CCM Functions

‘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


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.”

Bone marrow drive looks to diversify

By Miranda Spetaccino

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

Unity Day celebrates differences, highlights similarities


After a divisive fall semester that was punctuated by a contentious election cycle, the County College of Morris chapter of Phi Theta Kappa responded by hosting  a celebration of culture and difference.

Unity Day, held on Dec. 1, 2016, was planned as an event to bring together all walks of life on campus in order to educate attendees not only on different cultures, but what exactly unites them. This event ran from 12:30 to 2:00 and took place in the Davidson Rooms at the Student Community Center. The idea for Unity Day stemmed from PTK’s Honors in Action project and was developed with two leading themes: beauty and vulgarity.

“We wanted to do something that highlighted how different cultures go together,” said Michael Gosden, president of Phi Theta Kappa.

Though not particularly inspired from an on campus issue, but rather a bigger unification problem in society overall recently with the uproar over the election in particular, PTK aspired to organize an event to address these concerns and allow their intentions to spread beyond the grounds of CCM.

“We can start it at county [college] and spread it further throughout the county,” Gosden said.

Over the summer and throughout the fall 2016 semester, members of the chapter worked together and created Unity Day.

“It was a huge team effort, especially with our adviser, Dr. Bette Simmons.” said Gosden.

Unity Day kicked off with a cultural experience all college students can enjoy – free food. The event was catered by Forte Pizza, representing Italian culture, as well as a Dover restaurant which served empanadas from Spanish culture.

Attendees then had time to walk around the room lined with tables, each representing a specific culture.

“Those helming the tables displayed travel photos and various mementos from his or her respective culture,” said Nicholas Sisti, an attendee and contributor to Unity Day.

PTK included an informational kiosk designed to educate students on cultures the event was not representing directly. This was achieved by having a laptop open with heads of the table handy if anyone had questions.

“We would then briefly research on the internet whatever culture the student asked about and provide them with insight,” Sisti, a table head, said.

“We didn’t want to exclude anyone because that would defeat the purpose of the project,” Gosden said.

After some free time to explore the tables, everyone came together to participate in various group activities such as games and dancing. A game teaching colors in Italian was featured, as well as three different cultural dances from Greek, Korean and Spanish culture.

The dancing was like “one big multi-cultural dance party,” said Sisti.

In total, the event attracted about 50 people, a slightly higher number than expected by the chapter. Both the United Latino Organization and the Asian Students Association joined the event and contributed to its successes.

“Our Unity Day Event led to a greater appreciation of different cultures by a wide variety of students from across campus,” said Mohammad Rahmatullah, secretary of PTK.

In addition to hosting an upcoming blood drive and other various fundraisers, Phi Theta Kappa plans on duplicating Unity Day in the 2017 spring semester. Students can look forward to seeing this event brought back to campus and hopefully an expanded window of time to allow anyone interested in attending a greater opportunity to do so.

“If any students have any questions about PTK or how to join, they can stop by the office in room 130 in the Student Community Center,” said Gosden.

As multiple board members of PTK will be graduating at the end of this semester, Gosden and other executives expressed hope that the event will ultimately get passed down to the language department so Unity Day can make a customary appearance on campus in the future.

Any students with questions about PTK or about how to join can contact President Michael Gosden in SCC130.

CCM basketball seasons tip off

Sports Editor

The men’s and women’s basketball teams at County College of Morris began their 2016-17 seasons Tuesday, Nov. 8 when each team played a game against region competitor Mercer County Community College (MCCC).

Men’s basketball won its opening game 101-97 in overtime before improving to 2-0 both in the region and overall with a 101-84 win over Valley Forge Military Academy and College (VFMAC) Tuesday, Nov. 15.

Women’s basketball lost its season opener 72-33, then lost 98-9 to Harcum College Saturday, Nov. 12, bringing the team’s regional record to 0-2. The team then lost to VFMAC 76-19 Tuesday, Nov. 15, dropping its overall record to 0-3.

Brenda DeNure, head coach of women’s basketball, said that before the beginning of the season, seven of her recruits decided not to play in order to focus on school.

The team then did not have enough players to begin practicing three weeks before the season began as DeNure had wanted. Finally with nine players, they began practices just one week before the season began.

“I was a little disappointed, very disappointed with how they decided to do that, but what are you gonna do?” DeNure said. “When a coach recruits you, you don’t say, ‘I’m gonna play’ if you’re not gonna play, so it’s a little disappointing.”

DeNure said that she did not believe that her team would advance to the playoffs this season, but she hopes that it can use this season for rebuilding.

“We don’t have the talent,” DeNure said. “We’re just too raw. We’re too young. They’ve got a lot to learn, so build this year up.”

Zabrina Gale, forward and captain of the women’s basketball team, said after her team’s season opener that she hoped that the team would learn from the loss.

“I think it was a very tough game to begin with,” said Gale, a psychology major. “We definitely can work on a little more things just so we’re ready for the next game.”

CCM athletic director Jack Sullivan said that he expects the women to work diligently to improve.

“The women are a work in progress,” Sullivan said. “The women have work to do. They know that, and they’ll get it. They’re not afraid of hard work.”

Gale said everyone is giving 100 percent  and that’s all she can ask for.

During its season opener against MCCC, the men’s basketball team came back from a 12-point deficit in the second half to win 101-97 in overtime.

“The men showed a lot of heart, played great defense, had a great come-from-behind win,” Sullivan said. “It’s a great way to open up the season for the region.”

TJ Adams, men’s basketball forward and liberal arts major, said that during the second half of the game, he and his team brought vigor that it did not have in the first half.

“I say the energy in the first half was lacking,” Adams said. “They came back, but we were able to maintain the confidence to win that game. It was a very winnable game.”

Adams said that his team should work on defense.

“As a team, I think we need to work on our defensive principles,” Adams said. “Like, we score the ball well, but the team should not be scoring 90 points on us.”

New building to be named for exiting president

News Editor



The halls of DeMare Hall may seem a little quieter as of late as the musicians and thespians have been moved out of cramped classrooms in the County College of Morris’ main academic building to their new home in the soon-to-be dedicated Edward J. Yaw Music Technology Center.

“I’m honored, and this is meaningful to me in a lot of different ways,” said Edward Yaw, CCM president. “It’s meaningful because we’ve wanted to add this to the campus for many years… and my father was also a musician in upstate New York, so this has special meaning to me.”

Yaw said the new name will not take effect until the dedication ceremony on April 21, and until after the Board of Trustees approves it that week.

The CCM Board of Trustees broke ground on the new $8.5 million building in Sept. 2014.

“Since 2007, enrollment in our music technology programs has grown 36 percent,” said Edward Yaw, CCM President. “This new facility not only will address that growth but allow CCM to build upon the strengths of its music and performing arts programs. We are grateful to the residents of New Jersey and county officials for making this possible.”

Since 2014, the Building Our Future Bond Act has provided $750 million for New Jersey’s colleges. Of that, $200 million is going towards community colleges for much-needed construction and renovation projects.

CCM received a total of $10 million to construct the Music Technology Building along with upgrading its engineering labs. The Music Technology Center has since become a multi-purpose building used to house the college’s popular and growing music technology and other performing arts programs.

“The Music Technology Center is awesome and we’re getting modern technology shipped from other countries, which are specially made for our new building” said Ashley May, a student at CCM.

All of the funding for the facility is coming from the Building Our Future Bond Act that was approved by New Jersey voters in 2012.

Governor Chris Christie said that passage of the bond act would increase jobs as well as boost the state’s economy in terms of construction, teaching and maintaining the facilities.

“The Music Technology Building will be one of 176 projects that are underway at 46 of our college’s and universities throughout the state, and it’s important not only for the future jobs it will create but also for the men and women who work in the building trades across the state,” said Christie.

The Music Technology Center has been constructed as a 22,500-square-foot, two-story addition to the college’s Student Community Center. Academic programs to be housed in the new facility include Digital Media Technology, Drama, Media Technology, Music and Music Recording.

The facility includes an experimental theater lab that will serve as a large hands-on classroom with a recording studio and seating for 100-125 people, two standard classrooms, an electronic music/aural comprehension classroom, a piano lab, a second recording studio, scene shop, dressing rooms and multiple student practice rooms.

“You always dream about having nice facilities to work and teach in, but here the dream came true,” said Todd Collins, a music professor at CCM.