Each year, the President’s Award is given by Rider to one Westminster Choir College and two Lawrenceville campus seniors, who have demonstrated an exemplary record of academic performance, extracurricular achievement, and service to the University. The highly competitive selection process is lead by the dean of students and supported by faculty and staff who comprise the search committee.
During the annual University Awards Banquet on April 28, President Mordechai Rozanski presented the prestigious award to Loni Chasar ’12, an Elementary Education and Psychology dual major, and Brian Williams ’12, an Accounting and Finance dual major. They joined Heather Jones ’12, a Music Education major, who was first presented her award in April at the Spring Convocation on the Princeton campus. All three recipients have maintained a 3.5 grade point average or above, and been named to the Dean’s List and Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. Their leadership and service to others have made a direct impact on the University and the surrounding community.
The highly motivated Chasar has built an impressive portfolio of academic honors and leadership achievement. Achieving a cumulative 3.5 GPA, she has been inducted into the Kappa Delta Pi International Educational Honor Society and Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology.
Chasar has served as a summer orientation leader, an Admissions tour guide and senior admissions representative. An avid men’s basketball fan, she has worked as an assistant in the team office since her freshman year. Since 2008, she has a volunteered more than 1,300 service hours in the surrounding community as a Rider Bonner Community Scholar and devoted her time to a variety of causes, including mentoring for young people with cognitive disabilities and autism. Last fall, Chasar was crowned Cranberry Queen in recognition of her school spirit, leadership, academic success and significant contributions to the community.
“I feel so honored and ecstatic to receive the President’s Award since Rider will always be a part of my life,” she said. “It was not easy to accomplish everything I did in four years, but I am proud of myself because I know I will be successful in future endeavors thanks to the way Rider prepared me for my future as an even better person, educator, and leader.”
Upon graduation, Chasar plans to teach full-time, pursue a dual master’s degree in special education and speech pathology, and eventually, earn a doctorate in education.
Meanwhile, Brian Williams has achieved a cumulative 3.5 GPA and successfully completed the Business Honors and Leadership Development programs. He has been named to the Dean’s list and Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, and earned the distinction of being one of the 120 students selected nationwide as a Sigma Phi Epsilon Ruck Scholar and leadership institute participant.
As president of the Student Government Association this year, Williams led the SGA in its collaboration with Student Affairs and Facilities in the planning of this summer’s dining hall renovations and led an audit of Rider’s 140 student clubs and organizations. Among his other activities, he also served as a freshman seminar peer mentor, a summer orientation leader, admissions tour guide, president and captain of club lacrosse, president for Recruitment for Sigma Phi Epsilon, scholarships and education chair for the Greek Council, and comedy chair for the Student Entertainment Council. Off campus, Brian mentored students at P.J. Hill Elementary School in Trenton and coached youngsters as part of the Trenton BRIDGE Lacrosse Program.
Williams plans to complete the CPA exam this summer before starting work this fall at Deloitte & Touche, where he was offered a full-time job following his internship there last year.
“Winning the award was the capstone of my college experience. Being able to reflect on everything we accomplished at Rider is something I will never forget,” said Williams, who also received the Center for the Development of Leadership Skills Leadership Legacy Award.
Among Heather Jones’ impressive achievements are a 3.96 GPA, participation in Rider’s Baccalaureate Honors Program and a seven-time membership on the Dean’s List. An Andrew J. Rider scholar, she has been named to Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges and has received the Presidential Scholarship each year since 2008. Just this spring, Heather was chosen by faculty to participate in the prestigious Charlene Archibeque Undergraduate Conducting Master class.
Her service to the University community has included social activities chair and student chair of the Academic Planning Committee, member of Sigma Alpha Iota, member of the Westminster Opera Theater and Music Theater production staff and a Westminster Eco-Rep. She has also worked for Rider’s Office of Admission and as a Study Tours counselor. Off campus, Jones serves as director of the Laudate Children’s Music Education program at Princeton Presbyterian Church and alto section leader for the Community Congregation Church, and volunteers with the McCarter Education Department Music Theater program.
Upon graduation, Jones will serve as the director of Children’s Choirs at Community Congregational Church in Short Hills, N.J. She plans to continue her voice lessons and musical study, and pursue graduate school to study voice or conducting. Jones first learned about receiving the President’s Award during Westminster’s spring convocation. Much to Jones’ surprise, her parents came all the way from South Carolina to attend the ceremony.
“I have genuinely enjoyed the activities and jobs I’ve held on campus, but being recognized for them in such a touching way has been the icing on the cake,” Jones said. “I’m extremely thankful for Westminster and Rider faculty and administration for the nomination, for those in the Associate Dean of Students’ office who got my parents here without me knowing, for my family, and for my four years here.”