CCM Functions

SAPB hosts annual teddy bear factory fundraiser

Students made stuffed animals to support Passaic charity

By Gina N. Fico
Features Editor

The Student Community Center at County College of Morris transformed into the Student Activities Planning Board’s Valentine’s Day Teddy Bear Factory Tuesday, Feb. 13 when participants paid to make stuffed animals to raise funds for a charitable cause.

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From left, Jasmin Moreno-Monsalve, Andrea Lucia Alfonso, Valeria Marin, Jennifer Reyes, Kimberly Quintero participated in the Valentine’s Day Teddy Bear Factory organized by the Student Activities Planning Board. Photo By: Gina N. Fico

CCM has been hosting Teddy Bear Factories for the past 10 years, according to Don Phelps, associate director of campus life. The cost is $5 which covers the stuffing and an unstuffed animal of a bear, monkey, or a cow.

Phelps said the charities change each year  and added in the past the money went toward an equine center, autism research, cancer research, and a particular family in the CCM community. This year, donations went toward SMILE, a food and diaper pantry out of Passaic. SMILE also has other programs such as case management, help for refugees, and mental health. He said SAPB members pick the charity and that the event raises $500.

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Maria Schwarz, biology major, right and Victoria Cattano, biology major participate in the Valentine’s Day Teddy Bear Factory. Photo By: Gina N. Fico

“It brings together students, faculty, and staff, and watching the interactions and people build their bears is really special,” Phelps said.

Jasmin Moreno, vice president of SAPB and a business administration major said this is a very popular event at CCM.

“I like the fact that people can come up and be really enthusiastic about getting a bear, and you are the one who gets the bear, gets the stuffing, gets the decorations and make someone have fun for a half hour,” Moreno said.

April Pachas, a nursing major, said she likes that the proceeds of this event are going to a good cause.

“I didn’t expect all these people to come and all the money is going to charity, so that’s great,” Pachas said.

Sophia Meola, an exercise science major, said the event is something that she finds relieves stress.

“It takes your mind off school, it’s something fun to do”, said Meola.

She said she is going to give the stuffed cow she made to her mother for Valentine’s Day.

Marianne Enriquez, an exercise science major, said she drove from work to make a bear and spend time with her friend.

“It’s really cute and it’s not expensive and it’s going to a good cause”, Enriquez said.

Students can gift their stuffed animal to someone for Valentine’s Day or keep it for themselves. The Equal Opportunity Fund also had a table there, giving students the option  to donate their stuffed animal to children at Morristown Medical Center, according to Jonathan Vega, human services major and EOF member.

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Clubs collect, connect with recruits at Welcome Back Bash

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Left: Youngtown Edition Editor-in-Chief Brett Friedenson, as the News Knight, poses with the CCM Titan at the Welcome Back Bash Jan. 30. Above: LGBT club member Matthew J. Bristol
recruits students at their table draped with a pride flag. PHOTOS BY JARED DANQUAH

By Gina N. Fico
Features Editor

At the Student Activities Programming Board’s semiannual Welcome Back Bash Tuesday, Jan. 30, members of the campus community gathered at County College of Morris to browse clubs’ recruitment stations.

A cartoonist drew students’ caricatures, and the SAPB provided free pizza and played music throughout the event.

Don Phelps, associate director of campus life said that CCM has been doing something like this since the college started.

Phelps said there are 56 active CCM clubs and that 35 or 40 represented themselves at the Welcome Back Bash.

“It’s one of the main recruitment events for a lot of clubs,” Phelps said. “It gives a change for everyone to come together and be together for the afternoon and take a little break from studying … And most importantly, it gives students who aren’t engaged with the college engaged.”

Women in STEM’s main goal was to get more women involved with science, technology, engineering, and math.

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Respiratory therapy majors don scrubs as they welcome students to their table at the Welcome Back Bash Jan. 30.  PHOTO BY ALEXA WYSZKOWSKI

Kat David, a mechanical engineering and technology major said breaking the stigma is what motivates her.

“It was mainly because I was born in the Philippines, and we come from a very conservative environment where women should be in more caring positions and men should be in more technical fields,” David said.

Desiree Ramos, an architecture major, said she has had an interest in  computer since an early age and wants to get more women involved in STEM.

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Gourmet club president Ted Sharretts right gives out hot chocolate with public relations officer Kamil Grochowski at the Welcome Back Bash Jan. 30. PHOTO BY ALEXA WYSZKOWSKI

“I just feel more women should be in STEM, and you think guys should be in it, but there’s a lot more women that are into it that are afraid to open up to it,” Ramos said.

Stephanie Hrinko, a liberal arts major and secretary of Active Minds, said she wants to bring awareness to suicide and eating disorders.

“We talk about things that people do not like to talk about,” said Hrinko. She said her hope for the Welcome Back Bash is to give hope to someone else and it benefit someone else, even if they do not sign up for the club.

The Student Nurses Association, whose mission is to give insight to the CCM community that nursing goes above and beyond a nursing major, has upcoming events such as the Valentine’s Day blood drive and bake sale that is coming up Wednesday, Feb. 14.

 

Saskia Salas, a nursing major and vice president of the club, said there usually is a shortage of blood nationally, so this event is important because of how many lives a donation can save.

“I want more people to be aware of this club; this club is not out there like other clubs,” Salas said.

The president of the club, Jacquelyn Gagne, said she gains from the club experiences such as the trip during the spring 2017 semester to  an economically disadvantaged area of West Virginia.

“We are grateful for everyone who is helping building this club, and we hope to get more people involved,” Gagne said.

Melissa Hamfeldt, a radiography major, said she is happy CCM has Welcome Back Bashes and it is a nice way to meet people and make new friends.

“Everybody has been very friendly and telling you everything you need to know about the clubs,” Hamfelt said.

Suicide survivor, awareness advocate shares his story to CCM students

Caroline O’Brien

Contributor

“Kid, you’re a miracle,” the U.S. Coast Guard said to 19-year-old Kevin Hines after pulling him out of the freezing waters surrounding the Golden Gate Bridge.

On Sept. 25, 2000, Pat Hines dropped Kevin off at San Francisco City College with no anticipation of the overwhelming news he would later receive about his son.

Without telling his father, Kevin went directly to the college counseling office to drop his courses except English; he wanted to see the particular professor one last time. Kevin recalls his counselor accommodating this request without questions or concerns.

Kevin proceeded to use what little money he had to take the subway, to a bus, to the Golden Gate Bridge. Sobbing in the center seat at the back of the bus, Kevin promised himself if one person offered to help him, he wouldn’t have to submit to the voices in his head demanding him to die.

Kevin walked back and forth on the bridge for almost an hour, still crying, still waiting for a stranger to help; the chronic suicidal thoughts echoed unbearably through his mind.

Kevin, like many other suicide survivors, recalls the instant regret he felt as his hands slipped off the rail before he plunged 220 feet to the water’s surface. The impact reverberated through his legs, shattering multiple vertebrae, avoiding severing his spinal cord by only two millimeters. Kevin then sunk 70 feet below the water’s surface.

Temporarily unable to use his legs, Kevin struggled to the surface of the freezing waters. He recalls being kept afloat by a shark until he was quickly rescued by the Coast Guard, who were alerted by a concerned woman who saw Kevin jump off the edge of the bridge.

Kevin spent years recovering from this traumatic experience. Still plagued by chronic suicidal thoughts, Kevin finds solace by encouraging audience members that being open about mental illness helps to confront feelings of depression and suicide, enabling one to “grow stronger than depression.” He offered his experience in a public lecture hosted by the Legacy Project at County College of Morris Tuesday, Sept. 19 with hopes that students will learn from his mistakes and not repeat them.

Ariella Panek, a counselor from the Office of Counseling and Student Success, thanked the Legacy Project for hosting Kevin.

“No matter who we are we have the ability to feel stressed, overwhelmed, and depressed at various time in our lives; as a college student, responsibilities and the stresses are only increased,” Panek said. “Millennials are the most stressed population to date with highest levels of anxiety and depression when compared to previous generations.”

Kurt Schenck, who studies fire science technology at CCM, said he was inspired by his friends and girlfriend to attend the seminar for advice on how to help.

“I’m actually really into preventing suicide,” Schenck said. “I learned how to talk to them with an understanding approach.

In his lecture, Kevin said that he  advised against silencing pain.

“The drive to attempt suicide can be irrational and is distorted from reality … because the pain is real, it is valid and it matters, because you matter,” Kevin said.  

Kevin said that depression is a vicious, malicious liar that should be combatted with routine, exercise, and a healthy diet. He urged his audience to ask for help if, and when it is needed “because your life matters to everyone you love.”

Kevin said he would like to see the community come together to make people feel valued and to use disarming language to sound free of judgement and voice personal concerns. Kevin said to support people suffering from depression by telling them, “You can get through this. I know you can.”

“If you ever doubted that your actions can change the world, don’t,” Kevin said, triggering hope after years of struggling with the Bridge Rail Foundation, to raise a net around the Golden Gate Bridge to prevent suicide. His struggle became a success, and the net will be put in place in January of 2021.

CCM holds fair to help students earn employment

By Gina N. Fico

Contributor

County College of Morris hosted a job fair Thursday, Oct. 12 to give students the chance to connect with potential employers on a more personal level.

Denise Schmidt, director of career services and cooperative education, said CCM has been holding job fairs for about 30 years and that they are held once in the fall semester and spring semesters . She said this event brings about 70 employers to help students get started on their career path that are related to their major.

“We really do try to spread it around so every major has something here of interest,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt said the job fair can also be used for students who are seeking a job that is more understanding and flexible with their school schedule or a student who needs a second job.

“Our students come to an event like this for a number of reasons,” Schmidt said. “Some already work and maybe their employers aren’t understanding about there being a student and needing to adjust schedules and test times and so on, so we encourage students to come here for that reason.”

The job fair had a variety of establishments seeking to fulfill both full-time and part-time positions. Some of the establishments included clothing stores, grocery stores, restaurants, landscaping companies, health care services and facilities, police departments, and branches of the military. Among these establishments were Aflac, Forever 21, Hyatt Regency Morristown, Jersey Mike’s Subs, the New Jersey State Police, and Prudent Publishing.

Essence Johnson, a broadcasting major at CCM and one of the volunteers at the job fair said she was here to help out but also she is seeking a job and that she did not have a particular position in mind but was going to look around and see what kind of jobs were available. She also said this event is a better way for students to find a job.

“They actually get to talk to the employers and see what the qualifications are,” said Johnson.

Ryan Harris, a landscape design major, said he was looking forward to being able to communicate with Jacobsen Landscape Design about a job related to his major. He said he was able to get a lot of useful information about the job from the representative and also ask personal questions.  

Maria Blacio is currently at CCM in the English as a second language program but plans on majoring in marketing sales or international studies. However, she said she was at the job fair looking for administrative jobs or jobs that can help the elderly.

She said she is satisfied with what she is learning for ESL at CCM and is also looking forward to improving her English at a job and that it is important for her to know English for jobs and practicing everyday helps.

“The jobs help you improve your English; you learn every day more words and expressions here,” Blacio said.

Students mount drama despite budget, program cuts

By: Lindsey Medwin
Managing Editor

A shuttered major, slashed budget and challenging material did nothing to slow the drama students at County College of Morris as they mounted “The Elephant Man” to close out the semester in May.

The play, the true story of Joseph Merrick, an elephantiasis patient in the 19th Century, and his relentless devotion towards love and acceptance. Merrick’s story pushed the plotline of the drama through scenes that displayed significant moments in his life up until his death.

“The subject matter was hard to get through some nights,” said Liam Young, a former drama major who played the elephant man himself, describing the extensive preparation he went through to take on the role. Young went on to describe how he spent hours in the mirror, mastering the contortions and voice the part asked of him.

“That’s why I love the character so much because it’s a full body experience,” Young said, noting how much this differed from other CCM shows he’s acted in.

Also performing in prior dramas at CCM, Kira Gumbinger, who played Joseph’s friend Mrs. Kendal, expressed a sense of embodiment towards her role in this particular production.

“I think I grew as an actress to really be able to become that role,” Gumbinger said.

Gumbinger and Young not only showcased their talents on stage, but also took on additional responsibilities behind the scenes. Traditionally, actors’ jobs consist of delivering a performance while backstage positions are delegated to others.

Gumbinger not only played two parts on stage, but she also served as stage manager for the production. Young was extremely hands-on with technical work for “The Elephant Man” as well. Their willingness to fulfill these outside obligations allowed the show to thrive.

With a small cast and even smaller budget, the play enhanced the skills of the actors by performing the show ‘in the round,’ where the audience members are seated around the stage area, rather than in front. This use of setting allowed for a far more emotional and intimate experience and an even higher quality production.

“It was such an intense experience because you really felt part of the story,” said Dr. Robert Cioffi, professor of English and director of the show.

Throughout the performance, the simplistic execution of “The Elephant Man,” in terms of set and props, efficiently used the limited resources the drama receives to put up the show each semester.

Cioffi said that he’s had to teach numerous drama and English courses in a variety of settings, thus finding space in the Davidson Rooms at times.

“Many students have commented in the past several years that our facilities are inadequate,” Cioffi said.

In May of 2016, the Board of Trustees made the decision to remove the associates in fine arts as a major and only a concentration in drama under a liberal arts degree would be offered. This change became effective Friday, July 1 of that year.

“In the economic crunch, the college decided it was no longer economically feasible to stay with the program,” Cioffi said. “There are several other programs being looked at, but our’s was the first to go.”

Students already enrolled in the program who only needed a few short classes to earn their degree were given the opportunity to finish out their remaining courses.

“We worked to help them complete the degree before we stopped offering a number of the classes,” said Dr. Bruce Dutra, dean of the division of liberal arts on campus. Dutra said that the board and liberal arts department decided to continue the dramas themselves each semester.

“Obviously, we thought it was extremely important that we continued to offer at least some classes in drama and have the performances, the very high quality of performances,” Dutra said. “And fortunately, we’ve done that because Dr. Cioffi is an incredible leader and teacher.”

Young said that the program being cut has curbed his ability to learn.

“I want to study; I want to learn more,” Young said. “The whole program feels crippled.”

Costar Gumbinger echoed those sentiments.

“I think it’s really shameful of a community college,” Gumbinger said.

For his part, Cioffi said the program cuts are tragic.

“I think it’s a tragic thing what’s happened to the drama program,” Cioffi said.

Despite the challenges, members of the production have, in part, credited the show’s quality and success to the passion derived from these circumstances.

“One of the reasons our show was so good was because we were so furious that this was happening to our major,” Gumbinger said.

Figures regarding the program cut and budget itself were not stated in the meeting notes. When contacted about this, the department of business and finance on campus did not respond for comment.

Going forward, Cioffi aims to keep the dramas alive by encouraging new students to participate, as the shows are open to not only students across campus but anyone in the community. The “Elephant Man” alone illustrates the standard of theater students and faculty are willing to work for, in spite of any circumstance.

“We showed them the past two semesters that we don’t need their money,” Young said. “But it could just be so much better if we could have more backing.”

Members, however, did acknowledge their appreciation for allies of the program on campus.

“I know there’s some really great supporters of arts who saw the show,” said Gumbinger.

Cioffi said he wanted to thank Dutra and Dr. Janet Eber, professor of English and chairperson of the English and philosophy department specifically, saying without their support, “The drama department wouldn’t have lasted as long as it had.”

Students and faculty can look forward to another great performance in the fall, for they will be putting on “East Of Eden.

“It has family, it has a little bit of sex, it has some darker undertones…There’s some minority characters in it, which is awesome and it’s going to be great.” Gumbinger said.

Auditions will be held at the start of the fall semester.

 

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Dancers show dedication in May performance

By: Katie Coyne
Entertainment Editor

​Faculty and students at County College of Morris participated in the Spring Dance Theater Showcase Wednesday, May 10 and Thursday, May 11 in the Edward J. Yaw Music Technology Center.

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CCM’s Spring Dance Theater Showcase on Wednesday, May 10 and Thursday, May 11 featured various styles of dance performed by students. Photo by: Katie Coyne

Performances included ballet, tap,  and modern style dances.  After practicing for two semesters, the dancers used the performance as another experience in the art which most of them have worked since childhood.

Some of the dancers are majors in dance theater, and others like Jon Reisch who is studying vocals at CCM are not but still enjoy dabbling in dance.
​    “Well, as an actor you need to be a triple threat, so that means you have to be able to sing, dance,” Reisch said. “And so I really didn’t dance before, so that’s why I took a few ballet classes.”
​    CCM Dance Theater director Terence Duncan has danced professionally for  years before teaching as a professor of dance.
​    “It was really important for me to be able to come back and teach college-aged students the tools that they need to be able to have success in dance,” Duncan said.
Duncan started dancing in high school and was previously a musician. He played the saxophone and bassoon and sang.  Being physically active as a track runner, he was interested in discovering how to put the aspect of movement into the art form of dance.
​    “I did all sorts of physical things,” Duncan said. “I was interested in something that was both musical and physical, and dance really made sense to me.”

Many dancers including professor Christina Paolucci, a member of CCM’s dance faculty, start dancing young. She started at age six.

“Every kind of dance I’m passionate about whether I can do it or not,” Paolucci said. “Dance is my life.”
​    Margo Donovan, a dance major at CCM, also got into dance at a young age, and she said that she hopes to one day instruct young kids.

“I started off when I was little, and I really enjoyed it.” Donovan said. “I want to teach younger children and get them involved.”

Donovan enjoys ballet and modern dance.

“Modern is a creative way to express yourself,” Donovan said.

Noelle Capuzzo, a double-major in dance and musical theater, began taking dance classes at age two and has been dancing for 19 years.
​“I just get really excited to be on stage, it’s like my little second home.” Cappuzzo said.  “Sometimes, I get a little nervous, but it’s more of like an anxious nervous.  I just can’t wait to get on stage and perform.”
​The stage came alive for each performance and the dancers’ dedication showed in each twirl and pirouette that was performed.  The audience smiled and snapped pictures of the dancers’ movements.
​The dedication and talent was prevalent as well as the time and effort that each dancer took in practicing for the showcase.

‘Diverse’ dancing focus of showcase

By: Lindsey Medwin 
Staff Writer 

Incorporating both variety and collaboration into this year’s annual main stage production, the Department of Music, Dance and Performing Arts hosted a performance unlike any other at CCM.

The Dance Theatre Showcase, held Friday, March 3 and Saturday, March 4, was one of three dance concerts the program puts on throughout the academic year. It is the only one, though, which takes place on the Dragonetti Auditorium stage. That means it requires a lot of time and effort for preparing the 15 different dances featured this year.

“Some of the pieces we actually started rehearsing over winter break,” said Noelle Cappuzzo, a double major in dance and musical theatre major and one of the leading performers in the showcase, noting that some pieces took up to 46 hours to finalize.

The extensive preparation for this event, though, is not just to perfect the pieces, but also to create them. Professor Terence Duncan, director of the event, noted that all of the dances were formulated from, “all original and self produced work”.

One dance in particular that left an outstanding mark on the production was entitled, “Departed Dearly”, choreographed by Christina Paolucci. This 16 minute duet conveyed a dark, yet humbling story of two sisters journey together up until their deaths through the beauty of dance. This complex number and the story behind it was all inspired by Paolucci’s vision of door, which was used throughout the piece. Cappuzzo and Sabrina Olivieri, dance major’s at CCM, played the sisters in the duet.

“Christina did a really nice job of crafting a work that was both challenging and intricate,” Duncan said.

Paolucci said that choreographing dances is not always easy, and that’s the point.

“The whole point of what we do as choreographers and choreographers of students is that we want them to succeed and have a positive experience, even if that means we have to struggle to get there,” Paolucci said.

The initial development of some dances featured in the showcase stemmed from a collaboration the department had with the Garden State Dance Project, a New York dance school. The co-founder and artistic director of the project, and CCM alumnus, Eli  Kababa, personally trained with the students for several performances in New York, choreographing numbers featured at the concert.

Duncan said that working with the project was, “an opportunity to have a performance series in New York in January and present the work to New York city public school children.”

This experience enabled the students involved to expand their abilities and talents, to then present those skills to a local audience at CCM.

“It really helped me keep my technique balanced in all genres of dance,” Cappuzzo said.

The Dance Theatre Showcased extended this trend of collaboration by featuring some CCM musical theatre majors in a student choreographed piece entitled, “The Cellblock Tango.”

This was the first dance concert where different majors in the department were featured. This not only gave some variety to the concert, but also allowed everyone involved to work together and create a fantastic opening number to the second act of the concert.

Gabe Weiss, one of the actors featured, noted that it was great working with, “people that really care about the program,” and by bringing different walks of life together, it made the Department of Music, Dance and Performing arts a far more, “well rounded program’

“I have to say, this has to be one of the best showcases we had because there was so much diversity in dance and do so many different things,” Cappuzzo said.

Midterms monopolize lives of CCM students

BY JAILENE VELOZ
Contributor

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

BY KELLY DZIALO
Contributor

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.”

Bone marrow drive looks to diversify

By Miranda Spetaccino
Contributor

County College of Morris Health Services, along with the Icla da Silva Foundation, are hosting a “Be The Match” Bone Marrow Drive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23 in the Student Center Lobby and Tuesday Feb. 28 in the B Café Alcove area, located across from Cohen Café.

The drive will consist of a registration and a cheek swab, and is open to CCM students, faculty and staff ages 18 to 40.

The Icla da Silva Foundation is the largest recruitment center for the Be The Match Registry in the United States, with offices throughout the east coast and Puerto Rico, according to their website. Their focus is on deversifying the registry.

“Right now in the registry there are 13 million people and 70 percent is Caucasian,” said Lauren Wollny, a community engagement representative at the foundation. “So that leaves patients that are of any diverse tissue type a very hard time of finding a match. You’re more likely of matching within your same ancestry.”

Joining the Be The Match Registry only takes about five minutes out of the day, and the results could possibly save someone’s life, said Wollny.

“We’re asking people to sign up, fill out a form, and do a cheek swab to potentially donate in the future. It doesn’t mean that they’re going to absolutely donate,” Wollny said. “You only donate when you match someone, which is very rare.”

Once a person joins the national registry, they remain eligible to match with a patient in need right up until the day they turn 61 years old. If matched, they would have a basic health screening over the phone and from there go through a series of tests and exams to determine if they are a patient’s best match.

According to Be The Match’s website, 1 in 40 registry members will be called for additional testing, 1 in 300 will be selected as the best possible donor for a patient, and only about 1 in 430 will actually donate.

Wollny went on to say that a substantial challenge when it comes to drumming up donors is spreading the word about what the bone marrow registry actually is.

To her point, Jeremy Tsonton , a communication major at CCM, said that he is not sure whether he will attend the drive.

“ I don’t know enough about the drive,” Tsonton said.

Tsonton said that maybe if he knew more about the registry, he would attend the drive. He said he would donate if matched with anyone.

“I mean I’m an organ donor so I’m kind of all for that stuff,” Tsonton said.

Maggie Pierce, a humanities and social sciences major at CCM, said that although she was not aware of the drive, she, like Tsonton, would consider joining the registry and subsequently donating bone marrow.

“I always to try help people and make their lives more positive,” Pierce said. “I’ve never really been freaked out about doctors or needles or blood or anything like that, so actually donating wouldn’t be an issue.”

For more information about the drive or about volunteering for the drive, contact Health Services at 973-328-5160, or Lauren Wollny at 973-647-5845 or by email at Lauren@icla.org.