The Current: September 16, 2022


Welcome to Fall Semester!

Photo of a crowd of Rutgers students cheering.

Students have returned once more and campus is vibrant with activities.

The members of the Class of 2026 are already hard at work making a name for themselves and building their legacy here at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. From lobbying for gun safety measures and organizing a cleanup of Jersey Shore beaches to coaching a 3-year-old with autism to say his first words, this new class is ready to get to work and make a difference.

Jonathan Holloway, president of Rutgers University, greeted many members of the incoming class and their families during move-in days. Holloway said he’s eager to continue meeting students as they learn more about themselves and the world at Rutgers. “I am thrilled to welcome new, caring, curious and engaged Rutgers students to our campuses, which are already brimming with energy and the promise of a fully vibrant academic year,” he said.

Meet the class of 2026.

From the Desk of...

From the Desk of Chancellor-Provost Francine Conway

Photo of Chancellor-Provost Francince Conway with a building and trees in the background.

Dear Colleagues,

The start of a new academic year heralds so many new beginnings: We forge new bonds with students, help them acquire new skills while discovering new skills and knowledge ourselves, and further the academic enterprise that helps our undergrad and graduate students chart the course for their lives.

I am overjoyed to welcome our new and returning faculty and staff members to our beloved community on the Banks of the Old Raritan, where ideas and perspectives converge to uplift the common good.

In the coming weeks my office will announce the next phase of the Rutgers–New Brunswick Academic Master Plan. After last academic year’s intensive process of listening to our community and researching our institutional strengths and challenges, Rutgers–New Brunswick is now ready to implement the plan with new initiatives that will forward the goals and objectives of its Four Pillars of Excellence: Scholarly Leadership, Innovative Research, Student Success, and Community Engagement. Stay tuned for specific details of the initiatives that grew from your feedback.


SEBS Marine Field Station Merch

Picture of one black and one white T-shirt with a horshoe crab image. Surrounded by a net and a horshoe crab.

Rutgers has created a limited-edition merchandise collection to showcase university points of pride. The 2022 special collection spotlights the Rutgers University Marine Field Station's efforts to preserve coastal habitats with T-shirts and canvas tote bags featuring six designs of marine animals. Visit the store and find your favorite.

The 2022 special collection will only be available until Sept. 30.

President Holloway and Chancellors Conway and Strom Were Named to a Variety of ROI-NJ Lists

In a recently released ROI-NJ, Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway and Rutgers–New Brunswick Chancellor-Provost Francine Conway were named as some of the most influential people in higher education. Chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences and Executive Vice President of Health Affairs Brian Strom was also named No. 10 on the list of most influential people. Conway was listed among one of the “most influential deans and directors” in higher ed, while President Holloway was listed No. 2 under “most influential people in higher education.”

Each year, ROI-NJ lists presidents, deans and directors who “have the greatest influence and impact at their schools – and within the business community.”

More to Know

Policy Updates

Call for Applications

The Office for Research encourages all faculty to apply to participate in October’s Research Incubator Climate and Health Fall Symposium, designed to support researchers at the nexus of climate and health. Faculty chosen to present at the symposium will also be eligible to apply to the Research Incubator’s seed funding initiative later this semester, which includes grant awards up to $150,000. Learn more about the application review process and submit applications by Wednesday, Sept. 21.

Hearing Board Applications

Student Affairs’ Office of Student Conduct invites faculty and staff at Rutgers–New Brunswick to apply to serve on the University Hearing Board by Monday, Oct. 10. The Board hears and resolves cases of alleged student misconduct by determining whether the accused has violated university policy and imposing appropriate sanctions. Learn more about this opportunity including required training sessions, and submit your interest form today!

RARC Website Launch

The Rutgers Addiction Research Center (RARC) at the Brain Health Institute recently launched as a multidisciplinary, one-stop-source for addiction-related activities at Rutgers, including research, training, and clinical services. Check out RARC’s website to discover new and ongoing research, connect with potential collaborators, and access resources dedicated to tackling addiction.

Faces & Voices

In the latest episodes of the video interview series Faces & Voices, President Jonathan Holloway hosted intimate conversations with recent graduate of Rutgers–New Brunswick’s School of Engineering, Dylan Sadiq, and New Jersey Medical School student, Angelica Lopez, to explore their inspirations as well as their achieved and aspirational applications of their educations. In episode 17, Dylan Sadiq expounds on his personal journey as a first-generation college student and describes how he came to translate engineering concepts beyond coursework into his artwork and working as “The College Cuber.” In episode 18, Angelica Lopez shares how helping her immigrant family communicate with health care providers in her youth evolved into her life’s mission to support underserved communities and catalyze change through medicine.

Ask Us Anything

How can campus members help take action against climate change at Rutgers?

Campus community members universitywide can engage with the work of the Office of Climate Action as it strives to realize the vision of the university's Climate Action Plan (PDF) as we progress toward achieving our shared goal of carbon neutrality. In case you missed it, check out the recordings from May’s Mobilizing the University for Climate Transformation event. Also, stay informed and engaged with monthly updates by signing up for the Climate Action newsletter!

What's Happening

Disability Awareness Month

Red graphic that says, "welcome fall" with leaves

Join the Rutgers University community this October as we celebrate Disability Awareness Month. Rutgers is one of the most diverse institutions in the Big 10 and people with disabilities play a vital role in making the university’s community vibrant and inclusive.

Disability Awareness Month at Rutgers is an opportunity for our community to recognize, bring awareness to and learn about disabilities and the disability community. Explore the calendar of events and programs happening throughout the month of October.

Public Talk: A Jewish Journalist’s View of the World

What does it mean to have a Jewish perspective on the news? How does the distinctiveness of the Jewish experience inform how we view what happens in the United States and throughout the world?

Gal Beckerman’s career at legendary Jewish media institutions such as the Forward and influential secular ones like The New York Times gives him a unique perspective on what it means to pursue objectivity while understanding one’s own specific identity commitments, enriching both.

Please join us Sunday, Sept. 19 at 4:30 p.m. at the Douglass Student Center for The Bilder Center’s 25th Anniversary Kickoff Event, featuring a talk by Beckerman, award-winning author and senior editor of The Atlantic, with opening remarks by Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway.

Beckerman is the author of the new book The Quiet Before: On the Unexpected Origin of Radical Ideas (2022), which has been named a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice.

Register today.

Stand Up! Book Reading and Signing

Who Runs the World? (Girls)

Join us at the Zimmerli Art Museum to meet the creators of the children’s book Stand Up! 10 Mighty Women Who Made a Change (Orchard Books, 2022). Written by Brittney Cooper, a Rutgers professor of women's, gender, and sexuality studies and Africana studies, and illustrated by Cathy Ann Johnson.

One of the leading Black feminist voices of our time, Cooper brings together stories of 10 women, ranging from Civil Rights activists Ruby Bridges and Rosa Parks to modern heroes like Bree Newsome, who removed the confederate flag from the South Carolina State House grounds, and Mari Copeny, a young activist who fought for clean water in Flint, Mich. Their strength and courage come alive in vivid illustrations by Cathy Ann Johnson and inspire us all to stand up to injustice.

In conjunction with a reading and book signing on Sept. 29, there is an exhibition of illustrations from the book on view at the Zimmerli from Sept. 28 through Feb. 12.

Seats are limited, so don’t wait to register.

Institute for Research on Women Launches Distinguished Lecture Series

The Institute for Research on Women (IRW) presents its first event in the Distinguished Lecture series, on Sept. 22, from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m.

Join us as we hear from Mishuana Goema, Tonawanda Band of Seneca Indians, professor of gender and American Indian studies at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and an affiliated faculty member of critical race studies at the UCLA School of Law. Following this year’s “Care” theme, Goema will talk about “Mapping Communities of Care in Indigenous Art Practices.”

For more information, visit the IRW event page.

Awards & Honors

Chancellor Awardees

Congratulations to the 2022 RBHS Chancellor Awardees, who have been nominated by their peers and selected in recognition of their extraordinary accomplishments and dedication as RBHS faculty and staff. Recipients of the 2020, 2021, and 2022 RBHS Chancellor Awards will be honored with an in-person reception in November, during which this year’s awardees will be presented with honorary plaques in a continued celebration of excellence in research in the biomedical and health sciences; clinical care; community service; mentorship; education; leadership; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and staff service and support.

Tobias Gerhard

Tobias Gerhard, professor of pharmacy and epidemiology in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Administration at Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy and the founding director of the Center for Pharmacoepidemiology and Treatment Science at RBHS, was installed in August as president of the International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology, an international organization dedicated to advancing public health by serving as a global forum for the open exchange of scientific information and the development of policy, education, and advocacy for the field of pharmacoepidemiology.

Lia Nower

Lia Nower, professor and director of both the Center for Gambling Studies and the Addiction Counselor Training Certificate Program at Rutgers–New Brunswick's School of Social Work has been honored with the Lifetime Research Award by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) at the 2022 NCPG National Conference last July, for "exceptional long-standing achievement in the field of research to assist problem gamblers and their families." As one of only eight historical recipients, Nower has also been invited to present at next year's conference in July 2023 to "further honor and highlight the lifetime contribution(.)"

Denise Rodgers

Denise Rodgers, vice chancellor for interprofessional programs and professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at RBHS, continues to serve as an invited member of the External Advisory Board for the National Institutes of Health’s Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Consortium to Advance Health Equity and Researcher Diversity program, which reviews programmatic activities and advises the leadership of this national consortium designed to achieve health equity and researcher diversity using AI/ML.

On The Move

New Semester, New Faces

It’s a new semester with new faces.

Alberto Cuitiño was appointed interim dean of the School of Engineering.

Amy Murtha, former professor and chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco, was named dean of Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Arpana G. Inman, former associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Education and Human Ecology at Ohio State University, was named dean of the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology.

Dafna Lemish, associate dean for programs and Distinguished Professor for Journalism and Media Studies, will lead the School of Communication and Information as interim dean.

Laura Curran, formerly the associate professor and senior associate dean for academic affairs at the School of Social Work, has been named vice provost for faculty affairs.

Meghan Rehbein was named interim administrative dean of Douglass Residential College.

Saundra Tomlinson-Clarke, formerly the vice provost for academic affairs, was appointed to senior vice provost for academic and faculty affairs.

Stuart Shapiro was named interim dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.

Susan Lawrence and James Masschaele have been appointed as interim co-executive deans of the School of Arts and Sciences.