Category: News

Featured News, News

Welcome President Whelan

Welcome to Caldwell University President Matthew Whelan!

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


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

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





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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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






A picture of Ashley Williams

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

-Ashley Williams ‘21 –  Major-History




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

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




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


Dear Dr. Whelan,

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


Matt, A picture of Linda Luciano

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

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



A picture of Msgr. Robert EmeryDear Dr. Whelan, 

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


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


Dear Matt,

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

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

In Dominic and Catherine,

Sister Patrice
Prioress, Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell



Featured News, News

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

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

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

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

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


Living a Life of Service: Brooke McPherson ‘20

Living a Life of Service: Brooke McPherson ‘20

Brooke-McPherson Headshot Image

Brooke McPherson ’20 was watching Caldwell University’s virtual honors convocation with her parents on May 7.  By the time it was over she had received four awards with her dad saying “it was like watching our own personal superbowl.”  It was quite an accomplishment for a young woman who, when she had first started college, wasn’t sure where she fit in.  She found her purpose at Caldwell in a life of service. It was a journey that took her to several states and even out of the country and culminated in her deciding on a unique post-graduation path.

After feeling a bit like a fish out of water her freshman year, McPherson realized she was never really alone on campus. She noticed that many people wanted to connect with her, whether it was in Campus Ministry, in the cafeteria when she would run into new friends, or in time with professors.

BrookeMcPherson and group

“I think becoming aware of that support system gave me added confidence that helped me to thrive while at Caldwell,” said McPherson, who received her bachelor’s degree in computer information systems and marketing with a minor in communication and media studies May 17.

After discovering the wonderful support system she had at Caldwell, McPherson began looking for ways to apply her love of faith and service to her newfound community. She dove into many activities on campus, rarely saying no to a need. She brought with her commitment a joy that left a lasting impact on everyone she encountered. She served as president of the Delta Mu Delta International Business Honor Society and volunteered as an orientation leader, offering herself as a first friend to freshmen on campus.  Through the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice she traveled to Washington, D.C., to learn about social justice issues and to meet with senators and representatives to advocate for those being crushed by systemic oppression. 

During her time at Caldwell, McPherson gained a greater sense of her faith. She discovered she could serve others and in doing so, grow as a person. Through Campus Ministry, she participated in an immersion trip to Belize. She was also given the honor of serving as a Eucharistic minister during the opening Mass for the new Sister Mary Dominic Tweedus chapel on campus. She was thrilled to be attending a Catholic university where she had lots of opportunities to live out her faith through acts of service.

BrookeMcPherson and group

“I try to preach with my life,” said McPherson of her active spiritual walk.

And others have recognized that too. At the honors convocation she received the Excellence in Leadership, Leadership in Ministry and Faith Does Justice Awards and departmental honors in marketing. 

 She credits the university’s dedicated professors and staff members with helping her find a path in life that she can’t wait to begin. After graduation, she will take the alternate path of a year of service. Based on her history of serving others during her college career, this decision is no accident. At the end of the summer, McPherson will begin a year with Good Shepherd Volunteers in Washington Heights, New York City. She will work as the public policy and advocacy fellow, supporting funding for trauma-informed programs that will provide aid for youth, families and communities in New York. 

After she completes the program, McPherson plans to continue her life mission of service by attending graduate school to earn a master’s with a focus on ethical business practices or public policy.

BrookeMcPherson and group

Reflecting on her time at Caldwell, McPherson is quick to acknowledge the role the university’s staff and students played in her life. Her memories are far-reaching, from service trips to late nights spent with friends in the gazebo, from making her confirmation freshman year to a weekend in the Poconos with classmates. The highlights are varied, but there is continuous thread of joy and community in McPherson’s story. The help of others who met the needs of an uncertain freshman has carried her through to this moment when she is stepping out to dedicate her own life to serving others. And as anyone who has met her knows, she will be doing it with a smile on her face.

Alumni News, News

Caldwell University Heroes

Thank you to all the essential workers who are stepping up during the coronavirus pandemic. We celebrate the many brave, dedicated members of our Caldwell University community. Here are some of those champions. Special thanks and congratulations to the Class of 2020’s Communication and Media Studies graduate Anthony Escanosti for his great work on this video!


Featured News, News

Caldwell Makes Standardized Admissions Tests Optional

Caldwell, N.J., May 14, 2020 – Caldwell University will make the standardized admissions tests of the SAT and ACT optional for applicants for three years beginning with the fall semester of 2020.

A picture of Romell Ballentine, an admissions ambassador at Caldwell University.

Romell Ballentine works as an admissions ambassador at Caldwell University. He holds a bachelor’s in psychology with a minor in communication and media studies from Caldwell and a master’s in school counseling, also from Caldwell.

The pilot program has been put in place to allow for increased equity and access for all students and addresses the limitations COVID-19 placed on the ability to administer tests. The research for this policy was under development prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 and accelerated due to the crisis. A  data-informed approach was used to ensure that the university will render valid admissions decisions for students who choose not to submit test scores as a part of their application.

“We believe this is a very good option for students which will still allow for the validity of our admissions process while alleviating stress for vulnerable populations,” said Stephen Quinn, vice president for enrollment management and communications.  “This has been an ongoing dialogue at universities in the United States. This plan reflects our Catholic Dominican mission and the focus of serving students in an inclusive manner.”

Students who do not submit test scores can apply for any major and do not have to submit any additional documentation. Prospective students can still opt to submit SAT or ACT scores as part of their admissions application. Incoming students who do not submit test scores can still receive academic scholarships.  International students are not required to submit SAT or ACT scores. If international students were educated in a language other than English, they will need to demonstrate proficiency through the SAT or ACT or may pursue one of the following assessments: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE).

In April, the National Association for College Admission Counseling encouraged higher education institutions to reassess their admission criteria in light of the overwhelming challenges faced by many students including the coronavirus pandemic and issues of access for low-income, first generation and other vulnerable populations. Studies have shown that higher family income and the availability of preparation tests affect higher test scores. 


Caldwell joins more than 1,100 bachelor’s granting colleges and universities that are offering test-optional admissions policies.

 For more information about Caldwell University and its admissions process go to

Alumni News, Featured News, News

Finding Your Rhythm at Caldwell University: Pedro Liriano

A picture of Pedro Liriano ?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Nicole Burrell – ’09  
Featured News, News

Library Staff’s Creative Planning Helps Students Prepare for Finals

Students, faculty, and staff are benefitting from the creative planning of Jennings Library staff members who are assisting with research and study needs in a virtual environment.   They are helping the members of the community navigate through the final days of the spring semester classes, final papers, and exams.   Flyer that says Library is open Online

Many of the library campus services are being provided remotely including interlibrary loan requests for articles, the answering of student reference questions by chat and email, citation workshops, and device check out.  Caldwell University has always been known for its caring environment and the staff is working to maintain that sense of community and support in a virtual environment.   

Susan Hayes, director of institutional research and assessment, is a student in the Educational Leadership doctoral program. She needed to review a quote for her dissertation in a text that she had already returned to the library and could no longer access since the library is closed. “Through the online chat, librarian Kim Lynch responded that she had a solution for me. She found the book on a government library site that created emergency free ebook loans for students and I was able to view the book electronically in minutes. It was exactly what I needed,” said Hayes.  

The librarians have been happy to receive feedback too.  As one student recently wrote in the chat ratings, “…a phenomenal help to me finding and exploring articles based on my psychology topic! Appreciate it.” 

Virtual events were held in April including the celebration of the 2020 issue of Presence: A Catholic Poetry Journal sponsored by the English Department and a book discussion group with The Office of Student Advocacy and Prevention Awareness. 


ABA News, Featured News, News

Telehealth program engages learners on the autism spectrum and their families

Like many young people, Ben was not crazy about the idea of learning how to do laundry. As a learner in Caldwell University’s Center for Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis, Ben is receiving virtual in-home instruction through the center’s new telehealth model developed to meet the needs of the learners during the pandemic.

Picture of a learner in the Caldwell University Center for Autism and ABA shows her instructors via telehealth the figurine she made.

A learner in the Caldwell University Center for Autism and ABA shows her instructors via telehealth the figurine she made.

While trying to come up with a way to make doing laundry fun for Ben, graduate student Carleana Hickey had a lightbulb moment: playing sound effects on Ben’s computer when he carries his laundry bucket.  “This made doing laundry so much more fun,” said Dr. Sharon Reeve, director of the center.  Hickey’s innovation is but one of many ideas that faculty members and graduate students are incorporating into their remote teaching for children, teens, and young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Recently, another learner made a whale, using blocks similar to Legos, and wrote three sentences about her creation, dubbed “Whale-ita.” Throughout the afternoon, Whale-ita was invited by her creator to participate in the scheduled online activities. “We’ve had quite a few bellies laughs with our kiddos even though they are only with us virtually,” said Reeve.

Picture of Ben enjoyinng connecting remotely with his instructors in the Center for Autism and ABA

Ben enjoys connecting remotely with his instructors in the Center for Autism and ABA. During the pandemic, the Center’s telehealth model is providing intervention and daily routines for the learners on the autism spectrum and their parents.

Whether at home or on campus, the center always has the same focus—to provide the goal-oriented, individualized, science-based approach to learning of applied behavior analysis. In New Jersey, the state with the greatest prevalence of ASD, the center’s nationally renowned faculty members is preparing graduate students to offer the most effective instruction at schools and nonprofits for those with the disorder.

Learners at the center range from ages five to 20. Instruction is developed through a team approach with faculty, graduate students, clinical supervisors, and parents working in close collaboration. During these days of remote teaching, the center provides four to six hours of instruction and sends activities home for the learners to do with their parents. Graduate students provide lessons on topics such as self-care, including handwashing and teeth brushing, doing chores, remaining productive each day, creating a daily schedule, and effective resolution of behavioral issues.

Theme weeks are being featured. During the first week of virtual instruction, the timely topic of healthcare/health care professions included virtual hospital tours and videos that illustrate the ways in which viruses can spread. To make the Earth Day theme more fun, a learner went on a scavenger hunt to find organic objects that could be recycled or composted.

Picture of doctoral student Shariq Khan and master’s student Devin Williams-Buttari providing remote instruction to learner Ben via the Center for Autism and ABA’s telehealth program

During the COVID-19 stay at home order, doctoral student Shariq Khan and master’s student Devin Williams-Buttari provide remote instruction to learner Ben via the Center for Autism and ABA’s telehealth program.

Their first interactions via computer screens drew mixed emotions from the learners. That was to be expected since virtual learning was something new, explained Reeve. “Over time we showed all our learners that we could have fun at home while still learning about ‘awesome stuff,’” she said. A wonderful discovery has been that parents are instrumental in making all this happen. “With our help, they are teaching their children,” said Reeve.

Various models are used; parents work with the graduate students and they present to faculty, or parents record videos of home activities so faculty members can assess the learners’ skill levels and provide recommendations. “The videos are such very fun to watch! We have never been closer to all the families because we now spend so much time remotely in their homes,” said Reeve. This has been a beneficial learning experience for graduate students, who are developing strategies to help parents interact effectively with their children. It has also given them the opportunity to work with parents who typically do not have the time to train due to work obligations or the distance of their homes from the center in Caldwell. “Parents seem very appreciative of the training we are providing to help them through an average day,” said Reeve. As a result of this new way of learning, the center’s faculty members are evaluating a virtual post-pandemic instruction model.

Reeve and the other faculty members in the Department of Applied Behavior Analysis are proud of the graduate students who have stepped up to help them develop the telehealth model. They are “one big family in the center” and are doing all they can to ensure that the learners and their parents are getting all of the support and resources they need, said Reeve. “We are proud to still be making a difference in their lives—just in a somewhat different format.”

English News, News

Q&A with Kate Bielitz

Kate Bielitz, a graduating senior is headed to graduate school and has given us a little insight on being an English major!
1. What is the exact name of the degree you will be working towards at Montclair State?/Name of Program

At Montclair State University, I will be studying for a Master’s Degree in English, which means I’ll be strictly studying literature. We are offered a wide variety of courses/classes and do not have to conform to one area of study in particular. However, I am most likely going to gear my studies toward British Literature, as that has always been my favorite type of literature to study here at Caldwell, particularly the Renaissance.

2. How has your work at Caldwell prepared you for grad schooA image of Kate Bielitzl and what are you interested in studying at MSU?

Caldwell University has prepared me immensely for graduate school. I will always say this, but taking the Literary Criticism course I took in the Fall 2019 semester, reminded me why I want to study literature. That course opened my eyes to the many ways we can look at literature, and reminded me of how timeless literature truly is. Within that course, we looked at The Great Gatsby in many different lenses, such as a feminist lens, an African American lens, a Marxist lens, etc, and it was truly amazing to understand how to interpret a novel like that in so many ways when I was only taught to look at it one way. To me, that is the beauty of being an English major–to have the ability to think critically, analyze deeply, and have the ability to be open-minded. The professors and courses I took at Caldwell truly taught me how to do all three. The professors at Caldwell have always believed in me, always helped me become a stronger writer and to analyze just a little bit more. With having a wide variety of courses to choose from at Caldwell, I was able to try out many different eras, which is what I felt was important since I knew by my junior year, I was going to want to study literature in a graduate setting. Montclair’s graduate program reminds me a lot of our program: just a few required courses and the rest free electives, which I love because you are able to find your own interests and what you are good at, and build upon that. (Also a special thank you to Dr. Kornacki for helping me by ordering us graduate school books, meeting with me on a regular basis, and believing in my abilities)

3. Is there any advice you might be able to give to students who are currently working towards an English degree? Or maybe to someone who is looking into becoming an English major?

My advice for anyone who is in the English program here at Caldwell, or thinking about becoming a part of the English program, is to take different era courses. You will find what interests you the most by taking many different courses. Even if you do not feel like you would be good at it (my feelings toward Shakespeare courses), you will learn how to read literature the correct way. I always say: take the challenging courses, take upon the challenge, because you always almost end up much better at something when you are challenged. Also, READ. Read the text, then reread it again until you know exactly what you are reading. If you need help, use the resources available. Do not struggle alone. Caldwell offers many ways to improve: the professors themselves are always eager to help, and especially the Writing Center is available if you prefer to receive help from a peer. Even if you are taking a challenging course, you should never feel like you cannot improve. We all are capable of much more we give ourselves credit for. Being an English major here at Caldwell University reminded me that I am capable of understanding literature I thought I never would such as The Iliad, various Shakespeare plays, and MOST of the early literature. Once we are taught something the correct way, there is no going back!


Library, News

Know My Name by Chanel Miller Book Discussion

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Caldwell University Jennings Library and The Office of Student Advocacy and Prevention Awareness presents a book discussion of Know My Name: A Memoir by Chanel Miller on April 28 at 2:00. For more information or to sign up, email Abdul Staten at or Victoria Swanson at The event will be held over google hangouts meet.