President's Report 2003-2004: Student Achievements

                                                          STUDENT ACHIEVEMENTS

Five students of New Jersey School of Architecture took top honors in the student divisions of the 2004 CADDIE Awards. Hector Camps, Akekarach Palbulkulsiri and Hyunsuk Kim took first, second and third place, respectively, in the graduate division, while Tom Senger and Victor Keto won first and second prize, repectively in the undergraduate division. All five are students of Stephen Zdepski, associate professor of architecture. In the 2003 competition, Manuel Millan took second place in the undergraduate division and tied for third place with Wai Lung Choi. View the winning designs.

Sponsored in part by Cadalyst magazine, the annual international competition celebrates excellence in digital imaging and presents awards in student and professional categories. NJIT has produced 25 CADDIE winners in the past nine years with 13 students of Zdepski, 11 students in the studios and classes of Glenn Goldman, and one student of Amado Batour.

The NJIT Student Chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) was honored with an Outstanding Student Chapter Award from the National AIChE organization. NJIT chapters have won 29 times in past 32 years, setting a national record. Angelo Perna, professor of chemical engineering, is the chapter advisor.

NACMEOrian Johnson and Deborah Wilson, both civil engineering majors, were chosen for the 2004 Malcolm Pirnie Internship Program through the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc. The scholarships include summer internships and mentorships in Malcolm Pirnie offices. The program is dedicated to increasing diversity in the environmental profession.

Thirteen architectural students were invited to exhibit their work at the 2003 ACM/SIGGRAPH conference last July in San Diego. Patrick Candalla, J.P. Hartanowicz, Maryam Katouzian, Peter Oliver, Scott Mahoney, Trevor Smith, Christiano Pereira, William Malmstedt, Ryan Day, Manuel Millan, Bernie Moran, Lucio Santos, and Tom Senger displayed work produced in the studios of Professor Glenn Goldman and Associate Professor M. Stephen Zdepski.

Nine students from the classes and studios of Julio Garcia-Figueroa, adjunct, Glenn Goldman and Stephen Zdepski were invited to show their work at the ACADIA conference last October in Indianapolis.They included: Chris Amelung, Thomas Hood, Patrick Candalla, Elliot Glassman,  John Murphey, Manuel Millan, Tom Senger, Christiano Pereira, and Ryan Day.

View samples of student work.


Sixteen NJIT student-athletes were named Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars for 2003, including: Monojir Ali, computer engineering, men’s tennis: Francis Chua, architecture, men’s tennis; Kevin DePaiva, management, men’s soccer; Jennifer Dorn, computer science and math, women’s swimming; Mario Douglas, industrial engineering, men’s soccer; Corina Guishard, mechanical engineering, women’s soccer; Miao Li, computer science and math, women’s swimming; Uma Phatak (in photo), biomedical engineering, women’s fencing; Paul Ray, professional and technical communications, men’s soccer; Donelle Small, architecture; women’s swimming; Cherno Cham, civil engineering, men’s soccer; Eliana Lara, civil engineering, women’s volleyball; Varun Oberoi, computer science and math, men’s tennis; Chevanese Samms, business, women’s volleyball; Catherine Santos, architecture, women’s volleyball; Jean Go, civil engineering, women’s soccer.


Housing Scholars for 2004 included: David Asfour, Christian Howell, Nicholas Hubert, LoriAnne Jones, Jessie Demar Lawrence, Seung Lee, Maribel Oquendo, Marilu Tibana, and Chien-Wei Peter Yeh. This honor is awarded each year by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs to a qualified group of service-oriented students. The students will receive salaries, training and complete internships in public sector jobs related to affordable housing.


A team of architecture students including Kyung Jang, Dan Halajian, Jiten Ragha, Bruce McConnell, Chad Coronato, John P. Hartanowicz, Vincent A. Iacono Jr., Mariusz Bando, Nelson Parada, Diane Chau, and Czarina Lao won first prize in the Masonry Day Design Competition. The contest, sponsored by The Masonry Contractors of New Jersey and co-sponsored by The International Masonry Institute, taught the students techniques not commonly encountered in design studios: how to spread mortar and lay brick.


Mechanical engineering students from NJIT took top awards during the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Regional Student Conference held recently at the City College of New York (CCNY). NJIT captured the first, second and third place in the conference’s National Design Contest. The teams won for designs of prototypes that can remove undetonated mines.

The first place team of Octavio Mena, Martin Isidro, and Shaun Wilson (in photo), also won a special award for the “Most Technically Creative Entry” in the contest and earned a spot in the ASME National Championship to be held this November in Anaheim, Ca. The second place team included Jason Gasparik and Angelo Conforti; the third place, Issac Nuss, Tim Madsen, and Ann Zemo.  For the second year in a row, NJIT also won the Ingersoll-Rand Contest, in which students write an annual report documenting the professional activities of their ASME student chapter.

NJIT students Lee Carlson and Trent Ward also took second place in the ASME “Old Guard Technical Oral Presentation” contest for a paper titled, “Design and Development of an Automated Flat Screen Monitor Mount.” The third place team of Jonathan King and Anthony Corcella won for a paper titled, “Redesign of the Transmission System of the Society of Automotive Engineers' All-Terrain Baja Car.” King and Corcella were given a special award for the technical excellence of their presentation.

The NJIT student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers won the 2003 Metropolitan Steel Bridge Competition held at Rowan University.

Dawn BennettDawn Bennett, who received her PhD in mechanical engineering in January 2004, was awarded an Emerald Honor for Student Leadership by Career Communications Group, Inc., publisher of US Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine, Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology magazine, and Women of Color Conference magazine. The award was presented at the Eighth Annual Women of Color Technology and Business Awards Conference, being held in Atlanta, Ga., which celebrates the often-unheralded contributions of minority women in research science and technology.


Biren Bhatt, engineering science major and student of Albert Dorman Honors College, was awarded a $26,000 scholarship from the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, one of the most coveted and competitive college scholarships in the nation. He was the first NJIT student ever to apply for a Truman, which ranks in the same league as the Rhodes Scholarship, the Marshall and the Goldwater. The Truman scholarships are awarded yearly to college juniors who plan careers in government or public service. Bhatt won the scholarship for his Truman policy proposal to eradicate tuberculosis from American prisons, and for working to improve public health in cities.


shawn chesterShawn Chester, mechanical engineering major, received the Academic Achievement Award from the northern New Jersey section of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and an award  from Sigma Xi, a scientific research society based in Research Triangle Park, N.C. The group awarded Chester a $1,000 grant to support his research at NJIT. Chester's research involves the science of separating materials. He will present a poster on his research project entitled, “Discrete Element Modeling of Granular Segregation Induced by Horizontal Vibrations,” at the American Association of Mechanical Engineering (ASME) Regional Student Conference held at the City College of New York.

jennifer dornJennifer Dorn, who was awarded bachelor’s degrees in math and computer science in May 2004, is a Bill Gates Millennium Scholar, an honor that allows her to attend any graduate school all expenses paid.


Christiano Pereira, architecture student, won first place in the 2003 Autodesk Design Awards - Student Division, for his project "Vellas - Kaua'i Conference Center and Resort.” This was a project created in a fifth year comprehensive design studio taught by Professor Glenn Goldman. View his designs.


Chris Schwartz was named Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Baseball Player of the Year. He went on to earn first-team all-state and second-team all-region honors, and was named team most valuable player for the third time. Schwartz led the CACC in triples (5), total bases (103) and slugging (.617) and finished second in home runs (8) and third in hits (59), while hitting .353 with 23 extra-base hits and 33 runs batted in. He is NJIT’s all-time leader in hits, runs, runs batted in, triples and homers.

Tara J. Siegel, who received a master’s degree in architecture from New Jersey School of Architecture in May 2004, was recently awarded the Frederick P. Rose Architectural Fellowship by The Enterprise Foundation. For the next three years, she will work with the Pratt Institute Center for Community and Environmental Development on projects based in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Swatee Singh, graduate student in electrical and computer engineering, received a prestigious Tau Beta Pi Fellowship for 2003-4.

Trent Ward, mechanical engineering major, won first place for a research presentation at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) student conference. During his presentation, Ward summarized the year-long research project he did with Professor Edward Dreizen, PhD, associate professor of mechanical engineering, Ward’s research focused on developing an efficient metallic fuel that can be used for rocket propulsion, explosives and pyrotechnics. His research was highlighted earlier this year in a paper published in the proceedings of the Materials Research Society. A second paper, co-authored by Ward, has been accepted for presentation during the 30th Symposium on Combustion.

Rahda Sai Yamarthy, a freshman biomedical student and an Albert Dorman Honors scholar, received the Outstanding Science Scholar Award  from the R&D Council of New Jersey.

Xi Min Zhang, a PhD candidate in electrical engineering advised by Professor Yun-Qing Shi, won the Visual Communications and Image Processing Best Student Award of the Society for Optical Engineering. His paper was titled, “Constant-quality, Constrained-rate Allocation for FGS Video Coded Bitstreams."