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2016 Distinguished Alumni - Dennis Briening

Dennis Briening

Class of 1977

Dennis Briening earned an associate degree in scientific glass technology in 1977.  Upon graduation, he joined Xerox Electro Optical Systems in Pasadena Calif., where he assisted in the development of the first laser printers.  Upon returning to New Jersey, he graduated magna cum laude from Glassboro State College, now Rowan University, with a bachelor’s degree in sculpture in 1991. 

Dennis served as glass technologist at the Hercules Research Center in Wilmington, Del., for 26 years, retiring in 2007.  He participated in the research and development of many exciting and challenging glass projects.

At Salem Community College, Dennis taught as an adjunct instructor for nearly 30 years, managed the College’s original Glass Center and coordinated the noncredit glass program.  In 2007, he was named SCC’s Instructional Chair for Scientific Glass Technology (SGT) following a national search.  He has helped train scores of SGT alumni who are gainfully employed throughout the United States and abroad.  Dennis has been a catalyst behind the program’s growth with more than 90 students enrolled.  

For 13 years, Dennis has created a beautiful crystal rose in partnership with his wife, Leslie.  The unique artwork is presented annually to the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient by the Salem County Chamber of Commerce.  He has also created works of glass art presented to former New Jersey Governor Christy Whitman and retired New Jersey Assembly Speaker Jack Collins.  

Dennis has taught throughout the nation including Urban Glass in Brooklyn, N.Y.; Penland (N.C.) School of Crafts and Pilchuck (Wash.) Glass School.  Long active in the American Scientific Glassblowers Society, he chaired the education and internship committee, and was section director for seven years.  He has also been an indispensable member of the SCC International Flameworking Conference (IFC) committee since the IFC’s inception in 2001.  In 2006, he was honored at the IFC for his extraordinary contributions to the regional glass art community and, in particular, the College’s glass programs. 

Dennis also earned the SCC Employee of the Year Award and is a two-time recipient of the SCC Arlene Kelley Service to Students Award.