Rutgers University-New Brunswick Joins a2ru

Mar 29, 2021

Rutgers University-New Brunswick, the flagship campus of the State University of New Jersey, has become a member of the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru).

Jason Geary, Dean of the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers, says, “Joining a2ru will not only help ignite new campus conversations around the role of the arts at a major research university but will also provide us with a platform to highlight the innovative cross-disciplinary collaboration that is already taking place.” Geary, who serves on the a2ru Executive Committee, will spearhead amplification efforts on the Rutgers-New Brunswick campus alongside Henry Turner, Vice President for Academic Initiatives, and Laura Lawson, Interim Executive Dean at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.

Maryrose Flanigan, a2ru Executive Director, says, “I am thrilled to welcome Rutgers, one of the nation’s top public research universities, to the a2ru network. We look forward to partnering with Deans Geary and Lawson, Vice President Turner, and their colleagues to foster new arts-integrative activities on campus, while increasing awareness for and supporting continued development of their remarkable existing initiatives. I am confident that Rutgers’ scholars and artists will be valued thought partners and collaborators within the a2ru community for years to come.”

Current arts-integrative efforts at Rutgers-New Brunswick include the Dance & Parkinson’s Program, a collaboration involving faculty in dance, psychiatry, and psychology that explores the role of dance in helping individuals with Parkinson’s Disease improve their mobility. This program is part of a larger effort to establish a degree concentration in Dance Science, which would also involve the Kinesiology and Health Department and the Rutgers-based New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health.

Other existing and developing initiatives include its interdisciplinary Collaborative on Arts Integration Research as well as partnership between the Mason Gross School of the Arts Documentary Film Lab and the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences to facilitate artful science communication as part of federally funded grants awarded to faculty in SEBS. The newly established Mellon-funded Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice has begun exploring the potential role of the arts in furthering its mission supporting the struggle, within Rutgers and society at large, to achieve racial justice by highlighting and thus helping to dismantle elements of systemic racism.

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