Generosity of a Friend Helps Aspiring Artists to Excel
Jim Del Giudice, a well-respected photographer and historian who taught at County College of Morris (CCM) for more than 30 years, has left a legacy of enhancing the lives of others through his creativity and extensive knowledge of Morris County. Two photography majors at the college are now benefiting from that legacy as the first recipients of scholarships totaling $5,000 each. These scholarships were funded through the generosity of Del Giudiceâ€™s longtime friend, David Scinto, of Florida.
The recipients of the Jim Del Giudice Memorial Scholarship are Isoline Grant, of Flanders, and Sydney Thumser, of Roxbury, both Photography Technology majors. Last Wednesday, September 22, they were able to meet with Scinto at a reception held at the college.
â€śItâ€™s a lot money, but itâ€™s not just the money. Itâ€™s also the story behind this scholarship that is so meaningful,â€ť said Thumser. â€śIt feels good to have been selected. Itâ€™s a nice push to keep me going in a good direction.â€ť
â€śIâ€™m so grateful as I really needed this money,â€ť commented Grant. â€śThe reason my family left our country was for a better education. At first I wanted to do graphic design but then I took a photography class and when I started taking photos of people, I realized I wanted to be their voice to tell their story.â€ť
â€śJim always did things for other people. He loved people and he loved students. He was a really good person,â€ť noted Scinto. â€śAfter he passed, I wanted to do something to honor him. I knew he taught here for more than 30 years so I thought what better place is there than to do this at CCM.â€ť
Scinto is establishing a $100,000 scholarship fund with the CCM Foundation that will provide two full-time students with $5,000 scholarships or part-time students with $2,500 scholarships each year.
â€śSydney and Isoline are two hardworking students within the photography program here at CCM,â€ť notes Nicole Schwartz, professor of photography. â€śBoth engage with the medium of photography beyond the surface, bringing thoughtful perspectives into classroom discussions and within the photographic work they create.â€ť
Grantâ€™s ongoing project Link has been dedicated to photographing her family. She has explored themes of immigration, family and community since her first semester at CCM. Grant and her family immigrated to the United States from Honduras almost five years ago. Within her work, she documents their pride and togetherness as a family.
Thumserâ€™s most recent photographic project was dedicated to conceptual aspects within the medium of photography. She created abstract images by placing a window screen in front of her camera lens. The resulting photographs are hazy and soft focus, documenting fragments of her home and natural surroundings. The images connect viewers to the idea of nostalgia and memory, a theme that Thumser explores. She explained, â€śI wanted to create images that viewers could identify with, but still not entirely understand what is happening. To me, this is how a memory feels. You can remember the main idea, but the details themselves are blurry.â€ť
Del Giudice was a highly respected professional photographer with a vast collection of photo essays based on historical subjects and landscapes of New Jersey. He also was a talented writer with many published articles and several locally performed plays. Del Giudice additionally was known for giving his time to present informative and entertaining lectures to audiences at senior centers, assisted living facilities, public libraries and other venues. He passed away in September 2020.
â€śI am confident that both students will use their scholarship to push their creative practices during their final year here at CCM,â€ť said Hrvoje Slovenc, Photography Program coordinator. â€śThis is such a significant gift that is certain to make a lasting impact on their lives.â€ť
Donations to the Del Giudice Memorial Scholarship Fund can be made online at https://www.ccm.edu/foundation/ or by calling 973-328-5060.
To learn more about the Photography Technology Program at CCM, go to https://www.ccm.edu/academics/divdep/liberal-arts/department-of-art-and-design/photography-technology/.
Photography majors at County College of Morris Sydney Thumser (l) and Isoline Grant (r) meet with David Scinto who has created a scholarship for photography students in memory of Jim Del Giudice at County College of Morris. Thumser and Grant are the first recipients of the $5,000 annual scholarships.
Sydney1.jpg: A photograph by Sydney Thumser
Isoline3.jpg: A photograph by Isoline Grant