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2013 Rutgers President's Awards

Sixteen Arts and Sciences Faculty Honored for Teaching, Research, Service, and Diversity Initiatives

Marcotrigiano Birkenholtz Sesum Ganapathy Lee Award Winners.

Members of the university community who have made outstanding contributions in the classroom, to their disciplines, or for the benefit of the community or world were honored May 8, 2013 during a reception at the Rutgers Visitor Center hosted by President Robert L. Barchi.

See below all the awards earned by Arts and Sciences.


The Warren I. Susman Award for Excellence in Teaching is awarded to faculty members in recognition of outstanding service in stimulating and guiding the intellectual development of students at Rutgers University.

L to R: Jeffrey Rubin, Ben Sifuentes-Jauregui, and Maurice J. Elias

Maurice J. Elias, Department of Psychology, was recognized for designing opportunities outside the classroom that enhanced student growth and demonstrated the critical relationship between research and practice.

Jeffrey Rubin, Department of Economics, was recognized for being an extraordinary teacher and mentor. Using current examples in the economy, Rubin sparked abstract discussions and inspired undergraduates to think like an economist. He also acts as a mentor to students in the Honors Program and those preparing for the "Fed Challenge."   

Ben. Sifuentes-J√°uregui, Department of American Studies, was recognized for a classroom dialogue that asked students to consider difficult and important questions, while giving academic support and empowering his students to derive their own answers.


The Rutgers Board of Trustees Research Fellowship for Scholarly Excellence honors faculty members recently promoted with tenure whose work shows exceptional promise.

Professors Marcotrigiano, Birkenholtz, Sesum, Ganapathy, and LeeTrevor L. Birkenholtz, Department of Geography, was recognized for his scholarly contributions to the political ecology of urban and rural water resources, particularly in the intersections of local livelihoods and politics with technological and social changes in northern India.

Vinod Ganapathy, Department of Computer Science, was recognized for his outstanding research in cyber-security and software engineering, and his ability to find elegant and simple solutions to complex problems across the broad areas of operating systems and mobile devices.

Ki-Bum Lee, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, was recognized for this innovative and highly influential research on nanomaterial synthesis, nanofabrication, and drug/gene delivery.

Joseph Marcotrigiano, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, was recognized for his insightful and influential studies of the structure and function of the Hepatitis C virus and other pathogens.

Natasa Sesum, Department of Mathematics, was recognized for her fundamental contributions to the study of geometric flows, particularly her creative and original research on the Ricci flow.

Tanya R. Sheehan, Department of Art History, was recognized for her original archival research and her rigorously interdisciplinary blend of cultural history, photo history, and art history, which have shed new light on the relationshiop between photography and medicine in the 19th century. (Not pictured.)


The Presidential Fellowship for Teaching Excellence honors newly tenured faculty members for outstanding teaching and scholarly work.

Birkenholtz Tartakoff JS13 FacAward  MG 0079Trevor L. Birkenholtz, Department of Geography, was recognized for his outstanding teaching, which encourages students to examine and challenge accepted beliefs, and for his dedicated mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students.

Tanya R. Sheehan, Department of Art History, was honored for her dedication to helping students understand art more deeply by encouraging sensitivity to contemporary social issues and personal engagement with works of art. (Not pictured.)

Paola Tartakoff, Department of Jewish Studies and Department of History, is recognized for her thoughtful and interactive teaching style, which stimulates student participation and creates a productive and nurturing classroom environment.


The Office of Faculty Diversity Initiatives celebrates and honors a select number of faculty who have been leaders in promoting diversity at Rutgers, either through their own research and teaching or in other venues.

Isaacs JS13 FacAward  MG 0087Allan Punzalan Isaac, Department of American Studies, was recognized for his commitment to fostering and developing Asian-American scholarship, teaching, and programming at Rutgers, particularly through his leadership in the development of a minor in Comparative and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, thus supporting and exemplifying Rutgers' mission to promote and honor diversity of all kinds.




The Rutgers Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Research honors faculty members who made distinguished research contributions to their discipline or society.

Firestein Li JS13 FacAward  MG 0032

Bonnie Firestein, Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, was honored for her pathbreaking work on the cell biology of mammalian neurons, which has provided important insights into fundamental aspects of neuronal function in health and disease.

Jing Li, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, was recognized for her creative research on the design and synthesis of novel functional materials with unique and useful properties, which has pushed the quantum dot field to a new level of sophistication.

Jeremy Sellwood, Department of Physics and Astronomy, was honored for his rigorous research that has led to numerous profound contributions to our deeper understanding of the dynamics of disk galaxies. (Not pictured.)



See the full list of Rutgers universitywide awardees.
Photo credits: J. Somers Photography LLC



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