Presidential Search Committee Profiles
Board of Trustees

Michael B. Kennedy '72, '75
Chair of the Board of Trustees
and Chair of the Presidential Search Committee

Mr. Michael Kennedy is a former partner and PFS National Practice Leader of PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He retired in 2009 with 34 years of professional service. He is an undergraduate and graduate business and accounting adjunct instructor at Rider and for many years, served as a part-time instructor for the Graduate Tax Program at Villanova University Law School. Mr. Kennedy began his tenure on the Rider University Board of Trustees in 1999. Following a successful term as Vice Chair, Mr. Kennedy became Chair of the Board on July 1, 2014. He serves on the Executive and Senior Compensation committees and had been Chair of the Business Affairs and Audit committees. Outside of Rider, Mr. Kennedy is a member of the Finance Committee of the Union League of Philadelphia. Presently, he serves as the Treasurer of the Ernest L. Ransome III Scholarship Trust and on the Grant Committee, Governance Committee, and as Chair of the Scholarship Committee as a Board member of the Genuardi Family Foundation. Mr. Kennedy earned his Bachelor of Science in Economics in 1972 and his Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting in 1975, both from Rider. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and is currently licensed in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Gary Shapiro '72

Mr. Gary Shapiro is Partner of Tropico Management, LP, a private equity and management company which, with its predecessor companies, has invested in more than 30 businesses over a 28-year period. He was a member of the Board from 1999 to 2008 and rejoined the Board in 2009. In addition to serving two very successful terms as Board Chair, Mr. Shapiro was Chair of the University Advancement and Senior Compensation Committees and served as a member of the Executive, Business Affairs, Human Resources, and Westminster ad hoc Committees. He was instrumental in raising funds for Rider’s new Student Recreation Center and with his wife, Mrs. Stacy Shapiro, led the creation of Westminster’s Circle of Leaders. As Trustee, Mr. Shapiro also made the Annual Fund a top priority, working closely with University Advancement staff to increase contributions by 15 percent and alumni participation by 700 donors. He partnered with fellow Trustee, Mr. William Rue, in establishing the Trustee Challenge, which led to a 100 percent increase in Trustee contributions to the Annual Fund since FY2006. Mr. Shapiro received the Life Achievement Award in 1998 from the College of Business Administration. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Commerce from Rider in 1972.

F. Christopher Carothers '91, '94

Mr. F. Christopher Carothers is President and CEO of FCC Consulting Services LLC, a computer consulting firm in Trenton, New Jersey. He was a member of the Board from 2001 to 2010 and returned to serve another term in 2012. During his tenure, he has served as Chair of the Student Affairs Committee, and as a member of the Executive, Business Affairs and Academic Affairs Committees. In addition to the above, he was a member of the previous Presidential Search Committee, the Men’s and Women’s Head Coach Search Committees as well as the NCAA Certification Committee. He graduated from Rider in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and in 1994 with a Master of Business Administration. Mr. Carothers has also served as a member of the Rider Alumni Volunteers for Enrollment, the Mercer County Executive Economic Transition Team and the New Jersey Commerce Trade Mission to South Africa.

Molly O’Neil Frank

Ms. Molly O’Neil Frank is the great granddaughter of Katharine Houk Talbott, Westminster Choir College’s first benefactor.  She joined the Rider University Board of Trustees in 2011 and is on its executive committee. Ms. O’Neil Frank currently is in her second year at Union Theological Seminary where she is pursuing a Masters in Divinity. In addition, she serves on the boards of The JED Foundation (dedicated to the emotional health of college students), Lighthouse Works (an artist fellowship program in Suffolk County, NY) and the Keewaydin Foundation (operator of the oldest boys camp in North America) and previously was the President of the board of Signature Theatre Company (an Off-Broadway theatre company in New York) and a trustee of both The Allen-Stevenson School (a boys school) and the Diller-Quaile School of Music in New York City. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1984 from Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

Thomas Mulhare '70

Mr. Thomas Mulhare is the retired Partner-in-Charge of the Financial Services Group and Business Risk Consulting Group at EisnerAmper. He has more than 30 years of professional accounting experience, including being a Senior Partner with Arthur Andersen LLP, where he led both its Northeast Insurance and U.S. Actuarial Practices. In this capacity, he was also responsible for managing 60 consulting actuaries and 200 accountants and consultants in 11 offices nationwide and served as the firm's Director of Insurance Training. He has extensive experience in the property and casualty, life and healthcare insurance arenas, having performed regulatory services, financial examinations, as well as oversight on demutualizations and conversions. He retired from EisnerAmper in January 2012, and has since been providing consulting services and executive training and development to insurance companies. He was a two-time Rider Trustee who served as chair of the University Advancement and Student Affairs committees and chaired the Trustee Committee on the future of Westminster Choir College. He was also co-chair of the Academic and Arts Campaign. Mr. Mulhare graduated from Rider in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, major in Accounting.

Christopher Nikolich '92

Christopher Nikolich is Head of Research and Investment Design for AllianceBernstein’s Defined Contribution business and has been with the firm since 1994. He is the author of Anti-Depression Advice for Retirees, among other defined contribution-related research. In his current role, Mr. Nikolich also works closely with clients in structuring their customized target-date funds. Prior to his current position, he was a senior investment director within the Defined Contribution business and served as a senior portfolio manager on the Blend Solutions team. During his tenure with the Blend Solutions team, Mr. Nikolich was based in London, working with clients in the UK and Europe. He is a member of Rider’s President’s Council and served as the only non-Trustee on Rider’s Investment subcommittee. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in Finance from Rider University in 1992 and an Master of Business Administration in finance and international business from New York University.

William Rue '69

Mr. William Rue is the Chairman of Rue Insurance in Hamilton, New Jersey. It serves over 8,500 individuals and 3,000 businesses with multiple lines of coverage in 44 states. Mr. Rue served 18 years as a Rider Trustee, through 2012, and then returned to the Board in 2013. During his tenure, he has served as Vice Chair of the Board, Chair of the Student Affairs and University Advancement committees, and as a member of the Executive Committee. Fundraising was always a top priority for Mr. Rue. He was Chair of the Campaign Cabinet for Rider’s successful first-ever major campaign, Preparing for Success. He also co-chaired the Academic and Arts Campaign along with Mr. Shapiro and was a member of the SRC Campaign Committee. He and his wife have made naming gifts for the SRC and the Academic and Arts Campaign, and in 1997 established The William M. and Joan Rue Endowed Scholarship for business students. In 1996, he established the Rue Challenge which encourages 100% giving by Alumni Board members each year, and he and Mr. Shapiro partnered together to establish the very generous Trustee Challenge which encourages the same among the Board of Trustees. Mr. Rue earned a Bachelor of Science in Commerce from Rider in 1969.

Faculty and Staff

James O'Hara

Mr. James O’Hara has served as Vice President for Enrollment Management of Rider University since 2004. In this role, Mr. O’Hara is responsible for undergraduate, graduate, and non-traditional admissions; financial aid; bursar; and enrollment marketing. Mr. O'Hara has served in leadership roles on University Committees and currently Co-Chairs the Enrollment Management Council with a focus on improving the student experience and retention at Rider. Prior to joining Rider University, Mr. O’Hara was the Director of Enrollment Management at Pace University in New York for six years. He began his admission career at this alma mater, Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY, and later served as the director of the U.S. Admissions office for Franklin College Switzerland.  He also worked as Director of Admission for Berkeley College. Mr. O’Hara holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and International Relations from Marist College and also studied in Salzburg, Austria. 

Pat Mosto

Dr. Patricia Mosto is the Dean of The College of Liberal Arts, Education, and Sciences and Professor of Biology at Rider University, positions she has held since 2009. The College of Liberal Arts, Education, and Sciences is the largest of the four colleges at Rider University. Prior to her tenure at Rider, Dr. Mosto joined the Department of Biological Sciences at Rowan University in 1993. She served as Chair of the Biological Sciences Department, Interim Associate Provost for Academic Affairs for three years, and Associate Dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for two years. She has received over 20 grants summing over $1.5 million from the American Water Works Association, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, The National Science Foundation, the American Association of Colleges and Universities and the Argentinean Ministry of Defense. She was a consultant with Rohm & Hass in biocidal control of subaerial algae and with the Argentinean Navy on coastal pollution. She has published four books and major chapters in another four books, over 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals and over 50 peer-reviewed technical reports. Dr. Mosto holds a doctorate in Environmental Biology from the University of Buenos Aires-Argentina. 

Pamela Brown

Dr. Pamela Brown is a professor and chair of the Department of Communication and Journalism. She has professional experience in journalism and public relations and teaches writing, reporting, public relations, law and ethics. She also teaches in the Master of Arts in Business Communication program. Her research is on 20th-century journalism history, the African-American press, and the law of cyberspace. Dr. Brown is a former president of the American Journalism Historians Association and has made several presentations at national conferences on the scholarship of teaching and learning.  

Heather Casey

Dr. Heather Casey is currently an Associate Professor of Literacy Education at Rider University in the Department of Teacher Education and Director of the National Writing Project at Rider University. This year, Dr. Casey is serving as co-chair of the International Reading Association’s Adolescent Literacy Task Force. Heather teaches courses in Emergent Literacy, Literacy Learning in the Elementary Grades, Middle School Literacy development, Disciplinary Literacies, and hybrid undergraduate and graduate courses in the area of multimodal teaching and learning. Dr. Casey’s research focuses on adolescent literacy and the use of collaborative learning structures and new literacies to motivate and support adolescent literacy development and engagement. Dr. Casey presents locally and nationally and has published articles and book chapters on these topics. She is currently co-editing an online series for the International Reading Association e-ssentionals publication titled, Literacy Practices that Adolescents Deserve. The series will launch in 2014. Dr. Casey is a former middle school language arts teacher, a certified Reading Specialist, and earned her Ph.D. from Rutgers University in the area of Literacy education.

Marge O'Reilly-Allen

Dr. Marge O'Reilly-Allen is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Accounting and Director of the Master of Accountancy program at Rider University. She has been a member of the Rider community for over 25 years and is the 2013 recipient of the Rider University Chair Leadership Award. Dr. O’Reilly-Allen has been instrumental in creating the new on-line Master of Accountancy program and our accounting co-op and internship program, which provide students with opportunities to work in public, corporate, governmental and not-for-profit settings. Dr. O’Reilly-Allen teaches graduate courses in the area of financial reporting and regulatory issues and undergraduate course in Managerial Accounting. Her research is in areas of enterprise risk management, forensic accounting and current issues in financial reporting. She is active in the accounting profession and researches and publishes in both academic and professional journals. Dr. O’Reilly-Allen earned her Ph.D. in Accounting and Quantitative Methods from Drexel University, Philadelphia. 

Joel Phillips

Dr. Joel Phillips is Professor of Composition and Music Theory at Westminster Choir College where he has taught since 1985. He is the 2009-2010 recipient of the Rider University Distinguished Teaching Award. Dr. Phillips's compositions have received a number of awards and his choral works are published by G. Schirmer, Inc., Transcontinental Music Publications, GIA, and Mark Foster Music (Shawnee Press). A member of the editorial review board of the Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy, he served for five years as Chief Faculty Consultant for the Advanced Placement Examination in Music Theory. The second edition of his two-volume textbook, The Musician’s Guide to Aural Skills, coauthored by Paul Murphy (SUNY–Fredonia), Elizabeth West Marvin (Eastman School of Music), and Jane Clendinning (Florida State University), is published by W. W. Norton and Company. Also coauthored with Marvin and Clendinning and published with W. W. Norton is Dr. Phillips’s textbook, The Musician’s Guide to Fundamentals, just released in its second edition. Dr. Phillips has been an invited speaker on conferences throughout the United States and in Canada and has appeared on more than 60 presentations and panels. He is a founding member and past president of the Music Theory Society of the Mid-Atlantic and is Editor of the Society for Music Theory’s Newsletter.

Cindy Threatt

Cindy Threatt has 19 years of professional experience promoting student development through her work with Residence Life and Student Affairs. Her employment with large and small, public and private institutions has prepared her well for her current role as the Associate Dean of Residential Programs at Rider University where she provides leadership for the offices of Community Standards and Residence Life including fraternity and sorority housing for the Lawrenceville and Princeton campuses. During her 13 years with Rider University, Ms. Threatt has had the opportunity to be involved with multiple projects including two residence hall construction committees, the strategic planning facilities task force and the Center for the Development of Leadership Skills Advisory Board. She is a member of the Enrollment Management Council, the Honorary Degree Committee and chair of the Student Affairs Assessment Committee. Prior to joining the Rider team, Ms. Threatt worked at the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Arizona. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Science in Counseling with a Higher Education concentration from West Chester University of Pennsylvania.

Nominations, inquiries and applications, including letter of interest and curriculum vitae, should be forwarded, in confidence, to: Steve Leo, Vice President; Vicki Henderson, Senior Associate; Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, LP 610.572.4296

Christine Zelenak, Director of the Office of the President and Executive Assistant to the President, will provide staff support to the search process. Individuals interested in contacting the Search Committee directly may do so by emailing