University Office of Academic Affairs


Names of Student/Housestaff Ombudspersons

What is a student/housestaff ombudsperson at UMDNJ?

Under the University's policy (Student/Housestaff Ombudspersons Policy), each Dean has appointed an ombudsperson as a designated, confidential resource for students and housestaff ("visitors") seeking information or solutions to problems. The unique nature of the ombudsperson is one of neutrality, impartiality and independence from the School's and University's established administrative structures. Thus, the ombudsperson is not a student/house officer advocate and does not represent the student's or house officer's interests. The ombudsperson is also not an agent of the institution, is not responsible for academic or disciplinary decisions concerning students or housestaff, and is independent of all administrators who have notice, compliance, regulatory, enforcement, adjudicatory and disciplinary functions such as deans or program directors. Instead, the ombudsperson aims for fairness, and impartially considers the interests of all parties. The ombudsperson does not make decisions, render judgments or administer sanctions. Instead, she or he identifies options, provides information, refers visitors to other resources if appropriate, facilitates communication between people, may mediate disputes or negotiate resolutions between parties, and recommends changes in policy or procedure to School/University administrators.

The assistance of an ombudsperson is informal and non-adversarial, separate from existing formal grievance and complaint procedures. Bringing complaints or problems to the ombudsperson does not constitute placing the University on formal notice. Visitors can always invoke the formal procedures. Sometimes the ombudsperson herself or himself may recommend this course of action and refer the visitor to the appropriate office. In any case, the ombudsperson will not participate in a formal process.

Each UMDNJ School has also identified another individual as a research ombudsperson whose focus is on research disputes and problems. This person is available to assist faculty and staff as well as students and housestaff on issues related to research.


The ombudsperson strives to maintain confidentiality and respect privacy to the maximum extent permitted by law. The ombudsperson will not keep records with any personally identifiable information, and usually will not share any information received from visitors without the visitors' permission. However there are legal and ethical standards which may require the ombudsperson to disclose certain kinds of information, such as statutory violations, imminent threats of serious harm to an individual (the visitor or others), or to the University and its property, or about serious misconduct, harassment or the commission of a crime. The ombudsperson must also comply with court orders and valid subpoenas.

Relationship with the Dean, School/University administrators, faculty, other students/housestaff:

The ombudsperson maintains a great degree of independence within the School and University hierarchy. The ombudsperson is answerable only to the Dean, annually summarizing for the Dean the office's activities without revealing any personal or confidential information about cases. The ombudsperson also makes recommendations to the Dean for specific and systemic changes and improvements in School policy, procedure, environment, etc., based upon the pattern of problems and complaints brought forward by visitors. The ombudsperson has the full support of the University's Office of Academic Affairs, Office of AA/EEO and Office of Legal Management. The ombudsperson, in addition, is authorized to approach any individual - administrator, faculty member, other student or house officer - in pursuit of information, resolutions to problems or complaints, or to make recommendations.


Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Peter Lobel, PhD
Department of Pharmacology
Center for Advanced Biotechnology & Med.,
Room 204
679 Hoes Lane, Piscataway

Eric G. Moss, PhD
Department of Molecular Biology
University Science Center, Room 312
2 Medical Center Drive, Stratford

Ellen Townes-Anderson, PhD
Department of Neuroscience
185 South Orange Ave., MSB H-582, Newark

New Jersey Dental School
Ival G. McDermott, DDS
NJDS Restorative Dentistry
DS D-847

Steven Singer, DDS
NJDS Diagnostic Sciences
DS D-860

New Jersey Medical School
Debra S. Heller, MD
NJMS Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
UH E-158

Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Parisa Javidian, MD
RWJMS Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
RWJUH - 2nd Floor, Administration Building
New Brunswick
(732)828-3000 ext. 2548

Robert Wood Johnson Medical School -- Camden
Debrah Meislich, MD
RWJMS Pediatrics
2 Cooper Plaza, Suite 200, Camden

School of Health Related Professions
Robin L. Eubanks, PhD
SHRP Student Affairs
SSB Room 322

School of Nursing
Dula Pacquiao, EdD, RN
SN, PhD in Urban Health Systems Program
205 South Orange Ave., Rm. C-1123 Newark

School of Osteopathic Medicine
Janice A. Ciesielski
SOM Medicine
UDP 3100 Stratford

School of Public Health - Piscataway
Irina Grafova, PhD
SPH Health Systems & Policy
683 Hoes Lane, Room 321, Piscataway

School of Public Health - Newark
Teri E. Lassiter, MPH
SPH Instructor/Fieldwork Coordinator
SSB 701, Newark


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Revised March 2013
University Office of Academic Affairs