Who has the Access C.O.D.E.?
Positioning a Generation for the Best Careers, Opportunities and Diversity through Education
Where: Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City, McIntyre Room in Dinneen Hall
When: Friday, November 16, 2012 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
8:30 – 9:00 Continental Breakfast & Registration
9:00 –9:15 Conference Kick-off & Welcome
Presentation of Award to Ed Bullock, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at L’Oreal
for “Pursuit of Excellence in Higher Education”
9:15 – 9:45 Keynote Address: Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, Esq. of the Passaic County Courts
As the first Latina county prosecutor in the state and the first woman prosecutor in Passaic
County, Valdes is a shining example of career success through education. Valdes is currently
the youngest sitting county prosecutor in New Jersey. “If you believe, like I do, that your
background contributes to how you see the world, then the benefit of having a diverse
workforce or educational institution—is obvious,” says Valdes, who was raised in Newark
where she attended the public school system. She earned her undergraduate degree from
Seton Hall University, her law degree from Rutgers Law School-Newark, and her LL.M. in Trial
Advocacy from Temple University.
9:45 - 11:00 Keynote Response Panel
Moderator: Elizabeth Williams-Riley, President of American Conference on Diversity
Camlia Valdes, Esq.
Ebony Thomas, Prudential, Director of Campus & Diversity Recruiting
Dr. Rochelle Hendricks, Commissioner of Higher Education in New Jersey
11:00 – 12:15 Afternoon Workshops Session 1
1. Navigating Diversity: The role of corporate, non-profit and government employers in positioning
this diverse generation in the modern workplace.
As the most diverse state in the Union, New Jersey enjoys a truly diverse workforce. This workshop will
explore the role of corporate, non-profit, and government employers have to play in positioning this
generation of future workers. It will explore how best to navigate the diversity New Jersey has to offer by
addressing communication styles, buying powers, and the benefits of diversity to the workplace.
o Jennifer Santiago, Enterprise
o Detective Keisha Higgs, Morris County Prosecutor’s Office
o Chief William Schievella of the Morris County Prosecutor's Office
2. The Screwed Generation: Fact or Fiction?
This panel will examine the facts and fiction of the Newsweek article that created a media and
public conversation about the future of this generation of college students. Experience
author/speaker Dax Devlon-Ross as he shares his perspective about this issue, and then leads a
panel of recent alumni who are currently experiencing their own hope-filled career journeys.
o Presenters: Dax Devlon-Ross, Esq. Author & Facilitator
o Diane DaSilva, Centenary College, Hackettstown, NJ
o Sean Schofield, Recent Montclair State University alumus
o Recent Alumnus from St. Peter’s
3. School Choice: Making NJ Education More - or Less - Accessible?
Does school choice in New Jersey benefit those who are most educationally at risk in New Jersey?
This workshop will look at this, and other questions, surrounding the educational options open to
NJ residents and their children.
o Henaz Bhatt, Director of Diversity, Kent Place School
o Krystal Williams, NJ State Program Director for Students for Education Reform
4. Multicultural Education: Serving the Underserved and Undocumented
The workshop will explore trends in the field of Multicultural Education, including best practices,
and the structural and pedagogical challenges towards the implementation of effective program
initiatives. This session will accomplish three main goals: (1) promoting cultural and linguistically
responsive curriculum through developing global competencies and media literacy skills; (2)
outlining role of the Dream Act in higher education; (3) showcasing multilingual multicultural
multimedia projects that teacher candidates created using 21st century tools. Through the global
media literacy activities, we will explore innovative interdisciplinary strategies for integrating 21st
century skills into the multicultural classrooms and how our students could gain global point of
view and renewed interest and commitment to multiculturalism and global education.
o Melda Yildiz, Kean University
12:15 – 1:30 Afternoon Workshops Session 2
5. Digital Access: Technology and the Digital Divide
This workshop will focus on access to and understanding often technology, the quality of
technology and of instruction, how various populations use technology (cross-cultural implications
of social media), student learning outcomes using online or hybrid courses, and the new free online
college degree models, etc. How do underserved populations in NJ connect, not connect - benefit or
not benefit from today's emphasis on technology and learning?
6. The Value of a General Liberal Arts Education and the Practical Application of Professional Studies:
Keys for Access and Professional Success
It is commonplace to say the marketplace is highly competitive and constantly changing. The
constant change is due to legal issues, new knowledge bases, technology growth and globalization.
Work today seems to require a multidisciplinary approach and new ways of thinking and doing.
The liberal arts and professional studies are sometimes viewed as being on different sides of the
spectrum regarding the academic preparation of students for life and work. This presentation will
explore the value these academic viewpoints bring to the discussion about 21st Century work
readiness and how these disciplines prepare students for successful entry into the global
marketplace and for the complexities of living and thriving in a diverse environment.
o Sandra Bloomberg, Dean of New Jersey City University (Professional Studies)
7. Access Beyond the Degree: Retooling and developing job skills to provide you access in a
Access to the academic community does not necessarily mean access to jobs immediately following
college. How can students and alumni be empowered to take advantage of access - wherever that
might be? This “working” workshop will empower students and recent alumni with alternative
ways of thinking about gaining experience and developing networks – and ultimately finding
employment – in their chosen career fields.
o Teri Corso, Director Career Services & Student Employment, College of Saint
o Enzo Fonzo, Director Career Center, St. Peter’s University
o Sandra Reilly, Director Cooperative Education and Internships
8. Affirmative Action and Diversity: The Legal Landscape for Access and Diversity Initiatives since the
The workshop will provide an overview of affirmative action and diversity within the context of
access to employment and educational opportunities. The use of programmatic diversity initiatives
have come under intense legal scrutiny, yet proponents of these efforts make the case for a
compelling need for these programs. The practical applications of affirmative action and diversity
programs will also be explored.
o John Sims, Director of Employment Equity and Diversity, William Paterson
o Charlie Williams, Director, Office of Affirmative Action Programs, Kean University
1:30 Lunch & Closing