Grad student killed in car accident

By Demara Barnes

Jeanette Luna earned a bachelor’s in psychology at Rider and was working toward a master’s in mental health counseling. She was fatally struck by a car in Pemberton on Nov. 10.

Graduate student Jeanette M. Luna, 25, was killed in a multiple-vehicle accident in Pemberton Township on Nov. 10, authorities said. Luna was born in Brooklyn, New York, but she was a longtime resident of Browns Mills.

Luna graduated from Rider with a bachelor’s in psychology in 2014, and shortly returned to work toward her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling. She also worked at the CVS Pharmacy in her hometown of Browns Mills.

“Jeanette, or Gigi, as she was often called, worked hard to learn clinical skills, had a strong capacity for conveying empathy, and displayed a genuine curiosity for and engagement with the subject matter,” said associate professor of mental health counseling Juleen Buser.

Some of the hobbies Luna enjoyed were writing, makeup, singing and playing soccer.

“Gigi was a warm, vivacious and spirited young person,” said counseling department chair and associate professor Christina Hamme Peterson.

Buser added, “This is a huge loss for our program and for the clients who would have benefitted from Gigi’s work as a mental health counselor.”

Luna is survived by her mother and father, Walter and Jenny; brother, Walter Jr.; sister, Lynnette; and niece Ellyssa Mangual. Services were held under the direction of Moore Funeral in Browns Mills, and the burial was private.

“On behalf of everyone at Rider University, we extend our sincere condolences to the Luna family,” Buser said. “Jeanette will forever be a part of the Rider community and we hold her memory in our hearts. We hope our collective caring thoughts help to ease her family’s grief at this difficult time. She was gone too soon, but will always be remembered by her peers, friends and professors.”

Associate professor of graduate education, leadership and counseling Trevor Buser recalled Luna as a bright, talented student in one of his courses.

“She was full of energy and creativity in my class, and I remember fondly her vibrant, enthusiastic presence,” he said. “She sincerely desired to help others, and I noticed on several occasions when she did just that.”

In lieu of flowers, Luna’s family is accepting donations to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society at nationalmssociety.org/donate.

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