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SCCC Men’s & Women’s Soccer Teams Score Big With Local Recruits

in Home Page, Men's Soccer, News, Sports, Women's Soccer

The Sussex County Community College Men’s and Women’s soccer teams have scored big in landing some superb local talent for the fall.

Six outstanding male recruits will join the ranks of the men’s team in September, along with several for the women’s team. In addition, the women put another couple of goals into the net by signing two players from England.

The male recruits include:
Alejandro Patino – Newton HS, was NJ Herald Player of the Year as well as All Herald 1st team. He led the area in scoring with 20 goals.
Kevin Sosa – Newton HS, was 1st team All Herald with 12 goals this past season for his team.
Ben Armstrong – High Point HS, a strong center midfielder who helped the Wildcats clinch their league title and was named All Herald second team.
Kristian Rokosny - High Point HS, center-back who also helped the Wildcats clinch their league title.
Cody Bartsch – Vernon High School, center-back from who was named to the All Herald second team.
Jorge Cabellero – Vernon HS, where he played forward and attacking midfielder.

“As a coaching staff we are very excited by the group of local talent we have coming in from the area,” said Vernacchio. “The level that they play at and the success that they have each had at their high school teams, that is what we are looking for from them as they move on to their college careers.”

The women’s soccer team has plenty to brag about, as well. Two English players are heading here, Eden Brown from Northampton and  Paige Tomlin from Luton, both outstanding players. Tomlin is a powerful, imposing center-back while Brown has played with the Northampton FC academy for several years, and has been a dominant midfielder and defender for the club.

Local standouts Gabby Sarni, Brielle Hilbert, Brittany Todd and Stephanie Ahmad will join the English women on the soccer field this fall for the current NJCAA Division I Region XIX champions.

Hilbert (Wallkill Valley) and Sarni (Kittatinny) have been local standouts for their high school teams, with Hilbert excelling in both soccer and basketball.  Brittany Todd, from Wallkill Regional, is a fantastic midfielder. Stephanie Ahmad, who was a goalkeeper from Newton, is the other major recruit.

Vernacchio noted that “We worked really hard on bringing these players in to play for us.  Brielle, Gabby, and Eden will add a lot to our team and we pursued them to help us achieve our goal of reaching the National Tournament this season.  Each player brings something different to us and will help us reach that next level here.”

Assistant coach Mike Rath added, “Not only are these girls great players, but they also have great character.  We are really excited for this upcoming season, and these three players are going to bring another dimension to our program.

Betty June Silconas Poetry Festival coming to SCCC

in Home Page, News

The hugely popular Annual Betty June Silconas Poetry Festival will make its return to Sussex County Community College’s Performing Arts Center on Saturday June 11.

This much anticipated event goes from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and includes guest poet readings, an all-day book fair featuring local poets, literary readings, workshops, and an opportunity for writers and poets, professionals and amateurs, to network about their works. Of course you don’t have to be a writer or poet to attend. This great event is open to the public!.

Workshops included are:
one: A Place for Revision with Nan Becker, author of After Rain. She will begin with reading aloud to start the discussion. Nan will dive in with the problem poems by asking questions such as; Has the poem changed its path? What is assumed? Is it surprising? and many other questions. Attendees should bring 15 copies of their own poem.

Visual Poetry Workshop: In the Spirit of Play with Katrinka Moore, author of NumaThief, and This Is Not a Story winner of the New Women’s Voices Prize. Participants will create new poems over old book pages by practicing two visual poetry techniques, erasure and augmentation.  Erasure is marking out existing words in a text and augmentation is adding words or graphics. By exploring with simple art materials, poets can step outside the anxiety of composing and expand the possibilities for their work. Each poet will come away with a completed visual poem and strategies for using the contents to write new text poems.

A Leap into the Void: Craft, Imagination, & Duende with Priscilla Orr: This workshop will look at ways of accessing that force, as participants examine poems written by others. Once a solid foundation is established, participants will turn to their own work. For this part of the workshop, three copies of a draft poem, that needs work, is recommended.

For those looking to share their own work, a free open mic session will be held from Noon-1 p.m., followed by readings from the featured poets, who will also be signing copies of their books.

The festival will close with the launch of the Betty June Silconas Poetry Center’s Stillwater Review, Vol. 6, plus readings.

All workshops will run from 10 a.m. to Noon and cost $10 per person. Advanced registration is recommended to reserve a spot. All classes are on a first-come, first-served basis.

The full schedule is as follows:

  • 9 a.m.-10 a.m.: Registration and Breakfast
  • 10 a.m.-Noon: Workshops (registration required, more information below)
  • Noon-1 p.m.: Lunch and Open Reading – everyone invited!
  • 1 p.m.-2 p.m.: Guest Poet Reading
  • 2 p.m.-4 p.m.: Launch Reading for The Stillwater Review, Volume 6

All-day Book Fair– Come meet our local poets

Payment can be mailed to Sussex County Community College, ATTN: Foundation, One College Hill Road, Newton, NJ 07860. Make check payable to SCCC Foundation and please include “Poetry Festival” in the memo line. For questions, please email David Crews at, For more information about SCCC and its community events, visit



NJ Council of County Colleges Honor State’s Top Community College Student Scholars, including SCCC’s Dunn

in Home Page, News

The New Jersey Council of County Colleges honored New Jersey’s 37 best and brightest community college students and their families at its 22nd annual Phi Theta Kappa Day celebration on May 5, at a special ceremony in Trenton.

Samuel Dunn of Sussex County Community College was one of the state’s elite to be selected as part of the 2016 New Jersey All-State Academic Team. Dunn, an international student from Australia who currently resides in Newton, has been an integral part of the SCCC community, academically and in many other ways as well.

“Samuel’s efforts prove that with hard work, good things can happen,” said Jon Connolly, President of SCCC. “His perseverance will ensure he has success as he moves forward in his future endeavors.”

“I was honored to accompany Sam Dunn to this very special and prestigious event,” stated Dr. James A. Baker, Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer at SCCC. “Sam has worked hard, studied, and is an all-around great athlete. His drive and ambition are admiral. His plans for the future include both a Bachelor’s degree and graduate school. Indeed, his family in Australia is thrilled at this award. Sam is a wonderful ambassador for Sussex County Community College. We are most proud of his outstanding academic achievement!”

Dunn was recognized along with students from throughout New Jersey and the 18 other community colleges.

“Each year, the New Jersey Council of County Colleges (NJCCC) honors New Jersey’s top community college students and their families for their outstanding academic achievements and exceptional service to their communities as members of Phi Theta Kappa at their local community colleges,” said NJCCC President Dr. Lawrence Nespoli. “The event, sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for community colleges, the Coca-Cola Foundation and the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), offers deserving community college students statewide recognition by policymakers and legislators.”

In addition, 21 of New Jersey’s four-year colleges and universities have offered over $1 million in scholarships to Phi Theta Kappa students transferring to their institutions.

Phi Theta Kappa has recognized and encouraged scholarship among community college students for 97 years while promoting the academic integrity of the associate degree program. Students with grade point averages of 3.5 or higher are invited to join Phi Theta Kappa.

The New Jersey Council of County Colleges is the state association representing New Jersey’s 19 community colleges. As an independent, trustee-headed organization that joins the leadership of trustees and presidents, the Council is the voice of the community college sector before the state legislature and other branches of government.

Ferony, Magura Earn State Honors

in Home Page, Men's Baseball, News, Sports

Throughout the baseball season, Pete Ferony and Mathew Magura consistently led the charge for the Sussex County Community College baseball team. As a result of their outstanding efforts, the freshmen pair have been named First Team on two All-Star squads, the Garden State Athletic Conference Division II Team and the NJCAA All Region XIX Team.

“Very proud of these two,” said coach Ramadan Mehmedi. “They worked hard all season and really turned in outstanding years.”

Ferony, an infielder and West Milford High School graduate, batted .473 (sixth in nation) over 35 games, with 61 hits, 12 doubles, and 13 stolen bases. He scored 28 runs and drove in 26.

Despite missing two weeks with an injury, designated hitter Magura, a graduate of High Point, had a .479 average with 34 hits, eight doubles, a triple, 16 runs scored and 12 RBI.

In the GSAC, infielder Moises Roque and outfielder Jared Quintero were second team selections.

Although he wasn’t chosen to an all-star team, Mehmedi had special praise for pitcher Tom Dolaghan, who broke the school’s season single record this year for wins with 10 (eight was the previous record).

SCCC Holds Scholarship Ceremony

in Foundation, Home Page, News

On Thursday May 5, more than 350 people gathered in the Sussex County Community College Performing Arts Center for the SCCC Foundation’s Annual Scholarship Ceremony. The annual event is one of the highlights of the year for the College and recognizes students who receive academic, non-academic and athletic scholarships for use in the spring 2016 and fall 2016 semesters. This event also acknowledges the generous donors who support the funds and the Foundation.

The SCCC Foundation is a 501(c)3, not for profit that works to build relationships with the community and solicit funding to support the College’s initiatives. Jessica Beutel, Assistant Director of Special Events, noted that the Foundation awards over $100,000 in scholarships to more than 200 students annually. Scholarships range from $250 scholarships to $1,500 awards for tuition and fees with additional support for student veterans, and many of the funds are endowed. Karen DiMaria, Vice President of Institutional Advancement explained, “Endowed scholarships are invested so that the interest earned on them is awarded each year. After reaching $10,000, each endowed scholarship will support generations of students for years and years to come.”

Scholarships are raised by donations from individuals, corporations and foundations and also by four major special events hosted by the Foundation each year; the Ladies’ Saturday Retreat and Skylanders Golf Outing held each spring and the Skylander 5K/10K Challenge and Annual Scholarship Ball each fall.

Criminal Justice Club Tours Police Academy

in Home Page, News

On Friday, April 1st, the Criminal Justice Club at Sussex County Community College and two advisors visited the Morris County Police Academy.  While there, students were given a tour of the academy and had the opportunity to talk to some recruits. A demonstration was performed of the FATS Training Simulator (Firearms Automated Training Simulator) where two students were able to participate in shoot-don’t-shoot scenarios.  A tour of the Sheriff’s Department 911 Communications Center and also the Sheriff’s Department Crime Lab ended the visit.

Pictured: SCCC Criminal Justice Club  in front of the Morris County Sheriff’s Dept. Mobile Crime Lab truck.

SCCC students recognized for excellence

in Home Page, News

Excellence. According to Webster’s Dictionary this word refers to someone or something being exceptionally good or outstanding. In the case of Sussex County Community College, excellence refers to numerous students who will be graduating this month. These outstanding students were recently recognized for their excellent work over the past school year at a special ceremony on April 27.

The ceremony, held in the Student Center Theater, included the top honor of the Presidential Award, which was presented by SCCC President Dr. Jon Connolly to five students: Madeline Chiappini, Leah Clark, Ashley Craig, Samuel Dunn and Brian Paz were all recognized for their efforts.

The following students were also acknowledged for their hard work and dedication to excellence:
• Andrei Burul and Jason Boehm, Dean of Student Services and Student Affairs Award
• Shawn Smith, Award for Excellence in Accounting
• James Leddy and Jillian Pullis, Athletic Council Awards
• Andrei Burul, Award for Excellence in Anthropology
• Victoria Vasquez (Biology) and Michele Mieklo (Pre-Nutrition), Award for Excellence in Biology/Pre-Medical Professional Program
• Daniel Bell, Award for Excellence in Business Management
• Madeline Chiappini, Gina Fasolo, Beau Lethbridge and Nicole Rafferty, Award for Excellence in Business Administration
• Mary Springer, Carnevale Poetry Award
• John Gieger, Outstanding Club President Award
• Brittany Jollie, Award for Excellence in Environmental Studies
• Kyrie Knierim, Cottley Fiction Award
• William Fischer, Award for Excellence in Criminal Justice
• Craig VonBartheld, Award for Excellence in Computer Information Systems
• Regina Norris, Award for Excellence in Education
• Daniel Day and Donald Rattino, Fine Arts Achievement Award
• Emma Cussatti, Award for Excellence in Film, Broadcasting and Journalism
• Frank Rocco Award for Excellence in Graphic Design
• Bobbac Kashani, Award for Excellence in Mathematics
• Katheryn Schmidt, Award for Excellence in Paralegal Studies
• Derek Thompson, Award for Excellence in Psychology
• Alison Dill, Theater Arts Achievement Award
• Christopher Winschuh, Outstanding Writing Award

Sussex Community College offers a full range of degree and certificate programs. Enrollment is open for the fall semester. For further information, please visit

Sussex County Day Postponed

in Home Page, News

Due to the weather, Sussex County Day, scheduled for Sunday, May 1st will be postponed.

25th Annual Fine Art Students’ Exhibition

in Fine Arts, News, Performing Arts, Performing Arts Box, Performing Arts Spotlight

One of the most anticipated events in the Sussex County Community College calendar, the Annual Fine Art Students’ Exhibition, will be installed from May 6 through June 20. Presented in the Art Gallery in Building C, this year’s exhibit features approximately one hundred works created by current SCCC students who are either art majors or have taken courses in the Department of Fine Arts.

This juried exhibition will highlight works from digital media, design, painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics and photography. The Opening Reception will be held on Friday, May 6 from 6:00-8:00p.m. It is always well attended and has proven to be a wonderful night. The exhibition offers students an opportunity to showcase their artworks and creative endeavors within a professional event. The public is most welcome and encouraged to come and view works made by aspiring artists, covering a wide range of topics, materials, and methods.

The exhibition, for some of the students, is the culmination of their foundation work that can be a launching point for careers within the Art and Design fields.

During the Opening Reception refreshments will be served. A lively evening is guaranteed.

For more information, call 973-300-2144.

SCCC Student Production a Hilarious Look at Blind Dates

in Home Page, News, Performing Arts

Dating can be hard. Blind dates can even be harder. Especially when your date happens to be a raging kleptomaniac, or your grandmother’s bridge partner, or a mime. The Sussex County Community College Performing Arts Club’s spring production of “Check Please, Check Please: Take 2, Check Please: Take 3”, follows a series of blind dinner dates that couldn’t get any worse — until they do. Could there possibly be a light at the end of the tunnel?

Club member and SCCC journalist, Taylor Turkington, attended the play’s auditions over a three-night span in February where dozens of actors auditioned on the college’s Performing Arts Center stage for parts in this year’s spring play. The club President, Abby Brader, said everyone loved the play when they first read it.

“When Vice President Megan Smaletz, showed everyone the play, the club immediately took to its comedy,” said Brader. “We were all unanimously excited and due to that, there was not much of a real decision when choosing the play,”

Stella Trikouros, Assistant Professor of Theatre/Communications and the group’s advisor, added, “This play has been produced totally by our SCCC Performing Arts/Theater Students. It is wonderful to see these talented students demonstrate their talents on stage and off to create a play production from audition to performance. The actors have been rehearsing vigorously over these past two months and cannot wait to bring laughter to the audience!”

“Check Please, Check Please: Take 2, Check Please: Take 3”, by Jonathan Rand, is a 3-act comedy.  It will be performed in the SCCC Performing Arts Theater on campus on Saturday April 23, 7 p.m., and Sunday April 24, at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person, $5 for SCCC students with ID.

The production is being directed by Connor Nelms of Sparta. Stage Manager is Dana Szalczinger of Wantage.

The cast includes Franklin Silverio (Newton), Melissa Marshal (Andover), Emma Cussati (Sparta), David Forman (Sparta), Erika Castro (Newton), Matt Dorniak (West Milford), Abby Brader (Ogdensburg), Alex McCully (Newton), Amanda Fantasia (Newton), Eric Fredricksen (Sparta), Nicole Shepard (Ogdensburg), Marcus Gomez (Wantage), Brittany Schroeder (Newton), Ariana Litteral (Franklin), Cassidy Zaruba (Newton), Megan Smaletz (Newton), Corey Gaskin (Wantage), Derya Demirtas (Sussex), Jessica Mortell (Sussex), Dovile Navickaite (Sparta), Amanda Wassel (Hamburg), Connor Dougherty. (Newton), Stephanie Penna (Blairstown), Rachael Sabhia (Sussex), Joilenni Silverio (Newton), Mark Witten (Sparta), and Joe Bennet (Stillwater).