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Caldwell University is a U.S. News & World Report Best-Value School

Caldwell, N.J., Sept. 14, 2020 – Caldwell University is one of the region’s best-value schools in the North according to the U.S. News & World Report 2021 college rankings. 

Social Mobility 2021 US newsREGIONAL UNIVERSITIES BEST VALUE 2021 US newsUS news best colleges north LOGO

Caldwell moved up to 14th place in the category of the best-value regional universities in the North from last year’s No. 18.   The  university is also among the top 75 regional universities in the North overall, ascending eight spots from last year to No. 67. Caldwell came in eighth for most international students and 19th as a top performer on social mobility.   

“While no single ranking tells the story of any institution, it is gratifying to know we have been recognized for our outstanding value,” said Dr. Matthew Whelan, Caldwell University’s president. “Our nationally and internationally accredited programs in applied behavior analysis, our incredibly high pass rates on tests such as the National Council Licensure Examination for nursing, and the availability of unique programs in art therapy and esports management are  complemented by the generous financial aid and very affordable out-of-pocket tuition our students pay. As a Hispanic Serving Institution, as designated by the United States Department of Education, we look forward to reaching out and ensuring that all students, especially those underrepresented in higher education, are offered the opportunity to move forward with us.  All of this is backed by the promise of our core values of Respect, Integrity, Community and Excellence and our deeply held Dominican mission to graduate students who will pursue truth and contribute to a just society. I can think of no greater value than that.” 

Caldwell University was also recently named to Money’s 2020 Best Colleges list.  

This fall the campus has been transformed to be COVID-safe. Students are learning both in person or remotely in classrooms equipped with state-of-the-art technology.  In particular, the Student Center gym was reconfigured for nursing students with safe in-person seating, large screens and new technology connecting students who chose to attend synchronously by a remote option.  

For the new academic year Caldwell  welcomed over 520 incoming students, including 446 freshman representing 14 states and 10 countries. It was a record-breaking year with 4,976 freshman applications and 3,750 acceptances. Caldwell continues to enroll a diverse population of students with 68% of the incoming freshman identifying as students of color. 

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. 

About Caldwell University

Caldwell University is a private, Catholic coed four-year university with a strong liberal arts core curriculum that enhances critical thinking and analytical reasoning. Caldwell offers 31 undergraduate and 31 graduate programs, including doctoral, master’s, certificate and certification programs, as well as online and distance learning options that prepare students for today’s global marketplace. The university has 15 NCAA Division II intercollegiate sports programs and a football program that is a member of the Collegiate Sprint Football League.

Caldwell offers numerous clubs, fraternities, sororities and activities. It is located on a beautiful 70-acre campus in suburban Caldwell, New Jersey. Caldwell was founded by the Sisters of Saint Dominic of Caldwell. Its core values of respect, integrity, community and excellence influence academic and campus life. For more information about Caldwell University, visit

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President Whelan is a Guest on “Steve Adubato’s Lessons in Leadership”

We have to learn from the past so we can shape the future, said Caldwell University President  Matthew Whelan on “Steve Adubato’s Lessons in Leadership” with Adubato and co-host Mary Gamba 

Dr. Whelan joined Adubato and Gamba on Sept. 13 to talk about the importance of modeling behavior as a leader (including wearing masks during the pandemic), the changes facing higher education and how to build a strong team.    

They discuss being strategically agile and the importance of commanding and evaluating situations. “You have a goal. You know what the long term goal is but you also have to have the agility and the nimbleness, and the people around you who can help you deal with what the distractions are but also keep going towards the goal,” said Dr. Whelan.  They talked about leadership books on different topics including emotional intelligence. “I grew up in a bookstore,” said President Whelan who from a young age was drawn to reading and history.  In college he started thinking about how leaders in different areas—colleges and universities, medical systems, politicians, elected officials—shape the future. “And that is when I really began to become interested in leadership as a vocation,” said Dr. Whelan.   

Asked by Adubato what the number 1 leadership lesson is that he has learned during this challenging and difficult time, Dr. Whelan responded, “Trust your team. You have to be able to build and trust your team and create a team that can be nimble.”   No one does it alone, he said. “We have to be able to build a team, trust the team and move forward, keep them—as we drive the bus—headed towards the goal.”


Alumni News

Lindsay Hulin ‘14

A picture of Lindsay Hulin

Lindsay Hulin ’14

This year will be my 7th year teaching. I am currently a special education teacher at Parsippany High School and an advisor for their Key Club, a service club under Kiwanis International. I am also a member of the Dominican Young Adults Caldwell chapter & a Eucharistic Minister at my parish St. Peter the Apostle in Parsippany.

Thank you for supporting Caldwell University. What inspired your gift?

I was so blessed to have amazing teachers and incredibly supportive school communities at every level of my education who never hesitated to make sure my needs were taken care of when my family faced challenging times. Now that I am in a position to give back, I want to continue the tradition of unconditionally giving and serving that was so generously shown to me and my family. Additionally, as a first-generation college student, I am immensely grateful for my time at Caldwell and want to help ensure other young adults who may be in the same position have the resources and opportunities they need to successfully complete their degree.

Do you have a favorite or meaningful experience from your time at Caldwell? Tell us!

There are so many, it’s hard to choose! I would have to say my top two are: my senior History Outcomes class with Dr. Marie Mullaney and going on the college’s first service trip to Belize in 2013.

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New Students Welcomed at CU Convocation

President Whelan tells students “I will journey with you”  

Aug. 31, 2020 – Caldwell University kicked off the fall semester celebrating its new students at a virtual convocation on Aug. 31.

President Matthew Whelan, the university’s new president, welcomed the students acknowledging the COVID-19 “detours” and the students’ accomplishments.  “Never, ever forget this. You made it. You are here with us today because you made it… you made the decision to keep going.” 

President Matthew Whelan

President Matthew Whelan

He noted that he shares a unique bond with the members of the Class of 2024. “I want you to know I am right there along with you. Like you, I’m new.” 

The university is on a “90-day journey” to Thanksgiving, said Dr. Whelan, when in-person classes will finish up.  He urged the community to adhere to safety guidelines including wearing masks, social distancing and sanitizing.   

“I will journey with you,” said Dr. Whelan. “The world needs us at this moment. It needs you at this moment. It needs  your individual and collective wisdom and energy and enthusiasm and creativity, and it needs it now more than ever during these times of uncertainties.”  In such times, he said,  “you can always look to the things of which you can be certain.  Our faith. Our traditions. Our family. Today, you can be certain that you have joined the Caldwell University family. This family will be your guide.” 

The Caldwell family “will give you direction, will help you remain on course when you need to recalculate your route, and will do everything possible to make sure you get to your destination successfully,” said Dr. Whelan. The CU family “is firmly rooted in the Catholic Dominican traditions of the Sisters of Saint Dominic, a family ready to support you and to get to know you through our shared values of respect, integrity, community, and excellence.” He urged the students to take the time to learn about Caldwell’s mission and the Sisters of St. Dominic “who built this place into the university it is today, with much of that building taking place at a time when women weren’t valued as equal members of our society.” Yet, he said, “they kept on moving, taking small steps to help meet their goal.” 

President Whelan told the students that joining Caldwell University is a critically important first step. “Do you see your goals when you close your eyes? Can you actually see where you want to be? I know what my goal is, what the goal of the Caldwell family is–to ensure that you graduate, with a degree in hand, and job prospects awaiting you, the life you want awaiting you.” 

Quoting Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Whelan said, “If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run, then walk; if you can’t walk, then crawl, but by all means keep moving.”

SGA president Samantha

Student Government President Samantha Guerra read the community pledge, which acknowledges the crucial role everyone plays in keeping the campus community safe from COVD-19. The pledge is posted in all university classrooms and buildings.  She also led the students with a pledge affirming their support and commitment to the Catholic Dominican education.


SGA president Samantha

Even though the convocation was remote, Darryl S. Aucoin, Ph. D., Assistant Professor of Chemistry, put on some of his regalia to feel the spirit of the new academic year and the occasion.

The university is welcoming over 520 incoming students, including 445 freshmen representing 14 states and 10 countries. It was a record-breaking year with 4,969 freshmen applications and 3,750 acceptances. Caldwell continues to enroll a diverse population of students with 68% of the incoming freshman identifying as students of color. 

Sister Kathleen Tuite, vice president for student life, explained that the students would be receiving a special pendant.  The image on the pin represents the relationship between the founders of the university, the Sisters of St. Dominic and Caldwell University.  “The red indicates the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the gold points to His kingship,”explained Sister Kathleen.  The motto “Sapientia et Scientia,” which means wisdom and knowledge is derived from the Litany of the Sacred Heart, she explained. 

“To all new students, may you display this coat of arms proudly throughout your relationship with Caldwell University.” The pendant “emphasizes the need for today’s student to be involved and to be a leader in today’s world,” said Sister Kathleen. 

Also recognized were students who made the Dean’s List for two consecutive semesters  in 2019-20.  “One of the pillars of the Dominican community is study and you have shown that you have recognized and embrace this standard,”said Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs  Ellina Chernobilsky,  Ph.D. She challenged the freshmen to live up to that ideal. “Make it your goal to be here next year to be recognized as being a Dean’s List scholar for both semesters.”  

 Freshman Amanda Da Silva

Freshman Amanda Da Silva led the new students in the Class of 2024 prayer.

The invocation was given by Director of Campus Ministry Colleen O’Brien. Freshman Amanda Da Silva led the new students in the “Class of 2024 Prayer”. 

Professor Rebecca Vega, Assisant Marching Band Director John Piepoli and students in the Drum Line provided the music. 

Community Pledge

The community pledge is posted in classrooms and buildings.


As Sister Kathleen Tuite explained at the new student convocation, “Caldwell University was founded in 1939 by the Sisters of St. Dominic which the coat of arms reflects. The coat of arms captures the significance of a Caldwell University education in its colors, its motto, and its symbols.  The red indicates the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the gold points to his Kingship.  On the University Seal, the motto is imprinted on an open book which symbolizes Caldwell University as an institution of learning.  The university motto, “Sapientia et Scientia,” which means wisdom and knowledge, is derived from the Litany of the Sacred Heart.  The cross, which divides the whole into four parts, is taken from the coat of arms of the Order of Preachers (those who are the followers of St. Dominic) and it shows the relationship of the Sisters of St. Dominic as members of the Order of Preachers to Caldwell University. The golden sun which is found in the upper left corner,  is the symbol of St. Thomas Aquinas, patron of all Catholic schools and particular patron of Caldwell University.

Invocation given by Campus Ministry Director Colleen O’Brien – “God, we ask for your blessing and guidance as we celebrate the beginning of the Class of 2024’s college careers. We give thanks to parents, families, friends, guardians, mentors, all who have helped make these great people who they are today. In the transition to Caldwell University, we ask that you bless the move with order and ease. And as we settle in, help us to open our hearts so that we might be ready to say “goodbye” to what was, and be open to what will be. We pray that we might be inspired by new places, new things, new people, new opportunities, new challenges. Grant us accepting hearts and open minds, and give us the courage to truly act as we are called to be in the world. We pray that the Class of 2024 will thrive academically, morally, and spiritually as they make the most of their Caldwell experience.” (adapted from Xavier University’s prayer resource page) 


Book a Visit to the Library!

We are excited to welcome you back to the library. Our updated policies and procedures were carefully considered because the safety of students and staff is our top priority. Patrons are required to book their visit to the library so we don’t exceed maximum occupancy. You may book a library visit for a minimum of 15 minutes and a maximum of 3 hours. Study rooms are also available to book in this service. Study rooms are now single occupancy and are available for 2 hours. Book your visit or study room and receive a confirmation email. Check in to the library when you arrive using the emailed link and code and check out when you leave using the same link and code.
Click here to book a visit.

Featured News, News

Women’s Lacrosse Arden Kassaleh Selected as CACC Nominee for NCAA Woman of the Year

NEW HAVEN, Conn.- Caldwell University women’s lacrosse senior Arden Kassaleh (Pompton Plains, New Jersey) was selected by the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference as the conference nominee for the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

Women’s Lacrosse Arden Kassaleh nominee for CACC

“I am so honored to represent the conference and Caldwell University as the CACC selection for the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year Award,” said Kassaleh. “It means so much to be recognized for an award that honors women athletes in a way that means more than just playing the game.”

Kassaleh is one of 161 college athletes have been named conference-level nominees for the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year Award. The nominees represent student-athletes from 21 different sports spanning all three NCAA divisions. Of those nominated, 59 nominees competed in Division I, 39 in Division II and 63 in Division III.

“We are so thankful to the CACC for selecting Arden to represent the conference for the prestigious NCAA Woman of the Year Award,” commented Assistant Vice President/Director of Athletics Mark A. Corino. “As a department, we are so proud of her athletic and academic accomplishments as part of the women’s lacrosse program. The NCAA Woman of the Year Award recognizes the best women athletes from across the country and divisions and we are honored to have Arden represent Caldwell University and the CACC for this award on the national level.”

The NCAA Woman of the Year program is rooted in Title IX and has recognized graduating female college athletes for excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership since its inception in 1991. The Woman of the Year Selection Committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will now choose the Top 30 honorees — 10 from each division — from the conference-level nominees. The Top 30 honorees will be announced in September. From there, the selection committee will narrow the pool to three finalists from each division. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will select the 2020 Woman of the Year from the nine finalists.

Kassaleh is a three-time all-conference selection leading the Caldwell women’s lacrosse team. She was a CACC First Team selection in 2019 after leading the nation with 5.53 goals per game. In addition, Kassaleh, was named to the 2019 Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association Second Team All-Atlantic Region after leading the Cougars with 110 points on 94 goals and 16 assists. In February, she was recognized by the New Jersey Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women as Caldwell’s Woman of the Year.

Featured News, Natural and Physical Sciences News, News

Science Students Are Winners at N.J. Science Research Competition

Caldwell, N.J., Aug. 6, 2020 Caldwell University science students took home a number of  awards from the New Jersey Academy of Science (NJAS) virtual research competition in July. 

Shweta Sapkota, Biology major student (Class of 2020) at CU

Shweta Sapkota ’20

Shweta Sapkota ’20 won first place in the 2021 senior academy health or medicine category. She was also awarded a grant from the Independent College Fund of New Jersey (ICFNJ) for her research. Sapkota, who received a bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in chemistry from Caldwell on May 17, is grateful to the ICFNJ and her professors. “I cannot thank the university enough for providing students like me with an appropriate platform and all the required materials to broadcast our talent in the form of research projects.”  

Sapkota discovered her interest in working with cells and microorganisms when she was a student in Caldwell’s science department. The courses and clinical lab experiences prepared her for her current work as a medical technician in a microbiology lab with Quest Diagnostics. “I  was trained to use most of the equipment used in the real world.”  

In the ecology, environmental or marine science category, Sudeep Khadka ’21, a biology major, came in second, and Madison Perry ’21 , also a biology major, received the third-place award. Students Venisse Abanilla, Kriti Sitaula, Yaman Thapa and Saliha Ulgur earned honorable mentions. 

Sudeep Khadka, Biology Student at Caldwell University(Class of 2021)

Sudeep Khadka ’21

The NJAS is a nonprofit organization with a mission to preserve and promote the advancement of STEM-related fields in the New Jersey scientific community. 

William Velhagen, Ph.D., associate dean of Caldwell’s School of Natural Sciences, says he is delighted that Caldwell University was well represented among the awardees. “The success of our students is a testament to their intelligence and hard work and to the excellent mentorship by our faculty.”

The faculty members are very proud of the students. “It was a privilege to witness the unfolding of the students’ research and how they mastered the scientific method while developing valuable professional and excellent presentation skills,” says Agnes Berki, associate professor in the School of Natural Sciences. 

Students had the chance to network and to share scientific ideas. More than 100 high school, undergraduate and graduate students participated in the event. They were given the opportunity to present original scientific research, to compete to have their research abstracts published and to participate at a higher level. 

The Department of Natural Sciences was renamed the School of Natural Sciences effective July 1; it has become one of the largest academic units at Caldwell. Velhagen says he and his colleagues are proud that growing numbers of science majors have been accepted into internships and into Ph.D. and health profession programs at prestigious institutions. “Students and faculty have also been awarded several grants to conduct research and to support scholars. I am grateful to the university cabinet for recognizing the accomplishments of our faculty and students.”


Commencement – September 20, 2020

September 20, 2020 Graduation Flyer

Commencement Schedule:

  • 10:00 AM – Master’s and Doctoral Students
  • 1:00 PM – Undergraduate Students
  • 4:00 PM – Undergraduate Students

Please visit us on September 20, 2020 to watch the live stream of the commencement ceremonies.

Dr. Blattner’s 2020 Commencment Address to the Master’s and Doctoral Graduates – September 20, 2020

Dr. Blattner’s 2020 Undergraduate Commencement Address for the 1PM Ceremony – September 20, 2020

Dr. Blattner’s 2020 Undergraduate Commencement Address for the 4PM Ceremony – September 20, 2020


Caldwell University is pleased to confirm the 78th Annual Commencement on Sunday, September 20, 2020. On this day, in accordance with the current state guidelines, Commencement will take place outdoors and follow event limits of 500 people. In order to do so, Caldwell University will host multiple ceremonies on campus to celebrate our graduates!

Eligible graduates include those who completed their degree requirements in December 2019 and May 2020, as well as candidates who will complete requirements in August 2020.

In order to comply with the state of New Jersey, each graduate will be allowed two guests. Graduates planning to attend Commencement on September 20 must confirm their participation by 5 p.m. on August 10* through the link provided via email and on the my Caldwell portal. The start time of each ceremony will be determined once the final count is received to ensure proper social distancing and capacity limits. Participants will be contacted no later than August 17, 2020 with their corresponding ceremony times.

If you plan to attend the ceremony and have not yet ordered academic regalia, please contact the Bookstore at 973-618-3262 by August 3* for next steps. Information on obtaining previously ordered regalia is included in the link sent to graduates; please complete by August 10*.

This event is rain or shine and subject to change based on the state of New Jersey guidance and/or executive orders or necessary pandemic response.

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University Awarded Grants to Support Science and Math Majors

Caldwell University was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) Scholarship in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) Program grant to support the retention and graduation of 18 high-achieving, low-income majors in biology, chemistry or mathematics. The five-year federal grant of $650,000 will help to develop the project, titled “Increasing Enrollment, Retention, Graduation, and Job Placement by Supporting the Connections of Commuter STEM Undergraduates to Faculty, Peers, and Industry,” and will enhance student interactions with STEM faculty.

Dr. Darryl Aucoin, assistant professor in the School of Natural Sciences, leads the project team of professors including Drs. Agnes Berki and Marjorie Squires, of the School of Natural Sciences, Dr. Patricia Garruto, professor of mathematics, and Dr. Marisa Castronova’18, lecturer and researcher.

The project team will study how well new interventions help commuter students to develop meaningful relationships with resident students and with faculty. Team members anticipate that the project will generate new knowledge about the impact of supplemental instruction on commuter students’ science identity, retention, degree attainment and career choices. Findings can help other colleges nationwide to better support the success of STEM commuting students.

NSF Logo

The university will receive a five-year $1.2M NSF DUE Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program grant for 21 undergraduate students beginning this fall to prepare effective secondary STEM educators (grades 7-12) in local high-need districts. The project, “Building STEM Teachers’ Capacity to Create Authentic and Original Classroom Experiences,” will offer future STEM teachers with advanced pedagogy and content training with an educational emphasis on engaging in and teaching STEM. This intervention couples hands-on STEM teaching via early field experiences with an innovative and comprehensive educational approach called the CREATE to EDUCATE initiative. This initiative will partner scholars with CU faculty to develop multimedia STEM instructional materials to be used during their field placements and in-service teaching. 

Dr. William Velhagen, associate dean of the School of Natural Sciences and a biology professor, says they are excited to have been awarded this grant, which will help students become effective science and math teachers at high-needs school districts.  “We hope that having great teachers will lead to more students choosing careers in STEM.” He will head an interdisciplinary faculty team that includes Dr. Edith Ries, professor of education; Dr. Patrick Sime, professor of mathematics, and Dr. Marisa Castronova ’18, educational researcher. The team will collaborate with two local educational agencies in Passaic and Clifton and will recruit local transfer students from Passaic County Community College and Union County College.


Partial support for this work was provided by the National Science Foundation Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S STEM) program under Award No. 193029 and Award No.1950073. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.