OBOC: Engage in the conversation


Staff Writer

Professor Sharon Kewish, One Book One College Chairwoman

Professor Sharon Kewish, One Book One College Chairwoman

Since 2004, Cumberland County College’s One Book One College committee has chosen a book that stimulates important conversations. The committee sifts through 20-30 book suggestions each year and, after months of deliberating, chooses a book for One Book One College(OBOC). CCC’s President, Dr. Iskenegbe, brought OBOC to Cumberland County College in 2004. Sharon Kewish, a CCC English professor, is the chairman of OBOC and the rest of the 11 person committee is comprised of other faculty, staff and administration.

They specifically choose books that will benefit the students. The books have ranged from medical to historical, but they all have started important discussions about topics that are usually sensitive. On behalf of the OBOC committee, Kewish comments, “We want the book taught in more than one class. We want it coming from different perspectives, different angles, different faculty.”

Classes such as EN 050, 060, 070 are required to incorporate the book into their curriculum, but many sophomore level professors choose to use the book in their class. Psychology, sociology and nursing professors have taken an OBOC book and utilized it in their teachings. The 2005-2006 book, “My Sister’s Keeper,” was recommended and used by nursing faculty and the 2011-2012 book, “Enrique’s Journey,” was used in history, psychology and sociology classes.

When picking a book, the committee’s foremost goal is the students. OBOC books are chosen so that they can be used in classrooms to reach, touch and inspire as many students as possible.

The book chosen this year is written by Luis Carlos Montalván and entitled “Until Tuesday.” A wounded soldier from the Iraq war meets an emotionally weary golden retriever and once they connect, they both begin to flourish.

Montalván speaks freely on the issue of service dogs, the benefits they have and the harsh criticism and discrimination he faces. After reading this book, it was clear for Kewish “how much more we should be doing for our veterans…not just disabled, but all of our veterans.”

The student body, the staff and the faculty on campus have been talking about “Until Tuesday.” It was chosen to get people talking about the treatment of veterans and the struggles they face when returning home.

This year almost a dozen book clubs from Cumberland County and surrounding counties called Kewish, asking what book the committee chose. People from the community waited for the book announcement because of the prestige OBOC has accumulated. After the announcement of this year’s book, Kewish was receiving calls “within 2-3 weeks…from both faculty and staff about how appreciative they were, what they got out of it, how much they enjoyed it and how much they want to talk about it.” Each author of the chosen book visits our campus. He or she speaks to students and community members and signs books.

Luis Carlos Montalván will be visiting CCC on Oct. 29. Students, faculty and community members who are interested in participating in this free event can purchase the book in the college bookstore for $15.00 and come to the auditorium in the Fine and Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. Mary Herlihy, Director of Paralegal Studies, will be speaking and introducing Montalvan. It was Herlihy who suggested the book to the committee, but her daughter, Erin, had started the conversation. OBOC looks for books like this that are so influential, emotional and important that it travels from daughter to mother, from professor to campus and from campus to community.

OBOC’s hope is to introduce students, faculty and the community to books that will make them question, discuss and think about their position on important issues.

Employee Spotlight: Meet Dr. Mark Harris


Staff Writer

Cumberland County College would like to introduce the Vice President of Finance, Dr. Mark Harris. As vice president, his responsibilities are to govern the financial and administrative departments of the college. He has the responsibility to approve or deny any curricular activities that are done on campus. He oversees the human resource department, financial budgeting, institutional research and data collections. Dr. Harris correspondingly examines the conference center events. Additionally, he deals with catering events, theater productions, security and maintenance. His responsibilities are to ensure that Cumberland County College is a fiscally stable college environment.

He describes working a Cumberland County College as very rewarding and a diverse work place. He came from the private sector which is a faster-paced atmosphere and more focused on profit versus student success. The benefits of working on campus are being introduced to more strategic ideas and the levels of education his fellow employees share.

Dr. Harris graduated from Wilmington University with a Doctorate Degree in Business Administration and Business Management. The qualifications for this position are a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and being exposed to or involved with financial markets, mergers and acquisitions, financial operations, and financial investments. In any career and work place it is good to have communication skills and work well with people. Harris does not intend to change anything in the financial department. Plans are to reevaluate how the processes works and to achieve the goals they have set out for this school year.

To get to know Dr. Harris on a personal level, he is a huge soccer fan and loves to bake, especially cake. Besides baked goods, his favorite dishes are Mexican and Jamaican. Harris’s cherished season is Fall and his favorite holiday is Thanksgiving because “It provides an opportunity to have my dearest family come over and enjoy a sit down meal,” he says. Mark Donovan Harris is married and has three children.

His favorite movie is “ Shawshank Redemption.” His favorite song is “Till the Sun Turns Black” by Ray LaMontagne. His favorite book is “Strategic Finance.” He shares, “I am passionate about being informed about the continued evolution of financial instruments that are used to provide better management reporting to all sorts of institutions.”

It is apparent how open-minded he is. He wishes to get to know the students on a more personal basis and listen to what they have to say. He does not want to change the whole campus, but to evaluate and make the campus flourish. Every decision he makes is in consideration of students’ success. Harris is committed to this college and committed to continuously improving this institution for students.

dr harris 1 col

Culin-Art cares about your health

A view inside of the Cumberland Cafe from a student perspective.

A view inside of the Cumberland Cafe from a student perspective.

Staff writer

When hunger pangs strike on Taco Tuesday, students and faculty often lose sight of the healthier meal alternatives offered at the Cumberland Café.
It seems as though when lunchtime comes around, we’re too hungry or too busy to go out of our way to think of what it is we should be putting into our bodies. But our diet is too important to be forgotten about or put on the back burner. Maintaining a daily routine of health conscious choices will affect your work performance and allow you to utilize your full potential. Staying awake in class will no longer be a struggle with a full stomach allowing you to retain more information. Also, without the distraction of a rumbling stomach, you will be able to think more clearly and work more efficient. Ultimately, a proper diet will reflect on your grades each semester.
Consider a scenario of choosing lunch on a busy day at school. As you enter the Café, the french fries are already prepared to perfection in the little boats as their aroma wafts for all to smell. Mouthwatering is unavoidable and in your mind, you know devouring the entire bunch could be done so with little to no effort. On your way out, grab a ketchup packet and preparation on your side is absent. Sure, not only were you able to finish the fries and make it to class on time, but your meal was so small that you also had time to get ahead on tomorrow’s homework. But the fries were not, in fact, the timely decision. We justify the decision to go with the french fries instead of taking our time to design a meal that is balanced in food groups due to the little effort it takes us to ingest them quickly and still speed off to our next class. It will catch up to you in an hour when you have to leave class to run to the vending machine because you are hungry again. Eating a well-balanced meal in the first place will satisfy your hunger longer, allowing you to stay focused and attentive in class.
A well-balanced diet requires a combination of protein, carbohydrates, dairy based products, and of course, fruits and vegetables. Including a variety of these food groups for each meal allows our bodies to utilize the nutrients that are necessary to fuel us. Along with sticking to the food groups, calorie intake is another key factor of a healthy diet. According to http://www.choosemyplate.gov, it is recommended that women should consume around 565 calories per meal while men should consume around 735 calories per meal. It is a good idea to work with these guidelines when choosing meals in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and achieve desirable results.
Theresa Sbrana, a chef with CulinArt at the Cumberland Café, recommended to students, “vegetables should be included in every meal.” Sbrana suggested that staff and students looking for a balanced lunch between 600-700 calories should try a wrap but turn down the condiments and the cheese. Another great option is the salad bar or any of the specialty salads.
What we ingest directly affects our future. Staying aware of what it is that’s included in our daily meals sounds simple enough but can drastically affect our wellbeing in the long run. A well-balanced diet could be the key factor to avoid abnormalities such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. The Cumberland Café offers healthy meals with fresh, locally grown ingredients. So, the next time you’re on campus looking to grab a bite to eat, consider the egg whites or oatmeal instead of the pancakes.

It’s high school, but not really…

Staff Writer

Diana Appel, Student Development Advisor, works on the Thirty-College Credit Route Program.

Diana Appel, Student Development Advisor, works on the Thirty-College Credit Route Program.

Do you, or somebody you know need to get their high school diploma, but can’t attend high school?
Instead of earning a GED (if standardized tests are not your strong suit), there is an interesting “alternative” that New Jersey offers through community colleges, where you can earn a state-issued high school diploma. It’s called the Thirty-CollegeCredit Route Program, and you can participate in it at CCC.

To apply for NJ’sThirty-College Credit Route you must be 16+ years of age. All courses must be college level (remedial classes don’t count). Students taking this program are required to take three credits in each, English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies (like classes taken in high school). Also required, are six total credits between the categories of Performing Arts, Health/Phys. Ed., Technology, and 21st Century Life and Careers. This leaves 12 credits for electives. The student must also maintain a minimum of a C (2.0) grade point average. There is no time limit when completing this program.

I interviewed 18-year- old, Chase Farabella, Criminal Justice major, who participated in this program last year at CCC. He attended Sacred Heart High School before it closed. He benefitted by transferring here, because the tuition was cheaper than at his private high school. Chase was able to share a lot with me about his experience in this program. He liked it better than high school because of the flexibility of his schedule. He also found it easier than high school, because he could take courses geared towards his career choice (which you can’t do at every high school). Chase also shared that this program made him a lot more focused on his future. When asked if he would recommend this program to others, he said, “Yes, because it can put you ahead (depending on your age) and possibly save you money.”

I also interviewed Program advisor Diana Appel, who has been assisting students through this program for approximately five years.
Q: How many students have you helped through this program?
A: This past spring nine students obtained their high school diploma via the 30-college credit route. At least two have received their CCC degree since the program started.
Q: Do you enjoy working with this program? Why?
A: I enjoy working with the program because it is a pleasure to work with motivated students. It’s a comprehensive program and students can complete the 30 credits within two semesters.
Q: Do you think this program is a good opportunity/ alternative for adults who never graduated, or teenagers that just can’t deal with high school? Why?
A: Well, it can potentially be a great alternative for many people. For the adult who is determined to complete their degree, obtaining their HS diplomas as part of the process may be a huge stepping-stone.
For a student who is thinking about leaving high school to follow this alternative, I caution them to think about missing their prom(s), high school graduation, and they are not eligible to play a sport.
Q: What kind of student should a person be to enter this program?
A: I would say the student should be one who is mature-minded and goal-oriented, “ready” to achieve this milestone in his or her life.

One downfall of this program is the cost factor, if you’re used to free schooling. Students participating in the Thirty-College Credit Route are not eligible for financial aid, NJ Stars, or School Counts. This means that an average semester (5, 3 credit classes) would cost $2,100 (not including book fees). Some people can’t afford this, which is why this route doesn’t work for everyone.

However, the Thirty- College Credit Route Program can help you out in the long run. It might be easier to accomplish for adults, but it’s a great learning experience for teenagers. If a student enters this program at 16 and finishes it in a year, he not only “graduated” high school a year in advance, but he’s also now a sophomore in college at the age of 17. This will open up great opportunities, and who doesn’t want to be a part of that?

Not just another major

Staff Writer

“It’s really sort of a collaboration between advertising, marketing and Public Relations. Communications just sort of encompasses and wraps everything up into one nice package,” said former student Rachel Meyers, “You can write, you can make films, you can edit, you can do pretty much do anything you really want to.”

The communications program offers classes like Audio Production, Journalism/News Writing I and II, Introduction to Public Relations, Video and Media Technology I and II, and Writing for TV/ Radio and New Media. Classes in the program will help polish skills in writing, editing, speaking, filming and enhance your creative thought process.

In 2011, Renee Post was hired to teach the communications classes at Cumberland County College. Since her arrival at the college, enrollment in the program has increased and is now ranked number 8 in the top 10 majors with highest graduating students at CCC. Post created a new curriculum that allows students to graduate with more than one degree because there are few classes that separate the majors.

Most communications students take advantage of the ability to duel major and graduate with two degrees. Students are able to graduate with degrees in Communications, Public Relations, Journalism, and Television and Digital Media Production or an Academic Certificate in Entertainment Technology.

Meyers stated, “It’s a broad field so there is a lot of opportunities to do a lot of things.” A degree in communications can open doors in business, advertising, public relations, journalism, theatre/performing arts, health care, social and human services and even law and politics. Post offers her students hands-on experience, not just textbook work. For instance, the spring 2014 semester Video and Digital Media Technology II class wrote, filmed and produced an original sitcom. Complete with writers, directors, producers and actors, everyone in the class got to participate and fill a role that interested them. “It was just fun all around. I was with a bunch of people that I had not met prior to this class, but we all meshed pretty well together and had very little butting heads, very little disagreements…it was a lot of fun,” said Brandon Bischer, the director of the sitcom.

Along with the sitcom, Media Club, Intro to Public Relations and Television and Digital Media Technology II helped put together the first annual CCC Poetry Slam. Don’a Smith, former president of the Media Club, defined the poetry slam, “The Poetry Slam is inspired by L’Esprit writers who wanted to showcase their original works of poetry. The Poetry Slam is a 45-minute show with different writers performing their own works and other writers works who didn’t want to perform or couldn’t be there to perform.”

So why take Communications at Cumberland County College? You get experience and participate in events that bring the community and campus closer together. Communications graduate Kevin Read shared, “We went through grade school and high school learning Math, Social Studies, English, Science and you know, this is something different. We have never had television production classes before. It’s hands-on and it’s not all lectures. It’s really informative and creative.”

A degree in communications does not restrict you to one certain field of work. Along with giving you a bright and broad future, enrolling in the Communications program will create an unforgettable learning experience at Cumberland County College.

To Wheat or Not to Wheat ?

Staff Writer

Not to Wheat?

That is the question, which was presented to 40 students here at CCC. Out of these students, 40% said they don’t incorporate wheat into their diet daily, and 60% said they do. The main reason why these students don’t eat wheat daily is because they either don’t keep it in the house or just don’t think to eat it. The main reason why students do eat wheat daily is because it’s “healthier”. But is wheat really as healthy as they think?
Today, wheat products you eat are different than what your grandparents ate. Modern wheat contains known toxins, and is a 2 foot tall plant with 42 chromosomes- it used to be 4 feet tall with 28 chromosomes.
In the 1950s, scientists began crossbreeding wheat to make it harder, shorter, and more abundant. According to Dr. William Davis, author of “Wheat Belly” wheat is “a geneticist- created artificial plant that is a far genetic and biochemical distance away from any wheat that ever existed in nature.”
Now, it still may seem that wheat is healthy when it’s compared to white flour, but not when it’s alone. Wheat itself can cause blood sugar spikes, increased hunger, and Celiac disease (when the small intestine can’t properly digest gluten).
Now, we aren’t all prone to Celiac disease, but wheat can still steal nutrients from us. According to authoritynutrition.com, wheat contains Phytic acid, which binds important minerals and prevents them from being absorbed. Also, grains are digested quickly, which leads to drops in blood sugar, making you want another high-carb meal. This behavior will just keep repeating itself. The more fibrous the wheat is, the less this will happen.
So, what is there to eat if you can’t eat wheat? For breakfast, instead of eating wheat products you can eat eggs, bacon, cheese, yoghurt, fruit, veggies, brown rice, and certain oatmeal (may contain gluten). For lunch/dinner, you can eat soup, salad, meat, fish, beans, cheese, and legumes. There are so many alternatives – to wheat or not to wheat? It’s up to you.

To Wheat?

It’s not a secret that refined grains are not the healthiest of food choices. The absence of vital nutrients after the grain-refining process leaves the grain lacking in health benefits. Typing “bad carbs” in any online search engine will bring up a bevy of negative information. However, the consumption of refined wheat products can still provide a small amount of healthy nutrients.
The Whole Grains Council provides a decent amount of information about refined grains. Refined wheat products can still retain nutrients that the body needs. The refining process may strip the grain of healthy dietary fiber but many manufacturers enrich the grain prior to further food processing. The enriched refined grains have an increased amount of dietary fiber and have been fortified with a few vitamins such as folic acid. Folic acid is a B vitamin that can help prevent cancer. The amount of nutrition is not equivalent but enriched refined grains have been artificially modified to provide a small amount.

Hail to the Dukes’ baseball team

The CCC Dukes’ baseball team celebrate their journey to the National Championship by admiring a new campus sign recognizing this great accomplishment.

The CCC Dukes’ baseball team celebrate their journey to the National Championship by admiring a new campus sign recognizing this great accomplishment.

Staff Writer

CCC Dukes’ baseball team soared to the National Championship game last year representing CCC and the surrounding communities.

They survived playoffs knocking out St. Cloud College, and Herkimer County College. This journey landed them in The National Championship against, Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas despite their loss. I sat with players from the CCC Dukes roster Chris Seibert and Matt Ennis to discuss their experience.
When asked about the experience, Seibert shared,“It was the best experience of my baseball career. “It was exciting because we were good, we knew we had a target on our backs due to our success as a team, but it made us work harder every day, we couldn’t be beat”.
When asked if he saw his team going to the National Championship, Seibert said, “Yeah, I did, we worked hard at practice, we played very easily together, we also pushed each other for the best at the end of the day.” Seibert described the loss in the National Championship game as “depressing because working so hard in the fall to the spring, being where we wanted to be and then we lost, when we felt like we worked so hard and deserved to win.”
Ennis shared his view on the experience, “It was great flying to Texas seeing all the support from numerous teams from different countries. The atmosphere of the whole experience, the tremendous support we received from teachers, local businesses, and students.” Ennis said, “ There was much anticipation to come home with the Championship because Texas was going to be a hard team to play, but we were expected to work hard to win.” When asked if he saw his team making it to the National Championship Ennis replied, “We knew we were going to do something special but any jitters we had went away as soon as they started warming up.” Ennis felt confused and surprised when they lost the National Championship game saying, “You work so hard to get there, then you lose, the feeling was terrible but we were proud to make it the National Championship and represent CCC by playing a good game and trying our best.
Head Coach Keith Gorman summed the season up as the best one out of his three-year term with CCC. Gorman shared, “As a team, I felt they were the most memorable and had set a new standard for the baseball program.”
The CCC Duke’s Baseball loss is just the sad reality of sport that one competitor must lose and one must win. Their hard work as a team should not go unrecognized because a National Championship run is great and definitely leaves a permanent CCC legacy.