About Cumberland

Cumberland County College celebrates Presidential Inauguration

Monday, May 8, 2017
Hundreds of county and local officials, dignitaries from other colleges and universities, members of the community, student leaders, faculty and staff witnessed the installation of Yves Salomon-Fernandez, Ph.D. as the seventh president of Cumberland County College, on Friday, May 5.

inauguration platformThe inauguration processional featured delegates from 15 colleges from throughout the eastern United States. The list of honored guests included Dr. Régine Isabelle Joseph from Queens College, who delivered personal reflections; NJ Council of County Colleges President, Dr. Lawrence Nespoli; Cumberland County Freeholder Director, Joseph Derella; and former Cumberland County College president, Dr. Thomas Isekenegbe who now serves as president of Bronx Community College, among many others.

Lauren Fazenbaker singing National AnthemDr. Lawrence NespoliAhmad Graves-ElDr. Joseph PedullaDr. Regine Josephpresentation of presidential medallionDuring the installation, Dr. Salomon-Fernandez was presented with the presidential medallion, an academic symbol representing the authority of the presidency. The medallion incorporates the college seal and is worn by the president during ceremonial occasions.

At this milestone event, Dr. Salomon-Fernandez introduced her vision for the future of Cumberland County College: Creating Hope and Opportunity.

“I see your potential Cumberland. Why not be bold? Why not be daring with our aspirations,” said Dr. Salomon-Fernandez in her inaugural address. “We are the little college, the little community that can. Cumberland, I challenge you to educate every young person and every adult who wants to better him or herself through education, who wants to work. Yes, you can, Cumberland. Your time is now. Our time is now.”

Prior to arriving at Cumberland County College in June 2006, Dr. Salomon-Fernandez served as Interim President at Massachusetts Bay Community College, where she previously served as a dean and vice president, overseeing strategic planning, grants development, assessment and external partnerships.

An immigrant to the United States from Haiti, Dr. Salomon-Fernandez knows first-hand how education can transform the lives of first-generation students, as well as the importance of maintaining higher education as a legacy for families. She sees Cumberland County College as a catalyst for propelling students and alumni, from all walks of life, to successful, impactful careers and meaningful lives.

Dr. Salomon-Fernandez earned her Ph.D. in Educational Research, Measurement and Evaluation from Boston College, her master’s degree in Economic History from the London School of Economics, and her bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Massachusetts Boston. She also holds a certificate from the University of Oxford in England. In addition to English, she is fluent in Spanish, French and Haitian Creole.

Over the course of her career in higher education, Dr. Salomon-Fernandez has been credited with significantly increasing engagement with industry and community-based organizations. “I remain committed to ensuring that quality affordable higher education and vocational/technical training remain as pathways for social mobility for the working and middle classes,” she said.