MSU President Named 'Educator of the Year'

Dr. Susan A. Cole, president of Montclair State University, was honored as 'Educator of the Year" by the Research & Development Council of New Jersey at the 25th annual Thomas Alva Edison Patent Awards Dinner at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City in November.

Dr. Cole received the “Educator of the Year" award for her outstanding achievement in furthering the advancement of research and development through education. The Research and Development Council recognized the growth in students, facilities, faculty and programs that has occurred at Montclair State under Dr. Cole's leadership, and also noted the University's plans to open the Bristol-Myers Squibb Center for Science Teaching and Learning.

In accepting the award, Dr. Cole noted to the assembled scientists and representatives from business "that we are celebrating the creation and uses of knowledge in a state that has not adequately accepted responsibility for the higher education of its people."

"If I deserve any credit in this at all, it is only that I saw with clarity both the need and the potential." Dr. Cole said she accepted the award, not for herself, but for Montclair State's 16,000 students, ambitious and talented, highly diverse and determined young men and women -- half of them the first in their families to attend college -- students who are ready to work hard, to pull themselves up into a life of accomplishment and contribution to society."

Robert Schaffhauser, chairman of the Research and Development Council, wrote that "by accepting this prestigious Council award, you join an elite group of other outstanding educators whose tireless commitment to higher education continues to help shape the future of the state and nation."

Dr. Cole assumed office as the eighth president of Montclair State in September, 1998. The Brooklyn native is the first woman to head the University, which is the second largest university in New Jersey, with close to 16,000 graduate and undergraduate students. Dr. Cole served as President of Metropolitan State University in Minneapolis/ St. Paul, Minnesota from 1993 to 1998 and as Vice President for University Administration and Personnel at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey from 1980 to 1991. She also served as Associate University Dean for Academic Affairs at Antioch University and Visiting Senior Fellow in Academic Administration at the City University of New York.

Dr. Cole currently serves on The Property Tax Convention Task Force, on the boards of the Liberty Science Center, Mountainside Hospital, the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, and The Public Policy Center of New Jersey, and has served as co-chair of Governor DiFrancesco's World Class Economy Task Force, as a member of Governor Whitman's trade missions to South America and Asia, on Gov. McGreevey's Education Cabinet and as co-chair of his higher education transition team. She was chair of the board of The St. Paul Riverfront Corporation and has served on a number of other boards, including The Saint Paul Foundation, Twin Cities Public Television, Western Bank, and the Science Museum of Minnesota. Dr. Cole earned three degrees in English and American literature: a bachelor of arts degree from Barnard College, Columbia University and both M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Brandeis University.

Also honored at the Awards dinner was Ralph Izzo, president and COO of PSE&G, who received the Science & Technology Medal for his extraordinary management in bringing innovation to the marketplace, and New Jersey Congressman Rush Holt, who received the “Chairman's Award" for his work in uniting industry, academia and the state in the pursuit of creating a research-based environment in New Jersey for the twenty-first century.

The Thomas Alva Edison Patent Awards were presented for the most important scientific breakthroughs and product innovations originating in New Jersey. This year's winners are Celgene Corporation (Warren), Engelhard Corporation (Iselin), ExxonMobil Research & Engineering (Annandale), International Specialty Products (Wayne), Merck & Co., Inc. (Rahway), Princeton University (Princeton), Rutgers University (New Brunswick), Sabinsa Corporation (Piscataway), Schering Plough Research Institute (Kenilworth) and Wyeth (Princeton).

The Research and Development Council is a non-profit organization dedicated to cultivating an environment that supports the advancement of research and development.