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Berkeley College Cuts Ribbon For Graduate School In Woodland Park

Graduate students in the inaugural class of the MBA in Management program at Berkeley College in the new School of Graduate Studies celebrate with college President Michael J. Smith Photo Credit: COURTESY: Berkeley College
Woodland Park Mayor Keith Kazmark and Assembly members Scott Rumana, Shavonda E. Sumter and Holly Schepisi celebrate the graduate school opening with Berkeley President Michael Smith Photo Credit: COURTESY: Berkeley College
The faculty of the inaugural MBA in Management program at the new Berkeley College School of Graduate Studies (l. to r.): Michael McAteer, DBA; Vinita Ittoop, PhD; Maya Reddi, PhD; and Lloyd Soobrian, PhD. Photo Credit: COURTESY: Berkeley College
President Michael J. Smith (center) cuts the ribbon with inaugural MBA students, administrators, faculty and civic leaders, including Woodland Park Mayor Keith Kazmark and state Assembly members Holly Schepisi, Shavonda Sumter and Scott Rumana. Photo Credit: COURTESY: Berkeley College

WOODLAND PARK, N.J. -- Administrators and faculty members at Berkeley College were joined by lawmakers, civic leaders and graduate students on the Woodland Park campus Wednesday, Oct. 28, to celebrate the addition of the School of Graduate Studies.

“As we celebrate this historic milestone at Berkeley College, we are proud of our achievements and we look forward to more,” Berkeley College President Michael J. Smith said. “On November 1, we begin offering the MBA online, making this program accessible to students throughout the region and beyond.”

Smith congratulated Chris Grevesen, the new schools' dean, as well as the inaugural faculty members and those who worked made the enrollment of the school's first 41 graduate students possible.

One of them, Christine Peraino of Vernon, returned to college full-time while also working as manager of patient access services for Atlantic Health Systems at Chilton Medical Center. As a result, she got her undergraduate degree, early and immediately enrolled in the inaugural MBA class.

“I was ecstatic to have a chance to continue my degree here,” Peraino said. “I knew that the world was mine for the taking.”

Berkeley began offering Associate's degrees in 1980 and Bachelor’s degrees in 2011. More than 75% of its graduates have jobs related to their fields of study within six months of graduation, administrators said.

Randy Luing, the college Board of Trustees vice-chairman, described the challenges his father, Chairman Emeritus Larry L. Luing, faced decades earlier while pursuing his vision of obtaining degree-granting status for Berkeley.

“He knew that certifications were not going to be enough -- more jobs needed degrees," Luing said. "And he pursued his belief that if you have distinguished, dedicated faculty, and curricula that surpasses that of other colleges, then you have a right to be recognized as a college.”

Grevesen, the new dean and event emcee, called the graduate school a learning laboratory.

“Our local and regional communities, which have been so supportive of Berkeley College throughout the years, will benefit enormously as these talented graduates one day rise to the helm of business firms, not-for-profit organizations, and government agencies,” he said.

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