Collage of images from the top 5 stories

Our Most Popular Stories of 2019

As we begin 2020, we're recapping the most-read stories of the past year. Our alumni received a lot of love this year - our top two stories this year featured recent SASN alumni! Read about Bianca Reyes '07, a computer science graduate who is staying involved in the Newark community through her work at PSE&G and beyond, and Schauna Lawson '13, who came back to Rutgers University-Newark to celebrate her wedding. Another recent alumna, Coco Kim '12, whose love of cooking landed her on Food Network's "Chopped", rounded out our top five.

Some of our big STEM stories include the discovery that a gene reduces the effectiveness of exercise in preventing Alzheimer's, a key to the evolutionary history of termites and cockroaches, and not one, but two large NSF grants to help boost underrepresented students in the STEM fields through the GS-LSAMP program. 

The following are just a few of the highlights from 2019, as chosen by our readers: 

Bianca Reyes

Alumna Bianca Reyes Not Afraid to Stand Out in a Crowd 

Bianca Reyes, SASN '07, is a procurement analyst for PSE&G who works with construction and engineering clients. While her current colleagues at PSE&G are far more diverse than previous companies, she said she’s gotten used to being the only woman or person of color in the room.


Schauna and Jarvis Lawson

An Alumna Comes Home to Rutgers-Newark for an Intimate Wedding Reception

A university may not be the typical setting for a wedding reception, but when Schauna Lawson (formerly Boynton), SASN ’13, needed a location for her upcoming nuptials, she immediately thought about hosting the wedding at her alma mater. 


A Newark Mansion’s 100-Year History Comes to Life Through Technology

Rutgers University–Newark and NJIT professors, students and artists are employing state-of-the-art imaging, scanning and 3D modeling technology to unlock the history of Newark’s famed Krueger-Scott mansion, an effort that is part of the Newest Americans Project’s initiative to create immigrant history tours of Newark.

Diala Noofoory

For Senior Diala Noofoory, Studying Neuroscience Was Worth the Wait

In 2017, at age 28 and having transferred her college credits from Syria, Noofoory finally went after her dream of becoming a neuroscientist by enrolling as a junior at RU-N, and immediately began working as an undergraduate research assistant at the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience (CMBN), studying the neural circuitry of cells in the basal forebrain, whose destruction plays a central role in the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Coco Kim on Chopped

Alumna Goes from Graphic Designer to Food Artist on ‘Chopped’

Coco Kim, SASN '12, always loved cooking, but her family believed she should keep it as a hobby and choose a more stable livelihood. So she set her sights on becoming a graphic designer, but the lure of the culinary arts was too strong. 

Mark Gluck

Brain Researchers Find Gene Reduces Benefit of Exercise in Preventing Alzheimer’s

In the first study of its kind, neuroscience researchers at the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience (CMBN) have found that an important genetic variation associated with Alzheimer's disease regulates the ability of physical fitness to help ward off the condition in African Americans, who are twice as likely to suffer from the disease as white Americans.

LSAMP Bridges to Doctorates

RU-N Awarded $1 million NSF Grant to Support Minority Graduate Students in STEM

Rutgers University–Newark has received its first-ever grant to support underrepresented minority college graduates in pursuit of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) Ph.D. degrees as part of its Bridges to Doctorate program. 

termite cockroach fossil

Biologists Unravel the Evolutionary History of Termites and Cockroaches

Cockroach expert Dominic Evangelista has been collaborating with his former Ph.D. advisor, Jessica Ware, professor in the department of Biological Sciences, current PhD student Manpreet Kohli, and others on a multiyear project to map the evolutionary history of a group called Blattodea, which includes both termites and their cockroach ancestors.

Group photo of students at awards dinner

Student Excellence Recognized at Annual Arts & Sciences Awards Night

On May 8, 2019, 80 outstanding Rutgers University-Newark students were honored at the 2019 School of Arts & Sciences-Newark (SASN) Annual Awards Banquet by their professors, mentors, and loved ones.  

Geopath students in the field

STEM Education for Minority Students Gets Boost With 5-Year NSF Grant 

STEM education received a big boost recently when the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a $4 million grant to continue leading a statewide program to increase minority representation in STEM fields. The grant will fund Phase III of the Garden State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (GS-LSAMP), led by Earth & Environmental Sciences chair Alec Gates. 

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