[Originally published in the September 21, 2015 issue]
On July 1st, 2015 Dr. Jianping Wang began her journey as the sixth president of Mercer County Community College. Dr. Wang was selected over two other possible candidates by MCCC Board of Trustees after a five month nationwide search and selection process.
Before becoming the new president, Wang was the Vice President of Academic Affairs at Ocean County College in Toms River New Jersey. Some of her duties as
the VP consisted of providing oversight and leadership for the overall operation of more than 50 academic programs.
During her time at Ocean County College (OC), Dr. Wang received honorable mention by Middle States Commission on Higher Education during the college’s evaluation in April
of 2014. At Ocean County, she also established a Center for Students Success. Before Ocean County, Wang was the Division Dean of Arts and Humanities at SUNY Westchester Community College, Valhalla, NY from February 1998 until her start at OC in August, 2012.
Wang started her pursuit for higher education when her mentor, Mr. Wu, encouraged her to attend college. However, in order to get into college, her mentor had her work the night shift at the factory he owned, so that he would be able to teach her without her parents finding out. The two prepared for exams in two subjects, English and Journalism.
Dr. Wang did not pass the English portion because in the excitement she forget to put her name on the exam. After failing her exam, Wang went back to work in her mentor’s factor. Again, Mr. Wu encouraged her to retake the tests, even forging her parents’ signature so that she would have the opportunity to pass, which she did the following year.
Because of her mentor’s initial support, Wang graduated from Hangzhou University located in the People’s Republic of China in 1982 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Afterward, she pursued a Master’s degree from Beijing University in 1986. Following this, Dr. Wang came to America and attended Harvard Graduate School of Education for her second Master’s degree. She then received a Doctorate in Education from Fielding Graduate School located in Santa Barbara, CA.
In a recent interview with The VOICE, Dr. Wang said her central focus during the two months since she started was to increase enrollment at the college. In her opinion, President Wang views MCCC as a “Gold Mine” because it has such great potential that has yet to be fully explored. She also went on to say that the school’s diversity and its
geographic location in relation to New York and Philadelphia makes MCCC an ideal location for students to attend.
Dr. Wang would like to focus some of her energy on building a stronger brand for MCCC. Once she was appointed by the Board of Trustees, they assigned her with a task to increase enrollment at the college. According, to Dr. Wang enrollment is up, by 4 to 5 percent. She gives a lot of credit to faculty members, the Administration office, Enrollment Services, and Custodial workers who keep the college clean.
Dr. Eun-Woo Chang, the Vice President for Academic A airs, added his thoughts on the new president, saying “I believe [Dr. Wang] is ready to make great changes to the college and that Mercer is excited to have her here.”
When asked about her thoughts on the new president, Kathryn Paluscio, Associate
Professor of Communication told The VOICE: “I have noticed a change in the atmosphere ever since the first speech [Dr. Wang] gave at the college and I’m very hopeful for the future.”
“I find her energetic and enthusiastic, I’m confident and excited that she will lead
us in the right direction” said Bryon Marshall, Director of Facilities & Safety.
The new President of Student Government Association Executive Board, Richard Ward, a Liberal Arts major said, “ I think it’s the greatest decision so far we made at Mercer. To bring in someone so cultured and inspringing in relation to her life story and share it with students; she is God’s gift to Mercer”
When asked what advice she had to offer to anyone pursuing a career in education, Wang said “first you are embarking on a very very noble and challenging, but enormously rewarding journey if you put your whole heart into it.”
More information about President Jianping Wang and her accomplishments can be found at: http://www.mccc.edu/pdf/ps2015/WangJianping.pdf