Chancellor’s New Faculty Research Symposium

Wednesday, Dec. 7

Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Campus Center, main level, Multi-Purpose Room

Rutgers University–Camden is at the forefront of cutting-edge research and exceptional creative activities.  Our faculty members are leaders within their disciplines, exploring issues of great significance in today’s world.

Each year, the Chancellor’s New Faculty Research Symposium provides a venue to highlight the work of a number of new faculty members.  We are pleased to announce that the following scholars will share their current research during the 2016 symposium.  Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions during a Q&A session following each presentation. Refreshments will be served.


Sarada Balagopalan, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor of Childhood Studies
Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Balagopalan’s presentation will be “Children, Labor and Schooling in Postcolonial India: An Ethnographic Exploration.

Dr. Balagopalan’s research is on postcolonial childhoods. Her investigations foreground the tension between children’s work and schooling as a key site where discourses of colonial modernity, the “developmental” nation-state, late capitalism, and current transnational efforts around children’s rights get played out.  Her related research on elementary education draws on the experiences of first-generation school-goers and their communities to critically engage new discourses around rights, participation, and the cultural politics of schooling. Her current research explores early efforts to democratize schooling in India from the late 19th century onwards and its links to the knowledge, techniques, and practices around children’s welfare that emerged around the same period.  


Brandi Blessett, Ph.D. 
Assistant Professor of Public Policy
Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Blessett's presentation will be “Intersectionality and Law Enforcement: Social Justice Considerations for LGBTQ People of Color.

Dr. Blessett’s research seeks to contribute to the intellectual development of knowledge in the field of urban policy and public administration through three core research areas: administrative responsibility, cultural competence, and social justice. Her research interests are integrated and seek to examine the role of institutions and administrative actions in facilitating disadvantage. Each area has the potential to offer insightful perspectives regarding the effects of institutional and systemic injustice as well as their contemporary implications for urban communities and their residents. Ultimately, she hopes her research will help public administrators move toward more thoughtful consideration and engagement of all groups in society, particularly those traditionally marginalized groups.


Nancy Pontes, Ph.D., R.N., A.P.N., FNP-BC, D.R.C.C.
Assistant Professor
School of Nursing

Dr. Pontes’ presentation, “The Association between Electronic Bullying Victimization and Psychological Distress among U.S. Adolescents,” spotlights collaborative work between the Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden and Rowan University’s Rohrer School of Business.

The research examines the association between electronic bullying victimization and psychological distress in a nationally-representative sample of US. high school students stratified by gender, race/ethnicity, grade level, and year. For this research, data from the pooled 2011 and 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) were analyzed using the Complex Samples Module of IBM SPSS 23™.  The dependent variables used include depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts.  Data was analyzed using multiple logistic regression analyses for all students, and also separately for males and females.  Results showed that females were more likely to experience both electronic bullying victimization and psychological distress than males.  There was also a significant relationship between electronic bullying victimization and psychological distress among both males and females.  The relationship between grade level and psychological distress and between race/ethnicity and psychological distress were each contingent upon gender.  These results show the devastating effects of electronic bullying on psychological well-being among high school students. As social media is an integral part of today’s adolescent experience, nurses and other professionals must recognize that electronic bullying victimization is distressing, and related to suicidality.  Vigilant assessment and intervention within a trauma-informed model of care is essential.  Further research is needed to identify best practices for screening and intervention.


Amy Savage, Ph.D. ? 
Assistant Professor of Biology
Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Savage’s presentation will be “The Nutritional Ecology of Urban Ants: Prey Availability, Anthropogenic Resources, and Diet.”

One of the reasons that ants strongly influence nearly every terrestrial ecosystem on the planet is that they have diverse diets and opportunistic feeding habits. In cities, ants often feed on human foods, although they clearly do not have a long evolutionary history consuming potato chips and hot dogs. Assessing the nutritional ecology of urban ants can help us understand the consequences of a partially to largely anthropogenic diet for ants. Earlier data generated by Dr. Savage shows that ants living in Manhattan’s street medians had very strong preferences for fats (EVOO) over other food types (sugars, salts, water, amino acids). In this study, she assesses the diversity of local arthropod communities during feeding choice trials to get a sense of the relative prey availability across urban habitat mosaics. In particular, she focuses on assessing the availability of arthropods that lacked physical or chemical defenses against ants in two cities-Manhattan and Philadelphia.  Working with her students, they simultaneously conducted feeding choice trials over finer spatial scales. Dr. Savage’s presentation will describe the results from this study and discuss what these findings may mean for urban arthropod diversity and the ecosystem services that arthropods provide.


Shankar Sundaresan, Ph.D. 
Clinical Associate Professor of Management
School of Business

Dr. Sundaresan’s presentation will feature “Optimal Subscription Pricing for Free Delivery Services.”

Many firms today offer members-only programs that provide consumers some benefits in return of an upfront membership fee.  For example, internet retailers offer their members free delivery services while brick and mortar stores, specifically warehouse clubs, offer members discounts on merchandise.  Such membership programs are also popular in other industries such wireless service providers, movie and music rentals and ride-sharing.  Offering such membership or subscription plans can benefit the firms if they induce existing consumers to purchase more or serve to attract new consumers.  However, the subscription plans also raise the firm’s cost since it incurs the cost of providing the service to the subscribers and the subscription fee may not be adequate to fully cover these costs.  A firm that offers such subscription plans must take into account this tradeoff when deciding its optimal subscription pricing policy.  Dr. Sundaresan’s research seeks to understand the benefits, to both firms and consumers, of such subscription plans, characterize the optimal subscription pricing policy, identify the main drivers of this policy, and explore different subscription pricing strategies that increase profits.  To address these issues, he has developed a stylized model of the firm’s subscription pricing policy that is rich enough to consider a general consumer choice and decision making approach, yields good insights, and yet is analytically tractable and captures the core subscription pricing policy-setting tradeoffs facing the firm.  He also explores strategies to enhance profits, such as offering tiered subscription plans and discounts for new consumers.