Alumni Story: Roy DeBoer (GSNB’59) – His Presence Lives On

Roy H. DeBoer

Roy H. DeBoer

What is a legacy?

It can be a bequest, as in a will. It can be a tradition that survives the test of time. It can be a body of work or set of values or an achievement that lives on after one retires or dies.

In the case of the late Professor Roy H. DeBoer, it is all of these.

Roy founded Rutgers’ landscape architecture (LA) program, and was a professor of LA from 1955 to his retirement more than 50 years later. He chaired the department for 25 years, and he designed the Evergreen Garden in Rutgers Gardens and the “Heron Rising” patio adjacent to the Cook Student Center, the setting for the moving Rutgers Rising memorial service each year. And his influence is felt far and wide. [Read more…]

Harvest Your Own Pepper Event Grows into Annual Tradition

Participants in HYOP 2015 were invited to evaluate peppers based on appearance.

Participants in HYOP 2015 were invited to evaluate peppers based on appearance.

The 2015 Harvest Your Own Pepper (HYOP) event took place on October 26 at Rutgers Horticultural Research Farm III on Cook Campus in New Brunswick where the Rutgers community is invited to pick their own hot peppers left over from research variety trials. Over sixty faculty, staff and alumni visited the research plots to pick many types of peppers, ranging from heat-free/sweet mini bells to >250,000 Scoville heat unit-habaneros. The pepper spectrum covers African birdeye/Thai hot, African poblano (“Tatashe”), baccatum, cayenne and jalapenos.

This is a continuation of the exotic pepper research project at Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. Albert Ayeni, ethnic crop specialist, Tom Orton, extension specialist in vegetable breeding and colleagues, are conducting the hot pepper trials for selecting varieties that grow well in New Jersey. In addition, they are investigating the peppers’ potential use as ornamental plants and medicinal foods. From the selections of peppers in the research trials, several will eventually be released to New Jersey growers to expand the state’s ethnic food basket.

The additions to the 2015 HYOP event included access of guest pickers to the African eggplant (garden eggs) plot adjacent to the pepper plots and evaluation of habanero selections based on appearance.

The positive feedback from the guest pickers has enabled HYOP to become a growing annual event since it started in 2012. A HYOP guest who participated for the first time commented, “This was my first time participating in HYOP. What a nice tradition!”

Ayeni stated, “We are encouraged by the interest of our community in HYOP (33 participated in 2013, 45 in 2014 and 62 in 2015). We plan to continue the “tradition” of adding some spice to life throughout the fall, winter and spring seasons that follow the harvest. “A soul that eats no hot pepper, is a weak soul” —- an African adage! We look forward to 2016 HYOP and hope you can join us!”

Brittany Graf (GSNB ’14) Will Host RUAA Tour of Cuban Natural Medicine Research Facility

Brittany L. Graf

Brittany L. Graf

Now that diplomatic relations have been restored between the United States and Cuba, Rutgers University Alumni Association is planning to explore the mystique of the island nation, with two trips planned for 2016.

Among the many activities on the agenda, travelers will visit Cuba’s natural medicine research facility, managed by Fulbright scholar Brittany Graf GSNB’14 who is working with Cuban natural medicine specialists to explore potentially life-saving botanicals as part of Rutgers-GIBEX. The Global Institute for BioExploration is a global research and development network that promotes ethical, natural product-based pharmacological bioexploration to benefit human health and the environment in developing countries. Rutgers professor Ilya Raskin’s laboratory serves as the headquarters for GIBEX. Read more at Rutgers Magazine.


Rutgers Annual “Monster Mash” Had its Origins as a Cook College Event in 2000

The early planning stages of the very first Monster Mash.

The early planning stages of the very first event that evolved into the annual Monster Mash at Rutgers.

In 2000, Justin Gayliard’s (Cook College ‘03) goal to create a safe and fun environment for disadvantaged children in the New Brunswick area to go trick-or-treating was achieved with the inception of what is now an annual Rutgers event known as Monster Mash. As we approach the 2015 event, let’s do the time-hop to remember the early years that started it all on Cook Campus.

What began as Gayliard’s community service project in October 2000 gave 15 children from Edison’s Ozanam Homeless Shelter an incredible Halloween. The event was originally called “Trick-or-Treating for Homeless Children” but was later named “Monster Mash,” after it expanded to a universitywide event based in the Cook/Douglass Recreation Center Gymnasium. [Read more…]

Students Help SEBS Fulbright Professor Document Changes in Local Fishing Community in Ghana

Augustus Chan (r), Coryanne Mansell and Heidi Hausermann with students from Ghana's University of Mines and Technology in front of the Bui Dam.

Augustus Chan (at left), Coryanne Mansell (standing, fourth on right), Heidi Hausermann (standing, second on right), a student from the University of Chicago, four students from Ghana’s University of Mines and Technology and other locals. They are pictured standing in front of the Bui Dam in Ghana.

Heidi Hausermann, professor in the Department of Human Ecology and recipient of a 2015-2016 Fulbright Scholar Grant for research in Ghana, took two Rutgers University students with her on a field trip to Africa this past summer. The students’ participation was made possible by funding from Rutgers Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs and the School of Environmental and Biological Science’s (SEBS) Department of Human Ecology, among other sources.

Augustus Chang (Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School ’19) and Coryanne Mansell (SEBS ’15) worked alongside a student from the University of Chicago and four Ghanaian students from the University of Mines and Technology, located in the western region of Ghana. During the two-week trip, the seven students conducted fieldwork to gain an understanding of the effects of the Bui Dam on the local community. The group mainly shared rooms in rural guesthouses for the duration of their stay.

“It was fun to watch the students dive into the project and get to know each other. They are truly an amazing group of people who exceeded my expectations on how well they worked together as individuals,” said Hausermann. [Read more…]