June Dwyer Castano Veritas Awards
36th June Dwyer Castano Veritas Awards Luncheon
Sunday, April 30, 2023
Lunch 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Essex Fells Country Club
219 Devon Rd
Essex Fells, NJ 07021
Sister Mary John Kearney, OP. ’62 – Excellence in Higher Education
Sister has dedicated her life to the Catholic Church and her Dominican Community as an educator of students as a teacher, principal, administrator, supervisor, Associate Professor, and leader among the Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell, including service on the Caldwell University Board of Trustees.
Nancy Hurtz-Soyka ’71 – Excellence in International Relations
Nancy excelled during a distinguished career with the United Nations in numerous leadership positions, then developed a second career in education in the area of ESL (English as a Second Language) including working with new and junior UN staff and the UN retiree association.
Mary Sellitto-Curcio is dedicated to enriching the lives of children. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in English and Business from Caldwell College, and her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Montclair State University. Mary received several certifications and honors, including the Chief School Administrator, the School Business Administrator and the Registered School Business Administrator certificates, the Quality Purchasing Agent certification, and memberships in Sigma Tau Delta and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies.
Mary began her career as the accountant for the Montclair Public School district. She went on to become the School Business Administrator, RSBA for the Essex Regional Educational Services Commission (ERESC), remaining in this role for years until her retirement. She served as president, legislative liaison, and executive board member for the Essex County Association of School Business Officials.
Championing for educational equity, under her leadership, Mary ensured the fiscal stability of the district, while assisting in developing services to over 80 school districts in NJ, particularly advocating for the needs of special education and at-risk students. During her tenure with the ERESC, four special education and alternative education schools were established, including the first full-day alternative school in NJ serving pre-adjudicated middle and high school aged youth within the Essex County Juvenile Detention Center.
Active in the community, Mary coordinates the Verona High School Thomas J. Sellitto Memorial Scholarship in memory of her father, awarding more than a dozen scholarships to future educators. She is a member of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Woman’s Club of Upper Montclair (WCUM). Both of these service organizations provide betterment opportunities, with the WCUM supporting two annual Caldwell University nursing scholarships.
Mary has served on the Caldwell Alumni Board with multiple terms as president. She has served on the strategic planning and Veritas committees and is a member and Secretary of the University’s Board of Trustees. Mary was the recipient of the Peggy Harris Alumni of the Year Award in 2016.
A Wish Granter with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Jersey, (MAWNJ) Mary has worked on over 100 wish granting experiences for children with critical illnesses. Her work has been recognized by local, state, and national news media, including in 2022, Sam Prince’s NFL draft dream wish. Mary has been a member of the MAWNJ program services committee and has served as a fundraiser and spokesperson for the foundation. She has received numerous awards including the 2021 World Wish Day NJ Wish Hero.
Mary and her husband Michael reside in Caldwell with their golden retriever, Delilah Belle.
Roger Monel ’00 – Excellence in Community Activism
Roger boasts nearly six decades in community activism, devoting his time, energy and passion to improving the quality of life for others through such projects as the “I Make A Difference” Awards Scholarship Fund, Welfare to Work, SHARE Food Program, and the Be An Angel Project.
The Veritas Awards, established in honor of the Dominican Sisters who founded and administer the University, celebrate the professional excellence of alumni. Awardees are selected by an independent committee of alumni. Those who receive the award are chosen based on their fulfillment of the following criteria in their lives and careers:
- To seek VERITAS – truth.
- To develop and mature in the philosophy inscribed on the seal of Caldwell University and experienced on the Caldwell campus: SAPIENTIA ET SCIENTIA – WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE.
- To achieve in a chosen profession: integrity, application, perseverance, accomplishment.
- To give of self to family, friends and society.
- To be identified as a leader by associates and community.
For more information, please contact Sharon Dwyer at 973-618-3207 or firstname.lastname@example.org