September 2014



See the Photos: To view more photos from the Renaissance Hall ribbon-cutting ceremony, click here

Dear Friends and Colleagues, 

As we look forward to autumn, we approach a season of new beginnings. Wednesday, September 17, 2014 marked the official ribbon cutting of Renaissance Hall at Berkeley College in Woodland Park, NJ. The support from local and state legislators, chambers of commerce, local businesses, other colleges, community organizations and friends of Berkeley was overwhelming. I am so pleased many of you had the opportunity to meet our students and experience the energy of this campus.

This inaugural issue of Berkeley College Newsline features many of the highlights of the Renaissance Hall ribbon-cutting ceremony, which was attended by more than 200 guests. In addition, Berkeley College Newsline showcases the exemplary work of our faculty, who are at the core of teaching and learning for the more than 8,000 students we serve.

The Renaissance was one of the most intellectually and artistically productive periods of European civilization. The opening of Renaissance Hall is a step in the rebirth of our institution that will drive the legacy of Berkeley College into the future.






Dario A. Cortes, PhD




Photo Caption: Here I am with the Berkeley College team that made Renaissance Hall possible. L to R are Robert Herzog, Senior Vice President, Finance and Administration, Timothy D. Luing, Board of Trustees Member and Senior Vice President, BES Inc.; Kevin L. Luing, Chairman, Board of Trustees; myself; Tom Alessandrello, Vice President, Operations, BES Inc.; Linda Pinsky-Mauro, Campus Operating Officer, Woodland Park; and Mark Wagener, Vice President, Operations.


College Celebrates Renaissance Hall with Ribbon Cutting

Berkeley College in Woodland Park, NJ, celebrated the opening of its new Renaissance Hall – a facility that serves as a hub for student services – at a ribbon-cutting ceremony held Wednesday, September 17. The newly constructed 35,000-square-foot Renaissance Hall was built by the College with private funds at a cost of $9 million. Its focal point is a modern atrium, comprising three stories of glass facing east.

“Renaissance Hall is more than an impressive building,” said Dario A. Cortes, President of Berkeley College. “The underpinnings of this building are reinforced by the pillars of excellence and achievement in teaching and learning, career development and community service.”

The new building is a place where the College, businesses and the community at-large can come together, said Kevin L. Luing, Chairman, Board of Trustees, as he described Berkeley College’s history at the Garret Mountain location. He acknowledged the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, whose headquarters had been established there in the mid-1020s. Some of the Missionary Sisters attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony and provided a blessing for the new structure.

Renaissance Hall is fully wireless for technology and includes six classrooms; the Academic Support Center, where students are coached in career preparation and interview skills, as well as in academics; the Walter A. Brower Library; the Admissions Welcome Center; the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs; dining facilities; the campus bookstore; a fitness room; meeting and conference rooms; a community room; exterior and interior student and community gathering spaces; and the Student Development and Campus Life offices.

The College received letters from Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, 11th District; Congressman Bill Pascrell, 9th District; New Jersey Governor Chris Christie; and New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney, as well as Proclamations from the New Jersey State Senate and General Assembly, the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Mayor and Council of Woodland Park, and the Mayor of Woodbridge.

View Coverage: Read about the opening of Renaissance Hall on News 12 New Jersey and in New Jersey Business Magazine.

Photo Caption: Berkeley College in Woodland Park celebrated the opening of its new Renaissance Hall at an official ribbon-cutting ceremony held Wednesday, September 17. Pictured are Berkeley College leadership and students with local and state elected officials.

Photo Caption: Legislators from the New Jersey State Senate and General Assembly present a Proclamation to Berkeley College leadership in honor of the Renaissance Hall ribbon cutting.

Photo Caption: The Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders presents a Proclamation to Berkeley College leadership in honor of the Renaissance Hall ribbon cutting.

Photo Caption: The Woodland Park Mayor and Council presents a Proclamation to Berkeley College leadership in honor of the Renaissance Hall ribbon cutting.

Photo Caption: Berkeley College students were on hand to give tours of Renaissance Hall.

Under the Tent Welcomes Area Dignitaries

Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Renaissance Hall, Berkeley College hosted the 6th annual Under the Tent event, which welcomed area dignitaries and chambers of commerce for an evening of jazz music, food and networking. This year, the College presented Mayor Keith Kazmark with a plaque in recognition of the Woodland Park Centennial.

Berkeley College has developed a mutually supportive relationship with the Borough of Woodland Park since its move to Garret Mountain in 1976. The College sponsored the purchase of town signs when voters elected to change the Borough’s name from West Paterson in 2009, and took part in the Woodland Park Centennial parade and celebration earlier this year.

“Berkeley College is truly a part of the fabric and the family of the borough we now call Woodland Park,” said Mr. Kazmark.

Photo Caption: Berkeley College honored the Borough of Woodland Park during the Under the Tent event. L to R are Gary W. Holloway, Woodland Park Councilman; Keith Kazmark, Woodland Park Mayor; Teri Duda, Berkeley College Senior Vice President, Government Relations; Tina Gatti, Woodland Park Councilwoman; Joseph Spinelli, Woodland Park Council President; and Rita Pascrell, Woodland Park Councilwoman.

Chairman Joins Business Council Board of Directors

Kevin L. Luing
, Board Chairman, has been appointed to the Board of Directors for The Business Council of New York State, Inc.

“The Business Council is pleased to welcome Mr. Luing to our Board of Directors,” said Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., President and CEO, The Business Council of New York State, Inc. “His expertise will greatly contribute to, and help shape, The Council’s mission to create economic growth, good jobs and strong communities.”

New BBA Degrees Offer Greater Course Flexibility

Berkeley College in New Jersey now offers Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degrees in Accounting and International Business through the Larry L. Luing School of Business and in Health Services Management through the School of Health Studies. The new degrees are offered in addition to the Bachelor of Science degrees already offered in these disciplines.

“Students pursuing BBA degrees can choose more electives, allowing them to take additional courses in their major or in other business areas,” said Marianne P. Vakalis, EdD, Provost (pictured).

Athletics Department Launches New Website

The Athletics department recently launched its new Website,

The new Website will provide visitors instant access to up-to-the-minute information, such as student-athlete and coaches biographies, game schedules and recaps, photo galleries, video clips, statistics, interactive polls and more.

“It certainly is an exciting time to be a Berkeley College student-athlete, alumnus or Knights fan and I would like to thank my team for all their hard work in raising the bar for the coverage of our athletics program,” said Andy DeStephano, Athletics Director.

The Website is hosted by Presto Sports, a company that specializes in the presentation of sports content in real time.

Photo Caption: The new Berkeley College Knights Website raises the bar for athletics coverage.

Woodland Park Library Opens

Renaissance Hall in Woodland Park, NJ, now boasts the state-of-the-art Walter A. Brower Library, which opened to students and associates in early September. The vacated library in the Administration Building will be converted to a gallery to showcase the work of Fashion, Graphic Design and Interior Design students.

Photo Caption: Laurie McFadden, Library Director, Woodland Park, sits at the circulation desk in the Library in Renaissance Hall.

Students and Staff Observe 9/11 with Day of Service

On Friday, September 12, Berkeley College students and staff paid tribute to the victims of the September 11 attacks and honored those who rose in service by participating in a 9/11 Day of Service. Students from New Jersey and New York locations visited the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, attended a Reflection Lunch, and created more than 65 handmade cards for first responders and military personnel. The cards were created in partnership with DOROT, a Manhattan-based organization that serves the city’s elderly residents.

The event was sponsored by the Office of Student Development and Campus Life, Counseling Services, and the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Berkeley College Online®

Roseann Torsiello
, EdD, Chair, Online, School of Liberal Arts, has been nominated for the Distinguished Teaching Award by the Berkeley College Online Awards Committee. This award is offered by the College Reading & Learning Association and recognizes a member of the association who exemplifies teaching and learning as a lifelong journey. Recipients of this honor are professionals who provide their students with a clear model of enthusiastic, knowledgeable and compassionate teaching. 


School of Health Studies

Jose Montalvo, RMA, CCMA, Medical Assistant program, was invited to apply for membership to the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB) by the Director of Accreditation, MAERB. After final selections are made, new members will begin serving in January 2015. The MAERB is a Committee on Accreditation of the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.


Larry L. Luing School of Business

Barbara Adamczyk, Management, received a Certificate of Distinction for completing the Coursera courses “Foundations of Teaching for Learning 5: Planning for Teaching and Learning” and “Foundations of Teaching for Learning 6: Introduction to Student Assessment.” Coursera is an education platform that partners with top universities and organizations worldwide to offer free online courses.

Alyssa Adomaitis, PhD, Fashion, reviewed manuscripts titled “The place of conceptual clothing in Iran, 2001-2010” and “The Mediating Role of Brand and Trust and Affect in Clothing Brand Loyalty: A Cross-Cultural Examination of U.S. and India” for the peer-reviewed Clothing and Textiles Research Journal.

Rahul Bedi
, PhD, Associate Chair, Management, and Darshan Desai, PhD, Management, received first prize for an Action Plan they presented at the New York Campus Compact Engagement Academy’s conference in June. The conference theme was “Higher Education at a Watershed Moment: The Importance of Engagement as an Institutional Strategy.” The professors also presented their Action Plan to the President’s Cabinet at Berkeley College.

Nashwa George, PhD, CMA, Accounting and Finance, has been named to the Editorial Board of the International Academy of Business and Economics (IABE). The IABE is a leading global organization of academic scholars, business executives, students and public policy makers in business, economics and related fields.

Ashford Maharaj, PhD, Accounting and Finance, was interviewed about his research study “Frontier Capital Markets: Issues and Challenges for Caribbean Stock Exchanges” on July 4 and 5 on WIN, a Caribbean television channel. In addition, Dr. Maharaj presented his research paper at the Business and Applied Science Academy of North American International Conference at Ramapo College of New Jersey in June.

Andrzej Wlodarczyk, Management, is the author of Academe Demarcated No More: Disciplines and Interdisciplinarity (AuthorHouse 2014). The purpose of this three-year-long case study was to explore and gain an in-depth understanding of the process of collaborative teaching as an alternative method of instruction in higher education.


School of Liberal Arts

Ryan Allen
, Humanities and Social Sciences, serves as the host of the “New Books in Education” podcast. The New Books Network is a consortium of podcasts dedicated to raising the level of public discourse by introducing serious authors to serious audiences.


Howard Benedikt
, DC, Math and Sciences, presented a talk on sports nutrition to New York Chiropractic College.

Salena Fehnel, English, is the author of Nesting Dolls (Northampton House 2014), which was nominated for the American Library Association’s 2014 Stonewall Book Award, an award presented to honor exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience. Nesting Dolls also was nominated for the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award.

Cezar Giosan, PhD, Humanities and Social Sciences, was awarded a $1 million grant to serve as the principal investigator of a research project titled “D-Combat: A Computerized Preventative and Therapeutic Intervention for Depression.”

Joyce Frei-McNeill, DLit, English, served on a committee to select the winners of the Rotary International college scholarships at Boonton High School and Mountain Lakes High School, both in New Jersey. Dr. Frei-McNeill presented the scholarships to the winners at the respective awards ceremonies for each high school.


Michael Montlack
, English, is the author of “In the Medinas of Morocco,” which was published in the spring issue of the Cimarron Review. Mr. Montlack’s poem “Gender” was published in the June issue of Narrative Northeast, a literary and arts magazine dedicated to diverse voices and visions. In addition, his poems “Geographic Polygamy” and “A High Way to Hell” were published in the literary journal Assaracus


Dean Kostos
, English, is the author of the poem “The Loom Canoe,” which appeared on the Blanket Stories Website. All work posted on the Website will be published in a book by Ragged Sky Press. A debut reading of Mr. Kostos’ poem was held at Teachers College at Columbia University.

Vincent Maher, JD, Math and Sciences, presented four papers at conferences in July: “When Technology Complicates Management: The Case of Jahi McMath” was presented at the Cambridge Conference on Business and Economics in Cambridge, United Kingdom; “Branding and Marketing Management in Emerging Health Care Markets” was presented at the First European Congress on Economics and Business in Brighton, United Kingdom; and “When Technology Complicates Management: The Case of Marlise Munoz” and “Management and Branding Issues in Emerging Markets” at the 16th Annual International Global Business and Technology Association Conference in Baku, Azerbaijan.

George Orfanos, Humanities and Social Sciences, presented “The Conceptual Taxonomy of Power Vacuums” at the International Conference for Academic Disciplines at the J.B. Martin Conference Center at Harvard Medical School in May.

Jea Sophia Oh, Humanities and Social Sciences, presented “Doing Non-Doing, A Daoist Virtue for Ecotopia: An Ecological Ethics from the East” at the biannual Half the World Symposium on Asian Environments, hosted by Hobart and William Smith Colleges in May.

Marc Shur, PhD, Math and Sciences, is serving on a dissertation committee for a University of Pennsylvania doctoral candidate who is studying the impact of stress and cortisol on captive chimpanzee behavior.

David Andrew Stoler, English, directed and edited the video to accompany the song “Just a Little Heartbreak” by the Brooklyn alt-country band, Karen & the Sorrows. The video was released this summer in conjunction with the band’s new album, The Names of Things.

Hui-wen Tu, EdD, Humanities and Social Sciences, presented “College Students’ Autobiographical Research in Searching Personal Cultural Identity” and “Contract Learning and Metacognitive Knowledge in Blended Classes” at the International Journal of Arts and Sciences annual conference at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Tu also presented these papers at the Lilly International Spring Conference on College and University Teaching and Learning in Bethesda, MD, along with a third paper titled “Applying Blackboard Tools to Promote Contract Learning in a Blended Class.”


School of Professional Studies

Charlane Brown, JD, Legal Studies, was invited to blog on the Vera Institute for Justice Website. The Vera Institute of Justice combines expertise in research, demonstration projects, and technical assistance to help leaders in government and civil society improve the systems people rely on for justice and safety.

Kimberly Collica, PhD, Criminal Justice, completed training to become a U.S. Department of Justice-certified PREA (Prison Rape Elimination Act) auditor for U.S. prisons and jails. 


Cristina Guarneri
, EdD, Criminal Justice, is the author of See No Evil (Tate Publishing 2012), the inspiration for the new play “Trial and Treason,” which was recognized by the 11th Annual New Jersey Performing Arts Center Theater Series and will go on stage at the Black Box Theater at William Paterson University in December. In addition, Dr. Guarneri is the author of Flames of Truth: Beyond the Darkness of Wall Street West (Infinity Publishing 2014). 


Ken Woo, Interior Design, was commissioned to paint Pope John Paul II’s coronation portrait for the Blessed Sacrament Church in Stowe, VT. Mr. Woo previously completed restoration work for the church that was built by the Von Trapp family made famous in the musical “The Sound of Music.” His restoration work at the Church of Our Saviour in New York City won him Best Renovation of the Year and a 2006 Gold Leaf Award.


Bonnie Lafazan
, Director, Library, Woodbridge, presented “Re-embracing the Role of the Roving Librarian within our Communities” at the New Jersey Library Association Conference in Atlantic City, NJ, in June. In addition, Ms. Lafazan joined the Rutgers University School of Communication and Information Advisory Council in July.



Amanda Piekart
, Information Literacy Instructional Designer, presented “Cultivation Inspiration: Creative Solutions to Empower the Future of Instruction Librarians” at the New Jersey Library Association Annual Conference in Atlantic City, NJ, in June. In addition, Ms. Piekart was appointed Co-Chair of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and the New Jersey Library Association (NJLA) User Education Committee.




About Berkeley College

A leader in providing career-focused education since 1931, Berkeley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and enrolls approximately 8,000 students – including more than 900 international students – in its Baccalaureate and Associate degree and Certificate programs. The College has three New York locations – Midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn and White Plains. In New Jersey there are six locations – Woodland Park, Paramus, Woodbridge, Newark, Clifton and Dover. Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. Programs are offered in more than 20 career fields in the Larry L. Luing School of Business, the School of Professional Studies, the School of Health Studies, and the School of Liberal Arts. The website address is