Thursday, March 25, 2010

Al Quds Palestinian Cognitive Neuroscience Team in Abu Dis, West Bank

Mark Gluck, Professor of Neuroscience at Rutgers-Newark, has long been involved in building research and educational links between Rutgers and Israel, especially with Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University, and Haifa University. Additionally, he has as organized several Israeli-Palestinian cooperative programs in brain research. More recently, he has been working in the West Bank Palestinian Territories with Al Quds University Medical School to create a Rutgers/Al Quds Brain Research Exchange in which Rutgers-Newark Neuroscience faculty and students work with Palestinian colleagues and students in the West Bank to study cognitive deficits related to Parkinson's disease and depression. For more information on Gluck's Israel programs, see

Pictured in the photos below: Mark Gluck with students

The new exchange with Al Quds University is described at:

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring Sports Retro Friday!

Maybe it's the downright balmy weather we've been having or the fact that it's spring break and my classmates and teachers alike are updating their Facebook pages with messages about travel and relaxation, or maybe it's because I just spent a few hours in the Dana Library thumbing through old Rutgers Newark yearbooks, but I'm feeling  a) like I need to go for a run outside after work today, and b) just a little nostalgic.

So I've dug out these old spring sport photos from our archives for your entertainment.

At left, baseball - unknown date.

Below:basketball, unknown date.

Runners on Bleeker Street (that's NJIT's Eberhardt Hall in the background). 1970s??

Tennis, anyone? This one's from Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries. Taken on Rector St. in the 1940s

Friday, March 12, 2010

GlassBook Project - new class, new collection

You might remember a previous post by student Samantha Glovin, who travelled to a Hollywood awards ceremony with the first collection of glass books last fall and is in the process of filming a documentary about the project.

This semester saw the official launch of the national GlassBook Project, which started a year ago at Rutgers-Newark, who is again leading the way by presenting the first of the state collections. This project looks at the sometimes misunderstood ways trauma survivors cope with their experiences and attempts to remove the stigma and stereotypes that we often associate with them. The NJ project focused on changed relationships after domestic violence, and the collection was unveiled on March 4. Student Alicia Velicky posted about it on her personal blog, veliquified, and has graciously agreed to let me use some of her photos and words.

Alicia writes in her blog: Being a part of this project, well first off, I feel privileged. It's been an interesting couple of weeks in making these glass books. In class we have heard and read many stories from survivors of domestic violence, and I'm sure everyone in class can agree, it's been very emotional. My heart is aching for all those survivors who went through things they should have never gone through. We made books out of glass from the survivor's point of view. The healing process is not an easy journey and we wanted to carry this understanding through these books so that the public will be more aware of this.

At right; Fishbowl, by Heriberto Maldonado 
from his Artist statement:  Have you taken the time to view a fish in its bowl? So peaceful and yet very confined. One may simply stare at such a marvel of life and even tap the glass to get the fish’s attention. Now place yourself in that bowl, along with those visible bruises on your face.

Sorry my baggage brings you down, by Professor Nick Kline

 Jenna Risano's piece

There are many more photos on Alicia's blog and the GlassBook Project Facebook group

Full disclaimer: I've been involved in the project from the beginning, creating a book for both the first class and this current one, so I'm far from unbiased on this one!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Sitar and Tabla Concert in Dana Library

Yesterday afternoon the Dana Library was filled with the sounds of sitar and tabla. Indrajit Roy-Chowdhury and Dibyarka Chatterjee performed an hour long set of classical Indian music. I took a few photos that Mary Grace Oania (who also took these awesome Homecoming photos last year) edited for me.

The concert featured what's called an afternoon raga. A raga is traditional Indian music going back thousands of years. There are ragas for each time of the day. I hope to have a video on our YouTube channel once it's edited and approved.

Indrajit and Dibyarka were really great and down to earth and they taught the audience a few things about the instruments and music. Did you know that the big bowl part of the sitar is not made from wood, but rather from a hollowed out gourd? And that the frets on a sitar move up and down for each tuning?

The tabla is just as fascinating. For one, it can be tuned. Dibyarka played it more like a piano than a percussion instrument; his fingers flying all over the place.

Similar to jazz, there is a lot of improvisation and conversation back and forth between the musicians, which was very impressive and seamless. And all the more amazing when we found out that while Indrajit and Dibyarka are both highly accomplished performers, this was actually the first time they'd ever played together.

This concert was part of the Arts at Newark series; the next concert will be the New York Scandia Quartet performing at the Robeson Gallery on March 31. (More details)