Multicultural Student Leadership Institute (MSLI)
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Who should participate?
MSLI: Incoming FRESHMEN students from diverse backgrounds*
For Fall 2015

MSLI-T: Incoming TRANSFER students from diverse backgrounds*
For Spring 2015 

*Both the MSLI and MSLI-T programs welcome students from diverse backgrounds, including ethnicity, national and ethnic origins, age, gender, religious beliefs, socio-economic class, marital status, and disabilities except for those enrolled in the Bonner and RAP Programs.

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 and incoming transfer 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

MSLI: incoming FRESHMEN students
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.

MSLI-T: Incoming TRANSFER students
During the two Orientation days at Rider University, incoming MSLI-T students are invited to participate in workshops to learn the fundamentals of personal and organizational leadership, career pathways, awareness and appreciation of others, networking opportunities on campus, studying abroad, and cross-cultural communication. 

Phase II: Self-Exploration

MSLI: Incoming FRESHMEN students
As our first year MSLI students 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 other opportunities. 

MSLI-T: Incoming TRANSFER students
As our incoming MSLI-T students master intermediate and advanced leadership and communication skills, they are encouraged to apply what they have learned by participating in campus-based leadership programs and organizations through residence hall government, service learning, Greek Life, cultural clubs and other opportunities. Meetings are scheduled with the Director of Multicultural Affairs to discuss concepts learned and how to apply them to real life experiences.

Phase III: Cross-Cultural Communication

MSLI: Incoming FRESHMEN students
Once first year MSLI 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. 

MSLI-T: Incoming TRANSFER students
As their awareness and understanding deepen, committed MSLI-T students 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-T student alumni to become MSLI-T Peer Leaders to incoming MSLI-T cohorts. 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-T Peer Leaders oversee the incoming class of transfer students and may assist with some administrative duties.

Benefits of the MSLI Program

As an MSLI participant, you will:

  • Connect to leadership, networking and career development opportunities.
  • 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.
  • Take advantage of early move-in on campus (if applicable).

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; and, the MSLI Recognition Dinner. 

MSLI 2014-2015 Commitment

  • Successfully complete MSLI Summer Bridge Program (incoming freshmen only) or Orientation Program (transfer students only)
  • Participate in Emerging Leaders program (incoming freshmen only)
  • Attend leadership seminars and enrichment activities
  • Support select multicultural programs  

NOTE: Opportunities for MSLI students to receive mentoring from Rider alumni, faculty and staff occur during their second semester at Rider.

For Rider Alumni, Faculty and Staff 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 Rider alumni, faculty and staff 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 at the MSLI Recognition Dinner. For more information visit the MSLI Mentoring Program website or contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs at 609-895-5781.