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Meet Your Orientation Staff

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Ira Mayo

Ira Mayo

Associate Dean of Freshmen

Hello and welcome to Rider. We have a great two-day program planned for you that we know you will find informative, educational and fun. Orientation is a time to meet other new students and to get all of your remaining questions answered. I look forward to meeting all of you this summer.


Derek Astwood

Derek Astwood

Hometown: Elizabeth, NJ
Class Year: Senior
Major: Film
Campus Involvement: OIT Help Desk Assistant, Rider Division 1 Men's Soccer  Manager, President of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity, Milestone Scholar, Orientation Leader

Welcome Message: Congratulations on taking the next step and going to college and congratulations on becoming a Bronc. Rider has a really diverse, vibrant and beautiful community that has so much to offer. With that being said, be as open minded as possible it'll help make your orientation and college experience so much better. I hope you're all as excited about orientation as I am. I can't wait to meet you all! 


Jenna Dean

Jenna Dean

Hometown: Washington Township, NJ
Class Year: Senior
Major: Elementary Education and Multidisciplinary Studies with an English concentration
Minor: Special Education and English as a second language certificate 
Campus Involvement: Tour Guide, Study Abroad Ambassador, Baccalaureate Honors Program Ambassador, Student Education Association member, Council for Exceptional Children member, Unified Sports Treasurer, Kappa Delta Pi, Alpha Lambda Delta, Relay for Life Decorations Committee, Rider International Student Association 

Welcome Message: Welcome new Broncs! I cannot wait to meet you all and make orientation a great kick start to your time at Rider. We are so excited for everything we have planned to introduce you all to the Rider community! :) 


Stephanie Egbujonuma

Stephanie Egbujonuma

Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland
Class Year: 
Major: Behavioral Neuroscience
Campus Involvement: Multi-Cultural Student Leadership Institute (MSLI), Pre-Health Society, Science learning community (SLC). 

Welcome Message: Welcome to all of the newest Broncs! I am so glad that you have chosen Rider to be your newest home. I cannot wait for you all to create new experiences and fully immerse yourself into the Rider community and all that we have to offer. I am so excited to meet all of you! 


Lauren Farley

Lauren Farley

Hometown: Staten Island, New York
Class Year: Junior
Major: Health Science
Campus Involvement: Sister of Zeta Tau Alpha, Comedy Chair for the Student Entertainment Council, Student Worker. 

Welcome Message: Welcome to Rider! I know we are living in uncertain times but that will make your transition to campus that much better. I encourage you to take every opportunity you have during virtual orientation to really put yourself out there. Rider is a safe environment where I have made so many memories and grown so much into who I am today. I am so excited you can have the same experience. I know you will love it as much as I do. Starting now, jump into your experience. Get involved! Ask questions! Make friends!! We’re here for you, we are so excited to meet you, and we will see you soon.


Austin Ferguson

Austin Ferguson

Hometown: Piscataway, New Jersey
Class Year: Senior
Major: Sports Media
Minor: Political Science and American Studies
Campus Involvement: President at Alpha Phi Omega, Broncvision, Managing Editor at The Rider News.

Welcome Message: Welcome and congratulations to all the new students coming to Rider! Can’t wait for you to see all of the exciting things our campus has to offer!


Bobby Kakolesk

Bobby Kakoleski

Hometown: Aberdeen, NJ
Class Year: Senior 
Major: History
Campus Involvement: President of Rider University Greek Council, Marshal for Theta Chi Fraternity

Welcome Message: Welcome to Rider!! I am thrilled to be one of many people to guide you in your transition to college life. Orientation is a time for you and your families to familiarize yourself with the opportunities and resources available to you, as well as making some new friends! Be open to changes and take advantage of opportunities that come your way; Rider has so much to offer for everyone! I can’t wait to meet everyone and I hope everyone is enjoying the summer! #GoBroncs


Madeline Kunkowski

Madeline Kunkowski

Hometown: York, Pennsylvania
Class Year: Senior
Major: Musical Theatre with a minor in Communication Studies
Campus Involvement: Assistant Choreographer for ‘Til Further Notes, Rider Dance Ensemble, The Broncway, Me Too Monologues, Tour Guide

Welcome Message: Congratulations new Broncs! I am so excited to be one of the first people to welcome you to Rider. Through orientation, you will learn a lot about the Rider community and meet other incoming students! You are about to embark on an amazing new adventure and make memories that will last you a lifetime. I can’t wait to meet you all!


Jack Neiswenter

Jack Neiswenter

Hometown: Westfield, New Jersey
Class Year: Junior
Major: Business Analytics and Management 
Campus Involvement: Brother of Theta Chi, Alpha Lambda Delta, Philosophy Honors Society, Freshman Seminar Peer Mentor

Welcome Message: Welcome to Rider University! I'm excited to meet you all and give your first Rider experience. There are limitless opportunities that you can have here. I hope you open up and enjoy your Orientation, it will help make your time at Rider fun.


Liz O'Hara

Liz O’Hara

Hometown: Harleysville, PA
Class Year: Junior
Major: Computer Science and Graphic Design
Minor: Mathematics
Campus Involvement: Student Government Association Vice President for University Affairs, Unified Sports President, Omicron Delta Kappa Cord Requirements Chair, Tour Guide, Bronc for a Day Coordinator, Leadership Development Program, Club Ice Hockey Graphic Designer

Welcome Message: Congratulations and welcome to Rider! I am so excited to be a resource for you as you transition to college. Your time at Rider will be filled with personal growth and transformation. Make sure to take every opportunity, ask a lot of questions, meet new people and be open minded to new experiences. You never know where your journey will lead you. I can’t wait to meet you!


Kelly Phillips

Kelly Phillips

Hometown: Gloucester Township, NJ
Class Year: Junior
Major: Film, TV, and Radio with a concentration in TV
Minor: Event Planning and Production
Campus Involvement: President of the Rider University Network (RUN100), Class of 2022 Secretary, Director of Hall Relations for the Residence Hall Association (RHA), Tour Guide, Host and Producer of Rider Sports Report, and Bronc for a Day Ambassador.

Welcome Message: Welcome to Rider! I am so excited to be a part of your transition experience. Orientation is a time for you to meet amazing people who will become a part of your Rider family throughout your time here. Be open, put yourself out there, and take every opportunity that comes your way. I know this is a crazy time in your life but just remember that we are all here for you. I can’t wait to meet you all! Go Broncs!


Matt Pozzuolo

Matt Pozzuolo

Hometown: Feasterville, Pennsylvania
Class Year: Junior
Major: Secondary English Education with a concentration in Literature and Theatre Studies
Campus Involvement: Tour Guide, Shadowed at the Writing Center, multicultural studies, Intern at Fisher Middle School through the Education department

Welcome Message: Congratulations new Broncs! I am so excited to welcome you all to Rider and show you the incredible community of students and faculty that we have to offer here. Coming to Rider was the best decision of my life and I know you all will love your time at Rider as much as I have so far. Make sure to get involved, make friends, but most of all be yourself because that’s what makes you special! Welcome to Rider!


Sami Wheeler

Sami Wheeler

Hometown: Frenchtown, NJ
Class Year: Senior
Major: Secondary Education & Mathematics
Campus Involvement: Sister of Zeta Tau Alpha where I serve on the executive board as Historian, Member and social media chair for math club, member of student education association, freshman seminar peer mentor, STEM Scholar, GLASS Mentor, Career development services office worker, tutor for the academic success center, alpha lambda delta honor society, kappa delta pi honor society, omicron delta kappa honor society, order of omega honor society.

Welcome Message: Congratulations class of 2024! I am so excited to be a part of your transition from high school to college and to be one of the first students that gets to welcome you to our campus! Rider has given me so much throughout the years and I cannot wait to show you all of the amazing opportunities that will come your way as a student here. I can’t wait to meet you all!