After a thorough national search, distinguished professor of chemistry and physics Eric (Rick) Garfunkel has been appointed vice president for international and global affairs effective July 2016. Garfunkel is responsible for the university’s internationalization efforts, including study abroad and global education, cross-cultural and global programming, development and support of international relations and partnerships, and services for visiting students and scholars.
During his 30 years at Rutgers, Garfunkel played a leading role in the formation of the multidisciplinary Laboratory for Surface Modification and the Institute for Advanced Materials, Devices and Nanotechnology. These cross-disciplinary organizations concentrate on the atomic scale design and manipulation of materials. His research focuses on surface and interface science, and the synthesis and characterization of materials that can be used for alternative energy (including solar) and nanoelectronics applications.
Garfunkel is a global scholar who has held visiting professorships in Paris, Berlin, Florence, and Shanghai. He is deeply involved in developing global partnerships and research collaborations with dozens of institutions across the world, including many in Africa and China. He has also helped lead the international activities of the Materials Research Society for over a decade.
Garfunkel earned his bachelor’s degree from Haverford College in 1978 and his Ph.D. in chemistry from Berkeley in 1983. Before coming to Rutgers, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Paris-Sud in Paris, France, and at Fudan University in Shanghai, China.