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News Anchor Rick Sanchez to Speak at Ramapo College Commencement

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)May 14, 2002

Mahwah- MSNBC anchor Rick Sanchez will be the Ramapo College of New Jersey commencement speaker at the College’s 2002 ceremony scheduled Wednesday, May 22 beginning at 10:30 a.m. This will be the first commencement presided over by Ramapo’s newly inaugurated president, Dr. Rodney D. Smith. A total of 758 students who completed their studies in January and during the spring 2002 semester will graduate. An additional 218 students who are expected to finish in August are eligible to participate. Author/journalist Adele Stan (Ramapo class of 1983) will receive the President’s Award of Merit. Graduating senior Rosa Peña will give remarks on behalf of the Class of 2002.

Rick Sanchez co-anchors the morning news with Alex Witt, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon Eastern Time. He joined MSNBC from South Florida, where he was one of the most recognized news anchors on WSVN-TV, the Miami Fox affiliate. He joined WSVN in 1982 as a reporter where he covered news throughout Miami and South Florida. He also was an anchor for KHOU-TV in Houston. Sanchez returned to WSVN in 1988.

Born in Havana, Cuba, Sanchez won an Emmy for a five-part series on Cuban immigration into South Florida. In addition to covering numerous major national and international stories, Sanchez has covered the Contra war in Nicaragua, the invasion of Grenada, the uprisings in Haiti, the Reagan White House and several assignments into Havana. Sanchez was the spokesperson for WSVN’s community campaign, Habitat for Humanities, and he was responsible for developing a successful campaign to acquire new roofs for the hurricane victims in South Dade.

Adele M. Stan ’83 is a journalist and editorial consultant who has brought her broad range of interests to her work as a writer and editor. The scope of her work includes articles on religion, politics, women’s issues and music, in addition to numerous consulting projects for think tanks and non-governmental organizations. Also known as an essayist, Stan has seen her commentaries run on the op-ed pages of the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the New York Daily News and the Newark Star-Ledger.

Stan published her first major piece on religion in Ms. magazine, where she began her career. That piece chronicled the feminist dissent movement in the Roman Catholic Church, and kindled a life-long interest in religion reporting. In 1987, Stan covered Pope John Paul II’s tour of the United States for The Nation. On the eve of the 1996 presidential election, Stan authored Mother Jones’s epic cover story on the religious right, an article that is still considered the definitive magazine piece on the subject.

In 1998, Stan’s interest in religion took her to India and Pakistan for a research project funded by the Ford Foundation on Women, Religion and Public Policy. She traveled to the refugee camps on the Afghanistan border, where she interviewed women who opposed the Taliban. In 1995, at the height of controversies on date rape and sexual harassment, Stan published her first book, Debating Sexual Correctness, which is used as a text by women’s studies departments in universities across the country.

In 1999, Stan was appointed Washington correspondent for Working Woman magazine, which led to her exclusive White House interview with then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, and a more recent interview with the Bush Administration’s Karen Hughes. In the world of popular culture, Stan has had the honor of interviewing the great South African diva Miriam Makeba for, and spent a week in the recording studio with David Byrne, then of the rock band Talking Heads, for a special issue of Ms. magazine. Today, in addition to her reporting, Adele Stan is experimenting with writing fiction, and gathering research for a book on American spirituality.

In 1983, she earned a bachelor’s degree from Ramapo College of New Jersey, which she credits with nurturing her curiosity and interdisciplinary interests. It was at Ramapo that she wrote her first article as a reporter for the college paper, then called Horizons. With that, she had found her vocation.

Notable Members of the Class of 2002

Nick Bernice, a science teacher at Northern Highlands Regional High School in Allendale, entered Ramapo’s Master of Science in Educational Technology (MSET) program in the fall of 2000. According to Dr. Angela Cristini, the program’s director, Bernice is very talented and loves to learn and use all types of technology.

On September 11 at 3 p.m., Bernice, a Coast Guard reservist, was recalled to active duty at Coast Guard Station New York. A small boat pilot, he was underway by 4 p.m. to help with the evacuation of civilians from Manhattan and transportation of rescue workers. For three weeks after the attack everyone pulled 14-16 hour shifts in support of the rescue effort. Once the city changed the Ground Zero designation from rescue to recovery, the Coast Guard took up the role of harbor security and homeland defense, in addition to maintaining their search and rescue mission.

Bernice was not worried about losing his teaching position – the school is holding it for him – however, since he would be on active duty for a year, he was worried about finishing the MSET program and graduating in May 2002. Cristini agreed to let Bernice work on his final course and project via the Internet. He got hold of a lap-top and began work when he was not patrolling the Hudson River. The MSET final project requires students to develop a piece of Web-based learning — usually to be used in the classroom or in the student’s school district. Bernice had been planning to work on a science site and activities for his high school classes. But in October, he contacted Cristini and suggested a different kind of project: he wanted to develop a site to help the Coast Guard teach small boat handling, which he has now completed. You can view Bernice’s finished project from the Ramapo College home page ( by going to graduate programs and then to the MSET site. Bernice has put in for a duty switch on May 22 that would allow him to attend the commencement ceremony.

After just two years as a college student, Manshi Joisher of Mahwah is graduating summa cum laude from Ramapo College of New Jersey with a degree in information technology. She entered Ramapo College in the fall of 2000 with credits from a management statistics course she took at Ramapo during her junior year of high school, another eight credits from participation in a Harvard summer program after her senior year of high school and 27 credits for high school advanced placement courses. In addition to carrying 18 to 19 credits each semester at Ramapo and taking 16 credits last summer, Joisher collected 12 credits from a New York University program in the Gujrati language and participated in Ramapo’s winter-term study abroad program in London. She will graduate with 141 credits, 13 more than the 128 needed for graduation.

Joisher’s academic success was achieved while she simultaneously served on the Executive Board and as president of the Management Club, vice president of the International Student Organization and treasurer of the Chess Club. In addition, Joisher is the third member of her family to be inducted into Delta Mu Delta, the national honor society in business administration. Previously, her sister and mother, also Ramapo grads, were inducted. Joisher plans to work in the information technology field before going on for an MBA or law degree.


About Ramapo College

Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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