John and Anne Gerwig Directors Fund Presents First Awards

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Larry S. Katz, director-Rutgers Cooperative Extension, with Anne and John Gerwig.

The first John and Anne Gerwig Director’s Fund awards for Rutgers Cooperative Extension were given out on May 4, 2016 at an event at the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health that celebrated the Gerwigs and their tireless devotion to extension and underserved populations in New Jersey. The Gerwigs were presented with the commemorative book, “Rutgers, A 250th Anniversary Portrait” by current RCE director, Larry S. Katz, and after some thoughtful and moving remarks by Mr. Gerwig, certificates were presented to Nicholas Polanin and his team for programing designed to empower women in agriculture, and to Michelle Brill and Jeannette Rey-Keywood for a professional development series to create programming for the developmentally disabled.

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John Gerwig.

John and Anne Gerwig are the embodiment of Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE). John joined 4-H when he was 5, became the extension agronomist early in his career, and is the longest serving director (1962-1992) in its history. Anne led the university’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program reaching limited resource families and was instrumental in obtaining critical employee benefits for paraprofessionals in extension.

John and Anne Gerwig wanted to help all of Rutgers Cooperative Extension. This devotion and desire led them to establish a fund that will provide resources to extension professionals in perpetuity. The goal of their $200,000 is to empower cooperative extension professionals so that they can make a bigger impact on New Jersey’s communities. A portion of the fund will be reserved to award through a formal “request for proposal” process set up and managed by the RCE director’s office. Remaining funds will be used to support emerging issues, internships, awarding additional proposals, and other needs that arise.

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World’s richest source of oceanographic data now operational at Rutgers

The data center for the pioneering Ocean Observatories Initiative, which collects and shares data from more than 800 sophisticated instruments and a transmission network across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, is now operating at Rutgers University… The OOI cyberinfrastructure team is led by Manish Parashar, distinguished professor of computer science and founding director of the Rutgers Discovery Informatics Institute (RDI2), in collaboration with Scott Glenn and Oscar Schofield, distinguished professors of marine and coastal sciences and directors of the Rutgers University Center for Ocean "Our OOI partners have deployed advanced platforms and a wide variety of sensors in challenging environments at sea," Glenn said. "Enabling unprecedented access to scientists and educators through an equally advanced cyberinfrastructure is our goal. We are excited that Rutgers is part of the team."

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Expressive Arts 4-H Showcase at Rutgers Day

Members of the 4-H Clover Ensemble Club (Somerset County). Photo: Courtesy of Expressive Arts 4-H.

Members of the 4-H Clover Ensemble Club (Somerset County). Photo: Courtesy of Expressive Arts 4-H.

Ten 4-H members representing three counties (Camden, Passaic and Somerset) took part in the Expressive Arts 4-H Imagination in Action Showcase at Voorhees Mall on the College Avenue Campus during Rutgers Day on April 30.

Hands-on visual arts activities and performances by 4-H members, ranging in ages from 9-15, provided an enjoyable day for Rutgers alumni, family and friends. The Somerset County 4-H Clover Ensemble club, under the direction of 4-H volunteer leaders Patti Verbanas, Ellen Parker and Julia Meier, provided entertainment during the day. [Read more…]

5 things to look for at Rutgers Day 2016

In May, President Barack Obama will speak at Rutgers commencement, but before that, on Saturday, Rutgers Day 2016 hits the open-house trifecta. In celebration of the university’s 250th anniversary in November, the school has expanded its annual April offerings to all three campus cities — New Brunswick, Newark and Camden… The New Jersey 4-H state dog show is part of Ag Field Day, which is also a part of Rutgers Day, at the Cook/Douglass campus farm area in New Brunswick. Watch dogs compete in agility, obedience and more.

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New Jersey 4-H Members to Attend National 4-H Conference

4-H Logo.

4-H Logo.

Six 4-H members from New Jersey have been selected to represent the state at the 86th National 4-H Conference to be held April 9-14 in Washington, D.C.  The New Jersey delegates are Teresa Coppola, Hunterdon County; Kacey England, Ocean County; Nikayla Hetzell, Cumberland County; Abigail Sharp, Salem County; Madeline Teitsma, Sussex County and David Wolverton, Middlesex County.

Headquartered at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland, this conference provides a forum for nearly 400 4-H members, leaders and staff from 50 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, District of Columbia and Canada. These teens offer an import voice in the development of programs and the future of 4-H. The theme of the conference is “Locally Grown, Global Leaders.” [Read more…]

Rutgers Ecological Preserve: A Living Outdoor Classroom

Kontos Memorial Kiosk at the Rutgers EcoPreserve was designed and constructed by Brian Curry (SEBS‘12).

The Kontos Memorial Kiosk at the Rutgers EcoPreserve was designed and constructed by Brian Curry (SEBS ’12).

Charlie Kontos, Jr. loved wild places and all forms of wildlife. In fact, he was the first person to document and verify the return of the fisher (Martes pennant), part of the weasel family, to the woods of New Jersey after its extirpation in the 1900s.

Kontos passed away in 2010 while in the process of completing the doctoral program in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources (EENR). In his memory, his family dedicated a gateway kiosk on the 400-acre Rutgers Ecological Preserve. The kiosk leads to a new set of trails that students and others can access conveniently from the Livingston Campus. The Kontos Memorial Kiosk was designed and constructed by Brian Curry (SEBS‘12), with help from EcoPreserve Faculty Director Rick Lathrop, professor of environmental monitoring in EENR and director of the Grant F. Walton Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis (CRSSA) on the G. H. Cook Campus. Lathrop was named the inaugural holder of the new Johnson Family Chair in Water Resources and Watershed Ecology in December 2015.

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Union County Extension honored with community health awards

The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County has a mission of fostering community health and nutrition by sharing science-based information with the public, and its efforts have been recognized with two recent awards. The Union County Extension is headed by Karen M. Ensle, EdD, RDN, FAND, CFCS, a nutrition expert and member of the Family and Community Health Sciences faculty at Rutgers University.

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4-H youth from 13 N.J. counties learn about leadership

A group of 41 4-H members from 13 counties will be participating in the Discover the Leader in You! 4-H Leadership Conference being held Saturday on the George H. Cook Campus at Rutgers University in New Brunswick in Middlesex County. The conference provides an opportunity for middle school age youth to learn about and develop leadership knowledge and skills through large and small group interactive workshops and hands-on activities, according to Rutgers Cooperative Extension.

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Cape May County Native Receives Rutgers University Faculty Award

West Cape May resident Jeannette Rea Keywood was recently awarded the 2015 Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) Award for Excellence — Extension Faculty by Dr. Larry Katz, Director of RCE and Senior Associate Director of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. Jeannette Rea Keywood is a State 4-H Agent in the Department of 4-H Youth Development and an Associate Professor in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University.

Read the entire article at Cape May Herald »

State 4-H Agent Jeanette Rea Keywood Honored With RCE Award for Excellence

RCE Director Larry Katz congratulates Jeanette Rea Keywood.

RCE Director Larry Katz congratulates Jeanette Rea Keywood.

Jeannette Rea Keywood, State 4-H agent in the Department of 4-H Youth Development, was awarded the Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) Award for Excellence–Extension Faculty at a year-end ceremony by Larry Katz, director of RCE and senior associate director of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.

According to Katz, dedication to and passion for the youth development profession has been a distinguishing characteristic of Keywood’s career. Her commitment to excellence and strong impact in teaching, extension practice, and service to Cooperative Extension and to the university has spanned more than a quarter century. This includes significant accomplishments as the Cumberland County 4-H Agent for 22 years and as a NJ State 4-H Agent for the past three years. Jeannette’s work as a county 4-H agent reached more than 1,400 youth in club programming and more than 5,000 through enrichment, special interest and after-school programming focused on developing community partnerships, 21st Century grants, youth-at-risk audiences as well as experiential and inquiry-based science, technology and environmental education. [Read more…]