Congratulations to Christopher Agans, Executive Director, New Jersey Scholarship and Transformative Education in Prisons Consortium (NJ-STEP), Center for Law and Justice, Rutgers University–Newark for receiving this year's 1930 Ernest E. McMahon Award. This award is given to an individual or group at Rutgers University that goes above and beyond, contributing to educational resources and opportunities at the University that benefits the New Jersey community.
The university recognizes Agans and his ongoing commitment to providing college access and support to the justice impacted populations of New Jersey. Even in the early stages of his career he was searching for ways to make college education achievable for everyone. He ran a cycle down program that donated used computers to local New Brunswick schools. He also taught summer courses and tutored for the Educational Opportunity Program and the Ronald E. McNair post-baccalaureate Achievement Program as a graduate student.
Agans proceeded to give back to the community by advising and tutoring low-income, first generation college students and students with disabilities along with building a safe home and resource center for formerly incarcerated students. He worked to show that justice-impacted students can be successful and continues to bring light to the value.
He continued on to contribute significantly to creating the original NJ-STEP consortium grant, where he is now currently the Executive Director, NJ-STEP overseeing the administrative body and a team of counselors who mentor over five hundred students in prison at any time and continue to assist those who are released. The program has since expanded to supporting students beyond graduation as Agans worked to create many employment opportunities at Rutgers for alumni of the program.