New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education Zakiya Smith Ellis recently announced the members of working groups on New Jersey’s Plan for Higher Education under Governor Murphy’s Task Force for Higher Education. Sarah McMahon, Associate Professor at the School of Social Work and Director of the Center on Violence Against Women and Children, was named co-chair of the Safe and Inclusive Learning Environments work group. Joining her in the working group are part-time lecturer Laura Luciano, PhD student Julia Cusano, and Simone Snyder, Senior Program Coordinator at the Center on Violence Against Women and Children. Part-time lecturer Randy Stamm was also selected to be a part of the On Ramps to College working group. McMahon, Luciano, Cusano, Snyder, and Stamm are among the 19 Rutgers faculty, students, staff, and administrators in the working groups chosen through a formal selection process and appointed by the Governor.
The working groups were launched as part of the State’s plan for higher education, “Where Opportunity Meets Innovation: A Student-Centered Vision for New Jersey Higher Education.” Along with the immediate recommendations set forth in the plan, the working groups will provide additional recommendations related to specific charges for each group by the end of the year.
“Many leaders and stakeholders in higher education are committing themselves to coming up with innovative strategies to strengthen our state’s higher education system,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “I applaud the willingness of these talented New Jerseyans to roll up their sleeves on behalf of our colleges and universities and help us refine the state’s higher education plan.”
Working group membership includes representatives from a variety of sectors. Notably, each working group includes student representatives as the state plan emphasizes the need for students to have a voice in the decisions that affect their education.
“We are excited by the overwhelming response of stakeholders to participate in the working groups and we look forward to learning from the diverse representatives selected,” said Smith Ellis. “These workgroups will take a comprehensive look at strategies to increase support for students at New Jersey’s colleges and we appreciate their time and dedication to the future of higher education in the state.”