‘Imagine’ is my new column covering innovation in New Jersey

Doorway to the Universe

Driving by the Serin Physics Laboratory on Frelinghuysen Road in Piscataway, one might glance at the grey, rectangular structure and consider it just another building on the Busch Campus of Rutgers University.

Inside it, however, are research teams grappling with some of the most intriguing mysteries of our universe, contributing to a growing body of knowledge about our world, the nature of matter and how we came to be.

The Rutgers research community contributed to three of the 10 major discoveries in physics for 2012 as noted by Physics World magazine, including: the observance of a new particle in the universe — the Higgs-boson (also referred to as the “God Particle”); communication using neutrinos; and the discovery of galaxy cluster motion.

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Bernardsville woman wins $1 million from Chase Awards to support her Liberian nonprofit working with young women on the streets

The_two_Katies

In Katie Meyler’s four-year journey of helping girls in Liberia transition from a life on the streets to a life of hope, the Bernardsville resident has single-mindedly focused on getting these children get back into school.

She has helped hundreds do just that. Now that her organization, More Than Me, has been awarded the $1 million grand prize through the American Giving Awards, which aired on NBC Saturday, she has set her sights even higher.
“Our goal now is to help 1,000 girls get back into school, and we have a plan to make the school self-sustaining within five years,” said the 30-year-old upon receiving the award.

For weeks Meyler worked tirelessly spreading the word about the American Giving Awards campaign, sponosored by Chase, which was based on the number of votes received online on Facebook.

Since 2009 she has been speaking at churches, schools, and nonprofit organizations, sharing her story, which includes doubts and fears she has faced and growing up in poverty in one of the richest areas of the country. When she doubted herself the most, it was a friend who urged her to get beyond her personal concerns.

“That’s when I realized that what I wanted to do was — more than me,” Meyler said.
Read full story on the Asbury Park Press site:

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Recent feature: Hillsborough teen keeps mother’s spirit alive through Rememberance Tree

There are many things that 15-year-old Stephen Wurst remembers about his mother Laurie Parlin who lost her life to breast cancer in August 2009 just one week before her 34th birthday. She never missed his baseball games and always was there to cheer him on — even when she was going through chemotherapy.

Wurst also remembers that his mother lost her job and her medical insurance after she was diagnosed. The Steeplechase Cancer Center not only helped out with expenses,but encircled his family with love and kindness, which is what motivated the teen to give back.

“Everyone was so kind and helpful at Steeplechase. They made you feel like you were home rather than in a hospital dealing with a major disease,” Wurst said.

Read full story on My Central Jersey.com.

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Sandy: One emotional storm

NOV12

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Recent Feature Stories and Videos…

Will Law Follow the ‘Fairly Legal’ Model? 
New Jersey mediators weigh in on another path to justice

BY MARYLYNN SCHIAVI • FOR THE COURIER NEWS • JULY 28, 2012

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Practical Spirit (column for AOL Patch Morristown NJ)

I have a passion for exploring spiritual and philosophical ideas. I believe at the heart of every tradition is the principle of love and compassion and that is what inspired me to begin writing a column called ‘Practical Spirit.’

Here are some of the topics covered in my Practical Spirit column that appeared on Morristown and Long Valley Patch.com.
  • Morristown United Methodist Church.
How do we continue to practice the spiritual values of love, compassion and caring for the less fortunate, which are at the core of all major religious traditions, while digging out of debt in America and balancing the budget?  A growing number of Americans are sliding into poverty each week due to high unemployment and are in need of help, but many are concerned about the tax increases to support these government programs. However, since there appears to be little job creation in sight, what is the alternative? Some…
Joseph DeMaria, specializes in sacred architecture.
What is it about the design of churches and temples that moves the human spirit? What is it about this type of structure that inspires awe? What are the elements of “sacred space?” “It is a world set apart, that is the primary characteristic of sacred space,” said Joseph DeMaria, an architect based in Morristown who specializes in ecclesiastical design. “Generally everyday activity doesn’t occur there. It is a place where the realm of the spirit takes hold.” Sacred space could take the form of a building or a place, but it’s…
Participants at the Post Modern Hymn Sing Revival led by Composer Mark Miller on Saturday, July 3, 2011 at Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Morristown, NJ, which was part of a series offered through the local chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO).
Does music have the power to elevate the human mind and spirit? Is it integral to the religious and spiritual experience? Musicians, musical directors and composers such as Mark Miller, who currently serves on the faculty at Drew University Theological School and the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University, believe that it is an essential component of the spiritual experience. “Music creates community. It has the potential to soften the hardest heart and give strength and encouragement. For me, there is…
Bishop John Shelby Spong is a religious scholar at the forefront of the progressive Christian movment. He is a member of St.Peter's Episcopal Church in Morristown, NJ.
There are those, in all faiths, who have unshakable faith in God. And in Christianity, there are those who devoutly believe in not only the teachings of Jesus Christ, but also his bodily resurrection from death and his virgin birth born of the Blessed Mother. But what if you don’t have iron-clad faith in all aspects of the traditional Christian doctrine? Can you still consider yourself a Christian?  For religious scholar Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong, who served as the Bishop for the Diocese of Newark for 24 years until he…