Rowan University Division of DEI New Staff

Rowan University DEI New Staff 2023–2024 (Website Version)

Image Alternative Text: Depicted are Rowan University Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) team members, with photographs arranged as a vertical collage. Pictured clockwise from the top of the collage are Dr. Janelle Alexander, Patricia Fortunato, Dr. Brett Pulliam, and Kim Wampler.

The text to the left of the collage reads, "Welcome to the DEI Team!" and "New Division of DEI Staff." Flower stems, arranged horizontally, are depicted below the text. The Rowan University Division of DEI logo is positioned below the flower stems.


The Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) facilitates Rowan University's efforts to be the leading university committed to addressing persistent issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion that result in positive outcomes for students, faculty, and staff. The division leads and supports initiatives that promote these tenets by developing and sustaining meaningful and collaborative relationships that result in a more diverse and inclusive community, while centering the voices of the community to drive university-wide, culturally sustaining initiatives and equitable opportunities.

The division is pleased to welcome four staff members to the core team. Learn more about these team members below and leave a message on the Division of DEI social media platforms!


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Dr. Janelle Alexander (She, Her, Hers)

Janelle Alexander

University Role: Assistant Vice President, Division of DEI at Rowan University

Dr. Janelle Alexander is a distinguished leader in educational equity and inclusivity, holding a Ph.D. in Access, Success, and Equity from the College of Education (COE) at Rowan University. With over five years of progressive leadership within diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, Dr. Alexander is deeply committed to dismantling systemic oppression through professional development, programming, policy change, and community partnerships.

Beginning her career as a special education teacher and charter school founder, Dr. Alexander transitioned to higher education, spearheading initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion across the P–20 continuum. Her research in DisCrit, combining Disability Studies and Critical Race Theory in Education, challenges conventional norms and advocates for inclusivity, establishing her as a sought-after speaker on diverse educator workforces.

Renowned for meticulous preparation, genuine empathy, and adeptness at fostering open dialogue and collaboration, Dr. Alexander exemplifies a steadfast commitment to DEI, demonstrated through tangible actions driving positive change.

Dr. Alexander's leadership extends beyond the university campus, engaging in community partnerships to address broader equity and social justice issues. Her collaborative approach and dedication to inclusivity make her a trusted advocate for change within the institution and the wider community.

Her passion for DEI transcends theory, manifesting in tangible initiatives and mentorship endeavors inspiring positive transformation within the organization and beyond. In her previous roles, she significantly contributed to DEI efforts, orchestrating comprehensive equity audits, leading curriculum development, and driving DEI professional development series and initiatives.

Dr. Alexander's expertise, combined with strategic leadership and commitment to equity, makes her a guiding force of change, fostering inclusive environments where all individuals thrive. She has been an invited presenter at conferences organized by the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME), the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), and the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children (TED CEC). Additionally, she has contributed to the International Conference on Urban Education (ICUE), solidifying her reputation as a thought leader and advocate for DEI in education.


Patricia Fortunato (She, Her, Hers)

Patricia Fortunato

University Role: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Communications Coordinator, Division of DEI at Rowan University

Patricia Fortunato is a content, communications, and grants management professional with eight years' experience working in academia, of which five years are focused in academic medicine at Rowan University. Here, she served as instructional designer, content manager, and program manager for pain management and addiction medicine clinical research funding and programming, with additional experience as researcher and writer for psychiatry/mental health programming, all part of the osteopathic medical school. She further earned experience as content manager for addiction medicine clinical research funding and programming affiliated with the allopathic medical school.

Patricia is a proud alumna of the Ric Edelman College of Communication and Creative Arts (CCCA) at Rowan University. As a journalism student, she achieved internships at Hearst and Condé Nast, and after graduating, was promoted to global media opportunities therein. She went on to work in academia, focused on stewardship, development, and continuing education to improve global health and equity; and further earned experience in nonprofit development, focused on development and communications programming to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). In 2019, she returned to Rowan to address the statewide overdose crisis through education and training programming at the osteopathic medical school. She credits her time doing this work as a humanistic experience, wherein she cultivated deeper empathy for all people living in pain and/or with other stigmatized conditions, significantly shaping the professional, leader, and person she is today.

Since returning to her alma mater and working in academic medicine, Patricia's efforts focused on partnering with clinical faculty and leading interdisciplinary collaborative teams to execute measurably effective curricula and programming. Through this work, she envisioned, researched, authored, stewarded, and innovated nationally accredited continuing medical education (CME) series for prescribers and all health care professionals, primarily focused on the confluence of pain and preventing, treating, and reducing harm in substance dependence or substance use disorder (SUD)/addictions among special populations; destigmatizing prescriber education and health communication resources; and white papers and proposals, among other forms of content. She is grateful to have helped lead this work, and for the resulting paradigm shift emerging in statewide and national discourse and federal policy.

Patricia has served as a co-chair on the university-wide DEI Council since 2021; as a subcommittee co-chair on the university-wide DEI Task Force since 2023; and in 2024, she joined the Division of DEI. She is honored to work under the vision and mission of DEI at her alma mater, as part of a dedicated team that leads with inclusion, compassion, understanding, and meaningful collaboration. She looks forward to continuing her focus on DEI and driving positive change, while utilizing her educational and creative content development and strategic communications expertise as part of the team.


Kim Wampler (She, Her, Hers)

Kim Wampler

University Role: Administrative Assistant, Division of DEI at Rowan University

Kim Wampler joined the Division of DEI in 2024 as administrative assistant for Dr. Penny McPherson–Myers. She earned her BA in psychology from Shippensburg University, and her MA in positive development psychology and evaluation from Claremont Graduate University.

Kim enters Rowan with eight years' experience in higher education. She began as administrative assistant for the diversity team at Dickinson College, and then transitioned to public safety where she was the safety services coordinator. She has served on various committees, such as the Queer and Trans Advocacy Committee (QTAC), Take Back the Night Planning Committee (TBTN), COVID Reimplementation Committee, served as departmental representative for the Bias Education and Response Team (BERT), and served as a Title IX specialist (investigator, hearing, panelist, and decision-maker).

Kim is passionate about strengths-based approaches and issues around belonging. She is dedicated to the work of the division and beyond.


Dr. Brett Pulliam (He, Him, His)

Brett Pulliam

University Role: Assistant Vice President, Student Success and Inclusion Programs, Division of DEI at Rowan University

Dr. Brett Pulliam's impressive background and dedication to supporting opportunity programs in higher education showcase his commitment to advocating for first-generation college students. His journey, from being a first-generation college student himself to holding key positions in educational leadership, reflects a passion for mentorship and guidance.

Having earned his BS in business administration with a concentration in marketing from Bloomfield College, Dr. Pulliam continued his education by obtaining his MA in college student personnel administration and an Ed.D. in higher education leadership, management, and policy, both from Seton Hall University.

Throughout his career, Dr. Pulliam has held significant roles in various institutions, including executive director for Educational Opportunity and Student Success Programs at Stockton University, assistant director for the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Program at the Rutgers School of Health Professions (SHP), and associate director of Counseling and Enrollment Services for the Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental Plus Program (PMPDPP) at Seton Hall University.

His involvement in professional associations, such as the Educational Opportunity Fund Professional Association (EOFPANJ), where he served in multiple capacities including president, highlights his commitment to the broader community and the advancement of opportunity programs. Additionally, he serves as treasurer for the Tri-State Consortium of Opportunity Programs of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Dr. Pulliam has also actively contributed to the academic community through presentations at conferences such as the inaugural NASPA First-Gen Conference, Tri-State Consortium of Opportunity Programs Biennial Conference, New Jersey New York Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Offices (NJNYACRAO) Regional Conference, and New Jersey Association for College Admission Counseling (NJACAC). His expertise in topics related to EOF and student services make him a valuable contributor to the field.

Beyond his professional accomplishments, Dr. Pulliam's personal joy in supporting opportunity programs is rooted in the opportunity to serve as a mentor to first-generation students—a role that aligns with his own experiences and underscores his commitment to making a positive impact on the educational journeys of others.