Commencement Gratitude

We have completed our marathon of 21 separate 2020 Commencement ceremonies over six days, and I am writing to express my deep gratitude to all the members of the University community who worked hard to make it possible.

The effort was enormously meaningful to the more than 5,000 graduates and guests who participated in the ceremonies, and they have been quite appreciative, both at the events and in the many messages received after the event. The Class of 2020 had more time than usual to think about and get ready for their graduation ceremonies, and that showed in the profuse and creative decorations of the gowns and stoles and mortarboards that were on display. Among my favorites was the stole embroidered with the words, “Black grads matter.”

The events were meticulously planned and faultlessly executed by a team of people who left nothing to chance and assured that all safety precautions were extensive. Both the graduates and their guests followed all the procedures meticulously and without complaint.

My heartfelt thanks go out to all of the many students, faculty and staff who worked long days in the hot sun to make sure we got it all right. Their names appear below, and many of them expressed the satisfaction they felt in this very happy event during these difficult times.

I especially wish to recognize the extraordinary work of Nicole Fleming, our Acting Director of Special Events, who planned and managed every detail. She was at every event from start to finish and in between, and I am deeply appreciative of her commitment. She will hereafter be known as the Colossus of the COVID Commencements!

Vice President Colleen Coppla was on the ground, overseeing the events in her shorts and Montclair State shirt, and Provost Gingerich was able to participate in 19 of the 21 ceremonies. Vice President Shawn Connolly and his amazing University Facilities crew made sure that every inch of the football field was clean, sanitized, and shipshape for each event. VP Connolly also managed the weather, which was, for the most part, cooperative, especially if one enjoys 130 degrees ground heat. The University Police were on hand doing their expected amazingly competent job keeping all attendees flowing on and off campus and making it all look easy. Patricia Piroh oversaw all the live streaming, and Mike Peters took beautiful photographs all week. Cindy Meneghin took good care of Rocky to make sure we didn’t have a roasted Red Hawk on our hands. All the Deans were present to preside over their ceremonies, more than 60 faculty participated as MCs, name readers, speakers, and platform participants to cheer on the students. Many staff, administrators and students were on hand throughout to greet, usher, coordinate, and help all graduates and guests as needed. All told, more than 300 members of the University community contributed their time and talents.

It was a spectacular job well done by all, and I could not be more grateful to each and every individual who helped make this Commencement marathon a resounding success. Please read with admiration and gratitude the names of all of them below. They touched thousands of lives in a positive way. And enjoy the photos!

Sincerely,
President Cole

Thank you to everyone who worked to make the Class of 2020 Commencement ceremonies a success!

The Event Staff, who worked every day with Nicole Fleming, Acting Director of Special Events, to achieve this extraordinary feat

  • Associate Professor Michael Allen, Theatre and Dance
  • Associate Dean of Students Fatima deCarvalho
  • Special Events Assistant Jennifer Gasior
  • Event Assistant Erin Higgins
  • Program Assistant Katelin Spooner

The Commencement Planning Team

  • Chief of Staff Keith Barrack
  • Vice President for Communications and Marketing Joe Brennan
  • Vice President for University Facilities Shawn Connolly
  • Vice President for Development Colleen Coppla
  • Associate Vice President for Campus Business Services Ed Midgley
  • Vice President for Student Development and Campus Life, Karen Pennington

Masters of Ceremonies and Readers of Student Names

  • Assistant Professor Heather Benton, Theatre and Dance
  • Professor Heather Buchanan, Cali School of Music
  • Associate Dean Jessica Brandt, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Director of the Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health Gerard Costa
  • Assistant Dean Linda Davidson, College of the Arts
  • Professor and Chairperson Jason Dickinson, Social Work and Child Advocacy
  • Professor Elizabeth Emery, Modern Languages and Literature
  • Associate Professor Peter Flynn, Theatre and Dance
  • Assistant Professor Christopher Kaczmarek, Art and Design
  • Associate Dean Scott Kight, College of Science and Mathematics
  • Director of Admissions and Operations Bryan Moschel, The Graduate School
  • Assistant Professor Marylou Naumoff, School of Communication and Media
  • Associate Professor Gabriel Rubin, Justice Studies

Faculty speakers for the Feliciano School of Business

  • Professor and Chairperson Patrali Chatterjee, Marketing
  • Professor and Chairperson Ronald Strauss, Accounting and Finance
  • Associate Professor and Chairperson Yawei Wang, Hospitality and Tourism
  • Associate Professor and Chairperson Wencang (Warren) Zhou, Management

Faculty joining the Platform party to support the students

  • Professor Sandra Adams, Biology
  • Associate Professor Clement Alo, Earth and Environmental Studies
  • Associate Professor and Chairperson Yoav Arieh, Psychology
  • Associate Professor Magnus Bebbington, Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Associate Professor Lee Behlman, English
  • Professor Paul Bologna, Biology
  • Associate Dean Stefanie Brachfeld, College of Science and Mathematics
  • Assistant Professor Jaclyn Catalano, Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Professor and Chairperson Constantine Coutras, Computer Science
  • Professor and Chairperson Saliya Desilva, Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Associate Professor and Chairperson Marc Favata, Physics and Astronomy
  • Professor and Chairperson Eileen Fitzpatrick, Linguistics
  • Professor David Galef, English
  • Professor Yvonne Gindt, Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Professor Eva Goldfarb, Public Health
  • Associate Professor Sara Goldstein, Family Science and Human Development
  • Assistant Professor Timothy Gorman, Sociology
  • Associate Professor Matthew Gorring, Earth and Environmental Studies
  • Professor Julian Keenan, Biology
  • Associate Professor Todd Kelshaw, School of Communication and Media
  • Professor Aihua Li, Mathematics
  • Assistant Professor Rodica Martin, Physics and Astronomy
  • Director Anthony Mazzocchi, John J. Cali School of Music
  • Associate Professor Lori McCann, John J. Cali School of Music
  • Assistant Professor Kirk McDermid, Philosophy
  • Associate Professor and Chairperson Randy Mugleston, Theatre and Dance
  • Associate Professor Eileen Murray, Mathematics
  • Assistant Professor Guy Nicolucci, School of Communication and Media
  • Associate Professor Sangeeta Parashar, Sociology
  • Associate Professor Anthony Pemberton, School of Communication and Media
  • Assistant Professor Bryan Powell, John J. Cali School of Music
  • Associate Professor Handanhal Ravinder, Information Management and Business Analytics
  • Professor Timothy Renner, Classics and General Humanities
  • Associate Dean Elizabeth Rosini, Feliciano School of Business
  • Associate Professor and Chairperson Christopher Salvatore, Justice Studies
  • Professor Jack Samuels, Hospitality and Tourism
  • Professor David Sanders, School of Communication and Media
  • Professor Johannes Schelvis, Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Professor and Chairperson Peter Siegel, Anthropology
  • Director Keith Strudler, School of Communication and Media
  • Associate Professor and Chairperson Ashuwin Vaidya, Mathematics
  • Professor and Chairperson Dirk Vanderklein, Biology
  • Associate Dean Leslie Wilson, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Live streaming and video production crew

  • Krystal Acosta, Assistant Director, Production Services, Broadcast and Media Operations (BMO)
  • Christodoulos Apostolou, Videographer, University Communications
  • Amanda Accardo, Production Coordinator, BMO
  • James Britnell, IT Support Specialist, BMO
  • Arturo Cordova, IT/AV Engineer, BMO
  • Glenn Davidson, Television Engineer, BMO
  • Adam Goldberg, Chief Engineer, BMO
  • Jeff Jones, Television Engineer, BMO
  • Frank Martinez, Cage Supervisor, BMO
  • Matt Wilson, Senior Engineer, BMO

Graduate and Student Staff

  • Andrew Amiano
  • John Caccamo
  • Jose Cortez
  • Alex Grabiec
  • Dillon Hoffman
  • Sajdah Jones
  • Dylan Kelly
  • Shawn Latham
  • Zach Miller
  • Alex Monasterksy
  • John Padilla
  • Mike Panepinto
  • Elena Plumser
  • Luke Pomo
  • Kyler Weir
  • Katie Weirdo

Police and EMS volunteers, who kept an eye on everyone and were ready to assist with any medical emergencies

Police

  • Ptl. Chris Angst
  • Ptl. Steve Araujo
  • Captain Kieran Barrett
  • Ptl. Andrew Burde
  • Lt. Derrick Byrd
  • Lt. Lee Castro
  • Chief Paul Cell
  • Sgt. Kaluba Chipepo
  • Ptl. Jefferson Choi
  • Sgt. Michelle Ciewisz
  • Ptl. Bill Comerro
  • Lt. Tim Fox
  • Ptl. Jaison Frazier
  • Lt. Barbara Giuliano
  • Ptl. Andrew Lerner
  • Sgt. John Nielsen
  • Lt. Carlos Ortiz
  • Ptl. Michael Parris
  • Ptl. Nick Pizzuta
  • Ptl. Amanda Rusticus
  • Ptl. Jeff Sturble
  • Ptl. Dave Talerico
  • Ptl. Richard Williams
  • Det. Sherwyn Wong

EMS

  • Robert Lindenbaum, Assistant Athletic Trainer (volunteer coordinator)
  • Meghan Aleo
  • Stephanie Alessio
  • Angell Alvarez
  • Wali Bhuiya
  • Veronica Cardona
  • Katherine Chavarria
  • Melanie Cordova
  • Samantha Decker
  • Gabriela Duran
  • Renzovic Escobedo
  • Liliana Esmail
  • Heba Farhan
  • Lyabah Hafeez
  • Jocelyn Hernandez
  • Whitney Hernandez
  • Isaiah Hill
  • Jerry Israel
  • Amira Katrib
  • Miryam Kikhwa
  • Asia Lopez
  • Joey Manigan
  • Evis Mercado
  • Carson Monks
  • Sabrina Paz
  • Adriana Rakic
  • Victoria Vallejo
  • Lt. Andrew Vasquez
  • Danielle Vassell
  • Michael Wong
  • Lt. Justin Wright

Catering staff, who kept those who worked the events well supplied cold water, healthy snacks and box lunches, and lifted everyone’s spirits with their friendly smiles

  • Billy Ibrahim, Director of Dining Services
  • Kathy Pezzano, Food Unit Lead

The American Sign Language interpreters

  • Lashonda Brown
  • Lori Civello
  • Patricia Dolan
  • Jennifer Ondish
  • Wildre Paulino
  • Melanie Thomas

Communications professionals from both University Communications and Student Communications

  • Bob Gano, Copy Editor
  • Laura Griffin, Editorial Director
  • Mary Barr Mann, Staff Writer
  • Andrew Mees, Media Relations Specialist
  • Cindy Meneghin, Director of Student Communications and members of Team Rocky
  • Debra Morella, Production Manager
  • Rogert Ostergaard, Digital Communications Director
  • Matthew Pierce, Senior Web Developer
  • Emilia Rodowicz, Social Media Coordinator
  • Randi Rosh, Creative Director
  • Samantha Spitaletta, Graphic Designer
  • Hannah Wiese, Student Communications Manager

Commencement Coordinators and event volunteers for the Colleges and Schools

  • Lucynda Amo, Student Assistant, The Graduate School
  • Maddy Antosiewicz, Department Administrator, Nutrition and Food Studies
  • Evelyn Asevero, Program Assistant, Justice Studies
  • Sarah Assalone, Student Services and Recruitment Coordinator, CART
  • Hanan Atiyat, Academic Advisor, CEHS
  • Assistant Professor Donald Batchelder, John J. Cali School of Music
  • Chad Brown, Director of Development, FSB
  • Kelsey Bunker, Student Assistant, The Graduate School
  • Laura Carillo, Student Assistant, The Graduate School
  • Joanne Caruso, Operations and Finance Coordinator, CHSS
  • Courtney Catalano, Admissions Coordinator, The Graduate School
  • Kayla Cintron, Student Assistant, CEHS
  • Courtney Cunningham, Assistant Dean for Student Services, CHSS
  • Olga Dembicki, Student Services and Special Program Assistant, FSB
  • Ellie Esposito, Coordinator Accreditation and Quality, FSB
  • Danielle Falloon-Blake, CHSS Academic Advisor, University College
  • Alexandra Fermin, Student Assistant, CART
  • Caren Ferrante, Graduate Student Assistance Coordinator, The Graduate School
  • Susan Fryberger, Director of Development, CSAM
  • Lynda Gary-Davidson, Program Associate, CART
  • Carolina Gonzalez, Assistant Dean for Administrative, External and Student Affairs, CEHS
  • Koralee Grullon, Career Advisor, CSAM
  • Susan Hagen, Enrollment Activities Coordinator, The Graduate School
  • Gennae Hinson, Director, Career Services, CSAM
  • Heather Kern, Concert Manager, John J. Cali School of Music
  • Nelly Lejter, Associate Dean, The Graduate School
  • Rosemary Lipala, Laboratory Specialist, CSAM
  • Lauren Markon, Career Advisor, CSAM
  • Michele Matthews, Program Assistant, CSAM
  • Phil Mattia, Director of Marketing and Communications, FSB
  • Professor Beth McPherson, Theater and Dance
  • Holly Methven, Coordinator of Administrative Services, CHSS
  • Kelly Mieth, Web Content Assistant, CHSS
  • Virginia Mohr, Associate Director of Facilities and Budget, Campus Recreation
  • Chase Montani, Digital Marketing Coordinator, The Graduate School
  • Meaghan Morin, Web Content Manager, CHSS
  • Eric Moskovitz, Director of Academic Advising and International Programs, FSB
  • Lori Murray, Secretarial Assistant, FSB
  • Jaclyn Novak, Assistant Dean, CHSS
  • Raquel Peterson, Program Assistant, CSAM
  • Maria Pignatello, Program Assistant, CSAM
  • Marlene Puente, Student Assistant, CEHS
  • Deborah Reynoso, Assistant Director of Student Success, The Graduate School
  • Mia Robinson, Student Assistant, CEHS
  • Roger Salomon, Director of Technology Services, FSB
  • Yoko Sato, Laboratory Specialist, CSAM
  • Peter Schlittenhardt, Student Services Academic Advisor, FSB
  • Christina Sgambellone, Academic Advisor and Transfer Student Specialist, CSAM
  • Allison Smagin, Online Graduate Programs Coordinator, The Graduate School
  • Marie Sparks, Director of Administration, CART
  • Elaine Tirrito, Administrative Assistant, Hospitality and Tourism
  • Yune Tran, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, CEHS
  • Laura Valente, Director of Graduate Student Affairs, The Graduate School
  • Celeste Van Nice, Director of Academic Advising, CSAM
  • Dina Velez, Program Advisor, Center of Pedagogy
  • Genicka Voltaire, Assistant Director, Residence Life
  • Juleen Wang, Student Services Academic Advisor, FSB
  • Andre White, Academic Advisor, Art and Design
  • Michelle Zerelik, Student Assistant, CEHS

The Office of the Registrar

  • Leslie Sutton-Smith, University Registrar
  • Rashida Batte-Bowden, Assistant Director

University Bookstore

  • Carlos Costas, Director of Auxiliary Services
  • Beverly Murray, General Merchandise Manager
  • Diane Pellegrino, Store Manager

Networking and Telecommunications

  • Minto Gill, Director of Networking and Telecommunications
  • Rachel Warner, Program Coordinator, Enterprise Technology Services
  • Arthur Janc, Network Engineer, Enterprise Technology Services

Facilities personnel who worked before, during and after for set up, sanitation and break down

  • Martin Affuso, Plumber Steamfitter
  • Amy Ahmad, Assistant Housekeeping Services Supervisor
  • Jonathan Algarin, Grounds Services
  • Jihad Allen, Stock Clerk
  • Jacqueline Alvarez, Assistant Director Building Services
  • Faustino Amador, Grounds Services
  • Jai Austin, Housekeeping Services
  • Roan Bowden, Moving Services
  • Curtis Bruce, Senior Repairer
  • Patsy Brunetti, Grounds Services
  • Edwin Camacho, Assistant Housekeeping Services Supervisor
  • Greg Capria, Plumber Steamfitter
  • Angelo Cardellicchio, Ground Services
  • Jaime Correa, Housekeeping Services
  • Mario Costa, Housekeeping Services
  • Wilson Coste, Grounds Services
  • Jose Cruz, Ground Services
  • Maria Cunha, Assistant Housekeeping Services Supervisor
  • SE Daughtridge, Assistant Housekeeping Services Supervisor
  • Fred Davis, Supervisor Warehouse
  • Fredrick Davis III, Moving Services
  • Rafael De La Cruz, Housekeeping Services
  • Joe Drasher, Senior Repairer
  • Angel Escribano, Grounds Services Supervisor
  • Michael Esposito, Grounds Services
  • Frank Esposito, Ground Services
  • Earl Farrel, Director of Building Services
  • Andy Felix, HVAC-Mechanical Equipment Specialist
  • Ariel Flores, Ground Services
  • Luce Gjonpali, Housekeeping Services
  • Fredy Guiterrez, Housekeeping Services
  • Devon Hayden, Housekeeping Services
  • Robert Hellander, Director of Mechanical Services
  • Fiamalu Iese, Ground Services
  • Jermaine Jeffries, Moving Services Supervisor
  • Geraldo Jimenez, Senior Repairer
  • Leonard Jones, Assistant Vice President of Facilities Services
  • Amela Kapur, Housekeeping Services
  • Darrell Lane, Housekeeping Services
  • Balmore Lazo, Ground Services
  • Walter Lazo, Ground Services
  • Haneef Lea, Housekeeping Services
  • Lawrence Lemley, Moving Services
  • Kevin Lepore, Electrical Services Supervisor
  • David Lobefaro, Housekeeping Services
  • Aaron Lyle, Moving Services
  • Steve Magsamen, HVAC-Mechanical Equipment Specialist
  • Alfredo Marzullo, Moving Services Supervisor
  • Giuseppe Marzullo, Associate Vice President for Facilities Maintenance and Energy Management
  • Narda Mendoza, Housekeeping Services
  • Robert Mickel, Repair
  • Daniel Miller, Moving Services
  • Justo Molero, Housekeeping Services
  • Donald Mullen, Ground Services
  • Chijike Ndukwu, Grounds Services
  • Frank Ofuso, Grounds Services
  • Edward O’Neill, Housekeeping Services
  • Hector Ortiz, Grounds Services
  • Geoffrey Owens, Electrical Services
  • Javier Paz, Housekeeping Services
  • Elis Perdomo, Housekeeping Services
  • Amelia Pereira, Housekeeping Services
  • Luz Perez, Housekeeping Services
  • Tom Perry, Senior Repairer
  • Leonard Pignatello, Ground Services
  • Melody Puello, Housekeeping Services
  • Marek Pyttell, Housekeeping Services
  • Lucia Rocco, Housekeeping Services
  • Susana Rodriguez, Assistant Housekeeping Services Supervisor
  • Yazmin Roman, Housekeeping Services
  • Stephen Ruggiero, Director of Grounds Services
  • Preya Sanasie, Assistant Director Building Services
  • Nilka Santamaria, Ground Services
  • Bhawani Sarran, Moving Services
  • Doorpattie Sarran, Housekeeping Services
  • Fredrick Schneider, Grounds Services
  • Nalini Seemangal, Housekeeping Services
  • Rajendra Shah, Director of Mechanical Services
  • Myra Shark, Housekeeping Services
  • Derek Stanczak, Electrical Services
  • Stephen Torlucci, Ground Services
  • Liliam Turino, Housekeeping Services
  • Naraindai Vieira, Housekeeping Services
  • Carlo Vitale, Ground Services
  • Glen Watson, Plumber Steamfitter

Student workers, who helped greet and direct students and guests on the field every day

  • Allegra Addeo
  • Paula Alves-Czachor
  • Briana Ampadu
  • Maria Jose Arauz Santamaria
  • Hunter Ayala
  • Amber Bautista
  • Mia Bell
  • Venus Blackford
  • Aislinn Bram
  • Amanda Brown
  • Adam Burger
  • Marcia Kelly Cobbina
  • Sonia Conde Santiago
  • Primo Davis
  • Berline Delinois
  • Monica Dunkerson
  • Tryphena Esuruoso
  • Nina Farley
  • Paulette Gando
  • Destany Armani George
  • Daiela Gomez
  • Vanessa Gomez
  • Jo-el Gordon
  • Victoria Haddock
  • Fiona Horvat
  • Sabrina Irvolino
  • Rudy Joseph
  • Trevor Kenny
  • Adekunbi Lahanmi
  • Amira Lawson
  • Jayda Lindsey
  • Nathaniel Longmore
  • Nariah Mcknight
  • Marshawn McShan
  • Jasmine Metellus
  • Gwen Milovic
  • Daniel Norvil
  • Aderinola David Olamiju
  • Grace Opoku
  • Maquerley Previlon
  • Silvia Ramirez Quiroz
  • Colin Roper
  • Christie Rosales
  • Debree Rucker
  • Kia Sabo
  • Billy Sarceno
  • Jazlyn Sarpong
  • Michael Statile
  • Divine Williams
  • David Zarish
  • Emma Zeik

College of the Arts graduates who sang the National Anthem

  • Maegan Hoogerhyde
  • Makaela Shade-Alexander
  • Teresa Toriello

College of Education and Human Services student speaker

  • Fatimata Diabate

Student Government Association and Board of Trustee student representatives

  • Jherel Saunders-Dittimus
  • Sharese Sumter
  • Jonathan Varano
  • Rama Moulayes
  • Nikita Williams