“We love this college and all it has done for this community,” says Dr. Vivek Agnihotri, associate professor of nursing at County College of Morris (CCM).
The Agnihotri family, of Rockaway, has been a part of the CCM community since 1986 when Vivek enrolled in the college's Nursing program. After two years of education, he landed his first job at Dover General Hospital, now part of Saint Clare’s Health System. There he met his wife, Ngawang, who is also a CCM graduate and nurse. The couple met while attending their first job orientation.
Vivek immigrated to America in 1984 from India after attending Bombai University. Like many students, he needed to work to pay for his education. He worked full time in KMart and went to school full time.
After earning his master’s degree at William Paterson University, he continued to work for St. Clare’s Health System and published several articles on infection control. In 2003, an adjunct faculty position opened up at CCM and he was hired for the position.
“I love teaching and giving back,” says Vivek. “I always wanted to be in health care but being able to teach is something I really enjoy.”
His daughter Natasha graduated from Rutgers University where she pursued a degree in public health. Unsure about her next step, her father encouraged her to enroll in CCM’s Nursing program, which is now a family tradition. She graduated in January with the Nursing Class of 2014.
“The graduation was special because my dad was able to pin me at graduation,” says Natasha.
She is currently attending Ramapo College and pursuing a Bachelor of Science Nursing degree. She hopes to follow in her parents’ footsteps and work in health care.
At CCM, father, mother and daughter each have taken classes taught by Professor Ellen Mascia, whom they describe as one of the most influential professors they have had.
Now Vivek’s son Akash is attending CCM and hopes to enroll in the Nursing program as well.
Referring to a former slogan used by the college, Vivek notes, “We all started right.”
Photo: Natasha Agnihotri, of Rockaway, CCM nursing graduate, poses with her father, Dr. Vivek Agnihotri, professor of nursing at CCM. Natasha’s mother also is a CCM nursing graduate, and her brother is also now attending the college.