Bird’s Eye View – Tara Jennings ’94

Tara JenningsTara Jennings2

1. What was your major/field of study during your time at Stockton, and when did you graduate?

I majored in Criminal Justice and graduated Spring 1994.

2. Tell us about the type of work you are doing now and how that aligns with your career aspirations.

I am a Detective Sergeant with a Prosecutor’s Office. I am currently working in the midst of my career aspirations. Over the course of my career with the Prosecutor’s Office I have had the opportunity to work in several units such as the Narcotic Task Force, Special Victims Unit, Juvenile, Special Investigations Squad, Confidential Investigations, also known as Internal Affairs, and have been recently transferred to the Domestic Violence Unit. I have been given numerous opportunities to continue training in this field and I hope to continue my education in this field by one day attending the Federal Bureau of Investigations National Academy Training in Quantico, VA.

3. What are some of your favorite Stockton memories—such as a favorite class, professor, spot on campus, or social event?
I loved attending SSC in the 90’s. Professor Janice Joseph was one of my favorite instructors. Her classes were intimate, relative and easy to follow and learn from. I loved to hang out in “J Wing” and attend Greek parties in the Café, especially those given by the DELTA’s (Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.) which I became a member of in fall of “93”. The fashion shows sponsored by UBSS and the Greek Step Shows were always a treat!

4. How has attending Stockton influenced your life?

Stockton has been a great influence in my life and it still is. I am proud Alum who visits periodically to gage Stockton’s growth. I am hopeful that my own daughter will find it intriguing enough to want to attend. Class of 2020! 😉

5. What advice would you offer to current Stockton students and other recent graduates?
At this stage of your life it is extremely important to explore all opportunities that Stockton has to offer. I think that it is very important to intern locally and abroad. Foster great relationships with those whom you come in contact with. They always come in handy. Do not limit yourself. Think outside of the box, have fun, be smart and most of all BE SAFE!

6. On a personal note, what is your favorite thing to do on your days off?
I love spending time with my husband, daughter and son. We enjoy attending church together, lounging, shopping, watching sports and vacationing together.

7. Do you have anything else you’d like to share?
I am so proud of Stockton. SSC I LOVE, I LOVE, I LOVE IT!!!

Posted in Bird's Eye View

Young Alumni Interest and Engagement Survey: Executive Summary of Outcomes

655f8207e33a4f4b85715e1d5f70ffa6

The Young Alumni Interest and Engagement Survey provided an opportunity for graduates from the classes of 2007-2016 (undergraduate and graduate) to share with their alma mater the ways in which they want to be communicated with, what types of events, volunteer opportunities and programming they find value in, to let Stockton know the ways in which they want to be supportive, and provide a medium for additional feedback they wanted to share.  A special thank you to all who completed the survey and provided valuable feedback.

A Snapshot of the Survey

The survey was open for 40 days between November 21 and December 31, 2016. During this time frame, it was sent to young alumni (roughly 18,000). The outreach far exceeded expectations and resulted in 898 valid responses (5% of all young alumni). The Young Alumni Survey was overwhelmingly our most successful survey in both number of responses and response rate. As a comparison, the second most successful alumni survey has been the Alumni Volunteer Interest Survey with a response rate of 0.2% of all alumni.  

 

Contact and Employment Information

The survey collected valuable information so Stockton can stay in touch:

  • 88% (796) provided a phone number
  • 9% (897) provided an email address
  • 94% (800) provided a mailing address
  • 89% (800) provided employment and/or graduate student information.

897 provided email address

796 provided phone calls

800 mailing addresses

 

Informed: A Look at Communications and Messaging Outcomes

Respondents were asked how often they felt they were asked to:   1) attend alumni events   2) to donate to Stockton   3) to volunteer for the University.

  • 72% of the collective responses chosen were either “About right” or “Would welcome more”
  • Less than 25% of alumni felt they were asked to donate “Too often”
  • Around 13% feel they “Have never been asked”
  • 74% of respondents indicated they have, in some way, “been asked to volunteer for the University”, including 17% selecting they would “welcome being asked more”

less than 25% donated felt they were asked to donate too often

Respondents were asked for their preferred method to receive Stockton communications for alumni events, giving, University news and updates, and alumni volunteer opportunities.

  • Email was preferred by at least 44% across the board
  • Approximately 20% indicated a preference for “Mailings” and “Facebook”
  • Only 2% expressed a preference for “Home Phone” and “Cell Phone”

44% of responodents selected email

20% of Res selected Facebook

20% of Res selected MAIL

home and cell phonewas least preferred

 

Involved: A Look at Engagement Outcomes

When asked what types of alumni events they would be likely to attend, the top 6 events in order of popularity were:

TOP 6 EVENTS alumni who would most likely attend

  1. Beer/wine tasting
  2. Happy hour
  3. Networking event where I can meet other professional alumni
  4. Cocktail reception
  5. Regional social gathering
  6. Service project

When asked what are the preferred days and times for attending alumni events, the following order of preference was determined:

WHAT IS YOUR PREF TIMING for ALUMNI EVENTS

  1. Weekend evenings (38%)   
  2. Weekend daytime (35%)
  3. Weekday evening (20%)
  4. Weekday daytime (5%)

Note: In 2016, alumni events were three times more likely to be held on a weekday evening as opposed to the weekend. The survey data strongly suggests testing a shift in timing of young alumni events to weekend evenings and days.

Those taking the survey were asked to select all volunteer areas that interested them. Only 21% indicated they have no interest in volunteering. Top responses included the following:

  • 312 selected an interest in “mentoring students
  • 258 selected “community service
  • 242 selected “volunteer at alumni events

MENTOR STUDENTS

Community Service

 Volunteer at alumni Events

 

Invested: A Look at Giving and Support Outcomes

When asked if they donate to Stockton, 12% indicated “yes,” 57% indicated “not yet, but plan to in the future,” and 31% indicated they “have not made a gift and do not plan to in the future.”

For those who displayed an interest in giving, the top two reasons for giving were 1) “a desire to help the next generation of students” and 2) “pride in my alma mater.” 

Desire to help the next generation

PRIDE in my ALMA MATER

 

 

 

 

When asked what types of messaging motivates them to give two types of communication were consistently referenced. 1) “facts and figures about how my gifts are being used” and 2) “stories from students about their Stockton experience.”

Those who identified as not giving indicated reasons for their choice:

  • 87% cited “financial circumstances”                                                                    
  • 9% selected “I do not feel a strong connection to Stockton
  • 7% feel they “have never been asked

When asked if they believe Stockton needs financial support from alumni their age, 40% selected “yes” and 60% selected “no.”

40% selected yes

60% selected YES

Conclusions

Young alumni are eager to provide feedback and be a larger part of Stockton’s alumni engagement program. They are comfortable with the frequency in which they are hearing from Stockton and prefer digital mediums. They are anxious to attend alumni events which interest them (social in nature with a networking value added). They want to give back their time and talents to future students and current alumni.  Both events and volunteer opportunities need to be during convenient times and in convenient locations. There is a general sense being engaged with Stockton is important, but that it is too early to ask young alumni for their financial contributions. The information needs to be shared on the need for support and the impact it makes. Overall there is a positive feeling coming from recent graduates about their Stockton experience and a desire to strengthen their alumni experience.

Next Steps

In the next few months, a series of Young Alumni Focus Groups are being planned to drill down further into the attitudes and aptitudes of recent graduates. Please keep an eye out for announcements on focus groups in your area.

 

For questions about young alumni initiatives, please contact:

Nick Sena ’08, Director of Engagement
Nicholas.Sena@stockton.edu
609.652.4789

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Stockton Sweethearts: Carla and Michael Holton

Carla (Hischmann) Holton ’03 and Michael Holton ’03 

Carla Holton(Hischmann) '03 and Michael Holton '03

Mike and I met on my very first day/first class at Stockton (Spring semester 2001). After class we ran into each other on campus and the rest is history. While at Stockton we both enjoyed Greek life and all Stockton had to offer. During our senior year we got engaged and we were married at the Jersey Shore in June 2004. Shortly after our wedding we moved to Boston, so Mike could complete his Graduate work at Harvard/MIT. Mike now works in Princeton doing Environmental Health. I work in finance for a nonprofit organization. We have two boys ages 7 and 4 who are the light of our lives. When we are not doing things with the kids, we are marathon training. To date we have completed 3 full marathons. We fell in love at Stockton 16 years ago and still do everything together.

Posted in Uncategorized

Bird’s-Eye View: James Corbett ’13

James Corbett
1. What was your major/field of study during your time at Stockton, and when did you graduate?

My field of study was Criminal Justice and I graduated in 2013.

2. Tell us about the type of work you are doing now and how that aligns with your career aspirations?

I have always wanted to start my own business – then why Criminal Justice? Personal reasons. I have built a small team of coders to help me build a social media app: Shibby. Shibby is a mobile app (iOS and Android) being built in response to how the market is shifting from product consumption to experience consumption. This means Millennials would rather pay to create memories (experiences) than buy products.

3. What are some of your favorite Stockton memories—such as a favorite class, professor, spot on campus, or social event?

One of my favorite memories was my senior thesis. I came up with a highly unique proposition to better improve the temperament of prisons: Blue Light Theory. Blue calms people therefore install blue lights. During my presentation the entire class got involved. The professor was so impressed with the depth of my research and my ability to read between the lines he proposed we take this to prisons in NJ.

I would also like to add a favorite spot. I loved going fishing for an hour after or between classes on Lake Fred. It was peaceful and calming; a good reminder that everything is alright.

4. How has attending Stockton influenced your life?

Stockton’s ambiance is a fun, loving, and accepting culture. Every single day my life is lived just the same. And I met my wonderful girlfriend at Stockton as well: Dailey Rae.

5. What advice would you offer to current Stockton students and other recent graduates?

Never allow anyone to define who you are. You are able to become whatever you want to become.

6. On a personal note, what is your favorite thing to do on your days off?

I literally love working on my product. There is nothing I would rather be doing than focusing on Shibby. So, any free time that I have, it is focused on Shibby.

7. Do you have anything else you’d like to share?

If any Stockton Alumni want to learn more about Shibby or me please reach out. My phone number is (856) 278-1982.

Posted in Bird's Eye View

Bird’s Eye View – Kirsten Bollinger ’16

Kirsten Bollinger

1. What was your major/field of study during your time at Stockton, and when did you graduate?
My major was psychology and I graduated in May 2016.

2. Tell us about the type of work you are doing now and how that aligns with your career aspirations.
I am currently in graduate school at Monmouth University. I will graduate with a Master of Arts in Education in College Counseling and Student Affairs in May 2018. I am currently a graduate assistant in Monmouth’s Transfer and Undeclared Services office and a substitute teacher for my local school district. Ultimately, I plan to become a career counselor working in a Career Services office in a post-secondary institution.

3. What are some of your favorite Stockton memories—such as a favorite class, professor, spot on campus, or social event?
I spent a lot of time in Stockton’s Career Center because I worked there part-time. The friends and connections I made while working there are definitely one of my biggest memories from Stockton. I also loved seeing Nicole Beyer from MTV’s Girl Code and Ludacris when they came to campus!

4. How has attending Stockton influenced your life?
I transferred to Stockton from a community college and I can confidently say it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I’ve grown academically, professionally, and mentally since transferring to Stockton and I have my professors, mentors, and peers to thank for that.

5. What advice would you offer to current Stockton students and other recent graduates?
Get involved on and off campus as much as possible! Internships, clubs, organizations, Greek life, research, and part-time jobs all help students gain professional experience and also make lifelong friends and connections.

6. On a personal note, what is your favorite thing to do on your days off?
Aside from sleeping as much as possible, I love going to concerts and spending time with my friends and boyfriend.

7. Do you have anything else you’d like to share?
As much as I love my graduate program at Monmouth, I will always have a special place in my heart for Stockton!

Posted in Bird's Eye View

Bird’s Eye View – Bob Barr ’04

fb_img_1471269567091
1. What was your major/field of study during your time at Stockton, and when did you graduate?
I graduated in 2004 with a degree in Communications and minors in Writing, Marketing and History.

2. Tell us about the type of work you are doing now and how that aligns with your career aspirations?
I am a Legislative Aide for Senator Jeff Van Drew, Assemblymen Bob Andrzejczak and R. Bruce Land. I was appointed by Governor Christie to the New Jersey Pinelands Commission in 2015. I am a City Council Person for the City of Ocean City and will be the Chairman of the Housing Authority of Ocean City in January 2017. My positions require me to deal with constituents and the media on a daily basis. My background from Stockton helped educate me on how to deal with this type of work. I am also involved with the radio and television often which relates directly to my field of study at Stockton.

3. What are some of your favorite Stockton memories—such as a favorite class, professor, spot on campus, or social event?
My favorite person was Sam Cross, my academic adviser. He helped guide me through my time at Stockton. Professor Bill Daly was my favorite professor at Stockton as many will agree. He wanted me to become a Political Science major, but did not prevail. It is ironic that now I am working so much in politics, he clearly had an influence on me. Some of my favorite memories include getting to know many people at Stockton, the campus was less developed, and I enjoyed sitting by the lake and cherishing sitting with friends and doing homework.

4. How has attending Stockton influenced your life?
Attending Stockton has changed his life. It helped grow me into an adult and make good life choices along the way. At college you are not babied anymore, you are on your own which makes you develop as a person. I am so grateful for the professors and people I met at Stockton.

5. What advice would you offer to current Stockton students and other recent graduates?
To current students, I would say to take advantage of every opportunity you have. Stockton offers so much, take advantage of it all. The relationships you build now will help you in the future. Gain professional experience because it is such a great resume builder. To recent graduates I would say to get out and pound the pavement. Believe in yourself and self yourself, you have the tools to do it, don’t wait for an opportunity; go find one.

6. On a personal note, what is your favorite thing to do on your days off?
On my days off, I enjoy spending time with my family. Sports My career requires me to travel all over the state of New Jersey on a daily basis. So when there is time off, I like to stay home and relax and watch sports with my family. I enjoy to travel when possible or going out to enjoy a good meal.

7. Do you have anything else you’d like to share?
I would hope that people would use my story as inspiration. I have been wheelchair bound entire life with cerebral palsy. If I can make it, anybody can make it, regardless of your challenges. Get up, work hard, do what you need to do, it will work out. While you’re in school study hard, then work hard, and make your dreams happen.

Posted in Bird's Eye View

Bird’s Eye View – Cheres Chambers ’09

Cheres and her event planner, Jaleena Anthony of Create That Party

Cheres and her event planner, Jaleena Anthony of Create That Party

1. What was your major/field of study during your time at Stockton, and when did you graduate?

Business with a concentration in marketing, I graduated in December 2009.

2. Tell us about the type of work you are doing now and how that aligns with your career aspirations.

Currently during the day I am an Account Manager for the Northeast, Canada, and Minnesota for a chemical company. I also travel internationally for tradeshows. The work
I am doing now aligns with my aspirations because I will need to market, sell, position a product and work with various people in my newly formed business The Shoe Soul Society. All the above is currently what I do as an Account Manager.

3. What are some of your favorite Stockton memories—such as a favorite class, professor, spot on campus, or social event?

Some of my favorite memories were hanging out at the Osprey Nest. Working with Joe Lizza at the College Center and all of my other peers. Being the President of F.E.M.A.L.E.S and creating programming for students. My favorite professor/advisor was Arthur Worthington; he always gave great advice and was funny. The Osprey Ball had to be my favorite event. A court was the best court and I loved the set up in the new apartments at Housing V and playing pool at night.

4. How has attending Stockton influenced your life?

Attending Stockton influenced my life because by attending I gained leadership skills, learned perseverance, and ownership. These are all traits I value and keep with me today.

5. What advice would you offer to current Stockton students and other recent graduates?

I would say always follow your dream. It may be a long road filled with many who don’t understand or doubters but remember your vision is for you and no one else. So don’t give up or settle. Find your passion and pursue it.

6. On a personal note, what is your favorite thing to do on your days off?

I love to spend time with my husband, family and friends. It could be cooking for them, watching tv or a movie, going to the park, shopping, apple picking, traveling, I love being with them.

7. Do you have anything else you’d like to share?

The Shoe Soul Society (TS3) was founded by me, Cheres Chambers, as a vehicle for fashion forward women on the move. After earning a Business degree from Stockton University in 2009, I accumulated experience in sales, marketing, and realty. Currently I am the Account Manager and the Fund Development Chairperson at the Urban League of Union County Young Professionals. In 2016 I stepped out on faith to turn my love for shoes and my business savvy into a viable business

TS3’s mission is to offer exceptionally stylish shoes to the world and help a few people along the way. We believe every woman deserves to feel classy whether she is leisurely making her way to a weekend brunch or chasing after children seven days a week. Women should be able to maintain the lifestyle of their choice without sacrificing personal style.

Giving back is at our core. We are currently working in conjunction with a prisoner re-entry program called Reconnections. Based in Plainfield, New Jersey, Reconnections helps formerly incarcerated women re-enter society in a productive manner – and thanks to The Shoe Soul Society, with the perfect pair of shoes to help them land the perfect job. Our goal is for the women involved in the program to receive shoes that make them feel good about whom they are and take them to where they want to be.

TS3 strives to provide a unique experience by focusing on quality versus quantity and offering customer service that is second to none.

Photos from the Launch Party:

https://www.dropbox.com/sc/zeda73s23iul51j/AADbUM2aNd6rjrQkZ-DOsOxUa

Story about launch:

To shop for shoes:

https://theshoesoulsociety.com/

 

Posted in Bird's Eye View

Bird’s Eye View Michael Mandola ’00

MM_on-red_large

  1. What was your major/field of study during your time at Stockton, and when did you graduate?

I graduated from Stockton in 2000 with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. I was privileged to be educated, trained and mentored by some of the best biology and chemistry educators and scientists in the industry. During my time at Stockton I participated in the Washington Center Internship plan during the summer of my junior year. I was placed at the National Institutes of Health and worked directly for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) during this internship. At the FDA I studied novel ways to target the parasite that causes malaria via genetic modelling systems. The training that I received at Stockton prepared me well for my Ph.D. and subsequently for my post-doctoral studies in molecular biology and cancer research at Fox Chase Cancer Center and The Cancer Institute of NJ.

  1. Tell us about the type of work you are doing now and how that aligns with your career aspirations.

After my post-doctoral research I joined a growing medical communications company, Nucleus Global, in a small office in Princeton, NJ. Our company supports pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, and academic institutions in educating both physicians and patients on emerging data arising from clinical trials of new therapies. I began my career as a medical writer 10 years ago, and I am currently the President of US Operations, overseeing nearly 300 people in the US, including offices in NJ, Chicago, San Francisco, and Atlanta. This career path is a perfect mix of science and business and allows me to work closely with physicians, scientists, and patients. It is a fulfilling career and everyday brings something new and exciting that is intellectually stimulating. I am surrounded by highly intelligent and motivated people who I learn from every day and am honored to work with.

  1. What are some of your favorite Stockton memories—such as a favorite class, professor, spot on campus, or social event?

During my time at Stockton I lived in P-dorm my freshman year and again my senior year as an assistant RA. I lived in the A-court apartments my sophomore and junior years. At the dorms I loved playing pick-up basketball any time of day or night and was active in intramural sports with my friends. My fondest memories of living in the apartments was the peaceful walk to classes through the woods and around Lake Fred every day. I was involved with Student Senate starting my Freshman year and ended my senior year as Student Senate President for the class of 2000. I initially ran for Student Senate on a whim, not fully taking it seriously in the beginning. But after interacting with my peers who were motivated to make positive changes for students, and in seeing the commitment of faculty like Dr. Joe Marchetti, who was a mentor of mine at Stockton and continues to be today, I realized that I needed to work hard to earn and maintain their respect. This was a huge life lesson for me that I took with me to graduate school and continue to think about daily in my role as a leader at my company.

The most motivational and inspiring professor that I had at Stockton was Dr. Brian Rogerson. Dr Rogerson introduced me to biochemistry, which was the first time in my life that I was truly inspired by any subject and knew that I wanted to pursue this as a career. Dr Rogerson is so passionate about science, it is contagious! I had always liked biology and chemistry as separate subjects, but the marriage of the two disciplines and the understanding of how they apply to life and human disease really drew me in and inspired my career. I decided to enter into a Ph.D. program in molecular biology after meeting with schools at a graduate school fair held at Stockton. I highly recommend that all students take advantage of the career and graduate school fairs and services that Stockton offers. Dr Rogerson also served on my Ph.D. thesis committee years after I graduated Stockton and was a great mentor to me.

  1. How has attending Stockton influenced your life?

I discovered my love of science at Stockton. I discovered my ability to be an advocate and a leader at Stockton. Stockton offered me excellent opportunities to optimize my potential by offering leadership programs and services to me that have shaped my career. I was privileged to have attended Stockton and am pleased to be an active alumni and give back to Stockton anyway that I can.

  1. What advice would you offer to current Stockton students and other recent graduates?

Have fun. Be accountable for your actions and your future. Take advantage of what Stockton has to offer and use your education as a springboard to your career.

  1. On a personal note, what is your favorite thing to do on your days off?

A few years ago I ran my first marathon. I then participated in a local triathlon. Over the last few years I have competed in several Ironman triathlon events and on my days off I enjoy going for a long run, bike, or swim, and of course spending time with my two boys, Lucas and Cameron, and my wife, Jen. We are an active family and enjoy hiking, running, swimming and biking.

  1. Do you have anything else you’d like to share?

Don’t doubt yourself. You can achieve anything in life if you put your mind to it and dedicate yourself to hard work. You don’t have to have a Ph.D. to do it. You just have to be committed!

Posted in Bird's Eye View

Constitution Day 2016: Akhil Reed Amar

amar color pic

Constitution Day 2016
Keynote Address
Akhil Reed Amar
The Supreme Court and the Constitution:
What’s at Stake in the 2016 Election?
Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 6:30pm — Campus Center Event Room

Akhil Reed Amar is Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University, where he teaches constitutional law at both Yale College and Yale Law School. His work has won awards from both the American Bar Association and the Federalist Society.  He has been favorably cited by Supreme Court justices across the spectrum in over 30 cases (citing to four different books and more than a dozen distinct articles), and he regularly testifies before Congress at the invitation of both Republicans and Democrats.  He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2008 he received the DeVane Medal—Yale’s highest award for teaching excellence. He has written widely for popular publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, and Slate. He was an informal consultant to the popular TV show, The West Wing, and his work has been showcased on more recent TV shows such as The Colbert Report, Charlie Rose, and The MHP Show. Professor Amar is also the author of several books, including The Bill of Rights: Creation and Reconstruction (Yale Univ. Press, 1998), America’s Constitution: A Biography (Random House, 2005), America’s Unwritten Constitution: The Precedents and Principles We Live By (Basic Books, 2012),   and The Law of the Land: A Grand Tour of our Constitutional Republic (Basic Books, 2015).  His new book, The Constitution Today: Timeless Lessons for the Issues of Our Era, is being published in September 2016, just in time for the election.

For more information, please click here.

Posted in Alumni

Soaring to New Heights – About the Author: Laura Comppen ’85

Laura Comppen ’85 ARTV, is employed as an art teacher for the Harrison Board of Education; and is also a freelance communications specialist generating press releases, photography and social media content for a variety of organizations. Currently working on her first novel, she credits her Stockton educational experiences as enriching and transformative, and is thrilled to see the upcoming campus expansion. Proud to be an “Osprey for Life,” Laura lives in Bergen County with her two children, Ruby and Carson.

Click here to enter your own submission!

Posted in Uncategorized