Dr. Will Austin, President of Warren County Community College and the head of the New Jersey Community College Presidents, is helping to lead a very important strategic planning process for the New Jersey Council of County Colleges to help identify key goals for the Council in the coming year. With a new Governor to be elected in November and taking office in January, setting future goals now is of great importance as the organization plans on sharing these goals with the two gubernatorial candidates after the primaries in June (as well as other key state representatives).
As the chair of the presidents, Dr. Austin is directly involved in NJCCC’s state-level lobbying efforts on the state budget, which includes Chapter 12 (capital funding), student financial aid, and other priorities that affect community colleges throughout New Jersey. The goals, still being crafted, cover many of these areas.
“There is a great deal of effort being made to ensure that our community college students can get the best possible education,” said Dr. Austin. “We want to work with all our key partners in government and share with them the benefits to having strong and vibrant community colleges serving our residents.”
The author of two books, one of Dr. Austin’s books focuses on strategic planning for all levels of an organization, and how they intertwine, aspects of which come into play with his involvement with the NJCCC.
As a part of the seven-member NJCCC Executive Committee, which includes four community college trustees and three community college presidents, Dr. Austin is helping to shape not only common goals, but statewide community college policies and projects. The Executive Committee is the leadership team of the New Jersey Council of County Colleges. The Chair of the Executive Committee, and Chair of the Council, is Helen Albright of the Camden County College Board of Trustees. Thomas Tighe of the Middlesex County College Board of Trustees serves as the Council’s Vice Chair, Dr. Catherine McVicker of Raritan Valley Community College and Bakari G. Lee, Esq. of Hudson County Community College serve on the Executive Committee as members-at-large. Other presidents joining Dr. Austin on the Executive Committee are Dr. Maureen Murphy of Brookdale Community College and Dr. Margaret McMenamin of Union County College.
Dr. Austin’s role in New Jersey in some ways is an extension of his role nationally. Most recently Dr. Austin was the Chairman of the American Association of Community College’s President’s Academy. The Academy, the leading national organization for established and new community college presidents, spearheads educational, development, and guidance opportunities as college executives keep up with trends in the industry. Once his term was completed he was appointed to the group’s Executive Committee.
WCCC tackles Food Insecurity Among College Students
According to national statistics, Food Insecurity among college students is of major concern everywhere, including Warren County Community College.
WCCC Professor Karen Hillyer notes that “Students are continually making a difficult choice to either pay rent or eat. Many students can go days without eating a full meal. Others rely on cheap food substitutes which momentarily suppresses hunger, but don’t provide the daily fuel that the body needs to process information and critically listen.”
Numerous research studies show that lack of food and nutrition can create many symptoms which hinder the skills needed to be effective in the classroom. This problem is something that WCCC is trying to fix.
“It’s easy for students to get into poor eating habits, affecting their performance in the classroom but also their life outside of college,” says Lisa Troy, Professor at WCCC. “A balanced diet is really, really important. Through this program we hope to help students make a difference in their lifestyle.”
The Golden Eagle’s Safety Nest program at WCCC is designed to aid food insecure students while addressing the issue of lack of space for a food bank. The way it works is simple. Donations allow the program coordinators to purchase Shop-Rite gift cards. The cards are distributed to students based on need on a bi-monthly basis.
The WCCC community is very effective in helping others in Warren County. This program is an opportunity to help its won students. Donations of $20 Shop-Rite gift cards to this program, will help support the students who need it.
For more information about the program and its procedures, go to Facebook at: www.facebook.com/WCCCGESN/, or contact either Professor Karen Hillyer or Professor Lisa Stoll at 908-835-9222.
Categories: Public 2-Year Schools