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Ramapo College Alumna Receives Prestigious EOF Award

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)April 3, 2018

Bianca Thompson-Owen '02

MAHWAH, N.J. — Ramapo College of New Jersey alumna Bianca Thompson-Owen ’02 received the Thomas H. Kean EOF Outstanding Alumni Award at the Educational Opportunity Fund Professional Association of New Jersey’s (EOFPANJ) Spring Conference on March 21. Each year the EOFPANJ and the Educational Opportunity Fund Statewide Alumni Association, Inc. recognizes up to four alumni with the prestigious award.

“As a former foster child and ‘at-risk’ youth, I understand the value of higher education and I have committed myself to philanthropy and educational excellence,” said Ms. Thompson-Owen. “My mantra is ‘If not now, then when?  If not me, then who?'”

Celebrating 50 years of existence, the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) provides college access, academic support services and eligibility-based financial assistance to highly motivated students who come from economically and/or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. Since its inception, the EOF Program has graduated over 45,000 students from over 50 New Jersey Colleges and Universities.

“We are thrilled that Bianca was selected for this award and even more proud to have her as part of the Ramapo College EOF family,” said Christopher Romano, Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs at Ramapo College. “Her dedication to the mission of EOF throughout her career in higher education is inspiring.”

Ms. Thompson-Owen, a Jersey City native, received several honors as an EOF student: in Hudson County Community College in 2000 where she was inducted into the Chi Alpha Epsilon Honor Society; and as a recipient of the Distinguished Academic Honor award at Ramapo College in 2002. She earned her Master’s degree in counseling at New Jersey City University where she earned the outstanding research award for her thesis on counseling programs in New Jersey prisons. Ms. Thompson-Owen is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Education program at Rowan University, where she is a distinguished scholar having been inducted into the National Graduate School Honor Society.

She currently serves as the Assistant Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Success, and Director of the EOF program at the Rutgers School of Health Professions. Prior to working for higher education, she served as the Assistant Director of the College Preparatory Incentive Program, serving Union and Hudson Counties; where she provided over 1,000 “at-risk” students with higher education counseling and career guidance. Additionally, she serves on several regional and state higher education committees and is a recipient of the following awards:  School of Health Professions Employee of the Year, UNC-Women Making a Difference Award, and Emerging Leader Award for the American Association for Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

In 1967, EOF was established by legislation that was sponsored by then, freshman legislator, Thomas H. Kean, who became New Jersey’s 48th Governor in 1982 and served for two terms.  The Thomas Kean Outstanding EOF Alumni Award — established in his honor — is given to prestigious alumni who have made outstanding contributions in their community and have demonstrated professional success.

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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 Niche.com.

Ramapo College provides its students with individualized attention, mentorship, and supports; hands-on learning; and a range of opportunities for service and leadership development. Its graduation and retention rates exceed national averages and it places approximately 1,000 students per year in internships in New York City. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice; is recognized as the state’s top college on the list of Best Disability Schools by Great Value Colleges; is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools; and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others.  

Ramapo College’s over 40,000 alumni are the confident, intellectually curious, self-aware, and humble people who are highly sought after and who make a positive impact at local, national, and global levels.  Ramapo College is distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com. Every student at Ramapo is enrolled in its unique and award winning Pathways Program which equips and empowers students, across the continuum of their academic career, to secure internships, pursue graduate/professional school, and/or enter the job market. 

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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