PARAMUS, N.J. — Bergen Community College board of trustees member Sheetal Ranjan, Ph.D., will serve as the northeast regional director on the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) board of directors this year. Ranjan not only represents the first Bergen trustee to serve on the ACCT board, but the first individual of Indian descent to hold a position on the organization’s governing body after her Sept. 30 election by her peer trustees.
“We are incredibly proud of Dr. Sheetal Ranjan,” Bergen Board of Trustees Chair Gerard L. Carroll said. “Dr. Ranjan has taken a leading role in advocating for community colleges, frequently working with government leaders, serving on state boards and championing the needs of our students, faculty and staff. I have no doubt that she will bring this passion to the ACCT board and represent Bergen with pride.”
ACCT, a nonprofit educational organization of governing boards representing more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees who govern over 1,200 community, technical and junior colleges, held its regional caucuses to elect new directors Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. Ranjan took the ACCT directors’ oath of office Oct. 2 alongside other recently elected directors prior to the group’s virtual leadership congress. As a director, Ranjan will work with her peers to enhance the support of the nation’s community colleges, while deploying tactics to strengthen the institutions’ trustees who serve across the nation.
“Bergen Community College is remarkable in so many ways,” she said. “It has the most diverse and energetic board, it has some of the best faculty, staff and students and the most supportive county government. The stars are all lined up! I am truly excited to have a seat at the national table and have a voice in the process to help shape policy decisions that make education possible for everyone.”
Ranjan’s election to the ACCT board stands as the latest in a series of increasingly prominent leadership roles for her in support of the nation’s community colleges. Last year, the members of the New Jersey Council of County Colleges selected Ranjan for one of two trustee at-large positions on the group’s executive committee. Her election to that board marked the first time since 2011 that a Bergen delegate served on the executive committee.
Ranjan, of Teaneck, joined Bergen’s trustee board in 2017 and has since established herself as a respected leader among the nation’s community college trustees. She also serves as a professor and graduate director at William Paterson University, teaching criminal justice courses and focusing her research on violence prevention and intervention. Her dedication to these issues helped the institution secure more than $1 million in federal grants to establish many violence prevention and intervention programs in New Jersey. She also serves on the New Jersey Study Commission on Violence, led the American Society of Criminology Division on Women and Crime as chair from 2017 to 2019, serves on its policy committee and the board of the Crime and Justice Research Alliance. Ranjan holds an M.A. from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a Ph.D. from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.