August 26, 2015

The Faculty & Staff Bulletin contains information for employees at Rutgers. Submissions must be received by noon on Thursday in order to be considered for inclusion in the following Wednesday’s bulletin. For additional information, visit the bulletin website or email University News and Media Relations at

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

In this Issue...
Don't Forget

New Faculty Expo: August 26, Piscataway
All new faculty universitywide are invited to attend the New Faculty Expo on August 26 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Busch Student Center, Piscataway, in the International Lounge and Room 174. Attendees can learn about the many services and resources offered by more than 35 university departments, make useful contacts, and network with peers.

Apply by August 28 to Join Faculty-to-Faculty Mentoring Program
Are you a Rutgers faculty member who is interested in career advancement, needs a new connection or a fresh perspective, or wants to gain mentoring skills as a co-mentor, mentee, and/or mentor? Designed to increase the engagement and scholarly productivity of faculty, the Rutgers Connection Network mentoring program is a catalyst for cross-disciplinary connections throughout the university. It provides the infrastructure, training, and facilitation for faculty to participate in effective and collaborative mentoring partnerships beyond the departmental level. Interested Rutgers University–New Brunswick faculty are encouraged to apply. Forty applicants will be accepted. Apply by August 28 and learn more here.


Gloria Steinem, Hillary Clinton Headline Participants at Gender Equality Conference
The Rutgers Center for Gender and Sexuality Law and Policy, the Rutgers Institute for Women’s Leadership, the Office of the Chancellor of Rutgers University–Newark, and Rutgers Law School host a day-long conference about gender equality on September 25 at Rutgers Law School in Newark, as part of the official United Nations Women Beijing+20 Calendar of Events (PDF). Gloria Steinem is the keynote speaker and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who led the U.S. delegation to the 1995 United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, will appear by video at the event, which brings together various leaders, policy makers, and advocates to discuss continued challenges in achieving gender equality since the groundbreaking Beijing conference. Attendance is free but registration is required. Learn more here. For additional information, contact Suzanne Kim, professor, Rutgers Law School, at

Register Now for Fall Communicator Certificate Workshops
Registration is open for the fall workshops in the communicator certificate program. All full-time faculty and staff are encouraged to attend any or all of the workshops to learn how to tell the Rutgers story more effectively. Register and learn more here

Auditions for Mason Gross Pre-College Programs
Register now for auditions for the following extension division pre-college programs at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University–New Brunswick: Young Artist Program and Honors Program for instrumentalists and vocalists (ages 9–18), Rutgers High School Musical Theater Academy (ages 13–18), Rutgers Youth Jazz Ensemble (ages 11–18), Rutgers Youth Percussion Ensemble (ages 13–18), and Rutgers Children's Choir and Scarlet Singers (grades K–12).

Experts in the News

Rutgers experts were quoted by more than 125 news organizations in the past two weeks, including U.S. News & World Report, Science Daily, and CBS Money Watch, among other news organizations. 

Highlights include:

The Wall Street Journal: Shootings in Newark Surge (Todd Clear, Criminal Justice, quoted here)

USA Today: Not-so-secret weapon: The campaigning spouse (Kelly Dittmar, Arts & Sciences-Camden, quoted here)

Click here for highlights.

Academic Sphere

Boggs Center Fall 2015 Disabilities Lecture Series: Iselin and Mount Laurel
The fall 2015 developmental disabilities lecture series by the Boggs Center, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, will be presented on October 2 and October 9 at the Hotel Woodbridge at Metropark, Iselin, and on October 30 and November 6 at the Doubletree Suites in Mount Laurel from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Attendance is free. Registration is required and space is limited. View lecture descriptions and register here.

Register for Climate Change Panel Discussions: San Francisco and Los Angeles
Rutgers scientists are leading groundbreaking research on the earth’s climate and how climate change is affecting life on our planet. Join President Robert Barchi and three top researchers from the Department of Marine and Coastal SciencesSchool of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, as the Rutgers University Alumni Association hosts panel discussions and an exclusive look at cutting-edge research with professors Jennifer A. Francis, Scott M. Glenn, and Benjamin Horton on October 7 in San Francisco and October 8 in Los Angeles. Learn more and register here

Works by Melvin Edwards


Melvin Edwards: Five Decades: September 1 to January 10, New Brunswick

The Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, presents the first retrospective of works by Melvin Edwards in 20 years from September 1 to January 10. The renowned sculptor was a professor at Mason Gross School of the Arts from 1972 to 2002. Learn more here

Rutgers Gardens Farmers Market: August 28, New Brunswick
The seasonal Rutgers Gardens Farmers Market features locally grown produce, cheese, baked goods, and prepared food every Friday at Rutgers Gardens, New Brunswick, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Learn more here.

Mason Gross School of the Arts Welcome Back Show: September 1 to 16, New Brunswick
Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, hosts its free Welcome Back Show, featuring the work of faculty, staff, and returning MFA students, September 1 through September 16, with a reception September 2 from 5 to 8 p.m., at the Mason Gross Galleries. Learn more here

Support Group for Caregivers of People with Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease: First and Third Mondays, Edison
University Behavioral Health Care’s Care2Caregivers program offers a bimonthly support group for anyone who is caring for a spouse with memory impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder. Attendees learn about the disease process, discuss issues that arise from caregiving, offer each other support, and identify available resources on the first and third Mondays of every month from 9:30 to 11 a.m. in Room 37, Suite 200, COPSA Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care, 100 Metroplex Drive, Edison. The next meeting is September 7. 

Yoga: Every Wednesday, Newark
The Institute for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the School of Health Related Professions offers weekly yoga sessions Wednesdays at noon in the Medical Science Building, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, Newark. Beginners are welcome and mats are provided. As a session’s room can change, sign up for weekly email announcements from Candace Cronin at

Appointments & Retirements

Katherine Kuren Black, clinical assistant professor, School of Nursing, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, was installed as vice president of Seton Hall’s Gamma Nu chapter of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.

David Perlin, executive director of the Public Health Research Institute and the Regional Biocontainment Laboratory of New Jersey Medical School (NJMS), and professor of microbiology, biochemistry, and molecular genetics at NJMS, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, was appointed to the infectious diseases scientific advisory board of Matinas BioPharma Holdings, Inc., a company focused on identifying and developing antifungal and antibacterial therapeutics for treating serious infections.

Valerie Smith-Stephens, assistant dean for academic support services and director, Educational Opportunity Fund program, School of Nursing, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, was appointed a merit reviewer for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Smith-Stephens also was recognized by her peers with a 2015 Outstanding EOF Contributions Award.

Michael Steinberg, professor and director, Rutgers Tobacco Dependence Program, was appointed chief, Division of General Internal Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS), effective September 8. Steinberg’s predecessor, Jeffrey Carson, is now RBHS provost in New Brunswick and remains vice chair of research in the school’s Department of Medicine. 

Get Involved

Seeking Vendors for Plaza Celebration: September 8, Piscataway
Interested in promoting your department, group, or service? Be part of the Second Annual Plaza Celebration on September 8 (rain date September 9) from noon to 7 p.m. at the Plaza on Livingston Campus in conjunction with the Rutgers University Programming Association's annual block party. There is no fee to take a table and provide information about your organization. Sorry, no food. Contact April for further information at 848-445-6722.

Celebrate Homecoming: Run for Rutgers Against Hunger
Celebrate homecoming at Rutgers University–New Brunswick at Run for RAH, a 5K run and 1-mile fun walk on September 27 beginning at 8 a.m. at High Point Solutions Stadium, Piscataway. Run for RAH is sponsored by the Rutgers University Alumni Association in support of Rutgers Against Hunger, a universitywide initiative working to increase awareness of hunger, encourage activism, stimulate research, and provide immediate relief. Celebrate homecoming with family and friends while supporting a great cause. Register and learn more here.

Awards & Honors

Judith A. Neubauer, associate vice president for research regulatory affairs, Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, and professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, was named to the inaugural class of fellows of the American Physiological Society. The designation honors distinguished members who have demonstrated excellence in science, contributed to the physiological sciences, and served the society.

Edmund Pajarillo, clinical assistant professor, School of Nursing, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, received the 2015 Julita V. Sotejo Medallion of Honor Award, the highest honor presented by the University of the Philippines Nursing Alumni Association International, Inc., and named after the founding dean of that university's College of Nursing.

Todd Wolfson, assistant professor of journalism and media studies in the School of Communication and Information, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, received a 2015 Clarion Award from the Association for Women in Communications in the category Newspaper Investigative Series for Tapped Out, a series focusing on poverty in Philadelphia published in the Philadelphia Daily News. Wolfson contributed an op-ed to the series, a collaboration among the Daily News, WHYY-FM, Axis Philly and Temple University, and the Media Mobilizing Project, of which he is a cofounder. 

Gifts & Grants

George Carman, Board of Governors Professor in the Department of Food Science, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University–New Brunswick; chief scientific officer of the New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health; and director of the Rutgers Center for Lipid Research, is the principal investigator of an award totaling $2,067,434 over five years. This is the second installment of a 10-year MERIT award. The project, titled Phospholipid Metabolism and Membrane Function, is being supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Learn more about Carman here.   

Nan Gao, assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, Newark College of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University–Newark, is the principal investigator of an award totaling $792,000. The project, titled Raft Cdc42-Driven Colon Tumor Progression, is being supported by the American Cancer Society. Learn more about Gao here.   

Federico Sesti,  associate professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS), Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, is the principal investigator of an award totaling $750,000 over three years. The project, titled Oxidation of KCNB1 Channels in Aging CNS, is being supported by the National Science Foundation. The co-PIs are RWJMS colleagues Janet Alder, associate professor of neuroscience and cell biology; Zhiping Pang, assistant professor of neuroscience and cell biology at the Child Health Institute of New Jersey; and Smita Thakker-Varia, associate professor of neuroscience and cell biology. Learn more about Sesti here, Alder here, Pang here, and Thakker-Varia here.    

Judith Surkis, associate professor in the Department of History, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, is the principal investigator of an award totaling $175,000. The project, titled Sawyer Seminar- Ethical Subjects: Laws, Moralities, Histories, is being supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Learn more about Surkis here.  

Alexey Ryazanov, professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, is the recipient of a $100,000 subcontract from Longevica Pharmaceuticals Inc. The project, titled Use of EF2K Inhibitors to Inhibit Tumor Growth and Sensitize Cancer Cells to Existing Chemotherapy Treatment, is being supported by National Institutes of Health. Learn more about Ryazanov here.    

Tyler Hoffman, professor and chair in the Department of English, Camden College of Arts and Sciences; director of the Civic Scholars Program; and associate director of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities, Rutgers University–Camden, is the principal investigator of an award totaling $7,500. The project, titled RU-C Civic Scholars/Bonner Leader Program Grant 2014-2015, is being supported by the Corella & Bertram F. Bonner Foundation. Learn more about Hoffman here

In Memoriam

John Gerald Straley Jr., an accounting manager in the division of university accounting, passed away on August 15, 2015. He was 47. A memorial service will be announced at a later date.

Ulrich P. Strauss, 95, of Highland Park, N.J., professor emeritus and former chair of the Department of Chemistry, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, passed away at home on August 7, 2015. A memorial service will be held at a date to be announced.

Judith Young, a licensed professional counselor and peer support specialist for the New Jersey Suicide Prevention Hopeline operated by University Behavioral Health Care, passed away on August 6, 2015, at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, New Brunswick. She was 62.

Campus Classifieds

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