June 2015 Newsletter: Entrepreneurship, Energy Innovation and Honors

Written by
Maura M. Fennessy
July 1, 2015

The rainy and unseasonably cold weather at Princeton's 268th Commencement on June 2 did little to dampen the high spirits of the 2100+ undergraduate and graduate students, ready to officially receive their degrees. They were urged by President Christopher L. Eisgruber to "pursue ideals that are beautiful and profound." And they were joined by ten special guests whose life work has exemplified that message: former NJ Chief Justice Deborah Poritz and Harry Belafonte were among the six who received honorary degrees for their contributions to civil rights, engineering, the law, literature and service to the nation; and, as you can read below, four New Jersey secondary school teachers were honored for their exceptional work.

This issue of @princeton.edu features recent initiatives on campus to expand opportunities for entrepreneurship; a partnership with Exxon Mobil to develop next-generation energy solutions; the high school students who were awarded the 2015 Princeton Prize in Race Relations; a video interview with a graduate student and NJ native; and various campus changes.


Mung Chiang

The Princeton Entrepreneurship Advisory Committee (PEAC) has issued a report recommending a broad set of initiatives to enhance entrepreneurship at the University in a way that builds on Princeton's commitments to liberal arts education, research and public service. In their endorsement of the report, President Christopher L. Eisgruber and Provost David S. Lee stated, "Entrepreneurs can be engineers or humanists. They can work in the private sector or the public sphere, driving positive change in all kinds of industries and in organizations of all shapes and sizes. Entrepreneurs challenge themselves to ask hard questions, think critically, develop innovative solutions and create organizations that effect meaningful change."  Read more.   


Elab Demo Day

One recommendation that will be implemented immediately is the opening of an Entrepreneurship Hub, which will serve as an incubator space of students, faculty and alumni interested in entrepreneurship. The hub will open this summer in downtown Princeton.  Read more.





E-ffiliates ExxonMobil

Princeton E-ffiliates Partnership, a collaboration between industry and Princeton University experts, has entered a five-year agreement with ExxonMobil to pursue transformational innovations in the fields of energy and environment. During a recent signing ceremony on Princeton's campus, ExxonMobil committed to investing $5 million during the next five years, making it the largest financial commitment in the E-ffiliates Partnership. The company will immediately begin working with research groups across the University, including selected graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, who will be designated ExxonMobil Fellows.  Read more.



Teacher awards at Commencement 2015

Princeton University honored four exceptional New Jersey secondary school teachers at its 2015 Commencement on Tuesday, June 2. This year's honorees are Marcelino Garcia, North Brunswick Township High School, North Brunswick; Jennifer Kelly, Woodstown Middle School, Woodstown; Natalie Macke, Pascack Hills High School, Montvale; and Susan Spencer, Northern Highlands Regional High School, Allendale.

Read more.



Princeton Prize 2015

Twenty-seven high school students from around the United States, including 2 from New Jersey, have been named recipients of the 2015 Princeton Prize in Race Relations. MacKenzie Foy, a senior at Bergen County Academies, and Tatianna Sims, a senior at Princeton High School, were among the students honored at the annual Princeton Prize Symposium on Race. The awards recognize young people who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing the cause of positive race relations and who have worked to increase understanding and respect among all races.  Read more.



Kim Shepard

Kimberly Shepard - "born, raised and college-educated in New Jersey" - is a chemical and biological engineering graduate student at Princeton University, studying the behavior of polymer glasses. And she is one of four co-winners of this year's Porter Odgen Jacobus Fellowship, Princeton's top honor for graduate students.

Read more. 




Edward Felten joins White House as Deputy Chief Technology Officer. Edward Felten, a Princeton University computer scientist who is a leading expert on computer security, was named U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer in the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) effective June 1.

Center for African American Studies

Trustees approve African American studies concentration and department. Princeton undergraduate students will be able to major in African American studies starting in the fall. The University's Board of Trustees approved the new concentration on June 1 and gave the Center for African American Studies academic department status. Eddie Glaude Jr. will continue to serve as the chairman of the center.

Other academic changes include the appointment of Jill Dolan, a distinguished scholar of theater and performance studies, as the Dean of the College beginning on July 1, and Monica Ponce de Leon, an award-winning architect, as the next Dean of the School of Architecture, as of January 1, 2016.

And, finally, come visit the Office of Public Affairs in our new office space at 22 Chambers Street, Suite 101, Princeton, NJ 08542. 


Thank you for reading this issue of "@Princeton.edu."  Please feel free to forward this to anyone you know who may be interested in reading it.


Karen Jezierny, Director

Maura McManimon Fennessy, Government Relations Specialist