CCC's Employees Helping Ensure Excellence


By Kenneth Ender, Ph.D., President

Cumberland County College is an incredible community of new and veteran employees committed to student success. Working as a team, the college’s employees accomplish much more than they would working on their own. Some of CCC’s newer employees include:

Professor Keesha Patterson traveled across America to teach English and journalism at CCC. Prior to starting her job in September, Patterson was an English professor at San Diego City College for three years. This fall, Patterson led the journalism students in producing outstanding issues of the college newspaper, which is an important part of the collegiate experience. Patterson, who was raised in Maryland, has a master’s degree in English from Morgan State University and a bachelor’s degree in communications from Towson University.

Agriculture/horticulture professor Nick Semeniuk is very recruitment minded because he knows it’s necessary to build the college’s program, which is the only program of its kind in southern New Jersey. A major theme of Semeniuk’s marketing approach is that agriculture and horticulture are high-level sciences just like engineering. Semeniuk, who was a teacher for 31 years at Buena High School and the Cumberland County Technical Educational Center, has a master’s degree in agriculture education from Rutgers University and bachelor’s degree in dairy husbandry/field crop production from Delaware Valley College.

Andrea Radford, the Fairleigh Dickinson University coordinator at CCC, was a Nursing major at CCC after graduating from Vineland High School. She made a career shift and transferred to FDU, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in communications. Through an FDU-CCC partnership, residents can earn a bachelor’s degree from FDU at Cumberland’s campus. Radford said she felt like she returned home when she began at CCC in August. Her mother, Beatrice Radford, was the outstanding Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) student in 1987. And Andrea Radford is serving as a volunteer adviser for the EOF Club.

Librarian Mary Thorstensen is a real proponent of CCC operating as a learning-centered institution. She was a librarian for the Brigantine Branch of the Atlantic County Library System before she began at CCC in the fall. Thorstensen and the rest of the library’s staff provide services that complement the college community’s quest for scholastic achievement. They guide students along the proper paths for academic success. In many ways, the library is where pride, service and excellence begin at Cumberland. Many students learn to research, study and succeed at the library.

Some employees excel at Cumberland, and utilize the experience as a springboard for professional opportunity. Dr. Robert Hancox, executive director, Business, Corporate and Professional Studies at CCC, will begin a new position in February as the vice president at the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology, near Philadelphia. Dr. Hancox implemented many new programs during his five-year tenure at CCC. He also assisted the college with reaching out to the business community. We’ll miss him.

This is but a sampling of our employee cohort. Whether with us for over 30 years as Sandy Evans, our soon to be retired Student Success Center director, or recently hired like Dr. Donna Bender, professor of education, our employees share two common characteristics: Their belief in the abilities of our students to succeed, and their common commitment to assuring that outcome. Cumberland County is the beneficiary of this excellent educational community.