Parent & Family Newsletter

May 2021


As the Spring semester comes to a close, we bring you our May 2021 Parent & Family Newsletter. In this edition, you can find features on the I am TCNJ: Docu-Story Project, our Blue & Gold Hall of Fame, TCNJ Athletics and Student Health Services. We have also included updates from Dining Services, closing information from Residential Education & Housing and more. In addition, we include some significant dates and deadlines for your reference. 

We hope you have a healthy and safe summer!

Susie Orecchio
Director of Administration & Operations, Student Affairs
Coordinator of Parent & Family Programs

Introduction from the Vice President
for Student Affairs 

Dear Parents and Family Members,

Though we anticipated that the 2020-2021 academic year would be a year filled with ups and downs, we did not know the resilience of our campus and our students would be tested in the manner we have all faced. In a country wrestling with a health crisis, rising issues of social justice, and economic instability for many, our institution stood on principles. We kept the mental and physical health and safety of our community at the forefront of our decision-making. First, making the extremely difficult decision to remain remote for the fall semester resulting in the suspension of fall sports and many of the campus engagement activities our students have come to love. Secondly, we needed to address other aspects of the human experience. A remote fall schedule challenged faculty and others committed to the student experience to think outside the box to create a campus engagement experience that was overt in its efforts to keep community members engaged. There were countless activities scheduled throughout the term and posted on This Week at TCNJ.

Moving forward, a lesson learned from the fall semester is that we could leverage the technological boom of virtual connection to support our campus through the spring term. As the supply chain backlog began to ease and new information was learned about campus testing regimens, we felt confident we could provide a safe campus for our community of learners. As such, we were able to reintroduce athletic conditioning and competitions, reopen our residence halls, and continue to provide a platform for student engagement through virtual formats. Surely, it was not the most ideal. The nature of our campus is one that is full of interaction. We know that bringing people together is integral to the student experience. But this year, we needed to put the greater needs ahead of our own; so we did. 

Alas, we are here. We are on the cusp of closing a year like no other. Not because of the challenges imposed by the pandemic but in spite of the challenges imposed by the pandemic. Perhaps nothing speaks to this more than the 2021 Blue and Gold Hall of Fame induction which gives TCNJ another way to recognize our students' sustained contributions to service as student leaders. Student leaders who have sustained a pandemic for a year and half but still managed to give freely of themselves, and we proudly celebrate their accomplishments and hope they understand they have left an imprint on the campus. 

The I Am TCNJ: DocuStory project provides our students a platform and medium to share their campus experiences in a way that challenges us to be better. This project also goes further by doubling as an educational resource to help us become better educators, better classmates, and better humans that are appreciative of the complexity of difference. It is my hope that a project such as this can be a starting point to create conversations that explore productive ways to address social issues on our campus and beyond. I encourage you to explore the DocuStory project where you too can develop some insight of the varied experiences of students at The College of New Jersey. 

This was an incredible year indeed. We all were challenged like never before and we have grown like never before.

Be well and stay safe,

Sean O. Stallings
Vice President of Student Affairs

Table of Contents

Connect with us across the web for more information and resources!

TCNJ Parent & Family Resources
TCNJ Parent & Family Resources
Parent & Family Webpage
Parent & Family Webpage
TCNJ Student Affairs
TCNJ Student Affairs
TCNJ Student Affairs
TCNJ Student Affairs
TCNJ Student Affairs
TCNJ Student Affairs
I am TCNJ: A Docu-Story Project

The I am TCNJ Docu-Story is a documentary project exploring the stories of the lived experiences of students at The College of New Jersey. As Vice President Sean Stallings spoke about in his introduction, our Docu-Story project is simultaneously an educational tool and vehicle for students to open hearts and minds to the experiences of others. 

Created by a group comprised of students and staff, the web-based interactive experiences used video and interviews to capture insight on the ways in which students experience TCNJ. I am TCNJ Docu-Story covers a range of topics and themes including The American Dream, Assumptions, and Sense of Belonging.

To explore the themes and view all of the interviews, be sure to check out the website,

We would also like to extend a thank you to all staff and students for participating and helping create this project.
Roscoe's Pledge 
All members of the community who reside on campus or spend any amount of time on campus are asked to take Roscoe’s Pledge, which follows, to help ensure the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and others.

Blue and Gold Hall of Fame

The Blue and Gold Hall of Fame was created seven years ago to recognize the variety of student leadership that occurs at the College. The Blue and Gold Award honors students who have made extraordinary and sustained contributions to The College of New Jersey. This award acknowledges our understanding that these students, through the quality of their work and dedication to the mission of the College, will have a positive and lasting impact on the student experience. These individuals have all proven themselves to be critical change-agents, excellent role models for their fellow students, and dedicated and able leaders in and out of the classroom. These individuals represent leadership, scholarship, service and the core beliefs of the College.

Each year, we recognize 12 students for their service and contributions to The College of New Jersey. This year, the students have been recognized through social media as well as through a small, in-person ceremony with the recipients and their guests. Please join us in congratulating this year's inductees: 
  • Jennifer Bedel, Psychology
  • Nathaniel Byrnes, Biology
  • Shannon Devitt, Accounting 
  • Rupak Doctor, Marketing
  • Frank Fabino, History Secondary Education
  • Suchir Govindarajan, English
  • Calvin Kim, Computer Science
  • Elyse Nardozza, Engineering Science Management
  • Bryanna O'Keefe, Communication
  • Daniela Pareja, Psychology
  • Mackenzie Parke, Special Elementary Education/ Psychology
  • Sofia Zapata, Civil Engineering
This Week @ TCNJ
By Office of Student Involvement

Finals are upon us! Be sure to encourage your student to check out the variety of virtual and in-person events being held to help support students during this time, including Cram Jam hosted by Student Affairs! For this program, event spaces in the Brower Student Center will be converted into study rooms and a hospitality room full of drinks, snacks, and other giveaways. This semester, students also have the opportunity to sign up for a small group study room for up to 6 people at 

Here is a summary of the dates and rooms available:

Monday, 5/10 through Thursday, 5
  • BSC 222 and 224: Small group study rooms
  • BSC 225E: Quiet study room (no music)
  • BSC 225W: Relaxation and destress room (study spaces with calming music, decor, and coloring pages)
ALL WEEK - Monday, 5/10 through Friday, 5/14:
  • BSC 101: Hospitality Room (free snacks, drinks, and giveaways while supplies last each day)
  • BSC typical lounges still open
For more information on Cram Jam and other programs during finals, check out the This Week @ TCNJ Calendar and follow them on Instagram (@thisweekattcnj).
Summer Break Closing Information 
By the Department of Residential Education & Housing
All residence halls will officially close for summer on Tuesday, May 18, 2021 at 8pm. All students, except those participating in Commencement or who have received prior approval to stay on campus, are expected to move-out 24-hours after their last final exam or by 8pm, May 18, whichever comes first. Any student who is not able to move out by these times should contact our office at as soon as possible. Please note that exceptions are rare and are only made for extenuating circumstances.  

Over the upcoming weeks, we encourage students to begin taking non-essentials home prior to the end of the semester, to ensure a more expeditious move-out at the end of the semester. It is also recommended that students begin organizing and packing items to prepare to go home or discarding items as needed.

As a reminder, Guest Restrictions are still in place for students who live on-campus, however, during a student's final move-out, they will be permitted 2 helpers to assist with moving out of their residence hall. We recommend making as few trips as possible to remove student belongings and to keep the final move-out time to two hours. Students will not be required to sign-up for an official move-out time, which is why we encourage students to start bringing items home over the next couple of weeks, before completely departing for the semester, to minimize traffic in and out of the building during finals week. The last day of classes was Friday, May 7, 2021 and 24-hour quiet hours began at 11pm that night for the remainder of the semester. Students who are found to be disruptive who do not have scheduled finals may be removed from housing for the remainder of the semester. 

Below is the list of things to be aware of and to follow to ensure a proper check-out and to avoid unnecessary damage and lock change charges: 

  • Keys must be returned prior to leaving campus. Keys can be returned to your area office or via the Express Check-Out Key return box located at Eickhoff Hall Entrance closest to the C Store, Decker Hall Entrance, Townhouse South Office, Wolfe Lobby, Travers Lobby, Phelps Mailboxes and Hausdoerffer Mailboxes.
  • Scan the Check-Out Barcode at the Area Office/Key Drop box to check-out via My Housing and to officially notify us that you have left.
  • Items left behind may result in cleaning charges. Rooms should be broom swept and private bathrooms/kitchens (Cromwell/Decker/Eickhoff/ Phelps/Hausdoerffer/Townhouses) should be cleaned. Remove all items from your room - trash can be brought to the dumpster outside/near your residence hall (trash chutes are not available starting May 7).
  • Remove all items from walls, doors and windows.
  • Check your mailbox for any items and ensure that you have picked up any packages you have received. Mail will not be forwarded.
  • Close and lock your windows, turn off the lights and lock your room door.
  • All meal plan points will expire at the end of the day on Tuesday, May 18, 2021 and the last meal will be served on this day. To make sure leftover points are not forfeited, take advantage of Sodexo’s Case Sale! Students received specific information about this in their closing email, and you can find more details in the Dining Update within this Newsletter.
  • Anything left behind is not the responsibility of The College and will be discarded. Consequently, your room could be assessed as dirty and incur additional charges.
TCNJ Athletics Spring Update 
By the Athletics Department 

In the Spring 2021 Semester, The College of New Jersey Athletics returned after nearly 11 months without competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We wanted to share some highlights from our winter and spring sports seasons.

Winter Sports:
The Lions’ winter competition featured basketball, men’s and women’s swimming & diving, and wrestling.

Both the men’s and women’s swimming & diving teams captured the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championship. The conference titles marked the first one for each program since the 2015-16 season. On the men’s side, the Lions swept the major NJAC awards. Andrew Thompson was named NJAC Swimmer of the Year, while Jay Soukup was named Diver of the Year. James McChesney was chosen as Rookie of the Year, and head coach Dave Dow earned NJAC Coach of the Year honors. The women’s team earned three major NJAC honors. Zoe Chan was named NJAC Swimmer of the Year, Gabi Valladares was tabbed Diver of the Year, and head coach Jennifer Harnett was selected as NJAC Coach of the Year.


On February 5, the men’s and women’s basketball teams tipped off their seasons and ended a 331-day streak without any games for TCNJ.

The men’s basketball team posted a 7-1 record and advanced to the NJAC Semifinals. Travis Jocelyn was named NJAC Pony Wilson Player of the Year, which marked the second year in a row that TCNJ has earned that award. Randall Walko was named to the same honor in 2020. The women’s basketball team went 9-1 in the abbreviated 2021 season and also advanced to the NJAC Semifinals. Shannon Devitt earned NJAC Defensive Player of the Year honors. Devitt also broke TCNJ’s all-time rebounding record, as she broke Candy Kaschack’s program record of 962 rebounds, which was a mark that stood since 1984.

The wrestling team posted a 3-1 record in its 2021 season. The Lions had a number of strong performances on the year, led by Thomas Marretta who went 6-0. Reid Collela, Nick Denora, and Thomas Stigliano each posted a 5-1 record. Jacob Falleni and Jake Giordano both wrestled to undefeated 4-0 marks.

Spring Sports:
As the seasons changed and the weather began to warm up, TCNJ transitioned into its Spring competition. 

Cross Country:
The men’s and women’s cross country teams kicked off the Spring season in style, as both teams won the NJAC Championship. Head Coach Justin Lindsey earned Coach of the Year honors on both sides. On the women’s side, Salini Iyer earned NJAC Runner and Rookie of the Year honors, while Chase Miller of the men’s team was selected as Rookie of the Year.

After the Spring 2020 seasons were canceled, TCNJ was delighted to return to a full Spring competition season in 2021. The Lions are currently competing in baseball, softball, lacrosse, men’s and women’s tennis, along with men’s and women’s track & field. The Lions have their eyes on the postseason, as both the NJAC along with the NCAA intend to hold Spring Championships this year.

Last month, a pair of TCNJ student-athletes were inducted into TCNJ’s prestigious Blue and Gold Hall of Fame. Shannon Devitt of the women’s basketball team and Elyse Nardozza of the softball team received the honors as part of the Class of 2021. The Blue and Gold Hall of Fame honors junior or senior students who have made extraordinary and sustained contributions to The College of New Jersey. This award acknowledges TCNJ's understanding that these students, through the quality of their work and dedication to the mission of the college, will have a positive and lasting impact on the student experience.

Moving forward:
In the Fall, TCNJ Athletics is looking forward to a full return to competition, beginning in August. The Lions will compete in football, men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey, men’s and women’s tennis, along with men’s and women’s cross country this Fall.

For more from TCNJ Athletics, you can view their April 2021 TCNJ Athletics newsletter here.
Commencement 2021

For information on the Class of 2021 Commencement ceremonies, check out the website at the link here!
Pandemic Pounds
By Holly Heller, APN
Nurse Practitioner, Student Health Services

fruit, hand weight and scale for healthy weight gain

Stress wasn’t the only thing that increased during the pandemic. For many of us, our waistlines increased as well. The “quarantine 19” was no longer just something to joke about. With fitness centers closed, routines disrupted, stress levels high, people working and learning from home and the immediate access to the refrigerator and snack cabinet, it was difficult, if not impossible, to maintain a healthy lifestyle over the past year. You don’t need to feel bad about gaining a few pounds or apologize for turning to comfort foods to manage your stress. Longer days, more sunshine and good weather are here and now’s your chance to begin making some shifts, and feel better and stronger than ever.

Here are a few tips to help you get started:
  • Set up a daily routine
    • Set up and keep a sleep schedule. Going to bed and getting up at the same time each day improves your overall sleep quality.
    • Get up and get dressed like you were going to in-person classes or headed to the office. Wearing sweat pants or pajama bottoms every day, all day, makes it easy not to notice weight gain.
    • Plan your meals for the day. Planning what you will eat helps avoid the sudden urge to snack on unhealthy food choices.
    • Eat your meals at regular intervals and include breakfast, lunch and dinner. Eating every 3-4 hours during the day helps reduce impulse eating.
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet
    • Make most of your meal vegetables and fruits. That’s ½ of your plate. Aim for color and variety, and remember that potatoes don’t count as a vegetable.
    • Whole grains should make up ¼ of your plate. Whole grains include things like whole wheat pasta and breads, brown rice, quinoa, oats and barley.
    • Fish, poultry, beans or nuts should make up the last ¼ of your plate. Limit the amount of red meat you eat and avoid processed meats like hot dogs, bacon and sausage.
    • Watch your portion sizes. Use a salad plate instead of a dinner plate so you don’t overfill your plate.
  • Stay hydrated
    • Drink plenty of water each day. You should drink on average 64 ounces of water per day.
    • Avoid sugary drinks like soda and juices.
    • Have coffee or tea in moderation and avoid adding sugar and milk products which increase their calorie count.
  • Schedule regular exercise
    • Take advantage of the nice weather and enjoy daily long walks outside. Just remember to stay socially distanced from others and if you’re on campus, wear your mask.
    • Check out online work out videos. Try something new like yoga or Pilates.
    • Use an app like MyFitnessPal to track your workouts.
    • Any amount of physical activity you can fit into your day will help keep your weight in check and brighten your mood.
  • Get some sleep
    • Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
    • Don’t use your phone or computer 1-2 hours before bedtime. The bright blue light of these devices disrupts your ability to fall asleep. If you must use them, then turn the brightness down.
    • Try listening to relaxing music or use an App like Calm to help bring you the relaxation you need to get a restful night’s sleep.
While many things may still feel out of your control as the pandemic continues, you can take control of your health and wellbeing. Small, simple lifestyle changes will help create new work-and-learn-from-home habits that will leave you feeling healthier and stronger. 

For more information on the MyPlate App and healthy eating, visit:

For information on the MyFitnessPal App, visit:
TCNJ Dining Update
By Dining Services
The C-Store, starting April 26th, 2021, will be having our annual Point Busters/Case sale! This is a great way for students to use up the remaining balance of their points before the semester is over. Meal plan points must be used by the end of the spring semester or they are otherwise forfeited as meal plan points do not roll over from year to year. 

Students may order items in several ways:

Find the form with instructions on the TCNJ Dining Website and either:
  • Bring it into the C-Store or pick up an order form in the C-Store
  • Email Ron Pritchard at
Orders may be placed from April 26th – May 12th, 2021.

Pick-Ups will start in store on May 3rd and go until May 17th.

C-Store hours are as follows:
  • Monday - Friday 10:00 am – 1:30 am
  • Saturday & Sunday 7:20 am – 12:00 am.
For more information and details, please visit our Dining Services website and be sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @TCNJDining! 
What's New at TCNJ?
Here is some of the latest news available about The College of New Jersey!
Stay updated with more news about the College here.

Significant Dates and Deadlines

  • Last Day of Spring classes: 5/7
  • Reading dates: 5/8 - 5/10
  • Exam Period begins: 5/11, 5pm
  • Reading days: 5/15 - 5/16
  • Exam Period resumes: 5/17 - 5/18
  • Residence Halls close for the spring semester: 5/18, 8 PM
  • Commencement Ceremonies for the Class of 2021: 5/19 - 5/21
You can find TCNJ's full academic calendar here.
Are You a TCNJ Legacy Family? Let us Know!

A Legacy at The College of New Jersey is an alumna/alumnus or current student who is the grandchild, child, or sibling of another TCNJ alumna/alumnus or current student. The Office of Alumni Affairs hosts special events for Legacy families throughout the year. Please let us know if you are a TCNJ Legacy family by clicking here to fill out our survey.
First Time College Parent/Family Member?

If so, we have articles on our website focused on transitioning to college for parents and families. You can find articles and resources on our website here.

TCNJ Barnes & Noble Bookstore

External Resources

CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

CDC guidelines for Institutions of Higher Learning

NJ COVID-19 Information Hub

NJ Department of Health
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