June 2019 Newsletter: Working for the Common Good

Written by
Maura M. Fennessy
June 25, 2019
Pulbic affairs icon

At Princeton University’s Commencement ceremony earlier this month, President Christopher L. Eisgruber spoke of the value of everyday virtues such as civility, truthfulness, due process and moderation. “These civil virtues are neither glamorous nor exciting…[They] are also the indispensable foundation for any democratic society in which people seek to learn from one another and to pursue a common good that unites them across differences.” He encouraged the graduating students to “live those values but also to speak up bravely on their behalf.”

Other highlights of Commencement included the honorary degrees awarded to former NJ Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen and five other individuals, as well as Distinguished Secondary School Teaching awards presented to four New Jersey teachers.

This issue of @princeton.edu features people who work every day to pursue a common good in the world - in the future of cities, sustainability and environmental responsibility, accessibility of higher education, and the classroom.


Panel of NJ mayors and NJ Chief Innovation Officer speaking at conference on the future of cities at Princeton University
Coping with growth: conference presents ideas to shape future cities

In May, Princeton University, in coordination with Rutgers University, the College of New Jersey, the NJ Institute of Technology and Stevens Institute of Technology, hosted a conference on how to make cities more resilient, sustainable, livable, and equitable.  The conference highlighted Princeton's new metropolis project, which supports research into systems and technologies that will shape the cities of the future, and included a panel with the mayors of Plainfield, Westfield and Paterson, moderated by NJ Chief Innovation Officer, Beth Simone Noveck.  Learn more.


Woodland restoration around a stream
Five projects will explore sustainability using the princeton campus as a laboratory

Research projects that explore energy-saving technologies, sustainable farming and resource reuse have been selected to receive Dean for Research Innovation Funds for the Campus as a Lab.  The five projects will be conducted with the University's grounds as the laboratory or testbed for the exploration of technologies or practices that enhance sustainability and environmental responsibility.  The campus serves as a real-world setting where ideas and theories can be tried on a relatively small scale, with the goal of scaling up successful projects beyond campus.  Learn more.   

Urban skyline with orange haze
Occurrence of back-to-back heat waves likely to accelerate with climate change

Princeton researchers have provided the first estimation of the potential damage from back-to-back, or compound, heat waves, which the authors found will increase as global warming continues.  "Our work begins exploring the implications of compound heat waves if climate change continues unchecked," said co-author Michael Oppenheimer.  "We want to know how the effects of compound heat waves will differ from - and amplify - the already severe consequences for human health, infrastructure stability and crop yield that we see from single-event heat waves."  Learn more.


portrait of Claudia Brenner
Study of off-shore wind in nj among recipients of 2019 graduate fellowship from princeton environmental institute

Princeton PhD candidate Claudia Brenner was among three researchers awarded a Graduate Fellowship from the Princeton Environmental Institute to explore the policy implications of their doctoral research.  Brenner will examine policies supporting the establishment and growth of offshore wind energy along the Atlantic coast and the potential for the sector's success, taking an in-depth look at the New Jersey experience from the local to the federal level.  Learn more.



Higher Education Accessibility

Sonia Sotomayor speaking at Princeton University
Princeton university establishes Sonia Sotomayor 1976 scholarship fund

A group of Princeton University alumni has established the Sonia Sotomayor 1976 Scholarship Fund, in honor of Sonia Sotomayor, Class of 1976, associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.  The scholarship will be awarded to Princeton students from first-generation backgrounds who have demonstrated a commitment to service.  Learn more.



Secondary school teacher honorees at Princeton University Commencement 2019
NJ public school educators explore pathways to success for underrepresented students

New Jersey high school educators hoping to improve college access for their students spent a day learning about Princeton University's pathway programs for underrepresented populations at the Princeton AP/IB College Pathways Institute.  The educators explored model practices they can apply in their home districts to support students who take Advanced Placement (AP) courses or those who are earning International Baccalaureate (IB) diplomas.  Learn more.



Commencement Highlights

Secondary school teacher honorees at Princeton University Commencement 2019
Four outstanding secondary school teachers honored at Princeton Commencement

This year's recipients of the Princeton Prize for Distinguished Secondary School Teaching are Kimberly Dickstein of Haddonfield Memorial High School, Kevin Killian of Pascack Hills High School, Petrina Plunkett of Lawrence Middle School and Arun Srivastava of High Tech High School.  The teachers were selected for the award based on nomimations from public and private schools around the state.  They each received $5,000 as well as $3,000 for their school libraries.  Princeton has honored secondary school teachers at Commencement since 1959.  Learn more.


Honorary degree recipients at Princeton University Commencement 2019
PRinceton awards six honorary degrees

Princeton University awarded honorary degrees during Commencement exercised on Tuesday, June 4, to six individuals for their contributions to education, literature, public service, science and space travel.  The honorees included Rodney Frelinghuysen, former NJ Congressman, and Ellen Ochoa, astronaut and former director of NASA's Johnson Space Center.  Learn more.




ICYMI - Podcasts

Maria Ressa speaking into a radio microphone for She Roars podcast

Journalist Maria Ressa, founder of the Phillipines-based news site Rappler, 2018 Time "Person of the Year," and native of Toms River, NJ, talks about the weaponization of social media.  Listen to the podcast.





Politics and Polls
Politics and polls

"All About Electability?" looks at the candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for President and what the early "horserace" polling numbers suggest.  Listen to the podcast.




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