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

NJIT's Convocation Recognizes 2012 Top Performers: Professors, Staff, Students

NJIT will mark the start of the new school year Sept. 12, 2012 at University Convocation, an annual celebration and awards ceremony.  The event, which recognizes the accomplishments of students, faculty and staff, will be held at 3 p.m. in the Naimoli Family Athletic and Recreation Facility on the NJIT campus.  A reception follows.  This year Convocation is part of a three-day series of events leading to the inauguration of Joel S. Bloom as NJIT’s eighth president on Sept. 14.  Bloom was appointed as NJIT president this past January. 

Convocation traditionally honors select NJIT faculty and staff members who have demonstrated the highest level of excellence over a sustained period.  “We reward them not only for their achievement, but because their leadership serves as a testament to NJIT’s commitment to excellence,” said Ian Gatley, PhD, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs and distinguished professor in the department of physics.

The Overseers Excellence in Research Prize and Medal will be given to Reginald Farrow, PhD, research professor in the department of physics in the College of Science and Liberal Arts (CSLA).  The Overseers Excellence in Service Award will be given to Norbert Elliot, PhD, Little Egg Harbor, professor in the department of humanities in CSLA.   

The Master Teacher designation, the most prestigious recognition that the university bestows upon faculty for high-quality teaching, will be given to Bruce Bukiet, PhD, West Orange, professor in the department of mathematical sciences in CSLA and Robert B. Barat, PhD, Franklin Park, in the Otto H. York department of chemical, biological and pharmaceutical engineering in the Newark College of Engineering (NCE).

The following people have been promoted to professor:  Jorge P. Golowasch, PhD, West Harrison, NY, in the department of biological services in CSLA;  I. Joga Rao, PhD, Clifton, in the department of mechanical and industrial engineering in NCE; and Cheickna Sylla, PhD, Morris Plains, in the School of Management (SOM).

The following people were promoted to associate professor with tenure: Yassine Boubendir, PhD, Summit, in the department of mathematical sciences in CSLA;  Wenda Cao, PhD, Union, in the department of physics;  Linda J. Cummings, PhD, New York, NY, in the department of mathematical sciences in CSLA; and Osvaldo Simeone, PhD, New York, NY, in the department of electrical and computer engineering at NCE.

The Excellence in Teaching Awards recognize and reward members of the instructional staff for outstanding accomplishments in teaching.  The awards are conferred upon teachers who have demonstrated excellence in the classroom, encouraging and guiding students to work at the highest academic level. 

Receiving this award are: Michael Ehrlich, PhD, Port Washington, NY, (Excellence in the Lower Division Undergraduate Instruction) assistant professor in the SOM;  Michael Stephen Zdepski, Bernardsville, (Excellence in the Upper Division Undergraduate Instruction) associate professor in the College of Architecture and Design (COAD);  Michael L. Recce, PhD, of Short Hills, (Excellence in Graduate Education) associate professor in the College of Computing Sciences (CCS);  Junilda Spirollari, Warren, (Excellence in Instruction by a University Lecturer, Senior University Lecturer and/or Program Director) university lecturer in CCS;  Lorenzina Laera, New York, NY, (Excellence in Instruction by an adjunct professor) in COAD;   Sonia Bandha, Jersey City, (Excellence in Instruction by a Teaching Assistant) in the department of mathematical sciences in CSLA;  Sanchoy K. Das, PhD, Bridgewater,  (Professional Development) professor in the department of mechanical and industrial engineering in NCE;  Christopher T. Funkhouser, PhD, Frelinghuysen Township, (Excellence in Innovative Teaching) associate professor in the department of humanities in CSLA; and Yassine Boubendir, PhD, Summit, (Student Choice Award) associate professor in the department of mathematical sciences in CSLA.

New appointments of professor with tenure are: Bharat Biswal, PhD, East Brunswick, in the department of biomedical engineering in NCE; Michel Boufadel, Ph.D, in the department of civil and environmental engineering in NCE. 

New appointments of associate professor with tenure are: Eric Fortune, PhD, in the department of biological sciences in CSLA; Ji Meng Loh, PhD, in the department of mathematical sciences in CSLA; Bernadette Longo, PhD,  in the department of humanities in CSLA.

Presidential Leadership Awards will be given to undergraduate William Barry, Dayton, a senior in SOM and  graduate student Ankur Agrawal, Harrison, a 2013 doctoral candidate in CCS.                

Jacquelynn Rhodes of Scotch Plains, associate vice president in University Advancement, will receive the Constance A. Murray Diversity Award.  

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 11,400 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 cybersecurity, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $121 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com. NJIT has a $1.74 billion annual economic impact on the State of New Jersey.