News and happenings around the Lawrenceville and Princeton campuses
Hundreds of alumni, students, faculty and staff celebrated their cranberry connection on Oct. 28, 2017, at the University’s first Homecoming since 2004. The revival of this Rider tradition gave alumni another fun reason to return to Lawrenceville and reconnect with their alma mater.
Students in the Class of 2021 are the first to experience the new fully implemented Engaged Learning Program. As part of the program, all new students are required to complete at least two high-impact engaged learning experiences to satisfy their graduation requirements, which will be documented on an Engaged Learning Transcript, a companion to the traditional academic transcript. This fall, the program’s implementation coincided with a spike in student participation around campus.
Rider’s 150-year legacy of advancing women’s education entered a new phase in the fall with the start of the Rider Women’s Giving Challenge. Joan Mazzotti ’72, a former chair of Rider’s Board of Trustees, is leading a giving team that pledged to match — dollar for dollar — up to $255,000 of all new or increased gifts made by or in honor of women, potentially resulting in an additional $510,000 in support of current and future students.
In the fall, Rider welcomed more than 1,000 new freshmen to campus. The Class of 2021 is not only one of the largest in recent history, it is also the most diverse.
College of Education and Human Services
Raising the Barr
In the spring, Dr. Jason Barr joined the College of Education and Human Services as its new associate dean. Barr will help support and expand education programs, manage grant opportunities and maintain accreditation requirements. He will also oversee existing grants and work with faculty to find federal, state, corporate and foundation funding to support their research interests and engage more students in collaborative research.
All teacher education programs were reapproved as part of the new New Jersey State Program Approval Process. The core of this in-depth compliance audit included an examination of each and every course offered in the College of Education and Human Services’ teacher preparation programs — undergraduate and post-baccalaureate. Field placements were monitored to be sure they contain the number of hours mandated by regulation, and quality of procedures associated with teacher preparation was rated.
Dr. Yi-Ju Cheng, an assistant professor in the Department of Graduate Education, Leadership, and Counseling, joined Rider in the fall. A registered play therapist, Cheng has enabled Rider to add play therapy as an area of specialization for counseling students. She is already working with neighboring districts to bring play therapy opportunities to families.
College of Continuing Studies
1 in 5,000
Antonia James, a senior majoring in leadership and management originally from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, was chosen from a pool of 5,000 applicants from 49 countries to attend the X-Culture Symposium 2017 in Miami. James, a recipient of the Charlotte W. Newcombe Scholarship for second career women, who owns an event decorating business startup, plans to continue at Rider for a master’s once she earns a bachelor’s this spring.
Capital city innovator
Recognized for the impact he and his firm have made in and around Trenton, N.J., Hibbert Group CEO Tim Moonan ’95 was named Innovator of the Year by the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce at its annual Business Leadership Awards Gala. Moonan attended Rider as an adult with a full-time job and a family.
Into the fray
An arts group called Frontline Arts visited Rider in November 2017 and helped the University community transform military uniforms into handcrafted paper as part of a series of Veterans Day events at Rider. The project helps veterans deconstruct their uniforms and turn their associations into something new and inspirational.
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Author and Newsweek columnist Kevin Maney delivered a talk on the topic of fake news on Nov. 14, 2017. His appearance came on the heels of a dynamic conversation led by graduate students studying business communication. These events were part of the Business of Media initiative sponsored by Rob Hagedorn ’81 to educate the community about media as a business.
Last spring, several students studied the behavior of seals, buffalo and tigers at the 350-acre animal preserve at Six Flags Great Adventure & Safari — part of a new pilot program between the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the amusement park. The independent research projects provided invaluable learning experiences for the students, including Tiffany Girado, a senior marine sciences major, as they prepare for careers after college.
Growing new programs
In the last two years alone, undergraduate programs offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences were established in computer science, organizational psychology, health sciences and sports media. More than 200 students enrolled in these programs by fall 2017, and the College is currently recruiting four tenure-track faculty members to begin in the fall to support the growth of these programs.
College of Business Administration
A group of 10 high school entrepreneurs showcased their business ideas in front of a panel of three executive-level judges in the Shark Tank-esque Norm Brodsky Idea/Business Concept Competition at Rider University on Jan. 17. Aniruddha Srinivasan, a senior from Metuchen High School, was awarded a full four-year scholarship to Rider for his business idea — a tourism app designed to knock down cultural barriers by connecting tourists and local residents.
Fame and fortune
Four alumni were selected as the inaugural class of the College of Business Administration’s new Hall of Fame. James P. Bush ’80 of American Express; Howard Cohen ’71 of Wells Fargo’s New Jersey Middle Market Banking Group; Patricia A. Hartpence ’78, ’86 of NJM Insurance Group; and Vincent J. Milano ’85 of Idera will be honored during an induction ceremony on May 3.
Based on career results, marketing emphasis and school performance, the College of Business Administration was recently ranked as one of the top five best colleges for marketing majors in New Jersey by Zippia, a career search website. The recognition came on the heels of a recently revised marketing curriculum to keep students at the forefront of current marketing practices.
School of Fine and Performing Arts
Three Rider musical theatre students took home top honors at the recent Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Junior Abeba Isaac and senior Nick Ziobro took first place in the Musical Theatre Initiative competition while junior Gabrielle Bazinet won the stage management competition.
Justin Burton, an assistant professor who teaches in the popular music studies program, published his first book, Posthuman Rap (Oxford University Press), in October 2017. The book examines how some contemporary rap artists — from Nicki Minaj to Future to Rae Sremmurd — are exploding the traditional boundaries of what it means to be human.
Dance, dance, dance
A new dance studio opened in the Bart Luedeke Center in the fall, benefiting more than 20 dance majors and 140 musical theater majors. The 2,200 square foot studio features an open dance room that accommodates around 20 people, an office for faculty, a lobby with lockers, two individual rehearsal spaces for voice students and more.
Westminster Choir College
Senior John Franek’s work Mithridates was a winner of a composition competition held by the Siberian State Symphony Orchestra. It was premiered by the Orchestra in Krasnoyarsk Philharmonic Hall in Russia in November 2017.
‘Adventures’ in India
Piano Professor Phyllis Alpert Lehrer participated in MusiQuest, a national piano festival in Pune, India, in November 2017. During the five-day event, she was an adjudicator for pianists participating in auditions/
competitions, presented a lecture-recital titled “Adventures in Contemporary Music and Classics Too!” and performed in a recital featuring a work of Westminster student-composer John Franek.
New online master’s
All courses for a new master’s degree in sacred music that emphasizes practical pedagogy will be offered online, except for one three-week summer experience either on the Westminster campus in Princeton or at Westminster’s summer Choral Institute at Oxford in Oxford, England.