Rutgers Alum Provides a Grant to Support Study Abroad in Africa

Thursday, August 25th
The Center for African Studies announced a new $1 million grant from the Mad Rose Foundation that will provide funding for the creation and support of study abroad programs in Africa. The Mad Rose Foundation is a charitable organization founded by Neal Rosenthal, founder of Rosenthal Wine Merchant and the Mad Rose Group, and a proud Rutgers alum (Class of ’67). Neal RosenthalActing Director for the Center for African Studies (CAS) Bode Ibironke announced the news this summer, thanking Professor of History Barbara Cooper for initially connecting with Mr. Rosenthal and inspiring the donation, as well as SAS Director of Development Allison Klein, Director of the Center for African Studies Genese Sodikoff, and members of the Executive Committee. Vice President for Global Affairs Eric Garfunkel said, “This significant gift from Neal Rosenthal will be incredibly impactful to our efforts to increase student mobility by creating a new support mechanism for any Rutgers student to participate in short-term study abroad programs in Africa,” said. “We are always trying to enlarge the global footprint of Rutgers University and one of the best ways to do this is by offering innovative and inspiring study abroad programs for our students.” Sodikoff added: “Neal Rosenthal’s gift is already generating a lot of enthusiasm in our faculty. It provides an incredible opportunity for our students to have experiences and forge connections in Africa that can change their lives.”   The impetus for the grant began during a conversation between Mr. Rosenthal and Professor Cooper, who is a historian of French-speaking Africa, when they spoke about a new program Cooper was developing in the country of Benin. The program, which the Mad Rose Foundation supported, was ultimately launched in the summer of 2022 called History, Memory, and Culture in Benin, and provided the opportunity for students to spend two weeks in Benin based at one of Rutgers’ sister institutions, the Ecole du Patrimoine Africaine, in order to explore how trans-Atlantic connections have shaped religion, language, and identity; the relationship between tourism and historical memory; as well as the dynamism of the contemporary art scene.   In response to the news of the Center for African Studies grant, Cooper remarked, “We are so grateful to Neal for his generous gift, which will allow students from Rutgers to experience the various countries and cultures of Africa by participating in faculty-led study abroad programs that will expand their horizons and prepare them to be global citizens.” Neal Rosenthal graduated from Rutgers in 1967 and has been a strong supporter of various Rutgers initiatives through the years. He founded Rosenthal Wine Merchant in 1977, an importer and distributor of limited production, estate-bottled wines from Western Europe. The company has since expanded into the Mad Rose Group, which includes Mad Rose Specialty Foods and Mad Rose Journeys. Rosenthal created the Mad Rose Foundation with his wife Kerry Madigan in 2006 to support education, free speech initiatives, and programs to help the environment. He is the author of “Reflections of a Wine Merchant” (FSG, 2008), and was a featured player in the documentary film “Mondovino” which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in 2004. “I am excited by the prospect of working with The Center for African Studies at Rutgers to enhance the already robust engagement of CAS on the African continent, a place that vibrates with energy and hosts a wealth of resources, most particularly an abundance of human capital,” said Rosenthal. Ibironke noted, “A gift like this from Neal Rosenthal, a loyal member of our Rutgers community, means so much. It is gratifying to have such a generous gift to support the mission of the Center for African Studies and its strong commitment to expanding and enriching connections between Rutgers and Africa.” Ousseina Alidou, Professor of Linguistics, Gender, and African Studies at Rutgers, added: “Faculty affiliated with The Center for African Studies are grateful to Neal Rosenthal’s family foundation for donating scholarship funds to enable Rutgers University undergraduate students to acquire global competency by enrolling in study abroad programs in diverse African countries. These experiential cross-cultural encounters with African youth on the continent open doors for American youth to develop intercultural friendship and exchange approaches to problem solving and mutual empowerment. An important demographic of Rutgers University students come from underprivileged communities and they will benefit from the generous scholarship from the Mad Rose Foundation.”

Rutgers University Announces New Double Degree Engineering Program in Latin America

Wednesday, July 27th
Rutgers School of Engineering (SoE) is excited to announce the establishment of a new 4+1 double degree program in partnership with Instituto Tecnológico de Buenos Aires (ITBA), the first of its kind for Rutgers in Latin America. This program, which is an accelerated bachelor’s/master’s program that allows students to complete undergraduate and graduate work in 5 years, creates a streamlined pathway for ITBA Mechanical Engineering undergraduate students to purse a master’s degree at the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) at Rutgers, and the opportunity for Rutgers to further engage in Latin America and expand its global footprint. Dr. Alberto Cuitiño, interim dean of the Rutgers SoE, Dr. Jerry Shan, associate department chair of MAE at the SoE, and Dr. Sebastián D’hers, ITBA’s Mechanical Engineering undergraduate program director, collaborated on the partnership with support from Rutgers Global and ITBA’s International Office. The formal agreement was finalized in February 2022, and the program was presented to ITBA students last May. Rutgers expects to welcome the program’s first students in September 2023. The way the program works is that after ITBA students complete 8 of the 10 semesters of their undergraduate degree, they are able to apply for the either the Master of Engineering or Master of Science in Engineering degree at Rutgers. The double degree program allows for reciprocal credit transfer, which means that participants may save up to two semesters and thus lower the total cost of obtaining their master’s degree.   Marcelo Meregalli Ferrer, Latin America Specialist at Rutgers Global, who coordinated the development of the new program, noted: “We have worked comprehensively with our colleagues to create an opportunity for ITBA students to obtain their degree from two top universities in two different countries in a streamlined way. And we’ve also built an effective model for Rutgers to create access, attract talent, and cultivate diversity with the best students from around the world.” Eric Garfunkel, Vice President of Rutgers Global, said: “This program with ITBA is one of several new efforts to significantly expand Rutgers’ engagement in Latin America. We believe the program will attract highly qualified students, help with our international recruitment efforts, and continue to grow the Rutgers brand throughout the region.” ITBA is a leading university in Argentina, specialized in engineering and technology teaching and research. “ITBA has a remarkable international profile; it is a member of the Engineering Exchange Network and has strong partnerships in the U.S. and globally, with extensive experience in double degree programs with European counterparts. We are grateful to be partnering with this institution,” Meregalli Ferrer said. Rutgers School of Engineering is among the top 50 engineering programs in the U.S. offering a strong academic program, hands-on learning, accessible faculty, innovative research, and the latest technology in the engineering disciplines.  Sebastián D’hers shared, “In thinking strategically about academics and professional practice, the combination of flexibility and specialization in this program is what we have envisioned for our students. A program that builds on cutting edge technologies is key to advancing our graduates’ future careers. We had been considering a program like this with Rutgers for some time, so we are ecstatic it has finally come to fruition.” Alberto Cuitiño added: “We are very pleased to be partnering with ITBA. Their excellent reputation extends to the students, and we look forward to welcoming them to our school where I know they will find a dynamic and connected community.” “Our goal is to expand agreements like this one with ITBA with select other leading universities in Latin America,” said Eric Garfunkel. “Co-developing articulation, transfer and exchange agreements, as well as research and educational partnerships, benefit both universities and, more importantly, the students engaged in these programs.” For more about international partnerships at Rutgers, visit our database. For more about the Latin America Initiative at Rutgers, visit this webpage.


Frienship Fridays: Crafternoon: Tie Dye

Friday, October 7th
4:00 pm
Location: 30 College Avenue, New Brunswick Friendship Fridays are a weekly event open to all Rutgers students, both domestic and international, from 4:00-5:00pm. Each week there will be a different theme where attendees can enjoy games, activities, and conversation - all while making new friends from around the world.   This week, stop by to make your own Rutgers Global tie dye t-shirt!  Arrive on time as supplies are limited.  Since we will be working with dye, make sure you wear appropriate clothing and shoes.    

World Food Day Screening: We Feed People Screening and Panel Discussion

Thursday, October 13th
7:00 pm
  Join us for a World Food Day Screening of We Feed People followed by a discussion led by Xenia K. Morin, Ph.D., SEBS  on Thursday, October 13 from 7:00 - 9:00 pm at the College Avenue Student Center - Multipurpose Room.  The co-Sponsors for this event are: Rutgers Global, SEBS Agriculture and Food Systems Program, RUCAFE, Rutgers Dining, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, SEBS Department of Human Ecology, Students for Environmental Awareness.