Monmouth President and Faculty namedROI Influencers in Higher Education

Just last month before we all returned to campus for the start of the fall semester, President Patrick F. Leahy, Robin Mama, Ph.D., and Patrick Murray, were named to ROI Influencers: Higher Education lists for 2022.

Every year, ROI-NJ releases lists of presidents, deans and directors who have a substantial influence on higher education.

Back in 2019, we welcomed President Patrick F. Leahy. In just a short time, Leahy has had many successes. Namely, he has helped our school attract the most diverse and academically prepared classes in its history. He also aided in positioning Monmouth as a national brand by joining the Colonial Athletic Association.

Leahy stated, “By nearly all measures ranging from academic strength to racial and ethnic diversity, the Class of 2026 is the strongest in the University’s 89-year history. For the past five years, we have continually strengthened the academic preparedness and diversity of each incoming class, demonstrating our ongoing commitment both to excellence and to access. Making Monmouth’s first-rate academic experience as accessible as possible lies at the heart of both our mission and our strategic plan, and I am very proud that we are taking material steps towards fulfilling this ambition with the Class of 2026.”

Being named an ROI Influencer in higher education is also a reflection onto the students, staff, and faculty. Leahy said, “It was an unexpected honor to be included on this year’s list of ROI-NJ Influencers in Higher Education. I think it’s validating whenever a third party recognizes the good work happening at Monmouth–at any level–and it was gratifying to be in the good company of Dr. Robin Mama and Patrick Murray with this ROI Influencer recognition. I know I speak for Robin and Patrick when I say that we share this distinction with our colleagues across the University who work tirelessly to support our students and to advance Monmouth’s academic mission.”

Leahy also acknowledged the accomplishment of ROI-NJ recognizing the enhancements made recently at Monmouth. He noted The Patron Broadcasting Center which enables students to broadcast games across campus. ROI-NJ recognized Monmouth’s programs in costal protection and restoration as well which has set Monmouth apart as New Jersey’s coastal university. Leahy said, “All of these honors from ROI-NJ celebrate much of what makes Monmouth special and distinctive, and I’m very pleased that the word is starting to get out about Monmouth’s unique facilities and signature programs.”

Robin Mama, Ph.D., is a Professor and Dean of the school of Social Work. Before her time at Monmouth, Mama was a staff member at the Philadelphia Area Project on Occupational Safety and Health, which focused on better health and safety conditions for workers and unions in the tristate Delaware Valley area. Her responsibilities included providing technical assistance to unions on workers compensation, contract language for health and safety, and right-to-know information. Now Mama works as a professor at Monmouth, serves as the representative of the International Federation of Social Workers to the United Nations in New York City, and is the chair of the International Committee for NASW National.

Among her many accomplishments and awards, she was also named an influencer in higher education. ROI-NJ staff recognized that Mama took social work from a program to a standalone school here at Monmouth with significant connects to the United Nations and the International Federation of Social Workers Mama spoke of her accomplishment, saying, “This was a total surprise for me—I had no idea it was coming. To be recognized was truly an honor, and one that I hope everyone in the school shares, as I have not done this work alone. All our faculty and staff have made lasting and important contributions to our social work programs and this brings great recognition to our school, students and alumni.”

Mama continued, “When I first arrived at Monmouth 30 years ago, we had 65 BSW students and two faculty (I was one of the two). We added the MSW program in 1998, and now started the DSW program in Human Rights Leadership this year. We have grown to include additional staff (Assistant Dean, two Field Directors, and an Assistant to the Dean) and 14 full-time faculty. So much has changed over the years!”
Patrick Murray is the founding director of the polling institute here at Monmouth, with over 20 years experience conducting media polling and research projects. With Murray in charge, the Monmouth University Poll earned an A+ rating from FiveThirtyEight.com, making it one of five polling organizations out of 373 nationally to obtain this top mark.

You might see Murray as a commentator, as he regularly appears on national and regional TV and radio stations, including MSNBC and Fox News. Due to Murray’s considerable strides with the polling institute, he, too, received the honor of being named an influencer in higher education.

Murray said, “I came to Monmouth in 2005 with the intent to establish a polling operation that met the highest standards both methodologically and in terms of relevance, addressing not only political concerns but issues that affect our quality of life. Since launching onto the national stage about eight years ago, the Monmouth University Poll has continued to apply those principles as we adapt to changes both in polling and our political culture. This recognition is a reflection of our efforts to stay in the forefront of tapping into the current zeitgeist.”