During her time at Rider, Guilbot exemplified a commitment to diversity and inclusion through campus involvement and service participation. Guilbot served as the chief of staff in Rider’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion (2020-21). Additionally, she was a member and ambassador of the Multicultural Student Leadership Institute (MSLI), an organizer for the MSLI Partners Assisting Learning for Students (MSLI PALS), a member of the Exploratory Committee for the Chief Diversity Officer and a member of the Vice President for Student Affairs Student Advisory Board. She also participated in the Latino Action Network Foundation Youth Group, Latinos in College and served as a HISPA (Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement) Role Model.
She is the founder and former president of Rider Latinas Unidas (RLU) a campus group dedicated to creating a community for Latinx students and allies.
Guilbot was a member of the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, Sigma Delta Pi and Psi Chi, The International Honor Society of Psychology.
Guilbot completed internships with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Mercer and Good Grief. Both organizations, based in New Jersey, are dedicated to providing mental health resources to the local community through advocacy, education and support programs.
Guilbot’s Rider experiences helped to connect her passion with purpose.
As a psychology major, Maureen Guilbot came to Rider with a desire to help others. However, through coursework and campus involvement, she was able to increase her capacity for compassion and identify her niche.
“Working for Rider’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion, I began to see how much I loved giving back to my community. I saw a need for bilingual counseling and for culturally sensitive therapy. In my classes, I began to research more about the different help-seeking behaviors of Latinx women, because I wanted to increase my awareness of what the counseling and mental health experience looked like for Latina women like me.”
Founding a community to cultivate empowerment among Latinx students
“I created Rider Latinas Unidas (RLU) to be able to form a closer community for Latinx students at Rider. I saw how creating a space for students to be able to get close to one another and learn about our culture was empowering.”
Through academic, social and collaborative events, RLU connects the University’s Latinx community and allies to discover what it means to be Latinx and a Latina woman at Rider.
Continuing her work as a mental health advocate for minorities
“In my experience as the former chief of staff in the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, I saw how vital it is for underrepresented and marginalized communities to be represented in fields such as psychology. I was able to appreciate how safe spaces on campus helped students open up and discuss with one another.”
Her work in the Center for Diversity and Inclusion also led her to become a NASPA Certified Peer Educator. NASPA is a nationally recognized organization for student affairs professionals.
“At the time I received certification, I was also starting RLU and I wanted to learn more about how to be an effective mentor. The skills I learned as a NASPA Certified Peer Educator equipped me to mentor a team.”
What I’ve learned at Rider helped me grow not only academically, but also personally. I became more empowered in my Latina identity because of the lessons I learned.”
Extending her learning beyond the classroom through real-world experiences
Guilbot put her knowledge to practice in two internships that allowed her to continue her mission to support those dealing with emotional and psychological trauma. As an intern with NAMI, an organization in Trenton, New Jersey, that serves underrepresented communities, she worked outreach events and conducted interviews to provide education about mental health. She later interned with Good Grief in Princeton, New Jersey, which works to help grieving children and their families. While there, she strengthened her knowledge through completing a 36-hour facilitator training and facilitating peer support groups.
Guilbot notes that Rider faculty and staff were instrumental in helping her to secure both opportunities.
“I utilized Rider's Career Services to help draft my cover letter and smooth out my resume. Additionally, my experience in the Center for Diversity and Inclusion’s transitional program, MSLI (Multicultural Student Leadership Institute), provided me with the skills and knowledge to come prepared for the interview. In MSLI, we went over how to write professional emails, dress professionally and answer tough interview questions.”
Support along the way
“One of the most valuable lessons I learned while at Rider was to find your support system. Community is incredibly important while at college. There are going to be times when you are unsure of what you are doing, and having the community there to help support you and let you know you can do it helps. A community can look like a group of friends, a club, or professors/faculty you feel you can talk to.”
Guilbot credits psychology faculty Jennifer King, Cynthia Martinez, assistant professor of Spanish and Latinx studies and Pamela Pruitt, executive director, Center for Diversity and Inclusion for being instrumental in her success at Rider, “They empowered me to believe in myself and pushed me to fly high.”
How she’ll use her Rider education to propel herself and others forward
This fall Guilbot will attend Columbia University’s Teachers College to pursue a master’s degree in counseling psychology with a concentration in bilingual Latina/o mental health. She also plans to continue working with mental health organizations in the future.
“My ultimate career goal is to be able to provide bilingual counseling in English and Spanish to those that are experiencing depression or anxiety. I plan to tie in my experience with being in a counselor role-play with the knowledge I learned in class about my identity to be able to provide culturally sensitive therapy.”
Center for Diversity and Inclusion
Rider’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion educates and expands awareness across the entire Rider community on issues of equity and inclusion. The Center provides a safe space for students from diverse cultures and identities to gather and is a prominent hub for Rider’s 25+ identity-based student organizations.