Berkeley College: A Year in Review 2019

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Contact: Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations


Berkeley graduate with Sir Berkeley

Graduation Takes Center Stage
Earl O'Brien, Student Speaker
Berkeley College celebrated 2,300 graduates who were awarded diplomas during the Commencement ceremony on May 10, 2019, at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Student Cynthia Caruso received the Outstanding Student Award, and Karen Pena was honored as the 2019 Alumna of the Year. Earl O’Brien (pictured above) served as Student Speaker, and Moya Bansile-Williams, JD, served as Faculty Speaker. The average age of the graduating class was 28, and 84 percent identified as minorities. The class included more than 140 military and veteran students and 133 international students. Click here to read the stories of some of the 2019 graduates.

Accreditations and New Programs
Berkeley College nursing students
The New Jersey Board of Nursing granted Berkeley College’s Licensed Practical Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program full accreditation for the longest allowable time of eight years. The College launched an Interior Design Certificate program that includes courses on drafting techniques, sketching, color and more. In January 2020, a new Online Paralegal Certificate program will be offered that prepares individuals seeking to advance their careers in the legal professions. Berkeley College Online® led the formation of a virtual Online Advisory Board, a collaborative resource for member institutions pursuing quality in online teaching and learning.

Thought Leaders Drive Innovative Ideas
Marsha Pollard and Michael Smith on panels
Michael J. Smith, President of Berkeley College, discussed trends in education with other college presidents and Zakiya Smith Ellis, Secretary, New Jersey Department of Higher Education, during the Meadowlands Education Summit in February (pictured above left). Marsha Pollard, PhD, Provost, applauded short-term, stackable credentials and pathway programs to fill the talent pipeline at the 2019 Business and Education Forum: Pathways to Success in May and the City & State Education Summit in August (pictured above right). In March, Darshan Desai, PhD, Management, Larry L. Luing School of Business®, joined student and alumni researchers for a presentation during New York City’s Open Data Week.

Honors Scholars Tackle Issues in Social Justice
An Honors scholar speaks about her poster
More than 150 Berkeley College Honors students presented research on widely debated topics including immigration, police brutality, human trafficking and the gender pay gap during research symposiums and poster sessions held in August, centering on the theme “Unspoken Barriers in Social Justice.” The capstone experience for first-year and graduating Honors students facilitates the development of professional presentation, critical thinking and academic writing skills. Here, you can read about projects in White Plains, Midtown Manhattan, and Woodland Park.

Athletic Feats
USCAA Championship soccer team
The Berkeley College New York Men’s Soccer team (pictured above) captured its first United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) Division II National title , as well as its fourth Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association (HVIAC) crown. Head Coach Stavros Zomopoulos increased his win total to 120. The New Jersey Men’s Soccer team qualified for the USCAA Division II Tournament for the second time in four years. The Men’s Basketball team captured its fifth consecutive HVIAC crown , qualified for its ninth consecutive USCAA Tournament appearance, and recorded its fifth straight 20-win season. Athletes from the Men’s Soccer, Men’s Basketball, Women’s Tennis, and Men’s and Women’s Cross-Country teams received USCAA All-American, USCAA Player of the Year, and HVIAC All-Conference honors.

10 Years of Berkeley Cares
Community Service Week and serving meals with the Jets
More than 480 Berkeley College faculty, staff, students and alumni in New Jersey and New York contributed 2,300 hands-on volunteer hours to more than 50 organizations during the College’s annual Community Service Week in May 2019 (pictured above left). It marked the 10th anniversary of the Berkeley Cares initiative, which has provided 15,000 hours of service to nonprofits and community organizations since 2010. The College also hosted Learning Service Day, an afternoon of free workshops and professional development that supported community organizations in their missions. In November, students an d staff teamed up with the New York Jets to “tackle hunger” at the Food Bank for New York City (pictured above right), by delivering turkeys and serving meals prior to Thanksgiving. Berkeley Cares continued on campus during the year in support of various initiatives, including heart health and breast cancer awareness.

Military Milestones
Veterans Day Parade and VRC ribbon cutting
The Office of Military and Veterans Affairs (OMVA) showcased the expansion of its Veterans Resource Center at Berkeley College in New York City in October (pictured above left). Students, associates and alumni again marched in the New York City Veterans Day Parade in November (pictured above right). During the holiday season, the OMVA and student-veterans gave back to organizations including the Marine Toys for Tots initiative and St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Paterson, NJ. In February, the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs hosted  Mental Health First Aid Training provided by ThriveNYC, where participants learned to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health and substance abuse crises. The College celebrated its more than 150 military and veteran graduates during the annual Veterans Graduate Gala in March. Students, faculty and staff observed PTSD Awareness Day and the effects of the disorder by wearing teal on campus in June.  

Impactful Events
Latino Summit and Quality Matters
For the second time in 20 years, Latino leaders from the 21 Latin American communities rooted in New Jersey discussed their socio-economic and public policy agendas during Present and Clear , the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey Summit, hosted by Berkeley College in March. Gurbir S. Grewal, New Jersey Attorney General, delivered a keynote address on public safety and civil rights (pictured with Berkeley students, above left). Educators from across the country gathered at Berkeley College in April for the Quality Matters Regional Conference, focused on success in online and blended learning (pictured above right). The College hosted students from public and private high schools in the New York metropolitan area during the 2019 New York Youth Summit, which explored innovative solutions and interactive workshops on topics including business, leadership and the environment. In November, the College hosted its first Junior Achievement Day in partnership with Junior Achievement of New York. The program’s mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.

Powerful Programming
Steve Adubato and Project PRIDE
Inmates from New Jersey correctional facilities spoke to Berkeley College students about the harsh realities of substance abuse and the tragic choices that led to their incarceration as part of Project P.R.I.D.E. (Promoting Responsibility in Drug Education) in Paramus  (pictured above left) and Woodbridge. Author and broadcaster Steve Adubato visited Woodland Park in November for a discussion on leadership with more than 100 students, faculty and staff about leadership (pictured above right).

Diversity and Inclusion
Pride Parade and Baptist Ministers
Students, staff and representatives of the Berkeley College Gender and Sexuality Alliance participated in the 27th Annual Queens Pride Parade and Festival in June (pictured above left). In recognition of Black History Month and Women’s History Month, Berkeley College hosted “Queer and Trans Community Leaders of Color” in February in Midtown Manhattan. The College welcomed dynamic speakers for “Updates in Rehabilitation: Advocacy, Technology, Employment and Ethics,” an award and training conference that recognized the importance of advocacy for the disabled in June. In October, the Office of Disability Services focused on resilience with a special event during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In July, President Michael J. Smith met with Rev. Dr. Charles A. Curtis, President of the Baptist Ministers Conference of Greater New York and Vicinity, to discuss the College’s mission in New York communities (pictured above right).

International Collaborations
Medical Mission and Tour of Central Park
Students, professors and alumni from the School of Health Studies embarked on a medical mission to Guayaquil, Ecuador, with Healing the Children® New Jersey  (pictured above left). Berkeley College welcomed students from Guizhou University of Finance and Economics (GUFE) to White Plains in July for a four-week academic and cultural program. Also this summer, the College continued its faculty development initiative with GUFE. Among the many cultural activities, the professors from China received a personal tour from Stephen Wolf, PhD, Professor, English, Berkeley College School of Liberal Arts, the author of “Central Park Love Song: Wandering Beneath the Heaventrees” (pictured above right). 

Women Unleash Their Superpowers
Women Entrepreneurship Week 2019
A diverse audience of more than 400 attendees heard from women in industry, government and media during “Women in Leadership: Unleashing Your Superpowers,” part of Women Entrepreneurship Week in October. Discussions focused on pay equity, fixing broken rungs of the career ladder, and how to convert pivotal moments into opportunities. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (pictured above center) delivered opening remarks on October 16 in Midtown Manhattan , and ImageThink, a graphic recording company, visually captured the big ideas (pictured above right) on October 24 in Woodland Park.

Corporate Learning Partnerships
Affinity Students
Affinity Federal Credit Union, the largest credit union headquartered in the State of New Jersey, entered into a Corporate Learning Partnership that offers its employees an opportunity to enroll in the Berkeley College Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Management program. Twenty-seven Affinity employees began their pursuit of graduate-level degrees in September (pictured above left). Click here to read coverage of the news in NJBIZ (pictured above right). The College also announced a partnership with Kearny Bank, based in Fairfield, NJ, in December. 

MBA in Management Updates
Robert Alvarez and students in Germany
Robert Alvarez, a member of the Berkeley College faculty (pictured above left), was named Director of the Master of Business Administration program, which is now offered through the Larry L. Luing School of Business®. Students in the MBA program gained global perspectives during an eight-day trip to Fresenius University in Germany (pictured above right).

Students Come First
The Luing brothers stand by the statue of Larry L. Luing
Berkeley College unveiled a bronze statue of Larry L. Luing , Berkeley College Chairman Emeritus, during a dedication ceremony at the Woodland Park campus in June. The more than 6-foot statue, commissioned from artists Gillie and Marc, recognizes the vision and leadership of Mr. Luing, and his dedication to the principle that “The Student Always Comes First.” The statue was presented to the College as a gift from Mr. Luing’s sons, Kevin, Randy, Tim and Brian Luing.

Alumni Engagement
Alumni with gifts to donate
Alumni enjoyed social and professional development programming throughout the year, including a tour of the Museum of National History in January, Summer Alumni Institute workshops in July, and a Happy Hour for alumni of the Master of Business Administration program in May. In October, the Berkeley College Alumni Association led a group of spirited marchers celebrating the 44th Annual Hispanic State Parade of New Jersey in Hudson County, NJ. Alumni Reunion Weekend invited alumni back to campus to reconnect with faculty and fellow classmates, and to make new professional contacts.

Berkeley College Foundation
Students receive scholarships from the Berkeley College Foundation
In November, the Foundation celebrated the achievements of scholarship recipients and honored two leaders at its 2019 Leadership Recognition Dinner (pictured above). Dipexa Gandhi, a Financial Literacy Advocate at Berkeley College, was named Executive Director. Also in 2019, the Berkeley College Foundation welcomed new members of its Board of Directors, including alumni Adriana Delgado, a Visual Merchandising Senior Analyst at Verizon Wireless, and Melvin Montalvo , USA Channel Sales Manager, Clearswift. In January, the Foundation provided a $10,000 donation toward the food pantry, located at the College’s Newark campus and available to all Berkeley students.

Legislators on Campus
Paterson Mayor and New York Speaker
Andre Sayegh, Mayor of the City of Paterson, engaged students in a conversation about their future goals and his vision for the City of Paterson, during an open forum in Woodland Park in February (pictured above left). Students shared their professional goals with New York State Assemblymember Walter T. Mosley in Midtown Manhattan in February, and Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie visited the White Plains campus in December (pictured above right).

Awards and Honors
US News badge
The College again was ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News & World Report, reaching No. 102 – an 18.4 percent increase above the previous year. The College also was named among the Best Online Bachelor Programs for Veterans. Military Times ranked the College among the “Best for Vets: Colleges 2020 Four-Year School” for the seventh year. The College received the Member of the Year award  from the New Jersey Business & Industry Association in October.

President Michael J. Smith was named among the City & State 50 Over 50, who have distinguished themselves by helping New York in civic affairs. Members of the Berkeley College Human Resources department accepted a 2019 Well-Being Award from Cigna Corporation. The Information Systems team received an Appademy Award for its innovation and best practices in creating a mobile campus experience during the 2019 Kurogo Conference. The Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts announced that three Berkeley College Marketing/VIA creative submissions were among the winners of the 15th Annual Davey Awards

In the News header

Career Closet interview and K9 presentation
The Berkeley College Career Clothing Boutique was featured on CBS2 News, News 12 New Jersey and  NBC New York. The College’s donation of two bulletproof K9 vests to the White Plains Office of Public Safety was captured by News 12 Westchester,, FiOS1 News and the White Plains Patch. Tiempo on ABC 7 and MY9NJ highlighted the School of Health Studies and its work with Healing the Children® New Jersey.

People to Be Heard and Steve Adubato interviews
Host John Bailey interviewed Sharon McLennon-Wier, PhD, Berkeley College Director of Disability Services, on cable television program “People to Be Heard,” about the campaign to have more people with disabilities in the Westchester region register to vote (pictured above left). Broadcaster Steve Adubato discussed helping soldiers transition to civilian life with Ed Dennis; preparing students for legal careers with Patricia Greer (pictured above right); and the magic of Central Park with Dr. Stephen Wolf. Michael J. Smith shared insight as part of the COMMERCE College/University Presidents Roundtable, and was named a Thought Leader by New Jersey Business. Faculty and staff including Jasmine Briggs, Flore Dorecely-Mohr, Sharon Goldstein and Amy Soricelli  authored articles in a variety of publications.

NJEdge article cover
NJEdge highlighted the ways Berkeley College remains agile in the ever-changing environment of higher education in the spring issue of View from the Edge magazine. ROI-NJ covered the dynamic panelists who spoke during Women Entrepreneurship Week at Berkeley College.

Graduate Jay Arthur
Jay Arthur, who graduated in 2019 with a degree in Fashion Merchandising and Management, shared his story with News 12 Hudson Valley and 92.7/96.9 WRRV after GQ showcased his streetwear designs in an international issue of the magazine. Edwin Fleurant, who graduated in 2019 with a degree in Information Technology Management, was featured in Caribbean Life.


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