Alumni Newsletter

Keeping our Alumni informed of Atlantic Cape activities

Former Student is 'Next Food Network Star'

Former student Aaron McCargo Jr. was named the “Next Food Network Star” July 27. McCargo, who attended classes at ACCC and the Academy of Culinary Arts from 1989-90, lives in Camden.

Aaron McCargo

Aaron McCargo/Food Network

After 10 weeks of competition on the Food Network, judges selected McCargo to host a new show on the network. McCargo hosts six episodes of “Big Daddy's House,” airing Sundays at 1:30 p.m., where he dishes up big, bold flavors. Visit for more information.

ACA Begins 'What’s Cooking' Television Show

Home chefs can receive expert cooking advice from the professionals at the Academy of Culinary Arts through the new “What’s Cooking” show.

The 90-second segment airs Mondays during the 5 p.m. news on WMGM-TV/NBC 40 through Oct. 27.

Chef Bruce Johns preps tomatoes

Chef Bruce Johns preps tomatoes during production of ‘What’s Cooking’ at Johnson’s Appliances in July.

Each episode is packed with tips for preparing delicious, seasonal recipes, like Soft Shell Crabs, Fried Tomatoes and Jersey Cioppino. As the weather cools, segments will include instruction on tasty treats like Chicken Francaise, Butternut Squash Soup and Chocolate Ganache.

Director of Culinary Operations Bruce Johns of Marmora and Chef Educator Annmarie Chelius of Ocean City appear in the segments, which were filmed in July using the fully equipped display kitchens at Johnson’s Appliances and Bedding.

All recipes are available on the “What’s Cooking” Web site after the episodes air so viewers can recreate the dishes at home. The site is accessible through

Alumni Invited to Play in Oct. 3 Golf Tournament

Players are needed for ACCC’s “Scramble Fore Scholarships,” planned for Friday, Oct. 3, at Cape May National Golf Club in Cape May. Partnering with the ACCC Foundation, CMNGC will host the tournament to raise scholarship money. The tournament will follow a scramble format, beginning with a shotgun-start at 12:30 p.m. Player fees, which include an event polo shirt, lunch and a dinner awards reception, are $125 per person.

Individuals and businesses can also participate in six sponsorship package opportunities ranging in price from $100 to $7,500. Last year’s event raised $23,000 for ACCC scholarships.

Located on Route 9 near renowned Victorian Cape May, and centrally located along one of the world’s most famous bird migration flyways, Cape May National has been recognized as one of the most naturally beautiful courses in the United States.

For sponsorship or player information, call Sean Fischer at (609) 343-5674 or visit

Alumni Updates

April M. Pashley ’07 of Egg Harbor Township has been mobilized and activated for future deployment at an undisclosed overseas location in the Iraqi war. Pashley received an associate in arts degree in childhood development and an associate in science degree in general studies. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the national honor society for community college students.

ACA graduate Jason Hippen ’05 recently opened a fine dining restaurant in Stone Harbor called Jay’s on Third (formerly Fish Tales). Hippen has worked at many prestigious dining establishments across the country, including Buddakan at the Pier at Caesars, Morimoto in Philadelphia and Sumile in New York City. Hippen describes his menu as new American cuisine with global influences.

Alumni updates

Meghan Lombardo ’05 is engaged to Matthew Riess. After earning an education degree from ACCC, Lombardo earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. She is a peer group case manager for Cape Counseling Services. A June 2009 wedding is planned.

Amanda Merlock ’05 and Joseph Malecki ’05 were married March 29. The newlyweds met in sociology class their freshman year at ACCC.

Rebecca Hurst ’03 is engaged to Kyle Sciullo. The future bride and groom, who live in Mays Landing, plan a 2009 wedding.

Mohammad Islam ’00 received the Adjunct Teaching Excellence Award at ACCC’s 2008 commencement. Islam, who is originally from Bangladesh, has been in the U.S. for 12 years. In addition to ACCC, he is a graduate of the distinguished Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Richard Stockton College. In addition to his position teaching math at ACCC, he teaches eighth grade English at the Uptown School Complex in Atlantic City.

ACA grad Michael England ’99, executive chef at the Atlantic City Palm, whipped up one of his signature dishes at the “Chefs at the Shore V” fundraiser, held at the Atlantic City Aquarium in Gardner’s Basin in June. The American Culinary Association’s Professional Chefs Association of South Jersey created this event to further its commitment to culinary training, education and humanitarian efforts in Atlantic City. His featured dish was Veal Scaloppini Martini.

Michael Schlow, ACA ’96, was featured in Food and Wine magazine’s July issue. “For years, Schlow has impressed Bostonians at both his fancy Asian-French Radius and the Italian Via Matta,” the article stated. “Now, with Alta Strada in Wellesley, he’s brought his top-notch Italian cooking to the suburbs.” In addition to his enormously popular Radius, which he opened in 1999, Schlow is executive chef and co-owner of two other Boston restaurants, Via Matta and Great Bay, and owner of Alta Strada, which reflects his affinity for regional Italian food. He opened a second Alta Strada in the MGM Grand at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn.

Karen Nelson ’95 ACA was featured in an article on Mother’s Day in The Press of Atlantic City about how she juggles being a mom and co-owner of Karen and Rei’s on Route 9 in Clermont.

We are sad to report the untimely passing of ACA graduate William Malachy Kraus ’94 of Hillsborough, who died suddenly in the Bahamas on May 30.

Chef Timothy Hand ’93 ACA was featured in an article in the Cape May County Gazette. Hand, who received a gold medal at graduation, recently turned a bait and tackle shop in Dennis Township into Capt. Tate’s Seafood Takeout. This is Hand’s first venture back in the kitchen in a number of years. A kitchen accident severely injured his arm nearly a decade ago, and doctors didn’t think he would be able to work in a restaurant again.

ACA graduate Jeffrey C. Lolli ’84 of Erial is a lecturer at Widener University. Lolli earned a master’s in Human Resource Management and bachelor’s in Hospitality Management from Widener. He has more than 18 years of experience in the hotel and gaming segments of the hospitality industry, with companies such as Wyndham Hotels, Sands Casino Hotel and Harrah’s Entertainment. Lolli held positions in both food and beverage and hotel operations. He is working toward completion of his doctorate in education. He is a member of the Professional Convention Management Association, CHRIE and is co-advisor of Widener University’s PCMA Student Chapter.

Fischbach Represents NJ, ACA in Great American Seafood Cook-off

Chef Peter Fischbach, a former Academy of Culinary Arts student, represented New Jersey at the Great American Seafood Cook-off Aug. 2-3, at the Louisiana Foodservice Expo in New Orleans. The competition featured 14 chefs from across the country preparing original seafood dishes.

Fischbach competes in the state seafood competition

Fischbach competes in the state seafood competition in January at the ACA.

Fischbach, of Elizabeth, attended the Academy from 1996-97, and is executive chef and food service director for Gourmet Dining Services at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark.

At the New Jersey preliminary round held in January in the Academy’s kitchens at ACCC, Fischbach beat out 10 other chefs with his Pan-Seared Local Black Bass.

Fischbach spent six months refining and improving his dish, which he prepared on day one of the cook-off. He finished sixth, narrowly missing the cutoff to compete as a finalist on day two of the fifth annual competition. John Currence, a New Orleans native representing Mississippi, was crowned seafood king.

The Food Network will televise the highlights of the event at 7 p.m., Sept. 12.

Interested in Earning More Credits? Register Now for Fall Classes

Registration is under way at all ACCC campuses for the fall semester. Registration continues through Tuesday, Aug. 29, which is the last day to register in person, by mail or fax. Regular in-person registration hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays. Extended registration hours from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. will be held Monday-Thursday, Aug. 25-28.

The college’s locations are: Mays Landing Campus, 5100 Black Horse Pike; the Charles D. Worthington Atlantic City Campus, 1535 Bacharach Blvd.; and the Cape May County Campus, 341 Court House-South Dennis Road, Cape May Court House.

Cash, personal checks, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express are accepted for registrations in person. Online registrations require payment by credit card only. To register online or view an updated schedule of courses, visit For a free schedule, call (609) 343-5000, 625-1111, ext. 5000, or 463-3958 in Cape May County.

ACA Earns American Culinary Federation Accreditation

ACCC’s Academy of Culinary Arts completed the American Culinary Federation accreditation process and was recently approved for the nationally recognized distinction. The American Culinary Federation Foundation Accrediting Commission (ACFFAC) approved the ACA’s accreditation in July.

ACF accreditation assures the Academy’s programs in Culinary Arts and Baking and Pastry meet the standards and competencies set for faculty, curriculum and student services.

“The ACA’s accreditation by the American Culinary Federation is a key component to ACCC’s commitment to excellence. ACCC’s increased focus on program-level accreditation/program review directly enhances our ability to foster student learning,” said Dr. Peter L. Mora, ACCC president. “The Academy of Culinary Arts, as an entity of Atlantic Cape Community College, is led by an expert and dedicated team of professionals whose mission it is to ensure that our students receive the best instruction in the best facilities at an affordable price. The ACF accreditation is further evidence of that mission being met and, no pun intended, is the icing on the already impressive cake of the Academy.”

To receive accreditation, the Academy submitted a self-study and participated in an on-site evaluation of the school in April by a three-person team. The Accrediting Commission reviewed the team report, along with the institution’s self-study, and awarded accreditation to the ACA through June 30, 2011.

“We have been working through the accreditation process with Atlantic Cape since February 2007, and it is a testament to their determination and program accomplishments to have achieved this nationally recognized accreditation,” said Candice Childers, assistant director of accreditation at the ACF.

There are 348 postsecondary programs at 191 institutions accredited by the American Culinary Federation Foundation Accrediting Commission worldwide.

New Personal Enrichment Classes Offer Enlightenment and Fun

ACCC’s Continuing Education program has added new classes designed to help students enhance their lives in a variety of areas.

Aspiring print journalists can learn the tricks of the trade with Magazine Writing, 6-7:30 p.m., eight Thursdays beginning Sept. 11, at the Cape May County Campus.

Advanced Spanish, 7-9:30 p.m., six Thursdays beginning Sept. 25 at the Mays Landing Campus, is for students who have completed Spanish I and II and wish to increase their knowledge.

Basics of Investing for Women, 7-8:30 p.m., three Thursdays beginning Oct. 7 at the Mays Landing Campus, offers women tips to create a more secure financial future. The fundamental principles of planning for one’s later years are covered in Basics of Investing and Taking Action toward Retirement Goals, 7-8:30 p.m., three Tuesdays beginning Sept. 16 at the Mays Landing Campus.

For more information on these and other workshops, call (609) 343-4829, or visit

ACCC Awards More Than 670 Degrees at Commencement Ceremonies

The College awarded more than 670 associate in arts, associate in applied science and associate in science degrees at the school’s 41st commencement May 29. Dr. Richard L. McCormick, president of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, delivered the keynote address.

Dr. Peter L. Mora, ACCC president, presented an honorary associate in science degree to Richard “Dick” Sheeran, visiting professor and former broadcast journalist.

Mora and Cavage

Mora and Cavage.

The Lindback Distinguished Teaching Excellence Award was presented to Christina Cavage of Absecon, associate professor of English as a second language. Mohammad Islam of Atlantic City received the Adjunct Teaching Excellence Award.

High Honors student Stephanie Gregory of Galloway, 43, who achieved a perfect 4.0 average, delivered the class farewell. Gregory received an associate in science degree in general studies. She’s considering broadening her career horizons by attending Rutgers at ACCC to pursue a degree in social work.

Mora and Mohammad

Mora and Mohammad.

“Dreams do come true!!” Gregory said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re 20 or 40–as long as you persevere.”

Student Government Association President Adam Hill of Galloway told the graduates, “I challenge all of you to go out and do as many extraordinary things as you can, go out into this world and make a difference.” Hill was elected by the student body to serve as student representative to the college’s Board of Trustees, it was announced. He earned an associate in applied science degree in Nursing.

Mary B. Long, a 10-year member of ACCC’s Board of Trustees from Cape May County, conferred and presented degrees to the graduates.

Help Create a Better Tomorrow….Today for ACCC

If you’re thinking of updating your will or changing your estate plan, please consider including a planned gift to the ACCC Foundation.

It’s easy to designate a charitable bequest in your will for the ACCC Foundation Endowment Fund. The Atlantic Cape Community College Foundation is a 501(c)3 charity whose mission is to provide funding and support to ACCC, its students and educational endeavors.

To learn more about the benefits of including the ACCC Foundation in your will, contact Kathy Corbalis, Associate Director, ACCC Foundation, at (609) 343-4907 or You can also contact her online at

Restaurant Gala Goes 'Island Hopping' in 2009

The Atlantic Cape Community College Restaurant Gala will move to Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino for the 26th annual dining extravaganza Thursday, March 12, 2009. With the theme “Island Hopping,” the 2009 Gala will feature an exotic, tropical atmosphere.

The annual black-tie event celebrates food by featuring hors d’oeuvres prepared by students at the Academy of Culinary Arts and showcasing the specialties of 40 of the area’s best restaurants at a progressive dining experience. Each year nearly 1,000 people attend the Gala, which also includes live music and an elegant dessert reception.

The event has raised nearly $2 million for scholarships since 1984. All Gala proceeds benefit student scholarships at the Academy of Culinary Arts at Atlantic Cape Community College.

For more information on the 2009 Gala, call Sean Fischer at (609) 343-5674.

Benefits of Membership

Membership in the ACCC 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 card, 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, computer software, trade and reference books, specialty gifts and clearance items. For information, call the bookstore at (609) 343-5130.

If you’re not already an Alumni Association member, call (609) 343-5616 to join, or visit for more membership information. Annual membership dues are $15; lifetime memberships are $150.