Female Golf Course Superintendents: New Jersey Leads the Way With Several Rutgers Grads

Tammy Stephens, head super at Warrenbrook Golf Course in Warren, NJ.

Tammy Stephens, head superintendent at Warren Brook Golf Course in Warren, NJ.

When Jo-Ann Eberle became head superintendent in 1984 at Sunset Valley Golf Course in Pequannock, she was a rarity—first female head super in New Jersey and the Northeastern United States.

More than 30 years later, New Jersey boasts all of three female head supers in Rebecca Hawkins at Darlington Golf Course in Mahwah, Diane Elwood at Bel-Aire Golf Course in Wall and Tammy Stephens at Warren Brook, but three more ladies are serving as assistant superintendents and are members of the New Jersey section of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.

They are Jessica Hall at Rockaway River Country Club n Denville, Valerie Lawrence of Spring Brook Country Club in Morristown and Jennifer Torres, who works for New Jersey’s Spirit Golf Management at Makefield Highlands in Yardley, Pa.

[Read more…]

Balancing Passions, a Rutgers-trained Scientist Heads for the Future

Talia Young, on a research trip to Mongolia. Photo: Talia Young.

Talia Young, on a research trip to Mongolia. Photo: Talia Young.

Acquiring new knowledge and sharing it with high school students have marked Talia Young’s journey

Talia Young, a newly minted Rutgers Ph.D. in ecology, studies fish and their relationship to the people and communities that depend on them.

She’s also passionate about acquiring new knowledge and sharing it with young people, which is what has led her to move between research and teaching since her undergraduate days at Swarthmore College. Now preparing for postdoctoral work at Princeton University, Young spent her last several weeks as a Rutgers graduate student co-teaching, with help from Kristin Hunter-Thomson in 4H Youth Development, a mini-course on mathematics applications in fisheries science in a Philadelphia high school – the same one she taught biology in before going to graduate school. The course was partly funded by the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources and the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences.

[Read more…]

A Wildflower Meadow Blooms at IFNH and Cook Campus Gains a New Outdoor Classroom

IFNH Wildflower Meadow. Photo: Jennifer Simon.

IFNH Wildflower Meadow. Photo: Jennifer Simon.

You’re going to have to burn some calories regardless of which direction you approach the main floor of the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health. But whether hoofing it up a long flight of stairs or a shorter jaunt from the courtyard, you’ll likely be distracted by the view and not even mind the workout. Students, alumni and faculty in the Department of Landscape Architecture (LA) have had a hand in creating the eyecatching views that grace the ascent to the building. First came the alumni-designed EcoWall flanking a long interior staircase. Then came the student-designed landscaped garden along the gentle slope of the courtyard, planted in the spring. And finally, the glorious meadow in summer bloom along the steep slope at the front entrance of the building, designed by an alum and used as an outdoor classroom.

[Read more…]

E. Timothy Marshall (CC’83) Honored by the American Society of Landscape Architects

E. Timothy Marshall (CC’83).

E. Timothy Marshall (CC’83).

Rutgers alumnus E. Timothy Marshall (CC’83), co-chair of the Landscape Architecture alumni advisory committee, has been elevated to the Council of Fellows by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Marshall, who has maintained close ties to Rutgers, is a longtime supporter of the Roy H. DeBoer Travel Prize in Landscape Architecture and more recently the Roy H. DeBoer Endowed Scholarship at the university.

Fellowship is among the highest honors the ASLA bestows on members. This award recognizes the contributions of these individuals to their profession and society at large over a sustained period of time as demonstrated by their works, leadership and management, knowledge, and service. Individuals must be members of ASLA in good standing for at least 10 years and must be recommended to the Council of Fellows by the Executive Committee of their local chapter, the Executive Committee of ASLA, or the Executive Committee of the Council of Fellows. Marshall received his nomination, in Leadership/Management from the New Jersey Chapter of the ASLA.

[Read more…]

Alumni Story: William Sansalone (Ag’53, GSNB’61) – Farm Boy at Heart

William Sansalone (Ag’53, GSNB’61).

William Sansalone (Ag’53, GSNB’61). Photo courtesy of Georgetown University Medical Center 2007.

“After a 46-year career in urban medical centers, I remain a farm boy at heart,” wrote Bill Sansalone, Ph.D., in a thank-you note he sent after receiving a packet of the Rutgers 250 tomato seeds as a gift.

Enormously appreciative of his roots in south Jersey agriculture, Bill has gone to great lengths to stay in touch with his heritage and to celebrate it. One of his proudest accomplishments this past year was the creation of a 24-page brochure, “The Grindstone at Betty Bajewicz Historical Center,” which chronicles the discovery and restoration of his parents’ grindstone from their former homestead in Malaga, New Jersey, and the remarkable significance of a seemingly ordinary piece of equipment to farm life in a bygone era.

Because farming in the nation’s early history consisted of heavy hand labor using tools that required regular sharpening and honing, the grindstone played an important role in agriculture. Bill Sansalone became engrossed in the subject in 2006 after a visit to his boyhood home on Dutch Mill Road in Malaga. There he found the abandoned grindstone that his parents relied on for working the farm, and he felt its connection to them – “What I saw was a priceless piece of family history that had to be rescued.”

Rescue it he did with the help of two nephews, Fred and Mike Schiavone, who acquired and rebuilt it for display at the Betty Bajewicz Historical Center in Franklinville, New Jersey.

[Read more…]

In Memoriam: Professor and Extension Specialist George Wulster (1949-2016)

George Wulster inspecting poinettias in greenhouse.

George Wulster inspecting poinettias in greenhouse.

George Wulster, professor and extension specialist in floriculture in the Department of Plant Biology and Pathology at Rutgers, died on June 14 at the age of 66. A resident of Lebanon, NJ, he retired after 36 years at Rutgers as a professor emeritus in January 2014.

Wulster received his Ph.D. in post-harvest physiology from Rutgers in 1981 and worked closely with the New Jersey commercial floriculture industry as a consultant, in addition to his research and teaching. He also oversaw the production of more than 100 varieties of poinsettias in the Rutgers Floriculture Greenhouse on the Cook Campus.

Wulster, who taught many graduate students over the years, deeply enjoyed mentoring young people and was considered a thoughtful, intelligent and remarkably decent person by his colleagues.

Wulster began his career as a grower manager at Wright’s Roses in Cranbury, where he’d previously worked in high school. After retirement, he and his wife formed Custom Floral Postharvest Solutions LLC, with a special focus on tulip preservation.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, June 25 at 11 a.m., at Church of the Holy Spirit, 3 Haytown Road, Lebanon, NJ, and will be officiated by Reverend Philip Carr-Jones. Family, friends and former colleagues are invited to a luncheon at the church immediately following the service.

In lieu of flowers donations in Wulster’s name may be made through In Memory Of to benefit the following: Hobart & William Smith Colleges, The George Wulster Memorial Music Program, c/o Church of the Holy Spirit, 3 Haytown Road, Lebanon, NJ 08833, and the Melanoma Research Foundation.

Alumni Story: Diana Strelczyk (CC’06) – Covered in School Spirit

Cook alumna's Rutgers t-shirt quilt. Photo by Diana Strelczyk

Cook alumna’s Rutgers t-shirt quilt. Photo by Diana Strelczyk

One of the byproducts of a college education is the collection of t-shirts that students invariably take with them after graduation. Diana Strelczyk was no exception.

It’s safe to say that many of those old college t-shirts ultimately end up, faded and torn, in the rag bag. But for Diana, these items brought back fond memories of her college experiences, and particularly her days as an active participant in the sports scene on campus.

After she graduated in 2006 with a major in sports management and a minor in environmental economics, she went on to Miami University of Ohio for her master’s degree, She took her t-shirt collection with her and added to the stack during graduate school.

Diana wanted to find a way to preserve the shirts and the memories they represented after she returned to New Jersey in 2011. Inspired by a roommate’s quilt made from sorority t-shirts, she decided to take a creative approach: a quilt of her personal Rutgers memories! [Read more…]

Rutgers Gardens Celebrates its Centennial Anniversary

Installation of permanent benches.

Installation of permanent benches.

During Rutgers Historic 250th Year its ‘Secret Garden’ turns 100!

Rutgers Gardens celebrated its Centennial on May 17th with an outdoor reception under a large tent in the Roy DeBoer Evergreen Gardens. Despite the rain, the tent was packed with faculty, staff, and many supporters and volunteers. This historic moment in the Gardens’ history was commemorated with the installation of two permanent benches, a plaque, and the naming of a new commemorative bearded iris hybrid ‘Centennial Charm.’  Bob Lyons, chairman of the Advisory Board proudly announced the Horticulture Landmark Designation Award from the American Society for Horticulture Science and Bruce Crawford, director Rutgers Gardens was also honored with the Rutgers Gardens Centennial Award of Distinction.

Dean Bob Goodman.

Dean Bob Goodman.

Dean Bob Goodman kicked off the gala with some remarks regarding his introduction to the Gardens.  He said that during the interview process for the position of Dean of the School of Environmental and Biological Studies and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, he was given a tour of the Gardens and then was told that the Gardens would be under his supervision as Dean. “You mean they’ll be mine?” He was clearly delighted!

Bruce Crawford, Rutgers Gardens director, gave a brief history of the Gardens, which began in 1916, when 35.7 acres of land—known as Wolpert Farm—was purchased on May 17, 1916 from Jacob and Celia Lipman. The Gardens  were intended as a functional learning space for local farmers to teach them about the new trend at the turn of the century—ornamental horticulture—and were never meant to be public, leading some to call them Rutgers’ ‘Secret Garden.’ They were never denied to the public, however, and the love for and dedication to the gardens by students, faculty and the public blossomed along with the gardens!

[Read more…]

Edible Jersey Profiles the ‘Rutgers Scarlet’ Strawberry: The Jersey Berry

Bill Hlubik, Middlesex County agricultural agent

Bill Hlubik, Middlesex County agricultural agent

If Bill Hlubik has his way, there will be strawberry fields forever— or at least a little longer each year— in the Garden State. Hlubik and his team at the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station hope to someday introduce new varieties that will extend the growing season beyond the traditional four weeks for June-bearing strawberries. For now, however, it’s all about the flavor. Read more at Edible Jersey.


Alumni Story: Peggy Policastro (GSNB’93,’15) – Food with Thought

Peggy Policastro

Fortunate is the person who can parlay a childhood fascination into an academic and professional career. Peggy Policastro is a fortunate person.

Peggy, a registered dietician, is the nutritionist for Rutgers Dining Services, and the director of behavioral nutrition with the Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health (IFNH). She also holds a master’s degree in nutritional science from Rutgers and what she describes as a first-of-its-kind Ph.D. in interdisciplinary studies-nutritional science and psychology.

The interdisciplinary doctorate is a relatively new concept for the Graduate School-New Brunswick that requires the aspiring doctoral candidate to devise a course of studies and to get approval from the authorities of each academic program or department involved in the curriculum.

Why go through all the effort? In Peggy’s case it was because of her intense curiosity about not only what people eat, but also why they eat what they eat.

As part of her work, she directs the Rutgers Healthy Dining Team and the IFNH Student Ambassadors, teams of undergraduates studying nutritional sciences who are selected for their ability to reach out to students, stakeholders, the community, and others to encourage healthful eating. [Read more…]