Rosaria Andraka had a knack for guiding students during what could be an overwhelming time for them—starting college in an honors program.
The honors program coordinator for Fairleigh Dickinson University's College at Florham gave advice, explained scheduling and helped coordinate educational opportunities outside the classroom, such as having students participate in conferences and visit Washington, associate campus provost Brian Mauro said Wednesday.
She also was charismatic, a class act, and lit up a room when she walked in, he said.
"Rose was gifted at making students understand the process," he said.
The campus is in mourning this week after Andraka, who worked for the university more than eight years, and her husband, Chester Andraka, were found dead in their Parsippany home Monday.
Authorities said Rosaria Andraka was murdered by gunshots and Chester Andraka committed suicide. Authorities have not released information regarding the circumstances that might have led to the killing.
Chester Andraka, a retired Caldwell police officer and security official for Novartis, also was a part-time adjunct professor for FDU, and the couple's children are students at the school. Mauro said Chester Andraka, a 1984 Bloomfield High grad, was friendly and outgoing on the occasions he met him.
A memorial has formed outside Rose Andraka's office on campus by people leaving items in her memory, Mauro said.
Students also posted tributes online saying she was much loved, could be like a second mother, and that she worked to make the first year at the school stress free.
"The campus is in mourning and still in shock," Mauro said.
He said people are processing what happened to the best of their abilities, and counseling is available. FDU is a caring community, and the school is there to help, Mauro said.
"She was a friend to many of us and is sorely missed," he said.