Student Profiles

Photo of Cohort 1 Doctoral Students at Summer Institute

Student Profiles

Our students are passionate about the community college mission of access and success and work together on developing and enhancing their leadership skills, but of course there is more to them than that. Each cohort is comprised of individuals who bring differing strengths and benefits to our program. Lean more below!

Meet Our Students

Cohort 1

Cohort 1 Demographics

  • Size: 23 Students
  • Gender: Female- 74%; Male- 26%
  • Ethnicity/Race:  Black- 48%, White- 35%, Hispanic- 13%, Asian- 4%
  • Professional Role: Faculty- 57%, Administrator/Staff- 35%, K-12- 9%
  • State: NJ-83%; NY-13%, WI- 4%

Read our student testimonials

Cohort 1

Kathleen Battle headshot small

Current position: Associate Professor/Counselor
Place of employment: Essex County College

I have been a Counselor since 1992 and a full-time faculty member since 1995.  As an adjunct, I teach Sociology 101 and developmental reading.  I am a member of the Faculty Senate and the Executive Board.  I also chair the Academic Developmental Advisory Committee, which addresses any concerns regarding developmental education.  Because I am the chair of this committee, I am also a member of the Academic Policies Advisory Committee.  This committee receives the all of the recommendations from the faculty governance committees and forwards them to the Cabinet.

Yolanda Blue Gaskin headshot small

Current position: Special Education Teacher
Place of employment: Paterson Public Schools PS #13

Accomplished Public School Educator for 23 years. As the School Testing Coordinator, some responsibilities are to structure, develop, and train for the New Jersey Student Learning Assessment testing platform and to facilitate a successful testing window.  Also serve as Vice President for Healing Beginnings Foundation.

Kathleen A. Carr headshot small

Position: Director, Testing and Learning Resources
Place: Sussex County Community College

Hired in 2000 at SCCC, I have worked as a teacher in the Adult Education classroom. I have also worked as Testing Coordinator bringing testing from paper and pencil to the computer. As Associate Director of Testing and Academic Outreach, I oversaw testing, grants, adjunct initiatives and concurrent education. My current position is Director of Testing and Learning Resources which includes the College Readiness, ABE/HSE and EOF grants as well as tutoring opportunities for our campus. I am also an adjunct professor of Developmental English.

Donna Marie Gardner Beadling headshot small

Current position: Assistant Professor
Place of employment: Middlesex County College

I have had the honor and pleasure of teaching in the Biological Sciences at MCC for 15 years. I spent 10 years developing and Co-Directing the MCC Honors Program. I spent 2 years developing and participating in a Mentoring Program for CELT. Currently, I am serving as a Co-Leader of a group of 15 scientists, teachers and administrators for the National Human Genome Research Institute.  We are developing CRISPR lesson plans, wet lab experiments, case studies and curriculum that will become a teaching resource for all high schools and colleges around the world.

Chris Genthe headshot small

Current position: Adjunct Instructor
Place of employment: Hinds Community College, MS

I received a BA in Psychology and a MA in Nutrition Science. I worked as a Registered Dietitian at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital before receiving my teaching credentials. I have taught at both the middle school and high school levels. I currently teach Child Development, Interior Design and Creative Foods at Manalapan High School.

Veronica Gerosimo headshot small

Current position: Assistant Dean, Student Life & Leadership
Place of employment: Hudson County Community College

An involved student leader turned student affairs professional, I have over 10 years experience in Student Activities, Commuter Student Programming and Advocacy, and Event Management. I started my professional career as the Director of Commuter Programs & Services at SUNY College at Old Westbury in New York, then took on the role of Director of Student Activities at Hudson County Community College, and am now the Assistant Dean of Student Life and Leadership.

Robert Hammond headshot small

Current Position: Adjunct Professor; Co Chair Adjunct Union 
Place of Employment: Camden County College

Professional experiences include over ten (10) years in education teaching courses in business, accounting, management, economics, and marketing. Received Adjunct Teaching Excellence Award in 2013. Active as member of adjunct union leadership that recently negotiated new contract with increased wages and adjunct teaching loads. Private sector experiences include over twenty (20) years in the field of marketing, professional sports management, community development & outreach.

Amy Hankins headshot small

Current Position: Instructor of Communications
Place of Employment: Gateway Technical College, Southeastern Wisconsin

I have been teaching communication and English at Gateway Technical College for over ten years. I am a mentor for new faculty, an advisor for Phi Theta Kappa, and an active member of student success initiative programs. I am passionate about student success and helping students become more confident learners.

Shadiquah Hordge headshot small

Current Position: Assistant to the Vice President for Academic Affairs/Chief Academic Officer
Place of Employment: Essex County College

Started in a Continuing Education Program at Essex County College where I oversaw a 12-member consortium under the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Soon after, I started my rewarding classroom teaching experience. Later, I moved to be an Academic Administrator for Academic Affairs and oversaw new degree programs and data analysis. I assisted with strategic planning, grant writing, enrollment forecast, Middle States Accreditation, Degree Works, General Education Taskforce, and SharePoint.

Martine Howard headshot small

Current position: Chairperson Languages & Communications, Faculty Language & Culture
Place of employment: Camden County College

Teach French at all levels and Elementary Spanish for 25 years at CCC (F2F and online), Chairperson of the department since 2000. Chairperson of numerous committees, including  foreign exchange, distance education group and  student learning outcomes and assessment; Co-chaired Standard V: Educational Effectiveness Assessment; Dual credit representative for 13 high schools.

Meenu Jain headshot small

Current Position: Assistant Professor
Place of Employment: Middlesex County College

I started teaching at Middlesex County College in 2010 in various roles, from tutor to Associate Professor. I earned a master’s degree in Laser Physics from Indian Institute of Technology, India. Passionate in working with students of all levels, creating interest in the subject, helping them in grasping the subject and make physics fun!  I am also an advisor of STEM club at MCC.

Floyd Jeter headshot small

Current Position: Field Officer Business, Procurement and Training for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion
Place of Employment: City of Jersey City

I worked for Pepsi Bottling Company for 15 years as a cashier, Bulk Customer Representative, Territory Manager, and Warehouse Supervisor. I worked for the Jersey City Board of Education for 10 years as a Teacher Assistant for Children with Autism where I found that I had an ability and passion to teach. I’m teaching part-time at NJCU. I currently work for the City of Jersey City as a Field Officer, sit on the Hudson County Planning Board as a commissioner, and am a member of the Hudson County Mental Health Board.

Nancy Nemorin headshot small

Current position: Instructor of Health Education and Community Health
Place of employment: Kingsborough Community College, Brooklyn New York

Health Education Professional with over 17 years’ experience. Co- wrote Health Coaching curriculum, principal investigator for participatory research, developed and conducted workshops/presentation for teachers, parents and students covering a broad range of health topics.

Fathia Richardson headshot small

Current position: Director of Nursing Programs
Place of employment: Camden County College

I have 27 years of nursing experience, which includes direct patient care, case management, nursing management, and nursing education. I have worked in long term care pediatrics, and acute care medical –surgical nursing. The past 15 years have been spent in nursing education as an instructor and currently as a nursing program administrator.

April Lynn Tobin headshot small

Current position: Assistant Professor, Department of Dental Hygiene
Place of employment: Middlesex County College, Edison, NJ

I am a Registered Dental Hygienist in NJ. I started as adjunct faculty in 2004 at Middlesex County College and became full-time faculty in January, 2012. In my current position, I teach Dental Health Education and Community Dental Health to senior dental hygiene students in a clinical setting.  I am in clinic one day per week at Middlesex, supervising students in our 24-cubicle dental hygiene clinic.

Derek Ware headshot small

Current position: Adjunct Faculty, Economics
Place of employment: Essex County College

Successful businessman, educator, and community advocate. Born and raised in Newark and remains a proud native. He has served on the Board of Directors for St. Michaels Hospital, as the Economic Development Chairperson in the New Jersey Branch NAACP, and President of the Black United Fund of Essex County.  He serves as president of A Visionary Association (AVA), a consulting firm specializing in providing financial planning, restructuring, and risk analysis services to small business in the Greater Newark area and  teaches at the Essex County College, Yeshiva School of the Torah and Business, and Rutgers University.

Jonathan Weisbrod headshot small

Current position: Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Place of employment: Rowan College at Burlington County

My career began in 2011 and since then I have taught over a dozen mathematics courses from Prealgebra to Differential Equations.  In 2016, I was appointed as my institution's first Teaching & Learning Center Director.  Externally, I have served on a variety of committees at the state and national levels within the Mathematical Association of America and the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges.  My passion is to continually improve retention and outcomes for STEM-track students by using effective course design and instructional techniques.

Hamza Agwedicham headshot small

Current position: Certifying Manager – Graduation and Registration
Place of employment: Essex County College

I started my career in Higher Education first as a janitor, then as a security officer, teachers’ assistant with the Upward Bound program, a College Admissions Officer, Recruiter/Veterans Affairs Designated School Official (DSO), Manager of the Office of Recruitment and Retention and now am the certifying manager of Gradation and Registration all at Essex County College

Cohort 2

Cohort 2 Demographics

  • Size: 21 Students
  • Gender: Female- 68%; Male- 32%
  • Ethnicity/Race: White- 43%, Black- 27%, Asian- 18%, Hispanic- 14%, 
  • Professional Role:  Administrator- 64%, Faculty-27%, 4-Year- 4.5%, K12- 4.5%
  • Location: NJ- 45%, NY 23%, PA- 14%, WA- 14%

Cohort 2

leyna beard sm headshot

Current position: First-Year Experience Administrator
Place of employment: Northampton Community College

Brief description of professional experience: Leyna has over 10 years of experience working in higher education. During her time in AmeriCorps, she was placed on a college campus and never looked back.  After achieving her Masters of Education from Kutztown University, she spent 5+ years working in Student Life at Penn State Lehigh Valley.  She currently teaches the College Success course at Northampton Community College. Teaching and coordinating a FYE course at Penn State gave her experience in curriculum development and leading a team of experienced faculty.  Her curriculum centered around experiential learning activities both in and out of the classroom, focusing on self-exploration, cultural competence, and developing critical thinking skills.  

Initial research area: New student orientation programs, FYE courses, and student support initiatives for first-generation college students

kim chapman headshot

Current position: Interim Vice President for Instruction
Place of employment: Edmonds Community College

Brief description of professional experience: Kim began her college career by earning an Associate’s degree at North Lake College. She earned both a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Arts in English from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Kim has taught at South Texas College and at EdCC. She also serves as Interim Dean for the EdCC Library. Both as Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences and previously as Dean for Basic & Transitional Studies at North Seattle College, Kim has experience overseeing large, multi-faceted areas of the college. She is also a graduate of the Washington Executive Leadership Academy (WELA) where she learned best practices for effective leadership through various workshops, seminars, and hands-on training. 

Initial research area: Guided Pathways initiatives, career and college success

kimberlee hooper sm headshot

Current position: Director of K-12 Partnerships
Place of employment: Middlesex County College

Brief description of professional experience: Kim works with K-12 school districts on building dual enrollment and dual degree pathway programs for high school students, enrichment and college readiness programs for middle and high school students, and college awareness programs for elementary school students.  She also provides professional development workshops for high school teachers. Kim’s interest in K-12 extends from the early elementary learning to the transition of high school students to college or other post-secondary experiences.  She believes that regardless of your academic level in high school, the transition to college is crucial and it impacts all students differently.

Initial research area: High school to college credit, internships, stackable credentials, scholarships, student transition to post-secondary programs 

annmarie hughes sm headshot

Current position: Assistant Professor and Department Chair, Fashion & Marketing
Place of employment: Brookdale Community College

Brief description of professional experience: After 13 years in the retail industry, AnnMarie began teaching as an adjunct professor, assisting with program development, and soon became a full-time faculty member. She has been a full-time faculty member at Brookdale Community College for 6 years and is also an adjunct professor at Mercer County Community College. In addition to teaching and staffing the Fashion and Marketing courses, AnnMarie serves on and chairs several committees on campus. She is also involved in assessment, program and course development, student club advising, Perkins funding, governance and the faculty union.

sandra jones sm headshot

Current position: Principal, Pre-K thru Grade 8 Elementary School
Place of employment: Jersey City Public Schools

Brief description of professional experience: Sandra has 36 years experience as an educator and 20 years experience as an administrator. She has served as an original committee member on the Jersey City Public Schools (JCPS) Higher Initiative Project (H.I.P.) where she collaborated with other members to develop a course of studies to meet state requirements to create pathways for learners entering into one of the four comprehensive high schools in the urban setting. Sandra has also served on the JCPS Achieve NJ: District Evaluation Advisory Committee (DEAC) where the committee tackled teacher and administrator evaluation models, procedures for evaluation tools, identifying professional development areas to be addressed and developing protocols for Student Growth Objectives (SGOs).

Initial research area: The Digital Divide and Equity

eric klein sm headshot

Current position: Coordinator of the Collegiate Recovery Program; Adjunct professor in Psychology
Place of employment: Northampton Community College

Brief description of professional experience: Eric is currently the Coordinator of the Collegiate Recovery Program and an adjunct professor at Northampton Community College. Concurrently, he is a clinical social worker/psychotherapist at Pathways for Change working with adolescents and emerging adults as well as a staff psychotherapist at Success Rehabilitation, Inc. who treat residential clients who have acute brain injuries. Eric is an advocate for people in recovery from a myriad of substance use disorders, and for the LGBTQ community. He is the Treasurer of Recovery Friends and Adolescents Together (RAFT) which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit opening REACH LV, the first adolescent Youth Recovery Center in the Lehigh Valley. 

Initial research area: Trauma-informed, collegiate recovery programming to characterize how community colleges can build recovery-informed growth; build recovery capital for students of color in emerging adulthood; the use of recovery capital to identify intersectional biases in collegiate recovery programming

audrey lewis sm headshot

Current position: Faculty member, English/ESL Department
Place of employment: Hudson County Community College

Brief description of professional experience: Audrey holds a Master’s degree in Education from CUNY-Hunter College where she investigated reading technology programs in elementary and middle School learning environments. She is a well-versed educator for 17 years in both public and charter school sectors where she held positions as Acting Dean for Middle School and Middle Library Specialist. She is passionate about Curriculum and Instruction and using best practices to foster strong pedagogy.

Initial research area: Infrastructures of college preparatory course in Reading and Writing to support College Course Readiness; the efficacy and validity of various learning approaches and models.; employing multidisciplinary approaches in reading and writing

christopher marx

Current position: Associate Vice President for Workforce, Economic Development and Community Partnerships
Place of employment: Ulster County Community College

Brief description of professional experience: Chris has worked in the field of education for over 25 years. He began his career as a middle school teacher working in the Washington DC area and overseas. Moving to New York, Chris shifted his career focus from the classroom to directing youth education and workforce programming through not-for-profit organizations. Chris serves in numerous volunteer and leadership positions in the community including the Ulster County Workforce Development Board and RUPCO, a community housing organization, where Chris recently completed his term as Chair of the Board of Directors. Chris earned his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and International Studies from the University of Scranton, his Bachelor of Science in Geology from SUNY New Paltz, and his Master in Education from Loyola University in Baltimore.

Initial research area: Using design thinking to develop career pathway programs that build student agency

tammy napiontek sm headshot

Current position: Director of Title V grants
Place of employment: Big Bend Community College

Brief description of professional experience: Tammy has worked in higher education for 13 years in grants. She began her career at Peninsula College serving under-served student populations in a federal TRIO program, later becoming the Director of College Access and TRIO. Tammy currently oversees two federal Title V grants. She is most proud of her advocacy work locally and in Washington D.C., bringing the voices of students to the hill to educate and ask for what they need. Equally important to her is developing more advocates. Tammy’s education includes an Associate’s of Arts degree from Peninsula College, a Bachelor’s degree in K-12 and a Master’s degree in Education both from City University.

Initial research area: Bringing resources to students living in education deserts; on-boarding processes of faculty, staff and students to improve student outcomes; the impacts of imposter syndrome on students and employees

mirian ochoa sm headshot

Current position: Student Services Representative/Transcript Evaluator
Place of employment: Essex County College

Brief description of professional experience: Mirian has 16 years’ experience as an Officer of Compliance in the Financial Industry in Ecuador. She is an Essex County College graduate with 12 years’ experience in higher education and eight years’ experience as a Volunteer Tax Preparer. As a Transcript Evaluator at a Community College, she has implemented a Rational Process Project in the area. She received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University Técnica Particular de Loja in Quito, Ecuador. In 2019, she graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey with a Master’s degree in Administrative Science. Mirian believes that Community College is the path for the students to succeed in their future careers. Her goal is to assist students with making the right decision about their education to succeed in the future.

Initial research area: Improving graduation rates for low-income, minority, and Latino communities.

derrick perkins sm headshot

Current position: Project Director of the Center for Male Engagement
Place of employment: Community College of Philadelphia

Brief description of professional experience: Derrick joined the Community College of Philadelphia in 2012 as the Project Director of the Center for Male Engagement (CME) program. The CME is a grant-funded cohort-based program designed to increase the retention and graduation rates of African-American and other male students of color at the college through intentional, holistic and culturally responsive programming. He has also conducted and facilitated numerous diversity, inclusive and equity presentations locally and nationally and teaches a First-Year Experience course.   Before joining CCP, he worked as a Program Manager in the Office of Secondary School Reform at the School District of Philadelphia, and the Director of Provider Support at the Philadelphia Youth Network in Philadelphia, PA.

yeurys pujois sm headshot

Current position: Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Place of employment: Hudson County Community College

Brief description of professional experience: Born in the Dominican Republic, Yeurys moved to NJ at 13. With guidance from mentors, Yeurys graduated Hudson County Community College, and went on to pursue his B.A. in History at New Jersey City University. He then earned his M.A. at Seton Hall University in Diplomacy and International Relations. Yeurys held many positions within HCCC: Counselor, Professor of History, the Coordinator of Student Services, and the Director of Enrollment and Student Services. Yeurys also served as the Executive Director of the North Hudson Campus and the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Compliance Officer for the College, Conduct Officer at North Hudson Campus.  He was recently appointed as the inaugural Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. 

sanjay ramdath sm headshot

Current position: Executive Director of Enrollment Management
Place of employment: Essex County College

Brief description of professional experience: Sanjay has worked in higher education for the last 20 years. In his current role, he is tasked with managing the offices of Enrollment Services, Registrar, Academic Advising, Admissions, Financial Aid, Testing and the Welcome Center. He has worked in Florida, North Carolina, New York and now New Jersey. He has a strong passion for servant leadership and putting students first in any and all decision making. His education includes a BS in Information Technology from Barry University and an MBA from Nova Southeastern University.

john runfeldt sm headshot

Current position: Executive Director of Institutional Effectiveness, Planning, and Assessment
Place of employment: Essex County College

Brief description of professional experience: John has worked in the field of Institutional Effectiveness since 2005 and currently serves as the Executive Director of Institutional Effectiveness, Planning, and Assessment at Essex County College.  Prior to joining the community college sector at Essex, he served as the Interim Director of Institutional Effectiveness at William Paterson University and the Director of Institutional Research and Assessment at the Rutgers University School of Nursing. John’s education includes a B.A. in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Felician University and an M.A. in Sociology from William Paterson University.  He also has nine years of teaching experience as an adjunct for the William Paterson University, Department of Sociology.

Initial research area: Improve access, equity, and outcomes in higher education for vulnerable and underserved student populations

carey schroyer sm headshot

Current position: Dean of STEM
Place of employment: Edmonds College

Brief description of professional experience: Before becoming the STEM Dean, Carey was the Associate Dean for Instruction at Edmonds College. Prior to Edmonds College, she was the Faculty Development Coordinator for the Seattle College district and a tenured faculty member of the biology department at South Seattle College. Carey earned a Doctorate Degree in Chiropractic medicine from Logan College of Chiropractic in Chesterfield, Missouri, a Master’s Degree in Adult Education from Western Washington, and an Honors Bachelor of Science Degree (Biology) from Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Before transitioning to the educational sector, Dr. Schroyer was a practicing chiropractic physician. Carey is an active member of the MESA (Math, Engineering, Science Achievement) Executive Board and is particularly focused on innovative initiatives and programs that improve access and student success for underrepresented students enrolled in STEM programs.

aqsa sheikh sm headshot

Current position: Adjunct Instructor / Lead Microbiology Visiting Professor
Place of employment: Raritan Valley Community College, Kean University and Ramapo College / Chamberlain University

Brief description of professional experience: Aqsa is a Union County College alumni. She received her Bachelors degree in Biotechnology / Chemistry from Kean University and her Masters in Biology / Medical Microbiology from Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus. She has worked in various institutions across NJ from community colleges to state universities and even private institutions.  She enjoys teaching Microbiology to future Nurses. Aqsa manages all the laboratory supplies and trains all Microbiology visiting professors.

faraz siddique sm headshot

Current position: Senior Development Chemist/Adjunct Professor
Place of employment: Scientific Design Co. Inc/New Jersey City University / Essex County College

Brief description of professional experience: Faraz has been a Chemist at Scientific Design Co. for past 10 years. He started as a Research Technician and is currently working as a Development Chemist. He oversees instrumentation and the process in micro reactor labs for EO Catalysis. Faraz started teaching as an Adjunct Faculty in 2016 and has been teaching at several institutions including NJCU and Essex County college. He served as a STEM success academy instructor at NJCU in 2019.

Initial research area: Teaching strategies and student success

elaine thompson sm headshot

Current position: Faculty in Speech Communications and Theatre Arts 
Place of employment: Queensborough Community College

Brief description of professional experience: Higher education is Elaine's third career. After holding an administrative position with NYPD for 12 years, followed by several years with the airline industry, Elaine notes that teaching has by far proven to be the most satisfying of all her professions. She is blessed to have the opportunity to help college students improve their communication skills and maximize their value in the workforce. Her goal is to equip them with the knowledge and abilities necessary to be successful in today’s competitive job market. Initial research area: Career exploration and improving student completion rates

ellen wasserman headshot

Current position: Adjunct Professor of English and Co-Chair of the Faculty Development Advisory Board for the Center for Teaching and Learning
Place of employment: Westchester Community College

Brief description of professional experience: Ellen is the recipient of the 2018 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching. Ellen has a strong background in business leadership with experience in communications and marketing. She is an advocate of strong partnerships between high schools and community colleges.

Initial research area: Measuring the impact of interventions for non-cognitive variables on student success; approaches for professional development regarding interventions; equitable enrollment strategies that address the evolving needs of underrepresented students

lilisa williams headshot

Current position: Director of Faculty and Staff Development
Place of employment: Hudson County Community College

Brief description of professional experience: Lilisa has over 20 years combined management and leadership experience in higher education and corporate training. Her community college and leadership experience derives from her roles as Associate Director of College Bound, Training Coordinator/Quality Assurance Specialist at The Kintock Group, Assistant to the Vice President of Academic Affairs, and the Director of Faculty and Staff Development. During her tenure at HCCC she has served on Guided Pathways, Standard III of the Middle States team, and was recently selected to Co-Chair the President’s Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committees. She has also managed, developed, and effectively administered the Adjunct Faculty Professional Development Workshop Series. Lilisa holds an Associates’ Degree in Business/Public Administration from Union County College, a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from FDU, and a Masters of Business Administration in Human Resources Management from FDU. She is currently enrolled in the Diversity and Inclusion certificate program at eCornell. Lilisa is a life coach, personal trainer, motivational speaker and author.

Initial research area: The impact of emotional intelligence and unconscious bias of women leaders

Cohort 3

Cohort 3 Demographics

  • Size: 21 Students
  • Gender: Female- 62%; Male- 38%
  • Ethnicity/Race: White- 38%, Black- 29%, Asian- 5%, Hispanic- 24%
  • Location: NJ- 19%, NY 8%, PA- 2%, WA- 2%

Cohort 3

leslie boon headshot

Current position: Dean, School of Liberal Arts
Place of employment: HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College

Brief description of professional experience: Professional Experience: Leslie has worked in the community college setting for twenty-one years, including in tutoring, testing, high school programs, and disability services. She transitioned to academic affairs administration in 2017 as a campus associate dean of Social Sciences and Communications, Humanities, and the Arts. She now leads the school of Liberal Arts at HACC, supports their guided pathways implementation, and is part of HACC's shared governance body, the administrative and professional employee organization. Her initial research areas: Guided pathways; student success; adjunct faculty support and development.

fatiman broxton headshot

Current position: Professor of English
Place of employment: Union County College

I have been in the field of education for 19 years, with 14 of those years spent as a Professor of English at Union County College teaching composition, literacy, and literature courses. Alongside my duties in the classroom, I have worked on various committees to increase experiential education opportunities for students and foster cultural inclusion and appreciation for diversity among students and faculty. My areas of interest regarding research are increasing a sense of belonging and connectivity between faculty and Black male students, providing childcare availability for community college students, and the benefits of housing on community college campuses.

lloyd cutkelvin headshot

Current position: Educational Specialist and Adjunct Professor in Math
Place of employment: Passaic County Community College and Hudson County Community College

He has been employed in education in various capacities for the better part of 20 years. His introduction to education services came as a TCI College student, where he worked as a peer tutor while pursuing an associate degree in Electrical Engineering Technology. After completing that degree, he attained a bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications and Management from the New York Institute of Technology. During his undergrad studies, he continued to work as a Math/Electronic tutor. He eventually advanced to the role of Director of the Learning Center at TCI College. Mr. Cutkelvin acceded to obtaining a master’s degree in Management from American Military University.

Mr. Cutkelvin hails from a small village in the northern region of the country of Belize in Central America. Mr. Cutkelvin is an ardent gardener and carpenter. He is a movie and TV enthusiast and an avid fan of various music genres. However, his greatest joy and reward is spending time with his beloved family and caring for his pets.

regina drake headshot

Current position: Sociology Faculty
Place of employment: Lamar Institute of Technology and Lamar University

Brief description of professional experience: She started a career in Higher Education after 20 years in the business sector. She has been teaching sociology for the past 10 years. Her experiences in the classroom and as a faculty member gave her a sense of advocacy and a desire to become a scholar activist. Her research interests include College Readiness: Race, Culture and Socio-Economic Barriers – Higher Education; Faculty: Teaching and Learning, Mobility, and Institutional Practices.

joseph falco headshot

Current position: Executive Director of Student Success
Place of employment: Rockland Community College

Joe manages the functional areas of Academic, Career, and Transfer Advising, Personal Counseling, Job Placement, TRIO Student Support Services, and Accessibility Services. Prior to this, Joe was the Coordinator of the Connection Center at RCC, which serves as a hub to help students and their families negotiate and access appropriate health and human services community resources. Joe has taught as an adjunct in the psychology and sociology departments at RCC since 2008, has been a professor of mental health counseling, school counseling, marriage and family therapy, and school psychology graduate students at Long Island University, for over a decade, and has a private practice as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). Previously, Joe has worked as an Academic Advisor at NJCU and an Academic Advisor and Coordinator of Academic Progress at Montclair State University, throughout his 13-year tenure in higher education. His initial research interests include the retention and completion experiences of LGBTQ+ identifying students on community college campuses.

frank gioia headshot

Current position: Adjunct Professor of Psychology and Health Education
Place of employment: Atlantic Cape Community College and Middlesex County Community College

Frank had the honor and privilege of working in the West New York Public School system for over 10 years. He spent his professional career as a K-2 reading specialist, high school guidance counselor, and coach. He worked closely with students with developmental disabilities, created structured learning experience partnerships throughout the local community, and developed dual-credit, concurrent programs with several community colleges and universities. He recently shifted his focus to the community college sector where he has worked as an adjunct faculty instructor at Middlesex College and Atlantic Cape Community College. His experiences at all levels of education has prepared him to further his degree where he hopes to write, research, advocate for student development, and implement community outreach programs for marginalized students.

mayda gonzalez-bosch headshot

Current position: Associate Dean of Health Professions Division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development
Place of employment: Bergen Community College

She has worked in higher education for 15 years. She began her career in education at Saint Paul School of Nursing College, working with nursing students. At Bergen, Mayda works with the NJ HealthWorks Scaling Apprenticeship team, preparing curriculums for the approved courses and creating the models that work for the different employer partners. Mayda is a Medical Doctor who Graduated from Cuba and mixed her Health professional experience with education. Her initial research areas include Social Justice, Student Achievement Gaps, and Students with Learning Disabilities.

ledawn hall headshot

Current position: Director of the Men & Women of Excellence Scholars Program
Place of employment: Essex County College

The program is designed to assist low-income students of color with overcoming challenges and progress toward student success. Ledawn has been with Essex County College for nearly nine years and started as a part-time academic advisor. His purpose for joining the Ed.D. in Community College Leadership program at NJCU is to become a better leader and role model for his team and the community. He firmly believes that every student can achieve their associate degree. Ledawn's focus while in the program will be toward student self-advocacy. Students are the largest stakeholders in higher education institutions but often under-utilize their power for their own benefit.

marie kroop headshot

Current position: Assistant Director of Workforce and Career Development
Place of employment: SUNY Ulster

Marie is the Assistant Director of Workforce and Career Development at SUNY Ulster. She has been with SUNY Ulster since 2014, where she started as a program coordinator, administering some of the college’s professional training. As Assistant Director, Marie supports the College’s workforce development efforts, collaborating with community stakeholders in the assessment and development of countywide initiatives that address training and workforce gaps. She was selected to be a member of the most recent cohort of SUNY Success Coaches, a program designed to train peer mentor coaches to support colleges in their efforts around student success reform focused on equity and transformational change. Prior to working at SUNY Ulster, Marie has worked in both traditional and nontraditional school settings as both an administrator, and in student services, in addition to working in nonprofits as a community educator, grants writer, and youth services provider. Marie has an MSW from Adelphi University and a Bachelor’s Degree from Bard College. Her research interests are centered on workforce education in community college, specifically as they address women.

royal mainor headshot

Current position: Admissions Recruiter and Accounting and Business Instructor
Place of employment: Hudson County Community College

Brief description of professional experience: Royal earned an AAS in Accounting at Hudson County Community College, BS in Accounting at New Jersey City University, and an MBA with a concentration in Management and MS in Accounting at Saint Peter’s University. Royal worked in taxation for 24 years and banking for 4 years. She began her career as an educator teaching preschool children prior to making the transition to higher education.

Royal believes education is the gateway to success and the key to unlocking doors to endless personal and professional opportunities. Her research interest is mothers returning to community college to improve their economic status.

monica medrano headshot

Current position: Regional Director
Place of employment: Central Washington University in Wenatchee and Moses Lake

Mónica is the Regional Director of two of Central Washington University's extended learning Centers (campuses) in Wenatchee and Moses Lake, Washington. She has been with CWU for the last two and a half years. Monica was awarded the inaugural CWU Provosts Transfer Fellowship, focusing her efforts on building a holistic transfer pathway framework for the university. Mónica spent several years serving as a coordinator in Workforce education services for Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake, WA and also as adjunct faculty before her transition into CWU. Monica earned her undergraduate degrees from Central Washington University and a Master of Science in Management and Leadership from Western Governor’s University. The last decade in higher education has allowed Mónica to return to her hometown and focus on her personal and professional mission to be a catalyst of change to the communities by serving as a transformational leader. She is committed to challenging policies and practices that perpetuate systematically unjust access to higher education for all.

adrian novio headshot

Current position: Mathematics Instructor and Developmental Coordinator
Place of employment: Middlesex County College

He earned his B.A. in Mathematical Sciences and M.A. in Mathematics Education from Kean University. Adrian began his career as an educator teaching high school mathematics for 7 years and then taught at Union County College for 5 years. Three years ago, he took a position at Middlesex College as a mathematics instructor and developmental coordinator.

His initial research interests are effective strategies for appropriate college-level course placement, particularly among low-income and minority students.

doreen pontius molos headshot

Current position: Associate Director of Mental Health Counseling & Wellness
Place of employment: Hudson County Community College

In her role at the college, she provides leadership and develops strategic plans to increase understanding and awareness of how mental health impacts students' academic success. She offers clinical supervision to master's level social work interns and provides direct mental health counseling support.

She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 19 years of experience in individual, family & group therapy, client advocacy, case management, and crisis intervention. She holds two Masters degrees, one from Fairleigh Dickinson University - a Masters of Arts in Psychology, and one from NYU- a Master's in Social Work.

Doreen is interested in improving community college students' success by addressing the Mental health issues that impact academic success and she wants to also explore the barriers that create disparities that influence failure. Her belief is that creating a holistic approach to community college students will increase their success and goal attainment. She believes you not only teach to the student but explore and understand who your students are so you can help them become successful.

krista quinn headshot

Current position: Adjunct Instructor of English
Place of employment: Rockland Community College

Krista Quinn has been an adjunct instructor of English at Rockland Community College for the past nine years. Prior to teaching at the college level Krista was a high school English teacher and a department supervisor. Krista is passionate about teaching developmental writing courses and her research interest areas include developmental education in community colleges, as well as how to make lectures more effective in the college setting. She is a two-time graduate of NYU's Steinhardt School of Education, and she also holds a NJ Supervisory Certificate.

jason rodriguez headshot

Current position: Assistant Director for Diversity and Inclusion
Place of employment: New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)

Jason has worked in higher education for over 16 years with a focus on diversity, inclusion, and social justice. As a student affairs professional, his background includes developing and growing multicultural centers, mentoring programs, facilitating trainings, as well as advising cultural and spiritual student organizations. He currently serves on the National Advisory Council for the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE). Jason's education includes a B.S. degree in Ethnic Studies from Oregon State University and a M.S. degree in College Student Personnel from Western Illinois University. His initial research interests include Native American/Indigenous and Latinx experiences and success in higher education.

bernadette schery headshot

Current position: Executive Administrative Assistant to the Provost and Senior Vice President
Place of employment: New Jersey City University

As a home-grown Knight, Bernadette has acquired a Master of Science Degree in Health Sciences with a specialization in Public Health Education. With the knowledge base and skill set developed in previous educational programs, Bernadette's focus on closing the gaps in education for under-represented populations became the passion and direction for her future scope of work. As an advocate of education, Bernadette Schery believes that education should be accessed and provided as a fair opportunity. To achieve a complete understanding of this belief, Bernadette serves on multiple boards and committees. The practice is to enhance and support governance, curriculum, and community efforts as an all-comprehensive approach to the success of students of all ages.

rong carrie xiao headshot

Current position: Accounting Instructor
Place of employment: Hudson County Community College

With years of Certified Public Accountant experience, Carrie has taught undergraduate and graduate courses. She also collaborates in Year Up – an intensive program that enables young adults to move from minimum wage to meaningful careers in just one year. As an educator, Carrie has maintained her focus on students’ success. Inspired by her father, who is now a retired professor, Carrie is passionate about applying teaching and education-related research to practice. She was awarded two badges from the Association of College and University Educators: one in Engaging Underprepared Students, and the other in Developing Self-Directed Learner. She also received the certificate of Bloomberg for Education. Carrie serves on multiple committees including All College Council, Curriculum & Instruction Committee, Achieving the Dream Committee and College Culture Committee.

Cohort 4

Cohort 4 Demographics

  • Race: Black 40%,  White 30%,  Latinx 20%,  Asian 10%
  • Gender: Female 90%,  Male 10%
  • State: New Jersey 40%,  New York 30%,  Kansas 10%, New Hampshire 10%,  Texas 10%

Cohort 4


Current position: Hotel Restaurant Management Faculty
Place of employment: Bergen Community College’s

Ronda earned a B.S. in Business Management at Fairleigh Dickinson University and completed a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management from Thomas Edison State University. Ronda began her career as a chef 30 years ago in her family’s seafood restaurant and various eateries. In 2006 she began her teaching career at the Bergen County Academies in the Career Exploration Program. In 2010 Ronda combined her skillsets in Business, Culinary, and Education to develop Englewood Public School’s first Culinary Arts Program. In 2017 Ronda was hired by Bergen Community College’s Hotel Restaurant Management Program in the role of tenure track professor and has served as the coordinator of this program. Teaching is Ronda’s passion. She enjoys sharing knowledge with her students and watching them grow academically and socially. Ronda is deeply involved with her community, fulfilling several civic roles.


Current position: Director of First Year Programming and Student Success
Place of employment: LaGuardia Community College

Ellen Quish has been a faculty and staff member at LaGuardia Community College for over 30 years. She is currently the Director of First Year Programming and Student Success at LaGuardia’s Center for Teaching & Learning. Starting as an adjunct instructor for adult ESOL students, she has since taught a range of classes including the First Year Seminar for Liberal Arts: Social Science and Humanities, developed programs for immigrant adults and youth, and designed and led faculty development seminars. Ellen received the first New York Times ESOL Teacher-of-the-Year award in 2007. Her professional interests include open pedagogy; the use of reflection in developing metacognition; the effective use of digital tools in teaching and learning; and the role of peer mentoring relationships in student success. Ellen’s current research interests are understanding how student-centered leadership impacts student success and how the use of equity-minded practices can support student success from enrollment to completion in open admissions institutions.


Current position: Adjunct English Faculty
Place of employment: The City College of New York

Katherine is an adjunct in the English Department of The City College of New York. She obtained an associate degree from Borough of Manhattan Community College in 2014, a bachelor degree in English Creative Writing, and an MFA from City College of New York in 2016 and 2020. She has published multiple short stories and poetry throughout the years. Originally from Washington Heights, an urban community in New York City, Katherine now teaches middle school English Language Arts in Union City, New Jersey. Ramirez plans to research changing funding policies in community colleges and creating an equalized environment in community colleges that would be comfortable for all students regardless of background, gender preference, religion, or language while producing mass opportunities and resources similar to four-year colleges in a community college setting.


Current position: Faculty
Place of employment: Borough of Manhattan Community College

Jennifer began her professional journey in higher education fifteen years ago. She served the college community as FYE supplemental instructor, Learning Resource Center supervisor, and adjunct lecturer in English. Currently, she teaches courses at Borough of Manhattan Community College. She is eager to discover, develop and employ the skills taught in the Community College Leadership program.


Current position: Team Lead for the Student Enrichment Center
Place of employment: San Antonio College

Sabrina is the Team Lead for the Student Enrichment Center which oversees Career Services, Experiential Learning, and the First-Year Experience program at San Antonio College.  She previously served as a Coordinator of Student Success and Academic Advisor. In her 9 years of higher education experience, she has served in various areas, including admissions, academic affairs, and most recently student affairs. Her interests include serving the community by bringing awareness to social justice issues and improving access to education for students. Her research areas of interest focus on paid experiential learning opportunities and their impact on career readiness for underserved populations.


Current position: Associate Professor of College Success
Place of employment: Johnson County Community College

Megan is an experienced professional with 25+ years in higher education. Currently, she is an associate professor of college success at Johnson County Community College. She has previously contributed to many student services areas including residence life, Greek life, orientation, admissions, alumni relations, and student judicial affairs. Through these roles, Megan had the opportunity to teach many First-Year Experience courses, where her love of student engagement in the classroom fully developed. Her initial research areas of interest are best practices for faculty development and engagement such as differentiated instruction and active learning strategies.


Current position: Career Counselor/Academic Advisor
Place of employment: Manchester Community College NH

Sara currently works at Manchester Community College NH (MCC) in New Hampshire as the Career Counselor/Academic Advisor. She also teaches First-Year Seminar at MCC. Sara also provides consulting for Portland Community College on advisor training and development. She has held many roles in higher education, centering on academic advising and first-year seminar. Co-leading the WSU First Generation Study Abroad program was one of the highlights of her career. Her current research interests include student success initiatives, strength-based and appreciative advising, and transition courses at community colleges.


Current position: Economics, Money & Banking, Hospitality Management, and Supply Chain Management Logistics Faculty
Place of employment: Essex County College

Pavi teaches Economics, Money & Banking, Hospitality Management, and Supply Chain Management Logistics at Essex County College. In addition to being a faculty member, Prof. Jalloh’s professional roles have included Center Dean, Business Development Manager, and Director of University Outreach.

Pavi Jalloh is a native of Sierra Leone, West Africa.


Current position: Associate Dean of Students
Place of employment: New Jersey City University

Pia Stevens-Haynes has been a respected and exemplary student advocate for more than 20 years. She is currently the Associate Dean of Students at New Jersey City University. She has experience in many areas of student life including retention, academic advising, academic support, financial aid, Title IX, and residence life. She has worked with many special populations such as international students, first-generation collegians, athletics, and veterans. Recently, she assumed a leadership role in the redesign of student services with the goal of increasing persistence and graduation rates by creating 360degree intrusive counseling and mentoring programs that integrate Bursar, Registrar, financial aid, and academic advising into one streamlined experience for students. Pia is known for her creativity, problem-solving, and team-building skills. On a personal note, Pia is a twin. Interestingly, she and her twin were born on two different days in two different Boroughs in NYC. She moved to New Jersey about 5 years ago, has an 8-year-old daughter, and enjoys shopping and decorating.


Current position: Adjunct Instructor of Mathematics
Place of employment: Middlesex College and Mercer County Community College

Karuna is an adjunct instructor of mathematics at Middlesex College and Mercer County Community College. Although she has served in many roles such as an IT professional, a lecturer, and an HR manager, nothing, to her, felt as fulfilling as teaching Mathematics. But she is not someone to stop at this. She wants to spread her wings further in the field of higher education to have a deeper understanding of the functions and challenges of being a community college leader. This pandemic has made her more aware of the current scenario of hardships of students and of the survival of community colleges during emergency situations. She put her aspirations into action and is happy to be a part of the Ed.D. program in Community College Leadership at New Jersey City University.

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