New year’s resolutions denied or applied: students attack back


Many people, including students at the County College of Morris, decided what they want to enhance or change about themselves in 2017.

While some people stick with their New Year’s resolutions, it’s more common to throw in the towel, according to research by the University of Scranton which estimates that only 8 percent of people achieve their New Year’s goals.

“I actually made a list,” said Hope Motzenbecker, a communication major at CCM.  

“Maybe I deleted it,” Motzenbecker said, as she searched through her phone. “Yeah, I deleted it.”

Motzenbecker recalled that one of the resolutions on her list was to practice the piano everyday. She explained that she did not go through with her resolutions because she had other things to do.

Approximately 40 percent of Americans take part in New Year’s resolutions according to Forbes. The other 60 percent do not set goals for the upcoming year.

“I wanted to get more organized,” said Miguel Romero, a criminal justice major at CCM. “I wanted to get a new job, to make more money.”

Romero said that this year has been going very well for him. He said he is more organized and he recently got a raise at his current job, falling in line with his resolutions.

On the top of the most popular resolutions list is to get healthier according to NBC News. The data from Google shows that “get healthy” was searched 62,776,640 times in 2016.

“I wanted to run more,” said Valentina Marmolejo, a communication major at CCM. “But I haven’t really been outside because it’s been raining nonstop… It’s also freezing so it’s kind of killing any motivation I had in me.”

Many are in the same boat as Marmolejo. Although people are enthusiastic about their resolutions, different variables can slow down the process of accomplishing a certain goal, and, in the end, make walking away the easiest option. Only time will tell how well people do maintaining their resolutions this year.

Single students smile on Valentines Day


As stores begin to stock their shelves with chocolate and teddy bears in preparation for Valentine’s Day, students across the County College of Morris without a significant other refuse to be saddened by the love inspired holiday.

Whether choosing to spend the day surrounded by friends, near family or simply ignoring festivities all together, students across campus refuse to spend the celebratory day alone.

According to CCM hospitality management major Shannon Dean, Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to show appreciation and affection to another individual, not necessarily a significant other. Since graduating Jefferson High School in 2015, Dean has remained extremely close with a small group of friends who she constantly communicates and hangs out with on a weekly basis. The close-knit group chooses to spend Valentine’s Day together every year, whether they’re in relationships or not, to make sure no one feels excluded.

“For as long as I can remember I have spent Valentine’s Day surrounded by my closest friends,” said Dean. “We get each other candy, teddy bears, cards, and even the occasional bouquet of roses. It’s like our own little tradition to do every year. It’s a holiday before anything else, like Christmas, everyone should have fun.”

Christina Ramos, nursing major at CCM, has always spent Valentine’s Day close to home and looks forward to the occasion every year. “Valentine’s Day is a huge celebration in my household,” Ramos said. “My sisters and I come together every year and spend the night watching our favorite romance movies and eating all the candy we could find. We make it a day for ourselves, not for other people.”

According to Ramos, Valentine’s Day should be considered a selfish day for all those who are single. A time to just have fun being yourself without the added pressures or expectancies relationships entail.

“The best advice I can give to someone celebrating the holiday alone is just don’t,” Ramos said. “Yeah, stores and movies commercialize it to seem like you have to be dating someone but that’s so not the case. Go to the movies, go shopping, go have dinner. Do something instead of choosing to feel bad for yourself.”

Without traditions with close friends and family, however, there may not be much to celebrate. Stephen Connors, a graphic design major at CCM, has chosen not to celebrate Valentine’s Day and plans not to acknowledge the day at all.

“Valentine’s Day is like celebrating a birthday,” Connors said. “You know it’s a holiday, and people try to make it special, but it feels like any other day. I’m single. I don’t plan, and I’m not gonna stress it.”

Whether spending the day with loved ones or enjoying the day alone, students across the County College of Morris are choosing to Valentine’s Day the same way – happy.

Couples celebrate casual Valentines Day


Whether it is a holiday designed by greeting card companies to pump a profit or not, couples embrace Valentine’s Day to bask in their love together. To unhappy singles, however, Valentine’s Day can be a frustrating reminder of their current relationship status. At County College of Morris, the outlook on Valentine’s day, and love in general, is sweetly optimistic as this playful holiday approaches.

While the special day is right around the corner, couples who are in long term relationships aren’t so concerned with their plans.

“We’re probably just gonna get dinner and hang around my place for Valentine’s Day.” said Jesse Irving, a second year student at CCM. “Being in a longer relationship rather than a new one makes it a lot nicer because I feel that there’s less pressure since we’re already comfortable with each other and know how we want to go about celebrating the ‘holiday’.”

According to a survey done by CNN in 2013, Americans will spend $18.6 billion in total on Valentine’s Day, including flowers, candy, and jewelry to show their sweetheart how much they care. Some students at CCM, however, don’t believe in the traditional Valentine’s Day love.

“I don’t believe in fairytale love but I believe in something like it,” Irving said. “Everyone in the world loves differently, personally fairytale love is a little too cliche for me, and I’m happy with the weird and strange love that my boyfriend and I share.”

With casual-minded college millennials becoming old enough for serious relationships and love, this offhand attitude transfers to their love lives.

“I don’t have any plans,” says Ian Warren, a student at CCM. “We’ll probably just do something little, we don’t really believe in it.”

In a survey done in 2016 by Statistic Brain, 53 percent of women said they would end their relationship if they didn’t receive something for Valentine’s Day, but most students at CCM are not even planning on celebrating the holiday.

Conventional romance is not dead yet, though, despite what some students are planning.

“Yeah, a relationship always needs work,” says Brian Lang, a student at CCM. “But if you meet the right person, I definitely believe in true, storybook love.”

While most students are taking the laid back approach to Valentine’s Day celebrations, love is still in the air at CCM, just a more casual kind. The traditionality of this thousand-year old holiday may be fading away, but the emotions behind it are still there as millennials put their own spin on it.

‘The Little Mermaid’ coming to CCM newspaper


“The Little Mermaid” is coming to the County College of Morris this spring. A Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, which is mystical and magical in essence, is much more than just a fairy tale, according to Professor Marielaine Mammon, the director of the play and chair of the performing arts department at CCM.

“It’s a relationship between a father and a daughter; a father and a son,” Mammon said. “It’s about how you handle a family, and it’s also about two different worlds and two different cultures; two different backgrounds, two different races.  It’s the culture under the sea, and the culture that’s on land.  It’s the understanding, and it takes the diversity and the understanding of two different worlds and two different cultures.  It’s much more than a fairy tale.”

There were 62 students that auditioned, and there is a cast of 48.  Mammon is double-casting some of the roles in order to give students a broader opportunity.  The opportunity to participate allows performing arts students to put what they learned in their classes into a practical outlet.  The orchestra, made up of both professors and students, also plays a huge part in the production.

The play will be held Wednesday through Saturday April 5-8, with a matinee on Saturday in the Dragonetti Auditorium, and it is open to the public, including children from ages five and above. This is a perfect opportunity for the campus community to come together.  The subject of the musical draws an audience of broad ranges in age and interests.

“I try to do something for everyone, each show,” Mammon said.  “I wanted something light and magical, and what better than ‘The Little Mermaid’.”

President’s Corner

College President

Less than a month into the spring semester and already much is happening.  Whether you are a new or returning student, I’d like to thank you for choosing County College of Morris.  As a community college graduate, I can say first-hand that you’ve made a great choice. By working closely with your professors and the support staff at CCM, you can expect to receive a lifetime of rewards that come with a high quality education. I often reflect on my first two years of college as the time when I learned the most and, in some ways, worked harder than any other point of my college career.  Like many of you, I found my classes academically challenging but making the adjustment to college was even more rigorous. It was a new environment with new rules, a language of its own, and culture that took some time to understand.  What I did grasp quickly is that my professors wanted me to work hard and be successful. They genuinely cared and worked alongside me to guide my progress and introduce me to new ideas, helped me to sharpen my critical thinking and communication skills and, in general, ensure I had opportunities to experience strong academic growth. I was also fortunate enough to have an exceptional adviser and to have made some really good friends along the way, one of whom is now my wife.  

While it’s difficult to know how important these years can be, the key to getting the most of your time at CCM is getting involved. If you’re not accustomed to “putting yourself out there,” let me suggest some things you might consider. Take the time to visit your professors during office hours. Our faculty are exceptional and you are certain to discover they have rich backgrounds. Many are nationally recognized, continue to engage in research and publication, are active in their fields in many other ways, and belong to a world you are only now discovering.  It is with great fondness that I recall spending time with my professors outside of the classroom. Often, they provided additional opportunities for me by recommending or sharing books, allowing me to work with them on research projects and helping me learn how to apply what I was learning.  In addition to spending more time with your professors, get to know the staff at CCM. They are also extremely dedicated. Take the time to visit the library, learn more about clubs and activities at Campus Life, find out how the Health Services office can support your well-being, learn more about the universe in the Longo Planetarium and more. Attend a play, concert or dance recital, enjoy an art exhibit by some of the most talented people in the country, or cheer the men and lady Titans at sporting events. There is almost always something happening at CCM on any given day including weekends and nights. At the very least, take the time to introduce yourself to your classmates. You never know who you might meet. My point, as you have probably surmised, is get involved. Join a club, participate in an activity, consider sharing your talents on one of our athletic teams, in theater, dance or music. Just get involved. Make this a year to broaden your horizons, learn more, work harder and have more fun!

To help get the ball rolling, I invite you to meet with me on February 8 at 12:30 p.m. in the Learning Resource Center LRC 121 and/or February 14 at 5:30 p.m. in the Student Community Center Davidson Rooms to learn about the development of CCM’s next strategic plan.  I encourage you to share your ideas and help shape the future of our great college where we’re connecting learning and life! And, by the way, follow me on Twitter @ccmproud.  

Titans look to build off loss to RCBC


Struggles continued for the County College of Morris men’s basketball team as they fell 106-93 to the Rowan College at Burlington County on Thursday, Jan. 26.

The Titans fought to the end, but couldn’t wrangle a victory despite making a drive in the second half.

Head coach Anthony Obery, coaching in his third season at the helm of the CCM men’s basketball team, identified what this game said about his team and what he thinks motivated them to not give up.

“We’ve got to be consistent,” Obery said. “I’ve tried to preach consistency the whole year. I told my guys to find something to play for. Whatever it is, find something to play for within and I think these guys have mental lapse sometimes and I try to get these guys back on the same page because they’re young guys. Most of them are freshmen. They come from decent programs. But I’m trying to get them in the mindset of a winning attitude. So I think that what pushed them is that they’ve made up in their minds that I’m going to fight until I have nothing left. That was our biggest process of getting the guys to understand that. Fight until you have nothing left in the tank.”

Obery said that his team can learn lessons from the game despite losing it. He was impressed with their fight but pointed out what went wrong.

“They showed poise,” he said. “I was proud of them at the end of the game; they showed poise. A couple of mental mistakes defense-wise by fouling 94 feet, but besides that I can take away the attitude they came to play with in the second half. They showed a lot of heart and showed a lot of pride to be a Morris County Titan.”

Jan. 26 is not the only time these two teams will be squaring off this season.

CCM will travel to RCBC for another go at the Barons Saturday, Feb. 11. Obery expressed excitement in playing them again and has an idea of what may work to get the win this time around.

“I want to speed them up,” Obery said. “I want to speed them up again. I think by speeding them up, they make a lot of turnovers. I think that if we can speed them up without fouling, that’s the main thing. If we don’t foul, we will be successful the next time we play those guys.”

The Barons shot from the free throw line 41 times while hitting 28 free throws and turning the ball over 19 times.
If the Titans can avoid getting into foul trouble and keep the opposing players from the charity stripe this time, they will be in a much better position to get a victory.

Cyber Security Club hosts seminar targeted at digital protection


The hum of computers was replaced with the buzz of conversation as students and residents learned how to safeguard their personal information at the Cyber Security Club seminar on Tuesday, Jan. 24.

“It is meant to give practical information on how to set up their settings so they are not giving out personal information,” said Nancy Binowski, associate professor in the department of information technologies at County College of Morris.

Brian Seligson, president of the Cyber Security Club, opened the seminar with a startling fact. The majority of people age 18 and older do not care about what they post online. Today where everything is online, it makes it easier for thieves to steal private information.

A mistake people make is using open Wi-Fi in public areas, according to Seligson. People may think that putting in credit card information to buy something using the Starbucks Wi-Fi is safe when it is open to others’ manipulation. The best solution is to avoid public Wi-Fi and if you are going to use it, make sure to install anti-virus software on the device to protect from malicious cyber-attacks.

Another problem the club addressed was passwords. According to The Telegraph, a newspaper out of the United Kingdom, a few of the easiest passwords people used in 2016 was “123456, password, 12345678 and football.” Using passwords with no uppercase letters, numbers or symbols makes it easier for hackers to get the password. Club members recommend using at least eight characters with at least one uppercase letter, one number and one symbol. To check how strong your password is, go to

“Security is so important,” Seligson said. “It is your identity. The more you protect it, the more you protect yourself.”

Sometimes computer problems don’t happen with people stealing information. Accidents happen and suddenly you lose important documents without backing them up. When saving documents on a computer, make sure to save them on either a USB or a cloud service (OneDrive for Windows, iCloud for Apple).

College students do everything on some form of device. Subscriptions to certain websites may email you saying that your “monthly bill has not been received, please sign in again.” Do not open! This is what is called a phishing email, which may seem like legitimate emails but are scams which rob you of your information. If people get this email, simply delete it.

To further protect people from cyber security problems, many companies require a two-factor authentication. This is an effective way to protect your information because if hackers get one part of the secure login, chances are they will not get the second or third login, which is usually in a form of a security question, pattern or password.

The simplest way to fight against attacks is to keep your computer updated. It may seem like a pain but older computers can be susceptible to breaches in security.

While there may be concerns about safety on the campus, Dr. Anthony Iacono, president of CCM said, “Even though we have an open WiFi, it is on a separate server and does not have important college information.”

If someone you know has been scammed or tricked into something where personal information has been lost, contact the police. Cyber-attacks are no laughing matter and can destroy lives, so know the facts and protect yourself.