/Convocation 2013: A welcome for NJIT’s newest class

Convocation 2013: A welcome for NJIT’s newest class

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Yvonne Chen

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Yvonne Chen

On Wednesday, NJIT’s latest freshman class attended the annual convocation ceremony, marking their symbolic induction into the NJIT community. Various administrators and esteemed guests imparted words of wisdom to guide them as they begin their journey.

“We are excited to be part of this new and important chapter of your lives,” said Provost Fadi Deek. “Our faculty and staff take their responsibilities seriously. They will challenge you to excel, but will also support and guide you to achieve your academic and personal potential. NJIT is a place that will transform you. I guarantee you will have an amazing time.”

Charles Fey, Vice President for Academic Support & Student Affairs, told the freshmen that many administrators and faculty think: what would they do if they were back in your shoes?

“We see the choices that we made in our careers, our life plans, our dreams and look wistfully at you… We’d love to have the chance to do it over knowing what we know today.” Fey, for instance, wishes he had studied more and made sure he attended more classes. You have two choices, he says. You can choose to be engaged or disengaged with your education; “but being disengaged would be a serious mistake… Take advantage of everything you have before you.”

Clifford M. Samuel, Class of ’88 and a member of the Albert Dorman Honors College Board of Visitors, recounted his experiences at NJIT after immigrating to the United States with his family at the age of13. “I had access to the tremendous opportunities that America had to offer. The most fundamental of those opportunities was my experience here at NJIT.”

Samuel had a singular focus: to “get in and out with the best grades I could, with my degree in hand, in the shortest time possible.” However, he reflects that “as engineers, we often times see life as black or white. But life is filled with colorful twists and turns… You will use your degree – there is no question. You just may use it in ways different than you imagined.” Who knows, you may find that poetry is as useful to you as physics. “May the best of your yesterdays be the worst of your tomorrows,” he concluded.

Class of 2017 (and 2018, for the architects), welcome to the next chapter of your lives.

Senate President Says

Make goals.

Make goals that push you beyond what you can do. Write them down and look at them to remind yourself of what you need to do.

You are not here for a piece of paper.

You are here to develop and grow, to better yourself as an individual. You are here to excel and become the next generation of leaders and innovators.

Don’t procrastinate.

Procrastination leads to failure and frustration. Seize opportunities when they’re still within reach, or you’ll get left behind.

Knowledge is power.

With all the resources at our fingertips, we are a powerful generation. Stay on top and stay current by watching the news or reading the Vector.

Make connections

Who you know is just as important as what you know. Get involved with career fairs or professional organizations. Your connections may land you your first job.

Enjoy what you do.

These next few years of your life will impact what you do for the rest of your life.

Ask for help.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Visit professors during office hours, go to CAPE or form study groups.

We believe in you.

I believe that you can succeed. President Bloom believes that you can succeed. The NJIT community believes that you can succeed. It is now up to you to succeed.

State of the University, President Bloom

Statistics:

Largest freshmen women class in NJIT history, 3% larger than the previous record.

Ranks 8th among public universities for alumni earning potential

Ranks among top 1% of public colleges for return on investment

Ranks 6th in the nation for average lifetime earnings of over $1 milion

Changes:

NJIT is renovating and upgrading existing facilities to create smart classrooms and labs.

A STEM education hub is to be built in the Central King Building, housing a Teaching Effectiveness Institute, Math Engagement Center, a Composition Engagement Center, and centers for advising and pre-professional mentoring.

The Warren Street Village was officially opened on September 18th, though students have been living there since the end of August. The Honors residential building and Greek houses add 600 beds to housing capacity. New facilities to be opened are a restaurant, convenience store and fitness center for the community.

The new Advising Success Center is aimed at helping our students make transitions – choosing a major, being successful and becoming a member of the university.

Achievements

Last month, a Chemical Engineering undergraduate flew in a NASA “Zero G” suborbital flight with her professor as part of a research team testing new technologies in microgravity.

This summer, a team of architecture, design and engineering students collaborated with Harbin Institute of Technology to build the solar-powered NEXUS House as part of the 2013 Solar Decathlon in China.

For four years running, NJIT has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, one of the highest federal recognitions a college can receive for its commitment to community service.

NJIT Women’s Basketball MVP Rayven Johnson recently signed to play professionally with TK Hanover in Germany.

Two of NJIT’s star pitchers have been recruited by Major League Baseball – Tripp Davis was signed by the Kansas City Royals, and Mark Leiter Jr. was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies.

NJIT civil engineering students took a first place prize at the National Steel Bridge Building Contest. The Concrete Canoe Team took first place in the ASCE regional competition.

A team of Mechanical Engineering students took 2nd place in the ASME National Student Design Competition for their prototype of a remote-controlled device for the removal of radioactive waste.

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Awards

Presidential Leadership Award – Kevin Ly ’13, Biology

Presidential Leadership Award – Priya Radhi Santhanam ’13, Chemical Engineering

Special Commendation for Excellence in Teaching – Ha Pham, College of Architecture and Design

Instruction by a Teaching Assistant – Gavin Lynch, Mathematical Sciences

Instruction by an Adjunct Professor – Padma Natarajan, Mathematical Sciences

Instruction by a University Lecturer – Andres Jerez, Physics

Undergraduate Instruction, Lower Division – Gabrielle Esperdy, College of Architecture and Design

Undergraduate Instruction, Upper Division – Michael Brownstein, Humanities

Professional Development – Nancy Coppola, Humanities

Excellence in Innovative Teaching – Kevin McDermott, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

Graduate Instruction – Tara Alvarez, Biomedical Engineering

Overseers Excellence in Research Prize and Medal – Treena Livingston Arinzeh, Biomedical Engineering

Overseers Excellence in Research Lifetime Achievement Award – Michael Jaffe, Biomedical Engineering

Overseers Excellence in Service Award – Richard Sher, History

Overseers Excellence in Service Award – Gale Tenen Spak, Division of Continuing and Distance Education

Constance A. Murray Diversity Award – Howard Kimmel, Pre-College Consortium

Master Teaching Designation – Taha Marhaba, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Master Teaching Designation – Mark Somers, School of Management

Faculty Promotions

Associate Professor with Tenure – Keun Hyuk Ahn, Physics

Associate Professor with Tenure – Reza Curtmola, Computer Science

Associate Professor with Tenure – Michael Ehrlich, School of Management

Associate Professor with Tenure – Philip Andrew Klobucar, Humanities

Associate Professor with Tenure – Xianqin Wang, Chem, Bio and Pharm. Engineering

Associate Professor with Tenure – Zhi Wei, Computer Science

Associate Professor with Tenure – Zhipeng Yan, School of Management

Associate Professor with Tenure – Andrzej Zarzycki, College of Architecture and Design

Professor – Tara Alvarez, Biomedical Engineering

Professor – Sunil Dhar, Mathematical Sciences

Professor – Christopher Funkhouser, Humanities

Professor – Katia Passerini, School of Management

Faculty Appointments

Associate Professor with Tenure – Dirk Bucher, Biological Sciences

Professor with Tenure – Namas Chandra, Biomedical Engineering

Professor with Tenure – Alexander Kosovichev, Physics

Distinguished Professor – Mengchu Zhou, Electrical and Computer Engineering