Taking a Moment to Celebrate

Rutgers University is considerably quiet regarding the awards and honors of its professors and researchers, despite the surmountable octaves recipients reach in both prestige and quantity.

            It is well known that Rutgers is a research university, but further inquiry on students may be answered with vague statements or “Ummm”s. Being a research university obviously implies faculty researches a lot, but Rutgers deserves a better label. Rutgers is an esteemed research university.

            In this past month eleven professors have been either awarded or honored for their work—more professors than a student may come in contact with in an entire year. Jimmy de la Torre, a professor in the Graduate School of Education, was named an honorary professor at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain and at the National Taichung University of Education, Taiwan. Yuri T. Jadotte and Susan Salmond were the first to receive a recognition award at the Joanna Briggs Institute Methodology Symposium’s debut. Alexander V. Neimark was saluted by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers for research in nanotechnology and the permeability of materials. Kevin Lyons of the Rutgers Business School received a New Jersey Governor’s Jefferson Award for research in environmentally sustainable purchasing.  Paul Breslin, Michael Chikindas, and Loredana Quadro, all received a prize for innovation from EVONIK Industries’ Competition for a Novel Technology for Taste Masking. David Shih, associate professor of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, is a co-winner of the Outstanding Young Researcher Award from the International Organization of Chinese Physicists and Astronomers. And Stephen Eric Bronner had an award created in his own name this month by the American Political Science Association to honor a political dissertation that exemplifies an endeavor to create a better world.

              The list could conquer pages and pages if one considers the work of recipients earlier in 2015 and those who will be honored in the upcoming months. Unfortunately students may not only be unaware of who these academicians are, but also of the brawn in Rutgers University’s research muscle.

            This is not to say that the university does not give credit where credit is due. An admirable quality shared among all those listed above, and those who should have been listed if it weren’t for page length, are motivated by their field of study, not fame. There is an irony in receiving an award: the bigger it is, the less to flaunt it. And that principle somehow makes a recipient look all the better. Our university isn’t only be skilled in research performance, but also in its humility.