Stockton Holds Largest Graduation Ceremonies including First for Doctoral and Master’s Degree Conferral
Valedictorians Joseph Everett (left) and Sandy Zaher, who are engaged to be married, with President Saatkamp prior to graduation.
The largest graduation in the history of the College took place earlier this month.
There were three ceremonies including the first-ever Doctoral and Master’s Degree Conferral ceremony, which took place on Friday May 4. Two Baccalaureate Degree Conferral ceremonies took place on Sunday, May 6.
Stockton President Herman J. Saatkamp presided over the three events, all staged at the Stockton Sports Center. In all, he presented diplomas to more than 1,300 graduates, making this year’s ceremony the largest ever at Stockton.
Rochelle Hendricks, Secretary of Higher Education for the State of New Jersey, delivered the keynote speech for the Doctoral and Master’s Degree Conferral event. For the Baccalaureate Degree Conferral events, Kevin DeSanctis, Chairman and Chief Operating Officer for Revel Entertainment Group, gave the morning address. The keynote talk in the afternoon was given by former New Jersey Senator William Gormley.
“As you pursue your careers, your task is to experiment,” Sen. Gormley told the graduates. “You must look beyond the obvious and reach beyond the visible horizon,” he said.
There were two Valedictorians who spoke. In the morning event, Valedictorian Joseph Everett gave the student address. His fiancé, Sandy Zaher, was the afternoon speaker.
Experts Looking for Another Strong Tourist Season at the Jersey Shore
Jeffery Vasser, President of the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Bureau (left), and Brian Tyrrell, Stockton Associate Professor of Business Studies, at the Jersey Shorecast.
“If I were a business person, I’d be cautiously optimistic” about a great economic result for the summer tourism season at the Jersey Shore, said Stockton Associate Professor of Business Studies Michael Busler, at the Jersey Shorecast held earlier this month at Stockton’s Carnegie Center in Atlantic City.
The Shorecast is one of the more popular events hosted by the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism (LIGHT), for bringing hospitality and tourism experts together with Stockton faculty members to provide a preview for the Shore’s prime business period.
“The Shorecast has become one of the most anticipated events we do, as it gives an insiders’ perspective for the summer tourism season,” said Dr. Izzy Posner, LIGHT Executive Director.
In addition to Busler, the panel included Jeffery Vasser, President of the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Bureau; Vicki Clark, President, Cape May Chamber of Commerce; Joe Kelly, President, Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce; Lori Pepenella, Director, Destination Marketing, Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce; Dr. Brian Tyrrell, Associate Professor of Business Studies; and Dr. Oliver Cooke, Stockton Associate Professor of Economics.
The panel seemed to share Busler’s sense of optimism, with the obvious caveat of two major “uncontrollable” elements to any Jersey Shore tourism season, weather and gasoline prices.
Although gas prices continue to rise overall, recent drops in prices have helped encourage families and individuals within a tank of gas to visit, the panel concurred. They did caution that extreme weather can be a detriment, as Hurricane Irene was last year.
But generally, Busler said, a sense that the economy is on the rebound, will help tourism.
“I think people have been taking less vacation due to fears about the economy, and now they are making plans again because they are feeling better about things,” he said.
Stockton Professor’s New Film set for Festivals, Conventions
Stockton Associate Professor Christine Farina has written, produced and directed “Gamers,” a soon-to-be released film which documents the culture and subculture of people involved in video, fantasy, role-playing and many other games.
“Basically, the film is gamers talking about themselves and other gamers,” said Farina.
The film is generating a lot of buzz in the film and gaming communities and will be shown at the Philly Fringe Film Festival in the fall.
By her own estimation, Farina says 20 percent of America is involved in some form of gaming. The participants cross every economic and social group, every age, gender and lifestyle preference. However, Farina says many gamers keep their “second life” a secret because they fear ridicule, adverse impact to their careers and outright scorn.
“I spoke to several homosexual people who told me it was more difficult coming ‘out” about their passion for playing games than it was to reveal their sexual preference,” she said.
The feature-length film, which Farina began, making in 2006, is in its final stages of editing. It runs 86 minutes, pared down painstakingly from more than 180 hours of raw footage.
“this is by far the most difficult film I have ever attempted,” said Farina, who has made more than 50 of them, including the award-winning “Broken Silence,” the story of Holocaust Survivor Sonia Kaplan, and “Threadbare,” an experimental film about dance.
“Gamers” will have its premier at Dexcon, one of the East Coast’s largest gaming conventions, in July.
Ambassador William J. Hughes Honored by Stockton at Dedication of Memorabilia, Archives
Ambassador William J. Hughes speaks at the dedication of the Hughes Collection while Trustee Curtis Bashaw (left) and Rep. Rob Andrews listen.
Earlier this month, the College dedicated the William J. Hughes Collection at ceremonies outside L-Wing.
The Collection chronicles Ambassador William J. Hughes’ years of dedicated public service and was formally dedicated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy. It contains dozens of awards, volumes of correspondence, photographs and more.
“I’m delighted that my archives and memorabilia will be housed in southern New Jersey at a College that has become a gem, nationally,” Ambassador Hughes said. “I hope it will be helpful to students and researchers in the years ahead.”
Much of the collection is displayed on the walls throughout upper L-Wing near the offices of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy. Additionally, an archive of citations from the Congressional Record, press releases, news clips, newsletters and other materials are housed in the College’s Richard Bjork Library and available for use by researchers and interested parties. The Collection spans five decades of Ambassador Hughes’ public service.
Environmental and sustainability initiatives have always been a hallmark of Stockton’s institutional mission. The new Campus Center, which opened a year ago this month, is a good example of responsible energy use. The 153,000 sq. ft building uses 30 percent below standard construction energy use and 40 percent below standard water use, according to Stockton’s Facilities and Construction Department.