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Celebrate Black History Month at African American Read-In

Flyer of African American Read-In Program

Caldwell, N.J., Feb. 21, 2019 – Caldwell University’s English Department will celebrate Black History Month with an “African-American Read In”, 2 p.m., Tuesday February 26 in the Cougar Den on campus.  The featured speaker will be Dr. Valerie Lewis-Mosley who teaches in the Theology and Philosophy Department.

The event is free and open to the public. Attendees are invited to read their own favorite poem or short passage from an African American writer or listen to the powerful words written by African Americans.   Caldwell African American students, faculty and staff are invited to share excerpts from their own creating writing.

The National African American Read-In is the nation’s oldest event dedicated to diversity in literature.  It was established in 1990 by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English to make literacy a significant part of Black History Month.

For information contact Dr. Katie Kornacki at kkornacki@caldwell.edu

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University Celebrates Launch of “A Year with the Saint John’s Bible”

The Saint John’s Bible
Dr. Blattner at The Saint John’s Bible Presentation
The Saint John’s Bible Presentation

Caldwell, N.J., Jan. 29, 2019– It is not often that one gets to view an illuminated, handwritten Bible created by the Queen’s calligrapher, yet more than 200 people at Caldwell University had that opportunity on Jan. 28 when they came out for the launch of the school’s “Year with The Saint John’s Bible”.

Caldwell University President Nancy Blattner said the year with the Bible is an invitation “to reflect upon our own journey to God, an invitation to seek God in all aspects of our life, an invitation to be drawn deeper into the mystery of our faith.”

The evening featured prayer, music and a presentation by Tim Ternes, director of The Saint John’s Bible at the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library at Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota.

Ternes explained how the timeless gift of sacred art is the first illuminated, handwritten Bible of monumental size to be created in more than 500 years.  It was commissioned by Benedictine Saint John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minnesota, and the creative director was Donald Jackson, senior scribe to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Crown Office.

Jackson worked with a team of scribes, artists, theologians and scholars. Ternes described the creative process that took 15 years with Jackson leading artists who used traditional materials such as vellum, (calfskin), ancient inks, gold and silver leaf and platinum and was written with quill pens fashioned from goose, turkey and swan feathers. Although traditional materials were used, The Saint John’s Bible, Ternes said, “was inspired by our times and can inspire our times.”

The Bible is monumental in size because it is meant to be shared with others. “It is communal…the artworks are there to cause you to have discussions,” said Ternes. The legacy of the Bible, he said, is “what you choose to do with it…share it, enjoy it, use it.”  The Bible is the New Revised Standard version.   The text, translation and imagery in The Saint John’s Bible reflect Saint John’s Abbey and University’s dedication to ecumenism.

Interactive discussions made the opening night celebration very enjoyable for the audience members. Christine Millien, a recent graduate, was happy she attended. Ternes, she said, “opened your mind and joined the community together.”

Brooke McPherson, a Caldwell student, who is working on the docent team, said the “entire school is excited,” and she is “excited to be in the middle of it.”

University Music Department faculty members performed a new piece, “Calming of the Storm,” composed by faculty member Rob Middleton, inspired by an image in the Bible of the same title by artist Suzanne Moore. Middleton played the clarinet and he was joined by Music Department chair and pianist Nan Childress-Orchard and flutist Rebecca Vega.

For one year, Caldwell is hosting the Heritage Edition of the Gospels and Acts volume of the Bible.  The Heritage Edition is the only full-size limited signed and numbered fine art edition that will ever be produced. Each volume includes Jackson’s signature as its certificate of authenticity.

The community is invited to take advantage of the various programs and lectures at Caldwell in theology, art, history, science, music and more as they relate to the Bible.  Groups are invited to contact the university to schedule visits.

Other lectures during the year will include:

Wednesday, March 20, 2019, 11:00 a.m. – Dr. Marie Mullaney, Caldwell University professor of history, will present on “A Woman’s Bible for the 21st Century.”

Monday, April 8, 2019, 4:30 p.m. – Stephanie Pietros, Ph.D., assistant professor of English, College of Mount St. Vincent, and Robert Miller, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy and religious studies, Mount St. Mary College, will present on “Oh Happy Fault, Errors in the Saint John’s Bible” as part of the Caldwell Department of Theology and Philosophy’s Sister Maura Campbell series.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019, Noon– Dr. Anton M. Koekemoer, research astrophysicist with the Hubble Space Telescope at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, will speak at Caldwell’s third annual Research and Creative Arts Day.

More lectures will be added.

If you would like to book a group visit, contact thesaintjohnsbible@caldwell.edu or call Julie Kajouras at 973-618-3922.  To find out more visit www.caldwell.edu/thesaintjohnsbible

Watch News 12 New Jersey’s feature 

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Building a Heart for Service in Belize

Caldwell University Graduate Joe with Local Students in Belize
Caldwell Students Interacting with Local Students in Belize
Caldwell Students Volunteering in Belize
All the Caldwell Students in Belize

Caldwell, NJ. , Jan. 29, 2019 – For several years, Caldwell University students and staff have been volunteering in villages in Belize during winter break. They do the important work of rebuilding in a part of the Central American country where people have very few modern conveniences.   This January, a group of nine students and two staff members did service in the village of San Miguel for one week.  They built a partition to make a one room building into two, which now allows for two classrooms to accommodate the growing school enrollment.

The manual labor is helpful to the community, but as Colleen O’Brien, director of Caldwell’s Campus Ministry Office, tells the Caldwell students, there is something more important to the experience than the actual construction work.  “It has to be about relationship building,” she explains. It is about the people and the bonds they form—bonds with the villagers and bonds with each other, she says.  And it is about seeing that human goodness is universal no matter where you live on God’s earth.

The experience teaches, “that humanity requires us to be humble and to do good,” said Jenelle McLeod, a graduate student from New Brunswick, New Jersey, who took part in the mission trip.  “Everyone has a purpose…and every person and every experience we encounter contributes to each of our purposes,” said McLeod, who is majoring in mental health counseling with a school counseling concentration. It was the little things, that were really big things, that had an impact on the volunteers—like when the mothers of the parent teacher group would bring empanadas and corn cakes to the work site each day.

Daniela Diaz, a junior and business administration major from West New York, New Jersey, appreciated learning about a new culture and the people, which helped her reflect on her own life.  “Life is simple. It is us humans that make it complicated,” said Diaz.    Playing with the children at the school was what she enjoyed most.

Amber Raines, a junior and psychology major from Millville, New Jersey, was on the mission trip for her second time.  The strong sense of family that she witnessed in Belize had an effect on her, “…being there makes me value and appreciate the family that I have more.”

Cutting down on digital device usage took some adjustment but the students found that it helped them cherish the excursion even more.  “It was an amazing opportunity to be able to let go and take advantage of the trip and the experience,” said Diaz. McLeod said it allowed her to delve deeper and focus more closely on what she wants for her life.  “My commitments to what truly matter to me were further developed during our time without internet or phones.”  They were able to build “a closeness like a family” and simplify their living by spending quality time without distractions, she said.   Raines said that without social media “you can be more in touch with your surroundings and live more in the moment.”

The students have carried the memories home with them.  They are memories of “the beautiful villages with the vibrant children, the beautiful culture, and the bonds I’ve made with my new friends that I traveled with and have come to love,” McLeod.

She recommends that other students who have “a heart to serve” consider taking part in the mission trip in the future. There are friendships to be made.  “Even if you go in alone, you won’t come out alone,” said Diaz.

Watch News 12 New Jersey’s Feature

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MA in Counseling Recognized as One of the Most Affordable CACREP- Accredited Programs in Country

Mental Health Counseling Affordable Badge

Caldwell, N.J., Jan. 24, 2019 – Caldwell University’s Masters in Counseling has been recognized as one of the most affordable CACREP- accredited programs in the country for 2019-20 by HumanServicesEDU.org. CACREP is the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs.

The editorial staff at HumanServicesEDU.org performed an exhaustive analysis of tuition rates for every CACREP-accredited counseling master’s program in the United States and had just one goal in mind—to identify programs that represent the best value in the education marketplace through a combination of uncompromising quality and of affordability.

At more than $17,000 below the average cost of similar programs offered at private institutions in New Jersey, Caldwell’s program also earned a place among the most affordable counseling master’s programs in the country for 2019-20.

Thomson J. Ling, Ph.D., professor and associate dean in Caldwell University’s School of Psychology and Counseling, says the school is delighted to receive this recognition. “Through integrating science and practice, we prepare students to be ethical and competent professionals in counseling, and we are excited to provide a high-quality program at an affordable cost.”

Dr. Barbara Chesler, vice president of academic affairs, says she is very proud of the program and faculty. “Having the art therapy specialization provides a unique perspective on how to help individuals with their struggles in life.” The counseling program also reflects the university’s mission and is interwoven in the core of the program, she explains. “Students graduate with a compassion and desire to assist others who find life hard to handle.”

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Catholic Dominican Presence is focus of “Caucus Up Close” TV segment

Director of Campus Ministry Colleen O’Brien and student Devin Lattu

Director of Campus Ministry Colleen O’Brien and student Devin Lattuga join Steve Adubato on “Caucus Up Close” to talk about the experiences the university provides to promote the Catholic Dominican heritage on campus.

Lattuga shares how being involved in campus ministry and community service helped him realize he wants to pursue a law career as an advocate for those in need. He talks about his work in planning Boxtown, a project in which students slept outside to raise awareness about homelessness. He was inspired after attending the Dominican Preaching Conference the year before.

O’Brien talks about the Caldwell Catholic Relief Services Club’s involvement in the Student Ambassadors Leaders Together summit in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., last July. O’Brien accompanied two students as they learned how to advocate policy change on international humanitarian issues such as global migration and hunger. O’Brien also discusses the successful on-campus Hunger Banquet, held last spring to raise awareness about hunger around the globe.

Broadcast schedule:

  • Saturday, Dec. 8
    8:30 a.m. on NJTV
    12:30 p.m. on THIRTEEN/WNET
  • Sunday, Dec. 9
    8:30 a.m. on NJTV
    11:30 a.m. on NJTV
  • Tuesday, Dec. 11
    5:30 a.m. on NJTV
    5:30 p.m. on WHYY

Watch the segment here

English News

Sigma Tau Delta Gathering and Award Ceremony

Sigma Tau Delta
Chi Zeta Chapter

James G. Cardin Jr.
Savannah L. Heimall
Steven Hinkle
Megan Ann Ilievski
Annmarie May
Julia Lois Roach
Angeline Wedemeier
Cassandra E. Winnie

English Comprehensive Exam
“Distinction” Awards

Julia Lois Roach

Excellence in Writing Awards*
Sister Brigid Brady, O.P. Award:

Angeline Wedemeier

Sister Vivien Jennings, O.P. Award:

Cassandra  E. Winnie

Sister Elizabeth Michael Boyle, O.P. Award:

Ryan Tunison

Department Honors

Traditional Student: Cassandra E. Winnie
Adult Student: Faith Conklin

English News

Remembering Sister Vivien Jennings

By Colleen Brennan 

Sister Vivien Jennings, former president of Caldwell University, with other former faculty members.
Sister Vivien Jennings smiling.
Sister Vivien Jennings holing a certificate.
Sister Vivien Jennings with other faculty members.
Sister Vivien Jennings with other faculty members.
Caldwell University Faculty and students on tour with sister Vivien.
Sister Vivien.
Sister Vivien with President Dr. Blattner.

On May 5th, 2018, members of the Caldwell University community mourned the loss of Sister Vivien Jennings, O.P., who served as President of Caldwell College from 1984 to 1994. She was born in Jersey City to parents Eugene and Mary Alice, and had five sisters: Alice White, Eugenia Smith, Marion Sheridan, Marjorie Menz, and Harriet Jennings, all of whom she was predeceased by. On September 8th, 1952, she entered the Sisters of St. Dominic, received the Dominican habit on June 27th, 1953, made her first profession on June 28th, 1954, and made her final profession on June 28th, 1960.

Majoring in English, Sister Vivien earned her bachelor’s degree from Caldwell College, and went on to earn her master’s in English from Catholic University, her master’s degree in communications from Syracuse University, and a Ph.D. in English from Fordham. After receiving her Ph.D., Sister Vivien also attended Oxford University, the Harvard School of Education, as well as Colombia Teacher’s College and earned various degrees in education, English, and finance from these institutions. She faithfully served as a Dominican sister of Caldwell for sixty-six years.

Sister Vivien held various positions throughout her life, which include elementary school teacher at six schools across New Jersey, secondary school teacher at Lacordaire Academy in Upper Montclair, NJ, English professor at Caldwell College, and Sister Superior of the Caldwell Dominican Order from 1969 to 1979. She was the founder of the Link Educational Center in Newark, NJ and president of the Dominican Leadership Conference in 1978 and 1979. In addition to these titles, Sister Vivien served as the education director at Caldwell College from 1980 to 1982, telecommunications director at Barry University from 1982 to 1983, and public affairs director at Catholic Telecommunications Network in New York City from 1983 to 1984. She was an incredibly industrious woman, inspiring countless students and members of various communities to live with compassion, ever in the pursuit of education.

During her time as president of Caldwell College, several changes were made to the university that continue to positively impact our community. She was president when, in 1985, Caldwell College transformed from a strictly female institution to a co-educational college. She also aided in expanding intercollegiate athletics and introduced the Fanjeaux study-abroad program to the campus, which is still offered today and enables students to explore the Catholic-Dominican tradition on which the school is grounded.

In the last two years of her life, she worked with Caldwell University’s undergraduate English students, Abigail Wortman and Colleen Brennan  on a book-length study of the sociological problems currently impacting the globe. The completion and publishing of this final work with the title From Worry, to Mercy, to Hope has been undertaken by one of Sister Vivien’s nieces, who was also a Caldwell University graduate.

Sister Vivien will always be remembered fondly by the Caldwell University community as her works and accomplishments, and memories of her compassionate, driven spirit enable her memory to live on.

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Renowned Percussionist Dennis DeLucia to give drumline clinic

Percussionist Dennis DeluciaRenowned percussionist Dennis Delucia will teach master classes at Caldwell University’s Drumline Clinic, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.Wednesday Feb. 21.

The free event will feature Delucia giving marching percussion technique instructions and demonstrations. A Yamaha performing artist, DeLucia
has been inducted into all three major percussion/marching arts Halls of Fame.

He has written four books on the art of drumming and in 1991, was the first percussionist to be inducted into the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame, alongside the late Fred Sandford.

The event will be held in the Caldwell University Student Center. The show date is Feb. 28.

Percussionists are required to bring their own marching instruments. Space is limited so register soon.

If interested in participating, individually or with an indoor drumline, contact Professor Rebecca Vega via phone or email at (973)-618-3446 and rvega@caldwell.edu.