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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!


Featured 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  
Featured News, News

Library Staff’s Creative Planning Helps Students Prepare for Finals

Students, faculty, and staff are benefitting from the creative planning of Jennings Library staff members who are assisting with research and study needs in a virtual environment.   They are helping the members of the community navigate through the final days of the spring semester classes, final papers, and exams.   Flyer that says Library is open Online

Many of the library campus services are being provided remotely including interlibrary loan requests for articles, the answering of student reference questions by chat and email, citation workshops, and device check out.  Caldwell University has always been known for its caring environment and the staff is working to maintain that sense of community and support in a virtual environment.   

Susan Hayes, director of institutional research and assessment, is a student in the Educational Leadership doctoral program. She needed to review a quote for her dissertation in a text that she had already returned to the library and could no longer access since the library is closed. “Through the online chat, librarian Kim Lynch responded that she had a solution for me. She found the book on a government library site that created emergency free ebook loans for students and I was able to view the book electronically in minutes. It was exactly what I needed,” said Hayes.  

The librarians have been happy to receive feedback too.  As one student recently wrote in the chat ratings, “…a phenomenal help to me finding and exploring articles based on my psychology topic! Appreciate it.” 

Virtual events were held in April including the celebration of the 2020 issue of Presence: A Catholic Poetry Journal sponsored by the English Department and a book discussion group with The Office of Student Advocacy and Prevention Awareness. 


English News, News

Q&A with Kate Bielitz

Kate Bielitz, a graduating senior is headed to graduate school and has given us a little insight on being an English major!
1. What is the exact name of the degree you will be working towards at Montclair State?/Name of Program

At Montclair State University, I will be studying for a Master’s Degree in English, which means I’ll be strictly studying literature. We are offered a wide variety of courses/classes and do not have to conform to one area of study in particular. However, I am most likely going to gear my studies toward British Literature, as that has always been my favorite type of literature to study here at Caldwell, particularly the Renaissance.

2. How has your work at Caldwell prepared you for grad schooA image of Kate Bielitzl and what are you interested in studying at MSU?

Caldwell University has prepared me immensely for graduate school. I will always say this, but taking the Literary Criticism course I took in the Fall 2019 semester, reminded me why I want to study literature. That course opened my eyes to the many ways we can look at literature, and reminded me of how timeless literature truly is. Within that course, we looked at The Great Gatsby in many different lenses, such as a feminist lens, an African American lens, a Marxist lens, etc, and it was truly amazing to understand how to interpret a novel like that in so many ways when I was only taught to look at it one way. To me, that is the beauty of being an English major–to have the ability to think critically, analyze deeply, and have the ability to be open-minded. The professors and courses I took at Caldwell truly taught me how to do all three. The professors at Caldwell have always believed in me, always helped me become a stronger writer and to analyze just a little bit more. With having a wide variety of courses to choose from at Caldwell, I was able to try out many different eras, which is what I felt was important since I knew by my junior year, I was going to want to study literature in a graduate setting. Montclair’s graduate program reminds me a lot of our program: just a few required courses and the rest free electives, which I love because you are able to find your own interests and what you are good at, and build upon that. (Also a special thank you to Dr. Kornacki for helping me by ordering us graduate school books, meeting with me on a regular basis, and believing in my abilities)

3. Is there any advice you might be able to give to students who are currently working towards an English degree? Or maybe to someone who is looking into becoming an English major?

My advice for anyone who is in the English program here at Caldwell, or thinking about becoming a part of the English program, is to take different era courses. You will find what interests you the most by taking many different courses. Even if you do not feel like you would be good at it (my feelings toward Shakespeare courses), you will learn how to read literature the correct way. I always say: take the challenging courses, take upon the challenge, because you always almost end up much better at something when you are challenged. Also, READ. Read the text, then reread it again until you know exactly what you are reading. If you need help, use the resources available. Do not struggle alone. Caldwell offers many ways to improve: the professors themselves are always eager to help, and especially the Writing Center is available if you prefer to receive help from a peer. Even if you are taking a challenging course, you should never feel like you cannot improve. We all are capable of much more we give ourselves credit for. Being an English major here at Caldwell University reminded me that I am capable of understanding literature I thought I never would such as The Iliad, various Shakespeare plays, and MOST of the early literature. Once we are taught something the correct way, there is no going back!


Library, News

Know My Name by Chanel Miller Book Discussion

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Caldwell University Jennings Library and The Office of Student Advocacy and Prevention Awareness presents a book discussion of Know My Name: A Memoir by Chanel Miller on April 28 at 2:00. For more information or to sign up, email Abdul Staten at or Victoria Swanson at The event will be held over google hangouts meet.

Library, News

Presence 2020 Virtual Launch

Join us on Friday, April 24 at 3:00 on google hangouts meet for an afternoon of readings from the 2020 issue of Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry. Brought to you by Caldwell University Department of English. For more information and to attend, email

Alumni News, COVID-19 News, Featured News, News

Alum and family create hundreds of masks for hospitals and nonprofits

When alumnus Patrick Koslecki’17 heard that hospitals were in desperate need of personal protective equipment he knew he had to do something.  “My mother and I both know how to sew and together we made the decision that anything we could do, we would do, “said Koslecki who holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Caldwell. 

Alum Patrick Koslecki and his family have made more than 600 masks for hospitals, nonprofits and other groups.

Alum Patrick Koslecki and his family have made more than 600 masks for hospitals, nonprofits and other groups.

The shared understanding between Koslecki and his mother has transpired into a project of sewing masks for hospitals and nonprofits.  After initially making 15 masks, he posted the story to Facebook and Instagram putting out a call for materials such as elastics, heavy quilter’s fabric, and donations for shipping. Most rewarding to them has been seeing how many people from around the country have stepped up to donate.

With help from extended family, the Kosleckis Alum Patrick Koslecki and his family have made more than 600 masks for hospitals, nonprofits and other groups.have made and donated over 600 masks to those who are high risk and to hospitals, clinics, first responders, immunocompromised persons, Navy contractors and Army soldiers. 

As orders continued to increase, Koslecki, who is now a graduate student in the Master of Public Administration program at The Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at City College of New York, and his mother were not able to keep up with the demands.  “My father masterminded an “assembly line” in our house where my brother would measure our 16 x 9 squares and cut them out, pass them to my dad to be ironed and he would pass them to me to have the hems sewn in and turned inside out, where finally my mother would pleat and attach the straps.”

Alum Patrick Koslecki and his family have made more than 600 masks for hospitals, nonprofits and other groups.

Alum Patrick Koslecki and his mother spearheaded a production process for sewing masks.

When the family outgrew their process, they began dropping fabrics off to an aunt and cousins who would cut and iron over 100 masks per day, letting the family focus on the sewing.  “Throughout this process, cleanliness and hygiene has been our highest priority,” said Koslecki. “The fabrics are sanitized when moved from house to house, which is another step, but a necessary one.” 

Hospitals they have donated to include St. Barnabas in the Bronx and in Livingston, Newark Beth Israel, University Hospital in Newark, Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, NYU Langone’s Cardiac and Acute Respiratory Units and NYC Health + Hospitals/ Harlem. The masks have been sent to 18 states and New Zealand and Italy. “Most important to me are the masks that have been sent to Oyate Health Center in South Dakota, a habitually underserved community where many of the Native peoples do not have access to clean drinking water, let alone access to regular hand washing practices, and HIV clinics serving LGBTQ positive individuals.  These individuals deserve to live without stigma, as well as have the security of health as a right, not a privilege,” said Koslecki. 

Alum Patrick Koslecki and his family have made more than 600 masks for hospitals, nonprofits and other groups.Koslecki says he lives by a belief in the importance of servant leadership—something that he learned from his parents, his mother who is a public-school teacher and his father who is a captain in the Newark, New Jersey Fire Department—which means “never resting when things get tough, but keeping my head down, getting the work done, and encouraging others to do the same.”  Koslecki does not do it for the recognition but always simply to do the right thing and help someone in need.  “I was raised by public servants who instilled in me that our community and the greater good, is more important than yourself.”   


COVID-19 News, Featured News, News

Campus virtual groups boost body, mind and spirit

COVID19 is driving home the importance of striving to keep our bodies, minds, and spirits in good condition. Caldwell University is reaching out to provide digital ways for faculty, staff, students and alumni to stay connected and healthy.  

CAMPUS MINISTRY AND PRAYERCampus ministry Hangouts

Staff members Colleen O’Brien and Dana McStowe in Campus Ministry have launched an online rosary.  The Campus Ministry Weekly Virtual Prayer Service meets every Wednesday at 11 a.m. through Google Hangouts Meet. The service includes the Mass readings of the day and the recitation of the rosary as a group.  O’Brien says sprayer intentions are welcome.   Students, faculty, staff, and alumni are invited to join the prayer service by emailing or  

Campus ministry is also holding its student community gatherings virtually on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. Senior Brooke Pherson has been joining the rosary and campus ministry group remotely. “I’m really grateful that despite being off-campus we’re still able to come together in prayer, especially because my parish is closed.  It’s obviously not the same but I’m so thankful for Colleen and Dana for putting the rosary call together, as well as the other campus ministry gatherings.”   

The Grotto Rosary Ministry is continuing monthly where anyone can submit their prayer petitions online at   The next rosary group will meet Tuesday, April 14 at 4:30 p.m. through Google Hangouts Meet.  Reach out to staff member Colette Liddy at if you would like to pray the rosary on the 14th and she will send you a Google Hangouts Meet invite to connect.  



Counseling Services is providing students with remote online and telephone counseling.  Additionally, students can take part in different virtual groups. 

“Baby How You Feelin’? Anxiety, isolation and remote living in the COVID crisis” meets every Friday from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Google Hangouts Meet via Caldwell Gmail.   Robin Davenport, executive director of counseling services, recognizes that students are dealing with rapid changes as a result of the COVID-19 virus, including adapting to online coursework, being away from classmates, friends, and loved ones and missing their normal routines.  This group provides a safe virtual space where students can connect with each other and find ways to practice self-care as a group. “We want to help students be mindful about the media they consume, prioritize their emotional and physical wellbeingand find ways to make connections during an isolating time, said Davenport. For students to participate, all that is needed is a Gmail account, internet connection, and a microphoneDavenport says students do not need to use their video cameras if they do not feel comfortable. They can join and drop-in, even for just five minutes. 

A virtual Weekly Meditation is held every Friday from noon to 1 p.m. at Google Hangouts Meet via Caldwell Gmail.  Meditation can help create a sense of calm, improve sleep, foster relaxation and strengthen concentration, said Davenport.  “This group is perfect for maintaining social distance and finding a sense of peace during these turbulent times.”   A discussion period is held after the meditation. “Participants can talk about the impact of COVID19 on our sense of wellbeing and how the practice of meditation can help us regain our stability, said Davenport. 

The Wellness Center is hosting a Women’s Empowerment Group every Thursday from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at Google Hangouts Meet via Caldwell Gmail This is a place for college women to connect with other women regarding shared concerns such as learning how to be more assertivedealing with difficult people, enhancing self-esteem, and respecting personal values and cultures.  Davenport says women of all backgrounds are encouraged to participate in this growth-enhancing group. Students can join any of these virtual groups by emailing Counseling Services at


Executive Director of Health Services Cindy Striano says it is vital for everyone to strive to boost their immune systems through exercising, getting adequate sleep and clean eating.  “Even the little things matter as we all work to fight the spread of the virus and keep ourselves healthy and safe.”  

Twenty to 30 minutes of exercise every day can go a long way in improving health.  “This can be as simple as a walk in the fresh air while practicing social distancing of at least six feet,” says Striano.   Eating cleanly, she says, includes reducing unhealthy snacking and drinking adequate water each day.   She advises doing your best to get at least seven to nine hours sleep per night during stressful times when sleep is often interrupted, use deep breathing or meditation to help encourage sleep.” 

 Striano is also reminding everyone of the imperatives of “washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water multiple times throughout the day and after you have touched surfaces, before and after going to the bathroom and before touching your face or eating.”   

Students can speak with a nurse by sending an email to to schedule a time to ask general health questions or questions about COVID-19.  They can use the same email to schedule an appointment with the school physician during the hours of Monday 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. or at other specific times as scheduling allows.