Multicultural Student Leadership Institute (MSLI)
Interested in being considered for MSLI?
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Who should participate?
This program welcomes entering freshmen of diverse backgrounds who are interested in having an impact at Rider. MSLI celebrates diversity of color; national and ethnic origins; age, gender or sexual orientation; religious beliefs; class; marital status; and disabilities.

Multicultural Student Leadership Institute (MSLI) of the Office of Multicultural Affairs provides an environment for discussing issues related to the transition of first year students from diverse backgrounds to Rider University, a predominately suburban private institution.

Through a series of open-ended seminars and meetings, future Rider student leaders receive guidance from, and interact with, Rider faculty, staff, and alumni. Issues discussed include college survival strategies, self-exploration, and cross-cultural communication. Each of these skills is essential for the development of effective student leaders.

Recognizing that leadership is a growth process, "The Institute" is structured to guide these future student leaders through three phases. Each phase represents a different stage of leadership learning.

Phase I: College Survival Strategies
During orientation to Rider University, which is called "MSLI Summer Bridge Week," new first year MSLI students are invited to participate in a series of guided discussions and are offered tours and tips on navigating the campus. Participants in these interactive workshops learn fundamentals of personal and organizational leadership, introspection, awareness and appreciation of others, team-building, goal-setting, and personal management.

Phase II: Self-Exploration
As our future student leaders master basic leadership and communication skills, they are encouraged to apply what they have learned by participating in campus-based leadership programs and organizations. First, MSLI students enroll in the Emerging Leaders Program which meets weekly throughout the semester. This is paralleled with bi-monthly (2x per month) meetings with the Director of Multicultural Affairs to discuss the concepts learned and how to apply them to real life experiences. Also, they are encouraged to submit applications to the Leadership Development Program (LDP) which will take them to another level of leadership if accepted. A personal branding retreat further supports leadership skills over a weekend. Other opportunities of leadership present themselves through residence hall government, service learning, Greek Life, cultural clubs and so forth. 

Phase III: Cross-Cultural Communication
Once students obtain fundamental and practical leadership experience, they will begin to explore concepts and theories of leadership, multiculturalism, and civic responsibility. As their awareness and understanding deepen, committed leaders will be encouraged to broaden their leadership experience by becoming involved as leaders both at Rider and in the community on a broader scale. We encourage our MSLI student alumni to become MSLI Peer Leaders to incoming MSLI cohorts in the fall semesters. They understand the needs of the students and can help direct them to pathways of engagement with others. These individuals assist in an advisory capacity and with organizing workshops and networking opportunities on campus. Our MSLI Peer Leaders oversee the freshman class of MSLI students and may assist with some administrative duties. 

Benefits of the MSLI Program

As an MSLI participant, you will:

  • Immediately start on a leadership track at Rider
  • Connect on Day One with MSLI Peer Leaders and networking opportunities
  • Take advantage of early move-in on campus
  • Engage in college empowerment skills and campus navigation strategies
  • Receive one-on-one personal development and self-exploration support
  • Participate in cross-cultural communication experiences

Expectations are important for all MSLI participants in committing themselves to participate in all of the MSLI programs and select cultural club events that take place during their first full semester; plus, the MSLI Recognition Dinner in January. 


MSLI 2014-2015 Commitment

  • Successfully complete MSLI Summer Bridge Program
    (Sunday, August 24 – Friday, August 29, 2014)

  • Participate in Emerging Leaders program
    (one hour per week during school semester)

  • Attend leadership seminars and enrichment activities

  • Grow through the MSLI Personal Development retreat
    (October 24-26, 2014)

  • Support select multicultural programs  


NOTE: Opportunities for Rider Alumni to mentor MSLI students occur during their second semester at Rider.


For Rider Alumni Seeking a Mentoring Opportunity

MSLI Mentoring Program seeks to foster leadership and career advancement by teaching skills and empowering Rider students at inflection points of their college careers through access to successful alumni who wish to create a legacy of support and promote a new generation of culturally diverse leaders. This program is open to Rider students who have successfully completed their first full semester in the MSLI program and have earned a Certificate of Recognition and MSLI lapel pin that they receive in person on Leadership Day in January of their second semester. For more information please contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs at 609-895-5781.