Share Your Exciting News with Fellow Alumni
Children, new jobs, weddings, honors, and awards are all things to celebrate. Let your fellow alumni know what’s going on in your life by sharing your good news.
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Top 40 Under 40!
The Top 40 Under 40 Awards are a collaborative effort between the Greater Atlantic City Junior Chamber of Commerce (The Jaycees) and Atlantic City Weekly. These awards are given to those in the community who strive to, not only succeed at their work, but as members of the community they live in via things like charity work, cultural enhancement and volunteerism. The winners come from all walks of life and sectors of society, working in the fields of business, education, healthcare, government, hospitality and more. These are the movers and shakers, the kind of folks who roll up their sleeves and get to work in order to make a difference. Top 40 Under 40 is about honoring their efforts.
This year, eight of the recipients are Stockton University alumni!
Courtney Keim is a seventh-grade mathematics teacher at Texas Avenue School. She started her tenure in Atlantic City schools as a chemistry and physics teacher at the alternative high school prior to her transfer last year. At Texas Avenue, she expanded the school’s Urban Garden with the support of A Work in Progress Foundation, ACPD, and ACFD, instructs a successful after school SAT math program and is a member of the Data, Leadership and Digital Implementation teams. Keim operates a successful photography and design studio where her work is sold through Offset by Shutterstock and Getty Images. In her spare time, she volunteers at Saint Joseph Regional School where her children attend. Having co-chaired the school’s 2016 spring gala, she is responsible for the school’s marketing materials in addition to photographing as many school events as she can attend. Keim resides in Atlantic City with her husband and three children.
Alexis Kull ’05
Alexis Kull, 34, is a sales consultant for Gallo Wine Sales of New Jersey. A 2005 graduate of Stockton University, Kull first began her career in Atlantic City as a management intern for Tropicana Atlantic City. She then landed her first job as a restaurant manager for Philips Seafood in 2006 and went on to work for Phillips for eight years, during which time she was very invested with her staff and her community. In 2014, Kull took up her current position with Gallo for whom she is a sales consultant for restaurants from Atlantic City in 2015 in a newly developed area called Snug Harbor. She believes in Atlantic City and is incredibly committed to the future of the city. Kull enjoys spending time with her family and her rescue dog Peaches.
Heather Murray ’04
Heather Murray, 35, has her MBA as well as being a licensed CPA in the state of New Jersey. Murray’s true passion is non-profit accounting. Currently employed at Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation, a non-profit rehabilitation hospital in Galloway, in a short time Murray has risen from an accountant, to the accounting manager, and is now the director of accounting. Her most notable work at Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation was when she developed the hospital’s firstever online bill pay system, where patients can now pay bills online. Murray was selected and featured in Bacharach’s employee spotlight recognition program in September 2016. She is a member of the New Jersey CPA Society, the American institute for Certified Public Accountants and a member of the New Jersey chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association. Murray’s true joy stems from her beautiful daughters and her loving husband.
Michael Rello ’07
Michael Rello, 32, of Philadelphia, is the beverage operations manager at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City. He is a 2002 graduate of Holy Spirit High School and a 2007 graduate of the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey with a degree in Business Management. Rello has worked for Caesars Entertainment for the past nine years within various capacities in food and beverage. His previous positions within Caesars include casual dining manager at Harrah’s and restaurant manager for the Crossroads at House of Blues Restaurant in Showboat. During his career for Caesars, he has been fortunate to work with an awesome tea, grow professionally within the organization and perform a job that he truly enjoys. Rello’s goals are to continue to develop and advance his career within Ceasars Entertainment.
Dave Sholler ’06
Dave Sholler, 32, is vice president of communications for the Philadelphia 76ers. A 2006 graduate of Stockton University, Sholler returned to South Jersey last year after eight years with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, where he mostly recently served as vice president of public relations, athlete marketing and development. During his time at UFC, he oversaw a team that was responsible for developing stories and campaigns to elevate the UFC brand and top stars such as Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor. In his role in Philadelphia, he manages all communications for the iconic Sixers franchise across both the basketball and business operations. Along with his wife, Tiffany, Sholler works to give back to the South Jersey community through programs benefiting the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, Stop the Herion organization and South Jersey Youth in Need.
Ricardo Belgrave ’08
Ricardo R. Belgrave, a husband and father of four boys, was born and raised in Atlantic City. After graduating from Atlantic City High School in 2003, Belgrave graduated from Stockton College (now University) with a B.A. in Business Management in 2008. While completing his final year at Stockton, Belgrave began substitute teaching in Atlantic City and was reunited with his original passion—educating children. During fall 2008, Belgrave was honored with a classroom teaching position at Texas Avenue School in the Atlantic City School District. Currently Belgrave is the president and founder of a community-based non-profit organization—The Anna Murray-Douglass Foundation—that is planning, funding and developing the opening of the first all-boys charter school in the state of New Jersey—The Federick Douglass Charter School for Boys—which is slated to open in 2018.
Kate Warden ’13
Kate Warden is the Chief Humane Law Enforcement Officer for Atlantic County SPCA, and a security specialist at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. In addition to investigating complaints of animal cruelty, Warden coordinates fundraisers and community outreach events for Atlantic County SPCA. Her passion for animals and community involvement extends beyond her career, as she volunteers with Atlantic County Disaster Response Team, Atlantic County Hoarding Task Force and Wildlife Aid. Warden’s most notable achievements include writing an Extreme Weather Ordinance for animals that was endorsed by Atlantic County Board of Chosen Freeholders, creating and hosting a goal workshop for women, and acting as mentor to Girl Scouts in Troop 42422. Warden resides in Egg Harbor Township, where she is proud to support her daughter’s endeavors in cheer, theatre and the Medical Science Academy.
Michael Martirone ’06
Michael C. Martirone Is a social studies teacher at Egg Harbor Township High School. Known for his hands-on classroom style and cross-curricular lessons, Martirone creates an energetic and creative learning environment to increase literacy and develop citizenship among his students. He has combined his passion for learning and leadership to partner with other Teachers of the Year and co-founded “PD on Wheels,” a program that provides teachers with skills necessary to develop leadership within the profession. He has been awarded over $4,000 in education grants and his innovative learning methodologies—from creating and implementing an annual academic challenge competition for the freshman class to infusing literacy and STEM into his class. “Why study history when you can make it?” Martirone asks. Martirone was the 2015 Atlantic County Teacher of the Year. He earned his B.A. in Politcal Science from Stockton College and his M.A. in Teaching from Rowan University.
More than 560 Pinelands Short Course attendees spent the day learning about the unique wildlife, ecology, people, folklore and history of New Jersey’s 1.1 million-acre Pinelands National Reserve at nearly 40 educational courses taught by experts.
In one classroom, Matt McCort ’00 gently held a cream-colored northern pine snake covered in dark blotches, a pattern that blends well on a sandy surface or the forest floor, as participants admired the specimen. The snake softly hissed, but remained calm as he curled around McCort’s safe hands that are experienced in handling wildlife.
“They’re all bark, no bite,” assured McCort, a herpetologist and wildlife ecologist with Herpetological Associates, where he has worked since graduating with an Environmental Science degree from Stockton in 2000.
A few feet away, enclosed in a terrarium, a very still timber rattlesnake watched from a coiled position. McCort discussed the life history and conservation of these species and other threatened and endangered snakes in New Jersey’s Pinelands.
Down the hall, the question “why should I care about insects” was projected onto a large screen, as Dan Duran ’98, an assistant teaching professor at Drexel University and a 1998 Stockton Environmental Studies graduate, described the many ecological services these winged creatures provide.
“We literally couldn’t survive without them,” he answered, adding that “as the number of species in an ecosystem increases, the more resilient the ecosystem should be.”
Mary MacDonald ’16, who is a Stockton graduate and a teacher at Burlington County Institute of Technology, put on a thick leather glove and brought out a rehabilitated red-tailed hawk that was hit by a driver who brought the injured bird to them for help. Due to vision loss in one eye, the hawk lives at the refuge. A great horned owl with a wing injury that prevents flight also made an appearance along with a few reptiles.
Nicole Rollender ’98
“When you’re a working poet,” Rollender says, “you do a lot of stuff for free.”
A 1998 Stockton graduate and longtime trade magazine editor, Rollender grew up in Bergen and Somerset Counties. She moved to Williamstown 11 years ago with her husband, Grant, a retail manager; the couple have a daughter, 8, and a son, 4.
A vintage volume of Tennyson that Rollender found at 15 in a used bookstore “made me realize the power of poetry,” she says. And after earning a master’s degree in fine arts from Pennsylvania State University, she began to write in earnest about a decade ago.
“I feel compelled to write,” adds Rollender, who emails work in progress to herself and revises it online. She recently read her work as part of the Moonstone Arts Center (http://www.moonstoneartscenter.org) series at Fergie’s Pub in Philly.
Closer to home, she’s scheduled to give a reading March 24 at the Williamstown Arts Center (www.williamstownartscenter.org).
Larissa Smith, biologist for the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ spoke on campus at the March meeting of the Southeast Chapter of the Native Plant Society of New Jersey: Bats of NJ: What’s Not to Love?.
Smith ‘ has worked for the CWF foundation since 2000 as a Wildlife biologist. She coordinates CWF’s volunteers and works on the New Jersey Bald Eagle project, Eastern Tiger Salamader project as well as a variety of other projects. She has a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Stockton College and an M.A. in Environmental Education from Rowan.
Sarah Krom ’04
Instead of closing the book, SKC & Co. LLC in Boonton Township. are introducing Sarah Krom ’04 to the upper rungs of the organization. Krom is a 33-year-old who quickly moved to a partner position at the small firm and is now expected to succeed its current leadership.