Conference Information
Contact Information
Campus Map
About Us
Exhibitor Information

Dr. Clement Alexander Price, Director of The Rutgers Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience

Clement Alexander Price is Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor of History, Rutgers University-Newark Campus, and Director of the Rutgers Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, an interdisciplinary academic center that, through public partnerships and programming, offers the Newark metropolitan area the finest thinkers and artists engaged with key issues of modern life. Dr. Price is the foremost authority on the black New Jersey past by virtue of his Freedom Not Far Distant: A Documentary History of Afro-Americans in New Jersey (1980) and numerous other scholarly works. He has been the recipient of many awards for academic and community service, including: The New Jersey Nets Basketball Black History Month award at the Prudential Arena in Newark, New Jersey, February, 2011; the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award from Essex County in February, 2010; a Lifetime Achievement Award from Local Initiatives Support Corporation, (LISC) New Jersey in November, 2008; and New Jersey Professor of the Year by The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) in 1999. In 2006, he was inducted into the Rutgers University Hall of Distinguished Alumni.

Dr. Price is a trustee of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, president of the Newark Education Trust, chairman of the Save Ellis Island Foundation, and a member of the Scholarly Advisory Committee to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. He chaired the New Jersey State Council on the Arts from 1980 to 1983 and he holds honorary degrees from William Paterson University and Drew University. Dr. Price was agency lead for the National Endowment for the Humanities on President Obama’s transition team. He is also on the advisory council for the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Dr. Price was appointed by President Barack Obama in July 2011 to serve as vice chair of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

Along with the late Giles R. Wright, he is the 1981 co-founder and co-organizer of the Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series, one of the nation’s oldest and prestigious conferences in observance of Black History Month in New Jersey.

Dr. Edythe Abdullah, President Essex County College

Dr. Edythe M. Abdullah assumed the presidency of Essex County College on April 1, 2010. She is the sixth president of ECC and the first woman to lead the more than 13,000 student Newark school. She was selected to the school’s top position following a nationwide search conducted by the college’s Board of Trustees, and succeeds Dr. A. Zachary Yamba who retired after a 29-year tenure.
Upon her arrival at ECC, the President launched a series of academic and community initiatives that align with the underlying theme: Changing Lives…Building Futures.  As such, she identified four actionable foresights that would enhance the College’s effectiveness in serving its internal and external constituents including our students, transfer institutions and the workplace. 

Also recognized for her expertise in workforce training and adult education, the college’s new president has long championed the vital role of community colleges in facilitating student success and community development. One important workforce initiative in which she is involved is development of much-needed degree and certificate programs in Aviation Mechanics. Under a unique partnership with Continental Airlines and the Newark Alliance, ECC is developing curriculum which would help students pass appropriate Federal Aviation Administration certifications and meet specific employer job requirements.  The initiative is expected to create over 800 jobs in the Newark region.
Dr. Abdullah is the former president of the Downtown Campus of Florida State College (FSC) in Jacksonville, bringing a wealth of experience and an impressive record of achievement to Essex.  Dr. Abdullah worked in higher education for 25 years at Florida State College, which was previously known as Florida Community College, in her hometown of Jacksonville.  Her many accomplishments at FSC include overseeing the development of the Advanced Technology Center, a cutting-edge facility dedicated to an array of workforce development training programs; spearheading Pathways Academy, Florida’s first charter dropout retrieval high school; and securing millions of dollars in grants and in-kind contributions for the college. 

Edythe M. Abdullah holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Florida and earned her bachelor’s degree from Valparaiso University in Indiana. She also holds a Leadership Certificate in the Management of Lifelong Education from Harvard University and was a Kellogg Fellow with the League for Innovation in Community Colleges

Dr. Eugene Cornacchia, President St. Peter’s College

President Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D., was inaugurated as the 22nd president of Saint Peter’s College on October 20, 2007. Under President Cornacchia’s leadership, Saint Peter’s has expanded its highly regarded undergraduate and graduate education programs, establishing a School of Nursing and a School of Education, as well as several new majors, minors and concentrations and the College’s first doctoral programs.

During President Cornacchia’s tenure, Saint Peter’s founded the Center for Microplasma Science and Technology (CMST), a national Center of Excellence and nation’s first and only scientific and educational center devoted entirely to the emerging field of microplasmas. The College also houses several educational institutes, including the Guarini Institute for Government and Leadership and the Center for Global Learning, which supports and organizes study abroad and exchange programs. Saint Peter’s is a federally designated Hispanic-Serving Institution and is recognized as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) by the United Nations.

President Cornacchia has led Saint Peter’s through the launch of the largest capital campaign in the history of the College. Students at the Center: The Campaign for Saint Peter’s College will raise $62 million for the College’s new, state-of-the-art student center and additional priorities that include Jesuit mission and ministry, academics, athletics, growing the endowment and The Saint Peter Fund.  

In its Best Colleges 2011 guide, U.S. News & World Report ranked Saint Peter’s first among the private colleges throughout New Jersey and the New York metropolitan area in the Least Debt category, as part of the Regional Universities North division. Saint Peter’s was also ranked first among 159 institutions of higher education in the Racial Diversity category; it also holds the leading spot for Economic Diversity. 

President Cornacchia regularly devotes time to many civic leadership organizations. He is on the board of trustees and executive committee of the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce. He is vice chair of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC). Additionally, President Cornacchia is on the board of directors for the New Jersey Presidents’ Council, Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of New Jersey, and the Independent College Fund of New Jersey.

President Cornacchia received a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in political science from Fordham University. He also earned a Ph.D. in political science from Fordham University. Prior to becoming the first lay president of the College, President Cornacchia served as the College’s academic dean and then as provost and vice president for academic affairs. 

Dr. Carlos Hernandez, President New Jersey City University

A psychologist who has extensive public service experience in higher education, Carlos Hernández, Ph.D., has served as president of New Jersey City University since 1993. Under his leadership, the institution, formerly known as Jersey City State College, expanded its scope, underscored its urban mission, and attained university designation on May 29, 1998.  Prior to his appointment, Dr. Hernández served in various capacities at the institution: as provost, vice president for academic affairs, executive assistant to the president, and member of the faculty.

Dr. Hernández is a former member of the Board of Directors of the American Association for Higher Education and chaired the Association's Hispanic Caucus. He is also a former member of the Governing Board of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and served as a member of the American Council on Higher Education’s Commission on International Education.  Dr. Hernández served on the NCAA Division III Presidents’ Council. He is a reader and visiting team member for the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Dr. Hernández was formerly a Middle States Commissioner.

Dr. Hernández also serves on the American Council on Education’s Commission on Advancement of Racial and Ethnic Equity, has been appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, and is Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

In New Jersey, Dr. Hernández served as chair of the Presidents’ Council Academic Issues Committee and is currently a member of the Committee. Dr. Hernández is also a former chair of the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce and Industry and has recently been appointed to serve on the Board of Directors of NJEdge.  Active in community affairs, Dr. Hernández serves on the boards of the Eastman Fund, the Liberty Science Center, the Liberty HealthCare System, Inc., and Provident Bank, and co-chairs the Hudson County Chapter of the Alliance for Action.

Research conducted by Dr. Hernández has focused on the impact of globalization on higher education, sustainability, models of technology-based instruction, international policies on literacy education, and Hispanic participation in higher education.  He is a member of the editorial board of Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education.  He was the recipient of several awards, among them, India's prestigious Priyadarshni Academy's Global Award for Promotion of Education, the Prabhakar R. Shukla Humanitarian Award and the state of New Jersey’s Many Faces – One Family Award.

Dr. Hernández holds a doctorate in psychology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from York College of the City University of New York. He resides in Jersey City.


Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, Esq. Passaic County

On May 16, 2009, Governor Jon S. Corzine made history in the State of New Jersey when he nominated Camelia M. Valdes as the Passaic County Prosecutor. When Ms. Valdes was confirmed by the Legislature on June 26, 2009, she became the first Latina county prosecutor in the State of New Jersey, the first woman prosecutor in Passaic County, and the first lead prosecutor of Dominican ancestry in the United States. Currently, she is the youngest sitting County Prosecutor in the State of New Jersey.

In addition to her role as the chief law enforcement official in Passaic County, Ms. Valdes remains immersed in statewide law enforcement issues.  In 2010, Governor Christopher J. Christie appointed Ms. Valdes to the County Prosecutors’ Study Commission. Currently, Ms. Valdes serves on the Attorney General’s Committee on Steroid Abuse in Law Enforcement.

Ms. Valdes has dedicated her professional career to government service and public safety.  She served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office. Her wide federal prosecutorial experience included the successful investigation and prosecution of human trafficking, health care fraud, financial crimes, drug and firearm related offenses and immigration offenses.

Prior to joining the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, Ms. Valdes served as an Assistant Counsel in the Governor’s Counsel’s Office  for Governor Christine Todd Whitman and Acting Governor Donald T. DiFrancesco.  During that time, she handled all aspects of criminal legislation and initiatives.  Two of her proudest accomplishments while at the Governor’s Office included working on the legislation that created the New Jersey Drug Courts and the New Jersey Sex Offender Internet Registry. She also had the opportunity to serve as a Deputy Attorney General in the Division of Criminal Justice, Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor.  Ms. Valdes began her legal career as a municipal prosecutor for the City of Newark and as a labor attorney at the Newark Teachers Union.

Ms. Valdes is active in bar associations, community service organizations and parent advocacy. She was the 25th President of Hispanic Bar Association and a former board of trustee member of the New Jersey State Bar Association. She is a proud and active member of Pi Xi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., a community service sorority.  As the mother of two beautiful autistic girls, ages 6 and 4, Ms. Valdes works diligently at raising awareness about autism and special needs education.

Born to proud Dominican parents in the Bronx, New York and raised in Newark, New Jersey, Ms. Valdes is a product of the Newark Public Schools. She received her undergraduate degree in sociology and criminal justice from Seton Hall University in 1993.  She graduated from Rutgers Law School in 1996 and received her LL.M. in Trial Advocacy from Temple University in May 2001. Ms. Valdes credits the Equal Opportunity Program at Seton Hall University and the Council on Legal Education with providing her the necessary educational support and financial assistance to complete her education.