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Alumna receives papal honor for work in communications, journalism

The below article from The Catholic Spirit newspaper of the Metuchen Diocese is a feature on Caldwell University alumna Joanne Ward ‘69 .

Medal recipient honored for work in communications, journalism

Joanne-Ward1Joanne Ward, associate publisher and editor-in-chief of The Catholic Spirit, received the Benemerenti medal for her “exceptional leadership in the area of diocesan communications, especially her guidance of our award-winning newspaper, which I believe has been one of our most effective tools in the cause of the New Evangelization,” said Bishop Emeritus Paul G. Bootkoski.

“Ms. Ward will soon be retiring and the Holy Father’s bestowal of this honor is a fitting tribute to her dedicated service to the Church,” he added at solemn vespers in the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi, Metuchen, June 13.

Ward served as director of the Office of Communications from 2001 to December 2012 when the office was restructured and she assumed her current role. “I welcomed the change to concentrate on my first love – journalism – and be in a position to more directly have a positive impact on the faithful in the diocese through The Catholic Spirit,” she said.

That positive impact was evident recently after the newspaper published a story about the prison ministry of Immaculate Conception Church, Annandale. Ward said one of the deacons, Mike Meyer, emailed her to express his thanks for the article. “He said the article was already bearing fruit because another parish in the diocese had offered to help provide the ladies with Catholic reading materials,” Ward said. “He thanked us for our evangelization.”

As director of communications Ward said she was involved in helping to create videos for the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, coordinating Masses to honor the men and women law enforcement officers and firefighters, and redesigning the diocesan website. “What I liked most about the position was the challenge of never knowing what situations or problems the day would bring,” she said. “You had to be ready for anything. I was never bored and my days always flew by.”

During this time Ward was project director for the 2006 publication of a “coffee table book” to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Diocese of Metuchen. “It took months to produce and it was very well-received,” she said. “I still consider it one of my top accomplishments at the diocese.”

As editor-in-chief of The Catholic Spirit Ward said her primary responsibility was developing story ideas and obtaining photos for the paper and deciding what would be covered and how it would be presented.

Ward also wrote “many, many stories” herself, two of which earned her individual awards from the Catholic Press Association. In 2015, a story on the Pope Francis Garden, a joint project between Holy Family Parish, New Brunswick and St. Peter and Paul Byzantine Parish, Somerset, captured first place for news reporting on a local issue.

In 2014, an article on the Deacons’ Table, a ministry of The Church of the Good Shepherd in the Hopelawn section of Woodbridge Township that brings food and fellowship to attendees, earned Ward third place for news writing.

One of her top accomplishments as editor was to have The Catholic Spirit distributed in all parishes. “It took a year to get that done and we were blessed to have Bishop Paul approve such a bold move,” Ward said. She also was instrumental in establishing El Manantial, the Hispanic language newspaper of the diocese.

The special supplement recently published when Pope Francis visited Philadelphia is a memorable one for Ward. “All the stories were written by clergy, religious and laity of our diocese,” she said. Ward said it was their hope that the supplement would make readers feel proud to be Catholic and proud to be part of the Diocese of Metuchen. “From the reaction it received, I think it did,” she said.

Prior to working for the diocese Ward held various public relations positions and also worked as a legislative aide where she was responsible for speeches, press releases, newsletters and public briefings. When her husband died in 1999 Ward said she felt she needed a position that was not dependent on elections.

Applying for director of communications “was the best decision I ever made and I feel it was God’s way of taking care of me and my children,” she said. “Without a doubt, my faith has grown immeasurably and in many ways since I started working at the diocese.”

Ward received a bachelor’s degree in English from Caldwell College, Caldwell, N.J. and a master’s degree in journalism from The Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pa. She also was the recipient of the Regina Nostra medal for outstanding service to the church and diocese in 2006.

“I was very surprised when the bishop told me I was to receive a papal honor,” Ward said, “and feel it honors not only me, but also the staff of The Catholic Spirit and our freelancers whose work makes the newspaper possible.”
Tracy Liston

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‘The Shaping of America’ – History professor examines great impact religious sisters have had on American life

Dr. Marie MullaneyThis article appeared in The Beacon, the newspaper of the Paterson Diocese

‘The Shaping of America’

Professor examines great impact that religious sisters have had on American life

By MICHAEL WOJCIK
MADISON Religious sisters, who work tirelessly in a variety of Catholic ministries throughout the U.S. today, carry on the legacy of their courageous forebears — religious communities whose members often acted like CEOs, blessed with the vision and perseverance to found major institutions in the early history of the country, including women’s colleges, parochial schools and hospitals.

Even before the founding of the U.S., religious sisters also acted as pioneers, braving the dangers of bringing the Church and God’s love to settlers during expansion in the West. They also blazed trails in the nation’s cities, bringing God’s mercy through their varied outreaches to the poor and forgotten, said Marie Mullaney, Ph.D., a professor at Caldwell University, during her presentation, “Catholic Sisters and the Shaping of America,” on June 22 at St. Paul Inside the Walls: the Diocesan Center for Evangelization at Bayley-Ellard here.

“Religious sisters are the largest and oldest group of women to contribute to American life. By 1920, they built more than 500 hospitals, 50 women’s colleges and 6,000 parochial schools,” said Mullaney, who teaches women’s history and the history of Catholicism in America at Caldwell University. During her talk, she examined the history and impact of religious sisters on the U.S. It was attended by religious sisters from many communities that serve in the Paterson Diocese and beyond. “Because they have been so humble and so busy serving others, these sisters did not create archives or collect materials to document all of their accomplishments. Their story hasn’t been told,” she said.

So that night at St. Paul’s, Mullaney started telling the story of religious sisters in the U.S. from the beginning: the establishment of the New World, which took place from the 1500s to the 1600s. They traveled from Europe to the overwhelmingly Protestant 13 colonies, where Catholics comprised only 1 percent of the population. The first community was the Ursuline Sisters of France, who accepted the local bishop’s invitation in 1727 to care for the sick during a cholera epidemic in New Orleans, she said.

“The sisters found that the European model of living in a cloistered community did not work in the U.S. They did hard physical labor, had to learn English and had to endure harsh conditions traveling by mule, horse-drawn buggy or boat. A journey out West could take weeks or months,” Mullaney said.

Early on, religious sisters braved the dangers of serving on the undeveloped expanse of land, known as the frontier. The sisters also performed manual work: taking care of animals, farming, making their own clothes and raising funds by begging, Mullaney said.

Since the early history of the U.S., religious sisters have ministered to. During the height of Catholic migration in the 19th century, the Sisters of Mercy, founded in Dublin, arrived in 1827 to serve Irish communities in so many areas, Mullaney said.

“Often, the sisters became more familiar and visible to the faithful than the priests, because they served everyday in schools, parishes, orphanages and hospitals,” Mullaney said.

Religious communities also ministered to many marginalized populations, including African-Americans during the years prior to the abolition of slavery and continuing through more than a century after the end of the Civil War. Orders of mixed-race sisters were established. The Oblate Sisters of Providence founded the first school for African-Americans in Baltimore in1828. St. Katherine Drexel established a religious community in Philadelphia to serve American Indians and African Americans. Mother Murphy arrived in Texas to found schools and orphanages to minister to Mexican immigrants, Mullaney said.

One of the religious sisters’ most significant ministries has been education, having established women’s colleges and parochial high schools and elementary schools throughout the U.S. In 1727, the Ursulines founded a girl’s school in New Orleans — still considered the oldest in the country. In 1860, the Sisters of Charity opened the Academy of St. Elizabeth, Convent Station, in the Diocese — the oldest high school for girls in the state. Dominican Sisters founded Caldwell College [now a university]— where Mullaney has taught for 36 years — in 1939. The Sisters of Christian Charity continue to operate the only college remaining in the U.S. for the religious formation of religious sisters: Assumption College for Sisters in Denville, said the speaker, a product of Catholic education.

Another critical outreach for religious sisters was medical care. They cared for sick people and orphans, established the first Catholic hospitals and the first Catholic nursing school and helped professionalize the field of nursing, which was not considered a proper career for women in the 19th century. About 600 sisters cared for wounded Union and Confederate soldiers on the battlefield and in hospitals during the Civil War, which helped reduce anti-Catholic bias in the nation. Later in the century, religious sisters helped St. Damien of Molokai care for lepers in Hawaii, Mullaney said.

“This presentation was a good story told well. It was a beautifully researched, organized and visual program,” said Father Paul Manning, St. Paul’s executive director and diocesan vicar for evangelization, after the talk, which was highlighted by many historical photographs. “Thanks for all of you, who said ‘yes’ [to a religious vocation]. You have blessed this country with your loving service. We thank God for you,” he said.

Mullaney developed her presentation about how religious sisters have helped shape the U.S. after training and advising Caldwell students who conducted and recorded interviews with six Dominican sisters, who have played significant roles in the history of the university. This undertaking, which the students completed in an independent study course, was part of “Sister Story,” a much larger project, funded by the Hilton Foundation, which has been collecting the oral histories of women religious. The archives of these materials have been housed at St. Catherine University in St. Paul/Minneapolis, said Mullaney, whose husband, Kenneth F. Mullaney Jr., serves as diocesan counsel.

“Dr. Mullaney’s presentation left us [religious sisters] with renewed pride for all communities in the U.S. She pointed out the many accomplishments of early sisters, serving where there was a need — as religious sisters still do today,” said Sister of Christian Charity Joan Daniel, diocesan vice chancellor and delegate for religious, who attended the talk.


Listen to Dr. Marie Mullaney on the podcast Caldwell University conversations on the impact of Catholic Sisters on the history of the United States.

Listen to the podcast here.

 

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Summer Study in Fanjeaux: Discovering St. Dominic’s vision on a medieval French hilltop

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Caldwell, N.J., – June 29, 2016 – Members of the Caldwell University community traveled to the medieval hilltop village of Fanjeaux, France, to take part in an annual international study experience from May 30 to June 16. They joined students, faculty and staff from other Dominican schools to learn the history of St. Dominic’s vision for an order devoted to seeking and sharing the truth.

Students Marisa Juliano and Emma Nicholas, staff member John Della Penna and graduate counseling faculty member Dr. Emma Kendrick studied in the mornings and visited historic sites in the afternoon. The students had the chance to earn three credits. They shared meals with the larger group and reflected on the ways St. Dominic’s inspiration could influence their lives.

John Della Penna, director of media services at the university, said he went on the trip with “no expectations” and with an openness to a new discovery. He found the richness of a Catholic Dominican tradition that lives on in contemporary life and was struck by the “antiquity” of the experience and the fact that he was “sleeping in the convent where St. Dominic stayed,” a section of which is some 800 years old. Clearly the Holy Spirit was at work, as Della Penna realized that “we are the continuation of the Bible as a reflection of the Word of God.” He also found that contemplation and prayer are important in today’s world.

Kendrick was inspired by many aspects of the Dominican tradition. “The most impactful moments were from my conversations with the sisters during our dinner and social time.”

Nicholas, a Caldwell senior and nursing major, made good friends and was pleasantly surprised by that fact that “so many personalities could get along at once.” Juliano, a senior, enjoyed the communal meals and the “every-night hangouts after long days of classes and excursions” when students and faculty would share life stories and experiences. Della Penna was moved by the “generosity of spirit and dynamic interactions.” Juliano experienced a “better understanding of that Dominican sense of community and sharing with others.”
Kendrick particularly enjoyed the outdoor excursions when they would climb or hike to places like Montsegur or the Chateau de Puilaurens. “Collioure was also a nice day where everyone got to enjoy a boat ride and relax in the Mediterranean Sea,” she said.

Della Penna was grateful to be able to borrow a guitar so he could use his musical talents at impromptu sing-alongs that “created a greater sense of community and fellowship.”

Nicholas and two friends rode bicycles down the Seine River one night after missing their boat tour. “Paris was definitely a highlight, as we had so much freedom to explore and learn about how the city works.”

They came away from the excursion happy to encourage others to attend the annual trip and ready for their next adventure. “Fanjeaux gave me a lot that I will never see again in my life and the inspiration to go back and see more,” said Juliano.
Della Penna shares his experiences in this poem “With Joy”:

With joy

I sit here filled with wonder
On how the time passed by
And try to capture moments
On how your lives touched mine
You showed me love and faith
and hope in the Divine
As we tried to solve the riddle
Of our roles within our time
We spoke of justice, peace and truth
And human dignity
The fruits of contemplation
And Dominican spirituality
Meeting people where they are
Inclusiveness, diversity and change
Feelings, thoughts and actions
Were the bread of our exchange
How bitter sweet the wine we drank
And shared a laugh or two
But it’s a heavy heart to carry
As I say Au Revoir to you
But with me lives the message
And the memory of Fanjeaux

-by John Della Penna

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Students Attend Dominican “Preaching in Action” Conference

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Caldwell, N.J., June, 28, 2016 – Four Caldwell University students joined students from Dominican universities and colleges to learn about preaching at a conference at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan, during the week of May 24.

Students Katlyn Houtz, Joe Severino, Louis Del Virginia, and Sean Puzzo attended the 14th annual Preaching in Action conference, which gave young people the chance to come together to learn about the Dominican charism of preaching and how that charism can be incorporated into their lives. Puzzo had also attended in 2015.

Houtz, an elementary education and psychology major, said her favorite part of the conference was meeting students from around the country and learning how they share the Dominican traditions on their campus.

The conference began with a brief history of Dominic and the Order of Preachers complete with an array of Dominican songs. A presentation on “Dominicans through the Ages” featured depictions of the lives of Mary of Magdala, Dominic and Catherine of Siena and their calls to preach in the early years of the order. Joe Kilikevice, O.P., highlighted the interfaith mission of the order by introducing the students to dance and song from a variety of faiths. Michael Petro showed the young people how the four pillars of Dominican life can help transform their everyday lives so they can be free for mission.

Houtz said she appreciated having the chance to reflect on the four pillars of community, prayer, study and service, principles she has been able to incorporate into her everyday life. “I learned that you do not need to be in front of a large group to preach.”

Alandra Scott and Francesca Pisano, Dominican volunteers, introduced the young preachers to their ministries. Scott ministers at the United Nations and Pisano at an organization that assists victims of domestic violence. Attracta Kelly, O.P., presented on immigration, and Judy Morris, O.P., spoke on human trafficking.

The students put their preaching into action when they spent the day in immersion sites ministering to the poor at the soup kitchen Our Daily Bread, to the earth at the Permaculture Center on the grounds of the Adrian Motherhouse, to the elderly at the Gerontology Center and to people working to obtain housing for the needy at Habitat for Humanity. They also engaged physically and mentally challenged adults at the Hope Center.

There was time for theological reflection before and after the service. Many students were so moved by their experiences that they made commitments to get more involved with their communities back home.

They enjoyed an ice cream social with the sisters at the Adrian Motherhouse. They learned about other aspects of the Dominican family when they visited tables, gathered information and spoke to members of the Dominican Young Adults USA, Dominican volunteers, associate members, lay Dominicans and religious sisters and friars.

Barbara Schwarz, O.P., concluded the week’s presentations by awakening participants to “the art of preaching.” Her interactive and hands-on presentation was an introduction to the “Preaching through the Arts” day. Aneesah McNamee, O.P.; Nancy Murray, O.P.; Mary Jones, O.P.; Maria Goretti Brown, O.P.; Jessica Abejar, a former youth preacher, and Sister Barbara presented breakout sessions for the students to use their creative energies.

The morning and evening prayer services were prepared and led by students, who used their creativity, musical talents and vocal gifts.

At the closing liturgy, students presented their action plans for incorporating what they learned at the conference into their lives and their campuses. Each student received the Dominican cross and was commissioned to go forth and preach the Good News to fellow students.

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New Online Master’s in Higher Education

Caldwell, N.J., June 20, 2016 – Caldwell University is launching a fully online master’s degree program in higher education which will prepare students for leadership and administrative roles in areas of higher education such as student affairs, enrollment management, resource management, and human resources at public, private and Catholic institutions.

A strong benefit is the innovative experiential and internship opportunity requirement for students. These online classes are accelerated with courses running every seven weeks. Students who choose to attend fulltime will be able to complete their degree in just one year. The seven-week course rotation allows students to enter the program at the beginning of any seven-week session, maximizing the flexibility and appeal of the program.

Dr. Nancy Becker, coordinator of the program says the program has been carefully designed to give students the theoretical background they need, complemented by experiential learning opportunities individualized to meet their interests. “We are excited to be able to offer students this innovative program and the chance to advance in a higher education career and work in a dynamic setting day in and day out.”

Applications are now being accepted for the fall semester. To find out more, http://onlineinfo.caldwell.edu/ma-in-higher-education/ and contact is onlineadmissions@caldwell.edu.

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Business Professor Ann Marie Callahan is honored as NJ Society of CPAs Woman of Note

Caldwell, N.J., June 17, 2016 – Caldwell University Professor of Business Ann Marie Callahan, CPA has been selected as a New Jersey Society of CPAs Woman of Note in recognition of her NJCPA participation, accounting profession involvement, and community service dedication.

Before joining higher education, Callahan worked as an auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers and a Vice President of Management Reporting at Deutsche Bank.

Callahan, of Roseland, says one of the most fulfilling duties of her work at the university is being able to guide students in making their career decisions. “It is rewarding to share my knowledge and personal experience with students as they learn about careers in accounting.”

The recipients were announced on June 16 at the NJCPA Convention & Expo.

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Applied Behavior Analysis Doctoral Students Receive Awards at International Convention

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Doctoral student Lauren A. Goodwyn won an award in the Student Research Grant Competition at the Association for Behavior Analysis International convention. She is pictured here with her advisor Dr. April Kisamore.

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Doctoral student Lauren K. Schnell and her advisor Dr. Jason Vladescu. Schnell won an award in the Student Paper Competition category at the Association for Behavior Analysis International convention.

Caldwell, N.J., June 2, 2016 – Caldwell University Applied Behavior Analysis doctoral students received awards for their research at The Association for Behavior Analysis International Convention in Chicago in May.

Students Lauren K. Schnell, M.A., BCBA and Catherine Taylor-Santa, M.A., BCBA were honored in the “Student Paper Competition” category and Lauren A. Goodwyn, M.A., BCBA received an award in the “Student Research Grants” category.

Schnell’s advisor is Jason C. Vladescu, Ph.D., BCBA-D, NCSP, LBA assistant professor, applied behavior analysis, and Goodwyn and Taylor-Santa’s advisor is April Kisamore, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA, assistant professor, applied behavior analysis.

“We were delighted to receive the news that our students won three of the six Verbal Behavior Special Interest Group awards. This is a testament to their hard work and efforts to advance the science of language development,” said Dr. Vladescu.

The Caldwell Department of Applied Behavior Analysis was well represented at the ABAI Convention with all department faculty and numerous former and current graduate students in attendance.

Collectively they completed over 20 talks, panels, discussant roles, and posters. “We strive to ensure we are active participants in the convention as this provides an important professional opportunity to disseminate research, consume new developments in the field, and network with colleagues from across the world,” said Dr. Vladescu.

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Alumna Uses Design Talents to Prepare Church for Bishop’s Ordination

Alumna Meg Poltorak Keyes used her talents to prepare for the ordination and installation of Bishop James F. Checchio as the fifth bishop in the Diocese of Metuchen.

For more than 30 years Poltorak Keyes has been designing liturgical environments. Shortly after graduating from Caldwell as the first person to receive the bachelor’s in fine arts, she heard a request for parishioners to donate their “time, talent, and treasure.” Knowing her time and finances were limited, she realized she could use her talents. “I raised by hand to help with the flowers,” she says. As an interior designer she has done quite a bit of church renovation and restoration. She is a member of the Art and Environment Committee through the Office of Divine Worship for the Archdiocese of Newark. She also sits on the Liturgical Commission for the Diocese of Metuchen.

She credits her former art professor, artist Sister Gerardine Mueller, O.P. for her inspiration. “I would not being doing half as much if it were not for her example.”

The below Diocese of Metuch Catholic Spirit article, “Designer recreates Vatican Gardens to honor bishop’s time in Rome”, highlights Poltorak Keyes work.

Designer recreates Vatican Gardens to honor bishop’s time in Rome

By Tracy Liston
Correspondent

SOUTH PLAINFIELD — Design consultant Meg Poltorak Keyes was hard at work with her small team preparing the Church of the Sacred Heart two nights before the ordination and installation of Bishop James F. Checchio.

May12TheCatholicSpirit“It is very exciting to be a part of this, and it all happened rather quickly,” said Poltorak Keyes. “This is a huge honor to be selected to design the liturgical environments. I am doing this as much for Bishop Paul [G. Bootkoski] as I am for Bishop James,” she said, noting that she has worked with Bishop Bootkoski since the beginning of his 14 years in the diocese. For the celebration of Evening Prayer, held the night before Bishop Checchio’s ordination, Poltorak Keyes said she chose a white decorating theme to adorn the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi in Metuchen “to which was the Memorial of Saint Athanasius, who was a bishop and doctor of the Church.”

However, for the installation and ordination, which fell on the feast of St. Philip and St. James, who were apostles and martyrs, the liturgical color is red, and Poltorak Keyes said she did not want to focus on that particular color.

Instead she chose “to use the architectural elements of the church to reflect and capitalize on the colors that were already here.” Hence her color scheme of butterscotch, pale yellows, and persimmon came to life and accentuated the buff, sand, beige, bronze and oak tones so prominent at Sacred Heart.

“There will be many international visitors here for the ordination and the people will also bring their own colors to the ceremony,” she added.

flowersTo honor the nearly 13 years Bishop Checchio spent in Rome at the Pontifical North American College, Poltorak Keyes decided to research the Vatican Gardens and learn what flowers and shrubs grow there. “A lot of thought went into this,” she said. “I wanted to recreate what would be typical at the Vatican Gardens.”

The Stephanotis, Oleander, Jasmine and Confederate Jasmine that Poltorak Keyes special ordered were all carefully placed in pots by design team members, Anne Poltorak, her sister, and Pru Cadena.

After the festivities, the flowers were delivered to the new bishop “so he can plant them at either his private residence or around the Cathedral to remind him of Rome.”

A designer of liturgical environments for more than 30 years, Poltorak Keyes does regular work for St. Joseph Parish, North Plainfield, where she is a member, and Mount Saint Mary Chapel, Watchung. She also worships at St. Charles Borromeo Church, Montgomery Township.

A member of the diocesan Liturgical Commission, she also specializes in church renovation and restoration. Designer recreates Vatican Gardens to honor bishop’s time in Rome In the background above are some of the creations Meg Poltorak Keyes designed for the Mass of Ordination and Installation of Bishop James F. Checchio at the Church of the Sacred Heart, South Plainfield. At left is one of the arrangements assembled by Poltorak Keyes and design team members Anne Poltorak, her sister, and Pru Cadena. Poltorak Keyes has been designing liturgical environments for more than 30 years.

– Mike Ehrmann photos

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Athletics Head Mark Corino is Guest on One-on-One with Steve Adubato

Mark Corino, assistant vice president and director of athletics at Caldwell University, is a guest on One-on-One with Steve Adubato to talk about the benefits of Division II athletics. Corino, who built the Caldwell University Athletics Department some 30 years ago, is also the head men’s basketball coach and one of the winningest coaches in New Jersey with 530+ wins. Corino talked about the differences between Division I and Division II programs. He explained the benefits for students who play in a Division II program including a well-rounded emphasis on academics, community engagement, and athletics. He shared how the Caldwell Athletics Department received a community service award last year for its project focusing on domestic violence. He described the leadership skills that he and his staff try to instill in student-athletes to help them become successfully no matter what profession or direction in life they choose.

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Music Department Offering Summer Orff-Schulwerk Workshop for Teachers

Caldwell, NJ, May 31, 2016 – Caldwell University will offer a Level I Orff-Schulwerk Teacher Education Workshop Program from July 25 through August 5, 2016 on the university’s beautiful campus.

The American Orff-Schulwerk Association approved program is a creative approach to teaching and learning music through speaking, singing, playing instruments and moving. It is an intensive 10-day workshop for music professionals who wish to make music education a joyful, creative experience for teachers and students through the Orff-Schulwerk process. All New Jersey music educators who complete the entire workshop will qualify for 60 hours of professional development credit.

Two certified AOSA instructors, Drue M. Bullington and Kristine Wolfe, will guide participants through an understanding of basic Orff pedagogy, soprano recorder, movement and other special topics.

For more information contact Mr. Thomas Charsky (Tcharsky@caldwell.edu). Additional information and a registration form can be found on the Music Department website: https://www.caldwell.edu/academics/academic-departments/music.