Faculty, Staff — Update, In Memoriam, Welcome


The new academic year saw familiar faces in new positions: James Almeida, entrepreneurship and associate dean for graduate programs, Silberman College (Flor), has been named dean of Silberman College of Business; Patricia Keefe Durso, previously English and co-director of college writing (Metro), has been appointed associate provost for academic affairs; Jennifer (Lehr) Sipila, communication (Flor) and associate provost for academic affairs, has also been appointed executive director of the Petrocelli Center for Continuing Studies; Kristin Giotta, co-interim director of athletics and head women’s soccer coach (Flor), has been named director of athletics (Flor); and Bradford Hurlbut, director of athletics (Metro), has been promoted to senior associate vice president.

Scott Behson, management (Metro), won the award for Best Experiential Learning Exercise at the 60th Annual Eastern Academy of Management conference for his exercise titled “What’s in your invisible backpack? An exercise to help us better understand, empathize with and make recommendations for alleviating employee stressors.” He uses this exercise in his MGMT2600 Organizational Behavior and MGMT3700 Human Resources Management classes. Other faculty members who were at the EAM conference included Deneen Bennett, Silberman College (Metro/Flor); Gwen Jones, management and chair, management/entrepreneurship (Flor); Joel Harmon, management (Flor); Ian Mercer, management (Metro); Lari O’Donnell, Silberman College (Flor/Metro); and Susan Russo, Silberman College (Flor/Metro). To read more go to “Dr. Scott Behson’s Paper was Awarded Best Experiential Learning Exercise at the EAM Conference 2023.” Behson will be one of the speakers at the DisruptHR Northern New Jersey 1.0, which will be held in Lenfell Hall, Hennessy Hall, at the Florham Campus on Thursday, September 21. He will speak about “2018 vs. 2020: The battle for the soul of workplace 2023.” DisruptHR is an event series that is designed to energize, inform and empower people in the field of human resources.

Faculty and staff members will be presenting the Fall 2023 LEAD NOW Workshop Series for students at the Florham Campus. The presenters include Sarah Azavedo, assistant dean of students (Flor), “Let’s Get This Party Started!” on September 13; Ryan Stalgaitis, director of career development (Flor), “Myers Briggs” on September 20; Kara Alaimo, communication and deputy chair, communication (Metro), “Social Media,” on September 27; Eleanor Grayson, assistant director of residence life (Flor), “Team Building” on October 4: and Frank Fabiano, coordinator for student rights/responsibilities, student affairs (Flor), “Smart Goals” on October 11.

Benjamin Rifkin, interim University provost and senior vice president of academic affairs, announced the formation of the Student Academic Success Team within the Division of Academic Affairs. The team includes Ralph Selig, mathematics/computer science (Metro), as director, and Wladina Antoine Alexakos, mathematics (Flor), as associate director of the Foundational Math Program, led by; and Lynn Reid, rhetoric/composition (Flor), as director; and Ana Fontoura, University librarian (Metro), leading the Foundational Writing Program.

Chris Foye, head softball coach, athletics (Metro), became the program’s all-time winningest coach after the Knights defeated the Monmouth University Hawks, 2-0, in the opening game of a doubleheader in May. This was his 93rd win at FDU. To read more go to “Foye Tops All-Time Wins List as Knights Blank Monmouth, Split Twin Bill.”

René Steinke, creative writing (Flor), was chosen as the 2022–2023 Walton Visiting Writer in Fiction at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. She did a public reading of her work in May at the campus, which was followed by a Q&A and a book signing.

Lloyd Ultan, history (Metro), will lecture on “The Bronx, Historic Ethnic Diversity” on Sunday, October 15, at the Van Cortlandt Jewish Center in the Bronx, N.Y. He has held the title Bronx historian emeritus since stepping down as the borough historian in May after 26 years.

FDU Trustee S. “Skippy” Weinstein, BS’62 (Ruth), was recently honored with the 2023 New Jersey Legal Awards Lifetime Achievement Award. Honorees are selected by Law.com and New Jersey Law Journal editors and reporters. Weinstein is considered one of New Jersey’s most renowned personal injury and medical malpractice litigators. He has tried 13 murder trials to verdict, some of which set legal precedents. To read more go to “Stephen ‘Skippy’ Weinstein Honored with 2023 New Jersey Legal Awards ‘Lifetime Achievement Award.’”

In partnership with FellowshipLIFE, an organization committed to providing innovative services and industry-best practices for active older adults to enrich, transform and empower their lives, faculty members from the Maxwell Becton College of Arts and Sciences (all from the Florham Campus) will be lecturing on a variety of topics on select Wednesdays this fall. Among them are John Schiemann, government/politics, “Democratic Erosion,” on September 13; Gary Darden, history and chair, social sciences/history, “The Great Crash of 1929 and the Making of the New Deal,” on September 27; Madelyn Ferrans, law, “Supreme Court Review and Preview,” on October 11; Daniel Cassino, government/politics and executive director, FDU Poll, “The Supreme Court and Politics,” on October 25; Robert Houle, history, “Monuments and Patriotism,” on November 8; Gloria Pastorino, Italian/French, a film viewing/discussion “Getting Through the Golden Door: the Journey of Italians to America,” on November 15; and Cordelia Siporin, Becton College, a film viewing/discussion on “Understanding the Wizard of Oz,” on December 13. Bruce Peabody, government/politics and director, Florham Institute for Lifelong Learning (Flor), helped establish the FDU-FellowshipLIFE partnership.

Leap Beyond Success: How Leaders Evolve and The Dolphin’s Dance: Discover Your True Self Through a Powerful 5-step Journey into Conscious Awareness, books by FDU Trustee and 2023 Charter Day honoree Micheline Nader, serial health care entrepreneur, best-selling author and CEO, Jesra Foundation, will be added to the permanent library collection in Drumthwacket, the official residence of the New Jersey governor located in Princeton, N.J.

Vancouver Campus faculty and staff who received the Pillar Award as well as those celebrating milestone years of service, were recognized during the campus’s pre-commencement dinner in May. Estref Resuli, senior IT specialist, received this year’s Pillar Award. Also honored were 10-year awardees Constance Bygrave, administrative science; Ajay Garg, administrative science and associate director, Master of Administrative Science; Jill Reid, marketing and program director, BS in business administration; and Wilfred Zerbe, campus executive; and 15-year awardee Jobin Mojtabavi, director of student services.

Gloria Pastorino, Italian/French (Flor), will be teaching a mini course on “The Italian-American Experience” at the Florham Park (N.J.) Library. The five-week film and literature course, which starts on Wednesday, September 20, is organized and sponsored by the Friends of the Madison Public Library. Pastorino’s course will explore the issues of migration, race, lynching, tenement living, World War II, mafia and reverse stereotypes.

Uchenna Baker, vice president for student affairs and dean of students, was among this year’s YWCA Northern New Jersey’s 2023 Women to Watch. This recognition highlights inspiring female leaders who are making considerable contributions within their industries.

Bored in Arcane Cursive Under Lodgepole Bark, the latest book by Harvey Hix, Becton College (Flor), has received rave reviews. The poetry collection has been described by poet/author David Anthony Martin as “A collection not made to be read in one sitting … these poems are too complex to be considered dishes, these are meals, to be devoured, tasted, experienced, passed through, digested and absorbed. … The reader is reminded, encouraged, inspired along with Hix to honor what we once had and held, but which we ‘hold no longer, and will hold never again.’” The book was published in March by Middle Creek Publishing and Audio, Beulah, Colo.

Benjamin Rifkin, Russian and interim University provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, led an online discussion on “What Just Happened in Russia?” on June 29 as part of the Alumni Webinar Series. He spoke about the Wagner Group Rebellion, the historical background of insurrections and state-sponsored and state-affiliated violence in Russian-controlled territories, nature of propaganda from the state and from the Wagner Paramilitary organization, how Putin’s and Prigozhin’s standings were affected by events and what to look for in coming months and years.

Anita Rivers, executive director of community relations, Petrocelli Center, and Marion McClary, biology and chair, biological sciences (both Metro), serve on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Committee. The committee recently organized “I Have A Dream … Our Shared Destiny,” the 60th Anniversary Celebration of the March on Washington, which featured messages from elected officials and organizations in Bergen County, N.J., and musical performances.

Li Qin, management information systems and chair, marketing/information systems/decisions sciences (Metro), presented on “Celebrity or Influencer Endorsements of Sustainable Behaviors: The Roles of Consumers’ Power Distance Beliefs and Identification” at the 45th INFORMS Society for Marketing Science (ISMS) Marketing Science Conference in Miami, Fla., in June. The presentation is a result of the research done by Qin and Yoshiko DeMotta, marketing (Flor).

Carolynn Julien, University executive director, grants/sponsored projects, received the 2023 Mentoring Award from the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP). The award, which was first given in 2022, “recognizes an individual NORDP member’s unique ability to provide an engaging, supportive and inclusive environment for professional and/or personal growth through mentorship in the research development community.” According to Julien, “mentoring has always been near and dear to my heart. It was the focus of my dissertation, and I have mentored many individuals professionally, personally and in my community-service undertakings.” To read more go to “Carolynn Julien Presented with NORDP Mentor Award.”

William Klika, sport management and retired director of athletics (Flor), was inducted into the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2023. To read more go to “Bill Klika to be Inducted into the MAC Hall of Fame.”

Marion McClary, biological sciences and chair, biological sciences (Metro); Taylor Nolan, COMPASS director and practicum/internship coordinator (Flor); and Anita Rivers, executive director of community relations, Petrocelli Center (Metro), toured the Greens Do Good office in Hackensack, N.J., and met with staff for a possible partnership that may include student internships as well as information sessions on vertical farming and sustainability.

Edward Mendlowitz, Silberman College (Flor), discussed decluttering one’s financial life via Zoom during an online program sponsored by the East Brunswick (N.J.) Public Library.

Over the Influence: Why Social Media is Toxic for Women and Girls — And How We Can Take It Back, a book by Kara Alaimo, communication and deputy chair, communication (Metro), is available for preorder. It will be published by Alcove Press on March 5, 2024. She also wrote the following op-eds: “How a restaurant menu became a metaphor for how America fails its mothers,” “The problem with executives who golf,” “Goodreads controversy goes far beyond a bad review,” “When ‘free speech’ becomes a bully’s free pass” and “Putting AirTags on your kids could help their quality of life” and “Those perfectly coiffed kids you’re seeing on social media signal that we have a problem,” for cnn.com; and “Tim Scott’s Marital Status Is None of America’s Business” and “Elon Musk faced a test after Texas shooting. He failed,” for Bloomberg.

Chadwin Sandifer, executive associate dean, pharmacy/health sciences (Flor), was named among NJBIZ’s 2023 People to Watch in Health Care. “From designing new classrooms, laboratories and research facilities to cultivating relationships with pharmaceutical companies and health care providers as well as assembling a team to oversee admissions, financial aid, orientation, programming and student development, Sandifer has put his mark on the School of Pharmacy [and Health Sciences].” In June, he was also named as one of NJBIZ’s Healthcare Heroes in the “Educational Hero – Individual” category, an award he first won in 2020.

Linda Lee-Davies, international business/Core (Wrox), cowrote the book Sustainable Economics for the Anthropocene: The Economic Scale of Global Boundaries Model, with alumna Leanne Guarnieri, BS’21, MBA’22 (Flor). Published by Palgrave McMillan, the book will be out by November and is available for preorder from Amazon and other retailers.

Melissa Ingala, microbiology (Flor), was a guest speaker at the Sussex County Bird Club meeting, where she spoke about “Getting to Know New Jersey Bats.”

Christopher Stubbs, mechanical engineering/mechanical engineering technology (Metro), mentored students Steven Pini-Duin (now an alumnus, BSMET’23 [Metro]) and Samuel Shipley, who designed and built a device to collect solar, wind and hydroelectric power. To read more go to “A green device for a green world.”

Ryan Moore, Becton College (Flor), was one of the judges in the Montclair Film’s Second Annual Emerging Screenwriters Competition, which celebrates the work of screenwriters who are in the eighth through 12th grades. He is Montclair Film’s education program manager.

Martha Papson Garcia, director of veterans services (Metro/Flor), was among the speakers at the Our Community Salutes’ Seventh Annual High School Enlistee Recognition Ceremony held at the Florham Campus in May.

Paul Tonacci, Silberman College (Flor) and director of food/beverage, Aramark Dining, wrote the article “Mansion Munchies Continues to Make Its Mark at Florham Park” for the Silberman College blog. He teaches the entrepreneurship courses ENTR2710 Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and ENTR3102 Student Run Enterprise, which provide a hands-on blended classroom experience.

Khyati Joshi, multicultural education (Metro), will discuss “Hidden Voices Curriculum” at the inaugural Black Asian American Solidarity Professional Development Event on Wednesday, October 11, at Princeton University. She is one of the lead scholars of “Hidden Voices: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in United States History,” a project that was initiated to “help students learn about and honor the innumerable people, often ‘hidden’ from the traditional historical record, who have shaped and continue to shape our history and identity.”

Among the recipients of this year’s Maddy Awards, which is spearheaded by the Florham Campus Student Government Association, were Madelyn Ferrans, law (Flor), Faculty Member of the Year; and Sarah Azavedo, assistant dean of students (Flor), Staff Member of the Year.

Ian Mercer, management (Metro), has been using experiential learning through tabletop games and simulations as an important way to engage students in his Ethical Issues in Social Institutions classes. He is a big believer in “exposing students to experiences that allow them to become immersed in ethical dilemmas that they may well face when they exit academia and enter the organizational world.” Mercer is currently using “Regenerate,” a cooperative resource management game where players must navigate regenerative land stewardship, sustainable development and systems design thinking. To read more go to “Students Challenged in a Game of Ethics in ORGS1100 – Ethical Issues in Social Institutions with Dr. Ian Mercer.”

The Importance of Learning a Second Language: Essays on Re-envisioning Foreign Language Education, the latest book by Kathleen Stein-Smith, languages (Metro), was published by Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, N.Y. Among those who contributed to the book were Irene Oujo, executive director, Hispanic Center (Metro), coauthored a chapter, and William Kennedy, director of Web operations (Metro), provided the cover image. Two of Stein-Smith’s articles were also published: “French Surroundings,” in the July issue of Language Magazine; and “Francophone Culture in the US: Empathy, Empowerment and Advocacy,” in the May issue of The Cardinal, the newsletter of the Ohio Foreign Language Association. Stein-Smith did several presentations: “French Language Advocacy — Pathways and Opportunities for All,” and “French All Around Us” (Le français autour de nous) Book Panel Presentation at the American Association of Teachers of French in Trois-Rivières, Québec, Canada; and “Table Ronde: Le français autour de nous” at the Université d’été, Centre de la Francophonie des Amérique also in Québec.

A new book by Eliot Schrefer, creative writing (Flor), Charming Young Man, is available for preorder. It will be published by HarperCollins on October 10. In June, Schrefer and Nicole Melleby, MFA’16 (Flor), creative writing (Flor), participated in various book signings and panel discussions during the American Library Association Annual Conference and Exhibition held in June in Chicago, Ill. In May, Melleby spoke about her middle-grade series The House on Sunrise Lagoon at the Montclair (N.J.) Book Center.

Bradford Hurlbut, senior associate vice president/director of athletics (Metro), has been appointed to the NCAA Division I Council, which is responsible for the day-to-day decision making for Division I. The group consists of conference commissioners, athletic directors, athletic administrators, senior women administrators, faculty athletic representatives and student-athletes. He will be representing the Northeast Conference and FDU on the council. To read more go to “Hurlbut Named to NCAA Division I Council.” In addition, Hurlbut announced that athletics has embarked on a campaign to rename the Knights’ Student-Athlete Academic Services Center — located on the second floor of the Metropolitan Campus Library — to the Richard Panicucci Center for Student-Athlete Success. Panicucci, a longtime faculty member who died in 2021, also served as the department’s Faculty Athletics Representative. To make a gift or for information go to Panicucci Naming Gift or go to “FDU Launches Campaign to Name the Richard Panicucci Center for Student-Athlete Success.”

Sylvia Laudien-Meo, art history (Flor), led a virtual discussion on “Part Four: 1939 World’s Fair,” the finale of a series sponsored by the New York Adventure Club that explores the complexity and relevance of Works Progress Administration (WPA) murals throughout the United States. Between 1933 and 1939, the WPA helped put struggling American artists back to work through the creation of thousands of public art works, most notably murals, that celebrated the country’s history and achievement. Two of these murals are in Emerson (N.J.) Town Hall.

Joel Harmon, management (Flor), announces that students in his Global Capstone class achieved top rankings in the Business Strategy Game, a global marketplace simulation competition. An exercise in applied learning, the game was participated in by 757 teams from 66 colleges and universities worldwide. To read more go to “Dr. Joel Harmon’s MGMT700 Global Capstone Students achieved top rankings in the Business Strategy Game — Competing in a Global Marketplace simulation competition.”

Robert McGrath, psychology (Metro), is coauthor of the study on “A Classification System to Guide Treatment Needs for Juveniles Who Have Engaged in Abusive Sexual Behavior,” which has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed journal Criminal Justice and Behavior.

Minna Zallman Proctor, creative writing; director, MFA in creative writing; and editor-in-chief, The Literary Review (Flor), announced that 128 Lit won the 2023 Firecracker Award in Magazines/Best Debut. Based in New York City, 128 Lit is a print and online literature and art magazine that has an international focus. Alumnus Andrew Felsher, MFA’22 (Flor), is cofounder and editor, and Zallman Proctor serves as consulting editor.

Ira Jaskoll, Silberman College (Metro), wrote the June 8 article “Train with FDU’s Basketball Coach This Summer” for Jewish Link.

Joseph Strupp, Becton College (Flor), a reporter for the Asbury Park Press, wrote the following articles: “Without cap, school superintendent salaries soaring. See the 14 highest paid in NJ” and “Lakewood grade shake-up means new schools for some” (app.com).

Roger McMullen, Becton College (Metro), chaired the New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists (NYSCC) Acne Care Symposium Committee. The symposium was held in June at the Florham Campus. McMullen is a principal scientist at Ashland, Inc., in Bridgewater, N.J.

Sierra Slack has officially been named the head women’s lacrosse coach, athletics (Flor), after serving as the interim head coach last season. Slack joined the team in 2021 as an assistant coach. To read more go to “Slack Promoted to Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach.”

Bradford Hurlbut, senior associate vice president/director of athletics (Metro), announces the promotion of Jason Young, senior associate athletic director, external affairs to senior associate athletic director/chief operating officer, and Allison O’Gorman, assistant athletic trainer, to associate head athletic trainer.

Idra Novey, creative writing (Flor), is on tour for her newest book, Take What You Need, which was published in March by Viking. According to a review published in The New York Times, “The novel’s cleverness — its commitment to ambivalence and complexity and discomfort — is haunting, and, for a divided nation, it’s a salutary tale.”

Frederick Engram, Jr., higher education (Metro), wrote the article “Higher Ed, Performative DEI, Corporate America, and the ‘I Told You So!’” for Diverse Issues in Higher Education.

Elise Morton, biology (Flor), will speak about “The Response of Chimney Swifts to Artificial Light at Night” at the Sussex County Bird Club Meeting on Friday, September 15, at the Sparta Ambulance Squad Building in Sparta, N.J., and via Zoom.

Mihaela Leonida, chemistry and preprofessional studies/graduate school adviser (Metro), presented via Zoom on “Catalase Enhanced Using Two Green Processes” at the Catalysis, Chemical Engineering and Green Chemistry Conference held in Tokyo, Japan.

Evan Weisberg, student affairs counselor, pharmacy/health sciences (Flor), along with several physician assistant students manned the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences table at the Morris County Pride event on June 24 at the County College of Morris, Randolph, N.J. The team disseminated information about the school’s various programs and handed out pride flags, bubbles, stickers and other goodies.

Jamie Zibulsky, psychology and director, school psychology training programs (Metro), announces that Antonia Edelstein, one of the students in her Advanced PsyD program was recently featured in the “Early Career Spotlight” section of the National Association of School Psychologists Communiqué, the national practitioner periodical for school psychologists. According to Zibulsky, “Antonia mentioned our University and program and highlighted her interests in serving students and families in her local community.”

Cordelia Siporin, Becton College (Flor), was initiated as a member of the Montclair Rotary Club. She is also a member of the Friends of the Bellevue Avenue Library.

Lilla Vinci and Isabel Comp have joined the Office of the President as executive assistants to the president. Vinci will be based in the president’s office at the Florham Campus and joins the Office of the President after more than 10 years of experience at FDU in multiple roles, most recently supporting Senior Vice President Robert Pignatello, and previously as an academic adviser and administrative assistant in Educational Opportunity Fund on the Florham Campus. Comp has been serving in a temporary role at FDU since January 2023 and over the past six months has been learning FDU’s policies, procedures and culture. Her previous experience includes executive support and business management at Goya Foods. She will manage the president’s office on the Metropolitan Campus, serve as the main point of contact for Interim University Provost Benjamin Rifkin’s calendar as well as additional support for academic affairs projects, such as the faculty-review process.

Kristin Giotta, director of athletics (Flor), announces the promotion of Keith O’Connor, head men’s soccer coach to associate athletic director for compliance, and Jason Madsen, head women’s volleyball coach, to associate athletic director for facilities and operations. To read more go to “O’Connor and Madsen Elevated to Associate Athletic Director Positions.”

In the news …

Leonard Grob, emeritus, philosophy (Metro), was quoted in the article “Holocaust scholars explain why Trump has ramped up his Nazi-style rhetoric: ‘Words can kill’” posted on yahoo.com in August.

Peter Woolley, political science (Flor) and founding director, public/global affairs, was part of a panel of guests on WWOR’s New Jersey Now on July 2, which discussed the New Jersey state budget compromise. He also was quoted in the following articles: “Developer had ‘criminal’ influence over NJ’s fastest-growing town, report says,” on pix11.com; and “I Could Use a Little More Flagellation: Before Chris Christie became Donald Trump’s sharpest critic, he was an important early booster. Does he need to apologize for that?” on Politico.

President Michael Avaltroni was mentioned in the following articles: “Transitions: New Presidents Named at U. of Indianapolis and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College,” in The Chronicle of Higher Education; and “Berks Columbia Fla. Southern FDU Marietta NCCCS UArts UT Medical,” in News of World.

Janet Boyd, English (Metro) and interim dean, Becton College; Gary Radford, communication and chair, communication (Flor); and Kara Alaimo, communication and deputy chair, communication (Metro), were quoted in the July ROI-NJ article “No B.S.: FDU to offer comms degree with concentration in social media.” Alaimo was also quoted in the following articles about the University’s new social media concentration: “Want to be a social media whiz? Fairleigh Dickinson has a new program for you” on northjersey.com and Burlington County Times; and “NJ plan to study social media impact on teens too slow to address crisis, advocates say,” on northjersey.com.

Robert Pignatello, senior vice president for University operations, was quoted in the July northjersey.com article “NJ colleges got $400M more in state funding this week. Here’s where they plan to spend it.”

Patrick Cozza, wealth management and executive-in-residence, wealth management (Flor), was quoted in the following articles: “Umbrella Insurance,” on WalletHub; and “Think Like an Activist” (directorsandboards.com).

Jack Castleberry, head men’s basketball coach, athletics, and Bradford Hurlbut, senior associate vice president/director of athletics (both Metro), were both quoted in the article “From Uber driver to head coach: Virginia Beach native took ‘one of the most screwed up’ paths to lead Fairleigh Dickinson,” which was published in The Virginian-Pilot in June.

Kathleen Stein-Smith, languages (Metro), was quoted in the August article “Scholars See Dangerous Precedent in West Virginia U.’s Plan to Cut Foreign Languages,” in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Local author gives an insider’s view to the UN,” a July article posted on unionnewsdaily.com, featured Michael Curtin, Becton College (Metro).

Daniel Cassino, government/politics and executive director, FDU Poll, (Flor), was quoted in the following articles about FDU polls: “Poll: DeSantis Unpopular with Female GOP Voters vs. Trump” (Newsmax); “DeSantis falls far behind Trump in earning women’s support: Poll” (gazette.com, washingtonexaminer.com and 8kun.top); “As Baraka Mulls Bid for Governor, Poll Says Newarkers Feel Less Safe Than Before the Pandemic” and “FDU poll finds Christie doing well with GOP’s small cohort of anti-Trump voters” (New Jersey Globe); “FDU: Trump indictments matter, but only among Republicans who are paying attention” and “FDU Poll: Sexism Drives Support for Trump in GOP Primary” (Insider NJ); “New Jerseyans expect their politicians to be corrupt” and “Poll: Newarkers like their town but feel less safe than in the past” (nj.com); “Survey shows wind critics’ campaign has impact” (workboat.com); “FDU Poll: Jersey Residents Support Teaching Climate Change in Schools” (north-jerseynews.com); “FDU Poll Shows Newarkers Do Not Believe Police Can Solve Crimes: Study Reveals Views of Police Vary by Race and Geography”(tapinto.net); “Trump remains frontrunner despite indictments Christie among second tier, FDU poll shows” (northjersey.com); and “A Televised Trial in Georgia Could Damage Trump, Experts Say” (truthout.org and supernews.org). He also was quoted in the July 29 op-ed by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka “Newark mayor: Poll on residents’ feelings about safety ignores the facts” on nj.com. In addition, Cassino was quoted in the following articles: “The NJ governor’s office has been an all-white affair. Here’s how to break the trend” (courierpostonline.com); “Professor blasts politicians for pushing culture war in New Jersey” (academia.org); “Ten years of LSE USAPP — our experts reflect” (LSE Blogs); “Progressive Democrats criticize push to replace assemblyman on ballot with son” and “Retirement of health chief elicits dramatically different responses” (New Jersey Monitor); “Culture wars arrive in NJ ahead of fall elections, focusing on gender in education” (msn.com); “Steven Fulop wants to be the first Jewish governor of New Jersey” and “Progressive leader takes early lead in pivotal N.J. congressional primary” (Jewish Insider); “Trump’s Rivals Can’t Compete With His Version of Masculinity” (fivethirtyeight.com); and “Should 16-year-olds be allowed to vote? New measure gets growing support” (msn.com and pix11.com).

In Memoriam

Helen Brudner, emerita, history/political science (Metro), died on May 19. She started her career at FDU in 1963 as an assistant professor of social sciences at the Rutherford Campus. She later worked at the Metropolitan Campus as the associate director of the School of History, Political Science, Foreign Languages and International Studies. She received many honors during her time at FDU, including the Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching, the Distinguished Faculty Award for Service and her induction into Heritage Hall, which honors those who have had significantly impacted the lives of FDU students. She was a thesis adviser to uncountable students as well as a mentor to many faculty members who went on to positions including the president, provosts and department leaders. She was named professor emerita in 2015. She is survived by three children, Mae Brudner, Terry Brudner and J. Scott Brudner; their spouses; and two grandchildren.

John Guerriero, user support coordinator, management information systems (Metro), died on September 7 at the age of 59. He joined FDU in 2014 as user support coordinator. He is survived by his wife Maria; daughter, Giana; son, Richard and his partner, Sabrina Capazzi; parents in-law, Richard and Rosemarie Adamo; sisters-in law, Joanne (Brian) King, Rose (Jimmy) Scaccia and Gina (Gregg) Scaglione; nieces and nephews; and his French bulldog, Cody.

Amb. Ahmad Kamal, former honorary visiting professor and FDU trustee, died on May 25 at the age of 85. A former U.N. ambassador and permanent representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, he had a long and distinguished diplomatic career, held many elective posts at the United Nations and was a special adviser to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. In 2002, he began teaching at FDU and also helped lead the development of and was a lively and engaging host for FDU’s U.N. Pathways Lecture Series, which included on-campus forums and novel videoconferences streamed from U.N. Headquarters, an approach to educational outreach that was ahead of its time. He was appointed a member of FDU’s Board of Trustees in 2005 in recognition of the value of providing the University with an international perspective and served until 2012.

Mary Ellen Meyer, senior enrollment services clerk, enrollment management (Metro), died on July 4 at the age of 63. An FDU graduate (BA’91 [Metro]), she joined the University in 2003 as an enrollment services clerk/transcript coordinator and had also worked in the bursar’s office. She is survived by her partner, Mark Ortiz; her siblings Regina Gross, Karl Meyer, Gregory Meyer, Lisa Meyer, Patricia Harabedian and Kathryn Meyer and their spouses; nieces and nephews; and great-nieces and great-nephews. In lieu of flowers, donations in her name may be made to the Hackensack River Keeper.

Ellen Miller, associate director of enrollment services (Flor), died on July 15 at the age of 66. She joined FDU in 1999 as associate director of enrollment services for records. She graduated with a Master in Administrative Science from the Metropolitan Campus in 2002. A member of the Office of Enrollment Services for 25 years, she worked with many departments on campus and throughout the University. She received the FDU Pillar award in 2014 and a staff award from the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) for her services to the program and its students. She is survived by her sisters Wendy Miller and Pat Wiley; her brother Mark and his wife, Teresa; and her niece and nephew, Caroline and Matthew.

Fred Rodio, retired sergeant, public safety (Metro), died on May 27 at the age of 70. He joined the University in 1997 as a public safety officer. As an officer he did safety checks for all buildings and areas and worked closely with facilities. He was promoted to the rank of corporal in 2011 and to sergeant in 2013. He retired from FDU in 2019. He is survived by his wife, Kathy Murray Rodio; children, Dana Rodio, Lindsay Rodio Bethon and Fred Rodio; daughter-in-law, Melisa Camacho Rodio; son-in-law, Greg Bethon; and grandchildren Leonardo Argenti, Sonny Rodio, Rosalie Bethon, Gregory Bethon, Westley Rodio and Benny Rodio.

Albert Schielke, retired physics and associate dean, University College: Arts • Sciences • Professional Studies (now part of the Maxwell Becton College of Arts and Sciences), died on August 12 at the age of 79. At FDU he earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1965 and his master’s in physics in 1967. After graduating, he started teaching at FDU. Later he earned a PhD in physics. He remained at FDU for more than 55 years before retiring in 2013. In addition to his time teaching physics and astronomy from 1967 to 2011, he was associate dean of University College from 1977 to 2010 and then was associate vice president for academic affairs. He also served as executive associate dean for Edward Williams College and worked closely with Wroxton College in England. He stepped down from administration in 2010, but continued teaching. In 2003, he was honored with the Distinguished Faculty Award for Service. He also served as a member of the Council of Deans, the Campus Council and Campus Standards Committee, and served on several departmental advisory boards. In 2013 he received the Elia G. Stratis CASTLE Award, given to a graduate who has demonstrated a lifetime of outstanding loyalty and service to FDU. He was inducted into Heritage Hall in 2015. He is survived by his wife, Susan; daughter, Lara Coyle, and her husband, Greg; and granddaughters, Mackenzie and Chelsea. In lieu of flowers, donations in his name may be made to the American Lung Association.


The University welcomes new full-time and part-time employees who joined FDU as of August 14, 2023.

Welcome to Abiola Adeniyi, assistant professor, health human services (Van); Alyssa Alessandra, lecturer/field coordinator, public health (Flor); Nicole Alzate, intake coordinator, dean of students (Flor); Dayna Arcurio, instructor, Educational Opportunity Fund (Flor); Lauren Arredondo, clinical assistant professor/simulation learning coordinator, pharmacy (practice) (Flor); Farah Bakri, reading/writing specialist, Academic Support Center (Metro); Meghan Barone, assistant sports information director, athletics (Flor); Talin Batra, officer, public safety (Flor); Haylee Berry, University admissions counselor, undergraduate admissions (Flor); Christina Bottiglierie, clinical assistant professor, physician assistant studies (Flor); Andrea Brace, associate professor/program director, public health (Flor); Christina Broccoli, senior associate director of athletics for advancement, athletics (Metro); Joseph Cerciello, assistant director of veteran services (Metro); Matthew Chornyei, director of equipment services, athletics (Metro); Katherine Cintron, human resources information systems (HRIS)/payroll administrator, human resources (Metro); Kristin Cothran, director of Transforming College Campuses, psychology/counseling (Metro); Rosemary Curtin, assistant to director of advancement operations/systems, University advancement (Metro); Wenyun Dai, assistant professor, computer science (Metro); Michael Dell’Unto, assistant baseball coach, athletics (Flor); James Donohue, assistant baseball coach, athletics (Metro); Steven Dranoff, director, Center for Empathy Research and Training, psychology/counseling (Metro); Frank Fabiano, coordinator for student rights/responsibilities, student affairs (Flor); Jamie Farley, clinical assistant professor, physician assistant studies (Flor); Luz Flores, associate director for recruitment/community, Hispanic Center (Metro); Letitia Fox, administrative assistant, physician assistant studies (Flor); Stephanie Gaitley, head women’s basketball coach, athletics (Metro); and Saige-Lyn Gidzinski, assistant women’s lacrosse coach, athletics (Metro).

Also Bryan Gunn, officer, public safety (Flor); Keith Hack, head men’s basketball coach, athletics (Flor); Joshua Hayes, assistant men’s basketball coach, athletics (Metro); Tara Jenner-Donaldson, clinical director, physician assistant studies (Flor); Yanderi Jimenez, assistant athletic trainer, athletics (Flor); Jonathan Jones, administrative assistant, psychology/counseling (Metro); Arjun Kalra, assistant professor, pharmacy (sciences) (Flor); Thomas Kiely, assistant men’s basketball coach, athletics (Metro); Cintia Kussuda, admissions officer (Van); Michael MacLeod, associate provost (Van); Ellen Mandel, professor/program director, physician assistant studies (Flor); Agnieszka Markiewicz, assistant dean for curricular initiatives/assessment, Becton College (Metro); Kerry Martinez, head women’s bowling coach, athletics (Metro); Nathalie Martinez, assistant director/counselor/recruitment coordinator, Educational Opportunity Fund (Metro); Natalie McAlister, assistant men’s/women’s cross-country/track and field coach, athletics (Metro); Robert Mezzano, administrative assistant, psychology/counseling (Metro); Drew Minardi, clinical assistant professor/director of allied health/health studies, nursing/allied health (Metro); Gennaro Mirabella, assistant baseball coach, athletics (Flor); Yaser Nozari, tutor, Writing Center (Van); Evelyn Paredes, assessment coordinator, education (Metro); Courtney Patel, academic coordinator for high-school programs, Petrocelli Center (Metro); Eugenio Pereira, officer, public safety (Flor); Edwin Perez, officer, public safety (Flor); Vidya Pingale, associate professor/program director, occupational therapy (Flor); and Evan Plaza, University admissions counselor, undergraduate admissions (Flor).

Also Dania Rehman, clinical assistant professor, pharmacy (practice) (Flor); Caitlin Reilly, campus life coordinator for first-year experience/special projects, dean of students (Flor); Michelle Reslier, clinical assistant professor, physician assistant studies (Flor); Isabel Rivera, secretary, residence life (Flor); Tyler Rozier, assistant women’s basketball coach, athletics (Metro); Lauren Sachs, advising counselor for graduate programs, Silberman College (Metro); Jessica Simmonds, associate women’s basketball coach, athletics (Metro); Eric Sinoway, director of program marketing/recruitment, Silberman College (Metro); Melissa Slavin, assistant professor, forensic psychology (Metro); Christina Sobczak, administrative assistant, social sciences/history (Flor); Madison Stanley, assistant women’s basketball coach, athletics (Metro); Nadia-Marie Sta. Romana, institutional research analyst, institutional research/assessment (Metro); Arismeldy Tavarez, officer, public safety (Flor); Jeremy Thompson, assistant women’s basketball coach, athletics (Metro); Garrett Timko, head strength/conditioning coach, athletics (Flor); Rachel Valatkavage, financial aid coordinator 1, financial aid (Flor); Paul Vecchio, director of advancement communications/marketing, University advancement (Metro); Michael Walkey, senior director, strategic enrollment management, student services (Van); Briana Walters, advising counselor for undergraduate programs, business students academic support (Metro); Hong Wang, international data coordinator, international/graduate admissions (Metro); Kira Welenc, honors coordinator, University Honors Program (Flor); Viosava Xhaka, receptionist/data entry clerk, undergraduate admissions (Metro); Kiu Pik Cleo Yau, admissions officer (Van); Michael Zaki, assistant professor, pharmacy (practice) (Flor); and Kristine Zeniak, administrator/coordinator for clinical affairs/community outreach, nursing/allied health (Flor).

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