JERSEY CITY, N.J. | New Jersey City University (NJCU) has announced that Ashley L. Atkins, Ph.D., the Director of U.S. Corporate Responsibility at Novartis and a passionate advocate for innovative approaches to making long-term social change, as a new member of the NJCU Foundation Board of Directors. Her appointment began in October, 2022.
At Novartis, Dr. Atkins is responsible for the company’s community engagement strategy in the United States, including corporate giving, the Novartis U.S. Foundation and employee engagement efforts.
She joined Novartis in 2018 following 16 years at Johnson & Johnson as part of the company’s Global Community Impact Team, where she led local community-based partnerships related to education, food security, urban green space, arts & culture, and community health. Ashley is committed to driving social change through a collaborative systems approach.
Peter Hernandez, the Chairman of the NJCU Foundation Board of Directors, said: “Ashley’s passion for being a catalyst for social change and her diverse career at two Fortune 500 companies in community engagement and corporate giving, will give her a unique perspective on the NJCU Foundation. We are excited for the ideas and leadership she will provide and her potential impact on the Foundation’s mission.”
Dr. Atkins holds a B.A. in Art History and Women’s Studies from Duke University, a M.A. in Art History from the University of Massachusetts, and a Ph.D. in Art History from Rutgers University. She also holds a Certified Corporate Responsibility Executive (CCRE) Certified Corporate Responsibility Executive (CCRE) from the University of Notre Dame - Mendoza College of Business.
A former NJCU adjunct professor in Art History, Dr. Atkins served two years on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the NJCU William J. Maxwell College of Arts & Sciences.
Her volunteer experience also includes two years as co-chair of the Alliance for Art & Health New Jersey for Art Pride NJ, and two years as a member of the Board of Directors for the Junior League of Greater Princeton, as nominating placement Vice President and Administrative Vice President. She spent 15 years (1999-2014) on the Volunteer Workforce for Kappa Alpha Theta, in the roles of College District President (1999-2005), Director of Risk Management (2005-10), Education Specialist - Programming (2010-11), Strategic Planning Committee Chair (2012) and Board Vice President (2012-14)
Dr. Atkins recently published the white paper “Arts, Health, and Well-being Across the Military Continuum: White Paper 2.0 – 2020 and Beyond” for Americans for the Arts. The paper chronicles the achievements of the National Initiative for the Arts & Health in the Military and articulates the need for an increased focus on how to serve the most underserved military-connected communities, using arts interventions to create better health outcomes.
Dr. Atkins lives in Central New Jersey with her husband and two sons.
About the NJCU Foundation
NJCU is wholly dedicated to offering the best, most affordable education to its students, as well as state-of-the-art facilities and campus amenities that augment learning and support personal development. Philanthropic giving is key in making this happen. The NJCU Foundation Board of Directors empowers this work by guiding philanthropic endeavors and serving as ambassadors for NJCU.
NJCU Foundation’s mission is to support New Jersey City University as it transforms itself into a nationally recognized leader in urban public education while maintaining its commitment to transforming the lives and livelihoods of its diverse student body.
New Jersey City University is an institution of higher learning dedicated to the development of our students, our city, our communities, and our state. We are a game-changing force for our students and have been recognized as one of the top colleges in the nation improving their upward economic mobility. Whether enrolled in one of our undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral programs at our three locations, NJCU students have access to an affordable, diverse environment, and an exceptionally supportive faculty. This prepares them to go on to become the next generation of workers and leaders who improve their communities and the State of New Jersey.