2015 Movers and Shakers

Movers and Shakers 2015 2

(Photos by and courtesy of: Chadwin Sandifer, Ed Constantine, Janet O'Neil, Merijoel Durán, Madeline Boughton, W. Scott Giglio, Larry Levanti, Sherry Saccoliti, Jobin Mojtabavi, Angelica Herndon, David Landau, Samuel Raphalides and Danielle McEwan)

By Kenna Caprio

Every year Fairleigh Dickinson University students, athletes, faculty, staff and alumni strive to achieve, and in doing so, often impress. Here’s what the FDU community was up to in 2015:

  • Merijoel Durán, an Emmy Award-winning anchor for Univisión, continued her education through FDU’s Puerta al Futuro program, designed for adult learners and native Spanish speakers.
  • Eleven Global Scholars from the Metropolitan Campus traveled to Havana, Cuba, for a nine-day cultural exchange to experience the island nation’s arts and culture, history and academics.
  • The Kangaroo Crew has been helping children learn to love reading for more than 20 years through books, computer games, and now, apps. Robin Barkley, professor of animation and director of the animation and video game animation program at the Florham Campus, and FDU student interns and alumni collaborate on the Crew with creator Lois Mancuso.
  • For a third year in a row, School of Pharmacy students volunteered over spring break at Give Kids the World, a nonprofit resort for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.
  • Four Vancouver Campus students traveled across the globe to Seoul, South Korea, to practice their diplomacy skills at World Model United Nations (WMUN).
  • Facing teams from Drexel University, New Jersey Institute of Technology and other universities, five mechanical engineering technology students from the Metropolitan Campus participated in the 2015 ASME Student Design Competition. The group designed and built a robot capable of navigating an obstacle course to deliver rice and beans.
  • To expose local teenagers to study abroad, alumna Madeline Boughton, BA’05 (Metro), chaperoned an overseas trip for five high school students. For eight days and seven nights, the group toured England and visited FDU’s Wroxton College.
  • Janet O’Neil, associate computer graphics professor and director of the graphic design program on the Florham Campus, painted a portrait of rescue dog Caitlyn. The art went viral online as local and national news agencies shared the animal’s story of survival.
  • Exchange students, Edy Semaan of Beirut, Lebanon, and Camilla Curnis of Bergamo, Italy, launched Global Young Voices, a website featuring articles and essays written by international students who studied at the Metropolitan Campus.
  • “Dark Tarot,” a film co-directed by film professor David Landau and alumnus Jim Cocoliato, BA’10 (Florham), and featuring an all-student and alumni crew, premiered on Amazon Prime and Hulu streaming services.
  • Three-time FDU alumnus Rick Laughland spent his days watching baseball and football games and talking to athletes like Eli Manning. Laughland, BS’08, MBA’10 (Flor), MSA’11 (Metro), is a writer and editor for the Scout.com network of sports sites and commentator on FOX Sports.
  • Two Metropolitan Campus alumni — artist Keith Griffiths, BA’12, MBA’14, and FDU staffer Maryann Sena, BA’92, MA’08, MS’12 — put their paintbrushes to use to raise environmental awareness and protect the Hackensack River. They painted eco-centric murals on storm drains in Marie Andreas Park in Teaneck, N.J.
  • A Florham student art project, ceramic bird heads fashioned for statues in the Italian Gardens at Hennessy Hall, was featured in “Weird NJ” magazine.
  • The Knights women’s soccer team won the Northeast Conference (NEC) Tournament, for the first time, and made it to the first round of the NCAA. They finished the season 16-6 overall, and went 8-0 in conference play.
  • Devils sophomore wide receiver Malik Pressley had a standout year on the football field: his 18 touchdown receptions were second most in the nation and he hauled in a Middle Atlantic Conference record of 89 catches this season.
  • Actress and alumna Angelica Herndon, BA’13, MAT’14 (Florham), made a blazing television debut on NBC’s hit firefighter drama, “Chicago Fire.”
  • Former Knights bowler and Metropolitan Campus alumna Danielle McEwan, BA’13, MAT’14, competed on Team USA. At the 2015 World Bowling Women's Championships in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Team USA won the team gold medal, and McEwan and teammate Kelly Kulick won doubles gold.