IN THE NEWS

Rutgers Hosts Paraguayan University to Build Upon Dynamic Partnership

Thursday, December 2nd
Rutgers University–Camden hosted a delegation of academic leaders from Universidad Nacional de Asunción (UNA), Paraguay’s largest university, for a weeklong visit as part of a partnership and a multifaceted project between the two universities. Gloria Bonilla-Santiago, a Rutgers Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor and director of the Community Leadership Center at Rutgers–Camden, initiated the partnership when she was a Fulbright Specialist in Paraguay from 2017 to 2018. “I fell in love with UNA because part of the work they wanted to do was to develop a university of the future,” Bonilla-Santiago said. Rutgers University–Camden Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis, a scholar of Afro-Hispanic studies who is fluent in both Spanish and Portuguese and has traveled extensively in Latin America, met with the delegation on Monday. “As we all know, the world is getting smaller and smaller,” Tillis said. “The global world is upon us, and international exchanges are important not only for research faculty and our staff, but provide even more valuable experiences for our students.” The overarching partnership has four goals: fostering research; transforming UNA into a 21st-century university; training ambassadors in Paraguay; and building NGOs that reach out to Paraguay’s vulnerable indigenous populations. A foundational development of the partnership was the creation of the Higher Education Center for Ethics, Equity and Transparency (HECEET) in Paraguay, which is a comprehensive, three-year initiative spearheaded by the Rutgers University–Camden Community Leadership Center and funded by a $3 million grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Under Bonilla-Santiago’s direction, HECEET encapsulates the collective vision of its partners and cosponsors for the development of an institutional structure within UNA that promotes ethics, equity and transparency in all sectors of Paraguay. It is committed to extending the vast resources of UNA beyond its 55,000 students and to the larger Paraguayan community in the areas of research, extension programs and academic programming. Zully Vera de Molinas, rector of UNA, led the delegation from UNA and said the partnership will make a difference in Paraguay. “Our university is a university that is dedicated to make changes, not only for our students, but to our local and national community,” Vera de Molinas said through a translator. Vera de Molinas became the university’s rector—which is the equivalent of a president—in 2019, making her the first woman to lead the university in its 132-year history. The UNA delegation, which included three deans and two executive team members, spent four days meeting with deans and faculty on the Rutgers–Camden campus and one day on the Rutgers–New Brunswick campus. It followed a visit to Paraguay last week by Bonilla-Santiago and Rutgers–Camden faculty members Nancy Pontes, associate professor of nursing, and Maria Solesio Torregrosa, assistant professor of biology. In addition, Rutgers–Camden faculty members who participated in this week’s conference and are engaged with UNA faculty in research are David Salas-de la Cruz, associate professor of chemistry; Patrice Mareschal, associate professor of public policy and administration; Maureen Donaghy, associate professor of political science; and Kimberlee Moran, associate teaching professor and director of forensics. “These two weeks of collaboration, both here in and Paraguay, have been exceptional,” Bonilla-Santiago said. “This partnership will benefit UNA and the nation of Paraguay, but also will enrich Rutgers University faculty, staff and students through the connections we are making with our friends in Paraguay.” This article originally appeared on the Rutgers University–Camden website on November 19, 2021.

Rutgers and Tel Aviv University Enter Partnership to Boost Research Collaboration

Friday, November 19th
Rutgers University and Tel Aviv University (TAU) today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will further the collaboration between the two research universities and establish a presence by TAU at the NJ Innovation & Technology Hub, a 550,000-square-foot, $665 million project in New Brunswick, N.J. The Hub will be home to a new Rutgers Translational Research facility and the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. The MOU was signed in Tel Aviv, Israel, by Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway and Ariel Porat, president of TAU. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy joined the ceremony virtually. “I traveled to Tel Aviv to sign this memorandum of understanding in person because this is an important initiative that reflects Rutgers’ commitment to excellence and our recognition that there is no limit to the power of partnerships,” Holloway said. TAU will have a presence at The Hub, a 550,000-square-foot, $665 million project in New Brunswick, N.J. that will be home to a new Rutgers Translational Research facility and the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Rutgers and TAU have previously collaborated on projects, including a monthly series of joint scientific symposia exploring research topics such as the COVID-19 pandemic, drug discovery, cybersecurity, gene therapy, nanomaterials and ancient and modern identities in Yemen. The MOU will amplify the universities’ alliance by establishing a research grant program to seed what are expected to be enduring collaborations across disciplines between Rutgers and TAU. “Our growing partnership will advance educational and scientific exchanges that will not only benefit our students and faculty but our local economies and the people in our communities,” added Holloway. The grant program will provide seed funding for up to five collaborative research projects, each with two principal investigators – one from Rutgers and one from TAU – as determined by a selection committee. The selection committee will consist of members from each institution, including Rutgers Senior Vice President for Research Michael E. Zwick and TAU Vice President for Research and Development Dan Peer. According to Porat, “TAU and Rutgers share the strategic goals of enhancing research through global collaboration and of strengthening the ties between academia and industry.” He added that the new agreement “will also help expand the cooperation between TAU and the New Jersey innovation ecosystem.” “Over the years, New Jersey and Israel have enjoyed close cultural, academic and economic ties, and this new collaboration between two of our leading institutions – Rutgers University and Tel Aviv University – will help strengthen that connection,” said Murphy. “We look forward to seeing how students and faculty from both institutions will advance research and collaboration through this exciting partnership, as well as welcoming Tel Aviv University to the NJ Innovation & Technology Hub.” The partnership between the universities began in 2020 with a trip by a New Jersey business delegation to Israel, organized by Choose New Jersey – a nonprofit organization that helps companies and corporations expand their business into the United States and New Jersey – to strengthen economic ties and deepen connections between the two nations. The MOU signing was a part of this year’s mission sponsored by Choose New Jersey. “We are thrilled that TAU will have a presence in New Jersey at The Hub in New Brunswick,” said Jose Lozano, president and CEO of Choose New Jersey. “The Hub is an extraordinary facility that will serve as New Jersey’s epicenter for discovery with Rutgers University at the helm. This partnership to advance research showcases global interest in our state’s thriving innovation ecosystem and strengthens academic and economic ties between New Jersey and Israel.” Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a leading national research university and the state of New Jersey’s preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher education. Established in 1766, the university is the eighth-oldest higher education institution in the United States. More than 66,000 students and 23,600 faculty and staff learn, work and serve the public at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, Rutgers University-Newark, Rutgers University-Camden, and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. Tel Aviv University, Israel's largest and most comprehensive institution of higher learning, is home to more than 30,000 students studying in nine faculties and over 125 schools and departments across the spectrum of sciences, humanities, and the arts. This article originally appeared on Rutgers Today on November 17, 2021.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Spring 2022 International Student Orientation

Wednesday, January 19th
5:00 pm
  Welcome to Rutgers! Rutgers Global–International Student and Scholar Services conducts a comprehensive orientation for all new international first-year and transfer students students every fall and spring semester.  Due to the impact of COVID-19, we will continue to offer a virtual orientation experience for all incoming students for Spring 2022.  Visit the International Student Orientation webpage for more details and instructions for registration.

Spring 2022 Study Abroad Fair

Wednesday, January 26th
4:30 pm
  Interested in studying abroad? Join us for the virtual Spring 2022 Study Abroad Fair! Learn more about our many study abroad programs and opportunities directly from our faculty, international partners, campus partners, and Study Abroad team. Find out how you can engage in these life-changing cultural and social learning experiences and gain a competitive edge in your future career. We'll have raffles and giveaways, including study abroad scholarships! Make sure to check out our social media for updates and raffles. The Zoom link will be shared with registrants prior to the event. Please RSVP at go.rutgers.edu/studyabroadfair.