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December 2017 Newsletter
Dean's Note
Welcome to the second of what I hope will be a regular set of communications between the dean and alums, SC&I faculty and staff, and interested others. As I wrote in the last newsletter, I value your feedback on content and form and any suggestions for changes.
Our new Assistant Dean of Development, Rob Eccles , organized a very well-attended Scholarship Reception in the Zimmerli in November. I hope all who were there will agree with me that it was an excellent event that allowed scholarship recipients to mingle with donors, faculty and staff. This is an area where our donors can have a direct impact on the educational experience of students. Journalism alumnus Tom Mattia '70 gave a speech drawing on his extraordinary experience in Fortune 50 companies and major universities. We have been extremely fortunate in having Tom teach for us during the last semester. Tom drew on his own family’s experience as new arrivals in the U.S. to underscore the value of scholarship support.  Kayla Jackson '17 was our student scholarship speaker and underscored the critical importance of giving back to Rutgers SC&I. Her speech was passionate and empowering and spoke to her own understanding of how education bridges the gap. Kayla just launched a crowdfunding platform for college expenses. You can read more about the effort in The Daily Targum .
SC&I is going through an important phase of recruitment. The strong success of the Information Technology and Informatics (ITI) program and the Master of Information (MI) program has generated important faculty needs in a year where we are building up to the American Library Association (ALA) accreditation.  We are searching for three posts in interaction and design, health and wellness informatics, information cultures and data and computational science. At the same time the Communication Department is searching for faculty in the area of communication and technology. These areas of interest show how we are covering an intellectual terrain at the intersection of information, communication, health, tech, new and old media, journalism and creative industries. This is a terrain that is vital for configuring our future social and economic prosperity. 
Finally, those of you who know SC&I understand that our physical space is far from ideal. We are spread across six buildings in various states of repair. It is undoubtedly the case that a new building could bring us together, provide new teaching and laboratory spaces, new student meeting areas, allowing us to unleash potential that is currently cramped. Chancellor Dutta has given the go-ahead to conduct a feasibility study looking at our needs and considering various sites across New Brunswick. This is just the start; it does not guarantee a new building will be built. We need to demonstrate our needs relative to other schools. After that, we need to be given the green light to start fundraising in earnest. I am very excited by the potential here and working on this project is a central priority for me. 

Dean Jonathan Potter
News Briefs
SC&I Welcomes New Faculty This Fall
The Fall New Faculty Colloquium featured SC&I faculty members,  Chenjerai Kumanyika Clifton Lacy Matthew Matsaganis ,   and  Caitlin Petre .
Lea Stewart Receives New Brunswick Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Service
Rutgers recognized Professor of Communication   Lea Stewart’s   36 years of dedication and hard work to the university by naming her the recipient of the New Brunswick Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Service.

Making a Difference!
Alumnus Michael Hennix '12 Donated Two MacBook Pro Laptops to Journalism and Media Studies Scholarship Students.
Fall Edition of Kairos, "Transformations"
Journalism and Media Studies Students Produce Stories of Change.

Vivian Salama's Career Aspirations Took her Across the Globe
Graduating in 2000 with a Journalism and Media degree when SC&I was known as the School of Communication, Information and Library Science (SCILS), Salama started her career as a journalist at WNBC-TV in New York.

New Border Security Research Project

Professor Emeritus Paul Kantor is part of a Rutgers team of three researchers who are working to develop novel methods the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can use to estimate how many people and goods are “missing” at the border.

Research News

The Associate Dean of Research's office is new at the school and is focused on faculty success in achieving scholarly and societal impact while making SC&I a great place to work. Three examples will help illustrate the current activity in supporting research: 

The school has advanced a Think Big Challenge that offers matching funds to SC&I faculty who win Rutgers University’s Interdisciplinary Research Grant Program competition. The potential total award is $100,000 to faculty who develop innovative proposals with great potential to attract significant external funding and that involve at least 12 or more research faculty from across the university. This year SC&I faculty produced two different proposals that each involved over 25 faculty from across Rutgers schools and institutes, and another SC&I faculty member was a key part of the third proposal. It is great to see our faculty taking the lead on these high-risk, high-reward efforts that will lead to transformative societal research on health and wellness with communication, information, and media issues at the core.

The Research Development Committee has been revitalized to more sharply focus on issues of developing and implementing strategy for research. The departments have also re-energized their research committees in support of this aim. The attention is enhancing SC&I’s already active research culture by advising on "research escalators.” These may involve school-wide initiatives, administration of research development grants and funding, or the development of programs.  

I have worked with our staff to develop guidelines and resources tailored to the types of research funding that our faculty typically seek from funders including major private foundations, the National Science Foundation, Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the National Institutes of Health. These are key to the development of our research portal that will include a digital library of relevant documents required by funders and other online resources that support the workflow around the complex tasks of proposal development and management of awards received. It is part of a broader aim to foster and facilitate the sharing of knowledge and best practices among staff, new applicants, occasional applicants, and veteran funding seekers. I would like to thank Cecilia Gal, SC&I Research Project Coordinator, Elizabeth Ciccone, SC&I Business Specialist, and Jan Hempel, SC&I Proposal Writer for their key roles in developing these guidelines and resources.

Mark Aakhus
Associate Dean of Research and Professor of Communication
Around the School

Upcoming SC&I Events
December 12, 2017
Fall ITI Showcase
December 13, 2017
The Mingle Presented by SC&I Career Services
SC&I Convocation
Thursday, May 10, 2018
Rutgers University Commencement Sunday, May 13, 2018
Rutgers School of Communication and Information
4 Huntington Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901