Congratulations to the members of the Ramapo College of New Jersey Class of 2012 and to the recipients of the President's Staff Recognition Awards.
Ramapo celebrated its largest commencement ceremony on May 16 as 1,526 graduates received diplomas at Prudential Center. More than 13,000 proud guests attended the ceremony. 360 of the graduates received Latin Honors, 28 completed the College's Honors Program, and another 250 were members of the College's 40-plus academic honor societies.
Emmy Award winning CBS 2 News anchor Chris Wragge, the keynote speaker, urged the Class of 2012 to follow their instincts and to act from a place of purpose. Graduating Class Speaker Gregory Allen, 42, of Ringwood, NJ, an Environmental Studies major, delivered remarks on behalf of the Class. Allen is the fourth member of his family to graduate from Ramapo College. He began his studies in 1991, stopped in 1995 to begin raising a family, and returned in 2010 and began taking courses on nights and weekends.
AJ Sabath '93, Chairman, Board of Trustees, joined me to present the President's Award of Merit to Aijaz "Jazz" Tobaccowalla '90, senior vice president, Worldwide Biopharmaceutical and Commercial Business Technology for Pfizer, Inc. The award recognizes distinguished accomplishments by Ramapo College alumni.
Ramapo also honored College supporters and friends, Lawrence and Theresa Salameno of Allendale, NJ, with Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees for their support, generosity and friendship over the past decade.
Again, I extend best wishes to all of the graduates and their families, and a sincere thank you to the many members of the College that played a part in coordinating this special event and supporting our students.
A few days after Commencement, I was pleased to recognize the recipients of the Ramapo College President's Staff Recognition Awards. The College received a record number of nominations this year!
The 2012 recipient of the Staff Excellence in Service Award is Dr. Susan Petro. Petro, biology lab coordinator and instructor in the School of Theoretical and Applied Science, was primarily recognized for fostering a collegial and cooperative environment. Specifically, her solution-oriented skills were noted in her resolution of issues related to the logistical coordination of students, science laboratory staff, and faculty during the planning for a major renovation to the College's science wing.
The 2012 recipients of the Staff Leadership Award are Dr. Judy Green, Ben Levy, and Cheryl Schwartz. Green, director of the College's Center for Health and Counseling Services, was recognized for her efforts to go above and beyond to ensure the safety, security, and health of students under extraordinary circumstances. This included her efforts to raise awareness, foster greater self-reflection, and promote positive behavioral change with regard to alcohol and substance abuse on campus.
Levy, director of the College's Roukema Center for International Education, was recognized for his commitment to the security and health of students and colleagues through his work as risk assessor for the international educational program, and particularly for the College's new programs in India.
Schwartz, Academic Counselor in the Office of Specialized Services, was recognized for successfully leading a team to complete a significant institutional project. This included her leadership and coordination of the College's Disability Awareness Month activities.
Congratulations and thank you to Susan, Judy, Ben, and Cheryl!
Peter P. Mercer
Commencement Photo Galleries, Highlights Video, and Survey
President's Staff Recognition Award Recipients