Messages from the President

2020 Newsletter Editions

Master’s in Nursing Online Program Ranked One of the Best

Felician University’s online Masters in Nursing program continues to be one of the best available in New Jersey.

U.S News & World Report ranked Felician’s program second among schools in New Jersey, and the program tied at #113 out of programs ranked nationally.

The rankings evaluate excellence in distance education based on five categories: engagement, faculty credentials and training, expert opinion, services and technologies, and student excellence.
Dr. Christine Mihal Dean of Felician’s School of Nursing stated that “it is certainly gratifying to be nationally recognized as it reinforces the excellence of our program. All of the credit goes to the Associate Deans and Faculty who work tirelessly to support students in their academic journey and ensure our program offers a high- quality curriculum.”

Felician’s online Master’s in Nursing program features tracks in primary care family nurse practitioner, primary care adult gerontology nurse practitioner, and nursing administration.

Felician Honors Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson

“You have it within you to do far more than you realize, and you are much smarter than you know.”

That was the message to students from former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson as he accepted Felician University’s 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award at a ceremony Tuesday, January 28 on Felician’s Rutherford Campus.

The MLK Jr. Legacy Award was established by Felician University to honor Dr. King by recognizing individuals whose work reflects the mission of the life of Dr. King, and the Franciscan Values which guide the University.

Johnson says he tried to follow the same values while he was in office, “Often in Washington, when we create and implement policy, we often lose touch with the impact that our policies may have on real human lives. For example, one of my responsibilities was enforcing our immigration laws but I never did so without understanding the impact it would have on real people,” Johnson told those gathered for the ceremony.

While on Campus Johnson also met with a handful of Felician students. Secretary Johnson spoke candidly about being a “D” and “C” student and flunking high school math. A late bloomer, Johnson’s grades improved when he attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, the same college attended by Martin Luther King Jr. It was at Morehouse that Johnson studied with Dr. King’s son, became a straight “A” student, and eventually went on to graduate from Columbia Law School.

President Dr. Anne Prisco said, “Once the Secretary actually had a sense of our students and who was in the room you could feel the connection and the energy and he spoke to us from the heart about what the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr really meant to him personally and in his own development, and he was willing to share his own imperfections which I think is always such an important message.”

Johnson referred to Dr. King as a, “Man of God, and a man of Christian faith who believed in the selflessness of service.”

Chris Swenson, the Chairman of Felician University’s Board of Trustees read a letter from US Senator Corey Booker, the first recipient of Felician’s MLK Award which praised Johnson for his lifelong commitment to peace and justice.

You can hear Felician’s entire MLK Legacy Award Ceremony every Sunday in Black History Month (Feb), at 1pm on Radio Felician University. Here is the link to the live stream of Radio Felician.

Photo ID: From left to right: Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton, Felician University President Dr. Anne Prisco, District 34 Assemblyman Thomas Giblin, Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, Chairman of Felician University’s Board of Trustees Chris Swenson.

Record NSF Grant Awarded to Felician

Felician University has been awarded a $638,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

The Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) grant is the largest academic grant ever received by Felician and will be used to fund the Science and Information Technology Scholars or SAINTS program: Recruiting, Retaining, and Graduating Biology, Computer Science, and Cybersecurity Students to Meet Workforce Needs Project.

The grant is expected to bring many benefits to students according to Dr. George Abaunza, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, who says “Felician is especially proud about, and grateful for, this award because based on the criteria for the grant, sixty-percent of the funding has to be put directly to use in scholarships for qualified students.” Dr. Abaunza adds that the grant team is confident that “this relief of financial burden, along with access to specialized programs designed to boost the academic and social aspects of the learning experience, will ensure the success of the SAINTS program.”

Felician University, a Hispanic and Minority Serving Institution, was awarded the five-year NSF grant that will deliver the SAINTS Program to assist Felician students studying in the STEM disciplines, the majority of whom are underrepresented in STEM fields. Biology Professor and Associate Dean of Natural Sciences Dr. Patrick Weir, who is the Principal Investigator for the grant, says “This grant, the product of a superb team, is an exciting opportunity for Felician University and our biology, computer science, and cybersecurity majors. Many of these students might not otherwise have the chance to develop their talents without this funding. We look forward to working with these students in helping them earn their degrees and become members of the next generation in the STEM fields.”

The SAINTS program has three primary objectives. First, to recruit and enroll 16 students (“Scholars”) majoring in biology, computer science and/or cybersecurity. Second, to retain and graduate at least 81% of Scholars. And third, to prepare and enable at least 81% of Scholars to enter the STEM workforce or STEM graduate programs within six months of their graduation. The project will also investigate the effectiveness of the Integrative Academic Advising (IAA) model, pioneered at Felician by Dr. Dolores Henchy, in increasing student retention and completion, generating new knowledge to benefit small Hispanic- and Minority-serving institutions. Information and results will be broadly disseminated to expand the current research based on best practices in building student-faculty relationships to increase retention, persistence, student success, and placement into STEM careers or STEM graduate programs.

Dr. Charity Dacey, Assistant Professor and Associate Dean of Education at Felician, who also working on this grant says “I am excited to work collaboratively with this gifted team to assist our Felician University students crossing boundaries, taking risks and achieving goals in STEM fields that they might not have previously envisioned. This funding opportunity will increase the number of women and students from all under-represented groups meet the dynamic challenges of the 21st century in these critical STEM fields.”

The SAINTS Program will recruit and enroll students (“Scholars”) majoring in biology, computer science and/or cybersecurity, targeting low-income, academically talented high school students, who are traditionally underrepresented (particularly Hispanic, female, first-generation) in STEM fields. Scholarships will be provided to SAINTS Scholars, along with extended support through a second-year experience course in addition to a first-year experience course, multi-year research experiences, integrative academic advising from faculty, embedded peer tutoring, a formalized internship and mentorship program, and new community building efforts to help students build social networks.

Felician Partners to Help Paterson FSCS

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Tuesday, January 21 to officially open New Jersey’s first federally-funded Full Service Community School (FSCS) high school – the John F. Kennedy Educational Complex in Paterson.

Felician University receives $40,000 annually as part of the five-year $2.5 million dollar grant to provide academic support to the Paterson FSCS. Felician currently provides comprehensive services to the FSCS including a summer bridge program that offers remediation courses at Felician University to high school students to help prepare them for college. The bridge program also includes lunch and transportation to and from the Felician Campus.

Other services provided by Felician that are funded by the grant include resume writing, interview skills, and financial literacy workshops, as well as a workshop series on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA workshops are essential in helping current and prospective college students determine their eligibility for student financial aid.

Tiffany Austin, Director of Career Development at Felician University says, “After the career readiness workshops, it is important for us to provide a survey to assess student outcomes. The majority of the students are highly satisfied with the presentations and the knowledge gained. A few comments from the high school student participants included ‘everything was great’, ‘the presenters did a great job’, ‘the information was very helpful’, and students would like visits from industry professionals to come and speak in depth about their career paths.”

Dr. George Abaunza, Dean of Felician’s School of Arts and Sciences, who also coordinates this partnership, says, “Some of our students come from Paterson, and our mission is to not only serve students but their communities as well.” Dr. Abaunza went on to say, “Our mission is to be in solidarity with the community and to grow partnerships with them, and they need our help. We have so many resources that we’re privileged to have on our campuses, and it’s just a matter of sharing with the communities in meaningful ways.”

Felician University’s partnership with the Paterson FSCS is a comprehensive one with the University also offering JFK students internship opportunities on both campuses. In addition to the academic and career support it gets from Felician University, the Paterson FSCS offers various services on site including a student laundry room, community pantry, health center, behavior health room, and other family-centered services.

Rep. Bill Pascrell, who helped secure the federal grant for the Paterson FSCS, talked about the importance of the partnerships saying, “Our push for equality in equitable education must be multi-faceted. I mean, strong federal investments. That means state support and it means collaboration within the community working together. Only together are we going to do the job of educating our kids.”

Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh was among the dignitaries who turned out for the school’s opening. He spoke not only of the school’s namesake John F. Kennedy but also Martin Luther King, Jr. saying, “So in the spirit of equality and the spirit of teamwork, today we celebrate as a district a major victory, specifically for all the students that walk through these doors.”

Dr Abaunza acknowledged that partnering to help the Paterson FSCS could one day help Felician University saying “Ultimately, these students and their families are going to remember our name because they’re going to know at an early age that Felician was involved with something meaningful to them, and some of them may end up coming to Felician because of that.”

Devon Young Inducted into CACC Hall of Fame

Devon Young ‘11 was inducted into the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Hall of Fame in a ceremony at the Rutherford Campus on January 15.

A model student-athlete, Young earned Academic All-American honors his senior year and was selected as Felician Male Student-Athlete of the Year. He completed his B.S. degree in Accounting in 2011 with a grade-point average of 3.70, also earning three Arthur Ashe Jr. Diversity in Athletic Awards. “It is an honor being inducted into the CACC Hall of Fame and representing Felician University,” Young said. “I am grateful to the committee. This achievement would not have been possible without the support of my family, coaches and teammates.”

Young was presented for induction by President Dr. Anne Prisco and CACC Commissioner Daniel B. Mara. At an on-court ceremony honoring Young at the conclusion of Felician’s women’s basketball game against Post University Felcian President Dr. Anne Prisco said, “ Congratulations go out to Devon Young who continues to make Felician proud, known not only for his athletic accomplishments but for his citizenship efforts as well.”

Currently Young is the General Manager for the youth basketball program Basketball Stars of New York and continues to be a role model for young people. Young is engaged to be married to Felician Alumna Samantha Ortiz who played softball and volleyball for the Golden Falcons.

Felician’s 2007 Men’s Cross-Country Team was inducted into the CACC hall of Fame Three years ago.

Photo ID: From left to right (Leo McGuire, Felician President Dr. Prisco, Devon Young, Sr. Aquinas Szott, Sue Bramucci)

President Prisco Receives NOIAW Honor

Felician University President Dr. Anne Prisco was honored January 14 by The Greater New York Region of the National Organization of Italian American Women (NOIAW) at its Three Wise Women Epiphany Celebration in New York City.

The mission of the Greater New York Region of the National Organization of Italian American Women (NOIAW) is to unite and connect women through Italian culture and heritage. NOIAW annually celebrates the achievement of women of Italian ancestry, such as Dr. Prisco, a proud first-generation Italian-American who has worked to establish Italian programs, partnerships, and community business sponsorships at Felician University in New Jersey and Italy.

In receiving the NOIAW honor Dr. Prisco said, “I am grateful for the opportunity to enhance the educational experiences of our students with innovative academic programs that bring students closer to the rich culture, language and people of Italy.”

One of the ways Felician University accomplishes that is through its Center for Italian Programs & the Office of International Programs which offers students a variety of academic opportunities including internships and employment with Italian and Italian American companies.

Felician’s work dovetails with NOIAW’s mission of promoting, cultivating and preserving Italy’s extraordinary cultural legacy. Felician signed a memorandum of understanding in 2018 with the Italian Culture on the Net (ICoN), a consortitum of 16 Italian universities and is currently working to create partner programs with the support of the Consul General. Felician is currently creating additional programs here in New Jersey and abroad.

Also honored at the event were June Grasso, Bloomberg Journalist and Anchor, and Stephanie A. Raneri, Executive Director of the Isaac H. Tuttle Fund.

Photo ID: From left to right (Dr. Turi, Professor Valente, VP Dr. McGeary, Sr. Aquinas Szott, Professor Sergi, Sr. Elizabeth Morely, Felician President Dr. Prisco, Sr. Honorata, Silvana Mangione, Sr. Gabriella, IVP Maura DeNicola, Jim Rizzo BCB Bank)

Annual Green-Out

Athletics staged its annual Basketball Green-Out event during the home women’s and men’s games vs. Dominican on Wednesday, January 29th.

Felician rally towels were handed out and Falcon fans who attending the games were encouraged to wear – what else? Felician dark green of course!

The Green-Out Tradition was established at Dr. Prisco’s suggestion with the men’s and women’s basketball teams in 2012-13, and expanded to women’s volleyball in October 2013.

Unfortunately, the Falcons didn’t come out on top in either game but the camaraderie of the Green-Out helped softened the disappointment.

Cross-Country Athletes Recognized by USTFCCCA

Three women’s cross-country student athletes – sophomores Hadeel Alshujaieh and Shayla Morales, and freshman Ashley Linares– have been named All-Academic Individuals for the 2019 season by the United States Track & Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

In order to qualify for All-Academic distinction, NCAA Division II, student-athletes must have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.25 on a 4.00 scale, and finish in the top 30 percent of the eligible number of runners in their respective regional championship meet.

Alshujaieh, Linares and Morales are the first three females in the 20-year history of Felician cross-country to earn the honor. Mike Secreti was a USTFCCCA All-Academic individual for the Golden Falcon men following the 2015 and 2016 campaigns.

Congrats to our outstanding Student Athletes!

College Board Colloquium

Dr. Prisco was invited to participate in a Jan 13 session at the College Board Colloquium entitled Conversations with Presidents. The theme of the conference was Advancing Public Trust, Transparency, and Shared Values.

Dr. Prisco’s remarks focused on Felician’s shared values as foundational to all we do noting that public trust needs to be constantly earned and is best validated by our student outcomes and the lives they lead.

Much of this is measurable through retention, graduation rates, and return on investment, and Dr. Prisco noted that, “Felician’s retention and graduation rates have steadily increased over the last eight years, and Felician ranked 3rd among private institutions in NJ for return on investment.”

Other indicators, like social mobility, reflect the contributions educational institutions make to advancing individuals and families, with Felician being ranked #2 in NJ and #22 in the Northeast.

The presidents who gathered at the session also discussed the challenges faced with managing budgets while also being called to provide appropriate services such as advising, mental health counseling and assisting students who face food, clothing, and housing insecurities.

The panelists urged the participants to continue to serve in their roles knowing that each of them makes a difference in the lives of students, their families, and their communities.

Photo ID: From left to right (Anne Prisco, President, Felician University; Judy Sadaki, President, Sonoma State University; James Montoya, Chief of Membership, Governance, & Global Higher Education, College Board; Alex Johnson, President, Cuyahoga Community College)

Women’s Volleyball Reception

Dr. Prisco hosted a reception Wednesday, January 29 in Ray’s Place in the Education Commons Building for the women’s volleyball team in honor of its record-setting 2019 season, and specifically for its regular-season championship of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference North Division.

Bunny Boy & Me Author Gives Talk at Felician

Thirty people turned out at Felician University Thursday, January 23 for a talk by Nancy Laracy, author of the bestselling book Bunny Boy and Me: My Triumph Over Chronic Pain with the Help of the World’s Unluckiest, Luckiest Rabbit.

Laracy, a Franklin Lakes resident, was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and a mixed connective tissue disease in her mid-thirties that left her with debilitating pain. She sought comfort by adopting a baby rabbit, Bunny Boy, who developed his own auto immune disease and faced numerous surgeries and procedures.

Laracy captivated those gathered with her compelling story of how she and Bunny Boy would become inseparable companions in pain management.

Felician University Nursing teacher Barbara Duffy of North Haledon who has experience with therapy animals in hospitals was touched by Laracy’s story of just how effective they can be in a home setting saying, “It’s just an amazing life story and amazing appreciation of what animals can do.”

Laracy is a national advocate for the chronic pain community who lobbies for more research and funding in Washington D.C. and established the first Bunnies & Baskets 501(c) (3). Laracy and Bunny Boy became the first certified bunny therapy team on the East Coast. The pair has implemented bunny therapy programs for Cancer Care, Camp Dreamstreet, The Butterflies Hospice Program of Valley Hospital, and for the children of Sandy Hook in Newtown, Ct.

Laracy’s sister Carol Buchalski of Wanaque Borough has accompanied Nancy and her rabbits on several visits including to Sandy Hook and the Cancer Care Center. “It’s very inspiring to watch her sit and talk with the little kids and get them to come out of their shell,” said Buchalski adding, “Because when you lose a parent, it’s not easy to recover, especially when you are four or five years old. And to see these children hold and talk to the rabbit when Nancy would ask them how they felt about their parents dying is truly amazing.”

Claire Byrne of Westfield says she was blown away by Laracy’s story and how she fights through pain and never hesitates to “get herself up and do all she does whether it’s going to a hospital, a nursing home, or a nursery school, whenever there’s a need, she is there to fill it. She never puts herself first, she’s always thinking of others.”

Bunny Boy is a poignant story that illustrates the power of the animal human bond to heal. All proceeds from her book go to charity.

Prism Paterson Program

Felician University’s new Interdisciplinary Humanities Program Prism Paterson is now in full swing.

The unique course doesn’t focus on rising crime, homelessness, opioid addiction, or any other problems currently plaguing the Silk City. Instead, Prism Paterson students are learning about the Paterson of poets and painters, novelists, and musicians, all who have contributed to the rich cultural tapestry of the Silk City.

Felician English Professor and Paterson resident Dr. Sherida Yoder got the idea for the unique place-based course after realizing that many writers -past and present – from novelists John Updike, and Junot Diaz, to poets Allen Ginsberg and William Carlos Williams are associated in some way or other with Paterson. “I thought I could pull these together and make a nice course on the literature of Paterson,” says Dr Yoder, “but when I heard about the possibility of the NIH grant, I realized we could probably do more.”

And with a $100,000 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) – Humanities Initiatives at Hispanic Serving Institutions Grant, which funds this innovative program, the first of its kind at Felician, they are indeed doing more. The Literature of Paterson is just the beginning, because Prism Paterson offers six place- based classes in their Minor and Certificate programs in Paterson.

Among other things Prism Paterson features a studio and Paterson-based course on Photography and architecture in Paterson taught by Felician Associate Professor of Art Michael Nyklewicz who studied directly with famous Paterson photographer George Tice, The Music of Paterson, Community Writing in Paterson, Travel writing about Paterson, as well as Texts and Contexts: Social and Cultural History of Paterson with Felician English Professor Dr. McParland.

Students enrolled in the course are excited by the opportunity to learn more about the significant artists who were inspired by the city which played a major role in the Early Industrial Revolution. Student Pat Gross of Hasbrouck Heights saw, “a lot of poverty and things broken down,” for the ten years she worked as a pediatric intensive care nurse in Paterson, and decided to take the Prism Paterson course saying, “I decided I would like a better view, or a bigger view of what Paterson was about.” Former Garfield teacher Jacqueline Marandi loves the rich history of Paterson and “Would recommend this fabulous class to everyone.”

Currently, Prism Paterson students are studying the work of William Carlos Williams, the Rutherford physician/poet who wrote the epic, nearly six-volume poem Paterson. “My son lived in Rutherford and I’m quite aware of Williams,” says student Peter Clifford,“ but I’ve never studied his poetry in depth like we’re doing now, it’s a lot of fun.”

Field trips will be involved as well including a visit to Haledon’s National Landmark, The Botto House, where Emma Goldman made speeches in support of striking workers, and to the Paterson Museum which features many of the machines used at textile plants. An excursion to Paterson’s St Paul’s Church is also planned for when the class studies Updike’s novel the Beauty of the Lilies, which tells the story of Clarence Wilmot, a Paterson clergyman who faces a crisis of faith. And of course, Prism Paterson wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the magnificent Great Falls of Paterson.

Officially, Prism Paterson has a much longer academic title, and the alliteration of its working title wasn’t an accident, because as Dr. Yoder says, “You can look at Paterson in so many different dimensions and see so many different aspects of it. And I hope it all comes together in a beautiful whole.”

February is Black History Month

To help mark Black History Month the Black Student Union in conjunction with our Campus Activities Board put together a full calendar of Black History Month programs. See Calendar below.

And by the way all current leadership positions in Student Government are women, specifically women of color!

Lodi Police Assist Midnight Runs

Felician’s ongoing homeless outreach programs got a generous donation Thursday February 6 when Lt. Anthony Mobilio and other members of the Lodi Police Department droped off much needed supplies.

Director of Campus Ministry Andrew Fellows says the officers donated several hundred dollars’ worth of new t-shirts, socks, underwear, sweatshirts, and sweatpants, all which will be used on Midnight Runs throughout the semester.

As part of the homeless outreach program, Felician students make late-night trips to Newark and New York City to distribute food, clothing and other necessities to homeless citizens. Fellows says, “These experiences provide a valuable opportunity for students to live out their faith and practice the Felician values of compassion, respect for human dignity, and solidarity with the poor. “

The program is very popular with students, and upcoming trips to Newark on February 12th and to Manhattan on February 21st are already full. To join a future trip, or donate supplies, reach out to Andrew Fellows at”

Upcoming Events

Emergency Services Thank you Reception

Iviswold Castle
Rutherford Campus.
February 19, 5:00 pm

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

New Nursing Resource Center
Parsippany Site – Parsippany, NJ
February 25, 4:00 pm

P.S. – Look out for Frankie the Falcon’s newly wrapped shuttle vans!

Watch magic happen!

Felician University’s education is ranked 3rd best return on investment for private colleges in New Jersey 2018 by the College ROI Report, and is ranked #1 safest college campus in the state by

Felician University |

2019 Newsletter Editions

German Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “…it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.”

As you will read in this update, life here at Felician University is indeed “rich” because we have much for which to be grateful.

We are grateful for our faculty, staff and student efforts over the years which has led to receiving a 10-year accreditation for both our Bachelor of Science Nursing (BSN) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs.

We are grateful for all who are now working on the peer-based process of earning a Middle States re-accreditation.

We are grateful for those who served our nation who we thanked with our Veterans Day Program which included a keynote from a Purple Heart recipient and Felician alumnus.

We are grateful to our student athletes and coaches of the women’s volleyball team who earned their  first trip to the semi-finals of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference  (CACC) Championship. And while the team may have come up short to South No. 2 Seed Holy Family University, it doesn’t take away from the fact that the Falcons saw their most successful season in program history. I am proud of you all!

We are grateful for faculty and staff who continue to work to educate our students while being guided by our Felician Franciscan values.

We are grateful to our trustees for their support and generosity as well as all our patrons who believe in our mission.

And mostly, we are grateful for our students who make what we do here so meaningful and worthwhile.

As the end of the semester approaches, I know there will be many more blessings for which to give thanks as we continue to work together to fulfill our Franciscan mission.

And finally, this Holiday Season be sure to use the re-usable cotton bags that were distributed as part of our Sustainability Project, as we work together to be good ambassadors for the environment.

Yes, life here at Felician is very rich indeed! In Peace and Gratitude,
Anne M. Prisco, Ph.D.

Felician Gets High Social Mobility Ranking

U.S. News & World Report ranked Felician University 22nd nationally, and 2nd in New Jersey in Social Mobility in its 2020 rankings of Colleges & Universities.

Thanks to faculty and staff for giving students the tools and support they need to achieve the academic success that made this ranking possible.

U.S. News & World Report has been publishing college
rankings since 1983 to help students and parents make good decisions when choosing a college or university.

President’s State of the University Address

Dr. Anne Prisco, President of Felician University, delivered the State of the University Address on October 14, reporting that “Felician is in a good place, and we feel blessed.”

In her address to trustees,  faculty, and staff, Dr. Prisco reminded us that Felician’s mission and values inform the University’s commitment to Transformation as evidenced by growth and innovation, “as we continue to work together for more good things ahead.”

In her address at Breslin PAC on the Lodi campus, the President discussed how the University is developing new programs and revising curriculum in order  to  remain relevant, while exposing students to those who are different from themselves. Felician is doing that by ensuring that our student population represents a “diversity of diversities”, enrolling students across NJ, the US and abroad. Just this past year, we  signed agreements in Amsterdam and Paris, as well as Italy and Vietnam. Dr Prisco says, “We remain committed to maintaining as diverse a student body as possible.”

Enrollment is at its highest ever as Felician welcomed 397 freshmen to campus this school year. The University also welcomed  transfer  students, adult undergraduate students, and graduate students. Dr. Prisco also reported that, ”Felician’s retention and graduation rates continue to increase.”  Retention  rates  now outpace  national benchmarks. We are also seeing increases in graduation rates and she challenged us all   to continue to provide the support and programs that lead to completion.

Dr. Prisco announced that Felician is on a path of financial stability saying that “with a $176 million economic impact, we are a true economic engine in this region of New Jersey.”

The President acknowledged the importance of technology, and said Felician is looking into how it will incorporate artificial intelligence and virtual reality into its teaching  methods, saying things such as “gaming, interactive design,  human  aesthetic studies, and digital marketing are some of the areas where we know our students need study opportunities.”

Dr. Prisco told those gathered that “Under the auspices of the School of Education, our Childcare Center  has been converted into an inclusive Lab Preschool which  will provide   a hands-on site for our students in teacher education.”

The President looks ahead saying the Felician Community is  excited  to  be  moving forward with the Wellness and Recreation Center (WaRC) – a three story building that will have a new fitness center, a beautiful atrium, new Athletic Hall of Fame, and athletic   offices. “And yes,” Dr. Prisco added, “the parking lot will get fixed as well!”

Dr. Prisco ended by reiterating that Felician is in a good place, “Thanks to a lot of hard work” and told the Felician Community to “be proud of all you/we have accomplished. Enjoy it as we continue to move forward and grow from this moment.”

Felician University Awarded BSN and DNP Accreditation

Felician University is pleased to  announce that the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education has granted both its Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs a full 10-year accreditation with no recommendations for improvements.

To gain accreditation, the School of Nursing successfully went through a rigorous review and evaluation process by experts in the field of nursing.

The Dean of the School of Nursing, Dr. Christine Mihal says, “It is very gratifying to be recognized for  all of the hard work and dedication of the administrators, faculty and staff   in the School of Nursing. We continue to be confident that we have outstanding nursing programs which produce graduates who are caring, compassionate and clinically excellent.“

Accreditation means an institution’s program meets or exceeds certain standards of excellence and quality.

NEH Grant to be used for Prism Paterson Project

The Great Falls of Paterson is one of the largest waterfalls in the United States. Every  day thousands pass by this stunning natural wonder unaware of its prominent presence. One  could call it a jewel of Paterson hiding in plain sight.

The same could be said of the city’s many fine artists, both past and present. Felician University wants to change that with a $100,000 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Humanities Initiatives at Hispanic Serving Institutions Grant.

The grant will be used to fund “Prism Paterson,” a new Interdisciplinary Humanities Program, the purpose of which  will be to strengthen the teaching of the Humanities at Felician. The new program offers six place-based learning courses that make up separate minor and certificate programs focusing on the literature, music, art, and photography of the City of Paterson, New Jersey.

The new courses include the  Literature of Paterson, Music of Paterson, a  studio  course on Photography in Paterson, Community Writing in Paterson, Travel Writing about Paterson, and Texts and Contexts: Social and Cultural History of Paterson. Creating new experiential courses in the Humanities that reflect Felician University’s first-generation students’ identities will increase student engagement, improve skills, enhance retention, initiate collaborative opportunities, and build long-lasting connections between the City of Paterson and the University, enriching Humanities learning at Felician.

This program will be implemented by the team of Arts & Sciences Humanities faculty led by Dr. Sherida Yoder and members Dr. Kristen Abbey, Dr. Barbara Gordon, Dr. Robert McParland, Professor Michael Nyklewicz, and Dr. Julie O’Connell.

CACC Standouts

In volleyball, head coach John Chang was voted the Coach of the Year by the CACC.

Sophomore Sierra Gallagher became the program’s first player to win a major CACC award, earning the Defensive Player of the Year! Senior Jazlyn Pipkins became the school’s all-time leader in blocks and four players  broke  the  school record naming them All-CACC in volleyball; Sierra Gallagher, Miquela Martinez, Raamiah Edwards, Katie Asbery. Congratulations to them all!

Freshman, Ashley Linares of Passaic, has been named the 2019 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC)  Women’s  Cross-Country  Rookie of the Year. Linares was the top  rookie  finisher, and  was  fourth overall, on the women’s side.

Ceremony Held to Honor Veterans

Felician University held its 10th Annual Honoring Our Veterans Ceremony on Thursday, November 7, on the Rutherford Campus.

Felician University was designated a Purple Heart University, by the Military Order of the Purple Heart in May 2019, in recognition of its support of military members, including veterans and their families. The Ceremony’s Keynote Speaker was Anthony Steiner II of Maywood, a Felician Alumnus and Purple Heart recipient. An Army veteran who was wounded in Vietnam, Steiner served as a member of B-Company
1st Battalion 11th Special Forces. Steiner, who has
the distinction of being a nurse who was Felician’s first male graduate said, “I knew when coming to Felician, if you train with the best, you become the best.”

The Lyndhurst Veterans Alliance Color Guard again took part in the ceremony, and the Alliance’s Commander, Tom Witt, spoke about the history of the Purple Heart. Witt, an Army Veteran, Specialist IV, stressed the importance of thanking the veterans who live among us, “often disguised as your grocer, the business office worker, or the janitor. People from
ordinary walks of life who have served the country to defend us and keep us free.”

Felician’s Veteran Student Support Specialist Laura Steger, who served in Navy  boot camp during 9/11, said she “Appreciates that veterans can find a sense of community at Felician University.”

The Felician University Gospel Choir Group performed. Coffee and cake was served immediately following the ceremony, which played in its entirety on Radio Felician University on Veterans Day.

Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet

Felician University began its Annual Homecoming Weekend with the Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet held at the Holiday Inn Conference Hall in Hasbrouck Heights.

The Hall of Fame allows Felician to honor outstanding men and women who have distinguished themselves, and Felician University, in the field of intercollegiate sports. The event also gives the new inductees the opportunity to reunite with fellow
student-athletes, faculty and administrators.

The honorees were the 2001 women’s soccer team, Coach John Brennan, men’s baseball player, Dennis Hulse ‘05, men’s basketball player, Antoine T. Obery ‘13, and cross-country runner, Sarah Namiko Root ’11.

Felician University’s athletic philosophy emphasizes the development of the whole person, the student, as well as the athlete. It is essential to provide all student-athletes with the direction, assistance, and guidance needed to reach their goals in all areas of college life – academic, spiritual, and social.

Dr. Anne Prisco, President, said, “While I commend all our athletes and coaches for their well-deserved successes, I also want to thank them for their contributions off the field.
Whether it’s women’s volleyball and basketball holding fundraisers to help fight breast cancer, or student-athletes delivering food and clothing to the homeless through Midnight Run, Felician’s student-athletes remain some of the best ambassadors for Felician University and its Franciscan mission.”

Alumni Return for 2019 Homecoming Family Fun Festival

A Family Fall Festival was front and center at Homecoming weekend featuring food, games, live music, bingo, prizes, and popular “goat yoga” on the Rutherford Campus.

Felician’s Homecoming put the University’s academic programs in the spotlight. At the Lenke  Family i-Lab, the public had the opportunity to learn how business students prepare for entrepreneurship, and the challenges and obstacles of starting a business.

The School of Nursing offered an exciting live birth simulation in the Nursing Resource & Simulation Lab. In addition, Felician’s second public art exhibition titled, Thisness & Whatness, which will run through January, officially opened.

The School of Arts & Sciences offered fun and interactive hands-on presentations on drawing, photography, and color. Two soccer games, and a volleyball game were part of Homecoming, and the University offered tours of the  beautiful 150-year  old  Iviswold Castle on the Rutherford Campus.

And thanks to BCB of Rutherford for sponsoring two bands and two biergartens at the Homecoming Festival.

Fall Art Exhibit – Thisness and Whatness

Felician University’s second free public art exhibition titled Thisness and Whatness,

opened in October to coincide with Homecoming festivities. The exhibition will run through January, and conclude with a closing ceremony.

The concept of “thisness” was first introduced by the Medieval Franciscan friar John Don Scotus who wrote of haecceitas, or the quality of a thing that makes it unique.

Thisness and Whatness was curated by Felician’s Artist in Residence, Professor Scott Reeds, who teaches printmaking, and a course in color concepts. Reeds got the idea for the show while listening to Felician President, Dr. Anne Prisco, at the 2017 reception for the University’s first art show, Outside  In,  where she talked about all objects inanimate, and animate subjects, having a special quality of

The exhibition features pieces by 13 New York and New Jersey artists, and includes painting, printmaking, photography, and sculpture.One of the pieces featured in the exhibition is The Encounter III by Betsey Garand, an intaglio with aquatint on paper.

Felician Sisters Honored at Green & Gold Mass

As part of homecoming, a Green & Gold Mass was held at the Immaculate Conception Chapel on the Lodi campus, in honor and celebration of the Sisters, and their years of service and contribution to the University. Faculty, staff, students and community members came to show their appreciation.

Alumna Colleen Frankenfield spoke of how Felician  transforms lives because of the work and example of the Felician Sisters, saying, “Felician University  transforms  lives  because  every student is given the example, and the respect that they deserve. A respect for others permeates this community from the faculty,
staff, administration and each of their  fellow students.” Frankenfield  also  said, “My  life was transformed at Felician because the Sisters have shared their Franciscan spirit of helping the poor, promoting good, and advocating for those who have needs or are less fortunate.

Mass was followed by a Pancake Breakfast in the Goya Dining Hall where the Felician Alumnae Sisters were awarded a plaque, which was presented by Alumni Engagement and University Advancement, for their many years of dedicated service to the Felician University Community.

School of Nursing Holds White Coat Ceremony

Over 200 Felician University School of Nursing sophomores were “coated,” in a White Coat Ceremony Wednesday, October 16,  on  the Lodi Campus.

The White Coat Ceremony, or WCC, marks a nursing student’s transition from pre-clinical to clinical studies.
Sophomores carried their white lab coats over their left arms as they walked to the stage, then in a meaningful rite of passage, junior and senior nursing students symbolically “dressed” the students in their lab coats. Nursing student Julia  Pesler said, “It feels good.     I am ready to start the journey as a nurse.” A journey which  Dr. Christine Mihal, Dean of  the School of Nursing, told students, “Will at times be  challenging, as there will  be  bumps in the road.”

The White Coat Ceremony originated with medical schools, and has been adopted by many nursing schools including Felician, which has both a traditional four  year  Bachelor  of Science Nursing program, as well an accelerated program, ABSN,  which  is offered as   a hybrid, or completely online.

Students from both groups were represented at the  ceremony,  and  Dean  Mihal  told them, “Patients have a story to tell and there are patients who will remember you for their entire lives, and patients you will remember for your  entire  life. Never  forget the  impact you have with each and every interaction.”

Office of Student Engagement Helps Spread Breast Cancer Awareness

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Felician University’s Office of Student Development and Engagement held a series of events and activities.

The first event took place on October 2 outside the Goya Dining Hall, where students and staff were encouraged to write a message of support to those who are fighting or have fought breast cancer.
Students handed out pink ribbons, and collected the messages to send to those fighting  breast cancer who are currently hospitalized.

The event was followed by #FelicianWearsPink Day where the Campus Activities Board handed out Pink T-shirts to students and staff at the Rutherford
Campus Dining Hall and encouraged them to wear it on October 16 to show unity among staff and students.

Over 50% of Felician’s student body is female, however, awareness should be equally applied to men. Even though male breast cancer is very rare, being less than 1% of all breast cancer cases, with only 1 in 1000 men ever being diagnosed, men still carry a higher mortality rate than women.

Felician is dedicated to spreading awareness in our community because, while you cannot prevent cancer, you can be proactive to help protect your overall health and assess your breast cancer risk.

Suits U Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

The innovative new clothing shop, Suits U, is designed exclusively for students who lack the resources to obtain proper business attire to make a good  impression at that job interview or new internship. What makes it unique? NO money will be exchanged. Instead, students will “pay” for their  business ready new clothing with volunteer service hours.

A $25,000 grant from the St. Francis Fund of Felician Services, Inc. was used to sponsor this important project, which
held a ribbon cutting on October 22. Felician joined forces with Cindy Myer, President of Ridgewood Moving Services, who supplied the clothing, which is often left behind when people move. Business clothing was also donated by Felician staff members.

The Suits U project had  an  educational component as well  because  it was  part of the final course in the School of Business MBA Program. Associate Professor of Business, Michael Omansky says, “It was a capstone course, with a lot of moving parts, and one of  the moving parts is an eight-week project for a non-profit organization.” Students worked with Associate Professor of Art, Michael Nyklewicz, to create the store’s sign.

And because good news travels fast, Sr. Annelle had the chance to talk about Suits U on local media outlets News 12 NJ, and NJ 101.5. Here is a link to her interview on NJ 101.5.

Upcoming Events

University Communication Meeting
Lodi, Lecture  Hall December 2, 2019, 1:10pm

Faculty/Staff Holiday Party
Rutherford Campus December 12, 2019

P.S. – Look out for Frankie the Falcon’s newly wrapped shuttle vans!

Watch magic happen!

Felician University’s education is ranked 3rd best return on investment for private colleges in New Jersey 2018 by the College ROI Report, and is ranked #1 safest college campus in the state by

As summer winds down  and campus activities begin to take motion, I want to take this opportunity to welcome you back to Felician for our 2019-2020 academic year.

The start of a new year is always a special time for us with new and returning students and faculty, renewed relationships and scholarship, and the fresh Felician air filled with the exciting conversations that energize us anew after these past summer months.

What a summer it has been! Many individuals across the University have responded to the ever-growing Freshman class that is on pace to be the largest class in Felician history.

We are fortunate to welcome new faculty and staff whose expertise will build upon the commitment to excellence that characterizes our Felician community. I am deeply grateful  to each one of you for your extraordinary dedication to our students and university. Your contributions keep our mission strong as we strive to bring each of our students to their highest potential while instilling in them the Felician Franciscan values that permeate our every day and serve as the foundation our graduates will need to bring about positive change in the world of their future.

I hope you will join me at our Welcome Back Breakfast on Wednesday, August 21, beginning at 8 a.m. in Goya Dining Hall, where we will reconnect as a Felician community as we prepare to engage in the challenges and opportunities the  new year will bring.

I look forward to the year ahead and working with each of you to successfully achieve our goals.
In Peace and Gratitude,

Anne M. Prisco, Ph.D.

Dr. Prisco Meets with Educators and Cultural Leaders in Italy

In her recent trip to Italy, Dr. Anne M. Prisco met with members of the Italian Culture on the Net (ICON) consortium of 18 Italian universities to further develop the programs and resources they offer to both Felician and Italian students. Discussions ensued regarding how to involve multiple departments in these programs and strategic plans to offer dual degree and master’s programs were explored as well.

She then met with Franco Pavoncello, president of John Cabot University, an American university based in Rome, to collaborate in a program that would offer both Felician and John Cabot students the opportunity to study abroad and gain an international perspective while engaging with different cultures, yet limit the culture shock that can affect students studying abroad in countries with different languages.

Dr. Prisco and Louisa Simone, owner of Istituto Visconti, an innovative private Roman high school, attended a conference on bullying and enjoyed a musical performance that tackled issues of managing both traditional and digital forms of bullying. Dr. Prisco and Simone are looking to build a relationship that can connect Visconti and Felician students.

In Rome, Dr. Prisco was graciously hosted by the Felician Sisters at the Generalate House. She so enjoyed her time with the Sisters, including joining them for a Mass in Rome…said in Polish.

While in Pisa, Dr. Prisco joined with Felician students from the Art department who were on a 5-week summer study abroad program in Florence. Together they got the chance
to explore the University of Pisa and witness a commemoration of the famous Battle of Curtatone e Montara.

Dr. Prisco continues to develop these opportunities for Felician students to experience all that international travel and study have to offer. To connect with others and bridge the barriers between people are part of Felician’s goal to “change the world…one graduate at a time.”

“As a University founded by an international Religious Order, we recognize the need to understand people of different cultures and backgrounds. My vision is that we forge these kinds of partnerships around the world and create a bigger community that has a global identity,” Dr. Prisco said.

Faculty-Led Study Abroad Programs Expand Horizons

Spring and Summer 2019

Felician University Study Abroad Programs are

designed by Felician faculty to enhance academic experiences in their subject area. These immersive programs range from one to five weeks. Students learn, live, and travel with other Felician  students. The course of study is usually taken in the spring semester and the professor leads the summer study abroad experience.

This summer, programs included the Graduate Business course led by Professor Michael Omansky
in Dublin, Ireland; Dr. Anthony Scardino’s Business Undergraduate course in Belfast, Northern Ireland; the undergraduate Psychology course in Barcelona, Spain with Dr. Awilda Perez-Lane; and the International Visual Studies and Art course with Professor Michael Nyklewicz in Italy.

Felician also has formal exchange agreements with several universities abroad, where our students spend a semester or full academic year learning at one of our partner institutions. This Spring, Felician students Geisha Tiburcios attended the University of Ulsan in South Korea and Tayah Ray attended Kansai Gaidal University in Japan.

Verizon Encourages Innovation and Technology in Healthcare

June 27, 2019

Verizon’s Healthcare Technology Innovation $20,000  grant  focused  on  increasing student interest in technology and healthcare. Felician University designed a project that was interdisciplinary and student-engaging. Students were charged with creating a new healthcare technology or improving an existing technology, that optimized patient safety.

Students from Computer Science, Education, and Nursing formed two teams to tackle the challenge. They met three times a week from May 28th to June 24th to develop their projects. Verizon provided stipends for their  participation,  and  the  winning  team shared an additional stipend.

The winning team created “Secures” a wristband device tracking system for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other mentally debilitating illnesses who  “elope” – wander or try   to leave a nursing facility or home environment – without notice. The proposed security system would be installed on  doors to  monitor  patients, alerting  staff if a  patient leaves an area or perimeter. A mobile app provides a GPS locator and a photo which would be displayed on the healthcare provider’s phone and monitor screen to  help  caregivers quickly find the patient and secure their safety.

The second team developed a new sensor device to detect low volume pressure on an intravenous infusion pump. A low-pressure alarm will sound when there is leakage of an infusion into the patient’s arm, thus minimizing the time patients are not receiving their infusion and helping to prevent serious treatment complications.

Mark Bocchieri (center), Director of External Affairs for Verizon New Jersey, with the two

Felician interdisciplinary student teams who participated in the 2019 Verizon Healthcare Technology Innovation competition.

EOF Summer Program Strengthens Student Readiness

August 1, 2019

The EOF (NJ Educational Opportunity Fund) Studies Program is dedicated to empowering each student in the program so they can thrive throughout their University years and beyond. All incoming freshmen must attend a mandatory four week summer program prior to their first year at a university that is designed to strengthen the   student’s preparation for university level work and academic success. Students review Math, English and Critical Thinking skills. The purpose of the Summer Program is to acclimate the student to university life, along with brushing up on their basic skills

This year, a record number of 50 students attended the EOF Summer Program at Felician University.

Summer Bridge Program Completed

August 8, 2019

The five-week Summer (Remediation) Bridge Program, in partnership with Paterson Public Schools and a Full Service Community Schools 5-year grant, provided three  instructors, books, materials and daily lunch for 12 students. In addition, seven students interned at Felician during the summer in Arts & Sciences, Athletics, Career Services, Financial Aid, Marketing, the Nursing Simulation Lab and the Registrar’s office.

One student who participated in both programs wrote  to  Dr. Abaunza, “I just wanted  to say thank you for everything that you did for us!  You gave us such an amazing   opportunity in such an amazing university and I am very grateful for everything from the food to the education that you have provided for us. Epictetus was a whole  new idea for  me that I didn’t even know existed, but I will definitely hold onto his book and carry his advice with me throughout my life. I was so impressed by the teachers there, they taught me so much in such a short amount of time that I was surprised at myself and the university. Again, thank you for welcoming us with open arms and thank you for everything!”

Homecoming 2019 Features Felician Family Fun Festival

This year’s Homecoming Weekend, October 11-13, will begin with the Athletics Hall of Fame Dinner on Friday, October 11. The honorees will be the 2001 Women’s Soccer Team, Coach John Brennan, Dennis Hulse (baseball, ’05), Antoine T. Obery (basketball, ’13), and Sarah Namiko Root (cross-country, ’11). Click here for details and tickets.

On Saturday, October 12, the  Rutherford campus will  be host to a day of games, food, drinks, raffles, goat yoga, live music, prizes, and bingo for Felician Alumni, family and friends. This Felician Family Fall Festival will also feature tours of the campus, reunion events, an art exhibit, two soccer games and a volleyball game.

On Sunday, October 13, the Lodi campus will be the setting for the first Green & Gold Mass honoring the service of the Felician Sisters in Immaculate Conception Chapel, followed by a pancake breakfast.

Please save the dates. More announcements and confirmations about this exciting event will be coming.

Upcoming Events

Academic Convocation

Breslin Performing Arts Center, Lodi August 25, 2019, 7:30 p.m. Mass

Fall 2019 Semester Begins

August 26, 2019

Athletics Hall of Fame Dinner

Holiday Inn, Hasbrouck Heights October 11, 2019

Homecoming / Felician Family Fall Festival

Rutherford Campus October 12, 2019

Green & Gold Mass

Lodi Campus Followed by Pancake Breakfast October 13, 2019

Felician University |

Dear Friends of Felician,

March is Women’s History Month, a time to observe and celebrate the vital role of women in American history. Women (50.9% of our population) have become leaders in business, government, law, science, medicine, the arts, education, and so many other fields. That really should not be surprising. What is noteworthy is that positions of leadership in many of these fields are still not easily achieved by women. In addition, the National Committee on Pay Equity reports that, as a group, women are typically paid just 80 cents for every dollar paid to men – and that number has barely budged in a decade. And it’s even worse for some women of color. In fostering a future that is open to the talents and aspirations of all – without regard to gender, race or nationality – Felician has a rich and inspiring history.

This month especially, I want to celebrate a group of incredible women leaders who have inspired me. In 1874, five pioneering Felician Sisters left their homeland in Europe to minister to the children of Polish immigrants in Wisconsin. Unafraid to brave the cold Wisconsin winters, they dedicated themselves to “giving aid to all without exception” and serving all “with a joyful heart.” They quickly established a presence in North America, with a broad ministry of education and child care, at-risk youth programs, care for the elderly and people with disabilities, as well as serving people who are imprisoned, caught in the cycle of poverty, or otherwise marginalized. Generations of these humble and kind women have founded and managed many health care centers, hospices, interfaith centers, and schools and universities, including Madonna University in Livonia MI, Villa Maria College in Buffalo NY, and our own Felician University. Felician Sisters have excelled as professionals in their fields of service, with many attaining graduate and doctorate degrees, and even serving as university presidents.

The Felician Sisters have especially inspired me by their commitment to social justice and peace, their love of learning and their joy in service. Their presence on our campuses is always inspiring, encouraging each of us to succeed to our best capability and be “history-makers” ourselves. They are an enduring part of our community and of American history, and I am proud this month and every month to celebrate their legacy.

Peace and All Good,
Dr. Anne Prisco

Felician University Honors Local Hero

Feb. 23, 2019

On Saturday, Feb. 23, Felician University honored Tyler Hanson with the University’s Local Hero Award. Hanson, a Rutherford volunteer firefighter, was on his way to work at PSEG on New Year’s Eve, when he spotted a Passaic home on fire. After waking the family, he assisted them to safety, called 911 and went into the basement to turn off the electricity. He then aided the Passaic Fire Department in extinguishing the attic fire.
There were no injuries.

Felician President, Anne Prisco, presented the award before the start of Felician Men’s Basketball home game against Concordia. “Our Local Hero Awards are presented to community members who display outstanding service to others, from rushing into burning
buildings to save lives to living a life of fighting for the disadvantaged,” Prisco said. “We are proud to honor Rutherford’s Tyler Hanson for his act of courage.”

Link to story in Bergen Record

Felician University Students and Advisors at LATINX LEADS Student Leadership Conference 2019

Feb. 25, 2019

Felician University students and their advisors attended the 2019 Latinx Leads Student Leadership Conference, which is the largest national gathering of Latinx student leaders and campus-based advisors, to address the most critical topics of diversity and social justice.

The workshops in this conference aim to help students acquire the necessary knowledge and skills needed to advance Latinx-related causes and increase their participation in leadership roles within their campuses.

Felician University takes part in National Employee Appreciation Day

March 1, 2019

On Friday, March 1, Felician University expressed shared gratitude to faculty and staff by celebrating National Employee Appreciation Day. On this day, Felician sought to highlight and reward the faculty and staff’s commitment and dedication to the University’s mission of bringing students to their highest potential as they prepare them for a successful future.

National Employee Appreciation Day is observed annually
on the first Friday in March. This day was created as a way of focusing the attention of employers in all industries on employee recognition.

Felician University believes the faculty and staff are one of the University’s greatest assets and decided to provide complimentary lunches to show their gratitude. This is another way the University promotes its mission and values and encourages others to do so as well.



Felician University Honors Dr. Seuss’ Birthday

March 2, 2019

Felician University celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday on Saturday, March 2, with the Education Club, the Athletic Director and the Dean of Felician’s School of Education, reading from Dr. Seuss’ books to children of alumni, faculty/staff, and neighborhood residents at the Rutherford Dining Hall. Seuss
gifts and refreshments were provided.

“We celebrated Dr. Seuss’ 110th birthday because of his incredible impact on millions of people,” said Stephanie McGowan, Dean of the School of Education. “In the middle of all his ridiculous characters and constant fun, Dr. Seuss always managed to find playful ways to teach children wonderful lessons, ranging from standing up for your needs and desires, to placing value on everyone’s life, no matter how different.”

Other community events on the Felician Rutherford campus on Saturday included pre- game ceremonies recognizing Felician’s Basketball team senior players at their last home game (against Georgian Court University). Youth basketball teams and contests for all occurred during half times of both games.

Felician University Marches in 2nd Annual Rutherford St. Patrick’s Day Parade

March 3, 2019

On Sunday, March 3, Felician University proudly supported the second Annual Rutherford St. Patrick’s Day Parade as both a band sponsor and by marching in strong numbers wearing Felician’s signature green to celebrate St. Patrick’s

Day with the greater community.

The Parade route began at the top of Park Avenue in Rutherford and ended by the Rutherford train station. Felician University marched behind the Bergen Irish Pipes and Drums. Energized by their lively music, Felician’s faculty and
students handed out t-shirts and candy to supporters along the way.


Felician University holds its first Felician Autism Collaboration and Technology Conference

March 8, 2019

Felician University held its first Felician Autism Collaboration and Technology Conference on Friday, March 8. The conference, which was held at Felician University’s Rutherford Campus, was meant to create a dialogue between educators, parents, and supporters about how to improve the ways in which people with autism are assisted in the different areas of their lives.

Dr. Joan Bruno, the keynote speaker, discussed the need for this dialogue among both educators and families, because people on the spectrum have such a vast array of needs. Presenting different and accommodating learning methods, including those that utilize beneficial technology, is one way that this conference offered itself as a resource.

Felician University takes students on trip to Women’s History Museum

March 13, 2019

Student Affairs, under the leadership of Dr. Ronald Gray, invited students to the “She Persists: A Century of Women
Artists” Museum Exhibit Tour in New York City on March 13. Students had the opportunity to explore the exhibit, which
honors women who have struggled and succeeded, while celebrating the 100th
anniversary of suffrage and female artists, with roots and connections to New York City. After the tour, the students enjoyed lunch in the city with Dr. Gray.
The trip allowed students to gain perspective about the trials and
tribulations that women have faced throughout history and how they have persevered.

“She Persists: A Century of Women Artists in New York,” is an installation of works by 44 artists and collectives in the public spaces of Gracie Mansion. The show is the largest one to be mounted there and the first to focus exclusively on female creators, all of whom have significant connections to New York City. Some are young — like Jordan Casteel, born in 1989, and Kaveri Raina, born in 1990; three are centenarians — Toko Shinoda, born in 1913, Carmen Herrera, born in 1915, and Florence Knoll, born in 1917; and many are no longer living. The subtitle
refers to the period from 1919 – the year the 19th Amendment, which gave American women the right to vote, was sent to the states for ratification – to today.

Felician University Volunteers Assist Area Taxpayers

March 16, 2019

For the ninth year, Professor Joseph Lizza, MBA, CPA, GGMA prepared his students for a real-life experience through the VITA

(Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program. This program offers free tax preparation assistance to area residents, primarily serving low-income residents, senior citizens, persons with disabilities and limited English-speaking taxpayers.

All VITA volunteers must pass a rigorous certification course administered by the IRS and tax professionals. Professor Lizza oversees this training process. This year,
these Felician students, Professor Lizza and staff from his firm volunteered for three full day Saturdays; February 16, 23 and March 16.

For the second year, Felician Sister M. Annelle Velivis, Director of the Blessed Mary Angela Institute, brought a human touch to preparing tax returns by welcoming the residents as they waited for their tax forms to be completed, offering them light snacks, telling them about the foundress of the Felician Sisters and the beginnings of Felician University. She also listened to the stories shared by the VITA participants.

Upcoming Events

April 2 – Pope John Paul II Lecture on Social Justice :

Author Christiana Zenner discusses her book, “Just Water: Theology, Ethics and Global Fresh Water Crises.” Rutherford Campus – Education Commons @ 7:00 P.M.

April 10 – Art/Business Presentation: “How the World of Art Can Help Change the Way We Perceive the World Around Us” by Mark Golden, CEO, Golden Artist Colors Rutherford Campus – Alden Trust Conference Room @ 1:00 P.M.

April 10 – School of Business Symposium: “Music, Fashion and Travel — What Will the Future Bring?” by
Fred Munao (President, Select Records), Randy McMillan (Vice President, BMI Music) and LeMonte Williams (Vice President,
Rutherford Campus – Education Commons @ 6:00 P.M.

April 10 – Human Trafficking Awareness Presentation and Workshop

Rutherford Campus – Castleview Building @ 6:00 P.M.

April 11 – School of Business and i-Lab Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Rutherford Campus – Education Commons @ 5:00 P.M.

Dear Friends of Felician,

The start of 2019 may  have  brought below freezing temperatures to the Northeast but at Felician we were embraced by the warmth of our strong community of support. Friends, colleagues, elected officials and supporters, along with students, faculty and staff, all came  together  for the many varied events and activities that were  held on campus over  this past month. I am proud to share some of them with you here.

I had the honor of presenting the 2019 Felician University Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Award to New Jersey Lt. Governor Shiela Oliver. Re-elected six times to the New Jersey General Assembly, serving on important economic  justice  and  human  service committees, and elected unanimously by Assembly Democrats to become the 169th Speaker of the Assembly for two terms, the Lt. Governor was the first African-American woman  to hold that post in New Jersey history and the second in American history to lead   a state legislature. Her comments upon accepting the  award,  reflected  a  strong connection to Felician. She urged students to step up, to get involved.

For the ninth consecutive year, Felician University was  named by G.I. Jobs magazine  as   a Top Military Friendly School for its commitment to providing  a  supportive  environment for armed forces veterans and their families. Felician’s inclusion on this list ranks it in the top 10 percent of all colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide.

We continue to strive for excellence in all that we do as we work to satisfy our Felician mission while maintaining focus on the Franciscan  values that define  us. This is what sets Felician University apart. For all the members of our University community and our supportive friends and donors who sustain us, I am very grateful.

Peace and All Good,
Dr. Anne Prisco

Diversity and Inclusion Workshop

Felician University’s faculty and staff participated in a Diversity and Inclusion Workshop on January 10, presented by Dr. H. Mark Ellis of William Paterson University. The interactive workshop reinforced the University’s mission of educating a diverse population of students and collaboration and cooperation in all we do.

Undergraduate Open House

January 20, 2019

The Office of Enrollment Management held  its Spring Undergraduate Open House on Saturday, January 26. Dozens of potential students and their families joined us on the Rutherford campus to explore life at Felician University and what it means  to be part of our community. Our guests had the opportunity to meet faculty, staff, and current students as well as visit the campus’ many buildings both modern and historic.

President’s Medallion Award Ceremony

January 27, 2019

Dr. Thomas Bellavia’s outstanding service and  support for the mission of Felician University was honored during the President’s Medallion Award Ceremony in Ed Commons. Dr. Bellavia’s support for excellence in Felician education includes the newly created Italian Culture and Language Series which will enrich campus programming.

Dr. Bellavia is a current member of the Felician University

Board of Trustees. His respect and support for Felician began through his work-related experiences with graduates of the School of Nursing. His wife,  a magna cum laude alumna of the School of Business, added to his appreciation of a Felician education.

As a Trustee, he has played an integral role in advancing programming and   achievements including the newly signed agreement with iCON, a consortium of Italian Universities, which now partner with Felician in the study of Italian language and culture. This coincides with the creation of the Felician Italian Language and Culture Series of which he is a sponsor.

Press Release

Mental Health Awareness Night

January 30, 2019

Felician University Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams both took part in the Mental Health Awareness Night on January 30. Many came out to participate and spread awareness of mental health issues and how they can be addressed. A noble night indeed for our teams!

Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award

January 30, 2019

New Jersey Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver  was  award the Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award on Wednesday, January 30 for her lifelong commitment

to fighting for economic opportunities for all of New Jersey’s residents. The event was attended by many state and local officials as they all came together to honor Lt. Governor Sheila. Following the ceremony, the Lt. Governor met with Felician  students  to discuss their Felician experiences and future goals.


Above photo, from left: Lodi Mayor Emil Carafa, Rutherford Councilman Mark Goldsack, Bergen County Clerk John Hogan, Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton, Assemblyman Gary Schaer, Rutherford Council President and Felician Dean Stephanie McGowan, Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver (Honoree), Assemblywoman Valerie Vanieri-Huttle, Pres. Anne Prisco, Interim VP Maura DeNicola, Assemblyman Clinton Calabrese


Latino Mental Health Association of New Jersey

February 1, 2019

The Latino Mental Health Association of New Jersey held their annual meeting in Ed Commons on Friday, February 1. Founded in 1999, the LMHA of NJ is committed to addressing the mental health needs of Latinos by supporting mental health professionals through the advancement of training, treatment, research, and mentorship, and by advocating for  the well-being of the Latino community. The event included entities such    as Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and Rutgers University.

Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities Conference

February 4, 2019

Dr. Anne Prisco, President of Felician University, attended the Association of  Catholic  Colleges and Universities Conference in Washington D.C. last week. The ACCU Conference addresses important issues such as student learning and religious  understanding,  socio-cultural challenges, and new financial models for Catholic higher education.This year the ACCU focused on advancing ways to embody Catholic higher education authentically and crafting a compelling narrative to attract prospective students.

Dr. Prisco spoke on a panel that addressed “Embodying Catholic Identity and Articulating   a Compelling Narrative.” Dr. Prisco  noted  that our  Felician  Franciscan  values ─ which are the foundation for all we do ─ provide an educational experience that prepares  students to flourish personally and professionally and to live fulfilling lives embodying Franciscan values. The skills employers are seeking, such as leadership, the ability to effectively communicate, to work in  teams, and  ethical judgement and  decision-making, are developed in and outside the classroom. Felician University  is  ranked  the  third highest independent in New Jersey for return on investment ─ a  very good indication  of the value of a Catholic Franciscan education!

Felician Men’s & Women’s Basketball Green Out

February 7, 2019

Felician Athletics held a basketball Green Out at the Men’s and Women’s February 7 double header at home in Rutherford. There was a considerable turnout and the crowd’s support was felt throughout the games as the bleachers were  engulfed  with  a sea of Felician green. Both teams won and provided great performances for all who  attended  including our president, Dr. Prisco and Sr. M. Aquinas Szott,

Felician trustee.

The crowd and the teams fed  off  each  other’s energy which really portrayed the  cohesiveness within the campus community and what Felician is all about. On Saturday, February 9 the  two  teams  will be hosting a Pink-Out to support the fight against women’s cancers.

St. Francis Fund of Felician Services Inc. Grant Awarded to Sr. Annelle Velivis

January 23, 2019

A first-year grant was awarded to the Felician University’s Caring for the Needs of Our Most Vulnerable Students program from the St. Francis Fund of Felician Services Incorporated this month. This mission, headed by Sr. Annelle Velivis, supports students in need of various methods of support and relief to continue or improve their educational experience.

We are grateful to Sr. Annelle for her dedication to our Felician community in creating this program to help satisfy gaps in the necessary material needs for our most vulnerable students.

Donuts to Congress

A snowy Friday morning in the state capital did not deter President Anne Prisco and her colleague President Andy Benton  from Pepperdine  University in their mission to join in hosting 40 staffers from the House and Senate who had been invited to learn about non-profit higher education ─ topics ranged from governance to financing and student aid.

Students’ App Introduced at Malmo University Medical Center in Sweden

Douglas Muir, a professor, entrepreneur, and investor for the University of Virginia, created a course called Presentation Strategies for Entrepreneurs. The course teaches students how to develop an innovative idea, how to use a de-risking model to test the idea’s plausibility, and finally, how to present findings to investors.

Felician University’s Nursing School student Emily Baker and Business School student Alpha Tarawally created an app called TraqER with the  knowledge  and  skills they learned in Professor Muir’s course. The app ─ which assists emergency room triage patients in reducing wait time and helps nurses to streamline ER processes ─ saves not only time, but lives.

Professor Muir coordinated an introduction between his students with their  app  and  a nurse at Malmo University Medical Center, located in Malmo, Sweden which then led  to them being invited to the University to present their app to the board of medical advisers. Currently, Emily Baker and Alpha Tarawally are negotiating with the CEO of the triage software company that works with all of Sweden’s hospitals. Professor Muir is thrilled that  his students are able to utilize the experiential learning methods in his course and apply them out in the real world, even while they are still students.

Felician’s Chambers Selected CACC Player Of The Week

Felician University sophomore Bionca Chambers (Bronx, N.Y./New Milford [N.J.])  has been selected as the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC)  Women’s  Basketball Player of the Week for the period ending January 27, the CACC announced today. Chambers wins the award for the first time in her career.

Chambers, a 5-foot-7 guard, scored 34 points, the most by a Felician female in five    years, during the Golden Falcons’ 89-85 CACC victory at Post University on January 22. During that contest, she tied a school record by making six three-point field goals.

Chambers has played in 15 games for Felician this season, starting nine. In 23.5 minutes per  game, she is averaging a team-high 13.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 2.2 assists. She    is a 2017 graduate of New Milford High School, and relocated to her birth city of Bronx,  N.Y., last summer.

2018 Newsletter Editions

“Any definition of a successful life includes service to others.” – President George H.W. Bush

Dear Felician Community,

It feels like it was just yesterday that we started a new semester, and yet here we are, in the last month of the year. December seems to go by faster than other months, with students preparing for their final exams and holiday celebrations being planned. It is all the more reason why December is the perfect month to reflect on gifts. While wrapped presents are nice, I am speaking about the gifts of our time, our energy and our talents. Let us take the time to appreciate these gifts that have been given to us and the opportunity to share these gifts with others. For example, can you give the gift of time to actively listen to a student, colleague, family member or friend when they need a supportive ear? It’s sharing these gifts that represent the true meaning of our Franciscan heritage.

Happy Anniversary Felician University!

It was 3 years ago, on November 3rd, that Felician College became Felician University. Our anniversary is great opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come, and the bright future ahead.

Wine Pairing Dinner

On November 3rd the University Advancement team transformed Goya Dining Hall into St. Mark’s Square for an incredible Wine Pairing Dinner experience. We are grateful to all those who contributed to this event. The generous support of donors is what keeps Felician’s learning community strong. Stay tuned to our Flickr channel for photos from the event!

Dante Lecture & ICON MOU Signing
Felician University and the Italian Culture on the Net, a consortium of Italian universities, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will enrich the global educational experience of our student body. The agreement will take effect at the start of the 2019 academic year, creating educational opportunities that will broaden students’ understanding about the world, its people, and gain a greater appreciation for diverse cultural and socio-political views.

Following the signing of the MOU, the group attended the lecture, “Sacred Conversation: Dante and the Canto of St. Francis,” by Professor Mirko Tavoni, Professor of Italian Linguistics and Dante at the University of Pisa. Professor Tavoni presented his perspective of St. Francis as revealed through the conversations of Dante and St. Thomas Aquinas, starting from the 11th Canto of the Paradiso. The presentation expanded on the relationships and perspectives of St. Francis found in the Paradiso and also featured photos of works by Giotto.

Nursing White Coat Ceremony

Sophomore nursing students received their white lab coats during the annual White Coat ceremony that took place in Breslin Hall on November 1st. This ceremony is the official welcome for nursing students and signifies the beginning of their journey through the Nursing Program.

Dr. Shore Celebration

Dr. Muriel Shore’s contributions and legacy as the Dean of the School of Nursing were honored during a celebration in Ed Commons on November 1st. Among her numerous accomplishments during Dr. Shore’s tenure at Felician University, she successfully led the School of Nursing in launching the first University doctoral program in 2012.

Undergraduate Open House

The Office of Enrollment Management held its Fall undergraduate Open House on Sunday, November 4th. Over 175 prospective students and their families joined us on the Rutherford campus to explore life at Felician University. Prospective students had the opportunity to meet faculty, staff, and current students as they learned about what makes Felician special. The next undergraduate Open House will be held on January 26th.

Wall Street Visit

On November 5th, a group of business majors, led by Professor Doug Muir, enjoyed a tour of New York Stock Exchange and the trading room floor. Students were able to meet and talk with traders and also had the opportunity to see the “back stage” operations behind Wall Street.

Veterans Day Ceremony

The Department of Veteran Affairs held a ceremonial event on November 7th to honor all U.S. military veterans. In attendance were staff and students representing both active and former members of the military as well as veterans from the local community.

Felician University Sponsors American Cancer Society Event

Felician University was proud to welcome back the American Cancer Society to the Rutherford Campus for their kick-off event on Sunday, November 11th. The University supports the American Cancer Society by donated our campus grounds and other resources in sponsorship of this special event. The event brought many of our neighbors within the Rutherford community and beyond to our beautiful campus in support of a great cause.

Men’s Empowerment Speaker

The Office Educational Opportunity Fund hosted guest speaker Michael Spence in the new Alden Trust Foundation Conference Room on November 29th for the annual Men’s Empowerment event. Michael is a motivational speaker and his talk, titled “Unlocking the Greatness Within,” touched on themes of forgiveness, focusing on your strengths to better yourself, and ultimately how to use your gifts to help others.

Breakfast with Santa

Goya Dining Hall was once again turned into a winter wonderland for the annual Breakfast with Santa held this year on Saturday, December 1st. Families enjoyed breakfast, activities, holiday songs, and most of all, a visit and photo with Santa. A special thanks to the Advancement team for all their hard work in making this a special day for families.

Business Lecture Series

On Tuesday, December 4th, the School of Business hosted its first guest speaker in their Leadership Lecture Series. Jose Baez shared his story of growing up in an immigrant family in the Bronx, through his education at Wharton School of Business, to his current business successes. Over 50 attendees appreciated the opportunity to connect with Jose and his inspirational story. Future speakers in this series will be announced early next semester.

Faculty Senate

The Faculty Senate held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, December 5th. The first meeting established the executive committee with Professor Joseph Lizza elected as President to the 2018-2019 Senate. This year’s goal is to transition to a fully-functioning senate with ratified bylaws and regular communication with University administration. Contact Secretary Kristen Abbey for more information about Senate meetings.

1st Annual Marketing Competition

The School of Business hosted its first annual “Shark Tank” marketing competition on Thursday, December 7th. 7 teams competed for a grand prize of $1000, donated and awarded by Professor Doug Muir. Each team spent weeks preparing for the competition by researching and putting together their own marketing plan for the upcoming Innovation Lab, currently in the pre-construction phase. The winning team consisted of students Angelika Kruzel, Jalissa Montgomery, and Julianna Longo.

Students attend Michelle Obama Talk

A group of students and faculty traveled to the Barclays Center in New York to attend Michelle Obama’s talk on Saturday, December 1st. Michelle Obama spoke to 19,000 fans that evening and shared insights from her new book, Becoming. In attendance (pictured from left to right) were Tiffany Austin, Director of the Career Development Center, Aaliyah Gill and Tiona MacDonald, students, Dr. Prisco, President, Felicia Pendleton, student from Middlesex County College, Shirley Rodriguez and Esther Louis, students, and Sharon McNulty, Director of the Counseling Center.

  • December 12-18. Final Exam Period
  • Tuesday, December 18. 3:00pm. Faculty and Staff Holiday Party Ray’s Place, Ed Commons, Rutherford Campus
  • Thursday, December 20. 7:00pm. Rutherford Planning Board Meeting. Rutherford Borough Hall Meeting to consider the proposal to build the new Wellness & Recreation Center.
  • Thursday, December 20. All grades are due.
  • December 24-31. University closed for Christmas holiday.

Please be safe and enjoy!
Peace and All Good,

Anne M. Prisco, Ph.D.

“We will never have a perfect world, and it would be dangerous to seek one. But there is no limit to the betterments we can attain if we continue to apply knowledge to enhance human flourishing.”
– Steven Pinker, Enlightenment Now

Dear Felician Community,

November is the perfect month to reflect on the notion of gratitude. With everything going on in the world today, there is no better time to step back for a moment and give thanks for all that we have. As we reflect on our Franciscan values, we find that every value is rooted in the idea of thankfulness. Thankfulness is the “key” that unlocks the heart to compassion, social justice, and respect. This month, let us offer a special thanks to the Felician Sisters for founding our University, our students who create the opportunity for learning, and our faculty and staff who
offer their gifts of time and talent to inspire and nurture our students.

Alumni & Family Weekend

Homecoming, FalconFest, Family Weekend and various other Alumni activities were celebrated during the week of October 11th-16th. The weather on Saturday turned sunny as the day progressed and students, alumni, family, faculty, staff and friends of the University had the opportunity to enjoy and all those who supported these hallmark events.

Bergen Tech Articulation Agreement

Felician University officially executed an Articulation Agreement with Bergen County Technical School on Tuesday October 9th. This agreement enables students in the BCT-ACE, FEUN Bachelor Completion, and Business Administration programs at Bergen County Technical School to successfully transfer and apply nine credits earned towards a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at Felician University.

Alden Trust Visit

Members of the Alden Trust Foundation visited the Rutherford campus on Tuesday October 30th for a tour of the Education Commons and the newly renovated lower level lecture hall in Sammartino Hall. Generous grants from the Alden Trust Foundation have helped Felician renovate these two buildings. The lower level lecture hall in Sammartino will now be referred to as the “Alden Trust Foundation Conference Room.” George I. Alden established the trust in 1912 for the purpose of promoting and advancing the mission of charitable organizations, particularly educational institutions.

Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner

Felician University held its 5th Annual Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet and Induction Ceremony on Saturday October 11th. Athletes honored at the dinner included
Quay Baskerville ’11 of the women’s basketball team, Dr. Alfredo Castro, contributor, as well as Gary Hanly ’03 and John McGarry ’03, of the men’s soccer team.

This annual event recognizes Felician University’s outstanding alumni and contributors who have the fields and courts of intercollegiate sports. Their accomplishments are immense and we are proud of all student athletes on and off the fields of competition. Whether our student athletes are raising money for 9-11 first responders or teaching lacrosse to inner-city children, they are true ambassadors for Felician University and its Franciscan mission.

Hispanic Heritage Month

Our campus celebrated the contributions of Hispanic and Latin American culture through a variety of University initiatives. To kick off Hispanic Heritage Month,  Felician University was proud to welcome Dr. Ivonne Diaz-Claisse, Ph.D. to share an inspiring story  about her journey through higher education, her heritage, and wisdom on how to succeed. Dr.  Diaz-Claisse is the founder of Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement (HISPA), a non-profit that mobilizes Latino professionals to serve as mentors and role models in communities and educational institutions.

On September 26th Felician University hosted the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce New Jersey  (SHCCNJ) Corporate Advisory Council Dinner. SHCCNJ’s staff and board members gathered at the Castle  to network and celebrate a year of success. Felician University is proud to be a SHCCNJ member and  supports the Chamber’s mission to educate business owners, encourage entrepreneurial partnerships  and position itself as a visible driver of change in New Jersey’s business sector.

The Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU) drew a record audience at their annual  meeting this past month in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference program featured a session with  Felician Univeristy’s President Dr. Anne Prisco who was joined by colleagues Dr. Irma Becerra of  Marymount University and Rosalind Aldermann of St. Mary’s University for a panel discussion on best practices for intentionally recruiting, enrolling, and integrating Hispanic/Latinx students on Catholic college and university campuses. Dr. Prisco focused her remarks on how Franciscan values for familismo, respeto, simpatía and personalismo serve as the foundation for success. These values  particularly resonate with Hispanic students and families; creating an inclusive and welcoming environment.

The presentation covered areas such as the importance of offering a family support network on campus, student engagement and expectations, understanding learning cultures, financial aid, diversity planning efforts, and faculty development. Felician University is proud of our Hispanic students’ achievements as measured by retention, graduation, and career and life outcomes.

School of Education at NJ Autism Conference

Dr. Stephanie McGowan, Dean of the School of Education, and Dr. John Burke, Executive Director of the International Center for Autism and Disabilities Research in Education (I-CAdRE), presented at the 37th Annual New Jersey Autism Conference on October 17th. Their presentation, Increasing ‘The Fun Factor’, while Targeting

Social Communication, had over 300 attendees.Over the course of the three-day conference Dr. McGowan, Dr. Burke and Camille Braker-Balkum, Director of Adult and Graduate Admissions, promoted new programs in the School of Education and I-CAdRE.

Radio Felician University

After several years of hiatus, the student-led Radio Felician University is back on the air! Run by Professor Richard Appel and student station
manager, Dashaun Calhoun, our radio station is a 24/7 internet-based radio station offering a variety of music from the 70’s all the way to contemporary alternative music. A special thanks to Dr. George Abaunza, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Terry McAteer, Professor of Communication, and station engineer, David Plotkin, for working throughout the summer to get this initiative up and running. You can listen to Radio Felician anytime by clicking on the “Radio Felician” icon at the bottom of any page on

Dr. Prisco on Steve Adubato’s Caucus New Jersey

Dr. Prisco was interviewed on Steve Adubato’s NJTV program, “State of Affairs.” This episode featured a panel discussion titled “Understanding the Age Wave.” Dr. Prisco shared how Felician University’s Institute for Gerontology is contributing to the initiatives that enhance healthy aging. You can view the video here:


  • Tuesday, November 6. 1:00pm. Sacred Conversation: Dante and the Canto of St. Francis Ray’s Place,
    Ed Commons, Rutherford Campus
  • November 7-9. 9:00am – 4:00pm. Instant Decision Days Office of Admissions, Rutherford Campus
  • Wednesday, November 8. 1:00pm. Veteran’s Day Ceremony of Thanks and Reflection Flagpole outside of
    the Castle, Rutherford Campus
  • Wednesday, November 8. 1:00pm. Lecture Event: Policing from a Cops Point of View
    Ray’s Place, Ed Commons, Rutherford Campus
  • Thursday, November 15. 12:30pm. Graduate and Adult Open House
    Rutherford Campus
  • Thanksgiving Break, November 22 – 25
  • Thursday, November 29. 7:00pm. Rutherford Planning Board Meeting. Rutherford Borough Hall
    Meeting to consider the proposal to build the new Wellness & Recreation Center.
  • Tuesday, December 18. 3:00pm. Faculty and Staff Holiday Party
    Details to follow.

Peace and All Good,

Anne M. Prisco, Ph.D.

“We will never have a perfect world, and it would be dangerous to seek one. But there is no limit to the betterments we can attain if we continue to apply knowledge to enhance human
flourishing.”- Steven Pinker, Enlightenment Now

Dear Felician Community,
As the slight chill of fall returns this month, it brings with it the many colors to the trees that grace our campuses. It’s a wonderful time of year with academic programs in full swing, athletic teams deep into their schedules, and alumni returning to join the entire community for homecoming weekend.

Leadership Changes

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Ronald Gray, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students. Dr. Gray joined the Felician community in 2017, and since joining Felician University, has worked across the University to launch multiple initiatives improving and optimizing the student-school relationship. An important relationship that Dr. Gray is leading across the University is the inclusion of and communication to a student’s parents and family members regarding the college experience. As he shared in this year’s Focus Magazine, “Parents are the gatekeeper and they play a critical role in reinforcing our values and culture. They help us wrap our arms around our students.”

There is much excitement surrounding the Division of Student Affairs as the team implements many more initiatives like these under Dr. Gray’s guidance and leadership. The vision of an engaging student life here at Felician University is one we can all strive for.

We are also pleased to announce Francine Andrea’s new role, VP of Administration. Fran has been with the University since 2013 and has provided critical leadership through many projects. In Fran’s new role as VP of Administration she will provide leadership to the areas of Athletics, Security, Dining Services, Information Technology, Information Systems, Government Relations, and Compliance. As a University, we are deeply grateful for the service that Fran has provided over the years in many different roles and look forward to her continued success and leadership in this new position.

Finally, we are pleased to announce two internal promotions in the Department of Enrollment Management. Camille Braker-Balkum has assumed the role of Director of Graduate and Adult Admissions and Kristopher LaGreca has assumed the role of Director of Marketing and Communications. Both Camille and Kris have shown exceptional leadership skills and we are excited about the enthusiasm, knowledge, and commitment they will bring to their new roles.

Please join me in welcoming and congratulating Ron, Fran, Camille, and Kris in their new roles.


The women’s soccer team welcomes Julia Sheridan as their new assistant coach. Sheridan was a goalkeeper for the Golden Falcons from 2012 to 2015. In 51 starts, she was 20-18-7 with 10 solo shutouts and four shared shutouts. She helped lead Felician to back-to-back Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) semifinal appearances in her junior and senior campaigns, earning CACC All-Tournament honors in 2014. Finally, Julia was our valedictorian for our 2016 commencement ceremony. Please join me in welcoming Julia to the team! #FelicianAthletics

Felician University graduate Matt Diesel ’18, has been named the 2017-18 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Diesel is the third Felician student-athlete to win the award, and the first member of the baseball program.

Another alum, Jerry Vasto ‘14, is now playing for the Kansas City Royals after being traded in August from the Colorado Rockies. Jerry is Felician’s first baseball player to make it to the
majors. Keep an eye out for Jerry during the 2019 MLB season.

Alumni & Family Weekend

Homecoming, FalconFest, and Alumni activities all come together during Alumni and Family Weekend, October 11-16. The celebration starts with the Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet on Thursday, October 11th, at the Holiday Inn in Hasbrouck Heights. On Saturday, October 13th, the festivities continue with Alumni Paint & Sip, FalconFest at the Rutherford campus, Volleyball and Soccer games, and more. Sunday ends the weekend with an alumni basketball game at 8pm. We hope that you can join us for some or all the festivities! More details at alumni_and_familyweekend2018

University Advancement

University Advancement and the Alumni team would like to remind everyone to purchase tickets for the upcoming wine pairing dinner on
November 3rd. This special fundraiser provides vital support to Felician’s mission and programs. Sign up here:

Felician Awarded FSCS Grant

Felician University was awarded a multi-year grant of $200k to provide various services to the  Paterson school district. As part of a larger $2.5 million federal grant and in partnership with
the school district, Felician submitted a proposal to create financial literacy and career  workshops, a bridge program, and other programs. The Full Service Community Schools Grant seeks to
partner school districts with local organizations and nonprofits in order to provide a wide breadth of services and to create more opportunities for students in low-income school districts. Special thanks to George Abaunza, Tiffany Austin, Dinelia Garland, Cynthia Montalvo, and Kathy Prieto for helping make this opportunity possible.

Happy Thought

Shared by a mrspeace1997 on Instagram. #FelicianForward!

Mission & Heritage Week

Mission and Heritage Week kicked off October 4th and continues through the 10th, with the celebration of the Feast of St. Francis. After a service in Lodi, Campus Ministry led an activity, inviting the community to paint a Kindness Rock. Other activities planned include a praise and worship service, centering prayer, and volunteer opportunities. To learn the fascinating story behind Kindness Rock and to see other activities for Mission and Heritage Week, be sure to check out the event posting on

Hispanic Heritage Month

As a Hispanic Serving Institution, one of twelve in NJ, Felician University is especially proud to support Hispanic Heritage Month. We are pleased to announce that the founder and CEO of HISPA, Ivonne Diaz-Claisse, Ph.D., will be visiting Felician to give a talk entitled “With the Endless Power of Our Voices” on Monday, October 8th. See the event details here.

Did you know?

Felician’s undergraduate population is 29% Hispanic

To kick off Hispanic Heritage Month, I participated in a panel discussion in Excelencia in Education’s special briefing in Washington, DC. The briefing centered on the results of their survey “HSI Graduates and the Workforce: Examining Life Outcomes Among Graduates at Hispanic-Serving Institution.” I shared details with the panel about Felician’s inclusive strategy of creating strong support systems for Hispanic students. Stay tuned for my LinkedIn article this month for my reflection on the Excelencia conference.

  • Thursday, October 4-11. Mission & Heritage Week. Both campuses. Various events, event details here.
  • Monday, October 8. 12:30pm. “With the Endless Power of Our Voices” talk by Ivonne Diaz-Claisse, Ph.D. Education Commons, Rutherford Campus.
  • Thursday, October 11. 6:00pm. Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet. Holiday Inn, Hasbrouck Heights. Event details here.
  • Thursday, October 11. 7:00pm. Rutherford Planning Board Meeting. Rutherford Borough Hall. Meeting to consider the proposal to build the new Wellness & Recreation Center.
  • Thursday, October 11-Sunday, October 14. Alumni & Family Weekend. Rutherford Campus.
    Various events to celebrate as a #FelicianFamily. See the page on our website for more details.
  • Sunday, October 14. 1:00pm. Hamlet, as performed by Robert Milli. The Little Theater, Rutherford Campus. Event details here.

What the President is Reading

The Divine Comedy. By Dante Alighieri. ICU Publishing.

Peace and All Good,
Anne M. Prisco, Ph.D.

“We will never have a perfect world, and it would be dangerous to seek one. But there is no limit to the betterments we can attain if we continue to apply knowledge to enhance human flourishing.” – Steven Pinker, Enlightenment Now

Dear Felician Community,

It is with great excitement and honor to welcome back our students and faculty for the start of the  2018-2019 academic year. As president, nothing brings me more joy than to see people walking across  campus, classes filled with knowledge-seeking students, and our athletes training with their teams.  I hope that everyone enjoyed the summer and took the opportunity to explore, grow, and prepare  themselves for the excitement and challenges a new semester brings.

Felician Summer News

As I’m sure you all know – life is never quiet at Felician, even in the summer months! In fact,  there are many exciting highlights to share. Over 30 students from the School of Business traveled  to Ireland this summer for our study abroad program in Belfast and Dublin, representing our largest  group yet. This year’s theme for Professor Michael Omansky’s MBA program in Dublin was  “Contemporary Issues in Organizational Leadership.” The Belfast program for undergraduates centered  on a five-day critical thinking course and was facilitated by Professor Anthony Scardino. Special thanks to all the staff and faculty who made this experience possible for our students.

One of Felician’s recent art major graduates, Alexandra Laurenzano, was accepted into NYU’s Summer Studio Residency program. On Instagram, Alexandra shares about her experience, “This two-month program has had an amazing impact on my person and I look forward to seeing what the exhibition at
CUNY Queensborough. Please join me in congratulating both Alexandra and Ard on these wonderful achievements, and I encourage you to take the time to visit their galleries and support your University community. More information and

Within the School of Education, we announced a new undergraduate minor in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism, designed for students who are seeking to be board certified Assistant Behavior Analysts. The program has been fully approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) and involves four courses with additional two practicum experiences based on BACB requirements. I am proud of our industry-leading programs in education, and that our graduates are sought by schools and other community organizations who serve children, youth and adults with autism. This is a fine example of how Felician is fulfilling its mission of improving the lives of others.

Professors Julie O’Connell, Stephen Sergi, and John Zanetich participated in NYU’s Faculty Resource Network program in June. Applicants applied to this five-day program and select from one of ten intensive courses, all taught by industry-leading professionals. Professor O’Connell attended “Designing Student Assessments Using Technology and Media,” Professor Sergi attended “Classroom Teaching Effectiveness,” and Professor Zanetich attended “Writing Successful Grant Proposals.” All the participants recommend the program highly and more information can be found at:

This summer, the University also received generous grants from The Provident Bank Foundation and AT&T. The Provident Bank Foundation awarded a grant of $15,000 that benefits Felician’s internship programs and students. AT&T awarded the University $25,000 in a grant titled “Navigating the Road to Degree Completion” that supports student degree completion and retention efforts. A special thanks to all our corporate partners for their generous support of our mission.

The School of Arts & Sciences also announced a partnership with St. George’s University to offer an early admissions program into medical and veterinary schools at St. George’s. More information about this partnership is available here:

The School of Nursing also expanded its RN-MSN online program to include tracks for nurses interested in becoming nurse practitioners. Licensed nurses in any part of the country may enroll in a fully-online accelerated program that allows the flexibility to choose from nursing administration, adult gerontology nurse practitioner, or family nurse practitioner tracks after completion of the first year of coursework.

From the Office of Counseling Services, Sharon McNulty and I published an article titled “The Journey Towards a Stigma-Free Campus at Felician University” in the 1st quarter 2018 edition of the Mary Christie Quarterly. In this piece, we discuss the ongoing efforts to move our University towards the vision of a stigma-free campus. I’m proud of Sharon’s and everyone’s efforts to create a welcoming and positive campus for all.


As our student athletes begin their training for the fall semester, the Athletics Department is preparing for their 6th Annual Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet on Thursday, October 11th. This event celebrates our talented athletes, both past and present. For more information about the event and to register, visit: This semester the Golden Falcon’s women bowling team welcomes Taylor Strothmann as the new head coach. And of course, Felician baseball continues to hit home runs with talented, rising star athletes. Read the full story here: Go Falcons!

Innovation Lab

Our University continues to enhance its curriculum by incorporating industry partnerships, experiential learning, and real-world educational opportunities. Felician’s dedicated faculty  programs in a direction that best prepares our students for that future. One of these exciting opportunities is inside the School of Business. Spearheaded by Dean Deirdre Christofalo, students in the Innovation Lab will be immersed in innovation and entrepreneurial learning and have the and additional capital funding.

New Faculty and Leadership Announcements

Felician University always seeks out the best in their respective fields to come join us for the start of the new academic year. I am eager for you to meet and get to know some outstanding new faculty members who will be teaching here at Felician. I invite you to visit and to read the announcement to learn about our new faculty members. Please extend a warm Felician welcome to them!

I am also excited to announce changes in senior leadership here at Felician. On behalf of our Board of Trustees, students, faculty, staff and the entire University community, I welcome these very talented, experienced and dedicated academic leaders to their new roles, and wish them continued success as they bring new ideas and foster exciting new programs to attract, retain and graduate students at Felician University. Read more about the changes here:

New Facilities and Enhancements

Felician University continues to make multi-million-dollar investments in our facilities to make  them not only more accessible, energy efficient, modern, and safe. As you return to both Lodi and  Rutherford campuses, you’ll find:
• New state-of-the-art lecture center, with seating for 80 in the lower level of Sammartino
Hall, funded by a $100,000 grant from the Alden Trust Foundation
• Full service elevator at Sammartino Hall (coming soon)
• Dunkin Donuts self-serve at Lodi Campus (coming soon)
• New comprehensive fire alarm system for Obal Hall, Lodi
• New Lobby at Milton Court along with 1st and 2nd floor upgrades
• New card access system for Rutherford campus residence halls and various academic buildings
• Upgraded central air conditioning system in Sammartino Hall and Milton Court

Finally, we continue to plan for the development of our new Wellness and Recreation Center on our  Rutherford campus. I look forward to sharing news about this project soon as we continue to work  with the Rutherford Planning Board for project approval. Be sure to follow developments at

Felician and our Rutherford Neighbors

You may have seen lawns signs on neighboring properties or have read posts on social media making who oppose the development of the new Wellness and Recreation Center, the majority of Rutherfordians support Felician and our long-standing contributions to the community. They see the good in what we do each and every day.

Despite what you may see or hear, I ask that you not be drawn into the negativity of the few people who are opposed to improving and strengthening our University. Above all else, I ask that you and your families continue to respect our neighbors through kind, thoughtful and compassionate acts. Always be polite and courteous and respect the opinions, lives and property of all. This is what our Franciscan values teach us. Remember that you represent your Felician family even outside of campus, so always put your best foot forward.

Everyone Leads

As we welcome approximately 2000 students this fall, I reflect on what it means to be here at Felician University. Sylvia McGeary, our interim VP for Academic Affairs and Mission Integration, shares with us our theme, “Everyone Leads,” for the new semester. Informed by our Franciscan values, we come to understand that often the best way to be a leader is by serving others, listening, acting with compassion, and being inspired by your Faith. For Fall of 2018, I invite all of you, your friends and families, to join the entire Felician community in becoming leaders!

  • Monday, August 27. Welcome Back Breakfast & Fall Faculty Gathering. Lodi campus.
    Starting at 8:30am in the Goya Dining Hall.
  • Wednesday, September 5. Mass of the Holy Spirit. Sisters’ Chapel. Lodi campus.
    A celebration of gratitude for the beginning of another academic year and for all the gifts we possess and use for the common good. All are welcome.
  • Thursday, September 13. Academic Convocation. Breslin Auditorium. Lodi campus.
    Program starts at 7:00pm. Sister Elaine Marie Frigo, CSSF will be our honorary degree recipient.
  • Thursday, September 29. 7:00pm Rutherford Planning Board Meeting. Rutherford Borough Hall. Planning board meeting to consider and approve the proposal to build the new Wellness & Recreation Center.
What the President is Reading
  • Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress. By Steven Pinker. Viking Press.
  • The iGen Shift: Colleges Are Changing to Reach the Next Generation. By Laura Pappano. The New York Times.
  • On Color. By David Kastan and Stephen Farthing. Yale University Press.
    Winnebagos on Wednesdays: How Visionary Leadership Can Transform Higher Education. By Scott Cowen and Betsy Seifter. Princeton University Press.

Peace and All Good,
Anne M. Prisco, Ph.D.

“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice,
suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dear Felician Community,

July is best known for our celebration of independence from the British Empire. Independence is core theme that lives within American culture and enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. In the same vein, Felician University represents one of fourteen independent universities and colleges in the state of New Jersey. Being independent gives us the freedom to be guided by our Franciscan values and to create new and different opportunities for our diverse student body that statedependent schools often can’t do. But with that independence comes challenges such as continual funding and support for scholarships. That’s why July is a great month to reach out to friends, families, and colleagues and ask them to continue to support Felician’s mission. Have a safe and happy 4th of July holiday!

Staff Appreciation Day

Every year in June, we come together as a Felician family to celebrate and recognize our staff and faculty. We honor those have milestone anniversaries as well as saying goodbye to those that are retiring. This year featured two food trucks for a wonderful choice of exciting eats! It is a great honor to work with such a dedicated, professional community, all whom work together to create a worldclass education for our students.

RAI Italia’s Cristianità visits Felician

Sister Myriam hosts a weekly show called “Christianity” on Italy’s RAI network. She had such a great visit at Felician last year that Sister Myriam asked to come back and conduct a more extensive story centered on the students and faculty. She spent the day interviewing at various locations throughout our Rutherford campus. We will keep you informed as to when the episode about Felician airs.


New student orientation, advising, and registration, also known as SOAR takes place in June on the Rutherford campus. It’s a great opportunity for students to meet each other, talk to advisors, and soak up the fun and excitement of their quickly approaching Freshmen year. Congrats to everyone who helps make this event possible, especially our teams from Enrollment and Student Affairs.

Dr. Prisco Receives Italian American Award

On June 23rd, Dr. Prisco received an award of recognition from Rutherford’s Italian-American association, “Ieri, Oggi, Domani.” Over 100 members were in attendance to celebrate Sister Myriam’s visit from Rome, Dr. Prisco’s award, and to celebrate the organization’s community. Mille Grazie!

Planned Giving Tea Party

On June 20th, Advancement held a “Planned Giving Tea” where those interested in learning about the different ways to give to the University joined us at the Castle for tea and treats. Dr. John Farkas, Vice President of University Advancement shared the many ways to support the University, including bequests, estates, and through retirement plans, and more. Would you like to be included at our next Tea at the Castle? Just contact the University Advancement and we’ll keep you informed!

Social Media Tip

Are you LinkedIn-savvy but have a profile that still lists Felician College? Now is a good time to revisit your profile and make sure it’s up to date.
Be sure to follow the University’s profile here: and also Dr. Prisco on LinkedIn at for her monthly Message From the Present.

  • Wednesday, July 18. SOAR Event. Rutherford campus.
    Last SOAR event for the summer. If you are an incoming Freshman haven’t attended one yet, please
    make sure to attend!
  • Thursday, July 11. 7:00pm Rutherford Planning Board Meeting. Rutherford Borough Hall.
    Additional planning board meeting to consider and approve the proposal to build the new Wellness
    & Recreation Center.
  • What the President is Reading
  • Value for Money? What a Grim, Cold Way to Talk About Universities. By Linda Drew. The
    Guardian. Why Liberal Arts and the Humanities are as Important as Engineering. By Vivek Wadhwa.
  • LinkedIn.

Peace and All Good,
Anne M. Prisco, Ph.D.

It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.
-Leonardo da Vinci

Dear Felician Community,

The previous month is one of wondrous transition. We go from the stressful intensity of final exams to a joyous intensity of award ceremonies leading up to the Baccalaureate Mass, and finally, the pinnacle of the Commencement ceremony. We say goodbye to our seniors whom we’ve watched grow as students, and as human beings, from their first steps on campus in freshman year. The month of May ends on an exhale from all the previous excitement that month brings and allows us to recharge again in preparation for the summer sessions and projects that start in June.

Award Ceremonies and Summer Highlights

In the weeks leading up to commencement, each school holds their own ceremony event to honor their highest achieving students. Each school adds their own touches to their celebrations that culminate into a delightful prelude to graduation. Celebrations included Sigma Beta Delta School of Business Awards on May 1st, the Athletic Awards Dinner on May 6th, Honors Reception May 7th, Nursing’s Pinning Ceremony on May 10th, Education’s Candlelight Ceremony on May 16th, EOF Awards on May 17th, and Arts & Science’s Awards on May 18th.

All of our schools have amazing highlights about their graduating seniors and faculty to share. The School of Education advanced three recent graduates as candidates for one of New Jersey’s top awards for educators; the 2018 New Jersey Distinguished Student Teacher Awards. Nursing announced that the Barbara J. Toscano Nursing Resource and Simulation Center received a $6,000 technology grant from Verizon. These funds were used to purchase bar-code scanners and stands for use with electronic health record management. Business is proud of its partnership with Dublin City University in helping to welcome 32 of our graduate students for their study abroad program. Finally, the School of Arts and Sciences is happy to share that Professor Ard Berge has been invited to show his artwork in a solo show this summer at Queens Community College. On the student side, the Art Department’s recent graduate, Alex Laurenzano, has been accepted to a two-month intensive summer study program at NYU.

Of course, there are many more exciting stories and news to share about our faculty, staff, and students that we can’t fit into one newsletter. We encourage you to follow us on social media and at to stay up to date on the latest news.

Athletic Recreation Complex (ARC) Update Advancement held their annual Green and Gold Golf Classic on May 3rd with continued success. The event serves not only as a fundraiser for Felician’s Annual Fund, but also as an opportunity for alumni, trustees, and friends of the University to come together in fellowship and a good game of golf! Progress continues with development of the ARC, with Rutherford Planning Board meetings continuing and final planning taking place. We’re excited about announcing an official groundbreaking event soon and look forward to starting construction on this amazing project.

To learn more about the ARC and how you can help, please visit


Everyone loves photos! We’ve decided to leverage Flickr as our resource for publishing and sharing official photos from events here at Felician. We’re working to make more of our entire catalog of photo albums available online and public. We welcome everyone to explore, relive, and share their favorite moments.

Revisit your favorite events by viewing the photogalleries here:

10 NJ Colleges Where Freshmen Are Likely to Drop Out From

Thankfully, this is a list that Felician is NOT on! In all seriousness, Felician’s mission is grounded in the belief that our students are our first priority. Having this mission has guided our entire community to focus on helping our students succeed. This is realized in all of our financial, social, and educational support programs that we have instituted over the years. Felician University is proud to be a leader in maintaining Freshman retention rates, averaging over 81% for the past three years. Special Thanks from Christ the King School in Newark Felician University received a certificate of appreciation from Cristo Rey High School in Newark in appreciation of our ongoing partnership. Felician hosted a student intern during the school year, introducing them to the college environment early in their academic careers and creating positive experiences. We welcome the opportunity to support this amazing academic leader in the growing educational resurgence in Newark.

Golden Falcons Athletic Highlights

Our athletes and teams had an outstanding year and continue to improve with each season. This year ended with some memorable notes including three baseball players,
Matt Diesel, Bruce Strickland, and LT Struble being chosen for the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference postseason teams. In additional their coach, Chris Langan, was
voted CACC Coach of the Year for the third consecutive season. Golden Falcon’s Matt Diesel was also named East Region Baseball Player of the Year. Felician University Athletics welcomes Epson Smajlaj as the head coach of the women’s and men’s cross-country teams, replacing coach Rob DeCarlo Jr.
Finally, 18 student-athletes were selected for this year’s Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars Awards! These students come from across various sport programs at the University and the award reflects the heart of our Felician values. To be chosen for these awards, the student-athletes must be active in their community, excel in their sport, and maintain a
3.2 GPA or higher.

Go Falcons!

  • Tuesday, June 19. Spirit Day. Rutherford campus. Annual celebration to honor faculty and staff.
  • Thursday, June 21. Rutherford Planning Board Meeting. Rutherford Borough Hall.
  • Last planning board meeting to consider and approve the proposal to build the new Athletic and Wellness Center.
What the President is Reading

Peace and All Good,
Anne M. Prisco, Ph.D.

“A community spirit does not just happen of itself. It flows from people who share a common tradition and strive for a common goal outside themselves.”
– Blessed Mary Angela

Dear Members of Felician Community,

As spring finally arrives, there is so much more budding and blooming at Felician than just the trees and flowers! Our University is bustling with academic, spiritual, social and athletic activity. While we are completing the 2017-18 academic year and busily preparing for our annual commencement ceremonies later this month, we are also getting ready to begin our summer session and even looking further down the road toward the upcoming fall semester.

In writing this update for May, I sadly begin by letting you know of the passing of Nancy Farkas, wife of our Vice President, University Advancement, Dr. John Farkas. Please join me in sending our heartfelt wishes and prayers to John, his son John Jr. and the entire family. May Nancy rest in peace.

International Travel

As a Felician Franciscan Ministry, we value diversity in all forms. We believe that engaging with individuals different from ourselves builds empathy and enriches our global village. Therefore, one of our strategic goals is to build partnerships with institutions in other countries to bring our mission and teachings to individuals as well as host them on our campus so that we may learn from each other.

Our strategic plan reflects this in Principle II: “Felician University engages in community and global collaborations.”

To achieve this goal, one of the initiatives Felician has undertaken is to partner with the firm Hunter Global to assist us in forging university partnerships in Asia. Nearly a full year of planning and development by Hunter Global led to their strong interest in Felician University and several institutional partners in Vietnam and China to warrant a visit from me as president. Culturally, having a president visit is a clear signal that we are serious about establishing a relationship.

Over the course of 10 days, I traveled with Hunter Global’s president, vice president and regional representatives to four cities, and visited with seven-plus academic institutions including six universities and one high school. I was impressed with the schools I visited and the interest in partnering with us. During meetings with institutional and government officials, we discussed a range of program options such as ESL and summer short-term programs, faculty and student exchanges, 2+2 and 3+1 undergraduate degree programs, faculty development programs, and a Master’s in Business Administration program.

I met with government and provincial ministers who oversee efforts for economic development and educational programs and (as illustrated in the accompanying map) traveled to:

• Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – Hoa Sen University and Hong Bang International University
• Hanoi, Vietnam – FPT University
• Chengdu, China – Jincheng College of Sichuan University
• Changchun, China – Beihua University, the Confucius Academy, a 3-year college (similar to American community Colleges) and a high school The trip set the stage for a number of opportunities. Our partner, Hunter Global, will be working in collaboration with us and each institution to determine how best to align their interests and needs with our programs. This is an exciting step forward for fulfilling our mission and meeting our goals to both internationalize and grow enrollment. It will likely take up to six months to firm up agreements and at least another year before we launch any programs. Given the success Hunter has had with other partners like St Francis University in Joliette, we have much to look forward to! Faculty or staff with an interest in teaching or participating in this initiative should inform their supervisor and reach out to Yaruby Petit-Frere, our Director for International Programs.

Progress on University Goals

As quarterly update on University Goals is now posted to the Felician portal, where you can conveniently track our progress. As you peruse the initiatives, it is evident that the efforts of our faculty, staff and students are progressing and we are achieving much of what we had planned. As discussed at the recent Town Hall meeting, while enrollment among traditional undergraduate students has been met, enrollment of adult undergraduates has fallen significantly, and graduate student enrollment is somewhat under the budgeted goal.

To address the need to rebuild our adult student program offerings, Deirdre Letson-Christfalo, Ph.D. has joined us in the role of Dean of Innovation and Professional Studies. In addition, Steven Goetsch has rejoined our enrollment and marketing team. Thanks to all who attended the Open House/Admitted Student Day held several weeks ago. We had a sizable number of students and families in attendance. Feedback was very positive with many commenting on how pleased they were to have faculty and staff engage with them one-on-one to speak about our academic programs and support services.

As faculty and staff advise and guide our student body, students are encouraged to make progress to degree through summer classes. It’s important to note that the federal government has made Pell grants available to cover summer tuition. We remain focused on assisting students in planning their courses and experiential learning opportunities to ensure they remain on track to graduate. As identified in our plan, the educational and support services we offer provide for an engaging experience that translates into retaining students through degree completion and beyond.

Transforming Lives Campaign and Golf Outing

Friend Raising events were held in Camden and at Trustee Beth Lenke’s home in Manhattan last week, which we’re hopeful will soon result in financial support for the ARC project. We will also be hosting a Planned Giving Tea on June 15 to showcase the many ways in which to support our University. Please contact the Office of University Advancement or my office if you have anyone interested in attending these Friend Raiser events and supporting Felician University.
Our annual golf outing will take place this week on Thursday, May 3 at the Cedar Hill Golf and Country Club in Livingston where friends and family of the University will gather for a day of competition and camaraderie out on the links. Anyone with an interest in participating in the tournament or supporting the event should contact Jimena Buitrago (

Athletic Recreation Complex (ARC) Update

Progress on obtaining approvals to begin construction of our new Athletic Recreation Complex is being made. Our team of professionals presented at the Rutherford Planning Board meeting held last week and will be returning to the board for further discussion early this month. The timeline calls for us to break ground this summer.

New Hires for the Fall 2018 Semester

Kristopher LaGreca joined Felician this week as Director of Communications, reporting to John Farkas. Kris is an accomplished digital marketing and strategic communication executive with over a decade of experience with the full life cycle of digital marketing initiatives and expertise, utilizing new technologies to optimize business processes for clients in a variety of industries. We look forward to his contributions at Felician. Please join me in welcoming Kris to the Felician community.

Noteworthy Events, Programs and Recognition

Keynote Speakers at 2018 Commencement:
Google’s Jaime Cassap and 2017 MLK Legacy Award Recipient, Carla Harris

Jaime Casap, Chief Educational Evangelist at Google, Inc. and Carla Harris, Vice Chairman, Wealth Management, Managing Director and Senior Client Advisor for Morgan Stanley – and recipient of Felician University’s 2017 MLK, Jr. Legacy Award – will be the keynote speakers at Felician University’s 2018 Commencement ceremonies. As we typically do, to enable students to invite more family members to view their graduation, there will be two commencement exercises held in the Breslin Performing Arts Center. The first ceremony – when Casap will speak – begins at 10:30 am and includes graduates from the Schools of Arts & Sciences and Education. The second ceremony – when Harris will speak – begins at 3:30 pm and includes graduates from the Schools of Business and Nursing.

Felician University Student Participates in TEDx Conference
Elisee (Eli) Joseph, a Doctor of Business Administration candidate at Felician recently made a TEDx presentation at Syracuse University, where he redefined renowned UCLA men’s basketball coach John Wooden’s distinction between winning and succeeding through the art of mathematics and sports analysis. His participation in the 2017 Graduate Symposium at Felician was the impetus for him to share ideas beyond our university.

Joining with AT&T to Bring It Can Wait Campaign to Felician

We recently joined with AT&T to talk about the dangers of smartphone distracted driving with Felician’s students. It Can Wait is a national movement urging drivers to keep their eyes on the road and not on their phones. As shocking as it may be, research indicates that nearly 9-in-10 people admit to using their smartphone while driving.

John Paul II Social Justice Lecture

We held the 11th Annual John Paul II Social Justice Lecture last week. The event, co-sponsored by the Knights of Malta, addressed significant social issues. This year’s topic was Interfaith Dialog. The participants, made up of University administrators, faculty, staff, students and members of the surrounding communities came together to view the Unity Productions film, The Sultan and The Saint, followed by discussion. The discussion was then opened to all present and included a Q&A session. A meaningful conversation about relationship, faith and common ground followed.

Golden Falcons Athletic Highlights

Historically speaking, it has been one of the best regular-seasons we’ve enjoyed in quite some time for our men’s baseball team. The team had an incredible winning streak and will finish in first place in its division (the CACC South). The game against Concordia (N.Y.) College which was rained out this past weekend was re-scheduled to May 1, 2018.
In its final tournament of the season, the Felician golf team won its match, finishing first out of 12 teams in greater Philadelphia. This is only the second time in its 13-year history that the golf team has won an “Invitational” style tournament containing more than four teams. Please join me in congratulating Felician sophomore, Jake Storako, who was the individual champion (out of 60+ entries) with an even-par score of 72.
Finally, we celebrated Senior Night at men’s lacrosse, where Dr. Ed Ogle “pinched-hit” for me at the ceremony for John Burns. The team quickly got off to a 5-0 lead, and held it to defeat Post University, 9-7, for the first victory in program history! A video of the celebration is posted to the Felician Facebook site.

Additional Reminders:

• Baccalaureate Mass will be held on Friday, May 18th, 2018 at 7pm in the Lodi Campus, Sisters Chapel.
• Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 19, 2018, The School of Arts and Sciences along with the School of Education will begin at 10:30am and the School of Nursing along with the School of Business will begin at 3:30pm. Both will be held on the Lodi Campus, in the Breslin Performing Arts Center.
Peace and All Good,
Anne M. Prisco, Ph.D.

Dear Felician Community,

This being Easter Monday – the second day of Eastertide here in the western world – the conclusion  of Holy Week, and the observance of Passover, I hope you and your families had a meaningful time  together. I am very pleased to once again share “all things Felician” in this April update. As I  reflect on the many achievements since my last message, I am grateful to each of you for your  contributions. It’s even more exciting to consider all that lies ahead for Felician University as  spring finally arrives.

Transforming Lives Campaign

On the campaign front, our Friend Raising and Alumni events in Delray Beach, Florida last month  were successful, and we expect our journey south will soon bear some fruit in the form of financial  support for the build out of our ARC project. More Friend Raising events are planned in Camden, New  Jersey later this month (April 11), at Trustee Beth Lenke’s home in Manhattan (April 25) and in New  York City (May 22). We will also be hosting a Planned Giving Tea on June 15 to showcase the many  ways in which to support our University. Please contact John Farkas if you have anyone interested  in attending these Friend Raiser events and supporting Felician University.

Athletic Recreation Complex (ARC) Update

On March 16, 2018, Felician University’s application for the Site Plan approval for the ARC Complex  to the Borough of Rutherford Planning Board. If all paperwork is approved as complete, we may go  before the Planning Board on April 19, 2018.

New Hires for the Fall 2018 Semester

Efforts to hire new staff and faculty for the 2018 fall semester continue. Dr. Manuela Caciula –  currently adjunct faculty at Felician – has accepted a full-time position to lead our new Exercise  Sports Program. Within our criminal justice program, retired FBI agent, Theresa Fanelli – also  formerly adjunct faculty – has accepted a full-time position. Drs. Melany Rivera-Maldonado (PysD) and Lavina Sequeira (Philosophy) have accepted full-time and half-time positions, respectively.

Other Faculty Appointments

• Dr. John C. Burke: School of Education, Professor and Executive Director: International
Center for Autism and Disabilities Research and Education (ICADRE)

Noteworthy Events, Programs and Recognition

U.S. Rep. Gottheimer Outlines Vision for Tech Jobs in NJ

On March 19, U.S. Representative for NJ’s 5th District, Josh Gottheimer, spoke with local business leaders at a tech forum held at Bergen Community College, where he outlined his vision for the future of technology jobs in New Jersey. Gottheimer discussed opportunities for private firms and public education institutions to work together to create a workforce prepared with the technical education necessary to fill New Jersey’s middle skill jobs. According to Manpower Group’s Talent Shortage Survey, 44% of employers cite the absence of technical skills as the most significant barrier to fulfilling their needs. In his speech, Congressman Gottheimer stated . . . “In North Jersey, Felician University is offering a range of degree programs on cybersecurity to prepare the next generation for this growth sector.” The complete transcript of Congressman Gottheimer’s remarks can be found HERE.

Honored by NJBIZ as one of Best 50 Women in Business

Also on March 19, I joined notable New Jersey women honored by the state’s leading business journal NJBIZ as one of the year’s Best 50 Women in Business. I am so grateful to be in the position to help others better their lives and improve the world condition through higher education.

United Nations RASIT Fellowship Program

Earlier this year, Felician University senior Kevin Cataldo, and sophomore Arvin Narvaez were nominated and appointed as Felician University’s United Nations – Department of Public Information (UN-DPI) Youth Representatives. Kevin and Arvin were honored to be representing Felician in this capacity at the United Nations. Joseph Leone, a sophomore, was also nominated and appointed as a UN Youth Student Leader for Felician. All three students have been interning at the United Nations for the entire 2017-18 academic year through Felician’s UN-RASIT Fellowship Program and are excited about continuing their work at the United Nations through the spring semester. Kristina Tawadros and Marcela Alvarado, both seniors at Felician University, were also nominated and appointed as UN-DPI Youth Representatives for RASIT. Kristina and Marcela began their work at the United Nations through Felician’s UN-RASIT Fellowship Program.

Felician Brings Nursing Skills and Clinical Services to Haiti

Just two weeks after Sister Marilyn Marie Minter and SM Inga Borko moved into their new Felician Mission complex in Jacmel, Haiti, Dr. Kathleen Vito, Ph.D., professor of Clinical Nursing at Felician University and two of her students traveled to the coastal commune to share their nursing skills and offer clinical service to a country still recovering from the devastating earthquake of 2010. Accompanying Dr. Vito were Marie Cadet, RN, BSN, from Maplewood, NJ, and Julie Grayson, RN, BSN, from Ridgewood, NJ. Together with their professor, Marie and Julie worked with the Mother Angela Clinic, and made home health care visits to some of the poorest neighborhoods in Jacmel. Both students are in the Family Nurse Practitioner Track MSN program, and the experience of Marie and Julie in Haiti was part of their final clinical coursework. Both will be graduating this summer as Primary Care Nurses. I am so proud of Dr. Vito, Marie, and Julie for demonstrating our Franciscan values and offering their time and expertise to help those in need. Their presence brought joy and comfort to their Haitian brothers and sisters.

Breaking Bread with the Felician Sisters

Smiles and joy abounded as our administration, faculty, staff, and students enjoyed lunch with the sisters at Immaculate Conception Convent in Lodi. Dr. Sylvia McGeary, executive director for mission integration, was quoted by Our Lady of Hope Province newsletter: “Members of the University are always amazed with the past and present ministries accomplished by the sisters. Inevitably, there’s a smile on my face when the sisters thank me for bringing our personnel for lunch.”

Medicine (SIIM) Club Hosts CPR Course at Felician

On March 24, Dr. Gaby Fahmy, faculty mentor for the Students Interested in Medicine (SIIM) Club, hosted a 4-hour CPR course for 17 of our students.

Nationwide Walk-Out in Remembrance of the Parkland Tragedy

We had about 25-30 students on our Rutherford and Lodi campuses participated in the nationwide Walk Out on March 1 to honor and remember the victims of the tragedy at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School. Many participants also signed a statement of support and took part in a prayer service.

Golden Falcons Athletic Highlights

Felician ended its fourth year of varsity intercollegiate women’s bowling competition with a dual-match won-lost record of 52-58. Of the Golden Falcons’ 12-player roster, seven members were four-year seniors who helped establish the women’s bowling program at Felician – (below) right-handers Heather Androvich (Carteret, N.J./Carteret), Michelle Gulino (Howell, N.J./Howell), Kristen Keller (Reading, Pa./Schuylkill Valley), Alex Laurenzano (Brick, N.J./Brick Township), Kristin Natoli(Freehold, N.J./Howell), Kaitlyn Stapleton (Washington Township, N.J./Westwood Regional) and Jessica Zalewski (Barnegat, N.J./Barnegat).

Baseball and Softball are in Full Swing

Wow, Michael Gutierrez’s incredible 13 strikeouts this past Saturday against Jefferson were a Felician Baseball freshman record and just one shy of our school’s overall record. Felician University freshman Trevor Cykowski (Woodbridge, N.J./Woodbridge) has been chosen as the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Baseball Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week. Go Trevor! Junior right-hander Will Kazura (Saddle Brook, N.J./East Stroudsburg North [Pa.]) pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings to lead Felician to a 3-1 Game 2 victory over visiting Chestnut Hill College on March 28. Talk about winning streaks, our women’s softball team won their last five games – the most recent wins last week against Goldey Beacom at home. Check the schedules on the Felician website for upcoming games and please join us in cheering on your Golden Falcons. Go Felician!

New Virtual Tour Videos on the Felician Website

Speaking of the Felician website, please check out the new video tours of our University, our schools, academic programs, and our many study abroad opportunities by clicking HERE. The new streaming videos offer a great way to learn about our University. The new videos allow prospective students to tour Felician from the comfort of their own homes. Please encourage your constituents to view the videos to explain “Why Felician”. Special thanks to admissions, marketing, and the academic deans and students for their participation in this very creative and high energy production.

Internship Information Sessions

The Felician Career Development Center hosted an information session in the Lodi Library to answer questions and offer guidance about summer and fall internships. Deadlines for submitting applications for summer and fall internships are April 16 and July 30, respectively. Those students unable to attend the event but who are interested in either a summer or fall internship can reach out to the Felician Career Development Center at either 201-559-3619 or email at A student internship checklist and list of the University’s internship employers is HERE.

Stigma Fee Programs to Prevent Suicide and Quit Smoking

Two important initiatives as part of our Stigma Free commitment include a mandatory completion by students, faculty, and staff of a suicide prevention program – “Ask, Listen, Refer”. Offered in accordance with the Madison Holleran Suicide Prevention Act in New Jersey, the online program takes roughly 15 minutes to complete – required to be done in one sitting. We have asked our Felician community to register for the short online program by visiting The second Stigma Free initiative took place on March 27 when those in our Felician family who were thinking about quitting cigarette smoking had an opportunity to stop by the Counseling Center’s table in the Rutherford Dining Center.

Additional Reminders:

• All are invited on April 4, 2018 1:15-2:15pm in the Obal Lecture Hall to President Prisco ‘s update and our Middle States Kick-off.
• On April 26, 2018 at 7:00pm, The Pope John Paul II Lecture (JPII) will be held in Obal Hall. More information to follow.
• Baccalaureate Mass will be held on Friday, May 18th, 2018 at 7pm in the Lodi Campus, Sisters Chapel.
• Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 19, 2018, The School of Arts and Sciences along with the School of Education will begin at 10:30am and the School of Nursing along with the School of Business will begin at 3:30pm. Both will be held on the Lodi Campus, in the Performing Arts Center (PAC).

The Girl Scouts will be in the Rutherford Dining Center today (April 2) from 4:00 until 6:00 p.m. selling cookies. With Lent behind us, please consider stopping by for a box of these irresistible treats in support of a good cause. Of course, it’s part of our on-going community outreach program.

I look forward to seeing you at upcoming events over the next several weeks. As I previously mentioned, we need your support in attending – and recommending folks to attend – our Friend-Raisers. Of course, I welcome your presence at campus events, Baccalaureate Mass, and Commencement.

Peace and All Good,
Anne M. Prisco, Ph.D.

March 12, 2018

Dear Felician Community,

Since my last letter to you, we have witnessed and dealt with the vicious return of winter and its  residual impact on our lives, namely loss of power, delays and closures, and treacherous travel
conditions. I hope and pray that you and your families are all safe and well.

A week ago, our university community received the very sad and sudden news that Brother Gary Maciag  passed away of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Most of you will remember Brother Gary served as a Special  shared governance, and theatre productions. Yes, these seemingly disparate contributions provide  just a glimpse into a wonderful person who contributed to our community and even presented at a Felician Services Leadership Conference in Chicago. May he rest in peace.

While Felician took its traditional “spring break” last week, our students, faculty and staff  remained engaged in academic, community and athletic activities. In support of the Felician  Sisters’ missionary work, Dr. Kathleen Vito accompanied a group graduate students to Haiti this past week. Our Golden Falcons continued to compete on various courts and fields of play. On the lanes, the Felician women’s bowling team placed 11th out of 17 teams at the Hawk Flight Invite for Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness. Additionally, while all of you were preparing for the return of students this week; I wish to thank those of you who joined Steve and I as we marched in the inaugural Rutherford St. Patrick’s Day Parade – just one example of the many ways we reach out and support our neighboring communities.

Hosted by the Independent College Fund of NJ (ICFNJ), Undergraduate Research Symposium offer students an opportunity to follow their interests and engage in independent research. For Felician biology major, Fernando Gomez (Class of 2018), it provided an opportunity to share his research on Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid (EDTA) as an inhibitor of alkaline phosphotase.

Alfred Castro, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Natural Sciences and I were in attendance at the symposium as Fernando shared his research project.

Bob Evans to Retire as Dean of the School of Business

As you may have already heard from Felician’s VP for Academic Affairs, Ed Ogle, the Dean of our School of Business, Bob Evans, will be retiring at the end of this semester. In echoing Dr. Ogle’s words, I also thank Bob for growing the School of Business during the past two years – and especially recognize his efforts to increase the visibility of the business school among leading companies and professional organizations, providing more opportunities for our students in the form of internships and employment. A search has immediately begun to identify and hire a new dean for the School of Business.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Degree Program Ranked by US News and World Report

Felician University’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program was ranked as one of the best online graduate nursing programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. Schools are ranked by the national publication according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence, including faculty credentials, student services and student engagement, among others.

In a press release announcing the ranking, Dr. Muriel Shore, Dean of our School of Nursing said, “Recognition by U.S. News and World Report within its annual rankings is a testament to our  program’s quality and commitment to the nursing profession. Felician prepares future healthcare practitioners, leaders and scholars, to lead change intransforming the health care delivery system, to improve the patient’s experience of care, and advance the health of individuals and populations. Graduates are prepared to practice to the full extent of their education as leaders of, and full partners in the inter-professional team, improving the nation’s healthcare workforce.”

Partnership with NJ STEM Pathways Network

Through the support of NJ Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker’s office, the month of March is designated as New Jersey STEM Month, to celebrate New Jersey’s commitment to excellence in science, technology, engineering, and math. In concert with NJ STEM Month and in partnership with NJ STEM Pathways Network, Felician will host three Cyber-Science Camps on Saturday March 17th, 24th, and 31st on our Lodi campus.

For the second consecutive year, AT&T has supported Felician’s Saturday Cyber-Science Camps, which offer high school students typically underrepresented in STEM fields the exposure to these areas. The camps are designed to engage students’ interests through explorations into educational and career opportunities, as well as hands-on laboratory experiences – guided by experts in their respective fields. The weekend camp program includes two morning sessions on Saturday. The first session provides hands-on learning in computer science, followed by a cyber technologies and cyber-crime lab experience. The afternoon session includes a natural sciences laboratory experience and an end-of-day debriefing.
Breakfast and lunch are provided, along with transportation to and from the Lodi campus.

MPCAC Upgrades Graduate Program in Counseling Psychology to Full 10-Year Accreditation

I am very pleased to report that Felician’s graduate program in counseling psychology has been upgraded to a full, ten-year accreditation term by the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Counsel (MPCAC). The program prepares students for a meaningful career with the ability to service diverse populations. Students learn to demonstrate awareness of ethical challenges, use technology and information to maintain the best practices in counseling, and show competence in individual counseling, family counseling, and organizational consultation and interventions.

Meeting with Acting New Jersey Treasurer

In late February, a group of six presidents from independent Higher Education institutions in NJ met with the new Acting State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio and her staff in Trenton. This was an important meeting to engage on issues important to higher education. We all recognize our new governor’s campaign promises and priorities and the significant challenges his new administration faces regarding the state budget. Of critical importance to our sector is the Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG) student aid program which is a cornerstone for providing access and opportunity to low- and moderate-income students in NJ to attend their school of choice within the state. Currently, 778 (56%) of our undergraduate students receive a TAG award. In total, these students are eligible to receive $6.8m which is directly applied to their tuition account at Felician.

Our sector is carefully monitoring the Governor’s promise to make county colleges “tuition free”. Given the budget challenges, and the fact that low income students can already attend county college for “free” given current financial aid, the details on how this program will be implemented will determine the magnitude of the impact on institutions such as Felician University.

Media Perspectives on Higher Education

These past few months, the media has seemingly been producing daily articles regarding the challenges facing higher education. Last week, the Wall Street Journal published an article that compared two institutions identifying one as a winner and the other as a loser. Although Felician was not specifically referenced in the article, I asked Reema Negi Panwar, our Director of Institutional Research, to review the data points they featured in the article and provide similar data points for Felician. To gauge Felician University’s key metrics as generally referenced in the WSJ article, “U.S. Colleges Are Separating Into Winners and Losers”, please see data below.

After careful consideration of the data points presented from the Wall Street Journal, Felician University is on the right trajectory towards student success, therefore will be included in the “Winner” category for colleges.

  1. Felician University enrolled 151 freshmen in Fall 2013. That number has doubled over last 5 years. In Fall 2017, 308 Freshmen students were enrolled.
  2. Felician University graduates on average earn $41,900 a year, 10 years after entering college (the median earning of former students who received federal financial aid, at 10 years after entering the school). The National median is $ 34,300 a year, 10 years after entering college. (Source: College Scorecard)
  3. The default rate on student loans is 6.5% for Felician University for FY 2014. The U.S. Department of Education National Cohort default rate was 11.5% for students who entered repayment between fiscal year 2013 and 2014.
  4. Felician University added new undergraduate and graduate programs like Exercise Sport Science (BS), Computer Science 4 + 1 (BS), Psychology 4 + 2 (BA), Education ESL (MA), Computer Science (MS) and Counseling Psychology (Doctorate) within last two years.
  5. Enrollment Management has increased out-of-state and overseas enrollment at Felician. 39 out-of-state students were enrolled in Fall 2017 compared to 20 out-of-state students in Fall 2014. 5 international students were enrolled in Fall 2017 compared to 3 international students in Fall 2014.
  6. Felician University was Ranked 3rd among private institutions by in the state of New Jersey for 20-year net return on investment (ROI) on its 2017 College ROI Report: Best Value College list.
  7. Felician University is ranked in the top 12 percent (72nd out of 578) among selective private colleges on overall mobility index. This measure reflects both access and outcomes, representing the likelihood that a student at Felician moved up two or more income quintiles.
MSCHE Re-Accreditation Process

Felician University is entering its ten-year re-accreditation process. This accreditation is the cornerstone for an institution’s eligibility to receive federal and state funding of any kind (student aid, research grants, etc.). As you may recall, in late February, Dt Christy Faison from MSCHE had a pro-forma visit with Felician to meet with various constituencies including administration leadership and our self-study team of faculty and staff. Dr. Faison also met with trustees and held an open session with all faculty and staff.
For your convenience, a review of MSCHE’s new accreditation standards follow:

Standard I Mission and Goals

The institution’s mission defines its purpose within the context of higher education, the students it serves, and what it intends to accomplish. The institution’s stated goals are clearly linked to its mission and specify how the institution fulfills its mission.

Standard II Ethics and Integrity

Ethics and integrity are central, indispensable, and defining hallmarks of effective higher education institutions. In all activities, whether internal or external, an institution must be faithful to its mission, honor its contracts and commitments, adhere to its policies, and represent itself truthfully.

Standard III Design and Delivery of the Student Learning Experience

An institution provides students with learning experiences that are characterized by rigor and coherence of all program, certificate, and degree levels, regardless of instructional modality. All learning experiences, regardless of modality, program pace/schedule, level, and setting are consistent with higher education expectations.

Standard IV Support of the Student Experience

Across all educational experiences, settings, levels, and instructional modalities, the institution recruits and admits students whose interests, abilities, experiences, and goals are congruent with its mission and educational offerings. The institution commits to student retention, persistence, completion, and success through a coherent and effective support system sustained by qualified professionals, which enhances the quality of the learning environment, contributes to the educational experience, and fosters student success.

Standard V Educational Effectiveness Assessment

Assessment of student learning and achievement demonstrates that the institution’s students have accomplished educational goals with their program of study, degree level, the institution’s mission, and appropriate expectations for institutions of higher education.

Standard VI Planning, Resources, and Institutional Improvement

The institution’s planning processes, resources, and structures are aligned with each other and are sufficient to fulfill its mission and goals, to continuously assess and improve its programs and services, and to respond effectively to opportunities and challenges.
Standard VII Governance, Leadership, and Administration

The institution is governed and administered in a manner that allows it to realize its stated mission and goals in a way that effectively benefits the institution, its students, and the other constituencies it serves. Even when supported by or affiliated with governmental, corporate, religious, educational system, or other unaccredited organizations, the institution has education as its primary purpose, and it operates as an academic institution with appropriate autonomy.

Upcoming Events and Programs

Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have called for a nationwide walk-out for 17 minutes at 10:00 a.m. on March 14 in remembrance of those who so tragically lost their lives. Students at Felician will have several options for taking part in the walkout including participation in brief interfaith prayer services at 1:00 p.m. in the Rutherford and Lodi dining halls. More detailed information will be provided by Sylvia McGeary, Executive Director for Mission Integration.

  • On March 15, our Adult and Graduate Program Open House will be held in the Castle at 8:00 p.m., where prospective students will meet with faculty and admissions staff members and learn about financial aid.
  • On March 19, I will be recognized by NJBIZ as one of the “Top 50 Women in New Jersey”. I wish to thank Scott Kobler, Esq. from McCarter English and the folks at Taft Communications for nominating me.
  • Join me as I provide an update on university matters and for the MSCHE study kickoff to take place on the afternoon of Wednesday, April 4 between 1:15 and 2:15pm in the Obal Lecture Hall.
  • Baccalaureate Mass will be held on Friday, May 18th, 2018 at 7pm in the Lodi Campus, Sisters Chapel.
  • Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 19, 2018, The School of Arts and Sciences along with the School of Education will begin at 10:30am and the School of Nursing along with the School of Business will begin at 3:30pm. Both will be held on the Lodi Campus, in the Performing Arts Center (PAC).

Please check the University’s website to stay current with upcoming events. I look forward to seeing and speaking with all of you as we resume classes next week.

Peace and All Good,
Anne M. Prisco, Ph.D.