March 2015
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In this edition:

Student Team Wins National ‘Up to Us’ Competition

From left to right: Stockton students Victoria Muraoka, Louis Chevere, Brad Ross, Maryam Sarhan and Angelo Bechara; Peterson Foundation President & CEO Michael A. Peterson; Net Impact CEO Liz Maw and President Bill Clinton. Photo credit: Clinton Global Initiative University

Students at Stockton University won the nationwide competition, “Up to Us,” and traveled to the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) in Florida to receive the top $10,000 prize. President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton hosted the eighth annual CGI U meeting at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. March 6-8. 

The Stockton University team competed against students from 44 colleges and universities to run the most thought-provoking, fun and effective campaign informing students about the long- and short-term impacts the federal debt will have on their lives - and getting them to take action. 

“Among the pillars of a distinctive Stockton University education are community engagement and global perspectives, which prepare our students to succeed and to shape a better world,” said President Herman Saatkamp. “The five students on the Stockton ‘Up to Us’ team engaged the whole community and have now earned national recognition for their work. We could not be more proud of them.” 

Team leader Angelo Bechara, a sophomore double majoring in Political Science and French, said the group worked hard to make a significant impact on the Stockton community. “The national debt crisis isn't the most appealing topic to college students, but our team put on fun events and incorporated a learning component alongside the fun,” he said. 

The team plans to donate $5,000 of the prize to the student body in the form of scholarships and a thank-you celebration, and split the remainder among the five core team members. 

The other members of the team are: Louis Chevere, a senior Economics major; Maryam Sarhan, a sophomore majoring in Political Science with a pre-law concentration; Brad Ross, a senior majoring in Sustainability; and Victoria Muraoka, a freshman Psychology major. 

The Stockton University team edged out competitors from many larger institutions, including Yale University, Carnegie Mellon and University of California, Berkeley. This was the second year in which Stockton students competed and the competition almost doubled - from 23 schools last year to 44. 

The main event on Stockton University’s Galloway campus was “My Two Cents Day,” held Feb. 12 in the Campus Center. Participants wrote down their “two cents” on a huge graffiti wall, which the team then took to the office of Congressman Frank LoBiondo, R-2nd. 

Students also had their photos taken in a photo booth provided by Starshield Entertainment, which were then tweeted as part of the national competition. Organizers tracked the University with the most tweets and added to the team’s points, Bechara said. “My Two Cents Day” also included games, giveaways, trivia quizzes, special appearances and live performances. 

Jeff Wakeman, director of Student Development, traveled to Florida with the students. Stockton University’s “Up to Us” team was supported throughout the campaign by advisers Craig Stambaugh, associate dean of Students, and Laurie Griscom, director of Events Services and Campus Center Operations. 

The “Up to Us” campaign is sponsored by the Clinton Global Initiative, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and Net Impact, a nonprofit with over 50,000 students and professionals in 300 chapters aiming “to drive transformational change in the workplace and world.” For more information on the program, click here.  

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Stockton Provost Dr. Harvey Kesselman '79 Named Next President of the University of Southern Maine

Dr. Harvey Kesselman, provost and executive vice president, and a 1979 Stockton graduate.

Dr. Harvey Kesselman, provost and executive vice president and a 1979 Stockton graduate, has been named the next president of the University of Southern Maine effective July 2015.

“Provost Kesselman built an illustrious career at Stockton; first as a ‘Mayflower’ student, a member of the faculty, and in several administrative positions before taking the reins as provost in 2010. He contributed significantly to Stockton’s growth and successes for decades,” President Herman Saatkamp wrote in an announcement to faculty and staff on March 11.

At Stockton University, Dr. Kesselman has served as dean of the School of Education; CEO of the Southern Regional Institute and Educational Technology Training Center; interim vice president for Administration and Finance; vice president for Student Affairs; and a faculty member.

“The foundation of our success at Stockton was that we always worked together, not just on the ideas, but on the implementation, review, and refinement of those ideas,” Dr. Kesselman said. “We always put student success as our number one priority and this will be the cornerstone of my presidency at USM. If students succeed, we all succeed, and that is our goal.”

Dr. Kesselman has served on numerous national and state boards and organizations. Four New Jersey governors have appointed him to represent the senior public colleges and universities on issues including accountability and outcomes, campus judicial affairs, student financial aid, and infusing technology into the curriculum. Dr. Kesselman served on the College and Career Readiness Task Force, established to define college and career readiness and assessment measures, including graduation requirements.

Dr. Kesselman is the senior public college representative to the New Jersey Higher Education Assistance Authority and also serves on its Executive Committee. He has served in statewide leadership roles in numerous other areas including affirmative action, Hispanic affairs and the Educational Opportunity Fund. He played a pivotal role on the Governor’s Task Force for the NJ Stars program and was one of the primary authors of the legislation signed into law that improved the program.

“Not only has he served Stockton in many leadership roles over the years, Dr. Kesselman is a Stockton graduate - Class of ’79. His dedication to higher education and to the Stockton community over the years has made him a national figure in educational circles, and a Stockton icon,” President Saatkamp said. “Our gratitude and thanks go with Harvey as he embarks on this excellent new challenge and we wish Harvey and his wife, Lynne ’89, a wonderful future.”

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Stockton University Hosts ‘Deep Sea Shipwrecks: History Revealed’

Steve Nagiewicz ’74, a science teacher at Atlantic City High School and a diver, discussed shipwreck mapping during a lecture at Stockton University.

The School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, in partnership with Stockton University’s Marine Technology Society student chapter and the NJ Marine Education Association, hosted “Deep Sea Shipwrecks: History Revealed” on March 19.  

Speakers included Dr. James Delgado, director of Maritime Heritage at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, and Steve Nagiewicz ’74, a Stockton Environmental Science graduate, who is a science teacher at Atlantic City High School and a diver.

Dr. Delgado, a maritime archaeologist with four decades of experience in deep sea exploration, served as the chief scientist for the first full mapping of the RMS Titanic, which was released in 2012, the 100th anniversary of the sinking. 

In the next 100 or so years, the Titanic will no longer look the same as when it was first found. “Why should we care?” he asked. “It’s all about people and the artifacts speak for them.”

Nagiewicz shared his experiences working with Stockton University’s Marine Science and Environmental Field Station to document the Robert J. Walker shipwreck. The Walker sank off the coast of Atlantic City in 1860 and was mostly forgotten until NOAA surveyed the site after Hurricane Sandy.

Although one is nearly three miles undersea, the other 85 feet, both the Titanic and the Walker share similarities in history, drama, the loss of lives and both have been mapped using advanced sonar equipment, Nagiewicz explained. 

Nagiewicz helped to map the wreck with Steve Evert, manager of Stockton University’s field station and assistant director of Academic Labs; Dr. Peter Straub, professor of Biology; Dr. Mark Sullivan, associate professor of Marine Science; and students Chelsea Shields, Jamie Taylor and Walter Poff. Vince Capone, owner of Black Laser Learning, advised the sonar team and data processing. Advanced volunteer divers from the New Jersey Historical Divers Association and NOAA conducted the follow-up dives and physical measurements in August 2014. 

The expedition utilized Stockton University’s extensive array of underwater sensing equipment to provide side scan sonar imaging of the wreck site and subsequently to develop a preliminary map for diving operations. Students engaged in Dr. Straub’s Summer Intensive Research Experience (SIRE) program collected and interpreted the sonar data to serve as a benchmark to assess the wreck over time. The students joined Nagiewicz on the stage to share key features of the wreck as sonar imagery and ROV footage from the Walker expedition was presented to the audience. 

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Students, Staff, Alumni Volunteer During Spring Break

From left to right: Brian Sena, Nick Sena ’08, Lisa Warnock ’08, Joe Thompson, Kristen Sena ’08, Darius Edwards, Shiv Patel ’08, and Sgt. Linda Kenny.

Stockton University staff, alumni and 30 students volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in an Alternative Spring Break community service project during the week of Spring Break. The Stockton University team’s project involved painting and rehabbing existing establishments in Rocky Mount, NC.

This was the eighth year that Stockton University worked with Rocky Mount. Over that time, the University has raised $9,400 for the Habitat for Humanity project. This year, the group raised a $2,000 donation check in addition to its registration fee. 

Jennifer Radwanski, associate director of Event Services and New Student Programs, serves as the yearlong coordinator of the Alternative Spring Break trip. 

“I think the neat part is that this group comes from three different divisions of the University,” Radwanski said. “On top of that, alumni founding member, Kristen Sena, and one of our founding contributors to our Parent Orientation Program, Brian Sena, attended as well.”

Among the participants were staff members Sgt. Linda Kenny of Campus Police; Lisa Warnock ’08, coordinator of Event Services; Shiv Patel ’08, assistant director of Graduate Enrollment Technology; Nick Sena ’08, assistant director of Annual Giving; Joe Thompson, assistant director of Student Development; and Darius Edwards, complex director of Housing III.

“As founding student members of the Alternative Spring Break program 10 years ago, it was a proud moment for me and my wife to serve as advisers alongside dedicated students and fellow colleagues this year,” Nick Sena said. “It is extremely fulfilling to see the impact the students can make on the local community in only a week and to witness the impact the trip has on their lives.”

Pratixa Rana, a sophomore majoring in Health Science with a Pre-Communications Disorders concentration, was one of the student participants.

“The week spent with Habitat for Humanity was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. I felt like I was fulfilling my purpose in life because I was making a direct impact on the lives of others,” Rana said. “This trip has affected me personally because the people that I worked with have become lifelong friends and the memories we shared will stay with me forever. I’m grateful I was able to experience this life-changing trip, and I look forward to continuing my work with Habitat but also expanding my relationships with my fellow Ospreys.”

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Stockton Statistic

The Stockton University field hockey team registered the best grade point average in NCAA Division III with a 3.76 team mark for the Fall 2014 semester. 

The Ospreys moved up to the top spot after finishing second in the nation last year. In doing so, Stockton University once again qualified for a Gladiator by SGI/NFHCA Division III National Academic Team Award from the National Field Hockey Coaches Association. The honor goes to teams that produced a team GPA of 3.0 or higher.

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