News: Campus

News and happenings around the Lawrenceville and Princeton campuses

Meet AJ

Rider’s mascot was officially named AJ in honor of Rider’s namesake, Andrew J. Rider, in the fall of 2016. Students, faculty, staff and alumni were asked to submit suggestions and then vote on the top five names to determine the winner.

Perils of polling

MSNBC host and political correspondent Steve Kornacki visited Rider on Dec. 1, 2016, to discuss the 2016 presidential election. Kornacki frequently appeared on MSNBC’s prime-time election coverage, providing real-time analysis of voting patterns, exit polls and electoral data. Like many analysts, Kornacki didn’t see a Trump victory in the data. The event was presented by The Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics.

On the fence

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sonia Nazario stopped at Rider on Oct. 19, 2016. She used her book Enrique’s Journey, which Rider selected as the 2016-17 Shared Read, as a launching point to discuss immigration and possible solutions to one of America’s thorniest issues.

Inside Comcast

Comcast Senior Executive Vice President David Cohen discussed the interplay of politics, business and media at Rider on Nov. 14, 2016. Cohen addressed fierce competition in the industry and the media’s role in covering the presidential election. Cohen’s appearance was made possible by a generous gift from Rob Hagedorn ’81.

The big screen

107.7 The Bronc hosted Scream Screen on Nov. 28, 2016, the first-ever event of its kind at Rider. Supernatural horror film The Conjuring was shown on the largest movie screen on the East Coast, with students and others from the Rider community watching in the style of a drive-in movie.

School of Education

Productivity on the rise

A journal article in Research and Practice in the Schools named Rider’s school psychology program the fifth-most productive program in the nation in terms of scholarly production. Programs were ranked according to the average number of journal articles published by faculty members. In addition to the recognition for Rider’s program as a whole, Dr. Stefan Dombrowski of the school psychology program was ranked as the 12th-most productive school psychology researcher in the country.

Stepping up in STEM

Rider’s School of Education recently received a $300k grant from the Martinson Family Foundation to equip teachers with the appropriate tools to challenge learners and prepare them for a technology-rich future. The grant will help the School of Education build on its existing online STEM education and develop a new STEM curriculum and instruction for gifted students.

Tomorrow’s teachers

Rider embarked on a partnership with The Center for Future Educators at the College of New Jersey and Tomorrow’s Teachers in 2012 that provides high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to take a course and earn three college credits at Rider. Course enrollment has grown from 52 students in the first year to 110 students for the 2016-17 school year.

College of Continuing Studies


Brian Delate ’75 returned to Rider to deliver the keynote speech at the University’s annual Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 3, 2016. Delate, whose film and television credits include The Shawshank Redemption and Sex and the City, served as a combat veteran in the Vietnam War in 1969 and is a decorated noncommissioned officer. A special limited engagement of Delate’s play, Memorial Day, was also performed as part of a series of related events.

Rider goes to Washington

Senior Evan Giguere, junior Kelsey Johnson and Dean Boris Vilic traveled to the White House to meet Michelle Obama on Jan. 13, after the University was among those selected out of the 350 colleges that participated in the Healthy Campus Challenge. The initiative called for colleges across the country to use their talents to make their campus and local communities aware of healthcare’s importance to young adults and the economy.

Westminster College of the Arts

Westminster Choir College

Musical literacy

Four high school choral directors — all alumni of the Westminster music education department (Brian Williams ’12, Robbinsville High School; David Westawski ’11, West Windsor Plainsboro South High School; Thomas Bateman ’83, New Hope Solebury High School; and Grant Mech ’05, Rancocas Valley Regional High School) — are working with Center Director and Professor of Music Education Frank Abrahams and Ryan John of the Léman Manhattan Preparatory School to investigate new ways to teach high school choral students to read musical notation. Titled “Collaborative Solfeggio,” it uses critical pedagogy and popular music pedagogy as the theoretical framework for the study.

Music and STEM

Associate Professor of Music Education Janet Cape is developing research that studies the application and uses of micro-controllers to facilitate children’s abilities to compose music and produce music creatively. In addition, she joins Frank Abrahams and other colleagues to develop a music curriculum that connects music to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subjects for the Trenton Public Schools.

Drum circle

During JTerm, six music education majors (Grace Amadeo, Rebecca Carroll, Alex Delbar, Lauren Goldman, Julia Henry and Kelly Ruggieri) joined Joel Michalchuk ’15 to provide instruction in drumming to elementary school children with autism in the Trenton Public Schools. Christopher Tatro ’98, a music teacher at one of the elementary schools, helped organize the program, which was provided under a contract with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

School of Fine and Performing Arts

Top brass

A new partnership with the Princeton Brass Band resulted in the new Princeton-Rider Brass Band under the direction of Dr. Steve Allen. The international award-winning Princeton Brass Band now includes members of the Rider student population as the School of Fine and Performing Arts strives to provide more instrumental training for its growing number of student musicians.

Tight harmonies

A new contemporary vocal ensemble has been inaugurated under the direction of new visiting faculty member Timothy Brent. The ensemble learns and performs works that feature tight harmonies and contemporary styles in the mode of Manhattan Transfer, Pentatonix and others.

Record numbers

A record number of musical theatre and theatre graduates received professional representation upon graduating from Rider in May 2016. Not only are more agents signing on Rider graduates, but alumni are getting more performance jobs than ever before, on Broadway and with national tours, cruise lines, Disney and others.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Keeping the nation safe

An Oct. 27, 2016, seminar on Current Issues in Homeland Security and Criminal Justice showcased leading scholarship in the field, as well as an in-depth look at security issues facing individuals who work in the field. Expert guest speakers from around New Jersey and beyond explored the many methods used to help keep the nation safe.

Sustainable community

Associate Professor of History Brooke Hunter led a group of students minoring in sustainability studies in Lawrence Township’s effort to earn Silver certification from Sustainable Jersey. Lawrence has been certified Bronze four times since 2009. Thanks to the Rider students, the Township now joins an elite group of municipalities certified at the higher designation of Silver.

College of Business Administration

Key conduit

A team of students from Rider’s Global Supply Chain Management program completed a semester-long consulting project under the guidance of Robert Murphy for global medical technology company Becton Dickinson. The team investigated the impact of the expansion of the Panama Canal on the company.

Living and learning

Students participating in the Business in Action program raised more than $7,000 for charities in the Fall 2016 semester. The program is part of CBA’s Living & Learning Communities, a new initiative for incoming freshmen. Students worked in teams to develop and execute a business plan with startup funds donated by alumni and friends.

Top five

Two teams made up of Rider University students placed in the top five in this year’s national Small Business Institute Consulting Project of the Year competition, which recognizes the best student consulting projects from schools around the country. The graduate-level team finished in fourth place and the undergraduate team placed fifth, with both receiving honorable mention.

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