Major: Radiography

Class: 2020

Radiography’s Outstanding Reputation Stretches Beyond New Jersey

“The education I received at CCM has been a real game changer. I would not have been prepared for today’s world without it.”

Young woman with long blond hair wearing a CCM white lab coatWhen Margit “Maggie” Rouse, from the Class of 2020 at County College of Morris (CCM), graduated with her radiography degree and moved to Florida to be with her fiancé, she found the program’s reputation had preceded her. The director of the Jupiter Medical Center Urgent Care facilities Laura Molner ’12 also graduated from CCM’s Radiography Program and hired Rouse based on the high-quality education she knew Rouse had received.

“She said when she saw my resume she could not believe I graduated from the same program,” says Rouse. “It was great to hear that she knew what a quality education radiography students receive at CCM. Seeing what she had accomplished also made me think what I might be able to do someday.”

When Rouse first enrolled at CCM, she majored in and earned her associate degree in liberal arts. By the time she had finished that program, she knew she wanted to work in health care, so she enrolled in the Radiography Program.

“People say that as a college student there often is a professor who impacts your life,” says Rouse. “For me, it was Professor Sueanne Verna. She believed in me and really pushed me to be the person I am today. She genuinely cares about each one of her students and their success.”

Verna also encouraged Rouse to apply for the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) Student Leadership Development Program. Rouse was one of two students selected from New Jersey for that program, which allowed her to attend the ASRT national conference and to start building a network. At CCM, Rouse became president of the radiography graduating class of 2020 and was honored during their graduation ceremony with the Outstanding Classmate Award and the Gertrude L Dourdonous Certificate of Achievement Award for academic excellence from the Association of Educators in Radiologic Technology of the State of New York.

As a student in a program that requires clinical work, Rouse and her fellow healthcare students were concerned when COVID-19 hit that they might not be able to complete their program on time. Due to the herculean efforts of the Chair of Allied Health Programs Denise Vill’Neuve to keep the students moving along, Rouse and her classmates were able to graduate on time.

“Professor Vill’Neuve was a superhero,” says Rouse. “We would not have not been able to finish on time if not for her fighting for us.”

Since the student’s clinical training came to an abrupt halt during the peak of the pandemic, Vill’Neuve arranged for them to meet at a facility where they paired up with a fellow student to perform all the steps involved in performing radiographic exams. And while it was not the ideal situation, just as their virtual graduation ceremony was not what they had expected, Rouse says, it all turned out to be a valuable experience.

“It wasn't the moment we imagined for ourselves, but nonetheless it was our moment together. We weren't just a class; we became a family,” she says. “In health care, you have to be adaptable and know how to deal with the unexpected. The education I received at CCM has been a real game changer. I would not have been prepared for today’s world without it.”