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Student Chorale Members Interview Sisters of St. Dominic

A picture of Sister Joan Doyle, O.P.

Sister Joanne Beirne

The Dominican Magnificat and Dominican Blessing are songs the chorale sings at Masses and special functions. The pieces express the faith and Catholic Dominican history that are at the core of Caldwell University and its founders, the Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell. Often the students who sing those scores do not know the rich heritage behind the music, explained Dr. Laura Greenwald, director of the chorale and music professor, who has been at the university for over 30 years. “I have worked with so many of these brilliant women, and I know their dedication to education and the order’s charism. But now there are only a few sisters working in person at the university, even though many live nearby. I wanted the students to meet and connect personally with at least one Dominican Sister to add to their understanding of the music we are singing.”

Greenwald knew she had to start the fall semester differently due to the pandemic.  Along with rehearsing both inside and outside, wearing masks, and practicing social distancing, she wanted the students to feel connected to others at a time when many people feel isolated.    

She assigned the students the task of interviewing a Sister of St. Dominic of Caldwell via Zoom or the phone about her involvement in education and her feelings about the Dominican Magnificat and the Blessing. 

An image of Lauren Mann

Lauren Mann

Lauren Mann ’22, a music education major, interviewed Professor Emerita Sister Mary John Kearney, O.P. It was “a refreshing start” to the year for Mann, and she was excited to have the chance to meet others outside the department. She learned about Sister Mary John’s background as an elementary school teacher, principal of three Catholic elementary schools, and a college professor of educationa “teacher of future teachers,” as Sister Mary John explained it.  

Mann listened to Sister Mary John describe her vocation as a Dominican Sister and her devotion to Mary, the patroness of the Dominican Order. She spoke of her family’s devotion to Mary, which was fostered by her parents, and her schooling from kindergarten through high school, which was nurtured by the Dominican Sisters of Caldwell. Mann said Sister felt a strong connection to God in those two songs. Of the Magnificat, Mann quoted Sister as saying,  “… I was so touched by its musical composition, and it so moved me spiritually, aesthetically and joyfully. I found myself graced with not only the words but [also] the meaning it brought out in me.” Mann was excited to learn that Sister Mary John was a soprano “like myself” and that she believes in the old adage “She who sings once, prays twice.” 

NoreenA

Noreen Abedrabbo

Noreen Abedrabbo ’24 interviewed Sister Joanne Beirne, O.P.,  who works in the Academic Success Center at the university. The conversation with Sister Joanne, a former nurse, was “a very fun project” and led Abedrabbo to understand the songs more and “sing them with more emotion.” Abedrabbo recounted some of the memorable moments for Sister with the music including when she and other Sisters sang the Dominican Blessing at the summer drive-by outside the health care facility, St. Catherine’s. The Sisters were thanking the essential workers for their courage and commitment during the pandemic. Sister holds in her heart the memories of when the Magnificat was sung at her 50th-anniversary jubilee celebration and at a university baccalaureate Mass. “I went to public school and did not sing these kinds of pieces,” said Abedrabbo, but after her conversation with Sister Joanne, she knows the songs are beautiful messages of hope that can help her lift her voice. “I can use that when I sing to make them stronger.” 

PHoto of Katherine Arena

Katherine Arena

Katherine Arena ’22, a psychology major,  had the pleasure of interviewing Sister Joan Doyle, O.P., a former educator, principal, and prioress of the Sisters of St. Dominic.  She was moved to hear Sister Joan share her vocation storyhow she stepped out in faith at 18 years old to pursue her vocation and has cherished every minute of her life as a sister.

Sister Joan

Sister Joan Doyle, O.P

The Dominican Magnificat always brings Sister to “a place of joy,” said Arena. “She said it is a song of praise but also of resilience.” Arena learned that “it was Mary’s first prayer and that it shows God’s great value for women.”

She was moved by Sister Joan’s “humble, joyful heart” and how she believes strongly that one can continue to serve in every stage of life. Arena thinks it is a great piece of advicethat no matter your background or age, “you can always help someone.” 

Prior to the assignment, whenever Arena would sing the Dominican Magnificat she could see the emotion of those in the congregation but never knew why. Now she understands. “It is not just a song.”  

Several other students interviewed other Sisters who shared their experiences with the richness of the Dominican songs.

A picture of Sister Mary John

Sister Mary John Kearney

More about the Magnificat: The Magnificat refers to the Canticle of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which starts with the line “Magnificat anima mea Dominum,” meaning “My soul does magnify the Lord.” Mary, the Mother of God, first spoke the phrase when she went to visit her cousin Elizabeth after the Angel Gabriel had appeared to Mary and told her that she would conceive and bear a son, Jesus and that He would be great and called the Son of the Most High. The Magnificat comes from Luke 1:46-56.

The Dominican Magnificat was inspired by the biblical “Magnificat”.  It was composed by Feargal King in 1990 for the 150th-anniversary celebration of a Catholic Church in Ireland. King had attended a summer camp run by a Dominican priest to teach young people church music. The verses highlight the Dominican values “to bless, to praise, and to preach.”

The German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, killed by the Nazis for his resistance, wrote of the Magnificat, “This song of Mary is the oldest Advent hymn. It is the most passionate, most vehement, one might almost say, most revolutionary Advent hymn ever sung. It is not the gentle, sweet, dreamy Mary that we so often see portrayed in pictures, but the passionate, powerful, proud, enthusiastic Mary, who speaks here.”

 

 

 

Featured News, News

“Keep it up. We’ll beat this thing” – A Message from Dr. Whelan and Sister Kathleen

 

In a video message to the Caldwell University community, President Matthew Whelan and Sister Kathleen Tuite, vice president for student life, thank the members of the university community for their efforts to remain compliant to stem the tide of COVID-19.  They remind everyone to “keep it up” and focus on their academics, their physical well-being, and staying safe from COVID-19 by washing their hands, wearing their masks, and staying socially distant.  “And we’ll beat this thing,” said Dr. Whelan. “CU Strong!” said Sister Kathleen. 

Library

The Color Purple Conversation

Join us on October 23 at 12 pm for a virtual discussion and conversation about Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, the award-winning novel and film where race, gender, trauma, and victimization all intersect.
Click here for access to the ebook https://tinyurl.com/y6f9bqqb
And click here to join the meeting https://tinyurl.com/y5gtw8fv
The DVD is also available at Jennings Library.
Sponsored by Jennings Library and Student Advocacy and Prevention Awareness.
Contact Victoria Swanson at viswanson@caldwell.edu with any questions.

Featured News, News

Caldwell Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

Caldwell University is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. Throughout the month, we will highlight some of the many Hispanic members of our community who positively influence our university and society.  

Earlier this year Caldwell University was formally recognized as a Hispanic-Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education, reflecting the growth in enrollment of Hispanic students at the university and the welcoming environment Caldwell has created for the students.   

 

Jeremy Colon ’23

Jeremy

Jeremy Colon ’23

Jeremy Colon fell in love with Caldwell University the first time he visited the campus. His head football coach at Union City High School told him about the university and that there was a chance to play sprint football. Colon seized the opportunity.

From the time he was young Colon knew that football could be an avenue for his education and future dreams. The game has taught him quite a bit, like “Every failure is a lesson learned,” he said. “Anytime I fail I try to make myself better and just move on from it,” said Colon, who is majoring in communication and media studies. That attitude of looking at what can be learned from challenges extends to the pandemic, which has taught him that you “Don’t take anything for granted. You have to adapt and move on.”

Attention is what makes Caldwell special, said Colon, the attention students receive from the staff, faculty members, coaches and other students.

Colon grew up in Union City, the son of a couple from the Dominican Republic. His culture is important to him, and he enjoys Hispanic Heritage Month with family, “good bonding time” and good food, like his favorite dish of mangu, salami and fried cheese.

Colon is the first in his family to go to college, and his goals are to graduate, “make my family proud and get a stable job.”

His sprint football coach, James Kelly, said Colon’s has the drive to reach those goals. “His energy and enthusiasm to strive for perfection are admired by our staff and student body in our learning community.” Colon leads by example and “epitomizes the ability to meet challenges the student-athlete faces with a rigorous curriculum and athletic competition,” said Kelly. “Jeremy Colon will leave our campus leaving his standard to overcome adversity for future Cougars to follow.”

 

Viviana Zeballos ’22

Photo of Viviana

Viviana Zeballos ’22

Viviana Zeballos is grateful that she grew up in a bilingual household. Being fluent in Spanish has given her opportunities to assist others. “You feel great when you can give a helping hand,” said Zeballos, who comes from a close-knit family with a Bolivian heritage. She has traveled to the South American country to visit her grandmother, and that has given her a broader world view. “I love learning about people’s cultures.” 

This fall semester Zeballos is learning remotely at Caldwell University. Even before the pandemic hit, it was a format she preferred. “I work better by myself.” A marketing major, she picked up a second major, psychology. “It will help me understand people better for business,” she said.   

At a recent meeting of the university’s Academic Affairs Committee, Zeballos shared her preference for remote learning. “It was great to be able to give our opinions,” the new committee member said. One of the benefits of online learning at Caldwell is that faculty have small classes and that gives them the opportunity to reach out to the students taking “the first step” in communications, said Zeballos. Then students are not afraid to speak up and ask for help, she explained. Although virtual learning is her preferred format, she is still connected. “I have a lot of activities that give me people interaction.”  

One of those activities is the Educational Opportunity Fund program, which she appreciates for the opportunities to make connections with people and as a support system. “Knowing I can go to the office for help with anything is a resource I am so thankful for.” She is a member of the sorority Lambda Tau Mega and of the cross-country and track teams, which she joined during her sophomore year. With the COVID restrictions, she is grateful that her coach is keeping in contact with team members. “I run on my own and the coach sends out workouts, so it is great.” Running helps her manage stress and provides a sense of accomplishment. “You really have to count on yourself.” It is a “mental sport,” but pushing through despite fatigue and finishing a race is a great feeling. Just as she strives to do in her academic pursuits, “You really give it your all.” 

Emily Gomez Rodriguez ’22

Emily Gomez Rodriguez ’22

September is Emily Gomez Rodriguez’s favorite month. It is Hispanic Heritage Month and her birthday month. “I would not be the person I am today if it were not for my culture. I embrace and love my culture,” said the health sciences major, who has Colombian and Honduran heritage.

Caldwell’s diversity is one of the things Rodriguez appreciates about her university, and she encourages her peers to learn about their heritages: “Love your roots.”

Rodriguez grew up in Rahway and Elizabeth, New Jersey. She speaks Spanish fluently and is comfortable with Portuguese. Her mother is a middle school Spanish teacher. “I love that I can use different languages. I feel I have the power to express myself more.” She often uses her skills to translate for other people. The Latin she took in her freshman year of high school helps her with the Portuguese and with the Greek and Latin roots of words she is learning in her medical terminology class.

Rodriguez has always had an interest in medicine. Her father is a respiratory therapist. She learned how to do CPR when she was 8 years old because she wanted to learn “what people do in the movies.” She aspires to become a physician assistant in an underserved community. It is a career path she discovered during the lockdown after losing her grandfather and her aunt to COVID-19-related causes and learning the role PAs could play on the front lines of a disaster like a health care pandemic. “PAs get to improve and save the lives of others, and it is versatile and collaborative.”

A month after her family’s losses, Rodriguez applied to volunteer with her local emergency squad, and she has become a blood donor ambassador for the American Red Cross. She credits natural sciences professor Dr. Agnes Berki with inspiring her and educating her and other students about the virus. Early in the year when news about the coronavirus was breaking, Berki dedicated lectures to COVID-19 including information on proper mask-wearing and sanitizing. “It was a blessing,” said Rodriguez, who incorporated the information into her daily life and shared it with her family.

Rodriguez is studying remotely this semester, and Berki prepared her for that by helping students adapt to online learning during the lockdown. (This semester Berki is on sabbatical researching COVID-19 and infectious diseases.) “The support and guidance from last semester prepared me for this semester,” said Rodriguez.

Despite having had a challenging year, Rodriguez is grateful for being a part of the Caldwell University family and for a new academic year. “Caldwell has given me support, maturity, more intelligence, a sense of community, and caring.” She is also grateful to Dr. William Velhagen, associate dean of the School of Natural Sciences, for his advice.

As she ventures into her junior year, Rodriguez feels empowered by her experiences and the support she receives from her professors. “It [all] has taught me to keep on going no matter what.”

 

Featured News, News

Mass of the Holy Spirit – Community is encouraged to “rely on the Spirit”

President Matthew Whelan, Ed.D. read the blessings for the university choir, Student Government Association officers, resident assistants, and fall athletes.
Fall athletes receiving a blessing for the start of the year.
Father James Manos was the celebrant for the Mass of the Holy Spirit.

 

Caldwell, N.J., Sept. 16, 2020 – Each fall the Caldwell University community gathers for the Mass of the Holy Spirit for the start of the academic year. This year students, faculty, and staff did the same on Sept. 16,  just a little differently, outside, in the sunshine and COVID-safe but with everyone happy to be together thanking God for his blessings and asking for his guidance. 

Father James Manos, the pastor of St. Luke’s Church in Ho Ho Kus, New Jersey, and a master’s alumnus of the university, was the celebrant. “We have all been going through a difficult time,” Father said, but “we still must continue the mission God has entrusted to us…the Holy Spirit empowers us in ways we never thought possible.”  

“You put your hand in God’s hand [and], He leads you,” said Father. “Rely on the Spirit. Trust in the Spirit. That’s what carries us through.” 

President Matthew Whelan, Ed.D. read the blessings for the university choir, Student Government Association officers, resident assistants, and fall athletes asking God to “be with all members of the Caldwell University community as we begin a new academic year.”

Through their masks, the university choir led by Dr. Laura Greenwald sang the Dominican Blessing.

Gabriel Johnson ‘23,  Marcellus Ross ‘23, Ana Gonzalez Martin ‘21, and Paula Dits ‘22 were some of the student-athletes who attended and were very appreciative of the blessings and the chance to gather and pray. With “everything going on in the world,” it was a welcome message, said Ross, a member of the men’s basketball team.  “Much needed,” said Johnson, also a basketball player.   

“It was a good opportunity to connect with God and with each other in this special circumstance where we need each other’s faith and support,” said Dits,  a member of the women’s basketball team.   

It was “so beautiful to come together,” said Martin.  She “loved how the priest shared his own experiences of being young” and learning that he had to cooperate with God’s spirit. 

Director of Campus Ministry Colleen O’Brien was the lector. 

Traditionally, the Mass of the Holy Spirit marks the beginning of the academic year at a Catholic university.

Featured News, News

Communications Professor Wins First-Place Award for Podcast

Caldwell, N.J., July 29, 2020  Communication and Media Studies Professor Bob Mann received a firstplace award from the Garden State Journalists Association for his podcast Hot Media with Bob Mann. 

An image of Professor Bob Mann

Mann won in the podcast-newfeature category for his interview with Hagit Limoran investigative reporter, professor and past president of the Society of Professional Journalists. The episode featured a discussion of antinews media messages in the movie Richard Jewell. I gave the episode the title ‘Make My Day because it was directed by Clint Eastwood,” said Mann. 

Mann was granted a sabbatical in the fall of 2019 to develop a course on podcasting. “My sabbatical gave me the chance to focus on podcasting in a way that would have never been possible while attending to my normal responsibilities.” He had a home studio built, learned to edit, developed a format, and reconnected with guests from radio shows he had done in the past. He also created the class “Advanced Podcasting: Performance, Production and Purpose,” which he is eager to debut in the spring of 2021. 

Mann founded the communications academic major followed by the Communications Department at what was then Caldwell College in the 1990s, taking the baton from Sister Vivien Jennings, former president of Caldwell, who had founded a certificate program in communications. 

Featured News, News

Lilly Endowment Grant Will Fund Youth “Disciples on the Way” Program

Caldwell, N.J., July 28, 2020 Caldwell University has received a grant to start a new program “Disciples on the Way” that will encourage high school students to look at what it means to be a disciple in today’s world. Thanks to a five-year $222,000 Lilly Endowment grant, students will have the chance to explore questions about their faith and the moral dimensions of contemporary challenges.  Lilly endowment inc logo

In 2015, Caldwell University received a fouryear grant to establish a residential summer programthe Spirituality and Leadership Institute (SLI), on campus for high school students and Caldwell’s undergraduate spiritual mentors. The major focus was to study theological works and to examinhow their faith calls them to lives of service.  SLI has introduced high school and undergraduate students to spiritual disciplines as leadership practices and helped them develop as young citizens who promote public justice and seek the common good.   

With the new Disciples on the Way program, participants will be immersed in intellectual, spiritual, and practical ways of living as they focus and build on different aspects of discipleship, such as leadership, arts and spirituality, and prayer methods. All programming will be aimed at helping young people have a greater understanding of their ability to be disciples in today’s world and to have an initial full experience experimenting with and using the suggested discernment tools. The program will help youth intensify connections to their faith in areas of interest and envision how they can become faith leaders in their community, school, church, family, workplace, and even online through social media. 

Colleen O’Brien, Caldwell University’s director of campus ministry, is a seasoned youth minister in higher education, who will lead this effort supported by an array of CU spiritual mentors and an assistant youth minister. She hopes it will help students deepen their faith. “We are working to engage current and future faith leaders in our community and help them discover the many ways God is calling them to live and be in the world.” 

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family – J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli – through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly & Company. The Endowment exists to support the causes of religion, education, and community development. Lilly Endowment’s religion grantmaking is designed to deepen and enrich the religious lives of American Christians. It does this largely through initiatives to enhance and sustain the quality of ministry in American congregations and parishes. 

Alumni News, News

Welcome President Whelan

Welcome to Caldwell University President Matthew Whelan!

We are so happy that you are here.
We are ready to go! 

 

A picture of Samantha Guerra ‘22, Major- Nursing, President, SGA, and the SGA Eboard“On behalf of the student government association here at Caldwell University, we would like to welcome you to our campus. We are very excited to be working with you to create a proactive, healthy, and safe environment for all the students, faculty, and staff here at Caldwell University. Looking forward to expanding both your mission for Caldwell, as well as ours for the success of our students.”

 Samantha Guerra ‘22, Major- Nursing, President, SGA, and the SGA Eboard

 

 

 

 


A picture of Paul Iwarat ‘22 - Major - Accounting, Esports overwatch captain, resident assistant.Congratulations, President Whelan! I look forward to seeing you in action! I can tell you right now that you made the right choice choosing to work at Caldwell University. We are all here for you as you are here for all of us.

Paul Iwarat ‘22 –  Major – Accounting, Esports overwatch captain, resident assistant.

 


A picture of Dennis Martin ‘21 Major - Social Studies, EOF Class Representative of 2017 Cohort

On behalf of the EOF Program, which is embodied by students, and blessed by God with determination, perseverance, and grit, we welcome you Dr. Matthew Whelan to both the Caldwell University Family and the Caldwell EOF family. Thank you for taking the torch of light and hope that will empower Caldwell students to continue to seek the welfare and justice of their families, communities, and the whole world.  

-Dennis Martin ‘21  Major  – Social Studies, EOF Class Representative of 2017 Cohort

 


Dear Dr. Whelan, I am looking forward to seeing you around campus. It will be A picture of Jose Perez ‘21, Major - Financial Economics and Marketing, Vice President, International Student Organization, member of the men’s track and field team.fantastic to get to know you. Please let me know if you need help with anything, as I would like to make your transition into our Caldwell University Community as pleasant as possible.

Jose Perez ‘21,    Major – Financial Economics and Marketing, Vice President, International Student Organization, member of the men’s track and field team.

 


A picture of Madison Perry ’21, Major - Biology, Member, Women’s Bowling Team, Catholic Relief Services Student AmbassadorWelcome to Caldwell, Dr. Whelan! I hope you fall in love with the community as quickly as I did during my freshman year. I can’t wait to see what you do for our community!

Madison Perry ’21, Major – Biology, Member, Women’s Bowling Team, Catholic Relief Services Student Ambassador.

 

 

 

 

 


A picture of Ashley Williams

My name is Ashley Williams and I am a student in the  EOF program. I just want to welcome you to Caldwell University and I hope you create some of your best memories while you are here! 

-Ashley Williams ‘21 –  Major-History

 

 

 


A picture of Colin WilliamsPresident Whelan, It is my honor to welcome you on behalf of the Caldwell University Football Team. I promise to deliver you a championship this year

-Colin Williams ’21 – Major – Communication and Media Studies

 

 

 


Welcome to Caldwell University, President Whelan! On behalf of the Staff Council, we are so excited that you are now part of our beautiful and vibrant campus community. We look forward to all you will bring to Caldwell’s present and future! Marina C. Manning, Academic Advisor

 


Dear Dr. Whelan,

On behalf of the faculty of Caldwell University, I would like to welcome you to our community.  Having met you during the interview process, I know firsthand your passion for our mission and your excitement about the institution’s future.  I look forward to working with you in the months and years ahead. – Dr. Benjamin Lammers, President of the Faculty Council

 


Matt, A picture of Linda Luciano

The Board and I look forward to partnering with you in your role as Caldwell University’s ninth president. I am confident that you will successfully lead our university into the future.  

 Best regards, Linda Luciano, EdD, MBA
Chair, Caldwell University Board of Trustees

 

 


A picture of Msgr. Robert EmeryDear Dr. Whelan, 

It is a pleasure to be able to welcome you to Caldwell University! As the Pastor of St. Aloysius Church here in Caldwell, I look forward to collaborating with you whenever possible. There has always been a wonderful relationship between the University and the Parish and I know that will continue under your leadership. Please know that I am always willing to help in any way.  I wish you many blessings in your new role and promise you a special place in my prayers.

 

 Sincerely in Christ,
Msgr. Robert Emery
Pastor, St. Aloysius Pastor, Caldwell, NJ

 


Dear Matt,

I’m looking forward to continued conversation and wishing you a very warm A picture of Sister Patrice Wernerwelcome to Caldwell University and our Dominican family.  With all of the sisters I extend our Dominican blessing:

May God, the Creator, bless you.
May God, Redeemer, heal you.
And may God, the Holy Spirit, fill you with light.

In Dominic and Catherine,

Sister Patrice
Prioress, Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell

 

 

Alumni News, News

Caldwell University Heroes

Thank you to all the essential workers who are stepping up during the coronavirus pandemic. We celebrate the many brave, dedicated members of our Caldwell University community. Here are some of those champions. Special thanks and congratulations to the Class of 2020’s Communication and Media Studies graduate Anthony Escanosti for his great work on this video!

 

Alumni News, Featured News, Music News, News

Finding Your Rhythm at Caldwell University: Pedro Liriano

A picture of Pedro Liriano ?

Pedro Liriano received the 2020 Trustee Recognition Award during honors convocation May 7.

Pedro Liriano of Plainfield, New Jersey is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education. But he knows he is taking much more with him from his Caldwell University experience than a degree. When he looks back on his time here, he acknowledges not just his education in music but also his education in life skills.

“During my time at Caldwell University, I experienced many different lessons that helped form me into the man I am today…but the greatest lesson I took away from Caldwell was a lesson in how to be more open to meeting new people and learning how to network,says Liriano who received the prestigious 2020 Trustee Recognition Award and Music Department honors at a virtual honors convocation May 7.  

A large part of being a teacher is being open to students and communicating with them effectively. Liriano knows that his time at Caldwell has allowed him to sharpen those social skills in a way that will make him a much more effective educator. Coming in as the only student from my high school [at Caldwell] freshman year really forced me to open up and talk to new people, which in the end I am grateful for, because now as a future music teacher I have the skills necessary to be communicative and open towards my students and parents.” 

Liriano proved to be adept at opening up and sharing his talents with the Caldwell community. His participation in campus activities was far-reaching. He contributed his musical talents to a multitude of music groups: the jazz band, the marching band, the wind, clarinet, flute, and pop ensembles and the choir. He identifies the highlights of his music career as his senior recital and his time performing with Clueless, a band featured at many campus events. He is also very proud of being a part of the Theatre club in its first play performed at Caldwell in many years.

And if that were not enough, he was also a member of the cross country and track and field teams. That experience added a ton to his time at Caldwell. “I cherish the memories made with all my teammates at every practice and every race,” Liriano says. A picture of Pedro Liriano's experience in Caldwell University

It is always a special honor when your professors encourage you to participate with students from other colleges in your area of expertise. So it was a great credit to Liriano that his private instructor and jazz ensemble director, Music Department faculty member, Rob Middleton directed him toward the New Jersey Intercollegiate Jazz Ensemble, in which he participated for two years. Liriano also volunteered as the pianist for his grandfather’s church and worked as the music director at his own church in New Brunswick.

Not only did Liriano participate in many activities, but he also was a great role model for incoming freshmen. During his time at Caldwell, he served as a freshman orientation leader, and his excitement for the school was contagious. “I found joy in meeting new incoming freshmen and telling them all about my college experience as well as telling them how they can make the very best of their experience whether they lived on campus or commuted as I did.”

Perhaps the reason Liriano was such a strong influence on these new students was that he understands the importance of creating close bonds while attending school. When he thinks of what Caldwell has given him, he puts the lifelong friendships he has developed at the top of the list. Having been involved in so many extracurricular activities, he was able to meet a variety of people, including some who were pursuing majors other than music education. 

Through his many outlets, he created strong, lasting bonds with a diverse group of fellow students. And he plans to have those relationships last for life. Liriano hopes to secure a job as a music teacher soon. Down the road, he would also love to become a high school band instructor. With the impressive resume he has built at Caldwell, his future is certainly bright. His experience is strong and his plans for the future are inspiring.

“I plan on being a teacher, role model, a leader, and a person in whom my students can put their trust and go to with any problem they have.” 

  • Nicole Burrell – ’09