Alumni Story: Jessica Ware (GSNB ’08) – Chasing Dragonflies

Jessica Ware

Jessica Ware

Celebrated in art and literature over the centuries, dragonflies continue to fascinate people, and none more than Jessica Ware (GSNB-Entomology ’08). An assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the Rutgers-Newark College of Arts and Sciences, Jessica credits her Canadian upbringing for her passion for dragonflies.

“I thank my grandparents, Gwen and Harold Irons, for giving me my love of insects,” she said. “I lived with them every summer up at their lakefront house in northern Ontario and learned about insects through gardening, hiking in the brush, picking berries for pies, and seeing dragonflies land on the dock when swimming.”

During her undergraduate years at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, she had a work-study assignment in the lab of a professor who studies damselflies, an insect in the same order, Odonata, as dragonflies. Very quickly, a summertime fascination turned into a scientific calling.

She applied and was accepted at several graduate schools, including Rutgers Graduate School-New Brunswick in the Department of Entomology in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. She chose Rutgers for her Ph.D. over the others because of the faculty and the students “who were most welcoming during my orientation visits.” [Read more…]

Alumna Mariellé Anzelone (CC ’93) Leads Video Series Host into the Woods in NYC

Urban ecologist Mariellé Anzelone (CC ’93, GSNB ’00) leads “Plants are Cool, Too!” video series host Chris Martine through Inwood Hill Park, NYC’s primeval urban forest on the northern end of Manhattan. Martine is the David Burpee Chair in Plant Genetics and Research at Bucknell University, and the video series highlights intriguing plant research. This episode was partially sponsored by the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources. Also watch the episode shot on Cook Campus where Martine investigates Prof. Lena Struwe’s research on parking lots weeds.

Video: Nature in New York City - Plants are Cool, Too! Episode 7

Alumni Story: Daniel Mascarenhas (SEBS ’13) – Pairing Science and Service

 Dan Mascarenhas is pictured outside the Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland.

Dan Mascarenhas is pictured outside the Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland.

Like many first-year students, Dan Mascarenhas was unsure of his life’s course. In high school, he had volunteered with the Emergency Medical Squad (EMS) in his hometown of Moorestown, New Jersey, as a community service activity and gravitated to “the high intensity and personal dedication required to serve and help patients in need.”

So it seemed only natural that he would set his sights on medicine, especially since his mother is a physician. However, when he arrived on campus, he was reluctant to head in that direction, mainly because he had witnessed firsthand and “appreciated the daily sacrifices that physicians make in not only long hours, but also missed family time.”

Nevertheless, after Dan’s graduation in 2013, he applied to and was accepted into the University of Maryland School of Medicine and expects to receive his M.D. degree in May 2017.

“Coming into college, I was reluctant to pursue medicine but kept my mind open,” he recalled. “I decided on biotechnology as a major because of my interest in science, the field’s promise for employment and success, and the caliber of the program at Rutgers.” [Read more…]

Prof. Jessica Ware (SEBS ’08) Wins Prestigious NSF Early CAREER Award

Jessica Ware

Jessica Ware.

Rutgers-Newark biology professor Jessica Ware, who graduated with a Ph.D. in entomology in 2008, received an Early CAREER award worth $800,000 over the next five years from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Ware’s award will be used to examine how the social structure of lower-termite colonies might have arisen 140 million years ago, testing whether ecology and dietary shifts led to changes in diversification and morphology. Ware was one of two faculty members at Rutgers-Newark to win the prestigious NSF Early CAREER award that honors junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholar through outstanding research, excellence in teaching, and successful integration of the two. Read more.

Alumni Story: Phillip Gordon (AG ’63) – On Point

[Editor’s Note: In the spring 2015 issue of the SEBS magazine Explorations, the 1963 alumni class correspondent shared Phillip Gordon’s recollection about living on the Douglass campus, a blizzard and eating with the young women of Douglass at the Douglass College dining hall – punctuating the tale with “What a misfortune!” Phillip contacted us to correct some of the facts in the story. Below is the corrected version and much more of Phillip’s story.]

Phillip Gordon on the Mills College campus.

Phillip Gordon on the Mills College campus.

“While it was nice to see the mention on the ‘Alumni Notes and Musing’ page, it was not entirely accurate,” wrote alumnus Phillip Gordon. “Population growth at Rutgers College in the late 1950s and early 1960s led to a severe housing shortage. I spent my 1959-60 freshman year in the basement of, I believe, Leupp, in what was a barracks-like setup with an open space, beds, and metal storage cabinets.
[Note: Leupp Hall, built in 1929, is still a student residence on the College Avenue campus, with single and double rooms – no barracks, thankfully.]

“My 1960-61 sophomore year, they housed some of us on the Douglass campus, in one of two groups of small buildings [the Corwin Houses] that served as some of the Douglass dorms. During a blizzard, for one night, they opened the Douglass dining hall to us because we were stranded. Food deliveries to New Brunswick were mostly stopped, and College Avenue was impassable.”

With the story corrected, we asked Phillip to tell us more about what he recalled from that era and what he is doing now. [Read more…]