Aerial shot of campus.

Spotlight: News Briefs

Sprague Library: Home to Institutional Repository

Montclair State University Digital Commons, a new institutional repository managed by Sprague Library, preserves and showcases the University’s research and creative works under one umbrella.

The repository (which can be accessed at serves the interests of Montclair State — a national- and state-designated research university — by making the scholarly work of the University community easily discoverable through search engines in an open-access digital environment.

“By capturing the intellectual output of the University, the repository provides visibility and influence to a worldwide audience, which, in turn, opens up new avenues for further research and collaboration,” says Sprague Library Research and Projects Specialist Karen Ramsden.

STEM Pioneers

STEM Students in the “turtle lab.”
STEM Students in the “turtle lab.”

The University’s first cohort of STEM Pioneers — undeclared, first-year, first-generation students — are discovering the possibilities for majors in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The STEM Pioneers program expects to welcome about 75 new students in fall 2019. The program, developed by faculty members from the College of Science and Mathematics, in collaboration with the Research Academy for University Learning, is supported by a three-year, $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

“This has really opened my eyes to fields in science I didn’t know existed,” says Jose Castillo, a freshman from Bloomfield, N.J.

Professor Receives Physics Fellowship

Associate Professor of Physics Marc Favata has been awarded a 2018 Simons Fellowship in theoretical physics by the Simons Foundation, giving him the opportunity to continue his cutting-edge research abroad for a year, working alongside fellow scholars in other parts of the world. Of the 12 scholars awarded Simons Fellowships for theoretical physics in 2018, Favata is the only honoree from a New Jersey higher education institution.

The $108,000 grant will allow Favata to further his research in gravitational-wave astronomy, with the goal of discovering new areas that could be examined with the next generation of gravitational-wave experiments. He will visit Ewha Womans University and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute as well as the Albert Einstein Institute in Germany and the California Institute of Technology.

“This is an incredibly exciting time to be working in gravitational-wave science,” Favata says.

Recording Montclair Township’s Diverse History

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Township of Montclair’s founding, the Montclair History Center is capturing oral histories from those who call Montclair home — paying particular attention to its ethnically diverse populations.

With grant funding from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, the Center tapped Anthropology Professor Chris Matthews to guide the project with the help of 16 students from his Historical Archaeology class, who have interviewed about 40 Montclair residents.

Student interviewing a Montclair resident.
Students interviewed 40 Montclair residents for the project.

“We want to recognize what people have to share about the neighborhoods and communities they grew up in,” he says. “Of great interest were the African-American community, which has played a prominent and active part in Montclair’s history, and the Italian- American community that first settled here around 1900.”