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Elan Wenger came to college feeling unprepared and left ready to take on the world, thanks in large part to FDU’s COMPASS program, which provides individually tailored, comprehensive, academic and social support for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

“With the support of the COMPASS program, I grew into the college level course-load and became so much better than what I thought my best self was at the time,” said Wenger. “COMPASS played an important role in my life, and I am forever grateful for their support!”

As an undergrad, Wenger took advantage of multiple internships in the areas of software engineering and social media management, including at Xyberfocus, Pzena Investment Management, The Simons Foundation and The American Friends of Jamaica. Upon graduation he was hired by PNC Bank and has transitioned from Technology Development Analyst to his current role as Software Engineer.

He is already giving back to FDU as a member of the recently formed Board of Directors of the Gildart Haase School of Computer Science and Engineering.

Learn more about Elan:

Name: Elan Wenger

FDU Graduation Year(s) & Major: BA’21 3D Animation major/Computer Science minor; MA’22 in 3D Animation

Campus(es) where you studied: Florham/Madison

Family: Parents Russell and Vicki and sisters Lexi and Rachel.

Current occupation/volunteer efforts: Software Engineer, PNC Bank

Hobbies & Interests: Animals, outdoors, running, animation, app development.

What is your favorite memory of FDU? Meeting my first college BFF’s Alden and Sydney

Were you involved in any specific activities at FDU: Graphic Design Club, COMPASS

What was your favorite place on campus and why? The cafe. It was a great place to socialize and work.

Who was the most influential person in your FDU Experience: Professor Justin Shaw. He challenged and pushed me to work at my hardest, bringing the best out of me.

What keeps you connected to FDU? FDU made me who I am today and I am forever grateful to them! I will always look back on my FDU years as the most important of my life.

One piece of advice for current FDU students? Don’t let any early failures get to you. Those failures are the best teachers you’ll probably ever have!

Where you can find me on social media:  Instagram

Forever a Knight, Dr. Avi Ma’ayan runs toward ways of making an impact.

As a member of FDU’s Division I cross country teams, Avi was part of the 1993 Northeastern Conference Championship squad, inducted into the Knights Hall of Fame, and still lists running as his most cherished hobby.

As a student – and later professional – Avi leaped into the burgeoning world wide web as it launched during his time at FDU as an undergraduate student and combined his love of science and medicine with computer science to become one of the most sought-after experts in his field. Currently the Director of Bioinformatics at Mount Sinai Hospital (as well as a Professor of Pharmacological Sciences), Avi continues to be on the cutting edge of computer science and medicine in his quest to help people live healthier lives.

He stays involved with FDU through his volunteer efforts on the newly formed Gildart Haase School of Computer Sciences and Engineering where he earned both of his degrees.

Learn more…

Name: Dr. Avi Ma’ayan

FDU Graduation Year(s) & Major: BS in Computer Science, ’97; MS in Computer Science, ‘01

Campus(es) where you studied: Teaneck/Hackensack

Family: Wife, Sherry Jenkins, whom Avi met on the women’s track and field team and also has two degrees from FDU.

Current occupation/volunteer efforts: Professor, Department of Pharmacological Sciences; Director, Mount Sinai Center for Bioinformatics. Learn more about the work Dr. Ma’ayan does in this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tB3BgSL4rXE

Hobbies & Interests: Running

What is your favorite memory of FDU? Eating pizza and watching TV with my track & field teammates at Jeepers.

Were you involved in any specific activities at FDU: Track & field and cross country teams.

What was your favorite place on campus and why? Computer lab; enjoyed learning computer programming and using the internet when it was born.

Who was the most influential person in your FDU Experience: My girlfriend at that time who is now my wife and still by my side 30 years later.

What keeps you connected to FDU? Memories.

One piece of advice for current FDU students? Be proud of the school, it is a great college.

Where you can find me on social media:  LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/avi-ma-ayan-6a61271a/.

Rosemary Trinkle Baran’s roots run deep at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Hers is a legacy family with few peers— her father, aunt, uncle and all of her sisters attended FDU. In fact, her family’s generosity led to establishing the John Robert and Marye Trinkle Ruzila Career Development Center. Rosemary’s immense involvement at FDU serves as a shining example to all.

She is the current President of the Alumni Association’s Board of Governors, and serves on the board of FDU’s International School of Hospitality, Sports, and Tourism Management as well as the School of Public and Global Affairs…all while holding the Manager position of Organizational Development at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Attesting to this incredible work ethic, one of her hobbies is working out at 5 am!

Rosemary keeps wonderful memories of her time on campus close to her heart and has been instrumental in bringing alumni of the FDU’s original Rutherford campus together to deepen their connection to the University. FDU is indebted to Rosemary and her family, and look forward to the impact of future generations on the University.

Learn more…

Name: Rosemary Trinkle Baran

Nickname at FDU: Roe, Trink

FDU Graduation Year(s) & Major: BS in Business Management with a Concentration in Hotel and Restaurant Management, ‘83

Campus(es) where you studied: Rutherford

Family: Married to J. Michael Baran for 31 years with a daughter named Patricia.

Current occupation/volunteer efforts: Manager of Organizational Development, Talent Management at NY Presbyterian Hospital. Current President of the Alumni Association of FDU, Board Member International School of Hospitality and Tourism, Board member of School of Public and Global Affairs, Past President of the Board of Recreation, City of Clifton, NJ.

Hobbies & Interests: I love being involved in local politics. Riding my bike and going to the gym at 5 am, spending time at the beach and taking pictures of sunrises.

What is your favorite memory of FDU? Each spring the student-run Hotel Society ran a dinner.  It first started in 1980 as a way to pay for our first European trip and each year the students put on a dinner for fundraising   It grew so much that my last few years it was in the Gymnasium.  These were great memories.  

What was your favorite place on campus and why? I loved the Castle at the FDU Rutherford Campus

Who was the most influential person in your FDU Experience: Dr. Richard Wisch was my most influential person. I was one of Dr. Wisch’s first students. He was so dedicated to FDU and his students. 

What keeps you connected to FDU? I feel like I never left. My Dad, Aunt, Uncle and all of my sisters and I went to FDU, I have always remained involved in one way or another.

One piece of advice for current FDU students? Take each day as it comes…if things don’t work out there is another plan.  

Where you can find me on social media: Facebook, X (Twitter) and LinkedIn:

Todd Rosenthal found his passion at FDU.

As a communications major on the Florham campus, Rosenthal credits Dr. Gary Radford for introducing him to learning how to understand the way people communicate and why. After completing his undergraduate degree, Rosenthal earned his MA in Corporate and Organizational Communication which led to a focus on safety and intelligence, serving in roles within the U.S. Department of Defense and the FBI before turning to private corporations, including his current role at Fortune 500 company Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).

An unabashed animal lover, Rosenthal stays active outside of work with his family, his rescue pups and works with civic organizations on crime prevention and personal safety.

Learn more about Todd:

Name: Todd Rosenthal

FDU Graduation Year(s) & Major: BA in Communications, 2006; MA in Corporate & Organizational Communication, 2007

Campus(es) where you studied: Florham

Family: Married to my beautiful wife Casey. We have two children, Gunner (8) and Grayson (6).

Current occupation: I am currently employed as the Security Awareness Training & Education team lead for SAIC where I oversee the security education and training efforts for over 30,000 employees.

Hobbies & Interests: In my spare time, I teach crime prevention and rape prevention classes. I volunteer a lot of time to civic organizations by teaching them how to keep themselves and their loved ones safe at home and in public. Additionally, I am a forever animal lover. My wife and I have rescued three dogs and they are a part of our family.

What is your favorite memory of FDU? I owe so much to FDU from meeting my best friend to securing an internship that helped me carve out my career path. However, my favorite memory at FDU was engaging in a floor wide shaving cream war on third floor Hamilton. This would have been in the 2001 or 2002 time frame. 

Activities you were involved in at FDU: Yes! In addition to being one of the sports medicine trainers, I was also the mascot at basketball games.

What was your favorite place on campus and why? My favorite place on campus was behind the mansion at night. You could literally see every star in the sky.

Who was the most influential person in your FDU Experience: By far and wide the most influential person for me at FDU was professor Gary Radford. Dr. Radford introduced me to my passion for understanding the way people communicate and why.

What keeps you connected to FDU? I will always be emotionally connected to FDU. Having said that, I remain in contact with a number of my professors to this day.

One piece of advice for current FDU students? When you’re choosing a major, look at the people who are already majoring in that discipline. If you can’t relate to them, it’s the wrong major.

Where you can find me on social media: Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/toddr/

Dr. Janelle Hall refers to herself as a “people geek.” Her educational and professional journey has positioned her to take on her passion for empowering people by making it her livelihood.

After earning a master’s degree in public administration at FDU, Hall went on to receive her doctorate in Public Policy and Administration with a focus on non-profit organizations. After working seven years at Berkeley College, she doubled down on her community focus by forming her own LLC, Beyond Inspired – providing special counseling services – and in October of 2021 became named the CEO of United Passaic Organization in her hometown.

Hall remains connected to FDU to this day through her volunteer work on the Board of Governors.

Learn more about Janelle:

Name: Dr. Janelle C. Hall

FDU Graduation Year(s) & Major: 2013 – MPA Public Administration

Campus(es) where you studied: Teaneck

Current occupation and volunteer work: Chief Executive Officer at United Passaic Organization – A Community Action Agency

Hobbies & Interests: Family time, Beach-bumming, Traveling, Sorority life (Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.), eating out/fine-dining, and self-care.

What is your favorite memory of FDU? Making lifelong relationships with my classmates!

Activities you were involved in at FDU: Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society 

What was your favorite place on campus and why? In my advisor’s office. This was the place where I received wise counsel on how to navigate my FDU educational journey and beyond. 

Who was the most influential person in your FDU Experience: Dr. Edwards was very influential with my FDU journey. He ensured I took the necessary classes at the right time for a timely graduation. My Research and Methods professor ignited a fire under me. She stated at one of our class sessions, it was possible to complete our MPA program in one year (a master’s program is typically a 2-year program). From that moment, I was unstoppable! I had the end goal in mind and plowed through my MPA program in one year and four months! All of my FDU professors were encouraging to all of the non-traditional students’ efforts to make a better life for themselves and their families.

What keeps you connected to FDU? As a new Board of Governor (BOG) of the FDU Alumni Association, I am able to give back through service and be an example to current and potential students. 

One piece of advice for current FDU students? Don’t give up! You may be delayed never denied. 

Where you can find me on social media: Facebook and LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/janelle-c-hall-phd-73a35646/

Alexandra (Allie) Sharkey built her skills in psychology and counseling while on FDU’s Florham campus in the late 2000’s and has built an enormous social media following since graduation.

With nearly 20,000 followers on her Instagram page, Allie is a modern-day Superwoman with a busy and successful career by day at AbbVie Pharmaceuticals as a senior sales representative, and a social media influencer of note in her role as “Ms. Morristown,” spreading love for her adopted hometown and staying connected with FDU where she earned dual degrees in psychology and clinical counseling.

Allie is all in for the community. When she isn’t extolling the virtues of Morristown online, she is volunteering her time to causes like the Morristown Women in Business, and Big Brothers, Big Sisters, where she was honored as the “Big Sister” of the Year in 2014 by the Northern New Jersey branch, and currently serves as a Regional Board Member.

Learn more about Allie:

Name: Alexandra Sharkey

Nickname at FDU: Allie

FDU Graduation Year(s) & Major: 2009 – BA Psychology & MA, Clinical Counseling

Campus(es) where you studied: Florham

Current occupation and volunteer work: Senior Sales Representative at AbbVie. Founder of Ms. Morristown, LLC. Regional Board Member of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Coastal and Northern New Jersey. Board member of the Morristown Women in Business.

Hobbies & Interests: Travel, manifestation, self-development, the NYT crossword.

What is your favorite memory of FDU? Walking through campus with new friends.

Activities you were involved in at FDU: Zeta Tau Alpha sorority – traditions chair, social chair, committees chair; Marketing Mix –co-activities chair; Peer Assistant Leaders; Graduate assistant.

What was your favorite place on campus and why? The Caf. All you can eat of whatever you can eat! And meeting with friends.

Who was the most influential person in your FDU Experience: Dr. Lona Whitmarsh and Ginny Devine.

What keeps you connected to FDU? Living in nearby Morristown helps keep me connected as well as the Young Alumni Association.

One piece of advice for current FDU students? You won’t believe how fast time goes after you graduate. Find ways to stay connected to the friends you made and campus resources. They will help you tremendously in life.

Where you can find me on social media: Instagram: @ms.morristown

Michael Ramos became deeply connected with FDU as an undergraduate, a bond which has only strengthened over the past two decades since he graduated.

After starting his FDU career on the Teaneck campus – Michael dove in immediately as a resident assistant and showed the ultimate school spirit by serving as the mascot for the men’s basketball team. He ended his undergrad career playing football for the Devils while finishing his degree in Graphic Design on the Florham Campus.

That connectivity with FDU didn’t end on commencement day. Ramos – as he prefers to be called – founded the SOA Arts Alumni Chapter in 2017 and currently serves on the Board of Governors, as a Vice President chairing the Marketing Committee. He also serves on the advisory board for the School of Arts.

There has been no doubt that from the moment he stepped on campus that Michael Ramos bleeds Burgundy & Blue…and always will.

Learn more about Michael…

Name: Michael Ramos

FDU Graduation Year(s) & Major: 2000 – BA Graphic & Graphic Design

Campus(es) where you studied: Florham & Metropolitan

Current occupation: Senior Marketing Specialist, Kuehne+Nagel 

Hobbies & Interests: Boating & Fishing.

What is your favorite memory of FDU? Fugees performance at Teaneck 1995, FDU March Madness in ’98 and ’23.

Activities you were involved in at FDU?: Resident Assistant (RA), Varsity football at Florham; Founder and former president of the SOA Arts alumni chapter founded  in 2017; Current Board of Governors member.

What was your favorite place on campus and why? Dreyfuss. I love the creative innovation happening in the SOA and animation labs.

Who was the most influential person in your FDU Experience: Robin Barkley, Karen Lewis

What keeps you connected to FDU? Great events, people, want my kids to attend.

One piece of advice for current FDU students? Work hard over the next four years. Experience everyone and become an expert in your craft. It will dictate your future. Also, talk to anyone and everyone about anything but make connections.

Where you can find me on social media: Instagram: @mikeramo Facebook: @somarmedia

There’s being active and then there’s what Erika Baldino is doing with her life.

Erika was honored last summer as one of NJBIZ Forty Under 40 for her efforts in the world of real estate, but her impact can be seen across an incredible array of passions, not the least of which is Fairleigh Dickinson University.

She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Paterson Rotary Club as well as the Women’s Council of Realtors of North Central NJ. She was asked this year – and gratefully agreed – to serve as an advisor for FDU’s School of Nursing and Allied Health.

She supports a wide array of charities – United Negro College Fund, March of Dimes, Children’s Miracle Network, Metavivor, Operation Beethoven, Project Purple and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society – and loves mentoring young entrepreneurs, especially those who seek financial freedom through home ownership and real estate investment.

Learn more about Erika…

Name: Erika Baldino

FDU Graduation Year(s) & Major: 2010 – B.S. in Biology from the Florham campus

Campus(es) where you studied: Florham & Wroxton

Family: Mother Karen, brother David & Kyra, sister Victoria & Chris and pup Thor

Current occupation: EVP of Business Development at Kensington Vanguard and Legal 1031 Exchange

Hobbies & Interests: Volunteerism, golf, working grapes in my vineyard, wine collecting, cigars, walking, Broadway shows, investing in real estate.

What is your favorite memory of FDU? The science department at FDU Florham – my family for four years at undergrad – holds some of the best memories. I will admit to a small prank I played in one of the classes – we were doing a urine analysis and I switched the sample to Apple Juice, labeled it “AJ” and when we ran the test, the teacher became concerned one of us had really high sugar and should see a doctor. The teacher figured out specimen “AJ” was, in fact, Apple Juice and had a good laugh!

What was your favorite place on campus and why? After hours at Club Lib – also known as the FDU Library where we’d order Dominos Pizza at 2 a.m.

Who was the most influential person in your FDU Experience: I loved learning from Dr. Garrity at FDU’s Wroxton campus – he really had a way of teaching that pushed you to think in an unbiased manor and really challenged your belief systems. It was really important to learn through a global lens and I’m grateful for the Wroxton experience.

What keeps you connected to FDU? I was honored to be asked by Dean Annie Rohan on the Teaneck campus to sit on her Board for the Becton School of Nursing and Allied Health. It has helped me stay connected to the university and allowed me to give some insight on ways we can shape our next batch of future leaders coming out of FDU. I’ll be attending Wroxton (as a Chaperone this time!) for a specially designed two-week program for those students and I am excited for the opportunity to mentor them!

One piece of advice for current FDU students? It doesn’t pay to be smart – it pays to make smart decisions. You can be the smartest person in the classroom at FDU but if you aren’t networking with people, doing right by your friends and teachers, and working toward goals, you’ll never get to the next level.

Where you can find me on social media: Instagram – @erikabaldino

In January of 2023, City of Clifton residents gathered at Clifton High School for the formal swearing in of the new Mayor, Raymond Grabowski.  Grabowski became the first Mayor since the retirement of James Anzaldi, who was among the top 20 longest-tenured mayors in the United States at the time of his retirement, after being elected as his beloved hometown’s Mayor in 1990.

L-R: Gerry Zecker, Ray Grabowski and James Anzaldi

Also in the audience was the only other living past Mayor of Clifton, Gerry Zecker.  It was a milestone in the history of the City of Clifton and so many Cliftonites gathered to show respect to their treasured Mayor Anzaldi (aka “Uncle Jimmy” as he is fondly called for his amazing relationships with so many).  Citizens were also in attendance to show their support to the new Mayor as we turned a page in Clifton History.  It was a time of unity and the future of the 100-plus years of the existence of the City of Clifton.

Taking in this historic occasion was Fairleigh Dickinson University Board of Governor’s member and soon to become President of the Alumni Association, Rosemary Trinkle Baran.  The Trinkle family had been long-time supporters of both Mayor Zecker and Mayor Anzaldi (who were both students of Rosemary’s late grandmother Florence). The audience did not know what Rosemary knew which was all three of these Mayors who have served their beloved City of Clifton were also FDU Rutherford graduates!  Zecker, BA ‘63, Anzaldi, BS ‘74, and Grabowski, BS ‘75. Rosemary also has close ties to Mayor Grabowski, having graduated with his late brother and former councilman Matthew Grabowski.

One might ask the question if this is some kind of a coincidence, and we think not!   While the commute from Clifton to Rutherford was quick with many routes if the highway was busy, and Clifton has many FDU Rutherford graduates, there may be more to this significant historical footnote.  Perhaps it goes back to the legacy of FDU, and the goal to provide education to first generation students, but it also goes back to other parts of the FDU mission of preparing world citizens.   With so many years of dedication to helping others all three of these Clifton Mayors are working each day to help others.

Mayor Anzaldi currently serves as a Congressional aid to Congressman Bill Pascrell, and Mayor Zecker recently finished serving as Assembly aid to retiring Assemblyman Tom Giblin.   Each day, these two past Mayors are still called by so many citizens asking for their advice…there seems to be no retirement for our FDU graduates and retired Mayors! What they learned at FDU has transformed their lives to years of service.  Mayor Zecker and Mayor Grabowski also recently attended the FDU Rutherford reunion and we look forward to all three Mayors ongoing involvement as we forge ahead in revitalizing our Rutherford Alumni Chapter.

Suffice to say, the City of Clifton has much to be thankful to Fairleigh Dickinson University!

The Fairleigh Dickinson University Hospitality & Tourism Alumni Group will host a special reception – “Hospitality and Hoops” – prior to the FDU-Wagner men’s basketball game on Thursday, February 8 at the Metropolitan Campus Rothman Center.

The event begins at 6:00 pm for a pre-game reception, where you can network and enjoy refreshments with your fellow hospitality alumni in the Stratis Lounge overlooking the court before tip-off at 7:00 pm.

Be sure to wear your FDU gear and be ready to get loud as we cheer on the Burgundy & Blue! We look forward to a great evening with our alumni and friends.

Please click the link below to register for the event!