Student Awards


Graduates to Watch

At the Rutgers University commencement for the Class of ’08, the university recognized 10 “Graduates to Watch.” Two of those, Hans Goff and Nicole Peter, studied at the Bloustein School while a third, Josh Ontell, took part in a senior seminar at the Bloustein School.


Martin Robins
Hans Goff

Hans Goff, of Trenton, was awarded a Master of Public Affairs and Politics, during the Bloustein School’s May 18 convocation ceremony. Hans gained extensive political experience working on campaigns and in policy shops in three states, and across several levels of government. Enrolled at the Bloustein School and a Fellow at the Eagleton Institute of Politics, Goff took particular interest in affordable housing policy.


Goff landed his first political job after his sophomore year in high school, going to work for Trenton Mayor Douglas Palmer, responding to constituent calls. “My first day working for the mayor, I knew it was the field I wanted to be in,” he said. “I saw how government can work.” Hans then completed a series of summer and after-school apprenticeships as a paid intern for Congressman John Olver of Massachusetts, Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, New Jersey Governors James McGreevey and Jon Corzine, the New Jersey Assembly Majority Office and the NJ Department of Community Affairs.


Nicole Peter, of Jefferson Township, majored in Public Health, an undergraduate degree awarded jointly by the Bloustein School and Rutgers College. A member of the Rutgers Catholic Student Association, Nicole studied spinal cord injuries and conducted research at the W.M. Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience which is known for its work with stem cells. “I really believe there will be a cure for spinal cord injuries, and I want to contribute,” Peter said. “I have no moral qualms about it, even though I’m very Catholic.”


Peter is trying to enlist scientists who are also practicing Catholics to speak about stem cell research at one of the Rutgers Catholic Student Association’s “Spirit Night” gatherings this fall. She wants the scientists to explain their research and what it means to be a Catholic who supports stem cell research.


Josh Ontell, an Economics major from Clifton who graduated from Rutgers College, visited West Virginia and New Orleans while a student to help build housing. He took part this past school year in a Bloustein School seminar for undergraduate seniors on issues relating to the subprime mortgage and housing foreclosure crisis. 


Undergraduate Program


Two graduating seniors in the Bloustein School's undergraduate program were presented awards for academic excellence. Danielle Wright, a public health undergraduate, received the Sydney and Mildred Greenberg Award for attaining the highest scholastic honors in the Bloustein School. Sophonie Joseph, a planning and public policy undergraduate, was presented with the Miriam Barker Award for academic excellence and outstanding community contributions.


In May, senior seminar final papers were presented in public policy and planning and in public health.  The undergraduate seminars were taught by University Professor Norman J. Glickman; Assistant Professor Kathe Newman; T. Patrick Hill, PhD, a Senior Policy Fellow from the Cancer Institute of New Jersey; and Judy Shaw, PhD with the National Center for Neighborhood and Brownfields Redevelopment.

Among the presentations delivered were “Tactics of Tenant Organizations in New York City,” by Sofia Del Papa, a Planning and Public Policy major from Douglass College (below left) and “Stadium Development in Cities,” by Tynisha Beard, an Urban Studies major from Douglass College.



Sofia Del Papa
Sofia Del Papa
Tynisha Beard
Tynisha Beard
















Grady Receives Fellowship


Bryan Grady, a third-year doctoral student, has been awarded a Lincoln Land Fellowship in Planning and Urban Form. A private foundation, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy works to improve the quality of public debate and decisions in land policy and land-related taxation in the United States and abroad.


The Institute’s Dissertation Fellowship Program assists PhD students whose research complements its interest in land use and tax policy. The Institute hosts a seminar each year where fellowship recipients can present their research and share feedback with other fellows and Institute faculty members.


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