Faculty, Staff — Update, Welcome


The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano, a novel by Donna Freitas, creative writing (Flor), was published in paperback by Penguin Books in April. Its hardcover edition was published by Pamela Dorman Books in 2021.

Hiran Roy, hotel/restaurant/tourism management (Van), organized a virtual speaker series that featured guests from the hospitality and tourism industry. Among the previous speakers and their topics were Alberto Amore, tourism/air travel management, Southampton Solent University, United Kingdom (“Approaches and Paradigms of Qualitative Research in Travel, Tourism and Hospitality”); Kunal Chakrabarti, director of operations, The Ritz-Carlton Hotels, Los Angeles, Calif. (“Leadership Style: What Is the Silver Bullet?”); and Hugues Seraphin, event/tourism management studies, University of Winchester, United Kingdom (“Children in Responsible and Sustainable Tourism”).

Nandita Ghosh, English (Flor), was recently awarded the Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society in support of her proposed research. She will be going to the British Library in June to do her research.

Michael Avaltroni, University provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, was presented with a Certificate of Commendation by the Bergen County Executive’s Office for FDU’s commitment to partnership and education of the people of Bergen County. To read more go to Avaltroni’s post on LinkedIn.

Khyati Joshi, education (Metro), is part of a group of scholars who had been awarded a $1 million grant by the Henry Luce Foundation to further the study of APA (Asian Pacific American) religious communities. The grant is part of a four-year program launched by the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion with the Asian Pacific American Religions Research Initiative. Joshi will serve as co-principal investigator. “Having made these topics the centerpiece of my scholarly work for decades, it is gratifying to see the public recognition that the Luce grant represents, and it is exciting to think about the remarkable potential it creates for APARRI to promote the research on Asian Pacific American religious communities and to foment collaboration across academic, ethnoreligious communities, K-12 educators, artists, and others,” said Khyati Joshi. For more information go to Asian Pacific American Religions Research Initiative.

Florham Campus faculty members who mentored honors program students during their senior thesis projects were Rudolph Agresta, Becton College; Joseph Agugliaro, biology; Kenneth Betz, economics; James Bulsiewicz, finance; Donald Buzinkai, accounting; William Cole, Becton College; Deirdre Collier, accounting; Ihab Darwish, computer science; Christine Foster, communication; David Grand, creative writing; Robert Houle, history; Luz Huertas, history/Latin American studies; Gwen Jones, management and chair, management/entrepreneurship; Howard Libov, film and chair, School of the Arts; Patricia Melloy, biology; Edith Myers-Arnold, biological/allied health sciences; Buvaneswari Narayanan, biology; Jordan Nowotny, criminology; Bruce Peabody, government/politics and director, Florham Institute for Lifelong Learning; James Salierno, biology and deputy chair, biological sciences; Gurjot Singh, computer science; Marnie Sperling, medical/surgical nursing; Anthony Tasso, psychology and deputy director, psychology/counseling; Kellie Taylo, Becton College; Sorin Tuluca, finance; Caitlin Werther, pediatric nursing; Randall Westbrook, education; and Wenshu Zhang, marketing.

Crystal Simmons, head cheerleading coach, athletics (Metro), announces that the FDU Knights cheer team will be a competitive cheer program by the fall 2022 semester. The team will compete nationally at the National Cheerleaders Association College Nationals in Daytona Beach, Fla., and will continue to lead the atmosphere at men’s and women’s basketball games at the Rothman Center.

Andrew Felsher, assistant editor of The Literary Review and alumnus, MFA’22 (Flor), cofounded 128 Lit, a new internationally focused annual print and online literary magazine based in New York City. Minna Zallman Proctor, creative writing and editor-in-chief, The Literary Review (Flor), serves as a consulting editor.

Faculty and staff read poems in their original language as part of “Words Without Borders: A Multilingual Poetry Reading” on April 14 via Zoom. They included Hilary Almeida, University Core (Metro); Zhanna Buzharsky, academic staff, Programs in Language, Culture and Professional Advancement (Metro); M. Kathryn Douglas, English and director of writing (Flor); Paul Dunphy, head reference librarian, Metropolitan Campus Library; Ana Fontoura, University librarian (Metro/Flor); Eleanor Friedl, research and instruction librarian, Monninger Center for Learning and Research (Flor); and Harald Parzer, biology (Flor).

James Gifford, English; director of University Core; and director of editorial committee, FDU Press (Van), has his next book, Of Sunken Islands and Pestilence: Restoring the Voice of Edward Taylor Fletcher to Nineteenth-Century Canadian Literature, which is in press with Athabasca University Press, Canada, is available for preorder. Several of his poems were also recently published: “Headwaters,” “Serpentine Ways” and “Mud Bay” appeared in a double-page spread in SAD Mag: Stories, Art, Design, with illustrations by Brent Haddow; and “Anderson Elv” appeared in North Dakota Quarterly. Gifford’s review of the “The Shape of Fantasy: Investigating the Structure of American Heroic Epic,” by Charul Palmer-Patel was published in the SFRA Review. In addition, he reviewed 12 books for the Poetry section of the “American Literature: The Twentieth Century” chapter of the 100th volume of The Year’s Work in English Studies. Gifford wrote a blog post, “The Queen’s Hotel as Hospitality’s Third Space: Lawrence Durrell’s ‘Black Book’ and Michael de Larrabeiti’s ‘Borribles’” for the Hotels and the Modern Subject: 1890–1940 project of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.

Metropolitan Campus faculty members who mentored honors program students during their senior thesis projects were Scott Behson, management; Wenyun Dai, computer science; James Dougherty, chemistry and chair, chemistry/biochemistry/physics; Douglas Evans, criminal justice; Erin Graulich, nursing; Mihaela Leonida, chemistry and preprofessional studies/graduate school adviser; Maurice Krochmal, Becton College; Joan Nixon, Becton College; Neena Philips, biological sciences; Carrie Shanafelt, literature; Joseph Stout, biological sciences; Gregory Tortoriello, psychology (mentored Florham student); Sungwon (Monica) Yim, program coordinator, MS in hospitality management studies (mentored Florham student); and Boas Yu, nursing.

Hong Zhao, electrical engineering (Metro), is a visiting professor on Griffiss Institute’s VICEROY (Virtual Institute for Cyber and Electromagnetic Spectrum Research and Employ) program. She works directly with engineers at the Griffiss Business Technology Park (GBTP), Rome, N.Y., as part of the fellowship program. FDU’s project was among those presented at the VICEROY program, and a poster of the project was displayed at the Innovare Advancement Center at the GBTP. Zhao also attended a Coffee & Concepts networking event held at GBTP.

After serving as the interim head football coach, athletics (Flor), for a little over two months, Anthony Van Curen has been named as the sixth football head coach in program history. Since joining FDU, he had served in numerous roles within the Devils’ football organization — video coordinator, defensive line coach, academic coordinator, recruiting coordinator, special teams assistant and defensive coordinator. “Over the past two months and throughout the interview process, Anthony’s commitment to excellence and transformative mindset was seen first hand,” said Jenn Noon, director of athletics (Flor). To read more go to “Anthony Van Curen Named Head Football Coach at FDU-Florham.”

Metropolitan Campus faculty members mentored students who presented their research at William Paterson University’s Research Symposium on April 2. Mentors and students included James Dougherty, chemistry and chair, chemistry/biochemistry/physics, and David Duarte (chemistry); Mihaela Leonida, chemistry and preprofessional studies/graduate school adviser (Metro), and Bisera Lozanovska (biochemistry), who won second place for her research on nanochemistry, and Zainab Mahmoud (chemistry); and Christian Traba, chemistry, and Marjan Darwish (biology), Adrienne Deremer (biochemistry), Belmin Kolenovic (biochemistry) and Camila Mafla-Gonzalez (biology).

Andrea Mosca, director, Academic Advisement Center and Enhanced Freshman Experience, and Nikki Santoro, advising counselor for undergraduate programs, Silberman College (both Metro), received the EOF Champion Award and were named Honorary Inductees during the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) 48th Annual EOF Awards Ceremony and Graduation Celebration on April 20 at the Park Ridge Marriott. The award is presented to a University educator who has provided exceptional service to the EOF Program and its students, while honorary membership is presented to individuals for their outstanding support to the EOF program. EOF Championship Award recipients are selected by the EOF staff and students.

Minna Zallman Proctor, creative writing and editor-in-chief, The Literary Review (Flor), will be the guest speaker at an Alumni Webinar on “Publishing 101,” which will be held on Wednesday, May 11, at 6:30 p.m. She will discuss the basics of publishing a book — whether it be through traditional or nontraditional avenues — and the different publishing paths aspiring writers may choose from.

Omer Topaloglu, marketing (Metro), wrote an article on “The power of a social media marketing education” for the Silberman College blog on Medium.com.

Florham Campus faculty and staff who were involved in the Career Closet project, which provides business attire to all students free of charge, are Ruth Hladyk, hotel/restaurant/tourism management; Pamela Messina, associate dean of students; Mary Sakin, executive director of placement/outreach/alumni relations, Silberman College; and Patricia Wyer, manager of placement/outreach, Silberman College. A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Florham Campus Career Closet was held on May 5. A reception and fashion show were also held with students modeling clothes donated by Dress for Success, the New Jersey Club Managers Associate and members of the campus community.

Athos Vardouniotis, Petrocelli Center (Metro), directed “Nevermore: A Dramatic Reading of Edgar Allan Poe’s Classic Stories,” the spring production of The University Players, a student theater group at the Metropolitan Campus.

Jamie Quinn, head baseball coach, athletics (Flor), announced that the Devils baseball team hosted its Inaugural First Responders Appreciation Day on April 14 at the Florham Campus. Prior to the team’s nonconference game against Manhattanville College, the Devils honored representatives from the Madison (N.J.) Police and Fire Department; the Florham Park (N.J.) Police and Fire Department; the Montgomery (N.J.) Police Department, Belle Mead, N.J.; and the Middlesex (N.J.) Police Department.’

Carrie Shanafelt, literature (Metro), coordinated FDU’s first-ever Lavender Graduation Address, which will be held virtually on Tuesday, May 17, at 7 p.m. (EDT). The event will honor the University’s LGBTQIA+ graduates. For more information about this and other upcoming celebrations on FDU’s campuses go to “Campus Celebrations.”

A review of French All Around Us: French Language and Francophone Culture in the United States, a book by Kathleen Stein-Smith, languages (Metro), was posted on newyorkinfrench.net in March. She presented on “Languages for Us All: Access, Affordability and Advocacy” at the Southern Conference on Language Teaching (SCOLT) Conference on April 1 in Norfolk, Va.

Kenneth O’Boyle, general manager/program director, WFDU (FM) (Metro), announced that WFDU-HD3, the student radio station, won the 2022 Golden Slipmat Award during this year’s Vinylthon. The award is given to a participating radio station that broadcasts at least 12 hours of only vinyl on April 23.

Jazz guitarist Abe Ovadia, Becton College (Flor), performed the first concert of the year at Searsmont Town Library’s Live OUTSIDE the Library on May 2. Described as a “jazz virtuouso, one of the most innovative guitarists of our time,” he received the Best Guitarist of 2016 Award from Hot House Jazz Magazine.

Jeff Brandes, head men’s/women’s tennis coach, athletics (Metro), earned NEC Coach of the Year after guiding the Knights men’s team to its second straight conference victory and the 14th in program history. He is on his seventh season as head coach. Members of the men’s and women’s teams also received a variety of honors. To read more go to “Mehdi Dhouib Named NEC Player of the Year, Jeff Brandes Named Coach of the Year; Justas Trainauskas Named NEC Rookie of the Year; Four Knights Tab All-NEC Honors” and “Six Women’s Tennis Players Earn All-NEC Recognition.”

In the news …

Bruce Peabody, government/politics and director, Florham Institute for Lifelong Learning (Flor), was quoted in the May Newsweek article “Could Roe v. Wade Leaker Change Supreme Court’s Historic Abortion Ruling?

Melissa Ingala, microbiology (Flor), was quoted in the March article “Lost Genes Explain Vampire Bats’ Diet of Blood: To survive on nutrient-poor blood, less can sometimes be more,” which appeared in Scientific American® and on TIMESNOW.

Peter Woolley, political science and founding director, public/global affairs, was quoted in the April article “Latest push to let NJ pump its own gas sputters to a stop (again),” posted on gothamist.com.

Micheline Nader, member, Board of Trustees, was quoted in the May Daily Record article “‘Career Closet’: FDU students help each other dress for success, for free.”

Patrick Cozza, wealth management and executive-in-residence, wealth management (Flor), was quoted in the WalletHub feature on the Best Car Insurance Companies of 2022.

Daniel Cassino, government/politics and executive director, FDU Poll (Flor), was quoted in the following articles: “Shift in early primary states could amplify ‘Jewish voice’ in electoral process: A proposal being reviewed by the DNC would hold the earlier presidential primaries in large, more diverse states rather than the traditional Iowa and New Hampshire” (Jewish Insider); and “Anti-trans bills could be one key Republicans use to rally their base ahead of midterms. Will it work?” (USA Today).

Mike LoPresti, head bowling coach, athletics (Metro), was quoted in the April article “A-L’s Spring rolls into the NCAA’s pin Final Four,” posted on oleantimesherald.com.

Domenick Celentano, entrepreneurship (Flor), was quoted in the April CNBC article “How to launch a start-up while you’re still in college.” The article highlighted the new Mansion Munchies, a student-run snack bar in Hennessy Hall on the Florham Campus.


The University welcomes new full-time and part-time employees who joined FDU as of May 4, 2022.

Welcome to Fatima Abboud, administrative assistant, psychology/counseling (Metro); Yasmin Acosta, assistant director, Educational Opportunity Fund (Flor); Heriberto Altieri, library receptionist/security, Metropolitan Campus Library; Meagan Bethavas, administrative assistant, New Jersey Small Business Development Center, Silberman College Dean’s Office (Flor); Kirsty Bocado, University admissions counselor, undergraduate admissions (Metro); Donovan Cossia, library receptionist/security, Metropolitan Campus Library; Edward Davies, assistant director of alumni affinity/athletics groups, University advancement (Metro); George Haramuniz, mathematics specialist, Academic Support Center (Metro); Karoll Madera, assistant director, financial aid (Metro); Ignazio Mitolo, officer, public safety (Flor); and Bernardino Yap, IT business relationship manager, information resources/technology (Metro).

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