Features

Federal grants, loans available to students

By Amanda Edwards
Staff Writer

Editor’s Note: The print version and an earlier online version of this article stated that CCM fall scholarship applications are due in July and applications for spring are due in November. However, those are the months the scholarships are awarded. The scholarships are due in May for fall and October for spring. The current version of this article reflects that.

In order order to combat the high cost of education, students should avail themselves of the loans and grants available to them, according to Harvey Willis, director of the Financial Aid Office at CCM.

Students can receive federal loans and grants through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.gov that can help offset the cost of their education

However, many students fail to consider this reality and are left sorely disappointed when they realize that they can’t enroll, according to Dr. Bette Simmons, vice president of Student Development and Enrollment Management.

Simmons said that 55 percent of the 7200 degree seeking students at CCM use financial aid. However, many students in need are not a part of this percentage.

“The problem is that financial aid is not sought after, it’s an afterthought, usually when the bills are due, as quite a few students are under the impression that county colleges are free, despite the advertised cost of education,” Willis said.

Since most aid is contingent upon need eligibility, students must first complete the FAFSA. This application becomes available on Oct. 1 of every year. It is a relatively short, electronic application that may take an average 30 minutes. After applications are received, the Financial Aid Office reviews each student’s credentials to determine aid eligibility.

According to a flyer from financial aid, “This year, the Financial Aid Office conducted a series of FAFSA filing sessions to assist students in submitting the 2018-2019 FAFSA.”Though these days have passed, students may visit the Financial Aid Office at the Student Community Center for more information.

Several variables are considered to determine any one student’s eligibility. These range from income to number of family members to assets. However, the list is extensive, and the process is unique for every student. Make sure to consider all of your factors while completing your application.

“Students should allow an average of 21 business days for processing,” Willis said. “While sometimes students receive an update within three to four days of submitting FAFSA, other students may be selected to submit additional documents. Since this is only a process of verification, aid will be processed in short order if students submit the documents in a timely fashion.”

Willis has pointed out that FAFSA is only a government application and it is the Financial Aid Office and New Jersey State Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA), which reviews the results for aid determination and awarding. However, students often misunderstand this fact.  Additionally, students are strongly encouraged to periodically view their financial aid eligibility online through WebAdvisor or Titans Direct as funding may change due to changes in credits total and or type of courses registered for each term.

Financial assistance at CCM exists in the form of federal and state aid and student loans. Additionally, the CCM Foundation awards more than $200 thousand in scholarships to qualified students every year. These grants may be merit or need- based. To apply, students must submit an online application through the CCM website. Applications are due by Thursday, May 31 for the fall semester and Monday, Oct. 22 for the spring semester.

“Everyone deserves an education, not only for self-help but to be a viable contribution to society,” Willis said. “However, since education comes with a cost, students need to know their financial options to move forward. I encourage them to complete the FAFSA, even if they don’t think they are eligible. In addition, they should periodically view their financial aid status online.”

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Students celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with parades, family gatherings

By Rebecca Mena
Contributor

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Musicians march at the Morristown St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Photo Courtesy of Facebook

Students at County College of Morris celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in a variety of ways including staying home with family food and drinks and attending and performing in parades.

“It was my only day off, so even though I’m Irish, I decided to stay home for the day and enjoy my family’s company,” said Katherine Mahon, a communication major at CCM. “I usually have a traditional dinner the day of, which is corn beef, pickled cabbage, potatoes, and Irish soda bread.”

Mahon said it’s not a tradition for her to go to any of the St. Patrick’s Day parades, but she has attended the New York St. Patrick’s Day parade when she was younger.  She said it’s not worth walking through the streets of New York because majority of the people are drinking excessively, so she preferred to stay home with her family to have a nice home-cooked Irish meal with a few drinks.

“This year, I played the bagpipes at the Morristown Parade, the Kearny Parade, and the Ringwood Parade,” said Joseph Hric, a criminal justice major at CCM. “I’ve been playing the bagpipes since seventh grade, so I’ve been lucky enough to play in different parades each year for about seven or eight years now.”

Hric said he started to play the bagpipes because it was one of the more  common wind instruments to play at the time while attending high school.

“The parade goes for a couple of miles, so my mouth usually gets really tired.” Hric said.  “I usually practice by playing for hours and hours working up to the event so I can prepare myself for three parades or whatever the occasion might be.”

Hric said although he is not Irish, he loves to play the bagpipes, and his family goes out each year to show their support for his events.

“My uncle’s birthday is on March 17, and this year he turned 50, so not only did we celebrate his birthday, but we also got to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day which meant double the drinking and double the food,” said John Maka, an engineering science major at CCM.  “During the day, we went to the New York City parade and at night we headed over to my uncle’s house along with a bunch of other family that I don’t usually get to see.”

Maka said he has to prepare himself  in the morning of for all the food, desserts, and drinks that are made for that day. He said his mom is known for making her special buffalo chicken dip and her margaritas.

“My family usually goes above and beyond with the food; there’s chicken francaise, chicken parmesan, lasagna, buffalo chicken dip, and endless amounts of desserts,” Maka said.  “Even though it’s not your typical Irish meal, I always look forward to seeing my cousins and catching up with other relatives.”

NCAA corruption case prompts differing views

By Mahadye Paniahie
Contributor

As the FBI investigates the NCAA on corruption allegations, students and staff at County College of Morris have differing opinions on if the association should pay its players.

Up to 20 schools are being investigated for allegedly providing improper benefits including illegal payments and other gifts to its players, according to Sports Illustrated.

CCM athletic director Jack Sullivan said that NCAA Division I schools focus too much on business instead of academics.

“I do not like the higher levels of Division I athletics because it’s become big business, and it’s not the true spirit of what collegiate athletics is all about,” Sullivan said. “They’re not scholar athletes. They’re not amateurs. That’s a scam. It’s a sham. And I’m glad I’m not at that level, and that’s not why I got into college athletics, not for the money, not for that. I got into college athletics for the student athletes to make a difference in their educational goals through athletics.”

Juliana Lopez, a communication major at CCM, said that NCAA Division I student athletes should be paid.

“They work harder and dedicate time into training, and it exhausts them from trying to do well in school,” Lopez said. “They should be getting paid maybe $300 to $700 a month. I understand the schools cover some of their expenses, but they still should be getting paid, in my opinion. Some of these athletes need money for their families or personal reasons. People think scholarships are enough and athletes should be grateful for that, but the NCAA makes so much money that it seems unfair.”

The NCAA paying its players is something athletes and journalists have been debating on for a while now. NBA star LeBron James, who was drafted in 2003 directly out of high school, called the NCAA “corrupt” in late February, saying that Division I colleges do not recruit players with academic goals in mind, according to ESPN.

“Being an athlete for a Division I school is like having a job,” said Mary Skaltsis, a liberal arts major at CCM. “There is so much time and work you put in for the team that it becomes so hard to focus on other things. You don’t have enough free time to do schoolwork for class, commit to your sport, and have a job. How else are you supposed to make money? I don’t blame the athletes who take cash from schools. If they were getting paid legally, the NCAA would not be in this situation right now. The NCAA is ripping off these kids.”

Colleges do cover some, if not all, expenses for some students’ educations through scholarships, according to ESPN. The NCAA says that is enough of a benefit to get students to attend division one schools.

“I think these athletes are pushing it,” said Kelly Carmona, a liberal arts major at CCM. “Your education is paid for, and you get all your expenses covered. Whenever they go away, their travel and hotels are paid for. You get tuition and books paid for. If they get paid cash, they will use their money for other things and possibly ruin their careers by making dumb decisions. Yes, I understand the NCAA makes a ton of money off these athletes, but the athletes do get benefits from the school. It is kind of like teamwork; the NCAA uses these athletes, and these athletes use the NCAA as an opportunity for their careers.”

CCM students spring back into the semester after break

By Gina N. Fico
Features Editor

As students at County College of Morris have returned to school after spring break, some have described the time off as a time of refreshing and relaxing.

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A student studies in the upstairs LRC library. Photo by: Arianna Parks

Annie Sinegra, a music major focused on music and catched up on sleep during her time off. Sinegra said spring break gives students “a mental break” and gives students more time to be with their families.

“It gave me more time to relax and do what makes me happy”, said Sinegra.

She said she thinks spring break is at a perfect timing said everything should just stay the same because people are used to it and its benefits.

Aaron Yaqoob, a Biology major said that spring break is usually relaxing but this year it was not as enjoyable because of all the snow days and missed work that needed to be completed. He said that the snow days caused due dates to be pushed around which made it less relaxing. He added that he doubts spring break was not even as necessary this year because of  the snow days.

Yaqoob said that spring break can take away the pressure midterms bring

“It’s definitely a nice time to sort of unwind,” Yaqoob said.

He said during his spring break, he worked on lab reports and studied for tests he has this week. He said he thinks spring break is long enough because students have a lot of time off between the fall and spring semester.

Shane Courtney, a business administration major, said he went to the Bahamas with friends from other colleges over break. Courtney said the vacation helped a lot, that having a break from school helps students refocus, and that he hopes to maintain his grades for the second part of the semester.

“I spent a lot of time on the beach,” Courtney said. “We just hung out on the beach; that was really it.”

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A beach in the Bahamas, where a CCM student vacationed during spring break. Photo Courtesy of Facebook

Nicole Sautter, an early childhood education major said she used spring break to catch up on schoolwork.

“They are good because they give you a break from school and if you are behind it gives you time to catch up,” said Sautter, who added that she was able to get a transfer process that takes up a lot of time done for Montclair State University.

Ariel Solimando, an early childhood education major said she worked during spring break and now has two jobs.

“I picked up a lot of hours,” Solimando said. “It was just one less thing to do coming here.”

Solimando said she hopes that students are more focused after coming back from break and that more students want to be there be at college.

CCM organizations to participate in Morris County health and fitness festival

Students, faculty to volunteer to raise health awareness

By Amanda Edwards
Staff Writer

The Randolph Pain Relief and Wellness Center (PRWC) will host the fourth annual Health, Fitness and Fun Fest between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. at the Randolph Middle School on Middlebrook Road on Saturday, March 24.

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Adults and children participate in the 2016 Morris County Health, Fitness, and Fun Fest. Photo Courtesy of: Randolph Pain Relief and Wellness Center

The event will feature approximately 65 local businesses and vendors, including County College of Morris.

“The college has been participating in this event since 2014, and the number of departments involved has since expanded,” said Dr. Michael Paul, chairperson of the health and exercise department. “This year, students and faculty from CCM’s school of health professions and natural sciences will be volunteering.”

“For the student volunteers, this event is an opportunity to put theory into practice,” said Monica Maraska, dean of health and natural sciences. “But for the wider community, we aim to promote health and wellness through various activities. Additionally, information will be available on any major under CCM’S School of Health Professions and Natural Sciences.”

For the event, Paul said that CCM will supply an automated Annie so that attendees can learn about practicing CPR, and a skeleton, that the biology faculty and students will use to teach anatomy.

Additionally, John Rutkowski, program director of the respiratory therapy program at CCM said he will “share information about pulmonary health and diseases.”

“I will have an actual swine’s lungs to demonstrate as well as a simulation of lungs damaged by smoke,” Rutkowski said.

Among the other activities are stretching sessions spearheaded by  Paul’s kinesiology class.

“Proper stretching can yield immense health benefits but improper stretching can result in serious injury,” Paul said. “The CCM students have been taught the protocol for stretching by Dr. David Simon, chiropractor and co-owner of Randolph PRWC, and so, they are ready to apply it.”

Also contributing, according to Maraska, is the landscape horticultural and technology department.

“They will be donating plants like basil and lavender, grown in the greenhouse at CCM, for aromatherapy,” Maraska said.

At the event, CCM will also have a raffle with gift cards to the CCM campus store as well as several other giveaways.

According to a press release by PRWC, other attractions include health screenings, fitness challenges, meditation sessions, free refreshments, games, arts and crafts, and a photo booth.

PRWC also invites attendees to take donations to support a collection drive in aid of the Randolph Animal Shelter. Contributions may include dog and cat food as well as cleaning supplies.

Student employees find benefits of working on campus

By Chloe Smith
Contributor

While many students leave campus and don retail store uniforms, restaurant aprons, or other workplace attire, there are a portion of people who stay on campus for an extended period of time because it is also their workplace.

 

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CCM’s Career Services and Cooperative Education Office. Photo By: Alexa Wyszkowski

On-campus jobs are acquired through the Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education.

Katherine Mahone, a communication major at CCM, began working in the Office of College Advancement during the spring 2018 semester. Because she plans on studying public relations, she said this internship is especially exciting. Along with composing necessary college releases such as the Titan Alerts, CCM’s emergency alert system, she will also have the opportunity to write spotlights on professors, faculty and students.

Mahone said she will be able to use this experience in the future. Unlike other internships, working in the public relations department at CCM will consist of less errands and more writing.

“If you are a PR intern anywhere else, you’re bound to be just getting coffee for someone,” Mahone said.

Students also gravitate toward on-campus jobs in other departments. Henry Agyei, a computer science major is a student employee in the CCM Learning Resource Center. Agyei said he enjoys his job in the LRC where he mainly works on organizing CCM archives.

“I’ve had moving jobs with moving companies, retail jobs with clothing, furniture; I’ve had social media jobs,” Agyei said. “This one is the most peaceful [jobs] I’ve ever had.”

He said that working at CCM has also been a great way of meeting friends on campus and getting to know fellow students.

Both Mahone and Argyea said their jobs were especially helpful for their flexible hours, which can be a lifesaver when the semester moves toward midterms or finals.

The college also makes a point to put students in departments that would be most beneficial to their major or future careers. Rosemary Grant, the associate director of career services and cooperative education is one of the people who help determine what positions would be a good fit.

“For our nursing students for example, we would steer them toward the nursing lab, exercise science we would steer towards the fitness center, computer science we would steer towards the help desk,” Grant said. “So, if there’s places on campus where students can gain career type of experiences at a very entry level, I think that’s super helpful.”

Grant’s department is also a resource for students and alumni when looking for positions in their field, building resumes, and preparing for the workforce. Students interested in finding out more about on-campus jobs or help finding a job off-campus can stop by the office of career services and cooperative education in CH 203.

Students show business, marketing skills

By Gina N. Fico
Features Editor

County College of Morris’ business department held a marketing showcase Thursday, Dec. 7 to allow students to come up with new ideas to improve existing products at County College of Morris and use their marketing skills in real life situations.

In this event, five groups of Principles of Marketing I students competed to reach different goals for the CCM community.

Tyler Cobb, a business administration major, said working on this project helped him to work in a group and talking  in front of people; his group’s goal was to change the location of the tutoring center, currently downstairs in DeMare Hall.

“I think our biggest pitch is moving the tutoring center from where it’s hidden now to the corner to the library,” Cobb said.

Some of the other group’s goals included improving enrollment, the planetarium, and CCM Direct, a program which allows adult students to earn a degree in two years taking three classes per semester for less than $1,500 a semester.

Students displayed a variety of technological ideas, came up with ways to work with the image to promote their projects, and used statistics to show how their goals can work.

Sarah Vojta, a business administration major and Cobb’s team member, said she was both nervous and excited about presenting her group’s idea at the marketing seminar. However, she said no matter the outcome of the results, she said her group’s idea was going to work, and CCM will have a better Tutoring Center.

“I think our group did very well so we have a good chance today,” Vojta said before presenting.

She said that another goal of her group was to make students feel less intimidated when needing to use the tutoring services and that her group wanted to lessen the stigma so more people ask for help. She said she wants to make the tutoring center more enjoyable.

Maureen Sutton, chairperson of the business department and associate professor of business said this was the first time that CCM held a marketing seminar.

Sutton  thought it would be good for the business students to be taught marketing.

Sutton said the business students had a practical experience while working with an existing product and that they had to talk to CCM employees, see a show at the planetarium, and view a survey from the Tutoring Center.

The marketing showcase had judges that viewed all the presentations and added up scores at the end of the event. They judged the students on a variety of aspects of their presentations. The results  for the best content was CCM Direct, and the Tutoring Center group won first overall and organization delivery.

Sutton said she was proud of the students that presented their ideas.

“I just think they did an outstanding job,” Sutton said. “It wasn’t just me who said that; it was the others who attended the session.”

CCM will hold another marketing seminar in the fall 2018 semester, according to Sutton.

Transfer deal with Rider to grant entry to all CCM graduates with minimum 2.5 GPAs, among other perks

By Gina N. Fico

Staff Writer

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Administrators from CCM and Rider announce a path to transfer agreement between the two schools.

County College of Morris and Rider University signed an articulation agreement designed to help CCM students transfer more seamlessly to the college in Lawrence Township.

The agreement was signed Thursday, Oct. 19 by Iacono and Rider University’s president Dr. Gregory G. Dell’Omo for 23 specific programs.

The agreements provide students with more benefits than the statewide agreement that makes credits transferable. The transfer agreement with Rider will also provide students guaranteed admission for all student applicants who have a 2.5 grade point average, although some majors require a higher GPA, according to Nancy Branca, administrate assistant at transfer services. Students interested in Rider University will also have the chance to be able to take a free course related to their major.

It also provides students with merit-based scholarships based on their GPA and scholarships for rooming as being part of the partnership. Keri Hawkins, coordinator of transfer services, said that this agreement will help students try to kept their transfer to four semesters after CCM.

“The benefits to the articulation agreement we signed with Rider goes beyond financial,” Hawkins said.

Some people have a stigmatized view of transfer students from community colleges; however, transfer students are shown to have an advantage over other students, according to Iacono, who said they are proven to be successful. He said that they have been successful once and they will show that they can be successful again. Dr. Bette Simmons, vice president of student development and enrollment management  said that CCM has a very positive reputation that has been built over 50 years and that CCM students hard work and how well prepared the transfer students are stands out.

“They really value our students because our students do really well when they get there,” Iacono said.

Some other universities that CCM has signed agreements with include West Virginia University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Berkeley College, William Paterson University, and Drew University. CCM’s website also provides students with more information about transferring.

The CCM administration wants to insure that students have a stress-free and successful educational experience after graduation, according to Simmons.

“They want to make sure they are successful after graduation, and that is what these agreements are about,” Simmons said.

The process can be scary for many students but by having more clear guideline students can be more directed to the academic destination, according to Simmons. Iacono said that he understands how transferring can make students feel and hopes to make CCM students’ educational careers easier than his was.

‘Pumpkin spice everything’ fad continues at CCM

By Rachael Coyman
Contributor

Throughout the course of fall in recent years, the pumpkin spice flavor rises in popularity, and some students at County College of Morris buy into this trend annually.

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Students at LRC cafe which sells Starbucks products. Photo by Arianna Parks.

Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte, which turns 14 this year, is one of the oldest and most popular sources of the widely favored flavor.

The pumpkin spice latte is Starbucks’ most popular seasonal beverage, with more than 200 million sold since it was first established, according to the Washington Post. Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte even has its own Twitter account, @TheRealPSL, where it has a well founded existence on social media.

“I will literally eat or drink anything pumpkin spice,” said Lauren Clarke, a nursing major at CCM.

During the fall, food manufacturers and grocery stores depend on pumpkin-flavored products to boost sales. Pumpkin spice is a mixture of pumpkin, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and ginger.

“You can eat as much pumpkin spice as you want,” said Elizabeth MacDonald, a liberal arts major. “I love baking pumpkin bread and putting chocolate chips on top.”

Cheerios has also come out with a limited-edition pumpkin spice flavored Cheerios. The Cheerios are advertised as “fall in a box” and a must have for all pantries.

Some other foods that are incorporating pumpkin spice for the fall season are Ghirardelli pumpkin spice caramel chocolate squares, Pumpkin Spice Oreo, Baileys pumpkin spice Irish cream, Pumpkin Spice Special K, Ben and Jerry’s Pumpkin cheesecake and many more.

Although it may seem like pumpkin spice is everyone’s fall flavor of choice, there are some people who have other preferences. Not everyone is jumping on the pumpkin spice bandwagon.

“I’ve tried pumpkin spice, but I don’t really like it,” said Evelyn Novena, a communication major. “I do love fall activities though, like going to wineries, pumpkin and apple picking, and Halloween.”

The pumpkin spice trend has also been incorporated into candy. Hershey has come out with Fall Harvest Kisses Pumpkin Spice. Therefore, it looks like there might be some pumpkin spice candy in the Halloween bags.

Fall favorites and trends make fall a tremendously popular season among CCM

students.

Students struggle with work, school balance

By Tyler Barth
Staff Writer

Many County College of Morris students are struggling to find enough hours in the day to commute, attend classes and keep up with work both on and off campus.

Between the long distances some students have to travel to attend CCM and the lengthy hours of work, it can be a challenge for some students to find the time to do classwork.

Some students do not possess the financial stability required to attend CCM without a job. Cynthia Jaramillo, a business administration major, is used to long nights comprised of finishing schoolwork after a long shift.  She explained that she often went multi-day stints of no sleep between holding three jobs and living on her own,.

“I think it’s just like the ideal of, like, failure not being an option. You just, kind of like, make it happen,” Jaramillo said. “It would be ideal if I could just dedicate myself to school, and, I’d probably be number one in the college.”

Evelyn Collins, a liberal arts major who has been bartending for approximately five years, said  she worked so many hours in the first half of one semester that her supervisor granted her the second half of the semester off upon her request.

“Especially when you bartend, I mean, it makes it easy because you can just have all your classes during the morning and daytime, and then you bartend at night, but then you have no time to get your work done,” Collins said. “Time management is the big thing … You have to plan out when you’re going to do everything, and if you have a project, you don’t have the luxury of leaving it to the last second.”

On the other hand, nursing major Andrew Carlson said he finds not working during the semester advantageous. Carlson said that he has a summer job but does not work when school is in session.

“I’d rather graduate with a little bit of debt, maybe that’s not the only reason, than not graduate and have a part-time job,” Carlson said. “I find it very helpful to have the time to study. When my [working classmates] are trying to do the same homework that I’m doing, they’re like, ‘Yo, I’m swamped with work.’”