Every day, we share news from communities around Central Jersey.
Student achiever news from: Bard College, Hofstra University, Immaculate Conception School, Lafayette College, Linden Schools, Misericordia University, Lincoln Elementay School, Roger Williams University
Through donations from of ADP®, the Junior Achievement of New Jersey (JANJ) Education Center in Raritan Center, Edison, received two makeovers in its 22,000-square-foot facility. Both the JA BizTown and JA Finance Park volunteer rooms were recently enhanced to provide a relaxing yet cheery environment for JA volunteers when taking a break from mentoring the visiting students, according to a news release.
On Feb. 3, teams from ADP and JA gathered to celebrate the beautification of these rooms with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and renaming them as the “ADP Volunteer Appreciation Rooms.”
“ADP and JANJ have had a very dynamic and impactful partnership, and is a ‘Best Practice’ organization that we share with other,” Junior Achievement of New Jersey’s President, Catherine Milones, said the during the event. “ADP empowers its employees to serve as volunteer role models in a variety of our K-12 programs annually from our Capstones to Women’s Future Leadership Forums and funds many of our special events as a top level supporter like for our April 6th New Jersey Business Hall of Fame™.”
For the past five years, ADP has collaborated with Junior Achievement of New Jersey on mentorship and financial literacy education programs.
“The Junior Achievement mission of inspiring and preparing young people for their future success is very important,” said Raj Uttamchandani, vice president of client relations and business relationship management for ADP and JANJ board member. “We believe education, job skills training, mentoring, and career assistance will not only help today’s workforce achieve their career goals and maintain fulfilling employment, but it will also help our youth develop the skills they will need when they enter the workforce.”
For more information, visit janj.org/.
Bard College at Simon’s Rock
The following Central Jersey residents at Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington, Massachusetts were named to the fall dean’s list: Ezra Lee of Cranford and Roop Pal of Plainsboro.
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Delaware Valley University
The following Central Jersey residents at Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, were named to the fall dean’s list: Danielle Bontempo of Matawan,Nicole Fruehwirth of Perth Amboy, Kristie Von Thun of Monmouth,Erin Nese of Roselle Park, Elijah Davis of Monroe Township, Julia Previte of Kendall Park, Steven Horvath of Princeton, Elizabeth Havens of Monmouth Junction, Christopher George of Piscataway, Luis Ramos of Elizabeth, Lisa Calabrese of Parlin, Lauren Baldowski of Cranford, Mario Nigro of South River, Kellie VonThun of Monmouth Junction, Kyrstin Schwarz of Dayton, Jaier Garrett of Monmouth Junction, Kayley Erla of Parlin.
The following Central Jersey residents at DeSales University in Center Valley, Pennsylvania, were named to the fall dean’s list: Julia Wilson of Cranford; Caitlin Bertucci of Dayton: Kaitlyn Albanese of East Brunswick; Sophia Chen of Edison; Ailish Simonson of Metuchen; Michael Haas of Monroe; Samantha Juarez of Woodbridge. Students must have a grade-point average of 3.25.
Georgia Institute of Technology
The following Central Jersey residents at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, were named to the fall dean’s list: Sana Ajani,Chetna Kewalramani and Tina Lu of Edison; Manoaj Kandiakounder of South Brunswick; Samantha Riemann of North Brunswick; Vijayeetha Ramesh, Shrivathsav Seshan and Sharath Yalla of Plainsboro. Students must have a grade-point average of 3.0.
The following Cental Jersey residents at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, were named to the fall provost’s list: Kristen Misak of Sayreville and Elizabeth Steinberg of Woodbridge. Students must have a grade-point average of 4.0.
Immaculate Conception School in Spotswood
On Feb.15, the ICS Forensics Team competed in the Mount Saint Mary Academy Forensic Invitational. The team, led by Lawrence Besch, was comprised of Abby Chadwick, Caitlin Jubin, Gabriella Sorrentino, Mariella Hilyard, Heidi Vogel, Meera James, Bella Lupiano, Erin Ventrudo, Gabrielle Rambaud and Madeline Rogala.
Abby Chadwick and Caitlin Jubin grabbed third place for their Dramatic Pair, and Gabriella Sorrentino took home third place for her Declamation piece.
Catherine Proulx of Piscataway was honored with the Peggy R. Williams award for academic and community leadership at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York.
James Madison University
Christina Nesi of Metuchen received a bachelor’s degree in marketing, magna cum laude, from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia on Dec. 17.
Katarina Di Lillo of Roselle Park was selected as a Clare Boothe Luce Research Scholar at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. The Clare Boothe Luce Research Scholars program is a 10-week summer research opportunity for women engineering students to work with Lafayette faculty mentors.
Linden School No. 8
Pre-K children at Linden School Eight are learning how to be kind to others on Valentines day and everyday. It was one of the schools character traits for the month of February, according to a news release. Children learned to look for the positive in other people, and to treat others how they would want to be treated. The pre-k students also extended the character trait of kindness to the environment as well. They sang songs of kindness, famous Black Americans who put kindness first, and various stories about random acts of kindness.
Linden High School
Linden High School will present “Disney’s High School Musical” at 7:30 p.m. from March 16 to 18.
This is a family friendly show which tells the story of East High Wildcats and a pair of students who dare to be different. Troy Bolton is the star basketball player who discovers a love for singing. Gabriella Montez is the new girl who wants to stay out of the spotlight, but her hopes are dashed when it’s discovered that she is one of the brightest girls in the school. Troy and Gabriella earn a call back for the school’s musical which causes the resident Thespians Sharpay and Ryan Evans to begin plotting against them.
The show is filled with great songs and will have you dancing in your seats, according to a news release. For ticket information, go to lhsnj.booktix.com.
The following Central Jersey residents at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York, were named to the fall dean’s list: Victoria Argese of Monmouth Junction; Brian Bocanegra of Old Bridge; Kristen Camillo of Clark; Natalie Castello of Middlesex; Caroline Chan of Plainsboro; Troy Demers of Milltown, Matthew DePola of Colonia; Tyler Dulemba of Monroe Township; Emmanuelle Farrell of Plainsboro; Marc Hopper of Monmouth Junction; Gabrielle Kelliher of East Brunswick; Troy Lehan of Princeton; Danielle Marzano of Clark; Robert Nasso of Matawan; Megan Riemann of East Brunswick; Valentina Soja of Clark; Ciara Varley of Woodbridge; Amanda Young of East Brunswick.
The following Central Jersey residents at Misericordia University in Dallas, Pennsylvania, were named to the fall dean’s list: Karen Spehalski and Nicole Tagerty of East Brunswick. Students must have a grade-point average of 3.55.
ALSO: The Department of Nursing at Misericordia University recently cloaked 40 sophomore and seven part-time evening nursing students who began the professional portion of the nursing program in the spring semester at the second annual Arnold P. Gold Foundation and American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) White Coat Ceremony for Nursing in Lemmond Theater in Walsh Hall. Among the students were Victoria Yodice of Franklin, and Emily Szeflinski of Raritan.
New Brunswick’s Lincoln Elementary School
New Brunswick’s Lincoln Elementary School fifth-grade Talented and Gifted (TAG) students recently participated in the annual Groundhog Job Shadow Day. Nationally recognized, this experiential learning opportunity is designed to allow students to exit the classroom and enjoy a hands-on experience in a professional work environment.
Coordinated by school counselor J. Mary Nelson in collaboration with TAG teacher Tammi-Lyn Strachan, this year’s participants worked at a variety of nearby locations, including New Brunswick Public Schools, New Brunswick City Hall, the Hyatt Hotel, Johnson & Johnson, and the Greater New Brunswick Daycare Council. This day of out-of-classroom learning was supervised by Lincoln Elementary School Principal JoAnn Kocis.
“The purpose of our Groundhog Job Shadow Day is providing students a glimpse into various career fields,” Dr. Aubrey Johnson, superintendent, said in a news release. “Exposing students to different professions and work environments gives them a perspective unlike any they could experience inside a classroom.”
The New Brunswick public school district consists of two high schools (New Brunswick High School and Health Sciences Technology High School), a middle school (New Brunswick Middle School) and eight elementary schools (Lincoln, Livingston, Lord Stirling, McKinley, Redshaw, Roosevelt, Paul Robeson, and Woodrow Wilson schools). The district serves more than 10,000 students.
Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart
From, Feb. 10-12, Princeton Academy Middle School students presented their winter performance of the Tony Award-winning musical “Guys and Dolls JR.” They performed alongside students from Stuart Country Day School and the show took place at the Stuart Little Theater. Corinne Sekinger served as stage director and choreography, and Music Teacher Jonathan Britt served as music director.
A synopsis of the play provided by Musical Theatre International: Set in Damon Runyon’s New York City, the ensemble cast told the story of gambler, Nathan Detroit (played by eighth grader Zakir Zaidi of Princeton), as he tries to find the cash to set up the biggest crap game in town while the authorities breathe down his neck; meanwhile, his girlfriend and nightclub performer, Adelaide (played by Stuart eighth-grader AvaRoche), laments that they’ve been engaged for 14 years without ever getting married. Nathan turns to fellow gambler, Sky Masterson (played by eighth grader Evan Lilienthal of Princeton), for the dough, but Sky ends up chasing the straight-laced missionary, Sarah Brown (played by Stuart seventh grader Caroline Bednar). Guys and Dolls JR. takes us from the heart of Times Square to the cafes of Havana, but everyone eventually ends up right where they belong.
Alexandra Goldstein of East Brunswick was inducted into Pi Theta Epsilon, the occupational therapy honor society at Quinnipiac University in Hew Haven, Connecticut.
Raritan Valley Community College
As part of its continued effort to develop international transfer opportunities for students, Raritan Valley Community College has signed an agreement with the University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol. The new agreement will enable students who complete their associate degree from RVCC to transfer to the University to complete their baccalaureate degree.
The partnership with UWE represents RVCC’s fourth transfer agreement with a European university.
According to the progression partnership agreement, students may apply to UWE at any point while they pursue their associate degree at RVCC, even as early as their first semester at thecCollege. Once they apply to UWE, they may be pre-approved for transfer as long as they complete their associate degree at RVCC and maintain the requisite grade point average. Financial aid is available for students who qualify.
UWE Bristol is one of the UK’s most popular universities with 30,000 students and 3,000 international students from more than140 different countries It has 500-plus majors across a range of faculties.
In addition to the new agreement with the University of the West of England, RVCC has transfer agreements with the University of Lincoln in Lincolnshire, England; The American University of Paris; and the University of Greenwich in London.
For information about the new agreement, contact Paul Michaud, RVCC’s Director of Transfer & Career Services, 908-526-1200, ext. 8333.
A new center is bringing together researchers from Princeton and Rutgers universities to apply computational modeling to the understanding of psychiatric diseases. The Rutgers-Princeton Center for Computational Cognitive Neuro-Psychiatry, which opened its doors a few weeks ago, aims to improve the diagnosis of mental disorders, better predict their progression and eventually aid in developing treatments.
The center fosters collaboration between computational neuroscientists, who develop models of brain activity and cognitive processes, and clinical researchers who work directly with patients. The studies conducted at the center will address disorders ranging from depression, anxiety and schizophrenia to obsessive-compulsive disorder and substance abuse.
The center, located at Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care in Piscataway, features a 1,400-square foot facility with rooms for conducting patient intake and testing. It is supported by matching funds from Rutgers and Princeton.
“We can learn a lot about how the brain controls behaviors when we create computational models of how life events affect brain circuits, and how these circuits change over time. This center will allow us to bring this knowledge into the patient setting,” said Yael Niv, who co-directs the new center and is an associate professor of psychology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute.
“We still lack an understanding of the biological basis of many of the symptoms of psychiatric disorders, and computational approaches can help us start to close that gap,” said Steven Silverstein, co-director of the center with Niv. Silverstein is the director of the Division of Schizophrenia Research at Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care, and a professor of psychiatry at the Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
The researchers can then test the model’s predictions by comparing them to the real-life behavior of human volunteers. At present, most of these tests are done with community members or students. The new center will enable researchers to test models of disorders like depression and bipolar disorder in individuals living with those conditions.
One goal of the research is to better understand the brain’s circuitry and what goes awry in mental disorders — how brain regions are connected, what is the role of each brain area, and how disruptions in brain circuitry can give rise to symptoms.
Models can also help improve diagnosis, Niv said.
As the models improve, and researchers gain confidence that computational models accurately represent human conditions, it should be possible to use the models to develop new treatments, Silverstein said. “You can ask, what happens to behavior if I add a treatment effect to the model, and this can help us understand what might happen in patients.”
Rutgers has one of the country’s largest academically affiliated mental health care systems, serving more than12,500 people each year. Princeton is a leading institution in the field of computational neuroscience. Also participating are collaborators at the Max Planck University College London Center for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing.
Roger Williams University
Christopher Rossi of Dayton received a master’s degree in architecture from Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode lsland in December.
St. Francis Cathedral School
A variety of artistic styles and media is represented in the current show of children’s art from St. Francis Cathedral School at Metuchen’s The Annex Gallery in the Metuchen Borough Hall.
As part of the art curriculum from kindergarten to grade 6, students were challenged to develop their talent, according to a news release. Kindergarteners were learning how to draw animals and trees; first-graders were inspired by art history; second-graders worked in mixed media; third-graders concentrated on abstract art and self-portraits; fourth-graders worked with complementary colors and lines while fifth-graders worked on abstract trees with a monochromatic sky. Sixth-graders worked with analogous color themes.
“I was extremely pleased with how hard the students worked on their projects,” said Patti Ackerson, art teacher and curator of the St. Francis art exhibit, in a news release.
The hard work can be seen in tree themed pieces such as “Not Just A Fall Tree” and “Wintry Evergreen Tree,” as well as Keith Haring- and Picasso-inspired art, she noted.
The range of media represented includes crayons, markers, color pencils, tempera paint, cut paper, chalk, pastels and some works include mixed media.
The Annex Gallery, located in the Metuchen Borough Hall at 500 Main St. is open daily during Borough of Metuchen administration hours, and the current show is on view now to the end of April. It is part of The Rotunda Gallery displaying the works of adult artists, and the current show at The Rotunda Gallery features works of art by Metuchen seniors. Both galleries are overseen by a committee of Metuchen volunteers that is under the auspices of the Metuchen Arts Council.
St. Francis Cathedral School
St. Stanislaus Kostka School
The Wardlaw-Hartridge School
Students in all three divisions at The Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison celebrated World Languages Week with a series of activities.
Lower School students in grades 1-5 wore class specific colors and recited poems in Spanish during a program on Feb. 15 in Lower Snowdon. Senora Maria Hinestroza, Lower School Spanish teacher, planned the assembly and her students were very well-prepared.
Middle and Upper School students celebrated World Languages Week with a Feb. 16 event in the AP Room. Senora Jamie Segraves, World Languages Department Chair, provided the welcome and organized the program. Middle School Latin and Spanish students recited lines from famous poets and Upper School Spanish, Latin and Mandarin students followed with similar oration.
Upper School Latin students showed a series of entertaining videos, international students provided musical entertainment and Melanie Davis of Metuchen (German) and Michele Peruzzo of Westfield (Italian) recited verses in other languages. Middle and Upper School Mandarin students closed the program with a performance of Wang An – Where is Spring?
ALSO: Thanks to the Wardlaw-Hartridge Parents’ Association Mini-Grant for Reach the World, the second grade has been partnered with a traveler/university student in Japan. The students have been communicating via email and journals over the last few weeks and will continue to do so through March.
“We are learning so much about life in Japan, including details about the country, city and countryside, culture, food, and differences and similarities between the USA and Japan,” Kelly Cannizzo, second-grade teacher, said in a news release.
The students asked their new friend Jeanette many questions about life in Japan and learned many interesting facts during a very exciting morning.
ALSO: Middle School students at The Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison continued their community service program by volunteering at The Community Food Bank of New Jersey in Hillside on Feb. 11. Students and their families stocked shelves, organized supplies and prepared food packages at the warehouse.
The mission of the CFBNJ is to “fill the emptiness caused by hunger with food, help, and hope” and to work as a “powerful change agent that fills the emptiness caused by hunger with the basic human essentials that people need to survive.”
Students who volunteered, along with members of their families, included Michele Peruzzo of Westfield, Justyn Niemczyk of Mountainside, Henry Bowman of Scotch Plains, Caroline Kolmodin and Nate Kolmodin of Mountainside, Kunal Patel of Edison, Ravi Nanavati of Plainfield, Scott Greaney of Scotch Plains, Shaan Jasti of Colonia, Nicholas Ji of Edison and Sydney Racine of Piscataway.
University of Alabama
Highland Park resident Shana Oshinskie, a student at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was selected for a Jean O’Connor-Snyder internship for the summer. The internship is a statewide interdisciplinary program administered by the David Mathews Center for Civic Life in partnership with universities and community partners across Alabama, including UA.
University of Findlay
Chiebuka Chukwuneke of Edison was awarded the following endowed scholarship(s) at the University of Findlay for the 2016-2017 academic: George and Elaine Blackburn scholarship.
University of Wisconsin-Madison
The following Central Jersey residents at the University of Wisconsin-Madison were named to the fall dean’s list: Rachel Piltser of Edison; Natan Cohen of Piscataway; Jeffrey Tsai of Somerset.
Western New England University
Michael Crowley of Edison was named to the fall dean’s list at Western New England University in Springfield, Massachusetts. Students must have a grade-point average of 3.30.
Woodbridge Township School District
The Woodbridge Township School District is piloting the First In Math program in select schools for grades K-8. Feedback from students, teachers, and parents has been overwhelmingly positive.
The First In Math program provides online practice which reinforces a range of proficiencies, from addition to complex algebra. Setting and achieving goals, as well as a friendly competition component, keeps students energized to sustain accelerated effort over time.
Through gaming, students forge a bond at the classroom level, help one another, and become better critical thinkers. Significant results can be achieved in minutes a day through Deep Practice techniques, and new habits will replace old, unproductive habits thereby driving success.
Fluency with rational numbers and skill in manipulating rational expressions is the foundation for Algebra I and II. First In Math modules are designed to reinforce mastery of basic facts, decimals, fractions, integers, exponents, variables and order of operations. Many First In Math games introduce principles of Algebra, even at the K, 1 and 2 levels. Early introduction of these concepts has led to enthusiasm and algebra readiness.
Parents are delighted to see their children build a solid foundation in mathematics. When a child solves a predetermined number of math problems, First In Math automatically generates an additional Family User ID. Family members can learn and refresh skills as they work alongside their child toward higher levels of math achievement.
Currently, several Woodbridge Township schools are ranked in the nation and in the state. This is based upon their top 100 students in all grade levels. Nationwide, Iselin Middle School is #19 and Kennedy Park Elementary School is #37. At the state level, Iselin Middle School is #2, Kennedy Park Elementary School is #4, Lafayette Estates Elementary School is #8, Lynn Crest Elementary School is #15, and Mawbey Street Elementary School is #19.
Submitted by Edward Braunsdorf, supervisor mathematics K-12, academic skills instruction
Youth Service America
Stacia and Madisyn Belcuore, seventh-grade sisters at Von E. Mauger Middle School from Middlesex have been awarded a Disney Summer of Service grant through YSA (Youth Service America). The grant will support the Belcuore sisters in leading a community service project that addresses the issue of opening up communication between the senior citizens and young people of their town.
The Belcuore sisters plan to purchase and donate a park bench and plaque. They will have the bench installed in a permanent location in town for those wishing to share their stories and do so. Service activities will take place in the town of Middlesex after the bench is purchased and permits are in place, according to a news release.
Stacia and Madisyn Belcuore are two of 340 young leaders across the country awarded a $500 Disney Summer of Service grant to organize projects to help make their communities healthier, greener and stronger. Grantees will educate and mobilize their peers around the issue of opening up communication between the senior citizens and young people of their town.
The girls got the idea from hearing so many wonderful and inspirational stories from their own grandparents that live in town, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Cortese, according to their mother, Janice Belucore.
For more information, visit www.YSA.org.
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