Just in time for the holidays, West Windsor Arts Council (WWAC) is offering a fused glass ornament workshop on Wednesday, November 24 at 3 p.m. at 952 Alexander Road in Princeton Junction. 

The class will be two hours long, during which participants will make three of their own inspired keepsake glass ornaments. The class will include hands-on instruction on how to design several ornaments for tack fusing, including cutting small pieces of glass and using a flame to shape glass stringers. The participants will glue their ornaments and fuse them together using a special kiln in the studio. The finished products will be returned to the students in 7-10 days, complete with a silver-plated bail for hanging on their Christmas tree.  more

The 8th annual Women Entrepreneurship Week (WEW) at Montclair State University was kicked off by cosmetics giant Bobbi Brown in conversation with friend and award-winning WNBC-TV reporter Tracie Strahan.

Brown was one of a dozen speakers who shared their stories of pivoting, as well as of failures and successes along their entrepreneurial journeys with the in-person and virtual audience. WEW is a global event, as students and attendees from 250 universities in 40 countries and 48 states participated this year, said Mimi Feliciano, a Montclair State University Advisory Board member for The Mimi & Edwin Feliciano School of Business and board member of the Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (FCE&I), which hosted the event. more

Image Source: https://www.mccarter.org

McCarter Theatre inaugurates its new series of three National Geographic Live Sunday afternoons featuring the world’s leading explorers, adventurers, writers, and photographers, bringing their work from the pages of the iconic magazine to the stage. It kicks off with Brian Skerry’s Secrets of the Whales, based on a Disney + channel TV special featured as part of its Earth Day observances this past April.  more

Professor Kate Crawford is a leading international scholar of the social and political implications of artificial intelligence (AI). Her work focuses on understanding large-scale data systems in the wider contexts of history, politics, labor, and the environment. Crawford will deliver a free public lecture at Princeton University’s McCosh 50 on Wednesday, October 27 from 5 to 6:15 p.m. Crawford will also be joined by Wendy Brown, a political theorist who works across the history of political thought, political economy, and critical legal theory. more

George School has announced that Anjali Amin ’22, Forest Ho-Chen ’22, Christian (Zachary) Kalb ’22, and Arshdeep (Arshi) Nagra ’22 have each been named National Merit Semifinalists in the 67th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

These four students are among 16,000 semifinalists throughout the country, each qualifying for one of the 7,500 available National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $30 million that will be offered in the spring. more

Join Morven Museum for a virtual evening with Wes Modes to reveal “A Secret History of American River People” on Thursday, October 28 beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tickets range from $10-15 and can be purchased online at https://bit.ly/3ETY44D. 

The painter and ornithologist Gerard Rutgers Hardenbergh lived and painted in a rustic houseboat along the shores of the Scow Ditch in Bay Head, New Jersey. For more than a century, shantyboat communities sprung up in industrial towns and out-of-the-way rural areas on rivers and lakes all over the continent.  more

New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) ranks in the top quarter of U.S. universities and colleges in the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings for 2022.

For the second year in a row, NJIT has earned a spot in the top 25 percent of universities, jumping another 16 spots from the 2021 rankings and an impressive 200 places since 2017. Additionally, NJIT is the second highest ranked public university in New Jersey among schools offering degrees in several disciplines, including business, engineering, architecture, and history.

“Since the ranking’s inaugural year, NJIT has steadily climbed the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education U.S. rankings,” said Fadi P. Deek, NJIT provost and senior executive vice president. “Our upward trajectory and improved standing is a testament to focused and strategic improvements we are making in our academic programs and faculty, and the positive feedback provided by our students.”  more

Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts has named award-winning photographer Jeff Whetstone as the new director of the University’s Program in Visual Arts. Whetstone has been a member of the visual arts faculty since 2015 and succeeds Martha Friedman, who has directed the program since 2016 and will return to teaching full-time.

Jeff Whetstone’s photographs and films imagine America through lenses of anthropology and mythology. His Post-Pleistocene series illuminates the depths of wild caves in Alabama and Tennessee where layers of human markings reveal millennia of cultural evolution. His ongoing New Wilderness project portrays a human-centric American wilderness and questions how human cultural connection to the wild is revealed in contemporary times. Whetstone’s artwork also investigates the role gender, geography, and heritage play in defining the human position in the natural world. A self-described biologist at heart, he explores the cyclical and evolving narrative of landscapes as a force that compels humans to adapt. His work varies considerably with each project, but always addresses the particularities of a place and explores interplay between geography and human experience. For Whetstone, the natural world is a cultural experience, and the built environment is firmly, yet problematically, situated within the web of nature. more

Lawrenceville is pleased to welcome the first class of Orion Military Scholars to the School, Rachel Deoki ’25 and Ben McCormick ’24. Lawrenceville is among the founding partners of the Orion Military Scholarship Fund (OMSF), teaming with select boarding schools to provide merit-based scholarships to children of active-duty U.S. service members. Deoki and McCormick’s fathers serve in the Army and Navy, respectively. 

Lawrenceville’s Dean of Enrollment Management Greg Buckles has worked closely with OMSF, which he called “an incredible resource.… We’re leveraging their expertise to help us find outstanding students we know will be a good match for Lawrenceville,” he said. more

Mapping the Future of TCNJ

By Wendy Greenberg | Portraits by Jeffrey E. Tryon

Dr. Kathryn A. Foster, who launched her own academic career as an undergraduate geography major, has found her place — as president of The College of New Jersey (TCNJ). She feels it was a good spot to land. “Taking this position was the best decision I’ve ever made,” she said.

Foster’s presidency seems to suit the school too. Nestled in a suburban setting in Ewing Township not far from well-known neighbors Princeton University and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, it could be easy to overlook TCNJ.

Yet the school formerly known as Trenton State College has amassed accolades. Among them, TCNJ is ranked the No. 1 public institution among regional universities in the North by U.S. News & World Report (fifth overall). Its 2006 awarding of a Phi Beta Kappa chapter by the prestigious national academic honor society cemented its status as a selective college. TCNJ maintains the seventh highest four-year graduation rate among all public colleges and universities, and it is ranked by Money magazine as one of the top 15 public colleges “most likely to pay off financially.” Under Foster, fiscal 2021 was one of TCNJ’s strongest fundraising years.

When visitors walk onto the campus with its landscaped walkways, green quadrants, and mix of stately Georgian red brick buildings (adjacent to a new commercial center with restaurants and a Barnes and Noble bookstore), “their jaws drop,” said Foster, who has updated buildings and infrastructure.  more

Makes top lists for theater, race/class interaction, and radio station 

Drew University has made The Princeton Review’s annual “The Best 387” nation’s top schools. Drew has made the list every year since its debut in 1992. 

The list, which includes only about 14 percent of the schools in the country, praised Drew for its 60-plus majors and minors, seven NYC semesters, top-ranked theater program, impressive science departments, engaging and dedicated faculty, and myriad research opportunities.  more

Join Morven Museum & Garden on Sunday, October 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a special workshop presentation with duck decoy Master Carver Jode Hillman. “The Art of Deception: Techniques and Theory of Creating a Three-Dimensional Black Duck Silhouette Decoy” will be an on-site class, held outdoors, masked, and socially distanced. All supplies and materials will be provided. Lunch will also be included from Brick Farm Market (selections to be made the week before class). Attendees are asked to dress for the outdoors and weather. Class size is limited to eight students.  more

Princeton University’s Fund for Irish Studies presents a conversation with award winning novelist, dramatist, and screenwriter Roddy Doyle led by scholar and critic Frintan O’Toole, co-chair of the series, on Friday, September 17 at 4:30 p.m. via Zoom. Princeton’s Howard G.B. Clark University Professor of the Humanities Paul Muldoon, co-chair of the series, will provide a welcome and introduction. The event opens the 2021-22 series, which will be virtual for the fall. The event is free and open to the public. 

Doyle has written 12 novels, including The Commitments; Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, for which he won the Booker Prize in 1993; The Woman Who Walked Into Doors; and, most recently, Love. His latest book, a story collection called Life Without Children, will be published in the U.S. in spring 2022. Doyle has written eight books for children. He has also written for screen and stage. He is the co-founder of Fighting Words, which aims to help Irish children and young people to discover and harness the power of their own imaginations and creative writing skills. He lives in Dublin.  more

Outdoor labyrinth provides opportunity to focus on spiritual well-being 

A new outdoor labyrinth is nestled behind the residential Witherspoon Apartments on Princeton Theological Seminary’s Charlotte Rachel Wilson Campus. Along with many helping hands, Student Life Resident Daniel Heath, MDiv ’20, dreamed of the idea and coordinated the design and recent completion of the labyrinth.

The previously unused space is now an ecofriendly gathering place for students and their families with a labyrinth at the center. At nearly 50 feet in diameter, it is one of the largest labyrinths in the Princeton area. more

State grants will increase student engagement and support academic progress.

Montclair State University will receive more than $1.4 million from the state of New Jersey to support programs that help to address the impacts of COVID-19 on postsecondary students. 

Gov. Phil Murphy and Secretary of Higher Education Brian Bridges announced the grants on July 12, with Montclair State among 35 public and public-mission private institutions receiving $30 million in state aid to implement vetted best practices that increase college completion, address barriers to student success, and develop sustainable systemic reforms.  more

On Sunday, September 19 from 10 to 11 a.m., join Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton for a wellness workshop led by Katie O’Brien. This outdoor, guided family-centric mediation promises to provide stress relief, relaxation, self-empowerment, and focus heading into the back-to-school season. Learn the art of mediation, a life-changing tool for many, which children of all ages can learn to practice with the support of a family member. 

Elements of sound, drumming, and vocal toning exercises will be incorporated with the intention to facilitate body awareness and mindfulness, followed by a fun and freeing movement meditation. This workshop is designed for children ages 5 and up and their adult caretakers. Admission is $25 for adults ($10 for members) and $15 for children ($5 for members).  more

There’s nothing like drawing in an even larger group of your community’s kids because of your community’s own generosity. 

Trenton Music Makers was honored to learn that it would be part of the cohort of grantees supported by the Trenton Arts Endowment Fund of the Princeton Area Community Foundation. The Fund will support the live 2021-22 opening of the after-school orchestra’s “Open Strings” project, begun online during the earliest days of the pandemic lockdown.  more

Princeton University

Be prepared for whatever the new school year brings with these fun and fitting gifts and accessories.

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As of August 2021, Drew University in Madison, N.J., has announced the addition of new majors in cybersecurity and statistics, as well as a dual-degree cybersecurity program with New York University. These new majors join an already robust selection of concentrations from the liberal arts college. 

The new major in cybersecurity will be available in fall 2021. The program will offer a liberal arts approach with flexibility through elective offerings for students to choose emphases in software, systems, or interdisciplinary contexts. 

Undergraduate degrees in cybersecurity are a rarity in higher education and the program’s liberal arts emphasis will further separate it from the few contemporary programs offered in the U.S.  more

Now through September 6, grab a prehistoric passport and join over 40 giant moving dinosaurs on a globetrotting expedition at Dino Safari, a completely drive-thru dino adventure for the whole family at Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus. 

Get up-close-and-personal with the most fascinating prehistoric creatures from the mighty T. Rex of North America to the giant amphibious Spinosaurus from Africa while you learn how dinosaurs evolved over time, where on earth they lived, and the discoveries paleontologists have made about how they ate, moved, and behaved.  more