MORRIS COUNTY — Don Phelps, director of Campus Life at County College of Morris (CCM), is the sole recipient of the 2020 Two Year College Professional Service Award presented by the Association of College Unions International (ACUI). The award acknowledges a professional at a two-year institution who exemplifies excellence in the enhancement of college life and is recognized by peers as a leader and person of integrity. Phelps initially was to receive the award at the ACUI conference in Atlanta but that event has been postponed.
Phelps is humbled by the acknowledgement, stating, “It’s a challenge to keep a campus life program thriving when people don’t live on campus and are only around for two years. Being recognized by my peers is overwhelming.”
Phelps attributes the success of CCM’s Campus Life programs to his team that helps manage the details in making student events happen.
“We congratulate Don on this very prestigious award. He is extremely deserving and we are so fortunate to have him as part of the CCM team,” remarks Dr. Bette Simmons, vice president, Student Development and Enrollment Management.
Phelps has been working with college students in various capacities for 30 years. He began his career at Fairleigh Dickinson University as the director for its Greek Life system and Recreation department. He then worked at William Paterson University as the Greek Life assistant director. For over 18 years, Phelps has been working with students at CCM, first serving as the associate director of Campus Life and most recently as the director of Campus Life.
When Phelps started at CCM there were less than 20 clubs on campus and now there are over 50 clubs. Phelps was instrumental in connecting clubs with departments to create robust and meaningful collaborative campus events. Faculty members serve as advisors to the student-run clubs.
“Interacting with students in a two-year setting is rewarding, especially helping them grow as leaders,” says Phelps. “One of the club presidents was very hesitant to take the position. Working with her, I witnessed her giving a speech in front of 400 people. To watch students grow like that is awesome.”
One of the greatest CCM accomplishments for Phelps was Titans Weekend, which was held in 2019 as part of the college’s 50th anniversary celebrations. The weekend consisted of a three-day celebration that included a gala, community fair and a 5K race. Another milestone was the re-opening of the Student Community Center (SCC) following an extensive renovation.
Phelps is most appreciative to his supportive family who understands when he has to work an event on the weekend. Phelps resides in Parsippany with his wife, Karen, his daughter Abigail, who is a junior in high school, and son Andrew, who is in middle school.
To learn more about CCM Campus Life click here.