Hudson County Community College Announces New Appointments and Tenure Recipients

March 30, 2022

March 30, 2022, Jersey City, NJ – The Hudson County Community College (HCCC) Board of Trustees recently approved appointments to leadership positions, and awarded tenure to instructors. 

HCCC President Dr. Chris Reber noted that the appointments and tenure awards reflect the College’s dedication to ensuring HCCC students receive a quality education provided by individuals who are the best in their fields.

Hudson County Community College Announces New Appointments and Tenure Recipients


“Everyone at HCCC applauds our dedicated colleague, Dr. Ara Karakashian, and welcomes John Hernandez and Cecily McKeown to Hudson County Community College. We congratulate them on their new appointments,” Dr. Reber said. 

Dr. Ara Karakashian was promoted to HCCC Associate Dean of Business, Culinary Arts, and Hospitality Management. He holds an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Rowan University; and a Master of Business Administration-Hospitality Administration, Bachelor of Science-Food Service Management, and Associate in Applied Science-Culinary Arts degrees from Johnson and Wales University. “Dr. K,” as he is known by all at HCCC, has served at the College since 2008 in the capacities of Associate Professor and Coordinator of Culinary Arts, and Interim Associate Dean. He played a significant role in developing the Hospitality Management curriculum, and brings entrepreneurial experience to the classroom. Dr. Karakashian speaks English, Spanish, Armenian, and Arabic. 

John Hernandez joins HCCC as the new Dean of College Libraries on April 20, 2022. A native of the Bronx, he holds a Master of Public Administration degree in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy from New York University; and a Master of Science degree in Library and Information Services from the University of Michigan. Mr. Hernandez comes to HCCC from California State University-San Bernardino where he serves as Head of Library Technology and Media Services. Previously he was the Web and Mobile Services Librarian at Northwestern University, where he worked for ten years in several positions, and served as a subject specialist in social sciences. He was also a Librarian in government documents, political science, and public affairs at Princeton University and New York University. 

Cecily McKeown joins HCCC as the College’s new Multimedia Specialist with the Center for Online Learning (COL). She received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Art and Technology from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and holds professional certifications in Online Education from the University of Wisconsin and EDUCAUSE. Ms. McKeown most recently served as Graphic Design Program Coordinator and Faculty at Passaic County Community College. She comes to HCCC with 15 years of experience teaching visual communication, graphic design, web design, and interactive multimedia at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online, and Bronx Community College.

Dr. Reber has further announced the award of tenure to three HCCC instructors. “Bernard Adamitey, Mohammad Qasem, and Gilda Reyes are being recognized for the outstanding dedication and passion they bring to teaching our students,” he stated.

Bernard Adamitey is an Instructor of Academic Foundations Mathematics. He joined the College in 2018. He holds a Master of Science degree from College of Staten Island, and a Bachelor of Science degree from University of New York-Hunter College. Professor Adamitey aims to instill the discipline students need to succeed while inspiring a love for mathematics.

Mohammad Qasem joined HCCC as an Adjunct Professor in 2012 and became a full-time Instructor in the STEM Division in 2017. He holds a Master of Science degree from University of Alabama, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Jordan. Professor Qasem previously taught at several community colleges in Tennessee and New Jersey, and worked as a Quality Control Engineer for several computer manufacturing companies in Tennessee. 

Gilda Reyes is an Instructor and Coordinator of Modern Languages, Speech, and Communication Studies. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Columbia University-Teachers College, and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Latin American Studies from Fordham University. Professor Reyes has worked at HCCC since 2002 in the Continuing Education, English as a Second Language (ESL), and English Divisions. She is a member of the National Communication Association (NCA), The American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, and The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.