On September 5th, 2019 college faculty, staff, board/foundation members and the community gathered to celebrate the life and work of retired Atlantic Cape English Professor Gerri Black at the unveiling of the Publications Room being named in her memory. Rich Russell Jr., who dedicated the room, and President Gaba opened by welcoming guests to the ceremony. Following the remarks, readings from Gerri Black’s work was presented by Rich Russell, Effie Russell, Stephanie Natale-Boianelli, Katie Weightman, Heather Boone and Leila Crawford.
After the celebration of her work, guests walked to the Publications Room in G Building where the new plaque was unveiled by Professor Russell and Dr. Gaba. Guests then enjoyed a reception featuring light refreshments and a book of Gerri’s poems which was available to view.
Gerri Black became an Atlantic Cape Community College adjunct instructor in January 1991 teaching developmental English. In September 1992, Gerri was appointed as a full-time, Assistant Professor and in 2008, Gerri was promoted to Associate Professor of English. The evaluations she received from her students were always consistently positive and in 2006 and 2007 she was voted as Faculty Member of the Year by the student body. She was included in “Who’s Who Among American Educators” numerous times.
At Atlantic Cape for 10 years, she took on the role of faculty advisor to Rewrites Literary and Art Magazine. Gerri and the Rewrites staff also offered a literary information newsletter called “First Draft.” She was awarded a fellowship to Princeton University in 2010-2011. A prolific writer herself, Gerri was a published poet and accomplished bookmaker. A member of the Great Bay Gallery poets and the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers, she often had her work exhibited at the Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts.
After 20 years of dedicated and enthusiastic service to the college, and especially her students, Gerri retired from Atlantic Cape on February 1, 2013. Near the end of 2014, Ms. Black established the Gerri Black Creative Writing Endowment Scholarship for students with an interest in writing and majoring in either English or Communication Studies at Atlantic Cape Community College. Professor Gerri Black passed away in March 2015.