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Letters From the Dean

Check back here every Sunday for Dean Rifkin’s timely message to the School of Humanities and Social Sciences!

This Week -  Sunday, November 30

Dear Students:

I hope you all had a safe and happy Thanksgiving celebration.

Here we are:  the final week of classes and my last weekly message of the fall semester.

As you approach the challenges that lie ahead — final papers, projects, and exams — I urge you to plan carefully how to spend your time so that you can do your best work and not only meet, but exceed your professors’ expectations.  Look carefully at assignment instructions so that your work will readily demonstrate how much you have learned this semester.

I wish you a successful completion of all the semester’s work, beautiful holiday celebrations for whatever holidays you celebrate, and, in general, a winter break in which you can recharge all your batteries.  I hope you can set aside some time to read a great book, perhaps even Professor Row’s Your Face in Mine, since he will be a featured writer for us in early February.

As you think ahead to the spring semester, please also think about the special opportunities you can take advantage of, opportunities that may need you to begin consideration now before you leave campus in a couple of weeks: Look for an internship opportunity!  Ask a faculty member about undergraduate research!  Perhaps spring 2015 is the time for you to apply for study abroad for fall 2015.  Start planning now for your special learning experience.

Next semester I will begin using new software to send out my weekly messages.  They will come to you from a different e-mail account ( that will allow me to do some more interesting things with the formatting of the information.  I assure, you however, that the weekly messages will still be from me.


Your friendly neighborhood dean,


Benjamin Rifkin
Professor of Russian and Dean
The School of Humanities and Social Sciences
The College of New Jersey

Ranked #1 for Commitment to Undergraduate Education



Tues. Dec. 2

The Psychology of Magic

Joshua Jay, Conjuror (

Science Complex P101

12:30 pm – 1:50 pm

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