019 survey, with 941 schools earning the designation. 

Stockton University Offers New Subject Area of Concentration in Migration Studies
January 31, 2019

Responding to a critical national issue in need of research, discussion, and thoughtful deliberation, Stockton University has added a new minor in migration studies to provide students with multiple perspectives on migration and its impact in America and around the world.

The migration studies minor will focus on the mechanisms and consequences of different migration processes, including the dynamics of nation-building, contested community borders, and changing regional demographics.

“Although we often focus on people moving across international borders as a result of conflict or disaster, students must also appreciate the patterns of movement and displacement within the United States – for example, labor migration, gentrification, and climate-related change,” said Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Jess Bonnan-White, program coordinator.

The minor will provide a complement to such majors as pre-law, criminal justice, social work, sociology, sustainability, anthropology, economics and cultural studies. Currently, 30 courses in a variety of disciplines, taught by more than 15 faculty members, are included in the program. Several of the faculty have conducted international and domestic fieldwork and teach about displacement from a first-hand view.

“We are lucky to have classes taught by faculty scholars who have witnessed the consequences of displacement around the world,” Professor Bonnan-White said. “For example, the ‘Displaced Persons’ course is taught by Assistant Professor of Social Work Elma Kaiser, who has conducted research among children forced out of their homes and who now live on the streets in Bangladesh. This means our students are not only learning theory but learn from faculty who have contributed to the scholarship on these areas, themselves.”

Other program courses include “Race, Ethnicity and Migration,” “Human Adaptation and Variation,” “Globalization, Migration and Art,” “Race and Politics,” “Introduction to Global Literatures,” “Homeland Security,” “Borders and Sanctuary,” and “Tourism and Development.”

“The courses don’t just address immigration, but also internal movement within the United States, such as people leaving New Jersey,” Professor Bonnan-White said. “Even tourism is temporary displacement and towns have to be prepared for that.”

At the undergraduate level there are only four other minor programs in the U.S. that specifically focus on migration studies.

“Stockton is uniquely situated in southern New Jersey to provide students with direct exposure to communities impacted by migration, and to reflect on their own role in creating comprehensive and sustainable public policy,” Professor Bonnan-White said. “This is not a refugee studies program. We are looking at the issue holistically.”

Faculty members are also available to speak with media on topics related to migration. Bonnan-White’s specialty is Homeland Security and Humanitarian Assistance.

A new minor is part of an initiative by Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Lori Vermeulen to promote new programming at Stockton that teaches students to become engaged and effective citizens.

William Paterson University and the City of Paterson Partner to ‘Propel Paterson’ Towards Revitalization

January 23, 2019


William Paterson University and the City of Paterson on January 23, 2019 held a press conference to announce a new partnership designed to support Paterson’s revitalization through learning, research, and action.


The university and the city will work collaboratively to transform faculty research into opportunities for economic and workforce development, educational growth and community action.


“Propel Paterson is an exciting new chapter in the shared history of William Paterson University and the City of Paterson,” said Richard J. Helldobler, president of William Paterson University.  “We believe that synergies between university expertise in our full range of disciplines and innovative ideas in Paterson can help to fuel the city’s revitalization while increasing our research profile.”


“This type of in-depth, cross-collaborative partnership is long overdue,” said Andre Sayegh, mayor of Paterson.  “Paterson has plenty of potential and William Paterson University will help harness it.”


The Propel Paterson initiative will kick off with an action-oriented conference on Friday, February 15 at the university that will include city leaders, university faculty and administrators, state legislators, and economic redevelopment experts.  The conference will lead to development of a blueprint for sponsored faculty research and community redevelopment projects.  Propel Paterson will examine opportunities in healthcare, education, business, social services, and arts, culture and tourism.


William Paterson University and the City of Paterson share a long history dating to the university’s founding in 1855 as the Paterson City Normal School to train teachers for the emerging free public schools of Paterson.  Since then, and continuing through William Paterson’s move from Paterson to Wayne in 1951, the university has continued to partner with Paterson on a wide variety of initiatives ranging from deep involvement with the Paterson Public Schools and the support for business through the university’s Small Business Development Center in downtown Paterson to the institution’s partnership with the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park and the involvement of faculty, students and staff in civic engagement projects with a wide variety of Paterson organizations.


Photo:  President Richard Helldobler (center) with Mayor Andre Sayegh (right) and Professor Vincent Parrillo (left).

The Tuchman Foundation Partners with TESU Foundation to Help Coast Guard Students Affected by Partial Government Shutdown
January 22, 2019

Thomas Edison State University (TESU) announced last week that The Tuchman Foundation has committed to strengthen the TESU Foundation’s pledge to assist enrolled Coast Guard students affected by the government shutdown.

According to Tuchman Foundation chair Martin Tuchman, a new Coast Guard Education Fund will join the TESU Foundation’s pledge to cover February tuition for enrolled Coast guard students. It will also help to cover Coast Guard tuition for the following two semesters, if the government shutdown continues. Additionally, the new fund will include up to $500 per student to cover emergency personal expenses such as textbooks for those registered in the February term. The Tuchman Foundation’s pledge could total as much as $65,000 in support of Coast Guard students.

This gift is the first step toward the creation of a broader Military Student Reserve Fund to assure the continuous education of enrolled students who face exigent circumstances that may prevent them from continuing with their education through no fault of their own.

“The university is committed to doing everything possible to reduce the negative impact of these emergencies on our military students, just as we are to addressing the urgent situation currently facing our Coast Guard students,” said Dr. Merodie A. Hancock, president. “We are extremely grateful to The Tuchman Foundation for this display of generosity and humanity.”

“We began discussing this concept earlier this year with the idea of establishing a fund for the purpose of addressing tuition costs for students from the military, who faced unexpected hardships and were qualified and accepted into the university’s program,” Mr. Tuchman explained. “By serving as a backstop for Thomas Edison State University students, we ensure that they can continue their education without being affected by government shutdowns or other distractions.”

The Tuchman Foundation and its affiliates currently provide scholarships to New Jersey Institute of Technology, Seton Hall University, Mercer County Community College and Trenton Catholic Academy.
Stockton Will Partner with Thomas Jefferson University and Other Institutions for its Cannabis Studies Program
January 22, 2019

Stockton University announced new academic and non-academic partnerships that will enhance opportunities for students in its new Cannabis Studies program.

A partnership with Thomas Jefferson University will provide opportunities for students and faculty to collaborate with Jefferson’s Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hamp within The Institute of Emerging Health Professions.

Stockton Associate Professor of Biology, Dr. Ekaterina Sedia, coordinator of the Cannabis Studies minor, said the partnership will give students the opportunity for internships and research with a highly respected academic institution. “The Lambert Center is a leader in the medicinal cannabis and industrial hemp fields,” Dr. Sedia said. “We are thrilled that Jefferson will share their knowledge with the students in our Cannabis Studies minor, and offer them additional opportunities. We are looking forward to mutually beneficial academic relationship.”

Jefferson is the first major health sciences university in the United States to provide a comprehensive academic resource for the medicinal applications of cannabinoids, which can be derived from both marijuana and hemp. Jefferson currently offers unique graduate courses in cannabis medicine and in cannabinoid chemistry, pharmacology, and toxicology, leading to one of three graduate certificates. Students who complete two certificate programs (8 graduate courses) and a capstone project can earn the nation’s only master’s degree in cannabis studies.

“The Lambert Center at Jefferson is thrilled to extend its reach to undergraduate students who are interested in this exciting and fast-growing field,” said Charles Pollack, MA, MD, the Center’s Director and Associate Provost at Jefferson. “We also welcome the opportunity to collaborate with the expert faculty at Stockton to expand the curricular offerings of both institutions and enhance our shared leadership in all educational aspects of cannabinoid science, research, policy, and practice.”

Stockton introduced a Cannabis Studies minor in the Fall 2018 semester to address the need to provide academic and practical study and research to the issue of medical and recreational marijuana use in New Jersey and the nation. The new minor addresses Stockton’s mission to prepare students for the complexities of the world in which they live and work and the issues that are shaping the future.

Stockton also has agreements with three non-academic partners: Relevant, an arm of Reliance Health Care; the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association (NJCBA); and the New Jersey Cannabis Industry Association. These partners will provide speakers and materials to Stockton and the local community and internship opportunities to Stockton students.

Dr. Sedia said Stockton’s program provides students with a broad perspective on cannabis use and production as it relates to the law, criminal justice, health sciences, finance and business. “Students in the program come from a variety of majors … The new partnerships will allow our students to apply what they are learning to their field of interest.”

Dr. Jon Regis, president and CEO of Reliance Medical Group said they look forward to working with students and faculty. “we are excited to work with students involved in the clinical application of cannabis, and to collaborate with Stockton to administer best practices with clinical evaluation and monitoring of the patients for better outcomes, while strengthening curriculum and instruction.”

As the leading cannabis trade organization in New Jersey, the New Jersey Cannabis Industry Association (NJCIA) is “thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with Stockton as they continue to develop their pioneering program in Cannabis Studies,” said Kelley Crosson, vice president of New Jersey Cannabis Industry Association. “We look forward to working together as this exciting new industry expands, and we congratulate Stockton on their forward-thinking approach …. NJCIA will provide input and access to cannabis industry thought leaders for classroom lectures and events in a wide range of topics that impact the lives of New Jersey residents – bridging the gap between politics, commerce, and education,” Vice President Crosson said. Read full story.

Stockton Dual Credit Class Fills “Math Gap” for College-Bound High School Seniors
January 14, 2019

Isja’monee Banks, 18, didn’t have to take a math class her senior year at Egg Harbor Township High School. But she plans to attend college and wants to be prepared. So she registered for the new Survey of Mathematics dual credit course with Stockton University, which will sharpen her math skills and provide her with college credit.

“I wanted to take it to get more experience,” Ms. Banks said. “I like that it’s a college level course.”

The new dual credit course is being piloted by Stockton at Egg Harbor Township High School and Holy Spirit High School in Absecon. The goal is to make sure students are prepared for college level math so that they won’t require remediation.

The pilot project is coordinated by Stockton Instructor of Mathematics and First Year Studies Emily Ryan, who taught high school math for eight years and saw the “math gap” problem many students face, and what they really need to know to succeed in college. Dean of the School General Studies at Stockton, Robert Gregg, suggested the course to fill the gap.

“New Jersey only requires three years of math in high school,” Professor Ryan said. “Many students don’t take a fourth year and lose their skills. Then they come here to Stockton and when they are tested for placement, get placed into a remedial class.”

The high school course is modeled after the Survey of Math introductory course offered at Stockton. It is designed for students who have taken Algebra II, but no pre-calculus and fills a Quantitative Reasoning requirement at Stockton. Students receive college credit which may be transferable to another college.

The content of the class is modeled after the content in the new Accuplacer, which is the test used by Stockton and many other colleges for placement in math courses. The high school students took the test in the fall, and will take it again in the spring to gauge their progress and skills.

EHTHS Math Supervisor Gregory Ryan said he worked with the high school guidance department to identify 20 seniors who wanted to go to college and had performed adequately in their previous three math classes.

“Some of them would have been able to handle precalculus,” math teacher Matt Logan said. “But some would have struggled. This will give them their math competency requirement.”

The course includes real-life applications of algebraic reasoning, graphic, quadratics, polynomials, and statistical reasoning. During a recent class students had to calculate how many television ads they could run for a music shop .

Gregory Ryan said the course helps give students the confidence that they can handle college material, and lets them earn college credits, which will save money if they attend college.

“It supports their need to be ready,” he said.

Emily Ryan said if the pilot math program is successful, it will be expanded to other area high schools.

Stockton’s dual credit program allows students to earn college credits for eligible courses taken in high school. Courses are offered in nine subject areas. Currently, more than 1,000 students in 28 high schools in New Jersey participate.

NJCU and the New Jersey Council for Economic Education Establish the Institute for Financial Literacy and Economic Education (IFLEE)

January 15, 2019


The New Jersey City University (NJCU) School of Business and the New Jersey Council for Economic Education (NJCEE) are excited to announce the establishment of the Institute for Financial Literacy and Economic Education (IFLEE).


The vision of the Institute is to empower community members to pursue a lifetime of financial health by providing the tools needed to make informed financial decisions.  IFLEE seeks to promote and improve personal finance skills among all New Jersey residents by providing education programs, acting as the New Jersey center and repository for financial resources, and conducting scholarly research.


NJCU President Sue Henderson noted, “The University is thrilled to partner with the New Jersey Council for Economic Education to create a financial literacy institute.  This initiative will result in pervasive and transformational impact on individuals, families, and communities.”


IFLEE, which commends the NJ State Legislature for passing legislation requiring personal finance instruction in New Jersey middle schools, will serve as the umbrella for several initiatives already in place, as well as the catalyst for the creation of new services and programs.  IFLEE will take a three-pronged approach to addressing our growing need for financial education:


1.     In partnership with the NJCU Deborah Partridge Wolfe College of Education, the NJCEE will provide teacher professional development workshops, lesson plans, and assessments.

2.     Through a coalition of New Jersey financial professionals, IFLEE will serve New Jersey’s most vulnerable residents by supporting sustainable financial capabilities programs within community non-profits and faith-based organizations.

3.     IFLEE will offer personal finance curriculum through non-credit classes and workforce development programs offered by the NJCU Division of Professional Education and Lifelong Learning.

The launch of IFLEE comes at a critical time as NJ Middle Schools prepare for implementation of the 2019 financial literacy requirement.  The IFLEE lessons will emphasize budgeting, saving, debt, investing and other issues associated with personal financial responsibility.  Meeting these learning standards is essential for rising high school students as they begin to think about life-changing financial decisions, such as paying for college and considering future career options.


Joseph DiFiglia, Executive director of NJCEE and IFLEE, praised the state’s decision to increase personal finance instruction.


“New Jersey has been at the forefront of K-12 financial education with personal finance standards embedded into our 21st Century Life and Careers framework.  We are one of only 17 states that has a high school personal finance course requirement.*  Extending financial literacy requirements to students in grades 6-8 will deepen their economic knowledge, and better prepare them for their adult roles as employees, consumers, parents, and as business and civic leaders.”


*2018 Council for Economic Education Survey of the States



About IFLEE and the New Jersey Council for Economic Education


For nearly 60 years, the nonprofit New Jersey Council has focused on economic and financial education for students from kindergarten through 12th grade.  We carry out our mission by educating the educators: providing the curriculum tools, the pedagogical support, and the community of peers that instruct, inspire, and guide.


By leveraging the education resources of NJCEE and NJCU, the Institute of Financial Literacy and Economic Education, working with its network of NJ non-profit organizations, university centers, the Federal Reserve Bank, and philanthropic sponsors, will strengthen NJ communities.


For more information about IFLEE or NJCEE, please visit www.njcu.edu/IFLEE or www.njeconomics.org.  You may also contact Joseph DiFiglia, Executive Director, IFLEE at jdifiglia@njeconomics.org or 732-241-7458.

Thomas Edison State University Foundation to Offer Tuition Assistance for Coast Guard Members Affected by Government Shutdown
January 15, 2019

Dr. Merodie A. Hancock, president of Thomas Edison State University (TESU), announced today that, despite the suspension of federal tuition assistance caused by the partial government shutdown, Coast Guard students will be able to remain enrolled in TESU courses. The University’s Foundation is stepping in to help enrolled Coast Guard students by deferring their tuition until their tuition assistance is once again available.

“TESU has always stood by our military students and we stand with our Coast Guard students today in their time of need,” Dr. Hancock said. “I’m delighted but not surprised by the generosity of the TESU Foundation Board in its support of our students. These Coast Guard members are facing serious hardships through no fault of their own. We would like to give them peace of mind when it comes to their education.”

The Coast Guard sent notice last week that it would suspend all tuition assistance during the partial shutdown. This notice suggested that the tuition assistance program would be resumed once the Coast Guard has a fiscal year 2019 appropriation. Students, however, were informed that they could potentially have full financial responsibility for funding their courses if they start classes without an approved tuition assistance voucher.

Thomas Edison State University has 135 active-duty Coast Guard students, 27 of whom are currently registered for the February term. Because of the partial government shutdown, more than 41,000 active-duty Coast Guard members are working without pay. Their next paycheck would have been expected on January 15.

“Coast Guard operations that protect life, property and national security must continue despite the lack of resources,” said Dr. Michael Toscani, chair of the TESU Foundation Board. “We are proud to do our part to support educational opportunities for our Coast Guard members.”

Of the five branches of the armed services, only members of the Coast Guard are affected by the partial shutdown, since their education is funded through the Department of Homeland Security. Other military students are funded by the Department of Defense, which is not affected by the shutdown.

About the Thomas Edison State University Foundation

The Thomas Edison State University Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. While independent of Thomas Edison State University, the Foundation operates exclusively for the benefit, support and promotion of the University and its educational activities and may receive and invest bequests, gifts or transfers of property or money, and expend any such funds or property for the institution’s educational purposes. To learn more about the Foundation, visit www.tesufoundation.org.

School of Applied Science and Technology at Thomas Edison State University Launches Journal of Women and Minorities in Technology
January 10, 2019

The School of Applied Science and Technology at Thomas Edison State University is launching the Journal of Women and Minorities in Technology, an open access journal that provides quality peer-reviewed articles written by academics and professionals in the fields of aviation, nuclear technology, cyber-security and information technology. The authors are interested in providing both technical and soft-skills information needed to perform successfully in the field of technology, with a special emphasis on women and minorities.

“There is a high demand for individuals skilled in these specific technologies, and a low number of women and minorities currently working in these areas,” said Dr. Tanis Stewart, assistant dean, School of Applied Science and Technology. “The Journal of Women and Minorities in Technology will offer a platform to increase those numbers by providing information and guidance on gaining the knowledge and experience needed to work in these challenging technological fields.”

Manuscripts should be original, previously unpublished papers, which are not under consideration for publication to any other journal. For more information about submitting articles to the quarterly publication or for other questions, please email jwmt@tesu.edu.

Renowned Sculptor Jim Dessicino Returns Home to Join Stockton Faculty
January 2, 2019

Jim Dessicino, a nationally renowned sculptor, is starting the New Year with conflicting emotions. He is mourning a “perplexing” loss of the past year, while celebrating a “most exciting” gain for his future.

His excitement is over his new job as an adjunct professor at Stockton University. He said his enthusiasm is “uncomplicated.” He simply loves what he does – loves sharing and teaching others the joys and challenges of the profession. He also loves continually learning from his students who help him evolve and improve as an artist.

“But what is especially great about my new job is the fact that I am based in my home town of Atlantic City,” said Mr. Dessicino, who has taught in Philadelphia at the University of the Arts and in the Vatican when he led tours at the Vatican Museums from 2007-2009. He credits Atlantic City itself, specifically, the Frederick William MacMonnies statue in the World War I Memorial at O’Donnell Park on Albany Avenue, for inspiring his career. The monument, which, by the way, can be admired from Stockton University’s new Atlantic City campus, “had an effect on me when I was in college, where my love of anatomy and working with my hands all led me to what seemed like an inevitable calling of a career as a sculptor,” he said. Featured in a Noyes Museum of Art exhibition at Stockton’s Kramer Hall in Hammonton in 2018, Mr. Dessicino is a sculptor, who works with clay and uses the human figure to explore the sociopolitical. His sculptures often examine the relationship between art and national identity, and in 2016, he received a Faith-in-Form Award from the AIA Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture with his friend and collaborator E’oin Burke.

Less inspiring, downright depressing, said the artist, was what happened to one of his sculptures in Princeton, NJ. It was stolen from a public arts project known as Dohm Alley that transformed a rundown, dark, alleyway into a beautiful urban space with an educational theme.

“I have been in serious shock over the whole thing and am still trying to come to terms with it,” Mr. Dessicino said.

What has him bent out of shape is the theft of his beautifully crafted sculpture of street urchin Tom Dacre, the hero of William Blake’s poem, The Chimney Sweeper. The sculpture of young Tom Dacre, the orphan, who dreamt of finding two loving parents and a God at the top of a chimney shaft, was stolen on October 29, 2018, from the public art exhibition in Dohm Alley (off of Nassau Street in downtown Princeton). Peter Soderman, the creative producer of the Dohm Alley exhibition, indicated that Mr. Dessicino received no compensation whatsoever for his efforts.

“I like to make sculptures that stick up for the down-trodden or those without a voice. It is so surreal that someone would steal a sculpture of a literary figure who symbolized those whose lives were stolen and ruined,” Jim Dessicino said.

The theft was perpetrated either by someone who loved the sculpture and coveted it so much that he/she/they were unable to control their desires or by an entitled prankster, carrying out a pre-Halloween trick, according to the sculptor.

“It was more than likely the latter. I would have happily negotiated a sale price with a true admirer or my work,” said Mr. Dessicino, who indicated that the artwork would have retailed for at least $6,000. “I spent most of the summer working (gratis) on the sculpture. It was cast on October 5th, installed on October 9th, and then gone on October 29th, said Mr. Dessicino, who was hoping for a more lasting presence in the Princeton community.

Jim was motivated to donate his time and most of the materials towards creating the work of art because he was “taken” with the quality of the public space art exhibit and the enthusiasm and educational vision of the team of creators. Peter Soderman came up with the vision that inspired Jim Dessicino. Since the educational theme of the Dohm Alley is the era of the Romantics, poet, painter, print-maker William Blake was a natural for inclusion in the Alley project, noted Peter. Largely unrecognized during his lifetime, William Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the visual arts of the Romantic Age. And sculptor Jim Dessicino, renowned for his “social conscience,” said Mr. Soderman, was the “perfect artist” to put form to William Blake’s poetry.

Disappointment over the Princeton incident, however, has failed to dampen the exuberance of Mr. Dessicino over his appointment to the faculty at Stockton. And who knows, maybe the orphan boy Tom Dacre just might find his way back to his creator if not in Princeton then in Atlantic City.
NJCU Will Institute Test-Optional Admissions Policy Beginning with Fall 2020 Class
January 2, 2019

New Jersey City University (NJCU) will be implementing test-optional admissions policy starting with its Fall 2020 class.

NJCU’s test-optional policy will allow students to succeed within their intended programs of study and advances a principle component of the University’s mission that is to provide a diverse population with an excellent education.

NJCU’s Application Process

During the University’s review of applications, a holistic and independent approach is taken for each applicant with a focus on high school performance and achievements.

The University ensures that students have completed required college-preparatory work:

• English (4 units): composition, literature
• Mathematics (3 units): algebra I, geometry, algebra II
• Science (3 units): biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences, anatomy/physiology
• At least two of the above MUST be lab sciences
• Social Science (3 units): American history, world history, political science
• Foreign Language (2 units): These should be of the same language.

In exceptional cases, the Office of Admissions may waive certain unit requirements when the quality of the applicant’s overall record shows promise of success in college-level study.

While not required, students may submit supporting documentation that highlights individual talents, interests and achievements. Examples of relevant supportive documentation include and are not limited to the following:

• Additional coursework that shows academic rigor: Math beyond Algebra II, laboratory science beyond chemistry, a third and fourth year of a foreign language, Advanced Placement (AP) courses, honors courses
• Letters of recommendation from teachers, counselors, employers, etc.
• Brief personal interest statement
• Resume/Co-curricular document that includes evidence of:
     - Community service activities/projects
     - Leadership roles in organizations such as athletic and/or academic teams
     - Musical, theatric and/or artistic performance activities
     - Employment history
• NJCU will also consider standardized test scores (if a student submits these). Students are neither hindered nor advantaged by these alone.

Who is NOT Eligible for Test-Optional Admission?

• Home-Schooled students
• Students who wish to be considered for NJCU’s Honors Program
• Students applying for consideration into any of the University’s 5-year bridge programs (BS/MS)

NJCU’s holistic admissions process takes appropriate account of the applicant pool and the number of places available in the incoming class. Within this competitive context, the emphasis in the admissions decision is the potential for the student to succeed at the college level at this institution.

While SAT/ACT scores will no longer be required for test-optional admission, NJCU will continue to encourage students to share test scores, as SAT/ACT test results may take the place of required pre-enrollment placement tests, thus, allowing students to waive these tests.


Publicly available research demonstrates that standardized test results such as SAT and ACT scores provide only a snapshot of the student and are otherwise of limited utility in identifying the potential for a successful college experience.

A more accurate measure of individual student talent and potential is derived from examination of overall high school performance over time, which has always been at the heart of our admissions criteria. This remains the best measure for predicting college readiness and ultimate student success. NJCU’s Office of Admissions will take a holistic approach to the admission process, focusing on actual accomplishments in high school.

The mission at New Jersey City University (NJCU) is to provide a diverse population with an excellent education. The University is committed to the improvement of the educational, intellectual, cultural, socioeconomic, and physical environment of the surrounding urban region and beyond. Established in 1927 as a training school for teachers, today NJCU is among the most comprehensive universities in the state. Located in Jersey City, NJ, and minutes from New York City, NJCU offers accredited programs in the College of Arts and Sciences, Education, Professional Studies, and School of Business. The University offers 44 undergraduate degree programs and 29 master’s programs and 3 doctoral programs, including emerging and interdisciplinary fields.

NJCU students engage in rigorous applied-learning experiences that include opportunities to study abroad, and cooperative education internships. NJCU operates two additional campus sites – NJCU School of Business at Harborside Plaza 2 in Jersey City’s financial district and NJCU at Brookdale in Wall Township in Monmouth County.

2018 Quick Takes

Thomas Edison State University President Merodie Hancock Inducted in the 2018 International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame - December 4, 2018

The National Aviation Research and Technology Park of Stockton University Contracts with NJ Innovation Institute - December 4, 2018

Kean University’s Patricia Morreale Honored by Being Named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) - November 29, 2018

NJCU Workforce Development Programs Can Jumpstart a New Career - November 27, 2018

William Paterson University Hosts its 12th Annual National Sales Challenge with a Record Number of Participants  - November 16, 2018

Thomas Edison State University Partners with Augusta Technical College, Georgia - November 8, 2018

‘Hidden Child’ of the Holocaust Speaks at Kean University Kristallnacht Commemoration - November 7, 2018

The College of New Jersey Launches “Trenton Roots” Exhibit in Trenton Hall - October 29, 2018

Stockton University to Host Acclaimed Annual Conference on Diversity in Higher Education - October 29, 2018

U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo Donates His Congressional Memorabilia to Stockton University - October 19, 2018

NJCU Leads NJ Delegation to Budapest, Hungary for a Prestigious Global Conference on Innovation and Collaboration - October 11, 2018

Stockton’s New Master’s in Counseling will Go Live in September 2019 - October 10, 2018

Thomas Edison State University Inaugurates its Fourth President, Dr. Merodie Hancock, at 46th Commencement Ceremony - October 11, 2018

Investiture Speech of William Paterson University President Richard J. Helldobler - October 7, 2018

Governor Murphy Outlines Programs and Innovations Geared to Economic Growth - October 1, 2018

The U.S. Senate Race in NJ is a Statistical Dead Heat, According to Stockton University Poll - October 1, 2018

New Jersey City University Debt-Free Promise Program - September 27, 2018

Renowned Historian Jon Meacham and ‘Professional Fixer’ Judy Smith Open Kean’s 2018-19 Distinguished Lecture Series - September 27, 2018

Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver Featured Speaker at Annual Stockton Symposium on Civil Rights - September 27, 2018

TCNJ Launches Innovative ‘T-Style’ Master of Business Administration Program - September 24, 2018

Ramapo College Program on October 23 Features Renowned Holocaust Survivor, who is Stepsister of Anne Frank - September 19, 2018

STOCKTON POLLING INSTITUTE POLL: VanDre Leads Grossman in 2nd District Congressional Race; in U.S. Senate Race, Hugin Leading Menendez in South Jersey District - September 19, 2018

Stockton University in Partnership with Recovery Court Program Transforms Lives - September 12, 2018

Kean University Offers Five New Academic Programs, Responding to Demands of a Changing World - September 12, 2018

Ramapo College of New Jersey Welcomes a First Year Class that is Four Percent Larger than Last Year’s Class September 6, 2018

Free Concert on the Jersey City Waterfront Celebrates the NJCU Alumni Jazz Big Band and the Jersey City Community - September 5, 2018

NJ Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology Signed Into Law by Governor Murphy - August 23, 2018

TESU and Bossier Parish Community College Partner to Strengthen Cybersecurity Workforce -  August 21, 2018

NJCU Launches Public Safety Program Facilitated by National and State Partnerships -  August 21, 2018

Governor Phil Murphy Signs Bipartisan Legislation to Provide Communities with Opportunities for Valuable Public-Private Partnerships (P3 Legislation) - August 14, 2018

William Paterson University Director of Jazz Studies Collaborates with Tony Bennett and Diana Krall on New Album, Love is Here to Stay - August 13, 2018

Stockton Board Approves Purchase of Large Mixed-Use Property in Atlantic City, Near New Boardwalk Campus - August 8, 2018

Stockton President Makes Compelling Statement on Campus Sexual Assault - August 7, 2018

Ramapo College Student is Sworn in as a Board Member of NJ Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) - August 7, 2018

TCNJ Nursing Students Trained to Assist in Local Public Health Emergencies - July 30, 2018

NJCU Offers Innovative Doctoral Program in Community College Leadership - July 30, 2018

Rowan University Launches BA Degree in Sports Communication and Media - Unique in the Region - July 29, 2018

William Paterson University Radio Station is One of Five Stations in Nation Nominated for Prestigious National Award - July 27, 2018

The College of New Jersey to Help Lead Civic Information Consortium - July 25, 2018

Ramapo College and Touro College of Pharmacy Create a Fast-Track, Pharmaceutical Program - July 23, 2018

New Jersey City University’s Center for the Arts Announces its Inaugural Director - July 16, 2018

Stockton Polling Institute Predicts Winners and is a Winner - July 12, 2018

Stockton Report Indicates New Jersey Beaches are in Better Shape than Before Hurricane Sandy - June 27, 2018

Kean University College of Education among First in New Jersey to Receive New National Accreditation - June 25, 2018

William Paterson University Galleries Awarded an NEA Grant to Celebrate NJ Artist Ben Shahn - June 25, 2018

New Jersey City University Appoints Former NJCU Student-Athlete Star as its Head Women’s Basketball Coach - June 21, 2018

NJCU Appoints Michael Edmondson Dean of Professional Education and Lifelong Learning - May 24, 2018

New Jersey City University (NJCU) Receives Grant to Address Tobacco Use on Campus - May 23, 2018

New York Times Editorial: Four-Year Degree Absolutely Needed - May 18, 2018

U.S. Senator Cory Booker Tells Kean University’s Class of 2018 to Find Power in Kindness - May 17, 2018

Commencement News: NJCU to Graduate 1,935 on May 22 at Prudential Center - May 14, 2018

NJ Governor Murphy Transmits Words of Wisdom to Stockton’s Graduates on the Boardwalk - May 14, 2018

Kean is Offering Eight New Programs for New Fall Semester 2018 - May 3, 2018

William Paterson is First Institution in New Jersey to Support Reverse Transfer Initiative Granting Associate Degrees to Community College Transfer Students - May 9, 2018

Ramapo Appoints New Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs - May 1, 2018

Kean University Graduate College Commencement: Broadway’s Leslie Odom Jr. to Deliver Address - May 1, 2018

Ramapo College Commencement: Congressman Gottheimer to Deliver Address - May 1, 2018

Mobile Business Cards App Wins Kean Business Plan Competition - April 27, 2018

Ramapo College Vocal Ensemble Performs at Lincoln Center - April 26, 2018

NJCU Celebrates Its Renovated and Expanded Science Building - April 23, 2018
NJCU Music Department Receives Prestigious Honor from Si-Yo Music Society Foundation - April 11, 2018
State Public Bank Would be good for New Jersey According to Hughes Center Report - April 10, 2018
Stockton University to Sell the Seaview Hotel & Golf Club - April 9, 2018

William Paterson Events in April Highlight Excellence of Research and Scholarship Initiatives - April 9, 2018

Thomas Edison State University Fills Position of Chief of Staff/Board Secretary - April 5, 2018

Lesniak Institute at Kean Hosts its Inaugural Event: “Youth Against Gun Violence: Keep the Movement Going” - April 4, 2018

Rutgers Associate Athletic Director Will Become NJCU’s Associate VP and Director of Athletics - March 29, 2018

Dr. Kathryn A. Foster Named TCNJ’s 16th President - March 27, 2018

Second Annual “No Hate” Town Hall at Kean University to Explore Injustice, Poverty and Racism in New Jersey - March 14, 2018

William Paterson University Names a New President:  Dr. Richard Helldobler - March 9, 2018

William Paterson University Graduation Will Feature Keynote Address from WCBS-TV Anchor Kristine Johnson - March 7, 2018

NJCU New Jersey 50 Index Issues an Economic Report Card - March 6, 2018

William Paterson’s Radio Station Named the Best College Radio Station - March 6, 2018

William Paterson Communications Professor Goes for a Gold in Researching the Role of Social Media at the 2018 Winter Olympics - March 1, 201

A Conversation with NJ Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, Chair of the Assembly Science, Innovation, and Technology Committee - February 23, 2018

NJCU and Jersey City – Perfect Together in Ethnic Diversity and Excellence  February 23, 2018

COMMENCEMENT NEWS:  Stockton’s 2018 Commencement at Boardwalk Hall will Feature Governor Phil Murphy February 21,2018

Kean University Scientist, Designers Suppoort Portable Operating Room Project - February 20, 2018

NJCU Celebrates Black History Month with Its Gil Noble Collection of Legendary Programs from WABC-TV’s Pioneering Public Affairs Series, ‘Like It Is’ - February 15, 2018

Journalist Bob Woodward to Kick Off New Distinguished Lecture Series at Kean University - February 14, 2018

Former NJASCU Executive Director Michael Klein is Honored by William Paterson University Board of Trustees - February 9, 2018

Montclair State University and The College of New Jersey Partner in the James P. Fox Memorial Fund Mentoring Initiative - The James P. Fox Memorial Fund Launches Two Initiatives to Cultivate Public Sector Careers - February 1, 2018

Ramapo College Board of Trustees Extends President Mercer’s Term to 2021 - February 1, 2018

Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch Speaks at Stockton University about Upholding America’s Founding Principles - January 24, 2018

Ramapo Receives a Million Dollar Grant to Provide Recovery Housing and a Comprehensive Drug-Recovery Program - January 24, 2018

TCNJ Launches Speech Pathology and Audiology Major - January 22, 2018

William Paterson Launches the Nation’s First Graduate Degree in Professional Sales for Working Executives - January 21, 2018

Prior Years' Quick Takes

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