For Immediate Release

Former TCNJ President R. Barbara Gitenstein to Conduct Reading of Experience is the Angled Road: Memoir of an Academic


at R. Barbara Gitenstein Library

New York, NY (November 21, 2022) – R. Barbara (Bobby) Gitenstein announced she will conduct a reading of her memoir Experience is the Angled Road: on Nov. 28, 2022 at 3 pm in the R. Barbara Gitenstein Library on the TCNJ campus.

In her book Gitenstein examines leadership and the mentors who inspired her along her ‘angled road’ to success which culminated in her serving as the President of The College of New Jersey (TCNJ).

“The college’s library is the heart and soul of the campus. The Board of Trustees’ decision to name the library for Dr. Gitenstein is a truly fitting tribute to her 19 extraordinary years as president,” said Jorge Caballero, chair of TCNJ’s Board of Trustees.

Gitenstein stepped down as president of TCNJ in 2018.

“I love TCNJ because the institution still matters very much to me.  I had the opportunity to lead TCNJ for almost two decades and I am honored to have the chance to speak before the current students and faculty there. I have always thought of the library as the heart of any campus,” says Gitenstein.

The library opened its doors for the fall 2005 semester, a year into the college’s academic transformation, which was led by President Gitenstein. With the academic transformation came more opportunities for mentored research, in-depth coursework, immersion experiences, and independent inquiry—the library provided an environment conducive to individual study as well as team research.

Leading from the periphery

Before entering Academe, Gitenstein learned to lead from the periphery, benefitting from exceptional sometimes surprising, and sometimes expected, mentors.

  1. Barbara Gitenstein’s narrative captures the shock and the humor she faced when confronting the obstacles of being the only “whatever” in the room (woman, Jew, southerner, liberal).

Her parents moved from New York City to a small town in Alabama, where Gitenstein was born and raised.  While Southern etiquette prevented most citizens from overtly anti-Semitic slurs, she knew from a young age that she just did not fit.  When she left for boarding school in the 8th grade, she discovered that it was more than being Jewish and a Yankee that made her an oddity.  She was an intellectual; she loved classical music. She survived painful loss and life changing challenges.  In a chapter focused on her father’s impact on her life, Gitenstein writes of about how he taught her about running an ethical business.

Gitenstein has received praise from several media outlets.  Recently Gitenstein’s book was reviewed in The New York Journal of Books by Mark PinskyFrom 1999 to 2018 she served as president of The College of New Jersey, a public university, capping a distinguished career as an English scholar, professor, and educational administrator.

Gitenstein’s journey began in Florala, a town near the border of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. Her family, from New York, moved south to operate a shirt factory, the town’s largest employer. Not surprisingly, they were considered outsiders.

“It was a challenging and strange childhood,” she writes in the Introduction to Experience Is the Angled Road: Memoir of an Academic.

“I did not fit in anywhere, not in a town of eighteen hundred Baptists and Methodists, two hundred Presbyterians, and ten Jews,” five of whom were her own family.

The reading will be followed by Q&A and signing.  Books will be available for purchase at the TCNJ bookstore and at the event. The reading is co-sponsored by: The R. Barbara Gitenstein Library, Barnes & Noble Bookstore, TCNJ’s Women in Learning and Leadership, TCNJ’s Department of English, Sigma Tau Delta and the English Honor Society at TCNJ.

Experience is the Angled Road: Memoir of an Academic

By R. Barbara Gitenstein

By Koehler Books

Books are available to purchase at Barnes and Noble on the TCNJ campus and will also be available at the reading on November 28th.

Cost of the book are:

SOFT COVER: $17.95, 978-1-64663-751-5
HARD COVER: $25.95, 978-1-64663-753-9
EBOOK: $7.99, 978-1-64663-752-2


If you are not attending the reading and still want to buy the book, you can click here to purchase a book.




Media Contact

Susan Assadi

347 977 7125