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Sister Kathleen Tuite on winning the 2021 Caldwell Cup

Caldwell, N.J., April 29, 2021 —  Student and employee excellence at Caldwell University was celebrated at a virtual honors convocation ceremony live streamed on Facebook on Wednesday, April 28.

Caldwell University President Matthew Whelan, Ed.D. said it was an honor to celebrate the University’s core value of excellence as shown through the work of the students, faculty and staff and the support of their family members. Recognizing that it has been a year of disruption and tragedy due to the pandemic, Dr. Whelan applauded the campus community for not giving up. “You persevered because you have the strength to do what is right, to do what is good, and, for that, we thank you and we honor you.”  

Dr. Ellina Chernobilsky, acting vice president for academic affairs, said the evening was “a  time to recognize the hard work we have put in throughout the year and to celebrate our collective and individual achievements…it is time to celebrate Caldwell and all that it stands for.”  

Professor of Communications and Media Studies Bob Mann was the emcee for the event. 

Sophie Joanna Hicks received the prestigious Trustee Recognition Award and the new Saint Dominic Award.

Among the many honors, Sophie Joanna Hicks received the prestigious Trustee Recognition Award which is given to an outstanding member of the graduating class who has developed his or her special and unique talents during their time at Caldwell University.  The student has also shared those gifts generously to and on behalf of others and provides evidence that Caldwell’s mission and core values will remain a guiding force in their life in the future.  It was presented to Hicks by Board of Trustee member Olga Bradford, who said Hicks “has left a lasting imprint on this university.”

Hicks also received the Saint Dominic Award, a new honor for a  graduating student  who has emulated the life and legacy of Saint Dominic through involvement and leadership in activities which reflect the four Dominican pillars of prayer, study, community, and service. 

The Leadership in Ministry award was given to Brittany Rose Gaule. The honor is presented to a student who has a strong faith dimension and exemplifies the qualities and values the University hopes to promote in furthering the role of the laity in the Church.   


The Faith Does Justice award was presented to Katherine Joy Kopec

The Faith Does Justice award was presented to Katherine Joy Kopec. The honor goes to a graduating senior who has been an active participant in campus ministry service and justice programming.   

Madison Alexis Perry received the Excellence in Leadership Award and the new Saint Catherine of Siena Award. 

Madison Alexis Perry received the Excellence in Leadership Award and the Saint Catherine of Siena Award.  The Excellence in Leadership Award goes to an outstanding member of the graduating class who has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills in college.  The Saint Catherine of Siena Award is a new award given to a member of the graduating class who has shown a commitment to mission, ministry, and service and has demonstrated Christ’s love through mission, service, justice, and inclusion events on- and off-campus.

image of Dennis Adrian Martin
The Golden Eagle Award for Excellence in American History was awarded to Dennis Adrian Martin. 

Jessica Leon and Yaman Thapa received the Frederick W. Neumann II Awards presented to outstanding biology students who have demonstrated meritorious work in the biological sciences.

The Joseph A. Brady History Award was presented to Lizbeth Gonzalez.  It is awarded for the best research paper submitted in a departmental outcomes assessment course during this academic year.

The Nature’s Pavilion Bio-Essence International Scholarships were presented to Enis Asani, Lois Ayim, Ana Gonzalez Martin and Jessica Leon

The C-Pin is awarded to the individual in each class who displays the qualities of an exemplary Caldwell University student. This student is nominated by his or her peers.

Jessica Leon received the Frederick W. Neumann II Award presented to outstanding biology students and a Nature’s Pavilion Bio-Essence International Scholarship.

C-Pin Awards were presented to:

Freshman –  Mariam Hosseini 

Sophomore – Anusha Pandey   

Junior  – Yaman Thapa

Senior –  Orges Rrapaj

Faculty and Staff Awards

Sister Kathleen Tuite, O.P., Vice President for Student Life, received the 2021 Caldwell Cup, which is awarded to an employee who has made a unique contribution to the campus. The honoree is someone who has exhibited a superior professional approach that goes beyond mere job description, that uniquely benefits Caldwell University, and whose positive influence demonstrably impacts the university community. 

The Excellence in Teaching Award was presented to Jennifer Rhodes, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing and Public Health,  for exhibiting excellence in teaching, passion and enthusiasm for learning, and genuine concern for students’ academic and personal growth.  


The Mission in Action Award was presented to Heather Arabitg, Head Athletic Trainer.

The Mission in Action Award was presented to Heather Arabitg, Head Athletic Trainer.  This award recognizes the extraordinary contributions and quality service of a University staff member and acknowledges their role in advancing the mission of Caldwell University. 

The Graduate Faculty Mentorship Award was presented to Anne Marie Callahan, Professor, School of Business and Computer Science,  for exhibiting excellence in mentoring graduate students. 

Sally Jo Weber, Professor, Department of Modern Languages was recognized as Professor Emerita, a title conferred upon former faculty members who have distinguished themselves as outstanding teachers, researchers, administrators or professional leaders. 

The celebration opened and closed with a virtual flyover spanning Caldwell’s campus accompanied by music from the Caldwell Jazz Band under the direction of Music Department faculty member Rob Middleton. 

Watch the ceremony on Facebook.