MEMORANDUM

To:
NJIT Community Members
From:
Joel S. Bloom
Date:
May 5, 2017
Subject:
Campus Update

As the Spring semester winds to a close, I would like to share some updates on several significant developments, recognitions, and events that recently have occurred.

This Spring, NJIT hosted many important events. The university launched the Institute for Brain and Neuroscience Research (IBNR), co-directed by Professors Namas Chandra and Farzan Nadim. This initiative brings together NJIT researchers to increase basic understanding of the brain that will lead to new healing therapies for injuries and diseases. The IBNR will serve as an organizing framework for collaborative research and training in areas ranging from brain injury, neural engineering, neurobiology to computational neuroscience. Four university events shined a spotlight on the breadth and depth of research and creative work happening on our campus. Innovation Day highlighted NJIT’s undergraduate research and innovation programs and competitions while the Dana Knox Student Research Showcase featured 59 undergraduate and graduate student research projects exploring such diverse topics as designs to replace the Weston Hall pedestrian bridge, microgravity experiments occurring on the International Space Station, and a system for locating free curbside parking spaces for drivers in cities. Industry guests, alumni, students, faculty and staff packed Weston Hall for the College of Architecture and Design’s 11th Annual Design Showcase, and the Faculty Research Showcase turned the focus to the research interests of NJIT’s new and continuing faculty, introducing their impressive work to NJIT’s community. These events allowed us to celebrate the research and innovation occurring at NJIT as well as the relevance of that work to improving our world and lives.

We also hosted two events that promoted the importance of women in the STEM fields. The Women Designing the Future conference brought pioneering women from technology companies together with students, faculty, and staff to discuss their experiences in industry and their views of what’s to come in homes, offices, and factories. And just last week, NJIT welcomed Bloomberg Radio for a live broadcast featuring a panel discussion on “Powering America’s Innovation Economy: Women Leading in STEM.” NJIT alumni Marjorie Perry, CEO of MZM Construction and Management, and Norma Clayton, a vice president who leads Boeing’s learning and training program, both served as panelists.

NJIT earned a number of external recognitions as well. PayScale released its College ROI Report: Best Value Colleges for 2017 and, once again, NJIT was ranked among the top universities that have a high return on their tuition dollars. Our Ying Wu College of Computing received numerous accolades, including:

#8 Top Online Master’s Program in Computer Science
#15 Top 2017 Information Technology Programs
#41 Top 50 Best Value Online Masters of Information Technology Programs for 2017
#8 Best Online Bachelor's in Information Technology

Additionally, the Center for World University Rankings, which publishes the only global university ranking that measures the quality of education and training of students as well as the prestige of the faculty members and the quality of their research without relying on surveys and university data submissions, rated NJIT's computer science program the best in the nation and #2 in the world on April 3. NJIT is the only university outside of Asia and Australia to make the top 10.

Our student leaders were recognized this week at the 2017 Highlander Student Leadership Awards. Group awards were given to the Student Organization of the Year, the New Student Organization of the Year, Greek Organization of the Year, and for Campus Programming. Individual awards were presented for the Outstanding Student Employee, the Lisa A. Pierce Emerging Leader, the Making a Difference Award, Outstanding Student Leaders, Female Student Leadership, Albert Dorman Honors College Leadership, Fraternity Man of the Year, Sorority Woman of the Year, and various Greek life awards. The Presidential Leadership Awards, which are selected by a committee and represent the most prestigious recognition NJIT can bestow upon a student, went to Michael Filippidis and John Vito d’Antonio-Bertagnolli. These individuals both exemplify NJIT’s commitment to the values of campus leadership, community service, scholarship, and research. Their contributions to our university and our community are extensive. We are extremely proud of them and all those who account for the nearly 53,000 hours of service by NJIT students each year. From Alternative Spring Break and Global Brigades to after-school STEM mentoring and neighborhood beautification projects to feeding the hungry and knitting hats and blankets for those in need, NJIT students are making an impact locally and globally. 

Next week, we will conclude the semester with our most joyous day of the year.Commencement exercises for 2017 will be held on Tuesday, May 16th at the Prudential Center. On that day, we will confer more than 2,300 doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degrees and award honorary degrees to J. Robert Hillier, FAIA, Principal at Studio Hillier; Philip L. Rinaldi '68, '77, Chief Executive Officer of Philadelphia Energy Solutions; and the Honorable Rochelle R. Hendricks, Ph.D., first and current Secretary of Higher Education for the State of New Jersey. Dr. Hendricks will serve as our commencement speaker. I congratulate all of you who will be receiving your diplomas that day, and I thank the rest of you who have contributed to the success of these students through your work, your knowledge, your mentorship, your friendship, and your support.

May you all enjoy the Summer, whether you remain on campus or will be away until the Fall. Thank you for your individual and collective contributions to NJIT this year and in the years to come.

Joel S. Bloom
President