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Christine Zoffinger's 20th Anniversary

Mike Stickle

While Rutgers University is celebrating 250 years, we're celebrating Christine's 20th Anniversary. Come join us on Friday, April 8 as we honor her years of service to the Spirit Program. Plus, profits from the evening will help fund two of the annual scholarships that we award to current Spirit Program members.

For more information on the event, visit our event page. If you can't make it, please consider making a donation to help with the scholarships. Any amount helps and is greatly appreciated.

Become a Mentor!

Mike Stickle

Beginning this coming school year, we'll be pairing up interested members of our current Spirit Program with some of you as mentors.

We're looking for volunteers who are willing to offer some time, guidance, and personal insight into careers and other life skills. You can do this from anywhere, too. You'll just need to provide your phone number and email address to the team member assigned to you so he or she can reach out when she has questions, concerns, or needs some advice.

If you're interested, please sign up below and tell us a little about what you can offer. Remember that life skills are just as important as career advice, so please don't limit what you can bring to the life of a cheerleader, dance team member, or mascot.

Name *
Name
Please list the career path and/or the life skills that you're willing to share and advise on.
Provide a very short bio that pertains to the Mentor skills you're offering.
Please let us know anything else you'd like us or the Spirit Program members to know about you or to share your thoughts about the program (any ideas, etc.).

An Update on the 2014-15 Rutgers Spirit Program

Mike Stickle

It is with great pRide that we have been such a large part of our first B1G season! For those of you who were fortunate enough to attend our first victory against Howard University, our first Big Ten game against Penn State University, and our first Big Ten VICTORY against the University of Michigan, you were able to see that with new team members, new vibrant uniforms, and new and exciting game day material for our fans, the Rutgers University Spirit Program just made the B1G a little biggeR!

Coed Cheerleaders at camp in Scranton, PA

The Rutgers cheerleading and dance team have embraced the transition into the Big Ten, working diligently over the summer to make sure that your game day entertainment is the best that it can possibly be. In addition to long hours of practice, sometimes twice or even three times a day, both squads attended UCA/UDA college camp to enhance our game day material. We also chose to divide and conquer the country to really get that block R exposure.

Rutgers Dance Team at UDA Camp in Tuscaloosa, AL.

The dance team headed down to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to attend the UDA College Camp at the University of Alabama in July. Typically, it is attended by a large representation of southern schools that finish high in the rankings of national finalists every year at UDA College Nationals, such as the University of Memphis, Louisiana State University, Florida State University, and many other talented programs. We are fortunate as a university that our dance team can represent the NorthBeast down south and get that block R exposure out there. At the end of camp, the dance team finished with 2nd place in home routine. They are excited to not only show off all of their hard work at the upcoming games, but also to prepare for 2015 UDA Nationals in the Pom and Jazz divisions.

All Girl Cheerleaders at camp in Scranton, PA

The coed and all-girl cheerleading teams took on the UCA College Camp at the University of Scranton in August. The cheerleaders have made it a tradition to attend this college camp because we enjoy supporting our Northeast Alliance teams, such as Hofstra University, University of Delaware, Wilmington University, Villanova University, The College of New Jersey, and more. Both squads made their time before and during camp worth all of the work when the coed team took home 1st place in sideline, 2nd place in cheer, and 1st place overall in Large Coed 1A, and the all-girl team took home 1st place in crowd cheer, 1st place traditional fight song, and 2nd place overall in the All-Girl 1A division. For the first time, the entire Rutgers cheerleading program took home the Leadership Award, which meant that both teams exemplified leadership and carried themselves as role models throughout the week at camp. This was definitely our favorite award, and started our year off on a great note!

While the entire Rutgers Spirit Program has put a lot of work into improving our skills and game day entertainment, we hope that you are enjoying all that you see in the end zones and sidelines. We are so lucky to wear that block R on our chests, cheer on our Scarlet Knights, and enter into the B1G with all of you. After that field rushing win against Michigan, it is evident that it’s not just the Spirit Program that has been hard at work to get noticed in the Big Ten! Strap on your R-vision goggles, everyone, because this new era of Rutgers athletics is here to stay! We see great things to come in the near future!

Your fellow Scarlet Knight,
Emily Zemlachenko
Senior All-Girl Cheerleader

Michigan Blackout Game, Oct. 4, 2014
(Photo: Emily Heinemann)

105th Anniversary Reunion Weekend!

Mike Stickle

The Rutgers University Spirit Program is turning 105 years old this year, and it's time to celebrate! The weekend includes:

Check out the links for more details and to buy your reunion packages and game tickets!

NEW THIS YEAR!
Perform on the field with the current teams during the Rutgers vs. Tulane game! A limited number of participants will perform on the field with the current cheerleaders (either Co-Ed or All Girl) and dance team! Remember, this is a limited offer, so register early!

Dance Team Member Cierra Kaler-Jones Named Miss New Jersey

Mike Stickle

On Sat., June 14th, our very own Cierra Kaler-Jones was crowned Miss New Jersey, part of the Miss America pageant. Cierra was a member of the Dance Team for three years, but will sadly be leaving us for her Senior year to fulfill her duties as Miss New Jersey and to compete for Miss America.

We wish her all the best on her journey and, just as she's been cheering on the Scarlet Knights for the past three years, the Scarlet Knights will be cheering for her when she vies for the title and scholarship of Miss America in September.

For an interview and more information, check out this article.

2014 Rutgers Spirit Program Awards and Alumni Honoree Banquet

Mike Stickle

The 104th Rutgers Spirit Program season came to an official close on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 as coaches, teams, parents, and alumni came together to celebrate.

We awarded our second Loyal Knight Award to Cierra Kaler-Jones of the dance team, we honored alum and coach, Sean Timmons, and Bruce Hornik and Eugene Geis were on hand to bestow an award from the CJ Liegel Foundation. to Marquis Johnson of the co-ed cheer team.

Cierra Kaler-Jones 2014 Loyal Knight Award

Cierra Kaler-Jones
2014 Loyal Knight Award

Marquis Johnson 2014 CJ Liegel Foundation Scholarship

Marquis Johnson
2014 CJ Liegel Foundation Scholarship

Sean Timmons 2014 Alumni Honoree

Sean Timmons
2014 Alumni Honoree

CJ Liegel Foundation Scholarship Winner
Marquis Johnson

Mike Stickle

Bruce Hornik '99 and Eugene Geiss '00 were on hand at the Rutgers Spirit Program's 2014 Banquet to present the inaugural scholarship of the CJ Liegel Foundation to Marquis Johnson. Bruce's introduction of Marquis and homage to CJ was both emotional and inspirational. You can read it here.

Here's a note from Marquis:
I am so thankful and honored to be the first recipient of the CJ Liegel Foundation Scholarship. Cheerleading has provided me with so many opportunities and I'm grateful that Sean Timmons has been a part of my experience. The Rutgers Spirit program has been an integral part of my college experience and everyone I have met through this program will hold a special place in my heart. Tonight, I realized just how proud I am wear that block R on my chest. I will foreveR be a Scarlet Knight.

2014 Loyal Knight
Cierra Kaler-Jones

Mike Stickle

We awarded our second Loyal Knight Award to Cierra Kaler-Jones of the dance team. In addition to the trophy, she will be awarded a $500 scholarship. The Loyal Knight Award is chosen by the Executive Board of the Rutgers University Spirit Program Letterwinners Association based on commitment to their team and to the University.

After reviewing four resumes, Cierra was the unanimous choice as this year's recipient. Here is her impressive resume.

Here's a note from Cierra:
I am absolutely thrilled and honored to have received the 2014 Loyal Knight award by the prestigious alumni of the Rutgers University Spirit Program. Through the past three years, I have fallen in love with the Rutgers University community and all of the opportunities being a part of this program has blessed me with. Being a student at Rutgers University has allowed me to travel the world presenting research, be exposed to the beauty and diversity of this country, and has given me the sense of agency and entitlement that I carry with me in the search for a future career. Being a member of the spirit program has given me the chance to represent something so much larger than myself and be able to do what my heart and soul calls me to do, while sharing that passion with others. I can't thank you enough for giving me this great honor amongst my highly qualified peers. In being the recipient of so many positive experiences from both the spirit program and the greater Rutgers community, there is nothing more I can do than to give back and pay it forward so that others can reap those same benefits. Again, thank you so much for your generosity!

Funds for this scholarship are raised through various events throughout the year, including the annual banquet and through donations.

Honoring Sean Timmons and the 2014 Senior Class

Mike Stickle

Honoring Sean Timmons this year was a bittersweet event as he's leaving us for a new opportunity in Nashville, Tennessee. But, even though this lifelong New Jersey resident is moving to the Volunteer state, he will forever be a Scarlet Knight.

Sean is a letterwinner from ... well, too far back to remember, and an outstanding coach. As a team member, he contributed to the continuing competitive success of the co-ed team, and as a coach, he has been instrumental in bringing the All Girl team to national prominence with their outstanding performances at the UCA College Cheerleading National Competitions. Sean was introduced by Jason Bass '01, while teammates Bruce Hornik '99 and Eugene Geiss '00 and one of his athletes, Katie Aleman '13, were all in attendance.

We also sent off the graduating seniors with a few tears, a few laughs, and much love. Like Sean, they will forever be Scarlet Knights. This year's graduating seniors were:

Emily Amador (Dance, 4th year)
Rachel Clark (Dance, 3rd year)
Amanda Cozze (All Girl Cheer, 4th year)
Jordan Drozjock (Co-ed Cheer, 4th year)
Hanna Factor (Co-ed/All Girl Cheer, 4th year)
Rachel Finkelstein (Dance, 4th year)
Elizabeth Gervais (Co-ed Cheer, 4th year)
Ahmed Gewiley-Elbakly (Mascot, 2nd year)
Emily Heinemann (Dance, 4th year)
Andrea Hoch (Dance, 4th year)
Marquis Johnson (Co-ed Cheer, 4th year)
Shatasia Knight (All Girl Cheer, 5th year)
Jillian Laga (Dance, 3rd year)
Jennifer Pagliei (All Girl Cheer, 4th year)
Nathan Spare (Co-ed Cheer, 2nd year)
Karen Van (Co-ed Cheer, 4th year)
Dominic Vignali (Co-ed Cheer, 4th year)
Alicia Zerillo (All Girl Cheer, 4th year)

2014 Spirit Program Seniors are presented with their awards, many of which were for four years of participation.

Katie Aleman '13 was on hand to congratulate former teammates and to honor her coach, Sean Timmons. Pictured here with Katie is Sean's girlfriend, Paige Colon.

Katie Aleman '13 was on hand to congratulate former teammates and to honor her coach, Sean Timmons. Pictured here with Katie is Sean's girlfriend, Paige Colon.