News: Campus

News and happenings around the Lawrenceville and Princeton campuses

Greek expansion

Three Greek re-colonization efforts have been taking place this year. With the addition of Theta Chi (pictured, left, during Reunions in June), Phi Beta Sigma and the Alpha Beta colony of Chi Upsilon Sigma, a total of 14 Greek organizations are now represented at Rider. A Theta Chi Endowed Scholarship was recently created to establish a strong foundation of support for new members. Learn more at

Mr. Speaker

More than 1,100 people turned out on March 23 to see former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich appear at Rider to discuss “The Virtues of Free Markets.” The event, presented by the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics, was part of the University’s Hennessy Family Lecture on Capitalism series, which was inaugurated last year with an appearance by author, speaker and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza

Tassels turned in Trenton

Rider awarded degrees to the Class of 2017 during two Commencement ceremonies on May 12 at the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton, N.J. The events marked the first year in recent history that Rider’s Lawrenceville Commencement was held off-campus. Joseph J. Plumeri and Rochelle R. Hendricks each received honorary doctorates of laws.

Big numbers

The 2017 fiscal year was one of the best for the Annual Fund. $1.7 million was raised — the most in more than two decades. The Annual Fund supports student scholarships, study abroad programs, student-faculty research projects, multicultural programming, career services initiatives, campus improvements and much more.

College of Education and Human Services

Top of the class
Alexis Esposito ’17  was honored as Business Education Student Teacher of the Year by the New Jersey Business/Technology Education Association (NJBTEA) at a state Department of Education ceremony on May 17. The NJBTEA Student Awards recognize students for their outstanding contributions to business/technology education and business teacher education programs in New Jersey.

New name, new era
In March, the School of Education was renamed the College of Education and Human Resources. The name change recognizes the strength and reputation of all of the programs in the School of Education, including the success of programs in human services, and the addition of Rider’s first doctorate in its 152-year history.

Doctors are in
In the spring, Rider announced a new Doctor of Education in educational leadership, the first post-master’s degree in the University’s history. The hybrid program, which began matriculating students in July, is designed to be completed in three years and includes coursework both on campus and online and two summer residencies.

College of Continuing Studies

Empowering women
College of Continuing Studies students and alumni shared passionate and empowering words at the eighth annual Charlotte W. Newcombe Scholarship Reception on Feb. 8. The Newcombe Foundation offers scholarship aid to women over 25 who have completed at least half of a bachelor’s degree. At the event, the new $100,000 Dr. Katherine E. Mortimer-Charlotte W. Newcombe Endowed Scholarship was announced. 

Changing direction
Asia Panzino, a psychology major who will graduate in December, dropped out of high school in 1998. Nearly 20 years later, the single mother has secured 10 scholarships to support her college career. On April 6, she spoke alongside Dr. Mary Morse, professor of English, at a scholarship writing workshop as part of the Present Yourself series.

Summer school
This summer, Rider welcomed high school students with a pre-college experience through the BRONCast Sports Media Camp, Contemporary Vocal Institute and the Musical Theatre Institute. Special guests such as Philadelphia Eagles radio announcer Merrill Reese, casting director Michelle McNulty and composer Larry O’Keefe shared their experiences and advice.

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

A model win
This year’s Model United Nations team exceeded high expectations by becoming the most successful in Rider history. Advised by Dr. Barbara Franz of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), the team won the Outstanding Delegation Award (the highest award conferred) as well as four position papers and two Outstanding Delegate Awards. This year marked half a century of Model UN competitions for Rider, and the team was made up of a majority of students who had never participated in the competition.

Summer studies
In the spring, a record number of CLAS students were selected for competitive Research Experiences for Undergraduate opportunities, funded by the National Science Foundation. This summer, students studied volcanism at the University of Hawaii, neuroscience at Vanderbilt University and astrobiology at the California Institute of Technology/Jet Propulsion Laboratories, among many others.

Health care revolution
Three distinguished CLAS alumni discussed the revolutionary changes happening in health care during “The Future is Now,” a speaker series event presented by Rider’s new Health Studies Institute in April. Charles Bell ’75 is the chief medical officer of Parallon Technology Solutions; Eli Mordechai ’90 is the chief executive officer of Genesis Biotechnology Group; and Christy Stephenson ’87 is the former president and CEO of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

College of Business Administration

Six Sigma
Adopters of the business philosophy Six Sigma, such as General Electric, Motorola and Honeywell, have cited it as the reason for saving billions of dollars. In the spring 2017 semester, representatives from Robert Wood Johnson Hospital conducted Rider’s first-ever seminar on Six Sigma, resulting in yellow-belt certification for 18 Rider students. 

Health care evolution
By the time students enter the workforce, they will likely work in hospitals far different from those of today. That was one of the messages delivered to students by Princeton HealthCare System President and CEO Barry Rabner, who taught a special topics course at Rider during the spring semester.

New dean
After serving as interim dean since 2016, Cynthia M. Newman, Ph.D., began her appointment as the dean of the College of Business Administration (CBA) on June 1. She joined Rider in 1992 as an adjunct professor. As interim dean, she successfully led CBA’s comprehensive reaffirmation of accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) in the areas of both business and accounting and helped design three accelerated degree programs and launch the online MBA program.

School of Fine and Performing Arts

Class Act
The School of Fine and Performing Arts (SFPA) enrolled its largest ever freshman class for this academic year, exceeding last year’s class by 20 percent.

Under African skies 
Deceived by Silence, the latest play by Dr. Ivan Fuller, SFPA associate dean, was presented by Rwandan actors at the annual Ubumuntu Arts Festival in Kigali, Rwanda, in July. The one-act play follows a young American teacher who travels to Rwanda 15 years after the country’s genocide in an attempt to chase away her demons.

Holiday kicks
Recent musical theatre alumna Kelliann DeCarlo ’13 will make her Radio City Music Hall debut as one of four featured singers in the world renowned Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring The Rockettes. The show opens on Nov. 10 and runs through Jan. 1, 2018. 

Westminster Choir College

Choral ambassadors
In July, the Westminster Choir and conductor Joe Miller represented the U.S. at the World Symposium on Choral Music in Barcelona. The Choir also presented concerts in Madrid. Its final concert, presented at the historic Abbey of Montserrat, was webcast worldwide.

Familiar face in new role
Dr. Marshall Onofrio was named dean of Westminster College of the Arts (WCA) in June. Onofrio had served as the associate dean for administration at WCA since 2009 and associate dean of Westminster Choir College since 2006. Having worked in higher education for 35 years, Onofrio brings with him experience as a professional musician, teacher and administrator.

Met winner
Kyle Van Schoonhoven ’13 was a Grand Prize Winner of the Metropolitan Opera Council’s National Auditions, the nation’s most prestigious opera competition. He’s a first-year Adler Fellow with the San Francisco Opera, and he will make his San Francisco debut in the fall in Strauss’ Elektra as Young Servant.

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