Development News
Fall 2021
Note from Rob Eccles
Assistant Dean for Development

"A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.” ― George A. Moore, Irish novelist
Last month Rutgers students, faculty, and staff returned to campus to a place of teaching, learning, and self-discovery. Classrooms, offices, and lecture halls are brimming with activity. College Avenue is College Avenue once again. Just as our return to campus is a sort of “coming home,” Rutgers Homecoming on October 7-9 is an opportunity for alumni and friends to reminisce, reunite, make new memories, and show your Scarlet Pride. If you find yourself "on the banks" for Homecoming festivities, be sure to check out SC&I’s very own Professor Mary Chayko’s presentation on how to use social media more effectively at work and in everyday life. The Classes of 2020 and 2021—busy making excellent use of their Rutgers education—will join us on Sunday, October 24, to celebrate their time at SC&I. We look forward to recognizing and honoring their considerable achievements in person. The SC&I Alumni Association (SC&IAA) has also achieved something remarkable—endowing a scholarship that has helped remove barriers and provide access to a world-class education to 50 deserving students since its inception. Please enjoy their story below, and, whether you’re a graduate of the Class of 2021, the Class of 1941, or somewhere in between, reach out and find your home in the SC&IAA. I wish you a fantastic fall; please enjoy the beautiful weather. And as always, if you would like to learn about opportunities to become engaged with SC&I, please get in touch with us at any time. We would love to hear from you.
SC&I Events

October 7-9: Homecoming
Get ready for the excitement of Scarlet Knights football when Rutgers faces off against Michigan State on October 9. It’s time to reunite the past, present, and future with activities that bring back old memories and create new ones. Come home to Rutgers as we honor the Old Guard Class of 1971, celebrate the milestones of other graduating classes, and revel in what it means to be Scarlet Forever!
Rutgers alumni can purchase discounted tickets to the October 9 game. Discounted ticket prices range from $15–$40 and offer various seating options so you can find your favorite spot for cheering on the Scarlet Knights!
As part of a full schedule of diverse Homecoming activities and events, Distinguished Teaching Professor of Communication and Information Mary Chayko, Director of Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies and Faculty Fellow in Residence for the Honors College at Rutgers University, will discuss the impact of social media in every aspect of the modern experience in her presentation, “How to use social media more effectively on the job and in everyday life.” It’s sure to be insightful!

For those on campus, there will be a dedicated screening room in the College Ave. Student Center, where new webinars will be debuting from 12–4 p.m. on October 7 and 8. All Homecoming programs will be posted on the Rutgers Alumni YouTube channel after the weekend concludes.

Master’s Programs Information Sessions
MCM: Oct 5 | Nov 9 | Dec 7
Explore SC&I’s Master of Communication and Media (MCM) program, now offering a specialization in Corporate Purpose and Social Impact. For more information and to register for a session, please visit here.

MHCI: Oct 6 | Nov 10 |Dec 8
Explore our Master of Health Communication and Information (MHCI) program, which focuses on the communication, information, and media aspects of health-related policies and practices. For more information and to register for a session, please visit here.

MI: Oct 7 | Nov 11 | Dec 9
Explore SC&I’s ALA-accredited Master of Information (MI) program, one of the top-ranked programs in the country. For more information and to register for a session, please visit here.
October 24: In-Person Celebrations for the Classes of 2020 and 2021
The celebration for the School of Communication and Information will be the afternoon of Sunday, October 24, and will focus on recognizing our graduating students individually. To learn about SC&I’s events, visit here. For all of the other commencement events happening at Rutgers from October 21 to 25, visit here.
*Visit SC&I Events for the most current information on programs.
Why We Support SC&I
For this issue, we’re proud to highlight the excellent work of the Rutgers SC&I Alumni Association (SC&IAA). Governed by a board of volunteers, SC&IAA works to create opportunities for alums to connect with each other and with current students. The organization supports SC&I’s students philanthropically through contributions to the Scarlet Promise Grants program and their own fund, the School of Communication and Information Alumni Association Endowed Scholarship
Since granting the first endowed scholarship in 2012, SC&IAA has awarded the scholarship to 50 students. Recent recipient Andrea Rojas ’21, a Journalism and Media Studies major, expressed gratitude for the award, noting, “The SC&I Alumni Endowed scholarship that I earned definitely eased my financial burden but also made me realize that all the hard work I had put into my studies at the School of Communication and Information had paid off. I’m currently pursuing my master’s degree in Media Studies and Production at Temple University. I’m also the communications intern at Princeton Hydro. I’m excited to continue expanding my skillset, and it’s all thanks to SC&I’s generous scholarship that allowed me to focus on school rather than worry about how I was going to pay tuition.” 
For an inside perspective on the critical work that SC&IAA does, meet two of our fantastic board members: Jennifer Sneed ’03, a Journalism and Mass Media and Political Science double major, and Nyree Wright '96, a Communication major.
Following the recent SC&IAA elections, Jennifer has agreed to continue in the role of vice president. When she’s not volunteering her time to help guide the alumni association, she works as a program manager for NJ Transit, is principal at Gateway Affairs, a boutique public affairs firm dedicated to enhancing brands, communities, and lives, and as an actress in the New York tri-state area. Drawn to work that connects people, she has an extensive background in the government and non-profit sectors.

Jennifer, commenting on her SC&IAA ties, said, “I have had the opportunity to volunteer with SC&IAA for about fifteen years. For me, getting involved with giving back to the Rutgers community started with volunteerism. A goal of SC&IAA is to encourage growth not only among our vast alumni but also for current students at Rutgers. During my tenure as a past president of SC&IAA, we worked with the development team to create an endowed scholarship that could continue for many years, thus fulfilling the main objective of our association by consistently offering financial assistance to students in need who excel in their field. For many at Rutgers, any and all amounts of financial support make a huge difference. Personally, I worked several jobs both on and off campus to earn money while studying at Rutgers and understand the burden some may feel juggling both responsibilities. For me, it is important to give back to others with my time and money when I'm able.”
Nyree Wright, Senior Vice President of Public Relations, TV One Networks, is a trusted advisor and widely recognized PR executive with strategic counseling and marketing expertise. After completing her undergraduate studies at Rutgers, Nyree attained a master’s degree in Integrated Marketing from Seton Hall University. She has the distinctive ability to identify business opportunities and lead innovative crisis management initiatives to rebuild, rebrand, and stem damage to companies’ reputations.
Noting her involvement with SC&IAA, Nyree said, “I’ve always maintained a love and loyalty for Rutgers. When I first relocated to the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, I quickly became engaged with the Rutgers Alumni Club of DC and served as the events chair for a number of years. In my newest role as the SCI&AA board’s undergraduate representative, I will marry my experience of teaching at the collegiate level (at both The University of Maryland and The University of Florida) with my desire to mentor the next generation of communications and PR professionals.”
Summing up the importance of giving back, Jennifer said, “Our SC&IAA board members recognize the significance of these scholarships, advocate for as many alumni contributions to these grants as possible, and are dedicated to continuing to help future SC&I students through this program. Every minute volunteered and every dollar provided goes to help strengthen both our SC&I network and the overall Rutgers family.”

To learn more about SC&IAA, email To join Jennifer, Nyree, SC&IAA members, and our other donors in helping make a world-class Rutgers education attainable and affordable, visit SC&I Giving or call Rob Eccles.

To be a SC&I mentor, check out the SC&I Links Mentorship programThis program provides flexible opportunities for alumni to mentor SC&I students by offering valuable industry knowledge and insight into their respective professions while building students’ confidence and supporting their understanding of the working world and construction of their professional networks.

Do you have a suggestion for our "Why I Support SC&I" feature? Share your story and support our students—a gift of any size can make a difference.
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Assistant Dean for Development
Phone: 848-932-8905
Cell: 732-540-3529

Development Specialist
Phone: 848-932-7568

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