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PR # 114 December 18, 2008


Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) tonight awarded associate and certificate degrees to 345 candidates for graduation at its eighth Winter Commencement. The ceremony was held in the Edward Nash Theatre at the College?s North Branch Campus.

Jane Oates, Executive Director of the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education and Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Jon S. Corzine, delivered the commencement address and received an honorary degree during the ceremony.

?We are recognizing Jane Oates for her important role in advancing the community college system in New Jersey and for promoting the role of higher education in sustaining the economic vitality of the State,? said RVCC President Dr. Casey Crabill. ?She has been a tremendous advocate for community colleges.?

Barbara Engisch of Frenchtown delivered the student commencement address. Engisch, a mother of three who works full-time, is a member of the first class of RVCC?s College for Working Adults. The program, which began in Fall 2006, enables adults to work full-time and earn an associate degree in just two-and-a-half years. Courses are offered on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings and include classroom instruction and online studies.

Prior to joining Governor Corzine in March 2006, Oates was the Senior Policy Advisor on higher education, national service, adult literacy, education research and workforce issues to Senator Edward M. Kennedy on the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP).

While in the Senate, Oates was the chief of staff to the Democratic members of the HELP Committee on two reauthorizations of the Higher Education Act; the reauthorization of the Office of Educational Research; the creation and implementation of the Workforce Investment Act; and The Carl Perkins Vocational Education Act.

Richard (Bick) Treut of Somerville, an instructor in the Communication & Languages Department, delivered the faculty address.

Treut has been teaching at RVCC since 2002, first serving as an adjunct professor. He was hired as a full-time instructor in the Communication & Languages Department in 2006.

Prior to teaching, Treut was a marketing and advertising consultant to major computer manufacturers and their advertising agencies for 20 years. He worked on several high-visibility campaigns, including IBM eBusiness, HPdirect and Intel Centrino. He also served as a reporter for the Hunterdon County Democrat and wrote a monthly column in Hunterdon Life magazine.

RVCC, located on Route 28 and Lamington Road in North Branch, NJ, and serving Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for 40 years, offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates. In addition, customized training programs and non-credit courses are available for those seeking personal and professional development.

The College is committed to offering a quality and affordable education through effective teaching, liaisons with the community?s businesses and state-of-the-art technology. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu .

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