Apply or Nominate for an LAA Award

The LAA welcomes applications/nominations for the Riki Jacobs Livingston Pride Award. This award is given annually to two undergraduate seniors (with a graduation date in the current calendar year, as defined in the application) on the New Brunswick/Piscataway campus. Two awards have been given each year since 2021. (Previously, one person received the award each year.) Applicants nominate themselves.

Applications for the 2024 award are not yet open.

The following awards are given at occasional celebrations. 

  • Livingston College Distinguished Alumni Award
  • Livingston Legacy Award (for faculty and staff members)
No date has been set for the next celebration. Nominations for those two awards are not open at this time.

Jerome Aumente Remembered; Was a Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Founder of Livingston College’s Department of Journalism and Urban Communications

Jerome AumenteWith sadness, we join the Rutgers School of Communication & Information in announcing the passing of Jerome Aumente on February 13, 2023, after a long illness.

Aumente was a Distinguished Professor Emeritus in Rutgers’ School of Communication and Information (SC&I).

He was born on September 23, 1937, in Jersey City, New Jersey. He earned his undergraduate degree at Rutgers-Newark in 1959 and graduate degrees at the Columbia University School of Journalism and at Harvard University as a Nieman Fellow.

Aumente spent time in Europe and then worked for a decade at newspapers, including The Detroit News. He returned to Rutgers in 1969 to become a faculty member at Livingston College. At Livingston College, he founded and directed the Department of Journalism and Urban Communications, as well as the Urban Communications Teaching and Research Center.

He was the founding Director of the Journalism Resources Institute (JRI) and was the founder and former Chairperson of the Department of Journalism and Media Studies. Both units are in the School of Communication and Information, one of the first interdisciplinary schools founded in the United States, which he helped design at the request of the university provost.

He was Special Counselor to the Dean of SC&I from 2000 to 2015. The Journalism Resources Institute conducted nearly $5 million in projects, and trained over 14,000 print and broadcast journalists under his direction, with over $2 million in media training and journalism projects in Central and Eastern Europe. The JRI under Aumente’s leadership had special projects in international affairs, journalism. and mass communications, new media technologies, health, medical, and environmental coverage, media and law, evaluation of professional training of journalists, business, and financial journalism.

Aumente had extensive experience in the international training of journalists; joint curriculum development with universities internationally and in the United States; as a trainer in health communication, the internet and newer media technologies; investigative and enterprise reporting; and in business, economic, and financial reporting.

In 2011, the Livingston Alumni Association (LAA) honored Aumente with its Livingston Legacy Award. The award recognizes faculty and staff who played a key role in the establishment and growth of Livingston College and its mission, and who have contributed to the overall Rutgers and global communities.

Anthony Rivera-Rosario, 2022 Pride Award Honoree: Helping Others Is a Privilege

Anthony Rivera-RosarioAnthony D. Rivera-Rosario, a 2022 graduate of Rutgers’ School of Arts and Sciences (SAS), was raised with the value of making a difference by helping others. The Livingston Alumni Association (LAA) of Rutgers University-New Brunswick has honored Rivera-Rosario as one of two recipients of the Riki Jacobs Livingston Pride Award for 2022.

Rivera-Rosario, of Union City, New Jersey, majored in mathematics at Rutgers, and minored in statistics and philosophy. He is a first-generation Hispanic/Latino college student.

He worked as a research assistant at Rutgers’ Proteomics Biochemical Laboratory throughout his college career. In the lab, he conducted protein synthetic and antibiotic experiments with graduate students, and programmed laboratory inventory and formatting protocols/material safety data sheets using the computer language Python.

He has worked as a financial analyst at Bank of America since June 2022, using his skills in computer programming, process improvement, and financial planning and modeling.

At Rutgers and in Union City, Rivera-Rosario has learned “the satisfaction of seeing how one’s hard work can make a difference in someone’s life” through multiple volunteer opportunities. He coordinated many of these events as an executive board member of the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega.

In his Pride Award essay, Rivera-Rosario highlighted some of these volunteer efforts. They include:

  • Spending the day with special-needs students at the Rutgers Special Friends Day event, making strong connections by playing board games and watching movies together.
  • Volunteering with his family to clean, organize, and plant new flowers at a hospital.
  • Serving meals at food pantries.
  • Building homes with Habitat for Humanity.
  • Creating personalized cards for hospital patients.

“Each member would be assigned a patient and get a quick summary of the patient’s diagnosis and what their interests are,” he said. “After taking a few hours to create the card, we would send them to the hospital to get distributed. In return, the patients would convey their gratitude to us for thinking of them. This is an example that allows me to put reality into perspective, every life is precious, and exchanging words of positivity with one another can make everyone feel cheerful.”

Rivera-Rosario is a graduate of the Academy for Enrichment and Advancement (high school) in Union City, where he organized a Hudson County science fair, orchestrated events inspired by Italian culture, tutored students, and worked closely with the school’s office staff.

While in college, Rivera-Rosario returned to his high school (now known as the José Martí STEM Academy) to mentor students, judge a science fair, and develop an alumni networking platform.

He has earned certificates in peer health education, digital marketing, and Google Analytics. He has been honored by the Hispanic Heritage Fund and the National Society of Leadership and Success, both in 2021.

“Bringing about a change to the world does not necessarily mean doing something universal,” Rivera-Rosario wrote in his award essay. “Even helping out one person can change someone’s well-being for the better. … To this day I am passionate about serving the Rutgers community and the world. I would not be the person I am today without the help of others who came before me, and I wish to impart the same mentality to those I help so that the cycle of helping continues.”

Riki E. Jacobs (1957-2009) was the director of the Hyacinth Foundation, an AIDS support organization, among many roles she fulfilled to assist vulnerable populations. She also was one of LAA’s first Livingston College Distinguished Alumni, honored in 2000.

Tara Krishna Works to Amplify Voices by Telling Individuals ‘I See You’ and ‘You Matter’; Honored with 2022 Pride Award

Tara KrishnaTara Krishna, a 2022 graduate of Rutgers’ School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) and the Rutgers Honors College, was raised with the value of making a difference by helping others.

The Livingston Alumni Association (LAA) of Rutgers University-New Brunswick has honored Krishna as one of two recipients of the Riki Jacobs Livingston Pride Award for 2022.

Krishna, of Scotch Plains, New Jersey, is a student at Rutgers’ New Jersey Medical School, where she is studying to be a medical doctor specializing in infectious diseases. At SAS, she majored in cell biology and neuroscience, and minored in psychology and in women’s and gender studies.

She has been active in clinical and volunteer work in medicine. These experiences include:

  • Serving as a volunteer emergency medical technician with the Scotch Plains Rescue Squad since 2016.
  • Working as an intern in the infectious diseases department at Eric B. Chandler Health Center in New Brunswick, NJ, servicing patients with HIV.
  • Developing content for an app and a podcast to promote the physical and mental health of mothers, at the Robert Wood Johnson Women’s Health Institute in New Brunswick.

Krishna’s extensive volunteer work includes:

  • Activism with Amnesty International.
  • Serving as an ambassador for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), facilitating skill-building workshops for undergraduate women and non-binary students.
  • Mentoring Honors College students in research, volunteering, clinical, and academic opportunities on- and off-campus.
  • Tutoring students in general chemistry and teaching chemistry lab.
  • Helping refugees learn English.
  • Working to promote cross-cultural competency in collaboration with students and staff at the Honors College.

She has researched sex differences in drug addiction and addiction recovery. She presented her research on Finding Feminism in Addiction Recovery, at the Rutgers Undergraduate Writing Center in 2022. She is a co-author of another study, in preparation, on the mechanisms of biological sex differences in cocaine addiction.

“Stigmatization’s power to harm well-being is highly underestimated, yet meeting unique people with different life experiences defined outside a one-dimensional label ‘underserved’ informed my ability to interact as an ally. I am happy to also educate others outside the realm of healthcare on HIV, too,” Krishna wrote in her Pride Award essay. “Witnessing the stigmatization of substance abuse and gender identity affect patient quality of life and recovery efficiency, I resolved to investigate addiction humanely.”

“Teaching conversational English to refugees of war in the Middle East, I realized I was still affected by implicit biases, and had a lot to learn from my own students. I had been avoiding possible traumas to ensure a safe environment for my Syrian students facing vast disruptions to their education. Yet, I was attempting to speak for my students without consulting their perspectives beforehand,” she wrote.

Her students opened up, she said, when she stopped teaching English through discussions of food but instead talked about the real issues of stereotypes and personal bias. “My students who lived vastly different lives than I — some fled Syria, and some sought master’s degrees, while others pursued dreams in the arts — taught me a lot about this clear need to learn from one another.”

“Aligning oneself with a community is an honor when you truly learn from your neighbor; it is a service done to genuinely forge connections to improve lives, amplify voices, and recognize an individual by giving them the grace to simply say ‘I see you’ when institutions do not.”

One of Krishna’s “proudest achievements” at Rutgers was her work within the True Inclusion program at Rutgers’ Honors College.

“… I soon learned how many underrepresented students within my Honors College community felt their voices went unheard; I also learned more about microaggressions and traumas that other marginalized identities faced,” she wrote. “I constantly educated myself on microaggressions while pitching to executive deans every other week about the importance of requiring cultural competency within each school to better promote hundreds of self-aware, culturally competent young professionals. This encourages the recognition of inequities to promote student engagement in overlooked communities and beyond. Unlike my activism and direct aid in underfunded school systems aiding a handful, saying ‘You matter’ when institutions forgo doing so, here I actively changed structures to ensure the institution itself listened to all who needed it.”

Riki E. Jacobs (1957-2009) was the director of the Hyacinth Foundation, an AIDS support organization, among many roles she fulfilled to assist vulnerable populations. She also was one of LAA’s first Livingston College Distinguished Alumni, honored in 2000.

Janelle L. Taliaferro Founded Black Business Association at Rutgers; Honored with 2021 Livingston Pride Award

Janelle L. TaliaferroJanelle L. Taliaferro, a 2021 graduate of Rutgers Business School, has worked to amplify Black voices at the university and to educate students on hunger awareness. The Livingston Alumni Association (LAA) of Rutgers University-New Brunswick has honored Taliaferro as one of two recipients of the Riki Jacobs Livingston Pride Award for 2021.

Taliaferro, from Lake Wylie, South Carolina, majored in supply chain management and marketing science, with a concentration in global business. As a student, she affiliated with both the Honors College and the Douglass Women’s College at Rutgers in New Brunswick.

Establishing the Black Business Association (BBA) is Taliaferro’s proudest accomplishment as a Rutgers student. “Having a platform for minority students to share their ideas, discuss their plights, and continuously learn in every academic area, is a necessity in education,” she said. “It is specifically important when preparing for a career in corporate America or entrepreneurship. … BBA is the only student organization on Rutgers’ New Brunswick campus catering to Black students interested in business careers, and the first in many years.”

In her work with the Rutgers chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Taliaferro helped to organize the first rally against racism and for Black solidarity in four years on campus, demanding equal treatment across all student demographics

Taliaferro also served as co-president of Student -Organized Rutgers Against Hunger (SO RAH), working with local farms, food banks, and soup kitchens, to feed the community and to educate students on food insecurity. In her Pride Award application, Taliaferro noted that 30 percent of college students are food insecure.

For 18 months, Taliaferro served as a career prep fellow in the Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) program, traveling to Dallas and Minneapolis in 2019, before the pandemic hit. 

“At each of our conferences we had the ability to demonstrate our analytical skills through case studies, our leadership through small and large group roundtables, and most importantly, become a family while having representatives from the top companies in the world interacting and leading our sessions,” she said. “The deeper meaning, I see, behind supporting and fueling students of color is building up an army full of diversity of thought. Throughout my time in MLT, I was the only fellow on behalf of Rutgers New Brunswick in my cohort.”

As a student, Taliaferro completed internships at GlaxoSmithKline, Corning Inc., and United Parcel Service. Some of her non-business interests include being a “world traveler (17+ countries traveled), avid concert goer, and passionate New York City foodie.”

Since August 2021 Taliaferro has worked as an associate product manager at Visa Inc. in the San Francisco area. 

“I have always been passionate about creating healthy communities throughout my life and college career, championing inclusion efforts, and giving back,” she wrote in her Pride Award essay. “I would love to bring my activism efforts into corporate America to leverage the social responsibility of large institutions.”

Amanda Wells, 2021 Pride Award Honoree: Social Change Starts With Your Community and Neighbors

Amanda WellsAmanda Wells, a 2021 graduate of Rutgers’ School of Arts and Sciences, believes that individual action is a critical form of social change. The Livingston Alumni Association (LAA) of Rutgers University-New Brunswick has honored Wells as one of two recipients of the Riki Jacobs Livingston Pride Award for 2021.

Wells, of Willoughby, Ohio, is earning her Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate so that she can more effectively mentor and communicate with English as a second language (ESL) speakers. Since graduation, she has been teaching English classes to refugees as an Americorps member with the International Rescue Committee of Atlanta. She plans to attend law school starting in fall 2022, studying immigration and child law.

“My experiences with community service, whether I have been a person in need or a person able to help, have become cornerstones of my development and have created a deep desire to enact social change within me,” she wrote in her Pride Award essay. “My career interests are a reflection of this, and I am excited to continue to repay my community and to extend social change throughout my education, career, and personal life.”

Wells’ family struggled to keep the lights on and put food on the table when she was growing up. Family, friends, and food banks were key resources to help the family get by. Neighbors provided child care to Wells and her siblings and a place to “camp out” when they lost their home heating.

Wells has enacted individual change as a volunteer with Forging Opportunities for Refugees in America (FORA). Within FORA, she tutored a recently arrived 15-year-old refugee student to improve his literacy and English communication skills, including slang that he can use with his friends. 

“My childhood community was a critical cornerstone of my identity, and it was often the way that my family managed to make it through our day,” Wells said. “Because of these experiences, I believe that social change extends past formal roles and organizations, and is critically shaped by the way that we interact with our community and neighbors on a daily basis. … Small, direct change is often overlooked, but because I have witnessed its resonant effects in my own life, I will always think of individual contact as one of the most critical forms of social change.”

“(The student) and I often bond over our younger sisters, and I have found that he is particularly good at remembering new vocabulary words that he can use to tease her. Our work together has been incredibly valuable to me, as I have been able to watch him grow directly as a student. I see him every day, and every day I notice as he grows more comfortable speaking in English, confident in communicating with his friends, and willing to share his thoughts with me.”

In March 2020, when much of society shut down, Wells joined the Cleveland (Ohio) Pandemic Response as a lead coordinating volunteer and a founding member. “As a mutual-aid organization, we worked to respond to direct economic and legal hardships in the Cleveland area by connecting community members in need with community members available to help. … I am particularly proud of our ability to respond to the educational needs of low-income families with young children, as we provided over 100 laptops to families in need. We also helped to connect these families to books, learning kits, and free childcare for essential workers unable to be at home during the day.”

Wells majored in English, Spanish, and Political Science as a Rutgers student. 

As an intern in Cusco, Peru, with the National Office of the Public Prosecutor (Ministerio Público Fiscalía de la Nación), she assisted full-time governmental workers to understand barriers to education for adolescents, visiting schools and homes to talk with students and parents.

“I believe that a person within a community will always know the best ways to aid that community, and my work in Cusco responded directly to the needs of local people,” she said. “This form of community involvement was critical, as it taught me how to support other communities as they drive their own social changes in accordance with their experiences.”

At Rutgers, Wells was a lead tutor with the Plangere Writing Center for three years. Whild students were home during the pandemic, Wells found herself helping her peers not only with writing, but in coping with isolation, adapting to online courses, and living at home. 

She also served as president of the Rutgers Veg Society, a group for vegan, vegetarian, and veg-curious students. The Veg Society has advocated for expanded food options in Rutgers dining halls as well as more accessible food labels for students with allergies and dietary needs. While students were home, the Veg Society held online parties, cooking nights, and trivia games, and encouraged students to share vegan statistics in their hometowns. The Veg Society is compiling a cookbook to benefit the Happy Animal Sanctuary in Howell, New Jersey.

Rutgers African American Alumni Alliance (RAAA), Inc. Hall of Fame

The following Livingston College alumni have been inducted into the Rutgers African-American Alumni Alliance (RAAA), Inc. Hall of Fame:

  • 2007: Aliya S. King, LC’94
  • 2019: Vaughn L. McKoy, LC’90, NLAW’93
  • 2019: Victoria Pratt, LC’94, NLAW’98 (Rutgers magazine profile)
  • 2020: Vesta Godwin Clark, LC’81
  • 2020: Dr. Beverly Lynn,  LC’75
  • 2020: Julius W. Robinson Jr., LC’95
  • 2020: Dr. Claudia V. Schrader, LC’90
  • 2021: Dr. Yetunde A. Odugbesan-Omede, LC’09

Aliya S. King,
Vaughn L. McKoy,
LC’90, NLAW’93
Victoria Pratt,
LC’94, NLAW’98
Vesta Godwin Clark,
Aliya S. King Vaughn L. McKoy Victoria Pratt Vesta Godwin Clark
Beverly Lynn,
Julius W. Robinson Jr.,
Claudia V. Schrader,
Yetunde A. Odugbesan-Omede, LC’09
Beverly Lynn Julius W. Robinson Jr. Claudia V. Schrader Yetunde A. Odugbesan-Omede

Eshan Kaul, Aspiring Medical Doctor, Co-Founded Tutoring Program for Elementary School Students; Honored with 2019 Livingston Pride Award

Eshan KaulEshan Kaul (SEBS’19), an aspiring medical doctor from Green Brook, New Jersey, has been named as the 2019 recipient of the Riki Jacobs Livingston Pride Award, given by the Livingston Alumni Association (LAA) of Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

Kaul earned a Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers’ School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS) in May 2019, as an Honors College scholar, with a major in Biological Sciences and a minor in Psychology. At the same time, he completed his first year of study at Rutgers’ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS), under a seven-year Rutgers-RWJMS BA/MD program. He plans to earn a master’s degree in Public Health at Rutgers, before graduating as a medical doctor in 2022.

While Kaul has excelled in academics at Rutgers, he has also served as a role model for his fellow students and for elementary school students in New Brunswick. In 2016 he was one of the co-founders of Access to Education (A2E), a Rutgers-led tutoring program for pupils in first, second, and third grades at New Brunswick’s Roosevelt Elementary School.

In his award essay, Kaul writes that the odds were stacked against him and his colleagues founding A2E, with officials from Rutgers, the city, and the school district saying that he was too idealistic.

“To our surprise and joy A2E was a smooth success, and we received lots of positive feedback from the kids, teachers, and volunteers alike,” Kaul wrote. “Personally though, I took the most pride in connecting with one of the “troublemaker” students Joshua. He was quite the rascal, but I never did stop laughing when I was around him. By the end of the semester, Joshua would start his homework without being told, could read the descriptions on all his Pokémon cards, and even picked up other people’s trash. That is my pride: by not giving up, Joshua and I were able to become friends, and both of us are better people because of the other.”

The A2E tutoring program is a program of Rutgers’ Youth Empowerment Club (YEC), which partners with the New Brunswick-based nonprofit organization Youth Empowerment Services (YES). YES was founded in 2003 and provides after-school activities, summer camps, and mentoring programs for at-risk youth in New Brunswick. Kaul previously served as YEC’s President, and currently serves on the board of YES.

During his undergraduate career, Kaul traveled to several locations to gain a better understanding of important global issues: food insecurity and educational inequality in Tulsa, Oklahoma; health, well-being, culture and social inclusion in Thailand; and the impact of immigration on education and American society in Boston.

At home, he co-founded a Rutgers group called Knights Table, as a means to improve civil discourse, and helped draft legislation to remove health-risking philosophical and religious exemptions for vaccines in New Jersey.

His medical research includes studying the effects of medical student volunteering on nonprofit organizations, and cancer immunotherapy physiology in T cell receptor cross reactivity using antigenic peptides under Dr. Andy Zloza.

Michael Hill (left) and Eshan Kaul (right)Kaul writes that he has “a lot of Rutgers pride — perhaps a little too much — and I’m not afraid to wear it on my sleeve. For example, I can tell you important dates in Rutgers history and my email signature is ‘In Rutgers Spirit.’ ”

With this Rutgers pride comes a commitment: “When you walk down George Street, you’ll hit the beautifully designed Honors College, the immensely green quad and flower beds of Voorhees Mall, until suddenly you hit the train station, with its ever-present wet walls and crumbly staircases.

“With this in mind, it’s important to remind ourselves of the fact that Rutgers is a land grant institution, and how it is part of our mission to perform public service in support of the needs of the citizens of the state. But I would argue it’s more than that: we are members of the Rutgers community, nay the greater New Brunswick community, and it is our duty to be active citizens who want to support our neighbors as best we can.”

The Riki Jacobs Livingston Pride Award has been given annually since 1990 by the Livingston Alumni Association (LAA) to the Rutgers-New Brunswick graduating senior who most embodies the spirit of Livingston College and its attributes of leadership and social action. Livingston College is a former undergraduate college of Rutgers which was merged into the School of Arts and Sciences in 2007.

Riki E. Jacobs (1957-2009) was the director of the Hyacinth Foundation, an AIDS support organization, among many roles she fulfilled to assist vulnerable populations, and also was one of LAA’s first Livingston College Distinguished Alumni, honored in 2000.

Bottom photo: Eshan Kaul (right) talks with NJTV correspondent Michael Hill in 2017, about Kaul’s work with Youth Empowerment Services.

Parents Association Award

The Livingston College Parents Association honored 36 of the college’s students from 1976 to 2007. In most years, one student was honored, though in some years the association honored multiple students. No awards are listed for 1985 and 1986.

A plaque which formerly was showcased at the Livingston Student Center included the following text:

The Parents Association of Livingston College do [sic] hereby acknowledge the outstanding achievements of the following students whose efforts resulted in national recognition to Livingston College, Rutgers University.

Cy Rubin, President
Donated by Livingston College Parents Association
May 6, 1976

The honorees were:

1976: Paul Sellers, Basketball
1977: Martha N. Smith-Higginbotham, English
1977: John Alexander, Football
1977: Nate Toran, Football
1978: Deborah O’Donnell, Psychology
1979: James Bailey, Basketball
1979: Scott A. Pearce, Chinese Studies
1980: Elizabeth Thompson, Psychology
1980: Angel Melendez, Sociology
1981: Mark M. Karelson, Political Science
1981: Susan J. Kozel, Labor Studies
1982: Gita Sargrad, Psychology
1983: Barbara M. Hagin, Journalism
1984: Robert A. Stewart, Political Science
1987: Liza Kirschenbaum, English/Political Science
1988: Christopher B. Wilkinson, English
1989: Maritza D. Berdote, Political Science/English
1989: Mark B. Wilson, Journalism & Mass Media/History
1990: Paul F. Nyfenger, Marketing
1991: Julie Ann Traxler, English/Journalism
1992: Daniel Matthew Perez, Political Science/English
1993: Robert Louis Callahan, English
1994: Jonathan F. Weiss, Political Science/Journalism & Mass Media
1995: Jennifer Georgette McNulty, Psychology
1996: Alexis A. Higgins, Psychology
1997: Grisel Senande, Political Science
1998: Kayon Williams, Psychology
1999: Megan Chance, Psychology
2000: Bethany Strong, Social Work
2001: Nicole Lieb, Communication
2002: Julie Lynn Ciemnolonski, Biology
2003: Mighty Fine, Urban Studies
2004: Alissa Strong, Communications
2005: Vicky Chen, Finance
2006: Brian Matthew Offin, Psychology
2007: Lauren Dudzak, History/Labor Studies

Seth Dvorin, LC’02, Was Killed in Battle in Iraq; Distinguished Young Alumni Award Named for Him

Seth Jeremy DvorinU.S. Army Lt. Seth Jeremy Dvorin, a 2002 graduate of Livingston College at Rutgers University, was killed in battle near Iskandariyah, Iraq, on Feb. 3, 2004.

An improvised explosive device (IED) killed Dvorin, age 24, while he was conducting counter-IED operations.

In 2004, Rutgers’ Livingston Alumni Association created the Seth Dvorin Distinguished Young Alumni Award in his honor.

Dvorin had been assigned to Battery B, 3rd Battalion, 62nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, based at Fort Drum, New York.

Seth Dvorin and Sue NiedererDvorin’s sister, Rebekah, told The Associated Press that the Army informed her that “Seth’s unit had been ordered to clear the area of the homemade mines and bombs that have killed dozens of troops. … They were in a convoy and saw something in the road. My brother, the hero, told his driver to stop. That’s when the bomb detonated, when they were trying to dismantle it.”

Dvorin earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Administration of Justice from Livingston College in 2002. Born in Freehold, New Jersey, he grew up in East Brunswick and South Brunswick, New Jersey. He graduated from South Brunswick High School, where he played football and baseball.

Dvorin traveled extensively, including to Europe and Israel. He loved animals and cars, especially Mustangs, and was an excellent cook. He had lived in Evans Mills, New York, at the time of his death.

Seth and Kelly DvorinDvorin was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star for valor. He was buried in Marlboro Memorial Cemetery, Monmouth County, New Jersey.

Surviving Dvorin were his wife, Kelly Harris Dvorin, whom he married on August 26, 2003, five days before leaving for Iraq; his mother, Sue Niederer, and her husband Greg; his father, Richard Dvorin, and his companion Ellen Sutton; his sister, Rebekah Dvorin, and her then-fiance, Walter Gruszka; his stepbrother, Joshua Dvorin; his paternal grandmother, Ruth Dvorin; his maternal grandfather, Jacob Sapir; and his uncles Gary Sapir and Howard Dvorin. 

Dvorin’s mother, Sue Niederer, has protested the Bush Administration for the US involvement in Iraq, and criticized Donald J. Trump for his insensitivity to Gold Star families who have lost family members in battle.

As of 2018 she continues to speak on behalf of the GI Go Fund, a national nonprofit organization that helps veterans find employment and secure education and health care benefits, and provides assistance to low-income and homeless veterans, according to a May 26, 2018, article from My Central Jersey. Friends of Dvorin founded the GI Go Fund in 2006.

Seth Dvorin’s father, Richard Dvorin, a U.S. Air Force veteran, worked through his grief by volunteering for a phone hotline for veterans and their families.

Richard Dvorin also served as Past Commander for the Lt. Seth Dvorin Jewish War Veterans Post #972 in Marlboro, New Jersey, renamed for his son in 2004. Richard Dvorin died in 2013.

Photos: Seth Dvorin; Dvorin with his mother, Sue Niederer; Dvorin with his wife, Kelly Dvorin.