SAS Students and Alumni Outside the Classroom

The following articles chronicle achievements of current students and alumni from the School of Arts and Sciences. Most of the articles below are from Rutgers' publications, while some are from other news outlets. We find that it is useful for students to think about majors and other academic experiences that are possible, and to examine the blending of academic and co-curricular work with post-graduation plans.

2016

December 2016

  • Pursuit of NPR Career Pays Off for Rutgers Alumnus
    If you are one of the millions of people who listen to National Public Radio for news about the world economy, then you have probably heard Rutgers [2001] alumnus Alex Goldmark, producer of the show Planet Money. Read how his path to radio started at Rutgers University-New Brunswick [with an individualized major in Economics, Political Science, & History].

  • Rutgers Winners of College Fed Challenge Featured on Bloomberg TV
    The team bested competitors from universities including Dartmouth and Princeton in the 13th annual competition that encourages learning about the U.S. economy and monetary policy. Watch team members share their strategy: http://go.rutgers.edu/or1ronat.

  • The Story That Inspired ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’
    The idea for a short story called ''The Greatest Gift'' came to Philip Van Dorsen Stern, Rutgers Class of 1924, while shaving one morning but took five years to write. Find out how the self-published story sent to 200 people as a 1943 Christmas card caught Frank Capra’s eye.

  • Rutgers Students Win Prestigious Fed College Challenge
    Undergraduates from Rutgers University-New Brunswick bested peers from several elite universities, demonstrating a grasp of economics that propelled them to the top of a tough national competition in Washington, D.C. Read more about the challenge that helps students learn about the U.S. economy, monetary policymaking and the role of the Federal Reserve System.

November 2016

  • A Rutgers Graduate Helps Apple Make History with iTunes
    Robert Kondrk helped introduce the world to iTunes, Apple Music, and other digital media breakthroughs that have become staples of our day-to-day lives. Read the story on the Arts and Sciences website and learn why this Rutgers graduate says that a strong liberal arts education was integral to his success.

  • A Rutgers Senior Pursues Equal Access to Education for Others
    Chelsie Richie is dedicated to helping children throughout the world achieve literacy and receive quality educations. Read her story in this latest profile in Rutgers Today’s RU Remarkable series, which highlights extraordinary students making their mark at Rutgers and beyond.

  • Rutgers Memorializes 1995 Alumna with Lecture Series Addressing Women’s Global Health
    Anita Ashok Datar [1995, Psychology], a public health policy expert who worked around the globe to champion the health and human rights of those most vulnerable, was one of 21 killed in last year’s Mali terrorist attack. Read about how the life of the 41-year-old mother of a young son will be honored through... an annual lecture series established by The Institute for Women’s Leadership that bears her name. The lectures will address a cause Datar crusaded tirelessly for – women’s global health – with the inaugural event slated for spring.

September 2016

  • One of Nation’s Youngest Physicians Enters Medical Residency at Rutgers
    Ola Hadaya [SAS 2012, major in Middle Eastern Studies, minor in Biology] is accustomed to being the youngest.... She started high school at 11, graduated at 15, and got her undergraduate degree from Rutgers before she turned 18. So when Hadaya graduated from medical school and became a physician at 21, entering the obstetrics and gynecology residency program at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School before turning 22 was not a big deal.

  • Female Action Figures That Inspire Empowerment
    Rutgers alumna Veenita Bleznak [1991, Political Science and English] is COO of IAmElemental, a fast-growing company whose products have taken the toy industry by storm. Read about her journey from practicing attorney to creating series of female action figures – superheroes who encourage children to envision themselves as the strong and powerful centerpieces of their own narratives.

  • Rutgers Experience Readies Alumni for Disney Opportunity
    Working with people of diverse languages and cultures at the Rutgers Inn and Conference Center led two Rutgers grads to Disney’s competitive internship program: one of them, Ramon Lucas [2013, Mathematics], is two years into his career at The Walt Disney Company after the participating in the internship.

  • At Age 23, Rutgers Grad Is Youngest Elected City Council Member in His Hometown
    Andrew Rodriguez won his first campaign in Walnut City, California, a year after graduating from Rutgers-New Brunswick’s School of Arts and Sciences [2015, Political Science]. Find out why he pursued his goal since childhood earlier than he planned....

July 2016

  • James Dale: The Rutgers Alumnus Who Sued the Boy Scouts of America
    While a Rutgers University student in 1990, James Dale, an Eagle Scout, was ousted from membership in the Boy Scouts of America because he was gay. Dale sued the Boy Scouts in a case that went to the U.S. Supreme Court and helped change public opinion about discrimination by the century-old organization. Dale’s landmark case, the first to challenge the Boy Scouts' ban on gay members, led the organization to accept gay youths as members in 2013 and a year ago lift a ban on gay leaders.

June 2016

May 2016

  • Saluting Rutgers’ Highest-Achieving Undergraduates: 2016 Matthew Leydt Society inductees
    An elite group of undergraduate students... were inducted into the Matthew Leydt Society [which]... spotlights top graduates at Rutgers University-New Brunswick and the university’s medical division, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. 178 students handpicked by the university for achievement in the classroom, in laboratories and in the arts – ranked in the top 2 percent academically – were selected from among nearly 8,000 undergraduates earning degrees this academic year.Three were SAS graduates who last year received prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships, awarded to students pursuing research careers in science, mathematics and engineering:
    • Maggie Morash, a Genetics major and Computer Science minor... starred on the nationally ranked women’s soccer team.
    • Alina Afinogenova majored in Genetics and Economics
    • Aditya Parikh, majored in Physics and Astrophysics with a minor in Mathematics.
    Read more at http://news.rutgers.edu/feature/saluting-rutgers%E2%80%99-highest-achieving-undergraduates/20160511#.VznYG-QjrAi
  • Computer Scientist, Photographer or Both?
    Shirley Yu [2016] shot the cover of ‘Time’ magazine while preparing to graduate. The Computer Science major , who... has no formal training in the visual arts... worked as a professional photographer throughout her undergraduate years.... Yu’s images have racked up half a dozen awards and appeared in multiple publications... on March 7, her bird’s-eye shot of passengers traveling in driverless convertible was commissioned for the cover of Time.

  • SAS alumni honored with the 2016 Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni Awards
    The Rutgers University Alumni Association announce the 2016 Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni honorees, who through their professional and civic achievements have brought honor to themselves and the university community – and three of the five alumni honored this year are Arts & Science graduates. Visit the Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni website to read about their accomplishments.
    • Stephen I. Chazen [1968, major in Geology], is the CEO of Occidental Petroleum Corporation, an international oil and gas exploration and production company... with operations in the U.S., Middle East, and Latin America.
    • Phuti Mahanyele [1983, major in Economics] is the executive chair of Sigma Capital, an investment holding company launched in 2015 in South Africa. Sigma Capital, a majority black-owned business, focuses on enabling sustainable partnerships in such fields as power and infrastructure, real estate, consumer goods, technology, media, and financial services.
    • Devin McCourty [2010, major in Sociology] and Jason McCourty [2009, major in Information Technology] are twin brothers and both starting defensive backs in the NFL. Former Rutgers defensive back Devin has won a Super Bowl ring with the New England Patriots; ...Jason has become a team captain for the Tennessee Titans. In addition to their on-field achievements, ...in 2013, the twins launched the Tackle Sickle Cell Campaign in partnership with Embrace Kids Foundation, a nonprofit organization that offers programs and support services to children and families facing cancer, sickle cell disease, and other serious disorders. Read more at http://go.rutgers.edu/q8kmlvkh
  • A Hard-won Degree
    Shortly after graduating from Rahway High School, Letitia Jones left home. “By 18, I had my own apartment and was working three jobs,” she said. She worked at a day care center, a beauty supply store and as a toll taker on the Garden State Parkway. But Jones always knew that someday she would get a college degree – no matter how long it took. And now, at the age of 30, she is a Rutgers graduate after receiving her bachelor’s degree in geology from the School of Arts and Sciences.

April 2016

  • Rutgers Physics Major Named Goldwater Scholar
    Junior Jenny Coulter is one of 252 scholars in the nation to receive the prestigious undergraduate award for top students in the fields of mathematics, natural sciences and engineering. Find out why she changed her mind about studying art to pursue physics.

  • Rutgers Graduate Named 2016 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellow
    Nathan Gwira has lived in America, Ghana and China, speaks multiple languages and wants to one day become a U.S. ambassador. Read about how the $95,000 award toward pursuit of a master’s degree in international affairs and a five-year stint as a U.S. Foreign Service officer will help him achieve his goal."Gwira excelled, graduating [in 2012] with a bachelor’s degree in Africana studies, with a minor in economics, from the School of Arts and Sciences, where he was recognized as one of the top 10 students in his major with the Paul Robeson Africana Prize."
  • Rutgers Alumna Creates Her Own Journalism Path
    Amanda Alcantara is part of a team that has created an online magazine for Dominican-born Americans to explore their dual identities, history and future. Learn more about La Galería and read Alcantara’s story, part of First Years Out, Rutgers Today’s latest series that follows young graduates making their way in work and life.

January 2016

  • Pam Fessler’s Journalism Journey
    The National Public Radio correspondent and Rutgers alumna [DC, 1075 – American Studies] pursued reporting when real-life role models were hard to find. Learn how her impressive career started at Rutgers.

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