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May 2018 Newsletter
Dean's Note
It is commencement season. It was inspiring for me to lead SC&I’s own school convocation in the RAC. And as in the previous two years, I am captivated by the spirit and energy of our students and the passion of their families. With its JumboTron and elevated seating, the athletic center is an ideal venue for showing off the drama. I am confident that we are sending our students off well equipped for the very challenging world that lies beyond Rutgers. The outstanding employment statistics I noted in the last newsletter are an important illustration of this. 

This year’s student speaker, double major Alexandra DeMatos, who edited The Daily Targum while pursuing her degree, demonstrated the outstanding accomplishments of our student body. She emphasized that journalism is crucial, especially when only 13% of the world’s population can be counted as having a truly free press. This was echoed in the recent Borders report, that the U.S. has dropped to No. 45 in its annual ranking of press freedom for 180 countries around the world. “It is our responsibility to take the education we have received here, our experiences with one another, to battle those numbers like those before us," DeMatos said.

The theme of the daunting social challenges our graduates face was echoed at the University commencement in striking speeches by both President Barchi and speaker Dan Schulman , CEO of PayPal, who entreated the audience of graduating students to join the battle against bigotry and oppression.

Since his  arrival, Chancellor Dutta has laid out some priorities for growth at Rutgers. He has  started work on a plan t hat involves expanding faculty and student numbers in engineering, computer science and information science.  For SC&I, the information sciences cut across our disciplines and departments, including topics such as health informatics, organizational systems, patient provider interaction, computational social science, ethnography of analytics, participation and exclusion in digital life, platforms and digital communities, hyper-connected sociality, smart and connected cities. The discussion of where we take these topics has started and will evolve over the coming years with hiring and new research initiatives. 

This initiative also has implications for the establishment of a new innovation HUB based in New Brunswick on a large site next to the Railway Station. Recently, SC&I faculty met with faculty from across Rutgers, New Jersey state representatives and business leaders to discuss their possible role in this HUB. If it is built, this has the potential for a powerful economic role in the city and will provide opportunities for research and teaching for SC&I. The school was represented by a dynamic group of faculty who joined the discussion over five themes: health IT; healthcare delivery and clinical trials; smart and connected cities; cyberinfrastructure and public service systems. It is not yet clear how this will evolve, although the New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has given the development his support . What is clear is that SC&I researchers have started to grasp a significant opportunity. 

Finally, I talked in the last newsletter about the feasibility study for a new building, which is now well under way. This is a long-term prospect that will require much more work to bring it to fruition. More immediately, you will see some changes to the main SC&I building over the coming months as we improve our foyer to provide a more stylish and welcoming environment that includes informal student study and meeting areas, and as we transform room 222 into a genuine multifunction space that can support research meetings, departmental meetings, short courses and weekend teaching. This new space is due to be ready for the new semester.

News Briefs
JMS Senior Alexandra DeMatos spoke at Convocation
Over 1,500 students received their degrees from SC&I at May's Convocation. DeMatos told the crowd to look outside their classes for real-world life experiences to enhance their time at Rutgers.
Also, check out the SC&I Convocation video shout-outs!
Chenjerai Kumanyika wins Peabody Award for "UNCIVIL" podcast
Chenjerai Kumanyika JMS, wins  Peabody Award   – which honors enlightening and invigorating stories in TV, radio and digital media – for an episode of "Uncivil," a podcast that tells the overlooked stories of the American Civil War.

Brent Ruben named inaugural winner of Baldrige Foundation Award
Brent Ruben COM, knew the Baldrige language and approach would need to be tailored to higher education for academic professionals to see the value and put them into practice.

Timothy Sullivan honored at the Alumni Awards Dinner
At SC&I's Alumni Association  Annual Distinguished Alumni Dinner, President and Founder of  T3 Shamrock Public Relations Timothy Sullivan '95 (MCM & JMS) was honored. President of the SC&I Alumni Association,  Ben Bakelaar '10 presented the award to Sullivan.

SC&I's Spring Scholarly Incubator
The scholarly incubator, titled "Teaching and Learning," demonstrated and expanded SC&I's commitment to student learning, success and health.

SC&I alumna and founder of Huntington Learning Center receives 2017 IFA Entrepreneur of the Year Award
Eileen Huntington '73 was inspired by the importance of education when creating the learning center.

Read More
Sunyoung Kim receives grant to enhance social engagement among older adults
Sunyoung Kim LIS,  has recently been awarded $34,011.00 from the New Jersey Health Foundation for her proposal titled, “Developing a Dialog-Based Personal Assistant to Support Social Engagement Among Older Adults.”

Around the School
Faculty & Staff

  • ACM SIGIR CHIIR conference comes to New Brunswick.
  • Neil Bennett takes class to ABC studios for a behind-the-scenes tour.
  • Galina Bolden speaks about repair and culture to AIEMCA.
  • Jack Bratich was a guest on 89.3 KPCC "Air Talk."
  • Mary Chayko appears on Wake up Rutgers! She was also quoted for her work as a digital technology scholar in the new Pew Research Center study.
  • Hester Coan, Ph.D., a two-time alumna, faculty and staff member retires from Rutgers.
  • Kaitlin Costello talks about Facebook's privacy settings.
  • Kathryn Greene presents a 2018 Spotlight Scholar presentation at the University of Georgia.
  • David Greenberg presents the 2018 Bishop Lecture.
  • Juan González appointed to the Richard D. Heffner Professorship in Communications and Public Policy.
  • Alexa Hepburn chats about transcription to AIEMCA.
  • Faculty attended ICA conference.
  • Faculty and students attended iConference 2018.
  • Susan Keith is quoted in Media Shift about how professors and students should unplug.
  • Deepa Kumar is quoted in The Hill and Dissident Voice.
  • Jeff Lane publishes an article in Journal of Consumer Culture.
  • Jenny Mandelbaum celebrates 30 years at Rutgers.
  • Staff member, Noraida Martinez is leaving SC&I and taking a new job within the Rutgers family.
  • Staff members Alli Machiaverna and Jay Stefanelli present at NAGAP conference.
  • Faculty attended NJCA conference.
  • Faculty attended NJLA conference.
  • Caitlin Petre was quoted in the New York Times about workers' compensation and motivation.
  • Dean Potter talks Discursive Psychology and the current advances in its application to AIEMCA.
  • Marie Radford presents the keynote at MD Library Association.
  • Rebecca Reynolds and her co-editor Samuel Kai Wah Chu launch a new journal entitled, Information and Learning Science.
  • Jorge Reina Schement offers words about the Class of 2018.
  • Charles Senteio publishes study on impact of electronic health records and using health information to inform recommendations for diabetes care.
  • Chirag Shah speaks about what social media platforms and search engines know about you.
  • Anselm Spoerri is interviewed about Visualizing Data by Jocelyn McNamara.
  • Jen Theiss promoted to Professor of Communication.
  • Matt Weber and Allie Kosterich, Ph.D. '17 analyze the increase in technical-skill-based jobs in the NYC media industry.
  • Khadijah White, via, offers opinion: What We Can All Do About Racism.
  • Itzhak Yanovitzky's podcast from Scholars Strategy Network discusses the risks and prevention of the opiod epidemic.



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