New Jersey Council of Colleges President Named Distinguished State Director


Jackson, Mississippi - Dr. Lawrence A. Nespoli, President of the New Jersey Council of Colleges, will be presented with the Distinguished Community College State Director Award during Phi Theta Kappa's annual convention in National Harbor, Maryland, April 7-9.

The Distinguished Community College State Director Award recognizes the contributions of heads of state community college systems. Recipients demonstrate the state community college director's support of Phi Theta Kappa chapters, advisors and regional organizations.

New Jersey was the first state to implement a statewide Community College Completion Corps (C4) initiative, and Nespoli has served as a resource to other states on this matter. He has also been instrumental in procuring transfer scholarships for New Jersey Phi Theta Kappa members and securing full-tuition community college scholarships for all students graduating in the top 15 percent of their high school class through the New Jersey Stars Program.

The New Jersey Council of Colleges coordinates the All-New Jersey Community College Academic Team and recognizes the accomplishments of Phi Theta Kappa chapters in statewide communications.

“Phi Theta Kappa has long been one of the best things to come from the community college movement in the United States, with all of the leadership development and scholarship opportunities the organization has provided for millions of students,” Nespoli said. "This award is really a culmination of a group effort between our 19 community colleges, their trustees, presidents, administrators, staff and faculty members, as well as the staff of the New Jersey Council of County Colleges.

“All of us are dedicated to helping students realize their hopes and dreams, and we are honored that Phi Theta Kappa has bestowed this prestigious recognition to New Jersey.”

Nespoli also teaches in Rowan University's doctoral program in community college leadership and previously served in a number of campus and state-level positions in Maryland and Pennsylvania. He has published extensively in the area of college finance and legislative trends and serves on the editorial board of the Community College Journal of Research and Practice.

A frequent presenter at national, regional and state conferences, Nespoli also serves in numerous national community college leadership positions, including the American Association of Community Colleges Board of Directors, the 21st Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges, and the College Board's Community College Advisory Panel.

He holds a bachelor's degree from Bucknell University, a master's degree from Catholic University, and a doctorate from Penn State.

Phi Theta Kappa is the oldest, largest and most prestigious honor society recognizing students pursuing two-year degrees. Phi Theta Kappa is made up of more than 3 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in nine nations.

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