tcnj wordmark

Letters From the Dean

Check back here every Sunday for Dean Rifkin’s timely message to the School of Humanities and Social Sciences!

This Week  -  April 20, 2014

Dear Students:

I wish those observing a holiday today a beautiful celebration.  And for those not observing a holiday today:  I wish you a beautiful spring day, too.

The semester is hurtling to an end and I know that this is a time when it may seem as though the tasks that lie ahead are insurmountably large.  Take heart:  you can do it.  You have done it before and you will do it again.  Take a deep breath:  plan for your success, build in study breaks, map out your responsibilities in chunks of time.  Don’t skimp on sleep, exercise, meditation or prayer:  take care of your body and soul so that your mind can focus on the assignments at hand.

This week, from today through Saturday, April 26, is Trans* Awareness Week:  to that end, the bathrooms on the first floor of the Social Science Building and the bathrooms in Bliss Annex will be gender-neutral to raise awareness of the discomfort trans* and gender non-conforming individuals face every time they need to use the bathroom or other gendered spaces.  Flyers will be posted on the bathrooms as a reminder.




Benjamin Rifkin
Professor of Russian and Dean
The School of Humanities and Social Sciences
The College of New Jersey

Ranked #1 for Commitment to Undergraduate Education



Congratulations to the following students, who are among those HSS stars being inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor society for the liberal arts:  Teresa Akkara, Joana Arruda, Caroline Barone, John Birdsall, Betsy Blumenthal, Sarah Briguglio, Jacob Cafaro, Kevin Caprice, Dolores Cutler, Christine Devito, Olivia Froehlich, Kara Heininger, Mary Johnston, Elizabeth Kamel, Shannon Kane, Sophie Kay, Ethan Kisch, Matthew Knoth, Rachel Leyover, Holly Malerba, Loraine Megaro, Paul Mercandetti, Erica Morris, Aqeela Naqvi, Katrina Notarmaso, Brendan Owens, Samantha Pena, Susan Pereny, Lucas Pifano, Kayla Riddleberger, Gordon Sayre, Jessica Scardino, Zachary Schluger, Jessica Serpico, Erik Snyder, Jessica Sparano, Annica Tehlm, Nina Ventresco, Cynthia Walker, Caitlin Weisner, and Eneda Xhambazi.

Congratulations to alumna Sheila Callaghan whose new play Everything You Touch, is on stage through May 1 in Los Angeles.  It will be in New York in February of next year, so let’s look for it.



Mon., April 21            The last lecture in the Indigenous Speaker Series:  Marin Odle will be giving a talk entitled “Wild Hieroglyphics:  Native American Tatooing in Colonial North America” at 4 pm in Loser 106.

Tues., April 22          War of the Words IV:  Members of the Philosophical Society will be competing against members of the Society for Parliamentary Debate from 4:15 to 5:15 in the Social Science Atrium, with topics including dreams vs. reality, ductape vs. wd40, punishment vs. rehabilitation, fight vs. flight, with a bonus round (time permitting) of hide vs. seek.  Don’t miss it!

Wed., April 23           Translating Experimental Poetry:  The Politics of Poetics under Dictatorship in Argentina.  Reading and Talk by Molly Wiegel, award-winning translator of Argentine poets, at 5 pm in the Library Auditorium.