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Featured News, News

Alleviating Food Insecurity at the Holidays and All Year Long

Maureen McNish and Alison Self stock the shelves in the Cougar Food Pantry.

Staff members Maureen McNish and Alison Self stock the shelves in the Cougar Food Pantry.

The holidays are a time when people often reach out to their neighbors in need, but staff members Maureen McNish and Alison Self know that people in the community face issues of hunger all year long. As founders of Caldwell University’s food pantry, they have learned that food insecurity on a university campus can exist for different reasons. Sometimes people may be in dire straits. Other times they may be “falling short this week and not getting paid until the end of the month,” explained McNish, who works as a retention specialist at the university. Or they might not have realized they needed a deposit for a new apartment’s utilities or security and didn’t budget for food, said McNish. And there are times when a student’s family might be facing tough times due to disability or death. “We don’t ask financial questions,” McNish said. The Cougar Food Pantry is there to help students, faculty staff and facilities personnel —and their families—who are in need whether over the long term or simply through a tough patch.

Since the pantry opened in 2016, use has gone up exponentially, with 89 visits in the 2018-19 academic year. McNish and Self are happy about that; they want it to be used. Still, they know more people on campus could use the service, and they want to reach them.

The pantry carries nonperishable food, baby items like diapers and wipes, feminine products, grocery store gift cards and even some hats and gloves. The more students talk, the more the word spreads, and then they will bring friends, explained Self, administrative assistant in the Wellness Center. She has found that “Once they get past the first time and realize how easy it is,” they feel more comfortable using the pantry.

According to the College & University Food Bank Alliance, 30% of college students are food insecure, 56% of food-insecure students are working and 75% of food-insecure students receive financial aid.

Caldwell’s food pantry was the brainchild of McNish, who was told a few years ago by another staff member that her office sometimes gave food vouchers to students who commute so they could eat a meal during their long day. It hit McNish that some students might not have enough to eat. She told a co-worker, who said that when she was a college student she often could not afford food. That got McNish thinking about students who might be hungry and the ways the campus community could help.

McNish and Self often send out the word when donations are needed, and they are grateful for the support they have received from so many people living out the Catholic Dominican mission of service, ranging from President Nancy Blattner, who helped get the pantry up and running, to the people who regularly drop off items. University groups will often make the pantry the charity they support. The Psychology Club, the Board of Trustees and the Alumni Shore Chapter recently took up collections. “We can’t say enough about the Sisters,” said McNish, explaining that one year the Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell chose the pantry for their Lenten ministry and they have continued to help since then.

For McNish and Self, operating the pantry has been a learning experience, showing them that people’s needs are often hidden. They recalled one student who did not have a pot or pan in which to make soup. “It makes me relook at things, not take things for granted,” said McNish. “Just knowing you are helping in one small part of their lives, making it a little easier for them, enriches my life too,” said Self.

To set up an appointment to receive items at the food pantry, email cougarfoodpantry@caldwell.edu. All contact is private. The pantry is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It is not open weekends or holidays.

Those wishing to see the list of suggested items to donate can go to https://www.caldwell.edu/cougar-food-pantry/shopping-list. Donations can be dropped off at CARES, the Wellness Center, the Academic Affairs suite, the Jennings Library, the Student Life Office and the Newman Welcome Center. To make large donations and to meet the staff at the pantry, email cougarfoodpantry@caldwell.edu.

Featured News, News

Men’s Basketball Defeats Division I Norfolk St at Fort Myers Tip-Off

Caldwell University Student dribbling ball during a basketball match.

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J.- The Caldwell University men’s basketball team defeated Division I Norfolk St University 64-54 at the Fort Myers Tip-Off hosted at Monmouth University.

The Cougars improve to 3-4 on the season, while the Spartans fall to 3-4.

Norfolk St. opened up a 12-6 lead over the first five minutes of the game. Caldwell trailed by single digits for most of the half as they battled back to pull even at 22 following a free throw by senior Ruud Lutterman (Dalem, Netherlands) at the 3:42 mark. The Spartans retook the lead and led 28-24 at halftime.

Caldwell opened the second half on a 13-4 run to pull ahead 37-32 at the 16:01 mark. Senior AJ Kittles (Glassboro, N.J.) drained a three-pointer, while senior Vaughn Covington (Sicklerville, N.J.) added a triple and two free throws in the run. Senior Eric Johnson-Alford (Clifton, N.J.) capped the run with a three-pointer to five the Cougars a five-point advantage.

The Cougars maintained a lead for most of the second half as Norfolk St. pulled even at 51 with 4:27 left in the game. Caldwell pulled away with a 10-1 run as Covington hit four free throws and added a bucket. Johnson-Alford converted a key three-point play with under minute to play as Caldwell’s defense limited the Spartans to three free throws and no field goals over the final four minutes.

Covington led the way with 20 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Johnson-Alford chipped in 15 points and nine boards, while Kittles added eight points and three rebounds.

The Cougars are back in action as they travel to Nyack College for a conference game on Wednesday, December 7 at 7:30 pm.

Library

Finals in the Library!

The Jennings Library has a lot of activities planned to help you survive the stress.

We’ll be open extended hours starting Sunday December 8. Hot drinks will be available on December 9th, 10th, and 11th from 6pm-10pm. Coloring books and legos- will be waiting to take your stress away. Free massages will be in the Library Tuesday 12/10 and Wednesday 12/11 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. December 13 at 11am Wellness Center meditation in the CMS . Come join us!

Stay tuned for our Ugly Sweater Contest coming soon!

A special thank you to the Office of Student Engagement for providing the hot beverages.

Extended Hours Finals Week:

Sunday (12/8) – 1 p.m. to Midnight
Monday (12/9) to Thursday (12/12) – 7:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Featured News, News

Esports Management Program featured on One-on-One with Steve Adubato

Neil Malvone, assistant professor of sport management and esports management, joins Steve Adubato to talk about Caldwell University’s new bachelor’s program in esports management.

Neil Malvone, assistant professor of sport management and esports management,(r) joins Steve Adubato to talk about Caldwell University’s new bachelor’s program in esports management.

Neil Malvone, assistant professor of sport management and esports management, is a guest on One-on-One with Steve Adubato to talk about Caldwell University’s new bachelor’s program in esports management which is preparing students for careers in the booming electronic sports gaming industry.  He explains how the coursework focuses on opportunities for employment in finance, marketing, event planning, operations, entertainment and more.

The program is one of the first of its kind in the nation and is being offered within Caldwell’s School of Business and Computer Science.

Malvone also shared that the university has launched its inaugural season for its Cougars esports team which plays in a beautiful new state-of-the-art esports arena.   The gaming area features two rooms and was made possible by LG Electronics, which donated 12 240Hz gaming monitors and six large-screen 4K displays, and by Cisco, which donated a network switch and two cloud security cameras.

Watch the segment here.

Malvone was also recently interviewed for University Business for its article “How higher ed is shaping the business of esports”.

The university has launched a Twitch channel on which spectators can see matches and cheer on the Cougars.

Featured News, News

Advent and Christmas Events at Caldwell

Birth of Christ, Donald Jackson, Copyright 2002, The Saint John’s Bible, Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota USA. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Birth of Christ, Donald Jackson, Copyright 2002, The Saint John’s Bible, Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota USA. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Come and join Caldwell University in celebrating the joy and the hope of the Advent and Christmas seasons.

Friday, December 6 

The annual  Christmas Spectacular! Concert will be held, 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 6 in the Student Center Gym. The university’s chorale will perform Britten’s “Ceremony of Carols” with harp. The wind ensemble and honor band will perform an excerpt of Gustave Holst’s “Suite in F”. Seasonal music and the Christmas sing-along will complete the concert. Tickets are $10.  Admission for Caldwell University students is free. 

Sunday, December 8

“Lessons and Carols,” with an Advent scripture meditation inspired by The Saint John’s Bible, will be held at 4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 8 in the Sister Mary Dominic Tweedus Chapel in the Newman Center on campus.  It will feature prayer, music and illuminations from the Bible, which 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. Caldwell is hosting a Heritage Edition of the Gospels and Acts.

Featured News, News

Caldwell Athletics Receives CAANJ DII Cup For Third Straight Year

SOMERSET, N.J.- The Caldwell University Athletics Department earned the Collegiate Athletic Administrators of New Jersey (CAANJ) Division II Cup for a third straight year for their outstanding athletic accomplishments during the 2018-19 year.

Caldwell Athletics as a department had another outstanding year on the field and in the classroom in 2018-19. The Cougars won two conference championships in women’s soccer and bowling, earning both programs a trip to their respective national tournaments. For women’s soccer, the 2018 conference title was their second in three seasons and their third in the last six seasons, while the bowling team captured their first conference championship in only their fifth year as a varsity program at Caldwell.

The Cougars earned two major award winners last season as bowling’s Jenna Rapach (Hazleton, Pa.) was selected as the East Coast Conference Rookie of the Year and later earned ECC Tournament Most Outstanding Bowler honors. The department featured eight all-region players, including the first women’s lacrosse player in program history to be recognized. Caldwell earned a total of 18 all-conference honorees, including 17 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference All-League players with seven being named to the first team. The department also featured a combined totaled 37 all-academic honorees between the CACC and ECC as well as one CoSIDA Google Cloud Third Team Academic All-American.

The Caldwell Athletics Department was honored at the annual CAANJ Awards Luncheon on Thursday, October 24 at the FairBridge Hotel in Somerset, New Jersey.

Featured News, News

Celebrating Caldwell’s First-Generation Students

Caldwell university student photo with nancy blattner.

Caldwell, N.J., Nov. 8, 2019 – Caldwell University joined other colleges and universities in celebrating its first-generation university students on Nov. 8.

Speaking to the students, President Nancy Blattner shared how she was the first in her family to go to college. Her parents did not attend high school but encouraged their daughter to pursue education. “There are no limits to what you can do with an education. No one can take that away from you,” said President Blattner. And with that education they can help other family members, she said. Dr. Blattner assured the students that the university staff and faculty are there to help them succeed. “You are not alone as first-generation.”

First-generation freshman Hanirah Mitchner said Dr. Blattner’s comments made her feel appreciated.  Leonela Martinez, another first-generation freshman, was happy to hear President Blattner’s “inspiring success story … if she can do it, we can do it too.”

The aim of Caldwell’s event was to celebrate the success of the students and to remind them of the supports available on campus to help them achieve their dreams and goals. It was  held in the university’s new Eileen Jones Multicultural Center, named for the university’s first African-American student.

Celebrating first-generation students

Headshot photo of Ashley Williams

Ashley Williams

In high school Ashley Williams never thought much about college and her teachers encouraged her to go to a community college, but she was accepted into the EOF program at Caldwell and never looked back. It is a “home away from home. I’m so blessed and happy,” said Williams, of Old Bridge, New Jersey. “I’m a name, not a number” said Williams, who is majoring in history and is busy working in the campus bookstore. She is grateful to faculty and staff members like history professor Dr. Marie Mullaney, her advisor, who Williams says has been “one of the best people—who helped me get to where I want to be.” As first generation in her family she wants to be a role model for her two nieces and hopes other high school students who think college is out of reach realize that “if you put the effort and time into it, it will happen.”

Headshot photo of rodriguez.

Alicia Rodriguez

 

Senior Alicia Rodriguez says her parents are so excited about her  graduation from college that they are already planning a huge party. “The only thing we talk about is my graduation.” Rodriguez, a resident of Union, New Jersey, says her parents—“the two smartest people I know”—did not go to college and have encouraged their daughter to keep pushing toward her goal of earning a university degree. The first-generation student is majoring in sport management and with a minor in pre-law and a long-term goal of becoming a sports attorney. During her undergraduate years when times were stressful, Melissa Cooke, her advisor in the School of Business and Computer Science, was always supportive and would give her good advice and “a huge push.” A member of the women’s lacrosse team, Rodriguez is also grateful to the Athletics Department, her coaches and teammates for their influence. The skills she learned on the field, like “being devoted and practicing more,” apply to academics and life in general. “Whatever I use in athletics, I use in my day-to-day life,” she said.

 

Head Shot photo of Kasey Cox.

Kasey Cox

Sophomore Kasey Cox was raised by her grandparents and will be the first in her family to earn a college degree. “My family is proud of me,” said Cox, who grew up in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey. Sometimes being first generation presents challenges, like having to navigate financial aid processes, but she said the staff at Caldwell University has been super helpful. A psychology major with a criminal justice minor, Cox said EOF is her “saving grace.” She belongs to the sorority Delta Phi Epsilon and to the Psychology Club and is an EOF class representative. After receiving her undergraduate degree, she hopes to join the military and then become a school counselor. Cox encouraged other students who do not have family members who have gone to college, saying that with the support EOF, “It is easier than you think.”

 

Head shot photo of Ruth Jimenez.

Ruth Jimenez

Senior Ruth Jimenez appreciates that EOF holds students accountable for their grades. The staff in the office provides a great support system and helps with resources, but having someone monitoring your grades adds a “sense of accountability,” she said. Jimenez, who came to the United States from the Dominican Republic when she was seven, attended Becton Regional High School in East Rutherford. She is majoring in health care administration and hopes to go on for her master’s and eventually work in administration in a health care setting. Along with her studies, she works hard—on campus in the library and as a substitute teacher. Her parents always supported education and her mother graduated from college in her country, but Ruth will be the first in her family to receive a degree in the United States. That comes with “a big responsibility” since she is setting an example for her 10-year-old brother, who is already talking about going to college. “It was drilled into us,” said Jimenez.

Featured News, News

Christmas Spectacular! Concert

Caldwell University invites the community to celebrate the holiday season at the annual  Christmas Spectacular Concert, 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 6 in the Student Center Gym. The university’s chorale will perform Britten’s “Ceremony of Carols” with harp. The wind ensemble and honor band will perform an excerpt of Gustave Holst’s “Suite in F”. Seasonal music and the Christmas sing-along will complete the concert. Tickets are $10.

English News

Meet Your Major

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This past Wednesday, October 23rd, the English Department hosted an event to discuss upcoming events, scholarship opportunities, recommended courses and much more! Each full-time faculty member took time to explain what was up and coming in the department. Although this departmental event was very informative, it was also a social event and students had the opportunity to mingle halfway through. Students spent the remainder of the time enjoying pizza and engaging in meaningful conversations with professors and peers. Although a majority of the students in attendance were English Majors, there were also students who were undecided and others who were considering an English Minor. If you or a peer missed out on this event and wish to learn more about becoming an English major look out for our upcoming meet your major event this spring.

Featured News, News

The Saint John’s Bible events to feature poetry, music, the Middle Ages 

Baptism of Jesus, Donald Jackson, Copyright 2002, The Saint John’s Bible, Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota USA. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Baptism of Jesus, Donald Jackson, Copyright 2002, The Saint John’s Bible, Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota USA. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Caldwell University continues its Year with The Saint John’s Bible with events featuring music, poetry and history. The events are free and open to the public.

A Saint John’s Bible Poetry Reading with Sister Eva Mary Hooker, CSC will be held at noon, Wednesday, Oct. 30 in the Westervelt Lecture Hall in Werner Hall.  Sister Eva will read nine of her own original poems that are based upon images from The Saint John’s Bible which she will project in a powerpoint. She will also read from her full-length collection, Godwit (Three: A Taos Press, 2016).    Sister Eva is professor of English and writer-in-residence at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame.  3 Taos Press published her first full-length book of poetry, Godwit, in 2016. Chapiteau Press published two chapbooks, The Winter Keeper (finalist for the Minnesota Book Award in poetry) and Notes for Survival in the Wilderness.  Her poems have been published in journals such as Agni, Salmagundi, Notre Dame Review, Terrain, Witness, Memorious and Salamander.    The reading is sponsored by the Saint  John’s Bible committee and Caldwell University Dr. Mary Ann Miller’s Catholic Writers (of literature) class.

“Illuminations: A Concert of Music Inspired by The Saint John’s Bible” will premiere at 3 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 10 in the university Alumni Theatre.  Music faculty member Nan Childress Orchard has commissioned two original works from New Jersey composers Caroline H. Newman and Rob Middleton to celebrate Caldwell University’s Year with The Saint John’s Bible.  Performers include Childress Orchard, piano; Music Department faculty members Rebecca Vega, flute, and Rob Middleton, clarinet; and Jacqueline Stern, violoncello.

“The Saint John’s Bible: From the Middle Ages to the 21st Century” will be presented by  Marie Mullaney, Ph.D., professor of history at Caldwell, 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 14.   This lecture will explain how an understanding of medieval history can lead to a deeper appreciation of The Saint John’s Bible since its production is so intimately linked to the values, techniques, and lifestyles of the time.

The Saint John’s Bible 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.  Caldwell is hosting the Heritage Edition of the Gospels and Acts volume of the Bible until the end of the calendar year.