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Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes to Speak at Georgian Court University in Celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month

Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes

Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes will speak at Georgian Court University in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month on Thursday, October 3, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the Casino Ballroom. The event is sponsored by GCU’s Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) program in collaboration with the Latin American Student Organization (LASO), the Student Taskforce on Diversity and Inclusion, and TRIO–Student Support Services. The event is open to the public, and no reservations are required.

Joy L. Smith, Ed.D., EOF director, says Ms. Valdes’ background makes her a perfect fit for guest speaker this year. The 1993 Seton Hall University graduate is the first Latina county prosecutor in New Jersey and the first lead prosecutor of Dominican ancestry in the United States. Ms. Valdes has always been a proud champion of EOF as an alumna of Seton Hall’s program and has always been willing to give back to EOF in any way she can, according to Dr. Smith.

“It just made sense to have her talk to our students during Hispanic Heritage Month because she can speak to the experience of being a Latina in that position and what it means to come from an EOF district or an area where college may not have been the ultimate goal or high school counselors may not have seen it as an ultimate goal for their students,” Dr. Smith adds. “She pushed beyond it and accomplished a great feat.”

Ms. Valdes, a Newark native and mother of two, is a career prosecutor who was first appointed in 2009 and again in 2015. Her management responsibilities include approximately 185 assistant prosecutors, a $20 million budget, and oversight of more than 16 municipal police departments. In 2016, the Hispanic Bar Association named her Lawyer of the Year. The EOF event is one of a number of activities planned at GCU in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Aerial view of GCU.

About Georgian Court University

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. GCU is a comprehensive, coeducational university with a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women. As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, GCU is known for expanding possibility for more than 2,100 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. The GCU Lions compete in 15 NCAA Division II sports in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). In 2020, GCU was named a Best Value College by and a Best Bang for the Buck (Northeast) by Washington Monthly. High student retention and graduation rates also make GCU a Top Performer on Social Mobility on U.S. News & World Reports rankings. The main campus is located in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students at other locations, such as GCU at BrookdaleGCU at Rowan College of South Jersey–Cumberland Campus, and through multiple online certificate and degree programs.

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