NJIT News Room

Looking for something?
Search Newsroom
RSS Feed
PRESS RELEASE
Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

A. Zachary Yamba To Be Keynote Speaker at Upcoming NJIT University Convocation: Teachers, Staff, Students To Be Honored

NJIT marks the start of the new school year on September 2, 2009 with University Convocation, an annual celebration and awards ceremony.  The event, which recognizes the accomplishments of students, faculty and staff, will be held at 3 p.m., in the Jim Wise Theatre in Kupfrian Hall on the NJIT campus. A reception follows.

This event traditionally honors select NJIT faculty and staff members who have demonstrated the highest level of excellence over a sustained period. “We reward them not only for their achievement, but because their leadership serves as a testament to NJIT’s commitment to excellence,” said Donald H. Sebastian, PhD, interim provost and senior vice president for research and development.

The keynote speaker will be A. Zachary Yamba, EdD, the longest-serving college president in New Jersey. Yamba is widely credited with transforming Essex County College into the vibrant and progressive institution that today enrolls more than 20,000 students. Yamba was one of the early founders of a partnership that has enabled ECC and neighboring NJIT, Rutgers-Newark and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey to collaborate on numerous collegiate and community initiatives in the city’s University Heights district.

Excellence in Research Awards will be given to Haim Grebel, PhD, of Livingston, professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering in the Newark College of Engineering (NCE); Haiman Wang, PhD, of Livingston, distinguished professor in the department of physics in the College of Science and Liberal Arts (CSLA); Frank Shih, PhD, of Morris Plains,  professor in the department of computer science in the College of Computing Sciences (CCS); and Jerry Fjermestad, of Orangeburg, NY, associate professor in the School of Management.

The Master Teacher designation is the most prestigious recognition that the university bestows upon faculty for high-quality teaching. Laurent Simon, PhD, of Somerset, associate professor in the Otto H. York Chemical, Biological and Pharmaceutical Engineering Department of NCE and James McHugh, PhD, of Bloomfield, professor in the department of computer science of CCS, will receive that honor.

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.  Receiving this award are: Wei Xu, PhD, of Gillette, assistant professor in the School of Management; Eric Katz, PhD, of Bay Shore, NY, professor in the department of humanities of CSLA; and Cristian Borcea, PhD, of New Providence, assistant professor in the department of computer science of CCS.

Also receiving honors for excellence in teaching are Ashish Borgaonkar, of Harrison, teaching assistant in the department of civil and environmental engineering of NCE; Jimmy Hayes, of Bloomfield, adjunct professor in the department of mathematical sciences of CSLA; Morty Kwestel, PhD, of Rockaway, special lecturer in the department of computer science, and Thomas Ogorzalek, of Jersey City, university lecturer in the College of Architecture and Design. Excellence in Service Awards will be presented to Laurence Howell, of Wayne, executive director of the Educational Opportunity Program and Judith Sheft, of Westfield, assistant vice president of technology and development.

Newly-minted electrical engineer and Dorman honors scholar Baker Assaf, of Paterson, is the recipient of the Presidential Leadership Award. The Peter Small Memorial Scholarship goes to Quaison Carter, of Teaneck, who graduated this past May from the School of Management with a BA in management; he is currently pursuing an MBA in the School of Management.

Promoted to the position of distinguished professor is Dale Gary, PhD, of Berkeley Heights, in the department of  physics of CSLA.  Promoted to professor are John Bechtold, of Ridgewood, professor in the department of mathematical sciences of CSLA; Wooyoung Choi, of Montville, professor in the department of mathematical sciences of CSLA and Lou Kondic, of West Orange, professor in the department of mathematical sciences of CSLA. Promoted to the position of associate professor with tenure are: Sergei Adamovich, PhD, of Garwood, associate professor in the department of biomedical engineering of NCE; Cristian Borcea, PhD, of New Providence, associate professor in the department of computer science of CCS; and Robert Friedman, PhD, of Closter, associate professor in the department of humanities of CSLA received tenure; Carol Siri Johnson, PhD, of Oak Ridge, associate professor in the department of humanities of CSLA; Victor Mateev, PhD, of Hoboken, associate professor in the department of mathematical sciences of CSLA; Richard Moore, PhD, of Philadelphia, PA, associate professor in the department of mathematical sciences of CSLA; and Mesut Sahin, PhD, of Clifton, associate professor in the department of biomedical engineering of NCE.

One of the nation's leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT's multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering, and cyber-security, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $110 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com.