Debra A. Holston O’Neal LC’87 Elected Chair of the Rutgers University Alumni Association Board of Directors
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. With a transition in leadership effective July 1, the Rutgers University Alumni Association (RUAA) welcomes Debra A. Holston O’Neal as the new chair of its Board of Directors. The RUAA chair is the latest of several roles in which O’Neal LC’87 has served Rutgers and its alumni community with distinction.
O’Neal has been a high-energy participant on a number of RUAA committees, including the Awards and Recognition, Grants Review, Diversity, and Regional Clubs committees. She first became a voting member of the Alumni Leaders Council in 2011 and she joined the RUAA board as an at-large member in 2013.
From 2012 to 2018, O’Neal served as vice chair of the Livingston Alumni Association and has been a member since 2010. She is a member of Alumni Scarlet Knights or ASK (formerly Rutgers Alumni Volunteer Information Network), which provides Rutgers University–New Brunswick graduates with opportunities to represent the university at college fairs outside the Garden State.
“As chair, I am excited to explore how the RUAA can be a crucial partner in President Holloway’s goal to achieve a beloved community,” O’Neal says. “We will do that by welcoming a diverse range of alumni voices, by engaging more young alumni and recent graduates, and by connecting with alumni wherever they live and work through virtual programming, social media platforms, and electronic communications.”
A 2015 recipient of the Rutgers Alumni Association’s Loyal Sons and Daughters Award, O’Neal served as RUAA board treasurer beginning in 2015 and as vice chair from 2017 until 2019. Besides her many Rutgers-related honors and experiences, she brings to her new role a wide range of proficiencies gained outside the university community.
As a training/education administrator II for the State of Delaware’s Department of Human Resources and, prior to that, the Department of Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families, O’Neal has a profound level of expertise in organizational development and the high-level training needed to guide social work and serve citizens effectively. She holds a master’s degree in social work from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in social work and a certificate in criminology from Rutgers.
A proud mother of three adult children, O’Neal lives in Delaware with her husband, Mark, and has devoted her time and energy to several groups in the region, including the Association for Training and Development (ATD), Statewide Training and Networking of Delaware (STAND), Alliance of Black Social Workers (ABSW), Inc., and the Delaware Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, of which she is a past president.
“The RUAA has had great leadership and growth since its founding and I look forward to new ways to engage alumni, such as through regional and workplace opportunities and expanded career initiatives,” she says. “The future of the RUAA is very bright and I am honored to be leading our efforts to shape and grow the alumni community and the university.”
O’Neal joins several other board officers, board members, and alumni senators who will begin their terms July 1, 2021.
2021 Incoming Board of Directors Members and Alumni Senators
The following individuals have been elected as officers of the RUAA Board of Directors and will assume two-year terms effective July 1, 2021:
- Chair: Debra A. Holston O’Neal LC’87
- Vice Chair: Gloria Vanderham RC’00, SCILS’00
- Treasurer: Iesha Suber DC’06, MPH’11
- Corporate Secretary: Jeffrey Linfante CC’85
The following individuals have been elected to the RUAA Board of Directors and will assume three-year terms as board members effective July 1, 2021:
- Michael Adler RC’95
- Talib Morgan NCAS’96, RBS’98
- Latoya Singleton NCAS’07, RBS’10
- Coltrane Stansbury EJB’04
- Jennifer Turner SPH’19
Incoming at-large members of the Alumni Leaders Council (two-year terms):
- Krishna Akella SAS’14
- Matthew Aquino LC’08, RBS’08
- Sahadia Auguste CLAW’19
- Kenneth Buren RC’89
- Vaughn Calhoun RC’03
- Andy Ciancia ENG’68, GSNB’70
- Ine Collins NCAS’20
- Carmen Cusido RC’05
- Shimon Dharani-Gowda GSNB’18
- Michael Glass GSE’92
- Jaaysyn Hicks RBS’10
- Anthony Higgins NCAS’90
- Kristen Huang SAS’16
- Rosanna Iancau DC’09
- Maury Lieberman SSW’66
- Tennille McCoy SMLR’08
- Daniel Meechan SAS’10
- Coleen Peters CNUR’09
- Mark Reeves CLAW’96
- Lolan Sevilla SPAA’20
- Precious Williams NLAW’07
Incoming alumni senators (three-year terms):
- Rochelle Andrews NCAS’95
- Josephine Marchetta RC’82*
- Bruce Marich RC’63, GSNB’65
*Alumni elected to serve another term
About the Rutgers University Alumni Association
The Rutgers University Alumni Association (RUAA) is a powerful network of more than 540,000 living Rutgers alumni. Membership is free for life and includes exclusive access to an amazing array of national, local, and university benefits.