UCC receives three 2020 ACCT Northeast Regional Awards

CRANFORD, NJ — Union County College was recognized with three 2020 Northeast Regional Awards from the Association of Community College Trustees, according to an Aug. 13 press release. The awards recognize the Union County College boards of trustees and governors with the 2020 Equity Award; UCC President Margaret McMenamin with the 2020 Chief Executive Officer Award; and UCC secretary of the boards Jaime Segal with the 2020 Professional Board Staff Member Award. The awards will be given at the Regional Awards Presentation, which will be held virtually during the 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,” UCC board of trustees Chairperson Victor Richel said. “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 6,500 elected and appointed trustees who govern more than 1,100 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 the board of an institution that achieves equity in the college’s education programs and services and in the administration and delivery of those programs and services. UCC’s boards of trustees and governors received this award for their support of the college’s Project Achievement initiative, in which black 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 initiative in 2013, the black male graduation rate has more than quadrupled.

The Marie Y. Martin Chief Executive Officer Award is given to CEOs who demonstrate a commitment to excellence in advancing the community college movement. 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 serve UCC students with a modern, real-world approach to student services, she established new student services centers — single locations on campus where students can find assistance with admissions, placement testing, financial aid, student accounts and advising — at the Cranford and Elizabeth campuses. In addition to having served as chairperson of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, McMenamin serves on many national, state and local boards.

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. 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 a week when the pandemic hit in March. She also serves as the college’s records custodian and ensures that UCC is compliant with New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act. Segal’s background in law is particularly useful in this role.