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Berkeley College in the News: Welcome to the New Year 2022

Thu Jan 13, 2022

We begin the New Year at Berkeley College by highlighting the top accomplishments and news stories of 2021. Despite the challenges of the past two years, Berkeley College administrators, faculty, staff, students and alumni continue to embody the commitment and optimism that strengthen opportunities for our students and communities. Thank you to all of the collaborating organizations including the business, nonprofit and governmental leaders who joined us in celebrating Berkeley College’s 90th anniversary of preparing students for career success. We wish you all happiness, peace and good health in 2022!

Berkeley College Celebrates 90 Years of Empowering Students

Elected officials, and government, business and community leaders congratulated Berkeley College on its 90-year history of preparing students with the skills to excel in an evolving workforce. The College held tree-planting ceremonies in New Jersey in September, and a celebration in New York in December, where a food drive was sponsored for the Food Bank for New York City. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy declared September 28, 2021, as “Berkeley College 90th Anniversary Day.” The New York State Assembly also issued a proclamation signed by Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie in honor of the College’s 90-year milestone.

Commencement 2021 at MetLife Stadium

Berkeley College honored 1,800 graduates during a ceremony in May at MetLife Stadium – one of the first in-person Commencement ceremonies to be announced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Berkeley grads were defined by “guts and greatness,” said U.S. Senator Cory Booker (NJ). Booker and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (NY) shared video messages to the Class of 2021. “You have incredible assets: a college degree from a great institution and loving families who have your back,” said Schumer. The graduating class included 120 military-aligned students.

Two sets of twin graduates – Myesha and Tyesha Wilson from the Bronx, NY, and Ja’Von and Ja’Van Drakeford, from Haskell and Belleville, NJ, were also featured on “Good Morning America.”

Healthcare Heroes on the Frontlines of the Pandemic

Berkeley College School of Health Studies graduates entered the workforce at a critical juncture, where an ongoing shortage of healthcare workers has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Students and faculty stepped up as frontline volunteers, administering COVID-19 vaccines to thousands of area residents.

Diane Recinos, EdD, Named Interim President

In October, Diane Recinos, EdD, was named Interim President of Berkeley College. Recinos, a trusted and respected higher education leader with a 29-year tenure at Berkeley College, was Senior Vice President, Student Success, at the time of her appointment. Her leadership has spanned roles in Campus Operations, Admissions, Marketing, Career Services, Advisement and more. Recinos succeeded Michael J. Smith, who began his tenure as President in June 2015.

Academic Excellence

U.S. News & World Report named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans for the eighth consecutive year. In another U.S. News & World Report recognition, Berkeley College (NJ) was named one of the Best Regional Colleges in the North in the 2022 edition of the Best Colleges Survey. Berkeley College (NJ) was also recognized for the first time as a Top Performer on Social Mobility among colleges in the region.

Newsweek and Statista recognized Berkeley College Online® on their inaugural list of America’s Best Online Learning Schools of 2022. Berkeley College has been a leader for innovation and excellence in distance learning for 23 years.

Fighting Food Insecurity

The Berkeley College Foundation opened a food pantry for students at the College’s Midtown Manhattan campus in February, one of only 24 college and university food pantries in New York City. Investors Foundation presented Berkeley College with $5,000 to support the student food pantry at the Newark, NJ, campus, which opened in 2019.

The Future is Women

Berkeley College’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Week forum in October featured a star-studded lineup of keynote speakers including the Chief of Patrol for the New York Police Department; the Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York; U.S. Congresswoman Grace Meng (6th District of New York) and various members of the New York State Legislature. More than 100 pioneering women were honored at the inaugural Women’s Empowerment Awards ceremony in Midtown Manhattan.

Master of Science in Nursing

In December, the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education approved a Master of Science in Nursing program offered through the Berkeley College School of Health Studies. The advanced degree is for nursing professionals interested in expanding their opportunities as nurse educators, managers and practitioners.
“With this program approval, Berkeley College – New Jersey now has the only LPN-BSN-MSN bridge program in the State of New Jersey,” said Marsha A. Pollard, PhD, Berkeley College Provost.

Continuing Education

Berkeley College launched flexible Continuing Education courses and Certificate programs to meet the needs of professionals seeking to advance in their careers or looking to enter a new field. Professionals who complete courses in the Continuing Education program can transfer into Berkeley College undergraduate or graduate degree programs, if they later decide to pursue a full degree in that field.

The College also introduced Certificates in dynamic fields including game design and digital/social media. Graduate Certificate programs can help students reinvent themselves and gain the skills to give them a competitive advantage.

BFA in 3D Digital Visualization

Beginning in the fall 2021 semester, Berkeley College offered a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 3D Digital Visualization through its School of Professional Studies. Through the 3D Digital Visualization program, students learn to communicate architectural and graphical concepts and information using advanced 3D modeling software. Students who pursue this degree are well prepared to work in fields including architecture, interior design, construction, graphic design, animation, gaming and more.

City & State New York Recognizes Berkeley Leaders

City & State New York, a premier multimedia news organization covering New York politics and policy, recognized Berkeley College leaders alongside those at the forefront of business, advocacy and higher education, at special events throughout 2021. In November, Marsha A. Pollard, PhD, Berkeley College Provost, was named to the City & State Power of Diversity: Women’s 100 list. In December, Dallas Reed, PhD, Vice President, Student Development and Campus Life and Co-Chair of the Berkeley College Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force, was named to the City & State Responsible 100 list, honoring leaders of the corporate social responsibility movement.

AACCNJ President/CEO Leads Inaugural Leadership Lecture Series Webinar on Diversity

John E. Harmon, Sr., Founder, President and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, shared the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion as a winning model for business success, as the inaugural guest lecturer for the Berkeley College Larry L. Luing School of Business® Leadership Lecture Series. Students, faculty, staff, aspiring entrepreneurs and members of the business community joined Berkeley College for “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Why They Matter for Businesses Large and Small,” a free webinar in December.

Black Inventors Hall of Fame

Two years after entering into a Corporate Learning Partnership with Berkeley College, 20 Affinity Federal Credit Union employees earned their Master of Business Administration in Management degrees from the College’s Larry L. Luing School of Business®. Graduates celebrated at a ceremony held in August at Affinity’s corporate headquarters in Basking Ridge, NJ.

New York City Football Club Names Berkeley as First Higher Education Partner

In June, the New York City Football Club (NYCFC) announced that it had entered into its first higher education partnership with Berkeley College. The partnership provides opportunities to collaborate on education, career development and health and fitness initiatives that benefit NYCFC fans and employees, along with Berkeley College and its students. A key advantage of the partnership is Berkeley College’s Corporate Learning Partnership tuition discount program of up to 30%, which applies to Berkeley College’s undergraduate and graduate MBA programs for employees and their families. Berkeley College also provides the NYCFC with professional development and training programs.

Patriot Boot Camp Supports Military Entrepreneurs

Berkeley College served as the presenting sponsor of the Patriot Boot Camp Virtual Fall 2021 program, supporting military entrepreneurs in the United States and abroad looking to build a business. The two-day program in October educated veterans, active servicemembers and military spouses on how to launch, innovate and scale their early-stage technology businesses.

International Students Meet City & State Editor

In September Ralph Ortega, Editor of City & State New York, met with Berkeley College international students from four continents for a picnic in Bryant Park, New York City. Ortega called this next generation of influencers “inspiring.”

Berkeley Knights Soccer

The Berkeley College New Jersey Men’s Soccer team concluded a historic season in November, after reaching the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) National Championship. The team was ranked No. 1 for Men’s Division II Soccer in the first week of the USCAA Coaches Poll. Eight Berkeley College student-athletes were named to the USCAA Division II Soccer All-American or All-Academic teams, and Goalkeeper Klae Nicholson was named USCAA Soccer Student-Athlete of the Year.