On May 1, the annual springtime celebration of NJIT’s College of Science and Liberal Arts (CSLA) kicked off, marking a year of highlights throughout the arts and sciences at the college during the 2019 CSLA Awards Ceremony. 

This year’s event, held at the Campus Center Atrium, welcomed a diverse audience of CSLA students, faculty, alumni and staff, as well as special presenters and honors granted to standout performers from across each of the college’s departments, ranging from fields of law, philosophy, theatre and media communications, to STEM-driven disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. 

CSLA Dean, Kevin Belfield spoke throughout the festivities, recognizing achievements from the CSLA community during the 2018-2019 academic year. He also addressed recent growth and future plans at the college, now in its 37th year.

“It’s a pleasure to welcome everyone to the 2019 CSLA Awards Ceremony,” said Belfield. “The college began in 1982…today we’ve grown to include 106 faculty members, 54 university lecturers, nearly 800 undergraduate students and 250 graduate students.” 

“This year, CSLA faculty and instructional staff have taught 37% of all course sections offered by NJIT, have published nearly 400 refereed journal articles, and currently manage nearly 40 million dollars in external research,” he added. “We have a lot of excellence in all corners of our college, and this is a time to rejoice.”

The awards ceremony began with an appearance from professional violinist, Martha Mooke, and the event’s keynote speaker, Anthony Agnello — a sound engineer with the audio effects company, Eventide, who helped revolutionize the music recording industry with his innovation in digital effects processing in 1975, the H910 Harmonizer®. As part of his appearance, Agnello was presented with the Jay Kappraff Award for Excellence in Science and Arts. 

“Music and science have been what my career and life have been about…music has always been at the heart of it,” said Agnello.“I thank everyone here for your support, and I am honored and humbled with this award.”

Agnello (left) presented with the Jay Kappraff Award for Excellence in Science and Arts by professor David Rothenberg and Dean Kevin Belfield.

This year’s event also saw the annual CSLA Lifetime Achievement Award go to Professor Emeritus of mathematics, Daljit Ahluwalia. Arriving as chair of NJIT’s Department of Mathematical Sciences in 1986, Ahluwalia became a pivotal figure in transforming the department into one of the premier centers for applied mathematics research in the nation. 

Ahluwalia (center) wins the 2019 CSLA Lifetime Achievement Award.

Samantha Lomuscio ’20 won the ceremony’s first-ever Lanzerotti Prize, an award that “annually recognizes a high-achieving and hard-working undergraduate student in the field of applied physics.” Lomuscio was recognized for outstanding work at NJIT's Center for Solar-Terrestrial Research under the supervision of physics professor Bin Chen, as well as accomplishments during a NASA internship this past year, where she was involved studies related to climate modeling.


"I’ve admired the work done by Dr. Lanzerotti, so I am honored and truly humbled to have been given this award," said Lomuscio. "It has allowed me to establish a lifelong connection to the university, especially the physics department, that has continually supported my every endeavor. It is a privilege to set the way for future awardees and I look forward to returning to NJIT to celebrate their success." 

In all, 31 awards and special honors were handed out at this year’s event. Following are all those recognized at the 2019 College of Science and Liberal Arts Awards Ceremony:

Mr. Anthony Agnello

Jay Kappraff Award for Excellence in Science & Arts

Dr. Daljit Ahluwalia

Department of Mathematical Sciences

CSLA Lifetime Achievement Award

Samantha Lomuscio

Department of Physics

Dr. Louis J. Lanzerotti and Dr. M. Yvonne De Wolf Lanzerotti 

Prize in Applied Physics

Dr. Neil Maher

Federated Department of History 

Distinguished Research Award

Dr. Brooke Flammang

Department of Biological Sciences

Rising Star Research Award

Dr. Mengyan Li

Department of Chemistry & Environmental Science

Rising Star Research Award

Dr. Linda Cummings

Department of Mathematical Sciences

Excellence in Service Award

Dr. Ju Jing

Department of Physics

Award for Excellence in Research by a Research Professor

Dr. Daniel Estrada

Department of Humanities

Award for Excellence in Scholarship by a University Lecturer

Dr. Alisa Krishtal

Department of Chemistry & Environmental Science

Award for Excellence in Teaching by a University Lecturer

Mr. Adam See

Department of Humanities

Award for Excellence in Teaching by an Adjunct Faculty

Dr. Bhavani Balasubramanian

Department of Chemistry & Environmental Science

Outstanding Staff Award

Ms. Maureen O’Rourke

Department of History

Outstanding Staff Award


Outstanding Undergraduate Student Awards

Chloe Jelley, Department of Biological Sciences

John Antley, Department of Chemistry & Environmental Science

Andrew Edmonson, Federated Department of History

Zackary Kellett, Department of Humanities

William Joseph McCann, Department of Mathematical Sciences

Samantha Lomuscio, Department of Physics


Outstanding Graduate Student Awards

Audrey Biondi, Department of Biological Sciences

Worawit Intrchom, Department of Chemistry & Environmental Science

Holly Stanton, Federated Department of History

David Tress, Department of Humanities

Axel Turnquist, Department of Mathematical Sciences

Jiasheng Wang, Department of Physics


Alumni Awards

Ms. Elisa Charters

Chemistry & Environmental Science/STS

Distinguished Alumna Award

Mr. Siddhartha Bala

College of Science and Liberal Arts

Distinguished Alumnus Award 

Dr. Keith Silverman

Chemistry & Environmental Science 

Distinguished Alumnus Award 

Mr. Galen Faison

Department of Humanities

Rising Star Alumnus Award

Ms. Gabrielle Rejouis

Federated Department of History

Rising Star Alumna Award

Dr. Ivana Seric

Department of Mathematical Sciences 

Rising Star Alumna Award