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October 2013
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‘Sisters’, a Film by Distinguished Professor and Nun Dr. Carol Rittner, to Appear on PBS

Dr. Carol RitnerStockton’s Dr. Carol Rittner produced “Sisters,” a documentary about the lives of five American nuns which is set to air on PBS stations later this year.

Dr. Carol Rittner, who is a nun and Distinguished Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies in the School of General Studies, is executive producer of a documentary, “Sisters,” set to air on PBS stations later this year.

The one-hour documentary takes the audience into the lives of five American nuns, exploring the deepest hopes and yearnings of the human spirit, the risks and rewards of having a generous heart.

The film was shown in the Stockton Campus Center Theatre on Oct. 21, followed by a discussion with Dr. Rittner and Dr. Deirdre Mullan, both members of the Sisters of Mercy. Dr. Mullan, who is executive director of Partner for a Global Justice at the United Nations, appears in the film.

"American nuns -- Sisters -- are, in my view, the most well educated, competent, committed and savvy members of the Catholic Church in the United States and beyond,” said Dr. Rittner.

“They built the Catholic school system in the USA, educating millions of men and women, established the Catholic hospitals in this country, and served the underserved and marginalized in this country long before the present pope, Francis I -- and I like him very much - thought about reminding the hierarchy of the Catholic Church that this is where we should be serving all God's people,” Rittner continued.

“There may be fewer nuns today, but we are just as energetic and committed as we ever were."

"Sisters” cost about $400,000 - and it took Dr. Rittner three years to raise the funds. The film was directed and produced by three-time Emmy winner and Academy Award nominee Robert Gardner, of Robert Gardner Films, Baltimore.

"My colleagues at Stockton College have been wonderfully supportive of my efforts to raise the money -- a little more than $400,000 -- to make the film, and they have been personally encouraging of me in trying to tell the story of women who have committed their lives to serving the poor, sick, uneducated and undereducated in this world," said Dr. Rittner.

Dr. Rittner was executive producer of "The Courage to Care", a 1986 Academy Award-nominated documentary film about non-Jews who rescued Jews during the Holocaust, and Triumph of Memory (1987), a documentary film about non-Jews who survived Nazi concentration camps during WW II and the Holocaust.  She is also the Dr. Marsha Raticoff Grossman Professor of Holocaust Studies here.


The William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy Sponsors Legislative Debates

Democratic state Sen. Jim Whelan, left, debates Republican challenger Frank Balles, the Atlantic County sheriff, in a debate moderated by Sharon Schulman, chief executive officer for External Affairs and Institutional Research at Stockton. The 2nd District legislative debate was held Oct. 2 at Stockton’s Dante Hall in Atlantic City.
Photo by Vernon Ogrodnek/The Press of Atlantic City

The William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, in partnership with The Press of Atlantic City, sponsored three public debates for legislative races covering Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Ocean counties this fall.

"Candidate debates are essential to civic engagement. They give the voting public an opportunity to hear directly from both major party candidates," said Daniel J. Douglas, director of the Hughes Center.

The well-attended debates received wide media coverage.  The 2nd District debate was held Oct. 2 at Dante Hall Theater in Atlantic City, the 1st District was held Oct. 21 in the Old Courthouse in Cape May Court House, and the 9th District was held Oct. 23 in the Campus Center Theatre on Stockton’s main Galloway campus.

To see media coverage, visit the Hughes Center on Facebook.


Stockton Convenes National, State Leaders on Higher Education Policy Reform

 National and state experts discuss policy reform in higher education at a meeting convened by Dr. Darryl Greer, Senior Fellow at Stockton’s Higher Education Strategic Information and Governance (HESIG).

Dr. Darryl Greer, Senior Hughes Center Fellow and coordinator of Stockton’s Higher Education Strategic Information and Governance (HESIG) initiative, brought together top national and state leaders to discuss higher education policy reform on Sept. 25.

National policy specialists, trustees and leaders from New Jersey colleges and universities advised on two big issues: helping colleges increase the understanding of the value of a college degree to meet rising public demands; and improving governance practices to support accountability for public investment, trust, and for educational outcomes.

President Herman Saatkamp, a member and strong supporter of the council, stated, “Higher education in New Jersey and nationally faces important financial and service challenges, and significant opportunity for positive change, while maintaining strong traditional values of educational and public service. The HESIG council is a remarkable group of some of the best policy advocates in the country. Stockton is proud to host and to be part of a growing national effort to improve policy and practice that advance college opportunity.”

National data expert Dennis Jones of the National Center for Higher Education Management Information Systems led a discussion of economic, demographic, and technology trends affecting higher education. Key factors included New Jersey’s unique autonomous governance structure and a rapidly changing college-bound and college-completion population, including older adults.

Aided by other expert policy analysts, including Dan Hurley of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and Richard Novak and Jane Wellman, both of the Association of College and University Governing Boards, specific advice to HESIG included:  clearly defining the value of college in a manner that relates directly to the educational needs and aspirations of students served, recognizing the special New Jersey context to close the achievement gap for emerging populations and engaging boards of trustees on critical trends that affect the colleges’ strategic goals, and emphasize internal policy reform needed to achieve long-term, mission-related goals.

Dr. Greer said, “I am deeply appreciative of the Council’s thoughtful advice. It provides the foundation for a strong HESIG agenda, working with partners in New Jersey and nationally to help close the college achievement gap, to keep college affordable and accountable, and to serve a broader public agenda.”


Stockton Joins Make a Difference Day with Projects to Help Victims of Superstorm Sandy

Stockton joined thousands of organizations nationwide on Oct. 26 for Make a Difference Day, the largest day of community service in the United States.

Stockton partnered with the Atlantic County Long-term Recovery Group and the Rev. Juliann Henry, manager of pastoral care for AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, to host long-term Sandy recovery service projects on campus on Oct. 26 as part of Make  A Difference Day, a national day of community service sponsored by USA Weekend Magazine and Points of Light.

On-campus projects included information, free services and gifts for victims, oral history projects, reflection and non-denominational worship services, yoga and creative art displays.

Off campus, students helped organize, clean and distribute food at the Community Food Bank of New Jersey in Egg Harbor Township; others helped the Salem United Methodist Church in Pleasantville host the Eastern Service Workers Association (ESWA) Halloween Party and Fundraiser Benefit.  Dr. Ann Walker and Dr. Mary Padden, professors in the School of Health Sciences at Stockton, worked with Nursing students to promote healthy eating at the Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City.

Stockton’s involvement with Make A Difference Day is part of the college’s first-ever Semester of Service, which began with the 10th Annual Day of Service in Atlantic City on Sept. 7. The semester-long community service will continue with Homelessness and Hunger Awareness Week in November.

Visit Flickr to view photos.


Nacote Creek Field Station Celebrates 20 Years of Environmental Education

Stockton’s Marine Science and Environmental Field Station at Nacote Creek, which has a fleet of five research vessels, celebrated 20 years of academic service in October.

From its humble beginning as a rented space in Brigantine, to a state-of-the-art research facility equipped with marine technology and a fleet of vessels, Stockton’s Marine Science and Environmental Field Station celebrates 20 years of academic service this fall.
“The Marine Science program has always had a field space,” said Steve Evert, field station manager, but in the last 20 years it has grown from “a staging area for equipment and a launch site to a full research and teaching laboratory.”
Over the past decade, faculty from the Marine Science, Biology and Environmental Science programs have steered research farther offshore. The field station currently houses a fleet of five research vessels, extending exploration and sampling throughout local estuaries.

In addition to the typical dip nets, dredges, water- quality sampling devices and microscopes, students have the opportunity to work with side-scan sonar to create image maps of the bay floor and a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) to observe wrecks and artificial reefs.

Beyond its instructional purposes, the field station has become a research facility for undergraduate students and faculty members to collaborate on significant coastal and environmental issues.

“I’ve seen many great success stories,” Evert said. “Stockton is able to provide students with networking, research experiences and internships to prepare them for the future. The field station is a hub to offer students those opportunities.”

Dr. Peter Straub, professor of Biology, is working on a project to evaluate artificial reefs as sustainable habitats for fish. He takes students to Little Egg reef off Beach Haven Inlet where they can use side-scan sonar to create image maps of the sea floor.

“They can film with a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV), which runs with a joystick like a helicopter,” to produce video that tracks the distribution of black sea bass and tautog, he explained.

“We’re surrounded by 200,000 acres of public land,” said Dr. Straub. “We couldn’t have a more beautiful place.”

Stockton Statistic:

Stockton’s athletes are graduating at a higher rate than non-athletes, according to a report the Office of Athletics and Recreation submitted to the NCAA as part of a voluntary program for Division III. The graduation rate for full-time, first-time freshmen student athletes was 77.4 percent in six years (or less) for those who began in fall 2006, compared to 63.9 percent for non-athletes.

For more information on the study, click here.


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