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Alumni News

Six Leaders join the CEHS Advisory Board

Posted in: Alumni News and Events

The College of Education and Human Services announces the addition of several new members to the college’s advisory board.  Under the leadership of Dean Tamara Lucas and Dr. Frank Alvarez, Board Chair, the advisory board advocates for the college and its programs; assists in garnering support for the college’s mission and programs; serves as a vital link between the college and the community; and acts as a sounding board for the Dean on major issues relevant to the college and its future.  The new advisory board members are top executives in the health, education, finance, and manufacturing sectors, bringing years of experience and leadership to growing the culture of philanthropy at the College.

“Our new board members bring a great deal of talent, experience and commitment to the CEHS advisory board,” said Dr. Alvarez, Board Chair and Rivervale School Superintendent. “I am confident they will add immeasurably to the board’s overall efforts and will assist with our alumni community outreach.”

Dean Lucas echoed Dr. Alvarez’s sentiments by adding, “With the addition of these esteemed new members to our inaugural advisory board, we are committed to continuing the rewarding work of preserving a strong local, national, and international College reputation for the quality of our programs, faculty and graduates.”

New CEHS Advisory Board Members

Newman Rochester ’00, also appointed as the new Vice Chair to the CEHS Advisory Board, is a Vice President for Strategic Relationship Management for the Prudential Individual Solutions Group (ISG). In this role, he strives to be more than a product provider; he takes time to learn about each firm’s goals and unique challenges and then advocates for a firm’s specific needs, connecting and leveraging Prudential capabilities and resources to help firms achieve their goals. Mr. Rochester has served in various leadership positions at Prudential, including Vice President of Business Development and Director of Client Solutions in Sales Strategy and Business Intelligence. An enthusiastic volunteer, he enjoys being a mentor to students in Montclair State’s Accelerated MBA Mentorship program and encouraging youth while coaching basketball and soccer. He established a partnership with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) to drive diversity in sales when he previously worked at MetLife. When asked how he felt about becoming Vice Chair of the advisory board, Mr. Rochester responded, “Stepping into this Vice Chair role for a talented advisory board comes with a lot of high expectations. I look forward to the collaboration with the board, Dean, CEHS and most importantly the students and faculty to exceed all of our goals.”

Dr. Wamwari Waichungo ’90, a global leader in strategic planning, safety and regulatory affairs, and sustainability, had a 20-year career at The Coca-Cola Company and is currently Vice President for Global Safety Assessments & Regulatory Affairs at SC Johnson. She has critical skills related to food/beverages, pest control, home cleaning, and personal care from different regions of the world.  She learned to balance strong analytic, scientific and strategic planning skills with bold creativity and resourcefulness. She strives to be a versatile, results-driven executive assessing situations, identifying gaps and opportunities, and devising sustainable strategies for growth and profitability.  Dr. Waichungo is inspired by industry potential for doing good by driving economic growth and enabling sustainability, particularly in the developing world. Dr. Waichungo established The Wamwari Waichungo Endowed Scholarship Fund, which provides need-based scholarships for passionate and exemplary Nutrition and Food Science Students at Montclair State.

Tosan Boyo ’11 MPH received his MPH from Montclair State University’s Department of Public Health in 2011. He is Senior Vice President for Operations at John Muir Health, a system of health services in the San Francisco Bay Area that is the region’s pre-eminent center for Neurosciences, Oncology, Orthopedics, Pediatrics, Obstetrics, Cardiovascular and Emergency Care. Prior to his current position, Mr. Boyo served as the Chief Operating Officer of Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (ZSFG). He was the Founder of the ZSFG Equity Council, and his development of the Enterprise-wide strategy to advance equity received the Best Initiative Award from the Disparities Solutions Center. In February 2020, he was appointed by San Francisco’s Director of Public Health to serve as the Deputy Commander of the City’s COVID-19 Operations Center.  Board-Certified in Healthcare Management and a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, he specializes in advancing value-based care, operational effectiveness, service-line growth and health equity across integrated delivery systems.

Ed Topar ’60 left teaching and began a 15-year career in sales, marketing, and management with IBM, before moving to Canon, USA for 12 years, where he became National Sales Manager. After another three years in a similar position with Savin Corporation, he retired in 2000. He then spent 3 years as an Adjunct Professor and consultant to the Student Government Organization at Kean University. In 2007, he began an inspiring 10-year relationship with the Ministry of Education in Lithuania as part of an NGO Summer Program to bolster and invigorate the administrative management of the Lithuanian Education System, which had been devastated during the 50-year occupation of that country by the Soviet Union. Having the opportunity to learn about their situation and to participate in their transition was a very rewarding and enlightening experience for him. It is a major influence on his desire to help Montclair State students realize their potential through service on the Advisory Board.

Keesha Chavis ’97, ’03 MA, after a dynamic 24-year career at Montclair State University, will transition into her new role to lead the Human Resources team at Widener University.  As a first-generation college student and proud Montclair State graduate, she embodies the spirit and promise of Montclair State. Throughout her career at the University she has made significant contributions to the University community, particularly in the areas of Talent Management, Performance Management, Training and overall operations within the Division of Human Resources. Ms. Chavis’s impact on Montclair State students will continue through her generous funding of the Tanya and TaQuanna Green Memorial EOF Endowment.

Nel Noddings ’49, an honorary advisory board member, was an elementary teacher, high school mathematics teacher, and school administrator for 17 years before earning her PhD and becoming a university faculty member. She became a member of the Stanford University faculty in 1977 and was the Jacks Professor of Child Education from 1992 until 1998. At Stanford, she received three awards for teaching excellence and was associate dean or acting dean of the School of Education for four years. After leaving Stanford University, she held positions at Columbia University and Colgate University. Dr. Noddings is among the most influential scholars of the philosophy of education in the U.S. A longtime annual supporter of the University, Dr. Noddings has made numerous gifts to the College and created an endowed scholarship—the Nel and James Noddings Scholarship, which supports exceptional CEHS students.

Adding these new members to the CEHS Advisory Board will build on and add to the energy and commitment of the distinguished group of initial board members. “Expanding the CEHS Advisory Board is an essential component of the Strategic Growth Plan we developed together to significantly increase membership by 2023,” noted Yanira Amadeo, Director of Development. “I am privileged to be working with such a fantastic assembly of leaders to help realize our mission.”

Upcoming board initiatives include the 2021 Awards Ceremony, #Scholarships4CEHS Challenge, and supporting the College at Montclair State’s Giving Day on April 29!

About the College of Education and Human Services

The College of Education and Human Services (CEHS) at Montclair State University offers a wide variety of outstanding undergraduate and graduate programs leading to professional careers in public and private schools, government agencies, non-profit organizations and private industry. All programs in the College are firmly grounded in the liberal arts and include the opportunity for internships, fieldwork or student teaching. Our eight academic departments are Counseling, Educational Foundations; Educational Leadership; Exercise Science and Physical Education; Family Science and Human Development; Nutrition and Food Studies; Public Health; and Teaching and Learning.

CEHS strives to be a progressive, innovative, national leader in the preparation of educators and human services professionals who possess the knowledge, skills and habits of mind to work toward a healthier, better educated, more just society.

For more information, visit our website.

For ways to give back your time, expertise, and/or a gift to the College, contact Yanira Amadeo, Director of Development at amadeoy@montclair.edu.