Partnerships Enhance Educational Experience for Students

Tuesday, August 27, 2019
clint wallace and students in lab

RVCC students’ educational experience is enriched by the College’s partnerships with area companies and organizations. Following are examples of RVCC partnerships that benefited students in 2018-2019:

Sanofi Gifts Provide Mentoring, Hands-on Experience

Nursing Simulation Lab: RVCC students are gaining valuable, hands-on medical experience in a Nursing Simulation Lab, completely renovated thanks to a generous $125,000 donation from Sanofi. The lab was officially opened in September 2018 at a ceremony attended by members of Sanofi’s leadership team including Clint Wallace, Sanofi Senior Vice President of Human Resources, North America, and Global Head of HR, Digital and Analytics.

The state-of-the-art Nursing Simulation Lab includes two glassed-in simulation scenario rooms, high-fidelity mannequins, and a control room. The electronic simulation mannequins can perform a number of functions, offering students experience caring for or monitoring patients. These functions include sweating, blinking, becoming cyanotic (blue), breathing, and having a heartbeat. One of the female mannequins is even able to give birth to a newborn that can experience multiple complications.

Mentorship Program: This past year marked the second cohort of RVCC students participating in the Sanofi Corporate Mentor Program, funded by a $48,750 contribution from Sanofi NA Corporate Social Responsibility. In 2018-2019, 15 students participated in the program, which includes monthly meetings with Sanofi mentors during which students explore career opportunities and develop strategies for their professional, academic, and social success. “Mentees” also attend special seminars that are designed to build a bridge between college and work. The mentoring program culminates with a job shadow day at Sanofi. Students who successfully meet all of the program’s requirement receive a $1,500 scholarship.

In addition, 11 of the 15 students in the program successfully secured internships or part-time employment with a variety of companies including Sanofi, PSE&G, Indivior, Allergan, RMA, Johnson & Johnson, Alternatives, and Just Tax.

Authentic Engineering

RVCC’s Authentic Engineering Experience (AEE) continued its track record of innovation and success in 2018-2019. The program features team-based projects in which groups of 2-4 students solve a real problem for a real customer in one semester. The experience exposes students, early in their careers, to methods and techniques used in industry and gives students authentic, hands-on product development and teamwork experience. All AEE projects are funded by the RVCC Foundation through the generous support of donors to the College.

The AEE Teams’ successes included the following initiatives in 2018-2019:

  • A device for LabCorp to increase the process throughput and precision of an existing medical test that requires placing two antibiotic-saturated paper discs onto a bacterial growth at a separation of 12+-0.5mm. The device is currently being qualified by LabCorp for use in production.
  • A Hunterdon Transformer project featuring a finite-element based mathematical model and Graphic-User-Interface (GUI) to reduce the customer quotation time for transformer design by a factor of 10-20 times. The customer is qualifying the model and GUI in its quotation process.
  • A fully designed “Electrical Energy Generation” professional development training seminar for Duke Farms designed for fourth grade teachers. The seminar includes multiple sets of hands-on demonstrations that will be available, on loan, to local schools in fall 2019.
  • A Bohler Engineering project for an access road on difficult terrain that includes vertical and horizontal road alignment, grading, and culvert design based on a complete drainage analysis. The project included learning and applying an important civil engineering design software (Civil 3D) and adhering to local road design codes and requirements. The quality of the work and the effort it required earned both students involved paid summer internships—one at Bohler and one at Ferriero Engineering.
  • An automated blood-sample tube barcode-reading device that reads the barcodes and generates recall inventory locations. The six-second process is far faster than hand-scanning each tube. The technology is applicable to companies such as LabCorp, but the project was not specifically sponsored by LabCorp.

Achievement Center at RVCC

The Achievement Center at Raritan Valley Community College, a partnership between the College and The Arc of Somerset County, enrolled 45 students during the 2018-2019 academic year, with 12 students participating in credit courses. Launched as a pilot initiative during the 2015-2016 school year, the program is designed as a certificate-based, skills-focused college experience for students with intellectual disabilities.

Participating students are offered a range of academic classes, from Thinking About Reading, to Social Skills for Small Groups, to Computer Essentials. The program also offers RVCC students the opportunity to serve as peer mentors, helping the Center students navigate the many challenges of college life.

Matheny Actors, RVCC Students Learn from Each Other

In August 2018, seven RVCC Theatre majors joined three adult Matheny actors in Personal Care Assistant, a one-act play reading created by Professor Dennis Russo with input from students. It was the third summer in a row that RVCC students and Matheny actors performed together as part of Russo’s Theatre Production class. Based in Peapack, Matheny serves children and adults with severe disabilities. The adult actors participated as part of Matheny’s Arts Access program, which empowers individuals with disabilities to create art without boundaries.

Russo, who also directed and performed in the one-act, believes all of the performers gain from working together. “It’s about exposure to a group of people who they don’t interact with every day. And because it’s ‘acting’ it’s more than just exposure, it’s an immersive experience that I’d like to think helps everyone grow on so many levels.”