2018 College of Science and Liberal Arts Awards Celebrate Success at Intersection of Art and Science

Written by: Jesse Jenkins,

This May, NJIT’s College of Science and Liberal Arts (CSLA) celebrated a year of standout achievements from its faculty, staff, students and alumni at the 2018 College of Science and Liberal Arts Awards Ceremony. 

The annual springtime event recognized outstanding research and academic excellence across NJIT’s liberal arts and sciences communities — from mathematics, solar astronomy and environmental science to the social sciences, performing arts and literature. The event also highlighted recent landmark successes of the college, as well as new programs and plans for the coming academic year.

“Originally known as the ‘Third College’, CSLA was officially formed in 1982,” said Dr. Kevin Belfield, Dean of the College of Science and Liberal Arts at the introduction of the ceremony. “We have certainly grown since then to 102 faculty, 52 university lecturers, 14 research professors, more than 750 undergraduates, and 250 graduate students.” 

“This year’s CSLA faculty have been published in nearly 300 refereed journal articles and have received research funding totaling nearly $12.5 million. We have also seen the success of our students in getting into professional schools reach 90%, which is nothing short of astounding,” added Belfield. “We have a lot to celebrate today.” 

The ceremony’s keynote speaker was acclaimed photographer, writer and filmmaker Michael Benson, who discussed the historical relationships between scientific discovery and the visual arts, from the work of Nicolaus Copernicus in the 1400s to Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey”.  

Benson — whose reprocessed planetary landscape photography has been featured in major museums throughout the world — was presented with the Inaugural Jay Kappraff Award for Excellence in Science and Arts as part of his appearance.

“I have been working for two decades at the place where science and art meet, and have constantly been mesmerized by the way images double as both art and science,” said Benson. “It is a huge honor to be here today and accept this award.” 

David Rothenberg, distinguished professor of humanities (left) and Dr. Kevin Belfield present Benson with the Kappraff Award for Excellence in Science and Arts.

A second major highlight from the 25 awards handed out at the ceremony included the presentation of the CSLA Lifetime Achievement Award to Louis J. Lanzerotti, distinguished research professor of physics at NJIT’s Center for Solar-Terrestrial Research.

Lanzerotti earned his honors for outstanding career achievement in education and research that has yielded eight patents, five books and more than 500 refereed journal articleson topics spanning space plasmas, geophysics and engineering problems related to the impact of space weather. 

Dr. Belfield and NJIT Physics Chair Andrei Sirenko present Lanzerotti with the CSLA Lifetime Achievement Award.

Future Plans Announced

In addition to awards presented to the college’s exemplary students, faculty and alumni, the event also staged major announcements by the college for the coming 2018 fall semester. 

In his address, Belfield announced the upcoming addition of five new faculty members and one new university lecturer in fall of 2018. Belfield also unveiled two unique undergraduate programs that will begin this fall: a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science and a degree option in cyberpsychology, which will serve to expand NJIT’s Science, Technology and Society program.  

“The Forensic Science bachelors of science degree program will become the very first of its kind in New Jersey and we will also be offering the first undergraduate program solely dedicated to cyberpsychology in the nation,” said Belfield. “The accomplishments in CSLA from this year have been stellar but we think next year is going to be even better.”

For a full list of the 2018 CSLA Award winners, visit: https://csla.njit.edu/sites/csla/files/2018_CSLA_Awards.pdf