Michael Middleton, PhD
Teaching & Learning Core
Dr. Michael Middleton, Provost and Vice President for Teaching, Learning, & Growth joined Ramapo College in 2023. Provost Middleton began his professional career as a high school mathematics teacher in Massachusetts working with at-risk youth. He also served as Assistant Dean of Freshmen at Harvard University overseeing academic and residential programming for first-year students. These experiences led him to doctoral study at the University of Michigan conducting research on the relation of classroom and cultural contexts on adolescent achievement motivation and well-being. He continued this research as a faculty member at the University of New Hampshire in diverse community settings locally, nationally and internationally and has received funding for this work through the National Science Foundation. His scholarship includes his recent book Motivation to Learn: Transforming Classroom Culture to Support Student Achievement. As Chair of the Education Department at UNH he led the reorganization of the department to enhance scholarship, innovative partnerships and faculty diversity. At UNH he held the John and H. Irene Peters Professorship in Education to support his teaching, research and service and was a recipient of a UNH Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award. He also served as Dean of the College of Education and Human Development at University of Massachusetts Boston and Immediately before coming to RCNJ, he was the Klara and Larry Silverstein Dean of the School of Education at Hunter College, CUNY. In his leadership roles he has focused on leading academic communities in increased community engagement, strategic planning, and addressing issues of equity and justice.
Virginia Galdieri, MBA
Operational Integration Core
Virginia A. Galdieri, Vice President for People Operations and Employee Resources, joined Ramapo College in 2018. VP Galdieri leads the Office of People Operations and Employee Resources and serves as Director of Employee Relations. She began her career at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as an HR Business Partner focusing on recruitment, policy and organizational development. She later transitioned to the corporate sector serving as the Global Director for Innodata Isogen, Inc. (III), a leading data engineering company and a leader in knowledge process outsourcing and publishing services. While with III, VP Galdieri was responsible for all human resources activities in the United States, Europe and Israel. She transitioned to higher education in 2011 as the Executive Director of Human Resources and was later promoted to Vice President for Human Resources at Centenary University. VP Galdieri is a certified coach through the Leadership Coaching for Organizational Performance from Rutgers University. She earned her BS in Business Management from Saint Peter’s University and her MBA from Centenary University. She is certified in Title IX as a Coordinator, Administrator, and Investigator.
Nicole Morgan Agard, Esq.
Nicole Morgan Agard, Chief Diversity Officer| Vice President for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Compliance joined Ramapo College in August of 2015. Her responsibilities include leadership of the Department of Public Safety; the Office of Affirmative Action & Workplace Compliance; the Office of Title IX, and the Office of Equity & Diversity Programs. She has served on several College Committees including: Institutional Policy, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council, The Ramapough indigenous Partnership Taskforce, and the President’s Staff Recognition Awards. Prior to joining Ramapo, VP Morgan Agard held the position of Employee Relations Coordinator at the New Jersey Governor’s Office of Employee Relations and prior to that, she served as Associate Counsel for the Elizabeth Board of Education. VP Morgan Agard began her career as a Labor & Employment Litigation Associate at a law firm based in Newark, NJ and subsequently served as a Deputy Attorney General for the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office. Ms. Morgan Agard, a Rockland County native, is admitted to the Bar of the State of New Jersey and is a member of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE), the New Jersey State Bar Association, the Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. VP Morgan Agard received her B.A. in Political Science and African/African-American studies from Binghamton University and her Juris Doctor from Northeastern University School of Law. She is a graduate of the National Inclusive Excellence Leadership Academy (NIXLA).
Colleen O’Keefe, CPA
Fiscal Health Core
Colleen O’Keefe, C.P.A, Chief Financial Officer | Vice President for Fiscal Health joined Ramapo College in 2017. VP O’Keefe’s responsibilities include leadership of the College’s financial planning and budget management, accounting, student accounts and procurement. She joined Ramapo in 2017 as Assistant Vice President of Business Services and Controller. During her tenure at Ramapo, she has served as a member the Policy Committee, the Strategic Resource Allocations Board, and Health and Safety Committee and participated on several search committees. Interim VP O’Keefe began her career in public accounting right out of college, serving both large SEC clients as well as not for profit and higher education clients. After over 20 years in public accounting, she transitioned into consulting as the director of internal audit at a large international manufacturer and moved into the New Jersey higher education arena in 2014. She graduated Magna cum Laude with a B.S. from the University of Richmond and is a certified public accountant in New Jersey, and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Christopher Romano, EdD
Outreach & Engagement Core
Dr. Christopher Romano, Vice President for Strategic Enrollment, Outreach & Engagement | Executive Director of the RCNJ Foundation, joined Ramapo College in 2007. His portfolio includes leadership of the College’s recruitment, retention, development, and community outreach/engagement. VP Romano oversees the Development Team, Admissions, Center for Student Success, Marketing and Communications, Athletics, Degree Completion, Financial Aid, and serves as the Executive Director of the RCNJ Foundation. Prior to serving as Vice President, VP Romano enjoyed roles with Ramapo as Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management & Student Affairs and as Special Assistant to the College President. VP Romano’s research has focused on strategic enrollment management, the College presidency, and executive leadership. He has presented nationally on strategic enrollment management, student engagement, marketing/branding in the context of enrollment management, and developing institutional models for student success as well as presenting to both new and advanced chiefs of staff on the role within the context of higher education and leadership development. He earned his Ed.D. in Interdisciplinary Leadership from Creighton University, his Ed.M. in Higher Education Administration from Harvard University and his B.A. in International Relations from Saint Joseph’s University.
Melissa Van Der Wall
Student Well-being Core
Melissa Van Der Wall, Dean of Students | Vice President for Student Well-being, joined Ramapo College in 2004 as the Director of Student Conduct. In 2012, she served as the Director of Affirmative Action and Title IX Coordinator. Following, in 2014, she was appointed to a position, she describes as her “dream job”, as the Dean of Students. Dean Van Der Wall previously worked at Seton Hall University where she assumed her first professional role in Residence Life in 1999. Dean Van Der Wall leads the Student Well-being Core and is responsible for creating and maintaining a safe, healthy, and supportive campus environment for nearly 6,000 students. She has developed a vibrant, resourceful, and inclusive community within her direct areas of supervision: Residence Life, Student Conduct, Specialized Services, Health and Counseling Services, and the Center for Student Involvement. During her leadership, Ramapo’s residence halls have been recognized as #1 in New Jersey and top 2% in the country, the College is among the top ten in the nation for students with physical disabilities, and programs such as ENHANCE, Roadrunner Collegiate Recovery Program, and We Care have been established. In addition, Dean Van Der Wall’s service includes leadership of Name Committee, founding of the Office of Violence Prevention, and sharing her expertise before the Senate Higher Education Committee Legislative Hearing on Campus Sexual Assaults. She was acknowledged for her work in this latter area by being named one of the 2019 YWCA of Northern NJ’s Women of Influence. Dean Van Der Wall is noted for her Roadrunner school spirit. In 2020, she is credited with helping to install the College’s Fight Song. If you plan to enter her office wearing apparel from another higher education institution, be prepared to be “dressed by the Dean”, a campus tradition she started by giving away Ramapo branded clothes to students in order to promote Roadrunner school spirit.
Brittany A. Williams-Goldstein, EdD
Dr. Brittany A. Williams-Goldstein, Chief of Staff | Vice President for Policy, Research, and Governance| College Spokesperson, joined Ramapo College in 2010. Chief Williams-Goldstein leads the strategic development, implementation and coordination of Mission Element Team and Board activities as well as the coordination of the Office of the President and leadership of the College’s policy, institutional research, and communciations and public relations activities. She also serves as College Spokesperson. During her tenure at Ramapo, she has served as a member of the Task Force on Shared Governance, Space Management and Allocation Committee, Administrative Assessment Committee, Campus Facilities Master Plan Steering Committee, and two Strategic Planning Task Forces. Chief Williams-Goldstein began her professional career as a journalist and later transitioned into higher education as an instructor of Spanish and English as a Second Language. She has also fulfilled roles as Chief Human Resources Officer and Designated School Official. Her research focuses on the intersections of governance, professional authority, and trusteeship. She has presented nationally on board of trustees development and was awarded the Professional Board Staff Member Award (Northeast) by the Association of Community College Trustees. She earned her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Rowan University, her M.S.Ed. in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania, and her B.A. in Communications/Spanish from William Paterson University. She is a graduate of the Chair Academy for Leadership, is certified in Affirmative Action Complaint Processing, and is a trained Title IX investigator. Chief Williams-Goldstein is also an advocate for the rare disease community, and a member of the Public Relations Society of America and the Board Professionals Network of the Association of Governing Boards.
Michael Yankovich, PhD
Operational Integration Core
Dr. Michael Yankovich, Vice President for Operational & Administrative Integration, joined Ramapo College in 2023. Dr. Yankovich provides oversight of the Operational Integration Core alongside the Vice President of People Operations and Employee Resources. He provides direction and leadership for facilities management, capital planning, information technology services, emergency preparedness, sustainability, and events and conferences in support of the liberal arts mission of the College. He serves on the Mission Element Team, Board of Trustees Committees, and co-leads the Cabinet of Agents. Prior to joining Ramapo College, he served as the Vice Dean for Operations and as an Academy Professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He served on active duty in the Army as an Engineer Officer with` assignments in various operational units around the world and as an Operations Research Analyst with the Army’s Office of Economic and Manpower Analysis, the Army’s Program Analysis and Evaluation Office at the Pentagon, and the Headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Dr. Yankovich earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematical Economics from the United States Military Academy at West Point, a Master of Public Policy degree from Duke University, and Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Go Roadrunners!