College's "Report to the Community" Open House Brings Out Learners of All Ages


West Windsor, N.J. -- On November 12, Mercer County Community College opened its doors for its Annual "Report to the Community" Open House, hosted by the MCCC Board of Trustees at the Conference Center. Among the 300 guests were families who came to learn about program opportunities for their college-bound children, adults with plans for second careers, and still others who attended as friends and supporters of the college. The event also provided an opportunity to celebrate student successes over the past year.

Among the event highlights were displays by every division of the college, where guests had an opportunity to talk to deans, faculty members and students. Admissions representatives were busy throughout the event, explaining the application process and answering questions about enrollment and financial aid. Some visitors even registered for classes.

Live music was provided by the MCCC Jazz Band, while Physical Therapist Assistant students reported a steady flow of customers for chair massages. MCCC culinary students prepared their signature dish, Bananas Foster, and Career Training Institute chefs served made-to-order tacos. Additional refreshments were served by Conference Center staff.

Guest Kenny Oseni, who was laid off from her job with a local corporation, came to the open house to explore possible careers in health care. But as she walked around the event, she realized there were many programs to consider. "This opens your mind to the possibilities," she said.

Oseni is looking forward to returning to school as an adult student. "We're serious. We don't want to play around." Oseni was accompanied by Ciunis Gonjon, a friend from her former job, who is interested in studying Gerontology.

Alumna Marva Reid brought her son Joshua and his friend Kiara White to the event. Herself a 2006 Liberal Arts grad who is an employee in the accounting office at Princeton University, Reid is thinking about returning to Mercer to pursue a career in health care. Her son is considering the Energy Utility Technology program offered in partnership with PSE&G, while White is considering nursing. All three say they got the information they were looking for from MCCC staff and students.

The event provided the perfect backdrop to honor three deserving community partners., who were presented with awards and interviewed live on the college's Jazz on 2 radio station by host Winifred Howard. Les Venella, Jr., CFSP, was selected as the 2009 Alumni Leader Award. A graduate of Mercer's first Funeral Service class in 1976, he is president of Saul Funeral Homes, with four area locations. Venella is a member of the college's Funeral Service Advisory Commission and has consistently provided employment opportunities to graduates of the program.

The 2009 Corporate Partner Award was presented to PSE&G for its generous support of students and programs of MCCC, especially its partnership with Mercer on developing the AAS degree program in Energy Utility Technology. The award was accepted by PSE&G Senior Vice President Margaret Pego.
The 2009 Partner in Learning Award went to the Trenton Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS), which has provided funding for an annual "Chemistry Road Show," presented by MCCC science students to approximately 700 elementary school children during National Chemistry Week. Accepting the award was Mark Galley, acting chair of the Trenton Section.

Honorees, from left, Mark Galley, Margaret Pego and Les Venella, with Board Chair Rev. Bill Coleman and President Patricia Donohue.
Student volunteers, from left, Brianna LaCava, Mitch Richtman, Viking George Diosteanu and Adrienne Sherwin.
Prof. Garry Perryman talks with visitors about Architecture and other majors in the construction field.
TVstudents interviewed guests for their MCNLive news show.
Culinary students served Bananas Foster to an appreciative crowd.

In addition to the awards presentation, President Patricia C. Donohue gave her annual Powerpoint presentation about the accomplishments and successes of the past year. The event coincided with the publication of the college's Annual Report for the 2008-09 academic year. Copies are available by visiting or calling (609) 570-3608.

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