SCCC and WCCC forge partnership to strengthen regional training and workforce development 

May 26, 2016 in Continuing Education, Health Sciences, Home Page, News by Kathy Peterson

In an effort to strengthen economic and workforce development in the Northwest New Jersey region, Sussex County Community College (SCCC) and Warren County Community College (WCCC) yesterday signed a historic partnership agreement that will offer residents an opportunity to take advantage of myriad choices for certification programs and non-credit courses.

“This is an educational agreement/partnership to offer customized training to help strengthen workforce education opportunities in our region by providing non-credit courses and certification training for jobs in demand,” said Dr. Jon Connolly, President of SCCC. “Through this unique partnership we are combining the strengths of two institutions with similar goals.”

“This is a win-win for residents of both counties,” added Dr. Will Austin, President of WCCC. “The partnership streamlines our efforts so that residents can get the most out of their educational pursuits.”

“As colleges we are very similar and face many of the same challenges,” continued Dr. Austin. “As a shared service concept it makes perfect sense that we combine our efforts in what is a very competitive market.”

The first courses and programs expected to be offered are predominately in the health/science/allied health related field, such as Dialysis Technician, Physical Therapy Aide, Pharmacy Technician, Veterinary Assistant and Opthalmic Assistant.

“The new partnership between Sussex County Community College and Warren County Community College to provide customized training and noncredit career programs is a wonderful opportunity to build the workforce skills of the two counties,” noted Dr. Rosalie Lamonte, Interim Executive County Superintendent for both Warren and Sussex. “This will make it easier for students to get the training they need in the job market, and should ultimately strengthen economic development in the Northwest NJ region.  I encourage our Sussex and Warren residents to take advantage of this educational opportunity to advance their skills and employability.”

“The collaboration between SCCC and WCCC is a terrific example of two leaders in higher education working together to enhance the educational offerings to their students, while helping each institution to control costs through a shared service offering the best workforce training for our residents and businesses,” noted State Senator Steve Oroho, who represents Sussex and part of Warren County in the 24th District.

State Senator Mike Doherty, who represents part of Warren County in the 23rd District, added, “Education is the pathway to opportunity, and focusing courses and training to match jobs in demand is a smart move to maximize those opportunities for students. I commend the partnership between WCCC and SCCC, which will boost the economic prospects of participants and ensure that local businesses have access to a skilled workforce.”

It is expected that several courses and programs will begin this fall. Course information will be available on both the SCCC and WCCC websites, and

Photo of signing ceremony with, in front, Dr. Will Austin, WCCC President and Dr. Jon Connolly, SCCC President. Back row L-R, Craig Dana, WCCC Board of Trustee Member; Eve Azar, WCCC Vice President Corporate and Continuing Education; Ed Smith, WCCC Freeholder and former WCCC Trustee; The Honorable Steve Oroho, State Senator;  Dr. James Baker, SCCC Vice President of Academic Affairs and Judge Lorraine Parker, Chair, SCCC Board of Trustees.

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

May 24, 2016 in Home Page, Men's Soccer, News, Sports, Women's Soccer by Kathy Peterson

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

May 24, 2016 in Home Page, News by Kathy Peterson

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



Dolaghan Breaks School Record for Wins

May 19, 2016 in Men's Baseball, Sports by Michael Rath

Congratulations to Sussex County Community College pitcher Tom Dolaghan (Harrsion, NJ) who broke the school record for most wins in a season for baseball.  Dolaghan recorded 10 wins this season, eclipsing the previous record holders JD Brodrick and Delio Coutinho, who had earned 8 wins in 2004 and 2011, respectively.  The Skylanders finished the season with a 16-20 record.

Mason and Dunn Sign for Belhaven

May 19, 2016 in Men's Soccer, Sports by Michael Rath

Sam Dunn

Alex Mason









The Sussex County Community College men’s soccer team has moved on two more former players to a 4 year college soccer program.  Alex Mason (Mornington, Australia) and Sam Dunn (Frankston, Australia) have both committed to Belhaven University, located in Jackson, Mississippi.  Mason and Dunn have both started for the Skylanders for the past two seasons and were standout performers both on the field, and in the classroom.  The Belhaven Blazers are one of the top division I soccer programs in the NCCAA (National Christian College Athletic Association), and this past season advanced to the NCCAA Division I Semi-finals.

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

May 11, 2016 in Home Page, News by Kathy Peterson

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

May 9, 2016 in Home Page, Men's Baseball, News, Sports by Kathy Peterson

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).

O’Connor Named to All Region Team

May 9, 2016 in Home Page, Sports, Women's Softball by Michael Rath

Sussex County Community College’s Kelsey O’Connor was named to the All Region XIX 3rd Team this past week.  O’Connor (Sparta, NJ) played shortstop for the Skylanders and had a batting average of .441, which led the team.  Kelsey also led the team in runs, RBI’s, hits, stolen bases, doubles, triples, and home runs.

SCCC Holds Scholarship Ceremony

May 6, 2016 in Foundation, Home Page, News by Sandy Cupo

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.

Skylanders Named to Region and Conference Teams

May 5, 2016 in Men's Baseball, Sports by Michael Rath

Peter Ferony

Matt Magura











The Sussex County Community College baseball team had four players named to the All Garden State Athletic Conference Teams and Region XIX Teams this past week.  Peter Ferony (West Milford, NJ) and Matt Magura (Wantage, NJ) were both named to the 1st Team All Region and 1st Team All GSAC.  Jared Quintero (Paterson, NJ) and Moises Roque (Harrison, NJ) were also named to the All GSAC 2nd Team.