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Meet Our Team

Laura Lawson headshot.

Laura Lawson
Dean of Academic Programs
848-932-3000
Martin Hall, Room 109
ljlawson@sebs.rutgers.edu

Dean Lawson is responsible for all undergraduate and graduate programs, budget, and general administration for the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. She has an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an MLA and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. She is a professor of Landscape Architecture and her research includes historical and contemporary community open space, with particular focus on community gardens and the changing roles of parks in low-income communities.

Latisha Crubaugh headshot.

Latisha Crubaugh
Sr. Administrative Assistant
848-932-3000
Martin Hall, Room 109
crubaugh@sebs.rutgers.edu

Ms. Crubaugh provides administrative support to the dean of academic programs and serves as departmental administrator. She coordinates the SEBS Convocation, Baccalaureate, First-Year Student Induction Ceremony, and the Annual Excellence Awards.

Team Leads

Thomas Leustek headshot.

Thomas Leustek
Associate Dean of Academic Administration and Assessment
848-932-3000
Martin Hall, Room 109
leustek@sebs.rutgers.edu

Dean Leustek is responsible for the administrative aspects of undergraduate education at SEBS, including course and curriculum revisions, teaching assistant and part-time lecturer allocations, articulations with New Jersey community colleges, and assessment of school academic programs.

Xenia K. Morin headshot.

Xenia K. Morin
Senior Associate Dean for Learning
848-932-3502
IFNH, Room Suite 220
xenia.morin@rutgers.edu

Dean Morin undertakes special projects related to curriculum innovation and resource mobilization to enhance academic programs as well as enhancing faculty and staff training and development and the graduate student experience.

Mary Nucci headshot.

Mary Nucci
Assistant Dean for Campus Engagement
848-932-9242
Cook Office Bldg., Room 227
mnucci@rutgers.edu

Dean Nucci is responsible for leading school co-curricular activities and generating school-wide engagement among faculty, students, and staff. She coordinates existing programs, such as the SEBS Science Cafes, the fall research mixer, and alternative science career programming, develops new programs that support the SEBS community, and provides active collaboration with other SEBS and Rutgers organizations seeking to build our campus learning community.

Kristen Lester headshot.

Kristen Lester
Senior Program Coordinator, Student to Professional Internship Network
848-932-3000
Martin Hall, Room 109
kaf38@sebs.rutgers.edu

Ms. Lester is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operation of the SEBS Student to Professional Internship Network (SPIN) program. She also manages employer services, maintaining and expanding the program's network of employers.

Advising and Academic Services

Julie Traxler headshot.

Julie Traxler
Associate Dean for Academic Programs
848-932-3000
Martin Hall, Room 109
traxler@sebs.rutgers.edu

Dean Traxler 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 headshot.

Carol Andrew
Assistant Dean
848-932-3000
Martin Hall, Room 109
caroland@sebs.rutgers.edu

Dean Andrew is responsible for the coordination of transfer student programs, including the evaluation of transcripts, course registration, and advising. She oversees the coordination of syllabi review for transfer and provides general advising.

Penny Carlson headshot.

Penny Carlson
Assistant Dean
848-932-3000
Martin Hall, Room 109
pcarlson@sebs.rutgers.edu

Dean Carlson is responsible for tracking and certifying students' graduation status in conjunction with academic departments. She is an Environmental and Business Economics and general advisor and maintains SEBS programs in Degree Navigator.

Liaan Pechera headshot.

Liaan Pechera
Assistant Dean
848-932-3000
Martin Hall, Room 109
pechera@sebs.rutgers.edu

Dean Pechera is responsible for coordinating the School-to-School transfer process and advising incoming students from other Rutgers units. She focuses on all electronic and online initiatives, overseeing systems such as MyMajor, and serves as a general advisor.

Sharice Richardson headshot.

Sharice Richardson
Assistant Dean
848-932-3000
Martin Hall, Room 109
sharice@sebs.rutgers.edu

Dean Richardson is responsible for the coordination of all first-year student academic programs, advising, and registration. She evaluates first year transcripts from other institutions as well as international baccalaureate, advanced placement, and A-level exam credits.

Serafina Smith headshot.

Serafina Smith
Assistant Dean of Recruitment and Advising
848-932-3000
Martin Hall, Room 109
serafina.smith@rutgers.edu

Dean Smith is responsible for the design and implementation of all recruitment activities for SEBS as well as serving as a general advisor, particularly to international and out-of-state students.

Joseph Ventola headshot.

Joseph Ventola
Assistant Dean
848-932-3000
Martin Hall, Room 109
ventola@sebs.rutgers.edu

Dean Ventola is responsible for providing academic and career advising for all Rutgers students majoring in biological sciences. He directs the SEBS Scholarship Program and is the primary scholarship liaison for scholarships to other Rutgers offices.

Romal Vaidya headshot.

Romal Vaidya
Coordinator of Academic Services and Student Records
848-932-3000
Martin Hall, Room 109
vaidya@sebs.rutgers.edu

Ms. Vaidya is responsible for the maintenance of student academic records, coordination of registration, first year student selection of major processes, and provides general advising for SEBS students.

Caroline Coogan headshot.

Caroline Coogan
Program Coordinator
848-932-3000
Martin Hall, Room 109
moonlynx@sebs.rutgers.edu

Ms. Coogan provides administrative support to the associate dean of academic programs. She coordinates scholastic standing, reenrollment and School-to-School transfer processes in addition to providing general advising for first-year students.

Doe Bassano headshot.

Doe Bassano
Administrative Assistant
848-932-3000
Martin Hall, Room 109
db875@sebs.rutgers.edu

Ms. Bassano provides administrative support to the assistant dean of transfer student programs. She triages student calls and walk-ins to the office as well as processes transcripts, syllabi review, and other department forms.

Kristen Goodrich headshot.

Kristen Goodrich
Administrative Assistant
848-932-3000
Martin Hall, Room 109
ker12@sebs.rutgers.edu

Ms. Goodrich provides administrative support to the assistant deans who work with first-year and senior students. She assists students with general advising questions.

Laura Mitchell headshot.

Laura Mitchell
Administrative Assistant
848-932-3000
Martin Hall, Room 109
lmitchell@sebs.rutgers.edu

Ms. Mitchell provides administrative support to the assistant deans who work with recruitment and scholarships. She assists students with general advising questions.

Program Leads

Christina Kaunzinger headshot.

Christina Kaunzinger
Faculty Coordinator, Living Labs
848-932-4273
Blake Hall, Room 100
christina.kaunzinger@rutgers.edu

Dr. Kaunzinger is an assistant research professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and is leading efforts to promote the Cook/Douglass campus as a learning laboratory and model of environmental stewardship and sustainability.

Suzanne Sukhdeo headshot.

Suzanne Sukhdeo
Coordinator, Student Success Initiative
848-932-3760
Bartlett Hall, Room 217
ssukhdeo@sebs.rutgers.edu

Dr. 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.

Meredith Taylor headshot.

Meredith Taylor
Research Associate, Office of Urban Extension and Engagement
Blake Hall, Room 117
meredith.taylor@rutgers.edu

Ms. Taylor's research focus is urban agriculture and community-based food systems. She teaches a course on food justice and advocacy and oversees the Cook Organic Garden & Urban Farm Incubator.