Patricia Teffenhart | Executive Director
Patricia Teffenhart is a graduate of Douglass College, the women’s college of Rutgers University. She began her career with the New Jersey Women and AIDS Network, where she utilized her passion for female-focused programming to provide critical health information to New Jersey women living with HIV/AIDS. Following her time at NJWAN, Patricia was the Director of Regional Programs for the National Latina Health Network for seven years, where she advanced the national health promotion infrastructure in support of Latinas and their families. Prior to joining NJCASA, she served as the Assistant Executive Director of Woman Aware, the state-designated domestic violence organization serving Middlesex County. Patricia has a Masters in Public Administration and was a 2013 Alice Paul Equality Award recipient. Patricia has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to improving the treatment and status of women, and works diligently with NJCASA’s stakeholders to elevate New Jersey’s public discourse on sexual violence.
Robert Baran | Assistant Director
A graduate of Rutgers University, Robert began his career providing direct client services in the behavioral healthcare setting. During his 10 years working with clients in this capacity, Robert witnessed the impact of trauma experienced by survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. In 2010, Robert joined Women Aware, Inc., Middlesex County’s lead domestic violence agency. For five years, Robert has been committed to enhancing safety for those impacted by domestic violence through coordination and supervision of services for both survivors and perpetrators. Robert is committed to continuing efforts to improve the systemic and societal response to sexual assault to ensure survivors are supported and perpetrators are held accountable.
Jyoti Venketraman | Capacity Building Manager
Jyoti is responsible for strengthening the capacity of member programs to serve all survivors. As part of her role, she manages a portfolio of diverse projects such as membership best practice standards, prevention, campus sexual assault and expanding accessibility to underserved populations. Jyoti has more than 10 years of experience working in non-profits and began her career working in women’s health issues and health policy analysis for women of color. Jyoti holds a Master’s in Public Administration from NYU Robert Wagner School of Public Service in Health Policy and Management, and a BS in microbiology from the University of Pune, India. She is passionate about using a social justice lens to create safe communities everywhere.
Sarah Bear | Community Engagement Specialist
Sarah Bear is responsible for engaging NJ communities as partners and allies to prevent sexual violence. This includes providing presentations to allied professionals and developing educational materials accessible for the general public. Additionally, she manages NJCASA’s Social Media Ambassador volunteer program, a group of passionate online activists who promote constructive conversations about sexual violence and rape culture. Sarah began her journey in the anti-sexual violence movement during her undergrad years at Albright College in Reading, PA. She continued her work in a professional capacity at CONTACT of Burlington County where she gained experience in both direct service and prevention. Sarah is committed to the belief that ending sexual violence requires community-level change and, since joining the NJCASA team in 2015, has embraced the knowledge that prevention is possible.
Marissa Marzano | Communications Specialist
Marissa has spent her career in nonprofit communications, and is excited to be a part of the NJCASA team as their Communications Specialist. In her role, she amplifies NJCASA’s work through digital and traditional outlets, coordinates design and production of Coalition materials, and helps execute the organization’s communications strategy. Marissa is passionate about sexual violence prevention, and began her career doing development and communications work for the Clery Center for Security On Campus, where she supported their work to prevent campus violence. She later worked at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law, coordinating communications and media opportunities for the Center’s democracy and voting rights work. She holds a B.A. in English and Communications Studies from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA.
Devin O. Rojas | Training and Outreach Coordinator
Devin is responsible for supporting NJCASA’s training and outreach initiatives. Devin has spent her career as an advocate for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. She has experience working in different systems that respond to survivors, including the San Antonio Police Department, the US Army, and the New Jersey Department of Child Protection and Permanency. Before joining NJCASA, Devin focused on supporting systemic responses to survivors and developing the ability of allied professionals to respond to the needs of survivors. Devin believes all people have the power to support and advocate for survivors and the power to change rape culture. She holds a BA in Criminal Justice and an MS in Organizational Leadership from Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio TX. She is currently pursuing her MSW from Boston University, with a concentration in administrative social work.
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