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Kimberlee Hooper Named to National “40 Under 40” List

KimHooperKimberlee Hooper was named to the American Association for Women in Community Colleges’ list of “40 Under 40,” at the organization’s national conference in Chicago in April. The list consists of 40 women faculty, counselors, administrators and staff under the age of 40 from all over the nation who are leaders on their campuses. Ms. Hooper is MCC’s director of school relations, which is the link between MCC and the kindergarten to 12th grade community in the county and beyond.

“I can’t say enough about Kim’s ability and work ethic,” said MCC President Joann La Perla-Morales, who nominated Ms. Hooper for the award. “She is an excellent team player and leader, is committed to the College mission and works tirelessly to create new pathways for students.”

Ms. Hooper started at MCC in 2010 part time, as the coordinator for the CARE program (Center for Adults Returning to Education), which enabled adults students who were 21 years of age or older to return to MCC to complete their Associate Degree. She assisted those students during the enrollment process and collaborated with campus departments to provide financial aid, advisement and tutoring workshops. She became director of School Relations in 2012.

“Kim has done a tremendous job in this role,” Dr. La Perla-Morales said.

Since 2012, Ms. Hooper has added five high schools and almost 500 students to MCC’s High School Scholars Program, in which high school students can take college courses. In addition, she has hosted several large scale events, including the state finals of the NJ Science Olympiad.

“The programs offered through School Relations show the K-12 community what MCC has to offer by way of faculty, facilities and campus resources,” Dr. La Perla-Morales said. “Bringing middle school students on campus for the Algebra Summer Institute exposes students to the campus, facilities and faculty. Bringing elementary school students on campus for a tour and a day filled with activities allows them to begin considering MCC as an option for them down the road.”

School Relations also organizes professional development programs for teachers, as well as mid-career professionals who aspire to become teachers.

Ms. Hooper also developed workshops on dyslexia, autism, and how to use an iPad effectively in the classroom.

She also oversees three college summer bridge programs – Johnson and Johnson Scholars, College Readiness, and the Bridges to Baccalaureate Program. These provide high school students with college readiness remediation prior to graduation, which allows them to begin taking credit-bearing courses upon entering MCC.

Ms. Hooper said she was honored to receive the award.

“The work I do at MCC is very important to me because of the impact it has on others,” she said. “I am thrilled to be among this distinguished group and I hope it will inspire other young women.” Ms. Hooper is a member of the College Assembly, the MCC Scholarship Committee, a state representative to the American Council on Education, and she is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Arc of Middlesex County.