Deanna Roma

Art gallery depicts the college’s past, future with new exhibition

By Deanna Roma
News Editor

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Juan Becerra-Gomez’ ‘Drawing of CCM campus, year 2118’ Photos by: Brett Friedensohn

County College of Morris’ Art Design and Art Gallery is featuring a 50th anniversary exhibition called “Into the Future” which includes student artwork and old yearbooks, photographs, and documents of the campus.

This particular exhibition is going to feature the work of six students: Amy Albin, Juan Becerra-Gomez, Christie binger, Charlie Neely, Edward, Lee and Heather Stevenson. They are expected to depict their own personal vision on the college’s future. The gallery will be showcasing visual and audio documents from past artwork, consisting of historical records, photographs, videos, and announcements.

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Heather Stevenson’s untitled statue.

The show will take place through Monday, Nov 12  in the downstairs Sherman H. Masten Learning Resource Center.

“The gallery has been open for many years”, said photography professor Professor Hrvoje Slovenc. “It is not a new [event].”

The students chosen were commissioned by the college and are expected to develop artwork specifically for the anniversary show. They are expected to use graphic design, paintings, drawings, video, and poetry.

“It’s good that they do a little history [with] the articles and everything,” said Custodian Ray Arson. “I like the old memos and everything. I haven’t looked at the yearbooks to see how the school has changed. It seems good how far and advanced we have come.”


The gallery is showcasing visual and audio documents from past artwork, consisting of historical records, photographs videos and announcements.

“The gallery has been open for many years”, said photography professor Professor Hrvoje Slovenc. “It is not a new [event].”

The students chosen were commissioned by the college and are expected to develop artwork specifically for the anniversary show. They are expected to use graphic design, paintings, drawings, video and poetry.

“I think it’s very valuable to look back and to see where the school has come from [because] they’ve made so many strides. I hope people do come and visit it because one of the classes I teach is college student success which is going to be reconfigured as freshman seminar class and part of it is understanding the resources of your campus,” Said Anne Beacken, an adjunct faculty member at CCM. “And I hope students do visit to understand the resources that are here and all the history that [the school] has. It’s interesting to see where you’ve come from.”

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The gallery included copies of the CCMemo going back to 1973, along with student Edward Lee’s speculative design for the CCMemo of the year 2038.

Nursing program receives record-breaking $976,000 donation


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One of the namesakes of the CCM nursing program’s new scholarship worked at Dover General Hospital, now Dover General Hospital, now Dover St. Clare’s. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

By Deanna Roma
News Editor

County College of Morris accepted its largest donation in school history when the estate of Dominic and Catherine Bencivenga granted $976,000 to the college’s nursing program Monday, April 16.

This grant brought the family’s total donations to CCM to more than $1 million.

The donation was given in memory of the Bencivengas’ deceased children and former CCM students Gary and Cathy Jo. The latter was a registered nurse at Dover General Hospital which has since changed its name to St. Clare’s Dover Hospital. The donation was used to provide scholarships to the college’s nursing students and assist in the success of future CCM nursing program graduates with the Gary and Cathy Jo Bencivenga Memorial Scholarship.

The CCM Foundation, which was established in 1987, helps raise funds for college programs, scholarships, and staff development for other projects that are not funded through tuition and the public money.

“The Gary and Cathy Jo Bencivenga Memorial Scholarship is vital to our students’ success in completing their nursing degrees,” CCM President Dr. Anthony Iacono said in a press release. “As a leader in health and allied sciences, CCM prepares students to go on to achieve extraordinary achievements in nursing at some of the finest medical institutions throughout the State of New Jersey and nationally.”

The foundation’s Board of Directors Chair William McElroy said  that he was thankful toward the family for its gift.

“The CCM Foundation has been the cornerstone of philanthropic giving to the County College of Morris,” McElroy said. “Today, through this historic gift from the Estate of Mr. and Mrs. Bencivenga, we are positioned to begin our 50th Anniversary celebrations with strength and gratitude for all who have come before us and for all who will join our efforts in offering CCM the support it needs to fulfill its mission.”

Bencivenga estate trustee Beverly Brown said that Gary and Cathy Jo held their CCM alumni status with esteem.

“Gary and Cathy Jo attended CCM and Dominic and Catherine sought to provide a legacy in their children’s honor,” Brown said. “Catherine was a registered nurse at Dover General Hospital and took great pride in how the nursing program has become one of the most sought after majors at CCM. Dominic and Catherine always viewed CCM as a philanthropic priority and in their planning for when they were no longer here; CCM was the place they knew their gift would have a lasting impact.”

Student artwork on display at CCM gallery

By Deanna Roma
News Editor

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Photos by Deanna Roma

County College of Morris’ Art and Design Gallery is decking its walls with student artwork with three exhibits in April and May when members of the public can view the pieces in the lower level of the Learning Resource Center for free.

The Art Club Spring Exhibit ended Friday, April 13, followed by the photography program’s thesis exhibit set to close Friday, April 27. CCM’s “best of the best” student exhibition will run Friday, May 4 to Friday, May 18.

“The annual exhibition provides an opportunity for the community to view outstanding artwork,” said gallery director Todd Doney, an art and design professor at CCM. “Each program will be on display [and] represent each area of the CCM department of art and design.”

The whole exhibit is sponsored by CCM’s Art Club and all featured art is the work of CCM students.

“This project is a lot about identity,” said photography technology major Claire Neely. “I think all of our work here is about identity. Everyone here has kind of picked something that they are passionate about.”

Neely said that photography is a longtime passion of his.

“I have been taking pictures for a very long time,” Neely said. “I come from a family of photographers, so it’s kind of in my blood.”

All artwork entered can potentially be awarded one out of four prizes: Best in Show, Award of Merit, Honorable Mention and the 2018 Scholarship Gala Purchase Award. As for the winner of the Gala Award, the student’s artwork will be purchased by the art club and donated to the CCM Foundation which raises money for programs and scholarships at CCM. The art club’s donation goes directly to the Tony Lordi Scholarship Fund.

“The gallery opens up a big opportunity,” said gallery monitor Kathy Dodds. “It displays their work and it also shows that they have had their work in an establishment. I myself have had some of my artwork displayed in this gallery … It is very crucial that you get your artwork out there so people can see how good you are at your work. You can tell how hard the students have worked on their pieces.”

The thesis show will hold a reception at 5 p.m. Friday, April 27 under the guidance of professor Hrvoje Slovenc. The student exhibition reception runs at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 10.  The art and design gallery hours are Mondays and Wednesdays from noon to 5 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 8 p.m., and Fridays from noon to 4 p.m.

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.