LINCROFT, NJ – Brookdale Community College will honor four outstanding local residents and more than 2,100 local students during the college’s 47th annual commencement ceremony, held May 12 on the Lincroft campus.
A total of 2,141 students are expected to graduate from Brookdale this year, with diplomas handed out during a 10 a.m. and a 3 p.m. ceremony at the Robert J. Collins Arena, 765 Newman Springs Road. The graduating class earned a total of 2,159 degrees and includes 30 students with a perfect 4.0 grade point average.
Honorary degrees will be presented to Carlos Rodriguez, executive director of the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, and Carol Stillwell, president and CEO of Stillwell Hansen, Inc.
Distinguished alumni awards will also be presented to Deborah Josko, director of the Medical Laboratory Science Program Program at the Rutgers University School of Health Professions, and nationally acclaimed sculptor Brian Hanlon, of Toms River.
Select graduates will also be presented with the college’s 2016-17 Outstanding Student Award.
As executive director of the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties since 2012, Rodriguez has led efforts that collect and distribute more than 10 million meals each year through a network of more than 300 programs. He has also led a number of outreach programs and long-term support services such as the food bank’s Culinary Training Program and free tax assistance for residents. Rodriguez has formerly served with the Food Bank for New York City, the Children’s Defense Fund of New York and the Community Food Resource Center.
Stillwell, of Holmdel, is president of Stillwell Hansen, Inc., an award-winning equipment distribution company based in Edison. An acclaimed advocate for female representation in traditionally male-dominated industries, Stillwell has been recognized as one of New Jersey’s top businesswomen four times in the last ten years. She is also a dedicated philanthropist, working to support local and national organizations such as the Juvenile Diabetes Association, Monmouth Medical Center, the Community YMCA, the Ashley Lauren Foundation and the Brookdale Community College Foundation.
Josko, a 1985 Brookdale graduate, has served as associate professor and director of the Medical Laboratory Science Program Program at the Rutgers University School of Health Professions for more than 20 years. Prior to her academic career she worked in the clinical laboratory setting for 12 years specializing in clinical microbiology. She is also a past president of the New Jersey chapter of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science, a published author and nationally recognized authority in the fields of clinical laboratory science and clinical microbiology. An award-winning educator, Josko is a passionate advocate for the power of community college education.
Hanlon, who first studied art at Brookdale in 1979, is a classically trained master sculptor and founder of Hanlon Sculpture Studio in Toms River. Since 1987 he has completed more than 300 public and private pieces for schools, universities, churches, memorial foundations and other organizations across the country. His works include the New Jersey Gold Star Family Memorial, located at New Jersey Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Holmdel, and the “Welcome to Ocean County” installation located on Route 37 in Toms River. Hanlon also serves as official sculptor for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Tickets are required to attend the ceremony. Those without tickets can watch a live simulcast in Brookdale’s Warner Student Life Center, with parking in lots 6 and 7. For more information visit www.brookdalecc.edu or call the Office of Student Life and Activities at 732-224-2788.