Dr. Kamal Khan is the Director of the Office for Diversity and Academic Success in the Sciences (ODASIS)—an academic support unit within the Division of Life Sciences at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey on the New Brunswick/Piscataway campus—as well as an Associate Professor for the Department of Africana Studies and the Division of Life Sciences at Rutgers University. For over 30 years, Dr. Khan has dedicated his professional career to undergraduate instruction and academic development in efforts to increase and retain the number of underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students at Rutgers who pursue majors and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Since Dr. Khan’s arrival at Rutgers, he has worked tirelessly to expand the university’s graduate pool of professionals and strengthen the country’s workforce by increasing the number of physicians, nurses, dentists, engineers, and mathematicians serving and diversifying the field.
Dr. Kamal Khan brings to his position a professional degree in medicine. His excellence as an administrator is based in his dedication to student advancement in the sciences and his commitment to demonstrate the effectiveness of support programs for underrepresented and educationally disadvantaged students. Dr. Khan believes that, “in order to motivate a student you need to build a rapport with the student that consists of trust, relationship and confidence.” A Rutgers alumnus himself, he is known for his “tough love” for the students, which is exactly the kind of attitude that encourages students to go on to professional health education.
Office Phone Number: 848-445-7532
Jonathan has received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Rutgers University—New Brunswick and he is currently in his dissertation phase of his Ed. D. program where he is studying the effects of Supplemental Instruction on First Year General Chemistry students. Jonathan is a diligent, proactive, and versatile higher education professional with over a decade of experience in management and student counseling. He is an effective, results oriented leader with a proven track record of effectuating grade productivity and graduation efficiency. Jonathan is a strategic planner with an acute acumen for analyzing complex academic scenarios and increasing operational and organizational efficiency to promote academic achievement. His areas of expertise are in leadership, student rapport, pedagogical theory, and administrative oversight. Jonathan is interested in learning to understand and use theories and research methods to meet the challenges of practice, particularly those related to equity and social justice in education.
Jonathan and his wife Sarah, reside in Morristown, New Jersey with their beagle, Bailey. Jonathan is a faithful contributor to the Beagle Freedom Project (http://bfp.org/), as well as Animal Rescue, Media & Education foundation (http://armeteam.org/)
Email Jessica Owens
Office Phone Number: 848-445-1548
Senior Program Manager
Jessica Owens is the Senior Program Manager within the Office for Diversity and Academic Success in the Sciences (ODASIS). She has over a decade of experience teaching, supervising, and mentoring students while delivering learning science-based, high impact practices for diverse students in STEM. Jessica has a master’s degree in higher education with a concentration in teaching and is passionate about teaching and learning—particularly about empowering students to take ownership of their own learning. Jessica loves working with students, learning about what inspires them, equipping them to convert their raw passion into applicable skills, and creating a community of practice for student learning and teaching.
She has had the privilege to spend 9 years overseeing Supplemental Instruction (SI) and collaborative study groups and has found great joy in seeing her student employees successfully empowering their students to become independent learners. Jessica has been invited to conducted SI training overseas, she has presented nationally on self-directed learning in SI, she was requested to be the guest speaker for a student employee appreciation event, and she has collaborated on studies into the efficacy of SI as well as the learning gains and experiences of SI leaders. Jessica is intrigued with the challenges and opportunities arising from the transformation occurring within higher education and looks forward to finding new ways to empower and equip students to become independent learners and achieve their goals while creating an environment for them to impact one another by sharing their passions through collaborative learning.
Office Phone Number: 848-445-3494
Developmental Specialist for Mathematics
David Lo received his Master of Business & Science in Personal Care Science at Rutgers Graduate School and Bachelor of Arts in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry at Rutgers University – New Brunswick. Currently, he is pursuing a Master of Healthcare Administration at Seton Hall. David has over 10 years of teaching and tutoring experience in a variety of courses from the maths to sciences, winning several teaching awards. He has significant experience in many aspects of the health care system from administration to clinical experience and has advised many students on applying and preparing for health professional schools.
David is also the co-founder and CFO of a health screening nonprofit called North American Disease Intervention (www.NADIaid.org) which trains volunteers to provide free health screenings (BP, BMI, EKG, etc.) to members in the community. Since 2014, the nonprofit has trained over 450 volunteers to conduct over 2000 health workshops across New Jersey. His teaching and research interests lie in developing more effective and efficient study methods for students and distilling difficult concepts into simple explanations.
Office Phone Number: 848-445-9514
Shama Huq is a graduate of Rutgers University-New Brunswick, where she earned her Bachelor's degree in Economics with minors in English and Physics. She originally joined the ODASIS team as an Administrative Assistant, and has enjoyed providing programmatic support and taking on a more comprehensive role as Administrative Coordinator for the office. During her time at ODASIS, she has honed her expertise in the efficient planning and execution of logistical and administrative functions.
Prior to working at ODASIS, Shama worked for the Monmouth County Park System as an Assistant Naturalist, where she had the opportunity to lead nature walks, boat tours, and conduct animal presentations with turtles, frogs, snakes, and Madagascar hissing cockroaches, among other animals native to the local ecosystem. She is passionate about the environment, equality, and social justice.
Shama strives tirelessly to ensure the success of all programs and initiatives for the office. Her greatest joy on the job is being able to support the goals of the ODASIS students.
Office Phone Number: 848-445-9515
Karolline Costa received her Master’s of Education at Rutgers Graduate School of Education, and her Bachelor’s from Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences, where she double majored in Political Science and History.
Throughout her academic and professional career, Karolline has held a variety of teaching roles. As a Barbara Voorhees Douglass College Mentor and Teaching Assistant, she was tasked with co-teaching Douglass Residential College’s key first year course, “Issues in Women’s Leadership.” Later as a Rutgers University Student Services in Transition Seminar Instructor, Karolline oversaw the process of helping transfer students connect to RU and encouraged their self-assessment skills to facilitate successful academic performance and address their developmental needs during the first term.
For years, Karolline worked in an international medical company, that focused on bariatric and minimally invasive surgery, to coordinate in-services for doctors and hospital staff all over the world.
Now joining the ODASIS team as Administrative Assistant, Karolline is eager and ready to assist students and staff achieve their goals!
Office Phone Number: 848-445-5668
Developmental Specialist for High School Programs
Shannon Smith received her Bachelor of Science in Health Administration from Rutgers University—New Brunswick. Since graduating Rutgers University in May 2017, Shannon has been diligently working to pursue her passion: helping students achieve their goals. Prior to becoming the High School Developmental Specialist, Shannon was a dedicated first grade teacher. After school, she tutored students ages 5 to 18 in English, SAT English, ACT English, AP Language and Composition, Reading, SAT Reading, ACT Reading, ACT Science, Biology, AP Biology, and SAT Biology. Shannon has also worked with the special needs community working as both an instructional paraprofessional and behavior therapist. In these various positions, Shannon has demonstrated commitment and compassion for those she works with.
Shannon is an advocate for mental health wellness. When she is not helping her students pursue their dreams, Shannon is pushing herself to maintain a physically and mentally well-balanced life. To show her commitment and passion for mental wellness, Shannon fundraises for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (https://afsp.org) each year in honor of those who suffer in silence. Shannon understands the pressure and stress that come with achieving your academic dreams; she hopes to make each and every one of her students’ voices feel heard in their journey.
Shannon is looking forward to helping as many students possible reach their goals!