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Ramapo College Officially Declared ‘Stigma-Free’ Campus

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)October 3, 2016

Former Governor Richard Codey addresses the crowd at Ramapo College of New Jersey. Looking on are, from left, Tricia Baker of Attitudes in Reverse, Ramapo College Board of Trustees Chair George C. Ruotolo, and Ramapo College Trustee and alumnus A.J. Sabath.

Former Governor Richard Codey among dignitaries at ceremony

MAHWAH, N.J. — Ramapo College of New Jersey welcomed former New Jersey Governor Richard Codey as a guest speaker to officially declare Ramapo a stigma-free campus. During a special ceremony on September 28, Codey’s declaration was part of an initiative focused on eliminating the stigma associated with an array of mental illnesses.

“There are no barriers to mental illness,” said Governor Codey. “It affects men and women of all ages, races and ethnicities, and sadly, it is affecting our youth as well. But the more we talk about it, the more we can get help for those individuals who need it.”

Ramapo College President Peter P. Mercer presided over the ceremony whose honored guests included Bergen County Executive James Tedesco, Mahwah Mayor William LaForet, Northvale Mayor Ed Piehler, Ramapo Board of Trustees Chairman George C. Ruotolo and Ramapo Trustee and Alumnus A.J. Sabath. Also in attendance was Tricia Baker, the founder of Attitudes in Reverse (AIR), a non-profit organization whose mission is to raise awareness of mental health issues among young people.

The event, held in at the Arch, drew a significant number of students, staff and faculty as well as outside guests.

Coinciding with the declaration was a table display of 232 pairs of shoes to represent the number of youth, ages 10 to 24, who died by suicide in New Jersey in recent years. The “In Their Shoes” display was part of an initiative by AIR.

“The statistics are staggering,” said Trustee Ruotolo. “That’s why this event today is a compelling representation of Ramapo’s values, that the College is committed to being an open, inclusive and sustainable community.”

The College’s Counseling Services and Active Minds student organization manned several tables offering informational materials for students. In addition, President Mercer noted that the College’s Office of Specialized Services presents Wellness Wednesday events throughout the academic year, adding that there have been more than 200 mental health screenings offered at the College.

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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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