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Commencement – September 20, 2020

September 20, 2020 Graduation Flyer

Commencement Schedule:

  • 10:00 AM – Master’s and Doctoral Students
  • 1:00 PM – Undergraduate Students
  • 4:00 PM – Undergraduate Students

Please visit us on September 20, 2020 to watch the live stream of the commencement ceremonies.

Dr. Blattner’s 2020 Commencment Address to the Master’s and Doctoral Graduates – September 20, 2020

Dr. Blattner’s 2020 Undergraduate Commencement Address for the 1PM Ceremony – September 20, 2020

Dr. Blattner’s 2020 Undergraduate Commencement Address for the 4PM Ceremony – September 20, 2020


Caldwell University is pleased to confirm the 78th Annual Commencement on Sunday, September 20, 2020. On this day, in accordance with the current state guidelines, Commencement will take place outdoors and follow event limits of 500 people. In order to do so, Caldwell University will host multiple ceremonies on campus to celebrate our graduates!

Eligible graduates include those who completed their degree requirements in December 2019 and May 2020, as well as candidates who will complete requirements in August 2020.

In order to comply with the state of New Jersey, each graduate will be allowed two guests. Graduates planning to attend Commencement on September 20 must confirm their participation by 5 p.m. on August 10* through the link provided via email and on the my Caldwell portal. The start time of each ceremony will be determined once the final count is received to ensure proper social distancing and capacity limits. Participants will be contacted no later than August 17, 2020 with their corresponding ceremony times.

If you plan to attend the ceremony and have not yet ordered academic regalia, please contact the Bookstore at 973-618-3262 by August 3* for next steps. Information on obtaining previously ordered regalia is included in the link sent to graduates; please complete by August 10*.

This event is rain or shine and subject to change based on the state of New Jersey guidance and/or executive orders or necessary pandemic response.

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Students Offer ‘Radical Hospitality’ on Spring Break Mission Trip

Caldwell University students and staff at Broad St. Ministries
Caldwell University students and staff cleaning up in Germantown with a group from Marymount University in Arlington, VA.
Student Volunteers Kevin and Lizzie with Retired Vincentian Priest
Caldwell University students and staff at Miraculous Medal Shrine

The Campus Ministry Office sponsored a spring break mission trip to the St. Vincent de Paul Young Adult Center in the Germantown section of Philadelphia March 10 to 15. The group learned about the spirituality of St. Vincent de Paul, who had a heart for working with the poor and connecting the wealthy with those in need. The program focused on service, reflection and education.

Among their activities, the students volunteered with community groups such as Broad Street Ministry, which offers “radical hospitality” to those in need; PAR-Recycle Works, which provides transitional employment for those who have been incarcerated, and Face to Face, a human services organization. They also worked at a children’s aftercare program and at the SHARE Food Program, cleaned up a neighborhood and visited retired Vincentian priests.

Jill Salerno, a junior majoring in psychology, said what made this volunteerism project special for students was being able to live in the neighborhood where they worked. “While any service is great, getting to stay in the city and see the community we were helping out really added so much impact to the experience.”

The students appreciated the people they met at the service sites. “Whether it was others running these nonprofit organizations, people experiencing homelessness or just people in the city, everyone was so inspiring and wonderful to talk to,” said Salerno.

Leanna Chen found that as a public health major the experience helped her gain a greater understanding of community needs so she can better serve people. Participating in a service trip immersion, she said, helps to break down social barriers that one may not be aware exist. “It helps to focus us upon our similarities and the “differences” can then disappear and melt into the background.”

The project was led by Director of Campus Ministry Colleen O’Brien. At the university’s Founders Day Mass and celebration March 22, she too reflected on the many people the students met and the gifts they received from those encounters.

“If I dig a little deeper into the reality of the lives of the people I met last week,” she said, “I’m reminded that life is hard and sometimes the exchange leaves us with feelings of sadness, challenge or even a call to our own growth. Our first morning of service was spent at Broad Street Ministries, a place of radical hospitality as they call it, where they serve anyone living with scarcity in their lives. Towards the end of the meal a woman came in to get some hot food with her son … after my initial thought of sadness I was moved to think more deeply about the challenge this mother may face every day … wondering where she is going to get her son his next meal, where they will lay their head at night, or how she will teach him to be a kindhearted and strong man when he grows up. And for this I cannot help but think about her strength … the strength that it takes to get out of bed in the morning, to put one foot in front of the other and step out into the unknown. Although our interaction was short and no words were exchanged, I believe I will carry her value of true strength with me as I move forward from last week.”

The experience inspired several of the students to want to do more to reach out to those in need. “Getting to serve and work with people of the community was such an amazing experience and just further ensured that I want to have a career involving service to others,” said Salerno.

Dana McStowe, campus ministry staff member, also attended. The other students who took part were Prabhat Gurung, Brooke McPherson, Natasha Fontenez, Kevin Munoz, Oluwatosin Adebiyi and Elizabeth Rebeiro.

Watch video on the Spring Break Mission trip to Philadelphia. 


Undergraduate English Major Comprehensive Portfolio Assessment

Most university departments or disciplines have a process for measuring students’ knowledge and skill at the end of their work toward the major. In the past, undergraduate students have been required to complete EN 410 English Seminar prior to preparing and writing a comprehensive essay to demonstrate their understanding and application of literary analysis to a variety of works. However, beginning in the Fall of 2019, our department will now require students to demonstrate what they have learned by selecting essays from previous English courses and, with the help of their professors, revising those essays to make them even better. This collection or portfolio of writings is then submitted for a comprehensive grade. Since this “comps” or capstone experience builds off students’ earlier work, English majors (and students considering a major in English) should save all their writing from each English course taken and would be well advised to keep the literary works they have written about. Students will be required to complete EN 410 Senior Portfolio Projectwhere they will have the opportunity to revise their essays in a workshop-style class setting prior to final professor review.

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Caldwell to name Newman Center Floor for Mark A. Corino

Flyer for ceremony honoring Mark Corino Saturday December 8, 2018.

CALDWELL, N.J.- Caldwell University will name the playing floor at the George R. Newman Center in honor of the assistant vice president/director of athletics and head men’s basketball coach, Mark A. Corino, who has led the men’s basketball program since its second season in 1988.

Mark A. Corino Court will be officially dedicated in a pre-game ceremony prior to Caldwell’s Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference game against Bloomfield College on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 3 p.m.

“Mark Corino is truly deserving of having the basketball court at Caldwell University named in his honor,” said Caldwell President Nancy Blattner, Ph.D. “It has been a pleasure to partner with Mark as he has worked diligently to create and maintain an expectation of excellence for our student-athletes, our teams and our coaching staff.”

Corino, a Belleville native, received a bachelor’s from Kean University and a master’s in education from Caldwell.  He has coached basketball for 35 years at the collegiate level, five years at Bloomfield and 30 seasons at Caldwell.

“I am deeply grateful and truly humbled to have the Newman Center basketball court dedicated in my name,” said Corino “I would like to thank  the three university presidents that I have served under; Sister Vivien Jennings, Sister Patrice Werner, and Dr. Blattner, and all of those involved in supporting this great honor. I am looking forward to sharing this day with family, friends, and all of my former players and former athletes, all whom have contributed to the program’s success over my 31 years at Caldwell.”

Corino has made a lasting impact on the university and the Athletics Department in his three decades at Caldwell. He was awarded the Caldwell Cup in 1999 and received the Caldwell President’s Award in 2006. Corino was selected as the NAIA Region X in 1992 and 2000, CACC Administrator of the Year in 2000, the ECAC Administrator of the Year in 2010 and the CACC Athletic Director of the Year in 2017-18. He is president of the CACC Director’s Council, having been re-elected in 2018 for a two-year term, a position he has held four times. Most recently, he was honored with the Garden State Award by the Collegiate Athletic Administrators of New Jersey.

“This is a fitting honor for Mark Corino to commemorate his dedication to not only Caldwell Athletics but to the entire Caldwell Community,” said CACC Commissioner Dan Mara.  “I have known Mark for over 20 years and he is certainly one of the most dedicated coaches and athletic administrators in the country. Mark has been a leader on the conference, regional, and national levels and has helped to shape the CACC into the model conference it is today. I sincerely hope the students of Caldwell University will continue to benefit from his efforts for many years.”

Corino spearheaded the growth of the Athletic Department from three programs in 1988 to what will be 16 programs by 2019-20 with the addition of men’s lacrosse. From 2011 through 2020, Caldwell will have added seven new sports under Corino’s leadership (women’s track and field, women’s lacrosse, men’s cross country, men’s track and field, women’s bowling, sprint football and men’s lacrosse). Originally a NAIA member school, Caldwell began the transition to NCAA Division II in 1998 and finished in 2002 under Corino’s guidance. Also in 2002, the George R. Newman Center, Caldwell’s state-of-the-art indoor athletics facility, was completed following years of planning and fundraising.

In 2010, Caldwell University, West Caldwell and Essex County came together to fund the renovation of the Kiwanis Oval, an artificial turf facility used by multiple municipalities and Caldwell University. Corino has contracted agreements to lease the Essex Valley Field to host the women’s lacrosse team home contests; he has directed an agreement to lease a space for locker rooms, trainer rooms and office and meeting space at Provost Square, adjacent to the Kiwanis Oval, for the baseball and sprint football teams.

Corino began his college coaching career as the men’s basketball coach at Bloomfield College where he posted a 95-48 record from 1982-1987. He moved to Caldwell in the summer of 1987 as the athletics director and took over coaching the men’s basketball program in its second season. Corino guided the Cougars to eight CACC Championships during his 30 seasons, five NAIA tournament appearances and one NCAA Division II Tournament in 2007. He was named the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association Coach of the Year in 1998. Corino was selected as the CACC Coach of the Year four times and was inducted into the Caldwell Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016.

“I’ve known Mark for over 30 years and have seen his growth as a coach and administrator at Caldwell,” said Bloomfield College Athletic Director Sheila Wooten. “I am extremely proud of him and his accomplishments. His success as a coach and athletics director has been tremendous and he is deserving of this prestigious honor to have the court dedicated in his name.”

Corino is among three college men’s basketball head coaches in New Jersey with over 500 wins and ranks second in the state with 563 wins (468 at Caldwell). Last season, he joined an elite club coaching in his 1,000th game as a college head coach. He is the second active coach in the Division II East Region to reach 1,000 games coached and is among 28 active coaches in all divisions of NCAA men’s basketball to have coached 1,000 games.

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Compassionate Community Service is a Theme of 10th Annual Caldwell Day

Caldwell University Students polishing and arranging the shoe during Community Service Day.
Caldwell University doing a video shoot Caldwell Service Day.
Caldwell University Students cleaning a front yard during Caldwell Service Day.
Caldwell Students preparing wonderful postcard for the sisters at Caldwell University during a Service day.
Group photo Caldwell University faculty and students outside the Caldwell Pollinator Garden during a service day.
Caldwell University faculty members and students group photo.
Caldwell University student Suman Thapa carrying pillow and sheets during Caldwell Service Day.
Shore Chapter Volunteers

Caldwell, N.J. – Oct. 1, 2018 – While volunteering at the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, student Sagar Basaula decided to take 10 minutes out to walk around and look closely at what the other Caldwell students and faculty and staff members were doing on the warehouse floor. “Everyone was packing boxes with love and compassion because they genuinely wanted to,” he said.  Basaula’s group put together 506 boxes for 506 families as part of the university’s annual day of service, Caldwell Day.

Basaula was one of approximately 230 members of the Caldwell campus community who took part in the 10th annual event on Sept. 28 for which classes are canceled and participants volunteer at nonprofit organizations in Essex County and elsewhere in the state.

Nancee Roth, coordinator of tutoring services, and student Emmanuel Steplight visited the homebound through St. Aloysius parish in Caldwell. Roth said the people they visited appreciated any communication; they were happy to have someone listen to them and to receive a compliment. The takeaway for Roth was that a smile or a positive comment can mean a great deal even in a simple encounter like meeting someone in the store. She appreciated volunteering with Steplight, who is blind. “The spirit she brings, the kindness she shows inspires me. She indicated that through this experience she wants to continue visiting the homebound,” said Roth.

Quinn DeLaRosa and Bianca Ho served at FilmAcademy360 in Livingston, which teaches high school and college age students on the autism spectrum skills in filmmaking, video editing, game creation, and graphic arts. The two assisted the academy staff in producing a video by handling production duties such as running the teleprompter, operating the camera and coaching the learners in on-air skills. For Ho, who is planning to work in the art therapy field, the most important aspect was how she quickly felt a part of the learners’ community. “They helped us easily know their world.” DeLaRosa was moved by how the learners were comfortable being themselves. “To see how cheerful these people are shows how much we overcomplicate things.”

David DiIanni, director of the academy, said having the Caldwell volunteers was very good for his students because they learn to engage with people from the community.  It is beneficial for the learners to work with peer mentors, he said, and it is helpful to the academy to make connections to build their program.

Cathy Lundquist, an adjunct faculty member in education, volunteered at Our Lady Help of Christians in East Orange and met Sister Pat Hogan, O.P., the principal— “an amazing woman. I was grateful and honored to have worked with her.”

Many of the Caldwell volunteers were inspired by the care and commitment they saw from those who run the nonprofits. Student Deanne Murray served at the historic Kingsland Manor in Nutley and was impressed with the passion of staff members, who “enjoyed restoring, inviting everyone in, and know the history.” Madison Perry worked with the Caldwell Environmental Center, moving mulch, pulling up weeds, and cleaning.  “I saw a lot of passion from those who work at the pollinator garden.” As a biology major, she was happy to experience a variety of bugs, plants, and species.

A group of alumni from the Shore Chapter, along with Sharon Dwyer from the university’s Development and Alumni Affairs Office, volunteered at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic School in Asbury Park, NJ doing art projects and helping out in the classrooms.

Colleen O’Brien, director of campus ministry, said the university engages in volunteerism as part of its Catholic Dominican mission of service. St. Dominic stressed “the importance of bringing light to a world in darkness,” she said, and the university encourages members of its community to do that in whatever way they are called whether in service or in other walks of life.

The other nonprofits they served were:

The Caldwell Fire Department

Jefferson Elementary School

Grover Cleveland Park Conservancy

Caldwell Public Library

Academy 360 Lower School

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Essex Fells, NJ

Volunteers also took part in campus cleanup and preparation for the Midnight Run in New York City. Caldwell University President Nancy Blattner began Caldwell Day her first year at Caldwell in 2009 as part of the mission of the Catholic Dominican university.  One of the four Dominican pillars is service.

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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.”

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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.


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.


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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.

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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.