Student Highlights

September 2009

PhD Student Samonne Montgomery Work on Uninsured Gains Spotlight
Research by PhD student Samonne Montgomery on New Jersey's uninsured was highlighted in The Star-Ledger. To learn more, click here.


April 2009

Undergrad Represents New Jersey at National Cherry Blossom Festival
Na'imah Terry, an undergraduate in the planning and public policy program, was selected to represent New Jersey in this year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington. A junior from Jersey City, Terry attended a Capitol Hill reception, the Grand Ball and the annual Cherry Blossom parade. "We are very proud of our princess, her many academic accomplishments and her commitment to helping others," New Jersey State Society President Donise Cameron told the Jersey Journal. "She is a wonderful role model for young women and will represent New Jersey with distinction." To learn more, click here


March 2009

Three MPP Students Enlisted for 2009 Federal Presidential Management Fellows Program
MPP students Saesha Carlile, Emily Grant, and Sara Meyers have been admitted to the federal government’s Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program class of 2009. Established by Executive Order in 1977 to attract outstanding students to federal service to manage public policies and programs, PMF is administered by the Office of Personnel Management. The program is designed for graduate students from diverse social and cultural backgrounds.

Saesha Carlile, Emily Grans Sara Meyers



November 2008

Star-Ledger Honors Undergrad Enrique Noguera as 'Person of the Week'
The Star-Ledger named Enrique Noguera, a planning and public policy undergraduate student, as its “Person of the Week” for his grassroots work to create an urban version of a 4-H program in New Brunswick. Noguera participated in an internship with Lazos America Unida on the project.



November 2008

MCRP Graduate Wins National Fellowship from APA to Combine Planning, Law
Bloustein School graduate Philip A. Abramson, who earned his MCRP degree in 2006, has been awarded a Daniel J. Curtin Fellowship from the American Planning Association to help him pursue his law degree at Rutgers-Newark. Only two Curtin fellowships are awarded annually; Abramson is the first New Jerseyan and Rutgers student to win the national award. The Curtin Fellowships are intended "to foster increased interest in the study of land use planning and its interrelationship with the law at the advanced undergraduate, graduate, and law school levels." Abramson, an associate planner with Pennoni Associates, Inc., of Cedar Knolls, NJ, is a second year law student at Rutgers-Newark.



October 2008

Doctoral, Masters Students Capture Prestigious Fellowships
Christopher PlasenciaStudents in the Bloustein School's doctoral and masters graduate programs have been awarded financial support from the prestigious Ralph Bunche Graduate Fellowships, and the Rutgers Presidential Fellows program. Incoming MCRP student Christoper Plasencia (pictured) won a Bunche Fellowship, which provides a $15,000 stipend plus tuition. He joins fellow MCRP student Elmyra Jemison who was awarded a Bunche Fellowship last year. The Bunche Fellowships are designed to recruit new graduate students with exceptional qualifications who promote diversity.



Juan RiveroDoctoral student Juan Rivero (pictured) secured one of only nine Rutgers Presidential Fellowships which provide $30,000, tuition, and health coverage for two years, followed by three years of assistantship. The fellowships were created in 2006 by Rutgers President Richard L. McCormick to strengthen graduate education in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering at the university’s three campuses.






July 2008

Lincoln Institute Awards Fellowship to Doctoral Candidate Bryan Grady
Third year doctoral student Bryan Grady has been awarded a Fellowship in Planning and Urban Form from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, a private foundation whose mission is to improve the quality of public debate and decisions regarding land policy and land-related taxation both in the United States and abroad. The Dissertation Fellowship Program assists Ph.D. students whose research complements the Institute’s interests in land and tax policy. The Institute hosts a seminar each year where fellowship recipients present their research and share feedback with other fellows and Institute faculty members.


May 2008

Rutgers Names Hans Goff, Nicole Peter Among its ‘10 Graduates to Watch’
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, confered degrees to nearly 11,000 students during convocation ceremonies this month. Among those many students, Rutgers selected 10 as “Graduates to Watch.” Two of those, Hans Goff and Nicole Peter, studied at the Bloustein School and a third, Josh Ontell, took part in a senior seminar at the Bloustein School.


Hans GoffHans 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. While enrolled at the Bloustein School and as 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, answering constituents’ calls on the concerned citizens’ hotline. “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 Govs. 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 spent two years studying 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 next fall. She wants the scientists to explain their research and what it means to be a Catholic who supports stem cell research. Even though she has graduated, Peter plans to return for the event.


“We need to change this disconnect,” she said. “Both sides really care about humanity, but are afraid the other side is limiting them. It’s a matter of closing this polarity.”


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 year in a Bloustein School seminar for undergraduate seniors on issues relating to the subprime mortgage and housing foreclosure crisis. 


May 2008

Five Graduates Honored for Outstanding Achievement During Convocation Ceremonies
The Bloustein School honored five graduates for outstanding achievement in the urban planning and policy development program, and in the public policy program during its 5th annual convocation ceremony held May 18. The urban planning awards were presented by Professor Clinton Andrews, the program director, to Alexander Barron for outstanding student academic achievement; Stephanie Luk for outstanding student service; and Amanda Kennedy, who received the annual American Institute of Certified Planners award for outstanding attainment in the study of planning. Professor Carl Van Horn presented the policy program awards to Umit Alsac for outstanding student academic achievement, and to Altaf Rahamatulla for outstanding student service.



May 2008
Senior Seminar Final Paper Presentations
Senior seminar final papers in public policy and planning, and public health were presented at the Bloustein School during May 6-9.  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 Brownfield and Neighborhood Redevelopment.


Sofia Del PapaAmong 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 and















Tynisha Beard

“Stadium Development in Cities,” by Tynisha Beard, an Urban Studies major from Douglass College.

















May 2008

Undergraduate Seniors Win Awards
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.



April 2008

Bob Checchio Named to TRB Committee
Bob Checchio, a PhD candidate in the Public Policy program, accepted an invitation from the Transportation Research Board to serve on its Committee on Intergovernmental Relations in Aviation. The appointment will continue through April 2011.



October 2007

Alyson Abbruzzi wins NJPHA Book Phair contest
Alyson Abbruzzi, undergraduate public health major, won the New Jersey Public Health Association (NJPHA) Book PHair essay contest. She received the award at a ceremony held at William Paterson University.



April 2007
Matthew Ferguson Wins 'Above & Beyond' Award
MCRP student Matthew Ferguson won an “Above & Beyond Award" from the Rutgers Office of Sexual Assault Services/Crime Victim Assistance. A resident director, Matt recruited his staff and residents to attend the RU Safe? program and volunteered his services in creating a Men Against Sexual Assault group and recruiting members.


March 2007
Sophonie Joseph Awarded Fellowship
Undergraduate student Sophonie Joseph has won a fellowship for the 2007-2008 school year from the Minority Academic Careers Program at the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown.


March 2007
Kevin Henry Gains Internship with Federal Reserve Bank
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York awarded Kevin Henry, the first student enrolled in the Bloustein School’s dual MPP-MBA program, a position in its Graduate Summer Analyst Program.


December 2006
Robert Checchio Receives Grant
Robert Checchio, Ph.D. student studying transportation and economics, has been awarded a $2,000 grant by the Alfred L. and Constance C. Wolf Aviation Fund to study the regional economic effects of new aviation technology. The Wolf Aviation Fund was created to help individuals work together in support of general aviation.


October 2006
Philip Ashton Receives Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) Barclay Gibbs Jones Award for Best Dissertation in Planning
Dissertation Title: "Advantage or Disadvantage? The Changing Institutional Landscape of Central City Mortgage Lending." David Listokin, Faculty Supervisor.


This award recognizes superior scholarship in a doctoral dissertation completed by a student enrolled in an ACSP-member school. The committee seeks a thesis that is original, well written, employs methods elegantly, offers lessons pertinent to central issues in the field of planning, and provides guidance about how planners or governments should make choices. Nominees must have received the doctoral degree in the two years preceding the deadline (May 2004 through June 2006). The work is expected to be presented at the 2006 ACSP Conference where the award is presented.


Past winners include:
Kurt Paulsen (2005). Dissertation Title: "Land Use and Locational Justice: Land Use and Fiscal Policies of New Jersey Municipalities”. Donald Krueckeberg, Faculty Supervisor

Anna Laura Wolf-Powers (2004), Dissertation Title: "The Effect of Labor Market Intermediaries on Career Opportunity for Non-College-Educated Workers: A Supply-And Demand-Side Analysis". Ann Markusen, Faculty Supervisor.