Passaic County Community College
Community Relations

PCCC Alumni Association Newsletter

Message from the President

  Message from the Alumni Association President p.1
Acknowledgments p.2
Maria Medina-Alumni Association Advisor Retirement p.2
Alumni Spotlights: Paul Ulloa’s p.3
Samantha Jaikaran p.4
Karen Radziewicz p.5
PATH Program p.6
Baltimore Flier p.7
Keeping you in the loop: PCCC Alumni Association’s Progress p.8

Garland Collins ‘94, ‘03, President
Cinda Wallace  ‘80, Vice President
Zoraida Uceda  ‘03, Treasurer
Tanya Allen-Munk ‘00, Corresponding Secretary
Robert Novak ‘00, Recording Secretary
Robert Mondelli ‘79
Luis Ruiz  ‘88
Debra Thomas  ‘80
Andrea Gillispie ‘02
Vincent Arrington  ‘95
Rasheeda Thomas ‘06 
Maria Pagan  ‘09, ‘12

To contact a member of the Alumni Association, volunteer to serve on an alumni committee, or  to help plan a philanthropic event, please contact the Office of Alumni Affairs, or
call (973) 684-5603

On behalf of the PCCC Alumni Association and its Board of Directors I would like to say Congratulations Class of 2014! On May 22, 2014 Passaic County Community College would have hosted its largest graduating class to date. Over 900 students received their Associates degrees and certificates. Kudos to the faculty and staff of PCCC on a Job well done!
Reflecting on the successes of PCCC, we turn to the Alumni Association and the significant strides we have made as well. Over the course of the year, we have added new Board of Directors and hired a Coordinator of Alumni Affairs. We were able to successfully work the existing alumni database and created a viable list of Alumni. To date our list stands at over 800 active members and growing. We have updated the existing alumni website and published a new alumni brochure. We are also pleased to announce that our Facebook page as well as our LinkedIn profile are up and running.
During the year we have taken on several outreach giving and initiatives; we have recently completed our book and diaper drives. We have reached out to the PATH Program of Passaic County located at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center to see how the PCCC Alumni Association can help in transitioning the homeless in our communities. We have created the PCCC Alumni Association Academic Scholarship Award and are looking forward to our first recipient in Fall 2014.

 As we look ahead, we remain true to our mission; we will continue to support the fundraising initiatives and priorities of PCCC and the surrounding communities.  We will also provide alumni with the means to connect with other alumni for the exchange of information and ideas. Our upcoming Annual Scholarship Fund bus ride to Baltimore on June 28th is one such initiative that will serve to do both. As we progress we will have many more similar initiatives and ways for alumni to become engaged.

As President I am very excited with the progress we are making and look forward to have you as a part of it. If you are a recent grad or alumni please contact us to see how we can make a difference…together. 


The Alumni Association would like to thank a few individuals and departments for their support in the Alumni Association’s progress.

First and foremost we thank graphic designer, Page Saunders who has helped the Alumni Association with our newly designed brochure, the Information Update cards we sent out to members, our Diaper Drive flier, Baltimore Scholarship Fund flier and many more graphic designs to come. The Association has received many compliments on all of Page’s designs.

The TRiO/SSS and EOF program have been very supportive by inviting the Association to their events allowing us to share with their students the many benefits of joining the Alumni Association.

We also thank Professor Sonia Brown for inviting us to share with her students pertinent information regarding the Alumni Association.

Special thanks to alumni Paul Ulloa, Samantha Jaikaran, and Karen Radziewicz for sharing their stories.

We also thank Linda Telesco for all her help in her area of expertise in communications.
Thank you to the St. Joseph’s PATH Program for supporting the PCCC Alumni Association’s Vision.

Last but not least, we would also like to thank the PCCC Student Government Association for helping us to get the word out to students about the Alumni Association improvements and changes.


Wishing Maria L. Medina all the best!

While we are happy for her transition to the next phase of her life it is quite bittersweet to see Maria Medina off to retirement. Maria has been advisor to the Alumni Association since 2011 and has been instrumental in all our successes.

Maria L. Medina has served as Dean of Evening Administration/Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of Passaic County Community College since 2007. Prior to becoming Dean she served as Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, Coordinator of Student Development Programs/Faculty Liaison at PCCC as well as College Counselor. She has been at PCCC since 1988; previously Ms. Medina served as a Social Worker in Jersey City. She holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Psychology from the University of Bridgeport, a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Kean University and is a NJ License Professional Counselor. Ms. Medina served as the President of the NJ Community College Dean of Students Association from 2003-2004 and an officer for three years. She has presented at the NASPA annual and Region II conference as well as NACADA Mid-Atlantic Region, NJ Council of County College Best Practice, NJ Community College Counseling Association and NY State Association for Counseling & Development on many student development topics.

Please join us in wishing Maria Medina a happy retirement from PCCC and the best in all her future endeavors. Bon Voyage!

Paul Ulloa’s Story-Alumni Spotlight

Paul Ulloa graduated from PCCC in 2003 with an A.S. in Business Administration in Information Technology. Paul continued his education at William Paterson University and completed his B.A. in Business Administration in 2006 (summa cum laude) and an MBA in Marketing in 2013. He currently works as a Manager of Consumer HealthCare Analytics/Insights.  Paul says, “I am responsible for developing and producing timely and accurate sales and marketing insights for Eye Care, Vitamins, and Skin Care Sales and Marketing Teams. I also manage and coordinate multiple integration projects and various data sources to generate reporting and insights in an efficient manner.”
Paul describes himself as a “pharmaceutical and CPG professional with a strong record of strategic recommendations in market planning and analysis, primary and secondary research, forecasting, budget planning, business development, competitive intelligence, brand performance, project management, merchandising, and sales.”

Paul also independently manages research projects, analyzes consumer promotions, and develops/executes strategic plans to drive sales growth, including advertising, and media.

Paul currently volunteers his time with the Community Choir in Hawthorne Gospel Church and financially contributes to humanitarian missions including, Food for the Hungry, World Vision, and Food for the Orphan.
For many students in the ELS (English Language Studies) Program who may feel there is no end to their journey, Paul who learned English in the program- is an inspiring example of success.
While here at PCCC, Paul received encouragement and guidance in his professional and spiritual life from Reverend Randy Lassiter and thanks him for the support. He also commends the Registrar and Financial Aid Department for their help along the way.
Paul is appreciative of everyone who helped him excel. “I will be eternally grateful for the presidential scholarships that I received during various semesters at PCCC. Without them, I do not know if I’d be where I am today.”


Samantha Jaikaran, the PCCC alumna and aspiring actor saw herself on the big screen at the New York premiere of the hit feature film, Delivery Man, starring Vince Vaughn.


“It’s the most exciting job I’ve had recently,” said Samantha, who has been pursuing an acting career for the past two years.  Her cameo role in Delivery Man (she appears in the family photo and campsite scenes) is the latest entry in a resume that includes appearances in television’s The Good Wife, Elementary, and White Collar and in the soon-to-be released movie John Wick, starring Keanu Reeves.


“So far, it’s been a phenomenal journey,” said Samantha. “If it hadn’t been for PCCC, I don’t think things would have happened this way.”
A 2009 graduate of PCCC, Samantha was president of the honor society and earned her associate’s degree in communication. She became involved in the theater program by chance when her mom, a PCCC student at the same time, signed Samantha up for an audition.
The play was Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, and Samantha landed the lead. “I was stunned,” she said. The following spring, she won another major role in PCCC’s production of Chekov’s Three Sisters.  The acting bug had bitten, but not hard enough yet.


At Rider University, Samantha auditioned for only one play…and got the lead. But she chose to earn her B.A. degree in communication. “Acting was always a voice in my head, but I enjoy communication, too, and thought a more practical degree could help me get a job faster.”
PHOTO CAPTION: On the Set - Samantha with Jon Cryer (Two and Half Men) on the set of a new movie.
Read more about Samantha’s story: 




Photo Caption: Karen Radziewicz with John Magnifico, General Manager of the Marriott at Newark Liberty International Airport and a partner in PCCC’s internship program.


Alumni Karen Radziewicz received her A.S. Degree in Business Administration in
December 2013 in Hospitality Management.
“I love the hospitality field,” said the Clifton resident who has been employed at the Newark Liberty International Airport Marriott, a job she landed four months before she graduated, thanks to a PCCC internship program she completed last summer.
Karen is now in Marriott’s management training program and studying toward her bachelor’s degree at Montclair State University.
Lively, friendly, and funny, Karen enjoys the fast pace of an airport hotel and described her six-week internship there last summer as “a great experience.” She added, “I worked the front desk, the concierge lounge, and the food and beverages area and learned a lot about nearly every aspect of the business.” Apparently, the hotel management was equally enthusiastic about her. Shortly after her internship ended in September, a position opened up at that Marriott location and was immediately offered to Karen. “She was a natural fit for the job,” said John Magnifico, General Manager of the Newark Airport Marriot. “Karen has an outgoing personality, team work ethic, energy and passion. Those are qualities you cannot teach.”
PCCC’s internship program with Marriott began two years ago, engineered by Dr. Tom Cox, chair of the Business Administration Department. Completing an internship is now a requirement for students in the Hospitality Management degree program. “I would recommend PCCC’s hospitality program to anyone interested in the industry,” said Karen. “The knowledge you gain from the classes and the experience you get from the internship will prepare you well when a job opportunity comes along.”
Karen also shared that, “All of the teachers I had at PCCC were good. Professor Membreno stood out because of the way he was able to help me learn Spanish when I was taking it with him.  Prof. Allen also stood out because of always being able to talk to him.”


PCCC Alumni Association is a proud supporter of:

                                          A Member of St. Joseph’s Healthcare System

PATH Program
(Project for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness)

The PATH Program provides case management services to individuals who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homelessness and have a serious and persistent mental illness. The PATH Program is operational Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

The PATH Program is not a housing program. It does not have shelter beds, apartments or rooms for rent. The PATH Program collaborates with local landlords to locate affordable housing for individuals enrolled in our program.

The PATH Program is not a Screening Center and should not be called if an individual is at risk of hurting themselves or others. Please call 911 or the Screening Center at
St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center at 973-754-2230.      

The PATH Program services include:

  • Outreach to individuals who are homeless
  • Linking individuals to Mental Health, Financial, Temporary and/or Long-term Housing, Drug/Alcohol Programs, Medical/Dental, Habilitation/Rehabilitation and Screening/Psychiatric Evaluations
  • Linking individuals to welfare and social security entitlements
  • Assistance with employment and/or educational services
  • Support with basic daily living skills
  • Transportation to all initial appointments 

Johanna Vasquez, BA
Catherine Alix, BA
Bobby Faison, BA

PATH Supervisor:
Towana Elmore, MA, LPC

Mental Health Worker:

Bryant Planter



  • New Brochure
  • Book Drive- collected 665 books and distributed them to Memorial , 4cs, PCCC Daycare,
  • Improved database to keep in contact with all Alumni
  • New Website:
  • Extreme promotion of the Alumni Association through classrooms, clubs and college events
  • First Annual Scholarship Bus Ride to Baltimore City on Saturday, June 28th (see flier in this newsletter)


Want to see your story in our next newsletter?
Contact the Alumni Office to set up an interview
Office of Alumni Affairs, Founders Hall, Room E101
One College Boulevard
Paterson, NJ 07505
Phone: 973-684-5603
Fax: 973-684-5843