NJIT University Community
Joel S. Bloom
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Community Update
Dear Members of the NJIT Community:

As New Jersey’s public poly-technical university, NJIT is committed to excellence in teaching and research. I am pleased to share some recent exemplars of the collective roles and contributions of our faculty, students and alumni.


Teaching and learning at NJIT occurs across multiple venues, within classrooms, capstone projects, COOPs and internships, and through academic competitions. Some recent achievements in highly competitive regional and national competitions include:

  • SOM Professors Karen Schoenebeck, Michael Ehrlich and Alan Yan served as faculty advisors to a team of NJIT students that presented at the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) Institute Research Challenge, and finished in the final four.
  • Professor Mohamed Mahgoub, director of the Concrete Industry Management (CIM) program in the Department of Engineering Technology and Nakul Ramanna, assistant to the chair and lab supervisor Andrew Flory in the John A. Reif, Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, lead two teams of CIM and civil engineering students to win in multiple categories of the 30th annual Student Beam Competition,
  • Civil Engineering Professor John Schuring serves as the faculty advisor to the student teams who took first place overall in the Concrete Canoe and Steel Bridge regional competitions.


NJIT’s recent establishment of the faculty-led research function in the Provost's Office, a Faculty Research Advisory Board, and 13 research focus groups were tasked with identifying strategic research initiatives to pursue and to establish new research centers. Some recent examples of efforts led by our esteemed faculty include:

  • Namas Chandra, the recipient of $884,344 grant from US Army Medical Research and Material Command for studying blast-induced traumatic brain injury,
  • Yehoshua Perl and James Geller received a grant of $1.75 million from National Cancer Institute, NIH on biomedical information and ontologies; and
  • Dean Moshe Kam, Newark College of Engineering presented his research on fighting error, bias, dishonesty and fraud in science during a talk in the Jim Wise Theatre, Kupfrian Hall.

This past month the Provost's office also hosted the Dana Knox Student Research Showcase. The annual showcase featured 41 undergraduate and graduate student research projects exploring such diverse areas as big data-supported disease-risk analysis, next-generation energy infrastructure and novel purification techniques. Faculty judges selected one project from a doctoral and two undergraduate students to share first place.


  • First Prize: A team of fourth-year architecture students Samantha Bard, Mary Lopreiato and Lauren Mclellan designed a “micro-algae micro-façade” to grow algae for use as biomass and as a carbon sink in panels on a building’s exterior, among other beneficial applications, and used Mies van der Rohe’s Newark Pavilion apartments as a model.
  • First Prize: Kenneth Schlatmann ’15, a science, technology and society major shared first prize for his project on the underpinnings of consciousness.

Graduate Students

  • First Prize: Ye Xiong, Turki Alelyani and Regina Collins, all doctoral students in information systems project, “Can Social Media Make You Smarter? Knowledge Sharing via Social Media,” which examined the influence of different aspects of social capital on students’knowledge sharing via social media in terms of quality and quantity.

Each example uniquely demonstrates the variety and depth of knowledge explored across multiple levels of the university.

The culminating recognition each year is our commencement of our bright and talented graduates. As we announced the 99th Commencement exercises will be Tuesday, May 19, 2015, 9 a.m. at the Prudential Center in Newark, two distinguished recipients:

  • Charles Elachi, Ph.D, director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a vice president at California Institute of Technology, will receive an honorary Doctor of Science, and
  • Irving Pressley McPhail, Ed.D., president and chief executive officer of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc. (NACME) will deliver the commencement address and receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

I was recently honored to accept an invitation to become an honorary trustee of the Newark Celebration 350 Committee. A kickoff meeting was held to begin the planning stages for the 1666-2016, 350th anniversary and our institution can take pride in our part in the city of Newark’s celebration. If you are interested in participating in the NJIT 350 subcommittee, please contact Angela Garretson in my office, .

NJIT's reputation continues to develop given our teaching and research achievements from across our diverse community of faculty, student and staff, and I thank you.  I would like to again extend my appreciation to the NJIT community and ask each of you to join me in expressing all the best to our students as they enter their final exams.  And, I look forward to celebrating with many of you at our graduation ceremonies.

Take Care,