Group of students

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Atlantic Cape Community College is committed to significantly increasing student access and success while addressing the racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in college attainment.

An equity-minded institution is one that demonstrates the commitment, capabilities, and experiences to serve low-income students, students of color and other at-risk student populations with respect to access, success and campus climate. An equity-minded institution also demonstrates that same commitment to provide opportunity for all employees, creating a culture of respect and opportunity.

View Atlantic Cape's 2024-2026 DEI Plan

A statement from President Dr. Barbara Gaba


“At Atlantic Cape Community College, championing the success of every student and ensuring equity, are at the core of our decision making and are foundational to the College’s mission and vision. We are committed to creating opportunities for all of our students by removing barriers that may stand in their way and to be successful through the intentional re-design of the college experience. We continue to be an institution of higher learning that values everyone and ensures that each individual experiences a genuine sense of belonging.”

What is Diversity, Equity & Inclusion?

DEI Equity


Differences among people in their race and ethnicity, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, culture, national origin, religious beliefs and identity, age, disability status and political perspective.

DEI Equity


Commitment to working to challenge and respond to bias, harassment, and discrimination against people from diverse identities and backgrounds. Noting that fairness cannot be achieved by treating everyone the same regardless of need; emphasizing practices that cultivate fairness by allocating more resources to those who need them to succeed, thereby working to rectify social/historical disparities in resources. 

DEI Inclusion


The active creation and maintenance of culture, policy and practices that are grounded in respect for the worth of all individuals. Inclusion emphasizes seeking out and promoting the participation of all, with particular effort to reach out and pull in those who are most at risk of marginalization.

Atlantic Cape Student Clubs

Students raising flag for Hispanic Heritage Month

Atlantic Cape offers its students a wide variety of diverse clubs that may appeal to an individual's specific interests. Student Clubs are a great way to get involved on campus with causes that are important to you and other like-minded students.

  • Asian Cultural Club: Promotes and educates about the various Asian and Polynesian cultures through educational gatherings.
  • Black Student Alliance: Encourages recognition of every student's cultural, academic and social-needs by enhancing communication among all races on campus and in the community.
  • Club CRU: Offers opportunities to get to know more about God and share beliefs through weekly bible studies, prayer meetings, travel and meeting other students.
  • Community for the Differently Abled: Provides a safe environment for all students of differing ability statuses and their allies a safe place to have fun, discuss issues, and work together to educate and enlighten in a constructive and helpful way.
  • Cross-Cultural Student Association: Promotes international and intercultural understanding on the Atlantic City campus and the community as a whole.
  • Los Latinos Unidos: Share Latino traditions in many expressions to enrich the student experience.
  • Muslim Student Association: Creates an environment for Muslim students to integrate their identity on campus and spread awareness about our peaceful religion.
  • Pride Club: Represents gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and asexual students, and those who support them. Helps open communication with others about issues that affect them.

Visit for a complete list of all student clubs available.

dei suggestion box

Resources and Support Services

Atlantic Cape student celebrates her graudation.

Atlantic Cape offers a diverse array of free resources from academic advising and career services to food pantries and mental health awareness for current students. We also provide various other services for our college alumni, veterans and members of the community.

  • Campus Closet: Provides free clothing and shoes to currently enrolled students in need of casual business attire for professional interviews, class presentations and events.
  • Center for Accessibility: Ensures equal access to campus life, enhances academic success, and provides reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities.
  • Educational Opportunity Fund: Helps economically and educationally disadvantaged students graduate and be succesful by providing comprehensive support services including tutoring, counseling and transfer assistance.
  • Food Pantries: Provides food and limited personal care items for our students. Food Pantries are located at each of the college’s campus locations.
  • Gender Neutral Restrooms: Offers students, staff, faculty and guests additional privacy and flexibility for those in-need. These restrooms are available at each of our three campus locations. For help locating a facility contact Nancy Porfido.
  • Lactation Room: Offers students, staff and faculty a safe, private and secure location to nurse and utilize a breast pump to express breast milk. Rooms are available in Mays Landing in C Building, Room 136; Atlantic City, Room 230 and Cape May, Room 333.
  • Men of Atlantic Cape: Promotes the advancement of Black and Latino male students through peer-to-peer support, mentorship, leadership development and networking experiences.
  • Mental Health SupportOffers students free and confidential wellness services, including teletherapy, an online peer-to-peer support network, in-person counseling and access to a psychiatrist, if needed.
  • Prayer Room: Students of all faiths may use this dedicated room in C Building on the Mays Landing campus for prayer, contemplation and meditation. Accommodations made upon request at Atlantic City and Cape May campuses.
  • Safe Space for LGBTQ+: The Mays Landing campus library offers a dedicated room with literature, positive messaging, resources and comfortable space for students of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies free from discrimination.
  • Student Support Services: Celebrates, empowers and uplifts students, who are low-income, first-generation, and/or students with documented disabilities, through trips, programs, and workshops.
  • Veterans Resources: We offer a wide range of services for our current military and veteranincluding assistance with G.I. Bill benefits, academic advising, mental health services, family resources and more. Veterans lounges are available at each campus.

DEI Hispanic-Serving Institution

Atlantic Cape achieved this designation from the U.S. Department of Education in 2021 by having a Hispanic student population of at least 25%.

DEI Achieving the Dream

Atlantic Cape is certified as a Leader College by Achieving the Dream in recognition of the college’s efforts to ensure that all students succeed.


Atlantic Cape Cares

DEI donations spread out on a table.Atlantic Cape is committed to supporting our communities and celebrating their diversity through various community outreach programs, such as free ESL programs, resource fairs, cultural and educational events, holiday food and gift drives, and more. 

Please contact Lizbeth Castro-James for more information about Atlantic Cape's community outreach programs.

Supporting Student Success

Student smiling at commencementThe Atlantic Cape Foundation is dedicated to bettering the college experience for all students through scholarships, emergency funding and program support. Each year the Foundation awards thousands of dollars in scholarships to hundreds of deserving students as they pursue their academic and career goals.

Visit for more information.

DEI News

Atlantic Cape DEI Committees

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Cross Functional Committee supports the development, periodic updating, assessment and implementation of the Enrollment Management Plan (EMP) that promotes the attainment of the College’s Strategic Plan. The committee's goal is to engage, and ensure high-quality and equitable student, employee, and community stakeholder experiences through:

  • Reviewing existing outreach and engagement practices, recruitment and marketing strategies, policies and procedures to build community awareness. Identify opportunities, barriers and challenges and make recommendations on the necessary changes in strategies, projects and budget priorities needed to connect, engage and enroll additional students.

  • Investigating enrollment trends and best practices for credit and workforce development to provide guidance and recommend initiatives to improve Strategic Plan Goal outcomes.

  • Review data on enrollment patterns and characteristics of prospects through the enrollment pipeline, identify opportunities and recommend innovative best practices to recruit, admit, enroll and retain target populations. 

  • NACUBO sub-committee Charge: Solicit ideas for improvement for Student Success Initiatives Funding and Vision for Success Reserve funds, using NACUBO’s Project Proposal template.

2023-2024 Committee Members:

Dr. Vanessa O'Brien-McMasters, Chair, Vice President Institutional Effectiveness and Chief Strategy Officer

Dr. Hana Bajes, Assistant Professor of Microbiology & Chemistry

Madeline Barrows, Chair, Academic Equity Committee

Carmen Cabrera, Assistant Director, One Stop Enrollment

Tonya Cooper, Accountant, Restricted Accounting

Maryann Flemming-McCall, Associate Professor, English

Lisa Givens, Assistant Director, Student Engagement

Tom Hendrickson, Executive Director, Human Resources

Raquel Martin, Director, Facilities and Constructionp

Rashawn Martin, Director, Student Support Services

Luis Montefusco, Senior Director, Institutional Research, Assessment & Planning

Myrna Morales-Keklak, Dean, Nursing and Health Sciencesp

Nancy Porfido, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advocate and Judicial Officer

Marian Woodson, Workforce Development

The Academic Equity Committee is comprised of staff from various departments of Atlantic Cape and its goals are:

  • To promote awareness of and sensitivity to the identities and needs of all human beings regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, and ability.
  • To suggest strategies that support an inclusive and culturally-sensitive classroom environment and college community

2023-2024 Committe Members:

Madeline Barrows - Chair, Social Science

Jill Agosto, Nursing & Health Science 

Alonna Brown, Director, EOF/Assistant Director, Center for Student Success

Christopher Carbone, Science

Annmarie Chelius, Academy of Culinary Arts & Hospitality

Cynthia Correa, Director, Worthington Atlantic City Student Affairs and One-Stop Services

Latoya Gibbons, Counseling

Otto Hernandez, BISAS

Cheryl Knowles-Harrigan, Arts & Humanities

Svetlana Marzelli, BISAS

Maryann McCall, English and Speech

Stephanie Natale-Boianelli, English and Speech

Danielle Nicastro, Nursing & Health Science

William Osler, Math & Engineering