Published June 1, 2021

The challenges of moving forward. Caution over going maskless. And a racial barrier falls in Missouri’s highest court.

The number of COVID-19 infections is down, millions have been vaccinated, life is going back to “normal,” and everything’s great, right? Not quite, writes a Star-Ledger reporter about her own anxiety over returning to postpandemic life. She quotes Frank Ghinassi, CEO of University Behavioral Health Care at Rutgers, who notes that even change for the better is not without stress. “Many, many people have now kind of gotten accustomed to what their current pandemic lifestyle has been,” Ghinassi says. “Venturing back out, going back to the office two or three days a week—while that’s ultimately going to be a return to a new kind of normal—it’s also change. And even if change is good, it’s a stress.”| Post-pandemic life is around the corner, but my anxiety has never been worse. Why?

The Centers for Disease Control and Infection says anyone over 12 who has been vaccinated doesn’t need to wear masks or socially distance. But others are more cautious. Lawrence Kleinman RC’79, a professor of pediatrics at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, says he still asks his young daughter to wear a mask even when she’s outside with other children, because transmission is still possible if someone gets too close to an infected person outdoors. “It’s cautious parenting, and I’m a cautious parent,” he tells the Wall Street Journal.

The Wall Street Journal | Kids and Covid-19: Latest on masks, social distancing, summer camps

CBS News reports Robin Ransom DC’88, who earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology from Douglass College, has become the first Black woman to serve as a judge on Missouri’s Supreme Court. “While I may be the first African American woman to be part of this court, I’d also like to say that I have never lived by a label or by any identity that anyone’s tried to put upon me,” Ransom said at a news conference. “I always live my life to be kind to everyone and to be the best person I can be, and I bring those same attributes to being on this court.”

CBS News | Missouri appoints first Black woman to serve on state’s Supreme Court

A New York Times profile of Betnijah Laney SAS’15, who plays forward-guard for the New York Liberty, reviews her performance on previous teams and notes that she had a good college basketball career at Rutgers. “The offensive explosion she brought to the [Atlanta] Dream in 2020 was flabbergasting,” says the profile. “While not letting up defensively, she showed a newfound ability to create her own shot, and sink it.” Quoted in the story, Laney says her priority is “always the win first” and that “I’m a part of the scoring threat, but I don’t ever go out and say, OK, I need to get this amount of points.”

The New York Times | Betnijah Laney is the scoring threat the liberty needed

Tap Into profiles Camden middle school principal Bridgit Cusato-Rosa NLAW’11, noting she studied law at Rutgers University–Newark and found her calling in middle school education. “I did my field work visiting a school in Newark, and I fell in love with it,” says Cusato-Rosa. “Middle school is the roller coaster of life. That’s why I love everything about it.” She adds, “I think we’ve created a school where our families trust us. I’m always blown away by how much families tell me about their lives, and I’m so honored and humbled that they allow us to be part of the village.”

Tap Into | Profile: Bridgit Cusato-Rosa: From Camden “Revolutionary” to KIPP Principal

An essay on includes insight from Jack Tchen, a professor of history at Rutgers–Newark, about the practice among Asian immigrants of anglicizing their names. According to Tchen’s historical analysis, anglicizing “made it easier to fit in and earn a living within colonial spaces and jurisdictions. The tradition of changing names carried over as Asians migrated to the United States…The dark side of the practice is the in-between space where racism and other forms of white, Anglo-American Protestant cultural norms in America cause people to anglicize their first and sometimes last names. But a name change can also be benign, altered for personal or social reasons.” | What’s in a name? For Asian immigrants, a chance to ‘assimilate or vanish’

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