Interim Chancellor Philip Yeagle to Recognize Three from Rutgers University, Newark for Excellence in Research, Teaching, Service

Add This
Interim Chancellor Philip Yeagle

Two professors and the director of the campus writing program at Rutgers University, Newark, are the first recipients of  the Chancellor’s Excellence Awards this fall in appreciation of theirexceptional contributions to teaching, research, or service” at Rutgers-Newark. The three are:

Dr. Frank Jordan, Board of Governors Professor of Chemistry, Chemistry department, recipient of the Excellence in Research award; resident of Chatham, N.J.;

Dr. Paul Sternberger, associate professor of art history, Arts, Culture and Media Department, recipient of the Excellence in Teaching award; resident of New York City;

Jennifer Arena, director of the Writing Program at Rutgers-Newark, recipient of the Excellence in Service award; resident of Elmwood Park, N.J.


The Chancellor’s Excellence Awards were created by Interim Chancellor Philip Yeagle to “celebrate the many accomplishments of our faculty, staff, and students.” In announcing creation of the awards, he noted, “The Newark campus of Rutgers University is the home of excellence in teaching, excellence in research and excellence in service, second to none in all of Rutgers University. “  Recipients will receive a small grant supporting their work on campus.

Jordan, as the recipient of the research excellence award, will deliver a lecture entitled  “Rewards and Challenges in Developing and Maintaining a Competitive Research Program in Biological Chemistry at Rutgers-Newark.”  The talk will be at 4 p.m. on Nov. 29 in the Paul Robeson Campus Center, Essex Room, Room, 350 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.  This free event is open to the public.

Dr. Frank Jordan (Research Excellence) is the Rutgers University Board of Governors Professor of Chemistry, the highest faculty honor given by the University.  “In my opinion, Frank Jordan has been the most successful, internationally recognized and prominent scientist in the history of the department,” states department chair and nominator John Sheridan.  Jordan is considered the world’s foremost expert on the reaction mechanisms of the vitamin thiamine, or B1, a vitamin used by the body to break down sugars in the diet; his research specialty is the general area of enzymatic reaction mechanisms, especially those involving thiamine. Jordan holds three patents, has written more than 220 journal articles and reviews, and has presented his research at dozens of meetings and invited lectures.  He also has advised more than 100 undergraduate, doctoral and post-doctoral students.

Jordan earned his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and carried out postdoctoral research at the University of Paris, Sorbonne and at Harvard University. He has been on the faculty at Rutgers-Newark since 1970, his entire independent academic career. Jordan will give the Chancellor's Excellence in Research lecture on November 29 at 4pm.

Dr. Paul Sternberger (Teaching Excellence), is deputy chair, Arts, Culture and Media Department, and coordinator of art history.  Nominator and department chair Ian Watson calls Sternberger an “innov ative educator” whose approach to teaching, curriculum development, and mentoring, as well as his dedication, “both in and beyond the classroom,” have had a “major and lasting impact on his students.” Nominator Nick Kline, assistant professor, notes, “Paul’s positive impact on students comes from his love and expertise in his field…his being an advocate for the arts engaging with communities, his loyalty…and finally, Paul’s generous personality which is always giving, intelligent and supportive.” Sternberger’s contributions go “well beyond his required duties as deputy chair” because Sternberger “wants students to have a great education,” states Kline.

Sternberger received a Ph.D. in art history from Columbia University.

Jennifer Arena (Service Excellence), is both director of the Writing Program and president of the campus chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.  She currently serves as chair of the Core Curriculum Committee and the W riting Advisory Group. Arena is “a phenomenal educator, an inspiring leader, and an outstanding visionary for the (Writing) Program,” according to nominator Sherri-Ann Butterfield, chair, Department of Sociology and Anthropology.  According to Butterfield, ”Ms. Arena has transformed the Newark campus’ pedagogical approach to critical and analytical thinking, reading, and writing, which has significantly improved the competencies of Rutgers-Newark students.”

Arena earned her Bachelor of Arts in 1992 and the Master in Arts in 2000, both from Rutgers-Newark.  She was an Edward J. Bloustein and Garden State Distinguished Scholar.  Currently Arena is a doctoral candidate in Rutgers-Newark’s Program in American Studies.


MEDIA CONTACT: Carla Capizzi, 973/353-5263, or