Berkeley College Networking Breakfast Highlights Community and Collaboration in City of Newark

Friday, April 7, 2023
Contact: Kelly Depsee
Senior Director, Communications and External Relations
Keynote Speaker Shares New Initiatives at Saint Michael’s Medical Center

Berkeley Newark

Photo Caption: Alan Sickles, MD, CEO, Saint Michael’s Medical Center, discusses the growth of the 358-bed acute care hospital during a Newark Networking Breakfast at Berkeley College on Wednesday, April 5, 2023. 

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Click here to view photos from the event. 

Business leaders emphasized “community and collaboration” during a Newark Networking Breakfast at Berkeley College on Wednesday, April 5, 2023. Attendees toured the campus, connected with faculty, staff, and alumni, and learned about initiatives that can benefit employers including the College’s Corporate Learning Partnership program. The event also collected donations for the Berkeley College Foundation Food Pantry, one of three on-campus food pantries that serve students. 

Keynote speaker Alan Sickles, MD, CEO, Saint Michael’s Medical Center, shared his journey to hospital administration and the many ways Saint Michael’s – a 358-bed acute care hospital in the heart of Newark – is growing. 

“Saint Michael’s is a great example of how an organization changes with time,” Sickles said. “At the core of it, if we can take care of our patients in the best way possible and provide the highest level of care to the community we serve, everything else falls into line.” 

Under Sickles’ leadership, Saint Michael’s received numerous awards for patient safety, added new services lines including for advanced neuro-interventional stroke care, and will launch an ambulance service for the first time under Newark’s 911 system. The hospital has also expanded its graduate medical education programs, including adding new fellowships in various specialties including hematology/oncology, cardiology, and gastroenterology, among others. 

“Hospitals, physicians, and nurses have a very long history of teaching,” Sickles said. “It is central to what we do. By growing the number of students and residents we have in the building, it elevates the conversation.” 

Berkeley College’s History in Essex County 

“The City of Newark is our campus, and being a part of our community is very important to us,” said Kevin L. Luing, Board Chairman, Berkeley College. “2023 is a rebirth of this campus and a time of reestablishing relationships, strengthening relationships, and building new relationships. There are tremendous opportunities for collaboration here in Newark.” 

Berkeley College was established on September 28, 1931, in East Orange, NJ. The College marked its return to Essex County with the opening of a Newark campus in 2006 and has been part of the City’s economic revival.

Since its opening, more than 1,700 degrees and certificates have been awarded to students who began their educational journeys at Berkeley College in Newark. 

Diane Recinos, EdD, President of Berkeley College, shared Berkeley College initiatives including Continuing Education certificates and courses that can meet the needs of professionals seeking to advance in their careers, and the College’s Master of Science in Nursing program. She also discussed the Newark Promise Grant, an opportunity for qualified residents of Essex County to pursue a degree without incurring any loans for tuition and fees. 

“We all know that education has the power to transform lives,” Recinos said. “The Newark Promise Grant is an opportunity for students to achieve their full potential without being burdened by debt, and to further our mission in helping students scale the income ladder.” 

On May 11, 2023, Berkeley College will hold its Commencement ceremony at Prudential Center in Newark. Berkeley College leaders encouraged representatives of the companies and organizations in attendance to connect with its Career Services team about filling open positions with a qualified intern or graduate. 

“As a Newark resident and a Berkeley College alumnus, I take great pride in leading this campus and supporting the College’s mission of empowering students to achieve lifelong success in dynamic careers,” said Luis Collazo, Campus Operating Officer, Berkeley College in Newark. “Whether you are a company that employs our students and graduates or a nonprofit that provides much-needed services to our community, you are all part of our success story and we truly value your partnership.” 

“Two important things I take away from today’s event are community and collaboration,” said Mary Ann Chimento, Director, Corporate and Community Relations, Berkeley College. “Berkeley College is proud to have been embedded in the Newark community since 2006. During our time here, we have joined with so many nonprofits, businesses, and local governments and collaborated to learn how we can better serve our residents, neighbors, and students. Collaborations such as this breakfast prove that we can all work better together.”

Berkeley Newark 

Photo Caption: (Top Row, L to R) Michael Iris, Associate Vice President, Alumni Relations and Career Services, Berkeley College; Kevin L. Luing, Board Chairman, Berkeley College; Luis Collazo, Campus Operating Officer, Berkeley College in Newark, NJ; Alan Sickles, MD, CEO, Saint Michael’s Medical Center; Diane Recinos, EdD, President of Berkeley College; and Mary Ann Chimento, Director, Corporate and Community Relations, Berkeley College. (Bottom Row, Center) Michele Figueroa, Director, Reporting and Technology, Career Services, Berkeley College, shelves donations for the Berkeley College Foundation Food Pantry at the Newark campus. (Bottom Row, L and R) Business and community leaders, including Michelle Vernuccio, President, North Jersey Chamber of Commerce, connect during the Newark Networking Breakfast at Berkeley College on Wednesday, April 5, 2023. 

About Berkeley College

Berkeley College, founded in 1931, is a career-focused institution accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education that offers students Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associate’s degree and Certificate programs in more than 20 career fields. The College also offers Continuing Education programs to enhance career credentials.

Berkeley College has campuses in New York City and in Newark, Woodbridge, and Woodland Park, NJ, with more than 3,600 students enrolled. In addition, Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. U.S. News & World Report has named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans, for 10 consecutive years. U.S. News & World Report named Berkeley College (NJ) one of the Best Regional Colleges in the North in its 2023 edition of the Best Colleges Survey. Berkeley College (NJ) was recognized among the Best Colleges in the region for social mobility for three consecutive years. The website address is