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Student Success Stories

Marilyn Bastardi, Class of 1966

Marilyn Bastardi

Growing up in a time when the majority of women were educated to follow career paths in either nursing or teaching, I chose the latter.  Since one could not major in education at Caldwell, I selected English as my major, which proved to be advantageous in my career as well in my volunteer activities.  The skills of critical thinking, character analysis, writing, organization, research, and communication developed in English majors brought me from teaching Language Arts to middle-school students and tutoring children with learning disabilities to owning and operating my own printing business.  This led me to employment with a construction management company, where I continue to use my skills in administration, office management, producing trade contracts, and compiling close-out documents for the projects.

As a volunteer I have spent a great deal of my time working with not-for-profit organizations.  Because of my communication and organizational skills, I served as vice president or president of several of these charities.  In addition, I served on the Caldwell University board of trustees and was the chair for two years.  It is important to note that during the time that I served on the board, there were three successive chairs who were Caldwell English major alumni.  I recently joined the Society of St. Vincent de Paul at my local church and continue to use my writing and communication skills to serve as the secretary, manning the help line, interacting with clients during interviews, and generating reports.

Anne McGill, Class of 1971
Anne McGill

Anne McGill, Class of 1971

Growing up, I dreamed of being a writer. I chose Caldwell because Sr. Rita Margaret assured me I could spend my junior year in Europe, and I did! From Caldwell, I flew to graduate school in Nebraska, where a part-time job introduced me to the V.P. of Training. Hired as his assistant, I adapted my learning and skills to edit manuals, develop scripts, produce training videos, and write and conduct management training programs. Returning East, I joined a bank for a training position –  hired because I was an English major and could write!  I fell into Human Resources as Employment Manager, then moved into positions including HR Manager, SVP Human Resources and HR Consultant. In each role, my writing, training, and problem-solving skills landed me jobs and assignments.  At one point, I wondered what happened to my dream. Then, I realized I had been writing – just not novels!

My adventure continues: I am an adjunct professor  – College Writing and Research. I still provide HR consulting services: Affirmative Action and Salary Plans.  Oh yes, I write historical novels – for fun!  Life can take you to unexpected places – openness, curiosity, and good will make it an exciting adventure.  I have been fortunate to have received encouragement, opportunities, and support on my journey.

mARY lINDROTH, Class of 1983
Mary Lindroth, English professor, single photo.

Dr. Mary Lindroth, Class of 1983

Dr. Mary Lindroth graduated summa cum laude from Caldwell College with her B.A. in History in 1983. She then attended the University of Iowa, earning both her M.A. and Ph.D. in English in 1986 and 1997, respectively. Lindroth’s dissertation, titled “The Mixed Audiences and Comic Practices of Early Modern English Drama,” enabled her to combine her love for both the dramatic arts and literary history into this final work. While she is highly knowledgeable on the subjects of Renaissance literature and drama, she teaches a variety of classes in areas such as the drama in performance series, women’s studies/literature courses, literature courses focused on drama or the arts, and college writing. Dr. Lindroth loves to attend plays in the NYC area, as well as Professor John Yurko’s Saturday morning screenings of films prior to their release, and she annually directs the English Department Gathering performances.

Scott Christian Carr, Class of 1993

Scott CarrScott Christian Carr has been a radio talk show host, editor of a flying saucer magazine, fishmonger, spelunker, journalist, TV producer, stand-up comedian, creative writing lecturer, psychonaut and author. His published novels include HIRAM GRANGE & THE TWELVE LITTLE HITLERS, which Lloyd Kaufman (President of Troma Entertainment and Creator of the Toxic Avenger) calls, “More fun than a barrel full of Hitlers… The best novel since Don Quixote!” and his latest WASTELAND BLUES (co-authored with Andrew Conry-Murray), a post-apocalyptic tale and the first book of a trilogy.

Carr is an award-winning writer and producer of film/television. He is the Sr. Writer/Co-Creator of The Learning Channel (TLC) television series DEAD TENANTS. As Head of Development for both the Emmy Award-winning Triple Threat Television and the Academy Award-nominated Fredric Golding Productions Scott developed original programming for MSNBC, ESPN, CNBC, A&E, The Hallmark Channel, Discovery Networks and The Learning Channel.

To view Scott’s online portfolio, click HERE:


To view Scott’s novel on Amazon, click HERE:


Danielle Kopp (Schmidt), Class of 2003
Danielle Kopp (Schmidt), Class of 2003

Danielle Kopp (Schmidt), Class of 2003

When I entered Caldwell as a freshman, I knew I wanted to be a teacher, but I thought I’d teach elementary school.  After doing some field work, I realized that I was not meant to work with the little ones and quickly switched my major to secondary education.  I was already majoring in English.  I graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2003, won the education department award, and have been teaching English for the last 16 years!  I also earned a Masters degree from Marygrove College and have 75 additional graduate credits in the fields of English and education.  I spent 10 years teaching 8th grade English at Sparta Middle School and the last 6 years teaching at Sparta High School, focusing on British and World Literature and Contemporary Literature.  Twice I was awarded the “Governor’s Teacher of the Year Award” in my district, in 2009 and 2014. The years I spent as part of the English Department at Caldwell College was some of the best of my life. To be guided by such caring and intelligent professors was such a gift.

For Danielle’s complete story, please click HERE. 

Samantha Curreli, Class of 2016
Samantha Curreli, Class of 2016, headshot photo.

Samantha Curreli, Class of 2016

I recently graduated from graduate school and am now a copywriter and content coordinator for a fair trade art business in Florida. I write content for the website as well as their print catalog, create press releases, collaborate with the art department on various projects, draw plans for social media and marketing, and conduct research and apply it to my writing. Honestly, I had no idea I would grow so much as a writer within my first year of Caldwell. By the time I graduated, I’d been published, landed a job as a journalist, and was getting set to attend graduate school. I knew from day one as an English major that I would have to, at one point or another, sit for three hours to take my English Compositions, as my father had almost 20 years prior. So I took my writing and literature courses very seriously and worked with the professors during office hours so I could tighten my prose. This not only gave me excellent writing skills, but taught me determination and perseverance.
I also learned how to take charge of what I love. In my sophomore year, I found myself taking the role as managing editor of Calyx Literary and Art Magazine. With help from the magazine’s advisor, Mary Ladany, and many good and talented friends, we were able to continue the magazine and even held a few fundraisers for it. By the time I left, we had enough interest to host a few readings and a writing workshop.

For the full interview with Samantha Curreli, CLICK HERE:

Check out Samantha’s Latest Work:

Eya Haddouche, Class of 2017

Photo of Eya Haddouche inside the Werner Hall.

I started out wanting to be a professor, then changed to my current interest in becoming a theatre director. I didn’t know that Caldwell University had drama classes let alone a drama minor. I took one drama class and loved it, then took the others and found I could build it up to the minor. I love the academic side of being an English major and the creative side of the drama minor, so I decided that eventually I do still want to become a professor, but I want to become a director first. Another thing: I was very shy as a freshman. I had just come out of homeschooling and never imagined how involved I would become. I remember meeting my future best friends in Mary Ladany’s office during my first Calyx meeting. I attended more events and eventually helped lead some events, too. Overall, I’m really thankful for the way that things turned out!

To view the full interview, click HERE.

To view an abstract from Eya’s publication, click HERE.

Catherine Stansfield, Class of 2017
Catherine Stansfield, Class of 2017, headshot photo.

Catherine Stansfield, Class of 2017

I’m currently working as a publishing assistant and book cover designer for Writer’s Relief. In this position, I take part of many of the duties needed to transform ideas into publications. I research the publishing industry, format and proofread works, create engaging blog posts and social media content for writers, and so much more. I have also always had a knack for technology and graphic design, but I am now able to apply these skills to helping writers transform the ideas and motifs behind their works into the book covers of their dreams. Caldwell’s English department is rigorous, yet autonomous. The entire English department pushed me to higher and higher levels of quality and thought, yet let me explore my own topics and interests to transform into academic writing. This has made me not only a stronger writer, but a stronger thinker. Caldwell also shapes us into advanced technical writers, which can make any business or industry better. Other majors train you for one goal, like becoming a nurse, an accountant, etc. English majors can take our writing skills and have a flexible work experience and more opportunities. Because of this, I have had the opportunity to work in the medical, industrial, and beauty industries.

For Catherine’s full interview, CLICK HERE.

To view a Netflix review written by Catherine, CLICK HERE.

Abigail Wortman, Class of 2017
Headshot photo of Abigail Wortman, Caldwell University Graduate.

Abigail Wortman, Class of 2017

After attending Caldwell I decided to attend graduate school for Speech-Language Pathology at Monmouth University. Right now I am currently taking four classes, as well as seeing my own clients. My advice to current English majors is to write, read, and talk to your professors. I know it is hard to find time to write and read for pleasure, but it is so important. It really helps you explore the world around you and your place in it. And talk to your professors! They are honestly so helpful. Each of them helped me through not only my classes, but decisions that helped shape my life after college. They also make great book recommendations. I have been honored to have some of my original work published. I had a short story of mine published on Reader’s Digest’s website. I have also had some of my poetry and photography published in three of Caldwell’s Calyx issues. I also have poetry that was set to be published in a book written by my dear late friend Sister Vivien. So far the majority of my published work has been poetry, and I would love to continue writing poetry, although I also love prose.

To view the full interview, click HERE.

To read the prologue of Abbey’s novel, click HERE.

Megan Ilievski, Class of 2018
Megan Ilievski, Class of 2018 single smiling photo.

Megan Ilievski, Class of 2018

I am currently a Guest Coordinator at the FOX Business Network. I work with bookers and producers of
various teams to make sure all guests are in studio on time and ready to go for their segments for eight
live shows of FOX Business. I am so extremely thankful for my degree in English. In my opinion, majoring
in English is one of the best majors to receive a degree in because of the various paths you can take in
regard to your career, and also because of the many skills you  perfect when taking classes and reading the best literary works in the world. I have applied not only my writing skills to my current job, but critical thinking skills, as well. Considering the number of literary works I have read, especially the many works of Shakespeare, I have caught myself having discussions about literature with political guests in the FOX Business studio.

To read Megan’s full interview, click HERE