Category: Featured News

Featured News, News

Welcome President Whelan

Welcome to Caldwell University President Matthew Whelan!

We are so happy that you are here.
We are ready to go! 


A picture of Samantha Guerra ‘22, Major- Nursing, President, SGA, and the SGA Eboard“On behalf of the student government association here at Caldwell University, we would like to welcome you to our campus. We are very excited to be working with you to create a proactive, healthy, and safe environment for all the students, faculty, and staff here at Caldwell University. Looking forward to expanding both your mission for Caldwell, as well as ours for the success of our students.”

 Samantha Guerra ‘22, Major- Nursing, President, SGA, and the SGA Eboard





A picture of Paul Iwarat ‘22 - Major - Accounting, Esports overwatch captain, resident assistant.Congratulations, President Whelan! I look forward to seeing you in action! I can tell you right now that you made the right choice choosing to work at Caldwell University. We are all here for you as you are here for all of us.

Paul Iwarat ‘22 –  Major – Accounting, Esports overwatch captain, resident assistant.


A picture of Dennis Martin ‘21 Major - Social Studies, EOF Class Representative of 2017 Cohort

On behalf of the EOF Program, which is embodied by students, and blessed by God with determination, perseverance, and grit, we welcome you Dr. Matthew Whelan to both the Caldwell University Family and the Caldwell EOF family. Thank you for taking the torch of light and hope that will empower Caldwell students to continue to seek the welfare and justice of their families, communities, and the whole world.  

-Dennis Martin ‘21  Major  – Social Studies, EOF Class Representative of 2017 Cohort


Dear Dr. Whelan, I am looking forward to seeing you around campus. It will be A picture of Jose Perez ‘21, Major - Financial Economics and Marketing, Vice President, International Student Organization, member of the men’s track and field team.fantastic to get to know you. Please let me know if you need help with anything, as I would like to make your transition into our Caldwell University Community as pleasant as possible.

Jose Perez ‘21,    Major – Financial Economics and Marketing, Vice President, International Student Organization, member of the men’s track and field team.


A picture of Madison Perry ’21, Major - Biology, Member, Women’s Bowling Team, Catholic Relief Services Student AmbassadorWelcome to Caldwell, Dr. Whelan! I hope you fall in love with the community as quickly as I did during my freshman year. I can’t wait to see what you do for our community!

Madison Perry ’21, Major – Biology, Member, Women’s Bowling Team, Catholic Relief Services Student Ambassador.






A picture of Ashley Williams

My name is Ashley Williams and I am a student in the  EOF program. I just want to welcome you to Caldwell University and I hope you create some of your best memories while you are here! 

-Ashley Williams ‘21 –  Major-History




A picture of Colin WilliamsPresident Whelan, It is my honor to welcome you on behalf of the Caldwell University Football Team. I promise to deliver you a championship this year

-Colin Williams ’21 – Major – Communication and Media Studies




Welcome to Caldwell University, President Whelan! On behalf of the Staff Council, we are so excited that you are now part of our beautiful and vibrant campus community. We look forward to all you will bring to Caldwell’s present and future! Marina C. Manning, Academic Advisor


Dear Dr. Whelan,

On behalf of the faculty of Caldwell University, I would like to welcome you to our community.  Having met you during the interview process, I know firsthand your passion for our mission and your excitement about the institution’s future.  I look forward to working with you in the months and years ahead. – Dr. Benjamin Lammers, President of the Faculty Council


Matt, A picture of Linda Luciano

The Board and I look forward to partnering with you in your role as Caldwell University’s ninth president. I am confident that you will successfully lead our university into the future.  

 Best regards, Linda Luciano, EdD, MBA
Chair, Caldwell University Board of Trustees



A picture of Msgr. Robert EmeryDear Dr. Whelan, 

It is a pleasure to be able to welcome you to Caldwell University! As the Pastor of St. Aloysius Church here in Caldwell, I look forward to collaborating with you whenever possible. There has always been a wonderful relationship between the University and the Parish and I know that will continue under your leadership. Please know that I am always willing to help in any way.  I wish you many blessings in your new role and promise you a special place in my prayers.


 Sincerely in Christ,
Msgr. Robert Emery
Pastor, St. Aloysius Pastor, Caldwell, NJ


Dear Matt,

I’m looking forward to continued conversation and wishing you a very warm A picture of Sister Patrice Wernerwelcome to Caldwell University and our Dominican family.  With all of the sisters I extend our Dominican blessing:

May God, the Creator, bless you.
May God, Redeemer, heal you.
And may God, the Holy Spirit, fill you with light.

In Dominic and Catherine,

Sister Patrice
Prioress, Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell



COVID-19 News, Featured News, News

Alexa, Let’s Innovate – Art therapy and counseling students bring connection during COVID-19

Compassion and connection. These are two of the hallmarks of good care. And when it comes to the Lifestyle Engagement team at Sycamore Living, a senior wellness community in East Hanover, New Jersey, providing quality care is a priority, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. No surprise then, that Caldwell University students and faculty  have been playing an integral part in the work there, using new and exciting technology to accomplish their goals.

Sycamore Living Marissa

As graduate students, Marisa Juliano (L) and Amanda Mascolo (R) worked with Caldwell adjunct faculty member and their field work supervisor Maria Lupo (center) at the senior wellness community Sycamore Living. They have used their art therapy and counseling backgrounds along with innovative technology to serve seniors during the pandemic.

Art therapist Maria Lupo is an alumna of the master’s in clinical mental health counseling with a specialization in art therapy program and she is an adjunct faculty member in the School of Psychology and Counseling. Lupo is also the director of lifestyle engagement at Sycamore Living who  supervised Caldwell graduate students Amanda Mascolo and Marisa Juliano as  Lifestyle Engagement associates during the spring semester. These women are on the cutting edge of new technology that is connecting the elderly with loved ones and staff members in a unique climate.

The idea of working in a facility that houses COVID-19 patients may seem intimidating to some. Lupo enters the isolation unit to deliver activity kits and visit  as part of her work while Mascolo and Juliano visit it through the use of technology. 

Lupo wants people to know that the atmosphere inside the unit may not be what you picture.

“Before I went in, I was concerned as to what it was going to be like,” says Lupo. “Once I walked in, though, it was really about that people-to-people connection. Nursing at its best, care at its best. Yes, it’s serious and they’ve come through a lot. But people are still people.”

“It’s not as scary as it would seem to the public,” she adds.

It is that desire for connection that has driven the team to find innovative ways to allow seniors to interact with staff as well as their friends and family. Each of their rooms is equipped with an Alexa Echo Show, a device that allows both audio and visual communication. Each patient is assigned a unique Alexa account that includes a username and password. Associates contact the patient’s family when they arrive and send them a thorough instruction sheet, video, and any additional technical support they need. Once connected, the family can simply call in to virtually visit their loved one, without the patient having to pick up a phone or operate any technology on their end.

Families have described this service as a “life saver.” Many have not seen their family member in weeks while they are treated for COVID in the hospital. Once they arrive at Sycamore for continued recovery, there is finally a renewed connection with home. 

“Technology can be a burden or a lifesaver, and I feel like in this situation, technology is really a life saver,” Lupo says. “It is really creating that human connection.”

Marisa Juliano and Amanda Mascolo at Sycamore Living

Marisa Juliano and Amanda Mascolo say it has been rewarding during their graduate school field work to provide seniors with support, empathy and creative activities throughout COVID-19.

Juliano received her master’s in mental health counseling with art therapy specialization May 17. “I never imagined being an essential worker during a global pandemic…but being able to be there for the residents and patients any way that we can during all of this, knowing that they felt safer, makes us feel better.”

 She has seen her backgrounds in counseling theory and technique and art therapy come together. “I have heard stories about fear, loss, death, but also of hope and prayer for a better world after this. I keep the families and patients in my thoughts each day.”

Lupo recalls Mother’s Day and the unique role that technology played in the day. Prior to the holiday, the team contacted families to see how they would like to celebrate their moms. Families e-mailed artwork that grandchildren had made, pictures of family, or whatever else they wanted to share. Lupo came in and printed everything that had been sent in on the morning of Mother’s Day and put the materials into envelopes with cards from the staff. These special care packages were delivered to patients, and families were able to video in to spend some time with their loved one. Paired with a special meal from the facility’s culinary department, the day was truly special.

Another initiative that has helped keep spirits high is the creation of personal activity kits. The team fills these kits with coloring sheets, puzzles, a journal book with inspirational words, as well as writing and art materials. They are delivered into the unit, and then the associates use the technology of Alexa to virtually visit with each patient. They help them explore the activities, and sometimes, they just offer conversation. Lupo knows that some days, the activities are a welcome stimulation, and other times, the patient may just need a listening ear.

“Even as an art therapist, you give the patient or resident what they need,” Lupo says. “Checking in with them, giving them a one-to-one room visit, listening, and having that human connection conversation.”

Lupo says that patients often want to talk about everyday life. They want to share memories or hear about the staff member’s pets. They want to hear what it is like to go to the grocery store during the pandemic. Simple conversations are a craving that the Lifestyle Engagement staff can satisfy.

Even outside of the COVID unit, residents are seeing the effects of a team who cares to connect with them as they face the same isolation that households across the country do. One such resident is a Caldwell University alumni, Peggy Lavery Leo ’64. She shared about how the Lifestyle team takes the time to bring residents outside to enjoy warm weather, and engages in conversation with the residents. Leo enjoyed the opportunity to reminisce about her memories from her time at Caldwell, when the school was composed of all women, and there were just 114 students in her graduating class. She doesn’t take the challenges the Sycamore staff face for granted.

“With the difference in all of our ages and likes and dislikes, they are making it work,” she says. “If things are all planned and no one is interested in doing that, they’ll sit and talk with the residents. This is especially important since we cannot leave the faculty, nor can we have visitors.”

When you hear about the work being done at Sycamore Living, technology certainly stands out. But flowing under that innovation is a steady current of compassion. Each decision comes out of a desire from the staff to connect with residents and to allow them to flourish in their home. 

“The most rewarding aspect of my work is to be able to provide the residents with support,” says Mascolo who is pursuing her master’s in mental health counseling.  “They are often faced with challenges and are accustomed to hearing that they can’t. My time and experience from Caldwell’s academic program has prepared me to be patient, empathetic and understanding of this population especially during this time.” 

Lupo sees innovation remaining as a standard even after COVID-19 has passed.

“We want to change up what senior living means,” Lupo says, “engaging the mind, bringing purposeful, meaningful activities to seniors.”

Whether that means planting an herb garden or exercising on a normal day, or adjusting to the temporary normal of a pandemic with Alexa-assisted family visits, the team at Sycamore Living is ensuring that for the seniors in their care, every day has purpose.


-Nicole Burrell ‘09

Featured News, News

“You grow more as a person through the years you are here” – Alicia Rodriguez ‘20

Alicia RodriguezNavigating through tough conversations is one of the skills Alicia Rodriguez learned at Caldwell University. As a lacrosse student-athlete and an Admissions Department student ambassador, she interacted with professors, potential employers, teammates, parents and prospective students. What sometimes seemed “difficult or awkward” as a younger college student  became smoother as time went on, “because I got the practice I needed,” said Rodriguez who received a Bachelor of Science degree in Sport Management on May 17.  “You grow more as a person through the years you are here.”

Rodriguez is the first in her family to earn a university degree. She is proud to have represented the university in positions interacting with the public by providing tours to prospective students and parents. “Caldwell has modeled me into the young woman I am today.”     She gave her “hard work, tears, athletic ability and dedication” to her university and in return she gained “a future, family, friends, and teammates” and most importantly, she says, “a better outlook on life and reality.” Rodriguez also took advantage of what was offered including becoming a member of the Sport Management Club and going on a short-term study abroad trip her sophomore year with her academic department to learn about the sport management business in Italy. 

Although the coronavirus pandemic abruptly ended her time as a college lacrosse player, she has applied what she has learned to understand  the bigger picture.  “I learned to take each day, day by day and to appreciate that my loved ones are still well and healthy and that we can all get through this pandemic together.” It is wisdom she will draw on as she pursues a career in game day operations and perhaps goes on to study law.

As she looks back at her four years, Rodriguez is grateful for what she learned through academics, athletics, clubs, campus work and even those “awkward conversations”.  Now she is proud to be a Caldwell University alumna.  “It is not just about getting a degree but also the experiences that come with it that you will cherish forever.” 

Featured News

Christopher Lepore ‘20: A Family Legacy at Caldwell University

Christopher Lepore ’20 was interning in the treasury department at Newell Brands in Hoboken when his supervisor took him tochristopher meet the company’s chief financial officer who was the interim CEO. He credits the personable skills he learned at Caldwell University for that interaction. “When you bring that to the workforce people appreciate it. Not many adults have those skills,” says Lepore, who received his bachelor’s in communication and media studies on May 17. “You sort of have to be polite to go to Caldwell,” he says. The parents of prospective students to whom he gave tours were happy to hear that. “To succeed on Caldwell’s campus you need to be able to work with others and communicate your thoughts and actions while also understanding everyone’s perspective,” says Lepore, the third of three brothers to graduate from Caldwell.

His leadership skills have been noticed not only by faculty and staff but also by students. At honors convocation on May 7, he was awarded the senior class C-Pin, an award given to an individual in each class, nominated by his or her peers, who displays the qualities of an exemplary Caldwell University student.

When Lepore looks back at his four years at Caldwell, one of the high spots was his decision to minor in philosophy. It was his Intro to Philosophy course with Dr. Kyle Bennett during freshman year that motivated him to learn more about the discipline. Bennett was his mentor for independent studies, providing him and other students with the chance to meet professional philosophers at a conference at Bard College.  Lepore had a hunger to learn about the great thinkers and their mindsets during traumatic times in history. “My practices in my philosophy courses all have translated to my professional life whenever a task requires critical thinking and communication.”

Lepore appreciates the foundation he received in the Communication and Media Studies Department. “The entire department gave me the versatility to be able to write, perform, and produce as well as teach others the skills.” He particularly enjoyed Professor Bob Mann’s radio broadcasting and podcasting course.

He also earned a minor in business administration and interned as a news writer for the global technology company, Yardi Systems.  All three academic programs have equipped Lepore with a strong foundation for his immediate career goal, which is to run a social program for adults with special needs. He certainly has the experience. Since his freshman year of high school Lepore has been volunteering for HANDS of North Arlington, which meets weekly to provide free activities for adults with special needs. One night a week night during college, he drove to the nonprofit in North Arlington, taking five hours to do something that is in his heart and soul. “Volunteering with HANDS of North Arlington has been the most important aspect of my entire life. Every Tuesday, since I was 13, has been dedicated to charity, friendship, and love. ” He runs the organization’s finances and is an administrator and liaison for all of the high school volunteers. “I have made relationships with so many people and the group has shaped me into the person I am today.”

He is also grateful to the Caldwell University admissions staff members in particular Colleen DeTroia and Melissa Oszmianski. “Everyone in admissions, and specifically Colleen and Melissa, were the greatest support system I could have ever asked for, and I am so thankful to have them in my life.”

In this episode of the podcast, Caldwell University Conversations, Chris joins two other Class of 2020 grads to talk about what they have received from their Caldwell University educations, their advice for incoming students, and what they are learning through the pandemic.

Alumni News, Featured News

A Message from President Blattner: Racism is a social evil and conflicts with our university’s Catholic Dominican values

 June 1, 2020

Dear Members of the Caldwell University Community,

It is with a heavy heart that I write to you today.  In the course of the past few painful days and months, we have witnessed the horrific and senseless killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, and countless other people of color who died because of what they look like. It is a tragic reality that the sin of racism, which began over 400 years ago in the United States, remains with us today and is an insidious systemic reality in our society.

Racism is a social evil and conflicts with our university’s Catholic Dominican values.  As the U.S. Catholic Bishops expressed in a statement issued on May 29, 2020: “People of good conscience must never turn a blind eye when citizens are being deprived of their human dignity and even their lives. Indifference is not an option.”  We painfully witnessed the indefensible death of George Floyd at the hands of an officer who swore to protect the public’s safety.  We cannot in good conscience remain indifferent to the abuses that people of color endure regularly in our country.

We acknowledge the cumulative pain and trauma that these experiences bring, especially to those members of our community who time and again disproportionately bear the weight of racism. We are united in our fundamental belief that all people possess dignity and deserve respect, and we will not remain silent when any member of our family is harmed.

Together, we will draw strength to face these larger societal challenges, informed by our Catholic and Dominican mission and identity and our value of inclusiveness. We regret that the pandemic does not allow us to gather in person as a community to connect, support, pray and educate each other. However, Caldwell University stands with and offers condolences to the Taylor, Arbery, and Floyd families and the individuals and communities impacted by their deaths.

As a Caldwell family, we embrace the core value of ‘community’; I encourage you to reach out in support of our students, colleagues and neighbors of color who are, without a doubt, feeling the weight of these tragedies.  Please let them know they are not alone. Please do not be silent, but speak up for what is right.

For students who may find themselves struggling over these tragedies, please know that Caldwell University’s Counseling Services is available to you.  You can email a counselor at for free and confidential assistance. Tele-counseling services are available.

Similarly, staff and faculty can receive counseling by contacting Caldwell University’s EAP, Aetna Resources for Living; information can be found on the Benefits section of the Human Resources website page.

Let us stand together as a community to repudiate the racism that ravages the dignity of human life.  Let us live out the core values of Caldwell University.


Nancy Blattner, Ph.D., OPA



Alumni News, Featured News

Caldwell gave me the perfect gift–Lamar-Shea Chang ‘20


LamarShea Chang ‘20 knows hes equipped to make a difference in the world, and he credits the mentorship he received at Caldwell University for that conviction. Professors, staff, faculty, alumni, and health care and business leaders helped him get on “the right trajectory” to believe that the sky is the limit. He certainly did his part in taking advantage of the opportunities presented to him.

Chang received a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems and Biology with a minor in Chemistry on May 17, and he plans to work a year or two before pursuing a career in medicine.

Chang has been selected to deliver the Class of LamarPhoto2020 undergraduate commencement address at a ceremony in the fall, delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. He plans to tell his classmates that graduating from Caldwell University has given them the “arsenal of tools and calibrated compasses” to impact the lives of “billions” of people for generations to come. “It is true,” he said. “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”

Although it was difficult to have his senior year interrupted by the pandemic, after the initial shock, he realized “the world had changed, and I had, as well. New opportunities look bright as some companies begin to reevaluate their business models.Most of all, he is grateful that his family and friends have been okay and that, as one of the very few students who has lived on campus through the pandemic, he had “a place to stay and food to eat while I finished up my studies.

It helped to draw on what he believes at his deepest core—“that God is in control of my daily events…I quickly accept a given reality…and see the potential in every decision” while moving forward and keeping focused on his goals.

The pandemic cannot diminish his accomplishments at Caldwell like learning about and experiencing the Dominican tradition, which “is all about love, he said.

The virus cannot detract from his impressive honors like being recognized at the Independent College Fund of New Jersey’s symposium at Liberty Science Center for his research on the growing problem of mosquitoes in many areas of the world.

A native of Portmore, Jamaica, in the Caribbean, Chang is proud that he joined other student leaders who stepped up in the fall of 2019 to spearhead the Bahamas Strong Relief Drive for those slammed by Hurricane Dorian.

He appreciates the internships and work experiences including being mentored by an executive in global drug development at Novartis and working with the Borough of Caldwell learning about municipal government while providing his input on how to create relationships between smallbusiness owners and consumers.

As a resident life assistant in the dorms, Chang is proud to have hosted community development programs to help students form relationships. “One of my favorite things was to mentor other students,” he said.

Caldwell University, he said, gave him the “perfect gift,a package filled with qualities to carry one through a lifetime—“a sense of pride, community, a great education, lifelong relationships and a desire to make the world a better place for those inhabit it.” And that is a gift no virus can ever touch.

Alumni News, Featured News

Healthcare administration grad is ready to respond to COVID-19: Anamika Sharma Paudel ‘20

Anamika Sharma Paudel Photo

Anamika Sharma Paudel ’20 is about to join the ranks of those responding to COVID-19. She’ll be working at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as a care coordinator. She comes to the position armed with a passion for service to others and a resume filled with her many contributions to the Caldwell University community.

Sharma, who received her Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration with a minor in Communication and Media Studies on May 17, recalls how when she arrived at Caldwell as a freshman, she wasn’t so sure of her path. In those early days, Sharma wondered who she would meet and how she would grow.  In a completely new environment, the future was filled with questions. The way she describes it, she felt like she was a seed being planted. It wasn’t long before she discovered that Caldwell is a nurturing place for a seed to grow.

Anamika Sharma Paudel PhotoSoon after arriving at Caldwell, she was surrounded by kind people, wonderful professors and cool things to do. She found that those kind people were willing to welcome her into their lives beyond the campus. “I still remember sitting in a long bio lab,” Sharma says, “and a girl came up to me and asked, ‘Do you want to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family?’” That student, Stef Konboz, would become one of Sharma’s dearest friends. She represented a larger community of people at Caldwell who nurtured Sharma during her time as an undergraduate student studying healthcare administration with a minor in communication and media studies. Dr. Barbara Chesler, Caldwell’s vice president for academic affairs, celebrated Sharma’s successes with her. Grace, a member of the cafe staff, took the time to learn her name and would speak to her every day. Sister Kathleen Tuite, O.P., vice president for student life, wrote her a note of appreciation for her work. President Nancy Blattner stopped to talk to her. Blattner took the time to get to know her and connect with her as she made her way through Caldwell. These people provided Sharma the fertile ground that allowed her to flourish.

One person who made a lasting impact was Dr. Agnes Berki, an associate professor of biology in the Natural and Physical Sciences Department. Not only did Berki provide comfort while Sharma navigated a change in her major, but she also helped her secure her dream job, working at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. While Sharma was an intern there, her supervisor often forgot she was not a full-time employee. Like so many other Caldwell students, she was told that her strong interpersonal skills made her look like a seasoned professional. It is no accident that so many undergraduates and graduates of the university hear something similar. Sharma credits her experiences at Caldwell with making relationship-building a natural part of her work life.

She was extremely involved with campus life, honing those strong interpersonal skills during her time at Caldwell.  She worked as a resident assistant, helping students and organizing self-development programs. Serving as an orientation leader, she guided freshmen as they navigated the same challenges of adjusting to a new atmosphere that she had experienced. She also served as president of the International Student Organization. In that role, she worked with other students to organize the first Global Thanksgiving Day, celebrating the 33 countries represented on campus, an event that is now held annually. Adding to her impressive resume, Sharma served as a member of the Student Government Association, as student representative to the Board of Trustees for Academic Affairs and as a founding member of the Nepalese Student Association. The NSA hosted the consulate general of Nepal at Caldwell University on the occasion of Tihar: Festival of Lights, strengthening the relationship between the Nepalese embassy in the United States and Caldwell University. During the pandemic, the NSA has reached out to Nepalese organizations that helped approximately 80 students with groceries and medical supplies.

At the virtual honors convocation on May 7, she received departmental honors for healthcare administration. She plans to bring everything she has learned at Caldwell to her job. After an experience that has allowedher to stretch herself and grow strong, she is ready to go into the world and flourish. “I am honored to join the front lines of health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. I have found my purpose, and I will be fulfilling it with my heart and soul.”

  • Nicole Burrell – ‘09
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

Alumni News, Featured News, News

Finding Your Rhythm at Caldwell University: Pedro Liriano

A picture of Pedro Liriano ?

Pedro Liriano received the 2020 Trustee Recognition Award during honors convocation May 7.

Pedro Liriano of Plainfield, New Jersey is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education. But he knows he is taking much more with him from his Caldwell University experience than a degree. When he looks back on his time here, he acknowledges not just his education in music but also his education in life skills.

“During my time at Caldwell University, I experienced many different lessons that helped form me into the man I am today…but the greatest lesson I took away from Caldwell was a lesson in how to be more open to meeting new people and learning how to network,says Liriano who received the prestigious 2020 Trustee Recognition Award and Music Department honors at a virtual honors convocation May 7.  

A large part of being a teacher is being open to students and communicating with them effectively. Liriano knows that his time at Caldwell has allowed him to sharpen those social skills in a way that will make him a much more effective educator. Coming in as the only student from my high school [at Caldwell] freshman year really forced me to open up and talk to new people, which in the end I am grateful for, because now as a future music teacher I have the skills necessary to be communicative and open towards my students and parents.” 

Liriano proved to be adept at opening up and sharing his talents with the Caldwell community. His participation in campus activities was far-reaching. He contributed his musical talents to a multitude of music groups: the jazz band, the marching band, the wind, clarinet, flute, and pop ensembles and the choir. He identifies the highlights of his music career as his senior recital and his time performing with Clueless, a band featured at many campus events. He is also very proud of being a part of the Theatre club in its first play performed at Caldwell in many years.

And if that were not enough, he was also a member of the cross country and track and field teams. That experience added a ton to his time at Caldwell. “I cherish the memories made with all my teammates at every practice and every race,” Liriano says. A picture of Pedro Liriano's experience in Caldwell University

It is always a special honor when your professors encourage you to participate with students from other colleges in your area of expertise. So it was a great credit to Liriano that his private instructor and jazz ensemble director, Music Department faculty member, Rob Middleton directed him toward the New Jersey Intercollegiate Jazz Ensemble, in which he participated for two years. Liriano also volunteered as the pianist for his grandfather’s church and worked as the music director at his own church in New Brunswick.

Not only did Liriano participate in many activities, but he also was a great role model for incoming freshmen. During his time at Caldwell, he served as a freshman orientation leader, and his excitement for the school was contagious. “I found joy in meeting new incoming freshmen and telling them all about my college experience as well as telling them how they can make the very best of their experience whether they lived on campus or commuted as I did.”

Perhaps the reason Liriano was such a strong influence on these new students was that he understands the importance of creating close bonds while attending school. When he thinks of what Caldwell has given him, he puts the lifelong friendships he has developed at the top of the list. Having been involved in so many extracurricular activities, he was able to meet a variety of people, including some who were pursuing majors other than music education. 

Through his many outlets, he created strong, lasting bonds with a diverse group of fellow students. And he plans to have those relationships last for life. Liriano hopes to secure a job as a music teacher soon. Down the road, he would also love to become a high school band instructor. With the impressive resume he has built at Caldwell, his future is certainly bright. His experience is strong and his plans for the future are inspiring.

“I plan on being a teacher, role model, a leader, and a person in whom my students can put their trust and go to with any problem they have.” 

  • Nicole Burrell – ’09  
Featured News

Caldwell holds virtual honors convocation to celebrate student and employee excellence  

Honors Convocation

Caldwell, N.J., May 8, 2020  – Student and employee excellence at Caldwell University was celebrated at a virtual honors convocation ceremony on Thursday, May 7. 

Members of the Caldwell community and their families joined via their devices to cheer on graduating seniors, other students, and faculty and staff members who have displayed extraordinary accomplishments.

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

Vice President of Academic Affairs, Barbara Chesler, Ph.D. kicked off the ceremony reading from “Dreams” by Langston Hughes and encouraged the students to hold fast to their dreams. “Hold fast to what you want your life to be.  You will make it through this and emerge smarter and wiser,” she said.  

The celebration was of special significance, said President Nancy Blattner, Ph.D. since everyone was “sheltering in place” due to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. She asked those attending to join her in a moment of silence in praying for those who have passed and the members of the university community and their family members “who are ill, are frontline workers or who are stressed by the change in our living situations.”

Pedro's photo

The Board of Trustee Recognition award was presented to Pedro Liriano who received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education.

Dr. Blattner said she hoped the accolades awarded would only be the beginning of many more accomplishments in the students’ lives.  “It is my hope that you will leave Caldwell University inspired to use your education to make a difference in your community and in our world.”

The prestigious Board of Trustee Recognition award was presented to Pedro Liriano who received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education in December.   Laurita Warner, chair of the Caldwell University Board of Trustees, said the award is given to a member of the senior class who has developed his or her giftedness in a singular way, who has shared those gifts generously on behalf of others and who gives evidence of the potential to communicate Caldwell’s mission and core values to others as the future unfolds.  Liriano was caught off guard while watching the convocation with his mother. “My eyes widened and I looked around confused for a second and then cheered for myself and so did my mother.” He was happy to know that family members in Virginia were watching and that they also heard the good news.  

Departmental honors and other awards were read by Communication and Media Studies Professor Bob Mann.  Director of Campus Ministry, Colleen O’Brien read the opening prayer.

Photo of Brooke

Brooke McPherson’20 was selected for the Excellence in Leadership and Leadership in Ministry awards. She also received the Faith Does Justice Award. McPherson is receiving a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems and Marketing and a minor in Communication and Media Studies.

Other student awards included:

Brooke McPherson’20 was selected for the Excellence in Leadership, Leadership in Ministry, and Faith Does Justice Awards. She is receiving a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems and Marketing and a minor in Communication and Media Studies; she was awarded departmental honors in marketing. Watching the ceremony with her parents was a thrill and she was grateful to the university for putting the ceremony together. “My dad said it was like watching our own personal Superbowl!”

Photo of Jill

Jill Salerno ‘20 received the Faith Does Justice Award. She is receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.

Jill Salerno ‘20 also received the Faith Does Justice Award. She is receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.

The Golden Eagle Award – Vanessa Mantione

Nature Pavilion awards – Maria Lesniewski and Yaman Thapa

The Barbara Zimko Liedl ‘73 Chemistry award – Maria Lesniewski

Frederick W. Neumann II Awards – Keith Kyewalabye and Marina Schlaepfer

The Joseph A. Brady Award – Molly Heller

C-Pin Awards – 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. 

Photo of Chirs Lepore

Christopher Lepore’20 received a C-Pin for the senior class. 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. He is receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies with minors in Philosophy and Business Administration.

Freshman – Reeya Callychurn

Sophomore – Carolynn Hidalgo

Junior – Madison Perry

Senior – Christopher Lepore’20.  Lepore is receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies with minors in Philosophy and Business Administration.  

The Kappa Gamma Pi, St. Catherine of Alexandria Medal – Jasmine Bejar

Kappa Delta Epsilon – Lauren Fecher 

Faculty and staff awards and recognitions

Excellence in Teaching – Anne Marie Callahan, Professor of Accounting and Coordinator of Graduate Business Programs  

The Graduate Faculty Mentorship Award was presented to Meghan Deshais, Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Behavior Analysis, Clinical Supervisor, Center for Autism and ABA.

The Mission in Action award was presented to Tom Duggan, director of dining services for Gourmet Dining, who has been providing meals to the students who are still living on campus and off campus students facing food insecurity. Duggan has been coordinating the distribution of food donations from the campus community’s food drive.  

Nursing faculty member Kathleen Boreale was recognized for earning her Ph.D. in nursing from Rutgers University.  

Susan Hayes, director of institutional research and assessment, was recognized for earning a Doctor of Philosophy degree in  Educational Leadership from Caldwell.

Megan Matesic, research analyst, in the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment, was recognized for achieving a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Higher Education Leadership, Management and Policy from Seton Hall University. 

Nursing faculty member Phygenia Nimoh, Ph.D. was recognized for earning her doctorate in nursing from the University of Phoenix. 

Dr. Chesler made the announcement of the university surprising President Blattner with the Caldwell Cup, which is awarded to an employee who has made a unique contribution to the campus. The criteria also includes selecting someone who has exhibited a superior professional approach which goes beyond mere job description and which uniquely benefits Caldwell University, and whose positive personal influence demonstrably affects the university community. Dr. Blattner said the honor is something she will never forget. She has led Caldwell for the last 11 years and will be leaving the university at the end of the academic year to assume the presidency at Fontbonne University in Missouri.