Inside IP&O December 2020

A Message from the Executive Vice President & COO

Hope and gratitude are two words that come to mind as 2020 ends and we head into our holiday break.

First, my gratitude to all of you for the work we managed to accomplish in what became a very strange year. Despite the shutdown, a core group of IP&O employees had to remain on campus to monitor health and safety, respond to public safety calls, manage maintenance and project requests, provide grounds and custodial services, and prepare the buildings for that time when we will return. I am extremely grateful for the hours you put in and all that you accomplished.

My gratitude, as well, to those of you who had to quickly adapt to working from home. In a year in which nothing ever felt quite right, each day punctuated by countless Zoom and WebEx meetings, the work got done, and new challenges were met with great resolve.

We are all aware that simply turning a calendar page from the old year to the new does not guarantee anything will change. That which we left behind in 2020 will still be looming in 2021. I do know, however, that the steadfastness displayed by all of you in 2020 helped guide Rutgers through the worst of this crisis, and your continued steadfastness will also bring us out of it. So as we say our goodbyes to 2020, I remain hopeful for a bright new year, and I am truly grateful for each one of you.

Have a healthy, restful, and safe holiday season, and remember, wear your mask, watch your distance, and wash your hands.

Navigating a Pandemic

A look at how COVID has forced change upon our Rutgers community.

IP&O Provides Infrastructure for Large Clinical Trial

IP&O’s Facilities Contract Services group recently completed the installation of six Department of Defense (DOD) trailers for the Janssen COVID‐19 vaccine trial. The trailers are located in the parking lot of 45 Knightsbridge Road in Piscataway.

“The trailers arrived on September 17 and their installation and set-up is critical to starting the Phase 3 Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine trial study,” said Azucena “Sheny” Grady, Senior Facilities Project Manager. The study, which began in mid-November, is managed by RBHS’ Clinical Trials department, under the leadership of Nancy Reilly, RN, MS, CCRC, CHRC, Executive Director. It has a duration of about two years

“The trailers enable us to double our enrollment for the study,” Reilly said. “It’s a great location with access to 287, Route 18, and all of the surrounding towns because we are reaching out to the broad population.” Because COVID-19 seems to disproportionately impact older people and minority groups, the study requires a large and diverse population. Reilly explained that this multi-center trial will try to get a total of 60,000 participants. “Our goal is to get 2,000 participants in our study,” said Reilly.

Participants are involved for two years. Once receiving the vaccine, they are evaluated in person five times the first year. “We then see them remotely the second year and evaluate the progress of the vaccine for both its efficacy and its safety,” Reilly added.

The trailers are connected to underground utilities from the 45 Knightsbridge building. “There has been a great effort by multiple groups within IP&O to make this project a success, including Facilities Contract Services, Utilities, Code and Standards, Grounds, Planning, Business Services, Environmental Services, Real Estate, Emergency Services, REHS, Operations, and many others,” Grady said. OIT provided telecommunications including wireless, phone, data, cable TV, and other equipment.

The Army trailers are self‐sustaining. They arrived to the site with generators, holding tanks (sewer), and potable water tanks, which allowed the study to begin before the utility work was completed. The utility work has been completed, and IP&O’s Utilities group will maintain the utilities service throughout the duration of the project. Medical waste will be managed by REHS.

“Sheny was absolutely fabulous in getting this set up,” Reilly said. “She was all over it and really wonderful to work with.”

Hear more from Nancy Reilly below on the This Week in IP&O Podcast.

RBHS Power Plant Upgrades Reach Milestone

The RBHS Power Plant upgrade project reached a milestone recently with the delivery of two turbines and three boilers. The new boilers and turbines replace older, less efficient models. Each turbine weighs 68,500 lbs., and each boiler weighs 188,200 lbs. All five pieces were off-loaded and rigged into their locations within the plant over a five day period. Temporary pathways consisting of railroad tie-like wooden cribbing and large steel plates were constructed to roll the Turbines and Boilers through the plant.

Each Boiler will have an exhaust stack that will extend through the plant roof to a total height of 115 feet.

The project, once completed, will result in enhancements to the site electrical distribution and increase support to Newark’s University Hospital which receives utility service from the power plant.

Camden Campus Police Officer Ron Trivinia Retires

When Ron Trivinia graduated from the Gloucester County Police Academy in 1990, most municipalities were only hiring police part time. There were very few full time positions up for grabs. “I came through some municipalities, Runnemede Police Department, Audubon Park, and then Magnolia,” he said of the Camden County towns where he found work. “The competition was stiff then for a full time position. I was trying to get in full time somewhere,” he explained.

In 1999 Trivinia put his resume in at Rutgers Camden. “They had two open positions, and I walked into the gymnasium where they were conducting interviews, and both bleachers were full with candidates,” he recalled. “But I stayed. I had put my last three dollars in the parking meter and stayed. Three interviews later and a physical agility test, I got picked.”

Trivinia has thoroughly enjoyed his years at Rutgers. “I always loved the new energy that comes every year with each group of students. It’s different than working for a township. At Rutgers it’s always new,” he said. Describing the campus as a “little gem” in the city, Trivinia had high praise for his former colleagues. “Rutgers did a great job picking officers for that campus,” he said. “It is a very diverse department in race, age, and sex. That’s why the campus community supports us. In fact, the entire community supports us.”

About three years ago, RUPD Camden started a Community Policing unit. Trivinia was placed in charge. “These were the best years of my policing,” he said. “I loved it. Kids would just come into my office to ask me anything. I wore many hats,” he laughed. “One might ask me how to budget money better. Another might come in for the candy I always had in the office. The holiday drive for the Ronald McDonald House was always the best too. There was not a dry eye in the house among us when we left there. I think we got more out of it than the kids at the house.”

Trivinia, and Lt. Linne’ Getsinger would dress as Mr. and Mrs. Klaus, as well. “It’s sad to leave, but as I told Chief Dinan, I have the years in and I want to spend more time with my family. My son is a junior in high school and time is going so fast. I don’t want to miss anything. I loved working for Rich, but it’s time.”

“We are going to miss Ron,” said RUPD Camden police chief, Rich Dinan. “He made a huge impact on our campus. He put his heart into everything he did.”

“Ron will be missed,” Getsinger said. “I could always depend on him for anything. Everyone in the department shared many laughs with him through his career. His replacement will have large shoes to fill!”

For now, Trivinia is keeping busy supervising the renovation of his wife’s childhood home. “My mother-in-law gave us the home after she moved into assisted living. We sold our house, and I am so busy now I don’t know how I would fit in work,” he laughed. “But after this is done and we move in, I’ll probably pick up some part time work. My wife and I have been together since high school. She knows I’ll need to do something. I can’t sit still.”

Congratulations PO Ron Trivinia on your 30 year career as a police officer and your retirement from Rutgers!

Autism Center Changing Lives

To be able to enrich the ability of autistic adults to navigate life’s challenges and to have career opportunities available to this sector of the population means changing the course of research, offering life skills training, clinical needs, and education. A pioneering approach to supporting autistic adults is underway at Rutgers, and the hub for this program is in the newly constructed headquarters building for the Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services (RCAAS) on the Douglass Campus.

The center, which first opened in 2017, is a first-of-its-kind project, and will now have a new building from which to operate. Its bold mission requires a bold person with the vision to implement it. That person is Christopher Manente, PhD, BCBA, Founding Executive Director of the RCAAS, and Assistant Professor of Clinical Practice at the Rutgers Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (GSAPP)

Manente is passionate and determined to create a new model for autistic adults through a community based program that addresses the individual needs of each participant. New Jersey has the highest number of autism cases in the nation, and Manente hopes to create a model across the country based on his vision for the center. “As the state with the largest number of autism cases in the nation, Rutgers has the opportunity to demonstrate a nationwide model of excellence in providing service, training, and research in support of this historically marginalized population,” Manente said of the program.

After serving his country on active duty in the US Army, including two separate combat tours, Manente came to Rutgers as an undergraduate Psychology student. He became involved in the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center (DDDC) as an undergraduate fieldwork student, and through his education and work there, Manente realized that much more was needed to address the needs of the adult autistic population.

“The population of people with autism is a very diverse group, but often many of these differences can be explained by the diversity that exists among all people. All of us have many facets to our personal identities and a diagnosis of autism is just one part of who someone is. This program demonstrates what can be achieved for all adults on the spectrum given optimal programs and resources,” Manente said as he looked around the 10,000 square foot space that serves as the core for the RCAAS.

What makes the autistic population so diverse is the spectrum of behaviors that characterize autism. “There are highly intelligent and articulate autistic adults with advanced degrees in a variety of academic disciplines who should have every opportunity to settle into a fulfilling career, but their social skills may be keeping them from doing so. There are others who may lack the basic ability to communicate and be prone to dangerous challenging behavior, In our program, we can accentuate their abilities and develop customized accommodations for accessibility to jobs, public transportation, and leisure.”

Adults with autism face an 80% unemployment rate nationally (pre-pandemic). This high level of unemployment applies across people on the spectrum from those who have a high level of intelligence and academic credentials that would typically open the door to many ambitious career opportunities and others who have more significant challenges, yet would be able to work with assistance. Success in business often depends on one’s ability to connect with others. This can often prove difficult for many autistic people.

“We will not be providing the bare minimum, which is what most programs supporting adults on the spectrum are forced to do.” According to Manente the program model is more cost effective, as well. “We want to make people independent, and also provide the right clinical treatment for the individual who is prone to self-harm or aggressive behavior towards others. The more self-sufficient they become, the less they have to rely on others.” Manente added that the adult autistic population may have had problems from a very young age that were never treated and only compound behavioral problems by the time they become adults. “This is a very diverse community,” Manente stressed. “It is as diverse as any community. We will serve all people with autism no matter their individual challenges.”

Long a segregated community, the program incorporates what is called “reverse inclusion.” Rather than isolating this community from the rest of the campus, the center will be open to everyone on campus with its game room, living/community room, and movie room. “This group of people needs access to the community to survive and thrive. What we will be doing here is a game changer.”

The RCAAS has three sub-units. SCALE, or Supporting Community Access through Leisure and Employment, is designed to provide a comprehensive support system to encourage success in all aspects of adult life including a special focus on developing an individual’s potential so that employment opportunities are possible, and allows the individual more access to the community rather than isolation from the community.

CSP, or College Support Program is the second sub-unit which provides a wide variety of services and supports designed to enrich the experiences of Rutgers University Students on the spectrum both inside and outside the classroom. The third sub-unit is a Psychological Services Clinic that provides a variety of evaluation services including diagnostic evaluations for adults in addition to also providing therapeutic services for adults in the spectrum with anxiety, depression, and other mental health support needs.

A fourth sub-unit that will be added, Manente explained, is an intensive out-patient clinic (IOC). The not yet operational clinic will work with autistic adults who trend toward more severe and dangerous challenging behavior. “These adults, with the most severe behaviors including self-injury and aggression, are considered to be underserved in the autistic community,” Manente said. Four clinical rooms are located in a separate part of the building and designed to minimize further self-harm or harm to the practitioner(s) providing treatment. “People with dangerous challenging behavior used to be institutionalized for the majority of their lives which was a horrible situation that needed to end, but many of the institutions were closed down without a clear plan for how the population of adults with this level of need would be reintegrated into the community. This situation is crisis across our nation that is unfortunately not getting a lot of attention.” Of particular note, the Intensive Outpatient Clinic space was carefully designed so that Rutgers graduate students can gain training and experience in the most evidence-based and effective practices in working with this population. “We will be teaching the next generation of doctors how to handle the hardest cases,” Manente said.

Just as passionate about the program and the new space is IP&O’s Joan Sitler who is the Project Manager for RCAAS. “Chris wanted to make sure we used every available space in the building for the needs of the participants. This required rethinking some of the design along the way and converting some space that was originally intended to meet a certain objective to then be adapted for a more crucial purpose. There were many times Chris made changes along the way, and it was back to the architecture’s drawings to see how we could adapt,” she laughed.

The building is funded through a gift from Mel Karmazin, the former President/CEO of Infinity Broadcasting, CBS, and Sirius XM Radio, along with his daughter Dina, the Executive Director of the Karma Foundation, which advocates for many autism causes.

Dina Karmazin, stopped by in late October for a building tour. Asked if the program and building were in line with her expectations, Dina Karmazin replied, “Yes. This program is a lifelong permanent solution. the way that the program includes all kinds of training opportunities for Rutgers students who might be interested in having a career doing this work makes so much sense,” she said, referring to the graduate student involvement.

“So many people in New Jersey are personally touched by autism,” added Nicholas Fabbroni, IP&O’s Assistant Vice President, Project Services. “My own family volunteers time to support our local church special needs group, most of whom are autistic. This is a project we can all be proud of, Joan, in particular, who has put so much time into fulfilling the vision for our client, along with Georgia Kyrifides, Senior Director of Project Services, they have carefully steered the construction of this project from the Fall 2019 groundbreaking right through the extraordinary challenges of the Pandemic.”

The building, with its open, inviting flow, eschews an institutional look. “It should be homey and comfortable,” added Manente.

The center also has a well thought-out kitchen space and laundry room. Among the jobs an autistic adult may have at the university are working in a restaurant kitchen or in laundry services. In fact, Sitler explained, autistic adults are currently employed by Rutgers Dining Services across several locations throughout campus doing a wide variety of jobs. . “This is where they can learn life skills. It’s a comfortable space. The living room and seating area are designed just like a student lounge,” said Sitler. “Research bears out the need to immerse services within the context of a supportive community just like the one we all enjoy here at Rutgers,” Manente added.

The building’s large windows and bright lights invite the Rutgers community inside, as well as those inside to go out into the community prepared and eager to engage. “This is a proactive approach to helping people achieve their full potential,” concluded Manente.

Learn more about the new Autism Center below.

Rutgers Gets Honorable Mention for Water Reclamation

Congratulations to Ted Elonis and the utilities group for attaining and Honorable Mention Award in the 2020 International District Energy Association (IDEA) Innovation Awards. Elonis, Senior Director, Plants and Distribution, submitted the Water Reclamation System for consideration in this year’s Innovation Awards.

The system in use at the RBHS cogeneration plant has resulted in the savings of millions of gallons of water during the cooling season when the chiller plant is in full operation.

Installed in 2018, the system reclaims water from the seal water which cools the heating distribution pump seals. The water is than sent to holding tanks to be reused in the cooling towers makeup system. The water would otherwise go into the city sewer system. The system has resulted in a total monetary savings of over $190,000 so far this year.

“We are really proud of the success of this system and equally proud to be recognized by IDEA,” Elonis said.

Weeks Hall Earns Platinum Award

Rutgers Richard Weeks Hall of Engineering has earned a Platinum Award in the 2021 New York Engineering Excellence Awards Competition. The project, which has become the gateway of the Busch Campus, was selected in the category, Building/Technology Systems.

A gala will be held in June for all honorees. Congratulations to IP&O’s Georgia N. Kyrifides, Senior Director, Project Services and Stephen Galayda, Senior Facilities Project Manager who took the lead on this project.

IP&O Pilots ServiceNow in Preparation for University Roll-out

Rutgers IT Help Landing Page

Rutgers University’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) has chosen ServiceNow as its IT Business Management platform for help desk ticketing as well as requests for IT tools and products that enhance workflows. Partnering with OIT in this project is Institutional Planning and Operations’ IT Department.

“We have the right workflows in place and the correct internal structure that allowed OIT to implement ServiceNow in our division prior to its pending roll out to the entire university. It’s been a great partnership with OIT. Our team has worked very hard to make this successful for OIT and for us. In fact, through our partnership, we have created the model for implementing it university wide,” said Andre Granadeiro, IP&O’s Assistant Director of Information Technology. OIT has dubbed the new service, Rutgers IT Help.

Since mid-August, IP&O employees have been successfully submitting help desk tickets to servicedesk@ipo.rutgers.edu. Granadeiro said that the rollout has been very smooth.

As part of the continued implementation of Rutgers IT Help, IP&O staff can also now begin using the Online Rutgers IT Help Service Portal. “The portal has some great features,” said Carl Von Stetten IP&O’s Unit Computing Manager. “The new Service Catalog allows users to request additional software, workstations, phones, and any items not related to issues or problems. This is separate from the portal’s Get Help tab which is specifically for problems and issues, such as being unable to print or getting locked out of your computer.”

IP&O employees, as part of this limited rollout are encouraged to use the system’s new Knowledge Base to search, review, and rate the knowledge articles.

“The Knowledge Base is like a self-help section,” Granadeiro explained. “I encourage everyone to browse through this section and rate the articles. We need to know if you find them comprehensive and useful.”

The portal also allows users to track and monitor their requests. “Once you submit a request, whether it is for an issue or problem or for simply inquiring about additional services you may need, you will receive an email confirmation regarding your request. You will then be able to log in to track the status of your request,” Von Stetten said.

All requests submitted via the Online Rutgers IT Help will be routed to the IP&O IT ServiceDesk for follow-up.

“This project is one of many enhancements that came out of the IT Leadership Council,” said Edward Fabula, IP&O’s Executive Director of Information Technology. “It is also one such project that meets Michele Norin’s vision of unifying IT for the university,” he added referring to Norin who is the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer. “There was a lot of give and take to get this done, but because of our partnership with OIT, not only has this been a success, there will be more to come and we can all be very optimistic about further IT enhancements for the university.”

Keri Budnovitch, Executive Director, Office of Information Technology, explained why ServiceNow was chosen by OIT. “ServiceNow has strong brand recognition, and global reach not only in the IT Service Management industry, but throughout higher education. Gartner Research identified ServiceNow as the top leading IT service management tool. Additionally, it has been used successfully by many Big Ten universities. With its flexible, scalable platform, ServiceNow allows us to share tickets, information, and knowledge across departments within Rutgers. This IT service management tool will be a major benefit to the Rutgers community as we work to develop one comprehensive, self-service portal for end users and provide them with easier ways to contact Rutgers IT organizations for support.”

“This project has been two years in the making and we could not have done it without our IP&O service desk technicians,” said Von Stetten. “They deserve a lot of praise for all of the testing and work they did to help implement the new software.”

“I encourage everyone to explore the available features of the Rutgers IT Help portal and become an avid user during this launch. We are looking forward to your feedback so we can improve the portal prior to the full university rollout in spring/summer 2021,” Granadeiro said.

If you have specific questions about the Rutgers IT Help Online Portal, please email servicedesk@ipo.rutgers.edu.

Helpful links:

Portal: Rutgers IT Help

Demo: First look at Rutgers IT Help

Feedback Form: Rutgers IT Help Portal Pilot Feedback

IT News

Access to your Rutgers Connect email, calendar, and related Microsoft Office 365 services now requires two-step login with Duo. This is being done to protect and enhance Rutgers’ data and information security, as well as to protect against hacking, phishing, and other cyber-attacks.

The plan, being rolled out by Rutgers Office of Information Technology, is being done in three phases. Phase 1 will be limited to those users signed up for the Rutgers VPN service, which already requires Duo. For these users, Duo became a requirement for Connect on December 2.

Phase 2 takes effect December 16. Those who have previously enrolled in Duo, will be required to use it for Rutgers Connect on December 16.

Phase 3 extends this requirement to all Connect users, and will begin February 3, 2021.

If you have questions, contact the IP&O service desk: servicedesk@ipo.rutgers.edu.


Thank you to Joel Reuter

Thanks to a valued staff member for his dedication, loyalty, hard work and commitment.

With all your hard work during the Shutdowns and dedication towards your team players and training new staff members without no hesitation, you have proved and shown your abilities to motivate others and to play the important role in Leadership in your title Lead Operator of the RBHS Co-Generation Plant.

We have so many operators you trained, praising your knowledge, dedication and excellent team spirit, during Outages and emergency breakouts during your eighteen (18) years of service.

Once again, many congratulations, hope you will maintain this attitude and dedication throughout your future.

Thank you, Yours Sincerely, Gloria Tiller, Power Plant Manager

Kudos to University Public Safety and the Department of Transportation Services for helping to recover lost property:

Dear Lt. Brian Emmett,

I wanted to thank you in writing for helping me reunite with my belongings swiftly. I put things together and believe I have the right email from the university crime alerts. It was good to meet you in person today.

I appreciate the concern and support shown by everyone at Public Safety from the first call I made yesterday to alert them that I forgot my book bag on the bus. I think the timely dispatch to the bus supervisor was helpful. I would like to thank them but don't know how to reach the bus supervisor and driver who made it possible.

I spoke to a couple of personnel (women) who answered the phone at Public Safety who guided me to the Internet report filing page; that was helpful too. I also want to thank Officer Bianki (I am guessing the spelling here) for communicating with me this morning and Officer Rule for communicating with me this afternoon.

At the end of the day, I can sleep well because all of you had my back. Especially with this COVID crisis it is good to feel supported and part of the Rutgers community. I am copying my direct supervisor Prof. Nancy Walworth as she is a long-term member of the Rutgers community and she was aware of my situation.

Thank you all again, Anuja A. George, Research Teaching Specialist III, Department of Pharmacology, RT 538 Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Kudos to Records Management employee, Phil Morris

Ken: I am impressed by Phil’s work ethic. He is a considerate, hardworking employee. I just want to be sure he is commended for today’s job that was well done. The instructions given to him by one of the departments was not clear. Even with that, Phil was able to complete the job in a timely and professional manner. Please thank him again for me!

Arlene F. Clarke, Manager, Administrative Services, Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School


I just want to take a minute to add my two cents…In addition to the outstanding effort to clean out boxed records from our CAB records storeroom (which was no easy task), I ran into Phil again when he arrived at the MEB to address some full shredding bins. He has a tremendously positive attitude and always expresses a willingness to help in any way he can. Please pass on my thanks as well!

Sincerely, Robert J. Prodoehl, MBA, Executive Director of Operations and Administration

Kudos to Faculty and Staff Housing

Dear Mr. Velez.

I have spent the past academic year as a visiting professor at Rutgers Business School (I took a sabbatical from my regular job at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic).

We lived with my family in Johnson Apartments on Busch Campus.

I am writing this e-mail to let you know that I was VERY happy with the professional, fast, and friendly service I was provided by the members of your team I was in contact with, in particular Donna Bishop who handled all the administrative issues, Ken Anthony who heads the maintenance team, and the super friendly maintenance guy Bill (I apologize for not knowing his family name) who has his shop in the building where we stayed, and was always ready to help immediately with any maintenance issues we had.

I wish all administrative departments at Rutgers operated as smoothly as yours, in particular payroll and HR, where my experience was much less satisfying (long reaction times, no real effort to speed up the on-boarding process). You have a truly excellent team, everybody in the Faculty and Staff Housing division I was in contact with did everything they could to help me solve any issues I had in the shortest time possible. Thank you very much.

With best regards, Ondrej Cepek, Visiting Professor at RBS

Kudos to Housekeeping, Newark

To our Wonderful Custodial Staff:

All of us working at the Newark Health Center would like you to know how much we appreciate your prompt and supportive help during our recent concern regarding COVID-19. We were so relieved and comforted to have you all make sure every space here was thoroughly sanitized. We appreciate it took the coordination on a number of staff members. Especially, I would like to mention that Lorena (Rita Carrera) did a yeoman’s job, as she always does, but this time she helped us before and after the “big Spray” did its job. Lorena is extraordinary, and particular, as she helps us every day, and we appreciate that very much.

Similarly, Pablo Gonzalez and Carlos Miranda were highly efficient and came to our rescue without delay.

Thanks Ana and Yohanna, for arranging this excellent response to our situation! Please extend our thanks to anyone else we may not have mentioned by name.

Best Regards, Sandra Samuels and Health Center Staff

Kudos to Newark RUPD

Good Evening Captain Huertas and Lieutenant Hendrix,

Thank you so much for the kind and generous support. We will reach out tomorrow to organize any other details. Words alone cannot express the gratitude and joy you are bringing to each and every family enrolled at Sir Isaac Newton Elementary School. Thank you for supporting our goal to place a turkey/meal on each table for every family at Sir Isaac Newton. Our school community is blessed to have such greatness and generosity through our Partnership with Rutger University Police Department.

Thank you for facilitating the transport of the individually packed donated meals on Tuesday November 24th and collaborating to distribute through our social distance compliant distribution plan.

With Gratitude, Frances Finazzo, Principal, Sir Isaac Newton Elementary School