First-rate. Top-notch. World-class. Whichever adjective you choose, our faculty create new knowledge, every day, and change the way we look at our world. Meet some examples.
A Mindfulness Approach to Mental Health in Camden
In sessions led by Sheila Linz (assistant professor of nursing) and Kathleen Jackson (clinical assistant professor of nursing), Camden residents learned mindfulness strategies and practiced yoga to improve their physical and mental health. Some participants reported that these sessions, which concluded in early 2020, helped them to cope with the stress and other complications that arose as the COVID-19 pandemic spread throughout New Jersey. Study participants were taught to use photography to supplement their therapeutic group conversations, and their photos will be displayed in a Rutgers–Camden exhibition in the fall of 2021. The study will be published in a forthcoming edition of the Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services.
The Relationship Between Evictions and Neighborhood Crime
In the Crime & Delinquency paper "Eviction and Crime: A Neighborhood Analysis in Philadelphia," study authors including Daniel Semenza (assistant professor of criminal justice) compared the eviction rates in Philadelphia neighborhoods with the crime rates for each neighborhood. The researchers found that higher eviction rates are linked to higher crime, homicide, and burglary rates, and they believe that eviction's destabilizing effect on households also leads to destabilized communities. Semenza suggests that a federal update to the public housing infrastructure, which could address the lack of affordable housing, could mitigate the negative effects that eviction has on both communities and individuals.
Federally Funded COVID-19 Research
Two Rutgers–Camden professors are leading projects funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to combat COVID-19. Andrey Grigoriev (professor of biology), the founding director of the Rutgers–Camden Center for Computational and Integrative Biology, has been awarded a $188,253 NSF Rapid Response Research grant to study the origins of COVID-19 to anticipate how to stop its future mutations. Benedetto Piccoli (professor of mathematics), the Joseph and Loretta Lopez Chair of Mathematics and vice chancellor for research, is sharing an NSF grant with other researchers to create a tool to help mayors and governors assess the impacts of different social distancing levels and travel restrictions. Their work is ongoing.
Building Community Relationships to Reduce Police Violence
The paper "A Tale of Force: Examining Policy Proposals to Address Police Violence," co-authored by Kayla Preito-Hodge (assistant professor of criminal justice) and published in the journal Social Currents, uses an organizational and relational approach to examine the problem of police violence. According to the study, community policing that encourages relationships with local citizens may reduce police violence, while proactive policing strategies are associated with higher police violence. The authors describe three principal ways that community policing is deployed — symbolically, interactionally, and operationally — and report that symbolic implementation may not influence a reduction of police use of force. More effective, they say, is an approach that focuses on respect, empathy, and service when police interact with the community.
Power Demands in Extreme Weather Conditions
After conducting analysis of a Northeastern power grid during the January 2014 polar vortex, Richard Michelfelder (clinical associate professor of finance) and Eugene Pilotte (professor and area head of finance) wrote that electricity providers should plan for surges in demand during periods of extreme winter conditions. "The electricity production cost curve during extreme winter weather" finds that providers should expand existing plans for peak summer power use to include secondary peak seasons. Their analysis, published in the Journal of Economics and Business, suggests that the need for this type of additional planning will become more common as climate change causes an increase in extreme winter weather.
Migrant Detention Undermined Attempts to Curb the Pandemic
Migrant detention and deportation in New Jersey presented unique challenges that undermined attempts at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the early days of the pandemic, according to research by Sarah Tosh (assistant professor of sociology). The study "Migrant Detention and COVID-19: Pandemic Responses in Four New Jersey Detention Centers" — analysis of pandemic responses at Bergen, Essex, and Hudson County jails, and Elizabeth Detention Center — was published in the Journal on Migration and Human Security and was co-authored by Rutgers University–New Brunswick scholars Ulla Berg and Kenneth Sebastian León. The researchers hope to expand their study further to assess the effectiveness and obstacles of COVID-19 vaccine uptake.