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Student Spotlight

Student Spotlight


Mark Ravinsky began attending Kean University in 2012 after transferring from Brookdale Community College. He entered as a psychology major, but knew he wanted to ultimately attend Kean’s occupational therapy program. Mark graduated from Kean University in 2014, Summa Cum Laude, with a B.S. in Psychology. In fall of the same year, he started the Masters occupational therapy program at Nathan Weiss Graduate College. According to him, the next three years changed him in the best ways possible. Within the program, Mark received an incredible amount of opportunities to better himself as a student, researcher, leader, and person. One of the most rewarding experiences for Mark was serving as part of a team of student researchers and program facilitators in two implementations of the Let’s Go community mobility program. Let’s Go is an occupational therapy community mobility program designed and implemented by Claire Mulry, OTD to support older adults’ ability to age in place. Mark presented on Let’s Go at two state and two national occupational therapy conferences between 2015 and 2017. Additionally, Mark and his team were selected as part of the 10% of applicants to attend the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU) 2016 Meeting in Berkeley, California, where they made a commitment to action to deliver the Let’s Go program on a larger scale. Mark describes the experience as incredibly inspiring; he found himself in the presence of leaders, activists, and innovators. Some were known, and seen on a stage: Bill and Chelsea Clinton; Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of; Catherine Coleman, Astronaut, NASA; Salman Khan, Founder and CEO of Khan Academy; Congressman John Lewis; and many more. Others were less known, no less inspiring, and found at every turn at the conference. In 2017, Mark, Julian De Martinis, Chrissy Papetti, and Claire Mulry were published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy. The article is entitled “Facilitating Wellness in Urban-Dwelling, Low-Income Older Adults Through Community Mobility: A Mixed-Methods Study”. Mark is excited to be returning to the CGIU in this year’s installment of the meeting, though this time as a mentor to the new Let’s Go student team.



Kean architecture students Robert Gallagher, John Grega and Gabriel Morales presented at Notre Dame University’s The Art of Architecture: Hand Drawing and Design conference on Saturday, October 1.

The students presented the findings of their Students Partnering with Faculty grant-funded research project to an audience of professional architects at the event. The Michael Graves College at Kean University, named for the internationally acclaimed architect who helped develop the program, shares its namesake’s commitment to hand drawing as a part of the art and science of architecture.

“Twenty years ago designers used paper and pencil; today they use computer-aided drafting (CAD) programs,” said Gallagher. “We looked at the large touch-screen table as a way to mix mediums between the physical and digital.”

Gallagher, Grega and Morales presented research quantifying and qualifying the advantages of touch-screen interfaces over mouse and keyboard. The students performed a series of five tasks on both a laptop and a digital table and recorded the time necessary to complete each task and the user experience, along with anecdotal commentary. The researchers found touch-screen interfaces to be more intuitive and efficient than keyboard and mouse based interfaces. Efficiency improved by four to 13 percent for most tasks and an astonishing 66 percent in one isolated case.

“The students were equally nervous and excited to be at Notre Dame but did a fantastic job of articulating their experiences with the grant,” said Kean professor Craig Konyk.

Konyk delivered a presentation entitled digital at the conference. His lecture further explored how touch-screen surfaces can reengage the hand-drawing dynamic in architectural design.

Founded in 2015, Kean’s Michael Graves College is rethinking the role of technology in its architectural curriculum. Utilizing a curriculum developed in part by Michael Graves himself before his death, the program encourages hand drawing as a discipline for creative expression and exploration


Naomi Horowitz is currently enrolled in Kean University’s Sustainability Science and Environmental Biology program. She aspires to work in the field of environmental remediation and environmental research. Her research work focuses on the impacts of plastic bottles on the environment. She has also conducted research in monoculture and polyculture agricultural techniques used in China. Naomi submitted a proposal to the NJ Tech Council‘s Summer Internship and Research Presentations and has been selected to present her SpF project, LCA of biodegradable water bottles. She will present her research work in Philadelphia on December 8th, followed by a panel discussion.







This project involves conducting a hydrological study of Hubei Province in China and providing suggestions for effective water resource management in this region.The study will take the Three Gorges Dam Area and Wuhan City as sample areas and focus on investigating hydrological, meteorological conditions, water availability and resource degradation. A research group from Kean will work closely with researchers from the Department of Urban & Environmental Science at Central China Normal University (CCNU) in reviewing historical data, conducting survey, collecting and testing samples, and interpreting results. The results of project will be used to update the Hubei water resource database for system modeling and decision-making. The project eventually will contribute to protect water resources, mitigate water quality degradation, and promote sustainable development in Hubei province.


For the world’s exponentially growing population, there is a great challenge to reconcile food production and natural conservation. Nowhere is this challenge greater than in China, where one out of every five people on this planet lives, and 20% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are generated. The development of modem agriculture in China has assured the country’s food safety and has brought in economic growth, yet comes at a cost. An overdraft on water resources has been taking a toll on the future’s food security. In addition, 11% of China’s 7467 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), or approximately 820 MtCO2e, results from China’s agricultural systems. Agriculture is also responsible for over 70% of national nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions and approximately 50% of methane (CH4) emissions in China, arising mainly from the use of synthetic nitrogen (N) fertilizers, livestock enteric fermentation, rice cultivation and animal waste management. This research project will be a collaborative study between faculty and students of Kean University and Central China Normal University (CCNU). Together, the researchers aim to conduct a farm ecology study to document how farms on the Jianghan Plain of Hubei Province, China can be used not only to grow food sustainably for the region, but also to understand its role in serving as a carbon sink to mitigate climate change. Major objectives of this study include: 1) Surveying the climate, topography, soil, agricultural infrastructure, and land use, 2) Assessing the farmland ecological quality by integrating the field data collected into GIS and remote sensing, and 3) Estimating farmland capabilities by calculating the grain production capacity based on ecological and economic factors coupled with available sustainable technologies.

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