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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

NJIT University Convocation Marks the Start of the School Year and Honors Teachers, Students and Staff

New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) will mark the start of the new school year with University Convocation, an annual celebration and awards ceremony to recognize the accomplishments of students, faculty and staff.  The ceremony is set for Sept. 5, 2007, at 3 p.m., in the Jim Wise Theatre in Kupfrian Hall on the NJIT campus. A reception for honorees follows the event.

Structural engineer Leslie E. Robertson, of New York City, engineer of record for the World Trade Towers, will be the keynote speaker.   Robertson, who teaches at Princeton University, will focus on the challenges and obligations facing students.  He will examine how education allows students to become active in endeavors to enhance life for all people. 

“We confer this designation annually upon those select NJIT faculty members who have demonstrated the highest level of excellence over a sustained period,” said NJIT Provost Priscilla Nelson.  “We reward them not only for their achievement, but because their leadership serves as a testament to NJIT’s commitment to excellence.”  

The following individuals will be honored. 

The Excellence in Research Awards  will be given to Philip Goode, distinguished professor in the department of physics, of Westfield; Joseph Leung, distinguished professor in the department of computer science, of Edison; and Kamalesh Sirkar, distinguished professor in the department of chemical engineering, of Bridgewater Township.  Excellence in Service Awards will be given to Osama Eljabiri, a lecturer in the department of information systems, of Mount Olive; Jay Kappraff, a professor in the department of mathematical sciences, of  South Orange; and Ronald Rockland,  a professor in the department of engineering technology of Parsippany.  

The Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes and rewards members of the instructional staff for outstanding accomplishments in teaching. The awards are conferred upon teachers who have demonstrated excellence in the classroom, encouraging and guiding students to work at the highest academic level.  

The following individuals will be named excellent teachers: Xin Wang, a teaching assistant in the department of computer science, of Newark; Jonathan Porus, an adjunct professor, in the department of mathematical sciences, of Oakland; Soha Abdeljaber, a lecturer, in the department of mathematical sciences, of North Bergen; and Timothy Chang, a professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering, of Montville.  Chang received this honor for his professional development as a tenured faculty member.  

Also receiving the honor for excellence in teaching are: Nina Pardi, a lecturer in the department of humanities, of Summit; Robert Barat, a professor in the department of chemical engineering, for his undergraduate instruction in the lower division, of  Franklin Park; Laurent Simon, assistant professor in the department of chemical engineering, for his undergraduate instruction in the upper division, of Somerset; and  Bernard Koplik, professor, department of mechanical engineering for his graduate instruction, of Freehold

The Master Teacher designation is the most prestigious recognition that the university bestows upon faculty for high-quality teaching. The following three teachers will receive that award: Amitabha Bose, a professor in the department of mathematical sciences, of Brooklyn, NY; John Federici, a professor in the department of physics, of Westfield; and John Schuring, a professor in the department of civil and environmental engineering and former acting dean of Newark College of Engineering, of Blairstown.  

Two NJIT students will receive Presidential Leadership Awards and one will receive the Peter Small Memorial Scholarship. The Presidential winners are Michael Pallotta, a student in the department of mathematical sciences, of Franklin; Caitlin Weaver, a student in the department of biomedical engineering, of Glen Ridge.  Jonathan Schohl, a student in the department of electrical and computer engineering, of Palermo, will receive the Small Award.  The Committee on Women’s Issues will receive the Constance A. Murray Diversity Award.  

William Paulus Jr. who graduated from NJIT in 1963 with a Master’s Degree in civil engineering will receive the Edward F. Weston Medal for Professional Achievement.  Paulus, of Hopatcong, is a partner in the engineering and architectural firm Paulus, Sokolowski and Sartor, of Warren.  

Promoted to the position of associate professor with tenure were Ali Abdi, of New Milford, and Roberto Rojas-Cessa, of Brooklyn, NY, both in the department of electrical and computer engineering; Gabrielle Esperdy, in the New Jersey School of Architecture, of  Manhattan, NY; David Horntrop, in the department of mathematical sciences. of  Springfield; Laurent Simon,  in the department of  chemical engineering, of Summit; and Brook Wu, in the department of information systems, of Edison; and Andrei Sirenko in the department of physics, of Basking Ridge.                

Promoted to professor with tenure were: Norman Loney, in the department of chemical engineering, of  Edison; Zoi-Heleni Michalopoulou, in the department of mathematical sciences, of Montclair; Edip Niver, of Mountainside; and Leonid Tsybeskov, of  Rockaway, both in the department of electrical and computer engineering; Ronald Rockland, in the department of engineering technology, of Rockaway Township; Chao Zhu, in the mechanical engineering department, of Edison; and Dimitrios Theodoratos, in the department of computer science, of Princeton. Robert Miura, of Millburn Township, was promoted to distinguished professor in the department of mathematical sciences.

NJIT, New Jersey's science and technology university, enrolls approximately 10,000 students pursuing bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in 120 programs. The university consists of six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, College of Architecture and Design, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, College of Computing Sciences and Albert Dorman Honors College. U.S. News & World Report's 2012 Annual Guide to America's Best Colleges ranked NJIT in the top tier of national research universities. NJIT is internationally recognized for being at the edge in knowledge in architecture, applied mathematics, wireless communications and networking, solar physics, advanced engineered particulate materials, nanotechnology, neural engineering and e-learning. Many courses and certificate programs, as well as graduate degrees, are available online through the Division of Continuing Professional Education.