CCM baseball warms up for 2017 season


After a 2016 baseball campaign that included a trip to the Region XIX DII Championship Game, the County College of Morris Titans are getting ready to build off of that in the 2017 season.

The Titans narrowly lost to Mercer County College 6-7 in the championship game last season and head coach Brian Eberly said he believes the experience gained from that run can help make this season a successful one.

“I think last year we were, for as well as we did, we were predominantly freshman and we’re returning the bulk of our team,” Eberly said. “Our top arms are both back. Eight out of the nine guys in our lineup are back. Just that experience factor I think is going to be big for us. We brought in a number of transfers and talented recruits that are going to supplement what we’re already bringing back. But as far as just the quality of returners, I think we are set up. As far as compared to my previous teams here, on paper this should be the best team I’ve had.”

One of those returning players is starting pitcher Alex Busby who is in his second season at CCM. He also said that despite losing a few players, those newly added could add a lot to the team.

“We lost a few guys but we picked up a couple more, so I have big expectations,” he said.

Both Eberly and Busby think the biggest aspect of the game the team will excel with, besides experience, is pitching. The two also agree that the newest editions to the pitching rotation will greatly benefit the team.

“I think our pitching will be much improved,” Eberly said. “I think we are a lot deeper. We have Alex Busby and Jim Fluke returning from last year. We brought in a couple Division 1 transfers and a talented group of freshmen that I think make us a lot deeper.”

Busby said he recognizes that their pitching crew is going to need to be more robust, but he is not worried about the challenge.

“Our pitching is definitely going to be something great this year,” said Busby. “A lot of the freshmen are going to have to step up and stuff like that, but I think they can do it. We’ve picked up a couple transfers and everything that are going to be big parts of the staff. Hopefully that can make something roll.”

Despite the team having recent success, some students at CCM have yet to attend a game. One of these such students is liberal arts major at CCM, Troy Curtis.

“I would definitely be interested in seeing the team play,” he said. “I wanted to go last year but I just never got the chance.”

Curtis also insists on his fellow classmates to go out and support their team.

“I do think it is important for CCM students to know about their teams and support them,” he said. “I know if I was playing a collegiate sport, I would want people to come to my games.”

There is one game in particular that Eberly has in mind and CCM students should too.

“Mercer for us is the big competition,” Eberly said. “That’s who eliminated us in the championship of the region last year. That’s certainly a date that I have circled on our calendar.”

Students can go out and catch the doubleheader on April 15 starting at 12:00 p.m. at CCM.

Alpha Beta Gamma’s crusade to strike out Lupus


Bowling got a benevolent twist as Alpha Beta Gamma, the business honor society at County College of Morris, held a fundraiser to knock out Lupus.

At the newly renovated Circle Lanes in Ledgewood, ABG hosted roughly 40 people on Saturday, Feb. 25. It was $20 to attend, which covered bowling and shoe rental, along with providing a $5 credit toward the arcade. The funds will be distributed to the Lupus Foundation of America, according to Devin Gribbon, business administration major at CCM and vice president of ABG.

Moe Rahmatullah, business administration major at CCM and president of ABG, said the group chose this particular cause because of their ties to it through a collaborative fundraiser with Alpha Mu Gamma, the language honor society.

“We helped them out with [a Lupus charity walk], raising $4,000 for Lupus in the process,” Rahmatullah said. “ABG is an honor society with a commitment to philanthropic work and when the opportunity presented itself, we were eager to help out.”

The second Lupus walk is currently in the planning stages, and Rahmatullah said the target goal is $10,000.

“As such, both clubs have committed to independently raise funds before the Walk so that we can hit our more ambitious goal,” Rahmatullah said.

Gribbon organized the event, the main struggle of which she said was amassing enough interested participants.

“Our fundraiser was held Saturday morning at 10 a.m., which is when students usually like to sleep in,” Gribbon said. “By contacting local newspapers, local community colleges, and distributing flyers at local businesses I was able to get a pretty good turn out.”

Rahmatullah agreed that marketing was their biggest struggle, but commended Gribbon for her competence handling their first major event since her appointment as vice president.

“This was mostly her event from beginning to end, from booking to marketing to execution,” Rahmatullah said. “She did a really great job managing things.”

Michael Gosden, exercise science major at CCM, attended the event and said he was impressed with the uniqueness of it.

“The fact that it was an active off-campus event really stood out,” Gosden said. “I feel like most events are walking around and getting information at tables or buying food or things. This one you were buying an experience.”

Gosden, president of the Alpha Kappa Kappa chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, said that he was impressed with the crowd they pulled as well.

“As a student leader, you get an idea of who goes to events but this one had a lot of new faces,” Gosden said. “Devin reached out to the PTK chapter at Passaic County Community College and a lot of them were there.”

While the ultimate goal was to raise money for an important foundation to ABG, Gribbon said she hopes the event can be used as inspiration for others who may be debating organizing something similar.

“I hope this event can inspire others to make a difference not only in their community, but also in the world,” Gribbon said. “A small event like this one can make a difference in someone’s life, and that makes all the hard work worth it.”

Midterms monopolize lives of CCM students


Midterms are upon us, and students at County College of Morris are dealing with them through studying,  recognizing past mistakes and trying to learn from them.

“I’m studying right now,” said Casey Delgrosso, a digital media major at CCM. “I’m doing math, and I’ve been studying for my art history midterm.”

Delgrosso is with many other students who are in full midterm-mode, remembering his close call with disaster last semester.

“My car broke down,” Delgrosso said. “And my final was in 10 minutes, and I was, like, 10 minutes away from the school.”

Delgrosso called some friends to ask for a ride, asking himself what to do. In a last act of faith, he turned his car off and turned it back on. It started.

“I got here a little bit late, but it didn’t matter because the professor wasn’t in the class,” Delgrosso said.

Car problems are not the only obstacle students may face in midterm season. Raeanna Cope, a nursing major, said the fault lay with her.

“For my first nursing test, I didn’t put my priorities in order, so I didn’t do as well as I wanted to,” Cope said. “I would say put all your effort into what you do, because what you put in is what you’re gonna get out.”

Along with Cope, other CCM students had a lot of advice to give to first-year students who have never taken a midterm before. Ariel Juarez, a musical theatre major, was full of tips.

“Don’t take too many classes,” Juarez said. “Focus and take it slow. Stay healthy. Try not to get sick.”

Cumulative exams like midterms depend on a variety of skills, including levels of effort and overall wellbeing, but study methods are what make or break a grade on a midterm.

“I usually write them down on a flash card and then look at the problem,” Delgrosso said. “If I don’t know it, I look back at the flash card, and I just try to solve it, memorize it.”

No one technique works for every student, but these students seem to think alike. Cope said she uses the same method, with some exceptions.

“For (Anatomy and Physiology), I always use note cards,” Cope said. “And I haven’t really found my strategy for nursing yet because it’s, like, such a difficult topic.”

There is ample room for error when preparing for a midterm, so students should be easy on themselves if they have not hit their stride yet. New tasks are often difficult the first time.

“Don’t wait until the last minute,” Delgrosso said. “Just stay calm. Space your time out. Like, don’t do everything at once, you’re not gonna remember anything if you do that.”

The time students spend in college is the time to take the actions that will, come failure or success, define who they are and will be, according to an article by Christine M. Riordan, Ph.D, in the Huffington Post. Despite the pressure students seem to put on themselves to excel in their exams, it is unlikely that one failed midterm will doom one’s future.

Delgrosso put it simply. “Don’t stress out about it, I guess,” he said. After all, it may be that midterms are only as daunting as one makes them.

World peace subject of student projects


County College of Morris commemorates 9/11 each year by presenting the County College of Morris Peace Prize, and current students are able to participate in the competition for the chance to win $1,000 by creating a project focused on world peace.

Peter Maguire, associate English professor at CCM, said he established the CCM Peace Prize in 2001 after hearing about the Nobel Peace Prize on the radio.

“I thought what an interesting concept it might to be for County College of Morris to fashion its own Peace Prize of one type of another,” Maguire said. “I thought it would be unique. I didn’t know of any other college which obviously had something like that. The combination of [9/11] and the awarding of that year’s [Nobel] Peace Prize, the conflation of the two made me think how beneficial it would be to the college as well as it might be something students would get their teeth into.”

Established in the fall of 2001, the program encourages students to focus on world peace by submitting expository or creative writing, video production, musical composition or other visual and performance art. Submissions may be from an individual or the collaborative effort of students.

“There are a number of bright, brilliant, creative, passionate, thoughtful students, who will feel a spark, a desire to make a statement and create something that they think will have an impact on others,” Maguire said. “Granted, something like this is not going to stop war or famine or suffering or change the world, but the idea that rather than curse the darkness, to add a light, a candle, or lamp and offer light.”

Students wishing to participate must complete and submit an application to Maguire by April 3. Project submissions are due by May 1 for judging. The judges each year include a current CCM faculty member, and whomever holds the positions of chair of CCM Board of Trustees, president of the CCM Foundation, president of CCM and president of College of Saint Elizabeth.

“I have a background in the arts,” said Joseph Vitale, CCM Foundation president. “I love the arts, I love creativity and expression, and it’s exciting to see the students’ works. It’s also exciting to see how different students use different media to get their point across.”

The winner will be honored at commencement May 26 with the $1,000 prize money and a plaque provided by the CCM Foundation. A plaque in the Student Community Center also showcases the name of each recipient.

“It would be great to see more students come out,” Vitale said. “I would say, if you are a musician, a dancer, a painter, a writer, a sculptor or whatever is your mode of expression, it’s a great exercise to have a topic to express.”

Dance conference coming to CCM


The halls of County College of Morris will be far from quiet over spring break as the department of music, dance and performing arts will be hosting the American College Dance Association Northeast Region Conference from March 15-18.

The conference is held every year in different parts of the country, and this marks the second time in 20 years that CCM has been chosen to host this prestigious event. More than 350 people are expected to attend.

Participants will be able to learn various types of cultural dances taught by instructors from around the country.

“It’s an opportunity for northeast college dance programs to experience different points of view,” said Terrance Duncan, conference coordinator and dance professor at CCM. “I participated as a student and now as a professor I am able to present my teachings.”

The variety of classes offered at the conference will appeal to all students, whether they are dance majors or not. Students who want to know the origins from modern to ancient dance will all get the same opportunity.

“There’s classical ballet, contemporary dance classes, African dance classes, and much more” said Duncan. “It’s a broad spectrum of everything that dance has to offer.”

Variety in any subject means there will be individuals who have a different way of expressing an idea, allowing for more perspectives on similar topics.

“It’s an opportunity to get broader exposure with different dance styles then what their peers would in regular classes,” said Colleen McArdle, director of special events at CCM. “We tend to work in our own world and this conference allows people expand their horizons.”

For more information contact Duncan at

Active Minds destigmatizes mental health issues


Boxes filled with postcards populate the Student Community Center and the Cohen Cafe at County College of Morris as Active Minds spreads mental health awareness through their Post Secret event.

Both students and faculty have been asked by the club to fill these cards out with a secret that they have never shared with anyone outside of the family and anonymously post them on a display in the SCC. According to humanities and social science major and Active Minds co-president Jennie Abat, the event was held for the first time at CCM in 2016, and was a success, receiving over 100 entries.

Frank Warren started the Post Secret program several years ago on, and has published at least three books, explained Abat. The idea has spread to many colleges and universities across the country. According to a Freakonomics blog hosted by the New York Times, Warren started the program in 2005 and, after two years, was seeing three million unique visitors to his site each month. He even launched an app in September of 2011, but it was shut down three months later due to malicious posts.

“These secrets don’t all have to be tragic and, you know, extremely personal in that manner,” said Shelsey Vazquez, a humanities and social science major and the co-president of Active Minds. “They can also be funny, we welcome that, too.”

The pair have asked students to, if possible, decorate the card as well. Abat said she would discourage offensive statements.

“It’s surprising how you think like, ‘Oh, I’m probably the only one going through this,’ and then you read someone else’s story and you’re like, ‘Oh, no, I’m not alone. Someone actually has gone through this before,’” Abat said. Abat said some of the secrets written on the cards in 2016 were varied and insightful, including two transgender individuals who had not ‘come out’ to anyone, several cases of abuse, and one student who was haunted by the fact that they had been forced to kill someone while serving overseas.

Additionally, the college will take a look at the cards that are submitted and see if there are any trending problems.

Abat and Vazquez said they would like to ultimately turn the secrets into a book, if possible.

The cards will be available for at least one week, and the display for them will be up until further notice.

Legacy Project bringing chef to CCM


The Legacy Project at County College of Morris will be hosting chef and media personality Ronaldo Linares, author of Sabores de Cuba in a cookbook signing event March 21.

During his visit, Linares will discuss his specialty of creating healthy dishes that are traditionally Cuban.

Just at the mention of this island sitting 90 miles south of Key West, Florida, a number of things come to mind, such as sensual salsa, fine cigars, sweet rum and savory foods. At least one student knows that food can be a way to discover or connect with others.

“Having a cook come in is great,” said Jasmine Napoleon, a criminal justice student at CCM. “I think that everyone needs to be exposed to the different cultures there are in the world, I wish I could go to Cuba and partake on their traditional cuisine.”

According to, Cuban cuisine has diverse roots, and is influenced mostly from Spain and Africa, but the French, Arabic, Chinese, and Portuguese cultures were also influential.  With this rich cultural heritage, Cuba is known for dishes such as yellow saffron rice with chicken (Arroz con Pollo), black beans and rice (Moros y Cristianos), fried sweet plantains (platanos maduros), Cuban hamburger (la Frita), Cuban sandwich (Cubano), soups made with plantains, and chickpeas and beans, which are ubiquitous in New York and New Jersey Cuban bistros.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America explains that when many Cubans fled to the United States during and after the 1959 revolution, they brought their hard-earned culture and its cuisine with them.  An adaptable recipe, common and inexpensive ingredients, and basic cooking techniques made Cuban food the second most influential Latin cuisine in this country after Mexican cooking. Cuban restaurants have served as a model for Latin American restaurants all over the country particularly in Florida and the northeast.

“I’ve had Cuban food from restaurants here but not from Cuba, the taste is amazing,” Napoleon said.

What make most Cuban cooking flavorful are the base ingredients which consist of spices; root vegetables; cilantro, onions, garlic, pepper and olive oil blended together (recaito); onions, green peppers, garlic, oregano, ground pepper fried in olive oil (sofrito); and citrus juices, according to the University of Miami Libraries.

For Stiven Restrego, a CCM business student and Latin food enthusiast, minimally processed foods with short ingredients list fit into his clean-eating diet.

“I like typical rice and beans, sausages, fried fish croquettas, salsa, and piccadillo,” Restrego said.  Picadillo is a stew of ground beef, onions, garlic, oregano and tomatoes, with raisins added for sweetness and olives for salt. “Latin food is so clean.”

However, to Jessie Brown, a psychology major at CCM, Latin food is synonymous with grease.

“All I’ve had before was fried sweet plantains, empanadas and pasteles,” she said.  

What’s more, to many students like Kelly Kavanaugh, biology and environmental science student at CCM, Cuban food is completely foreign.

“I’m mixed Irish and German, I have not had a chance to taste Cuban food,” she said.  Kavanaugh said she is attracted to try something new.

Linares’s cooking is influenced by Cuban, French and Colombian cuisines and with this powerful mix, anticipation is rising.

“I can’t wait to try it,” said Alyssa Powell, a liberal arts student at CCM. “I’m very excited to see what kinds of food he will bring.”