Alumni Newsletter

Keeping our Alumni informed of Atlantic Cape activities

Linwood Attorney Receives Distinguished Alumni Award

Atlantic Cape Community College conferred the second President’s Distinguished Alumni Award to Michael Rann, a Linwood attorney, at the 44th Annual Commencement, May 19.

Rann graduated from Atlantic Cape in 1988 as class valedictorian. He continued his education at Richard Stockton College, graduating with Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1990. During the summer of 1989, Rann attended The American College of Switzerland for International Law and Business Studies. He completed his education at Temple University of Law, Philadelphia, where he graduated with a Juris Doctor degree in 1993. Rann runs a full-practice law firm while also serving on the board of Franklin Bank.

 Michael Rann, a Linwood attorney, with the President’s Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. Peter Mora, president of Atlantic Cape, right, presents Michael Rann, a Linwood attorney, with the President’s Distinguished Alumni Award, at Atlantic Cape’s 44th Annual Commencement.

“The educational experience offered to me by Atlantic Cape and its faculty was nothing less than wonderful. I was given the opportunity to learn from some of the most talented and motivated professors any institution of higher learning can offer its students,” Rann said. “What I received from Atlantic Cape, however, was more than just a great academic experience. My life is richer from my experiences as a student at, and graduate of, Atlantic Cape.”

The award, initiated by Atlantic Cape’s Alumni Association Advisory Committee, recognizes an Atlantic Cape graduate who has displayed professional, personal, public or community-based accomplishments. The prestigious award demonstrates Atlantic Cape’s dedication to strengthening its alumni relations. The 2010 recipient was Janice DeCicco Fipp, Ed.D., Northfield Community School superintendent.

Knowles-Harrigan Receives Lindback Teaching Award

Cheryl Knowles-Harrigan of Milmay, assistant professor of art at Atlantic Cape, received the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Excellence Award during the college’s May 19 commencement.

Knowles-Harrigan joined Atlantic Cape in 1992 as an adjunct faculty instructor of visual arts, art appreciation, fundamental drawing and intermediate drawing. She was promoted to senior adjunct in 1996, then to assistant professor of art in 2002. Knowles-Harrigan has also served as a student mentor, an instructional technology specialist and a chairperson for the Arts & Humanities Department at Atlantic Cape.

Cheryl Knowles-Harrigan, assistant professor of art, right, accepts the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Excellence Award

Milmay resident Cheryl Knowles-Harrigan, assistant professor of art, right, accepts the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Excellence Award from Atlantic Cape president Dr. Peter Mora, at the 2011 Commencement.

In 1982, Knowles-Harrigan earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in illustration from the Philadelphia College of Art, and a Master of Arts in instructional technology from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in 2001. In spring 2010, Knowles-Harrigan was accepted into the prestigious Mid-Career Fellowship Program at Princeton University, where she studied visual arts and art history.

“I am always seeking innovative ways to teach and deliver instruction. I am a lifelong learner, which is something I hope to instill in my students by inspiring them through the visual arts,” said Knowles-Harrigan.

She is a member of various art organizations and has a studio at Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts in Millville. Her work has been displayed in numerous group and solo shows in Philadelphia and New Jersey.

The Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation of Philadelphia endows the award to outstanding teachers at select colleges and universities in southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey.

Past honorees include: 2009, Donna Vassallo, assistant professor of hospitality and business; 2008, Christina Cavage, associate professor and department chair of English as a second language; 2007, Marilyn Malerba Keiner, associate professor, paralegal studies; 2006, Ethel “Effie” Russell, professor, English; 2005, Dr. Louise Kaplan, professor, anthropology and bioethics; 2004, Richard Benner, assistant professor of philosophy and religion; 2003, Donna Albano, assistant professor of hospitality management; and 2002, Regina Van Epps, assistant professor of English.

Time is Running Out to Register for Summer and Fall Classes

There is still time to register for Atlantic Cape’s second and third summer sessions and the fall semester. Registration will be offered to new and returning students at all Atlantic Cape campuses, and online.

Normal registration hours are weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The college will be closed on Fridays, through Aug. 12. Administrative offices will be closed July 4.

An eight-week session begins June 27 and continues through Aug. 18, and a six-week session runs July 11 to Aug. 18. Fall semester classes begin Monday, Aug. 29.

Classes will be held at the Mays Landing Campus, 5100 Black Horse Pike; the Charles D. Worthington Atlantic City Campus, 1535 Bacharach Blvd.; the Cape May County Campus, 341 Court House-South Dennis Road, Cape May Court House; and online.

Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express are accepted. To register online or view an updated schedule of summer and fall courses, visit For more information, e-mail, or call (609) 343-5000, 625-1111, ext. 5000, or 463-3958 in Cape May County.

Atlantic Cape to Offer New Media Studies Degree this Fall

As media gravitates to an on-demand and online format, allowing content to be accessed from personal computers, smart phones and portable electronic devices, there is a growing need for a workforce skilled in the design, production and development of digital media and multimedia.

Beginning this fall, Atlantic Cape will address the regional demand for new media professionals by offering a cutting-edge degree option: New Media Studies Associate in Applied Science. This program will equip students with the tools needed to thrive in the changing media industry.

“The A.A.S. degree will help get someone’s foot in the door for an entry-level position in creative services, technical support, or as a production assistant,” said Jim Taggart, chair of the Information Systems and Aviation Studies department.

This terminal degree requires students to complete 20 general education credits and 46 program course credits. The A.A.S. serves students who seek a career in media arts, but are not interested in continuing their education at a four-year school.

s“The New Media Studies degree has generated interest from high school students and those who have been laid off alike,” said Otto Hernandez, associate dean of Atlantic Cape’s Technology Studies Institute and GIS program. “The program will provide career changers with a ‘skill upgrade’.”

In New Jersey, there are more than 200 media outlets that blend multiple forms of media (text, audio, video and pictures) to address their audience. The Department of Labor predicts an 11 percent increase in the demand for jobs in the television and radio industries by 2018.

“We consulted with local media, including WMGM NBC-40, Millennium Radio and the Press of Atlantic City, about the employment potential for graduates of the New Media Studies program,” Hernandez said. “All of them said they would hire our A.A.S. graduates–as long as they had the skills for the job.”

Atlantic Cape has begun fostering relationships with local media outlets to pave the way for its New Media Studies students to pursue internship opportunities.

“Our goal is to help students create a strong electronic portfolio through hands-on courses that require final projects on the web. The focus is to prepare that portfolio for presentation to a potential employer,” Taggart said.

New Media Studies courses will be available at Atlantic Cape’s three campuses in Mays Landing, Atlantic City and Cape May Court House.

For additional information, contact Jim Taggart at (609) 343-4950 or

New Media Career Opportunities

  • Creative Services
  • Multimedia Specialists
  • Online Community Manager
  • Production assistant
  • Social Media Specialists
  • Project Manager
  • Web Content Producer
  • Web Designer
  • Webmaster

Alumni Updates

Atlantic Cape graduates Johnny Builes and Jennifer Zumot, ’05, of Egg Harbor Township, celebrated their Valentine’s Day engagement with a romantic lunch at Careme’s Restaurant. Builes proposed to Zumot at the Cape May County Zoo park earlier that day. The couple has been together for two years. Congratulations!

Cardiothoracic Surgeons for Northwest Ohio and The Toledo Hospital are now in the nation’s top 12 percent of hospitals for heart surgery. Former student Dr. Don Crescenzo is a cardiothoracic surgeon with the practice. This is according to a three-star comprehensive rating system, developed by The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS), which compares the quality of heart surgery in hospitals across the country. Cardiothoracic Surgeons for Northwest Ohio was compared to more than 1,000 surgical groups. “It does validate the program and allows people to see our national recognizing body has given us this and give them confidence they can get their care provided locally,” Dr. Crescenzo said.

Chef Terence Feury, ’88 ACA, was featured in an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer about what chefs keep in their home pantry. Feury is chef at Fork in Philadelphia.

ACA graduate Carey Hettmannsperger, ’95, was featured in The Current in an article about her new bakery, Culinary Creations by Carey, in Pleasantville. She offers 18 varieties of bread—with such flavors as harvest apple, chocolate cranberry and zucchini nut, as well as other confections.

Chef John Hoover and his new menu at Casey’s on Third in North Wildwood were featured in the Cape May County Herald. Hoover is a former Academy of Culinary Arts student.

Melissa Jett, ’09, is studying to be a registered dietitian at Brigham Young University. She recently authored an article, “Not-So-Fantastic Fads,” about dangerous diet fads for a BYU publication.

Former ACA student Geoffrey Johnson, executive chef at Copper Fish in West Cape May, competed on the premiere episode of “Rocco’s Dinner Party,” June 15, on Bravo TV.

Cape Bank appointed Lana Latella, ’00, area sales manager for its Margate branches. She has more than 20 years combined experience in banking, finance, investments and management. Lana has an associate degree in business administration and accounting from Atlantic Cape and is a business finance graduate of Stockton College. She holds a tax collectors assistant certification from Florida State University and a state of New Jersey insurance license.

SJ Magazine featured former ACA student Aaron McCargo Jr. in its April issue. McCargo is host of the Food Network’s “Big Daddy’s House” and was the culinary honoree at the 2010 Restaurant Gala. The article chronicled McCargo’s rise to the status of “celebrity chef,” and his Play to Win nonprofit organization that motivates and prepares young men in Camden to lead productive, fulfilling lives beyond high school.

Former ACA baking and pastry student Donna McGlynn, co-owner of Valenti’s Italian Bakery in Pleasantville, was featured in a Press of Atlantic City story:

Deb Pellegrino, ’91 ACA, appeared on the Food Network Challenge—Comedy Cakes Jan. 23.

Lacey featured Espo’s Pizzeria & Italian Grille in Ocean County, where ACA graduate Carl Pennauch is chef:

Air Force Airman 1st Class Kevin E. Quinn graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, recently. He is a 2010 Atlantic Cape graduate.

The Atlantic Cape Review was recognized in the Cape May County Herald for the awards Arielle Reamer and Madison Russ earned in the New Jersey Collegiate Press Association’s College Better Newspaper Contest 2010-2011.

Former culinary student Jeffrey Rudder has been named director of sales for Turning Stone ResortCasino. His achievement was reported in the Oneida Daily Dispatch at

Studio arts graduate Laurie Schiffelbein, ’06, who is inspired by the ocean, beach and wetlands of Cape May County, participated in the Cape May Artists Cooperative Gallery “Second Sunday” Gallery Walk.

Chef Michael Schlow ’87 ACA, was featured in a Boston Common Magazine article, “Boston’s Uncommon Chef,” read more at Schlow was also featured by The Miami News Times food blog for participating in the South Beach Wine & Food Fesitval’s Burger Bash Feb. 24-26. Schlow opened a new venture in Boston called Tico, a Mexican-inspired eatery. Schlow is chef-owner of several Boston areas restaurants, including: Alta Strada, Radius, Tico and Via Matta.

The included a feature on Elaine Seagrave, ’08 ACA, who is a chef at Swedes Inn in Swedesboro.

Atlantic Cape Awards More Than 900 Degrees at Commencement

Atlantic Cape awarded 908 associate in arts, associate in applied science and associate in science degrees at the school’s 44th commencement on May 19. Dr. Wilson N. Felder, director of the Federal Aviation Administration’s William J. Hughes Technical Center in Egg Harbor Township, delivered the keynote address.

Dr. Peter L. Mora, Atlantic Cape president, presented honorary associate in applied science degrees to Felder and Dr. Lynn Hoffman, who served as this year’s Beacons by the Sea Visiting Professor.

High honors student Michael Lamanna

High honors student Michael Lamanna, delivers the class farewell at Atlantic Cape’s Commencement on May 19.

The Lindback Distinguished Teaching Excellence Award was presented to Cheryl Knowles-Harrigan of Milmay, assistant professor of art. Linwood attorney Michael Rann received the President’s Distinguished Alumni Award, which recognizes an Atlantic Cape graduate who has distinguished him or herself through professional, personal, public or community-based accomplishments. In addition, James Cooper Esq. of Margate, president emeritus of the Atlantic Cape Foundation, received the first President’s Distinguished Foundation Board Member Award, which recognizes a current or past member of the board who has demonstrated leadership, advocacy and support on behalf of the college and its students.

High honors student Michael Lamanna of Stone Harbor, 34, who achieved a perfect 4.0 average, delivered the class farewell. Lamanna received an associate in science degree in general studies. Lamanna joined the college in 2009, after working for 12 years in the theater, film and television industry. Lamanna is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. After graduation, he plans to pursue a degree in English at a four-year school.

Dr. Wilson N. Felder, director of the Federal Aviation Administration

Dr. Wilson N. Felder, director of the Federal Aviation Administration’s William J. Hughes Technical Center in Egg Harbor Township, delivered the keynote address.

“In my time at Atlantic Cape, I became a part of this small college community, and I learned what it really means to be a part of my larger community outside of the school,” he said.  “In this modern world that ascribes a high value to ambition and often revolves around technology that can increase personal isolation and alienation, I cannot stress enough how important it is that we not forget what it means to be a part of a community.”

Student Government Association President Wanda Lugo of Pleasantville, 21, told the graduates: “It is our time to shine and show the world who we are and what we bring to the table. No matter how hard it gets, try your hardest, never give up on things that seem impossible to obtain.”
Brian Ferrante of Woodbine was elected by the student body to serve as alumni representative to the college’s board of trustees, and was recognized. He earned an associate in science degree in general studies.

*Check out Atlantic Cape’s 2011 Commencement pictures on flickr.

ACA Awards Medals to Nearly 60 New Chefs

The Academy of Culinary Arts awarded culinary medals and certificates to nearly 60 new chefs and baking and pastry professionals prepared with the latest culinary knowledge on Monday, May 16.

Twenty-eight graduates honed their skills in the Academy’s Culinary Arts program, and fourteen completed the Baking and Pastry program. Seventeen short-term specialization certificates in Baking and Pastry, Hot Food, Food Service Management and Catering were also awarded.

The awards ceremony honored the graduates with gold, silver or bronze medals or certificates based on their grade point averages and criteria established by the American Culinary Federation. Specialization graduates received certificates of completion. A reception at Careme’s, the on-campus, student-run gourmet restaurant, followed the ceremony.

Reuben Gutierrez of Washington Township, Gloucester County, was named valedictorian and winner of the Nathan Schwartz Award, which is presented to the top student of each graduating class. Joshua Miller of Willingboro received the Culinary Student Association Award for his service as Student Government Association representative for the past two years.

Molecular gastronomy expert Dr. Lynn Hoffman of Philadelphia was the guest speaker. Hoffman joined Atlantic Cape and the ACA this semester as the Beacons by the Sea Visiting Professor.

Restaurant Gala Proceeds Exceed $200,000

The 28th annual Atlantic Cape Community College Restaurant Gala raised more than $200,000 for student scholarships at the Academy of Culinary Arts and Atlantic Cape and Atlantic Cape Foundation operations. The Gala showcased more than 35 of the Atlantic City region’s finest restaurants at the March 31 event.

Bally’s Atlantic City hosted the award-winning fundraiser, which featured a Roaring Twenties theme, “Putting on the Glitz: Eat, Drink and Be Dazzled.” The event showcased thousands of sumptuous hot and cold hors d’oeuvres during cocktail hour, prepared by culinary students.

Chef Marvin Woods and ACA students

Chef Marvin Woods, '85 ACA graduate and 2011 Restaurant Gala culinary honoree, prepares hors d'oeuvres with ACA students.

The Atlantic Cape Foundation honored 1985 ACA graduate and healthy cooking advocate Chef Marvin Woods for his culinary success; and Lynn Guthrie Baumgarnder of Longport, owner and president of Guthrie Glass & Mirror, as a philanthropic community leader.

The dessert extravaganza, organized by Master Pastry Chef Eugen Ess of Trump Taj Mahal, capped off the evening with the unveiling of an “extreme” Roaring Twenties cake, designed by Toni Walton of Berlin, a former cake artist on TLC’s hit show “Cake Boss.” Some attendees also won Tiffany jewelry through the Tiffany & Co.’s Keys for a Cause promotion.

Event sponsors included Bally’s Atlantic City, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Guthrie Glass & Mirror, Inc., Baumgardner Construction Co. Inc., Newschannel NBC-40, and Tiffany & Co.

A 50/50 raffle raised more than $12,000 for grants, emergency aid and leadership development for Atlantic Cape students. The first prize of $7,380 went to Dr. Scott Fuerman of Atlantic City; second prize winner Ted de Ment of Galloway received $3,690; and third prize winners Judy and Brian Kelman of West Windsor received $1,230.

The 29th annual Gala will be held March 22, 2012, at Bally’s Atlantic City. For more information on the Restaurant Gala, visit, become a fan of the Gala on Facebook, follow the event on Twitter @AtlCapeRestGala and explore pictures from past Galas.

Scramble ‘Fore’ Scholarships Golf Tournament Planned for Fall

Plans are under way for the 2011 Atlantic Cape Community College Scramble ‘Fore’ Scholarships golf tournament this fall, at Cape May National Golf Club in Cape May. Partnering with the Atlantic Cape Foundation, CMNGC will host the tournament to raise funds for student scholarships and Foundation operations.

The tournament will follow a scramble format, beginning with a shotgun-start at 11 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 6. Player fees, which include gift bags, lunch and a dinner awards banquet, are $125 per person and $500 per foursome. This year’s tournament will also feature a variety of skills competitions.

Individuals and businesses can also participate in six sponsorship package opportunities ranging from $100 to $5,000. Last year’s event raised $27,000 for Atlantic Cape scholarships.

Scramble Fore Scholarships Golf Tournament

Golfers warm up for the Scramble ‘Fore’ Scholarships Golf Tournament at the Cape May National Golf Club.

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 updated information or player information, call Lauren Canzanese at (609) 463-4672, e-mail or visit

Founded in 1978 as an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity, the Atlantic Cape Community College Foundation is dedicated to serving the mission of Atlantic Cape by providing financial support to the college and its students. In its history, the Foundation has raised more than $2 million for college scholarships, academic programs and enhancing the campus environment.

News Briefs

ACA is Fired Up for ‘Kids in the Kitchen’ Cooking Classes This Summer

The ACA will offer “Kids in the Kitchen” cooking classes this summer to help young chefs build skills and confidence in the kitchen, while teaching participants kitchen safety and healthy cooking. Classes are suitable for children ages 8-12. Hats and aprons are included in the $195 fee.

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

Club 60 Plus Offers New Programs for Active Seniors

Adults 60 and older have the chance to learn skills and have fun this summer with Atlantic Cape’s new Club 60 Plus programs, including: Exploring the World via the Internet for Seniors, Facebook & Twitter 101 and Introduction to the Personal Computer for Seniors. The “Week at the Shore” package offers participants a chance to take the following classes individually or together at a discount: Portraiture Class in the Four Earth Tones, Creative Writing, Making Your Own Rain Barrel: A Demonstration, and Manage and Edit and E-mail your Photographs.

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

Ahoy! Atlantic Cape to Offer Safe Boating and Personal Watercraft class

Atlantic Cape will offer a Safe Boating and Personal Watercraft workshop, led by Coast Boating School. The class will cover rules of the road, laws and safety. This is an approved class for the mandatory certification of all individuals to operate any type of powerboat or personal watercraft in New Jersey.

The course is suitable for participants 10 years and older. All materials are included in the $65 fee.

For more information or to register, visit or contact (609) 343-4829.

Casino Career Institute Classes are Forming Now

Atlantic Cape’s Casino Career Institute has prepared more than 50,000 people for careers in gaming and continues to offer top-notch training for those who wish to enter the casino profession. CCI offers the following classes: Craps, Baccarat, Poker, Pai Gow Tiles, Roulette, Pai Gow Poker, Asia Poker and Carnival Games. In addition, CCI offers Introduction to Casino Games/Blackjack. CCI also provides training in non-dealing casino professions such as Electronic Equipment Technician and Surveillance Training.

Gaming classes begin every two weeks. Classes are offered morning, afternoon and evening. A Training on Request option is also available to help students with busy schedules arrange for convenient table games training.

For more information, or to register, call (609) 343-4848 or visit

Health Professions Institute to Offer Paramedic and EMT Certifications this Fall

The Health Professions Institute will offer Paramedic Certification and Emergency Medical Technician Certification programs this fall for emergency responders interested in advancing their training.

Lecture and lab modules will take place at the Health Professions Institute at Atlantic Cape’s Worthington Atlantic City Campus. Clinical expertise will come from various hospital settings and students will also gain field experience on paramedic units.

For more information, or to register, contact (609) 343-4814 or visit

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.