Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) graduate Jo-Ann M. Petruzziello is the recipient of the Baker & Rannells Paralegal Studies Student Graduate Award.
Petruzziello, a resident of Warren, was presented with the honor at RVCC’s Academic Awards Ceremony, held May 13 at the College’s Branchburg Campus. The award was established by Baker & Rannells, PA, a Raritan-based law firm that specializes in intellectual property, trademark and copyright law.
The award honors an RVCC student graduating with an Associate of Applied Science or a Certificate in Paralegal Studies who has demonstrated not only academic excellence, but also a commitment to service combined with an ethic of justice, fairness and integrity, according to James F. Nielsen, Jr., the firm’s Business Operations and Development Manager.
“The firm has hired a number of RVCC graduates from the Paralegal Studies program and has benefited from the good education that the College provides. The award is our way of thanking RVCC,” said Nielsen, who presented the $500 prize to Petruzziello at the May ceremony.
Petruzziello was previously employed as a 911 dispatcher in Bridgewater Township and is currently the Deputy Zoning Officer in Branchburg Township. She earned a 3.91 grade point average out of a possible 4.0 in the Paralegal Studies Certificate program and is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
RVCC’s Paralegal Studies Certificate Program is designed for students who already have received, or are in the process of obtaining, an Associate Degree or a Baccalaureate Degree in a field of study other than paralegal studies. The 24-credit Certificate program allows students to obtain a paralegal education in a timely and cost-effective manner. It also helps students to meet the requirements of potential employers, a large number of whom require both a college degree and a paralegal certificate as hiring standards.
RVCC’s Paralegal Studies Associate of Applied Science Degree, a 62-credit program, is offered through the Business and Public Service Department, whose mission is to provide challenging, career-oriented undergraduate programs to business and public service students, educating them to the level of competency needed for successful transfer to four-year institutions or immediate career path entry.
RVCC’s Paralegal Studies program is approved by the American Bar Association and includes courses in all areas of the legal profession, with specialized courses in such areas as research and writing, litigation, real estate and family law. Faculty members are practicing attorneys or paralegals, each teaching in his or her area of expertise. For additional information about the program, contact Maria M. DeFilippis, Esq., Coordinator of Paralegal Studies at RVCC, 908-526-1200, ext. 8239 or Maria.DeFilippis@raritanval.edu.