The MCCC 2009 Honorees
Nov. 12, Community Open House


Mercer County Community College will honor alumnus Les Venella Jr. and two community partners, PSE&G and the American Chemical Society, at its Community Open House "Abundant Learning Opportunities Await You at Mercer," on Nov. 12, 4:30 to 7 p.m. at MCCC's Conference Center on the West Windsor Campus.

Click here for details about the event and the sign-up page.

2009 Alumni Leader Award: Les Venella, Jr., CFSP, is a graduate of Mercer's first Funeral Service class in 1976. He is president of Saul Funeral Homes, with four area locations in Hamilton Square, Hightstown, Cranbury and Trenton.

An active booster of MCCC's programs, Mr. Venella serves on the college's Funeral Service Program Advisory Commission. Saul Funeral Homes has regularly hired graduates of MCCC's Funeral Service program, and offers internship opportunities to Mercer students. Eight of the company's 10 current funeral directors are MCCC graduates.

Mr. Venella is treasurer of the New Jersey State Funeral Directors Association, and past president. He served on the National Funeral Directors Association Advisory Board. He is also an active member of the Hamilton Township Rotary Club, the Mercer County Chamber of Commerce, and the Mercer County Networking Group. Over the past five years he has delivered meals for the Hamilton Township Meals on Wheels program. More here.

2009 Corporate Partner Award: PSE&G has generously supported the students and programs of MCCC for many years, and has been an annual contributor to student scholarships. In 2003 the college's Foundation Board honored PSE&G with its "Distinguished Corporate Friend" award.

In 2003 PSE&G worked closely with MCCC to develop an Associate in Applied Science degree in Energy Utility Technology. Students in this highly successful program study math, science, utility technology, electrical construction and utility installations at Mercer, while PSE&G provides apprenticeship training and summer internships. A high percentage of graduates are now employed in well-paying jobs at PSE&G. Because of its success, the program has been duplicated at other community colleges in New Jersey. Mercer also acknowledges the role of PSE&G in spearheading educational programs such as the New Jersey Energy Workforce Consortium. PSE&G is a leader in economic development and community service throughout the region.

Accepting the award will be Margaret Pego, senior vice president, Human Resources. and chief human resources officer of PSEG Services Corporation.

2009 Partner in Learning Award: For the past 12 years, the Trenton Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS) has partnered with MCCC to make possible a science education program at area elementary schools, providing materials for demonstrations that reach approximately 700 children annually. The project reflects this national organization's goal to provide outreach programs designed to inspire the next generation of scientists.

Offered during National Chemistry Week in late October, MCCC students and faculty members, along with students from Rider University and The College of New Jersey, are led by MCCC Chemistry Program Coordinator Helen Tanzini. The group visits five to six local schools, where they conduct simple yet exciting chemistry experiments in numerous classrooms.

An additional partnership takes place at the New Jersey State Museum's Super Science Weekend each May. Professor Tanzini and her students demonstrate science experiments for visiting children and their families, with support from the ACS.

  Accepting the award will be Mark Galley, acting chair of the Trenton Section of the Middle-Atlantic Region of the American Chemical Society. "It has been our group's pleasure to work with Helen Tanzini, who has done a superb job with this program," he said. He recently began teaching Chemistry as an adjunct professor at MCCC.

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