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Gulay Maffia a resident of Vernon, N.J., and a survivor of 9/11, will deliver a commencement speech at Caldwell University on May 11. Maffia is receiving her master’s degree in special education, learning disabilities teacher consultant.

Caldwell, N.J., May 2, 2013 – Caldwell University will celebrate its 71st annual commencement 11:30 a.m.  Saturday, May 11, in the George R. Newman Center on campus.   

A graduation Mass will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. in the center.

The day will mark a milestone for the college as it awards its first-ever doctoral degrees.  Eric Rozenblat of Oakland, N.J., and Denise Kerth of Collingswood, N.J. will receive Ph.D.s in applied behavior analysis.

 Gulay Maffia, who survived the 9/11 attacks while she was working at One World Trade Center, will represent graduate students while delivering one of the commencement speeches.   Maffia, a resident of Vernon, N.J., will receive her master’s degree in special education, learning disabilities teacher consultant. She will share how surviving 9/11 caused her to rethink her life and put her on track to becoming a teacher helping children with special needs. 

Chelsea Loscalzo, from Bayside, N.Y., who will receive a bachelor’s degree in marketing, will provide the undergraduate commencement remarks.   

Caldwell University will award more than 450 graduate and undergraduate degrees in addition to the doctoral degrees.  President Nancy H. Blattner will present doctoral students with their Ph.D.s, graduate students with their Master of Arts or Master of Business Administration degrees and undergraduates with their Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees.  

Caldwell University was the first in the state to develop a master’s degree and a Ph.D. degree specifically in applied behavior analysis, a scientific approach to learning. The effectiveness of this method in autism intervention is backed by more than 40 years of research. The college’s Center for Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis offers clinical training to undergraduate and graduate students and provides interventions to children with autism ranging in age from preschool to the teen years. 

Caldwell University recently announced that it is pursuing university status.