Hudson County Community College to Receive Two Northeast Regional Awards from the Association of Community College Trustees

October 1, 2012

October 1, 2012, Jersey City, NJ – Hudson County Community College will receive two Northeast Region American Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Awards at the 2012 ACCT Leadership Congress in Boston, Mass. The awards — the Charles Kennedy Equity Award for the Northeast Region, and the Professional Board Staff Member Award for the Northeast Region to Jennifer Oakley — will be presented during the Annual Leadership Congress, held this year at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston.

HCCC President Dr. Glen Gabert announced that ACCT Regional Awards recognize outstanding contributions made by community college trustees, equity programs, faculty members and professional board members. Those recognized at the regional level will also contend for national level awards later in the year.

The Charles Kennedy Equity Award recognizes exemplary commitment by a community, technical or junior college governing board and its chief executive officer as a group to achieve equity in the college’s education programs and services and in the administration and delivery of those services. In submitting Hudson County Community College’s nomination for this category, HCCC Board of Trustees Chair William J. Netchert, Esq., wrote: “Hudson County is one of the most dynamic and diverse communities in the United States. Our mission is to provide for the educational needs of a linguistically and ethnically/racially diverse community and we are doing so through vigorous outreach, innovative programs and courses, and most importantly, the employment of faculty, staff, administrators and Board members who mirror the backgrounds and experiences of our Hudson County neighbors.” He stressed that the College is dedicated to continuing to increase inclusion on every level at HCCC and to raising the academic bar and preparing students for success in the 21st century world.

Criteria for the ACCT Equity Award included: Enrollment (growth in a diverse student population); successful completion (offering an environment for minority students to be successful); participation in college majors that lead to better paying, higher mobility jobs; a campus environment that meets the needs of a diverse student population; commitment to employing a diverse staff; outreach to a diverse community; diverse representation on the Board of Trustees, committees and advisory groups; and diverse representation of contractors and vendors.

Northeast Regional Professional Board Staff Award recipient Jennifer Oakley is the Executive Administrative Assistant to the President at HCCC. She is being recognized for her outstanding service and support to the President and to the Board of Trustees and for the leadership she has exhibited in acting as the liaison between the President and Board of Trustees with HCCC students, faculty, staff and members of the community. A 33-year veteran of HCCC, the nomination of Ms. Oakley read: “Warm, understanding and thoughtful, Jennifer is one of the most thoroughly professional and extremely skilled individuals at the College, and she successfully operates the Office of the President with competence and grace ... She is one of the College’s most treasured assets.”

HCCC Board of Trustees Vice Chair Bakari G. Lee, Esq., who is also ACCT Northeast Regional Chair, explained that ACCT is the nonprofit educational organization representing more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees of community, technical and junior colleges in the United States and beyond. The organization is dedicated to strengthening community, technical and junior colleges and helping them realize their missions through effective board leadership at the local, state and national levels.

“These awards are a testament to the devotion and hard work of everyone here at the College and the excellence we all strive to bring to our students and our community. Truly, our greatest awards are realized in seeing our students succeed, graduate and go on to lead successful and productive lives. But, it is very gratifying to be acknowledged by this esteemed organization,” Dr. Gabert said.

Board of Trustees Chair Netchert stated: “I consider it an honor to be on this Board, representing our neighbors in Hudson County and serving the students of this College. These awards reflect the passion, pride and energy that Dr. Gabert, my fellow Board members, the administrators, faculty and staff bring to our work on behalf of the College and our students. We are grateful to everyone at Hudson County Community College and to the ACCT for these awards.”

“Given Hudson County Community College’s transition into a leading institution in the two-year post-secondary education arena, I have been determined to have the College recognized as such on a national stage.  This is the first time Hudson County Community College has ever submitted nominations for the ACCT Awards, and all of us at the College are hopeful that the College will prevail in this year’s national competition,” Mr. Lee said. “We are honored to be recognized with the 2012 Regional ACCT Awards and we plan to be more triumphant in 2013!”