Senator Christopher J. Connors, representing the 9th Legislative District, completed the third and final day of the Legislator-in-Residence Program at his alma mater, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. Under the Program, members of the New Jersey State Senate and General Assembly are invited to Stockton’s campus to interact with students and faculty. Senator Connors was the Legislative participant for the Spring Semester.
On his final day participating in the Program, Senator Connors met with students enrolled in the course “Veterans: A Global Vision” to discuss veterans’ issues. Senator Connors currently serves on the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee and is a co-chairman of the New Jersey Veterans’ Hospital Task Force.
As an invited speaker, Senator Christopher J. Connors speaks to students enrolled in the course “Veterans: A Global Vision” at Stockton College taught by Professor Thomas O’Donnell, Assistant Dean of Students.
As part of his continuing efforts on behalf of veterans, Senator Connors is a prime sponsor of legislation (S-1026) along with Senator James Whelan that would establish a pilot teacher preparation program at Richard Stockton College for veterans who served in the armed forces on or after September 11, 2001.
The activities for the final day of the Program included Senator Connors discussing coastal erosion and dune maintenance with faculty from the Coastal Research Center as well as meeting with student representatives from various organizations and clubs for a roundtable on “How College Students Can Impact the Political Process.”
Senator Christopher J. Connors and Richard Stockton College President Dr. Herman J. Saatkamp, Jr.
Senator Connors offered the following remarks regarding his most recent campus visit:
“Participating in Stockton’s Legislator-In-Residence Program was a remarkable experience for me both professionally and personally.
“As the State Senator for Galloway Township and, by extension Stockton College, I gained a better understanding of how I, along with my colleagues Assemblyman Brian Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne Gove, can more effectively represent the interests of the College. On a more personal level, I was able to see, first hand, that Stockton is maintaining the distinguishing characteristics upon which it has built its reputation, such as one-on-one student-professor interaction, smaller class sizes and a commitment to preparing students for entering the work world.
“I had the privilege of meeting several professors to discuss issues, such as improving the quality of life for our veterans and protecting the Barnegat Bay. This afforded me the opportunity to receive comprehensive briefings from dedicated faculty members whose expertise I can rely on in the future moving forward on these issues.
“One thing that struck me the most during my time on campus was the tremendous level of enthusiasm displayed by students in and out of the classroom. Comparing myself to when I was their age, you could not help but be impressed by how prepared these students were to discuss the legislative process as well as issues of the day. This should give residents a comforting feeling that the next generation is not hesitant to engage in the critical issues facing our country.
“On a final note, it is important to recognize the tremendous efforts of Stockton’s President Dr. Herman Saatkamp, Jr. Even while facing unprecedented budgetary challenges, Dr. Saatkamp has in a short period of time improved the quality of education as well as the college experience for students through innovative approaches to unique challenges. Unquestionably, these efforts will ensure that Stockton will continue to be recognized as a leader in the state’s higher education community.”