ALAN v35n1 - The Center for Young Readers Honors M. Jerry Weiss

Volume 35, Number 1
Fall 2007

Ellen Wayman-Gordon

The Center for Young Readers Honors M. Jerry Weiss

A photo of Lisa ArterS
Gathered at the dedication were (from left): Mr. Fleischman, Helen Weiss, an author and wife of the honoree; Dr. Weiss; Dr. Allan De Fina, an associate professor of literacy education and a member of the Center’s Advisory Board; Dr. Carlos Hernández, president; Dr. Fran Levin, an assistant professor of literacy education who was then interim assistant vice president of academic affairs, immediate past president of the New Jersey Reading Association, and a member of the Center’s Advisory Board, and Dr. Joanne Z. Bruno, interim vice president for academic affairs.

“For so many of us who studied with Dr. Weiss, we learned not only what and how to teach, but we learned by Dr. Weiss’ daily example, the power of the teacher’s position,” said Ms. Winkler. “As a role model, Dr. Weiss shaped my commitment to teaching and my passion for young adult literature.”

Lisa K. Winkler, eighth-grade language arts teacher at South Orange Middle School.

( The Gothic: The Magazine of Jersey City State University, winter 2005, p. 27)

The M. Jerry Weiss Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature was dedicated on the Jersey City State University campus on October 5, 2006 in honor of the distinguished service professor of communications emeritus who is a nationally recognized expert in the field of children’s and adolescent literature.

The dedication of the center, located in Grossnickle Hall, Room 103, included addresses by award-winning author Paul Fleischman and Dr. Weiss; vocal presentations of selections by Mr. Fleischman with Donna Connolly, an assistant professor of music, and adjunct faculty Adria Firestone and Michael Hirsch of the Department of Music, Dance and Theatre; and the presentation of a plaque.

Dr. Weiss taught at NJCU for 33 years before retiring in 1994. He created and coordinated the “Adolescent in Literature” series, which brought many distinguished authors to campus.

The author and editor of dozens of books, Dr. Weiss has held leadership positions in the New Jersey Reading Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the International Reading Association. The New Jersey Reading Association’s “M. Jerry Weiss Book Award,” affectionately known as “The Jerry,” was established in his honor in 1993, and he was also the first New Jersey resident to receive the International Reading Association’s Arbuthnot Award.

Many thanks to Ellen Wayman-Gordon, Jersey City State University Press. Reprinted with permission from Jersey City State University.