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NJ Council of County Colleges Honors the State’s Top Community College Student Scholars

in News

The New Jersey Council of County Colleges honored New Jersey’s 39 best and brightest community college students and their families at its 23rd annual Phi Theta Kappa Day celebration on Thursday, May 4, at the Lafayette Yard Hotel in Trenton, NJ.

“Each year, the New Jersey Council of County Colleges (NJCCC) invites New Jersey’s top community college students and their families to celebrate 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), provides deserving community college students statewide recognition by policymakers and legislators.”

In addition to honoring student achievement, Phi Theta Kappa Day celebrates scholarship recipients. Phi Theta Kappa and the Coca-Cola Foundation awarded a total of nine scholarships to outstanding New Jersey students as part of the All-USA Academic Team competition.

As the top community college student in New Jersey, Kelsey Giggenbach of Brookdale Community College received a $2,000 New Century scholarship from the Coca-Cola Foundation. She was recognized during the American Association of Community Colleges national convention in New Orleans on April 24.

Spyridoula Fotinis of the County College of Morris and Emily Stratton of Raritan Valley Community College each received $1,500 scholarships for being named Coca-Cola Foundation All-USA Gold Medalist Scholars. Dimitri Papavasiliou of Bergen Community College and Doris Pagan of Passaic County Community College each received $1,250 scholarships for being named Coca-Cola Foundation All-USA Silver Medalist Scholars. Christina Cover of Rowan College at Burlington County, and Nikita Gyawali, Sara Hwang, and Daniela Liberato of Bergen Community College each received $1,000 scholarships for being named Coca-Cola Foundation All-USA Bronze Medalist Scholars.

The 2017 New Jersey All-State Academic Team members are:

  • Atlantic Cape Community College students Sevil Nimetullaieva of Brooklyn, NY and Charlene Salva of Mays Landing;
  • Bergen Community College students Nikita Gyawali of Wood Ridge, Sara Hwang of Fort Lee, Daniela Liberato of Lyndhurst, and Dimitri Papavasiliou of Teaneck;
  • Brookdale Community College students Kelsey Giggenbach of Howell and Varsha Medidi of Parlin;
  • Camden County College students Rachel Einhorn of Voorhees and Umar Nisar of Gibbsboro;
  • Cumberland County College students Ahmad Graves-El of Vineland and Elijah Jacobs of Bridgeton;
  • Essex County College students Chioma Anaemejeh of Belleville and Yannick Kenfack of Irvington;
  • Hudson County Community College students Kristina Mejias of Bayonne and Hugo Iglesias of Union City;
  • Mercer County Community College students Jasmina Biller of Princeton Junction and Jason Lima of Hamilton;
  • Middlesex County College students Danielle Davis of Colonia and Alicja Wisniowska of Sayreville;
  • County College of Morris students Spyridoula Fotinis of Succsunna and Michael Gosden of Rockaway Borough;
  • Ocean County College students Abigail Orr of Manchester and William Poser of Brick;
  • Passaic County Community College students Zenya Koprowski of Ringwood and Doris Pagan of Clifton;
  • Raritan Valley Community College students Kristine Bulava of Basking Ridge and Emily Stratton of Phillipsburg;
  • Rowan College at Burlington County students Christina Cover of Mount Laurel and Yoresmi Medina of Pennsauken;
  • Rowan College at Gloucester County students Michael Koppel of Deptford and Gianna Visceglia of Williamstown;
  • Salem Community College students Debora Saavedra of Salem and Justin Schaller of Pedricktown;
  • Sussex County Community College student Megan Biemesderfer of Sparta;
  • Union County College students Bao Nguyen and Carlos Santibanez, both of Elizabeth;
  • Warren County Community College students James Crouse and Benjamin Volk, both of Phillipsburg.

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 99 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.

Pictured: Sussex County Community College student Megan Biemesderfer of Sparta

Pilates Instructor Course offered at SCCC

in Continuing Education, Home Page, News

Pilates is not just one of these flash in the pan trends. Clearly it is here to stay and there is now a growing need for Pilates instructors.

Sussex County Community College, in partnership with the Skylands Professional Training, is offering courses for individuals interested in becoming a Pilates Instructor this summer.

Courses include Introduction to Mat Pilates, Introduction to Mat 1, and Mat 2.

In order to be eligible for these courses, there is a mandatory orientation on May 24 at 6:30 p.m. on the SCCC campus.  The series of courses begin on June 3 and continue through Aug. 5. Days and times vary and are held at Synergy Pilates Studio in Newton.

At the successful completion of the Mat 1 course individuals will be able to teach Mat Pilates with confidence and will know how to safely instruct and modify a routine to meet individual health needs of a client.  The Mat 2 course fine-tunes the basic Pilates principles offered in the first two courses.

Upon completion of all three courses (Introduction to Mat Pilates and both modules of Introduction to Mat 1 and 2), students will receive a Mat Pilates Certification from the DualStar™ Pilates Institute.  You will be able to define and assess clients’ goals and develop a safe and effective mat class for beginner, intermediate, and advanced clients. You will also be able to design a mat class that enhances overall physical performance and prevents injuries.

For more information on these courses, please visit, or contact Dawn Smith by email at


26th Annual Fine Art Students’ Exhibition

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

One of the most anticipated events at Sussex County Community College, the Annual Fine Art Student’s Exhibition, will be installed from May 5– June 16.  Presented in the Art Gallery in Building C, this year’s exhibit features approximately one hundred works created by current students who are either art majors or have taken courses in the Department of Fine Arts.  An Opening Reception will be held on Friday, May 5 from 6:00-8.30 p.m.

This juried exhibition will highlight works from Digital Media, Design, Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, Ceramics and Photography covering a wide range of topics, materials and methods. It is always well attended and has proven to be a wonderful evening. The exhibition offers students an opportunity to showcase their artworks and creative endeavors within a professional event. The event is free and the public is welcome to attend, and meet faculty, students, and the college community.

For some of the students, the exhibition is the culmination of their foundation work that serves as a launching point for careers within the Art and Design fields.

Refreshments will be served during the opening reception. A lively evening is guaranteed.

Pullis Signs for NCAA DI St. Peter’s

in News, Sports, Women's Soccer

Jill Pullis signs with St. Peter’s University

Sussex County Community College would like to congratulate Jill Pullis (Vernon High School) for officially signing with St. Peter’s University (Jersey City, NJ) to play for their Women’s Soccer team.  Pullis was a starter and captain for the SCCC Women’s Soccer program, and currently holds the school record for assists in a single season as well as the career assist record.  Jill was ranked in the top 5 in the nation for NJCAA DI women’s soccer players for assists this past season, is a NJCAA Region XIX champion, and has competed in two NJCAA District E Tournaments.  Jill will pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Primary Education at St. Peter’s.


Military Appreciation Game rescheduled for 4/26

in News, Sports

Please Note: The game is rescheduled for Wednesday, April 26th at 7 pm, Skylands Stadium

Sussex County Community College prides itself on being a military-friendly college. The College works closely with veterans on a number of levels, assuring that they get the attention they need. In some cases, veterans need some extra assistance.

The SCCC Skylanders Baseball team is hosting a special Military Appreciation Game on Tuesday, April 25 at Skylands Stadium in Augusta, starting at 7 p.m. The Skylanders will face the Colts of SUNY Orange County Community College.

This event will be a fundraiser for the College’s Student Veterans Emergency Relief program (SVER). SVER provides emergency funds to student veterans at SCCC who need financial help in between semesters. Veterans receive a VA housing allowance of $2600 per month, but only when college is in session. SVER aids veterans with additional assistance for those veterans who qualify and are in need of housing, car payments, food, and other essentials when college is not in session.

There are no colleges in the area that offer this type of added support to student veterans. They are able to get additional assistance and continue their education without interruption. The SVER is able to provide an emergency stipend during a gap in their lives.

Additionally, SCCC will be accepting non-perishable food items for the SCCC Horton Food Pantry at the gate.

To make a donation to SVER please visit:

Spring Open House this Month at SCCC

in News

Sussex County Community College (SCCC) will host its annual Spring Open House on Saturday, April 29 in the Performing Arts Center from 9:30 a.m. until noon. For all students who apply for admission to SCCC during the Open House, the $25 application fee will be waived.

Prospective students will have the opportunity to meet with an SCCC counselor to assist them in deciding on a major, choosing a career path, or just to discuss academic options. Open House attendees will be able to take the Placement Test, if needed. Attendees can also learn about the vast array of degree and certificate programs, new and established transfer agreements, opportunities for military veterans, NJ STARS, academic support services, athletics, student activities, and much more. Faculty and staff will also be in attendance to discuss programs of study, answer questions about financial aid, and offer tours of the campus.

Walk-in Placement Testing is open from 11:00 a.m., with the last test administered at 2:00 p.m.

For more information or to register for Open House, please visit or email

Complete Your Bachelor’s Degree On-Site at SCCC

in News

Sussex County Community College’s (SCCC) educational partnership with Felician University provides students easy access to several bachelor degree programs onsite at SCCC.

Students looking to earn a bachelor’s degree right here in Sussex County can do so by following a sequence of courses beginning in their freshman year at SCCC. An associate degree can be earned by completing general education courses, and then students can seamlessly transition to upper-level courses offered by Felician University on-campus at SCCC. By following this sequence in the first year, students can earn a bachelor’s degree in business, criminal justice, or education in about four years. Also offered is an RN/BSN 15-month fast track program.

This unique partnership saves time and money:

  • No need to worry about shopping around for a college that will accept the most transfer credits
  • Maximize the number of affordable community college courses that are transferable.
  • No long-distance commuting or housing costs! All courses are held locally on the SCCC campus.

To learn more about a Felician University bachelor’s degree program at SCCC, attend the Information Session on Thursday, April 20 from 4:00-6:00 pm in the Student Center, D Bldg, Room 204. Sign up at here.

For more information, contact David Cohen, Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions at Felician University, 201.355.1451 or email

SCCC’s PTK inductees honored at ceremony

in News

Sussex County Community College (SCCC) inducted an amazing group of outstanding students who have shown academic excellence into the most prestigious honor society for community colleges in the United States. A special ceremony was held at the College on March 31 to mark this recognition.

Phi Theta Kappa International is the honor society for two-year colleges and boasts members throughout the country. Membership is based upon academic achievement. Among the criteria for induction, students must be enrolled in an accredited associate degree program and have a GPA of 3.5 or better. As a member of this organization, these students are eligible to apply for Phi Theta Kappa Transfer Scholarships offered by over 600 four-year colleges and universities located throughout the United States.

SCCC student Amelia Macchietto, PTK president led the processional and the Pledge of Allegiance while Dr. James Baker, interim vice president, CFO and COO welcomed the students and their families to the reception. Dr. James Ahern, vice president of academic affairs and chief academic officer, presented the newly inducted honorees with certificates.

The following individuals were inducted into PTK at the ceremony:
Laura F. Allen, Benjamin C. Armstrong, Rebekah L. Aymat, Brandon Baskerville, Melissa K. Becker, Breea N. Boylan, Ryan D. Briggs, Bryan D. Bronstein, Jenna Burdett, Jessica L. Carano, Matthew Cashen, Bryan T. Chappell, Roseann C. Cid, Caitlin A. Conroy, Jessica Corujo, Samantha M. Crane, Mikaela M. Crowell, McKenzie Cuccia, Payton T. Decker, Debra Defeo, Nicholas J. Dicarlo, William M. Dietrich, Maureen Douglas, Jessica Dowd, Matthew B. Duckworth, Thomas N. Fazio, Michelle A. Ferrara-Ryan, Troy Fewkes, Jonathan M. Finocchiaro, Michelle Firtek, Connor J. Fitzsimmons, Kristin M. Gerhart, Sarah G. Griffiths
Jessica Guerrero, Erin E. Hackett, Jeffrey Hanley, Emily M. Hewitt, Brielle Hilbert, Merrinda C. Hill, Thomas R. Hunt
Brianna Inglima, Randy Jackson, Cassidy J. Jameson, Eryk Jaworski, Jessica R. Kabbash, Tatiana Karram, Jessica D. Keveson, Alaina A. Lackey, Amy M. Leider, Benjamin R. Liegner, Natalia Lopez Grajales, Nick J. Martucci, Brian F. Masi, Brittany C. Mattia, Ryan P. McManus, Jason D. McWilliams, Jonathan A. Mecca, Kelly F. Memolo, Jonathan P. Nelson, Emily A. O’Connor, Ryan P. Ortiz, Thomas Parry, Sarah Pope, Daniel F. Quinn, Rebekah J. Ramnarine, Julia M. Richards, Abigail L. Roberts, Kyle M. Rosencranz, Andrew O. Rzeszotarski, Victoria Sajak, Cesar Santana, Gabrielle M. Sarni, Kierra A. Schmidl, Khai A. Schooler, Amanda C. Shahin, Mark E. Shannon, Andrew P. Sorton, Brittany Spina, Katherine E. Stansfield, Nathan A. Stillings, Ryan A. Sumski, Kersten T. Szuszkowski, Brittany L. Todd, Kiran D. Tompkins, Collin J. Tully, Melissa A. Vanwingerden, Michael R. Vitiello, Brian J. Wallace, Larissa M. Walsh, Madison Walsh, Beth-Ann M. Whitehead, Gavin A. Wisse, Christian Wood, Brian Zakrzewski, Ali Ziabakhsh, and Florencia B. Zipitria.

Barbershop Concert Coming to SCCC

in News

Students at Sussex County Community College (SCCC) are excited about performing in the first barbershop-style concert on Saturday, April 22 at 7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center.

This concert is the brainchild of Nathan Stillings, an SCCC Student Ambassador and devotee of barbershop since his high school days at High Point Regional High School. “I first met Nathan when he performed at Teen Arts under the direction of Ms. Dori Martin” said Professor Stella Trikouros, the SCCC Barbershop Club Advisor. “Nathan’s love of barbershop is responsible for the creation of the club and this concert.”

“I have been singing barbershop-styled music for roughly five years now and absolutely love it! When I had to choose a service project as a Student Ambassador, I knew I had to do something music related to help open new doors of opportunity for students on campus,” stated Nathan. “I reached out for support from SCCC student Joe Borowic IV who sang with me at High Point. It’s amazing to see others develop the same love for barbershop that I have developed.”

The Choir rehearses every Monday from 5 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center and is open to both SCCC students and community members. The current SCCC Barbershop Choir members include: Eric Alvarez, Joe Borowic IV, Connor Doherty, Matthew Epperly, Richard LaChance, Alex Liotta, Devon O’Donnell, Nathan Stillings, and Mike Woodrow.

This concert additionally includes members of GimmeFour, a local international convention-level professional barbershop quartet that includes: Paul Franek (tenor), Dave Ammirata (lead), Joe Servidio (Baritone) and Will Downey (Bass). Also performing will be the local women’s barbershop-style choir Harmony In Motion. Ms. Martin, a music teacher at High Point Regional High School has two Barbershop groups performing which are The Rolling Tones and Dori’s Boys. Additional barbershop groups may also be in attendance.

Mr. Kevin Boehme, a music teacher from Vernon Township High School, encouraged Nathan when he wrote “Thanks for what you are doing to spread the joy of barbershop harmony in our area!” Performing from Vernon Township H.S. are Chord of the Rings and the female barbershop group, The Accidentals.

Tickets are $5 cash or check at the door and will benefit the SCCC Barbershop Club.

SCCC now offers several majors in music and is honored to host its first student organized Barbershop Concert. For information contact Nathan at or Stella Trikouros at 973-300-2104.

Summer Youth Programs at SCCC

in Home Page, News, Performing Arts Box

Skylands Professional Training, a partnership with Sussex and Warren County Community College, will be offerings a  Youth Enrichment Programs this summer. These programs provide an educational and stimulating alternative to traditional camp, combining learning with creative hands-on experiences. Lunch supervision is available for children staying for both a morning and afternoon session.  All programs run Monday through Thursday and are held on the SCCC campus.

A variety of programs are being offered for ages 7-14, including:

  • STEM Inventions with Little Bits (Ages 7-12) – STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.  In this invention workshop, students enhance their skills with a great new system of discovery called Little-Bits.  Little-Bits is a platform of easy-to-use electronic building blocks that empower users to invent anything, from a remote controlled car, to a smart home device. Students begin with several inventions and then will design and create their own.  This program runs August 7-10 from  9 a.m. – 12 pm and costs $109.
  • App Attack! Make Your First Game App (Ages 8-12) – Kids can customize their own game app using a specialized app and game development tool.  See first-hand how the world of app publishing functions. Student-created apps will be accessible on a private site and can be played on any mobile device or computer. This program runs August 7-10 from  9 a.m. – 12 p.m. and costs $139.
  • Introduction to LEGO and Vex IQ Robotics (Ages 9-14) – Have fun building, designing, and programming robots with Lego Mindstorms & VEX IQ robotic systems. Build robot projects and creations that use working sensors and motors. This program runs August 7-10 from  12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. and costs $109.
  • Code Breakers (Ages 12-14) – Calling all future coders, programmers, and designers! Learn the basics of coding languages like HTML, JavaScript, and CSS through a series of web projects and design challenges. Projects will be available on a Black Rocket website to share with friends and family. This program runs August 7-10 from 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. and costs $139.
  • Super Science STEM Challenges (Ages 7-12) – In this engineering camp, students will have fun integrating Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics by building and designing a wide range of gadgets, inventive machines, towers, crazy contraptions, and more.  A host of other fun contests designed to bring out the engineer in you!  This program runs August 14-17 from  9 a.m. – 12 p.m. and costs $109.
  • Minecraft© Designers (Ages 8-12) – Kids who love the game Minecraft, and always wanted to design their own world will love this class! Learn how to create a custom map, the basics of creating 3D models using a new software to design your very own objects, how to build with Redstone and Command blocks, and create custom textures to import at home or share with friends. This program runs August 14-17 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. and costs $139.   
  • Battle-Bot Build-A-Thon (Ages 7-12) – Campers will have fun building and creating using just their imagination. Campers will construct a complex Battle-Bot robot from a huge Robotix modular collection. Campers will learn engineering principles in a fun, hands-on atmosphere. All campers will take home a Hexbug Warrior. This program runs August 14-17 from 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. and costs $109.
  • Minecraft© Modders (Ages 8-12) – Kids can use their favorite game to learn the basics of modding and the foundations of programming. Learn scripting and logic statements to create a mod! Introductory coding will also be taught through a simulated environment inspired by Minecraft. This program runs August 14-17 from 12:30 pm – 3:30 p.m. and costs $139.
  • Make Your First Video Game! (Ages 8-12) –  Learn how to create a video game in this one-of-a-kind class that shows kids the keys to designing their first 2D platformer game. Conceptualization, play experience, level design, graphics, sounds, and simple coding are just some of the concepts that will be explored. This program runs August 21-24 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. and costs $139.
  • LEGO Star Wars & Motorized Machines (Ages 7-12) – LEGO enthusiasts, have fun building their favorite adventure from a Star Wars galaxy.  Campers will also build a wide assortment of non-Star Wars motorized LEGO Education machines and create their own projects that illustrate science concepts. This program runs August 21-24 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. and costs $109.
  • Architecture and Engineering Challenges (Ages 7-12) – Campers will work to design and build towers, balsa bridges and a wide array of Lego and K’nex architecture projects.  Have fun building famous architectural designs from around the world along with building bridges, towers, and other structures using a variety of materials. This program runs August 21-24 from 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. and costs $109.
  • Video Game Animation! (Ages 12-14) – Campers create and animate their own character sprites, objects, and backgrounds. Start with a name, develop the character’s personality, signature moves, special powers, and a story line. Finish with a fully animated character to be used in a game. Students do not need any prior experience in game design, animation, or sketching. This program runs August 21-24 from 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. and costs $139.
For a full description of each program, click here.

To register for these programs, please fill out the Registration Form at For more information on the Summer Youth Enrichment Programs, please contact Dawn Smith at (973) 300-2316 or