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Alternative Spring Break Experience Rebuilding in Appalachia

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Caldwell, N.J., April 4, 2016 – For Caldwell University student Cindy Pineros, a highlight of her workweek in Appalachia came when she witnessed a man named Anthony roll out of his house and down a ramp that she had helped to build. “He was so happy and thankful,” said Pineros. She explained that Anthony had not been able to leave his house without assistance since his home had no wheelchair ramp.

Pineros, a nursing and biology student, and six other Caldwell students joined students from other universities March 19 to 25 for the Christian Appalachian Project’s Workfest Alternative spring break program. They helped rebuild homes for low-income families in eastern Kentucky.

Yashant Gywali, a sophomore majoring in computer information systems at Caldwell, helped build a porch for an elderly woman who lived alone. He was happy to be “introduced to new power tools … I was fixing windows, drilling, up on ladders.”

Catie Mulick, also a nursing student at Caldwell, did roofing and put paneling on a family’s house. She was struck most by the way the little girls were proud to show them around even though they had the bare minimum. “They were not embarrassed or ashamed at needing help from college students.”

It was a week of hard work, cold temperatures and a scramble to get a shower. “Waking up at 5:45 or 6, 40 to 50 girls using eight showers,” said Pineros.

The work groups were set up so that each Caldwell student was in a team with students from other colleges, which “forced you out of your comfort zone,” said Pineros. Gywali was happy to make friends from Caldwell and other schools. The pretty hills, mountains and lake reminded him of his beloved Nepal.

Getting used to being away from technology and their phones took a short adjustment, but after that they welcomed the freedom. “It was a nice cleanse … I was upset to get the service back,” said Mulick. “It was such a relief to detach,” said Pineros.

The other Caldwell students who attended were Kevin Fernandez, Charlotte Genthe, Dohee “Jenn” Han and Justice Baskin.

The chaperones were Mason Traino, an admissions counselor, and Patrick Lehosky, an alumnus who attended CAP as a student. The group stayed at Camp AJ in McKee, Kentucky.

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Post-graduate student receives New Jersey state teacher award

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John Taylor, a Caldwell University post-master’s degree student, has been named the New Jersey Charter Schools Association 2016 Teacher of the Year.

Caldwell, N.J., April 4, 2016 – John Taylor, a Caldwell University post-master’s degree student, has been named the New Jersey Charter Schools Association 2016 Teacher of the Year. Taylor is studying in the Education Division at Caldwell in the principal certification program. He expects to complete his internship this spring.

A physical education teacher at Beloved Community Charter School in Jersey City, Taylor says the faculty at Caldwell “are irreplaceable resources for future administrators.” He is grateful to his professors for mentoring him and for sharing their professional experiences during the practicum process. “Caldwell University has prepared me for an administrative position, and due to the guidance I received from my internship supervisor, Mr. Frank DiSessa, I am more confident in my abilities as a future principal.”

Taylor is passionate about physical activity and encouraging young people to live healthy lifestyles. He is the Beloved Community Charter School coordinator for physical activity and self-confidence initiatives, including the Reebok BOKS Kids morning activity program. He says teaching is much more than just being in the classroom. “It’s about teaching students to be passionate about what they are interested in and guiding them through the process of how to act on those passions.” He enjoys educating students about the importance of physical activity and healthy living outside of the school walls. “In what other profession would I get 180 days each year to teach people about ways to lead happier, healthier lives?” He previously starred in the reality show “Too Fat for 15: Fighting Back.” Taylor will be honored at the New Jersey Charter Schools Association conference in Atlantic City on May 26.

Caldwell University’s principal certification program is designed to meet New Jersey’s certification requirements for principal certification for applicants who have a master’s degree in educational administration, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction or a master’s degree in another recognized field of leadership or management.

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Congressman Frelinghuysen visits Intro to Public Administration Class

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Caldwell, N.J., March 31, 2016 – Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen visited Political Science Professor Domenic Maffei’s Introduction to Public Administration class on March 31 and provided students with insights on the legislative branch of government.

Rep. Frelinghuysen , of the 11th district, serves as New Jersey’s senior member of the House Appropriations Committee and on three key appropriations subcommittees: Energy and Water Development, Homeland Security and Defense, where he serves as Chairman.

Issues he discussed with the students included: the importance of literacy, the beauty of America’s diversity, the military, intelligence, genocide in the world today, paying for college, and the presidential race.

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Caldwell University Women’s Soccer Welcomes Newest Teammate Through Team IMPACT

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CALDWELL, N.J.- On Wednesday, March 9, the Caldwell University women’s soccer team welcomed their newest teammate, seven-year old Payton, through Team IMPACT. The draft day was held in the George R. Newman Center with her family in attendance as well as member of the soccer team and coaching staff.

Payton signed her National Letter of Intent to join the Cougars on the sidelines this fall. She and the team were connected through Team IMPACT, whose mission is to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses by establishing and expanding vibrant team-based support networks.

“We are honored to have Payton and her family join our team,” said Head Coach Nate Guagliardi. “She embodies all that we stand for here at Caldwell, and we are proud of her and the way she has fought and continues to fight.”

Payton developed kidney dysplasia which is where her kidneys were not able to function properly. She has undergone several surgeries over the years battling this disease. Now, Payton is doing well. She takes medication and has regular doctor visits as she continues her recovery.

She was greeted by members of the Caldwell University women’s soccer team and presented with Caldwell women’s soccer gear by Coach Guagliardi. The team advocates include Mary Kanzler, Shelagh Kerrisk, Kayla Troisi and Kylie Whalen. Payton will join the team on the sidelines this fall attending practices and games to support the Cougars women’s soccer team.

Payton’s parents were in attendance for her signing day along with her two brothers Travis and Ryan. According to Payton, her favorite color is pink and her favorite number is seven. Her favorite song is Sledgehammer by Fifth Harmony and her favorite singer is Taylor Swift! She loves gymnastics and cheering, her favorite game is Gaga and she loves to draw. Payton’s favorite movie is The Good Dinosaur, her favorite show is The Thundermans and her favorite food is pasta with butter!

ABOUT TEAM IMPACT:

Team IMPACT is a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses through the power of team. Team IMPACT children are drafted on to college athletic teams, local to where they live and, in effect, become official members of the team from Draft Day through to Graduation. At Team IMPACT, they envision a future where the lives of children facing the hardships associated with adverse issues and events will have access to collegiate team -based support in order to significantly enhance their quality of life in a number of ways, including; socially, psychologically, physically and academically. Team IMPACT also strives to provide collegiate teams with increased levels of awareness, sympathy and support for the medial and disease communities. Established in 2011, Team IMPACT has already matched over 700 children with collegiate teams at over 300 institutions in 42 states, improving the quality of life of hundreds of courageous children and touching the lives of over 21,000 student athletes. For more information, please visit: www.goteamimpact.org.

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Educational Doctoral Students Learn About Global Education With Vidyo Technology

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Caldwell, N.J., – March 18, 2016 – Doctoral education students in the Global Education and Leadership course are studying education systems outside of the United States. Thanks to the high definition video conferencing service Vidyo, they recently had the opportunity to hear firsthand from two women from Kabul, Afghanistan who were part of a junior faculty development program at Indiana University.

Dr. Joanne Jasmine , professor of education, commented about the authenticity in hearing firsthand experiences and Vidyo’s first rate technology in providing that service. “Having speakers who attended school in various parts of the world gives students a better understanding of what occurs abroad and allows for actual comparison.”

The students were impressed with the experience and the technological innovations. “Being able to see and hear them as if they were with us was awesome, and I know it was made possible because of the technological advancements we have now , “ said doctoral student Vanessa Cirillo.

“Listening to the experiences of the two Afghani educators about the oppression and poverty they endured was emotional for our doctoral students,” says Dr. Jasmine.

Dan Cullen, a doctoral student and an army veteran who served in Afghanistan, was particularly moved. “Knowing that the work done in Afghanistan by the United States Armed forces aided in the liberation lending specifically to and impacting education for women is incredible. The presentation brought tears to my eyes. ” Cullen is principal at the Alpha Public Elementary and Middle School in Warren County. The presentation gave him pause and a chance to put things in perspective. “We can take the educational process for granted,” he said.

In addition, Caldwell University faculty and Director of Graduate Studies, Ellina Chernobilsky, a native of Russia, and Director of Online Education Soheila Kobler, who grew up in Iran and was educated in Iran and England, shared their experiences. Dr. Barbara Trueger, a former school teacher, discussed her experiences in studying education in South Africa.

Don O’Hagan, Caldwell University’s chief information officer, said VIDYO is the latest example of real time, social technologies that are transforming learning, “These tools enable knowledge to be shared in exciting new ways that not only connect students to each other, but also to the world.”

High definition video conferencing service is one element of a comprehensive, university-wide technology improvement effort that began in 2013. To date, project achievements include: a new state-of-the-art data center, expanded WIFI access, mobile device charging stations, campus digital display boards, cloud based services, enhanced network topology, and tightened data security. Ongoing upgrade plans are expected to further enhance university operations and the student experience.

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Counseling Conference Focuses on Spirituality in the Helping Professions

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Caldwell, N.J., March 18, 2016 – Students, alumni, faculty, staff and counseling professionals gathered March 12 on campus for the 8th annual “Caldwell University Counseling Conference”. The day’s theme focused on spirituality in the helping professions.

Dr. Catherine Waters, O.P. , coordinator of counseling programs and professor of psychology and counseling, presented on the role of spirituality in counseling and the research related to the topic.

The keynote address, “ No Forgiveness, No Recovery: Know Forgiveness, Know Recovery” was given by Dr. Bryce Hagedorn of the University of Central Florida, who is former president of the Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling.

The speakers and presentations represented all three of the university’s specializations in counseling — Mental Health Counseling, Mental Health Counseling with Art Therapy, and School Counseling.

Art therapy graduate student Alexandria Lanza presented a personal reflection based on her time at Caldwell.

Faculty members Dr. Marie Wilson, Dr. Emma Kendrick and Professor Annette Vaccaro coordinated the event. A number of graduate students volunteered to work at the conference.

At lunchtime attendees enjoyed networking and discussing the workshop topics. It was also a great time to see old classmates. The Art Therapy Alumni Association organized a reunion party after the conference for faculty and graduates of the program.

Linda Kasnetz, a student in the Mental Health counseling with Art Therapy program, appreciated the theme saying  studies have shown that religious service attendance has been on a decline. “If people are no longer exposed to the concept of forgiveness in their religious practice, what will happen if as counselors and therapists we deny the recognition of this deeply profound act that ultimately defines humanity?”

She said the keynote by Dr. Hagedorn helped her understand how to help her clients at her internship site “navigate the waters of anger, shame, and guilt using forgiveness as a vessel that protects the soul.”

Beth Low, a student in the Mental Health Counseling post-graduate program, said it was a day “full of insightful and inspiring moments.” She was moved by Lanza’s “determination and intentionality.” And the keynote “provided the perfect balance of relatability, humor, and wisdom. I found myself wishing I could hear much more,” she said.

Lindsey Kimball, a graduate student in the Mental Health Counseling/Art Therapy program, also found the conference to be very enriching. “My belief that spirituality is a beneficial component to the counseling process was enhanced by the knowledge and inspiration of our empowering guest speakers and professors. We were provided with insightful tools that I am excited to integrate into my practice as a future counselor.”

Keith LaBadie, a graduate student in the master’s in school counseling program, said the speakers and conversations were very beneficial. “I look forward to enjoying next year’s conference.”

Attendees were able to receive 4.0 continuing education hours from the National Board of Certified Counselors. “The evaluations collected at the end of the day indicated that attendees really valued the experience,” said Dr. Wilson.

She shared feedback from the evaluations with comments such as:

“This was a life changing experience that I will use both personally and professionally.”

“Loved the messages that were being put out…messages of acceptance, forgiveness and meeting clients where they are at, were so powerful.”

“Program met all expectations…well organized and well run.”

“A growing program and better every year.”

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Bob Mann: A Professor and a Broadcaster

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From the time Bob Mann was six years old, he wanted to perform. He set up a turntable and a fake microphone in his bedroom. “I used to pretend to be a WMCA Good Guy,” he says, referring to the nickname of the on-air personalities on the Top 40 music station in the 1960s. He played three records over and over again—Ray Charles’ “Georgia,” Brenda Lee’s “I’m Sorry” and Ferrante and Teicher’s “Exodus.” “My poor parents … if my father called from work, he had to be put on the phone to ask for a song,” Mann explains. From there “it evolved to me wanting to be the play-by-play announcer for the Yankees and take over for Johnny Carson.”

He chose a high school that had a television studio and a “full-blown television closed-circuit system,” the Jesuit-run Brooklyn Preparatory School. “By sophomore year I was the host of the morning show,” Mann says. At Brooklyn Prep he learned to think critically and to see different points of view; the experience was “eye-opening, thought-provoking.” After high school he attended Fordham University and was active at the radio station, WFUV, quickly learning that one certain way to be on the air was to get into the news business.

Fast-forward several decades and Mann has a number of experiences to share with his students as a successful on-air broadcaster and university professor. “One informs the other. I came to this revelation during my first sabbatical, that I could never be one or the other. I don’t think I would be as good a professor without still being a broadcaster, and I don’t think I’d be as good a broadcaster without still being a professor,” he says. Today Mann hosts a national media issues program, “Let’s Consider the Source,” on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. It is produced by the Communication and Media Studies Department. He also hosts the public affairs shows “Humanities Connection,” for the New Jersey Council of Humanities, and “Of Mutual Concern,” which air on WFDU In 2015. Mann received a first-place award from the Garden State Journalists Association for one of his “Of Mutual Concern” shows, and Mann and the production team of “Let’s Consider the Source” also received a GSJA award.

Working as on-air talent and producer has enabled him to keep abreast of the changing media landscape and to bring insight to his students. Mann is aware of the sacrifices it takes to begin a media career in the New York market because as a young professional starting out, he traveled that road himself.

After graduating from Fordham with degrees in communications and political science, Mann accepted a job at a smaller station to begin his career, a route often taken by aspiring broadcasters who choose to stay in the New York tristate area, the country’s largest media market. At WOBM in Toms River, he was a newscaster and a sportscaster. “I learned to work at WOBM,” gathering and writing news and doing a news broadcast every hour on the hour. After that he went to work at UA Columbia, a well-known cable company in that era. “They gave me the opportunity to be a talk-show host in every format possible—news, entertainment and sports.” From there, he got some big breaks, landing a gig as host of the pledge drive for PBS-TV’s Channel 13 and becoming an on-air feature reporter and executive producer at WOR-AM Radio.

Around that time Mann started to do something different—teach, at Fairleigh Dickinson University and Caldwell College. “I adapted to it quickly and liked it very much right away. You are speaking; you are performing.” In fact, “everything you had ever learned had a purpose, and you could be funny and serious, and there was a wide variety of some nice students,” he says. He was hired full-time by Caldwell President Sister Vivien Jennings, O.P., and Academic Dean Sister Patrice Werner, O.P., to build the Communication Arts Department at a time when the college was looking for a communications professional to teach.

He also created his own company, Mann Media, and hosted radio and cable programs for Hackensack University Medical Center. The popular TV show would stay on the air for 15 years, raising awareness of health issues. “I played surrogate for anyone in the audience who had just heard he or she had the diagnosis. It also made me a total hypochondriac because I was convinced I had every single condition that was ever mentioned on that television or radio program,” hesays, chuckling.

Mann has been president of the Caldwell faculty council for six terms. “I think one of the great strengths of higher education is shared governance—that faculty is a key player in the decision-making.” He is grateful to his friends among the faculty who have helped him. “You can’t talk about it without mentioning the people.” In 2014, he was the recipient of the Caldwell Cup, which annually recognizes an employee who has made a unique contribution to the campus going above and beyond job description.

But life is not just work, he says. “Any professional needs to be happy with his or her personal relationships. My relationship with my son Chris and getting married this summer to Cathy are important—to not define myself by my career.” He lights up when he talks about Chris, a graduate of Fordham, who is an improvisation actor working in post-production in New York City. He is thrilled for Cathy, a kindergarten teacher and an adjunct professor (known to students as Professor Lundquist) in education at Caldwell, on recently earning her Ph.D. in language and literacy, also from Fordham.

Mann has been a die-hard Yankees fan since he was a child. “I’m insane about baseball. I’ve wasted tons of money on Yankee season tickets.” But he grew up in Brooklyn, certainly not a place where Yankees fans are born and bred. “Why am I a Yankees fan?” It all goes back to television. “I’d come home and if my favorite cartoons were not on WPIX, I’d watch the Yankees and say, ‘Oh, I see why my mother likes this game.’” In 2012 his passion took him to Tampa to play in the Yankees Fantasy Camp. His manager was former first baseman and outfielder Joe Pepitone. “We played against a team of former Yankees. I am so glad I did it.”

Mann is chair of the newly named Department of Communication and Media Studies, and he and his colleagues have goals for expansion. He is proud that the department can boast of graduates who have received Emmys including Justin Cece ’99, a producer/editor at NBC News, who donated his Emmy to the university last year as a symbol of gratitude to the department for the foundation he received as a student. Mann wants to see more students “break through” in the media. But beyond that, the knowledge and skills students receive in the communications courses provide a solid foundation for numerous professions. “When you see surveys of employers and what they are looking for, it is speaking, writing and general communication skills,” says Mann.

The department recently added a full-time faculty member, put in a new radio console and is adding podcasting to the radio broadcasting course. It is all about moving forward. “There’s still a lot left to do. I have to be pedaling as fast as I can.”  n

— CL

 

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Moscow State Pedagogical University Administrators Visit Caldwell

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Moscow State Pedagogical University Administrators Visited Caldwell March 8 Left to right: Director of the Office of Graduate Studies Ellina Chernobilsky; Rector of Moscow State University of Education Professor Alexey L. Semenov; Caldwell University President Nancy Blattner; Dean of the School of Higher Education of Moscow Pedagogical State University Dr. Konstantin Ziskin; Mrs. Kseniya Salnikova, representative, International Department of Moscow State Pedagogical University.

Caldwell, N.J., March 8, 2016 –Higher Education administrators from Russia visited Caldwell University on Tuesday March 8 to learn about teaching practices and graduate programs and to share information.

Professor Alexey L. Semenov, rector of Moscow State University of Education, and Dr. Konstantin Ziskin, dean of the School of Higher Education of Moscow Pedagogical State University, met with Caldwell administration and educators and toured the campus. Arranged by Caldwell’s Director of the Office of Graduate Studies Dr. Ellina Chernobilsky, the group visited with Caldwell President Nancy Blattner, Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Barbara Chesler, and faculty in the Education Division and Art Department.

The visitors learned about student teaching and field experiences in education, how a liberal arts curriculum is organized, and how graduate programs are structured.

Dr. Semenov said they were struck by the similarities between the two institutions including their goals for improving teacher preparation and increasing student motivation.

The visitors toured the Center for Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis. They also visited the Academic Success Center and were impressed with the ways the Center helps students become better learners.

The educators discussed possibilities for collaborations with Caldwell including study abroad experiences.

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Science Student Presents at Undergraduate Research Symposium

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Eva Suchar and her father Daniel Suchar at the symposium
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Caldwell University biology major Eva Suchar presented her research findings at the third annual Independent College Fund of New Jersey’s Undergraduate Research Symposium at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City on March 7.

The conference features outstanding science, technology, math and engineering independent projects by students at New Jersey independent colleges and universities.

Suchar reported her findings on the “Optimization of Fluoridation using Streptococcus sanguinis and Streptococcus salivarius for Better Oral Hygiene” in the form of a poster presentation.

She began work on the project in September with her adviser Dr. Agnes Berki, associate professor of biology. There were some late nights in the lab, sometimes until midnight, but the work paid off, and it was especially nice to present to people who were “genuinely interested,” said Suchar. It was a “full research experience” because of Berki’s guidance. “She is absolutely brilliant, and I truly cherish every moment we worked together. We make a wonderful team.”

Senior biology major Christina Blonki accompanied Suchar as a co-author along with freshman biology majors Michelle Eng and Foujan Moghimi. The students “represented the university with exemplary professionalism,” said Berki.

For Suchar, one special aspect of the symposium was being able to have her father, Daniel Suchar, attend. He leaves in April for Kabul, Afghanistan, where he is a protective security specialist for the U.S. Embassy. “My dad has always been supportive of my work, which has brought out my confidence. If he can go into combat every day, I can certainly give a presentation to a bunch of fellow scientists.”

Suchar received a $1,000 research grant from the Independent College Fund of New Jersey, earning her the opportunity to participate in the symposium.

She was also featured in a Fios 1 News piece. To view the story go to this link.