By Steve Sears
For Dr. Anthony J. Iacono, being recognized as a top leader of an institution is familiar territory. He has been lauded again, being named to the NJBIZ Education Power 50 list for the second consecutive year. And he’s proud of the honor.
But there’s more recognizable terrain when it comes to the fifth President of the County College of Morris. It’s never just about him. “It’s a big honor, but it’s more of a reflection of what we do together at the college and the incredible support we get from the community,” he says. “Particularly the manufacturing community and our Freeholder Board, and our state legislators, because the county and state provided a majority of the funding, and then we’ve had good support from manufacturers also.”
NJBIZ this year focused on recognizing educators’ leadership during COVID-19 and their economic recovery roles. Iacono and CCM acted with gusto in both categories.
With the pandemic, the Randolph campus from March 30 to June 26 offered COVID-19 drive-thru testing by Morris County and Atlantic Health System for Morris and Sussex County residents in its parking lot. “That was just a remarkable countywide partnership between the Office of Emergency Management in Morris County, the Sheriff’s office, Atlantic Health, Randolph Township Police, parks police, and the college,” says Iacono. “You know that saying, ‘It takes a village”? Well, in over two months they administered 8,000 tests. That was great work with the county coming together.” Also, the college gave a hand to hard hit Morristown Medical Center, lending five ventilators, and donating 325 N95 masks and 3,000 gloves for use. CCM also hosted March and August Table of Hope food distribution events, and during the pandemic many college faculty and staff, current students and alumni, volunteered or worked on the front lines during trying times.
In addition to bringing new paramedic (in partnership with Atlantic Health) and paralegal studies and expansion to technology programs to CCM in the future, Iacono is excited about both the Dover College Promise, and the September unveiling of Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Center. “We are Morris County’s community college,” he says when speaking about the Dover partnership, “and our job is to really serve the whole community. We want to make sure that we’re reaching out to all communities, and that every individual has an opportunity to get a great education. The Dover initiative is college employees, faculty, staff, and administrators partnering with community leaders, business owners, education officials – the Superintendent’s office in particular – and others up in Dover to make sure the kids are getting great opportunities.”
In September, the Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Center (AMEC), finally opened after two years of construction. The center provides a wealth of new employees to businesses and is there to update the skills of those currently employed.
Dr. Iacono, received his Ph.D. in American History from Mississippi State University, and his M.A. and B.A. in American History from the University of Central Florida. An Associate in Arts in General Studies recipient from Indian River Community College, prior to his CCM arrival, he was Vice President of Academic Affairs at Indian River State College (IRSC) in Fort Pierce, FL.
“I have a great team,” Iacono says. “I like my Cabinet a lot, the Senior Administrators, the Junior Administrators, the great faculty and staff here. A big part of it is we do get tremendous support from our community, which is key for any community college to achieve its mission.”