Friending Newark: A Journalist Follows Facebook's $100 million Gift to the Newark Public Schools

The Albert Payson Terhune Journalism Lecture

Albert Payson Terhune Journalism Lecture this spring will feature Dale Russakoff, who will speak on Friending Newark: A Journalist Follows Facebook's $100 Million Gift to the Newark Public Schools, on Thursday, April 12, at 7:00 – 9:00pm in University Hall Room 1070.  The event is co-sponsored by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the College of Education and Human Services, and the Visiting Writers Committee of the English Department.

Dale Russakoff, a longtime reporter and in-depth feature writer for The Washington Post, is writing a book for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on Mark Zuckerberg's $100 million gift to the Newark schools. During 27 years at The Post, Russakoff covered local and state government, the environment, the economy, presidential elections, Supreme Court nominations, the Oklahoma bombing, the Columbine massacre and the 9/11 attacks. As a New York correspondent, she also covered Newark and New Jersey, including in-depth articles on Cory Booker and Chris Christie and on inner-city youth. Russakoff was born and raised in Birmingham, Ala., where she attended public schools. She graduated from Harvard University with a BA in History and Literature. She and her husband, Matthew Purdy, live in Montclair, NJ, where their two sons, now grown, attended Montclair public schools.

A panel discussion will follow the featured speaker.  Panelists will include Ross Danis, Newark Education Trust; Dominique D. Lee, Building Responsible Intelligent Creative Kids (BRICK); Jennifer Robinson, Montclair State University's Center for Pedagogy; and Susan M. Taylor, Montclair State University's Newark-Montclair Urban Teacher Residency program.

Ross Danis became the inaugural executive director of the Newark Education Trust in December, 2010. Dr. Danis is a lifetime New Jersey educator who has been a teacher, staff developer, supervisor of instruction, school principal, district administrator, foundation program director, and university dean. The Newark Education Trust is an independent organization dedicated to developing ideas, coordinating efforts, and aligning resources to ensure a quality education for all children in Newark, New Jersey. Ross Danis is a distinguished educator with over 30 years experience as a teacher, staff developer, supervisor of instruction, principal, district administrator, and foundation program director, Dr. Danis joined the Caspersen School as Associate Dean of Education in July 2009. Widely known as a scholar-practitioner who “walks the talk” when it comes to preparing teachers to transform lives, and school leaders to create and manage change, he is deeply committed to setting a new and higher standard for teacher education.

Dominique D. Lee, Building Responsible Intelligent Creative Kids (BRICK). Dominique D. Lee is the Founder and Executive Director of Building Responsible Intelligent Creative Kids (BRICK). He is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a B.A. in political science. After receiving his bachelor’s degree he initiated his career as an educator at Malcolm X Shabazz High School in Newark, NJ. In 2011 Mr. Lee was recognized, as one of “TheGrio’s 100: History Makers In The Making.” Nominated by a team of experts, affiliates, and contributors from across the country, and members of and NBC News editorial teams.

Jennifer Robinson, Montclair State University Jennifer Robinson is Executive Director of the Center of Pedagogy, the institutional structure at Montclair State University with responsibility for coordinating all aspects of initial teacher preparation and the simultaneous renewal of teacher education and the schools. For over 15 years, Dr. Robinson has been the guiding force in our partnership work in Newark, where her deep commitment to urban education in general, and the Newark Public Schools in particular, has enabled Montclair State to forge one of the strongest partnerships with a Great Cities' school district in the nation. She has been principal investigator and director of over 15 grant-funded projects to improve school-university partnerships and to recruit and retain new teachers for urban schools. Previously, Robinson was Assistant Director of the Childhood Education Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. She began her career in education as a teacher of students with disabilities in Chicago Public Schools and she later taught in Evanston, ILL. In 2010 Robinson was named an AED Scholar with the Goodlad Institute for Educational Renewal for her contributions to the Agenda for Education in a Democracy.

Susan M. Taylor, Montclair State University Susan M. Taylor is the Director of the Newark-Montclair Urban Teacher Residency program, where she works to contribute to the transformation and betterment of the Newark Public Schools. Prior to joining Montclair State University, she was an educator in the Newark Public Schools for close to 40 years. During this time, she has been a teacher, vice principal and principal. During her tenure as an administrator, her school earned over $5.5 million dollars in grants and financial awards as well as receiving academic recognition and awards at the district, state and national level.

For more information, contact Dr. Rita Jacobs, director of the Terhune Lecture series, at "".