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Welcome to the Student Well-Being Core

We look forward to seeing you on campus! The Office is open Monday through Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm during the academic year.
Summer Office hours are Monday through Thursday 8:00am – 5:15pm
To schedule an appointment, please email or call (201) 684-7457.

Student Well-Being Core Mission Statement & Goals

Mission Statement

By prioritizing a holistic, equitable, and inclusive approach, the Student Well-being Core members utilize empathy, advocacy, and strategic collaboration across the College to elevate a student experience that is welcoming to all. Through the Core’s meaningful and engaging work, students are supported and challenged to understand themselves, others, and learn how to persevere toward their own betterment.

The Student Well-being Core members create a supportive environment through practices, policies, and procedures that provide a foundation for safety, empowerment, self-growth, and personal responsibility, which underscore how the Core expects students to live, learn and study.   A sense of agency toward one’s well-being is of high importance.  Students are invited to promote well-being in all aspects of their lives and to have ongoing concern for their communities within and beyond Ramapo.

Definition of Well-Being:

Vital to a holistic, individual student experience, well-being cultivates feelings of acceptance, community, curiosity, resiliency, belonging, and accountability. This student experience maximizes every opportunity, within a support network, to explore and develop physical, emotional, mental, social, environmental, and academic harmony. Well-being is aspirational in nature – it is a fluid experience that is different for all and may be accepted, challenged, or changed based on individual circumstances. 


  • Well-Being:  Maximize student well-being through support programs and activities
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Offer social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion programs that deliver educational, engaging, and reflective experiences for students
  • Community Responsibility: Design policies, procedures, and programs that provide students with the framework for responsible decision making
  • Student Engagement: Provide opportunities for students to develop their leadership potential while being active academically, socially, personally, and civically in the community and beyond.
Office Location

C-212; Office Number: (201) 684-7457; Fax: (201) 684-7963
Regular Office Hours: Monday – Friday 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Summer Office Hours: Monday – Thursday 8:15 AM – 5:15 PM

Student Well-Being Office Staff

Van Der Wall, Melissa 2.10.15 02Melissa Van Der Wall

Vice President for Student Well-Being/Dean of Students


Phone: (201) 684-7457

Ivy N. Payne

Student Affairs Coordinator


Phone: (201) 684-7457

Student Well-Being Core Offices

Center for Student Involvement
Office of Residence Life
Center for Health & Counseling Services
Office of Student Conduct
Office of Specialized Services

Did You Know...

The Dean of Students has an Instagram Account??  Add: to find out what’s happening in Student Affairs, as well as learning some interesting tidbits about Dean Van Der Wall!

Previous Student Communications

Spring 2023

Mental Health Awareness Month – May 4, 2023

Sexual Assault Awareness Month – March 31, 2023

Student Government Association 2023 General Elections – February 2023

How to Access Your E-Mail as of February 28th – February 2023

Ramapo College Wellness Services – January 2023

Welcome Back to Student Involvement, Events, Connections and More – January 2023

Welcome Letter from the Office of Student Conduct – January 2023

Fall 2022

Election Day, 2022 – November 2022

Severe Weather Support Resources & Service Opportunities – October 2022

Ramapo College Wellness Services – September 2022

Welcome Letter from the Office of Student Conduct – August 2022

Spring 2022

Wellness Resources for Students – May 2022

Ramapo College Wellness Services – January 2022


Traditions Council


Purpose Statement: The Traditions Council at Ramapo College, charged by the Dean of Students, is a group of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and retirees who are committed to preserving Ramapo College traditions and fostering new traditions. Ramapo College’s symbols and traditions are activities, which are passed down from year to year, that have academic, celebratory, symbolic or historic meaning. Traditions are defined as symbols and activities that are unique to the Ramapo College experience.

Used Name Form

In recognition of students who use a name that differs from their legal name, Ramapo College’s Used Name Policy provides a pathway for students to be officially recognized, included, and given the opportunity to identify themselves as they wish (this should not be confused with the Change of Name form, which addresses legal name changes). After submitting the short Used Name Form, a member of the Name Committee will contact you to discuss how the process will unfold (e.g. where the Used Name will be utilized on campus).

Used Name Form

Formed in 2016, the Name Committee is representative of faculty, staff, and students and they work toward bringing awareness and understanding to name assignment concerns from an international, transgender, faith and spirituality, legal, family dynamic, and other related perspectives. In recognition and support for students who use a name that may differ from their legal name, the Name Committee’s goal is that all members of the College are recognized, included, and have an avenue to self-identify.  The work of the committee furthers the College’s goal toward having trans-culturally responsive practices and acknowledges that name assignment issues stem from gender identity, cultural background, and a variety of other social issues.

Training and Development
The committee has offered professional development on these important issues to both faculty and staff. In the fall semester, all faculty receive a training document created by the Name Committee entitled “What In a Name?”  Some students indicate that being mis-named and mis-gendered is a source of anxiety and creates an environment in which it is more of a challenge for them to learn and focus on academic material.  The “What’s In A Name?” training document was designed to help faculty continue to maintain a positive and affirming environment where all students are welcome.

Some members of the Name Committee have chosen to include their used pronouns in their e-mail signature as a way to help build inclusivity, bring awareness to gender identity, and to reject assumptions and judgments.  Including our used pronouns on our e-mail signature takes away the guesswork. The goal of adding used pronouns to one’s e-mail signature is to lift society from operating in assumptions and to punctuate how important using one’s correct pronouns is to our community of learners. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to update their e-mail signatures.  Faculty and staff are encouraged to invite employees to order nametags that include their used pronouns.


Related Forms

What’s In a Name

Student Well-Being Core Organizational Chart

Rick Brown
Director of Center for Student Involvement
Phone: (201) 684-7769
CSI Website

Lisa Gonsisko
Director of Residence Life
Phone: (201) 684-7461
Residence Life Website

Judith L. Green
Director of Center for Health and Counseling Services
Phone: (201) 684-7522
CHCS Website

Kathleen Hallissey
Director of Office of Student Conduct
Phone: (201) 684-7869
Office of Student Conduct Website

David C. Nast
Director of Specialized Services
Specialized Services Website

Frequently Asked Questions about the Interim Suspension Process

The College has the right to issue an Interim Suspension when the student engages, or threatens to engage in behavior(s) which pose a danger of causing harm to others, or when the student exhibits behavior(s) that renders him/her unable to effectively function in the residence areas and/or the College, or when the student exhibits behavior(s) that significantly interferes with the educational pursuits and/or living environment of others. When a student engages in or threatens to engage in such behavior, the most effective emergency response to protect the health and safety of the student and the community may be to require the student to leave the campus for a period of time. While an Interim Suspension is in place, the College will gather information and investigate the allegations(s) in order to make an individualized assessment of the risks posed by the student’s reported behavior and whether those risks may be mitigated to protect the health, safety, and learning environment of others.

For the complete Interim Suspension Policy, click here.

Where do I go if I have been issued an Interim Suspension?

When you are Interim Suspended, you must vacate the campus. In cases when you are incapacitated (unable to act on your own), your emergency contact person is notified by the On Call Administrator.

What if I am present on campus and violate the terms of the Interim Suspension?

You will be considered trespassing and will be subjected to arrest by the Mahwah Police Department. The violation will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct. You will likely face on campus disciplinary charges and may also face charges through the Mahwah Municipal Court.

What if I need to obtain clothing, books, medication, and other essential personal items from my residence room while I am serving an Interim Suspension?

You need to contact Public Safety via phone at (201) 684-7432 to make arrangements to come to campus to gather any belongings from your residence. Do not come to campus without making prior arrangements.

Am I able to attend classes when I am Interim Suspended?

No, when you are serving an Interim Suspension, you are not permitted to physically attend classes. You are banned from entering the campus.

Can I complete my coursework remotely?

You may reach out to your faculty and ask if you may complete coursework electronically or by others means that do not require you to be present on the campus. The decision to accept coursework is under the purview of the individual faculty member who oversees the course material. The faculty member may refuse your request as faculty members are not obligated to accommodate you under these circumstances.

Does your office notify my professors that I will be missing class?

Our office does not normally notify professors that you won’t be to class. It is your responsibility to make contact with your professor(s) and let them know that you will not make it to class. If your Interim Suspension requires you to be absent for a prolonged period of time due to further investigation, etc. the Dean of Students or designee will notify your Faculty members.

Will the Interim Suspension go on my permanent transcript?

An Interim Suspension is not a form of punishment; it is not a finding of guilt within the campus code of conduct and is not part of your permanent record. Depending on the circumstances, an Interim Suspension may lead to the initiation of disciplinary proceedings on charges that you have violated the Code of Conduct or in the event of a Title IX related matter, it may lead to a Title IX investigation (See Sexual Misconduct Policy).

Who do I contact to set up an appointment for an Interim Suspension hearing?

You should contact the Student Affairs Office at (201) 684-7457. The college will schedule the appointment within 5 days from the date you call for a hearing. Interim Suspension hearings are normally scheduled Monday through Friday from 9am to 3pm (the College is closed on Fridays during the summer months).

Should I bring my parents/guardian/lawyer to the Interim Suspension hearing with me?

It is completely up to you whether or not you want to bring anyone with you to the Interim Suspension hearing. The Dean of Students or designee will not assess guilt as it relates to the allegations against you. The purpose of the hearing is to assess your student status. In other words, whether or not you continue to pose a threat to the campus community and whether or not you are permitted back on campus. You have the right to bring an advisor, who may be an attorney, to the hearing, but it is not a requirement. The advisor will have a limited role during the hearing, as they are present to support you, but may not interfere with the Dean of Students or designee or speak on your behalf during the hearing.

What can I expect will happen at the Interim Suspension hearing?

You can expect to meet with the Dean of Students or designee. You will discuss the incident that led to you being served with an Interim Suspension from campus. The Dean of Students or designee will issue a decision within 3 business days of the Interim Suspension hearing.

In some circumstances, you will pose or may pose a threat and therefore you may not return to campus as a whole before a College Disciplinary Review Board or Disciplinary Conference takes place; or you may not be permitted to return to the residence areas of the campus before a College Disciplinary Review Board or Disciplinary Conference takes place; or you may be subject to a Title IX investigation process as published in the Sexual Misconduct Policy Governing Students.

What if I want to withdrawal and not schedule an Interim Suspension hearing?

You may withdrawal from classes without scheduling an Interim Suspension hearing, but it is important to remember that your Interim Suspension will remain in effect and you will continue to be banned from campus. You will be subjected to the disciplinary process or Sexual Misconduct Policy Governing Students whether you are a current student or not.

Student Handbook

The 2023-2024 Student Handbook can be found by clicking below:

2023-2024 Student Handbook


Dean's Certifications

If a student is transferring to another school that requires a Dean’s Certification Form to be completed, please contact Ivy Payne, Student Affairs Coordinator via email at or by phone at (201) 684-7457.

If you are applying for a job or transferring to a school and have a request for Disciplinary Records, please contact Kristine DeLuccia, Assistant for Operations in the Office of Student Conduct via email at or phone at (201) 684-7869.

In most cases, the form is completed and sent to transferring school within 48 hours of the date it’s been dropped off.