By Taylor Smith 

New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is frequently recognized as one of the nation’s top public colleges for animation, as noted in the 2019 Animation School Ranking published by Animation Career Review. 

Central to this distinction is NJIT’s B.A. in digital design with two tracks: entertainment and interactive media/production. Both programs offer undergraduate students experience in character design, color and composition, game modification, acting for animators, character development, and technology.  more

By Taylor Smith 

A host of summer classes at Seton Hall University in South Orange can help high school, college, and graduate students meet their academic and future graduation goals. The Department of Continuing Education and Professional Studies’ Summer Sessions will begin on May 21 and run through August 8. more

By Taylor Smith 

Want to develop your creative craft or pen that novel that’s been living inside you? Do you have a passion for painting, drawing, sculpture, or film? Are you considering a teaching career in the arts? We’ve rounded up some top Master of Fine Arts programs in the Northeast that can add an extra spark to your resume and potentially help you to make that career change or land the job you’ve been dreaming about.

Columbia University
Location: New York City
Program: Applicants apply to either painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography, or “new genres.”
Length: 2 years
Famous Faculty: Nicola Lopez, Sanford Biggers, Gregory Amenoff, and Kara Walker.
Selling Points: If location is a determining factor, it doesn’t hurt to spend two formative years training and studying in Manhattan, arguably one of the largest art capitals in the world. Being an Ivy, Columbia also ranks high for exclusivity, accepting only two percent of applicants to Columbia’s MFA in visual arts. As of 2013, the program also offers a concentration in sound art, so if experimenting with audio is your forte, this is the place for you. more

Photo Source: American Museum of Natural History

By Taylor Smith 

On view through August 9, 2020, “T. rex: The Ultimate Predator” is sure to ignite the imaginations of visitors at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. 

The new exhibit asks, “How did T. rex evolve to become the most fearsome carnivore of the Mesozoic?” Spectators can take in life-size models of the fearsome predator; fossils, casts, and interactive activities; and an immersive multiplayer virtual reality experience developed just for the exhibition. Children are sure to marvel at how this 12,000-plus-pound terror began as a tiny critter. They will also meet T. rex’s family members, some of whom are small and even have feathers! more

By Taylor Smith 

Philanthropist and former Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg recently announced on his Twitter account: “I’m giving $1.8 billion to @JohnsHopkins for financial aid so admissions can be permanently need-blind. I want to open the same door of opportunity that I had for generations of talented students, regardless of financial aid.” 

The donation is the largest ever to a higher education institution. Bloomberg wrote in a following New York Times op-ed, “My Hopkins diploma opened up doors that otherwise would have been closed, and allowed me to live the American dream.” Bloomberg has stated that he was able to attend Johns Hopkins because of a National Defense student loan.  more

Since its publication in 2017 by Fordham University Press, Pre-Occupied Spaces: Remapping Italy’s Transnational Migrations and Colonial Legacies has resonated with critics and readers alike. It was awarded the 2017 American Association of Italian Studies Book Prize in the 21st-century category and was one of five finalists for the prestigious international 2018 Bridge Book Award. In December, it received an Honorable Mention for the Modern Language Association Howard R. Marraro Prize in Italian Literature. more

By Taylor Smith 

Iconic American Girl characters come to life on Monday, February 18

Sleepover camp is in session at American Girl Live, a 90-minute musical at the Mayo Performing Arts Center, perfect for kids ages 5 and up. Five spunky campers will face various feats of growing pains and bravery as they turn to their favorite American Girl characters for advice. Each character —inspired by a different period of history — will share stories of conviction, demonstrating the strength of friendship.  more

Photo Credit: Rhode Island School of Design 

By Taylor Smith

Want to develop your creative craft or pen that novel that’s been living inside you? Do you have a passion for painting, drawing, sculpture, or film? Are you considering a teaching career in the arts? We’ve rounded up top Master of Fine Arts programs in the Northeast that can add an extra spark to your resume and potentially help you to make that career change or land the job you’ve been dreaming about. more

Why schools like NJIT are on the cutting-edge

By Taylor Smith

Governor Phil Murphy recently announced two initiatives — the STEM Loan Forgiveness Program and the NJ Career Accelerator Internship Program — to encourage individuals in STEM fields to make a long-term commitment to build and maintain a career within New Jersey. The initiatives were part of the Governor’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget message. more

Mutcherson will serve as Rutgers Law co-dean in Camden and will work collaboratively with fellow co-dean David Lopez at Rutgers in Newark

Rutgers University–Camden recently announced the appointment of Kimberly Mutcherson, a well-known bioethics and health law scholar, as co-dean of the Rutgers Law School in Camden.

With her appointment in early 2019, Mutcherson became the first woman, the first African American, and the first LGBT law dean at Rutgers University. more

By Taylor Smith 

The Maxwell House Coffee Plant opened in Hoboken, N.J., in Hudson County in 1939. Owned by General Foods Corporation, the production facility extended from 11th to 12th Streets along the Hudson River overlooking Manhattan and Sinatra Drive. According to the New York Times, the Maxwell House Coffee Plant was a thriving facility through the late 1980s. In fact, it was the largest employer in Hoboken, and the famous “Good to the Last Drop” sign and slogan dominated the town’s skyline.  more

By Taylor Smith 

Sleep is vital for overall health, but elusive for many. Whether you’re a parent under stress or you’ve become reliant on prescription sleep aids like Lunesta or Ambien, here are some non-habit forming methods for improving overall sleep quality and duration.  more

By Taylor Smith 

It’s the start of 2019 which means one thing — you’re probably assessing your New Year’s resolutions. While a gym membership and a trip to Whole Foods may help you to exercise and eat better, real change begins with a fresh perspective and more all-encompassing lifestyle habits. Here are a just a few books that might help guide the way to a new and improved you.  more

What U.K.-based health care company Virtue is doing to help people age well

By Taylor Smith

According to the World Health Organization, “an estimated 47 million people currently suffer from dementia and that number is expected to increase to 75 million by 2030. It is projected that the number will triple by 2050.” To put these numbers into perspective, the Alzheimer’s Association estimates that “the cost to care for an Alzheimer’s patient in a private room in a nursing home is around $97,455 per year.” This is where U.K.-based health care start-up Virtue steps in (https://www.virtue.io). With the goal to “empower the silver generation,” Virtue aims to “develop transformative solutions for aging well.” more

By Taylor Smith

Photos courtesy of The Rubin Museum of Art

Looking for a cultural day trip? Fall is a great time to visit The Rubin Museum of Art, located at 150 West 17th Street in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood. With an emphasis on cross-cultural connections, the Rubin showcases the art, ideas, and culture of the Himalayas, India, and neighboring regions. Special exhibitions celebrate art forms that range from ancient to contemporary.  more

(And how Princeton played a role in Teach For America and Teach For All)

Photos courtesy of Teach For All

Her newest organization, Teach For All, is a global organization with the goal of eliminating educational inequity, tackling the complex challenges facing children in disadvantaged communities, and developing leaders to address the educational access problems. She has spent her adult life trying to ensure that all children are able to fulfill their potential. Kopp has written and published two books: One Day, All Children: The Unlikely Triumph of Teach For America and What I Learned Along the Way, released in 2001; and A Chance to Make History: What Works and What Doesn’t in Providing an Excellent Education for All, published in 2011. more

Laying the Groundwork for Future Female Tech Leaders

By Taylor Smith 

Photos courtesy of Girls Who Code

Girls Who Code was founded by Reshma Saujani six years ago with the aim of closing the gender gap in computing classes in schools across the nation. Girls Who Code is now 90,000 strong in all 50 states, building the largest pipeline of future female engineers in the United States. Its Clubs Program, Campus Program, and Summer Immersion Program help to create accessible pathways for Girls Who Code alumni to enter into university and workforce computing programs. The organization also offers continued learning opportunities for Girls Who Code alumni to enhance their professional computer science skills.  more

By Claire Curry

Throughout his childhood in Fort Worth, Texas, Jason Fox was an all-around athlete who dreamed of making it to the NFL one day. After the University of Miami recruited him, he achieved that goal and played in the NFL for several years with the Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins. But after a series of injuries, he began to plan for the future.

“As much as you think your career is going to last forever, eventually one day it’s going to end,” Fox said. “I wanted to be prepared for life after football.” Fox enrolled in an MBA program designed for athletes at the University of Miami and eventually retired from football. He said that the advanced degree provided the foundations for him to become an entrepreneur. “It gave me the tools and network to launch a tech startup,” he added. After a year in the making, Earbuds, his new social music platform, will go live this fall. more

By Jonathan Dusza

Merger includes plans for new addiction treatment center in New Jersey, more coordinated care and enhanced research and medical education opportunities

Hackensack Meridian Health, New Jersey’s largest and most comprehensive and integrated health network, and Carrier Clinic, a leader in behavioral health with a 100-year history in the state, are proud to announce they have signed a definitive agreement to merge to deliver unsurpassed behavioral health care to the region. more

We’re going to let you in on a secret: boys don’t have to wait until 9th grade to become a boarding student at Trinity-Pawling.

A selection of 8th grade boys will be welcomed each year to join our boarding community. With limited enrollment, our 8th grade boarding program is developmentally appropriate, individualized, and intentionally designed to nurture Middle School boys in preparation for the Upper School. 

 more

Photo Source: Harlem Lacrosse

Last week, 20 Harlem Lacrosse high schoolers trekked to The Hotchkiss School for a week of residential college prep targeting academic skills and human development concepts that lead to postsecondary success.

Here are a few highlights:

Day 1 —> The Human Development session was focused on time management. The new strategies HLers came up with included prioritization, eliminating distractions, finding a balance in our commitments, and planning ahead.

HLers applied the strategies to create time for extra plyometric training in between practice and class time. more

PHOTO BY: TOM PILSTON

The director of Drew University’s creative writing program won The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award.

Courtney Zoffness, a Drew professor since 2012, was honored for “Peanuts Aren’t Nuts,” one of just six stories short-listed for the prize—the world’s richest for a single short story. The finalists emerged from a long list of 15 and an initial pool of 810 entries.

Zoffness received the award at a black tie ceremony at Stationers’ Hall in London. The winner was also announced on Twitter and the award’s website. more

Audience members (opposite) explore the 2018 Power in the Pines Open House and Air Show May 6, 2018 at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. U.S. Air Force photo by Brad Camara.

The U.S. Air Force Reserve Turns 70

By Donald H. Sanborn III

McGuire is a fantastic example of what the Air Force Reserve can, and should, be,” asserts Col. Robert Dunham, a graduate of Princeton University. “McGuire is an associate unit, meaning that reservists share the same hardware with their active-duty counterparts. That is a model that has worked very well.” more

Photos Courtesy of The Peddie School

Twenty-five years since Walter H. Annenberg bestowed his historic gift on Peddie School in Hightstown, N.J., the school is an example of how philanthropy can transform a school — and how a school can transform thousands of lives as a result.

On Father’s Day, 1993, Annenberg gave $100 million to Peddie — along with $265 million to the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Southern California and Harvard University — as an endowed fund designed to expand financial aid, institute innovative programs, and recruit exceptional faculty. It was the largest cash gift ever given to an independent school, and it brought instant fame to Peddie.  more

Photo Courtesy of Newark Museum

Activities Close to Home

By Laurie Pellichero

While some people may have vacations planned for the mountains, shore, big cities, islands, and more this summer, there are plenty of fun, entertaining, and family-friendly places to visit right around the area. Here are a few to check out:

NEWARK MUSEUM

Founded in 1909, the Newark Museum is New Jersey’s largest museum. It holds fine collections of American art, decorative arts, contemporary art, and works from Asia, Africa, the Americas, and the ancient world. Its varied collections of American art include works by Hiram Powers, Thomas Cole, John Singer Sargent, Albert Bierstadt, Frederick Church, Childe Hassam, Mary Cassatt, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, Joseph Stella, Tony Smith, and Frank Stella. more

Blair Academy marked its 170th commencement on May 24 as the members of class of 2018 received their diplomas before an enthusiastic and appreciative audience of Trustees, faculty, students and family members. Assembled on the sun-dappled lawn in front of Sharpe House, seniors celebrated their accomplishments and promising futures as they enjoyed their final class gathering before joining Blair’s alumni ranks. more

Photo Source: @montclairstateu

Send your recent graduate on the right path with these items guaranteed for success! 

 more

Brian Sullivan, NYBG’s vice president for landscape and glasshouses, teaches a horticulture class in the native plant garden. (Photo courtesy of New York Botanical Garden)

Classes online and on-site offer an array of horticultural help

By Wendy Greenberg

The air is warmer and daylight lingers longer. Lime green leaves are painting roadside landscapes.  So often spring awakens an urge to seek greener thumbs, or greener yards.  After all, it is the Garden State.

If you are so inspired, you are in luck. A bounty of classes and programs beckons to help would-be plant whisperers find their voices. Some of the area’s most respected and scenic public gardens are at your service with on-site and online courses, ranging from landscape design to wellness and therapy, to native flora, and some unusual offerings. more

By Taylor Smith 

Photography by Tom Grimes

The youngest son of Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy and Virginia Joan Kennedy, Patrick Kennedy has put down roots in Brigantine, New Jersey with his wife, Amy, and four children, Harper, Owen, Nora, and Nell. Amy is expecting their fifth child in May. A New Jersey native, Amy has more than 15 years’ experience working in New Jersey public schools and is the education director of The Kennedy Forum. Patrick lovingly refers to Amy as his “Jersey girl,” who grew up in a neighboring shore town. Located on the bayside of the Jersey Shore, a stone’s throw from Atlantic City, the Kennedy’s waterfront home is centered around family and the beauty of the natural setting. On the day of Urban Agenda Magazine’s visit, seagulls were dive-bombing around Patrick’s boat and fine grains of sand blew across the roadway. more

344 Nassau Street, known in the 19th Century as the “Robert Horner House”

TRACING THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD IN NEW JERSEY

By Doug Wallack // Photographs Courtesy of The Historical Society of Princeton

The Underground Railroad has long captivated the American popular imagination; as a nation in turmoil struggled to reckon with its moral realities, this network of safe houses and volunteers conveying fugitive slaves to free states and Canada was a beacon of grassroots resistance, an instance of interracial cooperation, and the setting of countless tales of individual and collective courage. more