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

NJIT's Convocation Recognizes 2013 Top Performers: Professors, Staff, Students

NJIT will mark the start of the school year on Sept.18, 2013, 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 Naimoli Family Athletic and Recreational Facility on the NJIT campus. A reception will follow.

On that day, Convocation will follow another NJIT milestone:  The 11 a.m. opening of NJIT’s $80 million Warren Street Village, a unique, 3-acre, 214,000-square-foot, mixed-use residential housing complex.  Completed in under 18 months, the complex, bounded by Colden Street to the east, Warren Street to the north and Raymond Boulevard to the southwest, will add 600 beds to NJIT’s existing inventory of residential housing.  The project will feature a new restaurant, convenience store and fitness center. 

ATTENTION REPORTERS:  To attend Village opening (11 a.m. – noon) or Convocation (3-4 p.m.), contact Sheryl Weinstein, smw@njit.edu 973-596-3436. 

Convocation 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 NJIT Provost and Senior Executive Vice President Fadi Deek.

The Overseers Excellence in Service Awards will be given to Richard Sher, PhD, Maplewood, distinguished professor in the federated department of history in the College of Science and Liberal Arts (CSLA) and Gale Spak, PhD, Matawan, associate vice president of Continuing and Distance Education. 

The Master Teacher designation, the most prestigious recognition that the university bestows upon faculty for high-quality teaching, will be given to Taha Marhaba, PhD, Bridgewater, professor of civil and environmental engineering in NCE and Mark Somers, PhD, professor in the School of Management (SOM).

The following people have been promoted to professor:  Tara Alvarez, PhD, Whippany, in the department of biomedical engineering (NCE); Sunil Dhar, PhD, Wayne, in the department of mathematical sciences (CSLA); Christopher Funkhouser, PhD, Allamuchy, department of humanities (CSLA); and Katia Passerini, PhD, interim dean of the Albert Dorman Honors College.

The following people were promoted to associate professor with tenure:  Keun Hyuk Ahn, PhD, Palisades Park, in the department of physics (CSLA); Reza Curtmola, PhD, Jersey City, in the department of computer science in the College of Computing Science (CCS); Michael Ehrlich, PhD, (SOM); Philip Andrew Klobucar, PhD, Jersey City, in the department of humanities (CSLA); Xianqin Wang, PhD, Cranbury,  in the department of chemical, biological and pharmaceutical engineering (NCE); Zhi Wei, PhD, Princeton, in the department of computer science (CCS); Zhipeng Yan, PhD, Fort Lee, (SOM); and Andrzej Zarzycki, in the College of Architecture and Design (COAD).  Mengchu Zhou, PhD, Basking Ridge, department of electrical and computer engineering (NCE), has been awarded the distinguished professor designation.  Namas Chandra, PhD, department of biomedical engineering (NCE) and Alexander Kosovichev, PhD, department of physics (CSLA) have been appointed to professor with tenure.  Dirk Bucher, PhD, federated department of biological sciences (CSLA), has been appointed associate professor with tenure.

The Excellence in Teaching Awards recognize and reward 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:  Ha Pham, Newark,  (Special Commendation for Excellence in Teaching) teaching assistant (COAD); Gabrielle Esperdy, PhD, (Excellence in the Lower Division Undergraduate Instruction) associate professor (COAD); Michael Brownstein, PhD, (Excellence in the Upper Division Undergraduate Instruction) assistant professor in the department of humanities (CSLA); Tara Alvarez, PhD, Whippany,  (Excellence in Graduate Instruction) associate professor in biomedical engineering (NCE); Andres Jerez, PhD, Blawenbug, (Excellence in Instruction by a University Lecturer) in the department of physics (CSLA); Padma Natarajan, Woodbridge,  (Excellence in Instruction by an Adjunct Professor) in the department of mathematical sciences (CSLA); Gavin Lynch, Martinsville, (Excellence in Instruction by a Teaching Assistant) in the department of mathematical sciences (CSLA); Nancy Coppola, PhD, Mountain Lakes, (Professional Development) professor in the department of humanities (CSLA); and Kevin McDermott, PhD, Demarest, (Excellence in Innovative Teaching) professor in the department of mechanical and industrial engineering (NCE).

Presidential Leadership Awards will be given to Kevin Ly, Newark, 2013, biology and Priya Radhi Santhanam, East Newark, 2013, chemical engineering. Howard Kimmel, PhD, East Brunswick, professor in the department of chemical engineering and executive director of the Center for Pre-College Programs will receive the Constance A. Murray Diversity Award.  

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.