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Our Accomplished Alumni

Despite which career path they choose, alumni from the TCNJ School of Humanities and Social Sciences are extremely talented in their work and successful in their fields.

Click on the boxes below and read on to learn more about some of our graduates.

Our alumni are writers in Hollywood, judges in New Jersey, lawyers in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, doctors, journalists, teachers, college professors, city council members, and consultants.

They work in public relations, human resources, real estate, publishing, broadcasting, law enforcement, and banking. TCNJ graduates work in non-profit agencies, the media, large multi-nationals and small family-owned businesses, as well as in government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. We are very proud of our alumni and proud that they continue to feel connected to The College of New Jersey.


Profiles of Our Alumni

Joe D’Annibale ’10

Spanish, Secondary Education (Spanish Teaching)

Spanish Teacher – Levels I and III at Park Ridge HS, Park Ridge, NJ

For Joe D’Annibale, it was his time at The College of New Jersey that shaped who he is in the classroom today. While he had initially been attracted to TCNJ because of its strong programs in Education, he considers his decision to study in the School of Culture and Society’s World Languages & Cultures Department one of the best decisions of his college career.

“I am the teacher and person I am today thanks to everything with which those professors have provided me,” he said of his World Languages & Cultures faculty. “Because of their professionalism and dedication, I have a more open mind and I am more knowledgeable of an open to different cultures and ways of thinking.”

He added that his abilities as a teacher in the very field he studied at TCNJ are driven by theories and methodologies he acquired within the confines of Metzger Drive.

And while his career began less than a year ago, D’Annibale is already considering the pursuit of a master’s degree in Applied Linguistics, something that could help him achieve his goal of one day teaching at the college level.

“If I can one day have an influence half as profound and dynamic on my students as the professors at TCNJ have had on me,” he said, “I will be a contented and accomplished person.”

As for his advice to current and future TCNJ students, he said that they should consider “the many opportunities this relatively small public school has to offer.”

Pictured, at right, D’Annibale poses in front of Iguazú Falls during his study abroad experience in Buenos Aires in 2008.

Kathleen E. Reilly ’04

English with minors in Communications and Professional Writing

Executive Director, Princeton AlumniCorps (formerly Princeton Project 55)

Some students find The College of New Jersey to be an environment conducive to encouragement and support. Kathleen Reilly was one of those students.

“TCNJ—especially the faculty and staff of the TCNJ English Department—was a supportive launching pad for me,” she said. “I feel fortunate to have attended a strong academic institution that was both affordable and incredibly supportive.”

Immediately after graduating, she worked for the U.S. Department of Defense as a management analyst, serving under the deputy chief of staff for operations and plans at Fort Monmouth, where she gained skills in making presentations, budgeting and writing news articles for the agency’s website. She also worked closely with the department’s internship program, helping to develop a curriculum and online portal for participants.

Presently, she is the head of a non-profit organization, based in nearby Princeton, which works with graduates of all colleges and universities to mobilize their abilities to find systemic solutions to the most pressing social problems.

“We currently run a yearlong fellowship program for recent graduates, an outreach program to universities across the country, a professional development program for young nonprofit employees, and a mid-career program to engage recent retirees in meaningful nonprofit work,” she said. From planning events to managing payroll, she does a little bit of everything – and she enjoys every minute of it.

Pictured, at right, Reilly (third from left) hanging out with her friends, from left, Diana Lee ’04, Stephanie Ullman ’04, and Katie (Pagliara) Seifert ’04, outside of the Travers/Wolfe Towers.
She said that her time on campus in Ewing was more than just a place to have fun. “I formed lifelong friendships and lasting professional relationships,” she said. “I also sought out advice and academic opportunities through TCNJ that helped me to hone skills, discover new passions, and forge an exciting and fulfilling career path.”

In terms of advice for students, her message was simple: “TCNJ has quite a lot to offer – it is up to you to take advantage of it.”

Rick Addante '05, left, with Dean Benjamin Rifkin

 

Rick Addante, ’05

Psychology 

Post Doctoral Fellow, Center for Vital Longevity at the University of Texas at Dallas

A recipient of the TCNJ Psychology Department’s Marshall P. Smith Award in 2003, Rick Addante says he has always found strong mentors among his undergraduate faculty – even several years after receiving his degree.

“The (faculty) in the Psychology Department have been, and continue to still be, outstanding and stellar mentors in helping to guide both my training and career forward in meaningful ways,” Addante says. “I have seen much success since the Smith award in 2003, but it has all been based upon the foundation built by the support of the Smith award and the psychology department, and I am quite indebted to it.”

After graduating from The College of New Jersey, Addante went on to earn a Ph.D. in neuroscience, an FAA Pilot license and many other qualifications and licenses, including NAUI Master Diver, Rescue Diver, and Scientific Research Diver SCUBA credentials.

He also has a background in NCAA wrestling and triathlons and has been a head coach for both high school and collegiate wrestling program. To date, he has been recognized by multiple national and international foundations and organizations for his work.

He is currently in the process of studying Russian as he prepares his application to NASA.

 

Caitlin Fair ’10

Psychology, Sociology

Program Coordinator, Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. (YAP)

Caitlin Fair took full advantage of her major’s internship component, networking with area organizations that matched her interests even before receiving her diploma. After graduation, these contacts helped her to land a job with a non-profit with a mission she believes in.

“(Participating in internships) also helped me distinguish what particular areas of social services that I did and did not want to work in,” she says. “I was able to see that I am much better suited for administration than field work through my various experiences provided to me through TCNJ.”

She currently serves as a program coordinator for Youth Advocate Programs, Inc., where she manages and supervises several contracts, though which her team of field staff members deliver intensive mentoring services to high-risk youth from the Mercer County area. She also leads group activity sessions for youth twice each week.

Prior to joining YAP, she served as a field staff member with several other non-profit organizations, including the Children’s Home
Society of New Jersey and Family Transition Support Services. Through those positions she took on a variety of tasks, including group leader for an after-school program and program leader for an intensive summer enrichment program for at-risk teenage girls.

She said that her education at The College of New Jersey has had a profound impact on her career trajectory.

“TCNJ gives its students a wealth and range of opportunities to help you decipher exactly what path it is you want to pursue, as well as equips you with the necessary knowledge and skills that you need in order to become successful and competitive in that particular field,” she said. “There is enough flexibility that you can explore various options without setting yourself back, making you able to make a wise choice about what direction you want to take your studies and your future career plans.”

She encourages current and future students to take full advantage of internships and the other opportunities at TCNJ to network and establish contacts.

“College is the single most opportune time to make personal and professional connections with many different groups of people and individuals,” she said, “and if you don’t capitalize on it, it can pass you by before you know it.”

 

Ray Hennessey ’94

Journalism and Professional Writing with minors in History and Criminology

Director of Business News, FOX Business Network

For Ray Hennessey, it was the hands-on attention he received at The College of New Jersey that set his education apart from that of friends and colleagues.

“Schools have buildings and people. That’s really it,” he said. “I have worked with people who went to all different types of schools and no one could match the hands-on attention that I got. Some couldn’t even remember their professors’ names.”

He said that the dedication of his professors went far beyond the classroom.

“Mine were staying up late helping me get a job,” he said. “When I was there, I went home every night knowing my professors not only wanted to teach, but they wanted to guide.”

After graduating, Hennessey started out as a police reporter at the Trenton Times, a media outlet that is the internship site of current students and the workplace of several recent graduates. He also spent a decade working with Dow Jones, and wrote a column for The Wall Street Journal, among other things.

Currently, he manages day-to-day content of the FOX Business network, assigning reporters and working with producers to get breaking news on the air.

He said that if there was one drawback of his time at TCNJ, it was the lack of facilities. This, however, has changed, he said.

“I am blown away by what I see now,” he said. “(Students at TCNJ) should take advantage of that, particularly as it relates to journalism and communications.”

At right, Hennessey speaks with students during an event with Ed@TCNJ, a student organization geared towards providing students with job opportunities and professional experience in writing for publications.


Alumni Accomplishments

Our alumni are extraordinarily accomplished. Here are some of the many recent successes of our School’s alumni.

Acceptances, Fellowships, and Accomplishments in Graduate School

Our alumni are participating in and enrolled at, among others:

  • PhD program in Middle Eastern Studies with McCracken Doctoral Fellowship at NYU

  • PhD program in History at Northeastern University, with fellowship

  • MA program in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at University of Chicago

  • Seton Hall Law School

  • UCLA doctoral program in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures

  • Harvard doctoral program in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures

  • East Asian Studies Program at Harvard

  • East Asian Studies Program at Yale (with fellowship)

  • MA program at NYU in Middle Eastern Studies

  • MA in Middle East Studies at NYU

  • London School of Economics, MA in Economic History Program (graduated with distinction)

  • MA in Public Policy Program at the Bloustein School at Rutgers University

  • MPA Program at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University

  • PhD Program in Spanish at the University of Virginia

  • William and Mary Law School (alumnus ranked first in class, made the law review)

  • Duke University Law School (alumnus elected president of the Bar Association)

  • PhD in Neuroscience program at Princeton University

  • PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience program at University of California at Berkeley

  • PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience program at Princeton University

  • Yale University Physician Assistant Program

Conference Presentations, Awards, Publications

  • Somerville Prize for best future teacher (one of two such winners nationally) at the Sigma Tau Delta Honors English Conference

  • “Best in Convention” prize (one of two) at the Sigma Tau Delta Honors English Conference (in the category British, World, or Critical Theory)

  • Sigma Delta Pi Undergraduate Summer Scholarship

  • NJ State Department’s Martin Luther King, Jr Award for academic excellence and leadership in promoting social justice, human and labor rights, and world peace.

Departmental Successes and Placement Record

  • Dozens of Law School acceptances from the C&S Pre-Law program

  • Sociology alumni are currently in Teach for America, the Peace Corps, and in the field os social work

  • Criminology alumni are attending graduate programs in the field at the University of Pennsylvania, Arizona State University, Villanova and Rutgers, and also Law School at Harvard, University of Southern California, Widener, Villanova, Rutgers and Seton Hall

  • TCNJ’s Spanish Teacher Education Program has a 100% job placement rate

  • TCNJ ranks first as the institution with the most students accepted for presentations and the most attending the conference at the English Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta, Conference in 2010 in St. Louis (34 papers accepted from over 900 works submitted to the conference)

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