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Top SASN Stories of 2020

In a year of extraordinary challenges and global activism, our most read stories of 2020 reflected the world around us. The School of Arts & Sciences-Newark began the year by announcing Jacqueline Mattis as our new dean, and while the physical campus may have been largely empty for many months, our people continued to work, educate, learn, and create, found ways to give back to the community, fight a pandemic, and achieve personal goals, all while dealing with unforseen obstacles and tragic loss.

Here's a recap of the year in our most-read stories of 2020.


Book Covers

Summer Reading: Over 40 Books on Race, Racism, and the Black American Experience to Read Now, as Recommended by Rutgers-Newark Faculty

Faculty at Rutgers University-Newark teach and work at one of the most diverse university in the United States, and their research covers race and bias from across a wide range of disciplines in the arts, humanities, sciences, business and law. Here, they give their book recommendations on the black experience in America. 

Juneteenth black fist on yellow background

Juneteenth: What Every American Should Know

In this Q&A with historian Lacey Hunter, we go into the origins of the holiday and why it's important. 

Jacqueline Mattis

SASN Welcomes New Dean Jacqueline Mattis

On January 23, 2020, Rutgers University-Newark Chancellor Nancy Cantor announced that Dr. Jacqueline Mattis will be appointed the next Dean of SASN, effective July 1, 2020..

Keith Sheppard

Social Work Major Keith Sheppard Goes from Gang to Graduation in 2020

Keith Sheppard, a Newark native and son of a Newark PD detective, went from being recruited into a gang as a teen to becoming the first in his family to graduate college in 2020.

Laura Diego and Mark Gaydos

An Alumni Valentine's Story: From Punk Rock to Power Couple

Meet Mark Gaydos (NCAS ’92) and Laura Diego (NCAS ’96), who met as students at Rutgers-Newark and currently live and work in New York City.

Carlos Remolina

SASN Alumnus Is Leading the Way on the Frontlines of the Covid-19 Battle

Dr. Carlos Remolina (SASN ’73) has had an illustrious 40-year career as a pulmonologist, holding down a private practice while serving as Division Chief of Pulmonary Diseases at Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth, NJ, as well as Medical Director for Care One, a healthcare company that runs long-term acute-care facilities within Trinitas and other hospitals. He’s been on the frontlines of the pandemic since early March 2020.

Yvonne Keene

Remembering Yvonne Keene, Dedicated Administrator

Yvonne Keene, Assistant to the Dean in the Office of Academic Services (OAS), passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, January 29, 2020. Yvonne worked at OAS for over thirteen years, serving in multiple roles throughout her tenure.

Dan Drew

Remembering Dan Drew, Rutgers/NJIT Theatre Program Technical Director and Beloved Mentor to Many

On Friday, November 13, 2020, the Rutgers/NJIT Theatre Program and the wider Rutgers and NJIT families lost a friend, a mentor, a colleague, an educator, and a first-rate theatre designer and technical director, Dan Drew.

Rigoberto Gonzalez

Rigoberto González Wins 2020 PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry

Rigoberto González, Director of Rutgers University–Newark’s MFA in Creative Writing Program, has won the 2020 PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry. The prestigious award is given in even-numbered years to a poet whose distinguished and growing body of work represents a notable and accomplished presence in American literature, and who has expanded the scope of American poetry and continues to mature with each successive volume of poetry. 

Huthaifa Awawdeh

SASN Student Saves Lives on the Frontline During COVID-19

The COVID-19 global pandemic has dramatically altered what Rutgers University-Newark junior Huthaifa Awawdeh—whose goal is to become a physician—thought he would be doing when he became a paid EMT two years ago. 

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