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COVID-19 News

Essential workers are champions

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.

Editing by Class of 2020’s Communication and Media Studies graduate Anthony Escanosti.

Featured News, News

Caldwell Makes Standardized Admissions Tests Optional

Caldwell, N.J., May 14, 2020 – Caldwell University will make the standardized admissions tests of the SAT and ACT optional for applicants for three years beginning with the fall semester of 2020.

A picture of Romell Ballentine, an admissions ambassador at Caldwell University.

Romell Ballentine works as an admissions ambassador at Caldwell University. He holds a bachelor’s in psychology with a minor in communication and media studies from Caldwell and a master’s in school counseling, also from Caldwell.

The pilot program has been put in place to allow for increased equity and access for all students and addresses the limitations COVID-19 placed on the ability to administer tests. The research for this policy was under development prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 and accelerated due to the crisis. A  data-informed approach was used to ensure that the university will render valid admissions decisions for students who choose not to submit test scores as a part of their application.

“We believe this is a very good option for students which will still allow for the validity of our admissions process while alleviating stress for vulnerable populations,” said Stephen Quinn, vice president for enrollment management and communications.  “This has been an ongoing dialogue at universities in the United States. This plan reflects our Catholic Dominican mission and the focus of serving students in an inclusive manner.”

Students who do not submit test scores can apply for any major and do not have to submit any additional documentation. Prospective students can still opt to submit SAT or ACT scores as part of their admissions application. Incoming students who do not submit test scores can still receive academic scholarships.  International students are not required to submit SAT or ACT scores. If international students were educated in a language other than English, they will need to demonstrate proficiency through the SAT or ACT or may pursue one of the following assessments: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE).

In April, the National Association for College Admission Counseling encouraged higher education institutions to reassess their admission criteria in light of the overwhelming challenges faced by many students including the coronavirus pandemic and issues of access for low-income, first generation and other vulnerable populations. Studies have shown that higher family income and the availability of preparation tests affect higher test scores. 


Caldwell joins more than 1,100 bachelor’s granting colleges and universities that are offering test-optional admissions policies.

 For more information about Caldwell University and its admissions process go to

Featured News

Caldwell is designated a Hispanic-serving institution


Cindy Herrera Caldwell University featured news image

Cindy Herrera is majoring in criminal justice with minors in pre-law, criminal forensics, and psychology.

Caldwell, N.J., April 27, 2020- Caldwell University has been formally recognized as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education. The designation reflects the growth in enrollment of Hispanic students at the university and the welcoming environment Caldwell has created for the students. The designation makes the university eligible to compete for federal grant programs managed by the HSI Division of the U.S. Department of Education.  

Stephen Quinn, vice president of enrollment management and communications, said Caldwell is proud to receive this recognition. “Our Hispanic students have enriched our campus life for years. Caldwell is a place where students share the richness of their cultures and know they have support in exploring and pursuing their academic and career goals.”  

Students at Caldwell University succeed with supportive programs such as peer mentoring, vibrant student activities, and small classes that provide opportunities to build relationships with faculty members.

Cindy Herrera CU Student

Cindy Herrera (far left) is a first-generation student at Caldwell who appreciates how a university is a special place that gives Hispanic students opportunities to celebrate their cultures and grow in their academic and career goals.

Cindy Herrera is a first-generation college student who is pursuing her dream to earn a degree. She is doing it not only for herself but also for her parents who have worked hard for her benefit.  “I try to become their hopes and dreams for what they envisioned in themselves,” said Herrera, who is a campus ambassador for the Admissions Office.  A criminal justice major with three minors—pre-law, criminal forensics, and psychology—Herrera appreciates how the university values its Hispanic students and gives them opportunities to celebrate their cultures through academics, clubs, and even food in the dining hall. “Caldwell University recognizes me and the entire Hispanic population as students who can change the future. I will always be thankful for that.”

 Caldwell University joins over 500 designated HSIs in 25 states that serve two-thirds of all Hispanic students enrolled in higher education in the U.S. More than a quarter of the HSIs are private four-year colleges, according to the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.

The federal grant competitions feature awards to assist eligible institutions with strengthening institutional programs, facilities, and services to expand educational opportunities for Hispanic Americans and other underrepresented populations. Caldwell’s Hispanic student enrollment during the 2018-19 academic year was 27.5% exceeding the enrollment threshold designation of 25%. The university’s one-year retention rate for 2016 and 2017 for Hispanic students exceeded the corresponding national averages among all four-year private colleges according to the National Student Clearinghouse. 


Alumni News

Renowned Physicians Support the Next Generation of Nurses

The late Dr. Shamkant P. Mulgaonkar and his wife, Dr. Ujwala Mulgaonkar Portrait

The late Dr. Shamkant P. Mulgaonkar and his wife, Dr. Ujwala Mulgaonkar

“I think Shamkant and I could see something of ourselves in the Caldwell students we met,” Dr. Ujwala Mulgaonkar says, explaining how she and her husband became involved with Caldwell University.

Ujwala and her husband, the late Dr. Shamkant Mulgaonkar, came to the United States from India 40 years ago and settled in West Caldwell. “We were so busy then,” she recalls. “I was starting my career as a pediatrician, and Shamkant was building his practice.”

Shamkant built more than a practice; he built a legacy. He was one of the preeminent professionals in transplantation in the United States and was instrumental in the rapid growth of the surgery. A champion of the development of the
Living Donor Transplant Institute, he was a dynamic leader who cared for thousands of kidney transplant recipients during his career.

Shamkant was largely responsible for the success of the RWJ Barnabas Health Renal and Pancreas Transplant Division, which became one of the most highly regarded programs in the country. He was a past president of the Transplant Society of New Jersey and was twice named New Jersey Transplant Professional of the Year. He was also named Transplant Physician of the Year in 1996. His major research interests included transplant immunology, clinical trials of newer immunosuppressants, and allograft thrombosis. He led clinical research trials in the use of many novel immunosuppressants and published over 100 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals. Shamkant was a member of several professional societies including the American Society of Nephrology, the American Medical Association, the Renal Physicians Association, the Transplant Society of New Jersey and the United Network for Organ Sharing. He was also on the advisory board of the New Jersey Organ and Tissue Sharing Network.

Shamkant began looking for ways to share his expertise with the next generation of health care providers, which led him to become a guest lecturer for Caldwell University’s School of Nursing and Public Health.

“Shamkant and I received such a warm welcome from the Caldwell University community,” Ujwala says. “We couldn’t believe that for so many years we had this beautiful campus right in our own backyard. We fell in love with it!” Shamkant’s lectures were very well received and he enjoyed meeting the students. 

As they got to know the nursing students who regularly attended Shamkant’s lectures, the couple began to think they could do something more. “We had always believed in the value of scholarships,” Ujwala says. “It is important to invest in people and to support and reward excellence.” The couple had traditionally invested in scholarships for students in India. After learning more about Caldwell, the couple decided to invest in scholarships at the university as a way to support college students in their local area.

They began their journey as donors with a special gift to help an international student who was experiencing financial hardship. This led to a larger pledge for scholarships for nursing students. “Shamkant and I realized that both of us had worked with wonderful Caldwell-educated nurses over the course of our careers. We wanted to invest in their success,” Ujwala says.

Shamkant passed away in early 2019. His loss is mourned by his family, friends and colleagues and also by the students, faculty and staff at Caldwell who looked forward to his campus visits. He holds a special place in the hearts
of many in the campus community.

Ujwala plans to continue supporting Caldwell as a way to honor Shamkant’s memory. She recently committed to a multiyear pledge to establish an endowed scholarship for nursing students in Shamkant’s name. “He stood for
excellence in education. This is what Caldwell provides.”


Alumni News

John Gallucci Jr. and JAG-ONE Physical Therapy Supports Caldwell University’s Mission and Vision

John Gallucci Jr portrait

John Gallucci Jr., CEO, JAG-ONE Physical Therapy

Although John Gallucci, Jr. never attended Caldwell, he is well acquainted with the university’s Dominican mission and vision, having earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. at nearby Dominican College. Gallucci, a doctor of physical therapy and CEO of JAG-ONE Physical Therapy, got to know the Caldwell campus pretty well, too, during his graduate study year since the sports teams of the two institutions participate in overlapping athletic conferences.

When Gallucci founded his outpatient physical therapy business in 2005, Caldwell was one of the first institutions he visited as part of his initial business relationship-building tour. Soon, his company was providing coverage when the university needed extra hands to accommodate its athletic training service needs.

Today, JAG-ONE serves the tri-state area, with state-of-the-art facilities in New Jersey, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island, Westchester, Long Island and Pennsylvania. Gallucci is the medical coordinator for Major League Soccer, sits as an appointed member on the New Jersey Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sport and has served as the head athletic trainer for several professional and amateur teams including the New York Red Bulls (MLS). He is in high demand as a sports medicine consultant for professional athletes in the NHL, NFL, NBA, MLB and USA Wrestling. Professional athletes from around the world seek his expertise, and he often appears on radio and television, including ESPN’s award-winning “Outside the Lines,” MSG, News 12 New Jersey, Fox 5 New York, PIX11 and WFAN.

Gallucci’s rising star as an expert in injury prevention, rehabilitation, sports medicine and athletic conditioning has not distanced him from his Dominican-focused education. “My goal was always to be a resource to the community and to give back,” he says. Gallucci’s charitable efforts have included a leading role in fundraisers for Barnabas Health, the Valerie Fund, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. He supports more than 150 high schools, college programs and athletic clubs throughout the tri-state area.

As Gallucci grew more familiar with Caldwell, he became more impressed with how the university lives its mission and vision through its academic and athletic programs. He wanted to get involved. “What Caldwell does is outstanding. I wanted to be part of it but in a meaningful way,” he says. This has meant more than the usual company sponsorship arrangement.

“I wasn’t interested in having an advertisement posted in a gym or on a field,” he says. “I wanted my support to be ingrained in the mission and life of this campus.” Gallucci and JAG-ONE achieved that goal by generously committing to a three-year pledge toward the Campaign for Caldwell, in support of campaign priorities at large. “The most important thing at Caldwell is its Catholic mission—caring for others and, whenever you can, lending a hand to help someone else succeed,” he says.

In the spirit of helping others achieve their dreams, Gallucci is generous with his time as well. In November, he presented “Coach[ABILITY]: Student Athlete Workshop” to Caldwell’s student athletes to help them form their own “game plan” for the future. He assured his listeners that what they learn on the court or on the field—teamwork, camaraderie, perseverance, working together toward a common goal—will benefit them in any career path they choose. He also encouraged them to look ahead to the “next play” and to be prepared for those times when it important to adapt to new situations.

As Gallucci’s partnership with Caldwell deepened, he wanted to invest further in Caldwell University as well as his staff. As a result, JAG-ONE recently signed on as a corporate partner of Caldwell University, offering employees, their spouses and dependents a 25% tuition discount. “At JAG-ONE Physical Therapy, we are dedicated to providing personal, professional and financial growth opportunities to each and every one of our employees,” he explains. “Our partnership with Caldwell University has been longstanding as a result of the synergistic core values that both organizations share. Recently, we have strategically advanced our partnership with the university to proudly offer discounted tuition for all JAG-ONE Physical Therapy employees, their spouses and dependents. We are excited to work collaboratively with Caldwell University and truly value our unique partnership, which contributes to the growth and development of our JAG-ONE Physical Therapy family.”

Gallucci will be sharing his insights about health, wellness and living the best life possible in a new book due out in 2020.


Alumni News

“Teaching Is a Calling” Kathleen Lynch Napoli ’67

Paul Napoli and Kathleen Lynch Napoli

Paul Napoli and Kathleen Lynch Napoli

When you first meet Kathleen “Kathy” Lynch Napoli, you learn quickly who and what she most holds dear: Paul Napoli, to whom she has been married for 52 years; their five children and six grandchildren, and her faith. Listen further, and you’ll hear about her passionate, unwavering belief in the power of education to transform lives.

Her parents impressed the importance of education upon Kathy and her siblings. It was her childhood dream to become a teacher. “Teaching is a calling,” she says.

That belief is the impetus behind a generous $100,000 gift Kathy and Paul have made to fund the Kathleen Lynch Napoli ’67 Endowed Scholarship in Memory of Margaret and George Lynch, Kathy’s parents. Both died tragically young, before Kathy graduated from Caldwell College for Women and went on to a teaching career.

In addition to honoring the memory of her beloved parents, the gift is a gesture of gratitude to Caldwell. Her mother passed away while Kathy was in high school; then, when she was in college, the unimaginable happened when her father died.

Kathy attributes her ability to remain strong in the face of overwhelming grief to the support she received on campus—from the Sisters, staff and classmates who rallied around her to show their love, support and compassion. She says she has never forgotten the embrace of the Caldwell community at a time when she most needed stability, empathy and hope. Her older sister Pat, also a Caldwell graduate, benefited from the same support during that difficult time.

To lift her spirits, one night a group of her Caldwell friends insisted that Kathy accompany them to a social event for young Catholics. It was then that she met Paul Napoli, a student at Boston College who was to become the love of her life.

Eighteen months later, during a week in June, Kathy graduated from Caldwell College for Women on a Tuesday, Paul graduated from Boston College that Thursday, and on Saturday, the couple were married. Kathy began teaching elementary school students at School 9 in Paterson while Paul attended graduate school. They became parents, and life became busy and full; Kathy stopped teaching to devote herself to raising her family. Paul was finding great success in his career with US Trust, where he rose through the ranks to become vice chair, the position from which he retired. Twenty-five years ago, Kathy and Paul left the community of Glen Ridge, where they raised their family, and moved to Little Silver, where they live in an elegant home splendidly situated on the banks of the Shrewsbury River.

Kathy’s face lights up when she talks about the role teachers play in the lives of their students. “It’s the idea that learning is fun—it opens a whole world. It’s magnificent,” she says, adding, “A good teacher can light a fire.” Kathy’s scholarship is designated for a student focused on a teaching career.

As a longtime supporter of Caldwell, Kathy says, “The purpose of Caldwell is one I admire. I love the way it has grown. I have only wonderful things to say about Caldwell.”

—Christina Hall

Featured News

Caldwell University Recognized for Excellence in Student Opportunity and Success

Caldwell, N.J., Feb. 27, 2020 – Caldwell University has been recognized for excellence in Inclusion, Completion, and Outcomes for low-income and first-generation college students by the non-profit organization Strive for College. 

As stated by Strive for College,  students who are the first in their family to pursue higher education or come from a low-income household, continue to be severely underrepresented on college campuses, despite high educational aspirations.  While over 80 percent of such students have expectations of going to college in the tenth grade, only 20 percent will earn a bachelor’s degree by the age of 25. 

Stephen Quinn, Caldwell University’s vice president for enrollment management and communications, says the university is delighted to receive the Strive for College recognition.  “Caldwell University has many students who are the first in their families to attend a university. We are thrilled that we are able to help them pursue their dreams of completing their degrees and achieving successful outcomes as adults. Educating underserved populations has always been a part of Caldwell University’s mission.” Fifty-five percent of Caldwell University’s first-time freshman students are first generation. 

Strive for College’s “Strive Five” distinctions are a set of data-based measures of actual performance in key areas that demonstrate a tangible commitment to students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds.

The categories Caldwell was recognized for are described below:  

Inclusion – greater than 25% of undergraduates receive Pell Grants, meaning at least 1 in 4 students come from a low-income family. Nationally, 32% of undergraduates receive Pell Grants across all postsecondary institutions.


Completion – Colleges that meet or exceed the national averages for Retention (greater than 81% first-year to second-year retention rate)  AND Graduation (greater than 51% six-year graduation rate for Pell Grant recipients.)


Outcomes – greater than 25% of graduates who were from the bottom fifth of incomes as students and moved to the top fifth as adults, meaning they have among the highest percentage of students who both came from a lower-income family and ended up a higher-income adult.

Colleges that partner with Strive for College and meet the criteria for at least one “Strive Five” distinction are awarded a customized badge to highlight their exceptional achievements.



About Strive for College

Strive for College was founded in 2007 by Michael J. Carter, then a student at Washington University in St. Louis, to help acutely underserved area high school students apply to college and navigate financial aid.  College students volunteered as in-person mentors for high school students, and mentored students achieved substantially better college go-on rates than their non-mentored peers. Strive for College grew to become a respected college access organization doing in-person mentoring across the country.  Delivering its mentoring service at sufficient scale to make a meaningful impact on the national college access problem soon became Strive’s biggest challenge, which led to the development and launch of UStrive in 2014 to connect aspiring college students with free one-on-one online mentoring through the entire college admissions and financial aid application process.


After merging with the Center for Student Opportunity in 2016, Strive for College now runs and publishes the I’m First! Guide to College in support of first-generation college students, and partners with colleges and universities to promote and strengthen their efforts on behalf of these students.


Strive for College counts Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation, American Express, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, UPS, and The Common Application among its major funders and partners. Strive and their founder Michael J. Carter have been featured by CNN Heroes and Forbes 30 Under 30 and received major national media attention from outlets including Time, National Journal, and Fast Company.  Learn more at



English News

Book Review

Book Reviews Cover Photo Fall 2019

Check out the excerpts from book reviews submitted by undergraduate students in the Journal Editing class that was offered by the Department of English at Caldwell University in the Fall 2019 semester in conjunction with the submission period for Presence 2020?. The books reviewed represent the students’ choices from among the books reviewed by professionals in ?Presence 2020?. Poets reviewed are: William Baer, Susan Baller-Shepard, David Craig, Barbara Crooker,  Père Jacques de Foïard-Brown with Marilyn Nelson, D. G. Geis, Maria Giura, Lorraine Healy, Philip C. Kolin, Orlando Ricardo Menes, Tim J. Myers, Christine Valters Paintner, Martha Silano, and Sheryl St. Germain.

Featured News

Film Critic to Present on “Did We Even Watch the Same Thing?”

Alissa Wilkinson

Film Critic to Present on “Did We Even Watch the Same Thing?”

Film critic Alissa Wilkinson will present on “Did We Even Watch the Same Thing?” at Caldwell University 4:30 p.m. Feb. 20 in the Alumni Theatre. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Wilkinson is a staff film critic for and associate professor of English and humanities at the King’s College in New York City. Her talk will focus on how movies act on viewers, how viewers react back, what art does for audiences and how everyone reacts differently to art.

She has also written criticism and essays for publications such as Rolling Stone, Vulture,, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Christianity Today and more. She was a 2017-18 writing fellow with the Sundance Institute’s Art of Nonfiction Program.

The lecture is being presented by Caldwell University’s Department of Theology and Philosophy as part of its Sister Maura Campbell lecture series. Sister Maura was a Sister of St. Dominic of Caldwell, a theologian, philosopher, professor, researcher and national leader in education whose scholarship and teaching spanned 50 years. For further information, call 973-618-3931 .