TRENTON, N.J. – Members of the New Jersey Council of County Colleges have selected Bergen Community College trustee Sheetal Ranjan, Ph.D., for one of two trustee at-large positions on the group’s executive committee. The council members took action at their November 18 meeting, electing Bergen’s Ranjan and six other executive officers. Among her responsibilities as an executive committee member, Ranjan will represent the council as a primary advocate for the state’s community colleges. Her election marks the first time since 2011 that a Bergen delegate has served on the executive committee.
“In just three years as a Bergen trustee, Dr. Ranjan has become one of the state’s leading voices for the advancement of community colleges,” Bergen Board of Trustees Acting Chair Gerard L. Carroll said. “We are proud that Dr. Ranjan will represent Bergen as part of the council’s executive committee and look forward to her support of initiatives, legislation and programs that improve the lives of the state’s community college students.”
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. Among her memberships, Ranjan remains an active member of the Association of Community College Trustees and serves on the organization’s diversity, equity and inclusion committee.
“I am honored by the opportunity to have a seat at the table and a voice in the process that impacts over 325,000 students at over 60 community college campuses in the State of New Jersey,” Ranjan said. “I believe that education is the most powerful and economically advantageous investment into our future. As an executive committee member of the New Jersey Council of County Colleges, I will make a compelling case for investments in community colleges to our federal and state legislators. I will also work toward increasing international student enrollment in New Jersey’s community colleges.”
Outside of Bergen, Ranjan serves as a professor at William Paterson University, teaching criminal justice courses and focusing her research on violence prevention. Her dedication to these issues helped the institution secure $600,000 in federal grants to establish the Campus Violence Prevention Program, which coordinates efforts and resources to raise awareness and assist victims affected by domestic and sexual violence. 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 and recently received an appointment to the American Society of Criminology Policy Committee and will serve as its representative on the board of the Criminal 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.
Created by state statute in 1989, the council serves as a liaison for New Jersey’s 18 community colleges with government officials, agencies and organizations. The council advances the mission of community colleges through public relations initiatives, awareness campaigns and securing public funding. Members, which include a seven-person executive committee and board chair, board alternate and college president from each of the 18 institutions, work to coordinate statewide efforts to improve student success.
More than 325,000 students attend the state’s community colleges each year; 45 percent of all students who earned a bachelor’s degree from a New Jersey college or university previously completed courses at a community college.