RVCC Awards Degrees, Certificates to More than 1,200 Graduates; Celebrates Past Classes of 2020, 2021
Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) awarded associate degrees and certificates to more than 1,200 graduates at its commencement, held Saturday, May 14. The ceremony was held on the soccer field at the College’s Branchburg campus.
The event also honored 84 graduates from the classes of 2020 and 2021. The two previous classes of graduates were invited to attend because their commencement ceremonies had been held virtually because of the pandemic.
DeAnna Minus-Vincent, Executive Vice President, Chief Social Justice & Accountability Officer, RWJBarnabas Health, and Robert P. Wise, who served as Chair of RVCC’s Board of Trustees from 2015-2021, both received honorary degrees during the ceremony.
The program featured Rebecca Purnell of Hightstown as the student commencement speaker. Purnell is graduating from RVCC Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Liberal Arts. She has been an active member of the College community, serving as Vice President of the American Sign Language Club and a member of both the Hope Club—where she has helped challenge stigmas surrounding drug addiction—and the Philosophy Club. Her other activities include conducting advocacy work for students with disabilities at RVCC; volunteering for a California-based human rights organization that supports incarcerated and re-entering citizens; and mentoring marginalized youth at Princeton High School. Purnell’s future plans include a career in athletic training.
Carolyn Kinebrew-Bosa of Jersey City, an Assistant Professor of Communication and Film Studies, delivered the faculty commencement address. A Brooklyn, NY, native, she received a Bachelor’s Degree from Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL, and a Master’s Degree from Boston University. On hiatus as a doctoral student in the cultural anthropology program at CUNY’s Graduate School and University Center in New York, she recently received a Screenwriting Certificate from The New School.
Drawing from a broad range of lived and learned experiences, DeAnna Minus-Vincent has tackled the toughest issues plaguing our country today—equity, poverty, housing, health, and education, just to name a few. Minus-Vincent has created programs that move individuals along their pathway, but believes that the most sustainable change happens when we work across sectors to re-engineer fractured systems; in so doing we can exponentially impact the lives of many…in so doing we can create change.
Minus-Vincent is noted for not just programmatic and policy prowess, but for scaling organizations—she has transformed entities and dramatically increased revenue, service regions, as well as product mix. Minus-Vincent considers the work she does with organizations a metaphor to the work that she hopes to do in life; she wants to leave an imprint and ensure every place she exits is better than when she entered.
DeAnna Minus-Vincent currently serves as the Executive Vice President, Chief Social Justice & Accountability Officer, RWJBarnabas Health. In this role, Minus-Vincent works across the system, with internal and external stakeholders to co-design strategies that improve health outcomes, promote health equity and eliminate health disparities. Specifically, her portfolio includes the system’s housing and community development initiatives; she seeks to fully integrate social factor into the clinical setting through the development and implementation of a system-wide universal social determinants of health (SDOH) screening process; identifies ways to use data and technology to track progress and enhance health outcomes; and she serves as the departmental liaison to the departments of communications and development.
Before coming to RWJBarnabas Health, Minus-Vincent served for more than seven years as the Chief Engagement Officer at Benefits Data Trust (BDT), a national social change organization, where she facilitated cross-sector partnerships, diversified the organization’s revenue streams and oversaw the organization’s strategic positioning. Additionally, she has served as the Assistant Commissioner for the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs; the Director, Office of Institutional Advancement, at the Stuart Country Day School in Princeton; and the Director of Planning and Development for the Central Jersey Family Health Consortium in North Brunswick.
Minus-Vincent received a Master of Public Administration from Rutgers University and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Morgan State University.
Born and raised in Trenton, Minus-Vincent is a native New Jerseyan and lives in Lumberton with her husband Daryl and daughter, Darynn.
Robert P. Wise was a member of the RVCC Board of Trustees from 2004 to early 2022. He also served as a Vice Chair (Hunterdon County) of the Board from 2011-2015.
A resident of Clinton Township, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Hunterdon Medical Center from 1990 to 2018. He also served as President of Hunterdon Healthcare System, Hunterdon Healthcare Foundation, Hunterdon Regional Community Health, and Midjersey Health Corporation.
Prior to coming to the Medical Center, he held administrative positions at Rancocas Hospital (Executive Director), Albert Einstein Medical Center (Vice President), and Kennedy Memorial Hospital (Administrator).
A member of the State Employment and Training Commission, Wise is the recipient of the NJHA 2014 Distinguished Service Award and the American College of Healthcare Executives Senior Leader Regent’s Award (2005). He is a former director of the Center for Health Affairs and the Health Research and Education Trust.
He previously served on the Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Hospital Association and is a past Chairman of that organization. He was a Director on the Board of NJHA HealthPAC, and a member of the NJHA Chairman’s Advisory Committee on Industry Direction and the NJHA Committee on Nominations. He also served on the Board of Directors of VHA Mid-Atlantic, and served as Chairman of VHA, East Coast.
Locally, Wise was Board Chairman of the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce. He served as a Board Director of the Rotary Club of Flemington and was a former Director of United Way of Hunterdon County. Wise received the Hunterdon County Business Leader of the Year Award in 2000 and the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Boy Scouts of America in 2001. He received the Elks Distinguished Citizenship Award in 2010. Wise is a founding director of the Hunterdon County Partnership for Health.
He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College and a Master’s of Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh.
Wise has been married to his wife Victoria for 51 years and has three daughters and three grandchildren.
RVCC is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 14, 2022
Media contact: Donna Stolzer, 908-526-1200, ext. 8383