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Caldwell College Honors Distinguished Alumni

College's 27th annual Veritas Awards Dinner will be held on Friday, March 23 at Essex Fells Country Club.

A professor of sociology, a woman pioneer in the mining and construction industry, and the Catholic Relief Services’ representative to Honduras will be honored at ’s 27th Veritas Awards Dinner next month. The Veritas Award is the highest honor the college bestows on its alumni.

This year’s recipients are Rosann Rovento Bar, Class of 1982, who will receive the Excellence in Sociology Education Award; Anne Poltorak, Class of 1978, who will receive the Excellence in Human Resource Management Award; and Juan Sheenan, Class of 1992, who will receive the Excellence in Catholic Social Services Award.

Bar, of Fairlawn, is a professor of sociology at Caldwell College, where she has taught full time since 1997. She has been chairwoman of the Department of Sociology/Criminal Justice for six years and serves as treasurer of the Faculty Council. A summa cum laude graduate in sociology at Caldwell, Bar holds master’s and doctoral degrees from Columbia University.

Bar has taught external degree classes for 15 years, and her department was the first to offer an entire degree online. She has used her expertise to promote tolerance by creating and presenting workshops on cultural awareness and sensitivity training. Bar developed an annual forensic competition for high school students, which she has conducted for five years. 

Poltorak, of North Plainfield, holds a degree in business administration from Caldwell. During 23 years at Tilcon New York Inc., she rose from personnel assistant to administrator to human resource manager and, since 1999, has been balancing the needs of 1,500 employees, handling recruiting, mediation, union negotiations, policy development, benefits, training and evaluation. She developed and directs Tilcon’s internship program.

A horse lover since her college days, Poltorak volunteers in a program for riders with disabilities. As a certified fitness instructor, she has been teaching health and fitness classes for 30 years.  She is an active member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in North Plainfield.

Sheenan graduated from Caldwell College with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, but left the financial industry for the Peace Corps, teaching in Namibia. He completed a master’s degree in international policy studies and Southern Africa development at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, moving to Mozambique to serve on a United Nations team dealing with the AIDS crisis there.

In 2001, Sheenan joined Catholic Relief Services, working in Zambia to address the HIV pandemic and food insecurity.  Sheenan became Catholic Relief Services’ country representative for Angola in 2005. Since July 2009, he has been country representative for Honduras, a country plagued by natural disasters and economic trouble. He oversees relations with the government of Honduras and Catholic Church organizations and implements a wide array of development projects.

The Veritas Awards Dinner will be held at the Essex Fells Country Club in Essex Fells, on Friday, March 23, at 6 p.m. The dinner is open to all alumni and members of the community. For further information, contact Kathleen Buse at 973-618-3411 or kbuse@caldwell.edu.

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