Veritas Award 2023
2023 Veritas Honorees
Sister Mary John Kearney, OP. ’62
Excellence in Higher Education
Sister Mary 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 ’83
Excellence in Humanitarian Endeavors
Mary Sellitto-Curcio is dedicated to enriching the lives of children. She earned her Bachelor’s degree majoring in English and Business from Caldwell College, and her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Montclair State University. Additionally, Mary received several certifications and honors, including the Chief School Administrators certificate, the School Business Administrator certificate, the Registered School Business Administrator certificate, 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 many years until her retirement. During her career 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 and coordinating services to over 80 school districts in New Jersey, 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, Major Joseph Bloomfield Chapter 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. In 2023 Mary received The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution Excellence in Community Service Award.
Mary has served on the Caldwell University Alumni Board for many years with multiple terms as president, and is currently serving as the liaison to the board of trustees. She has served on the university’s strategic planning and Veritas committees. She is a member and Secretary of the University’s Board of Trustees. Mary has been an avid supporter of student scholarships and is the Peggy Harris Alumni of the Year Award 2016 recipient.
A Wish Granter with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Jersey (MAWNJ) for the past 12 years, Mary has worked on over 100 wish granting experiences for children with critical illnesses, ages 2½-18. Her work has been recognized by local, state, and national news media, including in 2022, Sam Prince’s NFL draft dream wish. Mary was appointed to serve as a member of the MAWNJ program services committee, has been a spokesperson at MAWNJ events, and has served as a fundraiser for the foundation. She has received numerous recognitions/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.