Since its founding in colonial times, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, has had close ties to Europe; indeed, the university’s seal and motto are derived from those of the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. Today, those connections are stronger than ever. Students and faculty from across the university – from the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and professional schools – are deeply engaged in the study of Europe and work with collaborators and institutions across Europe – from the Atlantic to the Urals and from the Mediterranean to the Barents Sea. Rutgers is also host to hundreds of European graduate students and faculty members whose presence strengthens the bonds between Rutgers and numerous universities and institutions in Europe.
At Rutgers, the Center for European Studies (CES) serves as a focal point for students and faculty interested in Europe. The CES supports faculty and graduate student research on Europe across the disciplines and sponsors an interdisciplinary undergraduate major and minor in European Studies. CES director R. Daniel Kelemen holds the Jean Monnet Chair in European Union Politics. Funded by the European Commission, the Jean Monnet Chair supports teaching, research, and public events on European integration. The CES is also active in outreach throughout the state – in 2010, the CES was awarded a Getting to Know Europe grant by the European Union (EU) Delegation in Washington, D.C., to promote awareness of the EU in communities across New Jersey.
Across the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS), over 100 faculty conduct cutting-edge research and pursue writing on European history, politics, economics, and culture. Among them Belinda Davis writes on social movements in Germany, Bonnie Smith on European women’s history, and Nicholas Rennie on European and German intellectual history. Jan Kubik pursues research on civil society and memory in central and east Europe and Susan Martin-Marquez on cultural studies and Spanish-speaking film. A wide range of minor, major, and graduate degrees are offered in English, French, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese, Germanic, Russian and East European Languages and Literatures, History, and Medieval Studies. These programs allow our students interested in European studies to focus on every period from Ancient Greece to the present, explore classical Greek drama or modern French film, investigate the history of medieval monarchies, or consider the future of the European Union. In addition to the activities on campus, hundreds of Rutgers undergraduates participate each year in 40 study abroad programs throughout Europe. A recently launched Rutgers study abroad program in Brussels allows students to focus their studies on the European Union and to participate in a wide range of internships.
Rutgers has a long tradition of strong relationships with central and east Europe. Throughout the 1990’s Rutgers offered its expertise and resources in support of emerging democracies in the region, especially Poland, through its Local Democracy Partnership program. For those contributions, Rutgers received in 2009 the Laurel of the Foundation from the Founders’ Council of the Foundation in Support of Local Democracy. Rutgers faculty with interests and expertise in central and east Europe present numerous fields including comparative literature, history, political science, geography and women's and gender studies among others.
The School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS) finds solutions to global issues that touch the continent of Europe. Departments involved in research and teaching in Europe include Nutritional Science, Meteorology, Marine Science, and Animal Sciences, among others.
In partnership with Babes-Boylai University in Romania, the School of Social Work (SSW) provides an international service learning program focusing on comparative perspectives of social work and social welfare structures in emerging democracies. This study abroad opportunity gives students first-hand experience, working in the emerging programs and services. Fulbright Scholars Shari Munch (2010 - Babes-Boylai University, Romania) and Michael LaSala (2007/08 - Tallinn University, Estonia) provide clinical practice instruction and curriculum development for the ISL program in Romania.
The European Studies Program on the Camden campus offers a minor in European Studies. The program believes that by learning about Britain or Europe as a whole, students are able to learn more about themselves and learn how to view the world from a different lens than the one they once used. Most recently, the Program and Rutgers community celebrated the award of the MacArthur Fellowship to Jacob Soll for insights into the histories of the birth of information culture in European tradition.
Rutgers’ links to Europe reflect the broader ties between New Jersey and the region. As a whole, the EU is New Jersey’s largest trading partner and its main source of foreign direct investment. Past and recent waves of immigration have left millions of New Jersey residents with strong cultural ties to Europe. Looking to the future, Rutgers will remain engaged with Europe – just as Europe will remain connected to New Jersey.
Over the last decade, faculty at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, have developed strong academic ties with several countries in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Through collaborative research and faculty visits, new contacts and linkages have emerged with scholars in Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Armenia.
Key to Rutgers University involvement in the region has been a long-standing relationship with a variety of the Open Society Institute (OSI) initiatives and programs. Through the Academic Fellowship Program (AFP), fourteen visiting scholars from six countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan) visited Rutgers over the last decade. The AFP program allows visitors to spend one semester every year for three years at the host institution. While at Rutgers, visitors had an opportunity to meet faculty, present their research, teach and visit classes, and work on their own research projects and curriculum development.
Through an OSI funded doctoral studies program in social sciences and humanities, several Ph.D. graduate students from Tajikistan and Moldova have joined Rutgers. Since 2008, when the program was first established and Rutgers accepted the first cohort of Ph.D. students, additional students have arrived at the university every year. Currently, they pursue their degrees in political science, sociology, economics, and geography.
The School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS) is active in researching the natural resource rich environment of Central Asia. The International Cooperative Biodiversity Group (ICBG) Program, a multi-disciplinary research group, addresses issues of drug discovery, biodiversity conservation, and sustainable economic growth in Central Asia.
Rutgers faculty enjoys especially strong ties with two countries in Central Asia and the Caucasus, Georgia and Kazakhstan.