Dean's Advisory Board

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences has launched its first Dean’s Advisory Board, bringing together diverse alumni and friends of the College to help procure financial support and placement opportunities for students and to serve as ambassadors and advocates for College programs.

The Advisory Board has already begun work to support student career readiness and to help open doors for additional internships or job opportunities for College of Humanities and Social Sciences graduates. It is also exploring ways to supply additional financial support to students. “We know that our students are strapped for money,” explains Dean Kara Rabbitt. “When the State was covering 70% of the cost of your education, you could cover the remaining costs by working. This is not possible anymore for our students, since the state now covers only about 30% of the cost of their education. They need help in the form of scholarships to complete their degrees without crippling levels of debt.”

The Dean’s Advisory Board is comprised of alumni from majors across the College and in diverse fields. Participants include those working in labor relations, non-profit work, corporate law, and government advocacy, among others.

Lauren Agnew (Sociology & Communication ‘06).  Lauren T. Agnew, MPA, has been the Public Information Officer for the County of Essex since 2006, working directly with County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. to promote Essex County as the destination in New Jersey. Mrs. Agnew earned Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Communication with a Journalism/PR concentration and in Sociology from William Paterson University and an Executive Master of Public Administration Degree from Rutgers University. She was inducted into Lambda Pi Eta, Alpha Kappa Delta and Pi Alpha Alpha, the National Honor Societies for Communication, Sociology and Public Affairs & Administration, respectively.  In addition to her work as the Public Information Officer for Essex County, Mrs. Agnew is an active WPU alumna who serves as a member of the Alumni Executive Council and the Young Alumni Council.  She is a 2011 inductee of the WP Athletic Hall of Fame and is the founder of the “Lauren T. Agnew SPIKE Scholarship” for minority female students at William Paterson. Mrs. Agnew is a member of several professional organizations; the National Association of Black Journalists, Public Relations Society of America, American Society for Public Administration and the National Association of Professional Women. She is a proud member of the Montclair Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., where she serves as Corresponding Secretary and Co-Chair of the Information and Technology Committee.

James Duffy  (English, BA ’88 and MA ’96).  Jim Duffy currently serves as Senior Director of Corporate Communications for ADP, the human resource outsourcing, payroll services and benefits administration giant.  Mr. Duffy came to ADP with nearly a decade of experience working in public relations agencies, including MWW Group, one of the nation’s top 10 mid-sized PR firms, where he provided public relations and public affairs counsel to a wide range of companies—from Silicon Valley startups to FORTUNE-ranked companies—in the energy, manufacturing and service sectors.  Prior to joining MWW Group, Mr. Duffy was a director in the Issues & Advocacy Practice at Burson-Marsteller, a global communications consultancy. He is a specialist in integrated, research-based communications programs requiring strategic insights into public affairs, media relations, stakeholder engagement and crisis management.  He also served as a volunteer teacher in the U.S. Peace Corps in Papua New Guinea after he completed his degree.


R GarciaRichard Garcia (Political Science ’84). Richard Garcia, Chief Growth Officer of the North Jersey Federal Credit Union, brings over 30 years of experience in the banking and credit union industry, with a background in the community banking sector in business and residential mortgage lending, product development, secondary market, pricing and sales.  Mr. Garcia joined North Jersey Federal Credit Union in 2014, moving quickly from Vice President of Lending, to Chief Business Development officer, responsible for all sales of the company from retail banking to all aspects of the loan process, to his current position of Chief Growth Officer for the company, responsible for all the same departments as above, but also working with various municipalities, government entities, non-profits, consumer groups, and a number of chamber of commerce organizations in North Jersey and New York.  Mr. Garcia came to North Jersey Federal after spending over 23 years at Lakeland Bank and Hudson United Bank, which he helped grow from very small community banks to regional banks with over 200 branches in the tristate region.

A committed member of his communities, Mr. Garcia has served with distinction as chairman of the Hispanic Business Council of the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey and on the boards of trustees of the Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Hispanic Business Council Scholarship Foundation, and the Volunteer Center of Bergen County, in addition to service on other community planning boards, economic development groups, and chambers of commerce.  Richard currently serves a variety of community and non-profit organizations, including the Bergen Community Action Corporation, the Bergen Community College Foundation Board, the Board of Trustees of Eastwick College, in Ramsey, New Jersey, the Board of Trustees of the North Jersey Chamber of Commerce, in Clifton, New Jersey, and the Board of Trustees of the North Jersey Federal Credit Union Foundation.

David Gordon

David M Gordon  (BA English Literature/Political Science ‘90). David Gordon currently serves as President of STIGroup, an innovative firm that provides CyberSecurity people, process and technology to major corporate clients.  He also founded Staff Inc. in 1994 and is currently a board member. Before joining STIGroup, Mr. Gordon held leadership positions at NetSPI, LightCyber (acquired by Palo Alto Networks) and Carbon Black.  Mr. Gordon led WhiteHat Security into the market in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).  He is a member of OWASP, and contributes security expertise at many IT security events including BlackHat, FS-ISAC and RSA.  Mr. Gordon has appeared on CBS News as a subject matter expert in CyberSecurity. 

In 1988, while attending the University, Mr. Gordon was an exchange student at London School of Economics.  An avid baseball fan, he has coached rec and travel teams for many years, and continues to play men’s baseball in Bergen County during the Spring, Summer, and Fall.


V Gross

Valerie Gross (Business Administration/Finance ’03).   Valerie Gross is an attorney at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.  Ms. Gross practices in Morgan Lewis’s New York City office and specializes in Outsourcing and Technology Transactions.  She earned her Juris Doctorate from Cornell Law School in 2006 and is admitted to the bar in both New York and New Jersey.  Ms. Gross founded the William Paterson University Cambridge Scholarship and is also a frequent Pre-Law Program guest speaker.  During her time as a student at William Paterson, Ms. Gross served as the Secretary of the SGA Court of Judicial Review and Vice President of the Student Business Association.

Alex Malino (Political Science ’97).  A partner in the law firm of Barry, McTiernan and Moore, Alex Malino is a specialist in the insurance defense field and in labor law.  He earned his J.D. from New York Law School in 2000 and is member of both the NJ and NY bar associations.  Mr. Malino served as SGA president and as student trustee on the then-William Paterson College Board of Trustees during his time here and has served on the board of DIAL, Disabled Independent Awareness and Living.

Michael Perry (Political Science, ’90).  President and COO of InfoSwarm Labs, Michael Perry has more than 20 years’ experience in leading acquisition strategy, product, marketing and data analytics teams, serving in CMO and COO roles at Hadron Global Partners, ClubsGalore, CherylStyle, as well as other operational roles at BMG Direct, Story Worldwide, Wyndham Worldwide, and Time Warner. Mr. Perry Perrycombines a blend of skills ranging from operational expertise, data analytics, and branding and marketing. He has helped companies develop socially-based advocacy programs linked to revenue and is often called upon to scale and grow early stage divisions, companies and programs, both international and domestic. His extensive experience has led to the creation of truly innovative strategies and programs for some of the world’s most well-known brands. In addition, Mr. Perry holds certification as a Six Sigma Black Belt.  He and his wife Dawn have two children and are very active in education programs in support of reading disabilities and the use of technology. In addition to his degree in in Political Science from William Paterson University, Mr. Perry also earned an MA in Politics from NYU, with a specialization in Research Methodology and Econometrics.


Marc Schaeffer.  A retired member of the William Paterson University,Marc Schaeffer served as Chief of Staff to William Paterson University President Arnold Speert.  In this role, he oversaw operational functions of the President’s Office, organized and staffed searches for cabinet-level positions and served as a policy advisor to the Board and President and as member of his cabinet.  Dr. Schaeffer also served on the Executive Board of the National Association of Presidential Assistants in Higher Education (NAPAHE) and as Chair of the Marketing and Membership Committee and on the Leadership Team of the Board Professional Staff group of the Association of Governing Boards. His book chapter on "Managing the President's Office" appeard in the 2009 text Other Duties As Assigned published as part of the American Council on Education’s Series on Higher Education.  In September, 2010 Dr. Schaeffer returned to his first professional love, working directly with students as Senior Academic Advisor/Career Counselor in the University’s Career Development and Gloria S. Williams Advising Center.  He retired from the University in January, 2014 after 25 years of service. Dr. Schaeffer earned an Ed.D. in Higher Education from Columbia University in 1991, an M.A. in College Counseling and Student Development from Hunter College in 1976, and a B.A. in Psychology from Queens College of CUNY in 1974.


Blair Schleicher Bravo (Liberal Studies ’95).  Blair Schleicher Bravo is the Executive Director of Morris Habitat for Humanity in Randolph, NJ.  Ms. Schleicher Bravo provides overall executive leadership of the affiliate, including developing and implementing strategic plans leading to substantial revenue and program growth during her tenure.  Under her leadership, the organization has grown its home building program by 255%, developed a Home Repair program, and created NJ's largest ReStore to support program needs. Ms. Schleicher Bravo is a founding member and current Chair of the Housing Alliance of Morris County, member of the Board of Directors of the Housing & Community Development Network of NJ, and past member of the Board of Trustees of Morris Tomorrow. She serves on the Advisory Board for the Housing Partnership for Morris County and is a member of the Morris County Foreclosure Task Force. A four-term councilwoman in Mountain Lakes, she also served two terms as Mayor and as Deputy Mayor. Active in her community; she has served as member of the Mountain Lakes Planning Board, the Lakeland Hills YMCA Board of Directors, and the Mountain Lakes League of Women Voters.  Ms. Schleicher Bravo holds Executive Certificate in Non Profit Leadership from The Center for Social Leadership, George Washington University and in Social Perspectives in Non Profit Management from the Harvard Business School.