Pioneer Pride

What is a Pioneer?  At William Paterson University, a Pioneer can be one of the institution's more than 62,000 alumni.  They are found throughout New Jersey, the nation, and the world, using their William Paterson degrees and experiences as a springboard to professional accomplishment and personal growth. Their achievements reflect the University's mission and commitment to preparing graduates for success in their careers, communities, and lives.


Jennifer Callanan, assistant professor of environmental science, investigates what fires mean to an ecosystem


Edward Burns, professor of English, is a leading expert on 20th century author, poet, and art collector Gertrude Stein and her entourage


Gennifer Furst, associate professor of sociology, explores how animals, especially dogs, are used in correctional facilities


Mark Antonio Grant '77, speaks passionately about cancer prevention as a Hero for Hope award recipient


Kevin Lenahan '90, vice president of finance and chief financial officer of Atlantic Health System, is focused on affordable health care


Dorothea Lischick '77, is the general manager of one of the largest sports and entertainment venues in Colorado


Lucia McMahon, associate professor of history, documents how education impacted women in the early American republic


Emmanuel Onaivi, professor of biology, conducts research that could lead to therapeutic drugs for pain and other medical conditions


Robb Rehberg, associate professor of kinesiology, is one of New Jersey’s foremost advocates for concussion and brain injury awareness

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Martin Becker, professor of environmental science, is one of the world’s leading experts on U.S. fossil sharks

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Ronald Berkman ’73, the president of Cleveland State University, is working to support the city’s renewal during a time of great economic challenge

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Janis Strasser, professor of elementary and early childhood education, has been honored as one of the country’s outstanding teachers


Ben Jones ’63, is an internationally acclaimed visual artist whose works explore global issues


Edna Cadmus ’76, clinical professor at Rutgers-Newark, helps a new generation of nurses excel and advance in leadership positions


Joe Riccitelli ’85, promotes some of the hottest names in contemporary pop music for Jive Label Group


Kathy Walsh ’81, serves more than 1,000 individuals with disabilities as president and CEO of ARC of Bergen and Passaic Counties


Lisa Coates ’02, a Virginia teacher, is one of 15 U.S. Department of Education Teaching Ambassador Fellows for 2010-11


Matthew Samra ’94, is a vascular surgeon at the Deborah Heart and Lung Center


Richard Sponzilli ’71, president and CEO of a premier landscape design firm, serves clients from Donald Trump to Calvin Klein


Tyshawn Sorey ’04, is a musician, performer, and composer who embraces a wide range of musical genres


Margie Gelbwasser, M.A. ’03, turned an idea from her master’s thesis into her first young adult novel


Linda Bowden, M.A. ’78, provides executive leadership as the northern New Jersey regional president of PNC Bank


John DeLuca ’79, leads a team of scientists studying memory and information processing disorders at Kessler Research Center


Rosa Alcala ’91, is a poet and professor at the University of Texas at El Paso

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Ronald Berkman, M.A. '73, is an urban planner and public affairs specialist—and the president of Cleveland State University

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Maureen Conway ’66, whose career included numerous executive positions at HP, now brings her expertise to the University’s Board of Trustees

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Brad Gooch, professor of English and Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, has gained a national reputation for his biography of Flannery O’Connor

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Norman Greene ’98, serves as director of finance for the White House

Raza Mir, professor of marketing and management, specializes in knowledge transfer in multinational corporations

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Dave O’Neill ’01, has built a reputation as a successful children’s book illustrator

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Alfred Piaget ’57, has had a distinguished fifty-year career in education

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Michael Turco ’05, magician and illusionist, has performed in Atlantic City and on America’s Got Talent

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Tina Lesher, professor of communication, is an award-winning journalist and author and a Fulbright Scholar

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Susan Ungaro ’75, president of the James Beard Foundation, promotes America’s rich culinary heritage

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Free Hess ’00, brings passion to her position as a pediatric emergency medicine physician at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx

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Stuart Aust ’80 and Donna Giuca Aust ’81, owners of Bug Doctor Termite and Pest Control, count Yankee Stadium and the United Nations as clients