Haines is the founder and current president of Rider’s first transfer student club, the Transfer Student Association, the alumni relations lead of the Gail Bierenbaum Women’s Leadership Council (former vice president), a member of the dean’s council for the College of Science, Technology and Math. Additionally, she works in the Office of Admissions as a tour guide. She is also a military-connected student.
Haines has gained real-world tech experience through internships, part-time roles and professional development opportunities with IBM and Lockheed Martin. She has also been awarded scholarships from Google and The Grace Hopper Foundation for professional development opportunities.
As a recipient of Rider’s Transfer Trustee Scholarship, upon transferring to Rider, Haines was one of three transfer students to earn this prestigious award that provides full tuition for two years of full-time study.
As a transfer student, Sam Haines worried that she would not be able to find a four-year university that would accept her previous credits and offer her opportunities to find a sense of belonging once she arrived. However, after connecting with Rider’s transfer admissions team, Haines soon realized that Rider was where she belonged. The team worked with Haines throughout the application process and was instrumental in encouraging her to apply for the Transfer Trustee Scholarship, which she was later awarded.
After arriving at Rider, Haines used her passion for technology and dedication to academic excellence to propel her path. Inside the classroom, she’s completed research alongside classmates and faculty and has been published for her findings in artificial intelligence. Her academic and research achievements have also contributed to her being awarded the MacMillan Scientific Research Fellowship, which provides funding to undergraduate students conducting research in science and technology.
Outside of the classroom, she’s gained stellar career experience through participation in internships, part-time roles and related professional development opportunities with tech giants such as IBM, Lockheed Martin, and Google, who awarded Haines a scholarship to attend the Great Minds in STEM conference in Pasadena, California. She notes that Rider’s career connection platform, Handshake, was instrumental in helping her find opportunities with IBM.
In addition to her rigorous academic schedule, Haines is a working student and continues to give back to Rider through leadership activities and involvement in various student clubs and organizations, including the Transfer Student Association, the Gail Bierenbaum Women's Leadership Council, and her service as a transfer student mentor.
The Transfer Trustee Scholarship allowed me to finish my education. When I first went to college, I had to drop out because my family and I could not afford it. After going to community college, I was nervous that I could not go any further due to finances. The Trustee Scholarship took away all of my fears, and allowed me to focus.”
The summer before her last semester at Rider, Haines completed an internship as a strategy communications consultant with IBM. After completing her studies in December 2023, she transitioned from a part-time role with Lockheed Martin to a full-time position with the company as an associate software engineer.
She credits Rider for helping her not only grow academically but for giving her the tools to become a leader. “I don't think my path would have been so successful if it wasn't for those I connected with at Rider,” says Haines. Her advice to fellow and future Rider Broncs is to take advantage of every available opportunity and resource, and not be afraid to make connections and ask questions along the way.