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Alumna Mary Sellitto-Curcio Receives Alumni of the Year Award


Caldwell, N.J., Sept.  27, 2016 – Verona resident Mary Sellitto-Curcio received the Caldwell University Peggy Harris Alumni of the Year Award at the university’s homecoming celebration Sept. 24.

Timothy Nellegar, past president of the Caldwell University Alumni Association board, said the award has been given annually since 1964 to an alumna or alumnus for outstanding service to the Alumni Association or university. Sellitto-Curcio is a “tremendously deserving recipient who has and continues to work tirelessly for the advancement of the university,” said Nellegar.

Sellitto-Curcio is currently president of the Caldwell University Alumni Association board, previously served two terms as vice president, and has been active on the board since 2006.  She has been an alumni board representative to the university’s Strategic Planning Committee and is a member of the President’s Society and the Caldwell University Veritas Committee.   “Receiving this award is very meaningful as it is given for outstanding service and is voted on by our peers,” said Sellitto-Curcio.

After graduation from Caldwell University, Sellitto-Curcio became an accountant for the Montclair Public School District and then went on to hold the position of school business administrator, RSBA with the Essex Regional Educational Services Commission.  She was formerly president of the Essex County School Business Officials, legislative liaison for the Essex County Association of School Business Officials, and an executive board member for the Essex County School Business Officials.

A lifelong resident of Verona, she has been very involved in the community including coordinating the Verona High School Thomas J. Sellitto Memorial Scholarship in memory of her father, and serving on the Verona High School Alumni Board and Hall of Fame Committees. She is a Wish Volunteer for Make-A-Wish of  New Jersey and received the organization’s 2016 Dynamic Duo Award.  She is a member of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Major Joseph Bloomfield Chapter.

Sellitto-Curcio holds an English and business degree from Caldwell and a master’s in educational leadership from Montclair State University, as well as a chief school administrator certificate from the State of New Jersey Department of Education.   She is a member of the national English honor society Sigma Tau Delta.

Business News, Featured News, News

Business Advisory Council Opens Doors for Student Internships


Students Shyam Sharma (L) and Joseph DiCarlo (R) are interns at Tilcon New York, Inc., a supplier of quality stone and asphalt products. They are pictured here with Anne Poltorak ’78, Tilcon Human Resources Manager and member of the Caldwell University Business Advisory Council.

When Shyam Sharma started looking for internships he did not know the aggregate materials industry existed. Now he is well versed in how crushed stone is important to the building of roads, highways, bridges, hospitals and schools.

Sharma began interning with Tilcon New York Inc., a supplier of quality stone and asphalt products, in the summer between his sophomore and junior years. He has continued interning with the company ever since while still attending classes. A business administration major with minors in management and political science, he spoke about the value of his internship at the Caldwell University Business Advisory Council meeting Sept. 20. He told business leaders, entrepreneurs, faculty and staff  how his work in the Human Resources Department at Tilcon involved contract negotiations, change management, and improvement of employee engagement. Sharma later transitioned his internship into Project Management where he was responsible for an IT server room rebuild, office relocation and demolition when the company moved its headquarters from the Mount Hope Quarry in Rockaway, New Jersey to a corporate setting in Parsippany, New Jersey.

He learned about the opportunity from Caldwell alumna Anne Poltorak ’78, Tilcon’s human resources manager, when he networked with her at a Business Advisory Council meeting during his sophomore year. Poltorak says her company has appreciated working with Caldwell students.  One of the outstanding aspects of Caldwell’s internship program is that the faculty and staff “come out and spend time” at Tilcon “and show they care,” she said.

Professor Bernard O’Rourke and Professor Virginia Rich said this type of networking between businesses and students is exactly what they want to happen through the council. The group was established to provide a bridge between the local business community and Caldwell University, especially its business program. “The Business Division strongly encourages all of its majors to take at least one internship before graduation. Internships provide that vital experience which can increase a student’s career prospects.  We are fortunate that our Business Advisory Council members are supportive in facilitating student internships,” said O’Rourke.

Other business and computer science students spoke at the meeting about their internships.

Joseph DiCarlo is also an intern at Tilcon. His internship began in the summer of 2016 and was extended through the fall semester. As a marketing major,  DiCarlo utilizes his strengths in the public relations department, taking photos, filming video, handling social media and watching, as he says, “the net result of good public relations.”

Samar Tilmilsina, a computer information systems major, interned as a technology analyst at Bank of America in New York City. He worked with the team that provided archiving as a service to all the corporation’s internal clients. He created a capacity management plan and a prototype cost recovery system.  Tilmilsina recently accepted an offer for full-time employment at the bank, and will begin working there after he completes his undergraduate degree in December.

Kate Reilly interned in the marketing department at Interactive Data in Manhattan. She has a double major in business administration and mathematics and a concentration in human resource management. Several of her Caldwell classes helped her prepare for the work. “The business communications class really tied in well,” she said. “I noticed just how well prepared I was to enter this job, which is mostly because of all of the support and training I have received from my professors here at school.”

Abigail Sobieski, a marketing major, spoke about her internship in the marketing department at Buyers Lab, a global document imaging company in Fairfield, New Jersey. Her duties include creating the monthly infographics for the products the company tests, making brochures and putting together email blasts for new tools.

Sobieski also helped out at Tilcon this past summer, creating artwork that Sharma envisioned for the company’s break room. She worked with Caldwell student Ilea Scrichfield on the project.

Geraldine Perret, director, and Christine Szeluga, coordinator of the Career Planning and Development Office, said they are grateful to the council members for providing them with leads about internship programs for students and hope their colleagues continue to expand opportunities for students.

About the Council

The Business Advisory Council has more than 50 members and consists of business owners and senior executives from small, medium and large businesses in a broad range of industries in the greater Essex County area. Members also include key people in the university community such as business faculty, senior administrators and student leaders.

The council meets at least six times during each academic year. It provides a platform for a wealth of activities such as discussion of best practices in business, mentorship and internships for students, and showcasing of faculty research and scholarship—in short, any endeavors that advance the involvement of local business leaders to the benefit of the community at the college and beyond.

Career Planning and Development Office

Internship opportunities are available to students of all majors and in a large variety of fields. To learn more about how you can connect with qualified students to fill internship opportunities in your organization, contact the Career Planning and Development Office at 973-618-3290 or careers@caldwell.edu

Library, News

Writing Tutors are available in the Learning Commons!

Writing ToolsNeed someone to read over your paper? Concerned about your grammar? Having trouble organizing your paper? Come see a writing tutor in the Learning Commons! The Learning Commons is located on the first floor of the library near the Information Desk.

From reaction papers, to research papers, to application essays the writing tutors are here to help. Drop by to see a writing tutor today.

Writing tutors are available in the Learning Commons Monday – Thursday 4:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Please remember tutors are available during the day at the Academic Success Center in the Student Center.

Featured News, News

Student Receives iHeartMedia WOR 710/Mets Sponsored Scholarship


Caldwell University student Dennis Brady (2nd from right) receiving the Hits for Scholarship Award. He is pictured with Sister Kathleen Tuite, Caldwell University vice president of student life, and Mets broadcasters Howie Rose (L) and Josh Lewin (R).

Caldwell, N.J., Sept. 26, 2016 – Junior Dennis Brady was a recipient of the Hits for Scholarship award sponsored by iHeartMedia and WOR 710/Mets Radio.

The scholarship was based on the number of home runs hit by the Mets this year. For each home run hit, a contribution was made, which resulted in a $5,000 scholarship for Brady.

He was awarded the scholarship at the New York Mets game Sept. 22 by Mets broadcasters Howie Rose and Josh Lewin.

Brady said he was honored to receive the scholarship from the Mets organization. “As a communications and media studies major, to meet with Howie and Josh, who are the voices of Mets radio, was an unforgettable moment. I am grateful to Caldwell University for selecting me as this recipient.”

Brady is involved in a number of activities on campus, serving as an orientation leader, working in the Admissions

Featured News, News

Alumna, Former NJ Assemblywoman is Speaker at Caldwell University Homecoming Kick-off


Caldwell, N.J. – September 26, 2016 – The kick-off event for the homecoming weekend celebration at Caldwell University featured The Honorable Arline Friscia, former New Jersey Assemblywoman and a Caldwell University alumna. Friscia was interviewed in a forum hosted by Professor Bob Mann, chair of the Communications and Media Studies Department, as part the university’s Veritas Lecture series. In 1996 Friscia received the university’s Veritas Award for Excellence in Politics. The awards recognizes alumni excellence in all professions.

Friscia, a member of the Class of 1956, at what was then Caldwell College for Women, graduated with a degree in music. “I owe a great deal to Caldwell, because it shaped my life,” she said.

Caldwell alumnae, students, faculty and staff enjoyed a discussion as Friscia commented on a variety of topics including her career path and how she made her way into a legislative position, the challenges for women who choose the field of politics as a career, and how people can become effective in working with their legislators.

As a legislator, Friscia represented the 19th Legislative District, which comprises the Middlesex County municipalities of Carteret Borough, Perth Amboy City, Sayreville Borough, South Amboy City, and Woodbridge Township. For more than 18 years, she served as UniServ Director for the New Jersey Education Association and negotiated on behalf of its membership. A former Councilwoman-at-Large in Woodbridge Township, she provided leadership on issues concerning recreation opportunities for socially deprived children and adolescents.

Featured News, Natural and Physical Sciences News, News, Uncategorized

CU Science Students Intern at Johns Hopkins


Caldwell, N.J., September 16, 2016 – Two Caldwell University science students and one recent alumna were selected to intern at the world-renowned teaching and biomedical hospital Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.

Students Pamela Marte and Juan Garcia and recent grad Christina Blonski-Cupo were chosen to participate in the JH Bloomberg School of Public Health Diversity Summer Internship Program.

Marte was “honored and humbled” to be working in the building with so much science history. She was assigned to the cytokine research lab in the clinical immunology lab, working directly with Dr. Barbara Detrick, a professor of pathology at the JH University School of Medicine. Detrick, a Caldwell University alumna, formed the partnership between Caldwell and Johns Hopkins, which was offered for the second year in a row.

Garcia and Blonski also had the chance to meet Detrick. “She is an inspiration,” said Blonski-Cupo ’16.

Marte’s assignment, “Evaluation of Cytokines in Autoimmune Retinopathy,” looked at the cytokine levels in patients with a very rare eye condition called autoimmune retinopathy or AIR.

Blonski interned in the infectious disease laboratory run by Dr. Petros Karakousis, associate professor of the Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases. Her project was titled “Evaluation of Mycobacterium smegmatis as an in vitro Model for Viable but Non-Culturable (VBNC) Bacteria.”

Garcia interned in the lab of Dr. Zhibin Wang, assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences in the Bloomberg School of Public Health.   Garcia’s project was titled “”The Role of CHD4 on Histone Recognition”. The experience was “fun, exciting, competitive and hard work,” he said.

“It was a demanding program” but definitely rewarding, said Marte.

Blonski-Cupo said she especially appreciated being able to meet and work with accomplished researchers.

Although they worked very hard, “there was a good balance of work and play,” said Marte. She enjoyed discovering Baltimore and taking the Amtrak to Washington, D.C. It was “great meeting new people”  and going to events and food tastings, said Garcia.

At the culmination of the internship, the students gave a poster, paper and PowerPoint project presentation. “I grew as a person and a professional,” said Marte. “This experience definitely confirmed my decision to pursue a career in research,” said Blonski-Cupo.

Featured News, News

English Department’s Dr. Miller is Founding Editor of a new National Catholic Poetry Journal


Mary Ann MillerCaldwell, N.J., September 15, 2016 – English professor Mary Ann B. Miller is the editor of a new professional, national-level Catholic poetry journal that is affiliated with the Department of English at Caldwell.

Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry is an independent journal planned for annual print publication each spring.  It is a venue for the publication of poetry written by authors whose work is informed by the Catholic faith.  “I am starting this journal because currently there are Catholic periodicals that print both fiction and poetry as well as those that publish articles on Catholic culture, but none that are devoted exclusively to poetry.  I became aware of the need for this kind of journal when participating on a panel at a conference entitled ‘The Future of the Catholic Literary Imagination,’ sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles,” said Miller.

“The journal will publish poems,” said Miller, “informed by the Catholic faith on the basis of their artistic excellence, rather than on the basis of the author’s professed creed or because the subject matter is explicitly Catholic.  As the Dominican St. Thomas Aquinas suggests, art is a good in and of itself, so a good poem will reflect God solely on the basis of its being a good work of art.”

“On the other hand,” Miller added, “poems that do contain overt references to Catholic concepts, such as the saints, priests, nuns, the mysteries of the rosary, just to name a few, are welcome.  Many poets have told me over the years that they don’t believe their poems that contain these kinds of references have been taken seriously by most journals.  My hope is that Presence will provide a venue for these poems because artistic merit and references to Catholic images are not mutually exclusive.”

But regardless of whether a poem is explicitly Catholic, what makes a poem Catholic is that it contains underlying theological assumptions, “the chief of which is the operation of God’s grace in the world.”  As Presence’s Mission Statement further explains: “The poems in this journal convey God’s presence in any number of ways—by exploring the intersection of matter and spirit, by depicting the struggle between belief and doubt, by questioning the faith, being surprised by it, taking joy in it, even finding humor in it.”

Miller added that “despite some important differences among the various Christian denominations, there is a great deal of common ground that exists among them, and so the journal will necessarily take on an ecumenical flavor.  For example, we welcome poems that contain a kind of dialogue between Jewish and Christian or even atheist and Christian voices.”

The Advisory Board for Presence is comprised of members who are nationally known in the field of Catholic poetry and in academic spheres.  They are Susanne Paola Antonetta, William Baer, Paul Contino, Dana Gioia, Paul Mariani, Angela Alaimo O’Donnell, and Judith Valente.

Dr. Miller, who chairs the English Department and teaches poetry, is editor of the anthology, St. Peter’s B-list: Contemporary Poems Inspired by the Saints, published by Ave Maria Press.

She has created a class called Journal Editing, in which she can engage students in reading poems submitted for possible publication and in writing micro-reviews of individual collections of poetry by a variety of contemporary poets.  This class is running for the first time this fall, in conjunction with the reading period for the journal.

The first reading period is taking place now through Dec. 1, 2016 with the first annual issue slated for Spring 2017.

Featured News, Natural and Physical Sciences News, News

CU Student Chosen for NJ Governor’s STEM Scholars Program


Alumna and current post-baccalaureate student Jessica Binkiewicz was chosen for the 2017 NJ Governor’s STEM Scholars program.

Caldwell, N.J., Sept. 14, 2016 – Caldwell University alumna and current post-baccalaureate student Jessica Binkiewicz was chosen for the prestigious 2017 New Jersey Governor’s STEM Scholars program.

The goal of the competitive program is to educate the best and brightest students about science, technology, engineering and math opportunities in New Jersey and to encourage the Garden State’s economic development.

Binkiewicz, the first Caldwell student selected for the program, was thrilled to learn that she was accepted and is looking forward to networking with professionals in New Jersey STEM fields, learning from prospective mentors and meeting other similar-minded young adults who share a passion for STEM.

She was selected to lead a research team for a project she created focusing on determining the inhibitory effects of Thieves oil on E. coli to explore new natural therapies for bacterial infections.  “I chose this topic because I believe it is crucial to look beyond allopathic treatments as they can cause pathogenic resistance, hence the formation of superbugs, and can also be expensive and cause adverse effects.” Binkiewicz hopes the findings can make a difference. “As a future physician, I understand how important scientific research is because it advances medicine and directly impacts people’s lives.”

A West Caldwell resident, Binkiewicz graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Caldwell in 2014.  She is now in the pre-medical post-baccalaureate program at Caldwell and plans to attend medical school.

While a post-baccalaureate student, she took an independent research study course with Science Professor Dr. Agnes Berki and presented her findings at William Paterson’s 10th annual research symposium and at Caldwell University’s Scholars’ Day.

Binkiewicz volunteers in the Emergency Department at Mountainside Hospital and is an active member of the Alpha Chi, Psi Chi, National Society of Leadership and Success, and Delta Epsilon Sigma honor societies.


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Night of Cougar Pride Honoring 2016 Hall of Fame Class Set for October 21

CALDWELL, N.J.- Caldwell University Athletics, in conjunction with Cougar Pride, will host “A Night of Cougar Pride” at Cedar Hill Country Club in Livingston, N.J. on Friday, October 21. The Caldwell Athletics “Night of Cougar Pride” Dinner, honoring the 2016 Hall of Fame inductees, will begin with cocktail hour at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner and hall of fame induction ceremony at 7:30 p.m.

The Caldwell University Hall of Fame committee has elected a trio of honorees and the first-ever team for the 2016 class. Assistant Vice President/Director of Athletics and Men’s Basketball Head Coach Mark A. Corino highlights the induction ceremony and will be enshrined for his years of service to the institution. Men’s soccer standout Uke Dauti and women’s basketball’s Gwen Gunn will also be recognized during “A Night of Cougar Pride”, on October 21. In addition to the three inductees, Coach Corino’s first national tournament team in 1992-93 will be recognized as the first-ever team to receive hall of fame honors.

Cost is $125 per person with tables of 10 people available for $1,000. All proceeds will go to the Cougar Pride General Fund, which supports the degree completion program and enhancements for the 16 intercollegiate athletic programs. Tickets are available for the Caldwell Athletics “Night of Cougar Pride” Ceremony by calling Caldwell University Athletics at (973) 618-3260. Online registration for the event is available and can be accessed by clicking here.

The Caldwell University Athletics Hall of Fame was established in 2010 to honor student-athletes, coaches and contributors who have played significant roles in the success of the intercollegiate athletic programs at Caldwell University. With this year’s class, there are now 40 members in the Hall of Fame, which is located on the first floor of the George R. Newman Center. The October 21 ceremony is the main fundraising event for Cougar Pride, the official booster club of Caldwell University Athletics.

Coach Corino joined the Cougars as the Director of Athletics and men’s basketball coach in 1988. During his tenure as Director of Athletics, he led the initiative to transition the institution to full NCAA Division II membership status in 2002. The department has seen significant growth during Corino’s tenure as he has overseen the process to increase sport sponsorship from three in 1988 to the current number of 16 athletic programs. Corino has seen tremendous success on the court in 28 seasons as the men’s basketball head coach for the Cougars. He has amassed 435 wins as Caldwell’s head coach and four CACC Coach of the Year honors as well as a Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association Coach of the Year Award in 1998. Corino’s collegiate coaching career spans over 30 years where he has 530 wins and is the second winningest collegiate men’s basketball head coach in the state of New Jersey. His Caldwell coaching career includes five trips to the NAIA National Tournament, one appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament; seven CACC regular-season championships, five CACC Tournament titles and an NAIA District 31 crown.

Dauti played for the men’s soccer team from 2004-06 and was a two-time Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference First Team All-Conference selection. In his three seasons, he totaled 69 points with 31 goals and seven assists for the Cougars. He tallied 35 points in the 2005 season with 16 goals in 15 games. Dauti was honored twice by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America on the All-Region Second Team. During his time, the Cougars posted a record of 37-19-3 and appeared in the CACC Tournament semifinals all three seasons. Caldwell was the tournament runner-up in 2005 where Dauti earned CACC All-Tournament honors.

Gunn played for the women’s basketball team from 1996-2000 and was twice honored as a CACC All-Conference selection in her junior and senior seasons. In her senior season, she averaged 12 points and 6.9 rebounds per game to earn All-American Honorable Mention honors. She currently ranks 12th in school history with 1,225 points and ninth with 742 rebounds for her Cougar career. She helped lead the Cougars to a second place finish in her freshman season and a CACC Regular Season Championship as a senior. The Cougars advanced to their second-ever NAIA Tournament appearance in 2000. Caldwell posted a four-year mark of 66-49 during her time in a Cougar uniform.

In addition to the three inductees, Coach Corino’s first men’s basketball team that advanced to the national tournament will be the first team to be enshrined in the hall of fame. In their sixth year as a program, the 1992-93 men’s basketball team posted 21 wins, which tied the win record set the previous season. The Cougars went 11-1 in the CACC as they repeated as regular season champions and won their first ever CACC Tournament Championship. In the District 31 Tournament, Caldwell defeated Nyack College and Teikyo Post College (now Post University), earning their first ever District 31 title and advanced to the NAIA National Tournament for the first time in program history. Matt Stuart was the top player as he averaged 18.1 points per game along with 8.9 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per contest. He earned NAIA Second Team All-American honors, which was the first All-American in men’s basketball history.

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Softball’s Marisa Monasseri Named ECAC Division II Female Scholar Athlete of the Year


DANBURY, Conn.- Caldwell University softball junior Marisa Monasseri (Monroe, N.J.) was named the ECAC Division II Female Scholar Athlete of the Year after excelling on and off the field during her sophomore season. It is the fourth year in a row that a Caldwell student athlete has been honored with the ECAC Scholar Athlete of the Year (Paul Nyitray, baseball, 2013, 2014 and Robert Humes, baseball, 2015).

In order to be considered for the ECAC Scholar Athlete Award, a candidate must have earned a cumulative minimum overall GPA of 3.2 (4.0 scale and must have reached sophomore athletics and academic status (true freshmen, redshirt freshmen and ineligible athletics transfers are not eligible) and be a starter or significant reserve in a particular sport and must compete in a least 50 percent of the contests in that sport.

Monasseri will be honored with the rest of the award recipients at the 2016 ECAC Honors Dinner on September 22 at the Matrix Conference & Banquet Center in Danbury, Connecticut. The event will begin with a cocktail hour at 6 p.m. followed by dinner and awards at 7 p.m. For the full ECAC release and complete list of award winners, click here.

This latest award for Monasseri caps an incredible sophomore year for the All-American catcher and reigning Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Player of the Year. She was a First Team CACC pick as well as an NFCA and D2CCA First Team All-East Region selection. Monasseri also earned NFCA and D2CCA Second Team All-American honors and was an ECAC First Team All-Star. She was a three-time CACC Player of the Week as well as the ECAC Division II Player of the Week and NFCA Division II National Player of the Week one time. On the academic side, Monasseri was a CACC All-Academic Team selection and was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team.

On the field, Monasseri posted a career-year for the Cougars as she set the single season mark for homeruns with 17. She started 51 games in 2016 and posted team-highs with 57 RBI, 113 total bases and a .423 batting average. Monasseri scored 32 runs with 52 hits, eight doubles, one triple, while slugging .919 and an on base percentage of .564.

In the CACC, she led the conference in average, RBI, homeruns, slugging and on base percentage, while ranking seventh in runs and ninth in hits.