Rutgers Honors Phylis Peterman For Her Public Service And Leadership To South Orange, Maplewood

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(Newark, N.J.)  — A South Orange resident, Dr. Phylis J. Peterman, was one of several members of the Rutgers community who were honored for excellence in teaching, research, and public service during a May 6 ceremony at the home of Rutgers President Richard L. McCormick. Peterman, an associate professor and chair of the Department of Social Work, Rutgers University, Newark, received the Rutgers College Class of 1962 Presidential Public Service Award. The award honors members of the faculty, student body, or staff for volunteer service to government, professional and scholarly organizations, or the public.

“I am honored to be the recipient of this award. It is gratifying to receive public recognition for what I feel is my duty as a professional and as a private citizen,” said Peterman.

Peterman was honored for her service as a member of the NJ Board of Social Work Examiners, her work with the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race, and her leadership of the South Orange Civic Organization. The Community Coalition describes itself as a “private nonprofit organization with a diverse membership of individuals who live and/or work in Maplewood/South Orange, coming together to sustain our towns as communities of choice for all.” The Civic Organization was an early advocate of fair housing practices, and for the past 39 years has presented an annual Martin Luther King Jr. remembrance, awards scholarships to local students, and contributes to other worthy causes.

Peterman also has been active with the South Orange-Maplewood Adult School, her church, Mt. Zion Baptist in Newark and the Dubois Scholars Program. A highly respected teacher and mentor, Peterman was awarded Rutgers’ highest honor for innovative teaching and mentoring, the Warren I. Susman Award for Excellence in Teaching, in 2001.

As a social worker, her special interests include mentoring relationships and communication skills, multicultural issues, and the church as a support network.

A Newark native, Peterman has been a South Orange resident since 1989. Peterman holds the B.A. from Howard University, the Masters in Social Work from Rutgers and the Doctorate in Social Work from Columbia University.