Campus & Community

Stevens Leaders Recognized Among NJ's Most Influential in Higher Education

Nariman Farvardin Ranked No. 4 Among NJ's Higher Ed Elite, Klein and Prastacos Also Honored

Stevens Institute of Technology's leadership is being recognized among the most impactful figures shaping the future of higher education in New Jersey. President Nariman Farvardin was named to ROI-NJ's Top 10 Higher Education Influencers list, while Vice President for Student Affairs Sara Klein and retiring School of Business Dean Gregory Prastacos were honored as ROI Influencers in the deans, directors and key officials category.

Farvardin's inclusion at No. 4 on the elite Top 10 list highlights Stevens' remarkable transformation under his leadership, including growth and improvement across key university metrics, from applications and enrollment to the academic profile of students and the value of research awards. Soon after his arrival in 2011, Stevens adopted an ambitious strategic plan that paved the way for the university to become a nationally recognized, globally respected technological institution. Through his efforts, Stevens invested more than $500 million in a state-of-the-art campus, including an iconic university center. Moreover, he has made student success the most important metric of progress. As a result of this focus, in 2023, Stevens was named a “High Flyer” by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ American Talent Initiative for its innovative programs for low-income students.

ROI-NJ highlighted Stevens' recent selection as the founding academic partner for NJFAST — a hub for financial technology and insurance technology startups and the result of a partnership with the New Jersey state government, NJEDA and Plug and Play — and the university's record applications as drivers behind Farvardin's recognition among "the pinnacle of leadership, innovation and impact" in the state.

Klein's influencer honor comes after facilitating Stevens' receipt of the 2022 Active Minds Healthy Campus Award for its commitment to student mental health and wellness. She co-chaired this year's inaugural NJ Higher Education Mental Health Summit to support cross-disciplinary collaboration on this critical issue.

Retiring Dean Prastacos was lauded for elevating the School of Business through program expansion, research growth and outstanding student outcomes. Under his leadership, the school launched the NSF-backed Center for Research toward Advancing Financial Technologies (CRAFT) and was named the founding academic partner for NJ's fintech accelerator hub NJFAST.

The honors showcase the university's commitment to developing future leaders and innovators who can drive economic progress through education, research and partnerships that create positive impact. Central to Stevens' mission is supporting the holistic wellbeing of students, helping them find their place and build community and equipping graduates with the skills to take on tomorrow's challenges.