Awards & Scholarships


The Jim Wise Scholarship Award Excellence in Theatre Arts 

Professor Jim Wise was a member of the faculty in the NJIT Humanities Department for many years. He was also the composer for the hit musical Dames at Sea. Because of his keen interest in being an educator and recognizing the merits and needs of students, he bequeathed a two million dollar endowment fund to the Theatre Program. It is divided into three categories; a theatre archive/library, assistance in producing theatre productions, and scholarships.

The Wise Scholarship is given to students who have shown leadership abilities and team commitment to the Rutgers-NJIT Theatre Program on stage and off.  The scholarships range from $200 to $2000 per semester per student that meets the qualifications. 

To apply to all scholarships, send your request to: 

Past Recipients

Gabriela Acosta, Rebecca Cortes, Connor Criscoe, Luiz De Miranda Leao III, Alvin Eke, Loni Fiscus, Taylor Jackson, Zackary Kellett, Kevin Milfort-Sanchez, Daniel Pakhomov, Christopher Gardner, Rachel Schlesinger, Kevaughn Francis, 2019
Tiaja Harley, Alvin Eke, Loni Fiscus, Luiz G. De Miranda Leao III, Salwa Hanna, Adam Curran, Taylor Jackson, Alex Burman, Lea Burlew, Alexis Telyczka, Gabriela Acosta, Brea Phipps, Malcolm Mason, Daniel Pakhomov, Rebecca Cortes, Vincent Capizzi, Zack Kellett, Antonio Yacoub, Elizabeth Castro, Kevin Milford-Sanchez, Devone Kidd, Connor Criscoe, Kristin S Ramsay 2018
Luiz G. De Miranda Leao III, Eric Holzer, Adam Curran, Lea Burlew, Michael Chiappa, Daniel Pakhomov, Rebecca Cortes, Vincent Capizzi, Zack Kellet, Antonio Yacoub, Vipin Kannekanti, Kevaughn Francis, Carlton Hurdle 2017
Lea Burlew, Darian Capellan, Vincent Capizzi, Mike Chiappa, Rebecca Cortes, Adam Curran, Christa DeMaio, Kevaughn Francis, Eric Holzer,  Rija Kahn, Vipin Kannekanti, Zack Kellet, John Lombardi, Brian O'Mahoney, Daniel Pakhomov 2016
Lea Burlew, Darian Capellan, Mike Chiappa, Rebecca Cortes, Eric Holzer, Antonio Johnson,  John Lombardi, Brian O'Mahoney, Ahmier Mincy, Gretchen Von Koenig 2015
Lea Burlew, Darian Capellan, Mike Chiappa, Rebecca Cortes, Eric Holzer, Antonio Johnson,  John Lombardi, Brian O'Mahoney, Gretchen Von Koenig 2014
Lea Burlew, Darian Capellan, Rebecca Cortes, Elizabeth Decarlo,  Eric Holzer, Antonio Johnson,  John Lombardi, Mary O'Haire, Brian O'Mahoney, Angelica McKenzie, Kirstianne Mercado, Michael Watts, Gretchen Von Koenig 2013
Christian Bradley, Taylor Cerdas, Darian Capellan, Elizabeth Decarlo, Jonathan Derbach, Eric Holzer, Kirstianne Mercado, Mary O'Haire, Daniel Ovalle, Thanh Nguyen, Alexander Nunes, John Lombardi, Ahmier Mincy, Michelle Poulaille, Michael Watts, Gretchen Von Koenig 2012
Michelle Poulaille, Sean Naughton, Gretchen Von Koenig, Kirstianne Mercado, Wiaderson Gonzalez, Daniel Ovalle, Elizabeth DeCarlo, Nicole Deida, Luis Garcia, Gissele Casco, Michael Gonzalez, Thanh Nguyen, Noman Van Houten Jr., Andrew Polovsky, Emanuel Vizzotti 2011
Michele Poulaille, Sean Naughton, Justin Niemczyk, Adelyn Perez, Kwan Lui, Nichole Gabbard, Emanuel Vizzotti, Alex Shaba, Suleiman Nesheiwat, Elizabeth DeCarlo 2010
Amy Van Houten, Michelle Poulaille, Gonzalo Valencia, Kwan Lui, Sean Naughton, Adelyn Perez, Scott Kesselman 2009
Rodrigo Balarezo, Michelle Poulaille, Mariella Marchane, Kwan Lui, Gonzalo Valencia, Anthony Cappiello, Amy Van Houten, Alexa McCartney, Keng-hui Lin, Eric Cooney 2008
Gonzalo Valencia, Rodrigo Balarezo, Prashant Savalia, Andrew Christian 2007
Andrew Christian, Gonzalo Valencia, Allison Campbell, Michael Campbell, Chanel Washington, Jason Schooling, Steven Nagy 2006
Steven Nagy, Ian Pryzchodniez, Allison Campbell, Michael Campbell, Joseph Valenti, Trevor Nauta. Michele Clear, Chanel Washington, Jason Schooling, Sharon Thigpen 2005
Sharon Thigpen, Ian Pryzchodniez, Thomas Herrera, Allison Campbell, Michael Campbell 2004
Jason Schooling, Caroline Stover, Rashaun Booker, Ian Pryzchodniez, Alison Campbell, Michael Campbell 2003
Irgelkha Dej Mejia, Christopher Lister, Allison Lepelletier, Caroline Stover, Ian Pryzchodniez 2002
Irgelkha Dej Mejia, Christopher Lister 2001
Mary Morinville 2000
Frances Ermi 1999
James Ziegler 1998
Jonathan Calindas 1997
James Nance, Jr. 1996
Louis Perosi 1995


Excellence in Theatre

Each year one student is awarded this scholarship for showing leadership qualities either on stage or off.

The Vern Smith Scholarship

Vern Smith was a former chair of the Theatre Department at Rutgers-Newark. He was also an internationally known theatre set designer. His legacy lives on within the joint theatre program as his set models from musicals and plays grace both NJIT and Rutgers campuses. This scholarship is awarded to one student who excels in technical theatre.

Rutgers-NJIT Arts Excellence in Theatre Award and Television Award

Jonathan Noto, Theatre 2011 Marjani Smith, Theatre 2010
Tamala DeJesus, Theatre 2009 Reshma Panalal, Television 2009
Jackie Yuditsky, Theatre 2008 Siobhan Ruane, Theatre 2007
Daiana Reyes, Theatre 2005-2006 Gabriella Pereira, Television 2005-2006
Mariclare Mullane, Theatre 2003-2004 Valdeta Sinanovic, Television 2003-2004
Abena Asamoah Duodu, Theatre 2002-2004 Eric Johnson, Theatre 2002-2003
Eduardo Garcia, Television 2001-2002 David Law, Theatre 2001-2002
Ann Kirolos, Theatre 2000-2001 Rashana Almedia, Television 2000-2001
Frank Wilson, Television 1999-2000 Angela Pereira, Theatre 1998-1999
Luis Negron, Theatre 1998-1999 Mario Corrales, Theatre 1998-1999
Nancy Schwickrath, Theatre 1992-1993 Sanaz Hojeh, Theatre 1994-1995
Jhon Velasco, Theatre 1994-1995 Gail Frankel, Theatre 1993-1994

Dr. Herman Estrin Scholarship for Excellence in the Theatre Arts, NJIT

Motaz Diab, 1997-1999 Rebecca Jannson, 1996-1997
Manny Mesias, 1995-1996 Jonathan Calindas, 1994-1995
Peter Otton, 1993-1994 Robert Pietro, 1992-1993
Dina Lusio, 1991-1992 Raymond E. Gintner, IV, 1990-1991
Eric Johnson, 1989-1990 Sunil Kavi, 1988-1989
Timothy Roche, 1986-1987 Dan Spitzer, 1986-1987
Thomas W. Pitt, Jr. 1985-1986 Pierre Levesque, 1984-1985, 1988
Mark B. Budzyn, 1984-1985 Mary Caruso, 1983-1984
Kathi Spillane, 1982-1983  


The following individuals and businesses have contributed to the Rutgers-NJIT Theatre Arts Program Library which is located in Bradley Hall on the Rutgers-Newark Campus:

Theatrebooks Inc,. Mr. William Wendt, Mr. Robert Emerson, Dr. Donald Borchardt, Dr. William Grant, Ms. Raene Rau, Mr. Fred Sirois, Mr. Victor Capecce, Mr. Richard Harper, Leo Meyer-Atlas Scenic Studios, Mr. Vernon "Copy" Berg, III

Contribution “Angels” to the Rutgers-NJIT Theatre Arts Program:

Professor James Wise, Richard Nadelman, Esq., Jeffrey R. Thoman, Mr. Robert Mertz, Mrs. Kathi Spillane Spitzer, Mr. Dan Spitzer, Gregory Murphy Rutgers-Newark Culture Committee Grants, Mr. Michael S. Ferraro