Private School Held “Women Speaking To Women” Career Day

ELIZABETH—Benedictine Academy, an all-female Catholic college prep high school in Elizabeth, held its annual Career Day on March 14 for all of its students in grades 9-12. The theme of the event was “Women Speaking to Women”, and featured 30 guest presenters representing many professions. A number of the guests were graduates of Benedictine Academy.

The event was sponsored by the Benedictine Academy Alumnae Association. It began with a breakfast for all presenters, followed by a Welcome and Introduction for students and the invited guests. Students then broke out into small groups according to their career interests, visiting with presenters who spoke about their respective professions. Students were surveyed about their career interests in advance, and were able to hear four presentations each. The morning ended with a panel discussion for all, focusing on general questions concerning topics such as ethics in the workplace; leadership; balancing career and family; and attitude.

“We are grateful to the Benedictine Academy Alumnae Association for organizing this day,” Academy Principal Kenneth Jennings said. “We are pleased to be able to offer Career Day once again to our young women,” he added. “It truly provides students an opportunity to be inspired and to discern their individual career paths,” Jennings commented.

Guest presenters at Benedictine Academy’s 2012 Career Day included:

  • Corinne Ambrosi, M.D. – forensic pathologist and Deputy Chief Medical Examiner in Queens, N.Y. in the Office of Chief Medical Examiner, City of N.Y.;
  • Karen Anderson, R.N. –Director of Nursing at Seashore Surgical Institute;
  • Dr. Rose Battaglia – member of the Basketball Hall of Fame after 37 years of coaching, and, named “Coach of the Decade for the 1970’s” by the Star Ledger, having amassed a 702-240 career record, along with a total of 34 championships on the high school and intercollegiate level during her coaching career;
  • Maria Bucci – consulting architect with Connelly and Hickey Historical Architects in Cranford, and, owner of Mcb_span Design in North Plainfield;
  • Dr. Teresa Choate – Professor at Kean University’s School of Performing Arts;
  • Leigh Anderson Cooke, R.D. – Clinical Dietician at Jersey Shore University Medical Center;
  • Mary Doran – retired (after 44 years) elementary school teacher with the Elizabeth Board of Education;
  • Dr. Marlene Eldridge – school psychologist currently consulting at schools in the Archdiocese of Newark;
  • Loree Flora, D.V.M.-an associate of the Murray Hill Veterinary Group in New Providence;
  • Kathleen French – currently an education consultant following 40 years in public school education including Director of Pupil Special Services in Edison and Union Townships;
  • Dr. Nadine Fydryszewski – Associate Professor and Director of the Phlebotomy Program in the Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of NJ;
  • Elizabeth Garcia – chemical engineer, and, retired Public Affairs Manager for Exxon Corporation and Infineum USA after 18 years;
  • Prof. Rose Gonnella – Executive Director of the Robert Busch School of Design at Kean University;
  • Detective Louchaun Holmes – First grade Detective and 22-year veteran of the Elizabeth Police Department…the first African-American female ever appointed Detective in the history of the Department;
  • Barbara Kopel – Central Regional Director of the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation of NJ; Martha Koskulitz – employed by Mascia Food Services of Bridgewater;
  • Maureen Reilly Marston –retired after 21 years in Market Research and Global Product Management at Colgate Palmolive;
  • Cecelia Michalik – retired Executive of Ford Motor Credit Company and currently President of Michalik Consulting, LLC;
  • Dr. Patricia Morreale – Acting Chair and faculty member in the Department of Computer Science and Technology at Kean University, as well as Coordinator of the University’s IT Program and Director of its Network Laboratory;
  • Dr. Mary Jane Myslinski – Associate Professor at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ in the Doctoral Program of Physical Therapy,
  • Dr. Myslinski has her own practice and has been a physical therapist for over 32 years;
  • Paulette Pitt, Esq.- criminal defense Attorney for 25 years, practicing in federal, state, and municipal courts throughout NJ, with her own practice located in Woodbridge;
  • Joanne Rajoppi – Union County Clerk since 1995 with a background in other areas of government, plus as a journalist, college professor, and author;
  • Barbara Rowen- recently retired as Global Director of Global Market Research & Analytics at Merck & Co./Schering Laboratories in Kenilworth;
  • Michelle Schonberg – Vice President and certified financial planner with MorganStanleySmithBarney in Morristown;
  • Peggy Schott – owner of Peggy Schott Interiors in Westfield;
  • Joanna Slusarz – commercial real estate attorney with Cole, Schotz, Meisel, Forman & Leonard, P.A.,
  • Alysia Souder – Executive Director of the Institute of Music for Children in Elizabeth, with over 18 years of experience in arts education;
  • Donna Stec – Medical laboratory scientist at Overlook Hospital in Summit; Eileen Watkins- author of six published mystery novels, and currently an assistant editor with the Record/Herald News in NJ.; and
  • Kimberly Wyatt-Jackson – special needs teacher in Plainfield for 28 years, and, eight-time winner of her district’s “Teacher of the Year” award.

Career Day Presenter Peggy Schott (center right in sweater) of Peggy Schott Interiors in Westfield, speaking with BA students about interior design career options, demonstrates the use of materials in her field.

Presenter Kimberly Wyatt-Jackson (far right), special needs teacher in Plainfield, with students.

Maria Bucci (second from right), consulting architect with Connelly and Hickey Historical Architects in Cranford, and, owner of Mcb_span Design in North Plainfield explained various aspects of her profession while speaking to BA students at Career Day 2012. Benedictine Academy faculty member Janice DiGiamo (at top, center) listens.

Dr. Marlene Eldridge (right center), a school psychologist, emphasizes her point during a presentation at Benedictine Academy’s Career Day- “Women Speaking to Women” on March 14.

Presenters gathered during a break in the action on Career Day: “Women Speaking to Women”, held at Benedictine Academy in Elizabeth on March 14. Standing, clockwise from left to right- Elizabeth Garcia, Paulette Pitt, Esq., Alysia Souder, Peggy Schott, Michelle Schonberg, Barbara Rowen, Karen Anderson, R.N., Leigh Cooke, R.D., Dr. Nadine Fydryszewski, Maisha Tucker (visitor) Det. Louchaun Holmes, Cecelia Michalik, Dr. Marlene Eldridge, Dr. Teresa Choate, Dr. Rose Battaglia. Seated, clockwise from left to right- Maureen Marston, Joanna Slusarz, Esq., Martha Koskulitz, Dr. Mary Jane Myslinski, Kimberly Wyatt-Jackson, Eileen Watkins, Donna Stec, Mary Doran and Dr. Corinne Ambrosi. (Photos courtesy of Benedictine Academy)

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