In Memoriam

We remember some of the many notable administrators, faculty members, staff members, and alumni who made a difference at Livingston College and in the Livingston alumni community. Brief notes and links to profiles with additional available information are included.

Jerome Aumente Albert E. Blumberg Roger Cohen Lora (Dee) Garrison Melvin L. Gary
Albert E. Blumberg Albert E. Blumberg Roger Cohen Lora (Dee) Garrison Melvin L. Gary

Administrators, Faculty, and Staff:

  • Jerome Aumente (1937-2023, age 85): Founder of journalism departments at Rutgers’ Livingston College and School of Communication and Information. Founder and director of Rutgers’ Urban Communications Teaching and Research Center and Journalism Resources Institute. Recipient of Livingston Legacy Award (2011).
  • Albert E. Blumberg (d. 1997, age 91): Philosophy professor; Official in the Communist and Democratic parties.
  • George Warren Carey (1927-2012, age 85): Acting dean of Livingston College from 1973-1974. [No photo available.]
  • Roger Cohen, RC’65 (1943-2022, age 78): Journalism professor at Livingston College.
  • Lora (Dee) Garrison (1934-2009, age 74): Professor of history and women’s studies.
  • Melvin L. Gary (1938-2015, age 76): Psychology professor.

Hilda Hidalgo Richard F. Hixson W. Robert Jenkins Wells Hamilton Keddie Ernest A. Lynton
Hilda Hidalgo Richard Hixson W. Robert Jenkins Wells Keddie Ernest A. Lynton

  • Hilda Hidalgo (1928-2009, age 81): Chair of the Department of Urban Studies and Community Development at Livingston College. Founder of several community organizations. Gay-rights pioneer. Recipient of the Rutgers Presidential Award for Public Service.

    • In 2010 the Newark Public Library held a memorial for Hidalgo. Her donated papers are available for review at the same library.
    • In 2010 the City of Newark renamed a street for Hidalgo. Read the (Star-Ledger) article, or see a PDF copy with additional photos.

  • Richard F. Hixson (d. 2003, age 71): Chairman of the Livingston College/Rutgers journalism department. Namesake of a scholarship for undergraduate students in Rutgers’ School of Communication and Information.
  • W. Robert Jenkins (d. 2015, age 88): Dean of Livingston College from 1977-1990.
  • Wells Hamilton Keddie (1925-2006, age 80): Professor Emeritus of Labor Studies and Employment Relations and Livingston College Fellow.
  • Lynne M. Kellermann (d. 1986): Director of the Livingston College Honors Program. [No photo available.]
  • Ernest A. Lynton (d. 1998, age 71): Dean of Livingston College from 1965-1973.

Patrick McCreary W. Carey McWilliams Emmanuel G. Mesthene Edward G. Ortiz Henry A. Plotkin
Patrick McCreary Wilson Carey McWilliams Emmanuel George Mesthene Edward G. Ortiz Henry A. Plotkin (Hank Plotkin)

  • Patrick McCreary (LC’75, MGSA’79) (d. 2016, age 67): Theater technical director at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and formerly at Livingston College.
  • Wilson Carey McWilliams (1933-2005, age 71): Political science professor and essayist. Recipient of Livingston Legacy Award (2015, posthumous).
  • Emmanuel George Mesthene (d. 1990, age 69): Dean of Livingston College from 1974-1977.
  • Edward G. Ortiz (1931-2010, age 78): Retired associate professor and chair of the Rutgers Department of Community Development. Recipient of the Livingston Legacy Award (2009).
  • Henry A. (Hank) Plotkin (d. 2017, age 74): Executive Director of the New Jersey State Employment and Training Commission; formerly Assistant Professor of Political Science at Livingston College.
  • Felice C. Ronca (d. 1996, age 43): Assistant Dean for Curriculum at Livingston College. [No photo available.]

Seth Scheiner
David C. Schwartz
Winston E. Thompson
Paula Van Riper
Seth Scheiner David C. Schwartz Winston Edna Thompson Paula Van Riper

  • Seth Scheiner (d. 2015, age 82): History professor and planner of Livingston College.
  • David C. Schwartz (d. 2022, age 83). Political science professor at Livingston College.
  • Winston Edna Thompson (1933-2016, age 82): Associate Dean of Student Affairs at Livingston College.
  • Paula Van Riper (1947-2015, age 67): Rutgers Assistant Dean and Director of Advising in the Office of Academic Services; formerly Livingston College Assistant Dean for Academic Policy.


(Seven of the 37 Rutgers graduates who died in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks had earned Livingston College degrees. Read about all 37 of the graduates on Barbara Preston’s website.)

Kevin A.B. Appuzio William S. Bauer Jr. Frank Carvill Thomas F. Daley Michael A. Davidson
Kevin Apuzzio William S. Bauer Jr. Frank Carvill Thomas F. Daley Michael A. Davidson

  • Kevin Anthony Bernardo Appuzio, LC’06 (1984-2006, age 21): Emergency medical technician killed in a house fire rescue mission. Recipient of Livingston Alumni Association’s Seth Dvorin Young Alumni Award (2009, posthumous) and Rutgers University Alumni Federation’s Edward J. Bloustein Award for Community Service (2006, posthumous).
  • William S. (Bill) Bauer Jr., LC’86, GSNB’89 (1964-2013, age 49): Former Livingston Alumni Association president.
  • Frank Carvill, LC’75 (d. 2004, age 51): New Jersey National Guard member, killed in the Iraqi conflict; survivor of World Trade Center terrorist attacks in 1993 and 2001. Livingston College Distinguished Alumnus (2004, posthumous).
  • Thomas F. Daley, LC’75 (d. 2015, age 61): District Attorney, attorney, adjunct professor of law. Livingston College Distinguished Alumnus (2002).
  • Michael A. Davidson, LC’97 (d. 2001, age 27): Victim of 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks. From Old Bridge, NJ. Equity trader for Cantor Fitzgerald. The Zeta Psi fraternity held a memorial service at Homecoming on October 20, 2001.

Jayceryll M. de Chavez Seth Jeremy Dvorin Colleen L. Fraser Riki E. Jacobs Patrick Konan Kouassi
Jayceryll M. de Chavez Seth Jeremy Dvorin Colleen Fraser Riki E. Jacobs Patrick Konan Kouassi

  • Jayceryll Malabuyoc de Chavez, LC’99, School of Business-New Brunswick’99 (d. 2001, age 24): Victim of 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks. From Carteret, NJ. Portfolio analysist for Fiduciary Trust Co. Founding member of Rutgers chapter of the Delta Chi fraternity.
  • Seth Jeremy Dvorin, LC’02 (d. 2004, age 24): U.S. Army first sergeant killed in Iraq in 2004. Namesake of the Seth Dvorin Distinguished Young Alumni Award.
  • Colleen L. Fraser, LC’74 (d. 2001, age 51): Hero of United Airlines Flight 93 (9/11/2001 terrorist attacks); advocate for people with disabilities. Livingston College Distinguished Alumna (2006, posthumous).
  • Riki E. Jacobs, LC’80 (1957-2009, age 51): Executive director of Hyacinth AIDS Foundation; namesake of Livingston Pride Award.  Livingston College Distinguished Alumna (2000).
  • Patrick Konan Kouassi, LC’06 (1981-2021, age 40): “Mr. R.U.” in 2003. Drug safety associate in the pharmaceutical industry.

Brendan Mark Lang Christina Yuna Lee James A. Martello Jon A. Perconti Jr. Gary Scott Pfeffer
Brendan Mark Lang Brendan Mark Lang James A. Martello Jon A. Perconti Jr. Gary Scott Pfeffer

  • Brendan Mark Lang, LC’83 (d. 2001, age 30): Victim of 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks. From Red Bank, NJ. Project manager for StructureTone, Inc.
  • Christina Yuna Lee, LC’08 (d. 2022, age 35): Artist and music producer.
  • James A. Martello, LC’83 (d. 2001, age 41): Victim of 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks. Worked for Cantor Fitzgerald. Former Scarlet Knight middle linebacker from Rumson, NJ (formerly of Montville).
  • Jon A. Perconti Jr., LC’93 (1969-2001, age 32): Victim of 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks. From Hoboken, NJ. Worked for Cantor Fitzgerald in World Trade Center, Tower 1, 104th Floor. Perconti’s wife, Tammy, gave birth to the couple’s daughter in December 2001.
  • Gary Scott Pfeffer, LC’77 (1955-2018, age 62): Founder of Men’s Coming Out Group and longtime activist at The Pride Center of New Jersey.

Scott M. Schertzer Paul Taub Derek Lamont Young
Scott M. Schertzer Paul Taub Derek Lamont Young

  • Scott M. Schertzer, LC’97, SMLR’97 (1972-2001, age 28): Victim of 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks. From Edison, NJ. Worked in human resources for Cantor Fitzgerald, World Trade Center, Tower 1, 104th Floor.
  • Paul Taub, LC’74 (1952-2021, age 68). Flutist and pioneer of new music.
  • Derek Lamont Young, RC’87 (1964-2020, age 55). Vice President of the Livingston Alumni Association.

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.

Felice C. Ronca, Assistant Dean for Curriculum at Livingston College, Remembered

Felice C. Ronca, who was assistant dean for curriculum at Rutgers University’s Livingston College, died March 23, 1996, after a long illness. Ronca lived in Highland Park, New Jersey, at the time of her death. She had previously served as coordinator of the Livingston College Honors Program and the Paul Robeson Scholars Project. She also taught comparative literature at Douglass and Livingston colleges. A memorial service for Ronca was held at Rutgers’ Kirkpatrick Chapel.

The following text appeared in the 1996 Livingston College Commencement program:

This Twenty-Seventh Commencement Convocation is dedicated to the memory of

Dean Felice C. Ronca

Dr. Felice C. Ronca served as Assistant Dean for Curriculum at Livingston College from 1994 to 1996, and from 1987 to 1994 she was the Coordinator of the Livingston College Honors Program and the Paul Robeson Scholars Project. During her tenure at Rutgers University, she also taught in the English and Comparative Literature departments, and was well known as a dynamic teacher who instilled in her students a passion for learning and intellectual exploration. She guided countless students through the College Honors Program, and assisted many more with her compassionate nature, keen wit, and brilliant ability to advocate for them. Dr. Ronca earned her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Rutgers University, and was the author of numerous articles on literary subjects, including the works of Virginia Woolf, Baudelaire, Ezra Pound, and Jacob Tonson. She is also the co-editor of a forthcoming book, entitled The Scholar’s Art: A Festschrift for John O. McCormick. A memorial scholarship has been established in Dr. Ronca’s name.

Originally posted January 6, 2019
Revised January 6, 2019

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.

Jayceryll de Chavez, LC’99, Was Driven to Leave His Mark; Remembered with Dedication at Rutgers Business School Building

Jaceryll Malabuyoc de Chavez South Tower at Rutgers Business SchoolOn October 20, 2017, Rutgers Business School dedicated the South Tower of its building on the Livingston Campus to Jayceryll Malabuyoc de Chavez, an alumnus who died during the 9/11 terrorist attack at the World Trade Center.

More than 100 guests assembled in the tower’s foyer in front of a new plaque inscribed with details of de Chavez’s life, a photo taken at his graduation, and a portion of a steel beam from the ruins of the World Trade Center.

As a Livingston College student, de Chavez studied finance and economics. He was working as a portfolio analyst at Franklin Templeton’s offices on the 95th floor of the World Trade Center’s South Tower on September 11, 2001.

Jaceryll Malabuyoc de ChavezHe had graduated in 1999 from Rutgers’ Livingston College and the Rutgers School of Business-New Brunswick.

De Chavez was a distinguished scholar who started two fraternities, Delta Chi and Alpha Kappa Psi, while he was at Rutgers.

Friends said that de Chavez, an immigrant from the Philippines, appreciated everything and was driven to succeed and to leave his mark.

A conference room and four reading rooms at the Carr Library, also on Livingston Campus, are named after de Chavez, and his family has created a $1 million endowed scholarship and endowed excellence fund in his memory.

The professional business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi also awards a scholarship in his name.

Read more about de Chavez in a Rutgers Business School article on the 2017 South Tower dedication, by Susan Todd.

Top photo by Lauren Guiliano, courtesy of Rutgers Business School. 

Jaceryll Malabuyoc de Chavez - Tributes at Carr LibraryPhoto collage (clockwise from bottom left): Sign outside the conference room at Carr Library’s ground (basement) level; de Chavez’s portrait, plaque (see below), and furnishings inside the conference room; one of the four study rooms in his honor on the library’s second floor.

Top plaque: Every man believes in certain ideologies and life philosophies, it should be marked that Jayceryll M. de Chavez stood believing: “Experience is never limited, and it is never complete; it is an immense sensibility, a kind of huge spider-web of the finest silken-threads suspended in the chamber of consciousness, and catching every air-borne particle in its tissue.” (Sir Henry James).

Bottom plaque: Alpha Kappa Psi Study Room 4 Donated in Loving Memory of Jacy M. De Chavez and Victims of 9/11.

Wells Keddie Reflects on ‘a Life of Troublemaking’

[Editor’s Note: The following text was included in a memorial program for Wells Hamilton Keddie, a Professor Emeritus of Labor Studies and Livingston College Fellow who died in 2006. (PDF copy of the memorial program.)]

Wells Hamilton KeddieIn Spring of 2005, in preparation for the inauguration of the Wells H. Keddie Scholarship Fund (scholarships to be awarded to Rutgers undergraduates who combine solid scholarship with social activism), Wells was asked to provide a brief account of his own life of activism. This is what he wrote:

A Life of Troublemaking

When I was seventeen and editor of the Cactus Chronicle, the student newspaper at Tucson Senior High School, I wrote an editorial extolling the virtues of socialism for the United States. That I still believe in the virtues of socialism is proof that hope springs eternal.

When I was 21 and editor of the San Diego State College student newspaper, I wrote an editorial extolling the virtues of unions for workers in all occupations. That I still believe in the virtues of unions for workers in all occupations is further proof that hope springs eternal.

Wells Hamilton KeddieBut I did not get my first union card until the Summer of 1947 when I was a student at Stanford on the GI Bill (thanks to a two-year hitch in the Navy during World War II). I was working in the warehouse of a Nehi Bottling distributor loading trucks with case after case of bottled soft drinks. I became a card-carrying member of the Teamsters union.

The Nehi job was the scene of what was really my first (of many to follow!) serious conflict with The Boss. Truck drivers were putting in long hours without overtime pay, under a deal with the union that during the off season they could go home early without losing pay. The catch for me was that during the off season I would have gone back to my part-time job as a non-union laborer for the Stanford Corporation Yard. The answer to my problems was obvious: I claimed unpaid overtime pay on my last day on the Nehi job.

What an uproar that caused! The union, at my insistence, pursued my claim, and I won back pay. I noted at the time the sympathy expressed by the union lawyer not for me but for the management attorney for having to appear before whatever board finally settled the case.

The die, as they say, was cast. I was completely enamored of the power collective action brings and equally enamored of the need for union democracy — twin principles that have served me well during a turbulent life of trouble-making-for-The-Boss (including the occasional Union Boss…).

Wells Hamilton Keddie Some “before Rutgers” examples of trouble-making stand out in my fading memory:

After graduating from Stanford, I was in pursuit of a Ph.D. in economics (viva! GI Bill) when the University of California Board of Regents decided they needed a loyalty oath from the faculty members at all of the University’s campuses throughout the state. Resistance was most pronounced at the Berkeley campus, where a handful of professors were fired for refusing to sign the oath. As a teaching assistant I was not yet required to sign the Regents’ oath, but I did become one of the organizers of a group on the Berkeley campus opposed to the oath called the Non-Senate Academic Employees, as close as we could come to collective action, or so we thought in those days. (Unions in higher ed? Forget about it!)

In 1950, all state employees were required to sign a “loyalty” oath, and since I refused to sign, I was promptly fired from my TA position. Since the GI Bill had long since run out, graduate work was put aside as I changed from part-time blue collar work to full-time.

Wells Hamilton KeddieFull-time work included a stint at Linde Air Products as a warehouse worker, once again as a Teamster. While on that job, Dave Beck — a Union Boss if there ever was one — arranged with the employers our Teamster local union bargained with to deduct from our paychecks payments for life insurance that Dave Beck’s son just happened to be selling. A huge meeting of outraged Teamsters represented by our local rejected the deal. Next paycheck, the deduction remained intact. At the next meeting of the local, minutes of the last meeting were read, and lo and behold, no mention of the membership’s rejection of the insurance deal was made. I brashly moved to correct the minutes, was ejected from the meeting, and told to look for other work. My desire for union democracy was reinforced. …

I ended up at GM’s Fisher Body plant in Oakland, California, where we assembled Chevrolet bodies from parts shipped by rail from various locations in the East. I joined the UAW immediately, and eventually became a shop steward as well as a delegate to the Alameda County CIO Council. From that Council, I was a delegate to the California CIO State Convention at which we voted to join with the AFL to form what we know today as the AFL-CIO — it’s all my fault, folks! It was at the end of the convention when the president of the Alameda County CIO Council uttered these immortal words to me: “You are cheating the Communist Party out of dues!” It was not the first nor the last time I was red-baited over being a union activist who perversely thought that collective bargaining done right would lead to socialism. …. (Talk about being perverse!)

As luck would have it, I injured my back on the job, and I now have a Body by Fisher — if you don’t remember the ad, the play on words admittedly loses something. I went right back to graduate school, this time seeking a secondary teaching credential so that I could get a job teaching economics at a “junior college,” as community colleges were called in California. But I could not be placed for “apprentice teaching” once the school principal learned of my UAW background. I ended up at Claremont Graduate University (my then-wife had a teaching job in the Claremont Undergraduate Colleges system). While I was being smuggled into the apprentice teaching system by a really wonderful professor of education, I made contact with an equally tolerant professor of economics, and I was back in pursuit of the Ph.D. after a long lapse.

After a Ford Grant year in Iran (there is truth to the rumor that I was given the grant because of my work at General Motors), gathering material for a dissertation in development economics, I discovered there were no jobs for me in California thanks to my being on a privately generated “red” list because of my UAW activity. That’s when Lehigh University decided I was just the person to teach labor economics to its all-male undergraduates: The university had the quaint notion that these future industrialists needed to know what union-generated morass they were headed for.

The job at Lehigh made me available for teaching union members a variety of subjects under the newly formed Union Leadership Academy run in Pennsylvania by the Penn State University’s Department of Labor Education. The experience of teaching union members in labor education classes opened a whole new academic field to me, and as soon as I could I left Lehigh and economics behind me, taking a job I hadn’t known existed: in Labor Studies, at Penn State, teaching both union members and undergraduate majors. Seven years later, after trying unsuccessfully to bring the AFT to Penn State and after getting into the thick of the anti-Vietnam War struggle, I was denied tenure, the first such rejection of a department’s recommendation in the history of the school.

I then had the great good fortune to be hired as a one-person Department of Labor Studies at Rutgers’ Livingston College. I was appointed to this job by John Leggett — things were casual at Livingston College in 1972! The job came with a union in place, and the AAUP became my bargaining representative and my union stamping ground.

One of the great compliments ever paid me was said at a Livingston College faculty council meeting when President Ed Bloustein looked down the length of the table to where I sat and proclaimed: “The biggest mistake I ever made was giving you tenure.”

I have tried to live up to that standard ever since — and before, too.

Photos, from top: Wells Hamilton Keddie, around the time of his high school graduation; In the Navy; In an undated photo in or near San Francisco, California; At the State Convention where the California CIO voted to join with the AFL; At the Steelworkers Institute in 1969.

Firefighter Kevin Apuzzio, LC’06, Gave His Life in the Line of Duty; Posthumously Honored as a Distinguished Alumnus in 2009

Kevin ApuzzioKevin Anthony Bernardo Apuzzio, a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician (EMT), died on April 11, 2006, in the line of duty while attempting to rescue a woman in a house fire. He was 21, and the woman, Betty Scott, was 75.

A month later, Rutgers University’s Livingston College posthumously awarded him a bachelor’s degree. Also in 2006, Apuzzio was presented posthumously with the Rutgers University Alumni Federation’s Edward J. Bloustein Award for Community Service.

In 2009 the Livingston Alumni Association honored Apuzzio as a Seth Dvorin Distinguished Young Alumnus.

Kevin Apuzzio, Firefighter with East Franklin Township Fire Department, Station 27At age 16, Apuzzio, a lifelong resident of Union, New Jersey, had trained to become an EMT. In 2002 he graduated from Union Catholic High School in Scotch Plains, New Jersey.

Apuzzio had worked as a part-time EMT in Rutgers Department of Emergency Services for more than three years, and for about two years as a volunteer firefighter with the East Franklin Fire Department, Station 27, in Somerset, New Jersey, where he obtained his Firefighter 1 certification and was promoted to foreman.

Apuzzio, who had studied criminal justice at Rutgers, wanted to become a police officer in New York City. On the day of his death, his family received his police exam test results in the mail. Apuzzio achieved an almost perfect score of 99.6.

Kevin Apuzzio, Rutgers University Emergency Medical TechnicianA 2009 tribute video to Apuzzio (embedded on this page) interweaves recollections from his parents and from Dan Krushinski, East Franklin Fire Chief.

Joseph Apuzzio called his son a role model. “If he even knew you just a little bit, he’d do anything he could. … He volunteered for just about anything.”

At the fatal fire, Chief Krushinski said, Apuzzio answered the call and entered the burning house “without hesitation, without doubt in his mind.”

His father also remembers taking Kevin fishing: “The first time I took him fishing, I guess he was 6, maybe 7 years old. And he caught a trout, a good size trout, OK? So he drags the trout onto the shore, and I got to pick it up and he saw where the hook was and he got very upset. He said he didn’t want to hurt the trout.”

Krushinski remembered Apuzzio as “a gentleman and easy-going, but he wanted to help people.”

“I think if you drove down (Interstate) 287 and passed five people with flat tires, he probably would have stopped and helped all five people change their tires.”

In 2007, one year to the day after Apuzzio’s passing, members of the Rutgers community and the Apuzzio family gathered in the university’s Public Safety Building to honor him by renaming the training facility the Kevin Apuzzio Training Center.

“Kevin personified the best of Rutgers students: hard work, community involvement and a desire to help others,” said Richard L. McCormick, then president of Rutgers. “We use this training center to prepare public safety personnel to serve and protect our community. It is only fitting that it bear Kevin’s name.”

In December 2013, the voting members of the East Franklin Fire Company established the Kevin A. Apuzzio Memorial Foundation to provide funds and support to student firefighters following in Apuzzio’s footsteps of community service. In June 2014, the foundation officially incorporated as a New Jersey nonprofit corporation. Funds raised support the foundation’s mission to carry on Apuzzio’s legacy through scholarships and outreach programs.

On the 10th anniversary of his death in 2016, friends and family remembered Apuzzio, with the Union Township Committee and the Union County Sheriff presenting commemorative resolutions to his family.

Apuzzio was survived by his parents, Joseph and Marili, and a sister, Leila. He is buried at Mount Olive Cemetery in Newark, New Jersey.

Read more about Apuzzio:

  • An EMT and selfless hero who was devoted to others (The Star-Ledger, April 12, 2006)

  • A hero, a role model (Coverage of his funeral, April 19, 2006)

Watch the LAA’s interview and video tribute to Apuzzio (2 minutes, 32 seconds), embedded on this page, or open in a new window.

Photos courtesy of the Apuzzio family and the East Franklin Fire Department.

Dean Paula Van Riper Remembered; Honored with Memorial Bench on Livingston Campus

Paula Van RiperRutgers University has honored Paula K. Van Riper, a former assistant dean and director of advising for Rutgers’ School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) and previously for Livingston College, with a tribute plaque erected on a bench outside the James Dickson Carr Library (formerly the Kilmer Library) on Livingston campus.

Rutgers dedicated the plaque to Van Riper’s memory at a ceremony on Saturday, September 24, 2016.

Van Riper, 67, of Branchburg, New Jersey, passed away on August 20, 2015, after a long struggle with multiple myeloma.

Van Riper had served as a dean at Rutgers in various roles since 1992. Prior to joining the university, Van Riper served on the Piscataway, New Jersey, Board of Education as a member, Vice President and President, and as President of the PTA Presidents Council.

Diagnosed with myeloma in 1999, Van Riper founded the Central Jersey Multiple Myeloma Support Group, providing information, guidance, and support to many fellow patients and their families. She had spoken and written extensively in support of the myeloma community, and had appeared as its advocate before legislative bodies. She also started a yearly 5K race to support multiple myeloma research. In fall 2015, shortly after Van Riper’s death, the proceeds from the race funded a research grant in her name.

A fund-raiser for Van Riper’s memorial plaque, which ran from August 10-September 12, 2016, raised $8,840, with $7,000 earmarked for Rutgers and $1,840 for scholarships for Piscataway High School students. 

“Thousands of students remember her fondly as the advisor ready with a word of good advice, a smile and a gentle push forward,” her colleague, SAS Assistant Dean Robin Diamond, said in a video explaining the fund-raising campaign (also embedded on this page). “Need someone to talk to who would give it to you straight while still caring about your experience? Paula was your person.”

Among other accomplishments, Van Riper established a connection between the radio stations at Rutgers and Piscataway High School, allowing them to merge and serve both the university and the high school since 2000.

Garth Patterson, an academic advisor in SAS since its founding in 2007, remembers Van Riper as a professional mentor “and in uncountable ways, influenced my growth as a person.”

Jason Goldstein, a 2002 alumnus of Livingston College, remembers Van Riper from an open house event he attended before entering college.

“As a dean, Paula Van Riper provided remarks, led a panel discussion, and provided insight when answering questions from the audience. She showcased her warmth, energy, and love for students, a disposition that represented Livingston College very well,” said Goldstein, who is also a former President of the Livingston Alumni Association. “As an inquisitive high school student, I had a million questions. After the event ended, I approached Paula in the hallway to introduce myself and learn a little more. Paula spent what must have been a half hour with me and my parents sharing her passion for Livingston College and tips to be successful at Rutgers and in life. I felt there was now a face, with a beautiful smile, on this intimidating university.”

Sabrina Lauredent, an alumna from the SAS Class of 2015, remembers Van Riper as “thoughtful, kind, witty and very honest to me about everything.

“Dean Van Riper was thoughtful, kind, witty and very honest to me about everything. Dean Van Riper guided me through a lot of my academic and personal struggles, and was always willing to meet with me in between work and classes,” said Lauredent, a secretarial assistant at the Livingston Advising Center. “During each advising session she encouraged me to try harder and simply do better, and I always left feeling a little more confident in my abilities and myself.

“There were plenty of fun conversations too, about puppies, the weather and our hair. I loved everything about Dean Van Riper from the way she appreciated everyone around her, the way she spoke, the pretty scarves she wore, her cute green Prius, and the hugs she gave me before and after every long break.”

Van Riper was born in 1947 in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and graduated from Franklin High School in 1965. Van Riper earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Rider University in 1969, and a Master’s in Social Work from Rutgers in 1997.

She is survived by her son Ryan Van Riper, daughter Renee (Whitman) and her husband Eric Whitman, brother Richard Bonopane, sister Bonnie (Fochi), brother Alan Bonopane, and grandson Alexander Whitman. She is predeceased by her parents, Vincent and Frances Bonopane.

George Warren Carey, an Urban Studies Professor and Researcher, Was Livingston College’s Acting Dean from 1973-1974 

George Warren Carey, who served as Livingston College’s Acting Dean for one year, from 1973-1974, was a Professor and Chairman of the Division of Urban Studies at Livingston College, affiliated with Rutgers’ Center for Urban Policy Research.

He also had been a professor of Urban Geography at Columbia University.

Carey died January 10, 2012, at age 85. 

His research includes the 1969 book, Teaching Population Geography: An Interdisciplinary Ecological Approach, co-written with Julie Schwartzberg; the 1972 monograph, Urbanization, Water Pollution, and Public Policy, co-written with several other researchers; and a 1974 study on “hypocritical decision-making” for the journal Human Ecology, co-written with Michael R. Greenberg, an Associate Professor of Community Development, Geography and Planning at Livingston College.

In 1974 he spoke at Vassar College on “Demography, Education, Urban Renewal and the Washington, D. C. Ghetto: A Statistical-Cartographic Analysis.”

Carey, born January 1, 1927, was the son of the late George Anthony and Florence Kearns Carey of the Bronx, New York.

Carey received a B.A., an M.A. in economic history and a Ph.D. in geography from Columbia University, according to a notice of his wedding to Janet Lipschultz, published on October 31, 1988, in The New York Times.

He served in the Army Air Corps from 1944-1946.

In a November 21, 1988, New York Times article, Carey spoke of his conversion to Judaism, “after a lifetime of seeking, of reading in philosophy, of reading in religion, of experiencing what life has to offer.”

At the time of his death, Carey lived in Old Chatham, New York. In addition to his wife, he was survived by multiple children and grandchildren.

Riki Jacobs, LC’80, Provided Support to Vulnerable Populations; Honored as a Livingston Distinguished Alumna in 2000

Riki JacobsRiki E. Jacobs, a 1980 graduate of Livingston College at Rutgers University, served as executive director of Hyacinth AIDS Foundation from 1993 until her death in 2009.

In 2000, Jacobs was named one of the first four Distinguished Alumni by the Livingston Alumni Association of Rutgers University (LAA).

In 2010, the LAA renamed its award for an outstanding graduating undergraduate senior, to the Riki Jacobs Livingston Pride Award.

Hyacinth AIDS Foundation was a “mess” and “about ready to go under” when Jacobs joined, said Jerry McCathern, Hyacinth’s senior director of development at the time of Jacobs’ death. “Riki could have been a hero or the agency could have failed,” McCathern said. “It would have failed under most people, but she took it from there to present, in that we have become the ‘premier AIDS service agency in the state.’”

Under Jacobs’ direction, Hyacinth became the only organization in New Jersey with a public policy and community organizing staff dedicated to protecting the rights and benefits of people living with HIV/AIDS in New Jersey. During her tenure at Hyacinth, Jacobs served as a fellow of Leadership New Jersey 1995.

At the time of Jacobs’ death, New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine called her “a guiding light in the fight against HIV/AIDS in New Jersey for more than 25 years. She was an articulate and compassionate voice who was highly respected for her efforts to ensure health care access for those living with, infected with, and affected by HIV. Riki’s vision and unwavering commitment will be greatly missed.”

Prior to her service with Hyacinth, Jacobs served as a staff attorney and the assistant director for New Jersey’s Commission on Sex Discrimination in the Statutes, where she advocated for laws impacting victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. From 1982 to 1992 Jacobs was the director of development at the New Jersey Association on Correction (NJAC) where, among other responsibilities, she provided AIDS education to inmates in county jails. In the late 1980s she realized the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS on the association’s clients. As a result, she developed one of the first pre-release programs in the country targeting offenders living with HIV/AIDS and also created an HIV/AIDS prevention and education program at the Mercer and Middlesex County correctional facilities.

She had been involved since 1986 with organizing local and statewide coalitions. She co-founded the New Jersey Women & AIDS Network (NJWAN), an organization devoted to address the impact of AIDS on women in New Jersey. She was also responsible for the development of NJAC’s first domestic violence shelter in Passaic County. 

Jacobs was strongly committed to the work of the non-profit community. She served on the boards of the Center for Non-Profits and the New Jersey chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). She also served on the advisory board of the New Jersey AIDS Partnership. Since the administration of Governor Jim Florio, Jacobs had served as a member of the Governor’s Advisory Council on HIV and other blood-borne pathogens. 

Jon Corzine and Riki JacobsJacobs received numerous awards and recognition for her work, including: honors in 1998 from NJWAN, the AIDS Benefit Committee of NJ (Humanitarian Award) and the Middlesex County Commission on the Status of Women (Women of Excellence Award for her work in the AIDS field); the Public Policy Leadership Award from the New Jersey Public Policy Research Institute in 2003; and the Humanitarian Award from the Health Care Foundation of New Jersey in 2007.

Jacobs, born on November 12, 1957, and raised in Union, New Jersey, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Livingston College in 1980, and a Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) degree from Rutgers University School of Law (Newark) in 1989.

Jacobs, who died March 14, 2009, was survived by her husband of 22 years, Angel M. Perez; children, William, Eli and Kara; her sister, Ellen; her brother, Robert; and her parents, Harold and Betty.

Bottom photo: New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine with Riki Jacobs in 2007.

Distinguished Alumnus Thomas F. Daley, LC’75, Served as District Attorney and Judge for More Than 30 Years

Thomas F. Daley, honored in 2002 as a Livingston College Distinguished Alumnus, was a district attorney, district judge and appellate judge who served in St. John the Baptist Parish in Louisiana for more than 30 years. He died January 31, 2015, at age 61.

Daley, a 1975 graduate of Livingston College at Rutgers University, had served as the St. John the Baptist District Attorney from 2009 to early 2015. He bowed out of a December 2014 runoff election, citing ill health.

On February 24, 2015, the St. John the Baptist Council renamed U.S. 51 Park as Thomas F. Daley Memorial Park in his honor.

Before serving as District Attorney, Daley was an Appellate Judge in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeal in Louisiana, a position he had held since 1996.

Daley, a native of South Seaville and Neptune, New Jersey, earned his master of laws degree at the University of Virginia and his Juris Doctor (JD) degree from Loyola University. After graduating from Loyola, he remained in the New Orleans area the rest of his life.

Daley served as an Assistant District Attorney for St. John the Baptist Parish, in private practice, and then as State District Court Judge and Chief Judge. Daley was also an adjunct professor at Louisiana State University School of Law, and served on the Louisiana Supreme Court Committees on Judicial Ethics and Legal Internships. 

In 2007 the Louisiana Bar Foundation honored Daley as a Distinguished Jurist.

His additional service to the community included cleanup efforts throughout St. John the Baptist Parish, developing a program to offer job skills training to inmates and after-school tutoring, as well as leadership within his local 4-H Foundation and church.

Daley’s survivors included his wife,  Margaret Mary (Versaggi) Daley; two daughters, Bernadette Daley of LaPlace and Monique Daley of Baton Rouge; five brothers, Steve Daley of Qatar; Joe Daley of Tuckahoe, N.J., Anthony Daley of South Seaville, N.J., John Daley of Amite and Matt Daley of Woodbine, N.J.; five sisters, Terry Budd of Seaville, N.J.; Mary Anne Azzato of Southport, N.C., Chrissie Ternosky of Sea Isle City, N.J., Rosie Daley of Encinitas, Calif., and Kathleen “Tootsie” Daley of Ramsey, N.J.

Daley had lived in LaPlace, Louisiana, at the time of his death. He is buried at St. Elizabeth’s Cemetery in Goshen, New Jersey.