Morristown, N.J. (December 6, 2017) – N.J. Senator Sandra Cunningham, who represents the 31st Legislative District, visited the College of Saint Elizabeth today to meet students and administrators, and tour the campus.
Cunningham, who is chair of the Senate's Higher Education Committee, saw first-hand the upgrades to the science laboratories that were made possible through state funding, and talked to students about the importance of the Tuition Aid Grant (TAG) and Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) programs. Both programs help students in financial need.
Cunningham was greeted on campus by College President Helen J. Streubert and Vice President of Institutional Advancement Sally Cleary.
"It is an exceptional honor to host Senator Cunningham. Her interest in and commitment to higher education was clearly displayed during her visit," stated Streubert. "We are proud to have had the opportunity to share our campus, the passions and successes of our students and graduates, and our commitment to provide education to those whose opportunities for higher education are limited and to provide it in a setting that meets each student's unique learning needs."
Students were honored to meet the Senator.
"The fact that the Senator took time out of her busy schedule to meet with students from a small college reveals her passion and sincerity to see New Jersey's youth succeed," says Devon Tuten, '20, a psychology and business double major and member of EOF. "It was something I will always remember."
Dianne Nieves, '20, social work, is also a member of EOF and felt deeply inspired by a story the Senator shared. Cunningham explained that, during a pivotal moment in life, her aunt asked her to aim high, have confidence in herself and follow the motto, "Why not you?"
"I needed this more than she knew," says Nieves, who relies on scholarship support to attend CSE. "Hearing how she pushed through adversity is motivation to me."
A third member of EOF, Iesha Brooks-Walker, '19, also met with the Senator.
"She was very welcoming and open to listening to our opinions," says Brooks-Walker. "I felt more confident after I spoke with her."
The meeting commenced with discussion about CSE Promise, a rigorous program that guarantees eligible students who meet defined criteria the opportunity to obtain a paid six-month internship should they fail to receive either full-time job employment or graduate school admission within six months after their graduation.