Friends Rally in Support
of MCCC Scholarship Dinner Dance


A good time was had by all, and scholarship dollars were raised, when MCCC’s Foundation Board hosted its major fundraiser of the year on Saturday, April 24 at the Hyatt Regency Princeton. Event co-chairs were Nina Melker of The Bank of Princeton and Mercer County Freeholder Pat Colavita.

Special guests honorees were Judith and William (Bill) H. Scheide of the Scheide Fund, who received the Distinguished Benefactor Award, Dow Jones & Company, which received the Distinguished Corporate Partner Award, and Brian Hughes and J. Lynne Cannon, who both received Spirit of Education Awards.


Pictured, from left, are Dinner Dance co-chair and County Freeholder Pasquale Colavita, Honorees Bill and Judith Scheide, Dow Jones Vice President of Corporate Affairs Howard Hoffman, Honoree J. Lynne Cannon, MCCC Foundation Board member Kristi Sells, who is also a Vice President at Dow Jones & Company, MCCC student honoree Sidney Hagans, Honoree and Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes, MCCC President Patricia Donohue, MCCC Vice President Mellissia Zanjani, and MCCC Foundation Board President Karen Kennedy. Not pictured is event co-chair Nina Melker of The Bank of Princeton.
Representing MCCC student scholarship recipients was Sidney Hagans, a Funeral Service major. He is pictured at the event with MCCC President Patricia C. Donohue.  

For this year's Major Supporters, click here.

More photos here.

Highlighted Scholarship Recipients:

While many in North Jersey head for trade schools in New York City, Sidney Hagans commutes from Bayonne to study Funeral Service at MCCC. Hagans said he heard good things about Mercer from alumni, and decided to travels south. Taking two classes per semester, he expects to graduate in 2011. The scholarship money he has received covers his tuition costs, for which he is very grateful.

An employee at Jackson Funeral Residence in Jersey City for the past eight years, Hagans is also an accomplished organist for churches and choirs. Having played the organ at many funeral services, he was drawn to the profession to add compassion to a process that he believes should not feel strictly like a business.

Hagans says his Mercer education “has been very useful. I feel like I’m getting a real education, not just learning a trade. I see the big picture, and how tasks are done as part of a whole process. I feel that I have become a professional.”

Wonwhe Baker is in her second semester at Mercer, studying Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management. Her MCCC education is helpful in her job with the New Jersey State Prison system, where she is a cooking instructor, teaching inmates to cook in the prison kitchen.

Working full time and caring for two children, Baker is managing a full course load at MCCC. “I am committed to completing the program,” she says. “Flexible scheduling helps.” She dreams of owning her own restaurant one day. “I am thankful for the funding. If I had to pay all out of pocket, I wouldn’t be able to go to school,” Baker says. She adds that she likes Mercer. “If I need help, I get it. I haven’t missed a day of class. I like to hear the material directly from the professor.”

A Nursing student enrolled in MCCC's cooperative program with Capital Health System, Valerie Landolfi has received significant scholarship dollars that are making it possible for her to realize her childhood dream of becoming an R.N. A single parent with a young son, she is very appreciate of the financial help. "They have helped me and my family. They have given me my future," she says.

Landolfi is drawn to the nursing field because she likes the idea of helping and giving back. "I feel very privileged to be in the program," she says. An "A" student, she expects to complete her associate degree ini spring 2011. She plans to pursue her bachelor's and eventually her master's degrees in Nursing. "I want to go as far as I can."

Coming to the United States from Congo in 2006, James Maliro’s first year at Mercer was hard, as he struggled with English, which was new to him. But he persevered and this social science major will graduate in May with an associate degree in Liberal Arts.

His goal is to return to Congo as a social worker once there is peace in his country. “I want to work with those who have been part of the conflict, to help them and educate them about human rights,” he said. Maliro’s scholarship money has enabled him to cover the cost of his college textbooks. “Back home, people can’t get scholarships or even loans for education,” he says. “What I most like about Mercer is that the professors try to help you succeed.” Maliro plans to transfer to earn his bachelor’s degree.
A busy student who works, attends Mercer full time and volunteers, Tara Russ is studying Criminal Justice and will graduate in May. She is secretary for the Criminal Justice Club, and this semester volunteers at Womanspace in the Domestic Violence Victim Response. The scholarship money she has received has been “extremely helpful,” she says. Russ plans to continue her education on the Mercer campus through Fairleigh Dickinson University’s bachelor’s degree program in Criminal Justice.

Russ chose Mercer because of its convenience, affordability and good reputation. In addition to classwork, she has been active off campus, practicing regularly at the firing range, going on ride-alongs with area police departments, and touring the New York Police Department Museum with fellow students. She also completed an internship in Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office. “My professors have been awesome. If you have questions, they are always available outside the classroom. I would recommend Mercer to any student interested in pursuing a career in Criminal Justice.”
Joe Smith will graduate from the MCCC Automotive Technology Program in May. He started his studies at Mercer in 2002 while working for a Dodge Dealership in Cherry Hill, but didn’t finish his degree. Now he is committed. With a view towards a management job, he believes the degree will give him an edge. “With economy the way it is, the degree puts you ahead of other people. Employers look at that and say, ‘He’s done the work.’”

Despite his commute from Camden County, Smith says it has been surprisingly convenient to fit in school while working full time. Following his core automotive classes that he took during the day, he is completing the rest of his coursework either in the evening or online. Putting himself through school, Smith says he appreciates the financial assistance he has received. “It definitely helps out in paying for books and tuition.”

2010 Major Sponsors

Dow Jones & Company


AAA Mid-Atlantic
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton

Bristol-Myers Squibb
Jamil Faridy
Roma Bank
PNC Bank

Borden Perlman
Ernst & Young
Faridy Veisz Fraytak PC
Thomas Edison State College
Tuchman Foundation

Top Hat
Capitol Health System
Clarke Caton Hintz
Tina & Brian Greenberg
Yong Sup Sum

Photo Sponsor
Leigh Visual Imaging Solutions

Raffle Sponsor
AAA Mid-Atlantic

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