Faculty, Staff — Update, In Memoriam, Welcome


New research from Christopher Stubbs, mechanical engineering/mechanical engineering technology (Metro), was featured on the cover of Science magazine. The article, titled “Biomimetic fracture model of lizard tail autotomy,” investigates the mechanism behind how lizards detach their tails on command. Stubbs did the study along with fellow researchers Navajit Baban, Ajymurat Orozaliev, Sebastian Kirchhof and Yong-Ak Song — all from New York University Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

Michael Avaltroni, University provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, was featured in a special edition of WFDU-FM’s “FDU Focus.” In a conversation with Kenny O’Boyle, WFDU general manager/program director (Metro), Avaltroni recalled his undergraduate days at FDU, his thoughts on what makes an FDU education special, his pride in developing and building the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and his goals and vision for the future of the University. In February, Avaltroni held several Provost Pop-Up events at the Metropolitan and Florham campuses to engage with and listen to members of the University community, hear their ideas and concerns and talk about the future of FDU.

Dale Caldwell, executive director, Rothman Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Flor), was a guest speaker at the Business Networking Luncheon hosted by the Burlington Mercer Chamber of Commerce on February 17 at Villa Mannino in Trenton, N.J.

Sam Michalowski, associate provost for institutional research/assessment (Metro), coauthored the book How to Builld a Strategic College Financial Planning Model, which was independently published on February 13.

Peter Woolley, political science and founding director, public/global affairs, has created a GoFundMe page (which has raised more than $14,000 to date) in support of Hashmat, a graduate student in the school’s MA in global affairs program. He had been joining the classes remotely from Afghanistan via Zoom. When the Taliban regained control of the city of Kabul on August 15, 2021, Hashmat knew he had to leave his country and begin his journey toward possible asylum in the United States. Hashmat had been working for the United States Institute of Peace regional and main offices on several of their projects, as a human-rights defender with several other organizations and as a lecturer at the Afghan National Defense University. He had also done many television and radio interviews, making him an even more prominent target of retaliation by the Taliban. With the help of former FDU trustee Michael Moss, BS’75 (Flor), Hashmat and his family were smuggled across the Pakistani border. They are now out of Afghanistan but the process to gain refugee status is long and difficult. To read more about Hashmat go to “FDU community helps one of its own.”

“The Forest,” a play by Lia Romeo, creative writing (Flor), will be staged at the New Jersey Repertory Company in Long Branch, N.J., from March 17 through April 10. Her previous works include “Sitting and Talking: A Play for Zoom,” “The Lucky Ones” and “Ghost Story.”

Joseph Strupp, Becton College (Metro), is an award-winning journalist and news reporter with the Asbury Park Press who has covered local news, politics, government, media and features. He is the author of A Long Walk Home: A Young Woman’s Unsolved Murder and Her Sister’s Lifelong Search for Answers, which was published by Amarna Books & Media in 2021.

Silberman College faculty and staff wrote articles on a variety of topics for the college’s blog. Among them were Pierre Balthazard, dean, “Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?” and “A funny thing happened on our way back to campus”; Scott Behson, management (Metro), “Employees aren’t just valuable assets; they are people”; Patrick Cozza, wealth management and executive-in-residence, wealth management (Flor), “Obtaining a Career in Wealth Management”; Wenyi Kuang, supply chain management (Metro), “What can I do with a degree in supply chain management?”; Paige Soltano, director of placement/outreach (Metro), “The Interview is Tomorrow!”; and Omer Topaloglu, marketing (Metro), “Post-Super Bowl LVI: Thoughts from a marketing professor.”

Eliot Schrefer, creative writing (Flor), is the author of Queer Ducks (and Other Animals): The Natural World of Animal Sexuality, an illustrated nonfiction book that explores the gamut of queer behaviors observed in animals. Queer Ducks is set to be published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, on May 24. The book is available for preorder now. Schrefer is a two-time winner of the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature.

In celebration of Women’s History Month, four female faculty and staff from the Florham and Metropolitan campuses served as panelists in a discussion titled “University Woman: Conversations About Life and Work” on March 29 on Zoom. The panelists were Luz Flores, program coordinator, Avanza and Puerta al Futuro, Becton Hispanic Center (Metro); Yasmin Freeman, associate director of enrollment services (Flor); Khyati Joshi, education (Metro); and Stacie Lents, theater and director, theater arts (Flor). The event was cosponsored by Maxwell Becton College of Arts and Sciences, FDU libraries and Delta Phi Epsilon sorority.

Articles by Kathleen Stein-Smith, languages (Metro), were recently published and/or posted in February and March: “Africa and the French language are growing together in global importance,” (theconversation.com and modernghana.com); “Multilingualism and Its Purposes — Interdisciplinary Applications in Language Education and Advocacy” (Journal of Languages for Specific Purposes); “Multilingualism, global competency and language learning for a better world: The role of independent scholars” (Ronin Institute blog). On March 18, she spoke about her book, The Gift of Languages: Paradigm Shift in US Foreign Language Education, via Zoom at an event hosted by the Franco-American Collection of the University of Southern Maine, Lewiston, Maine. Stein-Smith also did the following virtual presentations: “French Language Advocacy: The Power of Partnerships,” at the FLAME (Foreign Language Association of Maine) 2022 Conference; “Language Advocacy: Maximizing the Power of Proficiency,” at the CSCTFL (Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Language) 2022 conference; and “Mother Languages Are Spoken by 70 Million Americans at Home, but Only One in Five Students Can Access Language Learning in Our Schools,” at the CTAUN (Committee on Teaching About the United Nations) webinar. She also was featured in the article “Who Are the Francophones in the United States?” which talked about her book, French All Around Us: French Language and Francophone Culture in the United States.

Keith O’Connor, head men’s soccer coach, athletics (Flor), and Richard Palm, head swimming coach, athletics, and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) adviser (Flor), were among those who participated in Read Across America Day on March 2. O’Connor and the men’s soccer team read books to grades K–5 at Central Avenue Elementary School in Madison, N.J., while the SAAC virtually visited the Mountain Way School in Morris Plains, N.J. To read more go to SAAC & Men’s Soccer Participate in Read Across America Day.

Avimanyou Vatsa, computer science (Metro), announced that an interdisciplinary team of eight students — who were majoring in either computer science or business at the Metropolitan and Florham campuses — placed second in the Second Annual Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) Battle of the Brains national competition. The team won a $15,000 grant. The competition was held from March 8 to 12 in Austin, Texas. Vatsa served as the team’s lead faculty adviser and registered representative. Neelu Sinha, computer science (Flor), and Eun-Jeong Ko, entrepreneurship (Flor), also served as advisers. To read more go to “FDU places second in HSI Battle of the Brains.”

Harry Maisch IV, Becton College (Flor), coauthored the study titled “Revisiting body size trends and nursery areas of the Neogene megatooth shark, Otodus megalodon (Lamniformes: Otodontidae), reveals Bergmann’s rule possibly enhanced its gigantism in cooler waters,” which was published online in Historical Biology: An International Journal of Paleobiology in March. Articles about his study have been published in Forbes magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, Science Daily and on phys.org.

Daniel Cassino, government/politics and executive director, FDU Poll (Flor), wrote the article “Why are Republicans so focused on restricting trans lives? Thinking about gender identity pushes American men to identify as Republican, research finds,” for the March 21 issue of The Washington Post.

In the news …

Patrick Cozza, wealth management and executive-in-residence, wealth management (Flor), reviewed the Citi® Double Cash Card on WalletHub in February.

Chris Rasmussen, history and deputy chair, social sciences/history (Metro), was quoted in the February Newsweek article “Trump Walks Legal Tightrope as Investigations of Former President Intensify.”

Peter Woolley, political science and founding director, public/global affairs (Flor/Metro), was quoted in the February article “Is America ready for war? No — and neither was it in 1939,” on northjersey.com and in USA Today.

Donald Hoover, hotel/restaurant/tourism management and associate director of enrollment, International School of Hospitality, Sports, and Tourism Management (Metro), was quoted in the February article “Pennsylvania and Atlantic City Casinos Dealing With Staffing Shortages As Frustrated Workers Speak Out,” posted on playpennsylvania.com.

Michael Avaltroni, University provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, was mentioned in The Chronicle of Higher Education March article “Transitions: Fordham U. Names New President: Appointments, resignations, retirements, deaths.”

Greg Herenda, head men’s basketball coach, athletics (Metro), was quoted in the following March articles about Shaheen Holloway, head men’s basketball coach at Saint Peter’s University, Jersey City, N.J.: “‘Like the world is round. Sha is loyal.’ One story says it all about Shaheen Holloway,” on northjersey.com, and “Shaheen Holloway’s Saint Peter’s success story began as Seton Hall recruit,” in the New York Post. Herenda had recruited Holloway to Seton Hall’s basketball program in the mid-1990s.

In Memoriam

Michael Cervone, retired laborer, facilities (Metro), died on February 20 at the age of 65. He joined FDU in 1980 and retired in 2021. “During his years with FDU, he demonstrated his dedication by supporting daily operations as well as significant events without fanfare, but always with a sense of pride in getting the job done well,” said Richard Frick, vice president for facilities. Predeceased by his wife, Veronica, he is survived by children Kimberly Nunziato and her husband, David; son Michael Cervone and his wife, Angela; and brother, Joseph Cervone; and Kelly Goodwin and her family.

Jorge Huergo, public safety officer (Metro), died on March 20 at the age of 55. He joined FDU in 2015 after a career with the Bergen County (N.J.) Sheriff’s Department. “His FDU colleagues remember him as a dedicated officer who always had a pleasant attitude and was willing to assist and help any member of the campus community,” said David Miles, director, public safety (Metro). He is survived by his wife, Eli; daughters, Christina and Chelsea; and mother, Ofelia.


The University welcomes new full-time and part-time employees who joined FDU as of March 30, 2022.

Welcome to Michael Danenza, officer, public safety (Metro); Jennifer Herr, development associate, University advancement (Metro); Peter Mannarino, director, computing services (Metro); Nelsy Nunez, academic coordinator, Petrocelli Center for Continuing Studies (Metro); and Caitlin Stanford, assistant professor, occupational therapy (Flor).

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