Public 4-Year Schools

William Paterson Professors Awarded $234,000 NSF Research Grant

William Paterson University Professors Michael Griffiths and Nicole Davi awarded $234,000 research grant from the National Science Foundation

William Paterson University professors Michael Griffiths and Nicole Davi, environmental science department faculty, have received a $234,000 research grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). William Paterson is the lead institution on the project, “Calibrating South East Asian Proxies: Speleothems and Tree-Rings,” in collaboration with researchers from University of California – Irvine and Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO). Across the three institutions, the project has received a total of $815,000 in NSF support.

Through their grant-funded work, the researchers aim to create and analyze a millennium’s worth of historic temperature and precipitation records for northern and southern Laos, as evidenced in the atmospheric and land surface signals transferred to cave stalagmites and trees.

“For the first time, we will be combining these records in order to better understand the dynamics of hydroclimate over the past 1,000 years in a region where millions of people depend on monsoon rains to grow their food,” Davi says. “Our research will also advance knowledge on how best to combine these different proxies, since they each have their own nuances. The information will help inform future cross-disciplinary research.”

To read more stories about William Paterson, scroll down:

WP’s Tyshawn Sorey ’04 Awarded Prestigious MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant for Exceptional Creativity
WP is First Institution to Receive Financial Planning Association of New Jersey’s “Heart of Financial Planning Award”
100 Professional Sales Students from Across the Country Visit for Russ Berrie Institute’s 11th Annual National Sales Challenge

Griffiths and UC-Irvine’s Kathleen Johnson are speleothem experts, while Davi and Columbia’s Brendan Buckley are tree-ring experts. Together, according to the researchers, tree rings and speleothems offer the best prospects for reconstructing Southeast Asian monsoon history because each absorbs evidence of various meteorological indicators.

“Trees are likely to be biased toward their distinct growing season while speleothems may be biased toward the period of peak monsoon rainfall, when a greater fraction of water infiltrates to the cave,” Griffiths explains. “The positive aspect of analyzing these differences is that we can construct a more detailed and relevant portrait of climate variability.”

Due to the various logistical challenges in accessing the remote caves in Laos’ rugged terrain, where mountains still house unexploded bombs from the Vietnam War, there is a paucity of paleoclimate records in the area. Therefore, Griffiths and Davi hope these natural archives of rainfall variability will better constrain future projections in southeast Asia, a region occupying approximately 9 percent of the world’s population.

This work, to take place over the next three years, will present and support extensive undergraduate research opportunities at William Paterson University and on the LDEO campus. At least two students per semester will serve as their main research assistants on this project.

William Paterson’s ties to this project also extend beyond the campus. Two of the University’s graduates – Kyle Hansen ’16 and Rose Oelkers ’15, environmental science majors and students of Griffiths and Davi during their undergraduate careers – will be contributing to this research, and serving as co-mentors to the undergraduate assistants along with Griffiths and Davi, through their current positions as full-time technicians at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. The research skills they acquired from their WP professors landed them each a job at Columbia’s Tree-Ring Laboratory.

“They will be responsible for generating important new datasets from tree-rings in Laos, and thus will be included on high-profile publications in the coming years,” Griffiths says. “This is a classic example of the important role of undergraduate involvement in research at William Paterson University.”

Community and government affiliated groups in Laos – including Explo-Laos, Green Discovery Laos, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and the Institute for Southeast Asian Archaeology – are also included in the grant-funded project. Griffiths and Davi will work collaboratively with these groups where they, among other things, will help to identify suitable study sites, collect monthly rainfall and cave drip-water samples, and gauge modern tree-ring growth patterns.

The group of researchers will travel to Laos in January 2018 to begin their funded work.

William Paterson University music alum awarded prestigious MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant

WP’s Tyshawn Sorey ’04 Awarded Prestigious MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant for Exceptional Creativity

Music department alumnus – a multi-instrumentalist, improviser, composer, ensemble leader, and conductor – is one of 24 to receive honor

Tyshawn Sorey, a 2004 William Paterson University jazz studies alumnus, was one of 24 creative people awarded a 2017 MacArthur “Genius” Grant in recognition of his accomplishments in defying distinctions between genres, composition and improvisation. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced the winners of this year’s fellowship earlier this week. MacArthur fellowships are awarded to individuals who show exceptional creativity in their work and the prospect for more in the future. Each fellow receives a $625,000 award from the foundation as an investment in his or her potential.

Sorey, 37, was recently appointed assistant professor of music Wesleyan University, where he specializes in creative improvised and experimental music traditions. He completed his bachelor of music degree in jazz studies at William Paterson University before continuing his education at Wesleyan University where he received a master of arts degree, and Columbia University where he earned a DMA. He grew up in Newark, New Jersey, where he built a musical foundation from his exposure to different types of music such as jazz, rap, R&B and church music.

“We are proud of Tyshawn Sorey and immensely happy to have been a part of the early development of a musician who will make an increasing impact on music,” said David Demsey, DMA, William Paterson University professor of music and coordinator of the Jazz Studies Program. “Tyshawn was an inspiring student—gifted, combined with a terrific work ethic and a powerful vision for his music and sound. He came to us as a trombonist, but we soon realized his powerful potential as a drummer and composer. He took full advantage of the wide range opportunities that our department can offer, including many jazz ensembles and classes, as well as the New Music Series and the piano, brass and composition studios.”

Sorey is a multi-instrumentalist, improviser, composer, ensemble leader, and conductor assimilating and transforming ideas from a broad spectrum of traditional and experimental idioms into musical creations that celebrate alternative musical modeling within the improvisation-composition continuum. A virtuosic percussionist and drum set player who is fluent in piano and trombone, Sorey has explored World and Eastern musical and philosophical concepts on his albums Koan (2009) and Alloy (2014). Other recordings include Inner Spectrum of Variables (2015) Perle Noire: Meditations for Josephine (2016), and his recent Verisimilitude (2017). His additional albums as a leader include Oblique-I (2011) and That/Not (2007). He has presented work and given lectures at such national and international venues as Lincoln Center, the Village Vanguard, Walt Disney Hall, the Danish Rhythmic Conservatory, the Newport Jazz Festival, Ojai Music Festival, the Banff Center, Cité de la Musique, and at Hochshule für Musik in Cologne and Nuremberg.

“Becoming a MacArthur Fellow gives me the encouragement to continue being the artist I am, to stay sharp, move forward, remain progressive and take yet-to-be traveled steps in my creative development, and to encourage others like me to do the same,” said Sorey.

Siamack Shojai, dean, William Paterson University’s Cotsakos College of Business, accepts award from Diane DeOliveira, CFP, president, Financial Planning Association of New Jersey

WP is First Institution to Receive Financial Planning Association of New Jersey’s “Heart of Financial Planning Award”

This marks the first time a Financial Planning Association conference was hosted by a college or university

William Paterson University, known for having one of the top programs in the nation for financial planners, is the first institution to receive the Financial Planning Association’s “Heart of Financial Planning Award” at its New Jersey conference recently held on the University’s campus. This is the first time a college or university has hosted the conference.

Topics included coaching and communicating with your client by Jay Mooreland, founder of The Emotion Investor and an expert in behavior investing. Other information sessions were held on global innovating investing, retirement, longevity, smart fiduciaries, and the keys to building a more tax-efficient portfolio. More information can be found on the FPA’s website.

Nearly 200 financial industry executives attended the event, including financial planners and advisors.

William Paterson was the first institution to receive the “Heart of Financial Planning Award” for its support and contributions to the profession, including offering a bachelor’s degree in financial planning through its Cotsakos College of Business. William Paterson’s program, one of the top in the nation for financial planners, is known for offering student volunteer support at FPA conventions, winning top awards in student competitions, and being the first university to organize a student chapter of the FPA.

William Paterson is consistently rated by Financial Planning Magazine as one of the nation’s top schools for future financial planners.

The University’s students have garnered top awards in national competitions. In 2016, the team of three William Paterson students won top prize at the Financial Planning Association’s (FPA) National Financial Planning Challenge held in Baltimore, MD in September 2016.

Established as a program in the University’s Cotsakos College of Business in 2009, students have the advantage of state-of-the-art training facilities – the Financial Learning Center trading floor as well as the Russ Berrie Institute for Professional Sales.

Students and business leaders participate in speed-selling event at William Paterson University’s National Sales Challenge

100 Professional Sales Students from Across the Country Visit for Russ Berrie Institute’s 11th Annual National Sales Challenge

This year, more than 80 executives from 13 sponsor companies participated in the National Sales Challenge

The Russ Berrie Institute for Professional Sales (RBI) at William Paterson University’s Cotsakos College of Business recently hosted its 11th Annual National Sales Challenge, an intense series of selling competitions and workshops, on campus.

More than 100 college students representing 33 universities from across the country, as well as from Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland, participated.

The competition is designed by the University’s Russ Berrie Institute to strengthen students’ sales skills and offer them an opportunity to network with business executives from companies around the country who will judge the events and serve as sponsors.

The Russ Berrie Institute for Professional Sales was recognized in 2016 as one of the top sales programs in the nation by the Sales Education Foundation of Dayton, Ohio. Housed in William Paterson’s Cotsakos College of Business, the Institute was one of the first in the country to offer a bachelor of science degree in professional sales, and represents a unique partnership between the private sector and higher education designed to advance the field of professional sales. An estimated 85 percent of the program’s graduates find a job in six months.

This year, more than 80 executives from 13 sponsor companies participated in the National Sales Challenge, including: ADP, Complete Document Solutions, First Data, Granite Telecommunications, Henry Schein, Lennox, Liberty Mutual, McKesson, Mutual of Omaha, North American Plastics, Polymershapes, UPS, and Tom James.

The RBI Sales Career Boot Camp was added two years ago and is designed to provide interaction in small group settings between students and industry leaders from the sponsor companies. The 2017 boot camp addressed the transition from degree to work with sessions on how to craft a personal presentation story that will prepare students for job interviews. Senior sales and human resource leaders from ADP, CBRE, CDS-Xerox, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Graybar Electric Company, Henry Schein Dental, Liberty Mutual, McKesson, North American Plastics, Paycom, Polymershapes and UPS served as panelists.

“The boot camp provided students with an opportunity to learn directly from industry leaders,” says Siamack Shojai, dean of the Cotsakos College of Business. “This is part of our commitment for students to learn via the Cotsakos College of Business’s close connections with local, regional and national businesses. Our corporate sponsors are eager to participate because it introduces them to a new generation of up-and-coming sales leaders.”

The National Sales Challenge is one of only a few select such competitions in the country. Prior to the event, students competed on their own campuses in order to win the opportunity to compete in the National Sales Challenge at William Paterson.

Competitions included the sales-role play event, which used a selling situation from sponsor ADP, and a speed-selling competition, which required students to rotate through tables seated with company executives to pitch themselves for two minutes for a generic job. The event was held in the Russ Berrie Professional Sales Laboratory, a unique computerized multimedia facility that simulates business office environments.

Students from all 33 schools participated in the boot camp and speed-sell competitionand the role play competition. Also, the organizers included a gala reception to facilitate opportunities for participants to hone networking skills.

Participating schools for 2017 were:
Baylor University
Bloomsburg University
Clarkson University
Edinburgh Napier University
Farmingdale State College
Georgia Southern University
High Point University
Illinois State University
James Madison University
Metropolitan University of Denver
Morehouse College
North Dakota State University
Northern Illinois University
Penn State Harrisburg
Plymouth State University
Purdue University
Salisbury University
Siena College
Southern New Hampshire University
Temple University
University of Arkansas – Little Rock
University of Central Florida
University of Central Oklahoma
University of Louisiana-Lafayette
University of New Hampshire
University of North Alabama
University of Texas at Dallas
University of Texas-Arlington
University of Wisconsin-Parkside
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Utah State University
Western State Colorado University
William Paterson University