Alumni Story: For Amanda Szucsik (Cook ’01), Working with Lab Animals Ignites a Dream

Amanda Szucsik with a Savannah Monitor Lizard, the main experimental model she studied in grad school.

Amanda Szucsik with a Savannah Monitor Lizard, the main experimental model she studied in grad school.

The Department of Animal Sciences invites alumni to share their stories as they pursue their work or interests after graduation. The following is adapted from a story written by Amanda Szucsik, Class of 2001.

My name is Amanda Szucsik.  I am 34 years old and was recently admitted (Class of 2018) to North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. NCSU is the only veterinary school in the U.S. to offer a focused, tracking curriculum in laboratory animal medicine. I am very, very excited to begin this next chapter in my life and can hardly believe that this dream is finally coming true!

I am firmly committed to the pursuit of a specialty in laboratory animal medicine post-graduation. I never would have arrived at this juncture in my life had it not been for the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences’ Department of Animal Sciences. [Read more...]

Alumni Story: Two Recent Grads Take ‘Growing Up’ to New Heights

Michael A. Coraggio (Left) and Ryan M. Burrows (right)

Michael A. Coraggio (Left) and Ryan M. Burrows (right)

The concept of living walls – also called vertical gardens – isn’t entirely new, but Michael Coraggio (Cook ’06) and Ryan Burrows (GSNB ’13) have turned it into an innovative business that promotes beauty and sustainability with practical and environmentally sound applications.

First “invented” in the 1930s, a living wall turns an impervious vertical surface into an attractive and ecologically beneficial space. This architectural approach has surged in popularity in recent years, especially in urban settings with scarce green areas, office buildings and other structures that beg for aesthetic improvement.

Their business, EcoWalls®, takes a soil-less, hydroponic approach to growing and maintaining a vertical garden, rather than using soil or other media. The advantage is that a non-soil medium allows for more consistent results and, unlike soil, does not break down or decay. This reduces maintenance and replacement costs. [Read more...]

Rutgers Alumnus (GSNB ’12) Named Executive Director of U.S. Botanic Garden

Ari Novy, GSNB '12, is a plant biologist.

Ari Novy, GSNB ’12, is a plant biologist.

The Architect of the Capitol, the unit that administers the United States Botanic Garden, announced last week the appointment of Ari Novy, Ph.D., as executive director of the Garden.

Novy’s connection with Rutgers goes back to 2006 when he began working as a graduate research fellow. He received his doctorate in 2012 from the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences’ Department of Plant Biology and Pathology. His dissertation director was Jean Marie Hartman of the Department of Landscape Architecture, where he also served as a teaching assistant.

In his new position, Novy is responsible for leading and planning day-to-day operations and major programs at the U.S. Botanic Gardens. [Read more...]

The Call of the Wild: Alumna Champions Wildflowers in NYC

Mariellé Anzelone

Mariellé Anzelone

Conservationist Mariellé Anzelone’s (CC ’93, GSNB ’00) efforts to showcase New York City’s native plant species included the launching NYC Wildflower Week. Anzelone shares the moment that sparked her interest in nature and it all goes back to SEBS Professor David Ehrenfeld’s class discussion of serotinous pinecones. Read more in Rutgers Magazine.

Alumni Story: Stephen Birchard (CAES ’72): Using Social Media for Continuing Education

Stephen Birchard with Billy, a patient

Stephen Birchard with Billy, a patient

The Department of Animal Sciences features alumni on its website and in its newsletter. This article is adapted, with thanks, from the Animal Sciences website.

In 1983, Stephen Birchard, DVM, joined the faculty of the College of Veterinary Medicine at The Ohio State University, and 31 years later he continues to be passionate about teaching. Only nowadays, his classroom has no walls, as it is located on the blog he started, Veterinary Key Points, for practicing veterinarians.

Stephen graduated from Rutgers’ College of Agriculture and Environmental Science in 1972. He went to veterinary school at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine (Class of 1976) and came back to New Jersey as an associate veterinarian in a small animal practice for two years. He completed a small animal surgical residency program and master’s degree at Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1981 and spent two years as an associate staff surgeon at the Animal Medical Center in New York City. He joined the faculty at Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine in 1983, became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1984 and served as head of small animal surgery at Ohio State from 1988 to 1994. [Read more...]