Administration Personnel Directory
Phyllis Willence provides administrative support to Dean Rick Ludescher and serves as departmental administrator. She also serves as the coordinator for SEBS Convocation, Baccalaureate, Freshmen Induction Ceremony and the Annual Excellence Awards.
Thomas Leustek is responsible for the administrative aspects of undergraduate education at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, including course and curriculum revisions, teaching assistant and part-time lecturer allocations, articulations with New Jersey community colleges, and assessment of school academic programs.
Bob Hills is responsible for the day to day operations of the Academic Services component of the Office of Academic Programs. This encompasses advising, registration, admissions, recruitment, scholastic standing, degree certification/graduation and all areas related to academic policies, procedures and programs.
Carol Andrew is responsible for the coordination of transfer student programs including the evaluation of transcripts, course registration, advising and maintains the transfer database. Carol advises pre-medical and pre-dental students. She also assists in the coordination and delivery of recruitment activities, orientations, faculty course evaluations, and general advising.
Penny Carlson is responsible for tracking students' graduation status in conjunction with academic departments. She coordinates the production of the commencement bulletin and organizes student participation in the graduation ceremony. Additionally she does general advising, assists with recruitment, student programs and orientations, and also maintains our programs in Rutgers Degree Navigator.
Michelle Neumyer assists with developing and managing new electronic means of student communications, assessment process, academic statistical reports, academic advising, recruitment, and support in all academic service related areas.
Sharice Richardson is responsible for the coordination of first-year student academic programs, advising, and registration. She evaluates first year outside transcripts, international baccalaureate, and advanced placement credits. Sharice also assists the associate dean in the coordination and delivery of recruitment activities, and advises the SEBS Student Recruitment Committee.
Lee Schneider is responsible for undergraduate advising, working specifically with undecided students, Animal Science and Nutritional Science students prior to major selection. He also assists with recruitment activities, orientations and student organizations. Additionally he works with the Cook Campus Alumni Association and academic departments to help build community within Rutgers University and the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.
Joe Ventola is responsible for providing academic and career advising, degree checks and related administrative duties for all Rutgers students majoring in biological sciences. Joe directs the SEBS Scholarship Program and procedures associated with the disbursement of Dean’s undergraduate scholarships. He serves as the primary scholarship liaison for awards to the Financial Aid Office, Undergraduate Admissions Office and Student Accounting Services. He also counsels both first year and upper class students and assists with academic functions and events for the Office of Academic Programs.
Suzanne Sukhdeo is responsible for analysis and strategic planning for student retention. She sits on the Academic Retention Committee and the Rutgers-wide Student Success Committee.
Liaan Hess supervises our records staff and work study students. She is responsible for the maintenance of student academic records, coordination of the registration, and first year student selection of major processes for School of Environmental and Biological Sciences students.
Rebecca Jordan is responsible for overseeing two minor degree programs: Professional Youth Work and Development and Science Teacher Education (a gateway into the Graduate School of Education’s Teacher Certification program). Given that youth development and K-12 teaching are highly regulated fields, The Program in Science Learning serves an essential role in facilitating the necessary experiences for students to enter fields involved with youth and education. In addition, Rebecca is also an assistant professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources and maintains a research and outreach program where learning is studied in both people and fish.
Terry Reagan is responsible for teaching courses primarily associated with the Professional Youth Work and Development minor. He also serves as an advisor for Program in Science Learning minors and as a liaison to the Graduate School of Education.
Master Gardener Coordinator
RCE of Sussex County
732-932-9575, ext. 4605
IR-4 Project Headquarters
Jerry Baron oversees the research of 125 full time scientists at 31 field research farms and seven analytical laboratories nationwide with an operational budget of approximately $30 million US dollars. The goal of the IR-4 Project is to support the registration of safe and effective biological and chemical pesticides for fruits, vegetables, herbs, and other specialty crops.
Mary Nikola is responsible for implementation of leadership strategies, organizational development interventions and professional development programming for faculty, staff, customers and stakeholder groups for the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. Mary is the Director of the New Jersey Agriculture Leadership Development Program which is a two year leadership development initiative for New Jersey’s farmers and agri-business professionals. She is an adjunct faculty member of the Rutgers’ Center for Management Development teaching in Advanced Leadership, Human Resources Management Series, Leadership Development Certificate Series, and the Executive Mini MBA.
Megan Francis works to provide international experiences both at home and away for SEBS students. To achieve this goal, Megan collaborates with the Dean of International Programs to increase student engagement in study abroad opportunities, international research initiatives, and through on campus events. Megan also works with partner institutions overseas to create new and exciting opportunities for study abroad in the sciences. She further serves as the main point of contact for the 2+2 and 3+2 dual degree programs with partner institutions in China.
Bruce Crawford is responsible for the general operations of Rutgers Gardens. This includes the day-to-day financial and personnel details, maintenance concerns within the Gardens, as well as interaction with faculty and staff of the university. He is responsible for the oversight of the long term planning and development of the Rutgers Gardens master plan and works closely with the development office at SEBS and the Rutgers Foundation to help provide the funding for the future development of the Gardens.