Spring 2010 Colloquium Series

Spring 2010 Colloquium Series

All Colloquia are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. More information, Colloquia and Study Tours will be added, so please check regularly for any additions or changes.


January 27, 2010
2:30 - 4:00 p.m.
Campus Center Ballroom A
Newark’s History as Microcosm as seen through the Built Environment
Jeffrey Bennett

Jeffrey Bennett, a local native, is a graduate of the University of Chicago.  He has been showing people the hidden side of Newark since 2006 through his website www.newarkhistory.com and periodic walking tours.  He has also been a teacher of history and is currently a librarian in Union County.

Newark, the United States’ third oldest major city, is a microcosm of the American Experience.  Every major development,  trend, battle and triumph in American History has some tangible memento in The Brick City.   From quaint farmhouses to enormous public housing projects, from white-steepled churches built by the descendents of Pilgrims to Baptist churches housed in Moorish former synagogues, from Neoclassical skyscrapers pre-WWI to fortress-like office buildings built post-1967, Newark has something to represent virtually every phase in American history. 

Perhaps nothing better illustrates Newark’s layers of history than its architecture.  Just pausing to read old inscriptions can give the observer clues to the ethnic and economic palimpsest that is Newark.  A building that today is a church may have once been an African-American hospital; what today is a clothing store may have once been a German newspaper; edgy art galleries are in former furniture stores; and, increasingly common, luxury housing is in former office buildings and factories.

This colloquium will have as its objectives the development of a deeper understanding of American history and a new appreciation for Newark’s built environment.  “Chapters” in Newark/American history will be based around houses, churches, factories, mansions, office buildings, hotels,  etc.,  that somehow illustrate an important phase in Newark or national history.  Through architecture Newark’s history is visible, multilayered, and accessible for anyone who is interested. 

February 3, 2010
3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Jim Wise Theatre
Classically Black
Richard Alston
Professor of Music
Essex County College

Richard Alston is deeply committed to sharing music as a distinguished pianist and educator, and classical works by composers of African descent are a specialty in his extensive repertoire. On February 3 at NJIT, he will perform and offer commentary on selections from the music of artists such as Joseph Boulogne - Chevalier de Saint Georges, Scott Joplin, R. Nathaniel Dett, Florence Price, Margaret Bonds and George Walker.

After earning his bachelor’s at The Juilliard School, Alston was awarded the prestigious Maria Guerra Judelson Scholarship in piano to return to Juilliard for his master’s. He then embarked on a career in both classical piano performance and performing arts education. His performance credits range from live opera and recitals to radio and television broadcasts as well as recordings.

Under Alston’s direction as assistant professor of music at Essex County College, the school’s associate’s degree program in music has flourished to become a full-fledged performing arts department of music, dance and drama. Highlights of his contributions to the department consist of a program that allows high school students to audition for opportunities to study at the college level, and the development of courses in musical computer technology marked by the construction of a new technical music lab.

Alston is also a member of the faculty at Rutgers-Newark, a member of the Board of Music Advisors for Westminster Choir College’s Educational Opportunity Program and a former member of the Music Advancement Program faculty of The Juilliard School. In addition to balancing his educational and performance commitments, Alston makes time for a variety of volunteer community programs through his role as Minister of Music at Church at the Crossroads in East Orange, New Jersey. He is also the founder of the Crossroads Music Academy in East Orange.

Co-sponsors: NJIT Technology and Society Forum Committee, NJIT Educational Opportunity Program, Sigma Xi.

Postponed Date will be Announced

Passing the Torch of Knowledge
Networking with Alumni

The Colloquium offers honors students an unusual and valuable opportunity to interact face to face with individual alumni of the Dorman Honors College.

Why unusual and valuable? Because we have invited Honors alumni and alumnae who would like to share their wide experience with you and whose professional careers are in fields of interest to a whole number of you:  medicine, law, engineering, science, management and architecture. These men and women who studied at NJIT will each sit at a separate table with their names and areas of specialty clearly posted. So, it is completely up to you to choose at which table you would like to start networking – there will also be opportunities to move around to other tables during the event.

You can ask the alumnus or alumna at your table of choice, for instance, to explain how their education at NJIT has helped them personally in their professional development and careers.  You may also want to ask their advice on what would in their view be the best steps you should take now  while still a student to enhance your own career prospects.  Whether there are certain other outside interests you should cultivate and whether experience in other countries and knowledge of other languages would make you more attractive to future employees are other examples of the many subjects you could discuss with them.  Incidentally, the Colloquium can also help you to widen your network of professional contacts for the future, another advantage not to be underestimated. 


February 24, 2010
3:00 PM-4:30 PM
NJIT Campus Center Atrium



Haiti: grassroots technology and educational empowerment
Sarah Brownell
Co-founder, Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods

The recent earthquake in Haiti — the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere — has compounded centuries of suffering rooted in slavery, political oppression and economic exploitation. Historically, many in Haiti have lacked elementary education, jobs and health care — even necessities such as clean water, enough food and adequate sanitation facilities.

In her special Technology and Society Forum presentation, Sarah Brownell will share a more positive vision for Haiti. Through community empowerment that encompasses education, international exchange and simple technologies, grassroots organizations in Haiti are exploring alternatives that protect both human health and the environment.

Brownell, co-founder of Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL), will discuss initiatives that enable people to choose the life-saving technologies most suitable for their communities. These initiatives encourage the exchange of ideas among individuals educated in universities and those trained on the land, and collaboration with women’s groups, peasant organizations and youth groups that make it possible for appropriate technologies to benefit the poorest slums and remotest villages.

An advocate of empowerment through technology, Brownell has a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology and a master’s in environmental engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. She was on the Berkeley team that created a low-cost ultraviolet water treatment system for developing countries and was active in Engineers for a Sustainable World. At Berkeley, she also became very interested in the concepts of Popular Education and Participatory Research, now basic to her work in Haiti. Since 1994, Brownell has been affiliated with the Catholic Worker movement, living and working as time allows with the poor and homeless at St. Joseph’s House of Hospitality in Rochester, New York. In Berkeley, her commitments included serving on the Dorothy Day House Catholic Worker board and volunteering with Night on the   Worker to provide meals for the homeless. She first volunteered in Haiti in 1998, working on ultraviolet water treatment, solar power and sanitation projects until 2006 when she helped to found Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods.


March 4, 2010
7:00 p.m.
Jim Wise Theatre
NJIT Campus
The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: A Musical Thriller

Sweeney Todd,  the Demon Barber of Fleet Street was a happily married barber in London.  His beautiful wife, Johanna attracted the local corrupt judge's attention and he had the barber convicted of a bogus crime and sent to foreign shores.  The musical starts as the barber returns to revenge the judge and find his daughter whom the judge wants to take as wife.  Under the assumed name, Sweeney Todd falls into company with Mrs. Lovett, who makes pies and has a strong infatuation for Todd.  One thing leads to another and the duo contrive not only a method to rid the neighborhood of corrupt individuals, but to further Mrs. Lovett's business in the process.  Rather gory and always fun. 

March 10, 2010
3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Campus Center Ballroom A

Annual Lillian Gilbreth Colloquium

The Global Water Crisis
Maude Barlow
National Chair, Council of Canadians
Senior Advisor on Water to the President of the United Nations General Assembly

Besides being the National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and Senior Advisor on Water to the President of the United Nations General Assembly, Maude Barlow also chairs the board of Washington-based Food and Water Watch and is a Councillor with the Hamburg-based World Future Council. Maude is the recipient of eight honorary doctorates as well as many awards, including the 2005 Right Livelihood Award (known as the “Alternative Nobel”), the Citation of Lifetime Achievement at the 2008 Canadian Environment Awards, and the 2009 Earth Day Canada Outstanding Environmental Achievement Award. She is also the best selling author or co-author of 16 books, including the recently released Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and The Coming Battle for the Right to Water. 

The global water crisis now poses the greatest threat to human rights of our time. Close to three billion people have no running water within a kilometer of their home and every eight seconds a child dies of water borne disease. these deaths are totally avoidable.  Maude Barlow will present her analysis of the ecological and human water crisis before us and her solution for a water secure future based on the core of principles of watershed restoration, water as a public trust and the human right to water.

Co-Sponsored by NJIT Technology and Society Forum.

March 16, 2010
(during spring break)

Study Tour of FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center, Atlantic City, NJ


The FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center is the nation’s premier aviation research and development, and test and evaluation facility. The Technical Center serves as the national scientific test base for the FAA. Programs at the Technical Center include testing and evaluation in air traffic control, communications, navigation, airports, aircraft safety, and security. They also include long-range development of innovative aviation systems and concepts, development of new air traffic control equipment and software, and modification of existing systems and procedures. The Technical Center not only serves as a cornerstone for aviation advancements, but is also a key focal point for Homeland Security. You can learn more about some of the programs at the Technical Center by viewing videos at: http://www.tc.faa.gov/TC_videos.html    and to learn more about last year’s visit to the FAA Technical Center see the article published in Inside the Fence.

Here are a few comments by students who have taken part in the Study Tour:

• “I think the tour was excellent and have no suggestions on how to improve it.  The people there were very nice and very welcoming.  No matter how many questions we had, they were always helpful and genuinely wanted us to enjoy ourselves.”

• “I was surprised how much I learned on this tour.”

• “The experience in a nutshell was one of a kind.” “I actually never knew the Government did so much work to protect the citizens of the U.S.  It was very reassuring as well as informative.” “The study tour gave me a once in a lifetime opportunity to personally experience what it is like to work with new and cutting-edge technology."

• The study tour gave me an idea of life after years of study.”

• “Even though my future career plans are related to medicine, I found viewing the lab testing equipment used by the FAA exciting.”

• “After the tour of the FAA, I became aware that the government not only conducts research but is a pioneer in some of its research.  I am definitely considering a career doing research for the government upon graduation.”

As space is limited, please register for the course early. (honors@njit.edu  and pjdine@njit.edu)


March 18, 2010
(during spring break)

From Drawing Board to Finished Arena ─ An Inside Look at Prudential Center, Home of the NJ Devils 


Prudential Center is the cornerstone in the revitalization and renaissance of downtown Newark. In addition to the arena, Newark will soon add scores of condominiums, restaurants, themed bars, and mixed retail establishments. Prudential Center will be recognized among the finest arenas in the country and is New Jersey’s home for hockey, college basketball, indoor soccer, concerts, family shows and special events. A public/private partnership between the City of Newark and Devils Arena Entertainment made the $375 million Prudential Center a reality that is changing the face of downtown Newark and making it a destination place for sports and live entertainment in the region. The Prudential Center hosts the NHL’s New Jersey Devils, Seton Hall Men’s Basketball, MISL’s New Jersey Ironmen indoor soccer team, concerts, family shows, and NJIT events as well as other professional, collegiate and amateur sporting events. Tour agenda includes:

• Tour of the facility with a focus on the architecture, construction, amenities, and technology.

• Discussion of the business plan – capital, facility and operational expenditures, and revenue.

• Why did the Devils’ organization choose Newark and how do they envision the Devils’ future and its impact on the greater Newark community?


March 24, 2010
2:30 - 4:00 p.m.
Campus Center Atrium
Black & White Strike Gold
Sandi Webster & Peggy McHale
Founding Directors of Consultants 2 Go

Sandi Webster is one of the principals of Consultants 2 Go, marketing company to Fortune 500 corporations and mid-size companies. As such, she has spent years advising clients on the latest trends and strategies in marketing. She has over 20 years of experience and has managed all facets of new product launches, created and executed national direct mail campaigns, website launches and telemarketing programs. Her career spans American Express, Saks Fifth Avenue and the NYC Board of Education. She holds an MBA in marketing and belongs to organizations including National Association of Women Business Owners, National Association For Female Executives and the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce.

Peggy McHale, also a principal of Consultants 2 Go, is a marketing guru acquiring her extensive senior management experience starting in telecommunications at AT & T, and ending an impressive corporate career as a vice president at American Express. She has developed marketing campaigns with wireless companies, credit card issuers, banks, insurance firms, and deregulated energy companies. Currently, Peggy is focused on building Consultants 2 Go into a noteworthy company that provides experienced, affordable marketing consultants. She has an MBA in finance and is a member of the New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners, New Jersey Technological Council and Women's Presidents Organization. She is passionate about helping small business owners to grow their own businesses to the next level.

The Colloquium will take the form of a panel discussion. Peggy McHale and Sandra Webster will be joined for the discussion by Judith Sheft, who is the associate Vice President and manages the technology and business incubator at NJIT.

Topics they will cover include:

1) How to get started.

2) What Business structure makes sense for you

3) Mistakes women make when they own their own business

4) Blending work and family

5) The secrets of networking

The Colloquium will also be sponsored by the NJIT Enterprise Development Center [EDC] and Consultants 2 Go.

March 31, 2010
2:30 - 4:00 p.m.
Campus Center Atrium
Capitalism without Guilt: The Moral Case for Freedom
Yaron Brook
President & Executive Director
Ayn Rand Institute

Yaron Brook is president and executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute. He is a contributing editor The Objective Standard and has contributed a series of columns to Forbes.com. A former finance professor, Dr. Brook’s commentary has been published in academic as well as popular publications, and his opinion-editorials appear in major newspapers. He is frequently interviewed on national TV and radio. Dr. Brook lectures on Objectivism, business ethics and foreign policy at college campuses, community groups and corporations across America and throughout the world.

No one disputes that capitalism leads to wealth generation, yet it has always functioned under a cloud of moral suspicion.  In a culture that would rather regard people like Mother Teresa as paragons of virtue, businessmen generally have to remain stoically silent because their pursuit of profits is regarded as selfish greed, especially in the context of today's recession.

Society as as whole expects business to sacrifice, serve others and to give back - fully accepting that self-interest is a crime against morality.  It is no wonder that productive giants like John D. Rockefeller to Bill Gates have behaved as if profit-making is a moral stain that only tireless philanthropy can certainly launder but never fully remove.

It is high time for America to also hear the moral case for laisser-faire capitalism.  Two centuries ago the Founding Fathers established a nation based on the individual's rights to life, liberty and property--and the self-centered pursuit of one's own happiness.  But neither the Founders nor their successors have been able to defend self-interest and the profit motive in this climate of moral denunciation.  In the speaker's view, this has led to a slow whittling away of freedom in America.

In his Colloquium, Dr. Yaron Brook will show how Ayn Rand's revolutionary ethics of rational self-interest supplies the moral foundation that advocates of capitalism have so far lacked. Dr. Brook will explain why individual rights are crucial for the survival of capitalism -- how productivity and profit, dismissed as selfish greed by many, are in this view not vices but cardinal virtues.  In his view, Americans should reject the style of "national service" embraced by both McCain and President Obama and instead fully embrace the radical individualism their lives and happiness require.

For more information and to prepare for the Colloquium, you can also consult the following websites: http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=education_campus_index and  http://aynrandnovels.com.

April 7, 2010
2:30 - 4:00 p.m.
GITC 1100

Life after Recession - Think Outside The Box
J. Robert Hillier
of Princeton,
Regional Chamber
of Commerce

J. Robert Hillier is among the rare architects in how he brings together, in elegant balance, both design excellence and business acumen. Beginning as a solo practitioner in Princeton in 1966, Bob built his practice on the foundations of client-focused service and design excellence and turned it into one of the largest, most respected architectural practices in the United States. Bob parlayed his business sense into a design specialty – the firm became an established leader in the design of major corporate campuses for clients including Beneficial, GlaxoSmithKline, Wyeth, Sprint and Capitol One. Hillier Architecture has accumulated over 300 design awards over the past four decades, and along the way, Bob received his own share of accolades for business acumen, leadership skills and contributions to the profession. He was named New Jersey’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” by INC Magazine, has received the “Innovator of the Year” award from the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce, and was awarded the first DaVinci Award for Excellence in Leadership from the Professional Services Management Association. In 2006, the American Institute of Architects, New Jersey Chapter recognized the firm’s contributions to the art and practice of architecture by naming Hillier Architecture “Firm of the Year”.

An indefatigable entrepreneur, an advocate for open space and a mentor to many, Bob sits on many Boards and has taught for 17 years at the school of Architecture of Princeton University, from which he received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees. Through his activities as both architect and developer, Bob has preserved over 300 acres of land in New Jersey; contributed to the supply of affordable housing in the state by transforming abandoned properties into residences; and helped preserve the state’s architectural heritage by resurrecting historic buildings. Bob’s deeply held convictions about the role architecture plays in shaping the human experience earned him an invitation to speak at the United Nations in 2006.

In 2007, Hillier merged with RMJM Group, an Edinburgh-based international architectural design practice, to form RMJM Hillier, to create one of the largest practices in the world. In August of 2009 he established a new business dedicated to land use strategies and execution which is an outgrowth of an independent development company he has operated since the 1970's. The company is responsible for almost two dozen projects in the Princeton region and has 12 new projects underway.

A Brief Overview on this Colloquia, With the economy in a trough, and with there being concerns that this may be a “double dip” recession, what will be out there to greet you in the job market when you graduate?  In many cases, the answer may be “not much”. 

Instead of looking for a job, now may be the time to think about making your own job.  Sure there’s a risk, but the rewards could be huge.  In a fast 45 minutes full of pointers on how to promote the brand called YOU, you can step outside the box this recession has put you in and set a new course based on your leadership, your entrepreneurship, and your skills. 

You just might come out of this Colloquium understanding what “just do it” really means.  There’s nowhere to go but UP!

Bob is also the majority owner of Princeton Magazine and Princeton's leading newspaper, Town Topics. He and his wife Barbara have also created a highly-regarded Internet Magazine.

In January of 2010 Bob assumed the Chairmanship of Princeton's Regional Chamber of Commerce

April 10, 2010
EDC at 211 Warren Street, Newark, NJ 07103
9:00 – 12:00


Jerry Creighton, Sr., MBA
Small Business Advocate & Executive
Director of the Enterprise Development Center at NJIT

Jerry is a champion for advancing entrepreneurship and an advocate of promoting small business initiatives as a major driver for economic success.  He encourages others to have an entrepreneurial mindset and to develop ideas and ways to participate in an entrepreneurial world. 

Jerry has an extensive background with early stage and top-tier companies in management and consulting spanning multiple facets of strategy development, operational management, finance, and venture transaction planning and implementation. His background includes business planning, mergers & acquisitions, joint venture integration, financial services, marketing, operations and sales support.

Jerry’s career includes business ownership, angel investments and key management assignments with major international companies such as AT&T, Lucent Technologies and Deutsche Telekom / T-Systems, as well as consulting engagements for start-up / early stage companies and for a merchant bank involved in buyouts and roll-ups.

The EDC at NJIT is now the largest high-tech new business incubator in the USA with 95 portfolio companies. Jerry will discuss the entrepreneurial mindset and the dynamics that make ventures of this type successful.

 Jerry has Board of Directors and Advisory Team experience. He earned his Bachelors Degree and his MBA from Widener University.                     


April 12, 2010
11:30 - 1:00 p.m.
Campus Center Ballroom A
Cyber Threats & Defense - Warfare/Terrorism, Criminal & End Users
Dennis Brixius
Vice President, Risk Management and Chief Security Officer
The McGraw-Hill Companies

Dennis Brixius joined The McGraw-Hill Companies as Vice President and Chief Security Officer in January 2004.  In this role, Dennis is responsible for establishing a complete information security program to limit technology-based security problems, protect the McGraw-Hill intellectual property rights, ensure business continuity and protect the privacy of our customer