SCSU Foundation Board of Directors

Kristen Adanti-Pedersen, ’95, ’96

kristen adanti-pedersen

Kristen Adanti-Pedersen is a special education teacher in West Haven, Conn., with a lifelong connection to the university. She earned two undergraduate degrees at Southern (English and special education) as well as a master’s degree in special education. She went on to earn a sixth-year degree in educational administration and leadership from Sacred Heart University. Adanti-Pedersen has received numerous teaching awards, including the May V. Carrigan PTSA Teacher of the Year (2004), Walmart Teacher of the Year for New Haven County (2005) and May V. Carrigan Peer Teacher of the Year (2006). The daughter of Southern’s late President Emeritus Michael J. Adanti, Kristen also holds multiple fitness certifications and remains active in the community, where she loves spending time with her family and dogs Bucca, Packer and Bogey. She sits on the SCSU Foundation’s development and governance committees.


Mickel Arias, ’81

Mike Arias is the founding and managing partner of Arias Sanguinetti Wang & Torrijos LLP. He is the 2018 President of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA) and President-Elect of the Consumer Attorneys Association of California (CAOC). During his 35-year career, he has litigated and tried matters throughout the United States, in both state and federal court. He has served as lead, co- lead, or liaison counsel in well over 100 class and mass tort actions. His trial experience is as diverse as the firm’s practice. His last ten trials have included serious personal injury, wrongful death, employment, consumer class actions and mass wage and hour claims. He has recently resolved several class actions and multiple plaintiff matters involving antitrust, toxic torts, consumer, wage and hour, environmental issues, and product liability. During his career, he has resolved hundreds of matters, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in recovery for the firm’s clients. Mr. Arias is a Member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and was selected a 2018 California Top Plaintiff Lawyer by the Daily Journal. Mr. Arias is admitted to practice law in California, New York, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia. He also is admitted before numerous federal courts throughout the country. He holds an “AV” rating by Martindale-Hubbell. The “AV” rating is the highest rating given and is awarded only upon reaching “heights” of professional excellence, both in terms of legal ability and ethical standards. He has also been selected annually as a Southern California Super Lawyer; an honor reserved for the top 5% of attorneys practicing in Southern California.

Mr. Arias has been certified as an agent with the National Basketball Players’ Association, Major League Baseball Players’ Association and National Football League Players’ Association and has negotiated millions of dollars in contracts for dozens of professional athletes.


James Barber, ’64, ’79

For more than 50 years James “Jim” Barber has given dedicated service to southern Connecticut State University and it students. A record-setting hurdler as a student athlete, he went on to become a successful Owls coach for almost 25 years, training numerous track champions and many All-Americans. He has also coached the men’s and women’s USA track teams at national and international championships. In 1971 Jim launched SCUS’s first Summer Education Opportunity Program (SEOP), which over time successfully opened the door to a college degree for scores of minority students. In addition, he has led the university’s affirmative action office, served as director of the student supportive services for more than 20 years and has helped to advanced Southern’s mission as Director of Community Engagement.

A committed activist, he founded New Haven’s track and field outreach program for young people, working with more than 4,000 children and youth over the years. He served as president and a long-time board member of the New Haven Scholarship Fund, which has assisted generation of local high school students to pay for a college education. Jim graduated from SCSU in 1964 with a degree in Education. He also earned a MS in Physical Education at SCSU in 1979.


Chris Borajkiewicz, ’98

Audit Committee Chair


Chris Borajkiewicz is a personal wealth advisor at Root, Borajkiewicz, Lucarelli Wealth Advisors, a subsidiary of Ameriprise Financial, and has 22 years of experience in financial services. He graduated from Southern’s Honors College with degrees in history and political science — and has maintained a strong connection to his alma mater. In addition to establishing an endowed scholarship at the university, Borajkiewicz is a longtime member of the Alumni Association Board of Trustees, having previously served as  president and treasurer of the organization. Borajkiewicz was a member of the Regional School District #16 Building Committee, which guided several key projects including the construction of a K-5 elementary school, renovation of Laurel Ledge Elementary and a permanent regional district office. His wife, Jennifer, is also a Southern graduate. Borajkiewicz enjoys fishing, golfing and traveling in his free time. He serves as chairman for the SCSU Foundation Board’s audit committee.


Jodi Eurle Eddy ‘96

Jodi Eurle Eddy

Jodi Euerle Eddy is Boston Scientific’s senior vice president and chief information and digital officer, a position she has held since July 2020. In her current role, Ms. Eddy is responsible for positioning the company for success across multi-disciplinary digital and information technology (IT) needs and overseeing the company’s strategy for digital health, data analytics, and cyber security capabilities. Ms. Eddy leads an IT organization and expanded digital team of employees and contractors worldwide focused on continued advancement into complex, integrated digital solutions to address evolving customer and patient data needs. She served as senior vice president and chief information officer from December 2015 to July 2020. Ms. Eddy joined the Boston Scientific in December of 2013 as the vice president, Information Systems. She is a member of the company’s Global Council for Inclusion and is the executive sponsor for our HOLA employee resource group, which celebrates Hispanic heritage and provides development and leadership opportunities to its members. Prior to joining Boston Scientific, Ms. Eddy progressed through several roles of increasing leadership of information systems positions over 18 years at General Electric, including serving as the commercial chief information officer for the Oil and Gas business from October 2012 until December 2013; chief commercial information officer for the Measurement and Control business from October 2011 until February 2012; and chief information officer for the Engineered Systems business from October 2008 until February 2011. Ms. Eddy earned a B.S. in computer science from Southern Connecticut State University. She holds certifications in Master Black Belt Six Sigma, CISSP and CISCO CCNA.


John Emra, ’92

Governance Committee Chair


As the president of AT&T Connecticut, John Emra leads their legislative, regulatory and community affairs activities in the state. At Southern, Emra earned a degree in political science. He formerly held positions as AT&T’s regional vice president for external and legislative affairs and worked as a consultant in Washington, D.C. and Connecticut. His depth of political experience ranges from working as a congressional staff member, a Connecticut House of Representatives staff member, a lobbyist, a political strategist and a media spokesperson. Emra is the chairman for the SCSU Foundation’s governance committee and a member of its investment committee.


Ruth Eren, ’71

Ruth Eren

Dr. Ruth Eren retired from Southern in 2017 as a professor emeritus of special education. She is the cofounder and past director of the Center of Excellence on Autism Spectrum Disorders [ASD] at Southern as well as the former Goodwin Endowed Chair in Special Education, which was the first endowed professorship in the university’s history. 
As a former Southern student and professor, Eren has a broad understanding of the university’s operation and its positive impact on students, faculty, and the community-at-large. She was the creator and area head of the master’s program for teaching children with ASD at Southern; a member of the state task force that wrote the Connecticut guidelines for educating children and youth with autism in public schools; and an active participant in the Special Act No. 08-5 legislative initiative. She has consulted with public school districts for more than 15 years, focusing on individual program development and curriculum design for children with ASD. Eren also shares her expertise as a member of many boards, including the Chapel Haven Adult Program for individuals with Asperger syndrome, the Connecticut Autism Spectrum Resource Center and the Clifford Beers Guidance Clinic. Eren sits on the SCSU Foundation’s development and governance committees.


Jacquelynn Garofano, ’06

Jacquelynn Garofano

Dr. Jacquelynn (Jackie) Garofano is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology. As CTO and lead principal investigator, her primary focus is on developing and directing new technology projects and programs in collaboration with partner organizations – primarily federal agencies, national labs and consortiums, universities, global industrial corporations, and subject matter experts. Her career as a materials research scientist has been marked with numerous honors and achievements, including: a dozen technical publications and three U.S. Patent awards. Garofano has been named one of Connecticut’s Women of Innovation® twice. First, as the recipient of the Collegian Innovation and Leadership Award in 2011 and, most recently, as a finalist in the Large Business Innovation and Leadership category for 2020 while at Raytheon Technologies. She was also named to the “40 Under 40” lists compiled by Connecticut Magazine (2013) and Hartford Business Journal (2015), for professional excellence and leadership. She was recognized as a 2018 The Future is NOW awardee by the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund for her work to advance women and girls in STEM. Most recently, she’s been named the recipient of the 2020 Petit Family Foundation Women in Science Leadership Award and the 2020 Spark Award for mentorship by the Society of Women Engineers. A first-generation college student, Garofano earned her bachelor’s in physics with honors from Southern Connecticut State University, and master’s and doctoral degrees in materials science and engineering from the University of Connecticut. She sits on the SCSU Foundation’s governance and development committees.


Louis Gianquinto ‘94

Louis Gianquinto

Lou Gianquinto is the President of Anthem’s commercial health plan in Connecticut. He was appointed to this role in December 2020. Most recently, Lou had been the president of Missouri Care, Anthem’s Medicaid business in Missouri. Earlier in his career, he held several roles in the insurance industry across Connecticut, including with UnitedHealthcare and Oxford Health Plans, where he led initiatives to improve quality, manage costs and increase affordability. Lou is from West Haven, CT. He graduated from Southern Connecticut State University and earned an M.B.A. from the University of New Haven.


Lindy Gold

Development Committee Chair

lindy gold

Lindy Gold has worked for the State of Connecticut since 1998 and is currently a senior specialist in the Department of Economic and Community Development, where she is responsible for business retention, recruitment and expansion. She represents the commissioner on all workforce development and education boards and commissions. Prior to her position with the state, Gold was the director of development and community relations at the Connecticut office of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. She has served on the City of New Haven Board of Alders and in leadership roles on the boards of multiple nonprofit organizations. Gold attended Hamden Hall Country Day School and went on to Emerson College in Boston, where she majored in theatre arts. She is very active with the greater New Haven Jewish community and is the former chairwoman of the Gateway Community College Foundation. Gold serves as the chair of the development committee and is a member of the governance committee.


Michael Katz, ’66, ’76 


After earning an undergraduate degree from Southern, Michael Katz played offensive guard for the NFL's New York Jets. He is best known internationally as an amateur and professional bodybuilder, winning the Mr. America title in 1970, Mr. Universe in 1972, Mr. World in 1972, and Mr. Olympia runner-up in 1975. He costarred in the 1977 hit documentary Pumping Iron. Katz was a highly respected judge for the International Federation of Bodybuilding and was a 1996 inductee of the New Haven Gridiron Club Hall of Fame. In 1979, he became president of World Gym Fitness in Branford and Hamden. In 2004, he transitioned to a Planet Fitness franchise, which he runs alongside his son Michael Jr. He spent 33 years as a Hamden educator and coach. Katz sits on the SCSU Foundation’s finance and development committees.


Michael Kingan

Foundation Executive Director

Michael Kingan

Michael Kingan was named Southern’s vice president for institutional advancement in July 2018. He oversees Development, Integrated Communications & Marketing, and Alumni Relations and serves as executive director of the SCSU Foundation.

Kingan has served for more than 25 years in a number of diverse institutions, including the Universities of Michigan, Washington, Iowa and New Mexico. He was the first Chief Advancement Officer at the Singapore American School, one of the world’s premier international schools, with an enrollment exceeding 4,000 students in grades pre-kindergarten through 12. Most recently, Kingan was the vice president for development and alumni relations at the University of Texas at Arlington, a Carnegie Research-1 institution that ranks among the top five most diverse student populations of all comprehensive public universities in the nation.

He has prepared and successfully launched comprehensive fundraising campaigns throughout his career and has expertise in identifying fundraising priorities, collaborating with university leadership, faculty, staff, alumni, and volunteers and facilitating gift engagements that result in substantial growth in institutional support.

Kingan earned his undergraduate degree in political science from Austin College in Sherman and his Master of Public Affairs degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He served as an instructor in the Overseas Service Corps of the YMCA in Keelung, Taiwan, before embarking on his career in philanthropy and advancement.


Edmund Marcarelli, ’75, ’79


Edmund Marcarelli has more than 30 years of experience in a variety of technology domains, including finance, education and healthcare. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southern, and has completed coursework in a doctoral program in education administration at Northeastern University. As President of Hydrakos Consulting, Marcarelli advises firms on strategy and governance. His expertise includes technology, software development, statistical analysis and financial services. Prior to joining Hydrakos, he held leadership roles at 
Brown Brothers Harriman, Fidelity Investments, and the Boston Safe Deposit and Trust Company (now BNY Mellon). Marcarelli formerly served as the president of the Bird Street Community Center Board of Directors in Dorchester, Mass. Having grown up in the Fair Haven neighborhood of New Haven, he has a special interest in initiatives that support prospective students from backgrounds where attending college poses a challenge. Marcarelli serves on the SCSU Foundation’s finance and investment committees.


John Mezzanotte

Foundation Board Chair


John Mezzanotte is the partner-in-charge of Marcum LLP's Greenwich, Conn., office and is a member of its family office, high-net worth and healthcare industry groups. He offers more than 30 years of tax and consulting experience, serving companies and their owners in a variety of industries — with in-depth knowledge of the hospitality and healthcare fields. His global engagements for private international clients and foreign governments span more than 30 countries, with a strong focus in the Caribbean. Mezzanotte has authored numerous financial and market feasibility studies for large international-development projects, as well as new business ventures seeking capital. Additionally, he has presented at many hospitality, private equity and healthcare conferences. Prior to joining Marcum, Mezzanotte held executive-level positions in finance, including chief financial officer, principal of an investment banking firm, co-trustee for a large marital trust, and managing director of a world-renowned hotel and resort. He is chairman of the SCSU Foundation Board of Directors.


Sharon Misasi, ’83

Sharon P. Misasi, Emeritus Professor, dedicated 33 years of service to Southern Connecticut State University, primarily as a Professor in Health and Movement Sciences. Her career began as an Assistant Professor and Assistant Athletic Trainer. During Sharon’s tenure she also served in various other roles including Program Director, Interim Dean, Assistant to the Provost and Chairperson of the Exercise Science Department. In addition, other noteworthy accomplishments are her work with the United States Figure Skating Association. Sharon has and continues to serve on the medical team for national and international events. Some coverage has included the Olympics, World University Games, and other international competitions.

She believes in giving back to Southern and has a scholarship in the name of her parents as well as in March 2022 along with Sandy DeCicco and Pat Panichas began the Believe Fund to assist students.

Sharon earned her undergraduate degree (Physical Education/Athletic Training) from SCSU in 1983. She earned a master’s degree in Athletic Training from Indiana State University (1984) and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology & Sport Psychology (1998).


Marc A. Nivet, ’92

Marc A. Nivet, E.D., M.B.A., is the Executive Vice President for Institutional Advancement at UT Southwestern Medical Center, where he provides strategic vision and oversight in Development and Alumni Relations; Communications, Marketing, and Public Affairs; Government Affairs; Technology Development; Community and Corporate Relations; and Institutional Equity and Access.

Dr. Nivet also serves as Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, lecturing on health equity, diversity and inclusion, underrepresented populations in academic medicine, and conducting research on the demographic and distribution of the physician workforce. He works collaboratively with faculty and key leadership in the UT Southwestern Medical School, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and School of Health Professions on these and other important issues.

Prior to his role at UT Southwestern, Dr. Nivet served as a member of the executive leadership team of the Association of American Medical Colleges, where he provided leadership on issues surrounding community engagement, diversity, and health equity at medical schools and teaching hospitals across the United States and Canada. Dr. Nivet has spent over 25 years in academic medicine developing creative program initiatives and innovative approaches to advance the mission of excellence in research, education, and patient care.

Dr. Nivet earned his doctoral degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.B.A. from George Washington University’s School of Business. He is a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, and a former president of the National Association of Medical Minority Educators.


Jon D. Pedersen Sr.

Jon Pederson

Jon Pedersen Sr. is the senior vice president and chief financial officer for iHeartMedia markets group. In his role, he oversees financial operations and supports sales leadership teams with data analytics and business insights. He also manages the company’s shared services functions, including credit, collections, billing, accounting, procurement and accounts payable. Prior to joining iHeartMedia in 2014, Pedersen was chief financial officer of Snap Interactive, a company that develops dating applications for social-networking websites and mobile platforms. Previously, he also held leadership roles at Warner Music Group, WestLB Securities and Goldman Sachs. Pedersen has strong ties with Southern, as his father was formerly the dean and vice president of student affairs. Pedersen sits on the SCSU Foundation’s audit and finance committees.


Jocelynne Rainey ‘89

Jocelynne Rainey

Dr. Jocelynne Rainey is a seasoned executive and leader in the workforce development sector in New York City with over 20 years of management experience. As President & CEO of Getting Out and Staying Out, Dr. Rainey oversees programming that has helped more than 10,000 young men access education, achieve emotional well-being, and secure meaningful employment since its advent over 16 years ago. GOSO's innovative workforce development program, GOSOWorks, has placed hundreds of justice-involved young men in paid internships and internship-to-employment placements in fields including the non-profit, food service, construction, and building maintenance sectors-growth industries in the metropolitan area.

Before coming to GOSO, Dr. Rainey was Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC), leading workforce development, administration, security and human resource strategies for the organization. She established impactful partnerships in order to connect the underserved community in Brooklyn with career opportunities in the Yard's growing industries, eliminating barriers to employment for disadvantaged populations and increased placements of formerly incarcerated individuals to 20 percent and total workforce placements from 100 to over 500 in eight years.

Prior to her tenure at BNYDC, she was the Human Resources Director for specialty food retailer Agata and Valentina. Dr. Rainey has also held senior positions at Independent Living Association, Home Depot and Boar's Head. A graduate of Southern Connecticut State University, Dr. Rainey holds a master's degree in administration from Metropolitan College and a doctorate in Leadership from St. John Fisher College. She is a member of the New York City Workforce Development Board, a trustee of the New York College of Technology Foundation Board and trustee of the Brooklyn Children's Museum Board. Dr. Rainey is the recipient of several prestigious honors including being named one of The Network Journal's 25 Influential Black Women in Business in 2016.


J. Philip Smith


J. Philip Smith has considerable familiarity with Southern and the history of the four state universities. He served Southern in various key leadership roles between 1965 and 2005: professor of mathematics; chairman of the Department of Mathematics; dean of Arts and Sciences; vice president of academic affairs; and interim president. He currently teaches in Southern’s Honors College, is a visiting professor at Columbia University and lectures for the Institute for Learning in Retirement in New Haven. His community involvement includes New Haven’s Community Soup Kitchen, where he is treasurer, the Elm Shakespeare Company, WIKS-USA, and the town of Orange’s Rotary Club and Finance Board. Smith is a member of the SCSU Foundation’s development committee.


Mark Tarini

Mark Tarini

Mark Tarini is a partner at Arclight Capital Partners, a private-equity firm specializing in investments in the North American energy infrastructure. He also is a member of the firm’s investment-valuation committees. Tarini brings strengths in corporate governance, donor development, investment management and student outreach to the foundation board. He attended Boston College’s Carroll School of Management and has more than 30 years of energy-finance and private-equity experience. Formerly, he was the chief financial officer of two private investment funds: EP Power Finance and Energy Investors Funds Group. He began his career as a certified public accountant in the utility and real estate practices of Arthur Andersen & Company. An active community volunteer, Tarini is  chairman of the Board of Directors of Read to a Child, a national, nonprofit literacy and mentoring organization. Through Read to a Child’s lunchtime reading program, over 1,800 volunteers from more than 150 corporations nationwide read aloud to 1,400 at-risk elementary school students in greater Boston, Detroit, Hartford, Los Angeles, and Miami. Mark has been a reader at the Tobin Elementary School in Roxbury, Mass., for nine years. He serves on the SCSU Foundation’s investment and development committees.


Ashley Tisbert-Harmon, MBA

Ashley is a Regional Sales Director for Twilio. Twilio is a San Francisco based company that offers software solutions in the scope of customer relationship management (i.e., lead alerts, appointment reminders, customer surveys and more). Ashely joined the company as an Enterprise Account Executive in March 2020 and recently began serving in her current role (April 2022). Prior to joining Twilio, Ashley spent eight years in various roles at Oracle. She ended her time there as a Senior Regional Manager.

Ashley earned both her BS (Business Administration) and MBA at SCSU in 2006 and 2008, respectively. At SCSU she was the Founding President of Omega Zeta Pi. She was also involved in University Choir, Pre-law Society, Student Government Association, Hall Council, Inter-residence Council, Greek Life Council, Intramural Floor Hockey, and NCAA Women’s Lacrosse.

Ashley was a recipient of the University Service Award and the School of Business Leadership Award. Ashley is passionate about her family, her community and leaving a positive impact on the world around her.


David Vance

Foundation Board Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair

David Vance

David Vance joined the SCSU Foundation as a part-time executive director in 2011, and transitioned to the role of financial consultant in 2017. Previously, he served as vice president for finance and controls for the University of Connecticut Foundation — with responsibility for the oversight of accounting, budgets, financial reporting, financial stewardship and compliance functions. In previous years, he served as controller at Wesleyan University, assistant treasurer at Rutgers University and assistant controller at Princeton University. Vance attended Purdue University and Michigan State for his undergraduate and graduate degrees. His community involvement includes serving on the boards of the Community Health Center’s board and the Rockfall Foundation. He is the treasurer of the SCSU Foundation Board of Directors, chairman of its finance committee, and a member of the investment and audit committees.


Pieter van Vredenburch

Investment Committee Chair


Pieter van Vredenburch has 30 years of experience in the financial-services industry. Prior to founding Market Alpha Advisors, van Vredenburch was the managing director and head of global markets treasury for the Americas at HSBC, as well as their representative on the Federal Reserve’s alternative reference rates committee (ARRC). van Vredenburch, who graduated from Southern New Hampshire University, has extensive background in a wide range of asset classes and a deep knowledgebase in the technology and market structure of fixed-income, currency and commodity markets. During his career, Pieter held senior leadership positions with UBS, RBC and HSBC and at Fintech firms, such as Droit Financial Technologies and Quant Insight. He is chairman of the SCSU Foundation’s investment committee and a member of the audit committee.    


Norby Williamson, ’85

Norby Williamson

During his more than three decades of work at ESPN, Norby Williamson has been involved in multiple aspects of the content and business areas of the company — with stints in programming, production and news. He earned his undergraduate degree from Southern and is committed to furthering the university’s mission and supporting student’s achievements. In his current role as executive vice president, event and studio production, and executive editor, Williamson is responsible for co-managing ESPN’s global event and studio production group and overseeing parts of a portfolio that encompasses ESPN’s global event, studio and digital sport-specific content. Williamson’s responsibilities include oversight of all of ESPN’s Daily opinion, talk and news, and information studio shows, including SportsCenter, Get Up!, First Take, Outside the Lines and more. He also leads ESPN audio, the talent office, the stats and information group and multimedia-sponsorship integration. In addition, he oversees ESPN’s baseball, combat sports, tennis, hockey, boxing and golf coverage — as well as gambling, fantasy, esports and all live-event coverage on ESPN +. Williamson’s production work on select ESPN studio programs received a total of five awards, including sports Emmy awards for Sportscenter (1990) and NFL GameDay (1988) and three CableACE awards for SportsCenter (1990, 1991) and NFL GameDay (1989). He sits on the SCSU Foundation’s governance and development committees.


Ex-Officio Members

Joe Bertolino

President, Southern Connecticut State University, Ex-Officio Foundation Board Member

Joe Bertolino

In July 2016, Joe Bertolino, Ed.D., was named the 12th president of Southern Connecticut State University, a public institution of 10,300 students in New Haven, Conn. President Joe, as he is affectionately known, has been a social justice educator for 25 years, and is passionate about student success and access to higher education.

During his short time at the helm of Southern, he has outlined the following priorities: raising the university’s profile, expanding community outreach and partnerships; strategic enrollment recruitment and retention; and streamlining students’ path to earning a degree.

He earned his doctorate in higher education administration and organizational leadership from Columbia University, Teachers College in 2003, a master’s in social work from Rutgers University in 1990, and a bachelor of science in psychology and sociology from the University of Scranton in 1986.


Mark Rozewski

Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, Ex-Officio Foundation Board Member

Mark Rozewski

Mark Rozewski holds a broad and deep portfolio, including oversight of accounting and finance; facilities operations; campus security; and human resources. He has a record as a strong, experienced, and innovative fiscal planner.

Rozewski holds a master’s degree in city and regional planning from Rutgers University and a B.A. in urban studies/planning from the same institution. He began his career in Connecticut as a research assistant at the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority in Hartford. He joined the university community on campus in February 2015.


LaShante Kelly-James ’04, MS ’14

Alumni Association President, Ex-Officio Foundation Board Member

LaShante Kelly-James

LaShante' James is a native of New Haven and was educated in the New Haven Public School System. She earned a Bachelor of Science in English Education and Master of Science in Political Science with a concentration in Urban Education at SCSU. LaShante' was extremely active on campus as a Resident Advisor, President of the Black Student Union, Miss SCSU, and chartering the NAACP chapter. In 2015, she obtained an 092 certificate and Sixth year degree from Sacred Heart University. LaShante' worked 11 years as a High School English Teacher in grades 9-12 at Riverside Education Academy. Currently, she is an Assistant Principal for Norwalk Public School. 

She has been awarded the Teacher of the Year award for Riverside Academy 8 out of 11 years. Also, she placed First Runner up for the NHPS Teacher of the Year Award in 2010. In 2016, she was a nominated second time for the NHPS’s Teacher of the Year Award, and recently accepted the opportunity to become an Assistant Principal at her alma mater, Brien McMahon High School. 

Currently, she serves as the President of the Bridgeport/Fairfield County Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. 


Charles "Chuck" Baraw

Faculty Representative, Ex-Officio Foundation Board Member

Chuck Baraw

Charles Baraw writes and teaches about American literature from the captivity narrative of Mary Rowlandson to the contemporary poetry of Susan Howe. He is interested in genre and narrative theory, in the histories of authorship and reading, and in the theory and practice of close reading. Recent courses include American Literature through History, American Realism, The Modern and Contemporary Novel, Modern and Contemporary Poetry, and Graphic Narrative: Word, Image, Page. He also teaches the core courses: ENG 307 and ENG 308 and a popular LEP Tier II W Course. “Comics and the American Experience,” which examines social issues in American history. In addition to graduate courses on 19th-century and Contemporary American literature, he has developed a new course, bringing together works from the seventeenth-century to the present: “Experimental American Literature: Afterlives of the Archive.” His publications range from the pedagogy of comics and Animal Studies to work on the poetics of tourism and nineteenth-century literary form. Professor Baraw leads the English Department’s experiential learning initiative: “Internships, Fellowships, and Airships,” which engages students in experiences outside the classroom that help prepare them for rewarding careers. He is the organizer of the “Transformative Careers in the Public Humanities Roundtable” that connects students with New Haven leaders of arts, humanities, and advocacy organizations. He is the recipient of the 2019 SCSU Board of Regents Teaching Award and the 2018 J. Philip Smith Outstanding Teacher Award.