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Dr. Matthew Whelan is Named Next President of Caldwell University

Dr. Whelan is a native New Jerseyan, Caldwell’s first male lay president

Dr. Matthew WhelanCaldwell, N.J., Feb. 11, 2020 – The Board of Trustees of Caldwell University has chosen Dr. Matthew Whelan as the next president of the Catholic Dominican university.

A native of New Jersey, Whelan will become the ninth president of Caldwell and the first male lay president in the history of the institution, effective on July 1.

Dr. Whelan is currently Vice President for University Enrollment Strategy and Relationship Development at Stony Brook University which serves undergraduate, graduate and professional program students from across the U.S.  and around the world. Since 2006, he has held key leadership roles at Stony Brook in undergraduate and graduate admissions, financial aid, registrar, enrollment management, student services, fundraising, facilities and strategic planning for several campuses. He previously served as the Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at Stony Brook.

The Seal of Caldwell UniversityLaurita Warner, chair of Caldwell University’s Board of Trustees, said that following a national search, the board is pleased to welcome Dr. Whelan. “I speak for all the trustees who are excited and invigorated by the skills, experience and passion Matt will bring to Caldwell University. We value his commitment to our Catholic Dominican tradition and are confident in his ability to innovate and further our upward trajectory of success at Caldwell.” 

“I’m delighted to be joining the team at Caldwell University. As a first generation, Pell eligible college student who attended Catholic schools, early on I developed a love for small Catholic colleges and their commitment to reaching out to deserving students, especially the underrepresented in higher education, and teaching others to serve and give back,” said Dr. Whelan.  

He has expansive experience leading administrative and faculty teams at Catholic and public higher education institutions including St. John’s University,  Hofstra University, William Paterson University and Mercyhurst College. 

Dr. Whelan has held a number of positions on national higher education boards and associations, presented nationally and internationally on issues impacting higher education, coached a women’s soccer team to a NCAA Division II Final Four appearance, and taught graduate students in higher education administration. He holds a master’s from William Paterson University and a doctorate in educational leadership from Dowling College in Shirley, New York.

Michael A. Bernstein, Ph.D., interim president at Stony Brook University, congratulated Dr. Whelan and the entire Caldwell University community. “While at Stony Brook University, Matt has provided exceptional stewardship of strategic planning, institutional research and effectiveness, enrollment management and intercampus operations.  He has been a key part of efforts that have secured historic improvements in student retention and graduation rates, the socio-economic mobility of our alumni and the enhancement of the Stony Brook student experience. All of us in the “Seawolf Family” wish Matt every success in his new leadership role.”

Born and raised in Denville, New Jersey, in a family of eight children, Dr. Whelan attended St. Mary’s school and Morris Catholic High School in Denville and Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania. 

Dr. Whelan is familiar with the Caldwell area. When he and his wife Kathy were first married they had an apartment in Caldwell while  Kathy taught fourth grade at Washington Elementary School in West Caldwell. “We are looking forward to returning to Caldwell and immersing ourselves in the life of the university, the work of the Sisters of St. Dominic and the greater Caldwell community.”

President-designee Whelan was chosen following a formal search led by partners Hyatt-Fennell.   Linda Luciano, Ed.D. MBA, vice-chair of the Caldwell Board of Trustees, led the search committee. Dr. Whelan will succeed Dr. Nancy Blattner who has served at Caldwell University since July 2009. Dr. Blattner is returning to her home state of Missouri to assume the presidency at Fontbonne University.

Dr. Whelan and his wife have three daughters and a three-year-old border collie, Lucy. 

Caldwell was founded in 1939 by the Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell. Archbishop Thomas Joseph Walsh became the institution’s first president, followed by Mother Joseph Dunn, O.P., who first envisioned the college. Since that time women have held the presidency.


Caldwell University President Blattner to Step Down June 2020

Caldwell University Beginning an Immediate Search 

President Nancy BlattnerCaldwell, N.J., Sept. 9, 2019 – Caldwell University President Nancy Blattner has informed the Caldwell University Board of Trustees that she will conclude her presidency at the end of this academic year, in June 2020, coinciding with the terms of her current contract. Dr. Blattner has been appointed the next president at Fontbonne University in her home state of Missouri and will assume that new role on July 1, 2020. 

Caldwell’s Board of Trustees will begin an immediate search for the university’s next president.

Laurita Warner, Chair of the Caldwell University Board of Trustees, said the university is grateful to Dr. Blattner for her leadership over the last 10 years.  “With Dr. Blattner’s energy and initiative, the university has achieved many significant milestones and Caldwell students have flourished because of her care, understanding, and belief in them.”  

Dr. Blattner said she is grateful for having had the chance to be a part of the Caldwell family.  “From the moment Tim and I first stepped foot on the Caldwell campus during the interview process, we felt a sense of community and an appreciation for the institution’s Catholic Dominican mission. When we moved to New Jersey more than 10 years ago, we left behind family and friends as we immersed ourselves in a new tradition, and now, it is time in our personal lives to return to those who remained in Missouri. I am grateful for the people who welcomed us, for the experiences we’ve shared with the campus community, for outstanding colleagues on the leadership team, and for the opportunity to lead a vibrant campus that lives out its mission and puts students at the center of its existence.”

Dr. Blattner is the university’s first lay president. Her many accomplishments at Caldwell have included: 

  • Achieving university status.
  • Boosting undergraduate enrollment in welcoming Caldwell University’s largest freshman classes in 2017, 2018 and 2019. 
  • Leading in advancing Caldwell University’s rankings on the U.S. News &  World Report Best Colleges lists. 
  • Overseeing the creation of state-of-the-art nursing labs and the new Eileen Jones Multicultural Center.
  • Overseeing the implementation of new academic programs and athletic sports including sprint football and men’s lacrosse. 
  • Innovatively repurposing building space in many areas on campus.
  • Relocating and overseeing the construction for the campus chapel in a central location for students, faculty, staff and visitors.  
  • Starting the mission trips to Belize, the annual community service Caldwell Day to give back to the borough of Caldwell and the State of New Jersey, the study-abroad course in Rome and the Dominican Formation Program for faculty and staff.
  • Advancing Caldwell University and higher education in her service on state and national higher education organizations and in establishing relationships with donors and alumni and in the community. 


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Caldwell University Ranked NJ’s Best-Value School for Regional Universities by U.S. News & World Report

US News and World Report - Best Colleges - Regional Universities 2020 US News and World Report - Best Colleges - Best Value 2020 US News and World Report - Best Colleges - Social Mobility 2020

Caldwell, N.J., Sept. 9, 2019 – Caldwell University is the Best Value school in New Jersey and number 18 overall in the “Best Value Schools” in the Regional Universities North category, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 Best Colleges list. Caldwell moved up seven spots on the Best Value Schools list from the 2019 rankings.

Caldwell University was also noted in the rankings of Regional Universities in the North as a top performer for Social Mobility, Ethnic Diversity and Most International Students. Additionally Caldwell is ranked among the top 75 regional universities in the North.

Stephen Quinn, acting vice president of enrollment management and communications, said this year’s rankings are some of the best for Caldwell University. “We are thrilled that the U.S. News & World Report shows us as the best value in New Jersey and among the top 20 for best value schools in the Regional Universities North category. We are reaching those milestones by offering a cost-effective, strong academic education with a focus on each individual student’s aspirations and goals.”

As explained by U.S. News & World Report, the Best Value calculation “takes into account a school’s academic quality, as indicated by its 2020 U.S. News Best Colleges ranking, and the 2017-2018 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid. The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal.”

This fall Caldwell welcomed its second-largest freshman class in its history with students hailing from 13 states and 14 countries and with 67 percent identifying as students of color.

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Caldwell University Ranks Among Nation’s Best Colleges and Universities by U.S. News & World Report

Best Colleges Ranking - US News and World ReportCaldwell, N.J.  – Sept. 10, 2018 –   Caldwell University has been ranked the 25th  Best Value School for Regional Universities in the North by U.S. & World Report’s 2019 “Best College” rankings.

The university also moved up 28 spots in the category of Best Regional Universities in the North, going from number 102 in 2018 to 74th (tied) in 2019.

“This dramatic rise in the ranking is a testament to all Caldwell University provides its students,” said Joseph Posillico, Ed.D, senior vice president.  He attributed the increase to “the strong liberal arts education with outstanding academics and professors, small class sizes, and the appealing campus life with  many opportunities in athletics, career and professional development, clubs, and community service.”

Caldwell also ranks fifth  in the North for proportion of international undergraduate students.

“We credit our strong rankings to our commitment to students through rigorous academic programs, continuing to make Caldwell affordable and strong retention programs that lead to strong graduation rates,” said Posillico.

The university’s success has been recognized by students and families as Caldwell greeted its largest freshman class ever with nearly 500 students in the Class of 2022, an increase of over 30% from last year.

To view the rankings, go to :

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Mayor and Council Designate Aug. 25-31 as Caldwell University Week

Mayor and council designate Aug. 25-31 as Caldwell University Week

Timothy Kessler-Cleary, Caldwell University assistant dean, student engagement and retention; Henderson Cole, Caldwell councilman; Nancy Blattner, Ph.D., Caldwell University president; Ann Dassing, mayor of Caldwell; Sister Kathleen Tuite, O.P, university were vice president of student life.

Caldwell, N.J.,Aug. 24, 2018  – The mayor and council of the Borough of Caldwell declared the week of August 25-31 Caldwell University Week recognizing the university’s history and contributions to the community.   Caldwell Mayor Ann Dassing presented the university’s president, Dr. Nancy Blattner, with the proclamation at the borough’s council meeting on Aug. 21, 2018.  Also representing the university were Sister Kathleen Tuite, O.P, vice president of student life, and Timothy Kessler-Cleary, assistant dean, student engagement and retention.   Dr. Blattner thanked the borough for being a friend of the university.

explore downtown Caldwell bagThe Friends of Downtown Caldwell provided the approximately 500 incoming freshmen with reusable shopping bags with the custom made logo “Explore Downtown Caldwell.” The bags contain discount coupons, materials, menus and other items donated by the merchants. “Our hope is that students will take advantage of the variety of opportunities and resources the community has to offer,” said Kessler.

Kessler said the university is grateful to Caldwell Councilman Henderson Cole for spearheading the initiative, “a collaborative effort between the institution and the borough to continue to foster a strong relationship that benefits the students, faculty, and staff of Caldwell University and the greater Caldwell community.”

Fresco Market and Catering, Dave’s Delicious Deli, Shampoo Full Service Salon and Rock’n Joe Coffee Bar supplied materials about their businesses and coupons for the bags.

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Caldwell University celebrates 76th annual commencement with record-breaking number of graduates

President of Caldwell University at 76th annual commencement.
President of Caldwell University at 76th annual commencement.
Students at Caldwell University's 76th Annual Commencement.
Students at Caldwell University's 76th Annual Commencement.
Students at Caldwell University's 76th Annual Commencement.
Caldwell University's 76th Annual Commencement.
Student at Caldwell University's 76th Annual Commencement.
Student at Caldwell University's 76th Annual Commencement.
Students at Caldwell University's 76th Annual Commencement.
Students at Caldwell University's 76th Annual Commencement.
Caldwell University's 76th Annual Commencement.
Students at Caldwell University's 76th Annual Commencement.
Students at Caldwell University's 76th Annual Commencement.
Students at Caldwell University's 76th Annual Commencement.

Students are encouraged to be “amazing”

Caldwell, N.J., May 20, 2018 – Caldwell University celebrated its 76th annual commencement May 20 with a record-breaking number of graduates. The university  awarded 502 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees.

Danielle Hamblin of White Township, New Jersey, delivered the student address at the graduate commencement ceremony encouraging her fellow graduates to “be amazing.” Drawing on the words of a motivational speaker she once heard, she gave the graduates three simple points they need to be successful in life’s journey and to be “the greatest husband, wife, mother, father, boss, employee ever.”

“Number one, wake up; number two, be amazing; number three, go to bed,”  she said. It is obvious how to fulfill numbers one and three, said Hamblin, but number two is personal. “It is up to each individual to define what being amazing is. Can you imagine if we all did?”

Hamblin received a doctoral degree in educational leadership with a special education concentration. Reflecting on her experience in the doctoral program with students in the cohort, she said, “Caldwell provided us with mental challenges but not without the support of collegial partnership. I felt amazing when I knew I had contributed in meaningful ways to helping others on this journey.” Hamblin teaches as an adjunct on the college level and is director of special services for the Sparta public schools.

Dennis Brady of West Orange, New Jersey delivered the student address at the undergraduate commencement ceremony. “The close-knit family that we have grown into over these four years was something that none of us could have anticipated. Those bonds we will cherish forever—the sporting events we attended, the community service trips we went on, it all happened here on 120 Bloomfield Avenue,” said Brady. “We are now sent out to find our way in this world with the knowledge, and more importantly, the values of Caldwell that are instilled in us from the day we walked onto the campus.” He encouraged the graduates never to stray too far away from their Caldwell family. “As a respected doctor and philosopher, Dr. Seuss, once said, ‘Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened,’” said Brady.  He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and Media Studies with a minor in business administration.

President Nancy H. Blattner, Ph.D., presented doctoral students with their Ph.D.’s and Ed.D.’s, graduate students with their Master of Arts, Master of Business Administration or Master of Science degrees, and undergraduates with their Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees.

Blattner asked the students to stay connected to their alma mater. “Return to this campus that has been your home for the past few years, and carry with you our core values of respect, integrity, community and excellence into your communities and workplaces.”

Graduates wore 100% recycled caps, gowns and tassels. 

Featured News, Music News, News

CU Chorale performs in Harmonic Convergence Concert at Carnegie Hall

CU Choral members in a group photo
CU Chorale in Harmonic Convergence Concert at Carnegie Hall
Caldwell University Chorale Director Dr. Laura Greenwald with composer Dr. Rosephanye Powell.
CU Chorale student performer Harmonic Convergence Concert at Carnegie Hall
Group photo of CU Chorale members
CU Chorale in Harmonic Convergence Concert at Carnegie Hall

Caldwell, N.J., April 16, 2018 – Performing at Carnegie Hall is a musician’s dream. “It takes years of hard work to get there,” said Eric Dieterle, a member of the Caldwell University chorale, who had the thrill of taking to the stage in the 2018 Harmonic Convergence Concert at Carnegie Hall on April 6.

Dieterle and the other members of the chorale, led by music faculty member Dr. Laura Greenwald, took part in the concert, the culminating performance of the Choirs of America (COA) Nationals for Top Choirs. Caldwell’s chorale was one of several ensembles that performed a mix of massed choir and individual choral repertoire. The evening concluded with all of the singers performing in the finale, a world-premiere COA-commissioned choral piece by Dr. Rosephanye Powell. “I’m so proud that the Caldwell University chorale was able to rise to the occasion and to perform at such a prestigious venue,” said Dieterle.

Caldwell’s chorale is comprised of students, alumni, faculty, staff and community members. They spent the day before the concert being adjudicated at the Aaron Copland School of Music by Joshua Habermann, chorus director of the Dallas Orchestra Chorus and artistic director of the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, as well as meeting other choirs and hearing them perform. They also rehearsed the premiere, “Get Busy,” with the composer. Greenwald was delighted to greet Powell, a classmate from her days at Westminster Choir College. On Friday all of the ensembles had the opportunity to rehearse briefly and to have photos taken on the Carnegie Hall stage, a joy for all the members.

Caldwell chorale member Alison Self, who works in the English Department, said it was inspiring to share the stage and to create music with friends and colleagues and many talented singers from across the country. She said that “the opportunity to work under the tutelage of renowned composers and conductors was both educational and fun.”

Dieterle, a communication and media studies major with a music minor, said the Caldwell music faculty made it happen. “Dr. Greenwald did such a fantastic job organizing the trip as well as preparing us for the occasion. She made the whole experience feel professional while keeping it fun and lighthearted at the same time. Mr. Helms, our accompanist, also played a vital role in helping the choir learn the music for the concert; we couldn’t have done it without him. Professor Vega also helped us keep everything organized and prepared at our rehearsals and Carnegie Hall on Friday.”

Miriam Edelstein, a recent music education graduate, was happy to share the experience with her professor, Greenwald, a talented singer who has helped Edelstein shape her singing and music education goals. It was amazing “to sing next to her on stage,” said Edelstein, who is looking forward to pursuing a career in music therapy. “I know I can make a difference in someone’s life with music.” She had thought it was time to give up her performing days, but being on stage at Carnegie Hall made her realize she wants to continue singing while also pursing music therapy.  Greenwald is helping her as she makes graduate school plans. “I’m very grateful and fortunate to have had her as a professor.”

Greenwald was thrilled to provide this opportunity for her students and to have sung with them on stage. “That is definitely a bucket-list moment, to stand on the historic stage of Carnegie with my students and colleagues. I’m so very grateful to our accompanist, Warren Helms, to my students, alumni, and colleagues for their dedication in making this happen.”

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Softball Secures #3 Seed in NCAA Division II Championship; Faces #6 Merrimack on Thursday at Molloy College

Knockout Stage Ficture for Division II Softball Tournament

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Caldwell University softball team earned the #3 seed in the NCAA Division II Championship and will be part of the East Region 2 hosted by Molloy College. The Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Champions secured the conference’s automatic bid and will take on #6 Merrimack College in the opening round on Thursday, May 11 at 2:30 pm. The Cougars enter the tournament at 44-13 overall and will be making their tenth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

Caldwell takes on the #6 seed Merrimack College in their opening game on Thursday at 2:30 pm. Host and #2 seed Molloy faces #7 seed NYIT at noon. The winners will advance in the winner’s bracket to Friday’s game at 11 am. The teams that lose on Thursday will play an elimination game on Friday at 1:30 pm. The full schedule with times is listed below.

The Cougars enter the NCAA Division II Championship with a 44-13 mark. Caldwell won the CACC Regular Season title with a 25-1 record and won their seventh CACC Tournament Championship this past weekend. CACC Player of the Year junior Marisa Monasseri (Monroe, N.J.) leads the Cougars with a .507 batting average with 11 homeruns, 11 doubles, 65 RBI and .808 slugging percentage. First Team All-CACC senior Lauren Frye (Jupiter, Fla.) is second on the team with average at .428 with a team-best 77 hits along with 12 doubles this season.

In the other half of the region, East Region 1 will be hosted by Adelphi University and features the top seed Adelphi along with #4 University of New Haven, #5 Mercy College and #8 Wilmington University.

Here’s the complete schedule for this week’s tournament.

2017 NCAA Division II East Region Softball Tournament

East 2 Regional Schedule (Double Elimination)
Host: Molloy College, Rockville Centre, NY
Thursday, May 11
Game 1: #2 Molloy vs. #7 NYIT – 12:00 pm
Game 2: #3 Caldwell vs. #6 Merrimack – 2:30 pm
Friday, May 12
Game 3: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 – 11:00 am
Game 4: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 – 1:30 pm
Game 5: Winner Game 4 vs. Loser of Game 3 – 4:00 pm
Saturday, May 13
Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5 – 12:00 pm
Game 7: If Necessary – 2:30 pm

East 1 Regional Schedule (Double Elimination)
Host: Adelphi University, Garden City, NY
Thursday, May 11
Game 1: #1 Adelphi vs. #8 Wilmington Molloy – 12:00 pm
Game 2: #4 New Haven vs. #5 Mercy – 2:30 pm
Friday, May 12
Game 3: Winner Game 1 vs Winner Game 2 – 11:00 am
Game 4: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 – 1:30 pm
Game 5: Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 3 – 4:00 pm
Saturday, May 13
Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5 – 12:00 pm
Game 7: If Necessary – 2:30 pm

Alumni News, Featured News, News

Alumna Tanya Freeman Honored as Family Lawyer of the Year

Caldwell University Alumna Tanya Freeman Headshot Caldwell, N.J., May 10, 2017– Caldwell University alumna Tanya Freeman, a partner at Weiner Law Group in Parsippany, New Jersey, was honored as Family Lawyer of the Year by the Hudson County Bar Association on April 18 at Liberty House.

Freeman, who has represented professional athletes, television personalities and other high-profile celebrities, fondly remembers her days studying political science at Caldwell. She returned to school as a mother with six children and as a full-time employee at Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. “I really invented myself in my late 30s, and it started at Caldwell. It was so good for my kids to see that Mommy went back.” She still proudly hangs in her office the plaque she received for earning the highest grade point average in the Political Science Department.

Before entering the legal world, Freeman led audit teams for over a decade. She was licensed to practice law in New York and New Jersey in 2012 after graduating cum laude from Touro Law Center. In 2014, Gov. Chris Christie appointed Freeman to the board of directors of University Hospital in Newark, where she chairs the Governance, Ethics and Legal committee. The Thomson Reuters list of New Jersey Super Lawyers named her a “rising star” for two consecutive years. She was also elected to the board of trustees of the Hudson County Bar Association in 2016.

Freeman recalls how she was inspired to start studying at Caldwell. While working for Blue Cross Blue Shield, she was staffing a career fair booth in Caldwell’s cafeteria and decided to look into enrolling. She was 60 credits shy of her undergraduate degree. Soon she was attending classes and was on her way to gaining her bachelor’s degree. “I’m still friends with my Caldwell classmates,” she says.

As a divorce lawyer, she tells her clients her story so they know that that no matter what their age or state in life there is great hope and that they too can take the steps to reinvent themselves.


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Undergraduate and graduate projects highlighted at Research and Creative Arts Day

Students at the Research Day
Dr. Berki with the special guest of the Research Day Ceremony
Students gets honored for their Research Project
Student Presenting her Research
Veronica Guirguis showcased her project, “The Future of Cancer Care: Virtual Reality,”
Student presenting his research about Forensic Accounting
Students and Faculties at Student Gym for Research Day
Pre-Law Student Presenting his Research Project

Caldwell, N.J., May 1, 2017 – Caldwell University hosted Research and Creative Arts Day, featuring innovative projects by students, faculty and staff.

The day was aimed at highlighting Caldwell undergraduate and graduate student research and promoting STEAM, which stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and math. “We had a great turnout and great intensity. It was a chance for our students to get feedback, hone their communications skills and learn how to field questions from different audiences,” said Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Agnes Berki, who chaired the taskforce that organized the event.

Biology student Veronica Guirguis showcased her project, “The Future of Cancer Care: Virtual Reality,” which demonstrated how virtual reality could help to educate patients about treatments, could be used as a therapy to lessen pain and suffering, and could give them a chance to visit the “most amazing parts of the world.” She appreciated being able to “raise awareness and the potential of using” virtual therapy.

Stephanie Silva, a senior nursing major, presented the project “Who you gonna call? Rapid response teams,” which compared staff-initiated versus family-initiated response during a decline in health. She was delighted that nurses from her clinical site, Morristown Medical Center, came to view the research. She appreciated the feedback from those who saw her poster. “They had really good questions and made me think differently about my research. It was a great experience.”

Naissa Piverger, Melaine Betancur and Nicholette Worgs, public health educator majors, presented their research, “Utilizing Telemedicine to impact the older adult population.” Thanks to a Verizon technology grant, they taught seniors at their internship site, Marian Manor, how to use mobile devices to monitor and track their health status.

Manoucheka Jean, a nursing student,  who displayed her project, “The importance of a comprehensive patient education program in patients diagnosed with heart failure”  said the conference was a good opportunity to practice public speaking.

Chelsie Deusa, a communications and media studies and political science major, presented her scholars project work, “Northern Ireland: Divided by Religion.” She felt “proud and accomplished” to showcase it since she had put so much time into the work.

The keynote presentation was given by Dr. Jill Bargonett, a leading molecular biologist, breast cancer researcher and professor of biological sciences at Hunter College. In a lively, interactive format, she spoke on “Choreographing Genomics and Cancer Biology into Understanding.” A former dancer, she showed biological processes through dance.

Bargonetti is widely published; she and her team have made significant advances in research that looks at protein diversity in cells with the kind of genetic mutations linked to “triple negative” breast cancer.

Cosmo Cirillo, a doctoral student in the educational leadership program, was a member of a team that studied “Korean students’ views on caring teachers”. He said it was a great experience to have visitors come up to the booth “and test you on your knowledge” of an interesting project.  Vanessa Cirillo, another doctoral student on the team, said, “You don’t know how much you know about your research until you have to answer questions.”

Statewide Honors

Some of the projects displayed had received statewide recognition this year. Science students Deborah Balthazar and Amanda Surujnauth received the first-place Outstanding Poster Presentation award for their project “What Is on Your Toothbrush? Are You Brushing with Fecal Matter?” at the Independent College Fund of New Jersey’s Undergraduate Research Symposium in March.

Pre-med post-baccalaureate student and alumna Jessica Binkiewicz was among the 2017 class of the Governor’s STEM Scholars honored by the New Jersey Legislature in Trenton on March 23. Her research project was titled “Thieves’ and Pulling Essential Oils Are Effective Antibacterial Agents against the Bacterium Escherichia coli.” During the school yearBinkiewicz led a research team of three high school students on the project—one from Wayne Hills High School and two from Paterson Charter High School for Science and Technology.

Research and Creative Arts Day was organized by the Research Task Force created by Dr. Barbara Chesler, vice president for Academic Affairs.  The Research Task Force is comprised of faculty members Dr. Karla Batres, Dr. Ellina Chernobilsky, Dr. Thomson Ling, Dr. Jennifer Noonan, Dr. Kenneth Reeve, Dr. Meghan Ryan, Dr. Rosa Sanchez, Dr. Theodora Sirota, Dr. Marnie Sperling, Dr. Sara Tedrick Parikh, Dr. Rebecca Vega, Dr. Jason Vladescu and Berki. Also on the task force is Retention Specialist Maureen McNish and student Bipin Koirala, a senior math and art major. Student volunteers who ushered at the event included: Amelia Biswas, Anika Sanjana, Prithy Adhikary, Shreyoshi Hossain, Michelle Eng, Ngima Sherpa, Anamika Sharma, Usha Katuwal, and Romina Ghale. The judges were greeted and registered by staff volunteers Christine Szeluga, Diana Lee, Alison Self, and Elaine Maliszewski.