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New Jersey Institute of Technology

NJIT senior develops Web-based list of must-read books on climate, more

NJIT senior Anthony Sorgi wants to save the world or at least improve it. And he thinks other college students want to do the same. Sorgi, of Lebanon Township, and enrolled in Albert Dorman Honors College, the main supporter and funder of his efforts, has already begun making that difference.

He's developed the New Earth Archive (NEA), a web-based resource for college students that identifies the most "powerful and influential books written about climate change, sociology, ecology, economics, technology, philosophy, and other topics that inspires college readers to change the world." Andrew Revkin, who writes a blog for the New York Times online, recently profiled Sorgi's efforts.

Sorgi's website contains print, audiovisual, and online resources about environmental and socio-political issues. Future developments for the site will also include films and documentaries, TED talks, and multi-media news all of which is geared toward educating college students and encouraging them to think deeply about pressing social problems.

"I know our society faces great obstacles; maybe some of the greatest that we, as a species, have ever faced," says Sorgi, who is majoring in biomedical engineering. "But I'd be failing myself if I didn't try to make a difference."

To begin, Sorgi contacted prominent environmentalists, authors and scientists, asking for suggestions on top books about the above subjects. He soon found himself with a list of over 400 titles. He asked his contributors to vote on their favorites, narrowing the list to 70 books. With their continued help, and the additional aid of green-thinking organizations and mailing lists, he is now narrowing the list down to 25. He'll have the final list in another week, says Sorgi.

"We hope that this great archive initiated by Sorgi serves as a role model for honors students and will encourage them to assume leadership roles in society," says Distinguished Professor and Dorman Honors College Dean Atam Dhawan.

Once Sorgi has the list, he'll buy the books and display them on shelves around the NJIT campus. Students will be encouraged to check the books out and read them, adding their comments, insights, and reviews about them on the NEA website. Sorgi hopes to buy four sets of the 25 books, and display them on shelves in the Honors College Lounge, NJIT's Van Houten Library, the residence halls and the Fleisher Athletic Center.

Sorgi also formed the NJIT chapter of the NEA with the hope that other colleges will also form chapters. So far the new NJIT group has 18 members, all of whom are committed to using the NEA website and social networks to share thoughts with other college students about how to improve American culture. For more, see http://www.njit.edu/features/innovations/tony-sorgi.php.


NJIT, New Jersey's science and technology university, enrolls more than 9,558 students pursuing bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in 120 programs. The university consists of six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, College of Architecture and Design, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, College of Computing Sciences and Albert Dorman Honors College. U.S. News & World Report's 2011 Annual Guide to America's Best Colleges ranked NJIT in the top tier of national research universities. NJIT is internationally recognized for being at the edge in knowledge in architecture, applied mathematics, wireless communications and networking, solar physics, advanced engineered particulate materials, nanotechnology, neural engineering and e-learning. Many courses and certificate programs, as well as graduate degrees, are available online through the Office of Continuing Professional Education.