JCMC announces Carlos Lejnieks as new Chair of the Medical Center’s Board of Trustees
Jersey City Medical Center (JCMC) has announced Carlos Lejnieks, the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson & Union Counties, as the hospital’s new board chair. Lejnieks has served on the JCMC board since 2011. From 2014 to 2017, he was chair of the medical center’s Quality Assessment & Risk Management Committee. Lejnieks is the first person of Latinx heritage to serve as the Chair of the Jersey City Medical Center Board of Trustees.
Lejnieks’ hometown is Hoboken, and he was raised by a single mother from Ecuador. He serves on the New Jersey City University board, where he is a member of its executive committee. He has also been on the Board of Regents for Saint Peter’s University since 2011. He currently serves on Governor Murphy’s “Third Sector Advisory Council,” tasked with policy recommendations for the 1.2M “ALICE” (Asset Limited Income Constrained and Employed) families most affected by the pandemic and, in 2018, he was appointed to the New Jersey Real Estate Commission. He also has also served on former President Obama’s Regional Finance Committee, and Transition Teams for Governor Phil Murphy, Governor Chris Christie and former Newark Mayor Cory Booker.
Lejnieks’ career highlights include co-founding the Democracy Prep Public Schools, a network of schools serving over 7,000 youth based in Harlem. He is also chair emeritus of the New Jersey Charter Schools Association, the statewide organization tasked with representing all students in New Jersey charter schools. In 2011, he earned an honorary doctorate from Saint Peter’s University.
Jersey City Medical Center also recently achieved Magnet recognition for the fourth consecutive time, the highest honor for professional nursing practice. Research demonstrates that Magnet recognition provides specific benefits to health care organizations and their communities, such as higher patient satisfaction with nurse communication, availability of help and receipt of discharge information; lower risk of 30-day mortality and lower failure to rescue rates; higher job satisfaction among nurses; and lower nurse reports of intentions to leave their positions.
New developments at Stevens Cooperative School
Stevens Cooperative School has announced the hiring of two new members of its senior administrative team.
Sam Keany, a longtime educator and administrator at independent schools in New York City, will be the new principal of the Hoboken campus. Keany has held various positions at Saint Ann’s School, The Chapin School, and The Browning School, including science department chair and dean of students. He is currently the head of the upper school at The IDEAL School of Manhattan.
Reginald “Reggie” Davenport, another longtime educator, will join Stevens as its next director of equity and community engagement, a role in which he will lead diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives at both the Hoboken and Jersey City campuses. Davenport is currently the director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, PA, and is also an equity consultant for the Institute for Student Achievement.
Stevens Cooperative School has also announced the expansion of its Hoboken campus in order to make room for its growing Early Childhood Program and a new home for its upper middle school students starting in the 2022-2023 academic year.
Stevens signed an agreement to connect its space at 339 River St., with the former Pilates studio at 335 River St., in order to expand the Early Childhood Program, which includes PreK for 3- and 4-year-olds through kindergarten. The school will also undergo a full renovation of its building at 301 Bloomfield St., and convert it into a new Upper Middle School Building for 7th and 8th grade students.
Community Learning Charter School, Stop & Shop open food pantry
Learning Community Charter School and Stop & Shop held a ribbon cutting of the school’s new food pantry, which is located in the office of the assistant heads of the school. The pantry, which will be open to the school’s 600+ students, is being supported by a $10,000 donation of gift cards by Stop & Shop that will enable the school to purchase food items and other essential products that the students and their families need.
The Stop & Shop School Food Pantry Program helps to limit barriers impacting students’ ability to succeed in the classroom. Making sure that students have consistent access to food is a key part of that. The Stop & Shop School Food Pantry at the Community Learning Charter School is the supermarket’s first for the state. The pantry will be operated by the student council and PTO with weekly food distributions planned to start.
The Learning Community Charter School is a public charter school that serves Pre-K through 8th grade. Approximately 70 percent of the students are Black, Hispanic, or Asian, and they come from all parts of Jersey City. More than 20 languages and dialects are spoken in student homes. About 35 percent of the student population qualifies for free/reduced lunch, but the food pantry is open to anyone in the school community in need for any reason.
For more information about Stop & Shop’s School Food Pantry Program, visit https://stopandshop.com/pages/school-food-pantry-program.
Stevens’ new university complex opens
After being announced in January 2021, Stevens Technical Institutes new university center complex at Castle Point had its grand opening on Saturday, May 14, with a fireworks display. The structure features a 19-story and 21-story tower.
The new facility will house up to 1,000 students and includes fitness facilities, dining and cafe spaces, lounges, conference rooms, and auditorium spaces.
A complete gallery of a tour of the complex can be seen at https://www.nj.com/galleries/DB2NYRVLPNGNDO6VEF3LEQDBAI.
First Sipping for Spectrum puts “fun” in fundraiser
On May 14, Spectrum for Living was a beneficiary of the first annual “Sipping for Spectrum” event, coordinated by Spectrum for Living family member, Michelle Capazzi.
“Sipping for Spectrum”, a Hoboken-based bar crawl, offered participants a fun and impactful way to support Spectrum for Living. With over 130 participants present, including Spectrum for Living staff, families, and friends, the streets were filled with people wearing their “Sipping for Spectrum” t-shirts.
The bar crawl spanned five-popular bars, including: House of Que, Wicked Wolf, Mills Tavern, McSwiggins, and 80 River Bar and Kitchen, all of which welcomed attendees with copious drink specials.
At the closing of the event, Michelle Capazzi awarded a $6,750 donation to Spectrum for Living’s Sibling Group, which is a group of family members responsible for coordinating recreational events and programs for Spectrum for Living clients, including: annual boardwalk/carnival event, client shopping markets, holiday pop-up shops, movie nights, and more.
NY Army National Guard promotions announced
Major General Ray Shields, the Adjutant General for the State of New York, recently announced the promotion of members of the New York Army National Guard in recognition of their capability for additional responsibility and leadership.
Steven Bello of Jersey City, assigned to the Company A, 152nd Brigade Engineer Battalion, received a promotion to the rank of private 1st class on April 16.
Charafdine Chidjou of Jersey City, assigned to the 133rd Support Company, received a promotion to the rank of sergeant on April 22.
HCCC’S ‘Hudson Scholars’ gets Innovation of the Year Award
Hudson County Community College has been recognized with The League for Innovation in the Community College’s 2021-22 Innovation of the Year Award. The honor was conferred for the College’s “Hudson Scholars” Program. The college is one of just 20 community colleges in the United States to receive the award.
The Innovation of the Year Award celebrates programs, practices, and activities that improve the ability of institutions to serve students and the community, and honors the faculty, staff, and administrators who create and implement them.
HCCC formulated the “Hudson Scholars” program to serve almost 800 students. Due to the program’s success in the first year, a second cohort of 800 additional students will participate in the program in Fall 2022.
The program is open to incoming students enrolled for at least nine credit-hours of coursework at HCCC, including students in their final semester of English as a Second Language (ESL), and all levels of Academic Foundations English.
HCCC celebrates students who went from ESL to graduation
On Tuesday evening, May 24, Hudson County Community College honored graduates from the Classes of 2020-22 who began their academic journeys in the HCCC ESL Program. The “ESL to Graduation: A Celebration” event was held at the HCCC Culinary Conference Center, 161 Newkirk St., in Jersey City. The celebration featured welcoming remarks by Jed Palmer, Interim Director of ESL and Academic Foundations English (AFE); and “Tales of Immigration: Past and Present” presented by Linda Joy Miller, Associate Professor, ESL.
HCCC 2005 graduate Bahmini Ketheesan, manager, SERV Finances and Accounts Group, Stevens Institute of Technology, spoke about “Student Success Stories: Past.”
Simone Ebeid, a member of the Class of 2021 who earned her Associate in Science, Medical Sciences degree, and Elie Natuwila, Class of 2022 who received his Associate in Science, Criminal Justice degree at commencement ceremonies on May 26, spoke on “Student Success Stories: Present.”
HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber, and Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Yeurys Pujols offered congratulatory remarks to the graduates who received degrees in Business, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, Digital Arts, Early Childhood Education, Engineering, English, Health Services, Hospitality Management, Human Services, Mathematics, Medical Assisting, Medical Coding, Nursing, Psychology, Radiography, Studio Arts, and several other disciplines.
Students achieve academic honors
Dylan Chidick of Jersey City was initiated into the The College of New Jersey Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa, the National Leadership Honor Society.
Brendan J. Connelly of Jersey City was among 3,523 graduates who received degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln during commencement exercises in May. Connelly earned a Master of Education from the Office of Graduate Studies.
Bala Kolluru of Jersey City completed requirements for a degree from Trine University at the end of the Spring 2022 semester. Kolluru earned a degree in Master of Business Administration at Trine.
Nazareth College has announced that Catherine Gregory of Jersey City has been named to the Dean’s List for the spring 2022 semester.