Meet the Aresty Research Center Staff
Charles Keeton, Faculty Director, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. After earning a B.A. from Cornell University and Ph.D. from Harvard University, Professor Keeton did research at the University of Arizona and the University of Chicago before joining the faculty of Rutgers University in 2004. He studies how gravity bends light to investigate dark matter and black holes, using the Hubble Space Telescope as well as observatories around the world. Chuck Keeton's research has been featured on National Public Radio, MSNBC.com, and in New Scientist magazine. In 2010 he received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Obama for his innovative work in the integration of research and education. Learn more about Professor Keeton's research and his most recent book.
Brian Ballentine Ph.D., Executive Director, oversees the day-to-day operations of the Aresty Center, with specific focus on expanding the reach and impact of undergraduate research at Rutgers across all aspects of program functions. Dr. Ballentine brings extensive experience in research, operations and strategy, having worked in a range of professional and academic environments. Most recently, he was a Research Director at the advisory firm CEB, where he worked with senior financial services executives on strategic measurement and design. Prior to CEB, Dr. Ballentine managed corporate and foundation relationships for workforce development non-profit Year Up. Dr. Ballentine earned his BA from St. John's College and his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Brown University.
Joan Whalen, Assistant Director, works closely with undergraduates and faculty and manages many programs at the Center. Ms. Whalen has served Rutgers for fourteen years, initially in the Graduate School of Education where she developed graduate-level academic courses, workshops on pedagogy, and team-building activities for educators and educational leaders in New Jersey. She has been at the core of the Aresty Research Center's programs and activities for the last eight years and is responsible for many of the day to day operations of the Center.
Katie Pyott, Senior Program Coordinator, received her Masters in Higher Education Administration from the University of Pennsylvania. Katie has worked extensively with undergraduate students, first as the General Manager of Penn Student Agencies at UPenn, and later as the Education Associate and University Liaison for the State Theatre (New Brunswick). Katie also coordinated an international fellowship program for scholars and writers at the New York Public Library. She serves as the primary point of contact for students and faculty participants in the Aresty Center's programs, and drives many of the Center's marketing and social media efforts.