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June 2009
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Stockton Provost Dr. David Carr Wins Prestigious William M. Plater Award for Leadership in Civic Engagement

Dr. David Carr, Provost and Executive Vice President

Stockton Provost and Executive Vice President Dr. David Carr won national recognition this year for The William M. Plater Award for Leadership in Civic Engagement, which recognizes exceptional chief academic officers in higher education.

Stockton President Herman J. Saatkamp, Jr. worked with William M. Plater when he (Dr. Saatkamp) was a Dean at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.  According to Dr. Saatkamp, “I believe that Bill would be proud to have someone of David Carr’s stature receive this award. Dr. Carr’s leadership, planning and evaluative skills have been of paramount importance to Stockton College. It was a pleasure to learn that he won this well-deserved honor.”

Dr. Carr is a successful and key advocate for The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and its role in supporting New Jersey’s surrounding communities. His dedication and commitment has spearheaded a number of vital initiatives including:

  • The Political Engagement Project, a program that addresses the serious problem of political disengagement in young people through a non-partisan approach that increases college efforts to strengthen student interests in politics
  • Collaboration with key individuals to establish the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy, which works to uphold and instill in our citizenry the ethical standards of bipartisan collaboration and catalyzes research, analysis and innovative policy solutions to the economic, social and cultural issues facing southern New Jersey
  • Establishment and support for activities promoting economic development, including the Small Business Development Center for Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland counties; The Stockton Center for Hospitality and Tourism research; The South Jersey Economic Review; and several community focused centers such as the Coastal Research Center and the Stockton Center on Successful Aging
  • Establishment of a vibrant program of service learning that engages students and faculty with the community
  • Developing plans for the Small Business Development Center and the Southern Regional Institute, resources that provide professional development to the K-12 community, local government, and other agencies. (Housed in the historic Carnegie Library building in Atlantic City, these programs were funded largely by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority).

“I was honored to receive this national award that recognizes that civic engagement is a powerful learning tool,” Dr. Carr said. “The skills of effective citizenship are also the skills that lead to success in the 21st Century workplace.”

As Provost and Executive Vice President of Stockton College, Dr. Carr’s role is pivotal in all aspects of the College’s academic programming. He established new schools of Business and Health Sciences. Dr. Carr previously served the College as Dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Prior to that time Dr. Carr worked at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. He earned his baccalaureate and master’s degree from San Diego State University in Political Science and his Ph.D. in Political Science from the State University of New York at Binghamton.

About The William M. Plater Award for Leadership In Civic Engagement: The William M. Plater Award for Leadership in Civic Engagement is a prestigious honor awarded to recognize the critical role that chief academic officers have in shaping the accountability, public advocacy, reform of academic programming and formation of partnerships within the county, state and nation to support civic–minded communities.

Stockton College Awards Berkman-Chipkin Scholarships to Six Graduate Students

The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey has named the 2009-2010 awardees of the Joseph Berkman and Michael and Sara Chipkin Holocaust/Genocide Studies Scholarships, established to honor the memory of Sarah and Michael Chipkin and Joseph Berkman, victims of the Nazis during World War II and the Holocaust.

Stockton is home of the nation’s first Master’s program in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, a program that is attracting students from throughout the country. The students who were selected for these scholarships are all enrolled in this program.

The College also integrates Holocaust and Genocide Studies into its undergraduate curriculum, and provides teacher training in Holocaust and Genocide Education each year through its Holocaust Resource Center.

The scholarships honor Joseph Berkman who was murdered by the Nazis in 1942 in the “Killing Fields of Ponary”, in Lithuania. The late Sarah and Michael Chipkin were Holocaust Survivors. They immigrated to the United States following the war and established a successful business.

The Berkman-Chipkin Scholarships for 2009-2010 are awarded to outstanding graduate students in the Master of Holocaust and Genocide Studies program (MAHG) who plan to or are currently pursuing teaching careers.

The Berkman-Chipkin Scholarships have been awarded annually since 1999 and are made possible through the continued generosity of Don and Nan Berkman and their family. Their endowment gift of $100,000 generates income each year to support scholarship awards for Stockton’s best and brightest students to study the Holocaust and other genocides. The College matches funds each year that are made available through the endowment, increasing the funds available for students. This year’s recipients include Dorene Bohadana of Egg Habor City, NJ; Patricia Chiappine of Hammonton, NJ; Ida Malloy of Trenton, NJ; Joshua Kalb of Mantua, NJ; Deborah Morrison of Flemington, NJ; and Erica Psaltis of Olympia, WA.

Dorene Bohadana lives in Egg Harbor City, NJ. Dorene is currently taking her second course in the MAHG program. She served in the U.S. Air Force as a Captain during the 1990s. Dorene earned a B.A. in Geology with a minor in Jewish Studies from Stockton.

Patricia Chiappine lives in Hammonton, NJ. She plans to teach secondary students about the Holocaust, other genocides, human rights, and tolerance. Patricia is currently conducting research for her thesis on postwar German restitution to wartime slave laborers. She is considering applying to Ph.D. programs.

Ida Malloy lives in Trenton, NJ. She is a full-time teacher at The Pennington School where she taught courses about the Holocaust and other genocides. Last year she was awarded the Joan Lavine Keats Social Justice Award from Rider University.

Joshua Kalb lives in Mantua, NJ. Mr. Kalb is a full-time social studies teacher at Deptford High School where he and his students wrote letters to their representatives urging them to take action on the genocide in Darfur. Joshua recently completed his first semester of the MAHG program.

Deborah Morrison lives in Flemington, NJ. Deborah plans to pursue a doctoral degree upon completion of the MAHG program.

Erica Psaltis lives in Olympia, WA. Erica’s goal is earn a doctoral degree after completing Stockton’s M.A. in Holocaust and Genocide Studies. She has traveled to various countries to study post-genocidal societies.

The Stockton College Scholarship Program provides merit awards to outstanding freshmen, upperclassmen, and transfer and graduate students. The program is supported by private gifts to the Richard Stockton College Foundation and institutional funds made available by the College. Students may apply to the Scholarship Program on an annual basis. Successful applicants exhibit high academic achievement as well as leadership and service to the College and community. Award recipients maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 and are fully matriculated students.

Stockton’s Gaming Impact Dashboard Results Shows Broad Effects of Economic Downturn on Greater Atlantic City Region

Dr. Israel Posner,
Executive Director of SIGMA

Dr. Brian Tyrell,
Assistant Professor of Hospitality and Tourism Management

A significant worldwide economic downturn has affected the Atlantic City casino industry with broad ranging impacts on the city, state and region according to the recently updated Gaming Impact Dashboard released by The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.

The findings, researched by The Stockton Institute for Gaming Management (SIGMA), in partnership with Spectrum Gaming Group, reveals drops in casino jobs, revenues, indirect jobs, and construction jobs. Also down are vendor purchases and Atlantic County State Hotel and Motel tax revenues. The recently released first quarter 2009 update offers a comparison to a similar period of time in the prior year.

Initially Introduced in January by the Stockton Institute for Gaming Management (SIGMA) and Sen. James Whelan (D, Second Legislative District), the Gaming Impact Dashboard provides key measures on how the gaming industry affects the lives of individuals and families throughout the New Jersey. The January figures represented a base line for ongoing comparison, according to Dr. Israel Posner, Executive Director of SIGMA. “By continuously monitoring various metrics, we can keep the public informed about the impact of the industry’s performance on the lives of people throughout New Jersey.” Dr. Brian Tyrell, Assistant Professor of Hospitality and Tourism Management added, “As we continue to update the dashboard, we will see trends emerging that will allow policy makers, investors and the general public to make informed decisions about the future of the city and state.” A few of the more troubling impacts of the downturn include reduced donations to the United Way of Atlantic County, which recently reported an 8.1 percent reduction in giving. In addition, the Food Bank of Southern New Jersey served 6,723 more people in the first quarter, an increase of 21.1 percent.

Casino jobs were down by 2,830 (7 percent), while the casino revenue fund, which supports health care for eligible seniors and disabled people in New Jersey, declined by $14,722,465 (16.2 percent.) The combined figure for the first quarter shows a decline of 23.2 percent. The other significant decline was in construction jobs, which dropped by 15.3 percent or approximately 1,000 jobs.

Indirect casino jobs went down 7 percent (1,415 jobs) while vendor purchases declined 8 percent, or $202,534,643 (This represents the only annual figure in the Dashboard). Atlantic County State Hotel/Motel Tax monies declined $78,082, or 14 percent.

In addition to the Gaming Impact Dashboard, SIGMA also released the SIGMA Prosperity Index (SPI), a composite measure of all of the dashboard figures.

“The SIGMA Prosperity Index (SPI) combines the impacts measured on the Gaming Impact Dashboard into a single metric that can be tracked over time” said Stockton Dr. Brian Tyrrell, lead researcher on the study. “When compared year by year, the SPI provides a long term perspective of the industry’s impact on New Jersey’s citizens.” The first quarter of 2009 represents the lowest value (0.984) since tracking the SPI.

Stockton’s Shorecast: Day-tripping Shoobies to Save the Atlantic City Region?

Sharon Schulman, Executive Director of the Hughes Center

“Shoobies” to the rescue?

Day-tripping visitors to area shore resorts - known to the locals as “shoobies” - could hold the key to the region’s weathering the current economic crisis, according to at least one panelist of the annual “Jersey Shorecast” presented by Stockton College’s William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy.

“A major poll (conducted by Monmouth University/Gannett) found that many families are 7 percent more likely to be shore visitors this year than last,” said Sharon Schulman, Executive Director of the Hughes Center, which hosted the event. “The poll also indicated a 9 percent increase in families with children planning on taking more day trips or short stays than last year.”

The Shorecast brought a diverse sampling of business leaders, analysts and Stockton faculty together to discuss current economic conditions at the shore and project an outlook for the crucial summer season ahead and for the future. In addition to Schulman, participants at the May 28 event included Norris Clark of Morey’s Piers in Wildwood; Dr. Oliver Cooke, a Stockton economics professor who authors The South Jersey Economic Review; Mary Herman of Keller Williams Realty; Mark Kramer of Kramer Beverage; and Joseph Weinert of Spectrum Gaming Group.

The consensus of the group was that Jersey Shore resorts would continue to struggle through the most serious economic downturn in decades, but that there were signs of hope for the future.

Cooke presented some sobering findings reflective of the nation’s overall economic difficulties, such as the loss of 14,000 jobs in the region. “Some of the ‘drags’ on the economy include a 20 percent downturn in construction, a 5 percent drop in retail trade employment and an overall unemployment rate of 11 percent. Moreover, Cooke said he sees a weakened job market continuing for the next several quarters before an upturn might take place. “The job market is likely to stabilize next year and if you view the recovery as a U-shaped graph we may be approaching the bottom of the U.”

Herman said the region’s housing market was facing challenging times with no immediate sign of a rebound and that home prices may not have yet bottomed out. “Many foreclosures are coming due in June, we are seeing loan modifications, short sales and people unable to put together a down payment.” She did, however see real hope in the $8,000 tax credit available to first-time home buyers.

According to Weinert, Atlantic City’s casino industry’s decline has been dramatic, with a drop of $1.4 billion in gross revenues (from $5.2 billion) since 2006. “The last time the industry was at $5.2 billion was in 1996,” he said. “It took 10 years to get to that number and less than three years for those gains to evaporate. We’re not getting back to $5.2 billion anytime soon.”

Weinert said this is a case of increased competition hurting the industry more so than an overall economic situation. “With the opening of casinos in Pennsylvania, table games and sports betting in Delaware, new casinos in the Catskill Mountains and Indian gaming properties nearby, regional competition is the real problem. The days of Atlantic City being convenient to its market are over. Atlantic City needs to decide what it wants to be and to encourage capital investment in the city.”

“Casino business downturn had a ripple effect in the beverage industry,” Kramer said. “Casino workers and related businesses are working shorter hours and instead of going out to a restaurant or bar at the end of their shift are going home,” he said. On the plus side, though, Kramer’s business has been aided through efforts to reduce operating expenses. The drop in gasoline and diesel fuel prices from last year has mitigated some of Kramer’s losses in business. “When you have 50 trucks on the road on any given day and diesel costs are down 46 percent, the savings add up. However, we are making more deliveries and dropping smaller amounts of inventories, because businesses aren’t ordering more product until they sell what they have.”

Though many economic signs remain challenging, the lure of the Shore remains strong, the panelists agreed, and no group personifies that more than the “shoobies”, whose nickname was derived from day-trippers’ practice of bringing meals in shoe boxes for their day trips.

Clark said day-trippers would continue to be a huge target market for local businesses. The trick is to get them to come in the first place. “Having a beach isn’t enough,” he said. “We are in the business of designing experiences for people. We must constantly find ways to make the shore experience unique and different.”

Weinert echoed that sentiment. “The region must offer full scale destination resorts and not piecemeal expansion.” He said efforts underway to encourage capital investment, such as eminent domain would be needed in order for Atlantic City to fully rebound. “The market is great; it’s the product that needs improvement,” he said.

Stockton President Herman J. Saatkamp, Jr. said the Jersey Shorecast was envisioned as an annual event as part of the William J. Hughes Lecture Series of the Hughes Center.

The William J. Hughes Center is an independent catalyst for research, analysis and innovative policy solutions on economic, social and political issues facing southern New Jersey.

Stockton Fun Fact:
Who is the largest single donor to the G. Larry James Legacy Fund?

(Click here to reveal the answer)

Radio talk show host and longtime friend of Stockton Harry Hurley (seen speaking on the air with Mrs. Cynthia James) donated in excess of $10,000 to the G. Larry James Legacy Fund. The funds were raised during the recent “Hurley in the Morning Golf Open” at Mays Landing Country Club. Harry was a dear friend of the late Mr. James.

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