With roots at Stockton University, a memorial scholarship integrates with Rutgers as cooperative internship
The Stacy Moore Hagan Memorial Scholarship is an endowment established by Roland Hagan, together with family and friends, to honor the memory of his wife, Stacy, to support an undergraduate in the marine science research program. Offered through Stockton’s School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, the scholarship supports undergraduate marine science research internships at the Rutgers University Marine Field Station in Tuckerton and the Stockton Nacote Creek Marine Field Station in Port Republic.
Roland Hagan and Stacy Moore meeting as undergraduates at Stockton University in 1989 was only the beginning of the story. Both marine science majors, Roland was the first Stockton student to intern at Rutgers University Marine Field Station (RUMFS) in Tuckerton his senior year; Stacy was the second. Under the leadership of director Ken Able, volunteer and intern experiences eventually led to technician positions at RUMFS for both Hagan and Moore, who married after they graduated from Stockton. Stacy’s salmon research then took the couple to Oregon, but her pursuit of a master’s degree in Ecology and Evolution at Rutgers brought them back to New Jersey.
It was after that move that they furthered their assimilation into Rutgers, with Stacy returning to RUMFS as a full-time technician and graduate student in 1995, while Roland worked as farm supervisor at the Rutgers Marucci Center for Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension in Chatsworth. Hagan, who has since returned to RUMFS as a lab researcher, recalls, “Over the coming years, operational and academic achievements allowed us to start a family in 2000 with our son Rutger (name inspired by actor Rutger Hauer) born and baptized in the pure waters of the nearby pines. This was followed by daughter Ryland in 2002.”
While Stacy worked on her master’s on pelagic estuarine fishes, she served as a mentor to summer interns, technicians, and volunteers ranging from high school students to retirees. During her career, she was senior author or co-author on 17 peer-reviewed publications, 20+ presentations, and three technical reports focused primarily on the first year in the life of estuarine fishes and their responses to marsh restoration.
In 2003, all things changed for the Hagans with Stacy’s diagnosis of breast cancer, and in 2007, at the young age of 36, she succumbed to the disease. Roland immediately went to work on setting up the memorial scholarship. He commented, “With Stacy departing too soon after being diagnosed with breast cancer, the endowment at Stockton University Foundation continues to provide resources so that students may bring their inquisitive thoughts to Rutgers University for fulfillment.” To date, $57,500 in scholarship money has been awarded through the Stockton Foundation to 23 students who have interned at the Stockton or Rutgers Marine Field Stations.
Funds are raised for the scholarships through a concert series, Folk Across the Street, established by Roland. “The legacy continues to grow in depth and connectivity with each passing year, as the next fundraising concert is being hosted by one of Stacy’s protégé, Jen Lamonaca, at her B&B farms on the outskirts of Stockton on September 20.” More information can be found at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/barn-concert-with-man-about-a-horse-tickets-49263442282
Roland reports that the Hagan children aspire to be Rutgers students, with son Rutger being accepted into the Landscape Architecture program at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences for the fall of 2018.
At the 148th annual meeting of the American Fisheries Society in August, held this year in Atlantic City, former and current Stacy Moore Hagan Memorial Scholarship interns came together to present their research projects at a poster session and in oral presentations. Stockton University reports on the projects and where the interns are working now: Stockton Graduates Present a Decade of Research to Honor Stacy Moore Hagan’s Legacy