Faculty, Staff — Update, In Memoriam, Welcome


Edward Silver joined FDU in December as the University’s new general counsel, chief compliance officer and secretary of the board. Previously associate general counsel at Columbia University, he designed and implemented the infrastructure for the university’s global programs; negotiated information technology agreements to assist key university functions; supported the launch of new research and academic programs in the United States and overseas; and developed and delivered compliance programs, resources and training to meet critical regulations.

James Gifford, English, director of University Core and director of editorial committee, FDU Press (Van), and Orion Ussner Kidder, English (Van), coedited a special featured titled “Hobgoblins of Fantasy: American Fantasy Fiction in Theory,” which was published in the Autumn 2019 issue of The New Americanist. The issue features works from seven contributors from North America, Europe, India and Australia. Gifford also wrote a review — “Photon Touch: poems, by Michelle Elrick,” in Prairie Fire: A Canadian Magazine of New Writing. His poem “Nicomekl Ways” was published in Abridged (Befast) in November. Gifford’s most recent monograph, A Modernist Fantasy: Anarchism, Modernism, and the Radical Fantastic, was released for Kindle on November 5. In October, he presented on “Low-fi Theory and the Archive” for the Modernist Studies Association hosted in Toronto by the University of Toronto and Ryerson University. He also coauthored two papers given at the Pathways to Well-being, Growth and Sustainability conference hosted by the Private Degree Granting Institutions Association in Vancouver: “Open Education Resources in British Columbia: The Modernist Versions Project & Undergraduate Digital Humanities Scholarship” was presented by Adam Rudder, English and University Core (Van), and Carellin Brooks, adjunct faculty member (Van); and “University Core: A Global, Diversified, Experiential Curriculum for all Undergraduate Students Across Four Campuses,” presented by Beth Stewart, English and University Core (Van). Gifford also spoke at the 30th Anniversary Retrospective at the Joint Annual Meeting of the British Columbia Council of Admission and Transfer.

Greg Herenda, head men’s basketball coach, athletics (Metro), was the first guest on the all-new “New Jersey Sports Rush” program hosted by Nick Meidanis, News 12 sports anchor. The show premiered on January 13 on News 12.

Jaclyn Palummo Harth, pharmacy practice, pharmacy/health sciences (Flor), presented on “Hyperkalemia: Navigating Inpatient Care and Preventing Recurrence” at the 54th American Society of Health-system Pharmacists 2019 Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exhibition held in Las Vegas, Nev., in December.

Robert McGrath, psychology and director, psychology (Metro), cowrote the article “Speaking of Character: Character Strength References in Movies and Presidential Nomination Speeches,” which was published online in The Journal of Positive Psychology in November 2019. McGrath and William Lamson, psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medicine, N.Y.C., looked at the use of language suggestive of character in presidential candidate nomination speeches since 1864 and in recent successful movies. To read more go to “Hope and Authenticity in Presidential Nominating Speeches Predict Election Outcomes.”

Khyati Joshi, education (Metro), is the author of White Christian Privilege: The Illusion of Religious Equality in America, which will be published in July 2020 by NYU Press.

Jimmy Robertson, has been appointed as the new Devils head football coach — the fifth head coach in the program’s 45-year history — effective February 15. Appointed as the interim head football coach on November 20, 2019, he had previously served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach and led all aspects of recruiting for the program for five seasons. “After the completion of a National Search, it was evident that the best fit for the position was right in front of us,” said Jenn Noon, director of athletics (Flor). To read more about Robertson go to “Jimmy Robertson Tabbed to Lead Devils Football.”

This spring, Metropolitan Campus staff members are leading Personal Development Workshops on a variety of topics such as positive psychology, nutrition and fitness, the power of forgiveness and mindfulness and self-care. They include Kathleen Azzaro, psychological counselor/substance abuse educator, student counseling and psychological services (S-CAPS); Scott Fisher, director, Fitness Center; Charles Imbimbo, psychological counselor, S-CAPS; William Maurice, psychological counselor, S-CAPS; David Mednick, codirector of counseling, S-CAPS; Alice Mills, codirector of counseling, S-CAPS; and Jim Om, Protestant chaplain and director, campus ministry.

Daniel Cassino, political science and director of experimental research, FDU Poll (Flor), spoke about “Can We Trust the Polls?” at the Old Guard of Summit New Jersey’s meeting on January 14. He explained how modern polling works and how it failed in the 2016 presidential election and whether it can be used to make predictions about this year’s presidential election.

Jonathan Schiff, accounting (Metro), wrote a section on “Vertical Realities,” or silos, for the article “Dispatches from CFO Live,” which was published in the December 2019 issue of CFO magazine.

Silberman College staff members Mary Sakin, executive director of alumni and external relations, and Patricia Wyer, coordinator of placement and outreach (both Flor), were part of a panel discussion on “Entrepreneur Cohort: Best Practices for Employing an Intern” held by the Co-Co in Summit, N.J., on February 13. They were joined by Sarah Hof, BS’19 (Flor), and an FDU MBA student; and Wendy Schudt, life/career coach and former corporate executive.

Joseph Kiernan, executive emeritus, retired Metropolitan Campus provost and economics/finance (Metro), was among those inducted to the Division I Hall of Fame on January 31, where he delivered a speech. Among his significant contributions to athletics were the addition of the softball, women’s bowling, women’s soccer and women’s golf programs; improvement of facilities, including upgrades to the Rothman Center; the construction of the FDU softball facility; and the installation of an all-weather turf playing surface for baseball and soccer. He also served two times as the cochair of the NCAA certification process.

Two fashion photographs by Scott Barnes, University College (Metro), were on display on a digital screen/billboard in Times Square in celebration of New York Fashion Week.

Kyle Kattelman, political science (Metro), will speak about “The Paradox of the Presidency” at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, February 28, at the Teaneck (N.J.) Library. The event is being presented by the Network for Responsible Public Policy and is free and open to the public.

Sarah Azavedo, director of student life (Flor), conducted several LEAD NOW workshops on leadership styles, team evolution, financials and running effective meetings for Florham Campus students. Students who attend all five workshops will receive a certificate of completion.

Kathleen Stein-Smith, associate University librarian and director of public services, Giovatto Library (Metro), was featured on episode 7 (season 2) of the Making Global Learning Universal podcast of Florida International University, where she talked about language learning and global citizenship. She presented on “Foreign Language Advocacy and the Opportunity to Learn Another Language” at the 2020 Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (NECTFL) on February 14 in New York City. To read more about her NECTFL experience go to Kathy Presenting on Foreign Language Advocacy and the Opportunity to Learn Another Language. In January, she presented on “New Structures for a Changed World: The Second Decade,” in a panel discussion on languages and the interdisciplinary department at the Modern Language Association (MLA) 2020 convention in Seattle, Wash. Stein-Smith wrote an article on “7 Reasons to Learn a Foreign Language,” which was published in The Conversation and posted on SFGate in December. She presented on “Building Language Skills Through Immersion” at the 2019 American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) in Washington, D.C., in November. She also attended a sessions on instructional practices in DLI (Dual Language Immersion) classrooms, les cultures francophones, business French as a career asset for students, developing a legislative impact plan, the importance of feedback in the foreign-language classroom and on dual language and academic outcomes. Stein-Smith was featured in the Alumni Spotlight section of Union Institute & University, where she earned her doctoral degree in interdisciplinary studies in 2011.

A Hot Topics panel discussion on “Students on the Spectrum: Realities and Misconceptions” was held at the Florham Campus on February 24. Danielle DeNigris, psychology, and Madonna Saganda, director of COMPASS program (both Flor), were among the panelists. Anthony Tasso, psychology and chair, psychology/counseling (Flor), served as moderator.

The University Players, the student theater group at the Metropolitan Campus, is staging the comedy “The Servant of Two Masters” in April. Athos Vardouniotis, communication/theater/speech/marketing, Petrocelli College (Metro), will be directing the play, and Thomas Swanzey, English, Petrocelli College (Metro), is part of the cast.

In the News …

Jessica O’Brien, associate dean of students for student union and campus engagement (Metro), was interviewed about Greek life by Ernie Anastos on Fox 5 News at 6 on December 19, 2019.

Daniel Cassino, political science and director of experimental research, FDU Poll (Flor), was interviewed in “Iran Vows Revenge for Death of Soleimani,” on Toronto.CTVNews.ca about the U.S. drone strike on Iran’s top general. In addition, he was quoted in the articles “Why People Keep Asking Elizabeth Warren Whether She Can Win: And What Does She Say About Voters?” posted on fivethirtyeight.com in January, and “FDU Study Finds ‘Sexism Isn’t Dead’ — Which Remains Problematic for Businesses, Workers,” posted on ROI in December.

James Rana, BA’98, University College (Metro), was quoted in the December Daily Gazette article “‘The Band’s Visit’ Bringing Universal Story to Proctors.” In his interview, he talked about studying at FDU and how he worked at WFDU-FM playing music and hosting programs.

Krista Jenkins, political science and executive director, FDU Poll (Flor), was quoted in the following articles: “Are NJ Residents Sexist? Mostly Not, But Depends on Politics” (New Jersey 101.5); “Cory Booker for VP? He’s on Everybody’s Short List, Dem Consultant Says” and “Jersey Dems Love Bernie and Bloomberg to Beat Trump. That’s What New Polls Says” (nj.com); and “Impeachment Trial vs. the Campaign Trail” (U.S. News).

Khyati Joshi, education (Metro), was interviewed for the January article “2020s in Religion: White Majorities React as Minorities Take Greater Role,” which appeared in Religious News Service, The Voice, The Oakland Press and The News Herald. She also was quoted in the January article “Governor Murphy Signs Tuition Equality Legislation for Children of H-1B Visa Holders,” which was published in InsiderNJ, Outlook India and The News Scroll.

On December 18, Kathleen Stein-Smith, associate University librarian and director of public services, Giovatto Library (Metro), did a radio interview on “The Attitude with Arnie Arnesen,” where she discussed why people should learn foreign languages.

In Memoriam

Ronald Heim, retired marketing (Flor), died on January 24 at the age of 82. He joined FDU in January 1981 as an adjunct faculty member in marketing at the Florham Campus and became a full-time faculty member (assistant professor) in December 1981. He was promoted to associate professor in 1985 and was named assistant dean of the Silberman College of Business in 1997. In 2003, he served as interim executive director of the Institute for Global Business Education. Honored for 35 years of service during the Faculty and Staff Recognition Luncheon in 2016, he retired from FDU in 2017. He is survived by his wife, Barbara; children, Douglas and his wife, Janine; Laurie and her husband, Scott; and grandchildren George, Julia, Brian, Katherine and Luke. Memorial donations may be made to the American Heart Association or to the Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute in Morristown, N.J.

Jane Russell, retired development operations specialist, University advancement (Metro), died on February 4 at the age of 71. She joined FDU in 1981 as a clerk/typist in the library at the Rutherford Campus, and became a U.S. documents assistant in 1986. In 1995, she moved to the Metropolitan Campus where she worked part-time as a development operations specialist in University advancement — first as a temp in 1995 and then as a regular staff member from 1997 until her retirement in 2013. She is survived by her husband, John; sons, Jason and Michael, BS’98 (Flor), MA’03 (Metro); sisters Evelyn Walker and Marilyn Adamczyk, BS’04 (Metro), retired director of development operations and systems, University advancement (Metro); and grandchildren, Emily, Thomas and Lachlan. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.


The University welcomes new full-time and part-time employees who joined FDU as of February 20, 2020.

Welcome to Angelina Camacho, officer, public safety (Flor); Karina Pedraza, University admissions counselor, undergraduate admissions (Flor); Anh Phan, enrollment services clerk, student services (Van); and Mark Robertson, coordinator of student outreach/career development, computer sciences/engineering (Metro).

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