The Signal

Serving the College since 1885

Tuesday October 4th


The ROSCOE Educators program aims to assist first-generation students with their transition to life at the College (Instagram / @tcnjschoolofeducation). 

School of Education professor spearheads mentorship program

What really makes a first-generation college student? Is it just a matter of whether someone in your family has gone to college before you? What if they attended, but did not graduate? These are the questions that Dr. Nadya Pancsofar, an early childhood special education professor and undergraduate coordinator at the College, has been attempting to answer as part of her “ROSCOE Educators” program, which began in January. A mentorship program, it pairs student mentors with younger first-generation students who need help navigating their college experience. The mentors themselves are first-generation students — in hopes that they might better understand how to help student participants.

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The Simulation Lab in Forcina Hall has five beds and two examination rooms ( 

Virtual reality: The new way of learning

In a large classroom in Forcina Hall with furniture ready to be moved around and headsets ready to be placed over eyes, the College’s nursing department is slowly introducing virtual reality, or VR, into simulation laboratories as a method of teaching for nursing students. A handful of junior nursing students are working with Chelsea Lebo, a professor of nursing and the simulation coordinator at the College, to familiarize themselves with VR learning and determine if it can be fully integrated into nursing simulation labs. 

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Ewing Green Team presents $990 donation to HomeFront after the fifth annual Ewing Fall Spin (Photo courtesy of the Sustainable Ewing Green Team). 

The Ewing Green Team is working to keep the city clean

With a population of almost 40 thousand people, Ewing Township, N.J. is a very large town with a lot going on in it. With so many people, waste is inevitable. To combat this, the town has a group of volunteers who are doing what they can to help make the town a more eco-friendly place and reduce waste. Not many people are aware of them, but the Ewing Green Team has been very active in Ewing with their efforts.

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The solar panels currently under construction are just one example of the work that the ESC is doing (Elizabeth Gladstone / Staff Photographer).

The College ESC’s Greener Going Forward plan: How much has the council accomplished?

Have you ever wondered what the planet will look like in 30, 40 or 50 years from now? The College’s Environmental Sustainability Council (ESC), which consists of 10 to 12 members, ponders this question all the time. The ESC’s Greener Going Forward plan is all about making strides to a sustainable, green future. The plan was created in 2020 by Brian Potter, an associate professor of political science and international studies at the College, along with various faculty members, staff, students and student clubs. The plan served as a time frame for when different green implementations would go into effect. 

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With the arrival of spring comes the spring planting season, and a flurry of activity in the College’s campus garden. Many of the garden’s volunteers are part of the Bonner Scholars Program, but all College students are welcome to volunteer at and spend time in the Bonner Garden(Octavia Feliciano/Staff Writer).

Spring means planting season for the Bonner Garden

The work begins in the greenhouse on the third floor of the biology building. There, student and faculty volunteers tend to a wide variety of seedlings destined for the College’s Bonner Garden.  After the last frost date, sometime in mid to late April, a variety of peas, peppers and herbs will be the first to leave the greenhouse for the garden. When the weather grows warmer other crops like tomatoes will follow them.

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May, in the middle holding the peace sign, along with Kappa Theta Phi members at Six Flags Great Adventure (Instagram @kdptcnj).  

Class of 2022 seniors look ahead: what's next?

The start of the spring semester means that, for the class of 2022, graduation is just around the corner. Being prepared for graduation is ultimately what students work toward throughout their time at the College, bringing forth an array of emotions when the time finally comes.

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Members of the Alpha Xi Delta sorority at a bonding event (Photo courtesy of Kelly Biancamano).

Greek life returning to normalcy – but not without limitations

After a full year of activities that were completely dependent on the state of Covid-19, sorority life in Alpha Xi Delta (AXID) is finally shifting back to the way it was when junior Kelly Biancamano entered it: free of lagging screens, crashing computers and Zoom links.  “We had some Zoom events last semester, but not many people showed up,” Biancamano, an early childhood education and iSTEM major, said. “They all had Zoom fatigue.”

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The new SACNAS chapter is dedicated to increasing diversity in STEM at the College (

College establishes new SACNAS chapter to support diversity in STEM

“CELEBRATION, NOT ASSIMILATION.” The Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) website itself says it all. SACNAS is an organization that is dedicated to achieving true diversity in the STEM field. The organization focuses on helping build a community for a wide array of students from diverse backgrounds with an interest in the sciences. 

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The Online Practice Suite will allow preservice teachers to use simulations to practice holding mathematical discussions in the classroom (

Simulations in the classroom: Teaching the teachers

In the upcoming fall 2022 semester, School of Education students will have more opportunities to use virtual reality and simulation tools to further their own education. While simulations have been used at the College since 2018, the Online Practice Suite (OPS) allows preservice teachers to use a set of three different practice-based simulations to assist them in learning classroom methodologies in math and science. The OPS refers to the three different technologies that are part of a broader project that Drs. Cathy Liebars and Rachel Snider of the Mathematics and Statistics department are participating in.

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(Stephanie Shen, Photo Editor / TCNJ Signal)

Practicancelled part one — the student perspective

 For nearly two years, classrooms in schools across the country have looked starkly different. Now, students are returning to classrooms that sat empty in exchange for their virtual counterparts. And while normalcy seems to be returning, the impact of this departure from the classroom is still felt, and not just by the children. 

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