Thursday, October 24, 2013
The Liberal Arts Advisory Board (LAAB) may still be in its infancy—meeting once a semester for the last two years—but the 15-member alumni group is helping the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences to move into the future with enrollment, public relations and student development initiatives.
While co-chairs Sylvia Veitía ’88, ’90 and Linda Feinberg ’71 have been transitioning into their leadership roles, Dr. Jonathan Millen, associate dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has served as the de facto Board chair.
The two women have been “instrumental every step of the way in launching the LAAB initiatives,” Millen said. Veitía is head of Citibank Customer Experience, North American Division. Feinberg, an assignment judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Mercer Vicinage, retired in 2012 and is affiliated with the law firm of Szaferman, Lakind, Blumstein and Blader in Lawrenceville.
The Advisory Board is helping to recruit the best students and has hosted four Leadership Forums — broad-based conversations with students about Liberal Arts majors and job opportunities. They also personally meet with students to talk about what they’re passionate about in their studies, share options that await them in the workplace, and help them identify the right internships.
“I have guided Sociology majors and helped students identify their strengths and weaknesses,” said Veitía, who recalls Rider professors taking her under their wings when she was a student.
Feinberg, who joined the Advisory Board because she “got an excellent education at Rider,” speaks with groups of students about law school and the kinds of legal careers that are available. Because growing internships are also on the LAAB to-do list, she is committed to finding professionals and community leaders who can provide internship experiences and serve as mentors. Feinberg recalls Board members spending a day last spring with 10 students who were doing “amazing things in their internships” and getting the sense that they exciting opportunities ahead.
This fall, advisory board members have been invited to attend faculty lectures so they can meet and reconnect with professors. The next board initiative will be to examine skill sets that are in demand in today’s workplace and consider recommendations to the Dean and Associate Dean. “Ninety-nine percent of the Liberal Arts curriculum is on target,” said Veitía, “but if we can get ahead of the wave on this, our students will have added value in the marketplace.”
“(Dean) Patricia Mosto and Jonathan Millen have been wonderful leaders, inspiring and empowering us in areas where I never thought we would have an opportunity to make a difference,” Veitía added. “Kudos to them for trusting us to go down that path!”