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Celebrating Black History Month

Dear Members and Friends of the NJCU Community,

While Black History Month may have come to a close this weekend, we are reminded of the men and women who have impacted our nation through their great personal risk.

The legendary boxing champion, activist and philanthropist Muhammad Ali famously said, "He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

Risk. I ask you a question: how differently would history have painted the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s if not for courageous acts? What if Rosa Parks had not refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus on December 1, 1955?

It's a profound question and one that our very own alumnus, Bob Delaney `85, former Vice President of the National Basketball Association, asks in this important op-ed on I invite you to read it and ask yourself another important question: how each of us can continue the legacy of Rosa Parks, and the selfless acts of countless others whose stories are untold, by continuing to make our communities a better place — both here on campus and in our hometowns across New Jersey, our nation and beyond. What risks can we each take every day to ensure that injustices do not occur in our society? As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their pivotal role in the history of our nation. While February is designated as Black History Month, let us continue to celebrate the meaningful contributions of African Americans every day of the year.

Sue Henderson, Ph.D.


Carlos Lejnieks
NJCU Announces Appointment of Carlos Lejnieks to University’s Board of Trustees
NJCU has announced the appointment of Carlos Lejnieks, the President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson & Union Counties, to the university’s Board of Trustees. Lejnieks will serve on the Finance & Audit Committee and Mission Committee. Lejnieks became CEO of the Newark-based organization in 2008 and within four years, saw it flourish — expanding its service from approximately 100 youth to over 1,100 annually. Under his leadership, BBBS has received numerous awards from local, state and national entities, including a formal recognition by President Obama.
ROI Power List 2021
President Henderson Named to ROI Influencers: Power List 2021 — Higher Education
NJCU President Sue Henderson has been named to the 2021 ROI Influencers Power List for Higher Education by statewide publication ROI-NJ. It is the third time Dr. Henderson has been honored by ROI-NJ, which debuted its Higher Education Power List in 2019. Dr. Henderson is further applauded for NJCU’s work to further the educational opportunities for the underserved communities it serves as the educational anchor institution in Jersey City.
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New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy Makes Opening Remarks at NJCU Community Hour Event
On February 11, NJCU's Speicher-Rubin Women's Center for Equity and Diversity hosted a virtual Community Hour event entitled “Eliminating Racial Disparities in Maternal and Infant Mortality” as part of its Black History Month programming. New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy — a champion on the issue of maternal and infant health since the inception of the Murphy Administration in 2018 — delivered the opening remarks to highlight the powerful and impactful program and was welcomed to the event by President Sue Henderson. The First Lady recently unveiled the Nurture NJ Maternal and Infant Health Plan – a strategy to reduce New Jersey’s high rates of maternal and infant mortality, and eliminate the racial disparities responsible for these deaths.
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NJCU Faculty and Staff: Comings and Goings
Each month, we will highlight faculty and staff who have retired, those joining our community, and others we say goodbye to, in our new Comings and Goings section. We wish a happy and healthy retirement to Professor Robert Foster and Denise Melendez. We welcomed eight new additions to the NJCU community in the last month and said goodbye to five others.


CBS TV NJCU Women's Wrestling
NJCU Women’s Wrestling Featured by CBS Television
NJCU's trailblazing women’s wrestling program was featured on WCBS-2 television in New York City on January 28, 2021 as sports anchor Steve Overmyer profiled the pioneering program —  the first collegiate women’s wrestling program in the history of the state of New Jersey and the tri-state area. Head coach and former World Champion and two-time United States Olympian Elena Pirozhkova, first-year captain and former New Jersey state champion Sandra Guerrero, and Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics Shawn Tucker are all interviewed.
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Athletics Update: Winter Sports Preparing for Postseason
The men's and women's basketball team and the women's wrestling program are all preparing for postseason competition the week of March 1. The women's basketball team started the pandemic-abbreviated 2020-21 campaign with the best record in school history (6-0) and will be the No. 3 seed in the New Jersey Athletic Conference Tournament Quarterfinals on Friday, March 5. They are led by freshman Damaris Rodriguez, recently named to the National Team of the Week. The men's basketball team owns a 5-1 record and will be the No. 2 seed in the NJAC Quarterfinals, facing No. 7 Rutgers-Camden. And the women's wrestling team had three athletes advance from the regional championship on February 20 to the NCWWC National Championships on March 6.


Dr. Christopher Scott (NJCU Alumni Association Advisory Board Member)
Meet Alumni Association Advisory Board Member: Dr. Christopher Scott '69
NJCU recently announced the launch of its first Alumni Association. Meet Alumni Association Advisory Board Member Dr. Christopher Scott '69. Over the coming months we will introduce you to all of our members who are volunteering their time to serve NJCU and you — our nearly 55,000 graduates.
Vanessa Mendoza (NJCU Alumni Association Advisory Board Member)
Meet Alumni Association Advisory Board Member: Vanessa Mendoza '17 M.B.A.
Next, we’re happy to introduce you to another Alumni Association Advisory Board Member: Vanessa Mendoza `17 M.B.A. Watch her video and learn about what she valued during her time at NJCU and how she’d like to serve alumni like you!


Each month, we will share headlines of NJCU alumni. Do you have news to share? Email us at

  • Charles Brown `65, M.A. `85, was selected as the No. 12 greatest college basketball coach in the history of the state of New Jersey, in a feature by the Asbury Park Press. From 1982-2007 Brown’s teams won 483 games, made 12 NCAA Division III Tournaments, advanced to two Final Fours, and never had a losing season. His son, Marc Brown, NJCU's current head coach, is also ranked in the Top 50. Read more...
  • Bob Caruso `74, the owner of Billy Bob's Fast Expensive Cars in Jackson Township, N.J., is featured in the Asbury Park Press in a story on his nearly 50 years in business as a car restoration shop owner.
  • Todd L.W. Doney `06 M.F.A., NJCU alumnus and artist, had his paintings — the vibrant colors of nature — on display in February at the Broadfoot and Broadfoot LLC Gallery in Boonton, N.J. He is a professor of fine arts at County College of Morris. To learn more, visit
  • Michael McGhee `96 M.A. is the new principal of Oakcrest High School in Mays Landing, N.J. McGhee has served the Greater Egg Harbor Regional High School District since 2000. McGhee holds a Master of Arts in Special Education/Teacher of the Handicapped from NJCU. Read more
  • Dennis Murri `09 M.A. was inducted into the NJ State Coaches Association Hall of Fame. The accomplished wrestling coach resides in Fair Lawn, N.J. He earned an M.A. in Educational Leadership from NJCU in 2009. Read more...
  • Elizabeth Stamler `16 M.S., the Deputy Mayor of Scotch Plains, has been appointed to the 2021-22 NJ Sharing Network Foundation Board of Trustees, which aims to raise awareness and education about the lifesaving benefits of organ and tissue donation and transplantation. Stamler holds a master's degree in Accounting from NJCU. Read more...


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“Train Tracks” Virtual Mural by Gabriela Gomez Mestre `20 to be Showcased at Canopy by Hilton
In a partnership program between NJCU's Center for the Arts with Panepinto Galleries and Canopy by Hilton, the hotel has announced that “Train Tracks”, a virtual mural by emerging Hudson County artist Gabriela Gomez Mestre `20 made its debut at the hotel on February 25, 2021. Mestre, a 2020 graduate of NJCU, was selected following a Call for Art. The program will run through April 26.
The Honey Dewdrops
Virtual Live Concert Coming April 17: The Honey Dewdrops
Live music returns to NJCU on Saturday, April 17 at 8 p.m. Join us for a wonderful evening with the Americana duo The Honey Dewdrops. The husband/wife, singer/songwriter tandem will perform from their latest album, Anyone Can See, which is drenched in sonic roominess. Each of the tracks stretching to fill the space, but with a warmth that allows the album to fit comfortably anywhere. The free event is sponsored by the NJCU Center for the Arts.


Loew's Theatre
On February 22, Mayor Steven M. Fulop announced an exciting new partnership with Devils Arena Entertainment (DAE), the largest purveyor of entertainment in New Jersey and operator of Prudential Center, one of North America’s top 10 most booked arenas, to move forward on a unique $72 million agreement for the transformative restoration of the historic Loew’s Theatre, located at 54 Journal Square Plaza, Jersey City. The revitalization intends to transform the century-old theatre into a state-of-the-art 3,300-seat venue to attract both superstar and up-and-coming performing artists, serve as an engine of economic development and hub for the local Journal Square community, and expand Jersey City’s growing reputation as an unparalleled arts destination in New Jersey. The Loew’s Jersey is one of five “Wonder Theaters” built in the tristate area in the late 1920s by the Loew's Corporation. It opened in 1929. Read more on the historic transformation at and

Each month, we will share notable news pertaining to the City of Jersey City. Sign up for more updates from Mayor Steven Fulop and the City of Jersey City by using this form.
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