CRANFORD – Union County College was recognized with three 2020 Northeast Regional Awards from the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT). The awards recognized the Union County College Boards of Trustees and Governors with the 2020 Equity Award, Union’s President Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin with the 2020 Chief Executive Officer Award, and the College’s Secretary of the Boards Dr. Jaime Segal with the 2020 Professional Board Staff Member Award. The awards will be given at the Regional Awards Presentation that will be held during the virtual 51st Annual ACCT Leadership Congress in October 2020.
“Thank you to the ACCT for acknowledging the excellent work being done at Union County College. We are grateful to be recognized in three categories this year,” stated Union County College Board of Trustees Chair Victor M. Richel. “We have an amazing group of board volunteers, a fearless leader in Dr. McMenamin, and dedicated staff members like Dr. Segal, who are committed to fulfilling our mission, ‘Transforming Our Community, One Student at a Time.’ Since the pandemic hit in March, their dedication to push forward and bring about positive change during challenging times has allowed the College to continue to provide Union students with the high-quality and affordable education they deserve.”
The ACCT represents more than 6500 elected and appointed trustees who govern more than 1100 community colleges throughout the United States. The ACCT annually recognizes trustees and other community college leaders in each of its five regions for their contributions.
The Charles Kennedy Equity Award is given to an institution’s board that achieves equity in the college’s education programs and services and in the administration and delivery of those programs and services. Union’s Boards of Trustees and Governors received this award for their support of the College’s Project Achievement initiative in which African American males are given dynamic advising and real-world exposure such as college visits and cultural exploration to inspire these students to “achieve.” From the start of the program in 2013, the initiative has more than quadrupled the African-American male graduation rate.
The Marie Y. Martin Chief Executive Officer Award is given to CEOs who demonstrate a commitment to excellence in advancing the community college movement. Dr. McMenamin received this award for multiple accomplishments, one being the many initiatives she has spearheaded that led the College’s overall graduation rates to quadruple. To better service our students with a modern real-world approach to student services, she established new Student Services Centers at our Cranford and Elizabeth campuses, where students can go to a single location on campus and find assistance with admissions, placement testing, financial aid, student accounts, and advising. In addition to having served as the Chair of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Dr. McMenamin serves on many national, state, and local boards. Dr. McMenamin is passionate about Union’s students and the transformative impact of education, not just on the individual student but on the whole community. Her mission is to eradicate the obstacles to success faced by Union students and to give them the pathway to the American Dream they deserve.
The Professional Board Staff Member Award was established in 2001 and is given to any board staff member in recognition of exemplary service to boards. Dr. Jaime Segal has provided astounding support of the Boards in her three years in the position. One of her most notable achievements was when she converted the monthly in-person board meeting to a virtual event in less than one week’s time when the pandemic hit in March 2020. She also serves as the College’s Records Custodian and ensures that Union is compliant with New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act (OPRA). Dr. Segal’s background in law is particularly useful in this role. From her training and experience she considers all implications, both positive and negative of all scenarios, and is careful in her approach to communicating all messages to both protect and enhance Union’s reputation.