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From Kathmandu to Wall Street

If it wasn’t for a free lunch at a five-star hotel in Kathmandu, Nepal, Samar Timilsina might never have known about Caldwell University and might never have interned at Bank of America on Wall Street.

“I was hanging around with my friends when I heard that Jan Marco Jiras (a recruiter from Caldwell University) and other international counselors were coming to the hotel,” said Timilsina. “I had never been to a five-star hotel, so I just went there basically for food.”

After attending the college fair (and getting his free lunch), Timilsina started googling Caldwell and watching the university’s YouTube videos. “I saw that there were all kinds of scholarships … and that there were already many Nepalese students.” Jiras connected him to Manish Puri, a senior from Nepal, who gave him advice on how to “apply for a visa, where to get all the immunizations and once I got to the U.S., how to settle in and what courses to take.” Also helpful was the fact that Puri was a computer information systems major, the academic major Timilsina planned to choose.

When he started at Caldwell he intended to focus exclusively on his major, but then he found himself in a political science course. “The political science professor came in and that class just blew my mind.” Since then Timilsina has taken every one of Dr. Domenic Maffei’s classes and has declared a minor in political science. In addition, all of his computer science professors have been “super helpful,” particularly Professor Arnold Toffler, who encouraged the students to take a graduate-level course in big data, which shaped where Timilsina wanted to pursue his career interests.

This past summer he landed an internship as a technology analyst at Bank of America on Wall Street. He applied online cold turkey with no networking connections and was called for a phone interview. Timilsina was prepared for questions related to computer science but was surprised when the interviewer asked him to explain something interesting that happened to him as a resident assistant in the dorms. The person happened to be an R.A. when she was in college. “It kind of clicked,” said Timilsina, and they started talking about work as an R.A. From there he was flown down to North Carolina to be interviewed at Bank of America headquarters. “It was very intimidating
at first,” since there were students from bigger schools like MIT, North Carolina State and Syracuse. “But I did what I could and it worked.”

Timilsina spent 10 weeks during the summer as a technology analyst at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch office. He worked with the team that provided archiving as a service to all the corporation’s internal clients, and he created a capacity management plan and a prototype cost recovery system.

Upon returning to campus to finish his last semester in the fall, he was thrilled to learn that he had been offered full-time employment at the bank starting in February.

Timilsina feels ready. “One thing I found about Caldwell’s computer science program is that it covers a variety of areas, so I had knowledge of many aspects,” and because of that he was easily trainable in other areas.

As he reflects on his academic career at Caldwell, Timilsina has advice for other international students—take advantage of the Tutoring Center for help with English and writing. For Nepalese students, who are well represented at the university, it is important to branch out and make as many friends as possible from the United States and other countries. “Get to know and interact with as many people as possible,” Timilsina recommends, and get involved with activities—because you never know if being a resident assistant will help you in an interview when you are trying to land a job at a multinational banking corporation.

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Maulin Joshi: Encouraging International Student Success

Maulin Joshi, director of international student services, with several Caldwell University international students.

When Maulin Joshi walks into the Student Center he always looks up at the Hall of Flags, the spectacular, colorful tapestry of the many countries representing present and past Caldwell international students.

As director of international student services, Joshi is proud of the hall—a place where students coming from different nations can see that the campus community welcomes them. “My hope is that someday we will have a flag from every country hanging there,” he said.

Whenever a student arrives and his or her country is not represented, Joshi plans a flag raising ceremony. The program often features an educational presentation, the playing of the country’s national anthem, a talk by the student about his or her homeland, and the official raising of the flag with President Nancy Blattner. “I’m excited about these ceremonies. They get better and better every year. It shows the campus who these students really are,” said Joshi. Last fall the Bangladesh and Hong Kong flags were raised; five female students from Bangladesh performed a cultural dance, and Gourmet Dining provided foods from those nations.

Before each semester Joshi and his colleagues conduct an orientation for incoming international students. At this past fall’s orientation the university welcomed the largest number of new international students in Caldwell’s history. “Once orientation was over, I kind of had this sense of amazement … so diverse a population, and I was just in awe of who they are and how they would be able to contribute to Caldwell University’s mission and vision.”

Joshi’s work in guiding international students starts before orientation. Working alongside the admissions team, including Jan Marco Jiras, director of undergraduate admissions and an international recruiter, he makes sure that the students’ inquiries are answered and that they are led through all the required steps to gain their student non-immigrant status, which includes adhering to immigration laws and dealing with compliance issues. Once students arrive on campus, they are oriented to all the services Caldwell provides including cultural and social adjustments and academic, tutoring, residential, and health and wellness supports.

Joshi advises the International Student Organization, which hosts activities like the Hindu spring festival Holi, which according to the Student Government Association is “one of the most popular events on campus year after year,” the international Thanksgiving dinner, and Tihar, the Festival of Lights, “celebrated by our Nepalese population.”

Trips and activities are planned throughout the year. Students have volunteered at the Community FoodBank of New Jersey and taken excursions to the United Nations, Washington, D.C., and more. “That sense of closeness was evident when tragedy hit Nepal in April of 2015 following a 7.8-magnitude earthquake. Rather than feeling powerless because they were so far away from their loved ones at home, 33 Nepalese students and alumni went to work fundraising for their Caldwell University Prays for Nepal project, raising over $16,000 for humanitarian efforts. “The campus and local community showed tremendous support to the Nepalese students in that time of tragedy,” said Joshi.

Many international students have taken leadership positions at Caldwell, holding offices in student government and affecting positive change, something Joshi credits to “their upbringing, their parents, their competitiveness” and often, strong academic credentials. “It is amazing what they can bring to the classroom setting and in promoting diversity on campus.”

The majority of international students are on scholarship for their outstanding academic or athletic achievement, and they take their education very seriously. “They have researched Caldwell in advance and know that our wonderful faculty and staff are here to support our students.”

Joshi encourages international students to assimilate and to see themselves as Caldwell University students, to learn about the Catholic Dominican mission and vision, to take part in community service or to travel to Fanjeux, France, with students from other Dominican universities to walk in the footsteps of St. Dominic.

Joshi was inspired to work with international students after he finished a master’s in education and was working on his MBA. He became an international advisor and immediately felt a connection to the students and “an appreciation of who they are and their upbringings.” He became the principal designated school official assigned to track matters related to international student immigration. When he started at Caldwell, he was thrilled to have more doors open for him and be able to help international students adjust to the United States and have positive experiences on campus. “I just appreciate who they are and I’m happy to help them in their journeys in improving their lives.”

Things you might not know about Maulin Joshi

Joshi brings his own global perspective to the job. He was born in India and is from the city of Gujarat. He came to the United States when he was five years old and was raised in Queens. “I’m a New Yorker. I love living in New York and working in New Jersey.” He speaks fluent Gujarati with his mother and English with his father.

“I’ve been lucky to travel to many places all over the world.” He has been to all the major countries in Europe, to India, South America, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

After receiving a bachelor of science degree in psychology from Binghamton University, he taught biology to high-need students in the Bronx and coached basketball.

He loves staying active, often taking his road bike to Central Park. And he enjoys watching sports. “I’m a Giants fan and a Yankees fan. Sorry, I know my boss (Sister Kathleen Tuite, vice president of student life) is a Mets fan. I try to show her some support every now and then, rooting for her.”

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Math student slated to present at conference

Math student Emily Romero ’17 will present her research at the Anxiety and Depression Association of America conference.

Feb. 6, 2017

Mathematics major, Emily Romero ‘17, has earned the distinction of being a presenter at a conference of global leaders in mental health. This unique opportunity will give Romero the opportunity to connect with professional clinicians and researchers.

Attendance at the conference is being made possible in part by a gift from Ann Larue ’69 and her husband John. Last year the Larues, who have established an endowed scholarship for eligible mathematics and science students, made a gift to establish the Ann and John Larue Research Fund. The fund provides grant support for student research in areas of scientific inquiry and underwrites travel for attendance at regional and national conferences.

In April, Romero, who is from North Bergen, will present her research at the annual Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) conference to be held in San Francisco. The event is expected to bring together 1,000 professionals from across the United States and around the world who want to improve treatments and find cures for anxiety, depression and related disorders.

Romero’s research findings were acquired during her summer 2016 internship at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Working as part of a team, she studied biostatistics and examined post-traumatic stress disorder in coronary care patients. The project compared the reactions of patients covered by health insurance, versus patients in the same population who lacked health insurance, upon admittance to an emergency room. Romero, who spent eight weeks in residence on Columbia’s iconic Manhattan campus, said she was thrilled to work with the “brightest minds in the field,” and that biostatistics is a field in which “you are truly using your skills to try to save the world.” While at Columbia, she completed courses in biostatistics and statistical analysis. “I owe everything to my teachers at Caldwell,” said Romero, who is now looking at graduate schools.

Dr. Patricia Garruto, Caldwell’s mathematics chair and Romero’s advisor, visited her at the internship site at Columbia.  “What a great opportunity it was for her, working with such talented researchers,” said Garruto. Another outcome of Romero’s experience at Columbia is that she is paving the way for other Caldwell students.   Garruto said Columbia has contacted her about additional prospective students who would qualify for internships.

Caldwell is deeply grateful to Ann and John Larue for their support for and commitment to the study of mathematics and science.

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Caldwell University Students Serve on Medical Mission in Nicaragua

Caldwell, N.J., Feb. 3, 2017 – Caldwell nursing student Channel Jorge cried tears of joy when she saw the happiness of a woman in Nicaragua who received the eyeglasses she desperately needed. Jorge was on a Global Brigades medical mission with Caldwell nursing and health science students for a week in January. They served in a mountainous area near Esteli about 150 miles north of Managua.

Four hundred people waited in line as the college students did vision tests with an autorefractor and helped children and adults pick out eyeglasses and cases.

The students volunteered in units including public health, water, medical and dental. In medical, they triaged patients, took their vital signs and passed them on to doctors. “The doctors were very interactive with us,” said Pamela Marte, a Caldwell health sciences student. In the water unit they dug trenches since there is no running water and the river is a two-hour walk away. “The people in the community came and worked with us. They were very grateful,” said Jorge.

The students also dispensed medicine in the pharmacy and provided health education including giving children information on basic hygiene such as the importance of brushing their teeth and washing their hands. They distributed needed items like shampoo and conditioner, combs and mouthwash.

Global Brigades is an international nonprofit that empowers communities to meet their health and economic goals through university volunteers and local teams.  Students have the chance to shadow local and foreign health care professionals.

Caldwell’s  team worked alongside students from Kutztown University, and during the week, the group saw 1,000 people. The students were moved by the gratitude of the people in the community. “It was so humbling; we take so much for granted,” said Jorge.

The other Caldwell students on the mission were Briana Hientjes, Erin Casner, Kelly Mondey, Lovena Frazil and Jade Kellenberger.

Throughout the academic year the students fundraised to finance the trip and to help pay for the medicines Global Brigades provides, said Marte, president of Caldwell’s Global Brigades club.

The mission confirmed Marte and Jorge’s desire to pursue careers in the medical field. They were happy to see the strong foundation their courses had given them. “I was able to apply my knowledge in medicine and diseases with confidence,” said Jorge.

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“The United States of Narcissism:  Reading the Signs of the Times in the Light of Christian Spirituality” Is Theme of Caldwell University Lecture

Dr. Christopher Cimorelli is the speaker for a Theology/Philosophy Department Sister Maura Campbell lecture Feb. 22.

Caldwell, N.J., Feb. 2, 2017 – “The United States of Narcissism:  Reading the Signs of the Times in the Light of Christian Spirituality” will be the theme of a lecture presented by Dr. Christopher Cimorelli, assistant professor of theology, at Caldwell University. The lecture will take place from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22, in the Alumni Theatre on Caldwell’s campus.

The forum is being hosted by the Theology/Philosophy Department as part of its Sister Maura Campbell lecture series and is free and open to the public.

Recent research suggests a dramatic increase in the prevalence of traits associated with narcissism in the United States. A host of factors, including celebrity worship and the ways in which social media construct views of the self and others, are at play in this increase, which undermines authentic relationships and possibilities for collaboration, says Cimorelli. “Given the dire challenges facing society today, this rise in narcissism represents an underlying obstacle to the common good.”

Cimorelli will argue that narcissism is a spiritual crisis and that resources from the Christian spiritual tradition can illuminate the situation and indicate an alternative, a more sustainable path.

The series is named after Sister Maura, who was a Sister of St. Dominic of Caldwell, a theologian, philosopher, professor, researcher and national leader in education whose scholarship and teaching spanned 50 years.

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Visceglia Art Gallery Will Present “Fields of Vision 2017: Caldwell Art Department Faculty Exhibition”

Judith Croce, 2017
flashe and acrylic paint on paper

Caldwell, N.J., January 31, 2017 – The Visceglia Art Gallery at Caldwell University will present a faculty exhibition featuring a broad range of contemporary art practice and highlighting the diversity of the art faculty. The exhibition will be held from Feb. 9 to March 8 and is free and open to the public.

Almost every seven years, the gallery presents an exhibition of current work by the faculty of the Caldwell University Art Department who teach and actively pursue their own art and have shown their work nationally and internationally.

A reception honoring the seven artists will be held in the Gallery on Wednesday Feb. 22 from 5 to 7:30 p.m.  It is also free and open to the public. The snow date is Wednesday March 1 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Caldwell University’s Art Department strives to provide a compelling and rigorous environment for aesthetic and critical exploration. The department encourages innovation. Students in its multiple majors of Fine Art, Graphic Design, Art Education and Art Therapy are directed to utilize the academic resources of the university to inform and deepen their artistic goals. Whether in the school’s studios or pursuing their independent creative work, the art faculty is committed to the belief that creative development in the visual arts provides some of the most longstanding contributions to the immediate community and to the culture as a whole.

Larry Szycher, 2016
Pamet Grasses, Ebb Tide
Oil on canvas

The artwork of faculty members, Bonnie Berkowitz, Judith Croce, Emilee Lord, Maya Manvi, Heidi Sandecki, Larry Szycher and Kendall Baker (Gallery Director) will be on display. The Visceglia exhibition galleries, which are currently being upgraded with new lighting, will showcase paintings, drawings, works on paper, sculpture, photographs, puppetry, and video-based work.

“Puppetry Theater must involve all of the art forms, design, drawing, painting, sculpture, music, writing and movement,” states Bonnie Berkowitz, who teaches in the Art Therapy graduate program.   Photographs of her recent performances show how “core elements collide to create a stew of objects, costume, story, and experimental puppets in a kinetic choreography of color and texture.”

A new body of work by Judith Croce, who teaches painting, drawing, 2-d design and color theory, is titled, ‘Pinups’.  She explains that she uses ephemeral materials to form “a continuation of my language of formal geometric abstraction as they emerge out of their interactions with the temporary spaces and places they are attached to.”

Emilee Lord teaches drawing and uses graphic inventions to explore, as she states, “houses and details of architecture being containers for the memory of the self and journey of this self.”  Her work questions, “the mapping of the places we live in as extensions of identity—an identity we constantly work to construct and dismantle.”

Maya Manvi, who teaches sculpture and 3-dimensional design states that her multi-media work in sculpture and video is about survival and that doing so requires that we “modify the conditions of a system (the confines of language, the traditions of objects) to get at the messy generosity of things.”

Heidi Sandecki, who teaches graphic design, uses chance to identify and manipulate abstract plant-based forms and glyphs in a series of watercolor works that blur the figure-ground relationship and “present a different view for aesthetic contemplation of ordinary yet subliminal symbols.”

Larry Szycher, who teaches painting, drawing and digital art, explores the way his canvasses “reconcile the texture, spontaneity, substance and reality of the materials with their subjective connotations. They strive to remain as ‘paint’ as well as illusion, and use the material’s innate ability to effect the realization of my personal vision.”

Kendall Baker, who directs the Visceglia Gallery and teaches sculpture, 3d-design and photography, uses outdoor installations, ceramics and photography of natural forms to explore ‘mark-making’ as systems of measurement.  “Deeply imbedded markings are identifying signs that invite us to draw closer to natural elements because we recognize them as an extension of ourselves.”

The gallery is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For directions visit: https://www.caldwell.edu/gallery/visceglia-gallery-directions-map

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Life Lessons Learned on a Mission Trip to Belize


 A group of Caldwell University students and faculty and staff spent a week in January volunteering in an impoverished village in Belize.

They helped repaint a school, spent time playing with the children and were treated to gracious hospitality and home-cooked meals.

Marisa Juliano, a senior, attended for the first time. “I saw things that broke my heart a little and things that were so beautiful.” Working with the schoolchildren made her heart “grow 10 times bigger … As soon as I met them I wanted to do 10 times more. I wanted to paint the whole town for them.”

Senior Sean Puzzo was on the mission trip for a third time. The villagers are not rich in material things, he said, but they are certainly rich in “community, spirit and respect.”

Many of the people have no electricity, wash their clothing in the river, live in homes with dirt floors, sleep on hammocks and grow their own food. Jobs and education are scarce.

Sophomore Zachary Weinberg found his first mission trip a rewarding experience.   The villagers “don’t have half of what we have, but they have joy in their simple life,” he said.

In the evenings the group was treated to Belizean meals  prepared by Miss Olive, a woman Caldwell students have gotten to know over the years. “She taught us how to cook some of the traditional items, and it was really nice to have that interaction,” said Crista Cattano. “We call her our Belizean mom. She takes such good care of us.”

The students stayed at a retreat house in Punta Gorda, run by the Jesuits, and were off the grid from technology, eating dinner at night and sharing the day’s activities for hours. “I love being disconnected for the week,” said Cattano. “They have a simple way of living. You become very present to the environment you are in and why you are there.”

Cattano was thrilled to see Domitilla, a woman whom she had met in previous years and had promised to visit again. “She welcomed us into her home and cooked for us.” On their way out of the village that evening the students saw a beautiful rainbow, an affirmation for them.

Henrietta Genfi, Caldwell’s director of advisement, was one of the chaperones.  She said the students were grateful for the opportunity to help others and learned that happiness lay in human connections and not in material things. “Service helps us all realize that no matter how far apart in distance we are from each other, we are all one community.”

The other students who volunteered on the mission trip were Katlyn Houtz, John McLaughlin and Kenneth Duffy. Staff and faculty included Genfi, Psychology Professor Thomson Ling and Caldwell Dominican Sister Lena Picillo, O.P.

Other activities included visiting Mayan ruins and a waterfall and enjoying a Mayan cultural dance assembly featuring the children.

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Men’s Basketball Alumnus Matt Stuart ’94 to be honored at “Super Saturday” and Alumni Day on February 4

The Caldwell University Athletics Department invites its alumni back to campus for “Super Saturday” on Saturday, February 4 as the Caldwell men’s and women’s basketball teams host conference rival Georgian Court University in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference doubleheader. Men’s basketball alumnus Matt Stuart ’94 will be honored between games as the first Caldwell inductee into the CACC Hall of Fame.

The day begins at noon with the Make-A-Wish Foundation silent auction in the Newman Center which will run throughout the afternoon.  Each of the Caldwell Athletics teams along with several departments and organizations on campus will have a basket of auction items that anyone can place bids on throughout the afternoon.

The alumni reception begins at 12:30 in the Quigley Board Room on the second floor of the George R. Newman Center. Alumni can register for the event online for $10, which includes a complimentary ticket to both games along with food and drinks.

The men’s game will tip-off against Georgian Court at 1 pm. Following the conclusion of the men’s game, Stuart will be honored in a ceremony by the CACC and inducted as the first Caldwell representative in their hall of fame. CACC Commissioner Dan Mara will present Stuart with a ceremonial plaque and formally induct Stuart into their hall of fame.

The women’s basketball game against Georgian Court will commence following the ceremony. At halftime of the women’s game, Director of Alumni Affairs Meghan Moran along with Assistant Vice President/Director of Athletics Mark A. Corino will welcome the alumni back for their contribution to Caldwell.

To register for Super Saturday, go to https://custore.caldwell.edu/product/super-saturday-registration/

Saturday February 4, 2017 Timeline

12:00 pm: Make-A-Wish Foundation Silent Auction begins in the Newman Center
1:00 pm: Men’s basketball game against Georgian Court
12:30-5:00 pm  Athletics Alumni reception in the Quigley Board Room in Newman Center

Immediately following the conclusion of the men’s game: CACC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony for

Matt Stuart ‘94

3:00 pm (approximately): Women’s basketball game against Georgian Court

Halftime of the Women’s game: Caldwell Athletics “Welcome Back to Campus” Ceremony with Director of Alumni Affairs Meghan Moran and Assistant Vice President/Director of Athletics Mark A. Corino

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Student’s essay accepted for Arthur Miller Journal

Caldwell, N.J., January 24, 2017 – Senior Eya Haddouche has learned that a paper she wrote on the play “A View from the Bridge” has been accepted for publication in the Arthur Miller Journal. “It is so exciting and something you don’t expect,” said Haddouche, an English major from Woodland Park, New Jersey.

During the fall she attended the English Department’s first-ever undergraduate literature conference, “Literary Losers and Anti-Heroes,” where she heard Dr. Stephen Marino, keynote speaker and editor of the Journal, speak about how Miller’s work has affected the literary, dramatic, political and cultural landscape for decades.  Miller told the students that the Journal accepts student submissions.

The previous year Haddouche had written an essay for English Professor Mary Lindroth’s modern drama class. The students in Lindroth’s class had attended the Broadway production of “A View from the Bridge” as part of a yearly drama trip to New York City sponsored by the English department. They were given an assignment to compare and contrast the written play with the performance. Hearing about the Journal, Haddouche thought, “Why not give it a shot?” and she submitted her paper for consideration.

Learning of the acceptance has been a milestone for her, “very motivating,” she said, and will push her to write in the future. “I want to experiment with all types of writing.”

She credits Caldwell’s English Department professors for encouraging her. “They are such a loving group, so caring to their students. They work so hard … and lift our spirits.”

Haddouche’s work will be published in the fall 2017 edition of the Journal.

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Nationally-Known Percussion Clinician Thom Hannum to Give Drumline Clinic at Caldwell University

Thom-HannumCaldwell, N.J., Dec. 15, 2016 – – Thom Hannum, one of the nation’s foremost percussion clinicians, will give a drumline clinic at Caldwell University, 4 to 9 p.m., Thursday Feb. 9.

The free event will include master classes for indoor drumlines, marching percussion technique break-out sessions, and group performances, as well as a demonstrations by Hannum. It will be held in the Student Center and a free dinner is included.

Hannum is associate director of the Minuteman Marching Band at University of Massachusetts Amherst and is well known in the percussion world for his work with The Cadets and Star of Indiana Drum and Bugle Corps. He was a member of the design team for the Tony Award-winning shows Blast! and CyberJam. In 2001 he was inducted into the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame.

If interested in participating individually or with your indoor drumline, please contact Music Department Professor Rebecca Vega at rvega@caldwell.edu or 973-618-3446.

Percussionists will need to bring their marching instruments. Space is limited so register soon.