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

Hundreds of NJIT Students Participate in Alternative Spring Break: Rebuilding Communities Devastated by Sandy

WHAT:  During NJIT’s Alternative Spring Break, more than 300 students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends will do volunteer work from Newark to the Jersey shore, cleaning up devastated areas and helping towns rebuild resiliently. Students will work on removing debris from beaches and parks, removing floors and wallboard, replacing floors and walls, painting and carpentry, stocking and distributing food and clothing, compiling information on areas affected by Sandy and doing other work to help communities recover and rebuild.

WHO:  NJIT students, faculty, staff and alumni will contribute approximately 1,000 “person days” of effort. Joining NJIT will be students from other colleges and universities in the state. NJIT students have majors and skills they’ll call upon to accomplish their work. Among them will be architecture and design students, civil and mechanical engineers, as well as construction management and environmental science majors. Architecture students have been developing resilient designs in their studio classes and this rebuilding effort will help them refine those designs.

CONTACT:  Tom Dallessio, Director, Center for Resilient Design at NJIT’s College of Architecture and Design: (973) 596-5872 or (609) 647-1538 (cell phone).

WHEN:  The week of Saturday, March 15 through Saturday, March 22, 2014. The Kick-Off event is Friday, March 14, 11:30 a.m. in the NJIT Campus Center Ballroom A. During Alternative Spring Break, students will be working throughout the week from morning until evening; hours and times will vary according to projects.

WHY:  In the wake of Sandy, NJIT formed the Center for Resilient Design. As part of the center, more than 1,000 architecture students, faculty and staff have been working with local towns to produce new designs and models for resilient housing, buildings and infrastructure that can be built efficiently and inexpensively. The Alternative Spring Break builds upon this effort. NJIT students are the state’s future architects, designers and engineers. They are also civic-minded; most of them live in the state and wanted to use their skills and their idealism to help the state recover from Sandy.

WHERE:  From Bergen to Atlantic counties, including: Atlantic City, Elizabeth, Island Beach State Park, Liberty State Park and Harsimus Cemetery in Jersey City, Livingston, Little Ferry, Middletown, Newark, Point Pleasant, Sea Bright, Seaside Heights, Seaside Park, Sea Girt and Wall. A team will also be in neighborhoods in Staten Island, rebuilding homes along the shore.

HOW: With a generous grant from the Provident Bank Foundation and support from the NJIT University Senate, Campus Center, Career Development Services, College of Architecture and Design and the Center for Resilient Design, NJIT has organized some dozen organizations and will provide transportation, food and opportunities for lodging for the week.

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.