NCLC hosted Lead New Jersey for an education seminar on the Rutgers-Newark campus on Thursday, May 16, 2019.
Currently in its 33rd class of Fellows, Lead New Jersey is a year-long opportunity for New Jersey’s public, private, and nonprofit leaders to engage in monthly seminars on a range of public policy topics. Lead New Jersey’s goal is to educate and empower talented leaders to create systemic change around New Jersey’s most challenging issues.
The education seminar began with introductions from Rutgers-Newark Assistant Chancellor LaToya Battle-Brown and Executive Vice Chancellor Sherri-Ann Butterfield on the role Rutgers-Newark plays as an anchor institution and increasing opportunities for Newark students to enter college and complete their degrees. Following were three panel discussions in which key education leaders from Newark participated.
The first panel, titled “The State of Public Education in Newark: A Cross-Sector Perspective,” was moderated by NCLC Executive Director Reginald Lewis and featured Superintendent of Newark Public Schools Roger León, Superintendent of Essex County Schools of Technology Dr. James Pedersen, Chief External Officer of KIPP New Jersey Ben Cope, and Headmaster of St. Benedict’s Prep Father Ed Leahy.
The second panel, “Examining Newark School Reform: Lessons and Strategies,” was moderated by Mary Bennet of the Alliance for Newark Public Schools and featured former Chief Education Officer for the City of Newark Dr. Lauren Wells, Principal of Barringer High School Angela Mincy, Chief Education Officer for the City of Newark Toni Richardson, and Assistant Superintendent of High Schools Dr. Mario Santos.
The final panel, “Building Newark’s College-Going Culture,” featured NCLC staff members: Executive Director Reginald Lewis, Associate Director of Strategic Planning and Development Barry Ford, Senior Manager of Communications and Development Chanel Donaldson, Postdoctoral Associate in Education Research and Policy Dr. Kristi Donaldson, and Special Assistant to the Executive Director and Special Projects Manager Danielle Cohen.
Following the panel discussions, Lead New Jersey Fellows were able to visit East Side High School and meet with Principal Michael West, teachers, and students.
Founding NCLC member Bloomfield College announced in February that Dr. Marcheta P. Evans will become the College’s 17th president beginning on June 1, 2019. She will succeed Richard A. Levao.
Dr. Evans is both the first woman and African American to lead the College in its 150-year history. She was unanimously selected by the College’s Board of Trustees after a nationwide search by Academic Search, an executive search firm dedicated to serving higher education institutions.
Dr. Evans has served in transformational leadership roles in higher education for twenty-five years at both public and private institutions, with twenty of those years at Minority Serving Institutions (MSI’s) in the seventh largest city in the U.S., San Antonio, Texas. Bloomfield College holds the designations of a Predominately Black Institution (PBI) and a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI).
“I am so humbled and honored to be selected as the 17th President of Bloomfield College. This is truly the fulfillment of a dream that was inspired by my grandparents as they raised me as a child during the civil rights movement of the 1960’s,” expressed Dr. Evans. “My heart is overflowing with this blessing and privilege. You will not find anyone more dedicated to the mission, vision, and goals of Bloomfield College as we move this great college forward with our commitment for diverse students to have access to an affordable education. We will become a national leader and role model for inclusive excellence.”
View Special Video Message from Dr. Evans
Currently the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU), Dr. Evans sequentially served as Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean at OLLU and Associate Dean and Department Chair at University of Texas at San Antonio. She has served as a faculty member for over 23 years and has the rank of Full Professor. Dr. Evans is a past President and Fellow of the American Counseling Association, past President of the Association for Creativity in Counseling, and is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions. A small sampling of these recognitions includes the Outstanding Multicultural Leadership Award, Yellow Rose of Texas Lifetime Educator Award, and Counselors for Social Justice Ohana Award.
Dr. Evans has authored numerous articles and book chapters, focusing on issues of diversity, multiculturalism, women’s issues, and leadership. She has presented over one hundred times at the state, regional, national, and international levels addressing topics such as empowerment, multiculturalism, diversity, and leadership. In her international work, Dr. Evans has traveled extensively, including a length of time in the African country of Malawi where she worked with educators and counselors on literacy initiatives sponsored by USAID.
Dr. Evans graduated from the University of Alabama with a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Counselor Education and Supervision, specializing in Student Affairs, Administration in Higher Education, and Human Resource Management. Additionally, she has a Master of Arts degree in Education in Elementary Education from the University of Alabama-Birmingham, a Master of Arts degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Alabama.
“Dr. Evans’ tenure at her previous institutions has been nothing short of transformative,” said William H. Turner, Chairman of the Board. “Her leadership qualities represent the academic and mission-based values of Bloomfield College, and we are delighted to welcome her to our community and campus.”
Some of her career highlights include optimization of class sizes, which resulted in over $300,000 in revenue and cost-saving strategies; development of academic centers to enhance student success, which saw freshman retention rates rise from 56.2% to 68.2%; and modified the advising model through collaborative advising, cohort scheduling, student success initiatives, and strengths-based peer mentor/teaching that resulted in a 23% increase in first-year students who earned a 3.0 GPA or higher.
President Richard A. Levao, who will retire after serving the College for 16 years, is excited for Bloomfield College’s next chapter with Dr. Evans at the helm.
“The Bloomfield College community is extremely pleased to have Dr. Evans assume the leadership of this wonderful institution in its 150th year,” said President Levao. “Her experience, dedication to our College’s mission, as well as her personal warmth, energy, and compassion bodes well for the future of this College that so many of us love so well.”
Dr. Evans and her husband, Edgar, are exceedingly proud parents of six children with five of whom graduated from minority-serving institutions. She and her husband are looking forward to moving to New Jersey.
This article was originally featured here.
NCLC Associate Director, Barry Ford, was selected to serve on the NJ Office of the Secretary of Higher Education’s On-ramps to College Working Group in support of the state’s new higher education plan.
The On-ramps to College working group will work to increase post-secondary access for all students in the state by developing innovative solutions for addressing the equity gaps in college attendance by race and socioeconomic status. This group has two major charges to study and make recommendations to the Governor: (1) Creating a coordinated approach to offering fee-free dual enrollment and piloting other models for demonstrating college-level mastery, such as the Modern States Educational Alliance, which prepares students for College Level Examination Program exams. (2) Exploring, and then working to address, the factors affecting New Jersey student decisions to attend higher education institutions outside of the state.
Read the news release announcing all working group members here.
Read the full higher education plan here.