May 6, 2022: Celebrating Graduation, Beloved Community Awards, & Faculty Excellence


Commencement and School Convocations

2022 256th Anniversary Commencement Rutgers University–New Brunswick and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences

In less than nine days, 2022 Commencement for Rutgers–New Brunswick and RBHS will take place at SHI Stadium on Sunday, May 15 starting at 10 a.m., and will celebrate the achievements of this year’s graduates. As a friendly reminder, all vehicles on campus on May 15, regardless of purpose, will need an event-day parking hangtag. Although registration for event-day parking is now closed, limited parking will still be available only on the College Avenue Campus for $10 per hangtag, with shuttle service running from the College Avenue Student Center and New Brunswick Train Station to the stadium. Visit the Parking & Maps page for details, including: Campus Zone descriptions and maps; drop-off areas and walking-distance approximations; and public transportation options and directions. Gates open at 8 a.m. and traffic on campus and in the New Brunswick area will start getting heavy early, so please allow ample time for arrival and use Waze app for alerts on campus road closures day of the event. If you cannot join in person, livestreaming webcasts will be accessible via Commencement homepage to view online at home and during the event via indoor viewing sites at the student centers on Busch, Livingston, and College Avenue campuses. Since graduation also includes school convocations, be sure to visit the School Convocation page for links to school-specific pages with additional details, including scheduling, event-day timing and parking, keynote speakers, guest and ticketing information, COVID-19 guidelines, and livestream options, where applicable. Remember to sign up for email updates and stay connected on social media @RUCommencement to join in congratulating the Class of 2022!

From the Desk of...

Chancellor-Provost Francine Conway

Photo portrait of Chancellor-Provost Francine Conway

Dear Colleagues,

Our commemoration of Mental Health and Wellness Week, beginning April 25, gave Rutgers–New Brunswick’s students, faculty, and staff a much-needed opportunity to step back and reflect on our own mental health needs. 

We learned about the many wellbeing resources available to employees and students

We benefited from the inaugural Chancellor-Provost’s Mental Health and Wellness Lecture by Dr. Shireen Rizvi, professor of clinical psychology at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (GSAPP), who spoke on “Skills for Achieving Emotional Wellness.”

We participated in seminars, trainings, and other events that helped us learn to care for ourselves and those around us.


CACP Awardees

In last month’s celebration in New Brunswick, the Committee to Advance Our Common Purposes (CACP) honored community members and groups universitywide who were selected as the Beloved Community Initiative Award recipients in recognition of Rutgers' commitment to promoting and practicing diversity, inclusion, equity and access. During the ceremony, the two, 2022 Clement A. Price Human Dignity Award recipients—Peter Guarnaccia, professor in the Department of Human Ecology at Rutgers–New Brunswick's School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, and Lori Scott-Pickens, director of community outreach Rutgers–Newark's School of Criminal Justice—were also publicly awarded and recognized. View the interactive award ceremony booklet online and read more about this year’s recipients and ceremony in Rutgers Today.


All RBHS faculty, staff, students, and trainees are encouraged to apply online for the RBHS-Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy (IDEA) Grants program before the May 31st deadline. RBHS-IDEA innovation grants range from $1,000 to $10,000 and support action-oriented, collaborative projects that promote an inclusive, diverse, and cohesive culture at RBHS by encouraging conversations and connections across our differences to create opportunities for belonging and to strengthen a sense of community. Proposals will be funded in August 2022 for the academic year and submissions must be completed in one sitting, so learn more about the application criteria and process beforehand.

NJKS Logo Contest

Researchers at the Rutgers University Microbiome Program in the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School will soon launch the New Jersey Kids Study (NJKS), a new statewide study that will follow pregnant women during pregnancy and their babies for at least 10 years to assess the determinants of children’s health, growth, and development, including the roles of the microbiome, genetics, environment, and social factors. Before launching the study, the NJKS Executive Committee invites all to enter a contest to create a NJKS logo. Beyond incorporating either "NJKS" or "New Jersey Kids Study," there are no creative constraints on artists and logos can be any medium; however, submissions should be either JPEG or PNG files that are no larger than 320 pixels wide and 70–100 pixels high, and at least 300 pixels per inch resolution. If a contestant's logo is selected as the winner, they will receive $200, and both the winner and finalists will receive public recognition on the NJKS webpage. Email proposed designs to Veenat Parmar by 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 22. Learn more about NJKS and contest details and start getting creative!

More to Know

Policy Updates

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

View other recent policy updates, including previous versions of updated policies, 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.

Chancellor Awards Nominations

Before May 23 deadline, members of RBHS schools and units are invited to nominate colleagues for the third annual RBHS Chancellor Awards, which were created to acknowledge the extraordinary work of fellow faculty and staff. Winners will be announced in Fall 2022 and recognized during a celebration with a plaque and honorarium. Review additional information about award categories, eligibility, and nomination requirements for faculty and staff.

Faculty Year-End Excellence Awards

In last month’s universitywide message, President Jonathan Holloway announced the 2021–2022 Faculty Year-End Excellence Award recipients, who were celebrated and presented their awards during a special, in-person reception yesterday afternoon in the President’s Tent on College Avenue Campus in New Brunswick. Honoring faculty across disciplines, rank, and locations universitywide through a colleague-based selection process, these awards recognize “outstanding contributions to teaching, research, and public service” and come with a commemorative certificate and honorarium. Review the complete list of 2022 awardees and read more about this year’s awards and recipients.

Summer Art Camp 2022

Registration is open for the Zimmerli Art Museum’s Summer Art Camp, which offers young artists between the ages of seven and 14 opportunities to explore their creativity and develop new skills alongside teaching artists in a unique museum setting during weekly, half-day and all-day, in-person sessions from June 27 to July 29. This year, several of everyone’s favorite classes are returning, alongside a few new ones, and aftercare until 5 p.m. is now available. Review class offerings, scheduling, and pricing details, and register today!

Ask Us Anything

What team building resources are available to interdisciplinary units?

Community members universitywide can take advantage of NJ ACTS Team Science Core’s education and training resources, such as general and project-specific consultations as well as Secrets of Successful Team Building Seminar Series, a free, virtual seminar series that features experts from a range of backgrounds and industries who share their perspectives on the ingredients for successful teamwork and how they translate to interdisciplinary collaborations and science. Each session’s speaker addresses a variety of topics, including: team rapport and morale; communication and conflict resolution; and leadership challenges. View past seminars on YouTube playlist and check back for updates on the next live session!

What's Happening

Gun Violence Research Day

The NJ Gun Violence Research Center Hosts the GVRC Research Day May 20, 2022

On Friday, May 20, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the NJ Gun Violence Research Center (GVRC) invites all to join GVRC Research Day, an all-day event showcasing gun violence research being conducted by GVRC leadership team, post-doctoral and doctoral students, community partners, and sponsored researchers. Designed as a community-engaging event, this free conference is open to all and aims to extend the conversation beyond a purely academic audience. Learn more about event speakers, schedule, and register today!

Women Leaders Transform Health

At noon on Wednesday, May 11, the Institute for Women's Leadership invites everyone to join Bold, Determined, Passionate: Women Leaders Transform Health, a virtual conversation with health experts to explore case studies on pioneering women leaders in health and science who have saved lives, changed medicine, and reformed public health policy. Featured speakers include: Mary E. O’Dowd, executive director of health systems and population integration at RBHS; Denise V. Rodgers, professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and vice chancellor of interprofessional programs at RBHS; and Mary Wachter, executive director of state and local government affairs for Genentech, Inc. Registration required for access details.

Active Learning Symposium

Starting at 9 a.m. on Monday, May 23, faculty and staff universitywide are invited to join the 2022 Rutgers Active Learning Symposium (RALS), a free day of presentations, workshops, panels, and more, relating to various topics in active learning. Sponsored by Rutgers–New Brunswick’s Digital Classroom Services, this year’s RALS will take place online and feature a keynote and afternoon workshop from Stephen L. Chew, professor of psychology at Samford University, focusing on pedagogical tools to tackle cognitive challenges for students. Registration required for Zoom details.

Health Equity Symposium

Members of the Rutgers community are invited to attend the 2022 Community Engaged Scholarship (CES) Symposium: Best Practices to Achieve Health Equity, a universitywide, in-person forum organized by New Jersey Alliance for Clinical Translational Science (NJ ACTS) and its internal partners to showcase a broad range of cutting-edge scholarship across and beyond Rutgers on Tuesday, June 14, 9 a.m.–4 p.m., in New Brunswick. Faculty, students and trainees are encouraged to review submission guidelines (PDF) and submit poster and oral presentation abstracts focusing on health equity for a chance to receive special recognition and monetary awards. Participants must submit registration and abstracts via the same online form by Wednesday, May 18. Email any questions to

Awards & Honors

Amita Avadhani

Amita Avadhani, specialty director of the Post-Master's DNP Practice (Executive Model) program and associate professor in the Division of Advanced Nursing Practice at the School of Nursing, has been named 2022 Author of the Year by The Nurse Practitioner journal, for her article, “COVID-19 pneumonia: What APRNs should know,” and in recognition of her meeting the needs of practitioners by "(...) providing practical, cutting edge clinical and professional information.”

Joseph A. Barone

Joseph A. Barone, dean and professor II in the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at RBHS, was nominated and voted in as chair of New Jersey Department of Health's State Health Planning Board (SHPB) during the board's April 2022 meeting. The SHPB acts as an advisory panel to the commissioner of health concerning recommendations to create new health care facilities or to expand existing services and is responsible for revisions to the state's health plan.