The College's Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack will
offer a slate of credit courses for spring 2012 beginning March
History Month Returns to Bergen
with the United States, the College celebrated Black History Month
Isabel Wilkerson (right), Pulitzer Prize winner and author, served
as keynote speaker. She read from her New York Times best seller
“The Warmth of Other Suns” and discussed migration,
urban affairs and social justice in the United States. A question
and answer period followed her discussion.
Ms. Wilkerson, who spent most of her career as a national correspondent
and bureau chief at the New York Times, is the first black woman
to win a Pulitzer Prize in the history of American journalism. She
also is the first black American to win for individual reporting.
Inspired by her parents’ migration, Ms. Wilkerson devoted
15 years to the research and writing of her book “The Warmth
of Other Suns.” She interviewed more than 1,200 individuals
and searched through archives to tell the untold stories of black
citizens who fled the south for northern and western cities in search
of a better life, often referred to as the “Great Migration."
Princeton University Professor of History and the Center for African
American Studies, Tera Hunter (left), delivered her public discourse,
“God Made Marriage but the White Man Made the Law: Slavery
and Marriage in the Nineteenth Century" on February 9. Her
discussion examined many dilemmas and entanglements that slaves,
free blacks and ex-slaves faced in creating, sustaining and fundamentally
reconstructing their most intimate relationships, including the
difference between binding and legal marriages in the nineteenth
Other events included “A Tribute to Black Music,” a
panel discussion on civil rights, a “Black Business Summit”
hosted by Hot 97 DJ Uncle Ralph and a capstone event honoring the
College’s black student scholars.
The College enrolls more than 160 students from African countries
including Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya. Black students make up nearly
eight percent of the College’s population.
Join Board of Trustees
By unanimous vote February 7, the Bergen Community College Board
of Trustees confirmed the appointments of attorney James D. Demetrakis
and former TD Bank executive vice president James R. Napolitano
to the College’s governing panel. The board took action at
its monthly meeting at the College.
Mr. Demetrakis, of Edgewater, has spent his 45-year professional
life as an attorney, business and real estate developer in Bergen
Mr. Napolitano, of Saddle River, begins his second term on the
College’s board – previously serving six years from
1998 to 2003. After retiring from a 33-year career in banking last
year, Mr. Napolitano currently works as a real estate consultant.
At its February meeting, the Board of Trustees approved the hiring
of an executive recruitment firm – Isaacson, Miller, Inc.
– to assist in the process of locating presidential candidates
for the College.
Meanwhile, the county-wide committee of College employees, Bergen
County leaders, board members, students and others charged with
reviewing resumes and interviewing candidates has begun its work
Current interim president Dr. Jose Adames will apply for the position.
The announcement of Bergen's permanent president is expected this
Hygiene Gives Kids A Smile
The College’s Dental Hygiene Program provided free dental
check-ups to children on Friday, February 3 as part of the American
Dental Association’s “Give Kids a Smile” initiative
to offer free educational, preventative and restorative dental services
to children. Bergen's Dental Hygiene students participated in the
effort and were supervised by their professors and a licensed dentist.
Gain Job Skills at Conference
At the “Veterans Re-Entering the Workforce Education &
Career Conference” on February 8, military heroes were presented
with a variety of services and resources that aimed to help their
transition back to civilian life. More than 100 veterans attended
the conference at Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands.
The College enrolls more than 300 military veterans – a number
expected to rise as men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan
return home and take advantage of the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill.
Headlocks to Hall of Fame
Community College assistant wrestling coach Ed Kochakji will be
inducted into the National Junior College Athletic Association’s
(NJCAA) Wrestling Hall of Fame on February 25 at Rochester Community
and Technical College in Rochester, Minnesota.
He served as the head wrestling coach at Bergen from 1977 to 1992
and from 1996 to 2004. He returned to the College in 2009 and has
been the assistant coach for the past three seasons.
During his career, Kochakji coached 40 NJCAA All-Region and All-Garden
State Athletic Conference wrestlers, four NJCAA All-Americans, including
2004 National Champion and current Bergen Head Wrestling Coach Mike
Massenzio, and many national qualifiers. In 2004, the team placed
fifth at the NJCAA Division III National Tournament.
Mr. Kochakji has received various awards and honors including a
Special Recognition Award from the Garden State Athletic Conference
for more than 100 wins in September 1991. That same year, he received
the Bergen County Coaches Association Century Victory Award (also
for more than 100 wins). In addition, the Record voted him one of
the “Top Ten NJ High School Wrestlers” in February 2000
and honored him as “Top NJ High School Wrestler” of
Co-sponsored by the Center for Peace, Justice and Reconciliation
and the Center for the Study of Intercultural Understanding, a panel
of professors discussed anti-Semitism, its origins, consequences
and opposition at a February 14 teach-in located in the student
Force Aims for Greener Bergen
The Sustainability Task Force, a collection of environmentally
conscious individuals from the College community including students,
staff, faculty and administrators, meets every other week in C-313
on Wednesdays from 12:30-1:30 p.m. The next meeting dates are March
7, March 28, April 11 and April 25. All members of the College community
are invited to join this task force at anytime.
If you cannot attend the meetings but still would like to have
your voice heard, please contact Professor Robert Dill, email@example.com
or (201) 447-7924. Members of the task force will plan and execute
sustainability projects around the College such as energy conservation,
energy efficiency, and recycling among other projects.
Details Peace Corps Experience
Bergen Community College’s Philip Ciarco Jr. Center in Hackensack
hosted an opening reception in February for the exhibit “Images
from the Peace Corps Experience” featuring the photographs
of Owen Fitzgerald (pictured), a Peace Corps volunteer who recently
returned from a two-year assignment to Mali, West Africa.
The exhibit's images include those of people digging wells, a women’s
garden, and a literacy group. The images also challenge stereotypical
beliefs about life in developing countries. Approximately 100 photographs
will be displayed through Friday, February 24, 2012.
Mr. Fitzgerald, who spent 27 months in the Peace Corps working
with communities south of the Sahara Desert, said he tried to capture
the struggles and the joys of the people who lived there.
“These are photos of everyday life while I was in Mali, working
with literacy groups, digging wells, milling corn, hunting with
kids for lizards, birds and rats to eat, and building latrines,”
Grads Celebrate Achievement
On February 17, Bergen recognized the achievements of its 419 GED
graduates at its 10th annual recognition ceremony in the Anna Maria
This year’s valedictorian Robin R. Crespo, is founder and
CEO of ING Activewear, an organization that creates apparel with
the mission of bridging the world between mainstream fashion and
"Allow me to encourage you, GED graduates, to run after the
passions you have for life," he said. "Celebrate the incredible
tenacity and endurance it took to get to this place, this moment,
to this wonderful achievement. Embrace all that this journey has
taught you and use it to soar into your destiny."
Bergen’s GED program is based out of its Ciarco Learning
Center in Hackensack.
Services: Go Fish!
FISH!, the first in a series of team-building exercises for the
College's Student Services employees, convened February 3. Based
on the winning strategies of the famed Fulton Fish Market in New
York City, the event provided strategies on better serving students.
FISH! will be followed by two programs later this semester.
Library Opens; Main Campus Displays Continue
Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands has added a library
to its list of resources.
The library is currently open Monday through Thursday from 9:00
a.m. to 6:45 p.m. and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The library
houses reserve textbooks and electronic databases available to support
students and faculty attending classes at the Meadowlands, as well
as a growing circulating collection.
The library services offered will mirror those already available
at the main campus including (but not limited to):
• A SMART classroom where library instruction is taught by
existing Bergen faculty;
• A reference librarian;
• A service desk where reserve textbooks are available for
• Circulating collection;
• 25 computer workstations with printing capability;
• One silent and three group study/media viewing rooms;
• A selection of newspapers, magazines and journals;
• Copy machine.
The Lyndhurst library can be reached at (201) 301-1248.
For more information about the Lyndhurst campus library, contact
Rong Wang, Interim Dean of Library Services, at (201) 447-7130 or
Meanwhile, on display this month at the Sidney J. Silverman Library
at main campus are numerous exhibits:
This showcase, located on the right hand wall as you enter the
library, contains a full color print of the doomed liner as it
sails onward towards its tragic destiny. (Coordinated by Cap Moriggi).
- Ellis Island/Annie Moore
A young Irish girl named Annie Moore was the first documented
person to enter the newly created Ellis Island Immigration Center
in January 1892. Learn more about Annie and Ellis Island from
this display, located on the main floor across from the copy room.
(Coordinated by Kate McGivern).
What was going on one hundred years ago? Two hundred years ago?
Test your knowledge about life in 1812 and 1912.
(Coordinated by Lynn Schott and Barbara Walcott).
- The Warmest Room in the House
Looking for something to keep you cozy during these bleak winter
days? Check out some of the cookbooks on display directly behind
the Reference Desk. You’ll find a wide variety of recipes,
from Swedish cakes and cookies to soups to Asian cuisine, Indian
dishes and more. (Coordinated by Imogene Papp).
Profs Lead Tri-State Conference
The talented Bergen faculty was on display at Tri-State Best Practices
Conference: Innovation and Creativity in the Community College Classroom
event February 18 at Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands.
The day-long conference was attended by community college administrators
and professors from across the state and tri-state area. Breakout
sessions hosted by Bergen professors included topics such as bridging
cultural divides in the classroom and innovative techniques for