Honoring the late Dr. Jewel Plummer Cobb, the Division of Student Affairs recently hosted a screening of the movie, Hidden Figures at Rutgers Cinema on on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017.
Dr. Jewel Plummer Cobb was an influential scientist, trailblazer, and educator who encouraged the advancement of women and minorities into the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The movie, Hidden Figures, was based on the true life story of three African-American women mathematicians who were pivotal to NASA’s launch and safe return of astronaut John Glenn in the early 1960s.
“I am proud of the role the Division of Student Affairs played in bringing ‘Hidden Figures’ to Rutgers,” said Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Dr. Felicia McGinty. “I am thankful for everyone involved in making this important event a total success”.
During her tenure as the first African-American Dean of Douglass College, Dr. Cobb was a proponent of women’s education in New Jersey, conducted a thorough review process of the curriculum, revised the advising system by adding peer advisors, and boosted both career counseling and community outreach. She also developed the Scholars Program and taught in the Biological Science Department. Dr. Cobb was known for taking pride in being accessible to all students, faculty, and staff, even hosting special events at the Dean’s Residence.
Open to all students, faculty, staff, and alumni, the event began with an hors d’oeuvres social, a welcome address by McGinty, and the showing of the movie, before concluding with inspirational words from current women STEM students and a recognition of Douglass College women from past and present.
“What better way to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Jewel Plummer-Cobb, than to view such a significant, inspirational, and powerful film with 323 students, faculty/staff, alumni, and middle and high school students from New Brunswick/Piscataway area,” said McGinty.
“During our post-movie discussion, it was exciting to talk with attendees about their feelings and what this picture stirred inside of them. For me personally, I felt a strong bond with and gratitude for all the phenomenal women whom have paved the way for so many, and whom continue to shine their light so brilliantly.”
The event was co-sponsored by the Department of Residence and the Division of Student Affairs at Rutgers-New Brunswick, and is part of a campaign known as #stemHERstoryRU. The campaign mission of #stemHERstoryRU is to recognize women who dedicate their careers to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math, while raising awareness to the overall community. On-campus, their specific goal is to “promote, empower, and encourage young women interested in STEM and provide role modeling opportunities”.
“We were also lucky to have such wonderful guest speakers and amazing student volunteers from #stemHERstoryRU, a Rutgers-based movement to raise awareness about women in STEM,” said McGinty.