Georgian Court Receives Scholarships from OceanFirst Foundation

GCU OceanFirst Scholarhsips

More than a dozen Georgian Court University students will benefit from $40,000 in scholarship funds donated by the OceanFirst Foundation of Toms River. The foundation’s gift to the students of GCU highlights the organization’s emphasis on the value of education, which is one of their main priorities.

“With this gift, the OceanFirst Foundation continues its tradition of providing 16 Georgian Court students with opportunities for access,” said Matt Manfra, GCU’s vice president for institutional advancement. “We are grateful for the many years of OceanFirst support—amounting to more than $1 million—to directly benefit Georgian Court students.”

As a longtime supporter of Georgian Court, OceanFirst received GCU’s Corporate Service Award at the university’s 2021 Scholarship and Golf Classic. As of this year, OceanFirst Bank and OceanFirst Foundation’s generosity to GCU totals over $1.1 million in grants for scholarships and university programs. More than half of the funding has been awarded directly to deserving students from Ocean and Monmouth counties.

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GCU’s Positivity and Diversity Shine in NSSE Survey Results, With More to Come

GCU's Positivity and Diversity Shine in NSSE Survey Results, With More to Come
Georgian Court University plans to apply results from the 2021 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) to further cultivate a positive campus environment where everyone feels they belong and has ample opportunities for diversity in the classroom and student life. 

Every two years, Georgian Court encourages students to complete the NSSE, a survey of first-year and senior students. The 2021 results reflected the pandemic-related challenges of college life, but respondents expressed some positives as well. “Students said they had fewer interactions with faculty and staff, but at the same time became more independent learners and completed more writing assignments, with interactions about on par with other New Jersey schools,” said Janet Thiel, OSF, Ph.D., Georgian Court’s assistant vice president for university assessment.

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A Veterans Day Message from President Marbach

Veteran's Day

As our nation marks Veterans Day, I want to thank our students, faculty, staff, and alumni for their service to our country and their courage in defending the ideals of our country. Across the United States today, there will be many celebrations, memorials, and community projects to remember their sacrifices.

If you know a veteran, please thank them directly. Please remember their families, too, as they are often challenged—and changed—by military service. The freedoms we enjoy as Americans, even when we disagree, are often at the heart of what moves members to join the military.

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Celebrating Women in Entrepreneurship with Anastasia “Tracy” Raissis

Women in Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is all about the power to innovate and determine how new ideas can be formed, according to Anastasia “Tracy” Raissis, director of Worldwide Financial Risk and Economic Development at Amazon Web Services (AWS). The business executive was the keynote speaker for Georgian Court University’s 2021 Celebration of Entrepreneurship. The event, held October 20-22, looked at the power of the side hustle and how a business shifts during challenging times.

Everything stems from innovation, according to Ms. Raissis. “Innovation is not just about making new things, it’s also about making things new,” she said. “It’s a transformative process and part of the art of possibility.”

Ms. Raissis drew on her decades of experience to address GCU faculty, students, and guests. In addition to being a thought leader and mentor, she is also known for being skilled in building and leading effective teams. Her career includes leadership in many areas, including governance, risk and compliance programs, and digital innovations for domestic and international institutions.

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GCU’s Disability Awareness Panel Focuses on Experiences of Students with Different Abilities

Respect Sign GCU

People living with disabilities want to be seen and heard just like anyone else, according to several Georgian Court University students who spoke candidly at a recent Disability Awareness Month event.

An October 5 panel discussion, hosted by GCU’s Academic Development & Support Center (ADSC), included students with disabilities such as autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, hearing impairments, cerebral palsy, and more. The group shared personal experiences and shared insight for their peers and university professionals.

The college students also answered questions relating to COVID-19 and the additional challenges posed by the pandemic. A student who is hard of hearing couldn’t read lips because of masks and found that some people spoke softer when wearing a mask—problems that made the student feel a loss of human connection. Click here to continue reading.

Real-Life Learning About Health Policy

2021 Health Presentations

Race, gender, geography, income, and other factors influence health care in so many ways. These are matters that don’t just influence how we live, but also how well we live. From government-subsidized health care to addiction counseling, there are so many issues that shape health policy.

GCU health sciences and health profession studies students explored the intersection of these issues during Wellness Week. The event included public presentations, held outdoors so that anyone could take time to learn more. Their presentations covered a range of topics including smoking, PPE, mental health, heart health, and healthcare access. Faculty members Sachiko Komagata, Ph.D., and Donna Cetroni, RN, ’05 sponsored the event as part of their HRP351 Health Policy course.

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Georgian Court Earns 2021 Accolades from Colleges of Distinction

Georgian Court Student Laptops

Georgian Court University has once again been recognized by Colleges of Distinction, which assesses higher education institutions in four areas that reflect a fulfilling undergraduate education: Student Engagement, Teaching, Community, and Outcomes. GCU, one of 11 New Jersey four-year colleges named in The Best Colleges for You – Colleges of Distinction 2021, was first named to this select list in 2015.

“The Colleges of Distinction evaluators truly understand what excellence in the undergraduate experience looks like, so we are very pleased Georgian Court meets its rigorous standards,” said Chris Krzak, GCU vice president for enrollment and retention. “Our inclusion affirms the feedback we receive from students and alumni, and at the same time, challenges us not to rest on our laurels. We constantly look for opportunities to build on the Georgian Court experience for students, in and out of the classroom.”

In addition to overall honors, the program recognized GCU in six other categories: as a Catholic College of Distinction and a New Jersey College of Distinction; for its career development offerings; and for its undergraduate degree programs in business, nursing, and education.

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Program Enrolling Students with Intellectual Disabilities

Transition and Career Studies Program

Transition and Career Studies (TCS), a new Georgian Court University inclusive education program for students with intellectual disabilities, is well underway. Curriculum is approved, staff are hired, residential living plans are complete, and faculty are being trained. The first few students are already enrolled, too, says program director Susan E. O. Field, Ph.D.

Last fall, Georgian Court University was awarded a nearly $2.5 million grant for the program through the federal Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities. For qualified students, TCS provides an opportunity to learn in college classrooms, live on the GCU campus, and engage with typically enrolled students through clubs, sports, and campus events. At the end of four years, successful TCS students receive a Board of Trustees-approved certificate of completion.

“Students with intellectual disabilities who complete college-based programs like ours are more likely to be gainfully employed than those who do not,” says Dr. Field, a GCU professor of psychology. “They’re more likely to live independently. We want them to grow intellectually, but we also want them to grow socially. And we want them to develop vocational skills and to identify and obtain not just a job, but a career.”

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Georgian Court Gallery Presents “Where Is This?” Exhibit by Bart Lentini

Exhibit by Bart Lentini
Georgian Court University’s M. Christina Geis Art Gallery is excited to present “Where is This?,” a solo exhibition by New Jersey-based photographer Bart Lentini, from October 13 through November 17. Mr. Lentini specializes in events and portraitures and has a passion for adventure and exploring. His photography reflects how he views society, finding the passing of time and the effect it has on civilization interesting.

You can preview more of Mr. Lentini’s work on his Instagram at @Bartlentini. You can also learn more by visiting his website at

“This collection of images gives a glimpse into the eyes of an explorer, an individual watching the world change on a journey from paved roads of great cities to forgotten structures reclaimed by time,” says Mr. Lentini. “These structures reflect the fragility of life and in turn, how society and its structures are transient. While much of the world is focused on the progress and the future of humanity, I choose to turn that attention on the futility of great achievements of the past. The physical manifestations of human success are always subject to the face of time. Those structures that society deems unimportant are then reclaimed by nature and are transformed.”

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President Joseph Marbach Named Chair of ICUNJ Trustee Board

Joseph Marbach

GCU President Joseph R. Marbach, Ph.D., is the new Board of Trustees chair for the Independent Colleges and Universities in New Jersey (ICUNJ). The organization represents 14 independent higher education institutions from throughout the state, including Georgian Court.

Dr. Marbach was also recently named to ROI-NJ’s Higher Education 2021 Honor Roll, part of the 2021 ROI Influencers: Higher Education list, which “is a way to recognize the schools, the presidents, the deans and directors, the doers and the donors that made higher education possible during the most uncertain of times.” The list notes that Dr. Marbach “has the 113-year institution headed in the right direction, with new programs for first-generation students and adults returning to school.”              

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