Omayra Arocho, Ph.D. and Brian Conners, Ph.D., BCBA of Seton Hall University’s College of Education and Human Services have joined the Buccino Leadership Institute as co-directors of the Education cohort.
Omayra Arocho, Ph.D., is the associate dean of College Engagement and Community at the College of Education and Human Services.
Arocho has been a member of the Seton Hall community since 2007 and served in various departments and roles before accepting the co-director role with the Buccino Leadership Institute. Arocho first began her career with the University as the assistant director of development for The Career Center. Later that year, she transitioned to the College of Education and Human Services as the director of college engagement. During her fifteen years with the College of Education and Human Services, she has progressed to the position of associate dean and has held this position since 2018.
Brian Conners, Ph.D., BCBC, is the associate dean of Academic Affairs at CEHS.
Conners is a Seton Hall alum who earned his M.A., Ed.S., and Ph.D. from the University after receiving his B.A. from Montclair State. He returned to Seton Hall as a senior faculty associate in the Department of Educational studies in 2014 and went on to develop the graduate program in Applied Behavior Analysis. In addition to joining the Buccino Leadership Institute, Conners has recently accepted the role as interim associate dean of Academic Affairs for the College of Education and Human Services.
When asked about what drew them to the Buccino Leadership Institute, Arocho and Conners expressed that they wanted to help students within the Education cohort grow and explore leadership from an interdisciplinary perspective. They each explained how they "wanted to help shape the growth of our students into becoming effective leaders within their communities and professions."
As co-directors of the Education cohort, Arocho and Conners are responsible for planning leadership events, mentoring students, facilitating training, and helping students to engage with others at Seton Hall and in the surrounding communities through servant leadership.
Additionally, the directors of each cohort are responsible for crafting the curriculum for LEAD 3000 and LEAD 4000. These upper-level leadership classes are responsible for teaching students how to lead in their own discipline. Because of the diverse array of majors among leadership students, these two years of instruction are solely among students’ cohorts. This enables students to work closely with the directors of their cohort who connect them to the career field they hope to enter after graduation.
Arocho and Conners have arranged for students in LEAD 3000 to conduct a semester-long project where they will conduct interviews with educators to learn what it means to be a school leader. Through this project, they hope College of Education and Human Services students will apply the leadership skills from their first two years in the Institute and learn from professionals how these critical skills are applied in the real world.
This semester for LEAD 4000, they have prepared guest speakers and workshops on resume-building, interview skills, first-year teaching experiences, and teacher preparation program feedback. Arocho and Conners hope these sessions will help achieve their goal of helping students understand the qualities of good leadership and further develop the students’ leadership styles to make them effective leaders in their future professions.
Arocho and Conners are looking forward to inspiring Buccino Leadership students to become ethical and culturally responsive leaders so that they can shape the future of their profession. They expressed how they "are equally excited about the opportunity to learn from our talented student leaders and have them inform current and future practices."
Welcome to the Buccino Leadership Institute, Arocho and Conners. We are very excited to have you join our faculty.