Deanna Roma

CCM plans to break ground on new engineering building

By Deanna Roma
Staff Writer


Prototyping instructor Eric Pedersen works on a CNC lathe in
CCM’s machine shop. Photo by: Brett Friedensohn

County College of Morris will expand one of their most popular academic areas by constructing a $10 million Engineering and Manufacturing Building predicted to begin in the early months of fall 2019, according to a press release by CCM.

The building will consist of 30,000 square feet of classrooms and labs. The exact location of the building is not yet finalized and will be determined in the near future, but one of the areas being considered is the patch of grass between the Health and Physical Education Building and the baseball field. Funds for this building are being fully provided by the state, the county, private donors, and private grants.

“The [building] was designed to support degree seeking students and provide training for existing employees at manufacturing companies throughout the region,” said Karen VanDerhoof, vice president for business and finance. “CCM’s new facility will allow the college to increase the number of students it serves … while also working [to] expand the number of partnerships it has with area employers.”

This high tech building will not only help with engineering majors and students seeking an associate degree for transfer purposes but will train individuals in fields involving production technicians, biomedical technicians, electronic assemblers, and maintenance technicians. With additional access to a new virtual hospital this building will also make a major impact in helping with future employment needs in the area and CCM’s health science program.

Some of the features that this building will include is two prototyping labs, quality control and measurement labs, a 3D printer room, 10 station welding labs, two electronic labs, materials labs, lecture halls and classrooms, faculty offices, and a student lounge.

CCM President Dr. Anthony Iacono said that the college administration had planned this for the “better part of the year” and that they had communicated about it with the Morris County Chamber of Commerce and members of local engineering, manufacturing, hospitality, technology, and health care to learn about the industry’s current challenges and projected growth. He said that what the industries all had in common that they expect rapid growth, meaning that they will need more workers for added jobs and to replace retiring workers.

“Understand that on any given day, we’re always talking to these industries,” Iacono said. “We’re in the community a lot, or they’re on the campus. And we do have an advisory committee for nearly all of our programs, and it’s industry specialists who have come in and talked about, ‘Hey, this is what’s happening in the current industry; this is what students need to know.’ It’s part of how we make sure our curriculum is current and it’s relevant so that students who are in various programs are going to come out with course skills that are useful for transfer or immediate work entry.”

Eric Pedersen, mechanical engineering technology and physics laboratories coordinator, said that he was excited for the updates because with the new equipment, his students will need more room to work. He said that his department probably has 20 students per section in the machine shop in downstairs Sheffield Hall.

“We really need about twice the amount of equipment so nobody’s getting a bottleneck on different projects,” said Pedersen, who teaches a prototyping class at CCM. “I think for the size of the room, we have the right amount of equipment . For the amount of students in the major, we need like double the space.”

Pedersen said he is excited to introduce the Haas brand of mills, which perform the functions of drill presses but with moving tables. Haas will replace the CNC brand, which Pedersen said will not give students the proper training they need.

“They’re good mills, but they’re not what the students are going to see in the workforce,” Pedersen said. “They’re going to see the Haas stuff.”


CCM launches virtual reality degree

New concentration to focus on growing technology

By Deanna Roma


The closing ceremony of the 2018 winter olympics in PyongChang taken with an Oculus camera. Photo Courtesy of: Facebook

Students can begin earning an associate degree in virtual reality in the fall 2018 semester at County College of Morris and concentrate their studies in the growing photography and applied science discipline.

This particular applied science associate degree will also be a part of the college’s photography technology program, according to a CCM press release. Graduates of the photography technology program are expected to tell stories with imagery, in a way that early graduates were never able to do. There are also other opportunities for CCM students that enable them to take VR courses through other programs, such as business.

“VR was chosen because of its practicality, in many respects,” said Nieves Gruniero-Roadcap, chair of the department of art and design. “Major news outlets have been experimenting this content, including the New York Times, and in many of those cases, it was the photographers and videographers that have been creating this content. Many of our former students have communicated that they are expected to offer a large variety of image capturing services.”

Companies like the Times and Facebook have incorporated the virtual reality feature of 360 degree photography which creates spherical photos, allowing viewers to interactively alter a given photo or video’s perspective in a 360 degree rotation.

Gruniero-Roadcap said that that knowledge in virtual reality will help students in future professions as technology advances.

“The more technologically-savvy you are, the more lucrative it is for your bottom line,” Gruniero-Roadcap said. “As we move toward immersive content, so much has to be captured to engage an audience.”

Liberal arts major Drew Meechan said that the newly added degree will increase students’ opportunities.

“Putting virtual reality at CCM’s students access is going to create a lot of opportunity,” Meechan said. “I think it’s a great way to prepare people for what they are going to expect later on in their lives. Plus, virtual reality is really entertaining when you set aside the learning aspect.”

In the beginning months of 2018, there are four new VR products that will be launched, one of which CCM will be using, the Oculus Rift headsets, according to Gruniero-Roadcap. This high-tech headset is priced at a reasonable cost and perfect for beginners which is ideal for students looking to enroll in the VR program at CCM.  Terdiman said by 2026, the VR industry will be worth approximately $38 billion.

“Apart from journalism, mixed reality is playing a role in many fields, such as medicine, business, real estate, and game design,” said Dr. Bruce Dutra, dean of the school of liberal arts. “The content that journalists and photographers are expected to present include video that will put the reader [or] viewer right there. Our virtual reality program will also work with students in other courses … That mirrors what they would be expected to do once they enter the workforce.”

Students that decide to enroll in the VR program will study a number of areas, including digital imaging, virtual narrative storytelling, photography, mixed reality, and computer science.

Those seeking more information about CCM’s upcoming field of study may send Gruneiro-Roadcap an email at

Behind the scenes at CCM’s upcoming fashion show


        Students at County College of Morris are getting ready to show off their latest fashion creations at CCM’s annual student-run fashion show. The theme of this year’s show is wonderland, referencing Alice in Wonderland.

The show sold out in 2016, and students are hoping to achieve the same feat this year.

The show is 7 p.m. Thursday, May 4, in the Student Community Center Davidson Rooms. The event is open to the public and sponsored by CCM’s Fashion Club, led by president Kayley McCarthy and Professor Kelly Whalen. All items are hand-made by students.

McCarthy, a merchandising student at CCM, takes care of most of the work behind the scenes to make sure everything is ready when the show begins.

“I don’t sit down and make stuff,” McCarthy said. “I am in charge of marketing plans, floor plans, business plans and the merchandise display.”

The projects modeled on the runway are hand-made by students during class hours. The students learned how to put together clothing items and work at their own pace.

Lauren Gangone, a fashion design major at CCM, is currently working on one of her many pieces to be modeled in the fashion show.

“We have to come up with our own patterns, and we have to go buy our own material with our own money,” Gangone said. “Depending on how much product we make is usually how much material we have to buy for our clothes.”

Every student featured in the fashion show has their own models for their clothes. They are responsible to find people to walk the runway, usually family or friends.

Nicole Saranita, a fashion design major at CCM, said she has a lot of work to accomplish before the show is premiered but she said she feels good about it.

“I have all my fabric, and I finished draping everything so I’m excited for the show.” Saranita said.

Tickets for the show are $15 in advance and can be purchased at the Office of Campus Life in the Student Community Center. Multiple promotion of dates are also held when tickets can be purchased for $10. Tickets at the door are $20.