April 9, 2021: Toward a Healthier and More Inclusive Campus


Equity and Inclusion

RBHS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Symposium

Register today to join the RBHS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Symposium on Wednesday, April 21, 9 a.m.–2 p.m., via Zoom. Created as part of the university’s Building an Inclusive Academy Initiative, this event will be moderated by Sangeeta Lamba, RBHS vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, and feature Enobong (Anna) Branch, senior vice president for equity, and Marie A. Bernard, acting chief officer for scientific workforce diversity at the National Institutes for Health, as two nationally recognized keynote speakers. Participants will also have the opportunity to learn more about the work being done by the recipients of the 2019-20 RBHS Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy Innovation Grants. Goals of the symposium include understanding diversity and its challenges, learning about the symbiotic relationship between diversity and excellence, and how to catalyze the normalization of equity and inclusion to ultimately push for academic transformation. Registration is required, so mark your calendars and sign up today!

From the Desk of...

Chancellor Brian L. Strom

Chancellor Brian L. Strom

On Match Day, March 19, 348 soon-to-be physicians of the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (NJMS) and Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS) Class of 2021 joined medical students from around the world in learning where they would complete their medical training. Once again this year our outstanding students matched above the national match rate and many will be returning to Rutgers to continue their specialized education as residents.

I am also proud to recognize our 2021 Rising Star honorees. These 20 exceptional NJMS and RWJMS students stood out among their peers for their academic achievement, excellence in discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship, and commitment to our community.


Our Inclusive Future

In a universitywide message in late March, Vice President for Equity Enobong (Anna) Branch shared encouragement and resources with members of the Rutgers community to further bolster efforts of the diversity strategic planning process to build a beloved community with a foundation steeped in the values of equity, inclusion, and respecting difference. Also spotlighted in the announcement are President Jonathan Holloway’s recent video interview describing how Rutgers can move equity from words to action and the university diversity events calendar, which is a new resource to help connect the community with opportunities for intellectual engagement, reflection, and growth around diversity across the university. See what’s upcoming and submit your diversity event for consideration and help amplify both your event and our collective efforts to chart and realize our inclusive path forward.

2021 Campus Update

In his annual address to the University Senate on March 26, Rutgers University–New Brunswick Chancellor Christopher J. Molloy reflected on campus resilience and outlined the ways Rutgers’ flagship campus is envisioning tomorrow's university, building faculty and student excellence, and preparing for Fall 2021. View the recording of Chancellor Molloy’s campus update and previous chancellor communications.

Staying Informed

To support improved awareness and understanding within the Rutgers community regarding the latest developments and issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination, Chancellor Strom and Mary O'Dowd, executive director of health systems and population health integration at RBHS, each continues to host a biweekly series of briefings and podcasts, respectively. The COVID-19 Health Briefing occurs live via Zoom every other Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., and features topical guest speakers and live Q&A. On the Pandemic is the biweekly RutgersCast series where experts explore challenges and consequences of the pandemic. Check out the recordings of past briefings and On the Pandemic episodes. Don't forget to mark your calendars for next week's live COVID-19 Health Briefing on Thursday, April 15 at 9 a.m.!

More to Know

Policy Updates

The Office of the Secretary of the University announces recent updates to the University Policy Library:

Recent policy updates, including previous versions of updated polices, are available at Recent Policy Updates. For specific questions about policy interpretations, contact the responsible office listed on each policy. For general questions, please email the Office of the Secretary of the University.

Rutgers Vaccination Portal Launched

The university announced Tuesday that the State of New Jersey has approved its application to be a dispensing site for COVID-19 vaccines for the university’s faculty, staff and students. Once the university’s vaccine allotment has been determined and supplied by the state, vaccines will be offered to Rutgers faculty, staff and students on the Camden, Newark and New Brunswick campuses.

To prepare for vaccine distribution, Rutgers has developed a vaccine portal website to allow its faculty, staff and students to complete a questionnaire and register their interest in receiving a vaccine via the university’s sites. Those who indicate their interest will be notified via email regarding eligibility and appointment availability. Learn more on Rutgers Today

Human Resource Updates

In a pair of administrative announcements to faculty and staff distributed in late March and early April, Senior Vice President for Human Resources Vivian Fernández shared updates regarding the use of sick time and telecommuting through the end of May 2021. In accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state guidelines, as part of continued efforts to support the health, safety, and wellbeing of university employees and their families, the relaxation of the telecommuting policy as well as the temporary expansion of permissible use of accrued paid sick time for COVID-19 related self-quarantine or childcare-related issues, have both been extended through May 31, 2021. Direct any additional questions to OneSource Rutgers Faculty and Staff Service Center at 732-745-7378 (SERV).

Scarlet KIDS 2021

Registration for Scarlet KIDS 2021 summer camp is now open. Taking place June 28 through August 20, 8 a.m.–6 p.m., on Cook/Douglass, Scarlet KIDS is a full-day, co-ed recreational camp for children going into first through sixth grades this fall, thanks to the Rutgers Psychology Child Development Center at School of Arts and Sciences. Rates are all-inclusive, with special Rutgers rates and sibling discounts available, so learn more and register now!

Ask Us Anything

How can my unit place an advertisement for inclusion in Rutgers Magazine?

Through Friday, April 30 members of the Rutgers community have the opportunity to submit advertising content for goods, programs, and services to Rutgers Magazine for consideration for inclusion in the upcoming spring/summer issue. Published twice a year and showcasing developments, news, and stories universitywide, Rutgers Magazine promotes university activities, efforts, and programs throughout its readership of alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of Rutgers. For more information about space reservation, specifications, and cost of placing an ad, interested departments and units should email April Coage, senior project administrator of university branding and marketing in the Department of University Communications and Marketing.

What's Happening

The Yiddish Language

Connecting Heritage and Contemporary Culture through Introduction of Yiddish to Duolingo

On Monday, April 12 at 4:30 p.m., the Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life is sponsoring a virtual book talk with Jeffrey Shandler, Distinguished Professor of Jewish Studies at the School of Arts and Sciences, discussing his new book, Yiddish: Biography of a Language. Joining the conversation will be guest literary scholar Josh Lambert, Sophia Moses Robison Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and English and director of the Jewish Studies Program at Wellesley College. This event is free and open to all, but advance registration required. Also, check out recent NBC News piece about language learning app Duolingo adding Yiddish to its repertoire, quoting Shandler on the importance learning and preserving this "heritage language."

COVID & Digital World

On Thursday, April 15 at 11 a.m., join What the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Done for the Digital World, a virtual examination of the intersections of COVID-19 and the digital world through the lens of digital media. Part of the School of Engineering’s Virtual Speaker Series, this special discussion hosted on YouTube will be led by Ramez Shehadi, engineering alumnus and managing director for the Middle East and North Africa region of Facebook, and will be followed by a Q&A session. Preregistration is required, so learn more and sign up today!

Eagleton Book Talk

On Tuesday, April 20 at 5 p.m., Eagleton Institute of Politics invites the Rutgers community to a virtual book talk with Don Lemon, CNN anchor and author of This Is the Fire: What I Say to My Friends About Racism. The event will be moderated by Elie Honig, executive director of the Rutgers Institute for Secure Communities, with an introduction by President Jonathan Holloway. Learn more and register.

Virtual Rutgers Day

Save the date and join us for Virtual Rutgers Day on Saturday, April 24, for interactive demonstrations, at-home activities, performances, and more, all of which you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home! Program links will be posted to Facebook and Twitter between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. We hope you will join us and experience the community spirit we all enjoy on Rutgers Day.

Wellness Wednesdays

Every Wednesday at 2 p.m. through the end of May, the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Department of Family and Community Health Sciences invites you to join a free webinar series focused on a variety of topics related to healthy food, nutrition, and lifestyles. Led by expert facilitators, this virtual series is open to all, but registration is required. Access previous Wellness Wednesday recordings and register for the next upcoming webinar, Labeling Genetically Modified Foods!

Awards & Honors

Nicole Fleetwood

Nicole Fleetwood, professor in the Departments of American Studies and Art History at the School of Arts and Sciences, was recognized during a ceremony in March with the 2020 National Book Critics Circle Award in the category of criticism for her book, Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration, examining the humanizing and life-saving role of art in stories of the inmates who create it.

Eileen White

Eileen White, Distinguished Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at the School of Arts and Sciences and deputy director, chief scientific officer, and associate director for basic research at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, was one of only 25 scientists worldwide to be elected to the 2021 class of Fellows of the American Association for Cancer Research Academy, in recognition of her work’s significant and enduring impact on cancer research.

On The Move

Pato and Pato

Carlos N. Pato and Michele T. Pato were selected to assume the respective roles of the first executive chair of psychiatry at RBHS and the inaugural director of new Rutgers Center for Genomics of Psychiatric Health and Addiction. In addition to their inaugural RBHS leadership positions overseeing behavioral health, addictions and cutting-edge, genomic psychiatry research, this husband and wife duo will also hold faculty roles as professors of psychiatry at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and New Jersey Medical School.