Monmouth County News Briefs, May 11

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On April 28, the New Jersey Council of County Colleges (NJCCC) honored 38 students from the state’s 19 community colleges for being named to the 2022 New Jersey All-State Academic Team for their outstanding academic achievements and exceptional service to their communities and colleges as members of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the national honor society for community colleges.

The New Jersey Community College Scholars Celebration was held at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton, according to a press release.

The 2022 New Jersey All-State Academic Team members from Brookdale Community College are Cathleen Kane of Hazlet and Daniella Mannarino of Tinton Falls.

Brookdale Community College is the county college of Monmouth County.

Mannarino will receive an Associate of Science in Hospitality Management and is traveling to Italy to study abroad this summer.

“Community college in New Jersey has changed my life by giving me the confidence to go for what I want academically and in my career,” said Mannarino. “While in high school, I constantly second-guessed my decisions because I did not feel supported by those around me. When I got to Brookdale, my professors and peers never showed doubt in my goals and encouraged me to excel even more at every opportunity presented to me.”

Kane will receive an Associate of Arts in Education this spring.

“New Jersey’s community colleges have gifted me with incredible professors who have pushed me beyond what I knew I was capable of, both academically and professionally,” said Kane.

“I have made some of my greatest friends with whom I have made memories I will forever cherish. Brookdale introduced me to Phi Theta Kappa where I learned to not only grow as a scholar and leader, but PTK also showed me that even the smallest act of kindness and service can make a world of difference, something I will always carry with me.

“Finally, Brookdale showed me that community college is not just a starting place, it is a place where you can find who you are truly meant to be,” Kane said.

As part of the USA All-State Academic Team competition, Kane was recognized as one of only five New Jersey community college students to receive the Gold Scholarship by Phi Theta Kappa and the Coca-Cola Foundation. Team members were nominated by their college administrators based on academic achievement, leadership and engagement in college and community service, according to the press release.


The Guild of Creative Art is hosting a “Garden Theme” exhibit featuring multi-media artwork by all levels of Guild membership now through June 1. A reception with refreshments will be held from 4-6 p.m. May 14.

In 2021, 32 artists submitted 51 works to display in an exhibit in the Guild’s main gallery, and 18 artists submitted 29 works for the “mini show” in the reception area.

The range of media included acrylic, etching, mixed media, mosaic, oil, pastel, pen and ink, photography (analogue and digital), photo collage, sculpture, stained glass and watercolor, according to a press release.

The Guild is at 620 Broad St., Shrewsbury. Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free and on-site parking is free. A face covering is encouraged.


A new wellness center is opening on the campus of Brookdale Community College, Lincroft. Celebrating at a recent reveal ceremony were more than 150 friends and wellness center partners from across the community who viewed the artist renderings for the center and met the newly appointed director Dinneen Jackson.

Propelling the wellness center forward was a bequest from Caroline Huber. In addition, $150,000 established a Caroline Huber Memorial Scholarship Fund for students of financial need in the Humanities program, according to a press release from the college.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, President David M. Stout announced that the wellness center would be named the Caroline Huber Holistic Wellness Center.

Sam Huber, Caroline’s son, said his mother was always incredibly involved in the community and wanted to contribute something significant to the community, according to the press release.

“My mother knew she wanted to support Brookdale because she always loved Brookdale, she taught at Brookdale, had taken classes at Brookdale, and has watched it grow over the years,” Huber said. “She understood there were many parts to wellness and community. She always said, ‘so you are doing great work, tell me who your partners are.’ ”

Jackson’s expectations for the wellness center mirror the mission of the center: To connect students, employees and community members to campus resources and local partners that will support basic needs, enhance individual and community wellness, and promote social justice, according to the press release.

Following the reveal and dedication was the presentation by Sam Huber of the first 13 recipients of the Caroline Huber Scholarships to Victoria Bahary, Ocean; Giulia Campora, Monroe Township; Dorothy Conley, Sayreville; Zafira Demiri, Freehold; Laura Desouza, Little Silver; Eleeza Faraday, Neptune; Kelly Hendricks, Wall Township; Eden Pela, Cherry Hill; Shawna Rodgers, Keansburg; Emily Reid, Freehold; Alexandra Rossi, Oceanport; Summer Smagacz, Tinton Falls; and Darlyn Emelia Stedman, Long Branch.


The New Jersey Social Justice Remembrance Coalition (NJSJRC) is ready to display the soil that was collected from the site where the only recorded lynching in Eatontown, of Samuel “Mingo” Jack Johnson, took place in 1886.

During May, vessels of soil will travel to various sites including the Eatontown Library, the Monmouth County Eastern Branch Library in Shrewsbury, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Princeton, and the Red Bank Library, according to a press release.

A vessel of soil will be housed permanently at the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center, Red Bank, in time for Juneteenth.

In partnership with the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in Montgomery, Ala., the NJSJRC is asking individuals to join in bearing witness to this personal and community tragedy, and to reflect on actions that can be taken today to end the ongoing legacy of racial violence and inequality, according to the press release.

The Community Remembrance Collection Project gathers soil at lynching sites to display in
exhibits bearing the victims’ names. The NJSJRC held a soil collection ceremony in October 2021 that attracted community members from all sectors, according to the press release.

Johnson was an African American resident of Eatontown who was murdered on March 5, 1886 after being arrested on unsubstantiated charges of raping a white woman. He was dragged by a local mob from his cell and beaten and hanged to death. This was the only known lynching in New Jersey, according to the press release.

“Bearing Witness” is a table-top display with an engraved soil jar, accompanied with literature and handouts. The coalition is in the process of creating interpretive panels and other complimentary materials. The exhibit is available at no cost to a host organization. To become a site location for “Bearing Witness,” email [email protected]


The New Jersey School Boards Association has developed a community resource, “A Guide to Board of Education Meetings in New Jersey.”

The brochure outlines and delineates the roles and responsibilities of boards of education and superintendents, provides guidance for members of the public who wish to address matters of concern with their boards during public meetings, and explains board meeting procedures, according to a press release.

“Boards of education are often on the front lines in addressing concerns, answering questions and clearing up misinformation about government mandates and curriculum decisions among other important matters,” said Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, NJSBA executive director. “As elected school officials, we respect the taxpayers’ right to know and engage in the local education process, which is vital to a well-functioning system.”

School district administrators are encouraged to print and share the brochure at their school board meetings, post the link on their official websites, and use the information as a resource for school officials to refresh their understanding about state regulations concerning the protocol for closed sessions and access to public records, according to the press release.

The brochure in its entirety may be accessed at

“We hope this information can serve as a useful tool to achieve a better public understanding about how school boards and districts function and how residents can participate,” Feinsod said.