New student affairs VP hopes to bring ‘energy and optimism’ to campus life

By Lauren Lavelle and Victoria Martinez

A new position was added to Rider’s student affairs team on July 28 with the appointment of Leanna Fenneberg as vice president for student affairs.

She will supervise several areas of the division including Greek life, multicultural affairs and counseling services. Fenneberg will also serve as a student advocate for the President’s Cabinet, a group dedicated to discussing the improvement of Rider student experiences.

“I was drawn to Rider University because I am committed to its mission and values,” said Fenneberg. “The establishment of the vice president for student affairs position denotes a campus commitment to a truly engaged student experience and an understanding of how vital student experiences outside of the classroom are, a compliment to the excellent academic experiences in the classroom.”

With 18 years of experience in senior level higher education under her belt, Fenneberg is confident her professionalism and genuine love of student life will greatly benefit campus activities.

“I bring energy and optimism combined with a sincere care for students,” she said. “I am results-oriented. I apply my strategic thinking, organizational skills, work ethic and relationship building to enact positive change for students.”

As for her plans for the upcoming school year, Fenneberg hopes to develop her relationship with students by contributing to the Rider culture. She is also coming up with several long-term goals to better connect student affairs to actual student needs.

“I am intentionally spending time with students, staff and faculty and immersing myself in Rider traditions and events,” said Fenneberg. “With great intentionality, Student Affairs will be committed to enhancing a vibrant campus community, diversity, equity and inclusion, student success and co-curricular learning. I am open to ideas and opportunities where Student Affairs has the strongest potential to enhance the overall Rider experience.”

One of the most unique parts of Fenneberg’s new position was her hiring process. Members of Rider’s Student Government Association (SGA) had the opportunity to help guide the search for a vice president and offered their input on the candidates.

“We were impressed with her commitment to creating a long-term, cohesive vision for Rider that was inclusive of all parties and complimented rather than contradicted what other departments were doing,” said SGA president and senior English major John Modica of Fenneberg during her interview. “Our committee is confident that she is going to bring order to the way things are done at Rider, and make sure that everything is done in a way that builds trust and buy-in across campus partners.”

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