Name: Vickram Sawh
Academic Rank: Assistant Professor
Department: Information Technologies
School: Professional Studies and Applied Sciences
Office: EH 201
Education: M.S., New Jersey Institute of Technology
B.S., Jersey City State College
Sometimes an unexpected path in life unfolds and all you need to do is follow it.
When Vickram Sawh was registering for college, he wanted to be an electrical engineer. The engineering classes, however, were closed out, so he enrolled in computer science courses instead. “I loved it,” says Sawh, assistant professor in Information Technologies (IT) at County College of Morris (CCM). “Computers are predictable. Computing technology is based on math and logic; everything is explainable.”
Initially, he worked as a programmer and consultant. While completing his master’s degree at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, he noticed a bulletin board post for a computer teacher at a local private school. On an impulse, he applied for the job and was hired. “That’s how I got into the teaching field.”
Eventually, a friend suggested he look for higher education jobs. On a lark, he did and found an opening for an IT teacher at CCM. He applied and got the position. That was more than 20 years ago. He has happily remained at CCM ever since.
Sawh tries to keep his classes interesting. With one class, he jokingly asked his students if they would remember a very important point he was trying to stress if he stood on his head. The class called his bluff, so he got down on the floor and stood on his head. “I did not fall over, and I am confident they will never forget the point I made.”
He also has some serious advice for students who want to be good programmers.
“Technology can add a lot to our lives, but people also need to learn how to disconnect themselves from it. Everyone needs some self-analysis time,” Sawh says. That’s why every year he camps on an island in a national park, south of the Florida Keys. The park is so remote that campers must bring all the supplies they need for their stay, and there is no reception for cellphones or the Internet.
“It’s important to be by yourself and dig deep into your psyche,” Sawh notes. “Ultimately, that periodic alone time will make you a better person and programmer.”