Year in Review: 2014

Year in Review                                    
Fairleigh Dickinson University had a busy and big 2014! (Photos by Liz Farnan, Dan Landau, W. Scott Giglio and courtesy of Patricia Ukaigwe, Metropolitan Campus Student Athletic Advisory Committee, Jobin Mojtabavi and @y2shae)

By Kenna Caprio

The countdown to 2015 is on — but before moving forward, it’s time to look back at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s 2014:

  • Fifteen students at FDU’s Florham Campus traveled to Ecuador for a two-week long alternative winter break in January, living and working among the indigenous Shuar people. The group restored a local community and cultural center and taught English to local children. The Shuar people shared their culture, engaging students in traditional dances and celebrations. Thirteen students head back for winter break 2015 to continue volunteer efforts.
  • In Stevens Point, Wis., the Devils women’s basketball team won the 2014 NCAA Division III championship game against Whitman College (80-72) on March 22. With that win, they capped a perfect season at 33-0. The team, coaches and staff just received their championship rings and the Devils are currently 8-0 on the 2014-15 season.
  • Vancouver students competed at National Model United Nations in New York City, N.Y. and received the “Distinguished Delegation” award. The foursome represented the United Kingdom at NMUN, which ran March 30 to April 3.
  • For the first April photo-a-day Instagram challenge, FDU students submitted more than 500 entries. Photographs showing FDU spirit and artistic ability were submitted under the #myfdu. The hashtag is still in use by students generating FDU-themed content as the spring semester and the second annual photo challenge approach.
  • In May, activist and philanthropist Rachel Robinson, writer Joyce Carol Oates and engineering innovator and president of KAIST University in Korea, Sung-Mo “Steve” Kang, BS’70, received honorary degrees from FDU at the 71st Commencement. At the University’s Academic Convocation in September, Minna Proctor, creative writing faculty member and editor of The Literary Review, delivered the keynote address, “An Unconventional Education.” Faculty awards for teaching, service and research and scholarship went to Kent Fairfield, Paulette Laubsch and Khyati Joshi.
  • At Charter Day in June — the University’s 25th annual gala fundraiser, which raised $560,000 for scholarships — honoree Vincent Forlenza, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Becton Dickinson, announced a $1 million dollar gift from BD to FDU. The philanthropic donation supports the redesign and renovation of science laboratories at the Metropolitan Campus; undergraduate nursing scholarships and graduate fellowships for economically disadvantaged nursing students; and the sterile compounding lab at the School of Pharmacy. Prior to the dinner, six alumni were inducted into The PINNACLE Society.
  • Arriving in July, Andrew Rosman took over as dean of the Silberman College of Business. With more than 25 years of experience in business and education, Rosman says his vision is to integrate Silberman further with FDU’s University College: Arts • Sciences • Professional Studies, Maxwell Becton College of Arts and Sciences and Petrocelli College of Continuing Studies while also making the business college financially independent.
  • The Presidential Scholarship program expanded to provide full tuition on a merit basis to select incoming freshmen at both the Metropolitan and Florham campuses, with 39 new scholars starting classes at FDU this past fall. Previously, the scholarship was offered only to students attending the Metropolitan Campus.
  • Adding to their audio platforms last summer, WFDU-FM, 89.1, the radio voice of the University, started streaming on iHeartRadio. Now listeners can tune to 89.1, listen live on or stream the station on iHeartRadio, a smartphone and tablet app that allows users to stream digital and terrestrial radio stations from across the country.
  • FDU received a three-year grant from the United States Department of Justice to study the ongoing problem of sexual assault on college campus in September. The funding totals $1.3 million and brings together experts from across the country to work on the Campus Sexual Assault Perpetrator Treatment Pilot Project, which aims to indentify potential aggressors, treat perpetrators and support victims. Robert Prentky, psychology professor and director of the MA in Forensic Psychology program at the Metropolitan Campus, is the lead researcher.
  • FDU nursing faculty trained on a new and very pregnant patient simulator and infant manikin in September. In the coming spring semester, students will practice obstetrics skills and complete prenatal, postnatal and newborn assessments on these new patient manikins.
  • Students who have studied abroad at FDU’s Wroxton College in Oxfordshire, England voted on whether living at the Abbey is like a stay at Downton Abbey, Hogwarts or a fairy tale castle. No matter which fictional place and comparison captures their fancy, they agree it’s an experience like no other.
  • The inaugural season of the New Jersey Speakers Series, presented by FDU, debuted in late September with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright headlining the first event. NJSS brings esteemed world leaders, acclaimed authors and prominent individuals to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark for seven unique events. Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple and the third featured speaker at NJSS, stopped by the Metropolitan Campus for a Q&A and selfies with students and fans in November.
  • A new bronze statue of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. has taken up residence on the Metropolitan Campus. At a dedication ceremony in October, FDU President Sheldon Drucker, Bergen County officials and Bergen County Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument Committee members unveiled the seven-and-a-half-foot tall figure, by Richard Blake. King visited FDU twice — first the Metropolitan Campus on October 29, 1966. The following October, the civil rights leader visited the Rutherford Campus.
  • The United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) program held its first event in the J. Michael Adams Conversation Series, honoring the late FDU president, in October. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon paid tribute to Adams’ educational legacy at the start of the event. The series invites globally renowned scholars to speak and interact with the U.N. community on subjects of global significance and interest. The FDU-UN partnership continues on campus, too, as Hamid al-Bayati, former Permanent Representative of Iraq to the United Nations, teaches a class on the U.N. this spring at the Metropolitan Campus.
  • Members of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) and student-athletes at the Metropolitan Campus took a stand alongside celebrities, brands and organizations to help stop sexual assault on college campuses in a national campaign called, “It’s On Us,” this past November. They’ve encouraged all Metro students to do the same.
  • Patricia Ukaigwe, assistant professor of nursing, received a Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship this fall to expand her work with African nursing students to Ghana. On December 8, she arrived in Ghana for a three-week stint to write graduate curriculum — aimed at helping Ghanaian nurses take on leadership roles in the classroom and clinical areas — with her colleague Mary Opare at Central University College.