County College of Morris faculty welcome new faces to their staff

BY GIOVANNA ROMAZINI
Contributor

Often the anxieties of being a professor, especially a new one, is ignored by their students on their first days of class. This fall, County College of Morris hired 11 new faculty members in the departments of business, mathematics, engineering and technologies, liberal arts, and health and natural sciences.

CCM President Dr. Edward J. Yaw stated his excitement about the new faculty members and added that their experiences will only make their mission of providing a high-quality education easier, according to a press release from the CCM website.

Professor Daria Aria earned her M.S. in school psychology from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and her B.A. in psychology from Elizabethtown College. She has previously worked at Brookdale Community College, Kean University and Camden County College, teaching a variety of psychology classes.

She was hired this summer as an assistant professor at CCM and is currently teaching General Psychology and Teaching in America which is a beginning class for teachers.

Nervous and anxious feelings are typical for new professors on their first day of class, said Aria.

One of the biggest challenges a teacher can face is to try to get every student to excel to their fullest potential, but everyone is capable of doing it, Aria said. Professor Kristopher Weeks has been an expert in the communications department for years. With the goal of helping students lose the fear of public speaking, Weeks teaches his classes in a relaxed environment, where music is involved and students are allowed to speak up about many topics that interest them.

With previous work at Warren Community College and Lehigh Carbon Community College, Weeks was hired this fall at CCM and is teaching a Speech Fundamentals class. He is also currently teaching at Montclair State University, Rider University and Northampton Community College in Pennsylvania.

“Looking at CCM, it feels a little bit more of a relaxed territory, compared to the other schools I am at,” said Weeks. “Everyone is so nice, no problems so far, and I already got a chance to meet with our dean. In some schools, I have never seen the dean ever, so it’s nice.”

With such a busy schedule, Weeks said there’s no time to get nervous about a new work environment, adding that students will always be different from school to school, but in the end everyone is in the classroom for the same reason: to become better in their careers.

Professor Lee N. Collins is a recently hired assistant professor of mathematics at CCM. He is currently teaching College Algebra, Basic Statistics, Basic Math, Probability and Statistics, Calculus and Math Analysis. Collins has previously worked at Rowan University among many other community colleges, but this is his first full-time teaching job.

Collins said he is still getting used to the area, since he has been living here for only two weeks. With regards to the CCM campus, he says that he gets lost pretty much every day.

Collins has experience with performing lectures all over the country and worked with people that had “math anxiety” as well.

“The expectations of the students are a little bit more here. The curriculums are, I don’t want to say harder, but more expected,” Collins said. “It feels more like a four-year school here, compared with the Southern Jersey community colleges.”

Collin’s advice for students is to not panic at first if they do not understand a concept and to take their time. He claims that math is not about speed, and that many students treat it as a competition, making others feel the same way.

“I like the students here,” Colins said. “My experience has been good so far.”

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