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Kenneth McGuinness

Caldwell University is pleased to welcome its new faculty for the 2022-23 academic year. Peter Ubertaccio, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs, said, “We are very excited about our new full-time faculty. They bring outstanding talent and skill, many with research experience at universities around the world. Their perspectives will help advance academic excellence for our Caldwell students across a variety of fields.” 

Kelly Hawken


Kelly Hawken joins the School of Nursing and Public Health faculty as a clinical instructor for pediatrics and OB. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Seton Hall University and a master’s in nursing education at William Paterson University.  

In the words of chef Auguste Gusteau, of “Ratatouille” fame, Kenneth McGuinness believes “Anyone can [science].” Not only can anyone science, but McGuinness, assistant professor in the School of Natural Sciences, believes we can all science together, though science is a learned language crafted through guided practice. McGuinness is honored to be a scientific-language guide and conduit to all students at Caldwell University. His goals as a guide include allowing information to flow back and forth between his students and him so they can both learn. By sharing the science experience and challenging students to find which science journey interests them most, he hopes to spark an internal curiosity. McGuinness attended Rutgers University and received a doctorate in computational biology and molecular biophysics. His dissertation focus was on understanding the principles that underlie egg whites changing from colorless to white when heated (i.e., protein aggregation). McGuinness feels alive in a classroom that is student-focused and uses teaching strategies geared toward knowledge application. Through science, he wants to rid the world of depression and anxiety so all may actively participate and love without bounds. 

Neelima Nair

Neelima Nair is an assistant professor in the School of Natural Sciences, teaching principles of chemistry and assisting undergraduate students with their research. Nair earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry at the University of Houston and taught chemistry courses at colleges in Buffalo, Maine and West Virginia. Her research interests include organic synthesis involving organometallic catalysts and chemical education. 

Yousef Nejatbakhsh

Yousef Nejatbakhsh is assistant professor of applied mathematics. Nejatbakhsh received a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Payame Noor University in Khoy, Iran, a Master of Science degree in applied mathematics and a Ph.D. in fuzzy applied mathematics from the Science and Research Branch of the Islamic Azad University in Tehran, Iran. His research topics are related to fuzzy mathematics and mathematical systems of uncertainty (machine learning, data analysis, intelligent systems). For the past 13 years, he has specialized in teaching and research in mathematics and various interdisciplinary fields. 

Ming Ning, assistant professor in the School of Natural Sciences, received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering with a specialization in electro-chemistry from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, China, and a Ph.D. in theoretical chemistry/molecular physics  from Michigan Technological University. Ning held a postdoctoral research associate position at Brookhaven National Laboratory and lectureship positions at Michigan Technological University and SUNY Alfred State College of Technology. Ming’s research interests focus on systems like molecule, solid state and solution phase.

Megan Pennington

Megan Pennington, assistant professor of nursing, first joined Caldwell University’s nursing program as simulation lab/clinical coordinator in July 2020. She received an associate’s degree from Brookdale Community College, a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Jersey City University and a Master of Science degree in nursing education from Grand Canyon University. She is pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree at Grand Canyon University. Her nursing career began in a medical-surgical unit, and the majority of her experiences have come as a critical care nurse. She has worked diligently to care for vulnerable patient populations and found a love for mentoring and teaching new nurses. Pennington believes that delivering nursing care to a person is an honor and that teaching the nurses of tomorrow is a blessing. She is excited to apply this principle to her new teaching role to help shape the next generation of Caldwell University nursing students.

Lily Tsoi

Lily Tsoi is assistant professor in the School of Psychology and Counseling. Tsoi received a Bachelor of Arts degree in neuroscience at Wellesley College and a Ph.D. in psychology with a specialization in cognitive neuroscience at Boston College. She completed her postdoctoral work at Princeton University. Her research focuses on understanding cognitive and neural mechanisms that support social interactions.

Danielle Wolf, MSN, RN-BC, joins Caldwell as assistant professor in the School of Nursing and Public Health. She graduated from Muhlenberg Nursing School/UCC with an associate’s degree. She worked at Overlook Medical Center as a patient care technician and was promptly offered a position as a registered nurse on a medical/surgical unit. She transitioned to a float pool nurse and served in all departments including critical care and emergency room. In 2005 Overlook began the roll-out of the first barcode scanning. Wolf assisted with coordinating the roll-out and education of the nurses for the project hospital-wide. As nursing informatics was growing with hospitals transitioning to electronic health records, the Nursing Informatics Department was developed, and Wolf was promoted to nurse informaticist. She holds a Master of Science degree in nursing from Capella University and a certification in nursing informatics. She has taught for the Mountainside School of Nursing and been an adjunct for Felician and Caldwell universities.