Communication Sciences and Disorders
A respected and admired professor who retired in 2002 after 39 years at Montclair State, Professor Emeritus Gerard “Jerry” Caracciolo is still active in the field of communication sciences and disorders and continues to consult with others in the field, several of whom are former students.
“Dr. Caracciolo is an inspiration as a lifelong learner. I first met him as a student and now for many years have had the privilege of working with him,” says Elizabeth Dux ’73, ’80 MA. “He instilled in me the importance of being involved with colleagues, to join committees, to reach out to legislators – that our profession was much more than just a job. I will be forever grateful for his guidance.”
A passionate teacher and mentor, Caracciolo inspired many of his students to follow in his footsteps. “I wanted to be ‘just like him,’ so I pursued the best field there is – communication sciences and disorders,” says Lorraine Adcox ’75. “Thanks to his influence, I have been a speech-language pathologist for 40 years, and have loved every minute of it.”
Nanc Fellerman-Yahr ’70 also credits Caracciolo’s influence for her long career in the field. “In 1967, 10 students from the new Liberal Arts program observed Dr. Caracciolo through the new state-of-the-art observation room at Montclair State,” she recalls. “He was working with a young child. I knew at that moment what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. He is my mentor and friend and has been there for me for my 46-year career.”
Caracciolo, who earned his doctorate at Teachers College, Columbia University, considers clinical supervision to be a critical aspect of student training and continues to be involved in it at the professional level. “His supervision in our Clinical Practicum was superb,” recalls Jacqueline Ferrara. “He taught methods courses that provided real techniques in the provision of speech pathology. I continue to use techniques in my daily work that I learned from Mr. Caracciolo all those years ago.”
The recipient of numerous awards and honors, including being a Governor appointee to the New Jersey Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Committee, Caracciolo is a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and a longtime board member and current president of the New Jersey Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
“Dr. Caracciolo was more than a professor; he was a mentor to me as well as many of his students, even long after we graduated from the program,” says Arlene Rubin Helcman ’80. “He was a role model for excellence in the field of communication sciences and disorders, demonstrating dedication and passion for the field, and its clients and students.”
Among the many other former students grateful for Caracciolo’s guidance are Nancy G. Schneider ’81 and Kathleen Adler ’67. “Dr. Caracciolo is a scholar, a gentlemen and a truly memorable professor,” says Schneider. “I am honored to have studied under him…thank you Jerry!”
“Here’s a bit of what I learned from my mentor and good friend, Dr. Caracciolo: Be creative, be observant, be creative, be caring, be creative,” adds Adler. “What a gift! Thank you Jerry!”
“Dr. Caracciolo instilled a professional ethic of excellence which has served me well through the decades,” says Patricia Griffith ’67. “Dr. Caracciolo was, is and always will be the beacon that leads all who are fortunate to have contact with him to aim high and achieve.”