More and More Smiling Faces at CCC

10/23/04


By Kenneth Ender, Ph.D., President

There are a lot of smiling young faces at Cumberland County College these days. As reported in The Daily Journal, enrollment at CCC is a record high 3,225 students. And 1,179 students are 20 years old or younger, which is 36 percent of the class.

With more youthful students at the college, there’s an increase in student life, which is great because activities and sports help to build leadership and teamwork skills.

Even though many students are younger, CCC still serves a student body that’s as diverse as the community. Students of all ages and backgrounds are setting goals and achieving them at the college.

Cumberland is a vibrant community where students learn from talented professors, and they also learn from each other. Students share their unique experiences in classrooms and laboratories throughout the campus.

A visit to Professor Nicholas Bokma’s computer-aided design evening class illustrates this phenomenon. Under Professor Bokma’s guidance, the students communicate freely, helping and inspiring each other as they perform digital electronics experiments.

Class member Roy Kaneshiki, who retired in 2002, is majoring in Fine Arts at CCC. An outstanding ceramics student who “always wanted to learn CAD,” Mr. Kaneshiki’s work has won prizes in several art shows. Another CAD student, Susan Millard, is an interior decorator.

Michael Sibley, an employee at Raritan Engineering for 28 years, is a CCC graduate who is taking CAD courses to keep up with the current technology. And Ryan Tomasso and Dave Crowell plan to earn associate’s degrees at Cumberland, then transfer to four-year universities to major in engineering.

Like scores of classes across the campus, the CAD class is filled with fascinating individuals who a share a single purpose – to improve their lives through education. This bit of magic happens every day at CCC. Since it occurs daily, we can sometimes take it for granted.

But the college is truly a place for miracles. Ask the students, young and older, who are discovering new worlds. Ask the alumni, diverse and courageous, who have become professional and community leaders.

And ask Teresa Blount, who was recently recognized as the 3,200th student to register at CCC this fall. This was the first time the college reached this milestone since it opened in 1966. Ms. Blount earned an associate’s degree from Cumberland in 1980. This semester, she’s taking a course at CCC to fulfill her bachelor’s degree requirements at Thomas Edison State College.

Congratulations, Ms. Blount, and all the CCC students of varied backgrounds and ages who are using education as a springboard for success.

We are inspired by your eagerness, talent, ambition and smiling faces.