Category Archives: Awards/Alumni Activity

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Distinguished Alumnus Robert Bertrand, LC’01, Broadcast Engineer, Reimagined Radio at Rutgers

Robert BertrandRobert P. Bertrand, honored in 2015 as a Livingston College Distinguished Alumnus, is the Chief Technology Officer at WAMU-FM 88.5, the National Public Radio station in Washington, D.C.

Before joining WAMU, Bertrand served for more than five years as the Market Chief Engineer for CBS Radio New York. He oversaw the technical operations of four FM and three AM radio stations, in addition to the CBS Sports Radio Network until January 2016.

At CBS Radio, Bertrand led a team of 20 broadcast engineering and IT pros supporting the more than 500 people who comprise these operations, including 35 studios and 40 news production workstations. Prior to taking the chief role in December 2010, Bertrand served as a broadcast engineer for WCBS 880 for five years.

Bertrand began his commercial radio career at Greater Media’s WCTC and WMGQ in New Brunswick, New Jersey, where he discovered his passion for broadcast engineering.

Robert Bertrand, 2001 Livingston College yearbook

A 2001 graduate of Livingston College, Bertrand spent his college career to build a new radio station at Rutgers University, a joint venture with Piscataway High School. That station, 90.3 FM The Core, first broadcast in 2000.

Today it is the largest student organization at Rutgers and continues to develop new talent among the high school and college students it serves. For almost a decade after graduating, Bertrand continued to advise The Core and served as its chief engineer.

For Bertrand, Livingston College was a place for “forgotten misfits … a place for people who didn’t think that everything else in the world was OK.” And he felt right at home there, he tells us in the embedded video (2 minutes, 20 seconds). (Open the video in a new window.)

Photos: (top) Courtesy of Bertrand; (bottom) From the 2001 Livingston College yearbook, Diversity: Making Connections, Volume XI .

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Distinguished Alumna Deborah Stokes, LC’74: Livingston College Fostered Art and Social Justice

Deborah StokesDeborah L. Stokes, honored in 2015 as a Livingston College Distinguished Alumna, has served as the Curator for Education, Head of K-12 and Teacher Programs with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art since 2008.

At the Smithsonian, Stokes oversees the development of educational programs, activities, and materials for diverse school audiences and teacher development. Stokes writes with an eye to multidisciplinary, cross-unit collaborative programming and has created family gallery guides integrating the arts with natural history, astronomy and environmental science in a series of exhibitions.

Before arriving at the Smithsonian, Stokes was appointed Visiting Professor in the Art History Department at University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) teaching The Visual Art of Africa and Issues in Contemporary African Art. Stokes received her M.A. in Museum Studies at Columbia College Chicago, and worked as a Research Associate in the Anthropology Collections at the Field Museum in Chicago with a focus on African beadwork. She has published extensively in African arts.

Stokes’ work on the African continent has taken her to Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa and she continues to foster ideas of cross cultural collaboration with contemporary artists, curators, and educators both nationally and internationally.

In 2012, Stokes received the Pioneer Award from the Federal Government Distance Learning Association (FGDLA) in recognition of an individual for demonstrating initiative and leadership in the development and implementation of distance learning in the federal government.

In August 2013 her Distance Learning program was awarded the coveted Pinnacle Award from the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC). Stokes is currently serving a three-year term on the Advisory Board of Art Education, Journal of the National Art Education Association.

During her college tenure, Stokes found mentors in the Art and Art History programs at Livingston College who introduced her to the museum world in New York City. “Livingston College gave a foundation to the idea of social justice,” Stokes tells us in the embedded video. (You may also open the video in a new window.)

Also, check out an article documenting the “First Livingston Women’s [Art] Show” in 1972, at which Stokes exhibited paintings and a silk screen print.

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Distinguished Alumnus Kenneth Cop, LC’95, Leads Diverse Rutgers Police Force

Kenneth CopKenneth B. Cop, honored in 2015 as a Livingston College Distinguished Alumnus, serves as the Executive Director of Public Safety and Chief of Rutgers University Police.

He oversees the administration and operation of all public safety services for Rutgers University, with approximately 500 employees under his command. Cop graduated from Livingston College (’95) with a Bachelor of Science in Administration of Justice, a minor in Sociology and a Criminology Certificate.

At Centenary College (’02), he earned a Master of Arts in Leadership and Public Administration. Additionally, he is a graduate of the FBI National Academy Class #254, the West Point Command and Leadership School, and the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Program.

Cop was hired as a Rutgers University Security Officer in 1995. He completed his basic police certification at the Ocean County Police Academy and started his law enforcement career as a Rutgers University Police Officer in 1997. He has been promoted to positions of increasing responsibilities during his career with Rutgers.

Livingston College’s motto of “Strength Through Diversity” is still alive in public safety at Rutgers, Cop tells us in the embedded video. (You may also open the video in a new window.)

In 2020 Rutgers Today interviewed Chief Cop. From the interview: “I just wanted to help others and keep people safe. … The sentiment was instinctual for me, something that I had always cared about. My decision to remain at Rutgers after I graduated is because I always viewed the university as home. So, keeping my home safe was a natural career progression.”

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