Three students honored with 2020 President's Award

Paige Ewing, Charles Palmer and Kathryn Smith recognized for successful collegiate careers

Three seniors — Paige Ewing, Charles Palmer and Kathryn Smith — were honored with the President's Award for their exemplary academic and extracurricular achievements as well as their service to Rider.

The highly competitive selection process for the awards was led by Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Cindy Threatt and supported by faculty and staff who comprise the search committee.

Ewing was recognized for her outstanding leadership, volunteerism and loyalty to her fellow Broncs. She is the Student Government Association (SGA) president and has held the roles of SGA vice president of communications and spirits and traditions senator.

"Paige has been an outstanding contributor to the SGA for four years," Threatt says. "This is a distinct characteristic of Paige’s approach to involvement. Once she makes a connection with a community she becomes a long-standing and loyal member of that community."

Ewing says her time at Rider has encouraged her to step outside her comfort zone and grow in ways she hadn't anticipated.

"I have had more opportunities than I could have ever imagined," Ewing says. "Because of the experiences I have had and the leadership roles I have stepped into, no one would ever guess I was a shy introvert at heart. Every part of this community has influenced me and my growth and I know if high school Paige saw me, she would be floored."

A filmmaking, TV and radio major, Ewing holds a 3.9 GPA, has been named to the Dean's list every semester and is a three-time Andrew J. Rider Scholar, a recognition that acknowledges the top 1% of sophomores, juniors and seniors. She is also a member of a number of committees.

Ewing is the recipient of the Provost Scholarship, the Leadership Award Scholarship, the SGA Award Scholarship and the Paul J. Lang ’68 Endowed Scholarship. She is also a volunteer for a number of organizations, including the Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue Group and the Global Reef Project, where Ewing scuba dives and collects data for an international database on coral reef health.

Palmer was recognized for his wide-ranging leadership roles and devotion to legal causes and his community.

"As you look at the experiences reflected on Charles’ Rider resume, you see his personal commitment to inclusion, academics, leadership and so much more," says Threatt.

A political science major, Palmer was selected for the competitive Washington Semester Program at American University, where he gained immeasurable experience interning in the nation's capital and meeting a host of political powerhouses. He was selected for the program's Outstanding Leadership Award and Leadership Scholar Award for his contributions inside and outside of the classroom.

Palmer has held a number of other leadership roles; currently, he is the SGA senior class president, a community assistant for the Office of Residence Life, a brother of Sigma Phi Epsilon, a tour guide and a member of the Leadership Development Program. He is a member of a number of honors societies and holds a 3.67 GPA.

"I will never be able to express my sincere gratitude for having the ability to build upon my leadership abilities at Rider," he says. "This school has given me mentors that I will stay in contact with far after graduation. Rider has prepared me for what's to come next and I will only get there by remaining passionate about causes I care so deeply about."

Palmer has a passion for legal causes that contribute to creating a better future for adults, children and animals. His natural affinity for volunteerism has made him an active member of his communities. He volunteers at his local church during Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, providing meals and presents for families and frequently gives of his time on campus. He has served on the Community Standards Board, Traffic Appeals committee and participates in open houses and Admitted Students Days.

Kathryn Smith was honored for her dedicated leadership and devotion to the Westminster Choir College community.

"Kate has made tremendous contributions to the Westminster community throughout her time here," says Assciate Dean of Students for Westminster Choir College Chris Botti. "Her impact on the Westminster and Rider communities will be felt for years to come, and these communities are better due to her work."

A music major, Smith is the SGA president for Westminster Choir College. In this role, she has helped ensure student voices are at the forefront of the transition process as Rider's Princeton campus moves to Lawrenceville this fall. Giving back to her community is central to Smith's experience as a student. She has served as an orientation leader, a counselor for Westminster's Vocal Institute, an admissions ambassador, a pit musician and has organized numerous performances.

"Westminster has given me the opportunities to learn and grow more than ever before," Smith says. "I was only afforded these opportunities because I have felt comfortable and loved at this school, and I was able to step out of my comfort zone to bring my best me."

Smith holds a 3.69 GPA and is a member of Westminster Players, Sigma Alpha Iota, Noted and Williamson Voices. She is also the recipient of the Provost Scholarship, the Leadership Award Scholarship and the SGA Award Scholarship.