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Joanne J. Noel, Ph.D., D.Min., M.Div., M.A.

Dean, School of Humanities and Culture, Professor of English

Ph.D. Union Institute & University
D.Min. New Brunswick Theological Seminary
M.Div. New Brunswick Theological Seminary
M.A. Rutgers University
B.A. Queens College

Joanne J. Noel is a dynamic and self-motivated academic administrator and leader with more than 20 years of experience of working in higher education, teaching literature, theology, and rhetoric and composition. At Pillar, she has provided leadership in several capacities: Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dean of Traditional Undergraduate Programs, Director of the Writing Lab, Chair of General Education, Professor of English, and Associate Dean of Alternative Programs. Dr. Noel has been instrumental in empowering students through pedagogy and andragogy and faculty development. She has designed and developed courses in General Education, including The Bible as Literature, Christian Memoirs, Research and Writing, Rhetoric and Composition, and African American Literature: The Harlem Renaissance.

Dr. Noel’s academic service is extensive: She has presented numerous times at National Academic Advising Association  (NACADA) conferences, including “Advising Underprepared Students,”  “Advising the Vanilla Students,” and “Advising in the Inner City.” She has served on Middle States Association Accreditation Committees and reviewed proposals and essays for the AACU- the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the HACU- Hispanic Association for Colleges and Universities, and ICED- the International Consortium for Educational Development.

As an advocate for women’s empowerment, Dr. Noel has served as a founding member of Winning Women, an academic and skills-development continuing education advocacy group for women. She has also served as Chair of Pillar College’s General Studies Curriculum Committee, and provides leadership through Academic Council and The Faculty Tenure and Promotions Committee; she is Chairperson of the Faculty Symposium Committee providing mentorship for current students and alumni seeking guidance in professional, academic, and faith matters. During America’s 2020 period of racial unrest, Dr. Noel was instrumental in leading conversations on justice, forgiveness, and reconciliation with key personnel at Pillar College.

Joanne is a workshop presenter and public speaker in New Jersey, New York, and the Caribbean. She has written and published various articles, book chapters, and essays in The ABHE Journal, The Department Chair, and These Sisters Can Say It Too. As a columnist for The Positive Community, she authored articles such as: “The Multicultural Church: A Relevant Church,” “Trick or Treat,” “Have You Laid-Away Your Dream?”,  “Adjust Your Attitude,” “Beauty is What You Do,” “I am Coming Out,” “Fostering a Culture of Entitlement,” “The Tenacity of a Spider,”  “Church Folks are Hypocrites,” “Satan: The Original Gangsta,” and  “Tongues and Theological Education.” Her “The Holy Spirit and Theological Education” was re-published by The Advocate: COGIC Scholars Newsletter.

Dr. Noel earned her Ph.D. in Humanities and Culture and certificates in Creative Writing and Women and Gender Studies from Union Institute and University. Her doctoral work focused on how the underpinnings of religion and spirituality imbricate with gender, sexuality, and race. She earned a Doctor of Ministry from New Brunswick Seminary, and Masters’ Degrees from Rutgers University and New Brunswick Theological Seminary.

Joanne has also been the recipient of several scholarships, awards, and recognitions. She was the recipient of the Sue Shankar Scholarship, the Mellon Undergraduate Fellowship, the Helen Hendricks Award, the Ralph Bunche Fellowship, the Daniel J. Ransohoff Scholarship, the M.K. And Kamala Mitra Scholarship Fund Award, the Dean’s Award for Interdisciplinary Scholarship, the Sandham Scholarship for Scholastic Excellence, and the James Eelman Prize in Preaching. Additionally, she was awarded the 2015 and 2018 Excellence in Teaching Award, an honor in recognition of excellence in pedagogy.