Page 1

FA L L 2017





ver to



not ant e









JIT has a long-established reputation as a leader in solar research. The university’s

optical telescope at Big Bear Solar Observatory and radio telescope array at Owens Valley, both in California, have greatly expanded our understanding

of solar events that periodically impact our home planet, events such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections that can disrupt terrestrial communications and power infrastructure in addition to other effects. Our cover story in this issue describes how NJIT researchers organized an international network of more than 1,300 ham radio operators who participated as “citizen-scientists” during the recent solar eclipse. Also this summer, the university’s new solar telescope was renamed to honor Phil Goode, the NJIT scientist who led the mission to build the world’s largest, highest-resolution solar telescope. Our second feature introduces the new dean of NJIT’s Albert Dorman Honors College, Louis I. Hamilton, who assumed this position on July 1, 2017. He shares his vision for advancing the Honors program, which continues to provide a uniquely rich and challenging educational experience to the highly motivated students who demonstrate excellence in their academic endeavors and engage in extraordinary learning and research activities. As identified in 2020 Vision: A Strategic Plan for NJIT, nationally and internationally recognized scholarly research is a core strategic priority at our university. Twenty new, talented and diverse faculty members were hired this year, bringing the total over the last five years to more than 110. Our third feature in this issue explores the innovative research of Associate Professor Alice Lee, who is developing colonies of cardiac cells, formed into chambers, that pump and contract like a human heart. Derived from stem cells, these primitive organs will help her achieve a research milestone—to observe in microscopic, real-time detail how the heart repairs itself after injury. Five years ago this fall, Superstorm Sandy took the lives of 34 New Jersey residents, destroyed more than 72,000 homes and businesses, and caused over $62 billion in damage. “In Conclusion” examines how members of the NJIT community responded to this natural disaster with immediate assistance and farsighted planning for the future. Our university has recently invested $300 million in facilities that are transforming NJIT’s campus. Project highlights include a massive renovation of the historic Central King Building, construction of a new Life Sciences and Engineering Center and a $100 million Wellness and Events Center (WEC) that will officially open this fall. You can read more about the WEC grand opening in the Winter 2018 issue of NJIT Magazine. I hope you enjoy this issue, and I welcome your feedback. n

FA L L 2 0 1 7


Denise Anderson

f e at u r e s

Christina Crovetto M.S. ‘03

Solar Eclipse Party 8

Associate Vice President Communications, Marketing and Branding Editor

A network of more than 1,300 ham radio operators around the world participated as “citizen-scientists” in a Solar Eclipse QSO Party organized by NJIT researchers.

Tanya Klein

Editorial Assistant

Shydale James

Contributing Editor

Dean L. Maskevich, Tracey L. Regan Contributing Writers

Babette Hoyle

New Leadership for Albert Dorman Honors College 12

Production Manager

Diane Cuddy Design


Kevin D. Belfield, Reggie J. Caudill, Atam P. Dhawan, Craig Gotsman, Louis Hamilton, Moshe Kam, Anthony Schuman, Michael K. Smullen

Louis Hamilton shares his vision for the Albert Dorman Honors College.


Editorial Advisory Board



NJIT Magazine is published by New Jersey Institute of Technology, Office of Strategic Communications. Its mission is to foster ties with alumni, university friends and corporate partners and to report on relevant issues, particularly those in education, science, research and technology. Please send letters of comment and requests to reproduce material from the magazine to:

Abstracts 2

NJIT news in brief



Joel S. Bloom President

Point By Point 5 Athletics update

Giving 6

Kenneth Alexo, Jr.

Vice President Development and Alumni Relations

NJIT development news

Michael K. Smullen

Alumni Circuit 20

Director of Alumni Relations _______________________________________

Class notes, calendar of events and more

On the web: _______________________________________


Cover photo caption: 60,832 10/17

NJIT researcher Alice Lee is developing cell-based therapies to observe in microscopic, real-time detail how the heart repairs itself after injury.

d epa rtm en t s

NJIT Magazine Office of Strategic Communications University Heights Newark, NJ 07102-1982

The Owens Valley Solar Array is the only solar-dedicated radio observatory in the U.S., supplying high spatial, temporal and spectral resolution microwave observations of the solar atmosphere. During the eclipse, NJIT physicists Dale Gary and Bin Chen recorded exceptionally high-resolution images of sunspots.

Heart Attack In A Petri Dish 16 

Leading-edge achievements by faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of NJIT

N J I T M A G A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 7



From left: Tomas Gregorio ’09, senior executive director, NJII; Assistant Health Commissioner Christopher Rinn; Donald Sebastian, president, NJII; Joel Bloom, president, NJIT; Robert C. Garrett, co-CEO, Hackensack Meridian Health; John K. Lloyd, co-CEO, Hackensack Meridian Health; Andrew Pecora, M.D., chief innovation officer and president of Physician Services at Hackensack Meridian Health; and Thomas Bartiromo, chief innovation officer, NJII.



ackensack Meridian Health and the New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII), a wholly owned not-for-profit subsidiary of New Jersey Institute of Technology, have launched the first incubator of its kind for health care advances in New Jersey. The Agile Strategies Lab is designed to help create and launch the next wave of problem-solving in health care through better devices, improved technology and more efficient services to provide a higher quality of care, lower costs and an enhanced patient experience. The concept is similar to the popular ABC reality show Shark Tank – 10 companies have already pitched ideas to a panel of experts. Innovations include a device to lower risk in common surgeries

and a wearable monitor to better track patients’ vitals. Four finalists will be selected to start the process to bring the products or innovations to market. “As a member of NJII’s Ideation Program for Healthcare, Hackensack Meridian Health intends to leverage the combined skills of entrepreneurs, major corporations, research scientists, students and NJIT faculty to solve our challenges with novel strategies and products,’’ said Robert C. Garrett co-CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health. “This isn’t theoretical, it’s happening.’’ Hackensack Meridian Health has committed $25 million, a new revenue stream to help companies develop trailblazing products and services. This seed

money will help launch ideas to the point where they can become viable and receive financing through venture capitalists. While many of the nation’s major academic medical centers have such incubators, this venture is truly unique because it brings together entrepreneurs and innovators from life sciences, engineering and technology – not just the clinical realm. This remarkable collaboration will provide solutions to health care challenges in every sphere, not just in creating more effective medicines or treatment. “The health care market is overdue for a new disruptive technology that makes a marked improvement in the way health care technology products and services are provided to consumers,’’ said Joel Bloom, Ph.D., president of NJIT. “It is our belief that this new state-of-the-art ideation center will help spark our next wave of innovation.’’ n




iem Ho ’17, with the guidance of Assistant Professor Michael Lee, transformed what was once a static Excel file of some 200 names and numbers into Map + Expand, a Google Map populated with LGBTQ-friendly health care providers based in New Jersey and nearby Philadelphia. Recent national surveys have found that 1 in 4 low- and middle-income LGBTQ patients lack health insurance. Of the patients surveyed, 19 percent say they were refused care because of their gender identity. What’s more, 28 percent of LGBTQ respondents say a provider verbally and/or sexually abused them, and 50 percent of patients say they had to teach their providers about LGBTQ care. “There are a lot of people who don’t have proper health care and who are very cynical about the health care industry,” says Ho, who graduated from NJIT with a bachelor’s degree in biology. “I think one of the big movements in health care Continued on page 3


N J I T M A G A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 7

n j i t .e du


is not only providing communication between the patient and the provider but also ensuring that people get the quality care they deserve and need.” Armed with a 2016 Provost Summer Research Fellowship award and data from Garden State Equality (New Jersey’s largest LGBT organization), Ho was able to create a working prototype that boasts cross-platform compatibility, allows users to search the website for providers and physicians by name and location. It also offers general information, like email and street addresses and points of contact. Soon, there will be a field that allows users to trigger a search according to specializations and specific services needed. “We’re trying to go through all the possible keywords, technical terms and lay terms people might use, such as transitioning, hormone therapy, physical exam,” says Lee, who specializes in computing education research and provided Ho and a high school intern working on the project with an understanding of how website architecture and app development work. “I told them the service needs to be as easy to use as possible; require the fewest numbers of clicks; everything should be easy to navigate. The whole thing is pretty much a map: where am I? Are there providers in my area? What services do they provide? Get the information and go.” What’s sure to be the website’s most important feature: a mechanism that will track people’s experiences, allow for feedback and publish crowd-sourced reviews — much like Yelp. “I use Yelp all the time,” says Ho. “I thought if we could implement a similar system for people looking for LGBTQfriendly health care providers — providers that know how to use proper pronouns, know how to treat people with respect — it would build more trusting relationships.” Adds Lee: “It will also serve as a safe space for people to be able to leave input as a community, add more providers and information about physicians, their specializations and the services they offer.” “This resource will help us to see which sections of the state are more inclusive than others, and we can act on that,” says Ho. “When you choose a place to live, you want to make sure that all the vital resources are there — and that includes proper health care.” n

n jit.e du


Continued from page 2

Public Safety Achieves NJSACOP Accreditation Status NJIT’s Public Safety Department has received accreditation from the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police (NJSACOP), whose mission is “to promote and enhance the highest ethical and professional standards in law enforcement at all levels throughout New Jersey.” NJSACOP presented the university with an accreditation certificate during the department’s annual swearing-in ceremony July 12 at Weston Hall. The recognition signals professional excellence in law enforcement and follows a 17-month-long process that required an extensive internal review of standard operating procedures and a comprehensive external assessment by NJSACOP. “NJSACOP accreditation will lead to greater accountability within our agency, reduced risk and liability exposure, stronger defense against civil lawsuits, increased community advocacy and more confidence in our agency’s ability to operate efficiently and respond to community needs,” said NJIT Police Chief Joseph Marswillo. “This milestone is undoubtedly the greatest accomplishment in our department’s history, and has driven positive and necessary change. Most importantly, it is a testament to the value of collaborative team efforts.” This assessment considered comments from the NJIT and Newark communities about the NJIT Public Safety Department, and involved a campus visit to examine

From left: Andrew Christ ’94,’01, vice president for real estate development and capital operations at NJIT; Joel S. Bloom, president of NJIT; Chief Joseph Marswillo; Lieutenant Michael Villani; and Accreditation Manager Harry S. Delgado.

the department’s policies and procedures, management, operations and support services. The assessment team included law enforcement practitioners from similar agencies throughout the Garden State. Among the new tools and procedures implemented at NJIT as a result of the accreditation process are a certified 9-1-1 public safety system staffed with professionally trained dispatchers and the adoption of body-worn cameras for every NJIT public safety officer. During the three-year accreditation period, the NJIT Public Safety Department must submit annual reports attesting to its continued compliance with 105 NJSACOP “best practice” standards. “Accreditation from the NJSACOP verifies that the NJIT Public Safety Department meets ‘best practice’ standards in law enforcement,” added Andrew P. Christ, vice president for real estate development and capital operations at NJIT. “The university is fortunate to have Chief Marswillo and the entire NJIT Public Safety Department keeping our campus safe, and we congratulate them on receiving this highly prized acknowledgement.” n N J I T M A G A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 7


A B S T R A C T S Martin Tuchman’s plan to help rebuild the nation’s infrastructure was featured on the Jumbotron in New York City’s Times Square.

Alumnus Offers Plan to Help Rebuild Nation’s Infrastructure


sk any regular traveler of America’s roads, bridges, tunnels and highways — our nation’s aging infrastructure is in dire need of repair and becoming worse. An inventive solution to the problem of funding infrastructure improvements that centers on repatriating the money U.S. corporations earn overseas has recently been offered by Martin Tuchman ’62, a philanthropist and one of America’s most successful entrepreneurs. “There is between $2 and $3 trillion sitting overseas in corporate profits,” explains Tuchman, who serves as an adviser to U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York on repatriation and finance issues. “What we are attempting to do is to

bring that capital back into the States. The way to do that is to give them some tax incentive to be able to accomplish this.” By proposing a federal tax rate of 5 percent versus the higher 35 percent rate, a substantial amount of money can be brought back to the U.S. But, as Tuchman says, the government would require the companies to invest in the U.S. infrastructure in order to forgive the higher tax rate. “This will jump-start the economy in this country,” Tuchman said. “There will be good jobs — electricians, construction workers. There will be jobs that can’t be outsourced overseas.” Tuchman proposes that companies retain 70 percent of the cash to use in any way they wish, while 25 percent would be

used to purchase municipal bonds from participating states. The municipal bonds would be owned by the repatriating companies and remain on their balance sheets as assets. The companies would retain 95 percent of what they are repatriating. As a founder of Interpool, one of the nation’s leading container leasing corporations and founder also of Trac Lease, the largest chassis leasing company in the country, Tuchman has successfully repatriated several hundred millions of dollars back to the U.S. through the Jobs Creation Act of 2005, which he has successfully invested in the U.S. economy. Tuchman currently is chief executive officer of the Tuchman Group, an investment group with holdings in real estate, banking and international shipping. He also serves as chairman of the Tuchman Foundation, an umbrella company for the Parkinson’s Alliance that works closely with Parkinson’s research organizations that seek grants from the National Institute of Health. In March 2016, NJIT’s School of Management was named in honor of Tuchman. n




or Daniel A. Henderson ’11 HON, whose art explores the viral allure of technology and its unintended consequences, the relocation of three of his sculptures to the ground floor of NJIT’s New Jersey Innovation Institute represents a homecoming of sorts. “Fossil Fuel” (2009), “Yellowstone” (2009) and “Premo” (2011) are now situated in an expansive new venue that allows spectators to fully appreciate the scope and grandeur of his work. “It was really a very organic process where you and I can draw a plot for a garden but we really


don’t know where we are until it’s finished,” Henderson recalled. “Once we had this physical space completed and here in an innovation institute, President Bloom said, ‘I have an idea, I’d like to see what you think about this’ and generously offered that we think about putting sculpture in this space, and it just made sense conceptually. But now as we sit here amongst them, it really has an impact, even more than what we thought when we were talking about it. So that’s how things work sometimes – it’s an organic process and, in a way, it’s almost like the pieces chose themselves for this space.” Since 2007, Henderson, a member of the NJIT Board of Trustees and Albert Dorman Honors College Board of Visitors, Daniel A. Henderson ’11 HON and “Fossil Fuel.”

N J I T M A G A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 7

has been engaged in the ambitious pursuit of outsized public sculpture. An inventor who developed the wireless picturephone and holds 29 U.S. patents, Henderson believes that invention, like sculpture, is an artistic endeavor. Through his work, he shows how the permanence of iconic products — from Viewmasters to Princess phones — sculpted in stone represents the connection with the natural world and contrasts with the temporality of technology and the materials from which they are constructed. His second solo museum exhibition was on display at the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, N.J. In 2009, he donated his sculpture entitled “The Brick” (2008) to NJIT, where it is permanently installed in the main entry of Fenster Hall. In recognition of his exceptional achievements as an entrepreneur, inventor and sculptor, and as an esteemed friend of the university, NJIT conferred the degree of doctor of science, honoris causa, upon Henderson at the 2011 commencement ceremony. n n j i t .e du




The Latest News About NJIT Sports

Cody Kramer ’17 Named to ASUN Winners for Life Team

Cody Kramer ’17 was selected to the ASUN Conference spring 2017 semester Winners for Life team, which is comprised of one student-athlete from each of the eight institutions in the conference and honors those who display excellence on and off the playing surface. The Winners for Life team honors a campus citizen who is respected as one who shares and/or demonstrates the ASUN Core Values: Education, Honesty, Student-Athlete Experience, Fairness, Health, Ambition, Respect, Diversity, Inclusion, Leadership, Responsibility and Sportsmanship. To be eligible for the award, the studentathlete must have competed in the current academic year in an ASUN-sponsored sport and be in good academic standing at his/her university. Kramer, who headed the 2017 ASUN Conference All-Academic team, earning ASUN Baseball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, was one of two athletes holding a 4.0 GPA on the ASUN Academic Team. He graduated with summa cum laude honors in May with a biology degree and a minor in history. The two-time ASUN all-academic honoree was named to the NJIT dean’s list every semester throughout his four-year career. n


NJIT men’s volleyball outside hitter Jabarry Goodridge ’17 was awarded an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. Goodridge, who received his B.S. in business in May, began his MBA studies this fall at Western New Mexico University. To qualify for an NCAA postgraduate scholarship, a student-athlete must be nominated by his or her athletic department, have an overall grade-point average of 3.2 (on a 4.0 scale) or its equivalent, and must have performed with distinction as a member of the varsity team in the sport in which he or she was nominated. Goodridge concluded his four-year career at NJIT, earning his second American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-America recognition, as he earned secondteam honors and became the Highlanders’ first Division I-II honorable mention as a junior (2016). A two-time EIVA Player of the Year (co-Player in 2016) and first-team honoree, Goodridge ranks second in the nation (as of April 25) in kills per set (4.43) and points per set (5.15) while sitting in the top five in attacks per set (9.08). The 6-foot-4 outside hitter led the EIVA in kills per set, overall kills (408) and service aces (0.50) while ranking third in hitting percentage (.329). n

n jit.e du

Women’s Volleyball Team Cited for National Academic Award The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) recognized the NJIT women’s volleyball team for the AVCA’s annual team academic award covering the 2016-17 academic year. The Highlanders earned their fourth straight team academic award, maintaining a minimum 3.30 grade-point average for the academic year. The NJIT women were one of 145 NCAA Division I programs recognized to receive the accolade for the 2016-17 season. n

N J I T M A G A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 7




Diana Hoenig ’85


llison Manzo, a Ying Wu College of Computing (YWCC) and Albert Dorman Honors College student, didn’t know what her professional passion was after graduating from North Arlington High School. She eventually discovered her interest in the intersection of psychology and technology and transferred to NJIT from Bergen Community College, attracted by YWCC’s human-computer interaction program. Manzo has since flourished and her hard work has been noticed. She, along with fellow YWCC student Emma Ramos, was named a lead recipient of scholarship funding that will help pave a smoother path toward earning a college degree. It’s all thanks to the late Diana Hoenig ’85 M.S., an NJIT “woman pioneer” in computer science who included the university in her will with an endowed scholarship for deserving students of YWCC. The Diana Hoenig ’85 Endowed Scholarship provides assistance to fulltime, academically talented undergrads that maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA and demonstrate financial need. The YWCC dean selects the recipients. “I am extremely grateful for this scholarship gift, because it will immensely help my parents and me afford my college tuition,” remarked Manzo, who also is 6

N J I T M A G A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 7

majoring in science, technology and society and will graduate May 2018. “My family has consistently supported me throughout my educational endeavors and this will lift a huge burden off their shoulders.” “Diana always spoke very highly of NJIT and wanted to leave most of her savings to the university to prompt women to apply for scholarships in the math and engineering fields,” said Bonnie Claypoole, co-executor of Hoenig’s estate. Hoenig grew up on a small farm in western Pennsylvania, was an undergrad in mathematics, and began her career as an urban high school teacher near Newark. When she set her sights on career advancement, she decided to pursue a master’s degree in computer science and chose to study at NJIT, taking classes at night while teaching during the day. After receiving her degree, she accepted a position at AT&T/Bell Labs in Whippany, New Jersey, where she developed software for such early wireless technologies as analog and time division multiple access. She so excelled in her field that she was promoted to technical manager of a software development group focused on code division multiple access wireless technology. A staunch advocate of women in math and engineering, she played an integral role in establishing the company’s Take Our Daughters to Work Day program. The gift establishing the Hoenig Scholarship adds to NJIT’s record-setting NEXT Campaign, which has generated more than $186 million in gifts and grants

and is likely to surpass its $200 million goal this year. Of the total amount raised, more than $37 million has been given to create scholarships for NJIT students. “The Diana Hoenig ’85 Endowed Scholarship will continue ad infinitum for deserving students,” noted Monique Moore Pryor, Esq., assistant vice president of planned giving at NJIT. “It will help relieve the burden of taking out and paying back loans, and instead allow students to focus on their education.” “Our hope for this gift is to empower many women through education,” added Ken Gilliland, co-executor of Hoenig’s estate. “Before Diana’s passing, we discussed this gift and what it would mean for applicants. She would be so proud that she is offering hope to young women in STEM fields.” Ramos, an information technology major with two more years of undergraduate study, is one of those young women. She came to NJIT based on the renown of its computing programs and proximity to her home in Piscataway. She looks to advance in the computing field, a goal made all the more reachable with her Hoenig scholarship. “I know that I will eventually reach my dream career,” Ramos said. “This scholarship continues to give me the motivation to work to the best of my abilities, knowing that someone out there believes in me and supports the same values I do.” n Julie Jacobs is a staff writer/editor in the Office of Strategic Communications at NJIT. n j i t .e du



e all know that it takes a village to raise a child, but what does it take to produce a stellar yearbook — one that will serve as an exemplar for future classes? For the members of the class of ’67 yearbook committee, a shared vision to encourage participation in their 50th reunion and yearbook commemorating the occasion resulted in 26 undergraduate attendees at the event and a total 75 biographies of their classmates. The class has pledged and donated a

total $320,000 that will help future alumni achieve their own stories of success. To learn more, visit or contact Monique Moore-Pryor, J.D., assistant vice president of planned giving, at 973-596-8548 or

s lar eclipse



N J I T M A G A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 7

n j i t.e du


like the onset of a thunderstorm. By the time of the full eclipse, it had become almost twilight,” he

recounted. “We took off our glasses and stared at the Sun, which appeared as a black disk, ringed with bright, flame-shaped light. We were looking at the star’s corona with the naked eye.”

But Frissell, an assistant research professor of physics at NJIT’s Center for Solar-Terrestrial Research,

had not traveled to Kentucky merely to stargaze. Stationed directly along the eclipse’s “path of totality” in a cabin he’d rented a year in advance and rigged that day with radio equipment, he’d chosen the site as ground zero for one of the largest ionospheric experiments in the history of space science.

He spent the day making contact via a 102-ft. wire antenna with a network of ham radio operators

he’d assembled in every region of the world to test the strength and reach of their high-frequency

signals as one measure of the eclipse’s impact on Earth’s upper atmosphere. “We planned to use our

transmissions to identify how much of the ionosphere would be affected by the eclipse and how long those effects would last, among other phenomena,” he said. n jit .e du

N J I T M A G A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 7


Since the eclipse, Nathaniel Frissell and his team of undergraduate researchers on campus have been compiling data submitted by more than 700 ham operators participating in their experiment that day, as well as from other networks. By recording radio signals, they can measure how different wavelengths behaved at various times following the path of totality. A chart to the left shows the paths of signals sent; graphs to the right show dips in signal propagation at higher frequencies and upticks at lower bands.

CITIZEN-SCIENTISTS UNITE! More than 1,300 operators registered to take part in his Solar Eclipse QSO Party that day as “citizen-scientists” by recording the time, frequency and locations of their contacts with one another during the event. Ham radio operators are able to communicate with each other across thousands of miles, despite the Earth’s curvature, by using high-frequency radio waves that bounce off the ionosphere – the electrified region of Earth’s upper atmosphere formed when ultraviolet light from the Sun dislodges electrons from neutral particles such as oxygen and helium – and are refracted back down on the other side of the globe. The composition of the ionosphere at different levels affects their ability to transmit. By blocking the Sun’s radiation, the shadow of the eclipse should have caused a decrease in ionospheric electron density, strongest in the region of totality, Frissell surmised. Within that zone, conditions would be most similar to night, thereby enhancing the strength and reach of lower band signals, while degrading the propagation of higher bands. “Low-frequency ham radio signals (1.8-14 MHz) are more susceptible to absorption by the lower regions of the ionosphere than higher frequencies (14-30 MHz). These bands are therefore enhanced when solar radiation – and low-altitude electron production – is reduced. Higher frequencies, on the other hand, require a denser ionosphere for signals to be refracted back to Earth. At those higher bands, we expected the decrease in ionospheric density caused by the eclipse shadow to allow more signals to escape into space,” he explained. “A station in Texas may not normally be 10

N J I T M A G A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 7

able to talk to one in North Dakota on a particular frequency at a certain time of day. We wondered if the eclipse would change the ionospheric state and possibly create communication paths that do not normally exist,” he added. “If you suddenly alter the ionosphere as happens during an eclipse, by reducing the number of ions or changing the temperature, for example, does it create waves or instabilities? How far can these effects be detected?” Since the eclipse, Frissell and his team of undergraduate ham radio researchers on campus have been compiling the data submitted by more than 700 hams participating that day. They’re organizing it into six bands of radio frequency, from 1.8 to 28 MHz, and measuring how these different wavelengths behaved at various times following the path of totality. To augment their data set, they’re including results from three other international ham radio observation networks as well.

THE ULTIMATE SUNSCREEN “So far, we’re seeing what we expected – a dip in signal propagation at the higher frequencies and an uptick at the lower bands,” he says, adding, “For instance, the day started off with a lot of activity on the 14 MHz band, but there seemed to be a dropoff there as we got closer to the eclipse.” Frissell, a sophisticated practitioner of ham radio who is intent on elevating the technology’s role in space science research, had been preparing for this rare event for more than two years. While a Ph.D. student at Virginia Tech, he founded the Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI), an organization that connects professional researchers such as space physicists and astronomers with the amateur radio community. By merging their data,

FOLLOWING IN THE MOON’S SLIPSTREAM While much of the research around the eclipse focused on the effects of the Sun’s brief, daytime disappearance on Earth and its atmosphere, a group of solar physicists leveraged the rare event to capture a better glimpse of the star itself. NJIT physicists Dale Gary and Bin Chen and collaborators observed sunspots – the visible concentrations of magnetic fields on the Sun’s surface – at microwave radio wavelengths from NJIT’s Expanded Owens Valley Solar Array (EOVSA) near Big Pine, Calif. and from the Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope near Socorro, N.M, which is operated by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. “Radio waves from the solar corona have long wavelengths, and as resolution is proportional to wavelength, our images ordinarily have rather low spatial resolution. But we can capture sharper images as we move in the direction of the Moon’s motion as it blocks different parts of the Sun at different times,” explains Gary, a distinguished professor of physics at NJIT’s Center for Solar-Terrestrial Research (CSTR), adding, “Radio waves are sensitive to the otherwise invisible corona of the Sun, especially its magnetic field, so we’re using the eclipse to make high-resolution images of the corona above active regions.”

the different groups will be able to construct a comprehensive picture of atmospheric effects caused by space weather events ranging from the eclipse to more frequent phenomena, such as solar flares. In 2014, he first demonstrated the use of ham radio data by showing the effects of an X-class solar flare on high-frequency communications. “What’s exciting from a researcher’s perspective is that people have access to tools such as digital radios and computers that are connected in ways they weren’t in the past, allowing us to make observations n j i t.e du

and then collect and share them,” he notes. “For us, the eclipse presented an unusual opportunity to learn things we don’t know about the ionosphere and one of the few times we’ve been able to conduct a controlled experiment around a space weather event. Normally, we have no advanced knowledge over when, where, and how they happen.”

by amateur radio operators, who are often emergency communication first responders in their towns and cities around the world,” noted Louis Lanzerotti, distinguished research professor of physics at NJIT. “The project also, importantly, stimulated enhanced scientific understanding in the amateur radio community.”



His idea is taking off. Over the past year Frissell has been invited to speak at several scientific symposia around the country and in October will describe his research at the Space Weather Knowledge Exchange Workshop in Milton Keynes, England, sponsored by the U.K. Natural Environment Research Council, which seeks to promote ties between radio hobbyists and scientists. He will then share his data and analysis from the eclipse at the American Geophysical Union annual meeting in December. “Nathaniel’s citizen-science project during the eclipse provided unique data on the more global impacts on radio propagation across the wide range of frequencies used

Frissell has assembled a formidable team of undergraduate researchers on campus who built a website and developed analytical tools to gather and interpret their eclipse data, recorded observations during the event and, on occasion, even lecture like pros. Two days before the eclipse, Joshua Katz ’19, a computer science major and member of the NJIT K2MFF Amateur Radio Club, and Shaheda Shaik, a graduate student researcher at NJIT’s Center for Solar-Terrestrial Research, gave a night-time talk on the eclipse to a packed house at the United Astronomy Clubs of New Jersey (UACNJ) observatory at Jenny Jump State Forest. During the eclipse, Katz and Joshua Vega ’19, a computer science

HAM RADIO DAYS When Ken Brown ’71 was president of NJIT’s amateur radio club in the early days of human space exploration, one of the technology’s triumphs was the ability to listen in on the unfiltered conversations of Apollo Mission scientists en route to the moon. This past August, Brown reunited with the club for a new adventure, in which his 21st-century counterparts played scientists themselves in one of the largest ionospheric experiments in space history. At the solar observatory at Jenny Jump State Forest for the eclipse, Brown looked on as Joshua Vega ’19, a computer science major, attempted to contact hams around the country to assess the impact of the eclipse on the composition of Earth’s upper atmosphere. “Our roots are the same, but we’ve expanded into new technology, including digital and satellite communications,” noted

Peter Teklinski, the club’s adviser since 1986. “What hasn’t changed is that ham radio offers students the chance to learn – and even build – a new technology and then apply it, provide a service to the community and develop a lifelong hobby.” Formed in 1928, the club has a studentoperated radio station with an FCC license, allowing its members to take part in notable events over nearly a century. Since 1988, for example, the club has assisted emergency responders at the New York City Marathon. After the 9/11 attacks, humanitarian aid workers in Edison used NJIT’s 147.225 MHz repeater to communicate with mobile kitchens and showers in the old Brooklyn Navy Yard and near Ground Zero in Manhattan. Looking for recreational outlets his freshman year and hoping to become a DJ, Spencer Gunning ’20 stumbled on the radio club’s table at open house and asked if he could play music

n jit .e du

major, returned to the observatory to run that node of the Solar Eclipse Party under the state’s partial shadow cover. Of the event, Katz enthused, “We’ll be participating in an international datacollection effort, learning more about the space weather effects of the eclipse, exposing the general public to amateur radio and watching a beautiful once-in-a-lifetime solar event all on the same day. That’s more excitement than programmers and data analysts like me are usually allowed to have in a single sitting!” Spencer Gunning ’20, a computer engineering major and the ham radio team’s principal data cruncher and chart specialist, is immersed in hands-on research in the eclipse’s aftermath. A principal thrill, he says, is rubbing elbows with so many different scientists. “Since I was seven or eight, I’ve thought about becoming an astronomer. Now, as a sophomore in college, I’m getting to work with them. Pretty amazing.” n Tracey L. Regan is an NJIT Magazine contributing writer.

over the equipment. “That’s illegal!” was the reply. Intrigued, however, he decided to take a look at the radio room, “where I saw all the cool technology, learned I could have my own FCC license” and was hooked. Last November, Gunning and Joshua Katz ’19, were stationed in Central Park for the marathon, alerting medical technicians to runners in need of help. This fall, Gunning, Katz and Vega accompanied Nathaniel Frissell, assistant research professor of physics, to a digital communications conference in St. Louis to present their findings from the eclipse experiment Frissell orchestrated. “I’ve put together statistical charts that look like flight maps, showing how many people participated, how they communicated and how many contacts were made,” Gunning said, adding that what he did not predict when he signed up last year was “how many opportunities this has opened up for me.” n

N J I T M A G A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 7


New Leadership For

Albert Dorman Honors College L

ouis I. Hamilton became Dean of NJIT’s Albert Dorman Honors College on July 1, 2017. Dr. Hamilton joins NJIT from Drew

University, where he had served as director of the Baldwin Honors Program since 2013 and where he oversaw a complete review and revision of the curriculum, standardized seminars with an emphasis on research-based learning, and initiated an annual assessment of student outcomes. He also expanded the cultural experiences for honors students and developed student research grants for the program, which resulted in student publications in peerreviewed journals and student presentations at professional and undergraduate conferences.


N J I T M A G A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 7

n j i t.e du


t Drew, Dr. Hamilton also was Chair of the Department of Comparative Religion and was the founding director of the university’s peer-reviewed journal of undergraduate research,

The Drew Review. Additionally, he co-chaired the Digital Humanities Initiative and served as the first Director of its Digital Humanities Summer Institute, where undergraduates worked as faculty research assistants using various digital tools for urban, social, historical and language analysis. He is an active researcher as well, with a focus on the cultural history of medieval Italy and the Mediterranean, and has significant writing and editing credits on the topic. Dr. Hamilton is himself the product of an honors education and holds a B.A. in history from Villanova University, an M.A. in history from University of Virginia, an M.Phil. and Ph.D. in medieval history from Fordham

University and a licence in mediaeval studies from the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies in Toronto. He was also a Fulbright Scholar in Rome, Italy. Dr. Hamilton recently shared his thoughts about the Albert Dorman Honors College with Christina Crovetto, editor of NJIT Magazine.

Q. In your role as Dean, what are your immediate priorities? A. Th  e Honors College is strong and a top 10 public university honors college by one recent ranking. One of my key priorities is simply to understand the college over the next several months and engage in conversations with the president and provost, the other deans, with the faculty, with the staff here and the scholars themselves so that I can understand the college’s strengths and weaknesses. Part of that process is also collecting and analyzing as much data as I can by working with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness to understand how the college is working, how it’s meeting the needs of the university and where this can be strengthened because even as a top 10 college, it has to continue to change and improve — that’s just how it works. That’s my immediate priority.  Beyond that, another goal is to begin to focus on the curriculum we offer to the

njit .edu

scholars. We have been very successful in attracting top students from New Jersey and nationally to the college, and we’re most successful in those major areas where Honors has a clear curricular program to offer the students. As a result we’ve been most successful in the prehealth majors. That points to one of the great needs for the college: programs of distinction within every other college that appeal primarily to the honors applicant. That’s what we need to focus on to get to that next level and really reach full maturity. Q. What (or who) inspires you as a leader? A. M  y mother would always say to us, “Am I raising a leader, or am I raising a follower?” For her, that meant, “Do you have the character to make the right choices and stand alone, and do you have the capacity to help others make the right choices?” My mother was my school

of leadership. Beyond that, the kinds of leaders I admired growing up were Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day and Robert F. Kennedy. Those were the kinds of people whom we admired: people who stood up for what was right when it was incredibly challenging to do so. That’s the ethos I want for the Honors Scholars.  We have a leadership program at Albert Dorman Honors College and we hope to foster students who become leaders in their fields, which our alumni are, but we also want still more of our alumni to become leaders in society. How do you do that? How do you shape that character to ensure that all Dorman Honors alumni can become leaders in society? Leadership for me is about service. We want the scholars to cultivate the art of paying it forward, seeing themselves as leaders, as people who have been the beneficiaries of other people’s generosity and sacrifices, and as people who want to and will pay it forward to their community — their

N J I T M A G A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 7


community in the immediate sense of here in University Heights, in a larger sense in their academic field, and nationally. I am motivated to shape students that way; this has always motivated my pedagogy and it continues to motivate me in my role here as dean. Q. What distinguishes Albert Dorman Honors College from other honors colleges? A. W  hat distinguishes the college nationally, among the things that make it a top 10 honors college, is the robustness of our service requirement as well as the academic level of our scholars. On the new SAT scale, the incoming class will


N J I T M A G A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 7

have an average score of 1460. For a public institution, we’re essentially right up against the best private institutions in the country in terms of our students. The strong commitment to service (now 60 hours per year) is really a statement about the purpose of an honors college at a public university. We are committed to serving the citizens of Newark and New Jersey.  There was a great study that was published recently in The New York Times about the role an NJIT education has in transforming students’ A group of Albert Dorman Honors College students spent their spring break in remote regions of Nicaragua with Global Brigades, working to improve local health care efforts.

socioeconomic status. We certainly play that role for our students in the Dorman Honors College. We are a big part of NJIT’s transformative capacity and so that likewise distinguishes us nationally. We’re one piston in that engine of transformation. Q. How is Albert Dorman Honors College partnering with business and industry to the benefit of students? A. D  orman Honors is the home of the Center for Leadership and Professional Development. Within it, we have a program that Ms. Alicia Fegghi has initiated called Leaders for Hire, and

n j i t.e du


that’s working directly with local business people to give our students networking experience but also career advice and guidance. We’re also in the beginning stages of evaluating our volunteer requirements so that they can become service-learning opportunities, and we are exploring ways to collaborate more directly with the Enterprise Development Center and the New Jersey Innovation Institute. One of the primary ways in which we collaborate with the business community is through the people we bring onto campus for the colloquium series. The larger business community, regionally and nationally, wants to be in front of these scholars and our scholars want to be in front of the business community, so we create opportunities throughout the year for a variety of networking events. Q. What are your thoughts about strengthening relationships with alumni?  ur alumni are such an impressive group A. O and I have already had the opportunity to have conversations with some of our alumni who are themselves the founders of, or parts of highly successful international businesses (such as Avaap, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google). They have been very supportive of the college. We all want to deepen our future partnerships: our alumni want to create opportunities for their future fellow alumni. We’re going n jit .e du

Dean Louis Hamilton meets with members of the Student Senate.

to revive the Honors Alumni Association and maintain a robust alumni presence on the Board of Visitors to make the Honors Alumni Association a bigger part of the college going forward. At present they are an important part of the large business network that we reach out to, and they continue to reach out to us so that we bring them on campus for networking events, Leaders for Hire and for other professional development events as well. Q. What do you hope to achieve in the next five years? A. M  y goal is to have a distinctive honors curriculum fully implemented in five years. In the next year, we will be laying the foundation for those curricular changes and then we will begin to implement them. In five years, realistically, we would just be about to graduate our first class that would have

gone through this revised curriculum, they would be juniors in five years. This would build upon what others have accomplished before me – but adding distinct and distinguishing honors programs within all the colleges. I would like a curriculum that positions the Honors College as a good neighbor; first of all, within University Heights and then outwardly, graduating scholars who have a character as well as an intellectual capacity that makes them stand out as Dorman Scholars so that whether they end up in California or in Europe or in Asia or in New Jersey, people will recognize the distinguishing characteristics of a Dorman Scholar, which should be a commitment to service leadership and the highest academic qualifications. To imagine, in five years, graduating a class that has been shaped that way would be really exciting to me. n

N J I T M A G A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 7



T A A 16

N J I T M A G A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 7

n j i t.e du



h s i D i r t e P in a olonies eveloping c d is e e L e c ry, Ali pus laborato m a c r e h in es ntract like a o c n petri dish d n a p m at pu chambers, th to in d e rm ells, fo ill help her w s n a of cardiac c rg o e rimitiv ells, these p c m e st m o il . Derived fr al-time deta re , human heart ic p o sc in micro : to observe e n o st e il m search achieve a re after injury. lf se it s ir a p art re how the he


n jit .e du

N J I T M A G A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 7


Cardiomyocytes (heart cells that are beating) differentiated from embryonic stem cells. Tagged with green fluorescent protein, these cells only express the green color when stem cells turn into cardiomyocytes — a convenient way to identify and validate their presence.


he must first induce an “attack” by damaging the tiny proto-hearts with a frozen rod, thus mobilizing sequential, cellbased repair crews that clear the injury site of debris, and then in a second phase, recruit materials and tools from the neighboring tissue to mend the damage. “By developing diseased-tissue models, we’re hoping to gain insights that will allow us to improve diagnoses and therapies for cardiac diseases,” says Lee, an associate professor of biomedical engineering. “These are techniques that cannot be tested in patients.” Earlier this year, she received a fiveyear Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to advance understanding of the underlying mechanisms of heart tissue repair by cell-based therapy. NSF CAREER awards, described by the agency as among its most prestigious, are highly selective grants that support early-career researchers with “the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.” In awarding her the grant, the NSF acknowledged “major hurdles” to date in developing cell-based therapies – restoring damaged tissue by deploying transplanted stem cells to the injury site – that derive 18

N J I T M A G A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 7

in part from limited knowledge of the biological mechanisms of the transplanted cells. Existing models have focused almost exclusively on mimicking the healthy cardiac microenvironment with the goal of providing a living surgical replacement. In order to develop alternative therapies, the agency deems her model both novel and necessary. “What is unique about these experiments is the opportunity they provide to see how different cell types in the heart interact during the repair process in the immediate aftermath of a heart attack – the period that offers the best chance for successful celltherapy interventions,” Lee notes. “Better understanding of diseased tissue can help us to predict how stem cells used in cell-based therapy will integrate and function in the body.” Medical researchers have had little success with these therapies so far, because the injected cells drift away from the injury and fail in their task to rebuild tissue. “They don’t stick to the site, and eventually they die,” Lee says. Unlike most biological tissues, heart cells do not regenerate or proliferate. Following injury, the damaged tissue is not so much restored as slightly reconfigured. It becomes stiffer and less functional. Lee is focusing on the first two stages of repair: an initial phase of about seven days during which the body sends out

macrophages, inflammatory cells that clear the site by engulfing and consuming the destroyed tissue, followed by a weekslong proliferation phase, in which cardiac fibroblast cells, connective cells, become activated and migrate to the region of dead tissue to synthesize new extracellular matrix – the structural molecules that support heart cells – and remodel the tissue. “We’re trying to figure out what biological mechanisms will guide the stem cells used in therapy to the right place and foster their growth there,” Lee explains. She and Pamela Hitscherich, a Ph.D. student in her laboratory, are testing various scenarios in which the heart cells – cardiomyocytes – interact in different sequences with the inflammatory repair cells. A crucial element of this process is ensuring there are enough blood vessels to supply the tissue with the nutrients and energy it needs to grow. “In order to build what’s physiologically correct, we must incorporate vasculature, a functioning network of vessels to feed the new organ cells and permit their growth, and we are still searching for the best strategy to create this tissue,” she says. “It’s difficult to do outside of the body without proper blood flow and signals from other cells and tissues.” She is currently investigating the role of tissue-specific vascular cells and improving n j i t .e du


a device she created to host vessel-formation experiments. Lee says it has been difficult to fully understand the healing process because of the body’s complexity. “In the case of a heart attack, a series of events, including inflammation, proliferation and remodeling, occur at the damaged heart region,” she explains. “That’s why the in vitro model is critical. It’s a simplified setup that allows us to study different parameters independently and tease out the problem.” “We want to know, for example, what components in heart tissue prompt the stem cells to adhere and when is the best time to inject them,” she adds. “We can also develop newer therapeutic interventions to help these stem cells home in and ultimately restore the heart function.” n Tracey L. Regan is an NJIT Magazine contributing writer.

Top: Members of Alice Lee’s lab include Sydney Thai, Sahiti Seetamraju, Pamela Hitscherich, Alice (Eunjung) Lee, Andrea Alfonso and Soojin Kim. Bottom: Biomedical engineer Alice Lee (right) and Ph.D. student Pamela Hitscherich feeding stem cells they are developing into tiny proto-hearts.

n jit.e du

N J I T M A G A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 7




Q&A with KENNETH ALEXO, JR. Vice President Development & Alumni Relations

NJIT: Tell us a little bit about yourself. KA: Well, I am not exactly peripatetic: I live in Cranford, where I also grew up. I stayed in state for both my undergraduate and graduate degrees. And I’ve never had the slightest interest in pumping my own gas. I suppose I really took to heart that “New Jersey and You: Perfect Together” campaign from the mid-1980s. I’m also happily married, even though she works at the “other engineering school” in the state. I have three (usually wonderful) children: Nikolas, Jakob, and Kyra. And, when I’m not out meeting with alumni or cultivating gifts, I enjoy reading, running, watching — and playing — soccer and cooking. NJIT: How did you get into the fundraising field? KA: I backed into it, like most people who end up working in development and alumni relations. I was completing a Ph.D. in politics and political philosophy, serving as an adjunct professor, my first-born was turning five months old, and we were in a one-bedroom apartment. So my wife told me I needed to get a “real job.” Drew University was looking for a grants writer, I applied, and – to my surprise – I was offered the position. What I thought would be a one- or 20

N J I T M A G A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 7

two-year gig turned into a vocation. To my even greater surprise, I actually loved raising money for a university. NJIT: What do you love most about your chosen vocation? KA: I would have to say, making a college education a possibility for anyone willing to work hard for it. I am the first in my family to go to college, and am keenly aware of the many doors that my post-secondary education has opened for me. I also know that – in addition to the many sacrifices my parents made to send me to Rutgers and then to Princeton – I was supported by the philanthropy of others and that, without such support, those doors would have likely remained closed. Opening those doors for others is one of the chief reasons I love my job. NJIT: What did you find most attractive about the VP position at NJIT? KA: It would have to be NJIT’s longstanding commitment to providing students with the requisite knowledge, experience, and skills to flourish in – and to serve as leaders for – a world deeply and profoundly shaped by science and technology. Our nation needs more STEM-educated college graduates, as we all know, and NJIT is playing a critical

role in meeting that need. I am eager to help NJIT continue to extend its reach – an extension that will depend upon stronger and deeper relationships with our alumni, new strategic partnerships with a variety of businesses and organizations, and the securing of increasingly higher levels of philanthropic support. NJIT: What do you hope to accomplish in your first few months on the job? KA: My goal for the next few months is to meet with as many NJIT alumni as I possibly can and to hear about their NJIT experiences. In my second week on the job, I had the opportunity to travel to California with President Bloom and visit with alumni in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Los Angeles. There were several recurring themes we heard: “NJIT is the place that helped me realize my full potential.” “NJIT is where my path to a successful career began.” “NJIT is the reason I have been able to do X, Y and Z.” These are compelling narratives, and they serve as an important reminder – to me, to my staff, to the entire university community, and to those beyond our campus – that the gift of education NJIT offers is worthy of nothing less than our most vigorous advocacy and our strongest support. n j i t .e du


n jit .e du


N J I T M A G A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 7




MAL & FRIENDS NJIT Magazine invites new correspondents to join Mal Simon in sharing news about class members and alumni organizations. Professor emeritus of physical education and athletics, Mal was director of physical education and athletics, and men’s soccer coach, for 30 years. In 1993, he received the Cullimore Medal for his service to the university.

If you would like to be a regular correspondent, don’t hesitate to send an e-mail to the editor of NJIT Magazine:

outside the home. Thanks to her “Auntie” and experiences at NJIT, Libby did not have any inhibitions about going into the business world. After graduation, she went on to an MBA at Rutgers-Newark and landed her first job with Ernst & Young in Saddle Brook, New Jersey, earning her CPA license along the way. This eventually led to a career in management positions at

First, the latest news from Mal –


y column is dedicated to the many exceptional women who have graduated from NCE/ NJIT. The idea for the column came while I was chatting with Libby Hamilton ’77 and Tulia Rios ’94 at the Florida Soccer Alumni Reunion at Cape Canaveral in March 2017. At breakfast one day, I was listening to their sometimes difficult experiences prior to and during their undergraduate days when my “light bulb” went on and I thought it would be interesting to hear from other alumnae to see if they had similar stories. Libby and Tulia had read about our reunions, which are open to all alumni, and each decided to attend in 2011. They had such a good time that they were “hooked” and have been to every reunion since. In addition to Libby and Tulia, the alumnae whose stories I have included represent only a few among an awesome group of alumnae.

Libby Hamilton ’77 (second row, far left) and Tulia Rios ’94 (far right) at the 2011 Florida Soccer Alumni Reunion.

A “small world” experience resulted in including Marisa Fazio McGourty ’87. I went to see my grandson play rugby at 22 N J I T M A G A Z I N E | F A L L 2 0 1 7

Delbarton School, and when entering the spectator area I heard my name being called. I turned to see a smiling Marisa, whose sons were also on the Delbarton rugby team, coming over to greet me. We remembered each other even though it had been 30 years since she graduated. Shortly afterward I received a copy of the 1967 Golden Anniversary Yearbook from Gerry Kurth ’67, one of the yearbook editors. The yearbook included bios by Susan M. Harrington ’67, Kathy Martell Ciociola ’67 and Joanne Marucci-Roth ’67. Libby was part of a large family growing up in New Jersey. She attended Watchung Hills Regional High School where her favorite classes were math, chemistry and German. At that time, although young women were not encouraged to seek professional degrees, she found a welcome at Newark College of Engineering. When she graduated from NJIT in 1977, there were still very few women in attendance, but Libby said they were an impressive group. NJIT was still a commuting school in those days and she was busy commuting and working her way through school. She worked at NJIT for several years during and after graduation in the Student Employment Office. The job gave her the advantages of an office, a typewriter and a phone — cell phones were non-existent. But the best part was meeting so many fellow students and employees within the NJIT community. Libby’s great aunt was a major influence in her life. She was quite modern for her time and worked

Among a much smaller contingent of women at NJIT: Libby Hamilton on campus shortly before graduating in 1977.

major international companies. Libby has two handsome and accomplished sons that make her proud. She said it was not always easy raising two boys alone but they are worth everything. She splits her time between her home and office in Boston, where she works at a major CPA firm and the west coast of Florida. Having dual locations allows her the freedom to pursue outdoor activities that include hiking White Mountain peaks, biking, kayaking and snowshoeing, and one more — attending annual reunions with wonderful NJIT graduates in Florida. Libby thanks the soccer alumni In addition to attending NJIT reunions, one of Libby Hamilton’s favorite activities is hiking in the mountains of New England.

n j i t .e du


for “letting the girls attend” but it really is the “guys” who thank her for being someone special at the reunions. Tulia was born in Bogota, Colombia, and came to New Jersey when she was 12 years old. The Rios family is the ultimate example of the American Dream. Like many immigrants, her father, Jaime Rios, came to the United States first to open new horizons for his wife and six children. As money became available, more members of the family emigrated. Maria came in 1979, Augusto in 1981, and Gustavo and Liliana in 1982. Her mom, Ana Rios, who was an educator for over 28 years in Colombia, came to the United States with Tulia in 1983. Her brother, Jaime, was the last to join them. He is a 1988 graduate of NJIT’s School of Architecture. Tulia’s father, who was an airplane and auto mechanic, was her inspiration to become a mechanical engineer. Tulia graduated in the top 10 of her class in 1988 from Elizabeth High School. She played volleyball all four years in high school and was recruited to play volleyball at NJIT, where she played for four years. She graduated from NJIT in 1994 with a B.S. in mechanical engineering. Tulia Rios, 1994 NJIT graduate

Tulia moved to Miami in 1995 when one of her sisters, who lived there, was diagnosed with lymphoma, sadly passing away that same year. In Miami, she got a job at the Miami Airport Marriott Hotel, where she met Mr. J. W. Marriott, Jr. himself. She then moved into sales, working for Panasonic Latin America. In 2004, Tulia joined Carrier Latin America as a sales engineer, which gave her the opportunity to work closely with mechanical design engineers and contractors. She n jit.e du

subsequently became responsible for Carrier’s domestic sales in south Florida. Tulia currently works for Modine Manufacturing Company - Commercial and Industrial Solutions as a sales engineer for anticorrosive coatings for HVAC systems. Recently, she became the president for the Miami chapter of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers. Founded in 1894, the organization has more than 50,000 members worldwide. It focuses on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainable technology. Tulia lives in Miami with her son, David S. Lopez, who just graduated summa cum laude from Miami South Ridge High School. Marisa was awarded a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from NJIT, and a master’s in technology management from Stevens Institute of Technology. At NJIT, Marisa was the treasurer of the IEEE student chapter and worked part time in the Health Services Department. She was a women’s intramural sports director and has many fond memories of hanging around with the other student directors in the office of Mr. Duane Felczak. Electrical engineering graduate Marisa Fazio

The student intramural directors were volunteers and were rewarded for their service by attending the annual conferences of the National Intramural Association, a professional association of teachers and students. Marisa said the conferences in New Orleans and Las Vegas were especially memorable. While walking around the cabin on one of the flights, the captain noticed her interest in the


instrumentation and began talking to her. He welcomed her into the cockpit (these were the days before 9-11, shoe bombers, etc.) and she said that she was studying to become an electrical engineer and had always been fascinated with flying. Marisa told him about her part time job working for People Express Airlines and he started explaining how the flight instruments operated. Marisa said that their conversation didn’t last very long but it was memorable! During college, Marisa had internships at the Ethicon and Personal Products divisions of Johnson & Johnson. She became involved with control-system troubleshooting, production/machining optimization and controls upgrades for the maintenance and manufacturing groups. She has never felt that being a female student in a predominantly male program gave her any advantage, but felt she had to work harder to prove herself whether it was in the academic or professional arena. Marisa’s first position after graduation was as an electrical engineer in the Vitamins and Fine Chemicals Division of Hoffmann-LaRoche, where she gained extensive experience with programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and related systems. Marisa also gained familiarity with FDA documentation requirements as well as power distribution and theory for substation design, building systems and construction projects. While at Hoffman-La Roche, she participated in the Biotin Manufacturing Project at the company’s facility in Nutley, New Jersey. As part of the project team, Marisa did program configuration, implementing a highly integrated, networked process approach. Marisa has been with Glatt Air Techniques for over 26 years, and is currently a senior automation engineer. She has successfully completed the design, startup and commissioning of many PLC- based fluid-bed control systems. She has handled a variety of assignments in both the Process Automation and Validation Departments, also assisting with marketing efforts. As lead engineer N J I T M A G A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 7




for PLC-based integrated control systems, her current responsibilities include preparation of piping and instrumentation diagrams, control schematics, instrument procurement, technical documentation, and writing validation protocols for Glatt equipment such as tablet coaters, fluid- bed dryers/granulators, and vertical granulators. Marisa has served on the Industrial Advisory Board at NJIT providing input for the curriculum related to the program in electrical engineering technology. She worked with Professors Bill Barnes and Bob English, who said she brought a fresh perspective to the discussion of issues considered at Board meetings. She has also participated in the Pre-Engineering Industrial Outreach Program, helping middle and high school teachers encourage their students to pursue careers in engineering. In addition, she has been active with MentorNet, a nonprofit e-mentoring initiative that gives STEM students access to advice and encouragement from professionals in the STEM fields. Marisa’s other activities include volunteering at a soup kitchen run by Franciscan Charities and promoting animal welfare. She is currently a member of the Board of Governors of The Morristown Club, the oldest private club in New Jersey. While attending graduate school Maria met her husband, Dr. Jack McGourty. They are celebrating their

25th wedding anniversary this year, and live in Chester with their boys, Michael and Jason. Her sons both graduated from Delbarton School in Morristown, and are attending Columbia University. After graduation, Susan married and was a full-time mother for three years. In 1971, she started her engineering career at Newark Brush Company in Kenilworth. In 1976, she joined Thomas & Betts in Elizabeth as a product engineer, designing electrical connectors and other components, and working with Underwriters Laboratories on listings. She became an engineering manager in the Electrical Products Group and, in 1991, director of environmental affairs for the corporation. Following a divorce, Susan met her current husband, Glenn Storck, a 1969 graduate in electrical engineering. Susan and Glenn completed master’s degrees in Engineering Management at NJIT in 1988 and were married in 1989. When Thomas & Betts moved to Memphis in 1993, Glenn and Susan packed up and moved to Tennessee. Glenn retired in 1991 and Susan retired in 1997. Since then, they have enjoyed traveling and visiting family in Florida, California and New Jersey. Combined, they have seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Susan and Glenn moved to a rural area near Hilton Head, South Carolina, to be closer to their family. They designed their new home and had it built to their specs. Susan and Glenn agree that this is their last home until they are put in a “home.” Kathy’s activities at NCE included being president of Sigma Chi Epsilon, Marisa Fazio McGourty ’87 with husband Jack and sons Jason (left) and Michael

24 N J I T M A G A Z I N E | F A L L 2 0 1 7

and a member of the Society of Women Engineers, Tau Beta Pi, the Neuman Club and Omega Chi Epsilon (Eta chapter). She began her professional career at Esso Research and Engineering as a pilot-plant engineer, transitioning to Esso Math and Systems in Florham Park, New Jersey. Kathy married her high school sweetheart, Fred Ciociola, in August of 1967. Kathy earned an M.S. in computer science from Rutgers in 1977 and began a 20-year career at Rutgers as director of telecommunications, with responsibilities for voice and data, including internet access, on all campuses. In 1999, she retired and became a program manager for Verizon until her second and final retirement in 2008. While working for Rutgers, Kathy was named president of the New Jersey Intercampus Network (NJIN), linking all of New Jersey’s higher-education members to the internet. NJIN morphed into NJEDge and provided her with many opportunities to visit the NJIT campus, where their offices are now located. NCE/NJIT became a “family” thing for Kathy as her brother, Rich, is a Class of 1971 graduate, and two of his children have received graduate degrees from the university. Fred and Kathy are the proud grandparents of seven: four girls and three boys, ages 21 to 12. They very much enjoy their son Rick, daughter Cindy and grandchildren, spending time on Long Beach Island, New Jersey, and are both very active in their parish, Blessed Sacrament in Martinsville. Joanne said that NCE changed her life. In addition to gaining solid technical knowledge, she credits the discipline of the education she received at NCE with helping her develop a way of thinking needed to effectively solve problems and meet career challenges. Her career began at Colgate-Palmolive as a process engineer. Four years later, she and her husband, Bob, welcomed the birth of a son, Robby, and then a daughter, Stephanie, after which she rejoined the workforce as a cost engineer. Joanne is a licensed Professional Engineer and also has an M.S. in n j i t .e du


management from NJIT. In 1992, she was a TWIN (Tribute to Women in Industry) honoree and is especially proud of her two terms as president of the Construction Round Table of New Jersey, being the only woman to serve in this position. In 2001, Joanne retired from Roche after 23 years, having had a notable career in capital project management, and directing procurement and supply management. To celebrate, Joanne and Bob traveled through Italy and France. She then returned to the workplace, joining Turner Construction to direct pharmaceutical procurement. She moved to Volt Information Sciences in 2005 as vice president for project management and chief procurement officer. For the next seven years, Joanne led strategic initiatives, including offshore operations in India. She retired (again) in April 2012. Joanne has a passion for singing and

talent to match. As a member of the New Jersey State Opera and Opera Orchestra she has performed at Carnegie Hall. She is now a member of the Masterwork Chorus of New Jersey, which will perform spring and winter concerts, and Handel’s Messiah each December at Carnegie Hall. She will also sing with the elite Camerata Chamber Choir, a select group of 16 singers from the Masterwork Chorus who will join with the Garden State Opera for performances at Caldwell University and St. Elizabeth’s College in October and December 2017. Bob and Joanne have traveled extensively throughout the U.S., Canada, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland, England and India. They celebrated their 50th anniversary in August 2017. The women who studied at NCE/ NJIT in years past certainly did have to work hard and may not have received the


accolades they deserved. However, the accomplishments of women highlighted in various NJIT publications vividly show how extraordinary they are. Let me close in today’s politically correct vernacular by paraphrasing part of a Maurice Chevalier song, “Thank Heaven for NCE/NJIT women, without them what would NCE/ NJIT men have done.” I could have said much more about the outstanding women I have mentioned and others who are equally accomplished alumnae, but I was limited by the space available to me. However, the following insightful comments by Joanne are presented in full because they tell the story much better than I could, and put the current experience of NJIT women in the proper perspective. n Keep the news coming, folks, to mjs@

AFTER 50 YEARS: REFLECTIONS FROM THE OTHER SIDE by Joanne Marucci-Roth, Class of 1967


can clearly recall the incoming freshman class assembled in Weston Hall that September morning in 1963. We were the “Class of ’67,” nervously anticipating an exciting college adventure. Ten of those present that morning were women striving to begin a career in a male-dominated field. What follows is one female student’s perspective, colored perhaps by the tumultuous backdrop that was the 60s; complete with long-festering racial discontent, emerging anti-war sentiment, and the shocking assassination of a dearly beloved president. Perspectives evolve over time and as we anticipate our 50th Class Reunion, I now share some well-aged observations; viewed through a 21st-century lens and with the benefit of five decades of lessons learned. I was happy to be part of that freshman class at NCE, though I could not begin to know the fortuity of that decision. That n jit.e du

morning, having successfully navigated the intimidating sprint from Eberhardt Hall, past Central High School to Weston Hall, I felt that I was up for the challenge. We sat with our weighty book-bags, jam-packed with textbooks, NCE-logo spiral notepads, drafting tools and an Aristo slide-rule. Young men and women, in casual but dress-code appropriate garb, listened attentively to the Dean, as he began his address: “Look to your right and look to your left. Only one of you will make it; only one of you will graduate!” He delivered a serious dose of reality that shattered any preconceived notions of a “fun” college experience and set us up for what was to come. Despite being confronted by the student next to me, because I was taking the place of a boy who really wanted to be an engineer, I resigned myself to keep going. Every student in that auditorium would soon

face the rigors of this curriculum, riding waves of successes and setbacks, yet trudging forward through the challenging days and sleepless nights of the months and years ahead. Those experiences and sacrifices knew no gender, were equitably shared and still remain somewhere in the backchannels of my mind. Aside from being obviously conspicuous, I believed that we were all in the same boat and that the journey would not be much different for us than it was for the men. I had become desensitized to the handful of professors who were either discernibly begrudging of a “girl” in the class or who were openly nasty. However, N J I T M A G A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 7




my senior year presented another set of revelations and became a predictor of the roadblocks I would encounter in my chosen career path. A daunting experience for most, interviewing was especially frustrating for me. The executives representing the companies with whom I met — potential employers — did not disguise their trepidation about hiring a woman. One interviewer grilled me about my plans for marriage and birth control (noting my engagement ring and my religion), challenging me, repeatedly, to respond to the posed conundrum; seeking assurance that I wouldn’t get pregnant and leave. Remarkably, I wasn’t outraged; merely stunned and embarrassed. Armed with a new understanding that I would need a strategy to deal with such interrogations, I continued my search for the right job and an employer who would value my potential contributions to the team. That spring, while on a class trip to Bethlehem Steel, our spirits were high as we rode through the security gate, into the inner sanctum of the immense and impressive steel plant; where we expected to see an operation that, up until that point, we had only read about in textbooks or seen in a documentary film. We were given hard hats and safety instructions, as a prelude to a tour of the smelting operation, where we would get a look at red-hot iron ore being processed. Before we realized what was happening, Kathy (my friend and the only other

woman in our Chem.E. class) and I were peeled away from the main group, and led through a separate door. We assumed that we’d be rejoining our class inside the plant. Instead, we were politely escorted to a vacant lab, to wait for the others, as apologies were mumbled about women not being permitted to enter the smelting operations. It was little consolation later that all we had to show for the tour was a Polaroid of the two of us standing in that gray lab on that very gray day, in our raincoats and hard hats, as the men excitedly recounted their experiences. Good times! Anecdotal evidence to the contrary, however, I have little about which to complain, and instead, am ever grateful, even for the most challenging times at NCE. Those times prepared me for the real world, where sexual discrimination and harassment was not only acceptable, but often encouraged; where criticism was levied from all sides, even from other women. All things considered, I would not change a thing. Since then... Five women from that 1963 freshman class graduated four years later in 1967, an attrition rate that mirrored the rest of the student body; we represented less than one percent of a graduating class that numbered 621. Since then, many young women have followed in our footsteps. By 1987, that percentage had increased tenfold to 11% and by 1989,

had risen to 15%. Today women represent approximately 25% of the total enrollment (undergraduate and graduate). That is an amazing statistic and is reflective of the increasing emphasis to encourage women and minorities toward early STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education. I am proud of the role that my alma mater has played in this regard. In 1963, Stevens Institute of Technology refused to even review my application, despite excellent academic credentials and SAT scores. NCE, on the other hand, was gender neutral, a gift for which I am forever grateful. Between the accessible tuition and a NJ State Scholarship, I was the beneficiary of an affordable, incomparable engineering education, which led to a rewarding career. Now... Notably, in early 2017, NJIT was acclaimed for its proactive stance towards STEM education, having been named among the top 60 Universities dedicated to STEM diversity, by Diversity in Action Magazine. We, women engineering students of the ’60s, may have eased the way for the women who followed us. Change happens through the contributions of individuals over time. By setting examples and breaking a few glass ceilings along the way, the engineering world is becoming accustomed to our presence and appreciates our added value. n

SAVE THE DATE Alumni Weekend May 18-20 2018 26

N J I T M A G A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 7

Register Online

n j i t .e du


A New Face of Chemical Engineering: MUHAMMAD ELGAMMAL ’12, M.S. ’15


uhammad Elgammal ’12, M.S. ’15 recalls peering into the yawning construction pit of the future 3 World Trade Center on the first day of his internship with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey at the end of his junior year. The sounds of the superstrength concrete that would form the core of another tower on the site sounded “like an explosion” when crushed in the materials testing lab where he worked that summer. For a young engineer hoping to design airports, bridges and tunnels capable of surviving whatever challenges the 21st century could conjure, working for the agency responsible for the region’s major trade and transportation networks put him at the epicenter of critical infrastructure strategy. When offered a job the next year at the agency’s engineering design division, he leapt at the opportunity. “Hoping for the best and planning for the worst, as engineers we overdesign for safety and unexpected situations,” says Elgammal, P.E., PMP, with his customary cheerfulness. He is now applying these principles at Newark Liberty Airport, where he is part of the design team for the $2.3 billion redevelopment of Terminal A. His can-do attitude, hard work – he has designed and directed more than 20 projects so far at the airport – and willingness to share his experiences and love of engineering with up-and-coming STEM students in area high schools, have already won him professional accolades. In May, Elgammal traveled to Arlington, Va. to be recognized at the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) Outstanding Projects and Leaders Awards gala as one of the organization’s 10 “New Faces of Civil Engineering” for 2017. It is the third year in a row that NJIT engineers have been recognized in some capacity at the ceremony.

Elgammal says he’s excited to be working on airports, which are increasingly “a huge public priority” and in dire need of repairs and redesign. “The airfield is a critical place, where we have to operate, construct and repair faster than anywhere else. Decisions can affect thousands of people by the minute. And anything that happens on an airfield can snowball – from a foreign object that damages a plane to an inspection that takes longer than it should. So we have to consider the consequences from many angles.” A big part of the challenge is reducing existing delays. “So we’ve come up with strategies to limit queue times for planes waiting to take off, to land and to get to gates,” he says. “Engineering comes into play here, too, with innovations like high-speed taxi routes that allow schedulers to shave a few seconds off every cycle and make the runway available to other aircraft sooner. This has a ripple effect on arrivals and departures.” As part of his B.S./M.S. program at NJIT, Elgammal completed a master’s degree in critical infrastructure that combines two essential civil engineering concerns: protecting and rehabilitating aging buildings, roadways and transportation hubs, while also developing new ones. At the Port Authority, Elgammal recently took on a new role as an agreement project manager, working with outside firms building and rehabilitating agency facilities. His current task is to coordinate smoothness testing for 13 runways at the region’s five airports. In the redevelopment of Terminal A, for example, he’s making sure that projects that are designed and built by outside firms will conform to the agency’s performance criteria. This requires coordinating with stakeholders ranging from design, engineering and program professionals within the agency

p r o f i l e

to outside consultants. He notes that the new terminal must be designed to allow for all current uses as well as for possible expansions to accommodate projected future demand. “When I graduated, I wanted to work in construction. Like a lot of college graduates, it felt like a form of freedom not to be tied down to a desk,” he recounts. And I’m really glad I did. What makes a good engineer is a well-rounded perspective. You’re a better designer if you’ve watched someone build it first. These are some of the on-the-job experiences he shares with middle and high school students at the Future City and ACE Mentor Program, whose roles are to expose more students to engineering concepts through hands-on projects and design charrettes. He also returns regularly to campus as the chair of NJIT’s Young Alumni Committee, crediting much of his development to his involvement with the Alumni Association after graduation. “I hit the ground running, so to speak, and also learned what it meant to be an engaged alumnus. From my own experience, NJIT alumni opened up many doors and I get to work with and learn from company presidents, COOs and CFOs from many different industries who all share the same common goal: taking NJIT to the next level.” In the spring 2017 semester, he also taught a 400-level course on construction scheduling and estimating. “I love this,” he says. “It’s a way of quantifying risk, managing seemingly unpredictable elements such as money and time. The challenge of balancing practical application and theory with 33 students has made me appreciate my time at NJIT, and even more so, my time outside of it.” “The projects I work on affect millions of people from all over the world,” he says. “And it’s pretty cool that I can see them from Google Earth.” n Tracey L. Regan is an NJIT Magazine contributing writer. N J I T M A G A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 7



p r o f i l e

A Top Doc, “Barre” None: DR. CHRISTINA SEO ’97


he wanted to be a ballerina as a tween, but ultimately swapped dancing for doctoring. It’s a decision that has brought Dr. Christina Seo ’97 great career satisfaction, as well as many peer accolades. Recently, the NJIT alum, who is a colorectal surgeon, was named a Top Doctor of the Year for 2017 by the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP). The honor is based on many factors, particularly her professional accomplishments, leadership abilities, community service and academic achievements. A partner in the Barash-White, MD, PA medical practice in Englewood, N.J., Seo specializes in colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, anorectal disease and diverticulitis. She entered the health care field more than 12 years ago and has since honed her skills in performing colonoscopies, polyp and ulcer screenings, and minimally invasive colorectal surgery. She handles more than 500 cases annually. JOURNEY TO THE OR

Seo once dreamed of becoming a professional ballet dancer, but left her pirouetting days behind her when she was 13, opting to follow in her parents’ footsteps in the medical field — her father is a nuclear medicine physician and her mother a geriatric nurse practitioner. “I think my parents were nervous that I would want to pursue ballet seriously, so they decided to have me stop classes. I had started high school and it would have been hard to keep up with that rigorous schedule, so I agreed,” she recalled. “Plus, it was always their dream that I go into


N J I T M A G A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 7

medicine. Fortunately, that lined up with my own inclinations anyway. Looking back, I don’t think I would have gotten very far in a career in ballet!” After high school, Seo was accepted into a seven-year combined program between NJIT and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey–New Jersey Medical School (now Rutgers New Jersey Medical School). An Albert Dorman Honors College student, she earned both a B.S. in biomedical engineering and, with her AP credits, an M.S. in management from NJIT before receiving her medical degree in 2001. She completed a general surgery residency at the University of Rochester, became board certified in colon and rectal surgery, and began as a staff physician at Cleveland Clinic Florida. Three and a half years later, she joined Barash-White. “I decided the world of academia was not for me, so I gave private practice a shot,” she said of moving on to Barash-White. “I loved it and have not looked back! “I hope that I continue [to have] a busy career in colorectal surgery, using all the possible technology available…to make my patients’ surgery and recovery as smooth as possible,” added Seo, noting the increasing emphasis in her field on minimally invasive surgery, from laparoscopic to robotic procedures. Seo, who calls the IAOTP distinction “very humbling and gratifying,” also has been cited as a Worldwide Who’s Who Professional of the Year in Health Care and an Elite Worldwide Professional and Professional of the Year in HealthCare by Worldwide Branding, among other commendations.


On Choosing Colorectal Surgery: “The colorectal surgeons in my program were good at what they did, loved what they did and could have normal active lives outside of work — I thought, that’s for me! Plus, anyone who goes into colorectal surgery pretty much HAS to have a sense of humor.” On Caring for Patients: “Taking care of patients who also work hard at their own health is always a fantastic interaction. Having a patient tell me that they feel better is always the best part of my day.” On the Value of Her NJIT Degrees: “My studies at NJIT were a good foundation for my first two years of medical school, which are two years of intense lectures and labs. My combined years at undergraduate and medical school exposed me to many cultures and walks of life.” Her Fondest Memory of NJIT: “Sitting out on the roof of the architecture school to watch spectacular sunsets.” n Julie Jacobs is a staff writer/editor in the Office of Strategic Communications at NJIT.

n j i t .e du


He Owes His Career to His NJIT EMBA: BRANDON ROCKWELL ’11


hen Brandon Rockwell ‘11 started NJIT’s EMBA program, he was employed in information technology; now he serves as vice president of business development for a global pharmaceutical company. He attributes his success to a combination of hard work and his EMBA degree from NJIT’s Martin Tuchman School of Management. At Par Pharmaceutical — the fourthlargest generic pharmaceutical company in the U.S. and a subsidiary of Endo, a leading global specialty pharmaceutical company — Rockwell manages a crossfunctional department of 17 employees. This global unit is comprised of Business Development, Portfolio Management, Project Management and Strategic API Sourcing. Rockwell has played an integral role in setting the strategic direction of the company through Par’s acquisitions of Edict, Anchen, JHP Pharmaceuticals and the integration of Qualitest into Par. He has 10 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, having held various prior positions in business development, project management and information systems. Rockwell, who has a Bachelor of Science degree from Grove City College, knew about NJIT through his father, Bruce Rockwell, a 1987 graduate of the university in electrical engineering. However, he was not as familiar with the EMBA program when he began to consider studying for a master’s degree. “The school has a great history for technology,” Rockwell said. “When I began my search, I was in information technology and exploring part-time MBAs. When I called, I spoke with the directors of a few schools who just sent me their programs. However, when speaking to the director at NJIT, she probed deeper and asked for some of my background. She then suggested an EMBA.”

n jit.e du

Rockwell read a bit more online about how EMBAs differed from traditional MBA programs before finally settling on an EMBA and making the decision that he wanted to experience a program with a local classroom component. MAKING CONNECTIONS

“Having a personal connection with a cohort of experienced peers is invaluable in a management program,” Rockwell said. “From there, accreditation and location were the two most important factors in narrowing my search. I was searching for an MBA program in northern New Jersey that was accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. I was surprised to see that so many other programs that I had heard good things about were not accredited.” Realizing the importance of a program “just feeling right,” Rockwell visited his top three picks: Fairleigh Dickinson, NJIT and Rutgers. Contrasting his NJIT visit with the others, NJIT clearly stood out as a place where he believed that he would have the best MBA experience. “Arriving at NJIT, I was greeted warmly by Elaine Frazier, director of the EMBA program, who quickly invited me to attend a class there,” he recalled. “Ultimately, my classroom visit at NJIT made my decision clear.” Midway through the EMBA program, Rockwell was enrolled in an international marketing course where the professor gave students the assignment of developing a marketing plan for introducing a product that had been developed in one country into another country. While most of his peers chose a product for the general consumer market, Rockwell wanted a more complex challenge. So he decided to develop a plan to importing generic drugs manufactured in the U.S. into Brazil. “As an IT professional working for a pharmaceutical company, my knowledge of the industry was limited to reading the

p r o f i l e

bottles in my medicine cabinet,” Rockwell said. “I spent the next month researching pricing, importation challenges, product names, regulations and local laws to understand the barriers to entry. I learned about my business and put together what I believed was a solid plan to submit to our professor. Unfortunately, the professor threw us a curveball when he challenged us to also submit our plans to the companies we developed these for in an effort to solicit feedback from executives.” Rockwell was the only person in the class who based his report on his own company. “Here I was, as an infrastructure engineer, blindly submitting my marketing plan up the ladder at my company,” Rockwell said. “I passed it along to the head of the IT group who in turn passed it up. A few weeks later, I heard that the president found it interesting and wanted me to meet with a director of business development to explore the idea. I then spent a few weeks working with him calling companies in Brazil, which then led to similar calls around Asia, the South Pacific, Africa and Europe. Nothing seemed to really result from my idea at the time, but the director liked the way I approached problems with an analytical view and the company created a new position for me in business development.” Since then, Rockwell has worked his way up, overseeing acquisitions and completing multinational deals. He now oversees multiple departments and has a global group. He reports directly into the CEO, the same president who created the job for him. “I developed a partnership with one of the companies that I called years ago and I can say that we are successfully exporting our products overseas. We’re not doing it entirely how I had proposed during the EMBA program, but I have learned a lot more since NJIT,” Rockwell said. Many people can say that they owe their career to what they learned in their MBA program — but NJIT really did a lot for me.” n N J I T M A G A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 7



p r o f i l e

Writing about Nature’s Tiniest Engineers: HARRY N. TUVEL ’74, ’79


hey build bridges and tunnels, measure two millimeters long, and are unwelcome at picnics. Ants, one of nature’s most minuscule and fascinating creatures, are the subject of a children’s book by civil engineer Harry N. Tuvel P.E., P.P. ’74, ’79. Featuring images by his younger son, Eric Tuvel, and whimsical illustrations by Micah Ludeke, Ants, the Tiniest Engineers originated from a humanities class project assigned by the late Dr. Herman Estrin, professor of English, when Tuvel was enrolled in the early 1970s as a student in Newark College of Engineering. Tuvel had shown a copy of the book to his son Eric, an urban planner and graphic designer who decided on his own to recast the book with new graphics and present it to his father as a surprise birthday gift and self-published copies by Shutterfly. Tuvel, a professional engineer and planner at Tuvel Civil Engineering Services in

Ridgefield, New Jersey, subsequently noticed an item in the John A. Reif, Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering’s summer 2016 newsletter about a children’s book that students wrote with Tom Jaworski as faculty adviser and decided to approach NJIT about his own book. “It seems to me that a children’s book that introduces engineering to young minds is a very worthwhile endeavor for an engineering university and also challenges engineering students to explain engineering principles in fundamental terms and ideas that children can understand, which was obviously Dr. Estrin’s intent in giving this assignment,” Tuvel said. For the past 20 years, Tuvel has been a professional engineer in private practice specializing in site development for both residential and commercial projects and municipal engineering. He has worked on a number of projects with his older son, Jason,

who is a land use attorney. Prior to that, he was employed at Boswell Engineering as a project manager and also worked on the staff of the American Society of Civil Engineers. MEMORABLE MOMENTS What was his most memorable moment as an NCE student? “There were a number, including being ASCE Student Chapter President and receiving the Ridgeway Award,” Tuvel recalled. “It was also memorable to be inducted into the Chi Epsilon, Tau Beta Pi and Sigma Xi (for my work as a research intern) honor societies.” Now, over 40 years later, Tuvel hopes that his book will inspire the future engineers of the world, including his two grandchildren, Sienna and Zachary. n

Christina Crovetto is editor of NJIT Magazine

Empower Your Team with the Strength of NJIT Continuing Professional Education We make it easy for your employees to become proficient in the skills and technologies essential to achieving your strategic business goals. Our industry-specific, customized training programs are designed to provide practical, collaborative learning experiences in technology, business know-how and leadership development. Courses can be held at your company’s site, on the NJIT campus, or online. You might even qualify for training at no cost to your company — talk to us.

Ask about our Corporate Training Partnership today! Contact CPE at: 973-596-3061 • •

NJIT Freshman Class 2017 1285


average overall SAT score



1,131 freshmen selected out of 7,232 applications MOST POPULAR MAJORS: Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering




states and

Albert Dorman Honors College students

firstgeneration students

23 countries represented

9,393 MILES, FROM MALAYSIA Farthest distance traveled to attend NJIT Disclaimer: For first-time full-time degree-seeking undergraduate students only. Data is preliminary as of the 10th day of the semester and is not the official final enrollment.

1940’s 1960’s 1990’s C L A S S



’72 DREW MCCASKEY (Civil Engineering) has retired from the Delaware Transit Corporation (DART) and is now an ordained Christian minister. Before serving at DART, McCaskey was vice president for construction company Moretrench American Corporation and president of MBK Dewatering Corporation. ’75 STEVE KUBICKA

(Engineering Science) has been promoted to regional sales manager for Polyglass U.S.A., Inc.’s Northeast region. Kubicka has more than 40 years of sales and marketing experience and has worked for contractors, distributors and manufacturers in the roofing industry.


’81 BRYAN HALL (Industrial

Administration, M.S.,’83) has been appointed senior vice president of sales at Optelian Access Networks Corp., an optical networking solution provider. Hall brings more than 20 years of experience in senior sales leadership roles including senior sales positions at Axsun Technologies, Dowslake Microsystems, Mintera Corp., Quantum Photonics, AstralPoint Communications and Pirelli Telecom. ’87 ROB FOLEY (Civil Engineering) has

been promoted to associate at Dewberry’s Parsippany, New Jersey, office. Foley has 30 years of experience and currently serves as a senior project manager responsible for the management, design, regulatory approvals and construction oversight of site/civil engineering projects. Foley has extensive transportation agency design experience with the New York State Department of Transportation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and is currently working on the civil engineering scope of data center developments in Colorado Springs, Denver and Rockland County, New York.






He is a professional engineer in Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York and Ohio and is a member of the 7X24 Exchange and the American Society of Civil Engineers. ’87 MIKE HAGEN (Mechanical

Engineering) has joined Freese and Nichols as a senior project manager in the Transmission and Utilities Group in Dallas. Hagen has nearly three decades of experience in water and wastewater infrastructure and will play an integral role in building and supporting large, complex projects for both public and private sectors throughout the region. Before joining Freese and Nichols, he was a project manager at a national engineering firm, where he assisted major water and wastewater providers throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex on projects such as pipeline rehabilitation, interceptor improvements and lift station and force main expansion. Hagen has also completed the ISI Envision® exam to become a certified Sustainability Professional by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure.


’90 MASOOD KHAN (M.S. in Engineering Management) has joined IBMD as director of manufacturing engineering. Khan has more than 20 years of experience in design, development and commercialization of medical devices. ’92 KEN SPAHN (Engineering

Management) has been promoted to associate at Dewberry’s Bloomfield, New Jersey, office. Spahn has more than 30 years of experience and serves as Dewberry’s regional director for ports and intermodal. He has worked in numerous facets of the industry, including business, operational, and technical areas for the Port of New York and New Jersey. Throughout his career, Spahn has held various leadership positions in facility management, port and rail development, capital planning, program

1 1950’s


and asset management, capital program development and implementation, property and business acquisitions and financial management. He is currently working on numerous projects, including the Red Hook flood risk reduction study, Hunts Point interstate access improvements and the Rebuild by Design Hudson River project. Spahn is a licensed project management professional, and a member of the Project Management Institute and the North Atlantic Ports Association. ’93 MANUEL DA SILVA (Civil Engineering), vice president of construction operations at the New Jersey Schools Development Authority, has been honored with a Star of Essex Award for his positive contributions to New Jersey, especially in Essex County. Da Silva has served in various capacities with the Authority over the past seven years, including as senior manager of engineering, senior program officer and program director. His responsibilities included managing scope development, procurement and construction of capital and emergent school projects; providing oversight and direction to four teams responsible for the delivery of 22 capital school projects totaling over $1.75 billion of new school facility construction projects; developing construction procurement strategy and presenting recommendations to the CEO and board of directors. Before joining the New Jersey Schools Development Authority, Da Silva served as director of operations and development at M. Alfieri Co., Inc. ’97 STEPHEN BONINA (M.S. in Management) has been named a vice president in the Newark, New Jersey, office of WSP USA, formerly WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, a global engineering and professional services organization. In his new position, he serves as the Eastern Region fleet manager for WSP’s transit and rail technical excellence center (TEC), responsible for overall management of the firm’s rail vehicle practice in n j i t .e du

1950’s 0’s




Boston, Newark and Atlanta. Bonina has more than 33 years of experience with commuter rail, rapid transit, light rail and streetcars. He has extensive experience working for rail car manufacturers and a transit authority as well as consulting companies specifying and providing oversight over multiple new rail car and rehabilitation projects. Bonina is a licensed professional engineer in New Jersey and is a member of the American Public Transit Association and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. ’99 DANIEL KOPEC (Architecture) has been named one of the top 20 architects in Jersey City by Daniel Kopec Architects LLC is a full-service architecture firm that has been serving residential and commercial clients throughout the Glen Ridge area for over 10 years. Its team handles projects ranging from historic preservation to new



2000’s construction and is known for delivering clear-cut, sustainable design solutions infused with natural light.


’06 STAVAN R. PATEL (Information

Technology, M.S.,’09) is one of eight full class residents to have graduated from Connecticut’s Greater Danbury Community Health Center’s primary care residency program. Patel completed the three-year residency training at the community health center, as required by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Patel since has accepted a position as a nocturnist at Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania.


’10 LISA PETERSON (Surveying




licensed land surveyor in the state of New Jersey. Peterson is presently one of only four women in New Jersey to hold dual licensure as a professional engineer and a professional land surveyor. Peterson serves as Dewberry’s transportation services manager in the firm’s Mount Laurel, New Jersey, office. She has more than 15 years of experience as a transportation engineer and project manager specializing in highway design, is a trustee on the foundation board for the Burlington County Institute of Technology and a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Women’s Transportation Seminar. ’11 JASON PANCOAST (Civil Engineering, M.S.,’13) has joined P.W. Grosser Consulting as a project manager in the environmental unit. n

Engineering) has recently become a


Frank Cozzarelli Jr. ’49, ’51 William Saller ’49 John Finkenberg ’52 Charles Scaturo ’53 Anthony Venturo ’53 Robert W. Armbrust ’54, ’59 Bert G. Boer ’55 Frederick I. Scott, Jr. ’56 Lawrence Q. Smith ’57 Edward Leroy (Ted) Jones ’58 Robert Dolecki ’61, ’72 Andrew Skislak ’64, ’69 James P. Lynch ’66 Arthur Carpousis ’67, ’71 Robert J. Humenik, Sr. ’67 Donald E. Hutchinson ’70 Leonard M. Bleier ’73 Clifford J. Brendler ’74 Katherine Sullivan ’79, ’88 Walter Henry Zwirz ’85, ’87 Cornelius (Neil) Brons ’97 njit .edu


FRANK COZZARELLI JR. ’49,’51 peacefully passed away July 28, 2017, at his residence. After completing three semesters at Newark College of Engineering, Cozzarelli joined the U.S. Navy, where he served as an electronics technician. After an honorable discharge, he became a proud veteran of the U.S. Navy, returning to NCE where he earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1949 followed by an M.S. in chemical engineering in 1951. For 38 years, he worked for Union Carbide Corporation and became a senior leader within the Union Carbide Research and Development Organization as well as an industry- recognized professional as a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. In 1995, he was presented with the NJIT Alumni Achievement Award. He had many accomplishments before he decided to reinvent himself and enroll in Seton Hall Law School at the age of 50. Cozzarelli graduated from law school in 1982 and transitioned to the intellectual property team at Union Carbide. He finished his career at Union Carbide as a lawyer and U.S. patent attorney. After leaving Union Carbide in 1990, he continued to work in private practice as a lawyer and U.S. patent attorney up to May of this year, never retiring.

N J I T M A G A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 7



N J I T M A G A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 7

n j i t.e du

T H E A L U M N I A S S O C I AT I O N O F N J I T P R O U D LY C O N G R AT U L AT E S T H E 2 0 1 7


Tom Bury 2002

Colette Santasieri 1989 2012

Chief Executive Officer Division 9 Design + Construction

Director, Policy & Planning Innovation


Tommaso Scarfone 1967

Richard Schatzberg 1993

Manager (ret.)

NeST Technologies, Inc.

Carrier United Technologies

Chief Commercial Officer

Joseph Stanley 1978 1985

Senior Vice President

Mott MacDonald

President Alumni Association



Associate Professor and Coordinator, Concrete Industry Management Program NJIT

Fellow of Neuro-Oncology Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Robert W. Van Houten Award for Teaching Excellence

GeNext Young Alumni Achievement Award

The Alumni Achievement Award recognizes alumni for exceptional accomplishment in any field of endeavor which brings honor to NJIT. The GeNext Award recognizes young alumni (ages 35 and younger) for significant professional accomplishments in any field of endeavor which brings honor to NJIT.


Superstorm Sandy


years later

H o w N J IT U s e d R e s e a rch a n d C om m u n ity O utre ach to A s s is t with Re co ve r y Ef f o rts


Sandy’s size in miles as it made landfall just south of Atlantic City, New Jersey


A full moon made high tides

20% higher

FEMA assistance applications filed in N.Y. and N.J.

than normal, intensifying Sandy’s storm surge

18,000+ flights $139,000

issued to the Center for Resilient Design in 2016 from the N.J. Sea Grant Consortium to help protect coastal communities and ecosystems against flooding

34 deaths in N.J. $62+ billion in damage

20 Million

cancelled around the world

With over

$125 Million

“Rebuild by Design” grant issued to a team led by NJIT Associate Professor Georgeen Theodore and her Brooklyn-based Interboro Partners from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development


college volunteers participating, students from NJIT and 23 other colleges as well as faculty, staff and alumni helped eradicate some of the devastation from Superstorm Sandy.

346,000 homes

in N.J. destroyed or damaged

Approximate number of tweets sent about Sandy between Oct. 27, 2012 and Nov. 1, 2012

After the storm, I decided

to develop a studio course so that my students and I could contribute our research and design work to the rebuilding of New Jersey in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The scope of rebuilding was overwhelming, and at the time, most post-disaster efforts were local, and as a matter of necessity, focused on immediate needs. In contrast to the ‘let’s rebuild now!’ mantra that was being repeated and organized on a ‘town-bytown’ basis, this studio worked to examine the larger, regional design opportunities confronting New Jersey, and seek ways to interlink these opportunities with local initiatives.

- Georgeen Theodore, Associate Professor, Director of NJIT’s Master in Infrastructure Planning Program 36

N J I T M A G A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 7

We had two focuses: evaluate the

mobilization of hazardous compounds from a Superfund slag site in Laurence Harbor, and evaluate the return of the ecosystem to its pre-storm conditions. We learned that large quantities of hazardous metals—lead, mercury and chromium—were mobilized into people’s yards and potentially houses. We also learned that it took around two months for the salinity in the wetlands [along] Cheesequake Creek to return to pre-storm conditions. The devastation was overwhelming…

- Michel Boufadel Professor, Director of NJIT’s Center for Natural Resources Development and Protection

n j i t .e du



In Seaside Heights, New Jersey, Superstorm Sandy left the Jetstar roller coaster in the Atlantic Ocean.



andy took the lives of 34 New Jersey residents, destroyed more than 72,000 homes and businesses, and caused over $62 billion in damage. The NJIT community responded to this terrible natural disaster with immediate assistance and farsighted planning for the future. These are just a few examples — During the height of the storm, NJIT graduate students studying emergency management were embedded in Newark’s Office of Emergency Management to help the city’s administration respond to the disaster. In the immediate aftermath of Sandy, NJIT students serving as emergencymanagement interns in the Business Emergency Operations Center, supported

by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, worked to help ensure that donations which included food and clothing reached the Newark area’s neediest residents. Alternative Spring Break in the years following saw hundreds of students and other volunteers from NJIT assisting with the cleanup of debris, the renovation of homes and businesses, and the planting of protective dune grass on beaches in communities hard-hit by the storm. Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno expressed special appreciation on behalf of the state for these efforts in 2014. Taking a longer and more comprehensive view of events such as Sandy, NJIT established the Center for Resilient Design (, an architectural think tank dedicated to the rebuilding of storm-afflicted areas in

sustainable ways that can withstand future natural disasters. The potential impacts of storms of Sandy’s magnitude, possibly more frequent due to climate change as mentioned with respect to Hurricane Harvey, have also become an important aspect of research conducted by NJIT faculty in departments that include Chemistry and Environmental Science and Civil and Environmental Engineering. Such investigation at NJIT has been supported by funding from a growing range of sources, among them the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium, which is dedicated to advancing knowledge and stewardship of New Jersey’s marine and coastal environment. n Author: Dean Maskevich is an NJIT Magazine contributing writer.


New Jersey Institute of Technology University Heights Newark, NJ 07102-1982

NJIT Online Makes It Easy and Convenient for You To Pursue a Graduate Degree at Your Alma Mater! Start With an Online Graduate Certificate or Dive Right into a Master’s Program Graduate Certificates Start advancing your career today with a 100% online graduate certificate. Earn and apply all 12 credits toward a Master’s Degree* while enhancing your resume and improving your skills. Certificates are available in: • • • • • • •

Project Management Social Media Essentials IT Administration Intelligent Transportation Systems Data Mining Construction Management And More!

Online Master’s Degrees • M.S. in IT Administration and Security (30 credits) • M.S. in Professional and Technical Communication (30 credits) • M.S. in Engineering Management (30 credits) • M.S. in Civil Engineering (30 credits) • MBA (48 credits) • M.S. in Computer Science (30 credits) • M.S. in Electrical Engineering (30 credits) • And More! * Good academic standing in the certificate program and application for

Use the waiver code ALUM to skip the application fee* when you apply for graduate study * The fee waiver cannot be applied if applicant has already paid the application fee.

admission into a Master’s Degree Program at NJIT are required.

Visit to get started today!



NJIT Magazine Fall 2017  
NJIT Magazine Fall 2017