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Dean's Corner

Division News at County College of Morris
The division news will be updated monthly.
Business, Mathematics, Engineering,
 and Technologies

This semester we welcome a new department chairperson for Information Technologies, Prof. Nancy Binowski. Nancy has been working through the summer to transition into the role and is hitting the ground running.  Also, joining the faculty in Information Technologies for the 2014-2015 academic year is Russell Gambino.  Russell holds a Master of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Boston University, has five years of community college teaching experience and over twenty years computing industry experience.  

The engineering lab remodels were completed in the spring of 2014 and new equipment, funded by the State of New Jersey’s Equipment Leasing Fund (ELF), has been arriving ever since.  A total of $362,000 worth of new manufacturing and testing equipment is in the process of arriving with about three-fourths already onsite and the remaining items to arrive in mid-October.  The physics labs renovation is underway and expected to complete during the fall term.  Also, the Criminal Justice faculty, Professors John Hurd, Nick Irons and Bill Solomons, are now located SH 203.

The Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts Department is also benefitting from ELF funds with the installation of a much-needed new dishwasher in the Teaching Kitchen to be completed in the next few days.

The math department is working hard to transition to its new developmental curriculum which will be fully implemented in the spring of 2014. A new computer lab has been created in DH 151 to support the new curriculum. Also this academic year, a revised statistics curriculum is being implemented that includes the elimination of the Basic Statistics course (MAT 108), an increase in the prerequisite on Probability and Statistics (MAT 130) and the required inclusion of the use of statistical software in the curriculum. Chairperson Alexis Thurman and Assistant Chairpersons Doreen Sabella and Deborah Poetsch stand ready to provide support with advising for mathematics placement as questions arise.

Prof. Maureen Sutton, Assistant Chairperson for Business, travelled to Chicago this summer to the Annual ACBSP Conference and received the department’s certification of accreditation which will proudly grace the walls of the Business Department offices for the next ten years, the length of their reaccreditation status.  

Other recent faculty/staff activities are:

Chris Fenwick, Planetarium Astronomer, organized and presented an “automotive astronomy” show! Roberta O'Neill, winner of a customized Planetarium show prize at the CCM Scholarship Gala, donated the prize to her husband, the president of the New Jersey Association of Corvair Enthusiasts (NJACE).  The entire car club was invited to the program at the Longo Planetarium on July 12, where 50 members and their families were surprised by the content assembled by our astronomer, Chris Fenwick.  The show featured Mercury, Saturn, Vega, Aries, Taurus, a Nova, a Galaxy, etc.  The NJACE club will never look at the skies the same way again.

On July 29, our astronomer Chris Fenwick brought his space program on the road to the Garden State Yacht Club.  After an indoor presentation about some current and future exploration of space for 30 members of the club at their facility in Hopatcong, NJ, the clear night skies brought everyone to the docks on Lake Hopatcong.  Some boats were populated and launched to the center of the lake to view some clear, dark skies -- and Chris Fenwick presented under the dome of the "real life" planetarium! They viewed constellations, the planets Mars and Saturn, as well as being treated to a few falling stars from the Delta Aquarid meteor shower!

Professors Pat and Joe Tamburelli attended the first annual Community College Cyber Summit (3CS) at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills, Illinois in July 2014.  A principal outcome of the Community College Cyber Summit (3CS) is the creation of a new blueprint for the rapid expansion and enhancement of cybersecurity education programs at community colleges throughout the United States. This blueprint will be distributed to all community colleges, key Federal agencies, Congressional committees, state boards of education, associations, and businesses.  Pat and Joe are researching curricula currently offered in New Jersey community colleges for this blueprint.  Pat and Joe are on the National CyberWatch Center Collaborative Curriculum Taskforce that met at the Summit.  The most exciting outcome of this Summit is CCM entering into an Educational Partnership Agreement with the Defense Cyber Crime Center (DC3), which is the first step in participating in the National Centers of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence (CDFAE) program.  The Information Technologies department is offering the first course in Digital Forensics this fall.

In its 22nd year, the Summer Academy for Young Scholars provided 15 Dover High School students a one week (July 7-11) opportunity to participate in this year’s program on the “Art of Computer Science”.   In Professor Susan Winston’s (Mathematics) class, the students used Scratch (a basic computer coding program from the MIT Media Labs) to develop their own games and animations.   Among the computer projects developed by the students were a digital soccer field, a circus and animations involving names and animals.  In Professor Alexis Thurman’s (Mathematics) class, students learned about the importance of going to college, the application process, financial aid and the value of budgeting and saving.  

On May 19 2014, CCM offered its first Summer Session courses, under the direction of Prof. Deanne Stigliano (Mathematics), to those teachers looking to be certified to teach mathematics at the middle school level.  CCM is the first community college in New Jersey to offer a Middle School Mathematics Endorsement program.  The classes were offered as hybrid courses and were taught by CCM’s full-time Mathematics faculty who are also certified as high school math teachers.

Prof. Doreen Sabella – Mathematics for Middle Grades
Prof. Deborah Poetsch – Algebra for Middle Grades
Prof. Susan Winston – Numbers and Operations for Middle Grades
Prof. Dale Garlick – Statistics for Middle Grades
Prof. Deanne Stigliano – Geometry for Middle Grades

Six teachers enrolled in CCM’s Middle School Mathematics Endorsement program.  Five of those teachers will be submitting applications to the state in August.  Teachers looking to be certified to teach mathematics at the middle school level now have a more affordable option for meeting New Jersey’s subject matter preparation requirements.

Health and Natural Sciences

The faculty members of the Division of Health and Natural Sciences provide a supportive learning environment that promotes student success through excellence in instruction and programs and services that meet the diverse needs of the College community.  To promote student success, the faculty continues to seek new knowledge, ideas, and practices through participation in conferences, workshops, and regional meetings.   Below you will find some of these faculty activities.

The Division celebrated National Nurses’ Week May 6-12, 2014, honoring the CCM nurse educators.  The 2014 theme, Nurses Leading the Way, validated the essential role nursing plays in health care.  Dr. Vivek Agnihotri received the 2014 Nurse Excellence Award in Advancing and Leading the Profession from Saint Clare’s Hospital and earned a Doctorate of Nursing Practice from William Paterson University.    

Professor Brian Oleksak of the Department of Landscape and Horticultural Technology presented Looking Out for the Good Guys: Attracting Beneficial Insects to your Garden on May 10, 2014, at the Sparta Community Garden Educational Kick-Off.  On May 19, 2014, at the Morris County Master Gardeners Lunch and Learn Presentation on campus, Professor Oleksak presented Ferns and Grasses for the Home Landscape.  He gave a tour of the LHT building and discussed its recent gold level certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

Professor Patricia Baxter of the Department of Nursing attended a program, Pursuing Value in a Time of Healthcare Transformation:  Delivering Quality Care to Diverse Populations, presented by Dr. Jospeh R. Betancourt at Morristown Medical Center on May 16, 2014.  The program presented current research findings on disparities in healthcare, ideas for improved communications with patients, and frameworks for addressing and communicating in high-risk patient scenarios.

The Nursing Pinning Ceremony was held on May 15 in the Dragonetti Auditorium.  Fifty-six graduates were honored by college administrators, professors, family, and friends.  The Pinning Ceremony is a rite of passage into the nursing profession.  It signifies the acceptance of the responsibilities of the practice of Nursing and the educational preparation of the graduate.  Graduates will now prepare to take the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN).

Dr. John Berger of the Department of Biology and Chemistry traveled to Washington, D.C., May 11-13, 2014, to serve as a reviewer on the Robert Noyce Teaching Scholarship Program Panel.  He provided advice and recommendations concerning proposals submitted to the National Science Foundation for financial support and reviewed and evaluated the proposals.  The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program seeks to encourage talented science, technology, engineering, and mathematics majors and professionals to become K-12 mathematics and science teachers.

Dr. Maria Isaza and Professors Monica Maraska and Denise Vill’Neuve attended the Statewide CTE Institute on May 20, 2104.  The Institute, hosted by the New Jersey Department of Education's Office of Career and Technical Education, was designed to immerse participants in topics that are essential in connecting vocational and technical programs with workforce needs and to prepare students to be college and career ready.

Professor Monica Maraska of the Department of Nursing attended Roadshow 2014 on May 29, 2014, sponsored by the New Jersey State Nurses Association and Institute for Nursing.  The session provided an opportunity for participants to learn how to write measurable education objectives and identify the common mistakes made.

On May 30, 2014, fourteen faculty members from the Department of Nursing attended the New Jersey Council of Associate Degree Nursing Programs Annual Spring Nursing Faculty Workshop, Active Learning Strategies to Promote Critical Thinking in the Classroom in Monroe Township, New Jersey.  The workshop focused on the examination of current theories that relate to teaching critical thinking in nursing and the identification of ways to teach critical thinking.

Dr. Maria Isaza and Professor Christine Kelly of the Department of Biology and Chemistry attended the 12th Annual Faculty of the Future Conference on May 30, 2014, sponsored by Buck County Community College.  Cole W. Camplese, Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer at Stony Brook University, delivered the keynote address and focused on innovative approaches to support the integration of technologies into learning environments.

Professor Sheila Barbach of the Department of Biology and Chemistry attended the 12th Annual POGIL National Meeting (PNM) May 31-June 3, 2014, at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.   The meeting allowed active members of the POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) community to participate in important tasks to further the mission of The POGIL Project. The primary goal of the 2014 PNM was to work on actions that will contribute to the POGIL Strategic Plan.

Health and Natural Sciences’ Dean Joan Cunningham and Assistant Chair Deborah Poetsch of Department of Mathematics attended a conference, A System-Wide Approach to Advising for Retention, sponsored by Academic Impressions on June 4-6, 2014, in St. Louis, Missouri.  The conference was designed to improve student success and retention rates with innovative approaches to advising.  The event brought together institutional teams to take an in-depth look at best practice research, advising methodology, and implementation of a system-wide change.

The Department of Landscape and Horticultural Technology under the direction of Chairperson Brian Oleksak participated in a seeding project at the Morristown Food Pantry during the spring semester.  Seeds were planted in 10 raised beds.  The garden produced over 45 pounds of fresh and healthy produce and over 150 herb containers for clients.

Professor Patricia Baxter of the Department of Nursing attended the Atlantic Center for Research 18th Annual Research Day at Morristown Medical Center on June 11, 2014.  Dr. Benjamin Scherlag presented the keynote address on Autonomic Modulation: An Emerging Paradigm for Prevention and Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation to nurses, physicians, residents, and allied healthcare professionals.

Professor Keri Flanagan of the Department of Biology and Chemistry accompanied three members of the CCM Women in STEM Club representing the College at the American Association of University Women (AAUW) National Conference for College Women Student Leaders in College Park, Maryland on June 5-7, 2014.  The students gave a presentation on activities CCM has conducted thanks to a $4,730 grant the college received from AAUW, the purpose of which is to encourage more women to major in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded County College of Morris (CCM) a $199,999 grant to support a new college initiative aimed at preparing a larger number graduates for the fields of biotechnology, chemical technology and environmental science.  As part of the NSF grant program, Principal Investigator Professor Keri Flanagan, Professor Jenifer Martin, and Dr. Jason Hudzik will lead science faculty in launching the Pathways of Applied Career Experience (PACE) Science Program designed to increase enrollment and retention rates for science students and provide them with internships and other field experiences to succeed in today’s environment.

The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) has awarded the Radiography Program accreditation for a period of five years.  The JRCERT is the only agency recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) for the accreditation of educational programs in radiography, radiation therapy, magnetic resonance, and medical dosimetry.

Respiratory Therapy Clinical Education Coordinator, Michele DaSilva, attended the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) Summer Forum in Marco Island, Florida, on July 15-17, 2014.  The forum focused on building and maintaining a successful and sustainable Respiratory Therapy (RT) program and curriculum.  Sessions included the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) Meet the Commission covering new or pending changes to accreditation standards and the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC)-sponsored lecture, which explored new components of the RRT Clinical Simulation exam.

Radiography Program Chair, Professor Denise Vill’Neuve, attended the Association of Educators in Radiological Sciences 2014 Educational Program in Providence, Rhode Island, on July 17-18, 2014.   The program gave college and hospital-based professionals an opportunity to focus on enhancing student learning through effective teachings strategies, improving students’ critical thinking skills, rapid eLearning methodologies, and engaging and enhancing student learning through PowerPoint.

Sixteen Respiratory Therapy Program students have completed graduation requirements.  The ceremony was held on July 24 in the Learning Resource Center.  All sixteen graduates will take the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) examination to earn the credential of Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRTT).

Twenty-five Radiography Program students completed graduation requirements on July 30.  A celebration ceremony was held in the Learning Resource Center.  Students are in the process of taking the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) Registry Examination.  Results will be available in January.


Liberal Arts

The Liberal Arts Division faculty is committed to the development of creative and impactful ways to impart to students of County College of Morris is an appreciation of the practical and creative side of the worlds of art, music, writing, language, literature and much more.  In addition, the faculty also search for opportunities to showcase their diverse talents at concerts, exhibitions, performances, as well as participating in seminars and conferences.  Below you will find some of these faculty activities.

Professor John Hurd of the History and Criminal Justice Department was a guest speaker at the Introduction to Criminal Justice Symposium sponsored by McGraw-Hill National Symposium in Florida on October 27th and 28th.

The Promethean, the student-produced literary and arts magazine at CCM recently was presented with a national award of distinction in the Publishing category from Graphic Design USA, one of the major graphic design competitions in the country.  The publication consists of literary and art submissions from students, faculty and staff at CCM.

Adjunct Professor, Leah K. Tomaino of the Visual Arts Department has designed a collection of artwork for Bloomingdales to help increase breast cancer awareness.  The “LeahBras” collection is on display in Bloomingdale’s in three New Jersey Stores.

Yuka Yanagi, adjunct professor in the Music Department, performed solo piano pieces by Chopin at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall.

Dean Keith Smith judged an art exhibition for the Milburn Short Hills Art Council.

Adjunct Professor Todd Doney will be presenting his paintings at a solo show at the Morris Museum for the summer of 2013.


  Corporate Education, Community Program, and Academic Initiative