September 16, 2015

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Melvin Edwards

Renowned Sculptor’s Rutgers Homecoming

For more than 40 years, sculptor Melvin Edwards—a professor at Livingston College and Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, from 1972 to 2002—has produced an iconic body of work that has redefined the modernist tradition of welded sculpture. Now through January 10, the Zimmerli Art Museum is hosting Melvin Edwards: Five Decades, the artist’s first retrospective in 20 years, organized by the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas.

Edwards’s work addresses African and American identity, as well as universal ideals such as freedom and individualism. His career spans crucial periods of upheaval and change in American culture and society, and his socially charged sculptures synthesize a diversity of artistic approaches, ranging from abstraction to collage to minimalism. At Rutgers, he taught sculpture, drawing, and an introduction to third-world artists. His sculpture Education Is an Open Book (1987), located on the Livingston Campus, is part of the university’s public sculpture collection.

Meet Edwards on September 24 at the Zimmerli’s artist reception, free and open to the public, from 5 to 7 p.m. He also will present a free public lecture on September 30 at 6:30 p.m. at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Room 110, the Civic Square Building in New Brunswick.

In this Issue...

Rutgers–Camden Earns Kudos from Washington Monthly
Rutgers University–Camden was recognized by Washington Monthly magazine as a strong value and earned high overall rankings among U.S. master’s-level universities. Among northeastern schools, Rutgers–Camden ranked second in the Best Bang for the Buck category and is the only university in New Jersey or Pennsylvania named among the top five. In 2014, the magazine ranked Rutgers–Camden 11th in the same category. In overall rankings for master’s-level universities, which emphasize such factors as enrolling and graduating low-income students, supporting research, and encouraging student public service, Rutgers–Camden ranked 85. For providing opportunities for social mobility for its students, Rutgers–Camden ranked 40.

Governor’s Proclamation Cites University Behavioral Health Care
The leadership role of University Behavioral Health Care (UBHC), Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, in suicide prevention is recognized in Gov. Chris Christie’s proclamation of September 2015 as Suicide Prevention Month. The proclamation specifically notes the services of UBHC’s NJ Hopeline, Traumatic Loss Coalitions for Youth Program, and Vet2Vet. Read the proclamation here.

SC&I Course Earns Quality Matters Seal of Excellence in Course Design
A new course in the School of Communication and Information, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, is the university's first to receive an official Quality Matters (QM) seal of excellence in course design. Mary Chayko, teaching professor of communication and information and director of undergraduate interdisciplinary studies, and Denise Kreiger, instructional design and technology specialist, designed and developed a new hybrid course titled "Digital Technologies and Disruptive Change" for the digital communication, information, and media minor. Quality Matters is a nationally recognized, faculty-centered, peer-review process that is designed to certify the quality of online and blended courses. Learn more here.

Drop-in Day at Mason Gross Extension Division: September 19, New Brunswick
Before registering, prospective students and their families are invited to attend Drop-in Day at the extension division of Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, September 19, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. to observe ongoing classes, ensembles, or selected private lessons. Music Together, Young Maestros, American Ballet Theater Certified School of Ballet classes, ART-haus Visual Arts Academy, Rutgers Digital Filmmaking Academy, AVID Media Certification, Rutgers High School Musical Theater Academy, Young Artist Program, and Adult Chamber Music Program will be open to visitors at several New Brunswick locations. Visitors are encouraged to RSVP. View times and locations and RSVP here.

Reading by Novelist Marlon James: September 23, New Brunswick
Writers House, along with the Department of English, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, presents a reading by Marlon James on September 23 at 8 p.m. in the multipurpose room of the College Avenue Student Center, Rutgers–New Brunswick. James is a Jamaican novelist, whose most recent novel explores, through multiple genres, the assassination attempt of Bob Marley. Learn more here.

Honors College Open House: September 25, New Brunswick
Built on a legacy of honors education at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, the new Honors College expands honors education and redefines interdisciplinary learning by inviting students from across the liberal arts and professional schools to live and work together to tackle global issues. Visit the Honors College during its open house on September 25 from 1 to 4 p.m. A key component of the university's strategic plan, the Honors College was realized as part of the College Avenue Redevelopment Initiative in cooperation with the New Brunswick Development Corporation. Learn more about the Honors College here.

Confucius Institute Art and Culture Day: September 25, Piscataway
The Confucius Institute, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, hosts its Second Annual Art and Culture Day on September 25 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Busch Student Center, Piscataway, showcasing a variety of Chinese arts and crafts, as well as a performance by the Bravura Philharmonic Orchestra. Try your hand at dough figurines, paper-cutting, knotting, and calligraphy or just enjoy the music. Learn more here [PDF].

RWJMS Health Lectures on Women’s Issues Start in October: New Brunswick
Tackling subjects that include weight, family planning, the “female Viagra,” and more, a free health lecture series targeted at women’s issues begins next month, hosted by the Women’s Health Institute at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. Lectures will be presented Tuesdays and Fridays at noon in October in the Clinical Academic Building, Room 2144, New Brunswick. The series culminates in a November 5 special event at the Arline and Henry Schwartzman Courtyard at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital: Break Free from Pelvic Disorders. View the full event schedule here.

Save the Dates: Black on the Banks Conference: November 6–7, New Brunswick
Save the dates for Black on the Banks: African-American Students at Rutgers in the 1960s, November 6–7, at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. The conference is a public conversation on the struggle for equity and access in higher education featuring African-American alumni from the Rutgers College and Douglass College Classes of 1964 through 1973 on the occasion of the university’s 250th anniversary. Learn more and register here.

Experts in the News

Rutgers experts were quoted by more than 65 news organizations in the past week, including The New York Times, USA Today and NJ Biz, among other news organizations. 

Highlights include:

The Philadelphia Inquirer: Voting laws may be left to voters (David Redlawsk, Eagleton, quoted here)

The New York Times: A White Poet Borrows a Chinese Name and Sets Off Fireworks (Rigoberto González, Arts & Sciences–Newark, quoted here)

Click here for highlights.

Academic Sphere

NJMS Department of Psychiatry Presentation Examines Clinical Determinants of Suicide: September 18, Newark
The Department of Psychiatry at New Jersey Medical School, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, hosts a presentation on the clinical determinants of suicide by Dragos Serseni on September 18 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Medical Science Building, Room B-610, Newark. Attendance is advised for anyone interested in gaining greater familiarity with the assessment and understanding of suicidality. Serseni is a former director of the psychiatric emergency room at New York's Beth Israel Medical Center who continues to serve as an attending psychiatrist there, at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital, and on the CASES Forensic ACT Team.

Award Ceremony and Lecture Honoring James Turner Johnson: September 29, New Brunswick
The university community is invited to attend an award ceremony, lecture, and reception honoring James Turner Johnson, distinguished professor, Department of Religion, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, on September 29 beginning at 5 p.m. in the Scholarly Communications Center Teleconference/Lecture Hall, Alexander Library, New Brunswick. Johnson, the 2015 recipient of the university’s Daniel Gorenstein Memorial Award, will present a lecture entitled "The Role of the Study of Religion in a Secular University and a Secular Society." A reception will follow.

Register for Climate Change Panel Discussions: October 78San 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 Sciences, School 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

Register for Inaugural Brain Health Institute Symposium: October 26, Jersey City
Register now for the inaugural Rutgers Brain Health Institute Symposium on October 26 in the Duncan Family Sky Room at Saint Peter’s University, Jersey City. The symposium is an opportunity to hear about cutting-edge neuroscience research, learn about exciting work across Rutgers, and interact with faculty colleagues, postdocs, and students from all campuses and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. The symposium features a keynote address by Pat Levitt, University of Southern California, presentations by four Rutgers faculty members from different campuses, poster presentations from across the university, and a faculty/student Q&A session. Abstract submissions for the postdoc and student poster session are requested by September 30. Due to space constraints, only one poster from each PI’s lab can be accepted. The three top posters earn cash awards. Submit title, authors, abstract (250 words), and PI's name as a single PDF file to The venue is easily accessible by car and the PATH train to Journal Square. Nearby parking is available. Breakfast pastries and coffee, a buffet lunch, and a closing wine and cheese reception will be provided. Register here.  

Mindfulness Meditation


Practice Mindfulness: Weekly, New Brunswick and Piscataway
Stressed? Learn mindfulness meditation at one of three weekly, hourlong Mindfulness Meditation noon workshops (noon to 1 p.m.), offered at Rutgers University–New Brunswick locations through May: Tuesdays, Room 122a, Busch Student Center; Wednesdays, Conference Room, Student Activities Center, College Avenue Campus; and Thursdays, Room C, Douglass Student Center. Beginners are welcome. Learn more here.  

New Jersey Film Festival: Through October 18, New Brunswick
Watch compelling short and feature-length films at the New Jersey Film Festival September 11 to October 18 in Room 105, Voorhees Hall, Rutgers University–New Brunswick. Learn more here.

Poverty Wars, 1964 to Present: September 17, New Brunswick
The Institute for Research on Women, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, presents a lecture that examines the evolution of discourse around poverty in the United States on September 17 at 4:30 p.m., preceded by a 4 p.m. reception, in the Ruth Dill Johnson Crockett Building. Learn more here

Visions of Place: Complex Geographies in Contemporary Israeli Art: September 17–December 17, Camden
The Rutgers University–Camden Center for the Arts hosts Visions of Place: Complex Geographies in Contemporary Israeli Art from September 17 to December 17. The exhibition explores Israel’s history, society, and culture through the diverse works of its contemporary artists. Learn more here.

RutgersNewark Homecoming: September 18–24
Join fellow alumni at Rutgers University–Newark's Homecoming 2015 events September 18–24. Learn more here.

Pop-Up Exhibition: September 22–October 14, New Brunswick
Visual arts students at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, propose themes and are given creative liberty—then have just 48 hours to mount their shows, displaying art across a variety of mediums, including painting, photography, sculpture, media, and print. The show runs from September 22 to October 14 in Mason Gross Galleries with a reception on September 24 from 5 to 8 p.m. Learn more here.

Learn about Native Plants: September 26, Bridgewater
The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Somerset County, Bridgewater, hosts a workshop on New Jersey’s native plants on September 26 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registration required. Learn more here

Appointments & Retirements

Mercedes Echevarria, assistant professor and associate dean of advanced nursing practice, and William Holzemer, dean and distinguished professor, School of Nursing, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, became fellows of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing-Wharton Executive Leadership Program offered in collaboration with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Deanna Gray-Miceli, assistant professor, School of Nursing, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, was appointed to the editorial board of the Journal of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine. This interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed open access journal, sponsored by the Southern Gerontological Society, publishes original research and review articles that span the spectrum of gerontology and geriatrics.

Get Involved

Faculty and Staff Wanted to Serve on University Hearing Board
The Office of Student Conduct, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, seeks faculty and staff to serve as members of the University Hearing Board. The Hearing Board, which also includes students, adjudicates in cases of alleged student misconduct, determining whether an accused student violated the university code of student conduct and recommending sanctions as appropriate. A 90-minute training session is required. Interested faculty and staff should contact Janice Strickland at or 848-932-9414. Learn more here.

Alumni Association Travel Adventures 
With the Rutgers University Alumni Association Adventures program, you can choose from a number of travel opportunities to many exotic destinations with Rutgers alumni and friends. View all of the available trips and book your next adventure today. Learn more here.

Rutgers Recruiting Next Participants in Free Weight-Management Program: Piscataway
Interested in a free weight-management program in Piscataway? The Institute for Nutrition Interventions, School of Health Related Professions, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, is recruiting for the next participants in its successful LIFT UP program. Faculty, staff, and students who meet eligibility criteria based on BMI (≥25) and/or waist circumference measures associated with increased risk of chronic disease (≥35 inches in women; ≥40 inches in men) can participate on a first-come, first-served basis for the session starting later this month. Interested participants who meet the criteria must first attend an information session on September 17 from 12:30 to 1 p.m. in the Research Tower, 675 Hoes Lane West, Room V 14, Piscataway. Contact registered dietitian Rachel Griehs at or 973-202-4550 for more information.

Gifts & Grants

Fernando Muzzio, distinguished professor in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, School of Engineering, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, and director of the Center for Structured Organic Particulate Systems, is the principal investigator of an award totaling $6 million. The project, titled Determination of Process Parameters for the Manufacture and RTR of Three Additional Property JnJ Produces in the Existing INSPIRE Line, is being supported by Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Learn more about Muzzio here.

Oscar Schofield, professor in the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, is the principal investigator of an award totaling $929,919. The project, titled Polar Interdisciplinary Coordinated Education, is being supported by the National Science Foundation. Learn more about Schofield here.

Saman Zonouz, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, School of Engineering, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, is the principal investigator of a $576,000 award. The project, titled Dynamic Context-Aware Data Protection Through Virtual Micro Security-Perimeters in Smartphones and Wearable Devices, is being supported by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate. Dario Pompili, associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and director of the Cyber-Physical Systems Laboratory, is the co-PI. Read more about Zonouz here and Pompili here.

Michael Lewis, distinguished professor in the Department of Pediatrics, director of the Institute for the Study of Child Development, and director of the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Autism Center, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, is the principal investigator of an award totaling $398,319 over two years. The project, titled The Development of Early Markers of Autism Spectrum Disorder, is being supported by the New Jersey Governor’s Council for Medical Research and Treatment of Autism. Learn more about Lewis here.

Cheryl Holly, professor and associate dean, Entry to Baccalaureate Practice, and co-director of the Northeast Institute for Evidence Synthesis and Translation, School of Nursing, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, is the principal investigator of an award totaling $199,997. The project, titled Redesigning Undergraduate Nursing Education to Prepare a Workforce in Population Concepts That Support Successful Aging, is being supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Learn more about Holly here

In Memoriam
Guyaram N. "Guy" Narine, of Hazlet, N.J., a retired accounting manager at Rutgers University–Newark, passed away on September 4, 2015. He was 59. Private services were held on September 7.
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