Rider University’s Center for the Development of Leadership Skills was recently recognized as one of the premier leadership development programs in the country by Leadership Excellence: The Magazine of Leadership Development, Managerial Effectiveness, and Organizational Productivity.

In its “2009 Best in Leadership Development,” Leadership Excellence focuses on top leadership programs at higher-education institutions, including the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Yale Leadership Institute, as well as programs at corporate, nonprofit, government and consulting organizations.

John Farrell, director of Center for the Development of Leadership Skills (CDLS) at Rider University, said the ranking illustrates the success of CDLS and its Leadership Development Program (LDP), a four-year program designed for undergraduate students.

“We are honored to be recognized with so many great universities, corporations and institutions. Our ranking affirms that our leadership vision, strategies and programs for our students are among the best.” Farrell said. “At Rider, our commitment to leadership excellence has never been stronger. We are excited about leveraging the successes of our traditional programs and introducing new programs to develop the leaders of the future – Rider students.”

Since 2004, CDLS has served as the leadership training and education resource for the entire University and its surrounding community. The Center, housed in the College of Business Administration, has hosted a number of programs designed for women in transition, aspiring executive leaders, student performers in the arts and athletics, as well as lecture series, leadership trips and career workshops.

“LDP combines academic learning with intensive skill training and supervised leadership experience through co-curricular activities, experiential learning, fieldwork, and community service,” said Dr. Donald Steven, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs. “This program has flourished under the leadership and guidance of College of Business Administration Dean Larry Newman, and it is wonderful to receive this special recognition for our unique approach to developing the whole person.”

Upon successful completion of LDP, students earn the Leadership Certificate.

Laura Seplaki, associate director of CDLS and director of the Leadership Development Program, said the Center has created more innovative programs, including Dinner with the Elite: Exploring New Jersey Politics, in order to meet the needs of undergraduate and graduate students and the community.

“We are committed to providing high-quality leadership opportunities to all sectors of the Rider community. We have greatly increased our efforts to collaborate with various departments and organizations on and off campus, as well as alumni,” Seplaki said. “We are really proud of our standing and we will continue to work on expanding our program offerings.”

Recently, the Center formally inducted 36 new members into LDP during an induction ceremony, which was held on Saturday, November 7, during the Lawrenceville campus’s Family Weekend. During the ceremony, Dr. Pat Mosto, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Sciences, and Education, gave the students a perspective on leadership by sharing her own experience as a leader.

“Leadership doesn’t just happen. You have to work hard at it,” said Mosto, adding that she learned how to be an effective leader through the example of others and self reflection. “I challenge you to look for mentors to be role models and for you to be role models to others. I encourage you to be honest, transparent and to share knowledge.”

This year’s LDP inductees include:

Vincent Abbatecola, a freshman English major
Stephanie Ahenkora, a sophomore Global Multinational Studies major
Kristin Anderson, a sophomore Behavioral Neuroscience
Brittany Blythe, a freshman Liberal Arts major
Charles Cartagena, a junior Political Science and Economics dual major
Helen Cheung, a junior Biology major
Shelby Deusenbery, a sophomore Psychology major
Kenycia Doyle, a freshman Actuarial Science and Finance dual major
Austin Fenerty, a freshman Actuarial Science and Finance dual major
Allison Fiasconaro, a sophomore English and Theater major
Brittany Gajewski, a freshman Secondary Education and History dual major
Cassandra Hendrick, a freshman Russian and Mathematics major
Danielle Hong, a freshman Biology major
Michael Husiak, a sophomore General Business major
Samantha Jaikaran, a junior Communication major
Janelle Jenkins, a freshman Liberal Arts major
Yolanda Leon, a freshman Business Administration major
Amanda Lerch, a sophomore Communication and Public Relations major
Michael Lindner, a sophomore General Business major
Juan Lorenzo, a freshman Psychology major
Vanessa Maldonado, a sophomore Biology major
Rishi Malik, a junior Finance major
Theresa Mattera, a freshman Accounting major
Noel Morgan, a sophomore French major
Stephanie Nemeth, a senior Behavioral Neuroscience and Psychology major
Joanna Papadopoulos, a freshman Liberal Arts major
Nicole Randazzo, a sophomore Marketing major
Sabrina Santana, a freshman Sociology major
Sarah Sell, a freshman Elementary Education and Mathematics dual major
Aleyiah Skelton, a freshman Dance and Social Work major
Monica Stachowski, a freshman Marketing major
Caitlin Steele, a freshman Elementary Education and Psychology dual major
Michael Suserman, a freshman Accounting major
Briana Wallace, a freshman International Business major
Haley Wilson, a freshman Elementary Education and History dual major
Shane Young, a freshman Business Administration major