The Proof is In Our People
Why Rance Chose Rider
After serving six years with the U.S. Army Reserves in Iraq following 9/11, Rance enrolled at Rider University — his college education costs covered through the Army’s Vocation Rehabilitation program. " I planned to teach and was impressed with the reputation of Rider's School of Education in my local school district," Rance said. "The campus was excellent. The people were friendly."
Rider's Impact on Rance's Career
Rance credits much of his success to Rider’s Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office. As a student with dyslexia, he worked closely with Shirley Mersky in the SSD. “She helped me obtain audio books for classes and helped teach me how to prepare for tests,” Rance said. "I knew I made the right choice based on the support and services I received from the people in that office. I will forever be appreciative."
The English Department also supported him in starting up a literary journal and applying for prestigious summer programs. Rance graduated magna cum laude from Rider and is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Fiction Writing at Queens College.
Rance says his experiences in student government and public speaking at Rider prepared him well for his current position as a public affairs officer for the U.S. National Park Service, part of the U.S. Department of the Interior. "It's fast-paced and exciting. One minute The New York Times can be calling you for a quote; the next minute you might be taking a call from a senator. Rider helped prepare me for this role," Rance said.
Rance founded and became editor-in-chief of On Fire!! A Literary Journal of the African Diaspora. It remains a vibrant and visible reminder of his talent and influence on campus. "I'm grateful to have been given the chance to provide a new campus voice," said Rance of the compilation of poetry, narratives and fiction that details the African-American experience through the authors, mainly Rider students.
In 2011, Rance debuted his play, A Damn Fool, a drama he originally wrote as a short, one-act assignment for a class with Rebecca Basham, assistant professor of English, at Rider.
Rance was Rider’s 2010 Student Government Senator of the Year.
Prestigious Summer Programs
With the support and guidance of Rider’s English department, Rance attended the Playwriting Intensive "drama boot camp" at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and the Summer Institute for Literary and Cultural Studies at Wheaton College in Massachusetts.