Denise Rodriguez, PhD


Areas of Expertise
Grant writing
Corporate sponsorship
Event planning


Denise Rodriguez has a PhD in English from the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York and a BA in English from Wagner College. She began her career as a college professor, first at the City College of New York and then at the College of Mount Saint Vincent. Her research was primarily in the area of historically marginalized voices, feminist issues, and intersectionality.

Denise left teaching and began her nonprofit career as the Grants Manager and Community Liaison at Hope Academy Charter School, where she helped build community partnerships and launched new educational initiatives. From there, she went on to work as a Grants Manager for eight municipal clients at Millennium Strategies, New Jersey’s largest grant writing firm, where she focused on a range of community development projects and secured millions of dollars for her clients. Denise expanded her development background as the Director of Development at Garden State Equality, overseeing all fundraising activities, including special events, grants, and donor engagement.


Denise has been at NJCASA since 2019, and started out as the Resource Development Manager, focusing on the organization’s fundraising efforts. Currently, she continues to help guide fundraising and other special events, grant writing efforts, and community partnerships alongside what she considers to be the world’s best team!