2013: A Year in Review at Rutgers

2013: A Year in Review at Rutgers

Media Contact
Amber E. Hopkins-Jenkins

As the year draws to a close, Rutgers Today takes a look back at the milestones, achievements and big stories of 2013. It has been a year of great change for Rutgers – as the university integrated with most of the schools, centers and institutes that made up the former University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. The new Rutgers combines nearly 250 years of academic excellence with an expanded mission of medical education, health care delivery and discovery.

We can take pride in our faculty, staff, students and alumni, who continue to earn distinction as MacArthur Award winners and Fulbright grantees, among other accolades. The university's faculty contributed to leading research in diverse fields – medicine, life science, public health, the humanities and social sciences – including the discovery a new species of cockroach that can thrive in the cold.

Under the leadership of President Robert Barchi, Rutgers has been engaged in a thoughtful, universitywide effort to develop a strategic plan to steer Rutgers through its next five years and beyond.

As we look forward to 2014, we remember through words and videos the busy and fruitful year that is coming to a close. The following stories and videos are not intended to be comprehensive and all-inclusive, but to bring back memories and remind all of us that Rutgers is a vibrant and diverse place to live, work and study.


The New Rutgers, with Expanded Health Sciences Mission, is Ready to Deliver

Rutgers ushered in a new era in New Jersey energized by an expanded mission of medical education that promises to turn the university into an academic powerhouse. VIDEO

Taking Rutgers Forward: President Barchi Leads Universitywide Strategic Planning Initiative

Rutgers has been engaged in a thoughtful, universitywide effort to develop a strategic plan that defines its overall direction and aspirations for the next five years.

One Rutgers, a World of Discovery

In an online series, Rutgers Today examines the new ways that members of the university community are collaborating, across a wide range of disciplines, to better meet the needs of the people of New Jersey and beyond.

Rutgers Surpasses $800 Million Milestone in Fundraising

To date, there are more than 108,000 donors to the “Our Rutgers, Our Future” campaign, with nearly 50,000 contributing to Rutgers for the first time. More than 60,000 donors are Rutgers alumni.

Rutgers Celebrates Four MacArthur Award Winners

The latest Rutgers "genius grant" winners include public health historian Julie Livingston, alumni Jeffrey Brenner and Craig Fennie, and distinguished guest instructor Karen Russell. The five-year fellowship includes a $625,000 stipend.



Gov. Christie, Rutgers and DEVCO Break Ground on College Avenue Redevelopment Initiative

Approximately 10 acres of land will be redeveloped to construct a new university academic building, a residential honors college, Rutgers Hillel and the New Brunswick Theological Seminary.

Gov. Christie Leads Groundbreaking Ceremony for New Nursing, Science Building in Camden

The Nursing and Science Building will be a state-of-the-art, $62.5 million teaching and research facility that will allow Rutgers to prepare a new generation of science and nursing leaders. 

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Gives $12.5 Million to Support the New Rutgers

The grant – the largest single gift that Rutgers has ever received from the foundation – will support a wide range of initiatives that are essential to integration from academic and clinical programs to research initiatives and student services.

Start of Academic Year Brings New Facilities

A new business school and performing arts facility, as well as a new use for a former dining hall, were among the changes to greet Rutgers students this fall.



Drug Is Found to Eradicate HIV Permanently from Infected Cells

The topical anti-fungal drug Ciclopirox causes HIV-infected cells to commit suicide by jamming up the cells’ mitochondria, according to researchers at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. 

Rutgers Scientists Join Thousands Worldwide in Celebrating the 2013 Nobel Physics Prize

It took thousands of physicists worldwide, including a dozen or so Rutgers researchers, using the world’s most powerful atom smashers to find the elusive Higgs Boson particle. 

Rutgers is Top School Nationwide for Chemistry Research and Development Funding

Rutgers ranks tops in the nation for funding from all sources – including federal, state, industry, foundation and institutional. The rankings, reported in Chemical and Engineering News, are based on figures compiled by the National Science Foundation. 

Cockroach Never Seen Before in U.S. Identified in New York

Rutgers insect biologists Jessica Ware and Dominic Evangelista documented the Manhattan presence of Periplaneta japonica in a study published by the Journal of Economic Entomology.

Rutgers Part of Effort to Launch International, Integrated Ocean Observatory

Regional observatories are linked together in the Integrated Ocean Observing System, an association of regional groups led by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Rutgers is a member of the mid-Atlantic team. 

Rutgers' Sensory Motor Integration Lab Pioneering New Method of Detecting Autism

Elizabeth Torres and fellow researchers have developed a method of measuring fluctuations in body movement to potentially reveal whether the developmental trajectory of a child is off the typical course.

Knocking Out Spinal Cord Injury: Neuroscientist and Professional Boxer Team Up

Rutgers neuroscientist Wise Young and Boyd Melson, a West Point graduate and Army captain, are dedicated to bringing clinical trials from China to the United States.

NJ Flood Mapper: A New Tool for Coping with Sea-Level Rise

Rutgers and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have unveiled an online mapping tool that illustrates the vulnerabilities posed by future severe storms. 



Rutgers Student Overcomes Addiction to Become Truman Scholar

Ben Chin is Rutgers University’s ninth Truman Scholar – the second consecutive Rutgers student to receive the honor and the second to come to the university through its Mountainview Project, which helps ex-offenders transition from incarceration to higher education.

Two Rutgers Seniors Awarded Gates Scholarships

Devinn Lambert and Kelvin Mei plan to pursue Masters of Philosophy degrees at the University of Cambridge in plant sciences and physics, respectively, with the scholarships funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Rutgers Students, Alumni Receive 26 Fulbright Grants, a University Record

The prestigious grants offer students and young professionals the opportunity to do graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide.

Rutgers Graduate Student Pens Memoir of Marine Service in Afghanistan

Mark Bodrog’s platoon was one of two selected by his battalion to integrate fully with the Afghanistan National Army Soldiers to create a combined action company capable of conducting counterinsurgency operations.

Mason Gross Pianist Overcomes Physical Challenges to Play Carnegie Hall

Wael Farouk's concert in Weill Recital Hall featured works by Modest Mussorgsky and Sergei Rachmaninoff, and a world premiere by Scott Robbins and U.S. premieres by Mauna Ghoneim and Gamal Abdel-Rahim. VIDEO

Rutgers Debate Union Trumps Harvard

The Debate Union is ranked third in the nation. They have left dozens in their dust during their ascent through the American Parliamentary Debate Association rankings, but the sweetest success so far was surpassing Crimson.

Rutgers Student Turns Breast Cancer Ordeal into Mission to Fight Stigma Among South Asians

Diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer at 28, Shikha Manchanda underwent surgery to remove the disease from her right breast and arm, tested positive for BRCA 1 mutation, and withstood radiation, chemotherapy, a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.

From NBC’s TODAY Show and America’s Got Talent to Conducting at Rutgers

A penchant for pop music drew classically trained composer Colin Britt and his comrades together last summer to cover Carly Rae Jepsen’s mega hit, “Call Me Maybe.” VIDEO



Four Rutgers Professors Elected to the National Academy of Sciences

One of the highest honors an American scientist or engineer can achieve, the anthropologist and three physicists brings the number of Rutgers faculty who are members or foreign associates to 24.

Four Rutgers Professors Named Fellows of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science 

The pre-eminent national organization selects its fellows based on their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

Joachim Messing wins Wolf Prize for Revolutionizing Agriculture

Among the world's top experts in molecular genetics, Messing became famous for developing a genetic engineering technique used to produce disease-resistant crops.

Khadijah Costley White Helps Parents Talk to Children about Race

With controversial policies like “stop and frisk” making headlines and the killing of Trayvon Martin, Costley White shares suggestions with parents who want to talk openly with kids about race and racism. 

Yair Rosenthal Views Global Warming from the Deep Ocean

The professor of marine and coastal sciences shows that the ocean is now absorbing heat 15 times faster than it has over the previous 10,000 years, which may give scientists and policymakers more time to address climate change.

Azzan Yadin-Israel Looks at ‘The Boss’ Through a Spiritual Lens

The Byrne Seminar explores the theological underpinnings of Bruce Springsteen’s lyrics, and the song writer’s reinterpretation of biblical stories, particularly references from the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament). 

John Paxton Examines Issues of Black Males in Contemporary American Culture

Paxton's course, "Blacks and Economic Structures," explores the influence of American economics, history and politics on the psychological and social development of black men. Male athletes regularly outnumber female students 6:1 due to the former athlete's active mentorship. 

Fran Bartkowski, Sherri-Ann Butterfield Offer Course on HBO's 'The Wire'

Students explore masculinity, chain of command, ethics, surveillance, sexuality, and kinship in the multidisciplinary course on the acclaimed television series.



Gerald C. Harvey Elected Chair of Rutgers Board of Governors

Harvey, a former chair of the Board of Trustees at Rutgers, is the retired executive vice president, general counsel and secretary of Breeze-Eastern Corp., a designer and manufacturer of rescue hoists and cargo hooks for military and civilian aircraft. 

Greg Brown Inducted to Rutgers Board of Governors

Brown, chairman and chief executive officer of Motorola Solutions Inc. and a Rutgers alumnus, succeeds John Russo as a public member of the Board of Governors appointed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Nancy Cantor to Become Chancellor of Rutgers' Newark Campus

Cantor, who dedicated her academic career to expanding the mission of universities to better serve the needs of society, has served as chancellor and president of Syracuse University since 2004.

Brian L. Strom to Become Inaugural Chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences

A renowned epidemiologist, award-winning teacher and clinician, Strom serves as executive vice dean for institutional affairs at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. 

Nevin Kessler Appointed President of University’s Foundation

Kessler brings more than 20 years experience in development to the foundation. He comes from North Carolina State University, where he served as vice chancellor for university advancement and president of the NC State University Foundation.

Michael Gower Appointed Senior Vice President for Finance

Gower is a financial planning expert with more than 30 years experience in university and medical school business management. He manages a more than $3 million operating budget.

Julie Hermann Named Director of Intercollegiate Athletics

Hermann is one of the most respected athletics administrators in the country. She previously served as executive senior associate director of athletics for the University of Louisville and was deeply involved in moving Louisville from Conference USA to the Atlantic Coast Conference. 

Eddie Jordan Named Head Men’s Basketball Coach

Jordan, who helped the Scarlet Knights to the 1976 Final Four, returns to “The Banks” with an NBA Championship ring and 28 seasons of coaching experience, including eight at the collegiate level and 19 in the NBA.

Felicia McGinty Assumes Role as Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at Rutgers-New Brunswick

McGinty came from the University of California at Santa Cruz and brings more than 20 years of experience to the position. Over the course of her career, she has worked closely with faculty, students and alumni to create a holistic positive experience.

Cathryn Potter Selected as Dean of the School of Social Work

Potter is a proven leader in social work education and research. She came to Rutgers from the University of Denver, where she served as associate provost for research.



Rutgers Law Alumna, Rape Survivor, Takes on Sean Hannity and Victim-Blaming

Zerlina Maxwell fired back during her March 5 appearance on The Sean Hannity Show. The next day, her social media accounts were strewn with hate speech, racial and gender slurs, even rape threats and death wishes.

Rutgers Alumna a Player in Washington Politics as Policy Director for Jill Biden

Baker briefs the second lady, advises her on issues inside and outside of government and is often by Biden’s side during public appearances and on diplomatic trips.

Rutgers Alum Scores Enviable Gig: Keeping Saudi Prince Strong and Mobile

Jonathan Fass serves as private physical therapist and sports manager for His Royal Highness Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, billionaire investor and nephew of King Abdullah, sixth king of Saudi Arabia.

Rutgers Graduate is University’s First Luce Scholar, Mitchell Scholar

Matthew Cortland is the first student from Rutgers to participate in a Luce Foundation program that places Americans in Asia to enhance their understanding of Asian countries and cultures. He will also study mobile device and web application design in Ireland as a Mitchell Scholar.

Wife's Death Inspires Rutgers Alumnus to Improve Maternal Health Care

Ryan Hansen and Rutgers co-sponsored one of the country's first conferences to lower postpartum mortality rates in nation by re-educating health care providers and to helping women advocate for themselves postpartum.

Mason Gross Dance Alumna Explores the Science Behind Stand Up Paddle Boarding

With the help of her alma mater, Shannon MacDowell seeks to better understand the physiology underlying stand up paddle boarding and use the science to publicize its value as a form of exercise and recreation. VIDEO



Rutgers Medical Students Take Oath

Rutgers recognized more than 300 first-year medical students at annual White Coat ceremonies held to welcome aspiring physicians to the 2017 class at both Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and New Jersey Medical School. VIDEO

Tyler Clementi Foundation Announces Creation of the Tyler Clementi Center at Rutgers

The interdisciplinary Tyler Clementi Center will conduct new research and develop programs and approaches to address issues that confront young people as they transition to college life.

Rutgers Rewrites Alma Mater with Gender-Neutral Lyrics

The song will no longer begin: "My father sent me to old Rutgers/ And resolv'd that I should be a man." Instead, the first verse will begin: "From far and near we came to Rutgers/ And resolved to learn all that we can." 

Douglass Residential College Highlights 95 Years of Nurturing Women’s Success

Since its founding in 1918, Douglass has celebrated the success of women who have taken high profile positions in law, medicine, education, public service and other fields.

Road to Wall Street Improves Student Access to Finance Industry

The program takes a page from the Ivy League playbook, by gaining access to the industry and cultivating a network of well-placed professional alumni to mentor students interested in pursuing careers in finance.

A ‘Jersey Diner’ Opens Its Doors at Rutgers

From the menu to the décor, Henry’s features elements of a classic diner with a modern and gourmet twist. In addition to an American grilled cheese, the menu offers a melted brie and cranberry on whole grain bread. 



Rutgers, Tata Institute to Begin Obama-Singh Partnership

Rutgers is one of four U.S. institutions to receive a grant from President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s 21st Century Knowledge Initiative to enhance India-U.S. partnerships in education.

Rutgers Future Scholars Program Sends First Graduates to College

Of the 183 students in the program's inaugural class, which graduated in June, 163 will attend college, 98 of them with full scholarships to Rutgers.

'Citizenship Rutgers' Walks Prospective Citizens through Complex Process

The Eagleton Institute of Politics program provides the tools legal permanent residents need to proceed through the U.S. citizenship maze that confronts them. More than 500 prospective citizens from 60 nations have participated since April 2011. 

Rutgers, Turkish Dancers Collaborate Continents Apart

Julia Ritter, chair and artistic director of the dance department at Mason Gross, has teamed up with Ayrin Ersoz, one of Turkey’s premier scholars of historic and contemporary dance. 



Former Rutgers President Francis L. Lawrence; Headed University for 12 Years

Lawrence is credited with initiating development of Rutgers’ first universitywide, long-term strategic plan. He also spearheaded a reorganization of the Rutgers University Foundation that resulted in an increase of nearly 500 percent in yearly giving to the university.

Ralph W. Voorhees, Activist, Philanthropist and Community Leader

A sterling example of volunteerism and civic engagement at its very best, Voorhees dedicated many years to service in several areas of university and community life. 

Alan Rosenthal, Political Scientist, Advocate for Representative Democracy

Rosenthal had studied legislatures in all 50 states, and worked to change the organization or policies of 35. He served as director of Rutgers' Eagleton Institute of Politics from 1974 to 1993.

Richard Heffner, Historian, Teacher, Pioneer of Public Television

Heffner taught at Rutgers’ School of Communication and Information for nearly 50 years. It was as the host of The Open Mind from 1956 until his death that he was known best. 

Allan H. Conney,  Internationally-Recognized Cancer Researcher

A world-renowned pharmacologist and cancer researcher, Conney's decades of research demonstrated that such common sense activities as drinking green tea and getting more exercise may help prevent the spread of cancer.

James Gandolfini, Actor, 'Sopranos' Star

Gandolfini played New Jersey mafia kingpin Tony Soprano for six seasons from 1999-2007, winning three Emmys for best actor in a drama in consecutive years (out of six nominations total).

Media Contact
Amber E. Hopkins-Jenkins