CALDWELL —
Denise Kerth and Eric
Rozenblat made history at Caldwell College’s
71
st commencement on May 11 when they
were awarded the first Ph.D.s in the college’s
history. Nancy H. Blattner, college president,
presented Rozenblat of Oakland and Kerth
of Collingswood with doctoral degrees in ap-
plied behavior analysis (ABA). Caldwell is a
leader in autism education, developing the
first master’s degree and first Ph.D. program
in ABA in the state. More than 450 other
graduates received degrees.
Gulay Maffia, a parishioner of Our Lady
of Fatima parish in Highland Lakes section
of Vernon, who received her master’s de-
gree in special education for learning dis-
abilities, was one of two students to give
commencement speeches. She shared her
story of surviving the 9/11 attacks while
working in New York and how that horror
caused her to rethink her life’s direction. “I
felt that I had to do something better with
my life for me, but also for those who per-
ished,” she said. Her parents were teachers
and she knew “how they brought about
change and made many people’s lives bet-
ter as a result of their dedication.” She de-
cided to pursue teaching, and today she
teaches children with special needs.
Teaching is my way of fighting terror-
ism,” Maffia said.
She urged graduates to “Believe that the
difficulties you may face along the way will
only bring you great strength” and to “go
out and find those who need your help and,
along the way, carry peace in your heart and
share it with everyone you come into con-
tact with.”
Blattner told members of the class of 2013
that she had a special affinity for them since
she joined the Caldwell community the same
year they did. “Together we walked around
campus, becoming familiar with the commu-
nity that would soon become our second fam-
ily,” she said. “Together we experienced the
richness of the mission of the Sisters of St.
Dominic and of Caldwell College as we spent
time in study, prayer, community and serv-
ice. Together we have grown as individuals,
developed new skills and expertise and served
this place we have grown to love so much.”
You, the class of 2013, are the class of
my heart,” Blattner said.
DIFFERENCE MAKER —
Suzanne Stigers of Andover was
selected as one of 12 finalists for
the 2013 Russ Berrie Award for
Making a Difference. As a finalist,
she received a cash award for
$5,000. Stigers works with food
pantries to buy discounted food
products to stock their shelves
and teaches clients how to
budget their money by using
coupons. Stigers’ organization,
Coupons for the Community, was
established in 2009. Twenty-five
volunteers use donated manu-
facturer coupons and shop for 27
food pantries, soup kitchens,
homeless shelters and local service agencies in five counties. Over the past three years
and using thousands of coupons, Coupons for the Community has purchased more
than $300,000 worth of food and toiletries for about $60,000. In 2010 they adapted
the 100th Day of School penny program to have students bring in toiletry items not
covered by food stamps. Through the Harvest Hope program, local farmers donate
surplus fresh produce on a weekly basis. In 2011 Cooking with Coupons was started
to teach families in a homeless shelter how to shop with coupons, budget their money
and cook healthy meals. With Stigers, who works with the Partnership for Social Services
in Franklin, are Angelica Berrie and Peter Mercer.
14
T
HE
B
EACON
>
M
AY
23, 2013
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CONVENT STATION —
A Mass of Christian
Burial was offered in the chapel of St. Anne
Villa here May 8 for Sister Mary Swanwick,
a Sister of Charity of St. Elizabeth, who died
May 6. She was 87.
Born in Goshen, N.Y., she entered the
Sisters of Charity in, 1949 and was a mem-
ber for 64 years.
Sister Mary was graduated from the for-
mer St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing,
Paterson, as a registered nurse. She then re-
ceived a bachelor’s degree in nursing from
Seton Hall University, South Orange. Sister
Mary served as a nurse at St. Joseph Hospital
and Medical Center, Paterson, and as a
nurse/pharmacy technician. She also served
as nurse/pharmacy technician in St. Mary’s
Hospital, Passaic. She worked as a medical
records clerk in Good Samaritan Hospital,
Suffern, N.Y. She was assistant sacristan in
Holy Family Chapel here and served as a
nurse to the local community from 1997 to
2007.
She moved to St. Anne Villa in 2007
where she resided until her death.
A brother, Robert of Middletown, N.Y.;
and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and
grandnephews survive her.
In her memory donations can be made
to: Sisters of Charity Development Fund, P.O.
Box 476, Convent Station, NJ, 07961-0476.
40
TH ANNIVERSARY —
On
May 5, Msgr. William P.
Stober, pastor of Our Lady
Queen of Peace Parish in
Branchville, celebrated the
40
th anniversary of his
ordination to the priesthood
with his family, friends and
parishioners. In June, Msgr.
Stober will mark his 24th
year serving at Our Lady
Queen of Peace.
CALDWELL GRAD —
Gulay Maffia, a
parishioner of Our Lady of Fatima Parish,
Highland Lakes, and a Vernon resident, was
a commencement speaker at Caldwell
College May 11. Maffia, who earned her
master’s degree and is a 9/11 survivor, told
the graduates that teaching is her way of
fighting terrorism. Congratulating her is
Nancy Blattner, Caldwell College president.
Highland Lakes parishioner and 9/11 survivor
gives commencement address at Caldwell College
O
BITUARIES
Sister Mary Swanwick, 87