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Student’s spring towards summer with sun-soaking, extra studying

erin-summer story

Communication major Alison Dolan and digital design major Loni Fiscus wait for their summer calculus class. Photo by: Jannat Sheikh

By: Erin Post
Contributor

When the spring semester officially ended at County College of Morris, students began their ritual of preparation for the warm summer months.

Many students rejoiced at the ability to relax in the warm weather, but for others, the beginning of summer break marked the dawning of extra classes to quicken the graduation process and the start of internships to jump-start their careers.

For some students, their chosen majors does not  give them a chance to relax during the break.

“Since I am a chemistry major, unfortunately, there is no such thing as a vacation for me in the summer,”  said CCM student Michelle Gostling. “I have an internship, two jobs, and I am also taking two online classes to make sure I can graduate on time.”

On the other hand, there are students who are ready to spend their summer days at the beach.

Michael Piccone, a liberal arts major, cannot wait to spend his summer in the sun.

“My family has a beach house on Long Beach Island,” Piccone said.  “So, I will most likely spend my summer there with them. I might get a part-time job while I’m there, but my main goal is to just chill and hang out with no stress. This semester sucked for me, so I just want to hang for a bit.”

Some students get to have the best of both worlds, which are work and a vacation. Rachael Stinsburg, a hospitality management major, said she gets to work and vacate this summer.
“I like where I work so much that I don’t mind being there every day in the summer,” Stinsburg said. “I work at a hotel chain, so I also get paid vacation too, and that’s a bonus. I’ll be taking a trip to Hawaii with my family as soon as the semester is over.”

The summer course schedule can be found at http://www.ccm.edu/admissions/.

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.

dance pic- Katie

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.

Ventilation system upgrade means hot summer for employees, students

 

Fans

The CCM bookstore has turned off primary lights and set up fans and a dehumidifier provided by the college while their air conditioning is off. Photo by: Brett Friedensohn

 

By Jannat Sheikh

News Editor

Brett Friedensohn

Editor-in-Chief

The County College of Morris replacing its heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system in the Student Community Center has made for a long, hot summer for those housed in the building.

The goal is  finishing by the third week of August, and the SCC has not run HVAC since the renovations began, making the building susceptible to heat and humidity until the new system is expected to turn on at the end of the summer.

The college is performing the approximated $2 million overhaul, outsourced to De Sesa Engineering who has performed similar renovations to the academic buildings and to the Health and Physical Education building, due to the old system being obsolete as it was last replaced between 1999 and 2000, according to vice president of business and finance Karen VanDerhoof who said that the new system will include new sanitizing systems, boiler air handlers, improved air distribution, and the ability for each department to control its own climate.

She also said the reason CCM chose to do the installation during the summer rather than the winter months is because the employees who occupy the building would have a harder time coping with the cold, and thus, the college would run the risk of freezing pipes; they are not doing it in fall or spring because it would affect the largest number of students during the academic year.

“There’s no ideal time,” VanDerhoof said. “So we try to do it when it affects the least amount of people, the less students on campus, and when we’re not at risk for building damage.”

Employees in the building are provided with fans, dehumidifiers, and cool water throughout the day, and are also encouraged to take more breaks whenever they need to have cooler air, according to vice president of student development and enrollment management Dr. Bette Simmons, who works on the building’s first floor.

“Obviously, when the temperature and humidity levels rise, it is uncomfortable to work in the building,” Simmons said. “However, the college has taken all the necessary precautions to make sure that the air quality in the building is monitored frequently.”

Don Phelps, the associate director of the campus life office, said that he and the other employees go to different locations to relax and cool down from the heat.

“I usually go to the Cohen Hall cafe, or the LRC,” Phelps said. “There was one day last week where-again [I] just wanted to go to the LRC for 5-10 minutes, just answering emails over there.”

In addition, Phelps said that the renovations had not been too much of an inconvenience for him.

“I’m fortunate that my job requires me to be outside the building for meetings throughout the day,” Phelps said. “So I have some breaks built in.”

Kelly Wallace, an assistant in the bookstore on the second floor of SCC, said she found discomfort in the lack of air conditioning.

“The heat has been very hard to deal with,” Wallace said. “The school has given each department in the building numerous fans to try and alleviate the problem, but there is only so much that can be done.”

Despite these efforts, Bilal Awan, a business administration major at CCM, who took early 5-week summer classes and often studied at the SCC also felt uncomfortable.

“It was so hot there,” Awan, said. “It was hard to breathe. There was so much humidity.”

There were other students who tried studying in building according to Awan, but it was uneasy to remain in the excessive heat.

The dehumidifiers generate more heat and take the humidity out of the air, making the environment more uncomfortable, according to Debbie Hatcher, the Bursar who works on the second floor of the SCC. Hatcher said that she is not falling behind on any of her work, but due to the heat, she said she is not as productive as she would like to be.

Kristy Baker, an accounting assistant at the bursar office said that the heat is not too annoying until the humidity gets high.

“[The office] just gets really stuffy,” Baker said. “As far as the heat goes, I don’t really mind the heat. We’re just hoping that they’re on schedule, and they’ll get it done.”

Sandy Hyder and Nancy McDonough from the records and registration office, also on the second floor of the SCC, expressed their concern about the first day of the renovations. They said the first few days were the worst because fans and water were not distributed.

“It’s very muggy in here, unbearable at times,” said Hyder. “If you come in on a Monday, it smells from just being closed up all weekend.”

Furthermore, Hyder and McDonough said that some people had bright red skin on the first day, and they feared the possibility of heat strokes.

The near-record heat wave in the first weeks of June was expected to cool down and drop approximately 20 degrees in temperature towards the end of June, according to NJ.com. However, damp days, cloudy skies and cooler than normal temperatures may take over the summer. In New Jersey, the average high temperatures from July to August are in the 80’s while the average low temperatures from July to August are in the 60’s, according to Weather.com.

As far as the academic complex is concerned, CCM is not replacing the HVAC system there, according to Simmons.

The fall 2017 semester will begin Aug. 30 which includes Full Semester, Early Start 2-week, 5-week and early Finish 8-week classes.

Collegiate cravings for students on the go

BY JAMES CAROLAN
Contributor

After multiple engagements with the snooze button, a rushed shower, and possibly an existential crisis or two, it’s a rush to get in a car with enough time to find parking on campus at County College of Morris much less sneak in a feeding.

Once in the car, there is the chance to calm down, only to be interrupted by a cacophony of gurgles from one’s stomach.

While sometimes it feels like there aren’t possibly enough minutes in the morning to squeeze in a filling breakfast amongst everything else going on, CCM students are professionals at this balancing act.

Jack Rebucci, a business administration major at CCM, gets up early in order to make eggs for a breakfast full of protein. This is a great way to kick off a school day and ensure he will have enough energy for whatever comes his way.

But not all students are morning people.

Ross DeBlock, a biology major at CCM, who occasionally consumes just a spoonful of peanut butter on his way to school if he does not wake up in time for breakfast. It provides a punch of protein, just like the eggs yet takes a fraction of the time.

“I usually eat trail mix in the morning”, said Kim Platt a criminal justice major at CCM. Trail mix is yet another car snack choc-full of protein.

Non-traditional breakfasts come in all shapes and sizes. While waffles may not seem like the ideal breakfast to eat in the car, Simon Picciuti, a criminal justice major at CCM, manages to scarf them down while on his way to school.

Sometimes a sugar rush is what students are looking for to push them through their morning classes. Dan McCartney, a chemistry major at CCM, makes sure to leave enough time in his mornings to enjoy a Toaster Strudel.

Sugar is also a factor Freddy Smith, a business administration major, looks for in his breakfast. “I go with pretzel M&M’s, those things are really good,” he said about his on-the-go snack.

Hannah Martinez, a nursing major at CCM, takes that sweetness to the dark side “Dark chocolate is my car snack,” said Hannah. Dark chocolate has many reported health benefits, and sounds like a pretty luxurious way to kick off the day.

“I stop at like the Panera drive through, or like the Starbucks on route 10.” Communication major, Gabby Sapienza relies on the raw power of caffeine to get through the morning. “I usually don’t eat, eat at places like that, I usually just get a coffee or something like that.”

Commuter breakfast is a trial-and-error program, but there is no right or wrong answer. Whether it’s a carefully eaten waffle or some dessert for breakfast, the most important meal of the day looks different from car to car.

CCM joins stigma-free initiative

BY MIRANDA SPETACCINO 
Contributor

A resolution was passed April 27, 2016 by the Morris County Freeholders supporting the designation of Morris County as a Stigma-Free Community, focusing primarily on mental illness and substance abuse disorders. County College of Morris is one of the communities involved, joining the initiative about a month ago.

Stigma is “a mark of shame or discredit” as defined by Merriam-Webster, and according to the Morris County Stigma-Free Communities Initiative’s website, “stigma is the primary barrier to the achievement of wellness and recovery and full social integration.”

Laurie Becker, the Morris County mental health administrator, said that the focus of the Morris County Stigma-Free Communities Initiative is to cultivate an environment in which those struggling with mental illness and/or substance use disorders don’t feel they are being stigmatized. They are also focusing on educating the public on what those illnesses actually are.

“We want to make sure that everybody understands what those illness are and what they aren’t,” Becker said. “We’re hoping to provide a lot of good facts and information to dispel any myths.”

While the primary focus of the initiative is on the stigma surrounding mental illness and substance use disorders, it hopes to spread to other areas that have experienced stigma as well.

“Whoever feels that this is something that is of importance to them, we welcome,” Becker said. “We always say we’re inclusive, not exclusive.”

There are currently 13 towns in Morris County that have proclaimed themselves stigma-free, and the goal of the initiative is to have all 39 towns in the county, as well as corporations, agencies, and schools to be involved, Becker said. CCM is one of the most recent to have joined the Morris County Stigma-Free Communities Initiative.

Lisa Volante, a counselor in CCM’s Counseling Services office, said that the campus’ stigma-free designation is young, and that everyone is still becoming educated on what it means, exactly.

“[The initiative] is community wide, going through all the clubs, the faculty and the staff,” Volante said. “It’s something that the whole school will have to contribute to and be on board [with]. It is a process.”

As for CCM students that may be trying to cope with mental illness and/or substance-use disorders, the counselors at the counseling office are all licensed professional counselors and are more than willing to help, stigma-free.

Volante assured that everything said to a counselor in the office is kept confidential, unless it becomes apparent that a person is a danger to themselves or others, as is standard across all therapeutic practices, which shouldn’t deter students from seeking help.

While the counseling office usually works with students in need for a semester or two, they can refer those that require more intensive help to many other resources in the community that are available.

Michelle Johnson, a liberal arts major at CCM, said that she has seen the green stigma-free logo in towns outside of Morris County, and is glad to hear about the Morris County Stigma-Free Communities Initiative as well as CCM’s involvement in it.

“I love the idea of living in an inclusive, non-discriminatory environment,” Johnson said. “Everyone should feel safe enough to ask for help, especially at school.”

The next Morris County Stigma-Free Communities Initiative meeting will take place Thursday, April 6 at 2:30 p.m. with the location to be announced. To stay updated, or for more information on the initiative, visit the Stigma-Free Communities Initiative’s website at: http://hs.morriscountynj.gov/stigma-free/.

Travel teaches students culture

BY VALENTINA MARMELEJO

Features Writer

“My initial feelings when entering Langa were sorrow, and almost a feeling of guilt as being an outsider. I felt guilty because once the tour was over I could go back to a life of luxury, while they will always be there.” Hope Motzenbecker, a communication major at County College of Morris, spent her spring break visiting Cape Town, South Africa.

On her trip, she explored some of South Africa’s hiking trails and picturesque views, but she says that the most memorable part of the trip was her visit to a township called Langa. A township is a term normally used in South Africa to refer to the often underdeveloped urban living areas that, from the late 19th century until the end of apartheid, were reserved for non-white residents.

Motzenbecker described the majority of the homes in Langa as huts made of scraps of metal. The people that wanted electricity wired their homes themselves. Motzenbecker said that the people of Langa did not have running water or plumbing, so they would wait on a long line in order to use portable toilets.

“It was a very moving experience,” Motzenbecker said. “I learned a lot. It not only made me feel fortunate for what I have, but it also made me more aware of what South Africans went through during apartheid.”

While her trip brought Motzenbecker closer to history, other CCM students took different messages away from their trips abroad.

“They live a simpler life and they appreciate the little things,” said Saira Islam, biology major at CCM, about her trip to visit her family in Pakistan. She said that the people she encountered through her family were friendly and made her feel comfortable even though she was considered a foreigner.

Islam said she recalled how happy her grandparents and their neighbors were when it rained in their village for the first time in four years.

Nina Thoguluva, a chemistry major at CCM, echoed similar sentiments regarding a vacation she had taken to Cancun, Mexico.

“The people were, I don’t know if humble is the right word, but they seemed like they were just trying to get through the day,” Thoguluva said.

Thoguluva described one day where she and her family decided to ride bikes outside of their resort. She said she noticed that the roads were unpaved and that the small houses outside had a lack of structure, which stood out compared to the comparative wealth of her resort and the U.S. as a whole.

“I think it’s important to travel outside of the country because it helps you get a different perspective on life,” Thoguluva said.

By Valentina Marmolejo

Features Writer

“My initial feelings when entering Langa were sorrow, and almost a feeling of guilt as being an outsider. I felt guilty because once the tour was over I could go back to a life of luxury, while they will always be there.” Hope Motzenbecker, a communication major at County College of Morris, spent her spring break visiting Cape Town, South Africa.

On her trip, she explored some of South Africa’s hiking trails and picturesque views, but she says that the most memorable part of the trip was her visit to a township called Langa. A township is a term normally used in South Africa to refer to the often underdeveloped urban living areas that, from the late 19th century until the end of apartheid, were reserved for non-white residents.

Motzenbecker described the majority of the homes in Langa as huts made of scraps of metal. The people that wanted electricity wired their homes themselves. Motzenbecker said that the people of Langa did not have running water or plumbing, so they would wait on a long line in order to use portable toilets.

“It was a very moving experience,” Motzenbecker said. “I learned a lot. It not only made me feel fortunate for what I have, but it also made me more aware of what South Africans went through during apartheid.”

While her trip brought Motzenbecker closer to history, other CCM students took different messages away from their trips abroad.

“They live a simpler life and they appreciate the little things,” said Saira Islam, biology major at CCM, about her trip to visit her family in Pakistan. She said that the people she encountered through her family were friendly and made her feel comfortable even though she was considered a foreigner.

Islam said she recalled how happy her grandparents and their neighbors were when it rained in their village for the first time in four years.

Nina Thoguluva, a chemistry major at CCM, echoed similar sentiments regarding a vacation she had taken to Cancun, Mexico.

“The people were, I don’t know if humble is the right word, but they seemed like they were just trying to get through the day,” Thoguluva said.

Thoguluva described one day where she and her family decided to ride bikes outside of their resort. She said she noticed that the roads were unpaved and that the small houses outside had a lack of structure, which stood out compared to the comparative wealth of her resort and the U.S. as a whole.

“I think it’s important to travel outside of the country because it helps you get a different perspective on life,” Thoguluva said.