January 2021: Updates in the Division of Academic Affairs

January 21, 2021
Update GettyImages-1173141941

Dear Members of the NJCU Community,

Please allow me to provide three updates to critical administrative roles in the Division of Academic Affairs

First, on behalf of the faculty, students, and staff, I would like to extend my gratitude to Dr. Jennifer Jones for her 43 years of service at NJCU. As Director of Academic Career Planning and Placement, she has seen decades of transformation in higher education and in career counseling, advisement, student development programs and management. Joining the institution in 1987, Dr. Jones has led efforts to expand and promote the concept of applied learning at the university and in higher education. She assisted in the implementation of a $5.7 million grant awarded to NJCU for Cooperative Education, and has also served as past president of both the state and the national associations in cooperative education. 

Dr. Jones’s publications include articles in the Black Collegian on applied learning experiences and career development.  Moreover, she has served on a number of significant university committees, including Middle States, BAAFSSO, the Scholarship Committee, and the Assessment Committee. 

Her service to the greater community included many positions and roles over the years, including membership on the American Conference on Diversity Higher Education Committee, Commissioner of the Hudson County Ethics Board, Vice Chair and member of the New Jersey Employment Board, Chair of the New Jersey Cooperative Education Association Board, and Chair and Regional Representative of Historically and Predominantly Black Colleges and Universities Project in Conjunction with the Department of Education. 

In addition to these activities, Dr. Jones has taught Human Intercultural Relations, Career Dimensions, and Counseling Psychology at the university. She earned her B.A. from NJCU, Master’s in Counseling from Seton Hall, and Ed.D. from Fordham University.  

We express our thanks to Dr. Jones for all her decades of contributions and wish her well in her next chapter.

Additionally, please join me in wishing well Dr. Ashok Vaseashta, Executive Director of the Office of Research, Grants, and Sponsored programs (ORGSP), Chair of Institutional Review Board (IRB) and Office of Research Integrity (ORI) as he leaves NJCU to focus on contract research, writing books, and teaching, in addition to volunteer services with regional civil aviation and Scientists Without Borders. 

Since joining NJCU in 2017, he made several notable contributions to Academic Affairs, such as maintaining NJCU’s grant portfolio of approximately $15 million per year, and increasing our competitive grant portfolio by successfully guiding and applying for grants from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the United States Department of Education. In addition, through nCOV-SAR2 relief grants, NJCU was able to secure over $8.6 million in funding from the Department of Education and additional funding from FEMA.

Under his leadership as chair of the NJCU IRB, the application process was streamlined and the overall portfolio increased by over 300%, which continues to increase to this date. He also served as chair of the ORI, which is required to receive U. S. Public Health Service (PHS) funding. The ORGSP serves a critical role at NJCU and the Office of the Provost appreciates his dedication, professionalism and commitment to NJCU. We wish Dr. Vaseashta great success in his future endeavors. 

It is my pleasure to announce that Dr. John Grew, Professor of Biology, will serve as Interim Executive of the Office of Research, Grants, and Sponsored Programs until a permanent director is identified. 

Dr. Grew is a long-serving member of the NJCU community, serving as a faculty member, department chair, and an academic administrator.  He wrote and directed 10 successful grant projects totaling over $20 million from the USDOE, NIH and NSF over the past 25 years. These projects supported infrastructure, facilities and equipment improvements, along with research internships and learner support programs that employed close to 400 undergraduate students in on-campus jobs. Dr. Grew created the STEM Success Academy, Supplemental Instruction, and undergraduate research programs that tangibly impact the academic and student learning outcomes of NJCU’s STEM students.  We are grateful for his continued service to NJCU in the capacity of Interim Executive Director as we move the institution forward.

Dr. Tamara Jhashi
Provost and Senior Vice President

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