Dr. Cernera led Sacred Heart University for 18 years. Under his leadership, the undergraduate student body more than doubled, over a dozen degree programs were added – including a doctorate in Physical Therapy – and campuses were established in Luxembourg and Ireland. The Bronx-born educator introduced residential life in 1990 and such innovative efforts as the Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding and the Center for Strategic Planning for Not-for-Profit Organizations. In January, Dr. Cernera unveiled the John F. Welch College of Business, named for the legendary CEO of General Electric, who is a major benefactor and continuing advisor to the College. A three-time graduate of Fordham University, where he earned his doctorate in Theology, Dr. Cernera teaches Religious Studies every semester at Sacred Heart. For three years the elected chairman of the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges, he is a director of both the National Association of Independent Colleges & Universities and the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.