Derenda Brittingham is awarded a Masterton award for her record of academic excellence at Rutgers and her service to the Camden community. She was led to contribute to the community because of her childhood and adolescence in Camden, where she witnessed substance abuse, violence, and the murder of her brother while she was in high school. In 2018, in honor of her brother, Derenda founded Camden’s Youth Enlighten, a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to encourage positive social interaction, skills development, and mental health awareness, and provide career guidance to young men. She plans to become an attorney.

 

Tyler Burgese is awarded a Masterton award for his academic achievements. In addition to success in his coursework, he undertook independent research and executed the project skillfully. Faculty note that he is a joy to work with, as he asks questions when he needs guidance, earnestly incorporates criticism, and addresses problems on his own before asking for help. He plans to pursue graduate school in sociology. His thoughtfulness, conscientiousness, and intelligence suit him well for such a path.

In addition, he was awarded the Stacia Gilliard-Matthews prize for his independent research project on the use of #Instagay on Instagram by gay men. He conceptualized the research question and did a qualitative content analysis of 300 publicly available pictures on Instagram tagged with the hashtag. He applied for and received an Undergraduate research award from the Dean’s office to support the work and a trip to the American Sociological Association conference.

 

Christopher Rodriguez is awarded the Masterton award for his excellence in course work at Rutgers. Chris was an active participant in his classes, addressing difficult topics such as police-community relationships, racial injustice in the criminal justice system, and abuses in the juvenile justice system. In addition to his coursework, Chris has also held internships at Rutgers and in the community to prepare for a career as a police officer. It is clear to faculty that Chris’s passion for knowledge and community justice will be a crucial asset beyond the brown-brick walls of Armitage Hall as he works to protect and serve local communities.

 

Meghan Tereman is awarded the Masterton Award for her excellent academic record at the Raritan Valley Community College campus of Rutgers, Camden. What led to an outstanding GPA of 3.895 were her abilities at research and writing and her active participation in class discussion. Meghan plans to become a lawyer, specifically an advocate for juvenile offenders. This is her passion not only because she wishes to deter juvenile criminality, but also because it provides a pathway to rehabilitation, such that young people do not become repeat offenders in adulthood.

 

We wish them all well in their future pursuits!