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Veritas Award 2012

Excellence in Sociology Education
Rosann Rovento Bar ’82, Ph.D.

When Rosann completed her BA summa cum laude in Sociology at Caldwell College, she was urged to continue in the field by Dr. Rina Spano, who recognized her potential.  As she pursued her doctorate at Columbia University, Rosann took every opportunity to lecture at Rutgers University, Hunter College, Columbia University and at Caldwell College.   In 1997, after years as an adjunct, she accepted a full-time teaching position at Caldwell.

From the beginning, Rosann’s teaching career has displayed a penchant for innovation and experimentation, and she has been fearless in accepting unusual challenges in delivery, location and audience. Rosann was the first professor to teach on-site at Verizon in Newark when the on-site corporate agreements were inaugurated.  She has developed and taught courses specific to the cultures of Hawaii, Spain, France, Sicily, Greece, Argentina, Korea, Ireland and Mexico for the students in her short term travel abroad classes. She has taught External Degree classes for 15 years and her department, Criminal Justice/Sociology was the first to offer an entire degree online.

The areas of Rosann’s professional research, with titles like Incarcerated Mothers and Their Children: Issues of Custody, Visitation and Separation; Desegregation of U.S. Military (1948); and A City of Two Tales: The Impact of Temporary Gatherings on Race Relations in a Diverse Suburban Community, reflect  her interest in disenfranchised communities and ways to learn from and improve them.  Not content to leave this a purely intellectual exercise, she has used her expertise to promote tolerance by creating and presenting numerous workshops on cultural awareness and sensitivity training, especially for incoming freshmen.  Most recently, she developed a presentation on Millenials: Policy Implications of a Generational Analysis, for the college community.

Rosann’s natural leadership and organizational abilities are evident in her service to the college, most notably as Chair of the Department for Sociology/Criminal Justice (6 years) and Academic Prioritization.  Her integrity and sense of justice have been clear to faculty, who elected her to serve as Treasurer on the Faculty Council. Rosann developed an annual Forensic Competition for high school students, which she has conducted with growing success for the past five years. Her dedication to the Alumni Association has included several terms on the Alumni Board and Co-Chair responsibilities of the Tricky Tray Gift Auction from its beginning in 2001.                                                                                                                                                              

Rosann has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the prestigious Caldwell College Cup and the Peggy Harris Alumna of the Year Award.  She lives in Fair Lawn with husband, Al, their children, Jonathan, Jeremy and Ariana, and her father, John Rovento.

Excellence in Human Resource Management
Anne Poltorak ‘78

When Anne graduated from Caldwell with a degree in Business Administration cum laude, she never dreamed she’d become a woman pioneer in the male mining and construction industry at Tilcon New York Inc, owned by Oldcastle, Inc. Over 23 years, she rose from Personnel Assistant to Administrator to Human Resource Manager and, since 1999, has been balancing the needs of 1,500 employees, which includes recruiting, mediation, union labor negotiations, policy development, benefits, training and evaluation.  Her satisfaction in her work has come from helping people achieve gainful employment, achieve a career goal or work through a difficult personal situation. Anne developed and directs Tilcon’s internship program which is an HR initiative of Oldcastle Materials. This program has been successful in attracting students to work in mine, civil, mechanical, construction engineering, marketing, public relations, finance, purchasing, and heavy equipment mechanic positions. Intern participation is during the summer months with anywhere from 5 to 20 participants. She takes pride in attracting talented students from college, university and vocational training schools who might never have considered a career in the mining/construction industry.

Anne’s love affair with horses started during college when she worked for Somerset County Riding Stable supervising hourly personnel, providing riding instruction, and managing the care of 75 horses.  After seven years of training and showing her own horse, Buddy, in dressage, she lost him when he contracted Potomac Fever and Laminitis. In an attempt to turn tragedy into hope, Anne applied to Mane Stream, (formally Somerset Hills Handicapped Riding Center) to become a volunteer in their “Adaptive Horsemanship” Program for riders with disabilities, where she can channel her equestrian talents into helping others to appreciate horses and riding.

As a certified fitness instructor, Anne has been teaching health and fitness classes for 30 years.  She owns and operates a fitness franchise known as Jacki’s Aerobic Dance in Westfield and teaches two dance/fitness classes a week.

For many years, Anne has also been a committed member of St. Joseph R.C. Church in North Plainfield and currently serves on the Liturgy and Parish Life Committees and steps in as lector and Eucharistic minister. She and her sister, Meg, design seasonal and celebratory floral arrangements for the parish. When the parish decided to sponsor a Boy Scout troop, Anne signed up to mentor a scout through the process of becoming an Eagle Scout.

Anne is an avid gardener and believes that all God’s creatures great and small are gifts from the Creator to be cared for and cared about.  She works in her neighborhood on managing feral cat colonies responsibly. Some of these critters have been domesticated and are part of Anne’s pet family.

Excellence in Catholic Social Services
Juan Sheenan ‘92

When Juan graduated from Caldwell College with a BA in Mathematics, he was on the fast track to success working in the Global Securities Lending area of Bankers Trust Company, then at Chase Manhattan Bank. Within a few years, he realized that Wall Street was not enough and he joined the Peace Corps, where he spent two years teaching math and geography in a rural secondary school in Namibia and became aware of the HIV/AIDS crisis in southern Africa.

Recognizing that this was where he wanted to focus his efforts, Juan completed an MA in International Policy Studies/Southern African Development at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. During graduate school, he moved to Mozambique, where he served less than a year as United Nations Development Programme HIV/AIDS representative and was part of a team that developed the national report on the UNDP’s response towards HIV/AIDS in Mozambique that was introduced to the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

In 2001, Juan joined Catholic Relief Services and was responsible for designing and implementing the HIV and AIDS portfolio for Zambia’s Western Province. After two years, he became Head of Programming and coordinated a team for a consortium of other Non-Governmental Organizations to address the food insecurity and the HIV pandemic in a country with a national HIV prevalence rate of 17% among adults, ranging from ages 17 – 49. The program provided food relief and medicine to approximately 50,000 individuals annually.

Juan served as CRS’s Country Representative for Angola starting in 2005 and led the transition from emergency relief programming to development.  While downsizing staff and offices, Juan added two provinces including the country of São Tomé e Príncipe. Juan worked with his team on the design of a malaria program that was successfully awarded funds to spearhead all malaria activities in the Province of Benguela jointly with the government of Angola.

Since July, 2009, Juan has been Country Representative for Honduras and responsible for all of CRS’s activities in a country plagued by natural disasters and economic downturn.  He oversees relations with the government of Honduras and Catholic Church organizations and implements a wide array of development projects with an annual budget of about $6 million.

According to Most Reverend Denis J. Madden, Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore, Juan’s success in representing Catholic Relief Services flows from his respect for the sacred dignity of all people and his ability to adapt to the needs of the different peoples in Namibia, Mozambique, Zambia, Angola and Honduras, because he embraces cultural differences. He has internalized the Caldwell Dominican value of creating a just and compassionate global community and the Catholic faith is both the source of these values and the guiding principle of Juan’s life.  He is, quite simply, a man of integrity.

Juan is married to Deborah and they live in Tegucigalpa, Honduras with their two children, Bernice age 7 and Raymond age 4.