Ja Hannah

Ja Hannah headshot

First Year Student Advisor & Success Coach; Co-Coordinator, Instructor S.T.R.I.D.E Program

Center for Student Success

860.768.7906 GSU, Room 238

BA, Communication Sciences, with an emphasis in Mass Media, University of Connecticut

Modibo Ja Hannah, known as “Ja” (pronounced ‘Jay’), is a First Year Advisor and Success Coach for the Center for Student Success. In his current role, he is responsible for Advising an average of 70-100 First Year Students. Ja was onboarded to the University, and joined the CSS in May of 2017, jumping into the mission of student success as a Administrative Assistant to the team. In that initial role, he supported the logistical and operational directives of the office, which included supporting the departments major dual role in providing First Year Orientation programming. During his 2-year term as CSS Admin, he worked with the Directors to build and supervise the student Customer Service Representative team, contributed to the tone and atmosphere of the office, along with giving a heavy support focus in the daily budget and office oversight. His work also included lending support to the Red Cap Student Orientation team, as well as executing contracts and logistics integral to the needs of the 2-week Orientation sessions, which served approximately 2,400 students between 2018-2019.

In the summer of 2018, Ja was recruited to become one of the founding lead staff for the Success Team for Readiness, Improvement, Diversity and Excellence (STRIDE) program. Through strategic academic tutelage and mentorship initiatives in the program, he aided in building a specialized retention program supporting Black/African American and Hispanic Latinx students, empowering them to achieve success during their first year of college and beyond. Within a  team collaboration context, Ja continues to provide a guiding voice and perspective, to-date helping to move the program from a Fall semester (only), 1 section of 15 students, to a full year program, 6 sections equaling 90 students. 

In June 2019, Ja was promoted to First Year Advisor, and started working with students starting in the 2-year Hillyer College Associate of Arts program. Within that first year, he had practical training in Academic and Social/Connection coaching and retention strategies for students. In Fall 2022, Ja was allowed to expand his student reach, serving First Year Students in the Barney School of Business and The Hartt School.

Before joining the University of Hartford, Ja earned his Bachelor of Arts in Communication Sciences, with an emphasis in Mass Media, from the University of Connecticut. While at UCONN, he served in student leadership within the H. Fred Simons African-American Cultural Center, as their Chief Editor for the VISION Newsletter, and was also a Contributing Columnist for the Universities Daily Campus newspaper.  Post-graduation, he went forward to earn 20 years of work experience in companies such as CIGNA, Lincoln Financial Group, Comprehensive Orthopedics, Eastern Connecticut Health Network, UCONN Health Center and New York Life. Ja brings a body of corporate experience, as well as exposure to the private sector, working at Law offices and local community newspapers, that he plans to continue to give back through planted seeds to the next generations.  

Ja looks to professionally develop even further by declaring his candidacy to earn a Masters in Organizational Psychology within the next 2 years.  He is also a 34-year member of the Bible Way Church of Hartford, Connecticut, and holds a current position as an Ordained Clergy within the local assembly and in the National organization. His current assignment within the assembly is the construction and management of a program aimed at the holistic development of young men of color, named aptly named “Boyz2Men”. 

  • Overall Student Achievement through Efficient Learning Strategies
  • Holistic Support for Students of Color in Higher Education
  • Program Development