Alumni Newsletter

Keeping our Alumni informed of Atlantic Cape activities

Atlantic Cape Adopts 'Brand' New Message

In October, Atlantic Cape introduced a powerful new brand message focusing on “opportunity,” a color scheme that harkens back to the college’s founding, and a new abbreviation to replace “ACCC.”

Following a two-year branding process that included extensive research and input from stakeholders, the college adopted a new brand positioning statement, marketing messages and tagline. The college also returned to its traditional red and blue color scheme that dates to the school’s 1966 opening, replacing the blue and teal palette in use since Atlantic Community College became Atlantic Cape Community College in 1999.

At the Mays Landing campus, the electronic signboard has been re-skinned with the new college colors

At the Mays Landing campus, the electronic signboard has been re-skinned with the new college colors.

When the college undertook the branding project, with support from the Atlantic Cape Community College Foundation, it set out to discover and define Atlantic Cape’s brand identity and marketplace position, determine appropriate and effective messages to be communicated to key audiences, integrate the brand with the college’s mission, and enhance awareness of the college’s Blueprint 2020 Master Plan and upcoming fundraising efforts.

“With the transformational changes taking place at Atlantic Cape through Blueprint 2020--our facilities master plan--we felt this branding project was vital to help us tell our story to internal and external college audiences,” said Dr. Peter Mora, president. “For the college to build needed financial support going forward, it’s essential that we raise the profile and enhance the image of the school.”

Focus panel and telephone survey research conducted by the CLARUS Corporation, a firm specializing in community college branding, sought to uncover words and messages that would resonate with audiences the college depends on for its success. Over and over, the theme of “opportunity” was mentioned when respondents talked about the college and the transformational role it plays in its service area.

“We truly create opportunity for the people and organizations in Atlantic and Cape May counties,” Dr. Mora said. “We offer high-quality, affordable and accessible education, we respond quickly to business and industry workforce training needs, and for more than 40 years we have prepared future community and business leaders.”

Atlantic Cape’s new logo

Atlantic Cape’s new logo.

Here are some elements of the new “brand”:

  • A new tagline, “Opportunity Starts Here,” or “Your Opportunity Starts Here” when addressed to students, will appear in advertising, student recruitment and marketing materials.
  • An advertising campaign, featuring successful Atlantic Cape alumni and articulating key marketing messages uncovered in the branding research. The campaign includes print, radio, television, outdoor, transit and online advertising.
  • A new abbreviation for Atlantic Cape Community College, “Atlantic Cape,” has replaced ACCC when talking about the college on second reference.

Brand Positioning Statement

Dr. Mora said the brand positioning statement adopted sets the foundation on which the rest of the brand platform is built. It reads: “Atlantic Cape Community College plays an essential role in the development and growth of Atlantic and Cape May counties by providing education and training, based on anticipating and responding to community needs.”

For more information about Atlantic Cape’s new brand, visit

New Athletics Identity Updates the 'Bucs'

Atlantic Cape also unveiled its new athletics identity this fall, a red and blue Buccaneer pirate ship sailing on a sea of blue. As a secondary mark, the ‘Bucs’ teams will sport crossed cutlasses with the linked letters “A” and “C” on their athletic uniforms.

“Having a strong athletic identity is a key component in being a great athlete,” said Carmen Royal, dean of students. “Atlantic Cape’s new athletic identity clearly defines who we are. Both men and women athletes can proudly call themselves true Buccaneers.”

The college’s new athletics identity is the Buccaneer pirate ship

The college’s new athletics identity is the Buccaneer pirate ship.

The new look, prompted by Dr. Mora’s push to expand the college’s intercollegiate athletics program, was the result of a creative interaction between Student Government Association leaders, athletics, and college relations staffers.

In the last three years, Atlantic Cape has gone from two intercollegiate sports--co-ed archery and men’s basketball--to seven with the addition of men’s soccer, women’s basketball, men’s baseball, women’s softball and women’s volleyball. In addition, a co-ed golf team is expected to debut as a club sport in spring 2011 with full intercollegiate status expected in 2012. The team will be based at the Mays Landing Golf and Country Club.

“It is very important to note that our commitment to expanding sports and fitness programs is based on providing opportunities for student engagement with the college outside of class,” Dr. Mora said. “The literature in higher education strongly indicates that increased opportunity for student engagement, as provided by sports and fitness programs along with other types of activities, will contribute to higher levels of student retention and graduation. Support for sports and fitness programs is an investment in student success.”

For more information about Atlantic Cape’s new brand, visit

Construction is on the Horizon at Atlantic Cape

A series of building projects are in the works at Atlantic Cape’s Mays Landing, Atlantic City and Cape May Court House campuses as part of Blueprint 2020, the master plan of ongoing construction projects at the college for the next decade.

The heart of the plan is the construction of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) building, on the Mays Landing Campus, adjacent to D building. This project marks the first new building at the campus since 1991.

STEM Building rendering

STEM Building rendering.

The STEM building’s design will incorporate a palette of materials and colors that complement the colors, textures and scale of current campus buildings, while maintaining the natural quality of the campus landscape.

The 32,475-square-foot, two-story facility will feature classrooms, science labs, computer labs, office space and a partially vegetated roof with walkways.

“The building will include a café, patio, and learning lobbies flooded with natural light,” said Dr. Richard Perniciaro, dean of facilities, planning and research.

Exterior building materials will feature brick cavity wall construction on the first floor; insulated metal panel walls on the second floor and penthouse; and glass window walls in the two-story atrium/lobby.

The building will also be home to the new Air Traffic Control degree program and Technology Studies Institute.

“The Air Traffic Control Training Center with a tower simulator, radar simulator, meteorological equipment and an astronomy platform with two telescopes will be housed in the new building, and the entire facility will be wireless with in-class technology like the Cape May County Campus,” Perniciaro said.

Designed by Burt Hill Architects, the $16 million project will receive LEED Silver certification for its “green” design, and has a projected completion date of June 2012.

Atlantic Cape’s parking lots will also “go green.” The college will enter a Power Purchase Agreement with Pepco Energy, Inc., to lease land in parking lots at its Mays Landing and Cape May County campuses to install solar arrays. The college will purchase the energy generated at a discounted rate to help power the college. The project is scheduled to be complete by September 2011.

Hospitality Studies Center rendering

Hospitality Studies Center rendering.

At Atlantic Cape’s Worthington Atlantic City Campus, planning is under way for the construction of a new, approximately 20,000-square-foot-building, which will provide training to fulfill the need for skilled workers for Atlantic City’s hospitality industry.

The Hospitality Studies Center for Workforce Training will train workers for the hospitality and culinary arts industries within the region. The continuing education technical training facility will include two teaching kitchens, classrooms, offices, a mock hotel room and a rooftop garden.

Funded by a grant from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and Atlantic County government, this $10 million project is expected to open its doors in spring 2013.

The Central Plant on the college’s Mays Landing Campus (F building) is undergoing a major upgrade this year to provide more capacity for the new STEM building, and to allow the college to eliminate its oil storage tank.

For additional information about Atlantic Cape’s ongoing construction projects, visit

College to Launch Air Traffic Control Degree in January; Info Session Dec. 8

Atlantic Cape will offer a new degree in 2011 for students who have their sights set on a fast-paced, exciting career. The Air Traffic Control Terminal Associate in Applied Science degree program prepares students for entry-level jobs as air traffic controllers and employment with federal, private and military services, where trained professionals are in great demand.

The FAA intends to hire and train 15,000 new air traffic controllers over the next decade. Atlantic Cape is the only college in New Jersey and the Philadelphia region offering the training. The median annual wage for air traffic controllers in 2009 was $109,850, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

The program provides practical and conceptual knowledge through a mix of coursework and hands-on learning with a simulator at the college’s Mays Landing Campus. Training will cover the application of air traffic control procedures, non-radar/radar air traffic control procedures, and control tower operations training. Atlantic Cape is pursuing FAA Collegiate Training Initiative status.

Students who complete the degree program at Atlantic Cape will be prepared to take the Federal Aviation Administration’s Air Traffic Selection and Training exam, a requirement to continue studies at the FAA’s national training academy in Oklahoma City.

Interested students must complete an application to the program and take an assessment test. Graduates of Atlantic Cape’s program must meet the FAA Air Traffic Control standards for employment, and should: be a U.S. citizen; speak English clearly; be younger than 28 years old at the start of the FAA program; pass an aptitude test; be recommended by Atlantic Cape, and other criteria.

Anyone interested in learning more about this exciting career path should attend the Air Traffic Control degree program information session, 6 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 8, in the Walter Edge Theater at the Mays Landing Campus, 5100 Black Horse Pike.

For more information on the Air Traffic Control degree program, contact James Taggart at (609) 343-4950 or visit

Alumni Updates

ACA graduate Michael Schlow, ’87, executive chef and owner of Radius and Via Matta restaurants in Boston, was featured in Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine for his Thanksgiving Eve cocktail kick-off party ideas, which include Blackberry-Sage Fizzes, Via Matta Meatballs and “Magic” Pickled Carrots. In addition, Schlow’s newest restaurant venture is Tico in Boston, slated to open in 2011. Although an American restaurant at its core, the dishes are gently influenced by the celebrity chef’s travels through Spain, Mexico, and Latin America. Read more at:

Chef Educator Michael Huber wrote an article for The Press of Atlantic City about Steve White, a former ACA student, who opened his own gourmet cheese chop, Seaside Cheese Company, in West Cape May.

ACA graduate Dawn Collins was featured in the Courier-Post story “The Bistro in Elmer is both home and business to chef.”

Paige Puentes, an ACA graduate, was featured in a The Press of Atlantic City brief about her promotion to assistant pastry chef at Icon Hospitality of Galloway.

ACA graduate Georgeann Leaming ’99, chef at Casa di Napoli restaurant in Showboat Casino, prepared a low-cal crab and shrimp pasta dish on MyFoxPhilly’s “Good Day” on Monday, Sept. 20.

Patty Wristbridge, an ACA graduate, was featured in The Press of Atlantic City about her role as director of catering and special events at Mays Landing Golf & Country Club.

ACA graduate Jason Hippen ’03, was featured in an article in The Press of Atlantic City about fall grilling. Hippen owns the trendy Jay’s on Third in Stone Harbor and is an adjunct instructor at the ACA.

Atlantic Cape Plans Solar Project; Ranked as One of Largest in the State

Atlantic Cape will enter into a 20-year power purchase agreement with Pepco Energy Services, Inc., for a solar photovoltaic power project at the college’s Mays Landing and Cape May County campuses. Pepco Energy will design, own and operate one of the largest land-based solar systems in New Jersey.

The photovoltaic system includes the installation of carports in four parking lots on the Mays Landing and Cape May County campuses. About 80 percent of the carport arrays will be at the Mays Landing Campus. Installation is scheduled to begin in March and be completed by September.

Rendering of photovoltaic system to be installed at the Mays Landing and Cape May County campuses

Rendering of photovoltaic system to be installed at the Mays Landing and Cape May County campuses.

“The solar energy initiative at Atlantic Cape Community College is an excellent example of using innovative strategies to promote energy sustainability as a key step in fulfilling our institutional commitment to environmental stewardship in two counties,” said Dr. Peter L. Mora, Atlantic Cape president. “The solar project will truly establish a green legacy for Atlantic Cape.”

The solar photovoltaic system will generate up to 48 percent of Atlantic Cape’s total annual electric consumption, at a set rate, independent of market rates. By entering into the agreement, Atlantic Cape will realize savings of $220,000 the first year, and up to $6.8 million over the 20-year life of the contract. The electricity generated per year will be equivalent to the amount needed to power approximately 220 homes.

Atlantic Cape Faculty, Staff Volunteer for 'Pie-the-Professor' Fundraiser

The Campus Ambassadors Club of the Cape May County Campus pied Joan Dillon, academic advisor in the Career & Academic Planning Center.

She was one of 10 faculty and staff members participating in the fundraiser, where the campus community could vote for the person they’d most like to see take a pie in the face by placing cash donations in their jar.

Pie-the-Professor fundraising event

From left, Matt Cohen of North Cape May, president of Atlantic Cape Community College's Cape May County Campus Ambassadors Club pies Joan Dillon of Cape May, academic advisor in the Career & Academic Planning Center, as part of a Pie-the-Professor fundraising event that raised nearly $200 for the Free Meal Center in Cape May Court House.

Dillon received the most donations, and the fundraiser brought in about $200 for the Free Meal Center in Cape May Court House.

She took a whipped cream pie to the face in front of students and staff.

Cape May County Campus Celebrates 5th Anniversary at Community Day

Atlantic Cape faculty, staff and members of the community attended Community Day, a celebration of the 5-year anniversary of the opening of the Cape May County Campus on Oct. 13, at CMCC.

Community Day offerings included campus tours, music by students, refreshments, a larger-than-life anniversary card for guests to sign, a live radio broadcast, and the opportunity to visit a class in session.

Cape May County Campus 5 year anniversarySince opening its doors in 2005, the Cape May County Campus has experienced a 26 percent growth in credit enrollment; educated nearly 30 percent of all graduating Cape May County high school seniors; provided customized training to more than 40 area businesses; and played host to more than 100 public and private events.

Register for Winter, Spring Courses

There is still time to register for Winter and Spring session classes at Atlantic Cape. Registration is under way for new and returning students at all campuses and online. For specific hours for in-person registration, visit

Registration is held at the Mays Landing Campus, 5100 Black Horse Pike, Mays Landing; Worthington Atlantic City Campus, 1535 Bacharach Blvd., Atlantic City; and Cape May County Campus, 341 Court House-South Dennis Road, Cape May Court House.

For additional information, contact Enrollment Services at (609) 343-5005 or; or visit

Atlantic Cape Offers Online Training for Busy Professionals

Upgrade your current skills, gain fresh knowledge and develop new talents in the comfort of your own home by enrolling in online training courses through Atlantic Cape’s Continuing Education division.

Concentrations cover Business, Grant Writing/Nonprofits, Career Ideas, Career Development, Personal Enrichment, Test Preparation and more.

Courses run the gamut from Employment Law Fundamentals to Resume Writing Workshop, Paralegal Certificate Program I, Hidden Market Job Search Strategies and the Magic of Hypnosis.

Most classes are $99. All students need to get started is Internet access, an e-mail address and Web browser. Each course begins every six weeks and consists of 12 lessons, interactive quizzes, assignments, tutorials and online discussion areas.

For more information, call (609) 343-4829, or visit

Restaurant Gala Raises $165,000 for Student Scholarships in 2010

The 27th anniversary Atlantic Cape Community College Restaurant Gala raised $165,000 for student scholarships at the Academy of Culinary Arts and Atlantic Cape and featured more than 30 of the region’s top restaurants at the March 11 event.

Bally’s Atlantic City hosted the annual fundraiser, which featured a lively, Moroccan-inspired theme, “A Mo’Rockin Night.” The event showcased the talents of the culinary students at the Academy of Culinary Arts, who prepared thousands of sumptuous hot and cold hors d’oeuvres served during cocktail hour.

Culinary student Joshua Miller prepares hors d’oeuvres at the 2010 Gala

Culinary student Joshua Miller prepares hors d’oeuvres at the 2010 Gala.

The Atlantic Cape Foundation honored former Academy student and Food Network chef, Aaron McCargo Jr., for his culinary success; and Joe Domenico, senior vice president and general manager of Bally’s Atlantic City, for his commitment to the casino industry, the community and the Restaurant Gala.

Event sponsors included Bally’s Atlantic City, Cape Bank Charitable Foundation, Trump Entertainment Resorts, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, and Newschannel NBC-40.

The 28th annual Gala will be held March 31, 2011, at Bally’s Atlantic City and will feature a roaring ’20s theme. For more information on the Restaurant Gala, visit, become a fan of the Gala on Facebook, and follow the event on Twitter: AtlCapeRestGala.

Golf Tournament Raises $27,000 for Students

The 2010 Atlantic Cape Community College “Scramble Fore Scholarships” golf tournament raised more than $27,000 for student aid. Held Oct. 15 at Cape May National Golf Club in Cape May, the tournament drew 102 players.

Proceeds from the event will be used for scholarships for students attending Atlantic Cape. Harrah’s Resort, Cape May National Golf Club, the Chalfonte Hotel, the Cape May County Herald and WMGM NBC-40 were major sponsors of the tournament.

Benefits of Membership

Membership in the Atlantic Cape Alumni Association, which is open to all students who have received a degree or completed the culinary arts program, will provide you with meaningful discounts and benefits while keeping you informed about the people, programs and events at your alma mater.

With your membership, you can receive a 10 percent discount at the Follett bookstore, excluding textbooks and food items. Alumni can receive a discount on clothing, school and office supplies, calendars, greeting cards, computer software, trade and reference books, specialty gifts and clearance items. To receive the discount, members must show a current membership letter. Bookstore hours are as posted at each campus. For information, call the bookstore at (609) 343-5130.