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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)October 5, 2018

Secretary Smith Ellis, center, with students Stephan Lally and Khiabet Cordero.

MAHWAH, N.J. – Ramapo College welcomed N.J. Secretary of Higher Education Zakiya Smith Ellis to the campus on October 3.

Secretary Smith Ellis, who was accompanied by Deputy Secretary Diana Gonzalez, met with College President Peter P. Mercer and other Ramapo representatives before embarking on a walking tour of the campus led by Student Ambassador Calron Dover.

“Having the opportunity today to formally introduce Secretary Smith Ellis and Deputy Secretary Gonzalez to Ramapo College of New Jersey was both fulfilling and inspiring,” said Ramapo College President Peter P. Mercer. “Our students, as well as members of the faculty, staff and administration, discussed with them a range of issues, including student access and success, state support and funding, and the lifelong benefits of a public liberal arts college education.”

Other key topics of discussion included retention and graduation rates, the Equal Opportunity Funding program, Upward Bound Science and Math Program, and grant opportunities, among other state higher education initiatives.

Secretary Smith Ellis and Deputy Secretary Gonzalez enjoyed lunch and a lively discussion with students before departing.


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 College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, 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, Business Administration, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education.


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