Rutgers PASCAL Center

Announcing the Rutgers PASCAL Center

The PASCAL International Observatory was established in 2001 to help decision-makers design regional development strategies that balance economic efficiency, social equity and environmental sustainability. PASCAL is a global alliance of researchers, policy analysts and practitioners drawn from government, higher education, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector and is designed to bridge knowledge gaps between cutting-edge researchers and policy makers.  

Rutgers University has been designated as the new regional center for PASCAL in North America. The Rutgers PASCAL Center has as its main focus STEM learning from early childhood through college and beyond. The research and development interventions will be place-based, affecting real people in real communities. The Center will offer policy guidance that enhances the probability of educational and labor market success for youth and will draw from faculty and staff expertise in human and social capital development from the various schools and departments across Rutgers University.

    The Rutgers PASCAL Center Vision

    The Rutgers PASCAL Center will raise the profile of the University and significantly enrich its international reputation by showcasing its research excellence and community engagement. 

    Specifically, the Center will:

    • Provide an international forum for individual faculty members to acquire higher visibility for their research 
    • Share technical expertise to aid in the production of research and development projects in the fields of natural resources planning, STEM education, environmental science, sustainable agriculture and life-long learning in these fields
    • Create a network of academicians and practitioners worldwide to exchange ideas and implement data-driven solutions in urban and rural communities
    • Develop important connections and collaborations for Rutgers faculty/staff with other individuals who are engaged in similar research endeavors in other countries
    • Provide opportunities for comparative research, with its attendant advantages of improving our understanding of problems and solutions across different social and economic settings, cultures and systems.

    Collaborations and connections developed through the Rutgers PASCAL Center are expected to result in successful joint grant-seeking efforts in Europe, Africa, Australia, Asia and North America with an embedded comparative component. 

    Anticipated collaborations will take the form of:

    • Designing and implementing nature-based programming for young children as a path to STEM higher education and careers
    • Designing and implementing school-to-work initiatives in the life sciences that can serve as a means of expediting careers in the natural sciences 
    • Inculcating sustainability values in elementary school children through the utilization of outdoor laboratories
    • Creating sustainable agricultural practices in countries struggling with food security
    • Supporting research that places emphasis on the importance of social capital accumulation 
    • Promoting each of the above projects in a fashion that facilitates life-long learning

    Faculty and staff interested in affiliating with the Rutgers PASCAL Center can contact Dr. Radha Jagannathan at

    A launch event is now scheduled for April 1, 2024 at Rutgers Global. Details to follow.

    Additional Information

    Rutgers PASCAL Center Personnel

    Radha Jagannathan, Center Director +

    Dr. Radha Jagannathan, Professor of Statistics, Edward J Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy, Rutgers University (Expertise in social capital, youth labor market, lifelong learning) Email:

    Bio: Radha Jagannathan is a Professor of Statistics in the Urban Planning & Policy Development Program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. Professor Jagannathan received a Ph.D. in Public Affairs from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, in 1999. 

    Dr. Jagannathan received Fulbright Scholarships to Germany (2010), Hungary (2014) and Finland (2023) to conduct seminars on policy analysis and use of econometrics at the University of Konstanz, Germany and the Central European University, Hungary; and to conduct comparative research on public education in Finland. She is the recipient of the 2010 Frank R. Breul Memorial Prize from the University of Chicago for her research published in the Social Service Review. She also received a DAAD Fellowship to the University of Konstanz in 2007, and the Jerome G. Rose Distinguished Teaching Excellence Award at Rutgers in 2007, and Excellence in Teaching & Mentoring from the School of Graduate Studies at Rutgers in 2019.

    Dr. Jagannathan’s main research interests are in the areas of youth (youth learning and development, school-to-work transition, labor market outcomes, accumulation of social capital) and governmental decision making. Her past research has examined the impact of welfare reform on women’s fertility behavior and their mental health, children’s living arrangements, poverty, and incidence of child abuse and neglect. These investigations have appeared in the Journal of Labor Economics, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Research in Labor Economics, Journal of Marriage and the Family, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, American Journal of Public Health, American Journal of Evaluation, Social Service Review, Child Abuse and Neglect, and Social Science & Medicine. Jagannathan recently completed two books for Oxford University Press, one that attempts to provide a decision making framework for U.S. child services that to make them more effective, and a second book that examines the transmission of values multigenerationally in European, Asian and North American families. Her most recent book for Bristol University Press examines youth labor market policies in Europe and America and provides policy solutions to high rates of youth unemployment in some countries. During her sabbatical year (2023-24) she has plans to complete two books on youth education.

    Jagannathan was also one of the principal architects of an EU-funded, 11-country youth unemployment study entitled Cultural Pathways to Economic Self-sufficiency and Entrepreneurship (CUPESSE) conducted in Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and Turkey .
    Collaborating with faculty from the School of Environment & Biological Sciences at Rutgers and funded by Johnson & Johnson, Jagannathan has also developed and implemented a nature/science exploration program called Nurture thru Nature (NtN) for New Brunswick elementary school students ( The program is designed as a classical experiment and has shown promise in increasing the science, math, and language arts grades of NtN participants relative to non-participating peers.

    Dr. Jagannathan’s current evaluation research involves assessment of youth employment programs in several U.S. cities sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Worldwide. 

    Her teaching interests include courses in statistics, econometrics and research methods and other substantive courses in the area of demography, community and international development, and poverty.

    Michael J. Camasso, Center Deputy Director +

    Center Deputy Director: Dr. Michael J. Camasso, Professor of Agricultural Economics, DAFRE, SEBS, Rutgers University (Expertise in social capital, child welfare, public welfare institutions and community development) Email:

    Bio: Michael J. Camasso is a professor of resource economics at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University, USA. He is a Fulbright Scholar, a DAAD Fellow, and a Bruel Prize Winner who has written 6 books, over 50 referred journal articles and more than 150 research reports. His clients have included Johnson & Johnson, Beneficial Finance, Dupont, MBNA, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He has taught courses in econometrics, business statistics, welfare-to-work policy, and cultural economics at universities in the U.S. and in Europe. His research has appeared in such journals as Risk Analysis, Journal of Labor Economics, Contemporary Economic Policy, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Research on Economic Inequality, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Research in Labor Economics, Social Service Review, and many others.

    He is the co-founder of the Nurture thru Nature program at Rutgers. His current projects include comparative studies of social and cultural capital across Europe and the United States with a focus on youth.

    Ron Quincy, Center Associate +

    Dr. Ron Quincy, Professor of Professional Practice, Bloustein School, Rutgers (Expertise in place management, governance and third mission) Email:

    Bio: Ronald Quincy is a Professor of Practice at the Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy, and Senior Faculty Fellow, Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Dr. Quincy teaches graduate & undergraduate courses in policy, planning, and management disciplines. He also teaches a popular course on leadership in the School of Arts & Sciences Honors Program. He founded two centers at Rutgers, including the Mandela Washington Fellows Civic Leadership Insitute. Ron has extensive executive level background in government, nonprofit, and higher education. He has served in the Cabinet of two Michigan governors; Special Assistant/White House Fellow, US HUD, and US State Department Foreign Affairs Advisor, (Africa Bureau). He served as Executive Director of the Martin Luther King Center, Atlanta Georgia, and Assoicate Vice President at Harvard University.  Ron is a member of several international boards in Sub-Saharan Africa and other regions.

    Dr. Quincy's research interests are social and economic justice. He is engaged in field research projects in South Africa, Ghana, Brazil, and Haiti. His most recent research with Rutgers colleagues is a national study on "Workplace Divided." A study sponsored by the Heldirch Center, and supported by the Urban Institute. Preliminary data suggest groundbreaking observations on the depth, breath, and scope of equity and bias in the American workspace. Dr. Quincy is working on a textbook on equity and social justice. 

    Andrea Restrepo-Meith, Center Associate +

    Dr. Andrea Restrepo-Meith, Assistant Professor, Urban Planning & Policy Development, Edward J Bloustein School of Planning & Policy Development, Rutgers University. Email:

    Bio: Dr. Restrepo-Meith joined the Bloustein School in September 2022. She was previously a postdoctoral fellow at Perry World House, University of Pennsylvania, where she worked on urban planning institutions and local climate change adaptation. She is a member of The Ralph W. Voorhees Center for Civic Engagement at Rutgers and the Galápagos Education and Research Alliance (GERA), a multi-institutional and interdisciplinary group of community members and university researchers working in Galápagos. Her research combines insights from urban planning, public policy and political science to examine the emergence and stabilization of urban planning and city management institutions that improve the equitable and sustainable provision of local public goods and basic services in cities in the Global South. She has a regional focus on Latin America and has also worked in Southeast Asia. She holds a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University, a MPP from the Lee Kuan Yew School, National University of Singapore, and a BA in Economics and International Relations from the State University of New York at New Paltz.

    Rich Novak, Center Associate +

    Dr. Rich Novak, Vice President, Division of Continuing Studies, Rutgers University (Expertise in lifelong learning and learning regions). Email:

    Bio: Dr. Novak currently serves as Vice President for Continuing Studies and Distance Education at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and is responsible for executive leadership for the Division of Continuing Studies (DoCS,, a complex system of continuing education units, distance learning support and programs, and off-campus learning facilities, offering credit and non-credit educational opportunities across the lifespan in face-to-face and online formats. The Division of Continuing Studies is the only university-wide department devoted to the needs of the lifelong learner. 
    Novak is also an associate member of the graduate faculty for the Rutgers Graduate School of Education, regularly teaching courses in educational technology and adult education. He is a Past-President of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (, the principal US organization for continuing higher education. He currently serves as editor of UPCEA Unbound, the online journal for the association. Novak has won several national awards for his leadership in both distance learning and continuing professional education.

    Dr. Novak oversees RutgersOnline ( He founded the Center for Online & Hybrid Learning and Instructional Technologies (COHLIT, now Teaching and Learning with Technology-TLT) to support faculty in the design, development and delivery of online and hybrid courses and to support students enrolled in these courses. He founded the Center for Continuing Professional Development (CCPD), dedicated to providing high-quality continuing professional development in a wide variety of formats in a wide range of topical areas for a wide range of diverse audiences.

    Mark Robson, Center Associate +

    Dr. Mark Robson, Dean of the Graduate School; Distinguished Professor of Plant Biology and Rutgers Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor (Expertise in global occupational and environmental health) Email:

    Bio: Mark Robson has a BS in Agricultural Science, and an MS and PhD in Plant Science from Rutgers University and an MPH in Occupational Health from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey – Robert Wood Johson Medial School. He also was awarded an honorary DrPH from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. His research includes the study of toxic effects pesticide and exposure reduction in New Jersey and globally.  

    Dr. Robson is the Dean of Graduate School at Rutgers and serves on many national and international health committees.  Mark has served as the Chair of the Public Health Standing Committee on the NJDEP Science Advisory Board (SAB), and as chair of the NJ Drinking Water Quality Institute.   Mark has over 180 peer reviewed papers, numerous book chapters and is the editor of the most widely used textbook in risk assessment for public health.  His many honors include a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Fellow of the Collegium Ramazzini and a Fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences. He serves as the Editor in Chief of The Journal of Human and Ecological Risk Assessment and is the associate editor of the Mindanao Journal of Science and Technology, the European Journal of Oncology, Occupational and Environmental Health, and the Journal of Higher Education Research Disciplines.

    Steven Barnett, Center Associate +

    Steven Barnett is a Board of Governors Professor and Senior Co-Director of the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University. His research includes studies of the economics of early care and education including costs and benefits, the long-term effects of preschool programs on children’s learning and development, and the distribution of educational opportunities. His best-known work includes: reviews of the research on long-term effects; benefit-cost analyses of the Perry Preschool and Abecedarian programs, randomized trials comparing alternative approaches to educating young children, and the series of State of Preschool yearbooks detailing state policies.

    Milagros Nores, Center Associate +

    Dr. Milagros Nores is the Co-Director for Research at the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER). Her expertise and interests are in early childhood development, data-driven policy development, evaluation design, equity, and English language learners. Dr. Nores currently leads evaluations in Colombia (South America), Philadelphia, Indiana, West Virginia, and New Jersey. Dr. Nores previously worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Taubman Center in Public Policy, Brown University, where she taught Education Policy in a Comparative Perspective and Economics of Public Policy. Dr. Nores also consults for various organizations in education projects in Latin America and Asia and she was appointed to a special commission of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine studying the Opportunity Gap for Young Children from Birth to Eight.

    Julia Sass Rubin, Center Associate +

    Julia Sass Rubin is the Associate Dean of Academic Programs, Director of the Public Policy Program, and an Associate Professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. She also is an Associate Visiting Professor at the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

    Dr. Rubin’s research interests include nonprofit and public organizations and processes, developmental finance, and the intersection of education policy and social justice.

    Dr. Rubin has advised a number of organizations, including the United States Small Business Administration; The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; the Appalachian Regional Commission; the Overseas Private Investment Corporation; and the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority. Prior to obtaining her PhD, she consulted for McKinsey & Company and worked in brand management for the Procter & Gamble and Eastman Kodak Companies.

    She earned her PhD and MA from Harvard University, an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School, and an AB with honors from Harvard-Radcliffe College. She was a post-doctoral fellow at the Alfred A. Taubman Center for Public Policy at Brown University and spent a year as a Henry Luce Scholar in Bangkok, Thailand.

    University Partners

    Edward J Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy +

    Established and approved by the Rutgers University Board of Governors in 1992, the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy serves as one of the nation’s key centers for the theory and practice of planning and public policy scholarship and analysis. With its graduate urban planning program ranked nationally, an accredited graduate public policy program, the undergraduate public health program ranked 4th nationally, and new research interests in health administration, public administration, and public informatics added more recently, the Bloustein School is committed to a rebirth of the public service ethic in the United States. The ethic focuses on place-based improvements and development of social capital like good civic design in its broadest sense including housing, transportation, workforce development, public health, economic development, ecological balance, social capital and social justice for the disadvantaged.

    Department of Agriculture, Food & Resource Economics (DAFRE), School of Environmental & Biological Sciences +

    The Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS) powers the university's robust exploration of sciences. The school is affiliated with Rutgers' New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and its strong research and community outreach programs across New Jersey and around the world. DAFRE supports society's need for economic analysis and business management in the areas of agriculture, food, resources, and the environment, is strongly related to community outreach and place-based improvements in local businesses, communities and the lives of people in New Jersey and beyond. The Department’s mission includes achievement of scholarly excellence in economic research on emerging issues unique to a urban/suburban environment, provision of continual, strong, high quality support for stakeholders in analyzing, planning and facilitating adjustments to urbanization, and fostering of strong ties with community institutions and stakeholders nationally and internationally. 

    Rutgers Division of Continuing Studies +

    The Division of Continuing Studies (DoCS) is the sole university-wide unit at Rutgers dedicated to the mission of lifelong learning. DoCS enriches lives and communities by providing lifelong access to progressive, learner-driven education. Grounded by its New Jersey roots and its support for Rutgers faculty and staff, DoCS seeks to meet learners wherever they work and live, both in the classroom and online.

    Graduate School of Education +

    The Rutgers University Graduate School of Education (GSE) is dedicated to the study and improvement of education. The creation of knowledge about teaching and learning is central to our mission. We seek to ensure that all children and adults have access to high quality educational programs. As such, our work addresses the cognitive, social, organizational, cultural, linguistic, developmental, and policy dimensions of education. Our instructional programs are designed to produce graduates who become effective educational practitioners, transformative educational leaders, and accomplished educational researchers. Our partnerships and service contributions focus on New Jersey but extend to both national and global communities.

    Additional Information

    More about PASCAL +

    PASCAL works with members and clients to build place management partnerships that generate evidence-based policies and practices, and is guided by three priorities:

    • Place Management: Coordinated, multi-stakeholder efforts improve life in cities and geographic regions by drawing on all available assets: built, cultural, financial, human, natural, political and social.  Because cities and multi-jurisdictional regions have become drivers of the new economy, and are vital actors in enacting the sustainable development goals, it is important to think, act, learn and measure in new ways and diverse contexts.  Place matters: where we live shapes how we live.  
    • Social Cohesion: Cities and neighbourhoods are becoming more diverse. Socially Inclusive networks that expand social capital and increase equity increase the range of creative inputs needed for innovation.  Cities and regions that pursue inclusive internal collaboration are better able to compete in the global economy.  People matter:  how we live shapes where we live.  
    • Learning Cities and Regions: Internally collaborative cities and regions facilitate lifespan learning and knowledge sharing.  Learning drives innovation and development.  Learning matters: how we learn shapes how and where we live.