Rider University’s science departments inducted three successful alumni into the Science Stairway of Fame on June 12 during Reunion Weekend activities on the Lawrenceville campus. The 2010 honorees are Steve Bell ’80, and sisters Dr. Christina Fantauzzo ’86 and Dr. Diana Fantauzzo Montague ’91.
The Science Stairway of Fame, located in the research wing of the Science and Technology Center, honors individuals who were exemplary students and have achieved significant professional success in their chosen careers following graduation. The honorees are also loyal and generous supporters of Rider’s science programs.
As a scientist and an environmental biologist, Dr. Patricia Mosto, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Education, and Sciences told the audience that she has experienced the value of developing a relationship between a committed student and dedicated professor.
“The individual faculty mentoring that I understand each of you received is the hallmark of Rider University – taking each student as an individual and helping them to reach their full potential,” Mosto said.
The induction ceremony took place at an afternoon reception inside the Science and Technology Center and featured the unveiling of plaques for the honorees. Current and former faculty and staff members celebrated the achievements of the honored guests and their families.
While Bell was unable to attend the ceremony, Dr. Jonathan Husch, chair of the Geological, Environmental, & Marine Sciences department, recognized his achievements in the field of geology. Bell, who received his M.S. in Geology from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, has worked for a number of companies within the energy and production sector. Currently, as chief executive officer and chairman of Remora Energy, Bell leads the company’s management team. For more than 25 years, he has explored for energy resources on six continents, doing fieldwork from jungles to deserts and mountain ranges, conducting surveys and drilling campaigns, and bringing value to numerous countries and states in the process. His collaborations with colleagues have led to many new oilfields and trends throughout the world.
“I have had a fantastic career and a fascinating life, and so much of it was because of the excellent education provided to me by my professors at Rider,” Bell recently wrote. “I have always been grateful for all the wonderful opportunities that the geosciences and Rider have provided.”
Following Bell’s recognition, Dr. Anne Law, chair of the Psychology department, presented Dr. Christina Fantauzzo and Dr. Diana Fantauzzo Montague and their achievements in the field of psychology. The sisters of are two of eight siblings who have graduated from Rider. Their mother, Phyllis Fantauzzo, is the assistant director of the Center for Reading and Writing at Rider and senior reading clinician.
Dr. Christina Fantauzzo, who completed an M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Delaware, has conducted research on children’s emotion, knowledge, empathy and the development of shame. She has integrated her research and clinical training in a career as a specialist in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of a variety of conditions including ADHD, Asperger’s syndrome, and mood and anxiety disorders in children, adolescents and adults. Fantauzzo has been in private practice since 2000 and works with the Southampton Psychiatric Associates.
“I remember Dr. Deni telling me during orientation that if you study what you love, you’ll do well,” said Fantauzzo, referring to the late Dr. Richard Deni, professor of Psychology. “This is very humbling because I really just do what I love.”
Dr. Diana Fantauzzo Montague, who earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in Developmental and Social Psychology from Rutgers University, is an associate professor of Psychology and director of the Emotion Development Program at La Salle University. She is noted for groundbreaking research that revealed infants’ ability to discern the meaning of facial expressions at a very early age. She was awarded the 1999 American Psychological Association Dissertation Award and has held grants from the National Institute of Health and the National Science Foundation. While at Rider, Montague was involved in several undergraduate research studies including projects with Law and Deni.
Montague said the faculty and the experiential learning that took place while she was a student at Rider were instrumental in the path that she chose.
“My professors gave me the confidence and let me see that I could achieve,” she said. “The professors used integrated learning and one-to-one research. It’s what I do with my students at La Salle University.”