Development News
Late Fall 2020
Note from Rob Eccles
Assistant Dean for Development
As we work our way through the fall and into the holiday season, I’d like to thank you—SC&I alumni, friends, and donors—for your unyielding support. Almost daily I receive messages from folks just checking in, wanting to know how faculty, staff, and students are holding up. They're inquiring about how the “virtual” semester is going, and asking what they can do to help the school and our students during this unprecedented time. Please know that we sincerely appreciate your outreach and support.
I am happy to say that we are doing well. We continue working hard to deliver world-class scholarship and research and equip students with the tools required to learn, succeed, and lead in today’s global communication, information, and media environments. We have redoubled our efforts to support our students and provide them with the resources to navigate these tough times. This semester, in addition to securing funding for SC&I programs and research, we awarded almost $300,000 in scholarship funds to 125 deserving students. This would not be possible without the generous support of SC&I donors.
We know that communication, information, and media play a vital role in helping each of us address crises, whether they are personal, institutional, or social. Our commitment to serving our mission and helping our students succeed has never been stronger. So how can you help? Consider making an end-of-the-year gift. If you are currently planning your estate, consider making a bequest gift. If SC&I is in your will, let us know about it. Think about ways our students can learn from your experience or benefit from your connections. Become a mentor. Recruit a SC&I intern. Hire a SC&I graduate. There are countless opportunities to get involved, and we would love to discuss them with you.
Please enjoy the special “Why I Support SC&I: 50 Years of Supporting Rutgers” story below featuring my good friends Steve and Cynde Magidson. We'd love to share your story in an upcoming newsletter so please be in touch.
Wishing SC&I alumni, friends, and donors a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving. 

News Briefs
Kairosthe undergraduate magazine of the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at SC&I, has released its fall 2020 edition: “What’s at Stake: How the elections will influence our future.” The student-written stories are chosen and edited by the faculty editorial board. Read here.
Keep current with all the latest stories—check SC&I News regularly and follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram.
SC&I Events
Tuesday, November 17, 12-1:30pm: Why is Quality of Life Falling in the U.S?
Nicholas Kristof, author and New York Times columnist, will join a multidisciplinary panel, including Juan D. Gonzáles, the Richard D. Heffner Professor of Communications and Public Policy and Professor of Professional Practice, Journalism, and Media Studies at SC&I, and experts from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and the School of Social Work to discuss how and why the United States is declining on the Social Progress Index. Inspired by the research of Nobel-winning economists, the Social Progress Index collects 50 metrics of well-being—nutrition, safety, freedom, the environment, health, education, and more—to measure quality of life. These experts will examine the metrics where the U.S. scored lowest, the structural problems that have led to this point, and how the current state of public affairs in the United States may accelerate the decline of well-being.
Register here.
Join us for friendly and fun virtual mingling. Enjoy career-related discussions in breakout rooms, a networking trivia game, and raffle prizes. Register here.
ICYMI: Virtual Events
In recent months, SC&I faculty were involved in a number of interesting virtual events. If you were unable to participate in these events live, they’re well worth viewing:
Surveillance in an Era of Pandemic and Protest
In collaboration with The Intercept, Naomi Klein, the Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture, and Feminist Studies at SC&I, Shoshana Zuboff, and Simone Browne discussed the dangers of surveillance capitalism and how we can rise to this crisis and create a fair and equitable future. Watch here.
The Life and Legacy of John R. Lewis
Rutgers’ political historian David Greenberg, Professor of Journalism and Media Studies and of History, discussed John R. Lewis’s work in the civil rights movement, his transition to elected office, and the achievements that made him a national icon at the time of his death in July 2020. Saladin Malik Ambar GSNB’08, Associate Professor of Political Science and Senior Scholar at the Center on the American Governor at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, moderated the discussion. Watch here.
Life as a Journalist in 2020: A Conversation with Steve Miller
Marty Siederer LC’77 and Steve Miller RC’79 discussed journalism today and the challenges facing Rutgers students and alumni pursuing careers in the communications field. Miller is Professor of Professional Practice and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Journalism, and Media Studies at SC&I. Siederer is a member of the Rutgers University Senate, a Rutgers University Alumni Association board member, and the former president of the Rutgers Alumni Association and the Livingston Alumni Association. Watch here.
Healthcare, Technology, and Social Justice Converge: Applied Equity Research
Charles Senteio, Assistant Professor of Library and Information Science at SC&I, provided an overview of health equity research and how it affects us all, in large part through COVID-19 inequity and current social justice activism. He described how his research combines various academic disciplines and community partnerships. Senteio is a community health informaticist, licensed clinical social worker, and health educator who has consulting experience as an IT strategist and entrepreneur. Elizabeth Talmont, vice president of Planned Parenthood of Greater Northern, Central, and Southern New Jersey and a reproductive and sexual health equity policy advocate, moderated the discussion. Watch here.

Why We Support SC&I
SPECIAL EDITION: 50 Years of Supporting Rutgers
In this issue, we’d like you to meet a very special couple who have deep Rutgers roots and are longtime SC&I supporters: Steve and Cynde Magidson. Steve attended Rutgers College and earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1970. Cynde attended Douglass College and graduated with a degree in psychology. A few weeks into her freshman year, Cynde met Steve, a junior, at her first Douglass mixer. The date was Friday, September 13, 1968, and they consider this their luckiest of days. Inseparable ever since, they were married three years later at Voorhees Chapel and commenced a satisfying life as a 24/7 couple.
Steve’s interest in computer technology and communication led him to enjoy a very successful career as a high-tech executive. Cynde, who worked alongside Steve for more than half of their careers, was an incredibly skilled programmer. Reflecting on the importance of communication, Steve said, “No matter what field you’re in, if you learn to communicate well verbally and in writing, you’ll be a step ahead.” (Here at SC&I, we concur.)
Since moving to the West Coast in the early 1970s, the Magidsons have been loyal and active Rutgers supporters. Together, they agreed on the importance of giving back. “From the time you start earning a living, put money away so that you can give to whatever floats your boat,” said Steve. “Make philanthropy part of your DNA.”
Taking their own advice, they established the Steven and Cynthia Magidson Scholarship in 2006. Awarded to full-time undergraduate students who have declared Communication as their major and have at least a 3.0 GPA, there have been 23 beneficiaries of this scholarship since its inception. This year’s scholarship recipient, Samantha Brancato, noted, “I am honored to have been chosen as the recipient of the Magidson scholarship. This scholarship has helped lift some of the weight of student loans from me, and I am thankful to have my hard work in the Communication major recognized. Thanks to this monetary award, I am able to focus more deeply on my studies and on teaching my First-Year Interest Group Seminar on Communication. I am hopeful that I can impact these students enough so that one day they may receive a scholarship like this as well! Thank you, Steve and Cynthia, from the bottom of my heart, for choosing me as the recipient of your scholarship.”
Additionally, the Magidsons support other student-specific programs, including the Hugh N. Boyd Journalism Diversity Workshop, a nine-day intensive journalism and digital media training program designed to inspire a diverse group of talented high school students to pursue careers in journalism.
In Steve’s convocation shout-out to the SC&I class of 2020, he leaves the graduates with these words of wisdom: “As you continue down life’s road to success, remember to give back to those who come after you, and of course, go RU!”
To join the Magidsons and our other donors in opening doors and bringing new ideas to life, visit SC&I Giving or call Rob Eccles. Share your story and support our students—a gift of any size can make an enormous difference.
Assistant Dean for Development
Phone: 848-932-8905
Cell: 732-540-3529

Development Specialist
Phone: 848-932-7568

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