Rutgers Community Comes Together to Help Fight the Spread of the Ebola Virus in West Africa

Jim Simon sorting supplies bound for Liberia at the REHS building on the Livingston campus.

Jim Simon sorting supplies bound for Liberia at the REHS building on the Livingston campus.

In August, Jim Simon, professor of plant biology and pathology at Rutgers, “just couldn’t sit still and do nothing” when, like the rest of the world, he began to get a better sense of the growing threat of the Ebola virus in West Africa through daily news reports. In addition, he was getting frantic requests for medical supplies and protective gear from colleagues attached to partner institutions in Liberia, in particular the JFK hospital at the University of Liberia and the Agave teaching clinic at Cuttington College.

Simon felt he needed to mobilize some effort to get desperately-needed supplies to folks on the ground, especially in Liberia, which has emerged as the country hardest hit by the epidemic. A member of the Princeton Fire Department, he’s been trained in Incident Command & Emergency Response and was a Lieutenant in Hook and Ladder Fire Company. “Because of my training, I had a sense of the need for logistical and practical support by the folks who are in the midst of dealing with an emergency,” said Simon.

He and several Rutgers colleagues, including faculty and staff from the Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs, School of Pharmacy, The New Jersey School of Medicine in Newark,  Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick and myriad other units, identified Liberia as the beneficiary of their immediate fundraising efforts due to the existing ties between Rutgers and Liberia. [Read more...]

Rutgers participates in nation’s largest climate march

More than 150 University students joined more than 310,000 other people from more than 1,000 organizations, universities and other institutions in New York City for the largest climate march in America’s history…Among those who attended the march were Dean Judith Storch of the School of Environmental of Environmental and Biological Sciences, David Hughes, professor in the Department of Anthropology and Ban-Ki Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations.

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Since she began teaching at Rutgers 13 years ago, botany professor Lena Struwe has seen growing student interest in learning about plants. But that desire often comes without the basic plant knowledge that previous generations of students arrived on campus with…"Many times, I have to teach from scratch. ‘This is a petal. This is a leaf. This is a branch,’ " said Struwe, who, like plant-science educators across the country, bemoans what has come to be known as "plant blindness" or plant illiteracy among not just college students, but adults and children, too.

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Five safe food handling tips grammy never taught you

They are lurking in our refrigerators and multiplying in the crevices of our sinks and cutting boards. Bacteria. Pathogens. Viruses that may wreak havoc on your digestive tract. One in six people will get sick from food poisoning this year, according to It’s enough to make even the most conscientious of cooks cringe, and maybe reach for that stack of takeout menus…Don Schaffner, a food-safety researcher at Rutgers University, advised consumers to rinse all raw produce before eating it, "if for no other reason than to rinse off dirt," he said.

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Kick up your fiber quotient to ward off disease, obesity

Dietary fiber has long been touted for its digestive benefits, but the scientific research is booming on fiber’s ability to boost immune health and reduce risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers…"Consumers say they’re interested in getting more fiber; they know the health benefits and say they are motivated by them. And plenty of fiber-rich foods are available in stores," stated Carol Byrd-Bredbenner, Ph.D., R.D., F.A.D.A., professor at Rutgers, at the Food and Fiber Summit.

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