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During the launch breakfast for the Spring 2014 edition of Pathways magazine, Temple University President Neil Theobald stressed the special connection between Community College of Philadelphia and his university.

PHILADELPHIA, April 3, 2014—Coleen Yenoli thought the restaurant industry might prove an exciting career, but after earning an undergraduate degree in hospitality management, she realized that lifestyle just didn't work for her. She hated the weekend and night hours.

So she started over again, this time earning credentials as a paralegal from a new institution, Community College of Philadelphia. In that field, she found a rewarding job that pays well, and is a perfect fit.

Each year, thousands of Americans switch careers and majors, which increases their costs and lengthens the time required to complete a degree or obtain a job credential. In an effort to support these students who are making these life-changing decisions, Community College of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry are teaming up on April 7 to offer the Backstage Jobs Pass and Career Expo, which puts experts, job openings, and information on the hottest careers at their fingertips.

The free event, which is open to the public, will be held from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the College's Great Hall in the Winnet Student Life Building, on the west side of 17th Street between Spring Garden and Callowhill streets. It will feature opening remarks from Labor & Industry officials and useful tips, including instruction on using JobGateway.pa.gov.

"JobGateway provides job-seekers with opportunities to assess interests, explore careers, practice interviewing skills and search from among tens of thousands of jobs," said Labor & Industry Secretary Julia Hearthway who, along with staff, will attend the event. "The site has been hard at work helping Pennsylvanians find not only the right jobs, but the right career path."

The College’s staff of career experts also will be on hand to provide live demonstrations of its resources, which are free to students and the general public.  Through the College Central Network available at www.collegecentral.com/ccp Philadelphians have access to online resources such as the Virtual Career Library and CHOICES, a software program that helps individuals assess their interests and skills.

Job seekers can also create an account on the College Central Network and use it to post resumes and apply for jobs. The site also provides announcements about on-campus recruiting, job fairs and other job-hunting activities in Philadelphia.

 "Students can reduce the cost of their education if they make smart career choices and use data to help them discover where the jobs are,” said Judith Gay, Ph.D., interim president of Community College of Philadelphia.  “These new career sites help them, and our community, locate job openings in their own neighborhoods and determine which industries are experiencing the fastest growth.”

Yenoli agrees those career tools would have been helpful when she was deciding on her educational path. She works in the legal industry as an assistant administrative director, after finishing her studies at the College. "I think JobGateway is a great idea," Yenoli said. "Not everyone knows what they want to do, but if you have the tools you can better determine what you want."

PHILADELPHIA, April 3, 2014—Community College of Philadelphia students Deborah Fine and Victoria Moore, both from Center City, have been named to the 2014 All-Pennsylvania Academic Team—an honor that recognizes 45 students for scholarly achievements and community involvement.

Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society and the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges paid tribute to the All-Pennsylvania Scholars on March 31 in Camp Hill, Pa. Both Fine and Moore are South Philadelphia residents.

Fine, 55, enrolled in the College after she was laid-off from a hospital where she had worked for 30 years as a diagnostic technician. She saw the job loss as an opportunity to realize her dream of working with the mentally disabled. With the help of a government grant, she began taking classes in behavioral health and human services.

The honor student, who has a 4.0 grade point average, is scheduled to graduate on May 3 with an Associates of Applied Sciences degree. While Fine has been taking classes, she has also worked as a team leader for an agency that supports individuals with intellectual disabilities and developmental delays. She also holds a second part-time job and cares for her elderly father.

Despite her hectic schedule, Fine has volunteered once a month for the past 24 years at a homeless shelter. “Helping others has helped me as well,” she said. “I am fortunate to work with individuals with intellectual and behavioral challenges. They inspire me with their courage, humor and ambition,” she said.

For the past three years, Fine also has served as the leader of a group that volunteers each week at the Kairos House, a transitional residence in North Philadelphia for adults diagnosed with mental illness. “I think that when you don’t volunteer, and you don’t see what’s out there in the world, it closes you off,” Fine said.

Her community service has netted her numerous awards including the Points of Transformation Award in March 2013, which honors outstanding work with individuals living with disabilities. She also received the College’s Ruth Rovner Scholarship, which recognizes academic achievement in an individual who has overcome barriers. She plans to attend West Chester University in the fall, earn a bachelor’s degree, continue through to a master’s degree in social work and eventually work as a behavioral counselor.

Moore, 31, a first-generation college student, enrolled at Community College of Philadelphia following personal challenges. Now a student in Behavioral Health and Human Services, Moore maintains a 4.0 grade point average. She is planning to earn a graduate degree and to work as a licensed clinical social worker. On May 3, she is scheduled to graduate with both an Associates of Applied Sciences and certificates in both Recovery and Transformation, and Human Services.

“It is my goal to promote positive ways of life to the youth in our communities, and to assist people with addiction challenges in turning their lives around. I have a passion for learning and helping others, knowing through personal experience that change is possible,” Moore said.

She currently works as a recovery coach at a nonprofit residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility. Moore has been active in the College’s student leadership training program, Philadelphia LEADS (Leadership Education Achievement Diversity and Success), serving on the scholarship subcommittee. She also interns as a counselor at an intensive outpatient drug and alcohol program.

Moore has received other awards and honors as well, including the Community College of Philadelphia Foundation Scholar Award, which recognizes students who demonstrate great ability and have overcome barriers to success and the Juliette Forgione Scholarship, which rewards students who have encountered hardships and still demonstrated great academic ability. She also received a Ruth Rovner Scholarship.

Moore, who plans to become a licensed clinical social worker, plans to transfer to a four-year college in August, where she will major in social work. “My education here has built a strong foundation as I continue in the social work and addictions field. It has enabled me to improve myself so that I may be a more effective helper for others,” Moore said.

To be named to the statewide academic team, students must maintain a 3.5 GPA or higher. Team members are eligible for scholarships offered by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education that may be used at any of the system’s 14 universities. The scholarships fund up to two years of tuition in a baccalaureate program.

The College will hold its 48th commencement at 10 a.m., on May 3 at the Liacouras Center, 1776 North Broad Street. Jotaka Eaddy, Senior Director for Voting Rights and Senior Advisor to the President and CEO of the NAACP, will discuss the importance of civic engagement, voting, and the benefits that accrue from public service.

The Community College of Philadelphia and the Department of Labor and Industry are holding a “Backstage Jobs Pass and Career Expo” event Monday, which will show job-seekers how to best use free online tools during their career search.

April
Mon 07

During Christopher DiCapua's journey to Greece last year he felt ill at ease because there was much about the language and customs he still didn't know. That trip enabled him to experience the same type of vulnerability many students feel in college classrooms.

DiCapua, an associate professor of Spanish and International Studies program supervisor at the College, shared reflections on this personal journey during the 12th Annual Lindback Lecture titled "From Vulnerability to Connection: A Personal Greek Odyssey."

"I left Greece with much improved proficiency in Greek and a better understanding of myself through a connection to my Greek ancestry that I did not have before,” he said. “I met family that I didn't know existed and gained a new and clearer understanding of Greek culture that I could not have imagined possible."

As the 2013 recipient of the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award, DiCapua was invited to give a lecture March 19 to the entire College Family. The lecture is considered one of the academic highlights of the year. The Lindback Award winner is announced each year during Commencement, and winners are never told of the honor in advance.

During his lecture, DiCapua wove together a story about how a personal journey enabled him to connect more deeply with his students. After all, he had only a partial grasp of Greek when he set out for Kotronas, a village in southern Greece, to visit his paternal grandmother’s ancestral home. As he explored the village he found himself often feeling out of place and ill at ease in expressing himself.

Yet he persisted, speaking imperfect Greek to all willing to talk with him. He was amazed when a café owner agreed to review the family tree, recognized several names and gave him directions to the home of a living relative who introduced him to others. DiCapua said if he had let his feelings of discomfort stop him, he would not have made this big discovery.

Likewise, students' response to vulnerability often can be the difference between academic success or failure, he noted. DiCapua cited the work of author Brené Brown, Ph.D., a research professor at the University of Houston’s Graduate College of Social Work who studies vulnerability, courage, worthiness and shame.

Brown's research indicates that acknowledgment of vulnerability and self-doubt often precedes the ability to overcome those feelings and achieve a greater connection to others. "The way one deals with self-doubt can mean the difference between success and stagnancy," DiCapua said.

With that in mind, DiCapua developed a questionnaire to encourage new foreign language students to face fears about the class work. "My approach helps students feel worthy and connected to me and others in the class," he said. "I am convinced that achieving a connection…keeps students in class. It gives them the motivation to keep going, to become better speakers of foreign languages."

Andres Marin, a graduate who later was hired as an instructor at Community College of Philadelphia and as coordinator of its Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management programs, has been named the region’s chef educator of the year.

The announcement was made during the March 10 Annual President’s Ball of the Philadelphia Delaware Valley Chefs, which is the regional chapter of the American Culinary Federation (ACF).

The Educator of the Year honors “an active culinary instructor who has enhanced the image of the profession and serves as a leader to students seeking culinary careers.” It is based on an individual’s professional and instructional achievements.

Marin, who serves as treasurer of the regional ACF chapter, will receive a plaque and an invitation to compete against three other regional winners for a $5,000 cash prize at the national convention in Kansas City, MO in July.

Interim President Judith Gay, Ph.D., and a fellow instructor, Bill Vasvary, attended the evening’s festivities, along with three students. A 1996 graduate of the College’s culinary program, Marin said that his goal is to help students understand that culinary arts is not just a profession — it’s a lifestyle.

"I always tell my students that, in this industry, you need to be very dedicated. We work every major holiday. We’re away from our families, so there has to be a love for the industry," said Marin, who is a Certified Executive Chef. "Food, to me, is expressed in many different ways... and I learn as much from my students as they do, because each of them has a different way of interpreting a dish."

While he didn’t cook a meal to win regional Educator of the Year, he will present a lecture demonstration before judges for the national competition held in Kansas City in August. He doesn’t know what he’ll cook but says it may reflect his own preferences. "I’m a steak and potato person," he said.

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Community College of Philadelphia Trustees Announce Appointment of Donald Generals Jr. as President

Long-time advocate for community colleges will assume new duties by July 1st

Philadelphia, March 25, 2014 – The Board of Trustees today announced that Dr. Donald Generals Jr., a renowned advocate of community colleges who currently serves as the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mercer County Community College in New Jersey, has been appointed as the next President of Community College of Philadelphia.

Generals, 57, the 6th President of the College, was appointed by the Board following a seven-month national search that drew interest from nearly 50 candidates across the country. The Board is expected to formally ratify his appointment at its next Board meeting on April 3rd.

The search process, among the most open and transparent in the College's history, selected three finalists in early March following weeks of review and candidate interviews by the Search Committee, which has been at work since late August. Dr. Generals' appointment followed visits by each of the finalists to the College's main campus at 17th and Spring Garden St. in Philadelphia's Fairmount section, where each met for interviews over the last week with faculty, staff, students, business and community leaders, and the full Board of Trustees.

Dr. Generals, a veteran educator, administrator and advocate for community colleges as a principal means for inner-city students to achieve academic and career success, succeeds Dr. Judith Gay, who will return to her post as the College's Vice President for Academic Affairs following her tenure as Interim President since August 2013.

"Donald Generals is a dynamic thinker with a deep and longstanding passion about the work of community colleges," said Matthew Bergheiser, Chair of the College's Board of Trustees. "He impressed the Board as a skilled administrator who understands the barriers to education that confront many of our students, and he has built his distinguished career on developing innovative approaches to overcoming them.

"The College has made great strides over the years, and we believe that Dr. Generals will build on the strong foundation already in place while working with all segments of our community to enhance the ability of the College to serve Philadelphians from all walks and stages of life," said Bergheiser.

"I am honored to accept the Board's appointment to serve as the next President of Community College of Philadelphia," said Dr. Generals. "This historic institution, one of the largest in Pennsylvania and one of the largest of its kind in the nation, serves a vital role in providing education and opportunity.

"The College is a place where the American Dream begins for tens of thousands of Philadelphians every year, and I am very excited by the prospect of helping to expand its service of that mission," said Dr. Generals. "I look forward to working with the College's dedicated administration, faculty and staff, as well as with our partners in both the private and public sectors. I think we can achieve great things together for the students and families we serve, and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve."

A native of Paterson, New Jersey, Dr. Generals has served since 2008 as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mercer County Community College in West Windsor, New Jersey. In that capacity, he led in the development of new academic programs; the development of the college's Education Master Plan -- including an expanded mission for the college's Trenton campus; he increased the programming and course offerings of the college's on-line instructional programs (MercerOnLine); developed the college's Study Abroad program; implemented an extensive redesign of the college's developmental education and ESL programs; and created a program of mini-grants for faculty to innovate, develop and implement new educational initiatives. He currently leads the state-wide effort to redesign the community college sector's General Education curriculum.

In partnership with Quad Learning, Dr. Generals introduced and implemented the American Honors Program – which will provide honors courses and a nation-wide network of support to highly motivated and exceptional students as a means to win admission to the nation's top four-year colleges and universities upon their graduation from Mercer.

Before that, Dr. Generals was the Provost at the Katharine Gibbs School in New York City from 2003 to 2008 where he developed and supervised all Associate Degree and certificate programs. From 2000 to 2003, he was Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at SUNY Rockland Community College in Suffern, New York, where among his duties he initiated and led the development and adoption of the college's Core Educational Values; led the development of two new degree programs; and served as Acting President during the President's absences. Between 1984 and 2000, Dr. Generals worked at Passaic County Community College where he served as the Dean of Student and Cultural Affairs between 1995 and 2000.

Dr. Generals has long been active in numerous professional and service organizations, including: the New Jersey Academic Affairs Affinity Group, which he chairs; the National Alliance of Community and Technical Colleges, where he has served as a Board member since 2010; the College Board, Middle States Regional Council; and as a former Commissioner of the Paterson Board of Education.

A veteran teacher and administrator, Dr. Generals is an author and expert on the roots of the progressive education movement in America. He has authored numerous articles for professional trade journals on these and other educational topics, and in 2013, he authored a book entitled, Booker T. Washington: The Architect of Progressive Education. In addition, he has been a featured speaker in support of community colleges for nearly 20 years, including a presentation to the College Board Middle States Forum entitled, "Rising to the Challenge: Supporting Student Success and College Completion at Democracy's Colleges"; and before that, a presentation entitled, "New Jersey's Developmental Education Initiative: Focusing on Student Success."

Dr. Generals has four children. He and his wife, Joann Gonzalez-Generals, and their five- year-old son currently reside in Lawrenceville, NJ. Ms. Gonzalez-Generals serves as the Executive Director for Student Success at Caldwell College in Caldwell, NJ.

Bergheiser also expressed the Board's appreciation to Dr. Gay for her service as Interim President for the last eight months.

"The entire College family owes a debt of gratitude to Dr. Gay for her outstanding service to the institution," he said. "She has done a terrific job, and the Board appreciates her commitment to the students, faculty and staff of the College. We are delighted that Dr. Gay will resume her post as Vice President for Academic Affairs, where she will be a tremendous asset as a leading member of the College's leadership team."

Law & Society Week presentation at the Northeast Regional Center that explored the work of the Philadelphia Police Department's Crime Scene Investigation unit.

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