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About the Office of Postdoctoral Advancement

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Our Commitment and Focus

Committed to advancing the University’s pursuit of academic excellence, conducting cutting-edge research, and fostering innovation, the Office of Postdoctoral Advancement (OPA) supports postdoctoral researchers by being the central hub for their professional advancement and a guide to the academic policies, procedures, and offices that support postdoctoral careers.

The OPA focuses on developing three specific areas: training (research training & scholarly productivity), career (advancement, planning, & readiness), and peer (peer support, common interest groups, mental health, and wellness, mentoring, and global connections).

We partner with many Rutgers’ units and initiatives to provide resources, and host workshops, programs, social events, and opportunities for professional and skill development — all dedicated to helping postdocs make the most of their time at Rutgers and prepare them for the next stage of their career. And we help postdocs navigate postdoc life by providing information, recommendations, and referrals to campus representatives and relevant institutional contacts across the University.

To learn more, meet our team, check our upcoming activities and schedule of events, register for one of our upcoming events, and get to know our growing community of 800+ postdocs.

Meet the Team

At the Office of Postdoctoral Advancement, we're dedicated to the professional growth and career success of our postdocs. The OPA team is here for you. Please see below to meet the team!

itzamarie chevere torres rutgers university

Itzamarie Chévere-Torres

Universitywide/Central Administration

Universitywide/Central Administration

Itzamarie Chévere-Torres is Director of the Office of Postdoctoral Advancement. She manages daily office operations, establishes collaboration with key stakeholders universitywide, and develops and facilitates career development resources and programs for Rutgers postdoctoral researchers. Itzamarie obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Puerto Rico, her neuroscience postdoctoral training at NYU, and a second postdoctoral training at Rutgers. Itzamarie is a strategist focused on talent development and a certified career coach.

A photo of Jillian Hanna

Jillian J. Hanna

Universitywide/Central Administration

Universitywide/Central Administration

Jillian, the Senior Program Coordinator for the Office of Postdoctoral Advancement, demonstrates a passion for people-centered work, finding fulfillment in helping others. She is an active member of the EVPAA's DEIA Council. Jillian is an alumna of the School of Arts and Sciences - New Brunswick, where she earned her B.A. in Psychology and Theater. She also holds a Master of Social Work from the School of Social Work and is a licensed social worker.

Team Statement on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access (DEIA)

We value the unique contributions of all individuals and diversity in all its forms. We have a strong commitment to building trust and creating inclusive spaces in which each person can experience a sense of belonging. We believe this is the path to academic excellence and innovation.    

We honor individuals’ unique and diverse identities and engage with and learn from people from all walks of life. We foster personal and professional growth for the diverse populations we serve. We pride ourselves in modeling fair and equitable practices across all our programs and activities. Respect and human dignity are at the core of our team’s value system. We understand that our individual, diverse backgrounds shape our life experiences—both positive and negative—and we strive to use our personal histories to the advantage of the communities we serve.   

We welcome all.

Executive Steering Committee

The Executive Steering Committee (ESC) comprises senior leaders, faculty, and administrators dedicated to enhancing Rutgers postdocs' culture, experience, and career advancement. Consisting of members from various chancellor units and disciplines, the ESC offers guidance and backing to the Office of Postdoctoral Advancement. Together, they develop solutions and policies that positively impact Rutgers postdocs' experience and career growth. Dr. Itzamarie Chévere-Torres, Director of the Office of Postdoctoral Advancement, chairs the ESC.

  • Asenath Dande
    Executive Director of International Faculty/Scholar Services
    Rutgers Global

    Carol S. Lutz, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor of Microbiology, Biochemistry, and Molecular Genetics
    Associate Dean for Curriculum, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

    Carter Mathes, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor, Department of English
    School of Arts and Sciences-New Brunswick

    Doreen Badheka, Ph.D.
    Assistant Dean for Career Development
    Director and Advisor, Biomedical Research Scholars Track, Masters Program
    Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences-Newark

    Ellen Townes-Anderson, Ph.D. 
    Professor of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Neuroscience & Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science
    Director of Research Development and Initiatives
    New Jersey Medical School

    Jacqueline S. Mattis, Ph.D.
    Dean of Faculty, Office of the Dean, Psychology
    School of Arts & Sciences-Newark

    Janet Alder, Ph.D.
    Assistant Vice Chancellor of Postdoctoral Affairs, RBHS
    Assistant Dean for Graduate Academic and Student Affairs, School of Graduate Studies
    Associate Professor, Department of Neuroscience & Cell Biology, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

    Joseph A. Barone, PharmD, FCCP
    Dean, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy

    Kathleen W. Scotto, Ph.D.
    Vice Chancellor for Research, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences
    Vice Dean, School of Graduate Studies

    Lori Covey, Ph.D.
    Dean of Life Sciences
    School of Arts and Sciences-New Brunswick

    Michelle Stephens, Ph.D.
    Founding Executive Director, Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice
    Professor of English and Latino and Caribbean Studies, School of Arts and Sciences-New Brunswick

    Miriam Rosenberg-Lee, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology
    School of Arts & Sciences-Newark

    Victoria Abraira, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor, Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience
    W.M. Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience

    Wendie S. Cohick, Ph.D.
    Dean of Research and Graduate Education & Professor of Animal Science
    School of Environmental and Biological Sciences

Big Ten Academic Alliance Postdoctoral Affairs Group

The Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) Postdoc Offices (PDOs) Group is a collaborative group of directors and senior staff and faculty from BTAA member institutions that meets bi-monthly to generate innovative solutions to common cross-institutional challenges faced by postdoctoral researchers and their faculty mentors. The group collects and shares data, insights, and expertise that help to improve existing services and anticipate trends and future needs of the postdoctoral community we all serve individually and collectively. For more information contact Dr. Itzamarie Chévere-Torres,

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