September 9, 2015

New Jersey Film Festival

New Jersey Film Festival Starts September 11

Twenty-five films will have their New Jersey or area premiere screenings during the 34th Annual New Jersey Film Festival, September 11 to October 18, in Voorhees Hall, Room 105, Rutgers University–New Brunswick.

The festival, sponsored by the Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center and the interdisciplinary Cinema Studies program at the School of Arts and Sciences, showcases the best in new international films, American independent features, experimental and short subjects, classic revivals, and cutting-edge documentaries. The festival will also host Q&A sessions with more than 20 film directors, producers, and actors. 

This year’s screenings include Foster Dog (pictured), a short film about a young, disabled dog; Rosehill, an intimate feature film that delves into the lives of two women; Däwit, a brilliant animated short about a boy who is rescued from his violent father and grows up among wolves; Right Footed, a documentary chronicling the extraordinary story of Jessica Cox, the world's first licensed armless pilot and the first armless black-belt in the American Taekwondo Association; The Moment: Bonnaroo, a documentary about the famous music festival in Tennessee; and Archie’s Betty, compelling new documentary about Archie comics.  

Learn more about the festival and other screenings here.

September 2, 2015

Mason Gross School of the Arts 40th Anniversary

Mason Gross School of the Arts Kicks Off 40th Anniversary Events Season

The 2015–2016 events season at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University–New Brunswick—marking the school’s 40th anniversary year—launched September 1 at the Mason Gross Galleries with the Visual Arts Department’s Welcome Back Show, featuring the work of faculty, staff, and returning MFA students. This exhibition runs through September 16, with a free reception at the galleries on September 2 from 5 to 8 p.m.

Other September events include the Alumni Dance Concert (September 11 and 12) at Loree Dance Theater and several music events, including Rutgers Symphony Orchestra (September 12) at Nicholas Music Center; the Experimental Music in Practice: Perspectives from Latin America symposium on September 24 and 25 at Richard H. Shindell Choral Hall; and an Afro-Latino Performing Traditions concert (September 25) at Nicholas Music Center.

View the fall calendar and ticket price information here.

August 26, 2015

Health Profession Internships

Health Profession Internships Focus on Underserved Populations

Since 2007, health profession graduate students between their first and second years of study have participated in seven-week summer internships designed to improve health in underserved populations. The Bridging the Gaps Community Health Internship—a Philadelphia-based program planned and coordinated in New Jersey by the School of Public Health associate dean Bernadette West—links students from the School of Public Health, New Jersey Medical School, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and the School of Health Related Professions, all at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, and from Rowan University with community initiatives throughout the state.

The internships are quite varied. This summer, they included students (at left) teaching violence prevention and health to Newark youth attending the Jordan and Harris Community Health Center Summer Camp; working with the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers to recruit youth from local high schools for its Camden Healthy Youth Council, and creating a map showing bus routes to faith-based organizations, parks, and fitness centers.

In addition, students worked to expand an initiative to reduce hospital readmission rates. They created and presented health education seminars, questionnaires, and group discussions for individuals living in transitional housing at Making It Possible To End Homelessness at Imani Park and Amandla’s Crossing in Edison. They also designed and managed groups focused on health education and technology integration at Bridgeway Rehabilitation Services in Elizabeth, and developed an oral health workshop that was presented at Hyacinth AIDS Foundation offices in Newark, Paterson, Trenton, and New Brunswick. Learn more about Bridging the Gaps here

August 12, 2015

Incoming Students

Incoming Students Help to Feed New Brunswick’s Children

This summer, Rutgers Against Hunger (RAH) and Rutgers University New Student Orientation teamed up with New Brunswick’s Play S.A.F.E. summer program to help feed 1,700 children through a new Snack Pack Service Project.

At each of the university’s 14 summer orientation sessions for incoming students, attendees packed bags of healthy, kid-friendly snacks donated by ShopRite, Embrace Kids Foundation, Johanna Foods, and Affinity Federal Credit Union.

The 1,700 youngsters (ages 612) are considered food-insecure. They receive free breakfast and/or lunch while they attend school, but during the summer months those opportunities do not exist. The Snack Pack Service Project provides additional food the youngsters’ families may be unable to provide. As the six-week Play S.A.F. E. program concludes this week, more than 24,000 snack packs with more than 96,000 food items will have been delivered. Learn more here.


July 29, 2015

Carol Kaufman-Scarborough

Carol Kaufman-Scarborough Honored by American Marketing Association

Although businesses have made certain changes to accommodate disabled consumers, Carol Kaufman-Scarborough, a professor of marketing at the Rutgers School of Business–Camden, says much remains to be done, 25 years after the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law.

Store entrances and aisles that are blocked by merchandise or are very narrow, fast food restaurants with sandwich-making counters difficult to see from a wheelchair, and movie theaters limiting wheelchairs to the first few rows are among the types of major issues Kaufman-Scarborough (left) says should be addressed.

Kaufman-Scarborough’s soon-to-be published paper, Forces for Change in Consumer Access: A Retrospective Analysis of the Hollister Case, was recently recognized as the best paper presented at this year’s American Marketing Association’s Marketing and Public Policy Conference. A federal court ruled that the Hollister clothing store chain’s entrances violated the ADA, but the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that decision. Learn more about Kaufman-Scarborough here.

July 15, 2015

Jenny Lockard, Jessica Ware

Jenny Lockard, Jessica Ware Win NSF CAREER Awards

Rutgers University–Newark scientists Jenny Lockard and Jessica Ware each recently received a prestigious Early CAREER award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), worth a combined $1.5 million over the next five years, to pursue advanced research projects and mentor Newark high school teachers and students.

Lockard, a chemistry professor, was awarded more than $600,000 to study a new class of porous materials called metal-organic frameworks, which eventually may help reduce global warming by filtering carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from industrial emissions.

Ware, a biology professor, was awarded more than $800,000 to examine how the social structure of lower-termite colonies might have arisen 140 million years ago, testing whether ecology and dietary shifts led to changes in diversification and morphology.

The Early CAREER awards honor junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholar through outstanding research, excellence in teaching, and successful integration of the two. NSF selects nominees for its Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers from CAREER-award winners. Learn more here

Pictured: Jenny Lockard (left) and Jessica Ware

July 1, 2015

Help for Caregivers

Help for Caregivers to People with Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Since 2014, Care2Caregivers – a peer-support helpline for caregivers to people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease operated by Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care (UBHC) – has provided mental health assistance and resources to thousands of state residents.

Funded by New Jersey’s Department of Human Services through the Comprehensive Services on Aging Institute for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders (COPSA) at UBHC, the helpline is staffed by peer counselors who have been caregivers to loved ones and have worked professionally with dementia patients. Their unique skill set allows them to understand callers’ concerns and be familiar with services that can help. They assist callers, who can remain anonymous, in all stages – from pre-diagnosis and caregiving to hospice and bereavement when a loved one passes away. Peer counselors advise on issues such as how to manage difficult behavior, develop smoother daily routines, and navigate the maze of community resources. Sometimes they just provide an empathetic ear.

Care2Caregivers also offers support groups through COPSA, including Just for the Fellas for male caregivers and Young Wives for women in their 40s to 60s who are caring for spouses. The helpline operates Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with plans in the works to expand those hours. Beyond 4:30 p.m., caregivers can send emails via the website that counselors will answer the following day. Learn more about Care2Caregivers (800-424-2494) here.


June 24, 2015

Outstanding Work of Student Employees

Celebrating Outstanding Work of Student Employees

Four students and the Rutgers organization Student Life were recently honored with annual awards as the Rutgers Student Employment Office celebrated the outstanding work ethic of its most successful young employees. 

Student award winners include: Kwame Phillips, a Student Life employee, honored as 2015 Student Employee of the Year; Alexis White, graduate assistant for the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies, recipient of the Graduate Student Employee of the Year Award; Sabrina Del Piano, Special Recognition Award recipient for her exceptional organizational skills working with the Department of English’s writing program, the Plangere Writing Center, and Writer’s House; and Brian Snyder, the Nadia Schuman Above and Beyond Award winner for his efforts in the Student Employment Office.

Student Life, which employs more than 400 students, was honored as Employer of the Year. Michael Gradin was honored as Supervisor of the Year. Read more here.

June 17, 2015

Henryk Iwaniec

Henryk Iwaniec Honored with Shaw Prize

Henryk Iwaniec, New Jersey Professor of Mathematics in the Department of Mathematics, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, was awarded a prestigious Shaw Prize in Mathematical Sciences.

Iwaniec (left) is widely recognized as an expert in analytic number theory, using techniques from any branch of mathematics—instead of solely algebraic techniques—to solve arithmetic problems. He shares the 2015 prize in mathematical sciences with Gerd Faltings, managing director of the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in Bonn, Germany, for their work in the introduction and development of fundamental tools in number theory.

A native of Poland who earned his undergraduate and doctoral degrees at the University of Warsaw, Iwaniec joined the Rutgers faculty in 1987. In 2006, he received one of the highest honors an American scientist or engineer can achieve when he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He also won the American Mathematical Society’s Cole Prize in 2001. Iwaniec has held visiting professorships at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the University of Michigan, and the University of Colorado.

June 10, 2015

Raritan Bay

Raritan Bay's Future

The Raritan Bay complex—including the waters and shorelines from the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to New Brunswick to Sandy Hook—provides important wildlife habitat, fishery, and shellfish resources and recreational benefits to the region. However, the bay faces ongoing water quality issues, development and pollution pressures on fragile habitat and open space, and mounting threats of climate change and coastal flooding. It also has not received the kind of coordinated attention afforded other bays and river systems in the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary due to conflicting policy and management constraints across state boundaries.

To address these issues, the Sustainable Raritan River Initiative at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, and the New York-New Jersey Harbor and Estuary Program host the Sustainable Raritan River Conference, “Two States, One Bay: A Bi-State Conversation About the Future of the Raritan Bay,” at the Douglass Student Center on June 12. Panels and workshops will seek to align Raritan Bay water quality, habitat restoration, coastal resilience, and fishery and shellfish management with public access goals, objectives, and priority actions for New York and New Jersey stakeholders.

The event brings together more than 200 municipal and county officials, state and federal representatives, environmental commissioners, nonprofit advocates, business leaders, civic-minded residents, and scientists, engineering and design professionals of the Raritan River Basin and Bay communities. Learn more and register here.