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Nursing Students Provide Health Care on Mission Trip in Honduras

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The Caldwell University Global Medical/Dental Brigades 2016 Team on their recent mission trip to Honduras.

Caldwell, N.J., Feb. 8, 2016 – Eleven Caldwell University nursing and health study students put their academic and clinical experience into action by volunteering at a health clinic in Honduras during winter break. The Caldwell chapter of the organization Global Brigades worked at a clinic in the rural mountain community of Jalaca, two hours from the capital of Tegucigalpa. There they performed triage assessments, took blood pressure screenings and checked vital signs.

On a mission trip to Honduras, Caldwell University Nursing student Taylor Ostrowski lets a child listen to the sound of his heart.

On a mission trip to Honduras, Caldwell University Nursing student Taylor Ostrowski lets a child listen to the sound of his heart.

Nicole Grandeza, a senior, said it was a rewarding to see that their health care knowledge “came out naturally … our observations were supported by the doctors.”

Jonayris Reyna, also a senior, said the mission trip came at a time when the seniors needed the experience because “we are going into what is probably going to be our toughest semester ever.”

Global Brigades is a nonprofit organization that organizes student teams to help communities with their health care needs.

Caldwell’s team was led by nursing professor Marnie Sperling. They  worked with students from Purdue University. Several Caldwell students provided Spanish translation.

Reyna recalled a man who came in needing a composite filling and was embarrassed to have his photo taken. After receiving dental care from Professor Sperling, who is dentist, “his smile did a 360,” said Reyna.

Sperling was proud of her students and their “professionalism, compassion and resilience.”

“The hard-work ethic and leadership that they exhibited exemplified their dedication to the community, which is consistent with Caldwell University’s mission. It was an experience that will stay with me forever,” said Sperling.

Grandeza and Reyna want to return and volunteer again to see how the people used the health care teachings they provided.

The students pointed to many gifts from the trip including making new friends, learning how to build an ecostove, obtaining a better understanding of others’ living conditions and developing empathy.

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Eric Olsen ReVision Jazz Quartet to Perform “Sea Changes” CD Release Concert at Caldwell University

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The Eric Olsen ReVision Jazz Group will perform the release concert for its CD “Sea Changes” at  Caldwell University 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016, in the Alumni Theatre.

“We are looking forward to presenting ‘Sea Changes’ at Caldwell University,” says Olsen, a jazz and classical pianist and composer.  “The album combines classic melodies with jazz improvisations, creating an exciting new art experience that transcends musical boundaries. It gives familiar and beautiful melodies a new framework from which listeners can find their own deeply musical connections.”

Among the selections will be “Elegy,” originally written for solo cello and orchestra. Olsen says he has taken “the gorgeous opening melody and given it an open and spacious quality in the style of the classic ECM recordings of the 1970s.”  Other classical selections that Olsen has reimagined in a jazz style for this CD include the familiar hymn “Be Thou My Vision” and standards such as Sibelius’s “Finlandia” and Chopin’s “Waltz in C Sharp Minor.”

Concert series director Laura Greenwald says Olsen is a “superb musician whose joy of performing is contagious. His introductions are interesting and engaging, and his playing is brilliant.” The jazz group is known for fusing the emotion of classic melodies with the fun of jazz improvisation, transforming music from Chopin to Grieg to George Harrison in an innovative way.

As music director at Union Congregational Church in Montclair, Olsen has conducted and performed many staples of the classical choral literature and leads a jazz ensemble in his own unique arrangements of hymns and original works for jazz services.

The snow date is Thursday, Feb. 25, at 8 p.m.

General admission for most concerts is $20; tickets for students and seniors are $10. Tickets will be available online, through mail order and at the door. For more information, contact Laura Greenwald at 973-618-3520.

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Caldwell University Adds Sprint Football

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CALDWELL, N.J.- Caldwell University has added Sprint Football to its sports program, increasing its varsity sports opportunities to 16. The Cougars will compete in the Collegiate Sprint Football League which will now include 10 teams.

Caldwell will hire a full-time sprint football coach in the Summer of 2016 and begin its first season in the fall of 2017. “We are extremely thankful to the membership of the CSFL for accepting us into this prestigious football conference,” said Assistant Vice President and Director of Athletics Mark A. Corino. “As the tenth member, it will afford the conference the opportunity to have two divisions and a balanced schedule. With the expansion to our 16th varsity program and seventh male sport, the athletics department is excited and enthusiastic about playing a major role in the continued growth of our institution.”

The Cougars will join the nine members of the CSFL: Army West Point, Chestnut Hill College, Cornell University, Franklin Pierce University, Mansfield University, the U.S. Naval Academy, Post University, Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania.

Caldwell University President Nancy Blattner added, “Sprint football will increase the vitality of the student life experience at Caldwell and create an opportunity for the local community to become more involved with the university, our events and our students. Personally, I am thrilled with this addition to our sports offerings and look forward to our first game in fall 2017.”

Sprint football is a full-contact, intercollegiate, varsity sport and has the same rules as regular college football, except that all players must weigh 172 pounds or less. The league has existed since before World War II.

“We are excited to add football as our 16th athletic program and to be accepted into the sprint football league, with such a rich history, is quite an honor,” said Caldwell University Vice President for Enrollment Management and Communications Joseph Posillico.

Sprint football was created in 1934 by University of Pennsylvania president Thomas Sovereign Gates, who wanted to give smaller athletes a chance to play the sport. Michigan, Rutgers and Villanova once fielded sprint teams but have discontinued their programs. Penn and Princeton are the remaining original members from the league’s inception in 1934. All CSFL members are from the Northeast.

“It is a pleasure to welcome Caldwell University to the Collegiate Sprint Football League and we are excited about the future of our league,” said CSFL Commissioner Matthew Munnelly. “Caldwell University will be a great representative for the state of New Jersey. We look forward to a long and flourishing relationship.”

The league has gained four schools since 2008, including CACC members Post University and Chestnut Hill College. Future President Jimmy Carter played sprint, then known as “lightweight football,” at the Naval Academy as did Patriots owner Bob Kraft at Columbia University. George Allen, the Hall of Fame coach, began his career as a sprint assistant at the University of Michigan.

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Faculty and Students Meet Nobel Laureate Kurt Wüthrich at Eastern Analytical Symposium and Present Poster

In front of poster (left to right) Dr. Berki, Dr. Commodari, Jen (Dohe) Han (Biology, Freshman), Marli Pimenta (presenting author, B.A., Biology, 2015), and Nikayla Goldenberg (Chemistry, Freshman)

Students meet Nobel Laureate Kurt Wüthrich (left to right) Dr. Fernando Commodari (Assistant Professor, Chemistry & Physics , Natural & Physical Sciences Department), Tulaja Shrestha (Junior & double major, Biology & Chemistry), Dr. Wüthrich, and Romina Ghale (Freshman, Biology

Freshmen, Jen (Dohe) Han (Freshman, Biology) and Nikayla Goldenberg (Freshman, Chemistry) visit exhibition that included over 400 Analytical Sciences vendors.

At Garden State Exposition Center. Somerset, NJ with Caldwell University students: Favour Garuba (Sophmore, Health Sciences), Rira Lee (Sophmore, Health Sciences), Tulaja Shrestha (Junior & double major, Biology & Chemistry) and Romina Ghale (Freshman, Biology)

Left to right Tulaja Shrestha (Junior & double major, Biology & Chemistry), Romina Ghale (Freshman, Biology), Professor Fernando Commodari (Natural and Physical Sciences), Favour Garuba (Sophmore, Health Sciences), and Rira Lee (Sophmore, Health Sciences), waiting for the plenary lecture to start.

Caldwell, N.J., Feb. 2, 2016 – Science faculty and students had the thrill of meeting Nobel Laureate Kurt Wüthrich at the Eastern Analytical Symposium in November.

Biology Professor Agnes Berki and Chemistry and Physics Professor Fernando Commodari, along with nine students in biology and chemistry, attended the conference held in Somerset, New Jersey. They presented their peer-reviewed work, “Antibiotic Effects of Essential Oils: Clove and Oregano Oils, on Cariogenic Bacteria as Studied by Microbiological and NMR Techniques,” as poster 199 in the Bioanalysis II session on Nov. 17. Marli Pimenta, who received her bachelor’s degree in biology in 2015, presented the original research findings showing that oregano-essential oil and clove-essential oil inhibit cariogenic bacteria more selectively than good bacteria.

Several students attended a plenary lecture on Nov. 16 on “NMR: From Man to Molecules,” given by Nobel Laureate Kurt Wüthrich. Berki said Wüthrich recounted how original ideas in science don’t immediately have obvious applications that directly impact humanity. “There have been several Nobel prizes awarded in the area of developing nuclear magnetic resonance methodology long before the now-familiar MRI images that we all recognize in clinical diagnostic and research medicine/science.”

After the talk, some of the students were introduced to Wüthrich by Commodari, who almost 25 years ago was invited to do his postdoctoral studies using nuclear magnetic resonance at ETH in the Wüthrich lab. “I was delighted to introduce our students to a guru of mine, Professor Wüthrich, who spoke with them about graduate research now underway in his group at Scripps, La Jolla, California,” said Commodari.

Junior Tulaja Shrestha , who is majoring in biology and chemistry, said she appreciated the opportunity to meet “such a humble genius.” It was “especially great to be able to pick a Nobel laureate’s brain and learn more about his contribution to chemistry.” Wüthrich received the Nobel prize in chemistry in 2002.

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Choose New Jersey President Says Providing Students with More Garden State-Based Internships Will Grow Leaders and New Jersey’s Economy

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Michele Brown, president of Choose New Jersey (front center), speaks to chairs, associate deans, and directors from academic support areas about making more New Jersey-based internships available to college students.

Caldwell, N.J., Jan. 29, 2016 – Michele Brown, president and CEO of Choose New Jersey, visited Caldwell University on Jan. 26 to discuss ways to make more New Jersey-based internships available to college students. Speaking to chairs, associate deans, and directors from academic support areas, she said that Choose New Jersey’s slogan is “highly educated and perfectly located” and that New Jersey has numerous successful companies and nonprofits where students can find enriching internships and start their careers.

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Michele Brown (right), president of Choose New Jersey, was invited by Dr. Barbara Chesler (left), vice president of academic affairs, to speak about Choose New Jersey’s work in making more internships in the Garden State available to students.

To encourage New Jersey students to stay in the state for their college education, Brown said Choose New Jersey has launched Smart Students, a pilot program to provide the best and brightest students from Newark and Camden with scholarships and paid internships. According to Choose New Jersey, some 30,000 students leave New Jersey for out-of-state colleges. Brown stressed the importance of encouraging students to stay in the state for higher education so they will remain after graduation, become leaders and contribute to New Jersey’s economic growth, which will attract more businesses to the Garden State.

She encouraged university personnel to reach out and to engage in conversations with the business community, form relationships and invite successful alumni to campus to talk to students. We are “enormously proud of our state and all the opportunities that are available, but it is incumbent on us to sell our story,” she said.

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Lauren Engelhardt on track for success at Lake Hopatcong tech company

When it comes to business, Lauren Engelhardt doesn’t mince words.

She attributes much of her professional success to being outspoken and backing up those words with hard work. As vice president of Stascom Technologies — an information technology firm based in the Lake Hopatcong section of Jefferson Township — Engelhardt knows all too well the adage of saying what you mean and meaning what you say.

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Caldwell Students Serve in Remote Villages in Belize

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Caldwell, N.J., Feb. 1, 2016 – Seven Caldwell University students spent part of their winter break serving in remote villages in southern Belize, Central America.

Katlyn Houtz, a junior and an education and psychology major, said highlights for her were working in the school in Dolores where they assembled the framing for dividing walls for classrooms and having the opportunity to get to know the principal. “I loved her story,” said Houtz, explaining that the teacher grew up in a village and was very good at mechanics and engineering but her father wanted her to become a teacher. She was able to attend high school and college, which is not the norm for females. Now that principal is focused on making education more readily available to girls.

Professor Thomson Ling, associate professor of sociology and counseling, was one of the chaperones. He was happy they could help build basic things to improve people’s lives. “On the first day, we constructed steps that would allow children at the school to reach the dumpster when throwing out classroom trash.” They also helped with building the walls to divide the one- room building into separate classrooms. “I can’t imagine what it was like to learn in an open space where there are several other classes and teachers all trying to run classes at the same time.”

John McLaughlin, a junior and a nursing major, was struck by the poverty of the region and by how welcoming and polite the people were. After seeing what the Mayan people go without in material terms, he could only tell himself, “Don’t complain.”

The group painted the exterior of a church in the small village of Pueblo Viejo and “spent a day in Santa Cruz removing an old, rusty tin roof off of a church and preparing the structure for reroofing,” said Ling.

At first it was an adjustment to go without the comforts of home including Internet access, being able to text anytime and all the time or eating what they wanted when they wanted. But by doing without they gained. “It was nice to disconnect. It makes you look at things in front of you,” said Houtz. They got a break from having to “post this or that,” said McLaughlin.

Houtz said that the atmosphere made “you take a step back from what you are used to … you gain insights into how they live … they appreciate what they have, their family, their religion,” she said.

The other chaperones were Tim Kessler-Cleary, director of student engagement, and Meghan Moran, assistant director of student engagement. The other students who attended were Catherine Carlson, Sean Puzzo, Alyssa Otto, Danielle Schiavone and Amy Hickman.

This was the third time the university had sponsored a mission trip to the Toledo district on the Caribbean Sea. In addition to their service work, the group attended Mass at St. Peter Claver Church in Punta Gorda and took a trip to the Mayan ruins in Lubbantun.

Ling said the most rewarding part of the trip for him was seeing the dedication of the Caldwell students. “No matter what the task, our students stepped up to do it. I don’t recall a single complaint from any of our students the entire trip. You could really tell our students were there for the right reasons.” He said the trip underscored how people are connected. “No matter distance or culture, there are commonalities that we share. Just because there were cultural or language differences didn’t mean we couldn’t come together and accomplish great things.” One of his memories was interacting with a villager in Dolores. “We spoke different languages and mostly communicated with gestures and the few words of English he knew, but it was clear we were both motivated to construct the classroom walls.”

In the evenings after their workday, the Caldwell students and staff gathered for dinner and chores and were able to enjoy time with each other without distractions. “Everyone on this campus should go,” said McLaughlin.

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I Can’t Sleep at Night: Selected Works by Kia Dyson” Art Exhibition at Caldwell University

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Caldwell, N.J., Jan. 19, 2016 – The Visceglia Gallery at Caldwell University will present, “I Can’t Sleep at Night: Selected Works by Kia Dyson.” This exciting solo exhibition will feature Dyson’s diverse creative works from her powerful digital collages and consciousness-raising posters to her fashion and portrait photography.

The exhibition opens Feb. 12 and runs through March 14. A reception will be held Friday, Feb.19, from 5 to 8 p.m. with a snow date of Friday, Feb. 26.

A Baltimore native, Dyson is a visual artist whose creative energies and vision take inspiration from multiple sources. Dyson began her career as a freelance commercial and fashion photographer for a wide range of clients. As her career grew and her life experiences expanded, so did her awareness of the relative position of women and people of color working in the creative fields. Both appeared to her to be underrepresented or even absent. She chose to incorporate more women of color in her freelance fashion work and also began a series of portraits that focused on men, women and children of color. Throughout her professional and personal work she has always been deeply committed to producing images of beauty and of African-American people.

Dyson says she was inspired to become a strong advocate for equal beauty standards for dark and light skin tones after often seeing gender and normative beauty biases in the commercial fashion world. Outside of the fashion world she found herself increasingly engaged with the continued oppression of people of color and has responded to it by creating drawings and digital collages. These became visual tools for discussions around the black body and the black experience. Dyson expresses her commitment to this work when she writes, “My concern for the history and future of black people is the fuel that drives much of my work. Black women, for example, with their various hairstyles and hero mentality and often standing on the front lines of social justice movements, are the inspiration behind most of my drawings.”

Included in the exhibition will be works from recent collections including, “Still Black, Black Gold” and her most recent, Colors in My Mind,” an abstract digital art exploration based on the colors seen in the media’s recurring images of violence against African- Americans.

Her photography work has been on display at the Reginald Lewis Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago and the Aljira Center of Contemporary Art.  She has also displayed her digital collage work at Scope in Miami during the Art Basel Miami Beach International Art Fair.

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Poetry Celebration with Marie Howe

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Poetry Celebration at Caldwell University to Feature Poet Marie Howe

The Tower Poets at Caldwell University will hold its annual Poetry Celebration featuring poet Marie Howe April 13, 6 p.m., in the Alumni Theatre.

Ms. Howe was awarded the 2015 Academy of American Poets Fellowship. Her most recent poetry collection The Kingdom of Ordinary Time (W.W. Norton, 2009) was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Her previous work includes The Good Thief (1988) which was chosen by Margaret Atwood for the National Poetry Series. This collection, laced with Biblical and mythical allusions, was selected by Kunitz for the Lavan Younger Poets Prize from the American Academy of Poets. In 1997, What the Living Do formed an elegy to her brother John who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1989.

Howe has taught at Tufts University, Dartmouth College, Sarah Lawrence College, Columbia University and NYU. She has received fellowships from The Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College, The National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She was the Poet Laureate of New York State from 2012-2014.

Born in Rochester New York, Howe studied at the University of Windsor and worked as a newspaper reporter and teacher before earning her MFA from Columbia University.

The event is free and open to the public and is being made possible by the Sister Elizabeth Michael Boyle Poetry Celebration Fund.

For information contact: Sister Elizabeth Michael Boyle, O.P. at emichael@caldwell.edu or 973-619-3327.

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“Aquinas, Liturgy, Prayer” Lecture to Celebrate 800th Anniversary of Order of Preachers

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Father Innocent Smith, O.P. will present on “Aquinas, Liturgy, Prayer” on Feb. 1

Celebrating the 800th anniversary of the Order of Preachers, the Theology/Philosophy Department at Caldwell University will continue its Sister Maura Campbell, O.P., Lecture Series on Feb. 1 with a talk on St. Thomas Aquinas.

Father Innocent Smith, O.P., of St. Vincent Ferrer Priory in New York City will speak on “Aquinas, Liturgy, Prayer” 4 to 5 p.m. in the Alumni Theatre.

Father Smith, O.P., a Dominican friar of the Province of St. Joseph, serves as parochial vicar at the Parish of St. Vincent Ferrer and St. Catherine of Siena on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

He will speak about how St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the most influential theologians in the history of the Catholic Church, was deeply influenced by his life of communal prayer in the Dominican order. He will explore the connection between Thomas’s prayer life and his theological writing, drawing on the rich resources offered throughout the “Summa Theologiae” and the saint’s other writings. The talk will draw from Father Smith’s research for his licentiate of sacred theology thesis “In Collecta Dicitur: The Oration as a Theological Authority for Thomas Aquinas” for which he received the 2015 Circolo San Tommaso d’Aquino Veritas et Amor thesis prize.

Father Smith studied music and philosophy at the University of Notre Dame before entering the Order of Preachers in 2008. He studied theology at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., and was ordained to the priesthood in May 2015.

The lecture series will continue on Tuesday, April 12, when Sister Judith Miryam Boneski, O.P., will present on “Dominic’s First Daughters: In the Heart of the Holy Preaching.” Sister is director of advancement at the Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary in Summit, New Jersey, and is a Caldwell College alumna. The lecture will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Student Center Gym.

The lecture series is named after Sister Maura, who was a Sister of St. Dominic of Caldwell. She was a theologian, philosopher, professor, researcher and national leader in education whose scholarship and teaching spanned 50 years.

For further information, call 973-618-3931.