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Gitenstein-Hart Sabbatical Prize

The Gitenstein-Hart Sabbatical Prize was created and endowed by former President R. Barbara Gitenstein and her husband Dr. Don Hart. The annual prize supports TCNJ’s teacher-scholar model, a hallmark of the college that Dr. Gitenstein championed throughout her 19 years as president.

Each year, the recipient is selected from among the year-long sabbatical proposals that have been peer-reviewed and ranked highly by the TCNJ Sabbaticals Council. The Gitenstein-Hart Sabbatical Prize is intended to provide additional financial support to the faculty member or librarian taking a full-year sabbatical, thereby allowing the awardee to focus more deeply on their scholarly work.

As is often true of competitively-awarded prizes, Drs. Gitenstein and Hart envisioned that the beneficial effects of the Gitenstein-Hart Sabbatical Prize would accrue not only to the recipients of the Prize but to the larger TCNJ community. For example, following return from their year-long sabbatical leave, the recipient presents a collegewide lecture.

In addition to the direct support it provides, the Prize incentivizes faculty members/librarians on sabbatical to undertake more significant projects that can only be achieved in a full-year sabbatical. Moreover, current and future students—TCNJ’s most important stakeholders—will reap the educational benefits of their professors’ sabbatical work.

Evaluation Process and Selection Criteria

  • From the pool of sabbatical leave applications, the Sabbaticals Council will forward to the Provost three candidates to be considered for the Gitenstein-Hart Sabbatical Prize.
  • Candidates must meet all the requirements of TCNJ’s Sabbatical Leave Program, including a proposal that has been peer-evaluated by the Sabbaticals Council and ranked to be in the “fundable” range.
  • Preference will be given to faculty members/librarians who have been granted tenure no more than ten years prior to the beginning of the academic year in which the year of sabbatical leave will commence.
  • The Prize will be awarded on the basis of:
    • The overall academic merit of the sabbatical project.
    • The alignment of the discipline, subject, and projected outcomes of the sabbatical project with TCNJ’s highest priorities.
    • The excellence of the sabbatical recipient’s previous scholarship and instruction.
    • The sabbatical project’s potential for making a significant contribution to undergraduate education and scholarship in its field.
  • In the case of candidates whose proposal was for a half-year sabbatical, the Provost will notify the faculty member of the possibility of receiving the Prize and give them the option of reworking their proposal as a full-year sabbatical.
  • The Provost will make the final determination of the Prize recipient.

Past Awardees

Sabbatical Year Awardee Department Project Title
2014–2015 Nathan Magee Physics Nanoscale ice surfaces in the cloud-climate feedback
2015–2016 Jana Gevertz


Mathematics and Statistics Optimizing cancer treatment with immunostimulatory oncolytic biotherapy
2016–2017 Matthew Bender History Water brings no harm: Knowledge, power, and the struggle for the waters of Kilimanjaro
2017–2018 Deborah Hutton Art and Art History Pursuing a more global and ethical history of art
2018–2019 Elizabeth Borland Sociology and Anthropology Activists and lawyers: Implementing and contesting abortion-related policies in the southern cone
2019–2020 Karen Yan Mechanical Engineering Engineering Tissue Constructs: Development of Electrospun Fiber Embedded Microfluidic Devices & Modeling of Mechanical Environment of Cells in Engineered Tissue Constructs
2020–2021 Joseph Baker Chemistry Investigating the intrinsic dynamics of bacterial protein filaments using molecular simulations
2021–2022 Aimee Stahl Psychology The intersection of infant working memory and social cognition
2022–2023 Nina Peel Biology Deciphering the role of glutamylation in microtubule stability using C. elegans genetics