Candidate Slate for FY23 VALE Executive Committee Election

Public, 4-year Sector (2-year term) – 1 seat

  • Muhammad Hassan, Kean University 
    Twenty-one years ago, I came to the United States searching for a better life for my family and me. Today I have a wife, two kids, and a life that I could not have imagined 21 years ago. Currently, I am working as an executive director at Kean University and pursuing my Doctorate in Educational Leadership. I serve as VALE OER’s ambassador and worked with other ambassadors to create an OER certification program for OPEN NJ. I have been serving Learning Commons at Kean University for three years. We have been able to provide many services to Kean and make Library a central focus in the last six months. My team and I have worked tirelessly to create a system to support the research endeavors of Kean faculty and students. We have provided over 200 workshops to students and faculty over the last academic year. We are now working with the Office of Provost to establish the Center of Teaching and Learning at Learning Commons. Learning Commons also served over 1000 students through Learning Support Services. We have collaborated with students to published research journals. Learning Commons has collaborated with other stakeholders on campus to provide 1078 sections (almost 33% of available sections) that don’t require students to purchase a book.
  • Leigh Keller, Ramapo College (incumbent)
    I’m pleased to have this opportunity to introduce myself and excited for the prospect of joining the VALE Exec Committee on a permanent basis. Currently, I’m the inaugural Dean of the Library and Learning Commons at Ramapo College, where I’ve been a part of the library faculty for nearly 20 years. During my tenure, I’ve served in many roles–from the past three years as library director to information literacy coordinator and instruction librarian to electronic resources coordinator. Throughout my time at Ramapo, I’ve been an active participant in VALE, as a member of the Electronic Resources Committee and, recently, filling in as the representative for public colleges and universities on the Executive Committee. In my time as a member of this body, I’ve come to understand its essential contributions to my own librarianship and leadership, as a source of advocacy, inspiration, collegiality, and collaboration. As a member of the Executive Committee, I look forward to contribute to the growth and leadership of this organization that’s been so vital to the work of all academic librarians.


Independent, 4-year Sector (2-year term) – 1 seat

  • Kurt Wagner, Monmouth University (incumbent)
    Kurt Wagner served as the VALE Executive Committee Chair for two terms, 2018-2020 and 2020-2022. Prior to this he served as the Executive Committee co-chair of the Outreach Committee and managed the transition to the current WordPress web platform and design for VALE. Wagner served as the VALID OLE Steering Committee Chair during 2015, and from 2010 to 2014 he chaired the VALID OLE Implementation Taskforce, whose work won the NJLA Technology Innovation Award in 2014. From 2000 to 2007 Wagner was the VALE Website Committee Chair. Wagner is the University Librarian at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ.


Community College, 2-year Sector (2-year term) – 2 seats

  • Annie Chatterjee, Essex County College
    Dr. Annie Chatterjee is a library professor at Essex County College. She holds a master’s degree in Information Technologies from Sofia University, Bulgaria. She is a graduate from Pratt Institute with an MLIS degree and from Rowan University with an EdD degree. Dr. Chatterjee has been with Essex County College since 2011. Before joining ECC, Dr. Chatterjee worked as an information specialist at Deutsche Bank, NY and the Bulgarian National Library as a bibliographer. Dr. Chatterjee’s research interests are focused on adjunct faculty at community colleges and information literacy in the new information and technological environments. She is expecting the publication of two articles in a scholarly and trade journals. Dr. Chatterjee has been a member of various VALE committees since 2015. She has presented at two of the NJEdge annual conferences. Her most recent contribution to the profession was the participation on the VALE annual conference organization committee. She is the mother of two boys and an active participant in community activities at her college and home town.
  • Janet Hauge, Atlantic Cape Community College (incumbent)
    Janet Hauge has filled the Community College seat since July 2021, and serves on the Outreach committee. She has been a member of VALE since 2018 when she took the role of director of Academic Support Services at Atlantic Cape Community College. In her role as director, she is an advocate for the libraries and is passionate about their value to students, faculty, and the community. She is forward thinking and not afraid of change while respecting tradition, all while working with the limits of a budget. She is a compassionate leader and builds relationships between college departments. She believes that in addition to the purchasing power of VALE for online resources, VALE is instrumental for NJ colleges and university library employees to network, giving librarians and library administrators opportunities to explore and grow. Janet is also a member of NJLA, ALA and LibraryLinkNJ.
  • John Hernandez, Hudson County Community College
    John Hernandez is the Dean of College Libraries at Hudson County Community College. A native of the Bronx, John holds an MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy from NYU, and an MSI in Library and Information Services from the University of Michigan. John joined HCCC in April from California State University San Bernardino, where he served as Head of Library Technology and Media Services. Prior to this, John was the Web and Mobile Services Librarian at Northwestern University where he worked for ten years in several positions and served as a subject specialist in social sciences. He also worked as a librarian in government documents, political science and public affairs at Princeton and NYU. Throughout his career, John has been active in ALA (having held leadership positions in ACRL, LITA, RUSA, GODORT and other areas) and has served as a program planner/evaluator for the Library Technology Conference and EDUCAUSE.
  • William McNelis, Brookdale Community College
    William McNelis recently became the Library Director of the Bankier Library at Brookdale Community College. At his previous position, he was the Executive Director for the New Jersey and New York campuses of Berkeley College. Prior to that he has worked as a Library Director at two New Jersey branches of DeVry University, and an Access Services Supervisor at Rutgers University. He has presented on academic integrity, library anxiety, and augmented reality in libraries, and is interested in taking a greater role in New Jersey library initiatives in his new position at Brookdale Community College.
  • Donna Rosinski-Kauz, Ocean County College (incumbent) 
    I am currently serving as a member of the VALE Executive Committee in one of the Community College seats. It is an honor and a privilege to be able to work for the greater good of the academic libraries in NJ. In my role as Director of Library Services at Ocean County College, I see the need to be fiscally careful with all buying choices, and I appreciate the work that VALE does on academic libraries’ behalf. The Purchasing and Licensing Committee and Melissa Lena work with vendors to keep the costs reasonable and the database choices fresh and relevant. I look forward to continuing to serve in the VALE EC role if you choose to elect me for another term, and I value meeting and working with other academic library faculty and staff throughout the state.


Members Council Recorder, any sector (1-year term) – 1 seat

  • Linda Beninghove, Stevens Institute of Technology (incumbent)
    Linda Beninghove, Ed.D., is the Library Director at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. She served as a member of the VALE Executive Committee from 2015-2021 and has served as VALE Members Council Recorder since 2019. Linda would be delighted for the opportunity to continue to serve VALE as Members Council Recorder.