Stockton News - May 19, 2023


Class of 2023 graduatesClass of 2023 Urged to be Leaders at Commencement

In his last commencement address as president, Dr. Harvey Kesselman praised Stockton's Class of 2023 and offered “one final nugget of wisdom” — “lead where you are planted.”

The University held two ceremonies, one at 10 a.m. and one at 2:30 p.m. on May 12 at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall for 2,800 graduates who received bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees.

“In today's world, there is an imperative need for genuine leadership, real leadership. … Leaders with a clear vision to unite a polarized society rather than exacerbate divisions,” said Kesselman, who is retiring as president on June 30. “And leaders who genuinely care about the issues and the people they serve, rather than those self-proclaimed leaders who view leadership as holding mere positions and titles instead of having purpose and influence.”

Kesselman added that a Stockton degree has prepared the graduates to fulfill that task.

📰 In the NewsThe Press of Atlantic City, NBC10,

📸 View photos from the morning ceremony.

📸 View photos from the afternoon ceremony.

Two Students Receive Arcuri-Wharton Pre-Law AwardsTwo Students Receive Arcuri-Wharton Pre-Law Awards

Two Stockton students received the newly named Alan F. Arcuri and Linda J. Wharton Pre-Law Fund Award to support them in their journey to law school.

The fund started in 2019 in memory of Arcuri, a former Stockton professor known for his tireless efforts in advising pre-law students. It provides the recipients a stipend to cover the cost of a prep program for the LSAT exam and mentors for them as they apply to and attend law school.

This spring the award was renamed to include Wharton, a retiring professor of Political Science and Pre-Law advisor.

“Alan was a longtime and greatly loved faculty member. He cared deeply about our students,” Wharton said. “I am so humbled to have my name paired in perpetuity with Alan Arcuri. He was my role model when I came to Stockton. He was an excellent advisor and excellent teacher.”

Lavender GraduationLavender Graduation Encourages Community, Mentorship

The Michael Jacobson Board of Trustees Room was transformed into a bright and colorful display of LGBTQ+ pride for May 8’s Lavender Graduation Ceremony. 

The annual ceremony that honors the achievements of LGBTQ+ students has reached its sixth year on Stockton University’s campus. According to Laurie Dutton, director of the Women’s Gender & Sexuality Center, the ceremony is a nationwide initiative with roots in the University of Michigan. She shared some background on the ceremony with the audience during her welcome remarks. 

“The Lavender Graduation ceremony was created by Dr. Ronni Sanlo, a Jewish lesbian who was denied the opportunity to attend the graduations of her biological children because of her sexual orientation,” Dutton said. “It was through this experience that she came to understand the pain felt by her own students. Encouraged by the Dean of Students at the University of Michigan, Dr. Sanlo designed the first Lavender Graduation ceremony back in 1995, and it began at the University of Michigan with three graduates. By 2001, there were over 45 Lavender Graduation ceremonies at colleges and universities nationwide. Now, there are hundreds, including Stockton University.”

Spring 2023 Issue of Stockton NowRead the Spring 2023 Issue of Stockton Now

As the spring semester draws to a close, it's almost time to say farewell to President Harvey Kesselman, who is retiring at the end of June after serving as president for eight years. 

President Kesselman led under the guiding principle of Students First, and this issue of Stockton Now highlights a few amazing students and alumni who are thriving here and throughout the region, like the Jenkins family and Kimberly Dudeck '17.


Jane BokunewiczJane Bokunewicz, faculty director of The Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism (LIGHT), won the CRDA Spirit of Hospitality Award and was formally recognized at the 24th annual Atlantic City Host & Spirit of Hospitality Awards on May 10. This award is given to an outstanding individual who has made a long-lasting contribution to the Atlantic City tourism & hospitality industry.

Bokunewicz, who also received the 2022 NJBIZ Education Power 50 Award last November, said she was honored by this recent recognition.

"The Host Awards are very special to me because I have served for almost 10 years on the committee that reviews all of the nominations each year. I have had the privilege of reading hundreds of stories of amazing acts of service, by employees, to the guests of Atlantic City," Bokunewicz said during her acceptance speech. 

Pictured from left to right, Diana Strelczyk, assistant director of Office of Continuing Studies & Adult Education; Sarah Grady, assistant director of The Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism (LIGHT); award recipient Jane Bokunewicz, faculty director of LIGHT; Donna Albano, professor of Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management Studies (HTMS); Tara Marsh, HTMS Internship Coordinator; Noel Criscione-Naylor, associate professor of HTMS; and Jennifer Aarons, LIGHT Faculty Fellow AY '23; teaching specialist of HTMS.


what's trending - may 19, 2023Twitter: #StocktonU Environmental Science major Grant Johnson caught a Black Drum that landed him on the cover of @TheFishermanMag. 

Facebook: The School of General Studies is now the William T. Daly School of General Studies, named in honor of our beloved founding faculty member. Leave your memories of Bill Daly, Distinguished Professor of Political Science, in the comments. We'll go first. Professor Daly told us that the sweater he is pictured wearing was hand knit by his wife, and it was his favorite.


stockton rowing Stockton Varsity Eight Wins Gold at Dad Vail Regatta 

The women’s rowing team added to its impressive semester-long medal haul in the varsity eight on May 13 with gold at the prestigious Dad Vail Regatta. The Ospreys won the Dad Vail gold in the Division III varsity eight for the second time in the last three years.

One day after cruising to victory in their heat by 19 seconds, Stockton took the gold medal with another dominant performance, crossing the finish line with a time of 7:08.807, which was 15 seconds in front of a field that included six teams.

The triumph concluded an incredible spring for the varsity eight in which the crew went undefeated, winning at all six regattas highlighted by gold medals at the Dad Vail, MARC Championships and Knecht Cup plus victories at the Manhattan College Invitational, Battle at Brigantine and Upper Schuylkill Challenge.

Barranger, Posten & TanciniBarranger, Posten & Tancini Named Academic All-District

Three seniors from the softball team were named College Sports Communicators Academic All-District for the 2023 season. Outfielders Gabrielle Barranger and Vanessa Tancini and second baseman Kayla Posten received the CSC Academic District nods.

All three Ospreys collected academic all-district honors for the first time. Barranger, Posten and Tancini helped Stockton to 19 wins while facing the second-toughest schedule in NCAA Division III as well as an NJAC Tournament berth as the No. 4 seed.


PreciousCampus Kitty ‘Precious’ 🐾 Crosses Rainbow Bridge

Christine Tartaro, professor of Criminal Justice, shared some sad news via Stocktalk on May 12 that one of the orange cats, “Precious,” a campus fixture, crossed the rainbow bridge on May 11. After receiving word from a fellow staff member that he did not look well, Tartaro took him to the vet, where he was later put down after discovering many critical health issues.

It is estimated that he resided on campus for nearly 17 years and was well cared for by many staff members and students who enjoyed seeing him and his feline friends (also well-loved) catching sun rays outside E and F wings. Stocktalk flooded with sentiments about Precious, and many took paws remembering him fondly.

Celebrate Diversity DigestNew Issue of Celebrate Diversity Digest Released

The last issue of Celebrate Diversity Digest for this academic year is available online.  

This issue features stories from both inside and outside the Stockton community.

Featured stories include:

  • Benefits of Teacher Diversity by Dean Claudine Keenan

  • Women’s Networking Conference by Esther Lawrence

  • Staff Senate Diversity & Inclusion Subcommittee by Diana Allen

  • Restorative Justice Summit: A Conversation with Yesenia Pacheco by Loukaia Taylor

  • Guest Story on St. Norbert College’s Approach to Diversity & Inclusion by Jennifer Bonds-Raacke and Billy Korinko

  • Stockton Voices featuring Juan Diego Chapparo, Erika Gilchrist and Alexis Jenkins

The Digest is a publication of the Committee on Campus Diversity & Inclusive Excellence.

Roster Verification

Roster Verification Reminder for Faculty

Attention all faculty teaching this summer! As the summer semester has begun, it's almost time to Verify your Ospreys!

New this year, faculty are reminded to complete the Roster Verification process for summer courses by confirming student attendance/academic activity. The Roster Verification process should be completed by Sunday, May 21. The Office of Financial Aid will use this information to make adjustments to student financial aid disbursements based on each student's confirmed number of credits.

Please note: For faculty teaching a course that begins in Session III (June 26), please be sure to complete the Roster Verification Process by Saturday, July 1.

Each instructor will be responsible for verifying student attendance or participation in an academic activity. For online courses, faculty are reminded to include an assignment or discussion activity during the add/drop period so that the student's academic activity can be confirmed.

The link to complete Roster Verification can be found under the faculty tab within the goStockton portal.

For more information and a list of frequently asked questions, visit


Events for Alumni & Friends

Summer Camps at Stockton

Now-May 31: “The Armenian Genocide, One Family’s Story” exhibit    

May 20: 🎮 Garden State Esports Spring Finals

May 23: Successful Aging Festival

June 6: 🚲15th Annual G. Larry James Legacy Ride

June 10: 🦜🌳🦥 Second Saturdays: Rainforest Revelation

June 13: 🍻 School of Education Alumni Teacher Appreciation Happy Hour

June 21: 🌞 Transfer Jam

June 23: 🌸🌲 Pinelands Summer Short Course 

June 24: 🦅 First to Fly Leadership Symposium