The 10th annual Run for the Woods Raised Over $1,000!

Run for the Woods - On the Course - Photo Credit-Amanda Sorensen 2

Through the woods. Photo Credit-Amanda Sorensen.

The 10th annual Run for the Woods was held on Saturday May 14. The weather was beautiful, the runners were fast, and the volunteers and organizers did a great job. This 5k trail race was organized by the graduate students of the Ecology and Evolution Graduate Student Association (EcoGSA) to raise funds for restoration and care of local woods at the Rutgers University Ecological Preserve (EcoPreserve) and for their Association. Professor Richard Lathrop, faculty director of the EcoPreserve, has also used donations to fund undergraduate projects such as an ecology course focused on natural resource management. The Run was originally held in Helyar Woods, part of Rutgers Gardens. The location was changed in 2014 and now takes place at the EcoPreserve.

Run for the Woods - Starting Line - Photo Credit-Amanda Sorensen

Starting Line. Photo Credit-Amanda Sorensen.

This year 44 runners and walkers crossed the finish line. The competitors were mostly local runners, and many come out every year.  The fastest male finisher, William Hulbert, crossed the finish line in 18:49 minutes. The fastest female finisher, Amanda Cirillo, finished the run in 25:44 minutes.

Joni Baumgarten, who has headed the organization for 4 years, described the course as a single loop through the EcoPerserve, featuring many spring flowers including spring beauty (claytonia virginica) and Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema Triphyllum).  Obstacles included narrow sections, roots, rocks, and—because of the recent rains—mud!  Despite this last messy challenge, Natalie Howe, one of the runners who also helped [Read more…]

Congratulations SEBS Class of 2016

The processional for SEBS Class of 2016 was led by gonfalonier Francis M. McQuarrie. Photo by Jennifer C. Simon

Gonfalonier Francis M. McQuarrie (Marine Sciences ’16) led the processional at the 2016 SEBS Convocation. Photo by Jennifer C. Simon.

On May 16, the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences’ Class of 2016 was awarded degrees and basked in the collective pride of faculty and staff of the Cook Campus at the Convocation held at the iconic Passion Puddle. On a sunny, but windy day, the students were joined by an enormous crowd of family and friends to celebrate this special annual occasion, made all the more special this year as Rutgers celebrates a historic 250th anniversary.

Dean of Academic Programs Rick Ludescher served as the Master of Ceremonies while Executive Dean Bob Goodman addressed the Class of 2016, which numbered over 730 graduates.

Summa cum laude graduates were recognized, while outstanding senior awards were presented by the Cook Community Alumni Association and the campus deans. The Dr. Barbara Munson Goff “Teacher of the Year” Award, presented by Alpha Zeta, the honors and service fraternity, was won by Dean Ludescher, who is also a professor in the Department of Food Science. A rousing address was given by Class of 2016 Representative Jessie Davis, a public health major, who received a standing ovation from her her classmates. View images of 2016 Convocation on the SEBS Facebook album.

2016 SEBS Convocation Remarks by Executive Dean Bob Goodman

Executive Dean Robert M. Goodman at School of Environmental and Biological Sciences 2016 Convocation. Photo by John O'Boyle

Executive Dean Robert M. Goodman delivers his address at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences 2016 Convocation. Photo by John O’Boyle.

Convocation remarks by Executive Dean Bob Goodman on May 16 to the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences’ Class of 2016.

I am delighted to be able to greet you this morning on this wonderful occasion. The faculty and the members of the Cook community have watched you grow and blossom during your years at Rutgers. On their behalf, I offer our collective congratulations to you—the young men and women of the Class of 2016.

You’re part of something grand, graduating at perhaps one of the most highly anticipated moments in Rutgers history. There’s been an air of anticipation and feeling of ‘specialness’ attached to this class that graduates during our ‘Rutgers 250’ anniversary. You’re also special in a way that no other class can claim—whatever your politics—for having your commencement address be delivered by a sitting president of the United States.

You’re part of something revolutionary, connected to the beginnings of an institution established in 1766 when America was still a colony. You’re part of that vast continuum of students who, in those early days, soon became embroiled in the greatest civil strife in our land, to be followed almost a century later by the second major upheaval —Civil War in the 1860s, out of which emerged the public university system and the transformative land-grant program that underpins the great state universities in our country. [Read more…]

7 shout-outs to Jersey in Obama’s Rutgers speech

President Barack Obama has never lived in New Jersey, but his speech to Rutgers University’s graduating class Sunday showed someone clued him in on some of the state’s quirks and cultural touchstones… Obama gave shout-outs to several Rutgers graduates, including Yasmin Ramadan, a School of Arts and Sciences graduate, who is an anti-bullying advocate and heads the Muslim Public Relations Council, and Madison Little, a School of Environmental and Biological Sciences graduate who has done work to confront the AIDS epidemic.

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A Celebration of Excellence 2016

2016 Excellence Award winners. Back row, l-r: Rick Ludescher, Weilin Huang, Christopher Obropta, Marci Meixler, Jennifer Francis. Front row: Dalynn Knigge, Jennifer Todd, Meredith Melendez, Wesley Kline, and Jenice Sabb.

2016 Excellence Award winners. Back row, l-r: Rick Ludescher, Weilin Huang, Christopher Obropta, Marci Meixler, Jennifer Francis. Front row: Dalynn Knigge, Jennifer Todd, Meredith Melendez, Wesley Kline, and Jenice Sabb. Photo by Jeff Heckman.

On April 21, faculty, staff, and students attended the 23rd annual Celebration of Excellence for the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station held at Neilson Dining Hall.

According to executive dean Bob Goodman, this signature event acknowledges contributions that meet carefully-considered criteria, including creativity, original work and ideas, innovation, effectiveness, integrity, leadership, impact, community engagement, and excellence.

The awards were presented by dean of academic programs, Rick Ludescher. SEBS students Sarah Waxman and Nicole Tallman also presented the Alpha Zeta Honor Society Awards at the event. [Read more…]

Breahnna Saunders (SEBS’16): Passionate About Helping People

Breahnna SaundersMeet Breahnna Saunders (SEBS’16), a Nutritional Sciences major whose attraction to the field stems from the respect she feels we owe our bodies. She was identified by Rutgers Division of Student Affairs as one of the university’s 250 most involved and accomplished students, and is featured in the commemorative series, 250 for 250,” on the division’s I Am Rutgers website.

“I would say that I’m passionate about respecting and admiring our bodies. I want people to take care of their bodies because they can do these amazing things. People can climb mountains, they can dance, they can bend all sorts of ways. The body is just so amazing, so my passion in life is to inspire people to want to respect their own and admire what it can do.”

Rutgers WeatherWatcher Program: Sunny Skies in the Forecast

Tyler Case (SEBS'15) delivering a weather report from the Rutgers campus. Photo: Courtesy of Tyler Case.

Tyler Case (SEBS’15) delivering a weather report from the Rutgers campus. Photo: Courtesy of Tyler Case.

Since 2002, budding meteorologists who enroll at Rutgers get a head start on their careers thanks to a one-of-a-kind WeatherWatcher program where meteorology majors rub shoulders with non-meteorology undergrads who “live and learn” as peers tied together by their interest in weather broadcasting. One of several living-learning communities at Rutgers, the WeatherWatcher program is a partnership between the meteorology undergraduate program and the Rutgers University Television Network (RU-tv).

These “weather watchers” learn how to deliver daily pre-recorded weather broadcasts using the green screen in a professional television studio located on the first floor of Perry Hall, one of the residential dorms on the G. H. Cook Campus. Broadcasts are shared across the New Brunswick campus on RU-tv and streamed online.

Although open to non-meteorology students, the WeatherWatcher program has created a definite benefit for meteorology major Tyler Case (SEBS ’15). Case knew coming into Rutgers that he wanted to major in meteorology and work in the field, so he enrolled in the WeatherWathcher program in his first year. He valued the close-knit feeling of both the living-learning community and the meteorology program. “It’s not every day that you walk down the hall and your professors all know you by name.” [Read more…]

Students, Prospective Health and Wellness Professionals, Participate in Intergenerational Project for Older Adults

SEBS student Linda Dragun, at left, and colleagues Saige Gomez and Morris Kim play a game of modified pong with the senior citizens.

SEBS student Linda Dragun, second from left, and fellow Rutgers students Saige Gomez (center) and Morris Kim (second from right) play a game of ‘modified pong’ with the seniors.

Students from Rutgers, including four from the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences who are pursuing careers as physical therapists, doctors, occupational therapists and nurse practitioners specializing in the aging community, hosted an intergenerational event for Springpoint Senior Living residents at the Loree Gymnasium on the Douglass Campus on April 13.

Susan Kaplowitz, professor in the Department of Exercise Science and Sport Studies, along with 25 of her students, welcomed 30 residents from Monroe Village and Meadow Lakes, both Springpoint Senior Living continuing care retirement communities, for a fun-filled afternoon of physical, mental and creative exercises.

The seniors participated in activities designed by the students, including interactive stations with fitness testing, creative arts, balancing activities, memory games, sport games: Wii bowling, water pong and corn-hole. Tactile exercises using everyday household items included towels, chairs, sand-filled water bottles and rubber bands to stretch and strengthen hand muscles. [Read more…]

Science shines at Rutgers Day on the Cook Campus

Rutgers marked its 250th anniversary on Saturday with huge celebrations on all of the campuses, and an estimated 100,000 individuals, many as couples or families, took advantage of the day to see what the various schools at Rutgers offer, from sports to music to food science to agriculture, the arts, and more… On the Cook Campus in New Brunswick, the broad focus was on science, ranging from horticulture to animal science, food science and even firefighting. Rutgers Gardens had a very large plant sale. There was an inflatable tunnel that mimicked the root system of a tree. The annual dog show for the Seeing Eye attracted dog lovers from around the state. The Rutgers Habitat for Humanity club was displaying a barrier-free garage that members had built for the Johnson family of Plainfield.

Read the entire article at Gannett New Jersey »

Saba Tabasoom (SEBS ’16): Gaining Strength and Support on Her Rutgers Journey

Saba Tabasoom

Saba Tabasoom

By Samuel Ludescher (SAS ’17)

Graduating with a degree from Rutgers is an invitation into lofty intellectual circles. It is also evidence that the recipient of a diploma has braved the course load of his or her respective major. Saba Tabasoom, however, has braved much more over her ten-year college career. She graduated in January 2016 from Rutgers as a pre-med student with a degree in biology—and a letter of congratulations from assistant dean of academic programs Penny Carlson— the culmination of a journey that began at the Dhaka National Medical College in 2006, in Bangladesh.

Saba was in her first year of college and preparing to become a doctor, when a young man took interest in her. The man approached Saba’s parents to ask for her hand in marriage, which is common etiquette in Bangladesh. Yet, he quickly was discerned as a threat to Saba’s well-being. Seeing this, Saba’s mother heeded her daughter’s pleas and denied the man’s request to wed. The refusal frustrated him and his family also took it as disrespect. He began to stalk Saba and threaten her, often telling her he would throw acid on her. [Read more…]