By Cheryl Conway
Hundreds of homeless veterans will be a touch warmer this winter thanks to the efforts of some local volunteers.
On Veteran’s Day weekend, many of those volunteers stopped at the All Veterans Memorial in Budd Lake for the Civil War Re-enactment event and to drop off their donations to the Helping Homeless Heroes / Helping Homeless Hounds severe weather backpack campaign. The campaign is sponsored by the All Veterans Alliance and Morris County American Legion.
The re-enactment was held only on Saturday, Nov. 9, and provided an opportunity for the community and visitors to see what life is like for soldiers on duty, drop off donations for homeless veterans and tour the memorial site.
“We had a total of six truckloads of donations dropped off on Saturday,” says Charlie Wood Uhrmann, founder of the All Veterans Memorial and All Veterans Alliance.
The Civil War Re-Enactment kicked off Veterans Day weekend locally, although the cold weather cancelled Friday’s demonstration.
“The temperatures dipped to 19 degrees on Friday evening and we felt like it was too cold for the participants or the Scouts to spend the night,” says Uhrmann.
“The Civil War re-enactment supported the Helping Homeless Heroes campaign,” says Uhrmann. “The re-enactment camp demonstrated what life was like on the battlefield. How the soldiers prepared food, slept and demonstrated how some of the original tools of that era was used.”
The festivities during the weekend leading up to Veteran’s Day included the re-enactment, tours, Helping Homeless Heroes / Helping Homeless Hounds donation drop-off, and private tours, she describes.
One group to visit the AVM consisted of 10 students of the Gifted & Talented program at the Mt. Olive Middle School. Along with their G&T Teacher Ann Greszczak, the students visited the AVM on Veteran’s Day morning, Monday, Nov. 11, to deliver their goods and tour the site.
The students had spent three weeks, starting Oct. 22, collecting items for the backpacks campaign at their school.
“We had several individual tours throughout the day,” says Uhrmann. “The student tours took place on Monday, Nov. 11. MOMS Gifted and Talented delivered boxes and boxes of supplies to the AVM and took a tour of the complex before they did their “Thank a Hero” video.
Volunteers then gathered at Uhrmann’s house in Hackettstown on Saturday, Nov. 18, to sort the supplies into each backpack.
“Our volunteers consisted of Vietnam, Cold War and the War on Terror combat veterans and the Commander of the American Legion,” describes Uhrmann. “The All Veterans Memorial Board Members, longtime supporters of the AVM, and the missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,” also helped to sort the items from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
“So far, we have more than 200 backpacks ready to be delivered to our homeless veterans,” reports Uhrmann. “We will be doing another assembly this Saturday. The American Legion will be picking up the backpacks and personally delivering them to homeless veterans throughout the week. This is a perfect bridging opportunity for our veterans to reach out to other veterans to give them an ear and hand.”
Uhrmann was pleased with this year’s commitment to the month-long campaign.
“We received more than nine full truckloads of donations this year and had an exponential amount of volunteers helping us assemble the backpacks,” she says. “More this year than ever.
“We began by categorizing all of the items and setting up stations for volunteers to focus on one segment,” says Uhrmann of the assembly process. “We had a first aid station, hygiene station, food (snack) station, emergency station, a canine station, a severe weather clothing station and a letter writing station thanking our warriors for providing us the opportunity to give. We could not find a hall that would be available to us for two consecutive weeks – so, we held the workshop at my home.”
After this Saturday’s sorting event, the Morris County American Legion will distribute the backpacks.
“The backpacks will provide them an opportunity to interface and offer help to one of their brothers in arms,” says Uhrmann.
“The backpacks will be delivered this week and next week by our partners the Morris County American Legion,” she says. “Veterans will deliver the backpack directly to the homeless- beginning in Morris County. When they are covered, they will canvas particular areas in Newark who appear to have an over-abundance of documented homeless.”
Uhrmann pointed out the importance of providing backpacks that offer an equal amount of goods to each homeless veteran.
“Many people are not aware of how challenging it is to maintain a sense of equity and fairness when assembling the backpacks,” says Uhrmann.
“We must maintain a consistency when it comes to each backpack,” she notes. “We don’t want to give one more than the other. To ignore the importance of equity can result in turning a matter of feeling happy and grateful to sad and slighted. Our target are those who have absolutely nothing to their names. The items we dole out have an exponential value…. and if someone happens to get more than the other, a good thing quickly digresses into a bad thing.”
By Cheryl Conway
A group of area teens collected and delivered items for homeless people in New York City last weekend.
Katelyn and Ryan Melendez of Flanders joined in the efforts with the other members of the Temple Shalom Senior Youth Group. The group based out of the synagogue in Succasunna participated in the homeless relief mission known as Midnight Run on Saturday, Nov. 16.
With Thanksgiving this week and holidays around the corner, these teens got to experience what it is like to give to others who are less fortunate.
"It felt good knowing that I am helping others," says Katelyn Melendez, an 8th grader who attends Mt. Olive Middle School.
"It was an opportunity to see how homeless people live and how life on the streets has effected them physically and mentally," says her older brother Ryan Melendez, a 9th grader at Mt. Olive High School.
He decided to participate in order to "give something back to people who aren't lucky enough to have everything we do," he says.
For two weeks in November, the group collected warm clothing such as jackets, sweatshirts, gloves, hats and boots.
“We collected enough items to fill all the SUVs going,” they said. “We took all five cars and drove into NYC,” on Saturday, Nov. 16.
“We also handed sandwiches, soup, bagels and coffee” to all those who were hungry.
Their goal was to have enough items to last through the three stops for their delivery.
Held since 1984, Midnight Run (www.midnightrun.org) coordinates more than 1,000 relief missions per year, where food, clothing and personal care items are distributed to the homeless poor on the streets of NYC.
As first timers for this mission, they say “We will be doing it again next year as it was a big success.”
By Cheryl Conway
Turkey Brook Park in Budd Lake may be expanding even further if the Morris County Freeholders approve an Open Space Preservation Grant next week.
Out of the six 2019 open space projects totaling $1.96 million recommended to the freeholders by the Morris County Open Space Trust Fund Committee, Mt. Olive’s project is in the mix. The county preservation grant for Mt. Olive totals $275K and includes 17.24 acres.
The freeholder board is set to make a formal decision on the recommended grants on Monday, Nov. 25, in Morristown. If approved, Mt. Olive would be able to add passive recreation with trails to Turkey Brook Park as well as a trai-lhead of the property.
“If we acquire it, [there is] not much we need to do with it,” says Kathy Murphy, vice chair of the Mt. Olive Open Space Committee who helped with the grant application for the property. The plan would be to “eventually make it a trail, or leave alone.”
Part of the role of the Mt. Olive Open Space Committee is to make recommendations through the years to expand existing open space where it is needed, explains Murphy. The Mt. Olive Open Space Committee made its recommendation to the Mt. Olive mayor and township council, which then followed up with the county.
“The opportunity presented itself,” to try to acquire the property, which is privately owned, explains Murphy, “so we took the opportunity. The property was going up for sale.”
This undeveloped wooded area being considered is located along Flanders-Drakestown Road, at the southern boundary adjacent to Turkey Brook Park.
According to a county press release, Turkey Brook Park was funded 25 years ago during the first funding round of the county’s open space program. That program has helped fund adjacent parcels to expand the park over the years.
“Mt. Olive now seeks to expand it to its fullest extent possible with the acquisition of this tract,” as stated in the release. “The township plans passive recreation and the possible addition of a trail-head for the property.”
Mt. Olive Twp. Business Administrator Andrew Tatarenko says, “The acquisition would complete the park to its street boundaries and protect the natural viewshed. If approved, it would remain as a passive recreation area for trails to connect to the back side of Turkey Brook Park, near Maiers Pond. A small parking lot and trail-head would eventually be built.”
Explains Murphy, “We want to leave it wooded,” if the grant is approved. “We have some trails down behind the pond and high school. This would connect closer to Tinc Rd. School.”
The plan would be to provide passive recreation which would consist of walking trails, and to help preserve the tranquility of the pond.
It would also include a trail-head of the property with signage or a parking space for a vehicle or two at the beginning of the trail, says Murphy.
What is attractive about this extension is the location.
“Right now there is nothing in that area” in regards to trails, says Murphy. With houses right there, residents “could jump on a trail and go for a hike in the woods” or walk their dogs, says Murphy.
When considering open space to acquire, Murphy says “we look for how nearby neighborhoods could get to natural areas and enjoy them.”
Of the land being considered, Murphy says “it’s a nice area,” adjacent to an existing park. Acquiring the land, “would give more people access to it; you could walk up there [active recreational portion of the park] if you wanted” on this wooded trail space. It would become “public property, so would be good.
The county governing board traditionally accepts recommendations of the open space committee, as it states in the release.
The freeholders is set to make a formal decision on the grant recommendations at the county governing board’s Monday, Nov. 25 meeting in Morristown. The county governing board traditionally accepts recommendations of the committee.
Funding for the projects would come from the voter approved county preservation trust fund, known as the Morris County Open Space & Farmland Preservation Trust Fund, which was established in Dec. 22, 1992 by a special county tax that was approved by voters as part of the 1992 referendum, explains Karen Mancinelli Morris County assistant public information officer.
That money also is used for farmland and historic preservation, county parkland acquisition, trail construction, and the purchase of residential properties prone to flooding.
“As we celebrate 25 years of the county’s Open Space Trust Fund, this Freeholder Board and boards who have preceded us recognize that the deliberate and thoughtful preservation of open space throughout the county is part of what makes Morris County a great place to live, work, play and raise a family,’’ said Freeholder Stephen Shaw.
The Open Space grant program has helped preserve 12,542 acres in 36 of the county’s 39 towns since the awarding of grants started in 1994. Morris County voters approved the program in November 1992.
“If the recommendations pass, the grant will provide Mt. Olive Township with $275,000 to purchase the 17.24 acres of land,” explains Mancinelli. Mt. Olive “then can utilize the funds to purchase the property for use as open space, upon successful negotiations with the current private landowner. The cost for any further improvements (for passive recreational use and possible trail-head) would be borne by Mt. Olive.”
Adds Tatarenko, “the grant is to acquire the property only. Funds for additional improvements if the grant is awarded would come from the capital budget or open space funds in future budgets.”
For more details on the project visit
The Exchange, a retail and services provider for the military family, will welcome home-disabled Veterans, Purple Heart recipients and certain caregivers with in-store shopping privileges beginning Jan. 1, 2020.
Army & Air Force Exchange Service shopping privileges will expand to all Veterans with service-connected disabilities, Veterans who are Purple Heart recipients, Veterans who are former prisoners of war and primary family caregivers for Veterans who are enrolled in the Department of Veterans Affairs Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers. In all, 4.1 million Americans will be eligible for the new benefit.
This new privilege was specified in the Purple Heart and Disabled Veterans Equal Access Act of 2018, included in the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2019. The Department of Defense officially announced the expansion Nov. 13.
"It is an honor to welcome our nation's heroes back to their Exchange," said Exchange Director/CEO Tom Shull, a Vietnam-era Army Veteran. "They fought for us. They sacrificed for us. They deserve this."
The new patron group will also have access to commissaries and morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) retail facilities located on U.S. military installations. The Department of Defense advised it is still working through details of the expansion with the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security. More information regarding installation access and the authentication process will be available soon.
Before the expansion, only Veterans with 100 percent service-connected disabilities could shop in person. Active-duty service members, their dependents and military retirees also have in-store and online privileges.
All honorably discharged Veterans can shop the military exchanges online now, through a benefit that was secured in 2017. Since then, Veterans have saved more than $6 million in sales tax. Veterans can determine their eligibility to shop online at ShopMyExchange.com/vets.
According to its website, since 1895, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service has been serving a critical role in strengthening military readiness, recruiting and retention. The Exchange continues to go where warfighters and their families go to provide tax-free shopping and military-exclusive pricing at installations worldwide and at ShopMyExchange.com. As the 61st largest retailer in the U.S., Exchange earnings provide dividends to military Quality-of-Life programs. The Department of Defense’s largest retailer, the Exchange is governed by a Board of Directors responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force.
The Exchange serves an eligible customer base of 31 million active-duty military; retirees; National Guardsmen; Reservists; 100 percent disabled honorably discharged Veterans; all other honorably discharged Veterans; authorized Public Health Service associates; authorized National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration associates; Coast Guard members and family members.
Veterans who need additional information about the in-store patronage expansion can visit the Veterans section on the Exchange's Community Hub
Visit the online store: www.shopmyexchange.com.
Belgian Malinois named JoJo to the right.
Labrador Retriever now named Odie down below.
Two K-9 Pups Named To Honor Fallen Officers
Names that will carry them with dignity and fidelity throughout their careers as police dogs have been chosen for two endearing puppies donated to the Morris County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Section.
One suggestion in particular stood out when the Sheriff’s Office solicited potential names for the 5-month-old female Belgian Malinois and 10-week-old male Labrador Retriever on its Facebook page.
Of 398 submissions, two entrants suggested the dogs be named in memory of Dover Town Police Officer Arthur J. Ohlsen, III, and Mount Arlington Police Officer Joseph S. Wargo, who both died in the line of duty.
In honor of the two Officers, the Belgian Malinois has been named JoJo, after Officer Wargo. The Labrador Retriever will answer to Odie, which was Officer Ohlsen’s nickname on the police force.
“Officers Ohlsen and Wargo are still remembered and very much missed. Naming these beautiful dogs who are partnered with Morris County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Detectives for them keeps their spirits alive within the law enforcement community,” Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon said.
On Dec. 30, 2003, Ohlsen, an 18-year veteran of the Dover Police Department, was struck by a New Jersey Transit train under the Salem Street overpass in Dover as he directed fire apparatus to the scene of a blaze on the tracks and tried to ensure that people known to congregate by the tracks were not in danger.
On Oct. 16, Wargo was struck in his patrol vehicle on Route 80 in Roxbury Twp. by a driver who admittedly was impaired on drugs. Despite efforts by police and emergency medical technicians to save him, Wargo died. The driver pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter and in 2013 was sentenced to 20 years in state prison.
Ohlsen’s son, Trevor Ohlsen, is a Morris County Sheriff’s Officer. A second son, Arthur Ohlsen IV, is a former Morris County Sheriff’s Officer who now is a Parsippany Police Officer.
“I think this is an amazing tribute to my father,” said Officer Trevor Ohlsen. “Both my family and myself want to thank the Morris County Sheriff’s Office and everyone that voted for naming of the new K-9 puppies after him.”
Wargo’s widow, Amy Wargo, said she was deeply touched by the gesture and that she still has two pugs she shared with her husband before his death eight years ago.
“This is really special,” she said. “It shows that Joe has not been forgotten. He would be over the moon about it,” said Amy Wargo.
Two people suggested during the Sheriff’s Office Facebook contest that the dogs be named after Officers Ohlsen and Wargo. They are now-retired Dover Police Officer Tim Thiel and resident Eric Budinger.
The hundreds of submissions showed a great sense of fun, wit, thoughtfulness, and even scholarship. There were some duplications – Lola and Titan were suggested more than a dozen times – and many people wanted the Retriever to grow up with a human name, like Walter, Sherman, Steve or Jack.
Prince and King also were favorites, mythology names like Thor, Zeus, Artemis and Apollo or names associated with law enforcement: Justice, Badge, and Honor.
Both puppies made their first visit on November 6 to the Hodes Veterinary Group in Mine Hill Township to have their weight, eyes, teeth, fur and overall health checked.
The male Labrador weighed in at 13.1 pounds and was donated to the Sheriff’s Office by Walter Quense, founder and trainer of onPOINT-K9 in Bernards Township. His handler is Morris County Sheriff’s Office K9 Section Detective John Granato, who already has begun training the Labrador in explosives detection through odor recognition exercises.
The Belgian Malinois weighed in at 36 pounds and was donated by Jeff Riccio, founder and trainer at Riptide K9 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. She is handled by Morris County Sheriff’s Office K9 Section Detective Marc Adamsky, who will train her in search and rescue and accelerant detection.
The specialized training will take up to six months before certification occurs. But both dogs will likely not start their official working careers until they are a year old and more mature.
The donations will save Morris County about $12,000 that otherwise would have been spent on new dogs for the K9 Section, which provides services to all 39 municipalities in Morris County, responds to more than 1,000 calls annually that include patrols, searches for missing people, fires, narcotics investigations and sweeps of public areas, festivals, concerts and large gatherings for explosive devices.
Library Warms Patrons With Music, Movies & More
“Baby, it’s Cold Outside”…..Come warm up at Mt. Olive Public Library on Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. in the Gathering Room. Get into the holiday spirit and be entertained by the Florian Schantz Jazz Combo with Holiday Music with mixed Christmas, Hanukkah and winter-themed songs. Registration requested.
“Be Calm and Create a Masterpiece”…..“Painting with Dorothy” is set for Saturday, Dec. 7, from 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Come join in for a fun day of creativity and learning. Make great art and paint like the masters!! Registration is required; limited to 12 adults.
“Movies at the Library”….. Join in on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at either 1 p.m.-3:15 p.m. or 6 p.m.-8:15 p.m. for the movie “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?”, based upon the novel of the same name by Maria Semple. When Bernadette suddenly disappears without a trace, her concerned family sets off on an exciting adventure to solve the mystery of where she might have gone. Registration requested.
Live Your Best Life with Essential Oils….. a workshop titled, “Essential Oils 101 (Make & Take Diffuser Bracelet)” is set for Saturday, Dec. 14, from 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m. Come join Perri O’Flynn for this fun essential oils project; the bracelet can be used as a diffuser on the go, to take oils anywhere and use them for any situation. Also, learn the benefits of using essential oils in daily life. Registration is required; limited to 10 adults.
For all programs, call 973-691-8686 Ext. 106 or go to www.mopl.org to register.
CCM Art Gallery Presents N.J. Artists in Exhibition
The County College of Morris’ (CCM) Art Gallery is pleased to announce the latest exhibition, “Fragile Attachments and the Space for Repair,” featuring the works of two New Jersey artists, Alaine Becker and Gail Winbury.
The exhibition runs from November 25, through January 27, 2020. The CCM Art Gallery is located in the Sherman H. Masten Learning Resource Center on CCM’s Randolph campus. A reception, free and open to the public, is set to be held Thursday, Dec. 12, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The CCM Art Gallery is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“Fragile Attachments and the Space for Repair,” examines and dissects the artists’ personal stories and traumas. Becker and Winbury create a new world in which bodies and emotions, spaces and memories are fragmented, chopped up, and reassembled into a new milieu that exists between real experiences and imagined scenarios. The world they portray is the world of women, their wrestling with aging and death, as well as discrimination, stereotype, body image and sexuality.
Most of the pieces in “Fragile Attachments and the Space for Repair” are works on and with paper, unframed and fragile. Either executed in human scale or as intimate deconstructed and flattened dioramas, the works are pinned to the wall and left to hang. These delicate pieces are contrasted with large, bold canvases. This formal duality bleeds into the conceptual complexity of the works. The pieces effortlessly shift between figurative images and pure abstractions that resemble organic forms. Whichever technique the artists decide to utilize, Becker and Winbury use it with appropriate combination of scientific precision and intuitive gesture.
Becker holds a bachelor’s in fine arts from The State University College at Purchase. She has been awarded The New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship and a Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Fellowship. She attended a residency in the Vermont Studio Center and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts.
Winbury holds a Psy.D. from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology and studied painting at the School of Visual Arts. She attended a residency at the School of Visual Arts, Manhattan and a Visual Art Fellowship at the Bau Foundation in Otranto, Italy. Winbury received an Artist Residency in Arad, Israel from the Jewish Federation and a Castle Hill Center for the Arts residency in Truro, Massachusetts. Her work is collected in the United States and Europe.
For information on the academic programs offered through the Art and Design department at CCM, visit https://tinyurl.com/y9kzbxqf.
Annual Poinsettia Sale Returns At CCM
The Landscape and Horticultural Technology (LHT) Program at County College of Morris (CCM) in Randolph plans to hold its annual Holiday Poinsettia Sale in early December.
Red, white, pink, burgundy and assorted bi-colored poinsettia, both large and small, will be available in 4.5 inch to 7.5 inch pots, along with various hanging basket arrangements. Prices range from $3 to $16 and bundles are available for multiple purchases. Proceeds from the plant sale benefit the educational activities of the CCM Landscape Club.
The sale takes place Monday, Dec. 2, and Tuesday, Dec. 3, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the LHT greenhouses. The greenhouses are located near Parking Lot 1 on CCM’s Randolph campus. For more information, contact 973-328-5363 or email@example.com. To learn more about the LHT degree and certificate programs at CCM, visit http://bit.ly/ccmland.
CCM Joins Network To Attract More Women To IT Field
The Department of Information Technologies at County College of Morris (CCM) in Randolph hopes to draw more women to its degree and certificate programs, while encouraging and supporting current students, thanks to a new partnership and grant award.
The college has become a partner in the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) Learning Circles program. Each “circle” consists of three computing departments and representatives from NCWIT. The designation includes a $10,000 award and funding for conference travel.
“The goal is to work with other educational institutions to establish a CCM plan for sustainable departmental and institutional practices that will attract and retain more women to our information technologies programs,” says Information Technologies Professor Nancy Binowski. NCWIT will assign the other two computing departments that will be working with CCM.
In the last decade, enrollment in CCM’s computing and technology courses of study has tripled, Binowski says, but the percentage of female students has remained unchanged.
“We’ve tried a lot of different things in our department and campus wide, and nothing we’ve done has made a dent,” Binowski says. “We’re hoping with this learning circle that we will learn what’s going to work for us.”
Currently about 16 percent of students enrolled in Information Technologies at CCM are female. Degrees are offered in Information Technology, Computer Science, Game Development, Technical Studies in Information Technology and Digital Media Technology. Certificates also are offered in Information Security, Media Technology and Web Development.
“Women are underrepresented,” Binowski says. “We make up more than half the population and we have men dictating the technology that we use. We need a place at the table so that technology reflects our wants, our needs, our designs and not somebody else’s.”
Binowski is assembling a cross-functional CCM team of faculty and staff from admissions, advising, academic success and student affairs.
Initiatives will include the establishment of a Women in IT Club to provide a network of female peers who can connect and support each other. Other goals include additional outreach to local high schools and middle schools to foster girls’ interest in technology, potentially through interaction with female college students on research or other projects.
CCM was one of 15 institutions chosen this year from 36 applicants nationwide. CCM members will begin meeting monthly with Learning Circle participants in 2020 to develop a plan that can be implemented in the second year of the program.
NCWIT, chartered in 2004 by the National Science Foundation, improves awareness and knowledge of computing fields with a three-prong approach. The organization sponsors an annual summit, provides free online resources and inspires young girls and women to pursue their interest in information technology.
Enroll For Winterim And Spring 2020 At CCM
Get started on college education, finish the degree started years ago or stay on track to graduate by registering for the Winterim and Spring 2020 semesters at County College of Morris (CCM) in Randolph.
By registering early, students are presented with the best opportunity to enroll in classes that take place on the days and times that best fit their schedules.
Enrolling in Winterim classes is a great way to earn some college credits quickly. Two Winterim sessions are offered, a four-week session that begins on Thursday, Dec. 19, and a two-week session that begins on Monday, Jan. 6, 2020.
The Spring 2020 Semester begins on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. Several mini-term sessions are also offered during that semester.
At CCM, students are able to select from 50 associate degrees and a wide range of certificate programs taught by a faculty of experts in their fields. In addition, the college holds more than 150 transfer agreements to make it easy to go on and earn a bachelor’s degree. Many associate degrees also prepare students for immediate entry into rewarding careers, such as in engineering, information technology and radiography.
To get started, review CCM’s degree and certificate programs at www.ccm.edu/academics. To view what courses are being offered on what days and times, go to https://titansdirect.ccm.edu/Student/Courses, click on Advanced Search and select the semester you would like to review.
To apply to the college, go to www.ccm.edu/admissions or visit the Admissions office in the Student Community Center, 214 Center Grove Road, Randolph. Once the application is completed, the student will be notified by email on how to register for classes.
Centenary Class Turns Pro Wrestling Into Hands-On Experience
On Nov. 23, a professional wrestling charity event was held as a final project in a Centenary University Sports and Entertainment Management class that pulled together many disciplines to give students a unique outside-the-book learning experience. Students planned all aspects of the fundraising event, which will support Camp Kesem, a camp for children impacted by their parents’ cancer.
Held in Centenary University’s Reeves Gym in Hackettstown, Cyclone Slam featured World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) star Frederick Douglas Rosser III, who fights as Darren Young, vs. NYU All-American Ray Jazz and Kelly Madan vs. Sonya Strong, plus Hackettstown native Damian Adams. Rosser was also scheduled to speak at a #BLOCKTHEHATE presentation on Friday, Nov. 22, at Centenary.
The innovative course, Bodyslams Instead of Books, was developed by Associate Professor of Sports Management David Perricone and Associate Professor of Theatre Arts Stephen Davis, working in conjunction with theatre arts, business, social media, communication, English, and other Centenary programs to give students a unique opportunity for practical work experience.
The joint venture was launched after Perricone reached out to Davis.
“We were discussing how our programs could work together to create a multi-disciplinary learning experience for students,” Perricone said. “It snowballed from there to include almost every department in the University—it is a truly cross-curricular course.” Perricone and Davis looked to the wider Centenary academic community for skills that would dovetail with planning the event.
Dana Benbow, assistant professor of business, helped with the business side of entertainment, such as reviewing WWE financial reports. Tim Guella, adjunct professor of business and director of social media for #the VIBE, the University’s Social Media Center of Expertise, taught how to execute and promote the event on social media. Assistant Professor of English Dr. Arlene Young, helped draft scripts. John Del Re, operations manager of WNIT.org, the internet voice of Centenary, is giving students air-time to present their scripts. Assistant Professors of Communication Matthew Mendres and Boris Gavrilovic videoed the students.
Davis helped the students with the basic movements of theatre and performance that was showcased at the November event. Although professional wrestling is considered more theatre than professional sport, students are learning real-world skills and will be graded on their effort. It is very much a real college class, Perricone said.
“My time in the class this semester has shown me that everything pro wrestling does, from creating characters and storylines, to setting up the arena, all the way to the financial side of the business entails that the wrestling industry has a variety of work, day-in and day-out,” said student Michael Menkin. Fellow student Kaitlyn Dunne, known as The Angel of Darkness to students, added, “This class has also helped me learn leadership skills and working well with a team. It has been a fun experience and I am glad to be helping out a charity with such great qualities and inspiring goals.”
The wrestling weekend also touched on issues of social justice and diversity as the University hosted Frederick Douglas Rosser III, known by his professional wrestling name, Darren Young, at 7 pm on Friday, Nov. 22, in the Little Theatre of the Edward W.
Seay Administration Building. Rosser, a New Jersey native, is the first WWE star to come out as openly gay. He promotes #BLOCKTHEHATE, a movement that fights bullying and promotes LGBTQ equality.
Cyclone Slam was set to take place on Nov. 23, at 7 pm. Floors seats were $20, general admission $15, with $10 for Centenary faculty, staff, and students. All proceeds will support Camp Kesem, a nationwide initiative promoted by college students that helps children as they go through parents’ cancer. In addition to providing campers with the opportunity to get away and have fun, Camp Kesem has a lasting impact by introducing children to peers who understand exactly what they are going through.
Centenary University in Hackettstown and Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) in Branchburg have finalized two programs that broaden opportunities for RVCC students to continue on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Centenary after completing their associate degree.
Centenary University’s education program offered at the Raritan Valley Community College University Center brings a new 2+2 program in education to the RVCC campus. Students complete their associate degree in education at RVCC, and then continue to take classes offered by Centenary University professors onsite at the community college to earn a bachelor’s degree in education. Throughout the process, faculty collaborate with students to ensure class choices that will lead to a seamless transfer process and completion of a bachelor’s degree within two years.
“The agreement with Centenary University represents an exciting new partnership that will provide great incentives for RVCC students who are planning to continue their studies and earn a bachelor’s degree in education,” said RVCC President Michael J. McDonough. “Not only will RVCC education graduates be able to take Centenary classes on our RVCC campus, they also will have an opportunity to receive significant scholarships from the university.”
In addition, a new Path to Transfer agreement creates a seamless process for community college students representing a variety of majors to transfer to Centenary after graduating with their associate degree from RVCC.
“These innovative programs take the guesswork out of transferring to Centenary University for Raritan Valley Community College students,” explained Dr. Amy D’Olivo, vice president for academic affairs at Centenary University. “The benefits are many: a streamlined admissions process, plus significant academic and transfer guidance. Our goal is to create a smooth pathway for students to continue their education, ultimately earning a Centenary University bachelor’s degree.”
Through Path to Transfer, students will apply concurrently to both institutions. Once accepted, they are considered Centenary students, benefiting from access to the University’s academic advisement, career resources, and block transfer of all community college courses.
The 2+2 Education Program and Path to Transfer offer significant scholarship opportunities, making the cost of tuition comparable to that offered by state universities. In addition, RVCC graduates may also be eligible for federal and state grants.
To learn more about the Centenary University Center at RVCC, go to http://bit.ly/CenRVCC.
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