2021 NJCU Holiday Video

Wishing the NJCU Community Happy Holidays!

Dear Members and Friends of the NJCU Community,

As the Fall 2021 semester comes to an end, we find ourselves reflecting on the challenges of the past year and our opportunities in the year to come. It is the resilience and commitment of our community that is our gift to New Jersey and the regions beyond. 

This holiday season is also a time to remember some of the remarkable strengths that our campus provides. This video showcases the rich diversity of our community through the many languages spoken on our campus. 

In the words of author Mary Anne Radmacher “May your walls know joy, may every room hold laughter, and every window open to great possibility.” 

From my family to yours, I wish you and your family peace and joy this holiday season and a Happy New Year. In particular, during this year, please stay safe and take care.

Sue Henderson, Ph.D.


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NJCU at Fort Monmouth Ranked No. 1 BSN Program in New Jersey
In the 2021 Nursing School Almanac rankings, NJCU @ Fort Monmouth has been ranked the No. 1 Prelicensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program in the state of New Jersey. At NJCU @ Fort Monmouth, students had an exceptional 97.8 percent first-time NCLEX pass rate and its accelerated second degree BSN program gained special recognition.

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NJCU Named Fulbright HSI Leader by U.S. State Department
NJCU has been designated a 2021 Fulbright HSI Leader by the U.S. Department of State, in the inaugural year of this national designation. The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) is recognizing the noteworthy engagement that selected Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) have achieved with the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government's flagship international educational exchange program. NJCU is one of 35 HSIs nationally and just four in the state to receive this distinction.
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NJCU Honors Faculty and Staff at 2021 STARS Awards
The NJCU Foundation Board and President Sue Henderson honored the faculty and staff of the university for their service and outstanding achievements on December 13, 2021 during the 8th Annual Special Thanks and Recognition of Service (STARS) Awards. Veronica Garcia `11, Director of SOAR (Student Outreach and Retention) was bestowed the Presidential Award: Top Knight. Lourdes Sutton, Ed.D, the Associate Dean for the College of Education was named the 2021 Hidden Hero recipient. Additionally, Milestone Awards for Continuous Service and Retiree Awards were also presented.
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NJCU’s IDR Celebrates Mission 50 Innovation Lab Ribbon Cutting
NJCU and its Institute for Dispute Resolution (IDR) attended the grand opening of the Innovation and Commercialization Lab at Mission 50 in Hoboken on November 8, 2021. The launch of the project provides an indefinite incubator and dedicated office space to support entrepreneurship programs at Hudson County’s four colleges — NJCU, Hudson County Community College, Saint Peter’s University and Stevens Institute of Technology. Mission 50 has also committed $25,000 toward innovation on Hudson County’s college campuses.
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NJCU Faculty and Staff: Comings and Goings
This month, we highlight faculty and staff who have retired this semester, those joining our community, and others we say goodbye to, in our Comings and Goings section. We wish a happy and healthy retirement to Robert Piaskowsky, Raynard Branigan, Carol StephensXiaoli Fang, Alissa Koval-Dhaliwal, and Gary Gordon! Additionally, we welcomed 15 new members to the NJCU community this semester.
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In Memoriam...
In an effort to honor members of the university community who have passed away, NJCU publishes In Memoriam websites for NJCU Alumni, Faculty and Staff, and current Students. Obituary information can also be submitted to the website by contacting news@njcu.edu.
We are saddened to report that Nai-Ni Chen, a current adjunct faculty member, died suddenly in a swimming accident while on vacation in Hawaii on December 12, 2021. She was teaching MDT 116-Dance Techniques Jazz this semester. A Gofundme has been established to assist the family with funeral expenses.
Rita C. McKeon `71 `90 M.A., an alumna and former adjunct professor of Health Sciences, also passed away.
Since the last edition of this newsletter, we mourn the passing of the following NJCU alumni and former students:
Sister Leo Veronica Cassotta `72; Nicholas Anthony Cuccarese `63; Charlotte Theresa "Reisy" Dittrich (nee Ryer) `69; Gevonder Washington Dupree; Marie Elaine Elia (nee Anderson) `84 `94 M.A.; Arlene Dreyfus Furman `66; Elizabeth Jackson `76; Paul Michael Jakupcionis `78; Bari Khalek `99 M.A.; NJCU Athletics Hall of Famer Robert E. Maslo `67; Kristy Ann Schaub `94; Kevin Selby; Ethel Venita Simmons `75; Margaret (Peg) R. Van Gilst `72; Carol Jean Winston; and Audrey M. Wolff (nee Hamilton).


The following are headlines regarding NJCU initiatives, programs, faculty, staff, and students. Additional headlines can always be found on the In the News section of our website.

  • More Tri-State Colleges Are Starting to Require Covid Booster as Omicron Looms. Dr. Jodi Bailey, NJCU Vice President for Student Affairs, was a guest on NBC-4 television in New York, discussing the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it is impacting college campuses. Dr. Bailey appears at the 2:25 mark of the informative story by Linda Gaudino.
  • Looking back at Hudson County voter turnout in 2021. Fran Moran, NJCU Professor of Political Science and President of NJCU's University Senate, is quoted, discussing the gubernatorial election. [Outlet: The Hudson Reporter]
  • NJCU and ‘NJCU Votes’ earn awards. NJCU and its ‘NJCU Votes’ initiative earned a Bronze Seal award from the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge for efforts promoting nonpartisan student voter participation during the 2020 presidential elections. [Outlet: NJ.com/The Jersey Journal]
  • Alan Cruz, a senior at NJCU and the current Executive Vice President of the SGA, received a special mention from Dr. Brian Bridges, Secretary of Higher Education, during the New Jersey State of Higher Education Address 2021. Alan is mentioned by Dr. Bridges beginning at the 4:03 mark.
  • Away at College, NJCU Student Collects Hundreds of Toys for Siblings’ Holiday Drive. NJCU men's wrestling and track & field student-athlete Jake Sisk recently held a fundraiser at his college to support the annual holiday toy drive of Mary and Mikey Wojcik. [Outlet: TAPintoJerseyCity]


Each edition, we will share headlines of NJCU alumni. Do you have news to share? Email us at news@njcu.edu:

  • Neha Bharambe `19 (M.S. in Business Analytics and Data Science) currently works on data analytics and impact analysis with the New Jersey Office of Innovation. Read more.
  • Dr. Christopher Conklin `97 (M.A.), `00 (M.Ed.) was appointed as the new Superintendent of Schools for the Caldwell-West Caldwell Board of Education for this school year. Since 2011, Conklin has been assistant superintendent for Pupil-Special Services in the Edison Public Schools and is a former supervisor of Child Study for the New Jersey Department of Education.
  • Alfonso Q. Llano Jr. `04 (M.A.) was named Superintendent of the Vineland Public School District this summer. Llano was formerly the Trenton Public Schools interim superintendent.
  • Alex Mirabel `09 is the veteran head boys basketball coach of New Jersey high school powerhouse Saint Peter’s Prep. NJ.com previewed their 2021-22 season.
  • Brian Rivera `05 (M.A. in Urban Education - Education Administration & Supervision) was elected to the Edison (N.J.) Board of Education. He received 6,467 votes.


Two Championships for NJCU eSports;SSBU Goes Back-to-Back
New teams aren't supposed to win this much, this quickly. Someone forgot to tell that to the NJCU eSports program. For the second consecutive year, NJCU has won a fall conference championship with its eSports programs and this time one wasn't enough — but two will do. In just its second year of existence, NJCU's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (SSBU) team claimed the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Fall Championship for the second year in a row! Meanwhile, NJCU's Rocket League team – also in its second season – claimed the program's first-ever New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) eSports championship in the Emergent Yellow division. 🔖 Read More...
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Basketball Alumni Games Are Set for January 15 and 29
For the first time since January 2020, the NJCU men's and women's basketball programs will host annual Alumni Days and alumni games. The NJCU women's basketball alumni day will take place on Saturday, January 15, 2022, prior to the doubleheader against Montclair State, while the Gothic Knights' men's basketball alumni day will be held on Saturday, January 29, 2022, prior to the doubleheader versus The College of New Jersey. Learn more information on the event including timelines for the day.
Women's Basketball alumnae who wish to RSVP for the January 15 event can register here. Men's Basketball alumni can register for the January 29 event here.


Photo credit: Michael Dempsey | The Jersey Journal

On December 20, 2021, the Jersey City Police Department saw 30 new police recruits sworn in by Mayor Steven M. Fulop, Public Safety Director James Shea, and Police Director Tawana Moody. The recruits join the largest municipal police department in New Jersey. More than 700 officers have been hired to date by the Fulop Administration in its focus on growing the JCPD to allow for enhanced crime-fighting measures and increased patrols citywide.
The Fulop Administration emphasized diversifying all ranks within the Jersey City Police Department while enhancing public safety citywide. As a result, nearly 75% of the over 900 officers on the force today reflect the City’s uniquely diverse populations. This latest class includes four females, 14 Hispanic officers, 11 White officers, and three African American officers. The added officers will aid efforts to increase police presence and walking patrols, community outreach, crime deterrence, diversity recruitment, among other crime-fighting initiatives. Read more from NJ.com.

Each edition, 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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