Dear alumni and friends,
During this time, I’ve taken comfort in the fact that so many of us continue to be engaged in meaningful work. The pandemic has served as a monumental challenge, one that I pray will only happen once in a generation. While we look forward to its end, no one at Rider is standing by in the meantime. In fact, the pandemic has made our mission feel as vital as ever, and I’m very proud to see how integrated the work of our institution and our community is with some of the most urgent challenges we face today. This special issue of Rider magazine reveals those connections.
We see Rider’s mission reflected in the work of our alumni. Perhaps most notably, New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith M. Persichilli '80 shares insights into how she has helped to lead the state’s response to the pandemic, including promoting statewide public education and best practice.
We see Rider’s mission reflected in the work of our faculty experts. As a result of living with the coronavirus over these long months, some of the knowledge bandied about in our classrooms has risen out of abstraction and surfaced directly into our lives. Dr. Tan Miller examines the resiliency of supply chains, which as we know, came into question as shortages of hand sanitizer and toilet paper spiked last spring. Dr. James Riggs explains the scientific underpinning of the coronavirus, including the inner workings of viruses, which might alleviate some of the rampant misunderstandings regarding COVID-19.
We see Rider’s mission reflected in the work to achieve racial justice. Our community has been focused on realizing the commitments outlined in our Inclusive Excellence Plan and promoting equity and inclusion in all aspects of our campus. For example, Dr. Sarah Trocchio illuminates the connection between drug policy and racial equity, the subject of a sociology course she taught this fall.
It is only natural to look forward to the future with high hopes for a better time, one with fewer challenges and more wide-open opportunities. The work we are engaged in presently will help us arrive there in a stronger position. Now is not the time to stand by. Now is not the time to simply wait. Our work, always unfinished, must continue to move us forward.
Gregory G. Dell’Omo, Ph.D.
President, Rider University