Reading, PA – On Tuesday, September 19, Vice President Kamala Harris marked National Voter Registration Day by
Reading, PA – On Tuesday, September 19, Vice President Kamala Harris marked National Voter Registration Day by participating in a moderated conversation with actress Annie Gonzalez at Reading Area Community College (RACC), a Hispanic-serving institution in Reading, PA. This campus event will be the third stop on the Vice President’s month-long college tour.
Vice President Harris’s “Fight for Our Freedoms" College Tour is a high-energy national swing to mobilize thousands of young people in the ongoing fight for fundamental freedoms and rights. She is set to visit around a dozen campuses including HBCUs, community colleges, apprenticeship programs, state schools, and additional Hispanic-serving institutions. At each stop, the Vice President will focus on key issues that disproportionately impact young people across America – from reproductive freedom and gun safety to climate action, voting rights, LGBTQ+ equality, mental health, and book bans.
“It is truly an honor to have Vice President Harris visit our beautiful campus. I am very proud to have such an opportunity to showcase the great work that our faculty and staff do for our students and the Berks County community,” says RACC President Dr. Susan Looney.
The Vice President’s college tour officially kicked off this week with stops at Hampton University and North Carolina A&T State University. It is a continuation of her dedicated work to energize, engage, and partner with young people throughout the country. She has already been to 13 college campuses this year after visiting 14 schools in 2022. Vice President Harris also regularly meets with young leaders wherever she goes – from climate leaders in Colorado to gun safety advocates in Virginia.
RACC’s Early Childhood Education ESL Embedded Tutoring and Peer Support Program Recognized by Excelencia
Reading, PA (August 15, 2023) – Excelencia in Education has named Reading Area Community College (RACC)’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) English as a second language (ESL) Embedded Tutoring and Peer Support Program a finalist for the 2023 Examples of Excelencia, recognizing the program’s intentionality in serving Latino students through culturally relevant, evidence-based practices. This program is among 19 Examples of Excelencia finalists across the country.
The Early Childhood Education ESL Embedded Tutoring and Peer Support program supports Latino Early Childhood Education students through course embedded ESL tutoring, peer mentoring and the intentional revision of instructional design to support ESL students.
Excelencia is the only national effort to identify, aggregate, and promote evidence-based practices accelerating Latino student success in higher education. As one of this year’s finalists, RACC’s program demonstrates intentionality and impact in improving degree outcomes for Latino and other post-traditional students. The program’s efforts can inform institutional leaders and practitioners that are proactively seeking ways to build and sustain practices tailored to their students and their communities.
“We bring national attention to the Examples of Excelencia finalists because they show what is possible when serving Latino students in their higher education journeys,” said Adriana Rodriguez, Vice President for Programs at Excelencia in Education. “Beyond enrollment, these programs implement replicable practices that answer questions of how best to reach Latino students and support them to and through college in today’s landscape.
RACC’s Early Childhood Education ESL Embedded Tutoring and Peer Support program and the other finalists were selected through a robust review process of 103 program submissions representing higher education institutions and community organizations across 20 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico in four categories: associate, baccalaureate, graduate, and community-based organizations. Since 2005, Excelencia has received over 2,000 program submissions, recognized over 400 programs for their impact, and raised and awarded over $2 million to the programs making a difference for Latino students to sustain their work.
“I am deeply grateful for the recognition that this award represents, and I would like to thank Nancy Jackson, Dr. Robin Eckert, and their staff for their tireless dedication to our students,” Dr. Susan Looney, RACC president, says. “Every day, they provide a supportive and nurturing environment that enables our students to thrive. It is their commitment to helping students achieve their dreams that helps to transform the lives within our community.”
All finalist programs will be featured online in Excelencia’s Growing What Works Database — the only national, searchable database for institutional leaders, funders, policymakers, and others interested in effective programs for Latino students.
June 29, 2023 — Reading Area Community College (RACC) was honored at a gala at Kraras Hall in Saints Constanti
June 29, 2023 — Reading Area Community College (RACC) was honored at a gala at Kraras Hall in Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Wyomissing on Thursday, June 29. Accepting the award on behalf of RACC was RACC President, Dr. Susan Looney.
Each year, Centro Hispano Daniel Torres recognizes an institution, organization or individual who makes a positive impact at the center and in Reading’s Latino community with its Amigo Award. RACC was selected as the 2023 Amigo Award winner and honored at the Amigo Award Gala.
“I am deeply grateful for the recognition that this award represents, and I would like to thank everyone at RACC for their tireless dedication to our students. Every day, they provide a supportive and nurturing environment that enables our students to thrive. It is their commitment to helping students achieve their dreams that helps to transform the lives within our community,” says Dr. Susan Looney.
In addition to the award ceremony, the dinner featured keynote speaker, Mr. Richard C. Harwood, renowned speaker, author and president and founder of The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, will be our keynote speaker for the evening.
Centro Hispano Daniel Torres’ mission is to support the acculturation of the local Latino population through collaborative initiatives with core programs that include a senior center, social services referrals, college scholarships and guidance for high school students, peer-to-peer training for parents, and after-school mentoring.
Reading, PA – Chairman of the Board for the Foundation for Reading Area Community College (RACC), Gary Moyer,
Reading, PA – Chairman of the Board for the Foundation for Reading Area Community College (RACC), Gary Moyer, and Executive Director of the Foundation for RACC, Anthony (Tony) DeMarco, recently welcomed five new members to the Foundation Board. The Foundation for RACC has a long history of strong community support; having tremendous impact on student success within the region. In 2022, the foundation was recognized as an Outstanding Foundation by the Berks County Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Alex Goodman, Sharon White, Daniel Laws, Sandra Focht and Peter Rowley were all elected unanimously to serve the Foundation and have provided superb leadership during their first months with the Foundation for RACC.
"The Foundation for RACC continues to build a powerful board befitting the largest institute of higher education in Berks County," says Tony DeMarco. "We are thrilled to bring on such influential leaders who will advocate for our college.
Alex Goodman serves as the Wieland-Heyco human resources director at the Reading location. She attended Skidmore College and received her MBA from Alvernia University. She has returned to the Foundation Board after a brief departure to pursue a position out of the area. Alex served on the 50th Anniversary Committee, which managed one of the most successful nonprofit events in Berks County history. She is currently a member of the Miller Center Advisory Council, and believes in RACC's core values and mission in building a stronger community through education.
Sharon White and her husband Brad, are longtime leaders of the John Paul II Center for Special Learning. Sharon was a longstanding member of the John Paul II Gala Committee, which is one of the finest nonprofit events in the region. Sharon has been an active participant of the RACC Golf Tournament, and is looking forward to help fundraise for the Foundation. Sharon is a respected speech therapist who has counseled many students in our region.
Daniel Laws is the founder, president and CEO of DaBrian Marketing, one of Reading's leading digital marketing and digital analytics companies. Daniel is always looking to help the students of Reading succeed. He takes his role as a community leader and a voice of diversity in Berks County very seriously. Currently, Daniel is one of three co-chairs of the Digital Analytics Association's (DAA) Philadelphia Chapter. He is a member of the Forbes Agency Council and is a member of the local Vistage group. Daniel is very involved in Berks County youth sports where his children are active participants.
Sandra Focht, has her Masters of Science in Biology and is a retired college educator. She is a local philanthropist who believes strongly in the mission of the Foundation for Reading Area Community College. Sandra has been active in the RACC Golf Tournament and Miller Center for the Arts events, and has developed a strong relationship with RACC President, Dr. Susan Looney. Sandra's husband, Michael Focht, is the retired president of Tenet Healthcare Corporation.
Peter Rowley is the senior vice president, commercial banking regional manager for Tompkins Community Bank. He is a graduate of Syracuse University and served as an associate vice president at M&T Bank before joining Tompkins. Pete was named a 2022 40 Under 40 honoree by Lehigh Valley Business Journal. Pete is an established community leader who has served such notable non-profit organizations such as Prospectus Berco, the United Way, Olivet Boys & Girls Club of Reading & Berks County, Leadership Council at Alvernia University and the John Paul II Center for Special Education. He lives in Sinking Spring with his wife, Rachel and twin sons, Connor and Lucas.
The Foundation for Reading Area Community College was created to raise, invest and manage private funds for the benefit of the college. The Foundation supports RACC's mission to build communities of learning to encourage educational growth by providing scholarship funding for all students with demonstrated financial need and for emerging initiatives that serve to further enhance the college's programs and facilities. To learn more about the Foundation for Reading Area Community College, visit racc.edu/about-racc/foundation or call Tony DeMarco at 610.607.6251.
June 7, 2023 — Reading Area Community College (RACC) has been awarded $300,000 from the Neag Foundation to sup
June 7, 2023 — Reading Area Community College (RACC) has been awarded $300,000 from the Neag Foundation to support nursing student scholarships.
Over the next two years, the award will be used to fund scholarships to students enrolled in the nursing (RN) and practical nursing (LPN) programs in the most impactful way possible.
“Having worked as a nurse for 30 years, Carole Neag was a passionate advocate for the nursing community WHO supported the RACC for many years. The Neag Foundation is delighted that Carole’s legacy will live on through the nursing students at RACC who are following in her footsteps providing compassionate and skilled healthcare services to our community,“ says Neag Foundation Board Chair, Sally Reis Renzulli.
“Ray and Carole Neag are among the most significant leaders in the history of Reading Area Community College. This remarkable gift from the Neag Foundation continues that incredible legacy,” says Anthony DeMarco, executive director of the Foundation for RACC. “Carole Neag has always been a passionate advocate for nurses, having personally served for years as an emergency and maternity nurse during her career. This grant will allow dozens of those students who aspire to a career in nursing to achieve their academic dreams.”
Nursing continues to be the largest profession in healthcare, with RACC educating students with clinical training at regional affiliates such as Reading Hospital Systems, Penn State Heath St. Joseph, Berks Heim Nursing and Rehabilitation, Laurel Center Genesis HealthCare and Phoebe Berks Healthcare Center.
Susan Looney, president of Reading Area Community College, says, “This award will immediately benefit our nursing students who are highly prepared and ready to enter the regional healthcare workforce.”
The NEAG Foundation supports education, healthcare, and the arts through Ray and Carol Neag’s visionary philanthropy. Reading Among their many educational and charitable donations, they are well known in Berks County for their contributions to the Caron in South Heidelberg Township, the Neag Planetarium in Reading, and the Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center.
Reading Area Community College is an accredited, comprehensive, open-enrollment education institution that provides associate degree and certificate programs with ten programs offered fully online; workforce and career-focused training; transitional coursework; personal enrichment programs and public service activities. Sponsored by Berks County, the college provides affordable access to meet identified community educational needs.
(L-R): RACC VP College Advancement and Executive Director of the Foundation for RACC, Tony DeMarco, RACC President, Dr. Susan Looney, Carolyn Holleran, Carole Neag and, RACC Dean of Health Professions, Dr. Stacia Visgarda.