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Drogsler Selected to CoSIDA Academic All-American First Team

AUSTIN, Texas- Caldwell University women’s basketball junior Kristen Drogsler (Middle Village, N.Y.) added another major award to her incredible season as she was selected to the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-American First Team. Drogsler was named the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Player of the Year last week.

Drogsler has excelled in the classroom in her three years at Caldwell. She has posted a 3.90 GPA as a Health Science major and is a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District selection and a CACC All-Academic Team honoree last season. Drogsler is the second women’s basketball player to receive CoSIDA Academic All-American honors since Caldwell went Division II in 2002-03 (Emily Caswell, Third Team, 2014-15).

On the court, Drogsler has been one of the top players in the region. She is averaging 20.4 points per game and leads the Cougars with program-record 81 three-pointers.  Drogsler leads the CACC in scoring and three-pointers this season. She ranks second in the conference in three-point percentage and is tied for sixth in blocks. In the East Region, Drogsler is third in scoring and three-pointers. She also ranks among the national leaders as she is tied for eighth in the Division II in scoring. Drogsler ranks tenth in the nation in three-point percentage and 13th in three-pointers.

Drogsler is a four-time CACC Player of the Week and a two-time Met Basketball Player of the Week honoree this season. In addition, Drogsler has been named the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Player of the Week six times this season. She has posted 17 games with at least 20 points and has recorded three or more three-pointers in 15 games. Drogsler tallied season highs with 33 points and eight three-pointers vs Philadelphia on February 11.

The Cougars are having a record-setting season and rank among the best teams in the East Region. Caldwell set the program season victory record (previously 21) and enter this weekend’s CACC Championship Semifinal contest with a 24-4 record. The Cougars won the CACC North Division for the third time since 2002-03 with an 18-1 record and currently rank #4 in the East Region. The Cougars’ three in-region losses this season are to teams that are currently ranked in the DII East Region Poll (Queens College, Molloy College, and Bloomfield College).

The North Division Champs host North #3 Dominican College in the CACC Championship Semifinals on Saturday, March 4 at 5 pm at the Newman Center. Caldwell University will serve as the host site for this weekend’s CACC men’s and women’s basketball Final Four on Saturday and Sunday.

Library, News

Celebrate Pi Day on 3/13!

Come celebrate Pi Day in the Library Learning Commons on Monday 3/13/17 from 12-1 p.m.

There will be pizza, prizes and a lecture by our Math faculty!

This event is hosted by the Library and Math Department.

Featured News, News

Faculty Present Frederick Douglass Lives

In honor of Black History Month faculty presented “Frederick Douglass Lives!” on the life and legacy of the great nineteenth century American abolitionist.  Dr. Doug Anderson of the English department discussed the various themes of Douglass’ famous autobiography published in 1845.  Dr. William Barnhart of the History department talked about the origins of abolitionism and Douglass’ contributions to the movement.  Dr. Katie Kornacki of the English department presented on Frederick Douglass’ connection to the women’s rights movement that grew out of abolitionism.  The panel also shared their thoughts on Douglass’ continuing relevance for a variety of human rights issues today.

Featured News, News, Uncategorized

Lecture “Action to Encourage Interfaith & Environmental Dialogue: How Do Pipelines Affect Our Water”

Caldwell, N.J., Feb. 27, 2017 – Writer and activist Anny Martinez will present on “Action to Encourage Interfaith & Environmental Dialogue: How Do Pipelines Affect Our Water”, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.  Monday, March 6 in the Alumni Theatre on Caldwell University’s campus.

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

Martinez has extensive background in community building and non-profit social work. She is founder/organizer of Spoken Word Events which showcases local poets and pivotal causes. She authored the book Black Start, which tells the story of the hope and fear that transpires during a power outage.  Martinez is a member of Coalition Against the Pilgrim Pipeline and Food & Water Watch.

The series is named after Sister Maura Campbell, 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.

Featured News, News

Nursing Department Blessing of Hands recognizes sacredness of healing the sick and suffering

Nursing student Catherine Mulick with her mother and grandmother, a family of three generations of nurses.

Caldwell, N.J., February 24, 2017 – The Nursing Department held its annual Blessing of the Hands ceremony for juniors.

Director of Campus Ministry Colleen O’Brien opened the ceremony pointing to the importance of the blessing for the students who will use their hands to heal the sick and suffering and bring forth the mission of Caldwell University and the Sisters of St. Dominic.

Director of Nursing Dr. Theodora Sirota reflected on various scriptures references to healing.  “The prophet Ezekiel speaking in the name of the Lord says: ‘I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak’ and that is what we nurses do.  Jeremiah speaking in the name of the Lord says ‘Behold, I will bring to them health and healing, and I will heal them’ and that is what we nurses do,” said Sirota.

Dr. Barbara Chesler, vice president for academic affairs said it was a time to celebrate “our call and gifts and to remember how much we need one another.”  The blessing, she explained, “symbolizes our belief in the sacredness of our everyday lives and work.”

President Nancy Blattner reflected on the scripture verse from Isaiah 49 which references how the Lord holds us in the palm of his hand.  She reminded the students that God holds them in the palm of his hand and in turn, they have the important work of holding others in the palm of their hands as nurses.

The nursing students said they felt appreciated and proud to have the support from the university. Junior Daniel Aponte said the ceremony empowered him to move on in his clinic experience. Junior Andrea Felano said she is more motivated and understands the power of using her hands in nursing.  Yasmine Khalaifeh, a sophomore who was watching the ceremony, said it is important to remember that spirituality comes with being a nurse. “There is more to nursing than performing physical tasks.”

Faculty and administration did the readings and administered the blessing.

It was a special day for junior Catherine Mulick since she is going to be a 3rd generation nurse in her family, following in the footsteps of her mother and grandmother who attended the ceremony to celebrate with her.

Alumni News, Featured News, News

Alumnus performs with young adult honor’s choir at Carnegie Hall

Alumnus Nick Bushey performed with the young adult honor’s choir at Carnegie Hall.

Caldwell, N.J., Feb. 23, 2017 – Caldwell University Music Department alumnus Nick Bushey was selected to perform at the Isaac Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall on Feb. 5.  He was chosen from a competitive group of international and national applicants to be a part of the Young Adult Honor’s Choir conducted by Jeffery Redding.

Participants had to apply and send in audition recordings in October. Bushey, of Wayne, N.J.  was thrilled to meet and perform alongside the other choir members, who he said, “shared their unique stories about where they came from and why they loved to sing”.

The musicians received their music in advance of the performance and were expected to report three days prior with all selections memorized. The performance included works ranging from Haydn (“Awake the Harp” from  Creation) to Kim Andre Arneson’s “Even When He is Silent” and “Flight Song.”

After a few days of rehearsals together, all 80 of the choir members were eager to perform on the prestigious stage. “The excitement was contagious. We all fed off of each other’s energy,” Bushey said. “It was truly a life changing experience”.

The Honors Ensemble is open to select college-aged and young adult vocalists. The musicians had the opportunity to rehearse with Redding, an accomplished conductor and former music faculty member at West Virginia University.

Bushey is grateful to all his music professors, his voice teacher Dr. Greenwald, and his family and friends. He is pursuing a career in music education and hopes to motivate and inspire students through music.

Dr. Greenwald said she is proud of Bushey for being accepted into such a prestigious ensemble and was thrilled to see and hear him perform on the stage of Carnegie Hall.

Alumni News, Featured News, News

Caldwell Men’s Basketball Alum Matthew Stuart Inducted into CACC Hall of Fame on Super Saturday

CALDWELL, N.J.- Caldwell University men’s basketball standout Matthew Stuart ’94 was officially inducted into the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Hall of Fame in a special ceremony during Saturday’s basketball doubleheader as part of “Super Saturday” festivities. Stuart is the first Caldwell representative in the newly created CACC Hall of Fame and is the first CACC men’s basketball player inducted into the conference hall of fame.

Caldwell Athletics welcomed over 100 former student-athletes and their families back to campus this past Saturday. In addition, each athletic team and several departments on campus contributed a basket of items that were part of the silent auction with the proceeds going to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The event was a success as Caldwell Athletics raised over $1,000 from the auction items. Make-A-Wish is the official charitable organization of the NCAA.

“We are so proud of Matt and what he has meant to our institution,” said Assistant Vice President/Director of Athletics Mark A. Corino, “He was a main reason for the early success of the men’s basketball program and we were pleased to have him and his family back to campus to celebrate his induction into the CACC Hall of Fame. The CACC has a long history of outstanding student-athletes and his induction as the first men’s basketball inductee into the hall of fame is an indication of what he has meant to the school and how people recognize his outstanding achievements on the court.”

Between the men’s and women’s contests, Caldwell University President Dr. Nancy Blattner welcomed Stuart and his family to campus and spoke of how exciting it was to have such a large group of alumni present to celebrate a great day for the university. CACC Commissioner Dan Mara followed and read off Stuart’s amazing accomplishments during his playing career. He also stated that great Caldwell men’s basketball players — both current and future — will always be judged by the incredible exploits of Stuart, who starred for the Cougars in the early 90s.

Mara officially inducted Stuart into the conference hall of fame, as he presented him with a framed portrait featuring photos of Stuart from his playing days. Finally, Stuart spoke to the crowd, thanking his former head coach Mark A. Corino, who not only coaches the men’s program, but is also Caldwell’s Assistant Vice President and Director of Athletics. Stuart added how special it was to help build the program and the friendships he made. Stuart asked his family to join him at center court to take part in the ceremony, and they did with photos being taken afterwards.

When Stuart came to Caldwell from Haddon Heights, N.J., in the fall of 1989, the men’s basketball program was beginning its third season of existence. By the time he finished his career in 1994, Stuart had twice earned All-American honors, led the Cougars to their first CACC Tournament championship and helped the team qualify for its first national tournament.

A 6-foot-11 center, Stuart was named the CACC Player of the Year in both 1993 and 1994 while earning NAIA All-American Second Team honors as a junior and First Team as a senior. He did this following a serious knee injury that forced him to miss all but five games during the 1990-91 season. In 110 career games for the Cougars, Stuart scored a school-record 1,888 points. He is second all-time in blocks with 156 and fifth in rebounds with 843 in his career.

To watch the video from the event, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0tnKUH4ErM

Featured News, News

Ellina Chernobilsky: A Global Vision of Teaching

Even as a little girl growing up in the communist-ruled USSR, Ellina Chernobilsky knew she wanted to be in the classroom. “Teaching is a chance to see my own role in the world, an opportunity to understand how others view the world,” she says.

Chernobilsky, an associate professor in the education division, says her biggest reward is to learn “with and through” her students. As the director of graduate studies, overseeing 30 graduate programs, she works with faculty so students are happy and have “everything they need in order to be successful.”

She has seen that kind of caring in good teachers and administrators around the globe. Recently back from a trip during which she spoke with educators in Tomsk (in western Siberia) and in Moscow, she recognizes how committed teachers share the same foundations. “We may have different philosophies and pedagogies,” but the similarities are “good organization skills, good preparation and understanding and caring for the student.”

Chernobilsky is intrigued by how teachers in different cultures understand what it means to care for students—so much so that for the last several years she has been studying what it means to care as an educator. What started as research for the Teacher Education Accreditation Council accreditation process has developed into broader studies. She has worked with colleagues from China, South Korea, Russia and the United States to collect data and to understand different approaches to caring. She has hosted educators from Tomsk, Moscow and Holon, Israel, on Caldwell’s campus, working to form partnerships. In addition, she represented Caldwell while teaching English at Wuhan University in China for five weeks and led a short study initiative on Caldwell’s campus with students from South Korea.

In November at Tomsk Polytechnic University in western Siberia, Chernobilsky gave a keynote address at an international conference on how technology is used in higher education and “helps us evolve as educators.” She cited Caldwell as an example since the university has seen exponential growth in its use of technology for learning over the last few years. Audience members were so impressed they invited her to speak to department faculty and students at Tomsk State Pedagogical University and to middle and high school educators. In Moscow, she attended the multi-university 120th birthday celebration of the Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky, whom she says is the father of modern social constructivist philosophy in education and psychology. She spoke about technology with post-baccalaureate students at Moscow State University of Education and with students at the Higher School of Economics National Research University, also in Moscow. At the Education USA office in Moscow she met with prospective students.

She is collaborating with administrators from Moscow who visited Caldwell University last year on “what we can do together to get our students talking to each other.”

Growing up under communism in Uzbekistan

Chernobilsky’s parents—Bukharian, or Central Asian, Jews—made education a top priority when she was growing up in Soviet-ruled Tashkent, the capital of the Republic of Uzbekistan and one of the oldest towns in Central Asia. She went to a special school where she was exposed to the broader world and started learning English at eight years old. In 1979, her father asked for permission to leave and was denied. “The door was shut,” Chernobilsky says. Her mother, who was a pharmacist, and her father, who worked in several professions before becoming a civil engineer, pushed her to become an engineer. Once Chernobilsky convinced them to let her pursue teaching, she began studying at the Institute of Foreign Languages in Tashkent. She worked providing translation to individuals and businesses and was on track to become an English teacher. In 1991, just a few months shy of receiving her university diploma and about six months before the collapse of the Soviet Union, she and her family were able to leave their homeland. “I only told one or two people I was leaving,” says Chernobilsky.

Her extended family emigrated to New Jersey, and Chernobilsky’s ability to speak English proved to be of great value as she became the family’s sole translator. She enrolled at Upsala College, studying business administration and computer information systems and discovered a love for technology.

After graduating, Chernobilsky worked in a cotton business, buying and selling in Memphis, Tennessee. During this time, she married Mikhail Chernobilsky, who had found her online, something of a novelty at the time. She realized that business was not her calling and decided to go back to school for education. “I was really lucky. I met someone who believed in me and gave me a job teaching Russian as an adjunct at the University of Memphis.” The experience taught her how important it is for young professionals to have mentors and people who believe in them. “You need to be free to experiment and learn about yourself. If you make a mistake, it’s a chance to debrief, reflect, look another way and move on.” For those who succeed, the process is somewhat similar, she says. “One always has to reflect and define goals, and it dims your sense of fear.”

While studying and teaching at the University of Memphis, she started teaching Russian at Craigmont Middle and High School. Once she received her master’s, she knew a doctorate would be her next step.

When she and Mikhail moved back to New Jersey, Chernobilsky started studying for her Ph.D. in educational psychology at Rutgers and was able to combine her interests in education and technology. As she was finishing her dissertation and looking for employment, she found Caldwell, which reminded her of the small, caring atmosphere she had experienced years earlier at Upsala. She wanted to be a college professor who could work closely with students. “I wanted to be right in the middle. I wanted to know what the students are living and breathing.”

Chernobilsky is grateful that she has been given chances to grow as an educator and a professional and to be able to immerse herself in online education and in graduate studies. She is excited to be involved in supporting new graduate academic programs, expanding offerings in the classroom and online, with the freedom to pursue her interests in technology and international partnerships. “I think Caldwell is a great school that allows for many opportunities for everyone.”

“Teaching is a chance to see my own role in the world,
an opportunity to understand how others view the world.”

Things you might not know about Ellina Chernobilsky

Chernobilsky and her husband have three children—a 13-year-old son and 11-year-old twins, a boy and a girl.

While at Upsala College, she worked in production at WFMU 91.1 and was often on the air with Nachum Segal on his “JM in the AM” (Jewish Moments in the Morning) program. She also worked on the “Visionary of the Week” show.

“I love reading. I like to embroider when I have a little free time. I love car trips; we take road trips all the time.”

“I love cooking traditional Bukharian dishes for family and friends.”

Business News, Featured News, News

Bernie O’Rourke: An Irishman’s Passion for Business

When Professor Bernard O’Rourke plans the itinerary for a Business Division study-abroad experience, he takes a good hard look at the nation his students will visit. “Every country has a story,” he says. “I determine the essence of the country’s business to get its business zeitgeist.” He frames each trip so students can learn through an immersion in a nation’s economic and business life.

Since 2001, O’Rourke, associate dean of the Business Division, has led short-term trips to Belgium, Holland, Ireland, France, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Austria, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Panama. In setting the agenda, he reaches out to government agencies, which are often eager to help with appointments that showcase a country’s economic profile and direction, and networks with business contacts.

In Costa Rica students toured a coffee plantation and a free-trade zone. In Panama they explored the iconic Panama Canal. In Austria they visited the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. In the Czech Republic they saw the workings of the Skoda auto plant, which was regenerated when the country reverted to a free-market economy after overturning the communist regime. In the Dominican Republic they walked the floor of the Baldom food manufacturing company.

O’Rourke’s taste for international business and travel began when he was a young man in Ireland in the 1970s. He was eager to help his homeland. “What spurred me was the intent to move Ireland forward, to move it out of poverty,” he says. “Growing up in an impoverished region of Ireland, with little beyond farm and retail work available for most school leavers, I instinctively knew that Ireland needed to move forward with the times and somehow begin a new investment revolution to provide jobs for those who did not wish to emigrate to the U.K. or the U.S. as generations before had done.”

The vision for a new Ireland was provided by an aggressive investment promotion program in which Ireland scoured the world for state-of-the-art industries that could generate good-paying, export-focused jobs for the rising generation of well-educated Irish men and women. O’Rourke knew he had to be a part of the movement to regenerate Ireland and help create opportunities so the country might become prosperous and self-sustaining and not just a source of talented immigrants for the rest of the world. “It grabbed me and a lot of young people at the time,” he says.

He had received an undergraduate degree in economics with a political science minor from the biggest university in Ireland, University College Dublin, and then a law degree from King’s Inns, Ireland’s oldest school of law, qualifying him to go as far as pleading a case in the Irish courts. But practicing law was not his interest; he had a drive to work in international business to raise Ireland’s profile in the global marketplace.

Early life

O’Rourke grew up in Inniskeen, a small village in County Monaghan just beside the border with Northern Ireland. The town was a farming community in the “traditional Irish countryside.” He and his seven younger brothers and sisters—one of whom drowned at the age of two—were raised by their Catholic parents, who encouraged education. O’Rourke and his siblings attended grammar school in a two-room schoolhouse with 60 students. His father, a miller, sold cornmeal products for farm animals, and O’Rourke learned on the family’s small farm how to gather potatoes and cut hay, barley, oats and wheat.

It was the 1950s, and he recalls how a few families in Inniskeen still rode horse-drawn carts to church on Sunday. Television became available when he was about 9 years old, but people had to “go 25 miles to the other side of the mountain” to pick up the hazy signals for British programs. “It was still amazing,” says O’Rourke. In his early teens Ireland’s Troubles were still years away, so he would ride his bicycle across the border into Northern Ireland “where we could get better and richer candies” and cheaper dairy products like butter. He was exposed to the “big city” of Dublin since the family frequently visited his grandparents there. After sixth grade he went to Castleknock College, a boarding prep school outside Dublin run by Vincentian priests.

From international business to higher education

After receiving his undergraduate and law degrees, O’Rourke worked for his father in Ireland for a short period, but it was “evident that times were changing in farming.” He took a legal position at the Irish Development Agency, hoping to bring foreign investors to the Emerald Isle to create jobs. The position gave him a “nice taste of travel,” he says, including a trip to Helsinki. Eventually he was offered a post in Manhattan. “I was given territory in New England and had to find any companies interested in manufacturing in Ireland, and the government agency would give them grants and tax benefits.” Then he began “chasing textile companies in the South.”

His professional journey next took him to managing Belleek china for the Waterford Crystal company where he gained legal, marketing and operational experience, learning to deal with computer software and to keep the books. He picked up his MBA along the way at Fordham and developed investments and marketing plans for Irish companies in America. After many years in business, O’Rourke started teaching international business at Fairleigh Dickinson University and found he enjoyed it. Doors opened for teaching at Caldwell, and he eventually made his way into higher education full time, sharing his multifaceted business experience with students.

O’Rourke has been a leader in advancing Caldwell’s Business Division, overseeing the department when it added programs including undergraduate degrees in financial economics, health care administration and sport management and master’s in accounting and in business administration.

He is excited about the significant increase in enrollment in the undergraduate programs and about the new programs, including the bachelor’s in health care administration, “a good fit because of our other health-related programs,” the bachelor’s in sport management and the new online MBA program. O’Rourke hopes that the division can take the impact of technology “to the next level” with enhanced programs in IT and that it can pursue more international students for the MBA program.

His experience in international business makes him value the contributions of the division’s Business Advisory Council, which provides a bridge between the business community and the university and is made up of senior executives and business owners.

The council provides networking opportunities for students and professors and forums for showcasing faculty and student research and best practices in business and mentorship. “We are fortunate that our Business Advisory Council members are supportive in facilitating student internships,” says O’Rourke.

Most rewarding for him is seeing students develop—“the progress they make over the semester and how they grow in understanding and relating to the world”—and then watching them receive their diplomas “when they are ready to go out into the world of business.”

O’Rourke is convinced Caldwell has something bigger schools don’t, citing as an example a student who was eager to leave for a big-time university but who transferred back to Caldwell after two months. “There will always be a need for the Caldwell ethos.”

“Every country has a story. I determine the essence of the country’s business
to get its business zeitgeist.”

Things you might not know about Professor Bernie O’Rourke

As a young man working in Manhattan, he joined the New York Athletic Club rugby team—“a quick way to be integrated into a good group of people,” even playing in a tournament in the Cayman Islands.

He and his wife Sheila, Caldwell’s vice president for institutional effectiveness, have two grown daughters, one grandson, Ronan, and another grandchild on the way.

He served as president of the West Essex and Essex Fells school boards combined for nearly 16 years. “I ran three weeks after becoming a citizen. It helped me understand the school system.” He testified before Congress on behalf of the New Jersey School Boards Association.

Why we should visit his Ireland: “As my wife says, ‘It will always live up to your expectations.’ There are 40 shades of green. People really are fun to deal with and enjoy. The scenery is fantastic.

“It was almost a third world country when I was growing up. In the last 30 years, based on the economic development, it has become one of the richest countries in Europe. That’s not to say it doesn’t have its problems; it has many problems; it certainly suffered in the last recession.

“The party time and fun time—that exists as an authentic Irish experience.

“Everybody deserves to go at least once.”