Independent Public Mission Schools

Centenary: Student Embarks on Adventurous Journey with Odyssey Website


Ariana Archilla and Kathleen Lascky Turner ’70, Chair of the President’s Advisory Council at Centenary University

Ariana Archilla knew that she wanted to be a writer since she was a young child. In fourth grade, in fact, she won the Young Author’s Award for her short story titled “The Big Tree and the Yellow Meadow” which is about a lone tree in the middle of a meadow.

Her passion for writing only intensified through the years. The Blairstown resident is now an English major with a concentration in Creative Writing at Centenary University. Last year, she took on a unique internship opportunity with Odyssey, which is a social media platform committed to democratizing content creation while personalizing discovery.

This project was launched online in 2014 and colleges and universities throughout the country and beyond onboarding creators to submit dynamic content. Over 1,000 local communities have been established. In addition to university communities, geographical communities also exist, as well as interest communities, such as Makeup Fanatics and Hip Hop Heads. Archilla is the Editor-in-Chief of Centenary’s community and currently has 20 content creators who currently contribute regularly.

For more stories about Centenary, scroll down:

Two University Professors Honored with the Bright Idea Award
Fulton Bank of New Jersey Provides Third Installment of $20,000 Check for Student Scholarships
Centenary’s Social Media of Center Expertise, #THEVIBE, Hosts TEDWOMEN Conference “It’s About Story Time” Segment

New content is published on a weekly basis on

The content varies in topic and really runs the gamut related to focus. Some recent submissions bear the following titles: “How Do I Love Halloween? Let Me Count the Ways,” “Let’s Go Back to that Old Fashioned Love,” “Dear Addict,” “Bullying Needs to Stop” and “Why I Love My Little University.”

“Approximately 11 articles are posted each week,” says Archilla. “Everyone submits on Monday and I need to quickly turn around their work so they can all go live every Tuesday.”

As part of the process, Archilla provides creators with feedback on their submissions and she will do light editing to their work, if needed.

“This platform allows interested writers to have a voice,” says Magen Sanders, Assistant Managing Editor for The Odyssey. “Ariana has demonstrated a strong commitment to this project and has really grown as Editor-in-Chief. She is constantly onboarding new creators and has an energy that allows her to connect with her team.”

Archilla does all this, plus has two other jobs. She is a barista at Greene’s Beans, Centenary’s café, which is located on campus at the Taylor Memorial Library and she is a note taker through the Academic Success Center.

As a result to her commitment to the Odyssey project, Archilla was recently recognized for her innovation with the President Advisory Council Endowed Scholarship. This scholarship is made possible by the President Advisory Council, which is a council that works with the institution’s President toward the continued success of Centenary. This scholarship was established in October 2010 to provide a $1,000 annual scholarship to a deserving student at Centenary University.

Her writing aspiration is to become a published novelist. She admires many genres, so the possibilities are endless. One thing is certain, however; her dedication and commitment will lead her to success.

Two University Professors Honored with the Bright Idea Award

This fall, Centenary professors Dana Benbow and David Perricone were presented with a Bright Idea Award on behalf of the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall University and the New Jersey Policy Research Organization (NJPRO). Benbow, an Assistant Professor of Finance, and Perricone, an Assistant Professor of Sports Management, were honored for their scholarly research entitled “What Do Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and the NFL Have to Do with Finance: Creating an Integrated Sports Finance Class.” As one of the top manuscripts of 141 total submissions, the piece was selected for the fifteenth annual volume of the Publications of New Jersey’s Business Faculty, a collection of research works that were published in 2015.

Professors Benbow and Perricone collaborated to design a cross-disciplinary course in Sports Finance focused on demonstrated and practical application of finance across the sports management industry utilizing multiple experiential projects including a simulation game where students own and run a Fantasy Football franchise. The teaching note discusses the genesis, construction, and results of an approach to course development for a deeper, cross-disciplinary understanding of applied finance in the sports industry.


Pictured from left to right are as follows: Professor Dana Benbow, Professor David Perricone and Professor Cheryl Veronda, Professor of Business and Chair of the Business Department

“Dana Benbow and David Perricone are tremendous innovators who are dedicated to the art of teaching,” says Cheryl Veronda, Professor of Business and Chair of the Business Department at Centenary University. “Their decision to develop and co-teach this course brought the best of two worlds together. It allowed their students to gain a wealth of knowledge from their expertise that they will be able to bring to the business world. The Bright Idea Awards are very competitive among the hundreds of business professors across New Jersey.”

Benbow has been an professor at Centenary University since 2011 following an extensive career in the Employee Benefits Insurance industry with assignments in both domestic and international operations. Benbow’s experience includes roles in risk management, finance, product development, operations management, and business unit leadership with P&L responsibility. He has served on the New Jersey Individual and Small Group Insurance Reform Boards and on committees of the National Association of Dental Plans (NADP) and Americas Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) including a leadership role on the AHIP Long Term Care Committee. Benbow has also served on the boards of The Family Afterward and Freedom House, which are not for profit substance abuse programs operating in the State of New Jersey. He currently serves on the Mount Olive Township Ethics Committee.

Prior to joining Centenary University in January 2011, Professor Perricone was with the New Jersey Devils Hockey Club for two decades. He started as an intern and worked his way up to Senior Director of Merchandising. He received his BS in Business Administration from Robert Morris University in 1990. He has been a leader with Robert Morris University Sports Management Alumni efforts by contributing to the Sports Management Newsletter, and serving as founding member of the RMU Sports Management Alumni Board. Professor Perricone is a member of the Sports Marketing Association and is Co-Chair for the Social Media Web Site Committee and a member of Students Research & Development. In addition, he earned an MBA in Marketing from Fairleigh Dickenson University in 2002.

Pictured from left to right are as follows: Faith Wollor, Centenary Student and a Fulton Bank of New Jersey Scholarship recipient; John Carno, Vice President for University Advancement at Centenary University; Keith German, Community Reinvestment Officer at Fulton Bank of New Jersey; Dr. David P. Haney, Centenary University President; Stephen R. Miller, President and Chief Operating Officer at Fulton Bank of New Jersey; and Abigail Kay, Centenary Student and a Fulton Bank of New Jersey Scholarship recipient

Fulton Bank of New Jersey Provides Third Installment of $20,000 Check for Student Scholarships

Fulton Bank of New Jersey has recently provided Centenary University with a gift of $20,000, which represents the third installment of a five-year scholarship commitment as part of an initiative to give back to the community.

“I would like to thank Fulton Bank of New Jersey for their generosity,” says Dr. David P. Haney, Centenary University President. “It is opportunities such as this that make a huge impact on our students.”

Over the years, Fulton Bank of New Jersey has been one of Centenary’s most dedicated advocates. The longstanding relationship has spanned many years. In fact, Fulton Bank of New Jersey made a sizable contribution to the David and Carol Lackland Center, which was built in 2010. Fulton Bank of New Jersey’s executives have also served on the Board of Trustees at Centenary University. This year, the Fulton Bank of New Jersey Scholarship has been awarded to seven individuals. Recipients are determined on a merit and need basis.

“It is the intention of Fulton Bank of New Jersey to continue to foster our relationship with Centenary University,” says Keith German, Community Reinvestment Officer at Fulton Bank of New Jersey. “This gift is made through Fulton Forward™ the Bank’s initiative to promote the building of vibrant communities through programs, products, and services, designed to foster affordable housing, drive economic development, and promote education and financial literacy in the neighborhoods served by its banking subsidiaries.”

As part of Fulton Financial Corporation, Fulton Bank of New Jersey is one of this state’s leading financial institutions, providing a wide range of services, including service to consumer (retail) and business customers as well as residential mortgage and investment management and trust services. Fulton Financial Corporation subsidiaries offer products and services in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware and Virginia. Fulton Bank of New Jersey is based in Mount Laurel, N.J., and serves Hunterdon, Middlesex, Morris, Somerset, Warren, Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester, Mercer, Monmouth, Ocean and Salem counties.


Centenary’s Social Media of Center Expertise, #THEVIBE, Hosts TEDWOMEN Conference “It’s About Story Time” Segment

After Centenary’s Social Media Center of Expertise, also known as #THEVIBE, opened a year ago, the Dean, Kathy Naasz, vowed to start holding events for women and about women in the facility. True to her word, she held the ultimate women’s networking experience recently when she arranged to simulcast a portion of the TEDWOMEN 2016 Conference themed “It’s About Time” from the Center.

Local female business leaders and students gathered to network and watch two presentations from the “It’s About Story Time” segment of the three day conference.

Dr. Stacy Smith discussed the inclusion crisis in Hollywood after she did an in-depth analysis of movies that ran between the years of 2007-2015 and determined that women are underrepresented as actors, as well as directors. Dr. Smith provided insight on how each person can take a part in changing this invisibility epidemic moving forward.

Caroline Paul, author of “Gutsy Girl,” who also serves as a San Francisco Firefighter discussed how society doesn’t expect bravery from women and how that norm can be modified as teachers and parents from when girls are very young.

“It is events like this that provide a forum for women to think more deeply about the issues discussed and focus on how they can change the environment,” says Dr. Rosalie Lamonte, Superintendent of Schools for Warren and Sussex County. “This session provided insight on what can be done to effect change.”

Groups then discussed the topics and shared ideas and collaborated on the underrepresentation of women in film and raising girls to become brave women.

“It is beautiful that opportunities such as this can happen at Centenary’s campus,” says Lisa Baldwin, educator, composer, singer and the spouse of Centenary University’s President Dr. David Haney. “It was wonderful to have different personalities and backgrounds to come together to share ideas. Both presentations were phenomenal. We do want to raise brave children who are able to tackle many challenges in life.”

Female students also participated in this unique experience. Elizabeth Karpinski, who is a first-year Equine Studies student from Mullica Hill, felt that the event was truly helpful in her goal to start the first national sorority, Alpha Sigma Tau, at the Hackettstown-based institution. In fact, she plans to integrate the theme of bravery into early sorority programs, as well as women’s health. Alpha Sigma Tau’s main charity will be associated with Breast Cancer Awareness in honor of her grandmother who has been combating the disease.

Ieasha Jones, a Communications: Social Media Marketing student from Bergenfield claimed that the event was “a big eye opener.”

“It was wonderful to be able to collaborate with such accomplished women,” says Jones. “I also learned that clearly there is some work that needs to be done regarding the representation of all women in film in relation to race, sexual orientation and those with disabilities. Opportunities like these though will spark the action needed for a different and better future.”