Kean University introduces new online system and new faculty

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By Tyra Watts | Posted on September 29, 2022

OKTA verification app | Credit: OCIS from Kean University

The fall 2022 semester has started in full swing as Kean University welcomes its students for the academic year, as well as new freshmen.

Many new things have happened over the past year, such as a new online system, Okta.

Okta will replace the university’s current online system, ClearLogin. Okta makes it easier for Kean students to connect and access Kean-related resources. Currently, Kean is working on replacing ClearLogin with Okta for other Kean applications such as KeanGoogle.

According to Kean University’s OCIS Knowledge Base, students can sign up for Okta by downloading the OktaVerify app to their mobile device. Students can login using their Kean NetID/password on https://sso.kean.edu By scanning the QR code, their mobile device will associate with the Okta account.

If students have any problems with the registration process, they can contact OCIS Help Desk at 908-737-6000.

During this time, there has been an increase in faculty members. This semester, Kean University welcomed 53 new faculty members in an effort to establish the university as an R2 research institution.

Faculty members are excited to begin their research, including Kalasia Ojeh, Ph.D., assistant professor of sociology and African studies.

Prior to coming to Kean University, Ojeh completed a tenure track at the University of Louisville and taught there for three years.

OKTA Login Page | Credit: OCIS from Kean University

“The University of Louisville was a research-intensive institution,” Ojeh said. “At the time, I was in the Department of Pan-African Studies, so I was asked to teach in the Research Methods section of Pan-African Studies. I would teach the graduate seminars in Pan-African Studies and Statistics and Qualitative Methods at the university level.

What inspired Ojeh to come to Kean University and pursue her research was that she saw the university as a school serving Kean’s student population.

“I want to support, help grow, help prepare for the job market and for higher education,” she said. “Compared to the University of Louisville, Kean is much more diverse and offers opportunities to not only give back, but to support the type of students I want to support.”

Ojeh also mentions that she specializes in sociology and black studies. She explains the national conversation on critical race theory and how the Kentucky State Senate has a bill that does not allow teaching critical race theory, gender and sexual orientation in schools. classrooms from kindergarten to college.

“Being in a space that doesn’t support diversity, doesn’t support conversations about race and inequality, racial culture and joy, you know, wasn’t a space for me,” Ojeh said. “So Kean having an initiative in the two jobs I applied for was in African studies and sociology, that kind of fulfills the need that I, or the pull, of what I wanted to come here. ”

As for what to accomplish while at Kean, Ojeh hopes to revitalize both African studies and sociology curricula, and wants students to be excited about learning these subjects.

“I hope to inspire students to know that they could, like me, do work that they find scientifically valuable, ask questions and do research that could answer questions,” she said.

New faculty members | Credit: Kean News

Ojeh provides an example of this by asking the question why the inequality exists between Elizabeth, Hillside and Union. She also asks why education outcomes are different in these spaces and how we see infrastructure investments improving the lives of people in Elizabeth, Union and Hillside.

“I’m here to show the importance of research, and you know a lot of my students used to say, ‘Oh, we don’t need to know the statistics’, but to know that research is very important, to know the statistics is very important to people of a considered minority or non-white background,” she said.

Ojeh chose sociology and African studies as his focus. She explained how, while trying to choose a major in college, she wanted to find a way to express what was going on in her life. She grew up in Harlem and noticed that some kids came to school on time with the ability to focus, while others couldn’t. She saw a similar trend when she entered college, most notably in her academic course in classical sociology.

“When I got to my theory class in classical sociology, I couldn’t find anyone of African descent in the theory building. So I said, ‘Why isn’t there a single person in the eternity of human existence of this discipline that has contributed to the theoretical development of sociology that is black?” She explained.

Ojeh went on to explain that she had to find black studies and came across a scholar by the name of WEB DuBois.

“He wrote so many scholarly books that a lot of his work was sociological, so now there’s a push within sociology to make DuBois a founder of the field, as a classical theorist as well,” she said. declared. “So I’m part of that research lineage now.”

Getting used to Kean life, Ojeh talks about how she participated in Kean Day and will be part of Open House event.

“One of the things I want to do is show up, and I want to be a part of what Kean has to offer and get familiar with it,” she said.

Meanwhile, Amir Bhochhibhoya, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics. He works at Kean with his wife, Pragya Charma Ghimire, Ph.D., who is an assistant professor of exercise science.

They are both from Nepal and previously worked at Lander University in Greenwood, South Carolina.

George Hennings Research Building | Credit: Kean University

Bhochhibhoya taught for almost ten years, spending the first five years as a teaching assistant. The last five were spent as a teacher.

When asked what made him go to Kean University, Bhochhibhoya explained how he worked at Lander University and how small it was compared to Kean, and that was their fifth year, meaning he and his wife would get tenure.

They were comfortable at Lander University, but they wanted to grow and challenge themselves.

“We started looking for jobs, and at Kean University we both applied for the job, and when I got here I realized Kean University was trying to go from R3 to R2, so it was an opportunity for us,” he began.

“When change happens, it’s easier to join during that change than when it has already happened or isn’t happening.”

Bhochhibhoya also tells a story about showing up for the interview, and how they asked questions and he also asked questions. He found that a faculty member had gone through a similar situation of having five years experience individually and had moved to Kean five years ago.

“I asked him what he liked about Kean after five years, and he said ‘The students’,” he said. “So when someone says that, you just feel like we probably have the best interest here. The reasons were in my mind, but when I arrived for the interview, I think that question, like the interest in it, helped me decide that “Okay, let’s do it”

As stated earlier, Bhochhibhoya is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Epidemiology is the study and analysis of the distribution, patterns, and determinants of health and disease conditions in a defined population, and biostatistics is the development and application of statistical methods to a wide range of subjects in biology.

Bhochhibhoya explains how the two work and uses COVID-19 as an example.

“It’s about how you quantify health,” he began. “Before you know what the problem is, you have to know how big it is. With COVID-19, at first we had two cases, so we have to be worried, and when we saw how fast it was spreading, we We can quantify that, along with the severity of the situation and the number of people who will die.”

As for what to expect to achieve in Kean, Bhochhibhoya hopes to be able to challenge himself more.

“If you don’t challenge yourself, you won’t have fun,” he began. “Right now I think when you have energy you just want to be more productive and challenge yourself. And at Kean, so far it’s been two weeks, and I’m in the department but I see a lot of opportunities for me to grow.

When asked how he would integrate epidemiology and biostatistics into his research, Bhochhibhoya says he always starts with what the problem is and gives his perspective on vaping as an example.

“Like, how big is vaping? In 2011, less than 2% of high school kids vaped, and now in 2020, over 27% of high school kids vaped,” he began. looking for data from different credible sources helps me not only to inform myself but also to inform the rest of the people who read my article about the extent of the problem and also to try to see where in the problem there is a some efficiency. then incorporate that into my research.

Asked about the possibility of him and his wife collaborating on research in the future, Bhochhibhoya states that they do it all the time.

“We did some research together, and she’s kind of like a second eye for me when I’m writing the paper and helping her the same way,” he said.

Bhochhibhoya then mentions how excited he is for the semester and enjoys talking to the students as he sees a lot of hope in terms of what they can achieve.

“Kean students have a lot of things going on in their life like family and work, they try very hard to be successful academically and in their lives as well,” Bhochhibhoya said. “To be able to help someone in this position, I feel blessed.”

Regarding the four-day orientation that Bhochhibhoya, Ojeh and the rest of the new faculty went through, Bhochhibhoya says it was very helpful.

“When you go to a new place you try to see what kind of environment it is and Kean University is very welcoming,” he said. “I look around, and it’s a very diverse population and very talented people all around. It excites you as you start your career in a new institution.

Overall, Kean University has seen many improvements over the past year or so in terms of faculty and new online campus features.

The university strives to achieve its goal of being the premier university that enables students to excel in their studies.


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