Dean James W. Hughes
The Bloustein School began its 17th year this fall by welcoming the largest incoming classes of masters and undergraduate students since the school was founded. Our graduate applications increased by 16 percent this year, enrollment in the planning program is up 20 percent, and the number of admitted undergraduates increased by 22 percent. The minority admissions rate remains a strong 22 percent and the Bloustein School holds one of the 15 Ralph Bunche Fellows, a university-wide competitive fellowship for U.S. minority admitted applicants. We also enroll one of nine prestigious Rutgers Presidential Fellows. The undergraduate program continues to exceed expectations, recording a 50 percent increase in course credit hours taught over just three years ago. And our graduates have already reported career successes. For example, three of our 2009 MPP graduates – Saesha Carlile, Emily Grant, and Sara Meyers – were admitted to the federal government’s Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program class of 2009.
This fall marked the launch of our new Ralph W. Voorhees Fellowship Program in Public Service, which provides four undergraduates with a $5,000 stipend to undertake internships in public service. The program was created to honor Ralph Voorhees, a 1948 Rutgers graduate and the creator of our Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center. Its initial endowment of $500,000 was completed this summer. Read more inside about our first four recipients: Victoria Gilbert, a planning and public policy major who has worked with Dr. Roland Anglin’s Initiative for Regional and Community Transformation; Drew Hart, who plans to work with the Rutgers organic farm and local Latino community gardens; Michael Lamm, who works as a home health aide for a child with cerebral palsy; and Ashley Sawyer, a political science major, who has volunteered with the NJ Nets CARES program in Newark, and the Adopt a Family for Children with Cancer.
In addition, we have our stellar alumni base at the Louis Berger Group of Morristown to thank for another new source of academic financial support. The newly created Louis Berger Group Graduate Fellowship Program will underwrite full tuition and fees for five graduate students annually for the next five years to complete graduate studies and undertake research, teaching and internships in areas such as community development and planning, housing and public transportation, public health and public infrastructure policy. Following their selection from among first-year MCRP and MPP students, Berger Fellows will conclude their initial year of study with a paid, full-time summer internship assigned to one of the 17 subsidiaries of Berger Group Holdings, Inc., operating in 140 countries worldwide. The fellowship will cover full tuition and fees for the second year of study, including a 10- to 15-hour weekly internship with a Berger Group operating unit in the region. Berger Group activities in the NY/NJ region include their roles as program manager for the World Trade Center redevelopment in Manhattan and supervising engineering on the New Brunswick Gateway rail station complex opposite the Old Queens campus. This assistance to the Bloustein School, with related administrative sponsorship, will total $464,105 over its five-year term.
The Bloustein School's portfolio in public health policy continues to grow. The undergraduate program, in conjunction with the Rutgers Department of Health Education, has been granted a chapter in Eta Sigma Gamma, the National Health Education Honor Society. Eta Sigma Gamma has chapters at 80 universities, providing opportunities for school health education majors and graduate students to network, present papers and celebrate accomplishments. Of our 228 undergraduate students this year, 166 are declared majors in public health. As further evidence of the program’s growing stature, Dr. Ann Dey in August delivered a key address at the National HIV Prevention Conference, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in Atlanta.
A number of significant changes transpired with our academic programs, including the selection of three new program directors and the creation of a new program area. Professor Bob Burchell took over as Director of the Urban Planning and Policy Development Program. The author of 30 books and more than 50 articles, Bob has served as principal investigator on more than $4 million in research spanning a 38-year career at Rutgers. The Doctoral Program in Planning and Public Policy is now under the direction of Professor Robert Lake. Since 1974, Bob has supervised a broad array of public policy research at our Center for Urban Policy Research (CUPR) in the fields of housing, community development, and environmental policy. And Associate Professor Tony Nelessen recently took over the helm of the undergraduate program, bringing over 40 years of professional experience as a professor, author and practitioner in the fields of visioning, planning and urban design.
A new Planning Practice Program has been created under the direction of Associate Research Professor Stuart Meck. The new program includes the New Jersey Sustainable State Institute, under the direction of Randall Solomon. As part of this reorganization, the Center for Government Services became a part of the Rutgers University Continuing Education Program.
Over the summer, the promotions of Clinton Andrews to Professor, and James DeFilippis to Associate Professor with tenure took effect. A member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, a LEED Accredited Professional, and a licensed Professional Engineer, Clint’s expertise lies in energy and environmental planning and policy. In July, Clint testified on climate change at a hearing before the U.S. Senate Housing, Transportation and Community Development Committee. James DeFilippis’s research interests include urban political economy and political philosophy; the relationships between housing, neighborhoods and states; community development theory and practice and the growth and proliferation of unregulated work.