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Dennis Brady: Discovering My Dream School in My Own Backyard

Dennis Brady Caldwell University graduate receiving his degree from President of Caldwell University Dr. Nancy Blattner.

As a student ambassador in the Caldwell University Admissions Office, Dennis Brady gave many tours to high school students and their parents during his college career.

Brady, who was the commencement speaker at Caldwell University’s undergraduate ceremony May 20, always drove home the same message on his tours—Caldwell is a home, and the experience you will get there is not what you will encounter at a big school where you are a number in a huge lecture hall. “The small classroom sizes, the family-like community of our campus, and the continuous help from professors is something that can’t be replicated anywhere else,” says Brady.

Brady, of West Orange, New Jersey,  went to high school at Seton Hall Preparatory, and when he was looking at colleges he did not give Caldwell University much thought even though his sister Melissa had raved about it and had excelled on all levels as a student. But then he finally made a campus visit. “I had to look at schools all around the country to discover that my dream school was right in my own backyard.”

As a commuter who was very involved in campus life, he tells other commuters they can have a full university experience. “If you just get out of your car, go to class and get back in your car and go home, you lose out on experiencing what Caldwell has to offer.” Students have to break out of their comfort zones to “experience Caldwell on a deeper level and all it has to offer.”

And Brady had that deeper experience. His communications background extended to leadership on campus where he was an orientation leader and was a founder of the campus Operation Smile club, which provides surgeries for children and young adults in developing countries who are born with cleft lip, cleft palate or other dental and facial conditions. “To be able to be president of a club that I was so passionate about was a blessing and extremely rewarding.” Brady is proud that the club held fundraising events such as coffee houses and karaoke nights and sent cards and care packages to children. He is a member of the national honor society Phi Kappa Phi, and at honors convocation on April 25, he received the Communication and Media Studies Department award.

As a communication and media studies major with a minor in business administration, Brady appreciated that his professors were always readily available to answer questions. He looks forward to pursuing a communications career, having completed two internships—with Sirius XM’s Shade 45 program and with “Elvis Duran and the Morning Show” on Z100. He is grateful for the “three years in the classroom with the practical experience and then being able to take it to a different level in the big city.”

Brady leaves Caldwell grateful for all that the university has done “in those transitional years between being a child and becoming an adult” and for inspiring him and other students to grow “in ethics, faith and caring about others.”

Featured News, News, Uncategorized

Mass of the Holy Spirit – Caldwell Community Encouraged to be Open to God’s Will

Caldwell University community gathered for Mass of the Holy Spirit
Caldwell University community gathered for Mass of the Holy Spirit
Caldwell University community gathered for Mass of the Holy Spirit
Caldwell University community gathered for Mass of the Holy Spirit
Caldwell University community gathered for Mass of the Holy Spirit
Caldwell University community gathered for Mass of the Holy Spirit
Caldwell University community gathered for Mass of the Holy Spirit

The Caldwell University community gathered for Mass of the Holy Spirit to pray for guidance in and inspiration in the new school year. Traditionally the Mass of the Holy Spirit is a symbol of the beginning of the academic year at a Catholic university.

Reverend James Manos, a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, was the celebrant.  “What are your gifts?” he asked of those in attendance. In order to know what God is calling one to do with his or her gifts, one has to be open to the spirit of God, said Father Manos.

Recalling the recent anniversary of 9-11, he spoke of Father Mychal Judge, the Franciscan priest and chaplain to the New York City Fire Department, who died ministering to people at the site of the World Trade Center attacks. During his lifetime, Father Judge ministered to alcoholics, those who had AIDS, migrants and the marginalized, said Father Manos. “He brought more and more people closer to God…He was open to the spirit of God.”   Like Father Judge, we have to be open to what God is calling us to do, said Manos. At times it can be confusing, but if we sit quietly we will be able to hear God’s answer, he said.

Father Manos recalled the words of Father Judge who said “When I don’t know what’s next, I get down on my knees and pray, ‘Lord, take me, mold me, fashion me, show me what You want.’ Then I watch and listen and it will come.”

“So don’t fret,” said Manos. He told attendees they would get the answer if they were open to the Holy Spirit and God’s will.

President Nancy Blattner read a special blessing for the student-athletes, the resident life assistants, the Student Government Association officers and the university chorale.

Music Professor Laura Greenwald, members of the Caldwell University Chorale, accompanist Warren Helms, and cantor Rebecca Nee provided the music.

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Students Take Part in Simulation Exercise “Solve the Outbreak”

Two Students Participating in simulation exercise and competition “Solve the Outbreak”
Participants of simulation exercise and competition “Solve the Outbreak”
Participants of simulation exercise and competition “Solve the Outbreak”
Participants of simulation exercise and competition “Solve the Outbreak”

Caldwell, N.J., April 24, 2017 – Caldwell University students took part in the simulation exercise and competition “Solve the Outbreak” on April 21 on campus.

As “disease detectives,” nursing, public health education, science, sociology, counseling and business students tested their skills by discovering clues, analyzing data and learning how to better prepare for disasters, such as a pandemic flu outbreak.

Several students said they appreciated working in groups with students from different academic majors. “I liked working in a team because in the future we are going to work as a team,” said biology major Janis Jimenez.

The project was “absolutely amazing,” said Shanice Edwards, also a biology major. The students felt like they were doctors, she said. “It felt like it could happen at any given time.”

Samantha Coghlin, president of the Nursing Club, appreciated the “mix of majors … We all had different knowledge and brought what we had.”

Morgan Menzies, a biology major, liked the “team bonding,” hearing different opinions and working toward a common goal.

Gary Garetano, RN, MPH, Ph.D., public health emergency preparedness coordinator for the Essex Regional Health Commission, was the keynote speaker. He presented on “All-Hazards Preparedness: What Future Health Professionals Need to Know.”

The initiative was sponsored by the university’s Inter-Professional Health Education Collaborative.

Professor Brenda Petersen, chair of the Caldwell University Department of Public Health, put the program together along with Business Professor Virginia Rich. “It was a wonderful opportunity for the students to develop team-based problem-solving skills and discover more about the need for communities to be better prepared for disasters and for the prevention of outbreaks of disease,” said Petersen. Students Michael James, co-president of the Health Professions Club, and John McLaughlin, president of the Public Health Education Club, also worked with the professors in organizing the project.

 

Featured News, News, Uncategorized

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

Writer and activist Anny MartinezCaldwell, 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, Natural and Physical Sciences News, News, Uncategorized

CU Science Students Intern at Johns Hopkins

JohnHopkin Interns - Barbara Detrick and Pamela
JohnHopkin Interns - Christina
JohnHopkin Interns - Christina and Pamela
JohnHopkin Intern - Juan
JohnHopkin Intern - Pamela in front of her project

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.

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Caldwell University Alumni Present President Blattner with Veritas Award for Excellence

Veritas Award Trophy
Guests, Veritas Award Recipients at the ceremony
Guests at Veritas Awards Ceremony
Musical Team Performing at the Ceremony
Guests, Veritas Award Recipients at the ceremony
Guests, Veritas Award Recipients at the ceremony
Caldwell University Alumni Present President Dr. Blattner with Veritas Award
Sister Kathleen and Dr. Blattner
Guests at Veritas Awards Ceremony
Guests at Veritas Awards Ceremony
Guests at Veritas Awards Ceremony
Veritas Award key speaker
Sister Kathleen addressing the ceremony
Dr. Blattner awarded with Veritas Award

The Caldwell University alumni association presented President Nancy Blattner with its professional excellence Veritas Award on Friday March 27. Alumni, faculty, staff, students and local community leaders gathered on campus to celebrate with Dr. Blattner as she was honored with the award for Excellence in Leadership in Higher Education.

The award presenters were Dr. Blattner’s husband, J. Timothy Blattner, and Sister Kathleen Tuite, O.P., vice president and dean of student life. Mr. Blattner spoke of his wife’s career as an educator prior to coming to Caldwell University, her roles as a devoted mother to their children and in nurturing and mentoring other young people, and her service to those in need, notably through her work with Birthright, a pregnancy resource center.

Sister Kathleen recounted how Dr. Blattner assumed the presidency in 2009 as Caldwell’s first lay president. From the beginning “she understood the role she came to embrace,” said Sister Kathleen. The “Dominican spirit and tradition are in stellar hands”. Those who benefit most from her commitment are Caldwell University students. “Her compassion, inquiry into their lives and genuine desire to see them succeed in their educational goals and give expression to the mission of Caldwell University is palpable,” said Sister.

Dr. Blattner’s accomplishments include leading in record breaking enrollment and repurposing space for improved facilities and dorms, achieving university status , overseeing the implementation of new academic programs and providing “clear strategic direction and planning” as guides “to ensuring a future full of hope,” said Sister.

In accepting the award Dr. Blattner said it was particularly meaningful to her since it recognizes those professionals who carry the Dominican values into their families and communities. She recounted growing up in Cape Girardeau with aging parents who “had no formal education beyond the eighth grade,” and gave her the “three great gifts…the desire for an education, an unparalleled work ethic and the lived example of Catholic values.” She expressed her gratitude to the Sisters, alumni, faculty, staff, students and members of the Caldwell community who have “opened both their homes and their lives” to embrace Tim and her.

To the students she had a special message. “You are the reason why I get up every morning and come to work with a hope-filled heart.”

“I truly believe that each one of you—because of your holistic education at Caldwell—will make a difference in our world –whether it be in your careers, in your communities or in your families,” she said.

The annual award recognizes alumni excellence in all professions. Although Dr. Blattner is not an alumna, the Veritas Award committee chose to grace her with this distinction because of her ongoing commitment to ensuring that the legacy of the Sisters of St. Dominic is sustained through the work of the university.

Awardees are chosen by an independent committee of alumni based on their fulfillment of criteria that reflect the mission of the Sisters of St. Dominic who founded the university.

Caldwell University Chorale, directed by Music Department Professor Laura Greenwald and accompanied by Warren Helms, sang “Inscription of Hope” by Z. Randall Stroope and “Dominican Magnificat” by Feargal King.

 

Library, Uncategorized

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Jennings Library!

A Decorated Christmas Tree in the Jennings Library

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Jennings Library! During the last month, the Library collected 150 books for the “Books for Kids” campaign sponsored by the NJLA Children’s Services Section. The books were distributed to four public libraries in New Jersey. Our “Food for Fines” drive also collected a large box of nonperishable food items for the Caldwell Food Pantry. Thanks to all of you for your generosity! The Library Staff wish you all a healthy, safe and festive holiday season.