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County College of Morris dean recognized as S.H.I.N.E. Award recipient

Dr. Maria Isaza Named S.H.I.N.E. Educator of the Year in Higher Education Category

RANDOLPH TOWNSHIP, NJ (Morris County) –  County College of Morris (CCM) has announced that Dr. Maria Isaza, Dean of the School of Health Professions and Natural Sciences, has been recognized as a S.H.I.N.E. (Serves, Helps, Inspires, Nurtures, and Excels) Award recipient by Child & Family Resources.

Dr. Isaza received the award for the S.H.I.N.E. Educator of the Year in the Higher Education category on Thursday, March 7 at the annual S.H.I.N.E. Educator of the Year Awards Gala.

At this year’s Gala, Dr. Isaza was one of four professionals honored as Educator of the Year.  The purpose of the award is to acknowledge educators who exemplify the spirit of Child & Family Resources’ mission and values and whose professional practice and advocacy for the profession are deemed exemplary. Established in 1972, the mission of Child & Family Resources is to support the development of children, by delivering high quality, responsive, and dynamic professional development to enhance the lifelong learning of families, childcare professionals and the community.

“Dr. Isaza is an exceptional educator and leader,” said Dr. Anthony Iacono, President of CCM. “She is a truly remarkable person who has touched an inestimable number of lives. CCM is very fortunate to have her as a part of our leadership team and New Jersey is fortunate to have a leader of her caliber in the state. I am incredibly proud of her, as is our entire college.”

Dr. Isaza is a CCM alumna and graduated with a B.S. in Biology from the College of St. Elizabeth in 2002. She then received her Ph. D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in 2009. She served as the Chairperson of the Biology and Chemistry Department for CCM for eight years and became the Dean of the School of Health Professions and Natural Sciences in 2021.

As the Dean, she leads a dedicated and enthusiastic team of faculty members who are committed to providing premier educational programs in the areas of biological, chemical, and environmental sciences; health professions including nursing, radiography, respiratory therapy, paramedic science, and occupational therapy assistant; exercise science and personal trainer; landscape and horticultural technology; teacher education specializations and public health.

“I am extremely honored to be one of this year’s S.H.I.N.E. Award recipients,” said Dr. Maria Isaza, Dean of the School of Health Professions and Natural Sciences at CCM. “My fellow awardees are an outstanding group of educators that exemplify S.H.I.N.E’s pillars and it is an honor to be among them. Receiving this award is especially meaningful to me since it recognizes values that are so significant for me such as education and community service.”

Dr. Isaza is also a very active member of her community and is passionate about serving and giving back. She has been a board member of the Advocacy Committee at Employment Horizons since 2019 and was selected by the County Commissioners in 2019 to serve on the Morris Area Paratransit System Citizens Advisory Committee. Dr. Isaza has also been serving as the chair of the Morris County Organization for Hispanic Affairs since 2021 and has been on the Board since 2015.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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