LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
DEAR CALDWELL FAMILY,
Here we are, already into the spring semester! As we navigate through what we hope will be the last phase of the pandemic, we have much to prepare for, but we also have much to celebrate!
Last October I was thrilled to meet many of you as we gathered for Inauguration. I appreciated the community leaders, alumni, students, faculty, staff and my family who participated in the ceremony and the events of the week. With the Inauguration theme of “One Mission, Infinite Possibilities,” our faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends showcased their gifts and talents and sense of community that is Caldwell at the art exhibition, lectures, community service, faculty concert and other activities.
In particular, I was grateful that many Sisters of Saint Dominic attended the ceremony and Inauguration Mass. As Archdiocese of Newark Bishop Manuel A. Cruz, D.D. (principal celebrant of the Mass) reminded me, I am standing on the shoulders of giants. I know that. I was grateful to Bishop Cruz and the other priests who celebrated the Mass.
The Sisters have encouraged generations of students to believe in themselves as they pursue their dreams and vocations; we strive to carry that legacy forward even amid our challenges.
One of those alumni is Father Dominic Ciriaco ’93, rector at the Theological Seminary at Catholic University of America, whose vocation was inspired by the influence of our Sisters from the time he attended St. Aloysius grammar school in Caldwell. I am sure you will enjoy reading his story in this issue.
We are happy to share with you features on faculty members Helen Antoniou McGowan of the School of Business and Computer Science, who is using her law and business background to encourage business students to reflect on social responsibility as a fundamental part of their work lives, and Rebecca Vega, of the Music Department, who combines her talent as an accomplished music artist and skilled educator to teach music, conduct the marching band and direct the wind ensemble. I had a chance to enjoy Professor Vega’s work—with students in the marching band at the sprint football games—and again when my wife Kathy and I attended the Christmas Spectacular concert (at which Professor Laura Greenwald beautifully led the chorale).
You will read about Nancy Hurtz-Soyka ’71, who held business positions at the United Nations including serving secretaries-general, and went on to teach English as a second language at New Jersey schools.
We have a feature on hematologist-oncologist Dr. Alisa Sokoloff ’01, who cares for cancer patients at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, the graduate medical school of Hofstra University. She recalls the indelible imprint Caldwell’s science faculty members left on her life when they guided her as a student far away from her homeland, a sentiment we hear often from our alumni.
We were thrilled to learn of the historic nearly $5 million STEM grant we were awarded from the Department of Education to benefit Hispanic and low-income students. This was made possible by the work of our Office of Development and Alumni Affairs and the School of Natural Sciences. We have new staff members on board to build this program.
Three new academic undergraduate bachelor’s programs are being offered starting in the fall semester: a business degree in Supply Chain Management, which we are all concerned about these days; and a bachelor’s degree in Communication Science and Disorders, which will prepare students for careers related to speech language pathology, and a bachelor’s in Environmental Science. We are planning to seek approval for other new programs including Exercise Science.
I know you all will join me in extending a big “congrats” to Assistant Vice President/ Director of Athletics and Head Coach Mark A. Corino for becoming the all-time leader in wins for NCAA men’s basketball in the state of New Jersey on Jan. 8 when he hit his 604th victory. Mark is a New Jersey legend, and Caldwell has been blessed to have him building and leading our athletics program, inspiring generations of student-athletes and staff members for over three decades.
With the spring semester underway, we look forward to seeing our spring student-athletes in action, including new teams—rugby, and acrobatics and tumbling.
Most important, we are back on campus; we are keeping our eyes on the big picture, working together and adapting when necessary to provide our students with excellence in education and sharing with them how the Catholic Dominican heritage has something very important to contribute to a world in need. As St. Catherine of Siena reminds us, “Nothing great is ever achieved without much enduring.” And endured we have.
I hope to see you at some of our spring (and summer!) events.
Matthew Whelan, Ed.D.