Faculty Honored for Teaching, Research, Service and Diversity Initiatives

Faculty Honored for Teaching, Research, Service and Diversity Initiatives

Presidential Fellowship for Teaching Excellence honorees
Winners of the Presidential Fellowship for Teaching Excellence awards are, from left, Lauren Aleksunes, Cheryl McLean, Shireen Rizvi, Jeffrey Robinson, Joel Caplan and Joshua Kohut.
Photo: Nick Romanenko/Rutgers University
Members of the university community who have made outstanding contributions in the classroom, to their disciplines, or for the benefit of the community or world were honored during a May 7 reception at the Rutgers Visitor Center.

The Warren I. Susman Award for Excellence in Teaching is awarded to faculty members in recognition of outstanding service in stimulating and guiding the intellectual development of students at Rutgers University.  The award includes a $1,000 honorarium.

Rajiv C. Gandhi, Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Arts and Sciences-Camden, was recognized for his commitment as a teacher and mentor and for creating an environment where students can be motivated to work hard in order to understand difficult concepts and set goals that enable them to reach their full potential.

Elizabeth A. Hull, Department of Political Science, Faculty of Arts and Sciences-Newark, was honored for her dedication and commitment to student success and for being an inspirational mentor, enabling students to determine the academic and career paths that would allow them to reach their highest potential.

Julie A. Ruth, Department of Marketing, School of Business-Camden, was recognized for her innovative teaching methods which encourage students to think creatively while challenging them to view concepts and situations from multiple perspectives and learning how to work together as a productive team.

Paul S. Sternberger, Department of Arts, Culture and Media, Faculty of Arts and Sciences-Newark, was honored for his commitment to his students and inspiring them to understand and remain passionate about how art can transform the way the world is viewed. 

The Rutgers Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Research honors faculty members who have made distinguished research contributions to their discipline or society. Recipients receive a $1,000 honorarium.

Roberto J. Chang, Department of Economics, School of Arts and Sciences, was honored for his work on macroeconomics and emerging market economies, which has influenced both economic research and the formulation of policy.

Jacob Feldman and Manish Singh, Department of Psychology, School of Arts and Sciences, Center for Cognitive Science, were honored for research that enhances knowledge of how our sense of vision helps us understand and interact with the world. 

Yuri Gershtein, Department of Physics and Astronomy, School of Arts and Sciences, was recognized for contributions to high energy physics that had a direct impact on the discovery of the Higgs boson. 

Sharon L. Manne, Department of Medicine, Cancer Institute of New Jersey, was honored for her work on behavioral and psychosocial aspects of cancer, most notably the impact of the cancer experience on interpersonal relationships. 

Andrzej Ruszczyński, Department of Management Science & Information Systems, Rutgers Business School-Newark and New Brunswick, was honored for developing innovative new approaches to decision-making under conditions where there is uncertainty about important facts. 

James M. Tepper, Center for Molecular & Behavioral Neuroscience (CMBN), Faculty of Arts and Sciences-Newark, was recognized for his work on the functioning of neurons within the basal ganglia of the brain – and their role in the control of both thought and action.

Stephen D. Tse, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, School of Engineering, was recognized for research that has enhanced understanding of properties that are fundamental to combustion. 

Faculty Scholar-Teacher Award honorees
Winners of the Rutgers Faculty Scholar-Teacher award include Evie Shockley and Darrin York. Not pictured are Rigoberto González and Mark Robson.
Photo: Nick Romanenko/Rutgers University
The Rutgers Faculty Scholar-Teacher Award honors faculty members who have made outstanding contributions in research and teaching. The award recognizes those who bring together scholarly and classroom activities. The award includes a $1,000 honorarium.

Rigoberto González, Department of English, Faculty of Arts and Sciences-Newark, was recognized for his literary achievements including his poetry, memoir, children’s books, novels, short stories, and critical essays and his ability to create a challenging but supportive classroom experience where emerging artists can discover their own voices.

Mark Gregory Robson, Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, was honored for his contributions to the field of exposure sciences, which have had significant policy and public health implications at the local, state, national, and international levels, and for the passion, enthusiasm, and energy by which he is able to engage students in these complex topics.

Evie Shockley, Department of English, School of Arts and Sciences, was recognized for her wide-ranging literary accomplishments, her award-winning poetry and literary criticism, and her extraordinary ability to create a community that transcends the classroom and engages students with the greater community of poets.

Darrin M. York, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, School of Arts and Sciences, BioMaPs Institute for Quantitative Biology, was honored for his accomplishments in the field of computational biophysics, as well as his inspirational teaching and passion for developing superior instructional methods.

The Rutgers Board of Trustees Research Fellowship for Scholarly Excellence honors faculty members who have recently been promoted with tenure and whose work shows exceptional promise. The fellowship includes a citation and a $1,000 research account.

Sadia Abbas, Department of English, Faculty of Arts and Sciences-Newark, was honored for her work challenging and redefining many of the accepted orthodoxies of cultural, feminist and post-colonial literary theory.

Lauren M. Aleksunes, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, was honored for furthering the understanding of drug transporters during pregnancy and their functional alteration by environmental toxicants.

Joel M. Caplan, School of Criminal Justice, was honored for innovative approaches to understanding spatial patterns of crime, especially his contributions to Risk Terrain Modeling.

Kornel S. Chang, Department of History, Faculty of Arts and Sciences-Newark, was honored for his contributions to Asian-American and immigration history, which are transforming the way immigration history is written.

Parvis Ghassem-Fachandi, Department of Anthropology, School of Arts and Sciences, was honored for his ethnographic studies, which have shed new light on the construction of religious identities and on inter-ethnic, inter-community relations in plural societies.

Shantenu Jha, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, School of Engineering, was honored for his translational research, ranging across computer and computational science, physics and biology, addressing and solving deep, real-world problems.

Joshua T. Kohut, Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, was honored for his ability to take leading-edge technologies and make them powerful operating tools that have contributed significantly to our understanding of the physical environment and its role in structuring coastal marine ecosystems.

Pamela D. McElwee, Department of Human Ecology, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, was honored for her wide-ranging and trans-disciplinary research that bridges anthropology, geography, public policy, forestry and conservation biology to address real-world issues related to the politics of environmental governance and climate change.

Nir Yakoby, Department of Biology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences-Camden, was honored for his ability to analyze complex developmental systems quantitatively, providing important insights into how changes in cell signaling control tissue generation and morphogenesis.

Mark Zaki, associate professor, Department of Fine Arts, Faculty of Arts and Sciences-Camden, was honored for musical compositions, with mastery over the acoustic, electro-accoustic and mixed-media domains.

The Presidential Fellowship for Teaching Excellence honors newly tenured faculty members for outstanding teaching and scholarly work. A research account has been established for each recipient.

Lauren M. Aleksunes, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, was recognized for her teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and for her leadership in broadly expanding research opportunities for undergraduate students.

Joel M. Caplan, School of Criminal Justice, was honored for improving student learning across the curriculum through course and program development – and providing undergraduate and graduate students with the training and tools they need to investigate and answer important questions in innovative ways.

Joshua T. Kohut, Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, was recognized for his contributions to undergraduate and graduate education, his formation of the Oceanography House to interest students in active research early in their academic careers, and his commitment to providing students with hands-on research experience.

Cheryl A. McLean, Department of Learning and Teaching, Graduate School of Education, was honored for using the classroom as a laboratory that promotes greater student learning through critical and inquiry-based instruction, and for methods that make learning relevant to students’ lives.

Shireen L. Rizvi, Department of Clinical Psychology, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, was honored for encouraging student participation in classroom dialogues, enabling students to acquire the skills and confidence they will need for difficult decisions they will be called upon to make in the clinical setting.

Jeffrey A. Robinson, Department of Management and Global Business, Rutgers Business School-Newark and New Brunswick, was recognized for developing courses that engage and educate students in the classroom, and inspiring students to cultivate highly useful skills through experiential learning and fieldwork.

The Office of Faculty Diversity Initiatives celebrates and honors a select number of faculty who have been leaders in promoting diversity at Rutgers, either through their own research and teaching or in other venues. Recipients receive a citation and a $1,000 honorarium.

Lucille A. Joel, College of Nursing, was recognized for her influential leadership in advancing diversity in nursing education and clinical practice, including her contributions in global strategic planning, nursing research and the Recovering and Monitoring Program (RAMP). She was also honored for her commitment to creating a positive, safe practice environment for all underrepresented professionals.

Vikki S. Katz, Department of Communication, School of Communication and Information, was honored for her outstanding research on the negotiations that the children of immigrants engage in with the community for their families. She was also recognized for her role in using media and new technologies in ethnic and low-income communities, thus promoting a deeper understanding of these communities.

Jennifer R. Warren, Department of Communication, School of Communication and Information, was recognized for her broad interdisciplinary, community-based and action-oriented research on healthcare inequalities, including health communication, health literacy, behaviors and decision-making in underserved populations and low-income communities. She was also honored for her ability to extend this research to real-world policy decisions.

Jerome D. Williams, Department of Marketing, Rutgers Business School-Newark and New Brunswick, was honored for his active leadership in broadening the scope of research on marketplace diversity, multicultural marketing, consumer racial profiling and marketplace discrimination. He was also recognized for his generous service to numerous organizations focused on diversity.

Adela Yarcheski, College of Nursing, was honored for her outstanding mentoring of minority doctoral nursing students and faculty members. She was also recognized for her tireless efforts to advance diversity at Rutgers and nationally including her dedication to the career development of underrepresented tenure-track faculty members.

The Rutgers College Class of 1962 Presidential Public Service Award honors members of the faculty, student body, or staff for volunteer service to government, professional and scholarly organizations, or the public. The award includes a $2,500 honorarium.

David A. Robinson, Department of Geography, School of Arts and Sciences; and School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, was recognized for his dedication to providing the citizens and leaders of New Jersey with the information they need to make informed decisions relating to severe weather events, to educating them on methods of mitigating or preventing damage to people and property, and to sharing his knowledge generously and widely with students, teachers, researchers, legislators, and the general public in the state of New Jersey and beyond.