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Welcome to our Virtual 2021 Student Conference. Below you will find our conference hashtag and an engaging scavenger hunt. You can also find us our snap filter on snap chat which can also be used to enter multiple contests throughout the day for prizes. In addition, you can scroll the page or click through the menu to the right of the page to go directly to our conference schedule and presentation descriptions. Presentation descriptions can be found at the bottom of this page. We are looking forward to an exciting day with some wonderful presenters and an even more amazing audience!

#EngageNJStuCon21

Conference

Schedule

 
Welcome & Announcements
10:00am - 10:15am 

                              From Dr. Saul Petersen & Sarahdjie Monosiet

A Seat at the Table: A Story of Maintaining Connections
10:15am - 10:20am 

Jeffrey Dessources, Public Speaker & Director of the Center for Leadership and Engagement – New Jersey City University

2 Breakout Options
10:25am – 10:55am

Session A: Ways to do Virtual Community Engagement (vCE)

Michele Epifani, Vice President of Programs - Jersey Cares

 

Session B: Volunteering and Community Engagement During the Time of Covid-19

Nicole Poyer, AmeriCorps Changebuilders Coordinator; Lori Moog, Director of Service Learning & Community Outreach; Rebecca Geary, Sophomore (Math); Alexander Lazeration, Sophomore (Engineering), Students and Changebuilders – Raritan Valley Community College

TedTalk: Volunteering and Community Engagement During the Time of Covid-19
11:00am – 11:15am

       Presented by Phoebe Chen, Sophomore - Raritan Valley Community College

3 Breakout Options
11:20am  – 11:50am

Panels By:

​Session A: Ways to do Virtual Community Engagement (vCE)

Timothy Hoffman, Director, Center for Community Research & Engagement; Claudia Romani, Raheel Abdul-Jalil, Gisellyn Miranda, and Ivana Betances-Juarez, Students & Community Engagement Leaders – Seton Hall University

Session B: Volunteering and Community Engagement During the Time of Covid-19

Maribel Rodriguez, Assistant Director of Campus Activities, Service, & Leadership; & Kian Downes, AmeriCorps Changebuilders Coordinator – William Paterson University

Session C: Ways to do Virtual Community Engagement (vCE)

Kha Vu, Giselle Vidals, Nathalia Allenza, Adithya Venketeswaren, & Rohan Dave, Students – Middlesex Community College

TedTalk: Volunteering and Community Engagement During the Time of Covid-19
11:55 am – 12:10pm

Presented by Danielle Corea-Smith, Director of Financial Stability - United Way of Greater Newark

Panel Discussion: Who We Are...
12:15pm – 12:45pm

Panelists:

Amy Michael, Associate Director, Rutgers Collaborative Center for Community-Based Research and Service, Rutgers University-New Brunswick ; Krystal Woolston, Assistant Director, Center for Community Engagement, Montclair State University ; Arianna Illa, Coordinator for Civic Engagement and Service Learning, Middlesex County College ; Daniel Fidalgo Tome, Community Engagement Program Manager, Thomas Edison State University

Activity Volunteer Generation Super Heros
12:45pm – 1pm

                                                Presented by Heather Tedesco

3 Breakout Options
1:05pm – 1:35pm

Panels & Presentations by:

Session A: Focusing Back on Climate and Climate Justice

Juaquin Goodbar, Sophomore (Environmental Science) & Environmental Club President; Isabelle Nunez, Sophomore (Social and Political Science) & Environmental Club VP; Allyson Schmeider, Biology Alum & Campus Sustainability Intern; Maximilian Spann, Sophomore (Environmental Science) and Environmental Club Executive VP – Raritan Valley Community College

Session B: Volunteering and Community Engagement During Covid-19

Nicholas Cerniglia, Sophomore & Bonner Program – Stockton University

Session C: Volunteering and Community Engagement During Covid-19

Cecelia Kracht, Senior (Economics and Business), Vanessa Raab, Senior (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology), & Laila Seraj (Senior), Students and Changeuilders; and Gionna Del Purgatorio, AmeriCorps Changebuilders Coordinator – Drew University

TedTalk: Volunteering and Community Engagement During the Time of Covid-19
 1:40pm – 1:55pm

Presented by Violet Kimble, Senior (Neurscience) & Civic Scholar – Drew University

3 Breakout Options
2:00pm – 2:30pm

Panels & Presentations by:

 

Session A: Keeping Democracy Alive After Election Drama

Gerardo Carcamo, Sophomore (Business Administration) and Changebuilder – Raritan Valley Community College

Session B: Volunteering and Community Engagement During the Time of Covid-19

Seth Reed, Senior and Engineering Ambassadors, & Max Winderman, Site Coordinator at Engineering Ambassadors – Syracuse University

Session C: Volunteering and Community Engagement During the Time of Covid-19

Bailey DiSanto, Senior, & Julia Ricciarelli, Student, Hobart and William Smith Colleges

3 Breakout Options
2:35pm – 3:05pm

Presentations & Panels by:

Session A: Volunteering and Community Engagement During Covid-19

Erin O’Hanlon, Coordinator of Service Learning – Stockton University

 

Session B: The Need for Healthy Virtual Connections

Jane Marcillo, Graduate Student (Social Work) & “We Care” Program Coordinator, & Dylan Heffernan, AmeriCorps Changebuiders Coordinator – Ramapo College

 

Session C: How to Engage Professionally in a Virtual Setting

Jenny Nesenjuk, Assistant Director of Career Development, William Paterson University

Final Announcements
3:05pm – 3:15pm

Dr. Saul Petersen, Executive Director

Sarahdjie Monosiet, Associate Director - New Jersey Campus Compact

Themes &

 Presentations  Descriptions

 

Below, each presentation is matched with its respective theme. You can click on the arrow to the right of each presenter(s) name for the description of the presentation 

Volunteering and Community Engagement During the Time of Covid-19

Nicole Poyer, AmeriCorps Changebuilders Coordinator; Lori Moog, Director of Service Learning & Community Outreach; Rebecca Geary, Sophmore (Math); Alexander Lazeration, Sophmore (Engineering), Students and Changebuilders – Raritan Valley Community College


Our presentation will focus on student experiences volunteering and staying engaged with their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting with RVCC’s video on remote service featuring student interviews, the presentation will move into a panel discussion about their current involvement activities and experiences. Presentation Time: 10:25am – 10:55am




Phoebe Chen, Sophomore - Raritan Valley Community College


Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, many world issues have come into play. This includes the endangerment of our climate, and the separation of interpersonal connections. With students, we depend on the friendships and the people around us to bond over the lessons we learn through our education. This is necessary for our mental health, and our academic standing. During this tragic time for the world, when many are so separated that they are engulfed in their own issues, we found a way to help our community. When we thought our world had endured enough tragedy, an invasive species began to spread throughout the East Coast, destroying our environment, our crops, and our economy. Through the Lantern fly Extermination Project, I was able to reconnect with other students at my college and my past high school to help fight against a detrimental issue in our community. Presentation Time: 11:00am – 11:15am




Maribel Rodriguez, Assistant Director of Campus Activities, Service, & Leadership; & Kian Downes, AmeriCorps Changebuilders Coordinator – William Paterson University


We will be discussing the various challenges faced on campus and within the community during the Covid 19 pandemic. Presenters will be sharing their virtual and in person civic engagement resources and exploring solutions to increase community engagement on and off campus. This program hopes to inspire change agents and community leaders to create innovative solutions in tackling civic engagement during the pandemic. Presentation Time: 11:20am – 11:50am




Danielle Corea-Smith, Director of Financial Stability - United Way of Greater Newark


While there is no replacement for human interaction, we at United Way have worked to build community and a culture of volunteerism that has supported our community during this great time of need. Particularly, given the high rate of unemployment and housing instability resulting from COVID-19, our programs in Financial Stability are more important than ever. Two programs that we shifted from in person to online volunteering include the FAFSA Challenge, which assists Newark high school students and their parents in preparing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and the Voluntary Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA), a federal program supported by the IRS to prepare taxes for low-to-moderate income individuals for free. I will mention how we leveraged new technology platforms with Code for America to train new and returning volunteers to provide not only the same quality programming but a new and innovative way for community members to access these vital services. Presentation Time: 11:55am – 12:10pm




Nicholas Cerniglia, Sophomore & Bonner Program – Stockton University


This presentation will explore Plato's Allegory of the cave to illustrate modern interpretations of its relevance in today's society. I hope to help people recognize how we can use Plato's work to find similarities behind why people develop racist beliefs, or in general, are grown into only knowing limited beliefs. With this, the audience should be able to recognize how our views are limited, misinterpreted, and even misguided through mainstream media. Presentation Time: 1:05pm – 1:35pm




Cecelia Kracht, Senior (Economics and Business), Vanessa Raab, Senior (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology), & Laila Seraj (Senior), Students and Changeuilders; and Gionna Del Purgatorio, AmeriCorps Changebuilders Coordinator – Drew University


As students at Drew, we have been faced with the difficult task of staying active in community engagement during a global pandemic. Although this was not easy, each of us created and executed our own projects that made a huge impact in our communities. Our liberal arts education and prior community service experiences shaped the basis for each of our projects during these difficult times. Our topics include environmental cleanups throughout New Jersey and contact tracing programs for colleges. Presentation Time: 1:05pm – 1:35pm




Violet Kimble, Senior (Neurscience) & Civic Scholar – Drew University


As a neuroscience major and civic scholar, I developed an activist campaign for mental health by using issue advocacy. After doing letter mailing and text-banking for the recent election, I was made aware of college students' desire to help change the government but a lack of understanding of how. Therefore, I decided to center my activist campaign on getting college students engaged in the issue of advocacy. My TED talk will highlight my activist campaign to get H.R. 1109, which aims to provide students mental health services from a bill to a law. Presentation Time: 1:40am – 1:55pm




Seth Reed, Senior and Engineering Ambassadors, & Max Winderman, Site Coordinator at Engineering Ambassadors – Syracuse University


Engineering Ambassadors is a STEM literacy initiative conducted out of the Shaw Center, Syracuse University's center for public and community service. Over the Fall 2020 semester, the initiative developed a method to still provide middle school students with our hands-on lesson plans. The main focus will be on safely preparing and delivering lesson plans to the middle schools that we partner with. Presentation Time: 2:00pm – 2:30pm




Bailey DiSanto, Senior, & Julia Ricciarelli, Student, Hobart and William Smith Colleges


Our student-led panel will share the highs and lows of the nascent HWS Corps virtual tutoring program that Hobart and William Smith Colleges (Geneva, NY) created from scratch to abide by COVID-19 protocol while supporting our community’s increasing educational needs. We will address the theme of virtual volunteering and community engagement, discussing how we overcame barriers created by virtual learning and found ways to meaningfully connect with local students and families. Our goal for sharing our story in this conference is for other communities to learn from our successes and mistakes and for the attendees to explore the realities of aligning virtual engagement successes, such as our new tutoring program, with a post-COVID and in-person future. Presentation Time: 2:00pm – 2:30pm




Erin O’Hanlon, Coordinator of Service Learning – Stockton University


Many learners are hard on themselves during our current times as they attend school and organize communities online. However, all of us have different learning styles, and being able to maximize your learning style will support all your endeavors, whether they are virtual or IRL. Understanding learning styles, your own and others, will help to make the most of our complicated times. This interactive and engaging workshop will also highlight advocacy skills, when they can be utilized for learning styles and in general. Presentation Time: 2:35pm – 3:05pm





Ways to do Virtual Community Engagement (vCE)

Michele Epifani, Vice President of Programs - Jersey Cares


Jersey Cares will provide a presentation and lead interactive discussion as it relates to volunteer leadership and virtual volunteer opportunities. Volunteer leadership provides individuals with an opportunity to further develop skills in project management, human resources, sales, and public relations just to name a few. Virtual volunteering has now become one of the main resources connecting volunteers to must needed volunteer work. Jersey Cares is now offering virtual volunteer opportunities to combat previous barriers due to COVID-19. Presentation Time: 10:25am – 10:55am




Timothy Hoffman, Director, Center for Community Research & Engagement; Claudia Romani, Raheel Abdul-Jalil, Gisellyn Miranda, and Ivana Betances-Juarez, Students & Community Engagement Leaders – Seton Hall University


We will discuss how service-learning is infused into classes in Seton Hall’s CORE curriculum and describe what we learned from 350 students completing virtual service in the fall 2020 semester. This panel will examine the good and the bad. COVID-19 presented barriers to service, but it also opened up new opportunities. Focusing on new opportunities, we will highlight the fantastic work of some of our community partners who successfully kept their programs alive and outline how our program was able to assist organizations across the state. Presentation Time: 11:20am – 11:50am




Kha Vu, Giselle Vidals, Nathalia Allenza, Adithya Venketeswaren, & Rohan Dave, Students – Middlesex Community College


Our theme is to bring awareness about social justice and health disparities to our members. Our movie night project allows our members to express their ideas and feelings on the topics of movies, which address many issues that minorities are dealing with during the pandemic. More importantly, this initiative helps our members to think critically and to contribute to solving social problems. It generated creative discussions amongst members by inviting them to share their feelings after every movie and awarding them with volunteer hours. Presentation Time: 11:20am – 11:50am





Keeping Democracy Alive After Election Drama

Jane Marcillo, Graduate Student (Social Work) & “We Care” Program Coordinator, & Dylan Heffernan, AmeriCorps Changebuiders Coordinator – Ramapo College


We will discuss Ramapo College’s initiatives to address food insecurity and emergency situations within its student body and how it relates to making connections with students right now. The first part of the presentation will provide an overview of the We Care program, some of its histories, and current statistics. This will serve to provide some context for the program and the pervasive social issues that it addresses. The second part of the presentation will focus on the connections we develop with students who are going through traumatic experiences and need assistance. There will be a large emphasis on how support systems can be lacking due to the Pandemic and how it affects the students we work with. As well as this, we will also discuss different barriers that exist for students to create and maintain connections and how we provide assistance. Presentation Time: 2:35pm – 3:05pm





Focusing Back on Climate and Climate Justice

Juaquin Goodbar, Sophomore (Environmental Science) & Environmental Club President; Isabelle Nunez, Sophomore (Social and Political Science) & Environmental Club VP; Allyson Schmeider, Biology Alum & Campus Sustainability Intern; Maximilian Spann, Sophomore (Environmental Science) and Environmental Club Executive VP – Raritan Valley Community College


Representing students of various backgrounds that have all worked together in fighting for our environment & climate, we seek to dive into Joe Biden’s federal climate plan and how it differs from the Trump administration’s environmental policies, as well as the underlying systems that stand in the way of comprehensive progress and justice. We will give perspective on the most relevant interpretations of the climate action taking place at the federal & state level. The conversation will also include useful tactics on interpreting current legislations being passed as well as various ways to engage with environmental issues as a student. We hope that this presentation will encourage and inspire students to become more politically aware as well as more active in influencing change. Presentation Time: 1:05pm – 1:35pm





The Need for Healthy Virtual Connections

Jane Marcillo, Graduate Student (Social Work) & “We Care” Program Coordinator, & Dylan Heffernan, AmeriCorps Changebuiders Coordinator – Ramapo College


We will discuss Ramapo College’s initiatives to address food insecurity and emergency situations within its student body and how it relates to making connections with students right now. The first part of the presentation will provide an overview of the We Care program, some of its histories, and current statistics. This will serve to provide some context for the program and the pervasive social issues that it addresses. The second part of the presentation will focus on the connections we develop with students who are going through traumatic experiences and need assistance. There will be a large emphasis on how support systems can be lacking due to the Pandemic and how it affects the students we work with. As well as this, we will also discuss different barriers that exist for students to create and maintain connections and how we provide assistance. Presentation Time: 2:35pm – 3:05pm





How to Engage Professionally in a Virtual Setting

Jenny Nesenjuk, Assistant Director of Career Development, William Paterson University


This presentation will focus on how students can engage with others (employers, faculty, mentors, etc.) professionally and appropriately in a virtual setting. We will discuss how to dress, how to create a professional environment/setting, how to communicate to others in the space about virtual meetings/appointments, and how to interview virtually for internship and job opportunities (including how to share resources and materials i.e resumes and portfolios virtually). NOTE: Students will need to come prepared with examples of a time when they participated in a meeting/appointment/class/career fair or event/interview virtually and be ready to share. Presentation Time: 2:35pm – 3:05pm





Who We Are Panel

Jenny Nesenjuk, Assistant Director of Career Development, William Paterson University


This presentation will focus on how students can engage with others (employers, faculty, mentors, etc.) professionally and appropriately in a virtual setting. We will discuss how to dress, how to create a professional environment/setting, how to communicate to others in the space about virtual meetings/appointments, and how to interview virtually for internship and job opportunities (including how to share resources and materials i.e resumes and portfolios virtually). NOTE: Students will need to come prepared with examples of a time when they participated in a meeting/appointment/class/career fair or event/interview virtually and be ready to share. Presentation Time: 2:35pm – 3:05pm





 

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