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

NJIT's University Convocation Recognizes the 2011 Top Professors, Staff, Students

NJIT will mark the start of the new academic year on Sept. 14, 2011 with the annual celebration and awards ceremony at its University Convocation.  The event, which recognizes the accomplishments of students, faculty and staff, will be held at 3 p.m., in the Naimoli Family Athletic and Recreational Facility on the NJIT campus.

Traditionally this event honors select NJIT faculty, staff, and students who have demonstrated the highest level of excellence over a sustained period. “We recognize them not only for their achievement, but because their leadership serves as a testament to NJIT’s commitment to excellence,” said Ian Gatley, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Steve Adubato, PhD, who enjoys a distinguished career as a broadcaster, author, university professor and motivational speaker. A trainer and coach in the areas of communication and leadership skills,  Adubato also served in the mid-1980s as New Jersey’s youngest state legislator at the age of 26. Adubato currently anchors three PBS broadcasts — Caucus: New Jersey, an Emmy Award-winning public affairs television series; NJ Capitol Report, a news program covering New Jersey political issues on a weekly basis; and One-on-One with Steve Adubato, a compelling program giving insight into today’s world through interviews with actors, authors, journalists, CEOs, artists and educational innovators who each share their experiences and accomplishments. Adubato also conducts in-depth interviews for NJ Today, which airs weeknights on the new NJTV and covers news, politics and policy. For more, see http://www.njit.edu/provost/events/convocation/2011/index.php.

The Overseers Excellence in Research Prize and Medal will be awarded to Haim Grebel, PhD, of Livingston, professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering in the Newark College of Engineering. The prestigious Master Teacher designation is reserved for those who have demonstrated leadership in fostering academic excellence in curricular issues. Receiving the honor this year will be Katia Passerini, PhD, of Brooklyn, NY, professor in the School of Management.

The Overseers Excellence in Service Award will be given to Cheickna Sylla, PhD, of Morris Plains, professor in the School of Management. The Constance A. Murray Diversity Award will be given to Phyllis Bolling, PhD, Orange, in the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services.

The Excellence in Teaching Awards recognize and reward members of the instructional staff for outstanding accomplishments in teaching. The awards are conferred upon those who have demonstrated excellence in the classroom, encouraging and guiding students to work at the highest academic level.  Receiving this award are: Tian Tian, of Lake Hiawatha, will receive the award for Excellence in Instruction by a Teaching Assistant, in the department of computer science; Margaret Yobbi, of Springfield, will receive the award of Excellence in Instruction by an Adjunct Professor, in the department of humanities; Jose Alcala, of Montclair, will receive the award in Excellence in Instruction by a University Lecturer,  in the College of Architecture and Design; Richard Moore, PhD, of Philadelphia, will receive the award in Excellence in Lower Division Undergraduate Instruction, in the department of mathematical sciences; Victor Matveev, PhD, of Hoboken, will receive the award in Excellence in Upper Division Undergraduate Instruction,  in the department of mathematical sciences; James Geller, PhD, of West Orange, will receive the award of Excellence in Professional Development, in the department of computer science; Jay Kappraff, PhD, of East Orange, will receive the award of Excellence in Innovative Teaching, in the department of mathematical sciences; Sotirios Ziavras, PhD, of Fort Lee, will receive the award of Excellence in Graduate Instruction, in the department of electrical and computer engineering.

Presidential Leadership Awards will be given to two outstanding students: Daisy Gallegos, of Jersey City, a 2011 graduate who is now enrolled in a master’s degree program at NJIT, and Ashish Borgaonkar, of Harrison, who completed his PhD in May 2011.

Promotions and the conferring of tenure will also be recognized. Promoted to the rank of Distinguished Professor with tenure is Pius Egbelu, of Parsippany, Dean, School of Management.  Also, appointed Distinguished Professor are: Somenath Mitra, PhD, of Bridgewater, department of chemistry and environmental science, and Trevor Tyson, PhD, of Mineola, NY, department of physics.  Promoted to professor are: Treena Arinzeh, PhD, of West Orange, department of biomedical engineering, and Andrei Sirenko, PhD, of Basking Ridge, department of physics.  Promoted to Professor with tenure: Andrew Gerrard, PhD, of Bridgewater, department of physics.

Promoted to Associate Professor with tenure are: Richard Garber, of Jersey City, College of Architecture and Design; Bryan Pfister, of Newtown, PA, department of biomedical engineering; Laramie Potts, of Basking Ridge, department of engineering technology; Horacio Rotstein, of Hoboken, department of mathematical sciences; Min Song, of Cherry Hill, department of information systems; Georgeen Theodore, of Brooklyn, NY, College of Architecture and Design; Guiling Wang, Short Hills, department of computer science.

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.