Rutgers’ Nature Thru Nurture program brings STEM to life: BTN LiveBIG

It’s noon on a Tuesday in New Jersey. Students circle a pond inhabited by creatures big and small – some on four feet, others powered by tentacles or wings. This is Rutgers’ Nature Thru Nurture (NTN) program, where plants, animals, gardens and bugs are used to develop a love of STEM skills in the next generation… The program began six years ago with a $50,000 community development block grant from the city and is the brainchild of Radha Jagannathan, a Rutgers professor in its urban planning and policy development department, and Michael Camasso, who is an agricultural, food and resources economics professor. NTN is run in partnership with the university and New Brunswick public schools.

Read the entire article at Big Ten Network »

Middlesex County set for 78th annual fair

One of Central Jersey’s largest events, the Middlesex County Fair, promises fun, farm and animal flair as the venture gets ready to start its 78th year in "business."… Celebrating 250 years of Rutgers: The Middlesex County Fair is one of several county fairs celebrating Rutgers’ 250th anniversary with special interactive displays designed to bring attendees closer to the revolutionary history of its state university. For generations, Rutgers has been a vital partner in the Garden State’s county fair tradition through Rutgers Cooperative Extension and its 4-H Youth Development Program. To honor the milestone anniversary, all of the state’s county fairs will feature the theme, "Rutgers. Revolutionary for 250 Years." Fairgoers will have the chance to be a part of history under a special tent that recreates the Nov. 10, 1766 signing of the charter that launched Queens College, the precursor to Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Interactive cut-out figures for photo opportunities and "Rutgers 250" plant breeding products are also new this year.

Read the entire article at My Central Jersey »

Rutgers Equine Center Kicks Off “15 Years Of Excellence”

Summer Showcase #12 Group Shot

Presentation of the New Jersey Joint Legislative Resolution by Ann Dorsett to the Rutgers University Equine Science Center. Left to right: Ann Dorsett, Liz Durkin, Sharon Ortepio, Karyn Malinowski , Carey Williams, Brad Hillman, and Wendie Cohick.

The 2016 Rutgers Equine Science Center Summer Showcase was a huge success! Close to 100 people participated in the kickoff celebration of the Center’s 15-year anniversary on July 13th. Welcoming remarks were given by Karyn Malinowski (CC’75, GSNB’80,’86), director of the Equine Science Center, and Wendie Cohick, chair of the Department of Animal Sciences, and Brad Hillman, senior associate director of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and director of Research.

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Nature Thru Nurture Program Helps New Brunswick Students Embrace Gardening

Nature Thru Nurture (NTN), a partnership program between Rutgers University and New Brunswick Public Schools, is bringing out students inner gardeners…Rutgers Professor of Urban Planning and Policy Development Radha Jagannathan, and Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics Professor Michael Camasso spearheaded the project, with the help of a $50,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the city government.

Read the entire article at New Brunswick Today »

New Jersey Employers Learn How to Train Their Employees for Free at the Rutgers Workforce Development Training Showcase

OCPE Workforce Training attendees.

OCPE Workforce Training attendees.

Rutgers 4th Annual Training Showcase, which helps state businesses connect to millions of dollars available in state grant funds for employee training, will be held on July 21 on the New Brunswick campus. Hosted by the Rutgers Workforce Development Unit (WDU), part of NJAES Office of Continuing Professional Education, this free event provides prospective New Jersey employers the opportunity to preview “mini” training courses, so they can get a feel for which courses will be appropriate for their employees, and guides them through the grant application process.

Corporate training funds are often limited but the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development is committed to retaining highly skilled and high-wage jobs in New Jersey, providing training grants for many of these courses. The Rutgers WDU staff is familiar with the entire grant-funded training system and helps to guide participating employers through the various steps, from determining eligibility and completing an application to developing a training schedule and creating customized courses and certificate programs. Since its first training showcase in 2013, Rutgers WDU has assisted hundreds of organizations in securing $15 million dollars in grant funding to improve the skills of their employees

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The Road to Financial Wellness Starts at Rutgers

Jason Vitug ('07 RBS) founder of Phroogal with Barbara O'Neill, Rutgers Cooperative Extension specialist in financial resource management.

Jason Vitug (RBS’07) founder of Phroogal with Barbara O’Neill, Rutgers Cooperative Extension specialist in financial resource management.

The Road to Financial Wellness 2.0 kicked off with a campus pit stop held at IFNH on Thursday June 2nd. Jason Vitug, a 2007 graduate of Rutgers Business School and founder of Phroogal—a social media company providing financial information targeted to millennials—is embarking on his 2nd annual financial education journey across the United States with 50 events in 50 states over 107 days, covering 15,000 miles, to raise awareness of personal finance and to encourage people to make better financial decisions. Vitug will kick off this road trip in his hometown of Elizabeth, NJ, on Tuesday June 7. Barbara O’Neill, Rutgers Cooperative Extension specialist in financial resource management, invited Vitug and two guest panelists—Pamela Callender, business development and marketing manager at Rutgers Federal Credit Union (RFCU), and Kim Cole, Navicore Solutions and New Jersey Coalition for Financial Education—to speak to the campus audience and provide specific tips to improve a person’s financial wellness.

In addition to the presentations, during his journey Vitug and his Phroogal team will be posting and sharing stories at #TheRoad2016 and encourages everyone to ‘come along for the ride.’

Jason Vitug speaking about his journey to financial wellness.

Jason Vitug speaking about his journey to financial wellness.

The Rutgers seminar began with Vitug talking about his own financial history including the $5,000 credit card debt he graduated with and ‘living paycheck to paycheck, despite a six-figure salary.’  In recounting this, he emphasized the importance of life planning and smart spending. Vitug told the audience to dig deep and ‘envision your dream life style’ so that you have a life plan which your financial plan then supports. Contrary to popular wisdom, he explained that money can make you happy if it fulfills what you need and love, rather than just like and want.  Is that big house part of your real dream or just ‘keeping up with the Joneses?’

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Expressive Arts 4-H Showcase at Rutgers Day

Members of the 4-H Clover Ensemble Club (Somerset County). Photo: Courtesy of Expressive Arts 4-H.

Members of the 4-H Clover Ensemble Club (Somerset County). Photo: Courtesy of Expressive Arts 4-H.

Ten 4-H members representing three counties (Camden, Passaic and Somerset) took part in the Expressive Arts 4-H Imagination in Action Showcase at Voorhees Mall on the College Avenue Campus during Rutgers Day on April 30.

Hands-on visual arts activities and performances by 4-H members, ranging in ages from 9-15, provided an enjoyable day for Rutgers alumni, family and friends. The Somerset County 4-H Clover Ensemble club, under the direction of 4-H volunteer leaders Patti Verbanas, Ellen Parker and Julia Meier, provided entertainment during the day. [Read more…]

Statewide Efforts of Family and Community Health Sciences Gain Recognition

FCHS Chair Kathleen Morgan accepted the Culture of Health Award on behalf of the department. Photo: Jeff Heckman.

FCHS Chair Kathleen Morgan accepted the Culture of Health Award on behalf of the department. Photo: Jeff Heckman.

The work of the Department of Family and Community Health Sciences (FCHS) was recognized by the YMCA Alliance, in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, with a Culture of Health Award.

The award, presented at the Culture of Health Conference in New Jersey, “honors individuals and communities that are creating partnerships and deep commitments to drive local change, ensuring all residents have an opportunity to make healthy choices in their schools, workplaces and neighborhoods.”

According to Kathleen Morgan, chair of FCHS, who accepted the award on behalf of the department, these “Culture of Health” communities have worked through the development of deliberate policies, programmatic, environmental and systems changes designed to help each community sustain these changes over time, with the overall goal of improving health. [Read more…]

2015 NJAES Annual Report Available for New Jersey Stakeholders

NJAES 2015 Annual Report coverThe 2015 NJAES Annual Report, produced by the Office of the Executive Dean of Agriculture and Natural Resources Robert Goodman, was unveiled on Feb. 11 at the final day of the New Jersey Agricultural Convention in Atlantic City.

The report highlights the research and extension activities of the experiment station under the six broad categories of commercial agriculture; environment and natural resources; fisheries and aquaculture; food, nutrition and health; home, lawn and garden; and youth and community development. In addition, the key areas of economic development and fundraising support round out a comprehensive look at the impact of NJAES on the lives of NJ residents, communities, and businesses. For your copy, contact the SEBS & NJAES Office of CommunicationsView the interactive 2015 NJAES Annual Report.

NJ Teams Capture Top Awards at Eastern National 4-H Horse Round-UP

Members of the New Jersey Eastern National 4-H Horse Round-Up team pictured at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY.

Members of the New Jersey Eastern National 4-H Horse Round-Up team pictured at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY.

Thirteen New Jersey 4-H horse project members competed in five events, capturing top awards in four of the events during the Eastern National 4-H Horse Round-Up held Nov. 6-8 in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Eastern National 4-H Horse Round-Up provides a place for youth to compete nationally while encouraging and developing teamwork, self-confidence, independence, critical thinking and leadership skills. Nearly 250 4-H members from over 25 states participated in the event. New Jersey 4-H members competed in Horse Bowl, Horse Judging, Equine Presentations, Hippology and Public Speaking events. [Read more…]