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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)January 12, 2017

MAHWAH, N.J. — Fifteen students and three staff members from Ramapo College of New Jersey took part in the African American Student Leadership Experience (AASLE), held January 5-8 in the historic Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Ramapo’s participation at the AASLE conference, sponsored by the Bryant Educational Leadership Group and held in collaboration with the Asian American Pacific Islander and Chicano Hispanic Latino Leadership Experiences, was funded through the College’s Educational Opportunity Fund Program, the Center for Student Involvement and the Office of the Dean of Students.

The conference theme was “Be the Change: Global Vision, Global Reach, Global Impact,” and students had the opportunity to participate in workshops on leadership, branding, being a global citizen, and topics addressing gender, racial and identity issues.

Students were grouped with students from colleges and universities across the country to complete a comprehensive project, “The Millennial Manisfesto: The Blue Print for Change.” Each group met at different times during the conference to identify issues, such as human rights, environmental sustainability or development, and discuss how they would address these issues. On the third day of the conference a member from each group presented to the entire conference.  The Ramapo staff and other advisors assisted students through this process.

The experience proved inspirational to both students and staff alike.

“Attending this conference gave me a glimpse of what I can become if I educate myself and have a voice,” said Ramapo student Tiana Andrews ’18. “The experience was incredible and restored in me the fuel to push me through this college experience.”

Students also had the opportunity to visit the National Museum of African American Culture as well as the city’s other iconic monuments. “I developed a visual of my ancestry traveling through the timeline of hard work and dedication,” said Tiana.

Barbara Harmon-Francis, Director of Ramapo College’s EOF program, said, the conference was life-changing for many of the students.

“For some, it was their first time in our nation’s capital. They were blown away by the knowledge they gained from the keynote speakers and were greatly influenced by the dialogue with students from across the United States. They are excited and ready to bring some great programming back to Ramapo, and are hopeful to return next year.”

Ramapo College students and staff were presented with an award for having the highest number of participants in attendance.

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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 CollegesofDistinction.com, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on Niche.com, 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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