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President Blattner signs statement in support of DACA qualified students

Caldwell University President Nancy Blattner joined presidents of over 100 Catholic colleges and universities in signing a statement in support of undocumented students who have met the criteria of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy.

The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities released the statement Nov. 30. It is below.

A Statement from Leaders in Catholic Higher Education

Catholic education has been part of the fabric of American life for more than two centuries. Our colleges and universities share a long history of educating students from a diverse array of socioeconomic, geographical, and ethnic backgrounds, often welcoming those on society’s margins, especially immigrants and underprivileged populations. Today, Catholic institutions of higher education continue this mission and legacy. Our college and university communities are home to students from around the world who seek to contribute to American society, to the life and mission of the Church, and to their own formation and growth by pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees. Many of us count among our students young men and women who are undocumented, their families having fled violence and instability. These students have met the criteria of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, issued in 2012. We, the undersigned presidents of Catholic colleges and universities, express hope that the students in our communities who have qualified for DACA are able to continue their studies without interruption and that many more students in their situation will be welcome to contribute their talents to our campuses. Undocumented students need assistance in confronting legal and financial uncertainty and in managing the accompanying anxieties. We pledge to support these students – through our campus counseling and ministry support, through legal resources from those campuses with law schools and legal clinics, and through whatever other services we may have at our disposal. When Pope Francis visited the United States last year he had this to say to the World Meeting of Families gathered in Philadelphia: “Among us today are members of America’s large Hispanic population, as well as representatives of recent immigrants to the United States. Many of you have emigrated (I greet you warmly!) to this country at great personal cost, in the hope of building a new life. Do not be discouraged by whatever hardships you face. I ask you not to forget that, like those who came here before you, you bring many gifts to this nation.” We are committed to educating these young people, brought to the United States by their parents, who come to our universities to build for themselves and us a brighter future

To read more, go to http://www.accunet.org/files/Press_Media/Statement-on-DACA-11-30-16.pdf

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Caldwell University’s Annual Christmas Spectacular, December 9

christmas-spectacularCelebrate the holiday season when the Caldwell University Music Department presents its annual Christmas Spectacular concert 8 p.m., Friday December 9 in the Student Center Auditorium.

The University Chorale, directed by Laura Greenwald, will perform a Baroque Magnificat accompanied by strings, Bogoroditse Djevo by Estonian composer Arvo Part, O Magnum Mysterium by Ivo Antognini and several carols, accompanied by Warren Helms, that play tribute to Mary.

The wind ensemble, conducted by Rebecca Vega, will feature 55 high school honor band students. They will perform Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, DelBorgo’s Christmas Variants, Holst’s In the Bleak Midwinter, Saucedo’s Dashing Through the Snow, O’Loughlin’s Imani (A Kwanzaa Celebration), Hanson’s Albanian Dance and a lovely arrangement of First Noel.

High school students in the honor band come from a number of area high schools: Verona, Nutley, West Essex, Waldwick, Summit, Morris Knolls, Wayne Hills, James Caldwell, Columbia, Cedar Grove, West Orange and Passaic County Technical.

General Admission is $10. Tickets will be available at the door. Student admission is free.

For information contact: 973-618-3520 or lgreen@caldwell.edu

 

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Art therapy grad students volunteer with military veterans

Eve Cannon, a student in the graduate counseling with art therapy concentration program, volunteered at The Art Therapy Project in NYC.
Leanne Waller was one of the art therapy graduate students who volunteered  to work with military veterans at the non-profit organization The Art Therapy Project in New York City on Nov. 5.

Caldwell, N.J., Nov. 28, 2016 – Art therapy graduate students volunteered to work with military veterans at the non-profit organization The Art Therapy Project in New York City on Nov. 5.

Samantha Commarato, Caldwell University fine arts alumna, is clinical director at the Project. She says the non-profit works on an outreach basis with survivors of trauma. The Caldwell art therapy students “were really prepared…the clients felt comfortable with them and appreciated them being there.”

The veterans were invited to create a piece representing a safe space using Altoid tins. They could decorate the inside and outside and place objects in the tin that represented their experiences, thoughts, and feelings.   The idea was to create something that was pocket-sized that the clients could easily carry around as a comfort object or as a reminder of a positive experience.

Caldwell art therapy master’s student Melanie Peters said volunteering with the veterans was a powerful opportunity.  “Working with the veterans was a rewarding experience because I was able to give back to those who have given so much for myself, my family, and our country.”

Eve Cannon, also a Caldwell art therapy graduate student, said it was wonderful to put into practice what they have been studying by doing something meaningful for the veterans.  “It was also a special time to connect with our peers in a different environment and do some art making together.”

The day showed how art can bring people together and that art therapy is a vital tool in helping people express themselves in a healthy manner, said Peters.

Commarato said it was it was wonderful to collaborate with the Caldwell students and faculty and give them a chance to experience what they do at The Art Therapy project.  “We hope to continue to work together.”

Art therapy faculty Annette Vaccaro led the day of service.

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Student attends Student Conference on U.S. Affairs at West Point

Caldwell University student Bilan Biju attended the Student Conference on U.S. Affairs at West Point where she heard keynote speaker Dr. Richard N. Hass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Caldwell University student Bilan Biju attended the Student Conference on U.S. Affairs at West Point where she heard keynote speaker Dr. Richard N. Hass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Caldwell, N.J., Nov. 22, 2016 – Caldwell University sophomore Bilan Biju was selected to attend the prestigious Student Conference on U.S. Affairs under the theme of Democracy & Democratization: Challenges & Opportunities” at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York from Nov. 9 to 12.

The aim of the annual conference is to foster interaction and discussion between civilian student delegates and cadets for a better understanding of the challenges the United States faces.

Sophomore Bilan Biju (2nd from right, first tow) sat at the Technology table at the Student Conference on U.S. Affairs.

Sophomore Bilan Biju (2nd from right, first row) sat at the Technology table at the Student Conference on U.S. Affairs.

Students shared their views on world affairs and heard from foreign affairs professionals and international delegates.  Topics included: Economic Development, Technology, Security, Political Radicalism, Ethno-Religious Conflict, Democracy Promotion and Democracy: Not the Only Game in Town.

Biju sat at the table that focused on technology and its role in democracy and democratization.  Her table consisted of eleven delegates including U.S. students, international students, cadets and the two co-chairs, who  are university professors.  They worked on a policy paper and presented it as a skit.

bilan-technology-sign-1Biju, who was born in India and raised in Qatar, said the conference was a “lifetime experience” and that she “enjoyed every single aspect” of it. A highlight was hearing the keynote speaker Dr. Richard N. Hass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations.  She said she appreciated how he encouraged her generation of students to work with others for peace.

The students toured the U.S. Military Academy and met some cadets. “It was nice to hear from the cadets about what they need to go through to graduate,” said Biju.

bilan-at-desk-1Biju has a double major of communications and media studies and business administration with a concentration in global business.   She is interested in exploring work in media relations or public relations for a national agency.  “I think my motto is ‘try to learn something new every day.’”

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English Department Holds Undergraduate Literary Conference

dr-stephen-marino-arthur-miller-journal
english-lit-conference-2016
english-lit-conference-lunch

Caldwell, N.J., Nov. 21 – Students from 14 colleges and universities in the tristate area gathered on Caldwell’s campus for the English Department’s “Literary Losers and Anti-Heroes” conference Nov. 18.

Trish Verrone, Ph.D., professor of English at Caldwell, said the department wanted to give English majors the valuable experience of presenting a paper at a literature conference with undergraduates from different colleges and universities. “Presenting at a conference requires students to utilize sophisticated communication and analytical skills and gives them the opportunity to exchange literary perspectives with English majors from other institutions.”

The keynote speaker was Dr. Stephen Marino from St. Francis College in Brooklyn. Marino, editor of The Arthur Miller Journal, detailed how the work of the playwright Miller has affected the literary, dramatic, political, and cultural landscape for decades.

Many of the undergraduate students like Caldwell’s Cassandra Winnie were excited to have the opportunity to present at their first conference. A psychology and English major, she said it was enriching to listen to others who appreciate English as she does. “Dr. Verrone kind of pushed me to do this … I’m so happy I listen to her all time.”

Catherine Stansfield, another Caldwell English major, was delighted to share ideas and to analyze the anti-heroes in literature with students and faculty. “I was inspired by so many writers to see literature from a different perspective and enjoyed listening and participating in discussions.” The students were able to show their “pride for literature” and in closely analyzing texts to get the full experience that reading offers, she said.

Andrew Haas, a writing and English major at Columbia University, was also a presenter. “It was a really good first experience.”

Victoria Hofstad, an English major at Lehman College CUNY, was happy to have the chance to speak. “Undergraduates don’t typically get the opportunity to present … I was impressed with the caliber of the other students.”

Emma Volk, an English major at Columbia, found it was “great to interact with schools from all over the area and see the work of other students.”

Megan Ilievski, also a presenter, is majoring in English and communications and media studies with an art minor at Caldwell. She said the conference was a success and hoped it would become an annual event.

Earlier in the semester students were invited to submit proposals for papers on literary works written in English or available in English translation from any historical period or national culture.

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Education Doctoral Students Pilot STEM Project for Elementary and Middle School Students

doctoral-studentsCaldwell, N.J., Nov. 21, 2016 – Doctoral education students Marisa Castronova and Jessica Shackil have received a $10,000 Frederick L. Hipp grant from the New Jersey Education Association for a project they created to engage elementary and middle school students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Castronova teaches seventh-grade life science at Robert R. Lazar Middle School in Montville, New Jersey, and Shackil teaches fourth grade at Intervale Elementary School in Parsippany, New Jersey. They met in their Caldwell University educational leadership doctoral classes. They were recently honored at the NJEA convention along with the other grant recipients.

Seeing the demand in New Jersey and across the nation for students to be prepared to fill STEM jobs, Castronova and Shackil worked together to develop STEM PALS, a cross-district and cross-grade initiative to get students excited about science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Fourth-grade students from Parsippany work alongside seventh-grade students from Montville on STEM challenges. The program emphasizes the value of discourse among students and also stresses the social practices prevalent in the scientific community.

Castronova and Shackil hope STEM PALS will generate excitement and interest at the elementary and secondary levels so that students can build upon these experiences as they continue their academic careers. “We want students to see the value of science and engineering for its ability to explain phenomena and create solutions to fulfill a human want and/or need,” said Castronova.

Some of the projects they have planned for this year are called the marshmallow challenge, the packing peanuts challenge, and the hydroponics challenge. There are also activities related to 3-D printing. Student classrooms work in real time each Thursday via webcams and communicate through a variety of Google tools, including Google docs and Google Hangout.  A field trip will also occur toward the end of the school year, allowing STEM PALS to meet face to face.

Castronova and Shackil say they are grateful to Caldwell University where faculty value their ideas and encourage them to develop. “As we continue through Caldwell’s program, we find ourselves taking on a more global perspective toward education. We feel empowered to take risks and create change beyond the four walls of our classroom. STEM PALS was one of those risks,” said Castronova.

Dr. Joan Moriarty, associate dean of the education division, and Dr. Joanne Jasmine, Ph.D., professor of education, say they are proud of Castronova and Shackil’s continued research efforts to make sure they on the cutting edge of student engagement. “This certainly is a hallmark of school leaders promoting teaching and learning,” said Moriarty.

The doctoral students are also thankful to Heather Cook and Ellen Johnston, staff members at the Jennings Library, who guided them in using the 3-D printer for flowerpot designs created by STEM PAL students, which they displayed at a community fundraising event.

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Caldwell Cougars Dunk for Hunger Food Drive

sports-management

Students in Caldwell University’s Sport Management Club have organized a food drive to run from Nov. 19 through Dec. 14, 2016 in hopes of assisting and filling the university’s Cougar Food Pantry. The “Cougars Can Dunk for Hunger” food drive will take place throughout the month with primary collection days before the Caldwell University Cougars home basketball games.

With the launch of the campus-based Cougar Food Pantry in March, the students wanted to use the beginning of the basketball season to increase awareness of the pantry while collecting food for those in need during the upcoming holiday season. “I am very proud of the selflessness of the Caldwell students who came to me and requested that we undertake this food drive,” said Club Advisor, Professor Neil Malvone.

The students will be collecting food before the Nov. 19 men’s basketball game and the men’s and women’s doubleheader on Nov. 22. Attendees that bring a food item will receive a one dollar discount off their admission to the games.

Club President Randi Stafford stated, “We wanted to incorporate the lessons we are learning in sport management with a charitable activity and felt a food drive during home basketball games was a perfect way to do this.” Students are asking for donations of any non-perishable foods. Donations of all canned goods, especially soup, ramen noodles, beef jerky, peanut butter, jelly, cereal, snack bars, and bags of rice, beans etc. are particularly needed, but all donations are appreciated with the hope of helping local families in need.

Donation boxes for the Cougar Food Pantry will be available at the Newman Center before the games and by room 248 in Visceglia Hall throughout the month.

For more information please email: cougarfoodpantry@caldwell.edu and nmalvone@caldwell.edu.

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Jump Start Your Career Planning

The Career Planning and Development Office provides students and alumni with the tools to:

  • Explore and choose academic majors and career options
  • Obtain career-related experience such as internships and shadowing opportunities
  • Pursue post-graduation career plans including employment and graduate school

To find out more, go to www.caldwell.edu/career

Featured News, Music News, News

Coming soon: The Caldwell University Marching Band

Caldwell University is adding a marching band to support its new sprint football team. Come fall of 2017 Caldwell will be one of three universities in New Jersey with marching bands. Music faculty member Rebecca Vega will direct the band, and she is looking for non-music and music majors who would like to contribute their talents in brass, percussion, woodwind, or color guard. Marching band will be a one-credit course that will meet twice a week, and members will perform at all three home football games, open houses, Homecoming and other school events.

rebecca-vega

Music faculty member Rebecca Vega will direct the Caldwell University Marching Band being added for the new sprint football team.

Vega has experience with marching bands. She was in marching bands in high
school and college, oversaw the marching band when she taught high school for three years in California, and worked with the marching band when she was a graduate assistant in the Music Department at Eastern Michigan University. Now her son marches in the Verona High School Marching Band. “I’m super-excited to teach marching band again. I’m a marching band geek,” Vega said, noting she “drags her husband” to see marching bands at competitions even six hours before her son competes.

Vega says Caldwell will build its marching band over the next three to five years, starting with a small group and simple uniforms and then making it a larger ensemble with more instruments and more elaborate uniforms. Marching band scholarships will be available. For information, contact Professor Rebecca Vega at rvega@Caldwell.edu or 973-618-3446.

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Communications student Brandon Young is a guest on WNNJ’s s “Vets Rock”

Communications and Media Studies student Brandon Young served in the Marine Corp as a corporal and team leader.

Communications and Media Studies student Brandon Young served in the Marine Corp as a corporal and team leader.

Caldwell, N.J., November 9, 2016 – Communication and Media Studies senior Brandon Young was a guest on WNNJ’s “Vets Rock” program on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

Young talks with host and Senior Vice President of Programming/Sussex Gary Cee about his experience in the Marine Corp as a corporal and team leader, including serving in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and doing two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He shares the importance of the bonds he made with his friends from the military.

“It was an amazing experience being a guest on their show.  I learned what it is like to be a host of a program for a few hours,” said Young.  They played several of Young’s favorite songs on the air.

Communications and Media Studies student Brandon Young is a guest on WNNJ’s s “Vets Rock”

Communications and Media Studies student Brandon Young is a guest on WNNJ’s s “Vets Rock”

 

Young, who is looking to pursue a career in broadcasting, was excited to “see how a real studio works” and that what he learned at Caldwell fit right in with the work at WNNJ. “My experience with the Communications and Media Studies Department made me feel very comfortable in the studio.  All of the terminology I learned in class I was able to apply.”

Listeners can hear the program on 103.7 NNJ FM, iheart radio or on the 103.7 website at wnnj.iheart.com.