Freshmen seek fresh start in first year at CCM

By Brian Schnell
Features Editor

As it dawns on that time of year when school opens, temperatures change, and academics get into full swing, County College of Morris veterans have the opportunity to welcome first year students.

Kaitlin Dias, one of the counselors on campus, said that all first year students should not assume that the strategies that have been used in pre-college academics will work in college. Keeping up with all the work in class, regardless of the difficulty, will be a key aspect of students’ first year as well as full college success. Major services and features, Dias believes, are the best for first year student to become familiar with are the counseling office and the professors themselves. Making an appointment at the counseling office is quite useful as the counselors can help with everything from stress, time management to personal issues. Dias also said that all the services provided by the counseling office are free as well as confidential and that students have every right to make use of the counseling office and services provided.

Dias said she had a welcome message for the first year students.

“Welcome to CCM; you’ve made a great choice in coming here and it’s a great first step to new opportunities,” Dias said.

One student, Dan Wynne, said he was expecting more control over his own academics than he had in high school as well as having an increased workload.

First year students, like others, have a wide variety of majors with some undecided. One student, Komalah Smr, said she had settled on the major of actuarial science, the study of the trends of businesses, to predict the risks and their percentages because she has always been driven to success despite the risks she may have to take.

Christina Day said that she heard that college can be fun and that life is one’s oyster.

Furthermore, many students fear student loan debts or debts in general as well as that the courses will be hard. Cynthia Hunt said that she heard time management skills will be tested as well as keeping from being stressed.

Garrett LaVacca would change how accepting people were of him and how they treated him.

Cynthia Hunt said she would change how outgoing she was, “But everything else I’m proud of.”


Protect, don’t neglect, your personal data

By Krista Campbell

In a time when college-aged people post personal information on social media  from which high school they attended to what they ate for breakfast, County College of Morris students may be aware of possible cyber theft that could impact accounts that hold private information but may not be so proactive when it comes to securing hackable information.

An online privacy survey, “Americans and Cybersecurity,” conducted by the Pew Research Center examined more than a thousand American adults in 2016. The survey found that 64 percent of those surveyed have experienced a major data breach at some point in their lives and that most of them either somewhat confidently or confidently trust in institutions including the federal government, cell phone and internet providers, and social media sites to keep their data secure. However, most of those surveyed feel the security of their data has declined in recent years.

Valentina Lombardo, a communication major at CCM, feels less secure with data security than she did just a few years ago.

“Credit cards are saved, even when you don’t realize,” Lombardo said. “Passwords are saved; your address is saved onto your computer with your phone number and everything; that’s why,”

Autosave for personal information can save time but can also be a security threat.

With there is a need to make an account with most applications and social media networks one chooses to use, the amount of passwords to create, protect and memorize can become overwhelming. Lombardo does admit that she shares passwords only for her Netflix and Verizon accounts with family but logs her passwords onto a computer notepad. Although useful, writing down private information may not be the best idea, especially on a hackable piece of technology.

The study finds that many Americans share their passwords in a similar fashion to Lombardo as 41 percent of responders claimed to have a password shared with a friend or family member and 25 percent of responders admit to having passwords less secure than they’d like out of convenience.

Remembering passwords for every single account can be daunting.

“Most times I find myself doing the ‘I forgot my password’ process all over again and having to change my passwords a lot,” said Paul Nunez, a biology major. “It is pretty frustrating.”

To remember passwords, Nunez often rotates between four different passwords but keeps each password far removed from anything commonly used. The study found this type of trend is common among Americans, as it said that 39 percent of responders say that they “use the same or very similar passwords for many of their online accounts.”

Nushin Simon, a computer science major at CCM, is not afraid of cyber hacking since she keeps her passwords secure and only shared between friends and family members.

“I make sure that everything is blocked only for my friends to see, like followers,” said Simon, who added that she keeps an active watch on both passwords and social media content.

Since Simon is among the 41 percent of Americans who share passwords within a network of trusted individuals, this is not too surprising.

Simon keeps her accounts as safe as she can from people she doesn’t want having access to her accounts. For instance, she said that the government should not have access to encrypted devices.

Simon  is not alone in her decision to exclude the government from access to personal information.

According to the Pew Research Center, millennials and Democrats often express support for strong encryption when it comes to the government gaining access to private information from personal devices. “Americans remain divided on the issue of encryption: 46 percent  believe that the government should be able to access encrypted communications when investigating crimes, while 44 percent believe that technology companies should be able to use encryption tools that are unbreakable even to law enforcement,” the study said. The thought of the government knowing personal information of the public is not particularly new; for a long time, there has been joking and speculation that the government is always listening. Except now the speculation should be that the government is always tracking, or at least they could be without encryption laws.

Simple steps to protecting personal data include encrypting accounts with strong passwords that have upper and lowercase letters, digits and symbols, according to How To Geek, an online magazine committed on providing articles and how-to’s. Something that can be easily figured out, such as a name, birth date or something obvious, should not be used as a password. Although easy to keep track of, using the same password for multiple accounts can be dangerous.

CCM students are conscious of these guidelines, but not all take precautionary steps to ensure digital privacy.

Campus wildlife intrigue students

By : Nick Sisti
Entertainment Editor 

Taking a stroll through the foliage-filled campus of County College of Morris, one will likely become acquainted with the various forms of wildlife that roam the area.

Most noticeable are the campus geese, who cross the sidewalks and accompany students on their way to class. Some students feel that the presence of the creatures adds to the aesthetic of the campus, while others are indifferent.

“Just this week, a bunch of geese were crossing from the student center,” said Tatiana Campiglia, a communication major at CCM. “There were at least 10 of them. It was cool to see because they were so comfortable doing it. They weren’t scared of any of the students. All of the students were waiting as if there were a stop sign, and it was the geese’ green light. I like having so many animals on campus. They’re all part of the school in a weird way.”

Students learned first-hand that nesting geese can be violently protective.

“This past spring, we had a nesting in lot eight,” noted John Fichter, assistant director of Public Safety at CCM. “We actually had to tape off the area because the male would be aggressive to people who got too close to the nest.”

Typically when this happens, the Department of Public Safety does what they can to preserve the area. However, if it occurs in areas where there is too much foot traffic to adequately contain it, they’ll call for outside help.

“We’ve had a few [nestings] closer to the school, and in those instances, the Randolph Animal Control would get involved,” Fichter said. “We haven’t really had any issues with animals in the buildings, other than a stray dog once.”

Some students are tolerant of the geese yet remain largely indifferent to them.

“I don’t resent their presence, but most of what they add to the campus would be … poop,” said Dr. Phil Chase, English professor at CCM.

Though it may appear a bit less prominent on the surface, an entire ecosystem of critters exists alongside the geese. “I’ve seen groundhogs by the tennis courts and also some sort of a hawk, which will swoop down while I’m playing tennis as if I’m in his territory or something,” Chase said. “Don’t try to approach the groundhogs. … They’re pretty vicious.”

However, Jacob Kokoshka, a biology major at CCM, sees the groundhogs in a different light.

“I like seeing them around,” he said. “My friends and I will often take Snapchats of them. We’ve even named some of them. … The one that hangs out by Cohen Hall, his name is Henry. There’s another one that lives by the library, but we haven’t come up with a name for him yet.”

Transfer pathways open up with East Stroudsburg University

By Dan Brodhead

County College of Morris has made it easier for students looking to study biology, business management or criminal justice at East Stroudsburg University.

CCM has signed three credit transferable articulation agreements which will allow students who are graduating to transfer all credits from their major without the fear of having to retake classes.

“There are different types of articulation agreements that benefit students,” said Kari Hawkins, coordinator of transfer services at CCM. “There is credit transfer, financial aid, tuition discount, [and] full admission agreements.”

The department of biological services allows students to choose from a wide variety of majors. Fields of interest include biology, biotechnology, environmental studies, marine science and medical technology. Students who have a passion for research, animals and plant anatomy should consider this unique field. Possible career paths are research biologist, laboratory technician and environmental conservationist.

The department of business management introduces students into the world of business. ESU offers a bachelor of science degree in management and has 600 business majors in their department, making it one of the largest departments on campus. With specializations in accounting, finance, general management and marketing, a degree in business management will give students a leg up in the business world.

The criminal justice program gives students the knowledge and expertise to pursue a criminal justice career. As the fourth largest major in ESU, students will be graining information from professors that want their students to excel. Possible careers include criminology, criminal justice and law.

Whether students know what college they want to attend after graduation or not, all students should take advantage of the college fair. The college fair is an event hosted by Transfer Services on March 8 from 10:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. in the Student Community Center Davidson Rooms. Students can meet with over 60 colleges to talk about majors, tuition, scholarships and other information regarding the college. If students have any questions with transferring to colleges, they should contact Kari Hawkins at Transfer Services.

“You are going to able to transfer with a minimum of 60 credits,” said Tara Wuorinen, manager of academic programs for Rutgers University at CCM. “Even if students aren’t considering Rutgers, I would highly recommend a state school just so they don’t spend too much out of pocket.”

ESU is not the only school CCM has agreements with. They have recently partnered up with West Virginia University, Fairleigh Dickinson University (with a 40 percent tuition discount for CCM degree holders), Montclair State University and others.

“There are some schools that I know have these agreements,” said Nicole Iorio, a nursing major at CCM. “Seton Hall is my dream school but if I don’t get into it then I’ll look at a few of those schools.”

Transferring to a four-year college can be stressful. Everything will be new and exciting and possibly overwhelming. Students need to know that the college they choose after graduating CCM is the best fit for them to finish their degree.

Welcome Back Bash showcases student opportunities


Whether a student is new to the County College of Morris (CCM) community or is a seasoned veteran of multiple years, there are many opportunities for involvement in the campus community that many are unaware of.

CCM boasts has over 45 active clubs, from co-curricular clubs to honor societies, special interest crews to religious organizations, and more. The bi-annual Welcome Back Bash features many CCM clubs at the beginning of each semester to give students the opportunity to get involved.

The Spring Welcome Back Bash, sponsored by the Student Activities Programming Board, will be hosted from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 31 in the Student Community Center (SCC).

Most clubs have a presence at the Bash, allowing students to join clubs they truly identify with.

Students passionate about different cultures can join the Diversity Club as they explore the world through guest speakers, field trips, and on-campus programs. Pretty Girls Sweat capitalize on a living a healthy lifestyle through various group activities. Active Minds “increase the awareness of the campus community about issues surrounding mental health symptoms related to mental health disorders and various mental health resources.”

Clubs are an integral part of many students’ college experiences. Many students develop skills to present on a resume, such as time management, as well as qualities to grow and extend into their professional lives.

Moreover, students connect with peers outside the classroom, connecting on perhaps deeper levels than class time allows. Clubs focus on a community setting that allows relationships to flourish, uniting people with similar interests.

The Welcome Back Bash allows students to meet current members, leaders, and advisers of current clubs on campus. The event is a great opportunity to plug into a club at the beginning of this spring semester.

At any point in the year, the Campus Life Information Window in the SCC can provide an up-to-date list of when and where CCM’s student clubs meet.

Partnership provides study abroad opportunities at CCM

Managing Editor

While movies of our youth showed Hilary Duff and the Olsen twins racing through Europe on their overseas excursions, students at the County College of Morris can mix that excitement with college credits through a study abroad partnership with the College Consortium for International Students (CCIS).

The consortium partners with a range of different schools, from large universities and state institutions to other smaller community colleges, including CCM.

As a CCM student, you get to travel with a slight discount and you also receive a credit transfer, which is arranged for you before you venture off to your temporary home abroad.

“If you’re a non CCIS member you can still apply to a CCIS program but you won’t get the discount,” said James Hart, chairperson of intercultural communications at CCM. “It would be like if you were a visiting student at a school. So you’d have to request a transcript which would then be sent to your home school. Here at CCM, all of that is already pre arranged so that we can make it as easy as possible.”

The prices range from as little as 4,000 dollars to as much as 20,000 dollars. The price depends on whether you’re going for a whole semester or for a couple of weeks in the summer. Some of the institutions offer summer programs, which are typically less expensive than the longer semester programs.

“I picked a major and then a place that made sense for that major,” said Sabrina O’Toole, marine biology major at CCM. “When I went to Hawaii, I had a scuba diving class so I was getting hands on experience.”

Summer programs are usually as short as two to three weeks and as long as six weeks. They’re similar to CCM’s summer classes, which are broken down into five week mini-semesters. Whatever class you take during the mini-semester counts as a regular class, just a condensed version. When someone goes abroad, there is always an academic component, though it may be as little as a three-credit class.

Kelly Guapacho, CCM alumna, fondly reminisced about the time she spent at the Lorenzo De Medici Institute in Florence, Italy. She stayed in a hostel while she was there and didn’t meet her room mate until move in day. She said her only regret was taking too many classes but that she spent her weekends traveling as much as she could.

“I recommend it to anyone seeking adventure” Guapacho said. “It was enlightening. Spiritual. It was everything all at once. It was amazing.”

According to Hart, CCM chose to partner with CCIS because they offer a wide variety of study locations.  There are 26 countries available for travel, some with as many as five programs.

“I thought the application process was going to be a lot harder than it was,” said Julia Ryan, communication major at CCM. “I had to write a reflective essay on why I wanted to go to England and fill out a request for transcript form, which altogether, only took me an hour to finish.”

“There are so many advantages of studying abroad,” Hart said. “It increases your intercultural sensitivity and creates important communication skills which can apply to people within your own culture. It teaches you how to make yourself understood along with how to connect with someone who you don’t have a lot in common with.”

End of semester message from Youngtown staff:

The most fun anyone can have at County College of Morris is being part of the Youngtown Edition production staff. We know it’s the law of the journalism writing land to stay subjective, but it’s an unadul- terated fact that when a student joins the Youngtown, they join a family. We are comprised of fast thinkers, witty talkers, and talented writers, whose growth through writing through our bi-weekly production has blossomed before our eyes. It’s truly amazing to watch timid students quietly take a seat in the corner at our 12:30 p.m. meeting time, and see them walk out at 6:00 p.m. and join our little posse for Thursday night dinner in the Cohen Cafeteria, as if we have been a group of friends for years. Every individual who walks through our production door every Thursday has experienced a whirlwind of poorly brainstormed headlines, where the conclusion to an hour-long argument usually ends in “I hate it, but it’ll work,” and that there are absolutely no food or drinks allowed in the production room. We welcome all into our arms, and it is the drive and passion that brings us and ultimately keeps us together, as long as you know who “The Cranberries” are.