May 20, 1999
Former Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairperson Shirley Ann Jackson to be honored at NJIT Commencement
NEWARK - May 20, 1999 -
Shirley Ann Jackson, the first woman and first African-American to chair the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree at the 112th commencement exercises of New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), set for May 21 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark.
The ceremonies will take place in two sessions: Bachelors and Doctorates will be awarded starting at 9:30 a.m., and Masters degrees beginning at 1:30 p.m.
As of this month, NJIT will have awarded a total of 653 Bachelors degrees, 917 Masters degrees and 36 Doctorates for the academic year.
Among them will be Class Valedictorian Robin Tanenbaum, a 45-year-old wife and mother who will graduate with a B.S. degree in Applied Mathematics, a minor in Computer Science and a perfect 4.0 GPA.
The only student in this academic year's class to achieve straight "A's" throughout her college career, Ms. Tanenbaum achieved her honors going to school part-time over a nine year period.
Dr. Jackson, who has been a leader in research, education and government service, is one of three distinguished honorees at the event. The others are Donald P. Greenberg, a pioneer in computer graphics and scientific visualization, who will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree, and Angelo J. Perna, Associate Dean of NJIT's Newark College of Engineering, who will be awarded the school's Allan R. Cullimore Medal for Distinguished Service.
Jackson, who will become president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in July, is the first African-American woman to lead a major research university. She numbers many other "firsts" among her achievements.
She was the first African-American woman to earn a doctorate at MIT in any discipline; one of two African-American women to take a Ph.D. in theoretical physics; and the first to serve on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
For two decades, she was a leading researcher in theoretical condensed matter physics at Bell Laboratories and Rutgers University.
Her awards and honors include five honorary degrees, induction into the National Women's Hall of Fame, the Thomas Alva Edison Science Award and the 1993 New Jersey Governor's Award for Excellence.
Donald Greenberg's work as a teacher, lecturer and writer in interactive graphical environments for over three decades has influenced students, scholars and practitioners in architecture, engineering and computer graphics.
Dr. Greenberg broke new ground in many areas of computer graphics, including producing one of the first movies to use sophisticated computer graphics. Through his early understanding of the rich potential of computer aided design, he played a vital role in shaping the contemporary practice of architecture.
Dr. Greenberg is a founding director of the National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center for Computer Graphics and Scientific Visualization. At Cornell University, Ithica, NY, Greenberg originated and directed the school's Computer Aided Design Instructional Facility, and currently is director of the Program of Computer Graphics.
As Associate Dean of Newark College of Engineering, Angelo Perna currently directs a major National Science Foundation undergraduate curriculum initiative and has developed several of the university's seminal pre-college programs.
A member of the school's chemical engineering faculty for 32 years, Perna is also recognized for his research in hazardous waste and environmental engineering, with more than 70 published papers and 100 presentations to his credit.
NJIT's computing-intensive curriculum produces immediate and measurable results for students who are graduating into a world economy that is increasingly driven by rapid technological change.
"Our graduates are particularly well prepared for the current technology and e-commerce-based job market," says Joel Bloom, vice president for academic and student services and Dean of the Albert Dorman Honors College. "They have received an average of two to three serious job offers each, with a starting salary that ranges well above $40,000 per year."
The event marks the second year that NJIT has held commencement exercises at the $180-million NJPAC, located on 12 acres in downtown Newark. Opened two years ago, NJPAC is a cornerstone in the revitalization of Newark.
NJIT is a public research university enrolling nearly 8,200 bachelor's, master's and doctoral students in 76 degree programs through its five colleges: Newark College of Engineering, School of Architecture, College of Science and Liberal Arts, the School of Management and the Albert Dorman Honors College. Research initiatives include manufacturing, microelectronics, multimedia, transportation, computer science, solar astrophysics, environmental engineering and science, and architecture and building science.