The Bloustein School is pleased to announce the Jerome Rose Excellence in Teaching Awards for 2012 and 2013. The Rose Awards are presented annually to a full-time faculty member, an adjunct faculty member, and a teaching assistant who are committed to quality teaching. Faculty and graduate students from the Urban Planning and Public Policy Masters programs at the Bloustein School nominate recipients.
Dr. Rose recently passed away following a brief illness. He served on the faculty of the Bloustein School from 1969 to 1996, teaching planning and environmental law. At his retirement dinner, he declared, “My twenty-seven years at Rutgers have been the best years of my life.”
The recipients for 2013 are as follows:
Faculty: Anton C. “Tony” Nelessen
Tony Nelessen has more than 40 years of professional experience as a professor, author and practitioner in the fields of visioning, planning and urban design. His students have characterized him as a superb teacher, “with a passion, enthusiasm and clear vision for our future, propelling and inspiring generations of Rutgers students,” and is known for making a true effort to personally get to know each and every student in his classes. “By sheer dint of his enthusiasm and passion for his subject matter, Tony routinely converts ‘undeclared’ students to Bloustein School majors, lighting fires under them about their capacity to affect a more positive future through planning and policy development,” a fellow faculty member recently noted. Tony also took the helm as the Undergraduate Program Director, under which overall enrollment and course offerings have flourished. In addition to advocating the school’s undergraduate Planning and Public Policy major, he has worked tirelessly with the Program in Public Policy to develop the new Public Policy major.
PTL: Fred Heyer and Susan Gruel
Fred Heyer and Susan Gruel have been team teaching at the Bloustein School as adjunct part-time graduate lecturers for many years and bring close to 80 combined years of planning experience, primarily in New Jersey communities. They bring to their classes not only a wealth of experience, but active projects being worked on by their firm Heyer, Gruel and Associates. This exposure is invaluable to Bloustein planning students, as it gives them real-world experience in master and comprehensive plans, strategic plans, redevelopment studies and plans, zoning ordinances, site plans, site planning review, and expert testimony. In addition to teaching the Comprehensive Planning course, they teach a graduate planning studio each year; their studio projects have won numerous awards from such organizations as the New Jersey Planning Officials association as well as grateful thanks from the communities the studio has served.
Teaching Assistant: Ben Teresa
Ben served as a teaching assistant for the school’s Introduction to Planning, Policy and Public Health course. His familiarity with the subject matter makes him an extremely valuable resource in the classroom, and he was highly rated by his students as being “supportive of students’ needs, generously making himself available, and responding with great understanding and sensitivity.” While serving as a T.A. Ben has made considerable progress through his doctoral program work and also helped plan, and serve as a conference moderator for, the school’s fall 2012 Representing the City symposium.
The awards for 2012 were as follows:
Faculty: Robert W. Lake
Long-time faculty member and Ph.D. program director Bob Lake’s contributions to the intellectual life of the Bloustein School are outstanding. He possesses “a scholarly outlook and human attitude which contributes toward making everyone feel a part of the school’s intellectual community,” according to a fellow faculty member, and “his ability to take complex theory and make it comprehensible to others is an admirable trait!” In addition to chairing the school’s Ph.D. program, he has mentored 20 Ph.D.s to degree completion and is currently mentoring 15 others. The Bloustein Ph.D.-candidate community noted his “generosity in teaching and advising both with his time and ability to guide students through the program, nurturing many scholars and practitioners to excellence over a number of years.” Bob assists the Ph.D. community with the annual Krueckeberg Doctoral Conference, which has grown into a showcase of some of the most unique and forward-thinking research in the discipline. In addition to highlighting the best arguments and the most distinct voices in the Bloustein School’s doctoral program, in recent years the conference has expanded to include doctoral candidates in planning and public policy from other schools.
PTL: Steven Liga
Steve Liga is the CEO & Executive Director of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of Middlesex County, Inc. His service to the Bloustein School goes well beyond serving as a professional practice PTL. It is through his efforts that the School was able to develop the courses needed to meet the curricular requirements set by the State of New Jersey for issuing the Addictions Prevention Certificate. Without his assistance, that certificate would not exist. His many students have described him as a “passionate, insightful teacher that truly wants you to learn and succeed.” At the Bloustein School, his colleagues consider him a dedicated professional with a true love of teaching. He is known to possess “a remarkable ability to facilitate the learning process without driving it in a particular direction, but rather allowing students to guide their own learning.”
Teaching Assistant: Shannon Sweeney
Shannon Sweeney served as a teaching assistant in the Bloustein School in the fall of 2010. After joining the Bloustein School’s Ph.D. program, and with her background as a teaching assistant and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellow, Shannon was able to jump right in and begin serving the school’s undergraduate public health curriculum as a T.A. for Principles of Public Health. She filled in to instruct the class as the need arose, and has continued to provide teaching support for this course as well as the Epidemiology course. She also taught her own section of the Principles of Public Health course in the spring 2013 semester and continues to progress toward completion of her Ph.D. studies at the Bloustein School.