CRANFORD, NJ — Union College of Union County, NJ hosted its annual convocation on Tuesday, Sept. 5. The convocation, traditionally the day before fall classes start, marks the beginning of the new academic year at UCUC. This year’s convocation theme was “Navigating the Future of Learning and Work” and featured keynote speaker Maria Flynn, president and CEO of Jobs for the Future. JFF is a national nonprofit that drives transformation in the American workforce and education systems.
Prior to Flynn’s keynote, UCUC’s president, Margaret M. McMenamin, provided a “State of the College,” with remarks from Dr. Sara N. Lacagnino, UCUC’s assistant vice president for Academic Affairs and dean of Curriculum and Accreditation, who is chairperson of the college’s Futures Task Force. Following Flynn’s keynote, she facilitated a panel featuring Dr. Aaron Fichtner, president of the New Jersey Council of County Colleges; Sarah S. Keh, vice president of Inclusive Solutions at Prudential Financial; Susan Benavente, UCUC Class of ’20 alumna and a current security analyst at a large New Jersey corporation; and Colin Newman, director of Workforce & Economic Development for Amazon. The college has been an Amazon Career Choice partner, thanks to the leadership from state Senate President Nicholas P. Scutari and the Union County Commissioners, who were instrumental in forging this partnership. UCUC’s 2023 convocation focused on how to prepare college students for the workforce of tomorrow.
“We are thankful that Maria Flynn, along with the panelists, shared their expertise and advice with our faculty and staff. Their outlook on the future of the workforce in America is illuminating and reiterates that we must remain agile and nimble to meet workforce needs in our region. We proudly continue to offer an excellent and affordable education to the Union County community, whether someone is a first-time college student, or they are a returning adult trying to learn a new skill or earn an industry credential,” McMenamin said.
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Ortuso