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Christopher Lepore ’20 was interning in the treasury department at Newell Brands in Hoboken when his supervisor took him to meet the company’s chief financial officer who was the interim CEO. He credits the personable skills he learned at Caldwell University for that interaction. “When you bring that to the workforce people appreciate it. Not many adults have those skills,” says Lepore, who received his bachelor’s in communication and media studies on May 17. “You sort of have to be polite to go to Caldwell,” he says. The parents of prospective students to whom he gave tours were happy to hear that. “To succeed on Caldwell’s campus you need to be able to work with others and communicate your thoughts and actions while also understanding everyone’s perspective,” says Lepore, the third of three brothers to graduate from Caldwell.

His leadership skills have been noticed not only by faculty and staff but also by students. At honors convocation on May 7, he was awarded the senior class C-Pin, an award given to an individual in each class, nominated by his or her peers, who displays the qualities of an exemplary Caldwell University student.

When Lepore looks back at his four years at Caldwell, one of the high spots was his decision to minor in philosophy. It was his Intro to Philosophy course with Dr. Kyle Bennett during freshman year that motivated him to learn more about the discipline. Bennett was his mentor for independent studies, providing him and other students with the chance to meet professional philosophers at a conference at Bard College.  Lepore had a hunger to learn about the great thinkers and their mindsets during traumatic times in history. “My practices in my philosophy courses all have translated to my professional life whenever a task requires critical thinking and communication.”

Lepore appreciates the foundation he received in the Communication and Media Studies Department. “The entire department gave me the versatility to be able to write, perform, and produce as well as teach others the skills.” He particularly enjoyed Professor Bob Mann’s radio broadcasting and podcasting course.

He also earned a minor in business administration and interned as a news writer for the global technology company, Yardi Systems.  All three academic programs have equipped Lepore with a strong foundation for his immediate career goal, which is to run a social program for adults with special needs. He certainly has the experience. Since his freshman year of high school Lepore has been volunteering for HANDS of North Arlington, which meets weekly to provide free activities for adults with special needs. One night a week night during college, he drove to the nonprofit in North Arlington, taking five hours to do something that is in his heart and soul. “Volunteering with HANDS of North Arlington has been the most important aspect of my entire life. Every Tuesday, since I was 13, has been dedicated to charity, friendship, and love. ” He runs the organization’s finances and is an administrator and liaison for all of the high school volunteers. “I have made relationships with so many people and the group has shaped me into the person I am today.”

He is also grateful to the Caldwell University admissions staff members in particular Colleen DeTroia and Melissa Oszmianski. “Everyone in admissions, and specifically Colleen and Melissa, were the greatest support system I could have ever asked for, and I am so thankful to have them in my life.”

In this episode of the podcast, Caldwell University Conversations, Chris joins two other Class of 2020 grads to talk about what they have received from their Caldwell University educations, their advice for incoming students, and what they are learning through the pandemic.