By AHMAD GRAVES-EL, Staff Writer
On June 6, Dr. Yves Salomon-Fernandez, a remarkably positive, highly intellectual native of Haiti, officially took the reins as president of Cumberland County College. One of the first things one notices about Salomon-Fernandez upon meeting her is her welcoming demeanor and an effervescent personality, which makes one feel at ease in her presence.
Another thing that becomes apparent, after close observation, is her style of dress. She coordinates traditional business attire with Saucony running shoes. This makes it clear that our president is not a stereotypically rigid, stuffed shirt, who will attempt to rule this college with an iron fist.
When speaking to her, it is quite refreshing to hear that Salomon-Fernandez is genuinely excited to be at CCC, and ultimately has the student’s best interests at heart. “I want to be at an institution where I can help students soar,” Salomon-Fernandez explains as one reason why she chose to take the position of president of CCC. Salomon-Fernandez has lofty goals in mind for present and future CCC students. “I’d like to see more of our students go to elite institutions after graduating from here,” she expresses.
Other plans include establishing greater internship and mentoring programs for students, while also helping to connect them with business leaders around the area to give them a superior understanding of what it takes to succeed in the real world. These types of programs will be beneficial for students and will help Salomon-Fernandez achieve another high-minded goal of helping students “get their first professional jobs, immediately, right before they graduate.” The president not only has noble intentions for students, she has great expectations for faculty and staff as well.
“I want to create a culture where the faculty and staff love their jobs so that they can go above and beyond consistently for students,” Salomon-Fernandez says. She will accomplish this by making the work atmosphere fun for the faculty and staff, which will help bring this college into a new era of “prosperity.” Employee picnics, movie and karaoke nights are a few of her ideas on how to make the work place better for faculty and staff.
Interestingly, she considers herself the “Chief Evangelist” of CCC and her mission is “disseminating the Gospel of Cumberland County College,” throughout the world. Ultimately, Salomon-Fernandez wants to continue CCC’s “legacy of propelling people forward,” and we as students can do our part in helping her achieve her goals by studying hard, joining clubs to enhance our leadership skills, and taking pride in our community and ourselves.
“I think it’s important that students know that you can start here, and go anywhere. . . the sky is the limit.” Dr. Yves Salomon-Fernandez
By RACHEL DIMAURO, Staff Writer
Dr. Yves Salomon-Fernandez is a woman that is overflowing with talents. Since taking office four months ago, she has proved to the county that she is passionate about her work, dedicated to student success, and determined to ensure that every Cumberland County College (CCC) student gets the most out of their time here.
With the title of president attached to her name, it may be hard for students to imagine that she has a fun side to her. In a recent interview with Salomon-Fernandez, however, she revealed that there’s more to her than meets the eye.
A diehard Patriots fan, avid blogger, and ballroom dancer, who also has an interest in warm water snorkeling—it seems like there isn’t a hat she doesn’t wear. Salomon-Fernandez also shared that she used to sing opera in high school, and loves to swing dance.
Talking with her comes naturally, and one almost forgets they’re talking to the president of the college. She states that she has an “open door policy,” and that students are always welcome to stop by and talk with her, or grab a snack from her snack cabinet. It’s her collaborative attitude and inclusivity that makes Salomon-Fernandez a perfect fit for CCC.