Gail Ferens DeKovessey ’06, has always had an interest in
educating people about issues pertaining to health care and wellness. She is
currently the program director/aging for Bergen County Community Development in
As a health educator for 11 senior activity centers,
DeKovessey enjoys working with elderly people. “They are very receptive to the
nutritional and health educational classes that I teach,” says DeKovessey, who
earned a B.S. in Community Health. “These programs are also a great way for
seniors to interact and socialize with one another.”
DeKovessey places an important emphasis on education and
pursuing life-long career goals. In the early 1970s, she wanted to attend
Montclair State but due to family commitments, she went to Trenton State for
several years. After leaving school to care for her ailing father, DeKovessey
didn’t get the opportunity to complete her education until being offered a
directorial position at the Elmwood Park Senior Center in 2002.
At first, she was nervous about the idea of going back to
college but received a lot of support from her family and co-workers.
DeKovessey was confident that Montclair State would provide her with the proper
education and expertise that she needed to succeed in her field.
“Montclair State has such a renowned reputation and
knowledgeable professors,” says DeKovessey. “In addition to taking interesting
classes on health counseling and geriatrics, I also had an excellent faculty
advisor in Dr. Mary Jo Belenski, an assistant professor in health and
While attending the University, DeKovessey was surprised to
learn that her grandmother, Verna Husted Ferens, was in the first graduating
class of the New Jersey State Normal School at Montclair in 1911.
Currently, DeKovessey is considering going back for a
master’s degree because she feels it’s important to keep learning and acquiring
knowledge. DeKovessey is proud of her accomplishments and stresses that, “it’s
never too late for people to follow their dreams.”
DeKovessey lives in Dumont with her husband of 27 years and their two children.