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INSIDE: GOOD EATS

ALUMNI MAKE THEIR MARK ON JERSEY CIT Y’S RESTAURANT SCENE

ART OF CURATION WHAT’S HAUTE IN JERSEY CITY

SUMMER 2019 WWW.NJCU.EDU


FEATURED GOOD EATS NJCU alumni make their mark on Jersey City’s restaurant scene.

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BEST OF SHOW

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TRAWLING FOR GARBAGE

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The annual Media Arts Department Showcase celebrates student work in a multitude of media.

In waterways throughout New York City and northern New Jersey, biology Professor Allison Fitzgerald and her students document the disturbing presence of plastic.

ADDED CONVENIENCE A new food pantry and pop-up community center help students navigate their way through college.

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CONTENTS

SUMMER | 2019 New Jersey City University Magazine is published by

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NJCU President Sue Henderson on the importance of making higher education more affordable.

Stories of Success.

INSIGHT

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ON CAMPUS & ACROSS THE GLOBE

Community leaders celebrated, an honors director appointed, NJCU modernized, and much more.

ALUMNI PROFILES

New Jersey City University’s Division of University Advancement. SUE HENDERSON, PH.D. President

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CL ASS NOTES

SHERRIE A. MADIA, PH.D. Associate Vice President, Marketing and Communications

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ADVANCING KNOWLEDGE, TRANSFORMING LIVES

C R E AT I V E D I R E C T O R Ella Rue, M.A. ’05, M.F.A. Director of Creative Services

Celebrating a historic campaign. COPY EDITOR

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The art of curation.

NJCU students and graduates present their research at professional conferences.

THE ARTS AT NJCU

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THE SPORT REPORT

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JERSEY CIT Y SCENE

These five venues keep time with the city’s musical offerings.

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FACULT Y NEWS

Christopher Hann

STUDENT SUCCESS

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FINAL EXAM

Take our show-stopping quiz on musical theatre.

DESIGNED BY Imagemark CONTRIBUTORS Kevin Coyne

Christopher Hann

Paul Gargiulo

Diane Herbst

Robert Gonzalez

John Phillips

Steven Halfpap

Natasha Rodriguez

Jenn Hall

Ira Thor

Letters to the Editor, Class Notes, and changes of address may be sent to:

New Jersey City University Magazine Office of Communications Hepburn Hall, Room 112D New Jersey City University 2039 Kennedy Boulevard Jersey City, NJ 07305-1597 Find us online at: njcu.edu/magazine Email: magazine@njcu.edu or call 201-200-3425.


INSIGHT

Affordable higher education

is critical

for New Jersey’s future

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utting education within reach of all who can benefit from it has been a defining chapter of the American story. Our nation’s ascendancy on the world stage was built on the bedrock of learning, rising to global leadership not by virtue of the bounty of our natural resources or the sweeping breadth of our borders. More than anything, we owe our preeminence to our unwavering embrace of education. Over the latter half of history, a collective and abiding commitment to knowledge has spawned new ideas, stoked innovation, and fueled the engine of economy. New Jersey has long been on the forefront as a public education trailblazer, democratizing schools so they would no longer be solely the province of the wealthy. A century and a half ago, the state legislature passed “An Act to Make Free the Public Schools of the State.” It was a bold and visionary move. The law abolished fees that had restricted access to public education only to those who could afford them. The law mandated a nine-month school year and opened schoolhouse doors to all children between 5 and 18 years old. In effect, the legislation set the stage for harnessing the intellectual potential of future generations, recognizing the imperative to equip New Jersey’s children — all its children — with the tools to best navigate their futures.

by SUE HENDERSON, Ph.D. President, New Jersey City University

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The following year, Gov. Joel Parker extolled the commitment in his 1872 message to the legislature, proudly affirming: “For the first time in the history of this state our schools are free. Every child within her limits now has the means of common school education. Our fathers, who wisely laid the foundation of a school fund, hoped and labored for this grand result. New Jersey, in respect to her educational system, now stands at the very forefront of states. Let our interest in this great cause suffer no abatement. Whatever is required to keep the schools free should be done.” 1


INSIGHT

In today’s knowledge economy, in a society built on a baseline aptitude for technology and a critical understanding of the shrinking world around us, New Jersey is extending its commitment to affordable education beyond high school. At New Jersey City University, for example, many of our students — including first-generation college students and those whose economic conditions would not have allowed them to even dream of a college education — rely on a recipe of federal and state aid that not only puts college within their grasp but allows them to graduate without the often onerous burden of college debt. New Jersey City University hosted an educational roundtable that included Gov. Phil Murphy, seven of our students, and other educators. The governor heard firsthand the power that existing state financial assistance programs — particularly Tuition Aid Grants (TAG) and the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) — are having on our students. In proud, articulate testimonials, the students made clear that these resources are essential to making college both achievable and sustainable. Despite this success, we know more can be done, and the governor and New Jersey legislators recently took a major step forward by increasing both TAG and EOF funding levels. This $8.5 million in additional funds will help cast a wider net to include a broader base of adult learners, those in need of new job skills, and students looking for vocational training rather than the liberal arts. Increasing TAG and EOF funding — now at close to a half-billion dollars in all — will help do just that. As a result of the added funding, tens of thousands of New Jersey students will have the resources to make their education a reality.

At New Jersey City University, we’ve made similarly bold moves to open our doors to students in need. Three years ago we created the Debt-Free Promise Program, designed to make college education more accessible for New Jersey residents pursuing their first undergraduate degree. Since then the program has provided $1.5 million to 370 students. One hundred and fifty years ago, New Jersey took bold steps in putting a high school diploma within reach for every student. But the new reality is this: A high school degree is no longer sufficient when confronting the challenges of a 21st-century economy. We understand today that we must raise the threshold of what we consider a baseline education, holding up a college education as the new normal. The governor and legislature are to be commended for increasing TAG and EOF funding and, in so doing, helping give New Jersey a competitive edge far into the future.

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New Jersey Governor Joel Parker, message to the Legislature, 1872

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A COMMUNIT Y THAT COOKS by JENN HALL

If you drive down Garfield Avenue in Kearny, the Jersey City and Manhattan skylines rising in the distance, then make a left onto Davis Avenue, the scent grabs you first — a rich, savory perfume that indicates you’re in proximity of an expert barbecue pitmaster. Here is where, inside Red White & Que Smokehouse, pitmaster John Easterday ’14 spends his days — make that early mornings — cooking up some of the best smoked meats in New Jersey. A Marine Corps veteran, Easterday honed his craft alongside his boss, mentor, and fellow Marine vet Dan Misuraca. Together they’ve garnered the attention of tastemakers from Food & Wine, which gave it a shout out in its 2018 top barbecue list, to Thrillest, which hailed its “classic Southern barbecue principles.” This is no small accomplishment. Barbecue is a game of discipline; a brisket requiring 20-plus hours of care.

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TO NJCU ALUMNI WORKING IN THE RESTAURANT WORLD, CUSTOMER SERVICE MEANS MORE THAN JUST FOOD AND DRINK.

John Easterday ’14, Red White & Que Smokehouse

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or Easterday, the pairing of hard work and craft comes naturally. “I’m still getting up at 5 a.m., but I’m not running three miles,” he jokes, recounting two combat tours in Iraq, where he served in the infantry from 2004 to 2008 before enrolling at New Jersey City University at age 24. Easterday takes quiet pride in his food, especially his ribs and smoked chicken wings. Yet he’s driven by an impulse that cuts closer to the heart: Red White & Que has become a hub for the military community. “That’s really a culture that we create here,” says Misuraca, who opened the patriotically adorned restaurant in a squat brick building with his wife, Katie, in 2016. “We want everyone to feel like they’re part of the team.” Misuraca’s bonhomie extends to his customers. Many veterans like Easterday, walk through the door seeking to recreate the camaraderie they found in the

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other veterans, it’s an easy place for him to thrive.” For Misuraca, who connected with Easterday through Long, the feeling is mutual. “We would never be able to do anything that we’ve been able to do,” he says, “without the veteran community rallying around us.”

A VITAL INGREDIENT

service. “You’re always together,” Misuraca says, recalling troop life in the Marines, “and when you get out, you’re all of a sudden by yourself.” If military experience prepared Easterday to bring focus to the smokers, NJCU delivered insights that enable him to connect with those finding their way, though not in the way he expected. As an undergraduate majoring in criminal justice, Easterday planned on a law enforcement career. At Red White & Que, where he trains young hires and welcomes customers, he more often draws on his psychology minor. “It’s a beacon, or a hub,” Easterday says of the restaurant, known for its extensive customer-funded program of veteran give-back meals and catered dinners at a veterans’ transitional home in Garfield. “We get so many veterans in here that come in and ask us questions. It’s a safe spot.” This is not to say the atmosphere is heavy. As people feast, classic rock rules and people dish out ribs of another kind.

Commander Jennifer Long, a retired Army National Guard sergeant major who works alongside Easterday at Kearny’s Wilson-Gugelman VFW Post — where the pitmaster doubles as a quartermaster — says this baseline of shared experience is as powerful for Easterday as for those who savor his Carolina-style pork. “Care and custody of soldiers is my world,” Long says. “You know when you walk in there it’s a veteran-owned business, with the flags and the Marine Corps decals. He found a home and became part of their family. Working with

Easterday isn’t alone in launching a career that builds community through food. Throughout northern New Jersey, NJCU alumni are pairing skills gained at the University with culinary creativity to bring people together in delicious ways. As NJCU Foundation board member Paul Silverman sees it, such ventures are a vital ingredient in revitalization, a topic on which he has a keen perspective. A real-estate developer with a strong hand in reshaping Jersey City, Silverman owns New Jersey Beer Company in North Bergen. Set in a funky industrial space with a welcoming taproom (New Jersey–shaped tap handles included), its beers are served in more than 100 locations, from hip restaurants like Jersey City’s Ani Ramen to the Prudential Center. “When we rebuild buildings and build these neighborhoods for people, we

Many like Easterday, walk through the door seeking to recreate the camaraderie they found in the service. “You’re always together,” Misuraca says. SU M M E R 20 19 | 7


New Jersey Beer Company in North Bergen really do it so that they have a great place to live,” Silverman says. “We make a nice apartment, but that’s just a part of it. Then we want our retailers to be great.” Restaurants and craft breweries, Silverman says, play an outsized role in creating attractive neighborhoods. On any given night, half the customers in his tasting room are regulars, and the brewery donates beer to support community events, from art shows to Junior Achievement of New Jersey fundraisers. Silverman says NJCU graduates are uniquely primed to make their mark on a changing city. “Jersey City has such a strong character,” he says. “People are proud of it. It is work to get there. To borrow money. To have a second or third job while they’re going to school. The work ethic is really apparent.”

CLASSROOM TO KITCHEN Raven Smith ’21, a junior management major, is the perfect embodiment of that drive. Last spring Smith won the 8 | N E W J ER S EY C I T Y U NI V ERS I T Y M AG A ZI NE

Raven Smith ’21: Henrietta’s Palette – (above): lump crab cake with fish butter and apple reduction; (right): Vegetarian papperdelle with mushroom truffle port reduction


annual Build Your Dream Business Pitch Competition, hosted by the School of Business, for her fine-dining start-up: Henrietta’s Palette. During the NJCU Shark Tank – style contest, entrants pitched their ventures in front of a live audience. Smith made it to the finals with four others, including three graduate students. With the victory, she earned $1,000, office space at NJCU’s Business Development Incubator, and coaching from the New Jersey Small Business Development Center. Smith became the first first-year student to claim the prize and the first culinary entrepreneur (and woman) to do so. This may not surprise those who know her. At 25, she is a line chef under French Executive Chef Vincent Raith at The Ridge, in Basking Ridge. She has since launched a series of independent pop-up dinners. “That competition, it ignited the fire that I needed,” she says. The lesson was empowering: “Why would you not want to make your own mark?” Drawing on memories of her greatgrandmother Henrietta Smith’s soul-infused cuisine — rich with roasts and collards — yet rooted in the modern tastes she’s mastered as a professional, Smith believes the best dining experiences rise in community. If a person’s comfort zone is roast chicken, she’ll elevate it with a Guinness reduction and seared grapes, giving familiar dishes an unexpected twist. Her goal is to create space for everyone at her table. This, she says, is key as a redevelopment wave reshapes Jersey City neighborhoods. “NJCU is so awesome about not just teaching you what goes on in those textbooks, about what happened in 1800s or how politics became like this,” she says. “It’s about how your community became like this and where your community is going.”

While her style leans toward upscale comfort food, Smith values the lessons she learned from her greatgrandmother when she was growing up in Linden. “Cooking with her taught me about love,” Smith reflects. “She was so creative, but it was in such a traditional way.” She also shared Smith’s drive: Well into her nineties, Henrietta baked her legendary scratch strawberry shortcake each summer. Shortcake is perhaps unusual inspiration for a management student, but Smith understands that creating a lasting business requires more than knife skills.

“I love the business aspect of food,” she says. “This is where I think people sometimes run off the tracks. It’s about the food, food, food. I love the food, but it’s so much more.” Her culinary ethos echoes what she would like to see Jersey City become: a place that embraces transformation while maintaining room for its lifelong residents. “What I hope comes of this change is a stronger community,” she says. “A more bonded one. I want us young entrepreneurs to sit within our communities, see what’s going on, and add to that.” SU M M E R 20 19 | 9


COOL YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS NJCU School of Business professor George Z. Li says equipping students with the skills to transform their dreams into tangible realities is precisely what NJCU aims to achieve, whether graduates head to the boardroom or the kitchen. “Programs, projects, and extracurricular activities like the Student Investment Management Group (SIM), the Bloomberg Program, the Student Entrepreneur Society, and the Financial Management Association provide students the opportunity of applying what they have learned in the classroom in real life,” Li says. While serving as faculty advisor for the SIM group, Li got to know several NJCU grads who are now among the city’s newest culinary entrepreneurs, including Peter Jose ’11, Lekendrick Shaw ’14, and Ivan Almonte ’15, who opened Jersey and Co. Gelato last June. To taste their stracciatella, dotted with chocolate, is to be transported to Italy. “Florence is the birthplace of gelato,” explains Jose. The mind behind the recipes, Jose honors tradition while leaving room for experimentation. Ube gelato, a nod to his Filipino heritage, may be one of the most creative icy treats in the city. Jose earned a master’s degree in finance and maintains a day job as operations manager at Valley Bank in Manhattan. His love for food led him to night studies at the Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan, then to Italy for cooking classes. There, he fell in love with gelato culture. When that passion became a business idea, he called Shaw. “Lekendrick is the entrepreneur,” Jose says. “He’s the one who really pushed me.” When Jose was in graduate school and SIM group president, Shaw came on as 10 | N E W J ER S EY C I T Y U N I V ERS I T Y M AG A ZI NE


Jersey & Co. Gelato

an analyst. (A finance major at NJCU and business development consultant, Shaw works as an aide to Jersey City councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey.) “It’s on the cusp between emerging and established,” Shaw says of gelato’s place within the city’s culinary landscape. “It’s a sweet spot.” The plan was to launch with a food truck, but when Jose found space on up-and-coming Mallory Avenue, they retooled their business plan with the help of Professor Li. Altamonte, Jose’s cousin and an NJCU graphic design graduate, created the shop’s playful visual identity, which features swirls of primary colors. In short order, people were walking in from all corners of the neighborhood, including NJCU President Sue Henderson. Longtime residents queue up alongside a youthful crowd lured by flavors like green matcha tea. “When people line up to get their gelato, it’s not like they just stand there,” Jose says. They begin to chat, and the borders between them seem to dissolve.

A DEEPER PURPOSE Across the street from Red White & Que sit two houses: one blue, one white with a red door. The juxtaposition of colors might be coincidence, but it captures the spirit of the restaurant as much as the motto inscribed on its awning: “Be a part of the American dream.” Easterday says he’s doing that each time he pulls ribs from the smoker. Yet for all the joy in a perfectly cooked piece of meat, the community connection resonates most deeply.

pride thing,” he says, “knowing that it’s the spot where they can come and talk or hang out.” Whether it’s barbecue or gelato, a pint of beer or a platter of reimagined comfort food, a shared meal is ultimately about creating a sense of home.

“The other day, one of the vets came in, and he said: ‘This is a vet-owned business, right?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, the owner is a vet and so am I.’ And he asked: ‘Does it get easier?’” Easterday pauses before continuing. “I said: ‘Oh, yeah, man. Hey, just keep on going and everything gets better. I know it’s weird when you’re first out, but eventually you find your spot.’” The impromptu exchange evoked Easterday’s own postservice journey. “It’s a little bit of a SUM M E R 20 19 | 1 1


Best of Show

Award winners Maxine Antoine (left) and Dakota Savo (right)

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THE ANNUAL MEDIA ARTS DEPARTMENT SHOWCASE CELEBRATES STUDENT WORK IN A MULTITUDE OF MEDIA.

by CHRISTOPHER HANN

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he Media Arts Department held its 37th annual Showcase of film, video, and digital media in May at the Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre in Jersey City.

The night before they received their undergraduate degrees, seniors Maxine Antoine and Dakota Savo each received the Dr. Joseph Drew Award for Excellence in Media Production. Antoine, a Media Arts major and entrepreneurship minor, is a filmmaker and photographer who also served as the arts and entertainment editor for The Gothic Times. Savo, a double major in Media Arts and Psychology, is a video editor who has directed and assisted

The lobby at Loew’s Jersey Theatre

in the production of short films, documentaries, and podcasts, among other creative projects. The Drew Award is named in honor of the late (and much beloved) professor of media arts and former academic vice president. Drew taught film studies, philosophy, and religion, and his namesake award recognizes students with strong academic standing, a body of outstanding work, and services to NJCU’s Media Arts Department. After the Showcase, students and faculty gathered for an after-party reception in the luxurious lobby of the 90-yearold Loew’s theatre, once billed as “the most lavish temple of entertainment in New Jersey.” The Media Arts Department, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, houses stateof-the-art audio recording studios; HD video camera equipment; non-linear video editing in Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, and AVID; two digital media labs; and 16mm film production facilities. For more information, call the department at 201- 200-3494 or email at mediaarts@njcu.edu

Illustration by William Low

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TRAWLING FOR GARBAGE In waterways throughout New York City and northern

New Jersey, Biology Professor Allison Fitzgerald and her students document the disturbing presence of plastic.

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“T here’s no body of water where microplastics haven’t been found.” by KEVIN COYNE

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he orderly rows of glass jars in Allison Fitzgerald’s sunny fourth-floor Science Building lab hold the specimens that her biology students netted in local waters last summer and fall. “That’s maybe a plastic bottle top that broke apart,” she says, pointing at the small, colorful shards in one jar. “This kind of looks like a piece of a twisttie — and there you can see little bits of Styrofoam.” Fitzgerald and her students do sometimes catch fish in their net — a cumbersome manta trawl with a thin mesh flowing

behind broad wings that keep it afloat to skim the water’s surface — but fish are not their quarry. They are trawling for plastic. “It really is everywhere,” Fitzgerald says of the plastic debris, which she finds not just in the dirty local waters she patrols, but in what might seem the most pristine expanses of the deepest oceans. “There’s no body of water where microplastics haven’t been found, and I can’t think of any marine organism that plastics haven’t been found in, from the tiniest plankton to the largest whales.” Fitzgerald is deeply acquainted with the waters of New Jersey and New York, SUMM E R 20 19 | 1 5


studying oysters for her Ph.D. dissertation at CUNY Graduate Center and working on oyster restoration projects with NY/NJ Baykeeper. In her five years as an assistant professor of biology at NJCU, she has acquainted her students with those waters, too. “They don’t realize they live so close to the water,” she says. “I took them out in Jersey City and they’re like, ‘This is here?’” Starting last summer, she took them out on her latest research project on microplastics. They towed their net along the Hackensack River, tossed if off a downtown Newark dock into the Passaic River, dragged it around an oyster reef in the Bronx, and waded into Newark Bay in Bayonne. They found plastic everywhere, and then they took it all back to the campus lab to catalog and analyze. 16 | N E W J ER S EY C I T Y U N I V ERS I T Y M AG A ZI NE

“In the Hackensack you didn’t see bottles floating by, but we got tons of microplastics,” Fitzgerald says. And when Fitzgerald and her students digested oysters — a process that uses acid to dissolve them and anything organic they had eaten — what the researchers found was an unhealthy dietary addition. “You end up with just a vial full of plastic,” Fitzgerald says. Plastics wash into the water from many sources — a potato chip bag sluiced down a storm drain, packing peanuts blown from a landfill, synthetic fibers swirling out a washing machine drain. “It goes into the water as litter and it breaks down to become that small, and that’s when it becomes a problem for marine life,” Fitzgerald says.


Fitzgerald’s students have presented their findings at two conferences, and they hope to publish them soon. She would like to expand her lessons beyond NJCU to other schools and younger students. “My passion is going toward citizen science,” she says. “You can’t be everywhere at one time, and there’s not enough money to do everything at one time, but I can have all these helping hands out there.”

When Fitzgerald and her students digested oysters — a process that uses acid to dissolve them and anything organic they had eaten — what the researchers found was an unhealthy dietary addition. SUMM E R 20 19 | 1 7


t hrou gh col l ege.

cent er hel p st u dent s navig a t e t h e ir wa y

A new food pant r y and pop- u p c ommu n it y

Added Convenience by KEVIN COYNE

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t opened in October along the wide ground-floor avenue of the Student Union, its shelves neatly stocked like a corner store in the neighborhood.

“Like a little convenience store,” says Jodi Bailey, associate vice president for student affairs, about the Gothic Knights Food Pantry. “We wanted to make sure that it wasn’t looking like something that people would feel badly going into.” While its hours may be more limited than a convenience store — Tuesdays and Thursdays, four hours at a stretch — its prices are unbeatable. “Nobody pays,”

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Bailey says. “Students, faculty, staff — just swipe in and out with your ID.” The pantry opened at a time when food insecurity has emerged as a hot topic on campuses. Last year NJCU President Sue Henderson decided the university should offer its own food pantry. A partnership was established with the Food Bank of New Jersey, and university trucks now regularly pick up provisions to stock the Student Union storefront. Full meals are available through the Helping Our Neighbors Eat program, while another program sends people home with a backpack filled with enough food to feed a family over a weekend. Within the first three weeks, Bailey says, more than 500 people used the new food services. “Most of our students are first generation and low income, and they’re coming to college based on the federal

and state aid they are receiving,” Bailey says. “So the thing that’s most important for us is being able to help assist with some of the social issues they struggle with in order to help them achieve academically. If you’re hungry and you’re working six jobs just to be able to get a meal, you’re not going to be concentrating on your studies.” Working alongside the university’s food pantry is a new Community Center, funded with a $25,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and established in partnership with New Jersey Campus Compact, a statewide group housed at NJCU. The Community Center will occupy a pop-up space in the Student Union and offer a variety of programs and services. “The food pantry has been very successful, and this is a way to add on to

it,” says Saul Petersen, executive director of New Jersey Campus Compact. “It’s designed to be less about charity and handouts and more about empowerment and tools to succeed.” Programs will range from tax preparation help to health screenings to group counseling services — anything that would guide students through the sometimes rough waters of college. “It’s something I hope to see impacting the number of students who stay at the school, the number of students who feel able to succeed, and ultimately the number of students who graduate,” Peterson says. “It’s very important in a campus setting, because this is an age when they can either become transformed and be able to think about their future, or they will fall through, and there is no net after this.” SUM M E R 20 19 | 1 9


ON CAMPUS AND ACROSS THE GLOBE

Visconti Courtyard

photo: Paul Gargiulo

VISCONTI COURTYARD IS DEDICATED AT WEST CAMPUS New Jersey City University recently dedicated a new courtyard at the West Campus Village in honor of Luke Visconti’s service to the NJCU Foundation and his generous support of the University and its students. The courtyard was named for Visconti because of his inspirational leadership on the Foundation Board of Directors as both a member and as chair. Over many years, Visconti has passionately supported NJCU students through his scholarship, helping them realize their dreams of a college education. The founder and CEO of DiversityInc., Visconti received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from NJCU in 2013. 2 0 | N E W J ER S EY C I T Y U NI V ERS I T Y M AG A ZI NE


ON CAMPUS AND ACROSS THE GLOBE

EDMONDSON APPOINTED DEAN OF PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION AND LIFELONG LEARNING Following a national search, NJCU named Michael Edmondson, a longtime higher education administrator, as dean of Professional Education and Lifelong Learning (PELL). The university’s PELL Division provides innovative learning and professional-development opportunities to the region’s diverse population by extending NJCU’s educational resources. The PELL Division serves degree and non-degree students with a variety of credit and non-credit programs offered on and off campus, using traditional classroom and remote delivery systems.

Cynthia Vazquez

CYNTHIA VAZQUEZ RECEIVES COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP AWARD Cynthia Vazquez, assistant director of NJCU’s Center for Teacher Preparation & Partnerships, was recently awarded The Community Leadership Award by the Hudson River International Film Festival for her work on behalf of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. The award was presented to Vazquez, the vice president for NJCU’s Council on Hispanic Affairs, during a Hispanic Heritage Month event featuring Colonization is Extinction, a film about Puerto Rico.

NJCU LAUNCHES PUBLIC SAFETY PROGRAM

Edmondson had previously served as director of continuing education at Mercer County Community College and associate vice president for career development at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Cabrini College, a master’s in history from Villanova University, and a Ph.D. in history from Temple University.

New Jersey City University now offers a non-credit Public Safety Program through its Professional Education and Lifelong Learning Division. First responders, including paramedics, emergency medical technicians, police officers, firefighters, rescuers, and others will receive training on a variety of public safety issues. The program will serve first responders in Hudson County and the surrounding area. SUMM E R 20 19 | 2 1


ON CAMPUS AND ACROSS THE GLOBE

THE SCIENCE BUILDING GETS A MAKEOVER The newly modernized Science Building now includes a 40,000-square-foot, five-story addition and a 70,000-squarefoot renovation. Standing in the center of the main campus, the building features 45 state-of-the-art teaching and research laboratories, a greenhouse, observatory, imaging center, cell culture lab, bio-informatics lab, and a Geographic Information Science lab. The Science Building houses the Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Earth and Environmental Sciences departments. Funding for the project was provided from $10 million in bond proceeds and $34 million in grants from the State of New Jersey Capital Improvement Fund. SUMM E R 20 19 | 2 3


ON CAMPUS AND ACROSS THE GLOBE

NJCU CONTINUES POSTDOCTORAL TRAINING PARTNERSHIP

NJCU STUDENTS RECEIVE NOYCE SCHOLARSHIPS Eight New Jersey City University students received scholarships for the 2017–18 academic year under a national program designed to help more students become teachers in the STEM fields in high-need school districts. The Robert Noyce Scholarship program, authorized under the National Science Foundation Authorization Act, seeks to encourage talented science, technology, engineering, and mathematics majors to become elementary, middle, and high school teachers by offering tuition scholarships. One of the NJCU recipients graduated last May with a bachelor’s degree in Physics and a teaching certification. Six scholarship recipients were retained for the recently completed academic year, all of whom graduated in May. The National Science Foundation awards scholarships and stipends to NJCU STEM majors who are obtaining teaching certifications in their fields. Up to $17,000 per year is available to juniors and seniors. (Post-baccalaureate STEM majors may receive one-year stipends.) Noyce Scholars, selected primarily on the basis of academic merit and commitment to teaching, complete two years of teaching in a high-need school district for each year of support from the scholarship program.

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Following the renewal of funding from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, New Jersey City University is continuing its postdoctoral training program with Rutgers–Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. The collaborative program, known locally as INSPIRE, is one of only 22 Institutional Research and Career Development Award programs in the country. Its goal is to foster diversity in science at both the student and faculty levels.

The renewal of the National Institutes of Health grant, begun in 2010, enables postdoctoral fellows to conduct research at Rutgers University and collaborate with NJCU faculty in the classroom and laboratory. Since its inception, seven INSPIRE fellows have partnered with NJCU faculty from all three NJCU colleges, developing courses that incorporate cutting-edge research and active learning techniques.

“The INSPIRE program trains the next generation of science faculty to become successful researchers and educators, while promoting participation of underrepresented groups in biomedical research,” notes Martha Soto, an associate professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and co-director of INSPIRE.

“Every postdoctoral fellow and teaching mentor team at NJCU has made scientific, teaching-inspired modifications to multiple courses,” states Cindy Arrigo, an associate professor of biology and principle investigator of the INSPIRE program at NJCU. Through their bottomup approaches, important cultural and curricular changes resulted.”


ON CAMPUS AND ACROSS THE GLOBE

Louise Stanton, Ph.D.

POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR NAMED HONORS DIRECTOR Louise Stanton, a political science professor who has served on the Honors Program Committee since 2013, is the new director of the growing program. “I am delighted to have the opportunity to direct the Honors Program in the next phase of its growth and development,” Stanton said. “We are focused on continuing to attract students to the NJCU Honors Program for its transformative educational experience in the dynamic environment of the New York–New Jersey metropolitan area.” In the last five years, the Honors Program has grown from 23 to nearly 180 students, with the Class of 2022 accounting for 49 students. To be accepted into the Honors Program,

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incoming first-year students must have at least a 3.3 GPA and possess high SAT scores. The honors curriculum includes disciplinary and interdisciplinary learning, student-faculty collaboration, study abroad trips, research experiences, and service projects. Stanton’s research focuses on the impact of global conditions on domestic security institutions, specifically U.S. police, National Guard, and military. She is the author of “A New Frontier in U.S. National Security Policymaking: State and Local Governments,” a chapter in the book Rethinking Security in the 21st Century (Palgrave McMillan, 2016).


THE ARTS AT NJCU

The Art

of Curating GALLERY DIRECTOR MIDORI YOSHIMOTO HAS COORDINATED SCORES OF ART EXHIBITS AT NJCU. SHE’S ALREADY AT WORK ON MORE. by CHRISTOPHER HANN

O

ne day a few years back, Midori Yoshimoto was looking at a piece of art made by her colleague Martin Kruck, whose work often combines multiple photographs to create a composite of conflicting (and sometimes confounding) images. “It makes you wonder what it is, how it’s made,” says Yoshimoto, an associate professor of art history and the gallery director at New Jersey City University. That single work by Kruck, an art professor and chair of the NJCU Art Department, got Yoshimoto thinking about art that evokes made-up locations and scenes. Eventually that idea evolved into Constructed Space, a 2017 exhibit of works by four artists, Kruck among them, presented in the Harold B. Lemmerman Gallery and curated by Yoshimoto. “The whole idea,” she says, “was to create an illusion of space through different mediums.” Yoshimoto could be considered something of an expert at creating illusions of space. As gallery director, she’s responsible for planning up to a dozen exhibits each academic year at the two main campus galleries. She chooses the exhibition theme, secures the artwork that supports the theme, and writes catalogue essays for the exhibits she curates. And once she settles on a gallery space, it’s her job to figure out what goes where. “This is the part maybe I enjoy the most,” she says. “I think I’m very good at imagining spacial configurations in my head. Once I see the actual physical work of art, I try to imagine where best it will fit in

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Constructed Space, Fall 2017


THE ARTS AT NJCU

SUM M E R 20 19 | 2 9


THE ARTS AT NJCU

Yoshimoto & Ono at Imagine Peace. Yoko Ono: Imagine Peace, Fall 2008 that space. So then I start working with the floor plan of the gallery, and start drawing.”

Self Reimagined, Spring 2017. Yoshimoto (second from right) with artists (from left) Lisa Ficarelli-Halpern MFA ’10, Martha Wilson, Farsad Labbauf, and Kevin Darmanie.

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Yoshimoto arrived at NJCU in 2003 after completing her Ph.D. in art history at Rutgers University, where she wrote her dissertation on Japanese women artists. The first show she curated at NJCU was “Resonance: Five Asian Women Artists in New Jersey.” The New York Times described the exhibit as “slick” and “accessible,” while heralding the new gallery director’s arrival on the Jersey City artscape. “Ms. Yoshimoto has plans to start showing more Jersey City artists in an effort to give the gallery greater local currency,” the Times reported. “Good idea. The present exhibition makes a worthy start ….” In 2005 Rutgers Press published Yoshimoto’s doctoral thesis as a book, Into Performance: Japanese Women Artists in New York. One of the five artists she profiled was Yoko Ono, whose 2008 solo exhibit at NJCU she helped organize (she also arranged Ono’s appearance on campus). Because every art exhibit is different, Yoshimoto says, the curating process is never the same. But one methodology remains the same. “One of my goals consistently is to


THE ARTS AT NJCU

Elizabeth Catlett: For My People, Spring 2006

present artists of diverse backgrounds,” she says, “which corresponds to the student body here.” When preparing an exhibit, Yoshimoto must first calculate its financial costs, which can determine a show’s scope and breadth. Shipping artwork to and from Jersey City is often the largest single expense, and sometimes a dealbreaker. For last fall’s exhibit “The Persistence of History,” Yoshimoto had hoped to borrow a large-scale painting by the multimedia Japanese-American artist Roger Shimomura, but the cost to ship it from the Baltimore Museum of Art would have been prohibitive. Instead, she secured eight Shimomura lithographs (at a shipping cost that fit her budget) from the Lawrence Lithography Workshop in Kansas City, MO. Yoshimoto also coordinates artist talks, workshops, and other events related to an exhibition. In conjunction with The Persistence of History, she arranged for the Japanese multimedia artist Gaku Tsutaja, whose work is deeply influenced by the manga style of comic book art, to conduct a character workshop during Yoshimoto’s class on “Japanese Popular Culture and Art.” Using pencil, pen, and Japanese sumi ink

Yoshimoto with the artist Elizabeth Catlett.

applied by brush, some of the students (and Yoshimoto as well) created animal-human hybrid characters in the manga style. “She’s never done this kind of workshop in a university setting,” Yoshimoto says of Tsutaja, “but she really enjoyed interacting with students of different backgrounds.” Yoshimoto begins planning each show more than a year in advance. On the day last December when she found time to sit for 90 minutes and talk about her work, she was already making plans to visit an artist’s studio on New York’s Upper West Side to view pieces being considered for an exhibit about maps and contemporary art. That exhibit, scheduled for November, will be a collaboration with Donna David, an associate professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, who will curate an exhibit about mapmaking. Yoshimoto has a working title: Mapping Life. SUM M E R 20 19 | 3 1


THE SPORT REPORT

From the AD’s Office I recently marked, with much gratitude, the one-year anniversary of my tenure as associate vice president and director of athletics at New Jersey City University. Our vision is for NJCU to become a national leader in our relentless pursuit to empower our student-athletes to achieve their core purpose. With that goal in mind, we are thrilled to have solidified plans to expand our athletics program by adding five new teams: men’s and women’s wrestling, men’s and women’s tennis, and women’s golf. For the 2019-20 academic year, all five teams will be granted club status, meaning they will not compete as varsity-level teams recognized by the NCAA. But starting in 2020-21, all but the women’s wrestling team will compete as varsity teams within the NCAA.

Shawn Tucker

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THE SPORT REPORT

The women’s wrestling team will be the first such collegiate program in the state of New Jersey. The NCAA does not yet recognize women’s wrestling as a varsity sport because fewer than 40 colleges nationwide field women’s wrestling teams— although we expect that threshold to be met within five years. Meanwhile, our women wrestlers will compete against other college teams as part of the Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association. We believe expanding our athletics program—from 16 teams to 21—will make our University even more desirable to prospective students. Today we have 220 student-athletes at NJCU; with the additional teams, we expect that number to approach 400.

The mission of NJCU Athletics is to foster a culture of success both on our campus and in our communities. Each day I look forward to working alongside great people in the NJCU athletics department and across our diverse campus. Our student-athletes, led by passionate and knowledgeable coaches and surrounded by an engaged support system, have every opportunity to maximize their collegiate experience in a value-driven setting. At New Jersey City University, it’s all about reaching our fullest potential. — Shawn Tucker

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THE SPORT REPORT

by IRA THOR, Director of Athletic Communications and Marketing

The grandchildren of Betty Scioli Migliore ’35 donated their grandmother’s basketball uniform from the early 1930s.

A TRIP DOWN MEMORABILIA LANE In October, the NJCU Department of Athletics received its oldest known donation of athletic memorabilia, a piece with historical significance dating to the days when the University was known as the Jersey City Normal School. The grandchildren of Betty Scioli Migliore ’35 donated their grandmother’s basketball uniform from the early 1930s. To the delight of university officials, the uniform was in near mint condition more than 80 years after it was last worn in competition. Long before the NCAA sponsored women’s athletics, Scioli Migliore was one of NJCU’s first female basketball 34 | N E W J ER S EY C I T Y U N I V ERS I T Y M AG A ZI NE

players. Better known as “Wahwah,” Scioli Migliore was the preeminent woman athlete of her era, excelling in basketball, soccer, and tennis. She was born in 1914 in Cliffside Park, the daughter of Italian immigrants, and after graduating she worked as a secretary for RCA. The mother of four children, she died in 1973. In making the donation of her grandmother’s uniform, Liz Migliore said: “Thank you so much again for honoring my grandmother this way. My whole family is so thrilled. All of her grandchildren” — nine in all — “were or are athletes, so it brings us a lot of pride to see her recognized as an athlete, especially at a time when not as many women were.”


THE SPORT REPORT

SEEING DOUBLE Identical twins Nina and Gina Carbonaro of Middlesex, N.J., are senior soccer players who transferred to NJCU from Keystone College to play their final two years with the Gothic Knights. Gina is a midfielder, while Nina splits her time between the backline and the midfield — with more action on the backline this past season. Combined, the sisters played in 60 games over the last two years and rarely came off the pitch. In the penultimate game of the fall campaign, a 13-1 romp over Medgar Evers College, Nina scored three goals. Nina and Gina, both Criminal Justice majors, have been leaders on the pitch and in the community. Ultimately, after 22 years, the twins will split up (sort of) after graduating this May. Gina is working to become a Pennsylvania state trooper, while Nina will pursue a master’s degree in Criminal Justice with plans to become a New Jersey state trooper.

Identical twins Gina (left) and Nina Carbonaro

THE LAUNCH OF THE RISING KNIGHT INSTITUTE The Department of Athletics has launched a new leadership academy to aid the personal and professional development of NJCU student-athletes. Begun last fall, the Rising Knight Institute is bound by five essential pillars of success: academics, personal enrichment, leadership, community outreach, and career preparation. The Institute supports the holistic growth of each studentathlete’s intellectual development, academic excellence, social responsibility, and self-empowerment. The goal of the program is to build character, stimulate motivation, and foster strong community relations while preparing student-athletes to succeed as leaders. Under the Institute’s supervision, NJCU student-athletes will have access to development workshops, assistance with internships and job placement, and community service opportunities.

“Being a part of the women’s soccer team has been the best part about NJCU,” Nina says. “When you’re a part of the women’s soccer team here, our coaches are very interesting. We have one who is a U.S. marshal, one who is a Port Authority police officer, one who is a New Jersey state trooper. And they’re all willing to go out of their way to help you.” Nina says she is grateful for the opportunity to play alongside her sister. “I know some twins stay together because they can’t function without each other,” she says, “but we’re just best friends. We wanted to be teammates. It doesn’t happen all the time where you get to be a teammate with your sibling. And living together is easy. We share a lot of clothes.” Gina says she’ll miss her sister’s academic teamwork when they go their separate ways after graduation. “She’ll figure out the class schedule and I’ll do the actual scheduling,” Gina says. “It’s so much more convenient. You only pay for half your textbooks.”

To learn more, visit: www.njcugothicknights.com/rki SUMM E R 20 19 | 3 5


THE SPORT REPORT

BY THE

NUMBERS

95

%

16

VARSITY TEAMS

FIRST-YEAR STUDENT-ATHLETES WHO RETURNED FOR THEIR SOPHOMORE YEAR

3.4

AVERAGE GPA FOR THE WOMEN’S BOWLING TEAM

220 STUDENT-ATHLETES

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2

CHAMPIONSHIP TEAMS


THE SPORT REPORT

GOTHIC KNIGHTS TO SPONSOR STATE OF NEW JERSEY’S FIRST COLLEGIATE WOMEN’S WRESTLING PROGRAM In a historic expansion of its athletic offerings, New Jersey City University will add men’s and women’s wrestling as the latest sports in its lineup of intercollegiate athletic programs, Shawn Tucker, director of athletics and associate vice president, has announced. NJCU will become the first university in the state of New Jersey to sponsor an NCAA women’s wrestling program. Each program will have its own full-time head coach. An extensive national search to fill each head coaching position will be conducted during the months of May and June. The men’s and women’s wrestling programs will be club programs during the introductory 2019-20 academic year before being elevated to full varsity status in Fall 2020. Potential future conference affiliations will be determined during the 2019-20 year. Both programs will practice and compete at the John J. Moore Athletics and Fitness Center on campus. “The addition of men’s and women’s wrestling to our intercollegiate athletics program is a significant moment in the history of our athletics department,” said NJCU President Sue Henderson, the current chair of the NCAA Division III President’s Council and vice-chair of the NCAA Board of Governors. “While assessing areas for potential growth within our athletics program over the last 12 months, it became clear to our leadership that there were enormous opportunities within this popular sport. Men’s wrestling is currently well established, both in New Jersey’s high schools and within the NCAA championship structure. Meanwhile, wrestling is one of the fastest growing women’s sports in the United States and the world. With the introduction of the sport at our institution, we will be positioned well to capitalize on the movement and be at the forefront as leaders in another women’s sport, giving new opportunities to female student-athletes.” “We are excited to make these historic additions to our intercollegiate athletics program,” said Tucker. “As our

institution continues to grow and our athletic department continues to expand, wrestling is the ideal program to carry the banner for this new era in NJCU athletics. We firmly believe men’s and women’s wrestling are sports that naturally fit our campus. We believe the addition of both programs will generate excitement on campus and our entire university community will rally around both sports.” Tucker continued: “New Jersey produces some of the best wrestling talent in the country and the addition of both men’s and women’s wrestling will give high school studentathletes in this state a viable option to continue competing in the sport they love on the next level right here in their home state at one of the fastest growing institutions in the state. NJCU will boost the profile of a sport long synonymous with the Garden State. While schools around the country have cut men’s wrestling in recent years, we are going in the other direction, adding men’s wrestling. Furthermore, by adding NCAA women’s wrestling, we are giving high school girl wrestlers the historic opportunity to be pioneers in the sport on the collegiate level right here in their home state.” The addition of men’s and women’s wrestling will be the 19th and 20th sports in NJCU’s growing athletic program and the seventh and eighth to be added since Tucker’s hiring in May 2018. Men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field were reintroduced in June 2018 and men’s and women’s tennis will be relaunched in Fall 2019. SUMM E R 20 19 | 3 7


JERSEY CITY SCENE

THE SOUNDS OF MUSIC

FROM JAZZ TO POP TO ROCK — AND EVEN BURLESQUE! — JERSEY CITY’S NIGHTCLUBS AND CONCERT HALLS COVER A WIDE SWATH OF THE SONIC SPECTRUM.

by JOHN PHILLIPS

W

hether you prefer a downtown hall big enough for 400 of your closest friends or a small jazz joint tucked away in a frayed neighborhood a mile from Journal Square, Jersey City’s music scene can satisfy just about any taste and any budget. 38 | N E W J ER S EY C I T Y U N I V ERS I T Y M AG A ZI NE


JERSEY CITY SCENE

WHITE EAGLE HALL

White Eagle’s 2016 restoration showed off an abundance of early 20th-century touches, including gorgeous stained-glass atriums set in the coffered tin ceiling. 337 Newark Ave. 201-885-5166. whiteeaglehalljc.com. Parking: Try the maze of streets behind White Eagle.

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JERSEY CITY SCENE

BRIGHTSIDE TAVERN

Within walking distance of the Grove Street PATH station, the sparkly dining room presents jazz every Monday night. Musicians range from established pros to accomplished amateurs and singers with a wide vocal range of jazziness. 141 Bright St. 201-435-1234. brightsidetavernnj.com. No cover, no minimum. Pub food. Music starts around 8 pm. Parking: If you can’t find a spot on the street, look for extra spots opposite Brightside between a fence and the back of a shopping center.

FOX AND CROW

MOORE’S LOUNGE

A cozy, woody, two-room pub in the Heights, Fox and Crow headlines rock bands, acoustic guitar players and singer/ songwriters. If you like the beat of the spoken word, poets sometimes recite their works in the back room. The daunting beer menu constantly changes, and the cocktails lean toward the creative side.

For 40 years, Moore’s has served as a friendly throwback to Southern juke joints. The renowned drummer (and resident emcee) Winard Harper curates the jazz offerings on Friday and Sunday nights. When the main act takes a break, some excellent walk-in players line up for their five minutes on center stage.

594 Palisade Ave. 201-984-2775. foxandcrowjc.com. Pub food. No cover or minimum. Parking: It’s not easy, but there’s bus service along Palisade Avenue and a light-rail stop a block away.

189 Monticello Ave. 201-332-4309. A $10 fee (no minimum) gets you in the door and a small dish, typically chicken or fish. Parking: Nearby street parking is easy.

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JERSEY CITY SCENE

FM

This two-year-old club presents an array of music five nights a week from not-sohard rock to jazz and even a collection of burlesque acts. Monday is open-mic night. On a recent Wine It Down Wednesday ($5 a glass for wine, $7 for a beer and a shot), Cirque du So Weird (“Sexy, Weird, and Naughty Burlesque”) caterwauled from the stage while Aneya Marie (a “singing mime”) entertained bar-stoolers with balloon sculptures of body parts and pulled rubber strings through her nose. At FM, you just never know. 340 Third St. 201-222-2870; fmjerseycity.co. Cover charge: none to $12. Kitchen: open until midnight Monday to Thursday (1 am Saturday and Sunday). Limited menu includes sandwiches, burgers, and six iterations of chicken wings. Parking: Same as White Hall, a block away.

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FACULTY NEWS

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FACULTY NEWS

Zandile Nkabinde, Ph.D. (right)

A VISIT TO KENYA During the 2019 winter break, Associate Professor of Special Education Zandile Nkabinde, a 2016 Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program alumnus, traveled to Kenya to meet with her former students at the University of Kabianga and to visit a residential school for the mentally impaired in eastern Kenya. Nkabinde also met with Elijah Omwenga, the deputy vice-chancellor in charge of academics and student affairs. While working with the University of Kabianga in 2016, Nkabinde was invited by a lecturer, Peter Muindu, to visit his village of Nuu, where she was introduced to the residential school. This visit was the highlight of her stay in Kenya. At the school, some students asked her what she had brought them. Although she came empty-handed, she promised to come back. When she returned to NJCU, she started collecting t-shirts and other items for the school. Nkabinde received many donations, including more than 100 BAAFSO t-shirts from William Guzman at the Hagan Africana Studies Center. Jennifer Jones, the director for academic career planning and placement, also contributed t-shirts for the good cause. Friends and family contributed items that Nkabinde delivered to the school. In response, the school named its playground after her, which Nkabinde considered a humbling honor. When seeing the joy in the children’s eyes, she realized how impactful the Carnegie Fellowship was to her in granting her the opportunity of putting service at the center of education. SUM M E R 20 19 | 4 3


ALUMNI PROFILES

GLOBAL CITIZEN For Edwin Quito, the United Nations Workshop opened up a world of opportunity. by NATASHA RODRIGUEZ

Edwin Quito enrolled at New Jersey City University as a criminal justice major, but as a sophomore he took part in the United Nations Workshop, an experience that sparked his passion for political science. It also changed his life. Quito became fascinated with the United Nations — he was later elected president of the University’s model UN club — and promptly switched his major to political science. Through a subsequent internship at the Dominican Republic mission, he regularly visited UN headquarters in New York City to take part in international forums and conferences. Upon graduating, Quito earned a master’s degree in global affairs from NYU, then moved back to his native Ecuador, where he helped local business owners, farmers, and indigenous communities present their products to supermarket chains. “I wanted to give back to my country what I had learned in the states,” he explains. 44 | N E W J ER S EY C I T Y U N I V ERS I T Y M AG A ZI NE

Last year Quito returned to New Jersey when he was appointed vice consul at the Ecuadorian Consulate General in Newark. There he assists the local Ecuadorian community, often helping immigrants facing legal and immigration issues. He also prepares workshops on issues such as healthcare, entrepreneurship, and female empowerment. NJCU introduced Quito to a wealth of opportunities in international affairs. But he already has his eyes set on returning to Ecuador and running for a seat in the country’s National Assembly. “It’s time for the youth to take power,” he says, “and contribute to our community with new and fresh ideas that modern society requires.”


ALUMNI PROFILES

A LIFETIME OF SERVICE The American Academy of Nursing honors alumna Irene Trowell-Harris. Irene Trowell-Harris ’71, the daughter of a South Carolina cotton farmer, added yet another honor to her illustrious life story last year when the American Academy of Nursing selected her for its 2018 class of Academy fellows. Trowell-Harris, who served 38 years in the United States Air Force and Air National Guard, retiring as a Major General, was one of 195 nursing leaders honored last November at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. She joins a cohort of 2,500 of nursing’s most accomplished practitioners in education, management, practice, policy, and research. For Trowell-Harris, the Academy induction is the latest honor to be bestowed in a lifetime of groundbreaking public service. She was the first female African-American woman in the history of the National Guard to be promoted to general officer and the first to have a chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen Inc. named in her honor. She was also the first Air National Guard nurse to command a medical clinic.

Irene Trowell-Harris ’71

Before enrolling at New Jersey City University (then called Jersey City State College), Trowell-Harris earned a nursing diploma from the Columbia Hospital School of Nursing. After graduating from NJCU, she earned a master’s degree in public health from Yale University and a doctorate in health education from Columbia University. She has been inducted into the Columbia Nursing Hall of Fame and the Yale School of Medicine Honor Roll. In 2013 NJCU granted her an honorary doctorate degree. A month after retiring from the Air National Guard in 2001, Trowell-Harris was appointed by the White House to be director of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Center for Women Veterans. As the author of two inspirational memoirs, she has written about working in her father’s cotton fields as a girl and, seeing an airplane overhead, dreaming of a better life: “Blinking the sweat from my eyes, I watched it twinkle — the metal of the airplane’s fuselage and wings — until it climbed higher and was out of sight. That moment changed me, changed the course of my life, forever. I began to wonder about the world far from where I was — the cotton fields — and made a plan to see that world.”

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ALUMNI PROFILES

A SOUND INVESTMENT Jake Buck’s bold move from the American heartland to Jersey City led to his dream job on Wall Street. by DIANE HERBST

Growing up in Iowa, the closest Jake Buck ’18 thought he’d get to Wall Street were the financial books he devoured since discovering a passion for the stock market during an eighthgrade investing project. Buck took that passion with him to the University of Northern Iowa. “But living in Iowa,” he says, “I wouldn’t get the opportunity that I truly wanted.” Then Buck discovered a student exchange program and the chance to study at NJCU’s new business school campus — just a five-minute train ride from Manhattan’s financial markets. At NJCU he met Bernard McSherry, the founding dean of the business school and a former governor of the New York Stock Exchange. “I was starstruck,” Buck says. In 2016, his junior year, Buck transferred to NJCU, enrolling as a finance major. “Jake saw the many opportunities that we have for students and took full advantage of them,” McSherry says. “He embraced the opportunity to interact with business professionals, with faculty, and he really was able to integrate all of that to really advance his career.”

Jake Buck ’18

As a senior, Buck snagged an internship with Merrill Lynch, and after graduating he joined the company full time, working in the financial advisor development program at company headquarters in Lower Manhattan. Looking back, Buck traces his current position directly to the individual attention he received at NJCU. “There are these professors who could be doing a million other things, but they are there because they care,” Buck says. “That’s what’s amazing about the university.”

“There are these professors who could be doing a million other things, but they are there because they care.”

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ALUMNI PROFILES

COMMUNITY ORGANIZER A statewide development association honors Lauren Lopena Judd. MBA candidate Lauren Lopena Judd ’17 recently became the first NJCU student ever awarded the Community Scholar Award from the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey. The network is a statewide association of more than 250 nonprofit housing and community development corporations, individuals, and professional organizations working to create housing and economic opportunities for low- and moderateincome residents. Lopena Judd was one of just 15 award winners chosen from a pool of students from Florida to New England.

Lauren Lopena Judd ’17

She has provided research for the Garden State Episcopal Community Development Corporation’s “I Love Greenville” partnership in Jersey City. The partnership is a neighborhood association that works to bolster

Since September 2017, Lopena Judd has also worked as a graduate assistant researcher in the office of Provost Daniel J. Julius as well as the NJCU Office of Institutional Development. She and the other Community Scholar

neighborhoods through community involvement.

Award winners were honored last summer during a celebration at Forsgate Country Club in Monroe, New Jersey. Having received her bachelor’s degree in public health in 2017, she is now an MBA candidate at the NJCU School of Business, specializing in organizational management and leadership.

A MENTOR’S TOUCH As a high school senior, Eddy Veliz learned firsthand about the influence of the NJCU alumni network. by CHRISTOPHER HANN

Eddy Veliz ’22 had no real plans for what he might do with himself after graduating from Plainfield High School last June. He hadn’t applied for college, hadn’t taken the SAT, and had no particular prospects for a career. Fortunately, however, he had Johanna Amaro on his side. Amaro ’12, ’17, teaches English as a Second Language at Plainfield High, and she knew Veliz was one of the top students in her class. When she learned that he hadn’t given his posthigh school future much thought, she

encouraged him to accompany her to NJCU’s Instant Decision Day. He did, and, buoyed by the experience, he soon took the SAT for the first time, took the University’s placement test, and auditioned for the music program, singing and playing guitar. Those efforts were rewarded when Amaro was admitted — with a scholarship offer, to boot.

Amaro had good reason to believe NJCU would be a good fit for Veliz. She earned a master’s degree in Urban Education, and in 2017 she was a member of the first class to earn a doctorate degree in the University’s Education Technology Leadership program. She’s also the founder of a nonprofit organization aimed at uplifting at-risk youth.

“This has been overwhelming because one minute, I wasn’t going to college and the next minute, I am filling out applications,” Veliz told tapinto.net.

“I am really grateful for the scholarship I received,” Veliz said, “and really happy to have a teacher like Dr. Amaro, who motivated me to go to the University.” SUMM E R 20 19 | 47


CLASS NOTES

1950s

MEL POWELL ’57

a professor emeritus of Public Policy and Administration at California State University, Long Beach, retired as executive director of the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center after 21 years. That position followed 20 years as professor and dean of the Graduate Center for Public Policy and Administration at Cal State–Long Beach. After earning his degree in Education at NJCU, Powell receied a master’s in Governmental Administration from George Washington University in 1963, a law degree from the University of Baltimore in 1966, and a Ph.D. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland in 1968.

Leonard Lehrman. The anniversary concert also recognized retired NJCU music professors David Dworkin and James Ebersole, who conducted the University orchestra and concert band, respectively. Rufino is an adjunct professor of music at The College of St. Elizabeth in Convent Station, N.J.

GARRICK J. STOLDT ’79 the CFO of Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, was named by NJBiz as a finalist for Chief Financial Officer of the Year in the category of Healthcare. Stoldt was also Knighted into The Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem at an investiture mass at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.

1970s

VINCENT J. RUFINO, ’70 ’72

performed a recital last summer at Southwick Recital Hall at the University of Vermont. The concert commemorated the 60th anniversary of the UVM summer music program. Rufino taught music theory and music history and coached woodwind ensembles at the summer session. He performed Brahms’ Trio for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano, as well as the Trio # 2 for the same forces by 48 | N E W J ER S EY C I T Y U NI V ERS I T Y M AG A ZI NE

1990s

PATRICK R. CULLEN, JR. ’90

the town historian in West New York, N.J., recently published his first book, 1780 Battle of the Block House of North Bergen, New Jersey . Cullen’s 119-page book reveals the exact location of this Revolutionary War battle, adds to the previously published names of the Loyalists involved, and publishes for the first time an exhaustive listing (via 1780 Muster Rolls and other sources) of more than 1,000 names of soldiers under the Command of Brigadier General Anthony Wayne, who fought on the side of the Americans. Cullen, a history major at NJCU, operates the West New York Museum on the second floor of the West New York Public Library.

DO YOU HAVE NEWS TO SHARE? You may submit a Class Note to NJCU Magazine by contacting the Office of Alumni Relations at alumni@njcu.edu or by calling (201) 200-3568. • Please include your name and class year(s). • Press releases are accepted, but may be edited for space. • You may submit a photo to be published with your class note. • For birth announcements, please include the parents’ names, child’s name, and date of birth. • For wedding announcements, please include the names of both individuals and the wedding date.


CLASS NOTES

The

MAKING OF A

Fulbright by IRMA MAINI, Ph.D.

Three students from NJCU received Fulbright scholarships for the 2015-16 academic year, making the University one of just two New Jersey public institutions of higher learning to be recognized as a top producer of Fulbright students. Two years later, five more NJCU students received the prestigious awards. The U.S. State Department’s flagship international education program, Fulbright scholarships offer opportunities for students, teachers, scholars, and professionals — chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential — to study, teach, lecture, and conduct research in more than 155 countries. Campus Outreach and Recruiting But since many students may know little about the Fulbright program, the first important step is to spread the word about the program through informational workshops and presentations at student orientations, academic and social events, study abroad/international fairs, and in the classrooms. 5 0 | N E W J ER S EY C I T Y U N I V ERS I T Y M AG A ZI NE

Advisement In one-on-one initial meetings, students are informed about the different types of grants, advised to pursue the grant most suitable for them, and helped in choosing the host country based on the right fit between the country requirements and the student’s qualifications. Application Process A lot of attention is given to the different components of the application. In particular, the grant proposals and personal statements are thoroughly discussed and each student writes multiple drafts of these statements. In addition, the students are guided through the online application, helped in securing references, prepared for an on-campus interview, and advised about the Foreign Language evaluation if needed by the host country. Irma Maini, Ph.D., an NJCU professor of English, is the university’s Fulbright Program advisor. For more information on the Fulbright program, contact her at imaini@njcu.edu.


ADVANCING KNOWLEDGE, TRANSFORMING LIVES by CHRISTOPHER HANN

T

he University held a donor appreciation dinner in November to celebrate the close of its first fundraising campaign — aptly titled Advancing Knowledge, Transforming Lives — and the tremendous accomplishments the campaign has enabled. Without the generosity of alumni and friends, and without your belief in our mission of educational excellence and access for all, we could not have achieved such stellar results. NJCU would like to thank all those who contributed to the University and to the campaign, which began in 2013 and raised more than $60 million. Some 3,100 donors contributed to the campaign, an outpouring of support that helped to fund 100 new scholarships totaling $8.7 million.

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The campaign focused on four areas of priority — student success, the School of Business, Health Sciences, and the arts — and it helped make possible the recent campus construction boom that featured the creation of a 70,000-squarefoot, state-of-the-art School of Business in the heart of Jersey City’s financial district. (Nearly half of the new programs created since 2013 have been in the School of Business.) This flagship school, just a five-minute train ride to Wall Street, has provided the University community with a tremendous resource from which to launch such programs as the customized MBA, based on a set of courses offered in conjunction with Harvard Business School. The campaign has enabled the University to grow and diversify across the disciplines — and across

THE UNIVERSITY’S INAUGURAL FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN IS ALREADY PAYING DIVIDENDS.


SUMM E R 20 19 | 53


the globe. Since its start, the University has hired 115 faculty members and added 31 new programs, including majors, minors, certificates, and program options. Over the same period, 79 students have studied abroad, an average increase of five students per year from before the campaign. Meanwhile, the University’s Debt-Free Promise Program, begun in 2016 and designed to make college education accessible and affordable for New Jersey residents pursuing their first undergraduate degree as full-time, firstyear students, has provided $1.5 million to 370 students. During the campaign the University also created an Honors Program that provides qualified students with full-tuition scholarships and volunteer opportunities with local community

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service programs. During the course of the campaign, the Honors Program expanded dramatically—from 23 students to nearly 180 students. Among the class of 2022, which just completed its first year at NJCU, 49 students took part in the Honors Program. The University also opened a new residence hall at University Place, providing much-needed space for our students to live on campus and take fuller advantage of round-the-clock on-campus offerings.. The new dorm functions as a community of learners, with spaces for studying, socializing, a fitness center, and more. It has changed the lives of so many of our students, including our international students, who come from as far away as China and Brazil. In addition, donors’ gifts enabled NJCU to renovate and expand the Science Building. This stunning space

SUM M E R 20 19 | 55


BY THE NUMBERS $60 million+

3,100

100

$8.7 million

70,000

BY THE ADVANCING

CAMPAIGN

SCHOLARSHIPS

NEW SCHOLARSHIP

OF THE NEW STATE-

KNOWLEDGE,

DONORS

FUNDED BY THE

FUNDS RAISED

OF-THE-ART SCHOOL

AMOUNT RAISED

NUMBER OF

TRANSFORMING LIVES CAMPAIGN

5 6 | N E W J ER S EY C I T Y U N I V ERS I T Y M AG A ZI NE

NUMBER OF NEW

CAMPAIGN

TOTAL AMOUNT OF

SQUARE FOOTAGE

OF BUSINESS


115

$1.5 million

370

2021

HIRED SINCE THE

BY THE DEBT-FREE

WHO HAVE BENEFITTED

SCHOOL IS SLATED TO

CAMPAIGN’S START

PROMISE CAMPAIGN

FROM THE DEBT-FREE

RELOCATE TO THE NJCU

SINCE ITS INCEPTION

PROMISE CAMPAIGN

PERFORMING ARTS

NUMBER OF FACULTY

AMOUNT PROVIDED

IN 2016

NUMBER OF STUDENTS

YEAR THE JOFFREY BALLET

CENTER

has been outfitted with the latest technology and lab equipment and spaces for faculty and student research. And the Nursing Simulation Labs, now under construction, will provide nursing students with the critical resources required to learn vital skills. Starting later this year the University will expand its presence in Monmouth County when it opens a campus location at Fort Monmouth, enabling us to further serve Monmouth, Ocean, and surrounding counties with a first-rate education that is both affordable and close to home. Finally, the University will break ground this year for a new Performing Arts Center, to be housed at University Place as part of a public, private partnership (P3) redevelopment initiative. The Performing Arts Center will become a cultural destination that will enhance both the NJCU and Jersey City communities. The project has also attracted the renowned Joffrey Ballet School, which has agreed to relocate to the Performing Arts Center from its longtime base in Manhattan. Under the partnership, NJCU will offer Joffrey students the opportunity to earn a bachelor of fine arts degree in conjunction with the certifications offered by the ballet and dance institution. The Joffrey is scheduled to relocate to the new West Side Avenue campus by 2021.

SUM M E R 20 19 | 57


STUDENT SUCCESS

SCIENCE STUDENTS PRESENT THEIR WORK AT RESEARCH CONFERENCE Twenty-five NJCU students attended the tenth annual Garden State-Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation research conference last October. That group included 17 students who presented their research posters based on their collaborations with faculty members in all the STEM fields — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Stephanie Ramirez ’18, who worked with Biology Professor Meriem Bendaoud and Robert Aslanian, chair of the Chemistry Department, was awarded an outstanding poster award. Her research was titled: “Strong antimicrobial activity displayed by newly synthesized hydroxamic acids and their derivatives.” The Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation is designed to increase the quality and number of students from under-represented minority groups who complete undergraduate degrees in the STEM fields. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the program aims to encourage more such students to enter STEM professions and pursue post-graduate studies. Across the country, the alliance for minority participation provides support services at many levels to help interested students succeed in STEM majors and careers and to provide networks with other alliance scholars. For more information: njcu.edu/lsamp

DOCTORAL PROGRAM ALUMNIPRESENT AT HOMELAND DEFENSE SUMMIT NJCU’s Department of Professional Security Studies was well represented at the 11th Annual Homeland Defense/Security Education Summit last October in Albany, New York. Anthony Abruzzese ’18, a graduate of the university’s doctoral program in Civil Security Leadership, Management & Policy and an administrator at Boston University’s School of Medicine, presented a paper titled: “Challenges of Assessing Community Disaster Resilience in a Pre-disaster Context.” Michael Barany ’14, ’16, the assistant coordinator of veterans services at Middlesex County College, presented his research assessing how the emergency response team in Woodbridge, New Jersey, furthered the community’s resilience. Barany earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from NJCU, where he is now a doctoral candidate and an adjunct professor. The work of both Abruzzese and Barany stems from the research agenda they pursued in their studies as part of NJCU’s doctoral program in Civil Security Leadership, Management & Policy. The program, launched in 2012, offers one of the nation’s first doctoral degrees in the field of security studies. Students in the program focus on national security, corporate security, and cyber security. The doctorate is a scholar-practitioner degree, with a strong research and analysis component that is ultimately demonstrated by a successful dissertation. For more information: njcu.edu/professional-securitystudies/dsc-civil-security

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STUDENT SUCCESS

ABSTRACTS OF THE PRESENTATIONS ARE BELOW: Anthony Abruzzese: Challenges of Assessing Community Disaster Resilience in a Pre-disaster Context Resilience has become the new buzzword. People use it all the time, without really knowing what resilience is. Most people believe that being resilient is simply recovering from what some would consider to be trivial setbacks. Others believe that they are resilient because they are simply prepared to face one expected challenge or another. Is this truly resilience? How do people know that they are or can be resilient in the face of a disaster without first experiencing the disaster? Are they resilient because they have been able to recover from one event? Or, are they resilient because of capabilities and capacities that exist inherently in their communities? In a doctoral study conducted over the summer of 2017, an existing survey was used to assess and compare the perceptions held by local emergency managers and members of the local

“Resilience has become the new buzzword.” chambers of commerce regarding the level of resilience in their communities. This presentation will examine the concept of resilience and some of the challenges encountered in attempting to measure the perceptions of community disaster resilience during this study: the challenge of estimating the level of community engagement, an apparent lack of confidence among one group; non-applicability of questions to the specific practices of the community; a misunderstanding of the influence of county government on EM; an assumption that all communities are equal and that resilience can be assessed in terms of all hazards planning.

Michael Barany: Assessing the Township of Woodbridge, New Jersey, Community Emergency Response Team in Furthering Community Resilience Natural and man-made disasters have increasingly strained the resources of emergency response personnel in local governments. Townships often turn to Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs), which are community-based teams comprised of trained volunteers managing and assisting emergency response teams in pre- and post- disaster/crisis events. In times of crisis, research shows that much of the American public believes that Federal, State, or Local emergency services will be available to assist those in need. In certain areas, however, community-based volunteer organizations such as CERTs are the first to respond to nature-made crisis events such as flooding, tornadoes, and hurricanes. CERTs may be a cost-effective measure for promoting community resilience and preparedness within a town, but questions remain regarding how the community views their effectiveness. CERTs are normally evaluated by surveying CERT coordinators along with local and state government and emergency management officials, which may fail to consider the perceptions of the citizens of a community. In utilizing the Conjoint Community Resiliency Assessment Measure (CCRAM) in CERT evaluation, towns can not only gauge community resilience, but potentially assess their citizens’ understanding and perceptions of the effectiveness of their local CERT. The CCRAM is a validated community resilience tool developed in Israel that measures the community’s perception of leadership, collective efficacy, preparedness, place attachment, and social trust. This study considers the impact of the CERT team on the residents of the Township of Woodbridge, New Jersey.

“In times of crisis, research shows that much of the American public believes that Federal, State, or Local emergency services will be available to assist those in need. In certain areas, however, community-based volunteer organizations such as CERTs are the first to respond to nature-made crisis events such as flooding, tornadoes, and hurricanes.” SUMM E R 20 19 | 59


FINAL EXAM

by MARC G. DALIO

Each issue of New Jersey City University Magazine will test your knowledge with a “final exam” from a faculty member. Readers who answer all questions correctly will be entered into a drawing to receive some NJCU swag. Please email your answers to magazine@njcu.edu.

Mark G. Dalio is an assistant professor of Voice and coordinator of Musical Theatre Studies at New Jersey City University. 1. When was Musical Theatre’s Golden Age? 2. Which awards, given annually by America’s Theatre Wing and the Broadway League, recognize excellence in Broadway theatre? 3. What is the fourth wall? 4. What is the job of the stage manager? 5. What is the difference between a “book musical” and a “revue”? 6. What type of theatre is the Margaret Williams Theatre at New Jersey City University? 7. Regarding question number 2, who has won the most of these awards? 8. What is an actor’s “objective”? 9. What is the longest-running show in Broadway history? 10. What is the highest-grossing musical in Broadway history? BONUS QUESTION hich NJCU graduate has produced such award-winning W shows as Off-Broadway’s The Fantasticks and is now owner of the successful Surflight Theatre in Beach Haven, New Jersey?

NOTE: Answers will appear in the online magazine once the contest is over. Contest ends July 31, 2019.

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FINAL EXAM

ABOUT THE NJCU MUSICAL THEATRE WORKSHOP New Jersey City University’s Musical Theatre Workshop consists of a thriving group of actors, singers, and dancers working their way toward careers on Broadway and beyond. Led by an award-winning faculty, musical theatre students engage in intensive study in music, voice, acting, movement, dance, and stagecraft. The program focuses on an understanding and appreciation for this art form and its requisite responsibilities: preparedness, commitment, and skill in performance. The Musical Theatre program presented two Main Stage musicals this academic year: Next to Normal, winner of both a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize, was produced last fall, and the hilarious (and family-friendly) Shrek in March. The program provides the necessary performance opportunities for our talented students, with a strong appreciation for the history of musical theatre, specifically as it relates to the ever-evolving approach to singing, dancing, production, and communicating with an audience. The University’s young actors will integrate these ideas, both old and new, as they work through the Music, Dance and Theatre programs on their way to graduation.

A scene from Side Show (top left) and Next to Normal (bottom right)


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