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The Executive Dean's Message is a service of the SEBS and NJAES Office of Communications.

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Dear Cook Community,
Several recent national and international awards served to remind us of the outstanding scholarship by Rutgers faculty members who are affiliated with the school and experiment station.

Mark Robson (Entomology; Dean of Urban and Agricultural Programs) became the latest faculty member from the school to be elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Fellows of this top national scientific association in the U.S. are members who are "recognized for meritorious efforts to advance science or its applications" by their AAAS peers.

Rutgers presently has 57 faculty members who are AAAS Fellows; eight faculty members from the school in the past five years were elevated to the rank of Fellow (Anthony Broccoli (Environmental Sciences) and Bingru Huang (Plant Biology and Pathology) in 2012; Karl Nordstrom (Marine and Coastal Sciences) and Barbara Turpin (Environmental Sciences) in 2011; Alan Robock (Environmental Sciences) and Joanna Burger (Cell Biology Neuroscience; Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources) in 2009; and Barbara Zilinskas (Plant Biology and Pathology ) in 2008).

Internationally, the Japan Foundation announced that in April its 2013 Japan Prize will be awarded to Fred Grassle, professor emeritus of marine science and founding director of the Rutgers Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences. The foundation honors work in scientific fields not usually recognized by the Nobel Prize. This year, Grassle will be honored for his decades of work in improving knowledge of ocean life, including a 10-year effort he led to develop a Census of Marine Life. Over 2,700 scientists in 80 countries were involved in the census, which has so far documented more than 1,000 new species, aims to catalog everything living in the ocean, its abundance, and location.

Joachim Messing, director of the Waksman Institute of Microbiology, has been recognized by the Wolf Foundation of Israel as the winner of its 2013 Wolf Prize in Agriculture for developing a technique for genetically engineering plants that lead to disease-resistant crops-and offering his discovery to the world as a way to end hunger. At a recent reception honoring Messing, President Bob Barchi said of the Wolf Prize, "It's fitting that it goes this year to Dr. Joachim Messing, a brilliant scientist and the director of an institute at Rutgers that bears the name of our Nobel laureate, Selman Waksman." As executive dean of agriculture at Rutgers, I was honored to nominate Messing for the Wolf Prize because I was convinced that his impact on agriculture globally and his contribution to the world deserved the highest recognition.
This wealth of first-class scholarship and research at New Jersey's flagship public university has dramatically increased with the integration of Rutgers and UMDNJ. The prospects for even greater impact on our state, our nation, and globally should galvanize our collective efforts here at the school and experiment station.

Passion Puddle in winter
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